Avian flu reported in two more Nigerian states

first_imgFeb 9, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Deadly H5N1 avian influenza was reported on farms in two more Nigerian states today as United Nations officials warned that the virus’s emergence in Africa represents a serious crisis.The Nigerian agriculture ministry said the virus had been found in chickens on two farms in Kano state and one in Plateau state, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. Kano borders Kaduna state, site of the first reported outbreak, on the northeast, and Plateau borders it on the southeast.”The outbreak in Kaduna state in northern Nigeria proves that no country is risk-free and that we are facing a serious international crisis,” said Samuel Jutzi, director of the the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Animal Production and Health Division, in a statement yesterday.Lee Jong-wook, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), said today, “The confirmation of H5N1 avian influenza in poultry in Africa is a cause for great concern and demands immediate action.”The deaths of 60,000 poultry in Kano had been reported previously, but officials had said tests for avian flu were negative. It was not clear today how many of the deaths were due to avian flu, according to the AFP report.Tope Ajakaiye, spokesman for the Nigerian agriculture ministry, said the outbreak sites have been quarantined. “The federal government is doing everything to contain the disease within the three centers that have been located,” the Associated Press (AP) quoted him as saying.The AP reported that Junaidu Maina, director of Nigeria’s livestock department, said poultry farms all across northern Nigeria were under quarantine, but he did not say how many of the country’s 36 states were included in the order.Government accused of slow responseAwalu Haruna of the Poultry Farmers’ Association of Kano yesterday accused the government of tardiness in responding to the outbreak, the AP story said. “The government should have quarantined the affected farms to prevent further spread,” he said. “But as I speak this has not been done. There is still movement of humans and birds in and out of these farms.”According to a Reuters report today, workers at the Kaduna farm where the virus was first reported said all the birds had died about a month ago. “They burned them and buried them,” one worker was quoted as saying. “They didn’t tell us what had happened. I heard it on the news.”About 40,000 birds reportedly died on the farm, near Jaji village. Fifteen large concrete hangars used as chicken barns stood empty today, Reuters reported.The story also said agricultural authorities in Kano state had ordered a quarantine of all farms with mass bird deaths, but officials would not destroy the flocks until tests confirm the presence of H5N1. Otherwise, “people might take advantage” of compensation being offered to farmers, one official said.International help expectedThe United States has pledged $25 million to help contain the virus, according to the AP and Reuters reports.Ajaikaye told AFP a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team based in Kenya was expected to come to Nigeria and set up a laboratory. The team is to bring 2,000 protective suits for health and veterinary workers, he said.Experts from the FAO, the WHO, and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) were expected to travel to Nigeria tomorrow to help, the AP quoted the OIE’s Alex Thiermann as saying.The WHO’s Lee said in his statement, “The single most important public health priority at this stage is to warn people about the dangers of close contact with sick or dead birds infected with H5N1.”He said the WHO is offering to help the Nigerian government in a public information campaign, possibly by giving messages about bird flu during a nationwide, house-to-house polio immunization campaign scheduled to begin Feb 11.Lee noted that African health systems are already struggling to cope with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other diseases. “We simply do not know what the impact of exposure to avian influenza will be on the many people who may be already immunocompromised and in a fragile state of health,” he said.Greece reports infected swansIn other developments, three swans found dead in northern Greece tested positive for an H5 virus, possibly signaling H5N1’s arrival in the country, according to an AFP report today.Greece has had no confirmed outbreaks of H5N1 so far. Last October there was a report of an H5 virus in some turkeys on a Greek island, but the findings apparently were never confirmed. At this writing, the OIE Web site showed no reports of H5 avian flu in Greece.Two of the infected swans were found in the northern port city of Salonika, and the third came from the prefecture of Pieria, according to officials quoted by AFP.The Greek agriculture ministry said a European Union–certified laboratory in Salonika had detected H5 viruses in samples from the three swans, which were among 52 birds tested, AFP reported.The samples have been sent to a London lab for to determine whether the virus is H5N1, officials told AFP.Earlier this week, a swan infected with an H5 virus was reported in Bulgaria, which adjoins northeastern Greece.See also:Feb 9 statement by WHO Director-General Lee Jong-wookhttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2006/s03/en/index.htmlFeb 8 FAO statementhttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000226/index.htmllast_img read more

