EXPLAINER: How Taiwan figures in US-China ties under Biden

first_imgTAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — It didn’t take long for relations with China to become an issue for new U.S. President Joe Biden. A show of force by the Chinese air force off Taiwan last weekend prompted a U.S. response, even as Biden and his administration focus on pressing domestic issues in what is still their first week in office. The U.S. State Department issued a statement urging China “to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan” after a dozen Chinese warplanes entered the self-governing island’s air defense identification zone on Saturday. China then sent 16 more planes on Sunday. The Taiwan issue will likely remain a source of friction in U.S.-China relations.last_img

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SMC club sponsors bone marrow registry drive

first_imgSaint Mary’s Stand Up To Cancer student club will host a bone marrow registry drive for students and the Michiana community Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Reignbeaux Lounge of Le Mans Hall.Junior Allison Lukomski said the event is a special way for students to help make a life-changing difference in the lives of cancer patients everywhere. Lukomski said she matched with a cancer patient this past summer and recently donated blood stem cells to her match.“I registered to become a possible match because it was an event that the Saint Mary’s College Stand Up To Cancer club was running,” Lukomski said. “Never once did I question doing this. I just felt that there was no reason not to join. In my head, I just thought to myself ‘this could save a life, why shouldn’t I join?’”When Lukomski donated at last year’s drive, she said she never thought she would be matched with anyone.“Never did I think I would be matched in a million years,” she said. “Little to my disgrace, it was the perfect timing. Being a junior in college, I tend to get caught up in the hype of having good grades, getting ready to apply to grad schools, etc., but by being matched, I had to realize how important things in my life really are.”Less than six months after joining the list, Lukomski said she learned she had been matched with a 60-year-old female recipient with myelodysplastic syndrome.“Since the majority of matches are from the patient’s family members, I realized when I was matched that I was her only chance because no one in her family was her match,” she said. “It is a lot to emotionally take on at once, but I had my family supporting me, and they reminded me that this was something that God had planned for my recipient and me.”Lukomski currently does not know how her recipient is recovering, but she said she will be notified around Nov. 23 as to how her recipient’s body responded to her stem cells.A note, written by Lukomski, was delivered to her match along with the donated stem cells, but Lukomski said she was not allowed to include any personal information in the note.“I will have the chance to write her only through [the national marrow donor program] Be The Match if my recipient is willing,” she said. “The same goes for meeting her. Through the rules of the organization, we cannot meet until a full year has passed from her receiving the donation. I would love to meet her at that point, and I hope she feels the same.”Lukomski said she is encouraging fellow students to join the list of possible donors this Friday at the drive.“Why wouldn’t you want to potentially have the ability to save a life?” she said. “At any time throughout the process, you have the choice to say that you no longer wish to continue. It is your choice to even agree to start the process. So I would encourage everyone to just join the list. The swab of your check does not hurt. If you get selected for the donation process, you as the donor can stop the process and decline it at anytime. You are in full control of what happens to you.”The donation itself did not hurt at all, as Lukomski said she was given injections of filgrastim five days prior to her donation day.“My body was achey, but that is expected,” she said. “Filgrastim is a drug that increases the number of blood-forming cells, bone marrow cells in my bloodstream. That was the only thing that caused me pain, the constant ache I had from the drug doings its job. It was nothing horrible, just a constant ache. Other than that, I did not experience any pain.”By joining the registration list, Lukomski said students provide hope to people fighting for their lives and may even change their futures.“That is why I love this organization,” she said. “They are saving lives through the strength and help of strangers. It never hurts to try something, and this is a chance to do something that is bigger than yourself and to feel like you made a difference. Join because you want to make a difference and save a life.”Lukomski is extremely grateful for the support she has received from her family, boyfriend and his family throughout the entire process, she said.“Without them being there for me, the process of donating would not have been as wonderful,” she said. “I wanted my family with me throughout everything I did, and I was lucky that they were there. But the most important thing that I am grateful for throughout this experience is that I was selected to save a life.”Even without meeting her recipient or having any knowledge of her identity, Lukomski said she considers her match a part of her family.“I cannot imagine what my recipient and her family have gone through,” she said. “Without meeting her or knowing anything about her, she is now a part of my family, and that is what made this whole experience so rewarding.“It is the ability to save a life. Sure there will be fears and some pain, but in the long run the outcome makes every fear and pain worth it. As college students, I think we sometimes get caught up in our lives of planning for grad schools and getting a job after graduation. I believe that by me being matched was my way of realizing that I need to start looking at the really important things in life, like life itself.”Tags: Bone Marrow Donor, bone marrow registry, cancer, Stand Up to Cancerlast_img read more

