African Virus, ‘Chikungunya,’ Spreads To The Americas: WHO Issues Warning

Repeating Islands


An African mosquito-bred virus by the name of “chikungunya” has been confirmed in two cases in the French part of the Caribbean isle of Saint Martin, Lecia Bushak reports for

The World Health Organization (WHO) was notified on Dec. 6 that the island had identified two cases of the disease, which had previously only been found in Africa. Health officials recently released a Global Alert notifying people that a disease outbreak may be imminent. “This is the first time that locally acquired transmission of chikungunya has been detected in the WHO Americas Region,” the WHO said in a statement.

According to the report, there were five cases of joint pain and fever on Nov. 18. The health officials ruled out dengue fever, which has had an outbreak on St. Martin since January of this year. As of Dec. 10, the WHO states that “two confirmed, four probable, and…

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Physicists discover ‘clearest evidence yet’ that Nick Clegg is a hologram

an un-hologram

Pride's Purge


A team of physicists has provided what has been described by the journal Nature as the “clearest evidence yet” that Nick Clegg is not real but is in fact a holographic 2D projection on the extreme boundaries of rational thought and common sense.

The new research could help reconcile one of modern physics’ most enduring paradoxes: the apparent inconsistencies between the different models of the universe as explained by Liberal Democrat manifestos and observations by scientists that Nick Clegg tends to consistently do the complete opposite of them.

The two new scientific papers are the culmination of years’ of work led by Yoshifumi Hyakutake at the Ibaraki University in Japan, and deal with hypothetical calculations of the huge inconsistencies in the behaviour of Lib Dem politicians once they come into close proximity to sources of power such as cabinet titles and ministerial expense accounts.

The idea of the Liberal…

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Cuba loves a bit of capitalism . . . sort of

Repeating Islands


A recent AP article reports that Cuba “kind of” loves a bit of capitalism but it has not advanced to a “dog-eat-dog” consumerism mode yet. Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

But as more and more islanders go into business for themselves under President Raul Castro’s economic reforms, the ethos of capitalism is increasingly seeping into Cuban daily life, often in stark conflict with fundamental tenets of the Cuban Revolution. [. . .] The free market is still limited in Cuba, but already it is altering lives and reshaping attitudes in palpable ways.

[. . .] While many new entrepreneurs have failed, undone by a lack of supplies, a limited customer base and scarce resources, many of those who have succeeded have entered a glamorous world that disappeared after Fidel Castro’s arrival in Havana put an end to the freewheeling 1950s. It’s on display at…

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A to Z reasons why Egypt’s education system is lacking

Egyptian Streets

By Marwan Kamal, contributor,

The following “A-Z” reasons were found after interviewing several teachers and individuals.

A) Poor teachers, willing to accept bribes, cut corners.

Teachers in Egypt are more often than not underpaid. This forces teachers to take up second jobs or be open to accepting bribes, usually from parents, to pass their children.

B) Crowded classrooms

It’s hard to find a country that doesn’t have this problem these days. However, Egypt is unique in this as it’s schools are not proportionality placed, forcing some parents to send their kids across town to find a large school in a majorly adult community.

C) No accountability

Unlike western and European schools, Egypt has no major accountability infrastructure: schools rarely have to report to their districts about numbers or grades, and dialogue between schools and the Ministry of Education is rare.

D) Grades based on repetition not understanding

While a…

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Egyptian Aak. Week 50 (Dec 9-15)


Main Headlines



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In the Brit/Irish Wing of Heaven…now sits Peter O’Toole.

Longshot's Blog

Peter-O' Toole-Lawrence-of Arabia

I’m sure Richard Burton, fellow Irishman Richard Harris and classmate Alan Bates greeted their Shakespearean equal with wide grins, glasses in hand and a bottle to share. Fans around the world aware that we’ve lost another icon and are running out of the best.

Upon hearing the news of O’Toole’s death as with all the greats who leave us, a deep sadness set in. Flashes of all the movies, masterpieces, performances he blessed us with went flying through my mind. As a child I remember the raves of what seemed everybody on Lawrence of Arabia, adults and teens alike were flocking to the theaters to see not one but two handsome men with Omar Sharif. Though it would be O’Toole that would captivate the audience.

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Byline Portal – Did we mean to cut people off from medicine with sanctions?

A combination of international sanctions and mismanagement by the Iranian government are blamed for the current state of medical chaos in Iran.

“It’s been five months now that we are looking for an anti-allergy vaccine for my brother,” says one person interviewed by Global Voices about Iran\’s public health situation. “One of our relatives with cancer cannot find his medicine,” remarked another. “I am struggling to find insulin,” says a diabetic man.

via Byline Portal.

Bachelet pledges radical constitutional reforms after winning Chilean election | World news | The Guardian

After winning the biggest landslide since Chile\’s return to democracy, the president-elect, Michelle Bachelet, vowed on Monday to push ahead with an ambitious programme of tax, educational and constitutional reforms to address inequality.

The centre-left politician – who secured 62% of Sunday\’s vote – was also expected to propose legislation on reproductive rights and same-sex marriage in this predominantly Catholic nation.

In a switch of power, Bachelet trounced her conservative opponent, Evelyn Matthei from the Alianza coalition, which has run the country for the past four years.

Despite a low turnout of 42%, the win puts the Chilean Socialist party leader back in the La Moneda presidential palace, where she had been the incumbent from 2006 to 2010. Her first administration was popular, but made only modest inroads into reducing inequality. In her second term, the president-elect has promised more radical changes.

\”Chile has looked at itself, has looked at its path, its recent history, its wounds, its feats, its unfinished business and this Chile has decided it is the time to start deep transformations,\” Bachelet told supporters in a jubilant victory speech.

via Bachelet pledges radical constitutional reforms after winning Chilean election | World news | The Guardian.