Tag Archives: Britain

Ebola virus vaccine to be tested in UK #Ebola #EbolaVaccineTrials #GlaxoSmithKline


CHRIS HIGGINS.Scientist takes blood out test tube in laboratory test of Ebola Zaire virus. luchschen / ShutterstockScientist takes blood out test tube in laboratory test of Ebola Zaire virus. luchschen / Shutterstock

Human trials of an Ebola vaccine are set to begin in Britain within a few weeks, with the number of potential cases projected to reach 20,000 during this outbreak.

The drug, currently awaiting ethical approval, is to be developed by GlaxoSmithKline and tested here and in the US on volunteers before being offered to high risk communities in West Africa. Alongside the newly projected impact of the contagious disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed the current death toll stands at 1,552 with more than 3,000 confirmed cases across Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

The vaccine tests are to be carried out here on 60 volunteers in an unaffected population — to rule out interactions with the virus — before being administered to 80 more volunteers in The Gambia and Mali. During the testing phase, GSK will also begin manufacturing 10,000 vials of the vaccine ready to distribute in affected areas from mid-September should the tests prove successful.

This experimental vaccine — developed by immunologists at the University of Oxford — is based on a strain of Chimpanzee cold virus, containing no active Ebola virus material, so the risk of an accidentally apocalyptic outbreak is relatively low. The drug is manufactured by splicing two Ebola Zaire genes responsible for producing surface proteins into the cold virus to prompt an immune response against the currently circulating Ebola outbreak. The surface proteins on their own are inert, simply a fingerprint to recognise the virus, meaning the body will retain defensive knowledge against the real deal if it ever tries to invade.

As such, vaccines are a form of pre-emptive innoculation for the uninfected, however with careful implementation, they can help slow down, curb or even halt the spread of an ongoing epidemic. That said, this is not a cure, and there is no known one for Ebola Zaire. This advancement won’t impact patients such as 29-year-old Will Pooley, the British volunteer nurse recovering in the Royal Free Hospital in North London after contracting Ebola while working in Sierra Leone.


Wired UK.

Kyiv Post: Britain, US must now act on nuclear weapons assurances given to Ukraine #BudapestMemorandum


Andy Hunder.Budapest Memorandum

Two decades ago, Ukraine was the world’s third largest nuclear superpower. The East European nation inherited a nuclear arsenal bigger than that of the United Kingdom, China and France combined, when it declared its independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991. 

The country of then 52 million people, which today is being invaded by Russian forces, gained physical control of approximately 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads and 2,500 tactical nuclear weapons, including an arsenal of SS-19 and SS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and dozens of Tupolev strategic bombers with air-launched cruise missiles.


Read the story here.

#Russia Pines for the 19th Century


Sergei Porter / Vedomosti

Speaking at the opening of a World War I memorial in Moscow earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin noted that victory in that war had been stolen from Russia.

Indeed, after the war, Russia stood to get Galicia and parts of eastern Prussia, effectively restoring rule over Poland. Moreover, France and Britain had agreed that Russia should fulfill its age-old imperial ambition by taking over the Bosporus, along with swaths of land on both banks, and gain the biggest prize of all, Tsargrad (Istanbul).

All that evaporated, however, when Lenin declared “peace without annexations” and took Russia out of the war. In his speech, Putin decried the missed territorial gains as a “betrayal of their own national interests” by the Bolsheviks.

But actually, the Bolsheviks did far more damage to Russia’s national interests by taking it out of the modern capitalist system, in which on the eve of World War I Russia had been poised to make significant gains.

In fact, all the preconditions were in place for Russia to overtake the United States and Germany as the world’s largest economy and most prosperous country. By far the largest country in the world, it had just began settling and exploring Siberia with the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Russia was the breadbasket of Europe, and its grain exporters helped develop early hedging instruments on the London financial markets. It had vast natural resources feeding its growing industry in the west of the country and in the Urals. Two of the first 10 recipients of the Nobel Prize for medicine were Russians; no Russian has won it since. Russia’s educational system, put in place under Nicholas I, was excellent, albeit narrowly based. Still, literacy was spreading: It went from 28 percent in 1897 to 40 percent in 1913, with the urban population already mostly literate.

But in the name of progress, the Bolsheviks not only killed off or expelled the best and the brightest from the country, but threw Russia into some kind of a warped version of the past.

