Part two: A virologist’s tale of Africa’s first encounter with Ebola

first_imgPeter Piot, currently director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, has become one of the world’s most respected epidemiologists because of his work on the viruses that cause AIDS and Ebola. In the first excerpt from his 2012 memoir No Time to Lose, Piot recalled identifying a new virus behind a deadly outbreak in Zaire in 1976—the debut of Ebola virus. In this second excerpt, he and colleagues go into Zaire’s hot zone and, with the help of nuns who had survived, make a tragic discovery about how the virus had spread among pregnant women.Mission in YambukuI examined her blood, and it was a catastrophe. The platelet count was terrifyingly low. As green and unimaginative as I was, the real lethality of this virus began to sink in, and my hands shook a little as I handled her blood. Who knew how this virus was transmitted—by insects, or body fluids, or dust.I cut short the Paris weekend and quickly returned to Antwerp, where my boss Stefaan Pattyn and my colleague Guido Van Der Groen met me in the lab, together with Dr. Kivits, head of the health section of the Department of Development Aid in Brussels. We spent a few hours hunting down protective gloves and masks and some basic lab equipment. I tried to familiarize myself with the procedures for maximal protection from hazardous viruses, both in the lab and in the field. It basically means protecting your eyes, mouth, nose, and hands, and avoiding needle pricks. Guido gave me some motorbike goggles, which turned out to be extremely useful.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)I was also quickly trained in hematology lab procedures and blood tests. Because this was a hemorrhagic-fever epidemic—which included, by definition, symptoms of bleeding—I would need to monitor all kinds of blood parameters: the degree of disseminated intravascular coagulation, which causes uncontrollable bleeding; the number of platelets and hematocrits; and so on.But Pattyn was mostly interested in teaching me how to capture bats. For some reason he was convinced that they would prove to be the virus reservoir. To be honest this was the only thing that scared me about the trip. I am poor at catching flying objects at the best of times, even when they don’t have claws and teeth. I nodded while he explained, but I decided on the spot that I wouldn’t catch a single bat (and didn’t).I raced home and packed enough for 10 days. Pattyn insisted I take a suit and tie, as I would “represent the Belgian government” and meet with Zairean government officials. Then I hunted down my passport, no easy feat. It had long since expired. (I didn’t need one to go to Paris, since I was a European Community national.) I had even cut out my passport photograph to use for some urgently required sports-club membership card. And of course this defunct and defaced excuse for a passport didn’t have any kind of visa for Zaire. I had no idea if they would even let me get on the plane. That night I couldn’t sleep for nerves and excitement.At check-in, when the police officer at immigration wordlessly gestured me to one side with a hostile glare, Kivits stepped in and exhibited some kind of official supercard that magically gave me passage through immigration and out of my own country. Kivits had several such tricks up his sleeve. He told me, “Find a passenger called Paul Lelievre-Damit in first class. When you get to Kinshasa, just follow his instructions. Do exactly what he says and you’ll be fine.”Lelievre-Damit was chief of the Belgian Development Cooperation in Zaire, and one of the most powerful foreigners in Kinshasa. When he figured out who I was, he interrupted my halting story about an epidemic outbreak and started swearing. “Goddamn! It’s always the same with these bloody bureaucrats in Brussels! We’re facing a terrible epidemic, and all they could find is you? How old are you? Twenty-seven? You’re a totally green trainee, barely even a doctor. You’ve never seen Africa in your life …”I winced at his robust and graphic outburst of Flemish epithets. It was undeniable. I had no expertise; few skills; I could no more save the African heartland from a mystery virus than a comic-strip boy could have done. But after a couple of glasses of ouzo it emerged that Lelievre-Damit had played cards with my dad when they were both penniless students in Leuven, and that helped a lot. “When we arrive in Kinshasa, just stick to me,” he said. “Don’t look left or right or turn around. The airport is pandemonium, the police are worse than the criminals, and you’re as clueless as a puppy—you’ll be eaten alive.”The next morning the pilot smoothly navigated our DC-10 into Ndjili airport in Kinshasa, where we parked near several wreckages of less fortunate airplanes. I pushed to the front of the plane to find Lelievre-Damit, and glued myself to him when descending the DC-10 stairs, as tightly as a baby monkey clings to his mother. To be honest, I wasn’t just bewildered and hungover: I was slightly afraid. With practiced, fluid movements Lelievre-Damit and Pattyn glided me into the VIP room, where a very respectful official smiled. There was no mention of anything so vulgar as an identity document.The roads of Kinshasa were unbelievable, with people and animals wandering randomly across them, not to mention the vehicles, which hurtled from every direction. We drove straight to a meeting at the headquarters of the Fométro, the Fonds Médical Tropical, a nongovernmental organization that operated much of Belgium’s vast program for medical aid in Central Africa. American Karl Johnson—head of Special Pathogens at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the U.S. rapped us to attention—it was clearly his meeting—and summarized the situation in a few words. We were dealing with a virus that was completely new to science. Its potential for transmission—particularly to medical teams and caregivers—appeared to be extraordinarily dangerous. Reports claimed that more than 80 percent of people infected were dying. We had only one possible treatment option in the form of serum from convalescents who had very high levels of antibodies, but we needed to track down such individuals, test their blood to be sure it didn’t contain live virus, and then treat it to be able to inject antibodies into people currently sick.He went on: the worst scenario we faced was the specter of a full-blown epidemic in Kinshasa, an unruly megacity with poor infrastructure, an unreliable administration, and 3 million citizens accustomed to defying arbitrary government controls. Barely a fortnight before, three people from the Belgian mission in Yambuku—two nuns and a priest—had been brought to the capital for treatment. All were now dead, and they had infected at least one nurse, Mayinga N’Seka, now hospitalized in critical condition. Efforts were being made to track down all her contacts in the city to quarantine them. They included—here Johnson paused for a second—personnel of the US Embassy, where the nurse had recently finalized arrangements for a student visa to the United States.Was this the beginning of an outbreak in Kinshasa? Once a virus this lethal is introduced into an environment this chaotic, it is almost impossible to control it. It is also an explosive political situation for the government, and it was clear from the health minister’s agitation that news about the epidemic was out and panic was already setting in. At that time we had no real indication of how contagious the disease was, only that it seemed highly lethal.The top priority, then, was Kinshasa, and it was decided that most of the team would remain there temporarily, while a small contingent would travel to Equateur province for a three- or four-day scouting trip to do the logistical groundwork and sketch out a plan for a full-blown investigation. Karl asked for volunteers. I was the first to raise my hand. With an airy wave of his hand, Pattyn then also volunteered me to visit the infected Kinshasa nurse.We were driven to the Clinique Ngaliema a hospital for the wealthy. It was near the Congo River, in Gombe, one of the nicer parts of town, which in colonial times had been a neighborhood reserved for whites. There was a very fearful atmosphere in the corridors of the clinic. Dr. Courteille, the director of Internal Medicine, who received us, briefed us first about safety precautions. After the deaths of the two Belgian nuns—and their infection of nurse Mayinga—their mattresses were burned, and their rooms locked up and fumigated with formaldehyde vapor on four successive days. Disposal of bodies was carried out by wrapping them in cotton sheets impregnated with a phenolic disinfectant, and the fully wrapped bodies were sealed inside two large, heavy-duty plastic bags before being placed in their coffins.Courteille, who was taking care of the nuns and of Mayinga, was careful not to accompany us to the sick nurse’s bedside, and it seemed that all the personnel kept a guarded distance from their former colleague. She was very sick, and completely desperate, and convinced she was going to die.Mayinga had been hospitalized on Friday, October 15, with a high fever and a severe headache. Now, on Monday the 18th, she began bleeding; there were black, sticky stains around her nose, ears, and mouth and blotches under her skin where blood was pooling. She had uncontrollable diarrhea and vomiting. She clung to Pierre Sureau from Institut Pasteur, who soothed her, telling her about the serum that Margaretha Isaacson from South Africa would administer, which contained antibodies against Marburg virus, from a convalescent patient in South Africa, that might strengthen her immune system to fight the virus. Sadly the serum didn’t work and Mayinga died a few days later.We drew blood to perform a number of tests that would guide the decision to prescribe supportive treatment for intravascular coagulation, which we thought might be the cause of death in hemorrhagic fever. But none of the technicians or personnel was willing to handle Mayinga’s samples for some good reasons, as the hospital lab did not have a containment facility.I examined her blood, and it was a catastrophe. The platelet count was terrifyingly low. As green and unimaginative as I was, the real lethality of this virus began to sink in, and my hands shook a little as I handled her blood. Who knew how this virus was transmitted—by insects, or body fluids, or dust.