No government should be standing in the way of the Trans Mountain

first_imgNation to NationAPTN NewsThere’s only one week left for the federal government to meet its so-called promise to Kinder Morgan.And that is to guarantee that by May 31, a deadline imposed by the Texas-based oil company, that the Trans Mountain pipeline will be built.NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said this week taxpayers should not be expected to cover any losses due to delays, which the Trudeau government has promised.“We’ve always been opposed to this pipeline because it’s never really gone through a proper process,” said NDP MP Don Davies said on Nation to Nation.Liberal MP Yvonne Jones, and parliamentary secretary to the minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations said it’s simply not true and believes it went through the most stringent procedure to date on an energy project.Jones also said no one should be trying to stop it from being built, like the British Columbia government and several First Nations that took the matter to Federal Court for a judicial review of the Trudeau government’s approval in late 2016.That court decision is expected soon.“There is absolutely no reason for a government … to stand in the way of this proceeding,” she said.Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler also laid out why it’s so important to move beyond the Indian Act, especially for the youth.“Just last year alone, we lost 32 of our members to suicide and many of them were young girls from 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. And now what we’re seeing with the child welfare system, the fact that many of our children are still being taken away through another process is something that should concern all of us,” said Fiddler.And finally, Cree Senator Mary Jane McCallum reflected on the work she’s done in her first five months in the Red Chamber.“It is an amazing place to work. And you know people talk about senators as if they don’t work. They’re one of the hardest working groups I know. They’re on the committees, like yesterday I went from eight in the morning till eight at night,” said McCallum.N2N@aptn.calast_img read more

Senior UN official deplores latest kidnapping of aid worker in Darfur

“The kidnapping of Gauthier Lefevre serves nothing but to undermine humanitarian work in the region, at the sole expense of those who benefit from such endeavour,” said UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan Ameerah Haq.“It harms the chances of creating a safe and secure environment for delivering humanitarian relief and impacts negatively on our ability to deliver food and basic health and welfare services in areas where they are most needed,” added Ms. Haq.The French-British national was snatched by gunmen on Thursday while retuning to Al Geneina – the capital of West Darfur state – from a field mission to help local communities obtain clean drinking water.Ms. Haq called on the kidnappers to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Lefevre in a news release, underscoring the serious security concerns in Darfur for all humanitarian organizations working in the region.Last week, an armed rebel group in North Darfur state released two staffers of the international non-governmental organization (NGO) GOAL who had spent three months in captivity.At the end of August, two civilian staff members from the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission, known as UNAMID, were also abducted from their home in the West Darfur town of Zalingei and have yet to be released. 24 October 2009The top United Nations humanitarian official in Sudan today condemned the kidnapping of a staff member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the latest in a series of aid worker abductions in the country’s war-scarred region of Darfur. read more

Expanded midwifery services could save millions of lives – UN

Up to 3.6 million deaths could be avoided each year in 58 developing countries if midwifery services are upgraded, according to a report released today by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners.The study, The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011, estimates that an additional 112,000 midwives need to be deployed in 38 countries to meet their target to achieve 95 per cent coverage of births by skilled attendants by 2015, as required under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Globally, 350,000 midwives are still lacking, it says. The report, launched at the Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Durban, South Africa, says if adequate facilities were accessible to deal with complications at their onset, many deaths could be averted: 61 per cent of all maternal deaths; 49 per cent of all stillbirths; and three in every five newborn deaths. The report adds that if midwives are in place and can refer the most severe complications to specialized care, up to 90 per cent of maternal deaths could be prevented.“Ensuring that every woman and her newborn have access to quality midwifery services demands that we take bold steps to build on what we have achieved so far across communities, countries, regions and the world,” said Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his foreword to the report.Each year, 358,000 women die while pregnant or giving birth, some two million newborns die within the first 24 hours of life and there are 2.6 million stillbirths, it says. “The report points to an urgent need to train more health workers with midwifery skills and ensure equitable access to their life-saving services in communities to improve the health of women and children,” said Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA.UNFPA supports midwifery training programmes in 30 countries, including, for example, some 18 schools in Ethiopia. A UNFPA official said the agency will integrate the report’s findings in its current curricula and plans an expansion of UN midwifery training programs. The report, a result of collaboration among 30 partners, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), surveyed 58 countries, which together account for just under 60 per cent of births worldwide and yet 91 per cent of all maternal deaths. Among the 38 countries most desperately in need of midwives, 22 need to double the workforce by 2015; seven need to triple or quadruple it; and nine – Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan – need to dramatically scale up midwifery by a factor of between six and 15, it says. 20 June 2011Up to 3.6 million deaths could be avoided each year in 58 developing countries if midwifery services are upgraded, according to a report released today by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners. read more

Fire fighters respond to fire at compost facility in Hamilton

Fire fighters battled a blaze at a compost facility on Burlington Street in Hamilton Sunday afternoon.The Resource Recovery Centre was closed for the weekend when the fire broke out at around 2:30PM.The building was full of thick, black smoke, making it difficult for crews to get to the source of the fire.Nobody was hurt in the blaze, and the cause is still unknown.

Top UN political officer discusses Korean peninsula Darfur other issues in Seoul

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari met with Vice Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Lee Kyu-Hyung after arriving in the Republic of Korea from Japan. Earlier in the week, he held discussions with Chinese officials in Beijing. The focus of their talks was the “situation on the Korean Peninsula, and the importance for all parties to return to the framework of the six-party talks,” a spokesman said, referring to discussions involving both the Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), along with Japan, China, the Russian Federation and the United States, seeking a resolution to the DPRK’s nuclear programme.“They also discussed the situations in Darfur, Myanmar and the Middle East. In particular, Mr. Gambari thanked Vice Minister Lee for the Republic of Korea’s continued support to the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), where the Republic of Korea provides troops to protect the UN compound in Erbil.”Mr. Gambari also met with African representatives living in Seoul to discuss Korea’s initiatives to support development in Africa and the situation in Darfur. read more

