Protestant baptism services in Africa are frequently conducted by rivers or lakes, with the initiate being fully or partially immersed in the water in the manner of Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan.
The ceremony was always likely to be risky one. Abaya, Ethiopia’s second largest lake, is known for having a large crocodile population.
The reptiles have a reputation of aggression towards humans because of a dearth of fish in the lake. The lake’s reddish brown waters make it hard to spot a crocodile until it surfaces, making escape less likely.
ZH–A “new” strain of deadly bird flu dubbed “Disease X” by the World Health Organization (WHO) has killed hundreds of people in China, and is just three mutations away from becoming transmissible between humans, according to experts.
The strain, H7N9, circulates in poultry and has killed 623 people out of 1,625 infected in China – a mortality rate of 38.3%. While first identified in China in 2013, H7N9 has recently emerged as a serious threat seemingly overnight.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for the UK, told The Telegraph that H7N9 could cause a global outbreak.
“[H7N9] is an example of another virus which has proven its ability to transmit from birds to humans,” said Van-Tam, who added “It’s possible that it could be the cause of the next pandemic.”
The WHO says N7N9 is “an unusually dangerous virus for humans,” and “one of the most lethal influenza viruses that we’ve seen so far”
“H7N9 viruses have several features typically associated with human influenza viruses and therefore possess pandemic potential and need to be monitored closely,” said Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Researchers led by James Paulson of the Scripps Research Institute in California have been studying the mutations which could potentially occur in H7N9’s genome to allow for human-to-human infection.
The team’s findings, published in the journal PLoS Pathogens on Thursday, showed that in laboratory tests, mutations in three amino acids made the virus more able to bind to human cells — suggesting these changes are key to making the virus more dangerous to people. –Japan Times
That said, the mutations would need to occur relatively close to each other to become more virulent, which has a low probability of happening according to Fiona Culley, an expert in respiratory immunology at Imperial College London.
“Some of the individual mutations have been seen naturally … these combinations of mutations have not,” and added: “The chances of all three occurring together is relatively low.”
Wenday Barclay, a virologist and flu specialist also at Imperial College says the study’s findings reinforce the need to keep the H7N9 bird flu under close surveillance.
“These studies keep H7N9 virus high on the list of viruses we should be concerned about,” she said. “The more people infected, the higher the chance that the lethal combination of mutations could occur.”
According to the CDC, Human infections with bird flu viruses can happen when enough virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled. This can happen when virus is in the air (in droplets or possibly dust) and a person breathes it in, or when a person touches something that has virus on it then touches their mouth, eyes or nose.
he reported signs and symptoms of avian influenza A virus infections in humans have ranged from mild to severe and included conjunctivitis, influenza-like illness (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches) sometimes accompanied by nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, severe respiratory illness(e.g., shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, viral pneumonia, respiratory failure), neurologic changes (altered mental status, seizures), and the involvement of other organ systems –CDC
Rare human infections with some avian viruses have occurred most often after unprotected contact with infected birds or surfaces contaminated with avian influenza viruses. However, some infections have been identified where direct contact was not known to have occurred. Illness in people has ranged from mild to severe.
A Honduran immigrant reportedly took his own life while in custody after his wife and child were separated from him at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, killed himself in the cell of a Texas jail last month, according to the Starr County sheriff’s department incident report obtained by The Washington Post.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not publicly disclose the death, according to the Post. The Hill has reached out to DHS for comment. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Starr County authorities did not respond to The Washington Post’s requests for comment.
Muñoz’s death occurred just weeks after the Trump administration announced it would crack down on illegal border crossings by prosecuting more parents and separating them from their children at the border.
Border Patrol agents familiar with the situation told the Post that Muñoz, his wife and 3-year-old son were taken into custody after crossing the border into the U.S. near Granjeno, Texas. One agent speaking to the paper on the condition of anonymity said that after the family said they wanted to apply for asylum, they were told they would be separated.
