first_imgJun 17, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is calling the US government’s stockpile of antiviral drugs “totally inadequate” in the face of a potential influenza pandemic.The IDSA says the current stockpile of antivirals for flu is enough for only 2.3 million courses of treatment. IDSA President Walter Stamm, in a Jun 15 letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt, called that amount “totally inadequate and unlikely to provide any meaningful benefit to our population.””When the next pandemic hits, antivirals will be our only defense for at least the first six to nine months it takes to make a new vaccine,” Stamm stated in an IDSA news release. “But right now, if Asia’s bird flu or another strain turns into a pandemic, we’ll be caught nearly empty-handed.”The IDSA, an organization of about 8,000 physicians and others dealing with infectious diseases, asserts that HHS should have an antiviral stockpile sufficient to treat at least 52 million to 84 million flu patients and to use preventively in at least another 15 million to 40 million essential healthcare workers and emergency responders.The IDSA statement says government officials are cool to the idea of stockpiling antiviral drugs because they are not convinced the drugs could reduce the death toll in a pandemic.But the IDSA asserts that research on existing flu strains has shown that antiviral drugs, if used within the first 48 hours of symptoms, can cut the number of hospitalizations in half, reduce complications such as pneumonia, and shorten the illness. They also can prevent flu in the first place, the group says.The society estimates that an adequate stockpile could cost up to $1 billion. Kathleen Neuzil, MD, a member of IDSA’s Pandemic Influenza Task Force, said in the news release, “But we are spending far more than that preparing for smallpox and anthrax attacks. Those are serious threats, but they are unlikely—compared to the serious and very likely threat of a flu pandemic.”Stamm’s letter said the government should begin expanding its stockpile now, because it will take several years to build an adequate amount.Marc Wolfson, a spokesman for the HHS Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness in Washington, DC, provided information confirming that the HHS has enough oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to treat 2.3 million people. He cited an October 2004 HHS news release stating that by December (2004) the agency expected to have that amount in hand. Oseltamivir is considered the most effective antiviral for H5N1 influenza, the avian flu strain that has infected more than 100 people in Asia.By e-mail, Wolfson told CIDRAP News, “There are plans to purchase additional antiviral medication for the stockpile, but I have not been given any specific quantities at this point.”A recent report in the British magazine Nature said that Britain has ordered enough oseltamivir for about 25% of its population and Canada has stockpiled enough to cover about 5% of Canadians. The current US stockpile would cover less than 1% of the population.The World Health Organization has been urging countries to stockpile the drug in advance, the Nature report said. It takes about a year to make a batch of the drug, and the manufacturer, Roche, has no spare production capacity, the magazine reported. The cost of one treatment course is between $10 and $30.In related news, health experts held a news conference yesterday in Washington, DC, to warn that the world is poorly prepared for a flu pandemic. The event marked the publication by the journal Foreign Affairs of four articles on the threat of pandemics, primarily focusing on the risk of a flu pandemic.Though they didn’t try to predict when a pandemic might erupt, the experts said governments around the world should increase research and preparedness efforts immediately, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, “This [threat] is not going to go away. Get rid of the ‘if.’ This is going to occur.”Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said policy makers should figure out how to maintain food supplies if a pandemic cripples transportation and food processing, according to a Canadian Press report on the news conference. He said a pandemic erupting very soon would put the world in difficult straits: “We’re pretty much screwed right now if it happens tonight.” Osterholm is director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of this Web site.See also:Nature report on antiviralshttp://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7041/full/435407a.htmlJun 10 CIDRAP News report “Foreign Affairs focuses on pandemic threat”last_img read more

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first_imgThe world’s largest tourist portal for travel planning and accommodation booking, TripAdvisor, has published a list of top rising destinations, with Rovinj in eighth place.As a recommendation for what to see in Rovinj, TripAdvisor singled out Stari Grad, Zlatni rt Forest Park and the Church of St. Euphemia. Any such free advertisement is more than welcome, especially when it comes to the largest tourist portal.By the way, in 2017, Rovinj broke its own record in the number of overnight stays, so in 2017 there were 637.976 arrivals and 3.850.112 overnight stays, which is an increase in arrivals and overnight stays of 11%, which took second place in Croatia in terms of number of realized overnight stays.Photo: MaistraMost overnight stays were realized by tourists from Germany (share 32%), Austria (share 15%), Italy (share 10%), the Netherlands (share 7%) and Slovenia (share 5%). The largest turnover was realized in camps (share in overnight stays 47%), followed by turnover realized in hotels (share in overnight stays 27%), then in household facilities (share in overnight stays 20%), non-commercial accommodation (share in overnight stays 3%) and other accommodation facilities (share in overnight stays 3%).last_img read more

