Email People with polarized political views can be led to endorse more centrist attitudes after being provided with false feedback about their responses to a political survey. This finding comes from a study published in PLOS One.Evidence suggests that the American political scene is becoming increasingly polarized, a trend that threatens to lead political discussions away from critical thinking and open-mindedness.“For example,” study authors Thomas Strandberg and colleagues say, “people tend to automatically support policy issues proposed by their own party and reject those coming from the opposition.” Furthermore, studies suggest that political polarization can lead to increased animosity between supporters of opposing parties, and can even go as far as affecting personal relationships among family members. Share on Facebook Pinterest Share LinkedIn Strandberg and associates wanted to see if it was possible to sway people into endorsing more flexible attitudes towards politics, using an experimental manipulation called a choice blindness paradigm. The researchers describe choice blindness as a “cognitive phenomenon that occurs when people receive false feedback about a choice they had made, leading them to accept the outcome as their own and confabulate reasons for having made that choice in the first place.”Two experimental studies were conducted among American voters prior to the 2016 presidential election. Study 1 involved 122 New Yorkers, of an average of 21 years of age, and Study 2 involved a more representative sample of 498 Americans, of an average of 31 years of age.In both studies, participants answered a questionnaire where they rated presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump along 12 leadership traits (e.g., diplomatic, experienced) using a visual analog scale with the candidates’ faces pictured at opposite ends of the scale. “We asked participants to rate the candidates on each trait; for example, if they thought Clinton was more analytic, they would mark that scale closer to her, or if they thought Trump was, they would mark it closer to him,” the authors explain.After subjects completed the survey, their most polarized responses were covertly adjusted towards the middle of the scale, to represent a more moderate viewpoint. For example, a subject who had marked ‘experienced’ as 94% on the Clinton side, had this response covertly moved to a more neutral position on the scale, at around 59%. Next, the subjects were asked to look over their completed — and unknowingly altered — surveys and were given the opportunity to revise their answers.In Study 1, subjects were directly questioned about three of the manipulated responses, and, overall, only 28% of them corrected one of these altered responses. Only 4% corrected two responses, and no one corrected more than two. Additionally, many participants gave detailed justifications for these manipulated responses. As the researchers report, “When asked to explain their responses, 94% accepted the manipulated responses as their own and rationalized this neutral position accordingly, even though they reported more polarized views moments earlier.”In Study 2, similar findings were revealed. When participants were given the opportunity to revisit their responses, on average, participants corrected about 2 out of 5 manipulated responses. There were no significant differences in the number of corrections made by Trump or Clinton supporters, suggesting that both Republican and Democrat voters are equally susceptible to false feedback and just as easily manipulated into endorsing a more open-minded viewpoint.“Our study reveals that American voters at either end of the political spectrum are willing to endorse more open views about both candidates with surprisingly little intervention. Here, suggesting to people that they are more open-minded removed their political blinders and nudged them to consider and argue for more moderate views,” Strandberg and colleagues say.The researchers further suggest that their study demonstrates the potential for a more open political landscape in the US. “These results offer hope in a divided political climate: even polarized people can become—at least momentarily—open to opposing views.”The study, “Depolarizing American voters: Democrats and Republicans are equally susceptible to false attitude feedback”, was authored by Thomas Strandberg, Jay A. Olson, Lars Hall, Andy Woods, and Petter Johansson.(Photo credit: Susan Melkisethian) Share on Twitter
Uganda’s health ministry yesterday confirmed a second fatal Marburg virus case, involving the 38-year-old brother of the country’s first lab-confirmed case-patient.Also, health officials reported another suspected case and a new probable case, both of whom are isolated and in stable condition.Third death in familyThe man, who is from Kween district, is listed as Uganda’s second confirmed case and is the brother of both the woman listed as the first lab-confirmed case and a man who died from similar symptoms but, because no samples were taken, is listed as a probable case.According to earlier reports, the 38-year-old brother had driven his sister to the hospital, where she died from her Marburg infection. Given the man’s connections to his sick sister and brother, the health ministry listed him as a high-risk contact, but he went into hiding and refused evaluation and follow-up, despite several attempts from surveillance teams.On Oct 24, he agreed to speak with a contact tracer, who determined the man had Marburg symptoms, and he was taken to an isolation center with fever, weakness, abdominal pain, appetite loss, joint pain, and a history of vomiting blood. Despite treatment, he died from his infection yesterday, and his blood sample tested positive for Marburg virus in tests done at the Uganda Virus Research Center.Results awaited on 2 more possible casesThe health ministry said a 25-year-old woman from neighboring Kapchorwa district sought evaluation for Marburg-like symptoms and was isolated, where medical staff collected a blood sample. Another tests revealed that she is pregnant. Uganda’s health ministry has classified her illness