German-Chinese coronavirus vaccine trial begins in China

first_imgClinical trials on humans have begun in China for a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by German pharmaceutical group BioNTech with Chinese company Fosun Pharma, the companies said Wednesday.Seventy-two participants have already received their first dose following approval for the phase 1 trial from Chinese regulatory authorities, BioNTech and Fosun Pharma said in a statement.The vaccine candidate, known as BNT162b1, is one of four based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology. Another, BNT162b2, is being evaluated in a global phase 3 trial conducted by BioNTech and US giant Pfizer which started on July 27.The phase 1 trial in China involves 144 participants who will receive two doses 21 days apart.Those aged 18-55 will be the first to take part, followed by older people.Laboratories around the world are racing to find a vaccine to curb COVID-19, which has claimed more than 700,000 lives and upended the livelihoods of millions. More than 200 candidate vaccines are currently being developed with roughly two dozen at the stage of clinical trials with human volunteers.Several Chinese companies are at the forefront of the global vaccine race, while Russia has said it hopes to be the first in the world to produce a vaccine for the public, with a target date of September.But the medicines will likely face heightened scrutiny given that the regulatory systems in both countries are far more opaque than they are in the West. On top of the BioNTech/Pfizer candidate, two other Western coronavirus vaccines are in final phase three trials: one produced by US biotech firm Moderna and the National Institutes for Health; and the other by the University of Oxford and Britain’s AstraZeneca.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Friendship firefighter completes certifications

first_imgFriendship, In. —Friendship Volunteer Fire Department member Brenden Jefferies has completed Firefighter certifications 1 & 2. The training includes familiarization with department structure, general orders, use of breathing equipment, protective clothing, knots, communications equipment, nozzles & hoses and search & rescue.last_img

Bruce retains Northern Ireland hope

first_img Bruce, 30, was first called up in October 2012 having switched his allegiance from the Republic of Ireland, who had capped him twice in friendlies. But in the intervening two years he has only managed to match that appearance record – starting in non-competitive matches against Malta and Cyprus. His preferred position in central defence represents Northern Ireland’s strongest suit – populated by the likes of Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley, Aaron Hughes, Craig Cathcart and Chris Baird, as well as emerging talents like Manchester United’s Paddy McNair and Doncaster’s Luke McCullough. While they travel to Romania this week attempting to make it four wins from four in Euro 2016 qualifying, Bruce is at home nursing a hamstring injury. He accepts it will be no easy task forcing his way back into manager Michael O’Neill’s plans but is ready for the challenge. “It’s not been an easy one for me but I feel I’ve got something to offer,” he told Press Association Sport. “You always want to play at the highest level possible and international football is that for me. “I didn’t play a lot for Hull early in the season so it was hard but I came back in against Liverpool and showed what I can do, so hopefully I can get back in the team and keep doing well. “I want to be back in the squad, especially with the lads doing so well, but at the same time I think Michael knows that at my age he doesn’t need to be taking me all over if he doesn’t think he’ll use me. “But there’s a European Championship in 2016 and there’s a chance of getting there. It’s a short career and that kind of chance doesn’t come along often so I’d love to be involved in helping get there.” Hull defender Alex Bruce has not given up on his Northern Ireland career. Bruce was last called up ahead of the Group F opener in Hungary but did not make the journey to Budapest due to the imminent arrival of his second child. “I was in the squad for the Hungary match in September and trained with the lads down at Arsenal but obviously Michael knew the situation with my wife going into labour and he was honest enough to say I wasn’t going to be starting so we made the sensible decision and I didn’t travel,” he added. “I wasn’t in the squad for the double header (against the Faroes and Greece) then, which is a shame, but they’ve not done too bad without me so it’s hard to complain. “I haven’t spoken to Michael recently but I know he’s had me watched quite a few times at Hull, so I’ll just keep trying to do my best here and fingers crossed I’ll hear something soon.” With hopes increasingly high that O’Neill can guide the side to a first ever European Championship, and first major tournament since the 1986 World Cup, Bruce’s versatility may yet be in his favour should the manager need adaptable players in his final squad. “I’ve not had a chance to play in central defence for Northern Ireland yet, which is my best position, but I’ve played a couple of times in midfield and I still think I can do a job there if needed,” he added. Press Associationlast_img read more

Wellington Police Notes: Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

first_imgWellington Police notes for Tuesday, October 14, 2014:•8:20 a.m. Sandra J. Hill, 52, Wichita, was issued a notice to appear for speeding 58 mph in a 40 mph zone.•9 a.m. Non-Injury accident in the area of U.S. 81 & Mill, Wellington involving a vehicle operated by Steve R. Hallman, 52, Hunnewell, Kans. and a fixed object/guard rail owned by the city of Wellington.•10:22 a.m. Deborah D. Morris, 58, Danville, was issued a notice to appear charged with expired registration and no proof of insurance.•11:10 a.m. Gunar M. Myers, 42, Winfield, was issued a notice to appear for speeding 56 mph in a 40 mph zone (radar) and no proof of insurance.•2:01 p.m. Officers investigated a theft in the 2000 block E. 16th, Wellington.•2:07 p.m. Officers investigated violation of a known subject of a protection order in the 500 block N. Plum, Wellington.•2:37 p.m. Officers took a report of lost license plate in the area of Sunset Road, Wellington.•4:50 p.m. Officers conducted an agency outside assist with a vehicle recovered in the 1400 block N. Washington, Wellington.•9:30 p.m. Officers took a report of a found stroller in the 300 block N. G, Wellington.•10:43 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 300 block S. Cherry, Wellington.last_img read more

