Category: mvdmmwql

Press release: Housing funding boost to make more homes accessible for elderly and disabled people across England

first_img Twitter – https://twitter.com/mhclgFlickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhclgLinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/company/mhclg Contact form https://forms.communit… Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler said: The government is committed to helping older and disabled people live independently and safely and this extra funding will ensure more people are getting the help they need. Even a small adaptation to a home can make a big difference and help ensure people can stay in their home and do not have to struggle with the stairs or in simply taking a bath or shower. Media enquiries If your enquiry is related to COVID-19 please check our guidance page first before you contact us – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-government.If you still need to contact us please use the contact form above to get in touch, because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you send it by post it will not receive a reply within normal timescale. More elderly and disabled residents will be able to make adaptations to their homes so they can live independently and safely thanks to an extra £42 million of government funding confirmed by Housing and Homelessness Minister Heather Wheeler today (24 January 2018).The funding for local housing authorities can be used to make a range of adaptations to a disabled or elderly person’s home. Some of these changes are low cost but can make a big difference to the person’s quality of life such as grab rails which can be installed for as little as £30 but can prevent a serious fall. Other changes include: Social media – MHCLG 2 Marsham StreetLondonSW1P 4DF Birmingham (£1,007,785) Manchester (£675,147) Leeds (£649,541) Liverpool (£590,796) Cornwall (£527,533) Office address and general enquiries The £42 million boost in funding was announced as part of the Autumn Budget and will be additional funding for the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). The £42 million will be in addition to the £431 million the government has already pledged to the DFG for the 2017 to 2018 financial year.The councils who have been allocated the largest share of the extra funding are: Please use this number if you are a journalist wishing to speak to Press Office 0303 444 1209 General enquiries: please use this number if you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000 ramps and stair lifts to ensure they can access all parts of their homes safely widening of doors to help those who are wheelchair bound to move freely around their home level access showers and raised toilets so that people can continue to live independently and with dignity in their home accessible gardens so they can continue to enjoy the simple pleasures of their garden home extensions which can include the construction of downstairs bedrooms and bathrooms to ensure that disabled or elderly people do not have to risk moving between floors Email [email protected] Further informationThe DFG is a capital grant paid from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to local authorities in England to adapt older and disabled people’s homes to help them to live independently and safely. Adaptations can include ramps, stair lifts and suitable heating systems.Eligibility is subject to a means test. There is an upper limit of £30,000 per eligible applicant although children aged 17 years and under are not means tested. The average grant is around £6,500.Picture courtesy of Peoplecreations.last_img read more

