Professor explores media, censorship in China

first_imgIn a lecture Tuesday titled “Journalism and the Coercive Power of the Chinese State,” associate professor Timothy Weston of the University of Colorado Boulder discussed the status of the press in modern China.Weston, who serves as associate director of the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, said recent protests in Hong Kong reveal a deep-rooted tension between the paternalistic actions of the Chinese government and the press.“The Beijing government’s approach to the press, as seen in the Hong Kong case but also in a myriad others in contemporary times, comes to be seen as the latest iteration of a longstanding feature of Chinese political culture rather than an expression of a sharp moment of communist censorship, pure and simple,” he said.Despite the government’s censorship of the media, the ideal of a free press is alive in China today, he said.“Article 35 of the Chinese constitution states clearly that ‘Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly of association, of procession and of demonstration,’” he said. “The normative ideal of press freedom is enshrined in China’s highest legal document.”However, he said, tension exists between the stated ideal of freedom of the press and the practices of the government — namely, censorship of events and “routine arrests of journalists in China, often on trumped-up charges.”Weston said the government’s censorship of the media arises from a distinct understanding of the nature of free press. The government does not condemn freedom of press, he said, but rather takes a paternalistic approach in regarding the press as a means of molding society.“No modern state is going to take a stand against the idea of press freedom any more than it will take a stand against the idea of human rights,” he said.He said the recent events in Hong Kong have prompted the government to adopt an offensive and defensive approach, consisting both of censoring the press and presenting an “alternative narrative” of events to Chinese citizens.This alternative narrative, he said, depicts the protesters in Hong Kong as “petty criminals engaging in illegal behavior.”Weston said the government has not been entirely successful in its efforts to suppress the dissemination of reports of protest in Hong Kong.“In the digital age it is impossible to enforce a total information embargo,” he said.Nevertheless, he said, the average Chinese citizen is unable to view internationally popularized images legally, such as the one of a protester holding an umbrella to shield himself from tear gas.He said the government’s treatment of the events in Hong Kong has focused international attention on the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ — so christened because of the image of the protester with the umbrella. The response of the Chinese government to the international spotlight has been to accuse foreign agents such as the United States of manipulating naïve students to incite rebellion, Weston said.“Blaming conspiring foreign agents also has the complicit effect of treating the Hong Kong protesters — of which there were tens of thousands in the early stages of the movement — as gullible children,” he said.Weston said although China maintains the ideal of a free press, the actions of the government undermine its realization.“The logic of the paternalistic state with regard to question of freedom of the press then is that the people are free to know everything, except when they are not,” Weston said.Tags: censorship, China, Journalism, Kellogg Institutelast_img read more

Five shot, one dead after Club Rumba shooting

first_imgBEAUMONT — A shooting at a Beaumont nightclub has left five people shot and one dead early Saturday morning.Shortly after 2 a.m. Beaumont officers responded to a disturbance at Club Rumba, 3684 College St., Suite B where witnesses said a fight broke out inside the club and continued into the parking lot. Multiple people retrieved firearms and began shooting at each other, according to a press release from the Beaumont Police Department. Five people suffered gunshot wounds. One victim, Ronald Livings, 27, was brought by private vehicle to Baptist Hospital and died from his injuries.A 26-year-old man was transported to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont and taken into surgery. He is expected to live. The other victims were treated and released with non-life threatening injuries. If you have information about this investigation and did not speak with officers, call 409-880-3865.If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Southeast Texas Crime Stoppers at 409-833-TIPS. You can submit tips with your cell phone by downloading the P3 TIPS App.  All tips are anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.center_img The investigation is in the early stages. Detectives are still taking statements and trying to locate witnesses that left the scene without speaking to officers.last_img read more

Glaxosmithkline to pay Vermont $2 million as part of largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history

