The World Health Organization has warned up to 4 million people in the Americas could be infected with Zika virus by the end of this year. While the virus itself is usually not life-threatening, it appears to be linked to microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads. At least 31 Zika cases have now been reported in Washington, D.C., and 11 states, including New York. All U.S. patients were infected abroad. Costa Rica has increased airport surveillance after confirming its first case, while officials in Colombia are fumigating homes. World Health Organization official Dr. Sylvain Aldighieri spoke in Geneva.
Swiss prosecutors on Friday requested assistance from Malaysian authorities in investigating massive theft from a state-owned firm at the centre of a graft scandal.
Swiss investigators said they believed around US$4bn had been stolen from Malaysian state-owned companies, funding that was earmarked for economic and social development projects in Malaysia.
“A small portion” of the cash was transferred into Swiss accounts held by former Malaysian officials as well as current and former officials from the United Arab Emirates, the Swiss attorney general’s office said in a statement.
“To date, however, the Malaysian companies concerned have made no comment on the losses they are believed to have incurred,” prosecutors added.
Hours before the State Department released its latest cache of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, a department spokesman revealed for the first time that dozens of her communications were deemed to be top-secret.
Of the roughly 1,000 pages of Clinton’s emails posted to the State Department’s website Friday evening — just half the number the department originally said it would post — 22 emails were “retroactively classified” and 18 emails exchanged between Clinton and President Barack Obama were withheld in their entirety, State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a press briefing Friday.
The material, which was not marked as classified at the time it was sent and received by Clinton on her private, unsecured server, was upgraded to top secret at the request of a team of reviewers from the intelligence community. The State Department has designated 1,582 of Clinton’s emails classified and almost all has been classified at the “confidential” level. The top-secret classification means that if any of the information were disclosed it would cause “exceptionally grave” damage to national security.
France intends to make another push at trying to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has warned that if its efforts failed, it would recognise a Palestinian State.
“France will engage in the coming weeks in the preparation of an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the two-state solution,” French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday.
If this last attempt at finding a solution hits a wall, “well … in this case, we need to face our responsibilities by recognising the Palestinian state,” said the minister.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Fabius added that France had a responsibility to try to keep up efforts to find a solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
“We see that unfortunately colonisation continues and that recently, the Israeli Prime Minister went so far as to reproach the UN Secretary General for encouraging terrorism on the basis that he had reminded of colonisation’s illegality and asked that it cease,” Fabius said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday described Israel’s settlements as “provocative acts” that raised questions about its commitment to a two-state solution, nearly 50 years after occupying lands the Palestinians seek for a state.
Rights groups have criticised the Swedish government’s plans to expel up to 80,000 asylum seekers whose applications are expected to be rejected, a move viewed as the latest in a string of similar measures.
Speaking to the local Dagens Industry newspaper on Thursday, Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said that between 60,000 and 80,000 people will be deported.
An estimated 45 percent of Sweden’s more than 160,000 asylum applicants in 2015 are projected to be denied.