Congo says confirmed Ebola cases rise to 35, with 10 deaths

World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gestures during a press conference following an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on an Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo on May 18, 2018 at the United Nations Office in Geneva. (AFP)
Updated 26 May 2018
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Congo says confirmed Ebola cases rise to 35, with 10 deaths

KINSHASA, Congo: Congo’s health ministry says there are now 35 confirmed cases of Ebola in the country’s northwest, including 10 deaths confirmed from the often lethal virus.
The ministry says there are also 13 probable cases and six suspected ones.
A vaccination campaign continues in Mbandaka, the city of 1.2 million on the Congo River where four Ebola cases have been confirmed.
The other confirmed cases are in the rural areas of Bikoro and Iboko. Of the confirmed Ebola deaths, five have occurred in Bikoro, two in Iboko and three in the Wangata area of Mbandaka.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a meeting in Geneva on Saturday that “I am personally committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop this outbreak as soon as possible.”


Macron fires bodyguard filmed beating protester; critics say too late

Updated 20 July 2018
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Macron fires bodyguard filmed beating protester; critics say too late

  • Alexandre Benalla, who as Macron’s top bodyguard has long been a fixture by his side, was taken into custody for police questioning over the incident, which took place when Benalla appeared at May Day protests in a riot helmet and police tags.
  • Lawmakers have launched a parliamentary inquiry into the incident itself, the lenient initial punishment and the failure of the authorities to report Benalla promptly to the judiciary.

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron fired the head of his personal security detail on Friday but faced criticism for failing to act sooner, after a video was released showing the man posing as a police officer and beating a protester while off duty in May.
Alexandre Benalla, who as Macron’s top bodyguard has long been a fixture by his side, was taken into custody for police questioning over the incident, which took place when Benalla appeared at May Day protests in a riot helmet and police tags.
He had initially been suspended for just 15 days and allowed to return to work. Just days ago he was seen in public helping to organize security for celebrations for the return of France’s World Cup champion soccer team.
Lawmakers have launched a parliamentary inquiry into the incident itself, the lenient initial punishment and the failure of the authorities to report Benalla promptly to the judiciary.
In the footage, which was released on Wednesday by Le Monde newspaper, Benalla can be seen dragging a woman away from a protest and later beating a male demonstrator. On Friday, French media released a second video which showed Benalla also manhandling the woman.
He had been given permission by the president’s office to attend the protests as an observer of the security operation, but had no authorization to take part in police work.
The president’s office brushed off accusations that it had responded only because the nearly three-month-old videos had become public. It said the decision had now been taken to fire Benalla because the bodyguard had improperly obtained a document while trying to make his case over the accusations.
“New facts that could constitute a misdemeanour by Alexandre Benalla were brought to the president’s attention,” an official at the presidential palace told Reuters. “As a result ... the presidency has decided to start Alexandre Benalla’s dismissal procedure.”
Critics of Macron called the president’s delayed response a characteristic sign that he is out of touch. It follows controversies over government spending on official crockery, a swimming pool at a presidential retreat and cutting remarks by the president about the costs of welfare.
After hours of debate in the lower house on Thursday, lawmakers agreed to launch a parliamentary inquiry.
“Why did he protect this person? Does he head up a parallel police force? Refusing to answer makes (Macron) complicit in these acts of violence,” Eric Ciotti, a senior member of the conservative Republicans party, said on Twitter.