Star Files Kerry Washington Andrew Rannells The starry film adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical The Prom is arriving on Netflix on December 11, and the trailer is here! As previously reported, the movie stars Meryl Streep as Dee Dee Allen, James Corden as Barry Glickman, Andrew Rannells as Trent Oliver, Nicole Kidman as Angie, Ariana DeBose as Alyssa Greene, Kevin Chamberlin as Sheldon Saperstein, Kerry Washington as Ms. Greene and Keegan-Michael Key as Mr. Hawkins. Newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman plays the central role of Emma. Directed by Ryan Murphy, with a screenplay by Broadway’s Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin and music by Matthew Sklar and Beguelin, this movie musical is sure to give your life some zazz! Watch the trailer below! Ariana DeBose Meryl Streep, James Corden & more in “The Prom”(Photo: Netflix) Kevin Chamberlin View Comments View All (4)
If BBB does not have the business verify the customer, or the reviewer is unable to provide confirming information, we will post the review (unless there is other cause not to) but will not label it “BBB Verified Reviewer.” Once the reviewer confirms the email address, we then send the review to the business (usually via email). The business has three options to respond to the review within 3-10 days: Ignore – Respond – Not My Customer. If a business response is provided, the review is posted immediately and will have a “BBB Verified Reviewer” icon to alert other people that the business has verified the review was posted by an actual customer. Vermont Business Magazine The online-reviews system is an opportunity for great businesses to shine and attract more customers. According to BrightLocal, 79% of consumers believe they have read a fake review in the last year. So how do you determine what reviews are real and those that are not? “In today’s world of uncredible information, it can be difficult being a consumer, especially considering there are more shopping choices than ever before,” says Tom Isabelle, owner of IsabelleLighting.com(link is external). “At IsabellesLighting.com, we encourage shoppers to look closely at who you are shopping from to find out if the business is BBB Accredited, and what complaints they may have (if any). Do a quick search on bbb.org(link is external) to see if the seller is BBB Accredited. I can assure you, with the small amount of time you invest in doing so, you will be glad you did!”Fake reviews aren’t just a problem for businesses to figure out. Fraudulent customer reviews hurt people as well. Whether a fake review is written by a business owner or a fake negative review from a competitor, the real victim is the potential customer. People are looking for accurate information about businesses and trusting online reviews as a source for that information.“People tend to trust the services that offer online reviews. People must figure out if those reviews are coming from real customers that have actually dealt with the business firsthand,” says Paula Fleming, spokesperson for the BBB Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI, & VT. “This is why no anonymous or third-party reviews are accepted on bbb.org; all reviewers must verify their email address.”If the business verifies that it is their customer who has placed the review, BBB will post it and add a “BBB Verified Reviewer” button to the review – unless BBB has sufficient reason to question the authenticity of the reviewer or compliance with this Policy.BBB offers the opportunity for customers to share their experiences with businesses via BBB Customer Reviews. Here’s how it works:BBB sends a confirmation to the email address of the reviewer, to ensure that the email address is real and there is a real person there. BBB will not post a review for which it does not receive a validation email. If the business claims “Not My Customer,” BBB alerts the user and requests substantiation of the marketplace interaction. BBB has the right to not post any reviews we believe may be false. Click here for more information about the BBB Customer Review Verification Process.(link is external)Source: BBB Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island & Vermont(link sends e-mail). December 4, 2017.For more information you can trust, visit us at bbb.org(link is external).,Yes
Share Your gut may play a pivotal role in preventing the onset of Parkinson’s disease. And the reason may be its knack for sleuthing.Researchers at the University of Iowa have found that the gut may be key to preventing Parkinson’s disease. Cells located in the intestine spark an immune response that protects nerve cells, or neurons, against damage connected with Parkinson’s disease. Acting like detectives, the immune intestinal cells identify damaged machinery within neurons and discard the defective parts. That action ultimately preserves neurons whose impairment or death is known to cause Parkinson’s.“We think somehow the gut is protecting neurons,” says Veena Prahlad, assistant professor in biology at the UI and corresponding author on the paper published Aug. 30 in the journal Cell Reports. Pinterest LinkedIn Email Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that erodes motor control and balance over time. It affects some 500,000 people in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health. The disease occurs when neurons—nerve cells—in the brain that control movement become impaired or die. Normally, these neurons produce dopamine, and when they are damaged or killed, the resulting dopamine shortage causes the motor-control problems associated with the disease.Scientists have previously linked Parkinson’s to defects in mitochondria, the energy-producing machinery found in every human cell. Why and how mitochondrial defects effect neurons remain a mystery. Some think the impaired mitochondria starve neurons of energy; others believe they produce a neuron-harming molecule. Whatever the answer, damaged mitochondria have been linked to other nervous disorders as well, including ALS and Alzheimer’s, and researchers want to understand why.Prahlad’s team exposed roundworms to a poison called rotenone, which researchers know kills neurons whose death is linked to Parkinson’s. As expected, the rotenone began damaging the mitochondria in the worms’ neurons. To the researchers’ surprise, though, the damaged mitochondria did not kill all of the worms’ dopamine-producing neurons; in fact, over a series of trials, an average of only seven percent of the worms, roughly 210 out of 3,000, lost dopamine-producing neurons when given the poison.