Asian countries teaming up to thwart avian flu

first_imgDec 21, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Overcoming the threat of avian influenza is the single most pressing agricultural and public health issue facing Southeast Asia, Singapore’s minister of state for national development, Cedric Foo, said yesterday in opening a regional meeting on the disease, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.In his address to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore, Foo made a point others have raised in recent months: that combating the deadly avian flu will require regional collaboration.”A coordinated regional approach to prevent, control and eradicate HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] is crucial to overcoming this threat,” AFP quoted Foo as saying.The ASEAN members agreed today to focus on several activities for preventing and controlling avian flu, according to Xinhua, the Chinese news service.The report said tasks were split out this way: Singapore will share information on regional epidemiologic studies; Thailand will attend to disease surveillance and alerts as well as diagnostic abilities; and Malaysia is to focus on disease-free zones, containment, and emergency preparedness. Coordinating countries will make detailed work plans.Members of the ASEAN task force on avian flu will meet next in Thailand in May, the story added.United Nations activitiesThe Vietnamese government and the United Nations announced on Dec 18 that they would set up a task force to coordinate efforts against avian flu. It will include the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and Vietnam’s ministries of health and agriculture, according to an online report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.The WHO sounded a similar tone on Dec 15 in announcing the opening of a pandemic emergency response center at WHO headquarters in Geneva, according to the United Nations News service.The emergency response center is a $5 million room that can be reorganized quickly to address diseases that threaten to become pandemics, such as avian flu. It is wired for a variety of communications aimed at linking far-flung laboratories and specialists, and can function even if local electrical and phone service are interrupted, the news release said.The lab will allow the WHO to muster “a targeted public health response anywhere in the world in 24 to 48 hours,” the WHO’s Dr. Michael J. Ryan said in the news release.Virus reported in wild birdsThe push for partnerships and improved surveillance comes against a drumbeat of concern about the persistence of H5N1 flu in Southeast Asia. In the last week, a grey heron was found dead from that flu strain in Hong Kong, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Tests of poultry farms within 5 kilometers of the dead heron found no indication of avian flu.In Thailand, scientists have found evidence of the virus in wild native birds not previously known to harbor it, according to a Dec 14 story in the Bangkok Post. Ten of 1,011 bird samples tested recently were positive, including samples from pigeons, Asian open-billed storks, a cormorant, a red-collar dove, a scaly breasted munia, and a black drongo.Although the WHO has not confirmed any human cases of H5N1 since the 32 deaths and 44 total cases noted by Oct 25, scientists in Japan say poultry workers and a health worker there might have been infected with the virus during a poultry outbreak last February.None of the five people who might have been infected became seriously ill, according to articles posted on ProMED-Mail, a Web site of the International Society of Infectious Diseases. Researchers found antibodies to avian flu in blood samples taken in February and March, but hadn’t determined whether the five had contracted the disease.The Japanese health ministry is expected to release a detailed report Dec 22.In other developments, AFP reported today that 3,680 chickens in southern Vietnam died or were killed recently after showing symptoms that suggested H5N1 avian flu. The chickens were on farms in the Mekong Delta’s Can Tho city, the report said.Tests for the virus were conducted on several other farms in the area, and results were being awaited, according to the story.See also:UN News report on emergency response centerlast_img read more

Niche market

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Frontline Extends Options for Trafigura’s Two Suezmaxes

first_imgJohn Fredriksen’s Frontline and a subsidiary of Trafigura have reached an agreement to extend the option related to the acquisition of two Suezmax tankers.Under the deal reached in August, Frontline was to take over ten 2019-built Suezmax tankers, fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems, with two separate options to acquire two plus two additional Suezmax tankers from Trafigura Maritime Logistics.The first option for the Suezmax duo expired on September 12, therefore, the parties agreed to extend the expiry date for the option to September 18.The second option, with a deadline of September 24, would expire if the first option is not validly exercised.Frontline earlier said that the transaction was expected to close between mid-November 2019 and mid-March 2020. Until then, the company would time charter all the units at a daily rate of around USD 23,000 in order to obtain earlier exposure.last_img read more

