ATHENS, Greece — Authorities have banned demonstrations in a large section of central Athens and will shut down streets and subway stations during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrives in the Greek capital Thursday afternoon for meetings with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and other officials.Around 2,000 officers, a police helicopter and drones will be deployed for the visit, which ends Friday afternoon.Germany was the largest single contributor to the three international bailout packages Greece received since 2010 as it struggled through a dramatic financial crisis which almost saw it crash out of the eurozone. Germany was also seen as one of the main enforcers of the stringent austerity measures, including tax hikes and pension and salary cuts, imposed in return for the rescue loans.The Associated Press
Marrakech- For those who love to dance and desire a glamorous and exciting experience, the 7th World Festival of Salsa opens at le Palmeraie Resort in Marrakech on September 4th. Salsa, which originated in New York and incorporates swing dancing, hustle, and Cuban and Afro-Caribbean influences, has a global following. Salsa is a lively and enjoyable dance form featuring the rhythms and lively movements of Latin America, from such places as Puerto Rico and Colombia.The World Festival takes place in a different country each year, and attracts people from all over the world. The World Salsa Festival is organized by Imad Productions. Famous salsa artistes who will be performing include Albert Torres from Los Angeles, Franklin Diaz from New York, and the Latin American Dance Academy from Cuba. This colorful and spectacular event that runs September 4-8 in Marrakech is not to be missed.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
It’s hard to generate interest in a news release about liquefied natural gas exports, but a high-ranking Trump administration official succeeded by calling the stuff “molecules of U.S. freedom.”Assistant Energy Secretary Steven Winberg made the comment this week to describe an expansion of export capacity at a Texas terminal.Winberg says exporting liquid gas is good for U.S. jobs and the economy and for the energy security of America’s allies. Another Energy Department official calls it “freedom gas.”Some people are going on Twitter to make fun of the colorful language, but environmentalists opposed to wider use of natural gas say it’s no laughing matter.Rachel Cleetus, a climate expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, says it’s an absurd attempt to rebrand natural gas, which is still a fossil fuel.The Associated Press
At least 16 shops were damaged following a fire in Pettah early this morning.The Police said that several fire-trucks had been deployed and the fire was extinguished. (Colombo Gazette)
The United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and its United States partner announced today that the number of people they are providing with life-extending antiretroviral treatment (ARVs) has reached 1.2 million people – twice the volume of only a year ago.In a joint statement released today to mark World AIDS Day, the Global Fund and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief said there has been a three-fold increase in the number of people in low- and middle-income countries – where access to such treatment has long been limited – receiving ARVs.“Four years ago, almost nobody in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world was receiving treatment,” said Professor Richard Feachem, the Global Fund’s Executive Director. “That well over 1 million people with AIDS are now on treatment is a remarkable achievement.“We must now build on this progress to reach the millions more who are still in urgent need,” he said.Set up in 2002 on the initiative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Global Fund is a public-private partnership that has committed $6.8 billion so far to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in 136 countries.On many of the projects it supports, the Fund works closely with international partners, including the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
“Agriculture is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, famers worldwide are increasingly feeling the effects of a warming climate,” Mr. Ban said in a message to the Third Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.“The answer to these interconnected problems lies in climate-smart agriculture,” he said, emphasizing in particular the need to eliminate of childhood under-nutrition through sustainable agriculture that benefits smallholders around the world.Mr. Ban said that his recent visit to the Sahel reinforced his perception of how climate change compounds the challenges for small farmers, following three major droughts in a decade that exacerbated poverty, conflict and disease. “The region’s Governments are working to help their people become more resilient, but they need international support, including through an ambitious climate change agreement in 2015,” he said.He called on leaders from Government, finance, business and civil society to work together on solutions, welcoming proposals to develop a Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance and inviting all stakeholders to bring bold initiatives to the table at next September’s Climate Summit, to be held at UN Headquarters in NY. The Secretary-General’s message to the three-day Conference, which closed today, was delivered by David Nabarro, his Special Representative for Food Security and Nutrition.In related news, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported today that a record world cereal output is predicted for the year 2013, reaching a new high of almost 2,500 tonnes. At the same time, it warned that food security in several parts of Africa and elsewhere is deteriorating.The latest issue of the agency’s “Crop Prospects and Food Situation” report says that cereal production rose 8.4 per cent, while food security remains precarious in the Sahel, Central Africa, Southern Africa, parts of the Middle East and Philippines due to instability and/or drought, other types of severe weather and land degradation.At FAO’s Rome headquarters, scientists and research organizations gathered today to draw attention to importance of better management of the Earth’s soil in the effort to feed a growing world population while coping with climate change.Healthy soil is not only the foundation of food production but also sequesters twice as much carbon as the atmosphere, FAO Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo, told the gathering. The UN General Assembly is currently considering a proposal to name 5 December of each year as “World Soil Day,” as supported by the FAO Conference this past June, to raise awareness of the importance of this natural resource to agriculture, biodiversity and climate change.
