One thousand genes you could live without

first_imgToday researchers unveiled the largest ever set of full genomes from a single population: Iceland. The massive project, carried out by a private company in the country, deCODE genetics, has yielded new disease risk genes, insights into human evolution, and a list of more than 1000 genes that people can apparently live without.The project also serves as a model for other countries’ efforts to sequence their people’s DNA for research on personalized medical care, says study leader Kári Stefánsson, deCODE’s CEO. For example, the United States is planning to sequence the genomes of 1 million Americans over the next few years and use the data to devise individualized treatments.The deCODE whole genomes study is “an amazing piece of work” that “was impossible 5 years ago,” says human geneticist Daniel MacArthur of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was not involved in the research.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)DeCODE is the controversial Reykjavik company that 19 years ago set out to develop drugs by mining Icelanders’ genetic and medical data for disease genes. It failed to get access to the entire country’s health records, but recruited volunteers who now represent more than 40% of Iceland’s population of 323,000. The company eventually went bankrupt, reformed, then in late 2012 was bought by Amgen Inc. All along, deCODE has churned out papers on genetic variants commonly involved in schizophrenia, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases, mostly by comparing markers scattered along the genomes of healthy and sick people.Now, thanks to cheap genome sequencing, deCODE has sequenced the entire genomes of 2636 Icelanders and combed them for much rarer mutations. By drawing on the country’s genealogy records and on already-collected marker data, the company also calculated who among more than 100,000 other people carries these variants. In an overview paper and three related papers published online today in Nature Genetics, deCODE offers a sampling of what these data revealed.The company found several new disease genes, including mutations in one gene, ABCA7, that double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in people of European ancestry. Genetic marker studies had pointed to this gene, but could not nail down specific high-risk variants. Another paper estimates how quickly the Y chromosome mutates. This analysis suggests the last common human ancestor traced through the male line lived about 239,000 years ago, almost 100,000 years more recently than had been thought. The new rate of Y chromosome mutation will help refine the dates of key events in human evolution and migration, says Agnar Helgason of deCODE.Iceland’s genomes also yielded a bounty of so-called human knockouts—people who carry two nonfunctional copies of one of the roughly 20,000 human genes. Thus, their cells don’t make that gene’s protein. Such individuals could shed light on the function of many genes and point to new drug targets if the knocked-out gene somehow protects against disease. DeCODE found that just over 8000 Icelanders carried 1171 knocked-out genes. Many are probably redundant and not essential or don’t affect health—3% of the missing genes are involved in distinguishing smells, which may have mattered for ancient humans but not for modern ones. But others are potentially intriguing, including a couple that may be involved in hearing. The company now plans to ask some of the people lacking a functional gene to come in for clinical testing so researchers can figure out what the missing genes do.“This is just sort of scratching the surface,” Stefánsson says. MacArthur says there are undoubtedly other findings that Amgen is keeping to itself for now: “It’s clear they’re not giving everything away in these papers,” he says.Geneticists say large population databases will be essential to pin down what portion of people carrying potentially harmful mutations will develop disease, and if the effects can be mitigated by other genes, for example. That is also one goal of President Barack Obama’s proposed Precision Medicine Initiative, which centers on a genomics study of 1 million Americans. “The benefits are enormous,” MacArthur says.last_img read more

Canada eyes 7 pct growth in tourist arrivals from India in 2018

first_imgCanada, which witnessed a record number of visitors from India last year, is eyeing 7 per cent growth in tourist arrivals from the sub-continent. “We saw a record number of 2.5 lakh Indians visiting Canada in 2017, which was 17.37 per cent increase from 2016. However, this we would like to be cautious while projecting growth and expect 7 per cent rise in footfalls from India in 2018 compared to last yearRead it at Financial Express Related Itemslast_img

EAC stuns NU in Filoil hoops; Cardinals cruise past Chiefs

first_imgDuterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP The Bulldogs were slowed by their 39 turnovers. The Generals may not have capitalized on that, scoring just six points of those errors, but National U simply could not find its groove due to the lost possessions.Meanwhile, Mapua scored its first win in the tournament after crushing Arellano, 85-65, in another game.A 25-4 start was all the Cardinals needed to snap a three-game slide and hand the Chiefs a second straight defeat.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too View comments Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Manila police chief: Cops tolerating illegal street vendors to get ax PLAY LIST 01:22Manila police chief: Cops tolerating illegal street vendors to get ax01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:15SC chief Peralta wants US-Marshall patterned security for PH judges02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venuecenter_img The rebuilding program of the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals just scored a huge win.EAC stunned National University, 77-73, for its first win in two outings in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Eagles claim title over Archers Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Jethro Mendoza led the Generals with 20 points, including eight straight in the dying minutes of the game to tame the Bulldogs.In a match where both teams swapped leads, EAC finally got over the hump on an 11-2 run for a 58-52 spread going into the final period.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsJP Maguliano added 12 for the Bulldogs.It was a sorry loss for NU, which got 17 points from Dave Ildefonso who scored 17 while Chino Mosqueda and Isaa Gaye added 11 and 10, respectively.last_img read more

