How the ‘other malaria’ escaped from Africa

first_img Xinhua/eyevine/Redux/The New York Times How the ‘other malaria’ escaped from Africa By Gretchen VogelAug. 21, 2018 , 1:40 PM Malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax infects people across Asia and the Americas. The parasite Plasmodium vivax isn’t as well known as its deadly cousin P. falciparum, which dominates sub-Saharan Africa. But the “other malaria,” which is rare in Africa, sickens some 75 million people a year in Asia and the Americas. Now, new genetic evidence shows how the parasite might have gotten its start: in African ape and human populations, before hitching a ride off the continent with early human migrants.Until recently, scientists assumed P. vivax had originated in Asian macaques and jumped to humans there, before spreading to Europe and the Americas. But in 2010, scientists started to find evidence of P. vivax in African chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos. That suggested an African origin for the parasite. However, there was only sparse genetic evidence to support the theory; most data from ape parasites came from just a few incomplete sequences recovered from primate feces.Now, researchers have managed to sequence nearly the entire genomes of parasites that infected six chimpanzees and one gorilla. Blood samples for the chimpanzees came from sanctuaries in Cameroon and Gabon and from a wild chimp in the Ivory Coast. The gorilla sample came from a piece of bushmeat collected in Cameroon.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)This new, closer look at the parasite’s genes shows that the ape parasites are vastly more diverse than those that infect humans, scientists report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That adds weight to the idea that P. vivax once infected both apes and humans in Africa and tagged along with migrating humans to Eurasia and the Americas, says David Conway, a malaria expert at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who wasn’t involved in the work.The early spread of modern humans into different parts of the world “was probably accompanied by only a few founding strains of the parasite that have given rise to most of today’s human P. vivax,” Conway says. Richard Culleton, a malaria expert at Nagasaki University in Japan, agrees. The new data strongly suggest modern human P. vivax “escaped” from Africa some time before the human population there became immune, he says. Today, P. vivax infection is rare in Africa because most people there lack the protein that the parasite uses to enter red blood cells.  Further supporting that argument, the parasites in African apes and humans elsewhere appear to be closely related, says Paul Sharp, an infectious disease geneticist at The University of Edinburgh who led the study together with Beatrice Hahn, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. “We were looking for evidence that the ape parasites were in some way clearly different,” he says. “Have they diverged to the point where they are separate species? But we couldn’t find any indications that they are separate.”That is consistent with occasional reports of visitors to Africa coming home infected with P. vivax, probably after being bitten by a mosquito that had bitten an infected ape, Sharp says. That means even if P. vivax were eliminated from Asia and the Americas, it could hitch another ride out of Africa anytime and start a new outbreak elsewhere in the world. “This might mean that we can never eradicate P. vivax malaria—unless we manage to get rid of it in the chimp and gorilla populations too,” Culleton says.last_img read more

No. 1 draft pick Fultz out 2 to 3 more weeks for 76ers

first_imgLATEST STORIES Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ Markelle Fultz. APPHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz will miss another two to three weeks as he recovers from soreness in his right shoulder.The Sixers said Fultz’s return to action will be determined by how the shoulder responds to progressive basketball training and practices in the interim.ADVERTISEMENT Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Malditas save PH from shutout MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft will continue with physiotherapy as he returns from his soreness and scapular muscle imbalance.Fultz has played only four games this season. He is shooting 33 percent, 50 percent from the free-throw line and has not attempted a 3-point shot all season, all as a reserve.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View commentslast_img read more

Raheem Sterling insists a stern 9 point deduction for racism during matches

first_imgAdvertisementPremier League and both of UEFA’s club competitions have come under intense scrutiny and disrepute following incidents of racism towards players. Raheem Sterling, Callum Hudson-Odoi , Danny Rose are some of the players that have had the misfortune to be victims of such vile acts recently.Sterling’s social activism is well known in the community as he has invested whole heartedly in charity over the years. Alongside , the Man City forward has been prolific on the pitch scoring goals and also in voicing out relevant opinions about racism.“I don’t think generally that walking off is a great solution, but players should not be punished for it,” wrote Sterling in an article penned for The Times.“Punishments need to be harsher and money just doesn’t hurt the rich clubs or football associations. So I would call for an automatic nine-point deduction for racist abuse.“It sounds harsh but which fan will risk racist behaviour if it might relegate their team or ruin their title bid?“As well as that, the club should have to play three games behind closed doors. That way, they lose revenue as a direct consequence of racist behaviour.”Raheem Sterling also addresses the part of racism that goes beyond the football match.“The aim should be for that number to be the same percentage as players on the pitch,” he writes.“For example, black players make up about 25 to 30 per cent of teams in the top four divisions, so that should be mirrored with coaches (it is now about 4 per cent) and in boardrooms (0.5 per cent).“By doing that, there will be people looking out for black players and holding anyone to account who acts in a racist way. It also sends black players the message that they can go on to have a career in the game after they retire.”Advertisementlast_img read more

I need my money ASAP: Chris Gayle after claiming he hasn’t been paid in over a year

first_imgWest Indies swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle has slammed Melbourne Renegades, his former employers in the Big Bash League (BBL) over a proposed pay dispute, citing he hadn’t been paid for his BBL season in 2015/16 in over a year.Last year, the 36-year-old explosive southpaw had stirred a controversy following his infamous ‘Don’t blush baby’ boundary-line interview with a female television reporter. He was later fined USD 10,000 for his inappropriate comments.The Jamaican had subsequently offered a qualified apology to the reporter but claimed that it was ‘a simple joke’ that had been blown out of proportion.Gayle’s departure from the BBL was a huge talking point among fans, and now it seems that he hasn’t even been paid for his efforts, reports”I’m sure Players who used the Cam/Helmet while batting and commentators who did commentary last year BBL has been paid….,” Gayle tweeted.”So why is it I can’t get paid like all the others? It’s been one year now and I need my money ASAP! So make sure when I check my account next week it’s there! I done talk! Slavery Days done with! Pay Me! #Ten,” he added.After the infamous ‘Don’t blush baby’ boundary-line interview, the Carribean six-hitter sparked another controversy after making tasteless remarks to a female reporter during a recent interview, which touched upon subjects like sex, women and equality.According to an article published by the London-based journalist, Gayle, who calls himself the ‘Universe Boss’, asked her whether she had ever had a threesome and claimed to have “a very, very big bat, the biggest in the wooooorld” before adding, “You think you could lift it? You’d need two hands.”advertisementlast_img read more

It’s not what your donors give you, it’s what you give them

first_imgIn fundraising, we tend to focus on what we can extract from our donors. Instead, we should focus on what we can give our donors: gratitude, social impact, good feelings. The money will follow.Think of your donors and how they feel. It is a very personal, emotional choice to give away money to something you care about. You as the organization these donors support want to handle those strong feelings of your donor with care. They have acted in a way that is deeply meaningful to them. If the only way we react to their gift is with a tax receipt, we’re not only being rude, we’re being disrespectful.It is far easier to keep and cultivate a donor than to go find a new one and convince them to care about your cause. That’s one reason to give thanks early and often in your online outreach. Another is that your gratitude bonds the donor to your cause. And, because most nonprofits stink at online relationship-building, if you are good, you are going to stand out. Be extra nice to your donors today.last_img read more

Aditi finishes 39th Lee6 of Korea wins US Womens Open

first_imgCharleston (US): India’s Aditi Ashok shot an even par 71 in the final round to finish T-39 at the US Women’s Open here. Aditi (72, 71, 75 and 71), who has had an up-and-down season, scored three birdies against three bogeys in the fourth round for a four-day total of five-over 285. Earlier in the year, she had missed the cut at the first Major at ANA Inspiration and this performance should put her in a good frame of mind for the remainder. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 emerged the winner from a crowded leader board with three back-nine birdies. She survived some late struggles to shoot one-under-par 70 and win the 74th US Women’s Open Championship on Sunday by two strokes. She finished two ahead of Lexi Thompson, Angel Yin and 2011 US Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu at the Country Club of Charleston. Lee6, who turned 23 on Tuesday, earned USD 1 million in notching her first victory in the United States. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up The six-time winner in three seasons on the Korea LPGA Tour, who is in her first full-time season on the LPGA Tour, shot 70-69-69-70 for a 6-under-par total of 278. Lexi Thompson, Angel Yin and So Yeon Ryu finished tied for second place, two strokes back at 4-under 280, while Celine Boutier was in a group of five players at 3-under 281. Players from Korea have won eight US Opens since 2008, while players from the USA have won three and one player from Thailand has won. Gerina Piller tops the list of players with the most top 10s on the LPGA Tour without a victory since 2010. Piller has 36 top-10s, while Morgan Pressel has 32 and Pornanong Phatlum has 27.last_img read more

