HLS Professor Roger Fisher dies

first_imgRoger D. Fisher ’43, LL.B. ’ 48, co-author of the perennial best-selling book “Getting to Yes” and the Williston Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard University, died Aug. 25 in Hanover, N.H. He was 90 years old.Fisher was a pioneer in the field of international law and negotiation and the co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project. A professor at Harvard Law School for more than four decades, Fisher established negotiation and conflict resolution as a single field deserving academic study and devoted his career to challenging students and colleagues alike to explore alternative methods of dispute resolution.Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow said: “Harvard Law School has been profoundly privileged to count Roger Fisher as a treasured colleague, teacher, and leader; the countless problems he solved, lives he changed, and negotiations he led or inspired are an awe-inspiring legacy.”Through analysis and writing, Fisher’s work laid the foundation on which much of the field of negotiation and conflict resolution has been based. His best-selling book, “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In” (co-authored with William Ury in 1981), has been translated into 23 languages and has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide. Prior to the publication of “Getting to Yes,” there were almost no regular courses in negotiation taught at academic institutions. Now there are hundreds, if not thousands, of courses devoted to negotiation.“Through his writings and teaching, Roger Fisher’s seminal contributions literally changed the way millions of people around the world approach negotiation and dispute resolution,” said HLS Professor Robert Mnookin ’68, chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project (HNP). “He taught that conflict is not simply a ‘zero-sum’ game in which a fixed pie is simply divided through haggling or threats. Instead, he showed how by exploring underlying interests and being imaginative, parties could often expand the pie and create value.”In 1979, Fisher co-founded the Harvard Negotiation Project with Ury and Bruce Patton ’84, serving as the director. HNP’s mission is “to improve the theory and practice of conflict resolution and negotiation by working on real-world conflict intervention, theory building, education and training, and writing and disseminating new ideas.”Patton, who co-wrote the 1991 edition of “Getting to Yes” and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Harvard Negotiation Project, said Fisher’s legacy was much broader than his work on negotiation. “Roger sought to build a systematic toolbox for analyzing and diagnosing the causes of any disliked situation and finding practical, effective ways to move it toward a preferred state. Like a hard scientist, Roger believed that one could not build such tools (or teach them effectively) without being able to test and refine them in the crucible of practice.”According to Patton, Fisher’s efforts contributed directly and materially to multiple steps toward peace in the Middle East, including Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem, and the Camp David summit that led to an Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty; peace in Central America and especially in El Salvador; the resolution of the longest-running war in the Western Hemisphere between Ecuador and Peru; the breakthrough that enabled resolution of the Iranian hostage conflict in 1980; a fundamental reshaping of the U.S.-Soviet relationship; and the negotiations and constitutional process that led to the end of apartheid in South Africa. (Read the full text of Pattons’ tribute here.) Fisher is also recognized as the intellectual father of the “West Point Negotiation Project,” which has trained Army officers and cadets to recognize conflicts and apply the tools of principled negotiation in both peace and war.Ury, a mediator for more than 30 years, said Fisher had a tremendous influence on students and colleagues. Ury said his own future was shaped by a seminal phone call from Fisher in 1977. As a graduate student in social anthropology, Ury received a call from Fisher praising Ury on his research paper, which proposed an anthropological study of the Middle East peace negotiations. Fisher told Ury that he liked his paper so much he sent it to the assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, and wanted Ury to work with him.“I was stunned. Never had I expected a professor to call me up, let alone invite me to collaborate, or see one of my ideas offered up for practical application,” said Ury. “Roger introduced me to the field of negotiation, taught and mentored me, and shaped my career more than anyone. It would be impossible for me to imagine my work without the inspiration and influence of Roger Fisher.