Saturday Marks Fourth Bedlam Big 12 Title Game In Six Years

first_imgOU and Oklahoma State have been top dogs in the Big 12 since it went to 10 teams in 2011. OU is 42-11 in Big 12 games since 2011. Oklahoma State is 38-15. No other team has more than 35 wins. That’s pretty crazy. Even crazier is that this is not necessarily a new trend.Not only do the Pokes and Sooners have the two best Big 12 records, they have also played the most games for the Big 12 title since the league went to a round robin format in 2011. Let’s take a look at each “Big 12 title game” by year.2011: Bedlam in StillwaterProbably the greatest game of the Mike Gundy era. If OU had won, both teams would have been tied with Kansas State at 7-2, but OU would have taken the conference crown because of wins over OSU and Kansas State.2012: Texas at Kansas StateOU claims to be co-champs this year, but I’m only counting outright winners. The Wildcats beat the Sooners that year. They’re the champs. No matter how many banners Bob Stoops hangs. They beat Texas in the final game of the regular season at home.2013: Bedlam in Stillwater, Texas at BaylorOklahoma State would have clinched the Big 12 title with a win over OU in Stillwater. Alas, Justin Gilbert did not catch it. Baylor beat Texas later that evening. Texas (!) would have won the conference with a win. Baylor finished 8-1. OU, OSU and Texas finished 7-2.2014: Kansas State at BaylorBaylor locked up the Big 12 title (with a fat asterisk from Ft. Worth) with a big win at home over Kansas State. TCU beat Iowa State 55-3 and moved out of the top four in the CFB Playoff rankings because of data points and conference champions (or something like that). I wonder if that will happen to Ohio State this year**LOL2015: Bedlam in StillwaterAnother Bedlam for the Big 12 title. This one was improbable as TCU had to beat Baylor in a monsoon earlier in the week. But it happened, and OU finished 8-1 as OSU and TCU finished 7-2.Add ’em UpHere are all the games played by teams in which a win in the final week would have meant a Big 12 title since the league moved to 10 teams in 2011.OSU: 4OU: 3Baylor: 2Kansas State: 1Texas: 1I’m including this year’s Bedlam game. It is just the third game since 2011 in which the winner would take the Big 12, but it is the fourth that could serve as at least a partial de facto title game (as OSU blew its shot in 2013 with the best defense in school history). That’s an impressive run for such a lopsided rivalry. And one that’s about to head elsewhere on the schedule.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Barcelona January transfer news LIVE

first_imgTransfers Barcelona January transfer news LIVE: Messi wants Odriozola at Barca Goal Last updated 1 year ago 18:35 1/14/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Transfers Barcelona Primera División Goal brings you all the latest news, rumours and deals related to the Blaugrana as the January transfer window heats up Messi wants Odriozola at BarcaLionel Messi wants Alvaro Odriozola at Barcelona, reports Don Balon . According to the report, Messi wants the 22-year-old from Real Sociedad to play on the right side, with the  La Liga giants currently lacking natural right wingers. But Barca will have competition from Real Madrid for his services, with Florentino Perez having already shown an interest in his signature.  Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Inter closing on double dealRamires Jiangsu SuningInter are closing in on deals for former Chelsea midfielder Ramires and Barcelona star Rafinha, says Corriere dello Sport.Ramires is currently in China with Jiangsu Suning, while his fellow Brazil international Rafinha has struggled for fitness and game time at Camp Nou.A double deal could be tied up by the Serie A title hopefuls in the next few days.Coutinho arrival upsets DembeleOusmane Dembele BarcelonaOusmane Dembele is feeling left out at Barcelona after the arrival of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, according to Diario Gol . The Spanish outlet claims that the former Dortmund forward is worried about his place in the team, with both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez wanting Coutinho in the lineup instead of him. The report states that Messi has enough sway with the club to pick who he wants on the pitch, and that his friendship with the Brazilian and Coutinho’s playing style has the 20-year-old worried that he could end up as the odd man out, with Suarez, Messi and the ex-Liverpool man playing as the front three.  Rush fears £200m bid for SalahMohamed Salah LiverpoolLivrepool legend Ian Rush fears that Real Madrid and Barcelona could come after Mohamed Salah with a massive bid of bid £200 million.“On current form I would place Mo Salah ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo . He’s better than them at the moment,” Rush is quoted as saying by the Mirror . “Mo is also the African Player of the Year, which – considering the standard of their players throughout Europe – is a great honour.“There’s already been talk of Real ­Madrid looking at him – and who can blame them? In today’s inflated market, it wouldn’t surprise me if Liverpool one day received a £200m bid for him.“Hopefully, he is happy where he is – after all, he only arrived last summer.“There’s a time and a place to sell a player if the right money comes in, but, for Liverpool, it’s certainly not now.”Griezmann still a priority for BarcaAntoine Griezmann Atletico MadridBarcelona are to step up their efforts to land Antoine Griezmann after completing a deal for Philippe Coutinho, Guillem Balague has told Sky Sports .The Catalan giants are said to be keen on adding two global superstars to their ranks, with the Atletico Madrid forward next in their sights.Inter close to Rafinha loanRafinha Iker Muniain Barcelona Athletic Bilbao La Liga 02042017Inter Milan are closing in on a loan move for Barcelona’s Rafinha, according to the Mirror . The Brazilian is looking for regular playing time ahead of the World Cup, and the Serie A side would hold an option to buy in the summer. Arda completes Basaksehir moveArda TuranBarcelona have confirmed that Arda Turan has completed a loan switch to Basaksehir.The midfielder will join the Turkish club until 2020 having struggled for regular game time at Camp Nou.Check out the full story on Goal right here !Madrid would’ve paid €250m Messi release clauseLionel Messi BarcelonaReal Madrid were willing to activate Lionel Messi’s release clause back in 2013, reports El Mundo .  The Barcelona talisman has been linked with Manchester City in the past, but apparently the Catalan club’s fierce rivals were willing to pay the fee that would’ve allowed them to enter contract talks with the Argentine.Liverpool’s Coutinho risk stuns CarragherPhilippe Coutinho BarcelonaLiverpool’s decision to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona during the winter window has stunned Jamie Carragher, with a top-four risk taken at Anfield.The Reds were able to fend off advances from Camp Nou last summer, but eventually bowed to pressure when sanctioning a €160m sale in January.Read the full story on Goal.last_img read more

