Microsoft mogul to create new cell science center

first_imgEleven years after he established an institute dedicated to mapping the brain, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is announcing a sequel: the Allen Institute for Cell Science. Just like its predecessor, the new institute will be seeded with $100 million from Allen himself; will embrace big-team science, bringing together cell biologists, mathematicians, computational biologists, and other specialists; and will seek to decipher a world whose complexity is still largely uncharted.The buzz began just over a year ago, but the details weren’t revealed until today. At a press conference in downtown Philadelphia this afternoon, during the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, the scientists guiding the new institute spoke of it as science fiction come true.  “We are embarking on an amazing journey,” declared Rick Horwitz, the new institute’s executive director, who until recently was a professor of cell biology at the University of Virginia.The venture will be housed in the same Seattle, Washington, building as the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and initial plans call for hiring 75 scientists to fill it. Its goal is grand: Decode the human cell by deciphering how its various pieces of machinery work together and how they are perturbed by gene mutations, drugs, and other forces. 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Researchers plan to study how induced pluripotent stem cells transform into heart muscle and epithelial cells and compare and contrast how these transformations occur. The data and models generated will be made publicly available.The $100 million infusion will last 5 years, until 2020, said Allan Jones, the CEO of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, who was also present for the big announcement. And after that? Jones hinted that the new institute would likely follow a trajectory similar to his own, which in 2012 received another $300 million from Allen, while supplementing this philanthropy with federal grants.Allen didn’t appear at today’s unveiling. But in response to a reporter’s question about why he was captivated by the cell, Jones pointed to its intricate machinery, which, from 10,000 feet up, isn’t all that different than the brain’s. “The issue of complexity is one” Allen keeps coming back to, he said.last_img read more

Ceres targets payback vs Home United at Panaad

first_imgThe Busmen conceded a late goal to Singapore international Harris Harun and yielded to S-League side Home United, 1-2, in the first leg of the zonal finals at Jalan Besar Stadium Wednesday night.Croatian striker Stipe Plazibat scored from the spot in the 11th minute after a controversial foul inside the box called on Ceres defender Carlie de Murga.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Busmen were also on the wrong end of a couple of disallowed goals with the first one coming in the 28th minute when Kevin Ingreso beat Hassan Sunny with a superb free kick. But De Murga, who was in an offside position when the ball was delivered into the area, made a play on the ball, prompting the referee to raise his flag.Another disallowed goal came four minutes later, this time with Fernando Rodriguez bundling home a cross from Iain Ramsay. But the flag was up once again with officials insisting Ramsay was marginally offside when the ball from Stephan Schrock was released to him. Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant PH chessers place third in Asian Schools meet Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ The Busmen shrugged off the two calls at the stroke of halftime when Martin Steuble grabbed a vital away goal after his long-range strike beat Sunny.Still, the Singaporeans grabbed a slender lead heading into the second leg after Harris headed home at the far post with six minutes remaining.“It’s frustrating not to come away with the win, but we’re confident knowing that we will be playing at home next week and will have our fans behind us,” said midfielder Iain Ramsay.Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic said his side played below expectations in the opening leg. “It was our worst game in the last six months,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Philippines Football League side Ceres-Negros has relied on results at home for majority of its campaign in the AFC Cup.It won’t be any different in the Asean zonal finals, where the Busmen will try to turn their fortunes around at Panaad Stadium, which they hope will transform into a fortress on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’center_img MOST READ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Virat Kohli the best batsman in the world: Mohammad Amir

first_imgVirat Kohli, it appears, is not just the toast of India. Arch-rivals Pakistan seem to rate him as highly as his own countrymen. Soon after Imran Khan rated Virat Kohli above Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Amir, the controversial pacer on the verge of a Test comeback, said the 27-year-old Indian Test captain was the best batsman in the world.Amir and Kohli faced off for the first time in an Asia Cup T20 encounter earlier this year. When the lanky pacer was banned for five years after his involvement in the spot-fixing scam of 2010, Kohli was still struggling to cement a place in the Indian team. (Why’s Kohli busy changing diapers )But by the time Amir returned, having served prison time, Kohli was among the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket. On a green Dhaka pitch, where India had lost both their openers to Amir’s searing pace, Kohli played a classic against a four-pronged pace attack.Later, Kohli congratulated Amir for a great spell of fast bowling and said he was thrilled with the sheer pace.Amir, as it happens, was equally impressed with Kohli, and rated him above any of the current batsmen in world cricket.”Kohli certainly is the best (batsman) in the world, and is having a great run at the moment,” Amir told the Times of of India. “The Asia Cup encounter is a case in point. The wicket wasnt the easiest to bat on, and India were in a spot of bother when Kohli walked in.”advertisement”He was able to negotiate those tough times and come out unscathed. Thats the hallmark of big players like Kohli. They dig in deep, weather out those rough passages of play and ensure they take their side home,” he said.Amir will soon fly out to England for four Tests, five ODIs and one T20 International. The opening match of the Test series will see Amir return to Lord’s, the venue of the infamous spot-fixing scandal.last_img read more

