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-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Mali infected as sick 2yo girl taken on 600km bus trip through the capital
The authorities in Mali have confirmed the death of the country's first Ebola patient, a two-year-old girl.

The World Health Organisation said the toddler had travelled hundreds of kilometres by bus from Guinea through Mali showing symptoms of the disease.

More than 40 people known to have come into contact with her have been quarantined.

The girl was being treated in the western town of Kayes, after arriving at a hospital on Wednesday.

The child had travelled more than 1,000 km (600 miles) from Guinea through the capital, Bamako, to Kayes.

"The child's symptomatic state during the bus journey is especially concerning, as it presented multiple opportunities for exposures, including high-risk exposures, involving many people," the WHO said.

The girl's mother died in Guinea a few weeks ago and the child was then brought by relatives to Mali.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have seen most of the 4,800 Ebola deaths.

In the US, the governors of the states of New York and New Jersey have ordered a mandatory 21-day quarantine period for all doctors and other travellers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa.

Anyone arriving from affected West African countries without having had confirmed contact with Ebola victims will be subject to monitoring by public health officials.

The moves go beyond anything so far announced at a national level by the Obama administration and come after a doctor, Craig Spencer, was diagnosed with Ebola following his return to New York from Guinea.

People in the city have expressed concern that Dr Spencer used public transport and restaurants before being diagnosed.

People are afraid in Mali's capital, Bamako, but life is carrying on as normal. A few people have stopped shaking hands but physically greeting people is an important part of life in Mali and for most this has not changed.

Some hotels have placed bottles of anti-bacterial gels at their entrances but for ordinary Malians, gel remains too expensive. The government has been running public information broadcasts telling people to wash their hands with soap. But though soap is not expensive, most still wash their hands with water alone.

Many Malians have friends and family in Guinea and several buses and taxis travel between the two countries each day.

With the support of the WHO, Mali's health system has been preparing for an outbreak of Ebola for several months. But there is a culture here of visiting people when they are sick to wish them a speedy recovery.

This will have to change if Ebola becomes more widespread.

Good maps at original BBC story. It seems inevitable to be passed on. Toddlers are germ factories at the best of times. They put stuff in their mouths. They slobber. They touch everything in reach. If the poor little girl was sick on the bus then whoever it is that cleans the bus will have to have touched it... and how do they track that person?
Posted by: anon1 || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [7 views] Top||


Several hundred thousand ebola vaccines to be ready by next June
Posted by: anon1 || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6 views] Top||


Arabia
Haia launches countrywide training program
[ARABNEWS] Members of the Presidency for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) across the Kingdom will undergo training in various aspects of public dealing, etiquette and attitude as part of a program to improve its performance.

As many as 425 trainee members of the Haia will be participating in the training in various branches across the country.

According to the organizer, the Management Development Department at Haia is implementing the training to raise the efficiency of its members and improve their performance in addition to their administrative work in accordance with the guidelines of Haia chief Abdullatif Al-Asheikh.

There are issues of misusing the social media and Internet by individuals with deviant ideology to disrupt society, while some use the technology for immoral practices, according to a Haia source.

As part of its plan to curb the spread of unapproved practices, Haia announced Saturday that with the cooperation of some hackers, it had managed to penetrate 1,254 pornographic and atheistic accounts on social networking sites in a month. In addition, it had shut down 54 porn accounts in three days.

According to the Haia, there are 17 training sessions in total designed for field members and administrators in several specialties and skills.
Posted by: Fred || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [5 views] Top||


Women driving campaign dropped
[ARABNEWS] Women will not take to the streets on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of a nationwide campaign launched on Oct. 26, 2013 calling on the Saudi government to lift the driving ban.

The statement, made by a leading advocate, comes in the wake of a recent Interior Ministry warning against women driving.

Some 2,500 women had signed the online campaign to drive cars on the Kingdom's streets on Sunday.

"The ministry's warning will be heeded. What happened last year was not orchestrated," said Samia El-Moslimany, a Saudi woman and supporter of the Oct. 26 campaign.

The ministry described any such attempt by women to drive in public "an opportunity for predators to undermine social cohesion."

Posted by: Fred || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [7 views] Top||


Saudi ban on women driving unrelated to Islam: Press TV online debate
[Iran Press TV] Followers of Press TV's Facebook page have censured Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
's ban on female driving as unfair, arguing that Islam has not introduced any such restrictions.