“Robert C. Bordone ’97, the Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law and the director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program, said: “Roger was a master at the art of perspective-taking, of understanding how deep human needs — to be heard, valued, respected, autonomous, and safe — when unmet or trampled upon, become seeds of evil and violence, seeds that can cause us to vilify each other, and that motivate us to see the world in stark black-and-white terms. For Roger, the purpose of perspective-taking was never to excuse or justify evil. Rather, it was a way to discover new approaches to diplomacy, to influence and to understanding.”During World War II, Fisher served in the U.S. Army Air Force in the North Atlantic and Pacific theaters as a weather reconnaissance observer. After discovering that his college roommate and two of his best friends were killed in the war, he dedicated most of his life to finding a better way to deal with the kind of differences that produce war.Fifty years after his graduation from Harvard College in 1943, Fisher wrote for his Class Report: “Since our freshman year, beginning in the fall of 1939 with World War II, the primary focus of my interest has been how the world copes with its conflicting values, perceptions, wants, and needs. After losing my roommate and some of my best friends in war, I knew we had to find a better way for people to deal with their differences.”After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1948, Fisher passed up a clerkship for Chief Judge Learned Hand of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to move to Paris, where he worked on the Marshall Plan under W. Averell Harriman until 1949.After returning to the United States, Fisher worked for the Washington, D.C., law firm Covington & Burling from 1950 to 1956, with most of his work dealing with international issues. From 1956 to 1958, he served as an assistant to the U.S. solicitor general in the Department of Justice. In 1957, Fisher argued for the United States in Roth v. United States, a landmark obscenity case, and won.Fisher joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 1958 and became a full professor of law in 1960. In 1976, he became the Samuel Williston Professor of Law. In 1992, he was named a professor emeritus. He also taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the London School of Economics, the Naval War College, Air War College, and the NATO Defense College.During the 1960s, he served as a consultant to John McNaughton, assistant U.S. secretary of defense for international security affairs. Some of his suggestions for ways to end U.S. involvement in Vietnam are documented in “The Pentagon Papers.” Fisher went on to publish a critique of U.S. policy failures in Vietnam in his 1969 book “International Conflict for Beginners.”A strong advocate for using the medium of television as a means to disseminate both legal issues and current events to a broader audience, Fisher proposed the Peabody Award-winning television program “The Advocates” in 1969. The program focused on “stimulating public participation, and understanding, by focusing on realistic choices that must be made in the future, by having both sides of the question presented, and by demonstrating the interest that public officials have in both reasoned arguments and the views of their constituents.” Fisher served as executive producer from 1969 to 1974, and then again from 1978 to1979.In 1970, in connection with a segment of “The Advocates,” Fisher became the last Westerner to interview President Nasser of Egypt, and his questions elicited from Nasser an unexpected willingness to accept a ceasefire with Israel in the “war of attrition” then raging along the Suez Canal. Fisher brought the interview to the attention of Undersecretary of State Elliot Richardson ’47 and thus helped stimulate what became known as the Rogers Plan (named for Nixon’s Secretary of State William Pierce Rogers), which ultimately produced a ceasefire.Through the consulting firms of Conflict Management Inc. and Vantage Partners, and with the nonprofit Conflict Management Group (now part of Mercy Corps), which he co-founded, Fisher taught and advised corporate executives, labor leaders, attorneys, diplomats, and military and government officials on settlement and negotiation strategy.This past April, Fisher was honored for his contributions to Harvard Law School and the field of negotiation with a celebration of his career there. The event also marked the opening of his papers in the Harvard Law School Library’s Historical and Special Collections. The papers, spanning 60 years of Fisher’s career as a lawyer and an academic, include such diverse materials as notes related to his books, as well as his work on the television series “The Advocates.”(See Fisher’s complete bibliography here.)For 62 years, Fisher was married to Caroline McMurtrie Speer, who died in 2010. He is survived by his two sons, Elliott S. Fisher (Harvard College ’74, Harvard Medical School, M.D. ’81, University of Washington, M.P.H. ’85), professor of medicine and director for population health and policy at The Dartmouth Institute; and Peter R. Fisher (Harvard College ’80, Harvard Law School, J.D. ’85), who worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as undersecretary of the treasury, and is now senior managing director of BlackRock. He is also survived by two brothers, John V. Fisher (Harvard College, S.B. ’42) and Francis D. Fisher (Harvard College, A.B. ’47, Harvard Law School, J.D. ’51), and five grandchildren.In 2002, at a celebration in honor of Fisher’s 80th birthday at Harvard, the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith said of his friend and colleague: “Whenever I thought, ‘Someone should do something about this,’ it eased my conscience to learn that Roger was already working on it.”A memorial service honoring Fisher’s life, work, and memory will be held on Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. in Appleton Chapel at the Memorial Church in Harvard Yard.last_img read more