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Vermont Health Centers get $1.5 million in stimulus funds

first_imgIn another round of economic stimulus funds for Vermont, eight community health centers in the state will receive more than $1.5 million to expand services and create jobs. The Vermont grants include $229,967 for Community Health Centers of The Rutland Region in Bomoseen; $157,958 for Little Rivers Health Care of Bradford; $294,562 for Community Health Center of Burlington; $192,281 for Community Health Services of the Lamoille Valley in Morrisville; $146,390 for The Health Center of Plainfield;  $164,980 for the Richford Health Center in Richford; $254,463 for Northern Counties Health Care in St. Johnsbury, and $100,000 for Springfield Medical Care Systems in Springfield. This is one of the most significant steps forward that we have seen in decades in addressing the primary health care crisis in our country, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said of the funds, part of $2 billion for Federally Qualified Health Centers included at his urging in the economic recovery bill that Congress passed on February 13. Health centers provide affordable primary care, dental care, mental health services and low-cost prescription drugs.Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said community health centers are part of Vermont s health care infrastructure. Rural areas like much of Vermont depend on these vital community-based resources to ensure the availability of local dependable health care services.  Even so, some Vermonters are still without a regular source of care.  With this timely addition of funds from the economic recovery plan, Vermont s eight Community Health Centers can reach more Vermonters during these difficult economic times. Vermont s community health care centers have played an extraordinary role in ensuring that Vermonters can see a doctor when they need medical attention, said Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.). This additional funding will help health centers reach more patients with quality services, which is all the more important as Vermonters continue to struggle in this difficult economy.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the Vermont grants as part of $338 million distributed nationwide to expand services offered at the nation s community health centers. In an earlier round of funds released under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Springfield Hospital was awarded $1.3 million to become Vermont s eighth Federally Qualified Health Center. With that addition, health centers will provide primary health care to more than 100,000 Vermonters regardless of their ability to pay.A cost-effective alternative to hospital emergency rooms, community health centers offer basic services like prenatal care, childhood immunizations and cancer screenings. Open to everyone, the centers care for patients covered by Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance as well as those who have no insurance.The National Association of Community Health Centers last night gave Sanders its 2009 Distinguished Community Health Champion Award, citing his dedication and leadership ¦to preserve, strengthen and expand access to quality health care.WASHINGTON, March 27last_img read more

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European parliamentarians decide on IORP Directive rapporteur

first_imgEuropean parliamentarians have named the MEPs to oversee negotiations for the passage of the IORP Directive, with a former Irish government minister to lead efforts.Despite the appointment of Brian Hayes, who joined the European Parliament following last May’s elections, there will be a strong Dutch presence among the rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs.A former junior minister in the current Irish coalition government, Hayes spent three years in the Department of Finance. He will act as rapporteur for the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON).As a Fine Gael MEP, he is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) and was appointed to ECON after joining parliament in July. He is also vice-chair of the parliamentary delegation for relations with Iraq. His appointment comes after several months of uncertainty over the appointment of a rapporteur, who facilitates the passage of legislation and leads negotiations between Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission.Several people with knowledge of the situation told IPE last year that the EPP was behind schedule in naming the rapporteur.Many were hopeful that German Christian Democrat MEP Thomas Mann, an ECON substitute member and former rapporteur for a report on demographic challenges, would be appointed.Jeroen Lenaers, a Dutch member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, has been named its rapporteur,The other main political factions have appointed rapporteurs to shadow Hayes, with a further three Dutch MEPs among them.Paul Tang, a member of the Dutch Labour Party, will represent the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), Bas Eickhout will represent the Green parliamentary faction. Eickhout was previously a member of ECON and was appointed as a substitute late last year.Sophie in ‘t Veld, the third Dutch MEP, will represent the interests of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats. She is also a former member of ECON and has acted as rapporteur and shadow rapporteur on a number of matters relating to civil liberties.The European Conservatives and Reformists Group will be represented by Ashley Fox, in his first term as a UK MEP and an ECON substitute, and Spanish MEP Teresa Rodríguez-Rubio will represent the European United Left.last_img read more