first_imgVermont Attorney General, July 2, 2012 Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that Vermont will receive approximately $2 million from pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as part of the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history.Under the terms of the settlement, GSK will pay to the states and the federal government a total of $3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that GSK unlawfully marketed certain drugs for uses for which the drugs were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); made false representations regarding the safety and efficacy of certain drugs; offered kickbacks to medical professionals; and underpaid rebates for various drugs paid for by Medicaid and other federally-funded healthcare programs.Specifically, the states and federal government alleged that, as far back as 1998, GSK engaged in the following activities:Marketing the depression drug Paxil for off-label uses, such as use by children and adolescents;Marketing the depression drug Wellbutrin for off-label uses, such as for weight loss and treatment of sexual dysfunction, and at higher-than-approved dosages;Marketing the asthma drug Advair for off-label uses, including first-line use for asthma;Marketing the seizure medication Lamictal for off-label uses, including bipolar depression, neuropathic pain, and various other psychiatric conditions;Marketing the nausea drug Zofran for off-label uses, including pregnancy-related nausea;Making false representations regarding the safety and efficacy of Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal, Zofran, and the diabetes drug Avandia;Offering kickbacks, including entertainment, cash, travel, and meals, to healthcare professionals to induce them to promote and prescribe Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictan, Zofran, the migraine drug Imitrex, the irritable bowel syndrome drug Lotronex, the asthma drug Flovent, and the shingles and herpes drug Valtrex; andSubmitting incorrect pricing data for various drugs, thereby underpaying rebates owed to Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs.In addition, as part of the settlement, GSK will plead guilty to federal criminal charges that it violated the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (â FDCAâ ) by introducing certain drugs into interstate commerce without proper labeling, and failed to report clinical data regarding Avandia to the FDA. According to Attorney General Sorrell, this settlement is â further proof that Vermont will not tolerate marketing violations by the pharmaceutical industry, and will work closely with other states, whistleblowers, and the federal government to aggressively investigate reports of industry misconduct as they arise.â  last_img read more

Race-Calendar.com in registration partnership with njuko.com

first_imgRace-Calendar.com, a leading international sports events listing site, has confirmed an online registration partnership with sports registration platform, njuko.njuko works with the likes of the Generali Milano Marathon, Al Mouj Muscat Marathon, Nuclear Races, ING Luxembourg Marathon, RunIreland.com and the French Triathlon Federation. It also provides registration and other solutions for club runs, obstacle races, triathlons and more.Paul Vidler from Race-Calendar said “The partnership with njuko is a very exciting development for Race-Calendar.com. We have many features designed to support runners and athletes.“The opportunity to connect race organisers and event directors with industry leading online registration services is a significant enhancement to our platform. njuko’s state of the art technology will make it so much easier for all events, large or small, to manage their online registration processes.”Race-Calendar.com added that there is no upfront cost or contracts to take registration for an event. There is a ‘no-risk flat % per entry cost ‘that includes payment processing and event organisers have control over the system and set up of their events.‘It is also super-efficient to manage your entrants day to day, process transfers, refunds, take charity donations, send emails and sell merchandise.’Matt Trevett from njuko, who is also an Event Director himself in the UK said, “We are delighted to partner with Race-Calendar.com who are leaders in connecting athletes with the right events for them across the world.“Being specialists in registration technology, and having handled over 2 million registrations a year, we understand how to make event directors’ management of their entrants easy and effective. Alongside the marketing reach of Race-Calendar.com I think there is the perfect opportunity for events of 100 entrants right up to the 1000s to take advantage.”Those that take online registration through njuko for events listed on Race-Calendar.com will be entitled to newsletter features and extra promotional space on the Race-Calendar.com website as well as full use of all of the features njuko has to offer.Race-Calendar.com was established in 2009 and now features over 10,000 events worldwide. The company noted that… ‘As part of our ongoing mission to help drive more event entries and encourage more people to get active worldwide, we are launching new initiatives to increase our value to race organisers and event directors.’www.race-calendar.comwww.njuko.com Relatedlast_img read more