India’s government toughens stand against protesting farmers

first_imgNEW DELHI (AP) — India’s agriculture minister has defended new agriculture reform laws in Parliament, dampening hopes of a quick settlement with tens of thousands of farmers who have been demanding their repeal by blocking three highways connecting the capital to northern India for over two months. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar made no new offer to resume stalled talks with the farmers, who believe the legislation will devastate their earnings by ending guaranteed prices for wheat and rice and force them to sell to powerful corporations at cheaper prices. On Saturday, farmers plan to blockade highways across the country for three hours to draw attention to their cause. They say they will not stop their protests until the laws are repealed.last_img

Saint Mary’s changes options for on-campus living

first_imgWhen campus opens for the fall semester, Saint Mary’s will welcome back returning students, members of the Class of 2016 and possibly some four-legged guests. Next year, Regina South will be open exclusively to seniors and, if approved, their pets as well. The newest senior housing option, announced by the Department of Residence Life and Community Standards last month, is an example of how the College is working to retain students on campus for all four years. Janielle Tchakerian, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and director of Residence Life and Community Standards, said 72 percent of the graduating senior class signed housing agreements to live on campus next year. “For some students it is cheaper to live on campus than off because of financial aid reasons,” she said. “Others choose to live on campus because of the conveniences and the new senior living option in Regina South.” Tchakerian said in addition to the growing list of senior-only living options, the College is also retaining so many seniors due to changes in the housing selection process. “[Some students chose to live on campus] because we had senior room selection in February which allowed [the seniors] to know sooner if they got into a particular hall, floor, etc. instead of waiting until April,” she said. In addition to private access to kitchens, a new visitation policy, upgraded computer labs and flexibility when selecting a meal plan, Tchakerian said Regina South residents have the opportunity to bring a small pet to join them in the room, which has drawn a positive response. “I do not know any exact number [of how many pets will live in Regina South],” Tchakerian said. “However, there are 21 students who have indicated a strong interest and want the pet registration information,” Tchakerian said she is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with students to further improve the senior housing options. “I am looking forward to working with a group of women to help further enhance the senior living experience,” she said. “We have the framework in place but are allowing the students to help further define their experience.” Regina South is not the only exclusive housing option available to seniors next year. Annunciata Hall and Opus Hall are also living accommodations designated for seniors. Annunciata, located on the top floor of Holy Cross Hall, features a private kitchen and common room for residents. Junior Alyssa Baz said she is thrilled she secured a room in Annunciata for her final year of college. “My stepmom was one of the founding residents of Annunciata when she was a senior, so I knew that I wanted to live there to keep the tradition alive,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to live in any other building during my last year at Saint Mary’s.” Opus is filled to capacity for the 2012-2013 academic year. Each apartment features a furnished living room, a full kitchen and private bedrooms. Junior Hilary Whitsett will live in an Opus quad next year. She said she has been hoping to spend her final year in Opus since she was a freshman. “The apartments are really nice and it will be great to have my own room,” she said. “I am looking forward to moving out of the dorms and having a real type of apartment and not living in one big room with a bunch of people. It will feel like a real living space.”last_img read more

Watch Honeymoon ‘ Tony Danza Talk Flying Elvii & Higher Love

first_img Honeymoon in Vegas Honeymoon in Vegas ‘ Tony Danza stopped by The Today Show on January 22 to talk about bringing Sin City to the Great White Way. It’s the “most fun show on Broadway,” said the Taxi and Who’s the Boss star, loving that he can “hear people laughing.” Rob McClure was also on hand—with some flying Elvii—to perform the 11 o’clock (or is that hour!?) number “Higher Love.” Check out the videos below and then Jason Robert Brown and Andrew Bergman’s new tuner at the Nederlander Theatre. Star Files View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on April 5, 2015 Rob McClurelast_img

