The West Nile virus, which is transmitted through mosquito bites, has taken the life of a fourth patient in Spain. The authorities deployed teams to fumigate fields and gardens while fighting against the disease.
An 87-year-old patient has died in the southern city of Cadiz, bringing the country’s death toll from the disease to four, local media report, citing medical officials. The three previous deaths occurred in Seville, which, along with Cadiz, is part of the Andalusia region. All victims were over the age of 70.
The West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in Spain in 2006. According to The Local news website, while only seven cases were recorded in the country over the last decade, 52 were discovered in the last month alone. In some cases, the patients were hospitalized and placed in intensive care units.
The surge in cases in Spain is believed to be connected to a growth of the mosquito population in the wetlands. Officials in Cadiz have deployed teams to fumigate the areas in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.
First recorded in Uganda in the 1930s, the virus is found in birds and is transmitted to humans and horses through infected mosquitoes. There is no human-to-human transmissio
Amy Coney Barrett: Trump nominates conservative favourite for Supreme Court
US President Donald Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a favourite of social conservatives, to be the new Supreme Court justice.
Speaking at the White House Rose Garden, Mr Trump described her as a “woman of unparalleled achievement”.
Judge Barrett would replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died of cancer on 18 September.
Her nomination will spark a bitter Senate fight to get her confirmed as November’s presidential election looms.
Supreme Court justices are nominated by the US president, but must be approved by the Senate.
Mr Trump said Judge Barrett was a “stellar scholar and judge” with “unyielding loyalty to the constitution”.
If Judge Barrett is confirmed, conservative-leaning justices will hold a 6-3 majority on the US’s highest court for the foreseeable future.
The 48-year-old would be the third justice appointed by this Republican president, after Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
The Supreme Court’s nine justices serve lifetime appointments, and their rulings can shape public policy on everything from gun and voting rights to abortion and campaign finance long after the presidents who appoint them leave office.
In recent years, the court has expanded gay marriage to all 50 states, allowed for Mr Trump’s travel ban on mainly Muslim countries to be put in place, and delayed a US plan to cut carbon emissions.
Tricky position for Democrats
Amy Coney Barrett has been on Donald Trump’s shortlist for Supreme Court vacancies for some time, but the word was that she would be the most appropriate replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
As of last week, that was no longer a hypothetical scenario.
Even before Mr Trump reportedly settled on Judge Barrett as his pick, conservatives were rallying around the nominee, whoever it might be. And if they stick together, as all but two seem to be doing, her confirmation appears assured – whether it is before November’s election or in a “lame duck” Senate session afterward.
The choice of Judge Barrett puts Democrats in a tricky position. They have to find a way of undermining support for the nominee without seeming to attack her Catholic faith or personal background – moves that could risk turning off some voters in November. They will seek to delay the proceedings as best they can, while keeping their focus on issues like healthcare and abortion, which could be at the centre of future legal battles with Justice Barrett on a conservative-dominated court.
Then they have to hope Judge Barrett, or the Republicans, make some kind of critical error. It is a tall order, but for the moment it is the only play they have.
Who is Amy Coney Barrett?
She is described as a devout Catholic who, according to a 2013 magazine article, said that “life begins at conception”. This makes her a favourite among religious conservatives keen to overturn the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalised abortion nationwide.
Her links to a particularly conservative Christian faith group, People of Praise, have been much discussed in the US press. LGBT groups have pointed out that the group’s network of schools have guidelines stating a belief that sexual relations should only happen between heterosexual married couples.
One such group, Human Rights Campaign, has voiced strong opposition to Judge Barrett’s confirmation, declaring her an “absolute threat to LGBTQ rights“.
Judge Barrett has also ruled in favour of President Trump’s hardline immigration policies and expressed views in favour of expansive gun rights.
Conservatives hope she will help to invalidate Obamacare, the health insurance programme that was introduced by President Trump’s democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.
Some 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage if the court overturns the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Democrats have rallied support over this issue, but it is thought unlikely that the Supreme Court w
Megan Thee Stallion: What do we know about the rapper’s alleged shooting?
Rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez are back in the news, after Tory denied shooting Megan in the feet in one of his new songs.
The case has led to several high-profile rows in the US music industry.
It has also sparked a debate about perceptions of gender-based violence against black women, and concerns within the African American community about police brutality.
Authorities in Los Angeles say investigations are ongoing.
How did this begin?
During the early hours of 12 July, police responded to a “shots fired” incident in the Hollywood Hills, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said in a statement.
An argument is reported to have taken place inside a vehicle, with shots fired into the air, before the vehicle left the scene.
The LAPD said officers then conducted a “traffic stop” on a vehicle matching a description provided by eyewitnesses, and “multiple individuals were detained”.
Tory Lanez, 28, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and released on bail later that morning.
In a statement on 15 July, Los Angeles police said another person was brought to hospital and received treatment for an unspecified “foot injury”.
Megan Thee Stallion – whose real name is Megan Pete – alleged that four people were in the car at the time: herself, a friend, Mr Peterson, and his bodyguard.
Initially, TMZ reported that Ms Pete had cut her foot from broken glass in the car. But on 15 July, she released a statement saying she had suffered “multiple gunshot wounds… done with the intention to physically harm me.”
Several days later, in an Instagram post, Ms Pete shared graphic images of the stitches in her heel, and of doctors attending to her foot.
On 20 August, for the first time, she named Mr Peterson as the alleged shooter while speaking in a video on Instagram Live. She said when police found her, she did not tell them what had allegedly happened because she feared they would start shooting if they believed a gun was involved.
“I didn’t tell the police nothing, because I didn’t want us to get in no more trouble than we was about to get in,” she said, denying that she had physically assaulted Mr Peterson.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has said it is reviewing another charge against Mr Peterson over the alleged shooting. A spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times that a decision would be make after further investigation by law en
Price too big to pay? Sudan rejects tying its removal from US terrorism list to fixing relations with Israel
If being dropped the from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism comes at the cost of normalizing ties with Israel, then the price tag might be too much for Arabic-speaking Sudan, which rejected linking the two issues.
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told the media earlier on Saturday he made it clear to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the removal from Washington’s notorious list of terrorism supporters and the warming of relations with the Israel need to be tackled separately.
“This topic [ties to Israel] needs a deep discussion of the society,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters. The African country has remained on the State Department’s list since 1993, now joined only by Iran, North Korea, and Syria.
The designation exposes the four countries to sweeping US sanctions that involve a ban on arms exports, asset freezes as well as prohibitions on financial and commercial transactions with the outside world.
Back in 2016, when it severed diplomatic ties with Iran, Washington began easing sanctions against Sudan; that pattern was fuelled by the 2019 coup that toppled longtime President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who the US accused of siding with Hezbollah and Palestinian militias.
Sudan is thought to have been in talks over its removal from the terrorism list for quite some time. Now, the US reportedly putting forward the new demand could potentially hinder that endeavor. However, the Trump administration is yet to officially confirm whether linking the two issues has indeed been the case.
The story comes as US diplomats muse that another Arab country might follow the lead of Egypt, Jordan, UAE and Bahrain that have all normalized ties with Israel. Speaking to the Saudi-owned news channel Al Arabiya, US ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft said “our plan is to bring in more countries; we will have more being announced very soon.”
She made no specific mention of any country but signalled Saudi Arabia as one of the candidates.
Meanwhile, there has been speculation that Sudan might be discussing the issue as well. Back in August, Haidar Badawi Sadiq, who was a spokesman for Sudan’s Foreign Ministry at the time, said his country is floating the idea of inking a peace deal with Israel. T
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