World News Updates from CLG
31 January 2016


Previous edition: Air Force officials won’t say if radioactive material was released when nuclear missile was damaged

Genetically modified mosquitoes could be cause of Zika outbreak, critics say | 30 Jan 2016 | The latest contagious virus freaking out the globe, particularly women worried about birth defects, may have been caused by the presence of genetically modified mosquitoes (GMMs) in Brazil. With international health experts convening in Geneva to discuss the outbreak of and possible cures for the Zika virus, questions are being raised as to whether the GMMs are to blame. In mid-2012, British biotech company Oxitec released the super bugs with the aim of reducing the overall mosquito population that spreads dengue fever, the Zika virus, and chikungunya in northeast Brazil.

Japan’s lead negotiator for the TPP quits over bribery charges –Resignation ‘may also raise further opposition within Japan to the TPP’ | 28 Jan 2016 | Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari has said he is resigning amid corruption allegations. Mr Amari unexpectedly made the announcement at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday. But he again denied personally receiving bribes from a construction company, as had been alleged by a Japanese magazine…As Japan’s lead negotiator for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) [corporate takeover] agreement, Mr Amari was expected to travel to New Zealand next week to sign the agreement.

Zika Outbreak Epicenter in Same Area Where GM Mosquitoes Were Released in 2015 | 28 Jan 2016 | The World Health Organization announced it will convene an Emergency Committee under International Health Regulations on Monday, February 1, concerning the Zika virus’s ‘explosive’ spread throughout the Americas…Brazil is now considered the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, which coincides with at least 4,000 reports of babies born with microcephaly just since October. Oxitec first unveiled its large-scale, genetically-modified mosquito farm in Brazil in July 2012, with the goal of reducing “the incidence of dengue fever,” as The Disease Daily reported. Dengue fever is spread by the same Aedes mosquitoes which spread the Zika virus — and though they “cannot fly more than 400 meters,” WHO stated, “it may inadvertently be transported by humans from one place to another.”

Spread of Zika virus ‘explosive’, 4 million cases possible: WHO | 28 Jan 2016 | The [Tdap vaccine-induced?] Zika virus – linked to severe birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil – is spreading “explosively” and could affect as many as four million people in the Americas, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Director-General Margaret Chan told members of WHO’s executive board that the spread of the mosquito-borne disease had gone from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions and that she was convening experts to assess it. “Last year, the virus was detected in the Americas, where it is now spreading explosively. As of today, cases have been reported in 23 countries and territories in the region,” Chan said, promising that the WHO would act fast.

New docs confirm CIA had rendition flight lurking in Europe to catch Snowden | 28 Jan 2016 | A Danish news website has published documents backing up the allegations that in June 2013 a US plane with a connection to CIA black site programs was on call in Copenhagen ready to snatch NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as he was stranded in Moscow. The story of the private aircraft, a Gulfstream V with registration number N977GA, was first reported by The Register in June 2014. The plane – previously used by the American intelligence to secretly transport terror subjects to clandestine detention facilities in Europe – flew from Washington, DC, over Scotland to Copenhagen, the report said.

Man carrying two guns and a copy of the Koran hidden in a bag is arrested at Euro Disney in Paris as police hunt woman accomplice | 28 Jan 2016 | A man has been arrested at Disneyland Paris carrying two handguns, ammunition, and a copy of the Koran, but police are hunting female companion. Bomb disposal experts surrounded a car after the weapons were detected by a metal detector machine at the entrance to a hotel at the amusement park, 20 miles east of the French capital. The 28-year-old man, who was not known to security services, was stopped by Disney staff who found the weapons, which included an automatic handgun, hidden in his suitcase at about noon.

Australian counter-terrorism police raid Melbourne properties | 28 Jan 2016 | Australian counter-terrorism police on Friday morning said they had raided multiple properties in Melbourne amid heightened fears of attacks by home-grown militants inspired by Islamic State. “The Victorian Joint Counter Terrorism Team can confirm it has conducted operational activity in Craigieburn and Meadow Heights, Victoria,” the Australian Federal Police said in a press release.

