Jun 1, 2006 (CIDRAP news) – The European Commission (EC) reported yesterday that 741 cases of H5N1 avian influenza have been detected among about 60,000 wild birds tested in European Union states since February.The EC presented its data during the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) International Scientific Conference on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds, which concluded yesterday in Rome.In other news from the 2-day conference, scientists reported that the spread of avian influenza has been aided by the legal and illegal trade in wild birds, according to news agencies. Meanwhile, experts are trying to define the role that migratory birds play.The EC and the Community Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza in Weybridge, UK, began testing wild birds in all European Union (EU) states in July 2005. The EC, in a press release yesterday, said that, though final figures are still being collected for recent months, 741 wild birds in 13 member states tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza between February and May 21 of this year. Most of those were confirmed to be H5N1 cases. About 60,000 birds were tested in that period, and about 99,000 over the entire 10 months of testing.Germany had the most cases, with 326, followed by Austria (117), Poland (64), France (62), and Denmark (42), the EC reported. EU member states reporting from 1 to 32 positive tests were the United Kingdom, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Sweden, and Greece.Cases of H5N1 peaked in March, with 362, and have gradually declined since then, with 162 in April and 17 in the first 3 weeks of May, according to the EC. The third week of February was the most active week, logging 116 cases, while February as a whole witnessed 200 cases.Swans made up 62.8% of the wild birds found to be infected, the EC said. Other kinds included ducks, 16.3%; geese, 4.5%; birds of prey, 3.9%, and various others, 13%.The EC said only four outbreaks of H5N1 avian flu have been found in domestic poultry in the EU, and all were swiftly eradicated. Romania, which has reported numerous poultry outbreaks in recent weeks, is not an EU member.”Extensive surveillance for avian influenza in wild birds and poultry has been one of the key tools used by the EU to fend off the virus over the past months,” said EC Commissioner for Health and Human Protection Markos Kyprianou in the press release. “We cannot let our guard down when it comes to avian influenza, as it is likely to remain a threat for Europe and the rest of the world for many months to come.”Animal trade and avian flu spreadScientists at the Rome FAO/OIE conference cited the legal and illegal trade of wild birds as playing a significant role in spreading avian influenza, according to a report yesterday from Bloomberg news service.”We have to focus on this issue of trade, because it’s the most frequent way of spreading disease from one region to another,” said FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Joseph Domenech in the Bloomberg story. “This includes legal and illegal trade, which is quite significant and often ignored.”The Bloomberg report said that each year about 350 million live animals are moved worldwide to become pets or serve other domestic needs, at a cost of about $20 billion. About a fourth of these animals are transported and sold illegally, according to the story.”Focusing efforts at markets to regulate, reduce, or, in some cases, eliminate the trade in wildlife could provide a cost-effective approach to decrease the risks in disease for humans, domestic animals, and wildlife,” Domenech told Bloomberg.Domenech, according to an Agence France-Press (AFP) story from yesterday, also discussed the role of migratory birds. The main problem, he said, is that scientists don’t know with certainty whether wild birds can act as long-term reservoirs for H5N1.”We still have a long way to go to fully understand the disease,” he said in the AFP story. “Before saying there is no role for wild birds in Africa, we should be careful. We have to wait a little bit.”Domenech told AFP that one of the main achievements of the Rome conference was to gather people from the poultry trade, wildlife experts, and policy makers to begin a discussion on how avian flu travels long distances.”We have identified gaps and the need to continue and intensify research, in particular with regards to the species which can be involved [in spreading the virus],” Domenech told AFP.See also:European Commission press release
Ballydoyle number one jockey Joseph O’Brien opted to partner eventual fifth Palace, allowing the all-conquering Moore to team up with the 10-1 chance, who was running for only the third time having finished sixth in the Leopardstown trial on March 30. The Olly Stevens-trained Lightning Thunder, narrowly beaten by Miss France in the Newmarket equivalent, went off the 100-30 favourite and led going into the final furlong, but she could not cope with the winner’s late surge and went down by three lengths. Ryan Moore was full of praise for Marvellous after the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly provided the jockey with a first victory in the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh. Another Ballydoyle contender, Wonderfully, made the running and Marvellous still had plenty of work to do when Harry Bentley swept to the lead with a couple of furlongs remaining on the market leader, but her stamina came into the equation as O’Brien captured the prize for the sixth time in his career. James Doyle, who won Saturday’s Irish 2,000 Guineas on Kingman, finished third aboard the Dermot Weld-trained Vote Often. Moore said: “You have to be very pleased, it was only her third run, in deep ground. She was drawn towards the outside and was a long way