here you find the worldwide news. The local news are accessible via the page "German news".
Nov 5, 2017
For months the CDC in the US sent me an email on a weekly basis with the current numbers of Zika virus infections. Suddenly I realised that no email came any longer. What happened?
On the website of the CDC (Center of disease Control) there are the actual numbers, but the number of Zika virus infection did not rise very much. The numbers of new infections declined over the last weeks. The epidemic outbreak is obviously over. The peak had been in July to August 2016. JG
Nov 1, 2017
We all saw the photos of the latest California wildfire in the Napa Valley in October with all the homes burnt, people missing or dead. Now no more information is given in the media. What about the fire?
The official names of the fires were "Nuns Fire" and "Tubbs Fire". Nuns Fire was 100% contained on Oct 30, 2017 and the Tubbs Fire was 100% contained on Oct 31, 2017. JG
Oct 25, 2017
About one year ago the "jungle" in Calais, France was cleared from the migrants by the French authorities. All migrants were brought to solid buildings elsewhere in the country. How does it look like today? Are there new migrants?
Have a look yourself:
The roads towards the ferry to England (photo 1-3) and to the tunnel (photo 4-6) are surrounded by fences. The field where the migrants camped is under restauration to some recreational district. It is hardly possible to take photos. I could only take two, because within a very short period of time the police arrived and forced us to leave. At the roadside of the neighbouring street about every 100 m there was a police car. Here are the photos:
Twice we saw a small group of people of whom we suppose to be migrants.
Here you get an impression of Calais, the town and the port:
Sep 19, 2017
Nearly 3 months have passed since my last update. How did the number of infections develop?
As of Sep 15, 2017 the number of Zika virus disease cases was a total of 5.464 (source: CDC). That`s only 168 cases more than in June 2017, only a slight increase.
The number of pregnant women with lab evidence of Zika virus infection went up to 2.155, an increase of 192 since June 2017.
We will see how the numbers develop furthermore The inhabitants of Texas for instance fear that due to the recent flooding the number of insects will surge as they now find good breeding areas with an subsequently increasing number of infections. JG
Aug 26, 2017
Perhaps you remember the news in last winter that quite a lot of migrants who did not have permanent residency in the US fled to Canada crossing the border illegally and even some of them loosing fingers on their travel because of the cold.
Nothing was heard about that since then.
But now CNN reported that the number of migrants crossing the border to Canada steadily increased in the recent months with even a sharper increase in August 2017.
Please look at the numbers provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police:
Many of the people crossing the border to Canada are from Haiti. The Haitians had flooded the US after the earthquake in 2010 and again after the cholera outbreak in 2010. They have a "temporary protecte status" (TPS). And now the Trump administration had warned not to renew the TPS which will actually expire in January 2018.
Migrants who cross the border to Canada at a regular check point will be sent back to the US. So they are forced to cross the border illegally. Once in Canada they are arrested and then they can apply for asylum.
Because of the high influx of migrants Canadian authorities were forced to set up tents and to board the migrants in the 1976 Olympic stadium in Montreal.
But asylum is not guaranteed in Canada. There is still a lot of uncertainty for the migrants. JG
June 26, 2017
Some weeks ago there was a report in the media that some cases of Ebola infections have occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
But nothing was heard about it since. So what is going on?
As I found out the first cases and deaths of an unidentified disease started in late April 2017. On May 11, 2017 the Ebola outbreak was reported to the WHO. Since then there have been 5 confirmed and 3 probable cases. The last confirmed case was isolated on May 17, 2017. The fatality rate was 50% as 4 persons died and 4 persons survived.
There had been about 99 suspected cases but none of them proved to be an Ebola infection.
So at the moment the health agencies and the residents still have to be cautious for quite some time but there is a good chance that the outbreak is stopped as to the WHO. JG
June 24, 2017
At the moment it is easy going in regard to Zika infections. In Texas there is no more a locally acquired case of infection.
In Florida there are no additional locally acquired cases since November 2016. All the surveillance zones have been lifted at least since December 2016.
In the US travel associated Zika infections however still occur, but the number of cases only increased slightly from 5.182 cases in March 2017 to 5.296 cases in June 2017.
Nevertheless all people are advised to take caution and use repellents to prevent mosquito bites. JG
June 10, 2017
Less than a year ago an earthquake struck the middle of Italy in the region of Amatrice. It was indeed the beginning of a string of earthquakes. How does the region look like now? Here you can see photos of Amatrice that are taken on May 26, 2017.
June 03, 2017
Do you remember the media reports about the earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy in April 2009? Eight years have passed since. What about the reconstruction? Here you can have a look. The photos are taken on May 26, 2017.
Look at the corner of the house. It is held together by a tension belt.
But there are not only broken houses. There are already completely restored houses.
As you see on the photos the town is very empty, no tourists, no residents, only craftspeople. There are only very few stores reopened.
On the next photos you can see the tower of the church held upright by metal and all the cladding of the external wall collected.
May 21, 2017
As to B92.net there are currently about 8.000 migrants in Serbia intending to go to the EU.
The unproper facilities where hundreds of migrants had stayed in recent time are shut down and will be destroyed. All the migrants had been moved to regular facilities provided by the authorities without any problem. JG
May 21, 2017
As to ekathimerini there are about 1.500 migrants on the island of Chios currently with a total of 13.758 migrants on the eastern Aegean Islands. JG
Apr 07, 2017
It`s time to provide a Zika virus update. Since my last report there was only a little increase in the number of Zika virus infections. As of March 29, 2017 there is a total of 5.182 cases of symptomatic disease in the US with 216 cases in Florida and 6 cases in Texas that are locally acquired as far as is known to the date.
There are viremic blood donors who do not suffer from any symptoms when donating blood. A total of 43 cases is known, with 23 of them in Florida and 3 of them in Texas. That doesn`t surprise anyone with the great number of infections there and the possibility of becoming locally infected. Therefore the blood is always screened for the presence of Zika virus RNA (genetic information) .
The number of congenital infections did not rise so far. It is still 27 cases. JG
Feb 28, 2017
To the date of Feb 28, 2017 there is a slight increase in Zika virus infections in mainland US. Since Jan 18, 2017 the number of travel-associated cases has risen from 4.683 to 4.747 . In Florida 221 cases are now locally acquired compared to 211 cases up to Jan 18, 2017. There is no further case of locally acquired Zika infection in Texas ,i.e. there are still 6 cases.
Sexual transmission occurred in 44 cases (38 cases up to Jan 18, 2017). To the date there are 27 congenital infections but no information of the outcome is available so far.
