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NYC’s highly contagious measles epidemic about to go nationwide thanks to anti-vaxxer parents: MSNBC

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MSNBC medical correspondent Dr. John Torres said Monday that the measles epidemic hitting New York City may go national — and urged people to get vaccinated.

“It is pretty scary, and it’s spreading across the country and it’s spreading across the world,” said Torres. “The World Health Organization just came out saying there’s 112,000 cases so far this year of measles around the world.” The U.S., he added, was home to 555 of those cases, just four months into the year.

“In 2000, the US declared measles eliminated, meaning either there were very few cases, it wasn’t eradicated but it wasn’t endemic, it wasn’t entrenched in the U.S.,” Torres went on. “Talking to measles experts, they’re saying we can’t say that anymore.”

“The thing people have a hard time realizing is that measles is one of the most contagious viruses out there known to man,” he added in a dig at the anti-vaccine movement which is at least partly to blame for the current surge in infections. “Somebody you pass in the concourse of an airport, boom, you catch it very easily. Ninety percent of people unprotected catch it if somebody passes them with measles.”

“Get vaccinated. There’s no harm in the vaccine,” Torres urged. “It’s rare to get any problems from the vaccine. It’s not rare to get problems from measles.”

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Saudi Arabia blames Iran for tanker attacks but does not want war

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Saudi Arabia’s crown prince blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and called on the international community to take a “decisive stand”, but said that the kingdom does not want a war in the region.

Attacks on two oil tankers on Thursday, which the United States also blamed on Iran, have raised fears of broader confrontation in the region. Iran has denied any role in the strikes south of the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route and major transit route for oil.

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Two AFP journalists beaten, detained in Central African Republic

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Security forces in Central African Republic beat and detained two journalists working for French news wire Agence France-Presse (AFP) covering a banned opposition protest in the capital Bangui, the reporters said Sunday.

Charles Bouessel, 28, and Florent Vergnes, 30, said they were held for more than six hours and questioned three times on Saturday after having been manhandled by members of the Central Office for the Suppression of Banditry (OCRB).

The pair also had their equipment confiscated and a camera smashed up.

AFP condemned the incident as "unjustifiable police violence".

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Hong Kong leader apologizes as rally chokes city

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About two million protesters choked Hong Kong's streets in a powerful rebuke of a reviled extradition law, organisers said Sunday, piling pressure on the city's embattled pro-Beijing leader who apologised for causing "conflict" but refused to step down.

The show of force saw vast crowds marching for hours in tropical heat, calling for the resignation of chief executive Carrie Lam, who was forced to suspend the bill as public anger mounted.

Throngs of largely black-clad protesters snaked their way for miles through the streets to the city's parliament -- with the organisers' estimate for the crowd size doubling an already record-breaking demonstration the previous Sunday in the city of 7.3 million.

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