“That seemed intriguing, and we wondered whether there was some innate mechanism to protect the animal from the rotenone,” Prahlad says.It turns out there was. The roundworms’ immune defenses, activated when the rotenone was introduced, discarded many of the defected mitochondria, halting a sequence that would’ve led to the loss of dopamine-producing neurons. Importantly, the immune response originated in the intestine, not the nervous system.“If we can understand how this is done in the roundworm, we can understand how this may happen in mammals,” Prahlad says.The researchers plan to conduct more experiments, but they’ve got some interesting hypotheses. One is the intestinal immune cells are, according to Prahlad, “constantly surveilling mitochondria for defects.”Even more, those cellular watchdogs may be keeping their eyes on the mitochondria “because they don’t trust them,” Prahlad suggests. The reason has to do with the prevailing theory that mitochondria originated independently as a type of bacterium and were only later incorporated into the cells of animal, plants, and fungi as an energy producer.If that theory is correct, the intestinal immune responders may be especially sensitive to changes in mitochondrial function not only for its potential damaging effects, but because of the mitochondria’s ancient and foreign past as well.“How it’s happening is suggestive of the possibility that the innate immune response is constantly checking its mitochondria,” Prahlad says, “perhaps because of the bacterial origin of the mitochondria.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Our weekly wrap-up of antimicrobial stewardship & antimicrobial resistance scansFDA urges hospitals to start using duodenoscopes with disposable partsThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it will now recommend that hospitals move away from using duodenoscopes with reusable parts because of concerns about patient infections that have been linked to cleaning issues.In a safety communication issued yesterday, the FDA said it’s recommending that hospitals and endoscopy facilities transition away from fixed endcap duodenoscopes, which are used to diagnose and treat conditions of the pancreas and bile ducts, to those with newer design features that “facilitate or eliminate the need for reprocessing.” The agency says it’s working with manufacturers to increase the supply of disposable cap duodenoscopes and encourage development of innovative device designs that reduce the risk of infection, and that it recognizes a full transition away from conventional duodenoscopes will take time.Fixed endcap duodenoscopes have been linked to a number of outbreaks of multidrug-resistant bacteria at US and European hospitals in recent years, including a January 2015 carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae outbreak that resulted in two deaths at a Los Angeles hospital. Because of the complex design of the devices, they can be difficult to clean and have been found to harbor dangerous bacteria that can be transmitted to other patients, even after being properly cleaned. The FDA issued a safety warning in 2015 and device manufacturers updated their cleaning instructions, but problems have persisted.Duodenoscopes are used in more than 500,000 endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedures each year in the United States.The FDA said that, during the transition period, hospitals and endoscopy facilities should ensure that staff members are meticulously following duodenoscope reprocessing instructions, institute quality control programs that include sampling and microbiologic culturing, and develop schedules for routine inspection. The agency also noted that patients should be aware that the risk of infection from inadequate cleaning is relatively low, and that they should discuss the risks and benefits with their providers before cancelling or delaying planned procedures.Aug 29 FDA safety communication Oral omadacycline found non-inferior to linezolid for skin infectionsDrug maker Paratek Pharmaceuticals reported yesterday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases that and oral version of omadacycline—its FDA-approved antibiotic for community-acquired and pneumonia and skin infections—was found to be non-inferior to oral linezolid in adults with acute bacterial skin and skin-structure infection (ABSSSI).In the phase 3 OASIS 2 trial, which was funded by Paratek, eligible adults with ABSSSI at 33 US hospitals were randomly assigned to receive one dose of oral omadacycline or two doses of linezolid for 7 to 14 days. The primary end points were early clinical response (48 to 72 hours after the first dose) in the modified intention-to-treat (mITT) population, and investigator-assessed clinical response at post-treatment evaluation in the mITT population and clinically evaluable population. The non-inferiority margin was 10%.Overall, 735 participants were randomly assigned, with 368 receiving omadacycline and 367 receiving linezolid. The results showed that omadacycline (315 of 360, 88%) was non-inferior to linezolid (297 of 360, 83%) for early clinical response in the mITT population (percentage-point difference 5.