The City of Soldotna released a statement, driving conditions are very hazardous right now. City sanding trucks are out, and we want to encourage everyone to drive very carefully, or stay home if don’t have to be out on the roads. Plan ahead for icy driving/difficult driving conditions if you are heading to Anchorage from the Kenai Peninsula within the next 24 hours. Travel still not advised by the Department of Transportation on the Seward Highway due to the recent landslide danger. Drivers should expect wet and icy roads, icy patches, ice glaze, ice, black ice, slippery road surface, reduce your speed, ice on bridges/overpasses. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The recent rainfall and freezing temperatures have caused very difficult driving conditions in the Kenai Peninsula area.
News Twitter The creepy “bury a friend” video, directed by horror film director Michael Chaves, features plenty of scary movie-worthy moments including a dark apartment, gloved hands forcefully grabbing Eilish and a possessed version of the young star sauntering through the shadows.The song will be featured on the upcoming album, whose track list reveals the album will give us 11 new songs, along with three previously-released ones. In addition to “bury a friend,” two tracks released in 2018 will be on the album, “you should see me in a crown” and “when the party’s over.”Earlier in January, Eilish released “WHEN I WAS OLDER,” a song inspired by ROMA, the Netflix film directed by Alfonso Cuarón. She will be touring Europe in February and March, followed by a stop in Indio, Calif. for both weekends of Coachella 2019.WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? is available for pre-order now on Eilish’s website, where you can also find her tour dates.Billie Eilish: “People Underestimate The Power Of A Young Mind”Read more Facebook Billie Eilish Shares New Song, Album Release Date billie-eilish-drops-new-song-reveals-debut-album-release-date Email Billie Eilish Drops New Song, Reveals Debut Album Release Date The 17-year-old anti-popstar just released “bury a friend” off of her newly announced upcoming debut LP, ‘WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?’Ana YglesiasGRAMMYs Jan 30, 2019 – 12:11 pm Today 17-year-old genre-nonconforming Billie Eilish shared the release date for her highly anticipated debut album, along with a new song from it. The dark single “bury a friend” and its spooky music video dropped today and WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? will be released on March 29.
Enlarge ImageTuro hasn’t finalized the design aspect just yet, but here’s an idea of what to expect. Turo Nearly every automaker has a connected-car element that allows owners to manipulate the car from afar. Smartcar created software that works across these borders, and its latest partnership could make renting some other person’s car a little easier.Turo, a peer-to-peer car sharing startup, announced on Monday that it has partnered with Smartcar to put its system to use as part of the rental process. Normally, when renting somebody else’s car on Turo, that person usually needs to be around to hand over the key. Instead of that, Smartcar’s system uses renters’ phones to wirelessly locate, lock and unlock cars without the need for the “hosts,” as Turo calls them, to be present.Here’s how it works. Hosts who have eligible vehicles will be notified, and using Smartcar’s backend software, they can connect their vehicle account with their Turo account. Once that happens, renters can use their own phone to find and unlock the vehicle. Most OEMs’ connected-car systems don’t let phones work as keys, though, and that’s the case here — the keys can be found inside the vehicle after unlocking, and that’s where to leave ’em when the rental term ends.It’s a huge boon for busy hosts. Now, they won’t need to move their schedules around to accommodate renters, allowing them to maintain an additional revenue stream with less potential annoyance. Some similar systems require hardware in the car, but not this one — it’s all done over the air, no OBD-II dongles or anything of that sort.As with many other fledgling partnerships, this one will start small. Turo will offer its Smartcar system in California and New Jersey to start, with the intention of rolling it out to the entire country later in 2019. Originally published May 6, 12:09 p.m. PT. Update, 12:46 p.m.: Added information regarding how the traditional car key factors into this scheme. 2019 Ford Shelby GT-S Mustang supercharges the rental car experience Share your voice 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous More From Roadshow 88 Photos 0 Tags 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Auto Tech Car Games and Apps Post a comment 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better
