EDITORIAL: Urge feds to support tick bill

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionKay Hagan didn’t get out in public much in recent months.In June, the former U.S. senator from North Carolina helped dedicate a new air traffic control tower at a local airport.Crippled and confined to a wheelchair, she smiled and acknowledged well wishers at the event. Her ability to speak was limited, slow and labored, although her husband Chip said she could comprehend what people were saying.On Oct. 28, the 66-year-old lawmaker died, two years after contracting a brain inflammation from the Powassan virus, a rare but increasingly prevalent disease caused by the bite of an infected tick.In her honor, her colleagues in the U.S. Senate have named a new bill after her that’s aimed at fighting tick-related illnesses, including Lyme disease.In 2017, the number of tick-borne diseases reported to U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) rose 22%, to 59,349. The actual number of cases was likely much closer to 300,000 to 400,000, officials say, due to underreporting. Here in New York, the state saw a 16% increase in tick-related illnesses from 2017 to 2018.As such illnesses have increased in recent years, it’s clear the state and federal governments need to devote more attention and resources to identifying them, treating them and preventing them.The Kay Hagan Tick Act (S1657) and its companion bill in the House of Representatives, the TICK (Ticks: Identify, Control, and Knockout) Act (HR3073), are designed to provide federal assistance to address the escalating burden.Among the bill’s provisions are the creation of an office of oversight and coordination at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a national strategy for the expansion of research, improved testing and affordable treatment.For taxpayers, the bill comes at a relatively small price, given that Lyme disease alone now costs Americans an estimated $75 billion per year, according to  lymedisease.org.The bill would provide $10 million a year for the next five years to create regional centers for excellence. These centers would coordinate efforts among academia and public health agencies for surveillance, prevention and outbreak response, as well as provide training and other services to help pubic officials deal with the outbreak.The bill also would authorize $20 million per year for the next five years through the CDC for grants to help states and communities promote awareness, early detection and treatment.Local Reps. Antonio Delgado and Elise Stefanik are two of the House bill’s cosponsors. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have yet to sign on.Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are now a national problem.It’s time for the national government to lead the fight against them.Contact Schumer, Gillibrand and other members of Congress to ensure they support and promote this vital legislation.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