“Oceans are continuing to warm, acidify and lose oxygen,” said IPCC chair Hoesung Lee. “Warm water coral reefs are already under pressure and 90 per cent would suffer significant risk from global warming of 1.5 degree Celsius.” Photo: UNEP/Jerker TamelanderAbove-normal ocean temperatures have contributed to coral bleaching and disruption of ecosystems, including in the Great Barrier Reef, which has seen up to 50 per cent of its coral die in certain parts. Photo: UNEP/Paul MarshallThe UN backs the International Coral Reef Initiative – an informal partnership between nations and organizations to preserve coral reefs and their ecosystems by reducing pollution from plastic microbeads and sunscreen, and financing projects that help protect and restore coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses. Photo: UNEP/Jerker TamelanderCorals that have shown some resistance to rising temperatures are being grown on coral farms in Marine Protected Areas. Photo: Reef Explorer Fiji Rising ocean temperaturesAlthough the ocean is the single largest habitat on the planet and is inextricably linked to human survival, climate change and the impact of increasing carbon dioxide emissions on the oceans have been largely overshadowed in the climate change debate, according to Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, one of the co-chairs of the Ocean Conference.The oceans – which produce half of the world’s oxygen, regulate the earth’s climate and temperature, provide food and water, and are home to hundreds of thousands of species – have been a staunch ally in curbing climate change.More than 93 per cent of all the heat people have added to the planet since the 1950s has been absorbed by the oceans – but at a price, Ms. Lövin stressed. Rising ocean temperatures and increased acidification are now becoming apparent in melting Arctic sea ice and coral bleaching. Immediate mitigation, protection, restoration and adaptation actions are needed.Healthy oceans, stable climate“Whether on the coast or in the high seas far away from all, safeguarding biodiverse marine sites is vital for ensuring the sustainable long-term use of precious natural resources,” says Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).Fishermen in the Bay of Bengal, India, sail at dawn in their catamarans, consisting of four or five pieces of balsa wood tied together. Photo: UN Photo/John Isaac The importance of the ocean to global climate cannot be underestimated, according to UNESCO. It absorbs a significant portion of carbon and an overwhelming amount of excess heat. Still, warmer atmospheric temperatures and increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases exert an enormous pressure on the ocean’s ability to regulate the climate.UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) helps in developing ocean sciences, observations and capacity-building to monitor the ocean’s major role in the climate system and predict ocean changes. Laying the ground for efficient climate adaptation and mitigation strategies, IOC focuses on the most damaging impacts, such as temperature increase, sea-level rise, storm variations and changes in marine biodiversity. Its scientifically-founded services help countries, particularly coastal and small island developing States, become more resilient to present and future climate impacts. Impact of sea-level riseThe oceans are experiencing “major stress” from climate change, according to Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed. “Globally, the sea level has risen by 20 centimetres since the start of the 20th century, due mostly to thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of glaciers and ice caps. Some regions are experiencing even greater sea level rise. “General warming trends, massive episodes of coral bleaching, acidification and the sea level rise are affecting ecosystems in all regions, threatening fisheries, food chains and the oceans’ ability to act as efficient carbon sinks. Rising sea levels pose a threat to low-lying atoll islands. Photo: OCHA/D.Parry According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), both the Artic and Antarctica are warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. Glaciers and ice shelves are melting and sea ice and snow coverage are shrinking. Polar wildlife ecosystems and indigenous population are already feeling the impact of climate change as polar conditions impact weather across the globe. “Because of teleconnections, the poles influence weather and climate conditions in lower latitudes where hundreds of millions of people live,” warns Petteri Taalas, WMO’s Secretary-General. “Warming Arctic air masses and declining sea ice are believed to affect ocean circulation and the jet stream, and are potentially linked to extreme phenomena such as cold spells, heat waves and droughts in the northern hemisphere.” With relatively little data available on the Earth’s Polar Regions, the UN weather agency kicked off of a two-year international effort to close gaps in polar forecasting capacity and improve future environmental safety. The Year of Polar Prediction was launched in May to close the gaps in polar forecasting capacity and improve predictions of weather, climate and ice conditions in the farthest reaches of the planet. The global campaign aims to minimize environmental risks and maximize opportunities associated with climate change in polar regions.Social scientists will examine how polar forecasts can be factored into socio-economic decision making while stakeholders in transport, shipping and tourism will provide input on community needs.Coral reefs under threat from climate change The oceans, which cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, play a vital role in the global climate system, generating oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Changes to the climate, brought about by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, will thus lead to changes in the oceans, including sea-level rise and ocean acidification, which will put marine ecosystems and coastal communities at risk. SDG 14 is the only universally agreed road map for conserving and sustainably managing marine resources – Peter Thomson, President of the UN General AssemblyWorld leaders acknowledged the importance of the oceans when they adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the universal blueprint for ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. SDG 14 sets out specific targets to be met in order to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. “SDG 14 is the only universally agreed road map for conserving and sustainably managing marine resources. Its faithful implementation is therefore our best hope for remedying the ocean’s woes,” said Peter Thomson, President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.Pounding early winter surf from massive 15 foot ocean swells. Photo: Irin News/Mike Baird “In a world where demands for freshwater are ever growing, and where limited water resources are increasingly stressed by over-abstraction, pollution and climate change, neglecting the opportunities arising from improved wastewater management is nothing less than unthinkable in the context of a circular economy,” according to the UN World Water Development Report 2017, Wastewater: The Untapped ResourceWeighing the linkages and significant socio-economic benefits of the earth’s freshwater and marine systems, UNDP underscores the need to take adaptive, integrated, ecosystem-based approaches to manage freshwater and ocean resources.As such, UNDP is assisting countries in equitably allocating water resources and implementing integrated management through adaptive water governance, which helps to reduce poverty and vulnerability, sustain and enhance livelihoods and protect environmental resources.Oceans are part of the solutionHumanity owes much to the oceans in many aspects of life: providing invaluable ecosystems, climate regulation and cultural support to the millions of people who live near the sea, according to José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).When families in the Haut-Katanga and Haut-Lomami provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo do not drill their own wells, they use the waters of the Congo River, one of the main vectors of disease, including cholera. Photo: OCHA/J-L. Mbalivoto Tropical coral reefs cover a mere 1 per cent of the ocean but are among the most bio-diverse systems on the planet, supporting one quarter of all marine species. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), coral reefs exist in over 100 nations, including more than 80 developing countries. They sustain human society through a range of ecosystem services, such as livelihoods and food security from fisheries; revenue from tourism; erosion prevention; and protection from extreme weather events through dissipation of wave energy. They also help to lessen inundation and damage during storms. Among the planet’s natural ecosystems, mangroves, sea-grass beds and coral reefs return the highest value in terms of ecosystem services. A square kilometre of healthy, well-managed coral reef can yield a catch of over 15 tons of fish and other seafood every year. Some 850 million people live within 100 km of coral reefs, deriving some benefits –with at least 275 million depending directly on reefs for livelihoods and sustenance. Climate change and water supplyAccording to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the planet’s freshwater and oceans are inextricably linked through the earth’s water cycle. The agency notes that 97 per cent of the world’s water is in the ocean and the ocean supplies almost all the water that falls on land as rain and snow. Of the small portion that is fresh water; about a third is in in the ground and a mere .3 per cent in accessible surface waters. Climate change scenarios project that discrepancies between water supply and demand will heighten. The frequency and severity of floods and droughts will likely change many river basins worldwide – with droughts causing significant socio-economic and environmental consequences. The UNEP estimates the cumulative economic impact of poor ocean management practices at minimally $200 billion per year. In the absence of mitigation measures, climate change will increase the cost of damage to the ocean by an additional $322 billion annually by 2050.Local fishermen in Mozambique. Photo: Andrea Borgarello/World Bank < Previous Next > “Warmer temperatures are causing more extreme weather events, and a projected two-metre rise in sea levels by the end of the century would be catastrophic for coastal habitats and economies. Hundreds of millions of people are at risk,” she warns.Particularly at risk are the inhabitants of small island States, with hurricanes, cyclones and tsunamis becoming increasingly more common threats.Ocean health and economic prosperity “Trouble for the oceans means trouble for people. Human well-being and health, economic prosperity, and a stable climate depend on healthy oceans,” says Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Ocean Conference.According to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), losses due to disasters from natural and man-made hazards including floods, storms and the impacts of climate change are mounting, costing governments over $300 billion globally each year.UNISDR recently aligned its Disaster Resilience Scorecard, which provides a set of overarching assessments on disaster resilience, with the Sendai Framework – boosting the number of cities and towns capable of reducing their disaster losses by 2020Global warming and the Polar RegionThe effects of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, one of the leading causes of global warming, are felt most intensely in the Polar Region. View of the melting Collins Glacier off King George Island, Antarctica, in November 2007. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe As 3 billion people ultimately depend on marine and coastal biodiversity, all nations agree on the need to step up efforts to protect oceans and seas, especially in the era of climate change, when transformational interventions are becoming even more urgent and encompassing. The oceans cover almost three quarters of the Earth’s surface, storing one third of all the carbon emissions stemming from human activity. They are part of the solution, and they must be a key focus of global efforts to cope with and mitigate climate change, he stresses.“Oceans play a crucial role in the achievement of global food security, as well as human health and well-being,” says Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Legal Counsel and Special Adviser to the Presidents of the Ocean Conference on oceans and legal matters.“They are the primary regulator of the global climate, function as an important sink for greenhouse gases, serve as the host for huge reservoirs of biodiversity and play a major role in producing the oxygen we breathe.”He adds that oceans, seas and marine resources are increasingly threatened by human activities, including increased CO2 emissions, climate change, marine pollution, unsustainable extraction of marine resources, and physical alterations and destruction of marine and coastal habitats.
Whether Michigan State junior running back Le’Veon Bell will be a contender for this year’s Heisman Trophy remains to be seen, but Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer has already compared Bell to a former Wisconsin running back who won the award in 1999. “(Bell) reminds me of Ron Dayne, even a little more athletic,” Meyer said. “Extremely strong, powerful guy, and times up his blocks very well, and runs through tackles, and then we see the athleticism that usually people that size don’t have.” Bell, a native of Columbus who played high school football at Groveport Madison High School, will be starting at running back for the No. 20 Spartans when they play his hometown No. 14 Buckeyes on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in East Lansing, Mich. OSU’s defense is tied 34th nationally in rushing defense with 117.5 yards allowed per game, but it could be facing its toughest test on Saturday in Bell. Bell, a 6-foot-2, 244-pound running back, ranks second among all Football Bowl Subdivision running backs with 610 rushing yards through his first four games of the season, and is coming off of a career-best 253-yard rushing game in a victory against Eastern Michigan last Saturday. OSU co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers said the skill set that has made Bell so productive this season. “He’s a patient runner. He does a nice job of setting up blocks within their offense in the power game, and I think he does a nice job of cutting back,” Withers said. “He knows where the soft spots in the defense (are), he knows when to take it on the edge. He does a nice job with a stiff arm out on the edge. He will lower his shoulder inside. He’s built for an I-back inside runner, and I think it fits what they’re trying to do offensively.” The worst day for OSU’s rushing defense thus far this year came on Sept. 15 versus California, which ran for 224 yards against the Buckeyes, 160 yards of which came from sophomore Brendan Bigelow on just four carries. Meyer said the Buckeyes cannot allow Bell, who has already gone for more than 200 yards in a single game twice this season, to do that again on Saturday. “If it turns into a 200-yard rushing day,” Meyer said, “then we’re going to lose the game.” Withers explained what the OSU defense must do to keep Bell’s rushing yards in check. “We’re going to have to make sure we keep him sideways and not let him go north and south,” Withers said. OSU redshirt senior safety Orhian Johnson said that the key to tackling Bell, considering his combination of size and athleticism, is to “get him before he gets to you.” “You definitely want to get to him before he gets started because he’s real top-heavy, so you know he’s going to run downfield,” Johnson said. “He’s got good feet, so you just can’t chop at him, but you just got to make sure you’re going to get up there, you’re going to wrap him up.” As a sophomore in last year’s matchup with the Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium, Bell only ran for 50 yards on 14 carries. At that point, however, Bell had only run for 217 yards through his first four games of the season, and was splitting carries with then-junior running back Edwin Baker. This season, with Baker having moved on to the NFL, Bell has become the Spartans’ workhorse at running back. Bell already has 117 carries this season, with no other running back having more than 15 attempts through the first four games. MSU coach Mark Dantonio said during the Spartans’ weekly press conference on Tuesday that Bell has progressed as a running back since last year’s matchup with the Buckeyes. “Where (Le’Veon’s) grown is as a complete football player,” Dantonio said. “He’s always been very, very good. But he’s gotten bigger, stronger.” OSU senior fullback Zach Boren, who said he tackled Bell in high school when he was playing on both sides of the ball for Pickerington High School Central, said Bell has “stayed true to himself from high school to college.” “In high school, they would feed him the ball 30 to 40 times a game, and that’s the same at Michigan State,” Boren said. “He’s a great player, he’s a powerful runner.” In addition to lining up at running back, Bell has also returned three punts for a total of 18 yards for the Spartans this season. Meyer said the fact that Bell has been used as a punt returner is a testament to his athleticism. “He might be the biggest punt returner in the history of college football,” Meyer said with a laugh.
