News story: MHRA streamlines services for devices customers

first_img offers customers a better way to do business with us provides a single online account with the Agency provides access to Devices Registration (DR) and Certificates of Free Sale (CFS) services via a new online portal allows our staff to access and provide information to customers more quickly and in a more joined-up way enhances our customer service to you What do I need to do?Our new online accounts began being rolled out to customers at the end of November 2017 and we aim to have everyone on the new system by the end of 2018.If you use our Device Registration service or you apply for Certificates of Free Sale you will be moved to the new system in groups and will receive information with your instructions and go-live date.There is no need to re-register. Your existing registration will remain valid and we will let you know what action you need to take to update your new account.Further informationRead more about our new [email protected] At MHRA we are always working to improve the transparency, responsiveness, usability and effectiveness of our services.To make our systems easier to use, we have developed and successfully piloted a new online service which:last_img read more

Doubling health spending in low-income countries improving health budget less than expected

first_imgLow-income countries have doubled their domestic spending on health overall, reports a major newstudy over 12 years ending in 2006, but international health aid may not beadding as much as expected to the health budgets of some of these countries.After systematically analyzing all available data and compensating for significantgaps, a team of researchers at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Institute forHealth Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington identified two major trends.First, insub-Saharan Africa, where many governments receive significant health aid fromdeveloped countries, international organizations and global health initiativesdirectly, the aid appears to be in part replacing domestic health spendinginstead of fully supplementing it. Overall, for every $1 spent in health aid,governments of developing countries moved between 43 cents and $1.14 of theirown funds to other priorities, the researchers found.Second, incountries where nongovernmental organizations receive most of the aid and thenapply it to projects inside the country, government health spending appears tohave increased. Both trends merit further research, the authors say.The healthspending study represents the first systematic effort to address where donormoney for global health goes and how it is used, observers say. The findingsraise a number of serious questions about international health financing andare expected to frame future discussions and research. In developingcountries, government spending on health from domestic sources plays a key rolein promoting population health, says Chunling Lu, the paper’s lead author andan instructor in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We are hopingthat the lessons learned from countries that are investing more of their ownmoney in their health systems can be applied where domestic health spending isdeclining,” says Julio Frenk, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health andIHME board chairman. “The worst outcome would be for people to lose faith inhealth aid, especially now when, as we can see in places such as Haiti,countries need extra help to make a tangible difference in people’s lives.” Overall,domestic government spending on health doubled in low-income countries over 12years to reach $18 billion in 2006, the study shows. That is three times asmuch as the amount of development assistance for health the governmentsreceived. “The fact thatgovernments are committing more of their own resources to health is crucial,”says co-author and IHME director Christopher Murray.“Aid from outside donors plays an important role but can fluctuate from year toyear. Governments ultimately have to sustain themselves.”The study,published in the British medical journal The Lancet, wasreleased during a daylong meeting of representatives from aid organizations,governments, development banks and research institutions at Imperial College inLondon. The forum addressed the relationship between international resourcescontributed to health and the funds that governments in developing countries themselvesspend.“Lu andcolleagues have accomplished a herculean task in generating a dataset on healthspending in developing countries,” other researchers wrote in an accompanyingcommentary in The Lancet. These samecommentators also warned of the data’s limitations and the need to allowcountries to set their own spending priorities. “Should the ministry of healthbudgets be increased at the expense of, say, prevention of road-trafficaccidents (a serious cause of premature mortality), which might fall within theministry of transport?” they wrote. Despite therigor of their analysis, the researchers themselves also strike a cautionarynote.  The team probed spending data fromdeveloping countries and health aid data from agencies, multilateral institutions,such as the World Health Organization and the International Monetary Fund, andhundreds of nonprofit groups and charities. In some countries, records of government healthspending were missing most years of information, they found. For example, for the period 1995–2006, about 20 to 35 percent of the data points were missing from government healthspending documents. “Right now, wedon’t know where all the money is going because the documentation is so poor,”says co-author Dean Jamison, professor of global health at IHME. “Somegovernments may be channeling parts of their health budgets toward bettersanitation or education. All we know is that it isn’t going directly into thehealth budget.”To strengthenthe effectiveness of the health aid system for donors and developing countries,the researchers make five recommendations:Adopt a clear set ofreporting standards for government health spending as source, as well asspending in other health-related sectors; Establish collaborative targets to maintain or increase theshare of government expenditures going to health; Invest in developing countries’ capacity to effectively receiveand spend health aid; Study the use of global price subsidies or product transfers asmechanisms for health aid. The study wasfunded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Carefully assess of the risks and benefits of expanded healthaid to non-governmental sectors;last_img read more

