Jan 6, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Public health officials in two countries today announced new human cases of H5N1 avian influenza, involving a 19-year-old Chinese woman who died of her infection and an 8-year-old Vietnamese girl who is recovering.In Beijing, local health authorities said the woman died yesterday after getting sick on Dec 24 and being hospitalized 3 days later, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported today. Tests at two labs revealed she was infected with the H5N1 virus.If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the case, she will be listed as China’s 31st H5N1 case-patient and 21st fatality. Her illness marks China’s first human case since February 2008.The Beijing Municipal Health Bureau told Xinhua that the woman bought nine ducks at a market in Langfang city in neighboring Hebei province on Dec 19. She removed the ducks’ internal organs and then gave three of the birds away to family and a friend.Zhao Qingchao, a Langfang City official, said investigators found that 13 people ate the ducks but only the woman got sick, Xinhua reported. He said the ducks were from Jixian county in northern ChinaBeijing’s health bureau said 116 people had close contact with the woman and that 102 of them were medical workers, according to the Xinhua report. One nurse who had contact with the patient had a fever but has since recovered.The WHO’s office in China released a statement saying the woman’s death from the H5N1 virus should not prompt alarm, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today. “We are concerned by any case of human H5N1 infection. However, this single case, which appears to have occurred during the slaughtering and preparation of poultry, does not change our risk assessment,” the WHO said.Meanwhile, an official from Vietnam’s Preventative Medicine Department told AFP that the 8-year-old girl, from Thanh Hoa province in northern Vietnam, got sick with pneumonia on Dec 27 after eating poultry and was hospitalized on Jan 2. If her case is confirmed by the WHO, she will be listed at Vietnam’s 107th case-patient.Nguyen Huy Nga, who directs the department, said tests revealed the girl’s H5N1 infection on Jan 3. Her case is Vietnam’s first since March 2008.An official with the provincial health department said he expected that the girl would be discharged from the hospital soon, according to the AFP report.Nguyen Huu Dinh, an animal health official in Thanh Hoa, said infected poultry had been detected and culled in the province, AFP reported.Jeff Gilbert, an avian influenza expert with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told AFP that Vietnam is entering a high-risk season because of cold weather that favors virus survival and the Tet (lunar new year) celebration, which often includes eating poultry dishes.”China has the (lunar) new year coming up, so the situation would be the same,” Gilbert said in the AFP report.If the WHO confirms the new cases reported today, they will raise the global H5N1 total to 393 cases with 248 deaths.The number of H5N1 cases and deaths in 2008 was the lowest since 2003, when the lethal H5N1 virus began causing outbreaks internationally, according to WHO figures. In 2008 there were 40 cases and 30 deaths, down from 88 and 59 in 2007, 115 and 79 in 2006, 98 and 43 in 2005, and 46 and 32 in 2004.Although there were fewer cases in 2008, the 75% case-fatality rate for the year was the highest since 2003, a moderate increase from 2007’s case-fatality rate of 67%.
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Reporting its financial results, Varma said it generated a 7.8% return on investments for the full year, up from 4.7% in 2016.Total assets under management grew to €45.4bn, up from €42.9bn a year earlier.The growth was not enough to preserve Varma’s long-held position as the largest Finnish pensions insurance company. Its rival Ilmarinen – which has just merged with the smaller Etera – reported earlier this month that its investment portfolio had risen in value to almost €45.8bn at the end of 2017.Local government pension fund Keva is still the most asset-heavy pension fund in Finland, with total investments valued at €50.9bn at the end of September 2017.Varma reported that all asset classes had ended 2017 with positive returns.Directly held unlisted equities and co-investments produced the highest return, generating 18.5%, even though this was lower than the 23.7% return from the asset class in 2016.Listed equities, meanwhile, returned 11.6%, up from 4.5% the year before. Fixed-income investments returned 3.7%, while Varma’s allocation to private equity funds gained 7.9%.Reima Rytsölä, Varma’s CIO, said: “The pick-up in the global economy led to booming equity markets worldwide, and the strong return on Varma’s investments had a direct correlation with the economy.”He predicted brisk economic progress would continue, “unless the wings of growth are clipped by central banks’ tightening monetary policy”. Finnish pensions insurer Varma has slashed the carbon footprint of its listed equities, corporate bonds and real estate portfolios by around a quarter over the past two years.In preliminary results for 2017, the €45.2bn pension provider said carbon generated by its listed equities had fallen 27% in 2017 from the 2015 baseline, while emissions related to its corporate bonds and real estate had declined by 22% and 18% respectively.Varma said: “This result was achieved, for example, by focusing on low-emissions industries and by avoiding emissions-intensive industries such as energy and mining.”The firm said its goal was to bring the carbon footprint of its holdings down and to develop the portfolio to conform with the targets of the Paris climate agreement.
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FC earned their first win of the year on Thursday, beating Connersville 5-2.Alex Bischoff got the win on the mound, pitching a complete game while giving up just 4 hits and 2 unearned runs. Dalton Durbin led FC with 2 hits and 2 stolen bases, while Jimmy Disney (2), Garrett Ertel, Augustus Runyon and Bischoff all had RBI’s.FC will host Union County for a doubleheader on Saturday.Courtesy of Wildcats Coach Derek Stang.
