AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThough Canadian Starbucks stores have always donated unsold pastries and baked goods to charity, the company is now going one step further.Earlier this week, Starbucks Canada announced the launch of Starbucks FoodShare: a national effort to provide nourishing, ready-to-eat meals to people in need by ensuring that all of their edible, non-expired products will be rescued from the trash can as well.The FoodShare project is part of the company’s commitment to eventually rescuing 100% of their food available for donation from its more than 1,100 company-owned stores, amounting to a whopping total of 1.5 million meals for the hungry every year. The initiative, which builds on a successful pilot program with Second Harvest, the largest food rescue organization in Canada, will launch in Ontario starting with more than 250 stores in the Greater Toronto Area by February 22nd. Starbucks is now working to expand the program to even more cities and provinces, with a goal to have a national solution in place by 2021.RELATED: 12-Year-old Boy Gives Away Thousands of Lunches to the Homeless – and He’ll Soon Have His Own Truck“Wasted food is a wide-scale problem for everyone in the food business, while more than 4 million Canadians are impacted by hunger,” says Luisa Girotto, the vice president of public affairs at Starbucks Canada. “This is unacceptable, and we will help solve this now that we have a way to safely donate chilled, perishable food, while preserving its quality.”Starbucks previously invested in research and quality assurance-testing to develop a sector-leading program ensuring that chilled and perishable food can be safely donated to those in need. This means that nourishing company products, such as breakfast sandwiches, paninis, protein boxes, salads, yogurt, milk and dairy alternatives like soy and coconut, can be safely donated and enjoyed by those in need.The FoodShare program has identified guidelines and developed a training framework on maintaining food temperature, texture, flavor so that it is guaranteed to maintain its quality and safety. In turn, Second Harvest will work with local community groups across the province to collect the food and enforce the new food safety standards.LOOK: In Bid to Cut Food Waste, Kellogg’s is Using Their Rejected Cornflakes to Make Beer“We’re thrilled to partner with Starbucks to support food recovery in local neighborhoods to ensure people have the food they need to be healthy while also making a positive impact on the environment,” says Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest. “We all have a part to play in reducing the social and environmental costs of food waste and it’s great to see Starbucks taking a leadership role.”In addition to combatting hunger, the Starbucks FoodShare program will divert food surplus from landfills, which will help to minimize the company’s environmental footprint. In Canada, it is estimated that nearly 60% of all food produced is lost and wasted annually, according to a recent study titled The Avoidable Crisis Of Food Waste. To limit the effects of climate change, the United Nations has set a target of halving food loss and waste by 2030.The movement to donate unsold food has been gaining momentum globally, with consumers showing increased concern for the greater issue of waste – and this initiative is just one way that Starbucks is joining in on the conservational mission.Be Sure And Share This Grande Good News Story With Your Friends On Social Media AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
2010 Time NXR Instinct in White with SRAM Red component group and S60 deep rimmed carbon wheels.2010 TimeÃ‚Â NXR Instinct in white with Campagnolo Super Record rear derailleur, cassette and shifter, Chrous front derailleur, FSA cranks and Time Equal wheels.2010 Time NXR Instinct in black with Dura-Ace and FSA components, and Time Equal wheels2010 Time Ã‚Â RX Instinct with Shimano Dura-Ace and FSA components, and Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels. Ã‚Â Time will have a second color for this frame available, but it’s not announced yet.2010 Time Ã‚Â NXR Instinct framesets in White (above) and Black (below). Time has released photos of their 2010 Instinct and Ulteam road bikes and frames. Ã‚Â In terms of heirarchy, the VXRS Ulteam Worldstar (not shown) leads the pack, followed by the RXR Ulteam (shown above in white with Campy Super Record and Bora Ultra wheels), then NXR Instinct and RX Instinct.The frames use Time’s RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) manufacturing process. Instead of flat sheets of pre-preg carbon that are wrapped around a bladder, they weave their own tubular braid of carbon in-house then layer them on wax skeleton that’s put in mold and injected with epoxy. Once itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cured, they melt down the wax, leaving the finished frame. Ã‚Â Time’s rep said “RTM Integral is…using the RTM concept to make a monobloc front triangle; the chainstays and wishbone are tubes that can be easily replace if damaged.”The 2010 NXR Instinct and RX Instinct will both use BB30 bottom brackets only, while the RXR Ulteam will get BB30 in the Spring. Ã‚Â The primary difference between the NXR and RX is the integrated seatmast on the NXR versus the standard seat post on the RX.Hit ‘more’ to see the full range and specs… 2010 Time RX Instinct frameset in White.
