Massachusetts General Hospital oversaw trial that led to the first death from a fecal transplant, a new paper shows

first_img General Assignment Reporter Kate covers biotech startups and the venture capital firms that back them. About the Author Reprints Kate Sheridan Microbiome-based drugs likely to face FDA’s biologics pathway The particular type of bacteria found in the stool capsules — extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing E. coli, sometimes shortened to ESBL-producing E. coli — is relatively rare in the general population. What limited data exist suggest that just 1% or 2% percent of people in the United States carry the bacteria, according to Dr. Clifford McDonald, an associate director for science at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and an expert on C. difficile infections.Despite its rarity, ESBL-producing E. coli are still considered a very serious problem. Because it is resistant to many types of antibiotics, it’s one of a dozen bacteria considered “serious” threats by the CDC.Because donor #46 is otherwise healthy, she did not require treatment and was not told about the incidents associated with capsules made from her stool, an MGH spokesperson confirmed.Testing for these kinds of bacteria may become increasingly important; antibiotic resistance is becoming an increasing problem.“I’m so glad they’ve put this information out, in this detail, so we can learn from this,” said Dr. Sahil Khanna, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic who has used FMT in clinical trials and has consulted with several companies developing microbiome-based medicines, including Rebiotix, Seres Therapeutics, and Vedanta Biosciences. He was not involved in either the MGH trial or the NEJM paper. “That’s the kind of level [of detail] that myself and others were looking for.” Related: A computer-generated image of a group of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae bacteria. James Archer/CDC Related: The information in Wednesday’s publication could also help the field moving forward, Khanna noted. Doctors have better information about the potential risks of FMTs that they can share with patients or potential clinical trial participants, and the paper could help people running clinical trials understand how others are screening for drug-resistant bacteria.“This is bringing the science forward. We need to know this stuff. This is probably not going to be the last adverse event that is going to happen,” he added.This incident could also encourage the adoption of universal screening standards, said Carolyn Edelstein, the executive director of OpenBiome, a stool bank based in Cambridge, Mass. “There’s a need for the clinical community to come together and establish what is state-of-the-art in this field.”But although every clinical trial supervised by the FDA is now screening for ESBL-producing E. coli, MGH’s Hohmann warned that there is still a lot scientists don’t know.“Yes, we can screen this one out — but who knows what else could be the next microbe that’s problematic here,” she said. “A normal human microbiome from the GI tract has thousands of microorganisms. It’s not possible to make this 100% safe. It’s not a pharmaceutical preparation. It’s a microbiome.” This spring, a 73-year-old man with a rare blood condition became the first person to die from drug-resistant bacteria found in a fecal transplant. New details about that unprecedented incident emerged on Wednesday.The man was a participant in a clinical trial run at Massachusetts General Hospital and received fecal transplant capsules made in November with fecal material from one stool donor, according to a paper published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Tests after the man’s death revealed that material contained a rare type of E. coli bacteria.MGH scientists started screening for those kinds of bacteria in January. However, the hospital did not test capsules they’d already produced, researchers disclosed in a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine.advertisement “We didn’t think of it. The prevalence of these organisms in healthy individuals is so low,” Dr. Elizabeth Hohmann, an author of the paper and an infectious disease specialist who runs the central laboratory at MGH that made the capsules, told STAT. “In retrospect, it was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, of course we should have done that.’ But it didn’t happen.” The FDA, through a spokesperson, emphasized to STAT that the procedure is still considered “investigational” — even for C. diff infections.Participants in two trials at MGH received FMTs from the donor whose stool contained E. coli, identified as donor #46 in Wednesday’s paper.One of those trials is investigating the effect of fecal transplants before a stem cell transplant; the other is evaluating fecal transplants as a treatment for hepatic encephalopathy, a brain disorder that can happen to people with serious, long-term liver disease.Both trials and the others happening at MGH relied on stool donations from people who underwent intense screening, including a review of their medical history, blood tests, and tests for other drug-resistant bacteria, like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).At MGH, some capsules made from donor #46’s stool were set aside and frozen, in case scientists needed to do further tests; some of the hospitals clinical trials require stool samples from participants before their transplants to be collected and frozen as well.In May, after the hospital realized the stool capsules might be the source of the infection, researchers tested those stored samples as well as blood samples collected from each affected patient.Those analyses showed that the bacteria found in each patient’s blood and in the capsules had similar genetic makeups and were resistant to similar antibiotics; those bacteria didn’t exist in the patients’ pre-transplant stool samples.“It’s pretty clear that these are identical strains,” Hohmann said. “It’s more likely I’m going to win two lotteries than that this is not related [to the capsules]. I think this is definitive.” Twenty-one other people also received capsules made with material from the same donor, the NEJM paper said. One other person reported serious side effects, but recovered; several others tested positive for the resistant bacteria but weren’t made sick.The paper’s publication comes just days before the FDA will hold a Nov. 4 meeting about the safety and regulation of fecal transplants, a procedure that has garnered an increasing amount of interest as scientists learn more about gut bacteria’s relationship to human health.For years, doctors have offered fecal transplants to people with C. difficile, a serious infection that kills more than 15,000 Americans each year. Several clinical trials have shown that fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs), which involve giving person stool collected from a healthy donor in a pill or as an enema, can cure this often stubborn condition.But a growing number of people are receiving fecal transplants to treat something else. In Boston alone, scientists have offered FMT through clinical trials to people with peanut allergies and Crohn’s disease as well as to people who are obese.center_img Related: The Food and Drug Administration first publicized the man’s death in June. At the time, the agency specified the type of bacteria that led to his death and that the person had a weaker-than-usual immune system. But it wasn’t clear where he died — nor was it clear how many other people may have been exposed to the bacteria.advertisement FDA warns of one patient death from a fecal transplant The next frontier for the microbiome: vaginal fluid transplants that take aim at a common condition [email protected] HealthMassachusetts General Hospital oversaw trial that led to the first death from a fecal transplant, a new paper shows The bacteria in your gut could help determine if a cancer therapy will work Tags Bostonhospitalsinfectious diseasemicrobiome @sheridan_kate Related: By Kate Sheridan Oct. 30, 2019 Reprintslast_img read more


