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Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial has only 50% chance of success as cases fall in the UK

first_imgProfessor Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, revealed in an interview with the Telegraph that an upcoming trial involving 10,000 volunteers may return “no result” owing to low transmission of the coronavirus in the community.  “We said earlier in the year that there was an 80% chance of developing an effective vaccine by September. But at the moment, there’s a 50% chance that we get no result at all. “We’re in the bizarre position of wanting Covid to stay, at least for a little while. But cases are declining.” The team is one of many planning to conduct further trials in COVID-19 hotspots in other countries. They have already arranged trials in the US, and are currently in talks with other countries where virus transmission rates remain high.  Of the 10,000 people recruited for the second trial, however, Professor Hill expects fewer than 50 people to become infected with the virus due to dwindling community transmission. If fewer than 20 people test positive, he warns the results may be of limited or no use. But as COVID-19 cases continue to fall in the UK, Professor Hill told the Telegraph that the research team are facing a potentially major setback, casting doubt on the feasibility of the September deadline: “It is a race, yes. But it’s not a race against the other guys. It’s a race against the virus disappearing, and against time. This comes days after pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced it would be ready to mass-produce the potential new vaccine from September. Meanwhile, the Government reached a deal with the company to pay for up to 100 million doses, with Business Secretary Alok Sharma adding in a press conference that 30 million of these could be available by September, should trials prove successful.  Professor Hill stressed, however, that the University had secured “hardwired” assurances that wealthier countries would not have unfair priority access to the vaccine. This follows a US announcement that it would provide $1.2 billion to AstraZeneca to fund the vaccine’s development.  “The first trial is going fine. We’re still in business, I can tell you that. Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine trial has only a 50% chance of success as the virus is disappearing so quickly in Britain, warns a professor co-leading the project.  Various senior ministers in the British Government have also warned that there is “no guarantee” that a vaccine will be found, and that funding research into other drug treatments is equally vital to help combat the impact of the pandemic on the UK population. “But we’re not going to do what others have done – say we’ve got something good, but we’re not showing you yet. That’s just bonkers. You either disclose your results or you don’t.” According to the WHO, Oxford University is one of the 76 global contenders racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. The experimental vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (or ZD1222), is one of only eight across the world that has started to test on humans, with researchers conducting an initial trial of more than 1000 volunteers in April when the virus was at its peak. The results of this first trial will be released in early June.  Hill was keen to warn that despite vast international investment in the project, funding “doesn’t guarantee the result,” adding that “it could be nothing or could be great or somewhere in between.” In the event that the next stage of trials proves successful, the U.K. “will be first to get access” to the vaccine, Sharma pledged at a government briefing. “The reputational damage to the university would be enormous if we provided the vaccine only for the UK and US, and not for the rest of those countries of the world where it’s very likely that the pandemic will still be raging,” Hill said. Image by Phoebe Whitelast_img read more

Baps rapped!

first_imgThe chattering classes of Henlow have been all a’flutter after taking offence at a baker’s cheeky choice of name for his bakery: Nice Baps. The “fuming” (if you read The Sun) residents of the Bedfordshire village displayed an acute sensitivity to double entendres when 12 people signed a petition, expressing distaste (or “fury”, if you read The Star) at the name.Typically, the nation’s innuendo-obsessed press lapped it up. “I’ve become famous! I’ve had everybody in newspapers, television and radio. I’ve never had publicity like this before,” John O’Toole told his local paper, the Biggleswade Chronicle, this week. “I’ve got another shop in Caddington, and there have been no complaints.”last_img read more

