Portugal finds 5 monkeypox cases in men as outbreak spreads
On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Portuguese health authorities confirmed five cases of monkeypox in young men, marking an unusual outbreak in Europe of a disease typically limited to Africa. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP) (Uncredited)LISBON, Portugal — (AP) — Portuguese health authorities on Wednesday confirmed five cases of monkeypox in young men, and Britain announced another two, marking an unusual outbreak in Europe of a disease typically limited to Africa. British health authorities said Wednesday they had identified two new cases of monkeypox, one in London and another in southeast England. Spain’s Health Ministry said it had detected eight suspected cases of monkeypox that still needed to be confirmed. The virus has typically spread to people from infected animals like rodents, although human-to-human transmission has been known to occur.wftv.com
Mozambique declares polio outbreak linked to Pakistan
The case in Mozambique is the second imported case of polio in southern Africa this year, following a case discovered in Malawi in mid-February. It's the first case of wild polio in Mozambique since 1992, although cases linked to a mutated virus from the oral vaccine were detected in 2019. Sequencing indicates that the case in Mozambique is linked to a strain of polio spreading in Pakistan in 2019, similar to the case reported in Malawi earlier this year. There is no difference between the disease caused by the wild virus or the mutated virus from the vaccine. Disease surveillance is being strengthened in five countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.wftv.com
Portugal finds 5 monkeypox cases in men as outbreak spreads
LISBON, Portugal — (AP) — Portuguese health authorities on Wednesday confirmed five cases of monkeypox in young men, marking an unusual outbreak in Europe of a disease typically limited to Africa. British health authorities said earlier this week they had identified four cases of monkeypox spread in London among gay and bisexual men. Spain’s Health Ministry said it had detected eight suspected cases of monkeypox that still needed to be confirmed. The virus has typically spread to people from infected animals like rodents, although human-to-human transmission has been known to occur. Some British experts said it was soon to conclude that monkeypox had spread through sexual contact, although the outbreak there suggested that possibility.wftv.com
Climate change to make droughts longer, more common, says UN
Climate Drought Frequency FILE - Herders supply water from a borehole to give to their camels during a drought near Kuruti, in Garissa County, Kenya on Oct. 27, 2021. The frequency and duration of droughts will continue to increase due to human-caused climate change, with water scarcity already affecting billions of people across the world, the United Nations warned in a report Wednesday, May 11, 2022. The ongoing debilitating drought in the east and Horn of Africa was highlighted as one of the "dramatic consequences" of climate change by the U.N. agency. The same is true for the Amazon, the U.N. said, with three droughts occurring since the turn of the century and triggering forest fires, with climate change and deforestation also to blame. “We must build and rebuild our landscapes better, mimicking nature wherever possible and creating functional ecological systems.”___Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations.wftv.com
First tropical wave of the season forms in the Atlantic
Tropical wave The first tropical wave of the season is in the books, the National Hurricane Center said. (National Hurricane Center)ORLANDO, Fla. — The first tropical wave of the season is in the books, the National Hurricane Center said. Officials said the wave developed on Sunday near the west coast of Africa. According to the National Weather Service, a tropical wave is an elongated area of relatively low pressure moving east to west across the tropics. The wave comes just over three weeks before the start of hurricane season on June 1.wftv.com
East and Horn of Africa prep for worst drought in decades
Agricultural workers in the east and Horn of Africa are preparing for their most severe drought in forty years, as authorities warn that higher temperatures and less than normal rainfall was recorded by weather agencies in March and April this yearwashingtonpost.com
East African oil pipeline hits the headwinds
We cannot eat oil nor drink oil.”The growing pressure mounted by environmental groups, under the banner #StopEACOP, has led to a growing list of banks and insurers quitting the oil pipeline project. The 897-mile (1,443 kilometer) oil pipeline is billed as the longest heated pipeline in the world. “Africa needs cheap stable power as that afforded by oil and coal to grow its manufacturing sector,” Johnson Nderi, a financial analyst in Nairobi who supports the oil pipeline, said. British firm Tullow Oil first discovered oil in the Lake Albert Basin in 2006, with recoverable oil estimates pegged at 1.2 billion barrels. In early February, the oil pipeline's major backers, led by Total Energies, announced the conclusion of the Financial Investment Decision, signaling the commencement of the construction of the oil pipeline.wftv.com
