Spain reports first avian flu case in birds

first_imgJul 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Spain today became the latest country to join the list of nations responding to outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza, as officials reported finding the virus in a wild bird.In a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Spanish officials said highly pathogenic H5N1 strain had been confirmed in a sample taken from a great crested grebe that was found dead Jun 30 in the Salburua wetlands in Alava province. The diagnosis was established by the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Algete.To control the outbreak, a 3-kilometer protection zone around the site has been established, and surveillance will be conducted within 10 km. Authorities have banned movement of poultry and hunting of wild birds within the zone and are monitoring natural areas for any further bird deaths.Spain is the 14th European Union member to report H5N1 avian flu in birds, on the basis of information from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.An outbreak of avian influenza is a particular concern in Spain because, according to a Bloomberg News report today on the outbreak, Spain is Europe’s biggest tourist destination.In other avian flu developments this week:Canadian authorities reported that final virological tests on samples from a dead gosling were negative.The OIE announced that avian influenza had recurred among ostriches in South Africa.Thailand said it hoped to be free of avian influenza in 3 years.Canada ends testing of Prince Edward Island birdsThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced Jul 5 that further testing related to a suspected H5 avian flu outbreak in Prince Edward Island had revealed no evidence of the virus.Authorities had announced Jun 16 that preliminary tests had indicated an H5 virus in a gosling, one of four birds that had died in a backyard flock. The positive test led authorities to destroy the rest of the flock and raised concern about the threat of H5N1 spreading to North America. But officials reported on Jun 20 that further tests at Canada’s avian flu reference laboratory in Winnipeg, Man., were negative.In the latest announcement, the CFIA said attempts to culture the virus from samples from the gosling had failed. The agency said testing was finished, and a quarantine on the affected site was lifted.South African ostriches have H5N2 virusAn H5N2 strain of avian flu has been confirmed on an ostrich farm in South Africa, according to a report that officials filed with the OIE. The virus was identified Jul 1 in eight ostriches on the farm in Riversdale, Western Cape province.In his notice to the OIE, South Africa’s senior manager of animal health, Bothe Modisane, said surveillance indicated that the outbreak was probably limited to the farm where the disease was detected. He reported that the farm was quarantined and that all 58 ostriches there were destroyed on Jul 1. Culling of all other poultry on the farm was completed on Jul 3. The source of the infection was not known.In 2004, a similar outbreak of H5N2 in ostriches stopped all poultry exports from South Africa. That outbreak killed 2,000 ostriches on two farms, and officials planned to destroy 6,000 remaining ostriches on the farms.Highly pathogenic strains of H5N2 virus have caused a number of past outbreaks in birds, though none in humans. H5N2 viruses were blamed for outbreaks in Pennsylvania (1983-85), Mexico (1994-95), Italy (1997), Texas (2004), and South Africa (2004), according to the World Health Organization. In addition, Japan had H5N2 outbreaks in poultry in 2005.Thai official offers optimistic projectionThailand’s agriculture minister said yesterday the country hopes to be completely free of avian influenza virus in 3 years. The Thai official, Sudarat Keyuraphan, told Agence France Presse (AFP) that the country has gone 239 days without an outbreak.”If we are able to control the virus for the rest of this year, we will have fewer worries next year, and I am confident that Thailand will be free from the bird flu virus within three years,” Keyuraphan told AFP. She said the 239-day outbreak-free stretch is notable, given that surrounding countries continue to report the disease.According to the AFP report, Thailand has recruited 900,000 volunteers to help with prevention efforts, including regularly spraying disinfectant around poultry farms.In May 2005, Thai officials declared the country free of the H5N1 virus, but more poultry outbreaks were reported the following July, and new human cases emerged in the fall.See also:Jul 7 OIE report on avian influenza in Spain 21 CIDRAP News article “Further tests show no avian flu in Canadian flock”Jul 3 OIE report on avian influenza in South Africa 6, 2004, CIDRAP News article “Avian flu hits ostriches in South Africa”May 5, 2005, CIDRAP News article on Thailand’s avian flu battle read more

