US’s wild bird H5N1 monitoring expands beyond Alaska

first_imgAug 10, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – US agriculture and interior secretaries announced yesterday that their departments are expanding wild bird monitoring for H5N1 avian influenza beyond Alaska in partnerships with the lower 48 states, Hawaii, and other Pacific islands.”Because we cannot control wild birds, our best protection is an early warning system, and this move to test thousands more wild birds throughout the country will help us to quickly identify, respond to, and control the virus if it arrives in the United States,” said US Department of Agriculture (USDA) secretary Mike Johanns in a USDA–Department of Interior (DOI) press release yesterday.Scientists are not certain what role migratory birds play in transmitting the H5N1 virus.DOI secretary Dirk Kempthorne said joint federal and state testing programs will be important this fall when birds now nesting in Alaska and Canada begin migrating south through the continental United States.President Bush allocated $29 million in his 2006 fiscal year avian influenza supplemental package to cover the cost of implementing the wild bird monitoring component of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza. Of the $17 million the UDSA received, $4 million has gone to states to expand wild bird monitoring. The remainder funds USDA sampling efforts, purchase of sampling kits, and analysis of bird and environmental samples.Of the $12 million that went to the DOI, about $2.4 million has gone to state agencies and other agencies for collecting wild bird samples. The rest of the DOI’s allocation will fund DOI’s sampling and analysis activities and a data management system for state-federal wild bird sampling efforts.Surveillance status in AlaskaA surveillance program between the DOI and the State of Alaska has been under way since the summer of 2005. United States monitoring efforts began in Alaska because it is the first US stopover for birds from Asia and other continents where the H5N1 virus is present.In April, samples from Alaska began arriving for testing at the US Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) in Madison, Wis., center biologist Paul Slota told CIDRAP News. “We’ve screened about 7,000 samples from Alaska. We’re on target with the number of samples we needed, so we’re off to a good start. Next, we’ll be working on samples from the lower 48 states,” he said.Besides screening, the extra resources provided by the federal-state partnership have allowed the NWHC to do more mortality investigations than they could have done otherwise, he said. Screening has identified a fair number of influenza viruses, but none were H5N1, Slota said. Samples positive for H5 influenza are sent to the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, to determine if they are H5N1. “The lab-to-lab relationship is going very well,” he said.Wild bird monitoring goalsA wild bird monitoring plan drawn up by several groups including the USDA, DOI, International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, National Association of Public Health Veterinarians, and the State of Alaska, is part of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, according to a March press release from the USDA, DOI, and Department of Health and Human Services.The monitoring plan outlines five strategies for early detection of the H5N1 virus in wild migratory birds:Investigation of disease outbreaks in wild birdsExpanded monitoring of live wild birdsMonitoring of hunter-killed birdsUse of sentinel animals, such as backyard poultry flocksEnvironmental sampling of water and bird fecesThe goal of the USDA-DOI wild bird surveillance plan is to collect 75,000 to 100,000 samples from birds and 50,000 environmental samples. Since 1998 the USDA and the State of Alaska have tested more than 12,000 birds in Alaska, and since 2000 the USDA and the University of Georgia have tested almost 4,000 birds in the Atlantic flyway.Sampling locations in each state will depend on weather and habitat conditions during bird migration periods, the USDA-DOI press release noted. State and interagency groups will pinpoint sampling locations as migration occurs; likely locations include areas where large groups of birds congregate, such as public lands, private lands with property owner approval, and local areas such as ponds and city parks.According to an article on the testing plan from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), 11,000 samples from live birds will be screened by the NWHC. The rest will be tested at labs certified by the USDA. Samples that test positive will be sent to the NVSL to determine if H5N1 is present.Western states launch testingOregon and Washington are two of the states in the Pacific flyway, which is the focus of the next round of wild migratory bird screening.State and federal wildlife biologists will be testing wild birds in Oregon this summer and fall, said a Jun 19 press release from the ODFW. Wildlife authorities will collect samples from several species that are most likely to have been in contact with birds from Asia this summer in the Arctic. Oregon’s detection plan will involve collecting about 4,000 samples from migratory shorebirds and waterfowl including pintails, mallards, green-winged teals, geese, and tundra swans.Live bird sampling began on Sauvie Island, in northwest Oregon near the Columbia River, in late June and will continue through September in six other wildlife management areas. Hunter-harvested birds will be sampled at check stations during hunting season, which runs from September through December. Fecal samples will be collected from June through January from such waterfowl gathering areas as wetlands, urban parks, and golf courses.In Washington, wildlife biologists began testing 2,500 wild birds in July, focusing on those most likely to have interacted with Asian migratory birds this summer, according to a Jun 13 press release from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The first areas tested were northern Puget Sound and coastal estuaries. Waterfowl testing will focus on pintails and mallards and when possible will include wigeons, green-winged teals, shovelers, and sea ducks. Shorebird testing will target Western sandpipers and dunlin, and when possible will include red knots and ruddy turnstones.The WDFW estimates that about 1 million geese, 12 million ducks, and 150,000 swans pass through the Pacific flyway each year, beginning in August, on their return from the Arctic. In addition, hundreds of thousands of autumn-migrating shorebirds arrive in Washington between July and October.See also:Aug 9 USDA-DOI press release expanding wild migratory bird testing beyond AlaskaJun 19 ODFW press release on bird testing efforts for avian flu 13 WDFW press release on avian influenza surveillance plan read more

