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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Is the world's deadliest disease in its way to Britain?

 Fears rise as the biggest ever outbreak of the Ebola virus rampages into one of Africa's most sophisticated cities

 

Liberian health workers in protective gear on the way to bury a woman who died of the Ebola virus from the isolation unit in Foya, Lofa County, Liberia
 
 
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Liberian health workers in protective gear on the way to bury a woman who died of the Ebola virus from the isolation unit in Foya, Lofa County, Liberia

There was nothing unusual-looking about the passenger arriving at Heathrow from Lagos. He was carrying one of the most deadly diseases known to mankind, but it wasn’t noticed by overstretched Nigerian airport officials before departure, nor by attendants on the flight, despite their special training to watch out for feverish passengers.

Because Ebola is a disease that has an incubation period of between two and 21 days, it’s more than likely that the final line of defence — immigration staff at Heathrow — failed to notice anything untoward about him either. It wasn’t as if he was so unsteady or unwell that he couldn’t answer basic questions.

And so he was waved through. Little did anyone realise that his initial flu-like symptoms — fever, headache, achy limbs, sore throat — would soon become something much, much worse.

Ebola, a disease which is fatal in 90 per cent of cases and for which there is no vaccine and no known cure, was now in Britain for the first time. It would soon be spreading across the country, killing almost everyone it touched.

Fortunately this is an imaginary situation, but an Ebola epidemic is the nightmare scenario which inspires Hollywood disaster movie writers and keeps public health officials awake at night.

However, there is now widespread alarm among experts that it could actually happen, because the deadly disease has spread for the first time from remote jungle villages to claim its first victim in Lagos, one of Africa’s most sophisticated cities, with air links to major cities worldwide, including London.

And woe betide anyone who comes in close contact with an Ebola victim. While the virus’s one virtue is that it isn’t as easily transmitted as, say, an airborne influenza, it is highly contagious if you come near enough to be infected by any sort of bodily fluid.

 

This means not only contamination from vomiting and diarrhoea — the next stage after the fever and headaches — but saliva from a kiss, sweat from a mopped brow, or even, it is thought, a sneeze.

If a sufferer is looked after by loved ones, only the most ruthless sanitation regime will save them. If he or she seeks medical help, risks could be even greater.

As one British expert told me yesterday, if an Ebola victim was misdiagnosed and ended up being admitted to a normal hospital ward, the ‘consequences would be disastrous’ as nurses and doctors unwittingly passed the virus to other patients and colleagues. 


new study suggests that the ‘healthier’ electronic cigarette alternative may not be as harmless for you after all.

After e-cigarettes started exploding mid puff, many suggested the benefits still outweighed the risks.

But now a new study suggests that the ‘healthier’ electronic cigarette alternative may not be as harmless for you after all.

Regular cigarettes contain nearly 600 additives, 69 of which are carcinogenic.

Unlike normal cigarettes which burn dried tobacco, e-cigarettes use a battery-powered device to heat a nicotine solution known as e-liquid.

This produces an aerosol that can be inhaled (vaping). Higher end e-cigarettes allow the heat temperature to be adjusted, which can intensify the nicotine hit.

A set of simple 'No Smoking' and 'E-Cigarettes Only' signs. No gradients or transparencies were used. bortonia/bortonia
A set of simple ‘No Smoking’ and ‘E-Cigarettes Only’ signs. (Picture: bortonia/bortonia)

As the e-liquid does not contain these carcinogenic additives it was believed the lung disease risk was minimal in comparison.

However, research by Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, suggests the way particles are broken down in e-cigarettes may irritate lung tissue and cause disease.

Particles in tobacco-based cigarettes have a median size of 0.3 to 0.5 microns, but in e-cigarettes they are a lot smaller at 0.18 to 0.27 microns.

This means particles can travel deep within the lungs and embed themselves in the alveoli, the tiny air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place, causing damage.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Drivers involved in accidents will have phones checked to see if devices were being used

 Drivers involved in accidents will have their phones checked to see if they were sending or receiving calls or texts at the time, it has emerged Drivers involved in accidents will have their phones checked to see if they were sending or receiving calls or texts at the time, it has emerged. Charities and pressure groups have backed the newly-introduced police idea to use handset data as possible evidence in prosecutions. But critics warned the plan could cause chaos over minor prangs, delaying the recovery of crashed vehicles and preventing drivers contacting relatives.

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, of Gloucestershire Police, has issued her officers guidelines to check phones at any roadside accident. Previously it only happened where people were killed or injured. Ms Davenport is currently responsible for roads policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers. She is determined to reduce the number of accidents due to motorists using handsets. AA president Edmund King welcomed the move.