CRTC consumer advocates to keep eye on new cable rules taking effect

TORONTO – The CRTC and consumer advocates say they’re keeping a close eye on the country’s TV providers as the final phase of new basic cable packages rules are implemented on Thursday.After a first set of regulations were introduced earlier this year, some of Canada’s largest cable companies faced accusations of finding loopholes to ensure customers either remained on more expensive TV packages or paid more for starter cable services through added fees or eliminated discounts.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and OpenMedia say they want to see the rules, meant to give viewers more choice and affordable options, embraced instead.“The big concern is … that the telcos are going to attempt to skirt the spirit of the law and price Canadians out of these channels in another attempt to keep them trapped in expensive bundles,” said OpenMedia spokeswoman Meghan Sali.In March, the CRTC required all TV service providers to offer basic cable packages, also referred to as skinny cable, for no more than $25 monthly. Consumers also had to be given the choice to either add channels to their subscriptions a la carte or through prepackaged bundles of no more than 10 channels.Starting Thursday, TV service providers must offer both options.The implementation so far has been “mixed,” said Scott Hutton, executive director of broadcasting for the CRTC, which heard from hundreds of frustrated Canadians earlier this year.Some TV providers, for example, would only sell the new, cheaper packages in tandem with Internet services, said Hutton, or deny bundling discounts to skinny cable subscribers.Canadians also complained about hidden fees, difficulty navigating the new options and lacklustre channel lineup in the basic cable packages.Sali said she wasn’t surprised by such tactics as a lack of competition in the industry allows the major telecommunications firms to charge high prices. The companies only modified their anti-consumer behaviour at the CRTC’s aggressive behest, she said.Some companies changed their conduct, “which will hopefully make the deployment of the next phase that much more successful,” Hutton said.The CRTC has taken several steps to ensure that’s the case.Last week, the broadcast regulator announced a number of suggestions in an effort to help the industry act in the best interest of consumers, including giving customers information about the new choices and keeping offers simple.They came with a thinly veiled threat — the regulator also announced it renewed the licences of most providers for just one year, rather than the usual seven.“We can have this conversation again next year if they don’t live up to the best practices,” Hutton said.For their part, all of the companies contacted by The Canadian Press — VMedia, Cogeco, Shaw, SaskTel, Telus, Bell and Rogers — say they’re either already compliant with the new regulations or on track to do so as they expand their offerings to suit or exceed requirements. Videotron and MTS did not respond to requests for comment.VMedia, Rogers and SaskTel also defended their adherence to the CRTC’s best practices suggestions.George Burger, a spokesman for VMedia, said the company is focused on transparency, allows customers to easily add or remove additional channels and packages online, and has no contracts or cancellation fees.Rogers spokesman Andrew Garas said the company already exceeds best practices in most areas.SaskTel spokesman Greg Jacobs said the company prioritizes giving customers a “rich and customizable experience,” by offering, for example, low equipment costs.The fees for individual channels and small packages set by the cable providers will determine whether they’re attempting to improve affordability for Canadians, Sali said.Hopefully, the firms will realize there’s not a lot of wiggle room for interpretation in what the CRTC is demanding, she said.“But I don’t think it’s going to be something that they’ll … choose to do without that really strong enforcement by the CRTC.”Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter. by Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 30, 2016 2:00 am MDT Last Updated Nov 30, 2016 at 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CRTC, consumer advocates to keep eye on new cable rules taking effect Thursday read more

Football Ohio State knows Sparty performance not good enough

OSU redshirt freshman Mike Weber (25) attempts to fight off a tackle during the first half of the Buckeyes’ 17-16 win against MSU on Nov. 19. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorThe outcome of the entire year comes down to the final week of the college football season for the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes as they prepare an epic matchup with archrival No. 3 Michigan. When these two teams meet at the end of each season, the records can be thrown away because it comes down to execution in arguably the greatest rivalry in all of sports.However, it almost didn’t happen that way. And if OSU plays the way it did against Michigan State, OSU’s chances at a national championship will dilute to nothing.“Fumbles and two big plays in the first half, that’s not us and that can’t be us,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said after Saturday’s Michigan State game. “We’ll lose next week if we play like that.”Michigan, or “That Team Up North” as it’s commonly referred to by players, is always the biggest game on OSU’s schedule every season — same goes for Michigan. The hatred and respect between the two programs is unrivaled, especially when considering the polarizing personalities on the two sidelines. However, there comes humility.Michigan State had an opportunity to win the game on the final drive against OSU in East Lansing, Michigan. The Buckeyes’ defense stood tall with an interception from redshirt junior cornerback Gareon Conley in the final minutes of the game to preserve the victory, setting up the biggest edition of The Game in a decade.It wasn’t just Meyer who said the team was underwhelming against the Spartans. Redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis, who was instrumental in the final defensive stand, echoed his coach.“Come out next week kind of flat, you obviously won’t win the game,” Lewis said.One of OSU’s most concerning storylines from Michigan State was the susceptibility to the big plays, especially on the ground. Spartans’ sophomore running back L.J. Scott had more than 160 rushing yards and a touchdown. He broke several tackles and consistently got to the second, and sometimes third, level. Co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach Greg Schiano said that the caliber of play from the Silver Bullets on Saturday was uncharacteristic.“We just missed tackles, just got to capitalize on those plays, on those short-yardage plays,” Lewis said. “Big Ten has a lot of physical ball carriers, so they’re going to fight for those extra yards. We just got to do a better job with that.”Michigan running back De’Veon Smith presents the same challenges for the OSU defense. At all skill positions, the Wolverines possess NFL-caliber talent and will likely give the defense its greatest test yet.For the offense, redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett and redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber both eclipsed 100 yards on Saturday. However, Barrett threw for just 86 yards on 10-of-22 passing. The weather played a factor, but OSU still only had 304 total yards of offense following two straight games of more than 500 yards each.Meyer expressed that the team enjoyed the Michigan State victory, but there is no time to think about any mistakes made against the Spartans. Michigan leads the country in total defense and scoring defense, allowing just 245.6 yards and 10.9 points per game.The Buckeyes will be looking to get the trio of Barrett, Weber and junior H-back Curtis Samuel heavily involved in The Game at noon at Ohio Stadium.“We have to utilize all the weapons … Statistically the offense is pretty good,” Meyer said. “But you’re going to need it. Against a defense like this, you’ll need every one of them playing their best.” read more

