Mar 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”
For the second time this season, USC sophomore Ray Sarmiento earned Pac-12 Player of the Week.Sarmiento, who is the third consecutive USC tennis player to earn the honor, captured two doubles victories and two straight-set singles wins for the No. 1 Trojans (21-0, 2-0) in their two-game road trip to kick off conference play.Ranked No. 23 in the nation in singles, Sarmiento chalked up a 6-4, 6-3 win over Emmett Egger in the Trojans’ 7-0 win over No. 22 Washington in their Pac-12 opener last Friday.Sarmiento topped Oregon’s Robin Cambier 6-0, 6-1 a day later for the team’s first singles win against the Ducks. His efforts helped USC garner another 7-0 sweep, which became USC coach Peter Smith’s 200th win with the Trojans. Sarmiento is now 14-3 in dual match singles and 29-8 overall, with four consecutive wins on record.In doubles, Sarmiento paired up with senior Daniel Nguyen for an 8-2 win against the Huskies and an 8-3 victory against the Ducks. Together, the No. 18 duo in doubles, improved to 15-2 in dual matches and 20-4 overall for the season.Sarmiento was the first Trojan to take Pac-12 Player of the Week honors on Jan. 30 and now has four career selections as Player of the Week. Seniors Nguyen and Steve Johnson and freshmen Roberto Quiroz and Yannick Hanfmann comprise the other USC men’s tennis players who have earned the honor this season.After their successful conference opener, the Trojans will travel again for two road games against Utah (11-7, 0-2) on Friday at 12:30 p.m. and Arizona (5-12, 0-2) at 11 a.m. Saturday.
A D Field, Sophia, Greater Georgetown businessman was on Sunday evening stabbed to death in front of his business place as he attempted to make peace between a man and his reputed wife.Dead is 48-year-old Godfrey Phillips, of Lot 3028 D Field Sophia. He was reportedly stabbed once to his left abdomen and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital.Based on reports received, the now dead man had already closed his business for the night when he heard an argument. As he ventured out, he saw the suspect arguing with his reputed wife and cautioned them about their behaviour.The suspect of Pike Street, Kitty, Georgetown reportedly became annoyed, whipped out a knife, and inflicted the fatal blow on Phillips.Dead: Godfrey PhillipsAfter committing the act, the suspect and his reputed wife fled the scene, but the Police confirmed that he was later arrested and was being grilled about the heinous crime.At the Turkeyen Police Station on Monday morning, Subrena Phillips, the dead man’s widow, related that she was at home on Sunday evening when she received a telephone call informing her that her husband was stabbed.Without hesitation, she contacted her eldest daughter, who confirmed that her father had been stabbed and had been rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital.She ventured out and on her way to the hospital in the company of her nephew, she received another call – this time from her youngest daughter who informed her that her father was dead.“I still turn up at the hospital and I saw he was already wrapped … I unzipped the holder and I saw his eyes and mouth open …,” she related with tear-filled eyes.She related to Guyana Times what she knew of the incident, “I heard that he went to part some fight between a man and his reputed wife, and he went and tell them to calm down, that it ain’t looking good and is then the man pull out and push the knife.”The suspect, she added, hailed from Kitty, Georgetown, and left the scene after committing the act. The distraught woman stated that she did not know the suspect, but he was known to her children.She told this publication that she and her husband had been married for the past 24 years, and had three children.At the scene, the man’s eldest daughter pointed out the spot where her father collapsed and died.She related that at the time of the stabbing incident, people were in the vicinity of the shop and saw what took place, but they were afraid to speak out. This newspaper understands that a young woman who witnessed the stabbing incident has since given a statement to the Police as they continue their investigations.Phillips’ body was taken to the Lyken Funeral Home to await a post-mortem.