More than 40 Swiss military staff hit with vomiting bug

Four critical after members of academy in central Switzerland suddenly suffer acute gastrointestinal problems More than 40 military staff and recruits at an academy in central Switzerland were sent to hospital on Thursday after they suddenly fell violently ill, the government said. The Swiss defence department said that on Thursday afternoon, 43 recruits and members of the Jassbach academy in Linden, in Bern canton, suddenly suffered from acute gastrointestinal problems, with diarrhoea and vomiting. As a result, all 43 service members were sent by ambulance and helicopter to hospitals and military medical facilities, the department said. An army spokesman told the ATS news agency that four of those affected were in a critical condition. The authorities were still trying to …

Toxic caterpillars spark health scare across Germany

People suffer rashes and breathing difficulties as warm weather brings infestation Marauding caterpillars with toxic hairs have brought parts of Germany to a standstill, leading to closures of swimming pools, restaurants, public parks and sections of the motorway. Oak processionary moth caterpillars, named after the nose-to-tail processions they form to travel between the oak trees they devour, have fine, long hairs with an irritating toxin that can cause blistering rashes, feverish dizzy spells and asthma attacks. For years, the caterpillar used to be a relatively rare sight in Germany, found only in isolated areas of woodland. But following a this years mild spring and warm, dry summer, the oak processionarys nests have been found in large numbers all over the …

Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into new industrial frontier

Greenpeace report reveals 29 floor-exploration licences have been granted worldwide The worlds oceans are facing a new industrial frontier from a fledgling deep-sea mining industry as companies line up to extract metals and minerals from some of the most important ecosystems on the planet, a report has found. by Greenpeace revealed that although no mining had started on the ocean floor, 29 exploration licences had been issued covering an area five times bigger than the UK. Environmentalists said the proposed mining would threaten not only crucial ecosystems but the global fight against climate breakdown. Louisa Casson, an ocean campaigner at Greenpeace, said: The health of our oceans is closely linked to our own survival. Unless we act now to protect …

‘I’ve seen terrible, terrible violence’: cocaine and meth fuel crime and chaos in Fiji

The Pacific island nation best known as a holiday destination is grappling with a growing drug problem In the early hours of a Saturday morning in the city of Nadi, on the west coast of Fijis main island, Isaiah* is sitting in a Burger King drinking Fanta through a straw and explaining how he became a drug dealer. He started five years ago, aged 13, selling cigarettes and marijuana. Now he sells cocaine and methamphetamines. My family were selling drugs in Suva, he says. They said there would be a time when me and my cousins would take over. We start training, training, training. Isaiah inhabits Fijis underbelly, far removed from the tourist trail of white sand beaches dotted with …

William Happer: Trump aide pushing climate denial inside the White House

The physicist, 79, has a seat on the National Security Council and thinks the science that proves global heating is wrong By the early 1990s, the man now dubbed the chief climate change skeptic in Donald Trumps White House had already decided he was uneasy with the science that showed humans were heating the planet. William Happer, the former Princeton physicist now on Trumps National Security Council, was then in charge of energy research under George HW Bush. He asked experts at the Department of Energy to discuss their work with him and was displeased with the attitude he sensed from a climate researcher, according to a story recalled by two of his colleagues. They were not just defensive; they …

Jessica Biel denies she is an anti-vaxxer after opposing California vaccination law

The actor said she was not against vaccinations despite joining prominent anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr in opposition to a bill intended to reduce medical exemptions Jessica Biel denied suggestions she was a supporter of the anti-vaccination movement after spending the day lobbying lawmakers in the US with advocate Robert F Kennedy Jr. After news emerged of her opposition to a vaccine bill which seeks to limit medical exemptions in California and make it more difficult for parents to bypass the rules requiring children to be vaccinated before enrolling in school, Biel wrote on social media: I am not against vaccinations I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their …

Tony Gum’s best photograph: the emotional toll of abortion

Women need to be equipped for how gruelling an abortion can be. It does mess with your mind. I was trying to put myself back together again This image, Sweet Saboteur, was inspired by a painting I did last November, during a particularly difficult time in my life. The year before, I had fallen pregnant and, unable to keep the baby, I had had an Free da Gum (2016), was much sweeter, sincere, young and bright. But then going through life and experiencing things and having relationships and falling out of them, and going through the termination itself, and dealing with the fallout that all resulted in this darker, grungier, bolder work. Here, I wanted to give the viewer a …

Five-year-old boy dies in Uganda as Congo Ebola outbreak spreads

Ugandan authorities confirm two other patients also undergoing treatment as officials consider declaring global health emergency A five year-old-boy who became the first confirmed Ebola case outside the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the current outbreak died in Uganda on Tuesday night. The childs three-year-old brother and 50-year-old grandmother are also being treated, according to the Ugandan authorities. They have been isolated at a hospital near the Congo border. A special committee has been placed on standby by the World Health Organization to advise on whether a global health emergency should be declared, after officials confirmed the Ebola outbreak in DRC had spread beyond the countrys borders. The boy had crossed from DRC into neighbouring Uganda with five family …

