Senate votes 51-49 to block witnesses from being called in President Trump’s impeachment trial

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Senate votes 51-49 to block witnesses from being called in President Trump’s impeachment trial
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate on Friday voted to block any witnesses from being called in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, a move that will mark the beginning of the end of the third Senate trial for a president in US history.

WATCH: Live coverage of Impeachment Trial

The Senate voted 51-49 to defeat a motion to allow subpoenas for witnesses and documents, with two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, joining Democrats to back extending the trial.

The Senate went into an extended break after the debate on the witness vote concluded but before the vote, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer huddled on the floor with their staffs to discuss a path forward. The vote happened shortly after 5:30 p.m.

Democrats had hoped to entice more other Senate Republicans to join them to hear from witnesses — especially in the wake of revelations from the draft book manuscript of former national security adviser John Bolton — but one by one the Senate Republicans said they were ready to end the trial.

Their reasons differed. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said in a statement: “I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, meanwhile, said the House managers had proven their case that Trump withheld US aid while pushing for an investigation into his political rivals. “The question is whether you apply capital punishment to every offense. And I think in this case, I think the answer is no, let the people make that decision,” Alexander said Friday.

Following the witness vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to move forward a final acquittal vote — but the road to get there is rocky, and looks likely to extend into next week.

When the final vote does occur to acquit the President, it will mark the end of a remarkable, whirlwind four-month impeachment that began when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry on September 24, leading to the President’s impeachment on two articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — less than three months later.

After a month delay, the Senate trial began less than two weeks ago. The House managers, led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, presented a detailed case arguing they had overwhelming evidence that Trump withheld $400 million in US security aid and a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky while he pressured Kiev to open investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

“If the Senate allows President Trump’s obstruction to stand, it effectively nullifies the impeachment power,” Schiff said Friday. “It will allow future presidents to decide whether they want their misconduct to be investigated or not, whether they would like to participate in an impeachment investigation or not.”

The President’s team argued there was no wrongdoing — but also that even if there was a quid pro quo, it was within the President’s rights if it was in the national interest.

“The problem with the case, the problem with their position, is even with all of those witnesses, it doesn’t prove up an impeachable offense. The articles fail,” the President’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow said. “They got the wish of the impeachment by Christmas, and that is goal. But now they want you to do the work they failed to do.”
Trial’s end in flux

The road ahead for the Senate trial still is being debated, Republican and Democratic sources say, and the end of the trial seems likely to slip into next week, though things remain fluid.

McConnell is considering offering a resolution that would structure the final stages of the trial to include a final vote as late as Wednesday of next week. But that could change, according to one source, because the White House is pushing for a final vote Tuesday — the same day as Trump’s State of the Union address.

Asked when the final vote would be, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the chamber, said: “Wednesday of next week. That’s what McConnell is proposing.”

The resolution may set up a process that would allow senators to speak about their views on the floor in an open session. Senators who have not spoken on the floor for days are eager to get a chance to speak. There’s also still a question of whether Democrats will offer amendments to McConnell’s motion to move to the final acquittal vote.

Senate Republican leaders need 51 votes to do anything, and they were gauging how quickly they can conclude the trial without drawing objections from several members of the conference, specifically on the issue of deliberations, according to two sources.

McConnell met with Murkowski, Collins, Romney and other senators during a break in Friday’s debate.

“My guess is it probably is going to carry us over to the first part of next week, but obviously we have the Iowa caucuses on February the 3rd, and we have the State of the Union the next day,” Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, told reporters Friday morning. “So I think for all sorts of reasons it’s probably a good idea to bring this thing to a close in the near future.”
Key GOP senators split on vote

Collins and the other Republican moderates included a provision in the Senate trial rules to allow for Friday’s witness vote, but the odds looked long for Democrats to convert four Republicans to back the vote until Sunday — when The New York Times reported Bolton’s draft book manuscript alleged that Trump told him the US security aid was conditioned on investigations into Democrats, including Joe Biden.

On Friday, new allegations came from The Times from Bolton’s manuscript — that Trump directed Bolton to help his attorney Rudy Giuliani get in touch with the Ukrainian president in May — which Schiff cited during Friday’s witness debate.

McConnell, however, held his conference together enough to keep the witness vote at bay, with Alexander the linchpin of his bend-but-not break strategy. Until Thursday, Alexander did not tip his hand on which way he was leaning, declining to speak to reporters about it and staying quiet in GOP conference meetings. He finally asked two questions at the tail end of the two-day Senate question period in the trial, which hinted at his eventual position to oppose witnesses.

Shortly before Alexander’s statement, Collins became the first Republican to back witnesses. “I believe hearing from certain witnesses would give each side the opportunity to more fully and fairly make their case, resolve any ambiguities, and provide additional clarity,” Collins said.

Romney joined her in crossing the aisle for Friday’s vote, but that left Democrats two short of what they needed to call witnesses.

Murkowski’s statement implicitly acknowledged that had she voted for witnesses, the vote could have ended 50-50, dragging Chief Justice John Roberts into the fray.

“It has also become clear some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the Chief Justice,” Murkowski said. “I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another.”

On the Democratic side, there are still a couple of undecided senators on the vote for conviction, including Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Jones said Friday he was “pretty close” to a decision, while Manchin said he hasn’t yet made one.

“It’s a very hard decision,” he said. “It’s most serious decision that any senator will make in their career.”

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Branch manager and assistant branch manager 🤗

China Virus Cases May Be Undercounted Even With 3,000% Surge

 

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https://www.bloombergquint.com/economy-finance/china-virus-cases-surging-3-000-may-be-undercounting-infections

Bloomberg News

Published: Jan 31 2020, 2:50 PM
Updated: 31 2020, 11:05 PM

(Bloomberg) —

The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in China has skyrocketed to more than 9,000, surpassing the official count during the SARS epidemic. But the true number of infections may be even higher, as health workers struggle to catch up with the disease.

A shortage of testing kits and overworked hospital staff are straining China’s health system, hampering efforts to accurately track how many people have the pathogen. The result is a hectic and imprecise process that’s creating bottlenecks as health experts attempt to pin down the scope of a disease that has claimed more than 200 lives.

The challenge of keeping up with the tally can be seen in Hubei, at the center of the outbreak.

The province can process about 6,000 tests a day, health commission director Liu Yingzi told a press briefing Wednesday, noting that Hubei had about 50,000 test kits in stock. But with 5,806 confirmed cases and 32,340 people under observation, it’s uncertain if that is enough.

China Virus Cases May Be Undercounted Even With 3,000% Surge

Getting a handle on the numbers is becoming more urgent as the outbreak spreads beyond China’s borders, prompting the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency. Neil Ferguson, a public health expert at Imperial College London, said his “best guess” was that 100,000 people could be infected around the world, according a Jan. 26 report in the Guardian.

