The Battlefield games have been on much more solid footing with fellow Swedish developer EA DICE, as the studio has delivered the World War I-based Battlefield 1 and World War II-based Battlefield V, alongside 10 expansions for the two games put together. DICE is already deep into development on the next as-yet untitled Battlefield game, the EA CEO noted.“DICE is creating our next Battlefield game with never-before-seen scale,” Wilson said. “The technical advancements of the new consoles are allowing the team to deliver a true next-gen vision for the franchise. We have hands-on play testing underway internally, and the team has been getting very positive feedback on the game as we’ve begun to engage our community. The next Battlefield is set to launch in holiday 2021, we’re excited to share a lot more about the game in the spring.”New Need for Speed and Battlefield titles will release in late 2021.- Advertisement – Criterion Games’ return to Need for Speed after eight years is promising, for the British developer best known for Burnout was responsible for the racing game series’ resurgence in 2010 with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (re-released last week as a remaster for PS4 and Xbox One). Criterion was also on hand for 2012’s Need for Speed: Most Wanted but it had since taken a backseat with Sweden’s Ghost Games — now back to being called EA Gothenburg and an engineering support studio — developing four lacklustre titles between 2013 and 2019.A still from Battlefield VPhoto Credit: EA- Advertisement – – Advertisement – A new Need for Speed and Battlefield game will arrive next year, Electronic Arts CEO and director Andrew Wilson has revealed. During EA’s quarterly earnings call last week, Wilson said that the gaming giant will release “at least six new games” on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X in the next financial year: April 2021 – March 2022. This includes new titles in the Need for Speed, Battlefield, and FIFA. While the Battlefield game has a “Holiday 2021” release window, Need for Speed has a broader “FY ’22” one, though expect it to be around November 2021 given all past titles have done so going back to 2011.“We plan to launch at least 6 new games on the next-gen consoles in FY ’22,” Wilson said during Electronic Arts’ Q2 2021 earnings call on Thursday. “These will include a new Need for Speed game that is bringing some astounding visual leaps developed by the Criterion team who have launched some of the most highly rated games in franchise history.”- Advertisement –
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Though a single case can’t be the basis for connecting a novel PrPSc type to BSE, “it will be important to see whether other similar cases occur in the United Kingdom and other BSE-exposed countries,” the researchers wrote. The researchers, who reported their findings in the December 2007 issue of Archives of Neurology, found that the 39-year-old woman carried the VV (valine-homozygous) version of the prion protein gene (PRNP), a type previously thought to confer protection against vCJD. The authors wrote that it wasn’t clear if the PrPSc typing points to a BSE cause of the patient’s illness or if the finding represents another form of sporadic CJD. In early 1999 the patient described started having visual symptoms, followed by a host of other neurological problems, such as memory and gait impairments, according to the report. Polymerase chain reaction testing revealed that the patient had the VV variant of the PRNP gene. The patient died 14 months later. Jun 12, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Study implies broader risk for vCJD in UK” Will Hueston, DVM, PhD, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Animal Health and Food Safety in St. Paul, told CIDRAP News that it’s too soon to say whether the DNA findings from the woman are associated with BSE. “I think that neurologists are probably attempting to be more cautious,” he said. “This is most likely not BSE, but they [the researchers] want to be very clear that similar cases should be thoroughly evaluated.” UK National CJD Surveillance Unit surveillance statistics Simon Mead, the study’s lead author, said the findings shouldn’t cause alarm, according to a Jan 5 New Scientist report. “The final conclusion remains open. It is waving the flag for neurologists to watch for other cases,” said Mead, who is at the Medical Research Council Prion Unit at University College London. Mead S, Joiner S, Desbruslais S, et al. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, prion protein gene codon 129VV, and a novel PrPSc type in a young British woman. Arch Neurol 2007 Dec;64(12):1780-74 [Abstract] See also: Past research has linked vCJD to eating meat products contaminated with brain and spinal cord material from cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. Normal prion proteins in the brain are corrupted after contact with the BSE agent, eventually causing death in both cattle and humans. BSE, vCJD, and sporadic CJD—a rare disease of unknown cause that closely resembles vCJD—are all prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The results of the study could also signify another variant of CJD, which is already known to occur in various forms, “but they don’t know what box to put it in,” said Hueston, adding that classifying prion disease types is often difficult. The authors of the 2006 study suggested their findings might mean that people who are infected with vCJD and have a VV type may have a prolonged incubation period, during which the disease could spread either via blood donations or from contaminated surgical instruments used on the individuals during the asymptomatic