Senate vote to reinstate net neutrality passes 52-47House must now vote on the measure by January; it would then head to the President’s deskRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterThursday 17th May 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareRestoration of the 2015 Open Internet Act continues to be throttled by various interested persons, but the effort won a small victory yesterday. A US Senate vote to overrule the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality passed 52-47, sending the measure to the House of Representatives for consideration.The vote on the Congressional Review Act resolution mostly landed along party lines, according to USA Today, with all 49 Democrats plus Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in favor.The House has until January of 2019 to take up the measure, but despite wide bipartisan voter support for the measure, representatives on both sides of the aisle have been reluctant to declare support for the challenge. Even if it passed Congress, President Trump could still veto the measure.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Still, with 2018 as an election year and plenty of media companies and communities such as Reddit, Tumblr, Mozilla, PornHub, and more openly supporting net neutrality, it will be difficult for the House to ignore the issue until the clock runs out. Should the measure make it through Congress and the President’s desk, the FCC would be prevented from attempting to enact the same rule again. If not, net neutrality’s restoration will have to rely on multiple budding legal challenges instead.The decision to end net neutrality was made at the end of last year per a 3-2 vote from the FCC led by chairman Ajit Pai. New rules reclassifying the internet as a Title I service allow providers to speed up or slow down certain websites or services based on paid partnerships. Those rules officially take effect on June 11, though it’s unclear yet if any ISPs will take immediate action with legal challenges mounting and certain cities promising consequences to business deals if net neutrality is violated.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesGearbox, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple oppose Texas anti-trans lawBorderlands developer even suggests it would expand out of the state if law is passedBy James Batchelor 20 days agoGerman legal reform to set new standards for loot boxesBundestag passes youth protection law that would require clear descriptors for games featuring loot boxesBy Matthew Handrahan 2 months agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
Myriam Borzee/iStockBy ROSA SANCHEZ, ERIN SCHUMAKER, IVAN PEREIRA, EMILY SHAPIRO and MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 83.3 million people worldwide and killed over 1.8 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:Jan 01, 8:59 amMore people without underlying conditions dying from COVID-19 in LAEarly in the pandemic, 10% of patients who died from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County did not have underlying conditions, according to health officials. Today, that number has risen to 14% of patient deaths.“This indicates, that in fact, that more people than ever are not only passing away, but passing away without any underlying health conditions,” Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County department of public health, said during a New Year’s Eve news conference.Hospitals in Los Angeles are currently overwhelmed to the point that ambulances are waiting hours in emergency bays with patients inside, which prevents medics from responding to additional emergency calls. The death toll in Los Angeles County stands at 10,345.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
The disastrous visit to Moscow of the European Union’s top diplomat, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, on February 4–6, followed in quick succession by three major international events last week, together served to illuminate Russia’s resolute but hopeless self-isolation on the global stage. The February 17–18 meeting, in Brussels, of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defense ministers elaborated the Alliance’s new strategic concept (to be approved next month), in which Russia is defined as a key source of threat rather than as a partner, as the previous concept wishfully articulated (Kommersant, February 18). On February 19, the special edition of the Munich Security Conference acclaimed the restoration of the United States’ international leadership and reconfirmed Transatlantic resolve to contain the Russian challenge (Izvestia, February 19). And that same day, the virtual summit of the G7 discussed the unprecedented complexity of global problems, while clearly signaling that Russia was not a part of the solution (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 19). Russian leaders used to be meaningful contributors to such deliberations, but now Moscow is left on the uncomfortable receiving end of Western efforts at reconstituting solidarity.Just a week prior (in the wake of the Borrell visit), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov created headlines by threatening to cut relations with the EU, and Russian mainstream commentators were eager to add to this stance (Carnegie.ru, February 15; see EDM, February 11, 15, 18). Now, however, Lavrov has been reduced to complaining about prejudices inside the European bloc that paint Russia as an outsider and an enemy (RBC, February 19). The key assessment underpinning Russia’s diplomatic two-step seemed to have been the presumption that the West is divided and (as a corollary) that the EU cannot formulate and execute anything resembling a common foreign policy (Rosbalt, February 