Complicating the situation is the elusive nature of the disease and how it is transmitted, as well as the difficulty in diagnosing it. Evidence has emerged that the disease can be passed by people before they show symptoms, or who may show no symptoms at all.

China Virus Cases May Be Undercounted Even With 3,000% Surge

Jonathan Yu, a doctor at a university hospital in Wuhan, is on the front lines, testing patients for the coronavirus. Accurately spotting the virus isn’t easy and can take several attempts, he said.

“A patient may be found as negative for the first or second test, and then found to be positive the third time,” said Yu. “It is like fishing in a pond: You did not catch a fish once, but that does not mean the pond does not have fish.”

Another doctor in the city who declined to be identified said her hospital was facing shortages of testing kits to confirm that people have the disease, as well as lacking in spare beds and respirators for patients.

Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Qiushi said in a video posted on social media Jan. 29 that some hospitals in the city of Wuhan don’t have enough kits and are telling patients that severe cases have to be prioritized. Chen, who has expressed anti-Communist Party sentiments in the past, cited interviews with people who suspected they have the virus as well as visits to local hospitals.

There were 9,692 confirmed cases in China as of Thursday, according to the National Health Commission. That’s a whopping 3,000% increase from a few hundred patients just 10 days ago.

Part of that may reflect increased efforts to test for the disease, which means it’s being found in more and more places. Still, a lack of sufficient testing kits to confirm whether people have caught the virus is likely to mean there are more people sick than the figures show.

China Virus Cases May Be Undercounted Even With 3,000% Surge

The spike in cases could continue after the Lunar New Year holidays. The incubation period for the coronavirus can be up to 14 days, so the impact of hundreds of millions of people traveling in China during the holidays may show up by mid-February. Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory disease expert who led the research into a treatment for SARS, told local media this week he expects the number of confirmed cases to peak within 10 days.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at China Center for Disease Control And Prevention, downplayed the severity of the epidemic, saying the surge in the number of confirmed cases in Hubei in the past three days does not necessarily mean the situation there has deteriorated significantly.

In an interview with China’s state TV Thursday, Wu said the latest jump was a result of a lack of medical resources in the early stage of the outbreak in the city. Many of the patients diagnosed with the disease in the last few days actually fell ill days before the lockdown of the city, but many of them could not be diagnosed and reported in time.

“Don’t be scared by the numbers in the past three days,” Wu said. “The (real) statistics are far more promising.”
New Kits

China is making moves to improve the situation. Health officials approved two new kits on Tuesday, in addition to the existing four types, according to Xinhua News Agency. One of the two new kits can give results in about 30 minutes, shortening the time needed to diagnose cases, according to Technology Daily.

Roche Holding AG is also producing kits, and the government says it’s streamlining transport access to make sure relevant supplies get through. However, Roche said Thursday it was still having trouble getting its equipment to where it’s needed.

Yu, the Wuhan doctor, said the shortage of virus detection kits has lessened recently, although there is still a shortage of masks, glasses and other supplies.

Because the incubation period for the virus is so long, Yu has been sleeping and working at the hospital, afraid to go home to his family.

“I have not gone home for more than a week,” he said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Bloomberg

 

As global infections soar, here’s how the coronavirus has spread so rapidly

marketwatch.com
Quentin Fottrell

The coronavirus, a pneumonia-causing illness that infects the respiratory tract and appears to have original in the Central Chinese city of Wuhan, is now responsible for 170 deaths in China and 7,711 cases worldwide, according to Chinese officials and official data from the World Health Organization.

It has infected people in Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, France, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, Macao, Tibet and Nepal. Six cases have been confirmed in the U.S., U.S health officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that it has confirmed the first case of person-to-person spread of coronavirus in Illinois. There are now 21 people under investigation in Illinois and 165 in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Local media reports have put the infection tally at over 8,000. Adding to the confusion, The Wall Street Journal reported that some families have voiced their concern and frustration that their relatives cause of death was marked as “severe pneumonia” or “viral pneumonia” on their death certificates. With human-to-human contagion now confirmed, sneeze or touching the same hand rail or doorknob may be enough to catch the virus, just like the flu.

The outbreak has spread rapidly in over the last seven days. It is believed to have originated in Wuhan, likely at a food market. On Sunday, Zhou Xianwang, the Mayor of Wuhan, said that 5 million people had left the city before travel restrictions were imposed ahead of the Chinese New Year. China also said that it will refurbish and re-open the Xiaotangshan Hospital on the outskirts of Beijing, built during the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak.

Also see: Coronavirus is less deadly than SARS — but that may explain why it’s so contagious

In an effort to stem the spread of the virus from its suspected origin, transport bans were instituted in 16 cities with a combined population of 50 million people. Officials in Wuhan, a city with 11 million residents, said they had temporarily closed the area’s outgoing airport and railway stations, and suspend all public transport. Long-distance trains and buses from Huanggang, a neighboring city with 7.5 million people, stopped running indefinitely last Friday.

Human intervention, or lack thereof, may also have been a factor. More than half-a-dozen doctors first discussed the threat of a potential coronavirus outbreak in early December only to be silenced by the local Communist Party, according to some critics of the government.

Yaxue Cao, founder and editor of the political pressure group ChinaChange.org, said a Wuhan doctor posted in a WeChat group to say there were 7 cases of SARS connected to the seafood market. He was then scolded by the party disciplinary office, and forced to retract that, Cao said.

“From the same report, we learned that Wuhan health authorities were having overnight meetings about the new “SARS” at end of December,” Cao posted on Jan. 27. “Earlier today. the Wuhan mayor said he was not ‘authorized’ to publicize the epidemic until Jan. 20.”

The spread was helped by China’s Lunar New Year holiday this month. Wuhan mayor Zhou Xianwang said 5 million people had left the city before travel restrictions were imposed ahead of the Chinese New Year. Ma Xiaowei, the director of China’s National Health Commission, said that the virus had an incubation period of 10 to 14 days.

“People unfamiliar with China have trouble understanding the immense travel phenomenon that occurs during Lunar New Year, when, over a one-month period, some 3 billion people are on the move, many returning to their home towns and regions but others vacationing,” Tanner Brown, a Beijing-based journalist, wrote for MarketWatch. “Peak travel occurs this week.”

Another reason for the rapid spread: While some people are canceling travel plans in China and opting to stay home over the holiday period, others may not yet have experienced the worst of the symptoms, believe themselves to be well enough to travel and/or could be reluctant to pay up to $400 to change a flight — especially if they believe they merely have a common cold. In fact, previous iterations of the coronavirus are very similar to a common cold.