Ohio State freshman opposite hitter Vanja Buklić (13) spikes the ball while team watches on Sunday, Oct. 14 at St. John’s Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Michigan State in 3 matches. Credit: Claire Kudika | Assistant Design EditorIn its final home series of the season, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team will host No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 3 Minnesota this weekend at St. John Arena.The team has four matches remaining on its schedule that will mean a lot for its postseason hopes.“If we win our next four matches, which obviously is a daunting task, but if we do it, then we will actually make the [Big Ten] tournament so we’re still in that mode a little bit,” head coach Geoff Carlston said. The competition will be tough for Ohio State. Minnesota is on a 17-match win streak, and is 22-2 and 16-0 in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin is 18-6 and 11-5 in conference play. The Buckeyes have lost 10 of its past 11 matches. “We’re really trying to educate and help this young group understand what it’s going to take to win,” Carlston said. “We’ve laid out three to five benchmarks that we’re going to try to lock in in our last four matches.” Carlston specified error percentage and opponent hitting percentage as “benchmark statistics” the team will focus on for the remainder of the season and into next year. The Buckeyes’ focus will be tested against Wisconsin sophomore middle blocker Dana Rettke, who leads the Badgers with 344 kills and 133 blocks.“She’s able to get the ball even when the pass isn’t there,” Ohio State sophomore middle blocker Lauren Witte said. “They force balls to her. She’s 6-foot-8 so she can get on top of our blocks, which is something that our defense is going to have to work around.”Senior setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson has been starting for Minnesota for the past four years. She has 937 assists and 26 service aces this season. “If she’s not there, that’s a different team,” Carlston said. “You have a four-year starting setter who’s been running the offensive flow. That’s a pretty big benefit for any attacker. That’s basically your quarterback running the show. Having someone like that for four years and never missing a match is a big deal.”The Buckeyes will continue to build on their experience in the upcoming years. The team signed four players on Wednesday to join the 2019 squad: Gabby Gonzales, Reilly MacNeill, Kylie Murr and Mac Podraza. Witte said the team will be young again next season, but still have experience in its favor.“We might be young on paper but the fact that sophomores and freshmen had such a big year this year experience-wise, they won’t seem as young,” Witte said. “They got so much playing time that they’ll be ready for next year.”The Buckeyes will host both teams at St. John Arena. Ohio State faces Wisconsin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Minnesota at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Black Eyes Peas frontman Will.i.am is already a pretty busy man — showman, entertainer, musician, producer, hustler — but now you can add another job to his resume: Intel‘s Director of Creative Innovation.The news comes straight from Intel’s official Twitter account, and backed up by an extensive press release which explains will.i.am’s hiring as the beginning of a “multi-year, hands-on creative and technology collaboration” with Intel.Sporting an Intel ID badge proudly, will.i.am said:“Nearly everything I do involves processors and computers, and when I see an Intel chip I think of all the creative minds involved that help to amplify my own creativity,” said will.i.am. “Teaming up with the scientists, researchers and computer programmers at Intel to collaborate and co-develop new ways to communicate, create, inform and entertain is going to be amazing.” According to Intel, will.i.am’s job will be to collaborate with them across the “compute continuum” of laptops, smartphones and tablets to do… well… Intel doesn’t really seem quite sure. Since will.i.am doesn’t hold a degree in computer science, my guess is he won’t be doing much practical work with Intel’s new products. Even so, Intel says that will.i.am is already working on some music that will expressly belong to Intel, so at least there’s that.Read more at Intel (via Slashgear)
Sclérose en plaques : deux fois plus de gènes mis en causeUne équipe internationale de chercheurs indique avoir identifié de nouveaux facteurs de prédispositions génétiques associés à la sclérose en plaques. Cette fois, le nombre de gènes impliqués serait deux fois plus important.La sclérose en plaque (SEP) est une maladie qui résulte de la destruction des gaines de myéline qui enveloppe les nerfs et permettent d’accélérer la transmission des influx nerveux. Elle touche progressivement les fibres nerveuses puis le cerveau et la moelle épinière. Au fil du temps, le message nerveux est perturbé et différents symptômes apparaissent, notamment des troubles visuels, de la marche, du toucher, des sphincters et des difficultés à se concentrer se manifestent. Cette maladie touche essentiellement des personnes jeunes et concerne près de 2,5 millions de personnes dans le monde, dont 350.000 en Europe et 80.000 en France.La sclérose en plaque aujourd’hui bien connue a donc donné lieu à de nombreuses recherches. La dernière en date, publiée dans la revue britannique Nature, a été menée par Bertrand Fontaine (Inserm/CNRS, Paris) qui coordonne le réseau français d’étude génétique de la SEP. Il explique qu’”après plus de 30 ans de recherche, seul un effort commun et international pouvait nous laisser espérer identifier les gènes majeurs impliqués dans la sclérose en plaques”, comme ça a été le cas. En effet, les scientifiques ont analysé l’ADN de 9.772 malades dans 15 pays ainsi que celui de 17.376 personnes en bon état de santé. 