How well do you know your audience? Not as well as Spredfast’s Leo Ryan

Elliott Haworth Monday 23 January 2017 6:01 am How well do you know your audience? Not as well as Spredfast’s Leo Ryan whatsapp Leo Ryan: Lots of brands still have a broadcast mindset (Source: Greg Sigston (City A.M.))“I love the metaphor of conversation,” he tells me. “I’ve been doing this [social media] since 2005, and originally, it was called participatory media. Social media didn’t exist! But participatory media is more accurate: social media, as a term, is really dangerous – you put the word social next to the word media, and people think ‘oh I can reach millions of people.’ And you can, but that’s broadcast, it’s not a conversation.”Understand Ryan contends that many brands are “sleepwalking into social,” in that their focus is outmoded, a relic of the one-to-many broadcast age that doesn’t take advantage of the interactivity of social media. Some brands still have a broadcast mentality (Source: Getty)With social media, he says “you have to think about it as a conversation. Traditionally as a brand, you didn’t have to care about people talking about you because you were able to just keep telling them about your product, over and over and over again.“And this is one of the challenges, and why I think there’s an element of sleepwalking – it’s a muscle memory. The process of how brands communicate, especially large brands who spend a lot of money on their communications, is with a broadcast mindset. But if you don’t care about what the audience is interested in, by default, you only care about what your brief says you’ve got to get across. They need to listen.” Spredfast is a tech unicorn, Texas-based, but on a path of aggressive global expansion, with London as its European head office. Social media marketing spend continues to swell as brands accept its efficacy as a medium for communicating with consumers.Social media is a treasure trove of first party data, which brands can use to better understand their audience – but Spredfast goes further than just directing ads. The platform uses real time social media data to gauge sentiment around any given subject or place, and then converts it into simple charts and figures which marketers can use to best determine anything from where their money should be spent, to how customers feel about a certain product.Ryan, fluent in anecdote with an Aussie drawl, gives the example of Land Rover’s Facebook page, which currently has excess of 14m likes. “When we dug into who their followers were, there were huge numbers of young men from Pakistan, India, and the other ‘stans. But once you sifted through the numbers, you realise that they’re not going to buy a Range Rover – ever! It’s a cool brand, so that means we have to treat that audience in a different way. When you look at the engagement, they love posts about the new Defender or new Vogue, but they’re not the sort of people who you want to be targeting advertising at – or anything for that matter. You give them two per cent of your effort, because they might share a bit of content.”PromoteAs a platform Spredfast is multifaceted, a place to launch and maintain your social media presence, while listening to your audience. But it can also help businesses to unlock and cross-analyse first party data within their organisations. One such feature is the ability to run competitions through its Promotions feature.“The reason you run a competition is because you want to start gathering data,” says Ryan. “One of our customers is Euro Disney, for example. They wanted to understand which of their audience had children. So, it was Christmas, and they took their email list, cross referenced it with their Facebook audience, and targeted posts called ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’. Each day was a different post asking different questions about what they like, and one of the questions was: ‘do you have children?’ They then pegged all that data to their email list, and they could target more specifically – so they’re not sending people irrelevant messages. Instead it’s: ‘here’s an offer for you and the kids.’”Sleepwalking whatsapp In the 1970s German philosopher Jurgen Habermas concocted the notion of Offentlichkeit – better known as the public sphere, or “an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems”.Some 40 years on, the advent of social media has realised his ideal tenfold, and the mass sharing of information in the public sphere is but a fragment of our daily lives. Whether it is possible to make sense of popular opinion, debate and discourse is another question. One that Spredfast is helping to answer. Share At its core, Spredfast is an enterprise social media management platform, but that alone is a vast underestimation of its capabilities. For brands and marketers, it is a place to make sense of the swathes of data produced across social media with laser precision. So much so that Facebook and Twitter themselves use the platform for their own in-house analytics.“We have very close relationships with them, they’re both our suppliers and our customers,” says Leo Ryan, vice-president of customer solutions for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Spredfast. “We listen to what happens across platforms – so that gives you a sense of what people are talking about. It answers questions for brands about their audience: ‘what content do they like? Who are my audience? People have liked my page – what else are they interested in?’”ConversationRyan has worked at Spredfast for approaching a year, poached from Ogilvy & Mather, where he was a head of social. We’re at a noisy restaurant in Bank, where he arrived by bicycle, low on phone battery by lunchtime, juggling a school placement for his son – but composed considering. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailOne-N-Done | 7-Minute Workout7 Minutes a Day To a Flat Stomach By Using This 1 Easy ExerciseOne-N-Done | 7-Minute WorkoutAtlantic MirrorA Kilimanjaro Discovery Has Proved This About The BibleAtlantic MirrorUnify Health LabsRandy Jackson: This 3 Minute Routine Transformed My HealthUnify Health LabsWarped SpeedCan You Name More State Capitals Than A 5th Grader? Find Out Now!Warped SpeedFinanceChatterViewers Had To Look Away When This Happened On Live TVFinanceChatterMaternity WeekAfter Céline Dion’s Major Weight Loss, She Confirms What We Suspected All AlongMaternity WeekPensAndPatronTori Roloff Confirms Devastating News About The FamilyPensAndPatron read more

