Kirkby Thore Village Hall Wednesdays 18 and 25 July and 1 August between 5pm and 7pm Appleby Public Hall, Boroughgate, Thursdays 12 and 19 July between 5pm and 7pm Highways England’s New Squares, Penrith, office, every Friday evening until 31 August between 5pm and 7pm Major road reconstruction between Kirkby Thore and Low Moor east of Penrith, will start on Friday 7 September. It involves 7 successive weekend closures of the road – overnight between each Friday and the following Monday. Highways England is also using the opportunity to do other repairs and maintenance during the 17 days of work.Highways England project manager Stephen Mason said: The A66 between Kirkby Thore and Low Moor is on very old foundations and the carriageway needs total reconstruction and resurfacing to bring it up to modern standards. This will provide a long-term fix to road surface issues we have had here over the last few years but we cannot do the work safely on this single carriageway section of the A66 without fully closing the road. We appreciate this will inconvenience some road users but we’ll be taking advantage of the closures to do as much work as possible here and at other locations which will spare drivers future inconvenience. Highways England is reassuring drivers that diversions for different types of vehicles are being carefully planned and will be publicised in advance.Mr Mason said: To explain the work, Highways England engineers are attending Brough, Temple Sowerby, Morland and Bolton parish council meetings over the next fortnight. Staff will also be staging several public drop-in sessions including: Highways England has been carefully planning the work for months, including speaking to local councils, businesses and other key stakeholders.As well as the work along a ½ mile section of the route between Kirkby Thore and Low Moor, other resurfacing work will be taking place at: Closing the road sounds daunting but many of the lorries and other commercial traffic will be re-routed along the A69 and can also use the M62 further south. Diversions for other traffic, including for people on local journeys, will be available from the A66 itself. M6 junction 40, Skirsgill roundabout Kemplay roundabout and spurs Temple Sowerby Bypass eastbound and westbound carriageways Sandford to Walkmill bends Kirkby Thore to Long Marton junction Brougham to Kemplay roundabout (westbound) Anyone who is interested in the project can contact Highways England at [email protected] or 0300 123 5000.General enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.
Housed in a small office on the edge of St. Joseph’s lake, the Holy Cross Mission Center’s web stretches across the globe.Recently, center director Fr. Mike DeLaney attended World Youth Day in Panama where he and Holy Cross representatives from eight different countries held a vocations fair from Jan. 22 to 26. According to a release from the Congregation of Holy Cross, the fair, which centered on the theme “I am the Servant of the Lord,” was created to engage young people spiritually and help guide them in vocational discernment.“It gave me the opportunity all day every day to meet with young people,” DeLaney said. “I personally talked with people from over 65 countries.”The center is sponsored by the United States Province of the Congregation of the Holy Cross. According to its website, four main institutions of higher learning are affiliated with the religious order in the United States: Notre Dame, University of Portland, King’s College and Stonehill College. At each of its locations around the country and world, Holy Cross supports education, vocational discernment and community service. Holy Cross parishes, schools, social ministries — which include anything from youth programs to medical clinics — and other forms of outreach have been established in countries around the world, DeLaney said. “We have many roles. One is to help support what was traditionally called missionary activity of the Church — over time the words have changed a bit — but what that does is it takes us to the places internationally where we serve: in Asia, primarily in Bangladesh; in Africa — Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana; and in Latin America, especially Chile and Peru. But we also do work with other countries such as Haiti, India, Brazil and Mexico,” DeLaney said. Along with its missionary work, the Congregation of the Holy Cross has also established schools in the countries it serves.“We have our donors and our benefactors — always a big part of it — but what we try to do here at the Mission Center is to raise the level of internationality across our province and at our ministries,” he said. “What we’ve striven to do at the [Holy Cross] universities [is] help them understand this connection that you’re at a Holy Cross school and [these missions are] also part of Holy Cross and there’s a way to link this.”DeLaney, who has visited each country where Holy Cross missionaries serve, identified four main areas of focus for the mission center: advocacy for programs that benefit and support women and children, environmental efforts, work with immigrants, refugees and indigenous people and peace initiatives. “Our common theme is seeking peace where we can and helping people to live that way,” he said. Several Notre Dame organizations and residence halls have partnered with the center to support the Holy Cross’ global outreach. Among the many include Bengal Bouts and Baraka Bouts, which raise money for Holy Cross schools in Bangladesh and East Africa, respectively, and Howard Hall’s Totter for Water, which last fall helped fund new bathrooms for a school in Plaisance, Haiti. The University of Portland in particular raises money for many of the Holy Cross missions, DeLaney said.