News

EBR Decision
Dr. Tom Puk, a Professor from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay was the person who made the application which resulted in the land-mark 2005 decision to have the Ministry of Education subject to the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). This decision is important because it requires the Minister of Education to establish and make public a Statement of Environmental Values (SEV). In addition it means that the public can voice any concerns they have about the SEV via a public forum on the internet. Until this time the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance were two of the major Ministries that were not accountable to the EBR (there are still eleven Ministries not subject to the EBR). Acts, regulations or instruments that Ministries put forward that might affect environment must be posted on the Registry before these laws are legislated. Like most of the other Ministries, under the current ruling the Ministry of Education is still not subject to the review process. Unfortunately the Ontario Government has never followed-up on their commitment and the decision to prescribe the Ministry of Education to the EBR has never been acted upon. We would ask that people write in and demand that the Ministry of Education be subject to Notice and Comment and Review ASAP. Even better, citizens should contact their MPP's, the Premier, Minister of Environment, and Minister of Education now. For additional information on how the EBR can impact Ecological Education please contact us at inquiries@ecologicaleducation.ca.



The following Earth News items provided by:

EcoEarth.Info - The Environmental Sustainability Portal

10/19/2014
Nigeria is Ebola-Free: Here's What They Did Right
Time: Nigeria and the World Health Organization were poised to declare the country free of Ebola on Monday, a containment victory in an outbreak that has stymied other countries` response efforts. The milestone was set for 9 a.m. local time or 4 a.m., E.T., 42 days since the last new case. The outbreak has killed more than 4,500 in West Africa is remains unchecked in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, so Nigeria is by no means immune to another outbreak. "It`s possible to control Ebola. It`s possible...

10/19/2014
New military medical team to help with #Ebola in US
Associated Press: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare and train a 30-member medical support team that could provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the United States. His spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the team drawn from across the military services will include 20 critical care nurses, five doctors trained in infectious diseases and five trainers in infectious disease protocols. The team will go to Fort Sam Houston in Texas...

10/19/2014
After Block Surgeon General Nominee, Republican Blames Obama Vacancy
ThinkProgress: It has been nearly a year since Vivek Murthy was nominated by President Obama to serve as the next Surgeon General, but thanks in large part to the gun lobby and their Republican allies in the Senate, there has yet to be any movement on his confirmation. That vacancy has become a central focus in the last week as government officials and medical professionals try to calm the public about the spread of Ebola. On Sunday, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) about the...

10/19/2014
#Ebola outbreak: Save our countries from tragedy, Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf urges West
Independent: The Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, warned on Sunday that the economic impact of Ebola in her country and its neighbours threatened to leave a “lost generation” of young Africans, as she urged the international community to do more to arrest it. “We all have a stake in the battle against Ebola,” Ms Sirleaf said in a letter read on the BBC World Service. “It is the duty of all of us, as global citizens, to send a message that we will not leave millions of West Africans to fend for themselves...

10/19/2014
WHO won't discuss #Ebola mistakes document
Associated Press: The World Health Organization said on Saturday that it wouldn't explain details contained in an internal document obtained by The Associated Press in which the UN health agency said it fumbled early attempts to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In the draft document, which wasn't released publicly, WHO blamed numerous factors for the now explosive Ebola epidemic, including incompetent staff, bureaucracy and a lack of reliable information. "WHO will not do interviews or explain details...

10/19/2014
Liberian president asks 'world' to pitch in to fight #Ebola
Agence France-Presse: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made an impassioned appeal to the world's nations to pitch in to the fight against Ebola, saying the "time for talking or theorizing is over." Sirleaf said the three worst-hit west Africa nations -- her own and neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone -- were being devastated because what infrastructure they had was destroyed in a series of interconnected wars. Now, the world had realised it could no longer hope to "pull up the drawbridge and wish the situation...

10/19/2014
5 Most Irresponsible Things Politicians Have Said About #Ebola
ThinkProgress: It`s election season, the time when over-the-top statements about a wide variety of issues occur on a daily basis. Combine that with nationwide panic about a disease the public is largely misinformed about, and you get our current predicament - politicians making irresponsible statements that have the potential to inspire even more hysteria about the outbreak. Some political analysts have even called the Ebola outbreak the midterm election`s "October surprise" as candidates use the current fear...

10/19/2014
Measures against mysterious #Ebola need of the hour
The Nation: Thousands of people in West of Africa have died of Ebola, a mysterious disease escalated swiftly and still there is no remedy available for it. An old Chinese citation says, "If you know your foes and know yourself, you can win every combat without fear of the upshot.' But here, we have a converse situation in which we don't know our enemy and as a consequence of this, we even don't have warhead to cope with it efficiently. That's why its aftermath is more horrible as the death toll is touching more...

10/19/2014
Helping Africa crucial in managing our risk
Irish Independent: Ireland's leading infectious disease expert says we should work to contain Ebola in West Africa, rather than focusing only on the threat it poses should a case present here. Professor Sam McConkey, head of Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine in the Royal College of Surgeons, who has lived in Sierra Leone in the past, believes that Ireland must concentrate efforts on staving off the spread of Ebola by helping those in the most affected countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone...

10/19/2014
Obama switches gears, confronting #Ebola head on
Associated Press: President Barack Obama delayed acting on immigration and an attorney general nomination this fall to dodge the politics of the midterm campaign season. But there was one topic he could not push aside -- Ebola. The past week`s jarring Ebola developments have put a spotlight on the president`s management skills just as he was earning praise for acting militarily against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. In recent months, Obama caught criticism for going golfing immediately after speaking...

10/19/2014
As 21-day Ebola quarantine ends, what’s to fear?
McClatchy: The first wave of people, including the fiance of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, will emerge from a state-ordered, 21-day Ebola quarantine Monday, which should probably spark relief in a region that desperately wants to escape the shadow of the epidemic. But church officials are considering extra security for Louise Troh and her children amid ongoing fears about Ebola across Dallas-Fort Worth _ and throughout the United States. Experts who study psychology say the release of 48 people from...

