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Coronavirus: Cases in UK jump to 87

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Coronavirus graphic on what you need to do

The UK has seen its biggest day-on-day increase in coronavirus cases, bringing the total number to 87.

Almost all of the 36 new patients had recently travelled to affected countries or been infected by others who had done so, the UK’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said.

But it is not clear how three new patients in England caught the virus.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that two patients at King’s College Hospital have been diagnosed with the virus.

A family member of an elderly patient at the south London hospital told the BBC one of those who was infected had been staying in the same room as his relative prior to being diagnosed.

The hospital said it had restricted access for staff and visitors to the affected ward, and was tracing those who may have come into contact with the infected patients.

Of the 87 cases in the UK there are 80 in England, three in Scotland, one in Wales and three in Northern Ireland.

What do I need to know about the coronavirus?

Two of the latest patients are Scottish, with one living in the Grampian area and the other in Ayrshire. One had recently travelled to northern Italy while the other had contact with a known positive case.

New cases of the virus in England have been confirmed in Liverpool, York, Carlisle, Newcastle, Torquay and Manchester, as well as in Lancashire and Derbyshire.

In Northern Ireland, a Queen’s University postgraduate student, who recently returned from northern Italy and has been mixing with fellow students, tested positive.

Meanwhile, students at Goldsmiths in south London have been told a visitor to one of the university’s halls of residences has coronavirus.

In an email, the university said the person was “being looked after” and that the student they visited was “self-isolating as a precautionary measure”.

Buckingham University and the University of London have put back their graduation ceremonies to minimise the spread of the disease.

Prof Whitty – who earlier said an epidemic in the UK was “likely” – said people who had been in contact with the new patients are being traced.

In “the worst case scenario”, up to 80% of the UK population could be infected with coronavirus, which causes the disease Covid-19, he said.

But he said a move to lock down entire towns and cities across the UK would be “very unlikely”.

In other key developments:

A major public health campaign urging people to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds has also been launched.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said washing hands regularly was the “single most important thing that an individual can do”.

Public Health England says to use a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available, advising that hand washing is particularly important after using public transport.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe BBC Health team talk you through what the NHS says about protecting yourself from Covid-19

What have we learnt from these new cases?

It’s the biggest daily rise we have had. But this is not unexpected – health officials have been warning we should be braced for an increase.

This could last for two or three months until a peak is reached.

Of the 34 new cases, three are worrying from the perspective that the government has been unable to establish how they were infected. They have no links to people who have been abroad to places where there are significant outbreaks.

That brings the total number of cases like this to five – and could be a sign that the virus is circulating in the community.

Some of the other new cases are not people who had been abroad, but were infected in this country by people who had been.

That in itself is a sign there are clusters developing that the health authorities will be working hard to contain.

Public health officials have released no details about where the new cases are, or just how big these clusters are, leaving some key questions hanging.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced emergency legislation allowing workers to get statutory sick pay from the first day they are off work, not the fourth, to help contain the virus.

Mr Johnson told the House of Commons that people who self-isolate should not be “penalised for doing the right thing”.

The sick pay announcement means those receiving statutory sick pay would get an extra £40 a week, paid for by their employers.

The government has said up to a fifth of the workforce may be off sick during the peak of a coronavirus epidemic in the UK.

About 90,000 people have been infected globally since the outbreak of coronavirus in Hubei province, China, in December, with cases in more than 50 countries and more than 3,000 deaths.

Last week, a British man who was infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan became the first UK citizen to die from the virus.


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U.S. lawmakers seek to step up pressure on UK to reverse Huawei 5G decision

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday took another step to try to prod Britain to reverse its decision to allow China’s Huawei Technologies Co to build portions of the UK’s next generation 5G networks.

FILE PHOTO: The British flag and a smartphone with a Huawei and 5G network logo are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture taken January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Republican senators Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio proposed legislation requiring the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review Britain’s place on the foreign investment “whitelist,” which exempts some Australian, Canadian and UK companies from increased U.S. scrutiny of their foreign investments.

The British Embassy in Washington did not immediately comment.

Also on Wednesday, a U.S. Senate committee heard testimony from Nokia (NOKIA.HE) and Ericsson (ERICb.ST) about how rural U.S. carriers can swap out equipment from Huawei and ZTE Corp (000063.SZ), also from China, to stay within recently issued federal rules.

Republican President Donald Trump signed an executive order in May barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by companies deemed to pose a national security risk, such as Huawei. The Trump administration also added Huawei to its trade blacklist.

In November, the Federal Communications Commission followed up by voting unanimously to designate Huawei and ZTE as national security risks, effectively barring their rural customers in the United States from tapping an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase equipment.

“We need to do more to shore up our own network defenses against hackers and state-sponsored actors, especially in our nation’s rural and underserved communities. This effort will require the development of a comprehensive strategy to secure the telecommunications supply chain,” said Senator Roger Wicker, the Commerce Committee’s Republican chair.

Last week, Congress passed legislation to reimburse telecommunications providers with fewer than two million customers who replace equipment in their networks deemed to pose a national security risk.

Steven Barry, who heads the Competitive Carriers Association, said at Wednesday’s hearing rural carriers were “essentially attempting to rebuild the airplane in mid-flight” by having to remove and replace network equipment.