Firms know little about trade deals as Canada pushes to diversify federal

first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged European partners this week to finalize Canada’s trade deal with the EU, a push that came with his government facing a tough sales job at home: getting domestic firms to use it.A recent government survey suggests the vast majority of small and medium-sized exporters, which are positioned to benefit from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, could very well be asking: CETA who?The survey said only seven per cent of the surveyed businesses were familiar with details of the Canada-EU deal, while fewer than three quarters had even heard of it. Only nine per cent said they took advantage of CETA and 17 per cent planned to use it.The survey, commissioned by the Foreign Affairs Department, asked questions of 507 exporting companies online in March and April, and also involved 40 “in-depth” telephone interviews. It was delivered in June and cost more than $132,000.Researchers asked questions on about a dozen of Canada’s free-trade treaties and found CETA wasn’t the only deal in need of a promotional boost.“Among Canadian (small-to-medium-sized enterprises), there was fairly low awareness of Canada’s free-trade agreements,” said an analysis that accompanied the results.“Few companies use any of these free-trade agreements; the exception is (the North American Free Trade Agreement).”The survey’s objective was to gauge how many smaller firms were aware of Canada’s newest free-trade deals, to what extent they were taking advantage of them and the obstacles keeping firms from entering these overseas markets.For years, federal governments — led by both Liberals and Conservatives — have struggled to get more companies to pursue fresh free-trade opportunities beyond the familiarity and convenience of the United States market.Uncertainty around the critical Canada-U.S. trading relationship has grown since the election of President Donald Trump, making diversification a more urgent matter.In addition to CETA, respondents were asked about Canada’s deal with Pacific Rim economies. That pact is known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and includes Japan, New Zealand and Australia.Similar to the numbers for CETA, only seven per cent were aware of the CPTPP’s details and just over 70 per cent had ever heard of it. About 30 per cent of respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to start trading with CPTPP partners.The questions also took up other free-trade agreements. The majority of companies said they had never heard of Canada’s bilateral deals with Ukraine, Israel, Chile, South Korea, Jordan, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru or Honduras.When it came to factors keeping them from exploring faraway markets, the survey found that the high value of the Canadian dollar was seen as the top challenge, with 69 per cent of respondents describing it as at least a minor stumbling block.The findings pointed to other problems, including uncertain regulations in other countries; lack of contacts; tariffs; a shortage of information on opportunities; linguistic and cultural obstacles; lack of financing; and Canadian export taxes and permits.One-third of companies had no interest in other markets and, among those planning to sell abroad, the top targets were Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — all English-speaking Commonwealth countries.Trudeau talked up the benefits of the Canada-EU deal this week in Montreal, where he met with European Council President Donald Tusk and Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU trade commissioner.CETA is supposed to give Canadian firms preferred access to a $24-trillion market and 500 million European consumers.Canada has ratified CETA, but so far only 13 of the EU’s 28 member countries have done the same. More than 90 per cent of the deal came into force in September 2017 under what is known as provisional application but all the individual ratifications are needed for its full implementation.Trudeau said CETA has already helped lift trade between Canada and Europe. He acknowledged, however, that Canada needs to do more to make sure it’s taking full advantage.“Perhaps, the early numbers show that Europeans have been quicker to increase their trade towards Canada than Canadian companies have been able to engage with Europe,” Trudeau told reporters Thursday.“But we have tremendous confidence that Canadian companies will continue to benefit and increase their opportunities to grow their businesses through selling more to Europe.”—Follow @AndyBlatchford on TwitterAndy Blatchford, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Canadian Chamber of Commerce critical of proposed tax reforms by Ottawa