Sutton Foster Puts Up with Ghosts, Cardio & More this Week on Younger

first_imgWe suddenly have this urge to use excessive emoji, and that can only mean one thing: There’s a brand new episode of Younger! This week on the TV Land series, Liza (Sutton Foster) juggles everything from tolerating a ghosting boyfriend to being coerced into a walking competition to saving the day the new imprint’s launch party. Meanwhile, a certain someone who once hooked up with a pregnant Renée Elise Goldsberry hosts a sex party. It’s a lot to take in, but we’re breaking it all down in this week’s recap.SEASON 2, EPISODE 3: “Like a Boss”Emoji UpdateTranslation: Liza puts off telling her millennial friends about her real age to Josh’s chagrin. Short on cash, Maggie considers putting her apartment on Airbnb. At Empirical Press, Kelsey and Liza share their imprint launch party plans (it’s at a glue factory and they’re inviting someone named Pompous Croissant). Diana, always eager to win and even more eager to force labor upon her assistant, has Liza wear her Fitbit to out-walk her rival. Lauren arranges a fitting for Kelsey and Liza to ensure they’re dressed to the nines at the launch. Over wine, the three girls and Lauren’s mom (Kathy Najimy) discuss Josh’s ghosting habit. Dismayed by Internet comments and her custom dress that vaguely looks like one of the moons of Jupiter, Kelsey begins a slow descent into madness. Meanwhile, Josh discovers Maggie is not hosting an Airbnb couple from Albany, but rather a full-blown sex party. At the launch event, Liza saves the day by talking Kelsey through her speech via Bluetooth. Impressed by her craftiness, Charles chats up Liza, but before he can make a move, Josh (no longer a ghost) steps in.Biggest OMG Moment:If the eggplant and peach emoji make you blush, do not attend a party at Maggie’s place. To make ends meet, our favorite fictional lesbian artist hosts an orgy in her apartment (safe sex only; men pay $50, women $25). And from the look of it, she has absolutely done this before. Hey, when times are hard, some bake people into pies, some burn their rock posters and screenplays, and others host sex parties in their Williamsburg flats.Millennial Glossary:To Ghost:(verb) To seemingly disappear off the face of the earth, but still manage to pop up in social media feeds. It’s what Josh keeps doing to Liza, and just when Peter’s about to swoop in with Champagne and workplace flirting, Josh reappears. We’ll give Josh some credit for sticking by Liza after her big reveal, but this is surely a red flag.Pompous Croissant:(noun) A fictional member of the “cyber-elite” invited to Kelsey and Liza’s imprint launch. We’re not sure what his or her exact beat is, but we’ll be at any party that promises baked goods (hint hint, Alex Brightman).Moment That Made Us Go:When Diana defeated her Fitbit rival! And by Diana, we mean Liza. Yes, Trout Pout even delegates her fitness regime to her lowly assistant. But with everything else going on, Liza still managed to step her way to victory. Must have been that eight-minute tap break on a boat.Diana’s Statement Jewelry Update!After flashing medieval and ultra-hygienic looks, Diana Trout is serving us Department of Defense Realness. Not only is she sporting a torpedo pendant as this week’s statement necklace, but it’s also paired with actual pentagon earrings. Do they sell those at the gift shop? Is there even a Pentagon gift shop? View Commentslast_img read more

Debt Settlement America to pay Vermont $120,000

first_imgDebt Settlement America, Inc., a debt settlement company based in Dallas, Texas, has entered into a settlement with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office that will result in refunds and payments to the State totaling over $120,000. The Attorney General claims that the company violated state law by engaging in the business of debt adjustment without a license, and by failing to comply with the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act. This is the ninth settlement between the Attorney General’s Office and a debt settlement firm in the past year.According to Attorney General William Sorrell, Debt Settlement America violated the Consumer Fraud Act by not following the State’s three-day right to cancel requirements and by failing to have prior proof to support online claims about the results it could achieve for consumers. Debt Settlement America’s website stated that the company could reduce consumers’ debts to “less than 50 cents on the dollar.”Debt Settlement America entered into contracts with 25 Vermont consumers and charged 10 to 15 percent of the dollar amount of the debt placed with the company. Those consumers paid the company a total of over $69,000 in fees.Under the settlement, Debt Settlement America must pay full refunds to all of its Vermont customers and $50,000 in civil penalties and costs to the State. In addition, the company will pay $2,000 to any Vermonter who was sued by a creditor after signing up with the firm, and will offer to complete, without charge, negotiations with the creditors of its Vermont customers. For more information on the settlement, consumers can call the Attorney General’s Office at (802) 828-5507.Source: Vermont Attorney General. 2.2.2010last_img read more

This picture is lying to you.