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.2 to 10.3). For investigator-assessed clinical response at post-treatment evaluation, omadacycline (303 of 360, 84%) was non-inferior to linezolid (291 of 360 81%) in the mITT population (percentage-point difference 3.3; 95% CI, −2.2 to 9.0) and in the clinically evaluable population (278 of 284 [98%] vs 279 of 292 [96%]; percentage-point difference, 2.3; 95% CI, −0.5 to 5.8).The safety analysis showed that at least one treatment-emergent adverse event occurred in 197 of 368 omadacycline patients (54%), compared with 137 of 367 linezolid patients (37%), and that mild-to-moderate nausea and vomiting were more frequent in omadacycline patients (111 of 368 [30%] and 62 of 368 [17%], respectively) than in linezolid patients (28 of 367 [8%] and 11 of 367 [3%], respectively).The authors of the study write, “Considering the substantial burdens associated with initial inpatient management of skin infections, oral omadacycline is a new once-daily option to treat ABSSSI that might be considered as an alternative to linezolid.”Aug 29 Lancet Infect Dis study Data show vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium rising in GermanyData from the German Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System show a 43% increase in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) in German hospitals, according to a new study in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.For the study, researchers from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute analyzed data from routine vancomycin susceptibility testing of 35,906 clinical E faecium isolates collected from 148 hospitals from 2012 through 2017. The analysis found that the proportions of E faecium isolates exhibiting resistance to vancomycin increased from 11.2% in 2014 to 26.2% in 2017. The rise in VREF proportions was primarily seen in southern Germany, increasing from 10.8% in southwest Germany and 3.8% in southeastern Germany in 2014 to 36.7% and 36.8% in 2017, respectively.Further analysis found that VREF proportions were considerably higher in isolates from patients aged 40 to 59 years compared with younger patients, and that E faecium samples collected in specialist care hospitals and prevention and rehabilitation care hospitals were more likely to be vancomycin resistant than those from secondary care hospitals (odds ratios: 2.4 [95% CI, 1.2 to 4.6] and 2.4 [95% CI, 1.9 to 3.0], respectively).The authors of the study note that similar VREF increases have been found in countries neighboring Germany, including Denmark, Belgium, Poland, and the Czech Republic.They conclude, “Continued surveillance and implementation of effective infection prevention and control measures accounting for local resistance differences are needed to reduce the spread of vancomycin-resistant E. faecium in German hospitals.”Aug 28 Antimicrob Resist Infect Control study Israeli study finds antibiotics overused in some end-of-life patientsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Aug 28A survey of Israeli physicians and analysis of patient data has found that antibiotics are overused in patients with end-of-life advanced directives, Israeli researchers reported today in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.In the descriptive cross-sectional study, the researchers administered a questionnaire to 213 physicians at four acute care and two post-acute care hospitals and collected data on 932 of their patients, all of whom had died in the 4 months preceding the survey. The data included end-of-life patient diagnoses, medical treatment, antibiotic days of therapy (DOT), and consultations with infectious disease (ID) physicians. The survey contained questions on sociodemographic and organizational factors, physician knowledge, and burnout.Of the 932 deaths, 435 of 664 were end-of-life patients with advanced directives. The rate of most treatments in end-of-life patients with advanced directives was significantly lower than in those with no advanced directives, except for antibiotics and blood products.Of the end-of-life patients with advanced directives, 74% received antibiotics; 29.9% of those who received antibiotics had cultures with multidrug-resistant organisms, and antibiotics were discontinued in only 5%. Half of the physicians lacked knowledge concerning antibiotics use issues, and physicians caring for end-of-life patients with advanced directives had significantly fewer consultations with ID physicians (mean rate, 0.27) than those caring for patients without advanced directives (mean rate, 0.47).ID physicians reported significantly higher emotional exhaustion levels (mean rate, 29) than other medical specialties (mean rate, 19.2). Antibiotic DOT was significantly higher when patients had ID consultations (mean rate, 21.6) than in patients who did not (mean rate, 16.2). Antibiotic DOT was significantly higher in post–acute-care hospitals or geriatric wards than in other types of hospitals or wards.In light of the findings, the authors of the study recommend supplementing antibiotic stewardship guidelines in Israeli hospitals with guidance on end-of-life prescribing, adding simulation-based education to deal with end-of-life issues, and encouraging providers to consult with ID physicians. Aug 28 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol abstract Vaccine for hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae shows promise in miceOriginally published by CIDRAP News Aug 28A vaccine targeting hypervirulent strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae has shown early promise in mouse experiments, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and biotechnology start-up VaxNewMo reported yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The bioconjugate vaccine was designed to target the two most common hypervirulent serotypes of K pneumoniae, K1 and K2, which account for 70% of hypervirulent K pneumoniae cases. While most K pneumonia infections occur in hospital patients with compromised immune systems, hypervirulent strains that cause invasive infections in otherwise healthy people are on the rise, and there have been increasing reports of hypervirulent, multidrug-resistant strains that are extremely difficult to treat. The