U.K. researcher details proposal for CRISPR editing of human embryos

first_imgResearchers have already identified several thousand genes that are active in the early embryo. To find out what these genes do, and which ones are master regulators of development, researchers have several approaches, including deactivating embryonic genes in mice. But only one group of researchers, in Guangzhou, China, has published a paper describing attempts to use this technique in human embryos.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)This past September, when Niakan applied to the United Kingdom’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for a renewal of her license to conduct research on human embryos, she proposed to extend her work to include CRISPR editing. She hopes CRISPR will reduce the number of embryos required for her research, she said at the press conference; in several organisms, CRISPR has been shown to have higher efficiency compared with other approaches. Niakan believes her team would able to successfully edit up to eight out of 10 embryos using CRISPR. “If we start off with good quality zygotes, this is likely to work efficiently,” she said.As a pilot project, Niakan plans to knock out OCT4, a gene that is turned on in embryonic stem cells in both humans and mice. Researchers think that OCT4 is important for pluripotent cells, which can ultimately become any type of tissue. A way to test this idea is to knock out the gene when the embryo is 1 day old and still a single cell. The prediction, based on studies in mice, is that human embryos will continue to develop, but without pluripotent cells.Niakan will then look at less well-known genes that may be crucial for early development of human embryos. Unlike OCT4, these genes can only be studied in human embryos because they are not expressed the same way, or at all, in mouse embryos or immortalized lines of human stem cells, says her colleague Robin Lovell-Badge, also at the Crick Institute. The application contains a request to further study two or three such genes, Niakan said, depending on how many embryos will be available. The research would likely require 20 to 30 embryos per gene.Niakan did not express any opinions at the press conference about the merits or dangers of one day using CRISPR or other techniques for gene therapy of infertility. “At the moment it’s very important to continue the ethical discussions,” she said. But after several questions about potential outcomes of such early research, Niakan did “wildly speculate” that, if certain genes are found to be particularly important for development, one eventual approach might be to check during IVF whether eggs were making the proteins encoded by those genes, and if not, then add them to culture media. But the immediate goal of the research is far more basic: Understand what genes do in blastocysts.If HFEA approves the application, Niakan hopes to start research within months. The project would also need to be approved by the U.K. equivalent of an institutional review board.In a statement about the application, Hugh Whittall, director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics here noted: “The changes to DNA made for the purposes of this research could not themselves be used as part of a treatment procedure. There are, however, possible future scenarios in which a modification made in a research context—for example to correct a disease-causing genetic mutation—could, if this were to become permissible, be used in a treatment that would result in the birth of a child. Such research, which could also be licensed under current legislation, would raise a number of significant questions that should be addressed before any such work is undertaken, including about whether, and under what circumstances, a move into treatment (which would require new legislation to be permissible in the U.K.) could be desirable.” LONDON—The hottest technique in gene editing, called CRISPR, could soon be used to study human embryos. On 14 January, a regulatory committee in the United Kingdom will evaluate a request to knock out development genes in day-old embryos. In a press conference today, Kathy Niakan, a researcher at the Francis Crick Institute here, discussed the rationale behind her proposed project and the hope that this line of inquiry might one day improve treatments for infertility.Niakan studies how the single cell of a fertilized egg turns into a blastocyst, the approximately 5-day-old structure that subsequently implants in the mother’s uterus. The blastocyst contains several types of cells. Those destined to become the fetus are called epiblast progenitor cells. They are surrounded by two other types of cells, which become the placenta and another structure, the yolk sac. Niakan’s research uses human embryos, created in fertility clinics, that are left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) attempts and donated for research. After being studied, the embryos are destroyed when they are 7 days old.last_img read more

BCCI to claim losses from WICB for calling off tour

first_imgA livid BCCI has said it has suffered huge losses and that it will claim all the damages following the West Indies cricket team’s unprecedented move to pull out of the remainder of India tour in the wake of an acrimonious unresolved pay dispute with its Board back home.The aggrieved Caribbean players, who were persuaded to take the field for the fourth ODI in Dharamsala yesterday, conveyed their decision to call off the remaining part of tour to the BCCI, which is now contemplating legal action against the visitors.”We have suffered huge losses due to the decision of the West Indies to pull out of the tour. We are going to claim all the damages and pursue the matter with ICC. We have convened an emergent working committee meeting to discuss the issue as well as the visit, at short notice, by Sri Lanka,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel told PTI from Baroda.The Cricket Board has convened an emergent meeting of its all-powerful working committee in Hyderabad on October 21 to discuss the aftermath of the controversial pull-out.”The working committee members will have dialogue on this and after that we may consider to not pursue further FTP programmes with West Indies.”Patel said he was busy from morning till midnight yesterday in view of the sudden “unprecedented” move by the West Indies to abandon the tour after playing, with reluctance, the fourth and penultimate ODI in Dharamsala.”I had a very hectic time and this was an unprecedented decision. We will discuss all these at the working committee.advertisementThere will be a governing council meeting of IPL preceding the WC meeting,” he added.Patel had said in a statement yesterday: “The BCCI would like to clarify that despite all its efforts, the Micromax Cup India vs West Indies ODI series has been curtailed because of the ongoing issue between WICB and its players, and the withdrawal of the WI team from the ongoing tour of India.”Patel had also provided a timeline of the controversy-hit tour from the time the West Indies reached Kochi to play the first ODI till yesterday when the BCCI received a communication from team manger Richie Richardson informing the former that the visitors will not play any more scheduled matches on the tour after yesterday’s ODI.Patel also said that the Sri Lanka will play the ODIs between November 1 and 14 and that England and Wales Cricket Board was also willing to send its team.”We had already contacted the Sri Lanka board who had accepted the invitation on short notice. But they have to go back home for their next series against England,” said Patel.last_img read more