Countries like Bangladesh may lose competitive advantage in attaining economic growth to come out of poverty by creating mass urban employment in the garment industry, a Bloomberg article says.It has pointed out that automation is making textile manufacturing less labour-intensive.“This is a crucial question because as technology advances, there’s a concern that the traditional path out of poverty might be closing,” reads the article titled “Bangladesh Versus India in the Development Race”.The author, Noah Smith, observed that technological advancement might cause the industry to migrate back to rich countries like the US, “where labour is expensive but capital is relatively cheap”.“The developing world is at risk of premature deindustrialisation. If Bangladesh fails due to competition from rich-world robots, it will bode ill for countries such as Ethiopia that are looking to hop on the escalator to prosperity,” the article said.“That would leave India’s service-centric development model as the only feasible path.”It mentioned that Bangladesh is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the process of rising wages in developed countries and shifting of low-tech, labour-intensive manufacturing industries to counties with cheaper workers.This economic development path, the article pointed out, “has no doubt come at a real human and social cost — Bangladesh’s workers suffer harsh working conditions and many industrial accidents, including a horrific factory collapse in 2013 that killed more than a thousand people.”“But overall, the tried-and-true industrialization strategy seems to be working.”Referring to some economists’ argument, the article said automation “hasn’t closed off the traditional path, and that there is still plenty of work for industrious people in poor countries.”It raised a twin question: “Will Bangladesh, with its traditional approach to growth, catch up and overtake India? Or has India stumbled upon a new development model that cuts out the need for a country to do a stint as the workshop of the world?”The article further observed that Bangladesh is scrambling to diversify into more valuable manufacturing industries such as autos and electronics.Smith explained that although the leaders of Bangladesh and India have similar goals, the difference in the country’s development models is making for an interesting experiment.“If Bangladesh grows faster, it will suggest that manufacturing, starting with textiles, is still the ticket to industrialisation; but if Bangladesh falters and India sustains its growth, it will imply that poor countries should look to services first,” the author concluded.
Listen 00:00 /01:05 Al OrtizHarris County Sheriff’s deputies will be watching the roadways in patrol cars like these, which is part of its DWI Unit.Texas has a high number of drunk driving incidents and law enforcement is ready to catch those who break the law in the Houston region during the 4th of July.The most recent data compiled by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) pertain to 2015.That year there were 65,609 arrests for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) statewide.Drunk driving incidents can be more prevalent during big holidays like the 4th of July and, therefore, the Houston Police Department (HPD) and Sheriff deputies will be especially vigilant.“All of our patrol deputies who are on duty throughout the holiday are in what we call DWI mode, so they’re gonna be paying particular close attention to drivers who might be impaired,” notes Jason Spencer, director of Public Affairs at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).Texas State troopers will also be watching the roadways.DPS Sergeant Richard Standifer explains that their department “takes up jurisdiction outside of the city limit, so those travelling to and from outside the city limit, we’ll be actively looking for those violating the law.”Law enforcement will be on the lookout for people who are, for example, driving significantly above or below the speed limit or who have trouble staying in one lane. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Share
Doctor visits are climbing and pediatric deaths from the illness are up as well. What makes it so severe? Dr. Amber Robins of Georgetown University joins John Yang to discuss the flu vaccine and other tips for prevention. Share
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar 18, 2019–BET News presents “ AMERICAN INJUSTICE: A BET TOWN HALL.” Hosted and moderated by award-winning broadcast journalist, Soledad O’Brien, this critical and timely primetime special brings together some of the most influential voices in Congress to explore the future of criminal justice reform in America. The panel of political heavyweights includes presidential candidates Senator Cory Bookerand Senator Kamala Harris, and other key members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) including Rep. Karen Bass (CBC Chair), andRep. Val Demings.This one-hour special speaks to the stark racial disparities that plague America’s criminal justice system and offers solutions. The town hall event airs Sunday, March 24 at 9:00 PM ET/PT on BET.This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190318005575/en/AMERICAN INJUSTICE: A BET TOWN HALL.” Hosted and moderated by award-winning broadcast journalist, Soledad O’Brien. L-R: (host) Soledad O’Brien, Senator Kamala Harris, Representative Val Demings, Senator Cory Booker, Representative Karen Bass. (Bennett Raglin, GETTY Images via AP)“BET Networks is committed to bringing conversations and stories of systemic issues of race and justice across our nation to light through platforms like our powerful ‘Finding