Northeast Johnson County morning roundup

first_imgLocals Ross Guignon and Olivia Sneed lost in the mixed doubles semi-finals at last year’s USTA Missouri Valley Sectional Qualifying Tournament.Registration deadline for USTA tournament at Homestead is May 13. Local lobsters looking to test their talent against some of the best amateur players in the Kansas City area — and the country — have until next week to register for the 2015 US Open National Playoffs USTA Missouri Valley Sectional Qualifying Tournament. The tournament, which will be played May 28 through 31, will again be held at Prairie Village’s Homestead Country Club. For registration information, visit the USTA’s site here.Lancer tennis heading into regionals looking to for return to champion status. SM East will enter this weekend’s Kansas 6A boys tennis tournament in unfamiliar territory, having for the first time in 12 years lost the Sunflower League title. But number one singles player Jack Santilli and his teammates will be focused on returning to podium forum as play begins at Rock Chalk Park Sports Pavilion in Lawrence. [Five things to watch at Kansas boys tennis regionals — Kansas City Star]Johnson County DA warns about driveway resurfacing scam. The Johnson County District Attorney’s office has alerted local law enforcement about a scam to get area residents to hire fly-by-night contractors to perform driveway resurfacing. According to the DA’s office, the scam typically involves a contractor telling a homeowner he has “leftover” asphalt that he needs to get rid of, so he’s offering the work for cheap. The DA says the work is “typically overpriced substandard jobs done quickly.”Leadership Northeast graduation May 21. The 26th class of Leadership Northeast (LNE) which is sponsored by the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, will have its graduation luncheon 11:30 a.m. May 21 at theOverland Park Marriott. Reservations can be made with the Chamber.Eleven entrants in park naming. The City of Mission is taking names for its new park at the corner of Broadmoor and Martway until June 1. So far, eleven people have submitted park names for consideration. The park committee will narrow the names to three at its June meeting and bring those finalists to the city council to pick the winning name for the park. The person with the winning submission will win an annual family membership to the community center.Sign inventory starting in Mission. The Mission planning department is beginning an audit of the signs in the city to create an inventory of signs on commercial property and to analyze which signs are in violation of the city’s sign codes. The department will then get input from the planning commission and city council on best ways to address the problems that have been identified.The Northeast Johnson County morning roundup is brought to you by Twisted Sisters Coffee Shop on Johnson Drive. For updates on the latest blends and specialty drinks available, follow them on Facebook.last_img read more

Minnesota struggles late, falls to ninth-ranked Indiana

first_imgBut failure to make plays down the stretch, as was the case in their loss at Michigan State on Jan. 5., was the Gophers’ downfall.Now Minnesota is left wondering how it lost its first home game of the year heading into a rematch with the Spartans.“I thought (Indiana) played better, but that we wanted it more,” Tollackson said. “It certainly wasn’t a lack of effort or heart.”Said Smith: “We’d have gained a lot more (confidence) if we had won.”Balancing statistics:“Weird game,” Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said as he sat down for his post game press conference.He wasn’t kidding. Both teams shot themselves in the foot, making for the small margin of victory for the Hoosiers. Indiana committed a season-high 26 turnovers, but Minnesota only scored 16 points off those turnovers.The Gophers, who got outrebounded by 16, also went a woeful 11-of-21 from the free throw line.Tollackson, who went 0-of-7 from the line said his performance from the line was unacceptable.“It was disgraceful. I couldn’t buy one,” he said. Minnesota struggles late, falls to ninth-ranked IndianaThe Gophers let a two-point lead with under two minutes remaining slip away in the final moments. January 18, 2008Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThe Minnesota men’s basketball team does not believe in moral victories.That is why Thursday night’s 65-60 loss to ninth-ranked Indiana was such a hard pill for the Tubby Smith’s team to swallow.“It’s time to stop being happy being in these types of games,” senior guard Lawrence McKenzie said. “I don’t believe in moral victories. They don’t count in the win (column). We can’t keep letting these games slip away.”Understanding full well they needed a win against a quality opponent to be considered an NCAA tournament-worthy team, the Gophers played inspired basketball for 40 minutes in front of a nationally televised audience and a capacity crowd of 14,625 at Williams Arena.Unfortunately effort alone doesn’t always win basketball games. Usually, in close contests, late-game execution does.Whereas Minnesota struggled mightily to close out the game after fighting back from an 11-point deficit to take a two -point lead with just over a minute remaining, the Hoosiers made plays when it mattered most. “After a Spencer Tollackson layup put the Gophers ahead 60-58 with 1:49 to play, Indiana successfully got the ball to a wide-open Lance Stemler who calmly hit a three-pointer on the Hoosiers next possession. Free throws by freshman guard Eric Gordon, who is considered by many as a lottery pick in this summers’ NBA Draft but was held in check for much of the game, and two more by Stemler sealed it for the Hoosiers in the final minute.“We had a defensive breakdown (on the three-pointer),” Smith said. “(That shot) took some wind out of our sales.”Feeding off the momentum proved by the adrenaline rushed into “The Barn” by a raucous crowd, the Gophers more than held their own against perhaps the best the Big Ten has to offer early, leading by as many as six in the first half.But as quick as Minnesota built its biggest lead at 27-21 with sharp offensive execution, it was lost just as quickly thanks to poor offensive possessions. When the Gophers went nearly five minutes without a possession, Indiana fully capitalized, stringing together a 17-0 run to take a 38-27 lead, which evolved to a 40-32 half time advantage.The Gophers rallied to cut their deficit early thanks in large part to Tollackson and senior forward Dan Coleman, who led Minnesota with 15 points, and eventually got over the hump, leading by as many four in the second half.last_img read more

