NEWS 25.March.2016

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Zika virus has affected at least 30,000 people since its outbreak in Brazil last year, but how it arrived in the nation has remained a mystery – until now. A study suggests that supporters of French Polynesia’s national football team brought it in 2013.

A genetic analysis of the virus from different parts of the world has pointed to a single introduction to Brazil between May and December 2013 from French Polynesia, which first suffered an outbreak of the virus in 2013 and 2014. 

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The number of people across the world who have suffered from the Zika virus amounts to 191,700, Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said Friday. It said that only 4,684 diagnoses had been confirmed after laboratory analysis. The worst-hit country is Brazil, where 6,671 Zika-related cases were registered, according to the watchdog.

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As the Zika virus continues to spread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released updated guidelines to help both men and women, as well as for couples trying to get pregnant, avoid acquiring the disease through sexual transmission.

Whereas the interim guidelines merely advised people traveling to Zika-affected countries to avoid having unprotected sex, the new edition specifies the length of time the virus can live in semen, as well as how long those trying to get pregnant should wait.

Originally discovered in Africa in the 1940s, the relatively new disease first appeared in Brazil in May of 2005, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new recommendations contain a broader range of suggestions on how to avoid becoming infected with the disease.

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The UK has covertly deployed special forces in Libya, Israel is turning a blind eye to Al-Nusra, and Turkey wants radical Islamists to prevail in the Middle East, are the shocking insights King Abdullah of Jordan confidentially shared with US lawmakers.

The leader of the Middle Eastern state, who has been in power since 1999, gave this frank regional assessment to congressional leaders, including John McCain and Paul Ryan, in a closed-door meeting during his visit to the US back in January. Minutes from the briefing have now been obtained by the Guardian via an unsanctioned leak.

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A sordid tale of bribes, back-room deals, prostitution, and fraud has claimed the career of yet another US naval officer. Captain Daniel Dusek has become the highest-ranking officer to be convicted in what has become known as the “Fat Leonard” affair.

Dusek, 49, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison on Friday for accepting cash, luxury travel, and prostitutes in exchange for re-routing his warship to ports controlled by a powerful contractor, Leonard Francis, known to the Navy as“Fat Leonard.”  

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President Barack Obama, left, casts his vote during early voting in the 2012 election Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, in Chicago, at the Martin Luther King Community Center. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Two thirds of respondents to a new poll said the presidential election process in the US is not “working as it should.” Yet a majority also believes at least one candidate of the five left in the race is qualified to hold the office.

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