Photo: ZUMA / MGNNEW YORK — As health officials around the world push to get more ventilators to treat coronavirus patients, some doctors are moving away from using the breathing machines when they can.The reason: Some hospitals have reported unusually high death rates for coronavirus patients on ventilators, and some doctors worry that the machines could be harming certain patients.The evolving treatments highlight the fact that doctors are still learning the best way to manage a virus that emerged only months ago. They are relying on anecdotal, real-time data amid a crush of patients and shortages of basic supplies.Mechanical ventilators push oxygen into patients whose lungs are failing. Using the machines involves sedating a patient and sticking a tube into the throat. Deaths in such sick patients are common, no matter the reason they need the breathing help. Generally speaking, 40% to 50% of patients with severe respiratory distress die while on ventilators, experts say. But 80% or more of coronavirus patients placed on the machines in New York City have died, state and city officials say.Higher-than-normal death rates also have been reported elsewhere in the U.S., said Dr. Albert Rizzo, the American Lung Association’s chief medical officer.Similar reports have emerged from China and the United Kingdom. One U.K. report put the figure at 66%. A very small study in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the disease first emerged, said 86% died.The reason is not clear. It may have to do with what kind of shape the patients were in before they were infected. Or it could be related to how sick they had become by the time they were put on the machines, some experts said.But some health professionals have wondered whether ventilators might actually make matters worse in certain patients, perhaps by igniting or worsening a harmful immune system reaction.That’s speculation. But experts do say ventilators can be damaging to a patient over time, as high-pressure oxygen is forced into the tiny air sacs in a patient’s lungs.“We know that mechanical ventilation is not benign,” said Dr. Eddy Fan, an expert on respiratory treatment at Toronto General Hospital. “One of the most important findings in the last few decades is that medical ventilation can worsen lung injury — so we have to be careful how we use it.”The dangers can be eased by limiting the amount of pressure and the size of breaths delivered by the machine, Fan said.But some doctors say they’re trying to keep patients off ventilators as long as possible, and turning to other techniques instead.Only a few weeks ago in New York City, coronavirus patients who came in quite sick were routinely placed on ventilators to keep them breathing, said Dr. Joseph Habboushe, an emergency medicine doctor who works in Manhattan hospitals.But increasingly, physicians are trying other measures first. One is having patients lie in different positions — including on their stomachs — to allow different parts of the lung to aerate better. Another is giving patients more oxygen through nose tubes or other devices. Some doctors are experimenting with adding nitric oxide to the mix, to help improve blood flow and oxygen to the least damaged parts of the lungs.“If we’re able to make them better without intubating them, they are more likely to have a better outcome — we think,” Habboushe said.He said those decisions are separate from worries that there are not enough ventilators available. But that is a concern as well, Habboushe added.There are widespread reports that coronavirus patients tend to be on ventilators much longer than other kinds of patients, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University.Experts say that patients with bacterial pneumonia, for example, may be on a ventilator for no more than a day or two. But it’s been common for coronavirus patients to have been on a ventilator “seven days, 10 days, 15 days, and they’re passing away,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when asked about ventilator death rates during a news briefing on Wednesday.That’s one reason for worries that ventilators could grow in short supply. Experts worry that as cases mount, doctors will be forced to make terrible decisions about who lives and who dies because they won’t have enough machines for every patient who needs one.New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said Wednesday that officials are looking into other possible therapies that can be given earlier, but added “that’s all experimental.”The new virus is a member of the coronavirus family that can cause colds as well as more serious illnesses. Health officials say it spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. There is no proven drug treatment or vaccine against it.Experts think most people who are infected suffer nothing worse than unpleasant but mild illnesses that may include fever and coughing.But roughly 20% — many of them older adults or people weakened by chronic conditions — can grow much sicker. They can have trouble breathing and suffer chest pain. Their lungs can become inflamed, causing a dangerous condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome. An estimated 3% to 4% may need ventilators.