We used ESPN’s NFL Playoff Machine to create the most unlikely 2019 playoff bracket

first_imgAFC1. Browns (10-6) — Mathematically speaking, Cleveland can still live up to its lofty preseason expectations. As it currently stands, though, the Browns are 4-6 and three games behind the Chiefs in the win column for the No. 6 seed. The fact that Cleveland can still technically land the top seed in the AFC is pretty remarkable. First-round bye probability: <1%2. Raiders (10-6) — The Raiders, meanwhile, are trending closer to playoff contention. Oakland is tied with the Chiefs in the loss column and has just one game against a team above .500 the rest of the way, which is Kansas City on Dec. 1. First-round bye probability: 2%3. Bills (10-6) — How about a changing of the guard in the AFC East? The Bills trail the Patriots by two games but look the part of a playoff contender through the first 10 games. The only problem is Buffalo has yet to beat a winning team this season and its remaining schedule features the Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers and Patriots. Playoff probability: 72%4. Texans (9-6-1) — The AFC South could get pretty hectic down the stretch if the Texans stumble. Houston currently leads with a 7-4 record with the Colts (6-5), Titans (5-5) and even the Jaguars (4-6) not far behind. Houston and Tennessee will meet in weeks 15 and 17 for a pair of matchups that figure to go a long way in deciding the division. Playoff probability: 84%5. Jaguars (9-6-1) — Surprise, surprise. Despite falling two games under .500 after starting 4-4, Jacksonville isn't finished. The Jaguars' remaining schedule is favorable, too, with four of the final six games coming against teams below .500. Playoff probability: 7%6. Titans (9-6-1) — Operation AFC South Takeover is complete with the Titans rounding out the playoff field, leaving the Patriots, Ravens and Chiefs among potential Super Bowl contenders booking early vacations. I wouldn't bet any money on this scenario coming to fruition. Playoff probability: 17%Missing out: Patriots (playoff miss probability: <1%), Ravens (1%), Chiefs (8%), Colts (64%), Steelers (71%)MORE: Here is the real NFL playoff picture for Week 12NFC1. Bears (10-6) — We start with the Bears winning out (Giants, at Lions, Cowboys, at Packers, Chiefs, at Vikings) and the Packers completely collapsing and missing out on a playoff berth entirely. Given Chicago's complete incompetence on the offensive side of the ball (28th in points per game) and a challenging finish to 2019, even an 8-8 record seems unlikely. First-round bye probability: <1%2. Seahawks (10-6) — Seattle only trails San Francisco by a game at 8-2, so the Seahawks slotting into a first-round bye at season's end wouldn't be all that surprising. The two play in Week 17 in Seattle in a potential winner-take-all NFC West decider. First-round bye probability: 27%3. Falcons (8-7-1) — For about eight weeks, Atlanta was looking primed for a shot at the No. 1 pick in next year's draft. In the past two weeks, though, the Falcons have a pair of dominant road wins against quality NFC South opponents in the Saints (8-2) and Panthers (5-5). Even still, Atlanta trails New Orleans by five games with six contests remaining. Playoff probability: <1%4. Redskins (7-9) — Yes, the Redskins. Washington (1-9) would have to win out and needs the Cowboys (6-4) to avoid winning another game and the Eagles to avoid winning two games the rest of the way. To put it lightly, that would be asking an absurd amount out of a team that has the worst offense in the NFL and is operating with an interim head coach. A 7-9 division winner doesn't feel morally sound, either. Playoff probability: <1%5. Vikings (10-6) — Minnesota has snuck up on Green Bay in the NFC North hunt with six wins in its last seven outings. You can take your pick, but it's nearly impossible to envision a scenario in which both the Packers and Vikings miss the playoffs. Their Week 16 "Monday Night Football" showdown could carry big implications. Playoff probability: 91% 6. Rams (10-6) — Much like the NFC West, you can only keep so many heavyweights out of the postseason. The 49ers, Seahawks and Rams have a combined 23-7 record on the year and the Seahawks and Rams currently sit sixth and seventh in the NFC standings. Can Los Angeles rebound from its early hiccups to return to the playoffs? Time will tell. Playoff probability: 26%Missing out: Saints (playoff miss probability: 3%), Packers (6%), 49ers (7%), Cowboys (38%), Eagles (54%)So feel free to dream, Browns, Raiders, Bears, Falcons and Redskins fans. If nothing else, this exercise should illustrate the inevitability of unpredictability down the stretch of the NFL regular season. Maybe it won't be Browns vs. Bears Super Bowl-level chaos, but chaos nonetheless. (Screengrab/ESPN) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/dd/94/nfl-playoff-machinejpg_1vulkg52hu30u17ajgrl7kdgtp.jpg?t=-1649646922&w=500&quality=80 For football fans, the annual unveiling of ESPN's Playoff Machine is as much of a holiday as Christmas or Thanksgiving. The simulation allows users to select winners and losers of the regular season's remaining games and churns out a projected playoff bracket based on win-loss records and tiebreakers. It's an incredibly useful tool for media and fans, but it's just as entertaining to toy with the system to see what kind of wacky results it can produce. So that's exactly what we did. The goal was simple: create the most statistically unlikely playoff bracket possible.MORE NFL WEEK 12:Picks against the spread | Power rankingsThe first order of business is trying to find a way to squeeze as many 2020 No. 1 draft pick contenders into the playoffs. In the AFC, the Bengals sit at 0-10 and the Dolphins (2-8) and Jets (3-7) can do no better than tie the Patriots with nine wins on the season. Not a lot going on here.For the NFC, however, the door is a bit more open. The Redskins, which own a conference-worst 1-9 record, still have a mathematical chance of reaching the playoffs this season. The same case also applies to the lowly Giants (2-8), Falcons (3-7), Buccaneers (3-7) and Cardinals (3-7-1).We started by trying to place as many current non-playoff teams in the bracket and remove as many true playoff contenders as possible. These efforts resulted in the Patriots, Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers, Packers, Saints and Cowboys all missing the playoffs. The final playoff seedings according to the simulation are listed below with each team's projected playoff record and ESPN's FiveThirtyEight playoff probabilities.last_img read more