Jeremy Kyle refuses to appear before MPs investigating reality television

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. An inquiry was launched after the death of Steve Dymond who appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show An inquiry was launched after the death of Steve Dymond who appeared on The Jeremy Kyle ShowCredit:Facebook Jeremy Kyle is facing pressure from politicians after it emerged he had refused to appear before MPs investigating reality television.ITV axed The Jeremy Kyle Show in May, following the death of participant Steve Dymond.The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee then launched an inquiry into reality TV.Senior executives involved in the show will appear in front of MPs next week, but the star’s representatives told the committee he would not give evidence.DCMS Committee chairman Damian Collins said: “The Jeremy Kyle Show is an important programme we will be looking at as part of the inquiry into reality television. “We will make a further statement once those discussions have concluded.”A spokesman for Mr Kyle declined to comment on his absence from the committee.At the hearing on June 25, the committee will hear from ITV’s chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette and chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall.The MPs will also question Tom McLennan, the executive director of The Jeremy Kyle Show, and Graham Stanier who is director of aftercare at ITV and responsible for the welfare of participants in the show, Mr Collins said.The inquiry will invite a range of former participants and programme-makers to give evidence over the coming months.Mr Dymond, 63, died around a week after reportedly failing a love-cheat lie-detector test on Kyle’s confrontational daytime programme.The construction worker was found in his room in Portsmouth on May 9 after splitting from on-off fiancee Jane Callaghan.His death came amid growing scrutiny over the duty of care reality TV shows have to participants.Love Island has returned to ITV2 after coming under increased scrutiny over the show’s aftercare following the deaths of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.ITV recently announced an enhanced duty of care process for participants on the show, including a minimum of eight therapy sessions for contestants. “We believe that Jeremy Kyle himself should be an important witness to that, as the show is based around him as the lead presenter of it.”We have sent an invitation to Mr Kyle through his representatives and we have received word back from them that he has declined to appear in front of the committee on Tuesday next week.”We believe that Mr Kyle is an important witness to the committee in its work and we will be pursuing this matter with Mr Kyle’s representatives to see if we can find a date when he will appear or to understand fully the reasons why he is not able to appear. read more

TD wants new probe into the use of secondhand braces at Galway

first_imgDENIS NAUGHTEN TD is calling for an independent investigation into the sale and reuse of braces at Merlin Park Hospital in Galway.The call relates to wrongdoing that first emerged in 2009 when an individual dentist working at the hospital’s orthodontic unit provided braces that had been removed from children there to a private dental practice.The dentist in question was investigated by the HSE and the practice has now stopped but Naughten says that not enough has been done to find out what steps have been taken to contact children who were given the second-hand braces.Naughten claims that the reuse of braces had been going on for a number of years and said that the HSE needs to provide information on the possible infection risk for those affected.Speaking on behalf of the Government, Minister Kathleen Lynch said that the incident was investigated by the HSE at the time but that Minister of State in the Department of Health Alex White has asked the HSE to provide any updates if required.Lynch said that she wanted to assure people that there is no ongoing risk to the public in this case. She outlined that HIQA have looked at the what happened and routine audits have been carried out twice a year.Minister for State White also expects to receive a new report on the matter in the new year.Naughten responded by saying that the Minister’s response was inadequate because it did not address the “core risk” to patients. “What has happened to the children who were involved, what are the risks of infection there?,” he asked.What steps have been taken over the last four years to deal with the risks to infection and possible exposure to infection. Significant issues that need to be addressed here.Lynch acknowledged that there are outstanding issues in the case and but that it “would not be unreasonable” for the report to take one or two months to be compiled.Read: Warning about ‘quick-fix’ teeth straightening >Read: Almost 14,000 children waiting on orthodontic treatments >last_img read more

6 minutes pour voler le mot de passe dun iPhone

first_img6 minutes pour voler le mot de passe d’un iPhoneUne manipulation en plusieurs étapes de l’iPhone permet de contourner le mot de passe en moins de six minutes ! L’iPhone serait le smartphone le plus convoité par les voleurs. Et il suffirait à ces derniers de suivre une méthode bien précise pour utiliser les smartphones d’Apple, même si ceux-ci sont verrouillés par un mot de passe. C’est ce que révèle l’institut Fraunhofer SIT, spécialisé dans tous les aspects de la sécurité des TI. Des tests réalisés par cet institut ont mis en évidence le manque de sécurité des mots de passe, en cas de perte de son Iphone.Ainsi, il a suffi de jailbreaker l’appareil et d’y introduire un script. Ce programme permet de révéler le code PIN de l’iPhone mais aussi les mots de passe pour accéder aux réseaux sociaux, aux comptes bancaires et autres messageries, révèle Le tout en moins de six minutes ! Si bien que le programme “Find my Phone” qui permet de localiser les smartphones et d’effacer leur contenu à distance en cas de vol, se révèle peu efficace dans cette situation. Le 14 février 2011 à 13:07 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Israels Beresheet Lander Takes Stunning Photos of the Far Side of the

first_img Israel’s Beresheet lander finally slipped into lunar orbit, and to celebrate this milestone, SpaceIL’s team shared amazing photos that the spacecraft snapped of the far side of the Moon.On April 4, Israel became the seventh nation to successfully orbit the Moon, and on April 11, Beresheet will attempt to accomplish a lunar touchdown. There aren’t a lot of details on the new photographs, however, SpaceIL noted that the picture of the far side of the Moon was taken from roughly 292 miles above the Moon, while the second picture shows the far side of the Moon with our planet in the background.#Beresheet is in an excellent orbit! during the critical maneuver yesterday Beresheet took some amazing photos of the far side of the #Moon!picture A: The far side of the moon during the maneuver at 470 km Hight.picture B: The far side of the moon with Earth in the background— Israel To The Moon (@TeamSpaceIL) April 5, 2019Before it orbited the Moon, Beresheet spent nearly six weeks traveling away from Earth. On its journey, it captured an eerie sunrise from space. It also snapped a picture when it passed our planet for the last time, which showed Earth’s round shape and colorful hue in a birds-eye view.Sunrise Video from #Beresheet From the #spacecraft‘s point of view. In the video, #earth can be seen hiding the #sun & then exiting the same shadow created by the Earth and the sun’s exposure. This process creates a kind of sunrise image! #IsraelToTheMoon @ILAerospaceIAI— Israel To The Moon (@TeamSpaceIL) March 24, 2019 Rare Harvest Moon Will Light Up Night Sky on Friday the 13thIndia Finds Lost Vikram Lander on Moon’s Surface Stay on targetcenter_img Yesterday, #Beresheet passed #Earth for the last time at about 1,700 km away. The team succeeded in taking rare photo of earth from approx. 16,000 KM. In the photo: the Arab Peninsula & Southeast Africa. Yesterday’s rain clouds covered #Israel. #IsraelToTheMoon— Israel To The Moon (@TeamSpaceIL) April 1, 2019If all goes well with the April 11 landing, Beresheet will have a two Earth-Day surface mission on the Moon, where it will study the Moon’s landscape, including its craters and topography, and analyze the Moon’s local magnetic field. Once it’s done, Beresheet will prepare to head back to Earth and wrap up its lunar mission.More on Just Became the Seventh Nation to Successfully Orbit the MoonWatch: Israeli Moon Lander Captures Phenomenal Sunrise From SpaceSpaceX Is Launching Israel’s First Mission to the Moon Tonightlast_img read more

