Nov 29, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The initial epidemiologic report, released today, on the United Kingdom’s recent outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in Suffolk said the source of the virus is unknown but could have been wild birds.The 24-page report from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), released on the department’s Web site, said the H5N1 virus infected poultry at the Redgrave Farm facility near Diss, then was transmitted by vehicles, people, or other means to a second farm owned by the same company.The outbreak was confirmed at the first farm on Nov 13 and at the second farm 6 days later, according to previous reports.Investigators have so far ruled out the possibility that infected poultry or poultry products, or the vehicles or people transporting them from other counties, played a role in spreading the virus to the commercial farm, which housed turkeys, ducks, and geese.”Wild birds cannot be ruled out as a source of infection,” DEFRA said in a press release today. “To date, there is no evidence of H5N1 infection in the local wild bird population or in GB [Great Britain] as a whole, but the continued surveillance may help clarify the infection status of the wild bird population.”Among other details in the report, most of the infected birds on the first farm were turkeys, but a few ducks were sick as well. The findings suggest an initial introduction of the virus into one of the groups of turkeys, rather than widespread exposure of poultry on the farm.Genetic analysis of virus samples from birds on the two affected farms revealed that the birds were infected from a single source and that the virus most closely resembled an isolate from wild birds from the Czech Republic that was detected in mid 2007, the report said.The isolate is distinct from the one involved in a February H5N1 outbreak at the Bernard Matthews turkey farm in Holton.Samples from poultry on the farms that supplied birds to the two Redgrave Farm facilities tested negative, and all of the birds were hatched in Great Britain, the report said.Investigators identified two key biosecurity concerns. One was that farm workers who traveled between the facilities did not follow simple measures such as changing clothing, disinfecting their boots, and sanitizing the feed buckets they carried to feed birds. Another was that the first affected farm, a free-range facility, was likely to attract not only migratory waterfowl from a nearby ornamental farm but also “bridge” species such as gulls.DEFRA said its surveillance, testing, and epidemiologic work on the outbreak was continuing.See also:Nov 15 CIDRAP News story “H5N1 suspected at second British farm”
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SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Senate to Blame for UC Delays, Layoffs Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf By: Jeff Sheridan, Press Secretary The Blog For more than six months, the Wolf Administration has been working extensively with the Legislature to fund the Service Improvement and Infrastructure Fund, which supports technology upgrades, benefit modernization and unemployment compensation call center functions among other things. House Bill 2375, which would have funded the system, passed the House in overwhelming, bipartisan fashion and was approved by two Senate committees with bipartisan votes.However, Senator Scott Wagner led the charge to stop a vote on the bill — which would have funded the system — and thereby decided to make it harder for working class people who have lost their jobs to pay their bills, put food on the table, and find new employment. Additionally, because the Senate did not take a vote on the bill, more than 500 unemployment compensation call center employees will lose their jobs.If the Senate had followed through on their promises to pass this critical legislation, Governor Wolf would have swiftly signed the bill, which would have kept the call centers open and saved the hundreds of jobs in the call centers.Governor Wolf cannot sign a bill that is not on his desk.The Wolf Administration has been open and transparent and has provided information to the Legislature about this issue since January 2016. Their decision to hurt working families and not vote on this bill is the is why the people of Pennsylvania lack confidence in their Legislature.Governor Wolf has urged Senate Republicans to act on the reauthorization of this legislation as soon as possible so that the impact to those facing furloughs can be mitigated to the greatest extent possible.Every person that will be laid off, every single unemployment insurance payment that is delayed, and every call that is not answered is unfortunately due to the lack of action by and a failure to pass this bill before the legislature went home for the holidays. SHARE TWEET December 13, 2016
