Worlds biggest whooping crane breeding program winds down

first_img Their numbers now stand at more than 700, and the center’s breeding and caretaking protocol are now standard. “We feel as if our job is done,” says the center’s director, John French. The airlifted birds—and others remaining to be transferred—will now become part of captive breeding flocks. By Elizabeth PennisiOct. 17, 2018 , 1:35 PM Today, 33 whooping cranes were airlifted from Maryland to Louisiana, marking the beginning of the end of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS’s) 50-year effort to help save these endangered birds. Scientists at USGS’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, spearheaded the recovery of Grus americana, whose numbers had once dropped to fewer than 20 in the wild. To bring back the majestic 1.3-meter-tall birds, biologists developed innovative methods, including using puppets in the shape of crane heads to teach chicks to feed and to follow ultralight aircraft on migratory flights. JONATHAN L. FIELY/USGS PATUXENT WILDLIFE RESEARCH CENTER center_img World’s biggest whooping crane breeding program winds down This young whooping crane was raised by white-suited humans at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland.last_img read more

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Philippines top senator chides Iceland for abortion UN drugs war probe

first_img Explained: The Hague rules on Kulbhushan Jadhav today Joe Biden: Congress should protect abortion rights, if necessary Related News By Reuters |Manila, Philippines | Published: July 15, 2019 12:34:01 pm Delhi HC asks AIIMS to examine woman’s plea for abortion of ‘abnormal’ foetus NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Advertising “They have more unborn babies that they have aborted or killed. There are more killings in abortion than the drug pushers who are fighting the police,” Senate President Vicente Sotto told ANC news channel.The Nordic nation lacks moral grounds to lecture the Philippines on human rights, Sotto said. “So we should disregard that resolution.”His remarks are the latest in a series of comments from lawmakers urging the government to not cooperate after the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday adopted Iceland’s resolution to investigate thousands of deaths under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign. Philippines Senate abortion, Philippines Senate iceland abortion, Philippines Senate against abortion, Vicente Sotto on abortion, UN drug war, United Nations drug war, Vicente Sotto drug war, world news, indian express Rights groups, which hailed the U.N. vote as a step towards accountability, point out that the bloody anti-narcotics campaign is marked by systematic cover-ups, planted evidence and impunity. (File Photo)The Philippines’ highest-ranking lawmaker Vicente Sotto said on Monday a UN resolution to probe the country’s bloody war on drugs should be ignored, and its chief backer Iceland be investigated instead for human rights abuses in allowing abortion.center_img Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Best Of Express The president’s spokesman on Monday warned countries not to meddle with the state’s affairs.“All incidents in the war on drugs are tallied, recorded. All they have to do is ask us, not to pre-judge us,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told a regular news conference. “It behoves them to render respect to a sovereign state.”Duterte on Friday mocked Iceland as an ice-eating nation without an understanding of his country’s problems. Advertising Police have killed more than 6,600 suspected drug dealers in sting operations since Duterte took office in 2016. Critics and rights group said authorities summarily execute suspects, which the police deny.“The criminals can fight back, the babies cannot. What human rights are they talking about?” Sotto said, adding that drug dealers that fight back and destroy families lose their human rights.His comments about abortion echoed those made by incoming Senator Imee Marcos, the daughter of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.Rights groups, which hailed the U.N. vote as a step towards accountability, point out that the bloody anti-narcotics campaign is marked by systematic cover-ups, planted evidence and impunity. Missouri may become only US state with no legal abortion provider Post Comment(s)last_img read more

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Asthma eczema are not barriers to active lifestyle in teenagers

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 22 2019A fresh look by the University of Bristol at how teenagers are affected by their asthma, eczema or obesity has some reassuring findings published in BMJ Open today (Monday 21 January).Researchers supported by the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre found that both girls and boys at the ages of 12, 14 and 16 did not experience different levels of active or sedentary time if they had asthma or eczema compared to their peers. Teenagers who were obese however, were less active and also had increased periods of inactivity.Using data from 6473 teenagers wearing accelerometers at the three age points, clinical reports of asthma or eczema together with weight and height measurements, this study is the first of its kind using data over time to assess the impact of the conditions on activity levels. All the information was taken from Bristol’s Children of the 90s study that recruited 14,500 pregnant women in the early 1990s.Related StoriesStudy examines differences in genetic risk factors for childhood-onset and adult-onset asthmaStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 yearsEliminating asthma triggers right at the source to create healthier homesWith an estimated 20 per cent of children diagnosed with eczema, 9 per cent with asthma and 20 per cent found to be obese by the age of eleven in the UK it was thought that the long-term conditions impacted not just quality of life but physical activity. Although the research did not examine differing severity of asthma and eczema there can now be some reassurance that the conditions are not necessarily a barrier to a healthy lifestyle and that tailored fitness plans are not needed.Professor Russ Jago from the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Bristol said:”Our findings should reassure parents that although their teenagers are facing long-term conditions such as asthma and eczema we didn’t find any reduced physical activity. The young people studied, both girls and boys, kept the same levels of moderate to vigorous activity as their peers who did not have the conditions.”Thanks to the Children of the 90s data we were able to look at young people over a long period of time using many different tests which makes our study question the perception that asthma and eczema impacts quality of life in this way.”The next steps would be to examine any differences in activity for young people with mild or severe asthma or eczema.”​Source: http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2019/january/teens-keep-active-despite-asthma-or-eczema-study-finds.htmllast_img read more

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New electronic support system for choosing drug treatment based on patients genotype

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 19 2019The science of pharmacogenomics (PGx) studies how genetic variability affects an individual’s response to a drug. Most patients metabolize a medication as expected. But some eliminate it from the body before it can do its work, while others process it slowly, causing it to build up in the body and risk an overdose.Researchers in the U-PGx project are investigating how PGx could help doctors and pharmacists better treat patients. Advance knowledge of how an individual is likely to process a given drug could ensure that doctors can choose safe, effective therapy without trial and error.The project has developed an electronic support system for choosing treatment based on a patient’s pharmacogenomic profile. Prescribers would match medication and dose to the patient’s genotype, with a warning given if a drug is ordered for a patient at risk of a dangerous reaction.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”Opioid overdose deaths on the decline says CDC but the real picture may still be grimThe first steps towards testing this system in real life were taken in U-PGx’s clinical study PREPARE (Preemptive Pharmacogenomic Testing for Preventing Adverse Drug Reactions). Around 8 000 patients are being tested for genetic markers that could indicate how they react to more than 40 commonly prescribed drugs. Half the group are prescribed the drug they need using their genetic data, with the other half prescribed drugs using a standard-of-care approach, i.e. without taking genetic data into account.Results will show whether pharmacogenomic testing impacts therapy outcomes and is feasible and cost-effective on a large scale. Seven clinical centres from across Europe are taking part, helping to ensure that results are representative of Europe as a whole.U-PGx researchers will also use the study’s results to draw up proposals for an EU-wide strategy on the clinical use of PGx. In parallel, the researchers are raising awareness of its potential among patients, health-care professionals, regulators and other stakeholders.Source: http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/printversion_en.cfm?id=/research/headlines/news/article_19_03_19-1_en.html?infocentre&item=Infocentre&artid=49987last_img read more