Why investors should be wary of star managers

first_img Why investors should be wary of star managers Share whatsapp For a long time, it seemed like Neil Woodford could do no wrong.That was until 2017, when the UK’s best known fund manager seemed to lose his magic touch – and since then, the returns from his three popular funds have been struggling. Katherine Denham And yet, the concept of star managers remains, so much so that they pose massive problems when they leave asset management firms. More often than not, the funds that are left behind will suffer huge outflows as investors rush to move their money (usually to follow the star fund manager).We saw this when Woodford announced that he was leaving Invesco Perpetual to set up his own company in 2014, prompting Invesco’s High Income fund to suffer outflows of £8bn in total.Richard Buxton is another example. Having announced his intention to leave Schroders in 2013 to join Old Mutual Global Investors (now called Merian), his previous fund – Schroder UK Alpha Plus – was hit with outflows of £1.8bn in just eight months.And when George Godber and Georgina Hamilton announced that they were leaving Miton for Polar Capital in 2016, £500m exited the fund over the subsequent 12 months.“A high-profile departure and subsequent outflows also make for a challenging period for the incoming manager, who has to manage constant sales, which makes reshaping the portfolio difficult,” says Hughes. More From Our Partners Inside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comcenter_img And, of course, while these top investors will have experience, lesser-known managers will often have fresher ideas and might be more willing to try new things, so you don’t always get what you pay for.With that said, there will still be a place for star managers. In fact, Darius McDermott from FundCalibre argues that there will actually be more star managers in the future, largely because of the rise of passive investments, which make the market less efficient – meaning there is more scope for a good manager to outperform.“Regulations such as Mifid II have caused a lot of sell-side firms to cut back on their research – particularly in the smallest parts of the market,” he says. This is again because markets have become less efficient, making it easier to find juicy stock-picking opportunities.And yet, even if more managers are granted star status, it’s still important for investors to look at other factors, such as strategy, fees, and whether the manager invests in their own fund.The bottom line is that investors shouldn’t let themselves be blinded by the sparkly reputations of the big stars. Wednesday 12 December 2018 12:42 pm His flagship Woodford Equity Income fund has lost investors almost 10 per cent over three years, while the sector average has gained 15.5 per cent over the same period.AJ Bell’s head of fund selection, Ryan Hughes, points out that this serves as a stark reminder that even top-rated fund managers will go through periods when their investment style doesn’t suit the market conditions.But perhaps this also suggests that investors shouldn’t rely so heavily on star stock-pickers to consistently deliver reliable returns. While there’s no doubt that these professionals are good at their jobs, they can’t work miracles.Jonathan Miller at Morningstar UK reckons that the star manager concept is overplayed now. “In the past, there was probably more focus on key figureheads,” says the director of manager research. “But with a new generation of managers we’re meeting, there is definitely a sense of them working more closely with people in the team.”While Miller acknowledges that the lead manager will still “pull the trigger” on decisions, they now tend to bring co-managers into the picture a lot more. whatsapp Part of the problem is that, when a fund manager moves on and a little-known deputy takes the reins, it creates a sense of panic among investors who have built up trust with the former lead manager.But we are now increasingly seeing asset management firms focus on succession planning, and Morningstar’s Miller points out that companies are trying to make sure that investors understand the co-manager’s role in the decision-making process. “This gives people more comfort, and lets the deputy become more important in the portfolio.”For example, he points out that one of Fidelity’s high-profile managers, Ian Spreadbury, is set to retire at the end of this year. The company made sure to bring in an experienced co-manager (Sajiv Vaid) several years prior, so that investors had an opportunity to gain trust in the new lead manager when he takes over.“The concept of the star fund manager remains, but the star is not shining quite so brightly these days, with fund groups more reluctant to build an individual into a star,” says Hughes. “It is perhaps no surprise that the three big stars of UK fund management – Neil Woodford, Nick Train and Terry Smith – run their own businesses, and use their own image and success as a way of promoting their funds.”Star managers aren’t just a headache for firms – they can also be expensive for the investors in terms of management fees, significantly eroding investment returns in the long run. Tags: Asset management Company Neil Woodford Old Mutual People Schroderslast_img read more

