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A century after the Spanish flu, are we ready for another pandemic?
It killed tens of millions, and it remains the deadliest event ever recorded. Yet 100 years on from the dreaded Spanish flu, we’re still not safe from pandemics – or even on top of seasonal influenza.

A chance encounter lets it loose in New South Wales. Then again, it thrives on chance encounters. On January 20, 1919, two strangers find themselves in a railway carriage, sharing the long, rackety train journey from Melbourne to Sydney. It's midsummer, so perhaps they have a window open, perhaps not. Either way, they can't help but be near each other, breathing the same air, touching the same objects.
One is an Australian soldier who has served in the Great War that ended the previous November. The other is a civilian, his identity never discovered, his fate unknown. We do know he was ill, because the soldier – documented in medical records only as SL – will later report that his travelling companion was suffering from aches and pains and a fever.

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First XDR typhoid is on the verge of being untreatable, spreading globally

Health experts say outbreak is a "clarion call" for health authorities worldwide.

A tenacious epidemic of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid in Pakistan is just one small genetic step away from becoming untreatable—and health experts expect it to spread worldwide.

“It’s a global concern at this point,” Dr. Eric Mintz, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told The New York Times. “Everything suggests this strain will survive well and spread easily—and acquiring resistance to azithromycin is only a matter of time.” Azithromycin is currently the only antibiotic remaining that treats the infection.

Typhoid fever, caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi bacteria, is endemic to Pakistan, parts of which suffer from poor infrastructure, crowded urban areas, and insufficient access to healthcare. The epidemic caused by the XDR strain—the first of its kind—has been unfolding there since November 2016. It has now affected at least 850 people in 14 districts, according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Health in Islamabad and first reported by the Times. Prior to this epidemic, there were only four known, unrelated cases of such heavily drug-resistant typhoid, occurring in Iraq, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

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Continuity Forum Recognising threat - the importance of pre-incident surveillance
The attacks in Paris on 13th November and London on 7/7 show the planning and preparation spent by terrorists and other groups in gathering information to assist with the target selection and operational planning. Any thought that these events occur by chance or on a whim should be banished.

There is generally a set modus operandi employed in the planning and execution of an attack or serious crime, regardless of the target. These will differ group by group and whilst some may be crude, the majority are professional in nature and military in their precision. A key element is acquiring as much information and intelligence as possible, through open and covert means. This process will entail thorough studies of the building, site, facility, area plans, maps, satellite imagery, websites… followed by surveillance on the ground. The March 11, 2004, when 10 bombs exploded on four packed commuter trains in Madrid in the morning rush hour, killing 191 people, were executed after approximately twelve months of planning, reconnaissance and surveillance.

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Telegraph Half of UK manufacturers fall victim to cyber attacks
The UK has already suffered stealth cyber attacks on more than 80 manufacturing plants, with criminals deploying tactics that could put critical national infrastructure at risk.

Britain’s spy agencies have warned the bosses of utilities, transport and health services that Russian hackers are invading unprotected networks ahead of a potentially serious attack.

But new evidence shows the attackers are already targeting UK factories. In an anonymous survey of manufacturers, almost half admitted that they have fallen prey to cyber warfare, according to trade group EEF. 

Stephen Phipson, the boss of EEF, said 48pc of those surveyed said they have at some time been subject to a cyber security incident, and half of these suffered some financial loss or disruption to business as a result.

Almost 170 manufacturers across the country took part in the survey.

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