MERS Situation More Serious but Not an Emergency Yet, WHO Panel Says

first_imgAn international committee advising the World Health Organization (WHO) today called on countries on the Arabian Peninsula to improve their hospital hygiene and help in carrying out much-needed studies on how the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus spreads. But the panel stopped short of declaring the deadly new disease, which emerged 2 years ago, a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).There has been a dramatic rise in reported MERS cases recently, and calling the outbreak a PHEIC would have given WHO the power to issue travel advisories and other recommendations under the International Health Regulations. It would also increase political pressure on the affected countries.But after a 5-hour telephone conference yesterday, the panel decided that the criteria for a PHEIC haven’t been met, Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and environment, announced at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, today. “They believe the situation had increased in terms of its seriousness and urgency but did not at this point constitute a PHEIC,” Fukuda said.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(*)Preben Aavitsland, a Norwegian epidemiologist who helped draft the International Health Regulations, criticizes the decision. “I personally think from the information that is publicly available that the event should be declared a PHEIC,” Aavitsland tells ScienceInsider in an e-mail. “MERS is an international concern, it spreads to other countries, and there is a need for an international response.” But to David Heymann, a former executive director of communicable diseases at WHO and now head of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House, it seems “a sound decision.” “We have to trust the international bodies,” Heymann says.The emergency panel was established in July last year and it has met four times before, most recently in December. After each of those meetings it expressed concern but concluded it was too soon to call an emergency. The group will be asked to make a new assessment in a couple of weeks, Fukuda said.In its most recent update, WHO puts the number of MERS infections at 536, including 145 deaths. But that official count lags behind the numbers announced by country governments; Saudi Arabia alone has so far announced 157 deaths. Travelers have also exported the virus to more than a dozen countries where MERS is not endemic. The United States announced a second imported case on Monday, and the Netherlands reported its first today.”Suboptimal infection control practices” in hospitals and overcrowding in emergency rooms have contributed to the rise, Fukuda said. The number of infections acquired outside the hospital has also increased, he added; reasons for that were still unclear. But he stressed that there is “no convincing evidence right now for an increase in the transmissibility of this virus,” which was one of the main reasons the emergency committee did not declare a PHEIC. The committee evaluated genetic information available from five recent infections, three in Jeddah, one in Greece, and the first U.S. case. “The genetic sequences of these more recent viruses looked very much like the sequences of older viruses,” Fukuda said.Aavitsland says the escalating case numbers could lead some countries to unilaterally introduce restrictions for travelers from the Middle East. “By declaring a PHEIC, WHO could put itself in the driver’s seat and give recommendations against such measures, which are very unlikely to be beneficial,” Aavitsland writes. “If someone [issues] travel restrictions against Saudi Arabia now, then Oman or Lebanon may not declare if they have new cases tomorrow.”Declaring a PHEIC could also put increased political pressure on Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region to fully confront the crisis. The world is still waiting for critical research, such as a case-control study, to find out how the virus makes its way from the animal reservoir—likely camels—to humans, Heymann says. “That is the real issue: The study has not been done to show whether this can be prevented by simple efforts.” But declaring a PHEIC just to facilitate such studies would have been irresponsible, Fukuda says. “I hope the increased sense of urgency pushes aside any barriers,” he writes in an e-mail.People should not interpret the panel’s decision to mean everything is under control, says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. “It’s not.” There is clear evidence that some individuals, called supershedders, have infected a large number of other people on the Arabian Peninsula, Osterholm says. “If that emerges elsewhere, the world will take a very different view on this.”last_img read more

BJP, Congress set for great Agusta face-off in Rajya Sabha

first_imgBoth the BJP and the Congress were busy keeping their gunpowder dry for Wednesday when the Rajya Sabha is set to debate the controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal. The ruling party managers are convinced they have sufficient material at hand to corner the Congress party, which too flexed its muscles saying it had nothing to hide.The VVIP chopper deal finalised and cancelled during the previous UPA is being seen by the BJP strategists as yet another opportunity to target the opposition party, particularly its leadership. “It is going to be a full-fledged attack on the Congress,” said a senior BJP strategist. “We want the debate to take place… We are ready for it,” Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh said.The Congress, however, registered its protest over a breach of privilege against the government saying the Defence Ministry files were being selectively shown to journalists and were finding their way in some newspapers before the debate. “We raised the issue in House and submitted a privilege notice against it… The defence minister is showing file notings to his journalist friends two days before the debate,” said Ramesh.The Congress has already submitted another privilege notice against the Defence Ministry over a statement issued over the Agusta Westland deal last week, which was basically a counter to the points raised by the Congress. Sources said the situation may get worse in the House if the BJP speakers try to drag the name of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi during the debate as was attempted by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. Congress managers said their defence is strong and their speakers will try to put the government on the mat over the issue.advertisement”We have nothing to hide and want all facts related to the deal to come out in the open,” said Ramesh. Anand Sharma and former defence minister AK Antony may speak on the debate from the Congress side.Sources said the Congress managers are banking on the assumption that the BJP government did not pursue the CBI and ED probes ordered by the UPA in the chopper deal and therefore would not have much to showcase in terms of fresh evidence. After the short discussion, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will either reply or make a statement on the chopper deal. Ahead of the debate, the Congress did not let the upper house to function over the scam in the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation when PM Modi was the chief minister of the state.Also read: MK Narayanan grilled in VVIP chopper case, Goa Governor B.V. Wanchoo next IAF may divert choppers to VVIP travel in AgustaWestlandlast_img read more

