Travel companies see it as ‘welcomed step’

first_imgThroughout the coronavirus pandemic, travel executives have been pinning their hopes on a Covid-19 vaccine saving their industry, which has suffered from the fallout of the health crisis.Following news Monday of Pfizer‘s vaccine data showing more than 90% efficacy among participants without evidence of prior infection, CEOs from major cruise lines and hospitality operators cheered the breakthrough.“TripAdvisor has long believed travel will recover with vigor as soon as a vaccine was widely available. Today’s Pfizer news is a welcomed step in the right direction,” Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor, told CNBC over email.- Advertisement – Florida, Port of Miami, Row of cruise ships docked, non-essential business due to Coronavirus.Jeff Greenberg | Universal Images Group | Getty Images – Advertisement – “This is a very positive development for the world, and, of course, our company and our brands, as well as the cruise industry. It is too early at this point to determine the impact this may have on the conditional sail order in the U.S., if any,” Carnival wrote in an email to CNBC.Carnival shares soared about 36% on Monday, on pace for its best day ever as a public company. It went public in 1987.Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean, has often called a vaccine the “ultimate weapon” to tackling Covid-19. Royal Caribbean rocketed up about 28%, on track for its best day since March.In the meantime, the cruise operators are working around the clock, setting up testing facilities for all crew and conducting simulated voyages with their new COVID protocols. Once deemed successful, CDC will provide the green light. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have suspended U.S. sailing for the remainder of 2020.Norwegian Cruise Line reports quarterly earnings after the bell on Monday, where shareholders will want to know whether a January 2021 start-date is feasible.Analysts also are wondering whether a new administration under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden will result in different protocols for the cruise industry. The industry has received support from Vice President Mike Pence, who reportedly overruled the CDC’s decision to extend its cruise ban until February 2021. CDC lifted its no-sail order at the end of October and issued a framework for a Conditional Sailing Order.Truist Securities Managing Director Patrick Scholes believes a Biden administration “will be more likely to follow the recommendations of the CDC when it comes to health matters.” Hotel operators also joined in on the market rally Monday, with Marriott on pace for its best day since March.Online travel giant Expedia is up 20%, on pace for its largest percentage increase since 2012.Investors are hopeful that access to a vaccine will lift confidence in travelers and result in a spike in bookings next year. Prior the Pfizer vaccine news, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson on the company’s earnings call last Friday said, “We’ll start to see meaningfully more bookings when those vaccines start to take effect.”center_img – Advertisement – Shares of TripAdvisor jumped 20%.Travel executives are hopeful that an effective vaccine will speed up the timeline around when travelers will feel comfortable getting back out and about again.While questions remain around the supply and distribution of a vaccine, the data from Pfizer was enough to fuel travel-related stocks to the top of the S&P 500.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Genes for anthrax toxin found in another microbe

first_imgEditor’s Note: The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), where the research described was accomplished, was inadvertently omitted from the list of author affiliations in the 4th paragraph below; the article was updated Jul 1, 2004, to include this information. Jun 29, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers recently discovered a strain of the common soil bacteria Bacillus cereus that was genetically equipped to make the deadly toxin produced by the closely related microbe Bacillus anthracis, or anthrax.The finding increases the complexity of diagnosing severe respiratory illnesses resembling inhalational anthrax, which killed five people following the anthrax mailings in the fall of 2001, says the report in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.B cereus is widespread and can cause food poisoning and a variety of other illnesses, especially in people with existing health problems or weakened immunity. B anthracis is far less common but can be fatal to anyone who inhales it and is not treated early with antibiotics.Alex R. Hoffmaster of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the research with colleagues from The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), the CDC, other US agencies, and two British universities. They retrospectively analyzed various Bacillus organisms isolated from patients who had had unusually severe disease.One of these microbes, labeled G9241, came from a patient who had life-threatening pneumonia like that experienced by the 10 people who contracted inhalational anthrax in 2001. The patient, who previously had had no major health problems, was on a ventilator for 44 days and was treated with five antibiotics before he recovered, according to the report. The patient’s history, clinical features, and laboratory findings were similar to those of the anthrax patients in 2001, the report says.Several traditional analytical techniques indicated that G9241 was a strain of B cereus, though closely related to B anthracis, the report says. But to examine the organism more closely, the investigators used a rapid sequencing technique to generate a “draft” of the microbe’s complete genome. The draft genome analysis confirmed that G9241 was a strain of B cereus. But it also showed that G9241 contained a plasmid (a ring of DNA separate from the chromosome) that was 99.6% identical to a plasmid (called pXO1) in B anthracis that contains the genes for anthrax toxin.The investigators also tested the virulence of B cereus G9241 in mice. They injected mice with either G9241, B anthracis, or a nonpathogenic strain of B cereus. All the mice exposed to G9241 and B anthracis died, while those exposed to the nonpathogenic strain survived.The discovery of a non-anthrax Bacillus species that contains anthrax toxin genes and can cause an infection resembling inhalational anthrax “adds substantially to the complexity of clinical and laboratory diagnosis in general and particularly during a potential bioterrorism event,” the article states.Because the tests most commonly used to identify B anthracis focus on the organism’s two plasmids, the presence of anthrax-like plasmids in B cereus could result in false-positive tests and needless alarm, the authors say. On the other hand, it may be a mistake to regard B anthracis as the only species that can cause diseases like inhalation anthrax. The investigators suggest that it may be necessary to develop a more sophisticated system to look for anthrax virulence plasmids in Bacillus species other than B anthracis.The authors note that the patient who was infected with G9241 may not have been the first in the United States to have suffered from a B cereus strain with anthrax-like toxicity. They cite unpublished reports of two recent cases of fatal respiratory illness that were attributed to B cereus strains that may have had genes for the anthrax toxin. The CDC is planning surveillance for severe pneumonia cases associated with B cereus, the report says.Hoffmaster AR, Ravel J, Rasko DA, et al. Identification of anthrax toxin genes in a Bacillus cereus associated with an illness resembling inhalation anthrax. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2004;22(101):8449-54 [Abstract]last_img read more