More details can be found on the homepage of the CDC. JG
Feb 18, 2017
As I learned from B92.net Info Park, a joint project of two local philanthropic organizations that serves as an organisation of helping refugees in Serbia on their way to other European countries has started language classes last August teaching German to girls and women. Thus the refugees don´t loose time while waiting to be able to reach Germany. The teachers are volunteers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland and use the official program ot the German government. Especially the girls of early school age are eager to learn German. They all score between 92 and 99 points out of 100 points.
As B92.net reports the most successful participants had been offered free advanced learning classes at the Goethe Institute Belgrade. JG
Jan 27, 2017
In the media nothing is heard about very concerning incidents in the Aegean which are reported by ekathimerini:
The Hellenic National Defense General Staff (HNDGS) provided a detailed report of Turkey´s violations in the Aegean over the past 8 years, such as maritime incidents, air traffic infringements, national air space violations, numbers of armed aircraft, dogfights with Greek interceptors . The number of incidents spiked in 2016, for example the Turkish Air Force carried out 57 overflights over Greek territory in 2016.
The Turks often refuse identification to Greek pilots since they are certain not to be shot down, and so they continue their flight into Greek air space.
In Greece the far left and the far right differ so much in how to counteract so that they are unable to utilize the tools that exist, both diplomatically and militarily, to stop the Turks. JG
Jan 22, 2017
Since my last update on the Zika virus situation in the US on Jan 04, 2017 the number of infections did not change very much. As to the CDC there is one more locally acquired Zika virus infection in Florida. so the total number is now 211. and there is no additional locally acquired Zika infection in Texas. the number remains 6.
All travel-associated cases are now a total of 4.683 and still one case of labortory-acquired case.
There are 38 sexually transmittd cases and 13 cases of Guillain-Barré-syndrome, a severe neurological disease as side effect.JG
Jan 06, 2017
As to ekathimerini large numbers of refugees have been transferred to the mainland from overcrowded camps on the islands in recent days, but hundreds more remain there in the cold in unsufficient accommodations and have to sleep in tents. So it is no surprise that an increase in cases of flu was seen there.
As the accommodation situation is very difficult, migrants have even been brought to police precincts, but nobody thinks this could be a permanent situation.
The "European Border and Coast Control Agency", the successor to "Frontex" is creating a rapid response team. It will consist of 1.500 personnel, Greece will take part with 50 people. In Greece the applications have to be submitted by jan 08, 2017.
In emergency situations the rapid response team will be at work within a period of 5 days. JG
Jan 04, 2016
There are still only in Florida and Brownsville, Texas locally acquired cases of Zika infections. As to the CDC up to Dec 28, 2016 there were 210 cases in Florida and 6 cases in Texas. All other infections, altogether 4.593 cases are travel-associated, including infections by sexual contacts of travelers or infected infants in utero. Not included are infections on American Samoa, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. JG
Jan 03, 2017
In 2016 the applications for asylum in Greece steadily increased with skyrocketing in November: 593 percent in November compared to the monthly average in 2015.
Applications by women have risen even by 933 percent and by uncompanied children by 711 percent. Most of the applications were done in northern and northeastern Greece i.e. Thessaloniki and Thrace as well as on Lesvos. Up to November 2016 5.800 refugees had been transferred to other european countries by th program for relocation that is going on. JG
Dec 30, 2016
The tourism industry on the Greek islands has declined very much due to the refugee crisis. Booking of hotel rooms, conferences, arrivals of criuse ships, flights from abroad, all had been cancelled.
Altogether the season of tourism ended two months earlier than it does usually.
The Greek islands are no longer associated with their natural beauty, their rich history and their traditions but instead the images of refugees and migrant camps prevail.
Charter flights to the Greek island of Lesbos declined about 58%, to Chios about 68% and to Samos about 23%. There are no charter flights planned to Chios for 2017! (as to ekathimerini) JG
Dec 22, 2016
The EU-Turkey deal does not apply for the land border. That is why this border region sees an increase in migrants crossing the Evros. They usually cross in boats, ferried by Turks. Then they walk to the next village that is about 1.5 km away.
The number of migrants using this route is not known, only the number of migrants that were arrested is known and this number shows a rapid increase: about 655 people in October plus 33 smugglers.
The Greek authorities prevent about 4.000 people every month from crossing the Evros by patrolling on the Greek side and calling the Turk authorities when recognizing migrants going to cross the river. That is 3 times the number seen in the summer months.
There are many dangers when crossing here as there is a fence at some point as well as a ditch filled with water and there are still land mines from the Greek-Turkish war hidden in the earth. JG
Dec 17, 2016
In most states of the US Zika virus infections are present, but only in the Miami area in Florida and in Brownsville, Texas the infections are locally acquired. In all other states the infections are travel-related. To the date of Dec 14, 2016 only 1 locally acquired case occurred in Brownville, Texas. Nevertheless a cautionary area has been implemented. The precautionary measures are such as pregnant women avoiding travelling to Brownsville, postponing planned pregnancy, preventing mosquito bites and testing and diagnosis.
Brownsville, Texas is a town at the southern border to Mexico near the Gulf coast, i.e. it is warm and wet there, just the right environment for mosquitos. JG
Dec 04, 2016
Meanwhile Miami Beach, Florida is part of the affected areas of Zika virus outbreak. The authorities provide the actual data and publish them in the internet on a regular basis. Up to now there are 1.222 confirmed Zika cases in Florida. They are distributed as follows:
travel-related infections: 963
locally acquired infection: 244
pregnant women with lab-evidence of Zika: 174
Below the red shows Miami Beach.
The authorities started in August 2016 to implement measures to reduce the mosquito population by sraying larvacides spray and adulticides spray via truck or airplane at the places where clusters of infections had been determined.
In addition the residents are urged to eliminate standing water no matter how small it may be (i.e. in a bottle cap).
The authorities offer free risk assessment and testing to pregnant women. JG
Dec 03, 2016
We all saw it in the media: winter has arrived in northern Greece with snow falling. That led to mud and cold in the refugee reception centers and thus the living conditions had deteriorated significantly. So one news agency reported of a child having died due to the cold in a camp near Thessaloniki as ekathimerini reports. But the ministry denies.
On Chios as well there was very bad weather with gale-force winds tearing up dozens of tents and leaving about 200 migrants in the mud in addition to the bad conditions that had already existed due to some arsons and the riots of last month.
