News Scan for Feb 25, 2015

first_imgNew Saudi MERS case; study of 2014 outbreak notes healthcare linkAs Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a new MERS-CoV case today, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) noted a high incidence of MERS cases linked to healthcare centers in a 2014 outbreak in Jeddah.The latest case of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) infection involves a 56-year-old Saudi man in Riyadh with preexisting disease who is hospitalized in critical condition, according to an MOH update today. He is not a healthcare worker (HCW) and had no recent contact with animals or with MERS patients in the community. Possible exposure in a healthcare setting is under investigation.The MOH also reported the death of a previously confirmed MERS-CoV patient, a 58-year-old Saudi man in Riyadh. He had preexisting disease. The agency also said a 37-year-old Saudi man and a 54-year-old Saudi woman have recovered from the disease. None of the three are HCWs.Saudi Arabia has now confirmed 913 MERS-CoV cases, including 389 deaths.The MOH also posted an English-language statement today (but dated Feb 23) that was reported in the media yesterday noting that it had closed a private Riyadh hospital for not complying with infection-control guidelines. The agency said that, especially because of the possibility of hospital MERS cases, similar actions will face other healthcare facilities if they don’t comply.Feb 25 MOH update on cases Feb 23 MOH statement on infection controlThe NEJM study, by an international team of researchers, involved all 255 patients with lab-confirmed MERS-CoV in Jeddah from Jan 1 through May 16 of last year—a period that saw a surge of MERS cases in the area.Of the 191 symptomatic patients, 40 (20.9%) were HCWs. And of the 112 non-HCWs for whom data could be assessed, 109 (97.3%) had contact with a healthcare facility, a confirmed MERS-CoV patient, or someone with severe respiratory illness in the 14 days before they had symptoms.In addition, of 64 patients who had been reported as asymptomatic, 33 were interviewed. Of these, 26 (79%) reported at least one symptom consistent with a viral respiratory disease.Feb 26 NEJM study WHO calls for vaccination amid measles surge in EuropeThe World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) European office today called for increased vaccination efforts after more than 22,000 measles cases were reported in seven hard-hit European nations in 2014 and so far in 2015, WHO/Europe said today in a press release.That number compares with 10,271 measles cases in 30 European nations in all of 2013, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data. Although complete data for 2014 do not appear to be available, the ECDC reported that 3,840 cases occurred in 30 countries from December 2013 through November 2014. WHO/Europe said in today’s release that European cases fell 50% from 2013 to 2014.”When we consider that over the past two decades we have seen a reduction of 96% in the number of measles cases in the European Region, and that we are just a step away from eliminating the disease, we are taken aback by these numbers. We must collectively respond, without further delay, to close immunization gaps,” says Zsuzsanna Jakab, PhD, WHO regional director for Europe.The countries reporting 22,149 cases in 2014-15 are Kyrgyzstan (7,477 cases), Bosnia and Herzegovina (5,340), Russia (3,247), Georgia (3,291), Italy (1,674), Germany (583), and Kazakhstan (537).Feb 25 WHO/Europe press release Feb 28, 2014, ECDC report on 2013 cases ECDC data on December 2013 – November 2014 Group B meningococcal vaccine found immunogenic in phase 2 trialTrumenba, a meningococcal group B vaccine made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Pfizer, was found in a phase 2 trial to be immunogenic when co-administered with MCV4 (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) in adolescents, the company said in a press release yesterday.The vaccine was granted accelerated approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last October. The release also notes that the vaccine was found to be safe and well tolerated in adolescents and young adults in a recent phase 3 trial.In the phase 2 study, 2,600 healthy children 10 to 12 years of age were divided into three groups who were given Trumenba along with MCV4 (which is effective against meningococcal groups A, C, Y, and M) and Tdap (group 1), MCV4 and Tdap only (group 2), or Trumenba only (group 3).When immune responses were checked 1 month after vaccination, the responses in group 1 were “noninferior” to those in groups 2 and 3, says the release. Safety and tolerability also met the study objectives.William Gruber, PhD, senior vice president of vaccine clinical research and development at Pfizer, said that the results of the phase 2 study have been “shared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to review as they consider recommendation of meningococcal B vaccination for adolescents and young adults,” according to the press release.Trumenba is indicated to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitides serogroup B in individuals 10 through 25 years of age, says the Pfizer release. Although its immunogenicity against the four serogroup B strains that are prevalent in the United States has been demonstrated, its effectiveness against diverse strains has not been confirmed, it noted.Feb 24 Pfizer press release Oct 29, 2014, CIDRAP News item on Trumenbalast_img read more