‘Spot-fixing probe against top India cricketer stopped with lack of evidence’

first_imgA member of the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel that probed the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal has spoken about what transpired during the investigations and said he couldn’t complete them because of lack of evidence.Former IPS officer BB Mishra, during his tenure as member of the Mudgal panel, carried out investigations into the spot fixing allegations that a top Indian player was in touch with a bookie.Mishra has clarified that time was never an issue for him because the “Supreme Court was very co-operative” but he didn’t have enough evidence.”Yes, I was investigating a lead that I got about a top India player being in touch with a bookie. However, I didn’t have enough evidence,” Mishra told news agency PTI from Bhubaneswar on Friday.”Let me clarify time was never an issue as Supreme Court was very co-operative and had we sought more time, we would have got that. But since the bookie in question didn’t part with evidence, I had no option but to stop investigations,” Mishra said.Also read – BCCI COA writes to Supreme Court to reopen sealed envelopeMishra was not ready to divulge any details about the player and when asked if he questioned the alleged cricketer, he said, “I didn’t speak to just one player but multiple players. Let’s leave it that.”Mishra further said that he did get into touch with the bookie involved during his investigation and he promised to hand over some evidence only to backtrack later.”But when I asked for the evidence, he backtracked saying that a lot of dangerous people were involved and he feared for his life.advertisement”He chose not to part with the evidence that he claimed to have in his possession. I had to close the investigation. So again I must state that time was never an issue,” Mishra said.When questioned if he met the bookie in person, Mishra replied “Let’s not get there.”Mishra went on to say that conjectures shouldn’t be drawn about what is written about the nine players in the sealed envelope that the Mudgal committee submitted to the Supreme Court at the end of its probe.Mishra also said that he is ready to share all his investigative leads with the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ajit Singh, who has been in touch with him.”Ajit Singh was my senior in Indian Police Service. When he called me after reports emerged, I told him ‘sir I am shifting base from Delhi to Bhubaneswar and I will need some time to settle down’.”Once I settled down, I called Mr Singh but he was in Dubai for the Asia Cup. That was the last I heard from him. Now I will be writing a mail that I am ready to discuss my findings at that point in time,” Mishra said.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more


first_imgIowa Gov. Terry Branstad has legalized the sale of bottle rockets, roman candles and most other consumer fireworks, sparking enthusiasm from vendors eager to expand into the state.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC…..bill’s signed. ;04Branstad signed a bill Tuesday approved by the Legislature that allows sales between June 1st and July 8th as well as from December10th to January 3rd.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……in Iowa. ;04Under the law, cities and counties may forbid the use of fireworks, but they cannot prohibit their sale.However, local governments can control locations of firework sales.Firework sales in Iowa are expected to bring in about $1.5 million in sales tax revenue for the 2018 fiscal year.last_img read more


first_imgA Denison, Iowa man has been found guilty of charges in the death earlier this year of a 15 year old girl.A Crawford County jury convicted 26-year-old Ramon Hernandez of homicide by vehicle, three counts of distributing a controlled substance to a minor, one count of distributing a controlled substance, all felony charges, as well as four counts of providing alcohol to a person under age, each a serious misdemeanor.Hernandez was the driver of a vehicle that plunged into the Boyer River last January 18th near Denison, leading to the drowning death of 15-year-old Yoana Acosta.Hernandez and three other teens safely escaped the vehicle.Court documents state Hernandez allegedly provided marijuana to the four teens hours before the vehicle he was driving crashed into the river.A sentencing date in the case has not been set.last_img read more

17 days agoRoma boss Fonseca: I deserved to be sent off, but…

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Roma boss Fonseca: I deserved to be sent off, but…by Carlos Volcano17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRoma boss Paulo Fonseca says he deserved to be sent off in their 1-1 draw with Cagliari.However, he insists Nikola Kalinic’s late goal should have stood.Fonseca said, “I didn’t like the referee’s attitude throughout the game. I could speak about the non-existent foul given against Diawara, or the incident for Cagliari’s penalty, and then the goal at the end by Kalinic.“I accept his decision to send me off, I deserved that. But on the goal it seems strange to me that the referee would tell the Cagliari players there wasn’t a foul. I don’t know why he changed his mind.“The guys played well, they created a lot of chances and I think we deserved more than a draw.“What was lacking today was that second goal. We missed a few good openings, it’s hard to say we shouldn’t have done better with them.” last_img read more

Hyundai Creta Sports Edition launched in India for a starting price of Rs 12.78 lakh