BNI to pay Rp 3.85t in dividends, appoints Agus Martowardojo as top commissioner

first_imgThe bank projected that this year’s NPL would be steady at between 2 percent and 2.2 percent, already factoring in internal and external dynamics, including the negative impact of the coronavirus, Anggoro said.Read also: Indonesia undertakes monetary, fiscal measures to fight effects of virus“We will prepare a strategy for the worst-case scenario. We are still going to expand, but in the sectors [affected by the coronavirus outbreak], we will be very prudent,” Anggoro said, referring to the sectors of manufacturing, health and pharmaceuticals, tourism, aviation and hotels as those affected by the outbreak.In the shareholders meeting, the publicly listed bank also appointed former Bank Indonesia governor Agus Martowardojo as its new president commissioner, replacing Ari Kuncoro, who was appointed deputy commissioner at state lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI).“With Pak Agus Martowardojo’s experience in the banking world, we hope to be able to cooperate with the directors and make BNI an even bigger state-owned bank,” State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir said in a written statement on Thursday. The shareholders also appointed Pradjoto as the bank’s vice president commissioner, replacing Hambra. On its board of directors, shareholders promoted its previous vice president director, Herry Sidharta, as the new president director, replacing Achmad Baiquni. Herry’s previous position as vice president director was filled by Anggoro Eko Cahyo. BNI is the third bank to announce its dividend payouts this week, following BRI and Bank Mandiri.\Read also: BRI to pay Rp 20.6 trillion in dividendsBRI announced on Tuesday its plans to distribute Rp 20.6 trillion in dividends, equal to 60 percent of the bank’s profit, to its shareholders. The ratio exceeds the 50 percent dividend payout of 2018.Bank Mandiri announced on Wednesday it was going to distribute Rp 16.49 trillion to its shareholders under a similar dividend payout ratio as BRI, notably higher than the 45 percent payout of 2018.With BNI, Bank Mandiri and BRI having conducted their annual shareholders meetings this week, the SOE minister’s plan to shake up executives at the three state-owned banks, which he announced last week, has been concluded. The shakeup is part of Erick’s efforts to improve the performance of Indonesia’s SOEs.Read also: Bank Mandiri to pay $1.2b dividends, appoints Chatib Basri as top commissioner “BNI proposed 25 percent, because we foresee that we still need room to grow. With dividends at 25 percent, the retained capital will be bigger,” newly appointed BNI vice president director Anggoro Eko Cahyo told a press briefing after an annual general shareholders meeting in Jakarta on Thursday. The bank’s retained capital at 75 percent of last year’s profit amounts to Rp 11.54 trillion. Anggoro added that the new PSAK 71 accounting standard would affect the company’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) by approximately 2 percentage points, so its CAR of 19.7 percent would likely decrease to 17.7 percent. The new standard requires a larger loan loss provision so that banks could cover both good and bad loans as opposed to only bad loans in the past.The publicly listed bank’s net profit grew 2.5 percent to Rp 15.38 trillion in 2019 from Rp 15.01 trillion in the previous year, marking a significant slowdown from the 20.1 percent expansion recorded the year prior. The nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio rose to 2.3 percent last year, a 40-basis point increase from an NPL ratio of 1.9 percent in 2018. State-owned lender Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), will distribute Rp 3.85 trillion (US$281 million) in dividends to shareholders and has appointed former central bank governor and ex finance minister Agus Martowardojo as its president commissioner. The dividends are equal to 25 percent of the bank’s 2019 profit of Rp 15.38 trillion, an unchanged ratio from the previous year. BNI’s shareholders will receive a dividend of Rp 206.45 per share, an increase of 2.57 percent from last year’s dividend of Rp 201.28 per share.The state, which holds 60 percent of the bank’s shares or a total of 11 billion shares, will receive a dividend of Rp 2.31 trillion. center_img Shares of BNI, traded at Indonesia Stock Exchange under the code BBNI, closed at Rp 7,925 on Thursday, 1.93 percent higher than the previous trading day. The bank’s stocks have fallen 8.02 percent in the past year, in line with the broader benchmark Jakarta Composite Index’s (JCI) 9.3 percent fall. (ydp)Topics :last_img read more

Classy Queenslander with a modern touch

first_imgThe bedrooms has hardwood floors.Mrs Welsh said due to the layout of the home, it would suit a number of buyers. “Either a family similar to us with older children, a family with young kids or older parents who live with them, or even a young couple who might use the downstairs space as a home office,” she said. Outside 6 Lamette St, Holland Park“We liked the traditional Queenslander character look of the home, and the fact it was two-levels meant it had growth opportunity which would suit our family’s needs in the future,” she said.“From a location point of the view, the area was also a big plus.”The two-level property sits on a 635sq m block.On the main level, there is a sunroom, two bedrooms — including the master suite with walk-in-wardrobe and ensuite — formal living and dining rooms, and an open plan living, dining and kitchen area which opens out on to the enclosed deck that overlooks the pool.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoMrs Welsh said this was where the family spent most of their time.“The upstairs deck and living room gets a lot of use,” she said.“Because the deck can be fully enclosed, we use it all year round.“We’ve had lots of Christmas parties out there, lots of friends over. “It’s got such a nice aspect.”On the ground floor there is a large media room or office space, dining and living room area, bathroom and separate toilet, covered patio and three additional bedrooms. Take a look at the kitchen.“It can cater to any number of buyers.”center_img 6 Lamette St, Holland ParkOWNERS Michelle and Daniel Welsh purchased the property at 6 Lamette St, Holland Park, in early 2000 after moving from central Queensland. Mrs Welsh said the couple were looking for a home that would suit the young family into the future. last_img read more

