What everyone needs to know about China’s debt load

It needs a bit of work. (Reuters/Chance Chan)

Image: It needs a bit of work. (Reuters/Chance Chan)

qz.com - May 4th 2016 - Matt Phillips

Few have watched the development of the Chinese economy as closely as Arthur Kroeber.

His new book, published last month, is a wide-ranging and authoritative primer on the history and development of China’s unique blend of decentralized economic authoritarianism.

It’s an idiosyncratic system, developed in defiance of the advice of western-trained economists in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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World Humanitarian Summit

                                            

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, set to take place in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016, is a global call to action by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The Summit has three main goals:

  1. To re-inspire and reinvigorate a commitment to humanity and to the universality of humanitarian principles.
  2. To initiate a set of concrete actions and commitments aimed at enabling countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises, and be resilient to shocks.
  3. To share best practices which can help save lives around the world, put affected people at the center of humanitarian action, and alleviate suffering.

https://www.worldhumanitariansummit.org/

 

 

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Dengue Antibodies Enhance Zika Infection?

Dengue-infected tissue - CDC; Frederick Murphy, Cynthia Goldsmith

 

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Dengue Virus Antibodies Enhance Zika Virus Infection

Previous flavivirus infection could help explain the severity of symptoms in some people infected during the ongoing Zika outbreak, researchers report.

The Scientist - by Tanya Lewis - April 28, 2016

Scientists at Florida Gulf Coast University and their colleagues have found that human cells were more likely to be infected with Zika virus in vitro if they contained antibodies to dengue virus. Their findings, detailed Monday (April 25) in a bioRxiv preprint, could help explain why Zika infection appears to be more severe in areas where dengue is endemic, and points to a potential unintended effect of dengue vaccination.

Antibodies to dengue can increase the virus’s infectivity for certain types of immune cells through a process called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), resulting in the production of more virus and more severe illness.

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Study Sees Way to Limit Mosquitoes’ Ability to Spread Zika

          

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito photographed on human skin. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Cell Host & Microbe - Wolbachia Blocks Currently Circulating Zika Virus Isolates in Brazilian Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes

Presence of Wolbachia bacterium in the insects seen limiting their ability to transmit the rapidly spreading virus

wsj.com - by REED JOHNSON, ROGERIO JELMAYER, and BETSY MCKAY - May 4, 2016

Introducing a common bacterium into a species of mosquitoes drastically limits the insects’ ability to transmit the dangerous Zika virus that has been spreading rapidly, according to researchers at Brazil’s leading medical-research institute.

In a new study published on Wednesday in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, researchers at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), in Rio de Janeiro, said their experiments have shown that injecting Aedes aegypti mosquito eggs with the Wolbachia bacterium makes the eventual adult mosquitoes highly resistant to the Zika virus, thereby limiting their ability to spread it.

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Heightened Surveillance: Liberia and Guinea Discharge Ebola Patients

Monrovia – Liberia’s and Guinea’s last known Ebola patients in a latest flare-up of the disease that hit both countries have now been discharged. All remaining contacts of confirmed cases that were placed under a 3-week period of medical monitoring have been cleared.

Liberia’s Ministry of Health, WHO and partners involved in the response held a ceremony at the Ebola treatment facility in Monrovia to celebrate the recovery and discharge of a 2-year-old boy, the final patient in the flare-up in Liberia. 

His 5-year-old brother recovered a week earlier. On 29 April, the country also began a 42-day period of increased surveillance – amounting to two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus.

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How Ebola Destroyed Maternal Health Gains in Sierra Leone

May. 2, 2016

When she went into labor last November, 18-year-old Kema James climbed onto the back of a motorbike taxi in her village in eastern Sierra Leone and rode half an hour to the main government hospital in the nearby city of Kenema.

When her baby was delivered, he was sickly yellow and stricken with sepsis, an ailment caused by bacteria in the blood, and he hung limply in the hands of the hospital staff. He died five days later before he could be named.

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Researchers look to repurpose approved drugs to treat Zika virus

published by 

6:47 p.m. EDT May 2, 2016

ATLANTA — The need for drugs to prevent and treat Zika infections grows with every new patient diagnosed. The virus causes devastating birth defects and is strongly linked to a type of paralysis called Guillain-Barre syndrome.

There are currently no approved drugs against Zika; developing a new medication for any disease can take 10 to 20 years.

"The sense of urgency is enormous," said Mauro Martins Teixeira, who heads the immunopharmacology laboratory at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. "In an emergency, everyone wants quick answers."