first_imgHyundai Creta Sports Edition launched in India for a starting price of Rs 12.78 lakhHyundai Creta Sports Edition comes with black and dark chrome front grille, smoked bi-functional projector headlamps, new silver colour finish front and rear skid plates, rear spoiler, black coloured ORVM and new silver colour finished roof rails.advertisement Varun Singh New DelhiAugust 5, 2019UPDATED: August 5, 2019 16:37 IST The new Hyundai Creta Sports Edition comes with several cosmetic changes and feature upgrades.HIGHLIGHTSHyundai Creta Sports Edition is based on Creta SX variant.The new Creta Sports Edition is available in two colour options.Hyundai Creta Sports Edition gets a smart electric sunroof.Hyundai has launched Creta Sports Edition in India for a starting price of Rs 12.78 lakh (ex-showroom). The very popular SUV from Hyundai has been facing stiff competition from the recently-launched MG Hector and the soon-to-be-introduced Kia Seltos, which has been generating a tremendous response from customers.Based on the Creta SX variant, the new Hyundai Creta Sports Edition comes with several cosmetic changes and feature upgrades. It is available in two colour options — Phantom Black and Polar White with Phantom Black Roof.Powering Creta Sports Edition is the 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, dual VTVT petrol engine that delivers 123 PS and 154 Nm of torque. There is also the 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, CRDi (with VGT) diesel engine that produces 128 PS of power and 265 Nm of torque. There is no automatic option in the Sports trim and both the engines are offered only with the 6-speed manual gearbox.While the Creta Sports MT petrol is priced at Rs 12.78 lakh (ex-showroom), the diesel trim will cost Rs 14.13 lakh (ex-showroom). The dual-tone option is available at a premium of Rs 11,000.So far as exterior feature updates are concerned, Hyundai Creta Sports Edition comes with black and dark chrome front grille, smoked bi-functional projector headlamps, new silver colour finish front and rear skid plates, rear spoiler, black coloured ORVM and new silver colour finished roof rails.Inside the cabin, the new Creta Sports Edition gets features like black seat fabric with Creta embossing, leather-wrapped steering with contrast stitching and silver colour garnish, new silver colour front and rear AC vents and smart electric sunroof.advertisementHyundai had recently reduced the price of Kona electric SUV by Rs 1,58,142 and the electric SUV now costs Rs 23,71,858 (ex-showroom, India). Hyundai Kona was launched in India on July 9 for a starting price of Rs 25.30 lakh (ex-showroom).ALSO READ | Maruti Suzuki XL6 dimensions leaked ahead of launchALSO READ | 2019 Porsche Macan: First drive reviewALSO READ | No Aadhaar? You might not be able to obtain a driving licence in futureGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byVarun Singh Nextlast_img read more

Watch: Men’s football pre-game fireworks halts women’s hockey match

first_img Associated Press PhiladelphiaSeptember 14, 2019UPDATED: September 14, 2019 15:48 IST Women’s hockey team (Picture credit: Twitter)Really, we shouldn’t be surprised.Riley Field certainly wasn’t, not after being reminded once again that the law is one thing, but changing hearts and minds is an entirely different matter.As the senior captain of the Maine’s field hockey team, Field has gotten used to the snickers, the insults, the slights that still go along with being a female athlete.”Yeah, one of those moments again,” she said. “On one level, we should be shocked and surprised. On another level, it’s pretty sad that it’s not so shocking.”Title IX is a wonderful thing, opening up doors for hundreds of thousands of women to compete on a supposedly level playing field with men.Of course, its noble purpose hasn’t come close to being fully realized.That was apparent last weekend in Ohio.It all began with Maine’s nationally ranked field hockey team traveling to Kent State to play a round-robin set of games involving the host school and another out-of-town team, Temple.During a Saturday morning match, the Black Bears went to overtime in a scoreless tie with Temple. Suddenly, Kent State officials called a halt to the game, saying the field hockey pitch was needed to shoot off fireworks before a noon football game between the Golden Flashes and Kennesaw State at adjacent Dix Stadium.Fireworks?In broad daylight?”We were confused at first,” Field recalled. “Is this a joke?”It wasn’t.Maine and Temple were told they could come back at 5:30 p.m. seven hours later to finish their match, but that would’ve turned an outrageous situation into a downright farce.advertisement”That,” Temple coach Susan Ciufo said, barely containing the disdain in her voice, “was an interesting suggestion.”The Owls couldn’t stay, anyway, because they had already scheduled a 400-mile bus ride back to Philadelphia.Even if they could, neither team had any intention of carrying on the match under those ludicrous circumstances.”The whole part of having overtime is that the outcome of the game is determined in overtime,” Maine coach Josette Babineau said. “Both teams are at the worn-out stage and they’re testing each other physically to get the outcome of the game. To come back (seven hours later) and play each other for 10 minutes would change the outcome of the game. Both teams would be fresh.”So, after two teams gave their hearts and souls to win a match that meant the world to them, it went down in the books as nothing more than an exhibition, a scrimmage, a non-game.No winner.No loser.Nothing to remember it by on either team’s record or stats.Sadly, that’s an appropriate metaphor for the way many people view women’s athletics.”It’s offensive and it’s upsetting to think that just because of your gender, your sport is looked at as less,” Field said. “We work just as hard as any men’s team. I really do believe that.”The Kent State debacle has given her reason to reflect even more on the way things should be.”We get an opportunity when we’re recruited to be on a team at a higher level,” Field said. “Then, once we commit to show up, when I came here as a UMaine Black Bear that first day, that gives me the right to a locker room, the right to the training room, the right to the weight room and to practice time. Ultimately, to finish a game is 110 percent a right.”Reached Friday on her cellphone shortly before Temple hosted Bryant in its first game since the non-game, Ciufo said the fiasco at Kent State obscured some of the daily indignities endured by female athletes.”Everybody tries to say we’re treated equally because the uniforms are the same, the equipment is the same,” the Temple coach said. “But it could be something as simple as being treated with respect, like choosing the practice times you want. A lot of small pieces go into the inequities. It’s not always something major. Last weekend was something major, so it’s getting a lot of attention.”While the two teams received plenty of support from the Twitter-verse, there are still a fair share of Neanderthals out there who believe women should stick to the kitchen instead of trying to get in the game.”Title IX is great,” Field said. “But the fact that Title IX has to exist for us to receive the right to be equals is pretty self-explanatory.”Of course, the NCAA can always be counted on to make a bad situation worse. Temple requested that the game at least be counted as a tie, which would be a boost to the rebuilding program’s resume and RPI ranking. But the NCAA ruled there are no ties in field hockey, so the game can’t go into the record books. Temple plans to appeal, but we all know how that’s going to end.advertisementKent State officials have rightly been taken to the woodshed over their boneheaded decision, which looked even more outrageous when Field posted video that showed barely visible fireworks being shot off in the middle of the day for a stadium that appeared to be mostly empty shortly before kickoff.these are the fireworks that we were kicked off of the field hockey field for… which was behind the stadium. Field (@RileyField11) September 7, 2019University President Todd Diacon sent out a statement Thursday essentially falling on his sword.”It was a regrettable decision, and I am truly sorry about it,” he wrote. “All week, I have been thinking of the visiting student-athletes who spent countless hours practicing and preparing for a tournament on our campus, and of the parents who traveled here to show their support. We can, and must, do better.”He said the Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action would be launching an investigation.But that’s mere window-dressing at this point, a way to make those in charge feel better about the horrific message they already sent to all female athletes.There’s no way to make it right for the players at Maine and Temple.”I don’t think there’s a fix at this point,” Field said. “To come out on the field and play Temple again would just leave a sour taste in my mouth, to be honest. It would almost be more embarrassing. It should have been finished the first time.”Hopefully, a lesson was learned.Hopefully, a few more hearts and minds are changed.But let’s never lose sight of this reality.As we approach five decades since the passage of Title IX, female athletes are not being treated as equals.They’re not even considered the equal of a fireworks display in broad daylight.Also Read | Mohamed Salah brushes off rumours of rift with Liverpool teammate Sadio ManeAlso see:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byNitin Kumar Tags :Follow Women hockey teamFollow Fireworks Watch: Men’s football pre-game fireworks halts women’s hockey matchA women’s field hockey game was halted when officials called a halt to the game, saying the field hockey pitch was needed to shoot off fireworks.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

