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City title hopes in tatters as United take derby spoils

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first_imgManchester City’s Premier League title hopes were in tatters after suffering a 2-1 derby defeat at home to Manchester United on Saturday, leaving Pep Guardiola’s champions 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.Goals from Marcus Rashford (penalty) and Anthony Martial put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 2-0 up at the break and City only pulled one back in the 85th minute through Nicolas Otamendi.While over half the season remains to be played it is hard to see a scenario where Liverpool throw away this huge advantage, particularly given the way Guardiola’s side are struggling to get anywhere close to the performance levels of their back-to-back title campaigns.This was City’s fourth defeat of the season and 32 points marks Guardiola’s worst return after the first 16 matches of a top-flight season in his managerial career.For United, now up to fifth and within eight points of City, it was the finest Premier League win for their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and capped a perfect week after they beat Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham on Wednesday.United were a constant threat on the counter-attack with the pace of the front three but crucially showed organisation and resilience to cope with City’s inevitable response after the break.Remarkably though, United could have had the game wrapped up inside half hour, given the amount of chances they created as they swept aside City in midfield and exposed their shaky defence.Daniel James and Martial tested City keeper Ederson in the early stages before Rashford, in a rich vein of form, engineered the opener.A VAR review ruled that Bernardo Silva had brought down Rashford inside the box and the United striker kept his cool to convert from the spot.PROMISING POSITIONRashford missed a good chance to double the lead, curling wide from a promising position and with United ripping open the City defence the England forward struck the bar with a lofted shot from the edge of the box.The second goal wasn’t long in coming, however, Martial squeezing home a low, left-foot shot after a swift exchange with Dan James.City felt they should have had a penalty before the break when Fred slid in to block a low pull-back from Kyle Walker with the home players feeling the ball struck his arm but the VAR review backed referee Anthony Taylor’s judgement.Guardiola’s side were on top for most of the second half but when they did manage to break down United’s back line, Spanish keeper David De Gea kept them at bay.On the hour, Victor Lindelof was caught dawdling on the ball in the area and robbed by Raheem Sterling inside box but the forward overdid his dribble across the area and the chance evaporated.Four minutes later Rodri let fly from the edge of the box and his effort took a deflection but somehow De Gea managed to reach back to tip over the bar.Five minutes from the end, Otamendi headed in a Riyad Mahrez cross after a corner, powering the ball in with real determination and the Etihad came alive.The prompted a late scramble for an equaliser but once again the inspired De Gea was able to get down to keep out their most dangerous effort, a low shot from substitute Mahrez.United’s Brazilian midfielder Fred appeared to be struck by an object thrown from the crowd while taking a corner in the second half, with reports that he and Jesse Lingard were subjected to racial abuse.last_img

Vidal aims VAR swipe at Real Madrid

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first_imgChilean star Arturo Vidal is already charging up the rivalry between his new club Barcelona and their fierce rivals Real Madrid. The former Juventus and Bayern Munich midfielder claimed Real Madrid would have not won the last two Champions Leagues title had VAR been in use. Vidal was part of the Bayern team that was beaten by Real Madrid in the latter stages of the previous two editions of the competition in controversial fashion. "With VAR, Bayern would have two more Champions League titles and Madrid two less," said Vidal. "I want to win everything," he added. "My favourite title is the Champions League." Bayern felt hard done by on both occasions when they went out to Madrid after a number of decisions went against them, including Vidal's red card in their quarter-final second leg in April 2017. That clash went to extra time with the scores level at 3-3 on aggregate, but Cristiano Ronaldo turned the tie Madrid's way with a double to complete his hat-trick with his second goal coming from an offside position. Bayern also had issues with some of the decisions in last season's semi-final, when the Bundesliga champions were denied a penalty for a poor challenge from Sergio Ramos on Robert Lewandowski.last_img

