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first_imgThe drop dead gorgeous Scarlett Strallen will take over the role of Sibella in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on February 10. She will replace Lisa O’Hare, who will exit the Broadway production on February 8. Strallen has previously been seen on the Great White Way in the title role in Mary Poppins. She played Mary Poppins twice in the West End, the second time stepping in for O’Hare. Strallen received Olivier nods for her performances in HMS Pinafore and Singin in the Rain. Other theater credits include A Chorus Line, Candide, Passion, The Music Man and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 17, 2016 Related Shows Written by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder follows Monty Navarro, a long-lost member of a noble family who stands to become the next Earl of Highhurst—if he can eliminate the eight other relatives (all played by Jefferson Mays) who precede him in line for the title. The tuner received four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Additional cast members include Jeff Kready, Catherine Walker and Carole Shelley. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder View Commentslast_img read more

first_imgA new study released by Bankrate, Inc. (Nasdaq: RATE) shows that the cost of getting a mortgage has fallen nationwide, a reflection of the price shift in the housing market. Nationwide, the average origination and title fees on a $200,000 mortgage this year totaled $2,732, down from $3,118 in 2008. In the study’s geographical breakdown, Texas leads the nation at an average fee of $3,855, with New York City, Florida, San Francisco and Oregon rounding out the top five. Nevada is the least expensive area with an average fee of $2,276, replacing North Carolina at the bottom of the list. To view the complete study and analysis of the data, as well as tips on what to look for in closing costs when getting a mortgage, go to http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/state-by-state-closing-costs8-(link is external)…. “Consumers need to keep a look out for the standard fees when figuring out the true cost of their new home,” said Holden Lewis, senior reporter with Bankrate.com. “Even as the average closing costs go down across the nation, some of these surprise costs can make your new home deal more expensive than you initially thought.” For this study, Bankrate surveyed one area in 49 states, two areas in California (Los Angeles and San Francisco) and the District of Columbia. Researchers picked a ZIP code in some of the largest cities in each state and requested information on the closing costs for at $200,000 loan. They requested fees on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for a borrower with a 20 percent down payment and good credit to buy a single-family house. Bankrate’s survey includes lenders’ origination fees and title and settlement fees, and not taxes or prepaid items. Title and 2009 2008 State or city Origination closing Total —- —- ————- ———– ——- —– 1 2 Texas $1,566 $2,290 $3,855 2 1 New York – NYC $1,038 $2,370 $3,408 3 4 Florida $1,369 $1,999 $3,368 4 11 California – San Fran $1,264 $1,853 $3,117 5 19 Oregon $1,310 $1,750 $3,059 6 9 Alaska $1,183 $1,829 $3,012 7 8 Pennsylvania $1,137 $1,872 $3,009 8 5 Oklahoma $1,238 $1,748 $2,986 9 12 Ohio $1,222 $1,760 $2,982 10 34 Washington $1,329 $1,578 $2,906 11 41* North Dakota $1,349 $1,555 $2,904 12 24 Tennessee $1,285 $1,616 $2,901 13 6 New Mexico $1,143 $1,739 $2,882 14 13 California – Los Angeles $1,264 $1,597 $2,861 15 35 Virginia $1,312 $1,546 $2,858 16 45 Utah $1,238 $1,614 $2,852 17 31 Arkansas $1,232 $1,620 $2,852 18 21* Massachusetts $1,132 $1,689 $2,822 19 17 Michigan $1,398 $1,404 $2,802 20 15 West Virginia $1,106 $1,640 $2,746 21 20 Hawaii $1,224 $1,515 $2,739 22 38 Wisconsin $1,430 $1,304 $2,734 23 32 Louisiana $1,082 $1,637 $2,720 24 16 Connecticut $1,188 $1,512 $2,700 25 30 Mississippi $1,229 $1,459 $2,689 26 25 South Carolina $1,159 $1,528 $2,687 27 29 Idaho $1,214 $1,446 $2,660 28 7 New Jersey $931 $1,725 $2,656 29 10 Colorado $1,161 $1,494 $2,655 30 21* Alabama $1,276 $1,369 $2,645 31 43 Georgia $1,151 $1,487 $2,638 32 52 South Dakota $1,369 $1,256 $2,625 33 36 Montana $1,287 $1,324 $2,611 34 49* Wyoming $1,346 $1,256 $2,602 35 26 Delaware $1,135 $1,443 $2,579 36 41* New Hampshire $1,147 $1,428 $2,575 37 49* Iowa $1,027 $1,546 $2,574 38 40 Minnesota $1,143 $1,418 $2,561 39 27 Arizona $1,088 $1,453 $2,541 40 23 Maryland $1,095 $1,418 $2,513 41 28 District of Columbia $1,117 $1,384 $2,502 42 39 Rhode Island $954 $1,542 $2,495 43 48 Illinois $1,279 $1,207 $2,486 44 14 Kentucky $1,071 $1,401 $2,472 45 44 Nebraska $1,167 $1,286 $2,453 46 56 North Carolina $1,155 $1,276 $2,431 47 54 Missouri $1,186 $1,243 $2,429 48 47 Vermont $1,040 $1,386 $2,426 49 53 Maine $1,097 $1,322 $2,419 50 46 Indiana $1,145 $1,272 $2,417 51 55 Kansas $1,019 $1,341 $2,361 52 33 Nevada $946 $1,331 $2,276 *tiedAbout Bankrate, Inc.The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com,Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Savingforcollege.com, FeeDisclosure, InsureMeCreditCardGuide.com and Bankaholic. Each of thesebusinesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personalfinance matters. The company’s flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destinationsite of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debtmanagement and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator ofrates and other information on more than 300 financial products, includingmortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts andCDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees.Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in50 states. In 2008, Bankrate.com had nearly 72 million unique visitors.Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network ofmore than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE:TWX), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT).Bankrate.com’s information is also distributed through more than 500newspapers.For more information contact:Chris SpagnuoloPublic Relations Managercspagnuolo@bankrate.com(link sends e-mail)(917) 368-8671www.bankrate.com(link is external)SOURCE Bankrate, Inc. NEW YORK, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —last_img read more

first_imgThe Vermont Department of Taxes today announced the launch of a dynamic new electronic service for filing property transfer tax returns (ePTTRs) online. Built at no cost to the state over a two-year period by the state’s e-government partner, Vermont Information Consortium, the service incorporated requirements from key stakeholder groups including attorneys and town clerks.‘The new Property Transfer Tax Return service helps us continue our efforts to provide more electronic filing services to Vermonters to create efficiencies for users and the Department’‘The new Property Transfer Tax Return service helps us continue our efforts to provide more electronic filing services to Vermonters to create efficiencies for users and the Department,’ said Mary Peterson, Commissioner of the Department of Taxes.The ePTTR service will streamline the property transfer process in Vermont for buyers/sellers and their attorneys, town clerks and the users of property transfer tax data – in several key ways: by providing more accurate and timely information about properties in the transfer of ownership; by allowing multiple parties to work on returns together electronically; and by expediting payment to the State via ACH Debit.Accessible online 24/7/365 at https://secure.vermont.gov/TAX/pttr(link is external), the service has processed over 700 returns in its first three weeks. Built under the self-funded model by Vermont Information Consortium (VIC), the application rounds out an impressive suite of online services for the Department of Taxes, including BizFile, VTPay, Tax Refund Status and Homestead Declaration.For more information, please contact Jamie Gage at (802) 229-4171.About Vermont Information ConsortiumVermont Information Consortium (http://www.Vermont.gov(link is external)) is the official e-government partner for the State of Vermont. Managed through a unique public-private partnership, the Montpelier company builds and manages interactive government services on behalf of the state and is a wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC (NASDAQ: EGOV).About NICNIC is the nation’s leading provider of government websites, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company’s innovative eGovernment services help reduce costs and increase efficiencies for government agencies, citizens, and businesses across the country. NIC provides eGovernment solutions for more than 3,000 federal, state, and local agencies that serve over 106 million people in the United States. Additional information is available at http://www.nicusa.com(link is external). MONTPELIER, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–last_img read more

first_img It’s imperative for family courts to communicate ‘We’ve failed because our approach has been disjointed and fragmented. . . we don’t share information’ Melinda Melendez Assistant Editor For some Florida families, a unified court can mean the difference between life and death.According to the latest annual report of the Florida Child Abuse Death Review, of the 161 child deaths reviewed over the past five years, 92 children, or 57 percent, had five or more risk factors present at the time of the child’s death. If you ask Barry Krischer, state attorney for the 15th Circuit, some of these deaths may have been prevented through the utilization of a unified family court.“What all the numbers really mean is that we, and that includes the criminal justice system, family court, our juvenile court, DCF, among others, knew of these children, and despite as many as five risk factors, we failed these children and we allowed them to die,” said Krischer, who spoke at the Criminal Law Section luncheon at the Bar’s Annual Meeting. “That is unacceptable. We’ve failed because our approach has been disjointed and fragmented. And that occurs because we don’t share information.”The unified family court is an integrated approach to handling all cases involving families and children. In many cases a family with multiple problems is forced into a variety of courts. Under a unified family court structure, that family would have one judge preside over multiple issues affecting the family, instead of having to deal with issues singularly in family court, juvenile court, and criminal court.