CDC explains mix-up with deadly H5N1 avian flu

first_imgA federal scientist may have accidentally contaminated a relatively benign avian influenza strain with the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in part because he or she was overworked and rushing to make a lab meeting, according to an internal report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).In the March incident, CDC sent a sample of low-pathogenicity H9N2 bird flu virus that a lab had unknowingly contaminated with H5N1 to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lab, which discovered the mistake when test chickens died. CDC Director Thomas Frieden first disclosed the incident in July at a press conference about other lab accidents. Frieden was especially troubled, he said, because the H5N1 incident was not reported to top CDC leaders for 6 weeks.According to the 16-page report released today, the H9N2 sample probably became contaminated with H5N1 on 17 January when an experienced researcher did not follow proper decontamination or other protocols between inoculating cell cultures with the H9N2 flu strain and H5N1 using the same biosafety cabinet. The worker was “being rushed to attend a laboratory meeting at noon” and was also under a “heavy workload” as his or her team hurried to generate data for a February vaccine meeting at the World Health Organization, the report says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The CDC flu lab sent USDA an H9N2 sample on 12 March; the USDA lab notified CDC of the contamination on 23 May. The delay in reporting resulted in part from unclear CDC rules for reporting incidents with select agents. Contaminated samples were also sent to another CDC lab, the report says. Workers were unlikely to have been exposed, however, because the samples were handled under enhanced biosafety-level 3 conditions, which includes many safety measures such as workers wearing protective suits and respirators.The report describes new training and operating procedures to prevent future incidents, along with CDC-wide safety reforms already under way including closing the flu lab.In a lengthy USA Today article about the report, CDC official Anne Schuchat called the mistakes “unacceptable” and said: “We just don’t think shortcuts are permissible when working with these kinds of dangerous pathogens.” Among measures that CDC is taking are disciplinary actions, Schuchat said.*Correction, 19 August, 12:05 p.m.: The photo credit was incorrect; it has been fixed.last_img read more

Kalmadi, Lalli in Shunglu panel glare over CWG broadcasting rights

first_imgSuresh Kalmadi appears to be in for more trouble after the Shunglu Committee submitted an interim report on Monday on the irregularities in awarding broadcast rights for the Commonwealth Games.According to top government sources, the sacked Organising Committee chief is likely to come under spotlight because of his alleged links with contractors “favoured” with broadcast rights.It is learnt that the committee, which submitted the interim report to the Prime Minister’s Office, has squarely blamed the suspended Prasar Bharati CEO B. S. Lalli for causing a loss worth Rs 135 crore to the exchequer.Lalli has been accused of favouring private firms in awarding broadcast contracts for the 14-day sports extravaganza. Lalli is already under suspension on charges of financial irregularities in other cases related to Prasar Bharti.Officials said the heat on Lalli will also singe Kalmadi as his name has been linked to contractors who outsourced their work.Prasar Bharati gave a contract worth Rs 246 crore to SIS Live, which is in turn being accused of subletting it to Zoom Communications.Zoom Communications got the contract for Rs 177 crore but did work for only Rs 111 crore.Probing these contractors and the opening of the files is likely to lead to Kalmadi’s doors, the officials added.During the course of investigation, Kalmadi may be grilled extensively on the contract terms and whether there were any links of the ” favoured” contractors with Kalmadi or any of his close family members and friends.The panel led by former comptroller and auditor general V. K. Shunglu is racing against time to collaborate and compile all documents related to projects executed by various departments in the run up to the mega sporting event held in October 2010.advertisementThe term of the Shunglu panel has been extended till March 31 to allow it to submit a full report on financial irregularities relating to the Games.The panel’s final report will also look into the alleged bungling in awarding of contracts by several government agencies such as the MCD, the NDMC, the DDA, the PWD, the CPWD among others.last_img read more