Justice’ series, our upcoming leadership symposium and this important ‘American Injustice’ town hall conversation in partnership with members of the Congressional Black Caucus,” said Scott Mills, President of BET Networks. “We are taking this on in a way no other brand and network can. We look forward to taking the conversation beyond our screens and into action as we work towards addressing and telling the untold stories of transgressions to Black Americans.”In America there are currently over 2 million people locked up in jail or prison and more than 4 million under correctional supervision, and America’s crisis of mass incarceration disproportionately impacts black and brown communities. In December, President Trump signed into law the “First Step Act” aimed at reforming some of the sentencing disparities in America’s Criminal justice system. While the bill is a “first step” toward reform, there is still much more work to be done.In addition to the “First Step Act,” this BET Town Hall examines several other issues in the Criminal Justice system still in urgent need of reform including juvenile justice and the school-to-prison pipeline, the cash bail system that too often preys on low-income minorities and a probation/parole system that in too many cases works as a system to re-incarcerate offenders. This BET News special addresses these issues and offers tools to empower people to advocate for criminal justice reform at the local level, in their communities. To drive audience engagement and give context to the issues discussed, clips of BET’s original docuseries “ Finding Justice ” will be included throughout the special.Tune in Sunday, March 24 starting at 8:00 PMET to a new episode of “ Finding Justice ” focusing on voter suppression, followed by “ AMERICAN INJUSTICE: A BET TOWN HALL,” at 9:00 PM ET/PT and be part of this crucial conversation by socializing your thoughts with the hashtag #FindingJusticeBETView source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190318005575/en/
FOLLOWING THE CARDINALS ON SOCIAL MEDIAFans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter at @UofLBaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball. 2019 Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top 40 Print Friendly Version Story Links LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville baseball program will enter 2019 in a familiar place after landing at No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball newspaper preseason poll released Tuesday.The announcement marks the 12th consecutive year (2008-2019) the Cardinals have earned a preseason national ranking extending their school record streak. Tuesday’s preseason poll extended another historic run for Louisville, which has remained ranked in at least one major national poll every week since the release of the 2012 preseason rankings — the longest such span in school history.Atop the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll is LSU while No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Texas Tech and No. 5 Stanford round out the top five. The Cardinals are among eight ACC programs in the top 40 joining No. 8 North Carolina, No. 10 Florida State, No. 15 Clemson, No. 17 Georgia Tech, No. 20 Duke, No. 22 NC State and No. 33 Miami.Last season, Louisville registered a 45-19 record overall after advancing to the championship round of an NCAA Regional for the seventh straight season. The Cardinals were ranked as highly as 23rd by Collegiate Baseball newspaper while also landing at No. 25 in the USA Today Top 25 and 27th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll. Louisville registered its seventh straight 40-win season and the 11th in 12 seasons under head coach Dan McDonnell.Led by the return of All-American first baseman Logan Wyatt and All-ACC standouts Nick Bennett (LHP), Bobby Miller (RHP) and Danny Oriente (OF/DH), the Cardinals are scheduled to open the 2019 season against UConn with a three-game series on Feb. 15-17 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida, the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers. Louisville’s home-opener at Jim Patterson Stadium is set for Feb. 20 at 3 p.m., ET against Eastern Kentucky.2019 LOUISVILLE BASEBALL SEASON TICKETSAfter one season of ticketed admission for all home games, the Cardinals are giving free admission back to the fans in 2019. Louisville’s 15 ACC games as well as non-conference games against UK and Vanderbilt will be ticketed events at Jim Patterson Stadium. All other non-conference matchups, including games against Ole Miss, Western Kentucky and Xavier, will have free admission.The 2019 reserved chairback ticket packages, which include one ticket to each of the 17 ticketed games, are priced at $110 for adults, $90 for senior adults/youths and $90 for families of four or more. Season tickets for the Left Field Berm are also available at $50 per ticket. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online here, by calling 502-GO-CARDS or by visiting the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office, located near Gate 2 at Cardinal Stadium (2800 South Floyd Street) on weekdays from 9 a.m., until 5 p.m., ET. Complete details on 2019 UofL baseball tickets can be found at gocards.com/bsbtickets.