In Hungary now a Syrian man was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was one of the leaders on Sep 16, 2015 at the southern border with Serbia who had talked to the crowd of refugees using a loudspeaker, forcing to open the border and throwing stones at the police. Hungary declares this an act of terrorism. JG
Nov 20, 2016
About one week ago a group of migrants , mainly Afghans and Pakistani walked from Belgrade to the Croatian border near the town of Sid where they tried to cross into Croatia illegaly through corn fields. The police stopped them. Serbian authorities offered them to bring them to a center for asylum seekers, but the migrants refused. Finally they were brought back to Belgrade by train. Now they are currently staying in an abandoned warehouse without sufficient sanitary facilities and cooking their meals over open fire with all the danger resulting. When asked about their intentions they tell that soon they will go to the border again trying to reach the EU, but then, they tell, there will be much more people doing so. JG
Nov 06, 2016
Today I want to inform you about some statistics provided by Eurostat in regard to the numbers of refugees in certain European countries. It takes some time to have the pictures appear. Please be patient. JG
Oct 25, 2016
Yesterday inside the Moria hot spot migrants, mostly men from Pakistan destroyed 4 containers where they had lived and dameged two others by throwing rocks and burning blankets. The riot police contained the protest. No one was injured.
The violence prompted the authorities on the other migrant hosting islands to increase their security measures.
As to ekathimerini the cause of the violence is the rumor that once the facilities are destroyed the migrants will be transported to the mainland. Meanwhile the arrivals of migrants from Turkey on the Greek islands are again increasing, thus 370 of them recorded in the past 3 days and so does the number of migrants detected in the northeastern Evros region in Greece. JG
Oct 24, 2016
On Dec 08, 2015 I told you about the border control Sweden had implemented due to the influx of migrants. How did it go on? Is the border control still in effect?
The Swedish government has decided to continue the border control at least up to Nov 11, 2016. They made the decision in accordance to the framework the EU had established. The Eu agrees to prolong the period to be informed about the border control from one month to two months. As done before the border control will take place in the south and west at certain border crossings with the Swedish Police Authority deciding about what is necessary. JG
Oct 03, 2016
The Zika virus outbreak is regarded an emergency for the public health of international concern by the WHO and PAHO (Pan American Health Organization). On Feb 14, 2016 WHO launched a programme to control the infections worldwide (Strategic Response Framework and Joint Operations Plan). So far 60 partners have joined in, such as UNICEF. They work on community level as well as on police level to control the spread of Zika virus.
There are monthly coordination meetings at the WHO. WHO has also published guidelines on its website in several languages.
Up to 60 countries have reported mosquito-borne transmission, not only Brasil, but also Cabo Verde, Columbia, El Salvador, French Polynesia, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico and so on.
Additionally the Zika virus is now known to be transmitted via a sexual route. Such a transmission is documented in 10 countries, for example Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Porugal and the USA.
Besides the microencephaly there is a congenital Zika syndrome with additional neurological complications not yet completely discovered as well as non-neurological complications such as thrombocytopenia. JG
Oct 02, 2016
Sep 18, 2016
The ship "Sea Watch" is still operating on the Mediterraneum to rescue refugees from their boats ( see my report dated May 9, 2016 on the German page). The ship started its 10. operation on Sep 17, 2016. Nearly a month Sea Watch had halted its search caused by a report that a ship of the doctors without borders had been fired on. JG
Aug 23, 2016
The economic crisis in Greece goes on! There are several key data that indicate that the crisis is still ongoing: the consumption of food and basic necessities dropped by 5% in the first half year of 2016 compared to the same half year in 2015. The prices per item had risen by 3.8% in the same period.
But there are good news as well: the bookings by tourists have sharply increased in the last weeks, only the islands hit by the refugee crisis are excluded of that increase. JG
Aug 21, 2016
The massive influx of refugees in Greece had had a negative impact on tourism that is still ongoing not only on th islands like Kos and Lesbos but also on the camper arrivals in mainland Greece. Compared to 2015 only 30% of campers visited Greece so far. Only the Greek campers themselves are as numerous as in the previous year as to ekathimerini.com. JG
Aug 11, 2016
In Aug 2015 there was a wildfire in the Central Okanagan Valley near Peachland at the Highway 97C in British Columbia.
Here you can see how it looks like one year later.
You can see the standing dead trees, the soil between them shows a little bit green again, but no bushes or new trees can be seen. The fire was near the town and I can imagine that the people feared to see their homes and businesses burn. JG
Jul 09, 2016
Yes, the migrant crisis still exists. As I found out on B92.net in the previous night 334 migrants entering Serbia from Bulgaria were registered and 158 more from Macedonia. Everybody expects that there are more but undetected.
Serbia stated that Hungary tries to return migrants to Serbia without a legal basis. As Croatia is thinking about building a fence Serbia fears to be left alone with the migrants being trapped in Serbia. JG
Jul 09, 2016
There are still about 1500 migrants at the harbor of Piraeus, most of them illegal as their residence permit has expired. The Greek authorities will move them to several camps in the Peloponnes.
The data taken from the migrants show that 45 percent of them ate under the age of 17.
In the first days of July only 40 refugees arrived in Greece from Turkey. In the month of June the number was 1.488 with a number of 31.318 in June 2015. JG
Jun 25, 2016
The Alberta Government updated the information about the recovery process on June 22, 2016, but there is little new information compared to what I told you in my previous report. Nothing is said about the fire itself so I suppose it is completely contained. but remember the evacuation started on the beginning of May and it took 7 weeks to extinguish the fire.
The new information is that some more health-care services have resumed such as endoscopy, exercise stress testing and dialysis. JG
Jun 18, 2016
The fire is now contained. There is still a total of 15 wildfires in Alberta, but none out of control. The recovery efforts had been transitioned from the Government of Alberta to the "Wildfire Recovery Task Force".
In a previous report I told you about the "wildfire relief debit cards" which could be picked up by the evacuees. A total of 45,437 of them were distributed supporting more than 88,500 people and totalling 92 Mio Canadian dollars with an additional amount of 3 Mio Canadian dollars for those evacuees who had left the province.
Th boil water advisory is already lifted for some districts as well as the air-quality advisory. So for most people it is safe to return including children under age seven.
The airport is now fully operational.
The Health centre will be fully operational on June 21.
A donation strategy is in place to co-ordinate collection and distribution of donations for the residents. JG
Jun 12, 2016
Update 39 was published on Jun 10, 2016.
Now about 73 per cent of the Fort McMurray wildfire is contained, though it is still declared out of control. The fire risk has stabilized to moderate or even low. The weather conditions have improved to a relative humidity of 75 per cent. The winds are now at 15 km/h from north-northeast.
Some more information: drones are not allowed to fly because the fire crews need safe access to air space.
The different community offices and businesses are going to open again, such as the Alberta Works Centre and Development Council on June 13, the Fish and Wildlife District Office has already resumed operations, the Provincial Court will re-open on Monday June 20, Oil Sands Discovery Centre will re-open on July 1.
There is specific information about which health service will open at what date and where.
Since June 10, the Fort McMurray International Airport is open for limited commercial travel.
Residents with severe diseases such as asthma, cancer, when having received a transplant or women with high risk pregnancies or patients in need of dialysis should not yet return. JG
Jun 05, 2016
The wildfire is still out of control though it is 56 per cent contained as we can read in the last update published by the Alberta government on June 04, 2016.
There was scattered precipitation on June 03, 2016 but still the humidity is 30 per cent with west winds 25-40 km/h and a temperature of 23 C. Air quality is still low.
Re-entry as I described in my previous report is on track. Traffic is free flowing an the highways northbound and southbound. Several thousand vehicules had travelled north or south.
A total of 26,074 people had visited the information centres. There is a "Property Visit Program" that enables people to visit their destroyed homes. You have to book by telephone.
A tackifier application is being applied to debris to prevent ash and other contaminants from becoming airborne. It is a compound used in landfills for example. It will be completed by June 10, 2016.
The Alberta government has set up consumer investigation teams to monitor consumer prices and thus prevent gouging and scams. They have fixed prices for hotels and rental properties at April 30 rates.
Returning residents are encouraged to check their smoke detectors as the wildfire smoke may have damaged the sensors.
The Red Cross has raised more than 125 Mio Can. Dollars donation. JG
May, 28, 2016
The last update on the Fort McMurray wildfire was published on May 27, 3:15 pm local time. It says that the fire conditions are still high to extreme. The Fort McMurray wildfire now covers about 576,781 hectares in Alberta and 3,200 hectares in Saskatchewan. There are now a total of 20 wildfires in Alberta, with one out of control.
2,309 firefighters, 104 helicopters, 261 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 air tankers are at work across Alberta with quite a number of firefighters coming from outside Canada: 298 firefighters from South Africa, 198 from the US and of course several others from other Canadian states.
At the moment the relative humidity is about 40 per cent, the temperature is 21 C with the possibility of rain showers over the weekend.
The plan for re-entry (see my report below) is still on track. A booklet and an information centre were set up to inform the residents.
All persons who want to re-enter are informed to bring the basic necessities for up to 14 days such as food, drinking water and prescriptions. They are as well informed that there will be no licensed child-care.
Oil sand operations have already begun a phased re-entry.
The government has set up a small business support centre.
There is still no public access to Fort Mcurray. A traffic control point is installed at the oversized load rest area south of Fort McMurray.
All persons travelling north must make sure to have enough fuel for a round trip as the gas supply is limited. JG
May 22, 2016
As to the update released by the Alberta Government on May 21, 2016 the fire conditions remain extreme and the McMurray wildfire is still out of control. It covers now 504,443 hectares, 741 of which are in Saskatchewan.
There are 1,860 firefighters, 189 helicoüters, 306 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently at work.
ATCO employees (the supply company) had restored gas services to about 75 per cent of undamaged houses in Fort McMurray and electricity had been restored to more than 90 per cent of undamaged buildings.
The preliminary re-entry plan has been published, starting on June 1, 2016 in 5 different zones.
With a temperature of 18 C and a relative humidity of 45 per cent rainfall is strongly needed.
The highways we had seen in the media with all the vehicules leaving the region are now open to through traffic in both directions again.
There is an app provided by the Alberta government enabling the Fort McMurray residents see their homes via images from a French satellite and enabling them to realize if it is damaged or not. JG
May 16, 2016
Some days ago the media was full of news about the wildfire devouring Fort McMurray. We all saw the pictures of the flames and rows of vehicules leaving the town.
How did it go on? What about the fire now? Is it still burning?
The Alberta Government releases an update on the fire on a regular basis. The last one is dated May 15, 5:45 pm MDT (-8 hours to MESZ) The update not only tells us something about the wildfire itself but also about what the people have to deal with.
It reads: The fire remains out of control. It covers approximately 251.000 hectares. The fire operations include back burn fires to stop the spreading. There are 9 new fire starts in the last 24 hours. There is a total of 15 wildfires at the moment with 2 of them out of control.
ATCO, a supply company has 300 workers deployed to Fort McMurray including a team of water specialists to assess the damage.
Fort McMurray and several neighboring towns are still under a mandatory evacuation order.
The weather forecast tells that there won´t be any rainfall until May 18.
The drivers who had to abandon their vehicule on the highway are pledged to call a certain telephone number.
The update also tells a number of topics which have to be fulfilled before the inhabitants are allowed to return, the most important of which is that the fire is no longer an imminent threat. It is planned to release the details in about 10 days.
There is an emergency financial assistance installed. Every adult gets 1.250 Dollars, every child 500 Dollars. Thus up to May 14, 51.6 Mio Dollars have been distributed.
Canada Post has set up a mail-forwarding service for all displaced persons.
All evacuees should register with the Red Cross to make sure that they receive all the required information.
There are as well some information about hospital affairs such as surgeries and court affairs.
The water should be boiled in that region.
The air quality is measured intensively, the data are available in the internet.
The access to Fort McMurray remains restricted to emergency response and essential services. A permit is required to enter the town. JG
May 10, 2016
As I read on B92.net migrants continue arriving in Belgrade despite the Balkan route being closed. About 300 to 500 refugees are in Belgrade at any one time.
The structures and facilities that had been in place over a period of about 9 months to assist the refugees had been closed due to the closure of the Balkan route. That is why the refugees now arriving are in very bad condition with some of them without proper clothing or shoes. Again several hundreds of food packages are given to them during the day.
Some of the refugees then went to the asylum camp in Krnjaca. As to the report many of the refugees intend to move on to the hungarian border. JG
May 8, 2016
There is no longer a weekly report published by the WHO, but nevertheless the WHO follows up on the Ebola cases.
In my report dated March 25, 2016 I told about the flare-up in Liberia and Guinea. At the moment the last two cases of Ebola, a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old boy have recovered and have been discharged from the hospital. In Liberia the two 21-day-incubation-cycles of increased surveillance started on Apr 29, 2016 and will thus end on June 10, 2016.
In Guinea this period of increased surveillance will end on May 31, 2016. In this new flare-up 8 people died, the two boys I mentioned above survived. Most of the 1.000 contacts and contacts of contacts were easily surveilled, but some high risk contacts just disappeared. That is how the flare-up was brought from Guinea to Liberia.
1.500 contacts were vaccinated with an experimental vaccine.
The health professionals did genetic sequencing of the virus and discovered that the tansmission chain suggests the infected to have been exposed to body fluids of survivors, not to have been infected by a re-introduction of Ebola virus from the wild.
Up to one year the virus can survive in body fluids. So some flare-ups may still occur from time to time, but it is supposed to decrease in frequency. JG
Apr 30, 2016
As the newspaper "El Diario" of Ecuador publishes there is in Puerto Rico the first victim of the Zika virus who died due to the infection.
He is a 70- year- old man who came to the clinic with fever and died within less than 24 hours due to an extreme decrease of platelets resulting in internal hemorrhagia.
