Archive for July, 2012
Another deadly Ebola outbreak has hit the African nation of Uganda. At least 20 have been infected and 14 are dead. Most of the infected are from one family. Once it was identified this weekend that the mystery disease attacking Ugandan citizens was Ebola, patients started fleeing hospitals in fear of contagion.
While the virus had previously been reported as a strange mystery disease, at a news conference in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, the World Health Organization (WHO) finally admitted there is “an outbreak of Ebola” in Uganda.
One of the world’s most virulent diseases, Ebola has no known vaccination or cure. In 2000, it killed 224; and in 2007, 37 succumbed to the illness, leaving those who lived through it with horrifying traumas.
Again in 2008, it killed another 40 people near the Congo border. Ebola generally has a 90% kill rate. British Broadcasting (BBC) says: “More than 1,200 deaths from the virus have been recorded since it was discovered in 1976.”
In a joint statement with the Ugandan government, WHO said: “Laboratory investigations done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute . . .have confirmed that the strange disease reported in Kibaale [village] is . . . Ebola hemorrhagic fever.”
As late as last Friday, WHO officials were still saying they were not sure that the disease was Ebola. WHO and other health officials explain: “Ebola, which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever, is highly infectious and kills quickly.”
Other symptoms are sudden fever onset, headaches, vomiting, malfunctioning kidneys and vomiting. Catherine Byaruhanga, BBC reporter insists there is another suspected Ebola patient in Mulago hospital in Kampala––which would mean the virus has spread.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims this disease was discovered in 1976 in the Congo (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo or DRC); it is named for a river there. Scientists suspect that infection may have first come through contact with an infected monkey or other animal.
In midwestern Uganda, Kibaale borders DRC, and has only one hospital. Once Ebola was definitely announced, terrified patients left the hospital in droves, fearful that its environment would spread rather than eradicate the disease. Officials are also concerned that frightened doctors and nurses will leave.
Those who live in Kibaale, the same village of the family that has taken the major hits from the disease, have fled there as well. Government and health officials advise people never to touch the blood of those sick or deceased from Ebola, to avoid all handshaking, and all public events––even funerals for victims.
We asking Brother John’s team and prayer groups across our country to pray for Ebola victims in Uganda. Remember Christian prayer books say––Our LORD promised: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21: 22).”
Ooookkkkk, Jael has asked us, the Newspaper Boys and Girls, International (NBBGI), to write some blogs during these vacation weeks when she, Taryn (our webmaster for I.E. Plexus), and other zoweee important Earth Enders take much needed vacation rests. Our gig starts in ten days. So its time to rehearse.
The kids asked me, John J. Jr., senior internet newspaper delivery person here in the U.S., to write summaries for them. Soooo here goes. Let’s start with our usual NBBGI intro: HURRY! HURRY! HURRY! Get your latest news from around the world. You don’t want to miss a day! Soooo . . .
We hope to hear from Ida B. Wells, IV, where ever she hangs her hat in the next two weeks, especially if news breaks about the European Union. And she promises to break down the new Libor scandal so that even us kids can get it. . . . it sounds like a disease to me though.
Even while she tries to get some rest, Sarah Newsworthy will be gettin’ the diggs on power outage problems in this country. Her notes say she’ll follow-up on foreign owners of our power companies, on million dollar payment and retirement packages for power company executives, and on activists groups urging the federal government to buy out power companies. Wow! Bet that’ll be a hot story.
Doc Ad Versery sent us kids a note: “As soon as I finish this research on whether or not epidemics of incurable gonorrhea are on the way or is this just a ruse by drug companies to force governments to buy their products––I’m outta here for three weeks. Contact Maleeke or Butterman if problems come up.”
Ally I. Feermeno is just as grumpy as ever. When I phoned her for an update, she says: “I ain’t goin no wheres. What better place could I hang out than Japan where there are record rains, floods, radiation leaks, earthquakes, volcanoes, and daily protest marches against nuclear power. Jael says she wants me to come home and investigate nuclear power in the U.S. And of course I balked. Ha! Ha!
Rev. Repriestly called with the info that, in Jael’s absence, she is going to send in a story on angels. And John, Jude, and the prayer teams say they’s gonna tell about new prayer partners and new things to pray about.
