FDA releases rule putting animal antibiotics under veterinary oversightThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday released its final Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), a rule that aims to put all uses of medically important antibiotics in food animals under veterinary supervision by the end of next year.The rule is part of the FDA’s strategy to promote the “judicious use” of antimicrobials in food animals so as to limit the development of bacterial resistance to the drugs. It aims to stop the use of medically important antimicrobials for production purposes such as promoting animal growth.”The VFD final rule outlines the process for authorizing use of VFD drugs . . . and provides veterinarians in all states with a framework for authorizing the use of medically important antimicrobials in feed when needed for specific animal health purposes,” the FDA said in a press release.The rule requires veterinarians to issue all VFDs “within the context of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship,” meaning, among other things, that veterinarians must examine the animals to be treated or at least visit the facility where they are housed and must provide for follow-up evaluation and care, the agency said.The VFD will be fully implemented in December 2016, the FDA said in a fact sheet. “Once the changes are fully implemented, it will be illegal to use these medically important antibiotics for production purposes, and animal producers will need to obtain authorization from a licensed veterinarian to use them for prevention, control, or treatment of a specifically identified disease,” it said.All 25 drug companies affected by the VFD agreed to work with the FDA to remove production uses from the approved uses of their products and to change their marketing status from over-the-counter availability to availability only under veterinary oversight, said Michael R. Taylor, JD, FDA deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, in an FDA Voice blog post.”The VFD rule respects the diversity of circumstances that veterinarians encounter on the farm, but also ensures that their oversight is in line with nationally consistent principles,” Taylor wrote. Jun 2 FDA press release with links to more information FDA fact sheet Jun 2 FDA Voice blog post Official: 51 labs in 17 states may have been shipped live anthraxThe number of labs that may have received live Bacillus anthracis—which causes anthrax—from a US Army facility has grown to 51 and the numbers of affected states and foreign countries to 17 and 3, respectively, CNN reported today.In addition, officials are investigating whether live B anthracis samples were also shipped to the Pentagon building itself, CNN said in a separate report today.Numbers reported late last week were 24 labs in 11 states, plus two countries, South Korea and Australia. Canada was added to the list yesterday. The samples were shipped from the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defense (DoD) Robert Work announced the new numbers today, adding that a lab or labs in the District of Columbia were also involved. He said no suspected or confirmed anthrax cases have been reported, and the samples contained low concentrations of the bacterium, which would pose a low risk to healthy people.The pathogens were supposed to have been killed before being shipped, and the DoD is exploring why that didn’t happen, Work said.The other CNN report noted that the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the Pentagon’s police force, is one of the agencies that received questionable shipments. Its shipment is being tested to see if the bacteria received are live.The DoD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on May 29 that they were investigating the incident.Jun 3 CNN report on involved labs and states Jun 3 CNN report on possible Pentagon involvement Jun 1 CIDRAP News item on investigations H5 strikes 31,000 chickens in GhanaGhana officials have identified three outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) caused by an H5 strain that have involved more than 31,000 chickens, the country’s first HPAI outbreak since H5N1 hit poultry there in 2007, according to a report posted yesterday by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).By far the largest outbreak involves a farm housing 30,807 laying and broiler chickens. Backyard flocks of 100 and 360 birds were also hit by the virus, which has not yet been subtyped. All the premises are in Greater Accra region in southeastern Ghana, along the Gulf of Guinea.The outbreaks began in mid-April to mid-May.All told, 2,780 chickens died from