Clean Energy Resolution Passes Evansville City Council

first_imgMARCH 11TH, 2019 AMANDA PORTER INDIANATonight a clean energy resolution passed through the Evansville City Council seven to two. The resolution aims to gradually reduce the cities carbon footprint by 2050. Council members say clean energy can benefit energy bills, and create jobs. “It’s only when you run out of the air when you run out of water that you realize how important it is. We are lucky to take it for granted,” says Gina Robinson Ungar.Solar energy is on the rise in Evansville, and City Council members Dan McGinn and Dr. H Dan Adams want to make sure to keep the green trend moving.A clean energy resolution proposal passed through the City Council, and some River City residents support the measure.After a devastating drought affected many farmers in 2012…“I felt abandoned by the sky. I mean that is how it felt. You are looking up and you need the rain for things to grow and for some relief and it did not rain for months and months,” says Robinson Ungar.Going green could mean keeping more green in the bank.How the plan will affect the taxpayer…“It depends. I think that there will be entrepreneurs who will figure out a way to make money by producing electricity with solar power, or with wind power, or why not hydroelectric power. You know we have the Ohio River,” says Councilmember McGinn.Buildings in Evansville have already gone green with their light bulbs, but now Council members want to push to continue reducing the cities carbon footprint.“Save some money on electric bills. I mean our bills are extremely high. The cost of oil gets high,” says McGinn.“If we get rid of the carbon and all of the other nasty chemicals that are produced by fossil fuels it has to be somewhat better.”The clean energy resolution is non-binding so that means the city council cannot progress the plan into a law.CommentsFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

County Commissioners Urge Safer Exit 25

first_imgBy MADDY VITALESafety is on the minds of the Cape May County Board of Commissioners — especially when it comes to traffic.On Tuesday, the Commissioners will introduce a resolution urging the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA), the Garden State Parkway’s operating agency, to conduct a safety study of the intersections at Roosevelt Boulevard (CR 623) and Exit 25 of the Garden State Parkway.County Commissioner E. Marie Hayes, of Ocean City, said in an interview on Saturday that improvements are greatly needed to make the interchange safer.“It is very busy there,” Hayes said. “There are a lot of issues when people come from the north and drive down the ramp. There is a conglomeration of drivers who come off the exit and it is absolutely overwhelming.”Specifically, the County Commissioners are calling on the NJTA in the resolution to conduct a safety study and implement necessary improvements to correct, “the hazardous conditions of the intersections at Roosevelt Boulevard and interchange 25 of the Garden State Parkway.”Motorists travel in all directions at Exit 25 and Roosevelt Boulevard.Exit 25 serves as both a gateway to Ocean City and the Marmora section of Upper Township.On Saturday, cars whizzed down the exit ramp. Some motorists quickly had to brake for the traffic light at Roosevelt Boulevard. When the light turned green, a row of cars turned left toward Ocean City. Others made a right turn toward Marmora in Upper Township.In the same location, cars traveling east on Roosevelt Boulevard hopped on the Garden State Parkway south exit and others went to the GSP north exit.Commissioner Will Morey, who is responsible for overseeing county roads among other duties as a commissioner, was in contact with the NJTA a while back about the situation, Hayes noted.“You just have so many people turning left, turning right,” Hayes noted. “There are too many different directions. People are getting on the Garden State Parkway south and north. It’s just way too condensed an area for that much going on.”While studies take time and improvements may not be seen for some time, Hayes said the resolution is a measure to show the NJTA that it is an important step in the direction toward a much safer interchange.Drivers head down the Exit 25 ramp and have to quickly slow down for the traffic light ahead. Exit 25 of the Garden State Parkway serves as a gateway to Ocean City and the Marmora section of Upper Township.last_img read more

