Japan, Thailand face H5N1 in birds again

first_imgJan 16, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Avian influenza has flared again in the poultry populations of two Asian countries that had enjoyed prolonged quiet periods—Japan and Thailand—as authorities battled spreading bird outbreaks in Vietnam.Japan’s farm ministry today confirmed the country’s first H5N1 avian flu outbreak in chickens in nearly 3 years, Reuters reported. According to an outbreak report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), 3,800 birds on a farm in the Miyazaki prefecture in southwestern Japan died of the disease. Authorities are culling the remaining 8,200 birds.No human cases or additional poultry outbreaks have been reported, Reuters said. Japan has never reported a human H5N1 case.A prefecture official told Reuters authorities would inspect 11 chicken farms within a 6-mile radius of the affected poultry farm and take blood samples from the birds. An initial report on the findings was expected later today.Similar checks are being conducted in other parts of the prefecture and around the nation, Reuters reported.Yesterday Thailand confirmed its first H5N1 outbreak in 6 months, affecting ducks in the country’s northern province of Phitsanulok, according to an OIE report. A farm owner notified livestock officials Jan 11 of mass duck deaths, the Bangkok Post reported today. The OIE report said the disease killed 100 ducks; 1,970 were destroyed.Agriculture Minister Yukol Limlamthong said the latest outbreak points to problems with duck-farm management. Many farmers ignore livestock officials’ warnings against free-range duck farming, which heightens the ducks’ exposure to the virus.The outbreak affected 5-month old Khaki Campbell ducks that were free to feed on nearby rice fields during the day and were housed at night. The report noted that wild birds in the area feed alongside the ducks during the day.Authorities ordered close surveillance of a 5-km area around the infected farm and are keeping a close watch on flood-affected provinces in northern and central Thailand, the Post reported.Lab tests are being conducted to determine if an “N1virus” detected in wild birds in Thailand’s central Suphan Buri province is H5N1, Chaweewan Leowijuk, a Thai livestock official, told Thai News Agency (TNA) today.No human infections have been reported so far, TNA reported. Another livestock official, Methee Ket-adiorn, told TNA all provinces will set up “war rooms” to assist with surveillance and rapid response.Thailand has the world’s third highest number of human H5N1 cases, 25.Meanwhile, in Vietnam the number of Mekong Delta provinces reporting poultry outbreaks recently grew to 7, Agence France-Presse reported Jan 14. The government’s television network reported that the lethal H5N1 strain killed 130 ducks in Soc Trang province and 800 ducks in Tra Vinh province.The country has been battling dozens of outbreaks in the Mekong Delta since early December, but no human cases have been reported since November 2005.In Indonesia, where 5 human cases have been confirmed this month, a scientist is reporting a survey suggesting that 1 in 5 stray cats is carrying the H5N1 virus, Japan’s Kyodo News reported yesterday.C.A. Nidom, a molecular biologist at the University of Airlangga, told Kyodo News he tested 500 feral cats on Java island and in Lampung province of Sumatra island from September to December 2006 and found that 100 carried the virus. He said he reported his results to the Indonesian Health Ministry, which has not published the results.”I’m worried that the virus will be more easily transmitted to humans because the body temperature of mammals like cats is similar to that of humans,” he was quoted as saying.I Nyoman Kandun, director of disease control and environmental health at Indonesia’s health ministry, told Kyodo News he had not received any information about Nidom’s research. He added that there are many unproved “rumors” about avian flu.The H5N1 virus has been detected in stray cats in Indonesia before. In October, researchers from the Indonesian Environment Information Center in Yogyakarta announced that stray cats had caught the H5N1 virus from infected poultry at live marketsOther documented instances of cats infected with the H5N1 virus include house cats in Germany, Thailand, and Austria, and a leopard and tigers at a zoo near Bangkok. However, the role of cats in transmitting the H5N1 virus is not known.The World Health Organization said last year that no human cases have been linked to diseased cats. However, Albert Osterhaus, a virologist with the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, said cat-to-human transmission was theoretically possible and that cat-to-cat transmission had been shown in a laboratory setting.See also:OIE report on Japanese poultry outbreakOIE report on Thailand duck outbreaklast_img read more