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Eni enters block offshore Oman, Qatar Petroleum takes part

first_imgBlock 52Block 52 was awarded to Eni and OOCEP following an international bid round process launched in October 2016. The block, also known as Juzor Al Hallaniyyat, was the only offshore block on offer in the licensing round.The block was previously owned by the Sun Oil Company, Amoco, Petroleum Development Oman, and Circle Oil. Also, there are three wells in the block, namely, Sawqrah Bay South-1, Kuria Muria-1, and Sawqrah Bay-1. Qatar Petroleum acquires stakeEni also signed an agreement with Qatar Petroleum for the assignment of 30 percent interest in Block 52 to QP during the same event.Following the conclusion of the agreement and subject to the consent of the competent authorities of the Sultanate of Oman, Eni will have a 55 percent stake in the block while Qatar Petroleum and OOCEP will have 30 and 15 percent, respectively.“The signing of the Block 52 EPSA represents an important milestone in Eni’s strategy to reinforce its presence in the Middle East region. We wish to establish with the Sultanate of Oman, which is a historical oil and gas producer in the region, a long-lasting relationship in the best tradition of Eni.“It is also remarkable that, the same day, we are welcoming Qatar Petroleum as a partner in Block 52, to join our efforts with such a strong partner that is currently leading the LNG business worldwide,” said Descalzi.In a separate statement, Al-Kaabi added: “This agreement represents a stepping-stone towards further mutually rewarding opportunities, where we hope that our cooperation will bring benefits to all involved especially to the Omani oil and gas sector and the people of Oman.“We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with our valued partner Eni, with whom we enjoy a close business relationship, which we aspire to strengthen further. I would like to thank the executives of Eni, Oman Oil, and Qatar Petroleum and their respective teams who contributed to this important milestone.”According to QP, the contractor parties will soon execute an exploration program involving the acquisition and processing of 3D seismic, which will be followed by exploration drilling. Signing ceremony in Muscat, Oman; Image: EniThe Government of the Sultanate of Oman, the Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP), and Eni have entered into an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) for Block 52 offshore Oman.OOCEP is a subsidiary of the state company Oman Oil Company SAOC (OOC).Eni said on Tuesday that the signing ceremony was attended by the Minister of Oil and Gas of Oman, Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhi, OOC CEO, Isam Al Zadjali, Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi, and Qatar Petroleum’s President and CEO, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi.Block 52 is an underexplored area with hydrocarbons potential located offshore in the southern region of Oman. The block has an area of approximately 90,000 km2, with water depths ranging from 10 to over 3,000 meters.According to the conditions of the EPSA, Eni is the operator of the block through its subsidiary Eni Oman B.V. with an 85 percent stake, while its partner OOCEP holds the remaining 15 percent stake.last_img read more

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Siemens Gamesa Completes Credit Rating Trifecta

first_imgSiemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has been assigned a BBB long-term credit rating with stable outlook by Fitch.The agency attributes the rating to Siemens Gamesa’s consolidated leading position in the wind industry, with the necessary technical capabilities and scale to compete globally in an industry that is concentrated, volatile and highly competitive, Siemens Gamesa said.Fitch also noted the company’s geographical and industrial diversification, which enable it to be close to the customer in core markets while also enhancing logistics and operational costs. It also referred to the company’s solid financial profile, in line with an investment grade rating within the capital goods sector.This rating follows those assigned by Standard & Poor’s (BBB-, outlook positive) and Moody’s (Baa3, outlook stable).David Mesonero, CFO of Siemens Gamesa, said: “We are the first producer of wind generators to have a credit rating from all the big three agencies. This further underscores our sound financial position and leading status in the industry.”last_img read more

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AU Summit to Be Dominated By Issues of Peace & Security

first_imgBut the focus is likely to be on events overtaking the continent, including violence in Burundi over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in office and the threat posed by Islamist militants.CCTV’s Girum Chala looks at the latest hiccups and expectations The 25th African Union summit is underway in Johannesburg, South Africa.The theme is Empowering women but discussions look set to be dominated by issues of peace and security.The continent’s heads of state will meet for two days in the upmarket business and retail district of Sandton under the official theme of the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development”.last_img