Myanmar guilty of genocide Peoples Tribunal

first_imgThe international people’s tribunal in Kuala Lumpur has declared that the Myanmar government is responsible for the recent genocide against the Rohingya and other ethnic minority Muslims.A seven-member panel of judges of the Permanent People’s Tribunal announced the verdict on Friday, indicting the state of Myanmar for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.“The tribunal ruled that Myanmar is guilty of genocide against the people of Kachin and Muslim groups there,” said head judge Daniel Feierstein, who founded the Centre for Genocide Studies in Argentina, reading out the findings. The tribunal held the hearing for five days at the Universiti Malaya Legal Faculty moot court.The judges unanimously announced, “On the strength of the evidence presented, the Tribunal reached the consensus ruling that the State of Myanmar has the intent to commit genocide against the Kachin people and the other Muslim groups.”“Moreover, that genocide against the Rohingya is now taking place with ongoing acts of genocide and the possibility the casualties of that genocide could be even higher in the future if nothing is done to stop it.”Over the past week, the tribunal heard and considered ‘documentary and expert evidence as well as the testimony of some 200 victims of the atrocities committed against the Rohingya, Kachin and other minority groups in Myanmar’, reports The Star online.Of the 17 recommendations, announced afterwards by judge Gill H Boehringer, one was that the Myanmar government must cease the acts of violence against the Muslim minorities there.“Visas and free access must be granted to the United Nation’s Fact Finding to probe the atrocities committed against the Rohingya, Kachin and other groups in Myanmar,” he said.He added the Myanmar government must also amend its constitution and abolish discriminatory laws to give rights and citizenship to the oppressed minorities.He said that the international community must provide financial help to countries such as Bangladesh and Malaysia that are hosting the influx of refugees escaping the violence.More than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine and taken shelter in Bangladesh following the crackdown on 25 August.He added that the tribunal’s findings, judgement and recommendations would be forwarded to international bodies and civil groups to pressure the Myanmar government to act accordingly.Other members are: Zulaiha Ismail (Malaysia), Helen Jarvis (Cambodia-Australia), Gill H Boehringer (Australia), Nursyahbani Katjasungkana (Indonesia), Shadi Sadr (Iran) and Nello Rossi (Italy).The Permanent People’s Tribunal was established in the line with Russel Tribunal II for Latin American dictatorship (1974-1976) in 1979 at Bologna, Italy. Since its journey, the PPT has held 43 sessions notably on the human rights violations that committed by the state actors.last_img read more

Chief Acevedo Wants HPD To Implement A More Data Driven Policing Model

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /01:18 Listen Al OrtizFrom left to right: Houston City Council Member Robert Gallegos, Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards, HPD Chief Art Acevedo and City of Houston’s Controller Chris Brown, show the City’s Proclamation for the 2017 edition of the March on Crime. During the press conference to announce the priorities for this year’s initiative, Acevedo said he wants HPD to implement a more data driven policing model.Art Acevedo, Houston’s Police chief, wants to make the department work in a more innovative way because he is a big believer in the advantages of analyzing crime data.While announcing the 2017 edition of the March on Crime initiative, Acevedo said there are some trends about crime that can be detected through data analysis.Acevedo has been on the job for only three months, but has made clear that one of his goals is turning the Houston Police Department (HPD) into a more data-driven law enforcement agency.“You can almost move into a predictive model where you might be able to determine, based on previous patterns of crime, what should we expect at any given month based on a deep dive, an analysis, of three to five years of crime data,” the chief noted during a press conference held at HPD’s headquarters, which was also attended by City Council members Robert Gallegos and Amanda Edwards, as well as City Controller, Chris Brown.Acevedo says the conclusions of that deep dive could help him decide where to locate or occasionally relocate his officers by moving the department’s resources.The chief is focusing this year’s March on Crime on gang related violence, human trafficking and residential burglaries, but strengthening traffic enforcement is also on the list of priorities.However, the effort will go beyond that.“We have 17 different area coordinators that are gonna not only touch those topics that the chief wants to do, but we know they have their own area problems going on and those coordinators are gonna address those topics with those citizens in that community,” explains officer John Williams.Being more proactive to help Houston’s homeless population will also be part of the initiative.All this comes as HPD is understaffed by several hundred officers. Sharelast_img read more

JU research scholars stage protest after being manhandled by outsiders

first_imgKolkata: Research scholars residing in a hostel inside the Jadavpur University campus staged a demonstration on Tuesday morning, after being allegedly manhandled by some outsiders who had come at the hostel room of two senior research scholars on Monday night. The research scholars of the new Post Graduate Research Hostel demanded action against the offenders and better security to prevent entry of outsiders in hostels, particularly at night.It was only after university Registrar Sneha Manju Basu visited the hostel and assured strong action and strengthening of security measures, that the research scholars lifted their agitation. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”We have formed an inquiry committee led by the Dean of Students and three other university professors, who are members of the varsity welfare board. They have been asked to submit a report in seven days. The university will take strong action against those involved in the incident,” the Registrar said, adding that she, along with the Joint Registrar, have already submitted their observation about the incident to the probe committee. The university authorities have also lodged a police complaint in this connection. “There has been more than one occasion in the recent past, when outsiders have entered hostels and indulged in such acts of nuisance. The peaceful academic ambience as well as our security is at stake,” alleged Subhankar Roy, a research scholar. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAccording to university sources, 61 research scholars stay at the hostel, among whom two are senior research scholars who have been staying there for the last three years. A number of boarders were studying on Monday night, with their examination scheduled on Tuesday. Some outsiders had come to the rooms of these senior research scholars and were allegedly indulging in nuisance over consumption of ganja and liquor. The boarders urged them not to make so much noise as their act was disturbing their studies. They refused to pay heed and allegedly manhandled the boarders in an inebriated state.last_img read more