Bay Denesse Restoration Project Underway

first_imgDucks Unlimited is working to restore 2,550 acres of coastal marsh approximately 2.5 miles northeast of Buras, Louisiana. The project will combine coastal restoration techniques of marsh terraces and crevasses to optimize sediment capture from the Mississippi River.Wetlands adjacent to the Mississippi River have suffered extensive deterioration over the past century.Historically, the Mississippi River had many distributary channels that connected nutrient and sediment rich waters of the river with marshes of the Barataria and Breton Sound Basins. The river also overtopped its banks during flood events, which helped nourish the surrounding marshes with sediment.Due to flood control and navigation needs, federal efforts to contain the river with levees were initiated in the late 1800s and continue to this day.The containment of the river, coupled with other sources of wetland loss (i.e., subsidence, shoreline erosion, salt water intrusion, etc.), have had detrimental impacts to the marshes flanking the river.This project area is located south of the Mississippi River flood control levee system and is still hydrologically connected to the river. Thus, it is an ideal location to enhance river water distribution to create wetlands.This project will restore and enhance 2,550 acres by converting open water into various habitat types, including mud/sand flats, shallow water ponds, aquatic vegetation beds, and emergent marsh.It will also nourish existing marshes within the project area.last_img read more

Badgers look for victory on road against Michigan State

first_imgKarel and the Badgers will try to get back on track Sunday against Michigan State.[/media-credit]Following a devastating overtime road loss to Penn State, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team will have to regroup quickly Sunday as they travel to East Lansing, Mich., to take on the Michigan State Spartans.“We know we’ve got a challenge ahead of us,” head coach Lisa Stone said following the Badgers’ victory Sunday over Illinois. “It’s very, very important that we go out there and take care of business.”The Badgers knew their current road trip would be difficult, but they probably never imagined the first game would go the way it did. Despite leading by as many as 17 points, the Badgers allowed the Nittany Lions to reel off 19 unanswered in the second half, eventually sending the game into overtime.In the extra period, junior guard Tyra Grant — who led all scorers with 32 points — hit a jumper in the lane as time expired to give Penn State the 58-56 victory.Wisconsin (14-6, 4-5 Big Ten) will look to rebound from Thursday’s loss against one of the conference’s best teams in Michigan State.Despite finishing the non-conference season with just a 7-4 record, Michigan State has impressed so far in Big Ten play, winning three of its first four conference road games.“I think the conference is wide open, I really do,” Stone said. “I think as we go into the last 10 games of the season, the teams that start to really get it — that take care of the ball and find help from the bench or continue to play consistent — are going to be the teams that are going to be there in the end.”Michigan State (13-6, 6-2) is led offensively by forward Aisha Jefferson, a redshirt junior, who averages 12.2 points per game. Against Big Ten opponents, junior center Allyssa DeHaan has emerged as the team’s leading scorer, averaging 13.4 points per game in conference play.MSU ranks third in the Big Ten in both scoring offense and scoring defense, averaging 67.4 points per game while allowing just 56.1 points. UW is one of two teams above MSU in scoring defense, but the Badgers’ offense falls far short of the Spartans, averaging just 58.6 points per game.Aside from Alyssa Karel, who leads the team with 13.2 points per game, Wisconsin will look for another strong game offensively from junior guard Teah Gant, who has emerged recently as a significant scoring threat for UW.Gant, best known for her defensive play, has used her ability to drive to the hoop to relieve pressure from Karel and junior forward Mariah Dunham, the Badgers’ second leading scorer with 9.2 points per game.“I think I just take what’s given to me, and you know, if you have Alyssa [Karel] on the wing getting denied, then that opens up a space for me to drive,” Gant said.Not only has Gant emerged as another scorer for Wisconsin, but her presence on the court and ball-handling skills give the cardinal and white another option at point guard, something crucial in the tight games the Badgers have played lately.“Teah is a calming force for us; she really is,” Stone said. “I think everybody would admit that she really keeps us patient and takes care of the ball and handles it very well.”After an emotional loss against the Nittany Lions, the Badgers will need to put the game behind them and focus solely on the task at hand.“The biggest thing is that we kind of forget what’s behind us, our success [and] our failures,” Karel said. “We can’t dwell or get too high on our wins or our losses. We’ve just got to keep looking forward.”last_img read more