first_imgFREDERICTON – Members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce say proposed tax changes for businesses by the federal government are casting business people in a negative light, and the finance minister should apologize.“Whenever a process from government starts to position business people and the business community in such a negative light, it is an absolute disaster from a communications perspective and I think an apology from our federal minister to the Canadian business community would be appropriate,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.His comment came Saturday after members of the Canadian Chamber put their concerns directly to Finance Minister Bill Morneau at their annual meeting in Fredericton.“Characterizing the last 45 years of Canadian tax policy as loopholes is insulting to businesses that have worked within the rules in good faith to build their businesses, to save for retirement, and sometimes just to keep their doors open,” said Krista Ross, CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.There was a round of applause when Morneau was asked if he would consider an independent royal commission to take a broader look at tax reform, but Morneau said the government has been talking about tax reform since the summer of 2015, and expects the current input will lead to changes in what’s being proposed.“We know we’re going to make changes. We’ve heard things from people that are going to be taken into account and the draft legislation, as proposed, will by definition need to be considered in light of the things that we’ve heard from people,” Morneau told the crowd.“I want to assure you that we are not doing this in order to end up in a situation that doesn’t consider all those points of view. We’re doing this to ensure we’ve got it right,” he said.The consultation period ends Oct. 2.McLellan said he thinks the current government is on a mission and will get the tax changes “come hell or high water.”Perrin Beatty, CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, warned the proposals could lead to “grave unfairness” for family farmers and small business workers across the country.“We may very well find that it discourages entrepreneurship and investment in Canada and has damaging impacts on the Canadian economy,” Beatty said in a presentation.The tax proposals include restrictions on the ability of business owners to reduce their tax rate by sprinkling their income to family members in lower tax brackets, even if those family members do not contribute to the company.Morneau also proposed limits on the use of private corporations to make passive investments that are unrelated to the company.Another change would limit business owners’ ability to convert regular income of a corporation into capital gains, which are typically taxed at a lower rate.Many of the business owners say the proposed reforms won’t let them save for a rainy day.Fredericton car dealership owner John Clark said businesses like his had to put money away to survive downturns such as the recession in the 1980s and the impact of the introduction of the harmonized sales tax.Of the more than 500 New Brunswick doctors who answered a recent New Brunswick Medical Society members’ survey, 65 per cent said they would consider reducing the number of hours they currently work if the proposed tax measures are implemented. Forty-six per cent said they would consider moving their practice outside of New Brunswick and 25 per cent said they would consider retiring from the profession.In Halifax, scores of Nova Scotia’s doctors turned out for a meeting Saturday to sound the alarm about how the changes could impact health care in a province already struggling to meet the needs of an aging and sick population.Doctors Nova Scotia, the province’s medical association, found that of 864 physicians who responded to a survey, more than half said they would consider leaving the province if the tax proposals come into effect.Several panellists voiced concerns that patients will ultimately pay the price if the measures are implemented, saying the loss of even a fraction of Nova Scotia’s doctors could lengthen wait times for essential medical services.“I see (these tax reforms) as the straw that’s about to break the back of health care,” Dr. Lisa Bonang told the crowd. “It’s not about the money. … We love our patients. We only want what’s best for them. But our altruism will only go so far.”Bonang, who has been a family physician in Musquodoboit Harbour for 22 years, was overwhelmed with emotion as she pledged to continue practising in the rural Halifax community, despite feeling “dissed” by the federal government.“I’m willing to stay and fight and do what’s best for the health care for my community,” Bonang said through tears.Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt, the only federal politician to attend the Halifax meeting, accused the Liberals of driving “wedges” between doctors and patients.“One of the most primary relationships you have is with your family doctor,” Raitt said. “I trust my children to you. I trust my husband to you, my parents to you. I don’t want to have a fight with you.”Morneau said he’s listening to the concerns of doctors and others, and they will be considered.“We’re out listening to people and haven’t concluded on the fiscal measures,” he said.Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters Friday that he was concerned about the impact the tax changes could have on health-care recruitment in a province already dealing with a family doctor shortage.— with files from Adina Bresge in Halifax.last_img read more

Pillays office not financially independent

He said this while making a statement at the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva today. Sri Lanka has expressed deep concerns over the lack of financial independence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) currently headed by Navi Pillay, saying it leads to disproportionate attention being paid to country-specific action in the Council.The government says such action selectively targets some countries, while situations, human rights violations and restrictive practices in other parts of the world that warrant more urgent and immediate attention and action remain conveniently ignored. “Regrettably, a similar pattern is evident in the case of continued action on Sri Lanka in this Council. It would be recalled that the call for an international investigation into the situation in Sri Lanka emanated here barely a week after the Government’s defeat of LTTE terrorism which reunited the country 4 years ago. As we have already informed the Council during past sessions, the ill-conceived resolution on Sri Lanka resulting from politicized action, diaspora compulsions and reports not mandated by the inter-governmental process and therefore lacking in legitimacy and credibility, is completely unwarranted and is for that reason rejected by the Government of Sri Lanka,” he said.The Ambassador said that the collusion, which is increasingly evident between some countries that support action against Sri Lanka and some extreme elements of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora with vested interests, is a concern that must be addressed more comprehensively by the OHCHR. “The continuation and proliferation of the practice of the selective adoption of country-specific resolutions in the Council is a tool that exploits human rights for political purposes.  We reiterate that such politicized action is contrary to the high purposes and principles of the Council and must be arrested,” the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha P. Aryasinha said today. “The fact that some of these diaspora elements were accredited as members of a country delegation at the 22nd HRC sets an alarming precedent. Let alone not adding any value to the ongoing domestic reconciliation process, such action has caused mistrust about international processes among the people of Sri Lanka, and also negatively impacted our reconciliation efforts,” he said.He also said that Sri Lanka is firmly committed to supporting the High Commissioner in the discharge of her mandate as contained in GA Resolution 48/141. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Security Council discusses future UN presence in Afghanistan