India has only two castes rich and poor Goa CM

first_imgPanaji: India has only two castes — the rich and the poor — and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to eradicate this difference with his slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Monday, while speaking at an awards function here. “We have to help develop people of every religion, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians. Everyone in India, irrespective of caste and creed should benefit from development. Seventy years after India attained independence, political parties preserved differences between caste and creed in the country for their own benefit,” Sawant said.last_img read more

Hello Amit Shah calling… New ministers get calls after PM Modi picks

first_imgNew Delhi: Several leaders of the BJP and its allies received calls from Amit Shah on Thursday informing that they would be part of the new team of Narendra Modi, who is set to begin his second innings as prime minister after leading the NDA to an impressive win in the Lok Sabha elections. Among those Shah called at the end of his meeting with PM-elect Modi are BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari, DV Sadananda Gowda, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Giriraj Singh, Babul Supriyo, Mansukh Lal Mandaviya and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, according to news agency ANI. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist “I received a call from Amit Shah. He said that I should be there at-home office of PM at 5 o’clock and swearing-in ceremony at 7 o’clock. At 5 o’clock PM will have tea with cabinet and other ministerial colleagues and then we’ll go to Rashtrapati Bhavan to take oath,” DV Sadananda Gowda told ANI On Tuesday, the BJP’s Bihar ally Lok Janshakti Party passed a resolution picking party chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan as its representative in the Modi government, putting to rest speculation that his son Chirag Paswan may be inducted this time. The party won all the six seats it contested this time Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France The PM Modi-led NDA stormed to power winning 352 of the 542 Lok Sabha seats, restricting the Congress tally at 52. PM Modi and Shah have met twice already for discussions on the government formation, holding a three-hour meeting on Wednesday after four hours of discussions the previous day on the allocation of cabinet positions. The Wednesday meeting between Modi and Shah was followed by one between the latter and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, whose Janata Dal (United), with 16 seats, is the third largest partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). JD (U) was not part of the previous government, but is expected to be this time. The new council of ministers is expected to retain most veterans and speculation is also rife about Shah possibly moving to North Block if Modi decides to induct him in the government. Tamil Nadu’s information and publicity minister Kadambur C Raju said there was a chance of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) getting a berth in the Modi government. The BJP had an alliance with the AIADMK in the Lok Sabha polls, but the latter could win just one of the 38 seats that were contested. Leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC, will be present at the swearing-in together with the Prime Minister of Mauritius and President of Kyrgystan. BIMSTEC member-states are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand , Nepal and Bhutan. Several overseas friends of BJP from 15 countries, including the US, Australia, Germany and the UK, have been invited, along with prominent opposition leaders and chief ministers. Mamata Banerjee, who on Tuesday agreed to attend the event, did a U-Turn on Wednesday, accusing the BJP of trying to score political points by inviting the relatives of BJP activists who allegedly fell victim to violence in West Bengal.(With inputs from Hindustan Times)last_img read more

