LONDON, Reuters - By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent - Scientists have used Ebola disease spread patterns and airline traffic data to predict a 75 percent chance the virus could be imported to France by October 24, and a 50 percent chance it could hit Britain by that date. Those numbers are based on air traffic remaining at full capacity. Assuming an 80 percent reduction in travel to reflect that many airlines are halting flights to affected regions, France's risk is still 25 percent, and Britain's is 15 percent. "It's really a lottery," said Derek Gatherer of Britain's Lancaster University, an expert in viruses who has been tracking the epidemic - the worst Ebola outbreak in history. The deadly epidemic has killed more than 3,400 people since it began in West Africa in March and has now started to spread faster, infecting almost 7,200 people so far. Nigeria, Senegal and now the United States - where the first case was diagnosed on Tuesday in a man who flew in from Liberia - have all seen people carrying the Ebola haemorrhagic fever virus, apparently unwittingly, arrive on their shores. France is among countries most likely to be hit next because the worst affected countries - Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - include French speakers and have busy travel routes back, while Britain's Heathrow airport is one of the world's biggest travel hubs. France and Britain have each treated one national who was brought home with the disease and then cured. The scientists' study suggests that more may bring it to Europe not knowing they are infected. "If this thing continues to rage on in West Africa and indeed gets worse, as some people have predicted, then it's only a matter of time before one of these cases ends up on a plane to Europe," said Gatherer. Belgium has a 40 percent chance of seeing the disease arrive on its territory, while Spain and Switzerland have lower risks of 14 percent each, according to the study first published in the journal PLoS Current Outbreaks and now being regularly updated at http://www.mobs-lab.org/ebola.html The World Health Organisation (WHO) has not placed any restrictions on travel and has encouraged airlines to keep flying to the worst-hit countries. British Airways and Emirates airlines have suspended some flights. But the risks change every day the epidemic continues, said Alex Vespignani, a professor at the Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-Technical Systems at Northeastern University in Boston who led the research. "This is not a deterministic list, it's about probabilities - but those probabilities are growing for everyone," Vespignani said in a telephone interview. "It's just a matter of who gets lucky and who gets unlucky." The latest calculations used data from October 1. "Air traffic is the driver," Vespignani said. "But there are also differences in connections with the affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), as well as different numbers of cases in these three countries - so depending on that, the probability numbers change." PATIENTS UNAWARE Patients are at their most contagious when Ebola is in its terminal stages, inducing both internal and external bleeding, and profuse vomiting and diarrhoea - all of which contain high concentrations of infectious virus. But the disease can also have a long incubation period of up to 21 days, meaning that people can be unaware for weeks that they are infected, and not feel or display any symptoms. This, it seems, is what allowed the Liberian visitor Thomas Eric Duncanto to fly to the United States and spend several days there unaware that he was carrying the deadly virus, before being diagnosed and isolated. [ID:nL2N0RZ0J3] In the European Union, free movement of people means someone unknowingly infected with Ebola could easily drive through several neighbouring countries before feeling ill and seeking help, and spend weeks in contact with friends or strangers before becoming sick enough to show up on airport scanners. Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at Britain's Nottingham University said that even with exit screening at airports of affected countries, the long, silent incubation period meant "cases can slip through the net". "Whilst the risk of imported Ebola virus remains small, it's still a very real risk, and one that won't go away until this outbreak is stopped," he said. "Ebola virus isn't just an African problem." However, the chance of the disease spreading widely or developing into an epidemic in a wealthy, developed country is extremely low, healthcare specialists say. According to the latest Ebola risk assessment from the European Centres of Disease Prevention and Control, which monitors health and disease in the region, "the capacity to detect and confirm cases...is considered to be sufficient to interrupt any possible local transmission of the disease early." Gatherer cited Nigeria as an example of how Ebola can be halted with swift and detailed action. Despite being in West Africa and being home to one of the world's most crowded, chaotic cities, Nigeria has managed to contain Ebola's spread to a total of 20 cases and 8 deaths, and looks likely to be declared free of the virus in coming weeks. "Even if we have a worse case scenario where someone doesn't present for medical treatment, or..it's not correctly identified as Ebola, and we get secondary transmission, it's not likely to be a very long secondary transmission chain," he said. "People aren't living in very crowded conditions (in Europe), so the disease doesn't have the same environment it has in a shanty town in Monrovia, where the environment is perfect for it to spread. It's a different matter in modern western cities with the very sanitised, sterile lives that we live." (The story is refiled to clarify paragraph five) (Editing by Sophie Walker)
- The Independent
Biden tells Fox News reporter he talked to Putin about ‘You’ when asked about his call with Russian president
Leaders reportedly discussed Ukraine tensions, a massive cyberattack and Russia’s poisoned opposition leader
- The Week
Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