INTRO: A 55 km commuter rail line is due to start running between Seattle and Tacoma next year. This is the first stage in an ambitious 10-year programme to develop commuter and light rail routes throughout the Puget Sound regionBYLINE: William D Middleton’AMONG THE major US urban areas without a rail transit system’, says Paul Bay of the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, ’there isn’t any that has a greater need for one than Seattle.’ RTA’s light rail transit director points out that downtown Seattle is shaped like the waist of an hour glass – hemmed in by Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east, with residential areas extending far to the north and south, and east of the lake. High density development, high downtown employment, and the large University of Washington campus just north of the city centre all contribute to a heavy demand for public transport in this north-south corridor. The city’s constrained street and freeway system has become badly congested, and it has become increasingly difficult for the bus network to meet this demand.Today, Seattle is at the centre of an urban area that stretches along a north-south corridor of nearly 100 km, from Everett, to the north, all the way to Tacoma, south of Seattle. With a current population of 2.5 million, the three- county region embracing more than 50 towns and cities is expected to grow by another 1.4 million over the next 25 years. The need for some form of urban rail network has been evident for years, but the region has had extraordinary difficulty in finding a way to develop it. As early as 1962, when a short monorail line was installed to link the Seattle city centre with the Worlds Fair site, there were proposals that it be expanded into a regional network. That idea never went anywhere, nor did the results of a proliferation of studies and reports that followed over the next several decades. Voters turned down proposals for a rail system in 1968 and 1970.By the end of the 1980s, however, the need for a rail solution was becoming clearer, as population and congestion growth in the region continued at a high level. A majority of voters in a 1988 advisory referendum wanted the Seattle Metro government to accelerate planning for mass transit, and by 1990 the government had developed a Metro 2000 regional plan embracing both light rail and commuter rail.An important first step in implementing such a plan came in 1993, when voters in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties approved the formation of the RTA to develop a regional transit system. Less than two years later, however, the voters turned down the RTA’s overly ambitious plan for a $6.7bn commuter rail, light rail and express bus system.A new RTA plan was back on the ballot in November 1996, this time a more realistic $3.9bn, ten-year regional transit development programme. Voters in all three counties approved the plan, together with 0.3 % motor vehicle excise fee and 0.4 % sales tax increases over a 16-year period to finance a local share of the costs. To be developed over a ten-year period, the Sound Move plan, as RTA calls it, includes:* 40 km of light rail, including a north-south route linking downtown Seattle with the University District, and with southwest Seattle and SeaTac Airport. A separate 2.6 km segment will link downtown Tacoma and a regional transportation centre at the Tacoma Dome. * 130 km of commuter rail, extending north from Seattle to Everett, and south to Tacoma and Lakewood.* Direct access ramps to a state-funded north-south High Occupancy Vehicle expressway, and 20 new regional express bus routes.Commuter rail firstThe first part of Seattle’s new rail network to begin operating will be a 55 km segment of the Sounder commuter rail route between Seattle and Tacoma that the RTA expects to open by the end of 1999. Further investment will extend the service north from Seattle to Everett and south from Tacoma to Lakewood over the next two years. The full route will have 14 stations, with an additional three stations subject to funding availability. Most will have park-and-ride facilities, and will be linked with regional and local bus services.In central Seattle, Sounder trains will use King Street station which hosts Amtrak inter-city services. Under a separate project funded jointly by the federal and Washington state departments of transportation, the City of Seattle, and local transit agencies, the station is scheduled for major restoration and renovation over the next few years. At Tacoma, Sounder trains will run into a new transportation centre at the Tacoma Dome sports and entertainment facility. Completed in October by Pierce Transit, the local transit agency, the centre will form an interchange between the commuter trains, RTA’s light rail line to downtown Tacoma, and regional and local bus services.While both Union Pacific and Burlington Northern & Santa Fe routings are still under consideration for the Seattle – Tacoma service, a BNSF route is considered most likely to be adopted. Additional tracks, some track remodelling, CTC and other signalling work will be required to add capacity in the corridor, which is already heavily utilised by freight trains to