Leising advances support animal fraud reduction measure

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — A bill authored by Republican state senator Jean Leising from Oldenburg to reduce emotional support animal fraud passed the Senate today by a vote of 38 to 10.Senate Bill 240 would allow individuals offering to rent or make available a dwelling to those with emotional support animals to request written proof of their need for the animal from a health service provider if their disability is not apparent.The bill would also make it a Class A infraction if an individual submits a request for an emotional support animal that falsely suggests they have a disability, entitling them to have the animal in a dwelling.“Emotional support animals are well-disciplined, important assistants to people with disabilities, but far too many people are claiming their pets are emotional support animals so they can live in a building that doesn’t allow animals,” Leising said. “These pets can be a nuisance to other residents and cause damage to the establishment. We need to reserve these rights for real emotional support animals and protect the integrity of those who truly need the animals’ assistance.”SB 240 will now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.last_img read more

Real Valladolid coach Sergio blasts Setien after Barcelona defeat

first_img Loading… Real Valladolid coach, Sergio Gonzalez, blasted Barcelona rival Quique Setien after Saturday’s defeat. Setien refused to credit Real Valladolid for largely stifling Barcelona during the Blaugrana’s 1-0 win on Saturday, which brought about a response from Sergio. Quique always tries to minimise us, he already did it when he was at [Real] Betis,” Sergio said. What the coach is referring to is a match last season when Valladolid picked up all three points away at the Estadio Benito Villamarin. On that occasion, Setien argued that it was tough for Betis to attack when the other team has 10 players in their own box.Advertisement read also:Setien, Suarez back Griezmann after difficult first Barcelona season “The answer has been on the pitch,” Sergio added after losing to Barcelona. “If there has been a team that has generated dangerous chances, it has been us. “The heat and the pitch were the same for everyone.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Essequibo table tennis sub-association hosts successful championship

first_imgAPPROXIMATELY 25 racquet-wielders converged on the Anna Regina Secondary School’s auditorium on Friday, August 18, to participate in the Essequibo Sub-Association’s table tennis competition, which was held for the first time in almost 20 years, according to one of the organisers. The event proved to be quite exciting with a number of thrilling finishes as the players enjoyed the atmosphere and vocal fans.Among the winners of the various categories were Under-13 – 1st Timothy Theophil and 2nd Royden Morris; Under-15 – 1st Jean Marc, 2nd Timothy Theophil and 3rd Emanuel Jeffrey; Under-17 – 1st Emanuel Jeffrey, 2nd Marc Mahase and 3rd John Applewhite-Hercules; Under-21 – 1st Emanuel Jeffrey, 2nd Navindra Sorujlall  and 3rd Romario Persaud. Meanwhile in the open category, former national Under-19 cricketer Nathan Persaud proved too dominant, relegating Romario to second place and Sephron Dyal third.The winners were all presented with trophies which were donated by well-wishers including the Department of Youth. The organisers were Region 2 Sports Officers Debra Daniels and Nathan Persaud.More competitions are scheduled for other venues as the Association seeks to develop, sustain and promote the sport in Region 2. (Errol Stephney)last_img read more

