Why Zika virus crisis is hitting Brazil

first_imgZika, a mosquito-borne virus, is spreading quickly in 33 countries. The virus was identified in Brazil for the first time last May and is suspected of being responsible for an explosive rise there in infants born with microcephaly, a neurological disorder that causes abnormally small brains and heads and mental disabilities.An Aedes aegypti mosquito.The Zika-carrying mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is in the same family with mosquitoes that can carry yellow fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya and dengue fever. So at first doctors were relieved that Zika appeared to be benign. Only 20 percent of those infected show any of its mild flu-like symptoms: fever, rash, headaches, muscle aches and red eyes. Once infected, the incubation period is likely to be only a few days and symptoms last less than a week, after which a person has developed immunity to the virus.Since its outbreak however, evidence has mounted that the Zika virus may cause microcephaly in infants born to women infected during pregnancy. Children with microcephaly who survive birth can face a lifetime of symptoms such as mental disability, seizures, hyperactivity, short stature, delayed motor and speech functions, facial distortions, balance and coordination problems.Scientists now fear Zika may also be associated with a rise in Guillain-Barré, a syndrome caused by any of several microbes in which the immune system attacks the nervous system.On Feb. 1, the World Health Organization called Zika “a public emergency of international concern,” putting it in the same category as the 2014 outbreak of Ebola. Since October 2015, more than 1 million cases of Zika and over 4,700 cases of microcephaly have been reported in Brazil. Before this outbreak, Brazil reported about 163 cases of microcephaly each year. WHO says that up to 4 million people in the Americas may soon become infected with the Zika virus.The first outbreak of the virus was reported in northeast Brazil in early 2015. By September, the number of children born with microcephaly had sharply increased, so a Brazil Ministry of Health task force was set up to study 35 of those infants. Infants are considered microcephalic if their head circumference is less than two standard deviations (SD) from the norm. The condition can have many causes, including exposure to drugs, environmental toxins or viral infections during the first 12 weeks of fetal development. The Brazilian task force found that the group it was studying had heads three SDs less than the norm. Neuroimaging showed that out of 27 infants tested, all had neurological abnormalities.A Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group was quickly assembled to study 1,000 pregnant women with Zika symptoms and no history of alcoholism, family health issues or other factors thought to contribute to microcephaly. (New York Times, Feb. 6)The virus is mainly spread through mosquito bites, but new evidence shows Zika may also be spread through sexual activity. Dallas health officials reported in early February that a woman in Texas had contracted Zika from an infected partner recently returned from Venezuela. New, unsubstantiated fears have arisen about contracting Zika through kissing.The countries most hard-hit by Zika, besides Brazil, are in Central and South America and the Caribbean and have high rates of unemployment and poverty. Women in these countries are being asked to put off getting pregnant for six to eight months. El Salvador has advised women to wait two years before having children. But poor women have little choice over their pregnancies, since abortion and contraception are expensive and not widely available. Abortions are illegal in most largely Catholic Latin American countries. In Brazil, it is legal only if the life of the woman is in danger or if the pregnancy is the result of a rape.The International Planned Parenthood Federation says that contraception and abortion must be included in the fight against the Zika virus. But the Vatican will not comment on whether it will alter its position on contraception or abortion in the light of Brazil’s dramatic rise in microcephaly.Global warming and diseaseThe Zika outbreak is a tragic example of what effects global climate change can have. Mosquitoes carrying the virus are prolific breeders in warm fresh water. Warming temperatures have triggered above-average rainfall, an exceptionally strong El Niño and the most severe flooding in South America in 50 years. In Brazil and Paraguay, floods in December caused 150,000 people to evacuate their homes.Women living in poor Latin American countries who are being asked to stop having children will suffer the most from the Zika outbreak. But it is polluting corporations in imperialist countries like the U.S. that are the most responsible for the crisis of global warming. As Betsey Piette wrote in Workers World over two years ago: “Half of these [carbon dioxide] emissions were produced over