researchers believe a vaccine against these strains could help avert a serious public health threat.In preclinical studies, the researchers tested the vaccine, which was produced using genetically modified Escherichia coli cells, in four groups of five mice each, with one group receiving a placebo. After three doses, they then infected the mice with K1 and K2 strains of K pneumoniae, using an amount of bacteria that had previously been shown to be lethal in mice.The results showed that 80% of the placebo-treated mice challenged with the K1 strain died, while only 20% of the vaccine-treated mice died. Of the mice infected with the K2 strain, 30% of those who received the placebo died, compared with none of the mice who received the vaccine. The vaccine was less successful when the mice were exposed to higher doses of the K1 strain, but the vaccinated mice still had a statistically significant increase in survival compared with the placebo group.”We are very happy with how effective this vaccine was,” study co-author Mario Feldman, PhD, a professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine and co-founder of VaxNewMo, said in a university press release. “We’re working on scaling up production and optimizing the protocol so we can be ready to take the vaccine into clinical trials soon.”Aug 27 Proc Natl Acad Sci studyAug 27 Washington University press release New initiative aims to clean up antibiotics manufacturingOriginally published by CIDRAP News Aug 27The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday announced a joint initiative with environmental and industry groups to reduce the amount of antibiotic discharge from pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.The REAP (Reducing Emissions from Antibiotics Production) project will bring together organizations on the supply and demand side of antibiotics manufacturing to advocate for technologies, incentives, and policies that help the pharmaceutical industry shift to more sustainable production practices. Partners in the initiative include the Stockholm International Water Institute, Centrient Pharmaceuticals, and contract manufacturer Recipharm.The release of antibiotic residues into waterways by pharmaceutical manufacturing plants is considered one of the factors that contribute to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Once in the water, the antibiotic residues interact with natural bacterial communities and with human and animal bacteria, and can exert selective pressure that promotes the development of AMR. Studies in parts of India where pharmaceutical manufacturing is concentrated have found high concentrations of antibiotic residues and an abundance of AMR genes in local waterways.”The UN purchases large volumes of antibiotics. Developing a Sustainable Procurement Index for Health is a way for us to promote more sustainable manufacturing and procurement,” Rosemary Kumwenda, MD, UNDP’s regional team leader for HIV, Health, and Development, said in a press release from the UN’s Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS) task force. “Through REAP, we can engage with manufacturers and suppliers and in the long run, incentivise a more sustainable production and procurement system.”The initiative was announced at World Water Week 2019.Aug 26 SPHS press release Study highlights regional spread of carbapenem-resistant KlebsiellaOriginally published by CIDRAP News Aug 27A genomic study of clinical isolates from long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) in the United States indicates patient transfer is driving regional proliferation of carbapenem-resistant K pneumoniae (CRKP), researchers reported yesterday in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.To better understand the epidemiology of CRKP in LTACHs, which are increasingly recognized as reservoirs of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) because of their critically ill patient population, the researchers performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on a collection of 451 CRKP isolates from LTACH patients in four geographic regions. The vast majority of the isolates (395, 87.6%) were from 11 facilities in the Los Angeles area. Patients with CRKP had a high rate of multiple comorbidities, and indwelling device and broad-spectrum antibiotic use was common.Analysis of the sequence types revealed that more than 90% of the isolates belonged to ST258, an epidemic K pneumoniae lineage that has accounted for most of the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections in US hospitals, and phylogenetic reconstruction showed that dissemination of the lineage started in Los Angeles–area LTACHs with a small number of introductions in 2012, then spread among the facilities via patient transfers.A transmission map constructed from 363 isolates indicated that CRKP transmission was associated with rates of patient flow between LTACHs, with higher transmission frequencies found between geographically proximate facilities. But the CRKP prevalence at each LTACH was associated with intra-facility transmission rates, which varied according to the clinical characteristics of patients.The researchers say the study illustrates how WGS and patient-level clinical meta-data can help identify pathways and drivers of MDRO transmission in regional healthcare networks, which could aid development of targeted interventions. “The ability to tease apart the relative contributions of inter- and intra-facility transmission across regional healthcare facilities, and to identify drivers of these processes, is a critical first step in the development of effective regional interventions to control the spread of MDROs,” they write.Aug 26 Antimicrob Agents Chemother abstract Study supports multiple-bed room strategy for isolating ESBL patientsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Aug 26A study conducted in Dutch hospitals has found that an isolation strategy of contact precautions in a multiple-bed hospital room was non-inferior to a strategy of contact