the disease, and the remaining 28,477 were slaughtered or euthanized to prevent disease spread, for a total of 31,267 affected poultry.Jun 2 OIE report Scientists identify 2 new bunyavirus groups, note arthropod originGerman researchers discovered two new groups of viruses within the bunyavirus family in Ivory Coast, and their whole-genome analysis of bunyaviruses collected from mosquitoes indicates an arthropod origin for the viruses, according to results published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The family Bunyaviridae contains important human pathogens such as Rift Valley fever virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, and hantaviruses, as well as viruses that cause serious animal diseases like Schmallenberg virus. Previously the family comprised only five groups, or lineages.Researchers from the University of Bonn and the German Center for Infection Research analyzed 432 samples taken from mosquitoes in the Ivory Coast. They discovered particles of unknown bunyaviruses in 26 of the samples. Through genetic analysis they discovered the new groups, which they named Jonchet and Ferak viruses.Cell-culture studies determined that the new viruses ceased to grow at mammalian body temperatures, making them unlikely to infect people and other vertebrates, the authors reported.”In addition, we reconstructed the evolutionary history of host associations of the entire family of viruses, demonstrating for the first time that viruses affecting vertebrates developed from arthropod-specific viruses,” said coauthor Sandra Junglen, PhD, of the University of Bonn in a university press release.Jun 2 Proc Natl Acad Sci abstract Jun 2 University of Bonn news release
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The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has announced the appointment of board trustees Luanne Brown and Lynn Parker to the AACF Executive Committee.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementBrown is president of eTool Developers and had previously served on the board representing SEMA. Bob Hirsch, president of the AACF Board, said, “Luanne, as chair of the finance committee, will also serve as the foundation’s treasurer. She has been a great asset to the charity since joining the board over three years ago.”Parker, president of Lynn Parker Associates, has been involved with AACF for more than eight years. Hirsch commented that “Lynn’s dedication and compassion to AACF has been invaluable and is highly involved in our largest fundraiser – the Bob Schoeberl Memorial Golf Tournament – held yearly in Las Vegas preceding the AAPEX/SEMA shows.Founded in 1959 to assist members of the automotive aftermarket and their families, the AACF has distributed millions of dollars to help in times of great need. “Terrible accidents or catastrophic illness can occur suddenly, and drastically alter the life of a family,” said Joel Ayres, executive director of the AACF. “We are ready to step in to help. We often are called in after all available resources have been exhausted. That’s when we fulfill our mission: ‘To Provide Sustainable Solutions For Those In Great Need.’”If you or someone you know needs assistance, AACF can be contacted through its website at aacfi.org or by phone at 772-286-5500. All calls and correspondence are held in the strictest of confidence and will be handled promptly. Both one-time and longer-term support is available.Advertisement
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EUROPE: DB Schenker Rail is to introduce an intensive freight service between Germany and Turkey from September 2013, its Chairman Alexander Hedderich announced at the Transport Logistik event in München on June 5.Termed ‘Bosporus Shuttle’, the service will initially comprise three trains each way per week between terminals in Germany and Halkalı on the outskirts of Istanbul. Turkish national operator TCDD will be responsible for providing train crew and traction within Turkey, with DB Schenker Rail’s local subsidiaries operating the trains in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria and Germany. The operator says that customers will be ‘guaranteed high reliability’ because it is able to ‘offer end to end corridor management’. The Bosporus Shuttle will carry both container traffic and wagonload consignments; transit time is expected to be five days. DB Schenker Rail intends to increase the frequency of the service to five train pairs per week at a later date.Liberalisation of the Turkish rail market is now underway, raising the medium-term prospect of DB Schenker operating the service throughout under open-access provisions.