Indians safe in Rio, says Swaraj after blast at Olympics site

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 6 (PTI) All Indians are safe in Rio Di Janeiro, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today in the wake of a blast and multiple shooting incidents in the Brazilian city which is hosting the Olymics.”Rio Blast – Indian Ambassador Sunil Lal is camping in Rio and in constant touch with me. All are safe,” Swaraj said in a tweet.Earlier today, the Rio Olympics got off to a troubled start as a loud blast erupted near the cycling races finish line and a bullet ripped through the media tent at the equestrian venue.Brazilian military carried out a controlled explosion near the Copacabana finish line of Rio Olympics mens road cycling race that stunned the crowd, who feared it to be a terror attack.A shooting incident near the temporary venue housing media tents which left visible holes in the wall also caused considerable scare among the onlookers.In yet another shooting incident, a woman was shot and killed by armed assailants near the Olympic Boulevard, making for a troubled start for the worlds biggest sporting event in which 118 Indian sportsperson are also participating. PTI SUA SUAlast_img read more

Porsche brings Limited Edition 911 R priced at around Rs 3 cr

first_imgMumbai, Feb 24 (PTI) High performance sports car Porsche said it has delivered the first Limited Edition 911 R, making it one of the 991 units produced globally.The new 911 R is a purist sports car with naturally aspirated engine and manual transmission, a statement from the company said, adding there is no unit available for sale in the near future.The company did not announce the price saying its not available for sale, but market sources said the buyer has shelled out close to Rs 3 crore excluding taxes.Born on the track and advanced over the past five decades, the Porsche 911 is a heritage model. The new 911 R pays tribute to the road-homologated racing car from 1967.Porsche India director Pavan Shetty said the 911 R epitomises the Porsche brand with the design DNA of a classic 911 while performing as a racing car should. The 911 has set the standard for generations after the ground-breaking model was first introduced in the 1960s.He said the two-door sports car, which features a 500 hp naturally aspirated engine and six-speed sports transmission mounted on a six-cylinder, 4-liter engine, was delivered to a Bengaluru customer.The 4-liter engine is rear-mounted and is similar to the 911 GT3 RS and can touch 100 km barrier in 3.8 seconds and can achieve a top speed of 323 km. PTI BEN RMTlast_img read more

Sorry to steal your thunder de Villiers, says Ed Joyce after retirement

first_imgIreland batsman Ed Joyce has announced his retirement from international cricket on Thursday with immediate effect. The southpaw has been one of Ireland cricket’s mainstays for a while and he recently was a part of the historic one-off Test versus Pakistan at the The Village in Dublin.Ireland lost the match by five wickers but they put up a brave display against the mighty Pakistani pacers. He has represented the Irish in one Test, 78 ODIs and 18 T20Is. Joyce will now take over as the batting coach and will look into leadership development in the Irish performance system.”I feel now is the right time to stop playing and get started on a new chapter. The recent Test match against Pakistan was such an incredible few days and was the perfect game for me to say was my last in professional cricket. I am very grateful to Cricket Ireland for giving me the opportunity to get involved in the coaching set-up. I know I have a huge amount to learn about the art of coaching, but I know I also have a huge amount of knowledge that I’m determined to pass on to the next generation of Irish talent,” said Joyce.But the Irishman didn’t stop there, he also took to Twitter to apologise to AB de Villiers for stealing the limelight off him. Earlier, de Villiers had shocked the world on Wednesday, when he announced that he will be retiring from international cricket with immediate effect as well.Oh and sorry to @ABdeVilliers17 for stealing your thunderadvertisementEd Joyce (@edjoyce24) May 24, 2018The 39-year-old is one of the 10 cricketers who have represented two countries in ODIs and was also the first-ever player to play T20Is for two nations — England and Ireland. He is the fifth-highest run-scorer for Ireland in the fifty-over format for the Irish with 2151 runs from 61 games. He has an average of 41.36 and has a highest score of 160 against Afghanistan. He also scored 471 runs for England in ODIs in 17 ODIs. His two T20Is for England came against Australia and Sri Lanka.He has also a prolific run-scorer in first-class cricket and has scored 18461 runs from 255 games. He has scored 47 centuries overall during his stints with Marylebone Cricket Club, Middlesex and Sussex in the County circuit.”County Cricket has been such a huge part of my life for the last 16 years and I firmly believe there was no better place for me to learn about the game. I was lucky to have played for two of the best in Middlesex and Sussex and I cherish the friendships I made and trophies I won over this period. One of the challenges Irish cricket faces now is that we can no longer use county cricket as a finishing school for our youngsters. We need to produce our own cricketers through our domestic structure and I’m excited to be a part of that journey,” said a hopeful Joyce.Thanks for all the lovely messages. So happy and proud to have played a small part in Irish crickets journey over the last few decades. The test match last week was the perfect game to finish onlooking forward to the next chapter with @IrelandcricketEd Joyce (@edjoyce24) May 24, 2018Ireland captain William Porterfield lauded Joyce’s contribution to Ireland cricket and said that he has inspired a while generation.”It is pretty hard to sum up in just a few words how much of an impact Ed has had on Irish cricket and how much of an all-round great person he is. He is the person, from my era, that showed that being a professional cricketer was a tangible dream across the water. He inspired a whole generation to show that it is possible,” he said.”He is someone that I have always looked up to and to have had the opportunity to play with him for the past few years has been an absolute privilege. He will be a great miss in the changing rooms, not only for his runs, but the person he is. A lot of us, not least the young lads, have learned so much from him. He has had such an amazing career that he can be so proud of over the past 20 or so years. For it to culminate in taking the field for Ireland’s first ever Test match was the icing on the cake, I’m sure. He has seen the transition from a completely amateur organisation into being a full member and professional,” he added.Joyce is also very excited about the new opportunity that has come his way and said that he is looking forward to making Ireland cricket ready for the highest stage and make waves on the world stage.advertisement”We have always had cricketing talent in this country. Our job now is to develop that talent so that it is ready for the highest stage. The continued development of our club game, inter-provincial competitions, and Wolves programme are critical to this as is the development of world-class training facilities,” he said.”If we get all of these areas right over the next few years, there’s no reason why we can’t keep making waves on the world stage. We’re also very fortunate to have some excellent coaches at all levels. Graham Ford, Rob Cassell and Ben Smith have been fantastic with the Men’s side over the last nine months, as has Aaron Hamilton with our senior women over a number of years, but there is also a lot of coaching talent at all levels here now, and I’m excited to now be a part of it.”last_img read more

