Democrats need a 2020 candidate who inspires. Joe Biden isn’t it | Max Berger

right – time is up Joe – stay on speaking circuit and help but don’t run.

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Obama’s deputy represents the worst of the last 40 years of the Democratic party. Let’s look to future and pick someone else

This week, at least five women have come forward to accuse Joe Biden of inappropriately touching them in public spaces. (The first was Lucy Flores in a heartfelt article in New York magazine.) In response, Biden put out a two-minute video that didn’t include an apology. Instead, his team put out a “bat signal” to Democratic elites and allies to come forward and defend him. At a moment when working-class women of color are finally getting space in mainstream politics to speak their truth, the Democratic party should be realigning to put their concerns front and center. Throughout his career, Biden has done the opposite.

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To import nuclear fuel Saudi Arabia must agree to inspections – IAEA chief

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  • Yukiya Amano says Saudis have yet to reveal intentions
  • Research reactor is nearing completion in Riyadh

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog organisation said Saudi Arabia would have to agree to a programme of inspections and other safeguards before importing nuclear fuel for a research reactor nearing completion in Riyadh.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said, however, that Riyadh had not yet given a clear answer on its intentions.

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Officials forced way in to Stephen Moore home after failure to pay ex-wife debts

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Authorized 2013 break-in began process of selling property owned by Trump Fed pick to raise money owed after divorce

A court official accompanied by four police officers had to break into the home of Stephen Moore, Donald Trump’s pick for the Federal Reserve board, after he repeatedly failed to pay debts to his ex-wife.

Related: Democrats seek financial records from Trump Fed pick after Guardian report

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‘Sentencing their dog to death’: how the anti-vax movement spread to pets

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There has been a spike in people refusing to vaccinate pets against deadly diseases, including some that can infect humans

Sam Kovac can’t say for sure what prompted it, but in the past few weeks the Sydney veterinarian has been faced with the same alarming, beguiling question over and over: “Will this vaccination give my dog autism?”

“It’s actually ridiculous. I mean you hear chatter over the years, but just in these last few weeks it’s really, really ramped up,” he tells Guardian Australia.

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Measles hot spots all over Australia

Overnight, New South Wales announced another two cases of measles bringing its total “since Christmas” to 30 cases.[1] Today Queensland announced another two as well. But perhaps more worrying is the very sudden but much quieter measles outbreak happening in the Northern Territory (NT).[10] Measles hot spots are popping up all over Australia.

Latest Measles cases reported from New South Wales (NSW)
Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

In 2014, Australia was officially certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having eliminated measles.[10][2] Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease, and Australia has good vaccine uptake.

The cases Australia detects begin when an infected visitor or citizen returning from travel to countries without sufficient vaccine coverage. Sometimes, those cases pass the infection to others within Australia who are not adequately immunised. This transmission is especially obvious when it occurs in a pocket of unvaccinated people. Our high vaccine coverage means this doesn’t happen very often. But 2019 is turngin out to be a busy one.

2019 is seeing quite a few new measles cases

Measles hot spots have popped up all over Australia. Victoria is up to 9 cases for 2019 [2], South Australia has had 2 [4], Western Australia reports 15 [5], 1 has been reported from the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland has reported 9-11 [7-9] and Tasmania remains measles-free in 2019. Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory recently reported 23 cases.[11] These aren’t all worryingly unusual numbers overall, but some are, and some are high for this early in the year.

Measles cases in Australian States and Territories.
Data from the
NATIONAL NOTIFIABLE DISEASES SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM

Is the Darwin outbreak still going?

The Northern Territory produced a series of media releases from early March, detailing a rapid rise in new Measles cases.

The first case was reported February 7th. This was a Darwin resident returning from travel to Vietnam.[12] They visited the Palmerston Regional Hospital on the 15th and 17th of February. The second case also visited that hospital. The next media update, March 19, listed eight cases – four of them having been confirmed in the preceding two days.[13] There were no direct links between the previous and new cases.

The March 26th update listed 12 cases, all from around the local area.[14] The last update, March 28, described 23 cases and noted that initial measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations would now include 9-12-month-old babies, thus dropping the age at which the first of two vaccine doses are given by three months.[10] This final update noted that most cases so far were in adults. There were “well over” 1,000 contacts of cases.

Measles in the Northern Territory has been showing a worrying rate of new cases.

But that last report was over a week ago. Given how steep the curve (above) was up until the 28th, it’s very tempting to think that there have been more cases since then. But the national figures also haven’t moved so perhaps the outbreak was very quaikcly contained.

It is important to find out what’s happening in the NT. Messaging helps remind the local population about vaccination and boosters. Communication also alerts the rest of the country to the degree of risk to expect from travelling to, and in travellers from, the Darwin area.

There are a lot of causes of fever and rash. Sometimes it’s hard to narrow down a likely culprit in the early stages of a disease. Travel and contact history help inform initial laboratory testing and management of patients. Knowing that travel from within Australia could be a factor – not just from a known overseas measles hotspot – is important information to have.

Stay tuned.

References

  1. Fresh alert as measles cases hit 30
    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/Pages/20190404_00.aspx
  2. Elimination of endemic measles transmission in Australia
    https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/1/07-046375.pdf
  3. Vaccine preventable diseases summary | Victoria State Government
    https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/infectious-diseases/infectious-diseases-surveillance/search-infectious-diseases-data/vaccine-preventable-diseases-summary
  4. Measles case in Adelaide
    https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/protecting+public+health/alerts/health+alerts/measles+case+in+adelaide
  5. Measles Notifications | Department of Health, WA Government
    https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/N_R/Notifiable-infectious-disease-report?report=measles
  6. Health alert: Measles case notified in Canberra
    https://www.health.act.gov.au/public-health-alert/health-alert-measles-case-notified-canberra
  7. Notifiable conditions reports: Summary information | Queensland Govt, Queensland Health
    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/surveillance/reports/notifiable/summary
  8. National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) | Commonwealth of Australia
    http://www9.health.gov.au/cda/source/rpt_4.cfm
  9. Health authorities warn of a measles outbreak in Queensland’s north
    https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/health-authorities-warn-of-a-measles-outbreak-in-queenslands-north/news-story/31cbe8e761024a00b6393d036b528e9d
  10. Third Annual Meeting of the Regional Verification Commission for Measles Elimination in the Western Pacific | WHO WPRO
    https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/208616/RS_2014_GE_04_KOR_eng.pdf
  11. Measles Update – Vaccination program extended
    https://health.nt.gov.au/news/measles-update-vaccination-program-extended
  12. Measles alert
    https://health.nt.gov.au/news/measles-alert
  13. Further measles cases in Darwin
    https://health.nt.gov.au/news/further-measles-cases-in-darwin
  14. Update – Measles outbreak
    https://health.nt.gov.au/news/update-measles-outbreak

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US-Saudi dual citizens among eight critics of regime detained

First arrests since Jamal Khashoggi killing include women’s rights activists

Saudi Arabia has launched a fresh round of arrests of activists and critics, many of them supporters of jailed civil rights campaigners, in an apparent rebuff to mounting international pressure over its treatment of dissidents.

Eight people, including two US-Saudi citizens, were detained on Thursday in the first such sweep of perceived critics of the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, since the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

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