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End Time News – Updated 2 July 2016 - 8 stories
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earthquake headlines             6.0 quakes            7.0 quakes            quakes in diverse places          quake map

5.7 earthquake hits Mexico, shakes buildings in capital

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico's southwestern state of Oaxaca, the United States Geological Survey reported. Witnesses said they felt the ground shake as far away as Mexico City, the nation’s capital.
Evacuations were reported in Mexico City. However, there were no immediate reports of damage.

Emergency crews are monitoring the aftershocks, according to Luis Felipe Puente, the head of emergency services.

The depth of the quake was 10 km (6.2 miles) with the epicenter just 10 km north of Pinotepa de Don Luis, and 347 km (216 miles) away from Mexico City.

Eyewitnesses from Oaxaca State described feeling heavy shaking for a couple of minutes straight. “It felt horrible and very strong, and it felt like it lasted two or three minutes,” one of the receptionists at the Hotel Las Gaviotas de Pinotepa told Reuters.

The emergency services coordinator in Oaxaca, Felipe Reyna, confirmed that there were no immediate reports of damage. “Our representatives all over the state have reported to us that the preliminary situation is that there is no damage anywhere.”


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earthquake headlines             6.0 quakes            7.0 quakes            quakes in diverse places          quake map

POWERFUL 6.7 magnitude earthquake rocks central Asia

A POWERFUL 6.7 magnitude earthquake has shuddered through a remote area of central Asia.

The quake, at a force strong enough to cause major devastation, hit southern Kyrgyzstan at 5.17pm local time yesterday.

Miraculously, there are no reports of any damage or injuries as yet even in Sary-Tash, a town in the southern Alay Mountains, and north of Tajikstan, which is just 6 miles from where the epicentre of the earthquake was.

The closest city is Osh, but the quake had weakened to around a magnitude four by the time it reached there.

Any quake above magnitude six is a potential major hazard.

The US Geological Surver recorded it at magnitude 6.3.


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Yellow Fever Outbreak in Africa Strains World Vaccine Stocks
by Thomas Wilson

--Disease is suspected to have spread from Angola outbreak
--Emergency vaccination stockpile has been depleted twice

An outbreak of Yellow fever that began in Angola and spread to the Democratic Republic of Congo risks draining global stocks of the vaccine needed to prevent infections with the virus, which can lead to jaundice, abdominal pains and death, from spreading.

At least 3,294 suspected cases have been reported in Angola since December, of which 861 have been confirmed through laboratory tests, according to the World Health Organization. Congolese Public Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said Monday that 67 cases of the disease have been confirmed in his country, of which all but three are suspected to be linked to the outbreak in neighboring Angola.

Vaccination programs have already begun, but global stockpiles are limited, according to the WHO. About 6.8 million vaccines were available as of June 17, with more than 12 million doses already used this year in Angola alone. The vaccine is made using sterile chicken eggs over 12 months, a period that limits the ability of the four major manufacturers to ramp up production.

Symptoms of Yellow fever include fever, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting. Around 15 percent of patients enter a second more toxic phase marked by jaundice, abdominal pain and bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach, half of whom die within 14 days. In the current outbreak, 347 people are suspected or have been confirmed to have died from the virus in Angola and 75 in Congo, according to the WHO.

Across Borders
The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, although infected people can carry the virus across borders. The disease can only spread further if that country has a mosquito species able to transmit the virus. Two cases of Yellow fever in Kenya and 11 more in China have also been confirmed as infections imported from Angola, the WHO said in a June 23 situation report.

About 90 million vaccines are normally produced a year, the majority of which are used in regular vaccination programs. Six million doses are reserved for an emergency stockpile, which was depleted for the first time ever earlier in 2016 and has since been exhausted again. French drug-maker Sanofi shipped 11 million doses to Africa between January and June and will send more vaccines as soon as possible, company spokeswoman Julia Jara said last week by e-mail.

In Congo, more than 2 million people have been vaccinated since May 24, although millions more require the shot. The WHO is in the process of shipping a further 1.3 million doses of the vaccine to inoculate people in the city of Kinshasa and the provinces of Kongo Central and Kwanga, Eugene Kabambi, a WHO spokesman, said by phone from the western city of Matadi. As many as 5 million doses are still required for those at risk, he said.

Mass Vaccination
Congo’s health minister said Monday that the government would begin a mass vaccination program in July, using a fifth of the normal doses to provide temporary protection against the disease. The government will use the reduced dose to vaccinate 11.6 million people in Congo’s capital and along the border with Angola, Numbi said. He didn’t confirm how many vaccines Congo expects to receive.

Kinshasa, a city of 12 million people, has decrepit infrastructure and inadequate health facilities. Experts are concerned that an outbreak there and in other cities would quickly deplete global stockpiles.

“The worst case scenario is to have several cities affected simultaneously,” William Perea, coordinator of the Control of Epidemic Diseases department at the WHO, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “That will require mass vaccination of tens of millions of people at the same time, which will exceed by far vaccine supply.”