precautions in a single-bed room for preventing the spread of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae, Dutch researchers reported in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.In the cluster-randomized, crossover study, medical and surgical wards at 16 Dutch hospitals applied, over two study periods, contact precautions in either a single-bed or multiple-bed hospital room as the preferred strategy for isolating patients with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae cultured from a routine clinical sample. Under current European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases guidelines, contact precautions (i.e., use of gloves and gowns for all direct contact with a patient) are recommended for such patients, preferably in a single room, but studies on the added benefit of a single room have been inconsistent. Compared with other multidrug-resistant pathogens, ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae have the highest prevalence in European hospitals and have become an increasing burden.The hospitals were assigned in a 1:1 ratio to either strategy during the first study period, then switched strategies in the second study period. The primary outcome was transmission of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae to wardmates, which was defined as rectal carriage of an ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolate that was clonally related to the index patient’s isolates. The non-inferiority margin was 10%.Thirteen hospitals completed both study periods and assessed 1,652 index patients and 12,875 wardmates for eligibility from April 2011 through February 2014. Of those, 693 index patients and 9,527 wardmates were enrolled, with 463 index patients and 7,093 wardmates included in the per-protocol population. For the per-protocol population, transmission of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae to at least one wardmate was identified for 11 of 275 index patients (4%) during the single-bed room strategy period and for 14 of 188 index patients (7%) during the multiple-bed room strategy period (crude risk difference 3.4%; 90% CI, −0.3 to 7.1). For both isolation strategies, the median length of hospital stay was 11 days, and the 30-day mortality was 4%.”Non-inferiority of the multiple-bed room strategy could change the current single-bed room preference for isolation of patients with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae and, thus, broaden infection-control options for ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in daily clinical practice,” the authors of the study conclude. Aug 23 Lancet Infect Dis study CDC update shows US Candida auris cases continue to riseOriginally published by CIDRAP News Aug 26The number of confirmed and probable Candida auris cases in the United States rose to 755 as of June 30, reflecting an increase of 39 cases, according to the most recent case-count update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Of the cases reported to the CDC, 30 are probable and 725 have been lab-confirmed. In its previous update, involving cases through May 31, the CDC reported 716 cases. An additional 1,474 patients have been found to be colonized with the multidrug-resistant yeast, as determined by targeted screening in 10 states with clinical cases.The number of states affected remains at 12, with New York (359), Illinois (199), and New Jersey (148) reporting the vast majority of C auris cases. Other states reporting cases include Florida (22), Massachusetts (8), California (5), Maryland (5), Texas (4), Oklahoma (2), Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), and Virginia (1).Since it was identified in 2009 in Japan, C auris has triggered outbreaks in healthcare facilities in 23 countries, and 13 countries have reported single cases. C auris can cause serious invasive infections in immunocompromised patients, and has shown resistance to three major antifungal drug classes. The CDC has estimated that 30% to 60% of patients with infections have died.Aug 16 CDC update Resistant Enterobacteriaceae on the rise US hospitals, study findsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Aug 26An analysis of more than a million Enterobacteriaceae isolates collected from US hospitals has found a rise in ESBL-producing and carbapenem-nonsusceptible Enterobacteriaceae, US researchers reported in BMC Infectious Diseases.In the study, researchers from Becton, Dickinson and Company and Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals analyzed the antimicrobial susceptibility of non-duplicated isolates from multiple culture sources collected from hospitalized patients at 411 US hospitals from 2013 through 2017. The resistance profiles of interest were ESBL-producing, multidrug-resistant (MDR), and carbapenem-nonsusceptible phenotypes of Enterobacteriaceae, and MDR and carbapenem-nonsusceptible Acinetobacter spp. The outcomes assessed were the rate of bacterial resistance or non-susceptibility per 100 hospital admissions and the proportion of resistant isolates for each year-quarter from Q1 2013 through Q4 2017. The analysis found that 12.05% of Enterobacteriaceae isolates were identified as ESBL phenotype, 1.21% were carbapenem-nonsusceptible, and 7.08% were MDR, with urine cultures accounting for the majority of resistant isolates. Of the more 19,000 Acinetobacter isolates tested, 37.48% were identified as carbapenem-nonsusceptible and 47.66% as MDR, and the most common source was skin/wound cultures. Trend analyses showed that the rates of ESBL-producing and carbapenem non-susceptible Enterobacteriaceae per 100 hospital admissions increased significantly between 2013 and 2017, with average slopes of 0.0089 and 0.0004 per quarter, respectively. Rates of MDR Enterobacteriaceae and carbapenem-nonsusceptible and MDR Acinetobacter spp., however, decreased during this time period.The analysis also found that trends in proportions of resistant isolates generally mirrored trends in rates per 100 hospital admissions, and that MDR Enterobacteriaceae and carbapenem-nonsusceptible and MDR Acinetobacter spp. were more common in winter than summer.The authors of the study say the observed increase in ESBL-producing and carbapenem-nonsusceptible Enterobacteriaceae supports continuing efforts by the CDC and the World Health Organization to combat these pathogens. They conclude, “Continued infection control efforts, together with diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship and new antibiotics to expand treatment options, will be required to manage these antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative pathogens.”Aug 23 BMC Infect Dis study