The United Nations Security Council today held a daylong discussion on the situation in Afghanistan as it focused on the latest report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan outlining the concept for a future UN presence in the country.In presenting Mr. Annan’s report at the outset of the Council’s debate, which was chaired by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen, UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette noted that the large number of non-Council members participating in the meeting was an encouraging sign of “the continuing interest and support of the international community in helping the Afghans rebuild their society.” Detailing aspects of Mr. Annan’s report, the Deputy Secretary-General said the proposed UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) was based on two pillars – one for structure and one for relief and assistance. Human rights will be central to the purposes and functions of the new mission, both as it fulfils the provisions of the Bonn Agreement directly related to human rights, and as it seeks to fully integrate human rights into its humanitarian, reconstruction and political activities, including the rule of law and national capacity building.As for recent developments in the country, both the Afghan Interim Administration and the UN had made education a key priority, the Deputy Secretary-General said. Last Saturday, the first day of the school year, had been a major step towards getting children back to school with 1.5 million students able to return. Supplies by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to schools around the country had provided materials for both students and teachers.The increased rainfall had also left many farmers optimistic about their next crops after three years of drought, Ms. Fréchette said. That optimism had been reflected in a spontaneous population movement especially among internally displaced persons (IDPs), many of who had started to return home. In addition, an average of 10,000 refugees per day had crossed from neighbouring Pakistan into Afghanistan. To address that flow, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) would open more registration centres in the next few weeks.Ms. Fréchette pointed out that even though UN agencies were gearing up to meet the challenges, they were also becoming increasingly alarmed by the slow pace of funding. “Almost a month ago, in Kabul, we presented the Immediate and Transitional Assistance programme for this year, spelling out requirements of $1.18 billion,” she said. “We now urgently need to convert the generous pledges already made into actual contributions.”The Deputy Secretary-General also noted that while the security situation in Afghanistan had apparently improved somewhat over the past few weeks, there had been further violent incidents in some areas, including reports that Taliban elements were regrouping in southern Paktia for a guerrilla campaign against the Interim Administration.“The concerns about security expressed in the Secretary-General’s report remain all too pertinent,” Ms. Fréchette said, warning against complacency.Following her statement, representatives of close to 30 countries, including all 15 members of the Council, took part in the debate. On Wednesday, the Council is scheduled to continue deliberations on the report in closed consultations. read more

Georgia UN condemns prisoner abuses exposed in television footage

“We call on the Government to ensure that all allegations of such human rights violations – and not only the ones exposed in these videos – are promptly, impartially and effectively investigated and that perpetrators are brought to justice,” a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, told reporters in Geneva. “Victims of the abuses must have access to the necessary medical and psychological support, as well as redress,” he added. According to OHCHR, the acts of torture and ill-treatment perpetrated against inmates at a prison and a juvenile detention facility in Georgia were exposed in at least four videos made public this week. “The videos are shocking and were shown on television in Georgia,” said Mr. Colville. “They showed prisoners being physically and sexually assaulted, humiliated and verbally abused by prison officers. “There is an absolute prohibition against torture, as well as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in international human rights law and an obligation on the Government to ensure that perpetrators do not enjoy impunity,” he stated. In a statement issued on Thursday, the UN Office in Georgia noted it was “dismayed” by the footage of human rights violations in the country’s penitentiary system. “We urge the authorities to urgently address every case of inmates’ physical abuse and ill-treatment, and to ensure a prompt, impartial and transparent investigation into the matter,” it added. Both the UN Office in Georgia and OHCHR recalled that Georgia is a State party to several human rights instruments, including the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and the Optional Protocol, which enables regular unannounced inspections by national and international bodies of places of detention. Mr. Colville also noted that concerns about the ill-treatment of prisoners in Georgia have been raised in various UN human rights fora over the years, as well as in reports by Giorgi Tugushi, the Ombudsman – or Public Defender – of Georgia. “We welcome the positive steps taken by the Government so far, including the condemnation of the abuses by the President of Georgia, and the pledges made that these human rights violations will be investigated,” Mr. Colville said, noting that two ministers have now resigned, or offered to resign. “We urge the Government to ensure that their pledges are swiftly translated into effective and transparent action with significant steps undertaken to ensure that prisons and detention centres are managed in line with international human rights law and standards,” he added, while flagging that OHCHR stands ready to assist the Georgia in this effort. read more

