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State of emergency declared in New York over H1N1 swine flu virus

Thursday, October 29, 2009

According to US health officials, New York state governor David Paterson has declared a state of emergency in the state as a result of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.

The Associated Press news agency reports that the six-page declaration was issued because at least 75 people have died of H1N1 related illnesses in New York since April. Three have died from H1N1 related illnesses just this past week. The declaration also says that human cases of the virus are on the rise.

Paterson says he issued the declaration because “a disaster has occurred throughout New York State, for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately.”

The declaration will allow health officials more access to the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu shot. It will also allow for an increase in the number of vaccine doses available in the state and will allow more health care facilities to administer the vaccine, including dentists and pharmacists. Schools with health centers will also be allowed to administer both vaccines.

Despite the declaration, officials stressed that there is no reason to worry. A spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Health, Claire Pospisil, said that “it [the declaration] helps us to be more prepared.”

The order came shortly after US president Barack Obama declared a national emergency last Saturday, a response to the spreading of the virus, which has now been circulated in 46 states.

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Mar
13

Nigerian jet attacks refugee camp, killing dozens

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Nigerian jet attacks refugee camp, killing dozens

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Nigerian Air Force jet fighter mistook refugees for rebels yesterday, Nigerian military said, firing on a camp in Rann, Borno State. Dozens of refugees and aid workers died.

The lowest estimate from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is of 50 dead. The BBC estimates at least 52 dead, while one Borno State official is attributed by AP as saying over 100 are dead. MSF say at least 200 were wounded.

The Red Cross said at least six of its staff died and twelve more injured. The impoverished region, in the northeast of the nation, has suffered severe famine as conflict interrupts agriculture. Farmers are unable to work owing to bombs on their land. The Red Cross said volunteers were at the camp, home to thousands, to distribute food.

The military said the Air Force was dispatched to deal with “remnants” of the Boko Haram militant group, which it claims to be in a final push against. Major General Leo Irabor, who led the operation, said, “Unfortunately, the strike was conducted but it turned out that other civilians were somewhere around the area and they were affected”. Irabor said two soldiers were amongst the dead and others were wounded.

Military spokesman General Rabe Abubakar said the military are “all in pain” after the disaster, adding “in a military operation such as this, from time to time these things do occur.” Irabor promised an investigation. President Muhammadu Buhari said he was saddened by “this regrettable operational mistake” and sought calm.

“This large-scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled from extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable,” MSF operational chief Dr Jean-Clément Cabrol said. The Red Cross said it has staff and facilities ready in neighbouring Cameroon and Chad to assist. “The whole camp is controlled by the army and no one can come in or out without being checked,” said MSF head of emergencies Hugues Robert. Robert added the group knew travel and work in the area was dangerous, and took precautions.

Helicopters have been evacuating the wounded, including a United Nations helicopter which brought four medical personnel and 400kg (900lb) of emergency medical aid, and left with eight wounded Red Cross workers. The UN is in the midst of an appeal for aid to the famine-hit region.

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Mar
13

Lib Dems launch manifesto">
Lib Dems launch manifesto

Thursday, April 14, 2005

An exhausted Charles Kennedy returned to the election campaign to launch a twenty page Liberal Democrat manifesto targeted at disaffected Labour voters, promising a fairer tax system and withdrawal from Iraq.

Entitled The Real Alternative the manifesto pledges to reduce the lowest rate of income tax, but increase the rate on those earning over £100,000 to 50%. The party would also scrap the unpopular local council tax in favour of a new local income tax. The manifesto also promises to remove hidden “stealth taxes”.

Under this system the party claims the poorest 15 million (25%) of people in Britain would be better off, and the middle 50% would be paying no extra tax.

The manifesto promised to scrap the controversial university tuition fees, increase services for pensioners and add £100 a month to the state pension, and train 21,000 new primary school teachers and 10,000 new police. A Lib Dem government would make eye and dental checks free, and reduce the cost of prescription medicine.

The Liberal Democrats were the only one of the three largest parliamentary parties to have consistently voted against the Iraq war, and the manifesto has promised an exit strategy with a phased withdrawal of Britain’s 8,000 troops still in the country.

“We reject a foreign policy based on ‘my ally right or wrong’,” Kennedy said. “And we say that war should always be a last resort.”

Kennedy, who became a father on Tuesday, admitted he’d had little sleep before the manifesto launch, and stumbled while answering questions on the proposed tax system.

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