US officials launch regional stockpile to fight H5N1 in Asia

first_imgMar 25, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The first of three US-funded supply stockpiles aimed at helping authorities in Asia stamp out avian influenza outbreaks opened near Bangkok today.Eric John, the US ambassador to Thailand, spoke at a ceremony to open a Regional Distribution Center (RDC) in Chachoengsao province, in eastern Thailand, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today.”The RDC will help ensure that countries in Asia will be able to take fast action to counter avian influenza without endangering the lives of rapid-response teams,” he said, according to the AFP report.The stockpile, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), initially contains 45,000 protective suits, 400 decontamination suits, 10 laboratory specimen kits, and other equipment totaling $548,300, AFP reported.USAID officials said the supplies, stored in a warehouse near Bangkok’s international airport, could be airlifted to affected areas within 24 hours, according to a report today from the Associated Press (AP).John MacArthur, USAID’s infectious disease adviser for the Asian region, said at the opening ceremony that continuing outbreaks in the region raise the risk of the H5N1 virus mutating into a form that could be transmitted among humans, the AP reported. Vietnam and China have reported several H5N1 outbreaks in poultry flocks over the past few months, and Laos recently reported a fresh outbreak near the border with China and Myanmar.On Mar 18, officials from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said they were deeply concerned that high viral loads circulating among birds in Indonesia are creating fertile grounds for H5N1 virus mutation.According to the US State Department, as of late November 2007, US assistance for international efforts to combat avian influenza had reached $98 million of the pledged amount of $434 million. At a donors conference held in New Delhi in December, the United States pledged an additional $195 million to fight H5N1 avian flu, according to a previous report.See also:Dec 7, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Donors pledge $406 million to fight avian flu”last_img read more

Mourinho considering Drogba return

first_img “We want to win matches and win titles and Didier is one of the best strikers in Europe. He is still very adapted to the needs of the Premier League and we are thinking about it in a non-emotional way.” Drogba was named as Chelsea’s greatest ever player in a poll of fans in 2012, having scored both the equaliser and the decisive shoot-out penalty as the Blues beat Bayern Munich in that year’s Champions League final. But Mourinho stressed: “If you bring him back it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea, or because I read I need an assistant, no. If I bring him back, and the decision has to be made soon, it is because as a player he has qualities to make the team stronger. “The team is not about the 11. It is about the different options and w ith Didier’s profile, being a squad player I think he could be important for any team. “And because we know his heart is pushing him to where he feels he belongs, we are thinking about the possibility. (Chelsea owner Roman) Abramovich is very intelligent and he feels that people belong to the club. We feel that Didier belongs to us. “Is he coming back as a player one more year or a couple more years? Let’s see.” Drogba would join a crop of strikers including new signing Diego Costa as well as Romelu Lukaku and Victor Moses, who both spent last season out on loan. Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba have departed the club this summer. Reports in recent days have linked the Ivory Coast striker, a free agent after leaving Galatasaray, with a return to Stamford Bridge. And Mourinho has now broken his silence on the matter, telling several national newspapers: “We think about it. Press Associationcenter_img Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that a possible return for Didier Drogba is in his thoughts.last_img read more

