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Climate Change & the Military Community

first_imgWritten by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University and MLFN Caregiving Team In our hyper-partisan age of knowledge claims and counter claims, discussions of climate change are often politically charged and challenging.  There are those that stress that our climate is changing, and others who push back.  It is difficult at times to find a place for reasoned dialogue and conversations. However recent government and highly reputable science reports strongly indicate that climate change is real and is happening now.As has often been the case through the American experience, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the service branches must set aside politics and disagreement to attend to the matters at hand.  There is always a need to take pragmatic and practical approaches to new and uncertain conditions. One of these is climate change.  For those working with military families to ensure their well-being and readiness, a recent Department of Defense report on climate change is worth reading.The new Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense was just released by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.  Prepared under a legislative mandate in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, the report reviews major climate change challenges and threats faced by the military.  While some in Congress and elsewhere have expressed concerns that the report is not comprehensive enough, the study does shed light on this pressing issue.The report provides broad context of how DoD’s mission readiness and priorities may be influenced by global climate change.  Force preparedness requires recognizing new threats and demands.  In certain parts of the world, competition over scarce resources, such as water, may lead to regional instability and conflict.  The shrinking polar ice cap means that the Arctic Ocean is more navigable and may be contested by various northern hemisphere powers.  The growing scale of droughts and other disasters may place further demands on the military’s humanitarian aid missions.But the most immediate and focused takeaway of the report is how climate change threatens U.S. military installations and their surrounding communities.  These threats span a range of conditions including flooding, drought, wildfires, and in the case of Ft. Greely in Alaska, thawing permafrost.  By far the greatest threat is found with flooding dangers.  Of the 79 installations that were studied, 53 face recurring flooding threats and another seven are at risk.  These challenges are especially pronounced on the Atlantic coast where rising sea levels result in tidal flooding.  As noted in the report:“Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE-Langley AFB), Virginia, has experienced 14 inches in sea level rise since 1930 due to localized land subsidence and sea level rise.  Flooding at JBLE-Langley, with a mean sea level elevation of three feet, has become more frequent and severe” (DoD 2010, p. 5).The DoD report’s findings reinforce previous research on climate threats to military installations. In 2016, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published a report entitled, The U.S. Military on the Front Lines of Rising Seas, which found that “the military is at risk of losing land where vital infrastructure, training and testing grounds, and housing for thousands of its personnel currently exist” (page 1).Many of us are familiar with the threats and damage that recent major weather events have posed to military installations. As reported by Stars and Stripes, Hurricane Florence, which dumped unprecedented amounts of rain on the Carolinas, forced evacuation and contingency planning for major installations in the region. And as reported in the Washington Post and elsewhere, Hurricane Michael visited devastating damage on Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.  While these disasters highlight vulnerability in the face of severe disaster, the DoD and UCS reports remind us of the long-term climate change threats that are before us.The DoD report forecasts conditions 20 years from now, while the UCS report forecasts out to the end of the century.  Both remind us that sea-level changes will bring more flooding from storm surges and tidal changes.  The DoD report has broader purpose as well, highlighting, for example, the threats presented by long-term drought and rising temperatures.  Both can have an impact on force readiness by taxing personnel, equipment, and facilities.In the MLFN, we recognize that family resiliency in caregiving and well-being is closely tied to community capacity and the need to address disparities among community members.  The recent DoD and UCS reports remind us that the fortunes of military installations and their surrounding communities are deeply interrelated. Citing positive relations between Norfolk, Virginia and the U.S. Navy as an example, the UCS report encourages “close collaboration between the military and surrounding towns and cities” (page 7) to develop resiliency in the face of climate change.  The report stresses that these efforts should account for the needs of those who are most vulnerable, be it for economic, health, or other reasons.Disruptions caused by climate change will force us to reconsider how we work together to ensure that military families and their communities can weather the storms and changing tides of the future.last_img read more

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Two Lashkar militants, soldier killed in Qazigund encounter

first_imgTwo militants and one soldier were killed as a group of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) ambushed an army patrol on Monday noon, triggering a daylong gunfight in Kulgam’s Qazigund area.Two soldiers sustained injuries in the attack.An army spokesman said the militants attacked an army convoy between Bonigam and Bhadragund area around 12:40 p.m. The convoy was on the way to Srinagar from Qazigund, around 66 km away from Srinagar. “One soldier of the road opening party was injured in the initial firing. He is undergoing treatment in the hospital,” said the spokesman.On being chased by the road opening party, the militants took shelter in an empty building in the area. The hiding militants opened fire on a search party that tried to zeroed in on the concrete structure.“The gunfight continued till late Monday evening,” said a police official.last_img read more

