Palaeo-climatic and -biogeographical implications of Oligocene Ostracoda from CRP-2/2A and CRP-3 drillholes, Victoria Land basin, Antarctica

first_imgA total of eighteen species of marine ostracods, in at least twelve genera, have been recovered from Early and Late Oligocene glacio-marine sediments from boreholes CRP-3 and CRP-2/2A in the Victoria Land Basin, Ross Sea, Antarctica. Faunas are sparse and generally moderately-well preserved. Previously, three species or closely related species have been recorded only from glacial settings (Kuiperiana meridionalislain (Müller), Australicythere polylyca (Müller), Hemicytheridea aff. H. kinggeorgeensis Blaszyk), but palaeotemperatures somewhat higher than at present in the Ross Sea are suggested by the presence ofAustrocythere reticulotuberculata Hartmann, Cluthia aff. C. antiqua Ayress & Drapala and Cytherella? sp 4796. Majungaella sp. 4471 is an enigmatic component, representing a genus previously known only from warm Cretaceous and Eocene, and relatively warm interglacial Pliocene habitats in southern Gondwana and the Antarctic Peninsula. Palaeobiogeographical considerations indicate that during Early Oligocene times, the Ross Sea area had faunal links with both Antarctic Peninsula/South America andsouthern Australasia. Three species present in the Early Oligocene glacial environments at Cape Roberts havesurvived to the Recent in the cool-cold Antarctic/Sub-Antarctic region: Austrocythere reticulotuberculataHartmann, Australicythere polylyca (Müller), and Kuiperiana meridionalis (Müller).last_img read more

Coordinating against malaria

first_imgIn December 1974, the last cases of smallpox in its deadliest form were confined to a Bangladesh slum. Public health workers were preparing the scourge’s coup de grâce, but were horrified when government bulldozers arrived, scattering 50,000 people across the countryside.The ill-timed demolition of the slum spread the disease throughout the country, sparking outbreaks in several locations and extending the suffering and death from smallpox for another 10 months. The chapter illustrates the difficulty of ridding the world of a human disease, even one down to its last few cases, and how important it is that eradication efforts include whole societies.A group of scientists, government officials, nonprofit leaders, malaria-control program directors, and others gathered at Harvard Business School last week sought to draw lessons from past eradication efforts as they embarked on a weeklong leadership program focused on eradicating another age-old scourge: malaria.Though the program’s 56 participants have been involved in different aspects of the fight against malaria for years, Dyann Wirth, the Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Infectious Disease, chair of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and director of the Harvard Malaria Initiative, said that shifting officials’ focus from control and treatment of the disease to eradication requires shifting strategies as well.“We want to give them the overview of the problem of malaria, all the way from the genes to the globe,” Wirth said. “Many of them work [on malaria]… and although most in the room probably have had this material at one point, they haven’t thought about it in this lens of elimination/eradication, which is quite different from treating symptomatic cases or preventing symptomatic cases.”Smallpox stands as the only human disease successfully stamped out, so the intensive leadership program kicked off with a talk by Myron Levine, a University of Maryland professor who was a World Health Organization (WHO) consultant in Bangladesh during the final days battling smallpox’s most virulent strain, variola major. It would take another two years to eradicate a less deadly strain, variola minor, though there were laboratory-related cases in 1978.Global anti-malaria efforts have made significant progress, Wirth said, with cases down 30 percent and deaths down 50 percent over the last 15 years. Even with that decline, however, malaria is far from on the ropes. In 2013 alone, there were an estimated 198,000,000 cases and 584,000 deaths, according to the WHO.The leadership development program, called “Science of Eradication: Malaria 2015,” provided a broad overview, including the disease’s basic biology, challenges facing vaccine development, social determinants of transmission, economic advantages to eradication, the importance of communication, and ways to integrate eradication into existing control efforts.,The program is a partnership of organizations including Harvard, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, with funding from several other organizations.Malaria may not become the second human disease to be wiped out. That’s because efforts targeting two other ailments, polio and guinea worm disease (which is caused by a tropical parasite), are on the verge of success, with the number of cases reduced to just a handful.Elizabeth Juma, a research scientist with the Kenya Medical Research Institute, said malaria remains a major health problem there and is the biggest cause of death for children under 5. It’s widespread in the nation’s agricultural areas, making it an issue in agricultural production. Juma said she decided to attend the session to understand how the goal of elimination in Kenya would affect ongoing control efforts.“The global goals have changed,” Juma said. “We now have to think of malaria elimination. [I decided to attend] to just find out … what should we do about a country such as ours, where this has been attempted in the past, and how best can we think about the endgame, which is elimination.”Ndukwe Ukoha, a malaria specialist for the Health and Strategy Delivery Foundation, a Nigerian nonprofit that provides technical assistance to the government on health issues, said malaria is also a major public health concern in Nigeria. As Africa’s most populous country, with 184 million people, efforts to reduce malaria there will have an impact on the global disease burden, Ukoha said.“We are presently controlling malaria in Nigeria, [but] we also need to look at new ways of doing things, new ways of developing more effective tools, because … presently there are issues around resistance and also health system issues,” Ukoha said. “So this kind of forum provides an avenue to talk about these, and even learn from countries where they have successfully achieved high success.”last_img read more