USA Gymnastics poised to lose key sponsors in wake of sex abuse scandal

first_img Support The Guardian … 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. USA Olympic team USA Gymnastics is poised to lose four key sponsors in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal involving a former team doctor. Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Under Armour and Hershey’s reportedly no longer want to associate themselves with the troubled governing body.Responding to a report on Thursday, USA Gymnastics confirmed that Procter & Gamble and Kellogg’s had completed their sponsorship contracts. On Friday, ESPN reported that Under Armour and Hershey’s will not renew their deals with the organization. Under Armour signed an eight-year deal in 2013 to provide performance apparel, footwear and accessories to the team through the 2020 Summer Olympics and is said to be ending its deal more than two years early.Procter & Gamble has been the biggest sponsor of USA Gymnastics since 2013, while Kellogg’s sponsored national tours. “We will evaluate whether to renew our partnership next spring, in light of our longer term priorities and continued actions on their part,” Procter & Gamble spokesperson Tressie Rose said in a statement to Reuters. “We support the actions USA Gymnastics has taken thus far, including accepting the recommendations by an independent expert and hiring a new Safe Sport Director. We want to ensure all voices who have been affected by abuse have been heard and that USAG takes all measures necessary to address such vitally important issues.” Kellogg’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment. USA Gymnastics expressed optimism both companies would remain involved as sponsors. “Although our contract for the last term with Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble ended in 2016 and 2017, respectively, we are exploring opportunities with both companies about joining with us in further building a culture of empowerment,” it said in a statement. USA Gymnastics’ former team doctor Larry Nassar pleaded guilty in a Michigan court to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct last month. Olympic champions Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas are among those who have said they had been sexually abused by Nassar. On Friday, three women who were allegedly abused by Nassar – Jamie Dantzscher, Jeanette Antolin and Jessica Howard – said in a statement: “Procter & Gamble and Kellogg’s have decided they can no longer support an organization which refuses to take responsibility for the crimes committed by their National Team doctor and their failure to warn others of his criminal conduct. “Hershey’s, Under Armour, AT&T, United Airlines and NBC Sports should put their money where America’s conscience is and withdraw their financial support of this organization until their officers and directors are replaced by people who will protect the health and safety of child athletes.” Share on Pinterest Gymnastics Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… Share via Email news Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Topics US sports Reuse this contentlast_img read more

‘Conte will be at Chelsea next year’

first_imgAntonio Conte ‘Conte will be at Chelsea next year’ – Agent sees no Italy appeal Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 20:34 2/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Antonio Conte Chelsea Getty Antonio Conte Chelsea Italy Premier League The Blues boss has been linked with a second spell in charge of the Azzurri, but Federico Pastorello is expecting him to remain at Stamford Bridge Antonio Conte has been tipped by his agent to still be in charge of Chelsea next season, with a return to the Italy national side helm holding little appeal.A Premier League title winner during his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge, the 48-year-old has found the going a lot tougher in his second.Uncomfortable questions have been asked amid a disjointed defence of the English top-flight crown and reports of dressing room unrest in west London. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Conte has, however, remained committed to his post in public and Federico Pastorello believes he will honour the three-year contract signed upon his arrival in England back in the summer of 2016.He told Rai Sport on the exit speculation and talk of a possible second stint in charge of the Azzurri: “Conte has already been through that experience and prefers to work with the squad on a daily basis.“I see him at Chelsea next year, as he has a contract valid for another season-and-a-half and doesn’t like to leave things unfinished.”Conte has faced regular questioning regarding his future of late, with back-to-back defeats against Bournemouth and Watford sparking talk that he may not see out the season.The Blues have, however, offered a positive response to those setbacks in the form of comfortable 3-0 and 4-0 victories over West Brom and Hull City in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively.Conte told reporters ahead of the first of those fixtures: “I’m not thinking for one moment about the possibility to go away from this club.”I repeat, my commitment is totally for this club and we are trying to do our best. But as you know very well that a lot of time – I don’t agree – but a lot of time the manager or coach depends on the results.”last_img read more

