first_imgThe union says the deal, announced on 12 December, is the first of its kind in the world. It also includes an agreement for the union and government departments to work together to develop broader science integrity policies and guidelines. It will include rules to protect government scientists from political interference in their work, and from having their findings manipulated to support a particular political position.The union began pushing for the provision in 2014, in response to the restrictive communications policies of the previous Conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The policies left many researchers feeling they had been muzzled, unable to speak about even the most uncontroversial aspects of their work. A report by the union in 2013 found that 86% of federal scientists felt that they could not publicly share concerns about government policies that could harm public health, safety, or the environment without facing retaliation from their department leaders.The broader scientific community has welcomed the deal, says Kathleen Walsh, executive director of the scientific advocacy group Evidence for Democracy in Ottawa. “It’s a signal of the change in science in Canada in the past year,” she says. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, which came to power last year, has reversed many of the Harper government’s communication policies, and stated that federal researchers are free to speak about their work. Scientists working for the Canadian government have successfully negotiated a clause in their new contract that guarantees their right to speak to the public and the media about science and their research, without needing approval from their managers.“Employees shall have the right to express themselves on science and their research, while respecting the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector … without being designated as an official media spokesperson,” the new clause states. The ethics code says that while federal employees may talk about their own work, they should not publicly criticize government policy.“This agreement was extremely important in order to ensure that Canadians could trust public science and the decisions that governments make with that science,” says Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the Ottawa-based union representing about 15,000 federal scientists. “The Institute is proud to be able to be in a position to ensure that no government will be able to take this away from Canadians again.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

first_imgHuddersfield Town 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Mounie double helps Wagner’s men end slump Guy Atkinson Last updated 1 year ago 00:51 12/10/17 Steve Mounie - cropped Getty Images Huddersfield Town ended a run of four straight defeats as a Steve Mounie brace sealed a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion. Steve Mounie’s first goals since the opening day of the season helped Huddersfield Town cruise to a comfortable 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at the John Smith’s Stadium.The Benin International has struggled since his opening-day brace against Crystal Palace, but two first-half goals doubled his tally for the season and brought a run of four straight defeats to an end for David Wagner’s side.The 23-year-old netted his first after 12 minutes, taking advantage of some slack marking from the Seagulls’ defence to prod home at the back post. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player His second in the 43rd minute came courtesy of an error from Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan, who inexplicably let the striker’s header slip through his hands. The result means that four of Town’s five Premier League victories this season have come at home – form that they will need to maintain if they are to extend their stay in the top flight, given their difficulties on the road so far this campaign. Town have a chance to make that six wins when Chelsea visit on Tuesday, while Chris Hughton must lift his side for a daunting trip to Tottenham on Wednesday. He’s done it again! That man Steve Mounié has doubled Town’s lead!  (CL)— Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) December 9, 2017Huddersfield started with real purpose and could have taken the lead after eight minutes. Ryan, however, got down smartly to his left to paw away Mounie’s half-volley from the edge of the penalty area.The Benin international was not to be denied just a few minutes later as he stole in unmarked at the back post to bundle home Christopher Schindler’s flick from Chris Lowe’s corner.The goal somewhat took the sting out of the hosts’ early intensity, but they continued to look threatening on the rare occasions they did put pressure on Brighton’s backline. Town’s positive approach was rewarded with a second two minutes before the interval, largely thanks to some insipid goalkeeping from Ryan.Aaron Mooy did well on the left to whip in a cross, which was headed back across goal to the unmarked Mounie, whose downwards header squirmed through the weak grasp of the Australian.12′ GOAL #htafc 1-0 #bhafc: STEVE MOUNIE PUTS TOWN AHEAD! (AT)— Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) December 9, 2017 Huddersfield started the second half with the same verve that had characterised their first-half display and only two smart stops from Ryan prevented them from extending their lead.First, he denied Tom Ince a first Terriers goal with a point-blank save and then covered his near post well to get a leg to Elias Kachunga’s drive from a tight angle. Tommy Smith and Ince both came agonisingly close as Wagner’s side continued to dominate the closing stages, but they were ultimately unable to add to Mounie’s first-half salvo.  Key Opta stats: – Huddersfield have won three of their last four home games in the Premier League, with the only defeat in this run coming against first-placed Manchester City.- The 2-0 win for Terriers was their first Premier League home victory by more than a one-goal margin.- Brighton have conceded seven goals in their last two Premier League games, as many they had in their previous nine games in the competition beforehand. – Albion’s first shot on target came in the 79th minute, and was one of only two for the Seagulls overall.  read morelast_img read more

first_img Ivel Kerr Mclean has long been having a positive impact in transforming the lives of residents in volatile and vulnerable communities in St. James, through social services. Story Highlights She tells JIS News that the award came as no surprise to her sons, who greatly appreciate her commitment to her work. Ivel Kerr Mclean has long been having a positive impact in transforming the lives of residents in volatile and vulnerable communities in St. James, through social services.The affable social worker, who believes serving others is her “calling”, will be awarded a Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service to Community Development, on National Heroes Day, Monday, October 15, a recognition she describes as very gratifying.“I am very happy about [the award] because when you work, of course, sometimes you should be recognized. So I am very happy about that,” says Mrs. McLean, who has been a social worker for 35 years.Born in Roehampton, St. James, the mother of three started her career at the Social Development Commission (SDC) in 1983, and has worked as a Community Development Officer and Field Services Manager.Her stellar work at the agency led to her twice being named Community Development Officer of the Year.Mrs. McLean describes her years of service as worthwhile, noting that seeing citizens’ lives being transformed through her dedicated efforts has been a great motivation.“I have [had] a wonderful experience with the Social Development Commission. Sometimes, yes, it makes you [sad] when you see persons suffering and the help they need, you cannot offer it. [But] when you work with the community and you see [it] moving and they [citizens] are empowered, it really motivates me” she explains.Mrs. McLean was instrumental in establishing a longstanding youth club in Canterbury and a police youth club in Albion Lane, citing these among her most memorable accomplishments.“One of my most memorable experiences was [with] Albion Lane, a troubled inner-city [community, where] I [was] able to get them to form a youth club. I [however] noticed [thereafter] that the [relationship between] police [was strained]. So I asked the police to let the youth club be [transformed to] a police youth club and I spoke with the young persons in Albion Lane [who] agreed. I [also] spoke to [members of] the Police Community [and Safety] Division, [who were initially apprehensive]. [But] I [told them that they could come in as there would be] no problem,” she recounts.When asked what has kept her on the job for over three decades, Mrs. McLean says attributes this to the opportunities afforded her to transform lives.“When I look and see that my labour [has] not [been] in vain and I have seen changes in individuals and in the communities, [those] keep me going. [At] the Social Development Commission, we were like a family,” she tells JIS News.Mrs. McLean serves as a Justice of the Peace for St. James, and also sits on several Boards and Committees.These include Board Chair for Cambridge High School, and Roehampton Primary School. Additionally, she is a Board member of the Peace Management Initiative in St. James.Mrs. McLean says she was taught by her mother to display kindness to others, pointing out that she has been able to do so through social work.She tells JIS News that the award came as no surprise to her sons, who greatly appreciate her commitment to her work.“They said ‘mommy… you really deserve it… and we are happy’,” Mrs. McLean states. When asked what has kept her on the job for over three decades, Mrs. McLean says attributes this to the opportunities afforded her to transform lives.last_img read more

first_imgzoom Port Lekki, an artist’s impressionThe Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) held its first regular meeting since the Bank returned to its statutory headquarters in Abidjan on Monday, September 8, and approved a combined USD 256 million for the financing of investments in Nigeria and Ethiopia as well as a multinational projects preparation facility. The biggest investment approved is a USD 150 million senior loan to Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise for the construction of a Greenfield seaport in the Lagos Free Trade Zone, 60 kilometres east of Lagos.The project follows a 45-year concession granted to Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE), the Special Purpose Vehicle, by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) under a build, own, operate and transfer scheme.It involves construction of port infrastructure such as breakwaters, quays, approach channels, dredging of the basin as well as captive utilities such as water and power. On completion, the port would handle 2.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), 16.7 million tonnes (MT) of liquid cargo and 4.5 MT of dry bulk. Construction is expected to start in January 2015 with the container terminal operations expected to start in December 2018.The project, estimated at USD 1.675 billion, will be financed through a 54/46 debt to equity ratioIt is aligned with the Bank’s Nigeria Country Strategy Paper 2012-2016 which stresses infrastructure development in the non-oil and transport sector as well as the country’s Vision 2020, which emphasizes modernizing infrastructure.The project is also in line with the Bank’s Regional Integration Strategy Paper (RISP) for West Africa which emphasizes linking regional markets through regional transport infrastructure. Press Release; September 11, 2014last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Over two months after its worst-ever poll performance in Bengal, the CPI(M) is set for a major overhaul of its organisation in the state by replacing the old guard with new blood at all levels to “send out a message”. The CPI(M)-led Left Front, which ruled Bengal for an uninterrupted three decades since 1977, drew a blank in the 2019 election and lost deposits on 40 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Facing strong challenges from the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the latest entrant in Bengal politics, the Left party has organised two state committee meetings since the election results in May showed its hold waning in the state. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja At the meetings, the party concluded that organisational change should happen not only at the grassroots and mid levels but also at the top to “send out a message” to the electorate. The Left party is also trying to reach out the the youth through social media tools. “The party is going through an extraordinary situation and it calls for extraordinary measures. Earlier, TMC was the only threat. Now we are facing dual challenges from the TMC and the BJP,” CPI(M) politburo member Hannan Mollah told PTI. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway “We need to bring in more youth at the leadership level who can lead mass movements against communalism and revive the organisation,” Mollah said. According to CPI(M) sources, there is a speculation that the 70-year-old Surya Kanta Mishra, who has often expressed desire to step down as the party’s state secretary, could be replaced with someone comparatively “more young and agile”. “Suryada had expressed desire to pave way for young leaders. Nothing has been decided as of now. But by the time we have the next state conference, we can have a new state secretary who is more young and agile,” said a senior CPI(M) leader, on the condition of anonymity. By August 15, all district committees have been asked to submit their proposal on revival of the party’s organisation. Those suggestions would be looked into and a final draft would be prepared, to be placed before the central committee for approval, he said. “We have lost our vote share to TMC and BJP but it does not mean it is a permanent phenomenon. To reverse the tide, you need a strong and youth-driven organisation. The average age group of 70 per cent population of the country is around 40 years but the age group of CPI(M) leaders and workers in Bengal is around 70 years. We need to change it,” the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader said. The Left Front secured only 6.8 per cent votes in 2019 general election, a drop of about 17 per cent when compared to the previous parliamentary polls. “The age bracket of the leaders in the state committee needs to be brought down from 60. The same would happen for district committees, where the age bracket would be brought down from 50 and area committees, where it would be brought down from 40. “By the time the next state conference takes place in 2021, the shift in the age gap would be complete,” he said. Another CPI(M) leader said it was also decided at the meetings that the party would look into the number of members in each committee and if needed, would cut the size down. Though the party has assessed its performance since 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the reasons were not identified properly and steps to check erosion in vote share were not implemented. “The reasons behind this inability are manifold. But one of the major reasons is presence of inactive and aged leaders. So it has been decided that the average age group of all the committees will be brought down to infuse fresh blood,” said a senior state committee leader. The CPI(M) has launched a digital initiative “Bondhu Hoye Hath Barao” (extend your arm of friendship), which aims to attract the youth to volunteer in the party to counter the aggressive social media campaign of the BJP and the TMC in the state. “The secular fabric of our state is under threat due to competitive communalism practised by the TMC and the BJP, and social media is an important tool used by them. We want to use the same social media to counter those sinister designs and protect the communal harmony of the state,” the state committe leader said.last_img read more

first_imgThiruvananthapuram: Young Shubman Gill was back in form with an unbeaten 66 after bowlers set the platform, dismissing the visiting side for 164 on the first day of the ‘Unofficial’ Test here on Monday. Gill, who has been an opener for Punjab in the longer format, played out Lungi Ngidi’s (1/18 in 6 overs) first spell as he faced 108 balls, hitting nine fours and a six as India A were in command reaching 129 for 2 at stumps. With India looking out for an opener who can replace an out-of-form KL Rahul, a big innings from Gill, will put him in contention alongside Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe youngster had two steady partnerships — 48 for the opening wicket with Ruturaj Gaikwad (30) and 56 for the second wicket with Ricky Bhui (26). This was after the bowling attack performed admirably demolishing the South Africans for a meagre score in 51.5 overs. Pacer Shardul Thakur (3 for 29) and off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham (3 for 64) were the pick of the bowlers. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was steady as ever (2/37). After being drubbed 1-4 in the Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterfive-match ODI series, the South Africa ‘A’ would have hoped for a change in fortunes, but it was a tough day for them. Sent in to bat by the host, the visiting side was jolted early when senior team opener Aiden Markram was caught behind by wicketkeeper Kona Bharat off Mohammed Siraj in the first over of the match. After Siraj got the prized scalp of Markram, Thakur took over, dismissing the other opener Pieter Malan (0), Khayelihle Zondo (6) and the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen (0). With South Africa ‘A’ tottering at 22 for 5 and the host bowlers being on target, Markram’s side looked in danger of being bundled out for a double-digit score. Some late resistance from young paceman Marco Jansen (45 not out, 69 balls, 4 fours, 2 sixes) and spinner Dane Piedt (33, 45 balls, 6 fours) helped them cross the 150-run mark. Brief scores (at end of day 1): South Africa ‘A’: 164 all out in 51.5 overs (Marco Jansen 45 not out, Dane Piedt 33, Shardul Thakur 3/29, K Gowtham 3/64) vs India ‘A’ 129 for 2 in 38 overs (Shubman Gill 66 batting, Rituraj Gaikwad 30, Ricky Bhui 26).last_img read more