Sir Michael Stoute puts Frankie Dettori in the shade with Poet’s Word victory

first_imgRoyal Ascot Royal Ascot 2018: Poet’s Word beats Cracksman in Prince of Wales’s Stakes – as it happened Royal Ascot 2018 Reuse this content Read more Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Read more Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Horse racing news Poet’s Word, though, was clearly the best horse on the day, while Dettori did not look happy aboard Cracksman at any stage. The 2-5 favourite was the shortest market leader here since Black Caviar went off at 1-6 for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2012, but Dettori was nudging at Cracksman soon after the start and though he got to the front at the top of the straight, James Doyle, on Poet’s Word, had him covered. He was soon in front and kept on well to beat Cracksman by two-and-a-quarter lengths.“Obviously, he is not the same horse that I was riding in the spring,” Dettori said. “He was very lethargic and never travelling at any stage. Usually when he turns for home, the turbo kicks in but today it was very one-paced. It wasn’t his run.”John Gosden, Cracksman’s trainer, suggested that the colt’s focus may be increasingly directed away from racing. “He was welcoming all the fillies that were walking back from the Duke Of Cambridge [Stakes] on the way back to the stables. I think we need to concentrate his mind as we know the ability is there.“I make no excuses whatsoever. The other horse had him covered from two out. To my mind, he is just playing around a little bit. To that extent, we will get him home and sharpen him up a little bit.” Michael Stoute Share on Facebookcenter_img Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Support The Guardian Since you’re here… Share on Twitter While Gosden returned to Newmarket with a puzzle on his hands, Stoute was left to enjoy one of the more significant moments of his long career. As he has pointed out, his late friend and racing rival Sir Henry Cecil compiled his record of 75 Royal Ascot winners at a time when the meeting was staged over four days rather than five.Reaching 76 winners at the season’s most competitive meeting is still a great achievement, however, and Stoute went on to make it 77 when Expert Eye took the concluding Jersey Stakes.“Henry did most of his training when it was four days,” Stoute said, “so I’ve had more cracks at it than he did. Nobody respected him more than I did as a trainer.“Royal Ascot is very special for any trainer, and we’ve been very lucky in that we have brought a lot of nice horses here over the years. The first one, Etienne Gerard in the [1977] Jersey Stakes, was special, and I took particular satisfaction from Shareef Dancer, the first horse that Sheikh Maktoum-al-Maktoum sent to me. He had a blip on his first run of the season, then won the King Edward VII here [in 1983] and went on to win the Irish Derby.“Poet’s Word is a very sound, consistent horse and he’s just met some good ones in Group Ones before. We’ll stop and think now but it could be the Eclipse [over Wednesday’s 10-furlong trip] or it could be the King George [over 12]. I think he’s equally effective at 10 and 12 furlongs and there are not many that are at that level.” Topics … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Pinterest Stoute’s second success of the day with Expert Eye was also significant for his jockey James McDonald. He was a leading figure in the Australian weighing room and Godolphin’s retained jockey in the southern hemisphere when he was banned for 18 months in 2016 for asking a friend to place a $1,000 bet on his behalf on a horse making its racecourse debut.British fans may well remember McDonald making a name for himself during a busman’s holiday in the summer of 2016 that included a win in the Northumberland Plate Handicap and Group-race successes at both Newmarket’s July meeting and Glorious Goodwood.McDonald is now trying to rebuild his career and has two more significant rides at this week’s meeting: Equilateral, the favourite for the Group One Commonwealth Cup on Friday, and Stoute’s Elector, in the Queen’s colours, in the King Edward VII Stakes the same afternoon.“He felt like a rocket ship out there,” McDonald said. “Credit to the horse and credit to Sir Michael, he’s a true legend.” One Ascot legend handed the baton to another here on Wednesday, as Frankie Dettori’s golden run of form came to an abrupt halt and Sir Michael Stoute claimed outright possession of the all-time trainers’ record at the Royal meeting. Poet’s Word, a five-year-old who embodies Stoute’s patient approach, beat the Dettori-ridden favourite Cracksman with ease in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and his trainer now has his 76th Royal Ascot winner.For the second race running, Cracksman did not produce the form that carried him to a seven-length success in the Champion Stakes over the same mile and a quarter in October. Poet’s Word was the runner-up on that occasion and for all Stoute’s brilliance with maturing horses, it is hard to believe he has improved by 10 lengths since the autumn. Royal Ascot tips: Stradivarius can hit the winning notelast_img read more

Housing Development Continues at Luana in St. Elizabeth

first_imgStory Highlights The Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) has announced that work is ongoing for the construction of phase three of the Luana Gardens housing development in St. Elizabeth. “We are continuing the development of Luana Gardens. We just finished developing approximately 189 serviced lots and we’ll be doing the engineering designs for approximately 400 solutions, comprising serviced lots and houses,” Director of Technical Services at the HAJ, Rosemarie Brown, told JIS News. Ms. Brown said that by mid-2019, the agency will be able to recommend an award of contract for the development. The Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) has announced that work is ongoing for the construction of phase three of the Luana Gardens housing development in St. Elizabeth.“We are continuing the development of Luana Gardens. We just finished developing approximately 189 serviced lots and we’ll be doing the engineering designs for approximately 400 solutions, comprising serviced lots and houses,” Director of Technical Services at the HAJ, Rosemarie Brown, told JIS News.Ms. Brown said that by mid-2019, the agency will be able to recommend an award of contract for the development.Meanwhile, she noted that the HAJ is anticipating the development of at least two high-rise housing solutions.“We are actively looking at a project in Kingston where we anticipate that we will be given the approval to do high-rise apartment blocks. Rhyne Park (housing development) in St. James will also have some apartment blocks,” Ms. Brown said.She highlighted that one major benefit of high-rise housing solutions is that it allows for more units to be created while occupying a smaller or equal space as a single-storey housing development.Ms. Brown also noted that the HAJ creates housing solutions that satisfy the housing demand of persons living with disabilities. She listed the agency’s Bernard Lodge housing development as one such housing project.last_img read more