Homer Tribune back in print with new owner

first_imgBusiness | Economy | SouthcentralHomer Tribune back in print with new ownerAugust 18, 2016 by Dayshea Eaton, KBBI-Homer Share:The Homer Tribune has new owners as well as a new look.The weekly newspaper is issuing a print edition again right in time for its 25th anniversary this August.Jason Evans said that although he and his wife own two other newspapers, they were not in the market for a new one.“We weren’t actually looking for newspapers, but we do have some talented staff that live in Homer and so it was a natural to pick up the Homer Tribune and start publishing it as well,” Evans said.Evans and his wife, Kiana Peacock, owns Alaska Media LLC, the company that recently bought The Homer Tribune.The company already publishes two other weekly community newspapers— the Arctic Sounder and the Bristol Bay Times – Dutch Harbor Fisherman.The Tribune stopped publishing its paper edition June 8 and went to a web-only version. Shortly thereafter Evans and Peacock picked it up. Evans said they want to maintain the local, community flavor of the paper.“We feel it is important to have community voices in a newspaper and did not want to see that newspaper go away,” said Evans.The Tribune will continue its online version along with a printed edition, Evans said.“Online is a really active and important piece of the puzzle, especially in today’s day and age,” Evans said. “But we feel a printed paper is also really important. It is something that people can take with them to their camps. They can cut out photos and hang them on their refrigerator. As a weekly paper we feel like a print edition is still critical to the success of it and also adds to the community.”Evans is Alaska Native, Inupiaq, originally from Nome. Highlighting Alaska Native voices in rural parts of the state is important to the company, he said. He hopes the Tribune will dedicate more coverage to the Native communities on the southern Kenai Peninsula.Longtime Tribune owner and publisher Jane Pascall is working with the paper for a couple more months during the transition to help primarily with advertising. She is very pleased with the sale.“I’m excited and thrilled because we can celebrate our 25th anniversary this month, my employees will have a job – they are getting their jobs back, and Homer will be able to read The Tribune again. So I couldn’t be happier,” said Pascall.Jim Hornaday started the Homer Tribune in 1991. Pascall first worked as a salesperson, but purchased the paper in 1992.Pascall sold the paper because she’s now focusing on a new restaurant business and preparing to become a grandmother. She’s confident that Alaska Media will do a good job.“I think that Homer’s different from the rest of Alaska and I think they understand that,” Pascall said. “With Carey Restino being the editor and the main reporter –she’s been here for many years. She’s written for me, she understands the community.”Carey Restino has worked in the reporting and editing business for years.She first arrived in Homer in 1993 and studied journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage before taking a job for the Homer News as a general assignment reporter.In 2004, she took the position of editor for the Homer Tribune, where she worked for several years. She continued to write freelance articles for the Tribune, while also working as the editor of Alaska Media’s other newspapers in 2011.Restino’s passion is community journalism.“Real community focused – what happens in an elementary school is just as important as what goes on in a city council meeting and ultimately you are responsible to the community that you are serving,” Restino said.At a local grocery store, issues of the new Tribune are flying of the racks.Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center events coordinator Jan Knutson said having the Tribune back in print is good for both the businesses her office serves and for visitors.“We’re just really pleased that its back in print again. It’s very accessible to locals and visitors alike,” Knutson said.The Tribune has been redesigned with a cleaner look: more white space and other style changes that bring it in line with the company’s other papers.Another change that Alaska Media has made is switching the day that the Tribune comes out, from Wednesday to Thursday.That’s the same day that the town’s other weekly newspaper, the Homer News, is issued.Knutson said that’s good.“Yes it may be rare to have two newspapers in each town but business competition is good. Some people prefer the Tribune, some prefer the Homer News, some of us prefer to have access to both newspapers,” Knutson said.Owner and publisher Evans said more news sources will be better for residents.“You know I think place like Homer is really lucky to have two papers,” he said. “It is hard for a community weekly to catch everything that happens in these dynamic communities like Homer and having two papers and more reporters and then a really great radio station as well, writing and creating news for the community –I think just really adds to the community in the long-term and so I think there is a good fit for two papers and we are happy to be one of them.”The Tribune plans to maintain a content-sharing agreement with Alaska Dispatch News, the state’s largest newspaper.The parties have not disclosed the purchase price.Share this story:last_img read more

