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Race for McEachran hots up

first_imgQPR are planning to table a bid for Aston Villa’s England striker Darren Bent, according to the Daily Mirror.The paper also say Rangers may sell Adel Taarabt to Paris St Germain when the transfer window reopens and use the cash to reinvest in their squad.Taarabt’s QPR future is in serious doubt.Meanwhile, Villa appear to have entered the race to sign highly-rated youngster Josh McEachran on loan from Chelsea.The Daily Mail and The Guardian both suggest Villa are keen to land the midfielder, who has been linked with several other clubs – including Fulham.The Mail also report that Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has had Tommy Langley removed as a pundit on the club’s television channel for criticising the Portuguese’s treatment of disenchanted players.The Guardian is one several papers to report Martin Jol’s denial of a bust-up with Fulham striker Bobby Zamora.On Tuesday, speaking ahead of tonight’s game against Manchester United, Whites boss Jol insisted there was no rift between himself and the player but said Zamora is no longer a first-choice forward.This page is updated throughout the day. Follow West London Sport on Twitterlast_img read more

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SA, US join to fight tuberculosis

first_imgNine-year-old Sammy and four-year-old Msizi are tuberculosis patients at Lifecare Knights hospital in Germiston. The Southern African region has the highest incidence of the disease in the world. (Image: World Lung Foundation)Janine ErasmusKwaZulu-Natal University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have joined to establish the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, a research centre of international standard that will focus on contributing meaningfully to the global fight against tuberculosis (TB) and HIV.The two diseases often go hand in hand, as TB is increasingly seen as an opportunistic disease that takes advantage of HIV sufferers’ weakened immune system to entrench itself. While an opportunistic disease usually only appears when the immune system is compromised, TB is now seen as such a disease in those infected with the Aids virus.According to the World Health Organisation the disease is the leading infectious killer of people living with HIV and in fact, the two are so closely connected that the term “co-epidemic” or “dual epidemic” is often used to describe their relationship.In South Africa the dual epidemic is especially virulent, as the country has the highest number of HIV-positive people in the world. Many sufferers contract the extreme drug-resistant strain of TB, which was first noticed in Tugela Ferry in 2005. In the rural KwaZulu-Natal town, 44 people contracted the deadly TB strain – all were found to be HIV positive, and all but one of them died.International centre of research excellenceHowever, there is now fresh cause for hope. The KwaZulu-Natal research institute, which has been two years in the planning, was announced simultaneously in Washington, DC, and Durban on 19 March 2009.As part of its goal of becoming an international centre of research excellence, the institute will also concentrate its efforts on producing a new generation of research scientists that, with training in the field, will be able to competently tackle African issues.The facility will be housed in a brand-new six-floor state-of-the-art BSL-3 laboratory on the campus of the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in Durban. A BSL-x classification refers to the biosafety level of a facility, and level three applies to those facilities, whether they are of a diagnostic, teaching, research, or production nature, that work with indigenous pathogens capable of causing serious or potentially lethal disease after inhalation.Construction of the building is expected to begin in September 2009.Supporting medical researchThe non-profit Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), established in the 1953 by the late aviation magnate Howard Hughes, is one of the largest private funding organisations for biological and medical research in the US.After the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the institute is the second-wealthiest philanthropic organisation in the US with an endowment of a staggering R180.7-billion (US$18.6-billion). It is also the second-best endowed medical research foundation in the world, coming in behind the UK’s Wellcome Trust.The HHMI will invest committed R583-million ($60-million) into the KwaZulu-Natal initiative over the next decade, providing R29-million ($3-million) in grant funding and for the construction of temporary laboratory facilities in 2009.Outgoing president of the HHMI, Thomas Cech, said that it was the joint view of the HHMI and the university that substantial investment into research in the heart of the pandemics of HIV and TB will yield major discoveries, and do much to alleviate the suffering caused by these diseases.“There is no better place on the continent to conduct research into TB,” said Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, vice-chancellor of KwaZulu-Natal University. “The partnership is addressing a real problem that affects real people.”According to Robert Tjian, the incoming president of the HHMI, the project will have global benefits. “This initiative is one of the most challenging we have embarked upon in our international programme,” he said. “I look forward to seeing how the facility realises the potential for developing new strategies to combat the dual scourge of HIV and tuberculosis – both for South Africa and the entire world.”The South African institute will focus initially on four core research areas – development of rapid and more effective tests for TB, research into the characteristics of drug resistant strains of TB, analysis of the complex immune response to TB, specifically among those already infected with HIV, and a study of recurrent TB in HIV-positive patients to assess the nature of the recurrence.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesIncentive scheme for the poorMobile HIV testing in KZN TB diagnosis breakthroughBig medicine from a little plant Alive & Kicking up a storm Useful linksHoward Hughes Medical InstituteKwaZulu-Natal UniversityHIV statistics – South AfricaWorld Health Organisation – TB and HIVWorld Health Organisation – South Africalast_img read more

