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Asda owner WalMart has announced a like-for-like sales growth of 0.5% for the 10 weeks to 30 June 2014.Britain’s second largest retailer continues to focus on offering value and claims to have maintained ‘strong price gaps’ compared the those remaining in the big four.Grocery home shopping has also continued to grow with market share now at 18.4% while Click & Collect is driving e-commerce growth with more than 20,000 customers per week. Asda’s clothes brand George is now the second largest clothing retailer by volume in the UK. The retailer increased its market share year on year by 14bps and ‘made good progress’ on its itention to push online sales.Asda anticipates that over the next five years Click & Collect orders will treble with 30% of all orders expected to be collected in Asda stores. With this in mind, the retailer is continuing to innovate and develop its offer. In the last three months Asda has extended the hours customers are able to collect their shopping on a Sunday by four hours, driving a 20% uplift on the day’s orders.Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said that structural changes in the retail market continued to present tough challenges but that Asda had been quick to respond.’Unprecedented change’He said: “The last quarter has seen unprecedented change within the food retail sector, and whilst I do not underestimate the challenge currently presenting retailers, I am proud that our business identified and put plans in place to respond to these changes early. We have a clear five-year strategy based on Everyday Low Prices and we continue to implement that strategy with agility and pace.”The quarter also saw changes and improvements to Asda’s operational efficiency and management structure.“I am pleased with our performance in the quarter and our business has shown that it is well positioned to meet the demands of a challenging market,” said Clarke.“However, I’ve been in this business for too long to measure success by quarters and we remain on a long term journey. Innovation, low prices and customer service remain at the heart of our business and over the coming months and years we will continue to implement and build on this successful strategy as we constantly look at new and improved ways to run our business.”
Starbucks has said it is “very pleased” with the initial results of its wireless charging trial. In January it introduced wireless charging at 10 trial sites across London, following the pledge in the US to stage a roll-out of wireless charging to 2,000 branches.The chain chose Powermat for the job, which requires users to plug in an adapter to their phone. The ring-shaped devices can be borrowed or bought for £10 and Starbucks installed specially equipped tables.A spokesperson said: “We are very pleased with the initial results of the 10 stores in the UK with wireless charging – there has been good uptake. It is not announced whether it will roll out.”Meanwhile, the just-launched later opening times at the Stansted Airport branch, run by SSP UK, have also been a success according to customer feedback. Sales figures have not been disclosed, but a spokesperson said: “We are absolutely planning to expand the programme but there is no announcement on where or when. It is going to be an exciting year.”The Evening Programme runs from 4pm, includes hot and cold food, wine and beer, and has been trialled in 30 US locations as well.
The Infamous Stringdusters just released a new music video for their song “Gravity,” off their thirteen-track album Laws Of Gravity, which was released in January of this year. The song was written by bassist Travis Book along with his singer/songwriter wife Sarah Siskind, with Book explaining the song as a “kind of a straight forward love song.” He elaborated in a press release, “In a lot of ways, it encapsulates the vibe around our relationship and our marriage. The lyric goes, ‘We thought the race was a long run, we didn’t know that we’d win it.’ When you’re in the middle of it you don’t necessarily realize this is it. You think there’s some trajectory but this is what it’s like to be in a relationship. And then hoping that gravity doesn’t let go, the forces that hold the earth together don’t just end and you all just sort of go floating off into space.”The video for “Gravity” was directed by Mara Whitehead, and is a touching nostalgia-inspired video showing moments of young love. After the Infamous Stringdusters’ video was premiered on CMT on the 18th, you can now check it out for yourself below. You can also check the band’s website for upcoming tour dates and to purchase the album here.
