The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a global alert after six cases of a virus resembling the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) were discovered in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Two of the six cases confirmed by laboratories have been fatal, leading to fears of an outbreak similar to the original SARS virus in 2002-03, which killed around 10 percent of the 8,000 humans infected.
“From our understanding of the virus so far, and given the enhanced surveillance that is in place, we expect to see more cases reported and confirmed,” WHO spokesman, Glen Thomas, told IRIN. “We also expect to see more cases from countries other than the two that have confirmed cases so far.” WHO scientists are trying to find out the cause of the infections, and ascertain whether the virus is moving from human to human.
A study published by scientists from the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam last week found similarities between the new SARS-like virus and a virus found in bats in Saudi Arabia.
The New York Times November 9, 2012
The sudden development came just days after President Obama won re-election to a second term. Mr. Petraeus, a highly decorated general who had led the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, had been expected to remain in the president’s administration.
Instead, Mr. Petraeus said in the statement that the president accepted his resignation on Friday after he had informed him of his indiscretion a day earlier.
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” Mr. Petraeus wrote. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.”
Carolina News on YouTube April 29, 2012
Wes Bearden has spent the last 18 months working in the Middle East for a Military Defense Contractor. After long hours providing help for American troops, he must make the adjustment to being back home.
Spy Talk March 19, 2012
Tens of thousands of Americans in the Middle East–not just Israelis–are potentially vulnerable to Iranian retaliation for attacks on its nuclear facilities, a fact underscored by the mysterious emergence last week of an American contractor who said he’d been kidnapped by a pro-Iran shiite militia in Iraq.
The American embassy in Baghdad said it had no records of the disappearance of Randy Michael Hultz, a former U.S. Army soldier who had returned to pursue business opportunities in Iraq. Hultz said h’d been held for nine months by a paramilitary group connected to Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Iraqi shiite leader who is allied with Iran.
But even before the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq in December, the American Embassy had issued an official warning to its approximately 16,000 employees, 80 per cent of them security contractors, about the threat of kidnapping.
The threat came mainly from pro-Iran militias, analysts said.
The Daily Telegraph Australia May 27, 2011
THE federal government is believed to have signed a contract to outsource the management of defence base operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan to the foreign company running Australia’s immigration detention centres.
Sources claim there was concern within the Australian Defence Force about a private foreign company taking over behind-the-wire operations to support troops in Afghanistan. The ADF said it would announce the successful contractor shortly but would not confirm if that company was Serco.
Serco, which is run by David Campbell, would neither confirm nor deny it had been given the contract.
It is believed the multi-million-dollar contract will be to manage all base operations including catering, cleaning, asset hire and mess facilities at the Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
Foreign private contractors would also replace uniformed personnel in the provision of maintenance, accommodation and mess services for the first time in Kandahar and Tarin Kowt in Afghanistan.