Human rights activists urge Komnas HAM to treat Munir’s murder as extraordinary case

first_imgRepresentatives from various human rights groups in the country said on Monday that they would immediately hand a legal opinion to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) on the assassination of prominent human rights defender Munir Said Thalib on Sept. 7, 2004, which has yet to be resolved completely.Jakarta Legal Aid Institute director Arif Maulana said on Monday that the legal opinion would encourage Komnas HAM to treat Munir’s case as an extraordinary one to allow law enforcers to pursue the case without time limitations.”It’s a problem if the state continuously regards the murder as an ordinary crime because a statute of limitations applies to it. Two years from now, the case could be closed for reaching the time limit of 18 years,” Arif said. “And if we fail to find out who the masterminds behind the case are, they will walk free without punishment,” he added.The law expert further said Munir’s case apparently checked all the boxes required by prevailing regulations to be an extraordinary crime, which includes gross human rights violations, comprising crimes against humanity. The 2000 law on human rights courts, meanwhile, defines crimes against humanity as a systemic attack on civilians. Read also: In light of Munir’s murder, Sept. 7 proposed as ‘national human rights defenders day'”Munir was a civilian who was intentionally murdered,” Arief said, adding that evidence gathered previously by a fact-finding team investigating the killing showed that there was a murder plot involving state institutions, namely the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.On Sept. 7, 16 years ago, Munir was murdered with arsenic aboard a Garuda Indonesia plane on his way to the Netherlands to pursue a master’s degree in international law and human rights. Garuda Indonesia pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Prijanto was found guilty of carrying out the poisoning, but later the Supreme Court only convicted him of document forgery. The fact-finding team found that Pollycarpus had several times contacted a BIN telephone number belonging to then-BIN deputy head Muchdi Purwopranjono on the day of the murder. Muchdi was taken to the court but was later acquitted in a trial in 2008 as witnesses retracted their sworn statements or failed to appear. A member of the fact-finding team, Usman Hamid, who is director of Amnesty International Indonesia, said the fact-finding process was not properly working due to the lack of cooperation from BIN and the national police to pursue the case.”The state must take effective steps to ensure that human rights violations committed against all human rights defenders are promptly, effectively and impartially investigated and that those responsible are brought to justice in fair trials,” said Usman, urging President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to resolve the case as he had pledged before.Topics :last_img read more