Government Embarks on Street Light Energy Saving Project

first_imgRelatedGovernment Embarks on Street Light Energy Saving Project RelatedGovernment Embarks on Street Light Energy Saving Project The Government is implementing a street light energy saving initiative, with the commencement of a pilot project, to be undertaken in three parishes over the next six months.The initiative, being jointly implemented by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, and United States-based technology and engineering solutions firm, Green Energy RG LLC, is aimed at significantly reducing the cost to the budget to maintain the country’s approximately 93,000 street lights, which totals upwards of $2 billion per annum.Project activities got underway in Osbourne Store, Clarendon, on Tuesday (January 8), with the installation of the first set of solar-powered light emitting diode (LED) fixtures in that community.Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, whose Ministry has portfolio responsibility for street lights, and Green RG Principals, Managing Director, Alfred Hyre, and President of Green RG Caribbean Limited, Jonathan Burke, were among the officials on hand to witness the installations.[RELATED: Cabinet Approves Measures to Reduce Street Light Bill]Addressing the launch of the project, Mr. Arscott announced that the pilot phase will see some 5,000 LED panels being installed in Clarendon as well as sections of St. Catherine and Kingston and St. Andrew. Additionally, he said the phase will also see the Ministry’s offices at Hagley Park Road in Kingston, being retrofitted with energy saving solutions.“Today, we are going to put up 10 of these lights (in Osbourne Store) and we hope to be able to proceed to install lights all over Clarendon and then into other parts of Jamaica. We hope that we will be able to complete the programme…by midyear, and then we can evaluate the results and determine where we go from there,” he said.For his part, Mr. Hyre said his company is “very excited’ to be partnering with the Ministry to implement the project.“We are very excited about this technology. It’s proven technology that I think is going to do everything and more than everyone expects it to do,” he said.The installation of the LED fixtures, which is being done at no cost to the government, is being facilitated by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and Green Energy RG, which was signed in 2011.The MoU made provisions for the testing and implementation of alternative energy technology solutions for local government facilities, and comes in the wake of a recently completed energy audit of the Ministry’s offices as well as public spaces under its purview.Cabinet recently approved measures aimed reducing electricity costs to the State for the island’s street lights. These include: the introduction of policy standards on the type and characteristics of street lights, to enable the use of the most energy and cost efficient units. Implementation of this policy will be underpinned by the requisite regulations, which are expected to yield significant savings.Additionally, Cabinet also gave authorization for the exploration of what it deemed feasible options for the introduction of LED street lights on a wide scale islandwide. RelatedGovernment Embarks on Street Light Energy Saving Project Government Embarks on Street Light Energy Saving Project EnergyJanuary 9, 2013Written by: Douglas McIntoshcenter_img Story HighlightsThe Government is implementing a street light energy saving initiative, with the commencement of a pilot project, to be undertaken in three parishes over the next six months.The initiative, being jointly implemented by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, and United States-based technology and engineering solutions firm, Green Energy RG LLC, is aimed at significantly reducing the cost to the budget to maintain the country’s approximately 93,000 street lights, which totals upwards of $2 billion per annum.Project activities got underway in Osbourne Store, Clarendon, on Tuesday (January 8), with the installation of the first set of solar-powered light emitting diode (LED) fixtures in that community. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Advertisementslast_img read more


