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

Simmons extends Ireland deal

first_img The former West Indies international, 50, took over Adi Birrell following the 2007 World Cup and has led Ireland to a period of unparalleled success during his 197 games in charge. That includes qualifying for six consecutive global competitions, while Ireland could win a 10th trophy under Simmons next week when they meet Afghanistan in the final of the InterContinental Cup in Dubai. Press Association “It wasn’t a difficult decision to agree a further two years,” said Simmons, who has helped Ireland win the 2009 ICC Trophy, the 2013 World Cricket League Championship and three ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers among their other successes. “I love Ireland and the people, who have a similar outlook to life as West Indians. The team has been very successful, but importantly for me, they are still hungry for success and willing to learn and improve all the time.” “We still have a long way to go and it’s an exciting period to be involved with Irish cricket, both on and off the field. We’re putting in place foundations which will serve the sport well in the generations to come. “We’ve dominated at Associate level and now have ambitions to take the game in Ireland to the next level with our desire to become a Test nation by 2020. We’re on course to meet the challenges and targets that have been set, and I’m delighted to be part of that set-up.” center_img Ireland coach Phil Simmons has agreed a two-year contract extension that will see him remain in charge until the end of the 2015 domestic season, Cricket Ireland has announcedlast_img read more

Reported by Elite Traveler the private jet lifest

first_imgReported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineApproaching MAZI, you expect to see Hugh Grant making an awkward pass at Julia Roberts. Notting Hill has long been one of London’s most desirable neighborhoods, and restaurants like MAZI are helping it stay that way.MAZI means ‘together’ in Greek, and the sharing tradition of Greek dining is good news here, as you’ll want to try everything. The menu is inspired by classic Greek recipes—you’ll be familiar with some flavors, but also caught unawares by some beautiful new combinations.Cold starters are served in jars—a nice quirk that makes you feel a bit like a kid raiding a jar you shouldn’t. These include a delicious feta and dill ‘spanakopita’ with broken filo pastry, and grilled aubergine with soya and thyme honey. From the hot starters, don’t miss the feta tempura with lemon marmalade and caper meringue. A sensational mix of tastes and textures, the sharp and crumbly sheep’s cheese is complemented by a crisp pastry case and sweet, creamy meringue. Highlights of the main courses include an excellent herb crusted braised lamb saddle with its shoulder meat in baklava (fine pastry), and to finish, try the brioche-like tsoureki soufflé with Greek coffee ice cream. The presentation is consistently stunning and the service informal and friendly. A separate deli section sells Greek spirits and artisanal delicacies, and if you’re lucky with the weather, the vine-sheltered terrace lets you dine alfresco. With a bit of imagination you could be in a cooler corner of Corfu.MAZI Phone: +44 (0)20 7229 3794 Address: 12-14 Hillgate Street, London W8 7SR, UK Website: www.mazi.co.ukSee more top London restaurants in the Elite Guide to Londonlast_img read more