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zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Algoma Owner and operator of dry and liquid bulk carriers Algoma Central Corporation inked a definitive agreement to acquire the interest held by Oldendorff Carriers GMBH & Co. in the CSL International Pool, including the three vessels owned by Oldendorff operating in the pool. As a result of the transaction, Algoma’s interest in the pool will increase to approximately 40%. The company currently owns five vessels operating in the pool.The pool consists of 18 self-unloading vessels ranging from handy-sized to panamax and provides specialized shipping services to customers along the coasts of the Americas and in the Caribbean.As a result of this transaction, Algoma will acquire the handy-sized m/v Alice Oldendorff, and the m/v Harmen Oldendorff and the m/v Sophie Oldendorff, both of which are panamax vessels, for USD 100 million. The deal is expected to close late in the second quarter of 2019.“Increasing our participation in the pool has been a strategic interest for Algoma for some time and the completion of this transaction is aligned with that intent,” said Ken Bloch Soerensen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Algoma.“During 2018, we assumed technical management of our existing pool ships and opened a new office in Fort Lauderdale with an expanded technical staff. We expect to assume technical management of these three ships seamlessly on closing.”Algoma expects to fund the transaction principally from the proceeds of the refund guarantees from the cancellation of four Croatian shipbuilding contracts.“Redeploying the proceeds of the refund guarantees in this manner enables us to put those funds to work quickly in a business we know well with attractive returns,” said Peter Winkley, Chief Financial Officer of Algoma.“Although a decision is pending on the replacement of the vessels that were to have been built by Uljanik shipyard, we expect to fund any instalments required on such replacement contracts from operating cash flows and available credit facilities.”The company cancelled four ships at Uljanik last year as the struggling Criatian shipyard was making very slow progress on the construction. The first contract for the construction of one Equinox self-unloader was rescinded in September 2018. Three more cancellations of Equinox vessel contracts followed suit in October 2018.According to Soerensen, the cancellations eliminated CAD 145 million (USD 110 million) of commitments and CAD 112 million of installment refunds was expected.
After the Task force on Systemic Pesticides (TFSP) published their definitive analysis that neonics cause serious risks to bees and other beneficial species – such as butterflies, earthworms and birds – activist David Suzuki is calling on government to ban neonics in Canada.The TFSP, made up of international scientists concerned about the impact of pesticides on biodiversity and ecosystems, concluded a four-year analysis of 800 peer reviewed studies on neonics.“Unlike other pesticides, which remain on the surface of treated foliage, systemic pesticides are taken up by the plant and transported to all the tissues (leaves, flowers, roots and stems, as well as pollen and nectar),” says TFSP.Designed to kill aphids and grubs, neonics are ‘systemic’ pesticides that disrupt the central nervous systems of insects. But according to TFSP, they are still toxic even at very low doses and remain in place for months on average, resulting in exposure to non-target organisms, and because they are water-soluble, they run off into aquatic habitats easily.They affect the species that “chew the plant, sip its sap, drink its nectar, eat its pollen or fruit, [… causing] impaired sense of smell or memory; reduced fecundity; altered feeding behaviour and reduced food intake including reduced foraging in bees; altered tunneling behaviour in earthworms; difficulty in flight and increased susceptibility to disease.”The EU has already placed restrictions on their use. Suzuki wants to see an outright ban on neonics in Canada.“Bees may be small,” says Suzuki, “but they play a big role in human health and survival. Some experts say one of every three bites of food we eat depends on them. The insects pollinate everything from apples and zucchini to blueberries and almonds. If bees and other pollinators are at risk, entire terrestrial ecosystems are at risk, and so are we.”You can join the David Suzuki Foundation’s petition to the Canadian government to ban bee-killing pesticides here.Copyright ©2014Look to the Stars
This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 13 2018If patients return to Dr. Crystal Bowe soon after taking medication for a sexually transmitted infection, she usually knows the reason: Their partners have re-infected them.”While you tell people not to have sex until both folks are treated, they just don’t wait,” she said. “So they are passing the infection back and forth.”That’s when Bowe, who practices on both sides of the North and South Carolina border, does something doctors are often reluctant to do: She prescribes the partners antibiotics without meeting them.Federal health officials have recommended this practice, known as expedited partner therapy, for chlamydia and gonorrhea since 2006. It allows doctors to prescribe medication to their patients’ partners without examining them. The idea is to prevent the kind of reinfections described by Bowe — and stop the transmission of STDs to others.However, many physicians aren’t taking the federal government’s advice because of entrenched ethical and legal concerns.”Health care providers have a long tradition of being hesitant to prescribe to people they haven’t seen,” said Edward Hook, professor at the University of Alabama’s medical school in Birmingham. “There is a certain skepticism.”A nationwide surge of sexually transmitted diseases in recent years, however, has created a sense of urgency