Kathmandu: Nepalese lawmakers on Friday elected the country’s first woman speaker of Parliament following
3 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. March 14, 2012 This story appears in the March 2012 issue of . Subscribe » Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global The phone calls were driving Ray Chang crazy. His seven-employee company, Motorsport Lab, was hours into its first Groupon deal–a one-hour supercar driving session priced at $89, a whopping 82 percent discount–and the number of calls flooding the Boston office was out of control.”It was mayhem,” recalls Chang, whose company sells driving experiences in exotic cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis to New England- and Arizona-area marketing campaigns and events. “We were keeping track of all our appointments in Google Docs. When we sold 1,500 Groupons that first day, I thought, How are we going to make this work?”The answer came from a massage. Chang had booked one several weeks earlier using Genbook, a new cloud-based service that lets small businesses automate their client appointments. Merchants integrate Genbook’s BookNow button into their website, Facebook page or blog; the button links to a customized, real-time reservations page that features the business’s logo, contact information, consumer reviews and related information.With 48 hours remaining on his Groupon offer, Chang migrated the scheduling chores to Genbook. “The phone calls stopped, because 99 percent of the people could figure out everything they needed to know online,” he says. “It revolutionized everything we do. We don’t have to take credit card numbers and answer the same questions over the phone anymore, and customers can book anytime they want.”Motorsport Lab is just one of more than 5,000 North American small businesses implementing the online booking service. “Scheduling is the most critical task a business does day in and day out,” says Genbook founder and CEO Rody Moore, who started the San Francisco-based company in 2007. “Ten years ago, consumers felt put out if they had to book a flight or a restaurant reservation online. Now customers expect an online option.”In its startup incarnation, Genbook offered its platform to digital advertisers to help them manage media schedules across hundreds of websites. But in 2008 the company pivoted to its current, monthly subscription service and expanded its customer base. Chiropractors, massage therapists and other one-person operations made up the bulk of Genbook’s early adopters, but a growing number of larger businesses, such as spas, have since joined the platform. And their customers have embraced the service, too: An average of 500,000 appointments are being scheduled every month.”Scheduling is the most critical task a business does day in and day out.” –Rody Moore, GenbookThe booking service offers packages that cater to outfits of all sizes. Genbook Solo schedules one person’s clients for $19.95 per month; Genbook Standard manages an unlimited number of calendars for $39.95 per month. This year, the company–which has been bankrolled by $5.6 million from Neo Technology Ventures and Moore himself–launched an analytics dashboard to help merchants leverage “the massive amount of data generated through the act of making an appointment or reservation,” Moore says, adding that key metrics include customer preferences among services offered, sales trends and individual employee performance.Back at Motorsport Lab, Genbook has allowed Chang to fully automate the company’s scheduling and, as a result, shed staff and save $50,000 per year.”Genbook makes it so much easier to communicate accurate and up-to-date information about our business to people,” Chang says. “We still get a few calls with questions we can’t answer online, but Genbook handles just about everything else. To me, it’s a no-brainer.”
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Spanair grounds all flights Spanair has announced the suspension of all flight operations after filing for bankruptcy protection late last week. Spain’s carrier announced over the weekend that all flights had been cancelled as it had suspended operations as of 28 January 2012.A statement from the carrier read that the decision was made “because of a lack of visible financing in the next couple of months”. “The management of Spanair is sorry and apologizes to all those who are affected by this situation,” the statement read.The carrier has since advised passengers booked to fly with the airline to contact other airlines but noted that those with tickets on flights operated by another airline member of Star Alliance would be unaffected.“However for clarification we suggest you contact the operating airline,” the carrier recommended. Meanwhile the Spanish airline said in an online statement that it was currently in discussions with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to finalise an agreement to facilitate refunds of purchased but not yet flown tickets of Spanair.“This agreement will let the travel agencies refund the complete price to those passengers that paid the ticket in a travel agency by bank transfer or cash,” the carrier said. “All other passengers who bought their tickets by credit card directly at www.spanair.com or in a travel agency, they will need enquire for refund options with their card issuer.” For more information travellers and agents can contact Spanair sales offices, AENA help desks in Spain’s airports, Airport Tourism information offices in Spain and Catalan consumer agency.