first_imgThis picture is lying to you. At the very least, it’s misleading you. I posted it earlier on Instagram and said something about shredding DuPont State Forest with my son. All of that is true—my son and I did shred singletrack in DuPont. We had a blast. It was one of the greatest rides of my life because I rode with my eight-year-old son, who is finally at a point where he can do real mountain bike rides. We hit fast, rooty singletrack descents and followed them up with mind-numbing gravel grinds. And we did that for eight miles. And he was a champ. I’ve ridden with adults who complained more than my son did today. The photo I posted on Instagram captured that ride in all its glory, but that’s just a piece of the story. I didn’t mention how he got bored on the long drive to the trailhead and suggested maybe we just go back home and find a pool to swim in. The photo doesn’t hint at the cajoling I had to undergo on some of the more miserable sections of gravel. I hid a Snickers bar in the cooler back at the car. First one to make it back got to eat the whole thing. Shortly after that photo was taken, my son ate it hard on a skinny. I never mentioned his tears in the social media post. Just the highlights. Just the smiles and whoop-de-doos.And it’s not just social media that lies to us. I lie to myself constantly. Right now, I can recall all of the whining and the bribing and bleeding because it’s all still fresh on my mind. But within a couple of days, all I’ll remember from my ride with my son today will be the highlights. The big-ass smile he had at the bottom of the massive downhill. How high he hit the berms. How much air he caught on some of the root drops. From what I understand, this sort of selective amnesia is a cornerstone of parenting. After the first child has reached school age, we can look fondly back on the baby and toddler years and only remember the cuteness while glossing over the sleepless, vomit-filled nights and the tantrums in the middle of Target’s toy aisle. That sort of selective amnesia is how we can convince ourselves that having another baby is a good idea. And so it is with taking my kids on any sort of adventure. I quickly forget the rain storms and backpacks full of ants while camping, or the fact that I had to carry my daughter on most of the last hike that we undertook. All I remember is the joy of sharing S’Mores around the campfire and the awe on my daughter’s face while gazing on the valley below from the peak of the mountain. That’s how I’m able to get psyched about the next adventure. And the next.last_img read more

Survey shows how people really use lawyers

first_img Survey shows how people really use lawyers Survey shows how people really use lawyers Consumers most often use lawyers for reasons other than to file a lawsuit, according to a new Florida Bar survey.Of the more than 800 responses to the online survey conducted by the Bar as part of the Dignity in Law initiative between June and September, more than 80 percent of respondents said they have used an attorney over the past year for reasons other than filing a lawsuit or defending one.The Bar survey found that 16 percent of the participants cited real estate transactions as the reason they used a lawyer in the past year, followed by child support/custody matters, which garnered 13 percent of total responses. Those who filed a lawsuit or sought to litigate a matter in court consisted of only 11 percent of the total participants. Bankruptcy filings and divorce/separation issues rounded out the top five, with each garnering nine percent of responses.Bar President Tod Aronovitz said the purpose of the online survey was to identify which common legal matters Floridians most often use an attorney. The findings are important, he said, to help combat the negative perception created by television and movie portrayals that glamorize criminal law, when, in fact, criminal law is only one of many legal specialties.The survey results — along with downloadable graphics — are being offered to media outlets across the state.“Contrary to the sensationalized criminal cases that the public most often associates with the legal profession, most legal work is essential and goes largely unnoticed,” Aronovitz said. “From buying or selling a home to preparing a will, Floridians rely on attorneys to ensure that their rights and best interests are protected.”Drawing up a will was the reason another 8 percent of survey participants hired a lawyer, while 7 percent needed counsel on probate and estate settlement matters. A lawyer was used to draw up an agreement or contract by only 5 percent of respondents, while traffic cases and insurance claims were cited least often. In addition, 13 percent of those surveyed responded that legal services were obtained for other situations not indicated in the survey.center_img October 15, 2002 Regular Newslast_img read more

Illnesses tied to drinking water dropped in 2001-02

first_img CDC. Surveillance for waterborne-disease outbreaks associated with drinking water—United States, 2001-2002. MMWR 2004 Oct 22;53(SS08):23-45 (Full text) An estimated 1,020 people got sick from drinking contaminated water in 31 outbreaks in 2001 and 2002, the CDC reports today in a supplement to Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That compares with 39 outbreaks and an estimated 2,068 illness cases in 1999 and 2000. Two of the seven deaths were caused by the parasite Naegleria fowleri, in the first such outbreak linked to a drinking water system in the United States. The outbreak occurred in Arizona in October 2002. Of the 31 outbreaks, 23 involved groundwater sources, and 10 of these involved untreated groundwater. Two outbreaks involved treated water from rivers and streams. The report does not identify the water sources for the six outbreaks involving Legionella. However, outbreaks in the more recent period caused seven deaths, versus only two deaths in 1999-2000, the report says. See also: The six Legionella outbreaks involved 80 cases with 41 hospitalizations and four deaths. All the outbreaks were in large buildings or institutions and were related to growth of Legionella species in the water distribution systems, the CDC says. Oct 22, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The United States had fewer reported disease outbreaks linked to drinking water in 2001 and 2002 than in the preceding 2 years, and they affected about half as many people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Five norovirus outbreaks accounted for close to three-fourths of all the illness cases—727 of 1,020, the report says. Five outbreaks were blamed on parasites, five on chemical contamination, six on Legionella species, and three on other bacterial pathogens. The causes of seven outbreaks were never identified, but all were thought to be infectious agents. In the previous 2-year period, causes went unidentified in 17, or 44%, of the outbreaks, the report says. The reduction in unexplained outbreaks in 2001 and 2002 probably reflects both improved outbreak investigations and better diagnostic capabilities, the CDC says. CDC. Surveillance for waterborne disease outbreaks—United States, 1999-2000. MMWR 2002 Nov 22;51(SS08):1-28 (Full text)last_img read more