Ronaldinho learning carpentry in prison

first_imgRelatedPosts Court sentences man, 31, to one month in prison over N100,000 fraud Court remands patient’s husband for allegedly assaulting Doctor 50-year-old man sent to prison for allegedly defiling four-year-old girl Ronaldinho is learning carpentry in prison as he faces up to the prospect of six months behind bars. The former Brazil football star and his brother were arrested after they were accused of entering Paraguay with doctored passports. Both men deny the accusations, but they have been denied bail and are currently behind bars. Ronaldinho has been learning carpentry to while away the time, but is said to be “loved” by fellow inmates and is “relaxed” in the lock-up. Unsurprisingly, the Samba star continues to play football, with fellow prisoners and officers, but he is missing his other love – music. Since he retired from football, the 40-year-old has “spent a lot of time playing the bongos”. A source told ESPN: “He can’t play any instruments inside but I am sure that in his head he will keep on coming up with melodies for compositions when he’s out. “He plays football every day and teaches the guys he plays with a few tricks. “From the very first moment he wanted to make sure he integrated with the other inmates and he quickly managed to do that. “He’s an idol for many of them and they have asked for him to sign hats, shirts and trainers.” Ronaldinho also misses his mum, with it being reported he “speaks with his mother every day in the evening and that “she’s one of Ronaldinho’s big concerns.”Tags: ESPNPrisonRonaldinholast_img read more