the last 25 years, after it was generally accepted by scientists that climate change resulted from burning coal and oil. … It was found that roughly 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions were produced by just 20 of these companies.” (Dec. 12, 2013)At every international conference on climate change, the U.S. government has refused to commit to any curb on this country’s high output of carbon dioxide emissions. The female aegypti mosquito is an aggressive biter that feeds during the day, so mosquito bed netting doesn’t help prevent the infection. WHO says the best form of protection against Zika is to prevent mosquito bites: stay inside with air conditioning and screens on the windows, use insect repellents and wear thick clothing that covers arms and legs. For people living in poverty in a hot climate, air conditioning and thick clothing are not options. What Brazil is doingBrazil is a poor but developing country that during centuries of colonial rule followed by imperialist penetration has been plundered of its raw materials and labor. Its efforts to modernize have left it with a $270 billion national debt and a steady decline in economic growth since 2010. The government of President Dilma Rousseff is mounting a “mega-operation” to kill as many mosquitoes as possible before hosting the 2016 Olympics in August. Health officials are trying to inform the people about the danger while government troops are being employed to chlorinate and eradicate stagnant water where aegypti mosquitoes breed, as well as spray insecticide in the neighborhoods.The British company Oxitec, associated with Oxford University, has developed mosquitoes with a genetically modified gene that prevents future larvae from becoming reproducing adults. This gene was inserted into male mosquitos that were then released in the city of Piracicaba, Brazil. Only the males are released, since they don’t bite humans. The company reported an 82-percent decrease in the number of people contracting Zika in that area, compared to a nontreated area 1.5 kilometers away. Whether this technique can control the outbreak of Zika remains to be seen, however.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

French court bans Reporters Without Borders from using photo of dead Cuban leader “Che” Guevara

first_img Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet October 12, 2018 Find out more News A Paris court today banned Reporters Without Borders and the French advertising agency Rampazzo from using a world-famous photo of Cuban guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara wearing a beret with a red star on it. The organisation warned that if it did not lodge an appeal, it would find new ways to publicise the plight of the 30 journalists currently imprisoned in Cuba and try to win their release. RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago Organisation A Paris court today banned Reporters Without Borders and the French advertising agency Rampazzo from using a world-famous photo of Cuban guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara wearing a beret with a red star on it. The ban was at the request of Diane Diaz Lopez, daughter and heir of the late Cuban photographer Alberto Diaz Gutierrez, known as Korda, who took the picture. “We deplore this court decision, which plays into the hands of the Cuban authorities,” said the organisation’s secretary-general, Robert Ménard. “We especially regret that the complaint against us, which concerns the principle of the right to use photos, did not include discussion of the broader issue of the appalling state of press freedom and human rights in Cuba.” The grounds for the ban would be examined before a decision to appeal was made.He said the organisation would obey the ban and suspend a planned 8-22 July poster campaign using the photo. But he he warned that if it did not lodge an appeal, it would find new ways to publicise the plight of the 30 journalists currently imprisoned in Cuba and try to win their release.The judge who issued the ban set a fine of 200 euros for every time it was infringed and said the photo must be removed from the Reporters Without Borders website. The organisation was ordered to pay 1,000 euros in damages to the plaintiff as well as 1,000 euros in costs. However the judge refused Mrs Diaz Lopez’ request for the verdict to be published at Reporters Without Borders’ expense in five French national daily papers and on its website.The lawsuit had sought to “stop publication, distribution and sale” of the photo which was to have been used in a poster campaign about lack of press freedom in Cuba aimed at the 120,000 or so French people who each year go on holiday to Cuba, drawn by the sun, the beaches or the legend of the Cuban Revolution. The planned campaign poster showed Guevara’s face superimposed on a famous image of a policeman brandishing a truncheon and a shield that became famous in the 1968 student uprising in France. The caption said: “Welcome to Cuba, the world’s