Irish DB funds yet to finalise funding proposals following 2013 deadline

first_imgNine underfunded Irish defined benefit (DB) schemes have yet to submit funding proposals to the Pensions Authority, more than two and a half years after initial submissions were due.Brendan Kennedy, head of the Irish regulator, said the Authority planned to resolve the situation before the end of 2016 and stressed that the funds in question were small.“Some of those schemes have very, very specific issues and, at least in one case, are probably not capable of resolution,” he told IPE.“We may [have] to force the scheme to wind up.” Kennedy said it was important for the regulator to see that all avenues were explored before using its powers to force a fund to wind up, a situation that would trigger benefit reductions where a deficit has not been addressed.“But at the same time,” he added, “while we are reluctant to use the powers, we have to recognise our legislature has given those powers to us with the view to be potentially used.“Like any regulator, we have to strike a balance between using them sparingly but recognising they do exist and have a purpose.”The nine funds account for only a small fraction of the approximately 700 DB funds remaining in Ireland, managing €60bn in assets.The Authority has long struggled with overdue funding proposals.The initial June 2013 deadline for funding proposals, which followed the reinstatement of the funding standard in the wake of Ireland’s banking bailout, was missed by more than 70% of affected funds.The number had fallen to approximately 60 a year later, when the Authority warned it would deal with “persistent non-compliance” by schemes, but, as of February 2015, 30 funds still had yet to agree final funding plans.Kennedy noted the formal processes that needed to be adhered to ahead of a fund’s being wound up or reducing benefits, but he said the Authority was “certainly confident” the situation with the nine funds would be resolved later this year. Funding requirements became more onerous at the beginning of 2016, with the introduction of a risk reserve equivalent to 10% of fund liabilities.However, funds are able to offset the requirement by investing in certain government and supranational bonds.last_img read more

100 Days of Buhari: Nigeria’s president seems to have had a…

first_imgNigeria is today marking 100 days since President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn into office. The 72-year-old celebrates the milestone after his inauguration on May 29th marked the first democratically elected transfer of power in Nigeria’s history. Here is CCTV’s Sophia Adengo with more.last_img

