Dec 28, 2010Global swine flu surveillance seen as seriously inadequateAn article published yesterday in Scientific American explores what experts see as the vastly inadequate global efforts to monitor influenza viruses in swine, in the wake of a pandemic caused by a swine flu virus that jumped to humans. Reporter Helen Branswell writes that most pork-producing countries don’t test their swine herds for flu at all. In the United States, pork producers generally test their animals, but they don’t usually share the results with public health officials, since they know that any news about swine flu scares people away from eating pork. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently worked with the US Department of Agriculture to launch a program to share animal testing results with the public health sector, Branswell reports. But the program has limitations, in that swine flu surveillance data are stripped of identifying information, so health officials know what state a sample came from but not what county or farm. And when a human case of swine flu occurs, the herd suspected as the source can be tested only with the owner’s permission. Flu experts are planning a February meeting in Italy to try to find ways to overcome the barriers to better surveillance, the article says.Dec 27 Scientific American articleSalmonella probe points to Illinois farm as source of sproutsPreliminary findings in an investigation of the 15-state Salmonella outbreak linked to Jimmy John’s restaurants point to Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Ill., as the source of contaminated sprouts, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday. The FDA said consumers should not eat alfalfa sprouts and “Spicy Sprouts” (which contain alfalfa, radish, and clover sprouts) from Tiny Greens. The products were distributed in 4- and 5-ounce containers to farmers’ markets, restaurants, and grocery stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and possibly other Midwestern states. In a Dec 23 report on the outbreak investigation, the CDC said 89 patients with a matching strain of Salmonella serotype I 4,,12:i:-were reported by 15 states and Washington, DC, between Nov 1 and Dec 21, including 50 cases in Illinois. Among patients with available information, 23% reported being hospitalized, but there were no deaths, the CDC said. In other developments, J&D Produce of Edinburg, Tex., yesterday announced the “precautionary” recall of curly parsley and cilantro after samples tested positive in Quebec and Detroit. The recall applies only to products packed on Nov 30 and Dec 6, and no illnesses have been reported, the company said in a statement. The products were packed in red, white, and blue waxed cartons and sold under the Little Bear brand at retail outlets and wholesale terminal markets. A CNN report said the recall involved close to 7,000 cases of the products, which were distributed in several US states as well as Quebec and Ontario.Dec 27 FDA press releaseDec 23 CDC report on outbreak investigationDec 28 CNN story on Texas firm’s recallHaiti’s cholera cases approach 130,000Cholera continues to engulf Haiti, with nearly 130,000 cases and 2,707 deaths reported so far, the Jamaica Observer reported today. Even with ongoing international efforts to contain the epidemic, an estimated 40 people are dying each day, the Haitian health ministry said. Worst hit is the Artibonite province in central Haiti, but infection has spread all over the country. Adding to the strife currently are attacks on voodoo priests in the southwestern part of the country by mobs claiming that they are responsible for the outbreak; more than 40 priests have been killed.Dec 28 Jamaica Observer articleFlu vaccination policy in UK debatedThe UK Department of Health is coming under fire for not offering free flu shots to healthy children under 5 years of age this flu season. The shots are being recommended only for high-risk groups this season, including pregnant women and the elderly but not young children. The current vaccination policy follows the recommendations of the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. During last season’s H1N1 pandemic, all age-groups were urged to obtain vaccination. Some critics claim that preschoolers were left off the shot roster this season to save money, but the health department claims the decision was made because of age and risk considerations. No vaccination campaign has been directed at the general public this year; only high-risk people have been contacted to get the vaccine. Public schools in the United Kingdom reopen next week after the holiday recess, and concern is mounting that flu, which is currently seeing a surge there, will reach epidemic proportions.Dec 28 BBC articleDec 28 The Guardian articleDec 28 The Telegraph articleEgyptian girl dies of H5N1; Japan, Korea cite bird deaths A Dec 25 death in Egypt from H5N1 avian flu brings the number of deaths from the disease there to 11 this year and 38 since the outbreak began in 2006. The latest victim was an 11-year-old girl in the Luxor governorate who had been reported as hospitalized last week. Meanwhile, reports of H5N1 deaths in birds have come in from Japan and South Korea. Three cranes were found dead in the Izumi Plains of Kogoshima prefecture Dec 21 and subsequently tested positive for H5N1, according to a Kyodo News International article, bringing the recent total to five. In South Korea, the farm ministry reported today that 20 spectacled teal ducks had been found dead south of Seoul, apparently from H5N1. This is the third such report from the area this month.Dec 25 Kuwait News article on Egyptian deathDec 27 Kyodo News article on Japanese cranesDec 28 Yonhap News article on South Korea
