SWINE FLU BREAKING NEWS 2: Global case update, eyeing phase 6, probable cases, southern hemisphere viruses, WHO gathers clinical experts

first_img At a WHO media briefing today, Keiji Fukuda, MD, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security, emphasized that the rationale for any future move to pandemic alert phase 6 wouldn’t be based on disease severity, but rather on sustained outbreaks in more than one WHO region. On Apr 29 the WHO raised the pandemic alert to its current level, phase 5, which signifies sustained community outbreaks in two or more countries within one WHO region. May 4, 2009 The CDC will work with international health authorities to monitor the southern hemisphere’s flu season, beginning shortly, to see how the novel H1N1 strain behaves in competition with other flu viruses. “That will tell us a lot about whether the virus is changing and what measures we might want to take in the fall,” Besser said. The CDC will begin reporting “probable” cases of flu in addition to confirmed cases to give a better sense of the size of the US epidemic, acting director Dr. Richard Besser said Monday. In addition to the 286 confirmed cases, there are more than 700 probable cases in the United States.center_img The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 1,085 confirmed cases of influenza A/H1N1 (swine flu) and 26 deaths in 21 countries as of 18:00 GMT (noon US EST) today, up from 985 cases in 20 countries reported earlier in the day. Mexico has reported 590 confirmed cases and 25 deaths. The WHO’s latest total reflects today’s updated US numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which stand at 286 cases and 1 death. [WHO update 14] Tomorrow the WHO will host its second scientific teleconference to address clinical issues surrounding patients who have influenza A/H1N1 (swine flu) infections, the WHO’s Fukuda said today at a media briefing. The conference will allow scientists to share information on crucial topics such as disease severity. The topic of the first teleconference, held on Apr 29, was the influenza situation in Mexico.last_img read more

Dutch roundup: SPMS, SPW, ExxonMobile, Hoogovens

first_imgInflation-linked bonds, with a return of 23.2%, was the best-performing investment category.Holdings in equity (36%), fixed income (43%) and property (8%) delivered 14.2%, 19.4% and 18.4%, while the scheme’s hedge funds portfolio (9%) returned 2.9%.SPMS added that it lost 3.5% on its currency hedge, with 70% of the exposure against the US dollar covered and a 100% hedge of the British pound and the Japanese yen.The pension fund ended 2014 with a funding ratio of 126%.SPW, meanwhile, reported a quarterly return of 5.9%, leading to an annual performance of 23%.It said developed-market equities, credit and government bonds returned 18.9%, 14.8% and 13.4% last year.Its investments in hedge funds, private equity and infrastructure delivered 16.5%, 24.4% and 22.4%, respectively, while real estate produced a 20.4% return.SPW incurred a 27.2% loss on its investments in commodities, mainly due to the sharp drop in oil prices.The pension fund said its interest hedge contributed 14.6 percentage points to its annual result, and that it lost 4.8% on its currency hedge.In other news, the €8bn pension fund of steelworks Hoogovens and the €2.2bn Dutch scheme of ExxonMobil (Protector) are to replace their final-salary pension plans with average-salary schemes to cut costs.However, the Hoogovens scheme pointed out that its final-salary arrangements had been conditional, and that the accrual had already fallen 10% short of the 100% target in recent years.Both pension funds confirmed they would grant their participants inflation compensation, with Hoogovens raising pension rights for pensioners by 0.33% and for active participants and deferred members by 0.94%.It said its decision was based on the indexation rules under the new financial assessment framework (FTK) and its funding ratio of 113.1% at October-end.Protector, whose funding was 129% at the end of December, granted its active participants a full and unconditional indexation of 0.88%, based on the consumer index. SPMS, the €9.3bn occupational pension fund for medical consultants in the Netherlands, and SPW, the €10.5bn scheme for housing corporations, have reported annual returns of 25.3% and 23%, respectively. Both schemes benefited from extensive hedges of the interest risk on their liabilities.SPMS said 13.1 percentage points of its annual return came as a result of its 70% interest hedge via interest swaps.It said all of its asset classes delivered positive results.last_img read more