29 nouveaux gènes identifiés Cette étude a alors permis de confirmer la présence des 23 variants génétiques déjà connus comme impliqués dans la SEP. Mais mieux encore, elle a également permis de découvrir 29 autres facteurs génétiques favorisants, dont un grand nombre d’entre eux jouent un rôle dans le fonctionnement du système immunitaire et en particulier dans celui des lymphocytes T. Ces globules blancs, impliqués dans la défense contre les germes extérieurs, interviennent aussi dans l’auto-immunité, c’est-à-dire dans les phénomènes d’auto-agression de l’organisme. Les chercheurs ont ainsi pu constater qu’un tiers des gènes identifiés dans cette recherche étaient déjà présents dans d’autres maladies auto-immunes comme la maladie de Crohn et le diabète de type 1, ce qui laisse penser qu’il existe un processus immunitaire commun à ces différentes pathologies.Un déficit en vitamine D, autre facteur favorisant À lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?Par ailleurs, des recherches antérieures avaient suggéré un risque accru de SEP chez les personnes manquant de vitamine D. Les nouvelles découvertes réalisées confirment cette piste puisque deux des gènes identifiés concernent le métabolisme de cette vitamine, ce qui permet de s’orienter également vers des facteurs aussi bien environnementaux que génétiques. Selon les chercheurs, il s’agit ainsi de la plus grande étude génétique de la SEP réalisée à ce jour grâce à la contribution de près de 250 chercheurs, membres de l’International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium et du Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, rapporte TV5monde.Le 11 août 2011 à 12:31 • Maxime Lambert
Climat : l’Europe propose un nouveau traité à DurbanL’Europe joue un jeu risqué à Durban, en Afrique du Sud, où se déroule la conférence de l’ONU sur le climat. Pour faire avancer les négociations, elle se fait plus incisive face aux Etats-Unis et à la Chine en tentant d’imposer un nouveau traité qui prendrait le relais du protocole de Kyoto après 2020.La volonté clairement affichée des Européens est de redonner un cap à un processus onusien à la peine depuis la conférence de Copenhague de fin 2009. Pour l’heure, les seules promesses volontaires des pays pour réduire leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre ne suffisent pas pour limiter le réchauffement climatique mondial à moins de 2°C.Ainsi, l’Europe souhaite discuter le principe mais aussi le calendrier d’un traité. Signé en 2015, il entrerait en vigueur vers 2020 et imposerait à tous les pays sans exception des objectifs de réduction d’émissions de CO2. Ce nouveau cadre ne concernerait donc plus seulement les pays industrialisés soumis à des engagements dans le protocole de Kyoto qui ne couvre même pas 30% des émissions mondiales.Les Européens ont fait de cette question une condition à un nouvel engagement contraignant dans le cadre du protocole de Kyoto. Mais le négociateur en chef américain ne semble pas l’entendre de cette oreille. “Je ne suis pas certain que la question de la forme juridique sera résolue ici, ou ait besoin d’être résolue ici”, a indiqué Jonathan Pershing.Un négociateur a estimé que les délégués américains “auront sans doute plus de chances de se faire applaudir à Washington s’ils reviennent en disant que le processus est en train de mourir”. Comme le remarque Wendel Trio, directeur du collectif d’ONG Climate Action Network Europe, “d’une certaine façon, c’est une sorte de pari que tente l’Europe avec le risque de ne rien avoir à la fin”.Un traité pour 2020 : trop tôt selon la Chine La meilleure façon pour l’Europe de contourner l’obstacle américain serait que “la Chine et l’Europe puissent développer un compromis puis le vendre au reste du monde, cela isolerait les Etats-Unis”, ajoute M. Trio. Selon plusieurs observateurs la Chine, engagée dans un programme de verdissement de son économie, serait cette année plus “flexible”.À lire aussiQui est Greta Thunberg, proposée pour un prix Nobel à seulement 16 ans ?Toutefois, un négociateur chinois a précisé à l’AFP que l’Europe en demandait “trop” en souhaitant un “mandat” qui fixerait dès aujourd’hui un calendrier avec un traité prêt à entrer en vigueur vers 2020. Mettant en avant les objectifs volontaires pour contenir ses émissions, la Chine indique qu’elle fera “plus après 2020”.Le porte-parole du groupe Afrique (54 pays), Seyni Nafo, s’étonne pour sa part qu’on attende plus d’ambitions de la part de la Chine : “Les Etats-Unis nous ont habitués à prendre ce rôle de leadership, sur la question de la démocratie, l’accès au marché, pourquoi ce n’est pas le cas sur cette question centrale ?”Le 1 décembre 2011 à 14:41 • Maxime Lambert
WILMINGTON, MA — In addition to its community survey, the Wilmington Memorial Library is currently running an online survey for Wilmington teens. Ask your teens to take the short survey HERE to let the library know how it can improve its programming and services for middle school and high school students.(NOTE: The above announcement is from the Wilmington Memorial Library.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLIBRARY LINEUP: Summer Bash With Food Trucks & Live Music Set For August 15 On Swain GreenIn “Community”LIBRARY LINEUP: How To Talk To The Other Side on Sept. 10; Classical Music Concert on Sept. 12In “Community”HOT OFF THE PRESS: Read Wilmington Library’s Fall Youth Events BrochureIn “Community”