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Falling for telephone scams could be an early sign of dementia

first_imgThe study reveals that old people with no apparent signs of dementia who fail to protect themselves from these phone scamsters by ending the conversation and hanging up may have early signs of dementia. In some cases failing to use good judgement could be an early sign of Alzhiemer’s disease say the researchers. The results of the new study titled, “Scam Awareness Related to Incident Alzheimer Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Prospective Cohort Study,” were published in the latest issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.Lead author of the study, Patricial Boyle, neurological psychologist at Rush University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, said this study adds “to our understanding of elder fraud in general. This work would suggest that, in fact, many cognitively intact older people also may be at risk of financial and other forms of fraud and abuse and really sheds new light on the scope of this problem.” She explained that memory loss is usually preceded by poor decision making.The team of researchers recruited 935 older people living in and around Chicago. They had never been diagnosed with dementia and had no apparent symptoms of dementia. At the start of the study the participants were given a questionnaire on scam awareness.Related StoriesWhy women who work are less likely to develop dementia$4.23 million NIH grant to support development of Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research CenterA program of therapy and coping strategies works long-term for family dementia carersIt contained five statements; Image Credit: SpeedKingz / Shutterstock I answer the telephone whenever it rings, even if I do not know who is calling. I have difficulty ending a telephone call, even if the caller is a telemarketer, someone I do not know, or someone I did not wish to call me. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Persons older than 65 [years old] are often targeted by con artists. When telemarketers call me, I usually listen to what they have to say. Following this, the participants were asked to complete traditional neuropsychological tests each year for around six years. During the study 255 (or 34.2 percent) developed mild cognitive impairment and 151 participants (or 16.1 percent) developed Alzheimer’s disease. During the study 264 participants died of natural and other causes. Their brains were donated for autopsy and research. Signs of dementia and Alzhiemer’s were noted in their brains.Results revealed that participants who had low scam awareness at the start of the study were at a greater risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia or mild cognitive impairment. Similarly those that scored low on the fraud awareness test also had signs of Alzheimer’s in their brains on autopsy. Typically beta amyloid plaque was found in their brains.Boyle said, “Social cognition — social judgment — involves a diverse array of functions. This complicated behavior involves and integrates multiple different abilities, including cognition, including emotion regulation, including making inferences and perceptions about others’ behavior as well as of course regulating one’s own impulses.” “Because it’s a complex behavior, it likely involves distributed brain networks to support it,” Boyle explained.Boyle added that families need to be “vigilant about the problem of elder fraud,” recommending the sites of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and AARP for guidance.The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDApr 16 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)The United States Department of Justice says that annually around $3 billion is defrauded from seniors. Many of these tricksters use the telephone for their scams. What would not dupe a person with normal mental faculties often takes in seniors. A new study shows that elderly with mild cognitive impairment or early signs of dementia often fall prey to these telephone scams.last_img read more

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Fuzzy math fuels Sanders claim that cost barriers to health care kill

first_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 25 2019″Medicare for All” — or single-payer health care — is a flagship issue for Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. So when a conservative group launched an ad campaign claiming such a policy would drive up wait times for medical care, the 2020 candidate responded aggressively.His point: Some people may wait a bit for care under a new system. But under the current one, many people do not have access to affordable care and the results are sometimes dire.Still, Sanders’ precision gave us pause.Namely, he tweeted, “30,000 Americans a year die waiting for health care because of the cost.”Where did that 30,000 figure come from? How could Sanders — or for that matter, anyone — know how many people died “waiting for health care” specifically “because of the cost”?We reached out to the Sanders campaign but never heard back.But multiple experts suggested that the 30,000 figure, while not conjured out of thin air, relies on math that is shaky at best. There isn’t enough evidence, either way, to entirely validate or repudiate this claim.The MathSanders’ 30,000 statistic appears to come from a figure used by Physicians for a National Health Program, a doctor-driven nonprofit group that has advocated for years for single-payer health care.But how did it compute that number? We asked Dr. David Himmelstein, a physician and part-time lecturer at Harvard Medical School, and one of PNHP’s founders.He said the group looked at the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, a landmark study in which some state residents had been assigned Medicaid coverage by lottery, and others remained uninsured. One year into that study, researchers found the death rate differed by 0.13 percentage points between those who received insurance and those who did not.But, per the researchers’ analysis, that difference was not statistically significant. (That’s important and something we’ll come back to.)Himmelstein said the margin of 0.13 percentage points suggests that for every 769 people to lack health coverage, one will die. Looking at the current American uninsured population — about 27 million lack coverage —should put you close to 30,000.The ProblemGenerally, experts said, it’s likely that cost barriers prevent thousands of Americans from accessing lifesaving medical care.But “the particular math here seems a bit questionable” in arriving at 30,000, said Dr. Benjamin Sommers, a physician and health economist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.The problem lies in extrapolating so much from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment. While it yielded important findings, the death rate differential in particular is not statistically significant, so it cannot be applied so broadly, he said. The study wasn’t big enough to generate sufficient evidence spelling out the link between insurance coverage and mortality.Related StoriesIncreasing access to mental health services improves outcomes for people with HIVSupplements claiming to boost brain health are ‘too good to be true’, warn expertsGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsOther research makes clear that such a link exists. Sommers’ own work, for instance, looked at the impact of Massachusetts’ 2006 health reform law — the model for the Affordable Care Act, which brought the state to near-universal coverage.That expansion was associated with a significant drop in mortality. For every 830 adults to gain coverage, one death was prevented.But differences nationally in both population and health care generally still mean it’s difficult to apply this statistic to the rest of the country — and, namely, to the remaining 27 million uninsured.So is 30,000 right or wrong?We don’t know.”My guess is that one, [Sanders] is right that thousands of people die because they remain uninsured, despite the ACA; but two, the 30,000 number may be too high,” said Stan Dorn, a senior fellow at Families USA, a left-leaning health policy advocacy group.Going Beyond InsuranceThere’s one other issue: More often than not, people are uninsured because they can’t afford to buy coverage. In turn, that often means they can’t afford health care and suffer dire consequences.But it isn’t a one-to-one substitution.For instance, there are healthy people who lack insurance but may not need much medical care in that particular year, or may simply choose not to buy it.And, on the other hand, some people have coverage that isn’t robust enough to make lifesaving treatments affordable.So, if you want to measure how many Americans do die “waiting for health care because of the cost,” you’d have to look beyond just the question of having insurance.Our ratingOn its face, Sanders’ claim speaks to an important, undisputed policy concern — thousands of Americans die because they cannot afford their health care.But his “30,000 people” talking point relies on weak math, and it lacks meaningful support either way. It could be true. But it also could easily not be.”The senator’s comment looks like a reasonable attempt to use prior research,” Sommers said. But “he’s overstating the precision and confidence we can have in that number.”Sanders’ argument speaks to something more broadly true but neglects important details of the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment’s limitations. We rate it Half True.last_img read more

