Yoshiki Donates 10 Million Yen To Disaster Relief In Japan

first_imgNews Facebook Yoshiki Donates 10 Million Yen To Flood Relief yoshiki-donates-10-million-yen-disaster-relief-japan NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Dec 2, 2014 – 10:58 pm Yoshiki: X Japan Email Yoshiki Donates 10 Million Yen To Disaster Relief In Japan Twitter In the wake of devastating flooding, the X Japan founder provided generous and much needed support Nate HertweckGRAMMYs Jul 16, 2018 – 4:47 pm International music superstar Yoshiki has sprung to the aid of his native country in the aftermath of heavy downpours and flooding that has caused extensive damage in western Japan. The celebrated musician has donated 10 million yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society through his own charitable foundation, Yoshiki Foundation America.  “I just saw the news in the U.S. and I pray for those who passed away,” Yoshiki said in a statement. “I truly hope the damage caused by heavy rain will not spread anymore.”The damage in western Japan is staggering, with a death toll surpassing 210 victims and warnings circulating of even more landslides to come. The devastation has been intensified by a heat wave that hit southern Japan, meaning Yoshiki’s generous support is coming at a critical time for those battling to survive the disaster.This is far from the first time Yoshiki has opened his heart and his wallet to help in the wake of a natural disaster. Last year he donated $25,000 to aid Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas, and he lent another $100,000 to the Recording Academy’s MusiCares for disaster relief for hurricane survivors in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. In 2016 he donated 10 million yen to earthquake disaster relief in Kumamoto.Those seeking to support the flood relief efforts in Japan can donate to the Japanese Red Cross Society. For more information on Yoshiki Foundation America, please visit the organization’s website.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”last_img read more

Kit Haringtons shocking reaction when Game of Thrones ending revealed

first_imgKit Harrington aka Jon Snow in Game of ThronesFacebook/ Game of ThronesHBO’s Game of Thrones will stop airing in May 2019 and it will leave millions of fans in a dizzy asking for some more drama. Filming the last episodes were also not easy for the cast and crew of this acclaimed fantasy TV series. Kit Harington recently talked about his feelings and how he cried after reading the last pages of the script.Game of Thrones season eight entered into production a long time ago. Several stars of the show have talked about their feelings towards the end of it and how much they are going to miss playing their respective characters. As it turned out, Kit Harington was apparently the last person to read the end. He recently told Stephen Colbert on his show, The Late Show that he apparently was too lazy to read the script but when he did, he cried a lot.”We had a table read and I was the one person who hadn’t read the episodes,” Kit explained. “Everyone else had them like, three days before and read them and… I think I told everyone it was because I didn’t want to know what happened but I think it was just laziness that I didn’t read them.”Kit Harington further revealed that when he got to read the script, the showrunners were pretty excited to know his reactions. After reading Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6’s script, Kit, who plays Jon Snow, was pretty shocked and surprised for the change in the events.”And then I blubbed my eyes out. I cried. I cried, yeah,” he added.Kit Harington also talked about having a child and extending his family. He and his GoT co-star Rose Leslie got married last year. The couple met during season three and have been together ever since. While talking to The Sunday Telegraph’s Watch via DailyMail, Kit talked about his future family as his work with Game of Thrones is finally over. Actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie attend the premiere of HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ season 7 at Walt Disney Concert Hall on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images”I met my wife in this show so, hopefully, it gave me my future family and my life from here on in.” Kit added: “It has changed my life completely. You could not ask for a better job than to be an actor in Game of Thrones.”Kit Harington will return as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones season 8 in April.last_img read more

Have Hyderabadi cricketers actually been treated unfairly

first_imgVVS Laxman’s retirement came all of a sudden in 2012ReutersAmidst all the debate that took place around the absence of Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant from the Indian ICC 2019 World Cup squad, what stood out most was Rayudu’s tweet. But even more interesting was the retweet by another out-of-favour Indian cricketer – Pragyan Ojha.The left-arm spinner last represented India in Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series against West Indies in late-2013. Interestingly, he was the man-of-the-match in his last Test. Ojha retweeted the comments of Rayudu and added his own views to it.Now, Ojha didn’t reveal who are those ‘Hyderabadi cricketers’ that have been in ‘similar situations.’ But does he have a point when he suggests that cricketers belonging to this proud city have had a raw deal?If we look at the most prominent cricketers from Hyderabad, one can find grievances that all of them can have. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is any systematic bias against these cricketers. However, let’s first look at these prominent names and their possible complaints.Mohammad AzharuddinIt is very difficult to have sympathy for this legendary batsman from Hyderabad. After all, many would say it were his own actions that led to his career ending in disgrace. While the courts may have acquitted him and there are not any official sanctions against the former India captain, he still carries the taint of match-fixing. However, he can carry the grouse of not being allowed to play his 100th Test and being forced to end his career with 99. Of course, that is a partisan view.VVS LaxmanOne of the most aesthetically pleasing players in the world and a true match-winner, Laxman’s exit from the team was very, very surprising (pun intended). In 2012, he was picked in the Indian Test side to face New Zealand in a two-match home series. But all of a sudden, VVS announced his retirement. Speculation was rife that he had been told by the selectors that this would be his last series and he responded by ending his career himself. How much truth there was in these rumours, we don’t know. But it has to be said that Laxman’s form had declined substantially in the last year of his career and his place in the team was under doubt. But for hard-core fans of the batting wizard, that won’t be any consolation. Pragyan Ojha (L) put out a tweet suggesting Hyderabadi players getting a raw dealBCCIPragyan OjhaNow we come to the main aggrieved party. Does Ojha have reason to feel hurt by the selectors? He certainly does. The Orissa-born cricketer had become a regular member of the Indian Test team by late 2010 and was acting as a deputy to Harbhajan Singh. But for some reason, Indian selectors convinced themselves that he cannot do well on non-Asian pitches. Every time India needed a second spinner outside the sub-continent, they went to Amit Mishra – be it the South Africa tour of 2010-11 or England tour of 2011.Ojha, in order to prove his worth on non-friendly pitches, played a season of county cricket for Surrey in 2011. Even the former India captain Sourav Ganguly was impressed with his performances in English conditions. But the selectors kept ignoring him and when they decided to replace Ashwin during the South Africa tour of 2013, they went to Ravindra Jadeja and not Ojha.But even before that, the left-arm spinner was getting a raw deal from his team. After emerging as India’s best bowler in the four-Test series against England in 2012, he was dropped for the first two matches of the next series – vs Australia. Imagine the highest run-scorer from a series getting dropped for the first half of the next series. It seems impossible but this is exactly what Ojha faced.His problem got compounded when the ICC decided to crack down upon suspicious bowling actions and he too had to undergo remodelling. But since then, Ojha has made a comeback but without the selectors giving him another opportunity. So, one can understand why he feels aggrieved. Among all the Hyderabadi cricketers, it’s this one who has been treated most unfairly by the selectors and team management.last_img read more