“The ventilator is not therapeutic. It’s a supportive measure while we wait for the patient’s body to recover,” said Dr. Roger Alvarez, a lung specialist with the University of Miami Health System in Florida, who is a leader in the effort to use nitric oxide to keep patients off ventilators for as long as possible.Zachary Shemtob said he was “absolutely terrified” when he was told his 44-year-old husband, David, needed to be put on a ventilator at NYU Langone last month after becoming infected with the virus.“Needing to be ventilated might mean never getting off the ventilator,” he said.Shemtob said the hospital did not give any percentages on survival, but he got the impression it was essentially a coin flip. He looked up the rates only after his husband was breathing on his own six days later.“A coin flip was generous it seems,” he said.But Shemtob noted cases vary. His husband is relatively young.“David is living proof that they can really save lives, and how incredibly important they are,” Shemtob said. 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However, with the higher grain prices increasing their costs, that extra money will go towardmeeting feed costs rather than profits for hog farmers. As the year comes to an end, though, prices have dropped back to about $40 per hundredweight– fairly low — and grain prices soared. With increasing worldwide demand, prices increased slightly more than many economistsexpected to a high of about $50 per hundred pounds. “As we begin (1996) we will likely be in the low $40 range (per hundredweight),” he said,”moving up into the $50 range by midyear and back down into the mid-$40s as we close 1996.” If the industry liquidates its stock of hogs, McKissick said, prices may rise briefly. If farmers sellhogs for the slim profits, they may not replace those animals in their herds, further decreasingsupply. The year’s highlight was that for the first time in history, the nation became a net exporter ofpork. Largely because of demand from the Orient, the United States exported more pork than weneeded for domestic consumption. “That walked away with any profits hog producers were able to accumulate during the middlepart of the year,” McKissick said. “Georgia hog producers had a roller-coaster ride in 1995,” said John McKissick, a livestockeconomist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. He adds, though, that when those prices are adjusted for inflation, prices will remain fairly stable.The higher-quality pork cuts, such as roasts, hams and loins, may increase in price more quicklythan bacon or ribs. “Consumers will see a slight increase in pork prices at the grocery store because of diminishingpork production,” McKissick said. “Retail prices would be something in the neighborhood of 2percent to 3 percent higher in 1996.” Pork prices and costs fluctuated enough during the year to make heads spin and leave farmersreeling. Many export markets pay top dollar for prime cuts. Space in many countries, especially in theOrient, is unavailable for raising hogs, so buyers pay premium prices for specialty cuts. Thismarket could be the best chance for Georgia producers to make money in 1996. This market forces farmers to control costs even more carefully than ever. Shrinking profitsremain in jeopardy as producers struggle to meet retail demand with ever-increasing costs. McKissick expects pork production to be down 1 percent to 2 percent in 1996, compared to1995. That decrease could drive prices slightly higher — possibly $1 to $3 per hundredweighthigher than 1995 average prices.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Solar-rich Gujarat has raised its renewable energy ambition by aiming for at least 30 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2022 – some 17% of the national 175 GW target by that point.“We plan to increase capacity to 30,000 MW by 2022,” finance minister Nitin Patel said while presenting the Gujarat budget in the state capital of Gandhinagar. “Of this, 20,000 MW will be used in Gujarat and 10,000 MW will be sold to other states.”The state minister also announced the allocation of Rs1,000 crore for a new rooftop solar scheme that aims to provide installations to 2 lakh families. Under the program, households will receive a subsidy worth 40% of the cost of rooftop systems with a capacity of up to 3 kW and a 20% subsidy for systems with capacities of 3-10 kW.According to the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy’s state by state breakdown of the national renewable energy target, Gujarat was slated to achieve 8,020 MW of solar generation capacity by 2022 plus 8.8 GW of wind power and 255 MW of biomass facilities.Earlier this year, the Gujarat state government announced it would add 3 GW of renewables capacity annually until 2022 – 2 GW from solar and 1 GW of wind. Since the first Vibrant Gujarat summit in 2003, more than 100 investments have seen Rs40,000 crore pour into renewables in the state.More: Gujarat targets 30 GW of renewable capacity by 2022 Gujarat sets 30GW renewable energy goal by 2022, 17% of India’s overall target