Andy Frasco To Host Wacky Spelling Bee At Brooklyn Bowl Benefiting HeadCount

first_imgVoter registration and awareness non-profit HeadCount will present a very special, very silly Spelling Bee Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday, May 8th following the first day of the Relix Live Music Conference. According to their website, We Bee Spelling is “an interactive spelling game show. We combined a concert, comedy show and spelling bee, added a bit of variety, and created a one-of-a-kind experience that will have you dancing and laughing all night long.” As a bonus, there will be a special opening set from Leftover Salmon performing songs from their new album Something Higher.The “We Bee Spelling” show will feature a Andy Frasco and the UN as the live house band, comedian judges Kyle Ayers and Ahri Findling, and host Alex Greer. And as for the contestants? We Bee Spelling will be testing the language arts chops of musicians and live music industry stalwarts like Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon),  Hannah Gold (City Winery), Lee Anderson (Paradigm), Dan Berkowitz (CID Entertainment), Annabel Lukins (Cloud 9), Will Scott (CAA), Ted Kartzman (YouTube), Jay Curley (Ben & Jerry’s),  Aaron Stein (Freak’s List), and Kunj Shah (Live For Live Music).The event, billed as We Bee Spelling, is part of an ongoing series that join the spelling bee concept with live music and comedy to benefit worthwhile charitable causes. According to the We Bee Spelling website, “We’ve raised over $450,000 for causes with a unique event that’s accessible to any level donor… and a fundraising platform that creates a lasting impact and great memories for everyone involved.” We Bee Spelling contestants fundraise like a host committee or marathon runners, promoting the event and raising sponsorship donations from their extended networks, friends, family, and fans. Even the audience is part of the show as members of the crowd can donate to “sabotage” spellers, forcing them to spell words backwards, take a mystery shot from the bar, or deal with other distracting challenges.Instead of purchasing a ticket, We Bee Spelling asks attendees to make a $10 donation to HeadCount in one of the contestants’ behalf. [Note: Might we suggest backing our wonderful founder/president/master speller, Kunj Shah].To donate to the cause and secure your ticket, head here. You can get a taste of the party in the preview video below:[Video: We Bee Spelling]last_img read more

AllianceND sparks dialogue around campus

first_imgWhen an offensive “Mobile Party” comic strip was published in the Observer on Jan. 13, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community at Notre Dame and the University’s unrecognized gay-straight alliance, AllianceND, was thrust to the forefront of a national issue.“It gave us the opportunity to start the discussions,” AllianceND officer Jessica Mahon, a senior, said.Later that month, the group helped organize a massive protest on campus to urge the University administration to both grant AllianceND official club status and add sexual orientation to the nondiscrimination clause.“The demonstration that happened in January was maybe the marker of my Notre Dame experience,” Mahon said. “It really kept up my faith in the Notre Dame student body that the response was really positive on campus.”AllianceND officer junior Chris Collins said the panel discussions that followed the comic’s publication and several individual meetings with top administration officials, including University President Fr. John Jenkins, have been mostly productive.“There have been a lot of discussions since the Mobile Party Comic Strip, and I’ve been to a few of them and from what I’ve heard they’ve all been very successful,” he said.Senior and AllianceND officer Melanie LeMay said the Student Activities Office (SAO) has made a decision and is waiting until all club applications are reviewed to give its decision.In an e-mail, student programs coordinator Mary Kate Havlik said she helps “to facilitate the prospective club application process for all clubs,” but did not comment directly on AllianceND’s pending application.“Our primary concerns [when we met with Fr. Jenkins] were the non-discrimination clause and the approval of AllianceND as a club, both of which are ways we feel the University can show its acceptance of [LGBTQ] students and their allies on campus,” LeMay said.LeMay noted Saint Mary’s College across the street from Notre Dame already has both a gay-straight alliance (SAGA) and has added sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination clause.“The administration has definitely been made aware that Saint Mary’s, which is also a Holy Cross college, has both sexual orientation in the clause and a gay-straight alliance,” she said.LeMay said the administration has cited concern about the legal ramifications of adding sexual orientation to the nondiscrimination clause, noting partner benefits as one legal implication.AllianceND officer senior Patrick Bears said the panel discussions and meetings with administration officials were a step in the right direction, but the actions were ultimately inconsequential.“I’m not going be critical for the University for actually trying to do something, it’s just they’re doing as little as they potentially can,” he said. “They’re trying to do everything they can without actually doing anything about the club itself.”Mahon said she wanted to be optimistic about the club’s application, but also noted it was the eleventh time the club had applied for official status in the past 13 years.“We want to be really optimistic, but we also recognize that it may not happen,” she said. “I think the biggest indicator that [we might not get it] is the administration has being making really conscious efforts to meet with us to see how they can improve the framework that they use.”Mahon said gaining official club status would be incredibly helpful to the group and boost its profile on campus.“Right now it’s just some friends who meet and discuss issues. It would be really beneficial to have a set club, have a set time when we could meet, have a room where we can meet and to be able to advertise to students that these resources are out there,” she said.Mahon said the club’s unofficial status had kept it underground for years, and many students who could benefit from the group’s resources might not know it exists.“Right now, students that could really need the help or the resources sometimes don’t know what goes on,” she said. “It’s all word of mouth, so there’s a really possible chance that we’re missing people who could benefit from the club.”In the past, the administration has pointed to Core Council as a resource for LGBTQ students. But Collins said Core Council, of which both LeMay and Bears are also members, does not give students enough control.“I think one of the key things is [AllianceND] gives students the ability to take part in the decision making process,” Collins said. “We’d have our own funds and be able to set our own events, whereas with Core Council they’re all kind of set by [the Office of Student Affairs].”LeMay said Core Council’s structure does not allow many students to join who would want to.“I think AllianceND would be a important supplement to Core Council because Core Council is a closed group and only has eight student members,” she said.Bears said graduate students are shut out of Core Council, and that they do not have a gay-straight alliance for themselves.“There’s no kind of outreach for them,” he said.Bears also said it was not just students who felt that they needed to stay closeted.“There’s definitely fear among teachers regarding the subject material that they can teach and their personal lives and whether they have to remain closeted in order to keep their jobs,” he said.Collins, who is the only officer in the group that will still be enrolled at Notre Dame next year, said the group will continue to apply for club status if they are denied later this month.“If we don’t get status we will be applying again next year, I can pretty much guarantee that. If we do get club status that would kind of be a whole different ball game,” he said.Collins said AllianceND’s probationary first year would include hosting regular meetings and sponsoring a few events in conjunction with Core Council.Despite some setbacks, the AllianceND officers said the response on campus has been very positive since the publication of the offensive comic. Mahon said the work of many tenured faculty members who know their jobs are safe has been “phenomenal” in supporting the group.Nevertheless, the group members did say they were concerned about some of the more hateful reactions they have received around campus.“There have been a reemergence of the ‘Gay? Go to Hell’ T-shirts from two years ago, and from what I’m aware there have actually been more of them than there were just my sophomore year,” Bears said.last_img read more

Over 1,500 NYSEG customers without power Wednesday

first_imgPower is expected to be restored at 2 p.m. According to the NYSEG Power Outage Map, the city of Binghamton and the towns Chenango and Dickinson are affected. The map says the cause of the outage is being investigated. For the most up to date information, go to the NYSEG Power Outage Map by clicking here.center_img (WBNG) — NYSEG says over 1,500 of its customers in Broome County are without power Wednesday afternoon.last_img