‘Prison Break’ cast member Garrison to be sentenced in fatal DUI crash

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Garrison had a blood-alcohol content of .20 — more than twice the legal limit — and was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the crash, according to police. Superior Court Judge Elden Fox ordered Garrison on Aug. 2 to spend the next 90 days in a state prison facility to undergo a psychological evaluation. On “Prison Break,” Garrison played the character Tweener, who was killed off in the Oct. 2, 2006 episode of the Fox drama series. The Dallas native’s other credits include the 2006 film “Crazy” and an episode of the short-lived 2005 ABC series “Night Stalker.” Garrison was also part of the cast of the film, “Shooter,” released this year. Setian’s parents have formed the Vahagn Setian Charitable Foundation to “ensure that his passion for music, the arts, laughter and human joy will continue to flourish in the community he loved so dearly,” according to the mission statement posted on its Web site, www.vahagnfoundation.org The foundation, which is behind the petition drive aimed at ensuring Garrison’s lengthy incarceration, will award scholarships and other assistance to art students in the Beverly Hills Unified School District. It says it will also “constantly remind students to be aware of the danger of riding with anyone they suspect of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, especially someone they do not know.” For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BEVERLY HILLS – Petitions bearing more than 3,400 signatures are set to be delivered to Beverly Hills Superior Court today in an attempt to persuade a judge to give former “Prison Break” cast member Lane Garrison the maximum sentence for an alcohol-related crash that killed a Beverly Hills High School student. Garrison is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow in connection with his May 21 guilty plea to one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and driving under the influence causing injury, along with one misdemeanor count of providing alcohol to a minor. He also admitted the allegation of having a blood-alcohol level of .15 or higher. Garrison, 27, is facing a maximum term of six years and eight months in prison. The charges stem from the death of 17-year-old Vahagn Setian, who was a passenger in the 2001 Land Rover Garrison was driving when it struck a tree in the 300 block of South Beverly Drive Dec. 2. Two other passengers — both 15- year-old girls — survived. last_img read more

