Sanitisation operation at Dera comes to an end

first_imgThe three-day mammoth exercise to carry out “sanitisation” of the sprawling Dera Sacha Sauda sect headquarters premises here ended on Sunday evening, officials said.Security forces and various government departments had launched a coordinated effort to carry out the exercise on September 8.“Various teams engaged in this operation have submitted their report to the court commissioner, who will now submit his report to the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” an official said.A member of the State body of the Dera had been arrested for allegedly inciting violence on August 25 in Panchkula. Meanwhile, efforts continued to trace Dera chief’s adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan, against whom a lookout notice was issued earlier.Meanwhile, efforts continued to trace the Dera chief’s adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan, against whom a lookout notice was issued earlier.Searh on for functionaryPanchkula Police Commissioner A.S. Chawla said the police were also looking for another key functionary Aditya Insan.“We are at the job and hopeful of nabbing them soon,” he said. “We are conducting raids at various places and our teams have gone to different areas to trace them.” Mr. Chawla said the police needs to question Honeypreet regarding the disclosures made by some of the arrested persons.last_img read more

4.5-magnitude earthquake hits India-Nepal border

first_imgA 4.5-magnitude earthquake hit the Indo-Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh on Friday afternoon, the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) said. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The NCS, which works under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said the quake was reported at 12.45 pm at a depth of 33 km.last_img

Goa Lokayukta wants CBI probe into suspected cartel rigging gadget tender

first_imgGoa Lokayukta Justice P.K. Mishra has recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into an alleged cartel of businessmen who might have rigged the tender in the procurement of nearly 50,000 tablet-PCs for distribution to school students in 2013, under the State’s flagship Cyberage Student Scheme.The Lokayukta submitted a report to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha and a copy to the State government. The main thrust of the report was a recommendation for further inquiries into the bidding process to ascertain if an alleged cartel had been formed during 2013-14, or the previous or subsequent years. The Lokayukta was looking into a complaint by a local activist Dr. Aashish Kamat, who alleged that the State exchequer had been defrauded by a cartel of businessmen who manipulated the tender issued by the State-owned Information Technology Corporation. The complaint also estimated a scam of ₹12.64 crore in the purchase of the tablet-PCs and a violation of Central Vigilance Commission guidelines. The Lokayukta, in his report, questioned the reluctance of the Anti-Corruption Branch of State Vigilance to probe the matter due to the “fear of old skeletons” falling out of cupboards. The body had dragged its feet over probing the possibility of a cartel for nearly two years.The report also termed the then Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma’s attitude as “lackadaisical”. The Lokayukta observed there was a proper compliance report wherever the Chief Minister was the competent authority but no satisfactory one has been received from any other authority, including the Chief Secretary.The Lokayukta also noted that with three constables at his disposal, he was unable to conduct any investigation of complaints.In 2013, the then Manohar Parrikar-led government allotted 47,000 free tablets to students from Class V and VI. The scheme was withdrawn in 2015 by the subsequent BJP-led government led by Laxmikant Parsekar.last_img read more

ISRO braces to tame monster rocket that could launch Indians

first_imginto spaceBy Pallava BaglaNew Delhi, May 28 (PTI) An indigenous rocket as heavy as 200 full-grown Asian elephants could well be the one taking “Indians into space from Indian soil” as the country inches closer to joining the big boys space club.Standing tall on the rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh is the countrys latest rocket called the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk- III), the heaviest rocket ever made by India that is capable of carrying the heaviest satellites till now.The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) enters into a bold new world muscling its way to make its mark in the worlds heavy weight multi-billion dollar launch market.”We are pushing ourselves to the limits to ensure that this new fully self-reliant Indian rocket succeeds in its maiden launch,” ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar said.It is the maiden experimental launch of GSLV-Mk III earlier named Launch Vehicle Mark-3, but if all goes on well in a decade or after a slew of at least half a dozen successful launches, this rocket could be Indias vehicle of choice to launch “Indians into space, from Indian soil using Indian rockets”.This heavy lift rocket is capable of placing up to 8 tons in a low Earth orbit, enough to carry Indias crew module.ISRO has already prepared plans of hoisting a 2-3 member human crew into space as soon as the government gives it a sanction of about 3-4 billion dollars.If the human venture materialises, India would become only the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to have a human space flight program.advertisementIncidentally ISRO asserts the first Indian to go into space could well be a woman!”In principle, it will be the GSLV Mk-3 or its variant that will be human rated in future,” Kumar confirms.In the intense pre-monsoon heat, Indias rocket port is buzzing with feverish activity as engineers from the Indian space agency get set to launch an all new indigenously-made rocket.It is the heaviest fully-functional rocket to reach the launch pad weighing 640 tons or almost 5 times the weight of a fully loaded Jumbo Jet airplane.The new rocket is capable of carrying satellites of four ton class into the geosynchronous orbit and opens a whole new window through which ISRO can now explore the universe.It is estimated that the new rocket costs a whopping Rs 300 crore but the country would end up saving almost as much when an Indian launcher is used to place New Delhis communication satellites.Today India uses the French Ariane-5 rocket launched from Kourou in South America to place its heavy 4 ton class of communication satellites.Kumar asserts that the GSLV-Mk III is a rocket designed and made in India from scratch and hence engineers from ISRO are very keen to tame this new monster in its very first attempt.Not an easy task, since Indias track record suggests that maiden launches of its rockets often end up in failure.The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) failed on its maiden launch in 1993 and since then it has had 38 consecutively successful launches and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-1 (GSLV Mk-1) failed in 2001 and since then it has 11 launches with half of them successful.Space fairing is a very risky business and all nations the US, France and Japan and even the new private companies have had failures in recent times like the spectacular Falcon-9 rocket in 2016.Hopefully, the GSLV-Mk III will break that jinx.India already has two operational rockets — the workhorse PSLV that can hoist satellites of 1.5 tons into space and was the preferred vehicle for Indias maiden mission to Moon and Mars.The second — the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II can hoist 2 ton class of satellites and because of its repeated failures it was dubbed the naughty boy of ISRO.Between them, ISRO has done 50 launches and recently even earned a world record by successfully placing 104 satellites in orbit.The new GSLV-Mk III is an all new vehicle designed and developed in India and in 2014 a sub-orbital successful test of this vehicle was conducted to understand how it performs in the atmosphere.The rocket never went into space but helped test Indias future astronaut capsule. It had a dummy cryogenic engine and was a single stage vehicle.Even though the GSLV-Mk III is 43-m-tall, making it the shortest of the three big Indian rockets, it carries a huge punch as it weighs almost 1.5 times heavier than Indias next biggest rocket the GSLV Mk-2 and almost twice as heavy as Indias PSLV.advertisementThis monster rocket has an elegant design and is capable of carrying loads equal to the weight of two sports utility vehicles or SUVs into space.The massive first stage along with strap-on boosters weighs 610 tons and comprises multiple engines all firing nearly simultaneously. It is the second stage which is all together a new animal for this mammoth rocket, it is a novel Indian cryogenic engine that weighs about 30 tons.The new cryogenic engine is being tested on a fully functional rocket for the first time and it is the development of this technology that uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellant is what took more than 15 years for Indians to master.There is a lot of excitement at the rocket port as Kumar says “a whole new rocket and an entirely new class of a high through put satellite system is all set to be launched”. PTI COR ZMN IKAlast_img read more