But, a’course youse know the kids who report on animals are my biggest nagging problem. Sissy says that if I don’t put their story on killer spiders on the net, she’s gonna sic one on me. And the other animal kids were cheering her on.
I never heard of such! I’m askin’ the Rev. to make those kids study more Bible verse cards. Remember what the Bible says: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22: 6).”
Meanwhile me and all my fellow news delivery kids will keep doin’ our jobs of bringin’ urgent news from around the world to Earth End bloggers. So even if some folks take needed vacations, we’ll still be on the job!
Like whooping cough, old diseases coming back in force around the world include cholera, polio, gonorrhea and others. And much of the wild spread of one disease can be attributed to workers for the United Nations.
The cholera outbreak in Haiti is now three years old, and it does not appear to be abating. Members of the U.S. Congress have called upon the United Nations to take a greater role in addressing the disease as their workers, Nepali peacekeepers stationed in Haiti in 2010, introduced Vibrio Cholerae––an Asian cholera strain––to the Caribbean island.
In a letter to U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Susan Rice, Representative John Conyers, Jr. wrote: “It is imperative for the U.N. to now act decisively to control the cholera epidemic. A failure to act will not only lead to countless more deaths . . . [it] will pose a permanent public health threat.”
So far, the U.N. has not taken responsibility for the 5,000 victims of the disease still living. Haiti has not seen cholera on its shores for over a century. However, this spread of Asian cholera has killed more than 7,000 Haitians. The disease which causes diarrhea, vomiting and extreme dehydration has impacted Haiti’s economy. And now the disease is spreading to other countries in the Caribbean. At last count, Cuba has 170 confirmed cases.
Mali has more of a record of cholera. Yet 60 people in the Sahel region have died from the disease already this year. Reporters for AFP News Service say the current epidemic is centered in Mali and Niger. UNICEF reports that in this year alone some 700 people have died from cholera in West and Central Africa, and 29,000 more cases of the illness are reported.
Like mothers of some polio victims in the United States, busy mothers in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan often don’t follow up on all necessary oral polio vaccines. As a result, ‘wild poliovirus’ among children in these countries is rising.
Dr. Olarenwaju Ekunjimi, president of the Association of Resident Doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, says the problem is corruption: “Everybody wants to make money out of the system so long as donors continue to pump money into the program. If the government achieves total eradication of polio, the funds will stop and people benefiting from it will lose out.”
The United Nations does not want to admit its negligence brought cholera to Haiti. Officials in Nigeria prefer to receive multi-million dollar contributions rather than saving children from polio. These leaders should realize that when dealing with children, they are dealing with God As The LORD Jesus says in used Christian Bibles “Whosoever shall receive this child in My name receiveth Me: and whosoever shall receive Me receiveth Him that sent Me: (Luke 9: 48).”
Health officials in the United States are particularly concerned that the nation is in the mist of the worst whooping cough epidemic in 50 years. And it may have been caused by deliberate weakening of the usual vaccine.
This rather ordinary disease––long thought conquered––recently killed nine babies in the U.S. And health officials are making all-out efforts for health and nursery workers, parents, teachers and pregnant women to get vaccinations.
Maggie Fox of NBC News reports that Dr. Anne Schuchat tells media: “As of today, nationwide nearly 18,000 cases have been reported to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). That is nearly twice as many as reported last year. We may be on track for a record high pertussis (whooping cough) rate . . . ”
The last U.S. record for this disease was in 2010 with 27,000 cases reported and 27 people died. But in 1959, there were 40,000 cases in this country. During this time, an effective vaccine was found, but it sometimes caused a strong reaction. Thus, in 1997, that formula was changed to cause less reaction, but apparently it wears off earlier.
Other contributions to the current outbreak include people who decline vaccinations for religious reasons, and health naturalists who choose other ‘homemade’ remedies.
Linda Carroll from NBC News found that in Oregon, many parents delayed having children vaccinated fearing complications with other vaccines. But experts say that while multiple shots may be painful for a short while, they “pose no harm to babies,” and “the consequences of delaying vaccinations can be much worse.”
Also, Dr. Schuchat says that people who are not vaccinated have eight times the higher rate of getting the infection. Also if those who did receive their shots catch the bacteria, it is usually less serious.
Other outbreaks of old diseases include cholera in Haiti and Mali, polio in Nigeria, E. coli in the U.S. and drug-resistant gonorrhea spreading in several countries. We will report on these in the next blog.