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South Africa’s global reputation ‘steady’

first_img Most countries displayed a “remarkable stability”, the report says. The notable exception is Spain, which has struggled to emerge from its debt crisis.BRICS block Brazil (20) is the only country in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping to appear in the index’s “second tier”, rising incrementally between 2008 and 2011, but cooling slightly in the post-Lula da Silva era. Russia’s reputation is described as “noticeably volatile”, due in large part to the country’s governance positions. It is ranked 22nd. China’s ranking at 23 was affected by “noticeable losses on their investment appeal”, reflecting a trend across the world, Anholt said. India at 31 has experienced “considerable downward movements” between the last two readings, the report notes.South African success South Africa is the “strongest performer” of the nine countries selected to represent the Middle East and Africa. Nation Brands Index – Middle East and Africa: South Africans provided high rankings in the people, tourism and culture categories, but were more critical about areas such as governance and immigration/investment. The latter refers to a country’s ability to attract talent and capital, its economic prosperity, equal opportunity, and the perception that it is a place with a high quality of life. The country’s economic and business conditions are also measured.Bridging the gap The report notes that there remains a large gap between the top 20 nations (the “haves”) and the bottom 30 (the “have-nots”) when it comes to investment/immigration, the pillar that focuses on growth potential. “Developed nations still command the respect of the world when it comes to education quality, social equality, strong businesses and the overall quality of life,” the report says. The lower-ranked nations also lag when it comes to science contribution, creativity and quality products, scoring, on average, 15 points below the leading nations of the top 20. “Their governments, too, fall a distance behind the leading nations, scoring an average of over 14 points below,” the report notes. South Africa weakest score is in the area of governance, although it outdoes its BRICS partners India and China in this category.Tourism, culture, people The cultural reputation of a nation is considered to be among the most volatile of all indices, but South Africa’s standing in the culture category remains its strongest asset – the country is ranked 27th, up from 28 last year. South Africa slipped slightly to 34th in the people category, which measures people’s friendliness by whether respondents would feel welcome when visiting the country. South Africa’s rank of 34 for tourism is the same as the past two years.Selecting the countries The list of 50 nations is based on their political and economic importance in global geopolitics and the flow of trade, businesses, people and tourism activities. Regional representation and the diversity of political and economic systems are also taken into consideration. SAinfo reporter and GfK.com South Africa: 36Egypt: 41United Arab Emirates: 40Saudi Arabia: 45Qatar: 46Kenya: 47Botswana: 48Nigeria: 49Iran: 50center_img 18 November 2013 South Africa’s global reputation has held steady in this year’s Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, an annual survey of 50 countries regarded as playing important roles in international relations, trade and flow of business, and cultural and tourism activities. South Africa maintained its 36th position in the latest survey, which was released on Thursday with Botswana entering the rankings for the first time at 48, just ahead of Nigeria and Iran. For the survey, opinions from nearly 20 500 people in 20 core panel countries – one of which is South Africa – are polled online. The respondents rate 50 countries on questions in six categories: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment. The index measures the power and appeal of each country’s “brand image” by examining its competence in these categories. The 2013 study found that South Africa was outperforming its counterparts in Africa and the Middle East in terms of reputation. Good news “Coming in the wake of the South Africa’s inaugural Competitiveness Forum, the 2013 Nation Brands Index results are very good news for South Africa,” Miller Motola, chief executive of Brand South Africa, said in a statement on Friday. “The National Development Plan is a strong plan, which, if implemented, will see us make strong gains in the important categories of governance and immigration and investment. We are already on track to achieve those goals, as set out in Vision 2030,” Matola said. While South Africa’s rankings have remained unchanged in exports (37), governance (40), tourism (34) and immigration/investment (38), its improvement in the culture pillar to 27 was “fitting”, Matola said, “since we are proud of our history and diversity and this is one of our greatest strengths”. Although South Africa showed a slight decline in the “people” pillar to 34, this trend was evidenced across most of the 50 polled nations. South Africa’s stable position as a nation brand is important because the way a country is perceived can make a significant difference to the success of its business, trade and tourism efforts, as well as its diplomatic and cultural relations with other nations.Top achievers The average scores attained by the study’s top 10 remains “virtually identical” to what they were in 2008, the report says. The US retains its top spot as the nation with the best overall reputation for the fourth year in a row. Voted as the most attractive country for immigration and investment for the fourth year running, the US’s position may be under threat as its score has shown one of the biggest falls of any nation since last year, the study’s founder, Simon Anholt, said in a statement. The survey’s top 10 for 2013 are:The United StatesGermanyThe UKFranceCanadaJapanItalySwitzerlandAustraliaSwedenlast_img read more

