Center for Disease Control issues warning on Zika virus
The first confirmed cases of Zika virus have been reported in both the United States and Europe. The Spanish Health Ministry has come forward, announcing that one pregnant woman, who had been vacationing in Colombia, contracted the illness via mosquito bite. She, along with six others have been infected: two from the Catalonia region, one in Castile, one in Leon and one in Madrid. The ministry has attempted to calm anxious citizens insisting that these patients do not pose a threat of transferring the virus to others, because “they are imported cases.” In the U.S. case, it has come to light that the virus can be sexually transmitted. The CDC confirmed that a patient in Dallas, Texas had contracted the virus from their partner last week, making them one of fifty people in the country currently infected. Efforts continue to lessen the rate at which this virus is spreading. In most of Europe and the U.S., blood donations will not be accepted from people who have traveled to South America within the past month. U.S. President Obama has also requested $1.8 billion from congress to enhance “the ability of Zika-affected countries to better combat mosquitoes and control transmission.”
U.S. to develop South Korea’s missile defense system
Over the past several years, North Korea has claimed to have successfully launched several rockets and missiles. Just this year they also released an announcement that they had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. This month, however, the secretive nation reportedly released a rocket that carried a satellite within it. This satellite is suspected to have been successfully put into orbit. In response, the United States has promised to assist South Korea in developing an advanced missile defense system as soon as both countries are able to arrange it. Officials will have discussed the system, called a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) on the border with North and South Korean border. This system can be positioned and functional within two weeks of a deployment. Peter Cook, the spokesman for the Pentagon is quoted saying, “we are beginning the consultations now and in the current days with the South Koreans, and we expect that this will move in an expeditious fashion.”
Explosion on Somali flight
Early last week a small explosion onboard a Daallo Airlines flight blew a hole into the side of the plane while it was about 11,000 feet above the earth. Two out of 74 passengers were injured, and one man – the supposed bomber – was sucked out of the plane. The pilot conducted an emergency landing at Somalia’s Mogadishu airport. Shortly after the Somalia Civil Aviation Unity began its investigations into the incident, it came to light that the blast was likely caused by a bomb made from military grade TNT, as indicated by residue left inside the plane. Security footage from the Magdishu airport shows a passenger being handed off a laptop that they suspect contained the bomb. The events post-explosion were recorded on one of the passenger’s smartphones. It shows people wearing oxygen masks, calmly moving further to the back of the plane. Although the group Al Shabab is suspected, investigations are ongoing and more than twenty people have been arrested.
Syria executes detainees
The United Nations Human Rights Council has made claims that crimes against humanity were committed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Supposedly, thousands of detainees were killed under a government policy that called for their extermination, and many died from causes such as beatings, starvation and dehydration and general exposure. Sergio Pinheiro, a human rights investigator for the UN submitted a statement that, “Government officials intentionally maintained such poor conditions of detention for prisoners as to have been life-threatening, and were aware that mass deaths of detainees would result.” Both anti-government and loyalist groups are guilty of these war crimes, as many of these thousands were killed while being held by the rival parties. Detention centers where the murders were committed are known as Interior Security brand 251 and Investigations branch 285 both of which are in Kafr Soussa, located just west of Damascus. These offenses are becoming public knowledge thanks to hundred of interviews with witnesses that began quietly after the onset of anti-government protests in 2011.