Tag Archives: Hacking

Brazil’s Covid-19 Variant Inundates Local Hospitals, Attacking Younger Patients | Instant News

SÃO PAULO – Researchers and doctors sound the alarm a new, more aggressive type of coronavirus from the Amazon region of Brazil, which they believe is responsible for the recent increase in deaths, as well as infections in younger people, in parts of South America.

Brazil’s daily death toll from the disease climbed to its highest level this week, pushing the total number of Covid-19 deaths in the country past a quarter of a million. On Tuesday, Brazil reported a record 1,641 deaths from Covid. Neighboring Peru is struggling to curb a second wave of infections.


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The new variant, known as P.1, was 1.4 to 2.2 times more contagious than the version of the virus previously found in Brazil, and 25% to 61% more capable of reinfecting people who had been infected with the previous strain, according to a study. released Tuesday.

With mass vaccination away across the region, countries like Brazil are at risk of becoming breeding grounds strong virus version that could make the current Covid-19 vaccine less effective, public health specialists warn.

A more prolonged pandemic could also devastate the economies of countries like Brazil, slow growth and widen already large piles of sovereign debt as governments make payments to the poor, economists say.

“We have a dramatic situation here – the health systems in many states in Brazil have collapsed and others will be damaged in the coming days,” said Eliseu Waldman, an epidemiologist at the University of São Paulo.

Health workers check arrivals at a field hospital in Manaus, Brazil, on Feb.11.


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Several doctors have reported a surge in younger patients on their Covid-19 wards, many in their 30s and 40s with no underlying health problems. In Peru, some doctors said patients became seriously ill sooner, just three or four days after first symptoms appeared, compared with an average of nine to 14 days last year.

“This virus behaves differently,” said Rosa Lopez, a doctor in the intensive care unit at Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen Lima Hospital. “It is very aggressive … the situation is very difficult, very dire.”

The Amazonian strain, P.1, emerged in the Brazilian city of Manaus late last year and quickly caught the attention of Brazilian and international scientists racing to map its distribution. The large number of variant mutations to the spike protein, which help the virus penetrate cells, is of particular concern.

“We are at the worst of times. I wouldn’t be surprised if P.1 were all over Brazil now, ”said Felipe Naveca, a researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation who has studied the new strain. He estimates that Brazil is already home to hundreds of new Covid-19 variants, even though P.1. is the most worrying so far, he said.

However, researchers are still confused as to why more young people are getting sick and whether P.1 is more deadly, or more contagious.

“The recent epidemic in Manaus has weighed on the city’s health care system, leading to inadequate access to medical care,” wrote study author P.1, led by Nuno Faria, a professor of viral evolution at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. .

People wait to fill empty oxygen cylinders on the southern outskirts of Lima, Peru, on Feb.25.


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“We were therefore unable to determine whether the estimated increased relative risk of death was due to P.1 infection, pressure on the Manaus health care system, or both,” they wrote.

A study led by Mr Naveca released last week showed that in some cases the P.1 strain carried a viral load about 10 times higher than the initial version of the virus circulating in Brazil for most of the pandemic. But an international group of scientists led by Mr Faria concluded that it would not be possible to determine whether P.1 infection was associated with increased viral load until detailed clinical investigations were carried out.

Researchers in South Africa grapple with the same questions while studying Another new variant, B.1.351. Doctors there also reported increased hospitalizations and deaths for younger patients, but the researchers concluded that more younger people became seriously ill as more people became infected overall. The likelihood of younger people dying increased, they said, because hospitals were overwhelmed, not because the variant itself was more lethal.

Another possible explanation for the increase in younger patients is that the virus has spread through many of the elderly who have died, said Francisco Cardoso, an infectious disease specialist at Emílio Ribas hospital in São Paulo.

Latin America has been one of the world’s Covid-19 hotspots since the pandemic began, but in recent days doctors in Brazil have grown increasingly desperate, portraying horror scenes across the country. While the new strains are largely to blame, so is a lack of preparation and prevention by regional governments, said public health specialists.

Hospitals operate with ICU occupancy rates above 80% in nearly two-thirds of Brazilian states. After many patients suffocate in Manaus Earlier this year when the hospital ran out of oxygen, prosecutors were investigating reports from another Amazon city that intubated patients were tied to their beds after a sedative shortage.

In Peru, where the government has detected the P.1 strain, hospitals were quickly pushed out of capacity as infections spiked in January after one of the world’s worst outbreaks last year. Doctors are now choosing among dozens of patients when the ICU beds are open, while Chile is donating rescue oxygen amid an acute shortage.

The scene comes as the US, UK and Israel celebrate falling infection rates amid a mass vaccination campaign, evidence of a widening immunity gap between rich and poor countries. While more than 15% of people in the US have received a Covid-19 shot, Brazil has administered the vaccine to only 3% of the population. Peru and Colombia have vaccinated less than 1%.

