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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - Figures at a Glance

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Population Division - International Migration

Faulty modeling studies led to overstated predictions of Ebola outbreak

MEDICAL EXPRESS                                                                       MARCH 31, 2015

(scroll down for complete paper.)

Frequently used approaches to understanding and forecasting emerging epidemics—including the West African Ebola outbreak—can lead to big errors that mask their own presence, according to a University of Michigan ecologist and his colleagues.

Last September, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated—based on computer modeling—that Liberia and Sierra Leone could see up to 1.4 million Ebola cases by January 2015 if the viral disease kept spreading without effective methods to contain it. Belatedly, the international community stepped up efforts to control the outbreak, and the explosive growth slowed.

"Those predictions proved to be wrong, and it was not only because of the successful intervention in West Africa," King said. "It's also because the methods people were using to make the forecasts were inappropriate."

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Ebola in Graphs: The toll

THE ECONOMIST                                                                                                    Jan. 1, 2015
THE first reported case in the Ebola outbreak ravaging west Africa dates back to December 2013, in Guéckédou, a forested area of Guinea near the border with Liberia and Sierra Leone. Travellers took it across the border: by late March, Liberia had reported eight suspected cases and Sierra Leone six. By the end of June 759 people had been infected and 467 people had died from the disease, making this the worst ever Ebola outbreak. The numbers keep climbing. As of December 28th, 20,206 cases and 7,905 deaths had been reported worldwide, the vast majority of them in these same three countries. Many suspect these estimates are badly undercooked.
See complete set of graphs.

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Are we asking the wrong questions about Ebola?

BBC NEWS MAGAZINE                                            NOV. 11, 2014

By Ben Carter

The Ebola virus has killed about 5,000 people since March - but one scientist who is studying the statistics says this is not the best figure to consider if we really want to understand the current state of the outbreak and how to beat it.



A total of 4,960 people have died from Ebola this year according to statistics released by the World Health Organisation on 4 November. More than half of those cases - 2,766 - were in Liberia.

But this cumulative figure, which is widely reported, can only go one way - up. It gives no meaningful insight into how the outbreak has developed says Hans Rosling, professor of global health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden....

Read full story.

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Oldest Baby Boom in North America Sheds Light on Native American Population Crash

Sites like Pueblo Bonito in northern New Mexico reached their maximum size in the early A.D. 1100s, just before a major drought began to decrease birth rates throughout the Southwest. Credit: Nate Crabtree

Scientists chart an ancient baby boom—in southwestern Native Americans from 500 to 1300 AD - June 30, 2014

Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

It was a time when the early features of civilization—including farming and food storage—had matured to where birth rates likely "exceeded the highest in the world today," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A crash followed . . .


CLICK HERE - PNAS - RESEARCH - Long and spatially variable Neolithic Demographic Transition in the North American Southwest


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Patuca Reserve Resilience Network

Honduras' ecosystems are being destroyed at an incredible rate, taking with it the rich natural heritage of biodiversity that has required million of years to evolve.  In 20 years, human populations in Honduras will be be threatend from ecosystem collapses that are likely to create abect misery and population collapses at an extraordinatry level.  Already population crashes are happening in small scale collapses due to the degradation of social ecology.  

There is a need to build a Patuca Reserve Resilience Network to help preserve the remaining 30% of the Patuca Reserve that has not been destroyed by deforestation and gold mining in the rivers. Association Patuca and Dr. Perinjaquet are working on introducing Resilience Capacity Zone Assessments and Mapping in order to identify solution sets local communities would embrace for preserving their environments and livelihoods, considering that they are squating within a national preserve that to date has had no environmental enforcement. 

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Nearly two-thirds of Greek youths are unemployed

A Greek unemployment center.

Image: A Greek unemployment center. - May 9th 2013 - George Georgiopoulos

Greek youth unemployment shot to a record 64 percent in February, underscoring the dire state of the recession-hit economy despite signs of improving business sentiment.

Repeated doses of austerity under international bailouts have almost tripled Greece's jobless rate since its debt crisis began in 2009, weighing on an economy in its sixth year of recession.

Overall unemployment has risen to an all-time high of 27 percent, data showed on Thursday, while joblessness in the 15-to-24 age group jumped to 64.2 percent in February from 59.3 percent in January.


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4 Videos: Failed States Index 2012 Launch

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - Launches Flagship Publication on State of the World's Refugees - May 31, 2012

NEW YORK, United States, May 31 (UNHCR) UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres warned on Thursday that factors causing mass population flight are growing and over the coming decade more people on the move will become refugees or displaced within their own country.

In comments marking the launch in New York of "The State of the World's Refugees: In Search of Solidarity," Guterres said displacement from conflict was becoming compounded by a combination of causes, including climate change, population growth, urbanization, food insecurity, water scarcity and resource competition.

All these factors are interacting with each other, increasing instability and conflict and forcing people to move. In a world that is becoming smaller and smaller, finding solutions, he said, would need determined international political will.

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A Taste of Hope Sends Refugees Back to Darfur


People who fled the Darfur region of Sudan amid brutal attacks are coming back. A Darfurian in Nyuru, peacekeepers behind her.   Sven Torfinn for The New York Times

The New York Times - by Jeffrey Gettleman - February 26, 2012

NYURU, Sudan — More than 100,000 people in Darfur have left the sprawling camps where they had taken refuge for nearly a decade and headed home to their villages over the past year, the biggest return of displaced people since the war began in 2003 and a sign that one of the world’s most infamous conflicts may have decisively cooled.

The millions of civilians who fled into camps, their homes often reduced to nothing more than rings of ash by armed raiders, are among the most haunting legacies of the conflict in Darfur, transforming this rural landscape into a collection of swollen impromptu squatter towns.

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