first_imgGlobal Affairs Canada says at least one Canadian family has been affected by a bus crash in eastern Mexico that has killed an estimated dozen people.The department says it is providing consular assistance to the family, but could not provide further details about how many Canadians were in the bus and whether they were killed or injured.Authorities in Mexico say of the 31 people on the bus, at least 12 people were killed and 18 were injured Tuesday.The bus was carrying cruise ship passengers to Mayan ruins when it flipped over on a highway.Quintana Roo state Civil Defence spokesman Vicente Martin says seven Americans and two Swedes were among the injured, but says authorities hadn’t yet established the nationalities of the dead.Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises says in a statement that passengers from two of its ships, the Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Seas, were involved.Video images from the scene show the bus on its side in vegetation off the two-lane highway, with some survivors lying on the pavement and others walking around.Public Security of Quintana Roo state said in a statement that emergency responders took the injured to hospitals in Bacalar, Chetumal and Tulum.The agency says Mexican officials have been in contact with consular offices to assist families of the victims and injured, including citizens of the U.S., Sweden and Brazil.— With files from The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: More than 200 persons died in different incidents including fire, house collapse in the city in 2018-19, said the data of Delhi Fire Services (DFS).The data further that the calls regarding different incidents also increased last year. The data accessed by Millennium Post revealed that 297 deaths reported last year whereas 1,597 persons were injured in different incidents in which DFS received information to conduct rescue operation. Last year, the city witnessed 27 medium and four serious fire. In the year 2017, as many as 318 persons died in 2017-18 and 1,767 injured. Around 24 medium and four serious fire were also reported. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe fire service responded to 31,264 calls in the last year from 64 fire stations whereas in 2017-18, around 29,423 calls came to DFS. “Calls on garbage fire was one such reason behind the increase in the calls. Moreover, the increasing population, industrialisation, vehicles on the road were the other reasons. These calls include everything like house collapse, sewer deaths,” said Chief Fire Officer of Delhi Fire Service, Atul Garg. The fire services also responded to seven foreign calls last year. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe data further revealed that in 2016-17, as many as 30,285 calls came to DFS in which 1,987 persons were injured and 277 deaths took place. Around 20 medium and six serious fire were reported. In 2015-16, the fire services responded to 27,089 calls in which 339 deaths were reported and 2,099 persons were injured whereas in 2014-15 as many as 23,242 calls came to DFS in which 2,068 persons received injury and 291 died. “Last year, the inspections of buildings of all natures such as schools, guest houses, hospitals and nursing homes, industries, etc were conducted throughout the year to ensure the fire and life safety systems and issuance of fire safety certificates,” said DFS. The fire department claimed that in 2017, around 1,883 buildings were given fire NOCs whereas in 2018, 2,618 different types of structures were given the certificate. According to DFS, there are different reasons behind the fire which include inappropriate and illegal use of building infrastructure, poor wiring, improper staircases in factories and residencies cause casualties during any blaze. In many cases of sewer deaths, it was found that the deceased was not given proper safety equipment for going inside the sewer whereas in road accidents, negligent, drunk driving led to the incidents. Increase in manpower According to DFS, 500 fire operators, duly selected through DSSSB, have joined DFS and presently, undergoing basic fire fighting training and shall be inducted into the service very soon. One legal assistant, four fireman (Band) have also joined DFS. Further process of recruitment of 55 Radio Telephone Operators is in progress at DSSSB.last_img read more

He made the request when he met party leaders in the UNF, the leader of the opposition R. Sampanthan and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at the Presidential Secretariat this evening.The President also requested the delegation to ensure the peace is maintained in Parliament. (Colombo Gazette) The President had also requested that the vote on the no-confidence motion be called by name of the MP and not by voice as was carried out yesterday. The original motion refers to the gazette notice issued by the President on October 26th so the President sought an amendment to remove that part. An amended no-confidence motion on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the cabinet is to to be submitted to Parliament tomorrow.President Maithripala Sirisena had requested the United National Front (UNF) to amend the original motion and resubmit it to Parliament. read more