These Amazon Echo Accessories Will Make Alexa Your New Best Friend

first_img 10 Classic Vodka Cocktail Recipes You Can Mix at Home Editors’ Recommendations 16 Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now Expert Pitmaster Tips on How to Smoke a Brisket at Home As we all settle into a fresh new year, many of us have a helpful, chatty new friend at home: Alexa. In fact, tens of millions of holiday revelers received an Alexa device this year — the Echo Dot was Amazon’s best-selling product across all categories during the height of shopping season, and the Alexa app swiftly topped Apple’s App Store charts as the gifting chaos drew to a close. If you were one of the millions of people who cracked open a new Amazon Echo this Christmas, you’re probably wondering how to get the most out of your new smart assistant. Should you go all in on a new security system, or start smaller with something that requires less initial investment? Sure, you could just spend 2018 playing Jeopardy with your new AI roomie, but you should at least be aware that there’s a whole world out there of handy accessories that can elevate Alexa from part-time pal to full-time personal assistant. To help you get started, we’ve gathered up a few of our favorites.WeMo Insight Smart Plug – $40So, home automation wasn’t really something you had been thinking about until you opened up that Echo on Christmas morn? Been considering it for a while, but still feel a little unsure about where to start? Worried if you go too far too fast, your home will morph into a Pierce Brosnan-voiced, all-seeing, all-knowing killing machine? Well, put those concerns aside, because Belkin’s WeMo Insight Smart Plug is a perfect entry-level, Alexa-compatible accessory for those who’d prefer to ease into the home automation scene. The device fits into any standard outlet and lets you wirelessly control whatever you plug into it from the WeMo app or via Alexa’s voice control. The smart plug has a slim, clean profile, so it won’t be an eyesore in visible outlets, and its ability to set timers and track energy usage propel its usefulness beyond a simple on/off switch.See ItFremo Evo Battery Base – $30The Amazon Echo Dot’s minimal profile and near-weightlessness make it perfect for tucking into small spaces, but it does have one seemingly glaring oversight that cuts into its functionality: Just like its larger counterpart, it always has to be plugged in to a wall outlet to work. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for tech-savvy companies to start cranking out accessories to solve this portability problem, and Fremo’s Evo battery base is the leader of the pack. The Evo is incredibly lightweight, has a profile reminiscent of the Dot itself, and easily attaches via a magnet, so you don’t have to put up with a clunky add-on to take advantage of its features. Once attached, the Evo provides up to six hours of play time, letting you finally cut the cord and move your Dot from room to room, carry it to your patio for some outdoor party music, or take it along on your next campout. An intelligent battery management system provides overcharge protection, and the Evo recharges using the Echo Dot power adapter so you don’t even have to bother with a second set of cables. All of this is wrapped up into a perfectly affordable $20 package, meaning the Evo is one of the most cost-effective accessories for Dot owners.See ItPhilips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit – $179Smart lighting may have been one of the first Echo accessories you got pumped about. There are plenty of Alexa-enabled lighting options available, each with their own merits and drawbacks, but if you’re looking for an option that provides a healthy balance of functionality and fun, we highly recommend picking up a Philips Hue Starter Kit. Starter kits are available in a few different formations, but if you want the most bang for your buck, you should go with the White and Color Ambiance option. The kit comes with four white and color bulbs, as well as a Hue bridge — everything you’ll need to turn your home into a beautiful, futuristic lighting display. Installation is literally as easy as changing a light bulb; you just have to pop the Hue bulbs into the desired fixtures, turn them on, and the Hue app will automatically discover them. Within the app, you can give each smart bulb a unique name, sort them into groups by room, and turn lights on and off. The app also lets you endlessly customize your lights by choosing from millions of unique lighting colors, selecting one of Philips’ pre-made lighting scenes (with themes like “Spring Blossom” and “Relax”), or creating “routines” to do things like automatically turn off or dim lights when you leave for work or sit down for a TV binge. Integrating the Philips Hue system with Alexa is super simple and steps the whole kit up a notch by eliminating the need to bust out your smartphone every time you want to play around with your lighting. Philips’ Hue does fall on the pricier side of smart home lighting, but with a massive ecosystem of additional compatible products — including a new line of outdoor lighting products set to release this year and a partnership with Razer that will use the Hue system to add a new level of immersion to gaming — you’ll be hard-pressed to find another option with so much accessibility and customization.See ItNetgear Arlo Pro 2 Security System – $430 Another popular foray into home automation for a lot of folks is a security camera or system. With Alexa by your side, you’ll want to find a system that is not just versatile, durable, and reliable, but also voice control-compatible. Netgear checked off most of these boxes with their first-generation Arlo Pro, and took care of the rest when they were designing its successor, the Arlo Pro 2. The cameras are completely wireless and weatherproof, with rechargeable batteries that last up to six months. Each is equipped with a wide-angle lens offering a 130-degree view and can livestream or record in 1080p, with crisp night vision once the sun goes down. A 100-plus decibel siren can be controlled remotely and a smart scheduling feature lets you customize recording times to match your lifestyle. Perhaps the biggest perk of the Arlo Pro 2 setup is that it comes with free cloud storage that allows you to view, download, and share motion-triggered recordings for up to seven days, with an optional paid account upgrade that will enable you to record security footage 24/7 (though this requires a wired set-up). Connect the system to Alexa and she can pull up feeds on your television, Echo Show, or Echo Spot. You can buy the Arlo Pro 2 as a stand-alone camera (though it needs an accompanying base to work), but if you’re in the market for a full system, we’d suggest picking up one of the starter kits, which includes a base station, rechargeable batteries, power cables (if you decide on a wired set-up), an ethernet cable, wall mounts, and two or four security cameras. The entire system is expandable, so if you decide to upgrade later, you can add up to five cameras to a free account or up to 15 if you opt for the paid version.See ItNest Learning Thermostat – $237Chances are by now you’ve heard of the Nest Learning Thermostat. Currently in its third generation, the smart thermostat learns your usual routines, taking note of when and how much you change the temperature, when you leave the house, and when you tend to be home to build a schedule to suit your needs. Like it cool in the evenings? After a few days of observing you lowering the temperature at night, the Nest will begin to automatically cool your home a few degrees every evening. Want to reduce your energy footprint, but just can’t be convinced to give up those toasty, cozy mornings? Over time, the Nest will learn what time you typically leave the house, switching itself into energy-saving Eco Temperature mode while you’re not home. It will also run energy usage reports for you every month and send you alerts if there are ever drastic changes in temperature that could be cause for concern (i.e., if it’s cold enough that your pipes are at risk of bursting). The newest iteration of the Nest thermostat even lights up when you enter the room it’s in, which at the very least can make you feel pretty special. In 2016, all generations of the Nest Learning Thermostat became compatible with Alexa, so you can now adjust your home’s temperature by voice, which is perfect for when it’s just too damn cold to get out from under that blanket.See ItIFTTT (If This, Then That) – FreeWith the rising popularity of voice control, the list of Alexa-compatible smart accessories continues to grow. But that doesn’t mean you’re not going to run into non-compatible accessories or devices that don’t give you quite as much voice control capability as you’d like. For those situations, we recommend one of the most versatile Alexa accessories out there: IFTTT. IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a web service that allows users to create “recipes” to trigger actions that otherwise couldn’t be done via voice control. Once you have Alexa connected, you can browse through hundreds of user-created recipes to have Alexa do things like turn on your robot vacuum, trigger Find My Phone on your iPhone, turn on the lights when your alarm goes off, transfer your to-do lists to Evernote or Wunderlist, receive a weekly email list of songs you’ve played on your Echo, brew a pot of coffee, check to see if you left the garage doors open, and more. If you can’t find the recipe you’re looking for, you can create your own and share it with the community. The best part? The service is completely, 100-percent, no-strings-attached free.Learn MoreFeatured image courtesy of Philips Hue. The Absolute Worst Movies to Watch with a Date The Best Pillows Designed With Stomach Sleepers In Mind last_img read more