People may not know they’re carrying the virus, and doctors don’t yet know how long it takes to develop. Symptoms include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell, according to the CDC.

Recommended: ‘No Chinese allowed’: Racism and fear are now spreading along with the coronavirus

Ma Xiaowei, the director of China’s National Health Commission, said that the virus had an incubation period of 10 to 14 days, during which the virus can be contagious but the patients does not display symptoms. That allows the virus to be passed along from person to person.

“From observations, the virus is capable of transmission even during incubation period,” Ma told a news conference, according to a report in the South China Morning Post. “Some patients have normal temperatures and there are many milder cases. There are hidden carriers.”

But more severe coronaviruses can become more serious and progress to pneumonia. “Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis,” it added. “This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults. Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have been known to frequently cause severe symptoms.”

Nasty bugs like coronaviruses can last for days on objects. The sinister sounding Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (more commonly known as MRSA) lasted longest (168 hours) on material from a seat-back pocket while the bacteria Escherichia coli O157:H7 (also known as E.coli, which can cause kidney problems) survived longest (96 hours) on the material from the armrest of planes, according to research presented in 2014 to the American Society for Microbiology.

In an attempt to remain competitive, airlines have decreased their turnaround times in recent years. Many budget airlines have reduced turnaround times to 25 minutes by removing the seat pockets. Other airlines have managed to have long-haul turnaround times of 90 minutes. Not only do planes get new plane load of passengers, they often get a completely different crew. Deep cleans are not always possible during such turnarounds, which could aid in the transmission of the coronavirus.

After flying, most people take public transport. You may avoid stainless steel poles on subways and buses, but do you touch turnstiles and ticket machines? They are arguably touched by even more people, says Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona. Commuters are 6 times more likely to develop an acute respiratory infection if they traveled recently by bus or tram, a 2011 published in the BMC Journal of Infectious Diseases concluded.

What can you do? Aisle seats will be touched most often by other people as they’re trying to find their own, Gerba says. In 2008, members of a tour group experienced diarrhea and vomiting in an airplane flight from Boston to Los Angeles. Other passengers who suffered secondary infections were either sitting next to those infected — or unsuspecting passengers seated in aisle seats, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

We may move away if we see someone sneeze at the water cooler or on a train, but touching objects is a faster way to transmit viruses, Gerba says. He recommends using hand sanitizers or disinfectant wipes, particularly at the office where people may be reluctant to stay home if they’re sick. One 2014 study, presented at an American Society for Microbiology meeting in Washington, D.C., office workers pick up 30% to 50% of the organisms that are left on surfaces.

A new study published in the Lancet looking at five of six family members with the virus said the it’s spreading from person to person, rather than exclusively from animals or infected food, and can be transmitted in social, family and even hospital environments. It also now being spread by people who have not been to Wuhan. “This is a novel coronavirus, which is closest to the bat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses found in Chinese horseshoe bats.”

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What are you feeding your pets? Vets warn against popular diet trend

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What are you feeding your pets? Vets warn against popular diet trend
By: Sophia Choi Updated: January 29, 2020 – 7:02 PM
4-5 minutes

ATLANTA — If you have a dog, veterinarians say what they are eating could kill them. Veterinarians are seeing heart failure in some dogs fed a grain-free diet.

Their hearts become so enlarged they can no longer normally pump. That causes all kinds of problems, including fluid in the lungs. That is what happened to Bailey, a dog who died just weeks after getting diagnosed.

“It’s just too soon to lose a pet over dog food,” said Gina Perry, who is still mourning the death of her 6- year-old dog, Bailey.

The Morningside mother got Bailey when she was just a pup, 8 weeks old. “Bailey, she was a German shorthaired pointer, really, really active, loved to swim, run, go on hikes,” Perry said.

But Bailey suddenly got lethargic in May 2019. She started coughing after eating grain-free foods for two years.

“They did an X-ray and saw that her heart was really enlarged, filling up almost her whole chest cavity,” said Perry.

A veterinarian diagnosed Bailey with dilated cardiomyopathy linked to grain-free food.

DCM is something Dr. Jacqueline Horner is now watching out for at Pharr Road Animal Hospital in Buckhead.

“I always explain this to my clients. If you think about body builders, they build a lot of muscle, and at some point, they lose range of motion. If your muscles get very big, they may not be so flexible. They may not have that full range of motion in their arm. The heart is the same way,” Horner said.

Researchers said there is no direct cause but there is a correlation. “So, we have a correlation, meaning we are seeing an increased number of pets with DCM, dilated cardiomyopathy, and those pets are also eating grain free foods,” said Dr. Horner.

It’s affecting so many pets, it prompted the Food and Drug Administration to start tracking it. Between Jan. 1, 2014, and April 30, 2019, the FDA said veterinarians diagnosed 560 dogs with DMC and of those, 119 died.

Perry made sure to fill out the FDA forms. “I didn’t know about it. I don’t know how many other people don’t know about this issue. I want to get the word out to just save other people and other families from going through what we went through,” Perry said.

A lot of people went grain-free after dogs started dying from tainted wheat gluten from China in 2007. Others did it when they changed their own diets and cut out gluten.

“It started as following the marketing change with our own food,” Horner said. “And it’s important to note that this trend did not originate from veterinarians’ recommendation,” she continued.

Veterinarians said it is boutique brands selling the idea through ads. Antoinette Zavala said that is why she started feeding her dog, Storm grain-free foods. “’Cause I guess I thought they shouldn’t eat grain because of things that I read,” Zavala said.

Perry went for grain-free because she too thought it was better.

“I thought the dog food would be better. It looked better, and I thought it would be healthier for my dog,” Perry said.

Veterinarians recommend sticking to bigger, traditional brands with more regulations and stop feeding grain-free.

“We’re recommending that, No. 1, avoid using grain-free foods,” Horner said.

“You just feel guilty. I mean, it’s like, you’re trying to do something great for your dog, feeding them better dog food, or you think it’s better, and you’re basically forcing it on them. They don’t have a choice, so it’s really kind of on you that you did that,” Perry said.

If you’re feeding your dog grain-free, don’t stop cold turkey. Veterinarians said it should be a gradual process, taking at least a week or so. Your best bet is to check with your pet’s veterinarian.

DCM affects cats, too. The FDA reported five cats died from DCM linked to grain-free food.

The FDA has received at least 10 reports of DCM involving the following pet food brands: Acana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, 4Health, Earthborn Holistic, Blue Buffalo, Nature’s Domain, Fromm, Merrick, California Natural, Natural Balance, Orijen, Nature’s Variety, NutriSource, Nutro and Rachel Ray Nutrish.

