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Liberia bans sailors from disembarking from ships at seaports due to Ebola fears

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Liberia on Saturday said it would deny permission for any crew to disembark from ships at the country’s four seaports until the Ebola epidemic ravaging west Africa was under control.

Sailors on commercial ships can normally ask for a “shore pass” allowing them to get off the vessel and access the port, but the documents are being withdrawn to curb the spread of the virus, said Matilda Parker, head of Liberia’s ports authority.

“For vessels coming in we have cancelled shore passes. Absolutely no one from on board vessels will be allowed down,” she told AFP.

The country’s four seaports, including the Freeport of Monrovia, would adopt a “zero tolerance” approach, Parker said, against an outbreak which has claimed 1,500 lives since the start of the year.

Liberia, the hardest-hit of five west African nations struggling with the epidemic, has seen almost 700 deaths.

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“For the workers who are going onboard vessels, they are going through three layers of screening at the gate, at the security desk and also at the peer. They have been instructed not to get in contact with anybody on board,” Parker added.

Parker, a US-educated private sector management specialist, was taken on in 2009 to become what remains the world’s only female port authority head, charged with turning around the fortunes of the underperforming, inefficient Freeport of Monrovia.

The port is run by APM Terminals, which operates in 63 countries, as part of a deal committing the company to a $145 million investment including a 600-metre wharf and state-of-the-art container tracking technology.

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The port — known as the “gateway to Liberia’s economy” — handles the majority of imports in an economy which has to buy in almost all commodities, meaning the price of fuel, machinery, manufactured goods and food rely heavily on its smooth running.

ArcelorMittal (Other OTC: AMSYF – news) , the world?s biggest steel producer and the first investor to enter post-war Liberia in 2005, has ploughed an estimated $75 million in Buchanan, the country’s second-largest port.

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Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay

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Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.

In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.

"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.

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Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US

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Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.

The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.

The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."

Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.

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Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition

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A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.

The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.

This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."

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