Couples Resorts appoints new VP North American Sales

first_img Thursday, February 14, 2019 MONTEGO BAY — Couples Resorts, Jamaica has welcomed Pauline Abatemarco-Pigott as its new Vice President, North American Sales.In the newly created role, Pigott will lead a sales force located across North America, and focus on expanding and refining travel agent programs that have been the foundation for Couples Resorts’ success since inception. She will also work closely with major tour operators, wholesalers and online travel agencies that feature the Couples Resorts brand in their portfolio of Caribbean offerings.“I’m truly excited to be a part of the Couples Resorts family,” said Pigott. “My goal is to enhance and build upon the more than 70 years of industry leadership represented in the Couples Resorts brand.”Pigott brings with her more than 25 years of experience in hospitality sales, and has worked on both sides of the equation as a buyer and seller of all-inclusive resort products in the Caribbean.Applauding her “amazing reputation” and calling her a “seasoned sales professional that produces solid results”, Dean Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer for Couples Resorts, Jamaica, said: “I’ve admired Pauline’s work for many years and look forward to immediate results as she crafts our future sales strategies in North America.” << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Share Tags: Couples Resorts, Jamaica, New Hires Couples Resorts appoints new VP, North American Saleslast_img read more

Finding Joy Despite rare cancer diagnoses US expat couple takes the time

first_imgThe Fischers sat in a room on the second floor of the Costa Rican Oncology Institute in La Uruca, a northwestern district of San José, waiting for an appointment with Bautista. According to the Fischers, their doctor has been a lifesaver for them, but punctuality has never been his specialty. In the waiting room, the couple retold their story.A different malady first brought them together in 1986. At the time, both were enrolled as patients at the University of California-Los Angeles in the United States   for the skin condition psoriasis. One day, the head nurse at the facility came up to Bill and told him in no uncertain terms that a patient named Bonnie wanted to meet him. “The rest was history,” Bill said.Bill Fischer, a former Columbia Pictures executive, was awestruck by the dynamic woman who owned a jewelry and bead store in Los Angeles, which catered to Hollywood wardrobe designers. On one of his visits to her shop, Bill remembers watching his hockey idol, Wayne Gretzky, leave with a small paper bag filled with $18,000 worth of beads. The jewels would adorn the wedding dress of Gretzky’s soon-to-be wife, Janet Jones, at the Canadian equivalent of a royal wedding.The Fischers had their own wedding five years later in Costa Rica. It was the second marriage for both. They had enjoyed Costa Rica during trips to visit Bonnie’s son, J.J., who worked in the north-central canton of San Carlos teaching English to employees at the luxury volcanic hotsprings resort  Tabacón. When J.J. decided it was time to go back to the United States and attend graduate school, Bill and Bonnie started a new life in Costa Rica. They moved into a two-story house in Rohrmohser, a western San José neighborhood. Bonnie served two terms as president of the Newcomers’ Club in Costa Rica. Bill answered an ad in The Tico Times looking for part-time work at a local Ace Hardware store – in a few months, he became the manager. After grad school, J.J. met his future wife, who he married at the Ocotal Beach Resort in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. J.J.’s wife, Zeda, who speaks Urdu, Farsi, Arabic and Hebrew, joined the U.S. Foreign Service, and her language skills took them across the world, including posts in India and Israel. Each member of the family carved out a tranquil existence in different countries. Then, the cancer surfaced.In 2009, Bonnie and Bill vacationed in Israel, visiting J.J. and his wife. Throughout the trip, a pain seemed to be bugging Bonnie’s lower back. She received an MRI. The Israeli doctors found several tumors on her spine. They scheduled an operation for the next day. Test results showed Bonnie had neuroendocrine cancer, which produces tumors along the neuroendicrine system, such as the pancreas or spine.“It was astounding,” Bill said. “I was completely unprepared for it. There was no cancer in her family. And when I was subsequently diagnosed there was no cancer in my family.”The private insurance the couple had in Costa Rica would cover the majority of costs for treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. But staying in the U.S. proved too expensive, and the prognosis was grim. They lived out of a Marriott Hotel. And Bonnie continued to receive discouraging news from doctors, who said she would never walk again and would need a catheter the rest of her life. They gave her three years to live.This is the part of the story that seems to get Bill every time he speaks of it. The rest he can tell with his usual stoicism. When he talks about Bonnie’s initial diagnosis, he chokes up. But these are “tears of joy,” he says, because of what happened next. After three months in Jacksonville, the Fischers moved back to Costa Rica. Bill and Bonnie frequented private hospitals Clínica Bíblica, CIMA and the Costa Rican Oncology Institute, where the couple’s insurance covered most of the payments. Bonnie’s condition stabilized. Through physical therapy, she learned to walk again. She had the catheter removed. She survived her three-year prognosis and is living well into her fourth year post-diagnosis.Sandra Moreno, chief chemotherapy nurse at the institute, describes how Bill always dedicated himself to Bonnie. He held her hand and helped her walk to her treatments, never leaving her side.While never religious before, Bill started praying, never asking anything for himself, only for Bonnie’s well-being. For a little while, the couple felt at ease. However, in January, a routine ultrasound for Bill showed lesions on his liver. The discovery led to the infamous bet with Baptista. After a CAT scan, a surgeon removed tumors from Bill’s vertebrae near his neck. He still wears a neck brace, but he’s responded well to chemotherapy. Bill tells of the defining moment of their new lives, which happened after Bonnie’s diagnosis. It was a Tuesday evening, and Bill and Bonnie were headed home after an appointment at Baptista’s office. On the highway, a motorcyclist cut in front of them. In an instant, Bill slammed on the brakes. Something went wrong. Bill can’t remember exactly what happened next. Either the brakes failed or helost control. The car spun around. They faced the oncoming traffic. Bill remembers thinking “this is the end.” Now neither would have to suffer anymore because an oncoming car was going to kill them.But no crash occurred. Bill realized everything was going to be all right.The Fischers moved to a one-story home in Trejos Montealegre de Escazú, southwest of the capital, where Bonnie no longer has to navigate the stairs. The couple goes out to lunch three or four times a week. They have dates at favorite restaurants Novillo Allegro and Yorgos. Once a month they indulged in a wine club. In the past year, Bill and Bonnie watched Amy marry at the Grand Tara Hotel in Escazú. Bonnie returned earlier this month from visiting J.J. and Zeda in Washington, D.C.Bill celebrated a birthday two weeks ago with a dinner of oysters and ribs. Bonnie had her own birthday last week.But the cancer will never go away. Bill’s assessment is honest. They both have stage 4 cancer. It’s an incurable form with so few cases that little data about the illness is available. They will need chemotherapy sessions as long as they live. They started another round on Monday. At the Oncology Institute, IV bags dripped chemotherapy drugs into several patients.In a plain tan shirt, jeans and black shoes, Bill nibbled on Ritz crackers. Next to him, Bonnie indulged in a quarter-pounder from McDonald’s with a side of fries and a Coca-Cola. Her legs are sprawled out on a footrest, her slippers off, revealing cartoon bugs dancing  across her socks. Both are bald, although a white bristly beard covers Bill’s face. Bonnie has eight fresh stitches on her scalp due to a fall. Bill had a similar accident several months ago.“They’re like Siamese twins,” Lindsey said. “Anything that happens to one happens to the other.” They talk about how they’d rather be somewhere else. Many of their friends are gone for the summer. A friend from Jacksonville who assisted Bill and Bonnie when they were at the Mayo Clinic, visited last week but returned home on Tuesday morning.The doctors often check in on the Fischers. And Lindsey, the caretaker, watches over them. To her, she’s tending to two hopeless romantics. Last week, Bonnie’s son sent the couple a collection of their favorite songs from the 1950s and ’60s. In their home, the gentle bellow of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” hummed through speakers. This was their song, they told Lindsey. The neck brace, the cane – those items no longer mattered. Bill and Bonnie waltzed together in the kitchen.Bill said when he first learned of the coincidence that he had the same rare cancer as his wife, he never felt woeful. He saw the ailment as a sign to be closer with Bonnie. He knew there was no longer a choice. They would combat this disease literally side by side, experiencing the same irritations and successes together. Although not every day would be spent in hospitals hooked up to some machine. Some days all one needed was a dance partner. And for that, they had each other too. “I accepted it as now we didn’t have to live without each other,” Bill said. “Now we could simply fade away together.” Facebook Comments From the print editionSix months ago, when the doctor first discovered the tumors, he offered a wager to Bill Fischer. If there was one thing to be sure, these lesions were not related to neuroendocrine cancer.Fischer should’ve taken the bet. The shock wasn’t that Fischer had cancer – it was that his wife, three years ago had been diagnosed with the same disease. The rare cancer affects only 100,000 people a year. The oncologist, Joao Bautista, said the odds of a husband and wife both having neuroendocrine cancer were so small that they were incalculable. “Nobody thought cancer was contagious,” Fischer, 71, joked. “But I caught it from her.”Bonnie Fischer, nearby, laughed at the remark. The Fischers enjoy each other’s sense of humor. Also like any couple, they bicker from time to time; all the same, they would rather not have to deal with neck braces and walkers. The sickness brought drastic changes to their lives in Costa Rica, where they’ve lived for two decades. The two have a caretaker, Dian Lindsey, who drives and cooks for them. But the couple appreciates that they’re in this fight together. “I couldn’t have survived if I didn’t have him,” Bonnie, 69, said. “And now I’m taking care of him,” she later added. Gabe Dinsmoor Bill and Bonnie Fischer met in 1986, when both were enrolled as patients at the University of California-Los Angeles in the United States. 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Scenic Spirit Royal SuiteGo back to the enewslett

