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Member since: Thu Jan 12, 2012, 03:24 PM
Number of posts: 8,488

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Liberia troops fire on protesters as West Africa's Ebola toll hits 1,350

Security forces in the Liberian capital fired live rounds and tear gas on Wednesday to disperse a stone-throwing crowd trying to break an Ebola quarantine imposed on their neighborhood, as the death toll from the epidemic in West Africa hit 1,350.

In the sprawling oceanfront West Point neighborhood of Monrovia, at least four people were injured in clashes with security forces, witnesses said. It was unclear whether anyone was wounded by the gunfire, though a Reuters photographer saw a young boy with his leg largely severed just above the ankle.

Liberian authorities introduced a nationwide curfew on Tuesday and put the West Point neighborhood under quarantine to curb the spread of the disease.

"The soldiers are using live rounds," said army spokesman Dessaline Allison, adding: "The soldiers applied the rules of engagement. They did not fire on peaceful citizens. There will be medical reports if (an injury) was from bullet wounds."


Nigeria Has Reduced Number Of Ebola Cases To One

At a press conference, Professor Chukwu said that only one Ebola patient remained in isolation in Nigeria, down from the 13 cases confirmed since the outbreak of the virus in July.

The deadly virus was first brought to Nigeria by a Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer who died on July 25.

After Mr Sawyer’s death, health workers who treated him tested positive.

Professor Chukwu said: “So far Nigeria has had 13 cases including the index case”.

“Five of those infected, including Mr Sawyer died, while seven have successfully recovered and were discharged.

* * *

According to him, All the 129 people, who were under surveillance, have completed the 21-day observation incubation period and only one person was found to be symptomatic and is still being observed.


The alleged robbery is as insignificant as the alleged jaywalking

Regardless of whether Wilson knew about the alleged robbery or whether he was initiated his interaction with Brown because of alleged jaywalking, what happen after that is all that matters.

The initial interaction, or stop, was likely legal whether it was to investigate a robbery or to enforce a jaywalking violation. The release of the robbery information today was coordinated solely to distract from the release of Wilson's name, and has worked.

All that matters is why Wilson shot Brown.

The cop that responded to the robbery stayed on scene for 7 hours

The police reports on the robbery are interesting, as they always are. The responding officer arrived on scene at 11:54, but did not depart until 18:54 (6:54pm), the same time which the event was "closed."

In that time, both Brown and Johnson are identified by name, complete with their driver's permit or ID numbers and addresses.

In other words, it seems that the responding cop stayed on scene until it was relayed to him that the "suspect" had been killed, including his identifying information.

The responding officer's report says that the dispatch was of "a D/M in a white t-shirt that was walking northbound on W Florissant." That dispatch likely came from the call operator who took the 911 call. Once inside, the suspect was identified as wearing yellow socks, and a red Cardinals hat and khaki longer shorts. He gave out that information on the radio.

That being so, today is the first time that the cigar robbery has been mentioned in public. All accounts up until today were that the stop of Brown began because the cop told them to get on the sidewalk.


EDIT to update dumbass math.

All 10 Persons Who Had Direct Contact With Patrick Sawyer Infected With Ebola; 4 Have Died

Patrick Sawyer, you remember, is the Liberian-American who traveled to Liberia where his sister died of Ebola. He contracted Ebola from her, apparently when dealing with her body after her death. The below report says that all ten people who had direct contact with Sawyer after he arrived and collapsed in Nigeria are infected with Ebola.

Sadly, all 10 persons who had direct contact with Sawyer have all tested positive to the disease. They have all been quarantined in an isolation ward at a Yaba hospital in Lagos. Of the number, four have died, while six are yet alive.

It is however instructive that as wild as the spread of the disease seems, the Nigerian authorities have striven to ensure a containment by ensuring that the infection does not spread beyond the 10 primary contacts with the index case: Patrick Sawyer.

Unfortunately, however, the 10 primary contacts had contact with some other members of the public, including family members. Thus almost 200 secondary contacts have all been put under surveillance in Lagos and Enugu.
Nonetheless, it is remarkable to note that none of the secondary contact persons, who are under surveillance has so far tested positive to the deadly virus.

What that indicates is that as long as the Nigerian medical authorities are able to rein-in all primary and secondary contacts and shield them from other members of the public as well as closely monitor them, the spread of the infection would have been greatly limited. And that will offer a reprieve, in a way.

It was as a result of the determination of the authorities to ensure that the spread of the disease is contained and quickly tamed, that the young female nurse who had primary contact with Sawyer at First Consultants, but travelled to Enugu to see her husband, was forced back to Lagos along with her husband, especially as she had tested positive to the virus.

Already, some 21 persons who came in contact with the nurse in Enugu were earlier placed under surveillance. However, 15 of them have been cleared of any infection while six remain under surveillance, after they had undergone extensive appraisal from medical experts.


Obama weighs strategy against Islamic State

The Obama administration is grappling with how to bridge the gap between its increasingly dire assessment of the threat posed by the Islamic State group and the limited, defensive air campaign it has so far undertaken, which military officials acknowledge will not blunt the group's momentum.

For months, administration officials have been divided about the threat posed by the Islamic State as it seized parts of Syria and advanced on towns in Iraq. Now, amid new intelligence about its growing strength, a consensus is forming that the group presents an unacceptable terrorism risk to the United States and its allies.

* * *

A strategy to destroy the Islamic State would not require large numbers of American ground troops, but it would amount to a significant escalation from the recent air operations, analysts say. It might also require military action in western Syria, where the group has its headquarters in the city of Ar-Raqqah.