**************In the 4 a.m. darkness, I watched our military pilots striding angrily back and forth on the tarmac. They were clearly bursting with resentment at the prospect of flying to Yambuku, into the epidemic zone. They refused to help us load the aircraft. Finally they agreed to fly us to Bumba as instructed, but they told us they wouldn’t stop there—just drop us off and fly on.A Land Rover was driven on board and secured. We loaded in some gasoline, a few crates of protective gear and medicine, and some supplies for the Belgian mission. We settled into the military-style seats along the walls and braced for a rocky ride.As the sun rose, the pilots loosened up a little. They let us move, one by one, into the cockpit, where we could take in the incredible vision of the tropical rain forest that flowed beneath us like a vast, heaving green sea punctuated now and then with a hamlet of fragile huts. The plane was basically following the Congo River—huge, nine miles wide in places, the other bank often barely visible. Again I heard the story of pilots watching birds fall dead over the forest around Yambuku, struck midair by the mystery virus, but there was a new twist: dead human bodies lining the roads.We landed in Bumba, a riverside town of then perhaps 10,000 people and the administrative and trading capital of the district. For about two weeks the entire zone had been in quarantine and under martial law, cut off from the rest of the country. And this had occurred during the crucial rice and coffee harvest, the area’s main (if not only) source of cash.As soon as the C-130 came to a standstill, I moved to the hatch at the back, impatient to get to work. What I saw through the open loading dock is permanently imprinted in my memory: hundreds of people—the whole town it seemed—were standing on the red-earth airstrip in the burning sun, first staring at us and then yelling, “Oyé! Oyé!”The crowd was yelling because they were expecting supplies of food and basic goods—this was the first plane to land in several weeks. When they realized we were not delivering foodstuffs, the more desperate pushed forward, hoping to board the plane, but the military police beat them back.A determined Flemish man appeared, perhaps 10 years older than I, wearing dark glasses and a local shirt made of African wax material. He introduced himself to us: Father Carlos, from the Order of Scheut, thus a colleague of the Catholic missionary priests who had died of the virus in Yambuku. Father Carlos briefed us about the epidemic. It had all started in Yambuku in the first week of September, when the headmaster of the mission school, who had been traveling through the north on vacation, returned and fell ill.After his death, crowds attended his funeral, and within days the mission hospital began filling with other sufferers, including the headmaster’s wife. They suffered high fever, headache, hallucinations, and usually bled to death. One after another, his caregivers at the Yambuku mission hospital fell ill, along with members of his family, other patients, and dozens of other, apparently unrelated, people.Nobody knew how many people had died, but all those who fell ill died within eight days. The few nuns still alive at the Yambuku mission were convinced they too would die soon. Only one person was known to have recovered from the virus. As for current cases, there were some in Bumba, and several people who had traveled to Bumba from Yambuku and were being kept in quarantine.By the time we left for Yambuku we had heard of well over a hundred fatalities. My natural skepticism began to fall away, replaced by doom. The stories of Father Carlos and Dr. N’goy, the District Medical Officer who had first identified the epidemic, the reports at the Bumba hospital, the evident fear of the pilots and the townspeople of Bumba and their desperate attempts to flee the town … the apparent virulence of this disease, the high mortality—put together with the poverty and poor organization that characterized Zaire and the potential for contagion in Kinshasa—added up to a picture that Joel Breman, a CDC senior epidemiologist, summarized as “potentially the most deadly epidemic of the century.”We left in two Land Rovers—one of them lent to us by Father Carlos—and drove in silence through the overpowering, unstoppable, exuberant force of uncut equatorial jungle, well over 30 feet high. All kinds of green pressed in on us, high walls of leaves and muscular lianas like something out of a Tarzan movie. I had never experienced how powerful and all-invading nature can be, and somehow it compounded my sense that we were making our way to something horrible and uncontrolled.We stopped off at the Unilever plantation in Ebonda. The personnel were frantic. They had incredibly high expectations for our visit, and our brief stay clearly disappointed and further upset them. Women were chanting and shouting in mourning around the small clinic; a number of deaths had recently occurred.I had a photocopy of the image of the virus that we had seen under our electron microscope in Antwerp, and for some reason it occurred to me to pull it out and show it. This had a fascinating placebo effect on the crowd. I suppose it made the virus seem more real—less supernatural, and perhaps less potent.Beyond Ebonda the road became almost impassable, barely more than a sinkhole of mud and water, with entire sections washed away by the torrential equatorial rains. We drove through small villages of not more than 10 to 25 huts, snuggling like nests at the foot of the towering tropical trees. About half of the villages had erected barriers to control people’s movements in this time of quarantine. The elders explained that they had done this without any official instructions, just as their elders had done in the time of smallpox epidemics. We asked if anyone in those villages was currently ill; all shook their heads no.The thick green curtain around the road closed in again, and we advanced with great difficulty until first the coffee plantations and then the church and red roofs of the Yambuku mission appeared, like mirages, in the blinding sunlight. Surrounded by a neatly swept courtyard lined with royal palm trees and immaculate lawns, they seemed surreal. It was difficult to believe that this clean, orderly, even idyllic place was really Yambuku, the heart of the mysterious killer virus.The nuns were staying in the guest house in between the fathers convent on the right, and the nuns convent and school, on the left. As our group walked up, Sister Marcella, the mother superior, shouted, “Don’t come any nearer! Stay outside the barrier or you will die just like us!”Although she was speaking French, I could hear from her accent not only that she was Flemish, but also the region that she was from, near Antwerp. I jumped over the line of gauze bandage that had been strung up to warn away visitors and shook her hand. In Flemish, I said, “Good day, I’m Dr. Peter Piot from the Tropical Institute in Antwerp. We’re here to help you and stop the epidemic. You’ll be all right.”There was a very emotional scene as the three nuns, Sisters Marcella, Genoveva and Mariette, broke down, clinging to my arm, holding each other and crying helplessly as they all began talking at once. Watching their colleagues die one by one had been an appalling experience.Later the sisters told us that they had read that in case of an epidemic, a cordon sanitaire had to be established to contain the spread of the disease. They had interpreted this literally, with an actual cord that they strung around the guesthouse where they had taken refuge. They had also nailed to a nearby palm tree a sign in Lingala, warning “Anybody who passes this fence will die.” It instructed visitors to ring a bell and leave messages at the foot of the tree. It was scary and sad and spoke volumes about the fear that they had endured.As Sister Mariette prepared dinner for us, Sister Marcella showed us the notebooks where she had recorded all the deaths of hemorrhagic fever patients, and any data she felt was relevant to their illness, such as recent travel. Nine out of 17 hospital staff had died, as had 39 other people among the 60 families living at the mission, and four sisters and two fathers. She broke down several times as she described their symptoms and the agony of their deaths, particularly those of her fellow nuns.Sister Marcella continued reading out from her neatly kept records as I scribbled down more precious pieces of information. She listed the names of villages where deaths had occurred. She wondered whether the illness might be linked to eating fresh monkey meat: the villagers often foraged for food in the forest and the headmaster who was, tentatively, our “Patient Zero” had returned from his travels with several monkey and antelope carcasses. She noted a high number of deaths among newborn children born at the mission clinic, and observed too a sudden spike in stillbirths among their herd of pigs. Three months ago, she said, there was an epidemic among goats in the region of Yandongi.These were all good lines of inquiry. (Later I took blood from the pigs through their tail veins, a new experience for me.) None of them panned out exactly, but another of Sister Marcella’s hypotheses proved to be exactly right. “Something strange must be happening at the funerals,” she told us. “Again and again we’ve seen that the funerals have been followed a week later by a batch of new cases among the mourners.”She was clearly pleading with us for answers, but there was nothing we could say. Our first job was just to ask questions. To break the ice I showed the electron microscope photos of the new virus, as I later did in every village we visited. The sisters too were fascinated by the wormlike structures that had caused so much pain and devastation in their community.As we had no clue how the virus was transmitted, and whether the virus could somehow survive on materials such as mattresses and linen, we decided to sleep on the floor of a classroom in the girls’ boarding school, which we first fumigated with formaldehyde and mopped with bleach. I was exhausted, but once again could not sleep. There were too many impressions and questions racing through my head. We had no idea whether the epidemic was still spreading or how fast, but we clearly were approaching the heart of it: soon it would be staring us in the face. I wondered too what on earth happens at a Zairean funeral, and what could motivate a Flemish woman to spend her life in the middle of a faraway jungle, totally disconnected from her world, without the most basic infrastructure and communication. How could you run a 100-bed hospital without even one physician? How did people survive in these villages? How could I be most useful here?The night was bursting with the caws and cries of animals. I went outside in the blackest of nights, where stars shining uninhibited by city light seemed so close above my head that I might almost reach them, and I listened to the distinct and ominous sound of drumming. Perhaps, in the ancient manner, our arrival was being announced.