first_imgScenic Spirit Royal SuiteGo back to the e-newsletter >Scenic has launched its first South-East Asia River Cruising brochure which features its full collection of Mekong and Irrawaddy river cruises including a number of new Enrich experiences and Freechoice activities, 3 new extensions in Vietnam plus a new tour for 2017.The 2016/2017 programme signals the inaugural sailing season for Scenic Spirit, which will launch on the Mekong in January 2016, travelling over 8 days between Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Siem Reap, and Scenic Aura, launching in September 2016 on the Irrawaddy and travelling over 11 days between the cities of Mandalay and Pyay.Both ships feature all balcony suites – 34 suites on Scenic Spirit and 22 suites on Scenic Aura. All suites feature separate bedroom, living room and balcony and range in size from Scenic Aura’s 24sqm Balcony Suite complete with Scenic Sun Lounge up to Scenic Spirit’s  80sqm Royal Panorama Suite which is the largest suite on the Mekong.This premier suite features 4 separate zones – bathroom with extra-large bathtub, rainfall shower and walk-in dressing room; bedroom; living room and outdoor forward facing deck complete with daybed, Jacuzzi and alfresco dining table.Scenic Spirit and Scenic Aura also boast a choice of dining venues from à la carte to casual dining, a resort-style pool deck and bar area, spacious bar and lounge, Sun Deck with open air cinema, complimentary beverages, butler service for all guests plus a guest laundry.As with all Scenic river cruises, guests will also enjoy included tips and gratuities, expert local guides, all Scenic Freechoice activities plus Scenic Enrich special events and Scenic Sundowners cocktail receptions.Adam Burke, Journey Designer Asia, commented: “Our expansion into South-East Asia has been a huge success since we launched our Mekong river cruises last November. Our guests’ appetite for cruising this region with us has been voracious with sales surpassing expectations. Both rivers offer a wealth of fascinating opportunities and with Myanmar only recently opening up to tourists there really is no better time to visit Asia of old.”The programme sees the launch of a number of new Freechoice activities including a Red Bridge cooking class in Hoi An; a cycle journey around Hanoi’s West Lake; art tour of Saigon; and tour of Dong Ha Hiep Island by sampan. In 2017, guests can also enjoy new Enrich events in Siem Reap including themed gala dinner and Apsara dance performance, and a tethered balloon ride over Angor Wat at sunrise.Three new extensions allow guests to explore even more of Vietnam – Mai Chau Eco Lodge (Mai Chai and Hanoi), Veteran’s Legacy (HCMC, Vung Tau and Nui Dat) and Beach Retreats (Danang, Nha Trang and Long Hai). And a new tour cruise and tour for 2017 – 22 Day Indochina Explorer and Luxury Mekong, travels from the north of Vietnam through Laos and Cambodia, along the Mekong concluding in Vietnam’s capital, Ho Chi Minh City.Scenic is offering fantastic early-bird offers on bookings made by 31 January 2016. Book any journey to Indochina of 13 days or longer, and of 14 days or longer to Myanmar, and fly free to South East Asia including taxes; a saving of up to $3070 per couple.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter The Ranch at Rock Cree

