Categories
Genel

Swiss scientists say they detected ‘biomarker’ that helps predict severe coronavirus cases early — RT World News From “RT World News”



Patients at risk of contracting a severe case of Covid-19 may now be able to get timely treatment thanks to a new method developed by Swiss researchers, who studied the behavior of natural killer T cells in infected people.

Detecting and treating life-threatening forms of the novel coronavirus disease before the acute symptoms kick in has been a challenge for medics since the start of the pandemic. Now, a team from the Swiss University of Zurich might have found a solution to this problem, a press release by the university says.The researchers, who teamed up with scientists from Germany’s Tuebingen and France’s Toulouse and Nantes, discovered a specific “biomarker” capable of predicting the development of a severe Covid-19 case at the very early stages.

Also on rt.com
‘Critical point of the pandemic’: WHO warns Covid cases are ‘growing exponentially’ globally

The key element here is the natural killer T cells found in a patient’s blood. These cells are a type of white blood cells engaged in an immune response. According to the Swiss scientists, the changes in their number can be an early strong indicator of a looming danger.“The number of natural killer T cells in the blood can be used to predict severe cases of Covid-19 with a high degree of certainty—even on a patient’s first day in hospital,” says Burkhard Becher, the team’s leading researcher.The early diagnostics based on the new method could allow the medics to develop an optimal treatment for any patient, including the frequency of oxygen measurements, type of therapy and the need to transfer a patient to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the scientists say. “Predictive biomarkers are very useful for making these decisions. They help clinicians provide patients suffering severe symptoms with the best care possible,” says Stefanie Kreutmair, another co-author of the study. “Our findings also make it possible to investigate new therapies against Covid-19.”The researchers also found a way to distinguish between an acute pneumonia caused by Covid-19 and other types of pneumonia. The team analyzed blood samples of patients with severe pneumonia driven by pathogens other than the novel coronavirus. They compared various types of immune response to determine the one triggered by the novel coronavirus.“When it comes to Covid-19, however, T cells and natural killer cells display a unique behavior and describe a kind of pattern in the immune system—the immune signature specific to Covid-19,” Becher said.The total number of Covid-19 cases in the world has surpassed 155 million. More than 3 million people died from the disease. The US remains the hardest-hit nation with a total of 32 million cases reported. It is followed by India, which recently surpassed Brazil as the second worst-infected country in the world. India has been recently battling record-high infection rates amid an acute medical oxygen crisis.

Also on rt.com
Covid-19 mortality rate has DOUBLED among young people in Brazil, Pan-American health watchdog warns

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!







Read All

Categories
Genel

Aid agencies warn of closed hospitals, severe testing shortages in northeast Syria amid coronavirus wave From “World”




Aid agencies warn of closed hospitals, severe testing shortages in northeast Syria amid coronavirus wave







Read All

Categories
Genel

Jordan facing ‘one of the most severe’ droughts in its history | Middle East News From “Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera”