“The ‘one family, one court’ concept recognizes that there are a number of different ways into the court system that different members of the same family can utilize for different reasons, at different times. The end result is a disorganized system, one that fails to meet the need for a holistic approach, one that results in an inconsistent and often times contradictory order,” said Krischer.Krischer is certainly not alone in recognizing the need for a more cohesive family court structure, and the concept of a unified family court is not new. In 1991 the legislature’s Commission of Family Courts issued a report to develop guidelines for the establishment of a family law division within each circuit, and gave recommendations for organizational changes and for necessary support services. The Florida Supreme Court issued three opinions between 1991 and 2001 that stated the need for a family court system to provide better protection for children in court and resolution of family problems. In May 2001, a fourth and unanimous opinion was issued that cited 12 principles as a guide to implementing a model family court, including that cases with interrelated family issues should be consolidated or coordinated.For about four years, Pinellas County has operated a unified family court using aid from a federal grant that allowed it to utilize the necessary technology for identifying families. Pinellas serves as the model for other counties, including Palm Beach County (which comprises the 15th Circuit), which will begin to explore technology options this fall.Krischer is a strong advocate for adopting the unified court model“Every aspect of that family and that child would go through one court. We have available to us the means and opportunity to save these children’s lives. Prosecutors, defense counsel, and family court attorneys need to identify these families and work together to preserve the future of the children living in these homes that are exposed to violence. We must work together with the courts, not against each other to decrease domestic violence and family dysfunction. We cannot hope to make our streets safer if we don’t make the effort to make our homes and children safe,” said Krischer.One of the major incentives to adopt a unified family court, according to Krischer, is because children who end up in juvenile court are often exposed to violence in the home, thus creating an overlap of issues for a single family in juvenile and criminal court.“The question we should be asking is, ‘How do we save these kids from a life of crime?’ If we solve that problem, we might find that the notion of treating children differently from adults, simply because they are children, is not so ridiculous. These children, growing up in violent homes, that we fail to recognize as victims today, become tomorrow’s abusers, the violent juveniles we prosecute in adult court,” said Krischer.Krischer, who has become somewhat notorious for bringing juveniles into adult court, suggests exploring the root of the problem instead of later dealing with the consequences.“The truth of the matter is the reason I rely so heavily on adult sanctions in adult court is because of the juvenile court’s shocking inability to impose meaningful penalties, and meaningful supervision. The one place I can deliver is in adult court. Why does it get that far? We need resources to change these kids’ behavior before they become the predators we so fear.“For every Nate Brazill, who shot and killed his teacher in front of a classroom full of students, who get all the attention, there are hundreds of other children around the state going through the juvenile court system. It’s the Brazills that get the legislature’s attention. But they respond by making the 10-20-life gun law apply to 15-year-olds. We can keep tinkering with the law; we can keep shipping children to adult court, but that does nothing to rescue the at-risk population before they become hardened criminals,” said Krischer.Another difficulty faced by courts and agencies in dealing with families is the often specialized services offered by child welfare and domestic violence programs. Often the programs have the facilities to deal with one form of family violence, but according to Krischer, few programs effectively address whole forms of violence when they occur together in the same family.