Transfer rumours and paper review – Monday, September 15

first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Monday’s newspapers…Manchester United are lining up an ambitious January swoop for Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels. (Daily Express)Angel Di Maria will be the man used by Louis Van Gaal to lure Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United. (Daily Express)Roma are lining up a £2million move for Liverpool defender Glen Johnson. (Daily Star)Manchester City face losing England midfielder James Milner in the January transfer window. Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool will all be interested in Milner, 28. City will look to replace him with an English signing and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, 19, and Jay Rodriquez, 25, would be targets. (Daily Star)Arsene Wenger may look to bring in a free agent as defensive cover with Mathieu Debuchy facing three months out. (Daily Mirror)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…‘Our season starts now’ insists Man United boss Van GaalRedknapp confident QPR will avoid the drop this seasonArsenal need to give Ozil more time, club legend tells talkSPORTExclusive – Hislop: Pardew’s time is up at Newcastle and Bruce should replace himlast_img read more

Jessica Lynch- Soldier, Hero, and Teacher

first_imgWhen I asked Jessica how important it was for her to continue to serve- more than a decade after her heroic time in uniform she was quick to say how she was both “honored and humbled” to have the opportunity to inspire others, and fulfill her original goal of being a hero- as a teacher in the classroom to young boys and girls.  As we honor our veterans this November 11, and as we support them throughout the year, we should reflect on what really makes them heroic.  For Jessica Lynch, as heroic as her actions were in uniform, her commitment to service today is equally inspirational.  Soldier, teacher and- as always- hero! For more on how you can hire today’s heroes please check out all of the resources that SHRM has compiled for you and your organization.  Click here for more. The former- POW’s equally inspiring journey after combat  In March 2003 our nation’s conscious was fixated on the start of military operations in Iraq.  Tens of thousands of our troops marched to Baghdad and beyond, and one of those Soldiers was Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch.  While many may recall the former POW’s harrowing and inspirational story of courage and commitment, her journey and dedication to service after the military is equally heroic. Jessica shared her very powerful and personal story as the opening keynote speaker during SHRM’s October Diversity and Inclusion Conference in Austin, TX.  I had the opportunity to sit-down with Jessica before her opening keynote speech and asked her about life after the Army, and the challenges and opportunities she’s had over these last 13-years since she nearly lost her life in the service of her country.“It’s not easy,” Jessica candidly acknowledged as she discussed both her personal transition from service as well as the challenges thousands of other veterans face each year. center_img The wounds of war – visible or invisible- make that transition all the more challenging.  Jessica talked about those struggles, and how organizations need to be both “patient” and supportive as veterans find their place outside of uniform. last_img read more

8 Things to Consider When Updating Employee Handbooks for 2017

first_imgFederal and state legal developments over the last year brought a lot of changes that impact workplace policies and procedures, making it critical for companies to review their handbooks for compliance. “2016 was the busiest year I can recall in this regard,” said Elaine Diedrich, an attorney with Littler in Pittsburgh.Workplace rules and regulations may continue to change under President Donald Trump’s administration, but employers should make sure their handbooks are up to date under current laws, she added.  Trump has made overtures that regulations will be pulled back, and if that happens, it could be positive for businesses that have been struggling to keep up with all of the latest changes, said Jason Keck, an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Chicago.In the meantime, employers should take a close look at their policies. From National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions to local paid-sick-leave laws, here are some of the important changes to note from the past year.1. NLRB Decisions”At the federal level, we’ve seen a lot from the NLRB,” Keck said. Employers should review their social media policies, keeping in mind the board’s Aug. 18, 2016, decision that found that Chipotle’s social media policy prohibiting employees from “posting incomplete, confidential or inaccurate information” violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).The board said that “in order to lose the act’s protection, more than a false or misleading statement by the employee is required; it must be shown that the employee had a malicious motive.”Employers also should examine and possibly rewrite “any policy that simply tells employees they need to act professionally and in a positive manner or be nice to customers,” Diedrich said.The board’s decision in T-Mobile U.S.A. Inc. (April 29, 2016) found that several workplace rules were unlawful, including a rule about maintaining a positive work environment.The NLRB said employees could reasonably interpret the rule to restrict “potentially controversial or contentious communications and discussions,” including those involving their right to join a union and bargain collectively.Also review policies about recording in the workplace, media inquiries, reference checks and policies that prohibit disparagement of the employer, Diedrich added.Keck noted that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually weigh in on the NLRB’s position that class-action waivers in arbitration agreements violate an employee’s right to engage in protected, concerted activity.Until then, employers will have to assess whether to have a class-action waiver in their handbook, he said.2. Reporting ViolationsMake sure handbook provisions don’t … To continue reading this article, please click here.last_img read more

