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As Ford closes, European rust belt seeks new ideas
21 Dec 2014 at 2:20am
By Robin Emmott and Robert-Jan Bartunek GENK, Belgium (Reuters) - In the heart of western Europe, the Belgian-Dutch-German rust belt has been dealt another blow. Two car plants closed this month as companies sought cheaper labor elsewhere, the final chapter of a manufacturing boom that began when coal mines fuelling Europe's industrialization shut in the 1960s. Now the region straddling three borders is trying to reinvent itself. A 315 billion euro EU investment plan, announced on Thursday, is the latest potential help. ...
Britain lifts bird flu restrictions on duck farm
21 Dec 2014 at 1:45am
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Sunday lifted restrictions on the movement of poultry in a six-mile (9.7-km) zone around a duck farm in northern England where the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu strain was found last month. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said in a statement that all restrictions, including those covering the storage, transport and sourcing of meat products, had been lifted. ...
U.N.'s Ebola mission should be closed once battle won: Ban
20 Dec 2014 at 11:53pm
By Matthew Mpoke Bigg BAMAKO (Reuters) - The United Nations mission to fight Ebola should be wound down quickly once the battle is won, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday during his first tour of countries stricken with the virus. The U.N. emergency Ebola response mission, or UNMEER, was set up in September to coordinate policy and logistics for a campaign that includes governments, charities and healthcare workers from affected countries. Ban said UNMEER differed from peacekeeping missions and should not outlive its immediate purpose. ...
Liberian voter turnout low as Ebola overshadows senate election
20 Dec 2014 at 11:27pm
By James Harding Giahyue MONROVIA (Reuters) - Turnout for Liberian parliamentary elections on Saturday appeared to be low as concerns about Ebola kept many voters at home. Polling stations were largely empty after voting began at 8 a.m. (0800 GMT) in the seafront capital Monrovia, with voters occasionally drifting in, despite precautions put in place by the National Elections Commission (NEC). Staff with temperature guns at polling stations checked voters for any signs of the hemorrhagic fever, which is spread via bodily fluids. ...
South Korea halts U.S. poultry imports due to bird flu in U.S.
20 Dec 2014 at 7:42pm
By Meeyoung Cho SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea has suspended imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products because of an outbreak of bird flu in the United States, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The suspension, from Saturday, comes as South Korea is struggling to contain its own outbreak of bird flu in birds. "This import suspension is a quarantine measure to prevent the HPAI virus from entering the country," the ministry statement said, referring to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus. ...
Child tests negative for Ebola at Chicago hospital
20 Dec 2014 at 12:33pm
(Reuters) - A child being monitored for Ebola in a Chicago hospital has been discharged after testing negative for the virus, the state health agency said on Saturday. Federal officials screening for Ebola at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago detected a fever in the child, who had been held in isolation at the University of Chicago Medical Center for monitoring since Friday. "Tests by the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed a negative result for Ebola," the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement. ...
Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears
20 Dec 2014 at 11:04am
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) ? Health workers carrying thermometers and sanitizers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.
Sierra Leone peacekeepers to leave Somalia mission
20 Dec 2014 at 8:34am
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) ? A Sierra Leone military official says the country is withdrawing from the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia after being blocked from rotating its soldiers over concerns about the spread of Ebola.
WHO: Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000
20 Dec 2014 at 7:20am
CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) ? The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon continued his tour of Ebola-affected countries in West Africa on Saturday.
Child being observed at Chicago hospital to rule out Ebola
20 Dec 2014 at 6:52am
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - A child who arrived in Chicago with a fever was under observation on Friday at a city hospital to rule out the Ebola virus, hospital officials said. Federal officials screening arriving passengers at O'Hare International Airport detected the fever, but no other symptoms of the disease, the University of Chicago Medical Center said in a statement. The patient was isolated under strict quarantine protocols until the child?s condition improves and a diagnosis is established, the hospital said. The child was in stable condition. ...
Ebola death toll in three African countries hits 7,373: WHO
20 Dec 2014 at 5:57am
GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date there, the World Health Organization said on Saturday. The latest data, posted overnight on the WHO website, reflected nearly 500 new deaths from the worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since previous WHO figures were issued on Dec. 17. Sierra Leone accounts for the most cases, 8,759, against 7,819 for Liberia. ...
UN's Ban urges end to discrimination against Ebola workers
20 Dec 2014 at 5:55am
By Matthew Mpoke Bigg CONAKRY (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday urged countries affected by the Ebola virus to avoid discriminating against healthcare workers fighting to end the disease. Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic. According to the latest World Health Organization figures, 7,373 people have died of Ebola in the three worst-affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. ...
Japan scientists develop micro-fine adhesive sensors
20 Dec 2014 at 2:24am
Scientists in Japan have developed a sticky sheet of tiny sensors that can be put directly on moving joints, beating hearts or other living tissues. "Just by applying to the body like a compress, our novel sheet sensor detects biometric information extremely accurately," researchers at the University of Tokyo said in a statement Friday. The secret is an adhesive gel that prevents a fine grid of sensors from slipping, even if the thing they are in contact with is moving, said the team led by professor Takao Someya at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems.
American nurse exposed to Ebola released from hospital
20 Dec 2014 at 2:16am
(Reuters) - An American nurse who was exposed to Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone was released from the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center in Maryland on Friday without showing signs of the disease, NIH said. "The patient has shown no clinical or laboratory evidence of Ebola infection and will complete 21 days of monitoring at a private residence in Virginia under the direction of the Virginia Department of Health," NIH said in a statement. ...
UN chief praises Ebola nurses, pledges support during visit
20 Dec 2014 at 12:37am
By Matthew Mpoke Bigg HASTINGS, Sierra Leone (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised healthcare workers fighting the Ebola virus as he paid his first visit to Liberia and Sierra Leone following an outbreak that has killed nearly 7,000 people. Ban paid tribute to local workers and the United Nations, but he singled out medics from the three countries at the heart of the epidemic who have fallen sick while treating patients. ...