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Partner and Head of Asia Pacific Practice Mui-Fong Goh said China’s breakbulk grew 11 percent year-on-year growth in 2010 in terms of port throughput volume to 954 million tonnes from 860 million tonnes. “The market recovered fast in 2010, attributed to growth in iron and steel, lumber and machinery exports. Specifically, exports of machinery grew 30 percent,” she said. “China breakbulk volumes are expected to maintain their growth projectile,” said Goh, spurred in part by compound average volume growth rates of 16 percent in construction equipment and 19 percent in wind turbines between now and 2015. In 2010, the export value of construction equipment was USD10 billion. A.T. Kearney forecasts this to increase to USD26 billion by 2015. “That’s a very attractive market,” she said. Underpinning this was a concerted effort by the Chinese government to upgrade the operating and technological capabilities of companies in key industries, said Goh. The government was also encouraging globalization by Chinese companies, pushing exports as well as growth through overseas acquisition. Citing the crawler crane market as an example, Goh said more than 250f the units made by Chinese manufacturers in 2010 were exported, primarily to India, Southeast Asia and South America, adding that this proportion was likely to grow “rather quickly.” In the same year, China led the world in terms of installed wind power capacity, helped in part by Beijing’s pledge to invest RMB500 billion (around GBP50 billion) in the wind-power industry over the next ten years. Currently, the bulk of Chinese production of wind turbine units goes to the domestic market, but exports are expected to account for 30 percent of volume by 2015. In 2011, China exported 361 wind turbine units to the European Union, 300 to India, 71 to the USA, 70 to Australia, and 29 to South America. As Chinese companies export higher value-add products and expand domestic distribution to reach second and third tier cities and remote regions, their supply chains are becoming more complex. Already there was a noticeable shift in Chinese shippers’ attitude towards logistics, Goh said. While Chinese shippers remain “rather price driven,” they were now placing greater emphasis on working with a logistics partner that could provide more value-added services and help them at different stages of the supply chain, she said. International transportation companies were well positioned to benefit from these emerging needs, Goh said, but noted that Chinese logistics companies were “aggressively” transforming themselves in order to catch up. “China’s breakbulk market is evolving very quickly, and in the right direction,” said Goh. “[But] A lot of care, control and courage will be required to succeed.”
Over the last seven days we have seen the Government of Guinea and a consortium led by Rio Tinto team-up to develop Africa’s largest-ever combined iron ore and infrastructure project, a venture that has the potential to double the country’s GDP. Elsewhere, General Electric has extend the closing of its proposed USD17 billion takeover of Alstom until the end of June, BP and Rosneft have joined forces to develop energy resources in the Domaik region of Russia, and Alstom has been tasked with the modernisation of two hydropower plants in Switzerland.The Government of Guinea and its partners, Rio Tinto, Chinalco and the IFC, signed an investment framework for blocks 3 and 4 of the Simandou project, which will be the largest combined iron ore and infrastructure project ever developed in Africa.The signing marks a significant milestone and provides the legal and commercial foundation for the project, said project leader Rio Tinto.The parties are working together to assemble a consortium of investors who will finance, build and own the multi-user 650km railway and deep-water port infrastructure.When fully operational, the project has the potential to double the country’s current GDP, said Rio Tinto. The project will create significant employment and, at full capacity, will stimulate an estimated 45,000 jobs throughout the economy. New and upgraded roads and the development of fibre and wireless communications will underpin indirect economic development for communities along the infrastructure route, explained Rio Tinto.http://www.riotinto.com/media/media-releases-237_10508.aspxIn West Africa, nuclear energy provider Areva has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the state of Niger to extend the uranium mining contracts held by the companies SOMAÏR and COMINAK.Under the agreement AREVA will provide its financial support for local development and infrastructure projects including: funding for the Tahoua-Arlit route amounting to EUR90 million (USD122.5 million); the construction of a EUR10 million (USD13.62 million) building house the mining companies, and implement measures to accelerate the development of the Irhazer valley worth EUR17 million (USD23.15 million).http://www.areva.com/scripts/news/publigen/content/templates/Show.asp?P=10219&L=ENAlstom has been awarded two contracts worth a total of over EUR9 million (USD12.26 million) for the modernisation of two hydropower plants in the Canton Glarus and the Canton Valais. The upgrades will take place in 2015 and 2016.http://www.alstom.com/en/press-centre/2014/5/alstom-to-modernize-two-hydro-power-plants-in-switzerland/A