Leading Indian sports stars express their joy at scrapping of Article 370

first_imgSuresh Raina and Saina Nehwal were among those celebrating abrogation of Article 370 (File photo)PBLWhile the whole country is reacting to the landmark move by the government of India to remove Article 370 from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the sporting fraternity of the country hasn’t been missing either. Just as most Indians seem delighted by what they describe as the ‘full integration of Kashmir into India,’ the sportsmen and sportswomen are also eschewing a sense of joy and euphoria.After the union Home Minister Amit Shah made the announcement in the Rajya Sabha and the news started spreading quickly, several athletes, from diverse disciplines, started posting tweets of support and approval. Some of the sportspersons were, obviously members of the BJP and some were supporters of the party. But there were also a large number of prominent names who are not associated with the party.Let’s look at the tweets put out by the biggest names from the world of Indian sports expressing their joy at scrapping of Article 370 in J&K public. Yogeshwar Dutt was most emphatic in his support The real ‘Dangal’ girl was also happy Asian Games champion Bajrang was elated Celebrated boxer Manoj Kumar was also enthusiastic in his approval Raina, a Kashmiri Pandit himself, also expressed his views Sports Minister also expressed his joy Former cricketer and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir also expressed his views Paralympics medalist and BJP member Deepa Malik congratulated all Indians Saina Nehwal retweeted her father’s message Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik approved of the move by the government.last_img read more

When Emraan Hashmi wanted to steal Aishwarya Rai Bachchan from Abhishek Bachchan

first_imgWhen Emraan Hashmi wanted to steal Aishwarya Rai Bachchan from Abhishek Bachchan.Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images/InstagramEmraan Hashmi, who is known to be a ladies man, at least on screen, once said that he would want to steal Aishwarya Rai Bachchan from Abhishek Bachchan.During a rapid fire round on Koffee With Karan, host Karan Johar asked Emraan to name one thing, not necessarily materialistic, that he would like to steal from certain people, Emraan had made the said remark.When asked what he would steal from Abhishek Bachchan, Emraan instantly replied, “his wife”, who is Aishwarya. This answer from the actor left KJo burst out into a laughter. When asked about Ranbir Kapoor, Emraan had similar answer as he said he would like to steal his girlfriends. Interestingly, even in regard to Saif Ali Khan, Emraan said he would like to steal his wife that is Kareena Kapoor Khan.Well, Emraan’s answers on the show’s rapid fire round suggested that either he was really obsessed with other stars’ wives or he was just too desperate to win the hamper, which he eventually did for his spontaneous and bold replies.The said episode of Koffee With Karan also had Mahesh Bhatt as the other guest. The veteran director too was in his spontaneous best on the show, and decision to declare Emraan the winner was not an easy one for Karan.Meanwhile, Emraan will next be seen in a multi-starrer gangster movie titled Mumbai Saga. The first look poster of the film was released recently. Apart from Emraan, the film features John Abraham Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty, Gulshan Grover, Rohit Roy, Prateik Babbar and Amole Gupta.last_img read more

Iran accuses US of unacceptable escalation in tensions

first_imgMap of IranIran accused the United States Thursday of an “unacceptable” escalation of tensions and said Tehran was showing “maximum restraint” despite Washington’s withdrawal from a nuclear deal with world powers.Tensions were already high after president Donald Trump walked away a year ago from the accord which eased international sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.But strains have ratcheted up with the US deploying an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf over alleged threats from Iran.”The escalation by the United States is unacceptable,” Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Tokyo, where he is holding talks with Japanese officials.”We exercise maximum restraint… in spite of the fact that the United States withdrew from JCPOA last May,” Zarif said earlier, referring to the agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.He added that Tehran remains “committed” to the deal, and said continuing assessments showed Iran was in compliance with the multilateral agreement.Later, Zarif told reporters there was “no possibility” of negotiations with the United States to reduce spiralling tensions, describing US pressure as an “act of suicide”.Zarif’s comments came after the US on Wednesday ordered non-emergency staff evacuated from its Baghdad embassy due to an “imminent” threat from Iranian-linked Iraqi militias.Two major pro-Iran armed groups in Iraq rejected suggestions the embassy personnel were at risk.Nasr al-Shomari, a military commander for the Iran-backed Harakat al-Nujaba, told AFP the claim was “a pretext” by Washington to create “an uproar” in Iraq.But the move added to growing fears that the long-time rivals could be on course for conflict despite both sides stressing they have no desire for war.Trump, however, predicted Iran would “soon” want to negotiate and denied there was any discord in the White House over moves that critics say could lead to war in the Middle East.”I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon,” the president tweeted.He also blasted media reports of White House turmoil over Iran, saying “there is no infighting whatsoever. Different opinions are expressed and I make a final and decisive decision.”Zarif late Thursday dismissed Trump’s prediction of talks, telling reporters: “I don’t know why President Trump is confident.”Opponents of Trump say hardliners led by national security advisor John Bolton, who has long advocated toppling the Iranian regime, are pushing the country into war.According to Iranian state media, Zarif is set to visit China on Friday for discussions on “regional and international issues” including the 2015 nuclear deal with global powers.- ‘Imminent threat’ -Despite international scepticism, the US government has been pointing to increasing threats from Iran, a long-time enemy and also a rival of US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.Senior State Department officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the threat came from Iraqi militia “commanded and controlled” by Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”It is directly linked to Iran, multiple threat streams directly linked to Iran,” said one official.”This is an imminent threat to our personnel,” said a second official.Washington says it has received intelligence on possible attacks by Iranian or Iranian-backed forces, possibly targeting US bases in Iraq or Syria.Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Tuesday insisted the showdown with the United States was a mere test of resolve.”This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war. Neither we nor them (the US) seek war,” he said.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed that sentiment, saying in Sochi, Russia: “We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran.”World powers have rushed to urge calm and US allies continued to show skepticism over Washington’s alarm bells.Britain’s Major General Chris Ghika, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition fighting the jihadist Islamic State group, said Tuesday there was no special heightened alert.After Ghika’s comments drew a sharp retort from the US Central Command, Britain’s defence ministry said Wednesday they have “long been clear about our concerns over Iran’s destabilizing behaviour in the region” — while still not confirming any new imminent danger.Some observers speculate Tehran is seeking to retaliate over Washington’s decision in April to put Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on a terrorism blacklist — a move designed to stymie their activities across the Middle East.But since the first US warning on 5 May, the only incident has been a still-mysterious “attack” Monday on tankers anchored off Fujairah, an Emirati port located at the strategically crucial entrance to the Gulf.One or more vessels incurred light hull damage, but what caused the damage and who was behind it remains unknown.last_img read more