Bob Woodruffs Stand Up For Heroes Raises 3 Million

first_imgStand Up for Heroes, the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s (BWF) annual benefit event and the kickoff for the New York Comedy Festival, on Nov. 8, 2012, brought together celebrities, service members and their families for a night of laughter and performances from A-list musicians and comedians, as well as wounded veterans, to raise funds for programs that the Bob Woodruff Foundation helps support.Roger Waters performs with wounded veterans from MusiCorps as part of the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s 6th Annual Stand Up for Heroes event The proceeds from the sixth annual event, more than $3 million—bringing to $13 million the total funds raised for all Stand Up for Heroes benefits—will benefit organizations across the country vetted by the Bob Woodruff Foundation for their effectiveness and success.In addition, BWF is now joining the GivingTuesday initiative in order to continue the momentum from the amazingly successful Stand Up for Heroes benefit, which will allow the foundation to fundraise via micro-donations and activating its social media constituency.“We are thrilled with the results from Stand Up for Heroes—the generosity of spirit exhibited that evening from all the honored guests, performers and supporters is quite humbling,” said Bob Woodruff, co-founder, the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “And now with #GivingTuesday, we’re excited to see the spirit of the holiday season kick off in such a charitable way.”For the first time ever this year, the Stand Up for Heroes event was live streamed on YouTube—with performances by Bruce Springsteen (who was joined by his wife, Pattie Scialfa, for one song); John Mayer, who performed an instrumental version of the Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road” on an electric guitar; Roger Waters, who took to the stage with a band of service members. Specifically for this event, Waters enlisted warriors from an organization the Bob Woodruff Foundation funds, the rehabilitation program MusiCorps—along with help from MusiCorps’ founder Arthur Bloom. MusiCorps operates out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.Comedians who took the stage for this year’s 6th annual Stand Up for Heroes event included Mike Birbiglia, Ricky Gervais, Patton Oswalt, Jon Stewart and Robin Williams.The musical acts, as well as performances by the service members and interviews with celebrities in attendance, are still viewable on Donations can be made on the site, as well, at, or by texting “BWF” to 50555 to donate $10. Follow the Bob Woodruff Foundation on Twitter @ReMIND and take action by participating in the #GivingTuesday movement this season on Nov. 27, 2012.#GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give, culminating with a national day of giving on Nov. 27, 2012. The effort harnesses the American spirit and collective power of a unique blend of partners—charities, families, businesses and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.#GivingTuesday will leverage the power of social media to create a better world. In addition to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, founding partners include Blackbaud, the Case Foundation, charity:water, Darden Restaurant Group,, Global Giving, Groupon, Kiva, Mashable, Unilever, United Nations Foundation, United Way and VentureThree Capital.last_img read more