Ellee Jensen’s all-around ability sparks Gophers

first_imgEllee Jensen’s all-around ability sparks GophersJensen, batting at the top of the lineup, has a career batting average of .393.Courtesy of Brad Rempel, Gopher SportsFreshman outfielder Ellee Jensen runs to first base in a game at Siebert Field. Erik NelsonFebruary 28, 2019Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAs a batter, “attacking the pitch” has a very literal meaning to one Gopher sophomore.Center fielder Ellee Jensen relies on her all-around ability on offense and defense, in addition to her distinctive batting style.Right fielder MaKenna Partain said Jensen’s best attribute is her vision.“She’s so talented with her hands,” Partain said. “She has some of the best hand-eye coordination I’ve ever seen in my life. You know she’s going to get on [base.]”Jensen is a slap hitter, or a slapper. Slap hitting involves walking toward a pitch while staying in the batter’s box. If a batter makes contact with the ball outside of the batter’s box, the batter is called out.Jensen said slap hitting makes it challenging to hit for power.“It’s difficult because you’re continuing to move through the box,” Jensen said. “It’s hard. You have to have good timing to power through, but some people are good at it. I haven’t been.” Since joining the Gophers last season, Jensen’s career batting average is .393. In 2018, she started and played in all 58 games and hit .401, the highest of the group of starters by more than .025. She has seven RBIs and four career doubles. This season, Jensen’s batting average is .346. She has nine hits and two RBIs. Head coach Jamie Trachsel said Jensen sets the tone for Minnesota when she gets on base.“With her speed and our lefties following her, it opens up different options to advance runners,” Trachsel said. “You’re not subject to bunting. You can put balls in play. She can steal a base. [Jensen] gives us options in terms of manufacturing and producing runs.”While Jensen sets the tone offensively, she can also contribute when she’s not at bat. She was third on the Gophers in stolen bases last season, swiping 11 bags on 13 attempts. Defensively, Jensen hasn’t committed an error in her collegiate career and had 45 putouts a year ago. Last season, she was the lone starter to not commit a fielding error.“She’s a natural outfielder,” Trachsel said. “She reads the ball well. She has natural angles to the ball. She’s fearless. She has good body control, which allows her to field a lot balls on extension or lay out and steal some hits diving for the ball. When there’s a ball that’s in play that she can get to, she’s going to make the play.”Jensen said she utilizes her speed in all aspects of the game and not solely on base running.“It gives me an advantage because I can get there a little quicker,” she said. “When I’m on the bases, I can look one extra base and be able to get there.”last_img read more

Cimarron Industrial signs $6.4M permanent loan in Scottsdale

first_imgChurchill Commercial Capital, Inc. (Tom Ryan, Vice President) has arranged a $6.4 million loan for Cimarron Industrial Partners, LLC, on a 94,800 square foot multi-tenant industrial property consisting of five buildings within the Scottsdale Airpark. The property was 98% leased at the time of closing.This unique transaction was placed with one of our many correspondent Life Companies and will be serviced locally by Churchill. This loan execution was refinance to a ten year, non-recourse, fixed rate loan. We were able to maximize leverage with an aggressive interest rate in addition to meeting the borrower’s objective of having a significantly reduced prepayment option for a future event in the later years of the loan.last_img read more

