Southwest Florida coronavirus case totals for Tuesday, June 1 June 2, 2021 Southwest Florida coronavirus case totals for Thursday, June 3 June 4, 2021 AdvertisementTags: Covid daily totals Advertisement Southwest Florida coronavirus case totals for Wednesday, June 2 June 3, 2021 Southwest Florida coronavirus case totals for Friday, May 28 May 31, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Data per the Florida Department of Health as of Wednesday, May 5. Additional case data compares to the previous update.TOTAL CASES IN FLORIDA: 2,253,929 (+4,394)TOTAL DEATHS IN FLORIDA: 36,184 (+82) TOTAL IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA: 128,896 (+332)LEE COUNTY – 70,340 (+195) | 970 (+11)COLLIER COUNTY – 35,725 (+100) | 531 (+1)CHARLOTTE COUNTY –12,836 (+21) | 418 (+0)HENDRY COUNTY – 4,717 (+4) | 83 (+1)DESOTO COUNTY – 4,324 4,314 (+10) | 93 (+0)GLADES COUNTY – 954 (+2) | 19 (+0) RELATEDTOPICS Advertisement AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments
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Emergency services from across Donegal put their teamwork and training to the test today as part of a major emergency exercise which took place in the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny. It was organised by the Northwest Regional Working Group for Major Emergency Management which includes the Principal Response Agencies (PRAs) of Donegal County Council, An Garda Síochána and the HSE (West).The event, which was code-named Exercise Neptune, involved around 100 participants and was based on a rapidly escalating flooding incident in the Finn Valley area with reported casualties and widespread property damage. It was a ‘table-top’ style exercise, i.e. one where team members meet in a workshop-style setting to discuss their roles and their responses to a particular emergency situation. A moderator then guided team members through the discussion using prompts or ‘injects’ as the scenario evolves.The overall objective of the exercise was to strengthen and develop the co-operation and co-ordination arrangements that exist between the PRAs and their partner agencies, namely the Defence Forces, the Irish Coast Guard, the Civil Defence and the Irish Red Cross, when responding to a major emergency brought about as a result of a severe weather event.Exercise Director, Kevin McGarvey, an emergency planning officer with Donegal County Council, said: “We have spent a number of months preparing for this exercise and it provided a valuable opportunity for the Principal Response Agencies and our partner agencies to test our plans, our inter-agency co-ordination and our preparations for a large-scale flood emergency response.“These types of flooding incident are becoming more and more commonplace and carrying out exercises of this nature will make a big difference to the potential outcomes should a real incident occur in County Donegal anytime into the future.” Pictured at the major emergency exercise in the Clanree earlier today are , Back Row L-R, Edel Flynn, Civil Defence Officer, Derek Flanagan, Irish Coast Guard, Michael Harrison, An Garda Síochána, Commandant John Anderson, Defence Forces, Martin McKinney, Irish Red Cross, Edel Quinn, HSE. Front Row, L-R: Kevin McGarvey, Donegal Fire Service, Garry Martin, Donegal County Council, Patrick Keaveny, Emergency Response Officer, HSE.Major emergency exercise tests Donegal’s reaction was last modified: September 27th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
ShowSatSunMonTueWedThuFri Fantasmic!2211112 As always, it’s wise to double check the weather as the day of your visit approaches. Check out the most up-to-date forecast here.ShowsVery light show schedule this week, with only Fantasmic! and World of Color running — no nightly fireworks at Disneyland Park at all. Detailed show schedules, including smaller diversions like the Disneyland Band, can be found here. Share This!Disneyland’s Lunar New Year celebration is upon us! Between that, (mostly) low crowds and (mostly) pleasant weather, it’s a great week to visit. Read on to find out more in this week’s Disneyland preview.Special Events and NotesThe Year of the Dog is upon us, and Disneyland Resort’s Lunar New Year celebration is now officially underway at Disney’s California Adventure. You can of course expect special food and drinks, and there will be traditional ornamental lanterns and banners decorating the park. Additionally there are several special events and opportunities to experience, including:Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, a parade that will run several times a day in the Paradise Pier area;Hurry Home nighttime water show at Paradise Bay featuring Mulan and Mushu (basically a pre-show* to World of Color);Disney characters in special Lunar New