and from the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. Seattle – Everett service will use the BNSF main line along Puget Sound.Initially, service will be limited to peak periods only, with some ’flip-back’ and run-through schedules. Later, mid-day, night and weekend schedules will be added, but these will require additional capacity enhancements in the rail corridor. Contract operation of the service, with a barrier-free ’proof-of-payment’ fare collection system, is planned.RTA is currently initiating contracts for the remaining environmental studies and engineering work. Equipment will conform to what has become the North American standard for most new commuter rail systems, with push-pull sets of diesel locomotives and bi-level coaches. Tenders should be called early in 1998 for 12 locos and a fleet of about 60 bi-level coaches, with entrance doorways at the lower floor level. Between 12 and 24 of them will be cab control cars.Puget Sound commuters got a taste of commuter rail early in 1995, when the RTA operated a seven-week TRY RAIL! demonstration service with leased GO Transit equipment in the Everett – Seattle – Tacoma corridor. Over 35000 riders were carried on 100 or so trips, which ran during weekday peak periods, on mid-week and weekend excursions, and to Tacoma Dome basketball games.Light rail linksOperations on RTA’s Link light rail network will begin with the 2.6 km, five station line connecting the Tacoma Dome interchange with the centre of that city. This is currently scheduled to open between 2001 and 2003. The main 38 km, 19 station north-south line will be completed in two stages between 2004 and 2006. The first phase will be a mixture of surface and elevated tracks extending south from central Seattle through the Rainier Valley to SeaTac International Airport. North of the city centre, the line will run in tunnel for nearly 6 km under First Hill and Capitol Hill to the University District. Whilst more costly than alternative surface alignments, this route will link the three largest employment centres in the region, as well as connecting its densest residential area and largest regional transit market. The full LRT line is expected to generate a daily ridership of about 110000. A third light rail segment, extending north from the University District to Northgate, serving two more stations, will be added to the system during the 10-year plan period only if extra funding can be identified.Forward thinking a decade ago, when Seattle planned its 2 km, five-station electric trolley bus tunnel, has already given RTA’s light rail line a route through the city centre. While signalling and power supplies for the light rail line must be added, the twin-bore tunnels were built with future rail clearances in mind, and even have tracks in place. Initially, the tunnels will continue to be used by King County Metro’s articulated, dual-mode electro-diesel trolleybuses as well as the LRVs, but it is planned to convert the tunnel to exclusive LRT use as rail traffic grows.RTA is planning to adopt conventional modern LRT technology for the Link network, including a barrier-free, proof-of-payment fare system. To equip the first phase line at Tacoma, which will initially require only three or four LRVs, RTA is likely to ’piggyback’ on another agency’s order for conventional high-floor vehicles. However, for the main line through Seattle, the RTA favours a low-floor vehicle, probably with AC propulsion. An order for between 60 and 70 vehicles is likely to be placed in about three years’ time.Beyond the 10-year planLooking beyond the limit of the current plan, the RTA board has already adopted a long-range vision of further network expansion following completion of the current programme. However, any further capital expansion of the rail network will require another vote within the RTA district. If a second phase of construction is turned down by the voters, RTA is committed to rolling back the special taxes to the level required to operate and maintain the initial system. RTA director Bob White sees ’the end of 10 years as a good opportunity to renew our mandate … I expect there will be a demand for expansion of light rail, commuter rail, and bus services. A major question will be what happens on the east side?’Much of the long-range vision, not surprisingly, parallels elements of the RTA’s ambitious plan that was rejected by voters in 1995. Potential rail lines include a commuter rail extension south from Lakewood to DuPont, and light rail extensions north to Everett and south to Tacoma. Service to the east side of Lake Washington would be provided by a second north-south rail line through Bellevue. Light rail branches would extend north to the Ballard district in Seattle and east to Redmond and Issaquah. The latter would operate across Lake Washington over a 1.8 km floating highway bridge, which was providently designed with future light rail in mind when it was built to carry Interstate 90 in the mid-1980s.CAPTION: Seattle residents had the opportunity to sample commuter rail