10 months agoBrahim Diaz says he can handle Real Madrid pressure

first_imgBrahim Diaz says he can handle Real Madrid pressureby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrahim Diaz says he can handle pressure of being a Real Madrid player.The 19-year-old former Manchester City midfielder had his official presentation on Monday and was able to train with his new teammates for the first time on Tuesday morning, though he was clearly still in a state of excitement about the move.”Real Madrid are the best club in the world and you have to perform at the highest level every week,” he said to Madrid’s official television channel.”Each week you must try to score goals and give assists and, above all, contribute to the team union that is what leads you to winning titles at the end.”There are great players and world stars here.”I’ve come from a big club, but this is another step forward.”Brahim provided an insight into where he believes he plays best, too.”[I’m comfortable] in all attacking positions,” he added.”I really like to play behind the striker because I’m a link-up player.”I like the attacking side of the game and being able to play one-twos, arriving from midfield and score goals.”Goals and assists are very important for a club like Real Madrid. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe second only to US fundraiser for metoo movement

first_imgA GoFundMe campaign created after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash was the second largest on the fundraising platform this year.The campaign, which raised nearly Cdn$15.2 million, is at the top of GoFundMe’s ‘Year in Giving’ report for 2018.It’s second only to the fundraising campaign for the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which was launched in December 2017 as part of the #metoo movement in the United States.That fundraiser, which helps defray legal costs for victims of sexual harassment, assault, abuse and retaliation in the workplace, has raised nearly US$22 million to become the largest GoFundMe drive ever.The money raised in the Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe campaign had to go through a court-supervised process before being distributed.A Saskatchewan judge recently approved a $525,000 payout to each of the 16 families who lost a loved one and $475,000 for each of the 13 players who were injured in the April 6 crash.The junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided in rural Saskatchewan while the Broncos were on their way to a playoff game.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Samsung workers agree to end standoff on workers deaths