Jango’s Social Music Service Shines In a Crowded Market

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts The social music market is a crowded one, but it looks like Jango has learned from its quicker competitors and has launched a very nice service. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Unsigned music industry blog The Hippodrome got in on the beta and says that they didn’t discover anything new on Jango. Jango is paying an internet radio station license to SoundExchange, ASCAP and BMI and populates its library via manual collection (they buy CDs). Commercial popularity, editorial selection and “people who like” recommendations all go together to determine Jango’s recommendations. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting There’s a lot that’s not finished at Jango yet (after all, it’s still in private beta with only 300,000 users -lol) but the single biggest thing you’ll notice is the superior control over the playlist. You can skip around to related songs played past and in the future – you’re not at the mercy of the tireless advance of the stream ala Pandora. It’s quite nice. It’s a good looking service. Think Last.fm with more social features and more AJAX. Think Pandora with profiles brought to the front and more control over the playlist. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… There is, in fact, more AJAX than you can shake a stick at. There’s not a pop-up player per se, but there is some song and channel continuity across pages. This doesn’t appear to be AJAX, it’s quite interesting in fact, but I like it. marshall kirkpatrick Jango is a social music site that’s launching formally in the middle of next month, but has decided to reach out to blogs for coverage now. Apparently a company with an enlarged sense of proportion all along, Jango says its private beta has 300,000 users. Yet it’s stayed off the radar of all the leading web 2.0 review blogs to date. Read/WriteWeb readers who click through this link can access the closed beta. You’ll be prompted to create an account after you enter your first artist search. Read on for more info about the interesting founders, the interface and the recommendation engine. Jango was founded by an international band of mysterious outlaws; they participated in the first bubble, including in European giant portal Spray and “monopoly cable TV stations” in Armenia and “their arch rival country” Azerbijan. I said they were outlaws. The six co-founders self-funded the New York based company until yesterday when they closed a $1 million angel round from undisclosed investors. Tags:#web last_img read more

Home Security or DIY Big Brother? Sensr.net Tests The Market…

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… For example, if a webcam is monitoring a garage, most of the time nothing will be happening. It’s just video footage of a garage door. However if a car enters the garage, that is an activity that Sensr.net will save – for later viewing, in case it becomes relevant later.Future plans for Sensr.net include implementing face detection technology and branching out into areas such as storing home-made family videos. It will also publicly release an API (currently in alpha).I’m impressed by the market opportunity that Adam Beguelin is already exploring – mixing home security with cloud computing. With a hint of Big Brother too, which may cause Sensr.net problems if it becomes very popular. Regardless, I’m intrigued by Beguelin’s willingness to experiment and pivot if necessary. Who knows what Sensr.net will eventually become, because one senses that home security is just a foot in the door for the company. Plus, with a name like Sensr.net, the company has in-built flexibility to go into other areas. My spidey senses are tingling with Sensr.net, it’s one to watch. Tags:#conferences#home#Internet of Things#SXSW 2012#web How Sensr.net Manages 1.1 Terabytes of data Per DayHow does Sensr.net manage so much data? The company was founded in 2009, so it already has years of video on its servers. Beguelin told me that Sensr.net is smart about how it stores data, because it only saves about 1/10th of the video that is uploaded. That’s about 100GB for each 1.1 terabyte it uploads every day. Sensr.net aims to keep just the good bits, by scanning an hour’s worth of video footage and saving only a few interesting parts. In Beguelin’s words, the software “summarizes videos and picks the right frames” to keep. Related Posts richard macmanus Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting There were only about 15 people at the Smart Homes Meetup at SXSW, which took place in a meeting room at the Hilton Austin. Ironically, the air conditioning didn’t seem to be working. Not much smart technology in this room, I thought, mopping my brow and pouring myself a glass of iced water. But as I began working my way around the room, I discovered plenty of human smarts among the handful of Smart Home companies in attendance. I also found out that many of these startups are focused on home security. Turns out that’s where a lot of the initial commercial activity is happening around the Internet of Things – where real world objects are connected to the Internet.Adam Beguelin was one of the smart startup founders I met. He already has a successful track record in Web 2.0, having sold his video search startup Truveo to AOL for a cool $50 million in 2006. Beguelin’s latest venture, Sensr.net, is a cloud-based video monitoring service. Using relatively cheap webcams, users can monitor video footage of their homes (or anything else) over the Internet.Sensr.net processes 1.1 terabytes of data every day and is growing 15% every month in active cameras.Beguelin came up with the idea while on a one-year sabbatical in Vietnam with his family. Wanting to keep an eye on his California home while he was away, he set up two webcams and piped the footage to the Internet. (Note that a photo or video camera is still the best ‘sensor’ on the market, because it sees so much.)Those humble beginnings led to a fast growing business. Sensr.net is currently processing about 1.1 terabytes of data per day and the service is growing 15% every month in active cameras. With the tagline “watch your stuff,” Sensr.net continuously monitors and archives data from its users’ webcams. The initial use case is a kind of DIY home surveillance, enabling users to watch out for suspicious or unusual activity in their home or office. If such activity is detected, Sensr.net notifies users immediately via text message or email. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The business idea is compelling for Sensr.net: professional video surveillance is expensive and Sensr.net is a low cost alternative. For the user, they just need to buy a webcam or two ($100-200). For Sensr.net, it’s low cost to run because of cloud computing – which these days is relatively cheap. Also, Beguelin informed me that Sensr.net has a 20% conversion rate from fermium to premium users (plans range from $3-29 per month).While home security is the driver for Sensr.net, Beguelin is also hoping to tap into another current trend: the Social Web. Beguelin figures that a lot of interesting or fun footage is among the 1.1 terabytes of data being uploaded to Sensr.net every day, so why not enable users to share it with friends. So like almost every other online service nowadays, Sensr.net connects to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites. In the words of Beguelin earlier this year, “Sensr.net is about security, but also socializing your network camera.” 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