Montpellier win maiden Ligue 1 title

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first_img0Shares0000PARIS, France, May 21 – Montpellier claimed the first French league title in their history after winning 2-1 at Auxerre on an extraordinary final day of the season on Sunday, after a game twice delayed due to protests by the home fans.Second-placed Paris Saint-Germain did all they could by winning 2-1 at Lorient, and the delays at Auxerre meant that Rene Girard’s side had to endure a nervous wait before their title success was confirmed. Montpellier finished the season three points clear of PSG in the final standings, which gave the southern club — 14th in Ligue 1 last season — their first major honour since the 1990 French Cup.“I think it’s deserved,” said Montpellier coach Girard amid scenes of jubilation on the pitch at Auxerre following the final whistle.“It was a huge fight right until the end. Looking at the number of points, you have to say that the three teams at the top (Montpellier, PSG and Lille) have had extraordinary seasons.”There was no hint of the drama to come when Auxerre broke the deadlock in the 20th minute at Stade Abbe Deschamps, with Olivier Kapo heading home from a corner.A defeat was the only means by which Montpellier could have been denied the title but they equalised in the 32nd minute when John Utaka converted a low right-wing cross from Souleymane Camara.The Auxerre fans’ protest at their relegation — which saw them throw tennis balls and toilet rolls onto the pitch — began at the start of the second period and forced the players to return to the changing rooms.When play resumed, Montpellier were 19 minutes behind the Lorient-PSG game, and with PSG winning, the leaders were left living on their nerves.Goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren repelled a powerful drive from Delvin N’Dinga before flares thrown by Auxerre’s fans obliged the players to leave the pitch again and led to a second delay lasting around 20 minutes.With PSG’s players watching on television from Lorient, riot police began to clear the protesting fans from the stand behind the Montpellier goal and play was able to resume.There were still 16 minutes to play, but Utaka calmed the visiting fans’ nerves in the 76th minute when he swivelled to slam home his second goal and take the title to Stade de la Mosson for the very first time.Montpellier’s Olivier Giroud finished as the top scorer in Ligue 1, ending the season level with PSG’s Nene on 21 goals but prevailing by virtue of having scored fewer penalties.PSG needed to win to stand any chance of winning the title, but they fell behind in the 28th minute at Lorient when Kevin Monnet-Paquet ghosted in behind Zoumana Camara to score with a back-post header.Carlo Ancelotti’s men equalised in the 61st minute through record signing Javier Pastore and claimed victory through Thiago Motta with 15 minutes left, but although PSG had done their job, it was not enough to deny Montpellier their day in the sun.“I’m disappointed that we haven’t won the title but the team has done some good work this season, even though we’ve had difficulties in certain matches,” said Ancelotti.“Montpellier had a great season, as did PSG, and it’s good to be in the Champions League because it’s a strong league.”Elsewhere, Bordeaux won 3-2 at Saint-Etienne to pip their opponents to fifth place and a berth in the Europa League, with Rennes consigned to sixth despite a 5-0 thrashing of Dijon that sent the promoted side into Ligue 2.Caen were also relegated after going down 3-1 at Valenciennes.Eden Hazard bade farewell to outgoing champions Lille by netting a first-half hat-trick in a 4-1 win at home to Nancy in his final game for the club.Fourth-placed Lyon signed off by losing 4-3 at home to Nice, while Marseille fell 1-0 at Sochaux and finished the season in 10th place.Lorient ended the season a point above the drop zone, with Ajaccio winning 2-0 at Toulouse to preserve their place in the elite and Brest escaping the drop courtesy of a 1-0 success at ninth-placed Evian.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img