Experience key to Sukhram’s dominance in golf

first_imgREGARDED as one of the best female golfers both locally and in the Caribbean, Christine Sukhram has her sights on winning the Lusignan Golf Club (LGC) premier golf tournament – the Guyana Open, which is billed for November 4-5.The soft-spoken golfer is no pushover on the course, having won numerous prestigious tournaments in Guyana and the Caribbean. However, she is eagerly looking forward to the Guyana Open, with the aim to reclaim the title which she last won three years ago.“I have the experience around the greens, and my long game is pretty good most of the time I’m straight down the fairways,” she told this publication during an exclusive interview on Thursday.She added, “I came back about two weeks ago from the USA so I’m not that prepared as yet, but will try to get some practice in order to fit in my work schedule, but I don’t feel that will affect my game in anyway.”Striking the ball straight down the fairways has been the hallmark of Christine Sukhram’s budding golf career.Sukhram was the first introduced to the sport at age six by her now deceased father Basil Sukhram, himself an avid player, coach and her mentor.Sukhram’s growing love for the sport, coupled with the convenience of the course’s location, proved very valuable for her, as she was able to practise regularly and improve on her skills.At age 28, Sukhram is at the top of her game, but she is fully aware of the challenges she is expected to face, especially from defending champion, Joann Deo, who will definitely be looking to retain the title. Deo defeated Shaunella Webster after recording a total Net 138 and a Gross of 180.“I am fully aware of the challenges, but it all depends on the format of the tournament …if they play on Gross my chances are high of winning, but if they continue playing Net I will have a tough challenge there competing with the high handicappers.“I will have a game plan set up on how I want to play every hole. That way I can balance myself and stay focused,” she concluded.Golfing fans can expect a lot from her during the tournament, as she tries to reclaim her position as the ‘Queen of the Greens’.Meanwhile, in a recent interview with this publication, defending male champion Avinash Persaud feels that a positive mental approach will be the key to doing well during the tournament.In a thriller last year, Persaud finished with a total Gross of 149 and a Net aggregate of 145, but emphasised that this year’s tournament will be very challenging, taking into consideration the number of good players around.As usual, golfers from Guyana, North America and the Caribbean will compete against one another, in what will be a highly competitive two-day tournament.The LGC is using the tournament to once again aid in the sports tourism drive, as the event will draw a wide cross-section of golfers and supporters from various countries.The LGC is anticipating a large turnout of competitors on the nine-hole course, with heated rivalry in the Championship Flight (0-9 handicap), B Flight (10-18), C Flight (19-28) and Ladies Flight.last_img read more

Catholic schools in Palm Beach County to reopen in the fall

first_imgCatholic schools in Palm Beach County and across the Treasure Coast are planning to reopen for in- person classes in the fall.Superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Palm Beach Gary Gelo, made the announcement on Wednesday stating:“It is the intention of the task force to have students back in the classroom come” the start of the new school year, August 10th.While many schools in Palm Beach County have opted to continue distance learning, Gelo reported that he and his task force of seven principals say their decision to resume classes were based on suggestions from health officials and the results of the parent survey into their reopening plan:“The task force reviewed much of the science provided by epidemiologists, pediatricians, state and local health departments, the CDC, and others, ” Gelo said.“We also used the parent survey results from early June, which indicated that more than 74% of our parents wanted students to return to their classrooms. Ultimately, this became the goal of the task force: return students to the classrooms, where learning is maximized through teacher and student interaction.”The schools plan to reopen in line with the Florida Education Commission’s recent order to resume classes, but say that they are also prepared to “pivot” and ” adapt to an ever-fluid situation,” which may include further at home learning.Many of the schools under the plan include:St. Ann Catholic School, St. Luke Catholic school, Sacred Heart School, St. John Paul II, and Cardinal Newman High School. Click here for the full list.last_img read more

Cranbrook Minor Hockey star off to Hockey Hall of Fame

first_imgThe Cranbrook minor hockey grad joins defenceman Chris Chelios and forward Brendan Shanahan as the latest inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame.Geraldine Heaney, the third woman to be enshrined in the hall, and coach Fred Shero, who led the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup in 1974 and ’75, are also on the inductees list.Chelios and Niedermayer earned hockey’s biggest individual honor in their first year of eligibility.Niedermayer won four Stanley Cups in 17 full NHL seasons to go along with a Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy. He played for the New Jersey Devils from 1991-92 through the 2003-04 season and finished his career in Anaheim in 2010.He is a member of the Triple Gold Club, signifying he has won the Stanley Cup, the World Championship (2004) and an Olympic gold medal.The New Jersey Devils and Kamloops Blazers have both retired his uniform number.The HHOF Induction ceremony is Monday, November 11. He played minor hockey in Cranbrook, junior hockey in Kamloops and professional hockey in New Jersey and Anaheim.Oh, did we say he also played for his country, winning Olympic gold in Vancouver in 2011 and Salt Lake City in 2002.Now, Scott Niedermayer is going to play hockey in the Hockey Hall of Fame.last_img read more