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Bell Helicopter unveils plans for air taxis but when will they be

Uber joins forces with NASA to develop flying taxis 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. Imagine flying from Fort Worth to Frisco in just a matter of minutes. Explore further If all goes according to plan, urban air taxis could be zipping across the Dallas-Fort Worth area within the next decade.At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Bell Helicopter will roll out its air taxi cabin design. The mockup will include four seats.”I want it to be four passengers like if you jumped into a car, like if you grabbed a taxi,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter.During the Consumer Electronics Show, attendees will be able to take a simulator ride to get a sense of what the experience will be like.In April, Uber announced it was working with manufacturers including Bell to provide on-demand air transportation. Uber said Dallas-Fort Worth would be a test market, with plans to launch a network by 2020.Snyder said it will likely take a little longer.”I would like to have our concept vehicle flying in the early ’20s, but I think it’s more like the mid-’20s by the time we have a certified aircraft that’s flying,” Snyder said. “That’s kind of our timeline.”Uber develops vertiportsHillwood Properties, the developer of AllianceTexas, is also a partner with Uber to develop vertical skyports, called vertiports, with plans to develop two to five ports within the year.The first vertiports will be located at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and in Frisco, Hillwood said last year. Other vertiports could eventually be built at Victory Park in Dallas, near AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park in Arlington, and at the old Tandy heliport on the Trinity River in downtown Fort Worth.While there is momentum to get an urban air taxi into the air, Snyder said Bell won’t skimp on safety.”We want people to walk up to this and to feel safe getting into it,” Snyder said. “It’s designed initially to have a pilot, called a mission manager. Eventually, we’ll move towards full autonomy.”With the number of drones and other aircraft expected to multiply, Scott Drennan, Bell’s director of innovation, said there are numerous air space challenges to overcome.There’s a need for very good “vehicle-to-vehicle communication and a very good ground system” to deal with drones, other autonomous vehicles and even birds, Drennan said.Ideally, urban air taxis envision a world where passengers can be whisked rapidly across the city.How much will it cost for a ride? In an October 2016 white paper, Uber put the initial cost for a ride from the marina district in San Francisco to downtown San Jose at $129 compared to $111 for a ground-based ride using UberX. The same report said prices would drop over time.”We really want this to be a tremendous user experience,” Snyder said. “We want them to feel safe when they climb into it. … It’s probably going to be the shortest ride they’ve ever had because they’re going to be so enthralled with interfacing with the vehicle that about the time they’re taking off, they’re landing.”Long-term plans call for hundreds of vertiports, changing the way people get around.”Where they really want to go is where you wouldn’t own a personal car,” Snyder said. “On-demand mobility would move you from place to place. A self-driving car picks you up and drives you to the vertiport.”Or, for true urban dwellers, it could simply mean walking a few blocks to the nearest vertiport.While it is partnering with Uber, Bell is also looking at whether it should be an operator of urban air taxis itself.”When you think about urban air taxi and the need to drive the cost down, to drive the operational hours per year up, you start to talk to yourself if being just an equipment provider is enough,” Drennan said. ©2018 Fort Worth Star-Telegram Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Citation: Bell Helicopter unveils plans for air taxis, but when will they be zipping around? (2018, January 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-bell-helicopter-unveils-air-taxis.html read more

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The hidden data in your fingerprints

Fingerprints have provided key evidence in countless cases of serious crime. But there are still some situations in which it can be difficult or impossible to recover fingerprints and this can cause a headache for forensic investigators. In seeking a solution to this problem, researchers like myself have started to realise that a fingerprint can be used for a lot more than just its unique ridge pattern. 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. Provided by The Conversation Drug testingWe’re some way off creating a simple method of studying fingerprints in this way for the police to use, but some advances have been made. For example, researchers have shown that contact with drugs or explosives can be picked up in a fingerprint and this might help to narrow down a list of possible suspects.If we think more broadly than forensics, fingerprints can provide some very exciting possibilities for the future of medical testing. For example, a fingerprint is a very convenient way to give a sample in a drugs test. It’s much quicker and easier than giving blood or urine and much harder to fake because it includes the identifying ridge patterns.Fingerprints are made not just from substances you have touched, but also substances excreted from your eccrine glands (the sweat glands located on the fingertips). Since sweat can include traces of things you have ingested, that means fingerprints can contain traces of drugs you’ve taken. In a recent paper in Clinical Chemistry, my colleagues and I have shown it is possible to detect cocaine, heroin and morphine use from a single fingerprint.These substances are surprisingly prevalent among the fingerprints of the general population. For example, 13% of non drug users that we tested had traces of cocaine in their fingerprints, probably picked up from banknotes or other contaminated surfaces. But an actual drug user will deposit up to 100 times more in their prints. What’s more, drugs can still be detected even after the user washes their hands, because the substances are continually excreted after use. This means that we can tell the fingerprints of drug users and non drug users apart. While it might seem disturbing that so many non drug users have cocaine on their fingertips, it’s worth pointing out that the test picks up amounts as small as tens of picograms (0.00000000001g) of the drug. So it doesn’t mean we’re facing a public health emergency. Our techniques are simply becoming more sensitive to tiny traces, so it is easier now for us to detect things that might have escaped attention before now.In our current research, our group has also found that prescription medications can be detected in fingerprints, and that these traces disappear when a patient ceases to take their medication. So one day we could see fingerprints used as any easy way of helping a patient to check that a drug is being absorbed properly. This is particularly important for patients undergoing treatment for epilepsy, diabetes, cardiac conditions and psychosis, who might struggle to absorb the drugs or forget or choose not to take them. The science of fingerprints has already come a long way since we first realised they could uniquely identify people. But there are still many exciting opportunities to be explored in the future. Citation: The hidden data in your fingerprints (2018, April 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-hidden-fingerprints.html A fingerprint is formed when a finger makes contact with a surface. The finger leaves behind traces of sweat and any other substances present on the finger that a suspect might have touched. These substances are deposited in the characteristic pattern of the ridges present on the finger tip of the donor. Most fingerprints are invisible to the naked eye and require a chemical development process in order to visualise them. And newer processes can obtain much more information about the fingerprint owner, what they’ve touched, what they’ve eaten and even what drugs they’ve taken.A fingerprint left at a crime scene (in forensics called a “fingermark”) will contain not only sweat from a suspect, but also traces of any substances a suspect has touched. This can be very useful evidence if the fingermarks contain a victim’s blood or explosive compounds as it instantly ties a suspect to those substances.But even then, a fingermark gives no investigative lead whatsoever if the suspect is not on the fingerprint database.This is where new ways of analysing prints could come in. Researchers recently showed that the substances that coat a mobile phone can vary according to who the device belongs to because of the array of foodstuffs, cosmetics, medicines and other environmental contaminants to which we are exposed. By the same logic, the substances in fingerprints should vary in a similar way, and some early attempts have been made to demonstrate this.If proved, this principle would mean a fingerprint could give a molecular signature that could reveal aspects of an individual’s lifestyle and environment, such as their job, their eating habits or their medical problems. This might help the police work out who the prints belong to. Explore further Credit: Shutterstock This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. One in ten people have traces of cocaine or heroin on their fingerprints read more