first_imgSEOUL, South Korea – Samsung Electronics and a group representing ailing Samsung computer chip and display factory workers said Tuesday they have agreed to end a years-long standoff over compensation for deaths and grave illnesses among Samsung workers.Samsung and Banolim said they will unconditionally accept terms of compensation and apologies to be drafted over the next two months by a mediator.Banolim said it will stop its protests outside Samsung buildings, where its supporters camped out for nearly three years to demand that Samsung apologize for making workers sick and provide compensation for their illnesses.The agreement represents a breakthrough in a more than decade-old civic movement that raised awareness about the health risks from toiling in the lucrative semiconductor industry.The grassroots movement was started by Hwang Sang-gi, a taxi driver who refused to accept a settlement when his daughter Yu-mi died of leukemia in 2007 at the age of 23 after working at a Samsung chip factory. Hwang’s search for the cause of Yu-mi’s death galvanized a broader movement to hold businesses and the government accountable for safety lapses in the chip and display industries, which use huge amounts of chemicals.“It’s regrettable that for more than 10 years we could not solve the problem of workers who had no money and no power and died from diseases due to chemicals,” Hwang said at a signing ceremony attended by the mediator and Samsung, wiping away tears. “But it is fortunate that we found a way to solve the problem of industrial diseases at Samsung.”More than 100 Samsung workers have reported grave illnesses such as leukemia but only a few won government recognition and compensation for suffering industrial diseases. Increasingly, workers denied such recognition and compensation have won court victories in recent years.Judges have acknowledged the need and the importance of using state funds to aid the sickened workers even when they were unable to prove why and how they became ill, sometimes due to a lack of information about the chemicals they were exposed to.Kim Sunsig, a senior vice-president at Samsung Electronics, said accepting the proposal without condition was a difficult decision for Samsung.“Only the complete resolution of the problem would be a consolation to the sickened workers and their families and also valuable for the society,” Kim said. “We will actively co-operate with the mediation committee.”It’s a step closer to resolving one of the company’s biggest headaches as its leader Lee Jae-yong, a vice chairman and a grandson of Samsung’s founder, solidifies his leadership.last_img read more

BHU student shot dead on campus FIR against four

first_imgVaranasi: A suspended student of the Banaras Hindu University was shot at by unidentified assailants outside a hostel in the campus and later died in a hospital, police said Wednesday. Paramilitary has been deployed in the University and an FIR registered against four persons including Chief Proctor Royana Singh, police said. Four others have been detained for questioning. The attack took place on Tuesday evening when Gaurav Singh, who was residing in the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hostel on the campus, was standing outside Birla Hostel, and talking to his friends. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Some unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants opened fire at him, said a police official. Gaurav Singh sustained bullet injuries in his stomach and was rushed to the trauma centre of the BHU’s Institute of Medical Sciences where he succumbed to injuries late on Tuesday night, police said. The student was suspended from the university last year for his alleged role in the violence in the campus in 2017. The University has been shut down following Tuesday’s incident, BHU PRO Rajesh Singh said.last_img read more