He said: "Many drivers seem addicted to their phones and can't resist looking at a text or tweet at the wheel." He added: "We need a really concerted effort to crack this addiction with harsher penalties linked to a well-publicised information and enforcement campaign." Motorists are four times more likely to crash if they use a mobile phone while driving, according to the Government's Think! safety awareness programme. Reaction times are said to be dramatically slower - up to half as fast - compared with normal driving. Under current legislation it is illegal to use a hand-held mobile while driving, even when a vehicle has stopped in traffic or is at a crawl. Latest estimates by researchers show that more than 500 people are killed or injured on the roads every year due to mobile phone use.

Disturbance at 'crisis' prison HMP Ranby

Disturbance has broken out at a Nottinghamshire prison. The Prison Officers Association said it started when all 120 inmates on one wing at HMP Ranby refused to return to their cells. However, the Ministry of Justice said 30 to 60 prisoners were involved in the incident, which began at 12:00 BST. There has been "minor damage" but no injuries, the MoJ said. The jail was criticised in a report this week for high levels of violence. Glyn Travis, assistant secretary of the Prison Officers' Association (POA), said it was a "serious incident". "We have got national resources at the prison trying to establish a surrender plan," he said. "We know 60 prisoners have been actively involved," he said. 'Chronic staff shortfalls' An MoJ spokesman said the rest of the prison remained on a restricted regime and "calm". A report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons released earlier this week said the prison, near Worksop, was "in crisis".

A MAN has been sent to jail for trying to smuggle millions of pounds of cocaine into the country through Portsmouth International Port.

Michael Ebanks (pictured) was given a 15-year sentence at Portsmouth Crown Court for conspiracy to import drugs between April 2011 and October 2012.

The 33-year-old was arrested at the ferryport on October 18 last year after he was found with 52kg of high-purity cocaine.

The drugs, brought over from Spain, had a street value of between £4.8m and £10.4m.

The cocaine was being smuggled hidden in crates of recycled rubber, which Ebanks claimed was for resale to tyre companies.

Ebanks pleaded not guilty to taking part in the conspiracy and said he had been duped by others.

But a jury found him guilty of the charge.

In handing down the sentence, Recorder John Trevaskis said Ebanks, of Page Heath Lane, Bromley, played a major role.

He said: ‘I’ve concluded that the preponderance of evidence identifies you at the top of a significant role.

‘You were motivated in doing this by financial advantage.’

The court heard Ebanks had made several trips to Malaga to organise the import of the drugs, and had made repeated journeys to a remote farm in West Sussex where drugs were stored.

Prosecuting barrister Elizabeth Bussey-Jones said: ‘This entire operation was essentially a scam set up to disguise the real purpose of the trips.’

Mark West of Lansdowne Road in Purley, Surrey, was also involved but pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy.

He will be sentenced later this year.

Royal Navy Commander Sarah West sent home over 'affair with male officer'

First woman commander of Navy warship is sent home over 'affair with male officer' on board Commander Sarah West, 42, took charge of HMS Portland in May 2012  While Royal Navy investigates, Cdr West, from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, can retain her position It is not known whether the male officer is married  Cdr West recently called herself ‘single’, having been married to a former RN pilot in 1998; pair later separated

Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse

David Cameron’s flagship Big Society Network is being investigated by the Charity Commission over allegations that it misused government funding and made inappropriate payments to its directors – including a Tory donor. The organisation, which was launched by the Prime Minister in 2010, was given at least £2.5 million of National Lottery funding and public-sector grants despite having no record of charitable activity.

Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse

David Cameron’s flagship Big Society Network is being investigated by the Charity Commission over allegations that it misused government funding and made inappropriate payments to its directors – including a Tory donor. The organisation, which was launched by the Prime Minister in 2010, was given at least £2.5 million of National Lottery funding and public-sector grants despite having no record of charitable activity.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Peaches Geldof died of heroin overdose, inquest rules

Peaches Geldof died of a heroin overdose, a coroner has ruled. The TV presenter had been a heroin addict and took the substitute drug methadone for two-and-a-half years before her death, the inquest heard. A police search found 6.9g of heroin in her house but there was no indication she had planned to take her own life. Her husband, musician Tom Cohen, told the hearing in Gravesend the 25-year-old had started using the drug again in February this year. He had witnessed her flushing drugs she had hidden in their loft down the toilet, but was not aware of any other drugs in the house until they were found by police. In his evidence, the musician said his wife had taken weekly drugs tests since seeking treatment for her addiction two years ago. Although she had informed him they were clear, Mr Cohen said he now believed Geldof had been lying about the tests.