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East Hampton Supervisor Calls For Calm

first_imgEast Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc wants an end to the panic buying that has been stripping shelves in supermarkets and stores across East Hampton.“We have enough food and supplies to get us through this crisis, but we have to think not only of ourselves,” Van Scoyoc said in an impromptu “state-of-the-crisis” talk that kicked off the March 17 town board meeting. “Please, it is time to think of other family, friends, and neighbors who might need supplies, and purchase only what you need.”Van Scoyoc asked fulltime residents and city dwellers who have come east to ride out the storm to “also consider those in our community who will need extra assistance.”“We have faced many storms in East Hampton over our history: blizzards, nor’easters, hurricanes, but no storm has been as insidious as COVID-19. This is a serious disease,” he said. “Unlike a hurricane, this storm surge can be flattened. Its effects can be blunted. I ask that everyone work together. Be patient. Be calm.”The March 19 board meeting was cancelled. The next town board meeting is scheduled for April 2.t.e@indyeastend.com Sharelast_img read more

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GALLERY: Damen Revamps Astor and Marco Polo

first_imgWorld Maritime News Staff; Gallery: Damen Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen (DSV) has completed refurbishment of cruise ships Astor and Marco Polo, both operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages. The vessels have been at DSV for a wide-ranging programme of work, scheduled and unscheduled, Damen said. Astor, featuring passenger capacity of just over 600 travellers, arrived at DSV on 17 October. Whilst in port she underwent a DNV GL Class Survey as Damen carried out diverse tasks.The scheduled maintenance included high-pressure washing and painting of the underwater part of the vessel, overhaul of overboard valves, hull anode renewal, maintenance and recertification of lifeboats, gangway repairs and certification and renewal of ducting and ventilators from engine room air-supply. Peter Sterkenburg, Head of Sales & Marketing at Damen Shiprepair & Conversion, said: “The work on the Astor was not without its challenges – the sheer diversity of the tasks we performed ensured that. The logistics were perhaps the greatest consideration – we had to manage this extensive scope, alongside a class survey, whilst 140 of the vessel’s crew remained on board throughout. I’m pleased to say we did everything according to plan and all work was completed in time for Astor to sail on 4 November.” The 176.25 metre ship sailed from Vlissingen to Tilbury in the UK where she collected the remainder of her crew and passengers for a voyage to Australia.Only days later, on 11 November, Marco Polo arrived in Vlissingen. The vessel, though similarly sized to Astor, accommodates up to 800 passengers.Marco Polo was scheduled for a class survey and similar scope of maintenance to Astor. However, a recent grounding in Norway added an extra dimension to the project. Mr Sterkenburg said:“The grounding caused some minor steel damage to the flat bottom of the vessel, so we’ve had to factor that into the planning on top of the scheduled work and class survey. Naturally, this has made the work more challenging, but we are used to this kind of project and to reacting quickly when something changes. Everything went according to plan.”Marco Polo, having left DSV on 11 December, collected her passengers in the Amsterdan, Antwerp and Tilburg and sailed on to Brazil and the Amazon.last_img read more