BC man facing terror charges mourned 2014 Quebec Ottawa attackers online trial

first_imgVANCOUVER – A British Columbia man accused of posting terrorist propaganda online mourned two attackers who were shot dead by police after killing Canadian soldiers in 2014, an expert witness for the Crown has testified.A trial for Othman Hamdan of Fort St. John has begun in B.C. Supreme Court with RCMP Const. Tarek Mokdad, an expert in Islamist-inspired terrorism and so-called “lone wolf” attacks, describing several posts on the man’s Facebook page.Hamdan has pleaded not guilty to encouraging the commission of murder, assault and mischief, all for terrorist purposes. He has also entered a not guilty plea to inducing and instructing someone to carry out a terrorist act.Mokdad said after two Canadian military members were killed in separate terrorist attacks in Quebec and Parliament Hill in October 2014, posts appeared on Hamdan’s Facebook page calling the attackers “brother” and “martyr.”He also discussed images and messages that appeared to be promoting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, including the use of a social media hashtag used by members of the terrorist group.It was unclear whether Hamdan was accused of being the author of the posts himself or sharing posts written by someone else.One of the posts appeared after Martin Couture-Rouleau rammed a car into two Canadian Forces members in Quebec on Oct. 20, 2014, killing warrant officer Patrice Vincent. Couture-Rouleau was later shot by police.“A Muslim brother is martyred by the Canadian police after he killed (a) Canadian soldier in retaliation to Canada’s crimes in Iraq,” the post said, as read aloud by Crown counsel Lesley Ann Kilgore.Mokdad testified that in the view of ISIL, martyrhood is the absolute highest honour one can attain.“A martyr means God has chosen you to be a martyr. It’s not up to you to be a martyr. You aspire to be a martyr,” he said.“A martyr is promised, in Islam, the highest, most honorific status in paradise. There is nothing better than a martyr.”Two days later, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau stormed Parliament Hill in Ottawa after killing Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack, Mokdad testified.The post on Hamdan’s page on Oct. 22, 2014, appears in both English and Arabic, said Kilgore.“A Muslim brother martyred today in attack of Parliament with a rifle, shooting politicians inside,” the post read.Hamdan was arrested in Fort St. John in July 2015 for alleged offences dating back to the previous September.An RCMP statement at the time of his arrest said the propaganda included instructions to kill in the name of jihad.Mokdad is the only witness for the Crown and is expected to continue his testimony Friday.last_img read more

Imran Khans remarks about BJP win an attempt to influence polls with

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a swipe at his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan over his claim that Indo-Pak peace talks will have a better chance if the BJP wins in Lok Sabha polls, saying it was an attempt by the former cricketer to influence the elections in India with his reverse swing. Modi also noted that Khan had used a slogan targeting him during Pakistan elections. “We should not forget that Imran Khan was a cricketer and his recent statement was an attempt at reverse swing to influence Indian elections. However, Indians know how to hit a ‘helicopter shot’ on a reverse swinging delivery,” the top BJP leader told The Times of India in an interview published on Wednesday. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “We should also remember how he used Modi’s name during Pakistan elections. His slogan was: ‘Modi ka jo yaar hai, woh gaddar hai woh gaddar hai’,” the prime minister added. The Congress had used Khan’s comments to corner the BJP, which has often hurled pro-Pakistan barbs at its rivals. In the interview, Modi also expressed confidence that the BJP will win more seats than before, saying he is seeing “unprecedented” support for the party and that the first phase of polling on April 11 has reinforced his confidence. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Modi had led the BJP to its first ever majority in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 winning 282 of the total 543 seats. To a question about criticism that that the BJP has resorted to “hyper-nationalism” instead of focusing on real issues in its campaign, he asserted that a large part of speeches is dedicated to the issues of development but they never make headlines. He then asked if decades of terrorism and deaths of soldiers cannot be considered as real issues. Attacking his rivals like the Congress, Modi said, “Those who did absolutely nothing on the critical issue of national security are now having problems when India’s national security doctrine has seen a strategic shift.” Hitting back at the opposition’s charge of politicisation of armed forces, he said, “Politicisation of the Army happened when they created a fake news of revolt by the Army to gain sympathy. It happened when credit for victory in the 1971 war was given to Indira ji.” Asserting that patriotism is not a “disease”, he said as hyper-secularism was invented to strike at the root of India’s culture and ethos, similarly the terminology of hyper-nationalism has been invented to portray ‘deshbhakti’ (patriotism) in poor light. With political experts wondering if the BJP in Uttar Pradesh will be able to repeat its feat of 2014 elections, when it had won 71 of the state’s 80 seats with its ally winning two more, he said the state will vote for those who put India first not those who put family first. The uniting factor for the SP-BSP grand alliance in the state is personal survival and personal interest, he alleged, and asserted that the state is witnessing double-engine growth with central and state governments working in tandem to transform lives. UP will vote for vision not division, he said. Attacking his rivals, Modi said parties like the Congress want to take India back to the era of “corruption and loot”. There is such a mood against the Congress that the party by its own admission is fighting on the lowest number of seats, he said. Asked about the opposition’s attack on his government over the escape of economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, he said it should not be forgotten that his dispensation got corruption accused like Christian Michel, Rajiv Saxena and Deepak Talwar back. “I will like to again state that anyone who has looted the nation will not be spared,” he added.last_img read more