10/19/2014
Cuba leads the way in the fight against Ebola
Morning Star: FORMER UN secretary general Kofi Annan’s “bitter disappointment” with the tardiness of the developed world in responding to the current Ebola epidemic will strike a chord with millions. Who could deny that “if the crisis had hit some other region it probably would have been handled very differently?” Irresponsible actions in the US private health system aside, Annan is surely correct that “the international community really woke up when the disease got to America and Europe.” That’s if the Ghanaian...

10/19/2014
While US Works to Contain #Ebola, Outbreak in West Africa Keeps Getting Worse
Vice: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been working to track at least 77 individuals who came into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who died last week in Dallas, and a nurse who contracted the virus while treating him. This number is only projected to rise in the coming days after confirmation that a second health care worker -- who also treated Duncan, a Liberian national -- has tested positive for the hemorrhagic fever that has killed at least 4,493 people...

10/19/2014
Liberian president calls global support fight #Ebola
IANS: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Sunday called on the international communities to join the country to fight the Ebola virus disease. "This is a fight in which the whole world has a stake, this disease respects no borders and the damage it is causing in West Africa, whether in public health, the economy or within communities, is already reverberating throughout the region and across the world," Xinhua quoted the Liberian leader as saying in an open letter issued in Monrovia, the nation's...

10/19/2014
Divestment campaign urges customers to boycott banks which support fracking and fossil-fuel industry
Independent: Customers of Britain’s biggest banks are threatening to close their accounts unless the institutions cut all ties with coal, tar sands, fracking and other fossil-fuel industries as part of a new campaign launched today. The attempt to force Britain’s Big Five banks into ending their £66bn involvement with “dirty” energy marks a new direction for the growing divestment campaign, as part of which this month the University of Glasgow pledged to stop investing in fossil fuels. The new campaign...

10/19/2014
Renewables not shale biggest driver in US emissions cuts, study finds
BusinessGreen: Renewable energy, not shale gas, has played the biggest role in reducing US emissions, according to new analysis from Greenpeace's Energydesk site. Many energy and political commentators have argued that a surge in US shale gas production has help replace dirty coal-fired power stations, helping the world's former largest emissions cut emissions 16 per cent since 2007. But using figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Greenpeace's Energydesk team has calculated that only...

10/19/2014
How deadly virus worked its way across western Africa and the rest of the world
Independent: Global health authorities are struggling to contain the world's worst Ebola epidemic since the disease was identified in 1976, with the the virus having killed nearly 4,500 people so far. After the first case this year was diagnosed in Guinea, west Africa in March, the virus has now spready to north America and Europe. Last week, Thomas Duncan became the first person to die from the disease in the United States. A nurse who treated him at a hospital in Dallas, Nina Pham, is currently recovering...

10/19/2014
Where's the empathy for Ebola's African victims?
CNN: The world's response to Ebola is its own sort of tragedy. Two facts make the point clear: John D. Sutter -- The United Nations has asked for $1 billion to fight the spread of the virus. As of Friday, it had collected only $100,000 -- or 0.01%. An additional $20 million has been pledged but not received, according to CNN Money. "We need to turn pledges into action," the U.N.'s Ban Ki-moon told reporters. "We need more doctors, nurses, equipment, treatment centers." -- Liberia, meanwhile,...

10/19/2014
Ebola death toll climbs to 4,500 in West Africa
Associated Press: The death toll from Ebola will rise this week to more than 4,500 people from the 9,000 infected and the outbreak is still out of control in three West African nations, a top official with the U.N. health agency said Thursday. Dr. Isabelle Nuttall, director of the World Health Organization's global capacities, alert and response, said new numbers show the outbreak is still hitting health workers hard despite precautions — with 2,700 medical workers infected and 236 dead — mainly because Ebola victims...

10/19/2014
Ebola death toll tops 4500 people in West Africa
Euronews: The latest World Health Organisation (WHO) figures show the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 4,500 people across Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three worst-hit countries. The deadly virus has dramatically changed the lives of those left behind with an estimated 3,700 orphans across the region. Miatta is from Liberia and both her parents succumbed to Ebola. Her father died in August. A month later she lost her mother. She struggles to cope with looking after her young siblings....

10/19/2014
Mission Unaccomplished: Containing Ebola in Africa
Associated Press: Looking back, the mistakes are easy to see: Waiting too long, spending too little, relying on the wrong people, thinking small when they needed to think big. Many people, governments and agencies share the blame for failing to contain Ebola when it emerged in West Africa. Now they share the herculean task of trying to end an epidemic that has sickened more than 9,000, killed more than 4,500, seeded cases in Europe and the United States, and is not even close to being controlled. Many of the...

10/19/2014
U.N. food aid reaches areas infected with Ebola in West Africa
Associated Press: The U.N.'s World Food Program on Saturday delivered emergency food rations to 265,000 people, many of them quarantined in Sierra Leone, to help fight the spread of Ebola. Food supplies are being distributed in the Waterloo district on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, WFP's Alexis Masciarelli told the Associated Press. Waterloo, about 20 miles east of Freetown, has seen some of the highest cases of Ebola infections and the deliveries are to help quarantined families by providing...

10/19/2014
Infectious Disease Expert Calls Criticism of #Ebola Czar 'Misplaced'
ABC: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, today defended President Obama's choice of Ron Klain to be the administration's Ebola "czar" despite his lack of medical background, calling him an "excellent manager." "I think that's a misplaced criticism," Fauci told "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos. "What we're talking about now is an Ebola response coordinator, somebody who has extraordinary, as he does, managerial experience ... leadership experience,...