phase of the illness. In 2006, another group of British researchers analyzed DNA from three surgical samples that had previously tested positive in immunohistochemical studies of vCJD prevalence in the UK (though the patients had no clinical signs of the disease). Genotype analysis of the patients’ PRNP at codon 129 found that two of the samples were of the VV type, providing the first evidence that patients from this subgroup could be infected. (DNA could not be extracted from the third sample.) Previously, people who carried at least one copy of the V variant of PRNP were thought to have no risk of contracting vCJD. Studies in transgenic mice are under way to explore transmission characteristics related to the woman’s case, according to the report. Cases of vCJD began surfacing in the United Kingdom in 1996, in the wake of a BSE epidemic in cattle. According to the most recent update from the National CJD Surveillance Unit (NCJDSU) based at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland, the number of patients in the UK who have died of confirmed or probable vCJD stands at 163. Until the case described, all vCJD patients who had been tested had the MM (methionine-homozygous) version of PRNP. Jan 9, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A British woman who died of a brain disease suggestive of variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (vCJD) had a genetic marker not seen in any previous vCJD patients, raising the possibility that her illness represented a new form of the disease that could signal a new wave of infections, according to a recent research report. Mead told New Scientist that patterns of prion disease seem to vary among people depending on the prion gene variant they have, and incubation period could be one aspect in which the variants differ. Experts have said CJD is known to have a long incubation period, perhaps as long as 50 years. Brain autopsy findings included severe gray- and white-matter degeneration and extensive prion protein deposits in the cortex and white matter, which the authors wrote is atypical for sporadic CJD. Molecular analysis of the pathologic prion protein (PrPSc) from the woman’s cerebellar tissue showed a novel type of PrPSc that was similar in some, but not all, respects to type 4, which is seen in vCJD.
Apr 17, 2008 (CIDRAP News) –Agriculture officials in South Korea said today they had received new reports of suspicious bird deaths at seven different sites, as the number of confirmed H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks grew by three, to 15.The suspected outbreaks are in North and South Jeolla provinces in the southwestern part of South Korea, not far from the sites of other recent outbreaks, according to a report from Reuters today.Yesterday South Korea raised its bird flu alert to its second highest level, as 200 military personnel were dispatched to cull birds in Pyeongtaek, in Gyeonggi province, about 37 miles south of Seoul, Reuters reported.A report that South Korean officials submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on Apr 15 detailed 11 outbreaks, two of which had been previously reported. The new outbreak reports ranged from Apr 6 to Apr 12. Two of the latest outbreaks occurred at duck farms, five at laying-chicken farms, one at a parent-stock chicken farm, and one at a restaurant with backyard poultry.All chickens and ducks in a 3-km radius around the infected sites were slaughtered, and all ducks in a 3-to 10-km area around the sites were also stamped, according to the OIE report. The summary said 326,000 birds have been destroyed; however, media reports have placed the number of culled birds at closer to 3 million, according to Reuters.South Korea has been battling the quickly spreading outbreaks since early April, when the virus hit chickens at a commercial farm in Gimje, a town in the southwestern part of the country.The H5N1 outbreak was the country’s first in just over a year.No human H5N1 infections have been reported with the latest round of bird outbreaks, and the country has never recorded any H5N1 cases or deaths.See also:OIE reports on South Korea’s 2008 H5N1 outbreaks
The processing of downer cattle into food became a hot issue in January, when undercover videotaping by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) showed workers at a California slaughterhouse using forklifts, electric prods, and water sprays to try to move disabled dairy cows. The revelations led to the recall of 143 million pounds of beef by Hallmark/Westland meat Co. of Chino, Calif., the largest beef recall in US history. The rule would close a loophole that currently allows some nonambulatory cattle to be processed into food. The USDA banned the food use of “downer” cattle in January 2004, after the first US case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, was found. But the agency made an exception for cattle that became disabled after their preslaughter inspection by a USDA veterinarian, if a second inspection showed that the problem was something that didn’t affect food safety, such as a broken leg. Repeating his statement in the May announcement, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said, “To maintain consumer confidence in the food supply, eliminate further misunderstanding of the rule and, ultimately, to make a positive impact on the humane handling of cattle, I believe it is sound policy to simplify this matter by initiating a complete ban on the slaughter of downer cattle.” See also: The USDA said fewer than 1,000 cattle that became disabled after their preslaughter inspection and were reinspected were processed into food in 2007, out of nearly 34 million cattle slaughtered. Aug 27, 2008 (CIDRAP News) Following up on a May announcement, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today published a proposed rule to ban any use of disabled cattle for food. The agency is inviting the public to comment on the proposed rule by Sep 29. The proposed rule says that any cattle that become unable to walk at any time before slaughter “will be condemned and properly disposed of,” the USDA said in a news release today. Operators will be required to notify USDA personnel when cattle become disabled after passing their preslaughter inspection. Aug 27 USDA news release with instructions for commenting Advance copy of USDA Federal Register notice of the proposed rulehttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/2008-0022.pdf May 21 CIDRAP News story “USDA to ban all ‘downer’ cattle from food supply”