Syracuse football roundtable: What to fix after 2-straight losses

first_img Published on October 8, 2018 at 12:08 am Comments For the first time since 1991, Syracuse football started its season 4-0. But since then, the Orange (4-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) have lost two straight games headed into their lone bye week of the season. Below, The Daily Orange football beat writers answer three questions surrounding the team following its recent skid.Will Syracuse suffer the same fate it has in each of the past two seasons?Andrew Graham: Nope. This week’s loss was particularly disheartening because of how badly Pitt’s top-two backs bashed the front seven, but a bye week to get healthier and rested comes at a perfect time. With a couple very winnable games — North Carolina and yes, Louisville — still on the schedule, Syracuse should still reach the six-win threshold without any trouble. Considering the other matchups — at Wake Forest, North Carolina State at home, then at Notre Dame and Boston College — there might be one or two more wins in there. If Syracuse figures out its run defense, eight or nine wins still doesn’t seem ridiculous, but that feels like a big ‘if’ right now.Matt Liberman: Definitely not. The past two weekends were very deflating for Syracuse, which is why the bye week comes at the perfect time. It gives the team a chance to rest, nix any of those “owies,” as head coach Dino Babers likes to call them, and to hone in on what it must do moving forward. After the bye week, Syracuse has a very favorable schedule in its next four games. Louisville and North Carolina are both home games that should come as relatively easy wins based on the way both teams have played this season. Plus, Wake Forest on the road is certainly not out of the question. The Demon Deacons lost by 60 on Saturday to Clemson. I’d still expect seven wins from SU.Josh Schafer: Syracuse will still make a bowl game. With six games remaining and only two wins needed, the Orange are still in good position, especially considering their schedule, which includes home matchups with North Carolina and Louisville — both sub-.500 teams. Syracuse led the No. 3 team in the country on the road for nearly the entire game and dismantled Florida State at home. Those aren’t things it did in years past. An improved pass defense, which ranks 11th in the nation in sacks, has helped Syracuse prevent opponents from establishing a consistent passing attack. If the defense can limit opponents’ big gain plays, Syracuse will get its two wins.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textColin Davy | Staff PhotographerSyracuse allowed the Panthers to run for 264 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday.Is there anything Syracuse can do to solve its run defense woes, or will big runs continue to hurt the Orange?A.G.: Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Pitt’s Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall bulldozed through the Orange’s defense the past two weeks, simply because when Syracuse had first opportunities to get them down, they didn’t. After Saturday’s game, Babers said he didn’t want to say anything negative about his players but followed that up by saying: “It’s a matter of getting guys down.” If that doesn’t start happening, I don’t see another obvious fix or improvement in SU’s run defense. With the bye week ahead, now is a great time to spend a week trying to fix the tackling woes that have bit Syracuse in back-to-back weeks.M.L.: Simply hope that suddenly players are able to make tackles at the line of scrimmage. Syracuse does not substitute out its linebackers at all, which means the core three of Andrew Armstrong, Ryan Guthrie and Kielan Whitner are there for the long run. Watching the way that the linebackers and the secondary personnel attempt to tackle some big running backs like Qadree Ollison and Travis Etienne, I don’t see any major changes moving forward that will correct the problems. Many of these players are taking terrible angles, trying to meet players head on and then just getting run over. This is something that will take a year to fix, not two weeks.J.S.: It’s hard to imagine a personnel change at this point in the season. Andrew Armstrong, Ryan Guthrie and Kielan Whitner have taken nearly every snap this season at the three linebacker positions. The Orange have alternated defensive fronts, playing out of both the 4-3 and 4-2-5, while also alternating blitz versus base defenses. All of those have allowed big runs. So to put it simply, it’s hard to believe a bye week solves Syracuse’s run defense woes. As Babers has said, one of the biggest issues lies in Syracuse’s tackling. The Orange have been out of position, but once recovered, haven’t finished the play on first contact. Until the tackling improves, the long runs remain.Colin Davy | Staff PhotographerSeven different SU players caught a pass against Pittsburgh but the Orange has lacked a clear top outside threat like in years past.Has the lack of a clear No. 1 wide receiver, like Amba Etta-Tawo or Steve Ishmael, hurt the Orange?A.G.: In terms of overall production, yes. Through six games last season, SU had 1950 passing yards. This year, through six games, it’s 1426. That’s a pretty marked drop. As far as the route tree, Syracuse has really gotten away from taking shots downfield this season. With little receivers like Sean Riley and Nykeim Johnson thriving in space on the edges, shots downfield to Jamal Custis and Devin Butler have dried up. Notably, Taj Harris has emerged as a target of late, setting a career high in catches against Clemson. He looked good on intermediate routes against Pitt and perhaps could develop into SU’s deep threat.M.L.: It has hurt the Orange in terms of netting the long ball, but I really don’t think it has hurt the team’s production. If anything, I think it might have helped. It means that more people have to step up on the field to produce offensively and the unit as a whole has. Last year the entire passing game was centered around Ishmael and Ervin Phillips. The year before it was just Etta-Tawo. Now, with Jamal Custis, Sean Riley, Devin Butler, Nykeim Johnson and Taj Harris, you never know where the ball is going. The Orange are putting up good offensive numbers this season. Their lowest-scoring output was 23 against Clemson. Offense isn’t the problem, defense is.J.S.: The lack of a true No. 1 wide receiver has hurt the Orange in the deep passing game. Against Pittsburgh, Eric Dungey threw for less than 200 yards on 38 attempts. Syracuse isn’t capable of throwing down the field like it was the past two years with 1000-yard catchers. In times like yesterday’s overtime, having a go-to wideout pays dividends and could’ve diversified the offense from bubble screens and other quick hitting routes. But it’s hard to say how much the lack of a No. 1 wide receiver really plays into Syracuse’s recent struggles. Scoring 37 points should be enough to win any football game. Other holes, particularly on defense, are much more glaring issues for SU moving forward.center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