10/19/2014
Pentagon to create medical support team for U.S. #Ebola response
Reuters: U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the creation of a 30-member expeditionary medical support team to be able to provide emergency help in the event of an Ebola crisis in the United States, a Pentagon spokesman said on Sunday. The team of five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers could respond on short notice to help civilian medical professionals, a statement from Rear Admiral John Kirby said. Three cases of Ebola have been diagnosed in the United States, prompting widespread concern...

10/19/2014
Military preps team for Ebola response in US
CNN: The U.S. military is forming a 30-person "quick strike team" equipped to provide direct treatment to Ebola patients inside the United States, a Defense Department official told CNN's Barbara Starr on Sunday. A Pentagon spokesman later confirmed portions of the official's information. The team will be under orders to deploy within 72 hours at any time over the next month, the official said. The Department of Health and Human Services requested the military team, and the Pentagon has given...

10/19/2014
Ebola crisis: Spanish nurse tests 'negative' for virus
BBC: The Spanish nurse who became the first person to contract Ebola outside West Africa has now tested negative for the virus, her family told Spanish media. The reported result raises hopes that Teresa Romero is no longer infected with the disease. However, doctors stressed that a second test would be needed before they could be completely confident that she was no longer carrying the virus. The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people across West Africa. Ms Romero, 44, contracted...

10/19/2014
How World's Top Health Body Allowed #Ebola to Spiral Out of Control
Bloomberg: Poor communication, a lack of leadership and underfunding plagued the World Health Organization’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak, allowing the disease to spiral out of control. In one instance, medics weren’t deployed because they weren’t issued visas. In another, bureaucratic hurdles delayed the spending of $500,000 intended to support the disease response. Meanwhile, fresh information on the outbreak from experts in the field was slow to reach headquarters, while contact-tracers refused...

10/19/2014
Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $2M Fight Illegal Fishing And Support Oceans
Business Times: The "Wolf of Wall Street" star is at it again. He has announced another ocean of funds to help protect the Pacific Islands and the Arctic, even as he wants to improve fisheries in Europe, the U.S. and Central America. Leonardo DiCaprio's foundation will donate $2 million to Oceans 5 to fight against illegal fishing and set up marine reserves in the world's five oceans. It follows a $3 million grant announced this year to Oceana's attempts to protect sharks, marine mammals and key ocean habitats...

10/19/2014
Ted Cruz attacks White House and doctors over #Ebola response
Guardian: Scientists and politicians clashed over the US response to Ebola on Sunday, as all-clears given to Texas healthcare workers and a cruise ship passenger potentially exposed to the disease failed to quell continued public unease. One man has died from Ebola in the US; two nurses who treated him at a Texas hospital have contracted the disease. More than 4,500 people are believed to have died in the three west African countries worst hit by the Ebola epidemic: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone....

10/19/2014
Amazon deforestation picking up pace, satellite data reveals
Guardian: The deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has accelerated rapidly in the past two months, underscoring the shortcomings of the government’s environmental policies. Satellite data indicates a 190% surge in land clearance in August and September compared with the same period last year as loggers and farmers exploit loopholes in regulations that are designed to protect the world’s largest forest. Figures released by Imazon, a Brazilian nonprofit research organisation, show that 402 square kilometres...

10/19/2014
Mistakes and Reversals Shake Trust in #Ebola Response, in Dallas and Beyond
National Geographic: Their city has become an unwanted focus of the growing concerns about Ebola contamination in the United States, but ask most anyone here and they'll say they're not that worried about becoming infected. Even so, local drug stores have been selling out of hand sanitizer and masks. Dallas's Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has come under fire over lapses in its care of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who was the first Ebola patient in the United States. At least two nurses who cared for Duncan...

10/19/2014
6 real problems with America's #Ebola response
Salon: While fears and rumors are spreading faster than the Ebola virus in the U.S., the past few days have shown that America’s hospitals are not well prepared to deal with a spreading outbreak and are rushing to fill in gaps as mistakes emerge. This week’s news has shown that even major hospitals and their staffs have not been sufficiently trained nor equipped to detect the virus or handle patients with it. That’s been seen in the third case that arose at a prestigious Dallas hospital—the eighth largest...

10/19/2014
'Water cops' seek sprinkler scofflaws in drought-parched California
Reuters: It was still dark on Kokomo Drive in Sacramento's Natomas district as Paul Brown edged his city-issued Honda Civic past a row of beige stucco houses with tiny front lawns, looking for water wasters. He heard the scofflaws before he saw their lush green lawns amid the otherwise parched turf. The buzz of a sprinkler system gave them away on a day that the city, desperate to save water amid California's ongoing drought, had forbidden watering. "If I can get a good picture - if there's a lot of...

10/19/2014
CDC Chief Faulted Over Confusing Ebola Messages
Reuters: The widening circle of people potentially exposed to Ebola in the United States is calling into question how well Dr. Thomas Frieden, the lead U.S. public health advisor, has communicated the risks of the deadly virus, according to crisis management and infectious disease experts. When the first diagnosis of Ebola on U.S. soil was confirmed on Sept. 30, Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), clearly stated that additional cases were possible among contacts...

10/19/2014
New military medical team to help with Ebola in US
Associated Press: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare and train a 30-member medical support team that could provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the United States. His spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the team drawn from across the military services will include 20 critical care nurses, five doctors trained in infectious diseases and five trainers in infectious disease protocols. The team will go to Fort Sam Houston in Texas...

10/19/2014
Here's How Suspected Ebola Patients Can Be Restricted
Times: About 100 Dallas healthcare workers who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola Oct. 8, have been asked by the Texas state health agency not to go to public places or travel by plane or bus. The voluntary requirements are designed to halt the disease's spread, which continue to concern Americans this weekend as a cruise ship quarantined a health worker and an airline attempts to contact passengers who flew with an infected Dallas nurse. But as health officials try to contain the spread of...

