The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child in April next year, Kensington Palace has said.
The pregnancy had already been announced but the due date had not been released.
In a statement, the palace said the duchess continued to suffer from extreme morning sickness but her condition was “steadily improving”.
The duchess will make her first public appearance on Tuesday since her pregnancy was announced in September.
She will join Prince William to officially welcome Singapore’s President Tony Tan as he begins a four-day visit to the UK.
The duchess will also attend the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 awards ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London.
The duke and duchess’s second baby will become fourth in line to the throne, behind older brother Prince George, who was born in July last year.
For the second time, the duke and duchess have been forced to announce a pregnancy before the duchess passed the significant 12-week milestone.
The duchess is again suffering from acute morning sickness – called hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that may require supplementary hydration, medication and nutrients.
It affects 3.5 per 1,000 pregnancies, causes severe vomiting and can lead to dehydration, weight loss and a build-up of toxins in the blood or urine, called ketosis.
BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said there had been concerns that the duchess’s symptoms would persist, and there would be “relief” that her condition was improving.
He said the royal statement referred to “a baby” – apparently ruling out the possibility of twins.
With the new baby behind Prince George in line to the throne, our correspondent added that Prince William might have “a hope – it could be a deluded one – that there won’t be same same intense focus” from the media and public.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Oct. 18, 2014.
Elena Becatoros and Suzan Fraser,
SURUC, Turkey — Turkey wouldn’t agree to any U.S. arms transfers to Kurdish fighters who are battling Islamic militants in Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying Sunday, as the extremist group fired more mortar rounds near the Syrian-Turkish border.
Turkey views the main Syrian Kurdish group, the PYD — and its military wing which is fighting IS militants — as an extension of the PKK, which has waged a 30-year insurgency in Turkey and is designated a terror group by the U.S. and NATO.
Washington has said recently that it has engaged in intelligence sharing with Kurdish fighters and officials have not ruled out future arms transfers to the Kurdish fighters.
“The PYD is for us, equal to the PKK. It is a terror organization,” Erdogan told a group of reporters on his return from a visit to Afghanistan.
“It would be wrong for the United States — with whom we are friends and allies in NATO — to talk openly and to expect us to say ‘yes’ to such a support to a terrorist organization,” Erdogan said. His comments were reported by the state-run Anadolu agency on Sunday.
Turkey’s opposition to arms transfers to the Kurdish forces is hampering the U.S.-led coalitions’ efforts to fight the extremists and further complicating relations between Turkey and Washington. The countries are involved in negotiations about Ankara’s role with the U.S. and NATO allies fighting the Islamic State group, which is attempting to capture the strategic town Kobani on the Syrian-Turkish border.
Turkey has demanded that the coalition widen its campaign against the militants by providing greater aid to Syrian rebels, who are battling both the IS and President Bashar Assad’s forces. Turkey has so far provided sanctuary to an estimated 200,000 Syrians fleeing Kobani, and recently agreed to train and equip moderate Syrian rebel fighters trying to remove Assad from power.
The White House said President Barack Obama spoke with Erdogan on Saturday about the situation in Kobani and steps that could be taken to counter IS advances.
“The two leaders pledged to continue to work closely together to strengthen co-operation against ISIL,” a statement said, using another name for IS militants.
Fighting between the militants and the Kurdish fighters defending Kobani continued on Sunday. Mortar strikes hit the town, sending plumes of smoke into the air. Three mortars also fell on the Turkish side of the border, landing in an open field where they caused no injuries. On Saturday and Sunday, IS appeared to be targeting the border crossing area, potentially in a bid to hamper Kobani’s last link to the outside world.
In an attempt to stave off the advance, a U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes on IS positions in and near the town, as well as in other parts of Syria, particularly in the oil-rich eastern province of Deir el-Zour, as well as in Iraq. Several airstrikes hit Kobani on Saturday evening.