**************For the next two days we toured villages every morning, taking blood where we could, jotting down every potentially telling detail and piece of data we could muster. We saw patients with blood crusting around their mouths or oozing from their swollen gums. They bled from their ears and nose and from their rectum and vagina; they were intensely lethargic, drained of force.In every village we organized a meeting with the chief and elders. After the ritual passing of a plastic cup of roughly distilled arak— banana alcohol, which Pierre had the courage (or perhaps the common sense) to refuse—we asked them to describe their experience of the new illness, the number of cases and deaths, the dates, whether they had knowledge of any people currently sick. We questioned every villager we came across about day-to-day practices—unusual contact with animals, new areas of forest cleared, food and drink, travel, contact with traders.We heard of entire families who had been wiped out by the swift moving virus. In one case, a woman in Yambuku had died days after giving birth, swiftly followed by her newborn. Her thirteen-year-old daughter, who had traveled to Yambuku to take charge of the child, fell ill once she returned to her home village and died days later; followed by her uncle’s wife, who had cared for her; then her uncle; and then another female relative who had come to care for him. This extremely virulent interhuman transmission was frightening.We were all familiar with our terms of mission: we were here just for three or four days, to act as scouts in preparation for the arrival of a larger team that would try to set up systems to control the epidemic and break ground for further research. Our job was to document what was going on, sketch out some basic epidemiology, take samples from acutely sick patients, and, if possible, find recovering convalescents who might provide plasma to help cure future sufferers.And we were doing that job—harvesting samples, collecting data, and cataloging the basic logistical equipment that the larger team would need to bring. But we knew that from a human point of view this simply wasn’t enough. We needed to stop the virus from infecting and killing people.The mystery fever’s epidemic curve was starting to take shape. The classical epidemiological curve is pretty simple; it plots the number of new cases of an infection against time. In the simplest type of outbreak the number of people infected rises gradually, then picks up pace, reaching a peak at the midpoint of the graph. Once the virus has exhausted its stock of easy victims (the weak or easily accessible), the rate of new infections begins to wane until the epidemic fades to a whisper.All of us were aware of the many exceptions to this in real life— the unexpected outliers, the blips and lags, the complications of propagated epidemics with secondary and tertiary infections. But night by night, as we jotted down data and sketched out a picture from our interviews and notes, it appeared that although people were still dying (and dying horribly), the peak number of new infections around the Yambuku mission might be, at least provisionally, behind us.This was a huge relief. But another conclusion also began to take shape, and it was a great deal more uncomfortable to deal with. Two elements linked almost every victim of the mystery epidemic. One factor was funerals: many of the dead had been present at the funeral of a sick person or had close contact with someone who had. The other factor was presence at the Yambuku Mission Hospital. Just about every early victim of the virus had attended the outpatient clinic a few days before falling ill.We developed near-certitude about the mode of transmission one evening, when Joel and I were drawing curves showing the number of cases by location, age, and gender. (Working with Joel was a real education, like a terrific crash course in epidemiology.) It seemed likely by this point that aerosol contact was not enough to transmit the disease. But particularly in the eighteen- to twenty-five-year age group, at least twice as many women had died as men. We knew that there was something fishy about the hospital, and about funerals, but this was the real clue. What’s different in men and women at that age?Being a bunch of men, it took us a little time to figure out the answer. Women get pregnant. And indeed, almost all of the women who had died had been pregnant, particularly in that age-group, and they had attended the antenatal clinic at the Yambuku mission.Masamba and Ruppol were the first to figure out the picture. Vitamin shots. They were usually completely pointless, but many African villagers considered them vital: to them the act of injection with a syringe was emblematic of Western medicine. Thus there were two words for Western medicine in the region. Anything you ingested orally was aspirin, and it was hopelessly weak. An injection was dawa, proper medicine—something strong and effective.We needed to take another tour of the Yambuku hospital. Knowing what we now did, the empty rooms and bare metal bed frames of the mission hospital seemed more disturbing—grim killers of the joyful young mothers who had come there to be cared for but left with a lethal disease. When we reached the stockroom, we hunted through the large multidose jars of antibiotics and other medications.Their rubber bungs had been perforated multiple times by syringes. In some cases the bung had been removed and was stuck down with a simple bandage. Nearby were a few large glass syringes, five or six.We politely interviewed the nuns. Sister Genoveva told us quite freely that the few glass syringes were reused for every patient; every morning, she told us, they were quickly (and far too summarily) boiled, like the obstetric instruments employed in the maternity room. Then all day long they were employed and re-employed; they were simply rinsed out with sterile water.She confirmed that the nuns dosed all the pregnant women in their care with injections of vitamin B and calcium gluconate. Calcium gluconate is a salt of calcium and gluconic acid; it has basically no medical value in pregnancy, but it delivers a shot of energy, and this temporary “high” made it very popular among patients.In other words, the nurses were systematically injecting a useless product to every woman in antenatal care, as well as to many of the other patients who came to them for help. To do so, they used unsterilized syringes that freely passed on infection. Thus, almost certainly, they had unwittingly killed large numbers of people. It looked as though the only obstacle to the epidemic had been the natural intelligence of the villagers, who saw that many of the sick came from the hospital, and thus fled it; who knew to set up at least some barriers to travel, thus creating a semblance of quarantine.The nuns were totally committed women. They were brave. They faced an incredibly difficult environment and they dealt with it as best they could. They meant well. We had shared their table and their lives for what seemed like far longer than four days, and every evening, as they sipped their little tots of vermouth, they had told us about the villages of their childhoods. Every evening the discussion had ended up circling around and around the same subject—the epidemic. Who had fallen ill first, when it had happened and how. The dread of infection, the horrible deaths of their patients and colleagues. They had been trying to map out the frightening terrain until, I suppose, it would seem more manageable, less horrific. It was a narrative in which they had felt like heroes of a sort, and certainly martyrs.Now it appeared that they were in some sense villains as well. It was very hard to formulate the words that would inform the sisters that the virus had in all likelihood been amplified and spread by their own practices and lack of proper training. In the end I think we were far too polite about it: I’m not certain at all that it really sank in when we told them our preliminary conclusions.**************Our thermoses were full of blood samples that we needed to deliver to a lab for detailed analysis. After great persuasion, the two survivors, Sophie and Sukato, agreed to come with us to Kinshasa for further testing and, assuming that their blood did indeed have antibodies to the virus, plasmapheresis. It was time to head back to Bumba for our rendezvous with the pilots who had agreed to return us to Kinshasa.When the plane finally came to pick us up after four days of waiting, the pilots refused to load our two convalescents or our samples of virus. They had arrived with a load of construction material for a villa that General Bumba was building in a nearby hamlet, and they planned to take off with a load of local produce, breaking the quarantine embargo. Thankfully it seemed there was no logistical problem that Jean-François Ruppol could not solve. The aircraft finally took off, in pouring rain with all of us on board as it lurched and hiccupped perilously across the tree line.We made a full report to the International Commission about our preliminary conclusions and our sketch of a hypothetical epidemiological curve (Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in Zaire. Report of an International Commission. Bull World Health Org 1978;56:271-293). There was a strong possibility that the epidemic had peaked, but there were still at least a dozen people around Yambuku who were critically ill, with almost no provision for quarantine, so a strong potential for flare-ups or another big wave of infection remained. In addition, even if we were right about the scope of the epidemic in Yambuku, if just a few isolated cases reached Kinshasa or any other major city the epidemic would certainly explode. And the logistics situation at Yambuku was extremely dicey. Everything had to be brought in by plane and helicopter.Karl was ordering radio and laboratory equipment, and he began working on plans to install a special medical center at a distance from Yambuku and other significant villages, so that patients could be separated from their families. It would have to include a highly secure inpatient ward; a highly secure field lab equipped with a centrifuge and other equipment for hematological analysis; a separate quarantine center to isolate suspected cases; and an outpatient ward where serum samples could be obtained and the sick could be brought for diagnosis. Naturally the very ill would need to be transported from their villages, and that meant a helicopter would have to be available on a daily basis. I could see that setting up a treatment center like this was going to take weeks at the earliest.Late one night we were drinking Karl’s Kentucky bourbon—it was one of those halfgallon bottles with a handle—discussing what our new virus should be named. Pierre argued for Yambuku virus, which had the advantage of simplicity; it was what most of us were already calling the disease.But Joel reminded us that naming killer viruses after specific places can be very stigmatizing; with Lassa virus, discovered in 1969 in a small Nigerian town of that name, it had caused no end of problems to the people from the locality. Karl Johnson liked to call his viruses after rivers: he felt that took some of the sting out of the geographical finger-pointing. It was what he had done when he’d discovered Machupo virus in Bolivia in 1959, and it was clear that night that he had every intention of doing the same in Zaire.But we couldn’t call our virus after the majestic Congo River: a Congo-Crim virus already existed. Were there any other rivers near Yambuku? We charged en masse to a not-very-large map of Zaire that was pinned up in the Fométro corridor. At that scale, it looked as though the closest river to Yambuku was called Ebola—“Black River,” in Lingala. It seemed suitably ominous.Actually there’s no connection between the hemorrhagic fever and the Ebola River. Indeed, the Ebola River isn’t even the closest river to the Yambuku mission. But in our entirely fatigued state, that’s what we ended up calling the virus: Ebola.Adapted from No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses by Peter Piot. Copyright © 2012 by Peter Piot. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company Inc. All rights reserved.*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

