Posts Tagged ‘Israel grossman Information’

In Syria, The U.S. Weighs A Range Of Unpalatable Options

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 21 2014

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Forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar Assad walk along a street in Mleiha, near the Damascus airport, during a tour organized by the Syrian government on Aug. 15.

Omar Sanadiki/Reuters/Landov


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Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad walk along a street in Mleiha, near the Damascus airport, during a tour organized by the Syrian government on Aug. 15.

Forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar Assad walk along a street in Mleiha, near the Damascus airport, during a tour organized by the Syrian government on Aug. 15.

Omar Sanadiki/Reuters/Landov

President Obama said Wednesday that the Islamic State is a cancer that threatens all governments in the Middle East. But that raises the question of what the U.S. could or should do.

Two former U.S. ambassadors to Syria, Robert Ford and Ryan Crocker, have advocated different approaches to a conflict where there are many different options. But none is appealing and there’s no guarantee, or even a likelihood that U.S. action would ultimately determine the outcome.

Ford, who stepped down from the post in February, has wanted the U.S. to do more to arm moderate rebels, who are battling both President Bashar Assad’s regime and Islamic State militants.

Crocker, on the other hand, has long argued that the Assad regime may be bad, but it doesn’t pose nearly the same threat compared with the Islamic State, which previously called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

“I am no apologist for the Assad regime. I was there under father [Hafez Assad] and son [Bashar Assad],” says Crocker, who served as ambassador to Syria from 1998-2001. “They are a brutal bunch of bastards, without question. But in terms of our security, ISIS is by far the largest threat.

A Call To Strike In Syria And Iraq

Crocker also thinks the U.S. needs to launch airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria as well as Iraq — even if that means some coordination with Assad.

The Islamic State controls large swaths of territory in eastern Syria and western Iraq, and has declared a caliphate, or a single Muslim empire that does not recognize existing borders.

“Since they erased the Iraq-Syria border, we should take them up on it,” says Crocker, “and go after them both in Iraq and in Syria. They don’t respect the border, but neither should we.”

Crocker, now the dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas AM, says there is no need to form an open alliance with Assad, who the U.S. accuses of carrying out mass atrocities.

Meanwhile, Joshua Landis, a Syria analyst, notes that any action the U.S. might take could play into Assad’s hands.

Related NPR Stories

“It means helping his government, because any attempt to destroy ISIS, which owns a third of the country, is going to rebound to his benefit unless the other militias take that territory,” says Landis, who teaches at the University of Oklahoma and runs the blog Syria Comment.

There are other analysts and former State Department officials who argue that the U.S. should be doing much more to help moderate militias that are battling both the Islamic State and the Assad regime.

But Landis is skeptical.

“We don’t have allies that are strong enough to replace the Syrian state and stabilize the country,” he says.

So that poses a big dilemma for the U.S.

“If you work with Assad, you damage your reputation, but you might be able to help the Syrian people not die as much,” Landis says. “If you destroy the Syrian state, what’s left of it, you are going to get more chaos, and more ISIS.”

Andrew Tabler, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, believes this debate and the Syrian conflict will play out for some time to come. He argues there are moral and practical reasons to avoid dealing with Assad.

“The biggest issue standing in the way of working with the Assad regime, even tacitly, is the real operational limitations of the Assad regime’s forces,” he says. “They are not heavily present in the eastern part of the country where ISIS is dominant. And when they fight ISIS directly, and they do sometimes, they are not very good at retaking and holding territory.”

The U.S. is also concerned that the Syrian government has allowed the Islamic State to flourish, perhaps to show the world that those opposing the regime are terrorists.

Tabler says Obama has no good choices, but should at least be asking: “What can dislodge ISIS forces from that area? And the answer is, I think, working with moderates, including tribes in that area, very much like we are doing in Iraq.”

