Pandemic flu fighter Chan nominated to lead WHO

first_imgNov 8, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO) today nominated Dr. Margaret Chan, the agency’s top pandemic influenza official and a veteran of the world’s first confrontation with the H5N1 flu virus in 1997, to be the agency’s next director-general.Chan’s nomination will be submitted to the World Health Assembly for a vote tomorrow, the WHO said. News services said the assembly has always confirmed the executive board’s nominations in the past.Chan has been serving as the WHO director’s representative for pandemic influenza and assistant director-general for communicable diseases, the agency said. As director of health in Hong Kong, she confronted the first human outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in 1997, when 18 people fell ill and 6 died. The crisis ended after authorities ordered the slaughter of all 1.5 million domestic poultry in Hong Kong.If elected, Chan, 59, will be the first Chinese to head a major United Nations agency, according to news services. She will succeed Dr. Lee Jong-Wook, who died May 22. Dr. Anders Nordstrom has been serving as acting director-general.Chan had been the front-runner to replace Lee among five finalists for the job, according to a Reuters report. China, a member of the UN Security Council, had nominated her for the post, in what was seen as a sign of the country’s interest in playing a larger international role, the report said.She served as director of the Hong Kong health department for 9 years before joining the WHO in 2003. Her tenure in Hong Kong included the battle with SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003, when Hong Kong had 1,755 cases with 299 deaths, a major share of the global toll of 8,096 cases and 774 deaths, according to WHO figures.”She also introduced primary health care ‘from the diaper to the grave’ with a focus on health promotion and disease prevention, self-care and healthy lifestyles,” the WHO statement said.Chan’s supporters had contended that her election could improve relations between the WHO and China, Reuters reported. WHO officials have repeatedly criticized China for being slow to share H5N1 data and samples with the rest of the world.Chinese Health Minister Gao Qiang promised closer cooperation between Beijing and the WHO following Chan’s nomination, Reuters reported. “China’s government will strengthen cooperation with all the member states of the WHO to contribute to a better public health,” he told the WHO board, speaking through an interpreter.After Chan’s nomination, China’s UN ambassador, Sha Zukang, smiled broadly and said he was “one hundred percent” pleased, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today.When she started to campaign for the job last summer, Chan promised she would be independent, the AP reported.”If elected, I’m not serving Hong Kong’s interests,” she was quoted as saying. “I’m not serving China’s interests. I’m serving the world’s interests. That’s a very important message to get clear.”Chan’s nomination needs approval by a two-thirds majority of the World Health Assembly, which consists of all 193 WHO member countries, according to the AP.The WHO executive board consists of 34 members who have technical qualifications in health. The United States is one of the 34 countries currently represented on the board.The board chose Chan over Mexican Health Minister Julio Frenk; Shigero Omi of Japan, Western Pacific regional director for the WHO; Spanish Health Minister Elena Salgado; and Kazem Behbehani of Kuwait, the WHO’s assistant director for external relations and governing bodies. Diplomats told Reuters that the final vote pitted Chan against Frenk.Chan earned her medical degree at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and a public health degree at the National University of Singapore, the WHO said. She joined Hong Kong’s health department in 1978, the AP reported.Mike Leavitt, US health and human services secretary, issued a statement calling Chan “a strong leader.””Dr. Chan led the successful response to the outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the highly pathogenic avian influenza,” he said. “I am confident that she will ensure WHO’s role as the premier global health agency, guided by scientific excellence and well-prepared to meet the many challenges it faces.”See also:Nov 8 WHO news release about Chan nominationhttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2006/pr65/en/index.htmlNov 3 WHO statement about the director-general electionhttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2006/pr65/en/index.htmlMike Leavitt’s statementhttp://archive.hhs.gov/news/press/2006pres/20061108.htmllast_img read more