biggest prison for journalists.”Behind the ideology of the Cuban revolution, which still inspires many tourists, is the reality of a totalitarian regime which uses the image of “Che” in an effort to legitimise repression. The poster also shows how a revolution that inspired a entire generation in the 1960s has now turned into what that generation most detested – a police state. Mrs Diaz Lopez said Reporters Without Borders could not “plead press freedom to distort Korda’s work for their political and advertising purposes.” Korda’s photograph of Che in Havana in 1960 “represented and still represents a symbol of struggle and the future for the Cuban people,” she said. The Cuban government launched a nationwide crackdown on 18 March in which 75 dissidents were rounded up and sentenced to prison terms of up to 28 years each for “undermining the unity and sovereignty of the state” or its “independence.” They included 26 independent journalists who joined four others already in jail. Cuba thus became the world’s biggest prison for journalists. The heavy punishment of these journalists who have challenged the state’s monopoly of information has been extended by sending them to prisons hundreds of miles from their homes, restricting visits from their families and keeping them in bad conditions of detention. CubaAmericas RSF_en to go further Follow the news on Cuba CubaAmericas New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council October 15, 2020 Find out more May 6, 2020 Find out more News July 9, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 French court bans Reporters Without Borders from using photo of dead Cuban leader “Che” Guevara News Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Newslast_img read more

Arsenal and Chelsea stars included in FIFA Team of the Week

first_img FIFA 19: Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea stars make TOTW Alexandre Lacazette and Ross Barkley have been rewarded for their performances over the weekend by being including in the FIFA Team of the Week.Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is also included, having netted a stunning four goals in 13 minutes against Lyon. WHAT A SIGNING REST OF SQUAD:GK: Oier – Levante (81 Rating)CB: Lorenzo Tonelli – Sampdoria (81 Rating)CM: Jonas Hofmann – Borussia Monchengladbach (82 Rating)ST: Cristhian Stuani – Girona (83 Rating)ST: Paco Alcacer – Borussia Dortmund (82 Rating)RM: James Forrest – Celtic (81 Rating) Latest FIFA 19 News 3 IN FORM STARS 3 One player from every Premier League club who deserves a FIFA 20 downgrade in-form stars Griezmann signs Pogba on FIFA and jokes the kit looks good on him Lacazette, Mbappe and Barkley were among those in TOTW4 FIFA 19: Burnley, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Watford stars make TOTW 24 One player from every Premier League club who deserves an upgraded rating on FIFA 20 FIFA 20 career mode: New features and possible highest potential players STARTING XI:GK: David Ospina – Napoli (82 Rating)LB: Benedikt Howedes – Lokomotiv (84 Rating)CB: Matthijs de Ligt – Ajax (83 Rating)CB: Ruben Dias – Benfica (82 Rating)CM: Ross Barkley – Chelsea (82 Rating)CAM: Hulk – Shanghai SIPG (84 Rating)CAM: Marcel Sabitzer – RB Leipzig (84 Rating)RM: Kylian Mbappe – PSG (88 Rating)ST: Alexandre Lacazette – Arsenal (86 Rating)ST: Ciro Immobile – Lazio (88 Rating)ST: Mauro Icardi – Inter (88 Rating) One player from every Premier League club who deserves FIFA 19 ratings upgrade center_img CHANGE Tottenham wonderkid left laughing after huge error Ronaldo removed from cover of FIFA 19 and replaced by De Bruyne, Neymar and Dybala Forrest, like Mbappe, bagged four this week CF: Joshua King – Bournemouth (82 Rating)RWB: Damian Martinez – Union (76 Rating)LM: Jonathan Bamba – Lille (78 Rating)CAM: Jesus Imaz – Wisla Krakow (78 Rating)ST: Lukas Jutkiewicz – Birmingham City (76 Rating)ST: Saleh Al Shehri – Al Raed (72 Rating) Icardi recorded two goals as Inted beat SPAL FIFA 19: Manchester United, Newcastle and Chelsea stars make TOTW 3 Lacazette bagged two during Arsenal’s 5-1 win at Fulham to get the nod, while Chelsea’s Barkley features after scoring and assisting against Southampton on Sunday.But who else made this week’s squad? Scroll down to find out. MEN OF THE MOMENT STATS NO GOOD Reality Check DROPPED SICK AS A PARROTT REFRESH last_img read more