Apr 24, 2009Vietnamese woman dies of H5N1 infectionVietnam’s health ministry announced today that a 23-year-old woman from the northern part of the country died on Apr 22 from an H5N1 avian influenza infection, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Officials said they haven’t determined the source of her infection. If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms her illness and death, it will bring the country’s official H5N1 toll to 111 cases and 56 deaths.Egypt reports H5N1 death, new caseEgypt’s news agency, quoting the country’s health ministry, reported an H5N1 avian influenza death in a previously reported patient and a new H5N1 infection in 34-year-old woman from a town north of Cairo, according to reports today from Agence France-Presse (AFP). A 33-year-old woman from Kafr el-Sheikh governorate, previously reported as Egypt’s 64th case, died today, the country’s third H5N1 death this week. She was hospitalized on Apr 15, received oseltamivir (Tamiflu) the same day, and had been listed in critical condition. Meanwhile, the ministry said Egypt’s latest case, the 34-year-old woman, was hospitalized on Apr 21 with a high fever and is in stable condition after receiving oseltamivir. She reportedly had close contact with infected poultry before she got sick. If the WHO confirms the death and new case, Egypt’s total will rise to 69 H5N1 cases, 25 of which have been fatal.Global group releases malaria control guidanceThe Malaria Elimination Group, a global body of researchers, policy experts, and country program managers, today announced the release of new guidance on malaria eradication, according to a press release from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF). The guidance consists of two documents, one intended as a roadmap for frontline workers and the other a policy digest for policymakers. The group will unveil the documents tomorrow in Geneva in conjunction with World Malaria Day. In other developments, the WHO reported that the largest-ever evaluation of rapid diagnostic tests for malaria revealed that they vary widely, with some detecting even low parasitic densities in blood samples, while others only able to detect parasites at high densities. The WHO said the findings will help countries make informed choices among the dozens of commercially available diagnostic tests.[Apr 24 UCSF press release][Apr 24 WHO press release]More than 100 suspected meningococcal deaths in ChadIn an update of a meningococcal disease outbreak in Chad, the country’s health ministry said that, as of Apr 5, there have been 922 suspected cases and 105 deaths from the disease since Dec 29, the WHO reported yesterday. Illnesses have exceeded the epidemic threshold in three districts, including a district in the capital, N’Djamena.[Apr 23 WHO statement]
The National Association of Family and Small Hotels, an umbrella association that brings together small hoteliers and represents their specific interests, presented a new modern website with a list of all small family hotels – www.omh.hrSmall and family hotels are annoying a lot in our market and are at a disadvantage. They are mostly hampered by legislation, categorization and minimum conditions, parafiscal and local levies, and unfavorable financial conditions for day-to-day development. “The adventure is more and more dangerous and risky. When we talk about investing in small and family hotels, it is most profitable to invest in apartments for rent, and not small and family hotels.”Pointed out Šime Klarić, president of OMH, and added that the Law on Small and Family Hotels should finally be adopted.12 years ago, OMH made an official document with a list of what hinders their development, which was submitted to the Ministry of Tourism, but to date there have been no changes. The only thing that has changed is VAT in catering. Today, OMH, in its regular and associate membership, has 146 hotels and 66 high-quality boarding houses and agro-households from all over Croatia, representing a financially independent interest group.The National Association of Family and Small Hotels (OMH) was founded in 2004, driven by the need of a growing number of small hoteliers for an association that will represent their specific interests and enable the continuous improvement of the quality of their offer. The mission of the OMH Association is to bring together the best family and small hotels in Croatia, which are characterized by uniqueness, recognizable quality and authenticity, providing guests with a unique experience.Personally, I think that small and family hotels are the future of our development and a solution for extending the season, ie seasonality, because large hotels cannot be opened out of season due to high costs of cold drive, while small and family hotels certainly can. Also, small and family hotels sell an authentic story, exactly what the motive of the trip is.