The flow of migrants into Turkey has intensified since IS’ push to take Kobani and cut access for Kurdish fighters to other areas of Syria they control.
On Saturday, IS fighters also weighed in on their attempts to take Kobani, arguing it wasn’t a fight against the Kurds.
“We came to establish the laws of God — not to fight the Kurds,” a fighter in army fatigues said on a video uploaded to YouTube. The video was uploaded by a user who appears to be embedded with the militants in Kobani. It appeared genuine and reflected Associated Press reporting.
But another fighter who appeared to be from a European country, judging from his accent in Arabic, described their aim “to liberate the land from the fifth of the apostates, the PKK and others,” referring to Kurdish secular fighters — who are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim — as apostates.
The fighter said the U.S.-led coalition to fight the militant group was a sure sign of the justness of their cause.
“As for the planes that shell us 24 hours, day and night, by God we say: they increase our faith, assuredness and steadfastness. We know we are on the right path because all the (non-believers) of the world have gathered against us.”
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, visited one of the refugee camps set up in a school in the Turkish border town of Suruc.
While 900,000 people have been registered as refugees in Turkey since the Syrian crisis began four years ago, “the reality is that the numbers are nearer to 1.6 million,” Amos said.
“Of course countries have concerns about security, and about the impact on their economies and on essential services like health and education. But it’s also a crisis with a huge human impact,” she said. “The international community has to continue to do all it can to find a political solution to this crisis.”
This 2010 photo provided by tcu360.com, the yearbook of Texas Christian University, shows Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract the disease within the United States.
A Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian national with the virus will be transferred to a Maryland facility Thursday.
Officials confirm Nina Pham, who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan before his death on October 8, will be treated at the National Institutes of Health’s biocontainment facility in Bethesda, Maryland.
At Wednesday’s House subcommittee hearing on the Ebola response in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases said that Pham is being moved because the NIH facility is state-of-the-art and that Pham’s condition is stable and had not deteriorated.
The NIH facility has one of four biocontainment units in the United States.
“The nurse is being admitted to the Special Clinical Studies Unit of the NIH Clinical Center at the request of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. She will receive state-of-the-art care in this high-level containment facility, which is one of a small number of such facilities in the United States,” NIH said in a statement.
“The NIH Clinical Center’s Special Clinical Studies Unit is specifically designed to provide high-level isolation capabilities and is staffed by infectious diseases and critical care specialists. The unit staff is trained in strict infection control practices optimized to prevent spread of potentially transmissible agents such as Ebola. No additional details about the patient are being shared at this time,” the statement said.
The 26-year-old was one of 77 hospital staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Duncan. A second nurse, Amber Vinson, who also tested positive for the virus, was transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Dallas hospital released a statement on behalf of Pham.
“I’m doing well and want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers. I am blessed by the support of family and friends and am blessed to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world here at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas,” she said.
On Monday, members of the church that Pham’s family attends held a special Mass for her in Fort Worth. Rev. Jim Khoi, of the Our Lady of Fatima Church, said Pham’s mother told him the nurse had received a transfusion that could save her life.
“Her mom says that she got the blood from the gentleman, a very good guy. I don’t know his name but he’s very devoted and a very good guy from somewhere,” Khoi said.
Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the nonprofit medical mission group Samaritan’s Purse, confirmed that the plasma donation came from Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American to return to the U.S. from Liberia to be treated for Ebola. Brantly received an experimental treatment and fought off the virus, and has donated blood for transfusions for three others, including Pham.
“He’s a doctor. That’s what he’s there to do. That’s his heart,” Blume said.
Pham’s dog, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, is also in isolation.
By LESLEY MESSER and AARON KATERSKY
Joan Rivers died in a New York City hospital Sept. 4 at the age of 81. Now, there are some answers for what happened.
Rivers was sedated with propofol before she died of low blood oxygen during a procedure to treat voice changes and acid reflux, according to the New York City medical examiner.
