Avian flu spreads westward in Russia

first_imgAug 15, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Avian influenza has cropped up in chickens near Russia’s Ural Mountains, possibly signaling a continued westward march of the deadly H5N1 virus, news services in Russia reported today.The Chelyabinsk region along the southern end of the Urals is the sixth area in Russia to have been hit by avian flu outbreaks recently, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Reuters. The Urals separate Siberia from European Russia.A regional official said 60 chickens in the village of Oktyabrskoye died over the weekend, according to an online report by Mosnews.com. The report said testing had detected an H5N1 virus in the dead birds. However, the AFP and Reuters reports said it was not yet known if the virus was H5N1.Other parts of southwestern Siberia that have reported recent outbreaks of avian flu include Novosibirsk, Altai, Omsk, Tyumen, and Kurgan, all to the east of Chelyabinsk, according to AFP. But the H5N1 strain has been identified only in the Novosibirsk, Altai, and Omsk outbreaks, the report said.The Siberian outbreaks have killed 10,896 wild and domestic birds, according to an RIA Novosti news agency report quoted by AFP. Hundreds of thousands of birds have been culled since the first in the series of Russian outbreaks was reported in Novosibirsk on Jul 21, according to Mosnews.com. No human cases have been reported.Russia’s top government epidemiologist, Gennady Onischenko, warned that migrating birds could spread avian flu to Russia’s major agricultural region and on to the Middle East and Mediterranean Sea this fall.”An analysis of bird migration routes has shown that the contagious A (H5N1) virus may spread from western Siberia to the Caspian and Black Sea areas this fall,” said Onischenko, as quoted by an RIA Novosti report today. “Some birds nesting in the affected regions (the Novosibirsk and Altai territory) migrate to the above-mentioned areas for winter or stop there on their way to Africa or Europe.”He added that bird migration routes run through Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Georgia, Ukraine, and Mediterranean countries, raising a risk of outbreaks there as well, according to the story. Onischenko made the statements in a letter to regional directors of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare.Russia’s Agriculture Ministry said all sick and infected birds in Chelyabinsk were being destroyed, and Russian media reported that roads leading to the affected village were cordoned off in an effort to contain the outbreak, according to Reuters.A Russian agricultural official said the Chelyabinsk outbreak is near a lake that borders the Kurgan region and Kazakhstan, where other avian flu outbreaks have been reported recently, according to the Mosnews.com report.Meanwhile, a Russian journalist named Maria Pashkova, who was hospitalized after visiting an area affected by avian flu, has been tested for the illness, according to an RIA Novosti report today. Results of the test are expected later this week.Mosnews.com reported that Pashkova had already recovered from her illness. Four other Russians were hospitalized with suspected avian flu recently, but all four tested negative, the RIA Novosti story said.last_img read more

Read More »

DFID move provokes Whitehall property row

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Read More »

Long-term residents have listed their fifth Paradise Waters house adorned with marble floors

first_img102 Commodore Drive Paradise Waters“There was never a need to rebuild or change much because of the timeless design.” High ceilings with elegant finishes and granite kitchen benchtops add a touch of luxury to each room while private courtyards and create an indoor-outdoor feel. 102 Commodore Drive Paradise WatersTHERE must be something in the water at Paradise Waters because homeowners Cynthia and Peter Ray just keep buying back. The long-term residents who moved to Paradise Waters in 1992, have lived in five different houses in the area and are now putting their elegant mansion on the market after buying it more than a decade ago. 102 Commodore Drive Paradise WatersThe five-bedroom home at 102 Commodore Drive comes complete with a grand porte-cochere entrance surrounded by manicured gardens. Mrs Ray said the couple were drawn to the property for its size and space and said it was unlike anything she had lived in previously. 102 Commodore Drive Paradise Waters“Our previous homes in the street didn’t have space for gardens but this house offers a lot of garden space in the front yard.” The couple said the home was a perfect fit and didn’t need many changes when they first moved in.“We did put in a sheltered outdoor entertaining area because there was no undercover area at all,” Mrs Ray said.center_img 102 Commodore Drive Paradise Waters“There are always lovely breezes that flow through the house,” Mrs Ray said.“Everyone really gravitates to the kitchen because there are water views either side of the room of the pool and the canal.” The 915sq m block includes a boatshed and jetty which overlooks a sandy 25 metre water frontage. 102 Commodore Drive Paradise WatersMore from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North8 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“It feels like there are acres of marble in this home,” she said.“It has a very elegant feel about it and it’s not ultra-modern. “The library room is carpeted and is really cosy even though it’s a very spacious room.“We do get a lot of guests and friends commenting on the space.last_img read more

Read More »

IBM Germany pension fund makes first foray into private equity

first_imgIBM Germany is preparing to diversify its pension portfolios by making its first foray into in senior secured loans and private equity.Speaking at the recent Handelsblatt conference in Berlin, Hans Dieter Ohlrogge, chairman at the company’s Pensionskasse and Pensionsfonds, said the former could not have considered private equity sooner due to the regulatory uncertainty for insurance-based vehicles surrounding the implementation of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) Directive.“But now we know we do not need complicated structures to invest in this asset class, we can start choosing managers and decide on which segment to invest in,” he said.Amendments to the new investment rules – applicable to insurers, Pensionskassen and Versorgungswerke – clarify which funds qualify for investments in private equity, direct lending or real estate. Any closed AIF or similar vehicle domiciled within the EEA or OECD with a sufficient license can be used to invest in private equity up to a limit of 15% of the total portfolio.Ohlrogge said it was important for the Pensionskasse to “really understand the products and their mechanics” offered in any asset class.“This has so far not been really the case for private equity, and we do not like managers that play their cards close to their chests,” he said.Ohlrogge said the pension fund would “like to do buyouts” but that this market was “more or less emptied out”.He said the scheme was therefore looking into venture capital, adding that, “in any case, if possible, we would also like to include secondaries”.For the initial planning process, IBM Germany enlisted the support of its US-based parent company, which has  invested in private equity for last 25 years.Ohlrogge also noted that the pension funds of IBM’s Dutch and UK subsidiaries invested in private equity in recent years and “have generally had good experiences”.But he acknowledged that, for the IBM Germany scheme, co-investments with the parent company or other subsidiaries would be “impossible”, as UK and US asset managers found it “difficult to guarantee tax transparency in those vehicles”.Additionally, IBM Germany used a consultant to come up with a long-list of possible managers, but Ohlrogge said he and his team wanted to do the final beauty contest themselves, “as we do in other alternative asset classes with face-to-face meetings”.Overall, Ohlrogge said he liked real assets because “yields are lastingly higher than from securitised debt”.However, the Pensionskasse is not invested in real estate because “too many others are looking into top locations, especially large insurers”.As a next step, he wants to look for further bond surrogates in the alternatives space and diversify more of the portfolio out of Germany.In the equity portfolio, Ohlrogge said he was “very content” with the overlay the Pensionskasse has had in place for more than four years now.He said this overlay was necessary, as “you cannot have a sufficient real-asset allocation without a risk overlay” in an equity portfolio.He confirmed that the overlay had cost the Pensionskasse 100 basis points of return in 2012 when markets were volatile, but he added that it gained the scheme the same amount a year later when markets were more stable.“Overlays cost money and cut off performance at the top, but, if you know that and calculate that in, it can protect you from massive losses and outperform in stable markets,” Ohlrogge said.For more on the changes in the new investment directive, particularly for real estate and infrastructure, click herelast_img read more

Read More »

European pensions-tracking service must add value ‘without legislation’

first_imgA European pension tracking system must be low-cost and offer sufficient “added value” to entice providers to join rather than rely on statutory underpinning, the European Commission has been told.Compiled by the TTYPE project – short for Track and Trace your Pension in Europe – the report concluded that a not-for-profit entity partially funded by the Commission should be launched to coordinate a European tracking system (ETS), which would build on existing tracking services put in place by member states.The report comes two years after the Commission asked the Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK), Denmark’s PKA and four pension managers from the Netherlands – PGGM, APG, Mn and Syntrus Achmea – to investigate the feasibility of an ETS, building on their experience with national tracking systems.TTYPE urged the Commission not to use legislation to establish the ETS, pointing out that a “bottom-up” voluntary approach had received broad support among the stakeholders with which it consulted. “However, it cannot be ruled out that, in some countries, legislative measures can be helpful or even necessary to enable providers to connect to the ETS,” the report added.It suggested that any such steps should be decided by individual member states.To ensure support for the project in the absence of a legal framework, the report proposed it adhere to four principles.With an eye on data-protection concerns, it was suggested that the ETS draw up a privacy policy but also ensure that the individual controlled the use of personal data shared through the portal.The proposed ETS would not retain any data on individual pension entitlements but rather use each provider’s method of authentication to request the information each time a user logged in to the ETS.Matters of data protection were previously raised by the Actuarial Association of Europe as a potential stumbling block.In a recent paper, the organisation noted that the unique identifier used in many countries to track pensions could only ever be used by a government-controlled entity.Additionally, it would be made clear to users that any data displayed through the ETS was only to be used for information purposes rather than as the basis for a claim, with the responsibilities of both provider and the ETS laid out in a binding contract.The report further proposed that the governing body, called STEP, would include representatives from unions, pension providers, existing tracking services and the Commission on its board to ensure ongoing support.It said that, in instances where a national tracking service was not in place – such as Spain, Portugal or Italy – the ETS could either take the place of a national provider or assist in the launch of a national system.The report accepted that while it hoped it had presented a feasible solution, this was not the same as one that could be successfully implemented.“In the end, the success of the ETS will be measured in terms of its usage, finding lost beneficiaries or raising mobility figures, rather than in terms of functionality,” it said.It speculated that, even if it only captured workers who had already worked in a second member state, it would cover 8m people.Steven Janssen of the Belgian tracking system SIGeDIS previously cautioned the Commission that it should not be overly ambitious in its plans for an ETS.last_img read more