How to Avoid Dark Energy

first_imgWho needs dark energy?  Copernicus?  George Ellis (U. of Cape Town) said we could get rid of dark energy by throwing the Copernican Principle overboard.  Writing in Nature,1 he said that dark energy may simply be an artifact of the geometry of space-time.    Copernicus did not invent the Copernican Principle.  He was just trying to simplify calendar-making and astronomical prediction with a new sun-centered geometry.  The revolution begun by On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres in 1543 (see Scientist of the Month) took natural philosophy captive and dragged it into realms far beyond the wildest dreams of Nicolas Copernicus himself.  Removing earth from the center of the scheme of the universe began a series of corollaries.  The solar system was not the center, neither – nor the galaxy, nor anything.    The Copernican Principle slowly became a dogma.  For nearly a century, it has been nearly a catechism to recite that there is nothing special about the earth or any other point in space or time.  Now, in an astonishing statement of cosmic scope, Ellis gently proposed questioning the cherished assumption that has been a cornerstone of 20th-century cosmology.  He says it is untested and unnecessary.  The troublesome problem of dark energy might be solved, he said, by jettisoning the Copernican principle.The fundamental dynamics of the Universe are embodied in Albert Einstein’s general-relativistic field equations, which describe how gravity arises through the distortion of space-time by mass and energy.  The simplest class of solution to those equations, that on which the concordance model is based, assumes that matter is distributed both homogeneously (everything is similar in all regions of space) and isotropically (everything looks the same in all directions).  That assumption is consistent with observations, but it is not a direct consequence of them.  It is the favoured solution both because it is the simplest and because it rests on a cherished cosmological assumption.  This is the ‘copernican principle’: that the characteristics of the Universe in our neighbourhood are not special in any way, but are typical of the whole.    A cherished assumption this might be, but it is also fundamentally untested.  It is consistent with the supernova observations, but only provided that some form of dark energy is present.  The central plank of the new research is the claim that, by jettisoning the copernican principle and our assumptions about the distribution of matter in the Universe, we can also abandon the troublesome chimaera of dark energy.Whoa; that’s radical.  What would a universe mean that is not homogeneous or isotropic?  He examined whether inhomogeneities might be local or global.  It’s clear that space-time is not homogeneous and isotropic in our neighborhood.  We live in a galaxy.  There’s a lot of empty space between our galaxy and the next one.  Nothing uniform about that.  Moreover, we live in a cluster of galaxies – another level of clumpiness.  Cosmologists presume, however, that they can average out the local clumpiness by looking at large enough scales.  Is that certain?  What if there are sizeable voids and clumps on higher scales that prevent averaging?  We’ve heard reports of gigantic walls of superclusters of galaxies that are a non-trivial part of the visible universe (10/24/2003).  In addition, there are vast regions with almost no galaxies at all.  Further, we know from gravitational lensing that dense areas can distort the light of quasars behind them (07/23/2006).    These local inhomogeneities can already skew our supernova measurements (11/01/2006) and, with them, our interpretations of cosmic acceleration, of which dark energy is the troublesome chimera.  And then – what if there are clumps and voids at the Hubble scale?  All bets are off.2    Ellis can’t be serious, can he?  He recognizes that much testing would have to back up any decision to alter the Copernican Principle.  “Spatial homogeneity is one of the foundations of standard cosmology,” he said, winding up his thoughts, “so any chance to check those foundations observationally should be welcomed with open arms.”  He applauded the work of Clarkson et al last year who “show that a simple observation of the copernican principle that is independent of any theory of gravity or model for dark energy is possible through redshift and area�distance observations of distant galaxies.”  This and other papers Ellis referenced were published on ArXiv, an open-access journal where non-traditional proposals are more likely to get a hearing.  That Nature would publish this is an indication Ellis is not crazy.    Ellis ended by casting doubt on any dark-energy solution that implies the existence of negative kinetic energy terms, like “some adventurous workers propose” in violation of energy conditions.  Instead, “It may be that such observations are trying to tell us that there is something fundamentally wrong in our assumptions; and that the acceleration conundrum could have a geometric, rather than a dynamic, solution.”1.  George Ellis, “Cosmology: Patchy solutions,” Nature 452, 158-161 (13 March 2008) | doi:10.1038/452158a.2.  Ellis is not the first to propose geometric inhomogeneities as a solution to the dark-matter problem.  See, for instance, New Scientist a year ago (03/30/2007), and Simon D. M. White’s paper “Why Dark Energy is Bad for Astronomy” on ArXiv.  Another article on New Scientist (13 July 2007) suggested dark energy lurks in hidden spatial dimensions, and another New Scientist article a month later (31 August 2007) suggested that if the universe resembled swiss cheese on large scales (i.e., numerous large voids and dense regions), it could partially mimic the effects of dark energy.The dark energy problem has caused a lot of head-scratching among cosmologists.  While the popular science writers have confidently stated the consensus idea that 73% or so of the universe is made of dark energy, as if this is a matter of undisputed fact (e.g., 11/02/2002), this article reveals that many cosmologists are still uncomfortable with it.  It’s been embarrassing to not know anything about a substance that allegedly makes up the bulk of the universe (07/23/2007, 04/13/2007).    Philosophers and historians of science should take note.  Here is a case where one of the most fundamental, indeed, one of the most cherished assumptions in cosmology is on the auction block.  This is not the first time.  Quantum physicists were just about ready to jettison the Law of Conservation of Energy once when observations didn’t square with theory.  There have been other times when radical overhauls of cherished assumptions were considered in order to “save the phenomena” (i.e., match theory to the observations).  So many things have gone wrong with modern cosmology, the crisis in confidence prevails (05/11/2006).  This suggests several paradigm changes are possible in the next few years.    The Copernican Principle may survive this debate.  If it goes overboard, though, a lot of metaphysical baggage of the Carl Sagan type may just go overboard with it – maybe even the mantra of atheistic evolutionary naturalism, “We are nothing special.”(Visited 53 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Warren Gatland hits back at sniping from his Lions flanker Sean O’Brien