Air passenger growth drives UK sales hike for SSP

first_imgStrong growth in the air sector has helped drive a 4.8% hike in full-year UK revenue for Starbucks and Upper Crust travel sites operator SSP.The increase comprised 2.1% like-for-like growth and net contract gains of 2.7%, driven by an increase in UK airport passenger numbers and greater spend per passenger. Total UK revenue in the year ending 30 September was £787.7m.The business, which recently opened its first Knead concept store at London’s Euston station in partnership with Paul Hollywood, reported that trading in the rail sector continued to be soft, however.Underlying operating profit for the UK rose 23.2% on a constant currency basis to £82.1m, and the underlying operating margin increased by 160 points to 10.4%, helped by the strong revenue growth in the air sector, improved margins and labour efficiencies.Activity has included a more standardised approach to labour forecasting and scheduling through a programme called Better Service Planning.“We have rolled out the new system across the UK and initial results are encouraging,” said the business. “We are now undertaking further pilot studies across a number of other countries. We are also trialling self-scan and self-serve checkouts at a number of units, both of which can contribute to greater efficiency and the customer experience.”The business has also recently introduced a new premium range in partnership with celebrity chef James Martin as part of its UK on-board rail offer. This includes hotpots, British ham and Barber cheese baguettes.Openings have included a new-look Ritazza at Euston station, a Camden Food Company in Dubai airport and an Upper Crust at Brisbane airport. SSP reported that the first Knead store had been well-received by customers, and that it had secured a deal with Gordon Ramsay to open a new grab-and-go concept in the air sector.At group level, the business reported full-year underlying operating profit up 27% to £162.9m on revenue up 11.7% to £2,379.1m.“SSP has delivered another good performance in 2017,” said group CEO Kate Swann. “We have grown our presence across the world, particularly in North America and Asia and are pleased with the performance of our new business in India. We have invested significant capital in the business this year, our highest to date, and at the same time we are returning cash to shareholders.“The new financial year has started in line with our expectations and, whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to be well-placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets.”last_img read more

Dave Matthews Band Scores Record 7th Straight #1 Album Debut With ‘Come Tomorrow’

first_imgOn Friday, June 8th, Dave Matthews Band officially released their ninth studio record, Come Tomorrow. Now, after the initial week’s numbers have been tabulated, Billboard has indicated that Dave Matthews Band’s new album has debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, marking the band’s 7th #1 album. The new June 23rd-dated chart (where Dave Matthews Band debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard‘s websites tomorrow, June 19th.As Billboard notes, “The set, which was released on June 8 via Bama Rags/RCA Records, earned 292,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 14, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 285,000 were in traditional album sales.”The new album’s big opening-week numbers are significant for surpassing numerous records and previous high-water marks. According to Billboard, Come Tomorrow marks Dave Matthews Band’s seventh straight studio album (dating back to 1998’s Before These Crowded Streets) to debut at the top spot, making them the only group that has ever achieved that feat. Come Tomorrow‘s opening week sales also mark the highest numbers for any rock album since Coldplay‘s Ghost Stories debuted at #1 more than four years ago. Come Tomorrow‘s big numbers also mark the most successful overall week for any group act since One Direction‘s late-2015 album, Made in the A.M. In addition to its historically significant numbers, Come Tomorrow earned the fourth-largest overall sales week of 2018.The Billboard 200 measures music consumption across multiple platforms, including traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). For a full breakdown of the criteria used, head here.According to the album’s announcement, the 14-track collection of tunes was created in studios across the United States and with several different producers, including John Alagia, Mark Batson, Rob Cavallo, and Rob Evans. The album, which was crafted in between tours, also features artwork from Béatrice Coron, “who creates narrative allegories in silhouette to render archetypal stories.” Listen to the album below:Dave Matthews Band – Come Tomorrow – Full Album[H/T Billboard]last_img read more