October 1, 2010 Annie Butterworth Jones Associate Editor Regular News Mustian’s new novel explores love and war Mustian’s new novel explores love and war Associate EditorFlorida Bar member and Tallahassee City Commissioner Mark Mustian recently released his second novel, The Gendarme, to mostly positive reviews. His first book, The Return, was published in 2000.“This is different from the first one,” said Mustian, a government lawyer at Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson. “I had no idea what I was doing. I had this naive assumption that I could sit down and write a book, and someone would publish it.“For what it [ The Return ] is — commercial filler with a twist — I’m proud of it. I discovered that I liked writing and trying to be creative, so this one I’ve tried to make a more literary effort.”In The Gendarme, 92-year-old Emmett Conn begins to remember through vivid dreams events that occurred during his time as a Turkish soldier in World War I. Slowly, Conn grasps the terrible truth: He served as a police officer during the war and policed one of the most brutal marches in world history. With this realization, Conn must face the fact that his past is filled with unspeakable crimes, but also with acts of kindness. As he faces his past, Conn tries to find a young Armenian woman he remembers from those difficult years and begs her forgiveness for the horrific crimes he committed.Mustian admits his novel covers a serious topic, but he insists there’s some light-hearted moments in the book, too.“Given the subject matter and how it’s fairly serious and grave — very unpleasant things happened during this time period — I tried to balance it with some humor and humorous situations. I’m proud of those parts.”Although The Gendarme is a story of memory, love, and forgiveness, it’s set against the backdrop of the Armenian Genocide, a period in history not many are familiar with.“All my life people have asked me if I’m of Armenian descent, since my name ends in ‘ian,’” said Mustian, “so I’ve always responded that I am, but it’s fairly far back.“Someone recommended I read Black Dog of Fate [by Peter Balakian], a memoir written about discovering their Armenian past, and how that author’s grandmother had survived this march out of Turkey. That event inspired me.”The novel, out this month, has already received glowing reviews from critics and readers alike, something Mustian hasn’t quite gotten accustomed to.“It’s been a long time getting here; it took me seven years to write this book!“I’m just grateful to have it published and to have it be a success makes me want to do this some more.” The Gendarme, published by Amy Einhorn Books, can be purchased from major booksellers and online at www.markmustian.com.
Derek Wright, Suntec ConcreteSuntec Concrete, Phoenix, announced today that Derek Wright has been named president of the 700-employee concrete construction firm. Wright has been with the company for more than 24 years and is well positioned for this role, having started as a carpenter in 1990, and managing several divisions prior to becoming vice president in 1997.“Suntec will continue its pursuit of excellence with the same ownership dynamic going forward to ensure their clients of the utmost commitment to continual partnering and shared success for building the best buildings in the industry,” Wright stated regarding the promotion.According to Jerry Barnier, former president and founder of Suntec Concrete, the change comes as a logical progression as Wright has led the operational direction of the company for the last 16 years. “Derek’s promotion is an example of what makes Suntec work—he has led this great team for many years as vice president; it was good timing and opportunity for me to participate where I fit best as well.” Barnier, who founded the company 30 years ago, will continue in a similar capacity with the company as before, emphasizing the involvement in the upfront design concepts of complex projects and working hands on with clients and Suntec tradesmen.“Derek has a passion for growing the company and continues to explore ways to serve our clients and build great work,” Barnier continued. Barnier remains as a majority owner of the company and has six additional partners.The success Suntec has enjoyed under Wright’s leadership and direction is not only evident by the company’s growth in revenue but by the commitment to its clients and employees. Wright’s passion for innovation, performance, and growth of people has lead Suntec to being named ENR Southwest’s 2013 Specialty Contractor of the Year.