Brookville, IN —Several residents held a small, peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Brookville at the Courthouse earlier today. Organizers held signs supporting the Black Lives Matter movement as people drove by the area.According to the Observer, the organizer, who is the daughter of a police officer, said, “I know there are people in Franklin County and other rural communities that support the Black Lives Matter movement, but are hesitant to admit it. I just want them to know they are not alone.” One woman holding a sign said, “I’m here to give my voice to the Black Lives Matter issue.”People drove by and honked in support as well as some drove by and shouted their opinion against the demonstration.
Press Association De Gea is currently in Israel with the Spain Under-21 team, who play Norway in the semi-finals of the European Championship as they seek to retain the title they won in 2011. The Spaniard told AS: “I am very proud to have had the privilege of working with Ferguson, it was a real pleasure. Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea will never forget playing under Sir Alex Ferguson, who he has described as “the best coach of all time”. “He is the best coach of all time and it is something I will be able to tell my children and my grandchildren. “The best advice that he gave me was to simply give my all,” he added. “He told me to continue with the same mentality I have always had. I owe a lot of my capabilities as a goalkeeper to him.” De Gea admitted it would take a while to get used to not having Ferguson around, but insisted he was looking forward to working with new United boss David Moyes, who he believes is similar to his former boss. “It will be very strange because he spent 26 years at the same club, but this is football, and all eras must come to an end. “We are delighted that Moyes is the new coach as he has the same level of enthusiasm as Ferguson.”
David Moyes’ side were staring at a hat-trick of defeats for only the third time in the entire Premier League era. But once Welbeck rattled in the rebound after Adnan Januzaj had headed against a post, there was never much chance of it happening en-route to a 3-0 win. Manchester United rediscovered the winning habit as Danny Welbeck’s first-half double and Tom Cleverley’s strike condemned Aston Villa to their biggest Premier League defeat of the season. The visitors helped themselves with their speed and intensity, a sharp improvement on grim recent performances. Villa were unable to match them and left far too many open spaces for United shirts to flood into. Valencia gave Antonio Luna a torrid time and with the Spanish defender unsettled, Rafael was able to surge to the by-line and send over a superb cross that was met perfectly by Januzaj. The teenager’s header flashed past Brad Guzan, and when it came bouncing back off a post, Welbeck was racing in to apply a first-time finish to the rebound. Within three minutes, the visitors had struck again. This time Valencia provided the opportunity, with Welbeck sliding between defenders to touch home. It was the perfect way for United to answer their critics, and Welbeck to silence a few of his. The England striker revelled in the responsibility of leading the attacking line as Robin van Persie starts his month on the sidelines, with Wayne Rooney dropping so deep at times, he was almost assuming the Paul Scholes creative role. Rooney did skim the outside of a post after Valencia had opted to pass rather than shoot after driving deep into the area. Welbeck spurned a glorious chance to claim his first senior hat-trick from a very similar position after Valencia had once again proved too hot to handle. It was an all-too-familiar story for Villa, for whom Benteke was a shadow of the player who terrorised defences throughout last season. A confrontation between David de Gea and Gabriel Agbonlahor, making his 300th Villa appearance, at the start of the second period suggested the hosts had received a blasting from manager Paul Lambert. But pretty soon, Rooney had powered forward and slipped a pass to Cleverley, who drove home his first Premier League goal in almost exactly a year. Soon afterwards, the England midfielder was throwing himself in front of an Andreas Weimann shot as United attempted to preserve their healthy advantage, a sign in itself of the determination in the away ranks to right the wrongs of a dreadful few weeks. The return of Darren Fletcher after almost 12 months out with, and virtually three years affected by a chronic bowel condition, merely added to the party atmosphere amongst the away support. De Gea denied Karim El Ahmadi after Welbeck had floated a chip onto the roof of Guzan’s goal but by then, thousands of Villa fans had already started to head for the exits. Welbeck, who had not scored in the league since the opening day of the season, added another from Antonio Valencia’s cross. Then Cleverley, who like Welbeck has been singled out for criticism by many supporters for his part in United’s struggles this term, belted home his first goal in a year from Wayne Rooney’s lay-off. It was lapped up by a vocal away support, who after the opener amusingly chanted: “We are staying up.” Whilst presiding over a relegation battle in the season after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson is evidently not going to happen, for Moyes, he can only hope it is a victory that kick starts the season. Not that he will meet many opponents like Villa, for whom striker Christian Benteke was a major disappointment. As Everton and Newcastle both ended long waits for wins at Old Trafford in the past fortnight, nothing could be taken for granted. However, Villa Park has long been one of United’s favourite grounds and in the Premier League they remained unbeaten there since the famous ‘You’ll win nothing with kids day’ in 1995. And, thankfully for Moyes, he found Villa in the most accommodating of moods. Press Association