If Latin America doesn’t find a way to speed up vaccination campaigns, other countries such as Colombia and Bolivia that have seen a slowdown in recent infections could also fall victim to the new variant, infectious disease specialists said.

The longer the disease is allowed to rot in countries like Brazil, the more likely it is that new variants will emerge that reduce the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine, thus also becoming a threat to countries that have immunized their populations.

“Unless everyone in the world gets the vaccine immediately, none of us will be protected,” said Patricia Garcia, a former Peruvian health minister and epidemiologist. It will never stop.

Cesar Palacios, a 44-year-old pediatrician in the northern Peruvian city of Piura, lost his parents and younger sister to the disease earlier this year. She spent 10 days on a ventilator after she fell ill herself, her illness escalating rapidly as oxygen levels in her blood dropped to dangerous territory, at 86% just a day after her first symptoms. A few days later he was in the ICU.

“When you are going to be on a mechanical ventilator, you think, am I going to live? Am I going to die? “Said Dr. Palacios. “I have no other choice. I am very afraid. “

While Peru has imposed a curfew on Lima and other states with high infections, Brazilian cities such as São Paulo and its capital, Brasília, have imposed stricter restrictions over the past few days.

But many Brazilians break the rules, following directions from the country’s president. Right-wing leader Jair Bolsonaro has played down the disease and attacked state governors for imposing a lockdown, accusing them of destroying local businesses.

The military police in São Paulo raided about 50 companies over the weekend that refused to comply, including a group of 190 elderly Brazilians holding a clandestine party.

As a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus spreads around the world, scientists are racing to understand why this new version of the virus is spreading faster, and what this means for the vaccine effort. New research says the key may be spike protein, which gives the coronavirus its unmistakable shape. Illustration: Nick Collingwood / WSJ

Write to Samantha Pearson at [email protected] and Ryan Dube at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


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Hot houses: How do you keep your place cool this summer? | Instant News

Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer. Photo / 123RF

Whether it’s see-through curtains or cool sheets, the Kiwi has long had its own tricks for cooling a hot home without air conditioning – now a researcher wants to hear more about it.

Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer.

A recent NZ Stats survey of the 6,700 homes found 36 percent sat at 25C or more during the summer – and sometimes even above 30C – compared to a comfortable room range of 20C to 25C.

A third is also colder than 18C during winter – or below World Health Organization standards – something related to people renting less isolated homes and struggling to pay for their daily needs.

This winter’s “energy poverty” and its broad public health impacts have been a major focus of Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan’s research at the University of Otago.

“Much of that means we’re focusing on whether people can get warm enough in winter – but actually it means it’s pretty cool in summer too.”

He pointed out that six of New Zealand’s 10 warmest years have occurred in the past decade, and the country is experiencing more frequent and severe hot days, which come with their own implications for health and energy use.

“Over the last 20 years we also have fast absorption heat pumps, and more than half of New Zealand households with heat pumps have reported using them for cooling in the summer,” he said.

“So now households have a mechanism for active cooling – and a greater need to reduce home temperatures in the summer.”

In a recently launched study, supported by the Marsden Fund, he seeks to answer how not only the Kiwis regulate the flow of summer heat through their homes, but also how this changes over time.

“I’m specifically looking for the kind of knowledge that’s sometimes called knowledge – or what people know from experience,” he said, adding that it includes how Kiwis use sizes ranging from curtains to heat pumps.

“This year, I’m going to start with a postal survey of areas with more extreme summer weather to get initial answers to questions like how comfortable people are to find their home in the summer, if they try to adjust the temperature, does it change over time, and whether they think they know enough about the matter. “

He is eager to hear from several generations of the same family, and what advice has been passed down.

“I also want to make sure that we include Māori whānau, Māori have lived in Aotearoa the longest and will have wisdom to offer.”

Finally, this three-year project will collect temperature and relative humidity records using a data logger on a sample of homes, and how people use energy throughout the day of the week.

“As far as I know, these approaches have never been combined like this before to look at these questions – and they certainly haven’t been used like this in New Zealand,” he said.

“One thing that would be quite challenging in my opinion would be to usefully weave all the data back together to make one big story or image, integrating it all at the end in such a way that the number is greater than the parts.

“The sections as an individual study would all be useful, but I hope to do something extra by combining them.

“If we have a very good picture of what people know and do, as well as what they need to manage summer at home, then we may be able to adapt various suggestions and policies where they are needed.

“The aim is that it will help increase our resilience to climate change and improve public health and well-being.”

Three tips for keeping the house cool

Easy fix: Avoid the sun by covering the curtains and blinds. Open doors and windows in different rooms to circulate air through your home. Adjust the safety lock to keep the windows open when you go out.

Make a shadow: Plant deciduous trees to shade your home in the summer. They will let the sun in when they lose their leaves in winter. Install external window blinds – such as blinds, awnings or grilles. The roof or roof hanging over the north facing window blocks out the summer sunshine.

Use a fan: The fans on the table, floor and ceiling use significantly less energy than air conditioning. If you have a heat pump, try setting the fan alone with the window open.