Rivers lacked sufficient oxygen to her brain for a prolonged period of time, which caused brain damage, the medical examiner said. Her heart had stopped after she was sedated with propofol and undergoing procedures to examine her condition.
Joan Rivers Dies at 81
Joan Rivers’ Doctor’s Office, Yorkville Endoscopy, Under Investigation – But Wrongdoing Not Suspected
The medical examiner’s office said it found no obvious medical error and that the manner of death was “therapeutic complication,” indicating that death is an accepted possibility of the procedure she was undergoing.
Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, told ABC News, “We continue to be saddened by our tragic loss and grateful for the enormous outpouring of love and support from around the world. We have no further comment at this time.”
A person briefed on the Rivers investigation said an autopsy was not performed on Joan Rivers at the instruction of the family and in accordance with Jewish law. Instead, the report was based on a noninvasive physical examination and a thorough review of her charts from Yorkville Endoscopy, where she was undergoing her procedure, as well as her medical history.
As a result, the report from the medical examiner’s office does not explain what caused the sudden lack of oxygen. No additional information will be released by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, citing New York state law.
Rivers was being treated at Yorkville Endoscopy in Manhattan Aug. 28 when she suffered cardiac arrest. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she arrived unconscious and was kept sedated by her doctors.
Her daughter confirmed a few days later that her mother was on life support.
The comic legend died “surrounded by family and close friends,” Melissa Rivers said.
“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” she said in a statement. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”
Meanwhile, the New York State Health Department recently completed its “full investigation” of the clinic where Rivers was being treated, according to a DOH representative, and results will be released soon. A source said initially there was no suspicion of wrongdoing and the investigation was routine.
US low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines says it has placed six crew members on paid leave for 21 days “out of an abundance of caution,” after learning a nurse who had treated an Ebola victim may have been symptomatic when she flew on the airline earlier this week.
The leave affects two pilots and four flight attendants aboard flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13, which carried a Texas nurse who later tested positive for the deadly virus, Frontier said in statement.
The Centers for Disease Control informed the airline earlier in the day the nurse “may have been symptomatic earlier than initially suspected, including the possibility of possessing symptoms while on board the flight,” the statement said.
The nurse, Amber Vinson, 29, was isolated immediately after reporting a fever earlier this week, Texas Department of State Health Services officials said.
Along with 26-year-old Nina Pham, her co-worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who was diagnosed with the virus over the weekend, Ms Vinson had treated Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan.
Mr Duncan died of Ebola on October 8 and was the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the United States.
So far, Ebola has killed nearly 4,500 people, the vast majority of them in West Africa, where the outbreak began early this year.
In the worst hit country, Liberia, the transport minister announced she had gone into quarantine voluntarily.
Angela Cassell-Bush said she had quarantined herself after her personal driver became sick.
“I did not have any direct contact with him but I am doing it by precaution,” she said in a statement, adding that she would stay away from work for 21 days under agreed protocols.
It was not immediately known when her driver died.
Liberia’s chief medical officer has returned to work after being placed in quarantine for 21 days following the death of her deputy last month.
The Danish branch of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), meanwhile, said in a statement a test was being carried out on one of its employees who had returned from West Africa and felt a “slight rise” in temperature.
A spokesperson for Hvidovre Hospital on the outskirts of Copenhagen said a test was being carried out but could not give further details.
European Union health ministers have agreed to launch an immediate review of screening of passengers departing Ebola-hit countries in West Africa.
The European Commission “will immediately undertake an audit of exit screening systems in place in the affected countries… to check their effectiveness and reinforce them as necessary,” health commissioner Tonio Borg said.
US seeks use of Spanish air bases
The United States has asked the Madrid government for permission to use the US air bases in Spain in its operation to combat the Ebola crisis in Africa, a Defence Ministry source said.