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Half-baked science and hype pushing sports drinks

first_imgThose sports drinks aren’t great after all. An investigation by a British medical journal has revealed that some of the claims made by leading sports drink brands are baseless, with meagre research, and are mere marketing hype.The multimillion dollar industry has used unethical marketing tricks to promote questionable health benefits of sports drinks, the investigative report published on Thursday said.It has revealed a nexus between healthcare professionals, researchers and manufacturers of sports drinks.Sports drink makers have developed their own “science of hydration” to boost sales. They are also collaborating with some of the world’s most influential sports bodies to persuade ordinary people.These companies have appointed key opinion leaders to influence doctor’s prescriptions and they work with gyms and instructors too. Endorsements by elite athletes and claims of hydration benefits have also meant that sports drinks have been able to shrug off any unhealthy associations.An Oxford University team tested the evidence behind 431 performance-enhancing claims in adverts for 104 different sports products, including drinks, protein shakes and trainers. The results were worrying as the report found that there was a complete absence of high-quality evidence.The misleading messages filter down to everyday health advice by company-sponsored scientists who advise sports bodies, the investigation found.While sports drinks may be helpful for athletes, the drinks companies rarely study ordinary gym-goers, Professor Tim Noakes said. Studies show they are made up of artificial sweeteners and loaded with sodium to give a person a sense of thirst making them drink more than they would usually do.advertisementTheir huge popularity among children is also raising concerns of increasing incidence of obesity and dental erosion. These companies are marketing their product among schoolkids too.GlaxoSmithKline runs a school science programme, aimed at 11-14 year olds, looking at things like the advantages of sports drinks over water, as part of its involvement in the Olympic anti-doping operations.In India, too, health concerns over energy drinks have forced the Food Safety and Standards Authority to come up with new regulations. It has decided to strip the drinks of “energy” tag over the high caffeine content.last_img read more

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London Olympics 2012: Action slows down in stadiums, but the buzz is still there on the streets

first_imgAs the 30th Olympic Games inch towards a grand finale, as the final weekend approaches, withdrawal is setting in.We have been so used to the hectic schedule of covering a multi-discipline event, which requires 16 to 18 hours of non-stop work, not to mention the travelling between venues, that now it’s almost like working in slow motion. For Indian journalists, all the action is now at the Excel Arena, with only the wrestlers vying for medals.It’s such a contrast from the first week of the Games, when we had one eye on the sport we were watching, the other following live updates on the cell phone or iPad, while the ears were busy listening to results from a third venue.A similar slowdown has also been witnessed in the transit system. The LOCOG buses are not crammed with tired, sweaty (yes even in the cool climate of London) journalists, while the volunteers look relaxed and less hurried. It’s almost like a cool down after a long, hard day in the field, with a bit of stretching before the players head off into the dressing room.However, the buzz at Leicester Square or Covent Garden in Central London is still the same. The bright lights are still shimmering as patrons from all over the world continue to throng the various eateries and designer boutiques.As soon as you step out of Leicester Square underground station, you’re welcomed by street performers and neon lights. Locals mingle freely with athletes and officials from various contingents. It’s almost as if the focus has now shifted from the on field competition to the sights and sounds of Central London.advertisementThis revelry is likely to continue late into Sunday night and Monday morning as London bids goodbye to the Olympic Games.last_img read more

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Kante open to signing record £290k-a-week Chelsea deal

first_imgN’Golo Kante has signalled his openness to renewing his contract, with Chelsea hoping to tie the midfielder down to a new record-breaking £290,000-a-week deal, Goal understands.Chelsea are keen to ward off potential suitors by rewarding the France international with a five-year contract that would be the biggest in the club’s history.The 27-year-old is happy at Stamford Bridge and has enjoyed the platform that English football has given him ever since he moved to Leicester City from Caen in 2015. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Having helped Leicester to a surprise Premier League title in his debut season, he joined Chelsea a year later and repeated the feat under then-manager Antonio Conte.His consistency and influence has seen a host of clubs show an interest in him, most notably Paris Saint-Germain, but Kante has little interest in moving back to the city where he grew up.Kante is also not interested in a move to a rival Premier League club, with the only option other than a Chelsea renewal being a move to one of Spain’s two biggest clubs – Barcelona or Real Madrid.Barcelona are keeping a close eye on developments around the World Cup-winning midfielder, but they have yet to make any serious approach to Chelsea or Kante’s representatives.Kante, whose current £150,000-a-week deal expires in 2021, is one of Chelsea’s biggest contract renewal priorities, along with team-mate Eden Hazard.And, while a new deal for Kante would see him become Chelsea’s best-paid player, it could be immediately blown out of the water by a new contract for Hazard, which could break the £300,000-a-week barrier.Maurizio Sarri is understood to be happy with Kante’s contribution, despite his need to adapt to a more attacking role this season, but other midfielders could be set for a January move.Cesc Fabregas has long-term interest from Milan, who have him on their midfield shortlist, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.Ruben Loftus-Cheek will also be likely to have a meeting in the upcoming weeks to discuss his situation, but he has improved his status within the squad in recent months and remains hopeful of a long-term future at his boyhood club.Danny Drinkwater will be allowed to exit Chelsea after an underwhelming £35-million move from Leicester in 2017, which has seen the 28-year-old feature just 12 times in the Premier League and not once since Sarri replaced Conte as manager.last_img read more

