first_imgRTE pundit and former Kerry legend Pat Spillane believes Donegal have reached the end of the road and does not believe they will win the All-Ireland. Spillane has always been openly critical of Donegal’s defensive system since it was introduced by Jim McGuinness in 2011.The ‘system’ led Donegal to THREE Ulster titles, and one All-Ireland – while they narrowly missed out on winning another All-Ireland last season against Kerry. However, Spillane feels Donegal’s defeat against Monaghan showed that they’re running on empty and look like a tired team.Spillane insisted it would be wrong to write them off completely but doesn’t think they have an All-Ireland in them.In his column in the Sunday World, Spillane wrote, “While it would be unfair to write off Donegal’s chances after one below-par performance, frankly I don’t see them winning the All-Ireland in 2015.“Their performance against Monaghan – particularly in the second quarter – was so unlike them. There was no intensity in their play and their shooting was uncharacteristically wayward.“After three tough matches they looked a tired team. They were tactically inflexible and one-dimensional and the bottom line is that when Michael Murphy struggles so does the team.“Having just come through a gruelling, four-match schedule in the Ulster series, which involved matches against three teams that played in Division One this season, they will probably have to beat Galway, Mayo, Dublin and possibly Kerry to win the All-Ireland.Even at their peak I doubt if they would have been capable of that feat.  SPILLANE – “DONEGAL HAVE REACHED THE END OF THE ROAD” was last modified: July 26th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:newsSportlast_img read more

Fortuna surges past Del Norte

first_imgThe Fortuna boys’ late-season rally continued on the basketball court Saturday night, as the Huskies pulled out a 49-34 win at Del Norte.The win, Fortuna’s fourth straight and sixth in seven games, keeps the Huskies’ chances of an automatic North Coast Section playoff berth alive.The Huskies will now host McKinleyville Monday at 7 p.m. to decide who gets the automatic playoff spot and the No. 1 seed in this week’s Dick Niclai Memorial Tournament.The tiebreaker playoff came about after all …last_img read more