Huawei said the congressional legislation was “considerably underfunded, would take longer than anticipated and could put at risk some of our customers, who serve the most undeserved areas.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall



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Lesotho murder case: Prime Minister appears in court as lawyers seek immunity

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Police had earlier said they wanted to charge the Prime Minister with the murder of his former wife, Lipolelo Thabane who was killed outside her home in the capital Maseru in 2017.

Lipolelo Thabane was shot dead two days before her estranged husband's inauguration for a second term as PM.

His legal team, however, convinced magistrate Phethise Motanyane to refer the matter to the High Court (sitting as the Constitutional Court), because, as Prime Minister, Thabane may have immunity from prosecution.

No date has been set for that hearing.

High-level murder investigation grips tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho

The 80-year-old looked at the ground for much of the proceedings flanked by First Lady Maesiah Thabane and various senior members of his government.

The Prime Minister was a no-show for a court date last Friday. His office later said that he had rushed to South Africa for medical treatment, insisting that he was not trying to avoid the charges against him.

Lesotho Prime Minister fails to show up in court to face murder charge

Maesiah Thabane has already been charged with murder and attempted murder of the former first lady Lipolelo Thabane and a friend. She is out on bail and is yet to enter a plea.

Police say that eight other suspects will be charged over their links to the case, although their names have yet to be made public.

The details of the case have gripped the country, forced Prime Minister Thabane to promise his resignation and opened the lid on the murky power politics that have long dominated Lesotho’s culture.

When — and if — the case comes to trial, observers say that prosecuting sordid allegations against one of the most powerful figures in Lesotho will be a stiff test of judicial independence.



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World health would have to be at stake to cancel Tokyo Games: Pound

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MONTREAL (Reuters) – For this year’s Tokyo Olympics to be canceled or postponed over the coronavirus outbreak, the world’s health would have to be at stake, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Giant Olympic Rings are installed at the waterfront area, with the Rainbow Bridge in the background, ahead of an official inauguration ceremony, six months before the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, Japan January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Pound said it is not impossible to reschedule an Olympics for a year later but wanted athletes who are training for Tokyo to know the IOC is fully committed to having them at the opening ceremonies on July 24.

“Only if there is the worst possible outcome of this virus and it becomes a real pandemic or world health is at stake then we reluctantly have to say well that’s more important frankly than the Olympics,” Pound told Reuters at the Montreal law firm where he is a partner.

“But we will do our very best to make sure that you get your Olympic opportunity.”

Pound said any decision on whether to cancel or postpone the Olympics had a lot of moving parts and would involve the IOC, Tokyo authorities, governments and international agencies who all felt it would not be a safe scenario to hold the event.

But while Pound feels the coronavirus presents more of a problem to the Tokyo Olympics than the mosquito-borne Zika virus was to the 2016 Rio Games, he sees no reason to start making alternative arrangements at this point.

“We know it spreads easily and that’s disturbing. … But we’re also at the height of the flu season which traditionally is January and February in the winter and then it tapers off and goes down in the warmer months,” he said.

“So if it follows that kind of a pattern, by the time we get to April, May and June it may be a thing of the past.”

Pound’s comments came on the same day Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a two-week curb on sports events as two more coronavirus deaths in the country heightened concerns the outbreak might scupper the Tokyo Olympics.

COMPETITIONS CANCELED

A number of international sports events have been hit by the coronavirus, with some competitions being postponed and others canceled outright.

The flu-like virus is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.

Pound said if there does come a need to reschedule the Olympics, they could theoretically be postponed until the same time period in 2021, but not for later this year because it would interfere with the packed regular sports schedule.

“Especially in North America and Europe because all the college sports are on, football is on, baseball is on,” said Pound. “A lot (of) sports on the air and if you throw in this Olympic tsunami on top of it, it would be very bad.”

Pound said the IOC remains in constant contact with the World Health Organization and would need that organization to weigh in over whether to hold or cancel the Games and if other options should be considered.

“Our plan is that unless the elephant in the room becomes ginormous, we’re going to open the Games on July 24,” Pound said.

“That’s where were headed at the moment, and unless we are diverted from that by public authorities and health authorities we’ll go ahead.”

Writing by Frank Pingue, editing by Ed Osmond



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Clive Cussler: Dirk Pitt novels author dies aged 88

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Clive CusslerImage copyright
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Image caption

Cussler wrote more than 80 books in total during his lifetime

Clive Cussler, the US author of the popular Dirk Pitt novels, has died at the age of 88.

He wrote 25 books in the adventure series, including Sahara and Raise the Titanic, and sold more than 100 million copies of his novels in total.

Writing on Twitter, Cussler’s wife said: “It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news that my husband Clive passed away [on] Monday.

“It has been a privilege to share in his life.”

She added: “I want to thank you, his fans and friends, for all the support. He was the kindest most gentle man I ever met. I know, his adventures will continue.”

The cause of his death has not been confirmed.

‘Soft spot in my heart’

Cussler’s 1992 thriller Sahara was adapted for the big screen in a 2005 film starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz.

The writer, whose books have been published in more than 40 languages, was married to Barbara Knight for nearly 50 years until her death in 2003, and they had three children, Teri, Dirk, and Dayna.