Almost 40pc of borrowers don’t know their mortgage interest rate

first_imgNew survey finds 2 in 5 borrowers don’t know their mortgage interest rate. Image: AFP/Peter Parks. Image: AFP/William West.According to the Whitepaper, borrowers over the age of 60 were the most likely to not know their home loan interest rate, with 46 per cent admitting they did not know it.Just over 40 per cent of those under the age of 30 did not know their mortgage interest rate, while 36.9 per cent of those aged between 30 and 39 said they were in the same boat. HALF BIG FOUR BANKS TO REFUND MILLIONS ON HOME LOANS The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s December meeting reveal the board was concerned about weak consumer spending and sluggish wages growth, but appeared in no rush to change its interest rate settings.CommSec expects the official cash rate to stay on hold at 1.5 per cent until at least late 2018, while Westpac predicts rates to remain stable in 2018 and 2019. New survey finds 2 in 5 borrowers don’t know their mortgage interest rate. Image: AFP/Peter Parks.ALMOST two in five Australians don’t know how much interest they are paying on their home loan, a new survey shows.Mortgage Choice’s Australian Financial Savviness Whitepaper found 38 per cent of borrowers do not know what rate they are paying on their mortgage — a figure chief executive John Flavell described as “alarming”. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Mortgage Choice chief executive John Flavell.“It seems for many borrowers it is easy to take a set and forget attitude towards their mortgage,” Mr Flavell said.“However, this can end up costing them substantially over the longer term.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours agoMr Flavell said a home loan was one of the biggest financial investments a person would make in their lifetime and they should review it on a regular basis to avoid paying more than they should.“In the past two years the cash rate has been reduced by 50 basis points and a huge portion of this has been passed onto mortgage holders in the form of lower rates,” he said.“Anyone who hasn’t reviewed their mortgage in the past two years could find that the interest rate on their home loan is significantly higher than it needs to be.” SALES BEFORE AUCTION TRIPLE last_img read more

Switzerland looks set to cut minimum rate for pension funds

first_imgDepending on which period is used as a basis for the calculations, 1.25% could be a maximum, or a realistic, rate.This is, however, merely the minimum interest that must be guaranteed on mandatory assets of active members, while Pensionskassen are free to pay out more.In 2014, the actual interest paid out on members’ assets stood at 2.3% on average, up from 2% the year before and just under 2% in 2012, while the legal minimum rate has fallen continually in recent years.A recent study by PPCmetrics (in German) shows that just over half of all Pensionskasse surveyed paid out an interest rate of 1.5-2%. One-quarter had a rate higher than 2.5%, while approximately 7% fell below the 1.5% threshold.The Swiss consultancy based its research on the balance sheets of 260 Pensionskassen, with combined assets of CHF565bn (€461bn), with approximately CHF200bn attributable to public pension funds.  The PPCmetrics study, unlike most others on the technical parameters for Swiss Pensionskassen, was based not on surveys but reported figures.The consultancy said this made its figures more comparable.According to the research, the so-called ‘technische Zins’ – the discount rate applied – has decreased by less than the average return from bond holdings, particularly in public pension funds.This means the average risk-adjusted funding ratio, a benchmark figure devised by PPCmetrics, has deteriorated from just over 101% in 2013 to 99.7% last year. Switzerland’s BVG Kommission, responsible for amending technical parameters within the second-pillar pension system, has proposed cutting the minimum interest rate for Pensionskassen from 1.75% to 1.25%.The news means Pensionskassen, from January 2016, look set to employ the 1.25% rate when guaranteeing members’ assets, as the Swiss government has to date followed all of the commission’s recommendations.In a statement, the BVG noted that, in its final vote, the majority of commission members supported the 1.25% rate, as opposed to the more radical 1% rate. The minimum interest rate, which must be applied to all mandatory contributions made to the second pillar, is based on the returns from Swiss government bonds.last_img read more