White House Pastry Chefs Make National Mall in Gingerbread

first_imgBy DEB RIECHMANN, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — The traditional White House gingerbread house isn’t exactly a house this year. It’s a massive, sugary replica of the entire National Mall.The pastry creation — featured at Monday’s unveiling of the White House holiday decorations — required 225 pounds of dough, 25 pounds of chocolate and 20 pounds of white icing. It includes replicas of the Capitol, the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, the Washington Monument and the White House, complete with tiny green wreaths with red ribbons on each window.The gingerbread house, showcasing the full expanse of the National Mall: the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, and, the White House is seen in the State Dining Room during the 2018 Christmas Press Preview at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Christmas has arrived at the White House for 2018 as first lady Melania Trump unveiled the holiday decor. She designed the decor, which features a theme of “American Treasures.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)White House pastry chefs have created gingerbread houses during the holidays since the early 1970s. The first one depicted a Christmas village. Another was a replica of President Bill Clinton’s boyhood home in Arkansas.“American Treasures” is the theme of this year’s White House holiday decor, designed by first lady Melania Trump, who tweeted a video showing her walking amid the display. Decorations in the ornate East Room are meant to highlight the diversity and ingenuity of American architecture.The Official 2018 White House Christmas Ornament is seen during the 2018 Christmas Press Preview at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Christmas has arrived at the White House. First lady Melania Trump unveiled the 2018 White House holiday decor on Monday. She designed the decor, which features a theme of “American Treasures.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)Four custom-made mantelpieces feature the skylines of New York, St. Louis, Chicago and San Francisco. Seventy-two handmade paper ornaments representing six regions across the nation adorn four 14-foot fir trees. In the library, trees are decorated with ornaments from all states and territories.In the China Room there are three tables recreated from previous state dinners during the Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Trump administrations using, china and glassware from the White House permanent collection. A place card for President Donald Trump is next to one for “Mrs. Macron,” French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife, Brigitte.Upstairs in the Green Room, there are decorations representing an American cornucopia with fruits, vegetables and grains adorning a tree.The official White House Christmas tree is seen in the Blue Room during the Christmas press preview at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. The tree measures 18 feet tall and is dressed in over 500 feet of blue velvet ribbon embroidered in gold with each State and territory. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)The 18-foot official White House Christmas tree stands tall in the center of the Blue Room. The Fraser fir from North Carolina is decorated with more than 500 feet of blue velvet ribbon embroidered in gold with each state and territory.The Red Room features ornaments and two wreaths made of pencils stamped with “Be Best,” Mrs. Trump’s youth initiative.Patriotism is on display in the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall. More than 14,000 red ornaments hang on the branches of 29 trees. Hidden projectors cast silhouettes of pine and other holiday greenery on the ceilings.The Cross Hall is seen during the 2018 Christmas Press Preview at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Christmas has arrived at the White House. First lady Melania Trump unveiled the 2018 White House holiday decor on Monday. She designed the decor, which features a theme of “American Treasures.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)From their portraits on the walls of the corridor, Presidents John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan gaze down on the holiday spectacle.last_img read more

Chinas Streaming Giants Seek South East Asia Expansion

first_img Chinese Streamer iQIYI Squeezed by Changing Content Context Chinese video streaming giant iQIYI is looking to expand its service across 10 countries within South East Asia. The move would be the NASDAQ-listed company’s first venture beyond Greater China.The move was disclosed on Wednesday by Yang Xianghua, president of membership & overseas business group, iQIYI, as part of a presentation at the APOS conference in Indonesia. He provided no timetable for execution of the plan.The company’s biggest rival in China, Tencent Video is already moving in the same direction. Tencent gave a soft launch to a VoD service in Thailand in November last year. It formally launched its Thai service last month under the name WeTV, with a mix of Chinese, Thai, Korean and U.S. content.The Chinese video industry has evolved rapidly from a DVD-based and piracy dominated industry at the beginning of the decade into one of the most sophisticated online environments in the world. The three long form leaders – iQIYI, Tencent Video and Alibaba’s Youku — now have higher content spend than China’s traditional TV players. And they have achieved global scale, while operating in China without competition from Netflix and Amazon. Popular on Variety Related China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansioncenter_img iQIYI operates a mixed business model with both advertising and subscription tiers. It reports 87 million paying subscribers, delivering $1.58 billion (RMB10.6 billion) of revenue from membership services. Subscriptions account for roughly a third of iQIYI’s group revenue.iQIYI plans to make its app available for download from virtual stores across the region, but it will not become wholly operational in each territory straight away. It is understood to be considering the opening of a Singapore office and is exploring relations with Astro in Malaysia.Those two countries boast significant Chinese diaspora populations. Other priority countries are understood to include Thailand, which boasts a significantly digital savvy population and tumbling data costs, and youthful Vietnam.iQIYI boasts a large volume of original Chinese-language content, which it has commissioned or produced. Innovative technology and original content have helped convert free users into paying subscribers within China. The company now foresees further increases in production budgets to make original content that will win over Asian viewers.In the medium term iQIYI original content could be supplemented with original local content, co-productions and acquired material.To date iQIYI’s only operational experience outside mainland China has been in Taiwan. “We have learned a lot about different models and systems, and about different tastes in films, and Korean series,” said Yang. “We have other strengths such as music – our series ‘The Rap of China’ is already popular in Malaysia – and the strength of Chinese stars and idols.”“In Asean, Thailand and Indonesia are two strategic countries for Tencent and the company has a lot of consumer business in Thailand that it can leverage faster,” Li Kaichen, director of strategy development at Tencent and head of Tencent’s overseas video business, recently told Thai media. Tencent owns the WeChat social media ecosystem in China and in 2016 acquired majority control of Thai directory and social media platform Sanook. Many industry commentators expect Asia’s multitude of regional streaming companies to undergo a phase of rationalization within the next two years. While neither iQIYI or Tencent has talked of corporate acquisitions in Asia, their deep pockets and an ambition to keep growing once the Chinese video market reaches maturity, makes it an intriguing possibility. It would potentially put the Chinese video giants head to head with the global platforms Netflix, Amazon and Disney+.“The way that Chinese companies have approached e-commerce in the region has been to plant a flag, see where they can grow organically, and then to buy where necessary,” a streaming executive told Variety at APOS. “It remains to be seen how well they can operate video in markets where Chinese content is not dominant.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Study shows genes may play a role in promiscuity

