Novartis’s Japan Unit Faces Criminal Probe for Hypertension Drug Marketing

first_imgTOKYO—Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare today asked public prosecutors to investigate a possible criminal violation of drug marketing laws by the Japanese subsidiary of the giant Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis. The ministry says the company may have exaggerated the benefits of its hypertension drug valsartan.Last July, Novartis Pharma admitted that a former employee created a conflict of interest by participating in clinical studies of valsartan, sold under the trade name Diovan, conducted by five Japanese medical schools while concealing his affiliation with the company. Several of the studies were retracted after investigations by the medical schools and the health ministry turned up data manipulation that skewed results. Novartis Pharma advertisements had pointed to the studies as showing that the use of Diovan reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke in hypertension patients better than alternative medications. According to Japanese press reports, potential fines could be just $20,000, but there is a small chance that executives could face jail sentences.   Also today, Novartis Japan posted a statement in Japanese on its website acknowledging the investigation and apologizing “to patients, their families, health care workers and citizens for causing great worry and trouble.” As in previous statements, Novartis pledged to fully cooperate with authorities but did not admit any wrongdoing.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

West Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Collapsing

first_imgA disaster may be unfolding—in slow motion. Earlier this week, two teams of scientists reported that the Thwaites Glacier, a keystone holding the massive West Antarctic Ice Sheet together, is starting to collapse. In the long run, they say, the entire ice sheet is doomed, which would release enough meltwater to raise sea levels by more than 3 meters.One team combined data on the recent retreat of the 182,000-square-kilometer Thwaites Glacier with a model of the glacier’s dynamics to forecast its future. In a paper published online today in Science, they report that in as few as 2 centuries Thwaites Glacier’s outermost edge will recede past an underwater ridge now stalling its retreat. Their modeling suggests that the glacier will then cascade into rapid collapse. The second team, writing in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), describes recent radar mapping of West Antarctica’s glaciers and confirms that the 600-meter-deep ridge is the final obstacle before the bedrock underlying the glacier dips into a deep basin.Because inland basins connect Thwaites Glacier to other major glaciers in the region, both research teams say its collapse would flood West Antarctica with seawater, prompting a near-complete loss of ice in the area. “The next stable state for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet might be no ice sheet at all,” says the Science paper’s lead author, glaciologist Ian Joughin of the University of Washington (UW), Seattle.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(*)“Very crudely, we are now committed to global sea level rise equivalent to a permanent Hurricane Sandy storm surge,” says glaciologist Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, referring to the storm that ravaged the Caribbean and the U.S. East Coast in 2012. Alley was not involved in either study.Where Thwaites Glacier meets the Amundsen Sea, deep warm water burrows under the ice sheet’s base, forming an ice shelf from which icebergs break off. When melt and iceberg creation outpace fresh snowfall farther inland, the glacier shrinks. According to the radar mapping released today in GRL from the European Remote Sensing satellite, from 1992 to 2011 the Thwaites Glacier retreated 14 kilometers at its core. “Nowhere else in Antarctica is changing this fast,” says UW Seattle glaciologist Benjamin Smith, co-author of the Science paper.To forecast Thwaites Glacier’s fate, the team plugged satellite and aircraft radar maps of the glacier’s ice and underlying bedrock into a computer model. In simulations that assumed various melting trends, the model accurately reproduced recent ice-loss measurements and churned out a disturbing result: In all but the most conservative melt scenarios, a glacial collapse has already started and will accelerate rapidly once the glacier’s “grounding line”—the point at which the ice begins to float—retreats past the ridge.At that point, the glacier’s face will become taller and, like a towering sand pile, more prone to collapse. The retreat will then accelerate to more than 5 kilometers per year, the team says. “On a glacial timescale, 200 to 500 years is the blink of an eye,” Joughin says.And once Thwaites is gone, the rest of West Antarctica would be at risk.Eric Rignot, a climate scientist at the University of California, Irvine, and the lead author of the GRL radar mapping study, is skeptical of Joughin’s timeline because the computer model used estimates of future melting rates instead of calculations based on physical processes such as changing sea temperatures. “These simulations ought to go to the next stage and include realistic ocean forcing,” he says. If they do, he says, they might predict an even more rapid retreat.Antarctic history confirms the danger, Alley says: Core samples drilled into the inland basins that connect Thwaites Glacier with its neighbors have revealed algae preserved beneath the ice sheet, a hint that seawater has filled the basins within the past 750,000 years. That past flooding shows that modest climate warming can cause the entire ice sheet to collapse. “The possibility that we have already committed to 3 or more meters of sea level rise from West Antarctica will be disquieting to many people, even if the rise waits centuries before arriving.”last_img read more