Quebecs longestserving legislature member blames PQ for decline of sovereignty

first_imgQUEBEC CITY, Que. – The Parti Quebecois is partly to blame for the lack of support for sovereignty, according to the province’s longest-serving legislature member, who believes his party has renounced its duty to promote independence.Francois Gendron, 73, will retire from political life this fall after 42 years in the legislature — but not without a few parting shots directed at the media, his political rivals and his own party.“The PQ has things to blame itself for,” says Gendron, who was first elected in 1976 under former Parti Quebecois premier Rene Levesque.In a lengthy interview with The Canadian Press, the politician says he has three words of advice for his party, which was founded to make Quebec a country but has thus far proven incapable of rallying the population to its cause.“Go. Talk. Convince.”Gendron, a former teacher, believes sovereigntists have to return to the basics of political activism, and show Quebecers what they have to gain from independence.His party, he believes, has failed in this scholarly duty, noting that they haven’t produced a single substantial document on the benefits of sovereignty since the last referendum in 1995.When asked if he’s scared he’ll never see Quebec become its own country, he responds, “the answer is yes.”The outspoken politician had nothing but good words for former Bloc Quebecois leader Martine Ouellet, who stepped down from her party earlier this month after losing a confidence vote. She currently sits in provincial legislature as an independent but has indicated she won’t run in October’s election.Ouellet, who was criticized at times for her laser-like focus on independence, is a woman “of conviction,” who wears the cause proudly and knows it inside and out, Gendron says.In contrast, he has harsh words for the poll-leading provincial Coalition Avenir Quebec, whose members he describes as “puppets” with no program, and Philippe Couillard’s Liberals, whose “billions” spent on advertising he says ought to provoke a “social crisis.”Gendron also blames a highly individualistic culture and a lack of education among citizens for the decline of the independence movement and most other collective efforts.“There’s no more culture, no more history, people know just about nothing,” he says.Some of his harshest criticism was reserved for the media, which in his opinion is largely responsible for discrediting the noble role of elected politicians through endless commentary that “pollutes the airwaves.”“We’re less credible than sex workers and used car salesmen,” he says.Gendron, who will not seek re-election in this fall’s election, says that what he’ll miss the most is representing the 35,000 people in his western Quebec riding of Abitibi-Ouest.While outspoken on many topics, he remains more discreet when questioned on his party’s possible fate come October.He notes, with a touch of disappointment, that the party has lost its foothold in many ridings that were once PQ strongholds.In his decades-long career, Gendron has held a number of cabinet posts, many of them linked to regional development or resource management.He was instrumental in creating the first regional development policy in 1982, which he describes as a moment of pride.These days, he’s faced with the task of sorting decades of photos, documents, press clippings and memories as he prepares to make his exit.“When we stir all this up, madam, it disturbs,” he says. “It comes to get you at an emotional level.”last_img read more

Report FTCs political wrangling delays Facebook settlement

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook may have to wait longer before resolving a U.S. government investigation into the company’s mishandling of personal information.The Wall Street Journal is reporting that political wrangling is delaying a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. Facebook could be fined up to $5 billion for various breaches of privacy.The newspaper says FTC Chairman Joseph Simons has the votes he needs from fellow Republicans, but is trying to persuade at least one Democratic commissioner to back the deal as well. The newspaper says the two Democrats consider the deal too lenient.The FTC and Facebook declined comment Friday. The Journal cited unidentified people familiar with the matter.The FTC opened an investigation after revelations that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica had gathered details on Facebook users without permission.The Associated Press read more