At the end of February a thrombocytopenia had been diagnosed. Now the patient had less than 1.000 per mL. Normal values are 150.000 to 450.000 per mL blood.
His death is considered to be directly caused by the Zika virus. JG
Apr 30, 2016
In the internet I found several new information about the aftermaths of the earthquake in Ecuador. The death toll is now 660 persons, 33 persons are still missing. 4.605 persons are injured.
The government considers to increase the VAT from 12 to 14 percent and impose additional social charges to get the money for rebuilding.
It seems to be sure that many buildings collapsed because the building rules established to enable the structures to withstand an earthquake had often been ignored. JG
Apr 27, 2016
By (of code) cs:User:-xfi- (own code) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Greek police had removed the migrants and their tents from the railroad tracks near Idomeni to enable the trains to pass again. They had done so already several days ago but then the refugees had come back.
This time the authorities had handed out the information that the border will certainly remain closed and urging them to move to buildings prepared for them.
At the moment about 2680 migrants stay at piraeus port with only 27 arriving an that day.
In the online paper of ekathimerini there was a story about minors from arabian countries being held in prison in Greece for smuggling migrants from Turkey to Greece. They face trial there with a possibility of up to 30 years in prison. As they tell they were forced to steer the boats, otherwise they were told that all women and children would be thrown into the water. So they agreed in exchange for a free ride. JG
Apr 19, 2016
Officially the Ebola crisis was declared to have ended although there are still some cases of Ebola disease. But as these cases had been discovered fast and treated professionally they do not count for the crisis. And therefore there is no further weekly report published by the WHO.
Nevertheless we have to be concerned and prepared for further outbreaks. At the beginning of the crisis there had been reports that patients had been treated with some new drugs not yet approved by the authorities. As the disease is often fatal it is accepted to administer such drugs.
In the internet I searched for those drugs. Most of them are vaccines which are in the development of big pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Vaccines USA, Johnson and Johnson and others. These vaccines are tested in phase I to phase III trials. I count a total of 9 vaccines.
But other drugs are tested as well: plasma of patients who have survived the Ebola disease and now have antibodie against the virus in their blood, or antiviral substances, monoclonal antibodies, nucleosid analoga, interferon, drugs against malaria and even more. Most of them are tested under the conditions of a clinical trial, some as just a treatment attempt.
Several countries are involved: besides USA and UK Japan, Canada and China. JG
Apr 09, 2016
In the midth of last week Austria announced to tighten rules on whom would receive asylum in Austria, beginning in mid May. Thus persons who are under threat for safety in the neighboring countries they had transited would be allowed for instance.
At this point in time there are already considerations to have the border at the Brenner pass controlled as restrictively as already done in Spielberg.
Austria is determined not to exceed its limit of 37500 asylum seekers in 2016. JG
Mar 25, 2016
The Greek online newspaper ekathimerini tells today that Bulgaria is ready to build a fence at its border to Greece. The parliament agreed last month to let the army assist the police in defending the border. The border with Greece is 500 km long. Bulgaria thinks that Greece did not start measures to protect its border to Bulgaria during the last months.
Already in November 2013 Bulgaria started to build a barbed wire fence along its border with Turkey. 100 km of the planned 166 km are already done. JG
Mar 25, 2016
There is not yet a new weekly summary report published by the WHO so far, but a report that indeed the Ebola outbreak I told before is larger than expected. The total number of probable or confirmed Ebola cases is 5, two of the confirmed cases have died. As one of the confirmed cases had travelled around there are many contacts to be surveilled , 100 are considered high-risk, 716 more persons are considered lower risk but have to be surveilled nevertheless. JG
Mar 20, 2016
Every week the WHO publishes a report about the actual Ebola situation. So did it on March 16, 2016. No new Ebola case was reported. But then, 2 days later, on March 18, 2016 Guinea reported 3 unexplained deaths in recent weeks in a rural village of Guinea with other family members showing symptoms related to Ebola. 2 persons were tested positive, a mother and her 5-year-old son.
These are the first confirmed cases of Ebola since the disease had been declared over on Dec 29, 2015.
As to the possibility to contract Ebola from survivors of the disease (see my report dated Mar 5, 2016) the Ebola virus has been found in breast milk of surviving women up to 16 months! So it is very important not to breastfeed, a very difficult situation in developing countries! JG
Mar 13, 2016
As you can read in the english online edition of the Greek newspaper ekathimerini there are two cases of Hepatitis A in the camp near Idomeni. Hepatitis A is transmitted via infected food, water or by infected people. The Greek army meanwhile has deployed 7 transportable water tanks to provide clean water and the Greek authorities urge the migrants to move to shelters.
In the last 24 hours 629 more migrants have arrived on the Greek islands. That seems to me to be much less than in the days before. JG
Mar 05, 2016
By Zscout370 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Some time ago the Ebola outbreak seemed to have ended. Then there was again the headline that there are new confirmed cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone. Two persons had been tested positive, one of which, a young woman died. Her aunt survived. The contacts of these two people were certainly supervised. None of them developped symptoms of Ebola. The 21-day-incubation period had ended on Feb 11, 2016. The surveillance goes on until March 17, 2016.
It was on Nov 7, 2015 that the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone had been declared to have ended. It is unknown where the young woman who died contracted the infection. It may be from an animal reservoir or from a person who had survived the infection. As I reported previously the male semen is often still tested positive after the infection, and in the eyes as well the virus can survive. JG
Feb 22, 2016
The "Lübecker Flüchtlingsforum" postet on facebook on Feb 9, 2016 that daily about 20 refugees who have valid travel document go on to Sweden. the others stay for a few days to think about what to do, wither to register here or go on nevertheless.
Sweden will resume train services between Denmark and Sweden on March 1, 2016. The train services had been suspended on January 4, 2016 to reduce the influx of migrants. The passengers will then have to be at the train 30 min prior to departure to have their travel documents controlled (source: CPH Post online)
Due to a report of B92 there seemed to be a closure of the Serbian border to Macedonia for a short time. But the Serbian minister of the Interior denies. He says Serbia intends to have only migrants coming in who had been registered at the Macedonian-Greek border. To register means to have the biometric data taken from the migrants to make sure that they only come from Syria, Irak and Afghanistan.