California to offer healthcare to young working poor living illegally in US

State will become first to give Medicaid access to illegal residents, in defiance of Trump policies California will become the first state in the US to pay for some adults living in the country illegally to have full health benefits as the solidly liberal state continues to distance itself from President Donald Trumps administration. Democrats in the state legislature reached an agreement on Sunday afternoon as part of a broader plan to spend $213bn of state and federal tax money over the next year. The agreement means low-income adults between the ages of 19 and 25 living in California illegally would be eligible for Californias Medicaid program, the joint state and federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled. …

Biden and Trump are just two sides of the same misogynistic coin | Arwa Mahdawi

Donald Trumps disdain for women manifests itself in crass braggadocio, while Joe Bidens is in the form of patronizing paternalism Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday. other Democratic candidates, Biden announced he 2016 report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion organization, asserts that since 1976 the amendment is responsible for over two million births. The Hyde amendment hasnt just compelled women to give birth against their wishes; it has killed them. Bidens blithe avowal that there were sufficient monies and circumstances to help poor women access abortions in the past insults the memory of women like tried to prevent rape and incest exceptions from being added to it.) But …

Listen to Japans women: high heels need kicking out of the workplace | Summer Brennan

The #KuToo campaign reflects a long history of female repression and suffering, says author Summer Brennan Were used to talking about high heels in terms of fashion, fantasy and even feminism. But were somewhat less accustomed to speaking about them as business etiquette and workplace obligation even though, to many women, thats exactly what they represent. While many wear high heels for fun and self expression, countless others wear them because of industry standards, or even because their boss says they have to. But why? The long-running to-wear-or-not-to-wear debate was resurrected this week when petition to her countrys labour ministry asking for a ban on employer-mandated high heels. Her efforts have been bolstered by a clever hashtag: #KuToo is a …

Roky Erickson, US psychedelic rock star, dies aged 71

Frontman of the 13th Floor Elevators described as heroic icon of modern rockn roll Roky Erickson, one of the most enduring and adventurous exponents of American psychedelic rock, has died at the age of 71. Ericksons death was confirmed by his representatives in a statement that described him as a heroic icon of modern rocknroll and one of the best friends the music ever had. The cause of death had not been released and the representatives appealed for privacy for his family. ZZ Tops Billy Gibbons, a long-time friend, said: Its almost unfathomable to contemplate a world without Roky Erickson. He created his own musical galaxy and early on was a true inspiration. Erickson was the frontman of the 13th …

Madrid could become first European city to scrap low-emissions zone

Regions likely new president Isabel Daz Ayuso believes congestion is part of citys cultural identity Madrid may be about to become the first European city to scrap a major urban low-emissions zone after regional polls left a rightwing politician who views 3am traffic jams as part of the citys cultural identity on who is expected to become the new Popular party (PP) president of the Madrid region, believes night-time congestion makes the city special and has pledged to reverse a project known as Madrid Central, which has dramatically cut urban pollution. The PPs mayor-in-waiting, Jos Luis Martnez-Almeida, under whose remit the scheme falls, told El Pais: I do not think [traffic jams] are a reason for enjoyment but it is …

Italian surgeons discover ‘world’s oldest heart valve’ in woman

Prosthesis was implanted by the pioneering doctor Christiaan Barnard 50 years ago Italian doctors have discovered one of the first heart prostheses, implanted almost 50 years ago by statement published on the Louis Washkansky, the first heart transplant patient, survived for only 18 days, the second, Philip Blaiberg, lived an active life for 19 months. Four of Barnards first 10 patients lived for more than a year, two surviving longer than 10 years, with one surviving into his 24th year.

Revealed: the fringe rightwing group changing the UN agenda on abortion rights

Anti-abortion lobbying group using its influence in the Trump administration to help shape policy on the world stage Last spring, Laurie Shestack Phipps, a diplomat at the US mission to the UN, received a set of talking points from the state department before an international womens conference, setting out clear red lines against mention of sexual and reproductive health care. This had become the norm in the Trump administration, where the once uncontroversial phrase was seen as code for abortion. Use of the word gender was also strongly discouraged, as it was viewed as a stalking horse for LGBT rights. It was no surprise that Phipps colleague, Bethany Kozma, a political appointee at the US agency for international development, had …

Trump administration denies special help to Venezuelans seeking asylum

Despite clarion calls for Venezuelan freedom the US has resisted offering Temporary Protected Status to those fearing persecution As Venezuela slumps further into crisis, White House officials from Donald Trump down have made repeated expressions of support for the countrys people. But such comments stand in stark contrast to the meager help the US government is giving Venezuelans seeking refuge in the US. The United Nations estimated Republicans to put in place immigration programs that would let a tiny portion of them seek protection in the US. Instead, its efforts have been focused on pushing for opposition leader, Juan Guaid, to replace Nicols Maduro, and repeating calls for the freedom of Venezuelans, who face chronic food and medicine shortages in …