Proponents of doing so argue that the Islamic State must be stopped because it will destabilize America's allies in the region and eventually export terror to Europe and the U.S. Critics of the idea are urging the president just as strongly not to get sucked into another Middle East war, arguing that years of American micromanagement in that region have ended in tears.

Obama himself has said the U.S. "has a strategic interest in pushing back" the Islamic State, but he has also insisted he will not send American combat troops back to war in Iraq. He has not shied away from using targeted military force in other places, such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, when he decided that terrorists there threatened the U.S.

* * *

Smashing the Islamic State, military and intelligence analysts say, would require a sustained campaign of American airstrikes, combined with a U.S.-backed ground force of Sunni tribesmen — the same approach that rooted al-Qaida in Iraq out of the Sunni tribal areas in 2008.

But such a campaign would be "orders of magnitudes more difficult" than Yemen because of how well-armed and well-trained Islamic State fighters are, said Peter Mansoor, a retired army colonel who helped oversee a turnaround in Iraq in 2008.

"We have a mismatch between our goals and our strategy at the present time," said Mansoor, now a professor at Ohio State. "The goal eventually is to eliminate (the Islamic State), but the president has laid out a very restrained military option which can't accomplish that goal."

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a security forum in Aspen, Colorado, last month that the military is "preparing a strategy that has a series of options to present to our elected leaders on how we can initially contain, eventually disrupt, and finally defeat (the Islamic State group) over time."


US ground troops land on Iraq's Mt Sinjar to evacuate trapped Yazidis

More than 100 US marines and special forces landed on Mt Sinjar in Iraq on Wednesday to organise an escape route for 30,000 Yazidi civilians threatened by Islamic extremists and worn down by hunger and thirst.

The force flew in on V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that can land vertically. They joined a small number of American special forces soldiers who have been on the mountain for some days, assessing the military and humanitarian situation and guiding US air strikes against Islamic State (Isis) fighters encircling the mountain.

A handful of British SAS soldiers are also in the area to “gather intelligence” a British official said.

Fleeing Yazidis have reported seeing small teams of American soldiers high on the northern flank. “We weren’t allowed to go near them,” said a man from Sinjar who was airlifted from the former base. “They were being guarded by the Kurds.”

The US ran a military and intelligence base on a now disused airfield at the top of Mt Sinjar for much of the Iraq war and the terrain of the rugged 45 mile ridgeline is well known to special operations units. The airfield could be used as one end of an air bridge to fly refugees to safety, if it is impossible to open a land route.

* * *

The White House insists that defending its forces against attack from Isis during an evacuation mission would be different from seeking out an engagement with the militants, which it is leaving to others.


So now, troops on the ground who engage in defensive combat won't actually be "combat troops on the ground." The WH is really painting itself into a political corner.

More than 1,000 American Military Personnel On the Ground in Iraq Now

The United States has taken the lead in providing support to the Kurdish region, with the Pentagon sending an additional 130 military advisers to northern Iraq to help plan the evacuation of thousands of Yazidis.

The deployment brought the number of American military personnel in Iraq to more than 1,000, less than three years after the last combat troops left the country. A senior administration official said that the military was drawing up plans for consideration by President Obama that could include American ground troops in what is likely to be an international effort to rescue the refugees.

Around 900 American military advisers and security personnel were already in Iraq working with Iraqi security forces and protecting American personnel at the embassy in Baghdad and at other sites.


U.S. planes based at airfields in Iraq for first time since withdraw

The Pentagon has sent tilt-rotor cargo aircraft and helicopters to a "secure airfield" in northern Iraq as it weighs a possible operation to evacuate thousands of Yazidi refugees from the mountain.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the V-22 aircraft, which can land and take off like helicopters, were positioned near Irbil with a team of Marines and special operations troops who are assessing how to get the refugees out safely.

The purpose of this team is to assess other options" beyond airdrops of food, water and other supplies to the refugees, he said. "There's no question that speed is of the essence."

President Obama has made no decisions yet about such a move, which could put U.S. forces closer to the extremist fighters who have laid siege to the area, and has asked U.S. military advisors that he sent to Iraq to develop proposals for his consideration, according to Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor.

* * *

But they are the first U.S. planes based at airfields in Iraq since the crisis began, according to the Pentagon, signaling a steadily growing American role for an Operation that President Obama had pledged to keep limited.

Warren would not disclose the location of the airfield, but he said it was protected by Marines and Kurdish troops.

The possibility of a U.S.-led evacuation had grown in recent days as airstrikes have reduced the fighting ability of militants around Sinjar, officials said.

* * *
There are now 198 U.S. military personnel in northern Iraq, Warren said


The 198 troops in northern Iraq does not include the 130 "advisers" en route. The US is back at war in Iraq. "In an interview with USA TODAY on Tuesday, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military's effort there could take months but will be limited." http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/08/13/iraq-maliki-kurds/13990519/

Another (third) Ebola death in Nigeria (Sawyer contact)

An Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) official has died of the Ebola virus disease in Nigeria, the West African regional bloc said in a statement, taking the total number of deaths in the country to three.

"The ECOWAS Commission announces with deep regret the passing of a staff member of its Lagos liaison office, Jatto Asihu Abdulqudir, aged 36," MENA news agency quoted the statement issued Tuesday as saying.

"Abdulqudir, a protocol assistant, was among those who assisted the Liberian delegate to a regional meeting, Patrick Sawyer, who died from the Ebola virus disease at a Lagos hospital July 25, 2014."

The official had been quarantined since Sawyer was confirmed as having Ebola.

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