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Africa isolated as Monkeypox spreads in Europe. Reports suggest disease might be sex-related

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Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, is gradually penetrating Europe and North America. Interestingly, the spread is not connected to Africa this time.

As the count of new cases of the virus increases in Europe with Germany being the latest of more than 100 cases, there is a rather strange pattern common with cases of Europeans who had contracted the disease.

Reuters reports that many of the cases are not linked to travel to the continent. As a result, the cause of this outbreak is unclear, although health authorities have said that there is potentially some degree of community spread.

In Britain, where 20 cases have been now confirmed, the UK Health Security Agency said the recent cases in the country were predominantly among men who self-identified as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.

The 14 cases in Portugal that were all detected in sexual health clinics are also in men who self-identify as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.

Spain is also not isolated, Health authorities in the country said 23 new cases were confirmed on Friday, mainly in the Madrid region where most infections were linked to an outbreak in an adult sauna.

According to Germany’s armed forces’ medical service, which detected its first case in the country on Friday, “With several confirmed cases in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal, this is the largest and most widespread outbreak of monkeypox ever seen in Europe.”

A medical jury is called to task to ascertain if the new cases in Europe are enough to link the disease with Sexual Transmitted Disease (STI), time and science will tell.

Stuart Neil, professor of virology at Kings College London said “the idea that there’s some sort of sexual transmission in this, I think, is a little bit of a stretch,”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization was due to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the recent outbreak.

Musings From Abroad

US Supreme Court abolishes abortion right after almost 50-year precedence

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The US Supreme Court on Friday reversed a nearly half century old constitutional right to abortion.

Justice Samuel Alito who wrote for the Majority argued that the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling which had favoured abortion right “must be overruled” because they were “egregiously wrong,” the arguments “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority.”

The ruling comes after leaked draft of Roe vs Wade ruling which guaranteed abortion rights across the country has caused outrage last month.

The Roe vs Wade, ruling was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

Although the supreme court declined comment at the time of the leak in May, the Friday ruling perhaps confirmed the fears of many.

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, in a series of tweets while reacting to the leak stressed that “an extremist Supreme Court is poised to overturn #RoeVWade and impose its far-right, unpopular views on the entire country. It’s time for the millions who support the Constitution and abortion rights to stand up and make their voices heard. We’re not going back—not ever

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has drawn reactions from top politicians in the US. One of such is veteran congressman and Democrat, Benie Sanders who tweeted that “overturning Roe v. Wade and denying women the right to control their own bodies is an outrage and in defiance of what the American people want. Democrats must now end the filibuster in the Senate, codify Roe v. Wade, and once again make abortion legal and safe.”

American singer, Taylor Swift, also reacted against the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.” The singer said on twitter.

Also reacting to the ruling is US former president, Barrack Obama, who said “today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”

Meanwhile, there have also been reactions in support of the abolishing of the nearly 50 years of precedent, notably Americans with ideological sentiment with Republicans.

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Musings From Abroad

Elon Musk’s transgender child sever ties with father, seeks name change

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The 18-year-old transgender daughter of billionaire owner of electric car manufacturing company, Tesla, Elon Musk, has severed ties with her rich father and has filed a request to change her name in accordance with her new gender identity.

The petition for both a name change and a new birth certificate reflecting her new gender identity was filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Santa Monica in April.

Christened Xavier Alexander Musk at birth, the billionaire’s child who recently turned 18 which is the age of consent in California, has asked the court to legal authority to change her gender recognition from male to female and to register her new name.

While filing the petition, Xavier said he took the decision because “I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”

Xavier’s name, according to media reports, was redacted in documents to reflect his mother’s name which is Justine Wilson, who divorced Musk in 2008.

However, there was no further explanation of the rift between Musk’s daughter and her father, as lawyers for both parties refused to make further comments.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has been a vocal opponent of sex change and had spoken about the practice in the past.

In 2020, Musk weighed in on the issue of transgender people choosing their preferred pronouns in a tweet by saying, “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic (sic) nightmare.”

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