COVID-19 task force calls for workplaces to implement WFH as office clusters spike

first_imgThe COVID-19 task force has called on workplaces to implement work-from-home (WFH) policies, following reports of increasing numbers of coronavirus clusters in offices.An epidemiologist in the COVID-19 task force’s team of experts, Dewi Nur Aisyah, said workplaces should implement a full or partial WFH policy to prevent further infections among workers.“If we look at the current condition, all workplaces that are able to apply a WFH policy should start doing so,” Dewi said during a webinar on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com. “Even if workers must come in for work, the capacity must be limited to only 50 percent, so it is easy to maintain distance,” she continued.Another strategy workplaces could implement, Dewi said, was to divide workers into different work shifts to prevent crowding during office hours.Read also: COVID-19 clusters rise in govt offices due to lack of awareness: MinisterThe provision requiring workplaces to limit staff numbers to 50 percent of office capacity is already stipulated in Gubernatorial Regulation No. 51/2020 on the  “transitional” period to the new normal. The regulation also requires businesses to develop systems to regulate the distribution of working days, working hours and work shifts.Concerns have mounted over increasing numbers of COVID-19 clusters in office spaces after Jakarta began to relax its large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in early June.As of Tuesday, Dewi reported, 90 office clusters had been recorded. To date, 459 cases have been recorded within office clusters, a dramatic increase from 43 recorded before the transitional PSBB period, she added.Read also: Office infection clusters spike as economy reopensDewi said these figures indicated more stringent health protocols were needed both at workplaces and while workers were commuting.Clusters have been recorded not only at offices of private and state-owned companies, but also of government institutions, including ministries, regional agencies and the police, she said.Some offices across Java have reportedly been closed for weeks after infections were found among workers.Under the current gubernatorial regulation, offices must be closed temporarily and disinfected after COVID-19 cases are recorded.East Jakarta Environment Agency head Hermansyah said his office would remain closed for six days starting Wednesday after a number of employees contracted COVID-19.“Five civil servants and five PJLPs [individual service providers] have tested positive. They are self-quarantining at home,” Hermansyah said. (syk)Topics :last_img read more

Mahfud MD asks artists, cultural practitioners to promote health protocols

first_imgCoordinating Legal, Political, and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD encouraged artists and cultural practitioners in the region to campaign for public adherence to health protocols during his visit to Yogyakarta on Saturday.“In several places, some people are still not wearing masks,” he said during his visit to the Bu Ageng food stall, owned by actor Butet Karteredjasa, in Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta. “Artists and cultural practitioners can help with a persuasive approach.”Besides Butet, Javanese dancer Didik Nini Thowok, author Agus Noor, and filmmaker Sujiwo Tedjo were among the artists present at the visit. Read also: Indonesia sees record high in COVID-19 cases for third day runningMahfud said that while it was good that economic activities had started to ramp up, it should be coupled with mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand-washing.“Now we see the public conducting economic activities and sociopolitical activities, but health protocols are not implemented as much,” Mahfud added.During the visit, the minister also distributed a total of 2,000 masks for artists and cultural practitioners in Yogyakarta.As of Saturday, Yogyakarta recorded a total of 1,373 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 37 fatalities. Topics :last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces $39 Million Investment in Water Infrastructure Projects in Nine Counties