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The vanishing nuclear industry

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain 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. Provided by Carnegie Mellon University Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Nuclear power shutdowns won’t spike power pricescenter_img In a paper, “U.S. nuclear power: The vanishing low-carbon wedge,” just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), the team examined the current U.S. nuclear fleet, which is made up of large light water nuclear reactors (LWRs). While for three decades, approximately 20% of U.S. power generation has come from these LWRs, these plants are ageing, and the cost of maintaining and updating them along with competition from low cost natural gas, makes them less and less competitive in today’s power markets.In place of these LWRs, the team asked whether advanced reactor designs might play a significant role in U.S. energy markets in the next few decades. They concluded that they probably would not. Then, the team examined the viability of developing and deploying a fleet of factory manufactured smaller light water reactors, known as small modular reactors (SMRs). The team examined several ways in which a large enough market might be developed to support such an SMR industry, including using them to back up wind and solar and desalinate water, produce heat for industrial processes, or serve military bases. Again, given the current market and policy environments, they concluded that the prospects for this occurrence do not look good.In the article’s conclusion, the team writes, “It should be a source of profound concern for all who care about climate change that, for entirely predictable and resolvable reasons, the United States appears set to virtually lose nuclear power, and thus a wedge of reliable and low-carbon energy, over the next few decades.” Could nuclear power make a significant contribution to decarbonizing the U.S. energy system over the next three or four decades? That is the question asked by four current and former researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP). Their answer: probably not. More information: M. Granger Morgan el al., “US nuclear power: The vanishing low-carbon wedge,” PNAS (2018). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1804655115 Citation: The vanishing nuclear industry (2018, July 2) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-nuclear-industry.htmllast_img read more

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Some manufacturers feeling trade war pinch survey

first_img Citation: Some manufacturers feeling trade war pinch: survey (2018, July 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-war-survey.html The National Association for Business Economics survey also found signs of rising prices, a possible sign that inflation and Trump’s new import duties were filtering into the economy The National Association for Business Economics also found in its monthly report that members unanimously expected economic growth to continue in the next year, with most forecasting inflation adjusted growth of more than two percent.”Labor market conditions are tight with skilled labor shortages driving firms to raise pay, increase training and consider additional automation,” Sara Rutledge, chair of the quarterly survey, said in a statement.Companies reported rising profits and higher sales expectations. But despite the scarcity of workers, a survey index of wage growth slowed after hitting a record in April.The survey, which polled 98 economists at private companies and trade associations, also found signs of rising prices, a possible sign that inflation and Trump’s new import duties were filtering into the economy.An index of prices charged hit a 12-year record, jumping 14 points, while a measure of materials costs hit a seven-year record, soaring 15 points.Trump this week began the process to impose tariffs on up to $200 billion in additional imports from China, adding to the levies imposed on $34 billion in goods which took effect earlier this month.Economists say this could boost inflation, which already is beginning to rise after a decade of economic recovery, albeit gradually.Still, a majority in the NABE survey, 65 percent, said trade concerns were not causing their companies to change plans for investment, hiring or pricing.Things were chillier in the goods producing sector, however, with only 37 percent reporting no change.Among manufacturers, 26 percent said they were delaying planned investments and 16 percent reported having to raise prices.And, as the same survey had found April, most respondents, or 65 percent, said they were not changing plans to hire or invest because of December’s sweeping corporate tax cuts. © 2018 AFP US fiscal policy ‘too stimulative’: business economistscenter_img Explore further Some US manufacturers are delaying investments and raising prices as President Donald Trump escalates trade wars with key US economic partners but most companies report no change, according to a survey released Monday. 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

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PerovskiteCIGS tandem cell with record efficiency of 246 percent