Read More »

ORPC Begins RivGen Set Up in Alaska

first_imgORPC has started the RivGen device set up on the ground in Igiugig Village, Alaska.The RivGen device will generate clean, predictable, renewable power from the Kvichak River, and send it to the remote community’s microgrid, offsetting its diesel fuel use by 50%.Earlier this month U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski welcomed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval of the project in Alaska.The Igiugig Village Council is the first tribal entity in the United States to achieve this approval.FERC approval was achieved through the agency’s pilot license process, established to encourage development of innovative hydrokinetic technology.Furthermore, ÉireComposites completed the turbines for ORPC’s RivGen system in the beginning of June.This first commercial system will be installed in the Kvichak River at Igiugig this summer.last_img read more

Read More »

LIAT to review strategies to ensure survival

first_img Share Share Share Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Dr Ralph Gonsalves BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says shareholder governments of the regional airline LIAT have come up with a short-term plan to ensure the survival of the airline.Gonsalves, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, met in Barbados on Wednesday to discuss the way forward for the airline.Gonsalves told members of the media that the shareholder governments have come up with a number of options to keep the cash strapped carrier servicing the region.He said the issue of fleet renewal and fleet expansion also came up for discussions.Gonsalves said that, last year, the airline lost an estimated EC$46 million for the year, compared with a loss of $20 million the previous year.Caribbean News Now NewsRegional LIAT to review strategies to ensure survival by: – February 3, 2012 7 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Read More »

Enrollment in schools extended until July 15

first_imgA parent submits the “Learner Enrollment Survey Form” of her child in a drop box. The Department of Education recently announced the implementation of the ‘drop box’ system located in schools and barangay halls where parents may submit enrollment documents to supplement the ongoing remote enrollment for the incoming school year. ABS-CBN NEWS “Kasi malaki ang demand (for enrollment extension) maski nagkaroon ng kalituhan kung kailan (ang pasukan), kami hindi kami nagbabago na ang talagang pag-umpisa ng klase ay August 24,” Briones said in an interview with DZBB. “Marami akong natatanggap na mga request kung pwedeng i-accomodate ‘yung mga anak nila,” she added. “Magandang senyales ito, magandang balita ito na ang parents talagang gusto nilang mag- aral ‘yung mga anak nila.” Briones, in a radio interview early on Tuesday, said the enrollment extension was decided since only around 12 million expected students are yet to be registered on the last day of enrollment on Tuesday. MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) has extended the enrollment period for public schools for the upcoming school year until July 15, Malacañang said Tuesday. Based on the data by DepEd, the total number of students who have enrolled for the coming school year was 15,686,506, as of 5:30 p.m. on Monday. CALABARZON has the most number of enrollees followed by Central Luzon and National Capital Region. “Extended ang enrollment until July 15. Pupwede po ba, hanggang ngayon pa lang, i-enroll na natin ang ating mga anak,” Roque said in a virtual press conference at the Palace. Citing a report from DepEd chief Leonor Briones, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the enrollment for school year 2020-2021 was extended to give more time for those who failed to enroll last month. DepEd set the first two weeks of June for online enrollment, while the other two weeks for “physical” enrollment, where parents and learners will submit enrollment forms remotely or via drop boxes./PNlast_img read more

Read More »

Police Chief Arrested After Domestic Altercation

first_imgA domestic dispute call resulted in the arrest of Aurora’s police chief.According to the Indiana State Police, troopers and Dearborn County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic disturbance on Harrison Avenue in Aurora around 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning.“The investigation revealed 42-year-old Bryan Fields and his wife, 42-year-old Holly were in a physical confrontation which resulted in her being transported to Dearborn County Hospital and Bryan being arrested on a preliminary charge of misdemeanor Domestic Battery,” said Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Noel Houze.The investigation is continuing and could also result in similar charges against Holly Fields, Houze indicated.last_img read more

Read More »

Healy’s world-record knock leads Aussies to sweep

first_imgAUSTRALIA opener Alyssa Healy hit the highest score in women’s Twenty20 internationals with an unbeaten 148 off 61 balls in victory over Sri Lanka.The wicketkeeper, 29, beat the previous mark of 133 not out set by team-mate Meg Lanning against England in July.Healy struck 19 fours and seven sixes, bringing up her century off 46 balls as the hosts posted 226-2 in Sydney.After Sri Lanka could make only 94-7 in reply, Australia won by 132 runs to secure a 3-0 series whitewash.Healy’s maiden T20 century in her 101st appearance in the format is the fastest by an Australian, and second only in the women’s game to West Indian Deandra Dottin’s 38-ball ton against South Africa in 2010.Her 148 is the fourth-highest individual score in all T20 internationals, behind compatriot Aaron Finch’s 172 against Zimbabwe in 2018, Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai 162 against Ireland in February and Finch’s 156 against England in 2013.Australia’s margin of victory is their biggest in women’s T20 internationals and 10th biggest of all time. (BBC Sport)last_img read more

Read More »