for doctors to embrace the practice. STD rates have hit an all-time high, according to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. In 2017, the rate of reported gonorrhea cases increased nearly 19 percent from a year earlier to 555,608. The rate of chlamydia cases rose almost 7 percent to 1.7 million.”STDs are everywhere,” said Dr. Cornelius Jamison, a lecturer at the University of Michigan Medical School. “We have to figure out how to … prevent the spread of these infections. And it’s necessary to be able to treat multiple people at once.”A majority of states allow expedited partner therapy. Two states — South Carolina and Kentucky — prohibit it, and six others plus Puerto Rico lack clear guidance for physicians.A 2014 study showed that patients were as much as 29 percent less likely to be re-infected when their physicians prescribed medication to their partners. The study also showed that partners who got those prescriptions were more likely to take the drugs than ones who were simply referred to a doctor.Yet only about half of providers reported ever having prescribed drugs to the partners of patients with chlamydia, and only 10 percent said they always did so, according to a different study. Chlamydia rates were higher in states with no law explicitly allowing partner prescriptions, research published earlier this year showed.Because of increasing antibiotic resistance to gonorrhea, the CDC no longer recommends oral antibiotics alone for the infection. But if patients’ partners can’t go in for the recommended treatment, which includes an injection, the CDC said that oral antibiotics by themselves are better than no treatment at all.”Increasing resistance plus increasing disease rates is a recipe for disaster,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. The partner treatment is important for “combating the rising rates of gonorrhea in the U.S. before it’s too late.”The CDC recommendations are primarily for heterosexual partners because there is less data on the effectiveness of partner treatment in men who sleep with men, and because of concern about HIV risk.Bowe said that even though she writes STD prescriptions for her patients’ partners, she still worries about possible drug allergies or side effects.”I don’t know their medical conditions,” she said. “I may contribute to a problem down the road that I’m going to be held liable for.”In many cases, doctors and patients simply do not know about partner therapy. Ulysses Rico, who lives in Coachella, Calif., said he contracted gonorrhea several years ago and was treated by his doctor. He didn’t know at the time that he could have requested medicine for his girlfriend. She was reluctant to go to her doctor and instead got the required antibiotics through a friend who worked at a hospital.Related StoriesResearchers analyze link between videogame addiction and school inadaptationNew app created to help people reduce exposure to anticholinergic medicationsComputers, games, crafting keep the aging brain sharp”It would have been so much easier to handle the situation for both of us at the [same] moment,” Rico said.Several medical associations support partner treatment. But they acknowledge the ethical issues, saying it should be used only if the partners are unable or unwilling to come in for care.Federal officials are trying to raise awareness of the practice by training doctors and other medical professionals, said Laura Bachmann, chief medical officer of the CDC’s office of STD prevention. The agency posts a map with details about the practice in each state.Over the past several years, advocates have won battles state-by-state to get partner treatment approved, but implementation is challenging and varies widely, said Harvey, whose National Coalition of STD Directors is a member organization that works to eliminate sexually transmitted diseases.The fact that some states don’t allow it, or haven’t set clear guidelines for physicians, also creates confusion — and disparities across state lines.The Planned Parenthood affiliate that serves Indiana and Kentucky sees this firsthand, said clinical services director Emilie Theis. In Indiana, providers can legally write prescriptions for their patients’ partners, but they are prohibited from doing so in Kentucky, even though the clinics are only a short drive apart, she noted. A similar dynamic is at play along the South Carolina-North Carolina border, where Bowe practices.California started allowing partner treatment for chlamydia in 2001 and for gonorrhea in 2007. The state gives medication to certain safety-net clinics, a program it expanded three years ago. However, “it has been an incredibly difficult sell” because many medical providers think “it’s a little bit outside of the traditional practice of medicine,” said Heidi Bauer, chief of the STD control branch of California’s public health department.At APLA Health, which runs several health clinics in the Los Angeles area, nurse practitioner Karla Taborga occasionally gives antibiotics to patients for their partners. But she tries to get the partners into the clinic first, because she worries they might also be at risk for other sexually transmitted infections.”If we are just treating for chlamydia, we could be missing gonorrhea, syphilis or, God forbid, HIV,” Taborga said. But if prescribing the drugs without seeing the patients is the only way to treat them, she said, “it’s better than nothing.”Edith Torres, a Los Angeles resident, said she pressured her then-husband to go to the doctor after he gave her chlamydia several years ago: She refused to have sex with him until he did. Torres said she wanted him to hear directly from the doctor about the risks of STDs and how they are transmitted.If he had taken the medication without a doctor visit, he wouldn’t have learned those things, she said. “I was scared, and I didn’t want to get it again.”KHN’s coverage in California is supported in part by Blue Shield of California Foundation.
