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”
Pacific Pines has become the Coast’s fastest selling suburb. Picture: Regi VarghesePACIFIC Pines is shredding its investor image, bringing a new generation of young families to the city’s northwest.The suburb has become the fastest-selling suburb with houses lasting an average of 18 days on the market, down from 51 days at the same time the previous year.CoreLogic figures show the city’s average is 35 days on market.LJ Hooker Pacific Pines principal Pascal Pierre said Pacific Pines had transformed from an investor-driven area to family haven.“We’re getting a lot more owner-occupiers rather than investors,” Mr Pierre said.“Pacific Pines is what they call a master-built suburb. Stockland was behind the development which was designed all around attracting families for sustainability.”“When you look at what you’ve got, you have schools, public transport, a shopping centre and sporting clubs — everything someone would need that is living here.”Pacific Pines was designed around attracting families for sustainability. Picture: Regi VargheseMr Pierre said there was not enough stock to meet buyer demand with people often missing out on properties.“We had an interstate buyer who put in an offer without seeing the property, then came and viewed the property with their offer on the table and ended up buying it.”“It was a multiple offer scenario and they paid more than the local buyer.”There is a mix of housing in Pacific Pines. Picture: Regi VargheseBall Realty Pacific Pines principal Tina Ball shared a similar view.“Pacific Pines is really being seen now as a place where families want to live,” she said.“There’s a lot of newer and larger homes that are good value.”She said buyers were trying to inspect homes midweek before the weekend open homes in a bid to beat their competition.“They don’t want to miss out,” she said.“We recently sold a property for more than $1 million and a few years ago you wouldn’t be saying that.”Pacific Pines is evolving into a family-friendly suburb. Picture: Regi VargheseMore from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North4 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoChris Reiner and Kate Stuart bought a property in Pacific Pines in 2014 and have been surprised at the suburb’s transformation.“There are lots of new houses and estates as well as shops and eateries,” Ms Stuart said.“We have also noticed more owner-occupiers move in.“It’s definitely a safe, friendly, family-orientated suburb.”The latest Census data reveals Pacific Pines has a population of 16,700, up 2000 over five years.The median age is 31 while children up to 14 made up a quarter of the population.Average days on market for houses (12 months to May, 2017)FASTEST SELLINGPacific Pines, 18 daysVarsity Lakes, 19 daysCarrara, 20 daysNerang, 22 daysTugun, 23 daysSLOWEST SELLINGSpringbrook, 85 daysGuanaba, 84 daysParadise Point, 78 daysMermaid Beach, 77 daysCurrumbin Valley, 64 days
Stuff co.nz 19 August 2016Family First Comment: Go Michael! (a member of our Board of Reference )Labour has enlisted two former All Blacks in a bid to take down legislation which would let shops open on Easter Sundays.Michael Jones and Aiolupotea Tonu’u have called on Pacific MPs to vote against the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, saying it would stop some in the Pacific community from spending the religious holiday with their church and families.The legislation would allow local councils to decide whether or not to open their doors on Easter Sunday.The bill narrowly passed its most recent test on Wednesday night by 62 votes to 59.Jones, a devout Christian who did not play test matches on Sundays during his career, said in a statement that Easter Sunday was an important day in the Christian calendar.“If the Government’s reforms go ahead many New Zealanders will miss out on the opportunity to spend Easter Sunday with their church, their communities and their families.READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/83357687/former-all-blacks-take-on-government-over-easter-sunday-opening-hours-law-changeRugby stars lobby against Easter trading changesNZ Herald 19 August 2016Two former All Blacks are putting pressure on Pacific Island MPs to vote against law changes which will allow shops to open on Easter Sunday.Former rugby stars Michael Jones and Aiolupotea Tonu’u said today that the law change could harm Pacific workers who had obligations to their churches and families on the religious holiday.They are appealing directly to Pacific MPs in Parliament to cast their vote against the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill when it returns to Parliament.The bill will give councils the power to pass bylaws to allow trading on Easter Sunday.READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11697208Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.