H7N9 detected in four more China marketsAs part of ongoing avian influenza surveillance, China’s agriculture ministry yesterday reported H7N9 detections in four live-poultry markets in three provinces, including one—Ningxia—that hasn’t reported any human cases.Officials detected the viruses at different times in mid to late April and described the findings, which also occurred in Guangdong and Fujian provinces, yesterday in a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).Ningxia province is in northwestern China, far from outbreak hot spots in the southern and eastern parts of the country. On Apr 25 authorities collected 80 chicken samples and 10 environmental samples from a live-bird market in Wuzhong, a city of about 1.3 million people in the central part of the province. One poultry sample tested positive for the virus.In Fujian province, tests detected the virus at two live-poultry markets, one in Fuzhou and one in Xiaomen. Sampling involved chickens, ducks, and the environment. Two of 50 chicken samples were positive for the virus in Fuzhou, and one poultry sample was positive from the Xiaomen market.In Guangdong province, tests on195 samples from a market in Huizhou yielded 1 positive sample.May 7 OIE report Epidemiologic report from Zhejiang finds short H7N9 incubationAn epidemiologic analysis of H7N9 infections during the outbreak’s first wave in Zhejiang province, the hardest hit area during that time frame, found some unusual patterns. The report from Chinese researchers appeared today in BMC Infectious Diseases.Their study included 46 lab-confirmed cases that occurred from Mar 31 to Sep 31, 2013. Unlike in other provinces, a larger percentage of patients (34.78%) were rural residents.The team said it’s not clear why Zhejiang province had more rural cases, but reasons could include accelerated integration between urban and rural areas in Zhejiang, which may have allowed live poultry to enter the areas after urban sales were temporarily suspended. They wrote that it’s not clear if the rural residents were infected by backyard or market poultry.Also, the median incubation period at 2 days was shorter than reported in other studies, which the researchers said could reflect multiple exposures to poultry and their environments, which were reported by eight of the patients.Less than 5% of the case contacts had respiratory symptoms, and all of them tested negative for the virus. Researchers said all of the cases were sporadic, with no epidemiologic links between them.May 8 BMC Infect Dis abstract Meta-analysis highlights avian, swine strains causing human fluA meta-analysis by leading European researchers published today in Eurosurveillance detailed more than 1,400 confirmed human cases of avian and swine influenza since 1959 and noted that, when H5N1 was taken out of the picture, the two types appear to be equally common. It should be noted, however, that the report does not include almost 200 of the most recent H7N9 cases.The investigators included 89 of 6,955 potential articles in their review and focused exclusively on cases confirmed using virologic evidence. They detailed 1,419 distinct cases, of which 648 involved H5N1 avian flu. Among the others, 375 were associated with other avian flu subtypes and 396 with swine flu strains.The leading non-H5N1 strain by far among the avian flu viruses was H7N9, accounting for 251 cases. The analysis, however, was limited to cases confirmed by the World Health Organization through Jan 31. The most recent H7N9 tally by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news board, is 435. The second leading avian flu strain was H7N7, accounting for 89 cases, followed by H9N2, at 15.Swine strains were led by a large margin by variant H3N2, at 340 cases, followed by H1N1, at 47, and non-variant H3N2, at 7.Not surprisingly, direct exposure to birds or pigs was the most likely source of infection for the cases that had available information. The researchers note that both avian and swine strains may be underrepresented in their report. Some avian strains cause only mild illness, and the symptoms of swine-origin flu often parallel those of seasonal flu.The authors conclude, “To be prepared for a potentially emerging influenza virus of animal origin in humans, enhanced global surveillance in animal populations is therefore indicated to monitor evolution and circulation of viruses with yet unknown public health risks.May 8 Eurosurveillance report
Daily Postcard: View of the Rio Grande from the overlook in White Rock. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
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The wreckage found at the bottom of the ocean on the 31st of October has been confirmed to be the ill-fated El Faro cargo ship, that sank on October 1st having succumbed to the strong winds of the Hurricane Joaquin, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in an update.A search team on board the USNS Apache found the wreckage at a depth of about 15,000 feet in the vicinity of the ship’s last known position.Snar equipment towed from Apache first detected what were believed to be images of the vessel using Orion, a side-scanning sonar system, at about 1:36 pm ET on October 31 during the fifth of 13 planned search line surveys. To confirm the finding, specialists on Apache used CURV 21, a deep ocean remotely operated vehicle, to survey and confirm the identity of the wreckage.The target identified by Orion appears to be in an upright position and in one piece, based on the findings.The NTSB will now proceed with the documentation of the vessel and the debris field and attempt to locate and recover the voyage data recorder. Those operations are expected to take up to 15 days to complete in ideal conditions but could take longer depending on weather and conditions encountered during the documentation process.Survey of the area and vessel continues, NTSB said.The El Faro, a 735-foot ro-ro cargo ship owned by TOTE Maritime, carrying 33 crew members onboard was en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Jacksonville, Florida when it went missing.The crew consisted of 28 U.S. citizens and five Polish nationals.World Maritime News Staff
Four weeks later… You: Yes, but it’s not how we do it now, so it’s an enhancement. Client: But the form asks me to write down again everything I’ve just asked you to do. You: It’s with our enhancement request committee and I’ll let you know when they make a decision. Client: Please could you change the way in which you write letters of claim on my behalf? You send them to me for approval and I have to keep changing the content in the same way each time. You: Well, I could do that, but it’s an enhancement to the service and I’m not sure I can devote the time. You: You can be assured that you will be told when a decision has been made…’ Et cetera. I hope that the answer is ‘No way would we treat a client like that! They would walk out the door and tell everyone they knew what a shower we are.’ You might, however, recognise the theme and guess where this sort of treatment is not uncommon. Does your software company do this to you? I hear from lots of clients and other contacts about their experiences with their various software companies, some good and some of the variety illustrated above (which is pretty much a replica of what happened to one client). The Gazette’s In Business editor, Rupert White, has written elsewhere about demanding more of your suppliers and I wholeheartedly support this. The companies that supply the profession with software generally do a very good job, but client care is one area, as we all know, where any service company has to be on the top of its game, and it does no harm to remind them of this. Client: Oh. After four weeks I had hoped there would be a decision by now. Can you tell me when I am likely to hear something? You: Sorry, but we can’t do anything unless you complete the form. Client: Actually, it’s not an enhancement. If you sent the letters out in the form you draft them each time, the content would be plain wrong. Client: I’m not very impressed with that, but I want the job done, so here’s your form. Client: Any news on that ‘enhancement’ I requested? You: Well, we’ll consider it, but first you have to complete this form. Can you imagine this scenario in your firm? Client: I’m sorry, I don’t agree, but could you do it anyway please?