Economic Development Councils’ Regional Innovation Expo in December to Celebrate Emerging…

first_imgFacebook29Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston EDCThe economic development organizations of five counties will highlight Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council’s newly updated industry cluster study—including new emerging sectors—at this year’s Regional Innovation Expo on December 5, 2019, at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound.Presentations will focus on regional initiatives within the new emerging sectors of Media/Video Production/Web Portal Hosting and Creative Arts/Sports & Recreation. Event organizers are planning breakout sessions led by regional leaders doing innovative work in the established sectors of Medical/Life Sciences, Food Production/Agriculture and Tourism/Hospitality. We are excited to tell stories that interweave the established and emerging sectors together into one robust economic fabric.Panel discussions will also feature experts on the future of workforce, dynamic changes in technology, the changing face of commerce, and experts on the state of the economy from each of the five counties.This year’s Expo marks the 11th anniversary of the region’s five leading economic development agencies collaborating to create the region’s largest conference that focuses on economic vitality and community development as it is today and as it will be tomorrow . . . . and beyond!Event Sponsorships and booths in the Exhibition Hall are available. For more information, contact Holly House at hhouse@thurstonedc.comWHO: Greater Grays Harbor, Inc., Lewis County EDC, Mason County EDC, Pacific County EDC, and Thurston EDC.WHAT: 2019 Regional Economic Forecast & Innovation ExpoWHEN: Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. through 3 p.m.WHERE: Great Wolf Lodge, 20500 Old Hwy 99 SW, Grand Mound, WA 98531Registration is now open. Visit www.regionalinnovationexpo.com or call one of the five organizing groups:Greater Grays Harbor, Inc:  360-532-1924; Lewis County EDC: 360-748-0114; Mason County EDC:  360-426-2276; Pacific County EDC:  360-875-9330; Thurston EDC: 360-754-6320.last_img read more

20 Indicted on Drug, Gun Trafficking

first_imgBy John BurtonFREEHOLD – A Monmouth County grand jury has handed down indictments against 20 individuals who, law enforcement charge, operated an extensive drug and firearms trafficking operation.The defendants, who face a wide array of charges, were among 40 arrested last summer following an investigation that began in fall 2010, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.Authorities have named Anthony Stevenson, also known as “Nygee,” a 43-year-old Long Branch resident, as the alleged ringleader.The operation was allegedly based in Long Branch, authorities said. The eight-month investigation was initiated after the prosecutor’s Narcotics and Criminal Enterprises unit received information about the ring’s operation.The prosecutor’s office charges that during the investigation Stevenson either sold or directed one of his underlings to sell heroin to customers who turned out to be undercover officers.Authorities alleged the officers bought upward of 38 bricks of heroin from Stevenson or his associates. A brick, law enforcement officials said, contains 50 small glassine bags of the illegal drug.Along with heroin, Stevenson and his associates are also alleged to have sold cocaine to officers, authorities said.The investigation reveal­ed Stevenson relied on different suppliers operating in the Newark area, policesaid. The most significant amount allegedly came from Uwenzen Jenkins, 40, West Orange.Two of Stevenson’s associates from Asbury Park, who were under surveillance by officers, were stopped by the police in Tinton Falls after meeting with Jenkins on July 1, and found to be in possession of 40 bricks of heroin.The following month, Stevenson and another associate were stopped and arrested when they were allegedly in possession of 50 heroin bricks.Along with the narcotics, law enforcement charged that Stevenson brokered the sale of illegal guns. In one case a Stevenson associate sold a handgun in a Long Branch restaurant owned by Stevenson. Another sale allegedly occurred when Stevenson sold two assault rifles to undercover officers in the parking lot of a West Long Branch gas station, police said.Two of Stevenson’s associates, Walter Taylor III, 35, Long Branch, and Latief Forbes, 29 (no residence provided), are alleged to have operated a drug production facility in Freehold, according to the prosecutor’s office.Among the list of charges Stevenson is facing include: first degree leader of narcotics trafficking; second degree racketeering conspiracy; and numerous drug and illegal firearms possession offenses.The alleged co-conspirators are from Long Branch, Asbury Park, Neptune, Red Bank, West Orange, and two from South Carolina, who are former Long Branch residents.Stevenson’s bail was set at $2 million, cash only and no 10 percent option.He is being held at the Monmouth Correctional Institution, Freehold, pending a prosecutor-requested bond source hearing to determine whether the source of the bond is from criminal activity, First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said.last_img read more