Developers cagey as London prices rocket

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Good news for Townsville investors as vacancy rates drop

first_imgTownsville continues yielding positive news across the city with vacancy rates falling from 7.1 per cent in September to 6.4 per cent in December.TOWNSVILLE continues yielding positive news across the city with vacancy rates falling from 7.1 per cent in September to 6.4 per cent in December.Gross rental yields have also remained steady at a citywide average of 4.4 per cent for houses and 4.9 per cent for units.Fringe-city suburbs recorded the highest gross rental yields with Stuart leading the pack at 7.2 per cent for houses and Hermit Park a popular choice for units with a return of 7.3 per cent.Job losses, however, remain a big challenge for the city and, combined with an oversupply of stock, have triggered a $5 reduction in the weekly median rent for three-bedroom houses, $5 for two-bedroom units and $10 on three-bedroom townhouses.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Tenants are also spoiled for choice with around 1800 rental properties listed on, of which 60 per cent are houses, 37 per cent units and the remainder land.Prices vary between $150 a week for a basic two-bedroom rental to $1300 a week for an executive home on Castle Hill.The average time of renting a property is five weeks, with agents highlighting the excess supply of government subsidised (NRAS) properties, which are available for low-income earners and people seeking work.Investors struggling to get their properties leased should consider basic renovation and upgrades, according to property expert and chief executive of Your ­Empire, Chris Gray.“Renovating your investment property can give you capital growth, even in a flat market, and the instant profits that come from a renovation can be used to help fund any negative cash flow,” he said.“If you’re looking to boost the price of your property but don’t want to take on a large renovation project, there are several small-scale improvements you can do yourself to instantly lift the value of your home. “The main key to remember when renovating is to make sure you know what adds value to your property without overcapitalising.”last_img read more

Townsville renovator attracts record 96 bids at auction

first_imgA West End renovator attracted 96 bids at auction over the weekend – the highest number ever called by local auctioneer Clint Wallis (L) and Errol Munro of Principal of Ray White Townsville.TOWNSVILLE’S property auction market is heating up with a West End renovator attracting 96 bids and selling $32,000 above reserve price.The one-bedroom property at 146 Francis St sold for $222,000 after eight potential buyers went head-to-head in one of the most heavily contested sales encountered by auctioneer Clint Wallis.Mr Wallis said the home beat his previous auction record for most bids by 10.“It was incredible, as it’s not the type of property you would expect buyers’ competition on,” he said.“While the property has really good bone structure, it really is just a square box with no internal walls.“So it was a really good result. The owner was happy to seal the deal at $190,000 but it just kept on going up.”Ray White Townsville sales agent Julie Munro said she was still buzzing.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“We had eight registered bidders on the day, one of which registered halfway through the (auction) call and another phoned in from Sydney,” she said.“In the end it was a young man and his father who placed the winning bid, who now plan to renovate the home for the son to live in.“The property comes with a bit of history as it used to be the old West End post office and also at one point a little tourism shop.“But I think, in the end, it was the location that won everyone over and the property does leave room for imagination.”Equally impressive results are expected this weekend with five properties at Mysterton, Castle Hill, Aitkenvale. Idalia and Cranbrook going under the hammer this Saturday.McGrath principal Brad Matheson, who will take 10 Stirling Drive, Castle Hill, to auction at 10am on Saturday, said the four-bedroom home had already attracted plenty of interest from buyers.“We’ve had 31 inspections for the property, two offers prior to auction and several people looking to register,” he said.“I think the home will do quite well. the auction market has been heating up.”last_img read more