Feeding culinary curiosity

first_imgThe 20 rambunctious kids gathered at Harvard last Monday looked like typical day campers. But instead of sunscreen and bug spray, their knapsacks contained bamboo cutting boards and measuring spoons. The craft project holding their rapt attention wasn’t a friendship bracelet or macaroni art, but hand-pulled string cheese. And their counselors included none other than Bill Yosses, the White House executive pastry chef, who hovered over students’ workbenches in the basement of the Northwest Lab.“I’m going to tell Mrs. Obama how great you were today,” Yosses told his charges.The children, Boston and Cambridge students between the ages of 9 and 12, were taking part in “Kids’ Science and Cooking,” a new program hosted by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) in cooperation with ChopChop, a nonprofit cooking magazine for kids. An offshoot of the University’s popular “Science and Cooking” course and public lecture series, the two-week day camp is built on the idea that time in the kitchen and the laboratory — both intimidating places to newcomers — is a great opportunity for children to explore their natural curiosity and to learn science, math, and healthy habits, too.“The idea is to make science more interesting by using cooking, and vice versa,” said Sally Sampson, founder of Watertown-based ChopChop.The program’s developers — among them “Science and Cooking” developer Michael Brenner, Glover Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics, and Naveen Sinha, a doctoral candidate in applied physics at SEAS — had planned an ambitious agenda. In their 10 days on campus, students would learn from scientists, mathematicians, and rock-star chefs about pickling, emulsion, fermentation, and more. They would be responsible not only for making their own lunches, but for prepping ingredients and cleaning up after themselves in the kitchen.Students (from left) Ruth Shiferaw, 9, Peter Murphy, 9, and Chloe Rosen, 17, listen to Somerville cheesemaker Lourdes Fiore Smith describe how to make string cheese. Photo by Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe goal is to “give these kids the tools and empower them to make good decisions,” said Kathryn Hollar, director of educational programs at SEAS, “and to teach that science and math is everywhere. … What’s the boiling point of water and why, what happens when you add salt or sugar, how do you make bread? All these things have science and math behind them.”“We want to show that our scientists are very curious, and want our young people to be curious too,” she said.The program has drawn big names in the cooking world, such as Jason Bond of Cambridge’s Bondir, and Yosses, who has helped Michelle Obama with her campaign to promote healthy eating and exercise.“To use the resources at Harvard to bring kids from all walks of life into this laboratory and teach them about food is an extraordinary opportunity for us and for them,” said Yosses, who helped kick off the program’s opening day.Also on hand were Somerville cheesemaker Lourdes Fiore Smith, owner of Fiore di Nonno, and Rachel Dutton, a Bauer fellow at the Center for Systems Biology who studies the microbial ecosystems of cheeses. As Smith crumbled fresh curds into a pot, Dutton explained the building blocks of milk (sugar, fat, protein, water) and how they’re manipulated to produce cheese.A few students looked a bit queasy as Dutton described rennet, an enzyme found in the stomachs of cows and others mammals that is used to coagulate milk and separate curds from whey.“It’s a special type of protein that carries out reactions,” she said cheerfully. “You can just think of it as this little Pac-Man chomping around.”Smith slowly stirred warm water into the curds and stretched the now-rubbery mass over her paddle — a process of coaxing out the cheese’s flavor by bringing its butterfat to the surface, she explained.“Does it have gluten in it?” one student asked, revealing an understanding of gluten formation beyond that of many an amateur baker. “Because I can see that it’s getting stretchy.”“No, but it has protein, and gluten is a type of protein, too,” Dutton replied.Instructors passed out a pat of the cheese, sprinkled with salt, to the students, along with a sample of processed string cheese for comparison. As they struggled to pull and twist the cheese as Smith had shown them, a few couldn’t help but taste their own creation.“I wish the processed cheese looked like this,” one boy said.“This one tastes awful,” said another, holding up the store-bought cheese. “I should have ate the bad one first.”White House pastry chef Bill Yosses (left) and Somerville cheesemaker Lourdes Fiore Smith offered the children a helping hand. Photo by Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe sight of a roomful of kids rejecting processed food for somewhat more adventuresome, straight-from-the-farm fare might sound too good to be true. But Sampson — whose magazine now reaches over half a million homes and pediatricians’ offices — maintains that many kids can develop a foodie sensibility with just a little prodding.Her advice to parents? “Just get them cooking,” she said. “You don’t have to be a scientist to do these kinds of things with kids. Get your kids involved in the process in any way, and don’t worry if things don’t turn out.”Natasha Brown of Hyde Park, whose three children are enrolled in the program, called it a godsend for parents looking to keep up their kids’ healthy eating habits and academic interests during the summer. (She had already taken one of her two daughters to Harvard’s Early College Awareness family event in June.)“As a parent, you want to make sure your child is getting enough vegetables, and you want to find ways to try to help them enjoy it,” Brown said. “They’re growing children, and you want to put a foundation in place now so that as they get older, they’ll have that [impulse] to make more nutritious choices.”Even the pickiest eater of her brood, Rashad, 9, has yet to voice any complaints about his culinary adventures so far, Brown said.“He came home yesterday saying he had spinach on his pizza,” she said, laughing. “I couldn’t get him to try it for the world.”last_img read more

Clooney, Carroll respond to pope’s comments on direction of Roman Catholic Church

first_img Read Full Story Pope Francis, who has inspired both affection and controversy with recent remarks on homosexuality and atheism, made headlines again last week. In an interview with the editor of the leading Jesuit journal in Rome, the pope criticized the Catholic Church’s focus on “abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.”Without a “new balance” in the church’s approach to these issues, he said, “even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”Two prominent Catholic members of the Harvard Divinity School community shared their thoughts on Francis’ comments. Professor Francis X. Clooney, S.J., and the writer James Carroll, HDS ’97, HDS ’99, expressed enthusiasm for the pope’s desire to refocus church hierarchy on the core message of the gospel and away from what Francis called “small-minded rules.”Clooney said that the pope’s remarks clearly distinguish him from his two predecessors.“If you compare what he is saying in this interview with either [Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul II], they wouldn’t have said anything the way that Francis did,” Clooney asserted. “The ability to criticize the inward, narcissistic church, harping on certain issues out of context again and again … the previous popes simply wouldn’t have said anything like that, even if deep down they recognized the same problems.”last_img read more