Bulldogs Soccer Season Comes To An End

first_imgThe Batesville Bulldogs Boys Soccer team’s season has wrapped up with a 1-0 loss to The South Dearborn Knights in the Opening Round of the Class 2A Sectionals at The Dog Pound.The Knights will take on The Jennings County Panthers in Game 2 on Wednesday Night after the conclusion of The East Central vs. Greensburg game.Courtesy of the IHSAA.last_img

Pulev set for Ruiz Jr, Joshua fight

first_imgRelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua, Okolie plot world title double Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury, Wilder fight The winner of Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr could be mandated to fight Kubrat Pulev next, instead of Oleksandr Usyk.Pulev (IBF) and Usyk (WBO) are the mandatory challengers for the titles that are stake between Joshua and Ruiz Jr on December 7 and are racing to be the next opponent for whoever emerges with the belts.“Kubrat Pulev’s next fight will be for the IBF world heavyweight title,” his promoters Top Rank told Sky Sports. “If the Joshua-Ruiz winner decides not to fight Pulev, his next fight will be for the vacant IBF title.”Bulgaria’s Pulev, whose only defeat in 29 fights came against Wladimir Klitschko, beat Hughie Fury to earn his position as IBF mandatory challenger and, last weekend, he outpointed Rydell Booker.The IBF told Sky Sports earlier this year about the race between Pulev and WBO mandatory challenger Usyk: “Ours has to come first. The organisations have agreed that the IBF mandatory would be next.”Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn first explained in August that the winner of the rematch against Ruiz Jr would have two mandatory challengers to immediately contend with.“We’re going to have a problem where [Usyk and Pulev] both say: ‘you’ve got to fight me next’,” Hearn told Sky Sports.That could lead to the possibility of a belt being vacated by the winner of Ruiz Jr vs Joshua.“Some belt could become vacant,” Hearn said. “Because the IBF and the WBO are both going to order their mandatories after Joshua-Ruiz Jr. Unless a deal can be done with someone, you’ve either got to do that, or vacate.“But the Joshua-Ruiz fight is so big, it’s almost bigger than the belts.”Should Usyk face Chisora next it would leave Pulev free to challenge the winner of Ruiz Jr vs Joshua. Tags: Andy Ruiz JrKubrat Pulevlast_img read more

