Florida today reported four more locally acquired Zika cases, all from the same small area thought to be the source of nearly all of the infections, prompting a call from Gov. Rick Scott for Congress to return to Washington, DC, to pass a stalled Zika funding bill.Meanwhile, Texas reported its first fatal Zika-linked microcephaly case, in a baby born to a mother infected outside the United States.Local Florida cases climb to 21In a statement, Scott said the newest cases are all from a small area of the Wynwood neighborhood, less than 1 square mile. The illnesses lift Florida’s non-travel Zika cases to 21.The Wynwood neighborhood is just north of downtown Miami and is a popular restaurant and entertainment district.The Florida Department of Health (Florida Health) said in its daily Zika update that all four of the patients were exposed in the already-identified area of concern in Miami-Dade County and that it still believes active transmission is confined to that area.Officials said they are still investigating where the virus exposure occurred in a local case reported yesterday in a Palm Beach County resident. Florida Health also said it is investigating where one other case-patient from outside the identified area contracted Zika virus.Scott said that earlier this summer he allocated $26 million in state funding to fight Zika virus and that he has been meeting with local officials to ensure they have what they need for outbreak response. “But every day that passes that Congress and the president fail to come to an agreement hinders our national response to Zika. This is not only an issue affecting us here in Florida—this is a national issue.”He also said the Obama administration hasn’t fulfilled Florida’s request for an extra 10,000 Zika prevention kits for pregnant women or handed down a detailed plan for how Florida can work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to apply for emergency response funds.In its update today, Florida Health said 14 more travel-related Zika cases have been reported, increasing the total to 369. Two more illnesses were reported in pregnant women, lifting that number to 57.Texas newborn dies from Zika complicationsIn Texas, a baby who died shortly after birth in Harris County had Zika-linked microcephaly, according to an announcement today from the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).The baby’s mother had been infected while in Latin America, and the baby contracted the virus during her pregnancy, according to the report, which added that both infections are classified as travel-related.Harris County Public Health (HCPH) said the baby, a girl, had birth defects including microcephaly.John Hellerstedt, MD, said in the TDSHS statement, “Zika’s impact on unborn babies can be tragic, and our hearts are with this family.” He added that the department’s top mission is to do everything it can to protect unborn babies from the devastating effects of the virus.The findings in the baby mark Texas’s second Zika-linked microcephaly case and are the state’s first fatality from Zika complications. The first was reported on Jul 13 and also involved an infant born in Harris County to a mother who was likely infected in Latin America.So far Texas has logged 99 Zika cases, including the two infants.Other developmentsThe Cayman Islands have identified their first locally transmitted Zika virus case, in a man from George Town who became ill on Jul 25, according to a statement today from the territory’s Health Services Authority. A blood sample tested at the Caribbean Public Health Agency was positive for Zika virus, and an investigation found that he had not traveled to any areas where the disease is circulating.News of the first local Zika cases in the continental United States has stoked Americans’ fear of the disease, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. In June, the poll revealed that 67% of respondents were “not too” or “not at all” worried about Zika virus, but that number fell slightly to 65% in the most recent poll.See also:Gov. Scott’s Aug 9 statementAug 9 Florida Health updateAug 9 TDSHS press releaseAug 9 HCPH statementJul 13 CIDRAP News Story “Texas reports Zika microcephaly; CDC says Olympic risk low”
Jun 25, 2020 PANCAP Advocates for Treatment Continuity for People Living… What is PANCAP? PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organizations, regional institutions and organizations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximize efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilizes resources and build capacity of partners. – 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme of Support for Wider Caribbean Cooperation Under the 10th (EDF) Programme of Support for Wider Caribbean Cooperation, PANCAP will strengthen coordination on human rights issues in keeping with the Justice For all Roadmap through the HIV and AIDS Thematic Task Force in CARIFORUM. – CARIFORUM CARIFORUM refers to the Grouping of Caribbean States, which are signatories of the Georgetown Agreement establishing the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). The ACP grouping is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states. CARIFORUM is the recipient of and manages the implementation of Caribbean Regional Indicative Programmes financed by the EDF and Caribbean regional programmes financed by individual Member States of the European Union. It also provides technical assistance to agencies/institutions implementing projects under these programmes. – European Union The Member States of the European Union have decided to link their expertise, resources and destinies. Together, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders. Background to the PANCAP Justice for All (JFA) Roadmap The PANCAP Justice for All (JFA) Programme was established in September 2013 as a regional response to the UN High-Level Political Declaration (June 2011) designed to reduce AIDS-related stigma and discrimination. The objectives of the JFA Roadmap are: Enhancing family life and focusing on those in need Increasing access to treatment and affordable medicines Reducing gender inequality including violence against women, girls and adolescents Promoting prevention with special reference to sexual and reproductive health and rights including age-appropriate sexual education Implementing legislative reforms for modifying AIDS-related stigma and discrimination Helpful links:PANCAP Justice for All (JFA) programme – https://pancap.org/what-we-do/justice-for-all/ 10th European Development Fund Project (EDF) – https://pancap.org/pancap-work/10th-european-development-fund-project/ Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Priority Areas