Remembering Fred Glimp

first_imgFred Lee Glimp Jr. ’50, Ph.D. ’64, whose nearly 50 years of service to Harvard left an indelible mark on generations of students, alumni, and the University itself, passed away in June at the age of 91.At a retirement celebration in 1996 honoring his decades of service to Harvard, buttons were distributed that read: “Be Like Fred.” It was a fitting sentiment for a man who was widely recognized for his kindness, generosity, and commitment to getting the best out of everyone around him.Born and raised in Boise, Idaho, Glimp joined the U.S. Army Air Corps after high school to fight in World War II. Upon completing his service he sent what he considered to be a long-shot application to Harvard College.His knowledge of Harvard at the time was based mainly on a copy of “Yankee From Olympus” his mother had sent him when he was overseas, which painted scenes of an idyllic campus in the time of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., and an article in Life magazine that discussed the College’s challenge in dealing with an influx of servicemen. Glimp welcomed the challenge and later told The Crimson, “If [Harvard] was so hard to get into, it was worth trying.”He was accepted into the Class of 1950, arriving on campus for the first time in the fall of 1946. “I’d been out of high school for four years, so I was rusty,” he later told Harvard Magazine.With the assistance of the GI Bill, Glimp joined scores of veterans who were enrolling at Harvard at the time, creating a far more diverse student body on campus. Despite the rapid adjustment required, he enjoyed College life, played on the baseball team, and eventually excelled in his studies. He graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors and magna cum laude distinction on his economics thesis.Glimp then received a Fulbright Scholarship that allowed him to spend the following year in England studying at the University of Cambridge, after which he returned to Harvard to pursue a doctorate in economics.While studying at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Glimp sought out additional work. “I was sick of being on the dole,” he would jokingly explain to The Crimson.Wilbur Bender ’27, then the director of admissions and financial aid, was hiring and appreciated the perspective that Glimp brought to the table as a former serviceman. At first considering it a temporary job, Glimp spent the next six years under Bender’s tutelage, traveling the country to seek out candidates who would not normally consider Harvard College an option, and building a student body that was more diverse than ever.The work suited him, and Glimp soon assumed the role of director of freshmen scholarships, a position he held until Bender left Harvard in 1960, and Glimp was elevated to dean of admissions and financial aid.Over the next seven years — in addition to completing his Ph.D. in 1964 — Glimp built on Bender’s efforts to seek out talented applicants from all walks of life to create a more vibrant student body. During Glimp’s tenure as dean, the number of freshmen receiving scholarships increased from 25 percent to 40 percent, and the amount of aid more than doubled, from $1.2 million to $2.7 million.Glimp also sought out equally talented administrators. One of those was Jack Reardon ’60, who left a job working for Ed Logue at the Boston Redevelopment Authority to join the admissions staff in 1965 — a move that, like Glimp’s own, led to a lifelong career at Harvard.“Nobody made a bigger difference in my life than Fred. First, convincing me to work here, and then, being supportive of everything I wanted to do,” said Reardon, adding that he was one of many who would share that sentiment.In 1967, Glimp was named dean of Harvard College, succeeding John Monro. Those were turbulent years for the University. With opposition to the Vietnam War reaching a boiling point on college campuses across the country, Glimp had the daunting task of maintaining order at a time when many aspects of society were rapidly changing.He would later reflect that, “If one assumes that what happened to Harvard in the late 1960s was bound to happen in one serious degree or another, I would not trade the mixed experiences of those years for any other.”Memorabilia related to Fred Glimp, a former dean of Harvard College who recently passed away. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerFormer University President Neil Rudenstine recalled at Glimp’s retirement, “In a turbulent time, [Fred] brought unfailing good sense, clarity, and steadiness of purpose, strong values, and human warmth to Harvard, when so many of these essential qualities were so often in such short supply in universities throughout the nation.”Glimp again replaced Bender in 1969, when he was named executive director of the Permanent Charity Fund (now known as the Boston Foundation) following Bender’s sudden death.The decade’s turmoil in education was not limited to college campuses. The Boston Public Schools were then failing to educate nearly 10,000 children, by one study’s account, due to “disabilities or lack of English language skills.”Glimp directed resources to nonprofits that worked successfully for state legislation addressing both obstacles. The Permanent Charity Fund also placed special emphasis on access to health care for city residents. During his tenure, Glimp helped with early funding for community health centers across Boston and made significant contributions to create what would later be named Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Longwood Medical Area.Glimp found similarities in the work at Harvard and the Fund. “There are more good requests than there is money for, but there is also a clear case for ‘recruiting’ new proposals that would not otherwise be seen, which means more difficult decisions, more requests turned down, and a greater sense of having inadequate income for what can be done,” he would explain.After nearly 10 years at the Permanent Charity Fund, then-President Derek Bok asked Glimp to combine his expertise in University affairs and philanthropy by serving as vice president for Alumni Affairs and Development, a post he would hold for the next 18 years. Tom Reardon, who worked with Glimp in that department before succeeding him as vice president, said both he and the University were lucky.“Organizations take on the characteristics of their leaders and he set great expectations in a very humane way,” said Reardon. “Fred intoned a moral, ethical standard that permeated the office. He was a thoughtful, kind, tough-minded individual.”With his leadership on two capital campaigns — both record-setting efforts — and strengthening an increasingly global network of alumni, Glimp’s mark on the University will resonate for generations to come.Glimp credited his wife and children with his success. At his 25th College reunion, he said, “Life with my family has meant a great deal to me; subjectively, I care more about it than any other part of my life. I have always enjoyed having stress in my professional life, but I suspect that is so largely because of my extraordinary luck in having a daily life of mutual love and respect with my family.”Glimp is survived by his wife of 65 years, Eleanor “Buster” Foley ’48, four children, and 10 grandchildren.A memorial service will be held Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. at the Memorial Church “for Glimp’s friends, family, and colleagues to celebrate his remarkable life and remember the importance of striving to ‘Be Like Fred.’”last_img read more