17). Responding to the new contrary evidence, the Russian foreign ministry now tries to argue that NATO’s work on a new concept is driven by the deep crisis in the West, which is being camouflaged by the search for a common enemy (RIA Novosti, February 19). Russia’s mainstream media, thus, jumped to publish profiles of French President Emmanuel Macron, who dared to argue during the Munich debates on the need to maintain dialogue with Russia (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 20).What Russian official discourse seemingly cannot comprehend is that Western unity necessarily involves differing opinions and a careful accounting of particular interests. Macron, despite his bitter experience from multiple conversations with Putin, finds it essential to insist on keeping the channels for dialogue open; yet he also welcomed the reinvigoration of US leadership and contributes to the upgrade of NATO’s containment capabilities (VTimes, February 19). Lavrov was quite surprised by Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto’s firm reiteration of the EU’s common condemnation of human rights violations in Russia by, since Helsinki usually prefers to underscore good-neighborly relations (Kommersant, February 16). Russia’s opportunities to exploit the differences inside the EU and between Europe and the US are much reduced—not only because of President Joseph Biden’s commitment to promote Transatlantic endeavors but also because of the demarches and threats issued by Moscow (Novaya Gazeta, February 17).Finding its self-isolation uncomfortable and incompatible with aspirations for a higher global profile, Russia is now looking for new means to split Western solidarity. Discovering that NATO defense ministers adopted an ambivalent position on troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, Moscow immediately tried to reactivate its own talks with the Taliban (RIA Novosti, February 18). This channel will hardly add value to the peace process, but it can complicate and confuse its still uncertain progress (Republic.ru, February 18). Courting the Taliban on the one hand, Moscow simultaneously recycles threats regarding the extermination of militants in Syria’s Idlib province (TASS, February 18). Russia also convened a meeting of the dormant “Astana format,” seeking to revive its joint patronage with Turkey and Iran over the bargaining between the Bashar al-Assad regime and some more pliable groups of the Syrian opposition (Kommersant, February 17). Additionally, Russia recently held multiple exchanges with Israel, including a phone conversation between Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—ostensibly prompted by Israeli air strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, but motivated, on the Russian side, by the interest in exploiting the apparent pause in US-Israeli relations (Rosbalt, February 20). Russia’s leadership assumes that the threat of domestic terrorism has been effectively eliminated, so it is possible to play with the problem of international terrorism with negligible risk (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 17).Moscow can cause trouble for the West via its Middle Eastern intrigues, but the most impactful interface is still in Russia’s immediate western neighborhood, comprised foremost of Belarus and Ukraine. In the former, mass protests are on hold as the opposition seeks to regroup and reorganize around a non-violent but more effective strategy (Lenta.ru, February 18). The internationally ostracized Belarusian leader, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, tries simultaneously to present this pause as a victory and to extract more direct support from Putin by depicting aggressive interference from a hostile NATO (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 19). Putin loathes spending money on backing his bankrupt neighbor, but he fears the consequences of a sudden collapse of Lukashenka’s regime (Carnegie.ru, February 12).The permanent crisis in relations with Ukraine presents Russia with the easiest but also riskiest opportunity to put pressure on the West (see EDM, February 18). Moscow is worried about the EU’s expanded support for economic reforms in Ukraine and the US’s intentions to increase military aid to modernize the Ukrainian Armed Forces (Izvestia, February 20). Putin’s recent promise, “We will not abandon Donbas,” may signal dissatisfaction with the costly but increasingly unpopular occupation of parts of eastern Ukraine (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 17). Renewed escalation of hostilities is, thus, being prepared with the dual aim of scaring the EU about possible Russian war-making and mobilizing domestic jingoism (Ezhednevny Zhurnal, February 18). Despite all propaganda efforts, however, Russians’ attitudes toward the US have improved to the point where positive and negative perceptions are about equal (Levada.ru, February 19).The idea of a declining, divided and leaderless West is comforting for the Russian elites, who preside over the degradation of their own country. So any signs of renewed Western solidarity or possible recovery from the global crisis disturb Moscow. Much like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) spectacular achievement of landing the Perseverance rover on Mars has exposed the backwardness of Russia’s own space program, the renewed commitment of Western leaders to work together to uphold and protect democracy has shown the futility of Moscow’s pretenses to leadership in defiance of Western institutions and values. The dynamism of Western societies is ensured by embracing innovations and debating differences; while Russia’s decline is driven by a corrupting autocracy, growing militarism and suppression of dissent.
St. Joseph County will cancel and then renegotiate a recently announced agreement with Notre Dame that would have allowed the University to conduct its own health inspection for on-campus food establishments, the South Bend Tribune reported Thursday.On Wednesday, David Keckley, the county Board of Health’s attorney, said the renegotiated agreement would seek to make the University’s health inspection reports publicly available.“I don’t think that’s probably a good arrangement for Notre Dame to conduct inspections and keep all their reports confidential — even if they have a right to do it,” Keckley said in the article.According to the article, the county board of health has had problems carrying out the recommended number of health inspections due to staff shortages. It would be helpful, the article said, if Notre Dame could do its own inspections.Keckley said the health department’s food services director, Carolyn Smith, had negotiated the agreement with the University. However, it was Notre Dame that had insisted on keeping the inspection reports confidential. Keckley stated Smith had told him that she heard from the state health department that Notre Dame could keep the reports confidential, but he did not believe that to be the case. He also said Smith reported Indiana University and all of its regional campuses do their own inspections and keep the reports confidential.According to the article, Smith told Keckley that Indiana’s health department lets IU and “all of its regional campuses, including IUSB, to conduct inspections and keep the records confidential.”Graham McKeen, IU’s public health manager, said this information was inaccurate, as although IU does its own inspections, it makes the information publicly available.The initial agreement between Notre Dame and the county called for the county to do any initial inspections of “new or remodeled food establishments” at the University, with the school taking over “routine” inspections from then on. The records of such inspections would have been available to the health department but not the general public.“If we’re going to have Notre Dame give us inspection reports and keep them here, we may have to turn them over on any [public] request,” Keckley said in the article.Notre Dame signaled it was willing to renegotiate the agreement, according to the article.“[The original agreement] contains substantial errors, including language concerning access to public records,” University spokesman Dennis Brown told the Tribune.Keckley also says he believes the first deal is not valid because the department’s health officer, Luis Galup, never signed it. Only Smith signed the original deal.Since the approval of the agreement, Galup said the county health department has not received any inspection reports from Notre Dame, though it is unclear if any inspections were carried out.Tags: Campus DIning, food inspections, St. Joseph County Health Department
TRICARE Dental ProgramInformation about the TRICARE Dental Program may be obtained directly from MetLife at www.metlife.com, or by calling 800-MET-LIFE (638-5433). The TRICARE Family Member Dental Plan is a dental insurance plan for family members of active-duty military to receive dental care with civilian dentists. Active-duty military are encouraged to enroll their family members in the TRICARE Family Member Dental Plan (TFMDP) or be prepared to pay 100 percent of family members’ dental costs in the civilian community.For more information, see your Health Benefits Advisor Office, or contact the MetLife office at www.metlife.com or 800-MET-LIFE (638-5433). Military retirees may call 888-838-8737 to enroll in TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan or view and enroll online at www.trdp.org. 21st Dental CompanyThe 21st Dental Company Dental Clinic, MCB Hawaii is on the second floor of the Kaneohe Bay BHC. Hours of operation are 6:20 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6:20 to 11 a.m. Friday. For information or an appointment, call 808-257-3100. For dental emergencies after hours and on weekends, call 808-630-6605. Naval Health Clinic Hawaii (NHCH)Makalapa Clinic Dental Department, Makalapa is at the far end of Makalapa Clinic, in Building 1407, and provides full-service dental care except for specialty level orthodontics.Dental clinic hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Annual examinations are scheduled by appointment. For information or to schedule a visit, call 808-473-1880, ext. 3201/3203/3204. The dental clinic at Makalapa Clinic is the NHCH’s only site providing after-hours emergency care. For dental emergencies after hours and on weekends, call the Makalapa Clinic quarterdeck at 808-473-1880, ext. 2210.The Camp Smith Dental Department (Building 3B, East Wing, First Deck) provides comprehensive dental care for Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen assigned to U.S. Pacific Command. Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 to 11 a.m. Friday. For information or an appointment, call 808-477-2600, ext. 2.Branch Dental Clinic, NCTAMS PAC (Building 22) is on the NCTAMS PAC (Wahiawa) compound. This clinic serves NCTAMS PAC and Navy Information Operations Command, Kunia. Hours of operation are 6:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6:45 to 11 a.m. Friday. For information or an appointment, call 808-653-5475.