Preventable urban air pollution kills more than a million people each year

27 September 2011More than one million lives could be saved each year if cities around the world adhered to United Nations guidelines on air pollution from cars and factories that can cause heart disease, lung cancer, asthma, and acute lower respiratory infections, according to a new UN report. “Across the world, city air is often thick with exhaust fumes, factory smoke or soot from coal burning power plants, UN World Health Organization (WHO) Director for Public Health and Environment Maria Neira said of her agency’s “unprecedented” compilation of data from nearly 1,100 cities across 91 countries. “In many countries there are no air quality regulations and, where they do exist, national standards and their enforcement vary markedly,” she added, calling for greater awareness of health risks caused by urban air pollution, implementation of effective policies and close monitoring of the situation.WHO estimates that more than two million people die annually from breathing in tiny particles present in indoor and outdoor air pollution. PM10 particles, which are 10 micrometers or less, can penetrate the lungs and may enter the bloodstream, causing the diseases. WHO guidelines for PM10 is 20 microgrammes per cubic metre as an annual average, but the data show that in some cities this has reached up to 300 microgrammes. Only a few cities currently meet the guidelines.For 2008, the estimated mortality attributable to outdoor air pollution in cities amounted to 1.34 million premature deaths, increasing from 1.15 million in 2004. If the WHO guidelines had been universally met, an estimated 1.09 million of those 2008 deaths could have been prevented, the agency said. The increase in the mortality is linked to recent increases in pollution and in urban population size, as well as improved data availability and methods employed.“The most powerful way that the information from the WHO database can be used is for a city to monitor its own trends in air pollution over time, so as to identify, improve and scale-up effective interventions,” said Carlos Dora, WHO’s Coordinator for Interventions for Health Environments.In both developed and developing countries, the largest contributors to urban outdoor air pollution include motor transport, small-scale manufacturers and other industries, burning of biomass and coal for cooking and heating, as well as coal-fired power plants. Residential wood and coal burning for space heating is an important contributor to air pollution. “Local actions, national policies and international agreements are all needed to curb pollution and reduce its widespread health effects,” said Michal Krzyzanowski, Head of the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health.“Data from air quality monitoring that is released today, identify regions where action is most needed and allows us to assess the effectiveness of implemented policies and actions.” The data was compiled from publicly available national or city-specific sources, based on results of monitoring by individual cities at sites including roadsides, but excluding industrial and other recognized “hot spots” that are not representative of the exposure of many people so as to avoid overestimates. read more

Cape Verde ratifies treaty setting up International Criminal Court

The Statute will enter into force for Cape Verde on 1 January 2012, bringing the total number of States parties to 119.The ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, welcomed Cape Verde into the tribunal system, saying: “As the first Lusophone country in Africa to ratify the Rome Statute, Cape Verde has not only demonstrated its commitment to international criminal justice but also taken us one step further towards a truly universal system of the Rome Statute, representative of all peoples, cultures and legal systems of the world.”The President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser of Liechtenstein, also welcomed the ratification by Cape Verde, reaffirming the central role that the African region has played in support of the Court.Established in 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The United Nations Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the Court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute. 13 October 2011Cape Verde is the latest Member State to accede to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) that prosecutes individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. read more

Gotabaya says he will run for President

Gotabaya said the attacks could have been prevented if the island’s current government had not dismantled the intelligence network and extensive surveillance capabilities that he built up during the war and later on. Sri Lanka’s former wartime defense chief, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said on Friday he would run for President in elections this year and would stop the spread of Islamist extremism by rebuilding the intelligence service and surveilling citizens, Reuters reported.More than 250 people were killed in bomb attacks on hotels and churches on Easter Sunday that the government has blamed on Islamist militants and that Islamic State has claimed responsibility for. “Because the government was not prepared, that’s why you see a panic situation,” he said in an interview with Reuters. Gotabaya said he would be a candidate “100 percent”, firming up months of speculation that he plans to run in the elections, which are due by December.He was critical of the government’s response to the bombings. Since the attacks, the government has struggled to provide clear information about how they were staged, who was behind them and how serious the threat is from Islamic State to the country. “Various people are blaming various people, not giving exactly the details as to what happened, even people expect the names, what organization did this, and how they came up to this level, that explanation was not given,” he said.Gotabaya is facing lawsuits in the United States, where he is a dual citizen, over his role in the war and afterwards.Gotabaya said the cases were baseless and only a “little distraction” as he prepared for the election campaign. He said he had asked U.S. authorities to renounce his citizenship and that process was nearly done, clearing the way for his candidature. He said that if he won, his immediate focus would to be tackle the threat from radical Islam and to rebuild the security set-up. “It’s a serious problem, you have to go deep into the groups, dismantle the networks,” he said, adding he would give the military a mandate to collect intelligence from the ground and to mount surveillance of groups turning to extremism.Gotabaya said that a military intelligence cell he had set up in 2011 of 5,000 people, some of them with Arabic language skills and that was tracking the bent towards extremist ideology some of the Islamist groups were taking in eastern Sri Lanka was disbanded by the current government.“They did not give priority to national security, there was a mix-up. They were talking about ethnic reconciliation, then they were talking about human rights issues, they were talking about individual freedoms,” he said. read more