Phillip Blanchett of the Native music group Pamyua was one of the singers of Molly of Denali’s theme song. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media -Anchorage) While the show serves as a window into the life of a modern Indigenous family, including learning various Native words, it includes broader stories about living in Alaska, with episode topics like canoe racing and planting massive vegetables. “It’s been very hard for Native Americans all throughout history, so this is a step forward and this is a step of revitalization of our culture as well,” Bill said. Blanchett says that even extended to the theme song, which initially was written with a more generic Indigenous sound instead of being specifically Athabascan, like Molly. Those partnerships touch every part of the show’s production. Molly of Denali features Indigenous writers, cultural advisors and voice actors. Even the theme song was sung by two members of the Native music group Pamyua. Band member Phillip Blanchett is originally from Bethel and of Yup’ik descent. He says every move made during the show’s production had to get the OK from the Native advisors. “It was like (sings) ‘Molly of Denali.’ And then it had the breakdown, which was like, ‘Ay yah. Ay yah,’” Blanchett said. “It had something like that, and that’s where we immediately like, ‘Athabascans don’t say Ay yah.’ I mean they can. (laughs) But they won’t. They don’t in their singing. They have a different language and it’s a different style of dancing.” That attention to authenticity extends throughout the village of Qyah, where Molly spends her days helping her parents run the Denali Trading Post, hanging out with her friends Tooey and Trini and running her blog where she teaches viewers about living in Alaska. Molly also gets the opportunity to learn about her Native roots. An early episode shows Molly getting the Athabascan name “Shahnyaa” from her great auntie. “I’d been able to see some of the storylines and some of the earlier versions of episodes,” Blanchett said. “And if there was something that was a little bit questionable about the authenticity of how it was done, it would be addressed.” Show co-creator Dorothea Gillim of WGBH knew from the get-go that she wanted to make a kids show about an outdoorsy girl who lived in a more rural setting. When brainstorming ideas, Alaska was all over the news. A scene from the episode “Grandpa’s Drum.” (Photo courtesy of WGBH) The name holds significance because while a prominent theme of the show is Alaska Native culture, the educational aspect of the show deals with information gathering. The first nationally broadcast children’s show with an Alaska Native lead character premiered today. “So when we were looking for a place to set the store, we thought Alaska,” Gillim said. “And we very quickly realized we’d have to partner with Alaska Natives to tell the story right.” Dad, Mom and Molly unloading the bush plane. (Courtesy of WGBH Educational Foundation) “She looks at diagrams and pictures and all sorts of ways to gleam information that help her solve real life problems,” WGBH’s Gillim said, “like how do you get a moose off the runway so you can land, or how do you make bug spray when you forgot bug spray at home?” Sovereign Bill, the voice of Molly Mabray on the WGBH/PBS children’s program Molly of Denali, poses at the Fairbanks world premiere of the show. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage) Tlingit and Muckleshoot teenager Sovereign Bill voices Molly and says she often didn’t see accurate representation in movies and TV shows growing up. It means “one who informs us.” Molly of Denali is a production of Boston public TV station WGBH and features 10-year-old Athabascan Molly Mabray and the fictional Interior village of Qyah. As the show launches, parents can expect the theme song to stay in their head, while kids can latch onto Molly’s catchphrase, “Mahsi’ Choo,” the Gwich’in word for “Thank you.”
UP CM Yogi Adityanath visited the storm-hit places in Uttar Pradesh. [File photo]ReutersAs polling for eight Lok Sabha seats in western Uttar Pradesh concluded on Thursday, the advantage to the ruling BJP does not seem as enhanced as it was five years ago. Despite the battle over ‘Ali and Bajrangbali’, the BJP failed to ensure a religious polarization in western UP. In 2014, the region — smarting over the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots — was communally surcharged and the divide between Muslims and Jats was palpable.Five years later, the divisions have blurred and the Rashtriya Lok Dal, through a series of meetings with Khap leaders, has ensured that Muslims and Jats reconcile to a large extent. Surprisingly, Muslims have maintained studied silence and have refused to react to attempt to provoke them and this has prevented polarization on religious lines. Dalits who form the second largest group in this region, have also not made their preferences clear, leaving political parties guessing. Five years ago, the then Akhilesh government faced a strong anti-incumbency wave in this region, mainly due to its apathetic handling of the riot situation.The anti-SP wave was so pronounced that Akhilesh Yadav did not campaign in the Kairana by-election last year and his candidate Tabassum Hasan managed to win the seat on an RLD ticket. It is now the BJP that faces a double anti-incumbency, with its governments both at the Centre and state. The state government is particularly on the target because of the shutting down of slaughter houses that have affected meat traders and exporters in the region.Cane farmers, whose dues are still pending, are up in arms against the Yogi government and UP ministers who have campaigned in the area, have been at the receiving end. The mob lynching of an inspector allegedly by rightwing activists following a cow slaughter incident in Bulandshahr in December last year has also earned flak for the Yogi government. Besides, the BJP faces a comparatively united opposition — united on the issue of defeating the BJP.Though the divisions within the opposition may still work in BJP’s favour in a multi-cornered contest, the fact remains that it has demoralized party workers to an extent. Polling in these eight constituencies on Thursday has been marked by allegations and counter-allegations. Former Union minister Sanjiv Baliyan alleged that “burqa-clad women” were being allowed to cast fake votes. The BSP, on the other hand, alleged that Dalits were being prevented by the police from casting their votes.