Year attire;Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese foods at Paradise Garden Grill; and,The Lucky Wishing Well.For more information about the Lunar New Year celebration, check out Rikki’s preview, or Disney’s event page for daily event schedules. California Adventure8-118-1110-910-910-99-99-11 CrowdsAs is common this time of year, we’ll see low to modest crowds most of the week, with slightly higher crowds on the weekend. Saturday is the only day with above average crowds, and Tuesday and Wednesday are predicted to be very pleasant 2-level crowds.Full details, including park-by-park crowd levels, are available on our Crowd Calendar.WeatherSunday and Monday bring a bit of a hot streak for this time of year, even cresting 90 degrees on Monday, but the rest of the week looks to be very pleasant, with high temperatures hovering in the upper 70s and low 80s. With that said, even on the days that get pretty hot, lows in the evenings will dip into the 50s, so make sure you plan accordingly. As per usual, no rain in the forecast. Admission and HoursThe only Passholder blockouts to worry about are on the weekend this week: Southern California Select Passholders are blocked out Saturday and Sunday, while Southern California Passholders are blocked out Saturday only. All other passes are honored every day this week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are at Regular cost ($110/$104) on Saturday, Sunday, and Friday, and Value ($97/$91) the remainder of the week.Regular park hours (excluding Extra Magic Hours/Magic Mornings) are as follows this week: Disneyland8-128-1210-910-910-99-99-12 As per usual, the parks will open one hour early for eligible guests at Disneyland Park Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and at Disney’s California Adventure Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Resort guests can take advantage of these hours every day of their stay for Extra Magic Hours, while guests eligible for Magic Mornings can use that benefit one day at Disneyland Park only. Full park hours can be found by clicking on each date in the Crowd Calendar.RefurbishmentsThere are a significant number of attraction closures in effect at the moment. At Disneyland Park, Splash Mountain, Dumbo, and it’s a small world are being refurbished. There is also a project underway to replace the tracks for the Main Street Vehicles that significantly impacts Main Street U.S.A. Those vehicles are not operating, but the whole area is a bit of a disaster. Check out Guy’s recent post on the topic for more. Looking ahead, both the Storybook Land Canal Boats and the Casey Jr. Circus Train will be undergoing refurbishments starting on February 5.Over at California Adventure, much of Paradise Pier is closed for the conversion to Pixar Pier, with additional closures to Grizzly River Run and the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Check out our refurbishments page for details on exactly what will be down and for how long.That should do it for this week’s preview. Check back next week and every week to find out what’s coming down the pike. Got questions? Aware of anything else that prospective guests should know about? Let us know in the comments.*Note: an earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to Hurry Home as a temporary replacement for World of Color. World of Color2211112 SatSunMonTuesWedThurFri
Share This!We’re counting down the days until the official opening of Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge with a look at some of the sights that you’ll see in this new land. Shopping is a major part of this new land, and the best place to visit is the Market, which has several merchants. Next up, we’re showing you some of the merchandise you can find at Jewels of Bith.To be honest, when I visited Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland, I couldn’t figure out where Jewels of Bith was, because I was expecting a collection of jewelry. Galaxy’s Edge does have jewelry for sale, both in Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities and, unusually enough, in Droid Depot. Why some of that doesn’t appear in a store called Jewels of Bith is beyond me. What you will find in Jewels of Bith is the equivalent of the airport souvenir shop, with fridge magnets, luggage tags, post cards, t-shirts, and more. By far, it is my least favorite shop in the Market, and yet I do admit I bought items there on my first visit in California. (Much of the merchandise in Florida appeared to be the same or similar, and there’s only so many fridge magnets of Black Spire Outpost one needs!)Here’s what you can expect in this shop. What are your thoughts about Jewels of Bith? Did you spy anything that you’d like to buy on your trip to Batuu? Let us know in the comments.