He later married Janet Horvath. His son Dirk, named after the character, co-wrote his final three novels.

“Dirk will always have a soft spot in my heart because he started if off,” Cussler said in an interview with Working Mother in 2013.

“I hope readers see Pitt as a normal, average guy who is down to earth. He likes the Air Force, tequila, and an occasional cigar.

Image copyright
Getty Images

“I used myself as a model for Dirk. We are both 6’3″, have green eyes, and at that time were the same weight and the same age.”

He added: “The only differences are that he is better with the girls and he has aged about 10 years while I have aged about 50.”

After selling the Sahara story to the billionaire Philip Anschutz, Cussler later sued, telling a US court in 2007 Hollywood “tore the heart out” of the book.

The movie grossed $119 million (£92.1m) worldwide but was still considered a box-office failure as it failed to recoup its own filmmaking costs.

The novelist said the company broke its contract by changing the story without his consent.

“I thought it was just awful,” he said of the film, adding that he considered the re-written dialogue to be silly.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Cussler, pictured in 1977, was born in Illinois

One his earlier works, Raise the Titanic! was also made into a movie in 1980. The film, starring Jason Robards, Richard Jordan, David Selby, Anne Archer, and Sir Alec Guinness, proved to be a similar flop.

Cussler wrote more than 80 books in total, including the Isaac Bell Adventures and Fargo Adventures series.

Known as an expert in shipwrecks, Cussler founded the non-profit National Underwater and Marine Agency.

His non-fiction book Sea Hunters was so extensive in its underwater knowledge the Maritime College in the State of New York gave him a doctorate.


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Sussex Royal brand: Meghan and Harry’s use of the word ‘Royal’ being reviewed, source says

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex surprised the world last month when they announced plans to step back from their duties in the British royal family and “transition into a new working model.”

At the same time, it emerged that couple had submitted an application for a UK trademark for the term “Sussex Royal,” covering hundreds of items under the categories of printed matter, clothing, campaigning, charitable fundraising, education and social care services.

However an aide to the Queen warned the Duke and Duchess against using the term, The Times of London newspaper reported earlier this month.

“I don’t think it’s satisfactory. One cannot be two things at once. You either are [royal] or you’re not,” Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms, told the publication. Woodcock said he was speaking in a personal capacity.

“It is such unusual times that it is a matter of waiting and seeing how things develop,” he added.

When Buckingham Palace outlined the new roles for Harry and Meghan last month, it said there were some issues that required additional work and consultation.
Prince Harry and Meghan agreed to stop using the titles His and Her Royal Highness, eschew some state funding and return the Sovereign Grant funds they spent to renovate their official residence.
Prince Harry loses complaint against UK tabloid newspaper

The source said that planning was well underway around the launch of the couple’s new non-profit organization, adding that details will be shared in due course.

Harry and Meghan left for Canada with their son Archie after the royal exit announcement.

Since then, it has been announced that the couple were closing their office at Buckingham Palace, leading to some of its 15 employees becoming redundant. CNN understands that the couple no longer needs an office at the Queen’s main London residence since stepping back from their roles as senior members of the royal family.



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University of Michigan investigates doctor sex abuse claims

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. —
Five former patients have alleged that a late University of Michigan physician sexually abused them during exams, with one accuser saying Dr. Robert E. Anderson’s actions over several decades made him a “sexual predator.”

A spokesman acknowledged that some university employees were aware of accusations against the doctor prior to a 2018 complaint that led to a police investigation.

“It is our understanding from the police investigation that there were rumors and some indication that U-M staff members were aware of Dr. Anderson’s inappropriate medical exams,” said spokesman Rick Fitzgerald.

Robert Julian Stone told The Associated Press that Anderson assaulted him during a medical appointment at the university’s health center in 1971. Stone said he alerted university officials last summer, inspired by the national #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct.

Stone was first interviewed by The Detroit News, which began reporting on the allegations before the university announced the investigation. Stone, who is 69, said he contacted the newspaper because he felt “stonewalled” by the university when he sought documentation on the investigation this year.

“Finally, the university has understood that this is something that needs to be addressed in a public fashion,” Stone said Wednesday, speaking hours after the university in Ann Arbor released a statement that an outside, independent investigation has been launched into the allegations against Anderson.

The former director of University Health Service was a team physician for various sports at Michigan from 1966 until his retirement in 2003. He was the football team’s physician for three-plus decades, working with coaches such as Bo Shembechler and Lloyd Carr. The National Athletic Trainer’s Association gave Anderson the President’s Challenge Award in 1988.

Anderson was from L’Anse, Michigan, in the state’s Upper Peninsula. He died in 2008. The school said it has set up a hotline for others who have information to come forward.

The revelations echo high-profile sexual abuse allegations made against sports doctors at other North American universities. Hundreds of young women and girls said they were molested by former Michigan State University sports physician Larry Nassar, who was sentenced in January 2018 to up to 175 years in prison in the abuse. About 350 men have sued Ohio State University over their alleged abuse by the late Dr. Richard Strauss at that university decades ago. And it’s not the first accusation against a University of Michigan official; Provost Martin Philbert was placed on paid leave in January following accusations of sexual misconduct.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify sexual assault victims but Stone spoke publicly to The News and The AP.