“The US authorities have indeed asked Spain to use their bases in the country as a transit point for logistics and engineers building up field hospitals in Liberia and Sierra Leone,” the source told Reuters news agency.
Madrid was set to agree to the request, he said.
“None of the planes will transport patients or people suspected to have contracted Ebola, or who have been in contact with infected people,” he said. “Spain will have a right to inspect the planes and passengers.”
The United States is deploying up to 4,000 troops to West Africa.
A decision is due to be announced late Friday when Spanish defence minister Pedro Morenes meets US defence secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington.
The United Nations has warned the world must get the Ebola crisis under control within the next 60 days or face an unprecedented situation for which there is no plan.
Dr Matthias Borchert is part of the Ebola International Rescue Committee in Liberia and told The World the situation for places hit by the outbreak is similar to a war zone.
“The disruption to the society is similar: firstly, all public services including health services, schools, universities, courts are shut down, so if you need medical treatment urgently, and it’s not Ebola, then there’s no where to go,” he said.
Stock markets, political campaigns affected by virus
Concerns about the potential spread of the deadly virus and its possible impact on the travel industry have played a part in the US stock markets S&P 500 and Nasdaq briefly falling into negative territory for the year.
The S&P tumbled more than 3 per cent to a session low, before rallying late.
US president Barack Obama held a crisis meeting with top aides at the White House after the latest Ebola diagnosis in Texas.
He pledged a “much more aggressive” response at home to the disease but insisted the risk of a serious outbreak on US soil was low.
Rising public anxiety over the virus forced the White House to shift into crisis mode and cancel two days of political events with just three weeks to go before critical midterm elections.
Since the announcement last month that the United States would send troops to West Africa, Mr Obama has repeatedly criticised the international response to the health crisis as insufficient.
July 12, 2013: An anti-abortion protester holds a placard as protesters line the railing on the second floor of the rotunda of the State Capitol as the state Senate meets to consider legislation restricting abortion rights in Austin, Texas.
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked key parts of a 2013 law in Texas that had closed all but eight facilities providing abortions in America’s second most-populous state.
In an unsigned order, the justices sided with abortion rights advocates and health care providers in suspending an Oct. 2 ruling by a panel of the New Orleans-based U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that Texas could immediately apply a rule making abortion clinics statewide spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades.
The court also put on hold a separate provision of the law only as it applies to clinics in McAllen and El Paso that requires doctors at the facilities to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The admitting privileges remains in effect elsewhere in Texas.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have ruled against the clinics in all respects.
The 5th Circuit is still considering the overall constitutionality of the sweeping measure overwhelmingly passed by the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry last year.
But even as it weighs the merits of the law, the appeals court said that it can be enforced in the meantime — opening the door for the emergency appeal to the Supreme Court.
The 5th Circuit decision had blocked an August ruling by Austin-based U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who had found that requiring hospital-style upgrades was less about safety than making access to abortion difficult. Yeakel’s ruling temporarily suspended the upgrade rules before they could go into effect Sept. 1 — and the order from the Supreme Court means they are on hold again.
Allowing the rules on hospital-level upgrades to be enforced — including mandatory operating rooms and air filtration systems — shuttered more than a dozen clinics across Texas.
Until the nation’s highest court intervened, only abortion facilities in the Houston, Austin, San Antonio and the Dallas-Fort Worth areas remained open. And none was left along the Texas-Mexico border or outside any of the state’s largest urban areas.
Some other clinics, meanwhile, had closed even earlier amid enforcement of the rule on admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. That portion has already been upheld twice by the appeals court.
The fight over the Texas law is the latest over tough new abortion restrictions that have been enacted across the country. The office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican who is the favorite in next month’s governor’s race, is leading the defense of the law.
Critics call the measure a backdoor effort to outlaw abortions.
Attorneys for the state have denied that Texas women would be burdened by fewer abortion facilities, saying nearly 9 in 10 would still live within 150 miles of a provider. The law’s opponents, however, note that still leaves nearly a million Texas women embarking on drives longer than three hours to get an abortion.