S3 Group will use ANGA COM to demo its latest advances in video service validation, platform integration services and Reference Design Kit (RDK) migration support.At the expo, S3 Group’s director of strategy and marketing for TV technology will also speak on a technology panel entitled ‘Accelerating the Next Generation of Video Services: RDK and Recommendation Engines and Beyond’.This is due to take place in room B on Wednesday May 21 from 14:00 – 15.15 and will also feature participation from ThinkAnalytics founder Peter Docherty, Liberty Global VP of technology Bill Warga and Kabel Deutschland’s VP of service engineering, Wolfgang Zeller.Kabel Deutschland recently selected S3 Group to help it scale and validate video services on various consumer premises equipment (CPE), such as set-top boxes and gateway devices. S3 Group will exhibit at ANGA COM in hall 10.1, booth S29
Winning in the Era of Deep Contextual Personalization: It’s All About Human-Machine Collaboration Sunil KarkeraApril 29, 2019, 4:00 pmApril 25, 2019 Chatbots, virtual assistants and other Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered marketing technologies are rapidly becoming commonplace. Yet, many CMOs are discovering the limitations of these technologies for one-to-one marketing. How should CMOs be allocating their technology investments to deliver deep contextual personalization and create ever-expanding customer experiences that will fuel growth for the next decade?The answer to that question has been elusive. The truth is, most CMOs are bewildered by the vast and ever-increasing array of marketing technologies available. In 2018 alone, marketers were inundated with nearly 7,000 software products from more than 6,000 companies, according to Scott Brinker of HubSpot. In many cases, the scars of integration are still fresh — as are memories of tech investments that didn’t deliver the anticipated results. So, it’s not surprising many CMOs have worked to greatly simplify their marketing stack.New Pressures Demand a New ApproachBut relying on existing personalization strategies is no longer enough. Pressure continues to grow for CMOs to demonstrate ROI. After three straight years of increases in marketing spend industry-wide, budgets have slipped from a peak of 14% of revenue to 11%. Forward-looking marketing leaders know they need new approaches to enhance customer experience, improve channel effectiveness, and use data more effectively to improve marketing agility and fuel marketing innovation. What they need is a holistic approach that balances human and machine intelligence. The question is: What is the right balance in this human-machine collaboration?I believe the key to success is a “machine-first” approach where technology has the first right to sense, understand, decide, and act. This means automating a vast number of activities that are still performed manually. A machine-first approach is about augmenting human capability using automation and AI to increase the growth potential of the enterprise. It enables monitoring customer engagement before and after the sale, automatically adjusting campaigns and engagements—from media selection and channels to messages and segmentation—on the fly to create a deep contextual experience that engages customers and inspires loyalty.Currently, most marketing organizations are only scratching the surface, using digital technologies to personalize the brand experience in limited ways—generally at the point of transaction. A true machine-first model is about managing and personalizing the brand experience throughout the customer lifecycle in an end-to-end role that extends beyond marketing into sales, service and support, and even product/service design and development. The goal of machine-first is not only to streamline processes but also to master digital data—capturing and analyzing the precise customer data needed to inform the actions and decisions of human marketing teams.Read More: Making Voice Tech More Human Is as Easy as 1-2-3Machine-First Enables the Optimal BalanceSo, what does a machine-first model look like in practice and how does this help achieve the right balance in human-machine collaboration?To create stickier relationships with its customers, Starbucks created the Starbucks Rewards program to support true one-to-one marketing. In one year, the program added more than 10 million members in the US. A comprehensive cross-channel program, Starbucks Rewards gathers and analyzes customer data across all touchpoints to build a granular consumer profile—then automates the delivery of personalized offers to each individual consumer. This reinforces the bond between Starbucks and each customer, encouraging consumers to engage with the brand on their terms, using whatever platform they want at any given time. Starbucks’ use of omnichannel data to build loyalty enables the human component as well—the in-store experience—where store managers and staff focus on customers as individuals, not just as orders. This “people-centricity”—always core to Starbucks’ culture—is strengthened, not diminished or replaced, by the company’s automated, data-informed loyalty strategy.Deep personalization is also crucial after the sale. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Brazil recognized that post-sales service of vehicles is a make-or-break factor for customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. To ensure a seamless customer experience across all service touchpoints, FCA integrated key functions across its customer interaction channels. This enabled proactive, personalized communications at every step through automated processes focused on a single goal: rapidly understanding and resolving the customer’s need or problem. AI-powered business intelligence provided human service agents with the customer insights needed to answer questions and solve issues quickly and effectively. This ideal balance of machine and human intelligence helped FCA Brazil accelerate complaint resolution by 25%. Based on this result, FCA is rolling out their human-to-machine service model worldwide.Reshaping Customer ExperiencesDeploying a balanced human-to-machine strategy requires CMOs to break free from a reactive, tactical mindset and view the entire customer lifecycle—from initial prospecting, nurturing and engagement to ongoing loyalty and support efforts, and even win-back campaigns—as a single, seamless, one-to-one conversation with each customer. Digital intelligence makes this possible by automating and orchestrating processes, and by creating linkages across channels and data sources to create a seamless, personalized experience.The supply chains for Global 2000 companies have been doing a version of this for years. They leverage digital technologies to detect demand signals out to the point of sale, enabling proactive adjustments in production, inventory, and distribution to keep pace with changes in consumer behavior. Marketers must do the same, using every customer interaction to generate signals that automate actions and enhance the consumer profile, enabling marketing and service organizations to anticipate and fulfill customer needs and desires, moment by moment.Read More: How Managed Execution Services Help Marketers Yield Better ResultsThe People Part of the EquationThis transformation is equally about people. CMOs need to identify, staff and train people for the new marketing roles that are becoming essential to operating a world-class, machine-first marketing organization. In particular, CMOs should rethink their talent strategy. For example, marketers need to be trained on data and analysis. CMOs are now bringing data scientists to their teams as a different set of talent is required for the marketing future.These professionals must master digital data to be “data-informed” rather than “data-driven.” This means determining what customer data they need and what they don’t need to deliver ROI. They must continually seek new ways to use that data to deliver value to customers, while respecting and protecting customer privacy. And, they must be able to think outside their marketing silo, tearing down the old walls that separate corporate functions and create new ways to improve every customer interaction, both pre- and post-sale.Breaking Through the BarrierAdopting a model that properly balances the capabilities of skilled humans and those of intelligent machines is the key to breaking through the technology plateau that is holding back many marketing organizations. It’s the only way to deliver the deep personalized experiences consumers demand—and the technology ROI that CFOs demand.Read More: 7 “Gotchas” for Data Engineers New to Google BigQuery AIchatbotsDeep Contextual PersonalizationhubspotHuman-Machine CollaborationROIScott BrinkerTCS Interactive Previous ArticleMarTech Interview with Jeremy Korst, President, GBH InsightsNext ArticleWhat Kind of Chatbot is Right for Your Business?
Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund in his statement added, “To step up the fight against malaria, we need every available tool. If this pilot shows that RTS,S is a cost-effective tool against malaria, it will help us save more children’s lives.” Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi in his statement said, “Malaria is still one of the biggest killers of children worldwide, taking the lives of over 200,000 children every year. These pilots will be crucial to determine the part this vaccine could play in reducing the burden this disease continues to place on the world’s poorest countries.” The vaccine known as RTS,S or Mosquirix, would be administered to children up to 2 years of age. After Malawi, the vaccine would be introduced in its pilot trial phase in Ghana and Kenya in the coming weeks. In these African countries malaria remains a menace and kills with an alarming frequency of one child every two minutes. In Africa, over 250,000 children die due to malaria annually. The risks of dying due to malaria and its complications are highest among children under the age of five years. Across the world, malaria kills 435,000 people annually of which most are children says WHO. The team leading the pilot trial would roll out the programme and help to generate information and experience with the RTS,S malaria vaccine so that WHO can devise its policy recommendations regarding the vaccine. The utility and efficacy of the vaccine in reducing childhood deaths, safety of the vaccines, if the parents were willing to bring their children for the routine four doses of the vaccine and its general acceptance would all be studied.WHO officials add, that this new malaria vaccine would be part of the malaria control programme. WHO recommends other major