RUGBY: GALLANT EFFORT NOT ENOUGH FOR LETTERKENNY FIRSTS

first_imgLetterkenny 12 Limavady 24 Saturday 19th December 2015The roar of delight from the Limavady players and supporters on hearing the final whistle was a backhanded compliment to the Letterkenny players as the run-away league leaders knew they had been tested in a hard fought physical battle at Dave Gallaher Park. The final whistle came as Letterkenny were pounding the visitors line in search of a third try and a deserved losing bonus point but couldn’t quite manage to hold on to possession. Limavady arrived as the unbeaten league leaders with a 17 point lead at the top of the table and having dished out thrashings to most teams in the league to date. Letterkenny were the recipients of just such a rugby lesson at John Hunter Memorial Park at the start of the season. Saturday’s game would serve as a useful benchmark as to how much progress Letterkenny had made in the three months since their first encounter.The game started brightly for Letterkenny and an early penalty chance by out half Ryan Mortimer drifted just to left of the posts in the strong breeze. Some ill-discipline at the breakdown allowed the visitors to gain field position inside the Letterkenny 22 but the home defence was resolute. Ben Mortimer attacked the line out to give Limavady scrappy ball and Chris Digimas and Shaun McGill epitomised the spirit of the Letterkenny side with a fantastic counter ruck that resulted in a Letterkenny scrum inside the 22.On the back of a great scrum drive, scrum-half Conal Sheridan broke blind from the base and released captain Terence Gallagher who swatted off a would-be tackler before kicking ahead to bring play into the Limavady 22. Unfortunately this was the last contribution Gallagher could make to the game as he was forced to retire with a shoulder injury.Playing with 14 men for most of the game, Letterkenny rose to the challenge and it wasn’t until midway through the first half when Limavady made a breakthrough. Following a period of pressure the visitors took a quick tap penalty near the line and simple hands on the right caught the Letterkenny defence unawares for the opening score. The Roesiders added another score after moving the ball well from one side of the pitch to the other to overstretch the 14 man home defence and a Limavady player broke around the fringe of the ruck for a score. Letterkenny were not going to relinquish their 100% home record easily and were soon playing rugby inside the Limavady half. Great forward charges by Conor Dunleavy, Rae Clarke and Gary Canning were pinning the visitors back and centre Colm McNicholl managed to squeeze over near the corner to open Letterkenny’s account for the day. The try was unconverted in the difficult conditions leaving the half-time score 12-5 to the visitors.With renewed belief in themselves Letterkenny took the game to Limavady and continued to test the visitors with their strong running and aggressive defence. Unfortunately a lapse in concentration just inside the Letterkenny half left the blind-side of a ruck unguarded and the Limavady prop gratefully galloped 40m to touch down in the corner. The try was against the run of play but Letterkenny refused to let it hamper the momentum they had built up and were back pressurising Limavady from the re-start. A very kickable penalty opportunity was spurned in favour of a line-out close to the line. Following a series of plays off scrum-half Sheridan, centre Sean Deery received the ball a little wider from the ruck and picked a great line to crash over for a well taken try. Mortimer added the conversion to close the gap to just 5 points with only 15 minutes to play.Unfortunately another temporary defensive lapse allowed Limavady to score a try again from the fringe of a ruck and re-open a two score lead. Not daunted at all by the task in hand, Letterkenny bravely attacked the Limavady defence with purpose. Excellent play by forwards and backs alike brought play ever closer to the Limavady line. Unfortunately time ran out before Letterkenny could force a way over for what would have been a thoroughly deserved losing bonus point.The Letterkenny players can feel very proud of their collective effort and although coming away empty handed in terms of league points, will have gained huge confidence from an excellent performance to a man against impressive opposition. A top four league finish is achievable for this young Letterkenny side if the same passion, intensity and endeavour as was evident today is brought to the remaining league games in 2016.RUGBY: GALLANT EFFORT NOT ENOUGH FOR LETTERKENNY FIRSTS was last modified: December 21st, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalletterkennyRUGBYlast_img read more