UPDATE 1-Freeport hopes will soon get Indonesia copper export extension

(Adds details, government no comment)By Wilda AsmariniJAKARTA Aug 9 Freeport-McMoRan Inc has yet to receive a six-month extension to its Indonesian copper export permit, which expired on Monday, but hopes the government will issue one soon, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.A prolonged stoppage would threaten to hit the U.S. mining giant's profits and deny the Indonesian government desperately needed revenue from one of its biggest taxpayers."We're optimistic the government will give the export permit soon," said Freeport spokesman Riza Pratama.The ministry's director general of coal and minerals, Bambang Gatot, told reporters late on Monday that the government was still evaluating whether to extend Freeport's export permit. Mining ministry officials declined further comment on Tuesday. Freeport, which produces about 220,000 tonnes of copper ore a day, hopes to avoid a repeat of the export disruptions that have followed the expiration of past permits.Last February, shipments from Freeport's giant Grasberg copper mine were halted for nearly two weeks before the government approved the now expired export permit.Freeport won the government's backing for a new permit only after agreeing to continue paying a 5 percent export tax. For its new permit, the company has asked the government for an export quota of 1.4 million tonnes of copper concentrate over the next six months. That is up from 1.03 million tonnes for the last permit.But the length of a new export permit remained unclear as Indonesia is due to start banning copper concentrate exports soon.The Indonesian government in early 2014 announced that all copper concentrate shipments would be banned from January 12, 2017, as part of efforts to transform the nation from being just a supplier of raw materials into a producer of finished goods.(Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Richard Pullin and Christian Schmollinger)

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Cinven swoops on Old Mutual's Italian unit in $335 mln takeover - source

LONDON Aug 1 European private equity fund Cinven is about to start exclusive talks to buy the Italian wealth arm of financial services firm Old Mutual for about 300 million euros ($335.22 million), a source with knowledge of the deal told Reuters. The Anglo-South African group plans to wrap up the sale of its Milan-based subsidiary by the end of August, the source said. Cinven has emerged as the final buyer for the company which was put up for sale earlier this year. It trumped rival bids from U.S. investment firms JC Flowers and Apollo as well as Lombard International Assurance, a Luxembourg-based insurer held by U.S. buyout fund Blackstone . Cinven, Blackstone and JC Flowers declined to comment. Old Mutual and Apollo were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting By Pamela Barbaglia; editing by Anjuli Davies)

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Two teens killed, many injured in Florida nightclub shooting

FORT MYERS, Fla. Two teenagers were killed and as many as 18 other people were wounded early on Monday in a shooting outside a party at a Florida nightclub that police in Fort Myers said was not an act of terror.The latest burst of gun violence to wrack the state this summer occurred around 12:30 a.m. EDT (0430 GMT) in the parking lot of Club Blu, which was hosting an event open to teenagers, the Fort Myers Police Department said in a statement. Police said Stef’An Strawder, an 18-year-old basketball star at a local high school, and Sean Archilles, 14, were killed. Two other people have potentially life-threatening injuries, local hospital officials said.Although police said they did not know the motive for the shooting, they confirmed in a statement that "this incident is not an act of terror." Police said three people had been detained for questioning early on Monday, and the area around the club was deemed safe. Area hospitals received 19 patients, ranging from 12 to 27 years old, from the nightclub shooting, said Lisa Sgarlata, chief administrative officer for Lee Memorial Hospital. An additional victim was pronounced dead at the scene.Four patients remain hospitalized at Lee Memorial. Two have potentially life-threatening injuries and were in intensive care, Dr. Drew Mikulaschek said at a news conference. The shooting came six weeks after a massacre at a nightclub in the Florida city of Orlando, where a lone gunman who sympathized with Islamist extremist groups killed 49 people in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.Club Blu, located in a partially vacant strip mall about 150 miles southwest of Orlando in the Gulf Coast city of Fort Myers, was hosting a "swimsuit glow party" for people all ages, according to a flyer posted on Twitter by local television station WINK.The nightclub said on its Facebook page that the shooting occurred when the venue was closing and parents were picking up their children. "We tried to give the teens what we thought was a safe place to have a good time," the nightclub said, adding that armed security guards were posted inside and outside the club. "It was not kids at the party that did this despicable act." Jean Archilles, the father of the 14-year-old killed, said his son loved sports, especially basketball. “I don’t know where he was shot,” the 37-year-old father, who is originally from Haiti, said in a telephone interview. "I don’t know. Nothing I can explain." He said his son was the baby of his family, with three older brothers, and was born in Fort Myers. Sean Archilles was due to enter eighth grade at Royal Palm Exceptional Center, while Strawder was to start his senior year at Lehigh Senior High School, according to the Lee County School District. Strawder's mother, Stephanie White, told the News-Press newspaper that her son was shot in his right shoulder as he walked out of the club and was pronounced dead at the hospital. His 19-year-old sister survived a gunshot wound in the leg, White said.Police said shots were also fired at a nearby residence, where there was one minor injury.In a video interview with local media, Syreeta Gary said her daughter and a friend ran for cover from the gunshots, seeking safety at a nearby apartment complex. “Dodging bullets and running, dropping between cars, it’s ridiculous that these kids have to go through this," Gary said in an interview posted on Twitter by a reporter for Fort Myers Fox affiliate WFTX. "They can’t enjoy themselves.” Her daughter got out unscathed, but a bullet struck a friend in the leg, Gary said. (Reporting Frank McGurty and Laila Kearney in New York, Mary Milliken in Los Angeles and Letitia Stein in Tampa, Florida; Writing by Frank McGurty and Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Catherine Evans and Lisa Von Ahn)