View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you might have missed today. Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof, Featuring Jackie Hoffman as Yente, Extends Off-Broadway RunThe acclaimed new Yiddish-language production of Fiddler on the Roof has received an extension from National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Originally slated for a run through August 26, the new off-Broadway staging will run now through September 2 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Tony and Oscar winner Joey Grey directs the production, which features Emmy-nominated Broadway alum Jackie Hoffman in the role of Yente. The cast is also led by Steven Skybell as Tevye, Mary Illes as Golde, Rachel Zatcoff as Tzeitel, Stephanie Lynne Mason as Hodel, Rosie Jo Neddy as Chava, Raquel Nobile as Shprintze, Samantha Hahn as Bielke, Ben Liebert as Motel, Daniel Kahn as Perchik, Cameron Johnson as Fyedka and Bruce Sabath as Lazar Wolf.John Pankow & More Complete the Cast of Sharr White’s The TrueCasting is complete for The True, a new play by Sharr White (The Other Place) slated to make its world premiere with off-Broadway’s The New Group. Scott Elliott will direct the production, scheduled to begin previews on September 4 with an opening set for September 20 at The Pershing Square Signature Center. New to the cast are John Pankow (Mad About You), Glenn Fitzgerald (Othello) and Austin Cauldwell (Intimacy). They join previously announced stars Edie Falco, Michael McKean and Peter Scolari. The True is described as an intimate portrait of the bounds of love, loyalty and female power in the male-dominated world of 1977 patronage politics.New Musical by Dick Scanlan to Debut with Off-Broadway’s Transport GroupOff-Broadway company Transport Group has announced the world premiere musical Renascence as the kickoff to its 2018-2019 season. The show features a book by two-time Tony nominee Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie), music by Carmel Dean (composition debut) and lyrics from the poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay, whom the musical is based upon. Scanlan will co-direct the production with Transport Group Artistic Director Jack Cummings III, running from October 5 through November 17 at Abrons Arts Center. Casting will be announced at a later date.
Related Shows King Kong View Comments King Kong is on its way to Broadway success. The thrilling new musical, which opened on November 8, just concluded its best-performing week, reporting a gross of $1,018,560.75 and filling the Broadway Theatre to 80.29% capacity. Other strong performers include newcomers To Kill a Mockingbird, taking in a gross of $1,291,741.44, and The Cher Show, continuing to rake it in with a box office gross of $1,147,507.00. Overall, Broadway earned $36,501,888.28 during this past week of performances.Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending November 18.FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross)1. Hamilton ($2,934,086.00)2. Springsteen on Broadway ($2,423,700.00)*3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ($2,095,399.00)4. The Lion King ($2,036,711.00)5. Frozen ($1,639,775.10)UNDERDOGS (By Gross)5. Bernhardt/Hamlet ($361,533.40)4. The New One ($283,486.50)3. Torch Song ($259,249.00)2. The Play That Goes Wrong ($251,431.50)1. Head Over Heels ($182,462.50)FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity)1. The Book of Mormon (102.17%)2. Come From Away (101.70%)3. Hamilton (101.59%)4. Dear Evan Hansen (101.45%)5. To Kill a Mockingbird (100.22%)UNDERDOGS (By Capacity)5. School of Rock (65.02%)4. The Play That Goes Wrong (61.69%)3. Kinky Boots (58.73%)2. Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (49.48%)1. Head Over Heels (38.75%)*Number based on five performancesSource: The Broadway League A scene from “King Kong”(Photo: Matthew Murphy) Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 18, 2019
Eric Mikkelson will be sworn in as Prairie Village’s new mayor today.Swearing in day for Prairie Village mayor, county commission. New Prairie Village Mayor Eric Mikkelson will be sworn in to office during a ceremony at the city council meeting tonight. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Prairie Village City Hall, 7700 Mission Road. And new County Commissioners Becky Fast and Janeé Hanzlick will be sworn in alongside reelected incumbents Ed Eilert and Michael Ashcraft at a ceremony at the county administrative offices in Olathe this morning at 9 a.m.Shawnee Mission resident tapped to take over KDOT. Julia Lorenz, a Lenexa resident and a principle at Burns & McDonnell, is joining the administration of new Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly as the interim director of the Kansas Department of Transportation. Lorenz has previous experience in the department, having served as Director of Public Affairs and Special Assistant to KDOT Secretary Deb Miller under Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. At Burns & McDonnell, Lorenz has worked with departments of transportation in a number of states, and was a facilitator on the 2018 Legislative Task Force on Transportation. “Julie Lorenz is an expert in the area of transportation and understands how critical it is to the future of our state,” said Kelly. “Julie literally wrote the book on how to create and sustain a culture of innovation in state departments of transportation. She is exactly what we need to take Kansas forward and ensure our transportation systems continue to be an asset.”