as a suspected case.Also, the ministry announced a new probable case, a 23-year-old man from Kapchorwa district who had shared a hospital ward and had a bed next to one of the confirmed cases. The patient has been placed in isolation, and his test results are expected today.Overall, the health ministry has recorded two confirmed, four suspected, and three probable cases. Earlier tests have ruled out six Marburg infections, including in two health workers.As of yesterday, health officials are monitoring 130 contacts, an increase of 25 from the day before; 85 are from Kween district and 45 are from Kapchorwa district. Thirty-two earlier contacts from Kapchorwa district are no longer being followed, because they have completed the recommended 21-day period or because people they were exposed to tested negative for Marburg virus.See also:Oct 26 Uganda health ministry statementOct 25 CIDRAP News scan “Uganda’s Ministry of Health reports 1 confirmed, 1 suspected Marburg case”
(Caribbean Development Bank Press Release) – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has mobilised more than US$85M to increase the Region’s energy security through geothermal energy development. CDB’s Board of Directors earlier in December approved acceptance of further financing under the Sustainable Energy Facility (SEF) for the Eastern Caribbean from IDB, with resources coming from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Government of the Republic of Italy. SEF is part of CDB’s GeoSmart Initiative, which aims to reduce the financial, technical and institutional barriers to geothermal energy development in five Eastern Caribbean states – Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The programme also helps governments build capacity and strengthen institutions so they can be better equipped to implement and manage geothermal energy initiatives. Oct 1, 2020 Oct 5, 2020 CDF, IRENA Collaborate to Boost Low-Carbon Investments in… Find Way for Private Sector to Assume Role as Jobs Generator… Oct 2, 2020 CDB to Lend US$70M to The Bahamas and Saint Lucia,… You may be interested in… US$85.6M will expand the pool of existing resources under SEF Programme with US$80M coming from GCF and US$5.6M from the Government of the Republic of Italy. It will go towards financing the often cost-intensive stages of development from the pre-feasibility studies to exploration drilling, and eventually field and plant development such as developing wells and building power plants, sub-stations and transmission lines. Monica La Bennett, Vice-President (Operations) welcomed the new financing, saying it would help to advance the energy transformation and economic development of the beneficiary countries. “The reality for these countries is that they have small and isolated electricity markets which lack scale, and are heavily dependent on diesel fuel for power generation. This has made the cost of electricity higher than the global average,” she said. The Vice-President noted that some of the countries, given their volcanic origins, have large potential for geothermal energy, which could provide lower-cost constant power. However, the risks that form barriers to exploration and development are often high. The approved package of funding consists of investment and technical grant, contingent grant, as well as concessional loan resources, and will help the countries overcome the barriers to geothermal energy development. “CDB, by collaborating with partners such as the IDB, is focused on removing these barriers, and creating a low-carbon diversified energy matrix based on more affordability and indigenous renewable energy options, thereby increasing energy security. This is critical for these tourism-dependent economies if they are to improve their competitiveness and fiscal and macroeconomic stability,” added La Bennett. The GeoSmart Initiative contributes to achieving the objectives of CDB’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, in which energy security is a cross-cutting theme. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… CDB wins top industry award for driving geothermal energy development in Region(CDB Press Release) The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is being lauded and awarded for its work advancing geothermal energy development in the Caribbean. On July 17, the Geothermal Congress for Latin America and the Caribbean (GEOLAC) gave CDB’s Sustainable Energy Facility for the Eastern Caribbean (SEF) programme its top prize for…July 25, 2019In “Business”OECS to focus on geothermal energy at St. Kitts and Nevis forumThe Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission are partnering with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to jointly host a Regional Geothermal Forum under the theme: ‘Opportunities and Synergies for Collaboration’. The three-day forum will be held in Basseterre from May 10-12…May 3, 2016In “CARICOM”Geothermal energy getting increasing attention in Eastern CaribbeanWhile appearing on the Government’s weekly radio and television programme “Working for You” on Wednesday, May 11, Dr. Devon Gardener, Programme Manager for Energy and Head of Energy Unit at the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana, said Caribbean islands can produce their own power. “The fact is that at the end…May 16, 2016In “CARICOM”Share this on WhatsApp Two Major Leaps Towards a Climate Resilient, Emission-Free… Sep 29, 2020
