Countries Adopt UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy

first_imgAn estimated 15.8 million people are now on HIV treatment, a doubling from five years ago as countries adopt the UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy using data to fine tune delivery of HIV prevention and treatment services to reach people being left behind. Ahead of World AIDS Day 2015, UNAIDS has released a new report showing that countries are getting on the Fast-Track to end AIDS by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. By adapting to a changing global environment and maximizing innovations, countries are seeing greater efficiencies and better results. Progress in responding to HIV over the past 15 years has been extraordinary. By June 2015, UNAIDS estimates that 15.8 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy, compared to 7.5 million people in 2010 and 2.2 million people in 2005. At the end of 2014, UNAIDS estimates that new HIV infections had fallen by 35% since the peak in 2000 and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 42% since the 2004 peak.“Every five years we have more than doubled the number of people on life-saving treatment,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We need to do it just one more time to break the AIDS epidemic and keep it from rebounding.” The life-changing benefits of antiretroviral therapy mean that people living with HIV are living longer, healthier lives, which has contributed to an increase in the global number of people living with HIV. At the end of 2014, UNAIDS estimates that 36.9 million people were living with HIV. Once diagnosed, people need immediate access to antiretroviral therapy. Countries are gearing up to double the number of people accessing HIV treatment by 2020. This Fast-Track approach will be instrumental in achieving the UNAIDS 90–90–90 treatment target of ensuring that 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status are on treatment and 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads. “Today, we have more HIV prevention options than ever before. And with better data, we can become better match makers, finding the right prevention options for the right people,” said Mr. Sidibé. To end AIDS as a public health threat, an accelerated and more focused response is needed using better data to map and reach people in the places where the most new HIV infections occur. To support countries with this approach, UNAIDS has released a new report focused on location and population: on the Fast-Track to end AIDS by 2030, which gives examples of more than 50 communities, cities and countries that are using innovative approaches to reach more people with comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment services.Through the responsible use of detailed national data sets, countries are able to focus at a more granular level, mapping where new HIV infections occur and where people need services most. The report demonstrates how countries can redistribute resources to improve access to HIV prevention and treatment services. With the Fast-Track approach and frontloaded investments, gaps are closed faster and resources go further and from 2020 annual resource needs will begin to fall. The report highlights how high-impact HIV prevention and treatment programs, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis, voluntary medical male circumcision and sexual and reproductive health services, are being successfully implemented in various locations and for different populations, including adolescent girls and young women and their partners, pregnant women living with HIV, sex workers, transgender people, gay men and other men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs. In the report UNAIDS identifies 35 Fast-Track countries that account for 90 percent of new HIV infections. Focusing on location and population and programs that deliver the greatest impact will reap huge benefits by 2030: 21 million AIDS-related deaths averted; 28 million new HIV infections averted; and 5.9 million new infections among children averted. “Everyone has the right to a long and healthy life,” said Mr. Sidibé. “We must take HIV services to the people who are most affected, and ensure that these services are delivered in a safe, respectful environment with dignity and free from discrimination.” The report shows that areas with fewer numbers of people living with HIV and lower HIV prevalence are more likely to have discriminatory attitudes than areas that have more cases of HIV. This seemingly contradictory result is explained by education and understanding about HIV usually being higher in countries where HIV is more prevalent and where more people are receiving treatment. However, these discriminatory attitudes make it more difficult for people in low-prevalence areas to come forward to seek HIV services for fear of stigma and reprisals. Adopting the UNAIDS Fast-Track approach through strong leadership and investment within the communities, cities and countries most affected, the AIDS epidemic can be ended by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.In 2014/2015 an estimated: 15.8 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy (June 2015) 36.9 million [34.3 million–41.4 million] people globally were living with HIV (end 2014) 2 million [1.9 million–2.2 million] people became newly infected with HIV (end 2014) 1.2 million [980 000–1.6 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