“Every single dorm at the University of Portland is doing at least one mission project,” he said. “At Notre Dame we’re not there yet, but the ones that are doing it are doing a great job.” DeLaney said he hopes Notre Dame’s relationship with the Holy Cross will continue to grow in the future. He said he encourages students to attend events that fund Holy Cross initiatives.He said events like Cavanaugh Hall’s annual “Cav Cornhole” and a 2K run-walk that supports a prenatal and neonatal center in Nairobi are other examples of on-campus Holy Cross fundraisers.“They raise a lot of money, but most importantly, they raise awareness,” DeLaney said. He encourages each residence hall to host a Holy Cross Mission Center project and for students to remember the important work the Holy Cross does.“I don’t consider what we do charity work,” he said. “What we are doing is assisting our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.”Aside from organizing events for residence halls and clubs, DeLaney said, a handful of Notre Dame students have done research on Holy Cross missions. Students interested in conducting research for Holy Cross may consult the center for resources or even travel to Holy Cross satellites to do research in other countries. He said one student is currently doing a project on environmental issues in Latin America and their effects on indigenous people.“One of the things we really strive to do with our colleges, for example, is to look to support these projects so our students can do good work,” he said. “Maybe it pertains to their major but they also see that they are connected to something bigger by being a student at Notre Dame, or Holy Cross College or Saint Mary’s, or wherever they are that they are part of something bigger and that’s called Holy Cross and where we serve in the world.”Tags: congregation of holy cross, Holy Cross Missions
Sing Evita Wearing Madonna’s Costumes Ever sung “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” (with hand movements) into your bathroom mirror and thought something was lacking? The Hollywood Reporter may have the answer: apparently more than 30 items the Material Girl wore in the 1996 movie adaptation of the Tony-winning tuner will be auctioned on November 7 and 8. Just a little touch of star quality can be yours, quite literally! Billy Crystal HBO’s New Musical Comedy HBO’s Game of Thrones is all well and good, but where are the song and dance numbers? Although it’s unlikely that the occupants of Westeros and Essos will be belting out ballads anytime soon, HBO is developing a new half-hour musical comedy from Girls writer-producer Bruce Eric Kaplan, Sing With Me. Deadline reports that it will be Los Angeles based and focus on three generations of women. Andrea Martin Watch the (Slightly Different) International Annie Trailer A new international Annie trailer has been released—take a look below and watch out for a few more glimpses of Rose Byrne (about to make her Broadway debut in You Can’t Take It With You). We have to admit that a) we now have “Tomorrow” on the brain yet again and b) we’re really looking forward to seeing Byrne along with Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Quvenzhane Wallis in the title role, when the movie musical hits theaters on December 19. Working the Engels, Starring Andrea Martin, Canceled by NBC It’s the end of the road for Tony winner Andrea Martin’s Canadian family comedy, Working the Engels. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the TV series, which also featured Tony winner Martin Short in a guest-starring role, won’t be renewed for a second season by NBC. However, you can soon catch Martin discussing her Lady Parts with Nathan Lane and in her return to Pippin on Broadway. Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Billy Crystal to Honor Robin Williams at Emmy Awards Billy Crystal will lead the tribute to fellow stage and screen star Robin Williams at the Primetime Emmy Awards on August 25. Oscar winner and Broadway alum Williams, who died of suspected suicide on August 11, will be honored during the “In Memoriam” segment, which will be accompanied with music by Sara Bareilles. View Comments Star Files