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What is the new coronavirus? Here’s what we know about it.

nbcnews.com
Erika Edwards

The new virus is called 2019-nCoV. It’s unclear how easily it spreads from person to person, but the CDC recommends that anyone who may have been exposed to the illness monitor themselves for 14 days after close contact with an infected person.

Symptoms to watch for include fever, cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, body aches, sore throat or vomiting and diarrhea.

How does the new coronavirus spread?

Researchers are still learning precisely how the new virus spreads from person to person.

“While we do not know all of the mechanisms of spread of the epidemic so far, there is likely spread by droplets and contaminated surfaces, and possible airborne [spread], similar to SARS,” Dr. Mark Denison, a virologist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said.

Coronaviruses in general are spread through close contact — a range of about 3 to 6 feet. The virus is primarily spread through a sick person coughing or sneezing on someone, said Dr. Kathy Lofy, a health officer in Washington state.

A person could also become infected through contact with the virus particles on a surface, though it’s unknown how long the new coronavirus can survive on surfaces outside of the body. If an infected person sneezes or coughs onto a surface, such as a countertop or doorknob, and another person touches that surface and then rubs his or her eyes or nose, for example, the latter may get sick.

The SARS virus was also spread through feces. Denison suggested the same spreading mechanism may be found in the new virus, but it’s too early to know for sure.

Can coronavirus be spread through the mail or through goods imported from China?

It’s extremely unlikely. While more needs to be learned about how this particular virus works, coronaviruses typically don’t live very long on surfaces, and are very unlikely to survive over a period of days or weeks when an item is being shipped.

“There is no evidence to support transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States associated with imported goods,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during a call with journalists.

Is the coronavirus likely to spread in areas in the U.S. with confirmed cases?

So far, none of the confirmed coronavirus patients in the U.S. has infected anyone else in this country. Dozens of their close contacts are being closely monitored for at least 14 days, with daily checks for fever and cough. Health officials continue to believe the risk for sustained human-to-human transmission from these cases is quite low.

A bigger viral risk in those cities (and everywhere else in the country) is the flu. The CDC estimates there have been 15 million flu cases so far this season nationwide, with 140,000 hospitalizations and 8,200 flu deaths, including 54 children.

“Our influenza problem is large,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, told NBC News. “Our coronavirus problem — very small and so far contained.”

How long does it take for someone to get sick?

The new coronavirus’s incubation period — meaning the time it takes from a person being infected with the virus to when they start showing symptoms — is still unknown.

However, public health experts are working under the assumption that the incubation period is about 14 days. It’s unclear whether a person is contagious during the incubation period.
Does a face mask protect you from coronavirus?

The CDC recommends that patients with the coronavirus wear a face mask to protect others around them, or, if the patient cannot wear a face mask, others should if they are in the same room together.

Caregivers or people living in the same house as someone who is sick should also wear disposable face masks, along with gloves and disposable gowns, when coming into contact with the patient’s bodily fluids.

For health care workers in contact with coronavirus patients, the CDC recommends a more specialized type of mask — one that is individually fitted to a person’s face to create a seal and that filters out 95 percent of particles that at least 0.3 microns in diameters. (A micron is 1/1,000th of a millimeter.) This type of mask is called N95.

At this time, the size of the coronavirus particles is unknown. The SARS virus was 0.1 microns in diameter.

How can I prevent coronavirus?

One of the simplest prevention measures a person can take is proper hand-washing.

The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before and after caring for a sick friend or a family member.

The most effective way to clean hands is to wet them with clean water, then apply soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds, before rinsing and drying with a clean towel.
Is it SARS?

No. SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is a type of coronavirus that was first reported in Asia in February, 2003.

Over the following months, the illness spread to more than two dozen countries, sickening 8,098 people worldwide, killing 774.

However, 2019-nCoV is a different strain. It’s unknown at this point if the new virus is as severe or as contagious as SARS. While some patients in China have had serious illness, other patients have had milder illness and been discharged.
Is there a coronavirus vaccine?

There is no specific treatment for the new virus, and no vaccine to prevent it. The National Institutes of Health confirmed Tuesday it’s in the “very preliminary stages” of research to develop a vaccine, but declined to provide details.

In addition, the drug company Regeneron is in the early stages of work on a potential treatment for this coronavirus. The company previously developed a similar treatment for Ebola.
Do disinfectants kill the coronavirus?

Yes, they can. The CDC suggests that anyone exposed to an infected patient clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.

Cleaning agents can include a household disinfectant with a label that says “EPA-approved,” according to the CDC. A homemade version can be made, using one tablespoon of bleach to one quart of water.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/what-new-coronavirus-n1119081?icid=related

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Arizona Resident is Fifth Coronavirus Case in U.S.

davidharrisjr.com
Arizona Resident is Fifth Coronavirus Case in U.S.
The number of people in the United States with the Coronavirus has now reached five, and there is no telling how many more people could become infected since it takes about 10 to 14 days for the symptoms to start showing after infection. The virus can be passed from one person to another. It is not known how easily it can be transmitted as of yet.

Number five is a resident of Arizona.

In China, some estimates of the number of people with the virus could be as high as 90,000.

China has quarantined 40 million people. With a number that high, how effective the quarantine can be is questionable.

Besides, we don’t know how many people visited the Wuhan region before the quarantine was announced.

There is also the matter of the number of foreigners who visited that region and are now back in their home countries.

At least one of the Americans with the virus had visited the Wuhan region before being diagnosed with the disease

The US government is in the process of evacuating Americans from the region as quickly as possible.

From Breitbart News:

Dozens of people have died from the virus in China, which has issued massive travel bans in hard-hit sections of that country to try to stem spread of the virus. The U.S. consulate in Wuhan announced Sunday that it would evacuate its personnel and some private citizens aboard a charter flight.

The CDC expects more Americans to be diagnosed with the newly discovered virus, which is believed to have an incubation period of about two weeks, as worldwide the number of confirmed cases nears 2,000. The CDC is screening passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan at five major airports in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Guidance from the CDC advises that people who have had casual contact with the patient are at “minimal risk” for developing infection.

“CDC believes the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low at this time, but the situation is evolving rapidly,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Friday. “We have our best people working on this problem.”

https://davidharrisjr.com/steven/arizona-resident-is-fifth-coronavirus-case-in-u-s/

CDC confirms second US case of coronavirus and is monitoring dozens of other potential cases

 

www-cnbc-com.cdn.ampproject.org
CDC confirms second US case of coronavirus and is monitoring dozens of other potential cases
Berkeley Lovelace Jr.@BerkeleyJr

U.S. health officials diagnosed a second patient with the China coronavirus — a Chicago woman who returned from Wuhan with the infection.
They are currently monitoring 63 “patients under investigation” in the U.S.

