31 January 2016   Leave a comment

The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding an emergency meeting as the number of cases of Zika infections continues to rise dramatically.  The number of cases in Colombia has doubled in a week, and some authorities believe that there may be as many as 4 million active cases.  There is currently no vaccine for the infection, and the evidence of the link between the virus and the birth defect, microcephaly, is still inconclusive but quite suggestive.

Europol, the EU’s police intelligence unit, estimates that as many as 10,000 migrant children have gone “missing.”  Many children have arrived in Europe without other family members, and, while they are registered when they arrive, there are no effective institutions for keeping track of the children.  While it is likely that many of these children may have been reunited with their families, it is also well-known that human traffickers are specifically targeting these vulnerable migrants.  The refugee crisis continues to outpace the capabilities of the European Union.

A serious drought threatens the lives of about 10 million people in Ethiopia.  The drought has been building for some time and may well rank as one of the most serious droughts of the 20th century.  The country is pleading for additional outside assistance to avoid a catastrophe, but many of the traditional donors, such as the World Food Programme, are running out of resources.

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Posted February 1, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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