What if Mario had a Portal gun

first_imgI grew up when Mario games were 2D and there wasn’t a motion controller in every gamer’s home. The games were fantastic, and a big part of the reason Nintendo became a leader in the video game market. But sometimes those platformers could be a little tough.If you had to make those same games easier today, what’s the best way of doing it? I think Dorkly found the answer: you just add a Portal gun.The video above is a realistic recreation of how players would use such a gun in game. It does make playing through the levels that bit easier, and certainly makes the Bowser boss fights a doddle.We hope Nintendo doesn’t pick up on this, though. Portal guns should remain in Portal, and Mario should remain a fireball throwing plumber who relies on your skillful jumping ability to survive.Dorkly, via Engadgetlast_img read more

Windows 7 finally overtakes Windows XP

first_imgWith millions already playing with the Windows 8 developer preview, it’s hard to imagine that this month marks the second anniversary of Windows 7 on retail shelves. Widely considered to be “what Vista should have been,” initial sales of Windows 7 were very strong, and that momentum has continued to this day.Windows 7’s global operating system market share continued to grow, but Windows XP refused to give up the number one spot on the charts. Windows 7 crept ever closer, and finally this month it has overtaken Windows XP (41% to 40%) as the most widely-used desktop operating system in the world. It’s a major milestone for Windows 7, especially considering Windows XP’s still-strong foothold in corporate environments around the world.Meanwhile, Windows 7’s oft-maligned predecessor continues its slow, protracted slide towards oblivion. Fewer than 11% of the world’s computers now run Vista.It will be interesting to see just how long it takes Windows 8 to slide past Windows 7 and into the pole position. It’ll have at least one advantage — a whole new segment of Windows devices. With the arrival of lower-cost ARM-powered Windows 8 tablets, sales could be even more rapid than they were with Windows 7 early on.One thing that could potentially slow Windows 8’s ascent is the improved anti-piracy tech it will include. Microsoft won’t shed any tears if Windows 8 doesn’t rise as quickly because it’s not as easy to pirate, but those who watch stats closely might forget how important non-legit copies of Windows XP and Windows 7 were to their overall share of the market.More at ZDNetlast_img read more

Greek Australian Short Film Festival 2015

first_imgThe sixth Greek Australian Short Film Festival continues to show its support to aspiring filmmakers across the globe who are either Greek or of Greek descent, covering all genres including animation. The Greek Australian Short Film Festival screens as part of the Greek Film Festival in Australia, running in all major cities, and is calling for entries. There will be an Australian and an International section with cash prizes for best film awarded in each section. Films will be judged by prominent Greek Australians from the media and entertainment industry. The festival accepts submissions of both Australian and international short films made by a filmmaker (director, writer, producer) of Greek heritage or short films pertaining to a Greek theme. The GASFF curators for 2015 will be Katerina Kotsonis, Jim Koutsoukos and Stella Dimadis, who will be receiving entries until 31 July 2015.To submit your films visit 03film/03t_fin/03t_fin_fest_01over.php?festival_id=13125For further information or enquiries email or join the festival’s page on Facebook at Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Lamarrage de lATV2 contrôlé à Toulouse

first_imgL’amarrage de l’ATV-2 contrôlé à ToulouseDans quelques minutes, l’ATV-2 devrait s’amarrer à l’ISS (Station spatiale internationale). Alors que l’opération sera en grande partie automatisée, un centre de contrôle spécialement dédié au cargo spatial a été mis en place à Toulouse.Le 16 février dernier, l’ATV-2 était lancé par la fusée Ariane. Aujourd’hui, le véhicule automatique doit s’amarrer à l’ISS, pour ravitailler la station en nourriture, matériel, eau, oxygène et carburant. L’opération doit être totalement automatisée bien que commandée par un centre de contrôle dédié à Toulouse. Baptisé “ATV-CC” ou Automated Transfer Vehicle – Control Center, cette base terrestre est en charge 7 jours sur 7 et 24 heure sur 24 de l’ATV-2 et cela depuis que le cargo a été lancé, rapporteÀ lire aussiL’étrange comportement d’une flamme dans l’espaceAu sein du centre de contrôle, 130 personnes de 7 nationalité différentes travaillent ensemble, en collaboration avec le centre de Houston aux Etats-Unis et de Moscou, en Russie. En prise directe avec les astronautes à bord de l’ISS, le centre de contrôle de Toulouse s’étale sur 700 mètres carrés et a coûté 60 millions d’euros. Quarante contrôleurs vérifient à chaque instant que le véhicule automatisé remplit bien sa mission, tandis que l’ATV-2 doit parvenir aujourd’hui à s’amarrer à l’ISS, ce qui suppose qu’il parvient à atteindre une cible de 10 centimètres de diamètre et cela à la vitesse de 28.000 km/h. Pour cela, des faisceaux laser et capteurs optiques ont été mis en place. Le centre de Toulouse pourra intervenir en cas de problème.Le CNES (l’agence spatiale française) invite les internautes à suivre cette aventure en direct sur Dailymotion à 16h45 heure de Paris. Le 24 février 2011 à 16:31 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Deux espèces de lézard disparaissent à Hawaii