US and Canada announce restrictions on nonessential travel

first_imgSoutheast | TransportationUS and Canada announce restrictions on nonessential travelMarch 19, 2020 by Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska Share:Haines is 39 miles south of the Canadian Border. (Photo by Henry Leasia/KHNS)Updated 3/20 at 11:24 a.m. — Border restrictions between the U.S. and Canada that bar “non-essential” travel to prevent the spread of coronavirus will go into force at midnight Saturday, March 21. That’s according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Canada Border Services Agency released Friday.A document drafted by Homeland Security’s acting general counsel defines “essential travel” as U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the U.S as well as travel for medical reasons, education, necessary work, emergency responses and legal cross-border trade. It also includes carve-outs for officials, military personnel and their families.The restrictions will be reviewed by both countries after 30 days.Gov. Mike Dunleavy sought to assure Alaskans on Thursday that Canada’s border restrictions are not affecting Alaska’s crossings in Southeast Alaska or the Alaska Highway. That was in response to a reporter’s question during a press conference.“It was really for nonessential travel for folks coming from other countries,” Dunleavy said. “But here in Alaska, that being our only neighbor via land, those four border crossings are still open.”Canada had announced Wednesday it would be closing its borders to “non-essential travel” as a public health precaution.  That led to concern from people in the Southeast communities of Haines, Skagway and Hyder, whose only road access runs through British Columbia.This story has been updated. Share this story:last_img read more

