Sep 6, 2011Colorado sees flurry of Listeria cases, warns publicColorado has seen an unusual surge of Listeria monocytogenes infections in recent weeks, with 9 cases reported during August, including 7 since Aug 29, with 2 deaths, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) reported on Sep 2. In the previous 11 years the state had an average of only two Listeria cases in August. All nine of the recent patients were hospitalized, the CDPHE said. They range in age from the 30s to the 90s, but most are older women. The source of the outbreak is not yet known. “Until we have more information about the sources of this outbreak, it is important for people to follow the standard CDC [US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance about Listeria,” Alicia Cronquist, a CDPHE epidemiologist, said in the press release. People at high risk for infection include those with weak immune systems, pregnant women, and those older than 60. Cronquist said they can decrease their risk by avoiding hot dogs and deli meats unless reheated to 165ºF, refrigerated pate or meat spreads, refrigerated smoked seafood, and soft cheeses unless they are made with pasteurized milk.Sep 2 CDPHE press releaseUS consumers handling food more safely but score low in safe consumptionUS consumers’ practices related to safe food handling improved significantly over the past 4 years after an 8-year plateau, although risky food consumption increased slightly, according to a study in the Journal of Food Protection. Researchers from the US Food and Drug Administration and the University of Maine School of Economics analyzed data from food safety surveys conducted in 1988, 1993, 2001, 2006, and 2010 about food handling (cross-contamination prevention), risky consumption (eating raw or undercooked foods from animals), and perceived risk of foodborne disease. Surveys were conducted by phone with 1,620 to 4,547 participants, with the most recent three surveys all involving more than 4,400 participants. The researchers found that the safe-food-handling index for meat, chicken, and eggs was 0.12 in 1988, and then increased slightly over the ensuing surveys to 0.84, 0.90, and 0.93 before jumping to 1.24 in 2010 (possible range, -3 to 3, with “3” being safest). For fish cross-contamination the indices were 0.61, 0.81. 0.75, 0.61, and 0.75, respectively (range, -2 to 2). For risky food consumption the indices dropped a bit over the most recent four surveys: 3.91, 4.22, 4.10, 4.02, and 3.94 (range, 0-5). Risk-perception indices stayed fairly stable over the last two surveys after dropping in previous surveys. They were 0.78, 1.08, 1.05, 0.72, and 0.75, respectively, over the five surveys (range, 0-3). The team found that women had safer food handling and consumption practices than men, and that the oldest and youngest respondents and those with the highest education had the riskiest food-handling behaviors.September J Food Prot abstract
‘Posts from the Road’ is a new feature that beginning today will appear in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post. Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn are traveling around the country and he will share scenes they encounter while on the road. Today’s submission features the City of Rocks State Park in southwestern New Mexico between Deming and Silver City. In approaching the park entrance, visitors have a panoramic view of the ‘city of rocks’. The city is made up of hundreds of huge boulders, which provide a scenic drive, hiking trails, camping and picnicking areas. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.comStray Rocks: There are several stray rocks in the open prairie around the inner cluster of boulders, which create interesting vistas. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.comHiking: There are many hiking trails among and around the boulders as well as trails in the open space around the ‘city’. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.comHome on the Rocks: The Warren’s campsite during their stay at the city of rocks was tucked among the boulders on one side with views across the open range on the other. They camped at the park in February of this year and found the climate to be comfortable but a little windy at times. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
ITALY: A €14·6bn plan for investment in rail infrastructure in Lombardia during 2019-25 was presented to President of the region Attilio Fontana by FS Group CEO & Managing Director Gianfranco Battisti and RFI Chief Executive Maurizio Gentile on February 20. The cost is to be met by infrastructure manager RFI and the regional authority.The RFI network in Lombardia currently covers 1 740 km, of which 1 457 km is electrified. The plans for 2019-25 include the construction of a line to Bergamo’s Caravaggio International Airport, Italy’s third biggest. ETCS is to be deployed to increase capacity in the Milano area by 2022, with ACC-M computerised interlockings to be installed on the Bergamo – Rovato (2019, 32 km), Voghera – Piacenza (2020, 58 km), Carnate-Usmate – Ponte San Pietro (2020, 18 km), Romano – Brescia (2020, 37 km), Milano – Domodossola (2022, 106 km) and Milano – Tortona (2024, 70 km) routes.The Chiasso – Monza (39 km) and Carnate-Usmate – Monza (12 km) lines would be resignalled in 2021, along with the Gallarate, Milano Lambrate and Milan Porta Garibaldi station areas in 2022. The Ponte San Pietro – Bergamo – Montello-Gorlago (19 km), Milano – Mortara (44 km) and Gallarate – Rho (25 km) lines are to be modernised, the Codogno – Cremona – Mantova (90 km) route double tracked and the Tortona – Voghera (16 km) and Milano Rogoredo – Pavia (29 km) sections of the Milano – Genova line quadrupled. A total of 110 level crossings are to be eliminated, and a €150m programme of station modernisation works will focus on improving accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility.