MASSIVE TWO DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER INTO THURSDAY OF $548,670; TOTAL PICK SIX POOL THURSDAY SHOULD EXCEED $2.5 MILLION

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 13, 2016)–There is a massive two-day Pick Six carryover of $548,670 into Thursday at Santa Anita and it’s expected Thursday’s total Pick Six pool should exceed $2.5 million.First post time for an eight-race card on Thursday is at 1 p.m. The Pick Six will begin with the third race, with approximate post time at 2 p.m. PDT.For complete morning line information and late changes, please visit santaanita.com. FIRST POST TIME FOR AN EIGHT-RACE PROGRAM THURSDAY IS 1 P.M.last_img read more

What it’s like to… trek the Wild Alpaca Way

first_imgIf you’re a fan of the fluffy alpaca, then there’s a brand new experience you have to try in the hills of Donegal.The Wild Alpaca Way on Malin Head is a fun new trek for young and old to spend time with lovable animals in the great outdoors.Local man John McGonagle and his family have been sharing their passion for alpacas with visitors all summer through their tours on the Knockamany Bends. But what makes this tour really special is the location. The trekking path offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Five Finger Strand and far beyond. You’ll be amazed by Donegal’s scenery from this point – if you can stop admiring the cute little alpacas that is!Ollie the Alpaca on the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalJohn McGonagle and Bounce on the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalMojo, Badger, Chestnut, Bounce and the beautiful little newcomer Ollie are the stars of the show. I had Ollie for my trek on Monday, and even though he was quite new to Donegal, he took everything in his stride.Alpacas are great animals for children to be around, they are quiet, gentle and love company. John and his son Sean are full of knowledge about the group and we soon learned that each alpaca has his own personality, Badger is the leader, Bounce is the lively one and my wee Ollie was the shy one of the group. You can’t help but laugh at their habits and their humming.The one-hour trek is very easy going and John makes sure everyone is comfortable with their alpaca. We took plenty of photo stops and treat stops for the animals.  Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalMyself and the lads enjoying a break stop on the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalThe field trail is not mucky and they have a great new shelter on-site to stand in with the alpacas and to ask John and Sean plenty of questions about them.This is a new venture for John, who switched from work as a plasterer to an alpaca trekker. Since starting the tours in June, he has welcomed visitors from all over the world who come to do something a little different on the Wild Atlantic Way. People from as far Canada, China, Singapore, New Zealand, Tasmania and closer to home have already enjoyed the Wild Alpaca Way this summer.The famous Donegal welcome awaits everyone on the hills. “We have a way of treating every customer like they’re the first,” John said.Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalViews from the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalWild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalAnd John will be open all year round, as well as hosting hen party mornings, team building days and bringing the alpacas out and about. If you are looking for some very special wedding guests, then this Malin crew would be delighted to get a day out! Check out wildalpacaway.com for details on these alpaca treks. To book, call John on 087 666 5106Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalBounce the alpaca on the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalWhat it’s like to… trek the Wild Alpaca Way was last modified: November 1st, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:InishowenJohn McGonagleMalin HeadThings to dotourismwild alpaca wayWild Atlantic Waylast_img read more

