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Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change

      

Women working in fields in northeastern Syria in 2010.  A new report suggests extreme drought in Syria was most likely a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011. Credit Louai Beshara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought

nytimes.com - by Henry Fountain - March 2, 2015

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ACLU sues Christie administration over withheld Ebola documents

NEW JERSEY ADVANCE MEDIA By Kathleen O'Brien           March 4, 2015
 How did Gov. Chris Christie's administration come up with its policies and protocols for handling Ebola?

Nurse Kaci Hickox was a Maine nurse returning to the United States after volunteering to help with the Ebola crisis when she ran afoul of New Jersey's newly instituted quarantine policy. Here she is in isolation at University Hospital in Newark in the fall of 2014.

To get the answer, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey asked to see emails and other policy communications from top officials in the N.J. Department of Health.

Those requests were denied or otherwise rebuffed, the group said in a lawsuit filed yesterday that claims the state is in violation of the Open Public Records Act. Its lawsuit asks the court to fine the state and order it to provide the documents.

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http://www.nj.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2015/03/aclu_sues_nj_over_ebola_documents.html

 

 

 

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Isolation can take emotional toll on volunteers at risk of Ebola

LOS ANGELES TIMES by  Erwin Brown                                               March 2, 2015
Dr. Matthew Waxman recently returned to Los Angeles after spending nearly two months in the town of Lunsar, Sierra Leone, where he treated Ebola patients at an isolated medical facility.

He and colleagues toiled in harsh and stressful conditions, caring for people "the best we could." In the quiet stretches between intense bursts of drama and terror, they talked about the reception that would await them at home — at times with a degree of dread, since some returning medical workers have had less than enthusiastic welcomes....

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Ebola nurse to sue Dallas hospital parent company over training, privacy concerns

WASHINGTON POST   by

A 26-year-old nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a patient says she plans to sue, alleging privacy issues and a failure to properly train the Texas hospital’s staff, the Dallas Morning News reports.

“I wanted to believe that they would have my back and take care of me, but they just haven’t risen to the occasion,” Nina Pham told the newspaper.

The Morning News reports that Pham on Monday will file suit against Texas Health Resources, the parent company of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. She claims that personnel at the hospital didn’t have the gear or resources to deal with Ebola and didn’t get enough instruction for care or treatment.

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Interaction of Atlantic and Pacific Oscillations Caused 'False Pause' in Warming

Ocean and sky (stock image) / Iakov Kalinin / Fotolia

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations and Northern Hemisphere temperatures

sciencedaily.com - February 26, 2015

The recent slowdown in climate warming is due, at least in part, to natural oscillations in the climate, according to a team of climate scientists, who add that these oscillations represent variability internal to the climate system. They do not signal any slowdown in human-caused global warming.

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(ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE)

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Liberia’s President Urges U.S. to Continue Ebola Aid

NEW YORK TIMES  by Helene Cooper                     Feb. 27, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia on Friday urged the United States to maintain its assistance to her country as it continues to fight to recover from the Ebola outbreak, which began about one year ago.

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FDA approves Corgenix's Ebola test for emergency use

REUTERS                                                           Feb. 26, 2015

Diagnostics company Corgenix Medical Corp said on Thursday U.S. health regulators had approved its rapid Ebola test for emergency use, in response to the world's worst outbreak of the virus that killed more than 10,000 so far.

The company's ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, which involves putting a drop of blood on a paper strip and waiting for at least 15 minutes for a reaction, was cleared by the World Health Organization last week.

The test is less accurate than the standard test, which has a turnaround time of 12-24 hours, but is easy to perform and does not require electricity. It is able to correctly identify about 92 percent of Ebola-infected patients and 85 percent of those not infected with the virus, the WHO said.

The WHO is still assessing four or five other rapid test candidates.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/26/us-health-ebola-testing-idUSKBN0LU1OO20150226

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Decision on Ebola mass vaccination in August at earliest: WHO

REUTERS by Stephanie Nebehay                                                             Feb. 27, 2015

GENEVA -- An independent advisory body will decide in August at the earliest on whether to recommend widespread introduction of an Ebola vaccine, depending on results of clinical trials and the epidemic's course, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

All three worst-hit countries in West Africa - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - aim to conduct phase III final-stage clinical trials of experimental vaccines.

Liberia is already testing both the GlaxoSmithKline and Merck-NewLink vaccines, while Sierra Leone and Guinea are due to announce plans soon....

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier, reporting on a three-day meeting of experts, told a news briefing: "Vaccine introduction is by no means a given and will depend on the results of clinical trials and recommendations from WHO's Strategy Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on vaccines and immunization....

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U.S. military ends Ebola mission in Liberia

REUTERS    by  James Harding Giahyue                                                          Feb. 26, 2015

MONROVIA -- The United States military officially ended a mission to build treatment facilities to combat an Ebola outbreak in Liberia on Thursday, months earlier than expected, in the latest indication that a year-long epidemic in West Africa is waning.

Washington launched the mission five months ago and the force peaked at over 2,800 troops at a time when Liberia was at the epicenter of the worst Ebola epidemic on record....

"While our large scale military mission is ending...the fight to get to zero cases will continue and the (Joint Force Command) has ensured capabilities were brought that will be sustained in the future," U.S. Army Major General Gary Volesky....

Speaking to lawmakers during a visit to Washington on Thursday, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the United States for its support during the crisis.

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http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/02/26/us-health-ebola-usa-idUKKBN0LU2HR20150226

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Ebola Doctor: Media, politicians fueled the public's fears

ASSOCIATED PRESS   by Tom McElroy                                                             Feb. 25, 2015

NEW YORK — A doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola virus and rode the subway system and dined out before he developed symptoms said the media and politicians could have done a better job by educating people on the science of it instead of focusing on their fears.

 "When we look back on this epidemic, I hope we'll recognize that fear caused our initial hesitance to respond — and caused us to respond poorly when we finally did," Dr. Craig Spencer wrote in an article published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. (See link below.)

Spencer, an emergency room physician, was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 23, days after returning from treating patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. His was the first Ebola case in the nation's largest city, spurring an effort to contain anxieties along with the virus. He was treated at a hospital, recovered and was released on Nov. 11.

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