“Courts regularly struggle with these issues individually, and out of the family context. Youth violence programs often fail to address the way that domestic violence impedes healthy development. That is yet another reason why model family court can incorporate innovative community collaborations between domestic violence agencies, child welfare agencies both public and private, the courts, school system, child protection teams, as well as health care providers, youth development organizations, and local churches. Each is integral in the resolution of cases in the model family court. Instead of five or seven courts making the same findings of fact and wasting limited judicial and community resources and trying to formulate a unique response to each family member, the model court treats the family as an organic whole,” said Krischer.Krischer closed his speech by underscoring the importance of moving to a unified court system as a matter of life and death for some kids and families.“We can wait for the next child to witness domestic violence or the next drive-by-shooting, and lock up those kids after the damage is done, or we can rescue them one child at a time through the effort of establishing a unified court,” said Krischer. August 15, 2005 Assistant Editor Regular News It’s imperative for family courts to communicatelast_img read more

first_imgThe staff of the Long Island Press takes its role as protectors against the abusers of power very seriously. A truly democratic state is a balancing act that requires a strong and independent press, a just legal and law enforcement system, a strong educational system and a fait and robust economic environment that provides equal participatory opportunities for every member of society. Therefore, as much as we are honored to perform our role in this equation, we continually challenge ourselves to do more and hope that those on this list will do the same. And of course, inclusion on this list in no way excludes its honorees from a good old-fashioned Press takedown.So peruse the new Power List website. Learn about its members. Get to know them. Chances are, they’ve impacted and influenced your world in more way than one. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]E[/dropcap]ach year since 2003 (in fact, the Power List adorned the cover of our very first issue), the staff of the Long Island Press has undertaken the arduous task of trying to rank the 50 most influential people on Long Island. What exactly is “power,” anyway? The word can mean very different things from person to person. Sure, a millionaire is powerful. But what does he/she actually do with all that money? What about a media mogul? Does monopolizing a region’s main source of information necessarily embody true power? What about lawmakers? Utility operators? Teachers?The criteria for Power List honorees are fairly straightforward: They must live on Long Island and demonstrate tangible influence over residents’ thoughts or actions. Wealth and notoriety don’t necessarily qualify an individual onto the list, nor does lobbying for inclusion (that actually hurts chances).This year marks the 12th such compilation, and in commemoration we’ve unveiled a brand new website housing not only this year’s Power List honorees, in their order of ranking, along with a digital edition, but all of the previous years’ lists, as well as the hallowed Power List Hall of Fame—which requires at least five appearances on the Power List for inclusion.Check Them All Out Here: longislandpress.com/powerlistThis year’s Power List is a curious one, to be sure, as it is a testament to both ingenuity and inertia. There are CEOs. Politicians. Academics. Business owners. Scientists. TV personalities. Advocates. Some are household names; others you may have never heard of before, until now.Historically, the Power List generates a fair amount of criticism and outrage. The criticism usually comes from a parochial place whereby people believe that we have made stunning omissions based upon their own experiences with people that impact their daily lives. The outrage is generally directed at the preponderance of older white men that appear on the list. To the latter, we offer the same reply every year: The Power List is a mirror, not a wish list.Coinciding with the annual list is the yearly Power List celebration gala, unique on Long Island in that it is the only time all of these movers and shakers, typically along with their families and supporting colleagues gather under one roof. Democrats and Republicans. Environmentalists and developers. Millionaires and the “One Percent.”In addition to having some fun, there is always an overarching message about this idea of power that we try to convey based upon our observations. This year it is about the abuses of power and the devastating consequences of power left unchecked.last_img read more