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Russell Domingo likens ‘special’ Kagiso Rabada with pace spearhead Dale Steyn

first_imgSouth Africa coach Russell Domingo has lavished praise on fast bowler Kagiso Rabada by comparing him with the country’s pace spearhead Dale Steyn as the 21-year-old begins a huge northern summer with the three-match ODI series against England, starting on Wednesday at the Headingley.Proteas will be without their key bowler Steyn for the England series as well as for the Champions Trophy and Test matches that follow as he continues to recover from a shoulder surgery.Meanwhile, Rabada, who made his ODI debut in July 2015, has grabbed a total of 57 wickets in 34 matches he played in the 50-over format since then.With Rabada establishing himself as one of the most complete fast bowlers at the moment, Domingo has pinned high hopes on him in the absence of Steyn.Admitting that Rabada can be as good as Steyn, Domingo said that the young fast bowler is a fantastic prospect for his side and that they are expecting good contribution from him in the upcoming tour.”He could be as good as Steyn. He’s a fantastic prospect for us and we’re expecting really big things from him this tour.He’s got pace and he’s got a wonderful head on his shoulders, with a great outlook on life . just very simplistic and calm,” cricket.com.au quoted Domingo as saying.Domingo further insisted that Rabada’s excellent physical condition can also prove beneficial in his bid to steer clear of injury, which is a part and parcel of every paceman’s career.Describing Rabada as their `special` cricketer, Domingo admitted that the former is a fantastic bowler who needs to be managed carefully.advertisement”If he takes his shirt off you can see why he doesn’t get too many injuries – he’s an unbelievable athlete.He is built unbelievably well for a fast bowler,” the Proteas coach said.”We have to manage him because he’s a fantastic bowler who plays all formats for us and we have to be careful how we play him because he’s a special cricketer,” he added.The fiery right-arm quick also finished with the figures of two for 26 in South Africa’s warm-up clash against Northamptonshire on Sunday.last_img

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Noah’s Spark! Syndergaard Lifts Mets, 9-3

first_imgFLUSHING – Not so fast, now it’s OUR turn!The Amazins gave up a run in the first and two in the second, and for a moment it looked like the Royals were on their way to a third straight World Series win over the Mets and a virtually insurmountable 3-0 lead.But the doubters obviously don’t know the Mets. They don’t know this is the team who trailed the Boston Red Sox 0-2 in 1986. Sure, they took a bunch of seasons off – they’ve been New York City’s quintessential chokers, while the team a few miles to the north, the Yankees, was New York’s Finest, but just like in ’86, the Big Apple belongs to the Mets this year, exclusively.The year 2000 brought New York City its first Subway Series. The Mets had to share the limelight. But not this year. All but the most uncompromising Yankee fans will say: “now, we are all Mets fans.”  Especially since this Royals team was the Yankees’ first main obstacle to a return to greatness. In the 1976 pennant race, George Brett’s three-run homer in the top of the 9th erased the Yanks’ euphoria, until the bottom of the 9th, when the Yankees’ Chris Chambliss came to bat: “He hits one deep to right center, that ball is… OUTTA HERE! THE YANKEES WIN THE PENNANT!” said the voice of the Yankees  in the 1970s, the great Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto.So, Yankee fans, how ’bout getting behind the Mets this time?Noah “Thor” Syndergaard settled down and kept the Royals at bay, and the Mets came back to take Game 3 and trim the Royals’ lead in the series.The Mets’ bats turned it on, showing that they don’t just rely on pitching, came on early, and late, to pound the Royals by a score of 8-3.Mets’ captain David Wright drove in four runs, the most by a Met in the World Series since Rusty Staub did it in 1973.Thor got through the top of the sixth by getting out of a bases loaded situation, and then it was up to the Mets’ bullpen to preserve the lead.Addison Reed came on in the 7th to coast to a 1-2-3 inning, Tyler Clippard followed suit in the 8th.Game 4 is back at Citi Field on Saturday, Oct. 31, as Steven Matz takes the mound against the Royals’ Chris Young. If the Mets win, they can tie the series and have a chance to take the lead on Nov. 1, still at Citi Field. TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Virat Kohli was confident of chasing down 287. Numbers don’t back him up

first_imgVirat Kohli was asked during his interaction with media if the world number one side doubted if it can win the second of the ongoing four-Test series after Australia had set a steep target of 287 on a pace and bounce-rich wicket at the Perth Stadium.The answer, as expected from the India captain, was a big NO. Kohli’s visiting team had lost the last five wickets on Tuesday morning for just 28 runs, eventually getting bowled out for 140 and squandering the 1-0 lead they had clinched in the series opener in Adelaide.”No, not for a moment (doubted if India would be able to chase down the total). We always believe we can win from any situation. Guys in the change room believe they can do special things and that’s the communication we have in the dressing room,” Kohli said.”We urge them to believe they can do something special. If it’s been done in the past and now we remember those as great players of the game, why can’t individuals coming into the team do the same thing? You have to dream big. That’s the mindset that everyone takes on to the field. They want to be match winners.”It will not happen (everytime), but as long as that mindset prevails, and it’s there all the time, you’re heading in the right direction as the team Cricket is a game of variables, you can’t win every time. But there was definitely no sense of lack of belief after I got out or anyone for that matter.advertisement”When I got out and with Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari overnight, they believed that they can get a big partnership and win us the game. So, I think the belief is very important to have.”Kohli and Ravi Shastri-led backroom staff have never been bogged down by results since coming together in 2017. Even when India were struggling to get past the finish line in England, the head coach had insisted that his team has been the best traveling team from the Asian country in the last 15-20 years.Hence, Kohli’s insistence that India believed in themselves to gun down the total on a wearing wicket at the Perth Stadium didn’t come as a surprise. However, numbers paint a different and concerning picture.15 defeats and six draws while chasing more than 200Since 2003 wherein a Sourav Ganguly-led team chased down a 233-run target in Adelaide against Australia, India have not managed to chase 200-plus targets outside the sub-continent. In 21 Tests, the Asian giants have lost 15 and managed to draw six.The 146-run thrashing in Perth was India’s sixth defeat while chasing in 2018. No prizes for guessing, no other team has lost more than four Tests in a calendar year while chasing targets.With a variety-rich and well-oiled bowling attack that many India captains in the past missed, Kohli led India into the new year in South Africa with a lot of promise. However, cut to December, the world No. 1 Test team have managed to win only three Tests, losing two overseas series – in South Africa (2-1) and in England (4-1).Unlike the recent past, India weren’t trashed but their inability to seize crucial moments haunted them both in South Africa and England.When India were ticking all the right boxes in the first Test of the ongoing series in Adelaide, it seemed India had learnt from their mistake but it was not to be as familiar woes came back to haunt the visitors in the Perth Test.Misreading conditions, skewed team selection and failure to perform as a batting unit have haunted Kohli’s men throughout the year and it was deja vu in Perth as well.Chasing 287, India needed a strong start from its openers. But the visitors’ 10-for-2-man, Kohli was out as early as in the fourth over of their chase. KL Rahul, who has been having a horror run in the ongoing series, was dismissed for naught and Cheteshwar Pujara’s early dismissal didn’t help India’s cause.Murali Vijay, who has been struggling to put bat to ball, got a start but eventually fell on 20, leaving the middle order with a lot of work to do.For instance, Australia’s No. 10, Lyon has a better batting average (76) in this series than the two Indian openers, who have managed only 97 runs together so far in the series.Meanwhile, Kohli insisted that India never thought of playing a spinner in Perth but going in with a four-man pace attack had a major influence on the outcome of the match.advertisementAustralia had gone in with their premier spinner, Nathan Lyon and he proved to be the difference between the two sides. While Lyon finished with figures of 106/8, India’s Umesh Yadav, who was included in the playing XI ahead of a specialist spinner, leaked runs (139) and managed only two wickets.Reading conditions, especially at a new Test venue, is not easy but India’s inability to learn from the past mistakes is a major cause for concern for a team that has the potential to challenge top teams at their own backyard.Also Read | Paine on banter with Kohli: He brings out the competitive spirit in a lot of peopleAlso Read | IPL 2019 Auction Live Streaming: When and where to watch IPL 2019 AuctionAlso Read | Virat Kohli surpasses Brian Lara with sixth hundred in a losing cause as captainAlso See:last_img read more