Gov’t Could Earn $64 Million from Sale of State Lands

first_imgGov’t Could Earn $64 Million from Sale of State Lands EnvironmentJune 20, 2013Written by: Douglas McIntosh Related35 in Duanvale Get Land Title FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Government stands to earn some $64 million in potential revenue from the sale or lease of State lands to 38 applicants whose submissions have been approved.State Minister for Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, made the disclosure while making his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House on June 18, under the theme: ‘The Urgency is Now!!’Mr. Hayles informed that the 38 approved applications were shortlisted from 71 processed by the Government’s Land Divestment Advisory Committee during the 2012/13 fiscal year. He explained that 41 were originally shortlisted from which the 38 were recommended and two were not.He advised that the outstanding applications of the 41 along with the remaining 30 “were deferred for further information or clarification.”Mr. Hayles assured that as the administration seeks to “broaden the land ownership base”, steps have been taken to ensure that the divestment process is undertaken in a “fair and transparent manner”.Noting the administration’s cognizance that the divestment process “is still slow”, the State Minister said they have undertaken “to help bring clarity to the process”. He said that to this end, they have been working on a policy and procedure manual, which sets out best practices guiding the lease and sale of Government-owned lands.“The aim is to encourage effective and sustainable use and management of our scarce land resources. That manual has been prepared, and as soon as it is approved by Cabinet, we will be formally launching the ‘Policy and Procedure Manual for Divestment of Government-owned lands’,”Mr. Hayles advised.Contact: Douglas McIntosh RelatedRenewed Focus on Cassavacenter_img RelatedMinistry Welcomes New Pipes to Reduce Water Loss Advertisementslast_img read more