WHO, CDC issue new H7N9 assessments and guidance

first_imgThough no new novel H7N9 avian flu cases have been reported since the end of May, response and preparedness activities are under way, with the World Health Organization (WHO) updating its risk assessment and US officials issuing and tweaking guidance documents.The most recent H7N9 case was reported on May 29 and had an illness onset of May 21, the WHO said in its latest update on flu at the human-animal interface. The patient appears to be a boy from Beijing whose infection was detected during surveillance activities. So far the global total stands at 132 infections, including 37 deaths.In the WHO’s updated H7N9 risk assessment today, the first since May 10, the agency said it has not changed its assessment of the threat, but it added new information based on the latest developments and medical literature reports.The WHO said evidence continues to build that the human infections are related to live poultry and their environments, though investigations are ongoing to answer questions about the main exposures and routes of infections. Also, other possible reservoirs such as wild birds or mammals have not been identified, the group said.Four small human clusters have been reported in the outbreak suggesting limited human-to-human spread, but so far there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission, the WHO said.H7N9 infections have been severe in many patients, and so far there don’t appear to be large numbers of milder cases. Testing of more than 20,000 people in China for flulike illness in March and April detected only six H7N9 infections, the WHO said.It’s unclear if H7N9 will show the warm-weather drop-off in activity seen with H5N1 cases. Sporadic infections are likely to occur in affected and possibly neighboring areas. So far there is no indication of international spread, but if the transmissibility of the H7N9 virus increased, the possibility of further geographic spread would also rise, according to the WHO.Genetic changes seen among H7N9 viruses suggest adaptation to mammals, and further adaptation could occur, which the WHO said is concerning. It urged countries to continue surveillance and preparedness activities.CDC documentsMeanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday released an assessment for labs of the risk of working with the H7N9 virus as well as handling recommendations. Labs in the United States and other countries are conducting experiments with the virus to learn more about its features, such as pathogenicity, origin, and whether antivirals are useful for treating human infections.The virulence and transmissibility of the virus are under investigation, the CDC said. The potential for H7N9 aerosol spread and its ability to remain viable for extended periods in dry and liquid forms suggest proper safeguards should be in place to protect lab workers and the environment, according the assessment.So far H7 vaccines have shown to be poorly immunogenic, and there’s not enough information to gauge the effects of antivirals.So far the US Department of Health and Human Services hasn’t determined if it will propose that the H7N9 virus be regulated as a select agent, and so far it is classified as a low-pathogenic avian influenza strain and isn’t subject to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) select agent requirements. However, labs must obtain USDA and CDC permits to import and ship the virus.In vitro work with H7N9 should be conducted in biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories, and animal work with the virus should be done in an enhanced BSL-3 setting, the CDC said.In related developments, the CDC today updated a guidance documents on case definitions for H7N9 investigations in the United States and issued its first interim guidance on specimen collection and processing samples for patients with suspected H7N9 infections.Virus studiesTwo new studies have identified mutations that could boost the infectivity of H7N9 and H5N1 viruses through improved binding to receptors in humans’ respiratory tracts. The studies were conducted by the same research teams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and both were published yesterday in Cell.The group’s investigation of the H7N9 virus structure found that its hemagglutinin (HA) protein shows a limited ability to bind to human receptors, but a single amino acid mutation—G228S—could allow a substantive change that would allow extensive binding in the upper airways, according to the study.The investigators also found evolving HA mutations that indicate that current prepandemic H7 vaccines would not be effective against the new H7N9 virus.When they did a similar analysis of the H5N1 virus structure, they found that the HAs from currently circulating clades needed as minor as only a single base pair mutation to switch binding to human receptors. The authors wrote that the mutations they found might be useful for monitoring the emergence of pandemic-potential strains.See also:Jun 7 WHO risk assessmentJun 6 CDC H7N9 biosafety guidanceJun 7 CDC updated H7N9 case definitionJun 7 CDC interim guidance for specimen collectionJun 6 Cell study on receptor binding of H7N9 HA abstractJun 6 Cell study on H5N1 receptor HA specificity abstractlast_img read more