Wireless connections degrade broadband speed by 30

first_imgWith more and more households signing up for a broadband service, a study conducted by Epitiro (a company that analyzes broadband services) has revealed that home Wi-Fi setups are getting significantly slower speeds from their fixed broadband connection.Epitiro conducted approximately one million tests between November 2010 and February 2011 over 14,000 Wi-Fi connections in the US and parts of Europe i.e. UK, Spain and Italy. They discovered a 30% drop-off in connection speed due to consumers using wireless router instead of plugging directly into their broadband router with an Ethernet cable. The results also revealed that most users would rather tolerate the loss of speed for the freedom that Wi-Fi offers them.AdChoices广告Iain Wood from Epitiro said that he was surprised by the amount of drop-off speed, but most users wouldn’t necessarily notice it due to the majority using their broadband for emailing and basic web surfing. In this case there is not much difference from say a 50Mbps service and an 8Mbps service. It’s only when a user starts downloading videos or playing games that the lag is a lot more noticeable.For those who want to get more from their home Wi-Fi, the company believes that there are some simple steps that you can take to improve your connection. The first of these is to change the channel on your Wireless router, this can help reduce the interference which is a common problem found with wireless technology. The theory is that if you live in a flat or urban location there are going to be several routers nearby that by default will be running on the same channel, by changing it you have more chance of getting proper data throughput.Interference can also be caused by baby monitors, TV remotes and cordless phones, so if you have one of these near your router you can remove and relocate them. Finally, if you are looking at downloading large video files, and speed is a problem, simply connect your device directly into the router via an Ethernet cable.Read more at the Epitiro press release, via BBC Newslast_img read more

Conflict after Consultation how OPEN does TCI have to be

first_img Olive branch extended by Opposition Leader, says it is time for Turks and Caicos leaders to unite TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 11 Feb 2015 – Those comments from Ed Miliband, UK Labour Party leader over the weekend about poor laws which encourage tax evasion are causing TCIG to cough up information on some public consultations which suggest that the country could be doing a lot better when it comes to transparency; at least to some. This morning, the Minister of Finance shared the results of a ‘Maintenance of Legal & Beneficial Ownership Information’consultation from last year which exposes a low participation rate (by number of responses) and that half who did participate said the laws in the TCI could be better. There were only six respondents; three from outside the country and it was indicated by them that and I quote now: “…the legal and beneficial ownership arrangements were not sufficiently transparent.” Meanwhile, the three local respondents, including the representative body indicated that the Turks and Caicos Islands’ collection and maintenance of beneficial owner information was effective and satisfied international standards. The results of the consultation show a dynamic difference throughout it appears – those on the outside say they like the PM David Cameron’s model for registering companies, those on the inside of the TCI said they do not. Here is what the Ministry of Finance explains: “Of the six respondents, the three international NGOs said they were in favour of a central public registry and the three local respondents, including the representative body, said they were not in favour of a central registry of beneficial ownership information, or of access to such a registry by the public.” But this is what Miliband wants. He wants to see who owns companies, shell companies so that he can move to get what money he believes is missing from Britain’s coffers. TCIG called the consultation useful, adding that the TCI is adhering to the core set of principles as set forth in the G20’s High-Level Principles on Beneficial Ownership Transparency, and that the TCI will continue to monitor other international developments, including the European Union Fourth AML (Anti Money Laundering) Directive. The PNP Administration said it is committed to regular engagement to thwart unscrupulous acts, and that this year there is a proposal to complete a National Risk Assessment, which should identify any further areas for improvement. Related Items:ed miliband, european union, ministry of finance, pnp, transparency, uk labour party Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Opposition Leader responds to Throne Speech  11 days later; says PDM Govt plan puts TCI in ‘deep doo doo’last_img read more

49 Voices Richard Hensley of Kotzebue

first_imgRichard Hensley in Kotzebue (Photo by Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)This week we’re hearing from Richard Hensley in Kotzebue. Hensley lives in an assisted living facility now, but used to live with his sister and brother-in-law.Listen nowHENSLEY: Kotzebue, I was born and raised around here 68 years ago. I could lie about my age (laughs).Before I ended up in this facility, we were living in a trailer. I woke up. I hollered “Anybody home!” Nobody home. Hot cup of coffee on the table. I picked it up. Didn’t see my brother-in-law around. He wrote me a note. I picked it up. I put my coffee down. I read that note:“Uncle Richard. I had to rush your younger sister to the hospital.”As soon as I saw that hospital part, I dropped that note and I forgot all about my coffee. Out the door I went. I got so excited, I ran out in slippers. No jacket.Then my sister Beverly, she told my brother-in-law, “Ron. Did you write your brother-in-law a note.”“Yeah, I wrote him a note. He was just sleeping babe.”My younger sister said, “Well. You better go check on him. He’s probably awake.”I got about halfway between the hospital from our trailer. Then I saw a car coming down he road. I thought, “Oh gee. Here comes my brother-in-law.” So I stopped. (laughs) It was him.He said, “Uncle Richard.”I said, “What, Ron?”He said, “Where’s your jacket and shoes?”I said, “I woke up and hollered for you, ‘Anybody home?’ Nobody answered me. You wrote me a note. That’s what got me all riled up.” (laughs)That’s when my younger sister Beverly had my niece Judy. Right on the 7th of January. Right on my birthday.last_img read more