Minnesota only won half of the day’s matches, but Ness’ pin provided enough team points to push the Gophers to victory.Minnesota lost the first match of the afternoon, and the teams traded blows from there.After Ness’ pin, redshirt senior Danny Zilverberg lost by major decision to top-ranked 165-pounder David Taylor.That win swung the momentum back in Penn State’s favor, but No. 6 Logan Storley picked up a key victory over No. 3 Matt Brown to extend the Gophers’ lead to four points with just three matches remaining.Storley said the energy from the crowd helped fuel his victory.“It was wild,” he said. “It was packed, and when you hear the crowd roaring, it’s pretty sweet.”But sweet turned to sour quickly when the Gophers dropped their next two matches.Those two victories at 184 and 197 pounds gave Penn State a 17-15 lead before Nelson’s win tipped the scale back in favor of the Gophers for good.The loss at 197 pounds was No. 1 Scott Schiller’s first of the year. He was a perfect 24-0 going into the dual.Eggum said that for Schiller, it’s all about moving forward.“He’s a top-ranked guy, and what’s done is done,” Eggum said. “He just has to leave it here and move on.”The Gophers will travel to Columbus, Ohio, next week for the NWCA National Duals. Gophers upset Penn State in front of sold-out crowdIn his last home dual, Tony Nelson clinched the win and snapped his losing streak.Lisa PerssonMinnesota senior Scott Schiller Jared ChristensenFebruary 10, 2014Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintNo. 2 Minnesota upset No. 1 Penn State and won a share of the Big Ten title Sunday in front of packed crowd of about 5,600 fans at the Sports Pavilion.A thrilling dual came down to the final match of the afternoon, and two-time NCAA heavyweight champion Tony Nelson did not disappoint.Nelson, who had lost his previous three matches, beat Penn State’s Jon Gingrich to give his team an 18-17 victory.Nelson said he relishes the opportunity to win the dual for his team.“I’ve been in that situation before, and it’s always fun,” he said. “And to come out and beat the No. 1 team in the nation and become [Big Ten] dual meet champions — it’s great.”While Nelson’s match ultimately decided the dual, Dylan Ness’ match at 157 pounds brought the afternoon to a climax.In an ending that nearly blew the roof off the Sports Pavilion, Ness, the eighth-ranked 157-pounder in the nation, scrambled and managed to pin No. 4 Dylan Alton.The sellout crowd erupted with cheers as Ness stood up from the pin and pointed to the stands in celebration.“It felt great,” he said. “There’s nothing better than getting a fall and a big win for your team in a packed place.”Ness said he loves wrestling in front of so many fans and said bigger crowds seem to calm his nerves.Gophers head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said it’s not just the crowd that gets Ness fired up. He said the redshirt junior gets up easier for high-pressure matches like that.“The bigger the match, the better he wrestles,” Eggum said of his 157-pounder. “He always wrestles his best in matches like those.”
Our weekly wrap-up of antimicrobial stewardship & antimicrobial resistance scansUK health officials advise against antibiotics for acute sore throatNew guidance today from the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England says general practitioners should not offer, and patients should not expect, antibiotics in most cases of acute sore throat.The recommendations, aimed at limiting antibiotic use and reducing antimicrobial resistance, explain that acute sore throat (including pharyngitis and tonsillitis) is often self-limiting, most frequently triggered by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, and that most people will get better within a week without antibiotics. They advise physicians to explain to patients the usual course of acute sore throat and to recommend tips for management of symptoms. They also advise patients to seek medical help if symptoms worsen rapidly or don’t improve after a week.The guidance also lays out criteria for physicians to use when evaluating patients with acute sore throat. It recommends that patients who score low on clinical criteria scoring systems (0 or 1 points on FeverPAIN or 0,1, or 2 on Centor) should not receive an antibiotic and should be advised to drink adequate fluids and consider pain relievers and medicated lozenges. Patients with FeverPAIN scores of 2 or 3 should be given a back-up antibiotic prescription if their symptoms don’t improve in 3 to 5 days. For patients most likely to benefit from an antibiotic (those with a FeverPAIN score or 4 or 5 or a Centor score of 3 or 4), the guidance calls for an immediate antibiotic, taking into account possible adverse effects and the unlikely event of complications if antibiotics are withheld.”We are living in a world where bacteria are becoming more resistant to antibiotics,” Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE, told the BBC. “It is vital these medicines are protected, and only used when they are effective.”Jan 26 NICE guidance on acute sore throatJan 26 BBC story Australian scientists find potential in a neglected class of antibioticsAustralian scientists report that a synthetic version of a neglected class of antibiotics showed efficacy against multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria in preclinical tests, according to a study today in Cell Chemical Biology.In the study, scientists from the University of Queensland identified