John Kadlecik Leads Disco Biscuits & Lotus Members For ‘West Philly Fadeaway’ Grateful Dead Tribute [Full Show Video]

first_img[Video: nugsnet]Setlist: John Kadlecik’s West Philly Fadeaway | Ardmore Music Hall | Ardmore, PA | 10/12/2018Set One: Feel Like A Stranger, Sugaree, Cassidy, Bertha, West L.A. Fadeaway, Me & My Uncle > Touch Of GreySet Two: Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Man Smart Woman Smarter, Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower > Eyes Of The World, The Other One, He’s Gone, Going Down The Road Feeling BadEncore: U.S. Blues On Friday night, Dark Star Orchestra guitarist and founding member John Kadlecik brought together high-profile musicians from two jamtronica favorites, The Disco Biscuits and Lotus, to honor the music of the Grateful Dead. Featuring The Disco Biscuits’ bassist Marc Brownstein and keyboardist Aron Magner alongside Lotus drummer Mike Greenfield, the band, which calls itself West Philly Fadeaway, came together at the Ardmore Music Hall just outside of Philadelphia, offering up a “Night Of The Dead” as part of the venue’s ongoing Grateful Dead-heavy schedule this month.However, while Kadlecik, Brownstein, Magner, and Greenfield were all previously announced to perform on Friday night, to kick off the show, John Kadlecik’s West Philly Fadeaway invited out a special guest, guitarist Danny Mayer of the Eric Krasno Band, who appeared frequently throughout the night. Danny Mayer first joined the group for the show-opening “Feel Like A Stranger”, which was sung by Aron Magner, though the guest guitarist stuck around for the majority of the band’s fiery first set and reemerged at points throughout the second set. Notably, Magner’s vocal leads for the rest of the evening were somewhat rare, given that Kadlecik sang all the traditional Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir tunes.Throughout the night, West Philly Fadeaway seemingly favored lush and expansive improvisations across the night, offering up creative and patient jam portions during each frame. The band also eschewed some of the Grateful Dead’s traditional setlist tendencies—for example, with a combo of “Me & My Uncle” into “Touch Of Grey” to close out the first set—while sticking to others, like the second set’s opening combo of the traditional duo “Scarlet Begonias” into “Fire On The Mountain”. You can check out a full video of last night’s show below, courtesy of Show Videolast_img read more