Saints hopes hit by Stoke defeat

first_imgSouthampton’s Champions League hopes suffered a big blow as they were condemned to defeat by a late strike from Stoke goal hero Charlie Adam. Kelvin Davis’ error allowed Mame Diouf to equalise Morgan Schneiderlin’s first league goal since September and Adam delivered the knockout blow for Stoke six minutes from time. Two weeks ago Adam scored a stunning long-range strike from his own half against Chelsea. On Saturday he fired in from much closer range to seal this 2-1 win. Press Association That is not to say the winning goal lacked quality. The Scot, who came off the bench at half-time, swivelled cleverly away from his marker and fired a low strike under Davis after the ball had bounced around the box. The win, Stoke’s first in five matches, means they edge to within four points of their 50-point tally for the season. They have no goal left to aim for in their final five matches, but manager Mark Hughes can take great encouragement from the heart his men showed. For Southampton, their dreams of qualifying for the Champions League appear remote. They remain in sixth, five points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who play against West Ham on Sunday, and one point behind Liverpool. And Ronald Koeman’s problems worsened at the death when key defender Toby Alderweireld was carried off on a stretcher with a leg in a brace after suffering what looked like serious injury after falling awkwardly. Stoke looked very much like a team that had failed to win in six weeks during the first half. Apart from an early opportunity for Steven Nzonzi, which he blazed high and wide, they could not fathom any decent openings. Southampton were playing far more confidently, turning defence into attack thanks to some precise passing and impressive running from Sadio Mane. The pacy Saints midfielder thought he should have had a penalty in the 11th minute when he was bundled over by Stephen Ireland, but referee Mark Clattenburg waved play on. The home fans thought Mane had dived and yelled “cheat, cheat, cheat” at the Senegalese. Jose Fonte saw yellow for a late tackle on Diouf during a rare attack from the hosts. Saints were soon back on the attack. Mane turned and slid in Graziano Pelle, and he fired a fierce shot into the side-netting. The visiting fans were mocked for thinking the ball had gone in. Four minutes later they were cheering a real goal. Fonte met Steven Davis’ corner and glanced it past Asmir Begovic. The defender was just about to start celebrating his first goal of the season, but Schneiderlin nicked it off him by smashing the ball in from less than a yard. The Southampton fans started singing about Europe, but they had to finish the job here first. Nathaniel Clyne wastefully ploughed a shot into the stands when Pelle was free at the back post and the right-back then went into the book for clattering into Erik Pieters. Nzonzi was handed an opportunity to equalise on a plate just before the break, but he shinned wide from two yards wide following Geoff Cameron’s flick-on. Stoke looked a completely different team in the second half. Adam replaced Ireland at half-time and within two minutes the hosts had equalised. Davis, who had barely had a thing to do all match, should take a large portion of the blame for the goal. The Saints stopper was stuck in two minds when deciding whether to catch Nzonzi’s shot. He could have easily gathered the ball, but he decided against it. The ball struck the angle and fell straight to Mane, who lashed in from close range. Davis’ opposite number then almost gifted Saints the lead. Begovic came racing out of his box, but Mane beat him to the ball and squared to Dusan Tadic, but his weak shot was cleared off the line by Glenn Whelan. The match was a real end to end affair with both teams going for the winner. And Adam made sure of the victory for the hosts with six minutes to go. After a sustained period of attack from Stoke, Adam nicked the ball off his marker and swept home after Jon Walters’ shot was blocked by Fonte. Substitute Peter Crouch missed a great chance to score a third, but the game had already been won. Then things went from bad to worse for Saints when Alderweireld was carried off with what appeared to be a serious injury. last_img read more

Sterling excited by City challenge

first_img The 20-year-old England international became British football’s most expensive player on Tuesday when he signed a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium to complete a move from Liverpool which will be worth up to £49million. “It’s a good feeling and this is really happy time for me and my family,” Sterling told the club’s official website, Press Association “Finally, I’d also like to thank all the people around me – my mum and sisters, my management team and (agent) Aidy Ward for helping me focus and get where I am today. I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone.” Sterling passed a medical and completed the remaining formalities of the deal on Tuesday and he will fly out to meet up with his new team-mates in Australia within the next 24 hours. He is City’s record signing, surpassing the sums previously paid for Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, after drawn out talks with Liverpool. City had two previous bids rejected before finally reaching a deal. Manager Manuel Pellegrini was delighted to finally get his hands on the player after that prolonged pursuit. He said: “Raheem Sterling is one of the best attacking players in world football and I am very much looking forward to him joining our squad out in Australia later this week. “He is a young player with outstanding ability and I am sure the Manchester City fans will be very excited about seeing him in action for the team.” Sterling began his career at QPR and joined the Reds for an initial fee of £600,000 as a 15-year-old in 2010. He was handed a senior debut as a 17-year-old and was twice named the club’s young Player of the year. Raheem Sterling believes the most exciting aspect of his record-breaking transfer to Manchester City is being able to play alongside so many world-class players. “I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait to get on the training field. “The thing that excites me the most is the world class squad we have and knowing we have a team that is capable of winning things year in, year out. “The more quality players that are around you, the more quality it brings out in you so I can’t wait to get started and play alongside them.” Sterling, who will wear the number seven shirt, was also grateful to his previous managers despite his protracted exit from Anfield. “It has been a long journey from QPR and I’d like to thank a few people who have helped me along the way,” he said. “I’d like to thank Rafa Benitez for taking me to Liverpool as a 15 year-old – that was a massive step for me and a new challenge. “Also to Kenny Dalglish for showing such faith in me and putting me in at such a young age. “I want to thank Brendan Rodgers for giving me a chance and an opportunity in the first team, giving me my full debut – against City funnily enough – and giving me a real chance to cement a place in the first team and show the world my talents. last_img read more