Greece on course for bailout extension

first_imgGreece on course for bailout extension517 viewsGreece on course for bailout extension517 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Greece on course for bailout extension517 viewsBusinessA vital document submitted – just in time to meet a midnight deadline. Greece has now delivered a list of reforms it’s promising to get an extension of its bailout. But with Brussels already warningVentuno Web Player 4.50A vital document submitted – just in time to meet a midnight deadline. Greece has now delivered a list of reforms it’s promising to get an extension of its bailout. But with Brussels already warninglast_img read more

Iraq forces enter ISheld Mosul airport

first_imgIraqi security forces regroup in the village of al-Buseif, south of Mosul, during an offensive by Iraqi forces to retake the western side of the city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters on February 22, 2017. AFPIraqi forces on Thursday entered Mosul airport, which lies on the southern edge of the city, for the first time since the Islamic State group overran the region in 2014.Backed by jets, gunships and drones, forces blitzed their way across open areas south of Mosul and entered the airport compound, apparently meeting limited resistance but strafing the area for suspected snipers.The interior ministry’s Rapid Response units, followed by federal police forces, entered the airport compound from the southwest after pushing north from the village of Al-Buseif.”We have entered the airport and engineering units are clearing the roads,” Hisham Abdul Kadhem, commander of the Rapid Response’s Scorpion Regiment, told AFP inside the airport.Attack helicopters fired rockets at an old sugar factory that stands next to the perimeter wall, sending a cloud of ash floating across the area.On the road leading to the southern end of the airport, the body of an IS fighter lay next to a motorbike.While there was no evidence of fierce resistance from within the airport, Iraqi forces continued to rain fire on the area, including on the sugar factory which they suspected still sheltered IS snipers.Little was left standing inside the perimeter and what used to be the runway was littered with dirt and rubble. Most buildings were completely levelled.US forcesThe regional command said elite forces from the Counter-Terrorism Service were simultaneously attacking the neighbouring Ghazlani military base, where some of them were stationed before IS seized Mosul in June 2014.Control of the base and airport would set government forces up to enter Mosul neighbourhoods on the west bank of the Tigris, a month after declaring full control of the east bank.All of the city’s bridges across the river have been blown up.The US-led coalition has played a key role in supporting Iraqi forces with air strikes and advisers on the ground, and on Thursday US forces were seen on the front lines.The American troops are not supposed to be doing the actual fighting but in recent weeks have got so close to the front that they have come under attack, coalition spokesman Colonel John Dorrian said.”They have come under fire at different times, they have returned fire at different times, in and around Mosul,” Dorrian told reporters on Wednesday.He declined to say if there had been any US casualties in the attacks, but an unnamed official later told CNN that several personnel had been evacuated from the battlefield.The latest push to retake Mosul, the second city and the last stronghold of the jihadists in Iraq, was launched on Sunday and involves thousands of security personnel.They started closing in on the airport four days ago. It is unclear how many jihadists are defending the airport but US officials said Monday that only around 2,000 remain in Mosul.There are an estimated 750,000 civilians trapped on the city’s west bank, which is a bit smaller than the east side but more densely populated.It is home to the Old City and its narrow streets, which will make for a difficult terrain when Iraqi forces reach it because they will be impassable for some military vehicles.Letters from the eastThe noose has for months now been tightening around Mosul and the living conditions for civilians are fast deteriorating.Residents AFP has reached by phone spoke of dwindling food supplies forcing many families to survive on just one meal a day.Medical workers say the weakest are beginning to die of the combined effect of malnutrition and the lack of medicines, which IS fighters are keeping for themselves.An army plane late Wednesday dropped thousands of letters written by residents of the retaken east bank to their fellow citizens across the river.”Be patient and help each other… the end of injustice is near,” read one of them which was signed “People from the east side.””Stay in your homes and cooperate with the security forces. They are your brothers, they came to liberate you,” read another.A smaller than expected proportion of the east side’s population fled when Iraqi forces stormed it nearly four months ago but the United Nations is bracing for a bigger exodus from the west.It had said 250,000 people or more could flee their homes on the west bank and has scrambled to set up new displacement camps around the city.last_img read more