No quit in Crimson

first_img Whistleblowers Crimson guard Dee Giger ’13 and the rest of the bench take issue with the ref’s call. Above and beyond Crimson guard Brandyn Curry ’13 fires a pass over a Princeton defender. Curry had 12 points and 6 assists. With 11 seconds to go in the game, Curry made a shot that put Harvard up by one. Buzzkill The scoreboard tells the story: final score — Princeton, 63, Harvard, 62. As the final second ticked off, Princeton’s Doug Davis threw a shot that went in as time expired.Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer The season will continue for the Harvard men’s basketball team, despite a heartbreaking loss to Princeton on Saturday (March 12) that cost the squad a spot in the NCAA tournament. The Crimson have accepted a place in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), and will play the Oklahoma State Cowboys on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.“We’re very fortunate,” said Harvard coach Tommy Amaker. “Only 100 teams play in the NCAA and NIT tournaments. We’re thrilled to be among them.”Amaker acknowledged that he and his players were still feeling the sting of their last-second loss to Princeton. Both players and coaches are aware of the things they could have done better against the Tigers, he said.“We didn’t do a great job defending in the paint, around the goal against Princeton,” he said. “We missed some free throws and we didn’t defend that last shot. There were lots of things.”The team had hoped for an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament, but was passed over by the selection committee. Amaker says that the news of the Crimson’s first-ever NIT bid gave a welcome lift to players’ spirits.“We had the kids in for a lift and stretch [Sunday],” he said. “They were sore physically and also a little down, but they felt better when we got the brackets set for the NIT. We’re on to the next thing now and I expect them to bounce back, the way they have all season.”Harvard has its work cut out against Oklahoma State (19-13). Despite having the best won-lost record in its bracket, the Crimson were passed over for a top four seed, and so must travel to Stillwater, Okla., to play the Cowboys on their home court. Amaker says that news of the game came late on Sunday night, and left him and his players scrambling to make arrangements and prepare.“We’re just finding out about Oklahoma State, compiling information and statistics,” he explained. “They’re similar in some ways to George Mason or to a healthy George Washington University team. They’re athletic and quick. They play a hard, up-tempo game. They’re a physical team up front. We don’t have a lot of time to prepare, but we’ll do our best.”Amaker hopes that there’s plenty of basketball ahead for Harvard, but said that the season has already been a big success. The team clinched a share of the Ivy League championship for the first time in program history and, for the second year in a row, set a record for wins. Tuesday night against the Cowboys — only the third post-season game in the history of the program — Amaker’s squad will set its sights on another milestone.“Harvard has never won a post-season game,” he notes. “Hopefully, our year is not done. We’ll continue to grow, push, and move along.” Let it out Crimson guard Christian Webster ’13 (from left) can’t bear to look as he and teammates Andrew Van Nest ’12, Brandyn Curry ’13, and Matt Brown ’13 walk dejectedly off the court. The mother of all fans Sabeina Tabron (from left, mother of Keith Wright ’12), Celine Rivard (mother of Laurent Rivard ’14), and Sharon Casey (mother of Kyle Casey ’12) proudly display their allegiance to the Crimson. Player of the Year Crimson fans, including one sporting a photo of basketball forward Keith Wright ’12, the Ivy League Player of the Year, root on their team. Three busloads of students made the trip to Yale, the neutral site of the game. There’s always next season Crimson guard Brandyn Curry ’13 (right) consoles Oliver McNally ’12 as they disappear into the locker rooms and prepare for the long trip back to Harvard. Wright stuff Crimson forward and co-captain Keith Wright ’12 goes up to defend a shot. Wright led the Crimson with 16 points and added 6 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer Buzzkill Mid-air Crimson guard and co-captain Oliver McNally ’12 drives to the basket. Clockwatch Crimson guard and co-captain Oliver McNally ’12 looks up at the clock showing just minutes left in the game, with the lead going back and forth between the two teams. McNally scored 13 points as Princeton won, 63-62. And the bad guys rejoiced… A Princeton player is embraces by a Tiger fan on the court after Princeton’s last-second win. All the way Crimson forward Kyle Casey ’12 drives hard to the basket.last_img read more