Harvard Chan School, Apple, and NIH launch women’s health study

first_imgHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Apple, and the National Institutes of Health today launched the Apple Women’s Health Study.The large-scale longitudinal study, led by a team of researchers at Harvard Chan School, leverages participants’ voluntary use of a smartphone research app to advance understanding of menstrual and gynecological health.By making use of information and study activities from personal devices, the first-of-its-kind study will shed light on women’s overall health needs across the lifespan. The multi-year study has the potential to become the largest and longest-running longitudinal study of women’s health in the U.S.“Treating the menstrual cycle as a vital sign, such as heart rate or blood pressure, could lead to the earlier detection of many health conditions, both gynecological and systemic, as well as a better understanding of women’s reproductive health and health needs overall,” said study researcher Shruthi Mahalingaiah, assistant professor of environmental reproductive and women’s health at Harvard Chan School. “We are uniquely poised to translate this data into discovery that will lead to better awareness and empowerment around women’s health issues on a global scale.”The study employs a research app, available on an iPhone, to collect study-specific data, such as cycle tracking information, and uses monthly surveys to understand each participant’s unique menstrual experience. The study, which will last many years, also seeks to analyze the impact of certain behaviors and habits, such as physical activity and mobility, on a wide breadth of reproductive health topics.“In the past it’s been very difficult to quantify behavioral factors,” said study researcher Jukka-Pekka Onnela, associate professor of biostatistics at Harvard Chan School. “With data from smartphones and wearable devices, we can eventually measure these factors unobtrusively over long periods of time. This is scientifically incredibly exciting, and I believe that this research will enable more effective and more personalized interventions in the future.”Michelle A. Williams, a reproductive epidemiologist and dean of the faculty at Harvard Chan School, is leading the study as a principal investigator, along with Harvard Chan co-principal investigators Russ Hauser, Frederick Lee Hisaw Professor of Reproductive Physiology and chair of the Department of Environmental Health, and Brent Coull, professor of biostatistics and associate chair of the Department of Biostatistics.“By working with Apple through the research app, we will be able to securely collect an unprecedented amount of data on this topic over the course of over many years — all while ensuring every participant has full control over their data and its privacy,” said Williams, Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development. “Study participants will contribute to an effort we hope will ultimately enrich the public health community’s understanding of these topics for generations to come.”last_img read more

What makes a great brand?

