Category Archive : World

BERLIN — The German hospital treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny for poisoning said Wednesday that his condition improved enough for him to be released, and suggested a “complete recovery” from the nerve agent was possible.

Navalny, 44, spent 32 days in treatment in Berlin’s Charite hospital, 24 of which were in intensive care, before doctors deemed his “condition had improved sufficiently for him to be discharged from acute inpatient care.”

The hospital said that based on Navalny’s progress, treating physicians believe that “complete recovery is possible,” but added that it ”remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning.”

Navalny, the most visible opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany two days after falling ill on Aug. 20 on a domestic flight in Russia.

German chemical weapons experts have determined he was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok — findings corroborated by labs in France and Sweden.

It was the same class of Soviet-era agent that Britain said was used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018, and Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders have called for Russia to fully investigate.

Navalny was kept in an induced coma for more than two weeks as he was treated with an antidote. Members of his team accused the Kremlin of involvement in the poisoning, charges that Russian officials have vehemently denied.

Russia has bristled at the demands for an investigation, saying it needs Germany to share medical data or compare notes with the Russian doctors who said they found no trace of poison in his system while he was at a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk.

Germany has noted that Navalny was in Russian treatment for 48 hours, and that Russia has its own data.

Germany has also enlisted the Hague-based Organization …read more

Source:: Time – World

      

HOBART, Australia — More pilot whales were found stranded in Australia on Wednesday, raising the estimated total to nearly 500, including 380 that have died, in the largest mass stranding ever recorded in the country.

Authorities had already been working to rescue survivors among an estimated 270 whales found Monday on a beach and two sand bars near the remote coastal town of Strahan on the southern island state of Tasmania.

Another 200 stranded whales were spotted from a helicopter on Wednesday less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) to the south, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service Manager Nic Deka said.

All 200 had been confirmed dead by late afternoon.

They were among 380 whales that had died overall, 30 that were alive but stranded and 50 that had been rescued since Tuesday, Deka said.

“We’ll continue to work to free as many of the animals as we can,” he said. “We’ll continue working for as long as there are live animals.”

About 30 whales in the original stranding were moved from the sandbars to open ocean on Tuesday, but several got stranded again.

About a third of the first group had died by Monday evening.

Tasmania is the only part of Australia prone to mass strandings, although they occasionally occur on the Australian mainland.

Australia’s largest mass stranding had previously been 320 pilot whales near the Western Australia state town of Dunsborough in 1996.

The latest stranding is the first involving more than 50 whales in Tasmania since 2009.

Marine Conservation Program wildlife biologist Kris Carlyon said the latest mass stranding was the biggest in Australia “in terms of numbers stranded and died.”

Why the whales ran aground is a mystery. The pod may have been drawn into the coast to feed or by the misadventure of one or two whales, which led to the rest of the pod following, Carlyon said.

“It’s …read more

Source:: Time – World

      

A dose of Fluzone Quadrivalent influenza vaccine, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, is pictured at the Harmons City Creek pharmacy in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.

A dose of Fluzone Quadrivalent influenza vaccine, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, is pictured at the Harmons City Creek pharmacy in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Whose risk is riskiest? Federal public health officials weigh tough choices for prioritizing COVID-19 vaccine recipients

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly 60 million Americans are non-health care essential workers — truck drivers, meat packers, building cleaners and grocery clerks. Because they can’t work from home and often work closely with others, experts believe they should be near the top of the list to receive a hoped-for COVID-19 vaccine.

However, more than 100 million Americans have at least one medical condition that puts them at risk for COVID-19 complications, and older Americans represent 16% of COVID-19 cases but nearly 80% of COVID-19 deaths.

Whose risk is riskiest? And how do experts narrow down such a massive pool of need?

Those are the questions before the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee tasked with determining a vaccination order during the first wave of a hoped-for COVID-19 vaccine.

The group met Wednesday in a online meeting and was expected to vote on a recommended lineup, but instead outlined many of the crucial details that still remain unknown — which vaccine will be approved (if any), storage/handling requirements, potential efficacy levels in different populations, how many doses will be available and when, not to mention the public confidence in a vaccine — all facts that could dramatically impact the group’s recommendations.

Though no date was set for an expected recommendation, “if and when FDA authorizes or approves a vaccine, then ACIP will have an emergency meting and vote on recommendations and populations for use,” Dr. José Romero, chief medical officer for the Arkansas Department of Health and …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

      

We’ve been doing the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people for nearly 20 years. But there has never been a year like this. A year of multiple crises, all over the world, all at once.

And so this year’s list looks far different than any of us could have predicted just six months ago. The TIME 100 has always been a mirror of the world and those who shape it. While you will certainly find people who wield traditional power on this year’s list—heads of state, CEOs, major entertainers—it also includes many extraordinary, lesser-known individuals who seized the moment to save lives, build a movement, lift the spirit, repair the world.

There are, for example, a record number of doctors, nurses and scientists. Among them: German infectious-disease specialist Camilla Rothe, who helped document that this coronavirus could be transmitted by people without symptoms; Chinese researcher Zhang Yongzhen, who mapped in less than 40 hours the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 and was the first to share it publicly; New York nurse Amy O’Sullivan, who treated the first patient to die from COVID-19 in the state, contracted the virus herself and was back at work within a few weeks; and of course Anthony Fauci, who became in many ways America’s doctor.

The list also includes many activists fighting for equality, including Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, who helped build an international movement for racial justice; and Arussi Unda, a feminist leader who helped spearhead a national strike in Mexico to protest gender violence.