first_imgToday at the EU PVSEC conference, imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies, presents a thin-film tandem solar cell consisting of a top perovskite cell developed by Imec within the partnerships of EnergyVille and Solliance, and a bottom CIGS cell from the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW, Stuttgart, Germany). The tandem cell resulting from this collaboration achieves a record efficiency of 24.6 percent. The perovskite top cell in the tandem uses light in the visible part of the solar spectrum, while the light in the near-IR spectrum that passes through the perovskite cell is harvested by the underlying CIGS cell. In this way, the tandem cell significantly outperforms the stand-alone perovskite and CIGS cells. Moreover, both perovskite and CIGS cells are thin-film solar cells, paving the way to high efficiency flexible solar cells and building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solutions.The 4-terminal tandem consists of a perovskite solar cell stacked on top of a CIGS cell, based on a fully scalable device concept to enable industrial adoption of the process. The new record efficiency of 24.6 percent was achieved thanks to several innovations. First of all, the transmittance of the perovskite cell for near-IR light was improved by adding optical coupling layers to the tandem stack and by optimizing the transparent electrodes. Secondly, the perovskite itself was optimized in terms of a wide bandgap of 1.72eV for higher tandem efficiency.The CIGS cell of 0.5cm² size has been made at the high-efficiency line at ZSW, employing all optimized processes necessary for the preparation of record devices. It thus was the ideal sample for combination with the perovskite cell. Further improvements of the technology will ultimately pave the way to thin-film tandem solar cells with efficiencies of more than 30 percent.”We work on two types of tandem cells,” explains Tom Aernouts, group leader for thin-film photovoltaics at imec/EnergyVille. “We combine our state-of-the-art perovskite technology with silicon or CIGS bottom cells. The advantage of CIGS is that it is a thin-film technology, just like perovskite, and that the tandem cells therefore can be fabricated in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. This makes it possible to use this technology in building-integrated PV applications. Future work will focus on upscaling the technology towards larger modules. Moreover, we will also look into developing solutions for two-terminal cells because of their importance to the PV industry. In the end, it’s the adoption of our results by our industrial partners that’s important.””We owe the record efficiency to two factors,” says Prof. Dr. Michael Powalla, member of the board and head of the Photovoltaics Division at ZSW. “On the one hand to the improved perovskite cell, on the other hand to one of the world’s best efficiencies for CIGS cells. There are several parameters of the CIGS cell which we can optimize with regard to its combination with the perovskite top cell. Thus, we expect even better efficiency values in the future, paving the way to further cost reductions.”This achievement results from a lasting international collaboration of imec, ZSW and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Credit: IMEC Stacked perovskite/CIGS solar module achieves unprecedented efficiency at 17.8 percent Provided by IMECcenter_img 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. Citation: Perovskite/CIGS tandem cell with record efficiency of 24.6 percent (2018, September 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-perovskitecigs-tandem-cell-efficiency-percent.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Volkswagen to devote 3 German plants to electric car push

first_img Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen said Wednesday that it would begin local production of electric-powered vehicles at its facilities in Emden and Hannover in 2022. A plant in Zwickau was designated previously for e-car production.Volkswagen personnel head Gunnar Kilian said that workers were given a jobs guarantee through 2028, but that the company would work to reduce positions “in a socially responsible way” since electrics require fewer production steps.Analysts say carmakers will need to add electric cars to their sales lineups to meet the new European Union rules on greenhouse gas emissions from 2021. Volkswagen and other car makers had bet heavily on diesel models, which get better mileage than gasoline powered vehicles, to meet tough limits on emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas scientists say causes global warming. Diesel sales in Europe have eroded, however, since Volkswagen was caught using software to cheat on diesel emissions tests and paid more than 28 billion euros ($31 billion) in fines, settlements and penalties. Subsequent scrutiny of diesel technology showed that other carmakers’ vehicle emitted more nitrogen oxide pollution in real-life driving than during tests. The EU introduced new test procedures Sept. 1 that are intended to measure emissions in daily driving conditions.As diesel sales fall carmakers are turning to electric vehicles to meeting the new C02 limits, even though consumer uptake has been slow because of higher costs and lack of convenient places to charge up. Battery electric cars were 0.6 percent of EU auto sales last year.Details of the plant allocations will be decided by the Volkswagen board of directors at a meeting on Friday. European officials seek tougher emissions rules for cars German automaker Volkswagen will convert three factories in Germany to manufacture electric cars, ramping up production of zero-local emission cars ahead of tougher European emissions standards, the company said Wednesday. Explore further Citation: Volkswagen to devote 3 German plants to electric car push (2018, November 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-volkswagen-devote-german-electric-car.htmlcenter_img In this March 5, 2018 file photo, Roland Schulz makes the final check of an e-Golf electric car in the so-called light tunnel in the German car manufacturer Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory in Dresden, Germany. Volkswagen said on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, that it will convert three factories in Germany to manufacture electric cars, ramping up production of zero-local emission cars ahead of tougher European emissions standards. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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

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Slow media how to renew debate in the age of digital authoritarianism

first_img Citation: Slow media: how to renew debate in the age of digital authoritarianism (2019, April 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-media-renew-debate-age-digital.html Provided by The Conversation In the realm of media and communication, we are confronted by fast-paced global flows of information on the internet that we constantly access from everywhere via our smartphones, laptops and tablets. Commercial platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are digital tabloids that circulate high-speed flows of often superficial information that is consumed with short attention spans. The primary goal of social media’s information acceleration is the sale of targeted ads. And digital authoritarianism, fragmented publics, fake news, bots, filter bubbles and a narcissistic “me” culture have all proliferated alongside this high-speed communication. Today’s social media are in fact anti-social media that undermine political communication and understanding. In 2019, a House of Commons committee inquiry into disinformation and fake news concluded that the negative implications of social media should “allow more pause for thought”. There is a desire for something different. Research conducted by my team in the EU project netCommons showed that almost 90% of 1,000 internet users who participated in a survey said they were interested in using alternatives to the dominant, commercial platforms. In a similar vein to “slow food” – which was created to counter the negative implications of fast-food culture, and which became part of the wider slow life movement – Sabria David, Jörg Blumtritt and Benedikt Köhler propose a “slow media” manifesto. Slow media takes the speed out of information, news and political communication by reducing the amount of information and communication flows. Users engage more deeply with each other and with content. Slow media does not distract users with advertisements, it is not based on user surveillance, and is not undertaken to yield profit. It’s not simply a different form of media consumption, but an alternative way of organising and doing media – a space for reflection and rational political debate.Club 2.0: slow debateClub 2 was a debate format broadcast on television by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation between 1976 and 1995. Viewers could watch a live, uncensored and controversial debate between diverse participants in a small studio with no studio audience. Club 2 was, in this sense, the original slow media. It was not interrupted by advertisements and used unlimited airtime. In Britain, After Dark, a version of Club 2 produced by OpenMedia, aired from 1987 until 1997.In the age of user-generated content, I propose an updated version of Club 2 that would bring together live television and the internet, broadcast via a non-commercial video platform. Club 2.0 would be based on a public service, not-for-profit version of YouTube that is free of advertising. Users – named and registered – would generate discussions to accompany a live TV debate uploaded to the video platform. Limiting the number of registered and active users – and how many videos and text comments they can make during debates – would control the pace of online discussion. Instead of a maximum length to comments (and videos) as one gets on Twitter, there would be a minimum. Groups of users in schools, universities, companies, associations, local communities, neighbourhoods, council houses, churches, civil society, unions and other contexts could co-create videos in advance of an episode. At certain points of time during the live broadcast, a user-generated video would be chosen and broadcast, which would, in turn, inform the studio debate. Ideally during a debate lasting two or three hours, a number of user-generated videos would be selected. At a time when sustained political communication of people who disagree has become almost impossible, new visions for slow media point to how we can create a a fresh culture of political debate and renew the public sphere. Decelerating the logic of the media is incompatible with the principles on which the commercial digital monopolies are based. Turning vision into a reality requires structural changes in communication. And slow media requires that we reinvent the internet as a public service internet with platform co-operatives.The commercial internet is dominated by digital capital, digital monopolies, “fake news”, filter bubbles, post-truth politics, digital authoritarianism, online nationalism, digital tabloids, and high-speed flows of superficial content. Public service internet and platform co-operatives are the vision of a commons-based, democratic internet and a true digital public sphere. The rise of a new global, digital and mobile form of capitalism has, since the 1970s, accelerated the pace of our lives. We produce more, consume more, make more decisions and have more experiences. This acceleration is driven by the underlying principles that “time is money”, “time is power” and “life is short”. Explore furthercenter_img Expanding tweets from 140 characters to 10,000? Not nearly radical enough This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Credit: CC0 Public Domain 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