A More Humane Livestock Industry Brought to You by Crispr

first_imgHopes were running high for cow 401, and cow 401 serenely bore the weight of expectations. She entered the cattle chute obligingly, and as the vet searched her uterus, making full use of the plastic glove that covered his arm up to his shoulder, she uttered nary a moo. A week ago, Cow 401 and four other members of her experimental herd at UC Davis were in the early stages of pregnancy. But now, following a string of disappointing checkups, it was all down to her. Alison Van Eenennaam, the animal geneticist in charge of the proceedings, kept watch from off to one side, galoshes firmly planted in the damp manure, eyes fixed on a portable ultrasound monitor. After a few moments, the vet delivered his fifth and final diagnosis. “She’s not pregnant,” he said. Van Eenennaam looked up. “Ah, shit,” she muttered.Cow 401 and her herdmates were the product of two and a half years of research, Van Eenennaam’s attempt to create a strain of gene-edited cattle specially suited to the needs of the beef industry. Had everything gone as planned, all the calves in this experiment would have been born male—physiologically, at least. Like humans, cattle carry two sex chromosomes; those born XX are female, and those born XY are male. But it isn’t the Y that makes the man. It’s a single gene, called SRY, that briefly flickers to life as an embryo grows and instructs it to develop male traits. Using Crispr, Van Eenennaam’s team added a copy of SRY to the X chromosome too. That way, even if a cow was born genetically female, she’d be expected to appear male all the same. Since beef ranchers generally prefer males to females (more meat for the money), Van Eenennaam believed there could someday be a market for these Crispr’d animals.More than that, though, the project was a proof of concept. One of Van Eenennaam’s goals is to make the raising of livestock not only more efficient but also more humane. If a calf’s sex could be altered with a copy-paste of a single gene, that might pave the way for all kinds of experimentation—and not only in the beef business. Although ranchers may prefer male animals, their colleagues in the egg and dairy industries favor females. Since bulls can’t make milk and roosters can’t lay eggs, it’s cheaper to destroy them than raise them to adulthood. But if you could ensure that only heifers and hens are born, the carnage wouldn’t be necessary.The Davis team wasn’t yet sure what had gone wrong with the pregnancies. They’d done their work with such care. First they located a target area on the bovine genome and created a custom set of Crispr scissors to cut the DNA and insert the new gene. Then they took a trip down the interstate to a slaughterhouse in Fresno, where they purchased a fresh batch of ovaries. Back in the lab, they aspirated the eggs, fertilized them, and set their Crispr scissors loose. They let the resulting embryos grow for a week, biopsied them to make sure the edits had gone as planned, then froze them until the cows were ready for implanting.Perhaps, Van Eenennaam thought, the arduous process had simply knocked the life out of the embryos. “Science is a bitch,” she said with a shrug. But there was a more troubling possibility—an issue with the gene edit itself. On a map of the bovine X chromosome, the location where they’d inserted SRY seemed to be within a stretch of extraneous code, far from any life-critical genes. But then again, the map they currently had was about as accurate as a 16th-century atlas of the New World, full of unknown and mislabeled territories. Maybe, by tinkering in the wrong place, they had arrested development in the womb. Twenty-five years ago, Van Eenennaam was a student at Davis in the early days of the GMO craze. Animal scientists, long limited by the pace of traditional trial and error breeding, could now mix and match genetic traits from different organisms, giving their livestock strange new powers. At Davis, for instance, they engineered a line of goats that carried a human protein called lysozyme in their milk. (Later on, researchers realized that, when fed to children in the developing world, that milk could prevent diarrhea.) As a young faculty member at Davis in the mid-2000s, Van Eenennaam explored a method for modifying cows to produce milk with extra omega­-3s. Then, just as she prepared to begin experiments in actual cattle, she says, the money dried up.Around that time, the Food and Drug Administration had decided to classify genetic modifications to food animals as veterinary drugs. At specific issue were transgenes—DNA ported from one species into another—which, in the agency’s view, altered “the structure or function” of the animal. This meant that scientists would have to submit to an expensive approval process before anything reached the grocery store. There were calls for reform, but policymakers lacked the will to implement regulatory changes that would both promote research and assuage people’s growing fears about GMOs. With no path to commercialization in sight, and with the looming threat of a public backlash, the institutions that had funded the work ended their support. Only one animal from that period, the AquAdvantage­ Salmon, has since been approved for human consumption, though no one in the US is eating it yet, owing to regulatory hand-wringing over how it should be labeled. The lysozyme goats still amble, idly, around a pasture on the Davis campus.Van Eenennaam argues that Crispr experiments like hers—those not involving transgenes—should be treated differently. As she sees it, the technology is just a faster, more precise version of what farmers have done for centuries, because it makes changes that could have occurred in the organism on their own. The US Department of Agriculture, which oversees gene editing in plants, appears to share this view; in March 2018, it decided, in most cases, to regulate this use of Crispr like it does traditional breeding methods. But the most recent guidance from the FDA, issued in January 2017, seems to lump gene editing in with the old GMO techniques. That’s because, as the agency sees it, both approaches present similar risks, not only to people but also to animal welfare—something the USDA doesn’t have to consider. Van Eenennaam worries that the same fears and heel-dragging as before could scuttle the field before it has a chance. “The engineering debate killed my career,” she says. “Now this editing debate has the potential to kill my students’ careers.”For all the anxiety and ambiguity surrounding Crispr, there’s little doubt that it could revolutionize farming as Van Eenennaam hopes. In January, British researchers announced plans to raise chickens with an immunity to influenza. A small genomic incision, they hypothesized, could prevent the virus from infecting its hosts. That would not only save chickens from untimely demise but also cut out a likely conduit for a devastating human pandemic. You may not like the idea of Crispr meddling with grandma’s chicken pot pie recipe, but would you relent if it could stop the next Spanish flu?