In Niger UN food agency starts second round of food distribution

“We are at full speed, and should have the second round finished by early October, on time, ” WFP Niger Country Director, Gian Carlo Cirri said in Niamey, the capital, noting that only a handful of villages have not yet received food.In what they described as a “twin-track” approach, the agency has distributed more than 47,000 tons of cereals and pulse to almost one fifth of the country’s population of 11 million, while at the same time has distributed a “mineral-rich, corn-soya blend” (CSB) food to the hundreds of thousands of “moderately malnourished” children and their mothers and siblings.In a separate report, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that it was extending care to under-five children in Zinder, one of the regions in Niger with the highest malnutrition rates, where in conjunction with WFP and Médecins San Frontières, they will identify an estimated 45,000 children who suffer from severe or moderate malnutrition.The large-scale distribution of food is intended to supplement the millet harvest, whose price on the local market is high compared to the five-year average, the agency said. Even though early harvesting of millet, beans and groundnuts has started in some localities, the food situation remains critical in the country.”We have to maintain a fine balance between continuing to help those in need and not undermining in any way the livelihoods of poor farmers who sell part of their crop to raise money for other needs,” said Mr. Cirri, referring to the sometimes unintended consequence of free food distribution programmes driving down the local price of grain.But the WFP said it is closely monitoring market prices and keeps assessment teams in the field who help form a “post-harvest strategy” allowing them to continue providing food to the poorest families, including those who experience crop failure, or are heavily in debt.Tens of thousands of people from Niger are also nomadic, and do not stand to benefit from the harvest and have seen many of their cattle die during the drought that has gripped the country for over a year.Even so, the agency said that a good harvest will only supply a short-term bump from the long term structural food scarcity that the people of Niger face every year. To that end, WFP is helping to fix the long-term structural issues by working with farmers to help them develop irrigation projects and learn new agricultural techniques. read more

Adopting resolution Security Council urges fight against nexus of transnational crime terrorism

In today’s unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member Council said it is “gravely concerned” by the financing obtained by terrorist groups through illicit activities – such as the trafficking of drugs, people, arms and artefacts – and reaffirmed the international community’s need to supress the monetary lifeline which keeps the terrorist threats active. Delivering his remarks to the Council, Jeffrey Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said that the world had been reminded yet again this week “why we must not tire in our efforts to counter terrorism, following the despicable attack on a school in Pakistan by the Taliban.”He emphasized that the need for urgent action to address terrorism and its transnational linkages is regrettably well illustrated, for example by the intensification of Boko Haram activities across the Lake Chad Basin region of Central Africa. In the Secretary-General’s recent visits to Africa, he was constantly reminded that terrorism and cross-border crime cannot be addressed separately, Mr. Feltman told the Council.“Efforts to combat terrorism will not bear fruit unless we combine law enforcement actions with measures to strengthen good governance, rule of law and human rights,” he said, stressing that “we will not uproot the ideologies that lead to violence if we do not win over hearts and minds.”Also addressing the Council, Ambassador Tete Antonio, the representative of the African Union to the UN, acknowledged that cross-border criminal activities in Africa contributed to the onset of conflicts and further complicated management and resolution efforts. Vast swathes of ungoverned territory – in northern Mali and across the Sahel belt as well as in Central Africa and in Somalia – provide criminal and terrorist groups with a “deadly convergence” point where they could thrive undisturbed. In the Sahel – a vast expanse of territory stretching from Mauritania to Eritrea, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan – the Ambassador explained that drug and arms trafficking, human smuggling, kidnapping-for-ransom, and illicit proliferation of arms and money laundering had become “intimately intertwined” with the financing of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. In addition, he said, kidnapping-for-ransom in the Sahel had become “an integral financing model” for the spread of terrorist activities in Africa and globally. At the same time, a limited government presence in northern Mali had spawned an environment conducive for cross-border trafficking whereas in Central Africa, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a known militant group accused of numerous human rights violations, fuelled its operations through the poaching of elephants and illegal trade in ivory. “The African Union has not remained idle in the face of these threats,” Mr. Antonio told the delegates. Nonetheless, he remarked, greater efforts should be made to encourage collaboration between neighbouring states sharing such threats along their borders and strengthen early warning mechanisms to clamp down on any potential situations of conflict that could be exploited by terrorist groups. Recognizing the nexus of criminal and terrorist activities, the new Security Council resolution stressed the need for Member States “to work collectively to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations” and called upon the international community to strengthen border management. The text also stressed the importance of strengthening trans-regional and international cooperation on a basis of “a common and shared responsibility to counter the world drug problem and related criminal activities,” adding its encouragement for Member States to block and prevent terrorist groups from benefitting from transnational organized crime. “The porous African borders have long served to bring communities together, facilitate trade, and have contributed to the prosperity and the enriching diversity of our people. But porous need not translate into threats and risks of crime and terrorism,” Mr. Antonio continued.“There is therefore a need for innovative, collaborative and inclusive approaches that are led by the concerned states, based on confidence and transparency among them, and without hindrances nor restrictions on legal cross-border flows of people and trade.” read more