– Source: GenLess


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Julian Assange can return to Australia if the US appeal fails | Instant News

Julian Assange is “free to return” to Australia if the US loses the last traction to extradite him face espionage charges, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.

The 49 year old WikiLeaks founder won a ultimate legal victory Monday, when a British court deemed him too high a risk of suicide to send to the United States, the US government ruling immediately said it would appeal.

“If the appeal fails, obviously he will be able to return to Australia like any other Australian,” Morrison told local radio station 2GB.

The nation’s leader repeated his promise in a second interview, with Melbourne Radio 3AW, saying, “Assuming that all turns out, he is like any other Australian. She will be free to return home if she wants. “

He stressed that his country was “not a party” to the court battle, saying, “This is just a straightforward process of the legal system in England that is running.”

However, Australia has repeatedly offered support to Assange, who faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted of espionage for hacking US secrets, officials stress.

“We have submitted 19 unanswered offers of consular assistance to Mr Assange since 2019,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne word in a statement. We will continue to offer consular support.

Assange’s lawyers plan to push for his release during a bail hearing scheduled for Wednesday. He has been detained in Britain since April 2019, when he was arrested after being booted from his hiding place at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

US prosecutors have charged Assange with 17 counts of espionage and one count of computer abuse over the publication of leaked military and diplomatic documents from WikiLeaks a decade ago.

Assange’s lawyers insist he is acting as a journalist and entitled to First Amendment protection of free speech for publishing leaked documents exposing US military wrongdoing.

In her ruling Monday, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser stressed that her decision not to extradite her was not based on her legal or political arguments – but on her obvious mental health risks.

He described Assange as a “depressed and sometimes hopeless man” who had “the intelligence and determination” to avoid suicide prevention measures being taken by American prison authorities.

With Post cable


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Cyberpunk Lesson 2077: Making Big Games Is Never More Difficult | Instant News

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Trust, not escalation, must become US cyber policy | Instant News

The recent anniversaries of the end of World War I, marked by capitals around the world, should give us pause to reflect on the coming conflict. 21st The century will see new arenas for conflict, and with them new rules of engagement and acceptable behavior in times of war. The internet will almost certainly be one of these new battlefields – but the challenge for many national leaders is not an infinite digital warfare like the unsuccessful avalanche of daily cyberattacks. This cyber attack threatens energy networks, hospitals, vaccine researchers, corporate secrets and all the digital foundations of modern life. How these threats can be managed is a significant issue when digital attackers are almost unknown, even if they are state or state-backed actors.

In early acknowledgment of this problematic reality, the President of France Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronParis anti-police brutality protests turned violent European strategic autonomy? Let’s start with national autonomy French Ambassador: Freedom of speech is our best defense against hate crimes MORE launching Paris’ Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace on November 12, 2018. The call laid out simple principles for countries that want a more stable and secure online world, including that they work with companies and organizations that build and now operate the internet.

It is the first multi-stakeholder, multi-lateral effort to ensure peace and security in cyberspace.

Cybersecurity Tech Accord has been a vocal supporter of Paris Call since its launch. We believe that this creates the best kind of multi-stakeholder coalition: one that can realistically respond to the challenges of increasing conflict in cyberspace by bringing together governments, technology companies and civil society.

Currently 79 governments have signed the Paris Call, among them key American allies Australia, Canada, Japan and the UK, along with civil society and civil society organizations from around the world, including American cities and states from Louisville, Ky., To the Commonwealth Virginia. However, there are those who are not currently on the Paris Call. They include Iran, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China – and the United States.

There are sincere and honorable reasons that have brought the US to this place. The current government is reluctant to limit its options when it comes to cyber warfare. Nor would he want to tie America’s hands if his rivals did not either. Certainly cyberattacks will be a key component of future war planning and, if there is a push, war battles. Putting them aside is completely absurd, but this is not what the Paris Call did.

Within the nine principles laid down in 2018, the US can commit to avoiding significant, indiscriminate or systemic damage to critical digital infrastructure ahead of the war without limiting itself after war breaks out. Of course countries like France and Britain, which have fought alongside the US in the past, find no contradiction between their future military needs and guarding the internet from a proliferation of cyber weapons and escalating cyber attacks.

The reason America’s position is important is that establishing acceptable norms of behavior in conflict requires the participation and leadership of the most powerful states of the era.

The Internet is a great global network of connectivity and communications. It is inherently multi-lateral and multi-stakeholder. Everyone has some kind of interest in it, and everyone must be committed to protecting it.

The US’s absence from the protection process fundamentally weakens it and, worse, creates space for some countries to promote their visions of an internet that are more hostile to Western freedoms.

The US is not just any country. When it comes to securing the viability of the internet and digital technology that we now rely on so much because of COVID, we need American leadership and American participation.

Annalaura Gallo is the Head of the Secretariat Cybersecurity Technology Deal (@bayu_joo), a collaboration among 147 global companies to enhance cybersecurity, stability and resilience.


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