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Snow Storm Threatens Stream Flooding

A flood watch is active in the north central part of Wyoming. Recent warm weather combined with a spring snow storm is speeding up the already high levels of runoff in the state s mountains. Streams in the eastern and central part of the state are also beginning to run high: in the Shoshone, Big Horn, Wind, and Powder River Basins. In the Wind River Mountains, snow pack is 237-percent higher than usual according to the emergency management agency in Fremont County.

Pat Kondas, the public relations officer with the county s emergency management, said officials from Homeland Security and the National Guard have set up barriers filled with dirt at critical points to redirect runoff from overflowing streams. She said it’s still just pre-emptive work. Flooding has not started and it won t until whatever s melting comes down from the mountains. Kondas said residents can pick up their own sandbags at road and bridge shops around Fremont County.

Airport Security – Checks Made Easier for Passengers? – i-HLS – Israel Homeland Security

This post is also available in: Airport Security – Checks Made Easier For Passengers? - I-HLS - Israel Homeland Security (Hebrew)[1]

For air travelers, security checks are often the most stressful part of the airport experience. Even for seasoned passengers, changing security rules and technology can come as a surprise. One of the latest changes in Finnish airport security has to do with checking for traces of explosives and has led to minor changes in other security routines.

Helsinki Airport is currently testing the Avatar security scanners. The new technology promises smoother and faster security checks. How will it work? A security check officer will direct the passenger to the Avatar scanner only if the metal detector s alarm is set off. The scanner then uses low-frequency waves to create a generic and unrecognizable image that lets the officer know which part triggered the alarm. This enables the security officer to check only that part manually.

Security Services Supervisor, Joni Pekkanen, told finavia.fi about the changes in security check technology, and what we can expect in the future. In Finland, the legislation for aviation security is set by the EU. The latest major change came into effect in 2015, and requires the use of explosive trace detectors in security checks, Pekkanen says.

It has changed the random hand inspections. For instance, passengers no longer need to take their belts off for the random inspection.Belts or belt buckles must still be taken off, however, if they cause an alarm at the metal detector gate. We have tested, among others, body scanners and a shoe scanner and partially automated security lines. Our aim is to find equipment that ensures the smoothest, most comfortable and functional security check for both the passengers and the staff. As technology advances it becomes easier to detect possible threats and the security processes can speed up. The recent Avatar body scanning pilot was a good example: We were able to decrease the amount of hand inspections while maintaining a high level of security.

Last year, Helsinki Airport tested new face recognition technology for staff members security checks. The results were encouraging and the technology is now being piloted at check-in, in cooperation with Finnair.

Utilizing new, biometric technology at airports makes travelling faster and easier. The goal is to enable passengers to travel hands in the pockets, i.e. removing the need to present boarding passes at different checkpoints.

I myself am looking forward to hand luggage X-ray technology, which, in the future, could enable passengers to keep their computers and liquids inside their carry-ons during security check. I believe that this technology could start to be implemented three to five years from now Pekkanen said.

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References

  1. ^ ‘ (Hebrew) (i-hls.com)

J&J, Bayer Cleared of Responsibility in First Xarelto Trial

Johnson & Johnson[1] and Bayer AG[2] aren t responsible for a Xarelto user s internal bleeding, a jury found in the first trial over the blood-thinning drug.

J&J and Bayer didn t mislead a Louisiana man and his doctors about the blood-thinning drug s health risks and aren t liable for his injuries and later medical problems, the federal jury in New Orleans found Wednesday. The ruling was the first of more than 18,000 patient suits against J&J and Bayer, which jointly developed Xarelto, to come to trial. The companies face separate trials over three other Xarelto users complaints in the next three months. Some users claim[3] Bayer and J&J downplayed the medicine s bleeding risks.

We never expected the struggle to be an easy one, Gerald Meunier, a lawyer for Joseph Boudreaux, a part-time security guard in his 70s, said after the verdict. We realize Bayer and Janssen have a lot of resources and a lot of motivation to protect Xarelto. The most important business stories of the day.

Get Bloomberg’s daily newsletter. The drug is Bayer s top-selling product, generating 3 billion euros ($3.24 billion) in sales last year and 2.3 billion euros in 2015 for the Leverkusen, Germany-based pharmaceutical company. Xarelto is J&J s third-largest seller, bringing in $2.29 billion in 2016 as the New Brunswick, New Jersey, company seeks to replace revenue from its Remicade arthritis treatment, which lost patent protection a year ago.

The jury s decision reflects the facts of this case and the appropriateness of the Xarelto prescribing information, William Foster, a spokesman for J&J s Janssen unit, said in an emailed statement. Bayer officials said the jury s finding affirms the safety of the blood thinner, used to prevent blood clots that can lead to fatal heart attacks and strokes.

Accurate Label

The verdict shows the drug s FDA-approved label contains accurate, science-based information on the benefits and risks of this life-saving medicine, Chris Loder, a U.S.-based spokesman for the drugmaker, said in an emailed statement. Xarelto belongs to a new class of drugs aimed at replacing Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.[4] s Coumadin, which has thinned patients blood since the 1960s. Some Xarelto users accuse J&J and Bayer of falsely marketing Xarelto as better than Coumadin because the companies said Xarelto patients didn t need frequent blood tests. Lawyers for Boudreaux and other former Xarelto patients stress the drug has no antidote, so it puts some users at high risk for bleeding out if they suffer an injury. Coumadin s blood-thinning effects can be stemmed. J&J and Bayer officials should have warned consumers they could be tested to gauge their Xarelto bleed-out risk, patients attorneys claim.

They only accept science they like, and decide to ignore science they don t like,” Brian Barr[5], one of Boudreaux s lawyers, said in closing arguments Wednesday. “They know if they require blood test, they re terrified that doctors will just use another drug.”

J&J and Bayer countered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration s finding that Xarelto is safe and effective for patients seeking to avoid clots buttresses their claims the drug doesn t pose undue risks. They also say millions of users have taken the drug without suffering bleeding side effects.

The companies also dispute the validity of the safety test designed to gauge Xarelto users bleeding risks, saying in court filings that the test didn t provide useful information to doctors.

“There s no evidence the FDA thinks the test should be in the label,” Beth Wilkinson,[6] a lawyer representing both drugmakers, told jurors Wednesday. She said the test plaintiffs were pushing could harm patients because it could give misleading information.”

The cases are Boudreaux v. Janssen, 14-cv-2720 and In RE Xarelto Products Liability Litigation, 14-MD-2592, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

(An earlier version of this story corrected the basis for the verdict)

References

  1. ^ Company Overview (www.bloomberg.com)
  2. ^ Company Overview (www.bloomberg.com)
  3. ^ J&J, Bayer Accused of Hiding Blood-Thinning Drug s Flaws (1) (www.bloomberg.com)
  4. ^ Company Overview (www.bloomberg.com)
  5. ^ Lawyer s Web Site (www.levinlaw.com)
  6. ^ Lawyer s Web Site (wilkinsonwalsh.com)
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