In the first month of 2017, Brazil has seen 712 suspected cases of sylvatic, or jungle, yellow fever, the vast majority in Minas Gerais, a rural state where 40 have already died from the mosquito-borne disease. According to The Rio Times today, Minas Gerais has 109 confirmed cases, a number that alarms mosquito experts.”This is a fivefold increase in less than 1 month,” said Duane Gubler, ScD, MS, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. “That’s an unusual number for sylvatic yellow fever.”While yellow fever is not a new threat to Brazil, this is the country’s largest outbreak since 1980, according to The Rio Times. In 2000, Brazil had an outbreak with 85 confirmed cases and 40 deaths. In addition to Minas Gerias, there three other rural states, Espirito Santo, Bahia, and Sao Paulo, have reported a smattering of cases.”We have a tendency to assume everything is okay until it erupts into a real crisis,” Gubler said in an interview. “If anyone could contain a yellow fever outbreak, Brazil could, but I’m still concerned with the large increase in cases.”Jungle cases are cyclicalAt this point, the cases of sylvatic yellow fever are being spread by Haemagogus mosquitoes, which live in the country’s jungles. During sylvatic outbreaks, mosquitos spread the flaviviridae virus among non-human primates, then humans.Most sylvatic outbreaks are considered “spill-over outbreaks” and contained to the areas immediately surrounding the jungle. But as the world saw last year in Angola, humans can carry the disease from rural to urban centers and spark a larger outbreak.Gubler said the hugely populated cities along Brazil’s eastern seaboard, which are home to a robust population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, could see a spike in yellow fever cases if the sylvatic outbreak is spread by rural travelers. Ae aegypti can spread yellow fever, as well as Zika and dengue.”Travelers can move yellow fever very quickly,” said Gubler. “And as we saw with Zika this year, Brazil has a huge Aedes population in its cities.”As of now, researchers in Brazil do not believe Aedes are involved in any transmission of yellow fever. According to Reinaldo de Menezes Martins, MD, a physician with Fiocruz, Brazil’s ministry of health, the outbreak has grown for a number of reasons.”These are rural areas, hard to reach people, who had very low YFV [yellow fever vaccine] coverage, although mostly were areas with recommendation for YF routine vaccination,” Martins explained in an email. “Most cases are in adult males, [who are] not vaccinated.”Martins also explained that sylvatic yellow fever outbreaks are cyclical, the last one happening in Brazil approximately 8 years ago. A warm and rainy winter, coupled with advancing deforestation in Minas Gerais, has created an optimal setting for an outbreak, he said.No vaccine shortage, but low uptakeBrazil is one of only a handful of countries in the world to manufacture its own yellow fever vaccine, and even donated doses to Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo when that region suffered an outbreak in the first half of 2016.Akira Homma, MD, the chairman of policy and strategy council for Fiocruz said that there is no shortage of yellow fever vaccine supply, but many people in the Minas Garais district have skipped getting vaccinated in recent years, despite the health ministry’s recommendations.According to the story in today’s Rio Times, government news sources report that 3.33 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed throughout Minas Gerais, and 1.55 million people have been vaccinated.CDC issues alertYesterday, the CDC issued a level 2 travel warning for Brazil, urging anyone 9 months or older traveling to affected areas of Brazil to get vaccinated against yellow fever. Those who were vaccinated against yellow fever more than 10 years ago should get a booster shot, the CDC said.See also:Feb 2 Rio Times story Feb 1 CDC travel announcement
The speaker at the Military Order of the World Wars June 18 dinner meeting is LANL Director Emeritus Dr. Terry Wallace Jr. His broad background in global security should provide a very interesting and informative presentation on the future of warfare. LANL Director Emeritus Dr. Terry Wallace Jr. Act of Congress chartered the Military Order of the World Wars in 1919 as a national patriotic organization. The principal objectives of the MOWW are continuing service to the Nation, and patriotic educational opportunity for the nation’s youth and citizens. Current youth programs are focused upon annual Youth Leadership Conferences for high school students presented in New Mexico by its related Sunbelt Patriotic Youth Leadership Conferences, Inc. Current, former and retired federally commissioned officers of all branches of the United States Uniformed Services are eligible for membership in the MOWW and are especially invited to attend our meetings. MOWW News: The meeting begins with a social period at 6 p.m. followed by a brief business meeting and dinner at 6:25 p.m. The presentation will begin at about 7:15 p.m. The Military Order of the World Wars dinner meetings are open to interested citizens for the dinner and program with RSVP, or the program only at no cost. The cost of the dinner is $25. The dinner will be roasted chicken breast and appropriate side dishes. RSVP (yes or no) for the dinner by Sunday, June 16 to Eleanor Pinyan at 505.672.3750 for reservations. Remember … a reservation is a commitment to pay. Note change in location: the meeting will be held in the dining room of American Legion Post 90 at 1325 Trinity Dr., behind Pasta Paradiso. Use the west side door to enter the dining room.
