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Tue, 10 Dec 2019
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Bird flu mutation raises threat to humans

The first sign that the avian flu virus H5N1 may be mutating into a form more infectious to humans has been reported by scientists. Researchers from the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Mill Hill, north London, have analysed viruses from two children who died of bird flu in eastern Turkey.

In one case, the analysis revealed mutations in the virus that made it more prone to infect humans. In a joint statement, Sir John Skehel, director of the institute, run by the Medical research Council, and the World Health Organisation, said a mutation had been traced in viruses isolated in Hong Kong in 2003 and in Vietnam last year.

"Research has indicated the Hong Kong 2003 viruses preferred to bind to human cell receptors more than to avian receptors, and it is expected that the Turkish virus will also have this characteristic."

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New Orleans residents given four months to revive neighbourhoods

Residents of the most devastated areas of New Orleans reacted angrily yesterday to a blueprint for rebuilding the city that gives them four months to prove they can bring their neighbourhoods back to life or face the prospect of their homes being turned into parks or marshland.

The first comprehensive plan for how the city should be put back together following Hurricane Katrina, unveiled by New Orleans' mayor Ray Nagin yesterday, also includes lofty plans to build a light railway system and recreate a jazz district in what was once the red-light area of the city. The multibillion dollar proposals prioritise improving hurricane defences and the elimination of a 76-mile shipping canal blamed for much of the flooding.

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Alaska Volcano Erupts Again

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Augustine Volcano erupted Friday for the third time in a week, sending an ash plume toward communities on the southwest Kenai Peninsula.

Tom Murray, scientist in charge at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, said the mountain on an isolated and uninhabited island about 180 miles south of Anchorage erupted for 45 minutes, starting shortly before 4 a.m.

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France set to 'mobilise' in face of bird flu threat: PM

PARIS - France is to boost its preparedness for a possible bird flu outbreak by conducting major exercises and extending a ban on outdoor poultry rearing, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said Friday.

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January 'Heat Wave' Hits Upstate New York

(ALBANY, NY) -- Break out the shorts.

The unseasonably warm weather will continue through tomorrow, with temperatures to again hit the 50s today and Friday across much of upstate New York.

Yesterday, the thermometer nearly hit 60 in Buffalo and Rochester, with 40- and 50-degree temperatures over the rest of the region.

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Earthquake jolts county in Yunnan

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted the Mojiang Hani Autonomous County in southwest China's Yunnan Province at 9:05 a.m. Thursday (Beijing Time), according to the seismological network of China.

The epicenter was located at 23.4 north latitude and 101.6 east longitude, which is about 210 kilometers away from the provincial capital of Kunming.

No casualty has been reported as of Thursday afternoon.

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Texas River Mysteriously Turns Reddish Orange

Investigators in Dallas are trying to determine what has caused the water in the Trinity River to turn reddish orange twice in one week, according to a Local 6 News report.

Comment: Comment: What about some sort of outgassing related to seismic activity? Think about the following series of flashbacks and articles; it seems something may be going on underneath the US...


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5.1 Magnitude Earthquake in Pakistan

A 5.1 magnitude earthquake has occurred in the north of Pakistan. No official statement has been released about the extent of the damage and the number of deaths or casualties.

Meteorology Department authority Malik Tan veer said the epicenter of earthquake was located 200 km northeast of Peshawar. Tan veer stated the earthquake happened at 07:49 local Turkish time.

In the latest earthquake in Pakistan that recorded 7.6 on the Richter scale, more than 73,000 people died.

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Magnitude 4.9 Earthquake off the Coast of Oregon

A light earthquake occurred at 10:02:36 (UTC) on Wednesday, January 11, 2006. The magnitude 4.9 event has been located OFF THE COAST OF OREGON. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 30 km (18 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)

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Plains Fires Spread to Colorado, Arkansas

AGUILAR, Colo. - The wildfire danger that has been menacing the parched southern plains spread to Arkansas and Colorado on Sunday, where wind-whipped blazes destroyed at least nine homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate, authorities said. [...]

In Arkansas, a 3,000-acre wildfire destroyed four homes Sunday east of Hamburg and chased nearby residents from their houses. Four volunteer fire departments were battling the blaze, and Deputy State Forester Larry Nance said it likely would be Monday before they could gain control.