FIH not to interfere in Indo-Pak hockey matters

first_imgNew Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) The International Hockey Federation (FIH) today said that it has no intention of getting involved in the ongoing tussle between India and Pakistans federations. FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said that the world body would like to see the revival of Indo-Pak bilateral hockey ties. “This is a matter between HI and PHF and FIH cant really comment on that,” Fairweather said. Fairweather, however, insisted that the Bhubaneswar incident is a thing of the past. “As far as FIH is concerned the Bhubaneswar incident is a thing of the past. The FIH took what it felt was the right action,” he said. Fairweather said the FIHs main focus is to bring Pakistan hockey back into limelight after the four-time World champions failed to qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics. “Our focus is to make sure that Pakistan gets back into international hockey as a force. Its pity to see a country like Pakistan not playing in the World Cup and in the Olympics. That is the real worry for me,” Fairweather said. Meanwhile, Hockey India president Narinder Batra reiterated that until Pakistan apologises for their unruly behaviour during last years Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, India will not play any bilateral series with the neighbours. Batra said that Pakistani players will continue to be sidelines from the Hockey India League unless the Pakistan Hockey Federation officially apologises over the conduct of some of its players during the Champions Trophy. “We are playing Pakistan in international events but for bilateral series to happen, we need an assurance from the Pakistan Hockey Federation that their players will not repeat such a behaviour again,” Batra told reporters during the Hockey India League 2015 auctions at a city hotel here. Two players were handed a one-game ban and reprimanded by the FIH after the Pakistan team went on a rampage post their semi-final win against India in Bhubaneswar in December, 2014. Showing obscene gestures to the crowd, some players also took off their shirts in celebration. Nine Pakistani players were part of the first edition of HIL in 2013 but were forced to leave the country before the start of the tournament following protests from a few political organisations. Since then no Pakistani player has been included in the last three editions of the tournament. PTI SSC CM CMadvertisementlast_img read more

Phillies Rough Up Mets, 5-2

first_imgNEW YORK — After a pair of weekend wins against the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies Manager Pete Mackanin turned comedian.What was Jeremy Hellickson doing differently than last season? “He was a left-handed pitcher before this year,” Mackanin said. “We turned him into a righty. I just saw something.”And what about Jeanmar Gomez, who saved two games in 18 hours after getting one previous save in his big league career?“Fireman of the Year,” Mackanin exclaimed.After coming within one loss of what would have been their worst start since 1934, the rebuilding Phillies headed to their home opener with a 2-4 record.Odubel Herrera hit a two-run homer off Matt Harvey in the ace’s first appearance at Citi Field since he failed to close out Game 5 of last year’s World Series, and the Phillies beat New York 5-2 on April 10.Philadelphia won the last two games of the three-game series after an 0-4 start. The Phillies already have more wins at Citi Field this season than last year, when they went 1-8.“To take this series is huge,” said Hellickson, who held the Mets hitless until Yoenis Cespedes lined an opposite-field single to right in the fourth.Hellickson (1-0) had a 3-0 lead before David Wright doubled with two out in the sixth and Cespedes chased him with a two-run homer on a changeup.“I haven’t had a lot of success in the last few Aprils,” Hellickson said. “That sixth inning today was kind of I think the story of my seasons over the last couple years, a lot of two-out homers, a lot of two-out hits with guys in scoring position.”The Mets wore replicas of the uniforms used by their 1986 World Series champions, with royal blue and orange racing stripes, outfits that will be sported for Sunday home games this year.But they have hit more like their offensively challenged early 1960s version: a .180 batting average and 14 runs scored.A day after getting three hits in a 1-0 loss, New York was held to four hits by Hellickson and three relievers, and the NL champions dropped to 2-3 — their record before 11-game winning streaks in 1986 and last year.James Russell, Hector Neris and Gomez combined for one-hit relief.“They were outstanding,” Hellickson said. “We said it the first couple games, when they struggled, that they’d bounce back.”Pitching on the Citi Field mound for the first time since Manager Terry Collins allowed him to try to finish a shutout against Kansas City, Harvey (0-2) reached 97 mph with his fastball and started 19 of 25 hitters with strikes.But he gave up three runs and six hits in six innings and has struck out three batters or fewer in consecutive games for the first time in his big league career.“I think we’re all kind of finding our place right now and working to win and kind of click at the same time,” Harvey said.Peter Bourjos reached on an infield hit in the third and scored on Freddy Galvis’ sacrifice fly. Harvey retired 10 straight batters before Cesar Hernandez singled in the sixth for his sixth hit of the series.Herrera homered on a low slider with little break, the ball landing between the fence in right-center that was erected for the 2015 season and the original wall.“So much different than last year, where we’re in the game,” said Mackanin, who replaced Ryne Sandberg last June. “Every win helps. Hits build confidence. Good pitching performances build confidence.”(RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