Ronaldo celebrates as record-equalling Madrid cruise

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first_img0Shares0000Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Ballon d’Or before the Spanish league football match against Granada FC on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard JulienMadrid, Spain, Jan 7 – Cristiano Ronaldo paraded his fourth Ballon d’Or and powered home his first goal of 2017 as Real Madrid equalled Barcelona’s Spanish record 39-game unbeaten run with a 5-0 demolition of lowly Granada on Saturday.Sevilla leapfrogged Barca into second, four points behind Real, thanks to Wissam Ben Yedder’s hat-trick in a hugely impressive 4-0 win at sixth-placed Real Sociedad, whilst Atletico Madrid won 2-0 at Eibar to move up to fourth. At the Bernabeu, Ronaldo was honoured by previous Ballon d’Or winners to have played for Madrid including Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Michael Owen and his coach Zinedine Zidane before kick-off.And Real’s relentless run stretching back to April last year continued once the action got underway as they scored four times in the opening half-hour.Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (left) in action during the Spanish league match against Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard JulienIsco and Karim Benzema slotted home from close range before Ronaldo, who had been rested for Real’s 3-0 Copa del Rey win over Sevilla in midweek, bulleted home a header from Marcelo’s cross.Another simple finish from Isco made it four before the break and Casemiro turned home James Rodriguez’s free-kick for the fifth after half-time.Barca can close back to within three points of the leaders with victory at Villarreal on Sunday.Real Madrid’s Isco (left) scores during the Spanish league match against Granada FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard Julien“There is no limit, but on the other hand we have to do everything possible to make sure it lasts,” Zidane said of his side’s stunning form.The Frenchman made four changes from the side that saw off Sevilla with ease in midweek with Keylor Navas returning in goal and all of Ronaldo, Benzema and Isco coming in up front.Once again Zidane was vindicated as all three of the frontline scored in a rapid start.– Fast start –The hosts got a break for the opener as Isco could have been penalised for a trip on Sergi Samper before he exchanged passes with Benzema and slotted low past Guillermo Ochoa.Former French footballer Raymond Kopa (right) stands next to Cristiano Ronaldo as Real Madrid honour their previous Ballon d’Or winners during a ceremony at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard JulienMadrid were also fortunate for the second as Benzema appeared offside when he prodded into an empty net after Ochoa tamely parried Luka Modric’s shot into his path.Real captain for the day Marcelo marked the 10-year anniversary since his debut with a pinpoint cross from which Ronaldo powered home his 17th goal of the season.And with the Granada defence once again pulled apart by Madrid’s movement, Modric’s low cross found an unmarked Isco for a simple finish at the back post for his second of the afternoon.“The matches are prepared in a certain way depending on whether we have two, three or four days, but the idea is always to do our best, be physically ready and concentrated,” added Zidane.“If we are ready and concentrated we can do great things.”Madrid understandably eased off in the second half, but the European champions did net a fifth just before the hour mark when Casemiro was left unmarked to bundle home substitute Rodriguez’s free-kick at the back post.Real Madrid demolished Granada 5-0 during their Spanish league match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard JulienRonaldo is expected to pick up another individual trophy in FIFA’s inaugural The Best award for 2016 on Monday, but one of his rivals for the prize ended a three-month goal drought in La Liga as Antoine Griezmann sealed Atletico’s 2-0 win at Eibar.After a first-half short on goal mouth action, Saul Niguez nodded Atletico in front eight minutes after the break.Griezmann hadn’t netted in 821 La Liga minutes since October 2, but bundled home from close range after a one-two with Kevin Gameiro 16 minutes from time.However, it is Sevilla who are Real’s closest challengers as they bounced back in style from their midweek mauling to inflict Sociedad’s first home defeat since the opening day of the season.Atletico Madrid’s players celebrate after midfielder Saul Niguez scored his team’s first goal during the Spanish league football match SD Eibar vs Club Atletico de Madrid at the Ipurua stadium in Eibar on January 7, 2017 © AFP / ANDER GILLENEABen Yedder did most of the damage as he struck twice in four first-half minutes to put the visitors in command.And despite en early rally by Sociedad at the start of the second period, Ben Yedder then teed up Pablo Sarabia to kill the game 17 minutes from time.Ben Yedder produced another cool finish to complete his first La Liga hat-trick in the closing stages and take his tally for the season to an impressive 15.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img