On the trail of the Big Five

first_imgThe Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant,buffalo and rhino – are a feature of game viewing at Exeter.(Image: Chris Thurman) Knowledgeable guides ensure that guestsnever miss an opportunity to spot ananimal, whether big or small.(Image: &Beyond Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Valeri Mouton&Beyond Africa+27 21 532 5861 RELATED ARTICLES • Call of the wild in Sabi Sand • Holidays that save the world • Kruger’s animal populations growing• Get close to the wild at MosetlhaChris ThurmanThere are those who will tell you that it doesn’t matter how you spend your time in the bush, or where you stay – it’s enough simply to be there. To some degree, this is true; certainly, no matter what your accommodation and game-viewing is like, it’s better than being in the office.After only a few hours at Exeter River Lodge in the Sabi Sand private game reserve, however, I couldn’t help reflecting that it was different to any bush experience I’d enjoyed before.It wasn’t just that our luxuriously appointed room looked out onto the Sand River, giving us a view of buffalo crossing the water or baboons loping down to the shore. It wasn’t just that the ever-available but never-intrusive staff treated us like royalty. It wasn’t just the food, or the wine, or the afternoon teas. It wasn’t the private plunge pool, the masseuse, the quirky collection of books or any of the other distractions to while away the day.Over and above these pleasures, the highlights of the trip were the morning and evening game drives.A good game ranger is many things: a raconteur, a sturdy outdoorsman or woman, a walking encyclopaedia of information about animal, bird and plant life.He or she can tell you, for instance, that a hunting leopard can leap up to 22m in a second – not very encouraging when you’re about 20m away – and will explain why the same leopard rubs its neck in the mud around a watering-hole (so that it can mark its territory by brushing the mud against trees and thus leave a more durable scent).Not just the Big FiveA major advantage of going on a private game drive is that rangers in different vehicles are in constant radio communication, increasing your chances of great sightings. But our ranger at River Lodge, Ryan, ensured that no drive was a headlong rush from one Big Five member to another.Along the way we also learned about the less glamorous animals, like the numerous species of buck whose presence is so often taken for granted. Kudu, for instance, have big ears and therefore the best hearing, which means they are less skittish than other antelope and provide the most reliable alarm call to anyone tracking big game on foot.Furthermore, we were reminded, if you’re only looking for creatures with four legs, you miss out on half the action.There is an abundance of bird life pursuing the same herbivorous and carnivorous habits as gravity-bound mammals: we saw a juvenile fish eagle on a high branch, trying to crack open a tortoise (don’t worry, it ended well for the tortoise; the eagle dropped him, he fell on his shell and survived).And you don’t have to be a birder to appreciate the exquisite colouring of a lilac-breasted roller.The more time you spend in the bush, the more you appreciate the minutiae – admiring rare flowers that only bloom for a couple of weeks each year, or discovering – courtesy of your ranger – the subtle interactions that take place between interdependent elements within an ecosystem. Oxpeckers remove ticks from buffalo and giraffe; desiccated termite mounds become lairs for warthog and hyena.Best of all, with an experienced tracker assisting the ranger in locating game and a radio always at hand, you’re guaranteed to see a greater variety than you would on your own. And once you’ve spotted something in the distance, you don’t have to strain with binoculars just to catch a glimpse of a horn or tail – the ranger shifts down a gear, engages the diff lock on the 4×4 and you head off-road to take a closer look.What would a late afternoon game drive be without a sunset pause for a cup of coffee or a gin and tonic – and, of course, some snacks to tide you over until supper? Then it’s time to enjoy the magical world of the bushveld at night.Rangers and trackers are careful not to interfere too much with nocturnal activity; and, after many years of conservation efforts, the animals have learned to tolerate the human presence because it is neither intrusive nor threatening.Non-intervention policyWhere possible, the principle of non-intervention is applied. In some cases, however, humans have to undo the damage caused by previous interventions which may have been less well-intentioned or well-conceived. A good example is the challenge of decreasing the prevalence of tuberculosis in the buffalo population: up to 70% of buffalo in certain Kruger-Sabi herds have bovine TB.The solution is an intriguing one – raising disease-free young buffalo who suckle on domesticated Jersey cows before being released into the wild. This has been quite successful, and also provides a curious proof of nature overcoming nurture. The buffalo calves have to learn to suckle from the side as all Jersey calves do, but when they become mothers in turn, they follow their instinct and let their young suckle from behind. This is a vital survival tactic, because it means that cow and calf can keep walking, and allows buffalo herds to keep moving even while the young are suckling. Another little-known fact is that buffalo milk makes delicious Feta cheese!Of course, the conservation programmes being implemented in South Africa’s game parks also require ongoing vigilance against human threats. The recent increase in rhino poaching is a case in point. Countering this disturbing trend requires not only stricter policing within our reserves, but also broader campaigns to stop both the international demand for rhino horn, particularly in east Asia, and the local suppliers. These are the “foot soldiers” of poaching who have no other means of livelihood.Certainly, staying at a place like River Lodge is a luxury. But our natural heritage should be a shared, public concern – protecting it is the responsibility not of the few, but the many.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast November 27, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Plenty of clouds around today, but more so in the northern part of the state, where we can see some lake effect snow off an on through the day. Most of this will be limited to the typical lake snow areas and will not drift too far south of US 30 in north central and northeast Ohio.  There can be some significant lake effect snow and accumulations in NE Ohio. The rest of the state will see a mix of clouds and sun, but significantly colder air will continue to blast in out of the NW, leading to even colder wind chills. We stay cold with partly sunny skies for Wednesday, and on Thursday we start with sun, but see clouds increase as we gear up for our next chance of precipitation. A warm front lifts through the state overnight Thursday night into Friday mid-morning. This warm front likely triggers scattered precipitation totaling a few hundredths to .3” over 60% of the state. While we can see rain or snow showers with this frontal passage, we think that snow will mostly be limited to areas from I-70 northward. Precipitation is done by early afternoon, and we should remain mostly cloudy for the balance of the day Friday. A cold front and a strong low-pressure center arrive for Saturday and move off to the east and north Sunday. This will bring moderate to heavy rain Saturday, and then scattered showers with wrap around moisture on Sunday. Combined rain totals for the event will be from half to 1.5” and 100% coverage. This will be a significant rain event, fueled by warm, moist, south flow into the state. The map shows the set up for Saturday afternoon. We turn dry and colder for Monday -Wednesday of next week. Light snow is possible Tuesday (lake effect snow) in north central and northeast Ohio, and on Wednesday (fast moving clipper system) over the central 65% of the state. Totals are not impressive enough to really talk about at this time, but a fresh coating is likely. We turn out partly sunny and cold for next Thursday. For the extended period, we are keeping an active pattern in over the state but shifting timing a bit. We have a chance of light snow in over 50% of the state next Friday with a coating to an inch possible and 60% coverage. Then a chance of snow comes in next Sunday, the 9th, from I-70 northward. Most of the significant snows hit MI or OH, but we won’t rule out flurries over about 60% of the state from I-70 northward. Some of this will linger into the following Monday and will still be mostly north of I-70. The rest of the week after next looks dry, but we do see a significant mild push for the 11th through the 13th, as temps go above normal.last_img read more

Hit Us With Your Best Shot!