Nieuwsbank:Van seksistische werksituaties worden vrouwen âqueen beesâWil je als organisatie meer vrouwen aan de top, dan lukt dat niet door simpelweg een paar vrouwen op topposities te zetten, stellen Leidse onderzoekers. Beter verander je de seksistische organisatiecultuur, want die zorgt voor queen bee-gedrag: vrouwen vechten voor hun eigen positie en niet voor hun seksegroep.Seksistische organisatieculturenRead more: Nieuwsbank More of our Members in the Media >
Education Week:Is your 3-year-old overly cranky, impulsive and restless? If the answer is yes, you could be raising a future gambler.So says a new study published recently in the journal Psychological Science that found a correlation between so-called “under-controlled” temperament in preschoolers and compulsive gambling later in life.The study’s researchers say their results suggest it may be possible to determine as early as age 3 whether a person is at increased risk of becoming a gambler, according to psychologist Wendy S. Slutske of the University of Missouri, Columbia.Slutske conducted the study along with Terrie E. Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi, both of Duke University in Durham, N.C., and University College/London; and Richie Poulton of the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand, according to a press release from the Association for Psychological Science.The researchers followed 939 people who were first assessed as toddlers and then at ages 21 and 32 as part of a New Zealand longitudinal health and development study. They were part of a slightly larger group whose temperaments were assessed for 90 minutes at age 3. The more-restless kids who were also impulsive and unable to control their emotions were tagged as having under-controlled temperaments.Read the whole story: Education Week More of our Members in the Media >
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email@example.com Share Okay, now I’m rooting for dirty water.Dump your toxic waste into the waters of Coopers Beach, just ranked in the nation’s Top 10. Discharge chemical waste into Sag Harbor. Let the melting ice caps raise the water level until they meet the septic tanks overflowing with the waste of overpopulation of the East End and let the rust tide algae bloom. Sail the Exxon Valdez II toward Montauk Point and let it run aground on Shagwong Reef, spilling an oil slick across the entire East End like a dark black moat. Let the mosquito sprayers napalm the coastline with methoprene larvicide and let the rains wash the weed killers and lawn chemicals into the waters of Lake Montauk, Block Island Sound, and the Atlantic coast.Flush all your plastics.Bring back scandal-polluted Scott Pruitt to finish the task of poisoning our blue waters as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, officially renaming the Potomac as Trump Swamp.Send up a million balloons from Hot Dog Beach.When news came last week that a 20-foot great white shark was tracked off Montauk, I was transported back to 1974 when I first read a popular novel called “Jaws” by Peter Benchley that remained on The New York Times bestseller list for 44 weeks. The book was so frightening that I promised myself I would never again swim in the ocean.I grew up watching monster movies about Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein, Godzilla, Rodan, the Fly, and King Kong. As kids, we collected bubble gum cards with all these monsters from the Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi and Roger Corman and Japanese C-movie catalogue. But even as kids, you knew they were fantasy monsters that you would never run across in real life.But “Jaws” bit readers a different way.Sharks were real-life monsters that in real life could devour you like a hors d’oeuvre at a beach party. Down in Coney Island, the Poor Man’s Paradise of Brooklyn, the waters were so dirty with sewage, sludge, oil slicks, illegal dumping, medical waste, syringes, dirty diapers, and the waste of humans too lazy to walk to a rest room that most self-respecting germs wouldn’t swim there, never mind a noble school of fish that would attract a big shark.One of the last decent things Richard Nixon had done as the dirtiest president in U.S. history — until Trump claimed the title — was sign legislation creating the Environmental Protection Agency. My theory is that if he was going to be sent up the river, Nixon wanted it to be a clean one when his kids came to visit.The first novel after the Hardy Boys that my big brother Pete gave me to read as a kid was “The Mugger” by Ed McBain, a scary crime thriller which I read on a bus to Camp Sebago which was part of the Fresh Air Fund that sent poor city kids to the sticks for two weeks to see cows and horses and verdant forest and mirror-topped lakes. But I’d