Investigation: Local council hustings reviewed

first_imgHustings for City councillor candidates were held prior to OUSU Council on Wednesday of 1st Week in Magdalen College Auditorium. There were candidates present representing the Conservatives, the Greens, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Monster Raving Loony Party.Four out of the five candidates on the panel had either studied at, or are currently studying at Oxford. Of those currently studying at Oxford, Aled Jones is running in Holywell Ward representing Labour, while Maryam Ahmed is as a Conservative running in Carfax Ward.The husts were characterised by consensus, with candidates being quick to agree with the people who asked questions, making it somewhat difficult to distinguish between them. Oxford Covered Market, the County Council’s homelessness cuts and the City Council’s policies affecting student housing in Oxford were all discussed, as well as the Mad Hatter revealing his unorthodox policy for everyone to marry a foreigner within the year.In response to one question, all candidates, except for The Mad Hatter, were willing to identify as feminists.In summary, the panel appeared to largely agree, with all candidates expressing progressive political positions.The full C+ investigation can be found here.last_img read more

Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies Opens Field Office in Tunisia

first_imgThe Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Harvard University today opened its first overseas office, in Tunisia, home to a tradition of learning and research that extends from Antiquity to the present. The office and the year-round programs run from the location are made possible by the support of Harvard College alumnus Hazem Ben-Gacem ’92.“The Middle East is a part of the world that you’ll never fully understand unless you get your feet on the ground and experience it first-hand,” said William Granara, CMES Director and Professor of Arabic. “Thanks to Hazem’s generosity, Harvard students and scholars have greater resources to pursue in-depth field research and can more substantively engage in language and cultural immersion experiences.”Center for Middle Eastern Studies Winter Session study excursion to Tunisia, January 2016“From the beginning the hope has been to establish an outpost where Harvard faculty and students would come to discover Tunisia—its history, language, culture, art, and people—and integrate this experience into their scholarship and education,” said Ben-Gacem. “I’m very excited by this first step towards a substantial Harvard presence in Tunisia.”Founded in 1954, CMES, through interdisciplinary teaching and research, has produced hundreds of graduates with Middle East and North Africa expertise who have gone on to directly impact students, scholars, and the public both in the United States and around the world. Its Tunisia office will provide students and scholars with a bridge to renowned Tunisian archival facilities, serve as an incubator for analysis of the evolving social, cultural, legal, and political movements in the region, and offer an intellectual hub for scholars of, and from, Tunisia, the Maghreb, the Mediterranean, and the wider Middle East region.“Broadening the contexts in which teaching and learning happen at Harvard is a crucial element of our engagement with the world. We are always seeking opportunities to make the University more intentionally global, and the field office in Tunisia will bring the world to Harvard and Harvard to the world in exciting new ways that will shape important work across fields and disciplines,” said Harvard president Drew Faust.Programs available at the Tunis location for students and faculty from across the University include Harvard Tunisia Scholarships for Harvard graduate and undergraduate research, funding for Harvard faculty sabbatical research, an Arabic language summer program for Harvard graduate and undergraduate students, and a three-week Winter Session course for Harvard students.last_img read more

WHO voices new concern about avian flu

first_imgJul 8, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – In the face of new outbreaks, the World Health Organization (WHO) today expressed renewed concern about the implications of H5N1 avian influenza for human health and appealed for increased scrutiny of infections in animals and humans.The latest outbreaks in China and Vietnam, along with two new research reports, suggest that the virus is more widespread and may be more difficult to eliminate than was previously thought, the WHO said. The agency said its laboratory network needs virus isolates and clinical specimens from all the recent outbreaks so it can better monitor the circulating strains.As it has before, the WHO expressed concern that influenza A(H5N1) could acquire the ability to spread readily from person to person, which could lead to a global flu pandemic. In the widespread outbreaks in East Asia earlier this year, the virus jumped to humans, causing at least 34 cases and 23 deaths. But all the human patients apparently acquired the virus directly from birds.In recent weeks, new outbreaks of avian flu have been reported in Vietnam, China, and Thailand. No new human cases have been reported, however. Chinese officials have said they confirmed the presence of H5N1 virus in their outbreak.The WHO noted that a recent report by Chinese researchers indicates that the virus appears to be widespread in domestic ducks in southern China. The researchers also found that the virus has been causing increasingly severe disease, but that finding was based on tests in mice and may not have direct implications for humans, the WHO said. The article was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (see link below).Another report, published this week in Nature, “indicates domestic and wild birds in the region may have contributed to the increasing spread of the virus and suggests that the virus is gaining a stronger foothold in the region,” the WHO said. “These observations suggest that control of the virus may be even more difficult than thought in the spring.”The statement went on to say that known risk-management tools can control poultry outbreaks of H5N1 avian flu, though it may take months or years to control the virus completely. But the risk to human health is not well understood, and tools for assessing that risk are less developed, the agency said.It is not clear why, after circulating in Asia for several years, the virus has not picked up the ability to infect humans easily, the WHO said. The agency called for, and offered to help with, urgent “risk assessment activities, including surveillance in animals and humans, and strain analysis.””More knowledge of the virus could be acquired if WHO had full access to all virus isolates and clinical specimens from recent outbreaks,” officials said. “All H5N1 viruses are not the same, and how they differ could provide important insights.” For example, the avian flu virus in Indonesia differs slightly from those in Vietnam and Thailand, but the significance of the difference is unknown.The WHO said it is continuing pandemic preparedness efforts that were launched during the avian flu outbreaks earlier this year. The agency is collaborating with scientists and the pharmaceutical industry to monitor changes in the virus’s susceptibility to antiviral drugs. In addition, two US vaccine manufacturers have produced a supply of trial vaccine for pandemic flu. Samples from recent outbreaks would help the WHO assess the adequacy of the strain used in the pandemic vaccine, officials said.The WHO also said:Governments should provide human flu vaccinations to workers who cull poultry to control outbreaks.Everyone exposed to infected birds should be provided with antivirals.Human trials of experimental pandemic flu vaccines should be accelerated.See also:Jul 8 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2004_07_08/en/Abstract of study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceshttp://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0403212101v1?etoclast_img read more