The new Biden administration has yet not disclosed the secrets of Area 51 or explained what the Air Force really knows about UFOs, but it did clarify, at least, the mystery of the vanished "Diet Coke button" former President Donald Trump would use to summon refreshments in the Oval Office. The usher button, as it is formally known, is not gone, even if it is no longer used to summon Diet Cokes, a White House official tells Politico. The White House official "unfortunately wouldn't say what Biden will use the button for," Politico's Daniel Lippman writes, suggesting Biden might summon Orange Gatorade and not the obvious answer, ice cream — or, let's get real, coffee. What's more, there are evidently two usher buttons in the Oval Office, one at the Resolute Desk and the other next to the chair by the fireplace, a former White House official told Politico, adding that Trump didn't actually use the Diet Coke button all that much because "he would usually just verbally ask the valets, who were around all day, for what he needed." In any case, it is not the placement of the button that matters, of course, but how you use it. And Biden will presumably know better than to order ice cream treats during a top-secret national security briefing. More stories from theweek.comSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorChuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personalDemocrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed
A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the Biden administration's 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants.Why it matters: Biden has set an ambitious immigration agenda, but could face pushback from the courts.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.The big picture: U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, issued a temporary restraining order blocking the policy for 14 days. * Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration last week, claiming the freeze "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security, per a press release from Paxton’s office. * "The issues implicated by that Agreement are of such gravity and constitutional import that they require further development of the record and briefing prior to addressing the merits," Tipton wrote in his Tuesday order. * Tipton also said Texas has provided evidence that the freeze would result in "millions of dollars of damage" by spurring an increase in spending on public services for unauthorized immigrants, according to the judge’s order.What they're saying: "Texas is the FIRST state in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the Biden Admin. AND WE WON," Paxton tweeted. "Within 6 days of Biden’s inauguration, Texas has HALTED his illegal deportation freeze." * Neither DHS nor Immigration and Customs Enforcement immediately responded to Axios' request for comment.Of note: Former President Trump was frequently met with injunctions for his immigration policies.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
Pirates who seized 15 sailors when they stormed a Turkish-crewed container ship in the Gulf of Guinea two days ago have not yet made contact with authorities, Turkey's foreign minister said on Monday. "We have not yet received word from the pirates," foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara. Turkey was in contact with officials in Gabon, where he said the Liberian-flagged container ship Mozart had docked with its remaining crew, and with authorities in neighbouring countries.
- NBC News
Tommy Frederick Allan said he took the documents because he is a taxpayer, according to an arrest warrant.
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden has brought back Dr. Kevin O'Connor as his physician, replacing President Donald Trump's doctor with the one who oversaw his care when he was vice president. The White House confirmed that Dr. Sean Conley, the Navy commander who served as the head of the White House Medical Unit under Trump and oversaw his treatment when he was hospitalized with COVID-19, will assume a teaching role at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. O'Connor, a retired Army colonel, was Biden's doctor during his entire tenure as vice president, having remained in the role at Biden's request.
- The Week
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will have his work cut out for him as he tries to maneuver through the 50-50 upper chamber. To pass most legislation, he'll need to work with Republicans to get things done, but that won't be easy, especially after he rigorously campaigned against a few of them in recent election cycles, CNN reports. Take, for example, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who ultimately won a hard fought re-election campaign last year against Democratic challenger Sara Gideon. Despite the victory, Collins appears to have taken Schumer's efforts to unseat her personally. "What this campaign taught me about Chuck Schumer is that he will say or do anything in order to win," she told CNN. "It was a deceitful, despicable campaign that he ran." Collins is generally considered one of the more bipartisan voices in the Senate and has crossed the aisle not infrequently throughout her tenure, but those words don't make her sound like someone who's excited to help hand Schumer easy wins. Read more at CNN. Susan Collins doesn't sound like she's keen on cutting lots of deals https://t.co/YHgj2ydgN6 — Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) January 26, 2021 The only way governing with the filibuster can ever work is if Republicans are willing to engage in good faith negotiations. Even SUSAN COLLINS is explicitly stating she’s a partisan who has no interest in working with Democrats. — Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) January 26, 2021 More stories from theweek.comSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorDemocrats are getting Chuck GrassleyedBiden's reverse triangulation
- Yahoo News Video
A former pathologist at an Arkansas veterans’ hospital has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient that he misdiagnosed.