ATLANTA, United States (CMC) – Trinidadian forward Kenwyne Jones abruptly ended his 15-year professional career on Monday after Major League Soccer franchise Atlanta United opted not to renew his contract for the upcoming season.The 33-year-old, a former Trinidad and Tobago captain, was one of seven players not retained by Atlanta following a season where he scored two goals in just 17 league appearances, and he subsequently announced his decision via the online social networking service, Twitter.“Football has been great to me, I thank everyone who has helped me on the way, I appreciate you, but this is my last year in the sport…#onelove.”He was later quoted as saying: “My decision to retire from playing has not been an easy one for me but having thought about it at length, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career.“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career I’ve had and I’ve loved every moment of it, being part of history and playing before fans of my country and the different teams I represented.“It has been a huge distinction to captain my national team both at the senior and youth level and these were some of the best years of my life.”Following successful spells with Trinidadian Pro League clubs Joe Public and W Connection, the six-foot, two-inch striker came to prominence as a 19-year-old when he excited the taste buds during a three-year spell at Southampton when he smashed in 19 goals from 71 appearances.Jones then joined Sunderland in 2007 in a deal valued at six million pounds sterling, yet again impressing in his three years on Tyneside. His strong aerial ability saw him attract attention from Premiership giants Liverpool and Chelsea but he remained with Sunderland until moving to Stoke City in 2010 for a club-record, eight million pounds sterling.This move was followed by a two-year spell at Cardiff City and short loan stints a Bournemouth and Al Jazira in United Emirates, before linking up with Atlanta last year.Jones won 89 caps for T&T, scoring 23 goals and was a member of the historic squad which qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.He played in three CONCACAF Gold Cup campaigns in 2005, 2013 and 2015, and was part of T&T’s recent failed 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
The Wisconsin men’s soccer team embarked on its first “real” road trip of the season Thursday when the squad flew to Albuquerque, N.M., for the Nike/TLC Plumbing and Utility Invitational to be held at the UNM Soccer Complex.Following last weekend’s heartbreaking 1-0 loss to No. 7 Fairleigh Dickinson, Wisconsin (3-1-0) will be looking to bag a top-ten victory when they line up against No. 3 University of New Mexico (4-0-0) Friday night at 8 p.m. The team will play its second and final tournament match Sunday morning at 10:30 p.m. against Butler University (5-0-0).Head coach Jeff Rohrman is delighted with the idea of facing two undefeated clubs and believes his team has the potential to fare quite well in the tourney.”It’s a great opportunity for us to play a top-five team [in New Mexico] and then also a top-five team in our region in Butler,” Rohrman said. “It’s a huge weekend for us, we’re looking forward to it and hopefully Sunday we’ll be flying back with two wins.”Friday’s matchup with New Mexico will be not be easy, however. The Lobos have won 11-straight at the UNM Soccer Complex, and have only one loss at home in head coach Jeremy Fishbein’s tenure.While Rohrman admits playing a team of such high caliber at home will be difficult, he hopes the competition will prepare his squad for the upcoming Big Ten season.”It’s going to prepare us for a pretty rigorous October with regard to some of the teams and games we’re going to be playing through that month,” Rohrman said. “So, it will simulate what we can expect from some of those teams when we get to that part of the season.”Providing the scoring for the Lobos is senior forward Jeff Rowland, whose 10 points and five goals both rank in the top-20 in the NCAA. Rowland’s finishing touch has played a major role so far this season as UNM has outscored their opponents 8-2.In order to notch a victory, the Badger defense will need to shut down the Lobo offense, primarily with an attack on Rowland’s impressive goal streak. Junior captain Aaron Hohlbein leads the assault, and is encouraging the rest of the defense to play patiently against the 6-foot-1, 175-pound forward.”I just need to keep the other guys focused,” Hohlbein said. “Just tell the guys to be relaxed and not to step in and don’t over-commit … just play the way that they always play and don’t think about anything else.”On the defensive side, New Mexico’s three shutouts in four games are tied for second in the nation. Following shutout victories over No. 23 Penn State, No. 18 Ohio State and West Virginia, the Lobos may have the Badgers scratching their heads looking for a way to score.With 5-foot-8 sophomores Victor Diaz and Sho Fujita in the attack, the Badgers will need to utilize their speed up front to counter the pair of 6-foot-4 Lobo defenders Andrew Boyers and Josh Brown.”New Mexico is a team that has got two very large center-backs,” Rohrman said. “We’re going to have to look to get early balls into [our forwards], so they’re going to have to be alert and aware of what spaces they can get into, and hopefully we can cause some problems that way.”Another certain factor in Friday’s match will be the crowd. Last season, the UNM Soccer Complex averaged 2,379 fans per game — the second-highest attendance in the NCAA in 2004. Tonight, however, is “Stuff the Stadium” night, and all tickets are only $2. With an anticipated crowd of nearly 5,000 fans, Rohrman’s club will surely enjoy themselves.”I think they’ll be excited,” Rohrman said. “A lot of our guys have some great experiences playing with regional teams and traveling abroad and so forth. I think [the crowd] will energize and motivate them; I don’t think it will put any fear in them. They’ll be ready to go.”