10/19/2014
New CDC Ebola guidelines will be "more stringent," NIH expert says
CBS: The new protocols that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are developing for health care workers treating patients with Ebola will be "much more stringent" than previous guidelines, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Health [NIH] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. While Fauci said he didn't want to "preempt" new protocols, he said they will go "a step further" than the previous World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that the...

10/19/2014
India: Charge of the Green Brigade
Indian Express: Students of MG College, Thiruvananthapuram, ensure their campus stays green, through its Nature Club and Bhoomitra Sena Club. Nature Clubs are a common feature of colleges in Kerala. Bhoomitra Sena club was formed by the Department of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Kerala and gets government grants. The clubs take up special planting drives on World Environment Day, Gandhi Jayanthi and Ozone Day. Apart from club members, volunteers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) pitch in for...

10/19/2014
Antarctic Marine Protected Areas international proposal focus of Hobart meeting
News.com.au: TENSE international relations could sway the outcome of vital research and protection proposals for the Antarctic, says the head of a global meeting of scientists. Russia and China are among 25 delegate nations meeting in Hobart for the annual gathering of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Representatives from both countries, and others including the Ukraine, have previously opposed the creation of two huge marine protected areas, arguing the zones would...

10/19/2014
CDC New Guidelines for Health Workers Dealing With #Ebola
Wall Street Journal: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would issue new guidelines for health-care workers dealing with Ebola patients as soon as Saturday. Facing rising concerns that existing recommendations may not provide adequate protection against Ebola after two Dallas nurses became infected with the disease, the CDC agency has been consulting with the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association and other professional groups this week, and was still going over comments Friday...

10/19/2014
Dallas officials urge calm in city on edge over #Ebola
Reuters: Texas officials are still working to contain the public's fear of Ebola even as dozens of people who may have had contact with a Liberian man who died from the virus are soon expected to be released from a 21-day monitoring period. There have been no new cases since two nurses who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan contracted Ebola. But one traveled on a plane shortly before her diagnosis, sparking worry that fellow airline passengers could be infected. In response, wary education officials deep-cleaned...

10/19/2014
UN Ebola Chief: World 'Was Not Prepared' for This Outbreak
NBC: The head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response said Sunday that the global community could not anticipate the spread of the disease. In an interview on NBC’s "Meet the Press," Anthony Banbury told Chuck Todd that the circumstances surrounding the outbreak were unprecedented. "The world was not prepared for an outbreak of Ebola like this nature," said Banbury. "We had never seen it before spreading in wide geographical areas, spreading in urban settings, densely populated urban...

10/19/2014
Rethinking the 21-Day Quarantine for #Ebola Contacts
Huffington Post: A few weeks ago an emergency room doctor called our infectious disease physician group concerning a patient who had returned from Liberia and was having nausea and vomiting. Several of the patient's family members had died of Ebola. As panic struck us, our decisive question was: When did he return from Liberia? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for screening and isolating patients for possible Ebola infection are clear: Any person who is presenting with symptoms (which...

10/19/2014
On campaign trail, Obama says GOP is peddling fear
Associated Press: Marching onto the campaign trail for the first time this year, President Barack Obama accused Republicans of peddling fear and cynicism on Sunday as he rallied voters for Democrat Anthony Brown's campaign for governor in a heavily black corner of Maryland. In front of a rowdy crowd of about 8,000 people -- plus an overflow crowd in a gym next-door -- Obama painted Brown as a champion for the American Dream during a rally that echoed many of the same themes as Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Echoing...

10/19/2014
Castro offers to co-operate US on Ebola
Al Jazeera: Fidel Castro, the 88-year-old former Cuban leader, has said his country is ready to work with the US in the battle against Ebola, saying that such co-operation would be in the interest of "the peace of the world". Cuba has already sent 165 doctors and nurses to help fight Ebola in Sierra Leone and plans to send 296 others soon to Liberia and Guinea. Writng in state media on Saturday, Castro said: "We will gladly co-operate with American personnel in that task, and not in search of peace between...

10/19/2014
Nigeria expected to be declared Ebola-free
Agence France-Presse: Nigeria is expected to be declared Ebola-free on Monday, just three months after fears that the virus could spread like wildfire through Africa's most populous nation. The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing to announce that Nigeria has not had a confirmed case of Ebola for 42 days -- or two incubation periods of 21 days -- just as it did for Senegal on Friday. The achievement is being welcomed, with no end in sight to the disease that has claimed more than 4,500 lives this year, most...

10/19/2014
Ebola outbreak: How Nigeria is beating the killer virus
BBC: A nightmare scenario of Ebola raging unchecked among millions of slum-dwellers in Africa's largest city has given way to a rare example of a victory over the virus. Amid the gloom surrounding the escalating crisis in West Africa, developments in Lagos show how the right techniques at the right speed can bring about a welcome result. With a population of more than 170 million, Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation and there were fears that Ebola would take hold when a Liberian-American arrived...

10/19/2014
How Did Nigeria Quash Its Ebola Outbreak Quickly?
Scientific American: On July 20 a man who was ill flew on commercial planes from the heart of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria's largest city. That man became Nigeria's first Ebola case--the index patient. In a matter of weeks some 19 people across two states were diagnosed with the disease (with one additional person presumed to have contracted it before dying). But rather than descending into epidemic, there has not been a new case of the virus since September 5. And since September 24 the country's...

10/19/2014
Battle Over Ebola Travel Ban: Health Officials Call It a Big Mistake
NBC: There are reasons the U.S. hasn't enacted a travel ban on countries where Ebola has broken out: It wouldn't work and could actually make things worse, health officials say. Still, that's done little to quell the calls for a ban. On Friday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry became the latest politician to call for one for anyone seeking to enter the United States from affected areas of West Africa. Two days earlier, House Speaker John Boehner called on President Barack Obama to issue a temporary travel...