first_imgCan your credit union score a hat trick?by: Mike LawsonDuring the women’s 2015 World Cup final, USA Women’s National Team member Carli Lloyd had a match for the ages. Lloyd scored a first-ever hat trick (3 goals in one game) in a World Cup final. She almost scored a fourth, narrowly missing the goal by a couple feet. In fact, Lloyd’s third goal – a shot from 54 yards out – is said to be one of the greatest World Cup goals ever – for men or women. Lloyd saw these shot opportunities and – based on her experience, talent and research – took them to help her team win.Great story, but what does this have to do with credit unions? Well, let me explain.Before the World Cup final, the U.S. soccer team researched their opponent: a very good Japan team that beat them in the 2011 final. This time around, however, their research, preparation and execution paid off. They noticed a slight crack in Japan’s armor: Japan’s defense was a bit unstable and vulnerable to consistent attacks from other teams’ offenses throughout the World Cup tournament.The U.S. women’s team adjusted their formation accordingly and went on the attack from the opening seconds of the final match – with Lloyd leading the charge. It paid off. Within 15 minutes, the score was U.S. 3, Japan 0. At this high level of player talent and skill, the game is essentially over – and it was with a final score of U.S. 5, Japan 2. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_img But at last month’s World Health Assembly, the voting gathering of the WHO’s 193 member states, the countries restated their case as an issue of sovereignty. A group of more than 20 countries asserted that they retain rights to isolates from their territories under the 1991 International Convention on Biological Diversity, which protects unique genetic resources. Doris Bucher, PhD, of New York Medical College, who is attending the Toronto meeting, runs the lab that makes most of the seed strains for seasonal flu vaccine production. The strains are distributed to manufacturers for free. Introducing fees or royalties into the virus-sharing system could have a dramatic effect, she said in an interview: “It would slow down the process. It would raise the price of vaccine,” she said. “The need to balance the sharing of viruses through global surveillance and the need to make the access to vaccines and those sorts of technologies broadly available should not come as a surprise,” Dr. Keiji Fukuda of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Global Influenza Programme said in a speech yesterday. “We see there is a need to increase the access of the developing world to vaccine.” Defensibility of property claims unclearIt is not clear whether Indonesia and its partners could assert enforceable property rights over isolates from their territories, according to several intellectual-property experts. May 23 CIDRAP News story “WHO adopts resolution on flu virus sharing” In speeches and interviews here, international public-health figures are stressing their desire to avoid a confrontation. “It does worry me, because it makes the whole thing murkier, and it is difficult enough already,” said Dr. John Wood, a conference speaker and principal scientist at the United Kingdom’s National Institute of Biological Standards and Control. “It could also spread to seasonal [vaccine], I agree.” New twist in an ongoing disputeThe fear of a legal claim that could disrupt flu surveillance and vaccine manufacturing is the latest chapter in a dispute that began late last year when the government of Indonesia withdrew from the 55-year-old system by which flu viruses are shared around the world. Under that system, which was developed for tracking and controlling seasonal flu and has now been extended to flu strains that could spark a pandemic, viruses are isolated in a country and analyzed to increasing levels of sophistication by a national lab, regional lab, and WHO Influenza Collaborating Centers in Tokyo, Melbourne, London, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Gene sequences from the analyses are used to identify emerging strains of flu and then passed free of charge to pharmaceutical companies to be commercialized as vaccines. Intellectual property concerns have already touched pandemic-flu vaccine research. The reverse genetics process that mutes H5N1’s highly pathogenic aspects, producing a vaccine seed strain that will reproduce in chicken eggs, is owned by MedImmune Inc. That company has agreed to suspend licensing fees during the pandemic-vaccine research phase and will begin charging only when the vaccines go into commercial production. Indonesia ceased sending isolates to the WHO at the end of 2006 as a protest, triggering intensive international negotiations. Its government and several other Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, lodged their objections in front of the WHO’s executive board in January, casting the impasse as an issue of human rights and equity. And in a resolution passed by the WHA after almost a week of negotiation, the group asked for international reconsideration of the virus-sharing system, increased investment in developing-world research, and a guarantee of “fair and equitable [vaccine] distribution” as the price of continuing to send isolates to the WHO. “We have some hard things to deal with,” Fukuda said in an interview. “We do not know whether we will face a pandemic in a short time or a long time. Given that kind of uncertainty . . . I think there is a real practical want on the part of all of the parties involved not to have a long discussion and to come up with practical solutions.” Since then, the WHO has promised to create a stockpile of pandemic vaccines for developing-world use, given contracts to support flu manufacturing in