News In Focus – A Look At The World’s Most Interesting Stories


Health: U.S. scientists said on Thursday they have found bacteria that are resistant to an antibiotic used as a last resort, and health officials are worried that doctors may soon be out of treatment options.

Patrick McGann, a scientist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, published the study, which confirmed that bacteria found in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania patient was resistant to a strain of E Coli that carries a gene for resistance against colistin.

Colistin is the “antibiotic of last resort” for particularly dangerous germs, including a family of bacteria known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, which are resistant to most-known antibiotics.

Health officials are worried that if the colistin-resistant gene spreads to other bacteria, supergerms may emerge that would be immune to all known antibiotics and cause untreatable infections.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron urged world leaders at the Group of Seven summit on Friday to set up a global fund worth $1.6 billion a year to reward pharmaceutical companies that develop drugs to fight “superbugs,” according to the Financial Times.

For more, we go to this Ted Talk video:


Sports: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday rejected a call to postpone the 2016 Olympic Games — which run from August 5 to 21 in Rio de Janeiro — due to the threat of Zika virus.

In an open letter posted online on Friday, 150 leading scientists, medical experts, pediatrics and bioethicists from several countries and leading institutions, asked Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, to move or postpone the Rio Games.

They said the risk of infection from the Zika virus was too high, and it would be unethical for the games to go ahead as scheduled.

Zika virus has been linked to severe birth defects in children, as well as neurological problems in adults.

Brazil is particularly hard-hit, where 4,908 babies have been born with with Zika-linked defects as of April.

But the United Nations health chief dismissed the call for caution, citing reason that holding the Rio Games as planned would “not significantly alter” the spread of Zika.

The International Olympic Committee also said it sees no reason to delay or move the Games.

Fox News has this report:


Europe: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday that at least 1,000 attempted migrants died or have gone missing over the past week in the Mediterranean Sea as they were trying to seek asylum in Europe.

According to IOM, 62 people had been confirmed dead and another 971 had gone missing and were presumed dead in nine incidents on the route between Libya and Italy since May 25.

Among these casualties were more than 700 people from three separate incidents last week, the United Nations refugee agency announced on Sunday.

The route between Libya and Italy has proven particularly deadly.  Nearly all of those traveling on this route are from sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nigeria and Gambia, as well as Somalia and Eritrea.

However, pundits expected that even the grim casualty figure is unlikely to trigger any major shift in Europe’s refugee policy.

Here’s a report by the Wall Street Journal:


Culture: The Polish government has reversed its decision and will attempt to extradite the filmmaker Roman Polanski to the United States.

The 82-year-old film director pleaded guilty in 1977 of the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

Polanski fled to Europe to escape sentencing, and has been wanted by the U.S. since.  He is said to have a home in Krakow, Poland, so the U.S. requested the Polish authorities’ help to extradite the film director.

But, last October, the local Polish court of Krakow denied America’s extradition request, saying that turning over Polanski would be an “obviously unlawful” deprivation of liberty, according to the New York Times.

The Polish prosecutor’s office decided not to appeal against the court decision until Tuesday when Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister and prosecutor general, returned to the decision and revived the effort to extradite the filmmaker.

Born in 1933, Polanski is a Holocaust survivor and has won numerous awards for his films, including Chinatown (1974), Tess (1979) and The Pianist (2002).  He is working on a film in Poland about Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army captain who was wrongly convicted of spying for Germany in 1894.

CNN has summed up the case:


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Lead-In Image: “KRAKOW, POLAND – OCTOBER 30, 2015 : Polish film director Roman Polanski in court in Krakow after hearing on a request for his extradition to the USA.”; Courtesy of praszkiewicz /