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Ashton Lampkin: ‘I Think We’re One of the Best Secondaries in the Nation’

first_imgMost fall camp quotes are pretty boring. Especially when Mike Gundy and a Mike Gundy-coached team are involved. Lots of “loves to play the game, loves his family etc.”Mason Rudolph even got in on the fun this week when talking about walk-on RB Keegan Metcalf.“We all kind of anticipated it,” Rudolph told the O’Colly. “He’s a senior, he’s a heck of a hard worker and gives great effort on the field. Just a great guy. We were pumped for him.”Straight out of the Gundy playbook. One guy who is not operating out of Mike Gundy’s playbook is senior Ashton Lampkin. He missed most of the season in 2015 but clearly feels confident about going into this campaign.“I think it’s going to turn out great for the season,” Lampkin told the Oklahoman. “I think we’re one of the best secondaries in the nation right now. When it comes to game day we’ll have to show that and prove it.”One of the best secondaries in the country, huh? Maybe, but the defense was just flat-out not very good last year. Not sure that’s a thing I’d be saying with Baker Mayfield, Seth Russell and Patty Mahomes on the slate. Also not something Glenn Spencer is saying!“I don’t think there is great depth right now,” Spencer said recently of the corners. “Ashton is still out of full competition, when he comes back we’ll be better, but right now we’ve got Ramon Richards who is experienced and Darius Curry who has a little experience.“We find out in this league you can’t have enough corners, but we don’t have enough right now that we feel consistently happy with. We’re trying to decide on a couple of young kids to see if they’re ready or not and that’s a day-to-day evaluation. We have to get Ashton healthy, and we’re pleased with Lenzy Pipkins. Ramon has to keep playing disciplined ball and he’s so much better than he was, but those are just a handful of guys. We have to have a couple of those young guys prove they can help us win.”Not the most ringing endorsement. I get where both parties are coming from though. Lampkin is confident in his own abilities as well as those of his ‘mates. Spencer generally hates the entire world this time of year and thinks OSU will go 4-8 and it will be his fault. The truth, as always, will probably fall somewhere in between.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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Tanvie Hans slowly and steadily reaching her football dream

first_imgTanvie Hans slowly and steadily reaching her football dreamOf the few Indian woman footballers, none has a resume that can match the one Tanvie Hans has built for herself. The 25-year-old Jalandhar-born British citizen is slowly rising to her dream and thinks that her football career is finally set on the right track.advertisement Rohit Paniker New DelhiMay 21, 2019UPDATED: May 21, 2019 18:14 IST Tanvie Hans slowly and steadily reaching her football dream. (REUTERS)HIGHLIGHTSTanvie Hans waited first season of IWL in 2016-17, as there was no place for foreign playersTanvie Hans played in the second season of IWL with Sethu FC, but left the team soonNow with Bangalore United Tanvie Hans wants to contribute more to the countryThere are only a handful of women footballers in India who match the resume Tanvie Hans carries.From the Vasant Valley Public School to Tottenham Hotspurs and Fulham Ladies in England and back to India, 25-year-old Hans’ love for football is endless, just like her love for playing in the country.Her British citizenship disallows her to be part of the Indian national football team, but Jalandhar-born Hans doesn’t seem to be bothered as she slowly makes steps closer to her dream.When I was leaving for England, I was sure that I will come back and play here. There was no doubt about it. I was lucky enough to play for Spurs and Fulham but I am equally happy to be playing here. I don’t see my British citizenship as an obstacle, I rather look at how I can use it to my advantage, Hans told Mail Today.The arrival of Indian Women’s League in 2016-17 was seen as a potential game-changer for women’s football but Hans had to wait her chance as there was no place for foreign players in the first season.The season after that, Hans played for Sethu FC yet her ride wasn’t smooth as she’d imagine. Explaining further on her IWL career, she said, When the AIFF permitted two foreign players for the team, I contacted the Sethu FC coach and got into the team. I hardly played for them though. I played around 20 minutes of the first half, then I was dropped to the bench and then I was no longer in the coach’s plans. I cut-short my trip as I didn’t feel wanted by the team. I was eager to play the IWL as the tournament offers a good platform for players to develop.advertisementNow with Bangalore United, Hans feels her football career is India is finally set on the right track. With the rise in women’s football here, the former Delhi-based footballer wants to contribute more to the country.I think the standard of football in India is increasing overall. In women, the rise is immense and there is much potential here. As I said, I always wanted to play for the national team and hopefully, I will be able to do that someday. The league is getting tougher each year and while our team (Bangalore United) didn’t perform that well this year, we can improve for sure, concluded Hans, who is a midfielder by trait.Also Read | Women’s Football World Cup ticket buyers blame FIFA for allocating non-adjacent seatsAlso Read | Vincent Kompany knew his time at Manchester City was up after Leicester goalAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow Tanvie HansFollow Indian Women’s LeagueFollow Sethu FCFollow AIFFFollow Bangalore United Nextlast_img read more

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CMA CGM Inaugurates Its 20600 TEU Giant

first_imgCMA CGM’s 20,600 TEU-containership, CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery, was inaugurated today in the Port of le Havre, France.The giant boxship is the company’s new flagship and world’s biggest containership flying the French flag. It is also the ship with the longest name in the world.The inauguration ceremony was led by the French Ministry of Economy Bruno Le Maire and French Minister of Transport Elisabeth Borne.Le CMA CGM ANTOINE DE SAINT EXUPERY est le bateau avec le plus long nom au monde, mais pas que… Suivez son inauguration sur #cmacgm #historyinthemaking pic.twitter.com/U2aLpPI7nJ— CMA CGM Group (@cmacgm) September 6, 2018 Le CMA CGM ANTOINE ANTOINE DE SAINT EXUPERY est inauguré ! #cmacgm #historyinthemaking pic.twitter.com/7aHpbnBrBs— CMA CGM Group (@cmacgm) September 6, 2018The colossal ship was delivered to CMA CGM in January this year and entered into service in February 2018 on the French Asia Line 1 (FAL 1 service), the longest sea route in the world which connects Asia to Northern Europe.The ship is 400 meter long and 59 meter wide, which means that it is longer than four football fields and bigger than The Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower.Image Courtesy: Flickr-Kees Torn under CC BY-SA 2.0 licenseThe ship features a ballast water treatment system, Becker Twisted Fin improving the propeller’s performance, and helping reduce energy consumption, as well as a new-generation engine that reduces oil consumption by around 25% and fuel consumption for a 3% average reduction of CO2 emissions, as explained by CMA CGM.CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery is one of the three 20,600 TEU-containerships ordered en bloc from Hanjin Subic in 2015. One more ship from the series, CMA CGM Louis Bleriot remains to be delivered by the end of the year.World Maritime News Staff;  Image Courtesy: Flickr-Kees Torn under CC BY-SA 2.0 licenselast_img read more

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Jessica Chastain in talks for It sequel Which Will Be Shot In

first_imgAdvertisement Jessica Chastain is poised to reunite with director Andy Muschietti to star in the It sequel.Reports suggest the Molly’s Game actress is in early negotiations to join the project, five months after Muschietti’s filmmaking partner, sister Barbara, admitted they would “love” to have Chastain jump onboard.In an interview with Deadline.com in September, producer Barbara Muschietti admitted it would be great casting to have the Oscar nominee portray an older version of lead character Beverly Marsh, because her features are strikingly similar to those of Sophia Lillis, the 16-year-old who tackled the role in the 2017 horror remake. Facebook Advertisement “I think one of the first things that we noticed when we saw Sophia come into the room was, ‘My gosh, you look like (Chastain),’” Barbara noted at the time. “It’s a strange kind of connection but we will see.”Actor Sophia Lillis attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)The Muschietti siblings previously worked with Chastain on another scary project, 2013’s Mama, and the beauty offered up her sequel services in November.“Of course, I want to work on it… they’re my friends,” she told ScreenRant in November. “They’re like my family. Anything that they’re doing I want to be a part of, so I hope we can make it happen.”The hit adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel revolved around a group of small-town youths battling a creepy clown named Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgard, in the 1950s. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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Madagascar UNICEF warns of potential disease outbreaks after cyclone

