Apr 16, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – As polio eradication efforts lost ground in 2008, 15 African countries bore the brunt of the spread of the disease with multiple importations of wild poliovirus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its global health partners reported today.Though the disease’s spread raises concerns about reaching the global goal of eradication, the CDC also reports some positive developments, such as quicker detection and response patterns that might have limited the size of the outbreaks when compared with a polio resurgence that occurred between 2002 and 2005. The findings appear in today’s issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and follow on the heels of an Apr 3 CDC report that described last year’s 26% spike in polio cases.The new report describes 32 importations of wild poliovirus (WPV) 1 and 3 into 15 African countries, which led to 96 polio cases from January 2008 to March 2009. The importations have struck three regions of Africa: West Central, the Horn, and South Central. Nigeria was the direct or indirect source of 29 of the importations, which accounted for 68 cases. India was the source for three WPV importations, all of them affecting Angola, which resulted in 28 cases.In its assessment of polio detection trends in Africa, the CDC reports that the median interval between onset of paralysis in the first identified case to laboratory polio confirmation was 31.5 days, compared with a median of 51 days during the 2002-2005 increase in polio cases.Response time also decreased, the report says. The median interval from laboratory confirmation to the first large-scale vaccination effort was 27.5 days, compared with 37 days during the 2002-2005 polio resurgence.Five countries that were previously polio-free experienced WPV importation before 2008 and have seen the virus persist into 2009: Angola, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, and Sudan. Indicators of routine and supplemental immunization activities suggest lower immunization rates in children in these five countries, compared to the other African countries that had polio reimportation—64% versus 75%. Efforts are under way to strengthen acute flaccid paralysis surveillance and supplemental immunization in these countries, the CDC reports.The agency says that four countries—Angola, Chad, Nigeria, and Sudan—have been the source of repeated WPV importation into other countries on the African continent since January 2009. The CDC notes that all four countries have weak health infrastructures, low routine vaccine coverage in certain areas, and gaps in supplemental immunization that are due to poor planning and implementation.Civil war in Angola, Chad, and Sudan in past years may have hurt polio eradication efforts in those countries, the CDC says, adding that Chad and Sudan continue to have civil unrest.Health officials have not determined the mode of WPV transmission from India to Angola, but the CDC said that studies are underway to identify contributing travel patterns, the report says.Supplemental immunization activities in affected and neighboring countries will continue in 2009, and the CDC urges all countries that are polio-free to keep their guard up. “Globalized transportation and international migration pose a risk for WPV reintroduction for all countries,” the agency states.CDC. Wild poliovirus type 1 and type 3 importations—15 countries, Africa, 2008-2009. MMWR 2009 Apr 16;58(14):357-62 [Full text]See also:Apr 2 CIDRAP News story “Polio eradication efforts lost ground in 2008”
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Entering game one of the 2013 season, a lot of questions remained unanswered for the new-look Wisconsin football team. But even after a 45-point shellacking of a mediocre-at-best UMass team, questions still remain when it comes to the Wisconsin offense.First, what was answered: Joel Stave started at quarterback putting at least a temporary end to the constant wondering of who would lead the Wisconsin attack. The piece-meal offensive line held up wonderfully, giving Stave all the time in the world – granted it was against a team out of the Midwestern Athletic Conference that won all of one game last season. And finally, Wisconsin’s running game is still as potent as ever with the two-headed monster of Melvin Gordon and James white – and even the emergence of true-freshman Corey Clement.Now the questions I am still left asking after Saturday’s performance. Will Stave be the long-term solution under center after an inaccurate showing in the season opener? Who will step up next to Jared Abbrederis as Wisconsin’s second option at wide receiver?First, to look at Stave’s performance in his seventh career start. While the redshirt sophomore did light up the field with a couple of bombs to Abbrederis, I don’t think fans should be too comforted by his performance against the Minutemen.After an impressive first drive that ended in a Stave rushing touchdown the offense had a hard time moving up and down the field until the waning minutes of the first half. You know it is bad when the most exciting thing for a majority of the first 30 minutes is the slow motion wave started by the student section. Ultimately, Melvin Gordon woke up the Camp Randall crowd with his 70-yard rushing touchdown, proving the offense will continue to live and die by the running game.The Greenfield, Wisconsin native looked largely inaccurate under throwing his receivers and appearing hesitant in the pocket. The interception he threw early in the first quarter was nowhere near his intended target and the first touchdown