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Mustafi’s father rules out Arsenal exit for Inter

first_imgTransfers Mustafi’s father rules out Arsenal exit for Inter on deadline day Last updated 2 years ago 18:09 8/31/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mustafi Getty Transfers Internazionale Arsenal Serie A Premier League The Germany international has been linked with a late move to the Serie A side, but his father is not expecting a busy day before the window closes Shkodran Mustafi will not be leaving Arsenal for Inter on the final day of the transfer window, his father has confirmed.The centre-back had been linked with a late move to the Serie A side just a year after he joined the Gunners from Valencia for around £35 million.Arsenal 7/2 top London club Article continues below Editors’ Picks Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina The 25-year-old had talks with the San Siro outfit over a season-long loan, but his father and agent, Kujtim Mustafi, seems there is no chance of a move materialising by the time the period closes on Thursday. “I’m his agent and I’m sitting here relaxing at home,” told Fussballtransfers.com. “Nothing will happen today.”Mustafi is still contracted to Arsenal until 2021 but has featured just once in the four competitive games they have played this season – a 1-0 defeat to Stoke City.Arsene Wenger has already seen Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibss and Gabriel Paulista leave this summer, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to join Liverpool for £35m.There is still uncertainty around Alexis Sanchez’s future, as the club rejected a £50m offer from Manchester City for the Chile international, but another bid worth around £70m could be made.Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac have been brought in from Lyon and Schalke respectively.last_img read more

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‘Like Ronaldo’ – Moggi backs Ibrahimovic for Serie A move

first_imgFormer Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi has compared Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s physique to that of Cristiano Ronaldo’s as he backed the Swede’s ability to still cut it in Serie A.Despite turning 38 in October, Ibrahimovic continues to fire freely in the MLS for LA Galaxy with 13 goals from just 16 games this season. Ronaldo is similarly ageing gracefully, striking 21 times last season for Juventus in Serie A having turned 34 in February.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? With Ibrahimovic contracted in America until the end of 2019, Moggi has called on Italian side Fiorentina to contemplate signing a striker with a physical build like Ronaldo. “This would be something not useful, but more. Zlatan has a biological body that allows him to make the best even at his age, just like Cristiano Ronaldo,” Moggi told FirenzeViola. “He is sowing victories everywhere, even in America. “Certainly it will not be as easy in Serie A, but the goals have to be made wherever we go to play and, if he came to Fiorentina, even for the youth players it would be fantastic because they could perhaps learn something more from him that not even the coach is able to give.”But it is obvious that he is no longer the player he used to be.”While backing Ibrahimovic to have a big impact in Italy, Moggi isn’t convinced the likes of Suso and Franck Ribery could have the same impact. “Suso and Ribery I have doubts that they can be useful, it takes a player who gives substance like him,” he said. After spending his career in Europe playing for the likes of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Inter, AC Milan and Juventus, Ibrahimovic has found America’s approach to the MLS frustrating. Recently asked about the play-off approach in the MLS, the Swedish star didn’t hold back in his assessment.  “I think the system is sh*t,” Ibrahimovic told reporters in LA earlier this month. “How can you learn mentality if you only have to reach the playoffs?””You just need to win the play-offs, and that’s it. The results in each game are important, but here, if you come in seventh place, you make the playoffs and win, you are champion.”For me, the mentality is every day, training the way you train is the way you play a game, and with the MLS system, how do you create that mentality to be in your toes 24 hours? It’s very difficult.”last_img read more

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Big Ten TE Transfer Has Narrowed Down List To 3

first_imgTravis Vokolek catches a touchdown for Rutgers.PISCATAWAY, NJ – OCTOBER 06: Travis Vokolek #89 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights catches a touchdown against Sydney Brown #30 of the Illinois Fighting Illini during the second quarter at HighPoint.com Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)In an announcement that surprised a number of people, Rutgers tight end Travis Vokolek previously announced his transfer from the program. It didn’t take long for him to reduce the list to a few top programs.According to recruiting analyst Derek Young, Vokolek has narrowed down his transfer list to just three schools: Iowa, Kansas State, and Nebraska.The Hawkeyes and Wildcats were on an early list. The Huskers have replaces the Arkansas Razorbacks, after a few visits, including a recent trip to Lincoln.The sophomore tight end had 16 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns for the Scarlet Knights this past season. He finished fourth on the team in yards and was tied for the lead in touchdowns.Rutgers finished the season with a 1-11 record – its worst since 2002.Rutgers tight end transfer Travis Vokolek just messaged me. His Nebraska visit has finished. Will make decision this week between Huskers, Kansas State and Iowa.— Derek Young (@DYoungRivals) May 28, 2019Young later added that Vokolek would not be immediately eligible to play for his new school. He should have three years to play two.No.— Derek Young (@DYoungRivals) May 28, 2019As for Vokolek’s potential destinations, Iowa is obviously an ideal target for anyone who views themselves as an elite tight end. The school boasts the moniker “Tight End U” for a reason.Nebraska is also a school that could be in the market for more experienced receivers to work with young quarterback Adrian Martinez.Finally there’s Kansas State, who brought in Chris Klieman to replace retired head coach Bill Snyder. Offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham has years of experience coaching tight ends across the country.last_img read more

