Sep 1, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A 58-year-old Vietnamese has died of a probable case of avian influenza, the first such fatality in a month, news services reported today.The victim, a Hanoi resident who was not named, died Aug 24 and tested positive for an H5 virus, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report quoting Nguyen Tran Hien, director of an epidemiology institute in Hanoi.Hien said further tests are needed to ascertain if the virus was H5N1. But Peter Horby, a World Health Organization epidemiologist in Hanoi, told AFP the virus was almost certainly H5N1, because that’s the only H5 strain known to be circulating in Vietnam.If confirmed, the case will mean Asia has had 121 cases with 63 deaths since late 2003, including 96 cases with 44 deaths in Vietnam, according to CIDRAP’s unofficial count. The WHO’s current official count is 112 cases with 57 deaths.The last human death attributed to avian flu in Vietnam occurred Jul 31 in Ho Chi Minh City, according to AFP.FAO issues warningIn other developments, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned yesterday that wild waterfowl are likely to carry H5N1 avian flu to the Middle East, Europe, South Asia, and Africa. The warning followed detection of the virus in Siberian Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia in recent weeks.”Birds flying from Siberia, where the H5N1 virus has been recently detected, may carry the virus to the Caspian and Black Sea in the foreseeable future,” the FAO said. “These regions and countries in the Balkans could become a potential gateway to central Europe for the virus.””FAO is concerned that poor countries in southeast Europe, where wild birds from Asia mingle with others from northern Europe, may lack the capacity to detect and deal with outbreaks of bird flu,” said Joseph Domenech, FAO’s chief veterinary officer.Bird migration routes also cross Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Georgia, Ukraine, and some Mediterranean countries, where avian flu outbreaks are possible, the agency said. Also at risk are India and Bangladesh, which have large numbers of domestic ducks and lie along a major migration route.The FAO warning echoed concerns raised by researchers in two scientific journal reports early in July. Scientists who studied the outbreak of H5N1 avian flu at Qinghai Lake wildlife refuge in north-central China suggested that birds that visit the refuge could spread the virus to Europe, India, Siberia, Australia, and New Zealand. About 6,000 wild birds died of the disease at the refuge in late spring.However, European veterinary experts who met in Brussels last week saw little immediate risk that the virus would spread to Europe. They said it was not clear to what extent wild birds were responsible for the recent expansion of the virus’s range.Agency cites northwestward spreadThe FAO statement cited the Qinghai Lake outbreak and recent outbreaks in Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Tibet. Domenech said, “These new outbreaks show that the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is spreading progressively northwestwards and is not restricted to South East Asia any more. In Russia and Kazakhstan, we believe contact between domestic poultry and wild waterfowl at lakes and wetlands is the primary source of infection in poultry.”The agency urged countries at risk to increase surveillance of poultry and wild birds and to prepare national emergency plans. It said close contact between humans, poultry, and wildlife should be reduced and closely monitored and that domestic birds should be separated from wildlife as much as possible.The statement also referred to the avian flu control strategy recently developed by the FAO and the World Organization for Animal health (OIE). So far, donors have pledged about $25 million to support the plan, which is expected to cost more than $100 million, the FAO said.Two days ago, the OIE appealed for funds to help affected countries control avian flu in poultry populations.See also:Aug 31 FAO statementhttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2005/107405/index.htmlJul 6, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Wild birds could spread H5N1 virus beyond Asia, reports say”
By Christian RadnedgeLONDON, England (Reuters) – Manchester City completed a domestic double by comfortably beating West Ham United 3-0 in the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium yesterday, following on from their League Cup triumph in February.City, who missed out on winning the Super League which was clinched by Arsenal last week, made up for that disappointment with a commanding performance and three-second half goals against a valiant West Ham side playing in their first final.In the fifth Women’s FA Cup final to be played at Wembley, the attendance total of 43 264 was not quite enough to surpass last season’s record crowd of 45 423 for a domestic-competition female soccer match. Nick Cushing’s City side started the brighter of the two teams, with England forward Nikita Parris stretching the West Ham backline with her darting runs, though without finding a clear-cut chance.However, West Ham, playing their maiden season as a professional team and very much the underdogs given the gulf in resources, grew into the contest and even could have taken the lead at the half-hour mark. A flowing move ended with a deep cross into the box and Jane Ross was perfectly placed to head the ball in, but she was denied by England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley who dived across and pushed it wide.City took the warning sign and came out more fired- up in the second half. They broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute when Keira Walsh let fly from long range, with a wicked movement on the ball wrong-footing Anna Moorhouse in the West Ham goal. The effort was City’s first shot on target but it proved enough to unsettle Matt Beard’s side.West Ham regained some composure but were breached again in the 81st minute when young forward Georgia Stanway dribbled into the box and unleashed a right-footed shot at goal. The ball trickled past Moorhouse following a slight deflection off a defender.With little more than a minute of normal time remaining, Lauren Hemp ran onto a long ball and expertly lifted the ball over the on-rushing Moorhouse from outside the area to seal the win and give City their second FA Cup in three years.