Saudi Arabia, Tibet report H5N1 outbreaks

first_imgJan 30, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Agriculture officials in Saudi Arabia and Tibet reported new H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks yesterday, as India struggled to keep the virus out of Calcutta and Bangladesh officials said outbreaks have spread to yet another district.Saudi Arabia’s agriculture ministry said yesterday the H5N1 virus struck a farm in Kharaj province, south of Riyadh, the capital, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today. The ministry said it culled 158,000 chickens to control the outbreak.A statement from the ministry said about 475 workers were tested for the H5N1 virus, but no infections were found, the AP reported.Saudi Arabia’s last H5N1 outbreaks, reported in November, also occurred near Riyadh, including in Kharaj, according to a report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).Elsewhere, China’s agriculture ministry yesterday reported a poultry outbreak in southwestern Tibet that killed 1,000 birds, according to a report yesterday from the OIE. The outbreak was detected in Gongga, where 13,080 birds, consisting mainly of broiler hens along with 400 ducks, were culled, the report said.Tibet’s last outbreak was reported in March 2007, according to an OIE report. China recently lifted a quarantine in the Xinjiang, which neighbors Tibet, according to an AP report. The Xinjiang outbreak, which began in late December, also struck a broiler chicken operation, according to the OIE.Elsewhere, workers in India sprayed roads and markets and culled birds to prevent H5N1 outbreaks in in Calcutta, the densely populated capital of West Bengal, where the number of districts reporting outbreaks remains at 13, according to a Reuters report today.Anisur Rahaman, West Bengal’s animal resources minister, told Reuters that authorities were culling chickens on a farm about an hour from Calcutta. “We are not taking chances, as the farm reported bird deaths and preliminary tests suggested bird flu,” he said.Meanwhile, Rahaman said he has asked India’s central government to allow West Bengal to seek international help in its battle to contain H5N1 outbreaks, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today.”We need foreign help to stem the deadly virus, which is spreading at an alarming rate,” he told AFP. “I have urged the chief minister to have talks with the federal government so that we can approach the United States and China for help.”Elsewhere, livestock officials in Bangladesh today reported an H5N1 outbreak in Khulna, about 87 miles southwest of Dhaka, the capital, the private news agency UNB reported, according to Xinhua, China’s state news service. Officials collected samples from sick and dead birds after 14 chickens died at a home in the city last week, Xinhua reported.With the new outbreak, 30 of 64 Bangladeshi districts have reported recent H5N1 outbreaks, according to Xinhua.In other developments, animal health officials in the United Kingdom today released a final epidemiologic report on the H5N1 outbreak in mute swans at a swan sanctuary in Dorset County. The 21-page report from the UK Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said a genetic analysis showed that the H5N1 subtype that infected six swans closely resembled isolates found in mid to late 2007 in other European outbreaks, including the Czech Republic, Romania, and Poland.Surveillance that followed the outbreak in swans found no evidence of infection in domestic birds, the DEFRA report said. Though the source of the swan infections has not been determined, the agency said the virus was probably spread by migratory birds that also inhabit the swan sanctuary and other nearby wetlands.Soon after releasing the report, DEFRA announced that a seventh swan at the sanctuary had tested positive for the H5N1 virus. The swan was collected on Jan 24 during routine surveillance, and the identification of other infected birds is not unexpected, DEFRA said in a press release. Enhanced surveillance in the area is continuing, it said.See also:OIE reports on 2008 outbreaks in Saudi Arabia and ChinaJan 30 DEFRA epidemiologic report on Dorset County outbreakJan 30 DEFRA press release on seventh infected mute swanlast_img read more