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Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Announces Charity Auction

first_imgBidding is now open for a charity space auction that gives bidders the chance to bring Star Trek’s Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) to their kid’s classroom, own materials used in a lunar lander on the Moon, or snag a pair of vintage astronaut boots.The nonprofit Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) is offering these items and more in its 10th Annual Auction of Astronaut Experiences and Memorabilia, which is currently running at www.astronautscholarship.org/auction.In all, 60 lots are up for grabs including items from such legends as John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin and Alan Shepard, the first American in space! Want a piece of the spacecraft seats used by the astronauts on Apollo 13? Done. A shirt an astronaut wore while flying in space? Got it. A locker that stored stuff on the Space Shuttle? It’s yours. Or maybe you feel like just hanging out with a legendary astronaut – they’re offering 10 experiences that let you do just that.“The astronauts have donated their artifacts, autographs and in some instances their time, as a way to raise money to fund some of the brightest science and engineering college students in the U.S. through ASF’s scholarships,” said Apollo 16 Moonwalker and ASF Chairman Charlie Duke, who is offering a chance to explore San Antonio with him. “Folks won’t find these items anywhere else. This is truly unique.”Each of these incredible lots is up for grabs and will be available at www.astronautscholarship.org/auction] until bidding concludes on November 3 at 10:30 PM EDT. Winning bids, over fair market value, should be considered a charitable donation.Proceeds benefit the ASF, a nonprofit organization established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America’s Mercury 7 astronauts. Each year, ASF disburses twenty-eight $10,000 scholarships to college students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in science, technology, engineering and math. Today, more than 100 astronauts from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle and Space Station programs have joined in this educational endeavor, disbursing more than $3.5 million in scholarships to date. For more information, call 321-455-7013 or log on to www.AstronautScholarship.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

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Can Mimi Chakraborty do a Mamata of 1984 in Jadavpur

first_imgJadavpur: The prestigious Jadavpur Parliamentary constituency in Bengal has never blessed a political party for a third consecutive term. Can the Trinamool Congress buck the trend?As this question was posed to an elderly TMC worker, his mind flashed back to 1984 — when a young woman leader defeated an erudite lawyer and Communist leader. The script is somewhat similar in 2019, with addition of a new actor. The TMC is banking on 30-year-old Bengali film-star Mimi Chakraborty for a third consecutive win in Jadavpur, where party chief Mamata Banerjee, then a feisty young Congress leader, had trounced CPI(M) veteran and noted lawyer Somnath Chatterjee in 1984. And this time, TMC’s Chakraborty faces a stiff challenge from another lawyer — former Kolkata Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya of the CPI(M). The BJP, in a bid to win the seat riding on its growing popularity, has fielded Anupam Hazra, a TMC Parliamentarian in the outgoing Lok Sabha who switched sides before the election. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaTMC this time fielded Chakraborty in place of Sugata Bose, a Harvard professor who won the seat for the party in 2014. Banerjee said he has not been allowed to contest the elections this time by his university. Roadshows and meetings by the young actor-turned-politician in the constituency have drawn large crowds and the TMC leadership is claiming that the popularity of the candidate will be reflected in the results. They are asserting that she will win by a bigger margin than her renowned predecessor from the family of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who won by a little over 1.25 lakh votes. TMC had won the seat in 2009 too, when singer and poet Kabir Suman was its candidate. The TMC leadership is confident that the formidable election machinery of the party will work cohesively to ensure a resounding win for their candidate. Jadavpur spreads across south-eastern parts of Kolkata as also semi-urban areas in the vicinity and rural areas of Bhangar and Baruipur. With agency inputslast_img read more

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Banned From Formula 1 Grid Girls Blame Feminists