WFI fears ban if Pakistan wrestlers denied visa for Asian Jr Championships

first_imgThe office bearers of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) are spending sleepless nights as the government has given a visa clearance to all participating nations barring Pakistan for the Asian Junior Wrestling Championship in New Delhi starting July 17.17 countries, including traditionally strong Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Japan, Mongolia will be participating in the six-day event to be held at the KD Jadhav Wrestling Stadium in the national capital. Pakistan, which does not have a women’s team, is awaiting a clearance for its Freestyle and Greco-Roman style teams.The WFI had faced a similar problem last year while hosting the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships as the contingent from Pakistan could not participate after being denied visa.The federation fears a repeat of events could put them on mat this time as United World Wrestling (UWW), the international governing body for the sport, will take the matter quite seriously.”We are in touch with the Home Ministry officials. They are saying a clearance from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) is required. After what happened last year, Pakistan lodged a complaint with the UWW. This time, fearing the same circumstances, they have already registered an advance complaint when the junior championship was allotted to us,” WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh told India Today.”We had assured UWW that there will be no issue this time because this is not a bilateral tournament and Pakistan have every right to participate. We can’t stop a team from Asia in an Asian tournament. If we don’t let Pakistan participate without any valid reason then UWW can take any action against us. This could be in the form of a huge fine, not letting us host any big tournament in the future, or banning our federation completely for five years, they can do anything.”advertisement”See, any tainted player can be stopped from getting a visa but not the entire team. I have spoken to the Home Minister (Rajnath Singh), he is out of town today and I will be meeting him tomorrow morning,” he added.Sharan said that the WFI has got all clearances, including that from the Sports Ministry and, as a host nation, had even applied for the teams’ visas four months ago. The WFI boss is also the vice-President of UWW Asia and knows that India’s image could suffer a serious dent in the world of wrestling.”I interact regularly with the officials of Pakistan Wrestling Federation. They were quite worried this time but I had assured that this problem will not crop up again. Unfortunately, it has. They have a good wrestling team and even won a gold medal at the CWG. Hopefully, once the HM listens to our problem, he will clear visas for the Pakistan team,” said Singh.Around 146 Freestyle, 117 Greco-Roman style and 100 women wrestlers will be competing for 10 gold, 10 silver and 20 bronze medals in each style. India’s budding wrestlers had won two gold, three silver and eight bronze medals in the last edition of the championship.last_img read more

Videos: Jalin Marshall Makes Impressive One-Handed Catch For Go-Ahead Touchdown

first_imgJalin Marshall making a one handed touchdown catch.Twitter/@SC_ClevelandMichigan State played Ohio State to a 7-7 draw late into the third quarter, but after a disasterous special teams blunder, the Buckeyes have a 14-7 lead. Michigan State’s Macgarrett Kings Jr. muffed an Ohio State punt, giving Ohio State the ball at the Sparty six yard line.Disaster strikes #MichiganState as a muffed punt puts the Buckeyes in great field position! #MSUvsOSU https://t.co/xavzH6VwRe— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) November 21, 2015On first down, J.T. Barrett found Jalin Marshall with a little pop pass in the end zone. Marshall made an impressive grab to secure the go-ahead touchdown, getting one hand on the ball before securing it for the score.Just like THAT… TOUCHDOWN BUCKEYES pic.twitter.com/lqb3lrFMjz— SC Cleveland™ (@SC_Cleveland) November 21, 2015Even without Connor Cook, this Big Ten East battle has been a good one, but right now the undefeated Buckeyes have all the momentum.last_img read more