“The guy lost his s—,” the agent told the Post. “They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.”
Border Patrol staff labeled Muñoz as “pre-assault” after he became agitated and began violently shaking the chain-link detention cell, prompting agents to relocate him to a padded isolation cell at a local jail.
Agents said that Muñoz attempted to escape twice during the transfer, and had to be restrained.
“We had to get him out,” the agent told the Post. “Those cells are about as secure as a dog kennel. He could have hurt someone.”
Guards checked on Muñoz twice an hour and said they observed him alive and praying the following morning. A guard discovered him unresponsive at 9:50 a.m., according to the sheriff’s report.
Muñoz’s wife and son were released from Border Patrol custody, one agent said.
The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has sparked significant outcry among the public and lawmakers. The administration has defended the policy as a necessary measure to secure the border.
It was reported Friday that nearly 1,800 families have been separated at the border under the Trump administration.
MEMO–Israeli forces killed a Palestinian nurse on Friday as she tried to help a wounded protester at the Gaza border, according to health officials and a witness, while Israel said “militants” had attacked its troops with gunfire and a grenade.
Razan Al-Najar’s death brought to 119 the number of Palestinians killed in weekly demonstrations launched on March 30 in the Gaza Strip, an enclave long subjected to grinding Israeli and Egyptian embargoes.
Najar, a 21-year-old volunteer medic, was shot as she ran toward the fortified border fence, east of the south Gaza city of Khan Younis, in a bid to reach a casualty, a witness said.
Wearing a white uniform, “she raised her hands high in a clear way, but Israeli soldiers fired and she was hit in the chest,” the witness, who requested anonymity, told Reuters.
An Israeli military spokeswoman had no immediate comment on Najar’s killing, but later said in a written statement that the IDF will ‘investigate’ Najar’s death. Israeli officers have previously said that army snipers target only people posing a threat, but that the bullets can sometimes run through them or ricochet, hitting bystanders.
At her house in Khan Younis, Najar’s mother collapsed in grief as she was handed her daughter’s blood-stained uniform.
A statement from Gaza’s Health Ministry mourned Najar as a “martyr”. Interviewed by Reutersinterview in April, she said she would see the border protests through until their end.
“I am returning and not retreating,” Najar’s last Facebook post said, adding: Hit me with your bullets. I am not afraid.
Thousands of people attended al-Najar’s funeral in Gaza on Saturday, including some she had treated when they were wounded at previous border protests. Her body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag and carried through the streets on a stretcher by mourners.
“With our souls and blood we redeem you martyr Razan,” cried mourners as the body was brought to her home for a last farewell before burial.
Gazan medical officials said at least 100 Palestinians were wounded by army gunfire during Friday’s mass demonstrations.
In a separate statement, the Israeli military said its troops had acted to disperse “thousands of rioters” at five locations.
It said that “an IDF (Israel Defence Forces) vehicle was fired upon and a suspect was identified crossing the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip and planting a grenade which exploded as he returned to the Strip”.
There have been no Israeli casualties during the border confrontations, but Israel has reported extensive damage to farmland from firebomb-bearing kites flown over from Gaza.
In the protests, billed as the “Great March of Return”, Palestinians have been calling for the right to return to lands occupied by Israel since it’s creation in 1948. Israel calls them a ploy to breach its border and deflect scrutiny from Hamas’ governance problems.
Israel’s lethal response has drawn international censure.
Friday’s turnout of protestors was less than in previous weeks, but is expected to grow next week as Palestinians mark the anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1967 war.
Israel quit Gaza in 2005, but has since placed a crippling siege on the strip and has elsewhere deepened settlements on occupied land. The demonstrations come at a time of growing frustration over the prospects for an independent Palestinian state or even a revival of peace talks, stalled since 2014.
Today Dr. Duke and British author and activist Mark Collett tackled the issue of affirmative action and the great harm it does to everyone. One example is an Atlanta dermatological surgeon, who has been recently in the news for making rap song and dance videos WHILE cutting and snipping patients under sedation. Is there any wonder that she faces multiple malpractice suits from victims such as the family of a now brain-damaged woman who had come to her for liposuction.