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In fact, before attempting to answer this question, it’s probably important to define what, exactly, a brand is? For me a brand is the complete experience and manifestation that a company produces, and how it is then internalized by the consumer. Candidly, that’s a little bit vapid when you consider that piles of business books and courses have been written and conducted to explain what a true brand is. Still, the brand is the experience that a consumer has when it comes to product, price, promotion and place.Now, what brand is truly “great” in your estimation? It’s not always the biggest, the most profitable or the most well known. One could argue that you would need to hit those three mountaintops to be considered “great,” and that’s fair enough. Does size make a brand great? I know many great brands that many of you would question. Some think Apple is a great brand. Many hate it. Same could be said for just about any brand. Still… let’s push on this together: What makes a great brand?Let’s make a list of what makes a brand great… continue reading »last_img read more

Talking about a flu pandemic worst-case scenario

first_img(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing)The pandemic worst case is:(a) Truly horrific(b) Truly unlikely(c) Truly worth planning for(d) All of the aboveThe right answer: (d) All of the above.Unfortunately, many people have trouble thinking simultaneously that a risk is horrific and that it’s unlikely. There’s nothing intellectually incompatible about these two risk characteristics; most horrific risks are unlikely. The problem is that the two characteristics are emotionally incompatible. The lesson of horrific is “take precautions.” The lesson of unlikely is “don’t worry about it.” So we tend to pick one. Either we focus on how horrific a severe pandemic could be and imagine that it’s a pretty likely scenario, or we focus on how unlikely a severe pandemic is and imagine that it wouldn’t really be so bad.Unfortunately, many senior corporate executives also have trouble thinking simultaneously that a risk is unlikely and that it’s worth planning for. Or at least many business continuity managers believe their senior executives are going to have trouble keeping these two in mind at the same time. Whenever I advise my clients to acknowledge the low probability of a severe pandemic, they worry that doing so might undermine top management’s willingness to allocate time, effort, and money to pandemic preparedness.Paradoxically, my clients are often equally reluctant to trumpet the severity of the pandemic worst-case scenario, for fear of frightening people too much, or seeming too fearful themselves. The result is a lot of pandemic risk communication that understates severity and overstates probability—that makes a pandemic sound almost inevitable but pretty tame.This is exactly the wrong way to talk about worst-case scenarios. For the sake of credibility (and honesty), we need to tell people that the pandemic worst case is unlikely. And for the sake of impact (and honesty), we need to tell people that the pandemic worst case is horrific.How unlikely? We don’t know. In the 1918 pandemic, guesstimates are that 30%+ of the world population got the flu and 2.5%+ of those who got the flu died. That was the worst flu pandemic in recorded history. So if you judge by history, a flu pandemic as bad as 1918 is very unlikely, and a flu pandemic worse than 1918, as far as we know, has never happened. On the other hand, the H5N1 virus has already launched the worst bird flu outbreak in the recorded history of the poultry industry. And as political scientist Scott Sagan has said, things that have never happened before happen all the time.How horrific? We don’t know that either. So far, H5N1 has killed over 60% of the known human cases—24 times the estimated case-fatality rate in 1918! Try to imagine a pandemic that infects 30% of your neighbors and kills 60% of those it infects. That means 18% of the population would die from the flu. Nobody can predict how many more would die from the collapse of society—from riots, perhaps, from other diseases (with hospitals unable to function and medicines unattainable), or from shortages of food, energy, or potable water.Here are some tips for warning people about this low-probability, high-magnitude pandemic worst case:Don’t claim or imply that the worst case is likely. This is the risk-communication mistake that President George W. Bush made in the run-up to his invasion of Iraq. He told the public he was virtually certain that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Bush should have said that he couldn’t confirm this, but he considered even a low-probability “Saddam with nukes” scenario an unacceptable risk. I believe many environmentalists are making exactly the same mistake right now in giving the impression that global warming worst-case scenarios are almost a sure bet.Don’t understate how awful the worst case could be. Use dramatic imagery. Tell stories, even though they’ll have to be hypothetical ones. Paint a picture that makes the worst-case scenario real. For two stunning examples, see “The Flu Pandemic: Were We Ready?” Nature reporter Declan Butler’s fictional blog of freelance writer Sally O’Reilly, caught in a pandemic in Washington, DC, and “H5N1: My Town—a Projected Epidemic,” a novella by Susan Smith, aka CanadaSue.Don’t rely too much on numbers to convey your worst case. For senior management it might be about the numbers, but certainly not for employees or most other stakeholders. Most people are sufficiently innumerate that their response to a number depends almost entirely on how it’s framed. A pandemic that “could kill as many as 2 to 7 million people worldwide” sounds really serious; one that “probably would kill only 2 to 7 million people worldwide” sounds much milder. Get the numbers right—2 to 7 million is a mild pandemic, not a worst case—but don’t expect the numbers to tell your story.Put your worst-case scenario in context. The mistake of overstating the worst case is less common than understating it, but it’s still a mistake. There is no such thing as a literal worst-case scenario. However horrific your scenario, I can always make it worse: “Not only that, but at the same moment the Martians invade!” Anything too far out will sound like a reductio ad absurdum and cost you credibility. For more context, remind people to consider mild scenarios, too. Higher-probability, lower-magnitude pandemics also deserve preparations. And you might want to point out that in a pandemic with a 2.5% case-fatality rate, the vast majority (97.5%) of people who get the flu will recover.Remind business audiences that there’s nothing new about hedging. A few months ago I was talking with the business continuity manager of a financial services company. She told me her management was skeptical about the need to prepare for anything as unlikely as a severe pandemic. I reminded her that spending money to make unlikely cataclysms less likely or less cataclysmic is standard business procedure. It’s the essence of all hedging strategies. It’s why investors diversify. It’s why farmers and mining companies support the futures markets. It’s why we all buy insurance, and why insurance companies buy reinsurance.An internationally renowned expert in risk communication and crisis communication, Peter Sandman speaks and consults widely on communication aspects of pandemic preparedness. Dr. Sandman, Deputy Editor, contributes an original column to CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing every other week. Most of his risk communication writing is available without charge at the Peter Sandman Risk Communication Web Site, which includes an index of pandemic-related writing on the site.last_img read more