Ahmad Daoud surveyed his shrivelled tomato plants near the Dead Sea in Jordan, where severe drought in what is already one of the world’s most water-deficient countries is hitting hard.
“Look at how the land thirsts,” he said, walking on cracked earth stained with white salt patches, waving at the five hectares (12 acres) of his farm. “Everything I planted… is dead.”
He inspected a tomato the size of a marble that had dried up before it ripened.
“If there had been water, this tomato would have been as big as my fist,” he said.
Daoud, 25, rents the land in Ghor al-Haditha, around 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the capital Amman.
The fertile area is home to many market gardens, but drought has taken a heavy toll.
“We usually suffer from a lack of water, but this year, it is much worse,” Daoud said. “When it comes, the flow is too low to water our crops or fill our tanks.”
The salty waters of the nearby Dead Sea are dropping dramatically in height too.
The recent rainy season, which usually runs from October to the end of April, was poor.
Rains were massively reduced, totalling just 60 percent of normal fall, said Omar Salameh, head of communications at the water and irrigation ministry.
“The situation is critical,” he said.
Worst yet to come?
Experts say Jordan is now in the grip of one of the most severe droughts in its history.
But many warn the worst is yet to come.
The environment ministry says Jordan is among the world’s most water-deficient countries, and fears that a warming planet will make the situation more severe.
“The increased temperatures and lower precipitation resulting from climate change would adversely affect crops and water availability,” the ministry says, in its National Climate Change Policy.
Mean annual temperature is expected to increase by two degrees Celsius, and rainfall cut by a fifth by 2050, according to projections used by the World Bank.
On a nearby nine-hectare (22-acre) farm, 43-year-old Ibrahim Dgheimat sits in his pickup, overwhelmed by the heat. He watches as several women pick beans.
“Normally, I grow peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini and cabbage,” he said.
“But this year, the lack of water destroyed two-thirds of my crops.”
The financial losses have been heavy – as much as $42,000.
“I don’t have any way to pay the workers,” Dgheimat said.
To make matters worse, prices of produce slumped after exports dropped by a fifth last year due to coronavirus-related border closures.
The pandemic has also hit big customers like hotels and restaurants hard.
‘Up in smoke’
Daoud, born in Jordan to Pakistani parents – who like thousands of compatriots arrived in the 1960s onwards, many of them en route to pilgrimage in Mecca in neighbouring Saudi Arabia – says all he can do is torch the failed crop.
“Five months of work is going to go up in smoke,” says Daoud, who works with his brothers and their children.
Beyond crop irrigation, the drought could reduce access to drinking water, too.
Jordan needs about 1.3 billion cubic metres of water per year, but the quantities available are around 850 to 900 million cubic metres, with the shortfall “due to low rainfall, global warming, population growth and successive refugee inflows,” Salameh said.
This year, the reserves of the three drinking water dams have reached critical levels, now just a third of their normal capacity.
At the same time, household water consumption has surged by 10 percent since the start of the pandemic, as people stay home amid restrictions.
In total, the country will be 40 million cubic metres short of water this year, according to Salameh, who urged residents to use as little as they can.
Amman says that under a 1994 peace agreement with its neighbour, Israel is obliged to provide the kingdom with 55 million cubic metres of water a year free of charge.
This year, Jordan has asked Israel to provide a further eight million cubic metres of water, but a deal was struck to sell only three million cubic metres.
To make up the shortfall, Jordan will have to pump from its water table, said Salameh.







Read All

Categories
Genel

Global hunger crisis hit five year high in 2020 as 155 million people faced severe food insecurity, new U.N. report says From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



An estimated 155 million people across the globe faced severe food insecurity and were in need of urgent assistance in 2020, according to a U.N. report published Wednesday. Researchers found the number of people experiencing food insecurity at or above a “crisis” level has risen to its highest level in five years, with an increase of nearly 20 million people compared to 2019 — and are warning that millions are at risk of famine if action isn’t taken. 

“155 million people in 55 countries relied on humanitarian assistance just to survive — an unprecedented high and just the tip of the iceberg” World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley said as he announced the report’s results. According to the 307-page report, 155 million people were in one of the three most severe phases it uses to characterize food insecurity: “Crisis,” “Emergency,” and “Catastrophe/Famine.” All 155 million people in the estimated tally are at least experiencing “Crisis,” which signifies “high or above usual acute malnutrition” or people who can only meet their minimum food needs “by depleting essential livelihoods or through crisis-coping strategies.” 

Approximately 133,000 people were at the “Catastrophe/Famine” phase, in which “Starvation, death, destitution and extremely critical acute malnutrition levels are evident” and urgent action is needed to “prevent widespread death and total collapse of livelihoods.” The vast majority of those people lived in South Sudan, with the remaining 28,000 spread between Yemen and Burkina Faso. 