East African oil pipeline hits the headwinds
Climate activists are urging more banks and insurers not to back the controversial $5 billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline that is primed to transport oil from the Hoima oilfields in Uganda to the Tanzanian coastal city of Tanga. The unrelenting pressure mounted by environmental groups, under the banner #StopEACOP, has led to a growing list of banks and insurers quitting the oil pipeline project. The 897 mile (1443 km) oil pipeline is billed as the longest heated pipeline in the world. British firm Tullow Oil first discovered oil in the Lake Albert Basin in 2006, with recoverable oil estimates pegged at 1.2 billion barrels. In early February, the oil pipeline's major backers, led by Total Energies, announced the conclusion of the Financial Investment Decision, signaling the commencement of the construction of the oil pipeline.wftv.com
East African oil pipeline hits the headwinds
Climate activists are urging more banks and insurers not to back the controversial $5 billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline that is primed to transport oil from the Hoima oilfields in Uganda to the Tanzanian coastal city of Tanga. Influential climate activists Vanessa Nakate and Hilda Nakabuye have lent their support to opponents of the pipeline citing the need for Africa to stay away from fossil fuels. The unrelenting pressure mounted by environmental groups, under the banner #StopEACOP, has led to a growing list of banks and insurers quitting the oil pipeline project.news.yahoo.com
Gunmen kill more than 100 in Nigeria’s north, say survivors
ABUJA, Nigeria — (AP) — An armed gang has killed more than 100 people in a remote part of northern Nigeria, survivors and local authorities said on Tuesday. The attackers targeted four villages in the Kanam area of Plateau State, the most recent in a series of violent attacks in Nigeria's north. The State Security Council has adopted “far-reaching measures to strengthen all security measures,” Lalong said, but similar commitments made in the past have not succeeded in improving security in the area, say residents. A decade-long insurgency in Nigeria's northeast by the Islamic extremist rebels of Boko Haram and violence by armed groups in the northwest have led to the deaths of thousands more. Nigerian security forces are often outnumbered and outgunned by the armed groups in those volatile areas, say security analysts, creating a serious challenge to Nigeria's quest for peace and stability.wftv.com
UN experts seek to verify mass graves for migrants in Libya
United Nations-commissioned investigators have painted a grim picture for migrants in Libya, just days after they said they were seeking to verify the presence of mass graves at a human trafficking center in the country’s northwest regionwashingtonpost.com
Togo executive to lead UN labor agency, 1st African in post
GENEVA — (AP) — The governing body of the U.N.'s labor agency has picked a Togo executive to be the agency's new leader and the first director-general from Africa. Members of the International Labor Organization's body, which brings together governments, workers and employers, voted Friday to select Gilbert Houngbo as its next chief. Houngbo is set to take up the top job at the Geneva-based organization on Oct. 1. Also in the running were Kang Kyung-wha, a former foreign minister of South Korea; Mthunzi Mdwaba of South Africa, a former employers' vice-chairperson of the ILO governing body; former French Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud; and Greg Vines, an ILO deputy director-general from Australia. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.wftv.com
Amid dropping COVID cases, South Africa loosens restrictions
With declining cases of COVID-19, South Africa’s president has announced that it is no longer mandatory to wear masks outdoors and vaccinated travelers entering the country are no longer required to produce a negative PCR testswashingtonpost.com
In open letter on second anniversary of coronavirus pandemic, celebrities, experts and officials say: It isn’t over
More than 130 world leaders, economists, humanitarians, scientists and other prominent figures are calling for an end to vaccine monopolies, urging action to rapidly vaccinate low- and middle-income countries.washingtonpost.com
WH: Ukraine rebel request a 'false flag' op
The White House says the request by Ukrainian separatists for Russian military assistance in the face of supposed "aggression" by Ukraine's government is an example of the "false flag" operations the West has consistently warned against. (Feb. 23)news.yahoo.com
'We need help': Another cyclone batters Madagascar
Madagascar Cyclones FILE — People outside ruined homes in Mananjary, Madagascar, Feb. 10, 2022. Cyclone Emnati is expected to make landfall on the eastern coast of Madagascar late Tuesday Feb. 22, 2022, amid fears it will be a stronger storm than the three that have left nearly 200 people dead this cyclone season. The U.N. weather agency previously warned of more “high-impact tropical cyclones” that are linked to climate change hitting the region. For us, this cyclone did more damage than the one before.”“Even in the hotel there is a lot of damage. Forecasters have also predicted eight to 12 more cyclones in the Madagascar region before the cyclone season normally ends in May.wftv.com
