Apr 24, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – In an effort to improve developing countries’ access to potential pandemic influenza vaccines, the WHO (World Health Organization) said today it is awarding grants to six countries to help them develop the capacity to make flu vaccine.The grants of up to $2.5 million each will go to three countries hit hard by H5N1 avian flu—Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand—plus Brazil, Mexico, and India, the WHO said. The money will come from $10 million supplied by the United States and $8 million from Japan.The announcement comes on the eve of a WHO-sponsored conference on ways to provide developing countries with access to pandemic vaccines. The issue came to the fore in February, when Indonesia revealed it had stopped sending H5N1 virus samples to the WHO, in order to protest use of the samples by drug companies to make vaccines priced beyond the country’s reach.In late March, following a meeting with the WHO, Indonesia promised to resume sending the samples in return for a WHO pledge to develop new guidelines for sample sharing and an interim promise not to share samples with drug companies without the source country’s approval. However, the WHO has not yet reported receiving any samples.In announcing the grants today, Dr. David Heymann, the WHO’s assistant director-general for communicable diseases, said, “It is imperative that the global community works collectively to ensure more equitable access to a vaccine and other health measures in the event of an influenza pandemic. We all have a responsibility to protect global health security.”With flu vaccine production facilities, countries will be equipped to protect their people from seasonal flu, said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, director of the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research. And if a pandemic emerges, the facilities can be converted to make a vaccine based on the pandemic strain, she said.It will take at least 3 to 5 years for the six countries to start producing vaccine, the WHO said. Until then, they will need help to ensure they can obtain vaccines.The meeting scheduled tomorrow will include officials from countries with human H5N1 cases, donor countries, and vaccine manufacturers in developed and developing countries.The WHO had announced Mar 22 that six projects to establish flu vaccine production facilities in developing countries were in the final approval stage, but the countries were not named at that point.See also:Mar 27 CIDRAP News story “WHO, Indonesia reach accord on virus sharing”
Arsenal drew 2-2 with United at Old Trafford in the Premier League last month, shortly before Mourinho was sacked as manager after a wretched run of results.Since then, Solskjaer, hired from Molde as interim boss, has overseen seven successive wins in all competitions.Solskjaer’s approach has won over a United squad that grew tired of Mourinho’s spikey personality, and Emery is suitably impressed.“It’s a different team. It’s the same players but they’re playing with a big performance now,” Emery told reporters on Wednesday.“I was watching their last matches and each player has a lot of confidence, with big performances, and now they are very dangerous.“For us, it’s good because it’s a very big test for us in this competition.”Arsenal’s preparation for the United clash included a team-building paintball trip, but it has been a difficult few days for the club.It was announced on Monday that head of recruitment Sven Mislintat will leave next month having only been at Arsenal for a little over a year.A day later, Gunners right-back Hector Bellerin learned he could miss up to nine months after suffering ruptured knee ligaments in the 2-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday.Emery was asked about both issues and believes Arsenal should take their time in appointing a successor to Mislintat, with Roma’s director of football Monchi linked to a similar role in north London.Asked if it was important to swiftly find a replacement for Mislintat, Emery replied: “Maybe if you do this recruitment very quickly, maybe you can make a mistake.“I think it’s better to do without that, being calm and also finding the best possible person to do this job like we want.“I think the club is working on that. It’s not my issue. I can say the same: if the club decided to sign one sporting director, then I will agree with them.”Bellerin will undergo surgery and could miss the start of next season given the severity of the damage to his knee.“We were sad and we are sad now after his injury,” Emery added.“I think this year is very difficult for big injuries like Hector, Rob Holding and (Danny) Welbeck. But football is like that.“We need to treat these injuries like a normality in football, but we are very sad for that.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Unai Emery admits Manchester United are a more difficult opponent under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer © IKIMAGES/AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 23 – Arsenal manager Unai Emery says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made Manchester United a much more dangerous team since taking over from Jose Mourinho.Emery’s side host United in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday and the Spaniard expects a stern test from Solskjaer’s revitalised team.
“If this is about public safety, why are a large percent of the violators getting away with no consequences?” Los Angeles Police Commission member Alan Skobin . “We need to see a better job is being done.” Police say they have made progress in the past few months to find the drivers and ticket them. They also note that glare from windshields and license plates interferes with about 2 percent of the images. But they emphasize it’s not the technology that is allowing violators to get away with running red lights. By far the biggest obstacle to ticketing violators, they say, has been outdated or unidentifiable car registrations. Last year in the Valley, where three of eight projected cameras were up and running, 2,928 violations were recorded, but just 1,608 tickets were handed out, police said. Citywide between May 2006 and April 30 of this year, police were able to cite just 60 percent of violators – or 10,882 of the 18,035 caught on tape, according to a report released last week by the civilian Los Angeles Police Commission. “There are certain pockets of the city that those numbers are much higher than other parts of the city,” said Sgt. Matthew MacWillie, who coordinates the effort for the Los Angeles Police Department. He noted that cameras at Van Nuys Boulevard and Nordhoff Street, and at Sepulveda and Victory boulevards traced fewer red-light runners than cameras in other parts of the city. Police say the bulk of violators who weren’t ticketed have cars registered to drivers who no longer own the vehicles. Under state law, car owners are required to have insurance when they register the car. But police suspect that some owners fail to register because they can’t afford – or didn’t want to buy – sometimes expensive insurance. Some drivers also sell their cars to uninsured motorists who simply don’t bother with registration. While police say they don’t have a precise breakdown of how many violators captured on camera were unregistered or uninsured, officials estimate that about 25 percent of Los Angeles County motorists could be uninsured. LAPD officials acknowledge that the cameras are falling short of the original goal of a 70 percent to 80 percent citation rate, but said they have been getting closer – nearing two-thirds as of August. “This system works 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It works in hot and inclement weather,” MacWillie said. “It frees up a motor officer to work in other areas.” Perched atop signal poles at some of the city’s most dangerous intersections, the multiple cameras take three seconds to four seconds of video at 30 frames a second. One camera zooms in on the front license plate and the driver, then turns as the car zooms off. Another camera catches the entire car speeding through the intersection. Violators receive a ticket in the mail, and they can view the evidence online. Once a plate is captured, the LAPD contacts the last recorded registered owner. But the department can’t cite them for another driver’s offense. For each $381 red-light ticket given, the city coffers add $157.19, according to the LAPD. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council members, who frequently appear at news conferences to unveil the new cameras, have spotlighted the gadgets for making the city’s clogged streets safer. “Regardless if it’s at 60 percent or 80 percent, it’s a far cry from not having any police officer at the intersection,” said Councilman Tony C rdenas, who has been monitoring the program’s success. But the effort has been stumbling since its inception. Before the cameras were even installed, a bid for the contract set off a high-profile lobbying battle and the city turned off the prior red-light camera system as the contract expired. Questions arose about the financial stability of Rhode Island- based Nestor Traffic Systems, which built it. And earlier glitches included out-of-focus videos and poor timing. The company says the slip-ups are behind it. “You are always going to have some number of plates that you can’t retrieve, or you have mismatches because of various issues,” said Todd Eikinas, chief operating officer for Nestor and the architect of the system. “But as far as the technology, it’s cutting edge.” But City Councilman Dennis Zine said he will be requesting more information on how the cameras are working. “This makes no sense. I have some serious questions about this program,” said Zine, a former LAPD motor officer. “There are hundreds of thousands of dollars that aren’t being collected. There is no deterrent.” But police credit the cameras with bringing traffic collisions down by 15 percent at about 10 of the city’s most dangerous intersections. “The program is doing exactly what it is intended to be doing,” MacWillie said. “This is traffic safety.” [email protected] (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Los Angeles’ $15 million, high-tech camera system designed to catch red-light runners let nearly half of all violators in the San Fernando Valley off the hook last year because the drivers couldn’t be identified, according to police data. While officials had hoped the cameras would result in a citation rate as high as 80 percent, in the Valley that was running at only 55percent last year. While the rate citywide is slightly better at 60 percent, critics question the gaps and note that the project is now nearly five months behind schedule with only 26 of 32 cameras in place. And as of April, the unissued citations have meant the city has lost at least $1.1 million.