They replaced money, the driving force of capitalism, with loyalty to communist ideals, individual initiative with collectivism, competition with rigid planning, information with lies and openness with the Iron Curtain. Elections were faked and general secretaries ruled for life, much like the monarchs of old. As though to underscore the neo-feudal nature of communism, the Soviet Union was stuck with a vast land empire even as other empires crumbled.

By the end of the last century, instead of being the world’s richest nation, as it had looked set to become in 1913, Russia was one of the poorest and least developed in Europe. Finally, communism failed and the Soviet Union collapsed. Russia no doubt would have lost all the territories it could have won in World War I.

In the 1990s, Russia got a chance to rejoin the capitalist system. Instead, sky-high oil prices allowed it to coast without developing modern economic and political institutions. It never really left communism behind and now it is veering back to the past once more. It is pining away for the empire, seizing territory and even, in the words of Duma vice speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky, itching to declare Vladimir Putin a kind of emperor.

And so, despite Putin’s praise for pre-Soviet Russia, the country looks set once again to embark on a road to nowhere.

(Alexei Bayer, a native Muscovite, lives in New York. His detective novel “Murder at the Dacha” was published by Russian Life Books in 2013).


The Moscow Times.

Brighton Pride 2014: Freedom To Live #FreedomToLive


Brighton LGBT Pride

Get your glad rags on, the day we’ve all been waiting for all year has finally arrive, its Brighton (& Hove) Pride, a celebration of love and life.

Brighton Rainbow Rooms

The Rainbow Rooms at New Steine Gardens will be an oasis of calm in a sea of celebrations over the Brighton Pride and Village Party weekend.

Situated in the heart of the Gay Village, The Rainbow Rooms will give local residents and Pride guests a chance to eat, enjoy Fine wines and champagne or a pint of Harvey’s real Ale, and relax in a unique space dedicated to the chill at Pride that respects the ambience of the gardens and AID’s memorial.

Take a ride on the vintage ferris wheel or enjoy a soundtrack of chilled out grooves, and special performances, The Rainbow Rooms will be a must-visit location to grab a little downtime with Pride.

Village Party Pledgbands will be required during Village party hours.

Sunday evening from 9pm the community will celebrates Pride with friends and love ones thats are here in spirit.
Please see details here of the Celebration of Love and life with Pride,

The Rainbow Rooms
New Steine Gardens
Friday 1st August -Sunday 3rd August
12noon-midnight.

Profits from the Rainbow rooms will go towards Pride’s community fundraising effort for the Rainbow Fund, a Brighton and Hove based grant-giving fund for local LGBT and HIV/AIDS organisations.

New Steine Flags Sponsored by the generous hoteliers of the New Steine; Ambassador, Strawberry, Lime House, Urban House, Gullivers & New Steine, Marine View, Cosmopolitan, Sea Spray, Alston House, Five, Square and Hamptons.

The Rainbow Rooms is a much welcome addition to Brighton Pride 2014, perfectly Proud and waiting to greet you.


PRIDE MAIN STAGE LINEUP.

One of the UK’s favourite Pride celebration, Brighton Pride are thrilled to announce this years Preston Park Festival line-ups. Sparkling, spectacular and seaside saucy, you’ll find everything you need to keep you proud on Brighton Pride day.

From the sunshine stars lined up to thrill the Pride Main Stage including Calabro, Martha Wash, Blue, Katy B and a must-see disco finale from Sam Bailey, the incredible array of world class DJs on the decks of the Wild Fruit, Girls Dance Tent, Men’s Zone and Calabash to Legend’s infamous Cabaret Tent via the Alternative Drag tent and the debut of the Q Live Music Stage with headliners Republica, Brighton Pride 2014 has your pride festivities covered.

For one day the world will be a disco, Brighton Pride style.

Main Stage Line-up
12:45 Paul Diello
13:15 Allan Jay
13:45 Ariana and The Rose
14:15 De’Vide
14:45 Osaro
15:05 Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus
15:30 Lascel Wood
16:10 Heather Peace
16:40 Collabro
17:10 Neon Jungle
17:40 Peter Tatchell
18:00 Martha Wash
18:30 Kimberley Wyatt
19:00 Blue
19:35 Frankmusik
20:10 Katy B
20:55 Sam Bailey
21:30 Pride Finale show

Pride Brighton & Hove 2014: Freedom To Live
Pride Festival Preston Park 12noon – 10pm.
Early Bird / Advance Tickets: Sold out.
£20 / £25 on the day.