in the summer of 1995, when RTA hired a trainset from Go Transit to operate ’Try Rail’ services between Everett and Tacoma for seven weeksCAPTION: Commuter rail and light rail services will connect at both Seattle and the recently-constructed Tacoma Dome interchangeCAPTION: University Street station in the cross-Seattle trolleybus and light rail tunnelCAPTION: Entrance to the Seattle trolleybus tunnel at Convention Place station, showing the light rail tracks laid when the tunnel was built Puget Sound choisit l’option ferroviaire integréeUn ligne de 55 km doit entrer en opération entre Seattle et Tacoma l’année prochaine. Il s’agit de la première étape d’un ambitieux programme de 10 ans pour développer les lignes de banlieue et de métro léger à travers toute la région de Puget Sound. William D Middleton examine les plans d’extension des trains d’abonnés au nord vers Everett et au sud vers Lakeside ainsi que les projets de construction de lignes de métro léger desservant Seattle et TacomaPuget Sound wählt integrierte BahnoptionIm kommenden Jahr soll zwischen Seattle und Tacoma ein Pendlerzugbetrieb über eine Strecke von 55 km aufgenommen werden. Dies ist der erste Schritt in einem ehrgeizigen 10-Jahres-Programm zur Entwicklung von Pendler- und Stadtbahnstrecken in der gesamten Region von Puget Sound. William D Middleton betrachtet Pläne für den Ausbau des Pendlerzugbetriebs in den Norden nach Everett und in den Süden nach Lakeside, und für den Bau von Stadtbahnlinien für Seattle und TacomaPuget Sound recoge opción ferroviaria integradaEl año que viene se prevé el inicio de un servicio de cercanías de 55 km entre Seattle y Tacoma. Se trata de la primera etapa de un ambicioso plan de 10 años que desarrollar
Danish labour-market pension fund Sampension has announced an investment of DKK300m (€40m) in green bonds issued by Ireland and Germany, and it expects to put more into the “still limited” market for these environmentally-friendly securities.Sampension and the group of pension funds it manages – the Architects’ Pension Fund (AP) and the Pension Fund for Agricultural Academics & Veterinarians (PJD) as well as engineers’ fund ISP – have made the investment.Roughly half of the total was invested in German green bonds issued by development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), with the other half going into Irish Sovereign Green Bonds (ISGBs).The DKK262bn pension fund said it expects to make more investments in green bonds over the next few years, adding that the German government recently announced plans to set aside DKK375bn for an investment fund with the aim of boosting sustainable schemes. Jesper Nørgaard, Sampension’s deputy CIO, said: “The market for both green, social and sustainable bonds is still limited.”However, looking just a few years ahead, he predicted there would be far greater breadth in this type of investment.Sampension said the Dutch government issued DKK45bn of green bonds this summer, and the Danish government had discussed the possibility of releasing its own green bonds – a plan the fund said was expected to become a reality next year.“Responsible investments and long-term, stable returns go together. This means that when a green or sustainable investment yields the same or higher as other bonds with the same risk, then of course we invest in it,” Nørgaard said.Separately, large Nordic pension funds including ATP, Danica Pension, PFA Pension, MP Pension, PenSam and AP2 put money into the first green bond to be issued in Danish kroner by the World Bank, which was announced two weeks ago.The bank said the DKK3bn AAA-rated issue, which carries a 0.2% annual coupon, marked its re-entry into the Danish krone market for the first time since 1997, and added that the 20-year issue was the longest maturity green bond issued by a supranational agency in the market.George Richardson, World Bank capital markets director, said: “We are pleased to be back in the Danish market with our first DKK-denominated green bond.“Investors are looking to connect their investments to development solutions that address climate change and other global challenges that make a difference for people around the world. We appreciate the strong support from Danish investors,” he added.Commenting on its investment, ATP said: “As a pension fund with liabilities in Danish kroner and being a dedicated green bond investor, ATP highly appreciates the issuance of IBRD’s inaugural DKK green bond.”According to the Danish central bank, Danmarks Nationalbanken, citing Moody’s data, green bonds only accounted for around 1% of the total global bond market at the end of September, with an outstanding value of just under €700bn, despite the green bond market having quadrupled over the last four years.In Denmark, issuance of – and investment in – green bonds has also increased, but on a lower scale the bank reported.Outstanding green bonds stood at just over DKK40bn, with the insurance and pensions sector holding the majority of Danish investors’ green bond holdings of around DKK37bn, the bank said.