back. She had to do it the hard way, she passed nearly the whole field and you’d have to say it was a really good performance. “I was taken off my feet after a furlong and couldn’t really hold my spot. When I asked her, she picked up, I think she was just pretty inexperienced during the race. She should get further but you never know with these things. I’m sure she’d be a better filly on nicer ground.” O’Brien added: ” She handled this sort of ground when she won her maiden at Navan last year. She then had the one run this year at Leopardstown and had a bit of a break after that as, like a lot of mine, she was coughing a bit. “Joseph had a tough choice and he knew it was a close call, but at declaration time we didn’t think it was going to get as soft as this. “With Marvellous, the plan was to come here and then on to Epsom. You’d have to say she’d definitely get a mile and a quarter the way she ran to the line. She’s a nice, compact filly and I don’t think she’d have any problems handling Epsom.” The man who calls the shots is part-owner John Magnier, who said: “Aidan fancied her. In fact, I think he even asked Joseph to ride her and Joseph picked the other one. “Her pedigree would indicate there’s could be more to come to come, she’s out of a sister to Giant’s Causeway who won the Cherry Hinton. She’s really well bred and probably bred to get a mile and a half. We’ll have to listen to what they all say over the next few days, but I couldn’t see any reason why not (run in the Oaks) if all goes well.” Press Association
Days after losing her parents, Xia Shuqin and her sister were found standing in the rubble of their house by an American missionary, who was taking a picture of the scene. In the present, the Nanjing Massacre survivor is sharing her experiences with her grandchildren to carry on her family’s history. While creating the documentary, the film team spent several days walking through China with Xia Shuqin and her grandchildren as Shuqin remembered various places from her childhood. Photo from Tribeca Film.The Girl and the Picture follows the life of Xia after the events of the Nanjing Massacre. The documentary, produced by the USC Shoah Foundation, will be shown at Tribeca Film Festival on April 27. “Sometimes it’s hard to understand history without identifying information about people and actual lives,” said Vanessa Roth, the film’s director. “One really powerful way to understand history is to understand [that it] is family history.”The USC Shoah Foundation has maintained an ongoing partnership with the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders with the intention of collecting the survivors’ testimonies, making them interactive and bringing them to a larger audience. One of the foundation’s interviewees was Xia, whose own experiences utilizing activism to raise awareness about the massacre appealed to the foundation. Foundation members conducted a closer examination into Xia’s story.“When we brought her to Los Angeles to interview her as part of our interactive testimony, we became more in touch with her story and her experience and this part of that became also her interest in telling the story to her own family,” said Karen Jungblut, director of research and documentation at the Shoah Foundation. According to Jungblut, this initial interest quickly formed an idea for a full-length documentary. Throughout the documentary’s developmental stages, staff members interested in the project focused on the familial bonds and legacy Xia’s wanted to create by sharing her story. “[Nanjing survivor] Madame Xia has been interviewed about the massacre for many years now by many journalists around the world,” Roth said, “We wanted to make a film that was a personal story.” The film team spent days filming Xia and her grandchildren walking through the places in China she knew as a child and looking through photographs from her past, before and after the massacre. “Family members get answers that are personal,” Roth said. “A young child would ask questions about childhood and bring her back to her own childhood.”Now, with the chance for added exposure through the Tribeca Film Festival, Roth said The Girl and the Picture can spread its lessons to a wider audience.“Tribeca is one of the most important film festivals globally,” said Andi Gitow, the film’s executive producer, who is also the director of strategy, partnerships and media production at the Foundation. “It’s not even just about the screening itself that takes place, but the discussions around the screening, the press coverage, the fact that [it] allows Madame Xia’s message and USC Shoah’s message to get out even more.”The film has been submitted to a number of other festivals, including the Newport Beach Film Festival. There are plans to screen the film in China and distribute it through a theatrical release to spread its message worldwide.“It’s this idea of the legacy across generations,” Gitow said. “It’s a legacy of loss, a legacy of resilience, it’s a legacy of family and it’s a legacy of forgiveness. I think the notion is that everyone has stories to tell and it’s important that people share their stories with their own families.”Meanwhile, the foundation has continued to collect 100 other testimonies to be subtitled in English and integrated into the archive by the end of the year. Jungblut said that by bringing in these interviews, more light will be shed on a fragment of history that has not previously received as much attention.“To really understand the global impact of a World War and a war that really happened on different continents and the impact that this history has … from that perspective, I think it’s important to us to bring these stories into the archive with the Holocaust survivor testimonies and other testimonies from other genocides,” Jungblut said.