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Zika mystery widens as Utah caregiver contracts virus

CHICAGO U.S. health officials are investigating the mysterious case of a person in Utah who contracted Zika while caring for an elderly man infected with the virus who died last month.Federal and state health officials said on Monday it is not clear how the individual contracted Zika, a virus that is most typically transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito and occasionally through sex with an infected person.The person had not traveled to an area with active Zika transmission nor had sex with a person who had recently returned from such a place. Health officials say they are not aware of any mosquitoes in Utah that are capable of transmitting the virus.“The new case in Utah is a surprise, showing that we still have more to learn about Zika,” said Dr. Erin Staples, CDC's medical epidemiologist who is in Utah leading an investigation into how the infection occurred.“Fortunately, the patient recovered quickly, and from what we have seen with more than 1,300 travel-associated cases of Zika in the continental United States and Hawaii, non-sexual spread from one person to another does not appear to be common.”Experts outside the CDC say the most likely possibility is that the person came into contact with blood or urine or other bodily fluids while caring for the infected person."We are still doing a lot of investigation to understand whether Zika can be spread person-to-person through contact with a sick person," said Dr. Satish Pillai of the CDC, who is investigating the case. Gary Edwards, director of the Salt Lake County Health Department, said the infected individual is a family contact of the man who died.The cause of the deceased person's death is still under investigation, but the man was infected with Zika at the time of death and officials believe the virus was a contributing factor. He contracted Zika on a trip to a country with active transmission."We know that the patient had contact with the deceased patient while the deceased patient was very ill. The exact nature of that contact, we are still investigating," Edwards said.CDC tests showed extremely high levels of virus in the deceased man's blood, which were more than 100,000 times higher than seen in other samples of infected people. "This is a very unique situation with these elevated viral loads that we haven't previously seen," Pillai told reporters in a telephone briefing.Dr. Michael Bell, a CDC medical epidemiologist, said it was not clear whether the man's underlying condition had diminished his immune system, allowing the virus to replicate unchecked, or if the virus simply overpowered his immune system.Bell said CDC is taking the high viral load issue very seriously, but said it is "too early to make a clear statement about what we think could have happened."Dr. Amesh Adalja, a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said it will be important to know whether the family contact of the deceased man had any skin lacerations or skin disease that might have allowed the virus access to the patient's blood. "We know bodily fluids like saliva and urine can harbor the virus, he said.Health officials are also investigating whether mosquitoes might have played a role. Tom Hudachko, director of communications for the Utah Department of Health, said state officials are not aware of any mosquitoes known to carry the Zika virus within Utah. He said there were a few Aedes aegypti mosquitoes - the kind that carry Zika - discovered in traps in the southwestern parts of the state several years ago, but there have not been any since.Utah does not have any Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the other type that has been found capable of transmitting Zika. Health officials are doing mosquito trapping and testing near the deceased patient's home "to make sure this is not a potential route of transmission," Hudachko said.As of July 13, 2016, 1,306 cases of Zika have been reported in the continental United States and Hawaii; none of these have been the result of local spread by mosquitoes. Of these, 14 are believed to be the result of sexual transmission and one was the result of laboratory exposure. (Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Bernard Orr and Cynthia Osterman)

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Austrian biotech plans Zika vaccine clinical trials in 12 months

An Austrian biotech company working with the Institut Pasteur said on Tuesday it planned to start clinical trials with an experimental Zika vaccine in the next 12 months, marking a further acceleration of research in the field.Themis Bioscience has signed a license deal with the French research institute giving it extensive rights to the Zika vaccine candidate, which is based on established measles vaccine technology.More than a dozen small biotech firms and other organizations are working on vaccines against mosquito-borne Zika, which has been linked to birth defects and neurological disorders, although most work is at a very early stage.Erich Tauber, chief executive of Themis, believes his company's project will benefit from the proven track record behind the technology used to immunize against measles. French drugmaker Sanofi, the only big drugmaker working on a Zika shot, last week struck a deal with the U.S. Army to speed up the development of another vaccine, which should be ready for testing on humans in October. Global health officials are racing to better understand the Zika virus, which has caused a major outbreak that began in Brazil last year and has spread to many countries in the Americas.The World Health Organization has said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika is a cause of the birth defect microcephaly, or small heads in babies, as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disorder. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Louise Heavens)

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