soon learn that muggers are not as scary as sharks. I learned how to swim in summer camp in gorgeous Lake Sebago. When I came home, I showed off my aquatic skills to the other tenement kids out in the rolling filthy waves off Coney Island.Then my brother gave me “The Old Man and the Sea” as a 13th birthday gift. The chapters where the sharks attack, tearing away great hunks of Santiago’s prized giant marlin catch lashed to his old fishing skiff, gave me the willies. I would then only go into the Coney surf up to my waist, so I could run for shore if I saw a dorsal fin.I never saw one.The waters of Coney were too dirty.But after reading “Jaws,” I swore off all ocean swimming.Then came the movie version of “Jaws,” made by a skinny, 26-year-old director named Steven Spielberg, and that has remained, for me, the scariest monster movie ever made. I watched it in a darkened theater with screaming adults who jumped from their seats at the shock editing so effective it won a Best Editing Oscar. The lingering images of Robert Shaw being masticated by a great white shark made me fearful of taking a bath. It did for swimming what “Psycho” had done for taking showers.I have not dipped a toe in the ocean since. I have never been on an ocean cruise. If I won one, I’d give it away to someone I don’t like.Don’t get me wrong, I love to look out at the ocean. I love the mystery, majesty, and might of the sea. But the ocean is unforgiving and filled with monsters with big giant teeth, the better to eat you with, called sharks. Like the sharks that devoured Santiago’s final great catch and that terrorized the little fictional coastal town of Amity in “Jaws,” which is so similar to the beach towns of the East End.The sea belongs to the creatures that inhabit it. I have nothing against sharks. They wouldn’t eat us if we didn’t invade their home. I am a proud landlubber who takes the advice Humphrey Bogart’s Rick gives a Nazi officer in “Casablanca.” “There are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.”There are certain sections of planet Earth I don’t invade. Starting with the seven seas. But I have kids and grandkids much braver than I who love to swim in the ocean. I watch from the blanket, always scanning for a dorsal fin.And now that there is a great white shark dun-dun-dun-dunning off the coast of Montauk, the experts tell us it has come our way because the waters are cleaner. Following other creatures lured by clean water upon which the sharks feed.Not long before one of those creatures has two legs and two arms instead of gills and tails.So, I’m rooting for sludge, oil spills, nitrogen, and enterococcus. I want waters so polluted that bilge rats will think they’re skeevy and upon which mosquitoes will perish on contact. I want waters that only corporate America could love. Polluted waters that sea life and my loved ones will avoid, sending great white sharks back to deep water where they belong.We don’t need a bigger boat.We need dirtier water.
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The grouping of freight professionals is now represented in 80 countries through nearly 200 members offices.www.con5con.com
The unit was transported on the heavy lift vessel Jumbo Kinetic for the JUPC petrochemical project.Measuring 101.1 m x 10.8 m x 11.4 m, the wash tower was loaded on to the vessel using the ship’s own cranes. According to Jumbo, the unit is the heaviest piece of cargo it has ever lifted.Jumbo also transported four columns from Zhangjiagang, China to Saudi Arabia for the project.www.jumbomaritime.nl
Capital gains tax Many know that charities get back basic-rate tax relief from the government on donations made through the Gift Aid scheme. What is less well-known is that higher-rate taxpayers are entitled to further tax relief on their Gift Aid donations when claimed on their tax return. High earners can get 50% tax relief on their donations in this tax year, which might motivate some to be more generous, and others to be better at recording the Gift Aid donations they make. In view of the reduction in the top rate of tax to 45% in 2013/14, you may wish consider making more than one year’s worth of regular donations in the current tax year. There is also scope to carry back Gift Aid donations made in a subsequent tax year, up until the date your tax return for the year being carried back to is submitted. Alternatively, it may be worthwhile setting up a Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) or similar account and making a lump sum payment into the account to fund future donations. Payments to a CAF account will receive Gift Aid tax relief when paid, rather than when the funds in the account are paid out to individual charities. Tax relief on pension contributions is currently restricted to an annual maximum