Also, fake black person Rachel Dolezal is back in the news. In her quest for blackness and the affirmative action benefits is includes, she engaged in large-scale welfare fraud.
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A 6-year-old boy is dead after a family dog attacked him, according to two reports.
Rick Vaughan, a friend of the boy’s family, told the Altoona Mirror that the attack happened just before 6 p.m. when the child’s father was cutting grass, heard the mother screaming and discovered “the dog on the boy.” The deadly attack occurred in the family’s home on Gesser Avenue in Lakemont, which is just south of Altoona.
Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross told WTAJ that the dog was a pit bull and that the boy died of blunt force trauma. News outlets are withholding the boy’s name out of respect for the family’s wishes.
The boy’s father was able to get the dog off the child, but “It was already too late,” Vaughan said. The dog that attacked the boy is dead, and the family asked police to take a second dog, according to the Altoona Mirror.
The boy went to Baker Elementary School, according to WTAJ, and counselors have been called into school to support students and teachers.
Chattanooga, TN – Young children were traumatized and injured by flash-bang grenades, an innocent father was terrorized and arrested by police, and their home was damaged, after a SWAT team carried out an early morning no-knock raid on the wrong house.
The ordeal began at 5:50 a.m. on Tuesday when the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with federal agents to conduct a raid on a house where they claimed a suspect in a murder case was staying. However, they actually terrorized an innocent family in a careless raid that should never have happened.
Spencer Renck shared the story in a Facebook status, noting that he had just gotten out of bed and was preparing to get ready for work when he heard loud noises and immediately thought his home was being burglarized.
“I heard loud banging noises upstairs so I grab my gun and try to run upstairs to protect my family from whatever was happening. I thought someone had broken in,” Renck said. “But no it was the Bradley County and Hamilton County SWAT team RAIDING my house.”
The homeowner said the officers launched flash-bang grenades throughout his house, including into a bedroom where his 6-year-old son was sleeping. He said the grenade “blinded and deafened” his son, who was one of four young children in the home with Renck and his wife.
“I had my gun drawn and they opened [the] basement door with several SWAT team members pointing their MP5’s and AR’s at me so first thing I think is to run so I don’t get shot since I’m holding a gun,” Renck said. “They flash-banged me downstairs then threw me to the ground and proceeded to hold me down with someone’s foot and aggressively cuff me and I told them I had a gun in my pocket loaded and he rolled me over and yanked it out and said ‘Of course you do because you are wanted for murder, you piece of shit’ then I proceeded to tell them they got the wrong person and they kept telling me to ‘shut the fuck up.’”
After officers violently arrested Renck, they finally took the time to check his ID and realized that he was not the murder suspect they were looking for, and they were in the wrong home. According to a report from NewsChannel 9, Johnson City Police admitted in a press release that the search warrant was for 4030 Lynncrest Drive. The Renck family lives next door at 4040 Lynncrest Drive.
Renck said that even when the officers realized he was innocent and they were at the wrong house, they just rushed to the house next door to find the suspect they were actually targeting. When asked for a statement on the botched raid, the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office ignored the egregious actions of its officers and focused on the fact that they eventually arrested Monte Lamar Brewer Jr, a suspect in the 2017 murder of a pregnant woman.
“Earlier this morning, the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office assisted a federal agency with executing a federal search warrant which led to the arrest of a male who was wanted for murder in Washington County, Tennessee,” spokesman James Bradford said in a statement.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has announced that it is launching an investigation into the SWAT Team’s abhorrent actions, and the Drug Enforcement Agency released a statement responding to the botched raid:
“On May 22, 2018, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Louisville Division Office and the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office served a federal search warrant at an address associated with an individual wanted for murder, who was also a target in an ongoing heroin investigation. This operation was part of a larger ongoing investigation. Unfortunately, this search warrant was initially served on the wrong residence. DEA leadership immediately responded to the scene and met with the family. Fortunately, there were no injuries and DEA will continue to work with the family to ensure their wellbeing. Situations such as these are tragic and DEA takes them very seriously. We intend to look into this matter further and take steps to ensure situations such as this never occur again.”
