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WHO confirms 6 new H5N1 cases in Indonesia

first_imgMay 30, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed yesterday six new cases of H5N1 avian flu in geographically widespread areas of the country, but none associated with the Karo, North Sumatra, family cluster that killed at least six people earlier this month.Of the six new cases, three have been fatal, raising the number of cases in Indonesia to 48 and the number of deaths to 36, all in 2005 and 2006, according to WHO statistics.In its report yesterday, the WHO identified a 10-year-old girl and her 18-year-old brother from Bandung, West Java, as among the fatalities. Both siblings, according to the WHO, had close contact with sick and dying chickens at their home the week before symptom onset. They showed symptoms May 16, were hospitalized May 22, and died the next day.”The identical onset dates,” the report says, “strongly suggest that [the patients] acquired their infection following a shared exposure to poultry, and not from each other.”A 39-year-old man from West Jakarta also died, according to the WHO. He developed symptoms May 9, was hospitalized May 16, and died May 19. He had cleaned pigeon droppings from roof gutters shortly before developing symptoms. Pigeons are among the bird species known to transmit H5N1.Among the other cases was an 18-year-old East Java man whose symptoms developed May 6 and who was hospitalized May 17. He had been exposed to dead chickens in his home the week before symptom onset and is now recovering, according to the WHO report. In addition, according to Reuters, he sorted chicken feathers at his job in a factory that makes shuttlecocks.The final two cases involve a 43-year-old man from South Jakarta and a 15-year-old girl from West Sumatra. The man developed symptoms May 6 and is now recovered and no longer hospitalized. The girl developed symptoms May 17 and is still hospitalized. The source of their infections remains under investigation, the WHO reported.Indonesia, which has recorded 31 human cases of avian flu and 25 deaths in this year alone—far more than any other country in 2006—continues to worry scientists, according to the Reuters news story. “Of course I am worried,” the story quotes Leo Poon, a University of Hong Kong microbiologist and H5N1 expert, as saying. “The problem has not improved at all in Indonesia. It’s not a good situation.”Redefining pandemic alert phasesIn other news, the WHO said today that it is refining its guidelines for its six-phase global pandemic alerts to make them clearer and plans to issue them in a few weeks, according to a separate Reuters report.”It was highlighted last week that there is some confusion over these phases—what we mean when we go from phase 3 to phase 4,” said WHO spokesperson Maria Cheng, as quoted by Reuters.The pandemic alert is currently at phase 3 (human infection has occurred, but there is no or rare human-to-human spread). Phase 6 signals a full-blown pandemic.”What we are trying to do is explain [it] in better terminology so that people understand [that] what we are looking for is not necessarily a numerical standard for the number of cases,” said Cheng. “We’re looking to detect any change in how the virus is transmitted.”Avian flu endemic in Africa?Because of lack of funds to combat its spread in birds, avian flu may become endemic in Africa, a senior official with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told Reuters today.”Africa is the continent where we are really worried to see endemicity becoming established,” FAO’s chief of animal health services, Joseph Domenech, told Reuters. “If this is the case, it will be a new plague for African farmers and will be a permanent reservoir for reinfection to other regions through trade and wild birds.”Domenech, according to Reuters, said that other countries should help Africa eradicate avian influenza.See also:WHO May 29 Indonesia reporthttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_05_29/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Ranking the best classes of rookie pitchers in the post-strike era