At Google, change is constant. But how we managed and messaged change wasn’t always working. So we developed a simple framework to rethink reorgs and it starts by asking “Do we even need this change?”There is no single way that Google manages internal change, like a reorganization. But we’ve been piloting a new approach that has been used in different parts of the company, impacting thousands of Googlers.Research shows that over two-thirds of organizational change efforts fail to deliver on their intended goals. We studied some of the classic change management models, but to be most effective, these models assume you know what you’re transforming into. But at Google, we often don’t have a static endstate were looking for; we need to maintain a fluidity in our structures to support the pace of our business.We needed to start the dialogue around change earlier and force important questions, starting with “does this change actually need to happen?” We came up with a four-step approach to business-driven organizational change we call “ChangeRules.” Four analytical questions drivethis approach:We started by testing this approach with a customer-supporting group and we quickly realizedthe leadership team wasn’t aligned on why they needed to change. So we spent time initially discussing what problem we were solving and we involved our managers in what the changes to the service model would be. This approach resulted in 100% of managers understanding the change and 80% of their teams understanding the change (up from 50%), resulting in a 90% adoption rate.We’ve also seen the model help us avoid a reorganization. In one instance, a new leader took over an existing org and wanted to move things around. But in using this framework, we asked why any change needed to happen and what the desired future state was. We determined that a reorganization would not actually help the leader move the organization where they wanted.But once you decide to make a change, how do you make it stick? When we use this framework, we do three things to “give legs to change efforts and improve outcomes:1. Start with the “why” and “what.” As one of our leaders said, “Change is constant, but this framework allows us to test and clarify strategic business decisions before they are finalized.”2. Go slow to go fast. As early as possible, involve employees in creating solutions, rather than just sharing decisions, and you’ll front load the toughest conversations and make it easier to bring everyone along.3. Commit to landing, not just launching. Be sure you’re focused on effecting the change, not just announcing it.After, how do you know if you’ve been successful? Determine what you’re looking to achieve and measure before making a change. You can measure organizational health metrics (e.g. employee surveys, skills development, attrition) as well as business performance (e.g. customer satisfaction, product adoption rates).To thrive, companies must be open to change, and equally open to rethinking how they approach change management. Asking the right questions and involving all stakeholders in the process is a framework that can help companies evolve. This blog was originally posted on re:Work blog.
CCH Tax Day ReportThe Illinois Supreme Court held that Chicago’s taxation of car rentals outside city limits under its personal property lease transaction tax ordinance violated the city’s home rule powers under the home rule article of the Illinois constitution. Home rule units may not extend their taxing power beyond the home rule unit’s borders absent express legislative authority. Chicago announced it would assume that short-term vehicle lease transactions occurring within three miles of the city’s borders were taxable under its ordinance if the lessee intended to use the vehicle in Chicago more than 50% of the time or was a Chicago resident. To help determine whether a transaction was taxable, the ordinance provided language for rental agreements through which the lessee would notify the lessor that she intended to use the leased vehicle either inside or outside of Chicago more than 50% of the time. The ordinance was challenged by car rental companies. Chicago argued that the tax was imposed on the use of vehicles inside Chicago. The Court found that the tax was not imposed on a lessee’s use but on either a lessee’s stated intent as to where the lessee would use the vehicle, or a conclusive presumption that a Chicago resident would use the vehicle in Chicago.The Hertz Corp. v. The City of Chicago, Illinois Supreme Court, No. 119945, 119960, January 20, 2017, ¶403-195
A bizarre microbe found deep in a gold mine in South Africa could provide a model for how life might survive in seemingly uninhabitable environments through the cosmos. Known as Desulforudis audaxviator, the rod-shaped bacterium thrives 2.8 kilometers underground in a habitat devoid of the things that power the vast majority of life on Earth—light, oxygen, and carbon. Instead, this “gold mine bug” gets energy from radioactive uranium in the depths of the mine. Now, scientists predict that life elsewhere in the universe might also feed off of radiation, especially radiation raining down from space.“It really grabbed my attention because it’s completely powered by radioactive substances,” says Dimitra Atri, an astrobiologist and computational physicist who works for the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, Washington. “Who’s to say life on other worlds doesn’t do the same thing?”Most life on Earth’s surface takes in the energy it needs through one of two processes. Plants, some bacteria, and certain other organisms collect energy from sunlight through a process called photosynthesis. In it, they use the energy from light to convert water and carbon dioxide into more complex and energetic molecules called hydrocarbons, thus storing the energy so that it can be recovered later by breaking down the molecules through a process called oxidation. Alternatively, animals and other organisms simply feed off of plants, one another, etc., to steal the energy already stored in living things.