The roster looks dramatically different from last year’s after securing the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation, highlighted by five-star freshman forwards Isaiah Mobley and Onyeka Okongwu. Mobley was named to the watch list for the Malone Award, given to the top power forward in the nation. Those two are the fifth- and seventh-highest rated recruits, respectively, in USC’s history (not including 2020 center Evan Mobley, who is ranked No. 1 in his class). The Pac-12 preseason media poll had the Trojans finishing fifth in the conference behind Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Arizona. Washington brought in two stud freshmen forwards in the front court — Jaden McDaniels, who has drawn comparisons to a young Kevin Durant, and Isaiah Stewart. Sophomore transfer forward and former Trojan J’Raan Brooks will sit this season due to NCAA eligibility rules, but sophomore transfer guard Quade Green was ruled eligible over the weekend. The Huskies lost their top player from last year, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Matisse Thybulle, to the first round of the NBA Draft. The Trojans will take on Florida A&M Tuesday at 8 p.m. to begin the regular season. Editor’s note: A previous version of this article included inaccurate statistics from USC’s preseason game against Santa Clara. The article has been updated online with the correct information. Rakocevic was second in last year’s team in scoring with 14.7 points per game to go along with 9.3 rebounds. He is the sixth-leading returning scorer and second-leading rebounder in the Pac-12, and was named to the watch list for the Abdul-Jabbar award, given to the nation’s top centers. The Buffaloes return their two top players in juniors guard McKinley Wright IV and guard/forward Tyler Bey, who was the winner of the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player of the Year Award and named All-Pac-12 Conference First Team last season. Although this year’s recruiting class ranked last in the Pac-12, the Buffaloes have plenty of experience and depth, and the team’s core is entering its third season together. Returning for this season are seniors guard Jonah Mathews and forward Nick Rakocevic, redshirt sophomore guard Charles O’Bannon Jr. and sophomore guard Elijah Weaver. Head coach Andy Enfield added graduate transfer guard Daniel Utomi and redshirt senior guard Quinton Adlesh. Both will bring veteran leadership, physicality and shooting to the Trojans. Adding physicality, athleticism, versatile defenders and even more shooting is a great start, and if the team can gel and play unselfish basketball in order to reach its potential, the Trojans will have a chance in a crowded Pac-12. O’Bannon is ready to make an impact after a broken left pinky finger limited him to just one game last season. Weaver, who started five games as a freshman and averaged 5.1 points per game, will provide shooting and ball handling. He scored 11 points in the exhibition against Villanova. “The two of them are really fun to watch,” Enfield said of Utomi and Adlesh in an interview with the Orange County Register. “We hope that they can grow quickly because we need both of them to contribute.” Despite having two players last season now in the NBA — first-round pick guard Kevin Porter Jr. and undrafted free agent forward Bennie Boatwright — the squad could only muster a disappointing 16-17 record overall and 8-10 in conference, leading to an eventual Pac-12 quarterfinal defeat at the hands of regular season champion Washington. This lack of translation from talent to on-court success has been a recent trend. Last season, the Trojans had the Pac-12’s highest team three-point percentage, the most assists per game and scored the third-most points per game. However, between a 2-8 record on the road and allowing the seventh-most points per game in the Pac-12, it will take much more consistency to contend this year. The Trojans have six freshmen that should make an impact from the get-go, including four-star small forward Max Agbonkpolo, three-star guards Kyle Sturdivant and Ethan Anderson and three star shooting guard and two-sport athlete Drake London once he finishes the football season. The freshmen scored 56 points in USC’s 72-68 preseason victory over Santa Clara, led by Okongwu’s 17. Mathews, who was one of two players to start every game for the Trojans last season, was third in the team in scoring, putting up 12.6 points per game. The success of this year’s squad will likely be predicated on the performance of its freshman. Amid FBI investigations and allegations against head coach Sean Miller, the Arizona Wildcats were able to bring in yet another uber-talented class, with two of ESPN’s top 10 players in the country in freshmen guards Nico Mannion and Josh Green. After a couple of inconsistent and underwhelming seasons, the Wildcats need to get back on track or else more people will call for Miller’s firing. The Trojans are coming off their winningest four-year span in program history with 87 total victories. That said, a loss in the Round of 32 like 2017 isn’t exactly the golden standard for a team that has consistently been in the top 35 in recruiting — and has improved its incoming classes every year. Freshman forward Isaiah Mobley and the young Trojan team are looking to compete for a conference championship this season. (Sarah Ko | Daily Trojan) Oregon will be led by last year’s conference tournament MVP, senior guard Payton Pritchard, who has hit countless clutch shots over conference opponents throughout his career. He’ll be aided by the Ducks’ No. 4-ranked recruiting class. The USC men’s basketball team opens its regular season Tuesday night as it begins the hunt for its first March Madness appearance since 2017. Although they’ll be without their top recruit, freshman center N’Faly Dante, for the first nine games of the season due to the NCAA missing his clearance date, five-star forward CJ Walker and four-star point guard Addison Patterson and forward Chandler Lawson will contribute early for the Ducks. “Gritty and tough, that’s what we want to be labeled as. A team you don’t want to play against,” Mathews said in an interview with the Orange County Register. “There’s some teams that you don’t want to meet up with in the tournament or whatever, and we want that to be us.”