But for me, renting is a tenure of choice, which I actively sought out when moving here. Private landlords have received much criticism for not providing a high-quality product or delivering consistent customer service.Thankfully, things are set to change with the intervention of the build-to-rent (BTR) sector. BTR has brought lots of new ideas, innovation and disruptors to rental housing, but I think we as a sector need to push ourselves further out of our comfort zone and be even more ambitious.Much of the British public thinks renting is something you do in your 20s and possibly into your 30s – just a temporary stop gap before home ownership. And the BTR sector’s current product is very much shaped by the traditional idea that renting is only for the young – specifically the ‘young professional’.Many developers are now focusing on and delivering to this specific demographic and it is having an impact on how we think about design, technology, services and amenities. In reality, the rental customer base is much wider than this narrow demographic, which opens up a massive opportunity for us to create genuinely balanced and mixed communities with a variety of ages, incomes, careers, backgrounds and interests.More mature rental markets in other countries prove that professionally managed rental housing has broad intergenerational appeal. In these markets some baby boomers, much like their millennial offspring, are attracted by the idea of living in a community that is well connected to public transport and has the convenience of amenities, services and onsite management and maintenance teams. A significant percentage of this generation, possibly without any dependent children at home, want an active lifestyle in a vibrant mixed community free of concerns about maintenance and do not want to move into retirement homes.Different strokesFamilies are another important part of the housing market that can sometimes be overlooked by BTR developers. Most British families aspire to own their own homes – it has become part of the national culture. But we know from our experience in other markets that many families, for a variety of reasons, find the flexibility of renting highly attractive. Source: Shutterstock/wavebreakmediaA concern about renting for many has been a perceived lack of tenure security – a particular worry when children need to remain in a specific catchment area during their school years. But there is a stable rental model with an international track record of providing high-quality communities for everyone from individuals and sharing singles through to retirees. Called multi-family, it is accepted by global institutional capital as an established asset class and it is a model that Greystar has been delivering successfully for more than 25 years.Our approach to multi-family starts with a focus on the resident experience – how we can design a community around the way residents want to live their lives and how we can manage it most effectively. A range of apartment sizes are offered, typically from studios to three-bedroom family units, all with double bedrooms and sufficient bathrooms either for sharing or for family use.We want people to feel they can live in the entire building, not just in their own apartments, so we integrate into the building design a range of resident amenity spaces that are readily accessed from any apartment. At the building’s ground level we usually include some retail or commercial space and, particularly in our larger developments, we provide a range of mixed uses in order to create an attractive place for the wider community.Many families, for a variety of reasons, find the flexibility of renting highly attractiveOur Greenford development, for example – with almost 2,000 homes, the UK’s largest purpose-designed multi-family scheme to date – features office, retail and café/restaurant space alongside community infrastructure that includes a primary school and a health centre.This is all looked after by onsite management teams that ensure the community works for everyone. In contrast to the conventional view of renting, our multi-family approach seeks to create long-term rental communities that are suitable for everyone, and where people can stay as long as they wish.Future flexibility is built into the model for our residents, as they can change apartment sizes without transaction costs as their household needs change over time. As the affordable housing required under the planning consent is fully integrated within the buildings, residents are also able to change between tenure categories as their financial circumstances change over time, while remaining in the same community and even the same apartment if they wish.It’s an exciting time to be involved in the UK’s multi-family BTR sector. Now that the simple binary attitude of renting for the young and home ownership for everyone else is changing, there are an increasing range of options that provide real benefits for residents, whatever their circumstances. Multi-family developments are at the leading edge of this new rental culture.Michela Hancock, senior development director at Greystar
AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementUNEX Manufacturing Inc., a provider of innovative order picking solutions, announces that Brian C. Neuwirth will be promoted to president of the company starting Jan. 1. After 42 years as President, his uncle, Brian Neuwirth will become chairman of the board, allowing Brian C. Neuwirth to handle the day-to-day management of the business. Brian is a third-generation owner of UNEX, falling in the footsteps of his father Mark, uncle Brian and grandfather Frank.“It is time to transition the company to the next generation of leadership,” said Brian Neuwirth, current president of UNEX Manufacturing. “Brian will maintain our current culture that brings outstanding value to our customers and partners. I have confidence that Brian will continue to grow the company and keep up with current technology to ensure that UNEX can better compete in the digital marketplace.”Brian C. Neuwirth has been in the material handling industry for more than 15 years and is involved in or holds leadership positions in numerous industry associations. He was chosen as the 2018 Outstanding Young Professional from the Material Handling Institute (MHI) at MODEX 2018.Previously, Neuwirth was vice president, sales and marketing at UNEX Manufacturing. He was responsible for building and maintaining the UNEX brand and leading a team of sales and marketing professionals focused on supplying superb, highly valued products and excellent customer service. He also has held sales and sales management positions at the company. He graduated from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in corporate communications and received a Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing from Rutgers University.
