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Bird flu fear as mutant strain hits China and Vietnam

Avian flu shows signs of a resurgence, while a mutant strain – able to sidestep vaccines – could be spreading in Asia, the United Nations has warned. The variant appeared in Vietnam and China and its risk to humans cannot be predicted, veterinary officials said. Virus circulation in Vietnam threatens…

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EU says up to Palestinians to decide UN ‘approach’

AMMAN ‘ EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday it is up to the Palestinians to decide their approach at the United Nations, where they will seek full UN membership next month. Ashton, on a tour to push Israel and the Palestinians to resume direct negotiations, said she “talked to both sides about a range of possibilities and ...

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In Sri Lanka, a ‘negative peace’ prevails

Seriously injured in a shell attack, his Tamil Tiger comrades dead, Mano (pseudonym) tried to end his own life by biting on the cyanide pill that, like all hardened fighters, he wore around his neck. But an elderly woman nearby rushed to give him water and he survived. Alone, he languished on the sand for six days, surrounded by the ...

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Tales from a leaking boat

Aziz crammed into the cargo hold of a tiny fishing boat as it left the Indonesian port. He and the 17 other men aboard had their sights on Australia. Only four days in, it happened – the engine exploded, blowing acrid smoke into the cabin, choking Aziz and the other terrified passengers. The boat was adrift in the middle of ...

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As the storm moved on

For the families of the people who died of causes related to the wrath of Hurricane Irene, the violent storm stands as a life-changing catastrophe, no matter that for most people, it was not as severe as had been feared. Even as we recuperate and rebuild and give thanks that there were more severe consequences that could have been realized ...

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Hurricane Irene blamed for 40 deaths

Hurricane Irene is being blamed for at least 40 deaths in 11 eastern US states and Canada, as Vermont and upstate New York suffered disastrous flooding. The toll includes six dead each in New Jersey, New York state and North Carolina, five in Pennsylvania, four in Virginia, three in Vermont, two each in Connecticut, Delaware and Florida, and one each ...

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Why It Took Eleven Months Instead of Three Weeks to Show that Haiti’s Cholera Is Nepalese: a Tale of Noble and Ignoble Scientists, Harvard, and the U.N.

It took nearly a year since the start of Haiti’s cholera epidemic for scientists to get conclusive proof that the cholera bacteria in Haiti are identical to bacteria in Nepal. Drs. Frank Aarestrup from Denmark, Paul Keim from Arizona, and Geeta Shakya from Kathmandu led a recent study that provided this evidence. The DNA in cholera changes rapidly when these ...

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Endgame for Brazil’s role in MINUSTAH?

Tuesday, 30 August 2011, 11:52 am Article: Council on Hemispheric Affairs Endgame for Brazil’s role in MINUSTAH? by August 29, 2011 Brazil’s leadership in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) may be coming to its end. The newly-appointed defense minister, Celso Amorin (most recently he served as foreign affairs minister from 2003 to 2011) recently declared to the ...

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EU chief: UN bid ‘for Palestinians to decide’

Ashton met with a number of Israeli and Palestinian officials, including Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas [EPA] Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign policy chief, finished a visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on Monday without commiting the EU to a position on the Palestinian Authority’s expected bid for statehood at the United Nations. Ashton spent two days meeting ...

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