measures for malaria control including insecticide-treated bed nets, use of insecticides indoors and routine testing for malaria in case of fever and its early treatment.This pilot programme is a collaboration between the WHO and ministries of health in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi along with PATH, a non-profit organization and makers of the vaccine GSK. GSK is donating up to 10 million vaccine doses for this pilot project. This pilot project is receiving financial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and Unitaid. Contributions in kind are being provided by WHO, PATH and GSK. Steve Davis, President and CEO of PATH said in a statement, “We salute WHO and Malawi for their leadership in realizing this historic milestone and we look forward to the start of vaccination in Ghana, and then Kenya later this year. A vaccine for malaria is among many innovations needed to bring an end to this disease, and we proudly stand with all countries and our many partners in progressing towards a malaria-free world.” Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a statement said, “Malaria is a constant threat in the African communities where this vaccine will be given. The poorest children suffer the most and are at highest risk of death. We know the power of vaccines to prevent killer diseases and reach children, including those who may not have immediate access to the doctors, nurses and health facilities they need to save them when severe illness comes. This is a day to celebrate as we begin to learn more about what this tool can do to change the trajectory of malaria through childhood vaccination.” Malaria vaccine trial in Malawi. Image Credit: WHO This malaria vaccine took three decades to make say researchers. Until now it remains the only vaccine against malaria. Phase 3 clinical trials with the vaccine have been conducted in Africa between 2009 and 2014. These clinical trials with this vaccine show that this vaccine could prevent 40 percent of malaria cases and 30 percent of fatal severe malaria cases. Dr David Schellenberg, one of the researchers who helped develop the vaccine said in a statement, “There were seven countries participating in a large trial where over 15,000 children participated. [The trial] showed pretty clearly that this vaccine is safe and it is efficacious in terms of its ability to prevent clinical malaria episodes and also severe malaria episodes.”#Malawi 🇲🇼: A baby girl named Gloria was first in line for a #malariavaccine at the Muotcha HIV Testing & Counseling Centre in the town of Balaka. pic.twitter.com/EYGh46XcB7— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) April 24, 2019 Similarly Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of Unitaid added, “The malaria vaccine is an exciting innovation that complements the global health community’s efforts to end the malaria epidemic. It is also a shining example of the kind of inter-agency coordination that we need. We look forward to learning how the vaccine can be integrated for greatest impact into our work.” According to WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement, “We have seen tremendous gains from bed nets and other measures to control malaria in the last 15 years, but progress has stalled and even reversed in some areas. We need new solutions to get the malaria response back on track, and this vaccine gives us a promising tool to get there. The malaria vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of children’s lives.” Further Reading What is Malaria? Malaria Causes Malaria Mechanism Malaria Diagnosis Malaria Prevention Malaria Treatment Malaria Epidemiology Malaria Society And Culture Malaria Symptoms The pilot programme is slated to reach around 360,000 children annually in the three target nations. The areas covered would be regions where malaria transmission is high and the vaccine would be of greater help say officials. There would be four doses of the vaccine for each child – 3 doses to be administered between 5 and 9 months of age and the fourth dose to be administered at around the age of 2 years.A PATH white paper on this project says, “Looking ahead The pilot implementation was designed as a six-year program, including preparation, and the evaluations are now expected to be completed by 2023. Its goal is to enable an updated WHO policy recommendation on the possible broader use of RTS,S in African children by generating additional evidence on feasibility, impact, and safety—all in the context of routine use.” By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDApr 24 2019This week the African nation of Malawi became one of the first of the planned three to launch a pilot trial for a novel vaccine against malaria. The news and the efforts were lauded by the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr Thomas Breuer, Chief Medical Officer of GSK Vaccines in a statement said, “Delivering the world’s first malaria vaccine will help reduce the burden of one of the most pressing health challenges globally. This novel tool is the result of GSK employees collaborating with their partners, applying the latest in vaccine science to contribute to the fight against malaria. We look forward to seeing the results of the pilot, and in parallel, are working with WHO and PATH to secure the vaccine’s sustained global health impact in the future.”