Minister go Finance and Planning Peter Phillips KINGSTON, Jamaica – In Jamaica, following three months of often bitter, mudslinging campaigning between incumbent People National Party (PNP) leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, and Peter Bunting the party’s member of parliament for Central Manchester, Phillips was reelected by a razor-thin margin of 76 votes in internal party elections held on September 7.The fact that votes of some 93 percent of the PNP delegates were pretty much divided between the two men with Phillips receiving 1.427 votes to Bunting’s 1,351, is indicative that the party founded by National Hero Norman Washington Manley in 1938 is blatantly, and possibly irreparable, divided.Phillips surely feels vindicated as he celebrates the retention of his leadership, but the political basket he has been given to carry now has many gigantic holes which he may never be able to seal before all his support runs out.NOT A MANDATEIf Philips had secured a decisive victory it would have been assurance his mandate as party leader was strengthened. But him being the incumbent leader eeking out only a 2.7 percent margin win over a man who challenged his leadership just three months ago, is definitely neither a mandate, nor an expression of confidence in his leadership.In the often turbulent world of politics some people find success as charismatic and influencing leaders, others as professionals or technocrats who successfully implement the mission of a political party as administrators if the party is elected. Others just fade away as they become irrelevant.STRONG TECHNOCRATThroughout his political career which began in 1989 Phillips has proved himself as a sound technocrat. He served the PNP well as its general secretary, and in ministerial portfolios of health, transportation and works, national security and finance in various PNP administrations from 1995 to 2016. However, his quest as the political leader of the party has been far less spectacular. He lost to former Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in his first bid for PNP leader in 2006, when several pundits predicted his victory. Not content with Simpson Miller as party leader he renewed his challenge in 2008 and again was soundly defeated by Mama Portia.When Simpson Miller retired as PNP leader and Opposition Leader in 2017, it appeared Phillips would face a contest from leadership aspirants including Bunting for the party leadership. But the party hierarchy, thought to be influenced by former party leader and prime minister, Percival J. Patterson, rallied behind Phillips claiming “his time has come” after his failed attempts for leadership.CHARISMATICALLY CHALLENGEDBut a large percentage of PNP supporters and party delegates have expressed their dissatisfaction with the charismatically challenged party leader. He has not proven himself to be an astute political campaign strategist. Under his leadership the PNP lost two by-elections in formerly PNP held seats. Neither has he at age-69 proven himself to be a formidable opponent to the much younger, 47-year old Jamaican Labor Party (JLP) leader and prime minister, Andrew Holness.It was after the PNP lost what seemed an easy-to-win by-election in Portland that Bunting decided to challenge Phillips for leadership. Bunting sensed the pulse of some 84 percent of Jamaicans, according to pollsters, who believe Phillips will be unable to defeat the JLP under Holness if a general election were to be held anytime soon.Perhaps Bunting’s narrow defeat was due to his delay in challenging Phillips for the party leadership. Throwing his hat in the ring earlier could have had a different result as recent polls indicated the majority of Jamaicans, particularly younger voters under age 45, which represent the majority of registered Jamaican voters. supported his candidacy.OPPORTUNITY FOR HOLNESS Now with the PNP obviously badly fractured, it would not be surprising if Holness seizes the advantage of the PNP’s mess to call an early snap-general election before an election is constitutionally due in 2021.To defy the polls and lead the PNP to the Herculean task of retaking the government, Phillips must now seek to: reunite the party around him; motivate the youth who are uninspired by his leadership; convince voters the PNP has a better plan to combat persistent crime and healthcare problems than the incumbent JLP government; maintain the economic gains recently made, and has a formidable plan to distribute these economic gains to alleviate poverty still being experienced by too many Jamaicans.MAYBE TWO YEARS TOO LATE But, unfortunately, Phillips and the PNP maybe two years too late. What Phillips need to do now as reelected party leader is what he should have been doing since 2017. If Andrew Holness seizes the current division within the PNP as an opportunity to gain a new 5-year term the title pf prime minister could elude Phillips. And, Bunting and other PNP aspirants could be again jockeying to be party and opposition leader in 2020.
Related Former French international striker Jimmy Briand has completed his transfer to Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux from rivals EA Guingamp.The 33-year-old has joined on a two-year contract at Bordeaux after they reached an agreement with their rivals for his transfer fee.Guingamp had earlier cancelled his contract for him to join Major League Soccer (MLS) side Montreal Impact but the move broke down.His transfer to Bordeaux was initially delayed due to Guingamp’s insistence on a substantial transfer fee since the MLS move didn’t materialise.Guingamp had a gentleman’s agreement with Briand that prevented him from joining another French Ligue 1 club.Bordeaux will be hoping the signing of the five-cap French international would go a long way to make up for the influence of Brazilian winger Malcom, who left for Spanish champions Barcelona in a €40m deal earlier this summer.The French giants have also brought in the likes of Nigerian forward Samuel Kalu and Croatian youth international midfielder Toma Basic in the last few days.