NEWS SCAN: Avian flu, tainted Baxter flu materials, anthrax attack findings , drug-resistant malaria, homeland security, E coli in well water

first_imgFeb 26, 2009Avian flu detected in Vietnam, EnglandThe H5N1 virus struck poultry in another Vietnamese province, Dien Bien in the northern part of the country, raising the number of affected provinces to 11, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported today. Authorities culled about 1,460 ducks and destroyed more than 1,000 eggs to stop the spread of the virus. Elsewhere, British officials have detected avian influenza at two small Bernard Matthews turkey-breeding farms in England, but have so far ruled out H5 and H7 strains, the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said today[Feb 26 Xinhua story][Feb 26 DEFRA press release]Czech lab incident updateNew details about H5N1-contaminated virus samples that caused a scare at a Czech Republic lab emerged today in a report from the Canadian Press (CP). The tainted Baxter International product was an “experimental virus material” that was supposed to contain the H3N2 virus. The product was distributed to an Austrian company to subcontractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Germany. Officials continue to investigate.[Feb 26 CP story]Scientists share anthrax investigation findingsThe chemical components of the Bacillus anthracis spores sent in letters in the 2001 bioterrorism incidents don’t match the bacteria in a flask linked to Bruce Ivins, according to experts who presented their findings at an American Society for Microbiology biodefense meeting on Feb 24, Nature News reported yesterday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Jason Bannan, however, said that spores from the flask could have been removed and grown under different conditions that exposed them to different chemicals. The FBI has alleged that Ivins, who committed suicide, mailed letters in 2001 that contained the deadly pathogen.[Feb 25 Nature News story]WHO says drug resistance could stonewall malaria controlParasite resistance to artemisinin detected at the Thailand-Cambodian border could undermine global efforts to control malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement yesterday. The parasite can adapt more easily to monotherapies, so health officials have instead supported treating uncomplicated infections with a combination therapy containing artemisinin. The WHO said it has received a $22.5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help contain the spread of the resistant parasites.[Feb 25 WHO statement]White House orders homeland security reviewThe Obama administration issued its first presidential study directive (PSD) in Feb 23 ordering an interagency team to review how the White House coordinates its homeland security and counterterrorism capacities, Federal News Radio (FNR) reported yesterday. The White House has replaced homeland security directives with PSDs, FNR reported.[Feb 25 FNR story]E coli turns up in wells near outbreak siteSeventeen of 74 private wells in Locust Grove, Okla., tested positive for Escherichia coli, a pathogen that caused an outbreak linked to a local restaurant, the Tulsa World reported yesterday. The state’s attorney general has said poultry litter from area farms may have contaminated the restaurant’s water supply, which was found to contain poultry DNA earlier this month.[Feb 25 Tulsa World story]last_img read more

UK government report on long-termism criticised for failure to offer definition

first_imgKeating criticised that the BIS report discussed matters of market liquidity and earnings guidance, but did not offer a frame for what constituted long-termism.He also said it put forward an inconsistent view on dividend payments, as it supported he payment of dividends as a means of preventing empire building, despite also arguing that dividend payments must not prevent a firm’s growth.Keating said he regarded as “bizarre” a suggestion that those who divest from companies should be interviewed on their reasons.“Quite apart from the sheer impracticality, it is motivated by concerns with share price performance – short-termism writ large.”To read the full Guest Viewpoint, see the current issue of IPE The UK government has been criticised for an “incredible” oversight in failing to define long-term investment, despite publishing a report on the matter.Con Keating, head of research at the BrightonRock Group, said a recent Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) report on the implementation of Kay Review recommendations had failed to establish even theoretical parameters for what constituted long-term investment, nor had interviewees in the report touched on the matter.“One way of definening long term is in terms of the flows of liquidity arising from the securities held, their coupons, dividends and maturing proceeds,” Keating wrote in the Guest Viewpoint in January’s issue of IPE.“When these, rather than changes in market price, dominate investment returns, we are in the long term,” he said.last_img read more

Huls, Gower and Becerra are quickest at Quincy

first_imgBy Jack WalbringQUINCY, Ill. (April 20) – Abe Huls, Joey Gower and Austen Becerra all took IMCA feature event wins Sunday at Quincy Raceway.Huls started off his 2014 season the right way by leading every lap of the Powder Coat Plus IMCA Stock Car main event. Huls was challenged by Jim Lynch the entire distance but held off the Iowa speedster to take the win followed by Lynch in second, Jerry Jansen in third, Jake Powers in fourth and Brandon Savage in fifth.Gower showed he is going to be a power to be reckoned with in the Summy Tire and Auto Center IMCA Northern SportMod division. Gower blasted to a four and a half second win over Tony Dunker in the main event followed by Bobby Anders in third, Aaron Brockseick in fourth and Charles VanZandt in fifth. Austen Becerra continued his dominance of the region’s IMCA Sport Compacts as he picked up his third feature win of the weekend. Becerra led every lap of the 15-lap main event as he topped Kimberley Abbott in second, Mike Horning in third, Pat Dunker in fourth and Bryce Baker in fifth.last_img read more