But Obama has been far more cautious about getting involved in Syria since the war erupted there three years ago. And so far, he’s given no indication that he’s considering a major move in Syria.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/08/20/341939270/in-syria-the-u-s-weighs-a-range-of-unpalatable-options?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

No. 1 Most Expensive Coffee Comes From Elephant’s No. 2

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 21 2014

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Elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores. The fermentation happening in their gut as they break down cellulose helps remove the bitterness in the coffee beans.

Michael Sullivan/NPR


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Elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores. The fermentation happening in their gut as they break down cellulose helps remove the bitterness in the coffee beans.

Elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores. The fermentation happening in their gut as they break down cellulose helps remove the bitterness in the coffee beans.

Michael Sullivan/NPR

I s% you not: The world’s most expensive coffee is now being produced in Thailand’s Golden Triangle, a region better known for another high-priced, if illegal, export: opium.

Canadian entrepreneur Blake Dinkin, 44, is betting his life savings that he can turn his idea into, well, gold. Here’s the catch: His Black Ivory Coffee is made by passing coffee beans through the not insubstantial stomachs of elephants and then picking the beans out of, well, yeah, that.

It’s similar to Kopi Luwak, the civet coffee that was all the rage a few years back; Dinkin has just supersized the idea.

He knows Kopi Luwak’s image has been trashed because of concerns over counterfeiting, disease and animal abuse. But he insists there’s nothing fake — or frivolous — about Black Ivory Coffee.

“There’s easier ways to make money,” he says. “I wouldn’t spend 10 years and put my life savings on this if I didn’t think it’s for real, or I thought it was just going to be an overnight gag.”

Gag. Right. Let’s just dispense with the jokes here and now, shall we?

“Crappacino,” “Brew No. 2,” “Good to the last dropping” — Dinkin has heard them all.

And while he’s a good sport about it, it’s clear he’s tired of them, too. He’d rather talk about what makes his brew different — and better — than Kopi Luwak. And it starts with the idea that elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores.

“They eat a lot of grass and a lot of green, leafy matter. A herbivore, to break that down, utilizes fermentation to break down that cellulose,” he says. “Fermentation is great for things like wine or beer or coffee, because it brings out the sugar in the bean, and it helps impart the fruit from the coffee pulp into the bean.”

And that fermentation that helps remove the bitterness, Dinkins says, is what makes his coffee unique.

“I want people to taste the bean, not just the roast,” he says. “The aroma is floral and chocolate; the taste is chocolate malt with a bit of cherry; there’s no bitterness; and it’s very soft, like tea. So it’s kind of like a cross between coffee and tea.”

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Black Ivory Coffee workers sort coffee beans out of elephant dung.

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Black Ivory Coffee workers sort coffee beans out of elephant dung.

Black Ivory Coffee workers sort coffee beans out of elephant dung.

Michael Sullivan/NPR

To get to that point, the coffee beans are mixed into a mash with fruit, then fed to the elephants either by mouth, or hoovered right up the trunk. The latter pretty much sounds like a whole lot of change being sucked up a vacuum cleaner hose.

Then you wait anywhere from one to three days for the elephant to offload its cargo, pick the beans out of the elephant dung (if you can find it), lather, rinse, repeat. It’s not always easy finding “the result,” which is one of the reasons it takes about 33 pounds of coffee beans to make just 1 pound of Black Ivory Coffee.

And it’s not just the slower cooker that makes the coffee different, Dinkin says. He sources his Arabica beans from hill tribes in the north of Thailand near the border with Myanmar. The drying process is long, and the roasting process is precise.

And then there are the elephants. Specifically, how do you go about finding willing vessels? What would you do if some guy cold-called you and said he wanted to use your elephants as slow cookers?

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Blake Dinkin sources his Arabica beans from hill tribes in the north of Thailand. The drying process is long, and the roasting process is precise.

Michael Sullivan/NPR


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Blake Dinkin sources his Arabica beans from hill tribes in the north of Thailand. The drying process is long, and the roasting process is precise.

Blake Dinkin sources his Arabica beans from hill tribes in the north of Thailand. The drying process is long, and the roasting process is precise.

