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End Time News – Updated 1 Nov 2014 - 4 stories
see End Time News Headline Archive      see End Time News Sources       see Are We in the End Time?


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

Fiji Earthquake Today: 7.1-Magnitude Quake Hits Pacific
by Jack Philips

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake has struck near the island nation of Fiji.

No tsunami warning was issued after the earthquake.

It’s not clear if there was any damage done during the temblor.

The earthquake struck about 90 miles north of Nodi Island in Fiji, 195 miles west-northwest of Tonga, and 268 mile east of Lambasa in Fiji, said the US Geological Survey.

The area is located on the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” which frequently has earthquakes.

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Wars and Rumors of Wars

'Gaza War Number Four is Just a Matter of Time'
by Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar

Eshkol Regional head says rocket Friday is sign of coming rockets on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as effects of operation slip away.

A rocket from Gaza was shot down as it streaked towards the Eshkol Regional Council area on Friday night and apparently landed in the region, in the second such attack since the August 26 ceasefire ended Operation Protective Edge.

According to Chaim Yelin, chair of the Eshkol Regional Council, it's only a matter of time until the next operation against Hamas, of which Protective Edge was already the third since Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

"It doesn't make a difference to us who fires," Yelin told Arutz Sheva. "Hamas or rebellious groups; we demand a military response against rocket fire on the residents of the state of Israel."

Yelin said he is convinced that rockets will soon be pummeling the center of the country as they did during the operation, saying "the hourglass has already turned ahead of the next war."

"Today it's in Eshkol, tomorrow in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the military and diplomatic response needs to be appropriate," said Yelin. "The military achievement of Protective Edge is dissipating, with no national outline to give true quiet to the residents of the south and residents of the state of Israel."

The IDF has yet to locate the remains of the rocket fired on Friday, although it is thought to have landed in Israeli territory. "Color Red" rocket warning sirens were not sounded in Eshkol ahead of the rocket.

The issue of sirens has been a question point since the latest operation, with sirens being heard occasionally in September and October - including five in one day - with the IDF claiming all of them were false alarms.

Last month Maj. (res.) Ran Levy, a social activist who heads the 'Hadromiyim' ('The Southerners') organization fighting for the rights of residents of Israel's embattled south, accused the IDF of covering up Hamas rockets for political purposes given the current ceasefire.

"I am an officer in the Home Front Command and I say, as a resident of Ashkelon, that there is no such thing as a false alarm and there never was," claimed Levy. "Once the system identifies a launch, it calculates within a short time the area in which the rocket is expected to fall, so there is no such thing as a false alarm."

Hamas has also restarted building its terror tunnels into Israel, after bragging that the IDF didn't destroy all of them. Nevertheless, Israel began transporting more construction materials into Gaza early last month as a "humanitarian gesture," including 600 tons of cement, 50 truckloads of aggregate and 10 truckloads of steel.


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Ebola outbreak: Charity MSF warns US on quarantine

The medical charity Doctors Without Borders has warned some mandatory US state Ebola quarantine measures are having a "chilling effect" on its work.

The group has said it may shorten some assignments to West Africa as a result of recent state restrictions.

One of the charity's volunteers has defied orders by the US state of Maine that she remain quarantined in her house after being in Sierra Leone.

There have been nearly 14,000 cases worldwide, but only nine in the US.

Doctors Without Borders - also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) - has 270 international and 3,000 locally hired staff in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

But the foreign workers now have additional concerns when heading home, said executive director Sophie Delaunay.

"There is rising anxiety and confusion among staff members in the field over what they may face when they return home upon completion of their assignments in West Africa," she told Reuters news agency.

Some health workers are delaying returning to the US and staying in Europe for 21 days, she added, "in order to avoid facing rising stigmatisation at home and possible quarantine".

Some people are being discouraged by their families from returning to the field, she added.

Maine Governor Paul LePage said the state was willing to agree to arrangements that would have allowed Hickox to go for walks, runs and bicycle rides, but not allow her to go to public places.

The governor said discussions with Ms Hickox, 33, had failed.

She says her freedom should not be limited when she is perfectly healthy.

People are not infectious until they show symptoms, usually a fever.

Another worker, Dr Craig Spencer, travelled around New York City before he fell ill. He is currently in isolation in hospital.

After his case was announced, New York, New Jersey and other states ordered the mandatory quarantine of healthcare workers who had been exposed to Ebola patients.

But President Barack Obama has warned that overly restrictive measures could discourage volunteering in West Africa.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the actions of US states ordering medics to be isolated.