Accident gives Leafs’ Henderson a new appreciation of life

first_imgBy Bruce Fuhr The Nelson Daily Sports It wasn’t that long ago that Leaf D-man Riley Henderson led a carefree life. Play hockey, enjoy life and play hockey. However, life took a near-fatal turn for the Richmond native during a trip back to practice with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League franchise following the Christmas Holiday break. While driving outside of Castlegar in his vehicle, Henderson watched as his life passed before his eyes. His truck hit some black ice, spun out of control before contacting some pavement and rolling down an embankment. “That was probably the most scariest things I’ve ever gone through in my life,” Henderson told The Nelson Daily following Wednesday’s 5-4 KIJHL victory over Grand Forks. “It makes me realized just how lucky I am just to be playing hockey with such a great organization like the Nelson Leafs,” Henderson adds. Henderson truck rolled a couple of times before resting on the four wheels. Henderson, who said he went right into shock after the truck came to a halt, suffered a concussion along with some back problems. The accident caused Henderson to  miss a few games before being cleared to play by doctors. However, coaches around the league already knew all about the 6’3”, 195-pound defenceman before the single-vehicle accident occurred. So much so the KIJHL Allstar selectors were quick to make a call to Henderson and the Leafs when a spot became available. That spot became vacant when Castlegar Rebel rearguard Darren Tarasoff listed himself at unavailable for Saturday’s All Star Game in Fernie. “I found out just a couple of days ago that I would be going,” explained Henderson, with four goals and 17 assists in 31 games. “I was pretty excited when I got the call . . . and 18-year-old being picked to go to the All Star Game from the entire league is a pretty special thing. “I called my parents right away to tell them the news,” he added. Unfortunately, what’s good for Henderson turned bad for teammate Darren Hogg. The burley netminder was chosen to represent the Leafs during the Prospect’s Game. But Hogg suffered a leg injury during last week’s game in Golden, forcing the South Okanagan native to pull his name from Fernie. Hogg is not the only Leaf player forced to miss the contest. Nelson’s leading goal scorer Gavin Currie is also not going to make the contest after suffering an injury during the New Year’s Eve contest against Spokane. Currie’s replacement is Ryan Aynsley of Castlegar. Alex Ross, also of the Rebels, is slated to make the trip instead of Hogg. For Henderson, the news of being selected to the Allstar contest couldn’t have come at a better time. Especially after his near miss outside of Castlegar. “I’m going to enjoy this weekend,” Henderson confessed. Even more so than before.ALLSTAR NOTES: Cameron Dobransky and team captain Taylor O’Neil of the Leafs are also slated to be in Fernie during All Star weekend. . . .Friday, the Prospect’s Game is scheduled. After a banquet Saturday afternoon, the KIJHL stars take to the ice for the All Star contest. . . .Next game for Nelson is Friday, January 21 against Kelowna Chiefs.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Mallard’s Team of the Week — Selkirk Saints Student Athletes

first_imgThomas Hardy, Stefan Gonzales, James Prigione, Tanner Lenting, Ryan Procyshyn, Darnell Dyck, Steven Glass, Logan Proulx, Mitch Rosko, Mason Spear, Tylor Branzsenand Steven Pantazopoulos all managed to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average while continuing to train for competition.Mallard’s Source for sports would like add to the celebrations with Team of the Week honours.Other awards included plaques presented to three Saints who ended up on the year-end BCIHL all-star teams for their impact on the ice during the regular season.Stefan Gonzales made the BCIHL first all-star team, while Ryan Edwards and James Prigione were named to the second all-star team.The coaching staff handed out team awards in a number of categories with the winners chosen for their contributions to the overall success.The winners included: Darnell Dyck (top scorer), Stefan Gonzales (top defenceman), Ryan Edwards (co-MVP and top rookie),James Prigione (co-MVP), Marc Antoine Guimond (unsung hero), Lucas Hildebrand (coaches award)and Matt Martin (coaches award).First year Saints forward Steven Pantazopoulos was presented with the Saints Spirit Award to recognize his passion for leading the team in a positive manner. The new award carries with it a $500 scholarship and was created by Selkirk College staff members Joleen Kinakin and Amy Byers. The Selkirk College Saints closed out an amazing British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League season with the awards banquet held recently at the Castlegar Recreation Complex.The ceremony saw many of the Saints players honoured for their achievements in the run to the 2015 BCIHL title.Twelve student athletes were presented with certificates to recognize achievements in the classroom.last_img read more