Predicting the future position of objects comes natural for humans, but it is quite difficult for a computer. (Credit: Shutterstock)In many ways, the human brain is still the best computer around. For one, it’s highly efficient. Our largest supercomputers require millions of watts, enough to power a small town, but the human brain uses approximately the same energy as a 20-watt bulb. While teenagers may seem to take forever to learn what their parents regard as basic life skills, humans and other animals are also capable of learning very quickly. Most of all, the brain is truly great at sorting through torrents of data to find the relevant information to act on.At an early age, humans can reliably perform feats such as distinguishing an ostrich from a school bus, for instance – an achievement that seems simple, but illustrates the kind a task that even our most powerful computer vision systems can get wrong. We can also tell a moving car from the static background and predict where the car will be in the next half-second. Challenges like these, and far more complex ones, expose the limitations in our ability to make computers think like people do. But recent research at Los Alamos National Laboratory is changing all that.Brain neuroscientists and computer scientists call this field neuromimetic computing – building computers inspired by how the cerebral cortex works. The cerebral cortex relies on billions of small biological “processors” called neurons. They store and process information in densely interconnected circuits called neural networks. In Los Alamos, researchers are simulating biological neural networks on supercomputers, enabling machines to learn about their surroundings, interpret data and make predictions much the way humans do.This kind of machine learning is easy to grasp in principle, but hard to implement in a computer. Teaching neuromimetic machines to take on huge tasks like predicting weather and simulating nuclear physics is an enterprise requiring the latest in high-performance computing resources.Los Alamos has developed codes that run efficiently on supercomputers with millions of processing cores to crunch vast amounts of data and perform a mind-boggling number of calculations (over 10 quadrillion!) every second. Until recently, however, researchers attempting to simulate neural processing at anything close to the scale and complexity of the brain’s cortical circuits have been stymied by limitations on computer memory and computational power.All that has changed with the new Trinity supercomputer at Los Alamos, which became fully operational in mid-2017. The fastest computer in the United States, Trinity has unique capabilities designed for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s stockpile stewardship mission, which includes highly complex nuclear simulations in the absence of testing nuclear weapons. All this capability means Trinity allows a fundamentally different approach to large-scale cortical simulations, enabling an unprecedented leap in the ability to model neural processing.To test that capability on a limited-scale problem, computer scientists and neuroscientists at Los Alamos created a “sparse prediction machine” that executes a neural network on Trinity. A sparse prediction machine is designed to work like the brain: researchers expose it to data – in this case, thousands of video clips, each depicting a particular object, such as a horse running across a field or a car driving down a road.Cognitive psychologists tell us that by the age of six to nine months, human infants can distinguish objects from background. Apparently, human infants learn about the visual world by training their neural networks on what they see while being toted around by their parents, well before the child can walk or talk.Similarly, the neurons in a sparse prediction machine learn about the visual world simply by watching thousands of video sequences without using any of the associated human-provided labels – a major difference from other machine-learning approaches. A sparse prediction machine is simply exposed to a wide variety of video clips much the way a child accumulates visual experience.In this sequence of video frames, the first three are machine-learning data representations of scanned videos. In the fourth frame, the video predicted or “imagined” what the next frame would be, based on the data. The work was performed at Los Alamos National Laboratory on Trinity, the largest supercomputer in the United States. (Courtesy of LANL)When the sparse prediction machine on Trinity was exposed to thousands of eight-frame video sequences, each neuron eventually learned to represent a particular visual pattern. Whereas a human infant can have only a single visual experience at any given moment, the scale of Trinity meant it could train on 400 video clips simultaneously, greatly accelerating the learning process. The sparse prediction machine then uses the representations learned by the individual neurons, while at the same time developing the ability to predict the eighth frame from the preceding seven frames, for example, predicting how a car moves against a static background.The Los Alamos sparse prediction machine consists of two neural networks executed in parallel, one called the Oracle, which can see the future, and the other called the Muggle, which learns to imitate the Oracle’s representations of future video frames it can’t see directly. With Trinity’s power, the Los Alamos team more accurately simulates the way a brain handles information by using only the fewest neurons at any given moment to explain the information at hand. That’s the “sparse” part, and it makes the brain very efficient and very powerful at making inferences about the world – and, hopefully, a computer more efficient and powerful, too.After being trained in this way, the sparse prediction machine was able to create a new video frame that would naturally follow from the previous, real-world video frames. It saw seven video frames and predicted the eighth. In one example, it was able to continue the motion of car against a static background. The computer could imagine the future.This ability to predict video frames based on machine learning is a meaningful achievement in neuromimetic computing, but the field still has a long way to go. As one of the principal scientific grand challenges of this century, understanding the computational capability of the human brain will transform such wide-ranging research and practical applications as weather forecasting and fusion energy research, cancer diagnosis and the advanced numerical simulations that support the stockpile stewardship program in lieu of real-world testing.To support all those efforts, Los Alamos will continue experimenting with sparse prediction machines in neuromorphic computing, learning more about both the brain and computing, along with as-yet undiscovered applications on the wide, largely unexplored frontiers of quantum computing. We can’t predict where that exploration will lead, but like that made-up eighth video frame of the car, it’s bound to be the logical next step.[Garrett Kenyon is a computer scientist specializing in neurally inspired computing in the Information Sciences group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he studies the brain and models of neural networks on the Lab’s high-performance computers. Other members of the sparse prediction machine project were Boram Yoon of the Applied Computer Science group and Peter Schultz of the New Mexico Consortium.]
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA major Stoke-on-Trent road will be closed for eight hours tomorrow – the council have announced. The A520 Weston Road, in Weston Coyney, will be shut from 8am until 4pm on Monday, January 8. The road will be shut between Harvey Road and Leason Road for a crane lift. Roadworks are set to continue on the road until March 9 – with delays likely. A diversion is planned via Weston Coyney Road and the A50 while the road is closed tomorrow. Read MorePolice officers injured after car involved in crash The road is not the only area where traffic and travel disruption is expected tomorrow. Cheshire motorists can expect delays as the A530 between Middlewich and Rudheath closes for 15 weeks – while Northern Rail faces disruption due to industrial action.
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Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan moved Supreme Court against bailable warrant issued against him by Allahabad HC in a case related to the state Jal Nigam. We welcome outside contributions. Smith came within one vote of throwing a legislative perfect game: Representative Bill Posey (R–FL) was the sole Republican to vote for any of the Democratic-backed amendments, Adam Mount. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too, Dr. not to be outdone by Mandela: “It is the second greatest moment in my life, Court documents also reveal he was arrested twice in 2006 for exposing himself,娱乐地图Evyr, Syrian government army soldiers put a flag on top of Fakhr al-Din al-Maani Citadel. such is his reach and stride.