Looking back at her HMS education, Scott says her third year was particularly memorable. Preparing for a March 2019 site visit of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), a reaccreditation review that occurs every eight years, the School’s administration recruited Scott to co-lead the team of students involved in the self-study process.The team was responsible for creating and implementing a survey of the entire student body, designed to capture student satisfaction levels in various domains of the School. Achieving a 99 percent response rate, the group submitted a detailed report to the LCME and worked with HMS deans to develop action plans to improve satisfaction in several areas.Impressed by Scott’s leadership at HMS, in her fourth year the LCME asked her to be one of only two student representatives on the national committee, an honor with full voting privileges. The 19-member committee, which includes medical school deans and senior faculty, meets three times a year, usually in Chicago, to review other medical schools’ reaccreditation reports.In March 2020, when Scott was serving her final HMS clinical rotation in the emergency room, the COVID-19 crisis interrupted clinical duties. Refusing to stay idle, she stepped up to co-lead a team of HMS students in their response, which included creating a COVID-19 curriculum for medical students and providing support for vulnerable populations in Boston, such as the homeless and elderly. She soon will join a class of 16 interns in emergency medicine at the University of Michigan, where her husband is on the faculty in trauma and critical care surgery.Beyond her medical education interests, Scott was awarded the 2018 Samuel Katims Young Scholar in Humanism Award from the American College of Medical Quality and the 2019 American Medical Association Foundation’s Herman E. Diskin MD Memorial Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship. At Harvard’s Honoring the Class of 2020 online ceremony this year, she will be among four graduating HMS students to receive the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Medical Student Scholar Award.In September, Scott hopes to rejoin fellow runners in the Team With A Vision group to try to run the historic Boston Marathon one more time.“The pandemic has created challenging times right now,” she said. “Yet amid all this uncertainty, I cannot help but feel certain that every day is a gift. So let’s make the most of it.” This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduatesIn her final year at Harvard Medical School (HMS), Kirstin Woody Scott was looking forward to running her 10th consecutive Boston Marathon.“When it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I understood the necessity, but still was disappointed,” Scott said.She had hoped to reunite with Kyle Robidoux, a visually impaired athlete she had previously guided along the marathon route and along other courses.But the coronavirus proved to be no deterrent for the pair.On April 20, the Boston marathon’s original date, Scott was nearly 800 miles from Massachusetts when she and Robidoux connected via cellphone. The two did a “virtual” run of 26.2 miles, with Robidoux circling a familiar track in Boston without a sighted guide, and Scott simultaneously running a track in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she soon will begin her emergency medicine residency at the University of Michigan Hospitals.“We finished within five minutes of each other, celebrating by connecting in a FaceTime call,” said Scott.Scott and Kyle Robidoux running to the Boston finish line in 2018.To commemorate their achievement, Scott established an online fundraising page for Team With A Vision, which had brought Scott and Robidoux together in the first place. The group supports the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a statewide network of services for low-vision individuals.Scott is in an elite class of athletes called ultra-runners. She has been a top finisher in multiple 50- and 100-mile ultramarathons and has run several “Double Bostons,” in which runners complete the course twice on marathon day, totaling 52.4 miles.Beginning early in the morning, the first feat is running the route in reverse, from Boston to the starting line in Hopkinton, then joining the throng of qualifying runners who head back to the Boston finish line.Long-distance running isn’t Scott’s only outdoor passion. Raised in Bakersfield, Calif., near her family’s cattle ranch at the foothills of the Greenhorn Mountains, she grew up embracing the wilderness. She has summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, as well as Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and several peaks in Washington state including Mount Rainier. But last summer, a climb in the northern Cascades with her brother, an experienced mountaineer, nearly ended in tragedy. While ascending Mount Stuart, a traction device on Scott’s footwear gave way and she fell hundreds of feet down a steep snowfield.Fortunately, her fall was broken by a rock pile.“When I finally stopped falling, it was a miracle I was still breathing,” she said.When her brother was able to reach her, he found her with an ankle badly broken. Lying precariously at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet, there was little chance of crawling to safety. Using their GPS tracker, they activated search-and-rescue officials in Seattle.,After a tense six hours, Scott was lifted by litter into a Navy helicopter and flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Greeting her on the helipad was her husband, John Scott, who previously finished a residency in general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and was now completing a fellowship in trauma surgery at Harborview — his last night on call for the year.