Rabat – After the motorsport giant Formula 1 announced that it would abandon its longtime tradition of featuring female promotional models, or “grid girls,” at its races, the models are slamming feminists for being the cause of their recent unemployment.Claiming non-compliance with “brand values,” Formula 1 Managing Director of Commercial Operations said last week, “Over the last year we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport.”“While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern-day societal norms.” “We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world,” Bratches added.The grid girls, cheerleaders, and podium girls have long been central to America’s sports traditions. In Formula One races, grid girls are essentially models paraded around races, accompanying drivers to their cars, and sometimes holding umbrellas, while wearing clothing that bears the name of a sponsor,However, these tasks have come under criticism as being “outdated” and rooted in a tradition that turns women into sexualised objects intended for “the male gaze.”The ban sparked a backlash from now-former grid girls who slammed the decision, which is, according to them, an “overreach of political correctness.”Many expressed their passion for the Motorsport, lambasting feminists who dictate what they should or should not do. Others have expressed concerns of single-income financial difficulties as a result of the ban.“Ridiculous that women who say they are ‘fighting for women’s rights’ are saying what others should and shouldn’t do, stopping us from doing a job we love and are proud to do. PC gone mad,” now-former grid girl Rebecca Cooper wrote on Twitter.So the inevitable has happened, F1 gridgirls have been banned. Ridiculous that women who say they are “fighting for women’s rights” are saying what others should and shouldn’t do, stopping us from doing a job we love and are proud to do. PC gone mad ? #Gridgirls— Rebecca Cooper (@rebeccageldard) January 31, 2018Get me on @thismorning so I can defend us #gridgirlsBecause of these feminists, they’ve have cost us our jobs! I have been a grid girl for 8 years and I have Never felt uncomfortable! I love my job, if I didn’t I wouldn’t do it! Noone forces us to do this! This is our choice! pic.twitter.com/PUWcyB5BeG— Lauren-Jade (@laurenjadepope) January 31, 2018 #gridgirls women doing what they love for a job!other roles would require consultation before redundancy,why not us? pic.twitter.com/mGNRhrlbjs— Samantha Young (@Sammie_jay25) February 2, 2018Formula One’s ban came only a few days after the Professional Darts Corporation announced the end of the long-established practice of women escorting male players to the stage, claiming that the tradition is “at odds with modern-day societal norms.” read more

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UNP MP Vadivel Suresh extends support to Mahinda

United National Party (UNP) Badulla district Parliamentarian Vadivel Suresh has extended support to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.He met Rajapaksa today for talks and assured his support in Parliament, the Prime Minister’s media unit said. (Colombo Gazette)

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War in Iraq forces UN to face fundamental questions Fréchette

Speaking before a meeting of the International Crisis Group (ICG), Ms. Fréchette said, “the war in Iraq and its aftermath have brought us all face to face with a host of fundamental questions of principle and practice – on the rule of law, the use of force, evolving notions of sovereignty, and the principles that have helped preserve us from another world war since 1945.”Add to that the failure to reach an agreement at the World Trade Organization talks in Cancún, Mexico, earlier this year, she said, “and you begin to sense that the consensus that appeared to be so solid behind the Millennium Declaration maybe is not quite as solid as it was three years ago.”In 2000, world leaders signed on to a Millennium Declaration setting specific goals for reducing poverty worldwide.”Some countries see terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, transnational criminal networks and the ways in which these may be coming together to reinforce each other as self-evidently the dominant threats to peace and security,” Ms. Fréchette said. But, she said, others see a greater danger in civil wars, AIDS, poverty, environmental degradation, oppression and violations of human rights.”The people in developing countries have quite a different set of worries: that their voices are not being heard and that political will can be found for the former set of issues but not for the latter, despite promises and pledges made at world conferences,” she said.The ICG describes itself as “an independent, non-profit, multinational organization, with 90 staff members on five continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.” read more

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UN agencies move to curb bird flu among both humans and animals

The World Health Assembly, the supreme decision-making body of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), agreed to immediately start implementing parts of the International Health Regulations (IHR) relating to bird flu and a human pandemic, which were not scheduled to come into force until June next year.The provisions include those relating to rapid and transparent notification, support to countries that request it in investigating and controlling outbreaks, and providing essential information including recommendations for control measures.Although more than 200 million birds have died worldwide from either the virus or preventive culling, there have so far been only 218 human cases, 124 of them fatal, since the current H5N1 outbreak began in 2003. But experts fear it could mutate, passing from person to person and, in a worst case scenario, unleashing a deadly human pandemic.On the animal side, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published a list of guidelines ranging from advice that they should not borrow equipment from other properties to warnings to farmers that H5N1 can enter a property through infected droppings brought in from the outside by shoes, dirty cages and the wheels of bicycles or cars.“We hope these messages can help overcome the obstacles by setting out some of the correct practices to avoid the spread of the disease among animals and thus reduce the risk of spread to humans,” FAO said in its introduction to the 10 pages of guidelines.A section devoted to reducing the risk of animal-to-human infection warns that children are particularly vulnerable and should be kept away from poultry and not allowed to pick up feathers or eggs. The virus can be transmitted through contact with poultry, and their droppings, feathers, intestines and blood, according to the agency, which adds that contact with poultry and wild birds should be minimized.The guidelines have sections devoted to various categories of people likely to come into contact with birds. Farmers are told to keep newly purchased poultry separate from existing flock for at least 2 weeks, traders are asked to respect bans on the movement of poultry, and animal health workers are warned to leave their means of transportation outside farms and to use protective clothing for culling or vaccination of poultry.At the other end of the range, hunters are advised to take care when slaughtering wild birds by covering noses and mouths with a clean cloth or face mask while keeping contact with feathers, blood and intestines a minimum and washing hands and tools thoroughly. And sporting bird owners for such pursuits as cock-fighting, falconry and pigeonracing are told to wash hands thoroughly after handling birds, cover noses and mouths when cleaning areas where birds are kept, and to ensure that children do not handle birds.There is also some general advice that applies to all categories, such as not leaving dead animals lying around or throwing them into rivers, lakes or other bodies of water, and not eating or selling the carcasses of dead birds. read more