Democrat Wendy Davis launched her campaign for governor behind the celebrity she achieved through a nearly 13-hour filibuster last summer that temporarily blocked the law in the state Senate.
In this Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 photo, Cylvia Hayes, fiancee of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, speaks at a news conference in Portland, Ore.
First she admitted being part of a fraudulent green-card marriage — now, a new report says Cylvia Hayes, fiancée of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, partnered to buy land intended for an illegal marijuana growing operation in 1997.
KOIN-TV reported late Monday that Hayes partnered with a man to buy the $245,000 property in Washington state using a $15,000 down payment in November of that year. The man who sold the couple the land told the station that Hayes and her partner soon stopped making payments, and records showed that Hayes gave up her interest in the property in April 1998. She moved to Oregon three months later.
Hayes issued a statement saying that she was “not proud of that brief period of time” and claimed that “I was involved in an abusive relationship with a dangerous man.” KION reports that the ex-boyfriend, whose name has not been released, has a history of domestic violence convictions.
Last week, Hayes admitted that she was paid to enter a fraudulent marriage to help an Ethiopian immigrant remain in the United States, also in 1997. She’s also under fire for earning money from organizations seeking to influence state policy.
The man who sold Hayes and her then-boyfriend the land, a real estate broker named Patrick Siemion, told KOIN, “There was somewhat of a leader-follower [dynamic] there, and she was leading and the gentleman was following.”
“She did all the talking, all the negotiating,” Siemion told The Oregonian. “I remember her saying, `Oh this is just the perfect place, we’re so happy to have it.'”
Hayes said she was never financially involved in the marijuana grow, and shortly after moving there “began to make plans to get away.
“I did not pay any part of the down payment or mortgage payments,” she said. “I had no money. The money I had received in July 1997 for entering a fraudulent marriage was used as I have previously stated — to purchase a laptop and pay school expenses.”
Siemion told The Oregonian that he found marijuana trimmings in an upstairs bedroom after the property went into foreclosure. He said he did not see marijuana plants, but found fertilizer and irrigation tubing that he considered evidence of a grow.
Hayes got engaged over the summer to Kitzhaber, the Democratic governor who is seeking a fourth term in next month’s election.
Kitzhaber’s Republican rival, state Rep. Dennis Richardson, has tried to keep the focus on Hayes’ consulting work, arguing that Hayes’ outside work is part of a pattern of missteps that show Kitzhaber’s administration is “inept and unethical.”
Kitzhaber on Monday asked a state commission for a formal opinion on whether Hayes is subject to state ethics laws and, if so, whether she’s broken them.
Kitzhaber says his office has taken care to make sure that Hayes’ consulting work doesn’t pose a conflict of interest, including proactively reviewing her contracts before she agreed to work. But all three contracts made public by the governor’s office were reviewed only after they went into effect.
A decision by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission is unlikely to come before the election. The commission can take up to 120 days to respond, and there are no scheduled meetings before the Nov. 4 election.
Before Kitzhaber was elected governor, Hayes ran a consulting business, 3E Strategies, that worked on renewable energy issues. As first lady, she’s taken a public and active role, advising the governor on energy policy while advocating programs that reduce hunger and poverty. She’s uncompensated and has continued her outside consulting.
The governor’s office has released copies of three contracts from 2013 worth nearly $86,000, along with draft and final conflict disclosure forms. The drafts, dated in July 2013, suggest Hayes couldn’t use her first lady title in her consulting work or any state facilities, including Mahonia Hall, the governor’s official residence.
But the final versions of the documents include exceptions, allowing Hayes to call herself first lady in “a biographical profile” and use Mahonia Hall for meetings on contracts already obtained.
Rachel Wray, a spokeswoman for Kitzhaber’s office, said the documents were changed after Hayes “asked for clarification.”