On a remote Pacific island, this doctor has revived a 60-year quest to eradicate a disfiguring disease

first_img 8 N. DESAI/SCIENCE Stanis Malom’s (center) untreated infection caused an open wound on his shin. He no longer attends school. LIHIR ISLAND IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA—In a small, poor village 15,000 kilometers from his home, Oriol Mitjà jumped out of a white van one early May afternoon and started to look at people’s legs.”Any children with ulcers here?” he asked in Tok Pisin, the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea (PNG). “Can we see them?” Soon, a young woman pushed a crying boy about 5 years old toward Mitjà. The boy was barefoot; he had a mop of blond curly hair, like most kids here, and was dressed only in dirty blue shorts. A group of villagers, mostly women and children, had gathered to watch. “What’s his name?” Mitjà asked as he sat down on a low wooden bench, pulled on disposable gloves, and gestured to the sobbing kid to come sit on his right leg. “Jeremiah,” his mother said.Mitjà, 38, a physician-scientist from Spain with earnest eyes and a friendly smile, has a way of putting kids at ease. As Jeremiah calmed down and began to wipe the tears from his eyes, Mitjà took a close look at his legs. On each, the boy had a glistening pink ulcer the size of a coin, with slightly raised edges. Nearby were whitish, warty splotches. Mitjà also checked Jeremiah’s arms, hands, and the soles of his feet; they looked fine.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(*)Jeremiah’s mother didn’t seem overly concerned. The ulcers were common, and she said she hadn’t taken the child to a clinic. “Does Jeremiah play with the other kids?” Mitjà asked. She nodded. “Does he go to school?” No, she said—not yet.The ulcers and splotches, or papilloma, are symptoms of a tropical skin disease called yaws, Mitjà’s professional and personal obsession. Yaws affects people in hot, humid areas in PNG and at least 13 other countries in the western Pacific Ocean, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The disease is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pertenue, a close relative of the organism that causes syphilis, and it spreads primarily through skin contact, often between children. Yaws isn’t fatal, but if left untreated it can disfigure the skin and bones, causing lifelong pain and disability.When Mitjà arrived in PNG in 2010 to work at a local clinic, he had no idea what yaws was; the disease was so neglected that it didn’t appear on many lists of neglected tropical diseases. And yet eradicating it was once a major global public health goal. In the first half of the 20th century, colonial health administrators recorded staggering numbers of cases—an estimated 50 million worldwide in 1952—in 90 countries girdling the equator. Then, in 1948, scientists discovered that a single injection of penicillin cured yaws, and in 1952, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland—founded 4 years earlier and brimming with optimism—embarked on an audacious plan to wipe it out. BRIAN CASSEY Vanuatu 2 14 8 Solomon Islands 6 3 9 Mitjà found his answer in yaws. “When I saw the first case, I asked the health workers whether they knew what it was. It was embarrassing because I was the expatriate doctor supposedly helping them,” he says. But he was drawn by the idea of focusing on a forgotten disease—a PubMed search turned up mostly old studies—and he loved Lihir, with its lush vegetation, mountainous interior, and friendly people. “I was really moved by the conditions of the people here. I wanted to do something to help,” he says.Yaws often starts with a single ulcer, which can last for months if not treated; in the second stage, lesions can turn up elsewhere on the body, as they had in Jeremiah. In the long term, the bacterium can infect joints and the outer layer of bones, causing them to swell. It also can cause painful hardening of the skin on the palms and soles of the feet, as well as eruptions on the face.One afternoon in May, Mitjà went to see a 15-year-old Lihir boy named Stanis Malom, who had suffered long-term damage from yaws. The bacterium had caused a symptom sometimes called saber shin, in which the shinbone curves forward. This had likely made the leg prone to tearing of the skin, Mitjà said, and caused a permanent open wound the diameter of a teacup, which he covered with a bandage.Stanis had stopped going to school because of the pain, his father said, and was now helping him grow vegetables. (Mitjà believed the stigma of disease may also have played a role.) Stanis had been treated with antibiotics and no longer had yaws, but the damage had been done; the open wound made him vulnerable to all sorts of infections. In a richer country, an orthopedic surgeon might be able to repair the leg—”You’d have to break the bone and put it back together in a better position,” Mitjà said—but that option did not exist here. “The bottom line is, he’s not going to have a happy life.”A new cure revives old dreamsIn the late 1940s, when antibiotics were new, public health experts began to think big. At the First International Symposium on Yaws Control, in Bangkok in 1952, they discussed how to set up a massive, modern campaign to fight the disease across the tropics. “This symposium marks the coming of age of yaws and the passing of its control from the enthusiastic amateur to the professional slayer of dragons,” one scientist gushed in The British Medical Journal. “The purpose of the campaign will be the eradication of yaws from the community, not merely its reduction to some ill-defined low endemic level,” another wrote.Their optimism was understandable. One shot of benzathine benzylpenicillin effects a seemingly miraculous cure, especially in children. “The ulcers just melt away—it has always fascinated me,” says Donald Hopkins, a former director of health programs at The Carter Center in Atlanta, who saw lots of yaws cases in Sierra Leone in the 1970s.Between 1952 and 1964, a campaign supported by WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund screened more than 300 million people in 46 countries, treated more than 50 million, and slashed the number of cases by an estimated 95%. But efforts in the 1960s and ’70s to integrate the military-style program into developing countries’ own fledgling health systems failed. Even as cases of yaws