“Twenty-three years ago, almost to the day, the first Oslo Accord was signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation,” the Secretary-General told the Security Council in a briefing on the situation in the Middle East. “Unfortunately, we are further than ever from its goals. The two-state solution is at risk of being replaced by a one-state reality of perpetual violence and occupation,” he warned.Despite warnings by the international community and the wider region, leaders on both sides have failed to take the difficult steps needed for peace, the UN chief said.Just yesterday, militants in the Gaza Strip fired yet another rocket into Israel, and in response, Israel fired four missiles at targets in Gaza. “Such attacks, and the response they elicit, do not serve the cause of peace,” he warned.Turning to Israel’s settlement activities, Mr. Ban said that in the past two weeks alone, plans were advanced for yet another 463 housing units in four settlements in Area C of the West Bank. Official Israeli data shows that the second quarter of 2016 had the highest number of construction starts in three years. “The decades-long policy that has settled more than 500,000 Israelis in Palestinian territory is diametrically opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state,” he said.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Credit: UN News Centre “Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end,” he said.The international community, including the Security Council and the diplomatic quartet on the Middle East peace process – comprising the UN, Russia, the United States and the European Union – universally views settlement expansion as an obstacle to peace, Mr. Ban said. Regrettably, both sides have made remarks that only perpetuate an environment of mistrust, the Secretary-General said, citing a recent statement by Israel’s Prime Minister portraying those who oppose settlement expansion as supporters of ethnic cleansing, as well as Palestinian parties’ praise of despicable acts, such as the 1972 terrorist attack against Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.On the first local Palestinian elections in over 10 years encompassing both the West Bank and Gaza, Mr. Ban said he is particularly concerned by last week’s decision of the Palestinian High Court to suspend all preparations while deliberations continue on a petition to cancel elections.The elections, if held in line with international standards, could provide an important renewal of Palestinian democracy and a first step towards advancing national unity, he stressed.International stakeholders must continue to work towards a negotiated end to the occupation, now entering its 50th year, and the establishment of a viable, democratic Palestine which lives in peace with Israel – “each respecting the other’s historic and religious connections to this holy land,” he said. Turning to Gaza, he noted that there has been progress in rebuilding the enclave in the two years since the ceasefire in the 2014 conflict. But 65,000 people remain displaced, he said, underscoring the need for more assistance to rebuild nearly 5,000 destroyed houses.Apart from reconstruction, Gaza’s humanitarian needs “run deep.” More than 1.3 million of its 1.9 million people need assistance, explained the UN chief, and he encouraged Member States to provide in a predictable manner financial support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East UNRWA.Looking at the broader situation, Gaza remains under closures and is a “ticking time bomb.” Indeed, lasting progress in Gaza can only be realized on the basis of Palestinian unity, an end to the illicit arms build-up and militant activities, and a full lifting of movement and access restrictions.On the situation in the Golan Heights, Mr. Ban said he remains concerned by the continued breaches of the ceasefire line, and by fighting in the areas of separation and limitation. These developments undermine the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement, and jeopardize the ceasefire between Israel and Syria.In particular, recent fire from the Syrian Arab Armed Forces impacted the Israeli-occupied Golan. On both occasions, Israeli Defense Forces had responded with an airstrike. “I call on Israel and Syria to abide by the terms of the Disengagement Agreement and exercise maximum restraint,” Mr. Ban said. The pace of reconstruction in Gaza remains slow. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe read more

Earth is vulnerable to space weather events such as solar flares which fling huge amounts of electromagnetic radiation at the planet, potentially causing severe disruption to power grids, air transport and satellite communications. In 1989, a geomagnetic disturbance caused a voltage collapse…–– ADVERTISEMENT –– The most severe incident – known as ‘the Carrington Event’ – happened in 1859, shorting Telegraph circuits, starting fires and causing the northern lights to dance in the sky as far south as Hawaii. Solar storms could leave Britain with £16 billion worth of damage, the first economic risk analysis has found, as experts at Oxford University called for urgent updates to space weather forecasting satellites. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