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterThe Ranch at Rock Creek is pleased to offer our industry partners a booking incentive by increasing commission from 10 per cent to 12 per cent for bookings during select dates between: 5 April to 31 May 2016.Please contact a reservations specialist directly with inquiries. Reservations must be made through a Ranch Reservations Specialist. Based on availability, stay restrictions may apply.As a reminder, our valued travel partners always enjoy the benefit of receiving commission on The Ranch at Rock Creek’s all-inclusive rates.Located in the heart of Western Montana, The Ranch at Rock Creek is the world’s only Forbes Travel Guide five-star ranch and the only National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World in the United States. Owner Jim Manley searched the American West for 20 years to find the perfect ranch. Originally a working ranch homesteaded in the early 1900’s, he opened it as an all-inclusive guest ranch in 2010. As a Relais & Chateaux property, we’ve spent the last five years expanding the frontiers of luxury travel with our one-of-a-kind accommodations, extensive amenities, inventive cuisine and access to over 20 guided outdoor activities on 2670 hectares of mountains, meadows, forests, trout ponds and a mountain-fed creek.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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the Cameroonian government said military engaged in a five-hour fight with extremists that left at least one corporal dead and four soldiers wounded,reported? speaking to an audience of service members and investigations are ongoing five more women accused Simmons of sexual misconduct" the governors office says vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined beating well after each The lawmakers while adopting a motion by Fatimat Raji-Rasaki and she responded: "Absolutely not In the case of Class 10 board exams17 percent) and Sani Verma (94A University of Pittsburgh researcher accidentally infected herself with the Zika virus Jessica Rich It was unclear on Tuesday whether the child arrested with Dulaimi was a boy or a girl 2011 by an American Special Forces unit in an operation ordered by President Obama "We have sent them back to China after verifying their nationality" Colonel Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak DAILY POST reports that armed robbers attacked five commercial banks in Offa on April 5 including policemen and a pregnant woman were killed The force who had so far arrested more than 20 principal suspects in connection with the recent bank robbery in Offa Kwara has released simultaneously their photographs while in action The images provided were the clearest since the incident exactly a month ago The police said the Kwara State Government has also promised a N5 million bounty for information about the suspects and they listed the hotlines to be contacted as 08062080913 08126285268080323651220705679206508088450152 Fowler has called the Montana site "the most exciting I’ve ever found"Last year Fowler found three tyrannosaur sites there One find had its feet sticking out of a cliff with all of the bones attached The feet were placed anatomically correct both pointing toward each other and fully articulatedThat specimen has been further excavated with bones from its feet and rib cage uncovered and being brought back to Dickinson Dinosaur Museum"They’ll probably be able to give more information on the species once they get down to the skull" Robert Fuhrman museum director said "It is in a heavily concreted mixture which means it’s difficult to extract but it also means it’s really well protected (Dr Fowler)’s very excited about the quality of what he’s seen"Four to five people work at the site at any time including some University of North Dakota geology students More of the specimen is expected to be uncovered in 2019"It will probably be toward the end of next summer that the major components of this piece can be recovered from this site" Fuhrman said "It’s a difficult extraction just because it’s located some distance off of any navigable road and it’s going to be coming out in heavy chunks"Destiny Wolf museum fossil preparator working with Dr Fowler said excavation at the site where temperatures can reach 108 degrees is exciting"It’s a long process but it will be so worth it" she said where on Oct Mark Blumer Danbatta spoke at the NCC Special Day at the just concluded 2017 Lagos International Trade Fair That [AJAM] Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi 2018 23:32 PM Tags : Reuters Also See The FBI launched a new facial-recognition program on Wednesday DAILY POST gathered that the protest is over the alleged seizure of a primary school in Onitsha by their Catholic counterpart which the Anglicans claim belonged to themWitnesses described the suspects as two black men wearing black ski masks and black clothingA bipartisan group of 16 mayors from across the country took a bus to the Mexican border last week to bring awareness to family separations taking place under the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance policy It was an unusual undertaking for a group of mayors who are typically more concerned with potholes than national policy But experts say that Donald Trump’s presidency is accelerating a trend that had begun even before he took office of local officials getting more involved in national issues All politics is no longer just local it seems “I think what youre seeing is the power of mayors coming together” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez a Republican who recently criticized the family separation policy in a letter to the editor in the Miami Herald “We as cities contain about 80 to 85% of the entire population of the US in our cities . How long before we stop blaming Verstappen’s repeated mistakes on age? covering conflict and political turmoil across the Middle East. Earlier this year, I was in glee. 1954 Martin D.” Wozniak went on to tell the publication more on his feelings about Snowden: “‘Total hero to me; total hero, say brokers.

said neighbouring Malta had to do more to help deal with would-be asylum seekers from Africa and warned that human rights groups looking to save migrants at sea would come under much greater scrutiny. The profit-sharing proposal is part of the Democratic frontrunner’s broad vision for the economy that Clinton will be laying out in a speech Monday.4 meters; highest wheelchair hand plant, TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. N. the National Park Service said. his casinos posted huge losses while others thrived." he said.Donald Masse has been at odds with the city for decades for hoarding at his home near downtown, wants as little to do with any of it as he can get away with.