Saskatchewan court allows all applicants to intervene in carbon tax case

first_imgREGINA — Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal is allowing all applicants to intervene in an upcoming court case involving the province and Ottawa over the national carbon tax.A written judgment says all submissions from interveners must be limited to legal issues surrounding the tax.The federal government had opposed a request by Alberta’s United Conservative Party to be an intervener on the side of Saskatchewan.Jason Kenney, the party’s leader and a former federal cabinet minister, has tweeted he is pleased with the ruling and would be stepping up to fight for Albertans.Saskatchewan has asked the court to rule on whether the federal government’s plan to implement a carbon tax on the province is constitutional.The case is to be heard in court in mid-February.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

The Matrix wanted Sandra Bullock as Neo

first_imgLos Angeles: The Matrix producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has revealed that before Keanu Reeves was chosen to play Neo, he initially wanted Sandra Bullock for the role. Di Bonaventura, whose filmography includes discovering the cult classic sci-fi franchise at Warner Bros and Transformers film series, said there were far more than two options to choose from. Several A-listers including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith were considered for the part. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”We went out to so many people I don’t remember. We were getting desperate. We went to Sandy Bullock and said ‘We’ll change Neo to a girl.’ (Producer) Joel Silver and I worked with Sandy on ‘Demolition Man’ and she was and continues to be a very good friend of mine.” “It was pretty simple. We sent her the script to see if she was interested in it. And if she was interested in it we would try to make the change,” he told The Wrap in an interview as part of the film’s 20th anniversary year. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna”It just wasn’t something for her at the time. So really it didn’t go anywhere,” di Bonaventura added. A representative for Bullock said the actor did not recall the specifics of the pitch for The Wachowskis’ epic but di Bonaventura was always supportive of her career. She added, however, that the right person was cast for the film. In 2009, the actor said that she was also considered to play Trinity and regretted not taking it. The role famously went to Carrie-Anne Moss. Reeves and Bullock had previously worked in the 1994 ‘s action blockbuster film Speed, a few years before The Matrix was released.last_img read more

Sudan UN monitors discuss selfdetermination referenda with southern leader

12 October 2010A United Nations panel monitoring the January referenda which will decide whether Southern Sudan secedes from Africa’s largest country discussed security and other key challenges with the region’s leaders today. The three-member panel, appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and led by former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa, held a 90-minute discussion with Salva Kiir, President of the Government of Southern Sudan and First Vice-President of Sudan, in Juba, the regional capital, as they continued their first visit to the country.After the talks, which covered issues ranging from how to make the referenda as free and fair as possible to security arrangements during campaigning to how to deal with the key post-referenda challenges, Mr. Mkapa told reporters he believes credible elections can still be held by the scheduled date of 9 January.“What is required is the cooperation of all the parties – both in the national Government as well as the southern Government – but also the support of the international community in clearing up those particular hurdles that require financial or technical provisions,” he said.“If that is done, given the goodwill and the honour that the CPA signatories are required to observe, there’s no reason why January 9th will not be successful and mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the people of the Sudan,” he added, referring to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ending two decades of warfare between the northern-based Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the south.The referendum on self-determination in Southern Sudan is the final stage in the CPA, while a second referendum is being held on the same day in the oil-rich Abyei region to decide whether it belongs to northern or southern Sudan.The panel, which will make periodic visits to Sudan in the lead-up to and during the referenda and report back to the Secretary-General, also met with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in both the national capital, Khartoum, and Juba, where they received a briefing from senior UN officials on latest developments on the ground there. Mr. Ban formed the panel last month at the request from the parties to the CPA, who sought a UN monitoring body to help enhance the credibility of the Sudanese-led referenda and ensure the acceptance of their result by their constituencies and the international community.Asked whether he had any message for the people of Southern Sudan, Mr. Mkapa replied: “I would say that they should follow the process closely. When registration starts, they should register. When the civic education about the terms of the referendum is given, they should listen carefully, weigh the chances and vote according to their conscience. And I’m quite certain that, inshallah, almighty God will guide them on the right path.” read more