he slung to Abbrederis to start the second half could have easily been knocked away or possibly intercepted if not for an untimely fall by UMass cornerback Trey Dudley-Giles. Even Stave’s second touchdown pass was underthrown to Abbrederis who was able to go up and get it and then break a tackle to daylight.But to put all of the blame on the quarterback would be unfair. Stave was getting virtually no help from his receiving core beyond Abbrederis which brings me to my biggest concern for the Wisconsin offense: will anyone be able to consistently produce a threat at the No. 2 wideout position?All offseason the coaches have been stressing the importance of somebody stepping up to help out Abbrederis downfield. And all offseason no single name of an emerging second receiver was ever produced.Saturday’s performance confirmed the lack of options Wisconsin has in its passing attack. The receivers struggled to get separation the entire game as not a single pass catcher was able to garner more than two receptions against the Minutemen.In typical UW fashion it was the tightends and fullbacks who led the way in the passing game – with the exception of Abbrederis of course – snagging half of the Badgers’ 10 pass completions. Even the normally rock steady Jacob Pedersen dropped a couple of balls but that is something the senior will undoubtedly have cleared up come time to lace up for Tennessee Tech.Wisconsin has shown in the past that it can succeed with tightends bearing a majority of the workload in the passing attack but it will be difficult to compete with the elite teams in the Big Ten without somebody else out wide that can present some sort of a threat.Perhaps JUCO transfer Tanner McEvoy – who has gone from potential starting quarterback in the summer to taking snaps at receiver this fall and had a couple snaps out wide in the fourth quarter – can make a monumental rise to the top of the depth chart and put all of these concerns to rest. But don’t hold your breath.I know it seems incredibly harsh to harp on the offense after such a huge victory in just the first game of the season but you have to be conscious of who the opponent was and know a lot of the plays that were made against UMass won’t be there against a majority of the Big Ten teams Wisconsin will face this season.There is no doubt the offense, specifically Stave and the receivers, looked worlds better in the second half, appearing much more comfortable as the game went on. There is a good chance that had to do with simply shaking the rust off from offseason and adjusting to Stave being the starter after flip-flopping between him and Phillips all of camp.The season opener gave plenty of material to give hope for Wisconsin’s 2013 campaign but more passing options need to present themselves as the season goes on, otherwise teams will begin to stack the box and make life difficult on the rushers and taking away the Badgers’ No. 1 plan of attack. Then there will be even bigger questions left to answer.
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Submitted by South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) On June 26, 2015, the South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) successfully completed its efforts to permanently preserve 1.18 acres of urban farmland in West Olympia. The land will be used by non-profit Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB) for their nationally recognized youth programming. GRuB brings together youth and people who identify as low-income to grow themselves good food and community.Funded by Thurston County’s Conservation Futures program, SSCFLT’s acquisition protects an irreplaceable parcel of land that yields over 10,000 pounds of produce annually. Food grown on the land is donated to the Thurston County Food Bank, goes home with low-income youth, and is sold through a farm stand and farmers markets to support GRuB’s operations.The acquisition not only helps GRuB continue its important work, but also furthers SSCFLT’s mission to preserve working farmland and keep it accessible and affordable for local farmers. The average age of farmers in the U.S. is 57 and rising, and over two-thirds of the country’s farmland is expected to change hands in the next two decades. SSCFLT views its partnership with GRuB as a way to help train and empower a new generation of farmers and farmland stewards.GRuB In The School provides students an opportunity to lead farm and community work while learning leadership and life skills. The program is designed to help students grow and succeed in school, life and future employment.GRuB’s alternative school model brings low-income and disengaged youth to the urban farm for a unique hands-on learning experience and vocational training. Their innovative curriculum creates opportunities for youth to grow food, learn about leadership and life skills, and contribute to community food solutions. GRuB students gain deeper leadership skills by hosting younger students in GRuB’s field trip program or being employed as second year summer crew leaders. In addition, GRuB’s pollination program now teaches its youth program model and provides technical assistance so other communities can replicate it.GRuB’s Kitchen Garden Project also gives low-income people access to resources and community connections by offering them backyard gardens, training and mentorship. Lastly, GRuB relies on volunteers to accomplish much of its work. Inspired by its success with youth, GRuB trains its volunteers and stakeholders to increase their awareness, self-advocacy, communication skills and leadership so they may more deeply engage in GRuB’s programs, the community, and the broader Food Movement.SSCFLT’s preservation of the 1.18 acres of farmland ensures that GRuB can continue its programming in perpetuity. SSCFLT is proud to support the important role GRuB plays in the South Sound community. For more information about SSCFLT and its work to preserve local farmland, visit www.farmsforever.org. For more information about GRuB, visit www.goodgrub.org. Facebook176Tweet0Pin0