South Africa in Davos: Zuma’s nine-point economic plan

first_imgAs the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos begins this week, South Africa will present a positive message of robust growth for the country, including details of the nine-point plan for economic recovery first disclosed in the 2015 State of the Nation address.A nine-point plan for economic recovery in South Africa forms part of the key message to the rest of the world at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, taking place between 20 and 23 January 2016. (Image: Brand South Africa)In February 2015, in his State of the Nation address for the year, President Jacob Zuma unveiled a nine-point plan for economic recovery and growth in South Africa. During the course of the year, progress reports from the various government departments detailing the development of the plan were presented.Now, these reports will form part of South Africa’s key message to the rest of the world at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. The annual international gathering is taking place between 20 and 23 January this year. The overriding message that South Africa wants to convey to thousands of business, finance and government leaders from around the world is that the country is open for business for manufacturing, investment and trade.The theme in Davos this year is “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, in an atmosphere of an increasingly challenging global economy.South Africa is determined to show the world that the country is serious about meeting those challenges, while sustaining a strong economic relationship with the rest of the world.As a country, it wants to achieve the critical targets set by its National Development Plan (NDP), namely: attaining a real gross domestic product growth of 5%, a crucial reduction of the unemployment rate from 25% to 6%, and the reduction of income inequality. These are all to be achieved by the year 2030.Resolving the energy challengeMuch has been happening in the energy sector. In December 2015, the Department of Energy published a determination on the nuclear programme, whereby 9 600 megawatts (MW) should be generated from nuclear energy.The Medupi Power Station Unit 6 went online in August 2015, producing an additional 794MW to the total installed grid capacity of 45 000MW.The R2-billion Coega Wind Farm project was officially opened in September 2015.Eskom has signed short-term power purchase agreements to secure additional electricity during peak periods, while a further 800MW will be added to the grid through co-generation.Energy-efficiency programmes have resulted in savings of 450MW.Various renewable energy projects under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) currently supply 1 800MW to the grid.In October 2015, the minister of energy announced the 10 preferred bidders in the small projects REIPPPP.The department’s State of Renewable Energy in South Africa report revealed that the renewables sector had attracted R192.6-billion in investment, had contributed more than 109 000 construction jobs and had cut the equivalent of 4.4 million tons of carbon dioxide.Revitalising agriculture and the agro-processing value chainSimilarly, work has been ongoing in agriculture, with 43 agri-park sites identified by August and one agri-park already launched in North West. The programme aims to create 300 000 new small-scale producers and 145 000 new agro-processing jobs by 2020.The number of jobs in agriculture increased by 183 000 between 2014 and 2015, reaching a total of 891 000.Through the Agricultural Policy Action Plan, 24 162 hectares and the commodities on these were acquired, which were allocated to smallholder farmers.Fruit production for the year to date increased by R685-million, adding 1 868 jobs.Aquaculture growth over the last five years resulted in production increasing fivefold, to 20 000 tons. Growth between 2013 and 2014 was 25%, exceeding the average global growth rate of 7%, and contributing almost R3-billion to the national economy.Advancing beneficiation or adding value to our mineral wealthRegarding mining, draft amendments to South Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act which would give provisions to stimulate local beneficiation, are currently with Parliament for consideration.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is developing a Mineral Beneficiation Action Plan, which will be incorporated into the general national Industrial Action Policy Plan (Ipap).In addition, the country’s rich platinum deposits are being used in the development of hydrogen fuel cells.More effective implementation of a higher impact IpapThe seventh iteration of Ipap, which is aimed at raising the impact of government interventions to support industrial development and re-industrialise the country, was launched in May 2015.The DTI has designated 16 sectors, subsectors and products for local procurement, including transformers, power-line hardware and structures, steel conveyance pipes, mining and construction vehicles, and building and construction. In 645 infrastructure projects across the country valued at R3.6-trillion, the state procures these products from local manufacturers.The Black Industrialist Programme, designed to transform the manufacturing sector and unlock the potential of black entrepreneurs, secured initial funding of R1- billion from the DTI for the 2015 financial year. A further R23-billion from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) will be made available for the programme over the next three financial years.The IDC established a new industries unit earlier in 2015, focused on supporting and funding the entire value chain of emerging innovative sectors.Rail and ship manufacturing is been revitalised with ships for the South African Navy and locomotives for long-haul rail transport being manufactured in South Africa.Encouraging private sector investmentA DTI investment clearing house was set up in August 2015 to support local and international investment. In addition to identifying process bottlenecks, removing administrative barriers and reducing regulatory inefficiencies, the function of the clearing house is also to set up norms and standards and improve turnaround times, as well as to co-ordinate and fast-track investment enquiries.In the past financial year, the DTI helped to facilitate an investment pipeline of more than R43-billion.As of August 2015, South Africa was handling 116 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects. South Africa registered an FDI inflow of R43.3-billion from January to July 2015, creating 5 037 jobs.Six industrial development zones around the country attracted R10-billion in investment during 2015.Regulations for special economic zones (SEZs) are being finalised. With an SEZ board and supporting secretariat being established and approved, the DTI is close to completing the feasibility studies for eight new SEZs.The Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill that clarifies investor protection and ensures more open foreign investment was tabled in Parliament in 2015.A feasibility study for an initiative aimed at supporting increased investment to meet the needs of the National Development Plan is currently in process.Moderating workplace conflictUnder the leadership of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a continuous and special dialogue between business and labour is under way to improve labour relations. Specialist research and exploration teams are currently working on the nature of labour disputes and on finding solutions to the issue of wage inequality.A consensus on a working definition of a national minimum wage has been reached at the National Economic Development and Labour Council.Unlocking the potential of SMMEs, co-operatives, and township and rural enterprisesThe Department of Small Business Development continues to pilot its informal sector support policy, including the provision of business training, grants and co- funding. The department’s partnership with municipalities is continuing to revamp factory and business premises infrastructure.The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has set up a unit to investigate late or non-payment of suppliers. And Minister Jeff Radebe, the minister in The Presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation, presented a comparative analysis of national departments between 2013 and 2014 that showed – despite delays in payment remaining a major problem – that there had been improvement in the average number of invoices paid within 30 days.Provincial departments for the same period also revealed an improvement of 5% in the average number of invoices paid within 30 days.State reform and boosting the role of state-owned companies; ICT infrastructure or broadband roll-out; water, sanitation; and transport infrastructureICTIn addition, work has been ongoing in getting the country connected. The government rolled out 41 351 kilometres of fibre optic cables for broadband coverage during January to August 2015.Telkom has a whole sale division, Openserve, that is aimed at facilitating the entry of new internet service providers, particularly black-owned companies.In line with stipulations by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s universal service obligations, 623 schools around the country have been connected to the internet.The Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa connectivity project is currently under way in the Vhembe and Gert Sibande districts.WaterIn October 2015, the Department of Water and Sanitation, together with Umgeni Water and the Ugu District Municipality, announced the completion of the Mhlabatshane Dam in Umzumbe in KwaZulu-Natal. It will provide about 100 000 people with potable water.Water was supplied to 19 119 households in the 27 priority district municipalities.In addition, 11 waste water treatment works have been refurbished.More than 75 projects involving the maintenance and upgrading of existing water infrastructure are under construction.The government is intervening to stop water leaks, which cost the country R7- billion a year. The Department of Water and Sanitation is training 15 000 artisans and plumbers to fix water leaks in their communities; the first 3 000 people were recruited during 2015/2016.Operation Phakisa, aimed at growing the ocean economy and other sectorsSmall harbour upgrades are being undertaken in Saldanha Bay, Struisbaai, Gansbaai, Gordon’s Bay and Lamberts Bay, in Western Cape.In addition, nine catalyst projects are in progress, and 10 fish farms have been supported. The industry has invested R305-million and the government R105-million and 521 new jobs have been created.Operation Phakisa has also resulted in decisions to expand the domestic shipbuilding sector and the development of Saldanha Bay as an oil and gas hub.A Mining Phakisa, aimed at replicating the ongoing success of the ocean economy plan in the mineral sector, was launched towards the end of 2015.Source: South African Government News AgencyWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Top stories of 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Our web site keeps track of the stories that generate the most interest. We like to review the top stories for the year to gain insight into how to better serve readers of our web and print content and our radio listeners. Plus, it is always fun to see which story comes out on top.In addition to the top posts, other noteworthy drivers of web traffic in 2015 included the Ohio and Pro Farmer crop tours, the Ohio State Fair livestock show results, and Between the Rows. Weather challenges, unusual Ohio wildlife, all things draft horse, and farm technology also garnered major web traffic in the last 12 months.Stay tuned as we count down the top posts of 2015 over the next week. Here is the tenth most popular story of the year.#10. Not-so-scenic drive around NW OhioIn July, Ty and I got the chance to do an impromptu tour of some of the worst hit areas of Ohio after a soggy, flood-filled spring and early summer. The resulting pictures looked very bad, but still could not fully capture how awful the crops looked in some areas after some of the most challenging conditions seen in a lifetime on farms in the area.last_img read more