first_imgDeux espèces de lézard disparaissent à HawaiiUne étude menée par deux chercheurs met en évidence la disparition, aux îles Hawaii, de deux espèces de petits lézards scincidés très communs et largement répartis dans le Pacifique Sud tropical.Ivan Ineich du Laboratoire “Origine, Structure et Evolution de la Biodiversité” (Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle/CNRS, Paris) et Robert Fisher (US Geological Survey, San Diego) ont réalisé une étude dont les résultats sont publiés cette semaine dans la prestigieuse revue Oryx. Ils y font état d’une découverte préoccupante : l’extinction de deux espèces de lézards communs. Normalement répartis dans l’ensemble du Pacifique, depuis la Nouvelle-Guinée jusqu’à l’atoll de Clipperton et aux îles Hawaii, y compris en Polynésie française et à Wallis et Futuna, les deux espèces ont longtemps été confondues. Distingués en 1987 dans les travaux de thèse d’Ivan Ineich, le Emoia cyanura était, en fait, composée de deux espèces qui cohabitent le plus souvent : le “vrai” Emoia cyanura et Emoia impar. Après d’importantes recherches effectuées auprès de plusieurs muséums européens et américains, les deux auteurs scientifiques ont ainsi pu mettre en évidence la chronologie de l’extinction des deux espèces, rapporte le CNRS dans un communiqué.E. impar, pourtant commune et abondante ailleurs dans le Pacifique tropical, a disparu après 1900 aux îles Hawaii, et l’introduction très récente de la seconde espèce aux îles Hawaii, E. cyanura, juste avant 1970, a été suivie par son extinction rapide après 1990. Ce travail analyse les facteurs qui expliqueraient l’extinction de lézards communs aux Îles Hawaii : la cause la plus probable retenue par les auteurs est la fourmi à grosse tête, Pheidole megacephala. En effet, sa date d’introduction concorde avec celle de l’extinction de E. impar, mais aussi de nombreuses autres espèces de vertébrés, notamment des oiseaux endémiques des îles Hawaii.Une extrême sensibilité de certaines espècesÀ lire aussiUn nautile extrêmement rare observé pour la première fois en 30 ans en PapouasieCe travail ouvre une nouvelle porte à la Biologie de la Conservation en attirant l’attention sur l’intérêt des collections historiques (qui permettent d’apprécier l’évolution temporelle des peuplements). “Les collections sont des livres dont seules quelques pages sont lisibles actuellement”, souligne Ivan Ineich, également responsable des collections de reptiles au Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle depuis 1988. Ces recherches montrent la nécessité de la systématique (décrire, classer, nommer) et l’importance d’étudier les espèces communes, trop souvent jugées sans intérêt. Mais ce travail pointe également l’extrême sensibilité des “grosses bêtes” vis-à-vis des “petites bêtes” introduites (surtout les virus, bactéries, champignons et arthropodes), dont l’impact autrefois négligé et pourtant si destructeur pour les vertébrés doit être reconsidéré. Les extinctions de ces deux espèces communes sont une alarme et des travaux complémentaires devront les expliquer mais aussi éviter qu’elles ne se renouvellent pour d’autres espèces, s’il n’est pas déjà trop tard…Le 20 mars 2012 à 12:37 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Mural for VPD precinct Diversity unity in vibrant colors

first_imgAfter the better part of a year of work, students from Fort Vancouver High School unveiled Friday afternoon their vibrant mural at the Vancouver Police Department’s West Precinct building, something they hope will endure as a symbol of community as long as it hangs.The students began painting amid a national discussion about police brutality, and Manuel Avalos, who has since graduated and is taking classes at Washington State University Vancouver, said once the students knew where the mural was going, the context became front-and-center in their minds.“Since we found out that it was going to be here, we were thinking about it,” he said. “We wanted it to be an important thing that this mural was about unity and it was about community, not just us showing off who we are.”Avalos was a member of MEChA, the student club that painted the mural, while in high school.MEChA stands for the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, or the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan, and is a national student group focused around Chicano and Latino students.“They’re young people that are trying to become leaders in the community, who see stewardship as a beautiful thing, and are eager to share what they have, their gifts and their talents, to make the community better,” said Rodolfo Serna, the mural artist who worked with the students.last_img read more

