Aid agencies urged Syria's regime to end the siege of rebel-held east Aleppo as residents cowered indoors Friday afraid to use what some described as "death corridors" to flee the city. Russia, a key ally of President Bashar al-Assad, announced Thursday the opening of humanitarian passages for civilians and surrendering fighters seeking to exit the city's rebel-held eastern neighbourhoods. By Friday only a few Aleppo residents had left eastern areas through one passage but others wishing to flee were prevented by rebels, said the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Florida health officials said Friday they believe that four people have been infected locally with Zika, in what would be the first evidence that mosquitoes carrying the virus are present in the continental United States. Officials have been investigating four cases of Zika in southern Florida that were not thought to be linked to travel to affected regions outside the country. "The Florida Department of Health has gathered enough information as part of its ongoing investigation into non-travel related cases of Zika in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to conclude that a high likelihood exists that four cases are the result of local transmission," the department said in a statement.