Another Boondoggle

first_img March 27, 2019 at 6:08 PM Carol Hile says: 2 Comments Comments are closed. Thanks Charles, you always make me smile. It’s not just Richard Nixon, he is just one of Many who got caught! The LA city council is the highest paid council in the country and thus hold a whole lot of power. Some of the largest cities hold part time councils and meet when needed during the quarters. I wonder if we ever mattered or thru social media we have learned that we really don’t matter at all.The Deals are made before the meetings but our representatives must at least appear as if they care. Charles Andrews brought so many items and concerns that we the people need to address………but How? Getting more involved, running for office, holding our civil servants accountable…….ALL of the above? And Yes “they” do act bored and talk down to us and show their distaste and they dismiss us with a wave of the hand. How Much Money are the SMCC members paid?????center_img Stacy says: March 27, 2019 at 11:42 AM HomeNewsCity CouncilAnother Boondoggle Mar. 27, 2019 at 5:20 amCity CouncilColumnsCurious CityFeaturedGovernmentNewsOpinionPoliticsAnother BoondoggleCharles Andrews2 years agoBoard of Northeast NeighborsCharles Andrewscity councilcurious citySue Himmelrich NOBODY’S LISTENING?You never get to ask questions about the direction your beloved city is going, or offer suggestions or speak your mind to open minds?Oh — silly you, you must be going to City Council meetings. Yes, you do get two minutes, unless it’s one minute, or less if they can manage it, “because you have asked for shorter meetings” and we’re just trying to help. But take a look at the Council faces staring at their phones, eating their food, yawning openly, leaving early, trying to not show how bored or resentful they are during public input, and if they do look at a speaker it’s often with disdain and sometimes you get outright verbal rudeness. And besides, you find out when it comes time for their discussion, or lack of it, and their vote, that it was all decided before they came in but they generously (and bootlessly) let you talk.Is it that way always? Over the last few years, a lot. For every Councilperson? Well, Morena and Jara are the new kids and the Kool-Aid is still just getting into their systems, give them time, considering their paths to Council, and Gleam is a fairly new Mayor and not rude like her predecessors (yet), and Sue Himmelrich seems mostly to be paying attention, processing, and asking pertinent questions (for information, not just to reiterate staff propaganda), and she actually holds office hours. NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONSThat’s where you’ll be heard and have real input. (Unless you live in Ocean Park, like I do.) Then you can speak collectively, as a neighborhood, to City Council. Who then will still not listen to you, collectively. After all, you Mid-City malcontents, you NOMA nasties, you Fiends of Sunset Park, you didn’t put us on Council, we represent the entire city! Including all those precious souls who haven’t moved here yet, but we’re developing as fast as we can, for them. More importantly we are representing those who really put us here: SMRR, SMC, SMMUSD, UNITE HERE, CLUE, RAND, LOWV, NOW, NMS, PACs and $$$ and let’s not forget Forward.But if you go to these neighborhood association meetings you will be with your for-real neighbors, who share your localized concerns. Just imagine… if each neighborhood could elect its own City Council representative! Who would then be directly responsible and probably responsive to the neighborhood people who put them on the Council! Nah. Impossible. You’d have to sue to make that happen. And then win! And then… wait. And wait…SPEAKING OF WASTING OUR MONEYWas I? Yup. It never ends. Here we go again, City Staff proposing a very expensive solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. By the time you read this Wednesday the Council will have dealt with this Staff proposal Tuesday night, on the consent calendar. (That means, no discussion of an $8M expenditure, just one yea or nay vote on all the items listed together, large and small.) But this is another example of an ongoing attitude by your City government that they can do whatever they want and never worry about the right side of the menu, and also of how neighborhood associations can speak out with a collective voice about something you probably otherwise would never have understood or even heard about. In this case, Northeast Neighbors did.  (Thanks to NEN Chair Tricia Crane for posting this.)To: City CouncilRe: 3/26/2019 – Agenda item 3-D (Award of Communications and Outreach Contracts)Members of the Board of Northeast Neighbors object to and ask City Council not to grant the request from City staff for “various” PR firms to promote the City on an “as needed” basis (Agenda Item 3-D). The Staff Report describes these 15 contracts as needed to “provide on-call resources available to all departments.” We consider this proposed expenditure to be excessive and frivolous.We question the purpose of hiring, for instance, the firm Marketing for Change Co. (https://marketingforchange.com) The website for this firm reads: “Our work is about ally acquisition — building the majority you need to win.” We ask, what is it that the City Staff hopes “to win” by hiring Marketing for Change? How can the City even consider approving outside PR services from 15 different outside companies when the public is being told we “can’t afford” a pilot project to place police in unsafe parks?We wonder why – for the sake of transparency – the item doesn’t call out the fact that $2.610,000 “for 2 years with 3 additional one-year renewal options(s)” adds up to more than $8 million. Spending on this scale for promotion and propaganda purposes seems to us to be totally out of line with the budget issues the City faces given pension liabilities.We ask that Council not approve the funding proposed in Agenda item 3-D or any portion of what is proposed.Sincerely, The Board of Northeast NeighborsQUESTION OF THE WEEK: Yes it is happening in LA and all around us, but Santa Monica is small and fragile and boxed in, and why can’t we have a City government that protects us instead of sells us to the highest bidder? (Don’t peek! The answer is….. $$$.)“LA City Council signed off Friday on a 725-unit apartment project in Chinatown with no affordable units, that will displace low-income residents.”QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too.” — Richard M. NixonCharles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at  [email protected] :Board of Northeast NeighborsCharles Andrewscity councilcurious citySue Himmelrichshare on Facebookshare on Twittershow 2 comments Supporting our Hotel Workers is a Winning Strategy for EveryoneSamohi student surprised with $40k scholarshipYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall8 hours agoColumnsOpinionYour Column HereBring Back Library ServicesGuest Author14 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson19 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter19 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor19 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press19 hours agolast_img read more