consortium led by has won a EUR255 million (USD306.3 million) contract to build a new 4.2 k m section of the D3 motorway in Slovakia.http://www.vinci.com/vinci.nsf/en/press-releases/pages/20140527-1745.htmNordex will install 19 of its new N100/3300 Generation Delta turbines at the Delfzijl-Noord wind farm in the Netherlands. With a total output of 62.7 MW, the wind farm will be built 1.5 km from the town Delfzijl in the northeast of the Netherlands. It is scheduled to come online in the first quarter of 2015.http://www.nordex-online.com/index.php?id=53&L=2&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=2510&tx_ttnews[backPid]=45&cHash=b802fabde2In the UK, National Grid Gas has notified the Planning Inspectorate of an intended application for the River Humber Pipeline Replacement Project.If approved, the project will see the replacement of a 42 ft (12.8 m) natural gas transmission pipeline, housed within a tunnel beneath the Humber Estuary commencing approximately 3.2 km north east of Goxhill, North Lincolnshire, terminating approximately 1.6 km south east of Paull, East Riding of Yorkshire.http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/yorkshire-and-the-humber/river-humber-pipeline-replacement-project/Balfour Beatty has been contracted to deliver up to GBP180 million (USD301 million) of infrastructure works for Heathrow Airport Limited. Over the next three years the company will work together with Heathrow to maintain and upgrade Terminals 1, 2 and 4.http://hsprod.investis.com/servlet/HsPublic?context=ir.access&ir_option=RNS_NEWS&ir_client_id=83&item=1774850137915392Balfour Beatty has also been awarded a USD131 million contract by the City of Charlotte, North Carolina to build the track and systems components for the new Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) LYNX Blue Line Extension. This is in addition to the USD106 million civil contract won in February for the Blue Line Capacity Expansion Project.Aker Solutions has secured a framework agreement to provide engineering, modifications and maintenance services for BP-operated oil and gas fields offshore Norway.The contract will run for two years and is valued at maximum NOK1.8 billion (USD302 million), with options to extend the work by as many as four years.http://www.akersolutions.com/en/Global-menu/Media/Press-Releases/All/2014/Aker-Solutions-Wins-Framework-Contract-From-BP-in-Norway/KBR Inc has been awarded a contract by Maersk Oil for topsides front end engineering and design (FEED) for the Culzean Project in the North Sea.http://www.kbr.com/Newsroom/Press-Releases/2014/05/28/KBR-wins-Maersk-Oil-FEED-Contract-for-the-Culzean-Field-Development-Topsides/USA based AM Agrigen has chosen a site in St Charles Parish, Louisiana, to develop a USD1.2 billion fertiliser plant. Feasibility studies are underway and a final investment decision is expected in the first quarter of 2015, reports TheAdvocate.com.http://theadvocate.com/home/9218193-125/12-billion-fertilizer-plant-proposedHatch has been chosen by Solel Boneh Guatemala (SBG) as the design-build contractor for the 25.5 MW Oxec hydroelectric project in Guatemala. Hatch will develop the detailed design (FEL4) of the civil works and provide construction support for the project.http://www.hatch.ca/News_Publications/News/2014/Hatch-to-undertake-design-build-Oxec-hydroelectric-project.htmRosneft and BP Exploration Operating Company Limited have signed a Heads of Agreement on Domanik formations.The agreement provides for the implementation of a joint pilot project by Rosneft and BP relating to the Domanik formations and, in the event of success, the possible development of unconventional Domanik resources in the Volga-Urals region. The joint venture company (Rosneft 51 percent, BP 49 percent) will be incorporated in Russia.http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/press/press-releases/rosneft-bp-sign-agreement-development-domanik-formations.htmlA Foster Wheeler AG subsidiary has been won a contract from Marubeni Corporation for the engineering and material supply of a new Terrace Wall steam reformer heater, including an air preheating system, for the KazMunayGaz oil refinery located at Atyrau, Republic of Kazakhstan.http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=80422&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1934897Technip has been awarded an engineering, procurement and technical assistance contract by Fengzhen Wanjie Gas Co. Ltd. for an LNG plant in Fengzhen City, Inner Mongolia Province, China. Technip’s operating centers in Shanghai, China, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will execute the contract with plant start-up scheduled for the second half of 2016.http://www.technip.com/en/press/technip-awarded-new-lng-plant-contract-china-building-its-strong-expertise-natural-gas-liquefaHydroworld.com has reported that the Myanmar Minister of Electric Power has granted approval to local company, Asia World, and China’s Hanergy Group Holding to develop a 1,400 MW hydropower plant along the Thanlwin River.The Upper Thanlwin hydroelectric project would allow the companies to operate the plant for up to 40 years on a build-operate-transfer basis, with 90 percent of its output being sold to China.http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2014/05/myanmar-approves-thanlwin-river-hydropower-project.htmlDucab Aluminium will set up a USD60 million manufacturing plant in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, reports TradeArabia.com. The plant will come online in 2015.http://www.tradearabia.com/news/IND_259023.htmlAfter the latest round of negotiations General Electric (GE) has agreed to extend the closing of its proposed USD17 billion takeover of Alstom from June 2 to June 23.Furthermore, in a radio interview GE’s local chief Clara Gaymard has pledged to keep the Alstom’s nuclear operations based in France.http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/Statement-From-GE-On-Alstom-Proposal-472c.aspxAREVA, SMART