First 9, 600 High-Tech Water Meters to Be Delivered by May

first_img The first 9,600 solid state water meters being supplied to the Government by Diehl Metering are expected to be delivered within another two months, after which the National Water Commission (NWC) will begin installation. As a result, President of the NWC, Mark Barnett, is urging householders to closely monitor their consumption habits and check regularly for leaks. The first 9,600 solid state water meters being supplied to the Government by Diehl Metering are expected to be delivered within another two months, after which the National Water Commission (NWC) will begin installation.A total of 450,000 meters are to be provided by the German company, under a US$43.9 million contract awarded last year to replace mechanical water meters with more efficient, high-tech electronic devices.The exercise, which is to be undertaken by the NWC over a five-year period, will result in greater accuracy in the measurement of water consumption in each household.With the implementation of the smart water infrastructure technology, it is expected that most customers will see an increase in their bills due to more accurate readings.As a result, President of the NWC, Mark Barnett, is urging householders to closely monitor their consumption habits and check regularly for leaks.“We tend to ignore every drip…until it starts to run. We encourage you to (inspect) your external plumbing around your premises,” he said, pointing out that toilets are the greatest point of leakage and waste in any single home.Mr. Barnett, who was speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, also suggested that persons consider purchasing water-saving devices if necessary, to ensure that they have greater control of their water consumption practices.At the contract signing held last December, the NWC President said the installation of the new meters is a step forward in improving the customer experience in doing business with the NWC.“Improved use of technology in our utility is critical…the water sector right across the world…is usually the last to accept new technologies and so for us, we want to demonstrate our commitment to change that mindset,” he said.Pointing out that 75 to 80 per cent of customer complaints are normally related to billing, Mr. Barnett noted that the installation of the new technology would significantly reduce this trend, given its many capabilities.He noted that the electronic meters will enable consumers to track their water consumption on a daily basis; detect leaks on their property; know what the flow rate is and how much water is used at certain times; and receive alarms if there are any changes in regular consumption.“We want to put that in your hands. Rather than making complaints to us, you would’ve been well notified when there is an issue on your compound,” he said.Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who also spoke at the signing ceremony, explained that the procurement of the new meters is a continuation of a project, which saw the installation of 50,000 solid state meters supplied by Diehl as part of the NWC’s work to improve efficiencies in its network.“We will be able to change almost all the meters… and take care of additional metering over the next few years,” he noted.He said a significant feature of the technology is that it will increase the NWC’s capacity to more accurately account for water supplied, which will reduce losses due to non-revenue water (NRW).“Having satisfactory metering systems is important so we can measure accurately what people buy, because while we don’t want to extort the customers, we are ensuring that what we supply is paid for and we can keep water rates reasonable,” he said.NRW refers to water that has been produced and is lost before it reaches the customer. Losses can occur as a result of leaks, theft, or metering inaccuracies.According to recent reports, more than 50 per cent of the country’s water is lost through this avenue.Dr. Chang further noted that while in most cases, the customer will pay “a little more money,” given the increased capacity to measure water more efficiently, there may be lower costs for some consumers.He said through this project, along with other ongoing initiatives, the Government is continuing its work to correct inefficiencies in its water supply system, which is also hampered by old infrastructure including old pipes and faulty insufficient pump houses.The solid state meters are rated among the best in the water industry, utilising some of the latest technologies and feature batteries that will last for a minimum of 15 years. Story Highlights The exercise, which is to be undertaken by the NWC over a five-year period, will result in greater accuracy in the measurement of water consumption in each household.last_img read more