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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Man dies of Ebola in Texa

A Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola outside of West Africa died in a Texas hospital Wednesday, as Washington stepped up airport screening against the deadly virus.

"Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle," said a statement from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Duncan is believed to have been infected with Ebola before he left Liberia and boarded a plane to visit family in Texas.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said there was "zero risk" that he had infected any fellow travelers because he was not symptomatic until days after the flight.

 Duncan's case however raised global fears, leading to a spike of suspected Ebola cases and forcing governments to consider stronger methods of keeping the virus at bay.

The world's largest outbreak of Ebola has killed more than 3,400 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal since the beginning of the year.

Hours after Duncan died, the White House announced that stricter airport screenings would be implemented at five major US airports.

The measures will include sending extra CDC staff to select airports and taking the temperatures of people arriving from Ebola-hit nations.

The "vast majority of people" coming from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- the three countries hit hardest by the epidemic -- will be screened, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. 

The airports implementing the measures are John F. Kennedy International in New York, Washington Dulles International, Chicago O'Hare International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Newark Liberty International in New Jersey. Read more :


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Japan Bans Child Porn Possession

The Japanese parliament Wednesday passed a law prohibiting the possession of photos and videos pertaining to child pornography although it excludes comics, animated films or computer graphics.
The law, that could come into effect next month, is an amendment of the 1998 law which banned the circulation and production of pornographic photos and videos with minors for the first time although it did not make illegal the possession of such content.

Under the new law, possession of this material will be punishable with up to a year of imprisonment or fines of up to 1 million yen (nearly $9,800).

The law also urges internet providers and other connected companies to collaborate in police investigations on law violations and compels them to take measures to prevent the circulation of such content.
Till now, Japan was the only G7 country where possession of child pornography was not punishable by law.

The revised law defines child pornography as photos and videos designed to show or focus on the intimate parts of children.
Three political groups proposed that the law include "the investigation of possible links between materials related to child pornography in the manga (comics), animation, computer graphics and other media and the violation of children's rights".

Nonetheless, the lack of support from the main opposition Democratic Party and pressure from the publishing, computer graphics and audiovisual industry as well as renowned cartoonists and illustrators forced them to retract the revision.

These powerful industries have blocked several initiatives seeking to limit the production and distribution of their contents.

Their argument is that these recreational activities do not violate the rights of any child and that broadening the definition of child pornography will result in a vague and subjective concept that could restrict the freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, groups in favour of extending the scope of the law argue that these products promote stereotypes of negative conduct.

Japan, along with Russia and the US, is considered one of the principal traffic generators on the internet with regard to child pornography.

In all, 1,633 child pornography cases were uncovered by the Japanese police in 2013, 10 times more than in 2000, an increase believed to be due to the rising use of smartphones.

However, experts and groups advocating stricter laws say that the actual number of cases is much higher in the Asian country.