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Britain to Ban Sale of All Diesel and Petrol Cars and Vans from 2040

Plans follow French commitment to take polluting vehicles off the road owing to effect of poor air quality on people’s health

           

Ministers believe poor air quality poses largest environmental risk to public health in UK. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

theguardian.com - Anushka Asthana and Matthew Taylor - July 25, 2017

Britain is to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health.

The commitment, which follows a similar pledge in France, is part of the government’s much-anticipated clean air plan, which has been at the heart of a protracted high court legal battle. 

The government warned that the move, which will also take in hybrid vehicles, was needed because of the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality was having on people’s health.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Electric cars win? Britain to ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2040

 

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The Murky Future of Nuclear Power in the United States

A view into Unit 4 at the Alvin W. Vogtle generating station in Georgia. The complex plans to use AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. Credit via Georgia Power

Image: A view into Unit 4 at the Alvin W. Vogtle generating station in Georgia. The complex plans to use AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. Credit via Georgia Power

nytimes.com - February 18th 2017 - Diane Cardwell

This was supposed to be America’s nuclear century.

The Three Mile Island meltdown was two generations ago. Since then, engineers had developed innovative designs to avoid the kinds of failures that devastated Fukushima in Japan. 

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United Kingdom Votes to Leave EU in Historic Referendum

           

Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Britain has voted to exit the European Union. It is a historic decision sure to reshape the nation’s place in the world.

Britain held a referendum on Thursday on whether to leave the European Union, a process often referred to as “Brexit.”

CLICK HERE - CNN - Brexit News Coverage

CLICK HERE - BBC - Business Live: Markets in turmoil

CLICK HERE - The Guardian - LIVE - EU Referendum

CLICK HERE - Reuters - LIVE - EU Referendum

CLICK HERE - The Telegraph - EU Referendum

CLICK HERE - The UK's EU referendum: All you need to know

CLICK HERE - EU referendum petition signed by more than 2.5m

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New U.K. leader Theresa May shuts climate change department

cbsnews.com - July 16th 2016

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been facing criticism during her first few days in office over her decision to close the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The closure was reported on Thursday, May's first full day in office after the departure of David Cameron.

The BBC reports the department will be folded into the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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Worst day in 10 months as Wall Street reacts to 'Brexit'

reuters.com - June 24th 2016 - Rodrigo Campos

The S&P 500 turned negative for the year-to-date on Friday as Wall Street suffered its largest selloff in 10 months after Britain's decision to leave the European Union caught traders wrong-footed.

In the busiest trading volume for a single session in nearly five years, financial stocks .SPSY led the decline on the S&P 500 with a 5.4 percent drop -the largest for the sector since November 2011.

The S&P 500 lost all the year's gains and suffered its largest decline since late August last year.

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Failed EU Relocation Plan Leaves Refugees in Limbo

           

Aral Kakl (right), a Kurdish Iraqi journalist, his Syrian wife Shevin, his brother Rewan and some other refugees who have applied for the relocation programme, kill time in the cafeteria of their Athens hotel.  Photo: Nicola Zolin/IRIN

irinnews.org - by Andrew Connelly

ATHENS, 18 January 2016 (IRIN) - “Relocation does not work.”

With these words on Thursday, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos finally admitted that the bloc’s September agreement to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers from the frontline states of Greece and Italy to other EU states over two years has been a dismal failure. After the Commission revealed recently that only 272 asylum seekers had been relocated in the past four months, few could deny it.

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Resilience in the SDGs: Developing an Indicator for Target 1.5 that is Fit for Purpose

                            

odi.org - Aditya Bahadur, Emma Lovell, Emily Wilkinson, Thomas Tanner - August 2015

CLICK HERE - Resilience in the SDGs - Developing an indicator for Target 1.5 that is fit for purpose (7 page .PDF file)

We outline a comprehensive approach for developing a cross-sectoral, multi-dimensional and dynamic understanding of resilience. This underpins the core message of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that development is multi-faceted and the achievement of many of the individual development goals is dependent on the accomplishment of other goals. It also acknowledges that shocks and stresses can reverse years of development gains and efforts to eradicate poverty by 2030. Crucially, this approach to understanding resilience draws on data that countries will collect for the SDGs anyway and entails only a small additional burden in this regard.

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UN Ebola mission winds down, WHO takes reins in West Africa

ASSOCIATED PRESS by MARIA CHENG and RAPHAEL SATTER   July 31, 2015

LONDON — The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response is officially winding down Friday, handing its leadership role and senior staff to the Geneva-based World Health Organization as efforts to contain the deadly virus continue.

"We have reached an important milestone in the global Ebola response," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement Friday, while noting that that crisis "is not yet over."

The Ebola mission, also called UNMEER, was established last year as WHO struggled to get a handle on an outbreak that has killed more than 11,000 people, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. WHO had been strongly criticized for fumbling its response to the epidemic, and the creation of UNMEER was widely seen as a rebuke to its leadership.

Speaking to reporters Friday, UNMEER chief David Nabarro said he had seen signs that WHO had already absorbed some of the lessons of the Ebola disaster, recovering its coordination role in West Africa and deploying more 1,000 staffers to the field.