Comments posted on the channel's Facebook page in response to a question about Saudi Arabia's decades-old ban on women getting behind the wheel showed that the ban has no standing in Islam with respondents noting that Saudi Arabia should lift the ban on women's driving.

"Yes, it's a joke. Nowhere in the Koran is this referenced. They can't use that one," a comment read, while another respondent said, "I don't get this. Why they wouldn't allow women to drive. Islam is not forbidding anyone to drive. Saudi Arabia does."

Another comment read, "Where in the Koran does it say that a woman cannot drive a car? ... I respect every Moslem who lives according to the Koran and let others live. I despise each has a misogynistic view."

"Why should women not be allowed to drive a car in Saudi Arabia? This is a country that allows female singers to perform at weddings! Which one is more evil: driving a car or singing at parties? Saudi Arabia is drifting away from pristine Islam! Dangerous!" another respondent noted.

Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry warned in a statement released on October 23 against any move flouting the kingdom's controversial ban on female driving.

The warning came against the backdrop of a renewed right-to-drive campaign against the ban.

Several women took the wheel last year on October 26 in defiance of the driving ban in the kingdom.

More than 2,700 people have already signed an online petition to support women's driving rights in the Arab country.
Posted by: Fred || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [5 views] Top||


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Russian journalists set up shop in Latvia

The news returns’ – that is the slogan for the Meduza Project, a new Russian-language independent media organisation based in Latvia launched this week.

Prior to its launch, the Meduza team had been reticent, even secretive, about the details of their project. Now, impatient onlookers can finally see what the first major journalistic response to the government’s recent media crackdown looks like.

Headed by Galina Timchenko, the former editor-in-chief of Russian news website Lenta.ru, Meduza is run by a team of around 20 journalists. They were among the nearly 70 Lenta.ru reporters who collectively resigned from their jobs in March following Timchenko’s unexpected removal from her post by the website’s owner and Vladimir Putin ally, the oligarch Alexander Mamut.

Timchenko’s sudden removal as editor, reportedly the consequence of a dispute between her and Mamut over coverage of the Ukraine crisis, marked a turning point for the Russian media landscape. The following months saw entire newspaper editorial teams resigning in protest against censorship, sudden reshuffles at the command of newspaper financiers, and a slew of laws introduced by the government to tighten its grip over the distribution of information.
Posted by: badanov || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10 views] Top||


Cancer rumors swirl around Putin
[PAGESIX] There is an explanation for Vladimir Putin
...Second and fourth President and sixth of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from polonium poisoning. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead...
's hurry to invade Ukraine -- it is rumored he has cancer. News outlets from Belarus to Poland have reported for months that the Russian strongman has cancer of the spinal cord. But my sources say it's pancreatic cancer, one of the most lethal forms of the disease.
Pancreatic cancer is the sort of disease you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy and Vlad's not quite at top of my list unless he invades Baltimore.
Putin is allegedly being treated by an elderly doctor from the old East Germany whom Putin met decades ago while serving in Dresden for the KGB. The doctor has been trying various treatments including steroid shots, which would explain Putin's puffy appearance.
Normally competent docs use chemo and radiation. If the patient's healthy enough there's a "nanoknife" procedure to remove the tumor, of which I know nothing but the name.
The physician, who is 84 years old, quit recently, confiding that he hated coming to Russia and was always mistreated by Putin's security detail.
Good idea. Kick the guy's dog and then ask him for help.
Crispin Black, the British army veteran who reports on terrorism and intelligence, reported earlier this year that recurring rumors about Putin's health "are back again with a vengeance."
... and his girlfriend's a contortionist, not that he's up to it anymore because he has pancreatic cancer...
Writing for The Week, Black said Putin's pardon and release of his former crony Mikhail Khodorkovsky, after 10 years in prison, was an ominous sign. "Some have suggested [Putin] is clearing his conscience," Black wrote.
But then he couldn't resist the urge to kick Khodorkovsky's dog so he might as well not have bothered.
Others say Putin has three years to live and wants to leave a legacy of expanding the Russian borders just like Peter the Great or Stalin. Take your pick.
I think Steve Jobs had pancreatic cancer. He seemed to last pretty long. I know of one guy (a doctor) who beat it. Nobody else lasted longer than a year.
Jobs had a neuroendocrine pancreatic tumor, entirely different from your usual adenocarcinoma. Problem with the latter is that by the time you discover it the tumor has almost always metastasized, both to surrounding tissues and to the liver. At that point your choices are chemo and more chemo, and pancreatic adenocarcinoma is notoriously resistant to chemo.