Regal extends benevolence to Kamal Children Home

first_imgOCCUPANTS of the Kamal Children Home, situated at Albion, Corentyne were treated to early Christmas gifts last Sunday, compliments of Regal Stationery & Supplies and its softball team.During a specially arranged visit to the area, the Georgetown-based softball team, who have been creating waves in and out of Guyana, “starred” in another role, displaying their compassionate side away from the field of play.The distribution of the specially wrapped gifts which was done following the completion of a feature game between Regal and Jai Hind at the latter’s ground, saw the children being presented with cricket bats, badminton racquets and footballs among other sports items.School items included pens, pencils, erasures, exercise books and geometry sets as donor Mahendra Hardyal emphasised that education needs to be an integral part of sports and goes hand-in-hand.Apart from the children of the home, other beneficiaries included children in the vicinity and also elders who were present at the Jai Hind ground. Gifts were also given to prominent residents in the Albion area for distribution to children.Manager Ian John, who accompanied the team and other officials, brought those present up to date about the exploits of Regal in and out of Guyana since the establishment of the club, including their recent triumphs in Over-45 and Over-50 categories in the third edition of the Prime Minister T20 Softball Cup. They also shared honours with SVC Grill Masters in the Open category.Following the distribution of the gifts, the children of Kamal Children Home, through the initiative of John, rendered a Christmas song while extending sincere thanks to Hardyal and his contingent for the kind gesture.Hardyal also disclosed that similar events are on stream for both Demerara and Essequibo before the end of the year.Meanwhile, Regal made light work of Albion Masters in the feature 20-over game, inflicting a 113-run victory over their opponents.Taking first strike, Regal rattled up an imposing 195 for four in their allotted 20 overs before limiting Albion Masters to 82 all out in 14.4 overs. Saeed Mohamed led the way for the winners, spanking seven fours and a six in a top score of 63. Opener Unis Yusuff supported with 32 (2×4, 3×6) while David Harper chipped in with 26 and Rudolph Baker a quick-fire undefeated 22.Albion Masters were never really up to the challenge with Bissoon (4-28), Tyrone Sanassie (3-20) and Laurie Singh (2-22) being the main destroyers.last_img read more

Syracuse preps for WVU growing in void of senior leadership

first_imgKomal Safdar isn’t ready to let Syracuse’s success against West Virginia in recent seasons determine her feelings going into this weekend’s match against the Mountaineers.Even though the Orange beat WVU 6-1 in Morgantown, W.Va., last year and 7-0 at home the year before, she still sees West Virginia as a dangerous team.“They’re going to bring a fight,” Safdar said, “and we have to bring the fight back.”Safdar and SU (1-5) will get that chance when the Orange hosts the Mountaineers (1-1) at Drumlins Tennis Center on Saturday at 10 a.m. Syracuse goes in facing a team with far less experience thus far in the season. The Mountaineers have only played two matches, losing to Ohio State and beating Marshall. Both teams, though, are challenged by the lack of experienced players on both rosters.The Mountaineers carry only two seniors, Emily Mathis and Audrey Wooland. The other five players are underclassmen. Three of them are freshmen.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse’s players aren’t much older. The Orange doesn’t have any seniors, something the coaches realized at the start of the season.“The leadership was something that we were concerned about earlier,” assistant coach Shelley George said. “I think that over the course of some of the adversity they’ve faced this past month in the competition they’ve really bonded as a team and as a unit.”Syracuse has faced plenty of that adversity, including injuries and a tough schedule. In the month of January alone, SU has played now-No. 22 Georgia Tech, South Florida and Georgia State. While the Orange fell in all of them, the losses still benefitted the team.“They were really close matches,” said sophomore Amanda Rodgers. “Some of them were 4-3, we know we’re right there and we just need to push ourselves to the next level.”The lack of senior leadership has been one of Syracuse’s biggest deficiencies this season. But the team has bonded and grown stronger without that presence.“They’ve made a decision moving forward that it’s not about somebody as a senior out there leading them,” George said, “but they’re really leading themselves and organizing themselves as a group and moving forward.”The Orange isn’t using the lack of seniors as an excuse for its 1-5 record. Although the team is young, it’s ready for the level of competition it faces in every match.Safdar said it might even be an added bonus.“Not having seniors is almost, in a sense, better because we’re all on the same level,” Safdar said.Last season, the Orange finished 14-6. Currently at 1-5, Syracuse isn’t where it wants to be in order to repeat another strong season. Against West Virginia this weekend, a team Syracuse has played well against in recent years, the Orange has a chance to start turning the season around.Regardless of a lack of experience, Syracuse remains optimistic that it can put together a strong season.Said George: “We’re going to see some great things happening here in the next couple months.” Comments Published on January 31, 2013 at 12:15 am Contact Danny: Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