first_imgWales rugby union team Share on LinkedIn Since you’re here… Warren Gatland to blame for Lions not beating All Blacks, claims Sean O’Brien Read more Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Read more Reuse this content Wales face World Cup without Rhys Webb under selection policy change Share via Email Topicscenter_img Warren Gatland Support The Guardian Warren Gatland said he was hurt by Sean O’Brien’s public criticism of the coaching on the summer British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand and revealed he would not be seeking the head coach’s position for a third successive trip in 2021 because there were times this year when he “hated” aspects of the job.Gatland was speaking for the first time since O’Brien made his remarks in a radio interview a month ago. The Ireland flanker, who started all three Tests, claimed a more attacking gameplan from the start would have delivered a 3-0 series whitewash, that the backs coach, Rob Howley, struggled to get his message across and that in future the Lions should have the best coaches.“The coaches and the backroom staff worked their absolute bollocks off on the tour and to have someone come out and make a comment like that, it really did hurt,” Gatland said. “It took a bit of the gloss off. My first reaction was that if he wanted to say something, there was a forum for that. news Rugby union “No one had ever taken on a tour of that magnitude or difficulty. Did we learn as coaches from that experience? Would we have done some things differently? Of course. That’s part of the experience. All the pressure is on the head coach. You are under scrutiny from the four home nations about selection, performance and tactics. I don’t feel there is anywhere near the same pressure on players as there is on coaches.”Gatland said he contacted O’Brien to talk about the player’s comments, but did not get a return call. “I left a message to say I was disappointed. He texted me three weeks later to say that he had just cleared his voicemail. And that he had been taken out context. I texted to say he could call me at any time but I’ve not heard back from him.“When you take 41 players on tour, you are not going to keep everyone happy. I understand there are going to be disappointed players, but Sean had a fantastic tour and played exceptionally well. There’s no doubt about his contribution on the playing field. In the changing room, as a voice, from a leadership point of view, he contributed extremely well. It’s only fair to acknowledge that, but it was disappointing he highlighted one person [Howley].“Sean spoke about Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell taking responsibility, which is strange because as a coach you want to empower your most experienced players to take ownership and responsibility. When you coach a young side you give them a lot of direction, a lot of information. The more experience they get, the more you pull back and allow them to take ownership. Ironically, I see that as a compliment: it’s what good coaching is about.” It was the Lions’ second most successful tour to New Zealand, drawing the series having won a series there only once, in 1971. “When you reflect on it, it was some achievement,” Gatland said. “On previous tours you would have midweek games where you knew you could back off a little, make changes and still win comfortably. The quality on this tour was relentless and I thought Sean’s comments that we should have won the series 3-0 were disrespectful to New Zealand.“I don’t know what planet he’s on but I was on a different tour to him if he thought we should have won comfortably.”The Saracens No8 Billy Vunipola, who pulled out of the tour through injury, also said it would have been 3-0 had England’s Eddie Jones been in charge. “I have never had any involvement with Billy,” Gatland added. “It is disappointing when you get second-hand people coming in and making comments as well.”The tour took an emotional toll on Gatland, who was pilloried at the start of it in his native New Zealand, dismissed as a coach and depicted in one newspaper as a clown. His Test record as Lions head coach now reads three victories, two defeats and a draw, and that was achieved after three successive series defeats.“I hated the press and the negativity in New Zealand,” said Gatland, who will be standing down as the Wales head coach after the 2019 World Cup, when he will not be short of offers. “When I look back at it now, there were lots of things that were satisfying and it was an achievement, but it was tough.”Asked about South Africa in 2021, he said: “I’m done. I wouldn’t subject myself to that. What I’ve learned from my Lions’ experiences is how difficult it is to put some continuity together in terms of people and staff and the lack of preparation time. Let someone else reinvent the wheel.”Gatland has submitted his report to the Lions, but does not anticipate it will be acted on. “The last seven have all been about preparation,” he said. “All we have asked for is adequate time. There is something magical about the Lions and rugby people need to protect that. I just hope there are powerbrokers who consider the importance of the Lions for the future and not their own self-interest. What drives rugby globally is the international game.“I would hate to see the game in England get like football where it dominates financially and the best players congregate there to the detriment of everything else. The balance has to be right.” British & Irish Lions Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.last_img read more