Navios Partners Buys Panamax Pair

first_imgzoom Greek owner and operator of dry bulk and container vessels Navios Maritime Partners has agreed to acquire two 2006-built Panamax vessels.As informed, the 74,500 dwt ships will be bought from an unnamed party for a total purchase price of USD 22 million.The vessels are expected to be delivered to Navios Partners’ owned fleet within Q1 2018.Based on the existing charters of the vessels and the current rate environment, the vessels are expected to generate approximately USD 4.8 million of EBITDA for the first year, Navios Partners said.The company is expected to finance the acquisition with cash on its balance sheet and USD 14.3 million bank debt maturing in 2023 and bearing interest at LIBOR plus 300 bps per annum.Following the newest acquisition, Navios Partners controls a fleet of 38 vessels.last_img read more

Navios Partners Adds Secondhand Panamax

first_imgzoom Owner and operator of dry bulk and container vessels Navios Maritime Partners has reached an agreement to acquire a secondhand vessel for a price of USD 12.95 million.The vessel in question is a 87,000 dwt Panamax, built in 2005. The company informed that the ship is expected to be delivered to Navios Partners’ owned fleet in March 2018.Based on the current rate environment, the vessel is expected to generate around USD 3.2 million of annual EBITDA, assuming operating expenses approximating current operating costs and 365 revenue and cost days.Navios Partners is to finance the acquisition with cash on its balance sheet and bank debt at terms similar to its existing banking facilities. The unit will bring the company’s fleet to 40 vessels.Additionally, Navios Partners informed that its board of directors adopted a distribution policy under which it intends to declare quarterly cash distribution in the amount of USD 0.02 per unit, or USD 0.08 annually. Based on its current capitalization, the company expects to distribute USD 3.4 million quarterly and USD 13.7 million annually.“I am pleased we were able to restore distributions for our unit holders. Over the past couple of years, we used our cash flow to solidify our balance sheet and to renew and expand our drybulk fleet. Indeed, since 2016, we grew our drybulk fleet by 37% and reduced its average age by 12%, on a deadweight tons basis,” Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Navios Partners, said.last_img read more

BC moves Family Day to third Monday in February in line with

first_imgVICTORIA – British Columbia is falling into step with the rest of the country by moving its Family Day to the third Monday in February, starting next year.Premier John Horgan says the change is meant to better align the holiday with other provinces to help businesses and families.Family Day was established in British Columbia in 2013.The government at the time decided to mark the holiday on the second Monday, despite the fact it was out of line with similar holidays in other Canadian provinces and the United States.Horgan has mused about changing the date before.Green Leader Andrew Weaver has always backed the move, even introducing a private member’s bill last year to amend the law.In bringing in the bill, Weaver highlighted a petition by the founder of a campaign called #UniteFamilyDay that had more than 20,000 signatures.Horgan says the change will benefit small and large businesses, and families spread across the country.“This gives families an opportunity to schedule and spend more time with loved ones from other provinces,” he said in a statement.A government news release on Friday announcing the change included the support of the CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade.“The misalignment of Family Day causes inconvenience, increased costs, and lost opportunity for businesses of all sizes and in various industries,” said Anita Huberman. “The economic benefit from this change will greatly assist our members, and especially small- and medium-sized businesses, across the province.”The Liberals brought in Family Day and criticized the NDP government for moving it, arguing the date helped tourism in the province.“The B.C. Family Day weekend has become one of the top performing business periods of the year for many B.C. ski destinations,” Liberal critics Michelle Stilwell and Doug Clovechok said in a joint statement.“The absolute lack of consultation is a slap in the face to the sector and highlights the NDP’s priorities, which clearly aren’t British Columbian jobs.”last_img read more