Jennifer Lawrence was the top-grossing actor of 2014

first_img Jennifer Lawrence was the top-grossing actor of 2014 Billy Ehrenberg Jennifer Lawrence has topped a list of the highest grossing actors of 2014. Forbes, famous for creating a range of measures for financial worth, compiled a list of the top 10 actors based on how much their films grossed in 2014. Lawrence’s films, Mockingjay and X-Men: Days of Future Past, gleaned a cool $1.4bn, putting her top. Second on the list was Chris Pratt ($1.2bn), due largely to his role in this year’s surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy, which brought in $772m. Guardians had been tipped by some as the first cinematic flop from Marvel; it featured unknown characters and didn’t have the breadth of following enjoyed by other comic-film adaptations. Pratt also added to his total through the Lego Movie, another surprise hit. Closing out the podium was Scarlett Johansson ($1.18bn) whose films included Lucy, The Winter Soldier (part of the Captain America series) and Under the Skin.   whatsapp Monday 29 December 2014 5:42 am Sharecenter_img Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeHero WarsAdvertisement This game will keep you up all night!Hero WarsUndoMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekUndoBeverly Hills MDPlastic Surgeon Explains: “Doing This Every Morning Can Snap Back Sagging Skin” (No Creams Needed)Beverly Hills MDUndoMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailUndoElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite HeraldUndoNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementIf Your Dog Eats Grass (Do This Every Day)Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar ProgramUndoEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorUndo whatsapp Show Comments ▼ More From Our Partners A ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgPorsha Williams engaged to ex-husband of ‘RHOA’ co-star Falynn Guobadiathegrio.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgMan on bail for murder arrested after pet tiger escapes Houston homethegrio.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgFort Bragg soldier accused of killing another servicewoman over Tags: NULLlast_img read more

General Election 2015: This is how a new coalition government will be formed

first_img Sarah Spickernell whatsapp Thursday 7 May 2015 4:32 pm Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe Wrap’Drake & Josh’ Star Drake Bell Arrested in Ohio on Attempted ChildThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The Wrap’Kevin Can F**k Himself’ TV Review: Annie Murphy Blows Up the Idea of aThe WrapKatt Williams Explains Why He Believes There ‘Is No Cancel Culture’ inThe Wrap Tags: General Election 2015 General Election 2015: This is how a new coalition government will be formed center_img What happens next will depend on who wants to work with who, but the party with the most seats will get to hold conversations with the marginal parties first. Here’s City A.M.’s guide on how to assemble a coalition, taking you from the initial announcement of results through to the first official session in parliament.[custom id=”16″] whatsapp Gone are the days when General Elections were nothing more than a two-way battle between the Conservatives and Labour. With marginal parties like the SNP and the Greens taking more and more seats away from the two big players, we have moved into an era of coalition agreements.It happened in 2010, and it will almost certainly happen again tomorrow – no party is likely to win an overall majority of support from voters, leading to a hung parliament. Show Comments ▼ Sharelast_img read more

Seafast Logistics targets Ethiopian beef trade boom with new Djibouti facility

first_imgBy Alexander Whiteman 09/11/2017 UK-based cold chain operator Seafast Logistics is in talks to open a frozen cross-dock facility in Djibouti to service an expected surge in Ethiopian beef exports.Home to more than 100m cattle, goats and sheep, Ethiopia sees agricultural development as a spearhead of economic growth and is looking for ways to export increasing quantities of beef.The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation forecasts that efforts to boost meat production in the country will result in a 58% bump by 2020 – although it also notes this will still not meet domestic levels of consumption.Having “stumbled on the burgeoning industry by chance” two months ago, Seafast has already started a dialogue with officials in both landlocked Ethiopia and Djibouti to service the expected demand.Group managing director David Halliday said his team had been delivering 4×4 vehicles for humanitarian aid organisations when a contact from the British Embassy mentioned Ethiopia’s cattle.“It has a beef export business: it slaughters cattle domestically, loads the meat into empty containers and trucks it to Djibouti to be shipped out to global markets,” said Mr Halliday.“But this method cannot be scaled-up to meet the level of growth the country is talking about, so we are looking at helping to change the set-up to fit the aspirant needs of Ethiopia’s beef industry.”Mr Halliday said Seafast was engaged in discussions with the governments in Addis Ababa and Djibouti over the possibility of developing and operating a frozen cross-dock facility and the launch of a reefer trucking service, which, together with the facility in Djibouti, would create a “reliable, effective” cold chain for the sector.“We believe the reports of ‘sizeable’ growth are accurate and, as such, we are looking to source the requisite vehicles for a full reefer truck service,” he continued.“These would most likely come from the UK, and we would probably target those reaching the end of their lease period.”Although optimistic, Mr Halliday cautioned that talks were still at a very early stage.last_img read more