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SecretaryGeneral appoints former Lebanese minister as new head of UN mission in

Mr. Mitri will succeed Ian Martin who will complete his assignment on 14 October this year.“The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Martin for his dedicated service during his tenure in UNSMIL over the past year,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.Mr. Mitri hails from an academic background and held several ministerial portfolios with the Government of Lebanon between 2005 and 2011.Most recently, Mr. Mitri held the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair on Dialogue at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, and served as a Senior Fellow at the Fares Center for Public Policy and International Affairs of the American University of Beirut. Prior to joining the Lebanese Government, Mr. Mitri also spent time working with the World Council of Churches in Geneva and the Middle East Council of Churches.In July, some 2.7 million Libyans headed to the polls to vote for members of the North African country’s new National Congress. Over 3,000 candidates ran for office, including more than 600 women. The election was conducted in a largely peaceful manner, receiving praise from international observers and the Security Council.The polls were the first free elections in decades in Libya, where Muammar al-Qadhafi ruled for more than 40 years until a pro-democracy uprising last year – similar to the protests in other countries in the Middle East and North Africa – led to civil war and the end of his regime. read more

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Tuesday Take Ohio State mens basketball reaches lowest point

Ohio State junior forward Jae’Sean Tate loses the ball heading toward the rim against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorIt had been trending in this direction for a while, but now it seems the Ohio State men’s basketball team has truly hit rock bottom.Since the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, the Buckeyes had been in a downward spiral toward the bottom of the Big Ten Conference. With Saturday’s 58-57 home loss to Nebraska, dropping OSU to 15-13, 5-10 in the Big Ten, the Scarlet and Gray have reached their lowest point in the 13 years coach Thad Matta has been in charge of the program.“I’m like you — dumbfounded,” Matta said.OSU led by seven at the final media timeout with 2:52 remaining on the clock. Over that stretch, Nebraska outscored the Buckeyes 11-3 and forced four OSU turnovers. OSU led by five with 32 seconds left. But a turnover off a jump ball and a 3-point play conversion by Nebraska sophomore guard Glynn Watson Jr. quickly turned the tide against the Buckeyes.The final punch was when senior guard Tai Webster blew up junior forward Jae’Sean Tate’s attempted handoff to senior forward Marc Loving, and Tate threw up a wild shot that missed.With that loss, the 2016-17 season effectively became the first time under Matta that the Buckeyes will finish below .500 in the Big Ten, and the first time OSU will miss the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years — barring a miraculous run to a Big Ten tournament championship.When told in the press conference that OSU would finish below .500 in conference, redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson let out a deep sigh, his anguish showing through. So, what was the mood like in the locker room following the loss?“I don’t know,” Thompson said.Understanding the nature of the descent of the basketball program for fans is puzzling, and definitely is also the case for Thompson. Nebraska was just a sliver of the decline, and was all the more perplexing.“That little stretch right there, it wasn’t just the shot — that last war, you know,” Tate said. “Sending him to the line, getting the jump ball, turning it over, not communicating. When you do things like that back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back, the outcome is going to be difficult to swallow.”Since the 2013-14 season, OSU has won just one NCAA Tournament game and has finished as high as fifth in the conference over that span. Gone are the times OSU competed for a conference titles and were consistent participants in NCAA regionals. Now records are scarred by home losses to Northwestern and Nebraska — not to mention nonconference home losses to Texas Arlington, Louisiana Tech and Florida Atlantic the past two years. Northwestern’s win in Columbus was the team’s first since 1977, and Saturday was Nebraska’s first-ever win in Columbus.OSU currently sits in 13th place of 14 teams in the Big Ten.Matta couldn’t answer why OSU struggled against the zone on Saturday, when tearing it apart the first time around against Nebraska. Tate attributed it to a lack of thinking and not being on the same page — something that has become commonplace for a program rich in history.“We got to be smarter,” Tate said. “We beat ourselves (Saturday). And we deserve it.” read more

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Down the rink Columbus Blue Jackets recap – Week 7