Coldplay To Perform At Kensington Palace For Prince Harrys Sentebale

first_imgSentebale will host a music concert headlined by Coldplay in the public gardens of Kensington Palace on Tuesday 28 June.The concert, in partnership with The Handa Foundation and supported by The Quintessentially Foundation, will raise funds and awareness of the challenges faced by adolescents living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.Coldplay said; “We’re delighted to join Prince Harry for this very special concert and to support Sentebale’s incredible work with adolescents affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana.”Joining the British rock band, Coldplay, will be British singer songwriter Laura Mvula, the African-Norwegian singing and songwriting duo Nico & Vinz, and spoken word artist and newly appointed Sentebale Ambassador, George Mpanga, known as George the Poet, along with other well-known faces to be announced soon. Artists will perform to an audience of 3,000 people against the backdrop of Kensington Palace.Tickets for the show will go on sale at 9am on Friday 27th May and can be purchased through this link.The money raised from the event will go towards Sentebale’s monthly Saturday clubs, caregiver days and residential week-long camps at the newly opened ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre, delivering psychosocial support to children living with HIV in Lesotho, and later this year in Botswana.Over the past 20 years, progress has been made to reduce the number of new HIV infections globally and ensure people living with HIV access treatment. However stigma, discrimination and lack of education surrounding HIV/AIDS, means young people in Africa are increasingly dying when HIV-related deaths are decreasing for all other age groups. HIV is the number one cause of death in 10 to 19 year olds in Africa; it will only get worse unless we act now.Founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso in 2006, Sentebale delivers psychosocial support to adolescents living with HIV, as well as providing care and education to orphans, children living with disabilities and young shepherds, know as ‘herd boys’, whose cultural obligation of tending livestock prevents them accessing education.Cathy Ferrier, CEO of Sentebale said; “UNAIDS estimates that only 30% of adolescents believed to be living with HIV in Lesotho are accessing medication. HIV and AIDS, no longer needs to be a death sentence, but the problem will not go away unless we act now. Over the course of the next decade, it is our aim to change the tide of this epidemic.“At Sentebale, we are ever more committed to play our part and use all our resources to help and support many more children living with HIV. The concert is about bringing people together who can make a difference. I look forward to seeing you on the 28th June.”If children with HIV are educated about the virus, they not only learn about their condition but also can educate their peers about the disease, enlightening a generation and leading the way to ending the AIDS epidemic.last_img read more

Being bullied linked to mental health issues

first_imgParents, take note. If your child is being bullied in secondary school, it may dramatically increase his/her chances of mental health problems and unemployment later in life, researchers have warned. The study found that being bullied in school increases the extent of mental health problems at age 25 by 40 per cent. “Our research shows that being bullied has negative impact on important long-term outcomes, especially unemployment, income and ill-health,” said a researcher. “Bullying is widespread in schools and many studies document a negative relationship between bullying and educational outcomes,” Gorman added. The researchers also found that being bullied increases the probability of being unemployed.last_img

Visva Bharati University student found dead in hostel room

first_imgKolkata: The body of a second-year student was found in a room at a hostel in Visva Bharati University on Saturday. It is suspected that the student committed suicide. Probe is on to find out the exact cause of the death.According to a source, the deceased identified as Partha Das (19) was a second-year Mathematics Honours student. Das, a resident of Rampurhat in Birbhum, studied at the university since childhood. After joining the under-graduate programme at the varsity, he started staying at the Nandan hostel of the university. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaA few days ago, Das went home to visit his parents. He came back to the hostel on Friday. On Saturday morning, his roommate went to have breakfast and asked Das to join him but he allegedly refused. Das reportedly told his roommate that he would not have breakfast. His roommate went to have breakfast alone. After he returned to the room he found the door was locked from inside. Despite repeated knocks on the door, Das did not respond. Having no other choice, students of the hostel broke open the door and found Das was hanging from the ceiling fan. Immediately, he was brought down and rushed to the university health centre where he was declared brought dead by the doctor. Later, the police was informed about the incident. According to his roommate and other students, there were no signs of any unusual behaviour in Das which could create doubt in the students’ mind that he was about to take any extreme step. His family members are being questioned for any possible clue. No foul play has been detected in the case so far.last_img read more

