Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Head of the Harbor couple has admitted to their role in smuggling undocumented immigrants from Pakistan to work in 7-Eleven stores that they owned on Long Island and stealing their pay.Farrukh and Bushra Baig both pleaded guilty Monday at Central Islip federal court to conspiracy to conceal and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain. Farrukh also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They had been arrested last year.Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, had called the scheme a “modern day plantation system.”U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents had raided more than a dozen of the convenience stores, including some beyond LI, in what authorities had described at the time as one of the biggest busts of its kind in federal law enforcement history. Federal agents raided up to 30 7-Elevens nationwide as a part of the probe.Authorities have said the suspects hid the victims’ immigration status, stole their workers’ wages and forced them to live in illegal boarding houses. Prosecutors said the suspects forced them to pay their rent in cash to cover their tracks. The victims were afraid to report the crimes because they were afraid of being deported or arrested, officials said.The couple is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 18.
May 26, 2009 (CIDRAP News) –Two vaccine companies, Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline, recently announced they received their first orders from the US government for a vaccine and adjuvant to protect the country against the novel H1N1 virus.Sanofi, in a statement released yesterday, said the initial order it received from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) covers the production of bulk vaccine and related activities and is worth $190 million. On May 22, Glaxo said in a press release that HHS ordered vaccine antigen and the company’s proprietary adjuvant system, AS03. Adjuvants are compounds that enhance a vaccine’s immune response, offering the possibility of stretching antigen supplies.The announcements from the two companies follow a May 22 announcement from HHS that secretary Kathleen Sebelius was directing about $1 billion in existing funds toward clinical studies and commercial production of bulk vaccine antigen and adjuvant.Federal officials have announced plans to support the development of a novel H1N1 vaccine, but have taken pains to explain that the decision to use it would be made separately.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said it hopes to wrap up work on a seed strain to send to vaccine makers within the next few weeks. Once companies receive the seed strain, they can develop pilot lots to begin safety, efficacy, and dosage testing.The federal government’s placement of the orders falls under existing contracts that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) established with the companies in 2004 as part of the nation’s pandemic influenza strategy.Sanofi said it hopes to begin work on a pilot lot in June after the US Food and Drug Administration approves its working seed. The company said clinical trials could begin as early as August, but a timeline for final formulation, filling, and distribution has not been set.Wayne Pisano, Sanofi’s president and chief executive officer, said in the press release that though a number of complex steps need to be taken before a vaccine is available, the company’s experience in developing the prepandemic H5N1 avian influenza vaccine will be helpful. “We look forward to further demonstrating our experience and expertise in vaccine development as we prepare for this new threat from AH1N1,” he said.Production of the new H1N1vaccine for HHS will take place at the company’s recently licensed new production facility in Swiftwater, Pa. As soon as the company finishes production of seasonal influenza vaccine at its second Swiftwater facility, it can produce the novel H1N1 vaccine at both plants. The two plants, when operating at full capacity, can make about 150 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine.Meanwhile, Glaxo said it expects to fill HHS’ adjuvant order within the next few months and hopes to produce the first antigen doses 4 to 6 months after receiving the novel H1N1seed strain. The company said its proprietary adjuvant, already approved as a component of the H5N1 vaccine in Europe and some Asian countries, is the subject of 15 additional clinical trials, including one involving a seasonal flu vaccine.Both Sanofi and Glaxo said they are in ongoing discussions with other countries about producing novel flu vaccine for national stockpiles.See also:May 25 Sanofipress releaseMay 22 Glaxopress releaseMay 22 HHS press releaseMay 6 CIDRAP News story “FDA approves new vaccine facility”
The President of New Edubiase Football Club, Abdul Salam Yakubu has threatened the club may pull out of the ongoing MTN FA Cup.According to him, the club will advise itself if the Ghana Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee does not resolve an outstanding issue between them and Accra Inter Allies as soon as possible.Accra Inter Allies filed a protest against Edubiase Fc accusing them of not wearing appropriate strips during their round of 64 encounter at Amasaman Park.He told Asempa Sports that, the issue which was of no fault of theirs has been long overdue and will entreat the disciplinary committee to come out with the verdict.He added that, the team has not received their share of the round of 32 appearance fees since the organizers of the FA Cup claim they still have a pending case to be adjudicated.Benedict Owusu / Asempa Sports/Ghana