New York’s ambitious offshore wind plans can benefit from advances in Europe FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:New York state will look to the world leader in offshore wind deployment for advice on how to connect sea-based projects to mainland grids.European nations have together installed nearly 16,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity. The United States has thus far managed just one 30-megawatt project, the Block Island Wind Farm, off Rhode Island.Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office announced that the New York Power Authority (NYPA) would lead a study of successful offshore wind transmission models, particularly in Europe, to determine the most cost-effective way to build interconnections for the 2,400 megawatts of capacity to be installed off the coast of New York by 2030.“This came out of work both NYSERDA [New York State Energy Research and Development Authority] and NYPA had been doing to try to investigate how New York state can bring down the cost of offshore wind and reach the governor’s offshore wind target, 2,400 megawatts,” Robert F. Lurie, executive vice president and CFO of NYPA, told Greentech Media in an interview. “In order to do that much offshore wind,” he added, “we at NYPA felt that one of the unexplored areas for cost reduction was the transmission part of the equation.”According to New York’s offshore wind master plan, transmission could account for 30 percent of the total project costs of an offshore wind farm.In July, New York’s Public Service Commission confirmed the timeline for the first phase of the state’s offshore wind deployment. In the fourth quarter of this year, NYSERDA will issue a solicitation for 800 megawatts of offshore wind, in coordination with NYPA and the Long Island Power Authority. Winning bids are scheduled to be announced in the second quarter of 2019.According to Lurie, developers for that first 800 megawatts of offshore wind capacity will likely be responsible for building the transmission to connect the projects to onshore grids. But based on the findings of the new transmission study, different models could be employed for future projects.“In the longer term, as we build out a much higher volume of projects, we need to investigate other options for how to bring the costs down for transmission,” he said.The study aims to answer a series of questions. Who should own transmission? A public entity? One or more private entities? Or a consortium of entities? Who should finance transmission?And how should projects be connected to mainland grids? Should planners opt for radial interconnections (a single cable connecting an individual project to the onshore grid), or a networked solution in which a few major connections act as hubs to connect distant offshore projects to online transmission?Advice from EuropeSoon after New York announced the launch of its transmission models study, Wilfried Breuer published an op-ed at NJ Spotlight, a New Jersey politics and policy website, advising policymakers to follow Europe’s example and keep offshore wind project generation and transmission separate. Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order in January directing New Jersey regulators to put the state on a path to deploy 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030.Breuer is managing director of TenneT Offshore and a member of the executive board of its parent company TenneT Holding B.V. TenneT is a transmission system operator (TSO) that has connected 5,300 megawatts of offshore wind in Germany and the Netherlands to mainland grids.“Building an offshore grid separately from the wind farms and offering access to the power grid on a nondiscriminatory basis is the key to creating a level playing field for competition between offshore generators,” he wrote.He went on, “As can be seen in the declining prices offered by those generators in Germany and the Netherlands, providing access to an offshore grid stimulates innovation and cost reductions in the offshore wind industry.”More: New York Looks to Europe for Successful Offshore Wind Transmission Models
Sept 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – In a human trial in China, a whole-virus H5N1 avian influenza vaccine generated an immune response with a relatively low dose of antigen, suggesting that it could be used to immunize more people than may be possible with some other vaccines under development.The study, published online today in The Lancet, showed an adequate immune response in 78% of volunteers after two 10-microgram (mcg) doses of the vaccine plus an aluminum hydroxide (alum) adjuvant. That exceeds the European Union’s requirement of an acceptable response (a hemagglutinin-inhibition titer of 40 or more) in 70% of volunteers.The vaccine is made by Sinovac Biotech in Beijing, China, from an inactivated strain of H5N1 known as Vietnam/1194/2004. The report says that Sinovac was involved in designing and monitoring the study but played no role in collecting the data or writing the report.The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study involved 120 adults (aged 18 to 60). They were divided into five groups of 24, with each group receiving either a placebo or 1.25, 2.5, 5, or 10 mcg of the vaccine.Each volunteer received the vaccine on the first day of the study and 28 days later. Serum samples were assessed for evidence of an immune response on days 0, 14, 28, 42, and 56.An antibody response was seen after the first injection at all dose levels. The highest response (78% seropositivity) was seen in the 10-mcg group after two doses.The investigators reported that all four doses were well tolerated, even though whole-virion vaccines are generally thought to cause more reactions than split-virion vaccines. No serious reactions were reported, and most local and systemic reactions were mild and brief. Three people dropped out of the study, and one person was excluded from the final analysis.The authors concluded that the dose required to reach an acceptable immune response was much lower than for vaccines reported in previous studies. Two reports published earlier this year described trials of a split-virus H5N1 vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur. The reports said two 90-mcg doses of nonadjuvanted vaccine or two 30-mcg doses of adjuvanted vaccine were required to produce the desired immune response.