Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk urged the International Monetary Fund on Friday to release the next tranche of a $17 billion loan and bemoaned the heavy cost of fighting a pro-Russian rebellion in the east. Ukraine has complied with conditions for the two-year aid package, which is intended to shore up depleted foreign currency reserves and support the state budget, but the country faces risks due to the eastern conflict, the IMF has said. Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels have been fighting since April in the heavily industrialized regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which together contributed nearly 17 percent of Ukrainian gross domestic product in 2013. Analysts have said the Ukrainian economy will slide deeper into recession this year, despite the IMF aid deal, as the rebellion cripples activity in the industrial east and scares off foreign investors.
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters)- Genetic studies of some of the earliest Ebola cases in Sierra Leone reveal more than 300 genetic changes in the virus as it leapt from person to person, changes that could blunt the effectiveness of diagnostic tests and experimental treatments now in development, researchers said on Thursday. It's mutating," said Pardis Sabeti of Harvard University and the Broad Institute, who led the massive study of samples from 78 people in Sierra Leone, all of whose infections could be traced to a faith healer whose claims of a cure attracted Ebola patients from Guinea, where the virus first took hold. The findings, published in Science, suggest the virus is mutating quickly and in ways that could affect current diagnostics and future vaccines and treatments, such as GlaxoSmithKline's Ebola vaccine, which was just fast-tracked to begin clinical trials, or the antibody drug ZMapp, being developed by California biotech Mapp Biopharmaceutical. The findings come as the World Health Organization said that the epidemic could infect more than 20,000 people and spread to more countries.