first_imgAmerica does not have 200 years in coal reserves since much of the coal that is now left in the ground cannot be mined profitably, according to a major new report from Clean Energy Action (CEA). The CEA analysis shows that the US appears to have reached its ‘peak coal’ point in 2008 and now faces a rocky future over the next 10-20 years of rising coal production costs, potentially more bankruptcies among coal mining companies, and higher fuel bills for utility consumers.  Available online at, the CEA report titled Warning: Faulty Reporting of U.S. Coal Reserves concludes:  “The belief that the US has a ‘200 year’ supply of coal is based on the faulty reporting by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of US coal deposits as ‘reserves.’ Most US coal is buried too deeply to be mined at a profit and should not be categorised as reserves, but rather as resources. The report recommends that decision makers at all levels should begin taking a hard look at coal cost and supply issues considering both geology and finance and begin thinking about scenarios that require moving the US beyond coal in significantly less than 20 years …. In short, the EIA’s reporting of over 200 billion tons of ‘Estimated Recoverable Reserves’ for US coal supplies has been like a ‘faulty fuel gauge’ for US coal estimates.”However, the report drew a sharp and quick rebuttal from the National Mining Association (NMA). NMA explained the report is “flawed.” Both the Energy Information Agency and the National Research Council confirm the US possesses enormous volumes of recoverable coal, NMA said. Nor does the report weigh the impact of natural gas prices that are expected to rise significantly, making coal more competitive than it is at today’s low prices. It also fails to account for productivity improvements that have enhanced the economic viability of coal reserves and ignores sustainable growth in coal demand from developing countries. Moreover, NMA said, the study cherry-picks dates to derive a wholly inaccurate picture of real coal price movements and fails to consider the improved efficiency and productivity from new coal-based generating capacity.The authors themselves undermined their credibility at their press event, saying while their conclusions “may be flat wrong,” the goal of eliminating coal and fossil fuels is worthwhile nevertheless.Key points in the CEA report include the following:EIA’s claimed 200,000 Mt of coal reserves are not likely to be extracted economically.  In fact, significantly less than 20% of US coal formations will likely be economically recoverable for mining purposes. Given the current financial strains affecting US coal companies, it is unclear whether they will be able to support the increased capital and labour costs associated with mining coal that is more difficult to accessConsumers are already paying the price for rising US coal costs – and likely soon will be paying even more. The cost of coal used by electric utilities has been—rising in almost all states at a rate of 6-10% per year or two to three times faster than inflation over the last decade. Since 2004, average US delivered coal costs have increased at a rate above 7% per year. At a rate of more than 7% per year, coal costs will double in less than a decade—as they have done in a number of states since 2004.  The 12 states with the highest annual increases in the cost of delivered coal from 2004-2012 are (from highest to lowest): Mississippi (12.54%), Montana (11.64%), Nebraska (11.17 %), Indiana (10.03%), Michigan (9.92%), Louisiana (9.68%), Maryland (9.59%), South Carolina (9.58%), Wisconsin (9.34%), New York (9.22%), Missouri (9.2%), and Pennsylvania (9.05%)The US already appears to be past ‘peak coal’ with coal production falling off significantly since the apparent peak in US production in 2008. In addition, almost all of the top 16 coal producing states appear to be past peak.  Even the large coal-producing western states of Wyoming (14.2% drop) and Montana (18.1% drop) have seen significant production declines in recent years that aren’t likely to be recouped. The other 14 coal producing states seeing coal production drops are (from highest to lowest percentage declines): Pennsylvania (80.2%), Virginia (61.4%), Ohio (50.2%), Kentucky (47.7%), Illinois (46.4%), Arizona (44%), Utah (39.3%), Alabama (32.4%), West Virginia (31.8%), Colorado (28.3%), New Mexico (24.3%), Texas (20.8%), North Dakota (14.9%), and Indiana (2.4%). Leslie Glustrom, Director of Research and Policy, CEA, and author of the study, said:  “Economically viable coal is a non renewable resource, and after examining currently available geological and financial data, there is good reason to believe we are rapidly reaching the end of US coal deposits that can be mined at a profit. If coal can’t be mined at a profit, not much of it will be mined. It is unclear how long the US coal industry will produce large quantities of coal and at what price, but the current financial distress of US coal mining companies could lead to significant changes in US coal production in less than a decade.”Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said:  “The rising cost of production is THE sleeper issue for those who follow coal and energy markets in the US.  It is a geological certainty and an economic fact that as mining activity matures in a region, production typically becomes more difficult and more expensive …  (T)he country is going through a transition in its energy mix for electricity. What will emerge is a more diversified set of suppliers for the nation’s electricity consumers. Coal’s relative monopoly at 50% of market share is likely to be replaced by growth in renewable resources, efficiency, natural gas and in some regions of the country by hydro … The coal industry will be smaller with less producers, fewer mines and higher prices.”Dr. Zane Selvans, Geologist and Assistant Director of research, CEA, said: “The point of this report is that the fundamental constraint on coal is not from natural gas prices or government regulations, but from the geology of coal.  The fundamental fact is that most of the coal in the US is buried too deeply to be accessed easily and we are rapidly approaching the end of accessible US coal deposits that can be mined profitably.  Independent of arguments about climate change and clean coal, coal’s days are very likely numbered due to questions of economic supply. Even if coal were perfectly clean—or could be made to be so—it would still be the wrong choice due to serious questions about long term US coal supplies.”Other key points in the CEA report include the following:While it is unknown what the future holds for the US coal industry, there could be significant disruptions in the next five to 10 years as several top US coal companies have lost over 80% of their stock value and are facing debt payments in the next 37 years that already have interest costs of 6% and above. For example, as of the end of 2012:  Patriot Coal has already filed for bankruptcy and other companies, including Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources, have been put on bankruptcy watch (on its home page, Patriot Coal notes the “significant competitive challenges stemming from macroeconomic conditions and an increasingly burdensome regulatory environment)As the cost to produce US coal increases, coal company profit margins have thinned and for some producers, profit margins have become negative — particularly from eastern mines. While production costs have risen and profit margins have thinned or become negative, mine productivity has fallen steadily from 6.99 t/employee/hour in 2000 to 5.19 t/employee/hour in 2012. Utilities that fail to understand US coal supply constraints can end up making large capital investments in coal plants that may not be economical to operate and the capital investment can then be – come stranded. Utilities and investors have already made investments of hundreds of millions of dollars or more in coal plants that have either been lost or are likely to become stranded, including: the legendary investor Warren Buffett, has written off over $1.3 billion in investment in the heavily coal-dependent Energy Future Holdings of Texas; AES Eastern lost several hundred million dollars when two New York coal plants went bankrupt and were sold to bond holders for $240 million while their original cost was approximately  $550  million; the decision by First Energy to idle the huge Sammis coal plant in Ohio after investing over $1.8 billion in pollution upgrade; and the decision by Energy Capital Partners to close the 1,500 MW Brayton Point coal plant in Massachusetts despite a recent investment of over $1 billion on upgradeOnly time will tell whether the major US coal companies will survive the financial challenges they are facing in the next several years. To ensure proper economic planning, decision-makers from all sectors should begin examining the situation of US coal supplies carefully and consider scenarios that require the US to repower while retaining grid stability with coal supplies that could become seriously constrained in the not too distant future.last_img read more

