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U.S. CDC confirms evidence of local monkeypox transmission

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Test tubes labelled “Monkeypox virus positive” are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday there was evidence of local transmission of monkeypox, as well as cases reported in people who have traveled abroad.

The cases are mainly occurring in men who engage in sexual relations with other men, but women are also getting infected, CDC staff member Dr. Agam Rao said at a panel meeting.

The lesions associated with the present monkeypox outbreak are also smaller than those typical of classic monkeypox, Rao said.

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Amtrak train hits truck, derails in Missouri, injuries reported

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(Reuters) – Several cars on an Amtrak train derailed in northern Missouri on Monday after hitting a dump truck at a crossing, with reports of injuries among its approximately 243 passengers, the U.S. national passenger railroad service said in a statement.

The train hit the vehicle at a public crossing in Mendon, Missouri, at 1:42 p.m. as it was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago, Amtrak said.

Three patients were being taken to a University of Missouri Health Care hospital in Columbia, Missouri, about 90 miles away, a hospital spokesman said.

The federal National Transportation Safety Board said it was gathering information on the incident.

Eight air ambulances responded and authorities were treating it as a mass casualty incident, a Washington Post reporter wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

“We ask Missourians to join us in praying for all those impacted,” Missouri Governor Mike Parson said on Twitter.

A passenger on the train, Robert Nightingale, told CNN that all the cars “were knocked over, except the main engine.”

He said he had been dozing off in his car when the train derailed.

“I could feel the tracks go back and forth, back and forth, and then it started to go, to tumble on my side of the road,” he said.

Nightingale said he and others were at a local school.

“There were ambulances all over, they were bringing stretchers to the train, and now there are stretchers here at the school,” he said.

An Amtrak passenger train derailed in north central Montana in September. Three people were killed.

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Biden swipes at China with memorandum to combat illegal fishing

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© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden attends a welcoming ceremony on the first day of the G7 summit at Bavaria’s Schloss Elmau castle, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, June 26, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday signed a national security memorandum to fight illegal fishing, part of pledged efforts to help countries combat alleged violations by fishing fleets, including those of China.

The White House said in a statement that it would also launch an alliance with Canada and the United Kingdom to “take urgent action” to improve monitoring, control, and surveillance in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

U.S. officials have vowed to introduce policies to better battle illegal fishing, particularly in the Indo-Pacific, as part of stepped up engagement with the region to counter China’s growing influence.

Some countries in the region chafe at China’s vast fishing fleet, arguing its vessels often violate their 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and cause environmental damage and economic losses.

Senior U.S. administration officials told reporters in a briefing that the memorandum directs agencies to work toward “ending human trafficking, including forced labor … while promoting safe, sustainable use of the ocean.”

The Department of Labor, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other enforcement agencies would engage with private and foreign partners to “investigate fishing vessels and operators expected to be harvesting seafood with forced labor,” the official said.

The effort was not targeted at any specific country, but the official said China was one of the largest violators.

“The PRC (People’s Republic of China) is a leading contributor to IUU fishing worldwide, and has impeded progress on the development of measures to combat IUU fishing and overfishing in international organizations,” the official said.

“The PRC has a responsibility to uphold these commitments as a flag state and actively monitor and correct … fishing fleet activities in other countries’ waters,” she said.

China’s embassy in Washington did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

China says it is a responsible fishing country that has been cooperating internationally to clamp down on illegal fishing, and that it fishes in relevant EEZs according to bilateral agreements.

Earlier in June, the Philippines accused China of illegal fishing in its EEZ, a complaint backed by the U.S. State Department.

The U.S. Coast Guard has said illegal fishing has outpaced piracy as the top global maritime security threat, and risks heightening tensions among countries vying for overexploited fishing stocks.

U.S. Indo-Pacific policy coordinator Kurt Campbell said in May that countries in the region were cooperating to step up patrolling and training efforts, as well as sharing technologies to track vessels engaged in illegal fishing that turn off electronic transponders.

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Sports & General

Amtrak train derails in Missouri after hitting truck, injuries reported

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(Reuters) -Several cars on an Amtrak train derailed in Mendon, Missouri, on Monday after hitting a dump truck at a crossing and there are early reports of injuries among the approximately 243 passengers on board, Amtrak said in a statement.

The train hit the vehicle at a public crossing at 1:42 p.m. as it was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago, Amtrak said.

“Local authorities are currently assisting customers and we have deployed Amtrak resources to assist. Additional details will be provided as available,” it said.

The derailment comes after an Amtrak passenger train in September derailed in north central Montana, killing three people.

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