Canadian Alex Harvey finishes eighth at crosscountry World Cup

RUKA, Finland — Canada’s Alex Harvey skied to a personal best eighth-place sprint finish at the season-opening cross-country World Cup on Saturday.The leader of the Canadian squad from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., is competing in his 10th season on the World Cup circuit.“I’m now 30 years old and I have the same excitement for the first race of the season as I did the first time I hit the start line on the World Cup,” Harvey said after completing the 1.4-kilometre classic-sprint course.“You just never really know how you’re positioned against the rest of the world until get on the line. I was really happy with my result today. It is the best sprint result I have ever had in Ruka. The body felt good and the equipment was great.”Skiing in fifth spot for most of his semifinal round, the three-time Olympian grinded his way around the hard-packed and fast course to stay in contact with the leaders. A late charge down the finishing stretch allowed him to grab one more spot on the pack, but it wasn’t enough to advance, leaving him in eighth spot overall on the day.“The steep hill on this course is the key. I’ve never been the snappiest on the hills, so I was happy with the effort and the result,” Harvey said.Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov won the race, topping a trio of Norwegians in the final heat. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo finished in second place. Eirik Brandsdal grabbed the final step on the men’s podium in third.Three other Canadians competed but did not qualify in the round of 30. Julien Locke of Nelson, B.C. placed 69th, Andy Shields of Thunder Bay, Ont., was 75th while Russell Kennedy of Canmore, Alta., was 76th.The Canadian Press read more

Onesta presents 16 Experts for Serbia

← Previous Story Wenta on the match against Serbia: “Our first final” Next Story → Iceland without Snorri Gudjonsson! French NT coach, Claude Onesta announced official squad for the EHF EURO 2012. Here are the 16 best French player in this moment:Goalkeepers: Thierry Omeyer i Daouda KarabouéBacks: Jérôme Fernandez, Daniel Narcisse, William Accambray, Nikola Karabatic, Guillaume Gille, Xavier Barachet i Kevynn NyokasLine players: Bertrand Gille, Cédric Sorhaindo i Grégoire DetrezLeft wings: Michaël Guigou i Arnaud BingoDefensive specialist: Didier Dinart,Right wings: Luc Abalo i Guillaume JoliHandball-Planet.com made a prediction that France will win the gold medal. read more

Flanagan meets with family of Ibrahim Halawa insists Department is pressuring Egypt

first_imgThroughout, I have emphasised that Ibrahim was only seventeen when the alleged offences took place, and that he planned to return to Ireland immediately if released.“In my contacts with Minister Shoukry, I stressed that while I was in no way attempting to interfere in the judicial process, it is the Government’s view that Ibrahim should not be tried as part of a trial involving a large number of defendants; that he should be advised of the specific charges to be laid against him, and be allowed to be defended in court by a lawyer of his choosing.I assured the Halawa family that our Ambassador to Egypt and our consular experts in the Department will continue to provide all possible assistance to Ibrahim and his family, both in Dublin and Cairo. Officials from the embassy in Ciaro – including the Irish Ambassador – have visited Ibrahim twenty times in the past year, with a further visit scheduled for this weekend. Ibrahim’s father, Hussein Halawa, is the Imam of the Clonskeagh Mosque. Wikileaks correspondence released in 2011 included suggestions that he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.Open letter: Taoiseach and Tánaiste, fight Egypt’s jailing of journalists >Read: Cairo sentencing of Al Jazeera journalists a “ferocious attack” on media – Amnesty > FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Charlie Flanagan has held a meeting this evening with the family of Ibrahim Halawa — the Irish citizen arrested in Egypt along with his sisters last summer.He said he had briefed the family on the latest developments in the case, and that he was continuing to take a close personal interest in it.Ibrahim Halawa, who is now 18-years-old, was imprisoned along with his three sisters last August after taking part in a protest calling for the reinstatement of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, which turned violent.Somaia, Fatima and Omaima were held for three months before they were freed and allowed to return to Ireland. However Ibrahim has been kept in captivity, and is expected to face trial next month.Speaking last month on RTÉ’s This Week programme, Somaia said she didn’t believe enough was being done to free her brother, who could face as long as ten years in prison.“This evening, I briefed his family on my conversation earlier today with the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs, during which I again raised Ibrahim’s case,” Flanagan said in a statement.“I spoke to Minister Shoukry on my first day as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and I subsequently wrote to him setting out the Irish Government’s concerns with regard to Ibrahim’s case.last_img read more

