Monkeypox cases around the world
Nearly 20 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease, with more than 100 confirmed or suspected infections mostly in Europe.
The outbreaks are raising alarm because monkeypox, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys.
Below is a list of countries that have so far reported suspected or confirmed cases, in alphabetical order:
* AUSTRALIA on May 20 reported its first case in a traveller who recently returned from Britain. Another suspected case was also identified.
* AUSTRIA confirmed its first case on May 22.
* BELGIUM detected two cases on May 20.
* CZECH REPUBLIC detected its first case on May 24.
* DENMARK confirmed a second case on May 24, a day after the first.
* FINLAND discovered a "highly likely" first case, Helsinki hospital district said on May 25.
* FRANCE's number of confirmed cases rose to five on May 25.
* GERMANY has confirmed three cases, with the first registered on May 20.
* ITALY has confirmed six cases by May 25. It detected its first case on May 19.
* The NETHERLANDS reported its first case on May 20. It has since confirmed "several" more patients, without stating the exact number.
* PORTUGAL reported 14 new confirmed cases on May 23, bringing the total to 37.
* SLOVENIA confirmed its first case on May 24.
* SPAIN confirmed 11 new cases in the Madrid region on May 24, bringing the country's total to 48.
* SWEDEN confirmed its first case on May 19.
* SWITZERLAND reported its first confirmed case on May 21.
* The UNITED KINGDOM detected 14 new cases in England on May 24, taking the total of identified cases to 70.
* ISRAEL confirmed its first case on May 21.
* The UNITED ARAB EMIRATES detected its first case on May 24, state news agency WAM reported.
* ARGENTINA reported its first suspected case on May 23. No cases are yet confirmed in South America.
* CANADA has confirmed 15 infections in the Quebec province as of May 24. The province's health department said more cases from other parts of the country were expected.
* The UNITED STATES has confirmed two cases, the first on May 18. A third case is suspected as of May 23.
China's Xi holds rare meeting with UN human rights official
Chinese President Xi Jinping held an unusual meeting with a top human rights chief, highlighting the importance his administration places on United Nations official Michelle Bachelet's landmark visit to China.
Beijing is willing to discuss rights issues and cooperate with all parties on the basis of mutual respect, Xi said in a video call with Bachelet on Wednesday, state broadcaster China Central Television reported. Xi added that each country must follow a path of human rights development that suits it best based on its situation and the needs of its people.
Bachelet told Xi that the UN Human Rights Commission she heads is willing to boost communications and discuss cooperation with China.
"I admire the efforts and achievement China has made in the areas of poverty elimination, human rights protection, as well as realizing economic and social development," she said, according to CCTV.
(Source: Bloomberg News)
Twitter to hold annual meeting amid Musk uncertainty
Twitter Inc will face skeptical shareholders on Wednesday during its annual meeting, as doubt remains over whether the social media company will complete its deal to be acquired by billionaire Elon Musk at the agreed-upon price.
The Tesla chief executive tweeted on May 13 that the $44 billion acquisition was "temporarily on hold" while he sought more information about the proportion of fake accounts on Twitter.
The company said last week it remained committed to the deal at the agreed price. However, investors have appeared unconvinced, as Twitter's shares closed on Tuesday at $35.76, representing a 34% discount to the $54.20 per share deal price.
While the virtual annual meeting will include a question and answer session on Wednesday, a Twitter spokesperson said the company will not answer deal-related questions.
(Source: Reuters News)
Tedros re-elected as head of World Health Organization
The World Health Organization's (WHO) members re-elected Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as Director General by a strong majority for another five years, the president of the World Health Assembly said on Tuesday.
The vote by secret ballot, announced by Ahmed Robleh Abdilleh from Djibouti at a major annual meeting, was seen as a formality since Tedros was the only candidate running.
Ministers and delegates took turns to shake hands and hug Tedros, a former health minister from Ethiopia, who has steered the UN agency through a turbulent period dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The president had to use a gavel several times to interrupt the applause.
Addressing the assembly soon after his re-election, Tedros said the WHO's focus will be on emergency preparedness and improvement of the agency.