In addition to the spiritual wisdom of strong prayers in the time of sickness, plus size Christian T-shirts can also stress vaccination shots for whooping cough and other diseases. In Matthew 10: 1, “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease,” The LORD Jesus taught that Satan’s imps are at the root of all sickness and disease. And those minions should be resisted on every level!
Well I’m back again with bad news about Japan. Apparently, after last year’s radiation leakages, subcontractors forced workers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant to cover radiation detectors with lead resulting in under-reporting radiation amounts harmful to workers, enabling them to work for longer periods.
Like too many questionable practices among businesses and governments around the globe, this deception greatly endangered workers’ lives. But it was uncovered by good journalism, which is it will take if the public is ever to know the truth about the many harrowing dangers of nuclear energy.
Reuters reports: “The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported . . . that an executive from Build-Up, a subcontractor to plant owner Tokyo Electric Power, told workers to cover the devices called dosimeters when working in high-radiation areas. Dosimeters can be worn as badges or carried as devices around the size of a smartphone to detect radiation.”
David Guttenfelder of Associated Press adds: “A subcontractor of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, acknowledged having nine workers cover their dosimeters with lead plates late last year so the instrument would indicate a lower level of radiation exposure.”
While government-funded public television there claimed the lead covering only occurred once, Guttenfelder writes: “The investigation marks the first time the government has looked into the case, believed to be part of a widespread practice at the plant since it was hit by the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.”
Personal dosimeter readers are crucial records to determine how long individual workers should be exposed to radiation. But after the Fukushima disaster, the government “more than doubled” the limits of radiation exposure for workers. Only at the end of last year, did they lower it back to pre-accident levels.
Even Japan’s Health and Labor Ministry has repeatedly issued warnings to TEPCO about the company’s careless mismanagement of the amount of worker radiation exposure. And TEPCO has admitted that workers had to share dosimeters because they were in short supply after the earthquake-tsunami damage.
Takashi Wada, president of the subcontractor Build-Up, acknowledged the dosimeter falsification. “We should never have done that,” he told TBS news. This last year has shown that leaders in Japan’s government and industry seem to have little regard for human life.
The more I report on Japan’s nuclear power, the more I believe in God’s final judgments against errant leadership. As online Bible lessons assert: “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed (Isaiah 9: 16).” World leaders should understand that God will hold them responsible for the people whose lives they needlessly endanger or cut short.
In much larger demonstrations in Madrid and 80 other cities in Spain against the government’s new austerity plan, civil servants, trade unionists, policemen, firemen, Civil Guards, miners, farmers, and other workers have enlarged daily demonstrations against the Prime Minister’s latest budget-cutting actions.
Many unemployed workers are walking hundreds of miles to join in these protests against the 65 billion euros of new spending cuts––including cuts in unemployment benefits, public sector wage cuts and sales tax increases to 21%––that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced last week.
Reuters reports that demonstrators in Madrid set garbage cans on fire as riot police fired rubber bullets against them. Police claim that six marchers were injured, and seven others were arrested.
In ‘Spain Police Clash with Austerity Protesters,’ aljazeera.com com writes: “Thick smoke hung in the air early on Friday from plastic bins set alight by protestors chased by police, who hit them with batons when some tried to reach the heavily-guarded parliament at the end of a mostly peaceful march.
An auditor in the treasury, told Clare Kane and Feliciano Tisera of Reuters: “We have to make some noise, because they’re making fun of us and of all working people.” Others sang “We’ve had it up to here,” and shouted “robbery.”
“We have lived through bad times, but this takes the biscuit,” fireman Francisco Vaquero, 58. Another worker, Ines Corned, 44, said: ” They have already lowered and frozen our salary and this is the final blow.”
Ramon Pacheco, politics professor, told Kane and Tisera that there is widespread anger in Spain over the cuts: “It has gone beyond an ideological issue . . . and it’s moved beyond the traditional groups that demonstrate. We have seen even the military threatening a demonstration.”
Critics argue the new austerity laws will worsen economic conditions for ordinary people, while doing nothing to affect companies and high income earners.
Spain’s parliament pushed through those budget cuts at the end of last week, and in turn Germany’s parliament voted to give Spain a 100 billion euro bailout. The fourth largest economy in the euro-zone, Spain is also the fourth country in the zone to get bailout financing, after Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Politicians everywhere should check with God’s Word which promises: “He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want (Proverbs 22: 16).” Perhaps marchers should put that on plus size Christian T-Shirts to remind leaders that God keeps His Word.