Tunisia's parliament on Tuesday approved a Cabinet reshuffle that deepened the conflict between the prime minister and the president, as hundreds protested outside the heavily barricaded parliament over social inequality and police abuses. Riot police turned water cannon on protesters outside the parliament earlier on Tuesday, trying to quell the largest rally since demonstrations began this month. Hundreds of protesters had marched from the Ettadhamen district of the capital, Tunis, where young people have clashed with police several nights this month, and were joined by hundreds more near the parliament.
- The Independent
‘There appeared to be no remorse,’ says Calcasieu Parish sheriff Tony Mancus
Marine officials declined to comment on when the review is expected to be complete or what changes could result.
- Associated Press
A federal judge on Tuesday barred the U.S. government from enforcing a 100-day deportation moratorium that is a key immigration priority of President Joe Biden. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary restraining order sought by Texas, which sued on Friday against a Department of Homeland Security memo that instructed immigration agencies to pause most deportations.
- The Week
In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said his caucus won't allow Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to dictate the agenda in the Democratic-led 50-50 Senate or demand an end to the legislative filibuster as a precondition for a power-sharing pact. "We've told McConnell no on the organizing resolution, and that's that. So there's no negotiations on that," Schumer said, suggesting he had a secret plan. "There are ways to deal with him." Maddow included an update when she broadcast the interview Monday night. "While we were airing that right now, and you were watching it, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just put out a statement that he is folding on this" and willl "agree to go forward with what Sen. Schumer told him he must," she said. "Sen. Mitch McConnell has caved and Sen. Schumer has won that fight. That was quick. Let's see what else we can do." No sooner has the portion of Rachel Maddow's interview with Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer aired than Mitch McConnell has put out a statement that he is folding, ending the stand-off. pic.twitter.com/9qR1jpKXkf — Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021 McConnell said he would allow the Senate to move forward because two Democrats had reiterated their opposition to ending the filibuster, effectively taking that option off the table. Maddow asked Schumer about that, too, and he didn't answer directly. "The caucus is united with the belief that I have: We must get big, strong, bold things done," Schumer said. The Democratic caucus is also "totally united" that "we will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do," and "we have tools that we can use," notably the budget reconciliation process," he added. "We will come together as a caucus and figure it out." "We will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do." Here's Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier in his interview with Rachel Maddow, talking about the filibuster specifically, and getting things done. pic.twitter.com/xOAKWfe2Fu — Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021 Schumer also suggested he is not interested in playing cat-and-mouse with McConnell's Republicans again. Watch below. "We will not repeat that mistake." Senate Majority Leader Schumer cites Obama era lessons in prioritizing legislation over bad faith Republican 'bipartisanship.' pic.twitter.com/gpc1kBP45w — Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021 More stories from theweek.comSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorChuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personalDemocrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed
A 19-year-old Tibetan monk has reportedly died after battling two months of alleged mistreatment under Chinese authorities. Tenzin Nyima, also known as Tamay, served at Dza Wonpo monastery in Wonpo township, Kandze prefecture, a Tibetan area in the Sichuan province of China. Nyima was first arrested in November 2019 after distributing leaflets with three other monks according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday temporarily blocked a move by new U.S. President Joe Biden to halt the deportation of many immigrants for a 100-day period, a swift legal setback for his ambitious immigration agenda. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, an appointee of former President Donald Trump in the Southern District of Texas, issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the policy nationwide for 14 days following a legal challenge by Texas. The Biden administration is expected to appeal the ruling, which halts the deportation freeze while both parties submit briefs on the matter.
- NBC News
"The member in question had been advised numerous times about the requirements and had refused to be tested," the House speaker said.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
Gov. Newsom needs to do a better job communicating California's statewide COVID restrictions with the public, and with other state officials.
- The Independent
Biden news: 200m more Covid vaccine doses on order as only 5 GOP senators back Trump impeachment trial
Follow the latest updates
Australia is on track for a 10th day of no new local COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, allowing its most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) to relax coronavirus restrictions after controlling a fast-spreading cluster. Victoria state, which is hosting the Australia Open tennis tournament, has gone three weeks without a local case. Australia's success in curbing small outbreaks, with a total 22,000 local cases since March 2020 and 909 deaths, comes at a time when global coronavirus cases are edging towards 100 million with the death toll surpassing 2 million.