first_imgThoughts: You could make the argument that the classes of 2010 and/or 2013 are deeper, but the class of 2008 starts with two no-doubt Hall of Famers who are still performing at elite levels, so 2008 gets the nod. Here’s guessing the fine folks in Cooperstown have already started the process for making the plaques for Kershaw and Sherzer; they just need to wait for them to finish dominating to finalize the numbers. 1. 2006The elite stars: Justin Verlander, Adam Wainwright, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester Worth mentioning: Jonathan Papelbon, Matt Cain, Rich Hill, Jered Weaver, Francisco Liriano, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, James Shields, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Pat Neshek, Joel ZumayaThoughts: Just so, so good. Perennial Cy Young candidates on the top line, flashes-of-brilliance guys all over and a few better-than-average consistent performers in the mix, as well. On Tuesday, we took at look at the best classes of rookie hitters in recent memory. The motivation for that trip down memory lane was, of course, inspired by the crazy-good class of rookie hitters in 2019. And though the rookie pitchers in 2019 don’t hold a candle to their position-player counterparts, we still thought it would be fun to rank the recent classes of rookie pitchers (arbitrarily drawing the line at the end of the 1994-95 strike).  As with the previous ranking, we’re looking at what the pitchers did in their careers, not what they did solely in their rookie seasons. MORE: Chris Sale is fastest ever to 2,000 strikeoutsHere’s what we did …Using the Play Index feature on Baseball-Reference, I sorted by year and pulled out every pitcher with rookie eligibility who posted a bWAR of at least 1.0 that year. And then I went year-by-year through the Rookie of the Year voting to make sure I didn’t miss anyone (still, people, don’t get me started on the flaws in a three-person RoY ballot; that’s a topic for another time). The guys we’re considering have to have made at least some impact in that year. The year with the most rookie pitchers to post a 1.0 bWAR or better: 2006, with 35.The year with the fewest rookie pitchers to post a 1.0 bWAR or better: 1998, with 18. Though, at the moment, we only have 12 rookies at that level in 2019, so that could take the title by the end of September. Anyway, let’s look at the seven best years for rookie pitchers. 7. 2001The elite stars: CC Sabathia, Roy OswaltWorth mentioning: Shawn Chacon, Joel Pineiro, Danys Baez, Juan CruzThoughts: Neither Sabathia nor Owalt won their league’s respective Rookie of the Year awards, despite fine seasons. But that’s because Ichiro Suzuki was a rookie in the AL and Albert Pujols was a rookie in the NL and both of those hitters were incredible that year, while both pitchers — who finished second, btw — were merely very good. At some point in the not-too-distant future, Sabathia will join both Ichiro and Albert in Cooperstown, though. 6. 2014The elite stars: Jacob deGrom, Trevor Bauer, Masahiro Tanaka Worth mentioning: Kyle Hendricks, Delin Betances, James Paxton, Marcus Stroman, Jeurys Familia, Kevin Gausman, Ken Giles, Jake Odorizzi, Aaron SanchezThoughts: That’s just a solid group of arms, led by deGrom and his otherworldly 2018 Cy Young campaign. 5. 1999The elite stars: Roy Halladay, Tim Hudson, Eric Gagne Worth mentioning: Kris Benson, Freddy Garcia, Billy Koch, Gil Meche, Scott WilliamsonThoughts: Halladay is the only player on this list already in the Hall of Fame, though there will be others joining him down the road (many, many others). Hudson likely will wind up short of Cooperstown (he’ll be on the ballot for the first time with the class of 2021), but that’s not a knock on what was a stellar, underrated career. And Gagne, for a time, was undeniably the best relief pitcher in baseball. 4. 2013The elite stars: Gerrit Cole, Jose Fernandez, Hyun-Jin RyuWorth mentioning: Sonny Gray, Chris Archer, Zack Wheeler, James Paxton, Tanner Roark, Julio Teheran, Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal, Danny Salazar, Shelby Miller, Cody Allen, Dan StrailyThoughts: The top of this list is so tough, and hopefully another reminder what we all lost as baseball fans when Jose Fernandez was killed in that accident. And when you consider the depth of quality for the guys not on the top line, that’s really what sets this group apart. 3. 2010The elite stars: Chris Sale, Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Strashburg, Kenley JansenWorth mentioning: Wade Davis, Neftali Feliz, Jaime Garcia, John Axford, Jhoulys Chacin, Daniel Hudson, Alexi Ogando, Jonny Venters, Travis WoodThoughts: Here’s the thing about this group: None of those four pitchers on the top line received even a single rookie of the year vote. Why? Because none of those guys was in the majors for the full 2010 season, though they were all stellar in their short appearances. Sale had a 1.93 ERA and four saves in 21 relief appearances; Bumgarner had a 3.00 ERA in 18 starts; Strasburg had a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts; and Jansen had a 0.67 ERA and four saves in 25 relief appearances. And this group ranks No. 3 because, damn, all four of those guys have had great big league careers, which is what we’re primarily considering here. 2. 2008The elite stars: Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Johnny Cueto, Worth mentioning: Craig Breslow, Joba Chamberlain, Armando Galarraga, Jim Johnson, Jair Jurrjens, Hiroki Kuroda, Justin Masterson, Brad Zieglerlast_img read more

Steph Curry bets on Toronto startup in search for early winners

first_imgBy Natalie Wong | Bloomberg NewsSteph Curry disrupted basketball by making seemingly impossible three-point shots look routine. Now the Golden State Warriors guard is looking for disrupters in business as he scouts out new investments off the court.His latest bet is Canadian travel startup SnapTravel, which helps users make hotel bookings through messenger platforms like WhatsApp. Curry and Telstra Ventures, the investment arm of Australian telecom giant Telstra Corp., were among a group that …last_img read more