No. 9 Syracuse upset by unranked Notre Dame, 11-10

first_img Published on March 24, 2018 at 4:32 pm Contact Nick: | @nick_a_alvarez Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse set screen after screen but nothing worked. The Notre Dame defense walled off the goal and SU’s only overtime possession flatly ended with a desperate Sam Swart shot that was easily fended off.After some confusion with the officials, possession swung to the Irish. A few Orange midfielders complained, but it didn’t matter. The home-team marched methodically down the field and found the offense it lacked in the second half. Andie Aldave, the nation’s top-recruit, easily cut inside and sizzled one past SU’s Asa Goldstock for the decider.Despite controlling the second half and sending the game to an extra period, No. 9 Syracuse (6-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) slipped up against Notre Dame (6-5, 2-3), 11-10, in South Bend, Indiana.Nicole Levy matched a season high in goals (four) and added an assist. Senior captain Riley Donahue contributed three points as well. Despite letting in the final shot, Goldstock played well in net with 11 saves. Savannah Buchanan led the Fighting Irish with two goals and three assists.Syracuse never led, and the historic defeat marked the first time the Orange fell to an unranked ACC opponent since joining the conference five years ago.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU stumbled out of the gate, falling victim to its season-long foil: the draw control. SU lost the first eight at the faceoff X and slipped into a four-goal deficit. Kerry Defliese’s draw with 45 seconds left in the opening half was the one and only win for the Orange.Donahue opened the scoring in the second half and brought SU within three. Yet, two back-to-back UND possessions finished with Erin McBride celebrating the Fighting Irish’s then-five goal margin.The Orange punched its way back before the game could slip away. It won a few more draws, caused a few more turnovers and worked inside and converted free-position shots. With 4:14 left in the game, freshman Sam Swart scored her 20th goal of the season and tied the game. Each side traded a goal a piece and the final two minutes saw each side hunting for a winner.Notre Dame had the final possession in regulation, calling a timeout to set up its offense. In the final seconds, SU stepped up and forced a late turnover which sent the game to overtime.Syracuse won the lone draw in overtime but its futile possession led to the eventual winner by Aldave. After the goal, UND’s bench stormed the field. Beside them, SU’s defense slowly walked off the turf, a nationally-ranked program finding itself as a bottom-dweller in the ACC. Commentslast_img read more

Bosnian Emir Preldžić Athlete of the Year in Turkey

first_imgEmir Preldžić, basketball player in Fenerbahce club was elected the best player in Turkey in year 2015.Preldžić, who is originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, won the title at the 22nd ITU Emos election which was held from 27th until 30th January this year. He won the award after a good matches in the Fenerbahce jersey.Emir Preldžić was born on 6th September 1987 in Zenica. In his career he played for Celik, Triglav, Goplin and Fenerbahce, and in 2011 was awarded as MVP of the Cup of Turkey. (Source: n1)last_img read more