the biosynthetic pathway of octapeptins, a family of lipopeptide antibiotics that were discovered nearly four decades ago and are structurally related to the last-resort antibiotic colistin. Octapeptins displayed activity against gram-negative bacteria in several studies but were ultimately neglected due to a proliferation of other antibiotics.In vitro testing against a panel of MDR bacteria revealed that one of the octapeptins identified, octapeptin C4, was more effective than colisitin against polymixin-resistant isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Klebsiella pneumoniae, but was not as effective against polymixin-resistant P aeruginosa in a mouse blood infection model, most likely due to high plasma protein binding. The scientists then designed a synthetic octapeptin with a similar structure to octapeptin C4 but reduced plasma protein binding that showed dramatically improved in vivo activity.”Our in vitro and in vivo efficacy data indicate the significant potential of novel octapeptin-like lipopeptides as new antibiotics against polymyxin-resistant Gram-negative superbugs,” the authors of the study write. They also note that octapeptins are potentially less toxic to the kidneys than colistin and polymixin BJan 26 Cell Chem Biol abstract Consumer group urges McDonald’s to detail an antibiotic-free-meat planAs part of the launch of a national campaign, the consumer and public health advocacy group US PIRG Education Fund is calling on McDonald’s Corp to commit to a specific timeline to phase out routine use of medically important antibiotics in its beef and pork supply chain, US PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) said in a news release yesterday.The organization is spotlighting McDonald’s because of its “outsized influence” as the largest US buyer of beef and has only a vague long-term antibiotics plan. Public health experts across the globe have warned that routine use of antibiotics in food animals helps spur antimicrobial resistance in a wide range of pathogens and poses a distinct threat to people.”Protecting antibiotics requires action, not reaction. If we don’t act now to preserve the effectiveness of these medicines, we’ll face a world in which common infections once again kill,” said Matthew Wellington, antibiotics program director for US PIRG Education Fund. “The Big Mac can make a big dent in stopping the misuse of antibiotics in our food system,” he added, referring to McDonald’s flagship hamburger.As part of its “Hold the Antibiotics” campaign launch, US PIRG has had nearly 10,000 people sign a petition to support its efforts. The group’s state affiliates also held events in front of McDonald’s franchises across the country to educate people about the perils of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the important role that McDonald’s can play.In August 2017, McDonald’s announced that it will phase out use of highest-value human antibiotics in its global chicken supply, after having reached its US goal of serving broiler chickens raised without antibiotics in 2016. It has also signaled that it would take similar actions for its supply of beef, dairy cows, pork, and laying hens.Jan 25 US PIRG news releaseAug 24, 2017, CIDRAP News story “McDonald’s expands antibiotic-cutting steps globally” Officials in India announce world’s first drug-resistant typhoid outbreakOriginally published by CIDRAP News Jan 25In what is being called the world’s first outbreak of drug-resistant typhoid, more than 100 children are sick and dozens have died in Hyderabad, India, The News International, which is based in Pakistan, reported yesterday.”Typhoid cases resistant to third-generation antibiotic Ceftriaxone have been reported from different areas of Hyderabad, but so far we’re unable to find its source,” Health Services Sindh Director General Dr Muhammad Akhlaq Khan said.”Children in the age group of 2-10 years are being affected by this type of disease, but so far we don’t have any exact data on the deaths caused by this lethal disease.” Scientists at Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi, Pakistan, blamed the outbreak on contaminated water, but the Sindh Health Department has ruled that cause out, the story said.No official case count has been cited, but the city’s health department and local gastroenterologists have said more than 100 drug-resistant cases have been reported since November 2016, compared with only 6 cases from 2009 to 2014. The health department, in collaboration with AKU, has launched a mass vaccination campaign aimed at immunizing 250,000 children in the district.Typhoid is mainly caused by Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi bacteria. About 8 million people live in the Hyderabad metropolitan area.Jan 24 News International story Bowel disease, antibiotics tied to fecal transplant for recurrent C difficileOriginally published by CIDRAP News Jan 25A single-center study in Rhode Island found several risk factors, including inflammatory bowel disease and the use of metronidazole, for fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to address recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), according to a study yesterday in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.The retrospective study compared 200 adults who underwent FMT for recurrent CDI to 75 patients who did not. The strongest risk factors for FMT for recurrent CDI were concomitant inflammatory bowel disease (P = .002), use of immunosuppressive therapy (P = .04), and use of metronidazole within 2 months before the first CDI (P = .02). The use of vancomycin for the first CDI was also a potential risk factor.The authors concluded, “This study provides important insights into the factors predictive for FMT in patients with recurrent CDI and highlights the potential racial and medical characteristics that affect the access of the patients to FMT.”Jan 24 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol study Study finds reduced carbapenem consumption in French hospitalsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Jan 23Researchers in France report that a reduction in carbapenem consumption in French hospitals occurred after the release of national guidelines on carbapenem use in 2010, according to a study yesterday in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control. They suggest that further carbapenem reduction could be linked to reduced use of fluoroquinolones and third-generation cephalosporins (3GCs).The ward-level multicenter retrospective study, which sought to determine factors associated with reduced carbapenem use in intensive care units (ICUs), medical wards, and surgical wards from 2009 through 2013, was based on data from French surveillance networks of antibiotics and multidrug-resistant bacteria in healthcare facilities. France released guidelines to limit the use of carbapenems in 2010, in response to a rise in carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae that’s been driven in part by a 145% increase in carbapenem use since 2000. The increase in carbapenem use was in response to the spread of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE).A total of 493 wards from 259 healthcare facilities were included in the study (85 ICUs, 227 medical wards, and 181 surgical wards). Overall carbapenem consumption over the study period was equal to 73.4 defined daily doses per 1,000 patient days for ICUs, compared with 6.2 in medical wards and 5.4 in surgical wards. While the overall trend showed an increase in carbapenem use from 2009 through 2013 in all wards, the period following release of the guidelines (2011-2013) showed a 2.9% decrease in carbapenem use in ICUs and 1.6% decrease in medical wards. Carbapenem use continued to rise in surgical wards, but the annual growth rate declined from 17.8% to 2.7%.In multivariable analysis, factors associated with a higher probability of reducing carbapenem consumption included a geographic location in eastern France, a higher initial carbapenem-prescribing profile, and reductions in consumption of fluoroquinolones, glycopeptides, and piperacillin/tazobactam. A higher initial prescribing profile for 3GCs and location in high-risk regions for ESBL-PEs were associated with a lower probability of reducing carbapenem use. The authors note that this finding is explained by ESBL-PE risk, which is promoted by 3GC use and thus leads to more frequent carbapenem prescribing.The authors conclude, “Our study, carried out on a national scale, in a large number of hospital wards, suggests that a decrease in 3GC proportion in the overall antibiotic use, as well as the continuation of the reduction in fluoroquinolone use, could allow reducing ward-level carbapenem use.” Jan 22 Antimicrob Resist Infect Control study CARB-X seeks partners to support antibiotic developmentOriginally published by CIDRAP News Jan 23CARB-X, the public-private initiative that provides financial and technical support to companies in the early stages of antibiotic discovery and development, is looking to partner with additional accelerator organizations to support its pipeline of research projects.According to a press release today from CARB-X (the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), the new accelerators are expected to provide a broad range of support to the 22 active research projects in the Powered by CARB-X portfolio. CARB-X says more projects will be added in the coming months.”Our accelerator partners are essential to CARB-X’s mission, providing guidance and expertise to help partner companies accelerate their research and deliver new life-saving antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics, and other products to patients,” CARB-X Executive Director Kevin Outterson, JD, said in the press release.To date, CARB-X has awarded more than $60 million to help fund early research in new antibiotics, vaccines, and rapid diagnostics to treat drug-resistant infections. The organization is looking to partner with up to six additional accelerator partners in Europe, North America, and the rest of the world. Jan 23 CARB-X press release Single-center study finds low levels of C difficile transmission in kidsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Jan 23A single-center Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) study from Northwestern University in Chicago found transmission among symptomatic children uncommon, and they noted that investigation of shared healthcare exposures often did not identify a potential transmission source, according to a study today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.The investigators performed whole-genome sequencing on C difficile isolates collected from children diagnosed as having CDI from December 2012 to December 2013. Among 131 CDIs in 107 children, the authors identified 104 genetically distinct isolates. Of 84 CDIs occurring 8 weeks or longer after the start of the study, only 10 (11.9%) were caused by a strain similar to another isolate, which