Unfortunately, the trend of SWAT teams terrorizing innocent families and damaging property in early morning no-knock raids that are carried out at the wrong addresses is not uncommon. In December 2017, a SWAT team in Chicago raided the wrong house and were reprimanded by the homeowner who demanded an apology, while recording the incident on Facebook Live.
“Next thing you know, when I’m looking there’s guns in my face. Just guns drawn out, ‘Get outta here, who’s in here with you?’ Just a bunch of questions,” Homeowner Shanae Cross said, describing the scene when SWAT team members first broke into her house. “I’m like, ‘What the hell is you doing in my house? Who are you, why are you in my house?‘ Then I realize when I see the vests and all, this is the police.”
Officers began to arrest Cross’s 17-year-old brother, and she said she immediately demanded to see a search warrant for the residence where the officers were initiating the “no-knock” raid. When an officer told her the street address was “8203,” she informed them that they were at the wrong house.
“I’m like ‘This is 8209, you f—king idiot. You’re in the wrong house!’”
Spencer Renck and his family are now left to live with the trauma from the horrific raid, all because police failed to confirm the correct address on the search warrant. In addition to rushing to the hospital for a check-up for his young son, who was impacted by the flash-bang grenade that detonated in his room, Renck wrote on Facebook that his house was left damaged from the raid.
“They destroyed my door, door frame, carpet on my stairs blew my ceiling out and burned my living room floor and hallway,” Renck said. “All because someone got the wrong house. I am okay and could have easily been killed just thankful to be alive and my family okay. I still don’t understand how you get the wrong damn house.”
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A cougar attacked two mountain bikers in Washington state Saturday morning, killing one and seriously injuring the other man. The biker who was killed fled into the woods to get away from the cougar after the initial attack and the animal chased him down, officials said.
A 100-pound male cougar, three or four years old, was tracked down with the help of two dogs and killed by wildlife officials. It was 50 feet up a tree and 50 to 200 yards from where the man’s body had been found, Capt. Alan Myers of the Washington Fish and Wildlife police told the Times. The cat is being tested to make certain it was the same animal that attacked the men.
The cougar attack occurred on an isolated mountain road near North Bend, about 30 miles east of Seattle.
The injured biker was airlifted to a Seattle hospital with serious injuries, but his condition was later listed as satisfactory, according to the Kings County Sheriff’s Office.
He was attacked first, then jumped on his bike to get to an area where he could get cell phone service to call for help.
The cougar “jumped the first victim and attacked him,” Sgt. Ryan Abbott of the sheriff’s office told The Seattle Times. “The second victim turned and started to run away. The cougar saw that and went after the second victim. The first victim saw his friend being pulled by the cougar. He got on his bike and started to bike away.”
Abbott said the man rode for about two miles before he could make a call.
“When the deputies and medics responded, it took them about 30 minutes to locate the second victim. He was deceased. The cougar was standing on top of him,” said Abbott.
Officials have not released the names of either man.
A man in the area provided reporters a video of a cougar he had spotted recently in the same area. Officials said it could not be determined if it was the same animal, given that there are a number of cougars in the region.
Cougar attacks on humans, and particularly fatal attacks, are rare. Since 1890, cougars have attacked people fewer than 100 times, according to the nonprofit Cougar Network, and about 20 of those attacks have been fatal.
The last time a human was killed by a cougar in the U.S. was in 2008 in New Mexico, according to The News Tribune in Tacoma. The paper said that the last fatality in Washington state apparently was in 1924.
A mountain biker’s partially eaten body was found in 2004 in Southern California on the same day another biker was attacked in the same area.