Sri Lanka’s health minister tests positive for coronavirus after promoting magic potions to fight COVID-19

Sri Lanka’s health minister, who publicly endorsed sorcery and magic potions to stop surging coronavirus infections in the island, has tested positive to COVID-19.

She and her close contacts will self-isolate, officials said on Saturday.

Pavithra Wanniarachchi had publicly consumed and endorsed a magic potion, later revealed to contain honey and nutmeg, manufactured by a sorcerer who claimed it worked as a life-long inoculation against the virus.

She also poured a pot of “blessed” water into a river in November after a self-styled god-man told her that it would end the pandemic.

The island nation of 21 million on Friday approved the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine only hours after Ms Wanniarachchi tested positive, officials said.

“Her antigen test returned positive on Friday and she has been asked to isolate herself,” a health ministry official said.

“All her immediate contacts have been quarantined.”

A junior minister who had also taken the potion made popular by Ms Wanniarachchi tested positive for the virus earlier this week.

Doctors in the island nation have said there is no scientific basis for the syrup, and there is no known cure for COVID-19.

But thousands defied public gathering restrictions to swamp a village in central Sri Lanka last month to obtain the elixir.

Sri Lankan health officials attend a mock COVID-19 vaccination drive after the Government approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.(AP: Eranga Jayawardena)

Family members of another politician have also been infected after taking the syrup.

Pro-government media gave widespread publicity to the holy man, who claimed the formula was revealed to him by Kali, a Hindu goddess of death and destruction.

But the Government has since scrambled to distance itself from the man, whose preparation was approved as a food supplement by the official indigenous medicine unit.

Sri Lanka is in the grip of a coronavirus surge, with the number of cases and deaths soaring from 3,300 and 13 in early October to nearly 57,000 infections and 278 dead this week.


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Canberra RaIders coach offers to spar Josh Papalii ahead of fight

“I have always had it in my contract if I want to fight I can. [Raiders chief executive] Donnie [Furner] has always known I’ve been keen to jump in the ring to see how I go. I just couldn’t ever get it done.”

Papalii will jump in the ring on February 12 against former prop Ben Hannant, and the Townsville charity fight night has proven a blessing for the Raiders.

The game’s best front-rower has already shed five kilograms, courtesy of early morning road runs and evening sparring sessions in his garage with good friend Steve Babic.

He looked a picture of health when he reported for day one of pre-season training during the week after an extended break following another brilliant individual 2020 campaign.

Papalii is down to 117kg, a far cry from the 126kg he ballooned out to after the 2017 World Cup with Samoa.

Josh Papalii ended a brilliant individual year with an Origin series win.Credit:Getty

If Stuart loved the look of a slimmer Papalii, he would have been even happier when he heard about Hannant being his front-rower’s opponent.

Hannant, a father of eight, whose boxing credentials extend to a one-off school-yard scrap when he was in Year 9, only took the fight after Melbourne man mountain Nelson Asofa-Solomona failed to sign on. Brisbane’s Matt Lodge, Gold Coast’s Jarrod Wallace and even one-time Raiders teammate Joey Leilua were all tossed up as possible opponents for Papalii.

Having to go three rounds with Leilua would have been comical, said Papalii, “because I would have laughed the whole time”.

There was no way Papalii was about to dismiss Hannant, especially given he is also an unknown in the ring. The pair played in the same Prime Minister’s XIII team in 2013.

“It will be an even fight,” Papalii said. “People might see it otherwise, but just because my cousin can box [professional heavyweight Alex Leapai] doesn’t mean I can.”

Stuart was reluctant to comment on Papalii’s boxing ability, but happy to declare him the “best front-rower in the game”.

“‘Papa’ is the best prop in the game and, if he isn’t, name me a better one?” Stuart said.

“People think I’m biased towards my players – I probably am – but, in my mind, he is the best front-rower in the game.”

Papalii helped Queensland cause a boilover in last year’s Origin series, then spent time with his family and worked on his golf handicap, which is now down to 12. The famous mullet has remained and will so all year because of a bet with teammate Corey Harawira-Naera.

“I have a deal with Corey that we need to keep it for two years and the first person to cut his hair will need to be shave it down to the skin the next haircut,″⁣ said Papalii, whose wager has been going eight months.

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Conor McGregor fight TV channel and live stream: How to watch McGregor vs Poirier 2 at UFC 257

Conor McGregor has his sights set on another lightweight title shot – but must first beat Dustin Poirier for a second time.