Stone, who is gay, said he worried in the summer of 1971 that he had been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease and needed to see a doctor. He was 20 years old and an undergraduate at the university.

Another friend suggested that he see Anderson because the doctor had been nonjudgmental with other gay students, Stone said.

Stone said the doctor exposed himself during the exam and then used Stone’s hand to touch himself.

“I thought he must be a closeted gay man and I tried to excuse the behavior and feel sorry for him,” Stone said. “But that’s not what he was. He was a sexual predator, preying on young male students at the University of Michigan.”

Stone said he told the friend who suggested seeing Anderson what had happened. He could not recall the man’s name. Stone said he did tell his former partner, who died in 2013, and his husband of the last five years.

He tried to forget it for years. But in 1993, he began to wonder if writing a personal essay about the experience would be helpful and requested his medical records from the university’s health system to confirm the details.

“Men who have been subject to a sexual assault are most likely to shut it down and act as if it never happened,” Stone said. “Don’t talk about it, pretend like it didn’t happen, maybe it will go away.”

The university’s statement released Wednesday confirmed multiple reports of sexual misconduct leveled against Anderson in recent years.

The first report came from a former University of Michigan athlete who wrote to Athletic Director Warde Manuel in July 2018 alleging abuse by Anderson during medical exams in the early 1970s, according to the school’s statement. Interviews with dozens of other former students uncovered several more people who allege they suffered similar misconduct and unnecessary medical exams during that era as well as at least one incident as late as the 1990s.

“The allegations that were reported are disturbing and very serious,” university President Mark Schlissel said in a statement. “We promptly began a police investigation and cooperated fully with the prosecutor’s office.”

The News also spoke to two of Anderson’s children. Jill Anderson called the allegations “ridiculous,” saying her father was “beloved” and “well-respected,” but that she recognized the strength of victims who have spoken out about other abusive doctors.

“I have great appreciation for people speaking up and saying that something is wrong,” she said. “That is not something I would have ever believed of my father.”

Officials say they are making the information public now following a determination Tuesday by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office that no criminal charges would be authorized because Anderson is deceased. The ability to prosecute others for ancillary offenses has been extinguished because of the statute of limitations, officials say.

Dozens of people connected to Nassar, at Michigan State and in other organizations, face prosecution or have lost their jobs in the fallout from the scandal that unfolded around him in recent years.

According to a 2008 story about Anderson’s memorial service in student newspaper The Michigan Daily, he established a program to provide free physical exams to high school students while he was a resident at Hurley Medical Center in Flint. John Potbury, deputy chief assistant prosecutor in Genesee County, where Flint is located, said Wednesday that he was not aware of any investigation of Anderson.

Messages seeking comment were left with the Flint Police Department and Hurley.

Schlissel said he had set up a “Compliance Hotline” to help determine who else might have been affected at the school and to get additional information from them.

The outside review is being conducted the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Steptoe & Johnson.

At Ohio State, Strauss was accused of abusing students over nearly two decades beginning in the late 1970s. Since those allegations first arose in 2018, the school says it has learned of more than 1,000 instances of alleged sexual misconduct by the late doctor. At Michigan State, more than 300 victims said Nassar molested them under the guise of treatment for back problems and other injuries. Nassar also worked at USA Gymnastics and also saw athletes who were referred to him. He is serving what are effectively life sentences for child porn possession and sexually assaulting young women and girls.

———

Karoub reported from Detroit and Foody reported from Chicago. Associated Press writers David Eggert in Lansing, Michiganl Larry Lage in Ann Arbor and Reese Dunklin in Dallas and Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed in New York contributed to this report.

———

This story has been corrected to show the alleged victims of Richard Strauss have already sued Ohio State, rather than are planning to sue.



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Rapper Pop Smoke killed by masked gunmen

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LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke was fatally shot Wednesday morning at a home in the Hollywood Hills, law enforcement officials confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. He was 20.

Pop Smoke, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was at a residence in California around 4:30 a.m. when two masked men broke into his house, law enforcement sources told TMZ.

The men allegedly fired multiple shots. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood where he was pronounced dead.

“We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke,” said a rep for Republic Records, to which the rapper is signed via the imprint Victor Victor. “Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.”

Pop Smoke apparently revealed the address to the house in a recent social media post, although it appears to have been taken down.

The rapper, best known for singles “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior,” released his first mixtape “Welcome to the Woo” last July, and has collaborated with artists including Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott.

His second mixtape ,”Meet the Woo 2,” was released this month. It debuted at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. Pop Smoke was scheduled to begin a month-long North American tour on March 2, and then perform in England in April.

In January, Pop Smoke was arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport — hours before he was scheduled to perform at a concert — on a charge of transporting a stolen vehicle over state lines.

The vehicle was a black 2019 Rolls-Royce worth an estimated $375,000 that he had borrowed for a music video in California, according to an indictment and a law enforcement official; investigators told the New York Times the car was found parked outside Pop Smoke’s mother’s home in Brooklyn, with a different license plate.

The rapper, who had just arrived in New York from Paris Fashion Week, pleaded not guilty and was released on $250,000 bail the same day.