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius attends his sentencing hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria October 13, 2014.
BY PEROSHNI GOVENDER
South African track star Oscar Pistorius should serve three years of partial house arrest and community service for the negligent killing of his girlfriend, a witness said on Monday at the first day of the athlete’s sentencing.
The 27-year-old Paralympic and Olympic star, whose lower legs were amputated as a baby, was convicted of culpable homicide last month for the shooting of 29-year-old law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.
The case has riveted South Africans and gripped millions around the world, shocked by the fall of a man widely admired as an inspiration for disabled people and a symbol of triumph over adversity.
Arguing against a prison term, correctional services social worker Joel Maringa said Pistorius was a “co-operative” person who should be sentenced to three years of “correctional supervision”, which would mean the athlete would have to spend a portion of the day at home.
Maringa also said Pistorius should carry out community service, such as sweeping the streets outside museums in Pretoria.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who is pushing for a lengthy prison sentence, described the social worker’s recommendations as “shockingly inappropriate”.
Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourned the hearing early as Nel requested time to review documents before he calls at least two of the state’s witnesses on Tuesday. Sentencing is expected to conclude by the end of the week.
Earlier the court heard from Pistorius’ psychologist, Dr Lore Hartzenberg, who said the athlete was a caring, remorseful person who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and sometimes spent sessions weeping as she held him.
“What we are left with, My Lady, we are left with a broken man who has lost everything,” Hartzenberg said, as Pistorius stared at the floor in the packed Pretoria courtroom. “It is foreseen that Mr. Pistorius will require intensive and ongoing psychotherapy.”
CLEARED OF MURDER
Masipa cleared Pistorius of the more serious charge of murder, saying prosecutors had failed to prove his intent to kill when he fired four 9mm rounds through the door of a toilet in what he said was the mistaken belief an intruder was hiding behind it.
A murder conviction would have almost certainly carried a jail sentence. Culpable homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter, can be punished by anything from 15 years in jail to a suspended sentence or community service.
A stony-faced Pistorius earlier stared straight ahead as police officers escorted him into the court building. He declined to answer questions from the scrum of reporters but greeted his family inside the court with smiles and hugs.
After a dramatic six-month, on-off trial, opinion is starkly divided on the eventual outcome.
A non-custodial sentence would be likely to spark public anger, fuelling a perception among black South Africans that, 20 years after the end of apartheid, wealthy whites can still secure preferential justice.
“At the end of the day, a young lady was killed and someone should pay for it,” 57-year-old Mildred Lekalakala, a member of the Women’s League of the ruling African National Congress, said outside the court.
The decision by 66-year-old Masipa, only the second black woman to rise to South Africa’s bench, to absolve Pistorius of murder drew criticism from many legal experts and the public in a country infamous for violence, particularly against women.
Pistorius said the shooting in his upmarket Pretoria home was a tragic mistake, but at the trial prosecutors presented a written firearms license test in which he acknowledged that using lethal force against an intruder was only allowed if there was a direct threat to a person’s life.
With this in mind, as well as the questions over Masipa’s ruling on intent, the state could yet decide to appeal the culpable homicide verdict in pursuit of a murder conviction. Under South African law, an appeal cannot be launched until sentencing has been concluded.
Liberia women walk past a sign warning people of the deadly Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia. Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. The number of people killed in the Ebola outbreak has risen above 4,000, according to the World Health Organization.
By JONATHAN PAYE-LAYLEH,
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberian officials are pleading with nurses and physician assistants to show up to work Monday amid a dispute over hazard pay that has prompted calls for a strike in the middle of the Ebola epidemic.
A strike could deliver a serious blow to the fight against Ebola in Liberia, where the World Health Organization has recorded more than 2,300 confirmed, suspected and probable deaths from the deadly disease — more than any other country.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf personally toured Ebola treatment units around Monrovia on Saturday asking health workers to remain in their posts, assistant health minister Tolbert Nyenswah said Sunday.