LTA Denies Internet Disruption Claim

first_imgThe Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) has denied reports that the country’s internet access has been disrupted by a large-scale hack attack.The LTA said there was “no data to substantiate” the claim but admitted that one telecommunications company serving half the nation’s mobile users did suffer attacks that repeatedly limited access.Security experts who monitor networks of hijacked devices used to carry out attacks, called botnets, noticed last week that Liberian net addresses were among targets being deluged with data.Media reports quoted network security firms outside the country and telecoms staff in Liberia who said internet access in the country was affected.The attacks were mounted using the massive Mirai botnet that in late October was used to cause the web-wide disruption that left Reddit, Spotify, Twitter and other popular sites hard to reach.Jarsea Burphy, a spokesperson for the Liberia Telecommunication Authority, said monitoring systems on the nation’s internet exchange point, where domestic traffic joins the global network, showed no evidence that the link had been overwhelmed.The monitoring systems showed “no downtime in the last three weeks,” she told the BBC.Ms Burphy said a single local operator, believed to be the Lonestar Cell mobile network, had been subjected to intermittent web attacks that had affected its ability to provide net access.Lonestar, which has a 50 percent market share, said in a release in Monrovia, that it had been hit by so-called Distributed Denial of Service attacks that sought to overwhelm its network.“We have continued to react and restore service to each incident as it happens,” it said. Liberia has been repeatedly cut off from the internet by hackers targeting its only link to the global network. Recurrent attacks up to November 3 flooded the cable link with data, making net access intermittent.Researchers said the attacks showed hackers trying different ways to use massive networks of hijacked machines to overwhelm high-value targets.Experts said Liberia was attacked by the same group that caused web-wide disruption on October 21.Those attacks were among the biggest ever seen and made it hard to reach big web firms such as Twitter, Spotify and Reddit.The attacks were the first to send overwhelming amounts of data from weakly protected devices, such as webcams and digital video recorders that had been enrolled into what is known as a botnet.A botnet variant called Mirai was identified by security firms as being the tool used to find and compromise the insecure devices. The source code for Mirai has been widely shared and many malicious hacker groups have used it to seek out vulnerable devices they can take over and use to mount what are known as Distributed Denial of Service attacks. “There’re multiple different botnets, each with a different owner,” security researcher Kevin Beaumont told the BBC. “Many are very low-skilled. Some are much better.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Huskies release game schedule, important dates for 2015/2016 season

first_imgToday may be the first day of summer but hockey season is officially just over two months away. The Fort St. John Huskies have released their game schedule for the upcoming season, as well as important dates for the year.Things will get started with the club’s training camp and rookie camp August 28-30 at the Pomeroy Sport Centre. The annual Skate with the Huskies is slated for November 20, and Fill the Bus in support of the community’s less fortunate will be held on December 6.Any players currently not on the team’s roster but wanting to take part in rookie camp are encouraged to contact general manager Jeremy Clothier at 250-793-0978.- Advertisement -The team’s schedule for the 2015/2016 NWJHL season is as follows:October 4 @ BeaverlodgeOctober 9 vs SexsmithAdvertisement October 10 @ Grande PrairieOctober 16 vs BeaverlodgeOctober 17 @ Grande PrairieOctober 23 @ FairviewAdvertisement November 18 @ Dawson CreekNovember 21 vs FairviewNovember 27 vs BeaverlodgeNovember 28 vs SexsmithDecember 2 @ Dawson CreekAdvertisement October 24 @ SexsmithNovember 7 @ Grande PrairieNovember 10 vs FairviewNovember 14 vs Grande PrairieNovember 15 vs Peace RiverAdvertisement December 4 @ BeaverlodgeDecember 5 vs FairviewDecember 8 vs Dawson CreekDecember 12 @ Peace RiverDecember 13 @ Peace RiverDecember 18 vs Dawson CreekDecember 19 vs SexsmithJanuary 8 @ FairviewJanuary 9 @ SexsmithJanuary 16 vs Grande PrairieJanuary 17 @ Peace RiverJanuary 22 vs Grande PrairieJanuary 23 @ BeaverlodgeJanuary 26 vs Dawson CreekJanuary 29 @ FairviewJanuary 30 @ SexsmithFebruary 3 @ Dawson CreekFebruary 6 vs BeaverlodgeFebruary 13 vs Peace RiverFebruary 14 vs Peace Riverlast_img read more

Fassbender stops in Fort St. John as part of K-12 Innovation Tour

first_imgEducation Minister Peter Fassbender is in Fort St. John today, his fourth stop on the K-12 Innovation Tour. The purpose of the tour is to communicate with education leaders on how the government can support innovative learning opportunities for students in this area of the province.His day began with a stop at North Peace Secondary School where he took in a presentation by students on the benefits of School District 60’s dual credit program, in conjunction with Northern Opportunities. Students discussed topics surrounding skills and career training, the benefits of connecting them with local industries, and the role of Northern Lights College in the process.Afterwards Minister Fassbender, along with Peace River North MLA and members of School District went to the Pomeroy Hotel to announce $7 million in funding to purchase land for three new schools in Fort St. John. The schools will be two elementary schools and a middle school.- Advertisement -In a release Fassbender said, “This fourth stop on the Innovation Tour is important because Fort St. John and the Peace River region offer some great examples of the need for more advanced skilled trades workers to support the thriving industries in the area. As more families move here for jobs, we are seeing a demand for new K-12 student space. The site acquisitions announced today are demonstrations of the commitments we are making to this growing region.”Mlast_img read more