allowance of contributions of £50,000 gross (£40,000 net) per year. Relief will be given at your highest marginal rate and you should look to maximise your pension contributions in 2012/13 if you will be paying tax at 50%. All contributions must be paid before 5 April 2013 for relief to be given in this tax year. The annual allowance applies to contributions paid in a pension scheme’s input period. It’s important to note that each pension scheme has a different input period, which may not necessarily coincide with the tax year. You can potentially carry forward any unused annual pension contribution allowance from the previous three tax years, as long as you had a pension fund in those years. Doing this will increase the amount you’re able to contribute and claim tax relief on in this tax year, so it would be prudent to review your previous years’ pension contributions to see whether there is any allowance you can use by 5 April 2013. If you’re planning to use unused allowance, it’s important to find out the date of your pension scheme’s input period. If it doesn’t end on 5 April with the tax year, this could potentially cause problems with calculating the timing of your contributions. It is worthwhile consulting your financial adviser about the best way to time your pension contributions within the tax year. You won’t be able to claim tax relief on contributions paid above the annual allowance. The lifetime allowance remains at £1.5m for this year. Changes to pension contribution reliefs are coming over the next few years. From 6 April 2014 the annual allowance for tax relief on pension savings will reduce from £50,000 gross to £40,000 gross (£32,000 net) per year, with the lifetime allowance to reduce to £1.25m. A transitional fixed protection regime will be introduced for those who believe they may be affected by the reduction in the lifetime allowance. The government has announced that it will be reducing the top rate of tax from 50% to 45% for those on incomes over £150,000. This change, along with forthcoming changes to pensions contribution reliefs, means that you should review the reliefs on offer to make sure you’re minimising your tax liabilities as much as possible. Changes to pension contribution reliefs Tax relief on investments Louis Baker, is partner at national tax, audit and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill There are a few aspects to consider regarding capital gains tax, particularly around the sale of property and transfer of assets between spouses. Each of us has an annual capital gains tax allowance of £10,600, which entitles us to gains of £10,600 in each tax year. As spouses can transfer assets between themselves without attracting capital gains tax, it’s possible to realise gains of £21,200 tax free by transferring assets to your spouse. If you have sold or are selling a property, it’s worthwhile looking at the exemptions around capital gains. A capital gain on selling your sole home is tax free if it and its grounds do not exceed half a hectare. If you have two residences (for example, a midweek flat or weekend cottage) together with the main home, the main home will still be exempt from capital gains tax. However, dual exemption for a period can be engineered on more than one residence where an election is made within two years of acquiring the second residence. If this applies to you, speak to your tax adviser to explore your options. With a range of exemptions and reliefs on offer, it’s worth investigating the options that apply to your personal and business circumstances to ensure you aren’t paying more tax than is correctly due. As part of your fiscal year-end preparations, it’s worthwhile assessing your situation and, if appropriate, speaking to both a tax and financial adviser to ensure your tax matters are in order before the 5 April deadline. If you are looking to invest, there are a number of schemes available, particularly for investment in new or start-up businesses that attract favourable tax reliefs. Investment in shares that qualify for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) are tax-favoured investments. Income tax relief of 30% is available on EIS investments of up to £1m each year and 50% on SEIS investments of up to £100,000 per investor, with additional capital gains tax and inheritance tax benefits. SEIS is new for 2012/13 and may be of limited importance as each qualifying company will only be able to receive investments totalling £150,000 from the scheme. Investments in venture capital trusts of up to £200,000 each tax year generate 30% income tax relief and benefit from capital gains tax exemption after a qualifying period. There are some interesting and diverse investment opportunities within these arrangements which you should explore in full before making an investment. Making the most of your Gift Aid donations