Two year old Akon Morro, who is anemic and suffers from edema due to malnutrition, sits on the floor of a feeding center in Al Sabah Children’s Hospital in the capital Juba, South Sudan on Thursday, December 3, 2020. 

Sam Mednick / AP

Africa remained the continent most impacted by hunger crises, accounting for 63% of the people experiencing food insecurity in “crisis” or worse, the report said. The report highlighted the impact that food insecurity has on children, especially when it comes to children who did not grow to their expected height because of lack of food and poor nutrition (stunting), children who are significantly underweight underweight (wasting). 
Trending News

“Before the pandemic, one in three children were already not growing adequately because of malnutrition. Despite progress over the years, 149 million children are still affected by stunting … 45 million children are suffering from wasting… and at least 340 million have vitamin and mineral deficiencies,” said UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore.  “For the children living in the 55 countries experiencing a food crisis, the situation is especially grave,” Fore added. “More than one in three of all wasted children – 16 million – and just under one half of all stunted children – 75 million children – live in these countries.” “If current trends are not reversed, food crises will increase in frequency and severity,” the European Union and multiple humanitarian groups said in a joint statement.  USAID Administrator Samantha Power on Wednesday announced a five-year, up to $300 million funding increase for UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s fund. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted that the aid “will continue to improve the health and well-being of mothers, children, and families around the world.” 

Although the coronavirus pandemic dominated headlines in 2020, the report said it was not entirely to blame for the hunger crises. The report cited conflict and war, weather extremes, and economic shocks — including those caused by the coronavirus pandemic — as the “three primary drivers” of food insecurity. The report warned that if urgent action is not taken, the alarming trends will continue. More than 142 million people are predicted to be in “Crisis” or worse in 2021, and approximately 150,000 will likely face “Catastrophe” through mid-2021, according to the report. “We must do everything we can to end the vicious cycle,” Guterres said. “There is no place for famine and starvation in the 21st century.” 







Read All

Categories
Genel

New Zealand’s parliament unanimously declared that severe human rights abuses were taking place against Uyghur people in China’s Xinjiang region : worldnews From “World News”



New Zealand’s parliament on Wednesday unanimously declared that severe human rights abuses were taking place against Uyghur people in China’s Xinjiang region, but did not label the situation a genocide because of a government objection.All parties discussed and supported a motion by the smaller ACT Party but only after it was watered down to drop the word “genocide” from the text.In parliament, ACT’s deputy leader, Brooke van Velden, said she had to insert the phrase “severe human rights abuses” instead, in order to secure the approval of the ruling Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.







Read All

Categories
Genel

‘Less democratic’ Asian nations satisfied with govt Covid response as public opinion in Europe suffers ‘severe downturn’ – study From “RT World News”



People’s satisfaction with the Covid-19 response in “more democratic” Europe has “dropped sharply” in 2021 compared to last year, while people in “less democratic” Asia have “remained consistently positive,” finds a global survey.

The survey, titled the Democracy Perception Index (DPI), was conducted by the Alliance of Democracies Foundation and brand tracking firm Latana. It found “the vast majority” of people in “less democratic” Asian countries still had faith in their government’s Covid-19 response measures a year after the pandemic began, remaining “just as satisfied” in 2021 as they were in 2020 (75% vs. 77%).Among the most satisfied were China, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. The report explains that the satisfaction was dependent on the country’s death rate per capita – of the 53 countries polled, it was lowest in China and Vietnam.The survey also found that public approval had actually grown in some countries, including Russia and Chile. Both nations have rolled out mass vaccination campaigns, Russia using its own Sputnik V, and Chile China’s CoronaVac, manufactured by Sinovac.However, it points out that overall approval levels worldwide had dropped from about 70% to 58%, and the downturn had been “even more severe in more democratic countries.” In Europe, for example, the level of approval had plummeted to 45%. According to the report, the least satisfied countries were Italy, France, and Poland. Dissatisfaction is also on the rise in Latin America.The survey also examined people’s opinions of Covid-19 restrictions and discovered that many felt their government was increasingly limiting their basic freedoms. According to the findings, this year, 53% of people around the world reported feeling state intervention had gone too far, while, last year, this figure stood at 45%. The report points out that concern at the restrictions had increased most in Europe, especially in Hungary, France, and Ireland, although it was still higher overall in less democratic countries (60%).