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Game of drones Airports rally firms to battle threat from above

first_imgCS Communication Systemes, which boasts 200 million euros in annual sales, already has its Boreades civilian anti-drone system on the market. The French company has also notably been deployed by Paris police to protect the presidential platform during France’s Bastille Day parade.Explosive situationThe primary danger posed by drones at airports is the potential they could get sucked into a plane’s engine.A part of drone batteries is explosive, which could lead to disastrous consequences even if the intrusion was accidential.”That’s where the principle of precaution to ground traffic comes from,” said Thomas Gueudet, a sales executive at CerbAir, a firm which specialises in anti-drone systems.The operator of Paris’ two main airports, ADP, launched a drone detection programme two years ago called Hologarde in partnership with French aerospace firm Thales. 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. © 2019 AFP Drone sightings caused major disruptions at London’s Gatwick Airport just before the Christmas holiday last year A quadcopter drone appears on the radar screen and makes a beeline for the control tower at Paris’ Le Bourget airport. Is this the latest in a string of drone sightings at airports that has forced costly shutdowns and affected tens of thousands of passengers?No—it’s a simulation, and the drone is quickly stopped by a defence system being trialled at the Paris Air Show.”The jamming zone will make it turn back where it came from,” says Egidio Cau, head of anti-drone systems at CS Communication Systemes as he runs the test at the company’s stand for the show at Le Bourget.Drones are more and more frequently causing havoc at airports around the world, with just the latest coming on Wednesday when drone sightings forced Singapore’s main airport to temporarily close, with dozens of flights delayed.It joined a lengthening list of airports suffering serious disruption due to uninvited visits by unmanned aerial devices.London’s Gatwick was paralysed for 36 hours in December following repeated drone sightings. Heathrow and Newark were hit in January. Dubai and Dublin in February. Frankfurt in May.To fight back against the scourge from the skies, companies are proposing anti-drone technologies such as jamming, interceptor nets and killer drones. Citation: Game of drones: Airports rally firms to battle threat from above (2019, June 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-game-drones-airports-rally-firms.html Last week as part of the programme a special radar was installed on top of a tower at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, according to ADP’s deputy CEO, Edward Arkwright. “The goal is to have the system operational by the end of 2019,” he said this week.After controllers have helped work out the kinks there are plans to offer the system to other airports.Those kinks could be numerous, from properly identifying objects (is it a drone or a bird?) to selecting the appropriate response. For Olivier Gualdoni, CEO of the drone manufacturer Drone Volt, in the future autonomous drones will use artificial intelligence, making it more difficult to stop them using jamming technology.Moreover, jamming of signals at an airport is not a straightforward decision.”You jam everything: at an airport that potentially means the communications between the tower and the planes, to telephones to remote controls,” said Gualdoni.Airports the targetAnd authorisation to jam varies by country. “Nobody can jam in Britain except in cases of potential danger to people, while in Germany police are generally allowed to do so, for example, said Markus Wolf, director of development at Hensoldt, a German firm which specialises in sensor technologies for surveillance and protection.For Cau at CS Communication Systemes “systems that launch nets or interceptor drones may be more efficient solutions” to stop intrusions.Drone Volt’s Gualdoni believes the optimal solution to stopping drones remains to be found.Despite the complexities, for firms looking to develop anti-drone systems, airports “are without a doubt the biggest market”, said Hensoldt’s Wolf.”But it is also the least structured because there is still not a model on who should invest and operate such a system: air traffic control, the airport’s operator, the owner, the police…” he said. France’s civil aviation regulator DGAC said an EU law on drones that will enter into force in July 2020 should harmonise regulations in the bloc.It includes notably “the obligation to put a transponder in drones, which will be a big step forward in terms of managing traffic,” said CerbAir’s Gueudet.But Cau at CS Communication Systemes noted that it will not be hard for criminals to disable the transponder. Explore further Drone sighting briefly grounds flights at Frankfurt airport Drones may not always be delivering gifts More than a nuisance, drones flying by airports pose a real danger as they could cause a deadly accident if they get sucked into an aircraft’s engine German firm Hensoldt’s anti-drone system is displayed at the Paris Air Show this weeklast_img read more

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Nordea to review financial targets after secondquarter profit drop

first_imgHELSINKI (Reuters) – Nordea Bank (NDAFI.HE), the Nordic region’s biggest lender, reported lower-than-expected quarterly profits on Thursday, hit by low interest rates, and said it would review its financial targets in coming months. FILE PHOTO: The Nordea bank logo is seen at the bank’s headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File PhotoNordic banks have reported weak quarterly results across the board against the backdrop of low interest rates and as they face tough competition and increased focus on compliance measures in the aftermath of money laundering scandals. Danish peer Danske Bank’s (DANSKE.CO) quarterly pre-tax profit also missed expectations, hurt by low rates and higher costs associated with compliance following a money-laundering scandal at its Estonian bank. Nordea’s net profit fell 11% from a year earlier to 681 million euros ($765 million) in its second quarter ended June 30, missing analysts’ average expectation of 739 million euros in a poll. Net interest income, the bank’s most important income line, fell 4% to 1.07 billion euros due to fierce competition in mortgages and household loans across the region. Jefferies analysts said the second quarter result “suggests downgrades to consensus led by net interest income”. Nordea shares fell 5.4% in early trade, pulling down other Nordic banks. “As our performance is not satisfactory, further actions are needed to strengthen the financial results,” Chief Executive Officer Casper von Koskull said in a statement, without elaborating. Nordea said it planned to present new financial targets, including the capital and dividend policies, after third-quarter results. Earlier this week, peer Swedbank (SWEDa.ST) slashed its dividend payout policy to 50% from 75%, aiming to strengthen its capital amid fallout from a Baltic money laundering scandal. Nordea cited internal reasons such as lowering its risk level and concentrating on Nordic markets as well as external factors for the target revamp. “Financial environments have also changed with expected lower rates for longer, and we will soon have more clarity on our capital requirements within the banking union,” Nordea said. Nordea has retaken its position as the Nordic region’s biggest bank by market capitalization after Norway’s DNB (DNB.OL) briefly took the crown in June and July. Nordea’s market capitalization at Wednesday’s close was 26.82 billion euros, while DNB was at 25.79 billion. Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Christian Schmollinger/Subhranshu Sahu and Emelia Sithole-MatariseOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