Michael Sullivan/NPR

John Roberts, the director of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, remembers this.

“As long as we could prove that there was no caffeine or anything else harmful leaking out, then it was worth trying, at least,” he says.

Was Roberts worried about the elephants hitting the mash a little too hard? Not really.

“It’s not necessarily elephants getting buzzed that I’m too worried about, it’s elephants missing their caffeine fix and having headaches and being bad-tempered. … It’s very dangerous. The last thing you want is a cranky elephant,” says Roberts.

So what does brew No. 2 taste like? I bought a serving — five or six espresso cups — for $70, and sat on the terrace of the five-star Anantara Golden Triangle hotel to watch Dinkin prepare the “experience.”

First, he ground it lovingly. Then he brewed it, again with love. And then, after it cooled, I was ready.

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A serving of Black Ivory Coffee at the five-star Anantara Golden Triangle hotel in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

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A serving of Black Ivory Coffee at the five-star Anantara Golden Triangle hotel in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

A serving of Black Ivory Coffee at the five-star Anantara Golden Triangle hotel in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Michael Sullivan/NPR

The first thing that came to my (admittedly) juvenile mind was a scene from an Austin Powers movie where he says, “It’s a bit nutty.”

And, in fact, the elephant poop coffee was a bit nutty, but also very flavorful and not at all bitter — just as Dinkin had promised.

I then went inside to pimp a few cups to hotel guests. As luck would have it, the first I met was a Finn — and the Finns drink more coffee per capita than anyone else in the world. That made Juha Hiekkamaki the perfect subject as he sipped — tentatively.

“Yes, that’s very interesting, because usually I use sugar with coffee. But this is quite a gentle taste, and, yeah, I quite like that,” he noted.

Then it got better, because his wife, Claire, is a Brit, and she doesn’t even drink coffee. Her verdict?

“It’s sort of fruity,” she said. “Well, OK, it’s raisin-y to me. I normally describe drinking coffee as a bit like drinking puddle water. But it hasn’t got that horrible muddy water flavor afterwards, which is really nice. I really like it.”

Don’t expect Black Ivory in a Starbucks near you. Dinkin is selling an experience, limited for now to five-star hotels and resorts in Asia and the Middle East — and one tiny store in Comfort, Texas, called The Elephant Story, where the profits go to elephant conservation.

“I’m not looking to produce a lot of this,” Dinkin says. “I just want to keep it as a small, niche business. I get to work with people I really enjoy being with, I can make a decent living from it, and everyone’s happy. That’s what I want.”

He’s still not quite there, but he says he’s close to breaking even.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/20/340154271/no-1-most-expensive-coffee-comes-from-elephants-no-2?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

U.S. Reveals Failed Special Forces Mission To Rescue Hostages

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 21 2014

The Obama administration has revealed that U.S. special forces recently attempted to rescue American hostages in Syria — a mission that was unsuccessful. The statement comes on the heels of the release of a video by the militant group known as the Islamic State, which depicts the killing of American journalist James Foley.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2014/08/20/342008547/u-s-reveals-failed-special-forces-mission-to-rescue-hostages?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Specialty Food And Agriculture Startups Are Ripening In Greece

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 20 2014

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Ilias Smirlis (left) runs a small family farm in Kalamata, Greece. Before he met entrepreneur Sotiris Lymperopoulos, who runs the food service Radiki, he struggled to sell his produce outside Athens. “The demand for excellent products will always exist,” Smirlis says. “The challenge is to find a market.”

Joanna Kakissis/NPR


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Ilias Smirlis (left) runs a small family farm in Kalamata, Greece. Before he met entrepreneur Sotiris Lymperopoulos, who runs the food service Radiki, he struggled to sell his produce outside Athens. The demand for excellent products will always exist, Smirlis says. The challenge is to find a market.

Ilias Smirlis (left) runs a small family farm in Kalamata, Greece. Before he met entrepreneur Sotiris Lymperopoulos, who runs the food service Radiki, he struggled to sell his produce outside Athens. “The demand for excellent products will always exist,” Smirlis says. “The challenge is to find a market.”