USG presents resolution for addition of a fall break

first_imgUndergraduate Student Government presented a resolution to create a fall semester break for students on Tuesday night in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.Andrew Menard, USG president and one of the resolution’s principal authors, spoke out on the urgency of having a fall break.“This is something that students have advocated for a long time and really that advocacy has inspired us to continue working on this project,” Menard said. “We’re coming to a time when this fall break is more important than ever, as problems of mental health, stress and anxiety across college campuses are higher now than ever before, and are particularly amplified at intense academic institutions like USC. So this proposal in the most important one we’ve working on this year and will have the most positive impact on the largest number of students.”Another of the resolution’s authors, USG chief of staff Hassaan Ebrahim, mentioned that this proposal comes amid troubling health surveys of USC students. These studies show that 88.7 percent of domestic and 73.4 percent of international students report feeling “overwhelmed by all they had to do,” and that 6.4 percent of domestic and 2.5 percent of international students report having  seriously considered suicide.Hassan and Menard also highlighted that 24 of the top 30 universities in the U.S. News and World Report have at least one day off in the 11-week period between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. USC, however, is not among them.“When you go to USC, you’re competing with the smartest people in the world every day; so in order to help increase your academic performance, you need a break to recharge your batteries, and this is statistically proven,” Menard said.Menard said that there is an imbalance between the fall and spring semesters. During the fall semester there are 11 weeks of uninterrupted academic instruction, whereas during the spring semester the longest period of continuous instruction is 6 weeks.Menard also described the many academic, professional and interpersonal possibilities that a fall break would allow students.“You can take a biology trip to Catalina. You can do interviews for work and not miss class to do so, because on top of the pressure of your classes you also have the pressure to find an internship and a job,” Menard said. “Also, most of our students don’t get an opportunity to see their family until Thanksgiving or even until the holiday break.”The resolution’s authors stressed the significant popular support behind a fall break. According to one survey, 93 percent of USC students responded that they would “personally benefit from a fall break” and 96 percent responded that a fall break would promote mental health by allowing students to rest.Menard, who sits on the Academic Calendar Committee, also recounted the administrative support behind the resolution and the next steps involved.“We brought this up during the first semester and the majority of us voted for the proposal. Now, that proposal goes to the provost for an ultimate review. It doesn’t happen automatically, but it is our recommendation that he approve it,” Menard said.He further explained that the resolution should easily pass through the USG Senate but the final decision falls into the hands of either the interim provost or the future provost elect.“The resolution, without a doubt, will pass through the Senate, and then it will be delivered to President Nikias, the Interim Provost Michael Quick and the chairman of the academic Board of Trustees. It is unclear whether the current provost or the one that is about to be selected will decide, but the students and the academic calendar committee are behind it.”Menard concluded by stating one the primary hurdles in the approval of the resolution. He said that the biggest concern is over the fact that most faculty members do not want to have to submit grades so close to winter break.“The well-being of our students needs to be the primary concern. USC exists for its students. Does a two-day break solve everything? No, but it is a good start and it will definitely have a positive impact.last_img read more