U.S. health officials said Friday they diagnosed a second patient with the China coronavirus — a Chicago woman who returned from Wuhan with the infection, and they are monitoring dozens of other potential cases here.

There are 63 cases being monitored in the U.S. that stretch across 22 states, including the first patient in Washington state and the new case in Illinois, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Officials said the new patient, a woman in her 60s, is doing well and is in stable condition. She remains isolated in a hospital as a precaution, U.S. health officials said on a conference call with reporters. The Illinois patient traveled to China in late December and began experiencing symptoms when she returned to the U.S. last week, officials said. She did not have symptoms while flying, they said.

“She was not symptomatic when flying. And based on what we know now about this virus, our concern for transmission before symptoms develop is low, so that is reassuring,” Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, said on the call.

Upon returning to the U.S., the patient had very limited movement from outside her home and did not use public transportation or attend any large gatherings, they said. The patient began to feel unwell a few days after completing her trip and alerted her doctor.

“CDC believes the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low at this time, but the situation continues to evolve rapidly,” Messonnier said, adding that there is likely to be more cases in coming days. “We have our best people working on this problem.”

The flu-like coronavirus, first identified on Dec. 31, has killed at least 26 people in China and infected more than 900 worldwide.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the country’s first case — a Washington state man who has been quarantined in a hospital outside of Seattle after flying back from Wuhan, where the outbreak was first reported. The CDC said the man reached out to local health authorities last week once he started experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms.

U.S. health officials warned on Friday that the flu or other respiratory illnesses could complicate identifying more cases. They recommend that people call a health-care provider before seeking treatment so the appropriate measures can be put in place. The CDC is trying to speed up testing and to get the tests in the hands of state health officials. It currently takes the CDC about four to six hours to make a diagnosis once a sample makes it to its lab.

“We’re really working to understand the full spectrum of the illness with this coronavirus,” Messonnier said. “The problem with this time of year is it’s cold and flu season and there are lots of cold and respiratory infections circulating.”

On Thursday, the World Health Organization declined to formally designate the new virus as a global health emergency, after postponing its decision the day before. Health officials are trying to contain the fast-spreading illness without unnecessarily spooking global trade. WHO physicians said they needed more data before declaring a global emergency, but the virus is now spreading through close human contact and in health-care settings, they said.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually infect animals but can sometimes evolve and spread to humans. Symptoms in humans include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, which can progress to pneumonia.

U.S. officials began screening passengers flying from China at major international airports over the weekend. Health officials said Friday that they have screened more than 2,000 people across 200 flights and have not found any cases.

In China, some 33 million people are now under travel restrictions. Shanghai Disney is closing until further notice at a time when theme park would normally be packed with tourists during Saturday’s Lunar New Year holiday.

Physicians have compared the outbreak to the 2003 outbreak of SARS, which had a short incubation period of two to seven days. U.S. officials said Friday that symptoms from the new virus, temporarily named 2019-nCoV, may take up to 14 days to appear. Neither U.S. patient had symptoms while they were flying, U.S. health officials said.

Former FDA Commissioner told CNBC on Friday the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak is likely more contagious but less severe than the SARS epidemic, which rattled markets and slowed global economic growth.

“We probably will have some isolated outbreaks [of coronavirus in the U.S.], but that doesn’t mean it’ll translate to an epidemic,” Gottlieb told “Squawk Box.”

https://www-cnbc-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/01/24/cdc-confirms-second-us-case-of-coronavirus-chicago-resident-diagnosed.html?usqp=mq331AQCKAE%3D&amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnbc.com%2F2020%2F01%2F24%2Fcdc-confirms-second-us-case-of-coronavirus-chicago-resident-diagnosed.html

Support Scarlett’s Law… It’s Time to Stop Animal Testing!

25 Jarring Photo Collages of People That Live Completely Different Lives

twistedsifter.com

Uğur Gallenkuş is a digital artist from Istanbul, Turkey that has amassed a huge following on Instagram for his jarring photo collages of people that live completely different lives.

Much of his subject matter focuses on war zones, refugees, and poverty. In his work he is trying to start a conversation between two seemingly opposite scenes.

To see more striking collages from Gallenkus, check out his work

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https://twistedsifter.com/2020/01/photo-collages-of-people-that-live-completely-different-lives/#like-128707#like-128707

Police ask for public’s help to ID woman found walking near MD/PA line – WPMT FOX43

Sean Naylor
42 mins ago

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — Police in Baltimore County are asking for the public’s help to identify a woman who was walking near the Maryland-Pennsylvania line Tuesday.

The woman was found walking near Turner Crossing. She doesn’t know who she is or where she lives, according to police.

Police say the woman mentioned being on a “trail.”

The woman is 5’3″ tall, 127 pounds and is slender with shoulder length dark hair and a subtle accent.

Anyone with information on the woman’s identity should call police at 717-851-2604.

https://fox43.com/2020/01/21/police-ask-for-publics-help-to-id-woman-found-walking-near-md-pa-line/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Categories: News
Tags: Maryland, Pennsylvania

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TEGNA

Update on the Wuhan Coronavirus

These contests need to stop!

Why horse racing is so dangerous

Photograph by Rob Carr, Getty

api.nationalgeographic.com
By Rachel Fobar

Why horse racing is so dangerous

Racehorses—like these, racing at the 2017 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Maryland—frequently die as a result of limb injuries.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published May 17, 2019. It has been updated.

Despite its popularity, horse racing is a dangerous sport for both horse and jockey. In the first four weeks of the race season, five horses have died at Santa Anita Park, a California racetrack, including three in as many days over Martin Luther King Day weekend.

In the U.S., 493 Thoroughbred racehorses died in 2018, according to the Jockey Club’s Equine Injury Database. (Data for 2019 have not been released yet.) From December 2018 to late January 2020, more than 40 of those deaths were at Santa Anita Park.

In fact, most of the horse deaths at Santa Anita Park in recent months were due to limb injuries.

Rick Arthur, equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board, says the deaths may be because horse racing has become more competitive.

Horses aren’t getting the rest they need, especially in temperate places like southern California, where the animals race year-round, he says. ( Read how horses are evolving to be faster.)

“It’s hard to keep an athlete absolutely at the top of their fitness 12 months out of the year.”

The unprecedented spate of fatalities at Santa Anita has also placed renewed focus on the safety of the sport.

For instance, in March 2019, bipartisan U.S. lawmakers introduced a federal bill, the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019, that would create a uniform national standard for drug testing racehorses. The horse racing industry is currently regulated by states.