By John BurtonRED BANK — Brett Sabo wanted to make one thing clear when she sat down to talk about her involvement with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.“We’re not against the Second Amendment,” she stressed, explaining the group doesn’t oppose legal gun ownership.“What we would like to see,” she continued, is universal background checks and the closing of some existing legal loopholes that allows gun purchasers to circumvent that requirement, as well as preventing those on the federal terrorist watch list and no-fly list from being able to readily access firearms.“It’s really just too easy for dangerous people to get them (guns),” she said.Sabo, a former English and theater teacher, lives in Red Bank with her husband, James, and 10-year-old son Evan. She and Evan attended the candlelight vigil borough officials held on June 15 in response to the Orlando shooting that resulted in 49 gun deaths and about another 50 wounded, presenting Mayor Pasquale Menna with a T-shirt for Sabo’s organization.She used to teach in Harlem, New York, and her husband retired from teaching in the Bronx.But it was the San Bernardino, California, terrorist mass shooting where 14 people were killed and 22 others seriously wounded last December, when she decided she had to do something.“I remember watching the news coverage,” of that horrific event, after so many other similar horrific events, she noted, remembering hearing a parent, Richard Martinez, speak about his child, one of the victims. “I remember feeling very lucky,” that no friend or family member had been involved in one of these terrible incidents. “But I thought it was only a matter of time before someone I knew would be affected.“And I wanted to get involved.”And that led her to join the national Moms Demand Action group, where she now serves as campaign lead for the New Jersey chapter.Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America now counts about 3.5 million members across the country, with more than 1,000 in New Jersey. “There is strength in numbers,” she said.Stay-at-home mom Shannon Watts founded the group in the immediate aftermath of the ghastly December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, in Newtown, Connecticut.The group used as a model Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), organizing grassroots efforts to effect political change from government, educational institutions and businesses to bring about what they call common sense gun reforms. Since 2013 the organization joined forces with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that benefited from Bloomberg’s media reach and financial support.What deeply affected Sabo after the Sandy Hook shooting was, “If kids weren’t safe in their classrooms,” she explained, “they weren’t safe anywhere.”There is a new normal that has affected her personally. Recently a parent invited Sabo’s son to her home to play with her child. That prompted Sabo to ask as a precaution if there were guns in the home and if they were secure. “It’s always in my thoughts now,” she said.Currently about 90 Americans a day are killed by guns, she said.As a local representative for the organization Sabo testified before the state Legislature in Trenton in support of a bill that would have toughened the law requiring those convicted of domestic violence to relinquish any guns they own, which was a moment of pride for her, voicing the organization’s point of view.After watching the U.S. Senate’s vote this week on four gun measures in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, with none passing, she said, “We were disappointed but not surprised.”But there is something positive to take away from it. It took Congress four months to take any action. Now it took four days, progress of a sort, she said.Besides, “It really told us where our senators stand,” Sabo noted, “and tells us what we need to do come November.”
The point here is that as the media world changes, what seems dominant today may turn out to be yesterday’s news in short order. Remember CompuServe, AOL, etc.? I could go on, but you get the point. So while the “Reimagining the Future (While We Still Have Time)” conference provided no real visionary solutions, because that’s impossible, it did offer a mosaic of opinion and perspective, when combined into a whole, provided a good look at where the industry is now and where it needs to go. The future doesn’t exist because we haven’t built it yet.And even more important, the students at the University of Mississippi were full participants. Anyone who spent a few days with the young journalists at that conference couldn’t help coming away with a new confidence about the future of the profession. These people are bright, energetic, savvy and ready to take the reins. Here is a list of some of the student participants. I wanted to acknowledge each of them by name, because they were all so impressive.Undergraduate Journalism Students:Natalie Dickson Kirby Sage Elizabeth Pearson Alex Pence Maggie Giffin Markus Simmons Katie Williamson Ja’juan McNeil Rashell Reese Addison Dent Houston Cofield Ren Turner Nick Toce (also event photographer)Alex McDaniel (also event coordinator) That phrase was the title of one of the presentations at Samir Husni’s recent conference, called “Reimagining the Future (While We Still Have Time),” and held at the Magazine Innovation Center in Oxford, Mississippi. The presentation was made by Thomaz Souto Correa, the vice president of editorial at The Abril Group in Brazil. And while Correa discussed many things, there is a particular idea in that title worth thinking about. Perhaps the future doesn’t exist because no one, and I mean no one, knows what it’s going to look like even two years from now. Think about one of the biggest debates of the last few years—whether to charge for online content. When Steve Brill and Walter Isaacson and Rupert Murdoch and others suggested that the status quo was unsustainable, the purveyors of the conventional wisdom came down hard. The cat’s out of the bag, they said. Stop thinking like it’s 1997. Start building a business for the Google economy. There’s no other choice.Well, one thing none of those wizards thought of was how mobile apps and iPads would change the equation. Now, suddenly, there’s a path to paid content online, because there’s a significant migration away from the free Internet and in the direction of apps you have to buy. Or apps from which publishers sell subscriptions to their content.