Pride tickets page.


GAYDAR ‘Q’ STAGE AMAZING LINE-UP

The Q Live Music Stage has to be one of the most anticipated additions to this year’s Brighton Pride Festival in Preston Park. Bringing the very best in live rock, indie, folk electronic and rap to the UK’s favourite Pride celebration, The Q Live Music Stage line-up is a stunning selection of diversity, talent and success and promises to bring something bold, brash and beautiful to Brighton Pride 2014.

Headlining the Q proceedings will be the indie legends that are Republica and their irrepressible front woman Saffron Sprackling whilst the roof raising A-Flop of Lucy Spraggan and her band return for yet another unforgettable performance.

If you want your entertainment strictly gothic and industrial then Massive Ego and Death Koolaid will be un-missable as will the homo-hop of the superb Q Boy and London’s spoken word and hip-hop aficionados LC Collective. The spellbinding Bruce Lok and memorising CN Lester will enchant whilst Kit Rice‘s blend of funk, pop and hip hop will ensure the dance is had.

The energetic Brit-pop passion of Departure From Normal and Battle Of You will bring plenty of sunshine beats to proceedings and Echo and the Beats promise a set of punky ska-core fuelled with mod vibes. Brighton Music Award winners Kenelis will be performing an lively set of alt-rock with elements of punk, grunge and hardcore and Brighton Pride favourites Joan Ov Arc return ready to rock the Q Live Stage with their classic rock anthems.

Kenelis front women and Q Stage Coordinator Mel Sanson said “We wanted to bring more live music into the park and music of different genres that don’t always get the opportunity to play at Pride festivals. Supporting new music and local bands is really important to me and we hope they all enjoy the day rocking the stage!”

The Brighton Pride Q Live Stage. It’s going to be one hell of a debut and one we can’t wait to hear. See you at the front.

Gaydar Q Live Stage 2014 in association with Student Pride
12:55 Ben Williams (host)
12:55 Echo & The Beats (Ska-Core)
13:30 Departure from Normal (Brit Pop)
14:05 Adam All (Host)
14:05 Bruce Lok (Alternative)
14:40 CN Lester (Lo-Fit Alt)
15:05 LC Collective (Hip Hop)
15:40 Kit Rice (Funk Pop)
16:15 CN Lester (Host)
16:15 Death Koolaid (Punk)
16:50 Battle Of You (Alt-Pop)
17:25 MC Angel (Host)
17:25 Joan Ov Arc (Classic Rock)
17:55 Q Boy (Rap)
18:30 Kathy Caton (Host)
18:30 Lucy Spraggan (A-Flop)
19:15 Massive Ego (Industrial Gothic)
20.00 Kenelis (Alt-Rock)
20:45 Mel Sanson (Host)
20:45 Republica (Brit Pop Legends)

Pride Brighton & Hove 2014: Freedom To Live
Pride Festival Preston Park 12noon – 10pm.
Early Bird / Advance Tickets: Sold out.
£20 / £25 on the day.

Pride tickets page.


IPHONE & ANDROID APP OUT NOW AND FREE!

The fabulous new Brighton Pride iPhone app is out now… and it’s FREE!

With all the details of the parade route, the park map, the line ups and timings for every stage and so much more, it is your handy guide to everything happening over the Pride weekend.

Download the iPhone App from iTunes here

Download the Android App here

Powered by Organic Apps.


MESSAGE OF SUPPORT FROM PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON

Prime Minister David Cameron

I am, once again, delighted to offer my support to Pride Brighton & Hove. It is a fantastic celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and its contribution to the diversity and vibrancy of Brighton and Hove.

I am proud of this country’s record of advancing LGBT equality and rights. It was a truly momentous occasion seeing the first same-sex couples getting married on 29 March, including those marriages that took place in Brighton that weekend.

The Pride festival is an excellent opportunity to bring people from different communities together to enjoy not only a colourful and entertaining day out but a whole programme of cultural, social and sporting events. These events are a great way to enhance community dialogue and to remind ourselves of the progress towards equality made in this country. The LGBT Pride events that take place across the UK each year help to show why the UK continues to be recognised as number one in Europe on LGBT equality and rights.