Beidou Chinas GPS equivalent is operational

first_imgIn case you didn’t know it, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a service of the US government. The government makes it accessible to anyone, but at the end of the day it’s their toy and they can do what they want with the former military project. That might not be an issue for you when you are trying to figure out the fastest way to get to Aunt Mildred’s house, but if you were a leader in China, Russia, India, or the European Union it might be cause for concern. For this reason other countries (and in the case of the EU, groups of countries) are building their own satellite-based navigation systems. China’s, which is known as COMPASS or Beidou, has recently become operational.Beidou, which translates to “Big Dipper”, will cover the southern Asia for the time being, but will expand outward to be a worldwide navigation system by 2020. At this point it’s composed of 10 satellites, out of a planned total of 35. For reference, the US’ GPS is an array of 32 satellites (at least 24 of which are always operational). At a given time a connection with four satellites is necessary in order to get accurate location data, and more satellites means benefits like better worldwide coverage and faster signal acquisition. The Russian equivalent, GLONASS, has 24 satellites. Work on Beidou began in 2000, which is quite late compared to the US, but development is happening quickly right now. By the end of 2012 China plans to have six more satellites in the array, bring the total up to 16. The current system, according to a BBC report, is accurate to 10m, which is rather poor compared to that of the US, but it should improve as the number of satellites grows. Beidou will be tested by the Chinese military who will apparently be able to get more accurate location data from the system. This is not unlike the US’ own Selective Availability program, which degraded location data for non-Department of Defense usage. Selective Availability was turned off in 2000 though, giving all GPS users full accuracy (generally considered to be 3-5m).Beidou is said to be compatible with other navigation systems. So the same way that the iPhone 4S and other smartphones can work with Russia’s GLONASS in addition to GPS devices might one day be able to work with Beidou, though it will take some time before this is possible.More at Beidou via Reutersand BBClast_img read more

Fibroscopie bronchique pulmonaire digestive comment se déroule lexamen

first_imgFibroscopie : bronchique, pulmonaire, digestive, comment se déroule l’examen ?La fibroscopie, également appelée endoscopie, est un examen médical permettant de visualiser l’intérieur du corps.Définition : qu’est ce que la fibroscopie ?La fibroscopie, également appelée endoscopie, est un examen médical permettant de visualiser l’intérieur du corps. Elle peut être utilisée pour examiner différentes parties du corps comme l’estomac, le côlon, les bronches, l’œsophage, le duodénum… L’exploration est effectuée à l’aide d’une sonde appelée endoscope ou fibroscope. Il s’agit d’un tube souple doté d’une minicaméra et guidé par des manettes. L’endoscope est également capable de prélever un bout de tissu (biopsie), de retirer une tumeur ou de traiter des lésions de petite taille. Différents types de fibroscopie- Fibroscopie digestive ou oesogastrique : Également appelée gastroscopie, elle permet l’exploration de l’appareil digestif : œsophage, estomac et intestin grêle. Contrairement à la plupart des fibroscopies, elle est effectuée sous anesthésie locale et non générale. Un spray anesthésiant est ainsi appliqué au fond de la gorge par un gastro-entérologue. L’endoscope, d’environ un mètre de long et un centimètre de diamètre, est introduit à travers la bouche et le pharynx. En cas de lésion découverte, un prélèvement de la muqueuse digestive peut être réalisé. Si la lésion est suffisamment petite, elle peut être directement traitée à l’aide d’un laser ou d’un bistouri électrique. Cette fibroscopie est très rapide, l’examen ne dure que cinq minutes environ. Il est indispensable que le patient soit à jeun à partir de deux heures avant.- Fibroscopie du côlon ou coloscopie : La coloscopie permet l’exploration du côlon ou gros intestin. Elle sert notamment dans le cadre du dépistage du cancer du côlon ou pour détecter des lésions à l’intérieur du côlon. Avant l’examen, le patient doit effectuer une purge à l’aide d’un laxatif à boire la veille. La coloscopie dure environ une demi-heure. L’endoscope est introduit dans l’anus puis guidé jusqu’au gros intestin. De l’air est insufflé pour décoller les parois et faciliter le déplacement du tube. – Fibroscopie bronchique ou pulmonaire :À lire aussiFibroscopie bronchique : définition, fonctionnement et risques de cet examen des bronchesCette technique, également nommée bronchoscopie, a pour but l’exploration de la trachée et des bronches. Elle sert notamment dans le diagnostic du cancer bronchique. A l’image de la fibroscopie digestive, l’insertion de la sonde se fait via la bouche par un pneumologue après une anesthésie locale. L’examen dure ici entre 10 et 20 minutes. – Fibroscopie urinaire ou vésicale :  Contrairement aux examens précédents, celui-ci ne nécessite aucune préparation ou restriction alimentaire. D’une durée d’une demi-heure environ, il est utilisé dans le cadre du diagnostic du cancer de la vessie. La fibroscopie vésicale permet la visualisation de l’urètre, la vessie et de la prostate chez l’homme. Le fibroscope est introduit par les voies urinaires et est enduit de gel anesthésique.  Le 12 février 2016 à 08:30 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