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – David Rognlien, founder and chairman of the board of CADNA Automotive Inc., has reached an agreement with Devin Hart, the company’s president and CEO, for Hart to acquire a significant ownership stake in the company. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. CADNA Automotive is an aftermarket supplier and licensee of well known premium brands: Prestone, Autolite, FRAM and proprietary brand ARMOR MARK.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement “In a short amount of time, Devin has done an outstanding job of setting into motion a strategic vision that challenges the company to proceed in new directions,” said Rognlien. “I’m confident that under his leadership he will help us execute our long-term growth strategy and improve our market share both domestically and worldwide.” A 15-year veteran of the automotive aftermarket, Hart became president and CEO of CADNA Automotive in April 2009. Previously, he was vice president of sales and marketing for Disa Automotive Inc. and a former director and national sales manager for Federal-Mogul. “It is a privilege to become a CADNA shareholder and work closely on the board with David, to guide the company to its full potential,” said Hart. “I am excited to lead the company during these challenging, yet opportunistic times. The recent change in ownership status helps solidify our partnership in this endeavor.”,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit. DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.
Carlos Guatama Mejia, shown here being brought to court for his arraignment Sunday, is facing felony charges. Independent/T. E. McMorrowA traffic accident on Hampton Street Saturday, August 18, a little after noon resulted in Sag Harbor Village police arresting an East Hampton resident on felony drunken and unlicensed driving charges.According to the police, Carlos Guatama Mejia, 25, was driving a 2007 Honda Civic north when he struck another car. Failing roadside sobriety tests, he was placed under arrest. In addition to the felony charges, he also was charged with a misdemeanor for driving a car lacking an interlock ignition, which prevents a car from starting if the driver is intoxicated.At headquarters, his breath test resulted in an alleged .16 of one percent blood alcohol content, twice the .08 reading that defines intoxication.Guatama Mejia’s legal predicament is perilous. He was convicted on a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge just this past November in East Hampton. That conviction caused the new charges to be raised to the felony level, as well as the need for the ignition interlock. In addition, he is facing possible jail time for violating the terms of his probation.Bail was set at $10,000 Sunday morning. Initially, in tears, Guatama Mejia told Justice Lisa Rana he would not be able to make the bail. She responded that the police would allow him to make whatever calls he needed to make before he would be taken to county jail. Bail was eventually posted. Shari Frank, 50, who has residences in Manhattan and Wainscott, as well as one in Massachusetts, and Jacques Vaney, 55, of Sag Harbor, were both arrested over the weekend by Sag Harbor Village police on drunken driving charges. Vaney was arraigned Saturday morning, and Frank, Sunday. Both were released without having to post bail. email@example.com Share
One of the six men indicted on August 20 as part of the alleged Montauk drug distribution ring arrests made earlier this month is facing 20 felony charges, including one of operating as a major drug trafficker, with a personal profit of $75,000 or more.Geraldo Jose Vargas-Munoz, who was working in the kitchen of Swallow East as a dishwasher for nominal pay, is facing possible life in prison if convicted of even one of the most serious charges, which are classified as A felonies. Those charges include three counts of selling a half-ounce or more of cocaine in one sale, along with an even more serious charge of selling two ounces or more of cocaine, apparently all to undercover agents, along with a charge of criminal possession of eight ounces or more of cocaine, and the charge of directing a major drug ring. Besides those six charges, there are 14 more felony charges hanging over his head.District Attorney Tim Sini said in a press conference August 16 that many of the sales the group made were out of the back doors of the various Montauk restaurants where they worked. According to the District Attorney, they all were working for low wages as a front for their criminal activity. Israel Padilla-Rojas, who, according to police, was in possession of a small amount of narcotics at one of five locations police raided that morning, told the court during his arraignment that he works as a dishwasher at the Gig Shack. He said that he works 80 hours a week, and makes $600.Five other indictments were handed down by the grand jury, according to court records. William Crespo-Duran is facing one A felony, possession of four ounces or more of cocaine, along with two other felonies, conspiracy to sell drugs and possession. Elvin Silva-Ruiz has also been charged with an A felony, for allegedly selling a half