Right wing Cam Atkinson signed a seven-year contract extension on Nov. 17 with the Blue Jackets. Credit: Courtesy of TNSThe Columbus Blue Jackets bounced back from three straight losses the week before to take two games against quality opponents.Defenseman Zach Werenski buried an overtime goal against Montreal and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had a 36-save, 2-0 shutout victory for his 21st career shutout with Columbus against the New York Rangers.Before the Jackets face off with Buffalo in New York on Monday night, here’s the rundown from this past week’s three major storylines.Tortorella searching for answers defensivelyAs expected, the top defensive line of Seth Jones and Zach Werenski have continued to be the force carries the Jackets in their own zone. Past that, the defense remains largely unsolved. The difference this week, head coach John Tortorella is sending a message.He surprisingly made David Savard a healthy scratch Friday against the Rangers due to his play. Savard has been a defensive staple for the better part of four seasons, but the blue-liner certainly hasn’t played up to par to this point. Rookie Gabriel Carlsson replaced Savard on the second line.The second defensive pairing of Jack Johnson and David Savard gave up the only goal the Jackets allowed this week in a continued downward spiral from two of Columbus’ most consistent defenders last season. The two have the lowest plus-minus rating of any defensive fixtures in the lineup. Both recorded career-highs in plus-minus last year — Savard plus-33, Johnson plus-23.Savard will be back in the lineup Monday with Carlsson being sent back to Cleveland, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Blue Jackets.Zach Werenski finding offensive rhythmIt’s no secret the Blue Jackets have struggled on offense this season, despite having some of the best young talent in the Metropolitan division. Even for defensemen, that can be frustrating. But Werenski found the back of the net twice, both in game-winning fashion. His overtime goal against Montreal then a second-period wrister against New York.His offense from the blue line is arguably just as important as getting the forwards onto the scoring sheet. If Werenski can carry his two-game goal streak over to the power play, the Jackets can return to offensive prominence as many expected before the season.Atkinson signs seven-year extensionThe next two offseasons are going to test the front office, with 15 players listed as an unrestricted or restricted free agent in the 2018 and 2019 offseasons. But team president John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen can cross one off the board with a huge seven-year deal, reportedly in excess of $40 million to Cam Atkinson. The new deal also includes a no-move clause.Atkinson, 28, has led the Jackets in scoring the past two seasons and should remain a big part of the franchise’s offense for years to come.He failed to record a point in his first game on Friday since his signing, but fired a team-high seven shots and moved furiously through the Rangers defense, attacking the net on each shift.Injury reportThird-line left wing Matt Calvert was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 6. Calvert is expected to miss three to four weeks with an upper body injury.Fourth-line center Lukas Sedlak is on injured reserve with ankle injury retroactive to Oct. 23.Alexander Wennberg has missed the past two games with unknown injury.Looking aheadCurrently on a three-game winning streak, the Blue Jackets are tied atop the Metropolitan division with Pittsburgh and New Jersey with 25 points. After Monday, they have four of their next five games at home against four teams that have winning records.Top performers (skaters)Zach Werenski – two goals (6), two points (12), +2Brandon Dubinsky – two assists (6), two points (8), +1Josh Anderson – one goal (7), one point (10), +1Artemi Panarin – one goal (4), one point (14), 1 power-play goalGoaltending:Sergei Bobrovsky – 2-0-0 (11-4-1), 0.50 goals allowed average (2.02), 64 saves, .985 save percentage (.933)In the circle (faceoff record, faceoff win percentage, EV record, PP record, SH record)Brandon Dubinsky – 34-16, 68.0, 29-14, 0-0, 5-2 Nick Foligno – 16-19, 45.7, 12-19, 3-0, 1-0Pierre-Luc Dubois – 7-7, 50.0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0Jordan Schroeder – 8-3, 72.7, 7-3, 1-0, 0-0Overall: 569-636 (47.2 percent), ranked 28thSpecial teams units:Powerplay – 0-for-2 at Montreal; 1-for-3 vs. New York RangersOverall: 6-for-57 (10.5 percent), ranked 31stPenalty kill – 2-for-2 at Montreal; 3-for-3 vs. New York RangersOverall: 42-for-51 (82.3 percent), ranked 12thUp next:11/20 – at Buffalo (5-11-4)11/22 – vs. Calgary (11-8-0)11/24 – vs. Ottawa (8-5-6) read more

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Student celebrates Alevels swigging from hip flask live on Good Morning Britain

first_imgWhile some Twitter users speculated he may have had disappointing results, the student told The Telegraph he was actually celebrating results of AAB – plus a B in his extended project.“I knew it was going out live, and was filmed opening my results live on air,” he said. “It was all planned.” A level student on @GMB in the background of an interview of a girl revealing her results seen taking swig from a hip flask! 😂— JOEY (@JoeyLDN) August 17, 2017 @GMB full marks to the student in the background swigging from a hip flask just now— WerdnaRetral (@WerdnaRetral) August 17, 2017 Some student celebrating A-levels the only way he should live on @GMB #GMB #alevelresultsday #swig pic.twitter.com/F3OzeXmwvp— David Filipe (@david_filipe) August 17, 2017 Getting your A level results can be difficult, this young man appears to be drinking from a hip flask live on @gmb lol. pic.twitter.com/SS1bcUMHjP— Ne.i.l (@Neil_Carter) August 17, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. That lad on GMB with his hip flask just in case his A-Level results didn’t go so well. Love it!— Sadie (@sadielou79) August 17, 2017 A-level results day is here and one student decided to start the celebrations very early by swigging Amaretto from a hip flask on live TV this morning.Good Morning Britain was speaking to students from Winstanley College in Wigan about their A-level results when he was spotted drinking behind the reporter at 7am.Teenager James White admitted it was him on TV, joking on Twitter: “Thanks you everyone. I needed it.”He added: “Proudest moment all day.” Fantastic to see Wigan students from @winstanleycoll on @GMB this morning. Showing the nation how brilliant they are! #ALevelResultsDay pic.twitter.com/w2aHjrREpr— Wigan Council (@WiganCouncil) August 17, 2017 19 of the funniest tweets about the stress of A-level results day  He added: “The flask was full of Amaretto – my favourite drink.”The student is going to study law at the University of Liverpool – once celebrating his A-level results is over.How Twitter reactedlast_img read more

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Teenager obsessed with Columbine killers ordered deadly handgun and bullets for massacre

He wrote 'This one Mr Policeman' on another school workbook Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. But a jury today convicted him of attempting to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and attempting to possess five rounds of ammunition with intent to endanger life following a two-week trial.Davies will be sentenced at a later date after Judge Paul Cook ordered psychiatric and probation reports. He told Davies he was “looking at a significant period of custody”.His mother Sarah, sitting at the back of the court, buried her head in her hands as the jury foreman announced the guilty verdicts. Davies wrote ‘Hello Mr Policemen’ on one of his school workbooks, suggesting he thought he may be the focus of a police investigation one dayCredit:PA He wrote ‘This one Mr Policeman’ on another school workbookCredit: PA A teenager obsessed with the Columbine killers ordered a deadly handgun and bullets on the dark web in preparation for a massacre, a jury has decided.Kyle Davies, 19, used the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to buy a £300 Glock 17 pistol and five rounds of ammunition from a dealer in New Jersey, USA, in June last year.The A-Level student had seen the 1999 Columbine gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and 2011 Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik, as “poster boys”, Gloucester Crown Court heard.He had compiled a “manifesto of death” which included a “shopping list” of weapons, explosives and body armour he would need to carry out a mass attack.A gas mask, trench coat, boots and ingredients needed to make explosives were on the list.Davies drew a disturbing sketch of 77 stick men, representing Breivik’s victims.He had also written ‘Hello Mr Policeman’ and ‘This one Mr Policeman’ on school workbooks recovered from his bedroom, suggesting he expected to be the focus of a police investigation one day.A parcel containing the handgun and ammunition he had ordered was intercepted by Homeland Security Investigations at Newark Airport, New York. Davies drew a disturbing sketch of 77 stick men representing mass killer Anders Breivik's victims Davies wrote 'Hello Mr Policemen' on one of his school workbooks, suggesting he thought he may be the focus of a police investigation one day When it arrived in the UK police swapped it for a dummy package made up to look like the original. It was then delivered to Davies at his home by an undercover policeman posing as a delivery driver. Armed police surrounded Davies’ home and arrested him.The student from Wotton, Gloucester, said he never planned to hurt anyone and was only considering taking his own life.He insisted that he was only fascinated by mass killers and wanted to get into their mindset, particularly as he was studying A-Level psychology. The gun and ammunition bought by Davies, which was intercepted by policeCredit:PA The gun and ammunition bought by Davies, which was intercepted by police Davies drew a disturbing sketch of 77 stick men representing mass killer Anders Breivik’s victimsCredit: PA read more

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Opera 14 for Android hits Google Play with Chromium 26 under the

first_imgBack in February, Opera sent shockwaves through the software world when it announced that it was killing its own Presto engine and moving to the same Chromium core that powers Google Chrome. Now, the first step of the move is complete: Opera 14 for Android has been released with Chromium 26 at its core.To the casual user, it’s the same browser it was before. Opera’s trademark Speed Dial screen is still there, as is the more recently-added discovery page. Multiple tabs are still supported, and Opera’s bandwidth-saving Off-Road mode is still available to help you minimize impact on your monthly data allowance (or make slow connections feel faster).The biggest changes have to do with the switch from Opera’s in-house rendering and JavaScript engines to their Chromium counterparts. Chromium 26 is faster all the way ’round, and it offers improved support for HTML5 and things like WebGL.And because Opera now uses the same core as Chrome on Android, it supports Font Boosting. That’s Google’s automatic text resizing system that aims to make text more readable without the need to zoom the entire page. Not everyone is a fan of this particular feature, so Opera has given its users the option to turn boosting off.One other personalization option is that you can place Opera’s address bar on the top or bottom of the app. No, it won’t make the browser perform any better, but it’s always nice to be able to customize an app’s UI to suit your preferences.Another tweak Opera 14 offers is aimed at sites that play HTML5 audio. If you’re listening to something in SoundCloud and switch to another app — say to chat with someone in a Hangout — you can slide down the Android notification area to pause and resume playback. It’s a thoughtful little addition.Opera 14 with Chromium is available now in Google Play and it runs on all Android phones running Gingerbread or later. No tablet build is available yet, as the Opera team still has some optimizations to make.last_img read more

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