Once referred to as the “Trashy Broad,” today people no longer smell the French Broad River before seeing her. The French Broad now supplies over one million people with drinking water, countless recreational opportunities, and scenic vistas. But the lurking dangers of the unsafe disposal of coal ash threaten the long-term health of the river and the region.The Beautiful BroadHer HistoryIf the Southern Appalachian peaks are the soul of Western North Carolina, the French Broad River is the region’s pulse. During the 18th century, industrialization swept the river’s banks and the river’s pollution kept rate with the urban development. By 1951, author Wilma Dykman called the river “too thick to drink and too thin to plow.” She wrote The French Broad, which raised awareness about the polluted river. With the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, the river was on its way to becoming the world-class recreation area enjoyed today.North-Flowing River The French Broad is one of the few north-flowing rivers in the country. For 117 miles, the French Broad River flows freely northward from its headwaters in Transylvania County, N.C. There it teems with fish and is wild and untamed.As the French Broad nears Asheville, the river becomes much wider, and a water-treatment facility built on the river’s banks provides drinking water to the region. On river right, the stacks from Duke Energy’s Asheville coal-fired power plant adjacent to the French Broad can be seen through the trees.Just downstream of the facility, the river becomes a hotbed for recreational opportunities and riverside tourist destinations. Fishers, swimmers, tubers, and flat water paddlers find plenty of river access. From the two river parks in the Bent Creek area to the six miles of continuous river parks in the city of Asheville, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the river. The parks lining the river’s edge create an urban oasis, interrupted only by the occasional tall building hinting of downtown Asheville.Tourists and residents alike visit the urban waterfront, where once abandoned industrial warehouses have been transformed into artists’ studios, breweries, and restaurants. The renaissance of the River Arts District, as the area is commonly known, continues with New Belgium Brewing Company’s announcement last year of plans to invest $175 million into building a new beer-making operation in the industrial zone. The plans involve new bike lanes and greenways along with a summer concert series, sure to encourage more people to come enjoy a beer by the riverside.The Ledges Whitewater Park offers the perfect post-study or after-work paddling destination. Only fifteen minutes from downtown, a series of ledges spread out over about 200 yards of river provides paddlers the opportunity to work out doing attainments up the rapid.Paddlers looking for a longer stretch of whitewater only have to drive some thirty minutes to Madison County. There the river becomes wilder, winding through Pisgah National Forest. Commercial outfitters and paddlers flock to this area to paddle the Barnard to Hot Springs section. The stretch consists mostly of splashy and fun Class II and Class III rapids, with one Class IV rapid, Frank Bell’s, just before the town of Hot Springs.THREATS TO HER HEALTHThe Duke Energy coal-fired power plant sits on a 90-acre complex adjacent to the French Broad River just seven miles downstream of Asheville. The plant has two ponds built in 1964 and 1982 to hold coal ash, the waste left over after coal is burned to generate power. The coal ash mixes with water to form a toxic slurry. The ponds are unlined and earthen dams are used to contain the contamination.As staff attorney Amelia Burnette of the Southern Environmental Law Center put it: “Wet storage of coal ash waste in unlined ponds causes a slew of problems. Polluted water seeps through the earthen dams into streams, rivers, and groundwater; and these impoundments can suffer from structural problems.” As of now, there’s no reason to stop recreating in the French Broad, but we must take action and address the three major threats posed by wet coal ash storage to ensure that the river stays healthy.1. Potential Dam Failure One only has to look five years back in time to be reminded of the catastrophic risk associated with using earthen dams – a dam could burst. The 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston, Tenn., ash spill devastated the Emory River. When the dam failed, 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash slurry destroyed nearby homes and property. Cleanup efforts are expected to continue into 2014 and cost $1.2 billion.The Kingston catastrophe isn’t an isolated incident. Three years before the Kingston catastrophe, a similar dam failure on a smaller-scale occurred in Martin’s Creek, Penn. In that accident, the dam released over 100 million gallons of coal ash, contaminating the Oughoughton Creek and Delaware River.After the Kingston disaster, the EPA sent out inspectors to determine the structural safety of these dams and rated the 1964 Asheville pond as “poor.” Since then, the EPA has upgraded the dam to a “satisfactory” rating.Wet coal ash storage is untenable in the long term. The Asheville plant, constructed in the 1960s, lacks the advancements of newer plants that use a dry-storage system where coal is stored in lined holes under a secure covering. Outdoor groups are advocating for the EPA to implement strong, enforceable rules to regulate