ounce or more to an undercover agent. He is facing five additional drug related felony charges, as well.Silva-Ruiz was arrested August 14 at JFK Airport, where he was attempting to board a plane. After his arrest, he was taken to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital for an undisclosed medical condition. Southampton Justice Barbara Wilson performed his initial bedside arraignment under the watchful eye of a Suffolk County deputy sheriff. Silva-Ruiz has since been released from the hospital, and is in county jail in Riverside.Gilberto Quintana-Crespo, Eric Mendez, and Antonio Ramirez-Gonzalez were all charged by the grand jury with one felony count each of conspiring to distribute cocaine. Except for Mendez, who posted $10,000 bail before the indictment was handed down, the group is being held without bail. The men were arrested as part of an operation that combined the forces of the East Hampton Town police, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Postal Inspectors, and the District Attorney’s East End Drug Task Force. They are all scheduled to be arraigned by New York State Justice Timothy Mazzei tomorrow. All are natives of Puerto Rico who have been coming to Montauk for the summer season for several years. firstname.lastname@example.org Share Geraldo Jose Vargas-Munoz, the alleged ringleader of a Montauk cocaine dealing group, is facing multiple life in prison sentences. Independent/Justin Meinken
Independent/Courtesy Westminster TeakTeak is an eco-friendly design choice by default due to its weather withstanding durability, making it a timeless investment. Indy caught up with Mal Haddad, vice president of Westminster Teak, who oversees all new product development and design for Westminster. Products in its outdoor furniture line sit in our own backyard, or shall we say, Gurney’s Resorts backyard, to the far stretches of the globe, with new furniture designs coming out as early as fall of 2020.How did you get into the business?I joined Westminster Teak about 12 years ago when our paths, the owner of the company and I, crossed while I was running my own teak furniture gallery. Sharing the same vision and work ethic, it made sense to make the switch after we got to know each other a little better.Though I come from both an engineering and business background, I’ve always been passionate about design, and having the factory as the backbone of the company brought me even closer to my motivations in bringing good design within reach of more people.Independent/Courtesy Westminster TeakHow did Westminster connect with Gurney’s Resorts?We’ve provided them with some of their outdoor and spa/poolside furniture in the past and still do. I believe the owner and CEO of Westminster Teak, Jim TenBroeck visited and had the opportunity to meet with the area manager at Gurneys. We make it a point to ensure that our customers’ needs are met, not only at the point of sale, but to continue serving them in any after-sales services they may need.Providing a quality and long-lasting product does come with the responsibility of establishing relationships that are just as long lasting. It’s all about building relationships.Are there any other notable clients?Many of our clients are designers and architects, such as Brady Design, Zoe Feldman, and the like, who’ve used our furniture in many of their beautiful projects, both commercial and residential. We’ve also worked directly with clients in the area such as Manhassett Bay Yacht Club, Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, and Equinox.What countries are in your distribution network?Though our main market is the continental USA, our products have been installed in some of the most prestigious resorts, hotels, and residences in Hawaii, the Caribbean Islands, and as far as Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia.Independent/Courtesy Westminster TeakHow does teak, as a material, compare to other furniture types?Product knowledge is key in understanding the investment value proposition a beautifully crafted piece of teak furniture brings. Unlike many other hardwoods in its category, teak is a durable hardwood with dense grain and high natural oil content, qualities that afford it little or no care. It’s the material of choice for its sheer beauty and dependability.Its high oil and silica content make it highly resistant to rotting, warping or splitting, allowing it to withstand the extremities of weather including sun, rain, and snow. For these unique properties in its strength and stability, teak has been for centuries, and still is, the enduring material used in ship building, and of course furniture making.The high natural oil content also means it has a comparatively very low coefficient of thermal expansion, i.e. it does not expand or contract, warp, split, or crack, in humid environments, in contact with water, or even when submerged (in water) over extended periods of time.What’s the maintenance on teak?Because of its high resistance to the extremities of weather, teak truly needs very little care. Untreated, natural teak will weather to a handsome soft-silvery patina within a year or so, depending on the amount of sun and weathering it is being exposed to. This will not in any way compromise the structural integrity of your furniture as the change of pigment is only on the surface. The rate of weathering is dependent on the climate and extremities of the weather in your area.You have so many different collections on your