The season 8 premiere of Homeland, caught us up with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) then set events in motion for this final season.If you want to avoid spoilers for Homeland season 8, we suggest you stop reading now. If you don’t mind then please keep reading.Following the prisoner exchange at the end of season 7, the episode opened up with Carrie recuperating in a German hospital. After her 7-month ordeal she was struggling to sleep and suffering flashbacks and anxiety attacks.Carrie was focused on getting better and shown to be in great physical shape as she ran lengths of a basketball court. Mentally she’s struggling with PTSD but still trying to ween herself off some of her meds. Carrie was called into an interview with Jim Turrow (David Hunt) who pushed her about her time in the Russian gulag. Carrie explained that her meds were withheld and she can’t fully account for around 180 days. Credit: Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIMECarrie still had ambition to return to the CIA but Turrow informed her that she had failed her polygraph. She swore she told the truth to the best of her ability but he said it indicated that she was telling lies. She admitted giving up the location of an old safehouse in Beirut but said she didn’t give up any assets. Turrow pondered how could she be so certain if she had so much missing time.Meanwhile, in Qatar, Saul was at the Marsa Malaz hotel where he was trying to broker a peace deal between the Taliban and the Afgham government. He updated members of the press “off the record” but was interrupted but a TV broadcast. The Afghan VP, Abdul Qadir G’ulom (Mohammad Bakri), said that they had been tricked into releasing over 1,000 prisoners of war. He announced that he would never release any more which caused the Taliban delegation to leave.Saul raced after them and tried to get things back on track. They refused to engage if there was no chance of prisoner release. Saul proposed trying to release five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. They agreed that would be acceptable if they could specify which prisoners were released. Saul confronted Tasneem Qureshi (Nimrat Kaur) to blame Pakistan and referenced the previous attack on the US embassy. Credit: Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIMEAs usual Saul needs help to fix things and that means he needs Carrie. He paid a visit to the hospital to talk to her medical team and told them he wanted her in Kabul for a week or two immediately. Turrow suggested that Carrie may be compromised but Saul stood up for her and dismissed the failed polygraph. Saul told Carrie of the mission and how dangerous it was but she jumped at the offer. Turrow called ahead to the station chief Mike Dunne (Cliff Chamberlain) to warn him that Carrie was coming. Soon after Carrie arrived in Kabul she met with Mike and he introduced her to new team member Jenna Bragg (Andrea Deck). She showed Carrie to her room and it was revealed to us that Mike was spying on her communications. Under the cover of darkness Carrie donned a hijab and snuck out on a motorbike to meet an old asset. She met up with another old friend who transported her to the meeting. However there she met her contact’s wife and young son and discovered her contact had been killed. Carrie promised that she didn’t give him up but obviously can’t be 100% sure due to her missing time.After a close call, Carrie managed to get back to the station. There she was confronted by an annoyed Mike who had three teams out searching for her. He also informs her that her meeting with the Afghan VP has been moved forward to the following morning. Carrie asked a question about the Russian’s working with the Taliban which left Mike suspicious.Credit: Warrick Page/SHOWTIMEElsewhere in the episode, Max (Maury Sterling) was on a mission of his own in Afghanistan. He was brought in to fix a listening device that the US was using to spy on the Taliban. He was assigned to a squad for the nighttime mission where they called him a ‘cable repair guy’. As dawn began to break the squad became frustrated and wanted to head back but Max won their respect when he said he’d stay on his own to get the job done. In the end they stayed with him until it was fixed.At the end of the episode, Carrie arrived for her meeting with the Afghan VP. As she was shown to his office the door opened and Yevgeny Gromov (Costa Ronin), the Russian who led her torture, walked out. She suffered more flashbacks and was left visibly shaken. Can’t wait for the next episode? Read our Homeland series 8 episode 2 preview.UK viewers can watch the next episode of Homeland season 8 on Channel 4 on Sundays at 9pm.
The Caribbean nation of Barbados, according to a study by Passportindex.org, has the most powerful passport in the Caribbean and the 50th most powerful in the entire world.This takes into account the number of visa-free regions and countries that a passport has access to including destinations that are completely visa-free and those that require a visa upon arrival.Barbados’ passport, which allows its holders to travel to 132 countries without having to get a visa before departure, is followed by The Bahamas, which allows visa-free travel to 129 countries, and Antigua and Barbuda which allows visa-free travel to 124 countries.Ranking fourth in the Caribbean and 57th in the world is St Kitts and Nevis, followed by Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, with world rankings of 59th, 61st and 62nd respectively. St Lucia ranked 66th in the world, followed by Grenada, Dominica and Honduras, which took the 70th, 72nd and 76th places.Further down the list is Jamaica (100), Guyana (103) and Suriname (109).Cuba, The Dominican Republic and Haiti finished out the list with world rankings of 128th, 149th and 150th of the 199 countries respectively.