IOPS finds pension charges falling in Central Europe

first_imgThe International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) has updated its survey of charges on members of defined contribution (DC) pension schemes from selected countries around the world.Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Macedonia stand out as European countries where the charge ratio on individual retirement accounts has fallen sharply since IOPS’ pioneer study on DC fees in 2008.Estimating charges for a forty-year period, IOPS finds they have almost halved in Croatian and Macedonian funds over the last six years due to legislative changes and markets maturing.The fall is even more dramatic in Poland, although the system here is in a period of flux since the State transferred more than half of private pension assets to the first-pillar earlier this year. Likewise, in Hungary asset management fees are reported as falling from 0.8% to 0.2% in 2011, but this followed the effective winding-up of second-pillar schemes the year before. Both cases are warnings that a global study of DC pension schemes does not lend itself readily to cross-country comparisons.In the new report, IOPS authors, Liviu Ionescu and Edgar Robles claim that Central and Eastern European countries have quite a complex fee structure that makes it difficult for members to fully compare costs between pension funds.“In these jurisdictions the sole legal requirement for pension funds to publish all the fees that they can charge to members does not meet the intended purpose,” they write.“Consumers would benefit from a move towards greater clarity of pension charges, in addition to the cap on fees that is quite common in these jurisdictions.”,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to Working Paper No.20: Update on IOPS Work on Fees and Chargeslast_img read more

June 21, 2017 Police Blotter

first_imgJune 21, 2017 Police Blotter062117 Batesville Police Blotter062117 Decatur County EMS Report062117 Decatur County Fire Report062117 Decatur County Jail Report062117 Decatur County Law Reportlast_img