A summer like no other

first_img Chan School’s Allen looks at COVID-19 through healthy-building eyes How masks and buildings can be barriers to the coronavirus Allen has been a proponent of keeping parks open and getting outside, safely, even during the strict social-distancing phase now waning across the U.S. He said getting outdoors has multiple benefits, both physical and mental, and — due to the “unlimited dilution” of viral particles in a breeze and the virus’ low survival on sunny surfaces — lower risks than remaining indoors.But even with travel, camping, and beach-going on the summer agenda, COVID and the potential to become infected or to infect others should always be taken into consideration, and steps should be taken to minimize risk. In many cases, he suggested, a phased approach to reopening outdoor spaces will allow managers and workers to ensure that the systems in place can control crowds and keep people safe before inviting in larger crowds.The safest summer activities will occur within established personal networks, involving in many cases the people with whom you share a household. Allen said the onus will fall most heavily on individuals and their willingness to take the now-familiar steps to ensure safety. He recommended people think of access to a park or a beach not as a right but a privilege, one that not only can be revoked quickly, but that should be if laxity sparks outbreaks.,“There’s this great urge to get back to the way things were despite what we know about this virus — that it’s easily transmissible,” Allen told the media during the conference call. “It’s not like other disasters, like a hurricane where you pick up the pieces and march on, step by step. This hurricane is sitting just offshore of every city waiting for us to let our guard down, and then it will strike.”That could mean that a summer wedding planned for 300 people packed into a hall instead has 50 — if gatherings of that size are allowed — all wearing face masks and sitting outside on chairs spaced 6 feet apart. It may mean that a family visit, as Allen himself has planned, takes place on a spacious deck instead of in a living room, and with everyone an adequate distance apart.As people flock to their favorite outdoor locations, it means understanding that you may not even get in, since lower capacity limits may be needed to ensure that parking lots, visitor centers, trails, and even mountaintops have adequate room for people to enjoy the scenery without risking their lives.Beaches, Allen said, could be particularly difficult to police. Cheek-by-jowl blankets are traditionally common on hot days by the sea, and most people also think nothing of walking over someone else’s blankets to reach an open spot or the water. Local officials will have to think carefully about how to keep people an appropriate distance apart, perhaps by creating open sand lanes that let people reach blanket-worthy spots. That may demand greater enforcement, as well as necessary cooperation by those enjoying beaches, Allen said.What’s important is reducing risk while enjoying summertime activities, Allen said. That means continuing to keep your distance, wear a mask, have hand sanitizer nearby, wash your hands frequently, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and stay home if you’re not feeling well. Any version of summertime fun will require each person to do his or her part to keep everyone safe.“The prudent course of action for personal risk, but also for population risk, is to maintain these sensible controls. [It doesn’t] have to be totally restrictive, where you can’t get enjoyment out of going to a park, going for a run, seeing people but at a little bit of a distance. That can and should all happen, and I hope it does,” Allen said. “[But] will this be a normal summer? Definitely not, nor should it be.”While Allen was looking at the months to come, another Harvard Chan School faculty member was looking farther ahead, into the fall. Howard Koh, the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, former Massachusetts commissioner of public health, and former assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said that better coordination is needed among federal, state, and local COVID-fighting efforts. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.With COVID-19 looming over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, warm-weather fun is not only possible but also advisable, according to a Harvard healthy-building expert. But he nonetheless warned that, if mismanaged, unfettered gatherings could spark fresh summer outbreaks.“This is going to be a very different summer,” said Joe Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and director of its Healthy Buildings Program. “We’re ready for a change, we’re all ready to get out of this. But we don’t yet have the systems in place to manage this effectively. So we should expect that things will be very different this summer. I don’t think this is going to be anything like past summers.”Allen, who spoke Tuesday at a press briefing, expects there will be less travel — though he’s written recently that airlines are relatively safe — and that regular vacation areas will have fewer visitors. But what summer winds up looking like will vary not only by activity but also by location. The summer of 2020 will look a lot different in Montana than in Manhattan. “[It doesn’t] have to be totally restrictive, where you can’t get enjoyment out of going to a park, going for a run, seeing people but at a little bit of a distance. … [But] will this be a normal summer? Definitely not, nor should it be.” — Joe Allen Related A five-layered defense for workplace reopening Koh, who spoke Tuesday at a Facebook Live event sponsored by The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and PRI’s “The World,” said that although America’s early epidemic response was marred by a lack of coordination among authorities, such coordination is nonetheless still needed if future challenges are to be met. Even the eventual development of a vaccine includes within it a massive challenge: how to get doses distributed as widely as possible to those who need them. Koh called the pandemic a marathon that, for better or worse, gives planners time to make needed changes before an expected second surge of cases in the fall.One place to look for guidance, he said, is beyond the U.S. borders. Countries that have already reopened are providing lessons on how the virus behaves and on the effectiveness of different policies. In that sense, President Trump’s challenge on Monday to the World Health Organization (WHO) and threat to reduce funding couldn’t involve worse timing, Koh suggested. With a global challenge, he said, it’s imperative that nations work together and learn from each other.“Right now, we have a common enemy; that’s the virus. This is the time to build global health organizations like WHO and build global partnerships in health,” Koh said. “Working together as a global community is more important now than ever.” Healthy buildings expert Joe Allen from the Chan School of Public Health weighs in on ways to help protect yourself from coronavirus last_img read more