(In July, GlaxoSmithKline reported a good immune response in 80% of volunteers who received a dose of only 3.8 mcg of the company’s adjuvanted H5N1 vaccine. However, a full report of those findings has not yet been published.)”The manufacturing capacity for an H5N1 vaccine would increase if a whole-virion vaccine is used, because 20% to 30% of vaccine antigen is expected to be lost during the disruption process in the preparation of split-virion vaccines, according to our experience with seasonal influenza vaccine,” the Chinese researchers write.In an accompanying commentary, Iain Stephenson, MD, of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary in Leicester, England, writes that the findings point up of “a potential dose-sparing approach that could be crucial for a global supply of pandemic vaccine.”He says that trial results for split-virion H5N1 vaccines have been disappointing, because within current manufacturing constraints, the two such vaccines under development would yield only enough to vaccinate 75 million to 225 million people.Though whole-virion vaccines generally produce a better immune response than split or subunit vaccines, development of whole-virion H5N1 vaccines has been delayed, Stephenson writes. He says it is difficult for manufacturers that produce split seasonal vaccines to switch production approaches and processing methods.Stephenson cautions that whole-virion vaccines have been associated with febrile reactions in children and emphasizes that careful investigation is needed before such vaccines can be widely used.It remains to be seen whether whole-virion vaccines can induce the broad cross-reactive response that would be needed to treat a variety of H5N1 viruses, Stephenson writes.Lin J, Zhang J, Dong X, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of an inactivated adjuvanted whole-virion influenza A (H5N1) vaccine: a phase 1 randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2006 (early online publication, Sep 7) [Abstract (registration required)]Stephenson I. H5N1 vaccines: how prepared are we for a pandemic? (Commentary). Lancet 2006 (early online publication, Sep 7)See also:May 12 CIDRAP News story “Sanofi reports results for H5N1 vaccine with adjuvant”Jul 26 CIDRAP News story “Glaxo says its H5N1 vaccine works at low dose”
De Jong agreed with Lindqvist’s second explanation. “If I travel with my company, each of us has our own interests. Some want to hike, others want to go to clubs, others just lie on the beach, and if there is a destination that offers it all, we would rather choose it. But on the other hand, it is important to have a collective experience. All destinations should set this thesisHe said. Finally, they referred to the trend of sustainable forms of travel, ie alternatives to air transport. Passengers are increasingly aware of the “carbon footprint” they leave. “In Sweden, more and more companies are promoting alternative forms of transport such as trains or bicycles. Sustainable forms of transport are no longer just a trend, they have moved to a new level”, Explains Lindqvist. Booking.com recently posted its own trend forecast which could affect the tourism industry next year. “There is already a lot of talk about electric passenger planes that should appear in the next 20 years or so. But twenty years is not a small amount and I am worried about what will happen in the meantime”, Adds de Jong. Another of the fastest growing trends in the industry are destinations that offer a large number of different experiences and attractions. “One of the more cynical explanations is the emergence of the so-called ‘copy and duplicate’ trend. In other words, almost every major destination, no matter where it is located, offers exactly the same facilities as the other. Another explanation is that too many people visit a small number of destinations, as we have already talked about”, Explained Lindqvist. Source / photo: Booking.com; Pexels When asked why travelers are less and less visiting the most famous destinations, Lindqvist answered that the biggest reason is the increase in mass tourism. He adds that he believes that travelers will increasingly choose destinations where they can take refuge and escape from the fast-paced and crowded world. “I always remember the currently very popular photos of a long line of people waiting to climb Mount Everest. It is this photo that shows how many people are attracted to the same destination”, Said Lindqvist and added:”Over the next few years, people will