More than six years after they first me, McGregor and Poirier will walk to the octagon again in a crossroads fight.

This time they are on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi in front of a small crowd in what will be McGregor’s first outing in over a year.

He finished Poirier inside two minutes in 2014 – and has vowed to do so again, this time within 60 seconds.

But Poirier has improved considerably since he suffered that crushing defeat and has promised to cause an upset.

Here is everything you need to know about how to watch the fight.

What TV channel is it on?

The main event between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will be shown on BT Sport Box Office at a cost of £19.95 but the rest of the card is split between two outlets.

For the early prelims (three fights), you can watch via the UFC’s subscription service Fight Pass. Click here to join.

Then the prelim fights will be shown on BT Sport 1 in the UK before the action switches over to Box Office for the main card.

UFC 257 can be watched on BT TV, Virgin TV, Sky, online via the web or the BT Sport Box Office App and is available to buy here.

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Can I live stream UFC 257?

The ony legal way to live stream the fights is by purchasing the fight via BT Sport Box Office and streaming it on your computer or mobile device.

In fact, UFC president Dana White has warned that anyone streaming the fight illegally will face legal action.

He said: “We’ve been one of the leagues that has been so proactive on piracy.

“I love how cool and tough these guys act on social media because – let me tell you what, we’ve caught a lot of people. Let me tell you what they do: They cry. They cry, and they beg not to be prosecuted and all this other stuff.

“We just overcame a huge hurdle in the piracy world, and we’re going to catch some of these guys in 2021, and I look forward to the crying and the begging. We’ll see how tough they are when they get caught.”

What time will the fights start?

The early prelim fights start at 11.15pm UK time before the prelim fights take place between 1am and 3am.

The main card will then start with the main event expected to kick off between 5am and 5.30am UK time.

Although the fights are in Abu Dhabi, they are being held in the morning in the Middle East to allow them to be shown at prime time in America.


Conor McGregor 4/11

Dustin Poirier 9/4

Click here to bet with bet365

*Odds subject to change


UFC 257 full card

Main Card

Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor

Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler

Jessica Eye vs Joanne Calderwood

Andrew Sanchez vs Makhmud Muradov

Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Ribas

Preliminary card

Arman Tsarukyan vs Matt Frevola

Brad Tavares vs Antonio Carlos Junior

Julianna Pena vs Sara McMann

Khalil Rountree Jr. vs Marcin Prachnio

Early preliminary card

Movsar Evloev vs Nik Lentz

Amir Albazi vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov

Conor McGregor takes on Dustin Poirier tonight
Conor McGregor takes on Dustin Poirier tonight

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Former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor would love to avenge his loss to the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov but has said he will not pursue a rematch after a bad-tempered 2018 title clash that erupted into a mass brawl between the camps.

Nurmagomedov’s father died due to complications from COVID-19 last year and, following a spectacular submission win over Justin Gaethje that extended his professional record to 29 wins and no defeats, the Dagestani said he was retiring after promising his mother he would not fight again.

Irishman McGregor, speaking at a media conference at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi where he faces American Dustin Poirier in a lightweight bout on Sunday, showed none of the brashness that made him famous as he addressed the chances of a rematch.

“It’s a tough business, he (Nurmagomedov) has things going on in his personal life. I don’t wish him any harm. It was in 2018, a lot of time has passed, the world knows this fight is not over. The sport needs it to happen, the people need it to happen, (but) I’m not going to chase it,” the 32-year-old said.

With his son and daughter in the front row with his partner, Dee Devlin, McGregor was dressed in a sharp suit as always, but his manner seems to have softened in recent years following a number of run-ins inside and outside the cage.

His only fight since losing to Nurmagomedov was a 40-second demolition of Donald Cerrone in January last year and, with the co-main event between fellow lightweights Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler, a win on Sunday could put McGregor in line for another title shot.

“I’m very excited to get in and fight. I’ve put in an immense amount of work to get my frame correct at 155 (pounds in weight). I want to answer questions here,” McGregor said. 

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to fight Avni Yildirim in February

Alvarez has won world titles in four different weight divisions

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will defend his WBC and WBA world super-middleweight titles against Avni Yildirim at Hard Rock Stadium in Florida on 27 February.

The Mexican added the WBA belt to his collection in a stylish win over Britain’s Callum Smith in December.

The 30-year-old has lost just once in 57 bouts and will start a heavy favourite against Turkey’s Yildirim.