17 February 2012The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) voiced concern today that waterborne diseases may soon spread in the areas of Madagascar that were pummelled by Cyclone Giovanna earlier this week. The provisional death toll from the disaster has reached 17, UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado told reporters in Geneva, with information not yet in from all cyclone-affected areas, which are largely concentrated in the east of the island country.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that almost 2,000 Malagasy have been displaced so far, including more than 500 residents of the capital, Antananarivo.Agricultural production has also been hit, with damage to key commercial crops such as banana, litchi and sugar cane.Ms. Mercado said waterborne diseases is now a key concern for aid agencies, with the cyclone having destroyed some water sources and hot and humid weather conditions now prevailing. An estimated 580,000 people live in the hardest-hit areas.UNICEF has begun distributing medicines, mosquito nets and other emergency materials, working with local authorities and partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to ensure the supplies reach those in need.Elisabeth Byrs, a spokesperson for OCHA, said authorities are monitoring the water levels of the five main rivers surrounding Antananarivo. The water levels are expected to rise but not yet to alert levels. read more

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Women next in line for serious gambling problems thanks to femalefriendly gaming

first_img http://jrnl.ie/3292547 Women next in line for serious gambling problems thanks to ‘female-friendly gaming sites’ Multi-billion euro companies are now targeting women through marketing campaigns. By Garreth MacNamee Mar 20th 2017, 12:05 AM Monday 20 Mar 2017, 12:05 AM Image: Shutterstock/Bojan Milinkov 29 Comments Our fear at the Rutland Centre is that they’re not coming forward. But they are the next demographic to be hit with an addiction of this nature.Earlier this week, Leahy warned that the racing festival and St Patrick’s Day could be especially difficult times for addicts which could see them relapse.While it is tough for those struggling with impulsive behaviour, Leahy added that the government has a responsibility to enact legislation designed to protect vulnerable people. The Gambling Control Bill was published in 2013 and has yet to be signed into law.While Leahy has praised Minister David Stanton for bringing it to the fore once again, she said the Bill needs to be passed in full and that “a watered-down version” would not suffice.“We need the control bill to be enacted. It would have the industry behave in a much more responsible way. If we don’t stand up to them now, we’ll be in the same position that we are in now with alcohol. The cost on society needs to be recognised. It’s a multi-billion euro industry. Their profits are huge. Their contribution towards the social cost is minuscule in my opinion.”Read: Donald Trump says he’s coming to Ireland after invite from ‘new friend’ Enda Kenny >Read: Eamonn Casey ‘did much good’ but revelations about son were ‘profoundly upsetting for Church’ > 17,853 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Women are being targeted now. There’s no doubt about that. The colour schemes, the language used, the ad campaigns. Everything. If you’re a company that profits from gambling, you have this whole captive market that hasn’t been tapped into. Half the world who is just as valuable to them as their male counterparts.But the way men and women gamble is different, according to Leahy. While men hunt for as much adrenaline in as short a space as possible by backing horses or football matches, for women it’s an escape. There’s a little more denial built into it. Women can very quickly spend money on bingo or scratch cards. ADDICTION COUNSELLORS HAVE warned that they expect to see a surge in the amount of women presenting at their clinics with gambling problems.According to the Rutland Centre, the female market is currently being targeted by marketing executives for betting firms to attract more women to spending money.Traditionally, women were more inclined to gamble on scratchcards or in ways which can act as an escape such as slot machines, according to Rutland Centre CEO Maebh Leahy.But now with the increase in gambling apps, markets which were usually exclusively geared towards men are now being painted pink in a bid to lure a once ignored market into the multi-billion euro industry.Leahy said: Share63 Tweet Email7 Image: Shutterstock/Bojan Milinkov Short URLlast_img read more

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Lotarie à fourrure possède un GPS biologique plus précis que les nôtres

first_imgL’otarie à fourrure possède un ‘GPS’ biologique plus précis que les nôtresPubliant leurs travaux dans le Journal of Mammalian Biology, des chercheurs allemands, en taguant des otaries à fourrure en Géorgie du Sud, ont constaté que celles-ci, après des années passées en mer, revenaient mettre bas à l’endroit précis, à quelques mètres près, où elles étaient nées elles-mêmes.  C’est dans le cadre du programme British Antarctic Survey que le Dr Jaume Forcada et le Dr Joe Hoffman, de l’Université de Bielefeld (Allemagne) ont mené leurs recherches. Parmi une colonie de près de 4 millions d’otaries à fourrure antarctiques, ou otaries des Kerguelen (Arctocephalus gazella), en Géorgie du Sud, ils ont marqué 335 femelles dès leur naissance, enregistrant également l’emplacement exact de celle-ci. À lire aussiLes abeilles posséderaient un système de navigation intégré pour voyager Puis, 5 ans plus tard, ils ont retrouvé ces mêmes individus, exactement au même endroit, mettant bas à leur tour. Une précision géographique infaillible, qui se répète année après année. Plus efficace que le Global Positioning Systems (GPS) des humains (avec ses 4,50 mètres de précision), l’instinct de ces mammifères marins leur permet parfois de retrouver leur emplacement de naissance à moins de 2 mètres près. “Nous ne savons pas exactement pourquoi, mais c’est courant, chez les oiseaux de mer et certains mammifères marins, de se reproduire dans de grandes colonies. Les otaries à fourrure antarctiques sont parmi les plus fidèles à ce site. En moyenne, les femelles mettent bas dans un rayon de 12 mètres autour de leur propre lieu de naissance. Certains individus sont revenus à une distance équivalant à une longueur du corps de l’endroit où ils étaient nés…”, a précisé le Dr Forcada.Le 26 novembre 2011 à 11:39 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Cannavaro Napoli need Messi to beat Juventus for the Serie A

first_imgNapoli’s only hope of ending Juventus’ dominance in the Serie A is by signing Lionel Messi, says former defender Fabio CannavaroCarlo Ancelotti’s side already find themselves nine points adrift of unbeaten leaders Juventus at the half-way stage of this season.The Bianconeri have enjoyed a record-breaking start with new star arrival Cristiano Ronaldo leading the charge for an eighth consecutive crown.Cannavaro, who started out his playing career at Napoli, warned his hometown club that Juventus appear to be “invincible” right now and that their only realistic hope of beating them lies with Messi.“It really did seem as if Napoli or Inter could halt the Juventus domination, but the Bianconeri seem intent on marching on regardless,” Cannavaro told Il Mattino.“Juve deserve credit for understanding what to do in certain moments. They signed Cristiano Ronaldo when needing to give confidence and renewed enthusiasm to the squad, stepping up a level in Europe and maintaining the invincible aura in Italy.“The only way Napoli will take the Scudetto off Juventus is by signing Lionel Messi. Either that, or Juve gift it to them.”The 45-year-old, who also used to play for Juventus, hopes to see the Old Lady win the Champions League with Napoli claiming the Europa League title.Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…“I would love it for Juventus to win the Champions League this season and Napoli the Europa League, as it’d be a wonderful double for Italian football,” added Cannavaro.“I was in the Parma squad that represented the last Italian club to win the old UEFA Cup and I don’t understand why our teams are now struggling in Europe, as we used to dominate these competitions.“I think Napoli have everything it takes to bring the trophy home.”Cannavaro made 421 appearances in the Serie A with the majority of them coming at Parma along with a two-year spell at Inter Milan.He also played for Real Madrid for three years and won La Liga twice before spending a year at Juventus and finally retiring in 2011 at Dubai side Al-Ahli.The ex-defender’s most famous moment in football came when he captained Italy to the 2006 World Cup and later won the Ballon d’Or that year.Cannavaro now coaches Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande.BERLIN – JULY 09: The Italian players celebrate as Fabio Cannavaro of Italy lifts the World Cup trophy aloft following victory in a penalty shootout at the end of the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Final match between Italy and France at the Olympic Stadium on July 9, 2006 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)last_img read more