Watch: Kirk Herbstreit Gets Emotional Watching Sons Suit Up For Clemson For First Time

first_img Check it out.GameDay is a family thing 🧡@KirkHerbstreit talks about what it means to see his sons Tye and Jake play for @ClemsonFB. pic.twitter.com/sPQUHU3IBy— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) August 30, 2019Dabo Swinney and company preach family and football and Kirk Herbstreit and his sons made that a reality on Thursday night.Herbstreit can’t feel young watching his sons take the field for the first time, but his sense of pride can be seen through the screen.As for the action on the field, Clemson had no trouble dispatching Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets couldn’t stop Travis Etienne, who racked up over 200 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries.New head coach Geoff Collins has a massive rebuild project on his hands.Next up for Clemson is a huge non-conference contest against No. 12 Texas A&M. ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 23: GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit is seen during ESPN’s College GameDay show at Times Square on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)On Thursday night, the reigning national champions were back on the field for their season-opener against Georgia Tech.Clemson made short work of the Yellow Jackets, opening a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Star running back Travis Etienne ripped off a 90-yard touchdown run to match the school record.All of the action on the field, however, paled in comparison to watching Kirk Herbstreit see his sons suit up for Clemson for the very first time.The ESPN college football analyst got emotional seeing his sons, Tye and Jake wear the Tigers uniform.last_img read more

Rosneft to Study Northern Sea Route’s Marine Fauna

first_imgzoom OAO NK Rosneft will conduct marine fauna monitoring in the Northern Sea Route in 2014, the company informed. The studies will be organized by the Arctic Research Center, a joint venture of Rosneft and ExxonMobil.The objective of the said studies is collection of data on marine fauna in Rosneft License Areas with a view to building a complete and detailed picture of the baseline environment state and developing a set of environmental controls to be applied during hydrocarbons exploration and production.The studies will cover animals, birds and mammals of northern seas.The said activities will be conducted on two icebreakers by several marine mammal observation teams. During the entire period of the vessels voyage along the Northern Sea Route (from this July through this October) marine mammal observation and marine fauna monitoring will be conducted.A set of surveys will be performed:Marine mammal activity monitoring and registration throughout daylight hours;Monitoring and registration of other marine animal species’ activity;Keeping record of visual observations of marine mammals and their activity.The survey activities are planned in all northern seas of the Arctic.Press Release, July 23, 2014last_img read more

Maratha quota valid but 16 too high HC

first_imgMumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday upheld the constitutional validity of reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and education.A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre, however, said the quota percentage should be reduced from 16 per cent to 12 to 13 per cent, as recommended by the State Backward Classes Commission. “We hold and declare that the state government possesses legislative competence to create a separate category of the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) and grant reservation,” the court said. Also Read – Ahead of Xi’s visit, China says Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally; drops UN references”We, however, have held that the 16 per cent should be reduced to 12 to 13 per cent as recommended by the commission,” the bench said. The court was hearing a bunch of petitions challenging Maharashtra government’s decision granting 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions. On November 30, 2018, the Maharashtra legislature passed a bill granting 16 per cent reservation in education and government jobs for the Marathas, declared a socially and educationally backward class by the state government. Also Read – Rajnath Singh arrives for Rafale handover ceremony in FranceThe reservation will be in addition to the existing 52 per cent overall reservation in the state. With the 16 per cent reservation for Marathas, the reservation quantum in the state was expected to rise to 68 per cent. Several petitions were filed in the court challenging the reservation, while a few others were filed in its support. The petitions challenging the quota decision had argued that it was violative of Supreme Court’s orders which say that reservation in any state should not exceed more than 50 per cent. The government, while defending its decision, had said that it was meant to alleviate the Maratha community, which it said was socially and economically backward.last_img read more