countries that lack the capacity, and set up meetings in August and November to continue to negotiate virus-sharing. Indonesia has meanwhile released only a few isolates. “There has to have been an ‘act of man’ to have changed the thing found in nature,” he said. “To be patentable, it has to be new, it has to be useful and it has to be something that didn’t exist before.” Under US law and the voluntary International Patent Cooperation Treaty, natural organisms such as wild-type viruses cannot be patented, said Gerry Norton, PhD, a flu virologist who heads the intellectual-property group at the Philadelphia law firm Fox Rothschild. Jun 19, 2007 – TORONTO (CIDRAP News) – The continuing debate over developing countries’ ability to afford pandemic-influenza vaccines has produced a disturbing complication: the possibility that Indonesia and other countries affected by H5N1 avian flu will assert legal ownership of the viral isolates on which the vaccines would be based. An ongoing series of international meetings extending into next autumn has been set up in hopes of defusing the situation, Fukuda and other WHO officials said. Developing countries paid little heed to the system for most of its existence because they do not manufacture vaccine and typically do not vaccinate their populations against seasonal flu. However, the Southeast Asian countries where H5N1 is concentrated have a strong interest in protecting their populations against a potential pandemic—but they would be unable to afford the pandemic-flu vaccines that Northern Hemisphere manufacturers might produce. However, the United States is not a signatory to the Convention, indicating that it does not consider its provisions binding. The European Union, where most vaccine manufacturers are based, is a signatory to the treaty but has not ratified it. See also: The prospect of a territorial or intellectual-property claim on the isolates—which are used both to track the movement and evolution of the virus and to develop vaccines against it—is roiling senior members of the international flu community, who are meeting in Toronto this week at the International Conference on Options for the Control of Influenza. About 1,400 experts from 65 countries are attending. Convention on Biological Diversityhttp://www.cbd.int/convention/convention.shtml But the potential effect of Indonesia’s property claim—regardless of the country’s ability to recover in court—is so much wider, and the ripple effect it could trigger so uncertain, that it is provoking significant anxiety in the international flu community. The countries probably can assert a claim to their isolates as real property rather than intellectual property under the Convention on Biological Diversity, said Elizabeth Haanes, PhD, a microbiologist and director in the biotechnology practice of the Washington, DC, law firm Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. Article 15 of the Convention specifies that “the authority to determine access to genetic resources rests with the national governments.” “But they could say you can’t export our strains, or they could exert government control over how and when people can handle them within Indonesia—and they could do that by just passing a law, not seeking a patent,” he said. Experts worry about ripple effects”A developing-world country’s remedy, if their resources were used in the commercial development of vaccine, would probably be through the international courts, but that would be very difficult to enforce,” Haanes said. “On the other hand, the countries hold the trump card because they have the viruses—and I think they realize that not sharing this material will be bad for them as well as bad for everyone else. Hopefully, there will be a negotiated settlement.” Moreover, patent laws that protect intellectual property cannot be enforced outside a country’s borders, even if the country subscribes to the patent treaty, said Larry S. Millstein, PhD, a molecular biologist and partner with the Washington-area law firm Holland + Knight. If such a claim were successful—which legal experts say is far from guaranteed—it could both disrupt the fragile and relatively low-profit flu vaccine system and potentially threaten the legal standing of other biological products as well. Feb 6 CIDRAP News story “System for global pandemic vaccine development challenged” If rights were asserted over isolates of potentially pandemic strains, they could equally be sought for the seasonal flu strains used to make millions of doses of vaccine each year.last_img read more