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New Orleans Braces for Intense Floods As Tropical Storm Barry Rolls In

first_imgNew Orleans is bracing for a tropical storm that is expected to hit tonight or tomorrow, bringing with it chances of severe flooding. Tropical Storm Barry is slowly moving west-northwestward toward the southeastern coast of Louisiana, according to an advisory from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The storm’s center is expected to hit the southeastern coast of Louisiana, including New Orleans, tonight or Saturday (July 13) and then continue on to the lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday. It will bring “dangerous storm surge, heavy rains, and wind conditions,” across the north-central Gulf Coast, according to NOAA. (A storm surge means that there is a danger of life-threatening floods from rising water moving inland from the coastline, NOAA officials wrote.) [Aftermath of a Storm: Images from Hurricane Katrina]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65923-tropical-storm-barry-new-orleans-flooding.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  They expect the storm will bring “dangerous, life-threatening flooding,” with 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters) of water accumulation in southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi. Louisiana is currently under a federal declaration of emergency. Currently, maximum winds remain around 50 mph (85 km/hr). But there is a chance that Tropical Storm Barry will intensify and turn into a hurricane — once winds hit 74 mph (119 km/h) — tonight or early Saturday when its center strikes the Louisiana coast, according to NOAA. Some of New Orleans sits below sea level, as if at the bottom of a bowl, and is thus prone to flooding. Fourteen years earlier, Hurricane Katrina brought flooding that devastated the area. In the years following, an extensive hurricane protection system of levees and pumps was put in place, but it isn’t yet complete, according to the AP. The pumping system is working; it’s just unclear if it can pump out water faster than Barry will dump it onto the low-lying area, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell told the AP. What’s more, the Mississippi River is already at a high level from heavy rain and snowmelt; the additional water from the storm could lead to dangerous flooding, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told the AP. Hurricane Katrina History and Numbers (Infographic) A History of Destruction: 8 Great Hurricanes 5 Things Hurricane Sandy Changed for Good Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoDermalMedixDoctor’s New Discovery Makes Foot Calluses “Vanish”DermalMedixUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoBeach Raider24 Photos Of Shelter Dogs The Moment They Realize They’re Being AdoptedBeach RaiderUndoFinance101What Are The Best States To Retire In?Finance101Undolast_img read more

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Over 21300 MoUs signed on day 2 of Vibrant Gujarat Summit

first_imgevents COMMENT January 19, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE COMMENTS Over 21,300 memorandums of understanding (MoUs), mostly about strategic partnership, were signed on the second day of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit here Saturday. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector alone saw signing of a whopping 21,000 MoUs. While the value of all these MoUs was yet to be calculated, a chunk of them — singed between MSMEs and large companies for ancillary services — were worth Rs 3,228 crore, said officials. “We are still calculating the value of MoUs. Many of these agreements concern the department of industrial clusters and are about increasing cooperation,” said State Commissioner of Commercial Tax P D Vaghela. According to the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), representatives of 39 international chambers of commerce and 24 national chambers of commerce participated in a conclave of trade bodies Saturday. The GCCI signed MoUs with 13 international and six national chambers for cooperation and joint initiatives for trade promotion, it said. The Gujarat government signed 375 strategic partnership MoUs in the pharma and health sector, said Health Commissioner Jayanthi Ravi. The state government had signed some 130 MoUs with investment commitments of over Rs 56,000 crore in various sectors on the first day of the summit Friday. A majority of MoUs, also called Investment Intentions (IIs), were signed in the port and transport sector. economy (general) Mukesh Ambani sees red over ‘data colonisation’ RELATED Published onlast_img read more

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New MV Act can help cut accidents by 20 Gadkari

first_imgroad accident SHARE SHARE EMAIL Currently, five lakh road accidents a year take place in the country Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday that the Central Government expects a 20 per cent decline in road accidents from the current five lakh a year.Parliament’s nod to pending legislation Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill will also help curb the accidents, said the road transport, highways, shipping, water resources, Ganga rejuvenation and river development minister.The Bill provides for stringent penalties in cases of offences and violation of traffic rules.Currently, five lakh road accidents a year, the highest in the world, take place in the country in which about 1.5 lakh people die.Gadkari was addressing an event here at Rajghat after jointly flagging off a motor rally with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The rally will cover 7,250 kilometres (km) in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It will also spread awareness about road safety.“When the latest road accidents data comes in March, we expect about 15 to 20 per cent decline. I feel pained on such high number of accidents in which mostly youth in the age of 18 to 35 years die. We could not get much success in preventing accidents and resultant deaths but due to consistent efforts, there was a decline of 4.1 per cent in 2016 and 4.75 per cent in 2017 in road accidents,” the minister said.He said the country lacked 22 lakh drivers and fake licences is one of the major issues and to address this, the government was setting up motor training centres where issuing of licences will be done electronically.The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, was introduced in the Upper House in April 2017, but was referred to a select panel. After taking into account the panel’s recommendations, the Bill was re-introduced in the Rajya Sabha and is still pending there.Steps are also on to curb faulty road engineering and the 786 black spots causing accidents are being addressed, he said.The minister also said campaigning is also on to create awareness among masses and school children were also being imparted the training of rules of roads.He said his ministry has already set several records in building highways, tunnels and bridges and now, the biggest challenge is to reduce the accidents by at least 50 per cent.Gadkari also remembered the Father of the Nation, saying that the rally while advocating road safety will reach the places related to Mahatma Gandhi.Swaraj also urged people to adopt behavioural changes as advocated by Mahatma Gandhi saying that without this, technical intervention alone cannot curb the menace.She said Gandhi preached truth and non-violence, and advocated peace, patience and tolerance in behaviour as lack of these was resulting in road rages.Advising people to “follow Mahatma Gandhi”, she said the motor rally should also create awareness.Besides, she said that as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, artists from 155 countries have contributed musically in paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi through his favourite bhajan ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye’ and appealed to people to watch the song on Doordarshan daily in the 8.55-9 pm slot by various countries’ artists, sung in Gujarati.Swaraj said the initiative was taken on the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the performance by artists of various nations gave goosebumps to those watching it.The motor rally will travel through places historically associated with Gandhi, both in India, as well as in Bangladesh and Myanmar, and will pass through Sabarmati, Porbandar, Dandi, Yerwada, Sewagram, Jabalpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, ChauriChaura, Champaran, Shantiniketan and Kolkata in India before travelling to Dhaka in Bangladesh.It will conclude at Yangon in Myanmar on February 24, covering a total distance of 7,250 km. The rally is part of the year-long celebrations to commemorate the 150th year of Mahatma Gandhi in India and across the globe, initiated by the Government of India on October 2 last year. It will take up advocacy on road safety concerns along the route.Apart from the rally, the event also saw the launch of the Dash Board for Road Accident Data of India and its states. The Society of Indian Automobile Industry also declared 2019 as the Year of Road Safety.Amar Chitra Katha released a set of comic books on road safety that it has published. This is aimed at creating awareness on the issue among children in an informal format that they can relate to them.The Indian Road Safety Campaign of IIT Delhi also launched an intercollegiate competition on the issue. In addition to this, letters will be issued to 135 non-governmental organisations for conducting road safety programmes.Besides, retro reflective stickers on Sadak Suraksha-Jeevan Raksha were launched on the occasion. COMMENT road safety road transport SHARE Gadkari to launch 7 road, river projects worth ₹ 872 cr in Bihar on Wednesday RELATED COMMENTS Nitin Gadkari. File photo Published on February 04, 2019last_img read more