Nainggolan quashes Chelsea & CSL talk

first_imgTransfers ‘I might sign for life’ – Nainggolan further quashes Chelsea talk with Roma contract hint Chris Burton 19:15 2/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Radja Nainggolan Roma Getty Images Transfers Chelsea Roma Serie A Premier League CSL The Belgium international midfielder has been heavily linked with a move away from the Italian capital, but he claims he could sign a deal “for life” Radja Nainggolan may have sparked talk of interest from Chelsea and the Chinese Super League, but he is open to a contract “for life” at Roma.The Belgium international midfielder saw his future called into question once again during the winter transfer window.Antonio Conte has long been a fan of the combative 29-year-old and has been heavily linked with a move to take him to Stamford Bridge, while CSL outfit Beijing Guoan were reported to be plotting an approach in January. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Nainggolan has, however, seen the deadline in Europe pass with no deal done and reiterated that he remains fully committed to the Roma and prepared to discuss fresh terms in the Italian capital.“I am very happy here and I don’t see any reasons why I would want to leave,” he told Sky Sport Italia.“I am living well and I have everything that I need.“I might sign here for life since I have rejected many teams in the past.“If the team decides to sell me in the future then I can’t do much but at the moment, I am very happy to be here in Rome.”Nainggolan first linked up with Roma in January 2014, with an initial loan switch from Cagliari turned into a permanent transfer later that year.He has gone on to make 185 appearances for the club, netting 29 goals.A 12-month extension was agreed to his contract in the summer of 2017, with that deal set to keep him at Stadio Olimpico until at least 2021.last_img read more

10 months agoMan City, Man Utd target Ndombele stalls Lyon exit plans

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Man City, Man Utd target Ndombele stalls Lyon exit plansby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTanguy Ndombele is reluctant to leave Lyon in January.Sky Sports says Ndombele will opt to remain with the French club until at least the end of the season.The combative midfielder has been heavily linked with a move, with Premier League clubs Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham amongst those rumoured to have an interest.But sources close to the player believe he would prefer to remain in Lyon for the rest of the campaign.Ndombele revealed last week he turned down a big money move to Manchester City last summer. last_img read more

Military faces calls to train soldiers to identify neoNazis hategroup members

first_imgOTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is facing calls to train its recruiters and other service members to identify and screen out members of hate groups.The military is also being accused of failing to take the issue seriously by adopting what several experts say is a wait-and-see approach rather than actively weeding out such individuals.The criticism follows an internal military report and several high-profile incidents linking some service members to right-wing extremists and hate groups.That includes an investigation this week into a reservist in Manitoba who is suspected of being a recruiter for a neo-Nazi group.The Defence Department says the military already uses interviews and background checks to screen recruits for hateful beliefs and behaviour and takes very seriously any reported incidents by current personnel.But several experts tell The Canadian Press that is not good enough, and that the military must launch a campaign similar to efforts to stamp out sexual misconduct to truly root out extremist beliefs and behaviour.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Yellen sounds upbeat on economy signalling likely rate hike

first_imgWASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Sunday sketched a bright outlook for the U.S. economy and for inflation prospects in coming months, saying the impact of the recent hurricanes will likely slow economic growth slightly but only temporarily and should be followed by a rebound by year’s end.Her comments suggested that the central bank will soon resume raising interest rates to reflect the strengthening economy. Most economists foresee the next rate hike — the third this year — coming in December.Speaking to an international banking seminar, Yellen acknowledged that the persistence of undesirably low inflation this year has been a surprise. But she said she expected inflation to start picking up as the effects of temporary factors, such as falling prices for consumer cellphone service, begin to fade.“Economic activity in the United States has been growing moderately so far this year, and the labour market has continued to strengthen,” Yellen said in a speech to a panel that included central bank officials from China, Japan and the European Central Bank.Of the hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Yellen noted that they caused enormous damage. But she added:“While the effects of the hurricanes on the U.S. economy are quite noticeable in the short term, history suggests that the longer-term effects will be modest and that aggregate economic activity will recover quickly.”Yellen said that the economy’s growth, as measured by the gross domestic product, might have slowed slightly in the July-September quarter as a consequence of the hurricanes but that growth is likely rebounding in the current quarter.The Fed chair’s speech Sunday followed the central bank’s decision at its meeting last month to leave its benchmark short-term rate unchanged in a range of 1 per cent to 1.25 per cent. At the same time, the Fed announced that it would begin parings its enormous portfolio of bonds, which it had amassed after the 2008 financial crisis in an effort to hold down long-term loan rates for consumers and businesses. The move to let its balance sheet gradually shrink could mean higher rates on mortgages and other loans over time.During a question period, Yellen was asked whether a booming stock market that some see as overvalued or potentially higher budget deficits resulting from the Trump administration’s tax cut plan had increased economic uncertainty.Yellen declined to respond specifically but noted that the Fed’s staff has described stock prices as elevated. At the same time, she said market levels should be viewed in the context of a banking system that she called “dramatically improved” since the 2008 financial crisis.The Fed chair said the administration’s proposed tax cuts may have boosted consumer and business confidence but so far appear to have had little effect on investment or spending decisions. She said the Fed was taking a “wait and see attitude” on how the tax program might affect the economy given the many unknowns about what it might look like when the plan emerges from Congress.In his presentation, Zhou Xiaochuan, head of China’s central bank, said that his country is trying to cut excess capacity in its steel and cement industries by 10 per cent but that China requires a sizable output in those areas to support an infrastructure construction program. The Trump administration has been pushing China to reduce production in such areas as steel, saying its overcapacity has depressed global prices for steel and hurt American producers.Haruhiko Kuroda, head of the Bank of Japan, said that his country’s economy was expanding moderately and that heightened global political risks so far haven’t destabilized financial markets. He did not say what risks he was referring to, but investors have been focusing on the standoff with North Korea over its increased missile tests and development of nuclear weapons.The officials spoke before the Group of 30, an international body of bankers and academics. Gary Cohn, who leads President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, spoke on a separate panel about the administration’s efforts to scale back some of the tighter rules imposed on the U.S. financial sector after the 2008 crisis. In particular, he reiterated that the administration supported easing restrictions on smaller banks.Yellen’s appearance Sunday came as her future at the central bank is in doubt, with her four-year term as chair ending in February. Trump has been considering several candidates for the post, in addition to the possibility of offering Yellen a second term. The other candidates include Jerome Powell, a member of the Fed’s board; Kevin Warsh, a former member of the board; John Taylor, a Stanford University economist; and Cohn.Last week, administration officials said Trump is likely to announce his decision with a month.last_img read more

Why focus only on Lasantha Prageeth asks TNA MP

He said that several incidents targeting the media in the North had taken place when the former Government was in power, in areas close to where there was a strong military presence. (Colombo Gazette) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian and owner of the Northern based ‘Uthayan’ newspaper E Saravanabavan, today questioned as to why the Government is only investigating the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickremetunga and the disappearance of cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda and not the attacks on journalists in the North.Speaking in Parliament today, Sarawanabavan said that while it is good to see the new Government investigating some of the incidents involving journalists, there must be focus on incidents involving journalists in the North as well. read more

Body found in wooded area in Dunnville OPP investigate

Ontario Provincial Police are investigating after a body was found in a wooded area in Dunnville.Police say someone was walking through the area around 4:50 p.m. on Thursday and found an “unresponsive person.”Emergency crews responded to the scene and the man was deceased. The OPP Emergency Response Team has secured the area while the investigation is being conducted.The cause of death and the identity of the man are not known at this time.Police are expected to provide an update as information becomes available through the investigation. read more

Draft resolution on Middle East under discussion in Security Council President

Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom told reporters, after the closed-door talks, that Syria was keen to put its text to an early vote.”During our consultations, Council members expressed their concern to send a strong, united message to the parties involved,” he noted, and as a result of those talks, “the Syrian delegation has agreed to consult with others and will consider proposed amendments to the text before coming back to the Council to offer an amended version.”The Council agreed that once the Syrians have presented an amended text, Ambassador Jones Parry added, “the Syrian delegation and the Presidency will consult on the timing of a vote, leaving open the possibility of an early vote tomorrow on that amended resolution.” read more

Biblical sites in Israel Albanian museum city join UN World Heritage List

With the latest inscriptions, Bahrain, Moldova, and Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time enter the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List, which now numbers 812 sites – 628 cultural, 160 natural and 24 mixed – in 137 States Parties.UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee added the new sites at a weeklong meeting ending in Durban, South Africa, yesterday.The new sites are:The Museum-City of Gjirokastra in Albania, a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, with a 13th-century citadel;The Qal’at al-Bahrain Archaeological Site in Bahrain, an artificial mound created by many successive layers of human occupation from 2300 B.C. to the 16th century A.D;The Residential and Cultural Complex of the Radziwill Family at Nesvizh in Belarus, dating from the 16th century;The Struve Arc in Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Moldova, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine, a chain of survey triangulations carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve;The Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, a printing plant and publishing house dating from the Renaissance and Baroque periods;The Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which developed in the 15th and 16th century as an Ottoman frontier town;The Humberstone and Santa Laura works in Chile where workers from Chile, Peru and Bolivia lived in company towns and forged a distinctive communal culture;The historic centre of Macao in China, a port under Portuguese administration until 1999, with historic streets and residential, religious and public buildings;The colonial town of Cienfuegos in Cuba, a trading place for sugar cane, tobacco and coffee founded in 1819 and initially settled by immigrants of French origin;The city of Le Havre in France, a port severely bombed during World War II and rebuilt according to a plan that maintains its unity and integrity;The mausoleum of Oljaytu in Soltaniyeh, Iran, built in 1302-1312, an outstanding example of Persian architecture and a key monument in the development of its Islamic architecture;The Biblical tells of Megiddo, Hazor and Beer Sheba in Israel, pre-historic settlement mounds containing substantial remains of cities with biblical connections;The four Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta in Israel, spread along routes linking them to the Mediterranean end of the Incense and Spice route;Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica in Italy, containing outstanding vestiges dating back to Greek and Roman times, with 5,000 tombs dating from the 13th to 7th century B.C.;The Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove in Nigeria, one of the last remnants of primary high forest in southern Nigeria, regarded as the abode of the goddess of fertility Osun and dotted with shrines and sculptures honouring Osun and other Yoruba deities;The historical centre of Yaroslavl in Russia, renowned for its many 17th century churches, an outstanding example of the urban planning reform Empress Catherine the Great ordered for the whole of Russia in 1763;Kunya-Urgench in Turkmenistan, containing a series of monuments from the 11th to 16th centuries, including a mosque, the gates of a caravanserai, fortresses, mausoleums and a minaret. read more

Security Council extends peacekeeping mandate in Western Sahara until next April

Calling for more contributions to help re-unite families separated during the conflict in Western Sahara, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) there until next April.The Security Council requested a report from the Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the situation in the territory before the 30 April end of the extended mandate and asked that Mr. Annan’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Peter van Walsum, brief the Council on his progress within three months of the adoption of the resolution.Mr. Annan had requested a six-month extension of the mission, citing continued instability in Western Sahara stemming from the political impasse between the Moroccan Government, which claims the former Spanish colony, and the Frente POLISARIO independence movement, as well as the continued violations of their military agreement and alleged human rights abuses.The 14-year-old UN mission has been monitoring a ceasefire between the two sides and is seeking to organize a referendum on the territory’s future status.The Council made its decisions noting “the POLISARIO Front’s 18 August 2005 release of the remaining 404 Moroccan prisoners of war in compliance with international humanitarian law, and calling upon the parties to continue to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross to resolve the fate of persons who are unaccounted for since the beginning of the conflict.”After meeting with national leaders in Algiers, Mauritania and Morocco earlier this month, Mr. van Walsum said the parties in the region were “quasi-irreconcilable.” read more

Germany May Be the Best National Soccer Team Ever

Germany didn’t begin the World Cup as the favorite. That honor belonged to (ahem) Brazil. But that’s a slightly deceptive measure. This was a top-heavy World Cup; not only Brazil but also Germany, Argentina and Spain would have been the front-runners in many past editions of the tournament.By the end of the World Cup, Germany left little doubt it is the best team in the world. In fact, it may be the best national soccer team ever assembled.One simple way to compare World Cup winners is by their goal differential throughout the tournament. Germany, with 18 goals scored and four allowed, comes out at a plus-14. This is tied for the best goal differential ever for a World Cup champion; Brazil also scored 18 goals and allowed four in winning the 2002 tournament.No, the Germans weren’t flawless. They tied Ghana in the group stage and had a little more trouble than they should have with Algeria in the Round of 16. But few World Cup champions are perfect in every match. All but three eventual winners took a draw or loss, or required a penalty shootout, along the way (soccer statisticians usually count games that go to penalties as draws).And some of these teams were fortunate in other respects. Uruguay only needed to play four matches to win the inaugural World Cup in 1930. Uruguay also had the benefit of playing on home soil. Brazil, in 2002, had a favorable draw — China, Costa Rica and Turkey were in its group.The Germans, by contrast, did this against some tough competition. They took down Argentina and Brazil in the knockout stage, along with a French team that had been playing as well as anyone.The World Football Elo Ratings provide one way to account for all these factors: a team’s strength going into the tournament, its dominance during the tournament itself, the quality of its competition, and whether it was aided by playing at home.Germany’s Elo rating was high to begin with at 2046, which is stronger than a number of World Cup winners. But it gained 150 more points throughout the World Cup (about half of them by beating Brazil 7-1), finishing with a rating of 2196.This is the highest Elo rating ever for a World Cup champion. The 1962 Brazil team previously held the top spot.In fact, it’s the highest a national soccer team has ever been rated in the Elo system. Before Germany, the highest-rated team of all time had been Hungary in 1954. Hungary’s rating peaked at 2166 after winning the World Cup semifinal, but then it lost to West Germany in the tournament’s final match.I’ll be curious to see how this year’s German team is regarded in barroom arguments around the world, both now and with the benefit of hindsight. It doesn’t have a transcendent superstar, although it has a number of players who might rank in the top 20 or 25 in the world. It’s often said that the Germans didn’t have a distinctive style — although their relentless attacking play represents the new paradigm in world football, and it led to the highest-scoring and perhaps most exciting World Cup in many years.Other teams — notably Spain from 2008 to 2012, and Brazil under Pele — had longer sustained stretches at the apex of world football. But Germany is young and deep. Mario Götze, who scored the winning goal in the final Sunday, is 22. Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos are 24, and Mesut Özil is 25. The Germans have a good chance to go in as the favorites in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Still, the competition is going to be tough. At the start of the next tournament, Brazil’s Neymar and Colombia’s James Rodríguez will be just 26, and Lionel Messi — despite playing in his fourth World Cup — only 30. France is perhaps a player away from competing with the world’s best teams, and after having won FIFA’s Under-20 World Cup last year, it could make that transition soon. This is a great era for the international game, and that makes what Germany accomplished all the more impressive. read more

Who Needs Bryce Harper When You Have Aaron Hicks

playerTeamTOTALper 600 plate app. Aaron Hicks is climbing the WAR chartsThe top 20 MLB players by wins above replacement per 600 plate appearances, 2017-18 8Jose AltuveAstros12.56.04 19Giancarlo StantonMarlins/Yankees10.84.73 9Francisco LindorIndians13.25.51 It once seemed inevitable that the New York Yankees would sign Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper when he became a free agent at the end of this season. Though Harper has been injured and inconsistent since his 2015 MVP year, he’s still a rare talent who will hit free agency just entering his physical prime at age 26 — and the Yankees are one of the few teams able to afford him.But the Yankees may no longer need Harper’s services in the outfield. They’ve found a new star to join Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of their big names, a star who may not be as well-known but who has turned into one of the game’s best players: Aaron Hicks.The underrated 28-year-old is in his prime and under club control through the 2019 season. Hicks avoided arbitration by settling for a modest one-year, $2.85 million deal last offseason. He’ll be a relative bargain next year, too.Hicks homered Saturday and later provided the walk-off hit against Baltimore to clinch a playoff berth for the Yankees. He left Monday’s game in the fourth inning with hamstring discomfort, but he told reporters he isn’t concerned and should be able to return in a few days.Through Sunday, Hicks was tied for 17th in position player wins above replacement at 4.9 WAR, according to FanGraphs. (Harper was tied for 38th.) WAR is an accumulative stat, so when we adjust for playing time,1Hicks missed significant time in 2017 because of an oblique injury. Hicks ranked 11th in baseball in WAR per 600 plate appearances since 2017. By that measure, he placed ahead of stars like Christian Yelich, J.D. Martinez and Kris Bryant in terms of overall performance per playing time. 17J.D. MartinezTigers/D-Backs/Red Sox9.14.88 15Kris BryantCubs9.25.01 WAR 1Mike TroutAngels16.38.95 14Alex BregmanAstros11.05.04 Among players with at least 800 plate appearances since the start of the 2017 season.Source: FanGraphs 5Anthony RendonNationals12.46.32 10Tommy PhamCardinals/Rays9.65.38 4Jose RamirezIndians14.56.61 12Christian YelichMarlins/Brewers11.25.11 13Andrelton SimmonsAngels10.45.07 20Lorenzo CainRoyals/Brewers9.74.72 6Justin TurnerDodgers9.56.08 3Aaron JudgeYankees13.06.79 16J.T. RealmutoMarlins8.94.88 18Nolan ArenadoRockies10.64.82 7Matt ChapmanAthletics9.36.06 2Mookie BettsRed Sox15.16.91 11Aaron HicksYankees8.25.30 Hicks projects to finish 2018 as a 5-WAR center fielder, a star-level player. He blends one of the game’s strongest outfield arms (reaching 105.5 mph with a throw in 2016) at a premium defensive position with one of the most disciplined bats in the majors and burgeoning switch-hitting power.Of course, prior to last season, he had been a major disappointment. The Twins selected Hicks — a two-way star at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California — 14th overall in the 2008 draft. He made multiple top 100 prospect lists. But in his three years in the majors with Minnesota, covering 928 plate appearances, Hicks batted just .225 with a .306 on-base percentage and .349 slugging mark. It was good for an OPS+ of 81, meaning he was 19 percent below the average major league offensive performer.On Nov. 11, 2015, the Twins ran out of patience and traded Hicks to the Yankees for John Ryan Murphy, a replacement-level catcher with a career on-base mark of .269. Murphy is now a backup in Arizona.“In Minnesota, I feel like I was just trying to hit for a high average. That’s pretty much all I was trying to do,” Hicks told me in July. “I didn’t worry about home runs or anything like that. I just tried to get on base and have a high on-base percentage and hit singles: up-the-middle, opposite field.”The approach was generally ineffective for Hicks. When he arrived at Yankee Stadium, which has one of the shortest right-field fences in baseball, his entire philosophy changed. With the Twins in 2015, Hicks pulled batted balls at a 35.8 percent rate. Hicks has increased his pull percentage to 42.9 percent last season and to 45.1 percent this season, making him the 28th most pull-oriented hitter in the game.“When I came here, they wanted me to use my athleticism to hit the ball in the air more,” Hicks said. “Hit for more power. … The [Yankees major league] staff has been amazing as far as being able to elevate my game, different approaches in how to attack the baseball, and how to become the type of player I want to be.”The Yankees as a team focus on power and pull. That philosophy may be why the Yankees (251 home runs through Sunday) could challenge the 1997 Seattle Mariners’ single-season team home run record (264) despite having only one player (Stanton) with more than 30 home runs this season.Hicks doesn’t have the raw power of some of his teammates: His average exit velocity of 87.3 mph puts him in the middle of the pack in the majors, ranking 195th out of 336 batters. But he said his focus on power and pull has a side benefit: He’s become more selective at the plate. Hicks ranks fifth in baseball in walk rate on the season at 15.8 percent, a slight increase from his 14.1 percent mark last year and a large gain from 2016 (8.3 percent) and 2015 (8.7 percent). In the second half of this season, Hicks leads baseball in walk rate at 19.6 percent.“When I try and get the ball in the air, I swing at less stuff, because if I can’t hit a pitch in the air, I don’t swing at it,” Hicks said. “Naturally, I start to walk more. … If I’m getting pitches I can’t do damage with, I’m not going to swing until I have to with two strikes.”Only two major league players have walked more frequently and hit more home runs than Hicks this season: Harper and Mike Trout.Hicks swung at 23.8 percent of pitches classified as out of the strike zone in 2015 and 24.4 percent in his first year with the Yankees in 2016. That rate dipped to 21.5 percent last year and 19.4 percent this season. Among qualified hitters, only Joey Votto, Alex Bregman, Andrew McCutchen and Mookie Betts are swinging at fewer pitches out of the strike zone. Those players are either MVP candidates (Bregman, Betts) or have won MVP Awards (Votto, McCutchen). Trout ranks seventh.Pitchers have thrown Hicks — an excellent fastball hitter — fewer and fewer four-seam fastballs, from 34.8 percent of offerings in 2016 to 31.2 this season. Yet Hicks is slugging .525 against curveballs and holding his own against changeups.The Yankees have unearthed a star. While the club could still pursue Harper, Hicks gives it an alternative. He allows New York to invest $400 million elsewhere this winter and beyond.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

This government is shrouding itself in secrecy Fianna Fáil hit out at

first_imgFOR THE SECOND night in a row, the Fianna Fáil environment spokesperson Barry Cowen had a chance to take aim at Phil Hogan over the controversy that surrounds Irish Water.Introducing a Private Members Bill in the Dáil tonight, Cowen criticised Hogan for the problems and the spending at the utility.“What we are seeing here is the ongoing failure of this government to be transparent in relation to Irish Water.“They are shrouding themselves in secrecy. We are now in GUBU territory,” Cowen said.He said that all government TDs were complicit in denying deputies the chance to raise questions about Irish Water.His party colleague Colm Keaveney raised concerns with the Dáil over the tendering process, saying that some workers felt intimidated.“Contractors who contacted me were so nervous about potential consequences for themselves, in bringing these matters to public notice, that they felt unable to talk to their local TDs. So much so, that they felt it necessary to contact a TD from the far side of the country.”The Minister of State with responsibility for the project, Fergus O’Dowd, was before the Dáil on behalf of Phil Hogan tonight and said that he was taking Keaveney’s concerns seriously.He said, however, that it was “simply not the case” that Hogan had withheld details on the set up cost of Irish Water. He said that given the nature of setting up a utility, it was “not appropriate” to allow Irish Water be examined through parliamentary questions.He said that a mechanism will be put in place for TDs to scrutinise the utility.He added that Irish Water was “positively not a prelude to privatisation”.PACMeanwhile, at the Public Accounts Committee, the secretary general of the Department of the Environment also told TDs this evening that the Department was not aware of the details of the €86 million spend on outside consultants.Secretary general Geraldine Tallon and her deputy Maria Graham told the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee that they were told in March 2013 that this figure represented a “ceiling” of what would be spent on outside services, but did not know of the final planned spend.The two civil servants also told the committee that Minister Phil Hogan was also not aware of this figure and he did not request information on it.Ronán Duffy contributed additional reporting.Read: Water charges will be announced ‘in or around August’Read: ‘No, is the answer to that question’: Taoiseach won’t ask Phil Hogan to resignlast_img read more