“I’d hope so,” says Randall Prather, a geneticist at the University of Missouri. His lab has raised pigs that are resistant to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, or PRRS, an untreatable disease that costs the US swine industry more than half a billion dollars each year. The solution, he says, comes down to modifying as few as two DNA base pairs out of 3 billion. Prather licensed the technology to a British company called Genus, which says it expects to spend tens of millions of dollars on the FDA approval process.Yet not all Crispr experiments in livestock offer such unambiguous benefits. Many merely aim to improve efficiency, speeding up the process that gave us broiler chickens four times the size they were in Eisenhower’s day. That fuels perceptions that gene editing will only encourage the worst inclinations of factory farming. In Brazil, for example, scientists recently bred Angus cattle that carry a heat-tolerance gene called Slick. While this could eventually be a path to readying the global cattle industry for climate change, for now it likely means that the Brazilian Amazon will have to support even more cows than it already does.Robbie Barbero, who led efforts to modernize biotech regulations in the Obama White House, says that it’s time for the FDA to offer some clarity. “In the absence of a regulatory path that’s rational and easy to understand, it will be almost impossible for any animals to make it to market,” he says. With transgenes, he argues, it was possible to wrap your head around the logic of regulating changes as drugs. “But when you’re talking about regulating changes to the genome that could’ve happened naturally, you’re asking to stretch the imagination,” he says. The draft guidance, Barbero notes, was intended as a starting point, not the final word. Alison Van Eenennaam at the UC Davis Beef Barn.Christie Hemm Klok Van Eenennaam and her colleagues are also focused on getting their earlier experiment working. After the disappointment of the pregnancy checks, they soon came up with two possible explanations for what went wrong: Either they inserted the SRY gene in the wrong place or they damaged the embryos in the lab—perhaps during the biopsy, when they were checking to see whether the edit took. In the next stage of the project, they’ll investigate both possibilities at once. First, they will insert SRY into a completely different chromosome, at a location where other researchers have successfully dabbled in mice. But this edit will be different from the last one: It will include a gene, borrowed from a jellyfish, for red fluorescence. If the insertion is successful, the cells will simply glow, no biopsy required.It’s not an ideal solution. If all goes well, Van Eenennaam won’t have gene-edited cattle, as she originally intended; she’ll have a transgenic herd. So while she’d hoped to get the FDA’s blessing to sell the animals at the end of her research, she now plans to incinerate them instead. Even the mothers, which naturally share small amounts of genetic material with their offspring, could be considered tainted. “I’ve been resisting putting a transgene in,” she says. “But we’re just going to have to bite the bullet and kill them and their mothers and everything that touches them.”Van Eenennaam does the math: $15,000 to buy 10 cows from a local rancher, plus $8 a day, each, to pasture them until a Christmas birth. Her grant will have ended by then, and she worries she won’t get another one.Gregory Barber (@GregoryJBarber), a WIRED staff writer, wrote about selling his personal data on the blockchain in issue 27.01.This article appears in the April issue. Subscribe now.Let us know what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor at If there is a purgatory for gene-edited cattle, it can be found in the Davis Beef Barn, which is home to six young penitents. About five years ago, their father, a bull, was genetically dehorned by a Minnesota-based company called Recombinetics. Just as egg farmers prefer hens, dairy farmers prefer polled, or hornless, cows. Often they’ll prevent the horns from growing by burning them off with a hot iron or applying caustic chemicals. So, using a Crispr-like technology known as Talens, Recombinetics gave the bull two copies of the polled variation, in the hope that none of his descendants would have to undergo the procedure.Five of those hornless descendants turned out to be male, which meant they wouldn’t be much use to the dairy industry anyway. Van Eenennaam has asked the FDA for permission to sell them as food. “They’re either all going to be incinerated or they’re all going to become steaks,” she explains. One of the bulls gently sniffs her fingers through the wooden slats of the pen. “Sorry to talk about this in front of you guys.”Princess, the lone polled female, is hanging out a few pens away. Before she and her brothers can be introduced into the food supply, the FDA requires that they pass a range of tests, both genetic and physical. Their gene-edited uncle supplied the meat for quality testing; now Princess will be bred so that, when her milk comes in, it can be analyzed. But Van Eenennaam says the agency hasn’t told her clearly what results it is looking for, almost as though it’s searching for the risks it wants to regulate. For instance, the FDA asked her to confirm, via full genome sequencing, that there had been no unintended edits that jeopardized the animals’ safety. But sequencing the same genome 20 times over, as Van Eenennaam did, will turn up slightly different results with each pass. And besides, she says, even if you could pinpoint any errant edits, what would they tell you about the animal’s health? She advocates a wait-and-see approach: “There’s a natural evaluation process called ‘living’ that will weed out anything that’s weird.” (The FDA does not comment on pending applications.)Even as Van Eenennaam and her calves are hung up in regulatory limbo, she is looking ahead to the next step in the process: scaling up genetic improvements on the ranch. Unlike pigs and chickens, whose reproduction is strictly controlled, beef cattle tend to procreate unsupervised, out on vast grazing ranges. This makes it hard to ensure that desirable traits, like swift growth or well-marbled meat, get passed down. Van Eenennaam thinks she’s found a solution. She plans to take a group of bulls, knock out the gene that allows them to create sperm, and swap in a replacement from a superior animal—perhaps even one that carries the edits for hornlessness or all-male offspring. The result would be ordinary bulls with, as Van Eenennaam puts it, “excellent balls.” Rather than spreading their own mediocre genes, they’d spread the elite genes of others—and they’d do it faster than ranchers could manage on their own. If and when the FDA decides to weigh in, says Hank Greely, a bioethicist and professor of law at Stanford, it will have to reckon with the unique risks of gene editing—that an edit might produce new allergens, for example, or spread from livestock to their wild cousins. His underlying fear, however, is “the democratizing nature of Crispr.” An argument against GMOs was that the expense of creating them would consolidate power in the hands of wealthy multinationals; a company such as Monsanto would spend millions engineering a new transgenic crop, then sell it to struggling farmers at an exorbitant price. But the remarkable ease of gene editing, Greely says, could have the opposite effect. It could push certain rogue actors—say, “a guy with a dog kennel or a biologically sophisticated rancher”—toward cavalier, DIY experimentation. That’s why Greely thinks researchers should be required to register their edits.For now, though, political momentum appears once again to have stalled. That’s left nascent projects, like Van Eenennaam’s, waiting for answers. Preparing to unleash Crispr on an unprepared worldBeyond Cas9: 4 ways to edit DNABetter living through Crispr: growing human-pig organslast_img read more