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Suspected Ebola victim dies in Saudi Arabia

first_img 58 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share A Saudi man who was being treated for Ebola-like symptoms has died at a hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s health ministry says.If confirmed, this would be the first Ebola-related death outside Africa in an outbreak that has killed more than 900 people this year.The man recently visited Sierra Leone, one of four countries in the outbreak.World Health Organization (WHO) experts are meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss a response to the outbreak.The two-day meeting will decide whether to declare a global health emergency.Ebola, a viral haemorrhagic fever, is one of the deadliest diseases known to humans, with a fatality rate of up to 90%.A WHO statement on Wednesday said 932 patients had died of the disease in West Africa so far, with most of the latest fatalities reported in Liberia.Concern has also been growing over a number of new cases in Nigeria, the region’s most populous nation. On Wednesday, a nurse who treated an Ebola patient became the second person to die of the disease there.The Saudi man who was suspected of contracting the disease died of cardiac arrest, according to the website of the country’s health ministry.The 40-year-old is said to have returned from a recent business trip to Sierra Leone.The ministry’s website said he was being tested for Ebola, but did not say if the tests had concluded that he had the disease.The website said the man had been treated in an isolation ward and would be buried according to Islamic tradition, while following precautions set out by world health authorities.Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia stopped issuing visas to Muslims from several West African countries, amid concerns that visiting pilgrims could spread the disease.Meanwhile, two US aid workers who contracted Ebola in Liberia appear to be improving after receiving an unapproved medicine ahead of their evacuation back to the US.But it is not clear if the ZMapp drug, which has only been tested on monkeys, can be credited with their improvement.Leading infectious disease experts have called for experimental treatments to be offered more widely.The meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee is focusing solely on how to respond to the Ebola outbreak.If a public health emergency is declared, it could involve detailed plans to identify, isolate and treat cases, as well as impose travel restrictions on affected areas.A WHO spokesman said: “We can’t speculate in advance what the committee members are going to decide in advance.”A person in a protective suit works at an Ebola isolation ward at a mission hospital outside of Monrovia, Liberia (4 August 2014)Health workers have to wear protective suits to ensure they do not catch the virusThe World Bank is allocating $200m (£120m) in emergency assistance for countries battling to contain Ebola.The virus spreads by contact with infected blood and bodily fluids. The current outbreak is killing between 50% and 60% of people infected.There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola – but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.Ebola has initial flu-like symptoms that can lead to external haemorrhaging from areas like eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure. HealthInternationalLifestylePrint Suspected Ebola victim dies in Saudi Arabia by: – August 6, 2014center_img Share Tweet Sharelast_img read more

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Triple crown chase starts Saturday at Park Jefferson Speedway’s Memorial Clash

first_imgSiouxland’s top drivers in the Artworks Graphics Modifieds will have circled this event as the first race in the prestigious triple crown of IMCA Modified events hosted by the track.   Joining them will be a full program of IMCA racing for the J&J Fitting Stock Cars, Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and the Fox 620 IMCA Sport Compacts.  JEFFERSON, S.D. – This Saturday, May 25, Park Jefferson Speedway will host one of the fans’ favorite nights of racing at the Park.  Tickets for adults are $18, seniors are $15 and children ages 6-16 are $5. Pit passes are $30. A clubhouse pass can be added to any ticket for $12 and purchased at the souvenir stand.  The pit gate will open at 4:30 p.m. with the main gate opening at 5 p.m. Hot laps will be slated for 6:15 p.m. and heat races scheduled at 7 p.m. or the conclusion of hot laps.   Fans and teams can arrange for rooms this weekend at the Park Jefferson rate of $89 by calling the Hampton Inn in North Sioux City.  The final leg of the Modified triple crown will see the invasion of the Arnold Motor Supply Dirt Knights Tour on Monday, July 22. Any driver who can sweep the three events will be in line for a $3,000 bonus presented by Pepsi and Artworks Graphics.  A full night of IMCA racing will be on hand as the Artworks Graphics-sponsored IMCA Modifieds compete in the fourth annual Memorial Clash. A healthy purse of $1,000 to win and $150 to start will greet entrants racing for a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational berth.  There will be no entry fee or number fees charged this weekend at Park Jefferson as many driv­ers will be in the area for racing.  The Memorial Clash will see a draw/redraw format for drivers who will take to the black gumbo of Park Jefferson. The second leg will be run on July 1 as the sixth annual J&J Fitting Iron Cup sees drivers gunning for $1,500 to win. The event will also be part of the Midwest Madness Tour pre­sented by Arnold Motor Supply.  For more information, go to www.parkjeff.com or call 712 202-5540.last_img read more

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