Stocks dont always get a boost when the Fed cuts rates

When the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates, or even hints that it’s about to, investors cheer.That’s because lowering rates stokes the overall economy, which sends stock prices higher — usually, that is.The Fed has initiated 16 rate cut cycles since World War II. In 11 of those cycles, the stock market was higher six months later, and was still higher 12-months later in 13 of them.Still, sometimes it takes longer for the gains to materialize. Five times since World War II, the S&P 500 was down six months after the start of a Fed rate cut cycle. That includes the 2001 and 2007 cycles, which corresponded with major recessions. The market was still down sharply 12 months after the Fed began to cut rates in each of those years.“Rate cuts haven’t always led to market recoveries,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.The Fed is facing pressure to cut rates amid signs of slowing economic growth. The benefits of the 2017 tax cuts have waned and President Donald Trump’s tariff threats with China and Mexico have roiled financial markets.Last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell set off a rally on Wall Street after he signalled that the Fed is willing to cut interest rates to help stabilize the economy if the trade war between Washington and Beijing starts to crimp growth.A majority of investors expect a rate cut at the Fed’s July meeting, according to the CME Group.If it does, should investors expect the move to boost stocks six months from now? Or a replay of the Fed rate cuts over the past two decades?Stovall says it’s likely that a Fed rate cut this year will drive stocks higher, as he doesn’t see major parallels now with the economy and markets in 2001 and 2007.That doesn’t mean the market will necessarily be spared more volatility in coming months, given the market’s jitters over the U.S.-China trade dispute and the damage it could do to the global economy and corporate profits.“Recessions have not been be repealed, but maybe they could be postponed,” Stovall said. “Maybe what we find is that a rate cut, or a series of rate cuts, helps this bull market last a little bit longer, but it’s probably just delaying the inevitable.”Alex Veiga, The Associated Press read more

Insights collected from sources invaluable to central bank decisions official

OTTAWA – Intelligence collected from industry sources helped the Bank of Canada navigate the oil-price collapse and a top bank official says invaluable nuggets of information like that will continue to be relied upon for future policy decisions.In a Calgary speech, deputy governor Lynn Patterson said Wednesday that the central bank has made good use of the insight it’s amassed from contacts such as fellow policy-makers, market participants and company representatives.That source-based information — combined with information taken from models, data and internal analysis — all feed into the bank’s judgment on potential policy actions, she said.“I can’t emphasize enough how critical these real-time perspectives are to our overall understanding of economic developments, and this is especially true during periods of heightened uncertainty,” Patterson told CFA Society Calgary.“We rely heavily on our excellent models and incoming data for our forecasts. Yet we know that the intelligence that we gather is a critically important complement to them.”To support her point on the importance of intelligence-gathering efforts, Patterson gave an example from the uncertain period that followed the late-2014 oil-price collapse.She said interviews with oil-industry contacts at the time helped the bank realize that market expectations on crude prices were too optimistic.The exchanges made it clear for the bank that there were no guarantees oil prices would start to recover in the medium term and that the negative effects on capital spending were going to be larger than expected.“This would have a major impact on the economy,” Patterson said.“That knowledge fed into our judgment and, ultimately, our decision to lower interest rates in January and July of 2015. Two years later, it is our view that these cuts have helped to facilitate the economy’s adjustment to the oil-price shock and that the economic drag from lower prices is largely behind us.”The bank has taken steps to build up its intelligence-collecting operation through an expanded network of contacts.Patterson said this wider reach enables the bank to scoop up more information when significant events, like Brexit and the recent U.S. election, threaten to have an impact on Canadian markets.She also noted that some in-person meetings between bank officials and contacts are held behind closed doors to ensure the confidentiality of individual companies.However, she sought to address potential concerns about meetings involving bank officials in private settings, insisting the bank only communicates new information on policy and its economic outlook in public.Recent reports by Bloomberg, citing internal bank documents, have said the bank is revising its guidelines for private speaking events due to concerns these engagements may give the impression that some groups may have privileged access to information.“We share much of what we learn,” said Patterson, who oversees the bank’s activities in financial markets.“While we’re committed to transparency, we’re mindful of the need to respect the confidentiality of what we hear from individual firms.”Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter Insights collected from sources invaluable to central bank decisions: official by Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 28, 2017 12:14 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The Bank of Canada building is pictured in Ottawa on September 6, 2011. Intelligence collected from industry sources helped the Bank of Canada navigate the oil-price collapse and a top bank official says invaluable nuggets of information like that will continue to be relied upon for future policy decisions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick read more

Janbaz Tarin charged with Solihull murders of Raneem Oudeh and her mother

Following their deaths, there was a three-day manhunt for the suspected killer. Tarin was detained in the Sparkhill area of Birmingham on Thursday evening.The mother and daughter were stabbed at Ms Saleem’s home at just after 12.30am on Bank Holiday Monday. Nour Norris, sister of Ms Saleem, added: “Raneem is the flower our house, the flower of our life. Very, very pretty girl, she had a lot to give to everybody and to the world and to the community. “She wanted to study, she wanted to raise her son up in the best way she could.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Raneem Oudeh, 22, and her mother Khaola Saleem, 49 Police on Friday night charged a man with the murder of a mother and her daughter who were stabbed to death in Solihull.Janbaz Tarin, 21, will appear before Birmingham magistrates on Saturday. He has has been charged with the murders of Raneem Oudeh, 22, and her mother Khaola Saleem, 49, West Midlands Police said last night. It came as the family of the women paid tribute to the pair, and told how Ms Oudeh’s toddler son has been crying out for his mother in the days following her death.Salima Hobee, mother of Ms Saleem and grandmother of Ms Oudeh, told BBC News: “How I feel is beyond words, beyond description. She [Raneem] had children – one boy is only one and a half years old, a baby. “He calls out for her ‘mama, mama’. He’s been looking for her.”  Raneem Oudeh, 22, and her mother Khaola Saleem, 49 read more