High Demand and High Prices for Forest Products

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. As the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect every industry differently, sawlog prices in Montana are reaching record levels, said F.H. Stoltze Land and Resource Manager Paul McKenzie.“The product demand has increased dramatically in general forest products,” he said.According to the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research sawlog report, Western Montana’s price per thousand board feet (MBF) for Douglas-fir sawlogs reached $407 in the third quarter, which stretches from July to September, compared to 2019’s Douglas-fir prices at $393 per MBF. Lodgepole pine sawlogs reached $409 per MBF this year compared to $393 last year.McKenzie said the market was lagging earlier in the year before the uptick of the last few months.“We don’t know exactly why the demand is there,” McKenzie said. “Part of it is because it’s in a commodity market and as the demand increases you see a corresponding increase in production.”McKenzie speculates the nationwide timber production has been impacted by the pandemic and wildfires, creating a scarce supply and a hike in prices. But since Montana’s production has been uninterrupted throughout the pandemic, the state’s wood product industry is taking advantage of the high market prices. He also noted the influx of building in the valley.McKenzie says Stoltze has been especially busy in the last three months and has increased production at its mill in Columbia Falls. Even though production has increased, it is still restrained by log supply with a limited access to timber.“They don’t last long,” McKenzie said about the market prices. “Prices are highly volatile and we’re anticipating there will be an adjustment in prices.”In addition to high wood product demand, F.H. Stoltze is receiving a lot of inquiries from people who are interested in buying the company’s timberlands. While Stoltze has one or two parcels for sale, the company does not intend to sell most of its timberland, McKenzie said.With a 39,367-acre tree farm, the company is continuing to expand the business with both its timberland and sawmill. Stoltze is Montana’s oldest lumber company, which was established in 1912 and began sawmill production in 1923 at the Halfmoon site in Columbia Falls. The company annually produces 65 to 70 million board feet.Weyerhaeuser, too, reported experiencing “strong results” with net earnings of $72 million during the second quarter, down from last year’s earnings of $128 million. However, the company’s Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) was $386 million compared to $343 million, according to a press release announcing the second-quarter earnings report.Weyerhaeuser’s third-quarter earnings report won’t be released until the end of this month, but the company was forecasting higher earnings and Adjusted EBITDA with increased product sales.The wood product market rebounded after experiencing a sharp decline in early spring in response to the pandemic. Weyerhaeuser reduced production volumes to compensate for the lower customer demand in the spring, but continued to adjust operating rates as the market improved.Weyerhaeuser closed its plywood mill in Evergreen for a week in early April in response to the drop in demand.Weyerhaeuser uses primarily Douglas fir and Western larch and owns or manages 11 million acres of timberlands in the U.S. It’s one of the largest manufacturers of wood products in North [email protected] Emaillast_img read more


Donegal publicans support Garda anti-drugs campaign

first_img Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Google+ Homepage BannerNews News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Facebook Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Pinterest Pinterest Facebook Harps come back to win in Waterford WhatsApp Donegal Publicans support Garda Anti-Drugs campaigainMembers of the Donegal VintinersÕ Federation of Ireland at the launch of of the anti-drugs awareness campaign in association with An Garda S’och‡naMartin Gibbons Chairman of Donegal Branch of VFI.and Van Hanley. From from left, Martin Barrett, Secretary VFI Garda Detective Inspector Pat OÕDonnell, Pauric Mc Gan National President of VFI ,Galway, and Alice Lynch National Executive of VFI Photo Brian McDaidDonegal members of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) have today launched an anti-drugs awareness campaign in partnership with An Garda Síochána.The new campaign will see posters appearing in all VFI pubs in the county alerting the public to the use of illegal drugs. The poster provides a Garda phone number to call if customers see any suspicious behaviour.According to VFI Donegal Chairman Martin Gibbons, the consumption of illegal drugs is an ongoing problem.He says: “We want our pubs to be as safe and welcoming as possible for our customers but unfortunately we have a significant issue with people using illegal drugs. The new campaign is designed to inform customers that we have a zero-tolerance policy towards drug taking in our pubs and if they spot any suspicious activity they should phone the number on the poster.Martin Gibbons added: “This Garda campaign has the full support of publicans and we’re delighted to be facilitating the posters in our pubs. Donegal pubs are famous for their hospitality and we want to ensure that continues to be the case. The message this campaign sends out is clear – there is no welcome for drug taking in our pubs.”The Garda confidential phone number is: 087 067 5529center_img Previous articleDerry councillor concerned at fireworks incidents in CregganNext articleMLA wages to be cut as Bradley addresses Stormont impasse News Highland DL Debate – 24/05/21 Google+ Donegal publicans support Garda anti-drugs campaign RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter By News Highland – September 6, 2018 WhatsApp Twitter Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODAlast_img read more