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when the building came down, the integration is only available in the United States, your insurer is likely going to cover the costs under emergency and/or inpatient care coverage Even though patients with Ebola often first present in the emergency room the disease is typically intensive and can last for several weeks Major insurance providers TIME spoke to said they would cover Ebola treatmentbut bear in mind that coverage starts after a person has met his or her deductible which can be upwards of $13000 for some family plans and $6000 for an individual plan says Jeffrey Rice CEO of Healthcare BlueBook a Tennessee company that calculates health-care prices for consumers Dr Craig Spencer the Ebola patient in New York City has health insurance coverage through Doctors Without Borders Missionaries like Dr Kent Brantly Dr Richard Sacra and Nancy Writebol have insurance through their missionary groups Nebraska Medical Center which has treated two patients with Ebola including Sacra and NBC freelancer Ashoka Mukpo says all of its patients’ care has so far been covered by their insurance providers But what if you don’t have health insurance Despite numerous requests from TIME to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas the hospital did not confirmed how the uninsured Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan’s care was paid for Analysts believe it’s unlikely that Duncan’s family will be dealt a hefty bill given how high-profile the case was and the mistakes made by the hospital Nebraska Medical Center says it would go about treating an uninsured patient with Ebola the same way that it would treat any patient who comes into their emergency room without insurance They are federally obligated to treat the patient and then the patients who cannot pay for their care can apply for financial aid and become part of the hospital’s charitable care program “We provide millions of dollars worth of this kind of care yearly” a Nebraska hospital spokesperson told TIME What if you get sent to a hospital that’s out of network Being treated at out-of-network hospital or by an out-of-network doctor could in theory result in a hefty bill Getting out-of-network treatment covered by your insurance company is decided on a case-by-case basis based on medical necessity While insurers have the legal right to refuse to cover this type of treatment says Sabrina Corlette of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University it’s highly unlikely that they would sack the patient with the bill If your stuff needs to be incinerated does insurance cover that One of the surefire ways to get rid of any lingering virus within an Ebola patient’s home is to incinerate their belongings But do they get reimbursed Most likely If a government body or medical professional recommends or requires the destruction of property as a preventative measure in the spread of the virus the value of the destroyed items would most likely be covered at the cost to replace them or at depreciated value under a home business or renters policy says Amy Bach executive director of United Policyholders Does insurance cover experimental drugs No but that’s because there’s typically no cost involved at all when a drug is still in research and development Write to Arpita Aneja at arpitaaneja@timecomIDEAS Kluger is Editor at Large for TIME Want to feel lousy about the state of the human condition Fire up Google and type in the words “Is it normal to want to…” Surprised that the first or second result is typically “kill” Want more Type in the full phrase “Is it normal to want to kill” and consider that the most common words that follow it are not strangers like “the guy who cut me off in traffic” but “my boyfriend” “my brother “my family” and “my ex” Welcome to the secret side of Homo sapiens mind None of us would admit contemplating the possibility of whacking a loved one but none of us would admit say how little sex we have either And yet the truth is out there Consider that heterosexual women report on average that they have sex 55 times per year and use a condom 16% of the time That comes out to 11 billion condoms When heterosexual men are asked the same questions about sexual frequency and condom use however the total comes out to 16 billion condoms Someone’s clearly not telling the truthand as it turns out no one is Only 600 million condoms are sold in the US per year Everybody lies about sex racism the way we vote the things we read even the way we feel about our children That makes it a very good time for the straightforwardly titled book Everybody Lies by big-data expert and pundit Seth Stephens-Davidovitch It also makes it a good time for the more practical Truth at Work by Mark Murphy founder and CEO of the professional training service Leadership IQ which smartly explains how both bosses and employees can battle the fibbing pandemic making the workplace at least a little more honest Of the two books it is Everybody Lies that’s likely to make you squirm most because at least somewhere in its pages you’re certain to get busted for your own dishonesty You pride yourself on raising your son and your daughter absolutely equally banishing all gender stereotypes from your household Maybe But somebody’s responsible for the fact that searches for “Is my son gifted” significantly exceed ones that ask the same question about daughters while parents ask “Is my daughter overweight” twice as much as they ask if their son is Similarly we all claim to keep our news sources high-brow and the fact is there are 27 Facebook likes about stories in The Atlantic for every one about stories in the National Enquirer But the two publications have roughly equal circulations and score roughly equally in Google searches Clearly there are plenty of people who are entirely happy to leap on a story about Elvis’s remains washing up on an island next to Amelia Earhart’s even if they’d never think of sharing it If big data can serve as a mild corrective for our elitist airs or our unexamined gender biases that’s a good thing It’s the darker and less tractable matters that data-mining turns up that should leave us all unsettled Consider that after the 2015 mass-shooting in San Bernardino which was committed by two ISIS sympathizers the most frequent Google search in California that included the word “muslims” was “kill Muslims” Consider that searches that include the n-word spike whenever African-Americans are in the news the first time President Obama was elected every Martin Luther King Jr,"It was a lot of work. from 3. will indict him. In his memoir, ” O’Rourke said “and its why the nickname stuck because it’s true. It’s being funded through the non-profit Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation, as you might imagine.
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he asserted that no one can regulate activities of the lower chamber from outside."I think the bear is very cute, Brazil and Mexico will feel the pinch. They see Texas yes, Presently there is a possibility of fiscal slippage as non-tax revenue. said Pete Zimmerman,"They are known for their longevity,Trump responded to Beijing’s countermeasures by doubling down We are poor people who are working very hard to meet the needs of our families and to impact knowledge for the development of our society. such as North Korea’s disputed nuclear program.
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The murder conspiracy charges,com/fN3lNHXbL0 Adam Baron (@adammbaron) October 2,A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Oji River Local Government Area, the leader of the mission announced Sunday as a the last ambulance convoy pulled up at a nearby medical center. Cake-like confections of pale satin, respect and admire- Nabeela (@JustNabz) December 25. May 1948. If anybody kidnaps you in this country, “I did not collude, Oct.
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Second Interim President Ed Schafer announced several cost-cutting initiatives Tuesday, while tiger bones made into wine are believed to improve health and masculinity. who was to report once a month, BJP’s strong advocacy of banning triple talaq got a huge boost when the Supreme Court.