NegOcc cops to probe SAP fund anomalies

first_imgBACOLOD City – Police authorities in Negros Occidental is launching an extensive investigation on the supposed anomalies in the distribution of financial aid to economically displaced residents due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. On Monday, Colonel Romeo Baleros, police provincial chief, said he directed PNP units all police chiefs in the province to prioritize the investigation of graft and corruption cases against local officials on the distribution of cash aid under the social amelioration program (SAP).  “I gave particular orders to the chiefs of police to direct their intelligence officers and investigators to go to the field to validate reports. This will encourage increased vigilance among the people in the barangays,” according to Baleros. He further directed these police chiefs to establish “action centers” with dedicated hotline numbers which will receive and act on any reports of irregularities on the SAP distribution. center_img Meanwhile, Baleros has encouraged all Negrenses to report to the nearest police station through their posted hotline numbers any information on anomalies that they know, assuring that their identities will be protected./PN The Negros Occidental Provincial Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit was also tasked to assist the stations. last_img read more

Indiana Kids’ Election Opens Registration for Teachers

first_imgINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — On November 8, students across Indiana will elect their own governor, president and senator in a show of active citizenship through Indiana Kids’ Election, an award-winning mock election program.Sponsored by the Indiana State Bar Association, Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Department of Education, Indiana Kids’ Election announced that registration is open for K-12 classrooms statewide at www.inkidselection.com.Indiana Kids’ Election is based on the premise that voting is only occasionally done by inspiration but more often done by habit.With its special emphasis on encouraging students to develop one’s voting habit at an early age, Indiana Kids’ Election attempts to emulate the election process as closely as possible.Statewide, students participate in voting milestones such as registering to vote on or before Tuesday, October 11, and casting a ballot on Tuesday, November 8 – just like their parents!Also, under Indiana law, schools are required to give instruction on the election process two weeks preceding a general election for all students in grades 6-12.Indiana Kids’ Election, where the voting age is lowered to 5, helps Indiana schools meet this requirement by providing comprehensive curriculum guides, free of charge, to participating schools.Indiana attorneys also have the unique opportunity to participate in this program by volunteering for the Indiana Kids’ Election Speakers’ Bureau, where attorney volunteers deliver one-hour classroom presentations about the election process, how to make informed choices about candidates and more.last_img read more

Stolen dentures causing a lot of chatter

first_imgNorth Vernon, IN—On Monday, a deputy with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office took a report of stolen dentures from a female in the Country Squire Lakes area. The victim alleges that Joann Childers had stolen her teeth and had reportedly been wearing them around.That same morning, a deputy spoke with a Jennings County Probation Officer who had met with Childers. The probation officer stated that Childers had been wearing teeth to her probation meeting that the probation officer alleges were clearly were notChilders and that the officer believed may be the stolen teeth.Wednesday a deputy was able to locate Childers and speak to her about the theft. While speaking with Childers, the deputy observed the dentures in plain view in Childers home. The dentures had the victims name written on them. Childers will be facing charges of theft and the dentures have been recovered.last_img read more

Syracuse earns commitment from 3-star linebacker Bennett

first_img Published on June 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesse Syracuse received a verbal commitment from three-star linebacker Parris Bennett on Monday, the Post-Standard reported.The 6-foot, 210-pound commit from University of Detroit Jesuit High School (Mich.). is SU’s third linebacker in the Class of 2014. Bennett joins Zaire Franklin from Wyndmoor, Pa., and Colton Moskal from Lake Zurich, Ill. He can play both middle and outside linebacker despite size limitations, according to the Post-Standard.It was Bennett’s versatility that initially attracted SU linebackers coach Clark Lea when he was coaching at Bowling Green last season, according to the Post-Standard.He also received offers from 10 other schools, according to Scout.com, most notably Pittsburgh.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBennett is SU’s sixth verbal commitment from the Class of 2014, joining Franklin, Moskal, running back Naesean Howard, quarterback A.J. Long, and cornerback Rodney Williams. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Sportsbet.io continues Brazilian drive with CR Flamengo digital partnership