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First Commercial Zika Virus Test Gets FDA Approval

CLICK HERE - Quest Diagnostics - Zika Virus Infection - Important Testing Information and Helpful Resources

nbcnews.com - by Maggie Fox - April 28, 2016

The first commercial U.S. test to diagnose Zika virus won emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration Thursday.

It's a rare piece of good news as states and the federal government struggle to get out ahead of the Zika virus epidemic as it makes its way north to the U.S.

Quest Diagnostics says it should be able to handle any demand for the test, which uses the same method that government labs use to look for Zika virus in a patient's blood.

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Ebola Carriers? Why The Virus Keeps Coming Back

            

Source: World Health Organization - Credit: Michaeleen Doucleff and Alyson Hurt/NPR

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Reduced evolutionary rate in reemerged Ebola virus transmission chains

The West African countries at the center of the epidemic have had flareups even after being declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization.

npr.org - by Michaeleen Doucleff - April 29, 2016

Just when health officials think the Ebola outbreak is over in West Africa, the virus pops up again seemingly out of the blue. It's happened at least five times so far.

Now scientists are starting to figure out why: The virus can lay dormant in a survivor for more than year and then re-emerge to infect others.

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Civil Society calls for more intervention in Health

The Coordinator, Health for all Coalition, Victor Lansana Koroma has called on Government and health partners to invest more resources in order to maintain progress in the fight against malaria.

 

 

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Liberia: Vaccine launch, opposition party’s planned rally dominate media

Liberia’s launch of two new vaccines and the planned rally by main opposition Congress for Democratic Change, on Thursday dominate the headlines in the Thursday, April 28 editions of Liberian newspapers.The Congress for Democratic Change of former World Soccer Best player George Weah is Thursday holding a rally to petition its standard bearer, George Weah to contest the 2017 presidential race.

During a meeting the party held with the Liberia National Police, the police advised it (CDC) which has large support in the capital Monrovia to transport its members in vehicles to its headquarters to avoid traffic jams and obstruction of free movement.

Among other things, the police also advised the CDC to assign its party members to assist with crown control.

The New Dawn newspaper published this story as its front page banner headline under the caption: “Will it hold?-Police Order CDC to truck supporters, while the Daily Observer and Inquirer newspapers carried this story on their front pages.

The Daily Observer has the headline: For Today’s March, CDC, Police Prepare, while the Inquirer has the title: “Police, CDC Agree On Traffic.”

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World Bank: 'Technical and engineering solutions not a silver bullet' for growing waste problems

Dive Brief:

 

  • The World Bank reports that the following five countries generate the most waste in the world:
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Chernobyl's legacy 30 years on

Image: Dr Rachel Furley (centre) with members of the Kartuzovi family, one of the many families her charity helps.

bbc.com - April 26th 2016 - Tom Burridge

Children are still being born with severe birth defects and rare types of cancer in areas near to Chernobyl, according to a British charity, three decades on from the world's worst civil nuclear disaster.

The accident on 26 April 1986 contributed to the downfall of the Soviet Union, changed the way the world thinks about nuclear energy and has affected an unquantifiable number of people in the region.

For British paediatrician Dr Rachel Furley, the "desperately sad" reality is that women who have spent their entire lives exposed to high levels of radiation are now having children. 

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Oil producers fail to agree deal to freeze output after Saudi Arabia-Iran standoff

Most Opec members want to cap output and raise the oil price. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Image: Most Opec members want to cap output and raise the oil price. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

theguardian.com - April 17th 2016 - Simon Goodley

The world’s major oil producing nations failed to strike an agreement on Sunday night to freeze production, saying they needed more time to agree a deal to try to buoy the price of oil.

What producers had hoped would be the first deal in 15 years ran into difficulty after Saudi Arabia – the largest exporter of oil – demanded that Iran join an agreement to freeze output.

Iran has been reluctant to agree to hold back on oil production while it attempts to return its market share to pre-sanction levels.

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COP21 - The Paris Agreement - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

       

unfccc.int - April 22, 2016

CLICK HERE - COP21 - The Paris Agreement - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

CLICK HERE - The Paris Agreement (16 page .PDF document)

CLICK HERE - Paris Agreement - Status of Ratification

CLICK HERE - Paris Agreement - information on signatories to the Agreement, ratification and entry into force

At COP 21 in Paris, Parties to the UNFCCC reached a historic agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.

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