‘Kiev will have to answer many questions’ as UN urges intl MH17 crash probe – 7.22.14

The UN Security Council has condemned the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, called for an international probe into the incident in a unanimously adopted resolution. All 15-member states voted to pass the Australia-proposed resolution, condemning “in the … Continue reading

Biological Hazard – North-America – USA

EDIS Number: BH-20140722-44623-USA
Date / time: 22/07/2014 03:39:46 [UTC]
Event: Biological Hazard
Area: North-America
Country: USA
State/County: State of Minnesota
Location: Cloquet [Fond Du Lac Reservation]
Number of Deads: N/A
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: 12 person(s)
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A

Description:

The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed several cases of a food born illness linked to E-coli on the Fond du Lac reservation. Between six and 12 people have come down with symptoms of E-coli poisoning over the last week. The Department of Health is still investigating the source of the E-coli contamination and does not know the strain of the outbreak. Health officials say the test results are expected to come out later this week. Karen Diver, Chairwoman on the Fond du Lac Tribe, says they are working with the department to conduct surveys to try to find the source. "We know that it wasn't tied to any of our enterprises, but we have had many major public events. We had an elder picnic, we had our veterans pow-wow; and there was a combination of private vendors, caterers as well as band food service involved," said Karen Driver. Symptoms of food poisoning generally include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. People who are experiencing these symptoms should seek appropriate medical attention.

Biological Hazard – North-America – USA

EDIS Number: BH-20140722-44623-USA
Date / time: 22/07/2014 03:39:46 [UTC]
Event: Biological Hazard
Area: North-America
Country: USA
State/County: State of Minnesota
Location: Cloquet [Fond Du Lac Reservation]
Number of Deads: N/A
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: 12 person(s)
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A

Description:

The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed several cases of a food born illness linked to E-coli on the Fond du Lac reservation. Between six and 12 people have come down with symptoms of E-coli poisoning over the last week. The Department of Health is still investigating the source of the E-coli contamination and does not know the strain of the outbreak. Health officials say the test results are expected to come out later this week. Karen Diver, Chairwoman on the Fond du Lac Tribe, says they are working with the department to conduct surveys to try to find the source. "We know that it wasn't tied to any of our enterprises, but we have had many major public events. We had an elder picnic, we had our veterans pow-wow; and there was a combination of private vendors, caterers as well as band food service involved," said Karen Driver. Symptoms of food poisoning generally include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. People who are experiencing these symptoms should seek appropriate medical attention.

Biological Hazard – Asia – Japan

EDIS Number: BH-20140722-44622-JPN
Date / time: 22/07/2014 03:37:36 [UTC]
Event: Biological Hazard
Area: Asia
Country: Japan
State/County: Prefecture of Nagano
Location: Ueda
Number of Deads: N/A
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: 300 person(s)
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A

Description:

Police and health officials in Ueda, Nagano Prefecture, said Monday that around 300 students suffered food poisoning at a soccer and rugby tournament. Of those, 120 were taken to hospital but none suffered any lasting effects, police said. According to police, players taking part in an elementary school soccer and rugby tournament started vomiting and complaining of stomach pain at around 1 p.m. Sunday, TV Asahi reported. About 3,700 players, officials and spectators were in attendance, police said. The sports event was canceled after the players started feeling ill. Police suspect the cause of the food poisoning may have been in some of the bentos (boxed lunches), which all came from the same supplier.

Forest / Wild Fire – North-America – USA

EDIS Number: WF-20140722-44621-USA
Date / time: 22/07/2014 03:29:21 [UTC]
Event: Forest / Wild Fire
Area: North-America
Country: USA
State/County: State of California
Location: [Plumas National Forest]
Number of Deads: N/A
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: N/A
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A

Description:

A round of thunderstorms that have passed through the Plumas National Forest in the last week have resulted in more than 1,000 lightning strikes, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The agency reports that 36 fires have burned about 50 acres, with six of those making up more than 40 acres, according to a press release. The fires are mostly about one-tenth to one-quarter of an acre. The largest fire is the Chance Fire, which broke out Friday morning near Frenchman Lake east of Portola and was contained Saturday. It was whipped up by wind from a thunder cell. It burned 28 acres of brush, timber and grass. Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for today with gusty winds slated for Wednesday.

Vehicle Accident – Africa – Sudan

EDIS Number: VI-20140722-44620-SDN
Date / time: 22/07/2014 03:25:28 [UTC]
Event: Vehicle Accident
Area: Africa
Country: Sudan
State/County: State of White Nile
Location: [About 30 miles north of Ad Duwaym]
Number of Deads: 23 person(s)
Number of Injured: 3 person(s)
Number of Infected: N/A
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A

Description:

A collision of a bus with a lorry on El Qutainah road, about 30 km north of Ad Duwaym in the White Nile State on Monday, caused the death of 23 people, and the injury of three others. The accident occurred when the bus, on its way from Kosti to Khartoum, smashed into a lorry that was coming from the opposite direction, a driver told Radio Dabanga from Ad Duwaym. "23 passengers were killed instantly. Three other passengers were seriously injured. They were transferred to the hospital of El Qutainah for treatment."

