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WHO: confirmation of H5N1 awaited in 2 Indonesian cases

first_imgJul 21, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that only one of three deaths blamed on avian influenza in Indonesia this week is known so far to have been caused by the disease, saying test results are still awaited in the other two cases.Meanwhile, the Indonesian government promised to take firmer measures to control the virus, which began killing poultry in the nation in 2003 but had caused no human deaths until now.Indonesian officials announced yesterday that a 38-year-old man and his two young daughters were the nation’s first H5N1 avian flu victims. The WHO said tests have confirmed that the man died of the illness. The daughters “died of severe pneumonia illness compatible with H5N1 infection,” but confirmation was not yet available in their cases, the agency said.”Limited samples were available from the 8-year-old daughter who died on 14 July, and the 1-year-old daughter who died on 9 July,” the WHO said. Previous reports had listed the older daughter as being 9 years old.The three victims lived near Jakarta. The 8-year-old fell ill on Jun 24 and was hospitalized Jun 28, the WHO said. The 1-year-old became ill Jun 29, and the father’s symptoms began Jul 2. He died Jul 12 after about 5 days of hospitalization.Samples from the father tested positive for H5N1 in WHO reference laboratories at the University of Hong Kong and at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the WHO said. Samples from the two children were still being tested.Besides being Indonesia’s first H5N1 deaths, the cases have raised concern about possible human-to-human transmission of the virus, because the three victims had no known contact with infected poultry.Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today that Indonesian officials promised to take stronger measures to control avian flu and admitted that they should have culled more poultry in past efforts.Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said an outbreak occurred in April at a pig and chicken farm 9 miles from where the family lived, but only limited culling was done there, the AFP story said. Supari said it was possible that the victims were infected by the virus from the farm.The story didn’t specify whether the farm was one of several where pigs were found to be carrying the virus, as the government reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in May. The farms were in the Tangerang district, where the three victims lived.Supari said the poultry and pigs “should have been destroyed but it wasn’t the case at that time because some of them were vaccinated,” AFP reported.She promised the government would take firm action, including culling, surveillance of people who might have been in affected areas, preparation of hospitals to treat patients, and an information campaign about the virus.Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyanto said his agency would destroy animals on two pig farms in Tangerang and compensate the owners, according to a state news agency report cited by AFP. He said the ministry was allocating the equivalent of $10.7 million in emergency funds to tackle the disease.Supari said 21 provinces have had avian flu outbreaks since 2003, the latest in North Sumatra; Jambi, part of Sumatra; and Banten, which includes Tangerang, the AFP report said.The WHO said it was working with the Indonesian government and US Naval Medical Research Unit 2 to find potential sources of infection in the Indonesian cases.Supari said about 300 people who had possible contact with the victims still have shown no signs of illness, AFP reported.In other developments, the H5N1 virus was found in processed frozen duck meat shipped from China to Japan in 2003, according to an Associated Press (AP) report based on an article published online by the journal Virology.The WHO said this was not the first time the virus had been found in processed meat, but added that the finding demonstrates the virus’s toughness and widespread occurrence in Asian poultry flocks, the AP reported.See also:WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_07_21a/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Trump threat spurred Indonesia to drop Russia, China arms deals

first_imgThe Trump administration pressured Indonesia into dropping deals to buy Russian-made fighter jets and Chinese naval vessels, part of a global effort to prevent its top adversaries from eroding the US’s military superiority.Indonesia recently decided against moving ahead with a plan to procure 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets for about $1.1 billion, according to an official familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details of discussions remain private. As recently as last month, the official said, the US also pressured Indonesia into walking away from talks with China to procure several naval patrol vessels for about $200 million.The move to set aside the deals came after US officials made it clear Indonesia could face sanctions for dealing with Russia, the official said. President Joko Widodo’s administration was also worried the US would take punitive actions on trade if it went ahead with the China deal, the official said. The moves illustrate how the US is having some success — at times by using financial and economic levers — deterring countries from dealing with Russia and China, which the Trump administration has identified as the biggest threats to American national security. The US hasn’t fared as well trying to convince countries to avoid using Huawei Technologies Co. for 5G mobile networks, with the UK most notably rebuffing President Donald Trump’s entreaties.Russian missilesThe US has publicly sparred with Turkey over Russian weapons, particularly its plan to activate an advanced S-400 missile-defense system. It has also pressured India to cancel a contract worth more than $5 billion to buy the S-400 system.Under a barter deal announced in August 2017, Indonesia planned to purchase the 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets in exchange for Russia buying goods such as rubber, crude palm oil, coffee, tea, furniture and spices. The agreement was eventually signed by former Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu in February 2018. While doubts have persisted for some time over whether the deal had been shelved, last month the Jakarta Post reported that the deal was in limbo and a final decision would be made later. Dahnil Simanjuntak, a spokesman for Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, declined to comment when contacted Thursday.“It is not a secret that the United States exerts undisguised pressure on countries who intend to buy Russian defense equipment,” Lyudmila Vorobieva, Russia’s ambassador to Indonesia, said in a statement provided via text message. “The aim is clear — to make these countries refuse to get arms from Russia and turn to Washington instead. Of course it is unfair competition that violates rules and norms of transparent and legitimate business.”In several meetings with US counterparts, including the secretary of defense, Indonesian officials repeatedly asked why they were being told not to buy the Russian fighter jets, the official said. The Americans said simply it was their policy, the official said, adding that Indonesia suspected it was also because the Russian fighters would provide an edge over neighbors Australia and Singapore.The Americans instead told the Indonesians to consider buying American-made F-16 Vipers, the official said. However, the official said, Indonesia is instead looking to negotiate the purchase of F-35 aircraft developed as part of the multi-nation Joint Strike Fighter program.The JSF program, headed by the US, includes the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Norway. Singapore recently agreed to purchase aircraft under the program, while Japan is the largest foreign buyer of the jet.The official said the US made clear that Widodo’s government risked being penalized for purchasing the Sukhoi fighter jets under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which applies to Russia and several other countries. The direct threat for purchasing the Chinese vessels was less clear, the official said, but the government saw itself as vulnerable on trade.The US is unable to comment on private diplomatic conversations, a State Department spokesperson said by email. The US urges all allies and partners to avoid new transactions of Russian military equipment to avoid sanctions under CAATSA, the spokesperson said, adding that the goal of American policy is to deny Russia the revenue it needs to continue its “malign influence.”The decision to scrap the deals was made after Indonesian officials concluded it would be a misstep to get on the wrong side of the US, the official said. Indonesia’s Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, in coordination with Prabowo, decided it would be dangerous to risk the trade relationship, the official said.Senior members of Widodo’s administration have expressed concern in recent years that Trump would target Indonesia over its trade surplus with the US, which amounted to about $10.7 billion in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The coronavirus further threatens economic damage: Indonesia’s stocks have tumbled into a bear market and its currency has been Asia’s worst performer in the past month.US-China balanceFor Indonesia, the competition between the US and China is a sensitive balancing act. While China has offered cheap financing for much-needed infrastructure such as railways, ports and power plants through its Belt and Road Initiative, the US remains a key export market and a valuable strategic hedge against China, particularly in contested waters.Indonesia has faced criticism over its willingness to do business with Huawei, with Australia warning late last year that it would impact intelligence sharing with its northern neighbor. Indonesian Communications Minister Johnny G. Plate said in an interview the government had no intention of banning Huawei, and would be guided only by its own national interest.The Indonesia deal for Chinese naval patrol vessels was discussed during a visit to China by Prabowo. It was one of several recent trips made by the former special-forces general as part of a scouting tour to procure weapons systems and other hardware. He has also visited Russia, Turkey, Germany and France.Topics :last_img read more