Solution to Western Sahara Requires More Than American Political Will

Washington D.C. – The Wall Street Journal’s report on the Trump administration’s stance on Western Sahara has brought the issue back to the front of international consciousness, three months after the Security Council adopted Resolution 2468. The resolution renewed the United Nations mission in Western Sahara, known as MINURSO, for six months until October 31, 2019.The last three months have been marked by a stalemate in the political process, especially after the resignation of Horst Kohler, the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Western Sahara.The most important point in the Wall Street Journal report is the US government’s refusal to establish an independent state in southern Morocco. Although the report’s author did not explicitly mention which US entity stressed Washington’s opposition to the establishment of a new state in southern Morocco, what he said dispels the fears Morocco has had since the appointment of John Bolton as national security adviser to the US president. Bolton can’t effectively oppose MoroccoBolton’s positions on Western Sahara are well-known. He supports resolving the conflict through a referendum on its status, and he helped draft the 1991 settlement agreement leading to the ceasefire and the 2001 and 2003 proposals of the Secretary-General’s personal envoy, James Baker. Given this, observers in Morocco were concerned that the UN-sponsored political process would witness an unprecedented shift in favor of Algeria and Polisario.However, almost 18 months after John Bolton‘s appointment as national security adviser, events proved that no matter how strong a US official’s personality and positions on any issue may be, they cannot go it alone or take positions contrary to US interests. Neither can they make decisions without the traditional interagency review, involving agencies like the State Department and the Department of Defense.The US decision-making process on foreign policy is complex and subject to checks and balances. Any major foreign policy decisions should align with the general orientation of US foreign policy and the country’s strategic interests.In an analysis published in September last year, I had stressed that Bolton’s appointment would not adversely affect Morocco’s interests and its consistent position on the Sahara issue. I argued that the White House is not the only player in the decision-making process, and that this process is subject to lengthy internal debates involving many stakeholders within the US government: the White House, the State Department, and the Department of Defense. And we cannot forget the influential role of Congress.In the case of Morocco, given the country’s strong relations with the US and its role in maintaining the stability of North Africa and the Sahel and in combating terrorism and extremism, it is unlikely that the United States would make a decision that could undermine Morocco’s position on Western Sahara.US fears instability in Western SaharaThe prevailing impression of many US observers is that the creation of a state in southern Morocco could destabilize the region, making it even more exposed to the threat of terrorism, possibly jeopardizing US interests in North Africa, the Sahel, and sub-Saharan Africa.Behind the scene deliberations in the Security Council over the past 18 months have shown that Morocco has not only been able to prevent any development contradicting its consistent position, but has also been able to achieve new gains. The most important achievement has been the inclusion of Algeria in recent Security Council Resolutions 2440 and 2468 and the Security Council’s gradual shift to considering Algeria as a key party in the conflict.Morocco has also maintained the support of the US House of Representatives despite it being under the Democratic party’s control following the November 2018 elections.Read Also: Washington Won’t Support Creation of State in Southern Morocco: WSJGiven the position that successive US administrations have taken on Western Sahara, including those of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, the Wall Street Journal’s report should not be regarded as a new breakthrough, but as reflecting an established fact.In an interview with Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan in April, former Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz pointed out that the United States and Europe do not support the idea of a state between Morocco and Mauritania. He said that behind the scenes, negotiations over the dispute are in Morocco’s favor.How the US views the Autonomy PlanA declassified US State Department document, prepared by the Moroccan ambassador and made public in recent months, asserts that the United States was behind the decision to shelve a self-determination referendum and had asked Morocco since 1999 to elaborate an autonomy proposal for Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty.A diplomatic correspondence dated March 2, 2006, from the US embassy in Rabat shows how William Jordan, then director of the US State Department’s Office of Near Eastern Affairs, said during meetings with officials of the Moroccan ministries of foreign affairs and the interior in February 2006 that the United States was waiting, with great interest, for Morocco to unveil its autonomy plan and present it to the Security Council.During the same meetings, the official explained that the US, like many other countries, believes that the establishment of a state in Western Sahara “was likely unviable and that a more realistic settlement was one that accorded the Sahrawis a significant measure of autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty.”Jordan clarified that, after the resignation of UN envoy James Baker, the UN political process entered a new phase and that the US “looked forward with eagerness to Morocco’s autonomy plan so the focus could shift to negotiations.”This was the context that paved the way for Morocco to submit its Autonomy Plan to the Security Council in April 2007. Since then, the United States has on many occasions expressed its support for the Moroccan Plan considering it “serious, credible and realistic.” The US position did not change even in the most difficult times of Morocco-US relations during President Obama’s second term.However, while expressing this tacit support for Morocco over the past 10 years, the US has not translated it into an official policy.Can the US effectively back Morocco?The question one should ask is if the US was willing to provide unwavering support to Morocco, would it be able to make the Autonomy Plan the basic framework for the UN political process? Based on the past, this goal would be difficult to achieve as the US cannot impose its own views on the other permanent members of the Security Council.The US’ failed attempts over a decade ago to turn the Moroccan Autonomy Plan into the basis of negotiations gives us a glimpse into what would happen if the Trump administration decided to unambiguously support to Morocco.In 2007 and 2008, the Bush administration tried to make the Autonomy Plan the basis of the political process. However, then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s efforts, prior to the adoption of Resolution 1754 in April 2007 and Resolution 1783 in October 2007, were opposed by Russia, the United Kingdom, as well as Spain in its capacity as a member of the Group of Friends of Western Sahara. Rice’s third attempt to impose Morocco’s proposal in April 2008 had the same outcome.If the Trump administration tries to impose Morocco’s proposal, it would face the same hurdles.Russian oppositionAssuming that France will support any US decision in favor of Morocco, it is very unlikely that this position would receive Russian backingt, for two important factors: Russia’s friendship with Algeria and opposition to the US.Russia and Algeria share strong relations, especially at the security, military, and energy levels. Despite all the efforts Morocco has made in recent years to strengthen its ties to Russia, including King Mohammed VI’s visit to Russia in March 2016, Russia is still closer to Algeria.Relations between Moscow and Algiers grew stronger since President Valdimir Putin’s visit to Algeria in March 2006. During that visit, Russia agreed to write off Algeria’s $4.7 billion debt to Russia on the condition that Algeria spend the same amount on Russian military equipment and services. As a result, Algeria signed a $7.5 billion agreement to buy Russian military hardware. The agreement was regarded as the biggest military contract in Russia’s history since the collapse of the Soviet Union.Between 2006 and 2007, Algeria’s military purchases from Russia totaled $15 billion. In 2011, Algeria signed another defense contract worth $13 billion. According to the Stockholm International Center for Peace Research, Algeria is the biggest Russian arms importer in Africa, absorbing 50% of Russian exports, and was the third in the world between 2007 and 2016. According to Algerian news outlet Tout Sur l’Algérie, 80% of military imports come from Russia.In addition to the defense sector, the two countries are also linked by an array of cooperation agreements in the fields of trade and investments, the fight against terrorism, nuclear energy, and gas. Algeria and Russia worked hand in hand to stabilize the price of crude oil following the collapse of its price in 2014.The second factor that will prompt Russia to oppose any US endeavor in line with Morocco’s stance is Russia’s keenness to revive the US-Russia rivalry of the Cold War. In this sense, Russia will thwart any US plan to impose its agenda in areas where Russia seeks to play a key role.Russia’s commitment was clear when it delayed the vote on Resolution 2414 in April 2018. The draft resolution favored Morocco and sought to hold Polisario responsible for fueling tensions in the region of Guerguerat and the buffer zone. By delaying the vote on the draft resolution, Russia tried to make Morocco share responsibility for the tension.Russia also abstained from voting on the resolution which, for the first time, called on the parties of the conflict to “to achieve a realistic, practicable and enduring political solution to the question of Western Sahara based on compromise.” Russia adopted the same position on Resolution 2440 and Resolution 2468, which were the first times a Council resolution mentioned Algeria and called on it to play its role in the political process.It’s up to Morocco and AlgeriaDue to the politics inherent to the Security Council, the opposing interests of its five permanent members, and their eagerness to defend the interests of their allies, the chances that the United Nations will eventually broker a political solution that meets the aspirations and demands of all parties are very slim.It is a foregone conclusion that the solution to this conflict is in the hands of Algeria and Morocco.As long as Algerian leaders have no political will to turn the page and lay the building blocks for a strong Maghreb Union which offers opportunities for economic integration and sustainable development, there will be no realistic solution to this dispute.Samir Bennis is the co-founder of Morocco World News. You can follow him on Twitter @SamirBennis.,Samir Bennis is the co-founder of Morocco World News. You can follow him on Twitter @SamirBennis. read more