Rescuers needed for dogs on death row

first_imgThe ones that she’s able to save depend on the number of foster homes she has, and right now CDHA is in desperate need of kind, compassionate and able people to fill the void.Are you a kind, compassionate, tolerant dog lover who could help them?So many of us have so much to be grateful for, and this is one way to give back for all that we have been blessed with.If you can help, you can go to or contact Jennifer Politis at 518-664-3450 or 518-369-4482.Martha WinstenGansevoortMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsPolice: Schenectady woman tried to take car in Clifton Park hours after arrest, release in prior the…Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThere are so many little dogs on death row at this moment. The head of the Capital District Humane Association (CDHA), Jennifer Politis receives pictures of these desperate little dogs, who just have a day or so left unless Jennifer is able to let the shelter holding them know that she will be able to rescue them from certain death.last_img read more

These problems are ‘men-made’: Sri Mulyani blames men for creating global uncertainties

first_imgShe went on to say that the “men-made” events caused last year’s world economic growth and trade to reach their lowest point since the global financial crisis in 2008.The World Bank projected the global economy to grow by only 2.9 percent in 2019 as global trade and manufacturing activities slowed down last year as a result of trade tensions and financial pressure in advanced countries.In the meantime, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced last October that it forecast global trade to rise by only 1.2 percent in 2019.“Men created these problems, so men have to fix them,” Sri Mulyani said, followed by applause and cheers from the audience.Despite the situation, she said the government was still optimistic that Indonesia could still maintain robust economic growth while also remaining vigilant about the challenges that lay ahead.She also said that the government would continue to work on its policy choices and utilize to the utmost the available instruments to maintain growth.“We will also conduct structural reform to make sure the good conditions will be sustained and improve in the future,” she said.Topics : Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has laid the blame for the recent and ongoing global uncertainties squarely on men – and she demanded they take the responsibility for fixing them.In a speech at the Mandiri Investment Forum in Jakarta on Wednesday, she said that the uncertain global conditions in 2019—caused by the United States-China trade war, Brexit and protests in many parts of the world—were likely to persist in 2020.“These uncertainties are actually man-made and I’d really like to underline the word ‘man’ here because almost all of them are caused by men,” Sri Mulyani said, citing the protests in Hong Kong as an exception, as the autonomous state is led by chairwoman Carrie Lam.last_img read more