B92 tells as well that the UNHCR proposes an amount of 47 Mio USD to Serbia (12 Mio USD provided by the UNHCR, nothing mentioned about who will provide the 35 Mio USD) if Serbia closes its border and thus follows the example of Austria who probably will close its border soon. The money is to help Serbia cope with the migrants who are then stranded there. JG
Feb 14, 2016
Senado Federal - Bento Rodrigues, Mariana, Minas Gerais…
O rompimento da barragem de rejeitos da mineradora Samarco, cujos donos são a Vale a anglo-australiana BHP, causou uma enxurrada de lama que inundou várias casas no distrito de Bento Rodrigues, em Mariana, na Região Central de Minas Gerais. Inicialmente, a mineradora havia afirmado que duas barragens haviam se rompido, de Fundão e Santarém. No dia 16 de novembro, a Samarco confirmou que apenas a barragem de Fundão se rompeu. Local: Distrito de Bento Rodrigues, Município de Mariana, Minas Gerais. Foto: Rogério Alves/TV Senado
Einzelheiten zur Genehmigung
Do you remember the headlines about the desaster in Brasil on Nov 6, 2015?
The dam of a retention basin of a mine broke and the toxic mud flooded the country, 17 people died.
How did it go on so far? As I could find out, at the end of December 2015 an agreement was reached for some compensation money for the victims. Every month the families will get about 185 € plus 20% for each family member plus the basic foods. It is a kind of minimum wage. Additionally they will receive a one-time payment of 2000-4000€. The ones who had lost a family member will receive about 23000€.
By TUBS - Own workThis vector graphics image was created with Adobe Illustrator.This file was uploaded with Commonist.This vector image includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this: Brazil location map.svg (by NordNordWest)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17022821
There is not yet an agreement about the housing situation. As the village Bento Rodrigues is covered and destroyed by the mud many residents have to be relocated.
The assets of Samarco, the owner of the mine as well as the assets of the two holding companies Vale (brasilian) and BHP Billiton (international) were freezed.
On Nov 22, 2015 the mud had reached the mouth of the Rio Doce into the Atlantic Ocean. JG
Feb 08, 2016
Do you remember the photos of the snow chaos in Washington D.C. and other places? The roads were closed, schools were closed, the metro was shut down.
How long did it last? How does it look like today? I retrieved the weather dates and snow amounts from accuweather.com.
On Friday, Jan 22, 2016 in Washington D.C. the snow fall was 16.5 cm. On Jan 23, 2016 an additional 28.7 cm were added. On the days from Jan 24, 2016 on no more snow fell. The temperatures were at least during daytime above 0°C.
to the end of the month no more snow fell. In New York as well, day time temperatures were above 0°C.
All the snow is gone as you can see yourself by using the link to the New York city webcams above. Live pictures can only be seen on PCs, on mobile devices there is only a photo.JG
Jan 24, 2016
Do you remember the Greek finacial crisis? Do you remember how the people queued up in front of the ATM to draw out their money just before the implementation of capital controls?
With the implementation of capital controls only little money could be drawn from the ATMs.
As I read in an online Greek newspaper the big banknotes of 100 or 200 or even 500 Euros are appearing in the economy again to pay for the daily needs including taxes.
legend: Sorry I am unable to show you the big bills!!
These big banknotes are not supposed to come from the very rich but more likely from ordinary people who had just hidden their money at home instead of leaving it at the dreaded bank.
Many very rich people are still presumed to hide their money abroad with the Greek government unwilling to investigate. JG
Jan 17, 2016
At the end of December 2015 you could see images of burning trees and homes in Australia. One of the greatest bushfires ever seen was going on.
How did the fires develop? Are they still burning? I could find an update in the internet. Today, January 17, 2016 there are still numerous bushfires.
Here is the link where you can have a look by yourself.JG
Jan 03, 2016
von MCSN Spike Call [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
On January 12, 2010 a devastating earthquake had struck Haiti. We all remember the photos of destroyed houses and the people camping in parks or on the streets. What about the reconstruction?
I could find out some information in the internet. The UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) has published a video where it explains about what has been done in Haiti so far. As an emergency programme it started to clear the streets from the debris. About 1 Mio m3 debris was removed and mostly recycled to plaster the streets. It created 35.000 temporary jobs and it took 18 months to clear the streets from the debris. There are as well longer lasting programmes to enable the people to build new homes by using quality material and when building to take into account that there is always a high possibility of natural desasters.
One big improvement is to have street lights installed that run by solar panel created electricity, thus providing more security on the streets.
The video of the UNDP also tells that 50 camps had been closed since then. But when I read in a report which the "Le Nouvelliste", an Haitian newspaper has published in 2013, that there had been a total of 496 camps distributed over the whole state of Haiti, it seems to me that there is only little progress in reconstruction. JG
Dec 26, 2015
By Government of Liberia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The WHO submits a report on the Ebola situation on a weekly basis, last one was submitted on Dec 22, 2015.
There are no new cases. The last death associated with Ebola was on Nov 23, 2015, a 15 year old boy. The father and younger bother survived and were discharged after a second negative test on Ebola.
210 persons related to these cases had received an Ebola vaccine (PREVAIL study).
These last Ebola infections are - as we now know - caused by an re-emergence of Ebola in a person who had been previously infected. There is only a little chance of re-emergence, but you must not neglect the possibility. Therefore Liberia and Sierra Leone have started a programme to enable male survivors on a voluntary basis to have their semen tested on Ebola.
Besides the immediate treatment of people infected with Ebola the WHO made great efforts to support the very high risk and high risk countries to be prepared to manage an eventual future Ebola outbreak. That means first of all that there is a national plan how to respond followed by providing "personal protective equipment (PPE) modules" containing staff protection and equipment to run a 10-bed-unit for 10 days with all necessary functions. Additionally the WHO provides a training unit to each country. Last not least the WHO stockpiled such PPE-units in Accra and Dubai in case of an emergency. JG
Dec 20, 2015
Do you remember the hotspots to be established at the border of the EU to register all refugees coming in, especially in Greece and Italy?
One of these hotspots has been inaugurated in October on Lesbos as you can read in the online edition of "Kathimerini" on Dec 11, 2015. The hotspot is open around the clock. At the moment the days are much more quiet than in the weeks before as there are about 2000 people daily arriving at the shores of Lesbos and in the weeks before there had been up to 10000 daily arrivals.
Newcomers at this hotspot are separated based on their nationality. Afghans, Pakistanis and Iranians are not allowed to stay in Greece and have to leave the country within 30 days. Syrians, Iraqis, Somalis, Palestinians, Yemenis, South-Sudanese and Eritreans are allowed to stay in Greece for 6 months on "humanitarian reasons". All the information is written on a paper as a temporary authorization document.
At the hotspot the UNHCR provides 68 hard tents, toilets and food. A large mobile phone company provides free Internet access and phone-charging stations. JG
Dec 08, 2015
In the newspaper "Svenska Dagbladet" , dated Dec 08, 2015 you can read that there are discussions to close the Öresund Bridge due to the refugee crisis, but the conservatives will not agree.
In the same edition there is a discussion about the fact that the people crossing the Mediterranian are called refugees and they are compared to the Latin-Americans who want to enter the USA and are called migrants .