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Qatargas sold its first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO), representing the first LNG agreement between Qatar and Pakistan and the first ever LNG import deal for any entity in Pakistan.The LNG cargo was sold on a free-on-board basis and loaded at Ras Laffan Port on to the LNG vessel Excelerate Exquiste on March 21, 2015.The cargo was secured to commission the Excelerate Exquiste, which will become the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit once moored in Port Qassim, as part of the Elengy LNG terminal – the first Pakistan LNG import terminal.Qatargas and PSO are in continuous discussions for a longer term Sales and Purchase Agreement to supply LNG to Pakistan.
Designed and manufactured by Grove Cranes, a subsidiary of Manitowoc from Germany, the GTK 1100 is due to arrive in South Africa on April 20.”This acquisition is a massive milestone for Vanguard, which sees the potential of the crane deployed in facilities such as refineries, windturbine farms and power stations. When I saw the GTK 1100 being operated for the first time, during the construction of the boiler sections at a power station outside Cologne, Germany, I was convinced of its capabilities in South Africa. A definite success in the international construction sector, the GTK 1100 brings with it a whole range of opportunities for South African engineering companies in terms of greater flexibility and reduced project costs,” says Bryan Hodgkinson, director, Vanguard. The GTK 1100 was designed to lift ultra heavy loads to extreme heights. It can lift 100 tonnes to heights of more than 100m and has a 56m working radius, centre operated, without a counterweight. It was designed to compete in the super lift market dominated traditionally by large, crawler cranes with lattice booms.Another of the unique innovations of the GTK 1100 is that compared to other large super lift cranes, which would need between 20 and 40 truckloads of parts to be mobilised in order to perform such heavy lifts, the GTK 1100 only needs four. Site establishment is therefore expected to be only a third of the cost.The crane is one of only seven of its kind in the world and has a small footprint of 18x18m (including the boom set-up) for a minimised job site area and its self-levelling function results in minimal ground preparation. The vertical rigging of the self-erecting tower contributes to the fast set-up; one of the key benefits of the GTK 1100 is that it can be ready for operation in just four to six hours. Helping to lower operational costs, this crane is a good choice for restricted sites as it can negotiate gaps of 3.5m wide.
The United States Coast Guard says it has repatriated 50 Haitian migrants following an exercise at sea last week in which a vessel was intercepted with 127 Haitians.The Coast Guard said it located an overloaded 70-foot sail freighter last Saturday about 20 miles off the northeast coast of Cuba and transferred 50 Haitian migrants.It said the other 77 migrants refused lifejackets and that the vessel entered “Cuban Territorial Seas.”The US Coast Guard said the Cuban Border Guard “took custody of the remaining 77 migrants for further disposition.“This case is one of many inherently dangerous voyages interdicted this year in the unforgiving waters of the Caribbean Sea and Florida Straits,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Montes, 7th District duty enforcement officer.“These ventures are ill-advised because they place the people aboard in grave risk of injury or death due to the unsafe loading of the vessel and lack of adequate lifesaving equipment. The Coast Guard and our partner agencies continually monitor the maritime border of the US to deter, detect and rescue migrants who embark on illegal and life-threatening voyages,” he added.The US Coast Guard said about 1,334 Haitian migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the US via the maritime environment since last October compared to 1,869 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2017.
China actively engages in wildlife conservation in Africa Prince William visits Africa ahead of UK wildlife conference Elephants cross the road in the Kruger National Park situated 60 kilometres east of Nelspruit, November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Rogan Ward Elephants in Zambia [Photo Reuters]Different approaches to protecting elephants are set to dominate the debate at a key conservation conference that started in Geneva on SaturdayDelegates from more than 180 countries are gathering for the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).Some African nations are again pushing to reopen the trade in ivory.However others are seeking the highest possible protections for all of Africa’s elephants.The Cites meeting, held every three years, will discuss record 56 proposals submitted by governments to the Conference of the Parties, known as COP18.The COP was due to be held in Sri Lanka earlier this year but was moved to Switzerland in the wake of the bomb attacks at Easter.Key among the items on the agenda will be competing ideas on how to protect African elephants, which have seen a huge decline in numbers due to poaching over the past 20 years.A study published in 2016 estimated that 30-40,000 of the giant creatures were killed by poachers every year with roughly 400,000 left in total.In many parts of Africa, elephants are protected under Cites Appendix I, which means that trade is only permitted under exceptional circumstances.At this meeting, Zambia is seeking to have its elephants downlisted to Appendix II. This would allow a commercial trade in registered raw ivory with approved trading partners.Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe are also proposing that ivory from elephants in their region be traded.On the other end of the scale, a number of countries including Kenya, Nigeria and Gabon are proposing that all elephants in Africa be listed as Appendix I, the highest form of protection available to Cites.“The elephant is in the centre of the debate once again,” said Vera Weber from the Franz Weber Foundation, which campaigns to protect endangered species.“Only five countries want to re-open the trade in ivory but there is a 32-country bloc with the African elephant coalition that want full protection and a complete ban on ivory trade.”While all the elephant proposals are considered unlikely to reach the two thirds majority needed to change the rules, some environmentalists are concerned that the European Union will support the Zambian proposal if the Zambians establish a zero quota and agree to not sell any ivory into approved marketRelated Talk Africa: Trophy Hunting in Africa