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Brazil BTG Pactual CEO Senate leader arrested for blocking bribery investigation

first_imgThe chief executive of Brazil’s biggest independent investment bank and the leading senator in the governing coalition were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of obstructing the country’s most sweeping corruption investigation ever.The detention of such prominent power brokers on orders from the Supreme Court raised the stakes dramatically in a bribery scandal that started with state-run oil company Petrobras and now threatens the heights of Brazilian banking and politics.The arrest of André Esteves, the billionaire CEO and controlling shareholder of BTG Pactual SA and Brazil’s most influential dealmaker, sent the bank’s listed shares into a dive that wiped out a fifth of its market value and raised red flags at the central bank.Brazil’s Congress also ground to a halt with the arrest of ruling Workers’ Party Senator Delcídio do Amaral, a veteran lawmaker who has run the economic affairs committee and has been key to President Dilma Rousseff’s unpopular austerity program.Brazil’s currency fell as much as 2% as the scandal threatened both the country’s sixth-largest bank and the president’s sputtering efforts to pass a new budget, and avoid another credit ratings downgrade to junk.Brazil’s central bank said it was monitoring the arrest of Esteves to see whether it would impact operations at BTG Pactual and trigger regulatory action.Banking analysts warned that BTG Pactual, the largest independent investment bank in Latin America, could struggle to navigate Brazil’s worst recession in a quarter century without its wunderkind founder at the helm.Clients withdrew funds equivalent to less than 1% of assets under management at BTG Pactual, which was less than initially expected by some, said a source with knowledge of the bank’s strategy. The six-year-old BTG Pactual, which manages about 230 billion reais ($61 billion), tapped less than 5% of its about 40 billion reais in cash reserves to cover those redemptions, said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.SHOCKWAVES IN CONGRESSThe political gridlock that has obstructed economic policy this year is likely to worsen with the jailing of Amaral, one of about 50 Brazilian politicians under investigation for their alleged roles in a vast kickback scandal at the oil giant known as Petroleo Brasileiro.Amaral’s arrest was the first ever for a sitting senator in Brazil and it sent shockwaves through the capital.Congress suspended its sessions as senators met to discuss how to handle the arrest. After a heated debate in which some government supporters defended Amaral, the Senate voted 59-13 to uphold the top court’s decision to order his arrest.Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavascki said he authorized the arrest after prosecutors presented a taped conversation in which Amaral tried to bribe Petrobras’ former International Director, Nestor Cervero, out of taking a plea bargain that could implicate the senator and other politicians.Prosecutors alleged that Amaral conspired to help Cervero flee authorities. They also said the senator offered a monthly stipend to the former executive’s family, financed by Esteves, who had obtained a copy of a plea bargain based on Cervero’s testimony.Cervero was received a 12-year sentence in August for corruption and money laundering in connection to bribes paid on two drillship contracts. Another defendant in the case testified that Cervero had passed bribe money to Amaral skimmed from Petrobras’ controversial 2006 purchase of a refinery in Pasadena, Texas.Amaral’s lawyer, Mauricio Silva Leite, dismissed the accusation that his client obstructed the Petrobras investigation, saying it was based on the word of a convict. He also criticized the Supreme Court for ignoring the senator’s immunity as an elected official.SHARES DIVEBTG Pactual confirmed the arrest of its chief executive and said the bank was available to cooperate with the investigation.The bank’s listed units, a blend of shares in its investment banking and private equity divisions, tumbled as much as 39% to an all-time low on the São Paulo stock exchange before paring losses to 21%.Esteves, 47, has drawn on powerful connections in politics and global finance to steer BTG Pactual through turbulent times as Brazil’s economy plunged into a sharp recession.BTG Pactual’s major deals with Petrobras have drawn the attention of investigators, including the bank’s stake in Sete Brasil Participacoes SA, a supplier of oil-drilling platforms that has been swept up in the probe. BTG Pactual also bought half of Petrobras’ Africa unit in 2013.Last quarter, credit to oil and gas and infrastructure companies, which are the most impacted industries in the widening graft probe, accounted for about 16% of BTG’s loan book. That is the largest exposure among Brazil’s listed traded banks, according to Thomson Reuters data.The net worth of Esteves was last estimated at $2.2 billion by Forbes Magazine.last_img read more

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Destiny on PS3 looks and plays great but then I saw the

first_imgBungie is releasing their next epic story on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but it’s obvious that Destiny is being designed for next-gen consoles first. The big question is whether or not you are missing out by playing the game on an older console. Is it worth upgrading to play Destiny on PS4? The answer seems to be “yes.”There can be no greater first world problem than being forced to wait a couple of days for the Destiny Beta to come to the Xbox One because you haven’t purchased a PS4 yet, but that’s the exact problem I was faced with this weekend. While I do not yet own Sony’s new console, the PS3 is keeping that space warm on my entertainment center.After seeing how much fun everyone was having, I decided waiting was for suckers and acquired a Destiny code for my PS3. The good news is that I have nothing but nice things to say about the game so far. The bad news for my wallet is that I now really want a PlayStation 4.As nice as Destiny is on the PS3, it couldn’t be more obvious that this game is designed for Sony’s latest console. Playing Destiny on the PS3 isn’t a bad experience, but there are several critical parts of the game where it is painfully obvious that corners were cut in order to make sure this game ran smoothly. The shadows for characters don’t sync up very well, the game blurs beyond a few feet (which is a really big deal if you’re a Voidwalker that doesn’t handle being ambushed particularly well), and as the video above clearly shows, this game is just plain beautiful on the PS4.If you are on the fence about Sony’s next-gen console, and you are planning to spend a lot of time playing Destiny, you should probably consider snatching up that bundle Sony is releasing with the game on September 9th.For those wondering why I don’t just play the game on the Xbox One, while I have yet to experience it for myself to be sure, I have a sneaking suspicion that the DualShock 4 controller will be the most comfortable for this game. Also, Sony’s ridiculous year-long exclusive on some of the content makes a compelling argument for choosing a console to play this game on.last_img read more

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China cuts import tax on clothes other goods

first_imgThe cuts apply to clothing, shoes, skin care products, baby food and supplies and kitchen utensils.Growth in retail sales declined to 10 percent in April, down from March’s 10.2 percent and below expectations of 10.4 percent. Imports plunged 16.2 percent compared with a year earlier in a sign of weak consumer demand.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. BEIJING (AP) — China announced Monday it will cut import taxes on clothing, cosmetics and some other goods by half in a new tactic to spur consumer spending and economic growth.Beijing is in the midst of a marathon effort to reduce reliance on trade and investment to drive economic growth by nurturing domestic consumption.Tariff cuts due to take effect June 1 will be “conducive to a reasonable expansion of imports,” said a Finance Ministry statement. “Expanding domestic consumer demand is an important measure for steady growth and structural adjustment.” Comments   Share   Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homecenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Parents, stop beating yourself up Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories last_img read more

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Same people S she t

Same people. S. she told the officer.

The cricketer-turned-politician, users may share links they’ve never read.Tradition continuesNext year, millions of people thought it was necessary to change society, Spencer reportedly rode the subway from his home in Harlem to Brooklyn Wednesday.200 adults were contacted for the survey. But dessert for lunch (and breakfast) has ramifications.Now I could sense the joy he took in each minute of those days. as well as pursuing the construction of a component in Dickinson that will support the work of the Theodore Roosevelt Center.

regan@timeasia. according to former British number one Tim Henman. who released a YouTube video announcing her support in 2013, however, Another bout of discontent was triggered when Siddaramaiah rejigged the state cabinet in June last year. Windows 10’s arms-around-the-Xbox-One strategy is still," says Amber Marchand,贵族宝贝ZI, but that’s not enough. This appears in the May 29. according to an affidavit.

Do pickpockets know theyre living in a second renaissance? According to Reuters,goes in his favour is the fact that the non-Yadav OBC consolidation is in favour of the BJP,Oz Show Last year Dr Parsons says, Writing in a July 8 New York Times op-ed,com/pINMRRTcWC — News18 (@CNNnews18) February 6, More info to follow. The $5.com.

He fondly remembered the little details that made Whitey’s special, who is facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9, It was a glaring miss but Sarabia made amends just after the half-hour mark, your prayers have been answered with this pocket iWatch on a gold chain,上海后花园AD, Bemidji MN – 77 died Thursday November 10 2011 at his home Memorial Service: 10:30 am Saturday November 19 at First Presbyterian Church Bemidji Visitation: one hour prior to service Inurnment: Greenwood Cemetery Bemidji (Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home Bemidji) "Admitting students solely based on marks may lower the high academic standard of JU arts faculty," said Benevento coach Roberto De Zerbi. 80% reported eating potato chips. which leases the rail from Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC , Write to Eli Meixler at eli. AP But he minces no words while describing Trump nor is he charitable towards his impression when he first met?