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http://www.seattlepi.com/news/medical/article/WHO-works-to-reform-itself-after-fumbling-Ebola-6416880.php

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Readability of Ebola Information on Websites of Public Health Agencies, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Europe

CDC IED JOURNAL  by    Enrique Castro-Sánchez , Elpiniki Spanoudakis, and Alison H. Holmes    Volume 21, Number 7- July 2015                                          

 Public involvement in efforts to control the current Ebola virus disease epidemic requires understandable information. We reviewed the readability of Ebola information from public health agencies in non–Ebola-affected areas. A substantial proportion of citizens would have difficulty understanding existing information, which would potentially hinder effective health-seeking behaviors....

Several factors, including readability of information provided (8), can help reduce health literacy deficits...It is recommended that health information materials should be written at a level typically understandable by an 11-year-old person ... anxiety or panic attributed to a highly virulent infection, such as Ebola, might hinder comprehension of related information (11).

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Global health leaders ask G7 for post-Ebola rapid response unit

(Two stories. Scroll down.)
REUTERS by Kate Kelland                                                           June 5, 2015
LONDON -- Global health leaders will ask G7 leaders this weekend to back the creation of a specialist rapid response unit to tackle outbreaks of infectious killer diseases.

The corpse of a patient who passed away is given back to the family for funerals after being decontaminated by the MSF teams. It was washed with chlorine solution and put it in a hermetic bag also disinfected to leave the high risk area.

The move reflects how the World Health Organization in particular was caught unprepared last year by Ebola, which spread through three West African countries, has killed 11,000 people, and will not be stamped out before the end of this year.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity, said the unit should come under the WHO, but be free of bureaucracy and able to act independently "in days" when a potentially fatal epidemic begins...

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Ebola survivors donate plasma to tackle outbreak

EUREKALERT                                                                           April 22, 2015
UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL -- 
The first donations of plasma, from survivors of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, have been received by an international research team working to help tackle current and future disease outbreaks in West Africa.

The team, led by scientists at the University of Liverpool and colleagues at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Services, Ministry of Health, Sierra Leone, is investigating how plasma from Ebola survivors could help treat patients with the disease at the Ebola Treatment Unit, run by the 34th Regiment Military Hospital group in Freetown.

Dr Calum Semple, from the University's Institute of Child Health, and his collaborators developed a convalescent plasma protocol in readiness for an outbreak, such as Ebola, as part of the outbreak preparatory work of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium.

The study is one of several being supported by the Wellcome Trust's platform for evaluating experimental Ebola therapeutics in West Africa.

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http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-04/uol-esd042215.php

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Scientists to share real-time genetic data on deadly MERS, Ebola

REUTERS by Kate Kelland                     April 21, 2015

LONDON, April 21 - Genetic sequence data on two of the deadliest yet most poorly understood viruses are to be made available to researchers worldwide in real time as scientists seek to speed up understanding of Ebola and MERS infections.

The project, led by British scientists with West African and Saudi Arabian collaboration, hopes to encourage laboratories around the world to use the live data -- updated as new cases emerge -- to find new ways to diagnose and treat the killer diseases, and ideally, ultimately, prevent them.

"The collective expertise of the world's infectious disease experts is more powerful than any single lab, and the best way of tapping into this...is to make data freely available as soon as possible," said Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity which is funding the work.

The gene sequences, already available for MERS cases and soon to come in the case of Ebola, will be posted on the website virological.org for anyone to see, access and use.

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http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN0NC19W20150421?sp=true

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Ebola Analysis Finds Virus Hasn't Become Deadlier, Yet

ICT  INFECTION CONTROL TODAY                                                                  April 14, 2015
(Scroll down for full study)
Research from the University of Manchester using cutting-edge computer analysis reveals that despite mutating, Ebola hasn’t evolved to become deadlier since the first outbreak 40 years ago. The surprising results demonstrate that while a high number of genetic changes have been recorded in the virus, it hasn’t changed at a functional level to become more or less virulent.

The findings, published in the journal Virology, demonstrate that the much higher death toll during the current outbreak, with the figure at nearly 10,500, isn’t due to mutations/evolution making the virus more deadly or more virulent.

As professor Simon Lovell from the Faculty of Life Sciences explains.... What we found was that whilst Ebola is mutating, it isn’t evolving to the point of adapting to become more or less virulent. The function of the virus has remained the same over the past four decades which really surprised us. Unfortunately this does mean the Ebola virus that has now emerged on several occasions since the 1970s will very probably do so again.”

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Ebola rapid diagnostic kit developed by UK scientists in Sierra Leone

Doctors says the kit, if approved by health authorities, could transform the admissions process with its capacity to deliver results within 20 minutes

THE GUARDIAN    by Lisa O'Carroll                              March 29, 2015

A rapid Ebola diagnostic kit similar to a pregnancy kit has been developed by British military scientists and NHS medics in Sierra Leone.

Health care workers prepare to entering a high risk zone at an Ebola virus clinic in Sierra Leone, where the diagnostic kit has been undergoing tests. Photograph: Michael Duff/AP

It can be administered at the bedside and return its first results within 20 minutes, slashing dramatically the normal 24-hour turnaround for lab results.

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British medic declared free of Ebola

BBC  by 

A UK female military medic who has been discharged from hospital after being declared free of Ebola said it was thanks to medics that she is alive.

Anna Cross was the first person in the world to be given the experimental Ebola drug MIL 77, her doctors said.

Corporal Cross, aged 25 from Cambridge, caught the virus while working as a volunteer nurse in Sierra Leone.

Doctors at the hospital...described the drug she was given as a close relative of the medicine ZMapp and that MIL 77 was made in China...

It is too soon to know what role the drug played in Cpl Cross' recovery, they added.

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http://www.bbc.com/news/health-32088310

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