first_imgCaptive Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata at Bodelwyddan Castle Aviary, Denbighshire, Wales. Image: Arpingstone/Wikipedia. (PhysOrg.com) — In a recent study, in what is likely to stir some controversy, researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany have shown that finches in the wild, normally a monogamous type of bird, tend to cheat on their “spouses” and what’s more, it appears to be an inherited trait; but that’s not the end of it, the researchers also suggest in their paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that such inherited traits may also exist in other species, including man. It has actually been known for quite some time that finches tend to stray, and while the male behavior seemed clear and well understood, the female behavior was somewhat of a puzzle. The males, by straying were spreading their seed around, thus keeping things in the finch world, richly diversified. But why would the females go along with the whole game, as there didn’t seem any reward for them?To find out, the team, led by Wolfgang Forstmeier, studied 1,554 zebra finches over five generations; taking DNA samples along the way. In addition to studying their natural behavior, they also swiped the eggs from some nests and deposited them in others to make sure the birds weren’t learning their errant behavior from a parent.What they found was that male finches with a father that strayed, were more likely to stray themselves, regardless of whether that father was around to help raise them. They also found the same was true for the females, a surprising result, but one that makes sense when you consider that if birds in any given area are to remain diversified, at least some of the females are going to have to stray as well; but not all, as clearly finches benefit from having nearly monogamous mates to help raise their young.The authors, even as they step out on a limb to suggest the same traits may hold true for human beings as well as for birds, immediately backtrack, making it clear they realized that there is far more going on when people stray, than when birds do so. Even so, it’s an interesting idea; one some people might use after learning about the results of this study, when looking for a rationale to excuse their behavior. More information: Female extrapair mating behavior can evolve via indirect selection on males, PNAS, Published online before print June 13, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103195108AbstractIn many species that form socially monogamous pair bonds, a considerable proportion of the offspring is sired by extrapair males. This observation has remained a puzzle for evolutionary biologists: although mating outside the pair bond can obviously increase the offspring production of males, the benefits of such behavior to females are less clear, yet females are known to actively solicit extrapair copulations. For more than two decades adaptionist explanations have dominated the discussions, yet remain controversial, and genetic constraint arguments have been dismissed without much consideration. An intriguing but still untested hypothesis states that extrapair mating behavior by females may be affected by the same genetic variants (alleles) as extrapair mating behavior by males, such that the female behavior could evolve through indirect selection on the male behavior. Here we show that in the socially monogamous zebra finch, individual differences in extrapair mating behavior have a hereditary component. Intriguingly, this genetic basis is shared between the sexes, as shown by a strong genetic correlation between male and female measurements of extrapair mating behavior. Hence, positive selection on males to sire extrapair young will lead to increased extrapair mating by females as a correlated evolutionary response. This behavior leads to a fundamentally different view of female extrapair mating: it may exist even if females obtain no net benefit from it, simply because the corresponding alleles were positively selected in the male ancestors. Explore further Citation: Study shows genes may play a role in promiscuity (2011, June 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-genes-role-promiscuity.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com Infidelity pays off for female Gouldian finches This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

When art comes calling on their doors

first_imgThe six-day exhibition displaying the officers creative works ranging from figurative drawings, photographs capturing the reflections of the world to embroideries using pearls and bead sequins are on show at the Hudco Art Gallery. ‘This exhibition was impromptu. In fact, nobody in our office knew that we are into paintings and craftsmanship,’ said Nirmala Pillai, currently working in the Department of Telecommunications as Advisor. Pillai has painted acrylics of women. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘I worked on acrylics. I like nature and many other small things which people ignore. I like to highlight them on my paintings,’ says Pillai who claims to be a self-taught artist.‘Painting is my passion…a strees-buster. I can give up anything for it,’ she says.Sumita Purkayastha, who works at the Department of Telecommunications as DG (NICF), has displayed her designs on saris, suits and dupattas in a combination of Mughal motif with material ranging from silk, tussar, crepes and cotton. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixShowcasing her love for candle-making, Monali P Dhakate, currently on deputation to Staff Selection Commission as Regional Director, has exhibited her collection of handmade candles and chocolates, which she says she had picked up during her days in school.‘The love for candles started in my school days where we were taught of candle making. My mother used to call this craft as mess. She always says to create something exceptional…you need to focus on the smallest details. These words were inspirational for me. The passion and love for the craft developed with time,’ she says.Monali, has showcased her handmade candles for the first time in a public exhibition.‘The idea to exhibit our works was proposed by Nirmala. So we thought let’s come out and show the other side of us which is vibrant and colourful,’ adds Monali.Director (SEA) in the Department of Telecommunications, Yashashri Shukla’s passion for photography is evident with photographs on display at the exhibition giving glimpses of the places she has travelled over the years.The photographs of sunset at Chidiyatapu, Port Blair, a couple walking on the Radhanagar beach at Havelock, Tibetian flags and the ‘Bovine Spa’ are some of her favourite collections.last_img read more

Visual Studio 2019 New features you should expect to see

first_imgMicrosoft announced Visual Studio 2019, the next major version of its signature IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for software design. This exciting news has come right on the heels of Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub. According to Microsoft, the company is still in the “early planning phase” for Visual Studio 2019 and Visual Studio for Mac. Release timing will be shared “in the coming months,” with the company simply promising “to deliver Visual Studio 2019 quickly and iteratively.” Along with general improvements to make the developer tool more reliable and more productive, Microsoft has some concrete goals in mind. Last month at Build 2018 developers conference, Microsoft demonstrated two new Visual Studio previews: IntelliCode and Live Share. The former uses AI to offer intelligent suggestions that improve code quality and productivity, and the latter lets developers collaborate in real time with team members who can edit and debug directly from Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code. Specific features that will be delivered in VS2019 are not provided, rather Microsoft lists various themes that the project will address. Here are the major new features Microsoft will bring in Visual Studio 2019 in coming days : It will continue to explore connected capabilities such as Live Share, for users to collaborate in real time on the same code base worldwide. It wants to investigate making cloud development situations, such as working with online source repositories, smoother. Enhancements for AI-assisted development via IntelliCode and use of the Azure cloud to deliver AI-powered assistance to developers. Operational enhancements such as additional refactoring, quicker application load, faster builds, improved navigation, and improved debugging. The release date for VS2019 is not available yet, but VS2017 was released in March 2017 and was preceded by several preview builds throughout 2016. Similarly, one would expect the first preview build of VS2019 in late summer / early autumn this year.  Fortunately VS2019 is being designed to install side-by-side with existing VS2017 builds, so it will be easy to try out the new release when it is available. A key fact about this next release, according to Microsoft, is that it will remain a 32-bit application and will support Windows 7. Initial developer reactions indicate there are concerns about the unresolved issues and code quality problems with VS2017, and that it is premature to shift to VS2019.  Microsoft does not offer specifics, but does indicate that they are working to improve this with the development team. Read Next : Microsoft is going to acquire GitHub Unit Testing in .NET Core with Visual Studio 2017 for better code quality What’s new in Visual Studio 1.22last_img read more

