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The nation’s worst measles epidemic in 27 years could be in its final stages as a week went by with no new reported cases.

“To get to zero is tremendously encouraging,” said Jason Schwartz, a Yale University expert on vaccination policy.

The current epidemic emerged about a year ago and took off earlier this year, with most of the cases reported in Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City.12 Sturdy Melamine Picnic Mugs Caravan Picnic Camping BBQ Party Wildlife It started with travelers who had become infected overseas but spread quickly among unvaccinated people.

In the spring, 70 or more new cases were being reported every week. Not long ago, the nation that saw that many measles cases in a whole year.

So far this year, 1,241 cases have been confirmed — a number that didn’t rise last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday. 12 Verres multi-usages incassables en polycarbonate black, 34,1 clThe last time the CDC reported no new measles cases was 11 months ago.

New York officials responded to the explosion of measles cases with a wave of measures, including education campaigns to counter misinformation about vaccine safety and fines for people who didn’t get vaccinated.

The epidemic has threatened the Unites States’ nearly 2-decade-old status as a nation that has eliminated measles. 12 x Indro Water Bottle 1ltr Glass Clear Jug Table Water Restaurant CateringThe status could come to an end if the disease spreads among Americans for a year or more. Other countries, including Greece and the United Kingdom, recently lost their elimination status amid a global surge in the disease.

Measles outbreaks are typically declared over when 42 days pass without a new infection. If no new cases crop up, the national outbreak would likely end on or about Sept. 30 — just before officials might have to decide on the U.S. elimination status.

The loss of elimination status in the U.S. could take the steam out of measles vaccination campaigns in other countries, said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert.

Health ministers around the world might say, “Why should we strive for elimination? We’ll just do the best we can to control measles, but we won’t go the extra several miles to get to zero,” Schaffner said.

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World leaders meeting at the United Nations General Assembly, which begins Tuesday in New York, must make nuclear arms control a priority, according to a group of over 100 political, military and diplomatic figures. They have issued a statement warning that the risks of nuclear accident, misjudgment or miscalculation have not been higher since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

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The Islamic State terror group has issued a new audio recording , claiming to show the group’s reclusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi encouraging his supporters and fighters to conduct more military operations and engage in more propaganda.

The recording, posted to the internet Monday by IS’s al-Furqan media division, also calls on IS supporters not to forget about Muslims being held in prisons and refugee camps.

U.S. officials have yet to comment on the purported recording.

Earlier this year, the terror group released a video of the man it claimed was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi seeking revenge for the fall of the terror group’s self-declared caliphate In Iraq and Syria.

Before that, the 48-year-old Baghdadi had not been seen since he gave a sermon at the al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, Iraq, in July 2014.

The lack of public appearances and the sporadic messages attributed to him had led to speculation about his whereabouts, while also sparking numerous rumors of his death. But U.S. military and intelligence officials have long believed Baghdadi is alive and hiding in remote areas of Syria or Iraq where IS remains entrenched, possibly with local support.

Since 2016, the United States has offered a reward of up to $25 million for information that helps bring Baghdadi to justice. Only one other person, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, has a reward that high.

VOA’s Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.



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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to annex “all the settlements” in the West Bank, including an enclave deep in the heart of the largest Palestinian city, in a last-ditch move that appeared aimed at shoring up nationalist support the day before a do-over election.

Locked in a razor tight race and with legal woes hanging over him, Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival. In the final weeks of his campaign he has been doling out hard-line promises meant to draw more voters to his Likud party and re-elect him in Tuesday’s unprecedented repeat vote.

“I intend to extend sovereignty on all the settlements and the [settlement] blocs,” including “sites that have security importance or are important to Israel’s heritage,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Israeli Army Radio, part of an eleventh-hour media blitz.

Asked if that included the hundreds of Jews who live under heavy military guard amid tens of thousands of Palestinians in the volatile city of Hebron, Netanyahu responded “of course.”

Israelis head to the polls Tuesday in the second election this year, after Netanyahu failed to cobble together a coalition following April’s vote, sparking the dissolution of parliament.

Netanyahu has made a series of ambitious pledges in a bid to whip up support, including a promise to annex the Jordan Valley, an area even moderate Israelis view as strategic but which the Palestinians consider the breadbasket of any future state.

To protest that announcement, the Palestinian Authority held a Cabinet meeting in the Jordan Valley village of Fasayil on Monday, a day after Israel’s Cabinet met elsewhere in the valley.

“The Jordan Valley is part of Palestinian lands and any settlement or annexation is illegal,” Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said at the start of the meeting. “We will sue Israel in international courts for exploiting our land and we will continue our struggle against the occupation on the ground and in international forums.”

Critics contend that Netanyahu’s pledges, if carried out, would enflame the Middle East and eliminate any remaining Palestinian hope of establishing a separate state. His political rivals have dismissed his talk of annexation as an election ploy noting that he has refrained from annexing any territory during his more than a decade in power.   

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war.

Over 2.5 million Palestinians now live in occupied territories, in addition to nearly 700,000 Jewish settlers. Israel already has annexed east Jerusalem in a move that is not internationally recognized. The international community, along with the Palestinians, overwhelmingly considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem illegal.

Tuesday’s vote will largely be a referendum on Netanyahu, who this year surpassed Israel’s founding prime minister as the country’s longest-serving leader.

He has cast himself as the only candidate capable of facing Israel’s myriad challenges. But his opponents say his legal troubles — including a recommendation by the attorney general to indict him on bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges loom too large for him to carry on.

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