ENERGIES through its subsidiary CETH2, and the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) have together launched the AREVA H2-Gen joint venture, which aims to manufacture Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysers. This technology shall enable hydrogen to be produced from water and electricity.http://www.areva.com/scripts/news/publigen/content/templates/Show.asp?P=10217&L=ENHouston headquartered Flint Hills Resources LLC, a subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire PetroLogistics and its general partner PetroLogistics GP LLC for USD2.1 billion.PetroLogistics is a major producer of propylene with operations in the vicinity of the Houston Ship Channel. The company owns and operates the only propane dehydrogenation facility in the US, and its plant is among the largest of its kind in the world.http://www.fhr.com/newsroom/news_detail.aspx?id=340A non-binding MOU for the USD2.5 billion sale of interest in the Leviathan licenses offshore Israel between Noble Energy Inc. and Woodside Petroleum has been terminated, reports Oil&Gas Journal.http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-112/issue-5c/general-interest/noble-woodside-terminate-2-5-billion-mou-for-leviathan.html
CrazySocks4Docs (CS4D) Day will be celebrated on Friday May 29. If Covid-19 was a war, health workers would have been in the firing line.Medical professionals, already stretched to the limits under normal circumstances, now also have to focus all their time, energy and expertise on Covid-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. This is also taking its toll on their mental health and you can support efforts to help health workers by supporting CrazySocks4Docs (CS4D) Day on Friday May 29.CS4D is organised by the Ithemba Foundation, a non-profit with two public benefit goals – to raise awareness around depression and other related diseases such as anxiety, as clinical, biological diseases, and to support research. Ithemba is the Xhosa word for hope.As health workers we must undertake to serve the sick and needy, but we must also look out for one another, help one another, inspire one another and seek help when we ourselves cannotIthemba is calling on the public to wear funky mismatched socks on Friday May 29 to show that they care for the carers, academic and administrative staff on medical campuses, as well as medical students.Post your sock selfie on www.facebook.com/IthembaFoundation1 to show you care – and for medical students, there is a little bonus: if they encourage family and friends to like their sock selfies, the student with the most likes on each campus will get a cash prize of R1 000. Use the hashtags #Care4OurCarers and #CrazySocks4Docs Day.
*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England. Please see the Gazette’s dedicated coronavirus page here >> The government will need to spend as much as an additional £220m over two years to clear the backlog of court cases generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, an independent thinktank has estimated.The criminal justice system is the focus of the latest report of the Institute for Government, which says it works to make government more effective.The thinktank says the coronavirus could create a major backlog of cases. ‘If the shutdown of courts lasts for six months, our central projection is that waiting times would increase by 60% in the Crown court (from an average of 18 weeks to 29 weeks) and stay that long indefinitely without further action,’ the report says.HM Courts & Tribunals Service has 160 open courts and 116 staffed courts operating as it tries to keep the justice system going during the pandemic. Jury trials have been paused. The institute says more video and phone hearings could help to clear the backlog but acknowledges concerns about defendants potentially being treated unfairly if they are not in the same room as the judges.The report says: ‘Justice delayed is preferable to justice denied, and the government should instead focus on reducing the backlog once the coronavirus crisis is over.’The thinktank reckons the government will need to spend £55m-£110m per year for two years to clear the backlog and return waiting times to 2019/20 levels. The funding would need to be agreed outside of the spending review process to start reducing the backlog this financial year.Nick Davies, who wrote the report, said: ‘Even before the coronavirus outbreak, the government’s pledge to increase police officer numbers could have resulted in courts and prisons being overwhelmed by an increase in cases. The effect of the coronavirus outbreak now means that there will also be huge delays in cases reaching courts – and therefore justice delayed – without more spending.’ Find advice and updates here.
MEETING ON October 25, the board of the Spanish government’s transport infrastructure agency Seitt approved the award of three contracts worth €201·3m in total, covering civil works on 67·1 km of the 91·9 km of high speed line to be built between Olmedo and Zamora. Leaving the Madrid – Valladolid route at Olmedo, this line will eventually connect the capital with the Galicia region of northwest Spain.Acciona Infraestructuras has been awarded a €105·8m contract to build the 32·2 km Villaverde de Medina – Villafranca de Duero section, while Ferrovial Agromán is to construct the 28·7 km between Villafranca de Duero and Coreses for €86·1m. The final 6·2 km into Zamora is to be built by Begar Construcciones y Contratas for €9·4m, running parallel to the existing railway alignment where three level crossings are to be replaced by bridges.The Spanish cabinet has given its approval for the Ministry of Development to sign an agreement with Seitt and ADIF that will commit €1·7bn to the Ourense – Santiago de Compostela project in Galicia during 2007-10. Civil works have been completed on 53·4% of the 87·5 km route, which through the construction of new alignments designed for high speed operation will cut the distance by rail between Ourense and Santiago by 38·5 km.