Over 320000 Afghans repatriated since 1 March as returns gather pace UNHCR

More than 320,000 Afghans have returned home from neighbouring countries in less than two months, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which assists with the repatriation effort.The figure covers Afghan refugees returning since 1 March from Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, a spokesman for the agency told a press briefing in Geneva today.Over the past three days, the rate of return from Iran reached 2,000 a day under a programme in which UNHCR monitors the voluntariness of the movement and the government provides transport up to the frontier, spokesman Kris Janowski said.The International Organization for Migration (IOM) collects the Afghans at that point and returns them to their home provinces. In less than two weeks, more than 15,000 Afghan refugees have repatriated since the programme began on April 9.From Pakistan, more than 302,000 Afghans have repatriated on their own since 1 March after registering at the UNHCR-run centres in the country. More than 8,900 people have also returned from the now-closed Tajik border camps, and 18 Afghans have repatriated with UNHCR assistance from Turkmenistan, Mr. Janowski added.Meanwhile in Afghanistan, UNHCR was leading a nationwide effort to help thousands of people forced from their homes by decades of internal strife and famine to return to their residences and start anew, according to Mr. Janowski.Monday saw the departure of the first internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Bamiyan to Saighan district in central Afghanistan. A convoy of 12 minibuses and 14 trucks ferried 1,396 people to 13 villages in Saighan valley. Up to 7,500 IDPs were expected to return from Bamiyan in the next eight days under a joint UNHCR-IOM programme.Since December, the UN refugee agency has helped more than 25,600 IDPs return to their homes in central and eastern Afghanistan and plans to assist the return and reintegration of some 400,000 IDPs in 2002. Afghanistan has more than 1.2 million IDPs.In a related development, the United Nations today received a donation of $500,000 from the World Conference on Religion and Peace for assistance to Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons. Welcoming this “act of generosity,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan said it was an example to people everywhere that believers from different faiths could join hands in the cause of peace.Today’s donation marked the second instalment of a $1 million pledge. The money was raised by interfaith organizations all over the world in an effort that began last September. In a letter to Dr. William Vendley, the Secretary-General of the Conference, Mr. Annan noted that while governments required constant reminders, faith communities came forward to make donations “without us knocking on your door.” read more

With realities shifting in Darfur operations on the ground must change urges

“The peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) should be directed to the area where it is most needed, namely at the site of continued conflict in the Jebel Marra,” Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping operations, told the Security Council on Monday.“In the rest of Darfur, the UN system should leverage the capabilities of the agencies, funds and programmes best suited to tackling the problems that remain there.”Presenting a special report from the UN Secretary-General and the AU Commission Chairperson, Mr. Lacroix outlined two “central concepts” behind a new two-year strategy – each supporting the other.The first, dealing with peacekeeping, would focus on protection of civilians, humanitarian support and mediation of local conflict.The second central tenet, would, in effect, bridge the evolution from peacekeeping to early recovery and development, in collaboration with the UN country team serving Darfur, he added.“The whole-of-system transition concept focuses on addressing the critical drivers of conflict and preventing relapse,” explained Mr. Lacroix.For the roadmap to be realized, the senior UN official underscored the need to have longer-term funding arrangements in place and increase voluntary contributions from donors.In addition, funds from the assessed budget would need to be used during the transition and in close collaboration with the Peacebuilding Support Office, to access sufficient resources, he added.Also vital is the need for continued engagement and partnership with the AU and backing of the Government of Sudan and UN Member States, he said.“We believe that, working together, this new approach can help establish a future of UN and AU support to Darfur that will help to improve the lives of the Darfuri people now and in the long-term,” concluded Mr. Lacroix. read more

CSU Fullerton snaps 2game streak routs Cal Lutheran 9960

FULLERTON, Calif. — Khalil Ahmad scored 29 points and CSU Fullerton returned home to snap a two-game losing streak by crushing Division III Cal Luthern, 99-60 on Saturday night.The Titans won just one of their three games at the Myrtle Beach Invitational, their final game against Monmouth, and lost at Hofstra and Sacramento State in overtime before returning home for two games.CSU Fullerton (3-5) converted 40 of 65 shots from the field (61.5 per cent) and knocked down 7 of 14 from long range.Ahmad hit all three of his shots from beyond the arc and Kyle Allman, who came in averaging 20.5 points per game, contributed 18.Austin Cole hit 3 of 5 from distance and lead Cal Lutheran with 18 points. Kyle Ferreira added another 13 points.The Titans next play host to unbeaten Loyola Marymount Wednesday.The Associated Press read more