Overhauled oil policy to apply from 4th bid round DGH

first_imgNew Delhi: The overhauled oil and gas exploration licensing policy will be implemented from the 4th bid round, likely sometime in June or July, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has said. Junking two-year-old revenue bidding model for award of acreage for exploration and production of oil and natural gas, the Union Cabinet had in February approved a policy for awarding blocks based primarily on exploration commitment such as drilling of wells. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThis was aimed at attracting the elusive private and foreign investment to raise domestic output. “Parameters of new policy reforms published vide resolution dated February 28, 2019 shall apply from OALP-IV onwards only,” the DGH said in a notice. Oil and gas blocks for exploration are bid out under Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP). 2nd and 3rd round of OALP bidding is underway with last date of bidding set for May 15. The fourth round is expected by end June or July, official sources said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostUnder OALP, companies are allowed to put in an expression of interest (EoI) for prospecting of oil and gas in any area that is presently not under any production or exploration licence. The EoIs can be put in at any time of the year but they are accumulated twice annually. The two windows of accumulating EoIs end on May 15 and November 15 every year. EoIs accumulated till May 15 are supposed to be put on auction by June 30 and those in the second window by December 31. With the notice, DGH attached the official notification that overhauled the exploration policy. Breaking from the two-and-a-half decade old practice of having a uniform contractual regime for all sedimentary basins in the country, the new policy provides for different rules for areas that already have producing fields and ones where commercial production of oil and gas is yet to be established. Irrespective of the basins, producers will get complete marketing and pricing freedom for oil and gas in future bid rounds, said the notification detailing rule changes approved by the Union Cabinet on February 28. Oil and gas acreage or blocks in all future bid rounds will be awarded primarily on the basis of exploration work commitment, it said. While companies will have to pay a share of revenue from oil and gas produced in Category-I sedimentary basins such as Krishna Godavari, Mumbai Offshore, Rajasthan or Assam where commercial production has already been established, they will be charged only prevalent royalty rates on oil and natural gas in the less explored Category-II and III basins. “To expedite production, concessional royalty rates will be applicable if production is commenced within four years for onland and shallow water blocks, and five years for deep water and Ultra-deepwater blocks from the effective date of the contract,” it said. India began bidding out oil and gas exploration acreage in 1999 under New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) that awarded blocks to companies offering maximum work commitment. But companies were obliged to share with the government profits made after recovery of cost. Two years back, the BJP-government brought in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) that provided for blocks being awarded to companies offering maximum revenue at different levels of prices and production. HELP failed to either raise output or attract new players. The notification said the new policy was being formulated “to increase exploration activities, attract domestic and foreign investment in unexplored/unallocated areas of sedimentary basins, and enhance domestic production of oil and gas”. While blocks in Category-1 basins would be awarded on basis of exploration work and revenue share in the ratio of 70:30, those “in Category-II and Category III Basins will be awarded on the basis of international competitive bids based exclusively on the exploration work programme.” “The contractor will have full marketing and pricing freedom to sell on arm’s length basis. Discovery of prices will be on the basis of transparent and competitive bidding. No exports will be allowed. There will be no allocation by Government,” the notification said. The contractor will have liberal freedom to transfer/exit the block provided work programme has been adhered to. However, a suitable penalty mechanism will be devised for non-completion of the work programme. The notification said in case of the existing contracts, marketing and pricing freedom to sell on arm’s length basis through competitive bidding will be permitted to those new gas discoveries whose Field Development Plan (FDP) will be approved for the first time after the date of issuance of the new policy. In case of nomination fields given to national oil companies, marketing and pricing freedom will be provided subject to the condition that FDP for new gas discoveries is approved by DGH. “To incentivise additional gas production from Administered Price Mechanism (APM) fields, reduction in royalty by 10 per cent of the applicable royalty will be granted on the additional production over and above Business As Usual (BAU) scenario. BAU scenario will be approved by DGH on third-party evaluation,” it said. Existing contracts already having marketing and pricing freedom would continue on the existing terms.last_img read more

Election Commission suspends officer for checking PMs chopper

first_imgNew Delhi: The Election Commission suspended an IAS officer on Wednesday night for checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter in Odisha’s Sambalpur, terming it a violation of norms in dealing with SPG protectees.In its order, the commission said Mohammad Mohsin was suspended for actions contrary to its instructions concerning those being protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees. Modi had visited Sambalpur to address an election rally on April 16. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe Congress criticised the EC’s action against Mohsin, a Karnataka cadre IAS officer, saying the rules cited by it to punish the bureaucrat do not exempt PM’s vehicle from being searched. “What is Modi carrying in the helicopter that he doesn’t want India to see,” it asked. The Aam Aadmi Party also took a jibe at Modi in a tweet. “Suspension of the officer who checked PM’s helicopter. The chowkidar lives in his own protected shell! Is the Chowkidar trying to hide something,” it asked. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe commission took action against Mohsin, the general observer of Sambalpur, based on a report submitted by the district collector and the deputy inspector general of police. Modi was learnt to have been held up at Sambalpur for nearly 15 minutes because of Mohsin’s “actions”. “Checking of the prime minister’s chopper, undertaken at Sambalpur, was not under the EC guidelines as SPG protectees are exempt from such checking,” said an official in Bhubaneswar. Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik’s helicopter, was also checked by EC flying squad personnel in Rourkela on Tuesday. A similar check was carried out on Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s chopper at Sambalpur Tuesday, sources said.last_img read more