Last year, Professor Yates and his team showed that middle-aged people who reported that they are slow walkers were at higher risk of heart-related disease compared to the general population. The study, which also used data from the UK Biobank, showed that slow walkers were twice as likely to have a heart-related death as fast walkers, even when other risk factors such as smoking and body mass index were taken into account.Source: National Institute for Health Research Studies published so far have mainly shown the impact of body weight and physical fitness on mortality in terms of relative risk, for example a 20 per cent relative increase of risk of death for every 5 kilograms per metres squared increase, compared to a reference value of a BMI of 25 kilograms per metres squared (the threshold BMI between normal weight and overweight).However, it is not always easy to interpret a “relative risk”. Reporting in terms of life expectancy, conversely, is easier to interpret and gives a better idea of the separate and joint importance of body mass index and physical fitness.” Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 15 2019People who report that they have a slower walking pace have a lower life expectancy than fast walkers, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre – a partnership between Leicester’s Hospitals, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University.The research, using data from the UK Biobank of 474,919 people recruited within the UK, found those with a habitually fast walking pace have a long life expectancy across all levels of weight status – from underweight to morbidly obese. Underweight individuals with a slow walking pace had the lowest life expectancy (an average of 64.8 years for men, 72.4 years for women). The same pattern of results was found for waist circumference measurements.This is the first time research has associated fast walking pace with a longer life expectancy regardless of a person’s body weight or obesity status.Professor Tom Yates, professor of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health at the University of Leicester and a lead author of the study, said: Dr Francesco Zaccardi, clinical epidemiologist at the Leicester Diabetes Centre – based at Leicester General Hospital – and co-author of the study, said: Our findings could help clarify the relative importance of physical fitness compared to body weight on life expectancy of individuals. In other words, the findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than body mass index (BMI), and that encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives.”
parties and movements File photo of Congress President Rahul Gandhi with Bihar Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha (second from left) RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav (third from right) and Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot (second from right) – The Hindu COMMENTS alliances and coalition Bihar RJD sets ultimatum for finalising pact on seat-sharing After the mess-up in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, the Congress has fresh alliance trouble brewing in Bihar, where the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has set the party an ultimatum to agree to a seat-distribution arrangement for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls..Expressing hope that a formal announcement will be possible by Sunday, the day the ultimatum ends, RJD’s top brass told BusinessLine that it is likely to get more than 10 seats. There are 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in the politically-important State.Likely distributionSources indicate that the “tepid” response from the AICC leadership has irked the RJD. In Bihar, the NDA has firmed up its alliance by completing the seat-sharing process. AICC general secretary in-charge, Shaktisinh Gohil, told BusinessLine that talks of an ultimatum were just rumours. “We are trying to announce the alliance on Sunday. All talks are over,” Gohil said. RJD leader and MP Manoj Jha also said that the details will be finalised soon.A senior leader from Bihar, who was part of the negotiations, said the game of one-upmanship being played by both the RJD and the Congress, is delaying the process. The informal understanding is that the RJD will get about 20 seats while the Congress will get 10 or more in the alliance.Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party is likely to get three seats. Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha will get one seat. The RJD is not ready to give more than two seats to the Left parties. In that case, the CPI(ML) Liberation and the CPI will get one seat each. The CPI(M) had declared its plan to contest from the Ujiarpur seat earlier.A source indicated that the RJD has issues in supporting the CPI in Begu Sarai, if former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar is named as the candidate.The RJD feels that Kumar may face trouble, as certain caste combinations may work against him. Four seats will be divided between smaller parties such as the Vikashsheel Insaan Party.Panel missing in actionThe indecision within the Congress’ top brass is also, apparently, delaying the process. The six-member pre-poll alliances sub-group of the AICC, headed by veteran leader AK Antony, did not have even a single meeting for almost one year. “The alliance formation has become a tedious process, as this panel is non-functional. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has given some elbowroom for the State units, and that is why tie-ups with Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra could be formed effectively. But whenever there are differences among State leaders, the Antony panel is supposed to give a direction. Be it Bihar, West Bengal, or Delhi, this panel hasn’t done anything to solve the issues so far,” a senior AICC functionary told BusinessLine on the condition of anonymity.The pre-poll alliance sub-group will have to guide the high command in States such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh as well. “We will soon hold a meeting and take stock of the situation,” a member in Antony’s panel said. Published on March 15, 2019 national elections SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE COMMENT