Although former World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight Super Champion Nicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters is yet to formally decide whether he will fight as a featherweight (126 pounds) or super featherweight (130 pounds) this year, it is clear that the various controlling bodies have made up their minds that he is now in the higher weight class.Three of the major controlling bodies in professional boxing, who issued their rankings this week, have placed him in the super featherweight division.He is ranked No. 2 by the WBA, No. 6 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 7 by the World Boxing Council (WBC). With these rankings, he can fight for any of these world titles, if his promoters Top Rank, led by Bob Arum, can get the respective champion to agree.Walters won the vacant WBA featherweight title on December 8, 2012 when he defeated Daulis Prescott here in Jamaica by way of a seventh round tko. After two successful defences of that title, he earned super champion status when he stopped Nonito Donaire on October 18, 2014 in the sixth round in Carson City, California. In his first scheduled defence as super champion, however, he faltered.ONE POUND OVERWEIGHTHe weighed in at 127 pounds for his title fight against Miguel Marriaga in New York on June 13, 2015, and that one pound overweight cost him his title and a possible million-dollar fight this year against WBO champion Vasyl Lomachenko, which was in the making at that time. He went on to beat Marriaga decisively, however, by way of a unanimous decision, and his stocks remained high.On December 19 last year, he fought American Jason Sosa in the super featherweight, 130-pound class, which was seen as a test fight in that weight category. He looked good, but the fight was ruled a draw. The decision was a controversial one and most commentators stated emphatically that it was their opinion that Walters had won.Walters told The Gleaner after that fight that he felt comfortable fighting at 130 pounds, but also made the point that he could easily have fought at 126 that night. He said, recently, that he and his team would be making the decision early this year as to which weight class he will fight in.The decision seems to have been made for him.Ranked at No. 2 in the 130- pound class by the WBA, he is eligible to fight the Japanese champion in that division, Takashi Uchiyama, in the near future. Uchiyama, who is 36 years old and has a 24-0-1 record, made a successful title defence on December 31, by stopping Oliver Flores in the third round.Walters, who is 29 has a 26-0-1 record and told The Gleaner that he is confident that he will fight for a title early this year.
British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to back an early general election after telling his party that the condition of taking a no-deal Brexit “off the table” has been met.Jeremy Corbyn told MPs: “I have consistently said that we are ready for an election and our support is subject to a no-deal Brexit being off the table.“We have now heard from the EU that the extension of Article 50 to January 31 has been confirmed, so for the next three months, our condition of taking no-deal off the table has now been met. “We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen.”But Mr Corbyn’s move does not mean a December election is certain, according to RTE. Labour is understood to back a change to the proposed date which, if such an amendment is selected by the Speaker of the House of Commons, could be backed by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.Earlier, a Downing Street course said the government will agree to an amendment put forward by opposition parties to hold an election on 11 December. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that he would try to force a bill through parliament today that called for a 12 December election but opponents had wanted an earlier date.Mr Johnson faces more resistance from MPs in his quest for a pre-Christmas election with the Lib Dems insisting they are not prepared to accept his preferred date.Mr Johnson has put his Brexit deal on hold in an anticipated bid to convince the Commons to vote today for a 12 December election in his fourth time of asking.British Labour clears way for December election following Brexit deadlock was last modified: October 29th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