Victims of domestic abuse potentially face being cross-examined by their alleged attackers as a result of legal aid restrictions, according to a report by Citizens Advice.Victims of domestic abuse: struggling for support?, shows that six in 10 advisers found the changes regarding legal aid since April 2013 have affected the help they have been able to give domestic abuse clients.Of those who had been affected by the legal aid change, around a fifth reported they could no longer help as many domestic abuse clients as before.A similar proportion found most domestic abuse clients were unable to afford required contributions when offered legal aid, resulting in some representing themselves in court. This resulted in an ‘unacceptable’ situation where a victim of domestic abuse potentially faced being cross-examined by the alleged perpetrator.Even in cases where the victim can provide evidence required for legal aid, many advisers recount that clients were required to pay substantial additional fees due to their assets or income.‘In many cases, the victim is trapped in a catch-22 situation unable to access their assets because of domestic abuse, but unable to resolve the situation with their abuser without expensive legal consultation and representation.’Citizens Advice called on the Ministry of Justice to revise evidence requirements and financial contributions for legal aid. Evidence requirements must be such that individuals suffering any type of abuse, without access to finance, can access legal aid, it said.The report states: ‘More thought needs to be given to the financial thresholds in the cases of joint-assets and potentially fluctuating income across an insecure relationship. In cases in which legal aid has been granted, additional fees must not be prohibitively high.’The MoJ said the government was ‘exceptionally clear’ that victims of domestic violence should get legal aid wherever they needed it to help break free from an abusive relationship.An MoJ spokesperson said: ‘That is why we listened carefully to concerns and made changes to expand the types of evidence that could be used to access legal aid.’The ministry said since the reforms were introduced thousands of people had successfully applied for legal aid where domestic violence is involved. ‘However, we have always said we will keep the new system under review – and our door is always open to those with evidence about concerns.‘Citizens Advice have not contacted the department about this report, but if they submit it to us we will consider it carefully.’Earlier this month charity Rights of Women lodged an appeal – supported by the Law Society – against the High Court’s backing of reforms which have the effect of restricting access to legal aid for victims of domestic violence.The High Court had rejected a challenge, brought by the Public Law Project on behalf of Rights of Women, and supported by the Society, to rules introduced in April 2013 requiring victims of domestic violence to provide a prescribed form of evidence in order to apply for family law legal aid.Some of the forms of evidence are subject to a 24-month time limit, despite the fact that perpetrators may remain a lifelong threat.
The event was initiated by Errol Fabien, a local media personality who said he was encouraged to begin a “movement for the island of Barbuda after seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. For BarbudaThe event will be held at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain. “Having visited Barbuda and many of the islands, I remember always seeing products from Trinidad and Tobago readily available and sold in these countries, I knew then that we, TNT had to come together to help our brothers and sisters as we are all one island,” Fabien said at the launch of the event earlier this week. Originated with WhatsApp ideaThe idea began with a WhatsApp group formed with a group of friends and it will grew to become e a full 12-hour concert with performers from all genres. Those scheduled to perform include Freetown Collective, DJ’s Private Ryan and Rupee. Over 100 artists will be performing at a concert and telethon in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday, September 24 – Republic Day, to raise funds for those affected by hurricanes that have devastated some Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states. The funds from this venture as well as relief supplies that are being packed on spot at the Queen’s Park Oval, will be sent to the Halo Foundation in Antigua and Barbuda. The foundation works with over 20 charities and groups in the twin-island federation to assist with poverty eradication and will ensure that the aid gets into the hands of persons in need.