The Jockey Club, which works to improve Thoroughbred breeding and racing, supports the bill.

“It’s time we joined the rest of the world in putting in place the best measures to protect the health and safety of our equine athletes,” the organization said in a statement.

Deadly injuries

While a broken leg is easily treatable for humans, it’s often a death sentence for horses.

That’s because horses have so little soft tissue in their legs that the bone often tears through skin or cuts off circulation to the rest of the limb, leaving them prone to infection.

In some severe cases, the bone shatters, making it nearly impossible to reassemble. (Read how horses are smarter than we think.)

Even if the horse’s bone could be set, it wouldn’t be able to support weight for several weeks. If horses can’t distribute their weight relatively evenly, they risk laminitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of tissue inside the hoof.

In general, if a horse can’t stand on all four legs on its own, it won’t survive and will be euthanized, Arthur says.

And when a horse falls, its jockey is often hurt, too. A 2013 analysis of about five years of California horse racing data showed 184 jockey injuries from 360 reported falls.

A breathtaking race with one of Sweden’s best jockeys

Most of the falls occurred during races and were the result of a “catastrophic injury or sudden death of the horse,” the study found.

The drug controversy

Trainers have been accused of making an already risky situation worse by drugging horses with performance-enhancing substances or painkillers, animal welfare advocatessay.

Such drugs allow horses to run faster and power through the pain. For example, the drug furosemide, popularly known under the brand name Lasix, is a “performance-enhancing drug cloaked as a therapeutic medication,” according to a March report by the Jockey Club.

While it’s prescribed to treat bleeding in the lungs, the medication also causes urination and, consequently, weight loss. Lighter horses run faster, and Lasix has been shown to help horses run three to five lengths faster. The legality of each drug varies by state. (Read about the most detailed history of horse evolution ever assembled.)

While some animal activists feel such drugs should be banned, others in the horse racing industry believe better self-regulation is the answer.

To that end, the proposed horse racing legislation would establish an independent, self-regulatory body—affiliated with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency—to regulate racehorse medication, list which substances are and are not permitted, and ban medications within 24 hours of racing.

PUBLISHED January 21, 2020

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/animals/2019/05/horse-racing-risks-deaths-sport?__twitter_impression=true

Scam alert ⚠️

VIDEO Puerto Rico Governor Fires Two More Officials Over Hidden Emergency Relief Supplies…

MyLegalHelpUSA

Updating a story we shared last night; and the latest information only makes the situation seem much worse.   To say this story is infuriating would be an understatement.

As an individual with some personal knowledge of how the recovery process works, the actions by these government officials in Puerto Rico are beyond tragic.  There are people in desperate need, and these stupid claims by officials do nothing to ameliorate ongoing suffering.  This is disgusting and heartbreaking at the same time.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Gov. Wanda Vázquez fired the heads of Puerto Rico’s housing and family departments Sunday in the latest fallout over the discovery of a warehouse filled with emergency supplies dating from Hurricane Maria.

The removal of Housing Secretary Fernando Gil and Department of Family Secretary Glorimar Andújar came a day after the governor fired the director of…

View original post 921 more words

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Saw America as the Solution, Not the Problem

MyLegalHelpUSA

U.S. Dept. of State / Flickr / CC / Cropped

The annual observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an occasion for the left to reinforce racial identity and radical politics, and for the right to criticize what the civil rights movement has become in the hands of King’s self-professed successors.

Certainly the Democratic presidential primary has provided material for the latter, as the contenders have rushed to kiss the ring of Al Sharpton — a notorious race-baiter responsible for much of the country’s current division.

It is sad that a day named for a leader whose legacy was a message — a prophecy! — of unity should be observed in such divergent ways. King preached about injustice in America — first racial injustice in the South, enshrined in law; then economic injustice in the North and elsewhere. But — this is crucial — he never…

View original post 267 more words

UK – Ban the Import and Export of Hunting Trophies Now: Petition

Guardians Of Life

Siobhan Mitchell started this petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson

We demand an end to the import and export of hunting trophies from Britain, and urge Boris Johnson to follow through on his message of 2019 calling for an end to this barbaric practice.

The Government is currently running a consultation on the import and export of hunting trophies. This petition is to express support for Option 3 in the consultation, which would meana ban on all hunting trophies entering or leaving the UK.

As the director of the Campaign To Ban Trophy Hunting, I’ve long fought for an end to this barbaric practise. Killing animals for ‘trophies’ is cruel, unnecessary, and indefensible for the following reasons:

Studies show that many species targeted by trophy hunters are social, emotional, intelligent beings. Killing them for ‘sport’ goes against basic civilised values. So-called ‘canned hunting’ – breeding animals in captivity and…

View original post 270 more words

No More Starving Farm Animals: Petition

Guardians Of Life

Farm Animal Rescue started this petition to Managing Director, Meat and Livestock Australia Richard Norton and 1 other

In 2018 the public were mortified by hundreds of images of starving animals on Australian farms in yet another year of drought.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a statement to say that they are expecting lower than average rainfall and higher than average temperatures through Spring into early Summer, resulting in a “low chance of recovery for drought-affected areas”.

Despite these forecasts there is no indication from either the meat or dairy industry that breeding programs will be restricted to accommodate much lower feed availability in the coming year. Instead farmers are culling Australian wildlife in a hope that this will allow sufficient pasture to remain.

We call on Meat & Livestock Australia and Dairy Australia to significantly restrict breeding programs to avoid a repeat of the mass starvation of farm…

View original post 74 more words

China’s new killer virus is mutated SARS & may be one more mutation away from infecting millions. Will it make the lethal leap? | RT World News

Truth2Freedom's Blog

The deadly Chinese virus is turning up in more and more places, and the number of cases tripled over the weekend. But how bad could things get, and is there anything that could stop it before it’s too late?

It seems a bit like the beginning of a Hollywood thriller. An ordinary winter’s day at Wuhan’s seafood and wildlife market. Market traders, stalls packed with meat and fish, trying to flog their wares. The shoppers, handling the produce and trying to find the best deals. But Wuhan is hundreds of miles from the ocean, meaning any ‘fresh’ fish and shellfish for sale was probably anything but.

Police outside the Wuhan fish market where the SARS-like virus epidemic began to spread through Wuhan. ©  NOEL CELIS / AFP

We know that something at the market, perhaps a batch of dodgy crabs or some squawking chickens packed together in cages, was carrying…

View original post 904 more words

Tiny but mighty

Chinese virus: How worried should we be?

bloombergquint_2020-01_c4e7aa63-6da1-4099-a4d2-02b9361c2b87_3567849411248049331.jpg

Wuhan Image copyright Getty Images
pImage caption The outbreak occurred in the city of Wuhan, south of Beijing

A virus – previously unknown to science – is causing severe lung disease in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has been detected in two other countries.