NewsHub 19 January 2018Family First Comment: Depends what type of ‘help’ they’re seeking. If it’s to ‘cut’ at the body and take drugs, it won’t help. If it’s counselling and support to deal with the gender identity disorder, it will. You don’t give people with anorexia nervosa weight-loss pills eh. More transgender Kiwis are seeking help from Wellington medical services, a study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal has found.The paper is one of the first to look at how many Kiwis identify as transgender, and found 438 people had visited a Wellington clinic specialising in gender reassignment therapy between 1990 and 2016.There had been a particular increase in recent years with 92 people making at least one visit in 2016, compared to 11 people in 2009.This included 51 people requesting therapy to transition from male-to-female and 41 requesting female-to-male therapy in 2016 and a rise in young people visiting the clinic.The study’s authors said the findings were important because, while overseas clinics had noted a marked increase in the number of people requesting gender reassignment therapy, little data had been compiled in New Zealand.It showed the need for different medical fields and social groups to provide “holistic” and connected support services for transgender people, particularly those who are young, the authors said.READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/health/2018/01/more-transgender-people-seeking-medical-help-study.html
There were 4,619 volleyball fans who piled into the Galen Center to watch the USC women’s volleyball team “white out” No. 7 UCLA, but after a five-set battle, No. 17 USC fell 3-2 (25-17, 14-25, 25-16, 17-25, 15-12).It was USC’s third straight loss.USC coach Mick Haley has said that this is the best group of Pac-10 teams he has seen in all of his years as a coach, and it is never guaranteed that the Women of Troy will pull out a win. Even with the loss this weekend, the Women of Troy continued to record solid statistics throughout sets.“We only had four service errors in the whole game, which shows where we’re improving,” Haley said. “We were looking to improve with our blocking, and this game proved that we are getting better there.”Sophomore outside hitter Alex Jupiter led the Women of Troy with 22 kills and 14 digs, followed by senior outside hitter Jessica Gysin with 13 kills and 17 digs.Eichler tied her previous season high of 10 kills, and sophomore middle blocker Lauren Williams had eight kills and five blocks, three of them solo.Sophomore setter Kendall Bateman had a career-high three kills and finished the night with 55 assists and 10 digs. Bateman is currently leads the nation in assists.“It was a strange match,” Haley said. “We keep improving, but the conference keeps getting better. I thought when we executed we did really, really well. We just need to focus on the next six matches now and get ready for Washington.”The Women of Troy began the match well, until UCLA’s outside hitter Kaitlin Sather managed to tie the first set 8-8, and the Bruins took advantage of three straight hitting errors by USC, taking the lead 11-8. After a exchange of solo blocks from Williams and junior middle blocker AudreyEichler, Sather added two more kills, and the Bruins won the first set.Gysin initiated the Women of Troy’s lead in the second set, and after a couple back-and-forth kills by UCLA’s middle blocker Amanda Gil and Jupiter, Eichler recorded double solo blocks to gain a 20-12 lead, and inevitably win the second set.The Bruin defense took charge of the third set after Jupiter’s backrow kill had USC trailing by two points at 8-6. UCLA’s blocking managed to give them seven quick points, a 16-7 lead, and eventually a second set win.The battle was on in the fourth set, as Eichler and Jupiter built a 5-1 lead. A Women of Troy service error allowed UCLA to catch up, but their efforts were not enough, as Gysin’s three kills lead the Women of Troy into the fifth set.Tied 7-7 in the final set, a ball-handling error called on the Women of Troy put UCLA back on top of the game. It only took a kill from Sather and blocking help from a teammate to allow them to take a 10-7 lead. The Bruins finished it off from there.USC, however, is not giving up hope.“We know that we’re not going to stop fighting,” Eichler said.
Former Great Britain head coach Jon Rudd has been confirmed as Swim Irelands new National Performance Director.Rudd has vast experience and has coached Olympic gold medallists and finalists.
Liverpool are among those looking forward to today’s Champions League group stage draw.The Reds put in an impressive attacking performance to beat Hoffenheim 4-2 in their play off at Anfield last night, and 6-3 on aggregate.It means a record 5 Premier League clubs are among the 32 that will go into the hat for the draw in Monaco at 5.00. Photo: Pixabay Liverpool manager Jurgen Kloop can’t wait to get started.Chelsea are top seeds in the draw, along with the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern MunichManchester United, Man City and Barcelona are among the second seeds.Liverpool and Tottenham will be in pot 3, while Celtic are one of the fourth seeds.
Marcos Aoás Corrêa, commonly known as Marquinhos has spoken out in defense of criticism faced by his team-mate, Neymar.The PSG Midfielder dismissed concerns over Neymar’s temperament insisting it’s impossible for the forward to please everyone.Neymar has been on the headline since his high-profile switch from Barcelona to the French capital.“For everything Neymar has been doing on the pitch, whoever thinks he’s not [performing as expected] must be watching another game. He’s a different player, a star, someone who instantly becomes a target for other players, for the press and fans,” said Marquinhos.“Just like all the other great players, [opinion] will never be unanimous. There will always be those who do not like him, and others who admire him. It’s important is to have character…Neymar has a good head on his shoulders and this is very important for Brazil and we are all trying to help with his adaptation in Paris. “I believe he has already adapted to the city and the club. He came to get titles and he is a big player. You can’t please everyone in life, which is especially true for great stars.”RelatedI Want Neymar At PSG – Dani AlvesJuly 30, 2017In “Europe”Neymar Unveiling – Watch Paris Welcome Neymar To Paris Saint-GermainAugust 4, 2017In “Europe”Neymar To PSG: Pros And ConsAugust 4, 2017In “Europe”