“Everybody is appealing because it has adverse and very negative consequences on people suffering from Ebola and progress that has been made with the fight,” Nyenswah said.
Members of the National Health Workers Association are demanding $700 in monthly hazard pay on top of monthly salaries that are generally around $200 or $300. Monthly hazard pay is currently less than $500.
The association boasts more than 10,000 members, though the health ministry says only about 1,000 of those are employed at sites receiving Ebola patients.
George Williams, the association’s secretary-general, said he was waiting for the government to address their specific demands.
“Up to this point nobody has come to us to resolve them, so the strike action stands for Monday,” he said. “Our doors are still open to negotiation and we are waiting.”
He accused the government of rushing to license nursing students to replace striking professionals.
“They are planning to hire people to take our places. Because of that they don’t want to engage us,” he said.
More than 4,000 people have died in the ongoing Ebola epidemic, according to World Health Organization figures published Friday.
The disease is spread via the bodily fluids of infected patients, leaving health workers especially vulnerable. More than 400 health workers have contracted the disease — about half of them in Liberia, where personal protective equipment is scarce. Both Liberia and Sierra Leone have recorded 95 health worker deaths.
When the first Ebola cases were confirmed in Guinea back in March, Liberia agreed to pay $700 per month in hazard pay because there were only two treatment centers and far fewer health workers involved, Nyenswah said.
As the epidemic and efforts to contain it expanded, however, that commitment placed a “huge financial burden on the state,” he said.
The government then lowered the monthly hazard allowance to $435 per month. By comparison, doctors receive at least $825 in monthly hazard pay, and their salaries are more than double most other health workers, Nyenswah said.
Ordinary Liberians expressed alarm on Sunday at the prospect of a strike, saying it could cripple the campaign against Ebola just as the international community ramped up assistance. Over 300 U.S. troops are currently on the ground in Liberia, and U.S. officials say up to 4,000 could ultimately be deployed to increase the number of treatment units and available beds.
Georgia Moulton, principal of the Ronald Reagan Institute, a day-care and elementary school in the Monrovia suburb of Bardnersville, asked the government to negotiate with health workers to keep them on the job.
“If they leave work, we will go on the rampage as patients also start to leave,” she said.
Pentecostal preacher Kortu Brown, vice president of the Liberian Council of Churches, asked leaders “to pray and work together” to resolve the impasse.
“To put it simply, (a strike) will be a blow and it is something that we should avoid,” he said.
Malala Yousafzai at the United Nations last year. Ms. Yousafzai, 17, is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
By JODI KANTOR
Though Malala Yousafzai is 17, she does not use Facebook or even a mobile phone lest she lose focus on her studies. She spent her summer vacation flying to Nigeria to campaign for the release of girls kidnapped by the extremist Islamist group Boko Haram, but also worrying about her grades, which recently took a worrisome dip. She confronted President Obama about American drone policy in a meeting last year, but finds it difficult to befriend her fellow students in Birmingham, England.
“I want to have fun, but I don’t quite know how,” she wrote in the edition of her autobiography for young readers.
On Friday, Ms. Yousafzai became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize — grouped in the same pantheon as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa, and yet still a student at Edgbaston High School for Girls, where she was summoned out of her chemistry class to hear the news.
Malala Yousafzai, 17, said she was honored to be the youngest person to receive the award. She dedicated it to the “voiceless.”Two Champions of Children Are Given Nobel Peace PrizeOCT. 10, 2014
Kailash Satyarthi in his office in New Delhi on Friday, after the news broke that he was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.Kailash Satyarthi’s Nobel Peace Prize Caps Decades of Fighting Child Slavery in IndiaOCT. 10, 2014
video Class Dismissed: Malala’s StoryOCT. 9, 2012
Ms. Yousafzai began campaigning for girls’ education at the age of 11, three years before she was shot by the Taliban. She was so young that some observers questioned how well equipped a child of that age could be to put her own safety on the line and commit to a life of activism. The prize she received on Friday validates what she has taken on, but also underscores the disproportionate expectations that trail her: Can she truly influence the culture of her home country of Pakistan, which she cannot even visit because of threats to her safety, and where many revile her as a tool of the West? Ms. Yousafzai may be an Anne Frank-like figure who defied terror, showed extraordinary courage and inspires hope, but how much can one teenager accomplish?