Researchers hope that by treating people as soon as possible after HIV infection, they can one day induce drug-free remission for sustained periods of time, perhaps for good (AFP Photo/NOAH SEELAM)A South African nine-year-old is the world’s third child born with HIV to go into remission, scientists have said.The child has had a healthy immune system for eight years nine months after receiving a ten-month course of treatment in early life, according to a new study.“This new case strengthens our hope that by treating HIV-infected children for a brief period beginning in infancy, we may be able to spare them the burden of life-long therapy,” said AIDS expert Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) which funded the study, AFP reports.Some scientists refer to sustained, drug-free remission as a “functional cure”.Unlike a traditional cure, where the virus is eradicated, the patient still has HIV in their system but it is so weakened that it cannot replicate or spread to sexual partners.Researchers hope that by treating people as soon as possible after infection, they can one day induce drug-free remission for sustained periods of time, perhaps for good.This has become a major focus of research amid fading hopes of finding a permanent cure.The virus has proven more sneaky than imagined — it has the ability to hide out in human cells and play dead for years, only to re-emerge and attack as soon as treatment is stopped.Anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment inhibits the virus, but doesn’t kill it, and infected people have to take pills daily for life which are costly and have side-effects.– Relapse possible –A rare group of infected people — fewer than one percent — are able naturally to stop the virus replicating. They are known as “elite controllers”, but the mechanism by which they keep the virus at bay remains a mystery.The girl does not have “elite controller” DNA, said the study authors.Among people taking virus-suppressing anti-retroviral drugs, only a few have attained drug-free remission.They include 14 adults in a French trial who were able to quit their medication after three years and stayed healthy.A French woman aged 20, treated as a baby, has been healthy for 14 years since stopping her medication — the longest-known remission.In the United States, the so-called Mississippi Baby was in remission for 27 months after being given ART for the first 18 months of life, but the virus rebounded in a major let-down for researchers.Now there is the South African girl — the first case of remission in a child enrolled in a trial to test the effectiveness of early treatment, for a limited time.“Relapse is a possibility in any case of remission,” underlined study co-leader Avy Violari of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.However, “the fact that remission has been for a long period suggests this is likely to be durable,” she told AFP.Researchers do not understand how the girl achieved remission when 410 other children in the trial did not.“We can’t tell if her immune system would have controlled the virus on its own or if the treatment made a difference,” said Sharon Lewin, a professor of medicine at the University of Melbourne.– ‘Impressive’ –The girl was diagnosed HIV-positive on her 32nd day of life. After ten months of treatment, levels of HIV in her blood went from “very high” to undetectible.Tests conducted when she was nine-and-a-half years old showed the vaguest trace of virus, unable to replicate, said the team. The girl had healthy levels of key immune cells.Some fear the girl is in a minority of people for whom early treatment is sufficient to induce remission.“Early treatment is good for lots of reasons. Early treatment stops HIV transmission, early treatment means the immune system stays in better shape and early treatment keeps the (virus) reservoirs small,” Lewin told AFP.“Early treatment may also increase the chance of remission, but more studies are needed to really prove this.”Michael Brady, medical director of the Terrence Higgins Trust, an AIDS charity, said remission was “impressive”.“We just need to understand more about why this is and then find ways to apply it to others,” he commented on the study.The children in the trial were monitored for rebounding virus levels, and the experts stressed it is not a good idea for people to take themselves off ARV treatment.
Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrate after their Nedbank Cup semifinal against Bidwest Wits. COURTESY: TWITTER/Mamelodi SundownsSouth Africa’s football season resumed, on Saturday, nearly five months after it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Nedbank Cup semifinals were the first games to be played on Saturday before the GladAfrica Championship kicked off on Sunday.On Saturday, Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic booked their places in the Nedbank Cup semifinals.Sundowns edged Bidwest Wits 3-2 in an entertaining match at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium in Pretoria.Lyle Lakay netted an injury-time winner with the game appearing to be destined for extra time after Terrence Dzvukamanja had twice pulled Wits level. Ricardo Nascimento and Keletso Makgalwa scored Sundowns’ other goals.In the other game, Victor Letsoalo scored twice and Ndumiso Mabena added another goal as Celtic thumped 10-man Baroka F.C. 3-0 at the Pietersburg Stadium in Polokwane. Namibian forward Ananias Gebhardt was dismissed just after the half hour mark as Baroka was forced to play for more than an hour with 10-men.On Sunday, Real Kings defeated Cape Umoya United 2-0 while Richards Bay and TS Sporting drew 2-2.The Absa Premiership will take centre stage later on Tuesday when Mamelodi Sundowns play rivals Orlando Pirates.The GladAfrica Championship will see three games earlier in the day: Free State Stars v Royal Eagles, Jomo Cosmos v Tshakhuma and Uthongathi v JDR Stars.Related Mamelodi Sundowns crowned 2018/19 Absa Premiership champions Bertrand Traore’s penalty miss sees Lyon lose final French League Cup final Mamelodi Sundowns responds to speculation on Mosimane’s future