News Scan for May 13, 2015

first_imgUSDA to require labeling of mechanically tenderized beefMechanically tenderized beef will need to be so labeled by May 2016, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.The new labeling requirements cover raw or partially cooked beef products, the FSIS said in a statement.”This commonsense change will lead to safer meals and fewer foodborne illnesses,” said USDA Deputy Undersecretary Al Almanza.Some cuts of beef are tenderized mechanically by piercing them with needles or small blades in order to break up tissue. But the process can introduce pathogens from the surface of the cut to the interior, making proper cooking very important.The potential presence of pathogens in the interior of these products means they should be cooked differently than intact cuts, the statements said. “FSIS is finalizing these new labeling requirements because mechanically tenderized products look no different than intact product, but it is important for consumers to know that they need to handle them differently,” the agency said.Labels must include not only that the meat was mechanically tenderized, but validated cooking instructions as well, including minimum internal temperature, the FSIS said. Since 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of six outbreaks attributable to needle- or blade-tenderized beef products, the statement said.May 13 FSIS statement May 13 Federal Register notice H1N1v case reported in OhioA person in Ohio was fatally infected with a variant H1N1 influenza strain (H1N1v), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in its weekly FluView update late last week.The patient worked at a livestock facility that housed swine but reported no direct contact with pigs in the week before becoming ill, the CDC said. The patient died from complications of the H1N1v infection.”No ongoing human-to-human transmission has been identified,” the CDC added.The case is the second confirmed H1N1v infection this year. The first, reported by the CDC on Jan 30, was in Minnesota. That patient fully recovered. After the CDC confirmed more than 300 cases of variant H3N2 (H3N2v) in the summer of 2012, the annual number of variant influenza cases has dropped dramatically.May 8 CDC FluView report PCV-13 tied to less pneumonia, but not less pneumococcal meningitisAlthough the introduction of the 13-valent (13-strain) pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-13) in 2010 was associated with fewer cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) at eight US children’s hospitals, it was not linked to reduced pneumococcal meningitis (PM), according to a study today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.Researchers from the eight hospitals, located in different regions, compared cases of PM before and after 2010, when PCV-13 was introduced. They noted that PM accounted for 76 (12%) of 645 IPD cases from 2007 through 2009, compared with 69 of 394 cases (18%) in 2011 through 2013. In addition, severe PM cases were more prevalent after PCV-13 introduction.The proportion of PM cases attributed to the 13 vaccine strains, however, dropped from 54% in 2007-09 to 27% in 2011-13 as the proportion of cases caused by the non-vaccine strains rose. Also, isolates with resistance to ceftriaxone dropped from 13% in the pre–PCV-13 years to 3% after vaccine introduction.The number of IPD cases dropped from an average of 215 per year in 2007-09 to 131 in 2011-13.A related commentary in the same journal said that the introduction of a 15-strain vaccine, which is currently in clinical trials, might help, but ultimately a universal vaccine should provide a better solution. That, however, is many years off, so optimizing the use of conjugate vaccine must be a priority as scientists continue to monitor vaccine efficacy, said the authors from Public Health England.May 13 Clin Infect Dis abstract May 13 Clin Infect Dis commentary WHO sees mixed results on health targets in 2015 development goalsThe world has made progress on many of the health-related targets in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were set in 2000 with the end of this year as the deadline, but the overall results are mixed, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.”By the end of this year if current trends continue, the world will have met global targets for turning around the epidemics of HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis and increasing access to safe drinking water,” the agency said. But despite progress, the goals for reducing maternal and child deaths and increasing access to basic sanitation will not be met.This year’s edition of the WHO’s World Health Statistics, published today, assesses progress toward the goals in 194 countries.”The MDGs have been good for public health. They have focused political attention and generated badly needed funds for many important public health challenges,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, MD, MPH, said in the statement. “While progress has been very encouraging, there are still wide gaps between and within countries. Today’s report underscores the need to sustain efforts to ensure the world’s most vulnerable people have access to health services.”The agency said the world has begun to reverse the spread of HIV, with 2.1 million new infections reported in 2013, down from 3.4 million in 2001. And it seems likely that the world will exceed the target of placing 15 million people in low- and middle-income countries on antiretroviral therapy this year.The global goal for increasing access to safe drinking water was met in 2010, but the goal for access to basic sanitation is unlikely to be reached, the WHO said. Around 1 billion people lack such access and are forced to defecate in the open.The UN General Assembly is scheduled to set new goals for 2030 in September, the WHO said.May 13 WHO statement May 13 full report Study: TB test produces genetic sequence data in under 1 weekA test could detect and provide genetic sequence data on Mycobacterium tuberculosis in less than a week and allow for individualized tuberculosis (TB) therapy, according to a study today in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.A UK, US, and Danish team captured the full M tuberculosis genomes directly from 24 infected sputum samples, results that have previously been achievable only via lab cultures, which can take weeks, the authors wrote. The sequencing data were deemed high quality for 20 of the 24 samples, and the results were comparable to those obtained via conventional methods.”Using the conventional methods, patients with resistant TB would need to wait for up to 6 weeks for antibiotic resistance testing,” said senior author Prof. Judith Breuer of University College London (UCL), in a UCL press release. “Our technique and the associated software could reduce testing for antimicrobial resistance to a few days, allowing doctors to give precise antimicrobial treatment earlier than is currently possible.”May 13 J Clin Microbiol abstract May 13 UCL press releaselast_img read more