coal ash. In the absence of federal safeguards, state laws govern coal ash. Too often state laws are a cobbled patchwork of inconsistent and confusing laws, difficult to enforce. Some Southeast states have tougher standards for handling household garbage than they do for the disposal of coal ash.2. Contaminated GroundwaterStoring wet coal ash in unlined ponds causes groundwater contamination, and the groundwater eventually flows into tributaries of the French Broad or directly into the river itself.Independent samples taken within a two-mile radius of the Asheville plant over the past two years show that the groundwater contains iron, magnesium, and, most troubling, thallium, in levels exceeding health standards. Thallium poses health risks to people and is suspected to cause cancer. Despite the acknowledged contamination, in December 2012 the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission voted to allow the Asheville facility to continuing contaminating groundwater.3. Leaks Bypassing the On-Site Treatment SystemThe earthen dams leak, seeping heavy metals and other pollutants found in coal ash into the French Broad. By design, the dams leak in order to avoid the potentially catastrophic safety problem of pressure build-up over time.Samples taken by the French Broad Riverkeeper showed higher than normal levels of pollutants from coal combustion waste, including boron and metals like cobalt, barium, manganese, and nickel, all listed as toxic substances by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.The samples were taken far from where the pollutants are first discharged into the tributaries. Nobody knows the real levels of contamination.WATER FIGHTIn January 2013, the Southern Environmental Law Center gave Duke Energy a 60-day notice that, if the environmental problems go unaddressed, a lawsuit will be brought pursuant to the Clean Water Act. The legal claim is that Progress is essentially bypassing the standards, conditions, and monitoring required by the Clean Water Act, since the seeps are exiting through the permitted area.The Clean Water Act requires any entity that plans to discharge a form of wastewater directly into a body of water to receive a federal permit given and enforced by the state. Essentially permits-to-pollute, each permit allows the recipient to discharge a certain amount of pollution daily. Progress moved its discharge point in 2012. Pollutants continue to flow through the seeps, entering the river at points that used to be, but now aren’t, covered by the permit.In March the state of North Carolina filed a separate lawsuit. The lawsuit stated that, “continued operation of the Asheville Plant in violation of groundwater standards (and state law) without assessing the problem and taking corrective action poses a serious danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the State of North Carolina and serious harm to the water resources of the state.” The lawsuit demands Duke Energy report the cause and extent of their discharge into the French Broad and groundwater.BEYOND WESTERN NORTH CAROLINAThe Asheville facility is a microcosm of communities across Appalachia. Nearly every major river in the Appalachia has one or more unlined ponds on its banks holding slurries of coal ash from power plants. Dams throughout Appalachia hold back tens of millions of coal ash. The dams, some of which are forty or more years old, are essentially ticking time bombs.In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, “Water is the driving force of all nature.” Nowhere in the world is that more true than in the water-rich Blue Ridge. We can prevent the insidious threats coal ash slurry poses to the region’s most prized resource now, while it’s still possible. If we wait too long, we won’t be able to separate contaminated groundwater from the river or pull heavy metals from the deep sediment layers. As a community, it makes no sense to subsidize energy costs with the health of our rivers. The price of safeguarding our water today is a fraction of the cleanup costs imposed by tomorrow’s polluted waterways.A Look at Coal Ash in Your StateOn the West Virginia and Pennsylvania border, the Little Blue Run coal ash pond is the largest in the country, covering three square miles. The color is so bright that the pond can be viewed from space.In Virginia, the EPA has only inspected five of thirteen power plants for on-site coal ash dam safety.In Tennessee, all eight of the state’s power plants received ratings of either “significant danger” or “high-hazard” from the EPA for dam safety.North Carolina has more “high-hazard” coal ash impoundments than any other state in the Southeast.South Carolina plants have inadequate data for the EPA to even assess dam safety. Only one of the state’s twelve facilities has received a safety rating.Kentucky has more coal-fired power plants than any other state in the Southeast. About one half of the facilities have “significant” or “high-hazard” ratings from the EPA.In Georgia, seven out of eleven coal power plants have been rated by the EPA for safety and the dams at all but one of the plants were rated “high-hazard.”Visit southeastcoalash.org for more information about coal ash in your area and what you can do to put a stop to wet coal ash storage.