Joanna Kakissis/NPR

Most mornings, Sotiris Lymperopoulos walks the craggy shoreline of the western Peloponnese, foraging for salty wild greens.

In his straw hat and shorts, snipping wild chicory, garlic and sea asparagus with a kitchen knife, he hardly looks like a poster boy for Greece’s nascent startup culture. But the 35-year-old Athenian, who trained as an economist, found a viable niche in the country’s post-crisis economy.

“For years, few people appreciated how valuable our own products are,” he says, cutting away a thick-leaved green called kritamos and placing it in a plastic bag. “I want to change that.”

Lymperopoulos grew up spending summers in his father’s ancestral home of Raches, a pinprick village encircled by olive trees. He saw that the produce everyone ate here — the sea greens, the aromatic oranges and lemons, the wild truffles — were far tastier than the fare at the fanciest restaurants in Athens.

“And I thought, this is irrational,” he says. “So, I thought, why don’t I take this food that is great and never goes to Athens and sell it to people who want to pay something more for their food?”

So he left Athens — and a good job in logistics — just before the crisis, and relocated to Raches. He connected with chefs in fine restaurants in Athens and started selling them wild sea greens.

Soon, he was getting flooded with orders for greens, then cultivated produce like carrots, beans and watermelons. He called the service Radiki, which means chicory in Greek.

A Rise In Startups

The high demand for the service didn’t surprise Haris Makryniotis, managing director of Endeavor Greece, which supports startups in the country. The number of startups in Greece has gone up ninefold since 2010, data from Endeavor Greece shows.

The most touted have been tech startups like TaxiBeat, which produces a smartphone application to hail and rate taxi drivers. But Makryniotis says many more sustainable jobs could come in specialty agriculture.

“It’s a sector that’s ripe for job creation,” he says.

For years, Makryniotis says, Greek food products failed to find good homes because of an uncompetitive and stagnant agriculture sector that relied on badly designed European Union subsidies.

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Food entrepreneur Sotiris Lymperopoulos spends many mornings foraging for wild greens such as kritamos, sea asparagus and wild garlic, which he sells to fine restaurants and gourmet shops in Athens.

Joanna Kakissis/NPR


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Food entrepreneur Sotiris Lymperopoulos spends many mornings foraging for wild greens such as kritamos, sea asparagus and wild garlic, which he sells to fine restaurants and gourmet shops in Athens.

Food entrepreneur Sotiris Lymperopoulos spends many mornings foraging for wild greens such as kritamos, sea asparagus and wild garlic, which he sells to fine restaurants and gourmet shops in Athens.

Joanna Kakissis/NPR

“Part of the [subsidy] money was supposed to go to modernization of techniques, new equipment, new ways of cultivating the land,” Makryniotis says. “Instead of making good use of this money, most of the money was wasted either on personal needs or consumption of farmers themselves.”

Many Greek farmers planted just a few crops that were subsidized.

“If olive oil was subsidized,” he says, “we just planted olive trees everywhere. And then we cut them out.”

An Innovative Approach

A few innovative farmers who ignored this mentality cultivated a variety of high-quality products that sold well in local markets. Lymperopoulos discovered one of those farmers, Ilias Smirlis, after trying one of Smirlis’ carrots at a farmers market in Kalamata.

“My parents used to cultivate two types of greens on our farm,” says Smirlis, as he waves to two women in straw hats harvesting red beans. “Now we cultivate 40 kinds of vegetables and fruits.”

Before Smirlis met Lymperopoulos, he only sold his products in local markets in Messinia, a prefecture in the western Peloponnese. Now he also sells them to top-shelf restaurants in Athens.

“The demand for good and high-quality products will always exist,” Smirlis says. “The challenge is to find the market for them.”

If that challenge is met, Makryniotis of Endeavor Greece says at least 300,000 new jobs could be created at a time when the country’s gross domestic product has shrunk by 25 percent in four years and unemployment is still at more than 27 percent — the highest in the eurozone.