Prince William and Boris Johnson back first national memorial for emergency service

Theresa May said: “I’m proud to support this National Memorial. The men and women of our emergency services are there for us when we need them most. As a nation, we are indebted to them for their courage and their sacrifice and it is absolutely right that we should honour their incredible service in this very special way.”David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major have also offered their full support.Mr Cameron said: “These selfless men and women work day in day out, and I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than a national memorial, serving as a constant reminder of their tireless dedication to others.”Mr Blair said: “A national memorial would be a fitting tribute to honour all they do for us, their unwavering commitment and selfless acts of heroism.”Mr Brown paid tribute, saying: “Our Emergency Services are the finest in the world. These are extraordinary, selfless men and women who think only of others and often risk their lives to keep Britain safe.” Both the health secretary and the home secretary, among a number of dignitaries, are also backing the project.The national memorial will require a mammoth fundraising effort while a site for it – the preferred location is Hyde Park Corner in central London – is being negotiated with the Crown Estate, the mayor of London’s office and the Duke of Westminster, who is the largest private landowner in the centre of London.The 999 statue is the brainchild of Tom Scholes-Fogg, a 28-year-old volunteer police sergeant, who was inspired to campaign for the memorial after his grandfather showed him an oak tree planted in memory of a female police officer killed on duty. His grandfather told him: “We don’t look after the emergency services in this country the way we should.”Mr Scholes-Fogg, chairman and founder of the national Emergency services memorial, said: “We have plenty of memorials in this country but it is amazing that we have nothing to commemorate all the emergency services together. I just want to do something for the 7,000 ‘999’ people who have been killed on duty.”Mr Jackson, who has more public statues in London than any sculptor alive or dead, said he was delighted to accept the commission. He has spent the past month producing a maquette – a preliminary model – of a firefighter for the memorial. His plan, unveiled to the Telegraph, is for five figures on the monument as well as a dog accompanying the lowland rescue team. Each figure will be eight foot high when the monument is completed. If all goes to plan and the money can be raised, Mr Jackson intends to have it cast in bronze by 2021. Boris Johnson said in backing the memorial: “It takes a very special kind of person to put your life on the line for a complete stranger. Yet that is what we see day in, day out from the remarkable men and women of our emergency services.” A £3 million fundraising campaign has been launched to get the memorial built The first national memorial for thousands of emergency service workers killed in the line of duty is being launched with the support of the Duke of Cambridge, the Prime Minister and five of his predecessors.Plans for the ‘999 statue’ are unveiled today exclusively in The Telegraph at the launch of a £3 million fundraising campaign needed to get it built.The bronze monument is being designed by Philip Jackson, a sculptor to the Queen and widely considered Britain’s greatest living sculptor.The National Emergency Services Memorial will commemorate the lives of more than 7,000 people who died while serving in police, fire, coastguard and search and rescue services but will also celebrate the work “and dedication of over two million serving in our emergency services today”.Prince William, a former air ambulance pilot, will be given a private audience to see the plans in the coming weeks but has already given his approval for the first national monument for the emergency services.The Duke told The Telegraph: “As a society, we owe our wellbeing, and indeed our lives, to the men and women in our emergency services who work tirelessly to protect us in some of the most difficult circumstances. It is only fitting that we should recognise the vital role that they play, and pay tribute to the bravery and dedication of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities.” Mr Jackson also created the Bomber Command memorial in central London that was funded by donations from Telegraph readers. Mr Jackson said the Bomber Command memorial had helped to change public perception over the crucial role it played in the Second World war.“Prior to Bomber Command statue, people associated it  only with the bombing of Dresden and it attracted a negative response. After the memorial was built, the narrative changed overnight.” Has a member of the emergency services changed your life? Send your experiences of getting help after calling 999 to  to be featured.  Sir John Major said: “The Emergency Services have a long and distinguished role in helping and protecting people in dire circumstances, often at great risk to themselves. I strongly support the case for a Memorial to honour the many members of the Emergency Services who have lost their lives in seeking to save others.” A £3 million fundraising campaign has been launched to get the memorial builtCredit:Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph  Philip Jackson is widely considered Britain’s greatest living sculptor Philip Jackson is widely considered Britain’s greatest living sculptorCredit:Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Decmil adds EPC capability

first_imgDecmil Group has acquired the business assets of Scope Australia. Scope Australia specialises in the delivery of study, project management, engineering and design consultancy services to a range of industry sectors including mining, resources, government and construction.Decmil intends to use Scope Australia to expand its business by entering the EPC market and to deliver turnkey process infrastructure solutions to the minerals sector. Decmil has a successful history as a construction contractor and the addition of Scope Australia will enable it to deliver broader and more integrated services to its customers.Decmil has acquired the business assets of Scope Australia for A$1.68 million on a cash free and debt free basis. For the financial year ended June 2015 Scope Australia generated approximately ~A$7.3 million in revenue and generated normalised EBITDA of ~$1.5 million.Approximately 40 engineering professionals will transfer with the business, which will continue to trade under the established name of Scope Australia.last_img read more