Ricky Reel: Police 'spied on dead student's family'

A mother campaigning for an inquiry into her son's death in 1997 says she has been told she was spied on by undercover Scotland Yard officers. Student Ricky Reel was 20 when he vanished during a night out in London, shortly after he and his friends had been racially abused by two white men. His body was found in the River Thames. The man tasked with investigating undercover policing did not name specific families but criticised the "routine gathering" of information. Mr Reel's mother, Sukhdev, said she had been informed that officers gathered intelligence on her in 1998 and 1999.

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(1) SOCA advises cruise agencies and cruise lines how to recognize signs that passengers might be inclined to smuggle drugs or other contraband (1) Sainsbury's techie jailed for loyalty card scam (1) Sally McGrath death: Arrest number two (1) Scotland pressured to free Megrahi (1) Scotland-based crime gang suspected of trafficking women to work as prostitutes in Belfast was arrested this month (1) Scots drugs gang jailed (1) Scots legal upheaval as 3500 convicts win new appeals (1) Scottish criminals 'only jailed after 40 convictions' (1) Seven arrested over drugs (1) Seven men have been arrested after detectives from the PSNI Organised Crime Branch seized £500 (1) Sex crimes up as 14 (1) Sex swap hip hop diva wanted over Claudia Aderotimi 'butt boost' death (1) Shrien (1) Shrien Dewani 'right to be worried' about handling of Anni Dewani murder case (1) Shrien Dewani Mastermind To Murder Or Paralysed Victim (1) Shrien Dewani says he and his wife (1) Shropshire man accused of triple murder appears in court (1) Sinn Fein (1) Sinn Fein leaders 'knew about bank raid' (1) Six arrests following drug raids in Glossop (1) South Africa honeymoon murder (1) South Africa honeymoon murder accused denied bail (1) South African honeymoon murder claim 'is ludicrous' (1) South African police are on the verge of revealing the motive behind the murder of Anni Dewani (1) South Norwood builder pleads guilty to smuggling cannabis (1) Spanish National Police have intercepted a British registered yacht on the high seas off the Portuguese coast (1) Staff from Browne Mackenzie (1) Stella English is a gangster's moll with a troubled past (1) Steven Purcell quizzed by cops on return (1) Student left dying in street after being stabbed by muggers (1) Suffolk (1) Suitcase death spy was not gay (1) Suspect in murder of British woman to publish writings from fugitive days (1) Swindon; and Anthony Belcher (1) Swindon; received seven years. (1) Teacher in murder quiz was having affair with sex shop girl (1) Teenage robbery gang jailed (1) Teenager stabbed to death in south London (1) Ten Ghanaians on board an Accra-New York flight of Delta Airlines (1) The Base pub in Ashington (1) The Elland Mad Dogs and the Lee Mount Loonies (1) The arrests were related to recent 'distributed denial of service' (DDoS) attacks by an online group calling themselves Anonymous (1) The detective leading a murder investigation after a man was found shot dead in a disused Smethwick factory today refused to rule out a “gangland killing”. (1) The faces of the 10 latest suspected criminals hiding from police on the "Costa del Crime" have been published (1) Three arrested over iPhone murder: (1) Three arrests after ‘massive disturbance’ in Malton (1) Three arrests and £60 (1) Three arrests over west Belfast pipe bombings (1) Tom Murphy is not a criminal. He’s a good republican (1) Travelodge in Kingston Raid on hotel results in five arrests (1) Trial of British climate protesters collapses (1) Trio in court over honeymoon murder (1) Tuesday 25 January (1) Twenty arrests over suspected £50m beer and wine fraud (1) Two Scots wanted in connection with unsolved murders are believed to be hiding out in Spain. (1) Two Sussex men and one from Surrey face extradition to Spain after a boat with £8m of cannabis destined for the UK was stopped between Morocco and Spain. (1) Two arrested in Wisbech park murder investigation (1) Two arrests over 'firearm threat' in Cumbria: (1) Two charged with Peckham murder of Sylvester Akapalara: (1) Two charges over £6million Torbay cocaine haul (1) Two gangs of men who fought a pitched battle with baseball bats (1) Two held in Galway drugs gang sting: (1) Two men accused of helping gunman Raoul Moat will face charges of attempting to murder David Rathband (1) Two men are due to appear in court charged with murdering a 55-year-old man in Belfast. (1) Two men arrested in Blackburn murder inquiry (1) Two men arrested over £1.5m cocaine seizure (1) Two men seriously injured during Samurai sword attack (1) Two men were jailed for life after an illegal immigrant was murdered