Notre Dame Community Remembers Lisa Yang

first_imgKevin Song | The Observer Students lit grotto candles in the shape of Lisa Yang’s name in the late hours of March 3, following her death the same day.“Lisa is one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met. She always cared about other people’s feelings and never wanted to burden anyone. She was always willing to listen and offer consolation to those going through a tough time.“Lisa loved to laugh and make jokes with people and was all around a good person to be around.”Senior Joseph Celeste chose those words to describe his girlfriend of two years, Lisa Yang, who died March 3.Others who knew her described her as a girl with a nearly ever-present smile and as “a friend to all.”When the University announced her death late in the evening of March 3, dozens of those friends flocked to the Grotto to remember her and to illuminate the space, spelling out her name in candles.‘A hardworking individual’All those who knew her said Yang was an accomplished student. A finance major in the Mendoza College of Business with a job lined up after graduation, she was “naturally very good at many of the things she did,” senior Amanda Kotey said.Kotey remembered spending time with Yang studying late into the night.“I would say that Lisa was such a genuine and hardworking individual,” Kotey said in an email. “Often times when I had to pull all-nighters in our section lounge of McGlinn, I would almost always see Lisa there, too.”Yang loved her studies and her extracurricular activities — numerous business-related clubs and the Debate Team — loved to cook and travel and dreamed of moving to New York, Celeste and senior Nikki Reyes said.McGlinn Hall senior Boyoung Yoo said she met Yang walking to Domerfest during freshman orientation, and the two remained friends throughout their time at Notre Dame. She said she viewed Yang as one of the smartest people she had met at the school.“I remember when she got her first internship; it was in sophomore year,” Yoo said. “It’s kind of hard as a sophomore to land an internship, and she had such a good one … she was getting paid really well, and as a fellow sophomore looking at someone this successful I just thought, ‘Well, you’re going places.’ … She had so much going for her.”‘Always smiling’Several of Yang’s friends recalled her memorable smile and laugh that accompanied her cheerful disposition.“She was always smiling. I’m sure you saw pictures of her smile, it was super bright, and it just lights up the entire room,” Yoo said.Reyes, who lived in McGlinn and studied finance with Yang, described Yang as a young woman dedicated to her schoolwork who was generally very happy and playful.“The way I describe Lisa is that she was always such a happy person,” Reyes said. “She was always very light.“Even when she was stressed, she would laugh about things. She had a very distinctive laugh, when she felt awkward or something was funny.”“She was very light-hearted and almost like a free spirit,” Reyes said. “During the Asian American retreat she stayed up all night to pull this elaborate prank on some of the guys … something with a vacuum and the boys sleeping and duct tape on the door. She was just fun.”‘Everyone’s friend’Reyes said Yang offered friendship to all those who knew her, but Reyes personally appreciated her optimism and support.“I remember during interviews the fall of our junior year, Lisa and I both wanted to do banking, and we didn’t get anything we wanted in the fall,” Reyes said. “We were freaking out because we thought we were out of luck. But Lisa was always very positive. I was abroad, and she would text me when I had interviews to encourage me and say ‘You can do this.’”But Yang’s kindness and friendship extended beyond the classroom and professional sphere, senior Margarita Arcenas said. Arcenas said she specifically recalls a night out with Yang and other girls from McGlinn.“The last event I remember going to with her was a concert in Legends at the end of our sophomore year,” Arcenas said in an email. “It was pretty empty and the McGlinn girls from 2A, including Lisa, took over the entire dance floor. I wish she could have found the same happiness she had that night.”‘An opportunity for others to understand … ’The St. Joseph County Coroner’s Office ruled Yang’s death a suicide, after what Celeste and Lisa’s father Gary Yang described as a lengthy battle with clinical depression.“Lisa suffered from depression for a number of years, starting in high school,” Celeste said. “Her depression was a self-enforcing cycle; she couldn’t see that she was smart, talented, beautiful and very successful.”Gary Yang said although his daughter struggled with depression, she often hid her suffering.“She cared about her parents and sister very much; she didn’t want them to be worried about her depression,” he said in an email.“The extent of her struggle was not something she was comfortable sharing with those she loved. As a result, her family’s deepest regret is that Lisa didn’t receive the essential help and support that she deserved.”Gary Yang said he hoped Lisa’s death would allow the community to move forward a better understanding of the disease and how to get support.“The greatest sorrow and sadness of her family is that they came to know her struggling and suffering alone only after her death,” he said.“We hope that her death might be an opportunity for others to understand that students suffering from depression should not suffer alone, but instead reach out to others for support and help.”The University Counseling Office is offering special walk-in hours for students affected by Yang’s death today from noon to 1 p.m. and next Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., in addition to its additional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday hours.Tags: Lisa Yang, University Counseling Centerlast_img read more