An uphill task awaits Namibia Namibia expected to show marginal positive growth in 2019 HIGASHIOSAKA, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 22: Tito Tebaldi of Italy celebrates scoring his side’s second try with his team mate Luca Morisi during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between Italy and Namibia at Hanazono Rugby Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Higashiosaka, Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images) HIGASHIOSAKA, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 22: Tito Tebaldi of Italy celebrates scoring his side’s second try with his team mate Luca Morisi during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between Italy and Namibia at Hanazono Rugby Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Higashiosaka, Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images)Namibia lost 47-22 to Italy at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Osaka in its opening Pool B match at the 2019 Rugby World Cup on Sunday.The Namibians were outscored by the Italians seven tries to three in wet conditions. Flyhalf Tommaso Allan led the way with 11 points for the Italians while his opposite number Cliven Loubser scored 9 points for the Namibians.Namibia were first to register points on the board when Damian Stevens crossed the whitewash in the fifth minute. Cliven Loubser successfully kicked the conversion to give them a 7-0 lead.The Italians drew level through a penalty try in the 10th minute and then took the lead 15 minutes later through Tommaso Allan who dotted down and converted his own effort.Italy pulled further ahead with another try from Tito Tebaldi which Allan converted to give the Italians a 21-7 lead at the break.Two converted tries in three minutes following the restart from Mattia Bellini and Carlo Canna saw Italy stretch their lead to 35-7.However, a penalty from Loubser and a try by JC Greyling saw Namibia reduce the deficit to 20 points.Italy snuffed any hopes of a comeback when Jake Polledri and Matteo Minozzi dotted down with Canna successfully converting one effort to make it 47-15.Namibia had the last say in the match when Chad Plato scored a late try and Loubser kicked the conversion as the game ended 47-22.The game saw 36-year-old Italian captain Sergio Parisse, who won his 141st international cap, become only the third man to play in five World Cups, alongside Mauro Bergamasco (Italy) and Brian Lima (Samoa).Namibia next faces South Africa on September 28 while Italy plays Canada on September 26.Related South Africa thumps Japan in RWC 2019 warmup match
Libyan PM, Italy’s defense minister discuss cooperation Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj is seen during an interview with Reuters at his office in Tripoli, Libya June 16, 2019. Picture taken June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ulf Laessing FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister of Libya’s United Nations-backed government, Fayez al-Serraj. REUTERS/Ulf LaessingThe United Nations-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj met with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Tuesday and discussed bilateral cooperation, according to a statement issued by the Libyan PM’s information office.“The meeting covered in great detail economic cooperation through the Joint Economic Committee, as it was agreed to expedite its activation so that Italian companies would return to resume suspended projects and implement new ones,” the statement said.“Also, it was agreed to continue cooperation between Libya and Italy against the coronavirus. The Italian minister expressed his country’s readiness to provide the necessary assistance in facing the repercussions of the pandemic,” the statement said.The two officials also stressed the need to start the political process in Libya, confirming that the international community must provide support for the cease-fire in the country and the political, military and economic solutions, the statement added.The meeting also discussed the urgent need to reopen Libya’s oilfields and ports and resume oil exports immediately.Serraj and the Speaker of the eastern-based House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, recently issued statements calling for a cease-fire in the country, reopening the country’s oilfields and ports, holding elections, and making the city of Sirte and Jufra district in central Libya demilitarized zone.Related China’s Foreign Affairs Minister expected in Tanzania today Rwanda’s President Kagame fires Foreign Affairs Minister Nduhungirehe
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInMSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the decision to include Dumfries on northbound signage on the M74.The local MSP met with Transport Scotland bosses last month – where plans to update motorway signs to include Dumfries, Ecclefechan and other towns in the region before the end of the financial year were unveiled.But Ms McAlpine wrote to Transport Scotland following the meeting to ask that Dumfries be included on the northbound signs – which was not part of the original plan.The transport body agreed, and Ms McAlpine has said she is delighted that the ‘Queen of the South’ will now be on the map.Commenting, she said:“It is great news that Transport Scotland plan to add more of the region’s towns to signs on the motorway – I have no doubt that this will increase visitor numbers and be a real boon to the local economy.“I was even more pleased that they have agreed to include Dumfries on the sign just north of junction 19.“As the region’s capital, and as ‘Queen of the South’ – Dumfries really does deserve greater recognition, and I think this will encourage more people to drop by and see what the town has to offer.”