https://www.facebook.com/Run-Around-The-World-492434571219816/ Where the journey to dreams is revealed through uncommon drive LEKI is proud to announce the launch of their new digital series UNGROUNDED, created and directed by Ben Clark, starring four LEKI-sponsored women athletes all with unique paths to the outdoors. Ski mountaineer Caroline Gleich, ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin, ultra-runner Meredith Edwards and outdoor explorer Sunny Stroeer share their individual stories of the ups and downs of living their passion and breaking ground in a previously male-dominated culture. “At LEKI, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to work with powerful women who are pushing their sport every day,” said Patrick Meehan, Marketing Manager for LEKI USA. “These women all work tirelessly and often under the radar to push their own limits and are paving the way for a new generation of mountain athletes. It’s our pleasure to help shine a spotlight on their accomplishments.” UNGROUNDED release dates: Founded in 1948, LEKI is a leading manufacturer of Skiing, Trekking and Trail Running poles and gloves, and its latest addition of folding camp chairs and tables. LEKI products are German engineered with most of the products being made in the company’s Czech Republic factory. This in conjunction with extensive research and independent testing make the best products featuring quality, value and technology. LEKI USA, Inc., headquartered in Buffalo, NY, is the sole distributor of LEKI brand products in the United States. For more information please visit https://www.leki.com/us/ or call 800.255.9982. Run Around The World: UNGROUNDED trailer: April 15: Caroline Gleich. A world class ski mountaineer, Gleich summited Mt. Everest last spring as part of her #ClimbForEquality campaign to raise awareness for gender equality. In Episode 1, Gleich overcomes her own struggle after tearing her ACL to rise to the top for all women. Please consider supporting Big Mountain Dreams Foundation and the #climbforequality: https://www.bigmountaindreamsfoundation.com/donate. May 19: Meredith Edwards. Edwards is pro athlete traveling the globe putting up versatile and consistent results in the mountains and on the podium as a skier and runner. Episode 3 reveals how in 2019 she fought an inner struggle with her body that almost resulted in a full blood transfusion-and came back from it to win one of the world’s most challenging Ultra Marathons. See more of Edwards in LEKI has supported women in the outdoors from the very beginning. From professional skiers and mountaineers to trail runners and weekend warriors, LEKI makes women-specific poles to support every adventure. UNGROUNDED is the one piece that tells the whole brand story about the role LEKI fulfills for all women in the outdoors. June 2: Sunny Stroeer. A weekend warrior who took a leap of faith to grow into her goals, Stroeer changed her life like a snake sheds its skin. Episode 4 reveals the process required to tapping into the person she was inside, an athlete who could set speed records on the world’s highest peaks, gave her a new perspective and accomplishments only she could manifest. Stroeer and AWExpeditions run all- women’s high mountain trips across three continents: https://www.awexpeditions.org. May 5: Mikaela Shiffrin. The strongest female ski racer in the game today, Shiffrin has the guts and courage of the heroes of yesteryear. In Episode 2 she reveals that skiing our best is a standard we have to set and hold for ourselves-win or lose. In memory of Jeffrey Scott Shiffrin 1954 – 2020. Please consider donating to US Ski & Snowboard or The Alzheimer’s Association in his honor: donations.usskiandsnowboard.org or alz.org. About LEKI
The Gold Coast’s new apartment market recorded 153 sales in the September quarter while the average sale price jumped to $676,307.SIX out of 10 new apartments on the Gold Coast are selling to owner-occupiers, according to the latest research by property consultants Urbis.The city’s new apartment market recorded 153 sales in the September quarter while the average sale price jumped by $48,381 to $676,307 – the highest it has been since 2014. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa21 hours agoThe increase was driven by owner-occupiers buying more expensive two-bedroom apartments.“The Gold Coast apartment market’s level of supply remained stable with 1170 apartments for sale at the end of September, lower than the two-year quarterly average of 1325,” Urbis senior consultant Lynda Campbell said.While the number of sales dropped compared to the previous quarter, there were fewer projects on the market.Sales are expected to increase over the December quarter, with several projects launching to the market.“New developments which launched in October and November on the Gold Coast have already achieved strong presales,” she said.“I expect to see the number of sales increase next quarter, with the festive season and the lead-up to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games being quite active for property developers.”
Polish natural gas companies PGNiG and LOTOS recently completed two commercial bunkering ops of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in what PGNiG says are the first operations of this kind carried out at seaports in Gdańsk and Gdynia.The first bunkering took place on March 13 and saw chemical tanker Fure Valo receive 54 tonnes of LNG fuel.In the second bunkering, which took place on March 18, bulk carrier Ireland received 18 tonnes of LNG fuel.Worth noting is the fact that the 4,500 dwt Ireland previously became the first vessel to be successfully bunkered with LNG at the Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) in May 2018.“Bunkering of ships with natural gas in liquefied form is another of many possibilities of using gas, which PGNiG imports to Poland from Qatar, Norway and the USA through the President Lech Kaczyński LNG Terminal in Świnoujście,” commented Maciej Woźniak, Vice-President of the PGNiG Management Board for Trade.According to the directive on the development of alternative fuels infrastructure, by the end of 2025 at the latest, a sufficient number of LNG bunkering points should be created in seaports. In case of Poland, these are to be: Gdańsk, Gdynia, Szczecin and Świnoujście.PGNiG and LOTOS said LNG bunkering services are now a permanent offer of both entities and can be provided in both Tri-City ports.