“I’d already decided to pursue a career in emergency medicine before this happened, but it really reinforced my desire to be equipped with the tools to provide hope and healing in critical situations,” Scott said.Weeks after her accident, Scott learned she had been awarded the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association “45 under 45” award, the only medical student in the country to receive that honor.On May 28, when Scott receives her M.D. from HMS, it will be the third advanced degree she has earned since graduating in 2006 from University of California, Davis.In 2007, she received a M.Phil. in public health from the University of Cambridge, England, focusing on modernizing public health systems in Bulgaria, followed by a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to serve in Nicaragua, where she helped support rainwater harvesting projects and other innovations to relieve poverty.In 2015, Scott received a Ph.D. in health policy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, concentrating on political analysis and global health quality. She subsequently served as a research fellow to the Minister of Health in Rwanda, an experience she describes as “nothing short of transformative.” Throughout medical school, she has returned to Rwanda nearly every year to visit her colleagues, most recently to attend the 2019 Women’s Leaders in Global Health in Kigali. “The pandemic has created challenging times right now. Yet amid all this uncertainty, I cannot help but feel certain that every day is a gift. So let’s make the most of it.” — Kirstin Woody Scott, M.D. ’20
Using horticultural oil sprays as an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy to control San Jose scale in peach trees can be an effective alternative to chemical applications, and University of Georgia researchers have found that the best control comes after trees have been pruned, allowing for lower application rates than previously recommended.San Jose scale is a sucking insect pest which damages fruit and can eventually kill a tree by injecting toxins.Working under a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, UGA entomologist Brett Blaauw applied a 1.5% horticultural oil solution at three different volumes — 100 gallons per acre, 200 gallons per acre and 400 gallons per acre — to peach trees both at pre-pruning and post-pruning stages to determine how well the oil covered the trees to manage San Jose scale.Horticultural oil is also referred to as “dormant oil” due to the timing of the application. The oil suffocates insect eggs or overwintering adult insects. The better the coverage, the more effective the product.“The purpose of the study was to determine the best application and timing rates to help growers not only better manage San Jose scale, but also to save time and money in terms of application,” said Blaauw, an assistant professor in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.In the study, “Scale Management to Promote Sustainable Southeastern Peach Production,” the researchers collaborated with two Georgia commercial peach growers to evaluate the ideal amount of coverage of horticultural oil between pre-pruned trees and post-pruned trees. They also monitored the abundance and activity of San Jose scale on a weekly basis until harvest.Overall, they found that applying horticultural oil at 100 gallons per acre to post-pruned trees (which is done to elicit fruit production) significantly reduced the number of San Jose scale pests compared to applying oil to pre-pruned trees.“The application of 100 gallons per acre of 1.5% horticultural oil to pre-pruned trees had the lowest percent coverage, which in turn, also had the highest abundance of San Jose scale,” said Blaauw who has a joint appointment with Clemson University.Applying 100 gallons per acre of horticultural oil on post-pruned trees increased coverage by 25%. When spray volume doubled to 200 gallons per acre, the coverage increased by nearly 30% over the pre-pruned applications. There were no significant differences in the application at 400 gallons per acre.The important takeaway from the study, said Blaauw, was that 100 gallons per acre of horticultural oil applied to post-pruned trees appears to be sufficient in providing ample coverage to manage San Jose scale.“On the other hand, if the oil sprays are applied prior to pruning, volumes nearing 200 gallons per acre are needed to sufficiently cover the trees and effectively manage San Jose scale. Applying volumes upward of 400 gallons per acre does not seem to significantly improve management of San Jose scale and is, thus, not recommended in the Southeast.”Prior to study results, the standard recommendation for San Jose scale management in Southeastern peach production was 200 gallons per acre of 1.5% horticultural oil solution in the delayed-dormant period of growth.The researchers also found that applying horticultural oil did not impact natural enemy populations. They collected parasitoids, which made up the bulk of the beneficial predators identified, in addition to minute pirate bugs, long-legged flies, spiders and lady beetles.For more information about peach research, visit peaches.caes.uga.edu.
Saint Michael’s College,There are ever more rankings of colleges, and of hospitals, graduate schools, law schools, cities and towns. Now Forbes magazine joins Newsweek in the college ranking scene. And Saint Michael’s College has landed at number 88 nationwide out of 650 institutions. Forbes says their methodology provides families the best guidance for making one of the most important decisions they will make’choosing the right college for their student. Forbes describes their approach this way: ‘Our annual ranking of the 650 best undergraduate institutions focuses on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt. Unlike other lists, we pointedly ignore ephemeral measures such as school ‘reputation’ and ill-conceived metrics that reward wasteful spending.’ And they explain further: ‘We try and evaluate the college purchase as a consumer would: Is it worth spending as much as a quarter of a million dollars for this degree?’To see the story click here: http://blogs.forbes.com/michaelnoer/2011/08/03/americas-top-colleges/(link is external)The magazine writes that they base the rankings on five categories: Post Graduate success (30%), which evaluates alumni pay and prominence,Student Satisfaction (27.5%), which includes professor evaluations and freshman to sophomore year retention rates,Debt (17.5%), which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates,Four Year Graduation Rate (17.5%) andCompetitive Awards (7.5%), which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright.’ To see Saint Michael’s listing click here: http://www.forbes.com/colleges/saint-michaels-college/(link is external) Other Vermont institutions that were ranked include Middlebury College (40th), Bennington College (223rd ), University of Vermont (247th), and Marlboro College (257th). As of August 9, the Forbes article on college rankings had received 259,325 views. We agree with Forbes that Saint Michael’s focuses on the things that matter most. We are pleased to receive the magazine’s endorsement. Learn What Matters at Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, www.smcvt.edu(link is external) . Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. Identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nations Best 373 Colleges, and included in the 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges, Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
By C. Todd Lopez July 22, 2019 Strong partnerships are the way to counter that effort, U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), said in a U.S. Senate hearing.“Competition is happening globally, and right here in our neighborhood: the Western Hemisphere,” Adm. Faller told the Senate Armed Services Committee.In Venezuela, he said, Russia is propping up the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro with loans, technical and military support. China, he said, is the country’s largest creditor.“[China has] saddled the Venezuelan people with more than $60 billion in debt and is exporting surveillance technology used to monitor and oppress the Venezuelan people,” he said. Iran, he told the senators, has recently restarted direct flights from Tehran to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.Adm. Faller said China does have legitimate financial interests around the globe, including in Latin America. “We’re working hard as a nation to figure out how those legitimate international interests can actually be played using the rule of law,” he added.Still, he said, China’s investments in 56 port facilities in Latin America as well as investment in cyber and information technology infrastructure sets the stage “for future access and influence that would have clearly military dimension.”Russia, he said, can best be characterized as a “wounded bear” wanting power.“Their principal objective is to make the U.S. look bad at whatever turn they can do, and do anything that would blunt a U.S. advantage, even if that advantage is for the international good and the people, as it is in Venezuela,” he said.The activities of China, Russia, Iran, and Cuba, he said, are “profoundly unhealthy” for democracy and regional security in Latin America, and are counter to U.S. interests there.“China, Russia, and others want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian models,” he said. “They’re blurring the lines of what constitutes a military threat through economic coercion, the systemic stealing of technology, influence campaigns, and malicious cyber activity.”Pushing back in Latin America, Adm. Faller said, requires the United States to focus on what it does best there already: partnership building.“The best way to outcompete is by focusing our strengths: the strong and enduring ties that we have with our neighbors,” he said. “Security cooperation is our best tool to continue building these strong partnerships and turn the challenges of our hemisphere into opportunities. Working together, training, and exercising shoulder to shoulder with [Latin] American military professionals is our competitive edge, and no one can match our system.”Partner nations in Latin America want to work with the United States and value what it brings to the table, including military-to-military relationships, military exercises, and schools, Adm. Faller said.“They want the advantage of a U.S. education, training, exercises, and military equipment,” he said. “It’s the best in the world. So it’s up to us to deliver that in a way that’s relevant and also provides a return on investment for American taxpayers.”Adm. Faller said more could be done in the way of training with increased funding. He told lawmakers that the International Military Education Training account run by the U.S. State Department has “basically been flatlined for as long back as I can do the math.” This, he told the Senate panel, has meant decreasing seats for schools that partner nation military personnel can attend.“I’ve advocated and former Defense secretaries have as well, that we would be well served to look at an increase in this,” he said. “The overall account for the entire Department of Defense is somewhere just north of $100 million, and for SOUTHCOM it’s about $11 million. I think I could absorb $18 million, a modest increase. When you look at the kinds of monies we’re spending in other areas, this is a low amount of money for a high dividend, high payoff.”
If you were unable to attend the ceremony in person, you can watch it by clicking here. “It means so much because at first we didn’t think we were going to have anything. We just thought we were going to get a diploma in the mail,” said graduating senior Jenna Kaufman. “It means a lot to be with your friends and stuff.” The separation of the ceremonies was necessary due to New York State guidelines limiting in person graduations to 150 attendees. “20 people is better than none,” Melendez said. “I’m glad I got to hear everyone’s speech and get my diploma. It means a lot. I’d rather get to do it in person than just get it in the mail or anything.” Fellow gradate Andre Melendez agreed. Students were permitted to have a limited number of family members in attendance and anyone unable to attend could watch the ceremony live on YouTube. The ceremonies kicked off at 8 a.m, and continued until around 4 p.m. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Johnson City High School held several separate commencement ceremonies throughout the day honoring more than 170 graduates. 12 News caught up with students outside the ceremony who say they were grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the occasion in person.
In both the mice and the guinea pigs, the vaccine also generated high levels of antibodies against lethal toxin, another key anthrax protein. Tiny droplets of vaccine, 200 to 300 nanometers in size, pass through the nasal membranes to initiate a protective immune response, according to an Aug 15 press release from the University of Michigan. The researchers report that the vaccine induces both systemic and cellular immunity, as well as muscosal immunity in the nose and lungs. Bielinska AU, Janczak KW, Landers JJ, et al. Mucosal immunization with a novel nanoemulsion-based recombinant anthrax protective antigen vaccine protects against Bacillus anthracis spore challenge. Infect Immun 2007 Aug;75(8):4020-29 [Abstract] The US-licensed anthrax vaccine, Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA), is a whole-microbe vaccine that has been in use since the 1950s and is given in six doses over 18 months, followed by annual boosters. It has spurred protests in the US military because of concerns about negative side effects; some troops have complained of chronic health problems triggered by the vaccine. The researchers working on the inhaled anthrax vaccine say it requires two doses rather than six. They contend that the vaccine will be well tolerated, because the adjuvant contains only nontoxic ingredients. The duration of protection appears to be another advantage of the nanoemulsion vaccine, the researchers wrote. Guinea pigs that received the vaccine had immunoglobulin-G (IgG) responses after the first dose, and levels continued rising after a second dose at 4 weeks. Immunity lasted for at least 6 months. See also: The vaccine contains a recombinant form of a Bacillus anthracis protein called protective antigen (rPA), combined with an adjuvant consisting of a “nanoemulsion” of water, soybean oil, alcohol, and a surfactant, according to the study. The report was published in the August issue of Infection and Immunity. Sep 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers from the University of Michigan recently reported promising results in animal tests of an inhaled anthrax vaccine, offering hope for a vaccine that would cause fewer side effects and be easier to store and administer than the licensed vaccine. Though the researchers concluded that it is difficult to compare responses to various adjuvants and routes of administration, the nanoemulsion vaccine appeared to be at least as effective as others. May 30 CIDRAP News story “VaxGen stops work on anthrax vaccine, seeks partner” In challenge trials, conducted at biosafety level 3 and 4 labs in Ohio and Texas, groups of guinea pigs were vaccinated with 10-, 50-, and 100-mcg doses of rPA mixed with 1% nanoemulsion adjuvant. When the researchers injected the animals with a very high dose of anthrax spores, all the vaccinated guinea pigs survived, but the controls did not. Other guinea pigs were given high intranasal doses of anthrax; 40% to 70% of the immunized animals survived this challenge, but all the control animals died. The survival rate was similar to that seen with other anthrax vaccines, the investigators reported. The investigators also vaccinated groups of guinea pigs with one or two doses of vaccine containing 10, 50, or 100 mcg of rPA, plus a 1% concentration of adjuvant in saline. Their antibody responses were measured at 3- to 4-week intervals for up to 22 weeks. Other researchers have encountered problems developing new anthrax vaccines. Last December the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cancelled an $877.5 million Project Bioshield contract with VaxGen Inc, a Brisbane, Calif., company, after problems with potency delayed the start of clinical trials of its rPA vaccine. CIDRAP anthrax overview The vaccine induced both serum and bronchial antibody responses in mice after one or two doses, the report says. Antibody titers were lower in the 0.1% and 0.5% adjuvant groups, but there was no significant difference between the 1% and 2% formulations. When the researchers compared the different adjuvants, they found that titers were higher for the nanoemulsion group than for the other three adjuvants. No antibodies were detected in the group that received vaccine without adjuvant. The researchers immunized groups of mice with either one or two 20-microgram [mcg] doses of the intranasal vaccine (with the second dose 3 weeks after the first), and then monitored them for adverse reactions and antibody responses at 3- to 4-week intervals for up to 12 weeks. The vaccine doses contained 20 mcg of rPA mixed with a 0.1%, 0.5%, 1%, or 2% concentration of the nanoemulsion adjuvant in saline. Other groups of mice were given two doses of vaccines that included rPA and one of three other adjuvants, including aluminum hydroxide, or no adjuvant. One of the next steps in testing the inhaled vaccine is to see if it can generate immunity in primates, the University of Michigan said. Safety studies in humans are in early planning stages, officials added. “Anthrax spores can remain in the environment or even in the lungs of exposed individuals for some time,” said Anna Bielinska, PhD, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences. “Nasal vaccination could be given to build up immunity after anthrax exposure and improve the outcome of other treatments.” Aug 15 University of Michigan press releasehttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-08/uomh-avp081507.php The National Institutes of Health has been supporting anthrax vaccine research by Avecia, based in Manchester, England. The vaccine involves the same recombinant approach as VaxGen’s candidate. A phase 2 trial is under way, and the company received a grant to develop a more stable version of the vaccine. The inhaled vaccine does not require refrigeration, the researchers say. Such a vaccine, if effective in humans, could be given along with antibiotics to people exposed in an anthrax attack, the University of Michigan statement said.