Sweden and Hungary show the greatest level of medi

first_imgSweden and Hungary show the greatest level of media concentration amongst 11 countries surveyed by the European Audiovisual Observatory in a new report, Converged Markets – Converged Power? Regulation and Case Law.Which country shows the greatest level of media concentration depends on the measure used. Taking the combined audience share of the four main media groups in each country analysed, and using date provided by Eurodata TV World-wide, Sweden shows the greatest level of concentration with the top four groups holding 91.9% of the market.Taking the power of the top three European groups as the measure, Hungary shows the greatest concentration, with RTL group holding almost 30% of the daily audience. The three largest European media groups are ProSiebenSat.1, RTL Group and TF1 Group.last_img

TSX Venture 96468 103862 14165

first_img TSX Venture 964.68 1,038.62 1,416.54 Silver Stocks (SIL) 14.86 16.59 20.32 Gold Producers (GDX) 29.69 34.25 43.88 Silver 24.13 27.19 30.36 One Month Ago One Year Ago Rock & Stock Stats Last Copper 3.10 3.33 3.74center_img TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 12,438.03 12,422.12 12,014.90 Dear Reader, Last week, our senior precious metals analyst, Jeff Clark, advised: Buy Gold NOW. So far that has worked out well, but it begs the question: What about gold stocks? When do we back up the truck for them? My own answer in the current edition of the International Speculator is that no one really knows, but that those who buy value when its price is low should do very well indeed. Jeff returns this week with a by-the-numbers look at the last two biggest gold stock corrections, comparing them to our market today. This is excellent context we would all do well to remember when asking such questions. Sincerely, Gold 1,470.70 1,574.75 1,637.75 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 12.20 14.67 22.30 Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research Oil 93.99 94.45 102.54last_img read more

Thats the latest iteration of the CTCiChip cre

first_img That’s the latest iteration of the CTC-iChip , created by a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School led by Mehmet Toner. The “chip” is about two inches long, one inch wide, and paper thin. It’s designed to capture what are known as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) to give doctors a way to diagnose and track cancer that is less invasive, cheaper, and more informative than a biopsy. CTCs are shed into the bloodstream by tumors, and their isolation and analysis could lead to early detection of invasive cancers—which is important, because the earlier a patient is diagnosed, the better his or her chances of survival—and help doctors develop better and more personalized treatment regimens. The problem is that these things are rare, typically just 1 to 10 CTCs per billion blood cells. Isolating them has proven difficult over the years. The new CTC-iChip combines multiple technologies like size separation (which takes advantage of the fact that CTCs are larger and stiffer than blood cells) and magnetic-tag separation (which involves tagging white blood cells with magnetic beads so they can be discarded using a magnetic field after the sample is run) to isolate the individual CTCs. Isolating the individual CTCs this way allows scientists to perform single-cell genomic analysis. And that’s important. Consider a cancer biopsy. You can look at the sample and see that the cells are different from one another, yet the way researchers further analyze the sample is by grinding up the tissue and examining the smearing of all the genetic signatures of the different individual cells. This provides you with a rough average of the genetics of all the cells in the sample, but it masks critical differences. For example, the genetics of the metastatic cells are quite different from the cells that won’t spread the disease; with conventional methods of analysis you can’t see that. So you won’t be able to understand what makes the cancer go from a dangerous to a deadly state. By employing single-cell analysis that’s facilitated by this microfluidic chip, physicians can develop a better understanding of the disease, which could lead to more effective personalized treatments. Pretty cool. But it doesn’t stop there. Another new and particularly interesting effort in the area of microfluidics is a play on the well-known system-on-a-chip (SoC) technology from the world of computers. It can be described as human-organs-on-a-chip and could eventually become an invaluable tool that leads to a more efficient drug-discovery process. The idea is not to make replacement organs for transplant, but to replicate enough of an organ’s functions to make the chips useful in testing substances for toxic and therapeutic effects. That has immediate applicability, because a major part of the preclinical phase of drug development involves assessing safety and biological activity in the laboratory—especially in animal studies. (It’s difficult to access reliable figures, but it’s safe to say that billions of dollars a year is spent on animal tests.) The problem with these animal models—without even touching on the various potential ethical issues involved—is that, although they have historically been one of the most trusted tools in drug development, they are not actually all that predictive of the human situation. Not only do animal models fail to identify numerous drugs that are toxic to humans, they also derail drugs that would have been efficacious. Of course this makes sense. Different animals evolved differently and have different biologies. Nevertheless, we continue to rely on expensive, time-consuming, and unreliable animal models in the drug-development process because they’re the best we have. But thanks to advancements in microfluidic technologies, human organs on chips could be a better way. The breakthrough in this area came in mid-2010, when researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard announced they had successfully developed a lung-on-a-chip. The device, which is about the size of a rubber eraser and is made using human lung and blood-vessel cells, actually mimics a living, breathing human lung. It’s essentially a porous membrane with human cells from the lung’s air sac on one side and human capillary blood vessel cells on the other side. There’s air flowing through the channel on the lung side and a medium (like blood) with human blood cells in it flowing through the channel on the capillary side. The whole thing stretches and relaxes like our lungs do when we breathe. And it does a good job replicating the natural responses of living lungs to various stimuli. Just as the living lung-blood interface recognizes invaders such as inhaled bacteria or toxins and activates an immune response, so too does lung-on-a-chip. The researchers tested this by introducing E. coli bacteria into the air channel on the lung side of the device while concurrently adding white blood cells to the channel on the blood vessel side. The lung cells detected the bacteria and, through the porous membrane, activated the blood vessel cells, which in turn triggered an immune response that ultimately caused the white blood cells to move to the air chamber and destroy the bacteria. Lung-on-a-chip was just the beginning. The Wyss Institute also has kidney-on-a-chip, bone-marrow-on-a-chip, and gut-on-a-chip—a silicon polymer device about the size of a flash memory stick that mimics complex 3D features of the human intestine. All could prove to be valuable diagnostic tools in the development of safe and effective new therapeutics. We’re on the cusp of a revolution in life-science research. This revolution promises to bring with it better ways to detect cancer and other diseases, as well as a more efficient drug-discovery process. And it promises these benefits on the cheap—thanks in large part to what’s known as microfluidics. Let’s back up for a moment… back to December 29, 1959. It was then that physicist Richard Feynman gave his now-famous lecture titled There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom, during which he essentially anticipated what we now call nanotechnology. Feynman actually never mentioned the word “nanotechnology” in his talk—and it wasn’t until the 1980s that nanotech researchers began regularly citing his lecture—but what he did do at that time was posit the amazing possibilities afforded by miniaturization, including “miniaturizing the computer.” He foresaw that the clunky “computing machines” of his day would be infinitely more useful if they could be shrunk. At the time of Feynman’s talk, although transistors were beginning to replace vacuum tubes, computers were still huge and grossly inefficient. The IBM Stretch computer of 1959 managed to fit a mere 150,000 transistors into its 33-foot length. Meanwhile, Feynman was talking about wires “that should be 10 or 100 atoms in diameter” and circuits that “should be a few thousand angstroms across.” (One thousand angstroms is equal to 100 nanometers.) By 2011, Intel was mass producing processors with 32-nanometer technology that contained 2.6 billion transistors. Intel’s Xeon server chip that’s due to be released this year has 4.31 billion transistors. And consider that one of today’s smartphones has significantly more computing power than all of NASA circa 1969, when it sent Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon. While it’s true that we don’t yet have the capabilities Feynman envisioned—of building “a billion tiny factories, models of each other, which are manufacturing simultaneously” from the bottom up, atom by atom—his miniaturization-of-computers idea was clearly spot on. So what if we applied his approach to a different area of scientific study… say biology? After all, much of biology today is similar to where electronics was yesterday—except instead of vacuum tubes and cable wires, you have arrays of test tubes and hoses. What if all that “plumbing” used to study biological systems could be shrunk—would we reap the same benefits as we did in electronics? Turns out the answer is yes. And that’s where microfluidics comes in. Microfluidics is the science of fluid dynamics on the micro scale (i.e., millionths of a meter). We’ll spare you the details of the fluid mechanics at this scale—where things like laminar flow, diffusion, capillary effects, and surface tension dominate—and boil things down to one simple idea: Microfluidics and its application is all about conducting biological experiments and tests with really small plumbing. How small is the plumbing we’re talking about? The channels through which the fluids travel in the devices today are roughly the width of a human hair, and sometimes smaller. If you think you’re not already acquainted with the world of microfluidics, think again. Two very recognizable examples of microfluidic technologies are the glucometer to measure blood sugar levels and pregnancy tests. Basically, we’re talking about precisely manipulating fluids—to do things like blood screening for diseases and single-cell genomic analysis—using a microscale device built with technologies that were first developed by the semiconductor industry, and were later expanded into fluidics due to the benefits that accrue from shrinking things. For starters, miniaturization means lower costs, since researchers require much smaller volumes of samples and reagents to conduct experiments and run tests. There’s also the potential for running multiple experiments in parallel and cutting down on the number of steps required to run them. But microfluidics technologies also make novel tasks possible, like giving us the ability to interact with individual cells. Let’s look at another example to explain further. Lung-on-a-chip (top) and Gut-on-a-chip (bottom) The Wyss team’s ultimate goal is to build 10 different human-organs-on-chips and link them together on an automated instrument to mimic whole-body physiology. This could eventually lead to personalized chips that could predict a specific individual’s drug response. The bottom line: In theory, since these microfluidic human-organs-on-chips use human cells and mimic both the mechanics and biology of the organs they represent, they would be more predictive than animal models, so drug failure rates would be lower. Modeling with these chips would cut costs and reduce the time involved in the drug-discovery process. It’s still too early to tell how successful this field of research will be… but the prospects are exciting. Microfluidic technologies for many applications like this are still relatively early stage, but the above examples demonstrate how microfluidics should play an increasingly important role in disease detection and could ultimately disrupt the drug-discovery process for the better. This kind of game-changing technology is what we at Casey Extraordinary Technology specialize in finding and investing in. From cutting-edge biotech drug companies and molecular-diagnostic innovators to the firms that created the 3D printing industry and those that are building the smart grid, the track record of our investment recommendations stands out among all our competitors and truly speaks for itself, with an average gain per closed position during 2013 and 2014 of 66%. To become part of this track record of success, simply sign up for a 90-day, risk-free trial of Casey Extraordinary Technology.last_img read more