With limited surveillance of Covid-19 variant, it’s déjà vu all over again

first_img By Helen Branswell Dec. 31, 2020 Reprints HealthWith limited surveillance of Covid-19 variant, it’s déjà vu all over again Please enter a valid email address. Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson @HelenBranswell Trending Now: Worobey agreed the new variant is probably already spreading in a number of parts of the country, traveling under the radar because the U.S. is not doing enough sequencing of SARS-2 viruses.“We’re a little behind the eight ball in terms of our genomic sequencing, both in terms of absolute numbers and the sort of delay between sampling and getting the sequences out there, compared to the U.K.,” Worobey said. He warned that if the U.S. doesn’t find the cases and slow spread it will likely see the same kind of rapid dissemination of the variant that the U.K. has seen.The new variant sports an unusual number of mutations, including some that appear to change the virus’ behavior. It seems to be significantly more transmissible, increasing the rate at which infected people infect others.There’s no evidence to date that the variant triggers more severe disease. But hospitals are straining to handle Covid patients as it is; more infections could lead to a higher death rate, because of diminished quality of care.“The case fatality rate increases if health care systems get overwhelmed,” said Nahid Bhadelia, medical director of the special pathogens unit at Boston Medical Center. “That’s just how it works.”There are efforts afoot to try to figure out how widely the new variant is spreading — one of them led by Worobey’s laboratory. His team is trying to develop an assay that could be used to test for variant viruses in wastewater from community sewage systems. If the test works, he said, the lab will ship testing materials to other laboratories, test samples in their own lab, or share the recipe for making the primers and probes to get the test into wide use.“I do think that wastewater is going to be the best way in the very near term to get a better handle rather than waiting for the odd lab like Colorado that comes across one of these in an individual patient sample,” Worobey said.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also stepping up efforts to increase the sequencing of SARS-2 viruses, officials said Wednesday. Privacy Policy Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. About the Author Reprintscenter_img Senior Writer, Infectious Disease Helen covers issues broadly related to infectious diseases, including outbreaks, preparedness, research, and vaccine development. As health officials in the United States announced a second and possibly a third person infected with a new, more transmissible strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, infectious diseases experts are feeling a sense of déjà vu all over again.A little less than a year ago, the early response to the coronavirus crisis was stifled by an inability to scale up testing to detect the virus and curb its spread. Now, once again, it’s unclear how prevalent the new strain, which first surfaced in the U.K., might be in the U.S. Already a possible and a probable case have been detected in Colorado and one case has been reported in California. But it’s likely the variant’s spread hasn’t stopped there.“It feels a lot like that time between Jan. 19 or so when we had that first case in the Seattle area and six weeks later, when all of a sudden, it looks like we’ve got community transmission in California and Seattle and who knows where else,” said Michael Worobey, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. “It does have that feeling.”advertisement A nurse in personal protective equipment assists with a procedure on a Covid-19 patient in the ICU at Regional Medical Center in San Jose, Calif. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Leave this field empty if you’re human: “How I imagined this working is … very similar to back to January, February,” he said. “There are seeding events that have occurred throughout the country. Some have taken, some haven’t.… And you could imagine it should be more likely to be in places like New York and Boston with good travel connections to London, but it could have just by happenstance get picked up a bit elsewhere.”advertisement Helen Branswell Gregory Armstrong, who is leading the CDC team monitoring virus variants, said the national SARS-CoV-2 strain surveillance system, which was started in November, is scaling up to be able to handle 750 samples submitted by states for sequencing and study every week. The CDC is also working with national reference laboratories in the country, providing funding for sequencing on several times that many viruses. The hope is to get to about 3,500 a week, Armstrong noted.He said experts at the CDC and elsewhere do not believe the mutations contained in B.1.1.7 will significantly undermine the protection generated by Covid vaccines in use or in production. “It may cause a small impact. But keep in mind it’s likely that the amount of immunity that is induced either by natural infection or vaccination is great enough that a slightly decreased [antibody] titer may not have any noticeable effect at all,” Armstrong said.But Bedford said increased use of vaccine will put additional pressure on SARS-2 viruses to mutate to try to evade the protection the vaccine trigger.“It’s even more of an argument to try to get to herd immunity faster and to drive transmission down through vaccination,” he said. “The faster we can get enough people vaccinated, the better we’d be at keeping this variant and other future mutants from spreading.” Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, told STAT he doesn’t believe the new variant, which is called B.1.1.7, is widespread yet. There are 250 genetic sequences of SARS-2 viruses from December cases in the U.S. that have been logged into an international virus sharing database known as GISAID; there isn’t a B.1.1.7 among them, Bedford said. But he believes it may just be a matter of time. Tags Coronaviruslast_img read more