In case no one has noticed, in the midst of a heat wave accompanied by violent horizontal hurricanes, several power companies on the Eastern seaboard either failed completely or muted their service to save power.
Crane-Station at firedoglake.com reports that four of those power plants were giant nuclear reactors in New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Maryland. “Problems affected every nuclear plant in Progress Energy’s fleet . . .”
Some of these problems include failing safety valves, leaking instrument lines, and “high neutron flux, meaning neutrons are not equally spread around the reactor core.” The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not commented.
These failures occurred admit 90º+ heat, no 100º+ heat. But, again since especially power companies do not seem to notice, what happens when temperatures get up to 110,º and viral summer-type storms get even more vicious?
Well, since he is no longer running for president, after those recent stormy upsets from nature, Newt Gingrich decided to start a conversation about the absolute weakness of America’s power grid at this point in the 21st century.
And the former Speaker of the House of Representatives is making it clear that our nation’s grid system is so weak, that effects from Global Warming could shut it down for weeks, if not months, if not years!
Obviously such events would ruin our nation’s economy, and bring amenities of modern life as we know it to an end. He dramatizes: “Without power, the comforts of home become worthless. You sit in the sweltering heat, realizing you are living in a box that, without electricity, is a trap. You pray for the “juice” to return before your groceries go bad.”
The Extinction Protocol explains: “Newt claims that the power grid is created in such a ways that doomsday-level damage could be caused if the United States were to be hit with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike or even a major solar storm.”
Gingrich is also concerned that if one of this nation’s many enemies detonated a nuclear weapon over the atmosphere of the lower 48 states it would cause an EMP disconnection. He also cites possibilities of a solar storm that could bring about the same type of geomagnetic disturbances.
Such disturbances would wreck havoc on power grids controlling telecommunications, transportation, and all domestic and industrial power, in effect disruptions could end America as a safe, secure and prosperous place to live.
Bible prophecies foretell such days: “And there shall be signs . . . Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: . . . (Luke 21: 25 – 26).” In these times, people must place their faith in God, not in the so-called comforts of modern life.
One of the reasons ‘earth-end’ editors include medical professionals in discussions of end-time phenomena is that conditions of human health are greatly determined by conditions in nature. Our writers often point out that various things people do to disrupt the normal flow of nature, can come back to haunt human populations with sickness and disease.
In ‘The Ecology of Disease’ for The New York Times, Jim Robbins explains ways in which “nature supports the human endeavor.” For example, Robbins cites epidemics such as “AIDS, Ebola, West Nile, SARS, Lyme disease,” etc. that result from human disruptions of natural resources.
Robbins concludes: “Disease, it turns out, is largely an environmental issue. . . emerging diseases have quadrupled in the last half-century, experts say, largely because of increasing human encroachment into habitat, especially in disease ‘hot spots’ around the globe, mostly in tropical regions.”
A report titled ‘Biodiversity and Human Health: A Guide to Policy Makers,” from the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History, cites many examples of how man encroaching on natural animal and plant habitats usually results in harmful consequences to human beings.
Often when man encroaches, predators that controlled pathogens and disease carriers are killed, thus releasing these carriers to attack people. For instance: “Deer, which no longer have significant predators in New England, greatly increased in number, carrying the ticks that cause Lyme disease to suburban areas and into contact with people and their dogs and cats.”
In another example: “Contaminated water, due to agricultural runoff and the destruction of watersheds and wet-lands, can cause diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and other water-borne infectious diseases.”
That report explains: “Habitat loss and fragmentation, over-exploitation of species, introduction of non-native species, pollution and contamination and Global Warming are the mechanisms of species extinction.”
Moreover, many of these species are, or could provide, answers for medical cures. Scientists say that animal and plant species are major sources of medicine to treat human diseases. But when mankind drives these species to extinction, they are destroying “the key to the preservation of life on Earth.”
But in their never-satisfied hunger for the wealth of nature’s resources, vicious scions continue to destroy people by destroying nature. Such headstrong disregard has eternal consequences. The Book of Revelation warns: “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands . . . (9: 20) . . . And I saw . . . seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God (15: 1).”