first_imgGovernor Wolf Announces $39 Million Investment in Water Infrastructure Projects in Nine Counties SHARE Email Facebook Twitter April 19, 2017center_img Environment,  Infrastructure,  Press Release,  Results Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the investment of $39 million for 12 drinking water, wastewater, storm water, and non-point source projects across nine counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST).“Today marked another special day for the PENNVEST program and for the citizens of Pennsylvania. By approving almost $40 million in funding for clean water projects across the commonwealth, the PENNVEST Board continued its commitment to improve the quality of our rivers and streams, the health of our families and the economic prosperity of our state”, said Governor Wolf. “Together we will further the achievement of these goals and make Pennsylvania an even more desirable place to live and work for this and future generations.”Of the $39 million, $18.2 million is allocated for low-interest loans and $20.8 million is awarded through grants.The funding comes from a combination of state funds approved by voters, federal grants to PENNVEST from the Environmental Protection Agency and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards. Funds for the projects are disbursed after bills for work are paid and receipts are submitted to PENNVEST.For more information, visit www.pennvest.pa.gov.A list of project summaries follows.PENNVEST Drinking Water ProjectsChester CountyElverson Water Company, Inc. received a $2,134,525 loan to improve its distribution system by replacing over half a mile of transmission pipes, installing 80 new service connections and other facilities, as well as completing the company’s distribution system by installing over a thousand feet of new transmission pipes.Jefferson CountyEldred Township Municipal Authority received a $283,541 loan and a $546,549 grant to construct a new 96 thousand gallon water storage tank in order to provide a safe and dependable source of drinking water to the authority’s customers.Monroe CountyAqua Pennsylvania, Inc. received a $673,674 loan and a $1,673,945 grant in order to complete the rehabilitation of the existing Sun Valley drinking water system by constructing a new water storage tank, installing a new well pump and a variety of other facilities, as well as almost two miles of new water distribution lines. The existing system is in need of significant repair and is subject to leaks and periodic water outages.Northampton CountyEaston Suburban Water Authority received a $3,401,900 loan to make a variety of improvements to its drinking water system, including the installation of new control valves, hydrants and service laterals, as well as replacing a mile and a half of water distribution lines.  The authority’s system is leaking and not able to provide sufficient pressure during times of peak demand, or for firefighting.PENNVEST Wastewater ProjectsDelaware CountyYeadon Borough received a $9,593,398 loan to replace more than two miles of sewage collection lines that are cracked and subject to inflows during wet weather, as well as to replace the lateral lines running to 217 homes in the borough’s system.Erie CountyGreene Township received a $2,144,642 loan and a $7,255,358 grant to complete the final phase of a four-phase project that will provide wastewater collection service to areas of the township where malfunctioning on-lot septic systems are contaminating local drinking water wells and leaching untreated sewage into surface waters.Non-point Source Water Quality Improvement ProjectsChester CountyChester County Conservation District and Elmer Kaufman received a $408,039 grant to install a variety of manure control facilities, including a concrete waste storage structure, gutters and downspouts, four catch basins and new pipes, as well as planting 900 feet of new grass waterways, in order to reduce nutrient run-off into Two Log Run during wet weather.Lancaster CountyChester County Conservation District and Daniel Esh received a $350,467 grant to install a variety of manure control facilities, including more than 1,000 square feet of paved and curbed barnyard as well as 14,400 square feet of reinforced gravel animal trail, in order to reduce nutrient run-off into a tributary of the East Branch of Octoraro Creek during wet weather.Chester County Conservation District and Fiddle Creek Dairy received a $245,494 grant to install a roofed manure stacking structure, a watering facility, underground outlets, as well as animal trails and walkways that will serve to reduce nutrient run-off into a tributary of Big Beaver Creek during wet weather.Chester County Conservation District and David Stoltzfus received a $347,055 grant to make a variety of improvements it manure handling facilities as well as installing reinforced gravel animal walkways, a stream crossing and streambank fencing, all of which will reduce nutrient run-off into Muddy Run during wet weather.Philadelphia CountyThe Partnership for the Delaware Estuary was approved to receive $7,934,000 in funding to construct a freshwater mussel hatchery that will produce hundreds of thousands of mussels annually, which will be used to restore mussel beds in both the Susquehanna and Delaware estuaries. These mussels will, in turn, contribute to the improvement of water quality in both the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware Estuary by filtering out nutrients, particularly nitrogen, that run off the land in these and into hundreds of streams in both watersheds.Westmoreland CountyUnity Township received a $2,050,000 grant to make a variety of improvements to its storm water control systems, which will include the installation of more than a mile and a half of new storm water pipes. The existing facilities are deteriorated and allow flooding of private property as well as contamination of local streams during heavy rainfall.last_img read more