first_img 27 Comments 26,912 Views Share275 Tweet Email7 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By AFP Saturday 1 Apr 2017, 8:00 AM Short URL German Shepherds can detect breast cancer by sniffing bandages A pair of dogs are now 100% accurate in their new role as breast cancer spotters, according to researchers. Image: Shutterstock/Dobo Kristian Image: Shutterstock/Dobo Kristian DOGS CAN SNIFF out cancer from a piece of cloth which had touched the breast of a woman with a tumour, according to researchers who announced the results of an unusual, but promising, diagnostic trial.With just six months of training, a pair of German Shepherds became 100% accurate in their new role as breast cancer spotters, the team said.The technique is simple, non-invasive and cheap, and may revolutionise cancer detection in countries where mammograms are hard to come by.“In these countries, there are oncologists, there are surgeons, but in rural areas often there is limited access to diagnostics,” Isabelle Fromantin, who leads project Kdog, told journalists in Paris.This means that “people arrive too late,” to receive life-saving treatment, she added.If this works, we can roll it out rapidly.Working on the assumption that breast cancer cells have a distinguishing smell which sensitive dog noses will pick up, the team collected samples from 31 cancer patients.These were pieces of bandage that patients had held against their affected breast.With the help of canine specialist Jacky Experton, the team trained German Shepherds Thor and Nykios to recognise cancerous rags from non-cancerous ones.“It is all based on game-playing” and reward, he explained.After six months, the dogs were put to the test over several days in January and February this year.This time, the researchers used 31 bandages from different cancer patients than those the dogs had been trained on.One bandage was used per experiment, along with three samples from women with no cancer.Saving lives Each bandage was placed in a box with a large cone which the dogs could stick their noses into, sniffing at each in turn – four boxes per test.The exercise was repeated once with each sample, meaning there were 62 individual responses from the dogs in all.In the first round, the dogs detected 28 out of the 31 cancerous bandages – a 90% pass rate, the researchers announced.On the second try, they scored 100% – sitting down in front of the box containing the cancerous sample with their muzzle pressed deep into the cone.“There is technology that works very well, but sometimes simpler things, more obvious things, can also help,” said Amaury Martin of the Curie Institute, citing the many untested stories of dogs having detected cancer in their owners.Our aim was see if we can move from conventional wisdom to… real science, with all the clinical and research validation that this entails.This was the proof-of-concept phase of Kdog.The next step will be a clinical trial with more patients and another two dogs, but the team is still in need of project funding.The team believes that one day dogs may be replaced by “sniffing” machines, possibly armies of electronic diagnosticians dedicated to analysing samples that people far from clinics would send them by the post.In the meantime, Experton said there is little danger of the trained dogs using their new-found skills to accost cancer sufferers outside the lab.“These tests happen within a very specific work environment,” he explained.In a different context, these dogs are unlikely to simply pounce on random people in the street.The team says it is the only one to work with breast cancer detection from skin-touch samples.Other research projects are testing canines’ ability to smell different types of cancer in samples of the skin itself, blood or urine, even the air people exhale.© – AFP 2017Read: ‘Just getting on with it’: Laptop ban comes into force at Middle-East airports >Read: Korean Air crew to ‘readily use stun guns’ on troublesome passengers > Apr 1st 2017, 8:00 AM last_img read more

first_imgThe number of cigarette smokers in Greece has dropped considerably for the first time in years, according to three relevant reports that suggest a decline between 4 and 9 percent, the health ministry has announced. Despite the fact that the implementation of the anti-smoking law is not regarded as successful it appears that tobacco users have realised the benefits of reducing or cutting smoking altogether, Health Ministry general secretary Antonis Dimopoulos pointed out. The number of smokers using hospital anti-smoking clinics has doubled, while 65 percent of the Greeks have responded that they do not smoke when they go out. The anti-smoking legislation is seen as a positive development by 70 percent of respondents. Based on the available figures, one million euros in the anti-smoking fines have already been collected, while the anti-smoking law violations hotline (1142) has received 23,000 calls since its activation. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