Grasberg gets new openpit slope monitoring system

first_imgPT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) Geo Services Division recently enhanced the slope monitoring system at Grasberg mine with the purchase of two IBIS-M radars. “Grasberg mine is one of the few mines in the world that utilises very high-technology monitoring equipment to help detect slope movements. The IBIS-M radars are top-of-the-line radars, using technology that is accurate to within approximately 0.1 mm, with coverage at some 2 km an area around 5 km square, and operating range of 10 m to 4,000 m,” explained PTFI Superintendent – Geotechnical Pit Engineering and Stability Rahadian Widiadi.Due to the long working range, the IBIS-M radars, from Ingegneria Dei Sistemi (IDS), can be positioned at a safe distance and do not need to move during blasting. Its higher spatial resolution and faster scan time help improve timing of alarm capabilities upon detection of significant slope movements. “The operation of the radars is fully remote, done via wireless radio link, and the units have been tested in harsh mining environments and as such would be capable of handling the high rainfall, thick fog, and high altitude conditions of our Grasberg mine,” continued Superintendent – Geotechnical Dump Engineering & Stability RD Gautama.To process the IBIS-M data, the GUARDIAN software is used. Some of its key features include real-time processing that includes automatic atmospheric corrections; processing of discontinuous data sets; and exportability of outputs to mine planning software. “This new radar technology will also support the mine expansion plan by providing better knowledge of the rock mass strength through long-term monitoring, and that same data is used to map the long-term evolution of slow-moving slopes. These results are also used to determine the mining strategy going forward, as well as the mining sequence. With this new technology we can also help reduce mining operation costs related to controlling slope stability in the pit,” said Rahadian.“As the Grasberg pit becomes wider and deeper, it is a necessity that we use monitoring equipment that can provide long-term and long-range monitoring and area scan. With the addition of the IBIS-M radars, we can better support pit activities and provide continuous 24/7 slope coverage, thereby providing additional safety measures for those working at Grasberg,” added Technical Expert – Geo Services Mike Stawski.last_img read more

Penmaking Donegal schoolboys worth a million

first_imgA PAIR OF Donegal schoolboys who began making wooden pens from their garden shed have reached an online watershed. Their website has now had over one million page views since 1 January this year.The online interest reflects the ongoing growth of the business run by Ronan and Conor McGarvey from Loughanure since highlighted (sorry) it in early 2011. Back then Ronan was just 14 and Conor only 10 but they were already producing pens made out of bog oak, ash, yew, elm and beech which they then shipped all over the world.They had persuaded their parents to allow them to use the garden shed – which was then converted into a workshop – in the evenings and weekends after they had finished their homework.This year has been a sterling one for the boys, now aged 16 and 13, as they appeared on the junior version of the entrepreneurship show Dragon’s Den, securing a €2,000 bursary and an order for €2,000 within minutes.Christmas ordersThey are currently “flat out” fulfilling Christmas orders but will take a well-deserved break after the last shipment goes out on 23 December. The plan for 2013 is to personalise pens to order by lasering names and logos onto the wood of the pens. They can do this currently, but only by outsourcing the engraving work, so they want to buy the laser equipment themselves next year.As for the online success, the boys said that they thought their website designer John Michael Sweeney was “joking” when he said they had passed the one million page view mark. Ronan said:Unfortunately we can’t cash the ‘hits’ in for euro but we are just delighted that the site is proving so popular.Half of the hits were generated by the interest surrounding their junior Dragon’s Den appearance in May:via John Michael Sweeney/YoutubeFebruary 2011: Are these two brothers Ireland’s youngest entrepreneurs?>Ireland named Europe’s most entrepreneurial country>14 very Irish Christmas present ideas>last_img read more

