VOSBURG, South Africa (AP) — Residents call this drought-stricken community a “forgotten town.”
The flat, dusty roads to Vosburg are surrounded by withered fields. The streams feeding the community of a few thousand people have gone dry. Signs warn drivers of wandering cattle and sheep but there are none in sight.
The months-long drought is affecting most of southern Africa. The United Nations estimates that more than 11 million people now face crisis levels of food insecurity in places like Zimbabwe and Mozambique, where two cyclones wiped out crops earlier this year.
(CNN)Two people in China are being treated for plague, authorities said Tuesday. It’s the second time the disease, the same one that caused the Black Death, one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, has been detected in the region — in May, a Mongolian couple died from bubonic plague after eating the raw kidney of a marmot, a local folk health remedy.
The two recent patients, from the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia, were diagnosed with pneumonic plague by doctors in the Chinese capital Beijing, according to state media Xinhua. They are now receiving treatment in Beijing’s Chaoyang District, and authorities have implemented preventative control measures.
Plague, caused by bacteria and transmitted through flea bites and infected animals, can develop in three different forms. Bubonic plague causes swollen lymph nodes, while septicemic plague infects the blood and pneumonic plague infects the lungs.
Pneumonic — the kind the Chinese patients have — is more virulent and damaging. Left untreated, it is always fatal, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
During the Middle Ages, plague outbreaks devastated Europe, killing around 50 million people. Since then, we’ve invented antibiotics, which can treat most infections if they are caught early enough — but the plague isn’t gone. In fact, it’s made a recent comeback.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate criminal cases.
The charges come after Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit considered and rejected the arguments of Netanyahu’s legal team in the four-day pre-indictment hearing in October in which they tried to dissuade prosecutors from charging him.
Netanyahu now faces the dual challenges of fighting to remain prime minister while grappling with the frustrating political deadlock that appears to be leading Israel to a third election in the space of a year.
The two issues are deeply intertwined: One of the main roadblocks to the formation of a governing coalition was the refusal of Netanyahu’s potential partners in a unity government to serve as ministers in a government led by a prime minister under criminal indictment.
It was in February, ahead of the year’s first national election in April, when Mendelblit first announced he had decided to indict Netanyahu, pending the October hearings.
Mendelblit’s initial decision to indict came after examining — and agreeing with — two police reports issued in 2018, which recommended that the prime minister be indicted in three affairs known as Case 1000, Case 2000 and Case 4000, cases that have been under investigation for more than three years.