Botswana launches brand strategy

first_imgThe logo that forms part of Botswana’s brand strategy.(Image: BITC) Botswana’s minister of trade and industry, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, said the brand will help create a new national identity.(Image: Shamin Chibba) Letsebe Sejoe, acting chief executive of the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, wants to make South Africa a primary trade partner.(Image: Shamin Chibba)MEDIA CONTACTS • Rita RamaOffice administrator+27 11 884 8959Shamin ChibbaBotswana is positioning itself to be the next big economic powerhouse in Africa. This was the sentiment expressed at the launch of the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre’s brand strategy at the Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 21 May.According to the high commissioner of Botswana to South Africa, Kenny Kapinga, the country is on an upward journey to economic prosperity. “We are well rated in credit worthiness, integrity and ease of business. It is a stable democracy and it has a good environment to do business.”He said it was one of the top 12 safest countries in the world and was first on the Global Peace Index in the sub-Saharan region.Botswana’s minister of trade and industry, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, said the new brand strategy came from a need to forge a unified national identity. “When I first became minister I decided it was important to deal with issues of fragmentation in investment and promotion.”Her department had great ideas of attracting investment but no way of co-ordinating them. It was important, she added, to have a common definition of what Botswana was. “We felt it was necessary to come up with a national brand.”The acting chief executive of the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, Letsebe Sejoe, said Botswana aimed to make South Africa a major business partner because it was the economic heart of Africa. “The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is in the league of leading exchanges in the world. It is also an exporter of foreign direct investment. So it is very difficult to have an investment strategy without involving South Africa.”He offered another reason for Botswana’s need to engage with its neighbour: the two countries were connected by the Tswana population they shared. There are more Tswana people in South Africa – approximately eight million – than there are in Botswana, which has about two million inhabitants. Botswana eye-catching for investorsBotswana’s lenient trade policies have made the diamond rich country an attractive place for South Africans to do business. Sejoe said there were no foreign exchange controls and a double tax avoidance treaty between the two countries was still in existence. “We are providing South Africa with a resource to connect with any sector they wish.”He said the country would fast track residence permits for foreign businesspeople, though he admitted that relaxed migration laws could bring unwanted immigrants. “We would have to keep all the good guys in and keep the bad guys out. The way we can do that is by screening individuals and checking if they have technical experience and skills which can add value to our economy.”He hinted at the introduction of a points-based system, which major Commonwealth countries used to screen investors and individuals. They would be allocated a specific number of points depending on their level of experience, skills, education and language proficiency.Sejoe acknowledged that Botswana needed an influx of technically skilled people for its economy to progress. “We are slowly opening up. You cannot have economic growth without importing technical skills.” Apart from attracting outside investors, Sejoe said Botswana was looking to develop its foreign export market, particularly with beef products and minerals. Ekurhuleni, potential trade hubChris van Biljon, the chief executive of Ekurhuleni Business Initiative, said Ekurhuleni wanted to engage with Botswana in the sectors of industry and tourism. With the establishment of Africa’s first aerotropolis in the municipality, Van Biljon said the city could become an important hub for trade between South Africa and Botswana.An aerotropolis is an urban area in which the layout, infrastructure and economy is built around an airport. In Ekurhuleni’s case, OR Tambo International Airport will form the hub of the airport city, which will comprise aviation businesses and related enterprises. Economically strong, politically stableMakgato-Malesu said Botswana’s economic strength came from it political stability. The Botswana government has some of the lowest levels of corruption in the world. “We are committed to progress and integrity.”She saw the country’s resources as a blessing, which the people had managed well enough to turn into an economic advantage. On a recent trip to a first world country, which she refused to name, Makgato-Malesu was questioned as to how Botswana happened to have a better credit rating than that country. “I had to explain that it did not matter where you came from but how well you managed your resources.”last_img read more