Naturhouse La Rioja signs Pablo Cacheda

ASOBALbalonmanola riojaNaturhouse La Riojapablo cacheda Apart from the stars that La Rioja signed so far, they’ve also presented another signing – the young and hot prospect – Pablo Cacheda. Pablo Cacheda joined BM Valladolid last season and was touted as one of the main players for the past season, but the player got injured and had to be away from the court for seven months. He returned before the end of the season, only to see his club relegate, and as of recently disappear due to financial problems. He is happy at the possibility of playing in the Champions League, and hopes to regain his high level of handball he had before his injury. ← Previous Story Rafa Baena moves to Puente Genil Next Story → Momir Ilic is best Serbian and Ex-Yu player of the Year! read more

Concern that ambulance review outcome has already been decided

first_imgCONCERNS HAVE BEEN raised over leaked information that details a plan to remove Dublin’s ambulance service from Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) by 2015.It emerged yesterday that the plan, which was seen by the Irish Times, was drawn up before the announcement last month that the HSE and Dublin City Council was to review the capital’s ambulance service.ReviewNow SIPTU members in DFB have said they are “extremely concerned” at the proposal and the union has called for a fully independent review of the service. Here’s what the review will involve SIPTU Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said that the emergence of this document raises concerns that the outcome of the review “has already been decided”.It strongly indicates that this review is merely to provide a fig leaf to the HSE and Dublin City Council in their apparent plans to remove this service from Dublin Fire Brigade.He said that SIPTU members are also concerned that there has only been one additional ambulance provided to the DFB ambulance fleet over the last 20 years, despite the increase in population.DFB SIPTU representative, Glen Ellis, said that DFB has been able to provide a level of service which is above the national average and compares favourably to best international standards, despite the holding up of ambulances at hospital accident and emergency units.This is achieved by the internationally recognised fire based Emergency Medical Service which is provided by DFB. DFB receives 7 per cent of the total National Ambulance Service budget despite having to respond to 40 per cent of all ambulance calls nationally. This is done through the provision of 12 DFB ambulances, supported by the Dublin Fire Service.center_img The union wants the management of the HSE to concentrate on “providing the necessary resources for our colleagues in the National Ambulance Service” prior to placing a focus on the DFB.Read: Ambulance cover ‘needs to treble’ to boost response times>Read: Cost, quality and scale of ambulance services in Dublin to be reviewed>last_img read more

Adams in Washington for postHaass talks

first_imgSINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams is in Washington today for a round of talks with Obama administration officials on the state of the Northern Ireland peace process.Renewed efforts on re-starting the stalled negotiation process to settle issues like the past, parades and flags are beginning this week, in the wake of last weekend’s local and European elections.Speaking last Friday, former US diplomat Dr Richard Haass said he would not be involved in the fresh efforts.A process chaired by Haass stalled at the start of the year, after his proposals were rejected by the DUP, the Ulster Unionists and the Alliance party.Speaking as he departed for Washington, Adams said his proposals offered a way forward for the North.“Outstanding elements like a Bill Of Rights, Acht na Gaeilge and other issues such as dealing with the past, parades and flags, must be delivered upon,” the Sinn Féin leader said. Martin McGuinness will meet with all political leaders in the North to seek to avail of the small window of opportunity that exists for progress between now and the Orange marching season.“Further delay on these issues would inexcusable.”The Northern Ireland peace process will also be top of the agenda at a meeting between Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore and NI Secretary of State Theresa Villiers in Dublin later today.Read Haass will not be involved in Northern Irish talksRead Tánaiste admits ‘on-the-runs’ controversy has ‘derailed’ progress in the Northlast_img read more

More than half of you wash raw chicken and thats really dangerous

first_imgTHIS WEEK, BRITAIN’S Food Standards Agency issued a warning about the dangers of washing raw chicken.In Britain, 44% of people wash raw chicken before they cook it, but figures from Safefood for the Republic of Ireland show that more than half – or 57% – of Irish people do the same.Not surprisingly, two thirds said they do it because their mammies (or families in general) have always washed it under the tap, while one in five said they do it because they saw it on TV.The respondents in this survey were those who said they were responsible for cooking at home and 94% of them said they would describe themselves as “confident” in their cooking skills.Well, they’d want to listen up now, because our own Food Safety Authority has said they recommend the same as their counterparts in the UK.Jane Ryder of the FSAI told that those who wash raw chicken are “just splashing all of the campylobacter and germs from the chicken all over the kitchen”.Campylobacter is the main cause of food poisoning in Ireland and the number of cases peaks in the summer months.Last year, 2, 388 people became ill because of it with the majority of these cases being in the 0-4 years and 20-24 years age ranges. For most people, it means a couple of days with a dodgy tummy, but babies, the elderly and other vulnerable people could become seriously ill because of the bacteria.It can also cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can leave victims paralysed.“Cooking kills campylobacter but when you’ve splashed it all on your counter, you’re not going to cook your counter afterwards,” Ryder said. “No one thinks about getting food poisoning from it.”Her advice is to avoid cross contamination by cooking your raw chicken directly from the container or bag it came in, use separate utensils and cutting boards for chicken and other foods and wash those hands.Debunked: Is it better to keep bread in the fridge or a bread bin?>Read: Investigation into which businesses were supplied by ‘illegal slaughter plant’>last_img read more