Heathrow official boards aborted transatlantic flight to test air after eight people fall ill; airline confiscates all luggage for unexplained ‘checks’ –Mystery surrounds why passengers’ luggage was confiscated for ‘checks’ | 27 Jan 2016 | Mystery still surrounds why a flight attendant collapsed and seven other people were taken ill during a mid-air drama above the Atlantic. Panicked passengers told of the scary moment a plea went out for any doctors onboard before the captain of the American Airlines flight declared a ‘medical emergency’ and returned to London. Emergency vehicles were scrambled and, once on the ground, the aborted Los Angeles-bound flight was escorted to the terminal before passengers were told to remain in their seats. It has since emerged that those onboard were not allowed to disembark until tests had been carried out for any ‘elevated levels of substances’ in the cabin air – analysis that yielded no answers. All luggage was then confiscated for ‘checks’ by American Airlines and Heathrow authorities, but passengers were kept in the dark as to the motive for doing so.

Sweden may expel up to 80,000 of last year’s asylum seekers: report | 28 Jan 2016 | Sweden is preparing to deport up to 80,000 of last year’s record number of asylum seekers, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said in an interview with business daily Dagens Industri on Thursday. Ygeman said he estimated about 60,000 to 80,000 of the 163,000 people who sought asylum last year would be expelled and either leave voluntarily or be forcibly deported. The government fears many of those will go into hiding, Dagens Industri reported, and police are increasing their work to find and expel those.

U.S. to withhold some Clinton emails with top secret information | 29 Jan 2016 | Seven of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email chains will be withheld from public release because they have been found to contain top secret information, the U.S. State Department said on Friday. “The State Department will be denying in full seven email chains, found in 22 documents representing 37 pages,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby. “The documents are being upgraded at the request of the Intelligence Community because they contain a category of Top Secret information…These documents were not marked classified at the time they were sent.”

Giving up already? Jeb Bush has thrown in the towel in Iowa and will leave the state BEFORE Monday night’s caucuses get underway | 29 Jan 2016 | Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is planning to ditch the frozen cornfields of Iowa for – hopefully – sunnier skies in New Hampshire even before Iowans caucus next Monday. The former Florida governor has decided his chances of winning the Iowa caucuses on Monday are minimal, and that his presence in New Hampshire is more necessary for his flagging campaign, according to a new report in Politico. Bush’s campaign released a schedule on Thursday that showed he will be spending Monday night at a town hall event – in Manchester, N.H.

Donald Trump reclaims lead in latest Iowa Poll | 30 Jan 2016 | Donald Trump has muscled ahead in Iowa, regaining his lead on the brink of the first votes being cast in the 2016 presidential race. Trump stands at 28 percent, while rival Ted Cruz has slid to 23 percent…”Donald Trump could win Iowa,” said Stuart Stevens, a Maryland-based GOP strategist who has worked on five presidential campaigns but is neutral this election cycle. “But he has little room for error. He is almost no one’s second choice.”

Trump stages dramatic flyby in massive private jet and offers children the chance to run through the plane as hundreds hear their hero in the freezing wind –Trump’s iconic Boeing 757 flew past an open airport hangar where 1,000 fans gathered, as the theme music from ‘Air Force One’ played loudly –Said a threatened blizzard could depress turnout on Monday and cost him a victory, but ‘You’re from Iowa! Are you afraid of snow?’ Speaking on the frosted tundra of the Dubuque, Iowa regional airport, Donald Trump returned to Iowa to a hero’s welcome as his hulking Boeing 757 staged a dramatic flyby before landing on a tiny airstrip. Then he offered children the chance to run through the airplane…Then he said he had ‘a little bit of an idea,’ asking if there were kids under age 10 present. ‘Without their parents,’ Trump insisted, ‘we’ll let them run through the plane!’ The gathered Trumpeters could also hear radio chatter from air traffic controllers as they relayed landing instructions to John Dunkin, the Republican front-runner’s longtime pilot.


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