EU Commission: von der Leyen unconcerned by missed handshake
Belgium EU Africa Summit European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a media conference at an EU Africa summit in Brussels, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. After an exchange of words with the two men, Odongo posed for photographs between Michel and von der Leyen. Macron then gestured as if he wanted to introduce von der Leyen to Odongo, and the pair engaged in a brief conversation. Von der Leyen and Michel had met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara for talks on EU-Turkey relations. Mamer said von der Leyen is kept busy by the worrying tensions between Ukraine and Russia.wftv.com
EU Commission: von der Leyen unconcerned by missed handshake
The European Commission on Monday downplayed as a “storm in a teacup” an incident last week at a EU-Africa summit in Brussels during which its president, Ursula von der Leyen, was hardly acknowledged by a foreign minister. The official, Ugandan Foreign Minister Jeje Odongo, slightly nodded as he walked past von der Leyen and did not stop to greet her before shaking hands with EU Council president Charles Michel and French president Emmanuel Macron during a staged photo event.news.yahoo.com
Locals fret as Colombia to declare hippos invasive species
People around the Colombian town of Puerto Triunfo have grown accustomed to living near the herd of hippopotamuses descended from a few that were imported illegally from Africa in the 1980s by flamboyant drug lord Pablo Escobarwashingtonpost.com
Biden warns Russia will attack Ukraine in coming days
President Joe Biden said Friday the U.S. has "reason to believe" Russian forces are planning "to attack Ukraine" in the coming days, including the capital, Kyiv. To Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden said Moscow can still choose diplomacy. (Feb. 19)news.yahoo.com
DNA analysis of elephant ivory reveals trafficking networks
Ivory Poaching Networks FILE - Elephant tusks are stacked in one of around a dozen pyres of ivory, in Nairobi National Park, Kenya on April 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File) (Ben Curtis)WASHINGTON — (AP) — As few as three major criminal groups are responsible for smuggling the vast majority of elephant ivory tusks out of Africa, according to a new study. Researchers used analysis of DNA from seized elephant tusks and evidence such as phone records, license plates, financial records and shipping documents to map trafficking operations across the continent and better understand who was behind the crimes. Each year, an estimated 1.1 million pounds (500 metric tons) of poached elephant tusks are shipped from Africa, mostly to Asia. In 2004, Wasser demonstrated that DNA from elephant tusks and dung could be used to pinpoint their home location to within a few hundred miles.wftv.com
Mauritius presses claim versus UK for Indian Ocean islands
A delegation from Mauritius set sail Tuesday to the Chagos Islands to press the country’s claim for the strategically important Indian Ocean archipelago, which is also claimed by Britain and is home to an American military basewashingtonpost.com
UN experts: `Terrorist groups' enjoy freedom in Afghanistan
U_N_ experts say Al-Qaida’s past ties to the recently empowered Taliban have the potential of making Afghanistan a safe haven for extremists, and “terrorist groups enjoy greater freedom there than at any time in recent history.”washingtonpost.com
Omicron brings COVID-19 vaccine inequity 'home to roost'
The emergence of the new omicron variant and the world’s desperate and likely futile attempts to keep it at bay are reminders of what scientists have warned for months: The coronavirus will thrive as long as vast parts of the world lack vaccines.
UN peacekeepers face greater threats from complex conflicts
The U.N. peacekeeping chief says the more than 66,000 United Nations peacekeepers are confronting greater threats today because conflicts have become more complex and are driven by an increasing number of factors ranging from ethnic tensions and the impact of organized crime to illegal exploitation of resources and terrorism.
Republic of Congo candidate hospitalized with COVID-19
FILE - In this Friday March 19, 2021 file photo, supporters of opposition presidential candidate Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas cheer during their party's last rally of the presidential campaign in Brazzaville, Congo. Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas, the leading opposition presidential candidate in Republic of Congo, was receiving oxygen at a private hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19, a family member said. The announcement late Saturday March 20, 2021 comes on the eve of the presidential election. (AP Photo/Christ Kimvidi, File)BRAZZAVILLE – The leading opposition presidential candidate in Republic of Congo was receiving oxygen at a private hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19, a family member said, casting Sunday's election into doubt on the eve of the vote. Republic of Congo has had fewer than 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 134 confirmed deaths.