Keeping Titan Old

first_imgAs the Cassini orbiter makes its 103rd close pass by Titan, have long-agers found ways to keep it billions of years old?Space.com announced the 103rd flyby of Titan by Cassini, and it’s a daring one: just 2,274 miles above the surface at 13,000 miles per hour; PhysOrg announced the next day that it was successful.  With about 40% of the surface mapped by radar and other instruments, enough should be known by now to explain its youthful appearance in terms of the assumed age of the solar system (4.5 billion years).Astrobiology Magazine reported that JPL chemists are getting closer to reproducing Titan’s peculiar smog, but the fit isn’t perfect yet.  That article did not address the age conundrum: how long can Titan’s atmosphere create these complex molecules, and are they reversible?Jeff Hecht at New Scientist was the only reporter recently to address the age question.  First, he laid out the problem:Scientists have puzzled over Titan’s atmospheric methane because sunlight causes the molecule to react readily with other chemicals in the air, producing the moon’s dense smog. Calculations suggest that the amount of methane now found in Titan’s atmosphere should have been used up within tens of millions of years – a blip in the moon’s roughly 4-billion-year lifetime….Adding to the mystery, the methane reactions create hydrocarbon compounds that rain over the surface. If fresh methane emissions steadily replaced used-up methane over the course of Titan’s history, this process would happen constantly, and Titan would be covered not by lakes, but by a global ocean hundreds of metres deep.Such an ocean, of course, was not found, sending theoreticians scrambling for answers.  Hecht’s favorite answer is the snowball cycle proposed by Caltech’s Michael Wong.  Periodically, the atmosphere collapses, then reappears.  This happens because the methane provides only a marginal greenhouse effect to keep the nitrogen in a gas phase.  In the cycle scenario, the methane gets used up, the nitrogen freezes out, and the atmosphere turns to ice on the surface – until enough new methane outgasses to warm it up again.   There are several “if’s” in this scenario:Methane levels may rise and fall if the gas is periodically released from inside the moon, which would explain how Titan has so much in its atmosphere today. If at some point the methane dropped by a factor of 100, temperatures would fall, and surface liquids would ice over. The haze produced by methane reactions would also freeze out, leaving the atmosphere clear and exposing the snowy surface.For evidence, Wong points to several “Snowball Earth” episodes on our home planet (which Titan is supposed to resemble in some respects).But how would this explain the moon’s missing ocean? This clear atmosphere would produce a different mix of molecules, so the cold snap would leave the moon’s surface covered in lots of compounds called nitriles, which would be solid rather than creating an ocean. The absence of deep oceans suggests that Titan spends more time as a snowball than as a smogball.Any way to test this theory?  “Getting good enough readings of the surface composition to check this would require a future mission to Titan,” Hecht writes, meaning the test will not likely be possible in our lifetime, even if a proposed sampling mission gains approval (PhysOrg).  Perhaps the New Horizons mission next year will reveal similar processes operating on Pluto.  Even so, Pluto is not Titan, nor is Earth; the “Snowball Earth” theory, furthermore, is not without its skeptics (9/02/13).The short article did not address whether evidence exists for a methane reservoir under Titan’s surface, or if it’s there, how it would escape (4/16/13, 4/09/11).  It also seems that nitriles would be produced in the current regime, not just during the freezing periods.  Others, like Sushil Atreya, have said that the entire atmosphere (mostly nitrogen) would collapse if the methane were depleted.As we have noted before, this is an ad hoc theory rescue operation in progress.  A clear prediction was made in the 1990s that spacecraft would find Titan covered in a global ocean of liquid hydrocarbons; that prediction was falsified even before the Huygens Probe landed with a thud in January, 2005.  There is no evidence that Titan’s methane is being replenished.Assume, for the sake of argument, Wong’s theory works: there are cycles of methane collapse and resurrection.  Let’s grant an underground reservoir of methane that outgasses into the atmosphere.  Since the observed methane budget would be spent in a few tens of millions of years, how many cycles could repeat in 4.5 billion years?  A generous assumption of 100,000 years per cycle would produce 45 cycles of atmospheric collapse and resurrection.  A more reasonable 10,000 years would produce 450 cycles.  Is that reasonable?What we observe is a fairly dry moon with few impact craters, abundant sand dunes, and significant river channels, and a few large lakes.  This fits a scenario of steadily depleting methane.  We think science should stick with observations, not manufacture implausible scenarios to favor one’s preferred timeline.  If Titan is young, let it be young. 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