Canada considers giving UN funds for victims of peacekeeping sex abuse

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada is in talks with the United Nations about donating money to a special trust fund set up for victims of sexual abuse by peacekeepers, a senior UN official revealed on Wednesday.Atul Khare, the under-secretary-general for peacekeeping field support, wouldn’t say how much Canada is looking to provide for the Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.He described it as a “very major contribution” that would be spread out over two years and help provide support and services to those who have been abused.Khare revealed the talks during a news conference at UN headquarters in New York with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations,.The three were commemorating the International Day of the UN Peacekeeper, which is held every year in honour of the more than 3,500 blue helmets who have been killed since 1948.The news that Canada could contribute to the trust fund comes as the UN struggles with revelations that peacekeepers either abused or exploited the very people they were to protect in a number of countries.Even some Canadians have been implicated; UN figures show that three Canadian police officers deployed to Haiti have been accused of sexual abuse or exploitation since 2015.The most recent was this last March, which the UN is currently investigating, while one of the others from 2015 was sent home for what the UN termed “administrative action.”The third incident is also from 2015 and still under investigation.The UN does not publicly identify alleged perpetrators.Sajjan emphasized the need to reform and modernize peacekeeping during his news conference with Khare and Lacroix, as well as during an earlier speech to the International Peacekeeping Institute (IPI).That includes increasing the role of women when it comes to planning and implementing peacekeeping operations, a message that Liberal ministers have also made at NATO.“We in Canada feel strongly about the integration of women at all levels and in all roles in the promotion of peace and security,” Sajjan said in prepared remarks to the IPI.“We know that local conflicts and crises often affect women and girls differently and more severely than they affect other demographic groups.”But Sajjan did not specifically address the issue of sexual abuse or exploitation by peacekeepers, or whether Canada would become the sixth country to contribute to the special trust fund.The fund currently has only about $436,000, according to the UN, with contributions from Bhutan, Cyprus, India, Japan and Norway.The money is not given directly to the victims, a UN spokesman said, but goes to pay for services and support such as community outreach and education.Sajjan’s visit to the UN on Wednesday was largely intended to set the stage for Canada hosting a major peacekeeping summit in Vancouver in November.It was also expected to produce some awkward questions over the Liberal government’s failure, at least to this point, to make good on its promise to provide up to 600 Canadian troops for peacekeeping.But both Khare and Lacroix kept any misgivings well hidden, as both thanked Canada for its commitment to peacekeeping, while Sajjan showed no sign the government was rethinking its earlier promise of troops.Canadians “recognize the role peace operations play in protecting our collective security. They want Canada to engage in missions that have a meaningful impact in the lives of people most in need,” he said.“For this reason, we pledged to increase our engagement in peacekeeping and are finalizing how we can best do that.”For his part, Lacroix said Canada has “a lot to bring” to peacekeeping, “and we look forward to that.”– Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

Opening Day SD Padres beat SF Giants 20

first_img Posted: March 28, 2019 March 28, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News, Trending FacebookTwitter Updated: 5:20 PM 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego Padres start their season off by winning against the San Francisco Giants, 2-0.The first home run of the 2019 season was hit by Wil Myers, starting the game off 1-0.Wil Myers then with a single to drive Ian Kinsler, the Padres take the lead 2-0 in the 6th inning. Kaitlen Daigle Opening Day, SD Padres beat SF Giants 2-0 FINAL: Giants 0, #Padres 2#PadresWin #SDOpeningDay pic.twitter.com/HPjljgXgWZ— San Diego Padres (@Padres) March 28, 2019 Kaitlen Daigle, last_img read more