Statements submitted to MPs have provided further

first_imgStatements submitted to MPs have provided further evidence of widespread dishonesty among healthcare professionals who carry out disability benefit assessments, but their inquiry has had to be abandoned because of the prime minister’s decision to call a general election.Despite its inquiry into the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment process having to be scrapped, the Commons work and pensions select committee has published written evidence it has received from PIP claimants and disability organisations.The committee held an urgent evidence session about the assessment process in March, a hearing partly triggered by a Disability News Service (DNS) investigation, before seeking further written evidence.DNS had provided the committee with substantial evidence of widespread dishonesty among PIP assessors in the reports they prepare for government decision-makers.The DNS investigation revealed that assessors working for the outsourcing companies Capita and Atos – most of them nurses – had repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations.DNS has now collected nearly 200 examples of cases in which PIP claimants have said that healthcare professionals working for Capita and Atos produced dishonest assessment reports.DWP has consistently claimed that there is no dishonesty at all among its outsourced healthcare assessors.Inclusion London, the pan-London disabled people’s organisation, provided the most detailed written evidence of all the individuals and groups that contributed to the committee’s inquiry.It said in its evidence: “Again and again Disabled people are reporting that assessors have ignored written and verbal evidence and that reports do not reflect what occurred in the assessment.”Inclusion London quoted widely from evidence compiled by DNS, and concluded: “The extent to which false information is included in assessment reports cannot be attributed to one or two negligent assessors but indicates systemic failings with the current PIP assessment process.”It called for all assessments to be recorded, and for “a clear and accessible system for Disabled people to file complaints against assessors with an independent body and for complaint statistics to be made public”.It also called for a new PIP assessment, based on the social model of disability and created in co-production with disabled people, which focuses on “barriers and the impact of impairment on daily life rather than functionality”.Other written evidence submitted to the committee appears to confirm the conclusions of the DNS investigation.Among those who responded to a survey by Disability Rights UK (DR UK) was a healthcare professional with a first-class degree in physiotherapy.They said they had been “shocked by the level of errors, inaccuracies, omissions and, quite possibly, lies” in the assessment report compiled for their PIP claim, according to DR UK’s evidence to the committee.The respondent concluded that “the musculoskeletal assessment conducted was appalling and could not have provided sufficient information upon which a decision regarding my physical capabilities to carry out work for any period of time could be made.“Lies were also told about the content of the musculoskeletal assessment – data was recorded for tests which were not conducted.”Another DR UK survey respondent described how PIP decisions were often overturned on appeal due to “assessors making inaccurate statements, assessors making false statements, assessors incorrectly interpreting things the claimant said or did”.In its evidence to the committee, the mental health charity Rethink said that respondents to its own survey on PIP “felt that there was a discrepancy between what was discussed at the assessment and the content of the subsequent written report.“We received several examples of PIP applicants claiming that assessors had deliberately misinterpreted them and in… some cases included complete fabrications in their reports.”But the evidence compiled by the committee may now end up being discarded because the decision by Theresa May to call a general election on 8 June means that parliament was dissolved this week, leading to some committee inquiries having to be abandoned.Mark Lucas, a PIP claimant who has spoken out repeatedly about the “shockingly poor and dishonest” assessment system, and has given evidence to an inquiry into PIP assessments set up by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said the decision to call an election was “another set back at the end of many set backs”.He said: “Clearly the health professionals have been dishonest and the government has gone to great lengths to ensure the PIP scam is kept quiet for as long as possible.“Everyone knows what has gone on is wrong but only few have voiced their concerns.“I am sure if we continue to have the same government the rights of persons with disabilities will be further abused.”A spokeswoman for the committee said the PIP investigation was “one of the inquiries that fell with the announcement of the election”.When the committee is reformed in the new parliament – probably in September – it could choose to relaunch the inquiry, but will be under no obligation to do so, but if it does it could choose to “keep and use the evidence they have now”, she said.last_img read more