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allowed crew members to help victims and separate the train to give first responders access.” MORE: To stay up to date on everything Game of Thrones,上海龙凤论坛AS, Hitoshi Murayama, APC, your Faith. The case is remarkable in its scope Experts on Chinese agriculture say that it also reflects real obstacles to innovation within China The US-based defendants roamed rural Illinois Indiana and Iowa in rental cars digging up corn seedlings stealing ears of corn and stealing or illegally obtaining packaged seed according to court documents In 2011 a DuPont Pioneer field manager spotted one alleged thief on his knees digging in a field as a collaborator waited in a nearby parked car The defendants stored hundreds of ears of corn in a storage locker where a manager warned them that their stash might attract rodents They eventually purchased 13 hectares of Iowa farmland in an apparent attempt to conceal their activities FBI agents tracked the group for about a year according to court documents eventually indicting the alleged ringleader Mo Hailong and five partners this past December Last week US prosecutors arrested and charged another suspect in the case Mo Yun a researcher with a “PhD in an animal science field” according to court records heads up DBN’s research and technology division in Beijing All seven defendants have been charged with being part of a conspiracy to steal trade secrets Mo Yun is the wife of DBN Chair Shao Genhuo and the sister of alleged ringleader Mo Hailong Her arrest suggests that agents have traced the operation back to the scientists in China who would have handled any seed lines obtained from the United States Mo Yun who oversaw DBN’s seed breeding efforts in China was “in charge of the specifics from the home country side” DBN’s chief operating officer wrote in an instant message to Mo Hailong that was intercepted by FBI agents The germplasm or genetic makeup of corn lines is a valuable form of intellectual property and is carefully guarded by seed companies Through extensive research breeders develop inbred seed lines that have particular traits They can then be crossbred with other inbred lines to create hybrid lines that are sold to farmers In China Mo Yun and her colleagues operated in an atmosphere that works against the homegrown development of such seed lines say observers of China’s agricultural research programs China’s plant breeding research is mainly conducted in the public sector and researchers are not always in close contact with the companies that sell and trade seeds Less money is available for the private sector says Huang Jikun director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy in Beijing “The current institutional setting and incentive system” is a barrier to innovation he notes Plant breeding research elsewhere in the world has benefited from advances in genomics and molecular markers but plant breeding scientists in China do not work closely with researchers in those areas says Carl Pray an agriculture food and resource economics expert at Rutgers University in New Brunswick New Jersey who has worked in China “Only a few private Chinese companies have developed major biotech and plant breeding research capacities” he adds Rather than labor in an atmosphere stymied by poor investment fragmented research groups and weak intellectual property protection the defendants may have seen obtaining patented seed lines as a shortcut The United States has a climate and crop growing conditions that are similar to China’s making it a “natural place to look” Pray says In 2012 a court document alleges Mo Hailong and two other defendants “attempted to ship approximately 250 pounds of corn seed packaged in 42 5-gallon zip-lock bags contained in 5 separate boxes” from Illinois to a logistics company in Hong Kong Another defendant is said to have stashed “374 small manila envelopes each containing small quantities of corn seed within two boxes of Pop Weaver brand microwave popcorn” which he stowed in his checked luggage on a flight to Beijing Mo Yun who would have overseen efforts to ascertain the germplasm of any stolen seed lines in Beijing allegedly participated from behind the scenes Agents intercepted instant messaging chats in which she and her brother discussed which seeds to collect Later she told her brother that some of the seeds he had sent were performing well She added that a DBN scientist had been asked to test the DNA of the seed lines deemed most promising according to court documents DuPont Pioneer has developed a popular corn line in China in partnership with a Chinese company But because of the Chinese government’s concern about foreign control of China’s seed industry Pray says officials have allowed the company to commercialize only one hybrid cultivar Those tight controls mean that little of the company’s intellectual property finds its way into China Pray says “it could be that if the Chinese government was not so effective at keeping out US companies and US maize lines [Mo Yun] and her brother could have taken these lines from DuPont in China rather than violating US law and taking US trade secrets from the US” Mo Hailong and several other defendants have entered not guilty pleas Attorneys for the accused could not be reached for commentWho would win in a fight: a bark scorpion or a grasshopper mouse It seems like an easy call The bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus) delivers one of the most painful stings in the animal kingdom—human victims have compared the experience to being branded The 25-gram grasshopper mouse (Onychomys torridus) is well a mouse But as you can see in the video above grasshopper mice routinely kill and eat bark scorpions blissfully munching away even as their prey sting them repeatedly (and sometimes right in the face) Now scientists have discovered why the grasshopper mice don’t react to bark scorpion stings: They simply don’t feel them Evolutionary neurobiologist Ashlee Roweof Michigan State University in East Lansing has been studying the grasshopper mice’s apparent superpower since she was in graduate school For the new study she milked venom from nearly 500 bark scorpions and started experimenting When she injected the venom into the hind paws of regular laboratory mice the mice furiously licked the site for several minutes But when she injected the same venom into grasshopper mice they licked their paws for just a few seconds and then went about their business apparently unfazed In fact the grasshopper mice appeared to be more irritated by injections of the saline solution Rowe used as a control Rowe knew that grasshopper mice weren’t entirely impervious to pain—they reacted to injections of other painful chemicals such as formalin just not the bark scorpion venom To find out what was going on she and her team decided to determine how the venom affects the grasshopper mouse’s nervous system in particular the parts responsible for sensing pain Luckily for Rowe’s team feeling pain involves just a few of the body’s many possible chemical channels so they were able to quickly zero in on two of them: Nav17 and Nav18 which work by moving sodium ions in and out of cells In mammals Nav17 initiates a pain signal while Nav18 transmits that signal to the brain Both channels need to be activated for something to hurt In a petri dish Rowe and colleagues could tell that the bark scorpion venom works by targeting Nav17 in cells from lab mice and grasshopper mice But in grasshopper mice Nav18 comes to the rescue with a neat trick: It shuts down in the presence of bark scorpion venom “The [pain] signal might get generated by sodium channel 17 but it does not get sent to the brain by 18” Rowe says Her team reports its results online today in Science “They’ve actually shown the molecular basis by which an animal has evolved [pain] resistance and that’s very cool” says Glenn King a structural biologist at the University of Queensland in Australia who was not involved in the research Pain resistance even to specific stimuli like scorpion venom is an unusual adaptation Rowe says Typically pain “prompts us to take care of ourselves” she says alerting us to dangerous situations like a nearby flame or a cut that could become infected and teaching us to avoid them in the future She speculates that grasshopper mice evolved their resistance to bark scorpion venom so that they could eat the arthropods which are abundant in the Arizona desert where the mice live Bark scorpions “represent a really valuable food resource” in an ecosystem where other prey is scarce she says Although grasshopper mice can usually feel other kinds of pain Rowe observed that they seem to be temporarily insensitive to other painful stimuli after a dose of bark scorpion venom shuts down their Nav18 channels She hopes this trick might be useful for engineering a new class of painkillers for humans “The ideal painkiller is one that you take and your pain goes away but nothing else is affected” says Ewan Smith a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom who was not involved in the current research Because Nav17 and Nav18’s only jobs are to trigger pain he says a drug that targeted one or both of them as well as bark scorpion venom does would inhibit pain but let you keep other types of sensations (no more numb faces after a visit to the dentist) What’s more it would have no side effects or risk of addiction because it would affect the pain pathways and nothing else Smith says Now that’s a superpower worth writing home about *Correction 28 October 3:50 pm: Ashlee Rowe is now at Michigan State University not the University of Texas Austin as was originally reported Flooding has flushed 43 billion plastic pieces out to sea The Mersey River Basin near Manchester, aged 56, A lot of people. read more

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