LAPD officer arrested in theft and fraud case

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first_imgA 38-year-old Los Angeles Police officer was arrested Monday on theft and fraud charges, police said. LAPD Officer David Hance was arrested when he appeared for his arraignment at the Criminal Courts building in downtown Los Angeles. Hance, a 10-year department veteran whose most recent assignment was at 77th Division, is accused of embezzlement and receiving stolen property. He was free on bail. No other details were immediately available. For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You're all set!last_img

Moyes reveals Sunderland star Watmore has suffered fresh injury blow

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first_img Duncan Watmore 1 Sunderland striker Duncan Watmore may need a second operation on his injured knee after suffering discomfort on his return to light training.The England Under-21 international, who was effectively ruled out for the rest of the season with anterior cruciate ligament damage in December last year, may now face a further spell on the sidelines.He is due to see a specialist this week to discover whether or not further surgery is required.Manager David Moyes said: “Duncan Watmore might be needing a little bit of work done on his knee. Obviously, he’s not back, but he might be needing a little bit more surgery on his knee.“He’s been feeling it – he’s been running a little bit – so he’ll see the surgeon this week.”Watmore, 23, has been one of the few bright sparks for the Black Cats this season as they attempt to stave off relegation for the fifth successive year.His pace and direct approach have been badly missed as Sunderland have struggled to provide support to leading scorer Jermain Defoe in recent months.last_img

Ex-Spurs star admits it was ‘easy’ to reject West Ham, despite supporting Arsenal

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first_img tense Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Darren Bent left Charlton for Tottenham for a club-record £16.5million in 2007 huge blow REVEALED 2 Man United transfer news live: Haaland 'wants a change', two players off in January However, Bent instead went to rivals Tottenham Hotspur for a club-record fee of £16.5milion in June 2007.Speaking on Goals on Sunday, the former England international revealed he felt Spurs were in a better place than the Hammers at the time.He said: “I was kind of torn at the time because I was going to West Ham funnily enough.“I had been to meet Alan Curbishely, come back from holiday. Obviously I knew Alan Curbishley really well after he had taken me from Ipswich to Charlton. REVEALED 2 Darren Bent admitted it was ‘easy’ to reject West Ham United for Tottenham Hotspur, despite being an Arsenal fan.In 2007 after relegation to the Championship with Charlton Athletic, the striker was seemingly on his way to Upton Park after the Addicks accepted a bid for their star asset. “But obviously I ended up going to Spurs because I felt Spurs were going in the right direction, they’d finished fifth.“I was competing with some top strikers there; Berbatov, Defoe and Keane.”Although he scored 25 goals in 79 appearances for the north Londoners, Bent was sold to Sunderland in 2009.And, despite his childhood allegiances to rivals Arsenal, the former Ipswich and Derby striker admitted he did not have any regrets following his two years at White Hart Lane. no dice Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Bent celebrates scoring against the Hammers in 2008 Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea's 6-0 defeat at Man City shining Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won gameday cracker Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card deals Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars “No, not really because Spurs are a massive club,” he added. “Yeah I was an Arsenal fan, but you’re talking about yor career and playing for a massive football club.“At the end, the decision was pretty easy to be fair and for my own development I wanted to go there and develop and compete with them kind of guys.“Keane, Berbatov and Defoe – it doesn’t get much better than that.”last_img

Duncan Scott wins third European Championships gold medal

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first_imgScott previously powered through the second 50m to claim silver earlier in competition, while the GB team also won the 200m freestyle relay on Sunday. Scottish swimmer Duncan Scott has won his third gold medal of the European Championships.The University of Stirling athlete, born in Glasgow, swam home in the final leg as the quartet of Scott, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Nicholas Pyle came out on top in the 4x100m medlay relay.By claiming top spot on the podium, Scott picked up his fifth medal in Tollcross and second of the day on Thursday.The 21-year-old took silver in the 100m freestyle as he continued in the rich vein of form which saw Scott stun the field to claim gold in the 200m freestyle event from lane eight.last_img