Penguins feed on jellyfish with prominent sex organs underwater footage shows

first_imgA waddle of Adelie penguins in the snow in AntarcticaCredit:Cheryl Ramalho/WWF/PA An Adelie penguin on glacial ice along the western Antarctic PeninsulaCredit:Steven Kazlowski/naturepl.com/WWF/PA The cameras weighed between 15g and 22g – less than an ounce – and were retrieved when the birds returned to the nest.Footage filmed by the penguin cams was released last December when it became an internet sensation, WWF said. A waddle of Adelie penguins in the snow in Antarctica It is thought the penguins, the smallest and most widespread in the Antarctic, target the jellyfish with prominent sex organs because the carbon and protein content of the reproductive organs is greater than any other part of the creature.Jean-Baptiste Thiebot, from the National Institute of Polar Science, Japan, said: “We were surprised to see the penguins go for jellyfish and it raised the question: is this new behaviour for Adelie penguins, possibly developed because they had a hard time finding food during this year of very unusual sea-ice conditions, or is it simply newly revealed by using this video approach to study their diet?”To clarify this, we will need to see comparisons across different penguin species and different ocean regions.”But these observations already reveal one more piece of the puzzle in the oceans’ food web.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. An Adelie penguin on glacial ice along the western Antarctic Peninsula Information gathered from the research is being used by the wildlife charity to help create marine protected areas around Antarctica, to protect species such as the Adelie penguin, which is affected by fishing in the region and climate.Rod Downie, WWF polar programme manager, said: “A year on from the release of the penguin cam footage, it’s clear that we still have a lot to learn about Adelie penguins and other ice species.”The results give us a better understanding of how they might respond to climate change and related shifts in the Antarctic food web.”Studies such as the penguin cam research will help international efforts to protect the “amazing waters” around Antarctica, he said. Adelie penguins target jellyfish with prominent sex organs for a tasty meal, research from Antarctic “penguin cams” suggests.Footage shows the penguins occasionally feeding on jellyfish with visible sex glands, even when their preferred food of small shrimp-like crustaceans known as krill are available, the study backed by conservation charity WWF found.The findings, revealed in a new publication by scientists from the French and Japanese national Antarctic programmes, come from research conducted by fitting penguins with tiny cameras to see what they got up to under the sea ice.last_img read more

License to Explore from Hexagon optimises drilling campaigns

first_imgHexagon Mining has introduced License to Explore, “an attractive lease license arming explorers with the powerful tools they need to produce high-quality data.” License to Explore “recognises the need to optimise drilling campaigns while respecting tight budgets.” It comprises two options, HxM Explorer and HxM Modeler. Both are described as highly versatile and designed for the life of a drilling campaign.For the field geologist, HxM Explorer delivers CAD and Surface Modelling tools for building implicit surfaces and solids directly from drillhole data. Users can quickly interpret and evaluate scenarios. HxM Explorer’s mapping and drillhole design tools enable the explorer to design drilling programs with the benefit of storing drilling and logging data and assay results in the leading MineSight Torque system.Additional functionality can be added to HxM Explorer and HxM Modeler for surface meshing of huge point clouds collected by UAVs. The Torque database can be enhanced with a QAQC module for managing the validity of drillhole data. Future add-on options include a workflow management tool for developing implicit models and a field logging device that is directly linked to Torque.HxM Modeler is designed for the office-based explorer tasked with building a comprehensive block model and analysing data gathered in the field campaign. HxM Modeler contains many of HxM Explorer’s CAD and surface modeling tools. “So as well as being able to build and manage block models easily, a geologist can quickly evaluate the data collected in the field season and start planning for the next stage of project development.”“Mining builds our economies and explorers are at the forefront of that work, operating on tight budgets and under great pressure,” said Hexagon Mining President Hélio Samora. “We believe License to Explore and the options it delivers will help alleviate some of that pressure with world-class solutions in an attractive lease package.”last_img read more