first_imgFun Walk: In aid of the maternity ward at LGH 2nd Annual Fun Walk, 15 July 2012 at 3pm. Registration from 1.30pm at Finn Valley Centre route around Twin Towns. Entrance Fee: Children 6yrs and up, €2. Adults €5. Under 6yrs are free.Bring the whole family! All children must be accompanied by an adult.Baby Yoga: starting in the drop in centre, Main Street, St Johnston on Thursday 31st May 10am – 12 Midday. Suitable for babies age 3- 10 months. Mums and Dads welcome.Whist Drive: The next Whist Drive will take place on the last Monday of every month. The next date is Monday 28th May 2012 at 8.30pm start. Cost €5 per person, light supper will be served. Everyone Welcome. Appeal for bedding plants for St.Johnston Main Street.Would anyone like to donate some bedding plants for the St.Johnston Main Street? St.Johnston and Carrigans CE Project would usually plant up the beds every spring/summer. But due to funding cuts, we are unable to buy bedding plants this year. We have grown some from seed, but there isn’t enough for all the beds. We’d be grateful for any donations you could hand in at the Resource Centre. Thank you.Boxercise for men:Boxercise for Men starting on Thursday 24th May from 6.15pm to 7.15pm at St.Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre. For more information call 086 3238437.Regional Employment Outreach Service:The Regional Employment Service can help long term unemployed to get back into full time employment, identify training opportunities, prepare CV and fill out application forms and much more.The Outreach Officer will be in attendance in The Resource Centre, St Johnston on Tuesday June 5, 2012 from 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. No appointment necessary.Further enquiries to Helen or Mary 074 9128010.This Service is supported by DLDC and ICTU and is free and totally confidential.The St.Johnston and Carrigans Social Services bus outing will be on Saturday June 23rd leaving Carrigans at 12pm and St.Johnston at 12.15pm. If you wish to go, please leave your name in the Resource Centre or ring Sarah on 087-7489181 before Friday 15th June.Counselling: Do you experience feelings of anxiety, depression or loneliness due to bereavement, relationships or isolation? Would you simply like someone to talk to about any problem in your life that distresses you? St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre offer a free and professional and confidential and safe counselling service for men and women. For more information call Niki Cross in complete confidence at 087 0569124.Laggan Historical Society: On Thursdays from 10am—12.30pm, Ulster Scott’s Heritage Centre, Monreagh, Carrigans. Are you interested in Local Knowledge to share? A new informal History group, that’s open to all.Meet like minded folk, listen to guest speakers, and take a field trip somewhere interesting. For more information call: 074 91 40708.——————————————————————————-St.Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre.Activities and Services. Tuesday: Irish Dancing classes for fun or for competition age 3 yrs upwards. Fully qualified and experienced teacher with over 20 years experience having trained Ulster, All Ireland and World Champions. On every Tuesday from 3.30pm to 4.30pm, in the St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre.Forever Crafts: The Forever Crafts, at the St.Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre every Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm. New members are always welcome.Ann’s Boxercise Class: Tuesday evening 5.45-6.45pm, Thursday evening 7.30-8.30pm and Friday mornings from 10.00am to 11.00am. Boxercise is a fantastic all over body workout, which burns between 400-900 calories in 1hr sessions. Classes are always good fun and very addictive! Excellent for increasing fitness levels in weight loss, toning, building stamina and for stress release. Female and is fully qualified as an instructor. Just bring water and mat or big towel.Cost €5. For more information call 086 3238437.Wednesday: Parent Toddler Group: This group runs every Wednesday from 10am – 12pm in the old playgroup building, at Church Lane, St. Johnston. This group provides a relaxed setting for young children to meet socialise and play with their own age group and for mums/dads/grandparents or carers to have a cuppa and a chat. We look forward to seeing you there.Lunch Club: Are you fifty or over? Are you at a loose end? Would you like to meet and socialise with people of your own age group for lunch, a chat, a bit of craic, enjoy occasional outings, theatre trips, social events, meeting new people and an annual holiday. If you are interested, join us at the Lunch Club in St.Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre every second Wednesday from 11am-1.30pm. The next Lunch Club will be held on 23rd May 2012. New members always welcome! Transport can be provided. For more information contact Teresa McDermott or any of the centre staff at 074 9148551. Pilates: Every Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm.The History Links Project is currently looking for new participants for the St.Johnston, Newtown and Burt group. The group meet at St.Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre on Wednesdays at 7.30pm. The group is newly formed and welcomes anyone from the wider area with an interest in local history. Over the coming months there will be trips away and meetings with groups from other areas. Come along and give it a go and get to know more about your area. For more information call Stephen McNamee or Kathleen Bonner at the History Links Projects on 0749141958.Thursday: St.Johnston Breastfeeding Support Group. At the Drop-In Centre, Main Street St.Johnston. 