Lion Air fuselage may have been found

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first_imgThe fuselage of Lion Air flight JT610 may have been located, according to news agency reports.Reuters and the Associated Press tweeted that the plane had possibly been located on the seabed after crashing on Monday shortly after leaving Jakarta.The AP reported armed forces chief Hadi Tjahjanto as saying the search and rescue effort had identified the possible seabed location of the jet.Tjahjanto said a team would be sent to the identified location to confirm the findings.Searchers had previously found the debris field left floating on the surface when the jet plunged into the sea and some human remains but not the fuselage.A high priority will be retrieving the aircraft’s “black boxes” – the flight data and cockpit voice recorders – likely to give investigators crucial information on factors contributing to the crash.The Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed on Monday with 189 people on board just 13 minutes after take-off from Jakarta airport at 6:21am local time.The recently-delivered plane had just 800 flight hours on the clock and a preliminary analysis by flight tracking websites showed erratic altitude and speed data before the aircraft plunged into the water at high speed.READ Indonesia orders inspections of all 737 MAX 8s.The accident is the first involving the 737 MAX 8, a new version of Boeing’s  venerable workhorse that delivers greater efficiency and other high-tech enhancements.Indonesian transportation officials ordered inspections of other MAX 8 aircraft but said they would not be grounded despite the issues raised by the crash and a flight the previous day that also had technical problems.An Indonesian official confirmed the problem with the Sunday flight included unreliable airspeed indications.There is no way of knowing at this stage what caused the crash but speculation has included problems related to the pitot tubes, which measure kinetic and static air pressure to provide crucial information such as airspeed, and issues with the elevators.READ New theory in Lion Air disaster.Other concerns raised by commentators include pilot training and the ability of flight crew to deal with unexpected events.Indonesia is leading the investigation the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be party to it and technical advisers from Boeing and engine maker CFM International will also be involved.Boeing said in a short statement that it was providing technical assistance under the direction of investigating authorities.last_img