Burton outraged at letter to TDs claiming children adopted by samesex couples

first_img Joan Burton and the letter sent to a number of TDs. 173 Comments Wednesday 30 Nov 2016, 7:30 PM Short URL Share62 Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article The letter goes on to claim that in same-sex households, “children raised in households do badly at school and suffer emotionally” and in addition stating: Burton outraged at letter to TDs claiming children adopted by same-sex couples are more likely to be abused Former Tánaiste said she found the letter “needlessly offensive” to adopted people and gay people. Joan Burton and the letter sent to a number of TDs. center_img 18,815 Views LABOUR’S JOAN BURTON has hit out at a letter sent to TDs, including the Taoiseach, which states that children adopted by same-sex families “are more likely to be sexually abused”.The letter, sent by Nora Bennis who ran in this year’s general election in Limerick City, urges TDs to oppose the Adoption (Amendment) Bill. The bill is entering its final stages in the Dáil this evening.The bill will give adopted people the right to their birth certificates for the first time under new legislation. Currently, due to legal and constitutional reasons, many people are unable to access their birth certificates which lists their birth parents’ names.The letter, sent to Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan and Micheál Martin, to name but a few, states that “stability is founded on marriage between a man and a woman” and says the “interests of the child are paramount”.Bennis, who has run for election a number of times for the Catholic Democrats, stated on her election leaflet this year that she was running on the platform of Christian values and the protection of the life of the unborn.Surprise at offence caused Speaking to, Bennis said she was surprised that TDs had taken issue with her letter.In her correspondence, she outlines a number of points and cites what she describes as “evidence” or “proofs” to her claims.In regards to civil partners, she states that a “prominent Dutch psychologist points out that male-same sex marriage relationships are very short-lived, and they tend not to be exclusive”. Children raised by ‘married’ same-sex pairs are more likely to be sexually abused the longer the union lasts.Adopted people Burton told that as a person who is adopted herself, she finds the letter “extremely offensive and hurtful”.“Family life is very different from what it was and this letter is hurtful to a lot of people and families,” she added.While the former Tánaiste said Bennis has caused offence, even if it was unintentional.“This is the sort of letters, submissions and ‘studies’ that were peddled before the children’s referendum and the marriage equality referendum and it was deeply hurtful to people at that point in time.”This is the kind of rhetoric that belongs to a time of 40, 50, or 60 years ago and is completely out of sync with modern family life today… it is more from the darkened, secretive Ireland, where the subject of adoption was under a huge amount of secrecy and gay relationships were criminalised. Nov 30th 2016, 7:30 PM I think this letter belongs as a historical artifact. It is needlessly offensive to adopted and gay people.But Bennis said that she was surprised that any TD had taken issue with her submission.Speaking to, she said: “My big thing is, and it was in the body of my letter, there is security in the marriage between a man and a woman and as an adoptive parent myself, stability is important to the child…. As I see it, the best interest of the child has to be priority.”“By and large we must consider the child first,” she said, standing by the studies she put forward as evidence in the letter.“I am absolutely certain and determined in my opinion,” she said, stating that she is “wide open to anyone to discuss” her views.Bennis said she is happy for people to come and challenge her on views.Out of reach: ‘Young people now have nowhere to rent in the city that they work in’>Taoiseach Goes Stateside: ‘If Enda does meet Trump, he shouldn’t go cap in hand’ By Christina Finnlast_img read more

Klopp full of praise for Alisson Becker

first_imgLiverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has hailed goalkeeper Alison Becker as “exciting package” after he made important saves in their 3-1 victory at Burnley.Alisson was influential in the second half of Liverpool 3-1 win at Turf Moor, as he saved Ben Mee’s goalbound header and later launched a counter-attack that led to Xherdan Shaqiri’s goal which helped Jurgen Klopp’s side seal the game.The Brazilian has only let in six goals in 15 Premier League matches so far, and Klopp is happy with his contribution.“The best thing is not talking about a goalkeeper – that means he is without any mistakes,” Klopp told the club’s website.“But after the last game… again, he had a big, big part in the game.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“After the game, I think everybody saw the goal Burnley scored should have been disallowed. It was a difficult decision, especially the offside.“That’s how it is. It’s the view of the ref or the assistant, in this case. But it was offside. Then he [had] both hands on the ball. That’s one thing.“The other thing is, he stayed in the game and when we were 2-1 up made a brilliant save.“And with the next ball, that’s his attitude – he doesn’t stand on his line or wait, he goes out and catches it, then counter-attack. That’s a really exciting package the boy delivers and it helped us a lot, of course.”last_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Thursday July 16 2015

first_imgWalker Announces Plan to Expand Medicaid UnilaterallyAlexandra Gutierrez, APRN – JuneauAfter promising to expand the state’s Medicaid program on the campaign trail, Gov. Bill Walker has announced he will sidestep the Legislature to make that happen.North Slope Mayor Under Investigation for CorruptionAssociated PressThe North Slope Borough Assembly has voted to investigate allegations of ethics violations made against Mayor Charlotte Brower.Dirt Bike Dermatoloy: For Army Medic, Specialty is AdaptabilityZachariah Hughes, KSKA – AnchorageLast week the Army announced it’ll be removing more than 2,600 positions from the 4th Brigade Combat Team’s 25th Infantry Division stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.Accidental Overdose Suspected In Wainwright Soldier’s DeathZachariah Hughes, KSKA – AnchorageA 23-year-old Alaska-based soldier passed away this week while on leave out of state.Anchorage Sees Three Indigent Deaths OvernightZachariah Hughes, KSKA – AnchorageThe Anchorage Police Department is investigating an overnight spike in homeless deaths.Canned Salmon: A New Face on an Old ProductMolly Dischner, KDLG – DillinghamDespite new ways of marketing and selling salmon, canned fish remains a major product from Alaska’s fisheries.Alaska Shoppers Greet H&M With GustoMonica Gokey, KSKA – AnchorageHundreds waited in line Thursday for global fashion retailer H&M to open its new store in Anchorage. Even as the state feels the squeeze of low oil prices, Alaska shoppers are still keen to lay down their dollars on national brands.Bethel Democrat to Lead PNWER Arctic CaucusLori Townsend, APRN – AnchorageRepresentative Bob Herron, a Democrat from Bethel was elected the chairman of the Arctic Caucus during the 25th summer summit of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, or PNWER.K-9 in Training to Combat Juneau’s Heroin ProblemElizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – JuneauJuneau Police have a new tool to sniff out a steady flow of heroin and other narcotics entering the city. It’s been about 25 years since the department had a K-9 on staff. Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audiolast_img read more