Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 7th 2014 Contents A21
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UNITED NATIONS---The UN's
Ebola chief said yesterday the
fight to contain Ebola is not even
a quarter done, but the extraordi-
nary global response in the last
four weeks has made him hope-
ful the outbreak could end in
"Until the last case of Ebola is
under treatment, we have to stay
on full alert," Dr David Nabarro
said in an interview with The As-
sociated Press. "It's still bad."
A month ago, Nabarro said the
number of Ebola cases was prob-
ably doubling every three-to-four
weeks and warned that without
a mass global mobilisation, "the
world will have to live with the
Ebola virus forever." He said then
that the response needed to be
20 times greater.
Ebola has killed nearly 5,000
people in West Africa.
Nabarro said there are five
times the number of beds for
treatment in hardest-hit Sierra
Leone, Liberia and Guinea than
there were two months ago,
helping to reduce the number of
cases and improving efforts to
find suspected infections and
trace their contacts. (AP)
UN Ebola chief optimistic of future drop in cases
BEIRUT---For a force that has built its reputa-
tion on an aura of momentum and invincibility,
the Islamic State group is now dealing with a se-
ries of military setbacks in Iraq and a prolonged
stalemate in the small Syrian border town of
Gone are the days when IS was able to seize ter-
ritory in both countries with relative ease. Its new-
found problems, including a loss of oil revenue, raise
questions about the extent to which it will be able
to continue recruiting fighters who want to be with
"ISIS has run a very effective psychological cam-
paign to intimidate its rivals and attract support
and recruits," said Faysal Itani, a resident fellow at
the Atlantic Council, using an acronym for the ex-
tremists. But now, he said, the need to maintain its
reputation is limiting the group's options.
This is particularly true in Kobani, where a pre-
emptive IS withdrawal in the face of US-led bomb-
ings from the sky and ethnic Kurdish fighters on
the ground could prove too costly.
"They have invested a lot in this battle, and peo-
ple are noticing. They will soon start asking what's
going on?" said Ayed, a Turkey-based Syrian ac-
tivist who travels back and forth to the group's
stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa.
Kurdish residents say the group appears to be
struggling with personnel, bringing in inexperienced
fighters and new recruits to reinforce the town.
IS has also recently suffered losses on several
fronts in Iraq, where it is fighting government
forces, peshmerga and Shiite militias aided by Iran
and the Lebanese Hezbollah group. (AP)
The International Criminal Court's chief pros-
ecutor says she will not take action over Is-
rael's deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound
flotilla in 2010.
Fatou Bensouda said this was despite a "rea-
sonable basis to believe that war crimes... were
committed on one of the vessels, the Mavi Mar-
She said the ICC had to prioritise war crimes
committed on a large scale.
Nine Turkish activists were killed on the ship as
it attempted to breach a blockade of the Hamas-
Ten Israeli soldiers were injured in the incident,
which caused deep rift between Israel and Turkey,
Bensouda said she did not want to minimise
"the impact of the alleged crimes on the victims
and their families" but she had to be guided by
the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC.
A UN panel in September 2011 agreed that the
naval blockade was legal but said that the loss of
life and injuries resulting from the use of force by
Israeli troops was "excessive and unreasonable."
in Syria and Iraq
A riot police officer officer tries to spray demonstrators during clashes in central Brussels yesterday. Around 100,000 Belgians
marched through central Brussels yesterday in protest at the new government's proposed reforms and cost-cutting measures, the
first in a series of demonstrations and strikes planned over coming weeks. REUTERS PHOTO
No Israel charges
over flotilla raid CARACAS---Venezuela is in the grip of
one of the worst outbreaks of tropical
diseases in decades, and the response
by public health authorities has been
slow and inefficient, two non-govern-
mental groups reported Tuesday.
In 2014, Venezuela had over 150,000
recorded cases of dengue, malaria, and
Chikungunya, the report said.
The country also had 1.2 million fever
episodes without a precise diagnoses,
according to the report by the Health
Observatory and another group called We
Defend the Epidemiology of Venezuelan
The epidemic is one of the worst in 25
years, said former health minister Jose
Felix Oletta, who was among the authors
of the report.
"And we re still in the expansion phase;
this problem will continue," Oletta told
The spread of the diseases coincides
with a crisis in the Venezuelan health sec-
tor that has been plagued with a shortage
of drugs and medical equipment.
Health organisations have issued warn-
ings about the outbreak and their records
suggest the government may be under-
counting the number of infected people.
"We have an inefficient health system
that is not informed and tackles the prob-
lems late. They knew for 20 weeks that
the chikungunya virus was in Venezuela
before the government began to require
notification of cases," Oletta said.
The majority of the country s health
supplies are imported and its strict import
controls require the private sector to peti-
tion the government for imports. Some
requests have been delayed for up to two
Dengue, malaria, and chikungunya are
diseases transmitted by mosquitoes that
cause intense fever and pain. There is no
vaccine for the diseases. (AFP)
Libya supreme court
'invalidates' elected parliament
Libya's supreme court has invalidated the
country's internationally recognised parlia-
ment after a legal challenge by a group of
The court said the parliament was unconsti-
tutional, dealing a blow to Libya's elected gov-
ernment, which is operating in the country's
The ruling was celebrated by militias occupy-
ing the capital Tripoli, who have set up an alter-
A Libyan MP told the BBC: "We do not recog-
nise... this ruling."
Abu Bkr-Bouiera added that the ruling was
"baseless" and said it was "a step towards di-
viding the country," which Libya's parliament,
elected in June, would not comply with.
This ruling has deepened Libya's political cri-
sis and is likely to plunge the country into fur-
ther disarray. Many worry this could ignite a
full-blown war as both sides dig in their heels.
The United Nations dialogue initiative to
unite the minority group of boycotting MPs
with their colleagues now appears dead in the
The international community has been bank-
ing on that solution, with the hopes that in the
long-term a coalition government would be
grip of ChikV
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