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LNG Limited eyeing dual listing

first_imgLiquefied Natural Gas Limited said that its Board has reviewed options submitted by five investment banks and the company will likely list on an appropriate US exchange near the time of commencement of full construction of the Magnolia LNG project.This would result in a dual listing with its existing shares on the ASX, the company said in a statement.The company’s American Depositary Receipts are already traded on the OTC International platform in the United States under the symbol LNGLY.At this stage, the board has made no decisions as to the exact timing of the US listing, nor the size or format of any capital raising to be undertaken in connection with the US listing.Following the dual listing, the company will consider further options to unlock value for all LNGL shareholders at the North American asset or project level, it added.[mappress mapid=”16874″]Image: LNG Limitedlast_img read more

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Proposed procedures are misguided

first_imgGovernment moves that would further undermine open justice have been attacked by the very lawyers on whom ministers rely to support the existing system of closed courts. It’s a major setback for the security service, which persuaded justice secretary Kenneth Clarke to endorse the reforms in a green paper on justice and security published last October. The MI5 proposals were prompted by the case of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident detained by the US at Guantanamo Bay. In response to a claim that Britain had been complicit in his rendition, detention and torture, the government agreed to settle the case and pay Mohamed compensation – said to be more that £1m – rather than disclose intelligence-related material to him and around 15 other former detainees. To avoid this dilemma in future, the green paper proposes extending what are called closed material procedures to all civil claims, not just those involving national security. Under these procedures, ministers can withhold sensitive evidence from a party to litigation in which the government is involved. Instead, the evidence is shown to the court and to a special advocate, an independent lawyer – usually a barrister – who has to find a way of representing the other side’s interests without telling that party what the government’s evidence says. Now, though, the special advocates have blown the whistle. In a response to the justice and security green paper signed by Angus McCullough QC and 56 other special advocates, the government’s proposals are dismissed as ‘insupportable’. McCullough is an experienced special advocate and the paper has been published on the excellent human rights blog he co-edits for his chambers, 1 Crown Office Row. The QC’s opinion of the government’s proposals is shared by pretty well everyone who does this kind of work. More than a third of the 69 special advocates on the attorney general’s list have not done any cases at all while others have done very few. Of the third that do most of the work, all agree that, despite their efforts, closed material procedures ‘remain fundamentally unfair’. McCullough and his colleagues say it’s one thing to argue that the unfairness and lack of transparency inherent in these procedures should be tolerated in areas such as deportation appeals and control order proceedings for reasons of national security. ‘It is quite another,’ they continue, ‘to suggest that government ministers should be endowed with a discretionary power to extend that unfairness and lack of transparency to any civil proceedings, including proceedings to which they are themselves party. ‘The introduction of such a sweeping power could be justified only by the most compelling of reasons. No such reason has been identified in the green paper and, in our view, none exists.’ What are the alternatives? First, the special advocates support the present rules of public interest immunity, under which a judge must decide whether the public interest in withholding the evidence is outweighed by the public interest in the proper administration of justice. In such cases, material excluded cannot be relied on by either side. Material that is included must be fully disclosed by the government. The special advocates rightly dismiss the green paper’s argument that courts would be better off being able to see all the material under a closed procedure than they are with part of the evidence excluded on the grounds of public interest. As Lord Kerr, a justice of the Supreme Court, has said, ‘evidence which has been insulated from challenge may positively mislead’. Second, they recommend consideration of arrangements in the US under which directly instructed lawyers acting for terrorist suspects are afforded a substantially greater measure of trust and confidence than their UK counterparts and can apply for security clearance. The US experience is ignored in the green paper’s section on international comparisons. But perhaps the most depressing thing of all about the government’s green paper is its air of unreality. Understandably, security service lawyers have little experience of litigation in the outside world. So, as the special advocates point out, the green paper makes no attempt to consider the practical implications of taking a procedure designed for appeals against coercive state action – such as deportation or controls on movements and assets – and applying it to the trial of a civil claim. How, for example, will a litigant be able to obtain funding to bring or defend a claim – either under legal aid, a conditional fee agreement, through after-the-event insurance or from a trade union – if the litigant’s solicitors cannot see the evidence needed to assess the chances of success? How can solicitors advise a client when to settle? How could an unsuccessful litigant be expected to pay the government’s costs? It’s bad enough that I, as a journalist, would not be able to report hearings held under closed procedures or the resultant judgments, except in anodyne terms. What is much more serious is that lawyers acting for non-government parties in such cases would have no access to these decisions either. Imagine bringing or defending a claim without being able to find out whether there is a precedent from the High Court, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court that may be on all fours with the facts of your case. As Dinah Rose QC asked in a lecture last November, ‘how is the development of the common law to be reconciled with the accumulation of a body of secret case law, accessible only to the government and a small group of special advocates?’ Time for ministers to think again.last_img read more