Staff laid off at SLM in Gweedore

first_img Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Pinterest WhatsApp News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Facebook Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme WhatsApp 32 jobs are being lost at the SLM facility on the Gweedore Industrial Estate in West Donegal.There’s been no formal statement from the company, but local councillor Michael Colm Mac Giolla Easbuig, the Chair of the Glenties Municipal District says the workers were told at 2pm this afternoon that liquidators had been appointed to the digital marketting centre, whose owners are based in Manchester.It had been hoped that 125 jobs would be created at the plant, but accoprding to Udaras na Gaeltachta, there were 32 staff employed, 23 full time and 9 part time.Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig was at the centre this afternoon after being called by workers. he says it came like a bolt from the blue…………….Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/michc5pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. DL Debate – 24/05/21 Homepage BannerNews Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic center_img Facebook Pinterest Twitter Google+ By News Highland – December 21, 2017 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Staff laid off at SLM in Gweedore Previous articlePSNI investigate Derry fireNext articleMain Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Thursday December 21st News Highland Google+last_img read more


Safety training courses could replace penalty points

first_img WhatsApp Previous articleDerry Councillor condemns attack on home in Waterside areaNext articleUk’s Brexit Secretary warns the clock is ticking News Highland Twitter DL Debate – 24/05/21 Homepage BannerNews Pinterest Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Google+ Facebook Google+center_img By News Highland – August 20, 2017 WhatsApp Safety training courses could replace penalty points Pinterest News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Facebook Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Penalty points could be replaced by a safety training course for some speeding drivers.Motorists caught driving marginally over the speed limit for the first time, may be forced to take an educational course instead of getting penalty points.Under the new proposals drivers would have to pay for their instruction programme which involves learning about the potential consequences of driving too fast.The RSA is in talks with experts in the UK where a similar system is already in place.Barry Aldworth of AA Ireland, says it affords people an opportunity to change their behaviour:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/aldworth6.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Harps come back to win in Waterford Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic last_img read more


News / DP World unveils $1billion project to develop greenfield container port in Ecuador

first_imgThe port of Guayaquil Construction is set to start sometime between now and end of the first quarter of next year, and will take two years to complete.Beyond that there are plans to invest a further $500m – ultimately, as much as 2km of berth could be developed as well as a logistics zone.The water depth of the port is 15 metres, compared with the 10 metres Guayaquil offers.DP World has partnered with local companies Consorcio Nobis and Grupo Vilaseca.Roberto Dunn, executive director of Consorcio Nobis, said: “DP World Posorja will offer Ecuadoran importers and exporters a unique deep-water alternative that will dramatically improve the competitiveness of their products in world markets and has the potential to transform the Ecuadorean economy.”The economy appears to be in some trouble. According to FocusEconomics, its GDP is set to contract by 2.8% this year, the third-worst performer in South America after Venezuela and Brazil, And a recent Maersk Line trade report says imports from Asia in 2015 slumped 12%, and from Europe 15%, while exports, primarily driven by bananas, grew just 1%. It says the early indications from 2016 are that this year will be little better – export growth of 8% was offset by a 22% decline in imports.The report also notes: “A dip in demand for cars, furniture, and electronic appliances accounts for the import slump which can be related to the country’s lower spending power as result of inflation.“Looking to the rest of 2016, it is expected that Ecuador will maintain a similar growth trend as registered in 2015, due to the steady decline in oil prices. The ‘El Niño’ weather phenomenon is likely to impact exports, especially tuna, during 2016.”In addition, Ecuador has proved to be difficult investment terrain for overseas port developers. Hutchison won a concession to develop nearby Manta in 2007, but quit the project a couple of years later, following what the US consul general Doug Griffiths described as “six weeks of turmoil over the concession’s future”, according to a leaked government cable that is part of the Wikileaks cache.“President Rafael Correa threatened, during one of his weekly radio addresses, to expel the company from Ecuador. Allegedly, in response to the unilateral changes to the concession terms imposed by Correa, Hutchison announced that it would abandon the country.“The government of Ecuador and Manta Port Authority officials then insisted that the concession remained valid and scrambled to find a way to keep Hutchison in Manta. Hutchison’s managing director told us that the change in the global economic environment, and the mercurial, anti-market behaviour of the Ecuadorean government made the concession no longer viable,” Mr Griffiths wrote.He added: “President Correa may have overstepped his game when he threatened to expel HPH in January, not really believing that the company would abandon the concession. Indeed, the president has used similar public bullying techniques to negotiate better terms with multinational firms such as cell-phone operator Porta, and several European oil companies.”President Correa, a left wing politician who came to power in 2007, has also engineered the departure of several international companies that were not willing to play this game.Less controversial has been the 20-year concession won by Filipino port operator ICTSI to manage the container and general cargo terminals at Guayaquil under a privatisation arrangement, and where throughput across the overall port reached nearly reached capacity of 1.75m teu last year.Under the agreement, ICTSI agreed to invest $170m initially in facilities, with total investment over the period amounting to $800m. According to Port Strategy, it is also agreed to pay the port authority a royalty of $10.43 per container handled – “well over the US$6 amount set in the bidding rules”. DP World has won a concession to develop and operate a new container facility in Ecuador, a Latin America’s country that has proved most resistant to international terminal operators.The Dubai-headquartered operator today said it been awarded a 50-year concession to develop the port of Posorja, located around 65km from its largest port of Guayaquil.DP World said it had drawn up a $1bn investment plan for the project.An initial $500m will be ploughed into buying land, dredging an access channel, building a 20km access road and constructing a 400-metre container and general cargo berth with annual handling capcity of 750,000teu.center_img By Gavin van Marle 07/06/2016last_img read more


