H7N9: Jiangsu 3 Cases, Zhejiang 5 – Total 71

National confirmed 71 cases of human infection of H7N9 avian influenza in 14 deathsEnded at 6:00 p.m. on the 16th, the country reported a total of 66 cases of human infection of H7N9 avian influenza confirmed cases, 14 deaths. Among them, two cases in Henan , Beijing , Shanghai 24 cases 9 deaths , Jiangsu 20 cases 2 cases of death , Zhejiang, 21 cases 2 deaths , Anhui 3 cases 1 death .

via H7N9: Jiangsu 3 Cases, Zhejiang 5 – Total 71.

UK unemployment benefit less generous than Romania, Albania and the US

When have facts ever been important to Tories?

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today)

Well now. Here’s an interesting ranking of countries according to how generous their unemployment benefit is for the first year after workers have lost their jobs.

Quite contrary to the spin we constantly receive from the mainstream press et al about how generous the UK is with unemployment benefits, the fact is we actually rank lower in generosity than countries like Romania, Albania and even the US.

Here’s the ranking – with the most generous countries at the top (you have to go right to the bottom to find the UK):

Country  Gross Replacement Rate, year 1   Ranking
Netherlands 0.7 1
Switzerland 0.687 2
Sweden 0.685 3
Portugal 0.65 4
Spain 0.635 5
Norway 0.624 6
Algeria 0.612 7
Taiwan 0.6 8
Ukraine 0.56 9
Italy 0.527 10
Denmark 0.521 11
Russia 0.505 12
Tunisia 0.5 13
Finland 0.494 14
France 0.479

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On top of the world, a ceremony for millions | Greenpeace International

Something incredible happened yesterday.

Our four young explorers on a mission with Greenpeace have planted a flag on the seabed beneath the North Pole, at the same spot where a submarine planted a Russian flag claiming the Arctic for Moscow.

After a gruelling week-long trek across the frozen Ocean, over giant pressure ridges and around icy pools of open water, we planted our ‘flag for the future’ 4km beneath the ice at the top of the world and called for the region to be declared a global sanctuary.

The flag is attached to a glass and titanium time capsule containing the names of 2.7 million people who joined the campaign to Save the Arctic. We came to the Pole to say this special area of the Arctic belongs to no person and no nation, that it is the common heritage of everyone on Earth.

via On top of the world, a ceremony for millions | Greenpeace International.

Understanding Sukuk

When it comes to money – be cautious!


Sukuk Photo

(Photo, Grand Sheik of al-Azhar: Egypt Independent)

In an effort to develop Islamic alternatives to conventional investments, Muslim scholars have advocated new economical instruments, which fit with Sharia prohibition of usury and encouragement of shared risks. Islamic banking is growing, not just in Islamic countries, a number of multinational banks in the European continent, have opened branches or windows dedicated to the practice of Islamic banking.

Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, is one example of what such banking can offer; it is the Islamic answer to conventional bonds, an assets-based investment that can provide sovereign governments and corporations with a huge liquidity pool, or in a simpler terms, it is a kind of remortgage deal, but 3with a profit-sharing scheme, instead of a debt with a fixed interest rate.

The word “bond” is misleading as sukuk offers the investor partial ownership of the assets, and represents shares in the underlying…

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Egyptian Aak: Week 15. The Week of Kheba


morsi Sissi

(Photo: President Morsi, and Minister of Defense Abdel el-Fattah el-Sissi AP)

Main Headlines



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Predicting Hotspots for Influenza Virus Reassortment – Vol. 19 No. 4 – April 2013 – Emerging Infectious Disease journal – CDC

The 1957 and 1968 influenza pandemics, each of which killed ≈1 million persons, arose through reassortment events. Influenza virus in humans and domestic animals could reassort and cause another pandemic. To identify geographic areas where agricultural production systems are conducive to reassortment, we fitted multivariate regression models to surveillance data on influenza A virus subtype H5N1 among poultry in China and Egypt and subtype H3N2 among humans. We then applied the models across Asia and Egypt to predict where subtype H3N2 from humans and subtype H5N1 from birds overlap; this overlap serves as a proxy for co-infection and in vivo reassortment. For Asia, we refined the prioritization by identifying areas that also have high swine density. Potential geographic foci of reassortment include the northern plains of India, coastal and central provinces of China, the western Korean Peninsula and southwestern Japan in Asia, and the Nile Delta in Egypt.

via Predicting Hotspots for Influenza Virus Reassortment – Vol. 19 No. 4 – April 2013 – Emerging Infectious Disease journal – CDC.

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