"This pandemic has been very unprecedented and many lessons that we should learn and we are learning. But, at the same time we cannot just pause, learn and implement...instead of pausing to learn, we're saying while learning let's implement."
Ukraine's Zelenskiy offers condolences over Texas school shooting
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims of the Texas school shooting, the worst school massacre in the United States for nearly a decade.
"I would like to express my condolences to all of the relatives and family members of the children who were killed in the awful shooting in a Texas elementary school," Zelenskiy said as he addressed an event on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos via video link.
"As far as I know, 21 people were killed, including 19 children. This is terrible, to have victims of shooters in peaceful time," he added.
Filled with rage and grief, and so broken by the murders in Uvalde. By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others. By the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak. Steve’s words ring so true and cut so deep. https://t.co/Rb5uwSTxty— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 25, 2022
Taylor Swift 'filled with rage and grief' as celebrities react to Uvalde shooting
Sharing a video of NBA coach Steve Kerr's passionate plea for tighter gun control, Taylor tweeted: "Filled with rage and grief, and so broken by the murders in Uvalde.
"By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others. By the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak.
"Steve's words ring so true and cut so deep."
Golden State Warriors coach Kerr emotionally urged politicians to take action as he blasted the "pathetic" state of affairs, and refused to discuss basketball during his press conference.
He said: "I'm tired. I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there.
"I'm so tired of the – I'm sorry – I'm tired of the moments of silence. Enough."
(Source: BANG ShowBiz)
Today in my home state of Texas 18 innocent students were killed while simply trying to get an education. A teacher killed doing her job; an invaluable yet sadly under appreciated job. If children aren’t safe at school where are they safe?— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) May 25, 2022
French cases of monkeypox rise to five, versus three previously -minister
The number of confirmed cases of the monkeypox virus in France has risen to five, from three earlier in the week, French Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon told RTL radio on Wednesday, as she promoted a targeted vaccination campaign against it.
France's health authority said earlier this week that it recommended that at-risk adults who have been in contact with a patient with confirmed monkeypox should be vaccinated. Health staff who have been exposed to a monkeypox patient should also receive the vaccine, it added.
Russia ready to set up corridor for ships carrying food to leave Ukraine
Russia is ready to provide a humanitarian corridor for vessels carrying food to leave Ukraine, the Interfax news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko as saying on Wednesday.
Russia will discuss the possibility of holding a prisoner exchange with Ukraine once prisoners who surrendered have been convicted, Rudenko also said. Russian and separatist officials have said some of those who surrendered should be put on trial for war crimes.
He added it was premature to establish a Russian military base in the Russian-controlled area of Ukraine's Kherson region.
Monkeypox virus detected in Portugal less aggressive, researcher says
The monkeypox virus circulating in Portugal belongs to a less aggressive lineage spreading in West Africa, the National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge said Tuesday.
The research team of Joao Paulo Gomes, head of the Bioinformatics Unit of the Institute's Department of Infectious Diseases, has completed the genome-sequencing of the monkeypox virus spreading in the country, Gomes told Lusa news agency.
The virus in Portugal "is more closely related to the monkeypox virus from Nigeria," which was detected in 2018 and 2019 in countries, including Britain, Israel, and Singapore, the expert said, noting that there is another more aggressive lineage of monkeypox circulating in Central Africa.
"In theory, it evolves more than we expected. Eventually, we will be able to see that these genomic traits may be associated with greater transmissibility, we don't know yet," he said.
(Source: Xinhua News Agency)
WATCH: 19 students, 2 adults killed in Texas primary school mass shooting, teenage gunman shot dead
A total of 19 students and two adults were killed on Tuesday when a teenage gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Texas before the shooter was shot dead, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed on Tuesday.
According to CNN, At least 19 children and two adults were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday afternoon. Officials say that the suspect, an 18-year-old student at Uvalde High School has been killed.
Investigators say the suspect was armed with a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines, according to reports by BBC News.
The teenager is suspected of shooting his grandmother at the start of the rampage.
Read more here.