But many of those new jobs won’t be in big cities, which means many citified Greeks will have to move to smaller towns and rural areas. That would reverse a longtime trend of rural-to-urban migration that defined Greece’s shift to a postwar service economy.

Only a handful of people have made the move, largely because of a lack of infrastructure, such as schools and housing, as well as amenities, says Alkmini Georgiadi, Lymperopoulos’ wife. She left a high-powered job as a lawyer in Thessaloniki and now teaches yoga and helps her husband with Radiki in Raches.

“There is this attitude that there are no jobs in rural areas, but we are trying to show [people] that you can find a way to work,” Georgiadi says. “People with knowledge and an appetite for work should bring their skills to areas thirsting for change.”

Lymperopoulos says Radiki is expanding its work outside of Greece: He now supplies produce from the Peloponnese to restaurants in Paris and London, and is also partnering with a Greek gourmet food company to sell sea greens to the U.S.

“In Greece, we have the best products, but we don’t have a strategy,” he says. So like many entrepreneurs in post-austerity Greece, he’s decided to write his own.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/19/341651496/specialty-food-and-agriculture-startups-are-ripening-in-greece?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Doctors Without Borders: What We Need To Contain Ebola

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 20 2014

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Dr. Joanne Liu (left), international president of Doctors Without Borders poses with a member of the MSF medical team at the organization’s Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone.

P.K. Lee/Courtesy of Doctors Without Border


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Dr. Joanne Liu (left), international president of Doctors Without Borders poses with a member of the MSF medical team at the organization's Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone.

Dr. Joanne Liu (left), international president of Doctors Without Borders poses with a member of the MSF medical team at the organization’s Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone.

P.K. Lee/Courtesy of Doctors Without Border

With the continuous uptick in the number of cases and deaths in the current Ebola outbreak, the few agencies that are on ground are stretched thin.

That includes Doctors Without Borders, also known as MSF. It’s one of the main health care providers in West Africa, where there are more than 2,000 cases of Ebola and 1,200 deaths. Even with roughly 1,000 volunteers spread among the three Ebola-stricken countries, the agency says that still isn’t enough.

In an interview on All Things Considered, MSF’s international president, Dr. Joanne Liu, tells NPR’s Audie Cornish that they opened a new Ebola care center in Monrovia, Liberia, this weekend. It was equipped with 120 beds, and “all the beds got filled in one day.”

“We’re thinking about expanding, “she says. “But the reality is, we don’t have a definitive picture of how many cases there are in the city right now.”

Curfew And Quarantine In Monrovia

Update at 8:50 p.m. ET

In an effort to combat the spread of Ebola, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called for a curfew in Monrovia from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Wednesday. In a statement posted online by the news source AllAfrica, Sirleaf also said there would be a quarantine in two communities in the capital. “This means that there will be no movements in and out of those areas,” she said.

Liu says that caring for patients is only one of the three “pillars” for controlling the Ebola outbreak. The other two are tracing possible Ebola cases and educating the community.

“Right now the only thing we’re facing is fear,” she says. “Fear is normal when you don’t understand what is going on.”

To eliminate that fear, the agency not only needs more funding but also more volunteers to talk to the community. “We need people who are going to go and … talk to the elders, talk to the religious leaders and tell them about Ebola,” she says. “[To] mobilize the population and make them understand what is going on.”

She adds that MSF is also looking for volunteers to find out how many cases are in each village. “Right now we don’t have a full picture of the magnitude of the epidemic,” she says.

Enlisting help from the international community hasn’t been easy. “NGOs that I used to see in some other crises, like after the Haiti earthquake or even in [Central African Republic] or South Sudan, are not present right now in Western Africa.”

That’s why Liu’s on a tour, speaking to U.N. leaders and NGOs about how they can help. “There is some reluctance, I guess,” she says. “Everybody has to overcome their own fear before coming to the field.”