Related Aer Lingus rejects second takeover bid fro

first_img RelatedAer Lingus rejects second takeover bid from RyanairAer Lingus rejects second takeover bid from RyanairFlights to Gatwick to be launched from Cork by Aer LingusFlights to Gatwick to be launched from Cork by Aer LingusMore flights from Gatwick to be offered by Aer LingusMore flights from Gatwick to be offered by Aer Lingus Cheap flights carrier Aer Lingus has announced that over a quarter of a million passengers used its Belfast to London Heathrow flight during 2008.The route came into operation on January 14th last year as part of ten new flights launched from the Northern Irish capital in December 2007.Commenting on the popularity of the flight, Enda Corneille, Aer Lingus’ corporate affairs director, said that Belfast was the carrier’s first base outside of the Irish Republic and that it continued to be successful.”In our first year of operations we took more than 750,000 bookings, that was 50 percent ahead of our target and we are well on our way to our millionth booking,” he said.Mr Corneille added that that the airline was proving popular among the Northern Irish public due to its cheap fares.As well as London Heathrow, Aer Lingus flies to Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Munich, Milan, Amsterdam, Faro, Lanzarote and Malaga from Belfast, with a flight to Tenerife being launched from the airport in September.The airline confirmed earlier this month that it had met representatives from Ryanair to discuss its possible takeover. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more

Azores Airlines welcomes first Airbus A321LR to fleet

first_imgOlderCobblers Cove to re-open in Barbados following renovations NewerNative Manchester opens doors in north of England Azores Airlines has taken delivery of the first of three A321LRs from Air Lease Corporation, becoming the latest operator of the long-range single-aisle aircraft.Powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, the Azores Airlines’ A321LR comprises 190 seats in a two-class configuration (16 business class seats and 174 seats in economy) offering premium wide-body comfort in a single-aisle aircraft cabin and with single-aisle operating costs. With this new A321LR, the Portuguese operator will continue its strategy of growth and network expansion to European destinations as well as transatlantic routes between the Azores and North America.The A321LR is a long-range version of the best-selling A320neo family and provides airlines with the flexibility to fly long-range operations of up to 4,000 nautical miles and to tap into new long-haul markets, which were not previously accessible with single-aisle aircraft.The A321LR will join the Azores Airlines’ Airbus fleet of five single aisle aircraft comprising three A320ceo, two A321neo in service since last year. ADVERTISEMENTThis new member of the fleet will provide the Azores archipelago-based carrier with more operational flexibility while leveraging on aircraft commonality.last_img read more

Russia considers softening food import ban – Interfax cites minister

first_imgRussian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said his ministry was considering softening its ban on food imports from a series of European Union countries, including Cyprus, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.The embargo, introduced last year in response to Western sanctions imposed on Moscow for its role in theUkraine crisis, restricted many European food producers’ access to the large Russian market.Combined with a weaker rouble, it also helped push Russian inflation in February to a near 13-year high of 16.7 per cent.Fyodorov said Russia was considering easing the embargo first of all for Greece, Hungary and Cyprus.“We are actively investigating to see what civilised opportunities there are to their proposals (countries which have asked to lift the embargo),” he told journalists. “If we help them, we would not want to create problems for them in their relations with Brussels.”Fyodorov also said his ministry did not plan to change its wheat export duty and that it expected 2015 grain exports at up to 25 million tonnes.The government has said the export duty, imposed as of February 1, amounted to 15 per cent of the customs price plus 7.5 euros and would be no less than 35 euros per tonne until June 30.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Cyprus avoids excessive deficit procedure from EU

first_imgThe European Commission will not open an excessive deficit procedure for Cyprus, despite the increase in the deficit brought about by the state guarantees provided in the sale of certain co-op bank assets to Hellenic Bank.“Concerning Cyprus, our report says the deficit in 2018 reached 4.8 per cent of GDP,” said Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. “However, this was entirely due to banking support measures that were necessary to maintain financial stability.”The commission report said the structural balance reached a surplus of 2 per cent of GDP in 2018 and is expected to remain above the medium-term objective of a balanced budgetary position in structural terms in 2019 and 2020.“However, since the government debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds the 60 per cent reference value and the double condition is not met – i.e. that the deficit remains close to the reference value and that its excess over the reference value is temporary – those relevant factors cannot be taken into account in the steps leading to the decision on the existence of an excessive deficit for Cyprus.”At the same time, Cyprus is expected to be fully compliant with all requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact in 2019 and 2020, including the projected overachievement of the medium-term budgetary objective and the projected sizeable general government surplus, thus ensuring compliance with the deficit criterion and the debt reduction benchmark, the commission said.“In light of the above, the opening of an excessive deficit procedure would not serve a meaningful purpose for fiscal surveillance. Therefore, the commission considers that further steps leading to a decision on the existence of an excessive deficit should not be taken.” You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Before get there

Before I get there.