Turning up the Heath

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Indonesia orders destruction of imported enoki mushrooms over listeriosis fears

first_imgThe Indonesian government has ordered importers to destroy enoki mushrooms obtained from South Korea as they may contain bacteria harmful to humans.The Agriculture Ministry’s Food Security Agency (BKP) head Agung Hendriadi said the government had not recorded any human infections from the imported mushrooms.”The steps taken by the Agriculture Ministry are precautionary,” Agung said in a statement published on Thursday. “We urge the public to be careful and thorough in buying food, especially fresh food from plants. Select foods that have been registered [on the government’s fresh produce (PSAT) list].” The BKP, through Central Food Safety Competency Authority (OKKPP) officials, extracted samples from enoki mushrooms between April 21 and May 26. Importers were told to stop distribution pending test results. The agency found that several enoki samples contained the bacteria.The BKP then told PT Green Box Fresh Vegetables, which imported enoki from South Korean mushroom exporter Green Co Ltd., to cease all distribution and destroy the remaining enoki. “Representatives from the company and the agency destroyed 1,633 cartons of enoki weighing more than 8.1 tons in Bekasi, West Java, between May 22 and June 19,” Agung said.Following the investigation, The BKP instructed regional branches of the OKKPP and the Agriculture Quarantine Agency to increase their supervision of the distribution of enoki mushrooms imported from South Korea.The agency has also instructed affected businesses to return enoki mushrooms imported by Green Co Ltd. and sanitize and test other foods, particularly those kept in storage with the mushrooms.Homegrown online grocery marketplace SayurBox suspended the sale of enoki mushrooms following a notification from the Agriculture Ministry urging the public not to consume them.”If you want to keep eating [enoki], don’t forget to cook them first and consult a doctor if you experience unusual symptoms,” the company wrote on its Instagram account, @sayurbox, on Thursday. The BKP said the International Food Safety Authority Network (Infosan), a food security network under the United Nations and the World Health Organization, notified Indonesia on April 15 that citizens of the United States, Canada and Australia had contracted listeriosis after consuming enoki mushrooms imported from South Korea.The mushrooms were found to contain Listeria monocytogenes, the bacterium that causes listeriosis. The infection can cause severe disease and death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, toddlers, pregnant women and the elderly, in addition to increasing the risk of miscarriage. The bacteria are resistant to cold temperatures and may be able to infect other foods stored in the same container. Read also: Eating mushrooms may slow mental decline: Studycenter_img Topics :last_img read more