On Dec 6, 2015 there was a report in the same newspaper about the fact that among native Swedish inhabitants the unemployment rate is about 4.5%, the unemployment rate among immigrants however is about 21.6%.JG
Dec 06, 2015
The influx of migrants into Serbia has dropped very much. At the moment about 500 people enter the country every day from which about 100 to 200 migrants enter from Bulgaria as to b92. JG
Dec 06, 2015
At the moment there are about 5000 people ath the Greek-Macedonian border who are not allowed to cross into Macedonia. The other migrants are protected by Greek police building a cordon because there had been clashed between the groups where two men had suffered head injuries. JG
Dec 06, 2015
Some days ago you could read in the headlines that Montenegro has been invited to join the NATO.
What had not been in the headlines and what you can read in the online edition of b92 is the report that Russia will stop its cooperation and jointventures with Montenegro if it joins the NATO. This seems to be the development of a similar situation which we still experience with Ukraine. Montenegro is another state that tends to join western alliances and leaves the Russian area of influence. JG
Nov 14, 2015
In Sep 2014 students in Hong Kong started to block the streets to protest against restrictions to nominate candidates for an election in the future. In Dec 2014 the crowds were dispersed by the police.
What happened to the protesters, especially the leaders?
Leader Joshua Wong can be seen on an actual photo in the internet, but he is charged of unlawful assembly. So is Nathan Law, another leader. Many activists avoid travelling to mainland China as they fear to be detained there. They all say that they go on protesting, but in a different way such as in regard to problems in the internet or academic freedom or focusing on local problems. They all share the opinion that the political awareness is higher than before and that protest could start again at every moment.
But in mainland China 8 people are indeed in custody. They had supported the protests by posting news and photos of the protest online and had shown banners in public. The sentence can be several years in prison. Amnesty international had launched a compaign to help them.
As to CNN C.Y.Leung, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong remains in charge. JG
Nov 10, 2015
In Sep 2015 you could see pictures of the smog in Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and others) in the media. The smog came from and comes every year from the burning jungle in Malaysia. It is illegaly burnt. During the dry saison the smog spreads over Asia.
How does it look like today?
From Singapore I can update you as follows:
Since April 1, 2014 Singapore has established the "Pollutant Standard Index" (PSI) as an air polluting reporting index to measure the air quality;
Normal values are below 50. On Sep 25, 2015 a maximum of 320 was reached, a hazardous value, which was in the headlines. After that day the values dropped sharply to about 39 on Sep 31, 2015. In the month of October the values were very volatile. On Oct 1, 2015 the value was 199. In this month there was a total of 19 days with values in the unhealthy range between 100 and 200, all the other days were in the moderate range between 50 and 100. In the month of November all the measurements are in the moderate range about 80. For everyone who wants to have further updates, please look here:
By Trocaire from Ireland (DSC_0974) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Nov 4, 2015
There had been a very strong typhoon over Asia, especially over the Philippines and here over Tacloban city in 2013.
The "National Housing Authority "(NHA) of the Philippines had received 137 Mio Pesos , that is 2,925 Mio USD of cash donations, but have only spent 38,7 Mio Pesos, that is 826.000 USD to help the victims up to the end of 2014.The National Housing Authority only built 534 of 13.801 planned permanent houses up to now. So thousands are still living in bunkhouses and temporary shelters. The government only very slowly goes forward in its housing project.
The amount of money mentioned above is only the money given to the NHA. There are other government agencies that have received donations such as the Department of social Welfare and Development. With the flimsy argument that the victims of the typhoon did not submit complete requirements the donations were not given to them.
So my overall impression is that the victims still suffer, that there is too little relief yet. JG
Nov 01, 2015
During the calender week no 43 three new cases of Ebola infection were reported from Guinea. This is as many as during the calender week no 42. All three new cases are from the same household and have been high-risk contacts of a case reported in the previous week.
The 3 new cases are a woman who is 7-month pregnant, her 10 year old son and her 4 year old daughter. These 3 cases have generated 55 high-risk contacts that are now to be monitored.
In Sierra Leone all contacts of the last transmission chain have ended the 21 day surveillance. The last Ebola infected person who had been treated was tested negative a second time on Sep 25, 2015. If there are no new cases Sierra Leone will be declared Ebola free on Nov 7, 2015. JG
Oct. 27, 2015
On Sep 16, 2015 the costal area of Chile was hit by an earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter-scale. The earthquake immediately triggered a tsunami.
There is an overall toll of 13 dead people in Chile and one dead person in Argentina. The most affected city by the tsunami was Coquimbo, where a 4.5 metre-wave crushed on to the land. Coquimbo is located at a small peninsula. There the waves were reflected and the tsunami surged. You can easily see on the photo.
After the earthquake, within a very short period of time, one million people were evacuated, mostly getting the information by smartphone. This action and the fact that Chile has implemented very strong building codes saved many lives. Every new building must survive an earthquake as strong as 9.0 on the Richter-scale. Additionally there are 6 to 7 evacuation exercises every year. Due to all these facts the death toll is very low.
Nevertheless, there are about 200 fisherboats being swept ashore or dragged to open water by the tsunami. The last one of the boats swept ashore, the "Isla Picton" was recovered on Oct, 20, 2015. Manuel Cofré, the captain of "Isla Picton" made sure that the fishermen want to go to work very soon and thus help the local economy to recover. JG
How is the situation in Serbia and Macedonia?
Oct 21, 2015
As I learned from residents in Serbia many, even small towns in the south of Serbia are overflown by migrants.
In Presovo alone, a small town in the south, 5.000 migrants pass every day. Every day 3.500 meals are provided.
There is a request for donations of raingear and shoes. No food donations are required.
The migrants are registered in Serbia. It takes up to 2-3 hours to get through the process.
In Serbia, as well as in other European countries, factory halls are prepared for accommodation, even new access roads are built.
Serbia takes into account to build a wall towards Macedonia as soon as there are greater interruptions on the transit to Slovenia even so there are natural obstacles at the border such as wetlands. It would take 2-3 weeks to build that specific wall.
Macedonia reports that on Oct 16, 2015 8.900 migrants, on Oct 17, 2015 9.100 migrants and on Oct 18, 2015 9.200 migrants crossed the border from Greece. This total number of 27.000 is the greatest number of migrants since the great wave in summer.
The newspapers in Macedonia call the refugees migrants and not refugees as they are in Germany. JG
Oct 14, 2015
In August and September there were many photos depicting refugees walking along the "Balkan-route". A continuous flow of people walked along the tracks. You could see the crowds at the border to Hungary or at train stations.
In the last days there were only few photos of refugees on their way to Germany and when actually reports are highlighted with photos you do not know when they were taken. Are they new or are they from the archive?
How many refugees are actually on their way to Germany?