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)D. audaxviator takes a third path: It draws its energy from the radioactivity of uranium in the rock in the mine. The radiation from decaying uranium nuclei breaks apart sulfur and water molecules in the stone, producing molecular fragments such as sulfate and hydrogen peroxide that are excited with internal energy. The microbe then takes in these molecules, siphons off their energy, and spits them back out. Most of the energy produced from this process powers the bacterium’s reproduction and internal processes, but a portion of it also goes to repairing damage from the radiation.Atri thinks an extraterrestrial life form could easily make use of a similar system. The radiation might not come from radioactive materials on the planet itself, but rather from galactic cosmic rays (GCRs)—high-energy particles that careen through the universe after being flung out of a supernova. They’re everywhere, even on Earth, but our planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere shields us from most GCRs. The surfaces of other planets like Mars are much more susceptible to cosmic rays because of their thin atmospheres and, in the case of Mars, its lack of a magnetic field. Atri argues GCRs could reach the Red Planet’s surface with enough energy left to power a tiny organism. This could also be the case on any world with a negligible atmosphere: Pluto, Earth’s moon, Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and, theoretically, countless more outside our solar system. He does note, though, that because GCRs don’t deliver nearly as much energy as the sun, GCR-powered life would be very small, and simple, just like D. audaxviator.To figure out how this might work, Atri ran simulations using existing data about GCRs to see how much energy they’d provide on some of these other worlds. The numbers were clear: The small, steady shower of cosmic rays would supply enough energy to power a simple organism on all of the planets he simulated except Earth, Atri reports this week in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. “It can’t be ruled out that life like this could exist,” he says.Atri thinks Mars is the best candidate to host GCR-powered life. The planet’s composition is rocky like Earth’s with plenty of minerals, and it might even have some water tucked away. Both would offer excellent mediums to be broken down by cosmic rays and gobbled up by a life form. The most essential part of the equation, though, is the thin atmosphere. “It’s funny,” Atri says, “because when we look for planets that contain life currently, we look for a very thick atmosphere. With these life forms, we’re looking for the opposite.”Duncan Forgan, an astrobiologist at the University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work, agrees that Mars might be harboring D. audaxviator-like life because its stable temperatures and physical makeup are similar to that of the South African gold mine. He does worry that on other planets that don’t receive light energy from a sun but still get bombarded with GCRs—such as free floating rogue planets not tied to any solar system—temperatures would dip too low and freeze life in its tracks. He also cautions that too many cosmic rays could wipe life out altogether: “Life forms like this want a steady flux of energy from cosmic rays, but not so much that it’s damaging,” he says. “They might not be able to cope with a huge bout of radiation that pops in.”In the future, Atri wants to bring the gold mine bug into the lab and see how it responds to cosmic radiation levels equivalent to those on Mars, Europa, and others. That data would give him more clues to whether this kind of organism could survive beyond Earth. “Desulforudis audaxviator is proof that life can thrive using almost any energy source available,” he says. “I always think of Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park—life finds a way.”*Correction, 3 January, 2:45 p.m.: This article has been modified to reflect the fact that not all life on Earth gets its energy from either photosynthesis or by eating other life forms. Desulforudis audaxviator thrive using radiation from uranium as an energy source deep in the gold mine they call home. NASA
The disease will continue to spread in regions where its mosquito vector lives, David Heymann, chair of the Zika Emergency Committee, told the press conference. The outstanding questions require long-term, coordinated research, which WHO and its partners can do better by forming a technical advisory group to coordinate the international response, Heymann said. Zika “must now be managed within WHO as are other infectious diseases.” Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Zika virus and its complications—including birth defects and temporary paralysis—are not going away any time soon, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, said today. Because the disease requires a long-term approach, it has decided to end its declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The move is not a demotion of the disease, Pete Salama, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, told a press conference. “We are not downgrading the importance of Zika. By placing it as a longer-term program of work, we are saying Zika is here to stay and WHO’s response is here to stay.”WHO Director-General Margaret Chan declared in February that the cluster of babies born with unusually small heads, a condition called microcephaly, associated with an outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil should be declared a public health emergency. That PHEIC declaration allowed WHO and its partners to take quick action to better understand the connection between the virus and the observed increase in severe birth defects. Since then, researchers have concluded that the virus can indeed trigger a range of birth defects as well as neurological complications in adult patients. But a long list of questions remain unanswered: Scientists don’t know how often the disease causes severe complications, nor do they know whether certain cofactors, such as other viruses, genetic factors, or environmental factors might be playing a role. Other questions remain about how the disease spreads, both via mosquitoes and directly from one person to another.