“Avni Yildirim is a good boxer and we will put on an exciting fight,” said Alvarez, a four-weight world champion.

“I’m very glad that we are able to bring this event to Miami, a short distance from where my hero, Muhammad Ali, trained.”

Yildirim, 29, has 21 wins from 23 bouts having lost to American Anthony Dirrell and Britain’s Chris Eubank Jr.

His last bout – the loss to Dirrell – was in February of 2019 and his last win came in September 2018.

The bout will be the first of a two-fight deal where Alvarez – boxing’s best-paid fighter – will work with British promoter Eddie Hearn.

Hearn also promotes Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders, who holds the WBO belt in the 168lbs super-middleweight division.

Alvarez and 31-year-old Saunders have been linked with facing one another for over a year.

“Even in a pandemic, Saul is looking to be more active than ever and in his plan to be undisputed champion he must overcome his mandatory challengers to keep his belt,” said Hearn.

“Yildirim is the first of those challenges who will be attempting to dethrone the king.”

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MCG walkway renamed Daniher’s Way to honour Neale’s MND fight

The footpath leading from William Barak Bridge to the MCG will be renamed Daniher’s Way to honour Neale Daniher’s fight against motor neurone disease.

Signs will mark the thoroughfare and plaques will be installed to recognise the former Essendon player and Melbourne coach’s campaign to find a cure for MND and support people with the disease he calls “the beast” through the organisation he co-founded, FightMND.

Neale Daniher poses next to the sign marking Daniher’s Way.Credit:Justin McManus

The Victorian government announced it will also contribute $1 million to FightMND, bringing its total contribution to the organisation since 2015 to $6 million.

Daniher, who played 82 games with Essendon and coached Melbourne in 223 games, was diagnosed with MND in 2013. The diagnosis shone a light on the disease and led to Daniher’s tireless campaign to raise awareness and funds to support research into finding a cure.

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Using the male sex hormone to fight breast cancer

The University of Adelaide researchers have found new evidence to show the positive role androgens can play in fighting oestrogen receptor-driven cancers, which account for about 75 to 80 per cent of cases.Professor Wayne Tilley, one of the lead researchers, said the benefits of androgens, commonly thought of as male sex hormones, in treating breast cancer have been long suspected but new technology has now provided the proof.“Using newer models we have been able to show quite emphatically that activation of androgen pathway is a very effective inhibitor of oestrogen receptor-driven breast cancer … it’s really been in the last eight years we’ve had the models and technology to generate the definitive evidence,” he said.“I think there will be a lot of excitement about this in the medical community around the world, particularly across the US and in Europe, where the preliminary data has been extremely well received.”In normal breast development, oestrogen – the dominant hormone in females – stimulates and androgen inhibits growth at puberty and throughout adult life but abnormal oestrogen activity is responsible for the majority of breast cancers.The established approach has been to target and remove oestrogen but the treatment isn’t always successful and for many has terrible side effects.“The problem is the oestrogen-targeted therapies don’t only block the flow of oestrogen in the breast tumour but throughout the rest of the body as well (so) a woman becomes effectively post menopausal,” Prof Tilley said.“This can have a number of side effects such as joint pain and other issues … (some women) will even go off their therapy because the side effects are so great.“What we are (saying) is if you can add in sufficient androgen to activate the androgen receptor to a level where it can stop the action of the oestrogen receptor, you get an effective form of therapy without actually having to remove the oestrogen.” Breast Cancer Group head Theresa Hickey, also a lead researcher, said the new evidence was “compelling”.“This work has immediate implications for women with metastatic oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer, including those resistant to current forms of endocrine therapy,’’ Associate Professor Hickey said.Young Adelaide mum Chloe Marshall, 33, wishes the treatment, the focus of a major clinical trial planned in the US in the next few months, was now available. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2017 and relapsed last year, when she was 25 weeks pregnant with her second child.“(Finding out I carried the BRACA gene) I underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy followed by two years of hormone suppressive treatment,” she said.“The hormone suppressive treatment that I experienced was one of the hardest parts ofhaving cancer … the impact it has on your mind, life and body is incredibly challenging.”Her second child will be induced in a fortnight (at 35 weeks gestation) to allow her to start a new round of treatment.“I should be looking forward to welcoming my new baby … not dealing with cancer again,” she said.Findings of the international study, conducted in collaboration with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, is published today in peer-reviewed medical journal Nature Medicine.