would indicate likely in-hospital transmission. The researchers identified shared healthcare facility exposures in only 7 of those 10 cases.The authors conclude, “C. difficile transmission among symptomatic children was very uncommon, and among putatively transmitted cases, investigation of shared healthcare exposures often did not identify a potential transmission source.”Jan 23 Clin Infect Dis abstract Deadly outbreak of resistant Acinetobacter frequently involved pneumoniaOriginally published by CIDRAP News Jan 23A separate study yesterday in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control determined that multidrug-resistant A baumannii (MDR-Ab) infections in a Beirut hospital from 2007 through 2014 mostly consisted of ventilator-associated pneumonia and killed up to two thirds of patients.The researchers conducted a case-control study after MDR-Ab cases more than doubled at the American University of Beirut Medical Center ICU in 2007. That study involved patients diagnosed as having MDR-Ab in 2007 and 2008. The team also conducted a prospective study of MDR-Ab spread in the ICU in 2007 through 2014. The studies included 128 cases collectively and 99 patients who had MDR-Ab colonization but no evidence of active infection.The vast majority—84%—of cases were deemed hospital acquired, and 53% were ventilator-associated pneumonia. Mortality rates ranged from 52% to 66%. The investigators listed a range because “it was difficult to calculate the attributable mortality due to the fact that many patients were critically ill with multiple comorbid conditions.”The authors concluded, “Infection control measures should be reinforced to control the transmission of these organisms in the ICU.”Jan 22 Antimicrob Resist Infect Control study C diff prevention initiative helps reduce rates in VA facilitiesOriginally published by CIDRAP News Jan 22A significant decrease in rates of clinically confirmed long-term care facility onset CDI at 132 Veteran’s Affairs facilities coincided with implementation of a nationwide prevention initiative, researchers report in a new study in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.The initiative for prevention of CDI in VA long-term care facilities (LTCFs) was implemented in February 2014 following implementation in VA acute care facilities in July 2012. The initiative, which emphasizes environmental management, hand hygiene, contact precautions, and institutional culture change, was extended and tailored to VA LTCFs because they are often linked to VA acute care facilities, where CDI has become the most common healthcare-associated infection. To evaluate the impact of the initiative, the researchers analyzed quarterly CDI trends from the first 33 months of the program and compared them with the 2 years prior to implementation.The analysis found that there were 137,289 admissions, 9,288,098 resident days, and 1,373 clinically confirmed LTCF-onset CDI cases from April 2014 through December 2016. The nationwide number of clinically confirmed LTCF-onset CDI cases did not change in the 2 years prior to implementation of the prevention initiative but decreased by 36.1% over the 33-month analysis period.The results mirror the experience in VA acute care facilities, which saw a 15% drop in hospital-acquired CDI cases over the first 33 months of the prevention initiative, and the authors note that this may have had an impact on their findings, along with strong leadership from the VA Central Office and individual facility accountability. “The exact reason for the decrease in cases within the VA LTCFs is not known,” they write. “Given the large number of facilities involved and the long observation period, we were not able to collect data on individual facility activities or sustainability of activities; hence, we cannot report a ‘magic bullet’ responsible for the declining trend.”Jan 21 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol abstract Study shows substantial burden of primary, recurrent C diffOriginally published by CIDRAP News Jan 22In another study on CDI, researchers with Merck’s Center for Observational and Real World Evidence estimated the healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) and costs attributable to primary CDI and recurrent CDI (rCDI).In the retrospective observational study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, the researchers analyzed administrative claims data from two commercial databases representing nearly 50 million individuals with private health insurance. To obtain hospitalized days and costs attributable to primary CDI, patients without CDI were matched 1:1 by propensity score to those with primary CDI but no recurrences. To obtain hospitalized days and costs associated with rCDI, patients with primary CDI but no recurrences were matched 1:1 to those with primary CDI plus one recurrence.A total of 55,504 CDI patients were identified from July 2010 through June 2014, and among those patients 24.8% had a recurrence. Compared to those patients without CDI, the cumulative hospitalized days and healthcare costs attributable to primary CDI were 5.20 days and $24,205. Compared to those patients with primary CDI only, the cumulative hospitalized days and healthcare costs attributable to rCDI were 1.95 days and $10,580.”In conclusion, the HCRU and economic burden associated with primary and rCDI are quite substantial,” the authors write. “Better prevention and treatment of CDI, especially rCDI, are needed.”Jan 19 Clin Infect Dis study