Death row inmates file lawsuit to prevent executions of eight men in

first_imgDeath row inmates file lawsuit to prevent executions of eight men in 10 days Arkansas has scheduled the executions in order to use its supply of a lethal injection drug before it expires. Share160 Tweet Email Not only has Arkansas’s rush to execute eight plaintiffs over the course of ten days forced the state to violate its own mandatory procedures for clemency review, but it has necessarily undermined each plaintiff’s individual opportunity to advocate for mercy. File photo Source: Pat SullivanDEATH ROW INMATES in Arkansas have filed a lawsuit to contest the US state’s plan to end their lives over a shortened period of just 10 days.The state’s Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson has stirred intense controversy since announcing the executions of eight men in 10 days, citing shortages of a drug used in lethal injections.The inmates said the accelerated schedule did not give them enough time to prepare their appeals, adding that the shortened timeframe violated Arkansas rules.“Each plaintiff named in this suit has suffered irreparable injury on account of the frantic execution schedule sought by the state,” six of the eight men concerned wrote in their complaint. Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson Source: Kelly Kissel The eighth amendment of the US Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.Death penalty critics have condemned the executions, noting that Arkansas has not conducted a single execution since 2005.The accelerated schedule comes amid a shortage of death penalty drugs across the United States, with Arkansas’s stock of midazolam, a sedative used to anaesthetise inmates, nearing its expiration date.The inmates also complained about the state’s drug protocol, saying midazolam does not make recipients sufficiently unconscious, meaning they suffer extreme pain.Under the governor’s plan, two of the inmates would be put to death on 17 April, two on 20 April, two on 24 April and the final pair on 27 April.No single US state has held eight executions in 10 days since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.© – AFP, 2017Read:‘Like a war zone’: Tourist areas badly hit as Cyclone Debbie ravages Australia coastRead: Trump’s climate plan labelled ‘a colossal mistake that defies science’ Short URL By AFP 38 Comments Wednesday 29 Mar 2017, 7:50 AM 19,472 Views Mar 29th 2017, 7:50 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Young Greeks living at home on the up

first_imgFewer young Greeks live with their parents than in countries like Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain, according to new EU-wide research. A report, entitled Social Situation of Young People in Europe, found that some 46 per cent of young people in Greece under the age of 29 – the same percentage as in Luxembourg – are living with their parents. This figure is up from 37 per cent in 2007.That put it two points below the EU average. The survey found that almost half of 18-29 year olds in the EU are still living with their parents. Compiled by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), the report charts the changing social situation of young people aged between 18 and 29 across the EU. The report relates to data from 2011, whereas the previous report from the group contained data from 2007.The study found that one in three (35 per cent) of young Greek people reported experiencing “serious deprivation”, which is defined as the “inability to afford items considered essential”. This figure is up from 20 per cent in 2007.The survey asked respondents if their households could afford six basic items: keeping the home adequately warm; paying for a week’s annual holiday away from home (not staying with relatives); having a meal with meat, chicken or fish every second day; replacing worn-out furniture; buying new clothes rather than second-hand ones; and inviting friends or family for a drink or meal at least once a month.On the issue of health, some 68 per cent of young people in Greece said waiting times were a barrier to healthcare – the highest in the EU.Compared with 2007, barriers in accessing healthcare, especially cost, have become more prevalent in some countries, in particular Greece, Malta, the Netherlands, Ireland and Slovakia.The report said these increases were likely to reflect the 2011 austerity measures, such as limiting the duration of free healthcare for the unemployed to a year, and people in general having to contribute more towards medical costs.Young people were most likely to have attended protests or demonstrations at least once in the year prior to the survey in Greece (22 per cent), followed by Cyprus (19 per cent), Spain (18 per cent) and France (17 per cent).Another finding was that young Greeks had the lowest levels of trust in their government.In 2011, young people rated their trust of the government at 2 on a scale of 1-10, down from 4.2 in 2007, the sharpest fall across the EU.The report also found that young Greeks’ optimism in the future plummeted from 69 per cent in 2007 – when it was the same as the EU average – to 26 per cent in 2011, making them the most pessimistic in the EU. Source: enetenglish Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more