2016 off to a dry start: Airport Weather Station

first_imgIt posted 8.1 millimetres on Jan. 20, 1965, at the end, of what truly could have been called a week long global warming period.The high temperature reached 10.6 degrees on Jan. 15, and the eight day average, beginning on the Jan. 13, and ending on the Jan. 20, was seven degrees.What was really remarkable about that January was the fact that the average high, for the 12 days prior to the warm spell was -28.6 — with seven consecutive days, beginning on the Jan. 2, when the high never reached -30, and hit -38.9 twice, the overnight low.Believe or not, that was the high temperature in Fort St. John on Jan. 30, 1947 — when the airport station recorded its coldest ever reading, of -47.2, and the overnight lows were never better than -40 for four consecutive days.Advertisement FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — According to the latest posts from the airport weather station, 2016 is off to a very slow start in terms of local precipitation.We are already more than half way through January and the station has recorded less than 20 per cent of both the snowfall and precipitation monthly averages.The amounts through yesterday were posted as five centimetres and 4.2 millimetres, respectively, as compared to 32.7 and 25.4, the January norms.- Advertisement -The month-to-date totals are also lagging far behind those of last year, when the January norms were exceeded in the first two days of the month and the ten day totals were nearly 50 centimetres of snow and 50 millimetres of precipitation.Environment Canada’s seven-day forecast is now predicting we could add to the current totals in three of the next four days with the chance of flurries today, Thursday, and Friday.It’s also worth remembering that in this area rain is not out of the question at this time of year, and Wednesday will mark the 51st anniversary of the heaviest one day January rainfall recorded at the airport station.Advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgTHE community in Killybegs is in a state of shock and disbelief this evening following the death today of a fish factory worker.The employee died after being trapped in machinery at the Sean Ward Fish Exports company in the Donegal town.An ambulance was summonsed to the scene shortly after 3.20pm. A 21-year-old Donegal man, from 6kms away, was later pronounced dead.Gardai were also there and have informed the Health and Safety Authority as a matter of routine.TD Thomas Pringle, who lives in the fishing village, said the community is coming to terms with the news.“It is an awful shock and of course my sympathies go to the family of this man,” he said. The Ward factory is a well-respected and well-known local employer. COMMUNITY IN SHOCK AFTER MAN DIES IN FISH FACTORY ACCIDENT was last modified: January 11th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:accidentdonegalfish exportsGardaiKillybegssean wardlast_img read more


first_imgAs part of the build-up to Donegal’s historic All-Ireland finals three girls from fourth class in St. Columba’s National School, Ballylast have added their own words to this popular song. Here they perform the song, “Donegal Abú” accompanied by their classmates. And what a great effort it is in support of Jim and the lads. Simply click on the video to see the pupils in full voice!COUNTDOWN TO CROKER: DDTV – BALLYLAST GIVE IT A BLAST FOR SAM! was last modified: September 17th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallylastdonegalSt Columba’s National Schoollast_img read more