Electric Picnic and Ploughing in doubt as Simon Harris addresses questions about mass gatherings

first_img Twitter Electric Picnic and Ploughing in doubt as Simon Harris addresses questions about mass gatherings He told the Irish Mirror: “It is five months away. I would be optimistic that Electric Picnic will happen but of course we are in un-chartered waters here.”Mr Desmond stated: “I’ve no doubt that there will be a relaxation of the restrictions in place but it will probably be some time before we can have 20,000 people in a stadium or in a field.“We are two months behind them (China) and we are not as badly hit with Covid-19. If we are back to normality by July, we would be doing well.“The Government is doing a good job in ‘flattening the curve’ and we are waiting direction from them. We can only act on Government advice.”Meanwhile, the National Ploughing Association have said they are “closely following Government guidelines” before they make a decision regarding this year’s event which is due once again to take place in Carlow.“Public health and safety is our foremost priority,” they said.“We will act in the best interest of the country if and when the time comes that a decision has to be made about Ploughing 2020.“Until that time we will continue making plans for the event in as far as is possible adhering to Government guidelines and we will work with exhibitors to ensure we can give their business the best support we can in these very difficult time.”This year’s Ploughing is once again due to take place in Ballintrane in Carlow on the earlier than usual dates of September 15, 16 and 17. Crowds over 100,000 attend each day.It was also suggested that Ratheniska could be announced as the 2021 venue having previously hosted the Ploughing from 2013 to 2015.SEE ALSO – From Tokyo to Honolulu to Portlaoise – Laois family on their scramble to get home in Coronavirus outbreak Previous article16-year-old Laois native to sky dive for Youth Suicide Prevention IrelandNext articleStudying during Coronavirus: Scoil Chriost Ri student on prepping for state exams in a pandemic Steven Millerhttp://www.laoistoday.ieSteven Miller is owner and managing editor of From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he’s happiest when he’s telling stories or kicking a point. Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp By Steven Miller – 20th April 2020 Home News Community Electric Picnic and Ploughing in doubt as Simon Harris addresses questions about… NewsCommunity TAGSCoronavirusElectric Picnic Pinterest News center_img Facebook Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date Minister for Health Simon Harris has said it is unlikely we will have mass gatherings any time soon, when responding to a question as to whether Electric Picnic can go ahead this year.Minister Harris posted a video update on Twitter on Saturday evening outlining the latest thinking in his department in relation to the Coronavirus restrictions.“We are going to have to very shortly make a decision on these mass gatherings,” said Minister Harris.“I think it’s unlikely we are going to see mass gatherings come back any time soon.“I think we are going to have to keep up our social distancing even if we can lessen some of the restrictions in place as well.”The hugely popular weekend festival in Stradbally, is due to go ahead for the 17th consecutive year this September, with the organisers recently applying for their licence for the event to happen.The festival sold out fully in December – with 70,000 tickets sold before a single act was even announced. This year’s attendance is set to be 15,000 more than what it was in 2019.Speaking less than two weeks ago, Dermot Desmond, who is Managing Director of organisers MCD, said he was “optimistic” the event could go ahead. Twitter Electric Picnic Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role Pinterest Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Electric Picnic WhatsApplast_img read more