10/19/2014
Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf urges world help on Ebola
BBC: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the whole world has a stake in the fight against Ebola. In a "letter to the world" broadcast on the BBC, she said the disease "respects no borders", and that every country had to do all it could to help fight it. President Johnson Sirleaf added that a generation of Africans were at risk of "being lost to economic catastrophe". The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people across West Africa, including 2,200 in Liberia. International donations...

10/19/2014
Changing rainfall common problem for entire globe, says UN-sponsored book
Canadian Press: Algae is killing Lake Winnipeg. Siberian wildfires are so intense they melted the permafrost beneath them. Flooding in Alberta paralyzed a major city. They're all linked, say the authors of a new United Nations-sponsored book titled Water, Energy and the Arab Awakening, being released Monday. Siberian wildfires so intense they melted the permafrost beneath them. Flooding in Alberta that paralyzed a major city. Toxic algae blooms in Lake Winnipeg that have grown 1,000 per cent since 1990. They're...

10/19/2014
Prince of Wales orders cull of grey squirrels to protect indigenous red population
Independent: The Prince of Wales has ordered a cull of the destructive grey squirrel on his estate in a bid to protect the indigenous red variety, his spokesman has confirmed. "Humane and lawful" measures to control the population of greys, which carry a poxvirus which is deadly to red squirrels, have been introduced on the Duchy of Cornwall estate. The grey species, which were first brought over from America in 1876, are also "extremely destructive" in woodlands, stripping the bark from trees and causing...

10/19/2014
Link between environmental degradation & Ebola
Star: The Ebola epidemic besieging West Africa is perhaps the starkest warning yet that as we tear down forests, we open ourselves up to new strains of virulent disease. Among the key lessons from the current outbreak is that human-created pressures such as intensified food production, rapid trade and travel, and climate change, are putting future generations at risk of further Ebola-like catastrophes. Through some mix of travel control, medical advances, and humanitarian assistance, we can hopefully...

10/19/2014
Seattle: Power plants lead in greenhouse gas pollution
Associated Press: Washington state's major industrial sources released about 6 million more metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2013, a 30 percent jump from the previous year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The state's only coal burning power plant in Centralia topped the list, emitting 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming. Emissions from the plant spiked up about 82 percent from 2012, after experiencing a big drop the previous...

10/19/2014
More Australian universities come under pressure to divest from fossil fuels
Sydney Morning Herald: Pressure for the nation's leading universities to join the Australian National University and dump investments in fossil fuels will continue to mount despite the condemnation of such moves by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey. Faculty members and students at three other Group of Eight universities are preparing open letters to present to their institutions in coming weeks, demanding that the universities sell endowment investments in companies involved in fossil fuel extraction...

10/19/2014
Urban heat island effect big factor in climate change, Hong Kong records show
South China Morning Post: Temperature and rainfall are the two most basic elements in climate change. So what can we learn from a study of local temperature records and why might it be that local factors other than carbon dioxide output are the main cause of rising temperatures in our city? Climate change is defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as that attributable directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and is in addition to natural...

10/19/2014
Despite China improved energy efficiency, rapid growth is still leading to increased CO2 emissions
PRI: Dabo Guan, a professor of economics at the University of East Anglia, says despite China’s pledge, rapid economic growth in China means carbon emissions will still keep rising. “Carbon intensity is not an absolute measure, it’s a relative measure. It’s CO2 divided by GDP," Guan explains. "So there are two ways to reduce this figure: one way is to actually reduce CO2; the other way is to enlarge GDP.” Reducing CO2 requires expensive technological improvements and takes a long time. So most of...

10/19/2014
Companies pulling out of Canadian tar sands oil
Living on Earth: With crude prices sharply down and the future of the Keystone XL pipeline in doubt, energy companies are dubious about investing in oil from the Alberta Tar Sands. OnEarth writer Brian Palmer discusses the problems facing the industry with host Steve Curwood. Transcript CURWOOD: From the Jennifer and Ted Stanley Studios in Boston and PRI, this is Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood. The price of oil has been plummeting, down some 25 percent since June, and as we record this show, the price per...

10/19/2014
Cincinnati joins worldwide day of action calling for ban on fracking
WCPO: A coalition of four organizations gathered at Fountain Square last weekend to call for a ban on fracking and to ask Ohio's governor to be a major part of making that happen. The event in downtown Cincinnati was one of more than 200 that took place around the world Saturday, Oct. 11 as part of the third annual Global Frackdown , a worldwide day of action against fracking and related oil and gas infrastructure. Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing, is a technique used in...

10/19/2014
United Kingdom: Prince Charles orders grey squirrel cull on duchy estate
Guardian: The Prince of Wales has ordered a cull of the grey squirrel on his estate in an attempt to protect the indigenous red variety. “Humane and lawful” measures to control the population of greys, which carry a poxvirus that is deadly to red squirrels, have been introduced on the Duchy of Cornwall estate. The grey species, which were first brought over from America in 1876, are also “extremely destructive” in woodlands, according to the Forestry Commission, stripping the bark from trees and affecting...

10/19/2014
The Kissimmee: A River Recurved
National Public Radio: It sounds almost superhuman to try straighten a river and then recarve the curves. That's what federal and state officials did to the Kissimmee River in central Florida. They straightened the river in the 1960s into a canal to drain swampland and make way for the state's explosive growth. It worked - and it created an ecological disaster. So officials decided to restore the river's slow-flowing, meandering path. That billion-dollar restoration - the world's largest - is a few years from completion....

10/19/2014
Leonardo DiCaprio donates $2 million to ocean conservation group
ABC: LEONARDO DICAPRIO has donated $2 million through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to an organization working to protect ocean life. The funds will benefit ocean conservation group Oceans 5, which is attempting to stop illegal fishing and create marine reserves in the world's five oceans, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A statement from The Great Gatsby star, who was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace on Climate Change last month (Sep14), reads, "Oceans 5 is an exciting new platform...