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first_imgIndonesia’s foreign debt growth slowed down in the first quarter as foreign investors sold off Indonesian assets over fears of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced Friday.The country’s external debt, which includes borrowing by both the government and the private sector, was recorded at US$389.3 billion, a growth of 0.5 percent year-on-year (yoy). That represents a slowdown in the annual growth rate from 7.8 percent at the end of the previous quarter.Government foreign debt contracted 3.6 percent to $181 billion in the first quarter as foreign investors sold Rp 145 trillion ($9.75 billion) in Indonesian assets during the period and flocked into safe-haven assets such as gold and US dollars. Public sector debt, including those raised by the government and the central bank, amounted to $183.8 billion. “The decline in the government’s external debt was caused by capital outflows from the bond market, as well as payments of matured sovereign debt papers,” BI wrote in a statement.“The management of the government’s external debt is conducted in a prudent and accountable manner to support government spending toward productive sectors to promote economic growth and improve public welfare.”Private sector external debt, which includes those raised by state-owned enterprises, grew 4.5 percent to $205.5 billion during this year’s first three months, slower than 6.6 percent growth recorded at the end of last year.“This is due to contraction of external debts in the non-financial institutions and slower expansion of external debt in the financial institutions,” BI said.Private sector external debt was largely disbursed to four sectors, namely mining, manufacturing, financial services and insurance and electricity, gas and steam procurement. The sectors accounted for 77.7 percent of the private sector external debt.The central bank deemed the overall external debt level healthy as the foreign-debt-to-gross-domestic-product (GDP) ratio was recorded at 34.5 percent by the end of the first quarter, down from the previous quarter’s 36.2 percent. Long-term loans account for 88.4 percent of the current outstanding debt.Topics :last_img read more

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first_imgCompanies’ annual financial reports are to be made machine-readable under new rules proposed by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).From 2020, companies with securities trading on a regulated market are to prepare their annual financial reports in a new electronic format, XHTML.This format can be opened with standard web browsers and can be prepared and displayed depending on the preferences of an individual issuer.Where a company’s annual financial report contains IFRS consolidated financial statements, these are to be labelled with XBRL tags. These make the labelled disclosures structured and machine-readable, according to an ESMA statement. Source: ESMASteven Maijoor, chair, ESMA“The introduction of the new reporting format in 2020 will make financial statements more accessible and more easily comparable for investors across the EU, supporting transparency and contributing to increased investor protection.”The rules are not yet final, as the European Commission has to decide whether or not to endorse the standards proposed by ESMA.Jonathan Labrey, chief strategy officer at the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), suggested the new reporting format could be beneficial by making it easier for investors to use financial information to gain insight into a company’s strategy and business model.Investors were having to spend too much time mining financial data and the notes to financial statements to find strategically important information, he said, which limited the time they had to “probe and test” a company’s strategy or scenario planning.“If this can improve connectivity of information from data to strategy and ease the burden on investors so they can focus on strategy then I think this is a good development,” he told IPE. The IIRC is a multi-stakeholder coalition promoting change in the thinking and communication about corporate value creation.Some people have expressed doubts about investor demand for the type of financial reporting ESMA’s rules would require.The supervisory authority said most accounting bodies, auditors, regulators and service providers were overall supportive of the mandatory introduction of structured reporting for annual financial reports, but many report preparers and their representative bodies raised objections, considering that not sufficient evidence of the need for electronic reporting had been provided.“A considerable number of these respondents hold the opinion that the [European Single Electronic Format (ESEF)] should require the use of PDF [format] only,” ESMA relayed.Summarising the feedback it received from its stakeholder group, the supervisory authority said that its members were divided in their views about whether the ultimate benefits of structured financial reporting to users, including the issuers, would outweigh the costs. This was considering the absence of a full impact analysis having been carried out.In coming up with rules for structured financial reporting, ESMA has followed through with a requirement of the 2013 EU Transparency Directive. Recital 26 of the legislation says that “a harmonised electronic reporting format would be very beneficial for issuers, investors and competent authorities, since it would make since it would make reporting easier and facilitate accessibility, analysis and comparability of annual financial reports”.Key terms (or, help!)XHTML – Extensible Hypertext Markup LanguageXHTML is a freely usable electronic reporting format that is human-readable without specialised software. A reporting format that may be more familiar to readers is PDF (Portable Document Format), or perhaps HTML (HyperText Markup Language).  XBRL – eXtensible Business Reporting LanguageXBRL is a language used to mark-up, or tag, financial statements. By marking-up the information with XBRL it can be processed by software for analysis and thus becomes machine-readable and ‘structured’.According to ESMA, XBRL is well-established and in use in a number of jurisdictions and is currently the only appropriate markup language to mark up financial statements. An “extensible” XBRL report significantly decreases the comparability of automated data, it noted. iXBRL – Inline XBRLA freely licensed technology used to embed XBRL data into XHTML documents. An Inline XBRL document is a XHTML document in which XBRL data is embedded, which means machine readable XBRL tags and the human readable representation are encapsulated within a single document. Because an iXBRL file is human-readable in the XHTML format, it is said to offer the features and functionalities of the PDF format, but some that a pure PDF file might not be able to provide, for example search functions that are not available for many PDF documents that were only scanned. ESMA said this would facilitate software-supported analysis and comparison of different reports, granting investors a key tool to support their investment decisions.Steven Maijoor, chair of ESMA, said publication of the rules marked “a significant step forward in the digitalisation of financial information of European issuers”.last_img read more