Even as most of their nation tries to recover from historic rain storms, some 170,000 people braved extraordinary 90 degree heat on Monday and gathered in a Tokyo square to protest the restart of Japan’s nuclear reactors.
According to Adam Westlake of the Japan Daily Press, this historical rally included such notables as Kenzaburo Oe, a 77-year old Nobel Prize winner, and an outspoken anti-nuclear power critic.
Oe complained that the restart represents a betrayal of democracy: “The government allowed the Oi nuclear reactors to restart and it’s going to allow more reactors to restart. We feel we are insulted by the government.”
Westlake writes: “Prime Minister Noda gave his approval to restart the Oi facility, regardless of the rapidly increasing anti-nuclear sentiment among the Japanese people, as well as the independent parliamentary review that determined the Fukushima disaster was essentially man-made and could have been prevented.”
A 71-year old Fukushima evacuee voiced his anger at the way both the government and Fukushima officials have been slow to reimburse victims who lost their homes in the nuclear fallout, as well as the failures of decontamination.
A smaller group of protesters rally every week in front of the home of the new Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, who went against popular opinion and decided to restart a nuclear power Oi, Fukui Prefecture plant in Western Japan.
Because of the Japanese cultural norms of submission, protesters have been especially careful to make their regular weekly rallies non-violent and peaceful, even encouraging parents to bring children, and always dispersing by 8 p.m.
Justin McCurry of globalpost.com adds: “The group has presented the government with some of the 7.5 million signatures it has already collected.”
McCurry agrees with Adam Westlake that the majority of Japanese people are against restarting any nuclear power plants, but that Noda has ignored polls.
Would to God that Noda heed the voice of protesters. At what point will world leaders realize that human life is more important than top dollar profits. Last summer, after Fukushima, when all nuclear plants were shut down, it was hot in offices, but corporation workers and executives wore short sleeve shirts without ties, brought fans to work, and got jobs done. Sacrifices like these can be made without endangering thousands of lives with this dangerous power system.
Scientists have strongly warned that stronger earthquakes and tsumanis are coming, but as used Christian Bibles admonish: “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy (Proverbs 29: 1.”
Unbelievably heavy rains are taking their toll around the globe. Now it has hit the island nation of Japan, which still hasn’t recovered from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. So far, record-setting rain storms have killed 25, uprooted some 400,000 from their homes and separated another 5,400 from the mainland.
Over 4.3 inches of rain an hour have pelted Japan since Wednesday bringing severe flash flooding and cascading mudslides. Nine people are reported missing. Police have ordered thousands to leave their homes to prevent more deaths.
In some areas, governments advise Japanese citizens to vacate homes and possessions in order to avoid life-threatening disaster. They tell displaced persons to go to designated shelters, such as schools and other public facilities.
BBC News says “Water levels along the Yamakuni river in Oita prefecture could be seen climbing up to the height of the roof of a riverside drive-in restaurant. In the Fukuoka prefecture 181 mudslides left at least 820 homes damaged or destroyed and three bridges were washed away.”
The Sydney Morning Herald adds that in many areas, the elderly have not survived the storm, being swept away by raging rivers after their homes were destroyed. Some areas look like earthquake damage rather than rain storms.
The Japan Meteorological Agency tells Kyodo News Agency: “Particularly in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, we are seeing the heaviest rain that the region has ever experienced.” Yame resident Tsuneo Otsu, 63, tells the Japanese Times: “I’ve been living here for 60 years, but I’ve never experienced this before.”
Inquirer News from India reports: “Television footage showed torrents of muddy, debris-strewn water and flooded houses following what officials described as “unprecedented” downpours from a seasonal rain front.”
As this powerful seasonal rain storm hovers over most of the nation, forecasters expect this sporadic deluge of torrential rains to continue for some time.
Our editor, Jael Ever, has ordered Newspaper Boys and Girls Intl., to get all stories on such unusual rains from around the world to Sarah Newsworthy and Wendy Weathersby as soon as possible. Obviously this is another example of Global Warming and climate change bringing nations of the world more disaster.
My heart goes out to the Japanese people who have already suffered so much. May we obey Our LORD’s commandments in wholesale Christian Bibles to “pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5: 17)” for the nation of Japan. One wonders just how much one country can take. But unfortunately, in these last days on planet Earth, many places now experience multiplying upheavals of destruction.