Donegal to welcome European delegates for CPMR Political Bureau Meeting

first_imgUp to 80 delegates from across Europe will be arriving in Donegal later today for the Conference of the Peripheral Maritime Region (CPMR) Political Bureau Meeting which is set to take place in Harvey’s Point tomorrow, Thursday.This meeting of political representatives from across Europe will focus on a range of issues including the future of European Territorial Co-operation, the future on Ten-T’s as well as Fisheries and the EMFF for the Post 2020 period.Donegal County Council has been a member of the CPMR since 1998 working in joint membership with the North West Regional Assembly.  The CPMR brings together some 160 regions from 25 states from the European Union and beyond ensuring that the needs and interests of its member regions are taken into account in policies with a high territorial impact focusing mainly on social, economic and territorial cohesion, maritime policies and blue growth and accessibility. Through its extensive network of contacts within the EU institutions and national governments, the CPMR has been an important vehicle for Donegal in helping ensure that the county’s interests are taken on board in the formulation of policies that could have a significant impact for the region.Newly elected Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Nicholas Crossan believes that it is particularly timely for Donegal to be hosting this meeting of the CPMR’s political bureau saying “we are delighted that Donegal has been chosen as the host location for this meeting of the CPMR’s Political Bureau.  We are entering a period of unprecedented change within the EU with programmes reaching a conclusion and new programmes being developed and introduced.  It is imperative that we have an effective mechanism to highlight the needs and interests of our own county and region so that these can be taken on board in the planning of future EU programmes and policies.”The Political Bureau is the main decision maker of the CPMR, meeting twice a year and proposing policy guidelines for the General Assembly.  Panel discussions at this week’s meeting will cover a number of areas including the future of European Territorial Co-operation, the future on Ten-T’s, Fisheries and the EMFF for the Post 2020 period, Governance of Migration Policy and a strategic plan to anticipate the future direction of the EU.Cllr. Niamh Kennedy the new CPMR representative from Donegal County Council and the recently elected Leas Chathaoirleach explains that many of the topics being discussed at this week’s meeting are of particular relevance to Donegal saying “the topics tabled for discussion have a direct relevance for Donegal and it is important that we have a strong and effective voice at the table.  This is a great opportunity for Donegal to showcase what the county has to offer as a place to visit, to do business in and to live in and for delegates to see first-hand the impact that progressive EU programmes and policies can have on people living in a peripheral region such as Donegal.” Delegates are being encouraged to fly into Donegal Airport to experience for themselves the world’s most scenic landing with transfers being arranged from the Airport to Donegal Town.  They will be warmly welcomed at a reception hosted by Donegal County Council’s Cathaoirleach in Harvey’s Point this evening (Wednesday) and will have an opportunity to explore some of Donegal’s most stunning landscapes with a visit to Sliabh Liag on Friday morning.Donegal to welcome European delegates for CPMR Political Bureau Meeting was last modified: June 12th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Pristine Wood Found in Diamond Crater

first_imgA kimberlite crater in Canada, said to be 53 million years old, yielded exquisitely preserved unfossilized wood.Miners were digging for diamonds and found unfossilized wood encased in the rock.  Diamonds are usually found in kimberlite dikes that erupt the gems rapidly from deep in the earth in “explosive phreatomagmatic events” (1/12/2012, 5/07/2007).  The discovery was reported on PLoS ONE by Wolfe et al. (“Pristine Early Eocene Wood Buried Deeply in Kimberlite from Northern Canada,” PLoS ONE 7(9): e45537. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045537):We report exceptional preservation of fossil wood buried deeply in a kimberlite pipe that intruded northwestern Canada’s Slave Province 53.3±0.6 million years ago (Ma), revealed during excavation of diamond source rock. The wood originated from forest surrounding the eruption zone and collapsed into the diatreme before resettling in volcaniclastic kimberlite to depths >300 m, where it was mummified in a sterile environment. Anatomy of the unpermineralized wood permits conclusive identification to the genus Metasequoia (Cupressaceae). The wood yields genuine cellulose and occluded amber, both of which have been characterized spectroscopically and isotopically. From cellulose δ18O and δ2H measurements, we infer that Early Eocene paleoclimates in the western Canadian subarctic were 12–17°C warmer and four times wetter than present. Canadian kimberlites offer Lagerstätte-quality preservation of wood from a region with limited alternate sources of paleobotanical information.The genus Metasequoia includes the dawn redwood, a “living fossil” rediscovered in China.  “Metasequoia was common in southern Alaska in the Late Paleocene and Early Eocene, producing a rich record of foliage and cones,” they said.  Fossils are rare in the discovery region due to extensive denudation and erosion by subsequent glaciers.  Finding warm-climate conifer wood in a glaciated environment indicates huge climatic changes over time, and periods that supported extensive forestation in spite of much higher relative temperatures.Fossil material can fall into a kimberlite crater as a result of the eruption, or can be washed in later.  Both mechanisms occurred in the many kimberlite pipes in the region.  Numerous pieces of fossil wood have been found by diamond miners over the years.  The authors believe the “exceptional” sample they analyzed was entombed at the time of eruption:We envisage that the source tree collapsed into the diatreme at the time of kimberlite emplacement. The great depth of burial suggests that it entered a narrow marginal boundary layer between the blast zone and the wall rock before becoming entombed. We consider the wood to be representative of the Early Eocene forest growing at the site at the time of magmatism. The lack of permineralization suggests that burial was rapid, and that little post-eruptive thermal or tectonic alteration has occurred at the locality.Photographs of the wood tissues in the paper show clear cellular tissues at the microscopic level that retain their original material (“unpermineralized”), including tracheids and parenchyma cells.  Most surprising was original cellulose, still intact:Cellulose preservation in fossil conifers varies tremendously given the labile nature of constituent polysaccharides, mandating the need for quality control prior to isotopic analysis…. To our knowledge, this is the oldest verified instance of α-cellulose preservation to date, testifying to the remarkable preservation potential of kimberlite-hosted wood.Amber fragments were also found within the wood.  How could such delicate features survive a high-temperature eruption?Despite the relatively subtle features attributed to thermal alteration noted above, we find little evidence that either the quality of cellulose preservation or the isotopic signatures of the various analyzed fractions have been overprinted. We thus envisage that cooling of the igneous body following emplacement in the diatreme was extremely rapid, potentially near-instantaneous, and surmise that any chemical changes to the entombed organic matter occurred in a closed system.From oxygen isotope ratios, they inferred that the forest lived in a much warmer climate with rainfall four times higher than today.  “The state of preservation of this wood is unequalled for material of this age, as exemplified by the exquisite quality of anatomical detail and the presence of α-cellulose,” they said, using used the word “remarkable” three times in the paper.  The crater was dated by the rubidium-strontium isochron method to be 53.3 million years old.Update 9/22/2012: Live Science reported on the discovery.  The article includes a photo of the specimen; it looks like a good-size chunk of firewood.  The tree lived in a “swampier past” it said, noteworthy for the high latitude today (Northwest Territories); the fragment was found 1,000 feet down in the kimberlite pipe.Well, this should raise some eyebrows.  Original intact cellulose 53.3 million years old?  Here’s another opportunity for skeptics of the Moyboy Club (millions-of-years, billions-of-years) to look critically at this evidence.  How long can original cellulose survive intact?  You can’t even keep it in your freezer for a century.   The problem is not the data, but the story painted over it to make it look ancient, like an antiquing trick. (For reasons why isochron dating methods can produce fictitious results that are meaningless, see the 1/12/2005 entry.)The millions-of-years riff adds nothing.  It’s like waving a magic wand over the observations to hypnotize the reader into thinking the wood must be incredibly ancient.  Why?  Because Darwin needs the time.  Well, Darwin skeptics don’t.  Notice how everything else in the story was rapid: explosive eruption, tree falls in that same minute, cools “instantaneously,” — 53 million yearzzzzzzzzz — quick discovery of intact cellulose in 2012.The authors didn’t think to look for carbon 14 in the wood, undoubtedly, because they believe (based on their commitment to deep time) that it would be hopeless – all traces of carbon 14 should be long gone.  Here’s an experiment someone should undertake.  If these scientists got samples, there must be many others.  Someone go look for carbon 14.  Remember, the Moyboys were wrong before.  They thought Metasequoia died out 20 million years ago, only to find them alive and well in China.  Now you can buy dawn redwoods at the local nursery.  Grow this “living fossil” in your yard as a living lesson in the fallibility of experts. 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It’s Google Chrome Day! Extensions & Mac Version Available Now