10/19/2014
We Need More Hospitals Equipped to Treat Ebola, NIH's Fauci Tells Meet the Press
NBC: More U.S. hospitals need personnel prepared to handle and treat Ebola patients, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told NBC News. In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Dr. Anthony Fauci said that pre-training is vital - and the four major biocontainment units in the U.S. are not enough. “We need to have more than just the four [units] in which you have people who are pre-trained, so that you don't come in, and then that's the first time you start thinking...

10/19/2014
IPCC lines up for a sixth climate audit as economic costs corrected
Sydney Morning Herald: More than a quarter of a century old and the bane of global warming sceptics everywhere, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is not about to fade into the sunset. This past week, the UN body released its final report on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability -- 1820 pages long -- and will finalise the synthesis summary of its entire Fifth Assessment Report by month's end. That will emerge in time for the G20 gathering of leaders in Brisbane in mid-November. The IPCC's fifth...

10/19/2014
Climate Change: It's Only Human To Exaggerate, But Science Itself Does Not
Science 2.0: To exaggerate is human, and scientists are human. Exaggeration and the complementary art of simplification are the basic rhetorical tools of human intercourse. So yes, scientists do exaggerate. So do politicians, perhaps even when, as the UK’s former environment secretary Owen Paterson did, they claim that climate change forecasts are “widely exaggerated”. A more pertinent question is: does the way in which scientists and politicians speak publicly lead to wild exaggeration? When both are engaged...

10/19/2014
Ohio Bans International Travel For Residents Being Monitored for Ebola
Wall Street Journal: Ohio health officials strengthened the state’s Ebola monitoring protocols Saturday to require that state residents who are self-monitoring after contact with an Ebola-exposed environment do not leave the U.S. Ohio residents who are self-monitoring for symptoms of the Ebola virus must also undergo daily appointments with a health department official, according to the state’s new mandates. Ohio instituted the ban on international travel for those being monitored citing “the inability to track...

10/19/2014
Ebola: Is bushmeat behind the outbreak?
BBC: Bushmeat is believed to be the origin of the current Ebola outbreak. The first victim's family hunted bats, which carry the virus. Could the practice of eating bushmeat, which is popular across Africa, be responsible for the current crisis? The origin has been traced to a two-year-old child from the village of Gueckedou in south-eastern Guinea, an area where batmeat is frequently hunted and eaten. The infant, dubbed Child Zero, died on 6 December 2013. The child's family stated they had hunted...

10/19/2014
Oxfam calls troops in Africa as criticism of ‘inadequate’ Ebola response mounts
Guardian: Anger is growing over the “inadequate” response to the Ebola epidemic this weekend with the World Health Organisation’s Africa office accused of incompetence and world governments of having failed. Aid charities and the president of the World Bank are among the critics, declaring that the fight against the virus is in danger of being lost. On Saturday Oxfam took the unusual step of calling for troops to be sent to west Africa, along with funding and medical staff, to prevent the Ebola outbreak...

10/19/2014
Ebola: Six new suspected cases in Spain
Euronews: All you need to know about the Ebola virus Obama vows a more aggressive response to the handling of the Ebola crisis Ebola outlook darkens Ebola crisis: EU pushes for improved screening in affected countries Spain remains on high alert for Ebola after recording six new suspected cases of the virus, including a Spanish priest who had recently been in Liberia. Authorities have confirmed that 18 people have been quarantined, in Madrid and the Canary Islands. Elsewhere, a nurse who is being...

10/19/2014
Green Revolution in Africa: How to make banks listen to farmers, by World Bank chief
Vanguard: The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) recently released its annual African Agriculture Status Report which focused on climate change and climate-smart agriculture at the 2104 African Green Revolution Forum held in Addis Abba, Ethiopia. A Nigerian, Dr. Ademola Braimoh, a senior natural resources management specialist with the World Bank, was part of the team which worked on the report. Braimoh, whose principal area of focus is climate smart agriculture, spoke with Sunday Vanguard...

10/19/2014
Ebola panic spreading much faster than disease in US
CBS: The threat of Ebola is generating a considerable amount of fear and misinformation across the country, not to mention a growing number of false alarms. Fears about Ebola have reached a fever pitch in recent days. Hazmat crews boarded a plane in Boston. Traffic was halted near the Pentagon when a woman fell ill on a bus. And at Cleveland's airport -- several days after infected nurse Amber Vinson had passed through -- passenger Tamika Freeman was still worried. "It was a huge scare," said Freeman....

10/19/2014
Americans 'can't give in hysteria or fear' over Ebola: Obama
Reuters: With three cases of Ebola diagnosed in the United States but more than 100 people being monitored in case they contract the disease, President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday not to give in to "hysteria" about the spread of the virus. As though to illustrate his point, a Dallas bus and train station was closed on Saturday afternoon over concern about a woman who fell ill. The woman was first reported to be on the checklist for possible Ebola exposure, but then turned out not to be on...

10/19/2014
Ebola is 'disaster of our generation' says aid agency
Agence France-Presse: Aid agency Oxfam said Ebola could become the "definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation", as US President Barack Obama urged against "hysteria" in the face of the growing crisis. Oxfam, which works in the two worst-hit countries -- Liberia and Sierra Leone -- on Saturday called for more troops, funding and medical staff to be sent to tackle the west African epicentre of the epidemic. Chief executive Mark Goldring warned that the world was "in the eye of a storm". "We cannot allow Ebola...

10/19/2014
Ebola deaths in Liberia ‘far higher than reported’ as officials downplay epidemic
Guardian: The true death toll from the Ebola epidemic is being masked by chaotic data collection and people’s reluctance to admit that their loved ones had the virus, according to one of west Africa’s most celebrated film-makers. Sorious Samura, who has just returned from making a documentary on the crisis in Liberia, said it is very clear on the ground that the true number of dead is far higher than the official figures being reported by the World Health Organisation. Liberia accounts for more than...