A swab to be used for testing COVID-19. /Reuters ImagesSao Tome and Principe has confirmed its first four COVID-19 cases, becoming the 52nd African state to report a case.Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus said the confirmation came after test results returned from Gabon.Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have surpassed 9,000, with over 400 deaths. Over 800 patients have recovered.Sao Tome’s first cases came as the World Health Organization called for more united efforts in the fight against COVID-19.In a press briefing on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom called for an all-of-society approach.“We have said consistently that we’re all in this together, and we can only succeed together. We need an all-of-society approach, with everyone playing their part,” Tedros said.Related Ghana confirms nine new COVID-19 cases Eritrea confirms four more COVID-19 cases Uganda registers 5 new cases of COVID-19
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedIn“Here to help, and not to be assaulted or abused” is the message that Chief Inspector Stuart Davidson of Police Scotland, and colleagues across the other emergency services want to get out as we head into what is always one of the busiest times of the year for our emergency services.“Figures for the period 1 April to 30 September 2018 show that there were some 98 reports of assaults on those working in our emergency services, either police, ambulance, fire or hospital staff explains Chief Inspector Davidson.“That’s one in ten incidences of assaults reported to police during this period involved a crime against one of our emergency workers, and it’s simply just not acceptable. We are taking a zero tolerance stance against this type of behaviour. Emergency service workers are there to assist and help the public and not to be abused or assaulted, either verbally or physically, in the line of their duty.“The festive period is always one of the busiest times of year for the emergency services and the last thing our staff need is to be faced with any abusive type of behaviour when out and about, 24 hours a day, carrying out their duties across our communities. Anyone found committing any crime against any of our emergency workers can expect to be dealt with using the full force of the law.“In policing terms, our officers are appropriately trained to a high level and are issued with personal protective equipment and receive regular refresher training. We are also currently training a number of conventional uniformed officers to carry, and use where necessary, conductive energy devices, commonly known as Taser. Some of these officers are already deployed across the division to improve the safety of the public, police officers and others providing an emergency service in the region.”Kenny McFadzean, Head of Ambulance Services within Dumfries & Galloway said, “It is now a sad reality that verbal and physical assaults by members of the public is now almost a daily occurrence for ambulance crews across Scotland. Ambulance crews are available and respond on a 24/7 basis to medical and traumatic emergencies experienced by members of the public and should not have to face this type of unwarranted behaviour towards them whilst carrying out this challenging, and on occasions, stressful essential role.“From the 1 April to 11 December 2018, there were 89 reported verbal/physical assaults on ambulance crews in the West of Scotland alone, with one of these occurring within the Dumfries and Galloway Region, it should be noted however, that the vast majority of verbal assaults go unreported as it so commonplace.“The Scottish Ambulance Service does not condone assaults of any kind on its staff members and will fully support and cooperate with Police Scotland colleagues in pursuing anyone suspected of committing such assaults in line with the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act.”Hamish McGhie, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Local Senior Officer for Dumfries and Galloway said, “Attacks on emergency responders are completely unacceptable and I am sure the public would be outraged by incidents where police, firefighters and NHS and ambulance service staff have been targeted while working to protect people and property.“We value our communities and know they greatly appreciate the work of their emergency services. However, while it’s clear the vast majority of people would never dream of attacking an emergency responder, we will always stand united with our partners in condemning such attacks.”Doctor Peter Armstrong from the Accident and Emergency Department at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary said, “At this time of year we want people to enjoy themselves but to do so safely and know your own limits. If you are drinking alcohol remember your tolerance might not be the same as others you are drinking with.”