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Fall herbicide applications

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As populations of herbicide resistant weeds continue to grow, sound management practices are more critical than ever to keep these weeds under control. Fall herbicide applications are good tool for controlling existing weeds after harvest, which will provide a weed free field in early spring the following year.According to Mark Loux, OSU Weed Specialist, “Even where the herbicides lack residual, the fall treatment seems to enable more effective control of marestail the following season. In some cases, it’s probable that you don’t even know how much the fall treatment helps out, but our research shows that more often than not it does.”University research also suggests that most fall applied herbicides provide minimal residual control in the spring and that the greatest benefit from residual herbicides is gained from a spring application. The timing of fall herbicide applications is important to ensure control of existing weeds.“In our research, herbicides seem to be effective for control of winter annuals and biennials well into December. The rate of plant death can slow considerably, but this is not a problem since weeds just have to die by early spring. Control of perennials typically declines in late November or early December though, depending upon weather,” writes Loux.University experts have published several excellent articles on this subject that go into great detail, all of which are available online. Below are some effective fall herbicide treatments recommended by Ohio State University research. Keep in mind; it is important to make application decisions based on the weeds present and the crop to be planted the following spring.Any Crop Next Spring: -Glyphosate + 2,4-DSoybeans next spring: Canopy EX or DF + 2,4-D Glyphosate + 2,4-D Metribuzin + 2,4-D (excluding dandelions)Corn next spring: Basis + 2,4-D Glyphosate + 2,4-D Simazine + 2,4-D (except dandelion)For more information about fall weed control check out these articles from Purdue and Ohio State.last_img read more

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Mostly Safe Drinking Water Is Not Safe Enough