Cricket rates have been jacked up for the Indian Premier League matches at home but ardent T20 fans may not mind it.This is peak summer in India and as the temperature rises, it is time for the intensity of cricket to also go up. After the first fortnight in the UAE went off well, one almost did not notice how the cricket caravan slipped into home training grounds.Enough has been written about the woes of defending champions Mumbai Indians but on Saturday they would have heaved a sigh of relief as they snapped the winning streak of Kings XI Punjab.It is hard to fathom what went wrong with the Mumbai team in the desert, but I have not been able to understand the logic of getting on board so many “expert advisors.”John Wright is the head coach, Jonty Rhodes the fielding coach, and in addition they have Anil Kumble, Robin Singh, Sachin Tendulkar and now Ricky Ponting. It’s nice to have a star support cast for a team which has no dearth of funds but what value they bring to the team we will know in coming weeks.The famous saying of too many cooks spoiling the broth may sound cliched but for Mumbai all the collective thinking was needed when they left the UAE. To have finally won their first match in front of a sea of blue in the stands at the Wankhede on Saturday was very important. Given the long drawn format of the tournament, no team can be written off, though Chennai Super Kings as usual have done extremely well under the guidance of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. We all know how shrewd a captain Dhoni is and this season he has been well served by Ravindra Jadeja and Brendon McCullum in particular.advertisementThe same, however, cannot be said about the other Indians who are leading their respective franchises. Watching Gautam Gambhir struggle with the bat, it is clear his poor run has a lot to do with trying too hard. Any professional sportsperson has to enjoy whatever he does on the field. In Gambhir’s case, it does appear he is trying too much and it shows on his face. To have scored just 52 runs in six matches with a highest of 45 at a strike rate of 76.47 is a cause for worry.When Kolkata Knight Riders were crowned IPL champions in 2012, Gambhir was the superstar. He talked of how Kolkata was his home away from home and the Bengali community lapped it up with glee.If Gambhir has to connect again with the Kolkatans and turn the fortunes of his team around, he needs to be more relaxed. Where does that leave Gambhir’s Delhi Ranji teammate Virat Kohli? The rockstar of Indian cricket, who has done so well in the ODIs and the recent ICC World T20, is looking subdued in the IPL.Nobody is expecting him to slam a 100 in this format often but given the fluctuating fortunes of Royal Challengers Bangalore, fans would love to see Kohli changes gears fast. For sheer star value, the Bangalore side is loaded with heavyweights. With Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle for company, Kohli would do well to show his current run is just an aberration.It is unfair to expect he will score each time he steps out to bat though 105 runs in five matches this season with a highest of 49 seems meagre. Let’s take a look at Sunrisers Hyderabad. For a side which has a good bowling line-up with Dale Steyn looking impressive, skipper Shikhar Dhawan has not been inspirational at all.This is Dhawan’s first season as captain and whether it is that pressure or a poor run with the bat we will know soon. Till now, in five matches, Dhawan has scored 85 runs with the highest being 38. Surely for a side which needs to win more matches, it is very important Dhawan bounces back to form.And what about Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma? Consistency has never been his forte. There are days when he looks outstanding and there are patches when he just does not score in international cricket. The IPL is a demanding tournament and each player has to be firing on all cylinders. Rohit has scored 123 runs in six matches with a 50 to boot. His 39 on Saturday was valuable and he would have realised how important it is for him to score runs and motivate the side.This is a great chance for Rohit to show leadership skills in addition to his own batting. He has a galaxy of past stars to seek advice from and that should be real [email protected]