Shoah Foundation merges history, technology

first_imgAt the entrance of the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education in Leavey Library, a framed picture of survivors hangs in the hallway with a quote from Holocaust survivor Walter Thalheimer encapsulating their mission: “When you see an injustice, stand up, speak up, take a stand.”Founded by Steven Spielberg in 1994, one year after his Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List, the USC Shoah Foundation  preserves testimonies of genocide survivors, employing inventive technology to expand their audience.The Shoah Foundation initially sought to highlight stories of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. Now viewed as the world’s largest archive of genocide testimonies, these personalized accounts illuminate stories of survivors around the world.As the organization expands the conversation to recognize more incidents of genocide, the foundation plans to further develop the Visual History Archive Program. The program enhances how users can connect to these testimonies. Currently housing a collection of more than 53,000 eyewitness testimonies of genocide, the Visual History Archive has seen considerable growth since its inception. Now, by using their search engine, finding these testimonies only requires clicking a few buttons. These testimonies are provided by witnesses from 63 represented nations and in 39 different languages.One of the foundations many testimonies includes one by Liu Suzhen, who after 80 years revealed her experience surviving the Nanjing Massacre. With the death toll of the massacre at 300,000, her testimony will be added to a well-established reserve of fellow survivors. Described by the Los Angeles Times as the “bloodiest episode in the Chinese theater during World War II,” her memories during this two month rampage will be used to educate and inspire.As the foundation moves forward, they are discovering new ways to maximize outreach initiatives. According to public communications manager Josh Grossberg, the current goal of the Shoah Foundation is to continue expanding.“Right now we are available at 50 university museums around the world,” Grossberg said. “Our demand is growing and we want to reach as reach as many people as possible.”The program has plans to implement a five-year plan sought to increase accessibility on more platforms and introduce a new Visual History Archive platform leading to better search results.A major component of the Shoah Foundation is its use of cutting-edge technology which gives people a chance to interact with these personal stories in unique ways, according to Grossberg.“We are recording and interviewing Holocaust survivors using new technologies that allow for us to record for voices using voice recognition software with the goal of people actually being able to ask questions to a three-dimensional image of a survivor and engaging in a conversation with them,” Grossberg said.As the foundation continues to educate the next generation by applying technology to shed light on these testimonies, they hope to further advance in time for the institute’s 25th anniversary in 2019.last_img read more

Women’s volleyball looks for home success

first_imgThis weekend, the women’s volleyball team looks to continue to build off its victories against Oregon and Oregon State as the Trojans face Cal on Friday and Stanford on Sunday. While the Women of Troy are undefeated on the road, their next two games will test if they can get back on track at the Galen Center, where they are 6-6.“I am concerned about playing at home,” head coach Mick Haley said, “because we seem to be able to focus and get organized on the road, but we haven’t done that so far at home.”In order for the Trojans to defeat Cal, they will have to find a way to stop the Bears’ middle blocker Belen Castillo, who led her team to victory with two career-high performances last week.“We think they are playing as well as they have all year,” Haley said. “We think they have found a pretty good lineup that works for them, so we expect a fight with the Bears.”One of the key factors in their response will be freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier, who was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on Monday. Leading the team in kills, she brings an excitement to the team with her positive outlook that is infectious.“We keep getting better every week” Lanier said. “During preseason, we were getting better and then we had a little dip, but we are building back again and working hard in the gym and are looking forward to some big upsets.”Part of the effort put in during practice has been towards fighting against the injuries that keep happening with the team. Senior libero Taylor Whittingham is continuing to rehab her knee injury, and the middle blockers are working at staying healthy for games.“We constantly have to manage the injuries, but there is not a standard plan,” Haley said. “You take each one as an individual and see what you can do to help them get ready as fast as they can and just be patient.”The Trojans will have all their starters for the Cal game, Whittingham included. She has been continuing to make plays as the staple of their defense, despite focusing much of practice on rehab.“Everyone is doing everything they can in order to get ready and my hat is off to them,” Haley said. “It is so important when you can have all 15 players adding great value to the group effort.”With two more home games following after this weekend, the Trojans look to start off strong with a victory to give them momentum toward their next games. They will face Cal on Friday at 6 p.m. and Stanford on Sunday at 2:2 p.m. at the Galen Center.last_img read more