Also on rt.com
French parliament’s law committee approves Covid-19 passports for large gatherings, as MPs raise concerns over ‘discrimination’

“We now need to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic by delivering more democracy and freedom to people,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO secretary general who is now chair of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, which carried out the poll.The DPI is the world’s largest annual study on democracy, being representative of more than 75% of the world’s population. This year’s online survey polled more than 53,000 individuals in 53 countries between February 24 and April 14.Like this story? Share it with a friend!







Read All

Categories
Genel

New Zealand Parliament unanimously declares ‘severe human rights abuses’ occurring against Uyghur in China : worldnews From “World News”



Edit Credit to OP there comment from this week’s discussion on a different statement by New Zealand’s Prime Minister.Kiwi here. Most of our foreign policy commentary doesn’t make r/worldnews news , but when it does there is often a misinformed view that we are a Chinese vassal state or something ridiculous of that sort. Here’s some context to Ardern’s comments:New Zealand has sought to diversify trade away from a reliance upon China for some time now, having experienced the dangers of dependence on one export market once before in our history (before the UK joined the EEC/EU, and imposed barriers on our products, almost a quarter of our exports went to Britain). New Zealand was a founding signatory of the TPP, then CPTPP as a Pacific Rim bloc which excludes China, only signed RCEP in the hope that India would later rejoin it as they are a major market we have restricted access to (RCEP was not signed to access Chinese market despite their inclusion, as our existing bilateral FTA with the PRC has better conditions in China than RCEP), we are negotiating a post-Brexit UK FTA, FTA with the European Union, have aggressively chased a FTA with the United States under both Democrat and Republican administrations (but been turned down by both), signed PACER Plus to support the Pacific islands with free trade whilst excluding China, are developing a Trans-Tasman Single Economic Market to deepen integration with Australia, jointly negotiated with Canberra the ASEAN-NZ-AUS FTA, and a range of other measures. If we get US and Indian market access, we will finally have trading arrangements with the major world markets. Trump’s protectionism and India dropping bilateral and RCEP talks has delayed this, but that’s not our fault. NZ has done all it can to open alternate markets, and do the opposite of putting all eggs in one basket. Our Foreign Minister even said this during a speech on China:In thinking about long-term economic resilience we also understand that there is value in diversity. Just as the Council has noted, it is prudent not to put all eggs into a single basket. The New Zealand government will continue to work with business to pursue a range of trade opportunities.Those were those opportunities. If the US wants to support a Pacific region not dependent upon China, they need to do their part in trade. Our previous foreign minister put it beautifully:We have a choice. We either work together to ensure the regional rules of commerce protect the fundamental pillars our firms need to succeed – open markets, enforcement of contracts, access to independent judiciaries, and penalties for corruption and nepotism. Or we leave the rules to be written by others, placing our companies’ livelihoods in jeopardy.The point is backed by the numbers. Though US exports to the world have grown by 5.3 percent on average per year since 1990, the share of US total exports to New Zealand dropped, from nearly 18 percent to 10 percent. Meanwhile, imports from our regional partners with whom we have FTAs have grown significantly in relative terms over the same period. China’s exports to New Zealand, for instance, have grown on average by 17 percent per year. And China’s share of total exports to New Zealand has grown from 1 percent to 20 percent during that time – becoming our largest source of imported goods. The shift is even more drastic for the US share of imports across Asia. In 1990, 17.4 percent of all goods imported to Asia came from the US, whereas by 2018 that share had fallen to just 7.4 percent. Put another way, the US has lost half of its market share in Asia over a 28 year period.Essentially, we sent our last foreign minister to Washington DC and told the Trump administration that they are losing