Last week he denied the charge in an interview with Power 105.1’s Angie Martinez, calling the incident “foolishness.”

In October, he was one of five New York rappers that the NYPD blocked from performing at the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival in Queens. Officers claimed that the rappers had been “affiliated with recent acts of violence citywide,” but did not specify any criminal behavior.



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How Aluminum Damages Your Brain

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For years, I’ve warned that aluminum is a serious neurotoxic hazard involved in rising rates of autism and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). I’ve also warned that vaccines are a significant source of such exposure, and may be one of the worst, since by injecting it, the aluminum bypasses your body’s natural filtering and detoxification systems.

My comments above were one of the reasons the self-appointed global arbiter of fake news, NewsGuard, refused to give us “green” status as a site that follows “basic standards of accuracy and accountability.” In other words, our reporting of aluminum hazards was deemed “fake news.”

Not only were my earlier reports based on published science, but now we have yet another study,1 published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, strongly linking aluminum exposure to AD. As reported by SciTech Daily:2


“Researchers found significant amounts of aluminum content in brain tissue from donors with familial AD. The study also found a high degree of co-location with the amyloid-beta protein, which leads to early onset of the disease.


‘This is the second study confirming significantly high brain accumulation in familial Alzheimer’s disease, but it is the first to demonstrate an unequivocal association between the location of aluminum and amyloid-beta in the disease.


It shows that aluminum and amyloid-beta are intimately woven in the neuropathology,’ explained lead investigator Christopher Exley, PhD, Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.”

The Association Between Aluminum and Amyloid-Beta

To gain a better understanding of the link between aluminum exposure and beta-amyloid generation, the researchers examined the brain tissue of donors diagnosed with familial Alzheimer’s disease who also had a specific gene mutation known to increase levels of amyloid-beta, leading to early onset and more aggressive disease.

Aluminum levels were compared to controls with no neurological disease diagnosis. They found striking differences between these two groups. Donors with the genetic mutation had universally high aluminum content.

While all samples had some level of aluminum, 42% of the samples from those with familial Alzheimer’s had “pathologically significant” aluminum levels, and the aluminum was primarily co-located with amyloid beta plaques. As reported by SciTech Daily:3

“The results strongly suggest that genetic predispositions known to increase amyloid-beta in brain tissue also predispose individuals to accumulate and retain aluminum in brain tissue …


‘One could envisage increased amyloid-beta in brain tissue as a response to high levels of aluminum content, or that aluminum fosters the accumulation of amyloid-beta,’ said Dr. Exley.


‘Either way, the new research confirms my resolve that within the normal lifespan of humans, there would not be any AD if there were no aluminum in the brain tissue. No aluminum, no AD.'”

Aluminum Adjuvants Have Never Been Tested for Safety

Exley’s conclusion deserves repeating: “No aluminum, no AD.” Without aluminum, Alzheimer’s doesn’t develop. That’s not fake news. This research provides conclusive evidence for concern, which means it would be foolish in the extreme to pretend that injecting infants and young children with aluminum-containing vaccines is harmless.

As revealed in my 2015 interview with Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic, featured in “How Vaccine Adjuvants Affect Your Brain,” when aluminum was first approved for use in vaccines, some 95 years ago, it was approved based on its efficacy. It was never actually tested for safety.


Even the total allowable limit was based on efficacy data, not safety data. They simply assumed it was safe. As noted by Tomljenovic in that interview:

“A document4 from 2002 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) … discussing the assessment of vaccine ingredients … and testing specifically in animal models … stated that the routine toxicity studies in animals with vaccine ingredients have not been conducted because it was assumed that these ingredients are safe.


When I read that I was kind of pulling my hairs out [thinking] ‘So, this is your indisputable evidence of safety?’ These documents never made it to mainstream media. It’s just a lie perpetuated over and over again; that we’ve been using these things for over nine decades and it’s been proven safe. No, it’s been ASSUMED safe.”

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Industry Propaganda and Political Interference

The propaganda responsible for hiding the dangers of aluminum was addressed in a 2014 review article5 in the journal Frontiers of Neurology. In it, Exley (who also co-authored the featured Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease study above) wrote:6

“The aluminum industry is a pillar of the developed and developing world and irrespective of the tyranny of human exposure to aluminum it cannot be challenged without significant consequences for businesses, economies, and governments …

There has been and there continues to be systematic attempts by the aluminum industry to suppress research on aluminum and human health.

While independent research in this field is prevented the questions concerning human toxicity remain unanswered. Lack of required research does not equate to lack of biological effect or safety … 

Herein, I will make the case that it is inevitable both today and in the future that an individual’s exposure to aluminum is impacting upon their health and is already contributing to, if not causing, chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

Exley points out that one of the most significant factors driving complacency about aluminum exposure is the aluminum industry’s insistence that, since it’s everywhere and found in virtually everybody,7 it must be harmless if not essential — we just haven’t figured out how it benefits us yet. However, no beneficial role of aluminum has ever been elucidated, and its presence is in no way evidence of benefit.

Why Aluminum Toxicity Flies Under the Radar

Exley also notes that aluminum is rarely acutely toxic, which adds to the complacency problem. Problems only arise once a certain threshold is reached, and even then, its role in disease is rarely if ever investigated.

