Tag Archive | Barack Obama

Deadly Ebola Virus; 1.2 million people quarantined in Sierra Leone, Africa

Ebola Virus

Sierra Leone has quarantined more than 1 million people in the largest lockdown in west Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak
Three new districts and 12 tribal chiefdoms have been restricted with immediate affect after a lockdown last week helped health officials identify challenging areas.
“The isolation of districts and chiefdoms will definitely pose great difficulty but the lives of everyone and the survival of our country takes precedence over these difficulties,” president Ernest Bai Koroma said.
“These are trying moments for everyone in the country.”
The northern districts of Port Loko and Bombali are to be closed off along with the southern district of Moyamba – effectively sealing off about 1.2 million people.
Only health workers and people delivering essential items can move within the new quarantine zones.
The worst ever outbreak of Ebola has killed almost 3,000 people in West Africa, including nearly 600 in Sierra Leone.
The World Health Organisation warned the number of cases could triple unless more was done.
Obama says world not moving fast enough
Its call was backed by US president Barack Obama, who told a crisis meeting at the United Nations that world powers were “not moving fast enough”.
Mr Obama has already dispatched 3,000 troops to Liberia to set up facilities and form training teams to help treat Ebola victims.
Congress has also approved the use of money leftover from the Afghanistan war to begin funding the president’s $US1 billion request to help fight the outbreak.
But Mr Obama warned other nations the US did not have the capacity to fight the epidemic on its own.
“I hope that I’ve properly communicated a sense of urgency here,” he said.
“Do not stand by thinking that because of something that we’ve done that it’s taken care of because of what we’ve done. It’s not.
“Everyone has the best of intentions but there is still a significant gap between where we are and where we need to be.”
The UN meeting was called by secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to ramp up the international response after the Security Council last week declared the outbreak a threat to world peace and security.
Liberia ‘fighting back’, president says
Liberia is now the country hardest hit by the outbreak. The country says it has secured imports of basic food staples until December, but the disruption caused to its mining sector could trigger a recession next year.
Airlines have suspended flights while expatriate workers have fled.
Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, told the meeting by video link that her country was facing perhaps its greatest challenge, and while the world had taken some time to adequately respond, “We are fighting back”.
The Canadian government says poor global coordination has bogged down efforts to deliver its Ebola vaccine to Africa.
The experimental vaccine remains in a government laboratory, six weeks after Canada promised to make it available to fight the deadly outbreak.
Foreign minsters of the G7 group of countries pledged to keep open air and sea links with Ebola-hit countries.
“We warn that although the spread of Ebola must be contained, affected countries must not be isolated,” the group said in a statement.
“We underline the necessity to enhance the ability of the countries concerned to fight the disease themselves.”

President Barack Obama has issued a disaster declaration to portions of Middle Tennessee affected by flooding and high winds

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President Barack Obama has declared portions of Middle Tennessee affected by flooding and straight-line winds in June as disaster areas.
Obama issued a disaster declaration Tuesday that allows federal funding to be sent to state and local governments in areas affected by the storms, according to a White House news release.
From June 5 to 10, a series of storms that produced heavy rain and high winds swept through the state, including several counties south of Nashville.
Three people died after being swept away by floodwaters in Hickman and Lawrence counties. A tornado was reported in Obion County in West Tennessee.
Midstate counties eligible for federal disaster aid are Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Maury and Perry. In East Tennessee, the counties are Anderson, Bledsoe, Marion, Roane and Sequatchie. In West Tennessee, they are Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Madison,and Tipton.

Obama Pledges Aid For Drought-Hit California

The US president announces more than $160m in financial aid to serve families affected by the water shortage

President Obama Inspects Drought-Stricken California

Barack Obama has promised millions of dollars in aid to those suffering in the worst drought to hit the American west for a hundred years.

The president visited a farm in California to meet those affected and see the extent of the damage of a dry spell that has now gone on for years.

More than 90% of the state, which produces half of the country’s fruit and vegetable stock, is now classed as being in “severe” drought.

Reservoirs have fallen to below 20% of their normal levels and the public of America’s most populous state is being asked to conserve water.

The president held a round table discussion with farmers who have seen their land turned into scenes reminiscent of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Mr Obama said: “I wanted to come here to listen. This is going to be a very challenging situation for some time to come.

“We’re going to have to stop looking at these disasters as something to wait for. We’re going to have to start looking at these disasters as something to prepare for.

“We are going to stay on top of this because it has national implications.”

Obama's drought visit in California MILAM package

Mr Obama announced more than $160m in financial aid, including programmes to cover the loss of livestock and food banks, to serve families affected by the water shortage. He will also call on government facilities in California to limit water consumption.

“These actions will help, but they’re just the first step.

“We have to be clear. A changing climate means that weather-related disasters like droughts, wildfires, storms, floods, are potentially going to be costlier and they’re going to be harsher.”

For the first time in its history, California’s state water project, which distributes supplies through a network of waterways, has announced it will not be able to meet demand for millions of people.

The drought continues after a year of the lowest rainfall on record. It has sparked wildfires and brought to a head a political row over the state’s water resources that feed major cities. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency.

Mr Obama is also pushing for a $1bn fund to mitigate the impact of climate change. The Climate Resilience Fund is intended to finance research into better understanding of projected impacts and how to better protect communities and infrastructure.

While in California the president is holding talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah on the Middle East peace process and the situation in Syria.