dwindled, other, deadlier diseases, including HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, were becoming more urgent. The campaign also had an inbuilt flaw. Most countries treated only patients with visible symptoms, along with their contacts. But for every active case, five or six latent carriers may exist whose disease can reactivate, sometimes many years later, and infect others. But the campaign fizzled out in the 1970s and ’80s. Penicillin had its drawbacks. The injections—in the buttock, with a thick, hollow needle—are painful and can introduce bloodborne pathogens if not done safely; penicillin allergy is a problem as well. After cases had been slashed by some 95%, the campaign became a victim of its own success. Yaws faded from a global priority to a forgotten disease.That is now changing, thanks largely to Mitjà, an assistant professor at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain. In 2012, he published a paper in The Lancet showing that yaws can be cured with a single dose of the oral antibiotic azithromycin. That much safer and easier treatment can be given not only to infected people, but also to entire at-risk populations. The study—”perhaps the most important [paper] on yaws in the past 50 years,” as David Mabey of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) wrote—revived the dream of eradication. WHO is now spearheading a new global attack plan. If it succeeds, it would be a major feat, because only one human disease has been eradicated: smallpox, in 1980. (Campaigns to end polio and Guinea worm disease are in their final stages.) Yaws would also be the first bacterial disease to be wiped out.But success isn’t guaranteed. The scale of the challenge is uncertain because no one knows how many yaws cases remain—or just how many countries are still afflicted. Global health’s usual benefactors, having picked other priorities, have refused to open their wallets. And some scientists say Mitjà and WHO ignore an inconvenient fact: Unlike other agents marked for eradication, the yaws bacterium—or a close relative—also infects monkeys and apes, suggesting the disease could jump back into the human population at any time.Those questions haven’t deterred Mitjà, whose tireless campaign—mixing science, medicine, and advocacy—has made him a celebrity in Catalonia, his native region of Spain. This spring, together with PNG health officials and with modest funding from a group of donors, he launched the first of three mass treatments with azithromycin, each 6 months apart, to test the feasibility of eradication. Jeremiah’s village on the island of New Ireland is part of the study area. “Tomorrow, a team will come with yaws medicine. Everybody will get the drug,” Mitjà said after the boy, now smiling faintly, had hopped off his lap. “Jeremiah’s ulcers will be gone within a few weeks,” he promised the boy’s mother.Lasting damageIn 2010, a medical center on Lihir, a very remote island, advertised a temporary position for a doctor. About one-third the size of New York City, Lihir has 18,000 inhabitants and one of the world’s biggest gold mines, operated by an Australian company named Newcrest Mining Limited, which also supports the clinic. Mitjà, who had finished his residency and taken a course in tropical medicine at LSHTM, answered the ad.Mitjà grew up in a small town 40 kilometers northeast of Barcelona. He loved travel and languages, and as a medical student at the University of Barcelona he spent 3 months at a rural clinic in the state of Punjab in India—a “life-changing experience” that strengthened his desire to work on tropical diseases and help the poor. Lihir had both, in abundance. The local population has not benefited much from the riches dug up here; few villages have electricity or running water, and living conditions are unhygienic. But Mitjà wanted to do science as well as practice medicine. “He came to me and said, ‘Look, if I take this offer, do you think we could attach a research component to that?’” says Quique Bassat, Mitjà’s Ph.D. supervisor and mentor at ISGlobal. “I said: ‘Yeah, but I have no clue what you could do there.’” 5 14 Cameroon 3 Port Moresby Unfinished business Sixty years ago, yaws affected a broad belt of countries around the equator. An early eradication effort sputtered out, and the disease persists in at least 14 countries. It may be present in others; so far only Ecuador and India have been declared yaws-free. Benin Ghana Lihir Island On Lihir, Mitjà set out to find a better and easier cure. Azithromycin, an antibiotic not available in the 1950s, was a logical candidate. Most antibiotics destroy bacteria only when they multiply; because Treponema divides slowly, once every 30 hours or so, a single-dose antibiotic can work only if it has a long half-life, as intramuscular penicillin does. Azithromycin fits the bill, and in a trial with 250 children, Mitjà showed that a dose of 30 milligram per kilogram of body weight works just as well as the painful penicillin shot.Mitjà told WHO about his findings before The Lancet published them. “We were very thrilled,” says Kingsley Asiedu, a medical officer responsible for yaws in the agency’s department of control of neglected tropical diseases. The finding promised to revolutionize yaws control, Asiedu says: “A single dose, no more injections—that means you can treat populations very quickly.” And that would help get rid of the latent cases.WHO had never officially called off the eradication campaign—that would have been admitting defeat—but for all practical purposes it had stopped. After hearing about the findings from Lihir, the agency included new, bold targets in its 2012 global road map for neglected tropical diseases: Countries in Asia and the western Pacific Ocean could get rid of yaws by 2015, and those in Africa by 2020. Asiedu also invited Mitjà, Mabey, and other experts, as well as health officials from affected countries, to discuss a new plan to reach those goals. (It was named the Morges Strategy, after the medieval town on Lake Geneva in Switzerland where they met.) Optimism was back.Pilot projects got underway in several countries. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Ghanaian health officials set up a mass treatment study in Ghana—Asiedu’s home country, heavily affected by yaws. In the Solomon Islands, mass administration of azithromycin was already planned for another disease, trachoma; LSHTM researchers decided to track how the drug affected yaws. And Mitjà turned Lihir into a giant lab by setting up an island-wide mass treatment program. In April 2013, teams of health officials and volunteers swarmed out to all 28 villages to give azithromycin tablets to the entire population. The effort treated 83% of the population. After 12 months, the number of active cases had dropped from 323 to 33, the team reported in 2015 in The New England Journal of Medicine—an almost 90% reduction. The outcome was good, if not stellar. Central African Republic 5 NewIreland The new eradication effort is based on mass drug administration. Volunteers dole out antibiotic tablets to everyone, regardless of whether they show symptoms. AtlanticOcean 10 IndianOcean Republic of the Congo Declared yaws-free Things weren’t going well. Only three people from what was supposed to be a five-member team had shown up at the site, a small field surrounded by a few simple homes. Just two dozen people had gathered, waiting for the distribution to begin. Mitjà looked alarmed. “There should have been hundreds of people here already,” he says. The team leader, a PNG scientist named Michael Soi, said the group had problems getting organized and people weren’t very motivated to come. The island had also recently seen a mass treatment campaign against lymphatic filariasis, and a certain fatigue had set in. Mitjà wasn’t buying it. “We need 100% coverage,” he exhorted, “otherwise, we will not have eradication.””We will try,” Soi said, “but this is Papua New Guinea.” New Ireland 7 7 Currently endemic Children in Papua New Guinea are at high risk of yaws. The earlier eradication effort failed to treat kids with symptomless infections, who could later spread the disease. Côte d’Ivoire BRIAN CASSEY 11 Democratic Republic of the Congo 10 1 Bacteria from yaws ulcers can infect another person when they enter through wounds or scratches. Togo Philippines 1 2 9 13 11 6 That result also led to a research revival. Mitjà recruited new collaborators, including Sheila Lukehart, a syphilis expert at the University of Washington in Seattle, and Michael Marks, a young scientist at LSHTM who had worked in the Solomon Islands. The scientists studied diagnostic tests, epidemiology, and the feasibility of eradication. In PNG, Mitjà’s work was welcomed, says Wendy Houinei, a health extension officer with the PNG Department of Health in Port Moresby, the capital. “Yaws is an important public health problem, and he made it a priority,” she says. Houinei says she especially appreciates Mitjà’s efforts to help build up local research capacity and clinical expertise. “He’s also very easy to get along with,” she says.But the work took a personal toll. Getting anything done in PNG can be exhausting, he says, and being away from his partner, Sergi Gavilán, for 8 months a year made it harder. “I missed him and my family so much that at one point I was very close to leaving Lihir.” In 2015, the University of Barcelona agreed to give Gavilán a position as an administrator to help with the project. “Now, I don’t think about going back to Spain,” Mitjà says.Meanwhile, his work attracted attention back home. A 2015 documentary about Mitjà stole many hearts—especially in Catalonia, a fiercely independent-minded region that loves its heroes, Bassat says. “People saw a sweet, young guy, very hardworking, ready to sacrifice himself by going and living in this crazy faraway place.” The documentary also helped Mitjà raise donations, from both charities and private citizens, some as small as €20.Some news stories in Spain cast Mitjà as a lone hero who would singlehandedly eradicate yaws within a few years. “This is a very dangerous thing,” Bassat says. “I told him, ‘You need to be careful with these headlines because it’s going to bounce back if you don’t succeed.’”A treatment for everyoneNobody believes WHO’s 2020 target is feasible—”I always thought it seemed rather ambitious, to say the least,” Mabey says. (Asiedu says WHO may soon set a new deadline.) Adding to the concerns, the Lihir experience showed that one massive round of azithromycin isn’t enough because too many people are missed. That’s why Mitjà’s team is now trying three rounds of mass drug administration (MDA) at 6-month intervals in a district on New Ireland that’s home to some 60,000 people.The team is finding that mass treatment in a poor country takes persistence. New Ireland sits about 80 kilometers from Lihir; a speedboat covers the distance in 2 hours. Mitjà, suffering from seasickness, sat on the deck with his eyes closed almost that entire time, his head propped up on a folded mosquito net. Gavilán sat next to him, but the roar of the engine made talking almost impossible. Accompanying them was a Spanish Ph.D. student from the University of Lisbon, Camila González-Beiras, who had spent several weeks training 20 teams of local health workers and volunteers—some 100 people altogether—to administer the drug. The next day, a driver took González-Beiras and Mitjà to the outskirts of a town named Namatanai, to see one of the teams in action on its first day. Timor-Leste Papua New Guinea 4 PacificOcean 12 4 13 Yaws hangs on in Papua New Guinea decades after a global eradication effort. Previously endemic (current status unknown) By Martin EnserinkJul. 19, 2018 , 2:00 PM WHO At last, an older woman began to dispense azithromycin tablets from a big jar, noting each person treated. To determine the success of the operation, recording the number of yaws cases at the start was vital. So whenever the team found someone with an active ulcer, Helen Soi, a nurse and Michael’s wife, did a diagnostic test that took about 20 minutes. It required a series of steps she hadn’t fully mastered; Mitjà had to walk her through the entire procedure as more ulcer patients were lining up behind her.After a while, dozens more people started to arrive—”This is beginning to look more like an MDA,” Mitjà said—but the scene also became more chaotic. Mitjà tried to get the newcomers to line up and asked Michael Soi to help. “Michael, you support your team now? Because they are stressed out,” he said. “You organize it.””I’m glad you got to see that,” Mitjà said later, in the van heading back to the village. “This is also part of an eradication. It’s not always easy.” “It was a disaster,” González-Beiras said at dinner the next evening.But