Yet another factor that helps hide the influence of aluminum in disease is the fact that it acts on many different pathways and acts as a substitute for essential minerals, so aluminum toxicity doesn’t have one specific hallmark.

“The potential for aluminum to interact with and to influence so many biochemical pathways means that the symptoms of its toxicity could be deficiency or sufficiency, agonistic or protagonistic, and any combination of these and other physiology-based events,” Exley writes, adding:8

“For aluminum to play a significant role in any disease-related event some degree of toxicity threshold must have been achieved. Essentially, the rate of delivery of Al3+(aq) to target ligands must be sufficient to overcome the inherent robustness of systems that are under attack.

In achieving this threshold either aluminum must accumulate over time within a particular compartment or possibly the administration of a single dose of aluminum could achieve such a threshold instantaneously.

The latter is probably more unusual in human being’s everyday exposure to aluminum except, for example, where aluminum is administered as an adjuvant in vaccination and allergy immunotherapy.”

Importantly, aluminum has the ability to cross the blood-brain-barrier, so any aluminum in the blood can be transported into the brain. “Indeed, aluminum is known to increase the leakiness of epithelial and endothelial barriers and in doing so could concomitantly increase the passage of aluminum from the blood to the brain,” Exley writes.9

Biological Effects of Aluminum 

Exley also points out aluminum can damage your brain function by:

  • Adversely influencing neuronal function and survival
  • Potentiating damaging redox activity
  • Disrupting intracellular calcium signaling that systematically wears down cellular defenses
  • Worsening the adverse effects of other heavy metals
  • Influencing gene expression

A 2010 paper10 also pointed out that aluminum salts “can increase levels of glial activation, inflammatory cytokines and amyloid precursor protein within the brain,” and that “Both normal brain aging and to a greater extent, Alzheimer’s disease are associated with elevated basal levels of markers for inflammation.”

Similarly, a 2018 paper11 in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences cites research showing aluminum affects:





Axonal transport

Neurotransmitter synthesis

Synaptic transmission

Phosphorylation or de-phosphorylation of proteins

Protein degradation

Gene expression

Peroxidation

Inflammatory responses

When it comes to altering gene expression, aluminum has been shown to do this via many different routes and mechanisms, including by:12







Binding to histone-DNA complex

Inducing conformational changes of chromatin

Inducing topological changes of DNA

Decreasing expression of neurofilament

Decreasing expression of tubulin

Altering expression of neurofilament genes

Altering expression of amyloid precursor protein

Altering expression of neuron-specific enolase

Decreasing expression of transferrin receptor

Altering expression of RNA polymerase I

Altering expression of oxidative stress marker genes such as SOD1 and glutathione reductase

Altering expression of beta-APP secretase

Importantly, as noted in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, aluminum has been shown to “cause mitochondrial dysfunction and depletion of adenine-triphosphate (ATP),”13 which sets the stage for virtually any chronic disease, not just neurodegenerative diseases.

Vaccine Schedule Overexposes Infants to Aluminum

In December 2019, The Highwire reported14 the findings of a study15 published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, which found the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s childhood vaccine schedule — when adjusted for bodyweight — exposes children to a level of aluminum that is 15.9 times higher than the recommended “safe” level.

The researchers point out that previous efforts to assess the aluminum burden created by vaccines were based on “whole-body clearance rates estimated from a study involving a single human subject.”

What’s more, they used an aluminum citrate solution that is not used in vaccines, which may affect the excretion rate. Importantly, infants also have immature renal function, which will inhibit their ability to filter and excrete toxins in the first place.

Other studies16 have used orally ingested aluminum to assess and defend safety limits for aluminum in vaccines. This is clearly an unwise comparison, as only 0.1% of orally ingested aluminum is absorbed and made bioavailable from the gastrointestinal tract.17,18

In the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology study,19 the researchers used several different models in an effort to estimate the expected acute and long-term whole-body accumulation of aluminum in children following one of the three possible vaccine schedules:

  1. The CDC’s childhood vaccine schedule as of 2019
  2. The CDC’s vaccine schedule modified to use low dose aluminum DTaP and aluminum-free Hib vaccines
  3. Dr. Paul Thomas’ “vaccine-friendly plan,”20,21 which recommends giving only one aluminum-containing vaccine per visit (max two) and delaying certain vaccinations

The CDC’s standard schedule resulted in the greatest expected aluminum burden in all model assumptions, while Thomas’ schedule resulted in the lowest. According to the authors:22

Medically, proper organ, cellular and body aluminum detoxification appears to be of ever-increasing importance: Aluminum has been found in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and autism.

Evidence is growing that a host of chronic illnesses of unknown cause that are difficult to diagnose such as PANDAS/PANS, chronic fatigue syndrome may at least in part be due to vaccine aluminum intolerance.

Aluminum compounds occur naturally in the environment and in food, but very little ingested aluminum is absorbed through the intestines. Total aluminum exposure is affected by the aluminum amount in individual vaccines and the timing of repeated vaccinations in the first two years of life.


Dórea and Marques compared the expected levels of aluminum uptake into the body from intravenous and oral intake and concluded that human infants have higher exposure to aluminum from vaccination than from food, water, and formula.