Apple TV set reportedly held back by content deals

first_imgIf you’re expecting an Apple TV set to launch within the next few months, you may have a bit longer to wait. A report says that, although Apple has prototypes of the iTV living in its locked-down design studios, it’s having trouble securing the content deals that it wants and it may be another year or so until the integrated TV launches.Apple is supposedly looking at 42-inch or larger TV set models for the initial release. This contradicts previous alleged supply chain leaks that say that the company will be launching with smaller (and cheaper) 32- and 37-inch sets; that report also had the sets arriving in mid-2012.The new report cites an alleged former Apple employee who says that a slick 50-inch TV set is housed in Sir Jony Ive’s locked-down Cupertino design studio. As Ive’s studio is where all of Apple’s ideas go to take physical form, this is hardly surprising news; Ive may have had TV prototypes in there for years.More of a revelation is the news that Apple is getting hung up in trying to make content deals. A source who allegedly was part of the Apple TV team says that content providers are resisting Apple’s courting. The company supposedly wants to give customers à la carte packages: think of it as a build-your-own cable package.Such an offering would be a revolution in content distribution, and customers would embrace it wholeheartedly. And that’s exactly why content providers are reluctant to make a deal. They’re perfectly happy with charging sky-high rates for tiered cable packages, and will likely fight tooth-and-nail to preserve their old method. Apple nudged (nay, shoved) the music industry into the 21st century with its iTunes content deals; a similar seismic shift in the television industry frightens content providers.Aside from the possible new content distribution method, the TV set would also incorporate Siri and iOS devices as remote controls. You could simply ask Siri to “play something by Martin Scorcese from the last ten years,” and watch as Gangs of New York begins. Likewise, Apple would likely release its own Apple TV apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for slightly more traditional controls.When will we see the Apple TV set? This report cites an analyst who believes that it’s still over a year away. That may or may not be the case, but the product’s release probably does hinge on Apple’s content deals. Without those, it’s just a slick-looking TV with Apple TV built-in.via USA Todaylast_img read more

PDX work may bring more flights over Vancouver

first_imgMajor runway work resumes today at Portland International Airport, with the side effect of bringing more small airplanes over McLoughlin Heights and the rest of the Vancouver area.The north runway at PDX is being closed as work continues on a major extension of it. The project started last year and will last until next year, though it took a break for the summer.While the runway is closed, the south runway has to pick up most of the slack. But at the busiest times, the airport uses its north-south crosswind runway, which brings planes low over Vancouver.Most of the planes on that runway are the Horizon Airlines/United Express size.For more information, click HERE for the news release.last_img read more

Google and Nokia recognised for employee share schemes

first_imgGoogle, Nokia, Telefonica and Valero Energy were among the organisations recognised for best practice in employee share schemes at the Employee Share Ownership Centre’s (Esop) Employee Ownership Awards 2017 on Tuesday 31 October 2017.Now in its 16th year, the awards were held at the Reform Club in London and were hosted by Sir Graham Melmoth. The awards aim to recognise excellence in employee share ownership schemes that have been implemented in organisations across the globe.Communications and electronics organisation Nokia won the award for best all-employee international share plan, while fuel manufacturer Valero Energy took the award for best all-employee share plan. Telecommunications business Telefonica topped the best share plan communications category.The full list of winners:Best all-employee international share plan: Nokia. Commended: The Sage Group.Best all-employee share plan: Valero Energy.Best share plan communications: Telefonica. Commended: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.Best use of video communication: Amadeus IT Group.Most creative solution: Google.Jennifer Kirk, director of global equity management at Google, said: “Alphabet/Google is honoured and humbled to receive this award. The Fractional Shares programme has been extremely well-received at our [organisation] and employees are thrilled to be able to maximise the Alphabet shares they retain after each vesting event.”last_img read more

