March Break Zika warning

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A new study finds that some Canadian travellers are being hit hard with the Zika virus.The Canadian Medical Association Journal conducted Zika research with over 1,000 affected Canadians, a few of whom experienced a serious and less common medical condition.It is well known that Zika virus is predominantly dangerous for pregnant women, or couples who want to conceive in the near future but a new study shows that of 1,118 Canadian travellers, 41 were diagnosed with Zika and 2 of those people experienced much more than just the run of the mill symptoms.About 5% developed a severe complication of Zika virus, that’s been described previously, known as Guillain-barre syndrome. Guillain-barre syndrome is a neurological complication where the body’s immune system attacks the nerve cells.In some extreme cases it could also cause temporary paralysis. This study comes just before March Break, a time when many Canadians are getting ready to jet off to a sunny destination. Trip Central’s, Diane Beltrano, says the countries with Zika virus are some of the most popular March Break getaways.According to Beltrano, “The Zika virus at this point is pretty much spread through out the Caribbean, Mexico, Central, South America.. which is predominantly where we are booking vacation travel.”If you are planning a vacation to a Zika affected country, and there’s a possibility that you could become pregnant before then, Beltrano says you should invest in travel insurance. “And specifically insurance that covers cancellation for any reason. If its just straight trip cancellation and its for unexpected, this would not be a covered risk.”Beltrano says because Zika is now a well known virus, insurance companies no longer consider it a justifiable unexpected reason to cancel a trip. If you are heading to a Zika effected country this March Break, take mosquito repellent and protect yourself from exposure.

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first_imgFRANKFURT – German luxury automaker BMW said Tuesday that its profits and sales will fall short of its forecasts this year, saying that fear of international trade conflicts has weighed on pricing and citing the impact of new emissions tests on European markets.The profit warning — the second from a major German automaker this year — underlines the difficulties facing the industry in maintaining its record of steadily growing sales and profits.The Munich-based company said that sales revenue in its automotive division would fall slightly compared with last year’s instead of increase, while earnings before tax would be moderately below last year’s 10.66 billion euros ($12.55 billion) instead of roughly in line.A key earnings metric — the operating profit margin — would fall short. BMW predicts a 7 per cent profit margin, below its target range of 8-10 per cent. The figure represents how much the company is making per vehicle, an area that has been a strong point for makers of higher-priced cars.“The continuing international trade conflicts are aggravating the market situation and feeding uncertainty,” the company said in a statement. “These circumstances are distorting demand more than anticipated and leading to pricing pressure in several automotive markets.”The company also said that new, tougher diesel emissions tests in Europe, called WLTP for Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure, have led to market and sales distortions, even though BMW has managed to implement the new standard ahead of time. Auto registrations soared in Europe in August as companies unloaded noncompliant vehicles before the new standard came into force on Sept. 1 and made them unsellable, often in the form of fleet or rental sales.The company also cited costs for warranty actions. In August, it announced a recall of 324,000 due to a defect that could cause vehicle fires.BMW is facing some of the same headwinds that led competitor Daimler to issue a profit warning in June. Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein said that the price pressure from competitors Audi and Daimler’s Mercedes selling off vehicles ahead of the emissions deadline should be temporary. “The fact that some German companies have screwed up WLTP testing and are now offering discounts on pre-registered cars is not a sign of the consumer rolling over,” they wrote in an email. If the testing issue passes “and 2019 demand remains intact, earnings should stabilize.”Shares in BMW dropped about 5 per cent after the announcement.last_img

Names released of 3 charged with animal cruelty at dairy

FAIR OAKS, Ind. — Authorities have released the names of three former employees of a large northwestern Indiana dairy farm who were charged with animal cruelty following the release of undercover video showing workers kicking and throwing calves.The Newton County Sheriff’s Office says officers are searching for the suspects in the alleged animal abuse at Fair Oaks Farms.Video released last week by the animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission shows calves being thrown and kicked in the head at the popular agritourism destination.Police identified the men Tuesday as 31-year-old Santiago Ruvalcaba Contreros, 36-year-old Edgar Gardozo Vazquez and 38-year-old Miguel Angel Navarro Serrano.Prosecutors charged them Monday with misdemeanour beating of a vertebrate animal. Arrest warrants were issued for them. It’s unclear if they have attorneys who could speak on their behalf.The Associated Press

UN Envoy to visit Myanmar next week to aid confidencebuilding talks

“The Secretary-General hopes that Mr. Razali’s mission will provide the process with a fresh momentum to assist the two sides to develop their confidence-building talks into a more substantive dialogue in the near future,” the spokesperson said in a statement.During Mr. Razali’s trip, from 19 to 22 March, he is slated to meet with Government leaders, including Senior General Than Shwe, Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).The Special Envoy is also expected to hold talks with senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), including its General Secretary, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.This will be Mr. Razali’s seventh mission since he was appointed the Special Envoy in April 2000.

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