AR and VR Set to Revolutionize E-Commerce

first_imgHow a Modern Gaming Engine Can Supercharge Your… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Olivia Diaz It is obvious that any technology that helps to attract more customer engagement and increases the sale is likely to be more selected by the e-commerce companies. Most of the technology innovations which drive incremental improvements will be packaged and sold as a niche product. A technology that touches core human experience and changes human actions is truly revolutionary. Such is the artificial intelligence and virtual reality in the world of digital markets. We have seen a huge craze in the e-commerce development company when it comes to AR and VR as these technologies have almost blurred the line of real and virtual user experience. The AR and VR are considered as the disruptive digital technologies which are used to define, develop and deploy the product rapidly to deliver new experiences for improving the customer journey. You may wonder how it does that? Then let us look at some crucial and attractive aspects which are utilized by the e-commerce websites to give added customer experience.#1  Virtual Shopping ExperienceImagine a customer visiting the shop and trying on various clothes to choose the best option. The customer is gushing here and there to try on all the varieties of the clothes. At some point, he or she gets tired or exhausted and ends up leaving the store or buy something which does not meet up to their expectations. This can disappoint the client and restrict them next time from shopping or coming to your store. Such incidents can turnover the customer and make a loss. Instead, you try the newest trend in experiencing better shopping which is VR gears. It allows you to visualize the whole store products virtually. You can feel the fabric and color of the cloth which lets you decide if you want to purchase the product or not. Such devices can help to hike your customer engagement and let your store flaunt their best items.#2  Less Time ConsumingBy utilizing such devices it allows the customers to explore more products along with saving a whole bunch of time. When you give more options to the customers in less time, it is likely expected that they end up buying more than their wishlists which ultimately raises the store profit. With less time and more profit earnings, the e-commerce store owners are going to explore more of the VR devices and future innovations.#3  Virtual Dressing RoomThe artificial intelligence has come up with a new shopping experience by giving the facility of virtual showrooms at home. All the customer requirements are taken into consideration and given the variant shopping experience as per their ideas. The AR gives a next level satisfaction to the customer while shopping as all you are required to do is just go with the specific website or an application. Enter the preferences and there you go — better customer engagement and experience. It allows visualizing the virtual clothes on you at your home anytime. This comes with an option to choose from a wide range of clothes and try on endlessly until you end up choosing your favorite one. This allows increasing customer satisfaction which will directly hike customer engagement.Examples of AR and VR products in the market todayThe world famous brands like Amazon, Alibaba and eBay have already come up with the augmented reality technology to expand their business that can lead to massive turnovers. Other companies have also begun to explore these technologies which can help retailers with their store.Blippar: A platform that utilizes images for primary use and deploys it on the mobile for AR technology. It helps the retailer to use AR to reach out to new customers by marketing with custom ads, billboards, newspapers and much more. One of the impressive marketing of Blippar was organized by Oreo with Walmart where the customers can determine next Oreo flavors.Total Immersion: It is a global company servicing some of the top clients like Toyota, Paramount Pictures, eBay and much more. By offering virtual try on and effective augmented reality solutions for e-commerce; they also provide retail brand marketing and mobile e-commerce. Exciting Times AheadWe can conclude from the above trends that artificial intelligence and virtual reality is definitely going to bring a lot more change in the future by making people’s lives easier and a lot more digital. It is exciting for the store owners as it helps to achieve the ultimate satisfaction which is more crucial than any other aspect. The e-commerce stores are furthermore seen digitizing to enable their customers to experience the virtual shopping at their convenient time and suitable place.  We can expect a lot more from these technologies to enter our lives and come up with the new innovations to excite the people. As the AR and VR technology will start to become more open and standardized, the companies in the e-commerce fields will do well to adopt them in order to gain a competitive edge. Olivia Diaz is working in a Magento development company eTatvaSoft. Being a tech geek, she keeps a close watch over the industry focusing on the latest technology news and gadgets. For more details about the company, you can visit here Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#AR#ar apps#Augmented Reality#ecommerce#virtual reality#vr app How AR and VR Will Enhance Customer Experiencelast_img read more

‘Congress culture of keeping alive dissidence not dead’