begin to choose smaller, unfamiliar and peaceful destinations as their holiday destination.” BOOKING.COM FORECASTS TRENDS IN THE WORLD OF TRAVEL FOR 2020 “I live in the center of Amsterdam and, if you take a closer look, you will see that there are always more tourists there than locals”, De Jong added. As for some new trends yet to emerge, de Jong predicts that trips on which they can mentally rest will become increasingly important to travelers. “People are constantly using mobile phones, laptops and tablets while they are on vacation, and they return home even more tired. In the last few years, the so-called ‘digital detox’ packages have appeared, which, interestingly, are offered by luxury hotels. I think that ‘classic’ holidays, in which we relax, rest and experience the destination without digital technologies, will return to the trend over time.”, He concluded. RELATED NEWS: Referring to technological development and its impact on the tourism industry, de Jong believes that digital assistants are the future of travel. “Computer assistants with developed emotional intelligence will be able to suggest, analyzing our behavior, vacation, or journey that is created according to our desires, interests, needs, and capabilities. But something like this will not develop before 2030, although there are already similar implementations of that ideaHe said. And what are the long-term trends in tourism, they tried in a new episode of theirs podcast, learned from futurologist Thimon de Jong and futurological pioneer Magnus Lindkvist who shared their views on these predictions – from the rise of travel to “secondary destinations” to the growing popularity of destinations with a handful of different experiences and attractions.
“The Indonesian government desires a positive outcome from this consultation process, so that the EU and other WTO member states may understand that Indonesia never had the slightest intention to hinder international trade,” the deputy minister said in a statement on Jan. 30.“We hope that the WTO member states, including the EU, can understand the reasoning behind Indonesia’s policies so the regulations may remain in place.”He added that the regulations were crucial to ensuring sustainable national mineral production as a driver of economic growth. (rfa) Deputy Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga joined delegates from the European Union and other countries at a World Trade Organization (WTO) consultation on Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland, to comply with the dispute settlement regarding the EU’s objection to a number of Indonesia’s coal and mineral policies.The consultation served as a platform for WTO member states to express their objections to and/or clarify policies deemed to run counter to the 1994 General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT), as well as those policies deemed to have had a negative impact on international trade, especially commerce within the EU.During Thursday’s meeting, EU delegates pointed out that several of Indonesia’s coal and mineral policies were particularly unfair to the union, including Energy and Mineral Resources Ministerial Regulation No. 11/2019 on the second amendment to Ministerial Regulation No. 25/2018 on the coal and mineral business. The regulation limits the nickel content of ore exports to below 1.7 percent, among other things.Read also: Indonesia to have four new smelters this year as mineral ore export ban nearsStarting this year, Indonesia is banning the export of nickel ore as a part of a government program to boost the downstream mining industry, which requires miners to process ore at a local smelter prior to exporting.Jerry addressed the concern during the consultation, reassuring the EU delegation that the policies were not intended to hinder world trade, but were instead implemented to ensure fair contribution among stakeholders in the domestic industry. Topics :
Credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service expects Indonesia’s sukuk (Islamic debt papers) issuance to increase to US$27 billion this year, from $16 billion last year, as the government seeks more financing to fund the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.Moody’s sovereign risk group lead analyst Thaddeus Best said on Tuesday that he expected Indonesia’s sukuk issuance to increase by about 68.75 percent as the government unveiled a Rp 695.2 trillion (US$47.3 billion) stimulus package to fight the pandemic.“This is based on the assumption of an increase in financing to fund the fight against COVID-19,” he said during a webinar on global Islamic finance and sukuk. To help fund the package, the government is planning to raise Rp 900.4 trillion in the second half of this year to cover for a widening budget deficit of 6.34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year.He speculated that economic stimulus measures and eases in lockdown in many countries around the world helped to improve secondary market spreads for sukuk.The option-adjusted spread of Indonesia’s US dollar-denominated government sukuk had fallen to almost 150 basis points (bps) as of July compared to its highest spread of 400 bps in March.Meanwhile, oil exporting countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar would need to increase their borrowing requirements significantly due to lower prices of oil, which contributes a large portion of both countries’ revenue. Sukuk-issuing countries such as Malaysia and Turkey, much like Indonesia, would also see a significant increase in funding needs as they need to finance their widening budget deficit to provide financial assistance to those impacted by the pandemic.