and dumped in a canal following a drugs feud (1) Two more men arrested over Boxing Day gang fight (1) Two slabs of cocaine were found in a false compartment in her suitcase (1) Two teenagers who killed a man in Cheshire in a dispute over drugs have been detained for five years. (1) Two_men_on_motorbike_sought_for_murder (1) UK becomes 'cocaine capital of the western world' (1) United fans await sentence over 'Wild West saloon brawl' (1) VIOLENCE erupted in Burnley town centre on Monday afternoon when two gangs of men confronted each other with baseball bats. (1) Vince Richard Hubbard (1) Vincent Tabak charged with Joanna Yeates murder (1) WALTHAM FOREST: 367 knife crimes in past year (1) Warning over anti-virus cold calls to UK internet users (1) Wartime ‘trophy gun’ fired in gang murder of student (1) Was Browns phone hacked as well? Pressure mounts to re-open Scotland Yard enquiry (1) Wayne Bassnett shot in the head by assassin in Hale (1) Wealthy BA pilot to stand trial for 'murder of estranged wife' (1) Wednesday will see the anniversary of the killing that ended Lennon's iconoclastic career (1) West Derby (1) Whistleblowing MP shops 6 more colleagues to police over expenses fraud | (1) Widnes man shot dead in Pepper Street near Town Lane in Hale Village (1) Widowed British honeymooner Shrien Dewani will be arrested and charged with murder of his wife Anni if he returns to South Africa (1) Wilbert Dyce (1) Williams had been logging onto bondage Web sites and had visited a drag cabaret in the British capital four days before his death. (1) Woman accused of tube murder was undergoing sex change (1) Woman charged with murder of transvestite (1) Woman stands trial for double murder to which ex-lover confessed (1) Woman's body found washed up in Kent bay (1) Women jailed over bodysuit drug smuggling bid (1) Y Waen (1) Yorkshire 'car key burglary' gang locked up (1) Youth killed as Afghan groups clash (1) Zac Olumegbon (1) a British citizen (1) a class-A drug (1) a hammer and pickaxe handle in a car park (1) admitted carrying out the raid at Lostwithiel on 13 August. (1) admitted theft and fraud by false representation. (1) after he arrived at the airport on Sunday night (1) aged 32 from John Mace Road (1) alarm and distress' to people living nearby (1) and Angel Campoverde (1) and Ivan Marshall (1) and James MacPherson (1) and Jayson Hassan (1) and Rackheath (1) and Scott Taylor (1) and found to be carrying 1.515 tons of cocaine. (1) and on Christmas shoppers (1) and uses cash instead of credit cards (1) arrested over knifed pregnant teenager (1) average amount stolen equated to £1 (1) blasted 11 shots at helpless Eddie Boyd - hitting him five times - as his young daughter screamed in terror. (1) but the Navy boat crews recovered two (1) cannabis and weapons were seized by police who raided 25 houses and apartments. (1) central Clydebank (1) central London (1) charged with murder in Great Yarmouth: (1) checks into hotels under false names (1) corrupt police officer helped his drug lord brother by hiding guns and threatening witnesses (1) death of Julian Gardner (1) discovered a world where automatic pistols (1) drag cabaret (1) drugs squad found 13 mature and 35 immature plants (1) dundee-united-stars-david-goodwillie-scott-allan-arrested-after-4am-street-brawl (1) dyes his hair (1) family friendship leads to second murder investigation (1) five Italian gangsters - known locally as the Camorra - are seen sweeping into a restaurant while families are eating before marching up to a corner table where their targets are sitting. (1) fled a club soaked in blood and clutching a 6in wound (1) flew the plane but says he did not know drugs were on board. (1) former girlfriend of gunman Raoul Moat has told a court of the moment the killer shot dead her new boyfriend then turned his shotgun on her (1) found stabbed to death (1) four (1) from Ballygonney Road West In Moneymore were refused bail. (1) from Brixton Hill (1) from Deramore Gardens in Belfast and Warren Martin (1) from Fulham (1) from Moss Lane (1) from Plymouth (1) from Rushey Hey (1) from Tottenham (1) gang drugs war in Greater Manchester. (1) gangland crime in Limerick (1) gangs have shaped the streets and changed the nature of UK crime (1) grieving father of a student who was raped and murdered pleaded with her suspected killer to give himself up (1) had caused 'a great deal of harassment (1) has been charged with importing a class B drug. (1) has made a new and lengthy statement to police (1) have been accused of killing Mr Yepez (1) he claimed he was one of the main players in north London and could get hold of better weapons than Scotland Yard (1) heroin worth nearly £2 million was seized in a single drugs bust in the Scottish capital (1) highest rates of teenage alcohol-related injuries in Europe (1) highlight London's crime rate and youth alcohol problems (1) his brother Ronnie and notorious English serial killer Graham Young escaping from prison. (1) imprisonment of a woman in Wales for withdrawing rape allegations against her husband is a nightmarish addition to the discrimination awaiting women and girls who seek justice (1) in January. (1) in his mid-40s (1) including some in Rochdale (1) is due to appear at South Western Magistrates' Court in Battersea this morning (1) is the first Western on trial in an Iraqi court since a 2009 U.S.