Taken from: Pussy Riot member goes on hunger strike in Russia
The mysterious illness has sickened its victims with flu-like symptoms, including a shortness of breath, fever, and coughing. Of the seven people who were hospitalized with the new disease, two have died, Alabama Department of Public Health spokeswoman Mary McIntyre told AP.Scientists are currently studying lab specimens from the seven victims, and health officials are urging hospital staff to wear masks and gloves when coming in contact with the infected patients.All seven patients were from Houston County, and McIntyre says there have been no out-of-state reports of this illness. The victims are all adults ranging in age from early 20s to late 80s, and have all been hospitalized in the Southeast Alabama Medical Center starting last Thursday.“We’re only aware of the Southeast, but we don’t know – we haven’t received reports from anywhere else,” McIntyre said. “That’s why we’re trying to get the information out.”There is currently no evidence that the victims traveled out of the country or picked up the illness outside of the US. Researchers do not currently believe that this illness is related to a deadly new coronavirus, coined the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which has infected 40 people and killed 20 who all traveled to or lived in the Middle East. The novel coronavirus has recently surfaced in France, the UK and Saudi Arabia.Health officials also do not believe that the victims acquired the H7H9 virus, which has caused 17 deaths and 82 illnesses in China. This virus is a strain of the bird flu and spreads through person-to-person contact.But although health officials doubt that the Alabama patients acquired either of the two foreign pathogens, McIntyre told NBC that nothing is being ruled out, since laboratory test results are not yet complete.“At this point it’s too early to tell,” she said. “That’s why we called it a respiratory illness of unknown origin.”One of the infected patients tested positive for H1N1 influenza A, but researchers believe this victim may have fallen ill with the unknown disease simultaneously. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appear to have no knowledge about the illness. The agency has so far directed media questions to Alabama health officials.State health officials are urging Alabama residents to take precautionary steps to avoid getting sick.“Be sure to cover your cough, wash your hands frequently, don’t cough on your hands and then shake somebody else’s hands, to try to prevent from spreading stuff,” McIntyre said during a Tuesday morning press conference, while trying to encourage Alabama residents not to panic. …
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Survivors of Monday’s massive tornado which flattened the town of Moore in Oklahoma have been picking over what’s left of their homes to see if anything can be salvaged.
With at least 24 dead including 10 children, and more than 240 injured, some seriously, locals have realised just what their priorities are.
“Just a few walls that are on the ground, but we were able to save our family, that’s the most important,” said Moore resident Justin Stefon.
The town’s mayor, Glenn Lewis is one of many showing that the spirit to rebuild rather than to leave the region known as Tornado Ally remains strong:
“Where would we go? This is home. Yes, we will build it back, we will probably put safe rooms in all of them to make sure everybody is okay. Everywhere you go there is some kind of disaster but this is home. So we are going to rebuild.”
Harrowing tales have emerged of fear as the tornado approached and of how most of the children who died did so from suffocation when the roof of their school collapsed on them.
Experts have said trauma counselling for their surviving classmates will also be a necessity.
As rescue workers made their final sweep through the ruins making sure no one was left beneath the debris, others have already begun the next stage of putting Moore back on the map.