Our calculations confirm that for the CDC schedule, infants up to six months of life receive most of their metabolically available aluminum from vaccines.


It should be expected that most aluminum retained in the body of infants comes from vaccinations combined with the levels of exposure from other exposures to manifest health risks from total exposure, making the timing and total aluminum content of different vaccine schedules an important consideration.”

CDC Vaccine Schedule Exceeds Aluminum Limit for Adults

As noted in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology study,23 the “safety” limit for aluminum is not weight dependent. The maximum safe limit is based on an adult, and the same limit is transposed to infants weighing a fraction of that.

Importantly, this study found that when multiple aluminum-containing vaccines are given together, as per the CDC schedule, the total aluminum dose ends up exceeding even the assumed safety limit for an adult.

“Adjusting the safe dose limit based on a child’s weight at these ages therefore results in doses that far exceed the estimated safe limit of acute toxicity,” the authors warn,24 adding that “on all days of injection the safe limit for a child is exceeded for all three schedules; this points to acute toxicity …

The CDC schedule has the largest violation at 15.9 times the recommended safe level. This occurs at 2 months, when four recommended vaccinations containing aluminum are simultaneously administered.

In addition, modeling the time to clear aluminum from the body using Priest’s equation estimates that for this schedule a child will be over the safe level of aluminum in the body for 149 days from birth to 7 months, constituting about 70 % of days in this period. This points to chronic toxicity …

The modified CDC schedule assumes the same vaccinations at the same times as the CDC schedule, but like the Vaccine Friendly Plan it assumes a lower dose aluminum DTap vaccine, and also combines the ActHib (containing no Al) with low aluminum DTap or PVC13 so that the aluminum adjuvant in the aluminum containing vaccine (ACV) activates an immune response for the ActHib vaccine.

This drops the maximum level of exposure to about 60 % of the original CDC plan with (from 15.9 to 9.3) and drops days above the estimated safe limit in the first 7 months from 70 % of days to 26 % and in the first 2 years from 24 % of days to 8 %.

The Vaccine Friendly Plan schedule skips some vaccinations in the first two years (like HepB) and avoids giving more than two vaccinations containing aluminum together.

The VFP thus further limits maximum exposure to approximately 25 % of the original CDC schedule (from 15.9 to 4.2) and drops days above the estimate limit in the first seven months from 70 % of days to 5 % and in the first two years from 24 % of days to 2 %.”

Aluminum Is a Proven Neurotoxin

The health hazards of aluminum are also addressed in a 2017 scientific review25 published in the German journal, Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, which also reviews the threshold values associated with various types of exposure.

“Aluminum’s neurotoxic effects in humans and its embryotoxic effects in animal models have been proven,” the paper states, adding that while the acute toxicity of ingested aluminum is low, long-term exposure and buildup is associated with neurotoxic effects, resulting in disorientation, memory impairment and dementia. As noted in this paper:26

“In addition to inducing oxidative stress and binding to negatively charged membrane structures in neurons, aluminum is able to modify hippocampal calcium signal pathways that are crucial to neuronal plasticity and, hence, to memory. Cholinergic neurons are particularly susceptible to aluminum neurotoxicity, which affect synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.”

Aluminum as a risk factor for neurological disorders is also detailed in a 2018 paper27 in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. Here, the authors again note that “it is widely accepted that [aluminum] is a recognized neurotoxin, which could cause neurodegeneration.” They also point out that aluminum “affects more than 200 important biological reactions and causes negative effects on [the] central nervous system.”

Aluminum Detected in Organs a Year After Vaccination

A 2013 study28 shed important light on the vaccine adjuvant alum, a “nanocrystalline compound” that has been shown to spontaneously form “micron/submicron-sized agglomerates.” According to this paper:

“Alum is occasionally detected within monocyte-lineage cells long after immunization in presumably susceptible individuals with systemic/neurologic manifestations or autoimmune (inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) …

Intramuscular injection of alum-containing vaccine was associated with the appearance of aluminum deposits in distant organs, such as spleen and brain where they were still detected one year after injection …

Particles linearly accumulated in the brain up to the six-month endpoint; they were first found in perivascular CD11b+ cells and then in microglia and other neural cells … Cerebral translocation was not observed after direct intravenous injection, but significantly increased in mice with chronically altered blood-brain-barrier …

Continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant in the population may become insidiously unsafe, especially in the case of overimmunization or immature/altered blood brain barrier or high constitutive CCL-2 production.”

Clearly, Alzheimer’s and autism are not caused by a single factor. Your diet and lifestyle play significant roles, as do other toxic exposures. Still, aluminum appears to be a significant concern that cannot be overlooked, especially where vaccines are concerned. Can we really justify loading infants up with aluminum at doses that are toxic even to an adult?

To learn more about the factors that raise your risk for Alzheimer’s and recommended prevention strategies, see “How Excess Iron Raises Your Risk for Alzheimer’s,” “Trans Fats Linked to Increased Risk for Alzheimer’s,” and “Lifestyle Factors Linked to Alzheimer’s.”