Taylor-made: Badgers live, die by play of point guard

first_imgJudging by the last two games, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team is going to live and die by the play of Kammron Taylor in the tournament.On the year, Taylor is averaging 12.7 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting. In the Badgers’ last two games — disappointing road losses to Michigan State and Ohio State — he is averaging 6.0 points per game on 22.2 percent shooting.Furthermore, Taylor is averaging 8.0 points per game on 28.6 percent shooting in Wisconsin’s four losses on the year.But it’s not just the numbers that stand out in the losses, it’s the way Taylor plays.Obviously, a team’s starting point guard is typically the most important player — albeit not to the same extent as the quarterback in football, but the point guard controls the tone of the game and often can be the difference between a win and a loss. Such is the case with Taylor — just take a glance at the Badgers’ losses.Nov. 24: Missouri State 66, Wisconsin 645 points, 1-for-6 FG (0-for-2 3-pointers), 1 assist, 3 turnoversThe Badgers started the game out looking completely lost, and the Bears took advantage of it. Taylor had trouble directing the offense through Missouri State’s pesky defense, as evident by his 1-to-3 turnover ratio. Also, Taylor was part of UW’s backcourt problem that allowed MSU guard Blake Ahearn to explode for 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting, 3-of-5 from 3-point range.As a result of his shaky play, Taylor only played 19 minutes in Wisconsin’s first loss of the year. In contrast, backcourt-mate Michael Flowers played 38 minutes and freshman guard Jason Bohannon came off the bench to clock 21 minutes.After the game, it was obvious Taylor’s lackluster play was a big part of the loss.”We have to mature at our guard spot and a lot of spots there. We are still trying to find guys who will make great decisions,” UW senior forward Alando Tucker said. “We took some bad shots; we had a couple of turnovers. That’s not the kind of basketball that we are capable of doing.”The very next day, Wisconsin bounced back with a 77-63 victory over Auburn. Taylor scored a team-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2-to-1.Jan. 31: Indiana 71, Wisconsin 6615 points, 5-for-11 FG (4-for-9 3-pointers), 4 assists, 2 turnoversBy far, this was Taylor’s best game in a loss. In the first half, he dropped four dimes to keep the Badgers neck-and-neck with the Hoosiers, and in the second half, Taylor snapped out of his shooting slump (18 percent shooting in the previous two games). With about five minutes left to play and Wisconsin down, Taylor hit three 3-pointers down the clutch to keep the Badgers in the game.However, it was just too little, too late, as the Hoosiers simply shot lights out.Feb. 20: Michigan State 64, Wisconsin 552 points, 0-for-6 FG (0-for-4 3-pointers), 1 assist, 1 turnoverWhile Taylor hit two free throws with 3:37 remaining to tie the game, they were his only two points of the game. Wisconsin was bothered by a tough, physical Michigan State defense that didn’t allow the Badgers to get into the lane. While Tucker did nothing to help by settling for outside jumpers, Taylor never penetrated the lane to try and open things up for the offense.Taylor’s disappointing night was capped off with an air ball 3-pointer right before he left the game with a dejected look on his face.Following the game, Taylor knew the blame was all on him.”I wasn’t being aggressive on the offensive end like I know I’m supposed to be,” said Taylor after shaking his head with a loss of words. “That was all me. I wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been.”Nevertheless, UW head coach Bo Ryan still had confidence his point guard would bounce back.”You’ve just got to pick up the pieces,” he said.Feb. 25: Ohio State 48, Wisconsin 4710 points, 4-for-12 FG (2-for-4 3-pointers), 1 assist, 0 turnoversIn the Badgers’ biggest game of the year, it was the back-up freshman guards — Bohannon and Trevon Hughes — who looked like the experienced senior, not Taylor. Nevertheless, Wisconsin would not have been in the game if it weren’t for Taylor.Midway through the second half, Taylor caught fire. After the second media timeout, he hit a jump shot coming off a screen and then a 3-pointer on the very next possession to tie the game at 34. Then, with 6:57 remaining, Taylor hit a tear-drop jumper in the lane to give the Badgers a one-point lead.But Taylor’s personal comeback was ruined with a single free throw. At the line with 20.3 seconds left on the clock and Wisconsin up 48-47, Taylor missed a one-and-one free throw that would’ve at least guaranteed overtime.Taylor’s last-second desperation shot was then swatted away, sealing a Badger defeat.After the game, Taylor was nearly in tears, beating himself up over the miss.Contrast this with the performance Taylor put up Jan. 9 against the Buckeyes in Madison, scoring a season-high 25 points, carrying UW to maybe the season’s biggest win.Not to call him out or anything, but Wisconsin is only going to go as far as Taylor takes them in the tournament. Everyone knows it, including his teammates.”It’s total team effort, but Kam’s a big part of it,” Tucker said. “He does so many different things that we need from him every night, and when that’s not coming we struggle.”When he’s not playing well, our team is affected big time.”Even Taylor himself knows it.”It’d be a lie if I said I don’t think about it,” Taylor said about his missed free throw against Ohio State. “It’s hard not to think about it because so much was riding on that game, but I’ve been in tough situations before, and I’m not going to let that game affect the way I play the rest of the season.”And Taylor shouldn’t let it affect him because his struggles in the last two games could potentially result in a quick and abrupt end to what has been one of the best seasons in Wisconsin basketball history. Or he could use it as motivation to bounce back and make good on the Badgers’ high hopes. The ball’s in his hands.Michael is a senior double majoring in journalism and communication arts. Any questions or comments can be sent to read more