the Pacific to China because they remain protectionist. That’s the trade argument. As for turning a blind eye to China’s horrific human rights violations, New Zealand is unable to legally impose unilateral sanctions on any country without a UN mandate. But, it has been anything but silent:Joint Statement by Australia and New Zealand on XinjiangJoint Statement by New Zealand and Australia on Hong KongNew Zealand and Australia welcome sanctions on ChinaNew Zealand signs letter to the president of the United Nations Human Rights Council over PRC abuse of UighursNew Zealand signs international letter gravely concerned about the human rights situation in XinjiangNew Zealand Prime Minister raises abuse of minorities during meeting with Chinese PresidentFor all of these reasons, New Zealand was warned by China that it’s eyes would be “plucked out”. We didn’t stop, though. In addition, New Zealand invested a billion dollars over four years in a foreign affairs strategy – the Pacific Reset – that sought to reassert our influence and contain China’s within the South Pacific island countries.Next: the recent clickbait headlines regarding our apparent ‘betrayal’ of the Five Eyes alliance, which is again alluded to within this article. The UKUSA agreement text, as shown in the declassified HW 80/2 file on the UK national archives website, states the following:Scope of the AgreementThe agreement governs the relations of the above-mentioned parties in Communication Intelligence matters only. However, the exchange of such collateral material as is applicable for technical purposes and is not prejudicial to national interests will be effected between the Communication Intelligence agencies in both countries.Ardern responded to the Murdoch media allegations that we were the weak link in Five Eyes by asserting the following:”The point we’re making is Five Eyes is a security and intelligence platform – not every issue we speak on as New Zealand is a security and intelligence issue. It’s all about making sure we’re partnering or speaking with the right cohort at the right time.”The UK and Australian media do not even know what the Five Eyes alliance is. It is a spying alliance. It is not a trade pact, defence pact, or human rights tribunal. As I’ve already made clear – we do speak out. But not through an unrelated organisation. A mass surveillance bloc of Western spy agencies has nothing to do with this issue, and as I’ve already quoted – the UKUSA/Five Eyes agreement has no legal basis for making such statements.Thankfully the Australian Foreign Minister recognized this position as legitimate, even if the Australian media hasn’t:”Now my view is that countries will choose to address issues of concerns in whichever forum they themselves determine appropriate and consistent with their respective national interest. But our respect for each other – Australia, the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada – is enduring, and continuing, and one which we particularly in Australia value enormously.”TL;DR – New Zealand is ready to stand up and condemn China on their civil and political rights violations, but we need further support to diversify trade. FTAs with India and the United States would be essential to this. We haven’t been silent though, and this is the latest step taken by our government to stand against Beijing despite their warning last year that continued action would result in our “eyes being plucked out”.







Read All

Categories
Genel

A study of more than 2,100 pregnant women across 18 countries worldwide has revealed that COVID-19 is associated with a higher risk of severe maternal and newborn complications than previously recognised. : worldnews From “World News”



This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 81%. (I’m a bot)In the paper, published today, they conclude the risk to mothers and babies is greater than acknowledged at the beginning of the pandemic, and that health priority measures should include pregnant women.Aris Papageorghiou, Professor of Fetal Medicine at the University of Oxford, who co-led INTERCOVID, said, ‘Women with COVID-19 during pregnancy were over 50% more likely to experience pregnancy complications compared to pregnant women unaffected by COVID-19.Professor Papageorghiou, continued: ‘Fortunately, there were very few maternal deaths; nevertheless, the risk of dying during pregnancy and in the postnatal period was 22 times higher in women with COVID-19 than in the non-infected pregnant women.Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: women#1 Study#2 pregnant#3 COVID-19#4 risk#5







Read All