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Researchers find Zika virus in microcephalic Brazilian babies’ brains

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Brazilian researchers said Monday that the discovery of Zika in the brains of babies with microcephaly adds to growing evidence of a link between the mosquito-transmitted virus and the birth defect.

“We have detected its presence in the brain tissue,” Lucia Noronha, a pathologist from the Brazilian Society of Pathology, told AFP.

“The Zika virus caused brain damage and that reinforces evidence of a relationship between Zika and microcephaly,” she said.

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Earlier, Noronha’s team at the PUC-Parana University was the first to discover Zika in the amniotic fluid of pregnant women — raising alarm over a link between the virus and microcephalic babies, who are born with damaged brains and abnormally small heads.

“We received samples of brain tissue from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. They’re the same samples that were sent to the United States, where researchers at the Centers for Disease Control came to the same conclusion: that there is Zika in the fetus’ brain,” she said.

Brazil is hardest hit by a huge outbreak of Zika, with some 1.5 million people infected. Although in most cases there are few symptoms, the fear is that pregnant women who become infected risk having babies with the birth defect.

The Health Ministry says that between October and February there were 462 cases of microcephaly, up from an average of 150 previously. Another 3,852 cases are suspected.

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2020 Election

Democrats already prepping for possible Trump transition sabotage — assuming he accepts election loss

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Democrats are preparing for the possibility that President Donald Trump and his staff will sabotage their transition if he loses the 2020 election.

At least one outside group -- National Security Action -- has started making preparations for the Democratic campaigns in the event their candidate wins, and Elizabeth Warren has just released a plan that describes how she would quickly staff the government to smooth the transition if she won the White House, reported Politico.

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‘He’s desperate’: Trump rants about impeachment ‘con job’ as McConnell admits he doesn’t have votes to block witnesses

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"The pressure is working," said Indivisible. "We need to hear from Bolton and the other witnesses who know exactly how egregious Trump's abuse of power was."

President Donald Trump fired off a pair of tweets Tuesday night ranting about what he called the "impeachment hoax" and "political con job" shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly admitted in a closed-door meeting with GOP lawmakers that he doesn't have the votes to stop witnesses from being called to testify in the ongoing trial.

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Past ‘evils’ are resurfacing, Germany and Israel warn at Holocaust event

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The "evil spirits" of racism and anti-Semitism are re-emerging, the presidents of Germany and Israel warned in Berlin on Wednesday as they marked 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

Speaking at a special parliamentary session in the Bundestag, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Germans had a responsibility to never forget their Nazi past and to stop hatred from spreading.

"The evil spirits of the past are reappearing today under a new guise," he said.

"More still, they are presenting their ethno-nationalist, authoritarian thinking as a vision, as a better answer to the questions of our time."

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