Just over a month after it launched, Atlantic Media’s international business news site Quartz is reporting it attracted just over 800,000 unique visitors in October. Other audience metrics are already tracking similarly to established digital brands in Atlantic Media’s portfolio, a factor that’s hitting an encouraging note for the startup. Traffic expectations for the early days of the site’s performance were based partly on internal analogs like Atlantic Wire (launched in 2009) and Atlantic Cities (launched in 2011) and partly on gut instinct, but publisher Jay Lauf says results handily beat their 500,000 unique visitor benchmark for month one. “There’s some gut guesswork involved,” says Lauf, “but I think in this case we looked at a combination of our understanding of traffic growth on Atlantic Wire and Atlantic Cities and then the kind of market place Quartz is going after—a defined market of global business leaders. And the fact that we are in a new climate where digital brands can grow quickly if they take advantage of the digital jet stream. Plus, we thought social could really push us to faster growth.” Side-door traffic has so far worked in the site’s favor. Social referrals accounted for 40 percent of Quartz’s traffic in October. By comparison, TheAtlantic.com‘s social referral traffic is in the 30 percent range, a factor that Lauf says bodes well for the so-far less established Quartz. Lauf also believes that high social percentage is what helped drive international traffic—40 percent of October’s uniques were from outside the U.S. That metric was predicted accurately, he says. Launch sponsors were given a 60/40 ratio between domestic and international traffic during the site’s roll-out phase.Thirty percent of Quartz’s traffic came from mobile devices, which again is in line with or higher than other established media properties. Twenty-five percent of The Atlantic’s traffic arrives there via mobile, for example. Despite being built as a mobile-first destination, Lauf says it’s harder to gauge traffic expectations for the platform—”There’s not a huge raft of information on that.”Going forward, Lauf says expectations are to hit 2.5 million to 3 million monthly uniques by the end of next year.
The trade war with the United States will only make China stronger and will never bring the country to its knees, the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily wrote in a front-page commentary that evoked the patriotic spirit of past wars.Beijing has yet to say whether or how it will retaliate to the latest escalation in trade tensions, which saw Washington put telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on a blacklist that will make it extremely difficult for the telecom giant to do business with US companies.The world’s two largest economies are locked in an increasingly acrimonious trade dispute that has seen them level escalating tariffs on each other’s imports in the midst of negotiations, adding to fears about risks to global growth and knocking financial markets.The United States is not sincere about wanting to resume trade talks with China and has damaged the atmosphere for negotiations with its recent moves, a state media social media account said.Without sincerity there was no point in coming for talks and nothing to talk about, Taoran Notes, a WeChat account run by the Economic Daily, said in a post late on Thursday that was re-posted by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.China, which reported unexpectedly weak growth in retail sales and industrial output on Wednesday, also said on Friday that the impact of trade frictions on its economy was “controllable”.”(We will) fully study the impact of the additional tariffs imposed by the United States, and promptly introduce countermeasures as needed to ensure that the economy operates within a reasonable range,” Meng Wei, a spokeswoman for the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC), told a media briefing on Friday.In Friday’s commentary, the ruling party’s official newspaper described China’s determination to protect its national interests and dignity as being as “firm as a boulder”.”The trade war can’t bring China down. It will only harden us to grow stronger,” it said.”What kind of storms have not been seen, what bumps have not experienced for China, with its more than 5,000 years of civilization? In the face of hurricanes, the nearly 1.4 billion Chinese people have confidence and stamina.”‘Wheel of Destiny’Huawei’s Hisilicon unit, which purchases US semiconductors for its parent, has been secretly developing back-up products for years in case Huawei was one day unable to obtain the advanced chips and technology it buys from the United States, its president told staff in a letter on Friday.”Today, the wheel of destiny has turned and we have arrived at this extreme and dark moment, as a super-nation ruthlessly disrupts the world’s technology and industry system,” according to the letter.Chinese state television has this week invoked a war theme, focusing on the 1950-1953 conflict between the two Koreas that saw Chinese troops back North Korea while the South was supported by the United States.On Thursday, China Central Television replaced a programme about the ongoing Asian Film and TV Week with a 1964 Chinese movie on the Korean War, “Heroic Sons and Daughters.”On Friday night, the broadcaster will screen yet another Chinese war movie classic, “Battle on Shangganling Mountain”, the scene of a large-scale battle in North Korea, according to a post on its social media account.The post received widespread approval from Chinese social media users, with one even asking when the broadcaster would air a movie on the attack on Pearl Harbor.”Defeat the American imperialists!” another wrote.