Aid organizations such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies say current data could underestimate the extent of the outbreak and that, although the global response has improved, more resources are required.

“The surveillance of Yellow fever is quite difficult so current numbers are probably heavily underestimated,” Amanda McClelland, a senior officer with the IFRC, said by phone from Luanda, Angola’s capital.

Since symptoms are hard to detect and often appear only two weeks after a patient has been bitten, data on Yellow fever outbreaks normally lags the reality by three to four weeks, according to McClelland.

“There has been an improvement in the national and international response in the last month but whether that is sufficient to control the epidemic we will have to wait and see,” she said.


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Meningococcal disease outbreak in Southern California hits adult gay, bisexual men
Bay Area News Group staff

On the eve of this weekend's annual San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade, one of the largest LGBT gatherings in the nation, California public health officials on Friday issued a health advisory about a meningococcal disease outbreak in Southern California, primarily among adult gay and bisexual men.

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis and can cause meningitis and bloodstream infections. Although rare, the disease is serious and potentially fatal.

Since May, nine men living in Los Angeles and Orange counties -- most of whom were gay or bisexual -- have contracted the disease, said officials. One patient has died. No cases have surfaced in the Bay Area, according to the state.

"We are concerned that gay and bisexual men in Southern California may be at increased risk for meningococcal disease," Dr. Karen Smith, the state's public health officer, said in a statement.

"We encourage men who partner with other men to be aware of the risk of meningococcal disease and consider getting vaccinated."

Meningococcal bacteria are transmitted through close personal contact and can be spread from person to person by small droplets of respiratory secretions from the nose and throat.

Public health officials said gay and bisexual men may be at increased risk of meningococcal disease if they have close or intimate contact with multiple partners, regularly visit crowded venues such as bars and parties, or smoke cigarettes, marijuana or illegal drugs.

Symptoms of the disease may include fever, vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck, confusion, rash and generalized muscle pains. The time from exposure to the start of symptoms is typically a few days. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek medical care immediately, public health officials said.

Six of the nine Southern California cases are known to be caused by a particular strain (serogroup C) of meningococcal bacteria and one other case is awaiting serogroup confirmation, according to the state.

Several outbreaks and clusters of serogroup C meningococcal disease among gay and bisexual men also have been reported in New York City and Chicago since 2014 and recently in Europe, officials said.

As a result, the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices this week recommended that all HIV-infected persons ages 2 months and older be routinely vaccinated with the meningococcal vaccine that protects against serogroups A, C, W and Y disease.

State public health officials urge that all HIV-infected adults receive two doses of the vaccine. Gay and bisexual men who are at increased risk for meningococcal disease and are not HIV-infected should receive one dose of the vaccine, they said.

Anyone who has not been tested for HIV within the past year should be offered an HIV test along with vaccination. Adults may locate meningococcal vaccines in their area by using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Adult Vaccine Finder.


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Wars and Rumors of Wars

France and Germany ‘draw up plans to morph EU countries into one with control over members’ armies and economies’
by Joseph Curtis for Mail Online

---France and Germany reported to have drawn up 'superstate plan'
---It would mean members give up armies and economic power to the EU
---Report 'leaked' in Poland where it has been branded 'not the solution'
---Leaders of Germany, France and Italy said EU was 'indispensable' tonight

Plans for 'a closer European Union' have been branded an attempt to create a 'European superstate'.

Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault today presented a proposal for closer EU integration based on three key areas - internal and external security, the migrant crisis, and economic cooperation.

But the plans have been described as an 'ultimatum' in Poland, with claims it would mean countries transfer their armies, economic systems and border controls to the EU.

Zaoralek added that the four eastern members had reservations about the proposed common security policy.

Eastern members have become increasingly jittery on security issues since Moscow used so-called "hybrid warfare", or undeclared covert tactics - to annex the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Poland's public TVP described the Franco-German proposal as an "ultimatum" designed to create a European "superstate dominated by large nations."

Ayrault described the Franco-German proposal as a "contribution", adding that there would be "others".

According to the Daily Express, the nine-page report has 'outraged' its foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski.

He said: 'This is not a good solution, of course, because from the time the EU was invented a lot has changed.

'The mood in European societies is different. Europe and our voters do not want to give the Union over into the hands of technocrats.'

The Express reports the document says France and Germany will 'strive for a political union in Europe' and 'invite the next Europeans to participate'.

It comes after the UK voted to leave the EU in a landmark referendum last week, causing shockwaves across Europe.

The result has prompted right-wing European parties in France and Eastern Europe to suggest similar votes, with the EU criticised for its 'federalism' and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker blamed for Brexit within the organisation.

In a joint statement tonight the leaders of Germany, France and Italy say the European Union 'must dedicate itself to the worries expressed by its citizens.'

In their statement Monday, the three leaders said that the EU is a success and that the bloc is indispensable in securing 'the economic and social progress for our people, and to assert Europe's role in the world.'But German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Hollande and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi acknowledged that the EU can only advance if it is supported by its people.

