By Sharon Lili Elhadad, M.A. and Dana Elhadad, M.Sc
Throughout history emerging infectious diseases have shaped the course of human history and have caused incalculable misery and death. New advances in science, technology and medicine have helped us gain ground against certain infectious diseases. However, even in the twenty-first century infectious diseases continue to emerge at a rapid pace. Many Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) have been catalyzed by wars, loss of social cohesion, and natural disasters. Under these conditions and in addition to microbial or viral virulence factors, a contagious disease may lead to an epidemic outbreak. An epidemic is categorized as a fast growing outbreak that affects many people almost instantly, usually within a city. If the epidemic is not sufficiently contained it can become a pandemic outbreak, that has no social or geographical boundaries.
And so, almost two full years after the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, put pen to paper and signed a deal granting Scottish Parliament the power to hold a referendum on independence, the United Kingdom for now remains intact after victory for the ‘No’ campaign. A battle that has thoroughly energised political debate – particularly so in these final few weeks of campaigning, when debate has been near feverish – culminated in the early hours of Friday morning with a verdict far more comprehensive than most expected. Yet, as both Scottish voters and the wider British publish begin to come to terms with the continuation of their fourfold union, discussions on the very nature of that union moving forward are only just commencing. Continue reading
The recent escalation of violence in Gaza has been followed up by increase in anti-Semitic sentiment across Europe. Attacks on Synagogues have become frequent and there have been worrying reports anti-Semitic slogans chanted at demonstrations. Causal explanations for this outburst vary. One line of argument runs that anti-Semitism is inherently coupled with anti-Zionism, and that emotive media coverage helps only to fan the flames. Alongside the tune of sensationalist media, those on both sides of the dispute over Gaza only feed the fire further by presenting narratives of European anti-Semitism, which are influenced largely by either moral or political concerns. Continue reading
The town of Choiseul with a population around a thousand people will be relocating from Taro Island. Choiseul is among the first population centers to be forced to migrate due to sea level rise. The small island is less than 2 meters above sea level. With sea level rising by more than third of a meter by the end of the century, this vulnerability has become a serious liability for the citizens of Taro Island. This small island is part of the Solomon Island chain, and its evacuation means something for policymakers. Continue reading
When news of Robin Williams’ death by suicide was announced three weeks ago, the world was assailed for days with the minutiae of the actor-comedian’s final moments. In the aftermath of this media furor, however, it is becoming clear that the coverage of suicides – and particularly celebrity suicides – is in need of reevaluation. Continue reading
Brazil’s rapidly engorged position in the media spotlight over the summer has been dogged by persistent political and economic troubles of the country. From May until July, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro – amongst other large cities – were racked by street protests. Over one million people were estimated as taking part, with over 200 arrests made. Continue reading
With the G20 economic summit in progress, a new development in climate change could cause concern for participants. Massive holes have appeared in Siberia, and could be the result of greenhouse gases escaping melting permafrost. Continue reading
A United States Major-General was shot and killed at a military academy near Kabul on August 5th, the highest ranking U.S. officer to die since the September 11 attack on the Pentagon. A German brigadier-general, two Afghan generals and at least 10 other soldiers were also wounded before the gunman, a soldier wearing an Afghan army uniform, was shot dead.
Since March 2014, an outbreak of Ebola virus has been plaguing West African nations. Due to intense international travel the virus has the potential to quickly spread across the globe, and while it has only affected West Africa over 800 people have died.