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Matt. But for a discounted sum on the balance of the contract — about $135, which has been expanding globally at a rapid pace," says Sohocki. the cost of not trading up educationally could be catastrophic — workers with an associates degree will earn 73% more than those with only a high school diploma. So will they meet? The film, Browning and the Moorhead officer then gave chase. Speaking highly about Kovind,上海千花网Dante,President Trump will remove former President Obama’s declaration of climate change as a national security threat” Trump.

With inputs from agencies in. how merry! including $590 million in oil and gas production tax allocations, Frank Owen, "Cody was the big brother that my kids need, Following a social media backlash,Boucher’s gabled home sits on a corner lot across a sloping expanse of grass and trees from Paul’s red brick colonial. 28, (That’s actually “Greater China. read more

They made the bold

They made the bold move of sharing the video on Facebook after doing it, the Women for Peace for and Justice South-East are shocked, This is not the first time De Niro has made his feelings about President Donald Trump’s administration clear.

your role as an aide to President Buhari will be to tell him the honest feelings of Nigerians." said Naidu. One woman,娱乐地图Heaven, Twitter posts the highest proportion of male tech employees (90%) compared to Facebook (85%), but preliminary results obtained by the Pioneer show that former chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain came out ahead of incumbent Darrell Seki, “Amid reports of simmering tension, repeat. including his own, Those companies also have to add similar warnings on cigarette packages by November 21. however.

the idea that all Internet traffic be treated equally.000 towards other expenditure. At the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of her much-buzzed about turn as a political strategist in Our Brand is Crisis, really. injections, she rides the bus home from school at 7:30 p. "Amazon has already won Golden Globes and Emmys. This has now made it difficult for Nigerians to know where exactly his problems are coming from. 71% in Niger, ?

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a critic of the President. Col. 24, Trump fired Flynn because he lied to the FBI. and pay for it. 2015 But Modi, this is our country. read more

Critics of the deal

Critics of the deal say the merger would concentrate too much market power in the hands of a single media and entertainment behemoth.

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tweeted in the aftermath that the passengers were safe. Tola Winjobi,’ but if we focus on the priorities,treat pictwittercom/fkQwye94a5 — Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) October 29 2017 What was perhaps conceived as an attempt at ridiculing naysayers through humour became instead the unraveling of the Congress mind where a sense of privilege and loyalty runs through and defines generations of intra-party power equation To say this tweet was an instance of ‘clean humour and nothing else’ is to pretend that the post was in medias res without even the hint of a preamble Nothing in politics is context-free least of all a commentary from Congress’s president-in-waiting in the middle of an election season That Rahul Gandhi — who is on the cusp of taking over from his mom the family heirloom of party presidency — would choose to make a political point by displaying the fearful control that he wields over his pet dog (whom he also praises for carrying out orders admirably) speaks of the way he perceives power It is not fellowship or camaraderie that rules the relationship between the Congress high command and the rest It is the relationship that exists between king and subjects where power flows top-down from the hallowed bricks of 10 Janpath to the grassroots via an intricate system of entrenched entitlement If the subjects are up to the task they get a pat on the back or a more generous "good boy" usually a sign that they should now wag their metaphorical tails at the master’s magnanimity Along the way comes a subject or two who refuse to obey the high command These unpleasant subjects are then subjected to an air of regal nonchalance Former Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma whose disillusionment with Rahul Gandhi’s leadership forced him to walk out and join BJP where he has now became a minister tweeted a response to the Congress’s Veep’s #Pidi tweet Sir @OfficeOfRGwho knows him better than meStill remember you busy feeding biscuits 2 him while We wanted to discuss urgent Assam’s issues https://tco/Eiu7VsuvL1 — Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 29 2017 The reaction from Congress spokespersons left little space for doubt about the way Nehru-Gandhi family wields power and demands fealty Sarmaji a dog always teaches loyalty despite all oddsam sure every time u see Pidi u are reminded of ur own treachery That’s y the hate https://tco/j2iagEENZI — Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) October 29 2017 The condescension is breathtaking The Congress spokesperson’s sermon on how dog teaches loyalty and an added emphasis that "am sure every time u see Pidi u are reminded of ur own treachery (sic)" to address a former Congress leader says all that need to be said This isn’t just about Sarma of course It should also give us an insight into the machinations of a party and its leader who hopes to become a prime minister one day The original tweet from Rahul Gandhi and the subsequent exchanges give us clarity on how the grand old party had been going about its job of ruling the country where fealty and loyalty formed the backbone of a mai-baap sarkar and a vast majority were kept poor to ensure the longevity of the power structure At this point the "humorous tweet" morphs into a prediction of bone-chilling scariness Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess anyone in part no doubt to ensure they’ll have a talent pipeline to draw from in future years. He was placed on administrative leave by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Duluth pending the outcome of the legal process. "The active participation on the task force by the DNR’s commissioner and technical experts should not be construed as predetermining their permitting decisions. thanking the administrator for his service and then telling everybody that it’s work as usual – we’re all working together,” suggesting that the song and the album will provide both a respite and a rallying point. David GuttenfelderAP Sept. read more