I would like to send my congratulations to the organisers and volunteers for their efforts in co-ordinating Pride Brighton & Hove 2014 and wish everyone attending the very best for a happy and successful event.


MESSAGE OF SUPPORT FROM RT HON ED MILIBAND MP

Labour Leader, Ed Miliband MP


Lots more information can be found here

Have a fabulous Brighton Pride 2014 and stay safe.

#MH17: Stronger western sanctions on Russia likely within 48 hours


 and 
Memorial outside Schiphol airport to the 289 dead of flight MH17, apparently shot down by fighters endorsed by Vladimir Putin's regime. Photograph: Sipa USA/REXMemorial outside Schiphol airport to the 289 dead of flight MH17, apparently shot down by fighters endorsed by Vladimir Putin’s regime. Photograph: Sipa USA/REX

Russia is expected to be hit with further sanctions on Tuesday after the US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy called for tougher action against the regime they believe is still shipping weapons into Ukraine despite the MH17 airliner disaster.

The western nations called on the European Union to impose new restrictions on trade with Russia’s defence, banking and hi-tech energy sectors, adding to existing asset freezes and travel bans on a list of people linked to the Kremlin.

New penalties are likely to be agreed at a meeting of ambassadors from all the EU’s 28 member states and could come into force within 24 to 48 hours. The US has already imposed similar trade sanctions and will now strengthen them, amid concerns among western nations that Moscow could still launch a full-scale cross-border intervention in Ukraine.

The joint call for Brussels to stand up to Vladimir Putin was agreed during a video conference between Barack Obama, David Cameron, President François Hollande of France, Italy’s prime minster, Matteo Renzi, and Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel.

In a further warning to Russia, some Nato countries are sending troops to Poland in October to take part in a military display called Exercise Black Eagle. Britain is contributing more than 1,300 soldiers to the exercise, which Michael Fallon, the new defence secretary, said was a sign of support for the country’s allies in eastern Europe.

On Tuesday, Cameron will also meet families of some of the British victims of the disaster to express his condolences at a time when rebels are still blocking international experts from reaching the crash site.

There has been a significant toughening in the rhetoric against Russia in recent days over its suspected role in arming pro-Putin separatists in eastern Ukraine. Putin’s government denies any responsibility for the shooting down of Malaysian airliner MH17, killing 295 people. However, the UK, US and Ukraine have all said they suspect it was downed accidentally by rebels using a Soviet-era Buk missile.

Following the leaders’ video call, No 10 said the discussion had focused on “Russia’s ongoing efforts to destabilise Ukraine” and agreed that the immediate priority must be to secure unrestricted access to the MH17 crash site.

Downing Street said it agreed that Russia had “failed to take the steps necessary to de-escalate the crisis, such as ceasing support for the separatists; stopping the flow of weapons across the border; and using its influence to ensure the release of hostages.

“Indeed the latest information from the region suggests that even since MH17 was shot down, Russia continues to transfer weapons across the border and to provide practical support to the separatists.”

Tony Blinken, a national security adviser to Obama, also said European leaders had made clear their determination to act. He added: “We expect the European Union to take significant additional steps this week, including in key sectors of the Russian economy. In turn, and in full coordination with Europe, the United States will implement additional measures itself.”

The US indicated that the EU was also looking at broadening its criteria for sanctioning individuals in order, Blinken said, to “bring in some of the cronies of President Putin”. Blinken argued that the existing sanctions regime had already produced major strategic gains in Ukraine, leading to a new government and the signing of the EU association agreement.

However, he said US intelligence assessments indicated that Moscow continued to transfer heavy weaponry and fighters across the border and to aid pro-Russian separatists, and had stationed Russian troops near the border. He described Putin’s strategy as one of “doubling down” on support for separatist fighters.

Before the meeting, Russia said it would not retaliate with sanctions of its own or “fall into hysterics”. Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, said the penalties could even make the country “more independent and more confident in our own strength”.

“I assure you, we will overcome any difficulties that may arise in certain areas of the economy,” he said. “We can’t ignore it. But to fall into hysterics and respond to a blow with a blow is not worthy of a major country.”

He also denied Russian involvement in the Ukraine conflict and called for “honest, open participation of all those who have access to information about the crash”.

“Anything else we will consider as deceitful attempts to influence the investigation, putting presumption of innocence in doubt,” he said.

“I don’t want to throw accusations in advance, but I expect that no one will try to cover up evidence.”

The Guardian.