She says that MSF has been “ringing the alarm” since the beginning of the epidemic, but it’s been slow wake-up call for the other NGOs. That’s likely because past Ebola oubreaks were contained in a matter of weeks.

“But what is happening now is that we have cases in a highly dense, populated area like Monorovia, with 1.3 million,” she says. Without the involvement of other organizations, she says, “we will not be able to contain the Ebola epidemic.”

And it’s not only Ebola victims who suffer. With hospitals and care centers crowded, it’s also been difficult for people seeking other types of care like for malaria or for maternity issues — what Liu calls an “emergency within the emergency.”

“We were faced with the really hard reality of welcoming six women who were pregnant and who lost their children because they were walking around the city trying to find a place to deliver their babies,” she recalls. “By the time they got to our centers, the babies were not alive anymore.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/08/19/341639702/more-ngos-need-to-be-in-the-field-to-contain-ebola-outbreak?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Blocked At The Border, Gaza Man’s Hopes Of Escape Fade

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 20 2014

One man’s quest to get out of Gaza and into Egypt highlights Palestinian calls for more freedom of movement.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2014/08/19/341674563/blocked-at-the-border-gaza-mans-hopes-of-escape-fade?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

The Designs Behind Airstrikes — And The Damage They’ve Dealt

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 19 2014

As U.S. deputy commander in Iraq until January 2011, Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero oversaw targeting for airstrikes during 17 months of the troop surge there. He tells Robert Siegel that for such strikes to be effective, they must be one part of a larger, overarching strategy.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2014/08/18/341409774/the-designs-behind-airstrikes-and-the-damage-theyve-dealt?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Experimental Vaccine For Chikungunya Passes First Test

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 19 2014

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Marqui Ducarme is aided by his wife after catching chikungunya at his home in Port-au-Prince, May 23. The virus swept through Haiti this spring, infecting more than 40,000 people.

Marie Arago/Reuters/Landov


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Marqui Ducarme is aided by his wife after catching chikungunya at his home in Port-au-Prince, May 23. The virus swept through Haiti this spring, infecting more than 40,000 people.

Marqui Ducarme is aided by his wife after catching chikungunya at his home in Port-au-Prince, May 23. The virus swept through Haiti this spring, infecting more than 40,000 people.

Marie Arago/Reuters/Landov

Scientists have taken the first steps to developing a vaccine for chikungunya — an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has infected more than a half million people in the Western Hemisphere this year. About 600 Americans have brought the virus to 43 states.

The study was small. Only 25 people were given the experimental vaccine. But the findings are promising. They demonstrate that the vaccine is safe and that it triggers a strong response from the immune system, scientists reported Friday in the Lancet journal.

Until last year, chikungunya was found only in parts of Africa and Asia. Then in December, the virus started circulating on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean.

From there, chikungunya spread like wildfire. It hopped from island to island in the Caribbean and spilled over into Central America and parts of South America. By July, chikungunya had found its way to Florida. At least four people have caught the virus in Florida. And the state has recorded 138 imported cases. New York state has the second largest number of imported cases, 96.

Chikungunya usually isn’t fatal. But it causes a high fever, headache, nausea and extreme joint pain — which can linger for months. And there’s no cure or vaccine.

To start filling in that second gap, a team of researchers at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda designed a vaccine using virus-like particles, a new technology. Synthetic particles carry proteins found on the virus’s outside shell.

The particles don’t contain any of chikungunya’s genes. So they’re not infectious. But the immune system doesn’t realize that. When Dr. Julie Ledgerwood and her colleagues injected the virus-like particles into the muscles of volunteers, their immune systems created antibodies that can stop the virus from infecting cells.

After three injections, the participants had chikungunya antibodies in their blood at concentrations similar to those found in people who had fought off the viral infection. And these antibodies stuck around in the volunteers’ blood for at least six months. Those findings suggest that the vaccine could give long-term protection.

But Ledgerwood and her team won’t know if that’s true until they test the vaccine in more people and see how effective it is at stopping an infection.

