DR Congo reports four more Ebola cases

In this file photo, a health worker sprays a colleague with disinfectant during a training session for Congolese health workers to deal with Ebola virus in Kinshasa. (Reuters)
Updated 10 May 2018

DR Congo reports four more Ebola cases

  • The latest Ebola outbreak in the region northest of Kinshasa near the border with the Republic of Congo has so far killed 17 people.
  • DR Congo authorities on Tuesday described the Ebola outbreak as a “public health emergency with international impact.”

MBANDAKA, DR CONGO: Four more cases of Ebola have been detected in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo, doctors said Thursday, two days after DRC reported a fresh outbreak of the disease.
Of the four affected people, two are caregivers at the hospital in Bikoro where the Ebola outbreak has been concentrated, the hospital’s chief surgeon Serge Ngalebato told AFP.
The latest Ebola outbreak in the region northest of Kinshasa near the border with the Republic of Congo has so far killed 17 people.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has made $1 million (842,000 euros) available to stop the virus from spreading to other provinces and countries, a representative of the UN’s humanitarian affairs agency OCHA told reporters.
The Nigerian government on Wednesday said it was acting to prevent the spread of Ebola from the vast central African country.
The federal government had put in place an emergency program to monitor all border activity to keep Nigerians safe, Health Minister Isaac Adewole said after a cabinet meeting.
Nigeria, which does not share a border with the DR Congo, is the only country in West Africa with a mobile laboratory for haemorrhagic fevers.
DR Congo authorities on Tuesday described the Ebola outbreak as a “public health emergency with international impact.”
It is the country’s ninth known outbreak of Ebola since 1976, when the deady viral disease was first identified in then Zaire by a Belgian-led team.


Texas court halts execution in high-profile case

A woman holds a sign during a protest against the execution of Rodney Reed on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Bastrop, Texas. (AP)
Updated 17 November 2019

Texas court halts execution in high-profile case

  • Millions of people, including US lawmakers and Hollywood celebrities Kim Kardashian and Susan Sarandon, have signed petitions supporting Reed

WASHINGTON: A Texas appeals court has suspended the execution of convicted murderer Rodney Reed — who has long claimed his innocence — in a case that has attracted widespread public attention and a celebrity-backed campaign.
Reed, a 51-year-old African-American, was sentenced to death in 1998 after being convicted by an all-white jury of the rape and murder of Stacey Stites, a 19-year-old white woman.
His execution by lethal injection had been set for November 20, but Reed says he did not commit the crime, and his lawyers and supporters say that evidence proves he is innocent.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles announced on Friday that it had “voted unanimously to recommend the governor grant a 120-day reprieve” to Reed, who had appealed for clemency.
The state appeals court then halted the execution later in the evening.
Millions of people, including US lawmakers and Hollywood celebrities Kim Kardashian and Susan Sarandon, have signed petitions supporting Reed.
Kardashian said on social media she was with Reed when he received news about the reprieve.
Although traces of Reed’s DNA were found in the victim, he has always maintained that he and Stites were secretly having an affair.
Reed’s lawyers say that evidence obtained after the trial points to another suspect — the victim’s fiance, Jimmy Fennell, a former policeman who later served a 10-year prison sentence for another rape.
“The strong evidence exonerating Mr.Reed and implicating Fennell continues to mount,” the lawyers wrote in the clemency petition lodged with the state’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott.
In the clemency request, they included a testimonial from a former co-worker of the victim who confirmed the affair.
According to another affidavit, a former prison inmate said he heard Fennell brag during a prison yard conversation about committing the murder.
Fennell has denied involvement in Stites’ murder.
The Texas board declined Reed’s request to downgrade his sentence.
His lawyers also have filed a petition with the US Supreme Court, seeking a stay of execution.