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first_imgMO4, Mainprize Offshore Ltd’s newest wind farm service vessel (WFSV), is ready to start an eight-year contract with Deutsche Windtechnik on the Nordergründe wind farm in the German North Sea.The 23-metre WFSV will perform crew transfer, cargo and equipment duties out of the port of Hooksiel.MO4 features a dedicated three-point mooring system, a fuel transfer system and a draft of 1.4 metres. The vessel is fitted with twin Caterpillar C32 diesel engines driving fixed pitch propellers that gives the vessel a service speed of 26 knots, even when fully loaded.She can carry up to 30,000 litres of fuel or 20,000 litres of water and has provision for 4 x 20′ containers and 30t of deck cargo.The 23-metre WFSV is a product of a partnership between Aluminium Marine Consultants (AMC) and Mainprize Offshore. The vessel will be on the quayside, berth VB32, at Seawork International held in Southampton from 13 to 15 June before heading to Germany.“We chose AMC because of its flexibility and the company’s attention to detail and workmanship, coupled with its willingness to meet the tight deadlines the client required,” said Bob Mainprize, manging director, Mainprize Offshore Ltd.He pointed out that from the keel being laid up to the handover, the build time for the MO4 has been less than nine months. This has meant a build time saving of almost four months reducing build finance cost and risk.“This means that MO4 will start to pay back four months earlier than any other builder can offer,” Mainprize added.last_img read more

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first_imgDespite challenging market conditions, Singapore-based port operator PSA International saw only a slight decrease in its full-year net profit for 2018.PSA’s net profit stood at SGD 1.25 billion (USD 925.36 million) in 2018, compared to SGD 1.29 billion (USD 954.97 million) seen a year earlier, representing a drop of 3.2 percent.On the other hand, PSA revenue rose by 3 percent to SGD 4.08 billion in 2018 from SGD 3.96 billion posted in 2017.As World Maritime News earlier reported, the port operator closed 2018 by handling 81 million TEUs, an increase of 9.1 percent compared to 2017.“PSA concluded 2018 on a firm footing, notwithstanding slower global container trade growth,” Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International, pointed out.“2018 was a year of constant change, beset by the headwinds of global economic and geopolitical uncertainty, escalating trade wars, and persistent operational challenges in the shipping industry due to overcapacity, low freight rates and rising fuel costs. Despite all this, PSA managed a creditable and resilient performance in 2018,” Fock Siew Wah, Group Chairman, PSA International, commented.“As we head into 2019, the outlook remains challenging as the weakening world economy and prevailing protectionist sentiments will likely exact their toll on global trade.”“Nonetheless, PSA will continue to invest in port and related facilities, nurture our people, expand our operational and digital capabilities, and strive to innovate and improve supply chain efficiency for all,” he concluded.Specifically, the port operator plans to focus on other segments in the supply chain to create new cargo flow solutions, according to the group’s CEO. This includes co-creating the Internet of Logistics with like-minded partners as digital technologies are seen as a game-changer for PSA.With flagship operations in Singapore and Antwerp, PSA’s portfolio comprises a network of over 50 terminals in 17 countries.last_img read more