10/19/2014
The Ebola Conspiracy Theories
New York Times: THE spread of Ebola from western Africa to suburban Texas has brought with it another strain of contagion: conspiracy theories. The outbreak began in September, when The Daily Observer, a Liberian newspaper, published an article alleging that the virus was not what it seemed — a medical disaster — but rather a bioweapon designed by the United States military to depopulate the planet. Not long after, accusations appeared online contending that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

10/19/2014
Life in Quarantine for Ebola Exposure: 21 Days of Fear and Loathing
New York Times: The refrigerator in Youngor Jallah’s small apartment broke down last week, and it did not take long for the stench of rotting food to grow unbearable. But when she reported the problem to the front office, the complex’s manager said that a repairman would not be sent until Monday. That is the expiration date for the 21-day, self-imposed quarantine that Ms. Jallah, her partner and her four children have endured since the day her mother’s boyfriend, Thomas Eric Duncan, was hospitalized here with Ebola....

10/19/2014
Predator Decline Is Leaving Prey in a Thorny Situation
Nature World: The fact that there are less predators stalking them day and night should sound like a good news for a great many herbivores across the globe. But a new study has found that this isn't necessarily the case. With fewer large predators keeping populations in check, herbivores are over-foraging and destroying the delicate ecosystems that have kept them fed for countless years. That's at least according to a new study recently published in the journal Science which details how losses in large predators...

10/18/2014
United Kingdom: Solar farms 'blight on landscape'
BBC: Environment Secretary Liz Truss has said large-scale solar farms are "a blight on the landscape" and confirmed plans to cut a taxpayer subsidy to farmers and landowners for the schemes. She told the Mail on Sunday the land could be better used for growing food. There is currently a £100-an-acre grant scheme in place, worth £2m a year. Ms Truss said: "I want Britain to lead the world in food and farming and to do that we need enough productive agricultural land." She described the rows of solar...

10/18/2014
Death white rhino in Kenya leaves only six animals alive in the world
Guardian: An endangered northern white rhino has died in Kenya, a wildlife conservancy has said, meaning only six of the animals are left alive in the world. Suni, a 34-year-old northern white, and the first of his species to be born in captivity, was found dead on Friday by rangers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy near Nairobi. While there are thousands of southern white rhinos in the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, decades of rampant poaching has meant the northern white rhino is close to extinction. Suni...

10/18/2014
More urgent than Ebola, climate change is a bigger threat and we need to act now
Mirror: The biggest threat to mankind is not war and international conflict – it’s the fact that most governments never think about the long term. This week the US Defense ­Department said natural disasters from climate change will lead to more instability, disease and poverty. I’ve been in Geneva for a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a group of politicians from 160 ­countries which champions human rights. I last visited Geneva eight years ago to discuss with the United Nation’s World...

10/18/2014
Rare white rhino dies in Kenya, only six remain
Reuters: A rare northern white rhino has died in Kenya, a wildlife conservancy said on Saturday, leaving just six of the animals left alive and bringing the famed African species one step closer to extinction. While there are thousands of southern white rhinos still roaming the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, decades of rampant poaching have drastically cut northern white rhino numbers. Suni, a 34-year-old who was the first northern white rhino to be born in captivity, was found dead on Friday by rangers...

10/18/2014
A sprinkle of compost helps rangeland lock up carbon
San Francisco Chronicle: A compost experiment that began seven years ago on a Marin County ranch has uncovered a disarmingly simple and benign way to remove carbon dioxide from the air, holding the potential to turn the vast rangeland of California and the world into a weapon against climate change. The concept grew out of a unique Bay Area alignment of a biotech fortune, a world-class research institution and progressive-minded Marin ranchers. It has captured the attention of the White House, the Brown administration,...

10/18/2014
Florida politicians battle rhetoric as rising seas drive worries over climate change
Washington Post: At least twice in a normal year, the Biscayne Bay rises to swamp the streets of this fashionable resort town in an event known as the “king tide.” Water spills over seawalls and gurgles up through storm drains in what scientists say is a preview of life in Florida in a warming climate. But this is an election year, when even nature becomes a foil for competing political narratives. When a highly anticipated king tide hit the Florida coast last week, state and local officials surged into action...

10/18/2014
These maps of water use show why the Western US is in trouble
Vox: The American West has been wrestling with drought for the past 15 years. California is now facing its worst dry spell in at least a century. So, not surprisingly, the question of how best to manage America's scarce freshwater supplies is coming up more frequently. To that end, the Hamilton Project recently published a helpful primer, "Nine Economic Facts about Water in the United States." The whole thing's worth reading, but four maps and charts in particular stuck out. For starters, some of the...

10/18/2014
What's more disturbing than Ebola? The outrageous commentary
CNN: The U.S. experience with Ebola is generating commentary that is both prudent and outrageous. There have been only three cases of Ebola occurring on U.S. soil, one ending fatally and the other two now under treatment. While health officials provide sober guidance on the deadly disease, several public figures, from high-level politicians to cultural icons, haven't been so even-tempered in their remarks, adding to the public hype that has become associated with the virus. Here is a sampling...

10/17/2014
Amid Assurances on Ebola, Obama Is Said to Seethe
New York Times: Beneath the calming reassurance that President Obama has repeatedly offered during the Ebola crisis, there is a deepening frustration, even anger, with how the government has handled key elements of the response. Those frustrations spilled over when Mr. Obama convened his top aides in the Cabinet room after canceling his schedule on Wednesday. Medical officials were providing information that later turned out to be wrong. Guidance to local health teams was not adequate. It was unclear which Ebola...

10/17/2014
CDC to Issue New Ebola Protection Protocol for Hospitals
Bloomberg: U.S. health officials will issue stricter Ebola guidelines to protect the nation’s medical workers after two caregivers were infected in Dallas while treating a patient who later died from the disease. The recommendations, which may be released as early as today, follow sharp criticism by some in Congress of existing national safety protocols. They increase attention to covering every bit of skin, safely donning and removing protective wear, and properly disposing of infected medical waste. “The...