later she and Mitjà sounded a more positive note. It was only the first day of the 2-week program, Mitjà said; González-Beiras added that teams elsewhere on the island had run a very smooth operation. Her draft report about the mass treatment effort, finished in July, said almost 80% of the target population had been treated in the first round. Asiedu says he expects the second and third rounds, 6 and 12 months later, to do better.Roadblocks aheadThe microbe itself could introduce new obstacles. In a follow-up analysis of the Lihir mass treatment program, published last February, Mitjà and colleagues showed that resistance to azithromycin had developed in five patients. They were all in one village, suggesting that the bacteria in one patient developed resistance, which then spread to others. The finding will complicate eradication plans and make them more expensive. After doling out the pills, teams will have to follow up on every patient to check whether their ulcers have healed. If not, a traditional penicillin shot is in order.Meanwhile, Sascha Knauf of the German Primate Center in Göttingen has questioned whether eradication is even possible—at least in the traditional sense. According to the International Task Force for Disease Eradication (ITFDE), a respected think tank at The Carter Center, a disease isn’t “eradicable” if it occurs not only in humans but also in animals; in such cases, the best achievable result is “elimination as a human health problem” or some such. Old studies, as well as recent ones by Knauf, show that the same subspecies of T. pallidum also infects chimpanzees, gorillas, and smaller primates in Africa. The bacterium might be able to jump to humans—for instance, when somebody slaughters an infected monkey. In a study published in 1971—and now considered unethical—researchers inoculated people with Treponema bacteria from West African baboons and found they could cause an infection. Yaws eradication planners “are not thinking about this from a one-health approach,” Knauf says, referring to the notion that animal and human health are inextricably linked. PapuaNew Guinea BRIAN CASSEY Indonesia 12 On a remote Pacific island, this doctor has revived a 60-year quest to eradicate a disfiguring disease BRIAN CASSEY The issue has led to fierce arguments. Asiedu is so annoyed by Knauf’s papers that he prefers not even to discuss them. No evidence exists of yaws jumping from primates to humans in nature, he says. “As long as they haven’t shown that, it’s a distraction,” he says—one that could sap enthusiasm for eradication. Knauf, who calls the debate “very political,” says finding watertight evidence for species crossover is going to be hard because such events are probably rare—but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Hopkins, a member of ITFDE, says he too has “worries” about the natural reservoir.Money is another concern. Some countries may be able to finance eradication themselves—Indonesia already did one mass treatment—but many others would need help. A 2015 cost-effectiveness study by WHO health economist Christopher Fitzpatrick put the cost of eradication somewhere between $75 million and $1 billion; given the disease burden, “that’s within the ballpark of the best buys in global health,” he says. And raising money and awareness “should not be that hard,” says Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, a successful campaigner for other neglected tropical diseases himself.But that isn’t the experience Mitjà and WHO have had. “We’ve knocked on everybody’s door,” Mitjà says. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has declined: It’s sticking to a list of 10 diseases included in a 2012 agreement called the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases, a spokesperson says. The Carter Center, which is underwriting the fight against Guinea worm disease, needs to finish that job, Hopkins says. “An enlightened philanthropist could singlehandedly fund the eradication,” Fitzpatrick says. “It has been a surprise that there hasn’t been a taker.” On the upside, a big Brazilian pharmaceutical company named EMS last year pledged to donate 153 million tablets of azithromycin.Reaching the rest of the worldFour weeks after the start of the New Ireland study, Mitjà and Gavilán were back in Barcelona. On a Tuesday evening in late May, they strode into Catalonia’s National Theater for a gala. Mitjà wore a yellow ribbon signaling solidarity with Catalan politicians in prison or exile after last year’s constitutional crisis. The newspaper El Periódico was about to announce its Catalan of the Year 2016 award. (The event was supposed to be held in 2017, but was postponed because of a strike.) Mitjà was one of three finalists, competing against a cartoonist and a priest known for his social work.Just 4 days earlier, Mitjà had bagged a Medicines & Solidarity Award from a health insurance company, in the presence of former Spanish Queen Sofía. Tonight’s event had plenty of VIPs as well. Catalonia’s new president, Quim Torra, gave a speech. Thunderous applause erupted when the evening’s emcees tore open an envelope and announced that Mitjà, seated in row 7 with his family, had won. Mitjà’s face turned red, and he cried as he made his way to the stage.In his acceptance speech, he recalled police violence against Catalans during the 2017 referendum on independence before he addressed inequities in global health. And he made a plea for money: “It is within our reach: Catalonia can become an even stronger force for solidarity,” he said. “And if we achieve our goals … we will have eradicated the second disease in history.” Afterward, at a reception, people approached Mitjà to take selfies; women he didn’t know hugged and kissed him.The contrast was striking. At home, his fight against yaws had made Mitjà a star and turned pian, Catalan for yaws, into a household word. But in the wider world, the disease remained almost as unknown as it was 8 years ago. Mitjà’s hopes that the 2015 documentary would trigger an international breakout had not come true; its producers have been unable to sell an English version outside of Spain. “Making people aware of this disease, not only in Barcelona but also in the rest of the world,” he said, “that would be my dream.”With reporting by Luca Tancredi Barone. Reporting for this story was supported by the Pulitzer Center.last_img read more