From Coach Prickel: The Batesville JV Volleyball team improved to 7-4 with a 25-19, 21-25, 15-7 win over Jennings County. Grace Sarringhaus was the top offensive performer with 12 points including 6 aces while going perfect on all 16 of her serves. She also led the team in kills with 6 in 12 swings. Katie Bedel added 5 kills, while Kerigan Haskamp earned 2 stuff blocks. Belle Wolters had 8 assists from her setter position.In the Varsity match the Jennings County Panthers started 40 minutes ahead of the bulldogs, or at least it seemed that way. We opened up the first two sets with the most lackluster play we have seen to date. The good news is we came about but not before spotting them two sets. In set three we were the dominant force we have seen glimpses of… Short story, JC beat us 25-16, 25-12, 11-25, 25-20. Stat leaders for the night were #20 Hattie Westerfeld with 12 kills and 4 stuff blocks, #7 Kylie Laker with three aces in set three alone, and 24 assists on the evening.The teams will play in the Ripley County Tourney on Saturday morning at BHS. First matches @ 9:00 AM.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Jody Thomas.
Donald Sidney Hock, age 74 of Osgood, Indiana (formerly of Kalkaska, Michigan), passed away on Friday, May 10, 2019. The son of Donald and Bernice (nee: Gryes) Hock was born on October 12, 1944 in Dearborn, Michigan.Donald loved to spend time flying model airplanes, helicopters and drones. He was a big baseball and football fan and of course, the Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers were his favorite teams to watch. He was also a Brady fan because of the Michigan connection so the Patriots were ok in his book too.He is survived by his wife Darlene Ann (nee: Granholm) Hock of Osgood; his daughter Tracy and husband Bruce Roe, their children Chelsea Moore (Scott), Joshua Roe and their grandchildren children Skye & Raine in addition to his son Scott Hock and his children, Justin, Jacob and Josh; and his only sister Eva Brittain of Detroit, Michigan.A Celebration of Life will be on Sunday, May 19, 2019 from 4pm – 6pm at Abor Grove Village Chapel 1021 E. Central Avenue, Greensburg, IN 47240.
Press Association The Gunners manager has come under increased pressure after a 3-1 home loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in midweek. A top-four Barclays Premier League finish is likely to offer their only hope of returning to the competition next season and they look set to go an eighth season without winning a trophy. Arsenal have long been out of the title race and face an uphill battle to overhaul north London rivals Tottenham to get back into the top four. “We want to be in the Champions League,” the Frenchman said. “Financially we can live with [not qualifying], but on the sporting front, no. And the sporting front is the priority.” FA Cup and Capital One Cup exits against lower-league opponents have also marred Arsenal’s season, but Wenger, whose side hosts Aston Villa on Saturday, believes his players can regroup and have a strong end to the season. “What we need is to be united and strong, and not to be destabilised by people who have strong opinions after one game,” he said. “I believe what is important is that the club always goes with the guidelines we have and does not change direction every time we lose a big game, that would lead to a disaster. “A bad period for a club is also a good opportunity to show how united and strong you are. We have a good history of that at Arsenal.” The club’s regular board meeting on Thursday was attended by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, who also watched the Bayern game on Tuesday night. Yet Wenger insisted it was very much a case of business as usual. He said: “The meeting speaks about many things: commercial, ticket prices, long-term plans. I make my report as well on the technical side, so it was the usual thing. Of course we had no euphoria because we have gone through a disappointment on Tuesday night, but apart from that we are responsible people who know what it is to fight.” Full-back Bacary Sagna will miss out against Villa because of a knee problem, but defender Nacho Monreal is available again after being cup-tied in Europe. Despite Villa’s troubles at the wrong end of the table, Wenger expects a tough test at the Emirates Stadium. “We have to prepare ourselves for a battle,” he said. “They are fighting to avoid relegation and it is a typical Premier League game. There is no easy game for anybody.” Arsene Wenger is confident Arsenal can survive a season without Champions League football but warned that playing among Europe’s elite must remain the club’s priority.