GOC begins work on Amasaman land

first_imgThe Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) has begun earthworks their Amansaman land which has been earmarked for the Ghana OlympiAfrica Center.The said land was acquired over a decade ago for the project but was not used for its intended purpose. However, a wall built around it to deter encroachers from invading the land.The current administration of the GOC led by Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah is keen on bringing life back onto the site for Ghana to have her share of the OlympiAfrica Center.In view of this, GOC has secured a deal with Decker Engineering and Construction Limited to begin earthworks on the land to make it ready for the necessary architectural works to take place.The GOC held a media tour on the site for the media to have first-hand information on the project and the various facilities that would be built on the site.The President, Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah said Decker would clear and level the whole land for free and also prepare it for the first building to be erected on it. He said the GOC did not have the funding for the whole project but called on corporate Ghana to come on board to assist in giving the youth of Amasaman and the country as a whole a place to exhibit their talents.“We have great ideas but funding is the issue so any company that has the development of the youth at heart should come on board to partner with the GOC,” he said.Nunoo Mensah said the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) has agreed to give the GOC $150,000 to begin the work on the site.He, however, added that ANOCA has granted them permission to solicit for funds from corporate bodies to support the project and in return get a naming right for whichever project they support.The Municipal Chief Executive Officer of Ga West Assembly, Hon. Clement Wilkinson also added that he was delighted the project has begun and assured his office’s support in realisation the dream. He said his office would also give a portion of their Assembly’s consolidated fund to support the project because when it is completed his constituents would be the first to benefit.Architect in charge of the project, Mr. S.M Quartey from Atelier Architects mentioned that the first phase of the project would an office complex which would house the administrative part of the center and would comprise of offices, kitchen and a conference room.He noted that the next phase would be about five multi-purpose pitches plus an Olympic size football field with tartan tracks. Then a hostel facility would be added to the next phase to cater for the various national teams.last_img read more

SN college football rankings Week 15: Alabama loss sets final stage of Playoff bids

first_imgMORE: Playoff picture: Four in, three to watchAs for Sporting News’ rankings, Alabama, Minnesota and Michigan all fell after their respective losses — the latter two in particular after blowout losses to Big Ten rivals. The Crimson Tide, while still ranked in the top 10, have been completely eliminated from Playoff contention and will have to settle for a New Year’s Day 6 bowl. Only one thing separates us from the final pairings of the 2019 College Football Playoff: conference championship weekend.The final Playoff-contending teams were whittled down yet again on Saturday, with fifth-ranked Alabama and eighth-ranked Minnesota losing to Auburn and Wisconsin, respectively, in Rivalry Week. That sets up a mad dash among Georgia, Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor for the fourth and final Playoff spot, assuming Ohio State and Clemson win this week. Of course, the winners of those respective games all saw big jumps, including the Buckeyes, which leaped LSU for the top spot in SN’s latest rankings. Other movers include Cincinnati, which lost a hard-fought American Athletic Conference matchup with Memphis on Friday, and Virginia, which ended a 15-year losing streak to Virginia Tech to break into the top 25.With that, SN’s full top 25 college football rankings ahead of the Week 15 slate of games:Sporting News Week 15 college football rankingsRankTeamChange1Ohio State (12-0)+12LSU (12-0)-13Clemson (12-0)—4Georgia (11-1)—5Utah (11-1)+16Oklahoma (11-1)+17Baylor (11-1)+28Alabama (10-2)-39Wisconsin (10-2)+810Auburn (9-3)+811Oregon (10-2)—12Penn State (10-2)—13Notre Dame (10-2)—14Florida (10-2)—15Memphis (11-1)—16Boise State (11-1)—17Michigan (9-3)-718Minnesota (10-2)-1019Navy (9-2)+120Iowa (9-3)+121App State (11-1)+122Cincinnati (10-2)-323SMU (10-2)+124Louisiana (10-2)-125Virginia (9-3)NRMoved in: VirginiaDropped out: Virginia Techlast_img read more