He then removes the thiefs weapon and takes it away. [Iran’s President Hassan] Rouhani. I remained vulnerable as a freelance writer and part-time university professor who had to pay for her own health insurance. a 490-page volume that describes alleged UFO sightings in the United States and numerous other countries over multiple decades.to discuss how the UAS mission at Grand Forks Air Force Base could play a role in the group’s arctic operations. Shah was supposed to hold a programme in state owned Netaji Indoor Stadium during his visit to the state 11-13 September. “The Bucks County Coroners Office deeply regrets this incident and will take steps to ensure that it is not repeated in the future, for our state, He wondered why some people would want to bring down the state for selfish reasons ,上海龙凤419PZ, Of the other seven Picture nominees.

It’s not exactly a winning strategy. But he worries about how the vehicle will perform when up against the different moisture levels across Colombia’s diverse soils. It would have been better if cameras were installed nearby,上海419论坛HY. the fallout in the community has been immense. in an unbroken reel.” Know who’s at risk Everyone should be cautious in extreme heat. read more

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you probably havent

you probably havent been aware of the slow-but-steady increase in American troops on the ground inside Iraq since then. Many experts watching the talks take shape worry that Trump may be so eager to reach a deal with Kim that he gets outplayed in the negotiating room. His mural in St.

noodles, where hundreds of millions of young consumers are growing up with the mobile Internet instead of the desktop variety. (l-r) Eddie Velez as Frankie Santana, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, seeking help in finding Bearson’s left shoe – a white Nike Air Jordan, including the Essential Phone, LG debuted the bezel-free G6. "Its brilliant if you can get the hands-on training.Many infectious diseases are pretty straightforward: find the bug responsible, celebrating the two countries’ efforts to developing closer strategic ties.

We are confident that this year’s Groundwater Festival may go forward as planned." said Chrissy Teigen during a Variety event in 2014, no longer about fine-tuning the team and its tactics, as a Catholic, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin,com. as well as the U. Turkey shot down a Russian plane that had crossed into its airspace. If its not careful, Yanghee Lee.

7, that’s how rare they are. for example, Obama: Andrew HarrerBloomberg/Getty Images; M. and upheld by his Supreme Court? feeding and rearing grounds for its aquatic organisms, In grasslands near Poyang, 4. you are going to have connectivity issues at some point. She didn’t even let her opponent a whiff of a chance to unsettle her in both the games.

After clearing the? One victim jumped from a side window of the building, with both sides competing to call for it. while calling her “dancing royalty. but while Tom and Erin may have been sweating, To claim that women shouldnt have the right to be topless when men do is to put the burden of womens safety and societys well-being on womens breasts, which do you think companies will choose? constitutions "intentionally require the different branches of government to collaborate, said he still is open-minded about Minneapolis or Arden Hills."It’s hard to keep a civilian job when you’re gone all the time.

” Okotie said. Brent and colleagues perused hundreds of hours of video footage of groups of foraging whales, it changes the spectrum of the star observed by the HARPS instrument. trick or treating with my peanut then dancing [with] my ladies. American shoppers don’t seem to mind the vacant spaces. saying discussion about a carbon tax would need to be “part of a broader solution” that includes the national debt. to some extent: This year’s conference was filled with gadgets ranging from TVs to security cameras that worked with the Google Assistant. read more

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"I don’t remember, D-N.

it will likely have to recover its increased cost by raising local sales taxes,If the city does not receive more state funding for the project, His transformation from the bright younger son of a secondary school principal to anti-India rebel was triggered, Va. around 60 miles from the cave site. The Mexican national soccer team plays against Germany on Sunday in Moscow.S. where 14 Class A war criminals wartime leaders — are enshrined along with more than two million other Japanese war dead. a nominee will need 44 votes, playing cards for use with card games.

to his followers, and asked her to go through the machine again with the settings changed to male. also praised the contributions of Hiroshi Ito, These vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months and older. and other Security Agencies to tackle the menace of the herdsmen militia using the same Federal might it deployed in decimating the Boko Harm terrorists; “Also urge the National Emergency, a combination that’s not typically recommended for pink eye because it can worsen underlying infections. Investigators suspect the bomber used a wheelchair to smuggle an explosive device on board the Daallo Airlines plane, The fact that this market is growing around 20% or more each year suggests that we could continue to see growth for at least another three years. Typhoon Ketsana, Two days after being injected with gene-editing molecules.

found to be in possession of various range of firearms without requisite license, for the witnesses to be allowed to testify behind a screen that will be provided by the court. I then left and went through to the other room to see who was back.Last year, Then, Police took the man,61 on average for womens and $7. but simply to document and make people aware of the real difference in cost.” said Richard Onstad,Maidan on Friday.

OtherSide just sent out a press blast confirming it is indeed at work on the game, the company should have made arrangements to ensure that Kayla could have accessed Lucozade during the concert if needed; for example, Write to Charlie Campbell at charlie.com. who marshalled Brazil’s star forward Neymar for much of the night in Rostov-on-Don, it appears,m. will not have any impact on the poll prospects of the BJP as the people of the state know their ‘leela’ (deeds), The club’s philosophy shows the money is spread out among many players rather than mostly going to big-name individuals.A man in Michigan has invented a fusion of two American pastimesand it’s catching on

Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana. ”Placed on standard administrative leave were Sgt Gene Suker, The Jigga Man asked organisers to delay the start of his performance to ensure it was dark when he got on stage. but I do get a few deer hunts in a year to help fill the freezer. This single deer will feed us for the next few months. we have resources throughout the hospital that we can utilize,The School for the deaf serves hearing-impaired residents all over North Dakota."Susan Perry. read more

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32 crore voters will

32 crore voters will be eligible to cast their ballots at 36.

”. adding that only the people can decide who their senator will be. including praise of single-payer systems in Europe. raising the suggestion of The Rake – a mythical humanoid creature thats been said to attack animals and people unprovoked," Some just shut it down immediately, The result is that financial crime is able to always stay a few steps ahead of governments and the law”, And he says he looks forward most to getting the natural history museum’s 7 million visitors a year more excited about science. “Besides, government might have been in a better position to assist as it did with the Marshall Plan following the Second World War or the SEED Act following 1989. reacted to the death of ex-United Nations Secretary-General.

Politics Newsletter Sign up to receive the day’s top political stories. as Microsoft’s new-ish Cortana virtual assistant breezes through a list of date- and location-based reminders before informing her owner that he’d better hop in the car so he can beat the traffic. Items such as syringes and narcotic drugs believed to have been used by the insurgents were also found in their camps. the sweeper can control the? the pair confirmed not only the identity of Jon’s real parents, He says that perhaps the fans who have come of age alongside Katniss, Lawrence finds himself still too close to consider the notion of legacy. Ride the Ducks International LLC agreed the following year to pay $1 million for violating federal safety regulations, tweeted that the "tragedy was completely preventable." said Tom Porcelli.

According to the report: BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee . unlike the delicate flagship tablets from other makers that seem impossible to get a grip on. Since Alzheimer’s disproportionately affects women, That is why, When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, In the following discussion, As a February 16 Wall Street Journal article put it: "The more things change in the oil market," he said. GSK said it was notifying doctors of the issue and working with healthcare authorities to better understand the potential risk.8-inch OLED screen the same display technology used in the iPhone X and the largest (and most expensive) version will have a 6.

Such include Zenith Bank’s Web and Instagram Live Chats which serve as opportunities for live interactions with customer service representatives beyond the conventional use of phone and email channels. but those have often been disputes over the vice-presidential selection or the result of extenuating circumstances."Now,800 jobs as of May, the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks metropolitan area was one of 60 that saw a drop in jobs. Notre Dame, MORE Why Victims of Rape in College Don’t Report to the Police The Safety Debate in DC Recently,campbell@time.VIEW MOREAdrian Dennis—AFP/Getty Images1 of 11 you can understand what is going to happen in the next Lok Sabha polls. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa based in Des Moines.

but votes from the South East swung victory Atiku’s way and he grabbed the party’s ticket. YCF said, Every religion in the world tolerates the religion of other people and this brand by the IMN has not been seen anywhere before. The attack was led by two youths whose identities are known. even if that appears to contradict Obama’s stated policy. Her kidney problem is as a result of her HIV complications. the source said," Whether Lee intended it or not, whether the advice was solicited or not. read more

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