Yesterday, the 4th session of the Tourist Business Council at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce was held in Zagreb, at which the current year was analyzed, as well as the expectations from the tourist year 2018.In the first nine months of 2017, there were 18,1 million arrivals and over 100 million overnight stays in Croatia, and despite the fact that this number includes commercial and non-commercial overnight stays, this is a great result, said the director of the Sector for Market Research and Strategic Planning at CNTB. in Igor Borojević and added that more than 85 percent of the turnover was realized in commercial accommodation, 12 in non-commercial, and 3 percent in nautical. “December will also be good, due to well-established Advent programs. Virtually all of our traditional markets have brought highly positive arrival and overnight numbers, except for Italy. The strongest growth was recorded by family accommodation with 20 percent more arrivals and 15 percent more overnight stays, hotels grew by 8,8 and 5,6 percent, and camps at similar rates”, Borojevic points out.Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism Ivo Bašić congratulated everyone on the good tourism results and stressed that the results this year and plans for next indicate the fulfillment of 4 strategic goals of the Croatian Tourism Development Strategy, ie investment growth, new employment, accommodation quality and changes in structure the same and increase revenue. He additionally pointed out that in 2018, the preparation of the basis for the new Strategy for the Development of Croatian Tourism for the period from 2020 should begin.”The tourist year 2017 was a good one, and I am extremely glad that some of the measures were launched for 2018 as a result of the activities of the Tourist Business Council, which pointed to key issues burdensome for the entire tourism sector. In 2018, it is necessary to continue with activities aimed at solving key problems of the sector, primarily the high tax burden with emphasis on VAT on accommodation and catering, further solving the problem of labor shortage, enacting the necessary new legislation based on proposals and needs of the profession and the issue of environmental protection as our most competitive advantage“Concluded the President of the Tourist Business Council at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (TPV) Franco Palma at the 4th session of the TPV.
The sixth in a row, also the largest investment conference in Southeast Europe – Adria Hotel Forum, gathered on Wednesday about 350 most important names of the hotel and development industry, investment funds and regional experts in tourism.The main theme of this year’s AHF is: Our own responsibility, which answers questions about how each industry stakeholder can increase productivity, competitiveness and quality in their own projects over the next five to ten years, following the trends of the tourism industry. In the introductory part, the meeting was welcomed by Zlatan Muftić from the Zagreb Tourist Board, Frano Matušić, State Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia and the British Ambassador to Croatia Andrew Dalgleish.Matusic presented the basic performance of Croatian tourism, which last year recorded records in tourist arrivals (11,5 million) and revenues (8,7 billion euros). “The continuous growth of arrivals and revenues shows that Croatian tourism is competitive on the global market and that we are an attractive destination for investors. We have managed to achieve that the sun and the sea are no longer the primary motives for coming, and we are attracting tourists with higher purchasing power. This year we expect over 900 million euros of investments, which is 13 percent more than in 2017, but through better cooperation between the private and public sectors, we can have even more. Still untapped potential is congress tourism, which enables year-round hotel operations Said Matusic.Damian Harrington (Colliers International) presented to the participants the main key macroeconomic trends at the global level and stressed that last year was marked by great geo-political instability, that we are currently witnessing market and financial volatility, but that economic indicators continue to grow. Marc Finney (Colliers International), Christian Giraud (Accor Hotels) and Kenneth Hatton (Belmond) participated in the panel A Look at the Mediterranean and European Environment for the next five years, and the discussion was moderated by British journalist Andrew Sangster (Hotel Analyst). Finney pointed out that currently European hotels are doing well, that growth can be expected next year, but that the question is whether the same dynamics will continue in three to five years.Finney believes that the 2008 economic crisis will not be repeated globally, but that it is realistic to expect a slowdown in growth. He also announced the return of destinations that have been in difficulty in recent years: Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt to the global competitiveness map. In his opinion, the best investment destination at the moment is Cyprus. Christian Giraud pointed out that there is currently so much money on the world market that everyone wants to participate in investment and growth, that Europe has a year advantage over the US, but agreed that at some point there will be a slowdown. He also pointed out the great interest of investors in investing in the region of SE Europe, especially in the luxury and lifesyle segment. Giraud also sees potential in building resorts with internationally recognized brands, especially in the Mediterranean. Its focal point for investment is currently Eastern Europe.Kenneth Hatton also mentioned the strong growth of the SE Europe market, but stressed that many destinations still do not have clearly defined products and offers, which should be ‘packaged’ into certain niche segments. New Zealand is currently the best investment opportunity for him. Christian Giraud at the end of the panel pointed out that currently the problem of high construction costs is much bigger than the