“We expect these reasons will cause sovereign sukuk issuance to rise by more than 40 percent to $94 billion in 2020,” said Best.Read also: Pertamina’s Elnusa issues Rp 700b in sukuk to finance business expansionHowever, he expects that the proportion of sukuk in the funding mix of major issuers will decline this year due to the preference for conventional bond issuance over sukuk during the height of the pandemic in the second quarter of 2020.Best projects the share of sukuk financing for Indonesia to decline to 24 percent this year as opposed to 34 percent in its initial projection in March.The Finance Ministry’s director of sharia financing Dwi Irianti Hadiningdyah said on Wednesday that this year’s sukuk issuance would be higher than in 2019 as the government would need to finance the widening state budget and the national economic recovery program (PEN).Finance Ministry data show that the government issued a total of Rp 236.82 trillion in domestic sukuk as of Aug. 6. The figure almost reached the amount of sukuk issuance in 2019, which was Rp 258.28 trillion.The government in June also raised $2.5 billion from a three-tranche global sukuk offering aimed at helping the government fund the battle against the pandemic. The issuance was oversubscribed by $16.66 billion, or 6.7 times its target, reflecting a relatively strong international investor appetite for the instrument.Despite the successful global sukuk issuance, Dwi said the government would no longer issue global sukuk in the second half of this year and would focus on domestic issuance instead.“The domestic market can still fulfill the remainder of our financing need. This is proven from a high bid-to-cover ratio of four to six times on every auction,” she told The Jakarta Post.As for the overall sukuk issuance this year, Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer Nitish Bhojnagarwala said he expected a modest decline of 5 percent to $170 billion globally this year despite the coronavirus outbreak.His projection was based on a 12 percent drop in issuance during the first six months of this year due to restrained mobility in Malaysia and Indonesia to curb the spread of the pneumonia-like illness.“The outbreak reduced private sector activity in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, which resulted in slumping issuance,” he said.Bhojnagarwala, however, expects sukuk issuance volume to rebound in the second half of this year. The increase would primarily be driven by sovereign issuance.He believes the global sukuk market to have long-term potential as the current crisis could encourage potential new issuers, both sovereign or corporate, to consider access to the market to find new funding sources.The new issuers, he said, were expected to come from African countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Sudan as those countries have shown interest in issuing sukuk.Moreover, the rise of green sukuk initiatives would help to grow the global sukuk market in the long term.“We also expect an acceleration of green sukuk issuance in Malaysia and Indonesia as both countries seek to attract private capital to low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure projects,” said Bhojnagarwala.Green sukuk accounted for around 3 percent of sukuk issuance as of June, according to Moody’s. The latest issuance was a $750 million five-year instrument from the Indonesian government to finance sustainable projects. Read also: No global bonds in sight as Indonesia focuses on local debt marketTopics :
Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), which recently agreed a pension buy-in with the Aon Retirement Plan for £900m (€1.1bn), has now sealed a reinsurance deal covering longevity risk associated with the transaction with Prudential Insurance Company of America (PICA).PICA said this was the third longevity reinsurance deal it had made with PIC, and showed that there was a continuing need for longevity reinsurance under the new Solvency II regulatory regime.It said the transaction covered longevity risk associated with pension liabilities amounting to about $1.1bn (€973m) for some 2,900 pensioners across two sections of the UK’s Aon Retirement Scheme.PIC announced the Aon buy-in in May. Khurram Khan, the defined-benefit insurance specialist’s head of longevity risk, said: “This was a keenly contested process, showing continued strong demand for Pension Insurance Corporation reinsurance tenders.”Noting that the Aon deal was PIC’s first big pension insurance transaction under the new Solvency II regime, Bill McCloskey, vice president, longevity reinsurance at PICA owner PFI said: “This deal truly demonstrates that large buy-ins priced under Solvency II are still an attractive option for trustees.”
