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Oct 25, 2014

Ebola death toll tops 4,900 as virus spreads – WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) – The death toll from the Ebola epidemic rose to 4,922 out of 10,141 known cases in eight countries through Oct. 23, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.

The virus, which reached Mali through a two-year-old girl who died on Friday, now threatens Ivory Coast, having infected people virtually all along its borders with Guinea and Liberia.

Oct 25, 2014

Ebola death toll tops 4,900 out of more than 10,000 cases: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) – The death toll from the Ebola epidemic rose to 4,922 out of 10,141 known cases in eight countries through Oct. 23, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.

The three worst-hit countries of West Africa – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – account for the bulk, recording 4,912 deaths out of 10,114 cases, the WHO said in its update.

Oct 24, 2014

WHO says Ebola vaccine plans accelerating as trials advance

GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) – Trials of Ebola vaccines could begin in West Africa in December, a month earlier than expected, and hundreds of thousands of doses should be available for use by the middle of next year, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Vaccines are being developed and made ready in record time by drugmakers working with regulators, the U.N. health agency said, but questions remain about their safety and efficacy which can only be settled by full clinical trials.

Oct 24, 2014

WHO expects around 200,000 Ebola vaccine doses by mid-2015

GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) set out plans on Friday for speeding up development and deployment of experimental Ebola vaccines, saying hundreds of thousands of doses should be ready for use in West Africa by the middle of 2015.

The Geneva-based United Nations health agency confirmed that two leading vaccine candidates are in human clinical trials, and said another five experimental vaccines were also being developed and would begin clinical trials next year.

Oct 23, 2014

WHO concerned but ‘reasonably confident’ on international Ebola spread

GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday it was “reasonably confident” that the Ebola virus plaguing three West African countries had not spread into neighboring states.

Asked whether countries such as Guinea Bissau and Ivory Coast might have cases of the disease crossing their borders without knowing about or reporting them, WHO assistant director general Keiji Fukuda said he considered that unlikely.

Oct 23, 2014

U.N. rights watchdog calls for open elections in Hong Kong

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations Human Rights Committee called on China on Thursday to ensure universal suffrage in Hong Kong, stressing that included the right to stand for election as well as the right to vote.

The panel of 18 independent experts, who monitor compliance with an international treaty on civil and political rights ratified by Hong Kong, agreed the move after voicing concern at Beijing’s plan to vet candidates in the former British colony.

Oct 23, 2014

Drugmakers may need indemnity for fast-tracked Ebola vaccines

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – Drugmakers are looking for some kind of indemnity from governments or multilateral agencies for the widespread emergency use of new Ebola vaccines in Africa.

While the issue will not delay the industry’s ongoing work to accelerate production and clinical testing of three experimental vaccines, it is likely to be discussed at a high-level meeting in Geneva on Thursday.

Oct 21, 2014

Tens of thousands expected to get Ebola vaccines from January – WHO

GENEVA, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people in
West Africa are expected to begin getting experimental Ebola
vaccines from January, but population-wide immunisation is still
far off, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

Initial clinical trials of vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline
and NewLink Genetics are already under way.
Some 500 volunteers are due to take part in countries including
the United States, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Mali, Gabon
and Kenya.

Oct 20, 2014

U.N. questions Israel on Palestinians’ rights

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. experts questioned Israeli officials on Monday over alleged rights abuses ranging from the demolition of Palestinian houses to mistreatment of detainees and limited Palestinian access to water.

Israel’s delegation defended its record before the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which examined respect for civil and political rights in Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Each U.N. member state is reviewed every four years.

Oct 20, 2014

U.N. rights boss urges Venezuela to free opposition leader

GENEVA (Reuters) – Top United Nations human rights official Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called on Monday for the release of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and scores of others detained in a crackdown on protests that began in February.

Zeid said in a statement issued after meeting Lopez’ wife Lilian Tintori in Geneva on Friday that the “prolonged and arbitrary detention” of political opponents and protesters was only exacerbating tensions in the oil-rich Andean country.