Ontario throne speech highlights key Doug Ford campaign pledges

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government vowed Thursday to bring in sweeping changes meant to restore public trust in the province in a throne speech that played up promises made by Premier Doug Ford during the spring election campaign.The speech — written by the premier’s office and read by Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell at the Ontario legislature — set out a road map for the majority Tory government’s term, pledging to cut taxes, provide long-term funding for the health-care system and slash government waste.It did not introduce major new promises but instead highlighted key pledges from Ford to conduct a line-by-line audit of all government spending, pull out of the cap-and-trade system and fight “oppressive” taxes, including the imposition of a federal carbon price.The government also laid out its plan to expand the sale of beer and wine to convenience stores, grocery stores and big-box stores, and to roll back restrictions on police officers, calling the measures a show of respect for consumers and law enforcement, respectively.The government has been given “a clear mandate from Ontarians” to carry out its vision at a pivotal time for the province, the speech said.“The fact is that Ontario is at a critical juncture. We face mounting challenges at home and abroad. These challenges, if left unchecked, threaten livelihoods and imperil public services,” it said.“We cannot afford to dither or delay. To overcome these challenges we must challenge the status quo, reject the old compromises and embrace change.”The government stressed the need for collaboration — with other levels of government, with parents and teachers, with law enforcement — in vowing to restore faith in public institutions.“In a time of global turmoil and change, maintaining and strengthening the bond between the people and their public representatives must always be top of mind for us all. It is very much top of mind for your new government,” it said.The speech promised the government will reduce taxes for parents, small businesses and the working poor, and pledged to bring down electricity bills. During the election, Ford promised to cut the middle class tax rate from 9.15 per cent to 7.32 per cent, but the plan would not be implemented until 2020-2021.The throne speech further said the government will provide stable health-care funding, including a $3.8 billion investment in mental health, addictions and supportive housing. The speech was vague about how it would pay for the enhancements to health care, but the government has promised to find efficiencies through a Commission of Inquiry and the audit of government books.The speech made no mention, however, of one issue the government had said would be one of its priorities for the rare summer sitting of the legislature: ending an ongoing strike at York University.Ford nonetheless stressed that priority and others in a statement Thursday, saying his government would get to work quickly so “people can see real change fast.”“We are ending the deadlocked strike at York University so students can get back to school. We are striking the cap-and-trade carbon tax from the books. And we are cancelling unnecessary renewable energy projects to help lower your electricity bills,” he said.Ford has already made good on two key promises this week.His government announced it was immediately revoking the updated sex-ed curriculum brought in by the Liberals and reverting to the previous version of the document, which was enacted in 1998. Officials said they would consult with parents before modernizing the material.The premier also announced the immediate retirement of the CEO of Hydro One and the resignation of the utility’s entire board of directors. He said the move would bring down electricity rates but struggled to explain how when asked repeatedly by reporters.The Tories have also taken several other steps since their victory last month, including putting a number of laws passed by the previous government on hold. Their decision to cancel cap and trade has also put an end to a number of initiatives funded from the program’s revenue, such as rebates for green retrofits and a $100 million fund for school repairs.The government has also put the public service under a hiring freeze and ordered ministries to cut all discretionary spending, as well as ordered a review of compensation for public service executives and managers.NDP leader Andrea Horwath panned Thursday’s throne speech, saying it will do little for regular Ontarians.“I think it’s pretty clear that this government is bent and determined to drag this province down,” she said. “To take us backwards, to take us into a race to the bottom and pull us into the last century, that’s what this throne speech says to me.”Horwath said the speech also signals that the Tory government will begin to move away from providing essential public services in favour of cutting taxes.“You might get $50 or maybe $100 in your pocket, but you won’t be able to access the health care that you need,” she said. “You won’t be able to ensure that your kids are getting a good education. You’re not going to be able to afford to buy those services with a couple of extra dollars in your pocket.”Interim Liberal leader John Fraser was critical of the Tory’s plan to eliminate the cap-and-trade system.“It’s distressing not to hear a plan for the environment and climate change,” he said. “You can’t just come in with a wrecking ball and take something down and then not build.”Fraser also slammed the Tory pledge to repeal the sex ed curriculum and said claims that parents weren’t consulted during its development are wrong.“The curriculum they’re repealing was the most consulted curriculum in Ontario’s history,” he said.McMaster University political science professor Peter Graefe said unlike some previous Progressive Conservative throne speeches under the Mike Harris government, this speech had little in the way of detail on major items.“It was very specific on the small things and vague on the big things,” he said. “On the big question of how they were going to pay for everything without cutting jobs or services and balancing the budget, there’s nothing.”last_img read more

First group of Afghan refugees in Kyrgyzstan returning home with UN help

Thirty-three Afghans boarded buses on Monday for a two-day trip home that will take them through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, a spokesman for UNHCR said at a press briefing in Geneva. UNHCR is providing transport for the refugees, while the Kazakh and Uzbek authorities have supported the process.Repatriation movements from Iran, meanwhile, continued despite clashes late last week in the south-western Afghan town of Zaranj that forced the UN agency to suspend returns via the Miljak crossing point for the second time since early April, said spokesman Kris Janowski.Some 63,000 Afghans – 16 per cent of the 400,000 targeted – have repatriated under the programme, including 3,000 persons who have returned via Zaranj. Though the Miljak/Zaranj crossing is temporarily closed, Afghan refugees in Iran’s southern Sisten and Baluchistan Provinces continue to repatriate via an alternative crossing at Islam Qala.Since the UNHCR/Afghanistan Interim Authority repatriation programme got underway in March more than 870,000 Afghans have returned home, including about 800,000 from Pakistan, according to Mr. Janowski. In addition, since late November last year, an additional 150,000 Afghans have returned on their own.In other news, the selection process for the upcoming Loya Jirga is expected to conclude tomorrow, a spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said Tuesday. Approximately 761 delegates, including 20 women, have been elected so far in phase II of the process.Kabul, Herat, Kandahar and Gardez/Logar are the remaining regions yet to complete phase II, spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said, though they are expected to do so by Wednesday. read more

