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About Ebola virus


As of July 2014, the ongoing Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa holds the record for being the worst outbreak in the recorded history of the virus. The outbreak – which has affected the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – now has more than a thousand cases, in which more than half of those are confirmed.

Infections of Ebola virus cause a viral hemorrhagic (bleeding) fever officially known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Ebola virus disease, a deadly disease with a fatality rate of up to 90%.

DEADLY VIRUS. This colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) obtained March 24, 2014 from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, reveals some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. Photo by Cynthia Goldsmith/CDC/AFP

Though more concentrated in parts of Africa, history shows that cases of infection have popped up in other countries as well, particularly here in the Philippines.

Here are few things that you need to know about Ebola virus and the disease that it causes.

1. Ebola outbreaks commonly occur in Central and West Africa.

Ebola was first detected in 1976 during simultaneous outbreaks that occurred in Nzara, Sudan, and Yambuku in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The virus received its name from the Ebola River found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the past 38 years, major outbreaks of the virus happened 6 times in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 3 times in South Sudan, 4 times in Gabon, Uganda, and the Republic of Congo, and once in Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa. The recent 2014 Ebola outbreaks are also in West African countries.

2. Ebola cases have also occurred in countries outside Africa, including the Philippines.

One case of human Ebola virus infection was recorded in the UK in 1976 after a laboratory accident.

In 1989, 1990, and 1996, the virus was detected in primate facilities in the Philippines that exported monkeys all over the globe, leading to 3 cases of viral infection among humans. In the same three years, monkeys exported from said facilities introduced the virus in the USA, causing 4 cases of human infection.
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Has anything changed for best yet?


For over a month now, tens of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets in protest.

These students were standing for basic human freedoms and engaging in the right to protest, which is a sacred right whether in Boston, Belarus, or Venezuela. The government of Venezuela responded with heavy-handed repression. Within two weeks Leopoldo Lopez, the leader of the opposition party, Voluntad Popular, called for nationwide peaceful demonstrations to address the problems facing the country. These problems include chronic food shortages, the highest inflation in the world and ongoing censorship of the media. Even the Oscars were not allowed to be broadcast – for the first time in Venezuelan history.

More than 1,400 students were arrested, there are more than 40 confirmed cases of torture and Leopoldo Lopez still sits in a Venezuelan military prison. He has urged the students to exercise their legal rights to peaceful protest and free speech and he repeatedly emphasized they must do so without violence. President Maduro has blamed Lopez for the violence that has beset the country and ordered his arrest on charges of murder, arson and terrorism. To date, the government has presented no evidence of the charges against him and their legal case is falling apart.

Amnesty International said the charges against Lopez recall “politically motivated attempts to silence dissent.” Human Rights Watch says “the Venezuelan government has openly embraced the classic tactics of an authoritarian regime: jailing its opponents, muzzling the media and intimidating civil society.”

When did the protests in Venezuela begin?


Nationwide student protests started last month. On February 12, the demonstrations attracted global attention when three people were killed.
Demonstrators are demanding better security, an end to goods shortages and protected freedom of speech.

Who is opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez?

Protest leader releases vid to supporters CNN cameras taken at gunpoint
Major social and economic problems have fueled the protests. But as the demonstrations gained steam, officials have pointed fingers at other factors and accused the United States of plotting to destabilize the government.
Some blame Venezuela’s government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, for those problems. Maduro and other officials blame the opposition for the security and economic problems.
The protests are the largest Maduro has faced in his 11 months in power. He has called opposition members fascists and compared them to an infection that needs to be cured.

Who’s protesting?

Many demonstrators across the country are students, but prominent opposition politicians have also joined marches.
Since February 13, more than 2,000 stories from Venezuela have been uploaded to iReport, CNN’s user-generated platform. Many of the videos and photos are gruesome, and depict violent scenes between demonstrators and police.

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As another day in Venezuela goes by


THICK clouds of teargas hung in the air over the north gate of the Central University (UCV) in Caracas on March 12th. A police helicopter clattered overhead; on campus, plain-clothes gunmen on motorcycles, some bearing the initials of the national guard, harassed student demonstrators.

A month after the government crack-down on protesters began, Venezuela’s crisis is deepening. This was the bloodiest single day since three people were killed in Caracas on March 12th. Eighteen injuries were reported at the UCV, after a previously peaceful student march to demand the resignation of the Venezuelan government ombudsman was halted on the orders of President Nicolás Maduro.
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About political situation in Venezuela today


A lot of people argue that these protests are too early. That the barrios are not participating. That the people still support the Government widely and many other such arguments. While there is evidence to counteract each of these claims, I think they try to oversimplify the problem. In the end, the “barrios” are not where the opposition is weak, it is in the very rural states, where the people have a very high dependence on the Government. These are the true Chavista strongholds, where the media is fully dominated by the Government and the opposition gets less than 40% of the vote in any given election. In the barrios of the big cities, the 2013 Presidential elections tended to be closer, with the opposition scoring wins in many.
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The United Nations is nothing more than an arena for inter-state power politics.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the United Nations reflected the hope for a just and peaceful global community. It is the only global institution with the legitimacy that derives from universal membership. However, in the last decades there is still the debate about the role of this organization in International Relations; this essay will discuss: The United Nations is nothing more than an arena for inter-state power politics.

In order to answer this question correctly is believed two concepts most arise beforehand.

First, The United Nations: which is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance the organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.[1]

Second, Power politics: is essentially a way of understanding the world of international Relations: nations compete for the world’s resources and it is to a nation’s advantage to be manifestly able to harm others. It prioritizes national self-interest over the interest of other nations or the international community.[2]

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Democracy assistance has little chance of being effective without the carrot and stick of conditionality?


Definition carrot and stick: Strategy often used in negotiations where one side offers the other something it wants while threatening negative sanctions if the other side does not comply with its requests.

Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, there has been confusion for disagreement over the primary purpose(s) of political strategies of external support for democratization and their theoretical justification. Carothers’ idea of a ‘‘democracy template’’ (1999:88) comprising electoral process, state institutions, and civil society, reflecting an idealized view of U.S. liberal democracy arranges the typical components of conventional democracy support. First, there are goals for each of these three ‘‘sectors,’’ such as free and fair elections, and then individual forms of assistance, for example; international election observation. The simplest strategy for support refers to choices among these three sectors and their components.[1]

Democratization assistance is an established and growing industry. Yet, in a survey of 40 democracies; efforts to protect and promote democracy abroad, only three countries (Canada, the Netherlands, and Sweden) were rated ‘‘very good’’[2]. Thus, it seems there is scope to do better. In contrast, two problematic aspects of democratization after intervention are the regional environment of the new democracies and the economic structure of the country. Several empirical studies indicate that the prospects for democracy are worse for countries that are located in non-democratic neighbourhoods [3] and that stable democracy is less likely in poor or oil-dependent countries.[4]

Conditionality can be defined as an agreement between two actors, in which actor 1 offers a reward to actor 2. This reward is granted if actor 2 fulfils certain conditions. In case the conditions are not met by actor 2 the reward is simply withheld (positive conditionality) or punishment follows (negative conditionality). To exert conditionality as a reward-based policy between two actors, asymmetric negotiation power has to be in place. This means that actor 1 has to be able to offer attractive incentives which actor 2 wants to have and cannot achieve easily. When analyzing social interaction from an incentives- and interest-based position, conditionality is first of all understood as a mode of action. Additionally, it can be used purposely as a political strategy to apply a reward-based policy between two political actors and to institutionalize asymmetric interaction. In this case, conditionality can be used to promote democracy by combining attractive rewards with certain conditions of democratic development.

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