first_imgWe have an amazing new Instagram competition for participants at the 2013 X-Blades National Youth Championships. Don’t miss out on the chance to win these amazing prizes below:–       Aussie World Family Pass for five people (Value $119 – valid for 12 months)–       Caloundra Jet Ski Lighthouse Tour for two people (Value $160 – valid 12 months)All you have to do is post a picture on Instagram by 1.00pm tomorrow of you and your team with a Steeden Touch Football off the field with the hashtag #sunshinecoastmoments and be sure to tag ‘Touch Football Australia’. We will select the best two photos, so get clicking and good luck!Related LinksInstagram Comp!last_img read more

9 months agoJuventus coach Max Allegri satisfied after Coppa win over Bologna

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Juventus coach Max Allegri satisfied after Coppa win over Bolognaby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus coach Max Allegri was happy with their Coppa Italia win over Bologna.Federico Bernardeschi and Moise Kean struck the goals at the Stadio Dall’Ara for a 2-0 result.“I am satisfied with qualification, as it wasn’t easy to win at Bologna in our first game after the winter break,” said Allegri.“Kean is young, he needs to grow, but he did well. Leonardo Spinazzola also had a good performance after a long injury lay-off.“Bernardeschi was visibly back in shape both physically and psychologically during training. With Mandzukic out at the moment, all these players become important.” last_img read more