The Falcons have another key piece of their defense locked down.Atlanta extended linebacker Deion Jones on a four-year deal, the team announced Wednesday. NFL-NFLPA end ‘productive’ talks about new CBA early, report says The new contract is worth $57 million, with $34 million of that guaranteed, his agent told ESPN.Falcons are signing LB Deion Jones a four-year, $57 million extension, including $34 million guaranteed, @RosenhausSports tells ESPN. Jones is now tied to the Falcons through the 2023 season.- Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 17, 2019The Falcons’ announcement comes two days after the team agreed to terms with Grady Jarrett, who had the franchise tag placed on him. Jarrett agreed to a four-year deal worth a reported $68 million. Related News Jones, 24, was selected in the second round of the 2016 draft by Atlanta. He missed 10 games last season due to a foot injury, but was able to return for the latter part of the year. Falcons, Grady Jarrett reach 4-year deal before franchise tag deadline In three seasons in the NFL, Jones has 297 tackles, 27 pass defenses, 15 tackles for a loss, eight interceptions and three touchdowns. He would have been a free agent in 2020.Atlanta is working on a contract extension with the team’s top wideout, Julio Jones, as well. It has been reported that both sides are trying to come to an agreement before training camp starts next week.
SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS COMMENT Published on local elections Army, police top brass review security situation SHARE Jammu and Kashmir Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra issued notification on Monday for conduct of fourth and final phase of the upcoming municipal polls in the state. The notification has been issued for various wards of the municipal bodies across the state which are slated to go to the polls in the fourth phase on October 16, an official spokesperson said. According to the notification, the last date for filing nominations is October 1, while the scrutiny of nominations is October 3, he said.He said the last date for withdrawal of candidature is October 5 and counting of votes will be done on October 20. Reviwing securityDirector General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir Dilbagh Singh and the valley’s top army official Lt Gen A K Bhatt on Monday reviewed the security situation ahead of local bodies and panchayat elections at a meeting in Handwara of Kupwara district of the state.The meeting was also attended by GOC Kilo Force Maj Gen D P Pandey, IGP CRPF Zulfikar Hassan, IGP Kashmir Zone S P Pani, SP Handwara Ashish Mishra and Commandants of Army and CRPF.Addressing the officers, the DGP emphasised that the existing cooperation and synergy between different forces is to be further strengthened to combat the terrorism and also to ensure smooth conduct of the local governance elections. Singh expressed happiness that the synergy exhibited by the security forces at the ground level is the best model of success for any force.“Irrespective of the colour of uniforms, all forces are doing their best in service of the nation,” he said.The DGP said improvement in the situation has been made possible by the sacrifices and good work of all the forces. “The anti-infiltration operations on borders by the Army have proved very successful as a number of terrorists who were infiltrating into the State were killed,” he said hailing the role of the CRPF in assisting the police in maintaining law and order. September 24, 2018
SHARE Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday expressed concern over the manner in which the Judiciary and Speakers of Legislatures were dealing with cases of political defections and said it needed to be disposed of within a “specific timeframe.” He also advocated a need for an amendment to the Anti-Defection Law, setting a specific timeframe for disposing of defection cases. “Cant we understand when a person changes his (political) flag, colour, leader and slogan and goes ahead,” he asked. Courts too admit petitions and put off the “next hearing” to “next year so and so date,” he said. “They don’t deliver judgements in time. Courts should admit petitions only if they have time and deliver judgement quickly. If they have no time, they should leave it. But they are doing neither this nor that. This is a matter of grave concern,” the Vice President said. Referring to criminal and election-related cases against peoples representatives, he said tribunals and special courts should be set up to deal with and dispose of all such cases within a year. “Priority should be given to cases in which certain persons are facing allegations because they are going to be our leaders. They should be disposed of within one year,” the VP said. COMMENTS Published on December 05, 2018 politics courts and legal M Venkaiah Naidu (file photo). SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT