Entertainment

Ivory Coast’s All-female Band Breaks Social Barriers

Emilie Iob ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST—For nine young female musicians in Ivory Coast, breaking into the male-dominated music industry wasn’t easy. But their group, Bella Mondo, is now a household name in Abidjan and is booking shows nine women of Bella Mondo win over yet another audience. The group is one of just a handful of all-women ensembles in Ivory Coast. It all started in 2007. Prisca Allou was a music student. A music producer came to see her. He said he wanted to make an all-female orchestra to fulfill a promise to his late mother. Allou got on board and…
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Health

WHO: Angola Yellow Fever Outbreak Spreads to DRC

VOA News The World Health Organization said Monday at least 21 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have died from yellow fever connected to an outbreak in neighboring Angola. The WHO said that as of March 22 there were at least 151 suspected cases in the DRC.  It warned that with the high number of people moving between the two countries, a high proportion of people susceptible to infection and the presence of the type of mosquito that transmits yellow fever, there is a "serious risk" for the disease to spread further. The outbreak began in December in Angola's…
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Health

80 Percent of China’s Well Water Not Fit for Drinking, Data Show

Aline Barros More than 80 percent of the water from underground wells in China is not safe for drinking or bathing due to severe water pollution, according to new statistics cited in Chinese media Monday. The new data showed that percent of the 2,103 wells tested received grade 4 for water quality — meaning only fit for industrial use, according to the National Business Daily. Another percent received an even worse grade 5 for water quality. Farms, factories and households across different regions in China depend on wells as their source of water. "From my point of view, this shows…
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Health

US Officials Sound Warning on Zika: ‘Scarier Than We Thought’

Aru Pande WHITE HOUSE— health officials say that the more researchers learn about Zika, the more concerned they are about the neurological effects and long-term complications from the virus."Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we thought," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said. Schuchat joined National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci at Monday's White House press briefing, outlining new findings that show Zika is linked to a broader set of pregnancy complications that go beyond the much-reported microcephaly. " It…
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Health

Study Links Zika to 2nd Brain Disorder

VOA News Scientists in Brazil have found evidence of a second brain disorder linked to the Zika virus - one with symptoms so similar to multiple sclerosis that some medical personnel initially have difficulty telling them apart. The new disorder, called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, is identified in an abstract authored by Brazilian scientist Maria Lucia Brito Ferreira.  She is set to present her findings at an international meeting of neurological scientists meeting April 15-21 in Vancouver, British Columbia. ADEM is described as a short-term, intense immune attack on the central nervous system, targeting the brain and spinal cords…
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World News

Captured American IS Fighter’s Story Raising ‘Red Flags’

Jeff Seldin WASHINGTON—Intelligence officials are taking a close look at what an American Islamic State (IS) fighter is telling Kurdish media; parts of his account raise as many questions as answers. Mohamad Jamal Khweis, the 26-year-old from Alexandria, Virginia, spoke just days after he claims to have fled from the IS-held city of Mosul. Kurdish forces saw him wandering near the northern Iraqi city of Sinjar Monday and fired upon him before he surrendered. During the heavily edited version of the interview released by Kurdistan24 television, Khweis seems relaxed and, at times, smokes a cigarette, something he said is prohibited…
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World News

Paris Attacks Suspect Captured Alive in Belgian Raid

VOA News The top suspect linked to the November 13 terror attacks in France has been arrested in Belgium, a Belgian minister said Salah Abdeslam was arrested by Belgian police during a raid Friday in the Molenbeek area of Brussels. Belgian immigration minister Theo Francken confirmed the arrest in a tweet that said "We got him." Molenbeek Mayor Francois Schepmans says Abdeslam and another person were injured in the operation. Reports say Abdeslam was wounded in the leg. US monitoring developments White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters the has been in close contact with French and Belgian national security…
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Health

Healthy Food? Increased Physical Activity? Providence Residents say YES! Poll shows strong support for policies that make the healthy choice the easy choice

  PROVIDENCE, RI – (March 15, 2016) – Newly released results from a recent poll of Providence residents shows very strong support for state and local policies centered on healthy food access and physical activity.   Nearly all voters say that healthy food options are important to have at local childcare programs (97%), hospitals (96%), city properties (93%), and workplaces (92%). More than four in five voters support policies that food options in these locations meet certain nutritional standards: childcare programs (93%), hospitals (92%), city properties (89%), and workplaces (88%).   “It is wonderful to see Providence residents voicing their…
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World News

Kerry to Meet With Putin as Russia Continues Drawdown in Syria

VOA News Russia's defense ministry said more of its planes left Syria Wednesday, continuing its withdrawal as the held more indirect peace talks with Syria's warring sides in Geneva. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to travel to Moscow next week for talks with Russian Vladimir Putin about the drawdown and the new push for peace in the war-torn country. Kerry said he would talk with both Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about how to move forward with the process of bringing a political solution to the five-year conflict. "This is a moment to seize, not waste," he said…
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Entertainment

Frank Sinatra Jr. Dies at 72, Family Reports

Associated Press LOS ANGELES—Frank Sinatra Jr., who carried on his famous father's legacy with his own music career, has died. He was 72. The Sinatra family said in a statement to The Associated Press that Sinatra died unexpectedly Wednesday of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach, Florida. The statement said the family members were mourning the untimely passing of their son, brother, father and uncle. No other details were provided. Kidnapped and held for ransom when he was 19, Sinatra Jr. had already followed his dad into the music business by then. He eventually worked for his father…
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