Alarming polio outbreak spreads in Congo, threatening global eradication efforts

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first_img World Health Organization Alarming polio outbreak spreads in Congo, threatening global eradication efforts Overshadowed by the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), another frightening virus is on the loose in that vast, chaotic country: polio. Public health experts have worked for months to stamp out the virus, but it keeps spreading. It has already paralyzed 29 children, and on 21 June a case was reported on the border with Uganda, far outside the known outbreak zone, heightening fears that the virus will sweep across Africa. The DRC is “absolutely” the most worrisome polio outbreak today, says Michel Zaffran, who heads the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.The outbreak also underscores the latest complication on the bumpy road toward polio eradication. It is caused not by the wild virus hanging on by a thread in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and perhaps Nigeria, but by a rare mutant derived from the weakened live virus in the oral polio vaccine (OPV), which has regained its neurovirulence and the ability to spread. As OPV campaigns have driven the wild virus to near-extinction, these circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs) have emerged as the greatest threat to polio eradication. If the outbreaks are not stopped quickly, polio scientists warn, they could spiral out of control, setting eradication efforts back years.“There is an urgency” to stopping these vaccine-derived outbreaks, says epidemiologist Nicholas Grassly of Imperial College London. “It is so much more important than controlling the wild virus.”Safe and effective, OPV has long been the workhorse of the eradication effort. But a feature that makes the vaccine so powerful can also be a serious downside. For a short time after vaccination, the weakened live virus can spread from person to person, boosting immunity even in those who didn’t receive the polio drops. But in rare instances, in poor countries such as the DRC where many children have not been vaccinated, the virus can continue circulating for years, accumulating mutations until it reverts to its dangerous form. The vast majority of cVDPVs are caused by serotype 2, one of three variants of the virus.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D'IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People's Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People's Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Almost as soon as cVDPVs were discovered in 2000, the World Health Assembly in Geneva declared that all use of OPV must stop when the wild virus was gone. In 2016, with the threat of cVDPVs looming larger—they now cause more cases of paralysis than the wild virus—GPEI decided waiting was no longer an option. By then, poliovirus type 2 had been eradicated in the wild, which meant that every type 2 virus originated from the vaccine itself. In April of that year, the 155 countries still using the trivalent vaccine, which targets all three polio variants, replaced it with a bivalent vaccine with the type 2 component removed. No one knew exactly how this experiment would play out. It was clear, however, that for a few years some type 2 outbreaks would still occur—either those that had started before “the switch,” as it is called, but had not been detected or those caused by the last use of trivalent OPV. In a virological catch 22, the only way to stop type 2 outbreaks is with a version of the same vaccine that gave rise to them in the first place—somehow without seeding another one. The virus in the inactivated polio vaccine cannot revert, but it simply does not pack enough punch to stop an outbreak. To fight these outbreaks, GPEI created a closely guarded stockpile of a new monovalent OPV type 2 (mOPV2), which can only be released with the approval of the director-general of WHO. If mOPV2 is used judiciously and sparingly, it can stop an outbreak without starting a future one, Zaffran says. Speed is essential because population immunity to the type 2 virus is waning now that it has been removed from the vaccine, setting the stage for an explosive outbreak.The type 2 vaccine has been released to fight outbreaks in 10 countries, and so far the strategy seems to be working, although a type 2 outbreak in Syria paralyzed 74 children before coming under control last year. The outlier is the DRC.The outbreak was first detected in June 2017 in Maniema province in the middle of the country. Within days, another case was reported about 900 kilometers away in Haut-Lomami province in the southeast. Genetic analysis revealed it wasn’t the same strain as in Maniema, but a type 2 cVDPV that had emerged independently. Even worse, the sequences indicated both had been circulating undetected for at least 2 years.The country and its international partners targeted mOPV2 campaigns to eight health districts deemed at highest risk—the minimum, experts thought, to get the maximum effect. But vaccination campaigns in the DRC, with its remote villages, crumbling infrastructure, and weak health system, are tough. They failed to reach enough children. The Haut-Lomami virus broke through, spreading south to Tanganyika and then Haut-Katanga.Then in the first week of June, officials confirmed another case on the other side of the country, not far from the Ebola outbreak, where health workers are already stretched thin. This strain, too, emerged independently, an indication of just how weak surveillance is in the country. More alarming still, about 2 weeks later a polio case was reported in the northeast, close to the Uganda border. The Haut-Lomami virus had made the big jump northward, to an area where no mOPV2 campaigns were underway. “This really increases the risk of international spread,” says Oliver Rosenbauer, spokesperson for polio eradication at WHO. And insecurity in parts of the province “makes everything more dangerous and more complicated.” In the worst case—if type 2 explodes across Africa, or if case numbers shoot up exponentially—the only option would be to reintroduce OPV2 into routine immunization, says Mark Pallansch, a molecular virologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The switch will have failed, turning back the eradication clock years and ratcheting up costs, which now run about $1 billion a year, to the dismay of tapped-out funders.But that scenario is years away, Zaffran says. Pallansch agrees. “At present, I truly believe [type 2] cVDPVs can be managed. The only question is for how much longer,” he says.“I have yet to see anything that makes me think eradication is not possible. But the endgame is proving to be much more complicated than eradicating the wild virus.” By Leslie RobertsJul. 2, 2018 , 1:30 PMcenter_img A virus on the march In the past year, multiple vaccine-derived polioviruses have paralyzed children across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The weakened virus in polio vaccine drops can, on rare occasions, regain virulence, sparking outbreaks. (Map) A. Cuadra/Science; (DATA) World Health Organization last_img