first_imgAdministrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the public sector has shed 200,000 employees over the past four years, reducing the state payroll for civil servants by 8 billion euros, as part of the government’s plan to push forward a delayed overhaul of the civil service.Presenting his ministry’s reform plan for the next two years at Zappeio Hall, Mitsotakis said authorities were “moving from quantitative targets to the fulfilment of qualitative reforms in accordance with an agenda which we are setting ourselves.”The aim is to make the best possible use of the available human resources in Greece’s civil service, Mitsotakis said, citing a new system for selecting supervisors and presenting plans for boosting procedures aimed at increasing transparency and meritocracy.“It is the first time that such a complex exercise is being carried out for the evaluation of structures, the drafting of staffing plans and the designation of positions of responsibility,” Mitsotakis told an audience that included officials of the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).In the coming days, the ministry is to seek the approval of the Council of State for a series of draft presidential decrees outlining the planned overhaul.Greek labor unions have vehemently protested changes to the civil service that have been demanded by the country’s troika of international creditors over the past four years, chiefly layoffs and a so-called mobility scheme of forced transfers and dismissals. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

first_imgAjaz KhanFacebookActor Ajaz Khan’s police custody has reportedly been extended by a day. He has been arrested for creating and uploading a TikTok video that instigates violence against a particular community.Ajaz, who was arrested on Thursday by Mumbai police, will have to stay under police custody till July 20. Although the video has been taken down by TikTok app, it went viral on social media, and also reached concerned authorities.The video showed Ajaz and some other people not just instigating people against a community, but also mocking Mumbai police. The video was apparently made as a “revenge” against the lynching of Tabrez Ansari.Meanwhile, Ajaz’s wife alleged that some people are framing the actor in the case. She told media that her husband has been raising voice not only for Muslims, but also for other communities. Demanding justice for Ajaz, she claimed that a number of people have been trying to frame him.Apart from Ajaz, FIR against others involved in the video have also been issued. This is not the first time that the former Bigg Boss contestant has been arrested. Earlier, he was nabbed after allegedly being caught with drugs at a hostel.last_img read more

first_imgNASA’s big push these days is a manned mission to Mars, but that’s not going to happen until the 2030s at the earliest. In the meantime, we need to develop ways for humans to live safely in space for extended periods of time. That’s the goal of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2). The latest initiative in this program is the development of six deep space human habitats here on Earth for in-depth testing.Each of the six habitats will be developed by a different private company over the course of this year and next. You’re probably familiar with some of the ideas and companies that are participating in the habitat test. For example, Bigelow Aerospace, which made news recently with an inflatable module on the International Space Station. Bigelow will be developing a prototype of the XBASE (Expandable Bigelow Advanced Station Enhancement) that is larger than the BEAM modules on the ISS. The XBASE will be 330 cubic meters in size, compared to just 16 cubic meters for the BEAM.Space heavyweights Boeing and Lockheed Martin are also getting involved. Boeing doesn’t have many details, just that it plans to develop a module habitat system. Lockheed has an interesting plan that involves refurbishing logistics modules in space for use as habitats. Orbital ATK has worked with NASA on a number of big projects, too, and it’s designing a habitat version of its Cygnus cargo vessel.The lesser known firms working on the habitat project include Sierra Nevada Corporation, which will develop a prototype module space station design that can be assembled in orbit in 3-4 launches. NanoRacks is the final participant and will explore the feasibility of converting the upper stages of existing launch vehicles into habitable volume in orbit.NASA expects to award about $65 million in total for work done on these feasibility studies, some of which could eventually become real space habitats.last_img read more

first_imgMeibomian gland dysfunction – also known as dry eye syndrome – is on the rise among women due to excess make-up of the eyes. Though not taken seriously, the condition leads to blepharitis, extreme blurred vision, said doctors. Latest medical cases revealed that though MGD until now was seen due to ageing, now the trend has changed and it is occurring among young women as well.”The changing trend of make-ups causing MGD is dangerous. Eyeliner and other make-up usually clog the meibomian glands leading to formation of painless lumps in the eyelids hence obstructing the vision,” said Mahipal Sachdev, Director, Centre for Sight, a chain of eye centres in North India. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfElaborating on the condition, Sachadev, who often sees young women with MGD says that the meibomian produce oils that prevent the tears from evaporating quickly. Whenever the glands do not function properly, the blockage in the gland restricts it from producing oil. “The oil may sometimes thicken leading to cause benign lumps in the eyelids known as chalazion. MGD is the most known and leading cause of dry eye syndrome, blepharitis and in extreme cases loss of vision,” said Sachdev. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMedical Sciences says that there are around 40 such glands that produce oil that flows out of the eyes as tears to keep the eyes moistened. Thickening of this oil restricts its flow causing accumulation and blockage, forming a lump in the eyelid. A blocked oil gland causes this condition of red swollen eyelids.”Around 40 per cent of the women with high usage of eye make-up products tend to get affected with oil gland blockages. Parabens and yellow wax used in mascara and eyeliners to stiffen them to make it waterproof are the same chemicals that also clog the oil glands leading to MGD, chalazion, dry eye syndrome and blepharitis,” Parul Sony, senior consultant and director of Gurgram’s Complete Eye Care. Stating that anti-ageing eye creams contain retinoids that has also been linked to thickening and degeneration, Sony said that such make-ups kill the blood cells in the meibomian gland ducts.last_img read more