So if Putin has pancreatic CA then it's very likely curtains within a year.

By the way, Jobs died of his tumor as well.
Posted by: Fred || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [11 views] Top||


India-Pakistan
PSO seeks govt permission to immediately stop fuel supply to PIA
[DAWN] With outstanding arrears against Pakistain International Airlines (PIA) piling up over Rs11billion, Pakistain State Oil has sought permission from the federal government to "immediately discontinue fuel supplies to the national flag carrier.

A letter to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources ‐ a copy of which is available with DawnNews ‐ disclosed on Saturday that PSO has sought permission to immediately discontinue fuel supplies to PIA.

Though arrears against PIA have built up to over Rs11bn, state-owned oil company PSO has been continuing fuel supply to PIA in compliance with directives of the petroleum ministry.

PSO has also informed the government in detail regarding the default on due payments by PIA.

The oil company in its letter further says that in view of its liquidity position, it has become hard for PSO to continue supplies unless outstanding receivables are paid by PIA.

Several meetings have been held with PIA management to resolve the issue, including a meeting between senior management of PIA and PSO on Sept 15 at PIA's offices followed by a meeting on Sept 25 at the PSO head office, states the letter.

"During these meetings, PIA expressed its inability to pay the outstanding dues because of its ongoing cash flow problems. PSO also pursued the matter through MPNR (Petroleum Ministry) but the situation could not improve despite the ministry's support. In process of pursuing the recovery, PSO management learnt that PIA has discontinued its receivables from profitable routes from the banks and any further credit facility is not an option for PIA for settlement of PSO dues," it says.
Posted by: Fred || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [7 views] Top||


India picks Israel's Spike anti-tank missile over US Javelin
[DAWN] India has opted to buy Israel's Spike anti-tank guided missile, a defence ministry source said on Saturday, rejecting a rival US offer of Javelin missiles that Washington had lobbied hard to win.

India will buy at least 8,000 Spike missiles and more than 300 launchers in a deal worth 32 billion rupees ($525 million), the source said after a meeting of India's Defence Acquisition Council.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's five-month-old government wants to clear a backlog of defence orders and boost India's firepower, amid recent border tensions with China and heavy exchanges of fire with Pakistain across the Kashmiri frontier.

"National security is the paramount concern of the government," the source quoted Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, who also holds the finance portfolio, as telling the procurement panel.

"All hurdles and bottlenecks in the procurement process should be addressed expeditiously so that the pace of acquisition is not stymied."

Among other business cleared by the panel, India will issue a request for proposals to supply six submarines, added the source, who was not authorised to comment on the record and did not elaborate.

Spike is a man-portable 'fire and forget' anti-tank missile that locks on to targets before shooting. It is produced by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, which declined to comment.

It beat out the rival US Javelin weapons system, built by Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co, that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had pitched during Modi's visit to Washington at the end of September.

Senior US officials had said they were still discussing the Javelin order as part of a broader push to deepen defence industry ties with India by increasing the share of production done in the country.
Posted by: Fred || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [8 views] Top||


73 prayer leaders booked for violating ban on loudspeakers
[DAWN] Prayer leaders (Khateebs) of 73 worship places in the city were booked for violating the ban on the use of loudspeaker during the Friday prayers.

A police officer said the use of amplifier for any speech except Azan was banned in the capital city. After a bloody clash between two religious groups in Rawalpindi on Ashura last year, the capital police have decided to implement the ban strictly.

He said the clash outside a worship place located on the Ashura route in Raja Bazaar last year was caused by the misuse of the loudspeaker.

"Last Friday, police officials met the Khateebs of all mosques and imambargahs in the capital city and asked them not to violate the ban," he said. The Khateebs were further directed that their voice should remain confined to the premises of the worship places.

"In this regard, undertakings were also taken from them with the warning that legal action would be taken against them if the ban was violated."
Posted by: Fred || 10/26/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [7 views] Top||



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