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As the managing vehicle of the trust, Rickmers Maritime, Rickmers Trust Management is no longer a subsidiary of Rickmers Holding – despite the holding company maintaining a 34.2 percent share in the trust.On October 31, an extraordinary general meeting will be held by Rickmers Trust Management, at which noteholders will vote on a revised proposal for the restructuring of the company’s debt.According to media reports, if this revised proposal is not approved by the parties involved, the trust risks being put into liquidation.www.rickmers.com
Lord Justice Jackson at Law SocietyLord Justice Jackson said the High Court judge in Bussey v Anglia Heating Ltd had felt ‘constrained’ by relying on data that was never intended to be used as a yardstick for making claims.Guidelines produced 40 years ago about acceptable levels of asbestos fibres in the air have been used as the test for assessing the claims of victims since the ruling in Williams v the University of Birmingham in 2011.This latest ruling is being hailed by claimant lawyers as an acknowledgment the application of historic data is wrong, and that the courts have wrongly applied the measurements as a guide to employers of a so-called ‘safe’ level of asbestos in which people could work.Caroline Pinfold, an industrial disease solicitor at London firm Fieldfisher, who represented the claimant in Bussey, said: ‘These data that measured levels of asbestos fibres in the air have been wrongly applied by employers and their lawyers to deny or delay claimants the compensation they deserved. I know the ruling will come as a huge relief for mesothelioma sufferers and their families who have had their cases put on hold waiting for this decision.’‘Sadly, many others will have died in the meantime without being given funds to pursue private immunotherapy treatment that could have given them some respite.’Veronica Bussey pursued a claim for compensation against one of her husband’s former employers after he died in 2016 from cancer associated with asbestos. Caroline PinfoldIn May last year, His Honour Judge Yelton decided he was bound by Williams, but the Court of Appeal ruling means that judgment is set aside and the case remitted for determination on the issue of liability.Lord Justice Moylan, agreeing with Jackson LJ, said there were particular concerns about the categorisation of risks.With a note that will be of interest to all litigation lawyers, he added: ‘To seek to address whether a particular risk is acceptable or unacceptable could well lead to confusion rather than assisting the court in determining the critical question of the foreseeability of the relevant risk.’ The Court of Appeal has reset the threshold for asbestos-related cases, which could pave the way for thousands of potential claims.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#
No Country star has enjoyed a rise as meteoric as Luke Combs has in a very, very long time.The North Carolina-born singer-songwriter has been on an upward trajectory since the release of his number one 2013 single Hurricane. The 4x Platinum track catapulted Luke from unknown to global superstar, with his debut album This One’s For You topping the US Country Album Chart and hitting 3x Platinum certification in the US.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>That album spawned four more number one hits – When It Rains It Pours, One Number Away, She Got the Best of Me and Beautiful Crazy – all of which have been certified at least 2x Platinum. That’s a pretty huge achievement for any artist, let alone one who was considered ‘brand new’ at the time.In 2018 Luke came over to the UK for the first time to play on the Main Stage at C2C, where he was a huge hit with fans. Capitalising on the momentum, Luke returned in October of that year for his own headline tour with Ashley McBryde in tow as his special guest.Last November, Luke released his eagerly-awaited second album What You See Is What You Get. The album topped not only the US Country album chart but also the all-genre Billboard 200. Beer Never Broke My Heart and Even Though I’m Leaving have given him another two number one singles, and his current single Does to Me featuring Eric Church is looking likely to add another to his tally.In March Luke will be back in the UK to play C2C once again but this time he’s headlining the final night in London. Of the three headliners, Luke seems to have the biggest pull so don’t be surprised if the festival ends with a huge party inside The O2 Arena.C2C: Country to Country takes place at The O2 in London from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th March 2020. For more information and tickets visit https://c2c-countrytocountry.com.