17 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Tweet HealthLifestyle Monkey HIV vaccine ‘effective’, say researchers by: – May 12, 2011 Share Share A new vaccine can protect macaques against the monkey equivalent of HIV and could provide a fresh approach to an HIV vaccine, a study suggests.US researchers say the vaccine offered protection to 13 of 24 rhesus macaques treated in the experiment.In 12 of the monkeys, the vaccine was still effective 12 months later.They claim the work, published in the journal Nature, could “significantly contribute” to the development of an effective HIV/Aids vaccine.The researchers gave 24 healthy rhesus macaques a vaccine containing a genetically modified form of the virus, rhesus cytomegalovirus (CMV).The vaccine was engineered to produce antigens to attack simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the monkey equivalent of HIV.It was shown to offer complete control against SIV within 13 of the monkeys, with half the monkeys still protected a year on.The vaccine worked by stimulating the production of a particular type of blood cell, called “effector memory T-cells”, which can remain vigilant in the body long after an infection has abated, providing long-term protection.Lead author Professor Louis J Picker, of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute in Oregon, compares these cells to armed soldiers at the ready.“There are soldiers that are back at the base with their rifles in the shed, and then you have the guys out in the field,” he told the BBC.There was also evidence, he said, that the vaccine all but eradicated traces of SIV in the monkeys, something which he said was “unprecedented” in HIV vaccine research.Safety concernsResearchers in the field welcomed the research, but said safety issues would need to be addressed before similar approaches could be tried in humans.“I’m excited by the science because it really does demonstrate that it may be possible to eradicate the HIV virus by a strong immune response,” said Professor Sir Andrew McMichael of Oxford University.“But at the same time I’m scratching my head how to take this approach into humans.”Professor McMichael said HIV arose from a type of SIV found in chimpanzees, so the animal model used in the study was a good one. The problem, he said, was the potential safety and regulatory issues with introducing CMV into humans, even though many of us already carry the virus.“CMV is not totally benign, it does cause a number of diseases. If you’re giving people something you’re not going to be able to get rid of should it cause problems, then that’s quite a difficult risk to manage.”Professor Robin Shattock of Imperial College, London, agreed safety would be key.“The breakthrough here is in using a viral-delivered vaccine that persists – essentially using an engineered virus to thwart a pathogenic virus. The tricky part will be showing it is safe and effective in humans.”Professor Picker responded by saying such issues would be addressed in forthcoming work, pointing out that early forms of the smallpox vaccine also carried health risks to humans.“On one level 99% of people in sub-Saharan Africa are CMV-positive and half the people in the developed world are, so we know at lot about it and it’s mostly non-pathogenic, except in vulnerable populations like pregnant women,” he said.“We’re fully aware to make it available to humans, then the next step is to make a virus which retains or has an enhanced ability to make effector memory cells, but no longer has the capacity to infect vulnerable parts of the population.”Vaccine failureDeveloping an HIV vaccine has so far proved a deeply challenging task, but there have been some promising results.In 2009, researchers in Thailand published in the Lancet the results of an experimental HIV vaccine, which they said reduced by nearly a third the risk of contracting HIV.Then last year, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested a drug used to treat HIV-positive patients may offer gay and bisexual men some protection against contracting the virus.Trials of the combination drug Truvada among nearly 2,500 men suggested it could reduce the chances of male-to-male HIV infection by 44%.But major breakthroughs remain hard to come by. Indeed, the new Nature study comes as a separate paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reports on the failure of an HIV vaccine trial in South Africa.The MRKAd5 HIV-1 vaccine was trialled in a study involving 801 patients, and no evidence was found that the vaccine was effective.However, the report authors concede that the study’s conclusions may have been compromised by a premature end to the trial.BBC News