“Can she actually create systemic change at this young age? Can she create a movement? Because she doesn’t have that kind of infrastructure in Pakistan at the moment,” said Vishakha Desai, a professor of international relations at Columbia, said in a telephone interview.
In one half of Ms. Yousafzai’s dual life, she is the center of an international advocacy operation for girls’ education that now involves a nonprofit organization, two best-selling books, and activities that stretch from Pakistan to Jordan to Kenya. She criticizes not just the Taliban, but also the culture of Pakistan, in which women are rarely granted the same rights and opportunities as men. She has become one of the world’s most prominent faces of moderate Islam, saying in a recent interview that she tried wearing a burqa when she was younger but gave it up: “I realized that it just took away my freedom, and that’s why I stopped wearing it.”
When she met with Mr. Obama last year, she critiqued American military action in her home region. “Instead of soldiers, send books. Instead of sending weapons, send pens,” as she later put it. (Asked how he responded, she gave a knowing look. “He’s a politician,” she said.)
In the other, lesser-known half of Ms. Yousafzai’s life, she lives in a neat brick house near the hospital in Birmingham where she convalesced after being shot by the Taliban in 2012. She has largely recovered, but in her memoir and a recent interview, she spoke of longing for home and straining to fit in to her new environs. She spends hours on Skype each week with a childhood friend in Pakistan, catching up on girls’ education efforts in the Swat Valley but also hometown gossip.
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When she first moved to England, she found the clothing on other women so skimpy that she wondered if there was a national fabric shortage. She wears a standard British uniform to school each day — green sweater, striped shirt, tights — but adds a longer skirt and a headscarf for modesty. She still goes to therapy sessions to regain the use of her facial muscles, she wrote in her book, and tries not to dwell on the operations she may need in the future. She has grown to love cupcakes, but does not hide the fact that she and her family find England cold and isolating.
“We are just a few feet away from the next house, but for all we know of our neighbor it might as well be a mile,” she wrote of her new life.
“It’s odd to be so well known but to be lonely at the same time,” she added.
And yet in an interview last August, Ms. Yousafzai exuded an almost ascetic sense of higher purpose, saying that she rarely watches television and deleted the Candy Crush game from her iPad to forestall a growing addiction. She allows herself to take selfies, she said, but only if they are employed for higher purposes: “We have to use it to highlight the issues that children all over the world are facing, so to highlight the issues girls are facing in Afghanistan or Pakistan or India,” she said. As a child in Pakistan, she had access to only a handful of books, she said, but one was a biography of Dr. King, giving her an early sense of what one activist could accomplish.
Albert Schweitzer won the Nobel Peace Prize after a lifetime of medical and humanitarian work, and Aung Sang Suu Kyi won it after decades of human rights protest in Myanmar, but Ms. Yousafzai is so young that her future path still seems unclear. She often says that she wants to become a leader in Pakistan like another of her heroes, Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of Pakistan, assassinated in 2007. That aspiration gives chills to Ms. Yousafzai’s admirers, who worry about her continued safety.
Ever the education crusader, Ms. Yousafzai says she is focused on attending university. She would like to study at Oxford, followed perhaps by graduate school in the United States.
In a brief speech in Birmingham on Friday, she called the prize “an encouragement for me to go forward and believe in myself.”
She added one stipulation, though: “It’s not going to help me in my tests and exams.”