5 Reasons Why You Should Transform Your Marketing Agency—NOW!

first_img Switch to the retainer model. It’s better for your business, because you’ll have reliable income. It’s better for your client, because you’ll be required to deliver ongoing value to them, so they can justify paying you.  At the end of 2010, HubSpot surveyed approximately 3,000 marketing agencies and consultants about the financial health of their businesses, as they registered for our free  no retainer clients.  now 1. Agencies need recurring revenue.  How to Transform Your Marketing Agency What we found was not encouraging—variable cash flow, lack of new leads, difficulty signing new clients, and few (if any) sources of recurring revenue. Most of the agencies and consultants that participated in our survey generate their revenue from project work. And the average project size? Less than $5,000—with many agencies accepting average projects for less than $1,000. Here are the five critical reasons marketing agencies must transform Want more tips and ideas on how to transform your agency? Stop pushing tactics. If that’s not a wake-up call for transformation, what is? 5. Lead-generation is a BIG ongoing challenge. —and that may in fact be a rather generous estimate.  The vast majority of retainer-based clients generate <$1000 or revenue per month. A surprisingly large number of agencies are signing retainers of <$500/month. This blog post is part of HubSpot's  Join us for us a special episode of HubSpot.TV on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at 12pm EST. Topics: Marketing Transformation Week 4. New business cycles can be long—and painful. fewer than two new clients per month Learn, win, transform! > But the BIGGEST challenge of all? Generating new leads—a problem that can and should be addressed with a few small but critical changes to your agency’s overall marketing strategy.center_img marketing services delivery process inbound marketing training Stop selling projects. Ben Franklin once said that the definition of insanity was “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” We couldn’t agree more. Most agencies generate less than 25% of their revenue from retainer clients. Many agencies have Stop writing pitches and proposals. 3. Project-work is typically low-yield and high-churn. When we asked agencies what their biggest business challenge was, we got a mix of answers, from “Difficulty keeping up with technology” to any and all of the challenges listed above. Yes… social media is the shiny new toy every potential client is asking for. But most businesses will have a really hard time generating ROI from social media alone. Deliver the right services at the right time for the right client. , so that you’re not reinventing the wheel for every client. While creativity is still key to successful marketing campaigns, processes are key to reliably improving results over time. Our data show that most marketing agencies acquire Create (or borrow) a Originally published Apr 6, 2011 9:10:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 , April 4-8, 2011.  Find the business challenges that your clients will pay to fix. Develop marketing and sales programs that will help them fix them. 2. Agencies need larger retainers. Agency Marketing series designed exclusively for agencies. It’s time for real transformation—and we’ve got a handful of tips to help you get started! , based on our recent survey: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Add YouTube Videos to Your Site or Blog

first_imgAccording to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 77% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing in 2011. This means that with 2 billion videos watched per day on YouTube and 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, marketers need to understand how to take a video on YouTube and add it to your site or blog. Here is a quick video that will explain exactly how you do this as you work to expand your YouTube marketing strategy.  Topics: Youtube Marketing Originally published May 3, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated April 25 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