first_imgFor mother-of-four Nasima, the prospect of lasting peace in Afghanistan is almost too good to be true.The 45-year-old, whose husband Nasir Ahmad was killed in a massive truck bomb in Kabul blamed on Taliban insurgents, is one of thousands of grieving relatives in the war-weary country who look upon a promised peace deal with skepticism as well as hope.Afghanistan has been at war for decades. The Soviet invasion dominated the 1980s, civil war followed, the hardline Islamist Taliban movement held sway for a few years before being ousted in a US-led assault, followed by 18 more years of conflict. Topics : Horror in attack’s aftermath Nasima’s husband left home early one morning in late May, 2017, in search of work so that he could afford to bring home “iftar”, an evening meal served during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He had not found a job for a few days.”A day before I had asked him about whether he found a job; he told me there were shops whose display windows needed cleaning for Ramadan and he was confident he’d find work if he got there early,” Nasima recalls.At around 8:30 a.m., she heard a loud blast. Such was the intensity of the explosion that it shook the entire city.The truck bomb was deadliest attack in Kabul in 18 years of war. No one has claimed responsibility for at least 150 people who were killed, including Nasir Ahmad.Nasima’s memories of that day are harrowing, yet common among Afghans.”At the hospitals I saw bodies covered with blood, charred. The wounded were screaming. There were boxes full of human body parts,” Nasima recalled.Nasima has washed dishes and clothes for the last three years to support her children – two daughters, Naiema, 15, Sabzina, 13, and two sons, Waris, 10, and Arif, 7.”I have lived my life and have had to suffer; but for my children I want peace,” she added. Pain for peace Families of Taliban fighters and security personnel have also faced loss.Haji Malik, 47, a shopkeeper in the northern city of Kunduz, lost his son, 18-year-old Sarajuddin, a Taliban fighter killed in a clash with international and Afghan forces in Paktika province in 2016.Sarajuddin ran away from home two years earlier to join the insurgents, and Malik remembered the intense pain he felt when he received word of his son’s death.He never got to bury his him, he said, because the body was in such bad shape that he had to be interred before his father got there.”This (the Doha agreement) is a chance for peace in Afghanistan, which has suffered through years of war,” Malik told Reuters. “But if peace is coming, it should be real peace … not only for a few days.”Habibullah Nazari, an officer in Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), which has been on the frontline of the fight against the Taliban, was killed in an attack by the militant group.Nazari was preparing for a security mission along with six colleagues when a Taliban suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden vehicle into the NDS office in the western city of Herat.He was the sole breadwinner for his family of 12, said his brother, Mohammad Gul, 23.”Losing a family member is very painful, but I will have no complaint if peace, real peace, is restored,” said Gul. “I will believe my brother was martyred in the name of peace.” center_img Tens of thousands of civilians, insurgents, Afghan security personnel and foreign troops have died, and loved ones will look on Saturday’s planned deal between the United States and the Taliban with mixed feelings.”Anyone who can carry out such a brutal attack, how can I believe that they will let others live in peace?” Nasima asked, speaking in her Kabul apartment surrounded by her children.But she would at least try to move on if the attacks really stopped.”If they (the Taliban) are serious about getting together for real peace, I am ready to forgive the suffering they caused me and my family.” The weekend agreement in Doha on an American troop withdrawal is connected to a wider push for reconciliation between the Taliban and the Afghan government, although major obstacles to lasting peace remain.One is the lack of trust between sides who blame each other for the heavy toll of war.last_img read more

first_imgCountless commercial properties claim to be a stone’s throw from Surfers Paradise’s famous beach. Here’s one that actually is.A rare opportunity to secure an absolute beachfront development site on the iconic Surfers Paradise strip has arisen, in a listing that is expected to drive significant international interest.The 1500sqm oceanfront site, located at 75-79 Garfield Terrace and on the corner of Enderley Ave, is located between the billion-dollar Jewel development and the super tower planned for the former IIuka site.Read the full story on Commercial NewsMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor9 hours agolast_img

first_imgOn 19 April, the first hybrid foundation combining a large-diameter monopile and caisson was installed at an offshore wind farm off the Fujian province in China. According to the China-based engineering company that designed and patented the new hybrid monopile-caisson solution, the offshore wind project comprises a few different types of wind turbine support structures, including monopile and piled cap foundations. Premium content Log in Register Premium Premium content You are currently not logged in to a MyNavingo account. Your current account does not have access to this premium item. Please upgrade your membership to access this content. Go to the shop You are currently not logged into your account. Register and get a two week trial. You need javascript to validate your login status. Premium contentlast_img read more