first_imgMost Americans take clean drinking water for granted as a convenience of modern life. The United States has one of the world’s safest drinking water supplies, but new challenges constantly emerge. For example, on May 6 researchers at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University reported that 43 states have sites where water is contaminated with toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS. And many farm workers in California’s Central Valley have to buy bottled water because their tap water contains unsafe levels of arsenic and agricultural chemicals that have been linked to elevated risks of infant death and cancer in adults. As a scientist specializing in water quality, I believe water providers and regulators can’t afford to be complacent. So I was distressed to hear EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler tout the quality of drinking water in the U.S. in an interview on March 20, 2019. “I want to make sure the American public understands 92% of the water everyday meets all the EPA requirements for safe drinking water,” Wheeler said.RELATED ARTICLESReport Warns of Widespread Drinking Water ContaminationNitrate Taints Drinking Water of Millions, Study FindsIs Your Drinking Water Safe?Is There Lead in the Water of Your Green Building?Blue Heron EcoHaus: Dealing With Really Bad Water Let’s do the math on that. Nationwide, 327 million Americans each drink two to eight glasses of water on average every day. If 8% of that supply doesn’t meet EPA standards, that’s up to 209 million unsafe glasses of water per day, or 2.3 billion gallons of water–enough to fill a quarter of a million bathtubs. In short, high compliance numbers do not mean everything is fine. Aging and underfunded For more than 40 years, the Safe Drinking Water Act has provided a consistent set of national standards for monitoring and managing contaminants to ensure the safety of water. The Environmental Protection Agency develops these standards and works with states and water utilities to ensure that drinking water supplies conform to them. Thanks to rules implemented under the Safe Drinking Water Act in the 1980s, waterborne disease declined in the United States, but in recent decades it has crept back up. The EPA also provides funding to states and communities to monitor and test water supplies. This support is essential as the agency develops new standards and monitoring approaches for emerging contaminants, such as PFAS. However, the EPA’s annual appropriations budget for water infrastructure has been virtually flat since 2000. EPA annual appropriations for water infrastructure, fiscal years 1973-2019.[Source: Congressional Research Service] There are more than 151,000 public water systems in the United States serving residential communities, schools, office buildings, hospitals and other sites. It is especially challenging for small communities to fund infrastructure upgrades and monitor water quality. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the U.S. drinking water delivery system a D on its most recent infrastructure report card, based on the high number of leaks and the presence of both legacy contaminants like lead and new threats like PFAS. Millions of violations every year Nationwide, the fraction of all water systems in compliance with health standards has hovered between 90% and 93% since 2013. However, some key sources are doing less well. For example, at schools and daycare facilities compliance was only 90% on average from 2014 to 2019, and appears to have declined in the past several years. And some regions are better-served than others. EPA data for the first quarter of 2019 show that the percentage of water systems in compliance ranged from 84% to 95%. The fractions of populations with access to water that met all national standards varied even more, ranging from 60% to 95%. EPA Regions 2 (New York and New Jersey) and 6 (New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas) had the poorest compliance records. In Region 2, nearly 12 million people were served by a system in violation of at least one federal regulation. Compliance with federal drinking water standards varies regionally across the country.[Source: EPA] Sickened by tap water What are the most common violations? Of the 10,083 systems that were in violation of a federal standard in 2015, 72% were based on the Total Coliform Rule or other microbial violations. This means that bacteria were found in the water, and that there was a potential for waterborne disease due to fecal contamination or inadequate treatment. Researchers have estimated that as many as 32 million cases of waterborne disease occur nationwide every year. The most recent summary from the Centers for Disease Control of actual reported problems in community water systems found 42 outbreaks in 2013 and 2014, with 1,006 cases of illness, 124 hospitalizations and 13 deaths. For the water industry these events represent failures to fulfill its core mission, much like plane crashes for the aviation industry. Climate change is producing more intense storms and flooding, which is significantly affecting water quality. Extreme precipitation and floods wash contaminants from sewage and animal manure into water supplies. It is clear that rainfall is associated with widespread transport of fecal contamination from humans and animals into rivers and lakes. Grade: Incomplete No other industry would accept an 8% failure rate, and I do not believe U.S. water professionals see that figure as acceptable. In my view, the first step is to put more resources into water supply monitoring and diagnostics that can detect emerging pathogens, such as protozoa and viruses. Another valuable step would be funding pilot and demonstration plants that could demonstrate new treatment systems’ potential to reduce waterborne disease risks. For example, in Ohio a consortium of cities, consulting engineers, and universities is assessing new treatment systems for combined sewer and stormwater discharges. Creating more such facilities would support innovation and adoption of promising new strategies. Early work on the occurrence in water supplies of Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite that can cause gastrointestinal illness, eventually led to new rules for drinking water monitoring and treatment. Today, water utilities could identify whether fecal pollution was coming from humans or animals using new technologies and this would allow them to target impaired waterways before outbreaks occurred. Finally, I believe water providers and regulators should reaffirm their commitment to providing safe water whenever Americans turn on a tap or take a shower. A perfect score may be unattainable today, but even a 1% rise in compliance would make numerous Americans’ lives safer and healthier. And investments in new water infrastructure can make 99.999% compliance achievable. Joan Rose is Laboratory Director/Principal Investigator in Water Research, at Michigan State University. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here.last_img read more

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Your Effort Exactly Matches Your Real Goals

first_imgThere is a difference between wanting things and having goals that you are pursuing. For example, everyone wants more money. A small percentage are motivated enough by the idea to take action to produce more income. Everyone wants to be in excellent physical condition, but few are willing to invest their time and energy to do the work that produces that outcome.When you look at the results that you are producing right now, your current level of effort is what is producing those results. If you put even less effort into the results you want, you will produce even less of them, true? And, naturally, if you put more effort into what you want, you will progress towards those things.Your effort matches up precisely to your real goals.The effort you put forth to have something is indication as to how badly you want it. Even if you say that you really, really, really want something, your effort exposes the truth. You are motivated enough to have exactly the result you have now, and you are comfortable.More effort might make you uncomfortable, and you may have to give up what you know and believe to gain something different. You might have to double the time and energy, something that might also make you uncomfortable. Becoming the person that comes after the person you are not might be a scary thought, making you wonder if you will lose membership in your tribe.When you want your goal badly enough to put forth the effort to achieve it, you will almost certainly attain that goal. Given enough time and a consistent application of effort, obstacles eventually give way. Those obstacles are what prevent all who merely “want” things from having them, and they are the proving grounds for those who achieve their goals.Your effort tells the truth about your real goals. It’s okay if comfort is one of them, but where is the fun in that? Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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