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Recent shipments have included the movement of over 80 truckloads of sheet piles, weighing a total of 1,300 tonnes with a volume of 4,300 cu m, to Oluvil port, and the delivery of brand new 35 tonne Caterpillar Dump trucks on low bed trailers to the site 350 km from Colombo. Pictured below is a 55 tonne Caterpillar crawler crane that FPS cleared from Colombo port and delivered to Oluvil, along with various accessories moved on two flat bed trailers. The crane will be used for excavation work and lifting heavy equipment.Located on Sri Lanka’s east coast, Oluvil’s new port will function as a regional facility primarily for bulk and breakbulk shipments, as well as providing a home for fishing vessels. The estimated cost for the initial stage, which is due to be completed by 010, is EUR50 million (USD64 million). FPS Lanka is undertaking documentation, Customs brokerage, co-ordination of cargo discharge operations, interim storage and transfer of materials to the new facility site. The shipments will include over-dimensional cargoes, breakbulk, FCL, LCL and open top containers, as well as airfreight consignments.
Ismail Osman, AthloneSuddenly, the whole world’s eyes are openMany are dying, many hearts are broken.Those haughty and arrogant must now realiseThat this virus is a Blessing in disguiseIt affects you regardless of your statusWhether you are insignificant or the world’s greatestIt asks not of your colour or your raceIt just pounces upon you, staring you in the face Whether you are tough or whether you are tenderMale or female it ask not of your gender The virus has reached our shores todayThough we may try to wish it leaves and goes awayEpidemiologists are busy trying to find a cure Whether they will succeed, none of them are sureThe whole world has now to collectively start to pray That this virus must surely not be here to stay That the nations who are all living in fear, For God to answer our prayers and make this virus disappear!
A prominent international human rights advocate last night attacked the Commonwealth for its ‘muted’ response to abuses against people based on issues around sexuality.Former Australian high court judge Michael Kirby (pictured), who has served with Commonwealth, international and UN organisations, said the ‘time had come to realise racism is not the only source of oppression and wickedness. People are being oppressed because of their disability, sexual orientation and gender identification’.Speaking at the Law Society’s headquarters in an event organised by the Human Dignity Trust, Kirby said the judiciary played a key role in upholding human rights.A number of high court decisions in Commonwealth countries had brought ‘little rays of light – from judges sitting in the high court of Kenya, Bermuda reaching decisions in particular cases [and] looking at the jurisprudence of Commonwealth countries’.Botswana, for instance, accepted an application by a gay organisation to register as a non-governmental organisation, Malaysia had struck down a cross-dressing prohibition as unconstitutional and Bermuda approved the right of a same-sex couple to adopt a child, he said. However, Kirby criticised the leadership shown by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the issue of sexuality, branding it ‘really pathetic’.He said: ‘When you get a challenge, you have got to take steps to meet the challenge, and to promote fundamental and universal human rights… The Commonwealth must have a stance, a position. Unfortunately, at the moment, it’s very muted and very quiet. That’s not good enough.’Without leadership, Kirby said, ‘people will suffer great wrongs. If that’s the “Commonwealth way”, an increasing number of Commonwealth countries will say that’s a way [they] do not want to travel’.The Commonwealth Secretariat said it welcomed Kirby’s ‘valuable advocacy’ of human rights concerns, especially in championing non-discrimination ‘which is of such crucial importance to the Commonwealth’.A spokesperson said: ‘The Commonwealth Secretary-General and Secretariat have a role to promote and provide practical support that advances human rights for all Commonwealth citizens in a progressive and inclusive way, working specifically with member governments and national human rights bodies.‘Other actors from the wider community also have complementary roles to play, including the important contributions of civil society, non-governmental organisations, professional associations, and law-makers.‘We are therefore also very grateful to the [Law Society and the Human Dignity Trust] for creating this special opportunity to hear Hon Michael Kirby’s stimulating insights.’Kirby was a justice of the High Court of Australia between 1996-2009, and president of the Court of Appeal of New South Wales and the Solomon Islands.He was president of the International Commission of Jurists, special representative of the secretary general of the UN for human rights in Cambodia, and recently chair of the UN Human Rights Council’s commission of inquiry on human rights abuses in North Korea.
The Swiss-based European arm of US wagon builder Trinity Industries has acquired Slovakian manufacturer Wagonmarket. Frantisek Stup