Author: INQ Newsdesk

Deadly Nipah virus claims victims in India

Health officials in the south Indian state of Kerala say nine people have died in confirmed and suspected cases of the deadly Nipah virus.  Three victims tested positive for the virus in the last fortnight. The results of the remaining six samples will be available later on Monday. Twenty five others have been hospitalised with symptoms of the infection in Kozhikode, officials said. Nipah is an infection which can be transmitted to humans from animals. There is no vaccination for the virus which has a mortality rate of 70%. Nipah virus is also “top of the list” of 10...

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Fast flowing lava from Hawaii’s volcano threatens to trap residents

New, fast-moving lava is pouring from the flank of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, destroying four more homes on the Big Island and threatening to isolate around 2000 residents  after a second explosive eruption shot an ash plume three kilometres high from the crater.  Meanwhile, the first known serious injury was reported from fresh eruptions. A man sitting on the third-floor balcony of his home was hit with ”lava splatter”.  “It hit him on the shin and shattered everything there down on his leg,” a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office said, adding that lava spatters “can weigh as much as a...

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Why are so many people denied the painkillers they need?

The world is suffering from an invisible epidemic, an epidemic of pain.  As many as 60 million people are reckoned to suffer avoidable agony every year. It is a situation that a visionary Indian doctor, Dr MR Rajagopal, has been campaigning to change for decades. It isn’t that the patients themselves are silent, he explains. Indeed, it was hearing the screams of agony of a neighbour in the last stages of cancer almost four decades ago that first set him on the path that would earn him his nickname: India’s “father of palliative care”. “His family asked if I...

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Santa Fe school shooting: 10 dead and 10 wounded in Texas

Ten people have been killed and 10 others injured after a student opened fire at a Texas high school, the state governor said.  The attacker, who was arrested and charged with murder, was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old pupil at Santa Fe High School. He allegedly used a shotgun and a revolver taken from his father, who legally owned the weapons. Most of the dead are students, police said.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott said “various kinds of explosive devices” had been found at the school, 40 miles (65km) south of Houston, and off-campus. They included “a CO2 device” and...

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The priest whose blunt billboards have gone global

On a typical Sunday, Father Rod Bower draws about 200 people to his church service in a coastal town in Australia. But online, his messages are often viewed by millions. For years, he has been posting provocative statements on a roadside billboard outside his Gosford Anglican Church in New South Wales. Spelled out in 30cm (12in) block letters, his opinions – typically on progressive issues – have gained global attention on social media. One of his most shared comments followed the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February, when he wrote: “When will they love their kids more than their guns”....

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