15 February 2012Opposition MPs, in a National Assembly debate on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address on Tuesday, welcomed the focus on infrastructure development while urging Zuma to focus more on developing skills, implementing labour reforms and tackling corruption in the country.Debating the address delivered by Zuma in Parliament last Thursday, Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota said South Africa needed to focus more on developing and training its people if it wanted to do away with unemployment and poverty.“Unless we address it, we won’t be able to address the economy and help our people find their way out of the backwardness and squalor that face them,” Lekota said.Infrastructure development would only be effective as a short-stop solution, but would not address the unemployablity of South Africans, he said.Lekota also wanted to know what had happened to the R5-billion youth-wage subsidy that the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had mooted in last year’s Budget Speech.Earlier, African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Mathole Motshekga said the development and refurbishment of cultural icons and heritage sites such as memorial sites could help support small businesses, create jobs and back an African cultural renaissance.Lekota agreed that something needed to be done about setting up cultural heritage sites, but questioned the timing of these developments, particularly in a time when South Africa had a large budget deficit.Corruption ‘leading to a dysfunctional state’Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosutho Buthelezi welcomed the creation of a Durban-Johannesburg trade corridor outlined as one of five regions by Zuma in his State of the Nation Address.But, he said, KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Transport had ceased all road projects, while the City of eThekweni (Durban) had run up R1.2-billion through bad spending.Buthelezi said Eskom’s build programme should not have been funded by tariff increases, but rather through foreign direct investment, and added that Zuma also made no mention of how to assist small businesses and the declining mining and agricultural sector.Buthelezi said increasing levels of corruption in South Africa meant the country was on the verge of joining the world’s dysfunctional states.He singled out Transparency International’s 2011 report, which revealed that South Africa was becoming more corrupt, and a briefing last year to the justice portfolio committee by former head of the Special Investigating Unit Willie Hofmeyer, who revealed that R25-billion to R30-billion or 20% of all state procurement is lost to corruption every year.South Africa’s economy ‘remains uncompetitive’Leader of the opposition Lindiwe Mazibuko detailed several initiatives to tackle education and the economy that her party would implement if it were in government.She said South Africa’s economy remained uncompetitive, particularly in key sectors such as mining, manufacturing and farming through labour regulation.To boost the economy, the Democratic Alliance (DA) would introduce voluntary exemptions on labour regulations for certain sectors, a youth-wage subsidy and a one-stop business registration office for those looking to set up businesses.Mazibuko said the current black economic empowerment (BEE) model had only succeeded in creating a small elite who had access to finance over and over. Her party wanted to incentivise share ownership across the economy to allow workers to partake more in BEE initiatives, she said.The DA would not choose to focus on particular sectors, as the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) does, but rather help new businesses to start up by creating targeted incentives and venture capital funds.In education, the party would give schools the “maximum resources” for the first three grade years in schools and carry out assessments on pupils in grades 3, 6 and 9.It was also necessary to limit the ability of teachers to strike and only allow them to go on strike after consulting with the government, Mazibuko said.Minister on Planning in the Presidency Trevor Manuel said it was clear that there was little disagreement on the content of President Jacob Zuma’s speech, but urged the President, who was in attendance, to heed remarks made by opposition members.Manuel said the National Planning Commission was currently getting comments from South Africans on the National Development Plan, which was released in November last year, and added that a final version is expected to come before the President in June or July.Source: BuaNews
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dan MillerProgressive Farmer Senior EditorSims Cattle Co. sits in the Rock Creek Valley at the foot of the Snowy Mountain Range, west of Laramie, Wyoming, and 200 miles north of Denver. Elk Mountain rises 11,000 feet in the distance.Sims cattle graze at 7,200 feet, and no month has gone without snow. Annual rainfall is 16 inches, most falling in April, May and June. The growing season is advertised at 60 days but is often as few as 45. Winters won’t disappoint even the foulest of predictions.Yet, the Sims operation is tuned to function as an ecologically sustainable unit in this turbulent climate. “That means high-intensity, short-duration grazing, full-season grazing deferment on one-third of our upland range and the elimination of chemical inputs to the soil,” says Shanon Sims, who manages the operation with his wife, Melinda, and his father and mother, Scott and April.SUSTAINABLE STRATEGYSims Cattle Co. works 645 cow/calf pairs, 300 yearling heifers and about 40 bulls. “I am a firm believer,” Shanon says, “that we can manage our livestock in a way that stabilizes soils, creates diverse habitats and operates in harmony with wildlife. Effectively harvesting sunlight requires healthy plants with robust leaves covering as much of the surface soil as possible. This, in turn, requires healthy soils capable of retaining 100% of rainfall and effectively.”Flood-irrigated hay meadows produce 1,500 tons of forage in a year. Pastures offer a diverse diet. Delicate Indian ricegrass and bluebunch wheatgrass are welcome barometers of the Sims’s sound management. Junegrass offers abundant early-season protein important to the calving program. Western wheatgrass is a valuable summer grass as the herd packs on weight before winter.