Sanders blasts Russia for reportedly trying to boost his presidential campaign

first_imgTopics : The Washington Post on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter, said US officials had told Sanders about the Russian effort and had also informed Republican President Donald Trump and US lawmakers.It was not clear what form the Russian assistance took, the paper said.A congressional source confirmed intelligence officials have told lawmakers Russia appears to be engaging in disinformation and propaganda campaigns to boost the 2020 campaigns of both Sanders and Trump.The source, however, cautioned that the findings are very tentative. Sanders said he was briefed about a month ago. His campaign noted the briefing was classified.”We were told that Russia, maybe other countries, are going to get involved in this campaign,” Sanders told reporters. “Look, here is the message: To Russia, stay out of American elections.””What they are doing, by the way, the ugly thing that they are doing – and I’ve seen some of their tweets and stuff – is they try to divide us up,” he said. “They are trying to cause chaos. They’re trying to cause hatred in America.”Moscow denies The Kremlin on Friday denied Russia was interfering in the US presidential campaign to boost Trump’s re-election chances, following reports that American intelligence officials warned Congress about the election threat last week.”These are more paranoid announcements which, to our regret, will multiply as we get closer to the [US] election,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “They have nothing to do with the truth.”US intelligence officials told members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in a classified briefing that Russia was again interfering in American politics ahead of November’s election, as it did in 2016, a person familiar with the discussion told Reuters on Thursday.Since that briefing, Trump has ousted the acting intelligence chief, replacing him with a political loyalist in an abrupt move as Democrats and former US officials raised the alarm over national security concerns.A senior administration official said the nation was better positioned than in 2016 to defend against foreign attempts to influence elections.”President Trump has made clear that any efforts or attempts by Russia, or any other nation, to influence or interfere with our elections, or undermine US democracy will not be tolerated,” the official said.Some of Sanders’ rivals for the Democratic nomination said they had neither received similar briefings nor word that Russia was working to boost their campaigns.Former Vice President Joe Biden told CNN on Friday: “I know Russia doesn’t want me to win. It’s really clear that Putin doesn’t want me to be the nominee, and Donald Trump doesn’t want me to be the nominee.”US Senator Elizabeth Warren, while campaigning in Las Vegas, said there should be “as much transparency as possible” to block Russia from having “too much influence” in US elections.”This is about disinformation and the way to fight disinformation is to call it out, show what it is and give everyone full information as quickly as possible,” Warren told reporters.Russian Accounts Facebook declined to comment on whether it has seen any evidence of Russian assistance to Sanders’ campaign. In October, the company took down Russian-backed accounts that pretended to be from political battleground states.Some of those accounts used Instagram to praise Sanders. Another used the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and faulted Biden on race issues.Jessica Brandt of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, an organization that monitors foreign interference in US politics, said Russian state media and official social media accounts have been working to help Sanders by amplifying conspiracy theories that his Democratic rivals, the Democratic National Committee and the “corporate media” have been “rigging the system” against him.”We can say with certainty that this is what the Russian government is pushing,” she told Reuters. “We’ve seen for some time Russian official channels promoting division within the Democratic Party.”Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which works with Facebook to analyze state-backed information operations, said “Russian influence operations are equal opportunity hyperpartisan, with the overarching goal to drive Americans further away from each other.”US officials have long warned that Russia and other countries would seek to interfere in the Nov. 3 presidential election, following Russia’s meddling in the 2016 campaign that ended with Trump’s surprise victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.US intelligence agencies concluded that the Kremlin used disinformation operations, cyber attacks and other methods in its 2016 operation in an effort to boost Trump, an allegation that Russia denies. Trump, sensitive to doubts over the legitimacy of his win, has also questioned that finding and repeatedly criticized American intelligence agencies.Russia’s alleged interference sparked a two-year-long US investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.Mueller found no conclusive evidence of coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. He also pointed at 10 instances in which Trump may have attempted to obstruct his investigation, as Democrats alleged, but left any finding of obstruction to Congress. center_img Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders warned Russia on Friday to stay out of 2020 White House elections after US officials had told him Moscow was trying to aid his campaign.”The intelligence community is telling us they are interfering in this campaign, right now, in 2020. And what I say to Mr. Putin, if elected president, trust me you are not going to be interfering in American elections,” Sanders told reporters in Bakersfield, California.Sanders, 78, a democratic socialist US senator from Vermont, is considered the front-runner for the Democratic nomination and is favored to win the Nevada caucuses on Saturday.last_img read more

Governor Wolf Urges Support for Shale Tax, State-Related Universities

first_img October 11, 2017 Governor Wolf Urges Support for Shale Tax, State-Related Universities Budget News,  Press Release,  Severance Tax Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf stood with lawmakers and local officials in Erie to urge the legislature to come back to Harrisburg to complete the budget process by passing a severance tax and funding the state-related universities.“I’m here to make clear that I am managing the budget, but the General Assembly still has work to do: fund our major state universities and pass a commonsense tax on shale,” said Governor Wolf. “The fairest and simplest solution to the current budget challenge is a severance tax on natural gas production.”Last week, after the repeated failure of the legislature to finalize the budget deal, the governor announced that he will take steps to manage the state finances and ensure that payments can be made to schools, health and human services providers, and other governmental entities.“The governor has a vision for Pennsylvania and that vision includes a reasonable shale tax,” said Representative Flo Fabrizio. “This is supported by the Democratic Caucus, because we know it will go a long way to eliminate the structural deficit. The budgets that the House Republicans have been suggesting have been unrealistic and lack reoccurring revenue. We’re looking forward to being back in Harrisburg next week to pass a responsible budget.”“We are enthused that Governor Wolf is here in Erie to discuss the latest on the state budget, especially since we are facing a deficit. We need a reasonable severance tax to truly help our state overcome that deficit.” said Representative Pat Harkins. “Our gas is currently being used tax-free by other citizens in various states, while Pennsylvanians are paying taxes that help build roads and schools in states like Texas. That is upsetting to me. With us returning to Harrisburg next week we remain hopeful that somehow all sides can arrive at a positive agreement.”The legislature has also not taken action to fund institutions of higher education including Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple and Lincoln universities and the PennVet School.“Our universities and students should not suffer because some in the General Assembly can’t put partisanship aside,” continued Governor Wolf. “A severance tax gets us the recurring revenue we need and will help pay for our commitments to our state universities.”Earlier this week, in an effort to protect school districts and other entities that rely on funding from state government, the governor announced his plan to monetize the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center through a lease-leaseback arrangement.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