-Iraqi security agreement lifted immunity for foreign contractors. (1) jail terms totalling more than 63 years to William Byrne and 14 crooks linked to his gang. (1) just months (1) known locally as Eddie (1) made more than £1m from crime. He must pay £100 (1) major rural crime wave could break out across Wales (1) man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a man who was shot dead in south Manchester. (1) man has been shot dead by an off-duty police officer during a suspected robbery at a petrol station. (1) man in his 20s has been arrested over the murder of a champion kickboxer in Dundalk (1) moved to Thailand in 2006 to study the deadly Muay Thai fighting style (1) murdering honeymooner Anni Dewani in Cape Town (1) night-time signalling between vessels at sea and people on the shore (1) of Ansty Road (1) of Clapham (1) of Common Road (1) of Forest Gate (1) of Haig Avenue (1) of Hapton (1) of Looe (1) of Mount Avenue (1) of Oxford Road (1) of Pennyvoss Road (1) of Queen Street (1) of School Lane (1) often borrowed from friends (1) on 3 January when he was shot in the chest. (1) prison officer has been arrested after attempting to smuggle drugs into Mountjoy prison today. (1) seized 180 kilograms of ketamine in Felixstowe (1) seized a haul of scam post in a bid to tackle the UK-wide fraudulent mail blight. (1) seven men and five women found Hodgson guilty of murder at Teesside Crown Court. (1) sleeps on sofas and floors (1) south Kilmarnock and Dalkeith in Midlothian (1) stabbed both his parents to death after his mother called him a “f------ idiot” for lying in bed all morning with a hangover. (1) submachine guns and even hand grenades were being sold for as little as £50 (1) taxi firm has been denied an operator’s licence following police claims of criminal links (1) teenager was killed and another injured when two balaclava-wearing gunmen opened fire on a group of four young friends (1) the Gilnow Road gang (1) the eldest son of Viscount Trenchard (1) the famous fashion designer recently committed suicide by intake of a mixture of the cocaine (1) three dogs performing searches on vehicles entering the 14 jails across the Republic. (1) using guns in deadly drug disputes (1) was ambushed by four young men at the gates of Park Campus School in nearby West Norwood. (1) was arrested at Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport (1) was arrested by UK Border Agency officers in Coquelles (1) was blasted at least three times outside a relative’s home in South Cantril Avenue (1) was convicted in 2003 of hiring two “mules” to carry cocaine (1) was given three life sentences earlier this month. (1) was given three years and nine months behind bars after police found £1 million from the heist in the boot of his car. (1) was released after several hours of questioning over the shooting of Nicky Ayers (1) was shot at close range at least three times outside his daughter’s home in South Cantril Avenue (1) was shot dead in Tillingbourne Gardens (1) was sitting in a silver Volvo on Utting Avenue (1) were ambushed as they were driven through the vast shantytown of Gugulethu in South Africa (1) were among 13 men from around the country involved in the criminal group. (1) were found in 24 of the 33 pubs in and around Alnwick (1) were gunned down outside Strang House (1) were not legally married. (1) were part of a gang that brought in an estimated 16 tonnes of the drug. (1) which is in liquidation (1) who 'fired shots in party battle' arrested for attempted murder (1) who attended the hearing (1) who has already been sentenced to life imprisonment for the two killings (1) who reached No 3 in April with I Need You Tonight (1) whose ring nickname was Pitbull (1) wife of BA pilot vanishes from £3million B;B mansion (1) will be extradited over the murder of Kinga Legg (1) you can never move on with your life.'" (1) young boy has been shot dead. (1) £100m cocaine gang sentenced to 200 years in prison (1) £48k seized from Amsterdam passenger (1) £6m of drugs seized from Lancashire's streets (1) ‘Sick’ Dewani’s bail strategy (1) “Fragile” Shrien Dewani leaves hospital (1)

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