website. What ties them together?Timeless design and our unrelenting commitment to quality has been the hallmark in our furniture collections. By default, timeless design is good design. And, it can only come from being passionate with every detail of the craft, from concept to completion.Since teak is a material that lasts a very long time, the furniture design should project a sense of permanence. It should resonate the idea of form and function, and how we live with the furniture, cherished over generations. Good design should be as relevant now as it was 50 years ago, and 50 years from now, long after trends are forgotten.Independent/Courtesy Westminster TeakTell us about your eco-friendly practices.Plantation teak is the essential raw material, so we are, by default, a green company. Today, we are both SVLK and Forest Stewardship Council certified, ensuring transparency and traceability of the origins of the wood used in our furniture. As a company that supports the global green movement, we believe it is not only critical as a manufacturer to be environmentally responsible by using teak from sustainably harvested plantations but also to be socially responsible toward both the indigenous people working in the plantations as well as the skilled artisans and employees working in our factories.All the teak used in the manufacture of furniture are from sustainably harvested, credibly certified plantations under the strict management of the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. Our factory was the first to join Nusa Hijau, the Indonesian Chapter of the Global Forest Trade Network, an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund. It was created to eliminate illegal logging, improve the management of threatened forests, and promote biodiversity and the livelihoods of the people that depend on them.Independent/Courtesy Westminster TeakHas the COVID-19 economy affected business?Broadly speaking, there has been little change from the viewpoint of our customers. Thankfully, Westminster has been able to keep all our employees during these troubling times. Both our warehouses and customer service reps are fully operational. The pandemic has compelled us to make some adjustments in certain aspects of our business in our warehouse operations, primarily in our shipping and furniture finishing departments in following recommendations from our healthcare authorities. We have taken every step to ensure the safety of both our staff and customers.We are very fortunate that it has not affected us in the way it did many other businesses. Though we have our showrooms and places where our furniture can be seen, we’ve always been primarily an online business. Sales suffered in the early part of the pandemic when it first came to public knowledge. However, when the shelter-in-place order was mandated, it started to sink in in the minds of people that they’re going to be stuck at home quite a lot longer than they’d originally thought. Travel plans are canceled and reimagining the outdoors at home became a reality.Describe your ideal summer afternoon in social isolation, relaxing on one of your pieces.Laying in the Horizon Chaise Lounger with a good book and a tall cool drink, if I was by myself. That would be ideal. But with kids around, it would have to be the Maya configured with the Maya Chaise so I can stretch out and hang with the family.See Westminster’s full product line at email@example.com Share
A new report from Greenpeace International has found that deep seabed mining could have a serious impact on the ocean environment and on the livelihood of coastal communities.In a Report just released it calls for a suspension in the granting of deep seabed mining licenses.Ms Seni Nabou, the political advisor for Greenpeace, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that a license had already been granted for deep seabed mining in Papua New Guinean waters, but a lot more work needed to be done to protect the world’s oceans before companies should be allowed to start operating.“We don’t believe that seabed mining applications should be granted,” Ms Nabou said.“No exploration or exploitation should take place unless or until the full range of marine habitats, biodiversity and ecosystem functions are adequately protected.”Ms Nabou says many of the habitats on the deep sea floor are yet to be studied by scientists.“The habitats are dark, previously thought to be lifeless by scientists, but we know now that this is not true,” she said.“There are still too many unknowns out there, which is why we are joining the Pacific Conference of Churches…in calling for a moratorium on these applications until we know more.”“We particularly want to see rules to ensure that environmental and cumulative impacts of seabed mining as well as potential impacts, alternative uses and livelihoods have been thoroughly assessed,” she said.[mappress]Press Release, July 18, 2013