The union and especially its policy makers in Brussels have often been criticized for being detached from ordinary people's worries - a sentiment that has led to a strengthening of anti-EU movements in several of its member states.

Meanwhile Poland would like to see Britain hold a second in-out referendum on its membership of the EU, the country's ruling party leader said today.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the powerful leader of Poland's conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, said the bloc would have to 'radically change' in order for Britons to want to return.

The former Prime Minister said that the 'idea for today... foresees efforts aimed at making Britain return' which included a second referendum.

But, he cautioned, the 'EU would have to radically change' for this scenario to be feasible.

Meanwhile the result continues to cause deep divisions within the UK, with departing Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne criticised for a lack of leadership, while Leave campaign figurehead Boris Johnson has also come under fire for 'backtracking' on arguments he made in favour of Brexit.

A petition demanding a second referendum on the issue has now exceeded 3.7million signatures, although tens of thousands have revealed to have been falsely registers to the Vatican City, which has a population of just 840.


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"Starvation as a weapon of war" in Syria
Reuters via CBS

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the deliberate starvation of civilians in the besieged Syrian town of Madaya a "war crime." Local residents have reported 32 deaths from starvation in the rebel-held town, which has been under siege by government forces for months. Aid convoys have started bringing much-needed supplies there and to other cut-off areas in the war-torn country.


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Starvation in Syria remains weapon of war despite partial ceasefire
Martin Chulov

NGOs say less aid reaching besieged areas, with reports of new deaths by starvation and widespread malnutrition

Starvation is still being used as a weapon of war in Syria, despite a partial ceasefire that was meant to ease profound humanitarian suffering and open a political path that could bring the war to an end.

Almost six weeks after the ceasefire was implemented, NGO officials say that neither goal is being achieved, and less aid is getting to areas that remain besieged by the Syrian government.

According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the past two weeks have been particularly severe in opposition-held areas near Damascuswhere two hospitals have been bombed, the last remaining doctor in the nearby town of Zabadani shot dead by a sniper, vital medical items being removed from aid convoys and access to critically deprived areas remain blocked.

The UN is also reporting a worsening humanitarian crisis, with government officials routinely denying permission needed for trucks carrying food and medicine to enter the 15 besieged areas it controls across the country. Jan Egeland, special adviser to the UN envoy to Syria, said four of five convoys were not allowed to move in recent days.

“In two places where we were able to go to, Tiermalah and Afrin, some 45,000 people did get relief there,” said Egeland. “We have come up now to 446,000 people in hard to reach and besieged areas since the beginning of the year, but it’s not getting better, it is actually slowing down.”

The hard-to-reach areas are zones in which starvation sieges have been enforced by the Syrian regime or its proxies throughout the five-year war.

Three other parts of Syria are also besieged, two by Islamic State and one by Islamist forces north of Aleppo who have partially surrounded two Shia villages.

However, the opposition-held areas of Ghouta, Duma, Barzeh and Daraya on the outskirts of Damascus and Zabadani and Madaya, closer to the Lebanese border, remain the most seriously affected, with reports of new deaths by starvation and widespread malnutrition.

In Daraya, the remaining women this week wrote a letter urging renewed efforts to deliver aid. “There is no food at all in Daraya,” the letter stated. “There are cases of malnutrition and we have resorted to cooking soups made purely of spices in order to stave off hunger. There is no baby milk and no breast milk due to malnutrition. Even something as simple but as necessary as dishwashing liquid is unavailable. There are no cleaning supplies in order for us to ensure hygiene and keep diseases away.”

Syrian officials had pledged to allow more aid into areas it surrounds after the ceasefire announced by Russian president Vladimir Putin took hold. The ceasefire has led to a reduction in attacks, but excludes areas held by terror groups such as Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra. Opposition groups have also been targeted, especially in deprived areas.

MSF said two hospitals it supports in East Ghouta were bombed last week, killing 38 and wounding 87, including five medical staff. “The doctors we are speaking to have not received any aid in Daraya and Duma, they remain completely blocked from any official humanitarian access. Barzeh, near Damascus and Al Waer, near Homs also face repeated closure of access, said Dr Bart Janssens, the medical group’s director of operations.

“When convoys are getting through in other areas, the doctors we are working report that vital items such as surgical and anaesthetic supplies, blood bags have been removed. The quantities of IV fluid received are also consistently way less than what is needed.”

Peace talks are due to resume in Geneva this month, but are likely to remain deadlocked on the future of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, who opposition groups insist must leave before a political transition can take effect, but whose role, Russia and Iran say, is not up for discussion.


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About 5 Million people to face severe food shortage South Sudan
Pakistan Radio

The level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented.

In South Sudan, about five million people will face severe food shortage in the coming months since a conflict erupted more than two years ago.

The UN agencies say in a statement, the level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented.

The UN World Food Programme said it expected to assist more than three million people this year with emergency food assistance, life saving nutrition support and other aid.


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