Three people are known to have died from the virus, which appeared in the city in December.

There are more than two hundred confirmed cases of the virus, but UK experts estimate the figure is closer to 1,700.

A new virus arriving on the scene, leaving patients with pneumonia, is always a worry and health officials around the world are on high alert.

But is this a brief here-today-gone-tomorrow outbreak or the first sign of something far more dangerous?
What is this virus?

Viral samples have been taken from patients and analysed in the laboratory.

And officials in China and the World Health Organization (WHO) have concluded the infection is a coronavirus.

Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses, but only six (the new one would make it seven) are known to infect people.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which is caused by a coronavirus, killed 774 of the 8,098 people infected in an outbreak that started in China in 2002.

“There is a strong memory of Sars, that’s where a lot of fear comes from, but we’re a lot more prepared to deal with those types of diseases,” says Dr Josie Golding, from the Wellcome Trust.
Is it serious?

Coronaviruses can cause symptoms ranging from a mild cold all the way through to death.

This new virus appears to be somewhere in the middle.

“When we see a new coronavirus, we want to know how severe are the symptoms – this is more than cold-like symptoms and that is a concern but it is not as severe as Sars,” says Prof Mark Woolhouse, from the University of Edinburgh.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There were six coronaviruses known to infect people.
Where has it come from?

New viruses are detected all the time.

They jump from one species, where they went unnoticed, into humans.

“If we think about outbreaks in the past, if it is a new coronavirus, it will have come from an animal reservoir,” says Prof Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham.

Sars jumped from the civet cat into humans.

And Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers), which has killed 858 out of the 2,494 recorded cases since it emerged in 2012, regularly makes the jump from the dromedary camel.
Which animal?

Once the animal reservoir where the virus normally camps out is detected, the problem becomes much easier to deal with.

The cases have been linked to the South China Seafood Wholesale Market, in Wuhan.

But while some sea-going mammals can carry coronaviruses (such as the Beluga whale), the market also has live wild animals, including chickens, bats, rabbits, snakes, which are more likely to be the source.
Why China?

Prof Woolhouse says it is because of the size and density of the population and close contact with animals harbouring viruses.

“No-one is surprised the next outbreak is in China or that part of the world,” he says.

How easily does it spread?

Chinese officials say there have been cases of the virus spreading from one person to another.

The WHO has said it believes there has been “some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts”.

This is a concern with new viruses that infect the lungs, as coughs and sneezes are a highly effective way for a virus to spread.

It is too soon know how many people might become ill.
How fast is it spreading?

The outbreak was thought to be limited, but new cases have been reported since it started in December.

While the outbreak is centred on Wuhan, there have been two cases in Thailand, one in Japan and another in South Korea. Those people travelled from Wuhan recently.

Experts say there could be more cases going undetected.

A report by the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London suggested there could be more than 1,700 infections.

“It is likely that the Wuhan outbreak of a novel coronavirus has caused substantially more cases of moderate or severe respiratory illness than currently reported,” said the report.

There are concerns that the virus could be spread by the hundreds of millions of people travelling for Chinese New Year later this month.

Singapore and Hong Kong have been screening air passengers from Wuhan and US authorities announced similar measures starting on Friday at three major airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
How have Chinese authorities responded?

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Temperature screening can help identify people who have been infected

Infected people have been treated in isolation to minimise the risk of the bug spreading.

Extra checks such as temperature scans have been put in place to screen travellers.

And the seafood market was closed for cleaning and disinfection.

The US and most Asian countries have stepped up screenings of travellers from Wuhan and the WHO has warned hospitals worldwide that a wider outbreak is possible.
How worried are the experts?

Dr Golding says: “At the moment, until we have more information, it’s really hard to know how worried we should be.

“Until we have confirmation of the source, that’s always going to make us uneasy.”

Prof Ball says: “We should be worried about any virus that explores humans for the first time, because it’s overcome the first major barrier.

“Once inside a [human] cell and replicating, it can start to generate mutations that could allow it to spread more efficiently and become more dangerous.

“You don’t want to give the virus the opportunity.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51048366

Online campaign grows to save sick and starving lions in Sudan park | Sudan

amp.theguardian.comOne of the malnourished lions sits in her cage at the Al-Qureshi park in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty ImagesSudan

Park officials and vets say some of the five cats have lost almost two-thirds of their body weight

Agence France-Presse

Sun 19 Jan 2020 19.58 EST

Online calls to help save five “malnourished and sick” African lions at a park in Sudan’s capital grew on Sunday.

The lions are in cages at Khartoum’s Al-Qureshi park, which is in an upmarket area of the city, and have not had enough food and medicine for weeks.

Many people have demanded they be moved.

Osman Salih launched a Facebook campaign, Sudananimalrescue, and wrote: “I was shaken when I saw these lions at the park … Their bones are protruding from the skin.

“I urge interested people and institutions to help them.”

Park officials and vets said the lions’ conditions had deteriorated over the past few weeks. Some had lost almost two-thirds of their body weight.

“Food is not always available so often we buy it from our own money to feed them,” said Essamelddine Hajjar, a manager at the park, which is managed by the Khartoum municipality but is partly funded by private donors.

Sudan is in the middle of an economic crisis led by soaring food prices and a shortage of foreign currency.

On Sunday residents, volunteers and journalists visited the park to see the lions after their photographs went viral on social media networks.

One of the five cats was tied with a rope and was fed fluids through a drip as it recovered from dehydration, an AFP reporter who toured the park wrote.

Chunks of rotten meat covered in flies lay scattered near the cages.

The condition of the park was also affecting the animals’ health, another official at the park said.

“They are suffering from severe illnesses,” a caretaker, Moataz Mahmoud, said. “They are sick and appear to be malnourished.”

It is unclear how many lions are in Sudan but several are at the Dinder park along the border with Ethiopia.

African lions are classified as a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Their population dropped 43% between 1993 and 2014, with only about 20,000 alive today.

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/20/online-campaign-grows-to-save-sick-and-starving-lions-in-sudan-park?__twitter_impression=true

New China virus: Cases triple as infection spreads to Beijing and Shanghai

www-bbc-com.cdn.ampproject.org

The BBC spoke to people in Beijing who seemed largely unconcerned about the virus.

The number of people infected with a new virus in China tripled over the weekend, with the outbreak spreading from Wuhan to other major cities.

There are now more than 200 cases, mostly in Wuhan, though the respiratory illness has also been detected in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Three people have died. Japan, Thailand and South Korea have reported cases.