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market marshall kirkpatrick A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… If you haven’t tried Chrome yet, you really should. Poor little Firefox is a great community project and has done wonders for the web, but it’s grown bloated and slow over the years. Chrome was built with web applications, not pages, in mind. It runs separate processes in each tab so one tab can’t drag down or crash the others. The latest builds of Chromium for Mac are outperforming Firefox with Javascript (key for responsiveness) by up to 10 times. In other words, Chrome runs circles around Firefox. It makes us sad, but most of the ReadWriteWeb staff now runs Chrome or Chromium and we’ve been on the edge of our seats for the launch of extensions.Now we’ll see how a Chrome loaded down with extensions can do. Google says it shouldn’t be a problem: “Chromium’s extensive performance monitoring infrastructure has helped us ensure extensions affect Google Chrome’s speed as little as possible.” Tags:#Browsers#news#NYT#web Related Posts Google Chrome may be the best browser on the market. It’s faster and more stable than Firefox and today began opening up to user modification with the availability of more than 300 browser extensions. Official Mac and Linux versions were just made available today as well.Can Chrome remain so much stronger than Firefox once a pile of extensions or added on? That’s the question and now is your chance to start finding out the answer. It’s been more than a year since Google launched Chrome, but today is a big day for the browser.The one bit of bad news is that neither the official Mac version nor the developer version we’ve been testing for months – called Chromium – are allowed to install extensions from the official extension directory. You can, however, get a good view of the breadth of extensions available, and many extensions have links to their developer sites where you can find Mac installs unencumbered. You should probably just install Chromium, savvy readers. If you’re on a Mac, download this app that TechCrunch made to easily upgrade your developer install with just a click at any time.In the mean time, the independent site remains a great place to find extensions for your browser. The site is crawling right now, though.I’m currently using GleeBox, TooManyTabs and Glue. How about you? Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more