Coordinating Committee (PACC) Convenes… The objectives of the Forum are to identify the barriers to achieving the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 Targets including stigma and discrimination. The Forum will also seek to define parliamentarians’ legislative, representational and oversight roles in addressing the barriers to ending the AIDS epidemic. Participants will also discuss and agree on a timeline for specific actions to be undertaken by parliamentarians. In an invited comment, H.E. Dr. Jeniffer Geerlings-Simons, Speaker of the National Assembly, Suriname said: “Fundamental rights and liberties for all, justice and fairness are common ideals that the people of Suriname strive towards and hold dear. These ideals are underpinned by the values enshrined in our constitution, which include peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, and equality. Our nation, therefore, is one where consideration needs to be given to those who are rendered more vulnerable and/or marginalized, which brings us to a specific quest: work together, across sectors, creeds and other seeming differences and unite to realize the commitments we’ve made as a country, as a partnership, as a region, and as a world. 90-90-90 by 2020 and End AIDS by 2030!” Parliamentarians to define their legislative, representational and oversight roles to address the challenges towards ending the AIDS Epidemic Call for non-partisan approach to issues related to stigma, discrimination and HIV transmission as PANCAP Regional Parliamentarians Forum concludesDeputy Secretary General, CARICOM Secretariat, challenges parliamentarians to implement CARICOM Model Anti-Discrimination Bill The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) Regional Parliamentarians Forum, 30 – 31 May, Kingston, Jamaica, concluded with recommendations from parliamentarians on a non-partisan approach to issues related to stigma, discrimination and HIV transmission. Approximately…June 1, 2017In “CARICOM”St. Kitts/Nevis Prime Minister to attend PANCAP Regional Parliamentarians ForumFriday, May 12, 2017 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) will host the Hon. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis at the PANCAP Regional Parliamentarians Forum from 30 – 31 May, 2017 in Kingston, Jamaica. In addition to Prime…May 12, 2017In “Jamaica”Suriname Faith Leaders to establish main goals for inter-religious network Emphasis on contributing to end AIDS (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat) The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), will host the Suriname National Faith Leaders Consultation in Suriname 19 -20 October, 2018. The consultation is being held with funding from the CARIFORUM 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme of Support for…October 19, 2018In “Antigua & Barbuda”Share this on WhatsApp Apr 24, 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Friday, 19 October 2018 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), will host a Parliamentarians Sensitization Forum in Suriname 22- 23 October, 2018. The Forum is being held with funding from the CARIFORUM 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme of Support for Wider Caribbean Cooperation. The Forum is part of a series of engagements involving parliamentarians under the PANCAP Justice for All Programme (JFP). Parliamentarians will be sensitized on issues regarding their advocacy role for the elimination of stigma and discrimination, as well as their legislative, representational and oversight roles. NAP Managers and CSOs urged to use COVID-19 as an… You may be interested in… Jun 23, 2020 The Caribbean’s Remarkable Response to COVID-19
I’m not so sure it will. Arcadia may have lived to fight another day after intu’s valiant stand was negated by Landsec’s last-gasp save, but Sir Philip doesn’t look to have a huge amount of fight left in him. There certainly wasn’t much fighting talk this week after it emerged that a group of US landlords, led by Vornado, had filed a legal challenge against Arcadia’s decision to put its US subsidiary into administration.Then again, after the battering he has taken over recent weeks (not just over Arcadia), who can blame him? It must have been pretty demoralising to realise that his relieved assertion after the vote that “a win is a win” was a tad premature.The battle may be over, but the war has just begun – on multiple fronts. The least of these is the US. Far bigger is the UK front, where Arcadia now has to work out what its future looks like having been yanked from the brink by its UK landlords. There are those who think the only way is up. It is true that the CVA process seems to have worked for New Look, which had its CVA approved in March 2018 and, coincidentally, had its credit rating upgraded by Moody’s on the day of the Arcadia creditors’ vote, for the second time in just a few months.But Arcadia is a very different animal to New Look. It is – or was – a retail empire. The best-case scenario is savage cuts in the still huge number of stores and staff. The question is: how deep will the cuts go – and can it get its fashion mojo back?Some think Green will close everything other than Topshop and possibly Dotty Ps then look for a buyer. He will certainly look to get shot of a lot more stores over the next 18 months as leases come up for renewal, especially among the 194 he wanted big rental discounts on.And don’t be surprised if brands such as Miss Selfridge and Evans become concessions in larger Topshop stores and migrate online. Whether Green is too late to the online party, time will tell. Ditto whether he decides to stay in the retail game or gets out before there is nothing left to get out of. If the former, he urgently needs to refresh and reposition every brand. Even the once mighty Topshop has lost its relevance and become to young hipsters what M&S is to middle-aged fashionistas – #mehtoo.In the meantime, he could yet rue telling the BBC that Arcadia “didn’t come close to collapse”. While he added “we won the vote”, some have questioned whether he meant that Arcadia was never close to collapse. If that is the case, then a CVA was not a legitimate course of action, and the US landlords currently spoiling for a fight that Green may not have much stomach for could well use it against him.RESI 2019 callingToday is the last day to get your hands on an early-bird ticket to RESI 2019. This year’s theme is ‘From 2020 to 2040 Vision: A Brave New Mixed-up World’ and we have already lined up a stellar cast of speakers, including housing minister Kit Malthouse. To book your ticket and find out more about this year’s convention, go to resiconf.com. Don’t miss out!
