Apple plans to sell $1.96 billion in bonds in Canada


Apple Inc plans to sell C$2.5 billion ($1.96 billion) in bonds in a Canadian-dollar-denominated issue, which will be a record amount for an issuer in the Maple bond market, Thomson Reuters IFR reported on Tuesday.

The deal will be priced on Tuesday at a spread of 80 basis points over the curve, which compares with unofficial guidance in the area of 83 basis points over the curve plus or minus three basis points, IFR said.

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More survivors and remains of drowned African migrants found in yemen sea

Staff of International Organisation for Migration, IOM, have in the past three days found more survivors, as well as the remains of more victims from last week’s tragic incidents.

On August 9 and 10, 280 migrants headed toward the Gulf countries were forced from two boats off the coast of Yemen’s Shabwa Governorate and drowned.

The UN migration agency said on August 9, when 120 people were forced from a boat, that the remains of 29 individuals (12 Ethiopian males, 12 Ethiopian females and five Somali males) were found by IOM staff on the same day.

“The number of people still missing has reduced from 22 to six, all of whom are Ethiopian males. Through contact or from other survivors’ r Continue reading “More survivors and remains of drowned African migrants found in yemen sea”

Drug resistant fungus surfaces in UK hospitals

A drug resistant fungus first found in Japan has found its way into hospitals in the United Kingdom, infecting 200 patients.

The fungus Candida auris, a family of yeast, can live both inside the body or on the skin.

The fungus, which has a potential of causing deadly complications, particularly in people with weakened immune systems was detected in 20 separate NHS Trusts and independent hospitals in the country.

Public Health England, PHE, says in some cases patients will have no Continue reading “Drug resistant fungus surfaces in UK hospitals”

Cuba diplomats expelled after bizarre incident with U.S. embassy workers in Havana


The U.S. has expelled two Cuban diplomats in retaliation for a bizarre incident purportedly involving a covert sonic device that allegedly left a group of American diplomats in Havana with severe hearing loss.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Wednesday spoke only cryptically about the matter, referring to an “incident” without elaboration.

Cuba has strongly denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

The purported affair began in late 2016 when a series of U.S. diplomats in Havana began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation into the case, the Associated Press reported.

Several of the diplomats had recently arrived at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of former President Obama’s re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba and relaxation of travel restrictions.

Nauert said that as a result of the incident, two Cuban diplomats were ordered to leave their embassy in Washington on May 23.

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U.S.-led airstrikes kill seven children in Syria’s Raqqa

At least seven children were killed by fresh U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria’s northern city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State (IS), state news agency SANA reported on Friday.

“The airstrikes targeted several residential areas in Raqqa overnight, leaving many people wounded and destroying their houses,’’ SANA said.

The U.S.-led coalition has carried out 44 air raids over the past 48 hours, targeting residential areas.

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NATO soldier, 3 Afghan civilians killed in Taliban attack


One NATO soldier and three civilians were killed and four injured in the suicide attack that targeted a NATO convoy in Afghanistan in different days, Basir Mujahid, police spokesman in Kabul province, said on Friday.

The NATO mission Resolute Support, RS, had already confirmed the death of a soldier in the Kabul attack late Thursday, without giving further information on the nationality of the victim.

It said that another five soldiers and an interpreter were injured; adding that they were in stable condition and being treated at nearby Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. base in the country.

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U.S. scientists fix disease genes in human embryos for 1st time


For the first time, scientists working in a U.S. lab have used gene editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in viable human embryos, according to scientific paper published Wednesday.

The work, reported in  Nature, could be a step toward genetically modified babies. But the altered embryos created in the study were quickly destroyed and never intended to be implanted in a woman — a step that would be illegal under current regulations in the United States and many other countries.

Still, the experiment moves the idea of tinkering with genes before birth “from future fantasy to the world of possibility,” said Peter Braude, an emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynecology at King’s College London.

Safety and ethical questions remain, Braude and other experts not involved in the research said. And the technique has not been perfected enough to warrant moving forward.

“We still have room to improve,” said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Portland and lead author of the paper.

Here’s what Mitalipov and his colleagues, including scientists in the United States, South Korea and China, did:

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Bank of England staffs to hold first strike in 50 years


Trade union members at the Bank of England, Britain’s Central Bank, will go ahead with the first strike action by staff for over 50 years on Tuesday, the Unite union said on Monday.

Last-minute talks facilitated by a government-run arbitrator failed to resolve the pay dispute with the bank, the union said after it agreed to delay start of strike action “in a gesture of goodwill.”

Some 95 per cent of staff in maintenance, security and other service roles voted earlier this month for four days of strike action from Monday over a long-running pay dispute.

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Indonesia ombudsman finds rights violations in execution of Nigerian

The office of Indonesia’s ombudsman has unearthed evidence of rights violations in the execution of a Nigerian drug convict in 2016, an official said on Friday.

Humphrey Jefferson was still seeking clemency from President Joko Widodo at the time of his execution, which meant he still had a chance of being pardoned, said Ninik Rahayu, an official of the ombudsman’s office who is overseeing the case.

Mr. Jefferson, sentenced to death in 2004, had also sought a second judicial review of his case by the Supreme Court, but his request was denied by the Central Jakarta court without proper explanation, Rahayu said, in what she called maladministration.

If the court had taken on Mr. Jefferson’s case, his execution would have had to be delayed until its final verdict. Continue reading “Indonesia ombudsman finds rights violations in execution of Nigerian”

New AIDS drug distributes in kenya set for roll out in Nigeria

Unitaid is to roll out a generic version of the latest AIDS drug that can improve and prolong the lives of tens of thousands of people who suffer severe side effects and resistance to other treatments in Nigeria.

Unitaid, a global health initiative, said a generic of Dolutegravir (DTG), first approved in the U.S. in 2013, is being given to 20,000 patients in Kenya before being rolled out in Nigeria and Uganda later in the year.

DTG is the drug of choice for people with HIV in high-income countries who have never taken antiretroviral therapy before and for those who have developed resistance to other treatment.

Kenya is the first African country to start using the DTG.

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