Fifty-four of the people on the list are women, more than ever before. Not only were many of the biggest grassroots movements of the year led by women, so were many of the …read more

Source:: Time – World

      

UNITED NATIONS — Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country will aim to stop adding to the global warming problem by 2060.

Xi’s announcement during a speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly is a significant step for the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Calling for a “green revolution,” Xi said the coronavirus pandemic had shown the need to preserve the environment.

“Humankind can no longer afford to ignore the repeated warnings of nature,” he said.

Citing the Paris Agreement that he and former U.S. President Barack Obama helped forge in 2015, Xi said his country would raise its emissions reduction targets with “vigorous policies and measures.”

“We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060,” he said.

The term “carbon neutrality” means releasing no additional CO2 into the atmosphere, though technically it allows countries to keep emitting if they ensure that an equal amount is captured again in some form.

The announcement was cheered by climate campaigners. Greenpeace executive director Jennifer Morgan called it “an important signal” that showed climate change is “top of agenda for China.”

“A big shift for curbing emissions and a significant step forward in international cooperation” U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa said.

The goal will be a challenge for China, which relies heavily for its electricity on coal, one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels.

China released the equivalent of 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide, or CO2, into the atmosphere in 2018, according to the Global Carbon Project that tracks emissions worldwide. That was almost twice as much as the United States and three times as much as the European Union.

Several other major emitters have set earlier deadlines, with the EU aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050. Frans Timmermans, who leads the EU executive’s efforts on climate change, welcomed Xi’s announcement.

“We need decisive …read more

Source:: Time – World

      

Our-Bodies-Their-Battlefields

Christina Lamb first met the Yazidi survivors of ISIS in August 2016 in a derelict mental asylum on the Greek island of Leros, which the European Union had declared a “hotspot” in the refugee crisis. It was there that she heard stories from young women who had been bought and sold, raped and traded dozens of times over by ISIS fighters intent on exterminating their people. Their experiences, she says, were worse than anything she had heard in more than three decades of working as a foreign correspondent.

It was an unexpected invitation to a wedding in Pakistan in 1987 that led to Lamb becoming a “war correspondent by accident.” She joinedThe Sunday Times in the U.K. as a foreign correspondent in 1994 , reporting everywhere from South Africa to Syria. In 2013, she was awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to journalism. Lamb’s latest book, Our Bodies, Their Battlefields: War Through the Lives of Women, draws on her lifelong interest in telling the underreported stories of women, particularly in the male-dominated world of foreign correspondent journalism. Lamb spent years in Afghanistan, covering the Soviet-Afghan War and the U.S. invasion, detailed in her 2015 book Farewell Kabul: From Afghanistan To A More Dangerous World. “So many people were trying to still have as normal a life as possible: getting married, looking after children, looking after the elderly — and the majority of people doing that were women,” Lamb says. “To me, that was equally, or more interesting, than the men doing the fighting.”

In her new book, Lamb goes further to explore the hidden costs of war on women. The U.N. estimates that for every one rape reported in connection with a conflict, a further 10 to 20 cases go undocumented. (It is difficult to collect accurate …read more

Source:: Time – World

      

The U.K. government published its long-awaited response to a public debate over the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) Tuesday, prompting mixed reactions from LGBT and trans-inclusive charities. The GRA has been at the center of headlines—and consternation—since a public consultation to potentially broaden the GRA’s mandate opened in England and Wales in 2018. The consultation consisted of a questionnaire about the legal process of changing gender, and received more than 100,000 responses.

“Generally, the response from the government is really lackluster,” says Cara English, head of public engagement at Gendered Intelligence, a trans-led charity supporting the community, and in particular trans youth across the U.K. “It hasn’t fully addressed the things that need to change… It has offered us small piecemeal concessions to try to placate us.”

What is the Gender Recognition Act?

The 2004 Act set out the legal process through which a person must go through to change their gender on their birth certificate. This is not an identity document but is important for some trans people, as it means they can legally get married and be buried in their preferred gender. Government figures suggest that since 2004, less than 5,000 trans people in the U.K. have been issued with a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) under the GRA.

Currently, GRA requirements include a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and proof of a person having lived in their preferred gender for at least two years before their birth certificate can be changed. Campaigners have said that this is invasive, and places trans people in the uncomfortable position of having to “prove” their gender to an independent panel of strangers.

The government’s response to the consultation

A statement from Women and Equalities Minister Liz Truss outlined Tuesday the government’s position, promising a “kinder and more straightforward” process for …read more

Source:: Time – World

      

Pubs, bars and restaurants will be forced to close from 10 p.m. in England from Thursday in new measures to combat rising cases of COVID-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday.

Britain recorded 4,422 cases of COVID-19 on Sept. 19, the most in a single day since late May, when the country was still under national lockdown. The vast majority of those new cases (3,638) were in England, the only part of the United Kingdom where Johnson’s government has control over health policy. On Monday, the government’s scientific advisors warned on television that, at current rates, the U.K. could be recording as many as 50,000 new cases per day by mid-October.

“We’ve reached a perilous turning point,” Johnson said in a statement to lawmakers, adding that the new rules could last as long as six months. “No one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses … but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS [National Health Service].”

Read More: How the U.K. Mismanaged Its Coronavirus Response

Johnson also said Tuesday that rules on where masks must be worn would be tightened to include staff in indoor hospitality and passengers in taxis. Britain was much slower than many other countries to encourage the wearing of face masks, with the government only urging people to do so in shops in July. Then, only around 30% of Britons regularly said they wore face coverings in public, according to YouGov research — lower than those polled in Spain, China, Italy, France, Germany and the U.S. Now, 76% of Britons say they wear masks in public places, compared to 79% in the U.S. Ministers also said on Tuesday that people in England …read more

Source:: Time – World