Jury awards 240 million to 32 mentally disabled Iowa turkey plant workers

Jury awards $240 million to 32 mentally disabled Iowa turkey plant workers for years of abuse AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email IOWA CITY, Iowa – A jury on Wednesday awarded a total of $240 million to 32 mentally disabled Iowa turkey processing plant workers for what an expert witness described as years of “virtual enslavement” by the Texas company that oversaw their care, work and lodging.The federal jury in Davenport determined that Henry’s Turkey Service, of Goldthwaite, Texas, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by creating a hostile living and working environment and imposing discriminatory conditions of employment on the men, who were each awarded $7.5 million in damages. The jury also found that the now-defunct company acted with “malice or reckless indifference” to the men’s civil rights.That’s in addition to $1.3 million in back wages that a judge awarded the men last year. The men had been working at the plant under Henry’s oversight since the 1970s, but never received a raise from the $65 per month that Henry’s paid them after deducting what it said were the costs of room and board.During the week-long trial that ended Wednesday, officials testified about the squalid conditions they found during a 2009 inspection of the bunkhouse where the men were housed. The building, which was in a rural area several miles from the West Liberty Foods turkey processing plant where they worked, was falling apart, infested with rodents and full of fire hazards.Social workers spoke of the physical and verbal abuse the men said they had been subjected to by the Henry’s supervisors who oversaw their work and care. They said they had been forced to work through illness and injuries, denied bathroom breaks, locked in their rooms, kicked in the groin and, in one case, handcuffed to a bed.EEOC attorney Robert Canino said he was elated at the verdict, which sends a message to the men that their lives matter.“This case moved me to great emotion because of the issue of exploitation of vulnerable populations,” he said. “If ever there was a case where the human story needed to be told, the full story, not just financial exploitation, but the devaluation of human life that can happen under the control of an employer, it was this case.”He said the evidence showed “an unprecedented story of a pervasive and hostile environment” that was unique because it continued around the clock.Sue Gant, a developmental psychologist and expert on the care of people with intellectual disabilities, interviewed the men at length for the EEOC and concluded they were subjected to horrific abuse and had been “virtually enslaved.”“That discrimination caused them such irreparable harm, and the jury got that. They understood,” she said. “The amount of the award just appears to be overwhelming. I think it goes to the degree of injustice here.”She ticked off some of her findings in an interview. Rain entered their bedrooms through failing windows and made their beds wet. Supervisors forced them to walk in circles carrying heavy weights as punishment. Supervisors picked on a man who had a brace on his leg, often pushing him down. Another man had been kicked in the groin and was found with “testicles that were quite swollen.” Others were often locked in their bedrooms at night, she said.“If these men had not been virtually enslaved, they could have enjoyed productive lives with the support of community,” she said. “It was only because they were disabled.”The jury awarded $5.5 million apiece in compensatory damages for their pain and suffering and $2 million apiece to punish the company for knowingly violating the law.The defunct company isn’t expected to be able to pay anywhere near the full amount of damages. The EEOC will work with the U.S. Department of Justice to examine company assets that could be seized to pay toward the judgment, including more than 1,000 acres of land in Texas worth up to $4 million, Canino said.“We will work tirelessly to secure the most that we can for these men,” he said. “We will be exploring all sources of moneys and tangible assets.”The EEOC sued Henry’s after state officials shuttered the bunkhouse following the 2009 inspection. State officials then found new caretakers for the men, many of whom were in their 50s and 60s and had medical problems that needed immediate attention.By 2008, Henry’s was being paid more than $500,000 per year by West Liberty Foods, but was paying the men the same $65 per month that it always had. The company docked the men’s wages and Social Security disability benefits, telling them it was to pay for the cost of their care and lodging, and it never applied for medical care or other services for the disabled that the men would have qualified for in Iowa.Henry’s began employing mentally disabled men in the 1960s and 1970s who had been released from Texas mental institutions. Hundreds of them were sent to labour camps in Iowa and elsewhere in the coming decades, where they were supplied on contract as workers to local employers. Company officials argued the arrangement was a benefit to the men, and that they were once praised for giving them employment opportunities.Officials from the EEOC, which sued Henry’s after Iowa officials shuttered the bunkhouse following the 2009 inspection, dismissed that argument at trial. They said the standards for caring for the disabled had changed dramatically since then.The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has declined to prosecute anyone responsible for the abuse, saying it is unlikely that criminal charges could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.West Liberty Foods is not accused of any wrongdoing. Company officials said they banned a Henry’s supervisor from the plant in 2007 after learning he had abused the men, but were otherwise unaware of problems.___Follow Ryan J. Foley on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rjfoley by Ryan J. Foley, The Associated Press Posted May 1, 2013 12:44 pm MDT read more