News / Shippers demand terminals free Hanjin containers and drop huge release fees

first_imgNederland, Rotterdam, 2008Op de ECT terminal op de Maasvlakte worden containers door containerkranen en werknemers op en overgeslagen Foto; Freek van Arkel/Havenbedrijf Rotterdam By Gavin van Marle 06/09/2016 Shipper organisations have called for terminals to begin releasing Hanjin containers detained by terminal operators requesting “high lump sum” release fees, following a court decision in Rotterdam.The European Shippers Council claims it “hamper trade flows between businesses and their global commercial partners”.It said: “For example, businesses’ logistical planning will be complicated by unexpected delays, which will cause longer lead times.”Shortly after Hanjin went into receivership last week, Rotterdam terminal operator ECT said full imported Hanjin containers would only be released after consignees had paid €1,000 per dry container and €1,500 per special unit, such as flat-racks and reefers.center_img In response, Dutch shipper organisations EVO, TLN, Fenex and Fenedex challenged the charges in a Rotterdam court, which ruled that ECT could charge a maximum €25 for administration costs, as well as the actual handling charge for moving the container to the terminal gate.“The court has ruled the remuneration of €1,000 for an ordinary container and €1,500 for special containers is unlawful. The court also ruled that ECT may not apply for bail,” a statement from Fenex policy advisor Robin van Leijen said.He added: “The situation regarding Hanjin is extremely tedious and produces only losers. EVO, Fenedex, TLN and FENEX are nevertheless of the opinion that this ruling is a step in the right direction. We are happy to continue the constructive dialogue with all parties in the chain in question.”A meeting is set to take place between ECT and shipper representatives this afternoon.Meanwhile, German terminal operator Eurogate announced it would only release Hanjin containers “against a cost assumption declaration and payment of all costs with regard to the respective container”.In addition, with creditors scrambling to hold any Hanjin assets they can lay their hands on, Eurogate said it would only release containers with a deposit against them, amounting to €2,000 per 20ft, €4,000 per 40ft and €8,000 per special container, to ensure they are redelivered to the terminal operator.It said: “A release is in principle possible following a release from Hanjin. This is currently only possible against cash payment. This incurs costs such as security charge, handling charges, load and discharge charges plus additional storage charges, if any.“Additional charges are incurred for specials such as reefers, OOG and dangerous goods. The containers have a blocking notice until full payment is received.”In Hanjin’s native South Korea, the fallout from the line’s failure continues. The Financial Services Commission said there were 457 local subcontractors that had receivables from Hanjin amounting to Won64bn (US$58m), and that it would use a Won800bn restructuring fund to provide “special guarantees for subcontractors and small-to-mid sized shippers suffering from cargo delay. Up to 90% guarantee will be provided for debts of such companies and guarantee fee will be reduced by 0.2%”.Also today, it appeared some form of lifeline has been thrown to the stricken carrier.Parent Hanjin Group has committed to deposit Won100bn into the company in an effort to “minimise the damage to exporters and importers” at ports of discharge. Some Won40bn of that is understood to be coming from the personal funds of chairman Cho Yang Ho.last_img read more