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Fight to contain Riverland’s third fruit fly outbreak

More than 70 officers have been deployed to contain the most recent fruit fly outbreak in Renmark – the latest of several outbreaks recorded this year – with the State Government promising “no stone is being left unturned” to protect SA’s horticulture industry.

The Government today declared a new outbreak of Queensland fruit fly in Renmark West following the discovery of larvae in a resident’s backyard.

It comes after two Queensland fruit fly outbreaks were declared in Renmark West and Monash in the state’s Riverland region over the past two weeks.

A fourth outbreak of Mediterranean fruit fly has also declared in Black Forest after authorities detected larvae in home-grown fruit.

Authorities have established a 1.5-kilomtres radius around the two new outbreaks, with a 7.5-kilometre suspension area around the Black Forest outbreak zone and a 15-kilometre suspension area around the new Renmark West site.

The Black Forest outbreak area will remain in place until at least April 5, both Riverland West outbreak areas will last until at least April 6 and the Monash area will remain until at least March 22.

More than 70 Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) staff are on the ground in the Riverland today applying organic bait and removing fruit from affected properties.

“We are throwing everything we can at the Riverland fruit fly outbreaks as we recognise the importance of eradicating this pest as fast as possible,” Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said.

“No stone is being left unturned to protect our $1.3 billion fruit fly vulnerable horticulture industry.”

Basham said PIRSA was working with growers to ensure they have suitable treatment options for their fruit to go to market.

The outbreaks have no impact on the fruit fly free status for the rest of the Riverland pest-free area or the state.

Residents in the affected outbreak areas are being urged to allow PIRSA staff easy access to their gardens, pick up all fallen and over-ripe fruit and removing remaining fruit from trees in their backyard, and not removing home-grown fruit or fruiting vegetables from the 1.5-kilometre outbreak area.

They are also being urged to report and seal in an air-tight container any suspected fruit fly or maggots in home-grown fruit-fly hotline on 1300 666 010.

A dedicated line has also been established for industry queries on 1800 255 556.

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Sailing: Top Gun on water with flight key to America’s Cup fight

FILE PHOTO: A rainbow appears on the Auckland skyline featuring Sky Tower in New Zealand, July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

January 15, 2021

By Alexander Smith

(Reuters) – Kitted out more like fighter jet pilots than sailors, three crews from Britain, Italy and the United States begin a series of dog fights this week to claim the Prada Cup in New Zealand.

At stake for INEOS Team UK, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team and New York Yacht Club American Magic is the chance to challenge Emirates Team New Zealand for the 36th America’s Cup.

While the America’s Cup may be the oldest trophy in international sport it has always been a design-led race, with the AC75 class of “foiling” monohulls which the teams have developed for this event now at the cutting edge of engineering.

Critical to how the teams fare in the Prada Cup, which begins off Auckland on Friday to decide on who gets to challenge the Kiwis in March, is how they “fly” the futuristic craft.

The AC75s lift out of the water on hydrofoils and have already hit nearly 50 knots (93 kilometres per hour), testing the limits of their 11-man crew and making helmets, body armour and emergency breathing apparatus essential to safety.

Racing was curtailed in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, but a short December World Series event which included the defenders gave a glimpse of how tight the two-boat battles might be as teams hone sails, hulls and foils to eke out extra speed.

Although the home team won overall they were beaten once by American Magic, led by veteran Terry Hutchinson, who came second and go into the Prada Cup as favourites ahead of Max Sirena’s Luna Rossa and INEOS Team UK.

The British had a disastrous series aboard Britannia, wrestling with technical problems which prevented them from finishing some races and meant they were at times much slower.

“It’s a development game,” skipper Ben Ainslie said after losing to the Kiwis, and in a series of practice races this week the British have shown much improved boat speed and stability.

The Prada Cup runs from Jan. 15, when American Magic race INEOS Team UK in the first encounter, to Feb. 22 and is followed by the America’s Cup itself from March 6 to March 15.

(This story corrects spelling of Hutchinson in paragraph 7)

(Reporting by Alexander Smith; Editing by Toby Davis)

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Phage therapy offers hope in fight against antibiotic resistance and superbugs

Fishing for samples from a raw sewage pond isn’t terribly pleasant work, but Ruby Lin hopes what she collects here will help avert a medical catastrophe.

While one virus claims thousands of lives across the globe daily, it’s hoped millions more could eventually be saved by other viruses.

Some of them are lurking in this sewage system at a Sydney nursing home.