threat of a new financial crisis.Zdenko Lucić from the Agency for Investments and Competitiveness presented the current Croatian investment potential, environment and benefits offered to investors and projects that are in the Government’s investment catalog. Damir Davidović, State Secretary of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, used the same opportunity, emphasizing that Montenegro has completed one large investment cycle and is now moving on to the next. The country also broke all tourism records last year and has a dozen large projects in the pipeline that already have investors (for example, Porto Montenegro, worth 450m euros, backed by Dubai capital).In a conversation between Keith Evans (Starwood Capital) and Ulf Pleschiutsching (Morgan Stanly), on investment strategies, moderated by Dirk Bakker (Collers International), it was discussed whether the return of strong rivals (Turkey and North Africa) is a threat to the destinations that are most profited from their geo-political problems. Evans mentioned that Croatia has been in demand among investors in the last few years, that more and more brands are interested in hotel management, and that he sees many opportunities. According to him, resorts with a certain mix of products are the preferred model in which to invest on the Croatian coast. Pleschiutsching pointed out that the construction of hotels in the four- and five-star segments is expensive for destinations that have limited tourism only in the summer months.Thomas Emanuel (STR), introduced hotel performance of the hotel sector in Europe in 2017. and forecasts for the sector this year. Occupancy of European hotels has increased by 10 percent in the last ten years and all destinations are recording an increase in revenue per room (RevPAR). This year, that growth should be five percent. “People are traveling despite terrorism and markets that have fallen into trouble are returning this year. In the Mediterranean market, the sun shines everywhere, and Portugal, Greece and Croatia had the best performance last year. Last year, revenue per room in Croatian hotels rose by 14 percent ”Said Emanuel. The highest occupancy is recorded in hotels in Prague, while Athens is the leader in the average room price.Na panel Key drivers Marybelle Arnett (Hilton), Otmar Michaeler (Falkensteiner & Michaeler Gorup), Ivana Budin Arhanić (Valamar Riviera), Živorad Vasić (InterContinental Hotels Group), Gordana Martinović (Zagrebačka banka) participated in the change, and the panel was moderated by Takuya Ayoama (Hyatt International). Arnett said that Hilton, which has two branded hotels in Croatia, is opening three more in the region this year – Tirana, Skopje and Belgrade. The current focus of Hilton, which has 375 branded hotels in Europe and another 100 on hold, is precisely Central and Eastern Europe.Otmar Michaeler, who has been on the Croatian market for many years, says that in the past 20 years many brands of various business models have appeared in Croatia and that currently everyone who sells beds is a competition. He pointed out that Falkensteiner used to be interested in the leisure model, while now they are focused on city hotels and the development of the luxury segment. He mentioned some of the advantages of investing in Croatia, but it still slows down the bureaucratic system and the fact that privatization is not over yet. Živorad Vasić emphasized that InterContinental is preparing some projects in Zagreb, Ljubljana and Belgrade and emphasized that he has a feeling that banks still do not fully understand the nature of the hotel business and the way in which it generates revenues.Gordana Martinović, on behalf of Zagrebačka banka, pointed out that her company, when studying the investment potential, looks not only at what the project is like, but also at its significance for the wider community and the larger market. Ivana Budin Arhanić spoke on behalf of the largest hotel group in Croatia about how large investors regularly face problems in destinations such as unresolved ownership issues and the uncertainty of fiscal policy, but that Valamar Riviera has learned to deal with it. “The fact is that local players in Croatia are more successful in consolidation and grow faster and better through acquisitions than international investors. ”said Budin.The last panel of the first part of the Adria Hotel Forum, moderated by journalist Dora Koretić (Hanza Media), was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Tourism who spoke about where they see the future of hotels in their destinations. Frano Matušić reiterated that Croatia is an excellent country for investment and that currently the main strategy of Croatia is the development of brownfield, not greenfield investment, which surprised many present.Damir Davidović said that Montenegro has already reached a good level, but it is still far from being completely satisfied. He said Russian investors had been replaced by investors from the Middle East and that the country was open to investors from the West. “Of all investments in Montenegro, 34 percent are in tourism. However, the big problem of Montenegro is that 76 percent of the capacity is in private accommodation ” says Davidović.Konrad Mizzi, the Minister of Tourism of Malta, said that Malta has undergone a transformation from a resort to a city break destination in the last few years (15 new hotel beds are currently under construction), with the largest increase in tourists in January and March. Mizzi attaches great importance to the creation of additional facilities and large attractions that attract various types of tourists.George Tziallas, Greece’s tourism minister, said his country was finally emerging from the crisis and that Greece had a new tourism strategy based on extending the season, new facilities and opening new destinations on the coast and islands in the Ionian Sea. “Greece has only six percent of branded hotels in high categories, which means that there is still great potential. Smaller boutique brands are coming to us and we currently have 300 apps to build new and renovate existing hotelsTziallas concluded.