At UN Assembly DPR Korea denounces US Presidents reckless and violent comments

“In case innocent lives in the US are lost because of this suicide attack, Trump will be held totally responsible,” Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the Assembly’s 72nd annual general debate, referring to President Trump’s statement to the world body earlier in the week pledging to ‘totally destroy’ the DPRK if the US is forced to defend itself and saying that its leader is on a ‘suicide mission.’ The Foreign Minister called the UN sanctions imposed upon it for its nuclear and missile tests “unprecedented acts of injustice.” “Due to his lacking basic common knowledge and proper sentiment, he tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country by referring it to a rocket. By doing so, however, he committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets’ visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more,” he said. Mr. Ri said the very reason the DPRK has to possess nuclear weapons is because US hostility and nuclear threats have continued for over 70 years. “The possession of nuclear deterrence by the DPRK is a righteous self-defensive measure taken as an ultimate option,” he added. “Unless true international justice is realized, the only valid philosophical principle is that force must be dealt with force and nuclear weapons of tyranny must be dealt with the nuclear hammer of justice.”He stressed that the UN failure in fulfilling its role in realizing genuine international justice is primarily related to the undemocratic practices of the 15-Member Security Council, whose decisions alone have the force of law, where the five permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – are all nuclear powers with a common interest in maintaining their monopolistic nuclear status. Full statement available here read more

The Cavs 3Point Barrage In Game 2 Was Ridiculous

After Mo Williams chucked in one last trey with a shade under two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Cavs had 25 3-pointers, a record for the most team threes in an NBA game. (Their 45 tries were also the second-most 3-point attempts in a playoff game since 1984 and tied for 12th-most attempts in any NBA game, period.) The barrage propelled Cleveland to a 2-0 series lead and left Atlanta shellshocked and soul-searching.“What happened? Not a clue,” Hawks forward Paul Millsap said. “A lot of threes … I don’t know what else to say. I am still speechless. … I’m a man who believes anything is possible, and the impossible happened tonight.”Just how impossibly scorching were those Cavalier shooters? We can quantify a team’s “hotness” using SportVU data that estimates the probability of any given shot being made based on distance and the proximity of defenders, among other variables. A good place to start digging is a team’s track record: During the regular season, Cleveland got better-than-average looks from downtown and was also among the top 10 shot-making teams even after adjusting for the difficulty of its threes. Atlanta’s defense, meanwhile, allowed relatively high-percentage looks from downtown but saw opponents shoot a lower-than-expected average.After taking all that into account, we’d have expected the Cavs to knock down 15.6 of their 45 3-point attempts Wednesday. That the team made 25 instead meant it had 9.4 “extra makes” relative to what we’d have expected with that (absurdly high) number of attempts.Although it’s possible to generate these extra threes via better offensive execution, few of the Cavs’ makes came from improving the quality of their looks. If they’d displayed their usual “shot-making” skill and only improved their shot quality as much as they did Wednesday night, Cleveland would have knocked down only 0.1 more threes than expected. The other 9.3 extra makes, then, can be attributed completely to “hotness” — hitting more shots than anyone could have expected, even after adjusting for the particulars of the shots and the track records of the teams involved.These 9.3 extra makes from hot shooting represent the most in any playoff game since SportVU cameras were installed in every NBA arena before the 2013-14 season and the second-most of any game, period. (The Pacers’ hot shooting in this game netted them 10 whole extra threes!) Here’s a rundown of the hottest-shooting playoff games of the past three years: 4/20/16CLEDET3820+6.20.0+6.2 3-POINTERS“EXTRA” MAKES FROM IMPROVED … But it does mean the Cavs are probably in for a more normal shooting performance over the rest of the series.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 NBA playoff predictions. The playoff games with the hottest-shooting teams since 2014 5/4/16CLEATL4525+9.4+0.1+9.3 5/25/15HOUGSW3217+6.2-0.3+6.5 There are hot shooting nights from downtown, and then there’s the performance the Cleveland Cavaliers produced against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night: Source: NBA player-tracking data 4/28/14ATLIND2715+5.5-0.7+6.2 4/21/16OKCDAL2715+5.8-0.4+6.3 The big question, though, is whether hot shooting can carry over into future games. And at this point, the answer seems to be an emphatic “no,” at least based on the tracking data SportVU has collected. In cases since 2014 where one team faced the same opponent in back-to-back playoff games, the correlation between one game and the next in extra makes from shot-making1On a per-shot basis. was -0.011 — in essence, providing zero evidence of a carry-over effect from game to game.That doesn’t mean the Hawks will be able to take away all the Cavs’ threes in Game 3, as the team Twitter account joked during Game 2’s rout.2The tweet has been deleted, but it lives on in screengrabs. DATETEAMOPPATTEMPTEDMADE“EXTRA” MAKESSHOT QUALITYSHOT MAKING read more