Aibel has been awarded the contract for the hook-up of the Ivar Aasen platform in the North Sea.In addition, Det norske, as operator for the Ivar Aasen development, intends to award Aibel the contract for maintenance and modification tasks and operational support for Ivar Aasen. The combined value is approx. NOK 660 million.The Ivar Aasen platform is currently under construction at SMOE in Singapore and will be installed at the field in 2016.“We are very satisfied with this contract. For us it means that Det norske recognizes our expertise as a supplier, also with regard to services beyond maintenance and modification,” says Jan Skogseth, President and CEO of Aibel.Hook-up activitiesThe contract is divided into several stages, where work starts immediately at the EPC supplier (engineering, procurement and construction). This will continue for around a year and a half, primarily in Singapore and London.Planning and preparation for hook-up at the field will start in mya 2015. The actual offshore hook-up will start in the summer of 2016.Management, administration, planning and prefabrication will take place in Haugesund. At the most, the contract will be staffed by around 300 people. The contract is worth about NOK 390 million.Letter of intentDet norske also intends to award Aibel a contract for maintenance and modification tasks, as well as operational support for Ivar Aasen. This contract will have a duration of 6 years, with two option periods of two years each. The contract is worth about NOK 270 million.[mappress]Press Release, November 29, 2013
As part of the preparations for the visit of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to China, Rosneft President, Chairman of the Management Board Igor Sechin held a meeting with Zhou Jipng, General Director of China National Natural Gas and Petroleum Corporation on the 15th of May.The parties discussed a wide range of questions, in particular, the expansion of cooperation in upstream projects in East Siberia. Moreover during the talks Igor Sechin and Zhou Jipng discussed the realization of projects in the refinery field and construction of the relevant infrastructure. Zhou Jipng underlined the importance of the project for the economy of China and expressed content that CNPC’s partner in its realization is Rosneft.[mappress]Press Release, May 16, 2014
Richard Milne (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the defendant. Imprisonment – Length of sentence – Possession of firearm with intent to cause fear of violence R v Weaver: CA (Crim Div) (Lord Justice Laws, Mr Justice Openshaw and Mr Justice Hickinbottom (judgment delivered extempore): 5 August 2011 The defendant was a dairy farmer and owned a shotgun, which he had a licence for and used legitimately around the farm. The defendant and his wife (the complainant) attended a Christmas party. The defendant drank a considerable amount of alcohol. When the defendant and the complainant returned home, the defendant began to be aggressive. He took his gun, loaded it, took the safety catch off, pointed it towards the complainant’s face and said: ‘I am going to blow your fucking head off’. The complainant believed that it was his intention to kill her. That incident lasted a few minutes. The defendant then went outside into the garden and discharged the gun. The complainant managed to run away and telephoned the police. The defendant was charged with and pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence contrary to section 16A of the Firearms Act 1968. There had been no history of domestic violence. The defendant and the complainant had an eight-year-old son, who had not been in the house at the time of the offence. There was a psychiatrist’s report which said that the defendant did not suffer from a psychiatric condition, but had just had an outburst of emotion. The event had occurred because of the specific circumstances of that evening and he did not think that the defendant posed a future risk to the complainant. A pre-sentence report assessed him as having a medium risk to a woman who he might enter into a relationship with. The defendant and the complainant separated after the offence and the complainant said she was still fearful and had recurring nightmares. The sentencing judge took a starting point of seven-and-a-half years’ imprisonment and deducted one-third for the guilty plea. The defendant was accordingly sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. He appealed against his sentence. The defendant submitted that the judge’s starting point of seven-and-a-half years had been too high. The defendant submitted evidence from a police officer who reported that he was a model prisoner and had taken an active part in instructing prisoners in farming. The appeal would be allowed. In the instant case, the defendant had to have appreciated the dangerousness of the weapon. He had intended to cause fear of violence and the offence was aggravated by the fact that it had occurred in a domestic context where wives and partners have a proper expectation that they will not be in fear of violence. The mitigating features of the case were that the defendant had been in lawful possession of the gun, the holding of the gun towards the complainant had only lasted a few minutes, the defendant had been in a highly emotional state at the time and his behaviour had been out of character. The defendant had no previous convictions and had an industrious life in farming. Reports from prison officers also showed that he was a model prisoner. In the circumstances, the judge had a difficult task in balancing the serious aspects of the offence against the positive character of the defendant and the risk of future offending being low. In the circumstances, the sentence was manifestly excessive as it did not fully reflect the particularities of the offence and the exceptional mitigation. Accordingly, the defendant’s sentence would be quashed and substituted with a sentence of four years’ imprisonment.
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