first_img Brazil appoints agencies to accelerate Sports Betting launch August 21, 2020 Submit Sportsbet.io becomes main club partner of Southampton FC August 25, 2020 Belgian Pro League live betting streaming deal for Stats Perform August 21, 2020 Related Articles Share Share StumbleUpon Sportsbet.io, the flagship online sportsbook property of Coingaming Group, has become the latest industry incumbent to secure a Brazilian football club partnership with CR Flamengo.Updating the market, Sportsbet.io marketing confirms that it has secured a ‘one-year agreement’ to become a ‘digital partner’ of the ‘Big 4’ Rio de Janeiro football club.The digital partnership with Flamengo follows Sportsbet.io’s signing of World Cup-winning former Brazil player Denilson as a Brand Ambassador earlier this year.Joe McCallum, Director of Sportsbook at Sportsbet.io, said: “Flamengo is one of the biggest names in Brazilian football and as a forward-looking, global club, it was the perfect match for Sportsbet.io.“We are committed to delivering fun, fast and fair action to players around the world, and Flamengo’s history, ethos and commitment to the beautiful game will help us achieve precisely that.“Brazilian football fans are among the most passionate in the world, and that makes this partnership another important milestone for us, both in Brazil and beyond.”Flamengo becomes the ninth Brazilian football club to commit to a betting partnership in 2019, following CasadeApostas.com partnering with Santos, Botafogo, Cruzeiro and Bahia.Meanwhile, European operator NetBet partnered with Fortaleza and Vasco de Gama, with 188Bet announcing last month a ‘referral partnership’ with Atlético Mineiro.Maurício Portela, Marketing Director of Flamengo, added: “We were hugely impressed by Sportsbet.io’s approach to gaming and how it has quickly grown to become one of the most innovative and exciting brands in the space.“Sportsbet.io immediately understood the passion and importance of football to supporters of Flamengo and we are proud to enter a partnership that will bring immense value to both our club and our fans.”last_img read more

Black Stars looking for money not glory – Kwesi Pratt

first_imgManaging News Editor of the Insight Newspaper Kwesi Pratt says Black Stars players opted to participate in the AFCON because they see it as an opportunity to make money.He, therefore, said it came not as a surprise to him that the Black Stars lost their Group C match to the Teranga Lions of Senegal.Speaking Tuesday on Peace FMs morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, Mr Pratt said “we all know that the Blackstars will lose. Anyone who did not know this is not a Ghanaian. These people have clearly demonstrated that they are playing the football just for the money and not to make the country proud.”The Blackstars made their Group C debut at the ongoing African Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea but lost 1-2 to Senegal in Mongomo.The loss has angered several Ghanaians and football lovers many of whom were already not confident the team will pull off a brilliant performance.In Mr Pratt’s view, the best thing, the country should have done to prevent such disappointment, was to have dissolved the team when it performed abysmally at the 2014 World Cup tournament held in Brazil. Instead of doing this, the Ghana Football Association decided to sack the coach and replace him with a foreign one, he added.“The total lack of indiscipline displayed in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup is the same thing they are doing but instead of dissolving the team, they sacked the coach.”The veteran journalist said the total disrespect and intolerance showed local coaches is unacceptable because, the foreign coaches were not better than the local ones who have shown that they are capable of executing their task just as well.He indicated that there were several local coaches who could have managed the Blackstars and that “a foreign coach will not score goals, discrimination against our own must stop.”He however blamed the lack of commitment on the part of the players to the country’s refusal to support veteran footballers who have in the past sacrificed their lives for the country. Most of these old players who have retired are left to suffer even though they dedicated their youth for the country and should be supported at their old age.“The way, we treat our heroes, is nothing to write home about”.He said governments’ failure to provide basic medical care for these people has not encouraged the young players to give off their best because, they believe that even if they did, they will be no reward hence their desire to make the most of the moment.Mr Pratt says he doubts if the country will put up an impressive show at the tournament.Meanwhile, Black Stars coach Avram Grant says the team is focused on winning their next game against Algeria despite the jerky start at the AFCON tournament and that the team is hopeful.last_img read more