first_imgAs the suspense continues over Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu taking charge of his new Ministry amid the ongoing tussle with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the rift between the two leaders seems to be growing wider with the former cricketer visiting New Delhi to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi.As part of the post-poll Cabinet reshuffle last week, Capt. Amarinder divested Mr. Sidhu of the key Local Government portfolio and allocated him Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources.Mr. Sidhu, who met Mr. Gandhi, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and veteran leader Ahmed Patel on Monday, is learnt to have apprised the “high command” of being “singled out unfairly” in the Cabinet rejig on the pretext of the party’s “poor performance” in urban areas of the State in the general election.Mr. Gandhi’s meeting with Mr. Sidhu has drawn criticism from political analysts. “Mr. Sidhu’s audience with the high command hints that Congress’s culture of keeping alive dissidence at the State level against the State leadership is not dead,” said Ashutosh Kumar, professor of political science at Panjab University. “Capt. Amarinder, after the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, has emerged as a strong leader and, on the other hand, the Congress high command looks weak after its performance in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said. “Any effort to push for reinstatement of Mr. Sidhu as the Local Government Minister in an attempt to resolve the ongoing tussle in the State unit risks undermining the Chief Minister’s authority and further worsening the rift within the party in Punjab,” he added.Cong. downplays riftThe State Congress, however, downplayed the significance of Mr. Sidhu’s meeting, with Asha Kumari, the AICC in-charge of Punjab affairs, asserting that every Congressman was “entitled” to meet the party president. “As far as his [Mr. Sidhu’s] taking charge of the new portfolio is concerned, if Mr. Sidhu does not desire, it’s entirely his wish. He [Mr. Sidhu] is a Minister of Capt. Amarinder’s Cabinet and it’s for the Chief Minister to decide who will hold which portfolio,” she said.Ronki Ram, Dean at the Department of Social Science at Panjab University, said Mr. Sidhu’s meeting with the party’s central leadership appeared like an attempt at capturing a “power stronghold”. “If the CM has to take decision on the dictation of the party high command, it’s not in good taste. This shows the party is highly centralised,” he said.The two Punjab leaders have been at loggerheads in recent months with Mr. Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu accusing Capt. Amarinder of blocking her Lok Sabha candidacy from Chandigarh. Later, the Chief Minister had claimed that “Sidhu’s remarks ahead of polling” had affected the party’s performance. He had also blamed Mr. Sidhu’s “poor handling” of the key local bodies portfolio as a factor for the Congress’s “poor performance” in urban areas. Mr. Sidhu had retorted by asserting that he was being “singled out publicly” even though the urban areas had played a critical role in the party’s victory in the Lok Sabha polls. The Congress won eight of the 13 seats it contested, improving on its 2014 tally of just three.last_img read more

NELVANAS MYSTICONS APPBASED GAME LAUNCHES TODAY

first_img Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: TORONTO, Canada – Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana announced today the launch of an adventure, role-playing, gaming app based on its original, hit animated action series, Mysticons. “Secrets of Gemina” is now available to download for free through the App Store and Google Play on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.The app allows players to guide the Mysticons – Arkayna, Em, Zarya and Piper – through a mesmerizing and engaging fantasy world as the fearless foursome take on a heroic quest to defeat evil and protect the realm. The app features a parallel storyline to the events in season one, as well as opportunities to level up characters, explore familiar locales from the series, and win battles to collect epic loot for in-game powerups, equipment upgrades, and action skills.“Mysticons is an action fantasy property that lends itself perfectly to the gaming industry,” said Pam Westman, Head, Nelvana Enterprises. “We’re proud to offer young audiences, especially girls, the opportunity to see themselves as the hero in a video game, as well as provide an additional platform to immerse themselves in the dynamic Mysticons world.” Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The Mysticons toy line, by Playmates, and trading cards, by Topps, will add to the app playing experience, containing scannable codes that allow players to unlock special items within the game. Both Mysticonstoys and trading cards will be available soon.Mysticons tells the epic tale of four unexpected heroes who transform into legendary warriors and undertake a mythic quest to save the world. The series premiered in August on Nickelodeon in the U.S. and on Corus’ YTV and Teletoon in Canada and is currently the #1 animated series this fall* on YTV. The series has also surpassed 3 million views on its short form content on YouTube. Mysticons airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT on YTV.*Source: Numeris PPM Data, Total Canada, k2-11 AMA(000), FL’17  std (Aug28/17 – Oct15/17), YTV ranker based on 3+ airingsAbout MysticonsMysticons is an original animated action series, produced by Nelvana Limited, about four girls from different walks of life who are transformed into legendary warriors. After discovering a powerful mystical tome, the fearless foursome – Arkayna, Zarya, Em, and Piper – are drawn together by a prophecy to battle evil and protect the realm. With real relationships, distinct personalities and already strong, confident, smart, witty, and funny characters, Mysticons focuses on the representation of girls’ strength, power and courage on the television screen. Season one consists of 40 episodes.YouTube: www.youtube.com/mysticonsWebsite: www.mysticons.comFacebook: www.facebook.com/mysticonsTV  Twitter: www.twitter.com/mysticonsTVInstagram: www.instagram.com/mysticonsAbout NelvanaNelvana is Canada’s premier animation company and a world-leading producer and distributor of children’s content. Nelvana has delighted audiences around the globe for more than 40 years with a vast library of more than 4,000 episodes from original, award-winning series like Babar and Franklin. Nelvana’s content is distributed in more than 160 countries worldwide and broadcast across Corus Entertainment’s suite of leading kids networks. Nelvana Enterprises, the global licensing and merchandising arm of Nelvana, manages the organization’s portfolio of in-house and third party brands with offices in Toronto and Paris. Nelvana Studio, with offices in Toronto and Montreal, employs more than 300 Canadian artists working with local and international producers to create premium children’s content for a global stage.  For more information, visit www.nelvana.com.last_img read more