9 worrying signs that Ireland has developed notions

first_img Source: Tom ByrnePutting the price up makes it more exclusive, see?6. Pints out, wine in Source: ShutterstockWine wine wine. The Government has chucked an extra €1.50 onto the price of every bottle of wine in Ireland over the last two Budgets, and it’s barely dented our appetite for the stuff.Basically, we are all now this guy in the photo. We’re probably the reason for the global wine shortage.7. We’re eating more Superquinn sausages than ever Source: Christina FinnThe factory where Superquinn sausages are made has had to employ 12 new people because demand has gone up so much. Whatever happened to Denny’s, guys?8. The celebrities are flocking in* Source: Alan Andrews/Coffee CultureWhat’s this? Oh, just Bill Clinton hanging with Bono and Rory McIlroy in Dublin last month.And just look at the jacket on Rory. Did he borrow that from the 2003 Gerald Kean Collection or what?They’re even getting drunk in Temple Bar: Source: Kermit-on-tour*May be a slight exaggeration. But Johnny Depp was in Westmeath!9. And finally, we’re literally exporting our dirt Source: IrishturfdistributorsTo Americans, who’ll pay €49 for a bale of briquettes. God love them.Have you seen any signs of NOTIONS appearing in Ireland? Let us know – this menace must be stopped. Watch parents tell their kids: ‘We ate all your Halloween sweets’>Chocolate-covered crisps are now a reality in the US> REMEMBER THE EARLY noughties? Remember how crazy Ireland was in the boom years?The problem was, we got NOTIONS. Notions were our downfall. (OK, among other things.)Recently there have been some troubling signs that NOTIONS may have returned to these shores. Behold:1. This is how much a pint costs now Source: ImgurWell, in Oliver St John Gogarty’s of Temple Bar anyway. And that’s OK, apparently: a staff member told the Irish Independent that people “rarely complain” about the prices.2. The Nespresso queue in Brown Thomas is ‘a thing’ 3. Some of us have even abandoned teabags in favour of ‘tea capsules’ Source: Wholesome IrelandOK, not many of us. But still. Tea capsules? Really?Currently €7.29 on Viking’s Irish site for a pack of 16. That’s 45c a cup.4. Property boom!Yep, this is happening. Anyone remember how it ended last time?5. This is how supermarkets are attracting customerslast_img read more

Fire units to remain at Ballymount industrial estate fire for a number

first_imgUpdated 8.15amFOUR UNITS OF the Dublin Fire Brigade are still in attendance this morning at a fire that broke at the Oxigen plant in west Dublin over the weekend.An incident command unit is also on the scene this morning, but the fire is under control.Dublin Fire Brigade told TheJournal.ie that they will be on the scene for “at least” the next day or two.Major traffic delaysThey warned that there will be major traffic delays in and around the scene as traffic restrictions are put in place, so motorists should take an alternate route where possible.Gardaí say the following diversions are in place:Ballymount Road closed with only local access into Merrywell Industrial Estate.Ballymount Avenue closed with only local access into Merrywell Industrial Estate.Access into Merrywell Industrial Estate from Turnpike Road onlyLocal Access only on Ballymount Road for Panda, Galco, Kelkin Fastway, up Turnpike Road only.Yesterday, despite the smoke subsiding, both the EPA and gardaí said the advice to householders in the area warned people in the affected area to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed.The fire broke out at 3.12am on Saturday morning. Householders nearby reported hearing “little explosions” in the early hours of yesterday morning as the blaze spread.Originally published 7.21amRelated: Ballymount industrial estate fire could burn for rest of weekendRead: Ballymount blaze rated a ‘Category 1′ incident by EPA>last_img read more

Poll Does it matter that the US hasnt appointed an ambassador to

first_imgFIFTEEN MONTHS AFTER Dan Rooney stepped down as US ambassador to Ireland, there is still no replacement in the Phoenix Park.Rooney, who owns the Pittsburgh Steelers American football franchise, was appointed to the role after the election of Barack Obama in 2008.Taoiseach Enda Kenny said this weekend that Obama is “intent on dealing” with the delay, the longest in the history of diplomatic relations between the two countries.But, does it matter? The work of the US Embassy goes on and we’re on pretty good terms with the US, being invited over to their house every March and all.We’re asking: Does it matter that the US hasn’t appointed an ambassador to Ireland? Yes (870) Poll Results: I don’t know (982)center_img No (2129) YesNoI don’t knowVotelast_img read more

Martinez De Bruyne will be back in no time

first_imgBelgium boss Roberto Martinez believes Kevin De Bruyne will return to competitive action sooner than expectedThe 27-year-old playmaker is currently recovering from a knee injury after sustaining damage in a training session just days after City’s opening day 2-0 win away to Arsenal and is expected to miss at least three months of action.But Martinez doubts that a super fast healer like De Bruyne will take that long.“It was a freak accident, it happens, football is a contact sport,” said the 45-year-old, according to the Daily Mail.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“The issue is how long he will be out and the reports are very positive. I think we’ll see him on the pitch a lot earlier than other players would take with that injury (and) we think he could be even fresher after his period away.“No time scale yet but Kevin wants to be on the football pitch as quick as he can and physically he’s got that natural gift of being able to heal quicker than other players.”De Bruyne played an integral role in City’s Premier League title-winning campaign last season by contributing eight goals and 16 assists.The Belgium international recently stated that he needs another “three, four, five weeks” of recovery before he can return to training.last_img read more