Coal prices drop on back of temporary ban

first_img News Coal prices drop on back of temporary ban By Daily NK – 2016.12.16 10:59am Facebook Twitter AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] SHARE NewsEconomy News center_img North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) News US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR With China’s adoption of sanctions on coal imports from North Korea according to UN Security Council Resolution No. 2321, coal prices in North Korea have reportedly fallen from 100 to 70 USD per ton. Due to these developments, North Korean trading companies are reportedly experiencing difficulties in preparing monetary contributions to the Party as the end of the year approaches. “The Chinese government has abruptly suspended coal imports from North Korea since December 10 [a temporary ban to implement UNSC Resolution 2321]. Coal that had already entered China’s ports was allowed to be unloaded, but the remaining trading ships waiting for customs clearance at Port Nampo are all tied up now,” a source close to North Korean affairs in China reported to Daily NK on December 12.“The Chinese trading companies have lowered the coal price for imports to Port Rizhao from 100 USD to 70 USD per ton, ignoring the contract prices and dismissing protests by the North Korean trading companies,” the source added.UNSC Resolution 2270, which was adopted in March following North Korea’s fourth nuclear test and long-range rocket launch , also specified restrictions on imports of coal from the North, but it was not effectively implemented as the controversial “livelihood exception” served as a loophole and was exploited.The new resolution, however, does not allow exports of North Korean coal for public purposes to exceed 409 million USD per year or 7.5 million tons of coal (whichever is lower in terms of total profit). With the Chinese government’s implementation of import control in accordance with the resolution, North Korea’s coal exports will face an inevitable decline.“The North Korean trading companies, who simply believed that coal exports would not be affected much by the adoption of the new UNSC resolution, are at a loss in the face of the current import ban. They have no choice but to accept the lower prices that the Chinese companies are offering,” the source noted.A source in South Pyongan Province added, “The domestic coal market has been dependent on exports to China, with the volume of exports at 1.25 billion USD, or 19.6 million tons in 2015. It is expected to be severely shaken by the loss of income. The foreign currency-earning companies are only hoping for the import ban to be eased from the new year.”According to the sources, most of the companies that export coal to China are controlled by the North Korean army. By the end of the year, these companies are expected to ramp up their efforts and compete among themselves to achieve their mandatory loyalty contributions to the authorities.The North Korean trading companies have no choice but to comply with the loyalty payments, as the authorities distribute trading licenses according to their foreign currency earnings. As a result, it is possible that some trading companies will turn to covert methods, including smuggling, if the import ban is not eased in the near future.“The trading companies used deceptive practices in April, with the Chinese companies borrowing vessels for coal transportation and misrepresenting the trade volume during customs clearance. If the Chinese government does not ease the coal import limit in the near future, it is highly likely that the trading companies will turn to smuggling,” the source in China noted.Professor Jeong Eun Yi of Gyeongsang National University added, “The coal mines operated by foreign-currency earning companies must continuously sell coal to survive. Therefore, these companies are likely to keep trying to smuggle and the Chinese companies will welcome this as the North Korean coal becomes cheaper but retains its same level of quality.” Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaderslast_img read more