Caledonian dreaming

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US fast-tracking antimalarials to treat coronavirus

first_imgThe US is fast-tracking antimalarial drugs for use as a treatment against the new coronavirus, President Donald Trump said Thursday, following encouraging early results in France and China.Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have not been given a formal green light in the US to fight the pandemic, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would work with domestic makers to expand production as it studied their efficacy.The news came as Senate Republicans unveiled a $1 trillion emergency relief package to combat the economic turmoil caused by the virus — which must now be examined by so-far skeptical Democrats, who want to include direct financial aid to individuals, before a date can be set for a vote. Encouraging Several clinical trials are also underway in China, where authorities have announced positive results, but not yet published their data.Karine Le Roch, a professor of cell biology at the University of California, Riverside told AFP she was encouraged by recent work in France and China.”I will say there is a very small number of patients, but if the results are correct, it seems to indeed decrease the viral loads of infected patients,” she said.”It’s encouraging but we have to make sure the results are accurate and then confirm that with a larger number of patients.”Scientists understand how these alkaloid compounds work at the cellular level to fight malaria parasites — but it’s not yet known how they are fighting the coronavirus, Le Roch added.”It’s highly possible that this compound is changing the acidity of the cells infected with the virus,” she told AFP.”And then the enzymes that are needed for the virus to replicate cannot work as efficiently as they would work without the drug.”But not everyone is convinced.Writing in the journal Antiviral Research, French scientists Franck Touret and Xavierde de Lamballerie urged caution, noting that chloroquine had been proposed several times for the treatment of acute viral diseases in humans without success, including HIV.They added that finding the right dose was crucial because “chloroquine poisoning has been associated with cardiovascular disorders that can be life-threatening.” Topics : “As an example, many Americans have read studies and heard media reports about this drug chloroquine, which is an anti-malarial drug. “That’s a drug that the president directed us to take a closer look at, as to whether an expanded use approach to that could be done to actually see if that benefits patients.Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are synthetic forms of quinine, which is found in the barks of cinchona trees of Latin America and has been used to treat malaria for centuries.Some in the wider scientific community have cautioned more research is needed to prove that they really work and are safe for COVID-19. But French drug maker Sanofi said on Wednesday it was ready to offer the French government millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine, sold under its brand name Plaquenil, in light of a “promising” study carried out by scientist Didier Raoult of the IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille.Raoult reported this week that after treating 24 patients for six days with Plaquenil, the virus had disappeared in all but a quarter of them. The research has not yet been peer reviewed or published, and Raoult had come under fire by some scientists and officials in his native France for potentially raising false hopes.”I’m just doing my duty, and I am happy to see that now eight or nine countries recommend chloroquine treatment for patients with this new coronavirus,” he told AFP. The two drugs mentioned Thursday are already approved for malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and doctors in the US may prescribe any drug they believe is appropriate medically.”We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately, and that’s where the FDA has been so great,” Trump told reporters, referring to both compounds.The US has recorded more than 14,000 cases of new coronavirus infection, 205 of them fatal, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. But authorities expect the number to rise steeply in the coming days because of increased levels of testing after initial delays.”If there is an experimental drug that is potentially available, a doctor could ask for that drug to be used in a patient. We have criteria for that and very speedy approval for that,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.last_img read more