4 killed by speeding vehicles in 2 dists

first_imgAt least four people were killed Wednesday in separate incidents in Rajshahi and Chuadanga districts.In Chuadanga, a young man was killed and three others were injured as a speeding truck drove through a roadside stationary shop at Dolatdiar village in Sadar upazila.The deceased Shafiuddin alias Shafi, 30, is son of some Didar Mondal of the same village.In Rajshahi district, three people including a schoolgirl were killed and four others injured when a bus ploughed through a bookshop at Naudapara area in the city.The deceased were Anika, 13, a student of Shah Makhdum School and daughter of Rustam of Bharalipara, Ismail Hossain, 24, son of Ismail and Sabuj Islam, 32, son of Mohammad Ali.The injured were taken to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.Later, locals put up a barricade on Rajshahi-Naogaon road protesting the incident, disrupting traffic movement.Zillur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Shah Makhdum police station said, police rushed to the spot and seized the bus.last_img read more

Body found in Salt Lake Autopsy report rules out any foul play

first_imgKolkata: No foul play was found in the primary opinion on the autopsy report of Krishna Bhattacharya, who’s decomposed body was recovered on Sunday night from inside her house in Salt Lake.The autopsy surgeon said Krishna might have died approximately 7-8 days ago. According to the sources, police have admitted Krishna’s son Maitro at Bidhannagar Sub-Divisional Hospital for treatment. Hearing his version on Sunday night and Monday, the sleuths suspect he has some psychological issues. To make sure of his mental condition, they will take opinion from a psychiatrist soon. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAs police have not found any relatives of Chakraborty family in Kolkata or its adjacent areas till Tuesday night, the body of Krishna has been preserved at R G Kar hospital after the autopsy. On Monday, Maitro wished to have chicken cutlet as he had not eaten anything for the past few days. Later, police admitted him to Bidhannagar hospital for his health check-up. Sources informed that after his medical check-up if he is found mentally fit then Krishna’s body will be handed over to him. If not, then police will submit his medical report to Bidhannagar Court and will appeal for Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedhis treatment. Maitro also claimed Krishna’s one leg somehow got fractured and she was unable to walk and then she died. Though some injury marks could be traced in the autopsy but doctor said those are old and she did not die due to injuries. It is suspected that she had a cardiac arrest. But it cannot be confirmed till the final autopsy report comes. Though Maitro claimed they were Christian, the sleuths had no clues about it. During interrogation, he claimed his mother had asked him to bury her after death. To fulfill her wish, he had planned to bury her inside the house and for that he sought help from one Tarun Kumar Porel of Beadon Street, who was a patient of his father Dr Gorachand Bhattacharya. On hearing Maitro, he called the police and reported the incident. Later, police brought Maitro and recovered Krishna’s body from her house in Salt Lake.last_img read more

Manoj Kr Verma 7 other police officers to get top state honour

first_imgKolkata: IPS officer Manoj Kumar Verma, presently posted as Commissioner of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate, will be awarded the Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Outstanding Service on Independence Day.Sources in the Home department said Verma’s efforts to restore peace and normalcy in Bhatpara has been a major reason behind his name featuring in the recipients’ list released by the state Home & Hill Affairs department. Verma, soon after taking over as CP, began area domination in full swing with RAF and combat forces to instill confidence among the common people who were under a sense of fear due to the atrocities allegedly unleashed by BJP supporters, particularly in Bhatpara and Kankinara. Verma also started a WhatsApp number appealing to the residents to inform of any sort of problematic situation and assured that the identity of the person would be kept confidential. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThese places have been witnessing political violence after the result of the Lok Sabha polls was announced and it was on June 20 when the state government appointed Verma as the Police Commissioner. Bhatpara is an Assembly constituency under Barrackpore parliamentary constituency which was won by BJP’s Arjun Singh. The government had to shuffle Police Commissioner of Barrackpore on more than one occasion in the period between May 23 and June 20 when there were reports of sporadic violence. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateVerma, an IPS officer of 1998 batch, had earlier played an important role in countering Maoist activities in West Midnapore district during the 2009-2011 period. Verma who was posted as IG Darjeeling during the violent movement of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the Hills in 2017, also played a significant role in the restoration of peace there. Apart from Verma, Sanjay Singh, a 1992-batch IPS officer posted as ADG South Bengal and Vineet Kumar Goyal, a 1994-batch IPS posted as Director Security, West Bengal, will also receive the Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Outstanding Service on August 15. The Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Commendable Service will be presented to five IPS officers including Pandey Santosh, C Sudhakar, Meeraj Khalid, Shyam Singh and Debasmita Das. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to hand over the medals at a programme on Red Road on Independence Day.last_img read more