Copyright © 2013 euronews
Parliament Officials meet in Brussels to address the burden the €1 trillion tax evasion is having on the EU economy, and have again called to end fraud and ‘offshore’ zones. The European Parliament agreed to halve the 1 trillion figure by 2020 through an aggressive dismantling of tax loopholes and havens. The MEP’s also approved state resources to go after and prosecute tax evaders, in hopes of recovering lost assets.”At a time when finances are tight and taxpayers are squeezed, it’s only right that we crack down on those who pursue illegal means to avoid making any contribution to public coffers, and who put smaller competitors at a disadvantage,” said Conservative MEP Martin Callanan, in a direct challenge to British PM David Cameron to make tax evasion a priority in the UKAustria, notorious for its banking secrecy, has joined its EU partners in the quest against tax fraud, and supports the one year banking secrecy deadline. According to Tax Research UK, a blog maintained by an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert” according to the Guardian.The blog’s owner also is involved with Tax Justice Network and is the director of Tax Research LLP.The poverty charity Oxfam said on Tuesday that the EU has missed out on £100 billion from individual tax scammers.Oxfam has called for a blacklist of tax havens and believes EU member states should impose sanctions on members who provide platforms for such activity.Ireland has vehemently denied it is a tax haven and on Wednesday called for an international clampdown on multinationals, yet sits at the center of the controversy. On Monday, it became known that Apple Inc. paid just 2 percent on $74 billion overseas income, which was mostly facilitated by a loophole in Ireland’s tax code.The ‘Irish double dip’ allows a company to file two subsidiaries in Ireland with a corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, which is far less than the 35 percent rate in the US, for example.This ‘legitimate tax abuse’ by high-profile corporates such as Amazon, Google, and Apple hijacked the EU summit agenda.Martin Callanan has called for an end to tax-havens and doesn’t blame the companies, but the governing bodies which allow such a framework.”Nobody can blame companies for wanting to look after share-holders’ capital by minimizing their tax bill in a legal manner,” he said.Getting all member states to abide by one tax code, seems near impossible.“While companies may be using loopholes to pay as little tax as possible, the truth is it’s a national issue. It’s up to the relevant member states to change their tax codes and tighten the net.”The EU has already agreed to strengthen savings tax agreements with European countries widely regarded as tax havens – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino.Luxembourg has taken a lead and has agreed to an automatic information exchange with the United States. …
The level of immunity to the recently circulating H7N9 influenza virus in an urban and rural population in Vietnam is very low, according to the first population level study to examine human immunity to the virus, which was previously only found in birds …
Critics say Correa is creating a pro-government media system; Correa says there is a fundamental contradiction with corporate for-profit media involved in distributing public information …
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The fizz has long come off the European Film industry, even if the champagne corks are popping in Cannes.
The financial crisis of 2007 has hit the business hard, subsidies being cut, even in countries which previously feather bedded the industry. Spain for example has seen state aid go from 124 million euros down to just 55 million.
It’s not just the present that is the concern. The industry may also be setting up problems for the future. The number of films made in the European Union is falling. This may not matter right now, but it will do in the coming months and years.
The only bright star at the moment is the UK. The now reliable banker, James Bond, saw huge success with the franchise’s latest outing, Skyfall. It notched up a box office of more than a billion dollars worldwide.
But fewer people are going to the movies ….. after a slight increase in 2011, a downward trend can be seen for 2012. This may be a reflection of the economic times.
Even in France, the cold winds of recession are blowing. State-run France Televisions, which runs a group of national TV networks, will reduce its movie investment by three million euros this year.
Euronews interview with Claude-Eric Poiroux, Director General of Europa Cinemas
The film industry is not just festivals, it is also a business, there are cinemas which need to make money. Given the crisis how are they performing ?
The attendance figures for 2012 are quite a bit lower which therefore means that there is still a slowdown and there may be the beginning of a crisis. We do not know exactly what will be the outcome. What is happening across Europe is also quite uneven, not all countries are in the same situation. Spain, for example, is experiencing a real crisis for two reasons …. there is a crisis in the country as a whole, then there is an additional crisis in cinema. It has suffered from two or three decisions taken by the government, including that of increasing VAT, from 8 to 21 per cent. And at the same time there is a crisis in production because what we seeing today, may not be what is actually happening in terms of creation, production, investment, the type of movies that is, and also the number of being being made in Europe we’ll see the effects of those in a few months or years.
In times of crisis there are some styles of films that work better than others?
We used to say in general cinema is not a victim of [economic] problems because it is a safe haven. We take refuge in the theatre [it’s where] we go to forget what is happening outside. This is what happened in the past several times. Now there is always a little more luck compared to other [sectors of the economy] they’re more affected. Now we also think that [going to] the movies also costs. Fortunately we can go into a cinema and not pay very much. This is not the most expensive hobby and [get] a performance of great quality. So we can say the relationship between quality and price is still something [that is] attractive to the public. If we want the public to continue to come and find escapism well there will be perhaps a change in the type of films. The movies may have to become [more] entertainment. Maybe a little less a place of reflection more where is a certain pleasure to be found.
So how we can summarize the crisis of European cinema in two or three words?
I think that today there are still questions asked because many countries do not really have the choice to understand culture is essential as a response to the crisis. One of the concerns we feel in some countries, particularly Spain, Italy as well, and in some Central European countries: [in] Hungary, it is clear that today there are still things which threaten the existence of a cinema that Europe knows. …arthouse cinema which Europe is very good at, which can influence the public. The movies are really powerful, and should not be hampered, should be allowed to express itself.
Copyright © 2013 euronews