More Tourists Expected In Petersburg This Year

first_imgMore tourists are expected to visit Petersburg this summer than in recent years. Located on Mitkof Island, the small town cannot accommodate large cruise ships because of the shallow channels. But that’s just the sort of thing that some visitors are looking for.Download AudioIt’s tough to put an exact number on how many tourists come to Petersburg every year, but it’s definitely in the thousands. The closest figure might be from the Alaska Visitor Statistics Program, which shows about 14,000 came in 2011. That number includes visitors by plane, cruise ship and ferry.Dave Berg looks over a spread sheet of this year’s visitors at Viking Travel, Inc. (Photo by Angela Denning, KFSK – Petersburg)Dave Berg has operated Viking Travel, Inc. in Petersburg for 31 years.“It looks like it’s going to be a better year for us,” Berg said. “We’re seeing a great increase in the number of independent visitors than we’ve seen in the past.”“Independent travelers” is an industry term that means people who visit on their own outside of the large cruise ships.“Most of the time they have Petersburg as part of an overall Alaska experience,” Berg said.The phone lines in Berg’s office are busy these days. He’s dealing with people from all over the world. He says the increase in tourists is partly due to his business buying out Alaska Ferry Adventures in Homer. They were doing the same line of work—setting up travel packages for visitors. He’s now trying to get those people to come to Petersburg.The main local draw is whale watching. There are also kayaking trips, the Bella Vista garnet mine, and the nearby Anan Bear Observatory. But Berg says it doesn’t have to be that adventurous. People just appreciate walking around the harbors and talking to fishermen.“Just the small town atmosphere, the village that we have, the village feel of Petersburg versus places with the large cruise ships,” Berg said. “There’s a big difference in the experience that people have by coming to small towns.”Marilyn Menish-Meucci runs the Petersburg Visitors Information Center.“The independent traveler loves Petersburg,” Menish-Meucci said. “All the businesses here are locally owned. The only chain we have that is a national chain is Wells Fargo. And so that is huge to people because every time they buy an item in this town, the money stays in this town.”Menish-Meucci says keeping it local is not only good for attracting tourists but also for local businesses.Petersburg’s Chamber of Commerce Director, Cindi Lagoudakis, agrees.“There’s more fuel sales, the gift shops see an increased business and I think some pretty steady clientele in the summertime from independent travelers,” Lagoudakis said. “The food businesses certainly see an uptick and in part that’s why some businesses are only open in the summertime as we have more people coming through town and can support those additional businesses and those dollars flow through town.”It didn’t hurt that Yachting Magazine recently designated Petersburg as one of the best small towns in the country to visit.“So, we’ve had a lot of people calling on the phone asking more questions about what Petersburg is like what we have to offer, questions about our harbors, and some really increased interest in what we have to offer here in Petersburg,” Lagoudakis said.She says it’s often the small town charm that they’re after.“What I hear again and again from folks that are visitors to town is how friendly the community is,” Lagoudakis said. “I think in part is because we don’t have so many people. There’s enough new people but not so many that you feel bombarded by it. And people will say hi to people in the street or they will offer to help you find something or tell you a little bit about why they like Petersburg and it makes it a very desirable place to visit and to live.”Petersburg’s tourist season runs roughly from May 15 through September 15.There will be one large ship– the Caledonian Sky—which is scheduled to be here twice but won’t be able to dock at the harbors because of its size. It carries about 150 passengers and will have to anchor out in Scow Bay or Frederick Sound.A Gold Rush theme ship is scheduled to be here 12 times. Last year, it came up twice.last_img read more

GCI looks into bringing fiber to Unalaska

first_imgGCI is looking into what it would take to bring faster internet to Unalaska. The telecommunications company is evaluating if fiber would be a financially feasible solution. Right now, they are in the exploratory process.Listen nowSpokesperson Heather Handyside said the company is surveying a route between a fiber facility in Levelock and Unalaska.“If we are to do a build-out of a fiber cable, it will help us understand how to best engineer that cable so that it can withstand all the elements or obstacles that it might encounter,” Handyside said.Obstacles like strong currents, shipwrecks and deep and varied terrain.For GCI, it’s compelling that Unalaska is the top fishing port in the nation.“I think there’s promise with the change in climate that it could get even busier,” Handyside said. “We’re taking all those things into account when we decide if we want to make this investment.”If built, Handyside estimates the cable could cost tens of millions of dollars and GCI is planning to foot the entire bill. Currently Unalaska is only served by satellite making the internet slow and expensive. Fiber would allow for faster connections.“We know in Unalaska, in particular since you are served by satellite, [fiber] would be a game changer for you,” Handyside said.The marine survey is expected to be completed by mid-October and Handyside said GCI expects to have made a decision about the project by early 2018.last_img read more

Massive clash breaks out in UPs Jaunpur after man wipes shoes with

first_imgUP Police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.Representational image | IANSA major clash broke out at a polling booth on Sunday morning in Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur when BJP supporters saw a man wiping his shoes with their party flag. According to reports, a party flag was lying near a tree when the man picked it up and wiped his shoes with it. A BJP supporter saw this and hurled abuses at the man.As the BJP supporters came together to beat up the man, others joined and the police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob that had collected there.Polling was not disrupted at the polling station. Uttar Pradesh is conducting its polls in seven phases. 14 constituencies are going to the polls in the sixth phase of the general elections.The Uttar Pradesh constituencies that are going to the polls are Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Phulpur, Allahabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Shrawasti, Domariyaganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Lalganj, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Machhlishahr, and Bhadohi.The Bharatiya Janata Party won 13 of these 14 constituencies in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The only exception was Azamgarh, won then by SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.(With inputs from agencies)last_img read more