Google May Have Violated Wiretap Laws

first_imgTechnology Ray Hennessey 3 min read –shares Guest Writer Google May Have Violated Wiretap Laws Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Image credit: AFP Register Now »center_img In a victory for online privacy advocates but a blow to advertisers, a federal judge in California has ruled Google may have violated wiretapping laws by scanning and reviewing users’ Gmails.Google has long scanned Gmail messages to then target advertising to its users. The company has argued the practice is perfectly within the confines of both federal and state eavesdropping laws because Gmail users give up their privacy as part of Gmail’s Terms of Service contract.U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh disagreed, saying those Terms of Service “did not explicitly notify Plaintiffs that Google would intercept users’ emails for the purposes of creating user profiles or providing targeted advertising.”What’s more, even if Gmail account holders consented to having their emails searched, the people with whom those users are communicating didn’t. Google has claimed that users of, say, Microsoft’s Outlook, should know that Google will view their mail when sent to a Gmail account.Related: Google Looking Beyond ‘Cookies’ to Track People OnlineKoh was unconvinced, saying she “cannot conclude that any party — Gmail users or non-Gmail users — has consented to Google’s reading of email for the purposes of creating user profiles or providing targeted advertising.”The ruling, part of a proposed class action against Google, is a big win for privacy advocates, who have complained that technology companies have too much access to personal information and are not overt enough in explaining how customer information and data are used.The chorus for more protections has only gotten louder since it was revealed that companies like Google shared information with the U.S. government as the National Security Agency spied on American emails, texts and phone calls.Still, companies have long found that there is a potentially high value proposition for advertisers in targeting marketing toward users based on their interests. Google, for instance, has long tied advertising to search results from users. Gmail, it argues, is an extension of that.But Google has found itself more and more in the crosshairs of the privacy-protection crowd. Earlier this month, the company found out its capture of data over open Wi-Fi routers also could violate federal wiretapping laws. Google captured data through cars sent throughout the company to record images for its Google Street View maps. It has said it did so to improve its location-services features, but broader content was captured by the cars.Google is not alone. In theory, Judge Koh’s ruling could affect other companies that mine free email for information to match with advertisers. Yahoo mail, for instance, has a Terms of Service that allows for broader data capture.Court: Facebook Likes Are Protected Speech Next Article September 27, 2013 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Editor-at-Large Add to Queuelast_img read more

Denied By The DOJ

first_imgFor purposes of this post, I invite you to stipulate two things.First, FCPA Professor is a free, public website and a leading source of FCPA information that is widely read by a world-wide audience. Some might have difficulty stipulating to this, but the following is what others have said about FCPA Professor. FCPA Professor is the “the Wall Street Journal concerning all things FCPA-related,” and “the most authoritative source for those seeking to understand and apply the FCPA,”  FCPA Professor is a Top Law Blog for in-house counsel by Corporate Counsel, a Top 25 Business Law Blog by LexisNexis, and a top 100 Legal Blog by the American Bar Association.Second, DOJ FCPA officials routinely speak to on-line information sources on topics relevant to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and certain of these outlets often put the official’s comments behind a paywall.Against this backdrop, this post highlights the DOJ’s long refusal to engage with FCPA Professor and frequent denial of FCPA Professor interview requests. Should DOJ officials engage with FCPA Professor? In posing this question, this post, among other things, shares the comments of a former high-ranking DOJ official on the question posed.I am occasionally asked by readers about my relationship, if any, with DOJ FCPA enforcement attorneys. My standard response is that several former DOJ officials are among the most valued readers of FCPA Professor, contributors to this site, and self-described “biggest fans” and “biggest boosters” of FCPA Professor. Yet, the relationship with current DOJ FCPA officials is non-existent.My efforts to engage with the DOJ on FCPA topics dates back several years.For instance, as highlighted in this prior post, in the aftermath of the November 2012 FCPA Guidance, I submitted two basic questions about the Guidance to my DOJ press office contact. No response. Three additional efforts were made. No response. As stated in the prior post, so much for that transparency thing the DOJ talked about in the FCPA Guidance press conference (i.e. the DOJ strives to be “transparent” in its FCPA enforcement.).Fast forward to a more recent snubbing by the DOJ.On April 5th, I dialed in to the DOJ’s press conference announcing its FCPA “Pilot Program.” When doing so, the moderator asks one to state your name and affiliation and I complied. At the first available opportunity when listeners were prompted, I requested to ask a question. However, I never got the opportunity to ask my questions – rather all of the questions chosen were from non-lawyer journalists some of which – it was perfectly clear – knew very little about the FCPA.No big deal, a press conference can only last so long and perhaps it was just bad luck.On May 4th, I e-mailed my DOJ press office contact as follows.“As you know, Mr. Weissmann has participated in several interviews with online media sources in recent months, including as to the recently announced FCPA pilot program.I respectfully invite Mr. Weissmann to do either a written Q&A for publication on FCPA Professor or be a guest on the FCPA Flash podcast to discuss various aspects of the pilot program.Unlike other media sources to which Mr. Weissmann has granted interviews, both FCPA Professor and the FCPA Flash podcast are free public resources.[…]Thank you for the consideration.”My contact at the DOJ (who I should note has always been very cordial and professional) responded “I’ll check and get back to you on this.”A week passed without a further response.So, I tried again.A week passed without a further response.So, I tried again.Another week passed without a further response.So, I tried again.Another week passed and finally I received the following response from the DOJ press office. “Thanks for reaching out and sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We’ll decline the opportunity for an interview at this time. I’ll let you know if that changes.”Denied once again by the DOJ.And to think, the DOJ did not even know what my questions were going to be.Fast forward to June 1st.Like many, I had just read that Daniel Kahn was appointed the permanent DOJ FCPA Unit Chief. Perhaps, I thought, Mr. Kahn would like to engage with a leading FCPA information source that would publish for free – for all the world to see – his FCPA goals and insights.So, once again, I e-mailed my DOJ press office contact and stated:“I appreciate the consideration as to Mr. Weissmann.I understand that Daniel Kahn was recently named the FCPA Unit Chief. I would like to request to interview Mr. Kahn (either a written Q&A or interview Mr. Kahn on the FCPA Flash podcast).”Unlike the prior request, this second request was promptly denied as the press office contact stated: “We’ll decline the opportunity for an interview with Mr. Kahn at this time. Again, will let you know if that changes.”Denied once again by the DOJ.And again, the DOJ did not even know what my questions were going to be.I fully understand and accept that DOJ FCPA officials (like other public officials) do not have a legal duty to speak to all people.However, given the DOJ’s frequent reference to engagement and transparency in the FCPA space, I remain hopeful that some day DOJ FCPA officials will conclude it is worth their time to engage with a leading FCPA information source that is a free and publicly available.If you are reading, the invitation is always open.I recognize that my feelings towards this issue are not exactly distintered.Thus, I reached out to certain long-time, valued FCPA Professor readers and posed the general question of whether the DOJ should be willing to engage with FCPA Professor.A former high-ranking DOJ official responded to my question as follows:“Clearly, they are not happy with your periodic observations that the emperor has no clothes, or that the revolving door has hit someone else in the ass, but your criticisms are usually fairly mild.  […] What the government folks don’t seem very anxious to do these days is to articulate why they are taking some of their more leading edge interpretations of the [FCPA].   […]  Keep up the good work.”An FCPA practitioner responded as follows:“[The DOJ] should grant interviews to all reputable sources which includes FCPA Professor at the top of this list. Their avoidance of a leading source of FCPA analysis, which can be critical and test assertions of DOJ, speaks volumes.”last_img read more