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Stopping the dominos

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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The remains of the day

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

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This Day In Argo History: 2010 – Kevin Johnson No-Hits UAH

first_imgAlmost a year to the day before Ben Hawkins threw a no-hitter, Kevin Johnson spun his own gem on the mound at Jim Spooner Field. On April 11, 2010, the right-hander from Pensacola’s West Florida High School faced just three batters over the minimum while striking out seven with five walks in a 9-0 victory to help the Argos complete a sweep over Alabama Huntsville.In 15 starts during the 2010 campaign, Johnson went 8-4 with a 3.93 earned run average and 86 strikeouts, second most in the GSC. He tossed a league high 100.2 innings while holding opponents to a .289 batting average. A two-time All-GSC selection in his career, he posted a 13-6 record and 4.15 ERA in his two-year stint with the Argos. He logged 184.1 innings on the mound and recorded 148 total strikeouts in two years, ranking him seventh and eighth in those categories in the Argos career record book.Johnson was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 20th Round as the 624th overall pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, becoming the highest draft pick by an Argonaut up the that point in school history. In two seasons with the Argos he claimed seven GSC Pitcher of the Week awards, the most by any player or pitcher in GSC history. He was named to the All-GSC First Team as well as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and American Baseball Coaches Association All-South Region First Team. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

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Crews Continue Upkeep on Spur Highway Sink Hole Patch

first_imgMcCarthy: “Once a company has been awarded formally then all arrangements proceed very quickly so that they can move forward so it will definitely be this summer.” She says the state will continue maintenance on the pavement break until that section of road is rehabilitated in the Kenai Spur mile 8 – 12 construction project that was awarded to Quality Asphalt Paving last Friday. McCarthy: “Crews went out this morning and they basically shored up that patch. Whenever you have done excavation and have a pavement break, there can be some settling, so they were out there this morning, shoring that up and making sure it’s a little bit of a smoother drive.” Shannon McCarthy with the DOT… The sink hole was reported to the Department last week and determined to be caused by a drainage problem. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Department of Transportation crews were out early Monday morning directing traffic and maintaining the patch on the Kenai Spur Highway where a large sink hole appeared just about one week ago. McCarthy asks that motorists in the area slow down when approaching the road patch and to be mindful of crew members providing maintenance to the area.last_img read more

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Kenai Peninsula School Board to Address Transgender Policy

first_imgArness: “Well we have no policy at this point, we are being encouraged to adopt one of some sort or another by the State Activities Association so that when teams travel here they know what the rules are. The State School Board Association has generated a generic policy that we’re going to take a look at in Policy Committee today and we’ll see where that goes. I don’t know what will come of it.” Board President Joe Arness says the KPBSD Policy Committee will take a first look at the legal issues today… Arness says he has not been made aware of any issues involving transgender students and bathroom usage on the Kenai Peninsula to date. The Board is meeting today in Seward.center_img FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board is being required to address policies surrounding transgender issues as the state recognizes recent federal rulings on the matter.last_img read more

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