Biological Hazard – North-America – USA

EDIS Number: BH-20140722-44619-USA
Date / time: 22/07/2014 03:22:34 [UTC]
Event: Biological Hazard
Area: North-America
Country: USA
State/County: State of Oregon
Location: [Odell Lake]
Number of Deads: N/A
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: N/A
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A

Description:

That's the advice from the Oregon Health Authority with regard to Odell Lake in the Cascade Range. Tests have confirmed the presence of "very high levels" of toxins produced by blue-green algae, the state said today. The toxin concentrations in the water can be harmful to humans and animals, the state said in a news release. Swallowing or inhaling water droplets, as well as skin contact with water, should be avoided, and drinking water directly from Odell Lake "is especially dangerous," the state said. The lake is off Highway 58 in Klamath County, about 31 miles southeast of Oakridge. Boating in Odell Lake is safe, provided the activity doesn't involve contacting the water or inhaling spray droplets, the state said. Toxic blue-green algae are common in a number of Oregon lakes, especially during the summer when warm weather appears to accelerate algae growth. The state each year issues toxic algae health advisories on anywhere from a half-dozen to 20 or more bodies of water. The state last issued an advisory on Odell Lake in 2009; that warning was in effect for three weeks. The Odell Lake warning is the only toxic algae alert currently in effect in the state. Last month, the state issued an alert that was in effect for 23 days for Lost Creek Lake near Medford. Toxic algae blooms can be identified by their striking visual appearance. The water turns foamy or scummy, with a pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red coloring. The bloom may be confined to one particular area of a lake, but state officials typically issue the alert for the entire water body because the toxins produced by the algae bloom can spread throughout.

Tens of millions in damages awarded to women secretly photographed by doctor

AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen

Approximately 8,000 women and girls were part of the class-action lawsuit, which accused Dr. Nikita Levy of inappropriately taking photos and videos of their genitals. According to the Associated Press, about 1,200 videos and 140 images were found on Levy’s computer during an investigation into the incident.

Levy, who worked at Baltimore, Maryland’s John Hopkins facility for 25 years, committed suicide less than two weeks after being fired. He reportedly used a pen-like camera hanging from his neck to capture images and video of his patients.

The suit also claimed that John Hopkins should have known about Levy’s activity, but the hospital’s lawyer, Donald DeVries, dismissed that allegation and added that such blame was misplaced.

“Just because he was an employee doesn’t make Johns Hopkins responsible for what he did,” he stated, as quoted by USA Today. He said the hospital had no idea about Levy’s behavior.

Although officials say there’s no evidence to suggest that Levy conspired with another person or that he shared the images or videos, insight into his motivations remains ambiguous at best considering his suicide.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, meanwhile, said their clients were traumatized by the news.

“All of these women were brutalized by this,” lead attorney Jonathan Schochor told the AP. “Some of these women needed counseling, they were sleepless, they were dysfunctional in the workplace, they were dysfunctional at home, they were dysfunctional with their mates. This breach of trust, this betrayal — this is how they felt.”

Looking back on their visits with Levy, some of his patients described being touched inappropriately and verbally abused, with others saying they were routinely called into the office for unnecessary checkups. At least one patient said they had not been to a gynecologist since the news broke in February 2013.

“I can’t bring myself to go back,” said 67-year-old Myra James, a former Levy patient of 20 years. “You’re lying there, exposed. It’s violating and it’s horrible, and my trust is gone. Period.”

As noted by the Los Angeles Times, even determining which patients were photographed by Levy is virtually impossible, since the vast majority of the images depict no faces, only genitals.

“What is the normal expected reaction of a patient of an OB-GYN who finds out that her doctor, who she intimately trusts … secretly videotaped and took photographs of his patients?” Schochor said. “Is it appropriate for that patient to believe she was included? It is.”

“Now, with this proposed settlement, we can begin the process of healing our community.”

‘Kiev will have to answer many questions’ as UN urges intl MH17 crash probe – Moscow

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin (Right) pauses before voting for a United Nations Security Council draft resolution demanding full access for investigators at the Malaysia Airlines jet crash site in eastern Ukraine during a meeting of the Council to discuss the shooting down of jet on July 21, 2014 in New York City (AFP Photo /  Spencer Platt)

All 15-member states voted to pass the Australia-proposed resolution, condemning “in the strongest terms” the crash of Malaysian plane on July 17 in Donetsk region of Ukraine, which resulted in 298 people dead.