Vaccine roll-out gaps a core concern for G-20 countries
Indian villagers carry their belongings on their heads and walk towards their village on the outskirts of Hyderabad, India, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. Daniele Franco told a virtual news conference after the meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the G-20 economies that a core priority for the group is “to grant equitable access” to safe vaccines. “We will not get back to our normal lives until the virus is eradicated in all countries,” Franco said. Economy and finance ministers will check in on progress on issues in July in Venice, and a global summit is planned for October. Climate change and tax policy are on the agenda for July.
Biden's pick for UN post calls China 'a strategic adversary'
United States Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield testifies during for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. Johnson asked her why she had said the United States is not in a new Cold War with China. “This speech is cheerleading for the Chinese Communist Party” and makes no mention of China’s human rights violations, he said. Johnson asked her what the stronger language and tougher tactics would be toward China. “And yet, I had an extraordinary 35-year career, that culminated as the assistant secretary of state of African affairs,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
50 countries vow to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030
(Joe Giddens/PA via AP)PARIS – At least 50 countries committed to protecting 30% of the planet, including land and sea, over the next decade to halt species extinction and address climate change issues, during a global summit Monday aimed at protecting the world's biodiversity. About 30 leaders, government officials and heads of international organizations participated in the One Planet Summit, which was being held by videoconference because of the coronavirus pandemic. During his campaign, Biden pledged to better protect biodiversity by preserving 30% of American lands and waters by 2030. Another initiative involves a new coalition of Mediterranean countries working to better protect the sea from pollution and overfishing. ___Follow all AP coverage of climate change issues at https://apnews.com/hub/Climate.
UN chief warns `vaccine nationalism' is moving at full speed
Volunteers wait to be checked at a vaccine trial facility set at Soweto's Chris Sani Baragwanath Hospital outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Monday Nov. 30, 2020. Over 2000 South African volunteers are on AstraZeneca's experimental coronavirus vaccine trial. The U.N. chief reiterated his call for vaccines to be treated as “a global public good,” available to everyone, everywhere on the planet, especially in Africa. In the United States, the Pfizer vaccine could get a green light for emergency use in the coming days and the Moderna vaccine in the coming weeks. “There are several vaccines in the pipeline for COVAX, and it is perfectly possible to deliver if the financing is guaranteed.”
Africa CDC sees COVID-19 vaccinations in 2nd quarter of 2021
The director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, told reporters that “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available” in the past. And he warned that “it’s clear the second wave (of infections) is here on the continent” of 1.3 billion people. He cited such logistics in his prediction for when vaccinations in Africa will begin. "The worst thing we want for the continent is for COVID to become an endemic disease” in Africa, he said. It could take more than $5 billion to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine in Africa to priority populations alone, the WHO says — and that doesn't include the costs for delivering the vaccines.
Diplomats: Rockets fired at Eritrea amid Ethiopian conflict
NAIROBI – Rockets were fired at Eritrea's capital on Saturday, diplomats said, as the deadly fighting in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region appeared to spill across an international border and bring some of observers' worst fears to life. At least three rockets appeared to be aimed at the airport in Eritrea's capital, Asmara, hours after the Tigray regional government warned it might attack. It has accused Eritrea of attacking it at the invitation of Ethiopia's federal government since the conflict in northern Ethiopia erupted on Nov. 4. Eritrea is one of the world's most reclusive countries, and no one on the ground, including the information ministry, could immediately be reached. Tigray regional officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Timeline: Ethiopia's Nobel Peace Prize to brink of civil war
KAMPALA – Ethiopia's federal troops for almost a week have been battling troops loyal to the Tigray regional government, raising fears of civil war in Africa's second most populous country. Just a year ago, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for his dramatic political reforms. Abiy also shocked the region by making peace with neighboring Eritrea after a border war, and promoting similar efforts in the wider Horn of Africa. OCTOBER 2019: A NOBEL PEACE PRIZEThe following year, Abiy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his sweeping reforms. The Tigray region defied the federal government by holding a local election, leading to the current situation where each government now regards the other as illegal.
AP Explains: Why Ethiopia is suddenly on brink of civil war
(AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)NAIROBI – Suddenly Ethiopia appears on the brink of civil war, threatening the stability of one of the world’s most strategic regions, the Horn of Africa, and the fracturing of one of Africa’s most powerful and populous countries. But the crisis in Ethiopia, a key U.S. security ally, has been building for months. Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most well-armed nations, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front dominated Ethiopia’s military and government before Abiy took office in 2018. In September, the Tigray region voted in a local election that Ethiopia’s federal government called illegal. Ethiopia already was drawing concern over a dispute with Egypt over a huge dam Ethiopia is completing on the Blue Nile.