Although a New York State Supreme Court justice did not issue the requested temporary restraining order, opponents of a recent settlement between the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Sand Land mining and composting operation in Noyac have been given some additional time to plead their case.Justice Kimberly O’Connor last week ordered both sides back to court on Tuesday, April 30, to present additional arguments. In the meantime, she extended until May 3 a public-comment period on the DEC’s controversial decision to give Sand Land another eight years to mine the site off Millstone Road after just last fall announcing it would rescind the company’s mining permit.Southampton Town, Assemblyman Fred Thiele, the Noyac Civic Council, environmental groups, and neighboring property owners, including several limited liability corporations related to the Bridge golf course, filed suit in Albany County on April 17, seeking to overturn the settlement.Southampton Town attorney James Burke said Sand Land and Wainscott Sand and Gravel had agreed to not disturb a three-acre area commonly called the “stump dump” until after that conference.Opponents of Sand Land say the sandmining operation, which grew to include the recycling of construction debris and composting of tree stumps, leaves, and other vegetative waste, posed a threat to the groundwater. Those concerns were heightened when a study by the Suffolk County Department of Health services revealed elevated levels of heavy metals, including lead and manganese, and other pollutants at the site.Last fall, noting that there was little, if any, sand left at the site, the DEC announced it would rescind Sand Land’s permit and order it reclaim the site, but last month, the DEC reversed course and said it had agreed to an eight-year-extension of the permit and would give Sand Land another two years after that to reclaim the site.“We want an explanation as to how you go from saying on September 10 there is no more sand to giving them eight more years,” Burke said on April 22. Besides raising environmental concerns, the suit claims the DEC has erroneously allowed Sand Land to expand its mining operation by including the three-acre stump dump and other areas that were supposed to have been reclaimed email@example.com Share
Subscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.
I read with interest that the Legal Services Board commissioned an ‘economic analysis’ which concluded there was no evidence that referral fees harm consumers. In 2008 we were offered the chance to be on a ‘panel’ for a building society-owned estate agency. The basic premise was that we were to pay £200 per conveyance, of which £100 was kept by the ‘panel manager’ and £100 was paid by the ‘panel manager’ to the building society’s estate agency. We were assured, however, that by the time the various ‘add ons’ were taken into account, their conveyancing fee structure would ensure we made just as much profit. On a typical transaction the scheme was 16% more expensive than Bell Park Kerridge charges. My ‘economic analysis’ was that the clients were paying 16% more, and the solicitor was having to pay £200 to an unnecessary link in the conveyancing chain. Yesterday I read my son’s copy of The Negotiator (28 May 2010), which is a magazine for estate agents. My attention was drawn to an article titled ‘HIPs are gone. Long live HIPs’. The author (the managing director of an estate agency) argued that agents could still market HIPs to certain clients. I quote: ‘But who will pay the HIP fee? There are two opportunities here. First, find a conveyancer or solicitor prepared to advance the pack in exchange for a new client. You may also receive commission. Second, what better way of justifying a rise in your commission level? While the cost of a HIP may represent between 5% and 10% of your commission, if you add in a few other service enhancements, it is surprisingly easy to double your fee if you know how to present your case, thereby making the cost of a HIP a worthwhile investment.’ It costs around £55 for an Energy Performance Certificate, and around £146 for a personal local search and drainage search. If solicitors are prepared to pay around £200 to get work, where the typical fee might only be £400, I have to wonder – what gives? Is the solicitor going to stay in business long? Are there going to be short cuts in the legal work which will lead to claims? Is the solicitor’s independent judgement being compromised? It would appear I am in a minority in finding referral fees to be just plain wrong. However, it is a sizeable minority.Is it time for a split profession, where those who wish to pay referral fees can do so, leaving the remainder to get back to basics and look after clients? James Bell, Bell Park Kerridge, Carlisle