Human waste is a rich source of organisms called bacteriophages — known as “hunt and kill viruses” for their ability to bind to bacteria and destroy them.

Increasingly, the viruses are of interest to doctors concerned about antibiotic resistance — a health threat predicted to cause 10 million deaths per year by 2050.

Phages are commonly found in sewage.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

“We have a large population of elderly people and a lot of them are on antibiotics,” Dr Ruby Lin said as she sealed another sample from the pond inside a glass bottle.

“You will be able to extract a lot of bacteriophage from this sample.

“Our latest study has shown we are able to safely administer intravenously these phages to patients who are not responding to specific types of antibiotics.”

Phages are viruses that live naturally in substance such as soil and sewage.

They bind to bacteria, infect and kill them by injecting their DNA.

As superbugs become resistant to antibiotics, phages are seen as a promising alternative for patients who have run out of options.

On average, 290 people die in Australia each year as a result of infections from eight drug-resistant bacteria, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Last year, a report from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare found antibiotics were still being overprescribed and misused. That was causing dangerous bacteria to grow increasingly resistant to common medicines.

The report said there was little evidence that antibiotic resistance was diminishing and that it posed an ongoing and ‘substantial’ risk to patient safety.

Ali Khalid seals a jar with a sewage sample inside.
Dr Khalid and Dr Lin hope their research will aid in the fight against superbugs.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

Little girl’s ‘miracle’ cure

The Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) laboratory that Dr Lin is part of is the first in Australia to run a clinical trial of phage therapy for people with superbug infections.

Dhanvi is one of 13 patients who received the treatment and her mother described the result as a miracle.

She was an active girl with a love of karate and swimming before being seriously injured in a car accident on an overseas holiday in January last year.

She had multiple fractures and wounds on her leg that would not heal.

“She told us she had a lot of pain in her left ankle and couldn’t walk at all,” her mother, Deyasini, said.

Dhanvi in hospital
Dhanvi’s leg was severely injured in a car crash.(Supplied)

She was referred to see WIMR professor Jon Iredell to treat a serious bacterial infection that had taken hold in her leg.

“These things are hard to treat at the best of times, but when it is infected with something that’s antibiotic-resistant, you get to the point where the infection is virtually untreatable,” he said.

“Inevitably, there’s a risk of losing that leg and that’s what she was facing.”

Once doctors knew exactly what kind of infection she had, they did a worldwide search and found a phage that could match and potentially kill the bacteria.

“The doctor was really hopeful that if it worked so well in the lab environment, they thought it will work when they give it to my daughter,” Deyasini said.

The little girl was admitted to Westmead Hospital for two weeks so she could be monitored for any side effects while the treated phage was given intravenously.

But she sailed through the treatment without any problems.

“Within just a few months, she was able to walk,” Deyasini said.

“I think it’s a miracle.”

Dhanvi at the park
Dhanvi was able to walk again just a few months after phage treatment.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

‘A race against time’

As well as chronic infections, phages could help patients with life-threatening infections that are not responding to antibiotics.

When Australian scientist Jeremy Barr was working in San Diego, he was involved in the first case of phage therapy for an antibiotic-resistant infection in the United States.

The patient, Tom Patterson, had picked up the infection while in Egypt.

After suffering septic shock and organ failure, the 69-year-old was placed in a coma.

Three days after receiving the phage therapy, he woke up.

“The patient made a really miraculous recovery,” Dr Barr said.

“A lot of the time, these patients have days, if not weeks, to fight back and kill the bacterial infection.”

Dr Barr said the challenge was finding a phage that matched the patient’s particular bacteria before it was too late.

“So for us researchers trying to implement phage therapy, it’s really a race against time before that pathogen wins against the patient’s own immune system.”

Running out of antibiotics that work was a “really terrifying prospect”, he said.

“The resistance is becoming more and more severe so we started to look for alternative therapies and phage therapies is one of those options.”

Turning back the clock

Phage therapy has actually been around for 100 years.

It was overtaken by the use of antibiotics in the 1940s, but is still routinely used in eastern Europe.

Two scientists in a lab look at a dish.
Dr Lin and Dr Khalid conduct research on bacteriophages in their Westmead Hospital laboratory.(ABC News: Jerry Rickard)

One of the drawbacks of phage therapy is that doctors need to find the specific phage that will work to kill off the particular bacteria a patient has.

Once the phage has been isolated, it needs to go through a “cleaning process” to ensure it does not release any toxins that might be dangerous for the patient.