Overall, the experimental vaccine was well tolerated by the volunteers. Nine out of the 25 developed tenderness where the shot was given. And ten volunteers reported tiredness, nausea or headaches after the vaccine. But in general, the shot was safe.

This experimental vaccine isn’t the first for chikungunya. Back in the 1980s, a team at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases created a vaccine with a live, weakened version of the virus. That vaccine completed a phase 2 clinical trial. But scientists halted its development because there wasn’t enough funding.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/08/18/341360645/experimental-vaccine-for-chikungunya-passes-first-test?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Cease-Fire In Gaza Reportedly Extended 24 Hours

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 19 2014

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Palestinians look out of a window frame in the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanun on Monday. Media reports say a cease-fire has been extended for 24 hours.

Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images


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Palestinians look out of a window frame in the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanun on Monday. Media reports say a cease-fire has been extended for 24 hours.

Palestinians look out of a window frame in the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanun on Monday. Media reports say a cease-fire has been extended for 24 hours.

Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

A cease-fire in Gaza has reportedly been extended 24 hours. Talks between the two sides have been going on for weeks with mediators in Egypt. The most recent cease-fire lasted five days.

The extension has been reported by Hamas media and Egyptian state media.

“Key issues include fishing rights and access of good and people in and out of Gaza,” says NPR’s Alice Fordham. She tells our Newscast Desk:

“Unlike on other, recent occasions when cease-fires have expired, there were no reports either of rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel, or of an Israeli response.”

More than 2,000 Palestinians have died in the recent conflict, The Associated Press reports, citing Gaza Health Ministry official Ashraf al-Kidra.

“Thousands of homes were destroyed, and tens of thousands of people remain huddled in U.N. shelters,” the AP says. “Israel lost 67 people, all but three of them soldiers.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/18/341472003/cease-fire-in-gaza-reportedly-extended-24-hours?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Israel, Palestinians Still Far Apart As Truce Nears End

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Aug 18 2014

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Palestinians carry belongings from their homes, destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday. The devastation could resume if a cease-fire is allowed to expire at midnight on Monday.

Sameh Rahmi/EPA/Landov


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Sameh Rahmi/EPA/Landov

Palestinians carry belongings from their homes, destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday. The devastation could resume if a cease-fire is allowed to expire at midnight on Monday.

Palestinians carry belongings from their homes, destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday. The devastation could resume if a cease-fire is allowed to expire at midnight on Monday.

Sameh Rahmi/EPA/Landov

With the clock ticking on the expiration of the latest cease-fire in Gaza, representatives of Israel and Hamas resumed talks in Cairo today but appeared divided over an Egyptian proposal to ease the closing of the territory.

As NPR’s Jackie Northam reports from Jerusalem, at the heart of the talks is the seven-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. “Hamas is demanding a full lifting of the blockade; Israel says it’s only willing to ease some restrictions, allowing easier passage of goods and people in and out of Gaza.”

The cease-fire, already extended by five days after its initial 72 hours, is set to expire at midnight Monday in Israel (5 p.m. ET).

The Associated Press says “a range of outcomes [remains] possible, including a return to fighting that has brought great devastation to Gaza, an unofficial understanding that falls short of a formal negotiated deal or yet another extension in negotiations.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday reiterated his country’s longstanding position of no long-term cease-fire unless security measures are met.

“The Israeli delegation in Cairo is acting with a very clear mandate to stand firmly on Israel’s security needs,” Netanyahu told ministers at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, according to Al-Jazeera.

Al-Jazeera writes:

“In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Palestinians would not back down from their demands, central of which is a lifting of Israel’s seven-year blockade on the enclave, and that the outcome of the talks was in Israel’s hands.

” ‘We are committed to achieving the Palestinian demands, and there is no way back from this. All these demands are basic human rights that do not need this battle or these negotiations,’ Abu Zuhri told the AFP news agency.

” ‘The ball is in the Israeli occupation’s court.’ “

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/17/341155941/israel-palestinians-still-far-apart-as-truce-nears-end?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world