Saipan politician calls for more casino licenses amid Imperial Pacific woes

first_img Genting’s Resorts World Las Vegas names five key additions to executive team Strong VIP growth sees Okada Manila GGR climb 72% in August Load More Lack of premium mass strategy begs questions of SJM’s Grand Lisboa Palace launch: analysts A Saipan politician has called for the island’s gaming law to be revised to allow for more casino licenses to be issued amid growing concerns over the future of Imperial Pacific International’s (IPI) Imperial Pacific Resort.Speaking to the Saipan Tribune this week, Rep. Edwin K Propst expressed grave doubts over the health of Saipan’s sole casino resort following lengthy construction delays, reports of ongoing payroll problems and the departure of two key executives over the past week. “Because there’s only one licensee, perhaps we should revisit that and allow other casinos to compete,” Propst said. “Competition is good.“Factoring all the recent events, we need to be very concerned about the future of our casino, because they are not just one competitor. This is a sole source, single license. It is a monopoly.“It’s one thing if there were competitors and one was not doing well, while the other is thriving. But that’s not the case here. The frustration is that because if there’s only one license, if it fails, the entire casino industry fails.”IPI was last week forced to issue a statement promising to pay all staff after experiencing “transfer issues” to fund the company’s payroll. The company also farewelled Chairman Marco Teng last week after seven months in the role, while Cai Lingli – a relative of majority owner Cui Li Jie – stepped down on Monday as a director of the company and chairperson of the executive committee.Propst said that he wanted to see Imperial Pacific Resort succeed but suggested safeguards needed to be implemented after IPI revealed recently that it will miss its latest 31 August 2018 deadline for completion of the IR.“I want the casino industry on Saipan to thrive but I also want it to be properly regulated and to follow all laws – local, federal, and environmental laws,” he said. “The fact that the casino license agreement has been amended five times to benefit the casino without benefitting the people is disappointing.“The CNMI government must renegotiate its terms to include at the very least a completion or performance bond to ensure the casino hotel overlooking Garapan will be completed, even if IPI decides to leave or suspend their business operations.” RelatedPostslast_img read more

KMC to give legal notice to Rajabazar Science College for clearing garbage

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will give legal notice to the Rajabazar Science College authorities if the garage in the campus is not cleaned by Thursday.Atin Ghosh, member, Mayor-in-Council (Health), along with senior officials visited Rajabazar Science College on Saturday afternoon and found that garbage had not been cleared from several places and pupae and larvae of Aedes Egypti mosquitoes were there in the water containers.The team found Aedes Egypti larvae in a drum near the main gate of the Rajabazar Science College campus. Garbage had not been cleared from the areas situated opposite the department of Chemical Technology. Larvae were also found in some plastic bottles. There is accumulated water on the roof of the building as well. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeGhosh told the senior officials that legal action would be taken if the garbage is not cleaned by Thursday. The KMC team then visited Bethune College and found Aedes Egypti larvae in some containers. Notice to clear the area was served to the college authorities.Ghosh said despite KMC’s repeated requests, the authorities of some institutional buildings are not taking the garbage cleaning issue seriously. “They are not cleaning empty plastic cups and bottles regularly. Broken and unused furniture have not been removed. The water accumulated in these sites is vulnerable to Aedes Egypti larvae.”It may be mentioned that KMC has started drives against mosquito-borne diseases since January. Massive awareness campaigns have been taken up. There are 15 dengue detection centres in the city and 144 malaria centres, where blood samples are examined free of cost and medicines are given. As a result of the sustained drive, the number of dengue cases has been reduced in2018.last_img read more

New Jaguar FType looks to glory days tweaks them

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project ___OUTSIDEThe body is aluminum, and evokes the E-Type in details like the center hood bulge, the line of the body and the rear flare. But Jaguar is going out of its way not to do a retro E-Type.___INSIDEThe lines are clean on the inside, pared down considerably from many newer cars. Rather than now commonplace touch controls for everything, the heating and ventilation are old-fashioned rotary knobs.___CHEERSJaguar’s looking to get attention again _ and their first legitimate sports car in a half-century may be the way to do it.___OPEN QUESTIONSIt remains to be seen whether potential buyers looking at the Porsche 911 or the Mercedes-Benz SL will see the F-Type as a real alternative. Fifty years is a long time to wait between models, and memories of the good old days have faded.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories Associated PressPARIS (AP) – Its predecessor is widely agreed to be among the most beautiful sports cars ever made _ and on Wednesday Jaguar showed it was trying to go one better than the glory days of the 1960s with the new F-Type.The Indian auto company Tata bought Jaguar Land Rover for $2.3 billion in 2008, betting big that it could revive two venerable British brands that had lost a bit of luster over the decades. The new F-Type, the first Jaguar two-seater in a half-century, is the first major Jaguar design shepherded through by the new owners. Tata has been a hands-off owner for Jaguar, largely letting its British team to make the major decisions on the car. At Wednesday’s unveiling, Tata executives were in the crowd, but it was the Jaguar design director, Ian Callum, who took center stage.And the designers looked to the past _ and the famed E-Type, beloved by aficionados everywhere _ to inspire what they clearly hope will be the automaker’s future.“It’s just a tremendous challenge today to produce a beautiful car that meets all the world regulations,” said Philip Porter, a Jaguar historian who has written a book about the E-Type. He hasn’t driven the F-Type yet, but likes what he’s seen so far. “It’s a combination like the great Jaguars of the past of sculptural styling, great engineering and superb performance.”And, he added, “it sounds like a sports car, which is essential.”Jaguar Land Rover has been a huge part of Tata’s recent success. Sales for the second quarter of 2012 rose 30 percent, largely based on growth in the Chinese market. The car goes on sale in spring 2013.___UNDER THE HOODThere are two different supercharged engines: a 3-liter 6 cylinder with 340 horsepower for the normal F-type and 380 horsepower for the S; there’s also a 5-liter V8 with 495 horsepower. Jaguar says the 0-60 time is 5.1 seconds for the normal F-type; 4.8 seconds for the S and 4.2 for the V-8. The car has an 8-speed transmission with automatic or manual modes. Sponsored Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more