Despite the complexities, ANU infectious diseases expert Peter Collignon believes it’s worth pursuing.

“The limitations are that because there’s lots of phages, they won’t work against every strain or even multiple strains,” Professor Collignon said.

“I am not sure it’s a silver bullet but it has got potential.”

For now, phage therapy is only available in Australia through clinical trials, like the one at Westmead.

It is unlikely to be used more widely in hospitals and clinics until the results of these current studies are known.

That is several years away.

Libraries could speed things up

Some Australians, like Frances Caratozzolo, are taking matters into their own hands to get phage treatment now.

The Melbourne fitness instructor is both self-injecting and drinking phages that she ordered from overseas.

She hopes they will help with a hip infection that has been refusing to heal.

“I spent thousands of dollars for my leg and nothing worked, so I thought this is the last resort,” she said.

After having a range of tests including an MRI, she turned to a facility in Georgia, Europe, that could ship the phages to her if she provided a sample of the bacteria strain.

“So far, so good. I have seen slight changes and it’s still in the early stages,” she said.

Ali Khalid holds a jar with a sewage sample inside.
Sample collection has its downsides, but the researchers hope it will pay off.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

Researchers are also working on so-called phage libraries, which could speed up access here.

That involves labs building up banks of phages for particular bacterial infections, Professor Barr said.

“For instance, if the patient came in with a Staphylococcus aureus [golden staph] infection, if we had enough phages that targeted all of those, we could quickly select and isolate the ones that worked and build a personalised medicine model for the use of phages,” he said.

“It’s extremely exciting.”

*surname withheld at the request of the family.

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‘This Fight Is Inside the Gates’

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo warned lawmakers that the threat from the Chinese Communist Party is “inside the gates” during a meeting with House Republican lawmakers on Friday.

Pompeo told members of the conservative Republican Study Committee that as a former lawmaker, he is aware of the threat posed by China but that he did not appreciate “the scope and the scale and the nature” of how close the threat is until he became Central Intelligence Agency director.

“This fight is inside the gates today … Containing where they are today, leave them in our institutions of higher learning. It leaves them in our high schools; it leaves them in our PTA groups. It leaves them inside our city councils and our state legislatures all across America. This is a deep effort that has been going on for 50 years. Republicans and Democrats alike refuse to deal with it, and we started to and did,” he said.

“We not only got it right, and frankly, I think there is some bipartisan basis, I hope, that we can continue to get this right,” he added.

He noted that the Trump administration worked successfully to build an “enormous coalition” with the Indians, Australians, Japanese, the South Koreans, and in some parts of Europe to counter China. He said 120 international telecommunications companies have now forsworn any Chinese technology in their system.

“This is about the West and our ideas. This is not the United States versus China, and we have to get this right, and we need partners and friends to do it,” he said.

He added, “A substantial number of international businesses have seen the political risk in China as different from what they thought it was three or four years ago. … This is a place that has fundamentally shifted under Xi Jinping in a way that is different from the Chinese Communist Party of even 20 years ago.”

He acknowledged to lawmakers that it would be a financial cost to push back against the Chinese communist regime but urged them to be upfront with constituents on the risks of continuing to do business with China.

“You all need to remind everyone that if your kids and grandkids desire to live in a Western society, one that is not dominated by Chinese telecommunications infrastructure, and Chinese ideas and philosophies that come from the East, that are very different from the rule of law and basic human dignity that we have, then there’s going to be some cost attached to that,” he said.

“It’s not free to push back. There’s a reason we didn’t push back for 50 years,” he said. “For 50 years we told people, ‘you could have it all. You can get cheap stuff. You can outsource our jobs to these other places. We can allow them to do this; don’t worry [about] the leverage they gain from having these enormous supply chains. By the way, put TikTok on your phone, no worries.’”

“We didn’t articulate for them that you put TikTok on your phone and your children’s most private personal information is in the hands of some really really bad actors that mean really ill for America. They may just store it in the cloud or the hard drive for a while, may not put it use, but collectively, the data set that they develop will be used in a way that puts our young men and women at risk and puts American freedom at risk,” he said.

And he also urged lawmakers to stand up to China, noting that India banned about 300 apps from China, and within two months, there were replacements for more than half of them.

“They aren’t ten feet tall. They have enormous challenges. And we need to go use the tools that we have, the power that we have, to impose real costs on them in a way that will shape their behavior, in a way that reflects the understanding that we have about how the West must win and how the United States must protect its own,” he said.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.

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