Lawyers have paid tribute to departing Legal Services Commission (LSC) chief executive Carolyn Downs, following the announcement that she is leaving to take up a senior role in local government. Downs took over as chief executive of the LSC in March 2010 on secondment from the Ministry of Justice, following the resignation of Carolyn Regan. She will join the Local Government Association as chief executive within the next three months, replacing interim chief executive, John Ransford. Downs has considerable experience in local government, having been chief executive of Shropshire County Council from 2003 to 2009, before her appointment as deputy permanent secretary and director general of corporate performance at the MoJ. Lawyers’ groups which have had their differences with the LSC during Downs’ tenure agreed that she had performed well in challenging circumstances. In tandem with its legal aid reforms, the government plans to make the LSC an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice, appointing a director of casework to head the agency and make funding decisions on behalf of the secretary of state. Law Society chief executive Des Hudson said Downs had developed a good understanding of the legal aid system and was always willing to engage with the profession. ‘While at times we had significant disagreements with the LSC, we recognised the difficult challenges facing Carolyn and the LSC,’ he said. ‘Her departure at a time of such substantial change represents a very unfortunate loss of expertise.’ Legal Aid Practitioners Group director Carol Storer also commended Downs for her ability to work with practitioners, and expressed concerns about who would succeed her. ‘With difficult times ahead we want to see someone appointed who understands the legal aid system and is willing to work closely with practitioners and representative bodies to try to ensure that the remaining rump of legal aid services will be effective,’ said Storer.
We have had the “dodgy” developer, the “cowboy” contractor and now it seems to be the time to give the “querulous” QS a bit of a kicking. In recent weeks there has been a great deal of discussion about the future role of the quantity surveying profession and concern at the nature of some inaccurate cost plans by irked clients. There was even a whole letters page devoted to the topic in this very magazine.So are some observers right to have lost faith in cost consultants?It may surprise you to read that I agree with some of the commentary about the changing nature of the costs plans, the lack of transparency in the costing process and the need for our profession to shake itself up. We are in the era of BIM 2015 not the age of empire circa 1815.The QS has a vital and, up until now, an unsung role in the whole process – whoever stood up in class at school and expressed the wish to be a QS when they grew up? Yet the designer, the project manager and the cost manager are all a part of the same team that give the client confidence to borrow the money to get things built. Vast swaths of contractors have been wiped out by poor cashflow, cancelled projects, skills shortages, insecurity and in some cases pure stupidityThe issue we seem to be facing is one of confidence in this role, or the lack thereof. The reason for this is complex and goes back to the recession and its long-term impact on the supply chain. Contractors are the part of the team that have been hit hardest since 2008. Vast swaths have been wiped out by a combination of poor cashflow, projects being cancelled or stalled, skills shortages, insecurity and in some cases pure stupidity. Those that are left now have the whip hand and they are not prepared to take on the risks that the client used to force them to adopt. You can cost steel, you can cost bricks, you can cost labour to a certain extent, but building in a margin for risk is not an exact science and in two-stage tendering, which is now the norm, “the risk premium” is being systematically added to contract costs that were not there before.This has been exacerbated by the squeezing of timelines by clients who are keen to get projects built. The need for speed gives those QSs negotiating price variances a weak hand when it come to a situation where the on-site suppliers have a monopoly position. They are able to vary the tender in a manner that might have got them thrown off site in a previous era. The QS is playing a tricky game sitting between the client who needs the project built quickly and the supplier who wants to capitalise on their new-found strength. It’s not that the estimate of costs was incorrect, it’s that the market is changing on an almost weekly basis. The client wants risk taken by the contractor, the contractor won’t do this without recompense any more.Also some of the cost consultancies themselves are not without blame. While not affected as badly as contractors, they also downsized during the recession, only to pick up quickly when the upturn came. Some were forced to merge or combine and, after the initial handcuffs were removed, experienced staff jumped ship. Hence some practices took on work they were not capable of managing and found that in a desire to meet timelines, costs estimates were submitted that had not been sufficiently future proofed.This has led to under-costing and mistakes. At my firm we follow a specific methodology when taking over a job from a previous cost consultant who has disappeared: the ABC rule loved by the Met Police of Assume nothing, Believe no-one and Check everything.Even the smallest projects of £5-£10m now need a team of two or three people working non-stop to keep the project within its cost estimate. It is hard when working for sophisticated clients who are building against the clock, in a market that has very complex challenges. Without the QS, the car will come off the track. In fact I believe in times like these the role of the cost manager becomes ever more significant and given the vicissitudes of the market, the profession will go from strength to strength. Now is the time when our skill set has a pivotal role in protecting and safeguarding the interests of our clients.Richard Steer is chairman of Gleeds Worldwide
Subscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community