Follow Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane crash in Ukraine LIVE UPDATES

The UN also urged a “full, thorough and independent international investigation” into the incident. The resolution also asked local self-defense forces for their cooperation, such as avoiding “from any actions that may compromise the integrity of the crash site.”

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said he was pleased that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will have an important role during the investigation and welcomed that fact that the Netherlands will take on the leading role as well.

“We could not simply allow the Security Council to endorse a Ukrainian-led investigation because we have no trust in their intention to conduct a truly objective investigation,” Churkin told reporters following the resolution.

Security Council condemns downing of Malaysian airliner, calls for international probe http://t.co/KD9mD8nR5z @UN pic.twitter.com/h9TqGCoDTw

— UN News Centre (@UN_News_Centre) July 21, 2014

Ukraine will have to answer a lot of questions during the international investigation, Churkin said during his speech at the UN Security Council, adding that Kiev spread fake information allegedly connecting the self-defense forces to the downing of the plane.

“Throughout the investigation Ukraine would have to answer many questions: about the actions of its air traffic controllers, the reasons for the movement of one of the Ukrainian Buk missile systems on July 17 right next to the area controlled by the militias. Why this missile defense system was moved immediately after the airplane crash? Why on July 17 Ukrainian air defense radar worked at the maximum intensity?” Churkin said.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the Security Council that the resolution is an “unambiguous response from the international community to an utterly deplorable act.”

She also encouraged Russia to use its influence in the area to make sure self-defense forces comply with the UN’s request for cooperation.

The Netherlands agreed with Australia. “I hope that Russia will now feel its responsibility, act on its responsibility. If it doesn’t, it’s going to have an increasingly isolated position in the international world,” said Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, who traveled to New York for the Security Council meeting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the logistics of the international investigation into the downing of the Malaysian plane with the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte during a telephone conversation, according to a Kremlin statement published early on Tuesday. Both leaders praised the adopted resolution by the UN Security Council to investigate the crash.

‘Ukraine self-defense cooperate as intl experts arrive at MH17 crash site’

Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors speak with a anti-goverment fighter at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

RT: The US President has just voiced his concerns that the work of experts at the crash site is being hindered. Earlier the OSCE mission reported there was no longer interference. What is the situation on the ground now?

Michael Bociurkiw: We’ve been on the ground for four days now, although we’ve had the team here for three months. But, for four days we have been focused on the crash area. And from day one we were able to bring with us experts from the Ukrainian side – from the civil aviation department there. They seemed when we talked to them today, after three-four days on the ground quite pleased in terms of the area they were able to search for clues for what caused the crash. Also today, for the very first time, international experts came in and we facilitated their passage to the train station in Torez, about 10 or 15 km from the crash site, where the bodies were being stored in refrigerator cars. We also took them to some of the crash sites, to three or four of the eight major impact sites. And they were able to look at the situation there. Now, I want to be clear. These were forensic experts. They are not crash investigators from the Netherlands. But, again, we had fairly good access today, according to our discussions with them.

RT: What is OSCE doing at the plane crash, what is your mission?

MB: Probably this is the first time the OSCE has been drawn into being involved in a plane crash of this sort. Our mandate is clear: establish the facts and to report on them as we’ve been doing here for the past three months and also to facilitate dialogue. So, I think that second part – the facilitation of dialogue – and getting things to connect and getting people to move, especially our monitors from one place to another. That has been a result partially because of our long time here on the ground and the relationships that have been built up. The other thing of course is that in the absence of so much information, being able to go every day, collect what we see, report on it in a very neutral, objective way. And then that information goes out to 57 member states of the OSCE, including the Russian Federation, US, Ukraine and then to the general public. And in that void of information I think that’s played a big role.

RT: Why has it taken so long for international experts to arrive at the scene?

MB: Maybe I can best answer that by the process the Dutch investigators went through. I think it took them a day, a day-and-a-half to get here. There are logistical and security issues to address. Don’t forget that the crash scene is in the middle of conflict zone. And for example between here and the crash area, there are probably around ten checkpoints. So everything here takes time, you have to explain what you are going to do. It takes some negotiation. We’ve done a lot in the past four days, but there is a lot of work that is far, far better placed for others to do and it remains to be seen when the other experts will come here. I can tell you though that in the past hour or so we did bump into some, delegation if you will, from Malaysia. They’ve made it here and tomorrow we are expecting that they will want to go out to the crash site to begin their own investigation.

RT: Anti-government militia have promised cooperation, access to evidence to international experts. Is that promise being fulfilled?

RT: I can only say what our own mission experiences. As I alluded to earlier, we did have to go through quite a bit of logistical hurdles. But today was good in a sense that we did reach the area we needed to look at fairly quickly, we did have fairly good security. But, I must say, we have reported day after day is that there is no perimeter security around that crash site. It is a big area granted, there are many villages there and so on, but normally when a crash like this happens, one would expect the first thing is that a secured parameter would be established. That has not happened.