10/17/2014
WHO faulted for Ebola response failures
Al Jazeera: The World Health Organization bungled efforts to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa, an internal report has revealed, as US President Barack Obama named a trusted political adviser to take control of America's response to the epidemic. The WHO draft report, which was obtained by The Associated Press news agency on Friday, pointed to serious errors by an agency designated as the international community's leader in coordinating response to outbreaks of disease. Nearly everyone involved in...

10/17/2014
Ebola risk high for India: Expert
Hindu: In an exclusive email interview with "The Hindu" Harvard Medical School Professor Ashish Jha, predicts that India may well have "at least a few cases before the calendar year is over". An infectious diseases and public health systems expert at Harvard Medical School has warned that the risk of India seeing an Ebola patient is "very, very high," and predicted that India may well have "at least a few cases before the calendar year is over". In an exclusive email interview with The Hindu Ashish...

10/17/2014
World Health Organisation admits botching response to #Ebola outbreak
Guardian: The World Health Organisation has admitted mishandling the early stages of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, saying it failed to recognise the risks of the disease in the fragile states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,” says a draft internal document obtained by the Associated Press. Experts should have realised that the conventional way of containing an Ebola outbreak would not work in...

10/17/2014
Budget cuts hurt USA's ability to prepare for Ebola
USA Today: While the USA has a new Ebola czar, years of budget cuts have left it with far fewer public health ground troops. President Obama tapped veteran government insider Ron Klain Friday in response to withering criticism of the nation's response to Ebola. But public health doctors and nurses say the USA's ability to prevent and treat Ebola infections has been hobbled by years of budget cuts. The budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- which has been hammered this week by...

10/17/2014
UN $1 billion fast-track fund for Ebola falls woefully short
CNN: An alarmed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late September asked nations around the world to quickly help raise $1 billion to fight the deadly virus Ebola. As of Friday, only $100,000 has come in -- from Colombia. Other countries have pledged a total of $20 million for the fast-track fund that Ban set up. "We need to turn pledges into action," Ban told reporters. "We need more doctors, nurses, equipment, treatment centers." Thousands of people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea...

10/17/2014
Obama appoints Ebola 'czar;' West African death toll rises
Reuters: President Barack Obama appointed a former White House adviser as U.S. Ebola "czar" on Friday as the global death toll from the disease that has ravaged three West African countries rose to more than 4,500. Amid growing concerns about the spread of the virus in the United States, authorities said a Texas health worker, who was not ill but may have had contact with specimens from an Ebola patient, was quarantined on a cruise ship that departed last Sunday from the port of Galveston, Texas. The...

10/17/2014
Ebola crisis: No impact from pledges help, MSF says
BBC: International pledges of deployments and aid for Africa's Ebola-hit regions have not yet had any impact on the epidemic, a major medical charity says. Christopher Stokes of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the disease was still out of control. He said it was "ridiculous" that volunteers working for his charity were bearing the brunt of care in the worst-affected countries. The disease has killed about 4,500 people so far, mostly in West Africa. MSF runs about 700 out of the 1,000 beds available...

10/17/2014
Ebola's Greatest Threat: A Third-World Pandemic
Bloomberg: Yesterday, I accidentally took a double dose of my blood pressure medication. This had several exciting side effects, but the two most relevant to this story were dizziness and nausea every time I had to stand up. The reason that these were notable is what I had to do next: get on an airplane. I staggered through the airport. I stumbled through the boarding line. I hurled my bag into the first open overhead space I could find, and collapsed into my seat with my head between my knees. Eventually,...

10/17/2014
Ebola Co-Discoverer Piot Says Crisis Was 'Avoidable'
NBC: The virologist who co-discovered the Ebola virus nearly 40 years ago says the international response to the ongoing outbreak was too slow, calling the epidemic that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa an "avoidable" crisis. "I never imagined the Ebola outbreak could evolve into such a big epidemic and, actually, a humanitarian crisis," Dr. Peter Piot, a professor of global health and director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told NBC News partner ITN. He said a...

10/17/2014
In Conspicuous Success, Senegal Is Declared Ebola-Free
New York Times: The World Health Organization declared the West African nation of Senegal to be free of Ebola on Friday, a rare success in dealing with a deadly virus that has rampaged uncontrolled in neighboring countries and prompted alarm around the world. Senegal’s achievement came as the health organization was reported to have internally acknowledged its own stark failure to arrest the disease months ago. The internal document reportedly went far beyond the self-criticism that organization officials have...

10/17/2014
Is Ebola Immunity Real? How it Could Help the World
Nature World: The Ebola pandemic that is going on in West Africa continues to worry the world even as it has a devastating effect on local populations. Both a vaccine and potential treatment options are still far from sight, according to health officials, but now a team of experts is suggesting there is hope yet. Some very lucky individuals may be naturally immune to Ebola infection, and finding them could open doors not even considered. Ebola has infected nearly 9,000 people in seven countries, including the...

10/17/2014
Amid Ebola Panic, Separating Fact From Fiction
National Geographic: The more that Ebola makes headlines, the more it sows confusion. Many Americans are asking basic questions about the virus, like whether they can get it from a doorknob or a pet or from riding a plane. The sense of confusion has been fed by a shifting response to the Ebola outbreak in the United States on the part of the government and officials. After resisting calls for the appointment of an "Ebola czar," President Obama named one on Friday. And after saying the disease would be stopped in...

10/17/2014
Tom Frieden Admits Officials Don't Know How Ebola Transmission Occurred
Huffington Post: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden admitted to a House panel on Thursday that officials still don’t know exactly how two nurses contracted Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan, the first man to be diagnosed with the virus in the U.S. Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, became ill after treating Duncan, who died earlier this month. “While we do not yet know exactly how these transmissions occurred, they demonstrate the need to...


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