IPE Views: The looming European Market Infrastructure Regulation

first_imgMuch about EMIR is still uncertain, even at this late stage of the game, warns CordiumLate last month, we learned that February 2014, after all, will be the likely start date for Europe’s new reporting regime for exchange-traded derivatives (ETDs). The industry had been expecting the regulator to stay its hand, following ESMA’s proposal of a one-year extension to resolve a number of practical issues. Now, much to its horror, the industry has just a few short months to prepare for implementation of the onerous new reporting rules, which form a part of the EU’s incoming European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).To recap, the regulation is designed to reduce instability within Europe’s derivatives market (perceived to have been a contributory factor to the 2008 banking crisis) by bringing over-the-counter derivatives trades into the light and under regulatory purview. It aims to replace a tangled web of derivatives exposures with a system in which each market participant is exposed only to the credit risk of a central counterparty (CCP). Where central clearing of OTC contracts is not possible, strengthened risk requirements will seek to manage operational and counterparty credit risk.It is understandable firms are concerned about the timeline for implementation, as the new requirements imply a profound shift in how they go about meeting their regulatory obligations. In particular, reporting and risk management under EMIR will force them to place greater reliance on their back offices to collect an expanding array of data. This, together with the increasingly technical nature of regulatory compliance, means compliance personnel may have to develop a better understanding of back-office operations. When preparing for EMIR, compliance and operations may have to work alongside one another much more closely than they have done in the past. Much is still uncertain, even at this late stage. When it comes to ETDs, there are question marks over which parties to a trade should bear the reporting burden. And with reporting in general, there are issues yet to be resolved around information sharing and confidentiality.Aside from uncertainty over the rules, there is also a cultural challenge to be negotiated, in that there has traditionally been a ‘language barrier’ of sorts between compliance and operations. This must be overcome if the two are to work together in a far more integrated, day-to-day fashion.All in all, it is unclear whether the industry will be ready to comply with the new reporting rules come the New Year, deadline or no. EMIR isn’t just causing a convergence of compliance and operations – legal will be thrown into the mix as well. Segregation and reporting procedures under central clearing will necessitate contractual agreements between counterparties, brokers and clearing houses. It could take months to get these agreements signed and in place, but without a single CCP authorised as yet, it will be difficult for firms to get this process started.All of this would be challenging enough in isolation, but EMIR is just one part of a deluge of reform facing the industry. With so many new regulations bearing down on the market in tandem, firms will face real difficulties in prioritising objectives and finding sufficient resources to meet all of their deadlines. The fact Europe has yet to provide clarity – for example, on how to comply in practice with the reporting of ETDs – doesn’t make things easier.This convergence of operations and compliance is not just about EMIR. It is part of a wider regulatory trend that can be observed across all of these reforms. Regulation – whether the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive or EMIR – is headed in the direction of greater transparency and oversight. Keeping tabs on financial markets means reporting, and reporting means data. Compliance personnel and regulators alike will therefore need greater operational knowledge if they are to make sense of their data reporting requirements, blurring the conventional lines between the two functions.This trend will not have an equal impact on all firms. It is difficult to predict, but larger businesses (such as banks) with more formalised internal structures and sophisticated IT systems may be best placed to adapt to these new requirements. The challenge could be far more acute for smaller firms within the alternative space. And whereas investment banks will potentially see an upside to all this in the form of new profit opportunities, it is unlikely the same could be said of smaller asset managers and other affected market participants. As some key deadlines are fast approaching, it is important for all affected firms, large or small, to get on with their preparations.Jonathan Mott is a managing consultant and Tom Lucey a monitoring consultant at Cordiumlast_img read more