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Soch badlo papa BJP MLAs daughter who married Dalit boy appeals to

first_imgSoch badlo papa: BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit boy makes emotional appeal to dad on live TVSakshi, the MLA’s daughter had earlier filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court, seeking protection to “live a peaceful life” as a married couple. She spoke to her dad from the Aaj Tak studio on Friday.advertisement Next India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 19:12 IST Sakshi Misra, daughter of MLA Rajesh Misra had uploaded a video on social media and informed about her wedding to Ajitesh Kumar.HIGHLIGHTSBJP MLA Rajesh Mishra’s daughter Sakshi on Friday made an emotional appeal to her fatherEarlier, Sakshi had said she was being threatened by her father and “his men” because she had married a Dalit manOn Friday, Sakshi asked her father to change his thinking and requested him not to discriminateSakshi, the daughter of BJP MLA Rajesh Mishra, whose viral video gripped the country this week, on Friday made an emotional appeal to her father with whom she spoke while sitting in the studios of Aaj Tak TV.Sakshi, in her viral video, had said she was being threatened by her father and “his men” because she had married a Dalit man. On Friday, Sakshi appeared on Aaj Tak TV and while in the studio, spoke to her dad over a call.”I had so many dreams and wanted to study. I used to tell my father to take me to work but he never took me seriously,” Sakshi said in a trembling voice. In an emotional message, Sakshi asked her father to change his thinking and requested him not to discriminate.Sakshi claimed that her father never let her step out of the house. “He [Sakshi’s father] had no clue what was happening with us. My brother and mother used to harass me when you were in the office,” Sakshi added.When called, BJP MLA Rajesh Mishra alleged that his family was being harassed. As Sakshi spoke with her father on Aaj Tak, she broke down and apologised to him. Rajesh Mishra said he wished she finds happiness in life, but disconnected the call soon after.THE CASESakshi and her husband Ajitesh had earlier filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court, seeking protection to “live a peaceful life” as a married couple.The next hearing in the case has been fixed for July 15 as Sakshi Mishra and her husband Ajitesh were not present in the court.Sakshi Misra (23) had uploaded a video on a social media platform last week, making her marriage with Ajitesh Kumar (29) public.In another video, she alleged there was a threat to her life from her father, brother and an associate.The couple asked for security, contending that there was a threat to their life from the BJP MLA, who was “unhappy” with their marriage as Sakshi was a Brahmin and Ajitesh a Dalit.The petitioners prayed that police or Rajesh Mishra do not disturb them in “their peaceful living as both petitioners were major and had entered into marriage with a free will”.READ | Respect her decision: BJP MLA denies threatening his daughter for marrying DalitREAD | Tell your goons to back off: BJP MLA’s daughter fears for life after marrying Dalit, releases videoWATCH | BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit boy makes emotional appeal to dad on live TVFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySumeda last_img read more

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Rishikeshs iconic Lakshman Jhula shut FOREVER after experts call it beyond repair

first_imgRishikesh’s iconic Lakshman Jhula shut FOREVER after experts call it beyond repairThe bridge was closed on the recommendation of a team of experts who found most of its parts in “fail” or “collapse” condition, Additional Chief Secretary Om Prakash said. advertisement Press Trust of India DehradunJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 11:54 IST Rishikesh administration ordered stopping of public movement on ‘Lakshman Jhula’, citing its dilapidated condition. (Photo: ANI)HIGHLIGHTSThe bridge was closed on the recommendation of a team of expertsThey found most of its parts in “fail” or “collapse” conditionThe team recommended immediate closure of the bridge to all trafficLakshman Jhula, the iconic suspension bridge across the Ganga in Rishikesh, was closed to traffic Friday as experts feel it cannot sustain more load, officials said.The bridge was closed on the recommendation of a team of experts who found most of its parts in “fail” or “collapse” condition, Additional Chief Secretary Om Prakash said.The team recommended immediate closure of the bridge to all traffic and pedestrian movement as it was not in a condition to sustain any more load, he said.There has been an unprecedented rise in traffic and pedestrian movement along the bridge in recent times and the bridge towers appear to be leaning towards one side, he said.The decision was taken as keeping it operational could have been risky, the official said.”It is highly recommended that the bridge should be closed with immediate effect otherwise any big mishap can take place anytime,” the team of experts had said in its report to authorities.Built in 1923 over the Ganga river, Lakshman Jhula is an iconic landmark in this city of Uttarakhand that is renowned as a center for studying yoga and meditation.It connects Tapovan village in Tehri district on the western bank of the river with Jonk in Pauri district.One of the main attractions for tourists and devotees coming to Rishikesh, the pedestrian bridge also used by two-wheelers was named after Hindu mythological character Lakshman as it stands where he is said to have crossed the river with the help of jute ropes.Many successful Hindi movies and serials like “Ganga Ki Saugandh”, “Sanyasi” and popular detective serial “CID” have been shot at the Lakshman Jhula.Also Read | Karnataka: 1 dead, 8 rescued as under-construction building collapses in BengaluruAlso Watch | CST bridge collapse case: Structural auditor’s bail plea rejectedFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byChanchal Chauhan Nextlast_img read more

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