Gearhart checks out on Spring Fling IMCA Modified foes

first_imgBy Mike HughesWaKEENEY, Kan. (March 30) – Cody Gearhart checked out on everybody in winning the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified feature at WaKeeney Speedway’s Spring Fling special.Marty Clark had jumped out to the early lead in Sunday’s headliner only to slide off the back­stretch on lap three and go to the tail of the field. That gave the front spot to Gearhart, who sped off and left the field way behind en route to the $1,000 payday. Dylan Sherfick chased Gearhart but had to settle for second, followed by Jeremy Frenier, Tim Watts and Kyle Rohleder. Gearhart was already on the ballot for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invita­tional.Mike Nichols scored his third $750 Dirt Track Central Jax Sports Grille Great Plains Series victory in as many nights, in an IMCA Sunoco Stock Car field loaded with heavy hitters. Jason Rogers took the lead at the drop of the green and three early cautions kept the pack close. Rogers continued to lead at the halfway mark of the 25-lap event, followed by Nichols and Jeff Tubbs.Rogers and Nichols put on a show, with Nichols finally taking over the top spot on lap 20. A cau­tion on lap 24 set up a green, white, checkered finish but Nichols held off Rogers and Tubbs at the line for the victory. Angel Munoz and Justin Temeyer rounded out the top five. Also taking checkered flags were Tyler Frye in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods, Adam Arm­strong in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Ramsey Meyer in the Mach-1 Sport Compacts.Daniel Gottschalk and Cory Struckhoff took turns in front of the Northern SportMod field before Frye made his move following a lap five restart and led the rest of the 20-lapper. Struckhoff, Blaine Walt, Ben Kates and Josh Appel rounded out the top five. North Dakotan Brock Beeter looked to make his long haul worthwhile as he took the lead at the start of the Hobby Stock feature. Beeter led to the crossed flags in the 15-lap race until Armstrong gained control on lap nine. A couple late cautions bunched the field but Armstrong held on for his second $500 winner’s check in as many nights. Beeter held on for the runner-up spot, trailed by Garrett Hager, Brady Bencken and Colton Pfeifer. Meyer passed Art Herzog on lap four of the 12-lap Sport Compact feature and pulled away for his second win on the weekend. Kiowa Higdon finished second, followed by Herzog, Michael Smith and Brandon Lobdell.More than 110 cars from six states filled the pits for the season-opening special at WaKeeney. All five IMCA divisions are in action on Sunday, April 6. The green flag will fly at 6:30 p.m. Feature Results Modifieds – 1. Cody Gearhart; 2. Dylan Sherfick; 3. Jeremy Frenier; 4. Tim Watts; 5. Kyle Rohle­der; 6. Van Gemmill, 7. Clay Sellard; 8. John Fabrizius; 9. Anthony Roth; 10. Chris Heim; 11. Ja­son Haug; 12. Marty Clark; 13. Jesse Richter; 14. Matt Henke; 15. Wheat Lippelmann; 16. Craig Colgin; 17. Don Geist; 18. Randy Wilson; 19. Chadd Brown; 20. Danny Concelman; 21. Brian Cal­hoon; 22. Scott Brown; 23. Alex Albin; 24. Bill Albin.Heat winners were Rohleder, Gearhart, Gemmill and Sherfick. Stock Cars – 1. Mike Nichols; 2. Jason Rogers; 3. Jeff Tubbs; 4. Angel Munoz; 5. Justin Temeyer; 6. Kyle Clough; 7. Nick Tubbs; 8. B.J. Wagoner; 9. Brent Moss; 10. Perry Misner; 11. Wheat Lippelmann; 12. Michael Meyer; 13. Jason McIntyre; 14. Jason Davis; 15. Casey Woken; 16. Tyler Tipton; 17. Austin Janousek; 18. Wes Bauer; 19. Shannon Maughlin; 20. Eric Kin­derknecht; 21. Scot Granzella; 22. John A. Sieg; 23. John D. Sieg. Heat winners were Nichols, Rogers and Jeff Tubbs. Hobby Stocks – 1. Adam Armstrong; 2. Brock Beeter; 3. Garrett Hager; 4. Brady Bencken; 5. Colton Pfeifer; 6. Andrew Sebastian; 7. Cody Graham; 8. Jeromy Wagner; 9. Colin Heim; 10. Kyle Pfeifer; 11. William Bauer; 12. Al Emmons; 13. Robert Emmons; 14. Sierra Swart; 15. Leon Pfannen­stiel; 16. Lyle Russell; 17. Tanner Moss; 18. Mike Giesenhagen; 19. Jason McClurg; 20. Daniel Irwin; 21. Roy Armstrong; 22. Justin Meserve; 23. Monte Honas. Heat winners were Roy Armstrong, Adam Armstrong and Garrett Hager.Northern SportMods – 1. Tyler Frye; 2. Cory Struckhoff; 3. Blaine Walt; 4. Ben Kates; 5. Josh Appel; 6. Clay Money; 7. Bryan Herrick; 8. Austin Carter; 9. Austin Walker; 10. Jeremy Sigler; 11. Trenton Kleweno; 12. Ryan Moser; 13. Willie Wynn; 14. Kaid Calhoon; 15. C.J. Pfannenstiel; 16. Dakota Sproul; 17. Trevor Geist; 18. Henry Henderson; 19. Dan Lauer; 20. Jeremy Couse; 21. Brandon Clough; 22. Mike Appel; 23. Daniel Gottschalk; 24. Jimmy Ness.Heat winners were Josh Appel, Walt, Herrick and Kates. Walker won the “B” feature.Sport Compacts – 1. Ramsey Meyer; 2. Kiowa Higdon; 3. Art Herzog; 4. Michael Smith; 5. Bran­don Lobdell; 6. Dean Herzog; 7. Madison Reed; 8. Andrew Soderland; 9. T.J. Janousek; 10. Richard Tegethoff; 11. Ed Jasper; 12. Kirk Pfannenstiel; 13. Justin Rohr.Heat winners were Meyer and Pfannenstiel.last_img read more

Wilson, Ryland are winners at Merced

first_imgBy Don Martin IIMERCED, Calif. (Aug. 23) – Taking the lead from Ricky Thatcher on the third lap, Alex Wilson won the 15-lap Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified main event Sunday at Merced Speedway.It was the third win in the last four weeks for Wilson, who passed brother Kyle for the lead early on and took the checkers nearly a straightaway ahead of Ryan Porter.Prevailing in a late-race duel with Jason Nation, Fred Ryland won the 20-lap Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature.last_img