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In Russia, New Hiv Strain Spreading Rapidly

A scientific research center in Siberia said Wednesday that it discovered a new strain of HIV the virus that causes AIDS and that it is spreading throughout Russia at a rapid rate, RIA Novosti newswire reported today. The subtype was detected in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk in 2006 and now accounts for more than 50% of new HIV infections in the region, Novosibirsks Koltsovo science city said in a statement. The number of HIV-positive people living in the Novosibirsk Region has leaped from about 2,000 in 2007 up to 15,000 in 2012, according to Russias Federal AIDS Center. Natalya Gashnikova, head of the retroviruses department at the Vektor state biotechnology research center at Koltsovo said this might be the worst HIV strain in Russia. RIA reported her saying that the virus spreads much faster than Russias current leading HIV strain. This new strain is not limited Siberia. It has also been found in patient lab tests in Chechnya, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, the institute said. According to the United Nations, Eastern Europe and Central Asia are the only regions in the world where the HIV infection is on the rise. Fifty-two percent of the HIV-positive people that live across that area are in Russia. The World Bank estimates that in 2020, Russia will lose 20,000 people per month to AIDS. The country has experienced the fastest-spreading HIV/AIDS epidemics in any one country in history, but there remains a lack of effective preventative measures to slow it downin both schools and in the larger anti-gay society.

Russia risks US wrath on Snowden asylum

Snowden, 30, making his first publicised appearance since arriving in Moscow, told the activists he wanted to claim asylum in Russia until he could safely travel to win permanent sanctuary in Latin America. I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage… in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as… my legal travel is permitted, Snowden said. He said that the asylum request was being made Friday evening. The head of Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS) Konstantin Romodanovsky said early Saturday that Moscow had yet to receive the application which, if it arrived, would be examined according to normal legal procedures. Prominent Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who attended the meeting and promised to help Snowden, told Russian television that the asylum request procedure could take up to three weeks. But hinting that Snowden’s new application may be viewed positively, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament Sergei Naryshkin and the upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko both swiftly said his request should be accepted. Naryshkin, a powerful ally of Putin who used to head the Kremlin administration, said that Snowden was a defender of human rights who risked facing the death penalty if he was sent back to the United States. ‘He is not a phantom’ The almost surreal meeting saw the group of less than a dozen activists arrive at the airport to be surrounded by a huge crowd of journalists. They were then ushered away by an airport official clutching a sign labelled G9 to a secure area to meet the hitherto invisible fugitive.

Brazil to ask Russia for permission to question Edward Snowden

The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. (AP Photo)The Associated Press In this image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was awarded the Sam Adams Award, according to videos released by the organization WikiLeaks. The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. (AP Photo)The Associated Press In this image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden smiles during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was awarded the Sam Adams Award, according to videos released by the organization WikiLeaks. The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. Snowden, who is charged by a U.S. court with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing the classified NSA programs, has been granted asylum in Russia. (AP Photo)The Associated Press Next Slide Previous Slide BRASILIA, Brazil Brazil’s Federal Police and a Senate investigative panel said Tuesday they want to question National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to learn more about the spying program that targeted Latin America’s biggest country. According to information leaked by Snowden, President Dilma Rousseff’s communications with aides were intercepted, the computer network of state-run oil company Petrobras was hacked and data on billions of emails and telephone calls flowing through Brazil were monitored by the NSA. “For our investigation, questioning Snowden is a top priority,” said Jose Alberto Freitas, the head of the intelligence sector of Brazil’s Federal Police, before a Senate committee investigating the NSA spy program.