Steve Johnson looks to cement fourth straight NCAA title

first_img“For the Love of the Game” runs every Wednesday. To  comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or email Dave at dulberg@usc.edu Even though we are just a few weeks into the new year, it’s hard not to be intrigued by what lies ahead for the USC athletic program over the course of the next 300-plus days.Served · Senior Steve Johnson looks to lead the Trojans to their fourth national title in a row. The Trojans will begin their season on Friday. – Mannat Saini | Daily Trojan2012 unequivocally has the potential to be the greatest chapter in the tradition-steeped annals of USC athletics.There’s the men’s tennis team seeking a four-peat, the men’s volleyball team looking to exact some revenge at this year’s Final Four, the women’s basketball team seeking its first NCAA tournament appearance since losing to Duke in March 2006, the women’s water polo team trying to claim its second national championship in three years and the men’s water polo team attempting a five-peat. And who could forget a football team with unfinished business to attend to next fall?With teams like these, champions are not hard to come by. And because of that, sometimes a few get overlooked.Last May, while most students were jet-setting to their favorite destination or eagerly awaiting their first day at a new internship, Steve Johnson of the USC men’s tennis team was making history up in Palo Alto, Calif.Though he was not in front of a packed house like the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Johnson’s accomplishment of winning a singles and team NCAA title in the same year is definitely not a small feat.In fact, since the NCAA championships went to a dual-match format, he’s the only Trojan to ever take home both crowns.In a sports world that typically lavishes high-profile athletes in big revenue sports, it’s no wonder Johnson’s return to USC for his senior season never made its way on to SportsCenter — or any local sports telecast, for that matter.In fact, when Johnson came back to USC to train just days after his victorious trip to the NCAA championships, there were no cameras, or news reporters following his every move.It’s fitting for the five-time All-American that his return to USC didn’t warrant any “one more year” chants, because for those who have watched the Orange County native on the court, he isn’t the type of player that thrives on that type of attention. He’s the kind of guy who would rather be just another teammate instead of the face of the program. He’s the kind of guy who does his talking with a powerful serve or his trademark forehand, not with nationally televised interviews.It’s no shock Johnson’s return didn’t send shock waves through the sports world. After all, big-time networks like ESPN, ABC and NBC have no horse in the race that is collegiate tennis.But what’s the excuse for us as fellow peers not to follow Johnson’s final act?For most tennis stars, the lure of the pro circuit makes college an obsolete career stepping stone. To be able to have the best player on the best team in the country right in our backyard is a rare treat to say the least.Soon, Johnson will take his talents full-time to the pro tour. And though the 2011 NCAA men’s singles champion hasn’t made a huge splash just yet in WTA or USTA sponsored events (he lost in the first round of the 2011 US Open and 2011 Australian Open Wild-Card Playoffs), he is a big piece when it comes to the future American tennis puzzle.Since Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras departed from the game in the early 2000s, the talent pool in the United States has thinned out on the men’s side. And with each passing phase, whether it be Andy Roddick, James Blake or Mardy Fish, fans are momentarily excited that on an international level, the United States has become first-rate in men’s tennis.There’s no telling how far Johnson’s career will go, and he will be the first to tell you that his only goal at the moment is to improve to a level where he can consistently win at the professional ranks.But, whether or not you care about the state of American tennis, don’t neglect an opportunity to watch Johnson play at Marks Tennis Stadium this spring simply because you might not know a double fault from an ace. After all, he’s a champion. He’s our champion.last_img read more