Camp Hill hot suburb for Brisbane Lions fans

first_imgThe season started well for the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday and for residents on Watson St, Camp Hill, it always finishes well, with Brisbane Lions members often being treated to drop-in calls from players like Darcy Gardiner (pictured) and Lewis Taylor. AAP Image/Darren EnglandIn Brisbane there’s one street in particular that’s become a haven for star Aussie Rules football players — and it’s not in Woolloongabba.If you’re a Brisbane Lions fan, there’s no better place to call home than Camp Hill.That’s because many of Brisbane’s star players live there. Don’t miss your chance to buy into one of the most popular Brisbane Lions streets in Brisbane when this three-bedroom house at 123 Watson St, Camp Hill goes to auction on Saturday at 5pm. One street in particular has had a lot of love from the Brisbane Lions.Local resident and Brisbane Lions fan Alayne Campbell said Lions players visit Watson Street after the season to meet fans and pose for photos.“There are apparently more Lions members on Watson St than anywhere in Brisbane,” Mrs Campbell said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours ago“And at the end of every season, we get little surprise visits and they come with jerseys that they sign for the boys and ice-creams sometimes, to say thanks.” There had even been interest in the house from members of Brisbane’s AFL team.“A lot of Lions live around our area, and there’s certainly been some interest from that sector,” Mr Hicks said.Saturday’s onsite auction is expected to attract first home buyers and developers, with the house on a large 567sq m block ready to be renovated or knocked down. Brisbane Lions players Lewis Taylor (left) and Darcy Gardiner (right) with one of their number one Watson St fans, Frazer Campbell. Picture: suppliedThe Brisbane Lions have visited the Campbell family three times already, with sons Frazer and Rupert, joining their dad Scott as diehard Brisbane Lions fans and members.However the time has come to move and the family home is being auctioned this Saturday.“There’s a coffee shop just across from Watson Street, and the players often pop in there. It’s just a little hub of Brisbane Lions players and fans,” Mrs Campbell said.A spokeswoman for the Brisbane Lions said Camp Hill and Coorparoo were popular suburbs for Brisbane Lions players to live and it followed that fans would also call these neighbourhoods home.“It used to be Bulimba, but now Camp Hill is the main suburb,” she said.Place Bulimba agent Shane Hicks is taking the Campbell family’s three-bedroom house at 123 Watson St, Camp Hill to auction this Saturday at 5pm and said Brisbane Lions fans and first time property owners should not miss the opportunity to buy into the sporting community. SEE WHAT ELSE IS AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN CAMP HILLlast_img read more

Hamptons-style retreat at Horseshoe Bay snapped up within a week

first_imgExplore Property agent MaryAnne Law who sold the three-bedroom property for less than $500,000, said she was overwhelmed with inquiry on it from people around the country. “The 75-year-old house was one of the original cottages from the pineapple farm in Horseshoe Bay,” Ms Law said. “The owner had just finished renovating the cottage and that was the theme (Hamptons-style) he was leaning towards. “He loves to renovate older homes and keep them in the character of their era — he set it up beautifully for holiday rental and is now looking for his next project.”Ms Law said the buyer purchased the property sight unseen with the idea to eventually retire there. “An investor bought the home with the intentions of holiday letting the property eventually planning to retire to the Island,” Ms Law said. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020 Auction success speaks to market confidence This property at Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island sold in less than a week.LOCATED on the tropical island paradise of Magnetic Island, this recently renovated cottage sold within a week of being on the market. Polished timber flooring and furnishings hold heritage charm with a neutral colour pallet of white and grey giving it a coastal Hamptons-style elegance. READ MORE Building on confidence in Townsville “They live in South Australia absolutely loved the property from seeing the photos on the net they had friends on the Island inspect the property and purchased the property without viewing it personally. “The marketing went live on the internet on September 20 and the property went to contract on September 25.” READ MORE The property boasts two separate dwellings including a two bedroom house and a second self-contained one-bedroom cottage boasting an alfresco dining and living area. The private backyard also features a sparkling in-ground pool with its own cabana and is surrounded by established gardens with a Citrus Orchard. last_img read more