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Finally let off cruise, passengers desperate for flight home

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BANGKOK —
The cheers of celebration have faded. The waving of roses has ceased. Having finally reached a friendly port in Cambodia willing to accept them after nearly two weeks of uncertainty at sea, hundreds of cruise ship passengers eyed warily over fears of a new virus are now simply trying to find a way home.

“We’re in this sort of surreal world,” said Lydia Miller, 55, of Orcas Island, Washington, who is camped out at a hotel in the capital, Phnom Penh, waiting for word on how she and her husband might be able to return to the U.S. “It’s a weird feeling to travel and go on a trip and you don’t know when you can come home.”

The MS Westerdam arrived Feb. 13 in Cambodia after repeatedly being denied entry to other ports. The thrill of the moment, complete with a visit from the country’s prime minister greeting passengers with hugs and flowers, has now evaporated for those still facing a logistical nightmare to get home.

Travel options already limited by the number of airlines serving Cambodia have been narrowed by a growing list of countries denying entry to passengers who were aboard the Westerdam.

A diplomat working with the passengers in Phnom Penh said getting people home remains complicated by individual countries’ travel restrictions and a dearth of available flights. That was echoed by Holland America Line, which operates the Westerdam and which has been coordinating passengers’ flights.

“We showed up in a city unexpected and there’s only so many flights a night and we have a lot of people we’re trying to funnel through that system and we’re putting a lot of stress on that system,” Holland America’s president, Orlando Ashford, said by phone from Phnom Penh.

“It’s a math problem: How many people do you have? How many seats do you have?”

Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan are among those refusing to allow passengers in, making flying to Europe and the Americas difficult. Some airlines, such as Emirates, make a stop in Bangkok before proceeding to hubs such as Dubai, further limiting available flights.

Still, Ashford expressed hope that remaining passengers would be on their way home “in a couple of days.”

Miller and her husband changed their travel arrangements three times as Holland America repeatedly revised its itinerary when Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and the American territory of Guam refused to allow it to dock. They spent hours walking 10 miles around the ship each day, listening to podcasts, making their way through a stash of issues of The New Yorker that they toted along and perfecting their pingpong game. They have flights scheduled for Saturday via Seoul, but know they won’t be able to board them because the South Korean government would deny them entry.

When they finally disembarked the ship in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Miller’s husband, John, was so grateful he sunk to his knees and pressed his hands together in gratitude and joy. Their fears of being stuck at sea were gone, and the couple decided to make the most of their time, meandering along the Mekong River, buying street food and otherwise relishing their time in the Cambodian capital.

After one passenger from the ship was found to have contracted the illness known as COVID-19, though, they were directed to report to a hotel where other passengers were gathered and they knew getting home might not be so simple.

“It was just this horrible gut feeling that everything changed in that moment,” she said.

Tony Martin-Vegue, whose wife, Christina Kerby, remains in Phnom Penh, began immediately preparing for her return home to California’s Bay Area once she got off the ship. He cleaned the house and, with the couple’s 10-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, picked up flowers and a favorite local coffee and planned a party to welcome her home. Now he’s not sure when that might happen.

“It’s kind of limbo right now,” he said. “I’m worried about how she’s going to get home.”

Kerby has chronicled her time aboard the Westerdam, from a poolside yoga class to daily ice cream offerings to a towel-folding demonstration. She wrote of feeling “jubilation and relief” as the ship pulled into port and the “terrible and frightening” ordeal of “doctors in moon suits” poking a long swab up her nose to test her for the virus. The immediate joy of reaching land has given way to the realization she doesn’t know when she’ll return home.

“As the days go on I just feel like the probability of getting her home soon seems to be shrinking as the disease spreads and governments are continuing to react to it,” Martin-Vegue said. “This doesn’t have an outcome that’s around the corner.”

The Westerdam, with 2,257 passengers and crew aboard, began letting passengers off on Friday as they found flights home. But that was stopped once news broke that an 83-year-old American woman who had been on the ship and subsequently traveled to Malaysia was found to be carrying the virus. Some 255 passengers and 747 crew members were held on the ship while further testing was conducted.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health said Wednesday that all the tests came back negative and that all passengers were reported to be healthy and fever-free. After that, remaining passengers were allowed off the ship.

They were taken to the same Phnom Penh hotel where others from the Westerdam milled around a sprawling lobby dotted with palm trees waiting for news on flights home. Two small American flags were set on a table with representatives from the U.S. Embassy; a big yellow kangaroo adorned a table for Australians. White boards announced news of flight arrangements and updates about new restrictions on which countries would allow passengers to pass through.

“We’re going to any country that will safely accept and transit and allow our guests to transition,” Ashford said.

Those who have already been on land for several days cautioned the newly disembarked guests to temper their expectations about reaching home soon.

The Millers, who run an inn at home, had saved up frequent flier miles for years for their trip and purposely picked a cruise itinerary with lots of time in port and fewer days simply sailing at sea. They were drawn by the thrill and uncertainty of travel, but now are just looking for the normalcy of routine, to share morning coffee at home, tend to their farm animals and talk to arriving guests.

“We love traveling and we love every day not knowing what’s going to happen and just being spontaneous,” Miller said. “But I’m longing for just the ordinary life right now of knowing what’s going to be the next day.”

———

Associated Press writers Grant Peck in Bangkok and Sopheng Cheang in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, contributed to this report.



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