Europeans have found the secret to making some of

first_imgEuropeans have found the secret to making some of the world’s costliest medicines much more affordable, as much as 80 percent cheaper than in the U.S.Governments in Europe have compelled drugmakers to bend on prices and have thrown open the market for so-called biosimilars, which are cheaper copies of biologic drugs often derived from living organisms. The brand-name products — ranging from Humira for rheumatoid arthritis to Avastin for cancer — are high-priced drugs that account for 40 percent of U.S. pharmaceutical sales.European patients can choose from dozens of biosimilars — 50 in all — which have stoked competition and driven prices lower. Europe approved the growth hormone Omnitrope as its first biosimilar in 2006, but the U.S. didn’t follow suit until 2015 with cancer-treatment drug Zarxio. The U.S. government generally stops short of negotiating prices and drugmakers with brand-name biologics have used a variety of strategies — from special contracting deals to overlapping patents known as “patent thickets”— to block copycat versions of their drugs from entering the U.S. or gaining market share. As a result, only six biosimilars are available for U.S. consumers.European countries don’t generally allow price increases after a drug launches and, in some cases, the national health authority requires patients to switch to less expensive biosimilars once the copycat product is proven safe and effective, says Michael Kleinrock, research director for IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. If Susie Christoff, a 59-year-old who suffers from debilitating psoriatic arthritis, lived in Italy, the cost of her preferred medicine would be less than quarter of what it is in the U.S., according to data gathered by GlobalData, a research firm. Christoff tried a series of expensive biologics before discovering a once-a-month injection of Cosentyx, manufactured by Swiss drugmaker Novartis, worked the best. Without the medicine, Christoff says her fingers can swell to the size of sausages. “It’s 24/7 constant pain in, like, the ankles and feet,” says Christoff, who lives in Fairfax, Va. “I can’t sleep, [and] I can’t sit still. I cry. I throw pillows. It’s just … awful.” At first, Christoff’s copay for Cosentyx was just $50 a month. But when a disability led her to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan, her out-of-pocket costs ballooned to nearly $1,300 a month — more than three times her monthly car loan. Christoff, with the help of her rheumatologist, Dr. Angus Worthing, tried Enbrel, Humira and other drugs before finding Cosentyx, the only drug that provides relief. Christoff’s case is “heartbreaking,” Worthing says.Novartis declined to respond to questions about Cosentyx’s price. Instead, like other pharmaceutical companies, Novartis says it offers patient assistance programs for those who can’t afford the drug. Christoff says she doesn’t qualify for financial assistance. Like other biologics, Cosentyx costs thousands of dollars per month. The annual cost of Christoff’s treatment runs about $65,000 in the U.S. In Italy, where competition and price negotiations play a bigger role, it would run about $15,000, according to GlobalData. In England, Dr. Christopher Griffiths, a lead researcher at the National Institute for Health Research who treats patients with Cosentyx, says the National Health Service would pay about 10,000 pounds, or less than $13,000.And those drastic price differences are true even though there is no biosimilar version of Cosentyx yet available in Europe, and might not be for years.The cost of the drug is taking a toll on Christoff. This past summer, her progressive disease made it difficult to enjoy the annual family vacation with her three grown children and their kids in Virginia Beach, Va. “I can’t get down on the sand to play with my kids without help. I can’t get up without help,” Christoff recalled. “I’m not ready to stop trying. But I’m also not ready to go through my entire retirement fund to walk.”Unlike Cosentyx, rival drugs — Humira, Enbrel and Remicade — all face biosimilar competition in Europe. Only Remicade has competition from a lower-cost biosimilar in the U.S., and Humira isn’t expected to have a copycat competitor in the U.S. market until 2023. Humira, made by AbbVie, is the world’s top-selling drug.In late October, Wall Street analyst Ronny Gal at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. noted that AbbVie agreed to drop Humira’s price by 80 percent in one Nordic country to combat biosimilar competition. During the company’s quarterly conference call in November, AbbVie chief executive Richard Gonzalez says the drug’s discount was as low as 10 percent and as high as 80 percent across the continent, with the highest discounts in Nordic countries.”These are markets where it’s winner takes all across the entire … category, so includes Remicade and Enbrel as well,” Gonzalez said, adding that Nordic countries represent about 4-5 percent of overall revenue in AbbVie’s international business. Concerned about how much biologics cost the U.S. health system and patients, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced an “action plan” this summer that included tapping the Federal Trade Commission for help, saying he was “worried” about the biosimilar market.”The branded drug industry didn’t build its success by being business naive; they are smart competitors,” Gottlieb told an audience full of advocates, industry insiders and researchers at the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution in July. “But that doesn’t mean we need to embrace all of these business tactics or agree with them and think they are appropriate.” One of these business tactics involves so-called rebate traps, in which financial deals are cut to make sure patients can get only a biologic, not a biosimilar. International drugmaker Pfizer alleged in a September 2017 lawsuit that exclusionary contracts created by Johnson & Johnson prevented use of its biosimilar by health insurers, hospitals and clinics. Johnson & Johnson’s wildly successful biologic Remicade, the brand-name version of infliximab, produced $6.3 billion in worldwide revenue in 2017. Pfizer launched its copycat drug, Inflectra, in the U.S. in October 2016, noting in the announcement that it would price the drug at a 15 percent discount to Remicade’s wholesale price. Still, health systems such as Geisinger Health, based in Pennsylvania, say they have had difficulty switching to the less expensive alternative. “J&J has done a really good job of entrenching themselves in the market,” says Jason Howay, manager of formulary services at Geisinger. The health system ultimately decided it wanted to switch all adults to Pfizer’s biosimilar, saying it provided the same quality of treatment. But Johnson & Johnson had “bundled” the prices of other drugs with Remicade. So if Geisinger stopped using Remicade on adult patients, J&J could stop providing discounts on other drugs, such as those used for cardiology, Howay explained. “It weaves a very tangled web.”A spokeswoman for Janssen, Johnson & Johnson’s main pharmaceutical subsidiary, says the drugmaker does offer “more attractive contract terms” to buyers who use a wider range of J&J medicines. “Our contracting approach has always prioritized access for patients and their providers,” Meredith Sharp says.Geisinger negotiated with biosimilar maker Pfizer and won still lower prices to make up for lost savings on the other J&J drugs. It’s now transitioning all adult patients to the less expensive biosimilar. Another business tactic is creating patent thickets, in which drugmakers win numerous patents to block competitors entirely. Humira, which treats arthritis and Crohn’s disease, has more than 100 patents protecting it in the U.S. By contrast, cheaper biosimilar versions of the AbbVie drug rolled out in October in Europe, where patent laws are less likely to offer such protection. Such tactics are stifling competitors, according to Bruce Leicher, a former senior vice president and general counsel for Momenta Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass., biotechnology company focused on rare-disease drug development. Smaller companies are “struggling now” to plan launches of new drugs. Momenta cut half its staff in October, including Leicher, and announced plans to shift away from five biosimilar development programs. Leicher says the FDA’s biosimilar action plan under Gottlieb is a good first step but “would have been wonderful to see five years ago.”Other lingering regulatory burdens have hampered biosimilar adoption as well. This summer, Medicare began reimbursing doctors and hospitals differently for biosimilars. Before that change, patients could pay more out-of-pocket for less expensive rheumatoid arthritis biosimilars than for the brand-name biologics. And, unlike more chemical compound generics, like aspirin, a pharmacist cannot automatically replace a brand-name biologic with the biosimilar. More than 40 states have passed laws around how and when doctors and pharmacists can substitute a biosimilar for a biologic. Federal guidelines are still not established. In addition, the FDA requires each biosimilar name to include a random suffix, ostensibly to differentiate it from the biologic drug. That can be confusing and could cause patients and physicians to believe the products are significantly different in quality, says Christine Simmon, who promotes biosimilars for the trade group Association for Accessible Medicines.She says the naming convention “fuels the fire” of a broader debate about whether to trust biosimilars, adding, “Making sure doctors and patients are comfortable with the products is integral to uptake.” Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more