"Returning health workers are exceptional people who are giving of themselves for humanity," he said.

"They should not be subjected to restrictions that are not based on science."


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Starvation: deepening the Ebola crisis
by Jeanne Kamara

Since the Ebola virus first hit Sierra Leone in May, the deadly disease has slowly but steadily brought the nation to its knees. The past few weeks have seen an exponential rise in the number of cases and deaths. To date, 4,500 people have died in West Africa, with more than 1,000 of them in Sierra Leone. The outlook is bleak.

After a very slow initial response, the international community has finally recognized the scale of the catastrophe. Treatment centres are being built, military personnel have been deployed and medical supplies are arriving in the country. This is, undoubtedly, critical. Nevertheless, a new challenge is emerging that could jeopardize all these efforts: the threat of a hunger crisis.

With nearly 4,000 confirmed cases in Sierra Leone and only a few hundred hospital beds available, the need far outweighs the demand. We have reached a stage where many who develop the symptoms are now unlikely to find much relief from a medical facility: they have no choice but to stay home and hope for the best.

Effective but humane quarantine measures are now seen as key to breaking the chain of transmission and stopping Ebola in its tracks. But at the moment, the system is failing the people it is designed to protect: hunger and food insecurity are undermining it.

Across Sierra Leone, over a million people in households, neighbourhoods and even entire districts have been isolated and their basic needs are going unmet. It is counter-productive to isolate people without providing a sufficient and constant supply of nutritious food and clean water. And yet, this is what is happening in Freetown.

Official procedures dictate that as soon as someone is suspected of having contracted the virus, their entire household must remain at home for 21 days (the incubation period). They are then subjected to regular health checks. They should also be given food aid, a task coordinated by the World Food Programme. However, there seems to be a huge disconnect between demand and supply.

Often enough, food parcels don’t reach those who need them, if they get to the area at all. There are reports of quarantined homes falling through the cracks, people going without food assistance for weeks, tensions and violence within angry, hungry communities. People are being driven to break out of their houses and go in search of food.

With farming disrupted, markets closed, livelihoods hit and food prices shooting up, those who lived hand-to-mouth before the outbreak are now facing even more hardship. In ordinary times, people here do not have enough food to feed themselves for a day, never mind three weeks. It is no surprise that they are breaking quarantine.

If your child is hungry, you have an unbearable choice: stay at home and watch them slowly starve, or leave the house and expose yourself – and potentially others – to the virus.

The consequences of the looming hunger crisis go far beyond malnutrition. The Ebola virus is encroaching on the treatment of another virus: HIV, which affects some 60,000 people in Sierra Leone.

Prior to the outbreak, over 130 facilities provided the HIV anti-retroviral treatment (ART), which improves quality of life and prolongs survival. Before the Ebola epidemic, around a third of people eligible for ART were receiving it.

With health facilities now either closed or acting as Ebola holding centres, access to other medical services is severely limited, while the work of many HIV-focused organisations, including local Christian Aid partners, has been disrupted.

Now, the number of people receiving treatment, nutritional support, counselling, HIV testing and contraceptives is plummeting. The same is likely to be true for the numbers of pregnant women taking the treatment needed to prevent mother-to-child-transmission.

What’s more, good nutrition is necessary in ensuring that ART is effective in reducing the risk of rapid progression from HIV to AIDS; yet another reason why the scarcity of food is serious cause for concern. The Ebola epidemic could easily reverse the gains Sierra Leone has made on HIV in the past few years.

Christian Aid has distributed emergency food and hygiene kits to vulnerable households in two of the worst-affected districts, including those with young children, elderly people, people living with HIV and single mothers.

The packages include enough food to feed a household for 14 days, as well as items such as soap, female sanitary kits, chlorine, disinfectant, gloves and thermometers. We have already given out 200,000 pairs of disposable gloves and more than 360kg of powdered chlorine to medical teams nationwide.
These are just some of the basic necessities which are essential to creating a humane and effective environment in which people can remain in quarantine.

Much more is needed, of course. The medical response to the Ebola crisis will only work if we respond holistically to all elements of the outbreak. People must be kept in quarantine but they can’t be left to face starvation. We must act quickly. Time is running out.

Christian Aid has been working in Sierra Leone for over 25 years, delivering development programmes through local partners to tackle issues such as gender-based violence, poverty and HIV. Christian Aid is part of the Disasters Emergency Committee Ebola Crisis Appeal. To donate to the appeal, see here.

Jeanne Kamara is Christian Aid’s country manager for Sierra Leone. She is based in Freetown.


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