10.30am – 12.30pm.Karate: On Thursday from 6pm to 7pm.All at the St.Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre.Contact 074 91 48551 for more information.Ann’s Boxercise Class: 7.30pm – 8.30pm.Friday: Ann’s Boxercise: 10am – 11am.Bowling: From 7pm – 10.15pm. Youth Club at the Drop in Centre, Main St., St.Johnston.Wednesday 5th & 6Th Class 6pm – 7.30pmThursday 1st & 2nd Year 6.30 – 8pmThursday 3rd Year & over 8pm – 9.30pmFriday 1st yr & over 6pm – 10pmGuitar Lessons: Every Tuesday in the drop-in centre, €30 per person for 8 lessons. Beginners from, 4pm to 5pm and improvers from 5pm to 7pm. For further information contact the Resource Centre on 9148551.Walk & Talk Group: We meet at the drop-in centre, main street, St Johnston at 7.15pm every Tuesday. Each week we go to different destination which is agreed a week in advance (transport provided or we car share). Why not come and join us and get yourself fit for summer 2012!Upcoming Courses:Dress making for beginners.Occupational First Aid.Family Cooking on a Budget.For more information contact the St.Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre on 074 91 48551.Training for Taxi Drivers: Are you a taxi driver or thinking about setting up a hackney business. St Johnston & Carrigans are offering training and support for drivers to take the Small Public Service Vehicle test. This training will provide the learner with up to date information, legislation, basic rules and regulations required to operate in the Small Public Service Vehicle industry and the area knowledge, routes and fares test. For more information contact: 074 91 48551.Clothes Bank: There is a Clothes Bank at the Family Resource Centre to help raise funds for the Centre. Please donate: Clothes, Sheets, Towels, Blankets, Shoes, and Curtains. Your donations will be much appreciated. The bank can be found at the back of the Centre and is a purple colour. Sorry we cannot accept items such as carpets, ornaments, mats, glass and paper.Swap and drop your old books and magazines: There is a table of free books near the reception area in St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre. Please feel free to take a book.Stamps: If you have any used stamps, please cut them out by cutting the envelope and leaving some of the envelope around them. Bring them down to Maureen McLaughlin at the St.Johnston Post Office. These stamps will be used to fund charitable projects. Thank you.Battery Recycling: St.Johnston & Carrigans Family Resource Centre is now accepting your small waste dry batteries! Please dispose of batteries properly!LOCAL NEWS: ST JOHNSTON & CARRIGANS COMMUNITY NEWS was last modified: May 26th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:LOCAL NEWS: ST JOHNSTON & CARRIGANS COMMUNITY NEWSlast_img read more

Cranes boost for SA port productivity

first_img14 May 2013South African state company Transnet has unveiled seven new ship-to-shore cranes at the Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 as part of its accelerated crane fleet acquisition programme to drive productivity and boost efficiency.The cranes were supplied by Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co (ZPMC) from Shanghai, China and were unveiled by Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba on Monday as part of Transnet’s seven-year, R300-billion market demand strategy.As part of the strategy, Transnet Port Terminals will buy 39 new ship-to-shore cranes over the next 20 years.The Durban port is the southern hemisphere’s biggest and busiest, but has suffered productivity challenges in the past due to outdated equipment.The new cranes have the ability to simultaneously handle two 12-metre containers or four six-metre containers and lift up to 80 tons. “They are the biggest in Africa and can handle new-generation vessels with 24 containers stowed across the deck,” Transnet said in a statement.“These capabilities will see a massive jump in productivity with gross crane moves per hour – a key measure of terminal efficiency and how well equipment is used – jumping from the current 26 to 33 GCH over the next three years,” Gigaba said.Transnet operators are also receiving intensive training on the cranes to improve productivity.“Ship working hour, the rate at which a terminal is able to load and offload container ships in an hour and a key consideration for our customers, will improve from the current 68 containers to 85 once our operators are fully conversant with operating the equipment and newer generation vessels with larger parcel sizes call to our ports,” he said.Transnet is also currently expanding the capacity of its Cape Town terminal and establishing its Eastern Cape Ngqura terminal as a trans-shipment hub.“The company has also acquired the old Durban International Airport site for the construction of a dig-out port to cater for projected rise in demand,” Transnet said. It will be built in phases between 2016 and 2039.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more