Curator promises fair pitch in Durban

first_imgPromising a fair pitch for the second Test between India and South Africa, the chief groundsman of the Kingsmead Stadium, Wilson Ngobese, said the track will not help bowlers excessively.The first Test was won by South Africa by an innings and 25 runs in Centurion after the Indian batting collapsed in the first innings on a track which helped pace bowlers in overcast conditions.Ngobese said the pitch for the second Test starting in Durban on Sunday would be a lot more balanced. “I want to give a wicket that is fair to everybody,” Ngobese said. ” It must not excessively help the bowlers too, and then if you can’t bat, I can’t help it. But we are expecting more rain till the start of the match and I am hoping for a few sunny days. Still, it should help the bowlers with good bounce,” he added.Ngobese said the weather would also be a major factor, along with the sea breeze.”I don’t want to show cracks on the pitch,” said Ngobese as he ruled out getting rid of the grass cover on the track.Meanwhile, South African captain Graeme Smith started the mindgames ahead of the Boxing Day Test.”I still believe that we could have handled that situation better. I would like to insist that the wicket was helping bowlers when we batted for the first 40- odd overs,” the South African captain stated in reference to India’s 136 all out in the first innings in Centurion.”The wicket flattened out after tea on the second day. But certainly we would have done better on that wicket ( batting first),” said Smith.advertisementThe skipper insisted that South Africa have the momentum.”We won the last Test by an innings and 25 runs. So we have a lot of positives to take from that match. We are certainly going to take that confidence with us in the second Test. On the other side, doubts will certainly creep into the Indian team. But we aren’t thinking too far ahead. We are focusing on the process and preparing well for this match,” he said.- With PTI inputslast_img read more