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first_imgSecretary Eduardo Año said the 11 were among the 43 local officials that will be made to explain why they failed to beat deadline for the distribution on May 10. “While the vast majority of local government units were able to distribute their SAP before the deadline leading to a national payout rate of 97 percent yesterday, may ilan pa rin na naiwan. The DILG and the public deserve to know why they failed to complete their distribution,” said Año. MANILA – Eleven mayors from Western Visayas will be issued show cause orders by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for their slow distribution of the emergency cash subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). “Mabagal ang pagbibigay ng ayuda sa kani-kanilang mga constituents,” according to Año. “Meron pa tayong three percent na mga family beneficiaries hindi pa rin nakakatanggap as of Wednesday.”center_img Around 18 million low-income families were targeted to receive the SAP cash subsidy ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 for two months as mandated by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act 11469)./PN The other mayors were from the MIMAROPA (eight), Central Visayas (five), Davao Region (four), National Capital Region (four), Ilocos Region (two), Cagayan Valley (two); CALABARZON (two), Eastern Visayas (two), Northern Mindanao (two), and Central Luzon (one).last_img read more

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first_imgSt. Nicholas 8th Grade Volleyball Season opened over the weekend at the Oldenburg Academy 8th grade volleyball tourney on August 15.St. Nick defeated South Dearborn and St. Louis. It was a fun day of volleyball for the girls; they worked together as a team and had a great start to the season.The team did an excellent job at passing which led to them being able to set the ball up and attack throughout both matches.St. Nicholas would like to thank Ned Rogers and the OA volleyball team for hosting the tourney.Courtesy of Trojans Coach Debbie Gregg.last_img

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first_imgBatesville Swimming Results at SW Hanover.Girls Scores-BHS 125.5, SW Hanover 41.5.Batesville is 32-4 on the season. (13-2 EIAC), (19-2 non-conference).Boys Scores-BHS  90, SW Hanover 39.Batesville is 8-23-1 on the season. (3-11 EIAC), (5-12-1 non-conference).Individual Event Winners. (G) Emily Gutzwiller (200 free/500 free),Mary Poltrack (100 fly), Ashley Daulton (100 back), Jenna Ertel (50 free)Audra Brewer 100 breast), Allison Storms (200 IM). (B) Choi (200 IM, 100 breast), Johnson (200 free/100 free), Elliot Main (50 free), Caleb Rogers (500 free).Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach T. J. Greene.last_img

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first_img The Eagles have sounded out the possibility of taking Odemwingie on loan with a view to a possible permanent move in the summer if they are promoted to the Barclays Premier League, Press Association Sport understands. Odemwingie, 31, saw his hopes of a move to QPR break down when the two clubs could not agree terms on transfer deadline day having tried to push the transfer through by driving to Loftus Road, an act described by Baggies head coach Steve Clarke as “total lunacy”. Controversial West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie is attracting interest from npower Championship promotion-chasers Crystal Palace. The Nigeria international has launched a series of Twitter attacks against the club since having his transfer request rejected. But it remains to be seen whether Albion would allow him to leave at this juncture, if Palace could afford his £39,000-a-week salary or whether Odemwingie wants to drop out of the top flight. Odemwingie was largely attracted by a salary on offer of nearly £70,000 a week at QPR. Clarke is aware Odemwingie’s departure would reduce his options but is also conscious his actions have not gone down well in some parts of the dressing room. Odemwingie returned to training this week after being allowed to miss the weekend clash with Tottenham. West Brom are also braced for a renewed attempt by Blackburn to sign winger Jerome Thomas although it could now only be on loan with the closure of the transfer window. Thomas was close to making a £600,000 move last Thursday to Ewood Park but the deal failed to go through in time. Rovers boss Michael Appleton – a former West Brom number two – confirmed last week he was interested in signing Thomas. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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