10 killed in suicide attack outside Sufi shrine in Pakistans Lahore

first_imgLahore: A teenage Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up outside one of Pakistan’s oldest and most revered Sufi shrines in Lahore on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people, including five police commandos, and injuring 25 others as the country marks the Muslim holy month of Ramazan. The powerful blast took place around 8:45 am (local time) outside Gate number 2 of the 11th-century Data Darbar shrine, the largest Sufi shrine in South Asia, where the elite police personnel were deployed for security, police said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework A CCTV footage showed that a teenage boy wearing black shalwar kameez and a suicide vest came closer to the vehicle of elite force and blew himself up. “The suicide bomber is about 15 years old and made no suspected movement before blowing himself up,” Lahore police spokesperson Syed Mubashir told PTI. He said at least 10 people including five policemen were killed in the blast. Over 20 injured are being treated at the Mayo Hospital Lahore, of them the condition of six is said to be critical. He said two suspects have been taken into custody. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen The Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JeA), a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed the responsibility for the attack. “We also heard that Jamaatul Ahrar had claimed the responsibility of the Lahore blast on social media but we can’t confirm it before investigation,” Mubashir said. Punjab Inspector General Police Arif Nawaz told reporters that it was a suicide attack and the target was the vehicle of the elite force that was stationed outside the shrine of Sufi saint Ali Hajvari popularly known as Data Darbar. He said the suicide bomber came closer to the police personnel vehicle and blew himself up, killing five of them and injuring four others critically. One security guard and three civilians are among the dead, he said. The impact of the blast shattered the windows in nearby vehicles and buildings, local media reported. Television footage showed a number of damaged vehicles near the shrine. Lahore Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed told the media that one of the dead bodies brought in to Mayo Hospital was that of the suspected attacker. “It was a suicide attack. Ball bearings were also used in the attack,” she said. Mayo Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Yar Muhammad put the death toll to nine. “We have received nine people including policemen dead. The condition of six injured is critical and doctors are trying their best to save their lives,” he said. Wednesday was the second day of Muslim holy month of Ramazan. The Data Darbar area is thickly populated and the shrine attracts thousands of visitors every day. “I was performing my duty when I heard a powerful sound of the blast nearby. I rushed to the spot and found people in a pool of blood. I informed the police on emergency number and shifted two injured to Mayo Hospital,” traffic police warden Rizwan Ahmed said. Safia Bibi was to enter the shrine from the Gate 2 when the blast took place. She suffered injuries. At Mayo Hospital she told reporters that she came along with her daughter to take blessing of the Sufi saint. “My daughter had entered the shrine while I was behind her when I heard a sound of powerful blast. I fainted and recovered my consciousness at the hospital and found my daughter sitting besides me. I am thankful to God that my daughter is safe,” Safia said. Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the attack and directed the Punjab government to provide all assistance to the injured and families of victims. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also condemned the attack and ordered an inquiry into the incident, summoning reports from the Punjab Inspector General of Police and the additional chief secretary of interior, according to a handout issued by the Punjab government. Provincial Law Minister Basharat Raja said that the death toll may rise as some of the injured were in critical condition. “We condemn this cowardly act,” he said. A rescue operation was conducted in the area before it was cordoned off for investigation. The shrine was evacuated, with devotees moved out through exits away from the blast site. Entry to the Data Darbar has since been restricted. Educational institutions near the shrine have been closed for Thursday. Heavy contingent of police, Counter-Terrorism Department and forensic officials are collecting evidence from the site of the attack. The Inspector General of Police said police will share their findings once they conclude their probe. All regional police officers and city police officers have been directed to examine security in their respective areas and remain alert during the month of Ramazan. The Data Darbar shrine is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. In 2010, the shrine was targeted in a suicide attack that killed more than 40 people. Since then, the area has been increasingly hemmed in by heavy security, with visitors forced to pass through several layers of screening before they can enter the complex.last_img read more