The new strain of coronavirus, which causes a type of pneumonia, can pass from person to person, China confirmed.

The sharp rise comes as millions of Chinese prepare to travel for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Although the outbreak is believed to have originated from a market, officials and scientists are yet to determine exactly how it has been spreading.

Mystery Chinese virus: How worried should we be?
New Chinese virus ‘preventable and controllable’

The outbreak has revived memories of the Sars virus – also a coronavirus – that killed 774 people in the early 2000s across dozens of countries, mostly in Asia. Analysis of the genetic code of the new virus shows it is more closely related to Sars than any other human coronavirus.

Experts in the UK told the BBC the number of people infected could still be far greater than official figures suggest, with estimates closer to 1,700.

What we know about the virus

2019-nCoV, as it’s been labelled, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans
Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses, but only six (the new one would make it seven) are known to infect people
Scientists believe an animal source is “the most likely primary source” but that some human-to-human transmission has occurred
Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
People are being advised to avoid “unprotected” contact with live animals, thoroughly cook meat and eggs, and avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

Source: World Health Organization

Who has been infected?

Authorities in Wuhan, a central Chinese city of 11 million that has been at the heart of the outbreak, on Monday said 136 new cases had been confirmed over the weekend, with a third person dying of the virus. There had previously been only 62 confirmed cases in the city.

As of late Sunday, officials said 170 people in Wuhan were still being treated in hospital, including nine in critical condition.

Beijing also confirmed its first cases, with five people infected. Shanghai confirmed its first case on Monday – a 56-year-old woman who came from Wuhan

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Image copyright AFP Temperature scanning equipment at Narita airport
Image caption Airports including Narita in Tokyo have been screening passengers

In the city of Shenzhen, a major tech hub close to Hong Kong, officials said a 66-year-old man showed symptoms of the virus following a trip to visit relatives in Wuhan.

State media reported 14 other cases in Guangdong province.

Four cases have been confirmed abroad – two in Thailand, one in Japan and one in South Korea – all of them involving people who are either from Wuhan or have visited the city.

In South Korea, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a 35-year-old Chinese woman was suffering from a fever and respiratory problems after travelling there from Wuhan. She was put into isolation and treated at a local hospital.

The World Health Organization said it was currently not recommending restrictions on travel or trade, but was providing guidance to countries preparing for any outbreak.

Airports in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Japanese capital Tokyo have been screening air passengers from Wuhan, and US authorities last week announced similar measures at three major airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
What are the Chinese authorities saying?

How China is responding to the outbreak is under close scrutiny, given that it was widely criticised for initially covering up the Sars crisis in late 2002 and early 2003.

On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time publicly addressed the outbreak, saying that the virus must be “resolutely contained”.

The foreign ministry, meanwhile, said China was providing “timely information about the disease” and would “work with all parties to deal with the virus”.

China’s National Health Commission on Monday confirmed that two cases in China were due to human-to-human transmission, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The commission had earlier said there had been no such cases, but that the virus had instead crossed the species barrier and come from infected animals at a seafood and wildlife market in Wuhan.

Image copyright AFP Picture shows the shutters of the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in the city of Wuhan

Image caption Health officials have been analysing the seafood market where they believe the virus originated

The WHO also said it believed there had been “some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts”.

“As more… cases are identified and more analysis undertaken, we will get a clearer picture of disease severity and transmission patterns,” it wrote on Twitter.

It noted that the rise in cases in China was a result of “increased searching and testing for [the virus] among people sick with respiratory illness”.

Coronavirus feared to have infected more than initially thought according to scientists

Video caption Coronavirus feared to have infected more than initially thought according to scientists
What impact could Lunar New Year have?

From Friday, most Chinese will begin their week-long Lunar New Year holidays.

It’s a time when hundreds of millions travel around China to visit family, raising fears that authorities will not be able to adequately monitor further spread of the disease.

Wuhan is a transport hub and authorities there have for nearly a week been using temperature scanners at airports, and train and bus stations. Those showing signs of fever have been registered, given masks and taken to hospitals and clinics.
Image copyright AFP A woman wears a blue face mask as she wheels luggage
Image caption Chinese companies shut down for Lunar New Year, with hundreds of millions of people travelling

Authorities say they will now also be screening everyone leaving the city.

At Beijing’s central railway station, some travellers donned masks but did not appear overly concerned about the virus.

“Watching the news, I do feel a little worried. But I haven’t taken precautionary measures beyond wearing regular masks,” Li Yang, a 28-year-old account manager travelling to the region of Inner Mongolia, told the AFP news agency.

But the tone in Chinese social media, where the outbreak has been a top trending topic, was different.

“Who knows how many people who have been to Wuhan may be unaware that they have already been infected?” one Weibo user said.

https://www-bbc-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-asia-china-51171035?usqp=mq331AQCKAE%3D&amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fworld-asia-china-51171035

“Mysterious coronavirus kills 2, sickens dozens”

Don’t forget to make the popcorn!

Enjoy your weekend 🤗

Thank you for helping!

Every little bit helps

A 14-year-old girl was kidnapped by three men and used Snapchat to alert her friends, police say

fox43.com
CNN Wire

A 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped in Northern California used Snapchat to share her location with her friends, who then called 911, police said.

The girl met Albert Thomas Vasquez, 55, in Capitola on Tuesday, the San Jose Police Department said in statement.

Vasquez gave the girl drugs and she became incapacitated, police said. He called two other men — 34-year-old Antonio Quirino Salvador and 31-year-old Hediberto Gonzalez Avarenga — to help move the girl in their vehicle.

Vasquez then sexually assaulted the girl in the vehicle, police said. The men drove the girl to a motel in San Jose, where they carried her to a room on the second floor and Vasquez sexually assaulted her again, police said.

While in the hotel, the girl used the Snapchat app on her phone to tell her friends that she had been kidnapped, but didn’t know where she was, police said. Her friends determined her location through the app and called 911.

Once police arrived, they found Vasquez leaving the motel room with the girl inside. He was arrested on charges of kidnapping to commit rape, digital penetration with a child under 14 with force, false imprisonment, lewd act with a child and rape by intoxication or controlled substance.

The two other men — Salvador and Avarenga — were arrested Wednesday on charges of kidnapping and conspiracy, police said.

Snapchat is a social media app that allows users to communicate with others through instant pictures and videos. Friends on the app can choose to share their locations with one another if the app is open, according to Snapchat developers.

CNN has not been able to determine whether the men have attorneys.

https://fox43.com/2020/01/18/a-14-year-old-girl-was-kidnapped-by-three-men-and-used-snapchat-to-alert-her-friends-police-say/amp/?__twitter_impression=true