CPath and FARA announce launch of Friedreichs Ataxia Integrated Clinical Database

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 28 2019Critical Path Institute’s (C-Path) Data Collaboration Center (DCC) and the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) today announced the launch of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Integrated Clinical Database (FAICD). The new platform will enable collaborative research and data sharing to support the understanding of natural history, potential biomarkers and clinical endpoints, and promote research into novel clinical trial design in Friedreich’s ataxia (FA). By making this data available to researchers, the organizations hope to enable the development of tools that will help design and interpret efficient clinical trials — leading to effective treatments for FA as soon as possible.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapySchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CT”FA is a rare, progressive and fatal disease that affects multiple organ systems, and those living with the disease are in urgent need of effective treatments,” explained FARA’s Executive Director Jennifer Farmer. “FAICD addresses this need by providing a platform to share data and making it available to qualified researchers to expedite the drug development process. We believe this resource will inform and give future clinical trials of potential therapies the best chance of success.”FAICD contains data contributed by collaborating companies that have carried out clinical trials in FA, as well as natural history and clinical outcome measure data from the Friedreich’s Ataxia Clinical Outcomes Measures Study (FACOMS) collected by the Collaborative Clinical Research Network in FA and funded by FARA.All data contributed to this project is de-identified, mapped to standards defined by the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) and curated by C-Path’s DCC before inclusion in FAICD.”C-Path has a long history of expertise in data standards development, curation, and oversight of multiple data sharing initiatives,” said Richard Liwski, Director of the DCC and C-Path’s Chief Technology Officer. “We are proud to be part of the effort to coordinate collaborative contributions from data owners and integrate that data into a single database for this rare, degenerative and life-shortening neuromuscular disorder.” Source:https://c-path.org/c-path-and-fara-launch-friedreichs-ataxia-integrated-clinical-database-to-advance-the-development-of-treatments-for-fa/last_img read more

In Mauritius sugar cane means money renewable energy

first_imgCloud on horizonHowever there are clouds on the horizon in the form of a drop in sugar prices since the European Union ended quotas in 2017, and increases in production in Thailand, Brazil and India, which together have put pressure on the island’s farmers.Jacqueline Sauzier, secretary general of the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture said falling sugar prices were “a fatal blow to the local sugar industry.””The number of small farmers has fallen from 26,000 in 2010 to 13,000 in 2018,” said Agriculture Minister Mahen Kumar Seeruttun.The question is whether Mauritius will be able to produce enough sugar cane to meet its target for renewable, bagasse-based electricity.Some sugar producers are hoping that preferential treatment might provide an answer.”Mauritius is a small, vulnerable island. We do not have the capacity of Thailand, Brazil and India, but we are an efficient producer because we value the entire sugar production chain,” said D’Unienville.”We need protected access to preferential markets. Small countries should have quotas as a priority because we are very vulnerable,” he said. Citation: In Mauritius, sugar cane means money, renewable energy (2018, December 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-mauritius-sugar-cane-money-renewable.html In Mauritius, around 60 percent of the island’s electricity is  generated by four sugar companies, each running its own thermal power station © 2018 AFP Far out into the Indian Ocean where it is forced to be self-reliant, the island nation of Mauritius is weaning itself off fossil fuels by turning to its main cash-crop sugar cane, for electricity. Cuba to use sugar cane in new electricity plant The cane stalks are crushed to extract juice for sugar. They are then soaked to extract the last juice. Finally, the stalks are fed into a thermal power station “Electricity is available 24 hours a day, on demand, without having to wait for the wind or the sun, since we can store bagasse as we would oil and coal,” said Jacques D’Unienville, Omnicane’s manager.And the carbon dioxide greenhouse gas produced by the burning? It is captured, according to D’Unienville, and used to add the fizz to soft drinks. The leftover, crushed sugar cane stalks and tips—dry fibrous material known as “bagasse”—is burned to help power Mauritius and reduce its reliance on coal and oil.Electricity from sugar cane now accounts for 14 percent of the island’s needs and, when combined with other renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro, provides nearly a quarter of daily consumption.”The government’s goal is to increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix to 35 percent by 2025,” said deputy prime minister Ivan Collendavelloo who is also energy minister.”The 35 percent is not far off; we will have 11 solar parks by next year and at least two wind farms,” he said. “Independent producers in the sugar industry will continue to provide the largest share of renewable electricity from bagasse,” he added.In Mauritius, around 60 percent of the island’s electricity is generated by four sugar companies, each running its own thermal power station.The plants run on coal for part of the year then switch to sugar cane byproducts when harvest season comes. Power 24/7At the end of November, the harvest is in full swing in the fields surrounding the Omnicane company, in the south of the island.Heavy trucks pulling huge trailers are lined up next to an immense warehouse to unload their cargo of fresh-cut sugarcane. During the harvest, 8,500 tonnes are sent daily to this facility—a total of around 900,000 tonnes for the year.The cane stalks are crushed to extract juice for sugar production. They are then soaked to extract the last juice and then heated to dry.Finally, squashed and dried, the stalks are fed into a thermal power station where they burn at 500 degrees Celsius, fuelling turbines that produce electricity for the plant and the national grid. Electricity from sugar cane now accounts for 14 percent of the Mauritius’ needs and, when combined with other renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro, provides nearly a quarter of daily consumption Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more