We wanted to know and drove to the German-Austrian border at Passau. Besides Munich Passau was mentioned as one of the cities where the refugees pass the border.
Have a look by yourself:
The photos were taken on Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 between noon and 3 pm in Passau and surrounding.
Photo 1 and 2 show the border to Austria exactly at the border of Passau.There is neither any kind of border control nor are there any refugees.
Photo 3 to 5 show the border control on the A3 just before Passau. You can recognize that the road narrows to one lane. You can see as well the tents prepared to register the refugees on the parking lot. At this point as well there are no refugees at that time.
So at the moment it remains unclear how large the number of refugees still is. Additionally I suppose that most of them come directly from Salzburg to Munich. At the moment there is no need for them to take any detour. JG
>>> Valley fire in California 100% contained since Oct 06, 2015>>> Valley fire in California 100 % contained since Oct 06, 2015>>>Valley fire in California 100% contained>>>>
Oct 04, 2015
Do you remember? On June 19, 2012 Julian Assange seeked refuge in the embassy of Ecuador in London and applied for political asylum.
This happened because Sweden tried to interview him due to allegations of sexual assault. Julian Assange feared to be arrested and turned over to the USA where he is accused of assisting the American Manning to reveal secret documents. More than 3 years have passed since then. Is Julian Assange still in the embassy?
As I could find out in the internet Julian Assange is indeed still in the embassy of Ecuador.
Naturally there have been several ideas how to leave the embassy sectretly, for instance in a non-marked car or openly with diplomatic immunity as a representative of Ecuador at the United Nations. None of these ideas were executed as the police is stationed in and outside the building around the clock.
Up to February 2015 the cost of the policing was about 10 mio English pound.
Meanwhile Sweden does not prosecute 3 minor allegations any longer. But the investigation of the allegation of rape is ongoing. As to the law this allegation can only be dropped in 2020.
Will Julian Assange and the embassy of Ecuador tolerate the difficult situation for such a long time?JG
Oct 01, 2015
Every day Cal Fire gives an update to the incidents with very specific information such as structures threatened and destroyed, number of injuries and fatalities, total personnel and equipment and a description of the conditions . The valley fire threatened 2,953 structures and 1,958 were destroyed. What a destruction!
On Sep 30, 2015 97% of the fire was contained and all restrictions had already been lifted.
Below you can see some photos of our archive. You find the description on the page "picture credits".
Sep 21, 2015
On Sep 12, 2015 the Valley Fire began at 1:24pm local time. The fire was horrendous. The people were forced to evacuate. Many houses and businesses were burnt. The photos of the fire and the destruction went around the world. It was a top story published in the headlines.
But for the last several days no further information was in the daily news, neither tv nor newspaper.
What about the fire today? What about the people and their daily life?
Every day the government releases an update.
Until now, Sep 12, 2015 70% of the fire is contained. The situation improved so well that the mandatory evacuation order is lifted on Sep 21, 2015 at 5:00pm local time.
The parents who are still displaced are encouraged to register their children at the nearest school to where they are currently residing.
All those people who want to enjoy some outdoor recreation have to be patient as there are still restrictions in place. JG
Sep 18, 2015
Today I want to provide an update on Ebola. The information comes from the website of WHO. I will summarize for you.
In the calender week 37 there were 5 new confirmed cases of Ebola infection in Sierra Leone. In Guinea there was for the first time in a year no further infection in a week. Since my last report on Ebola on Aug 27, 2015 there had been a total of 7 cases in Sierra Leone, and 3 cases in Guinea.
Among all the new cases in Sierra Leone there is one that is considered high risk as it happened in a region that had been ebola-free for 5 months and as the person had been sick for several days before brought to an Ebola hospital. Now there are 600 persons under surveillance who had some kind of contact to the infected child, who had already died.
A total of 1800 persons in Guinea and Sierra Leone are under surveillance.
On Sep 3, 2015 Liberia was declared ebola free. JG
Sep 07, 2015
Due to the earthquake on Apr 25, 2015 in Nepal the teams on the Mt.Everest had to stop climbing and cancel further expeditons. The media told that the prepared steps such as ladders etc had been destroyed.
Mountaineering the Himalaya range contributes to the income of the state of Nepal due to the fees as well as to the income of the people themselves. Therefore it is important to know in what extend the climbing had resumed or is going to resume.
On the homepage of the "Nepal Mountaineering Association" (NMA) you can read that on Sep 3, 2015 a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MoU) between NMA and NRNA (Non-resident Nepali Association) had been signed, containing several topics to revive tourism.
Actually the Team Kuriki has permission to climb Mt. Everest in autumn. It is the first team to climb Mt. Everest after the earthquake. The Team Kuriki is as I found out in the internet a Japanese sports team that had already climbed Mt. Everest in previous years.
There are actually 9 teams that have already permission to climb mountains in the Himalaya such as Annapurna I and South, Manaslu and Makalu and others.
4 more teams are in the process of permission. JG
Sep 03, 2015
On Aug 27, 2015 we wrote an email to the organization "nature conservancy of Louisiana" and asked for answers to our questions about fishing resources and birds´population today compared to the time before the oil spill. Up to now we did not receive an answer.
On Aug 29, 2015 we wrote an email to BP and asked the same questions. On Sep 1, 2015 we received an answer with the following link www.thestateofthegulf.com There you can read about how tourism and ecosystem recovered very well.
This corresponds to our impression when visiting the region in July 2015. JG
Aug 30, 2015
Five years ago, 2010, the oil platform "Deepwater Horizon" exploded in the Gulf of Mexico near the coastline of the USA and caused an immense oil pollution.
How does it look today?
The photos are taken in July 2015 and show the coastline of Louisiana at the Gulf of Mexico.
At the first glimpse everything seems to be okay. But is it really okay? We will keep at it for you. JG
Aug 27, 2015
One year ago nearly every day Ebola appeared in the headlines. Nowadays you rarely hear or read much about it. The number of infected people decreased rapidly, but the infection is not totally contained.
Referring to the WHO, dated Aug 23, 2015 there was one new case of infection in Sierra Leone in the last 21 days and in Guinea 8 cases of infection in the last 21 days.
Additionally the WHO announces online that from Aug 24, to Aug 25, 2015 five new cases of infection have been reported. The WHO does not tell in which countries. JG
Aug 27, 2015
One year ago nearly every day Ebola appeared in the headlines. Nowadays you rarely hear or read much about it. The number of infected people decreased rapidly, but the infection is not totally contained.
Referring to the WHO, dated Aug 23, 2015 there was one new case of infection in Sierra Leone in the last 21 days and in Guinea 8 cases of infection in the last 21 days.
Additionally the WHO announces online that from Aug 24, to Aug 25, 2015 five new cases of infection have been reported. The WHO does not tell in which countries. JG