CES 2019 Pintsize but powerful the Mek Mini gaming desktop is smaller

first_img Tags CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Now playing: Watch this: Here’s an overview of the specs: Zotac Gaming/Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with 8GB of GDDR6 RAM Six-core Intel Core i7-870016GB of DDR4 RAM (overclockable)240GB NVMe M.2 SSD and 2TB SATA HDDKiller AC 1550 Wi-Fi and dual Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5HDMI 2.0b, 2x DisplayPort 1.4, DVI, USB Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 3.1Programmable lights via Zotac’s Spectra Lighting System softwareAvailable Q1 2019 for $1,500 (about £1,170 or AU$2,090) Share your voice 85 Photos 0 Post a comment All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 CES 2019center_img While it’s not as compact as the Mac Mini, the Mek Mini is tiny compared with most other gaming desktop PCs. But it doesn’t skimp on power. You get an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU, Intel’s heavy-duty Core i7 processor and 16GB of DDR4 RAM — specs similar to those of the company’s towering Mek1, which Zotac showed off at CES last year. All that hardware generates a lot of heat, and keeping things cool in the Mek Mini’s small footprint required a fair amount of engineering. The case has 270 degrees of ventilation, with air intakes on the sides and at the bottom, as well as exhaust vents on the top and the rear to ensure sufficient flow. The Mek Mini desktop is smaller than most gaming laptops 1:34 CES Products Intel Nvidia Sarah Tew/CNET At CES 2019 we’ve seen superthin laptops, laptops with impossibly slim bezels and big-but-thin laptops. We’ve even seen desktop hardware crammed into a laptop. So why not a desktop gaming PC that’s smaller than a laptop?Enter the Mek Mini — a $1,500 gaming powerhouse that measures roughly 10 by 10 by 5 inches. It’s smaller than a 12-pack of beer and, having cradled it in my arms, I’d estimate that it weighs around 6 or 7 pounds (about 3 kg).  11 Photos Desktops Gaming Is this the cutest computer at CES?last_img read more

Supreme Court rejects Tarun Tejpals plea

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday rejected journalist Tarun Tejpal’s plea seeking to set aside the charges of sexual assault framed against him by a trial court. The top court also ordered to conclude trial in the case within six months. Tejpal had moved the top court challenging the trial court order which had framed the charges dealing with rape and wrongful confinement against him. He has pleaded not guilty and claimed innocence. A former junior woman colleague had accused Tejpal of rape during the ThinkFest, a conference organised by the Tehelka founder in Goa in 2013.last_img read more

UK Service Celebrates Windrush Generation From Caribbean

first_imgBy The Associated PressLONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May joined more than 2,000 people at London’s Westminster Abbey on Friday to celebrate the contribution of immigrants from the Caribbean, 70 years to the day after hundreds of West Indians arrived to help rebuild war-scarred Britain.The former troopship Empire Windrush landed in Britain on June 22, 1948, carrying people from across the Caribbean who had responded to an ad offering cheap tickets to those wanting to work in the U.K.Performers from The Hebe Foundation charity during a Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the contribution of immigrants from the Caribbean and to mark the 70th anniversary of the landing of the ship Empire Windrush, at Westminster Abbey in London, Friday, June 22, 2018. Friday’s anniversary comes weeks after the government apologized over its treatment of people from the Caribbean wrongly identified as living in Britain illegally. (Niklas Halle’n/Pool Photo via AP)The anniversary comes weeks after the government apologized over its treatment of long-term U.K. residents from the Caribbean who were wrongly identified as living in Britain illegally. Some were refused jobs and medical treatment or denied re-entry after trips abroad because they couldn’t produce papers to prove their status.The Windrush migrants and those who followed them came from British colonies or ex-colonies and had an automatic right to settle in the U.K. But some were ensnared recently by tough new rules introduced since 2012 that were intended to make Britain a “hostile environment” for those entering the country illegally.The treatment of Windrush-era migrants sparked widespread anger and forced the resignation of now ex-Home Secretary Amber Rudd.The government has said it will pay compensation to affected members of the Windrush generation.The Rev. Canon Joel Edwards paid tribute to the “Windrush resilience” of Caribbean-born people who went on to become trade union leaders, politicians, senior civil servants and leaders in other areas of British life.“In recent months the word ‘Windrush’ has evoked a great deal of emotion and even anger across our political landscape,” he told the congregation. “In this service of thanksgiving, ‘Windrush’ means more than migration.”Allan Wilmot, 93, who came to Britain in the 1940s with the Royal Air Force, said the service had been “very moving.”“I am happy that our efforts have been recognized,” he said.“The British are never in a hurry to do nothing,” he added, smiling. “But eventually they get around to it.”last_img read more