‘Mocked’ draft

first_imgLet’s get real here, pals. A product, is a product, is a product. If you or I go grocery shopping and decide that we want a can of chicken and dumpling soup, we expect a can of chicken and dumpling soup, not “mock” container of chicken and dumpling soup. When we return the bogus item to the store the customer service person promptly informs us that; “oh, the manufacturer only has “mock” chicken and dumpling soup available during the summer months because sales of the product are down during those months but as soon as fall season kicks in, we will again stock our shelves with “real” chicken and dumpling soup.” Huh? What? Let’s take it a tad farther roosters and hens. Would you want a “mock” pair of shoes to sport with a “mock” overcoat during one of the treacherous winters that Pittsburgh is famous for? Or a “mock” flu shot or a “mock” antibiotic?The NFL has made a mockery of the fans and media alike. To insure that their product remains visible and imbedded in the consciousness of American and global fanatics, the powers-that-be are burying the heads of the faithful in the sand, forcing them to believe that all is well in Mudville and indeed the owners and the players have not really struck out. No, not really, see both sides have struck out swinging but the catcher dropped the ball and now has to throw the ball down to first base to record a put out of the two bumbling and stumbling sides, or so they would have the unsuspecting public to think.This lockout, strike or however you wish to define it is a cold, callous and calculating strategy to make sure that the addiction to their product will remain intact. The NFL is playing all of the major sports networks with breaking news updates every time one of the “principals” of the ex-players union and the NFL passes gas or mows their lawns. Why isn’t anyone negotiating with the public to see what they want?If the NFL and the players and their representatives cared about any of the issues that concerned the fans, this work stoppage would never have happened in the first place.Fans of all races, ages and genders brave the stifling and flesh curdling heat at Latrobe, PA just to see their heroes going through the motions. They also brave the teeth chattering, arctic like conditions in order to cheer on their team through the last month of the season.What about the spike in ER visits immediately or days after a Steelers home game in December as a result of colds and other related ailments that physicians have to treat.How about companies and corporations being shorthanded as a result of those unplanned absences? When these folks make less money as a result of less hours or days at work then the economy takes a hit as well. People that make less money tend to spend less patronizing, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.God bless Latrobe. It will take a minor miracle for that small rural cul-de-sac to have a merry Christmas if it does not have a merry July. If for some reason the Steelers training camp is abbreviated or not held at St. Vincent’s College, a lot of work study money will not be made. This is money that students, cooks, drivers, maids, and garbage men have more than likely already spent not really believing that a work stoppage would occur. They failed to understand that the NFL and the current players already have money in escrow. They have (or at least most of them do) have a small nest egg to fall back on.The great American composer Aaron Copeland wrote a timeless piece; ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ from the Red Pony suite. There should be a collective bargaining agreement classical music suite titled: ‘Fanfare for the Common Fan’ because there is a lot of tap dancing and pirouetting going on by players, agents, owners, the league. There might even be some break dancing going on. My point is all of the involved parties seem to be dancing around the issues. The fans invited and escorted everyone involved in this current labor dispute to the “dance of prosperity” anyway. Take my advice NFL and players, no matter how pretty all of the other girls are, you should dance with the girl that “brung ya.”(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: or 412-583-6741.) There was a press conference over at the Steelers executive offices on the south side of Pittsburgh. One of the issues that puzzle me is that the Steelers or any other franchise would have the audacity to hold a mock draft, smock draft, hock draft or any other draft in light of the fact that the players are not working out in preparation for the 2011 season. What is a “mock” draft anyway? Is this exercise in futility supposed to provide valuable insight to Joe Q. Public regarding what players might be selected in the early rounds of the NFL draft? Don’t those of you that possess a minute amount of football intellect realize that this “going through the motions” is a cockamamie crock of you know what?last_img read more