An Open Letter from Sales to Marketing

first_img You know what drives my sales people nuts? When you send over a ton of unqualified leads that you got at a tradeshow or some other promo event you did. Again, we don’t have the time to do this. When we finally uncover a company who can realize significant benefits from our offering, typically they’re not actively making a purchase decision. Instead, they’re trying to determine if it makes good business sense to change. I’ve got some ideas that might make it easier for us both. SNAP. SNAP Rule 1: Keep it Simple Sales Even our hottest prospects sometimes disappear into a black hole because it’s just plain easier to stay with the status quo than to invest all the time and effort into making a change. That’s what we’re facing out there every single day. and popular speaker at annual sales meetings.  SidewaysSarah Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Selling to Big Companies SNAP Rule 3: Always Align You’ve been just as hard on me as I’ve been on you. You’ve criticized my salespeople’s skills, telling everyone in the company that we’re incapable of selling value. You’ve carped about our bonuses, whined about our expenses or grumbled that we weren’t working hard enough. Enough already. We need to stop this blame game or neither of us will be successful. It typically takes my salespeople eight to ten contacts before they have a conversation with a prospective customer. We just can’t afford to keep doing this. It’s not a good use of our sales force’s time. I know we haven’t always gotten along.  In fact, I’ve been pretty critical of you over the years. Dear Marketing, Traditional prospecting and sales strategies don’t work anymore with today’s crazy-busy buyers. We’re spending more time and effort than ever before, but getting diminishing returns. We desperately need your help or we’re not going to make it. It all starts with high quality leads that you’ve nurtured. Let’s get together and agree on what this means – soon. We can’t wait any longer. Plus we need tools to nurture prospects. These are things you can create for us. SNAP Rule 4: Raise Priorities Originally published May 13, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Virtually the first questions our crazy-busy prospects ask is, “Is this relevant?” They don’t have time for anything else. And I hate to be brutal with you, but 90% of our prospects think that information about our products and services is totally irrelevant. So what do you think? I’m offering you a peace pipe and a chance to create a better future. I think it’ll only happen if we’re ready to work together. And I’m ready. I need you now more than ever. The truth is, I don’t want to be the fall guy when I don’t reach my numbers. You don’t either. Topics: Our overwhelmed prospects grind to a screeching halt whenever they encounter complexity. From their perspective, this means anything that feels difficult to decipher, difficult to decide on or difficult to implement. Photo Credit: On a daily basis, our prospects are buffeted by newly arising emergencies, reorganizations, shifting market dynamics, and ever evolving corporate directives. It’s an absolute imperative to work with them on their priority projects. Looking forward to talking soon, & Personally, I’m at my wit’s end. It’s harder than ever to reach our numbers and I don’t see things getting any easier in the future – especially when I talk to the people who buy our products and services. This is a guest post written by Jill Konrath, bestselling author of SNAP Selling SNAP Rule 2: Be iNvaluable Now more than ever, our prospects want to work with companies that “know their stuff” and who continually bring them new ways to improve their business. In reality, that’s our biggest competitive differentiator today – not our products or services. We need to attract those online seekers and get them into our database. Then we need to keep sending them great information till they’re ready to make a change. Marketing and Sales Alignment I’ve complained that you’re not doing enough to get us business. I’ve blamed you when our new offerings fail to achieve projected success. I’ve accused you of being out of touch with what’s really going on with our customers and prospects.last_img read more

5 Clever Uses of LinkedIn’s Brand New Group Polls Feature

first_img Originally published Dec 16, 2011 1:15:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack LinkedIn Marketing LinkedIn rolled out polls this week, a cool new feature for LinkedIn Groups (important distinction: this feature is not available for Company Pages). The feature has been rolling out over the past couple of days, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re sure to soon. LinkedIn has also let you like, comment on, and follow polls, helping spark discussion and increase user engagement with the group. Let’s take a look at how to set up polls in LinkedIn Groups, and discuss 5 creative ways to use this new feature.Get the essential guide to using LinkedIn for marketing and professional networking.How to Create a Poll on LinkedIn GroupsLinkedIn makes it simple for you to create polls. Keep in mind that LinkedIn’s default setting allows anyone in a group to create a poll. If you’re the administrator of the group, you can change this and only allow moderators to create polls in your Group Settings. Now let’s set up your first poll.1.) Go to the group in which you want to set up your first poll. When you get there, you’ll see a sign like the one below. Click on the blue Poll button.2.) Type in your question and the answers from which people can choose when they vote.3.) Select how long you’d like your poll to run. Note: You can’t schedule a future start date for a poll at this time.4.) Hit Share to make your poll live. But before you do that, also check the Twitter box to tweet that bad boy out! This step isn’t required, but keep reading to learn why you should do it.5 Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn Group Polls1.) Create a poll, and use the results for blog fodder. If you’re ever short on content for your blog, there’s nothing people love more than research! Use your group (or another group, as long as their settings allow everyone to create polls) to do some market research on a topic that interests your audience. After you write the blog article, share it in that group, too, so people can see your takeaways from the poll.2.) Use polls to get product and service feedback. Thinking of rolling out a new product/feature/service? Use polls to see if people would find it valuable. Not sure what to prioritize next in your product update queue? Poll your LinkedIn customer group. The great thing about LinkedIn Groups is they can act as a focus group since they can contain an audience that’s relevant to your industry and your business.3.) Use polls to conduct research. There are great data providers out there, but sometimes the results aren’t exactly what you’re looking for. Use polls to perform targeted research that answers the exact question you need answered, with data. Remember, you can push your poll out to the entire LinkedIn community, too, if your group is open to all members.4.) Tweet polls to get more group followers. If your group is closed to the public, the poll can serve as a way to market your group on Twitter and get more members. And if your group is open to all LinkedIn members, well then you’ll get more participants in your poll and more engagement with your group.5.) Use polls to generate offers. Stuck for offers? Know you need a new offer to get leads, but don’t know what will resonate? Ask your LinkedIn Group! You can ask them what types of content assets they prefer to download (ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, videos, etc.) or ask which topics they want to learn more about. This type of feedback is important to capture to ensure your content strategy aligns with what your prospects and customers need and want.How often do you participate in LinkedIn Groups? Do you moderate your own group on LinkedIn?Image credit: nan palmerolast_img read more