“We want to raise good grass and harvest it with whatever means is most economical for us,” Melinda explains. That might be by bales — although that isn’t economical now — or by sheep, which the Simses tried without success. But, cows work. “We’re converting sunlight into a sellable product. The cows are fat and happy on all the grass we’ve grown this year,” she says.That hasn’t happened by luck. “Mismanaging livestock will rapidly destroy ecosystems that have required millennia to establish,” Shanon says. The animals graze 140 pastures for six months, from one to 14 days, each. No pasture is grazed more than one time during a season. Some get as many as 800 days of rest. The herd grazes for four months on windrowed hay and two months on baled hay.“Our strategy for building this business also can be boiled down to one word — sustainability,” Shanon says. By that measure, the family managers of Sims Cattle Co. manage the business to function debt free — to take on debt only when necessary, not because the business functions only with debt.CHANGING FINANCESOperating in that manner wasn’t always possible. The death of Shanon’s uncle, Olin, in 2007 threw the operation into a kind of management turmoil — even with a good amount of succession planning in place, Shanon notes. “At one point, we owed two different estates and a feedlot, forcing us to double our operating loan. That drove our debt-to-asset ratio below 50%,” Shanon remembers. “That experience opened my eyes to the perils of a business that operates solely on equity and [its] profits tied up in assets.”The Simses made important changes. The ranch reduced its reliance on fossil fuels. The family eliminated the use of chemical inputs and downsized their machinery line. Over a two-year period, Sims Cattle went from net losses to a six-digit profit. By 2012, they were able to operate the entire year on their own money. By 2017, the Simses set up a rainy-day account holding one year’s worth of business expenses.They radically changed their cattle-management practices. Steer calves were sold in the fall instead of going to a winter feedlot. The family found value in selling nonbreeding females as stockers.The Simses resolved to move their calving date further into weeks of the spring to reduce the cost of supplemental feed. Calving moved from April 1 to the May 1 with cows bred in a tight window beginning the previous July. “It’s allowed us to reduce the supplemental feed needed to meet the cow’s requirements during lactation,” Shanon explains. The grass greens up by May 10, and, by May 25, the cows and their calves are turned out completely on grass.COW/CALF SHIFTOne important idea about developing heifers took shape during the ranch’s innovative strategy meetings. Melinda came across research showing benefit from keeping heifer calves on their mothers through the end of February instead of weaning them in October. “A cow’s rumen doesn’t fully develop until she is about 10 months of age,” Melinda says. “So, they really need that butterfat to create a good grazing animal. That’s what we are trying to do to, create a good grazing animal.” Sims cows are 50% Angus, one-quarter Gelbvieh and one-quarter Simmental.Shanon calls this one of his favorite ideas. “Ultimately, we adopted [Melinda’s idea], and it has led to us creating cows more suited for our environment, an expansion of enterprises and the elimination of feedlot expenses.”The cow/calf management changes have paid off. In 2014, Sims Cattle spent $98,000 developing replacement heifers in a feedlot and $65,000 purchasing feed for the herd at home. In 2017, they incurred no feedlot expense and spent $25,000 on purchased feed.“The reduction in expenses has helped us to shift from being a business that pays interest to a bank to earning passive income from cash in the bank,” Shanon says. “It also opens the playbook wide open. We can be more creative in our decision making.”**Editor’s Note:This is the third of five profiles of our ninth class of DTN/The Progressive Farmer’s America’s Best Young Farmers and Ranchers. They represent the future of agriculture through their sense of tradition, use of new technology and business acumen.To see videos of all the 2019 winners, and for an application for next year, see https://spotlights.dtnpf.com/…(ES/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
ADC AUTHOR The two earthquakes that struck Southern California late last week opened fault lines on Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, USNI reported Tuesday.The major weapons station, a key Navy research and development site for aviation and weapons systems testing, remained evacuated except for mission-essential personnel, according to the USNI report.The installation has been remained “not mission capable until further notice” as crews have worked to inspect facilities at the sprawling complex, the report states.Since Saturday base officials have reported few details about impacts to the installation. China Lake officials have provided only limited public updates on the installation’s official Facebook page.China Lake officials posted on Facebook Monday that basic services such as water and power have been restored in most areas of the base. Officials also noted that the Navy Exchange planned to reopen Tuesday, so mission-essential personnel could get supplies and other items.China Lake, which covers 1.2 million acres of the Mojave Desert, has been determined within the epicenter of 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the morning of July 4, and the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that followed on Friday evening.