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October 12, 2019 | | Post a Comment

The Canadian Press CALGARY — The National Energy Board is rejecting a call made by an environmental group last month to greatly expand the scope of its reconsideration of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Stand.earth filed a motion to the federal regulator on Jan. 21 demanding it add consideration of the project’s upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions to its review of project-related marine shipping issues.It asked the board to apply the same standard to the project as it did with the Energy East pipeline before it submits its final report to the federal government, expected this Friday.But the federal regulator says in a ruling on its website that its reconsideration is designed only to address issues arising out of the Federal Court of Appeal ruling in August that set aside its previous approval.It says Stand.earth’s proposal missed its deadlines and repeated requests made by several other parties that had already been denied.In a news release, Stand.earth says the NEB decision breaks an election pledge made in 2015 by the Liberals to give all energy projects a full climate review.“The National Energy Board has denied this motion because the Trudeau government specifically excluded climate change impacts from a full review of this pipeline,” said international program director Tzeporah Berman. read more

October 11, 2019 | | Post a Comment

19 April 2011South Asia continues to have the largest concentrations of poor rural populations despite the fact that the wider Asia-Pacific region has made major strides in combating poverty, a United Nations agency said today, stressing that agriculture is key to poverty alleviation. The study by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), entitled Agriculture – Pathways to Prosperity in Asia and the Pacific, shows that rural poverty rates have dropped only slightly in the last decade in South Asia, which now has the largest number of poor rural people – about half a billion – of any region in the world. Four-fifths of all extremely poor people in South Asia live in rural areas.Overall, extreme poverty in rural areas of developing countries in the region dropped from 48 per cent to 34 per cent over the past decade. Commenting on the report, Thomas Elhaut, the Director of IFAD’s Asia and the Pacific Division, noted that more than 350 million people in the Asia-Pacific region had lifted themselves out of poverty over the past 10 years.“There remains an urgent need to invest more and better in agriculture and rural areas in developing countries, based on a new approach to smallholder agriculture that is both market-oriented and sustainable,” said Mr. Elhaut.More than 680 million people in the Asia-Pacific region continue to live on less than $1.25 a day, and 70 per cent are inhabitants of Bangladesh, India, Nepal or Pakistan, according to IFAD.Across the region, 70 per cent of the poor live in rural areas and are generally landless, have large families, lack education and have limited access to markets, credit and technology.Most have a high degree of vulnerability to shocks such as severe illnesses, natural disasters and sudden food price fluctuations. The region is also highly vulnerable to variations in energy prices due to its high dependence on fossil fuels.IFAD stresses that agriculture contributes substantially to growth in gross domestic product (GDP) and poverty reduction.The Asia-Pacific region needs large increases in overseas development assistance, agricultural spending and fertilizer use to achieve Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG1), which aims to end extreme poverty and hunger by the target date of 2015. “So the prospects of achieving MDG1 are not so daunting,” said Mr. Elhaut.The IFAD study outlines policy and investment strategies aimed at helping smallholder farmers and other rural people manage the risks they face, as well as enabling them to access emerging agricultural markets and opportunities in the non-farm economy and thus improve their chances of financial success.“Each country must have policies in place to spur growth in the rural sector, enhance food security and overcome poverty,” Mr. Elhaut emphasized. read more

October 8, 2019 | | Post a Comment

However he said the police were told to ensure Parliamentarians can attend Parliament sittings tomorrow.The joint opposition however said that the Minister was misleading Parliament and that the Police had been ordered to obtain a court order against the protest. (Colombo Gazette) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe however insisted that there was no move to stop the protest. Parliament had to be adjourned today after a tense situation arose over the scheduled protest by the joint opposition tomorrow.The tense situation arose after the joint opposition accused the Government of attempting to block a mass protest set to take place in Colombo tomorrow against the Government. Joint opposition Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament they had information the Police was to be used to block the peaceful protest. He said that unlike the former Government, the current Government will ensure the public have full freedom like the media.Law and order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara told Parliament the Government had not given the Police any instructions to stop the protest from taking place. read more

October 2, 2019 | | Post a Comment

“Raising the profile of mountain farmers and supporting them through an enabling policy environment will benefit both mountain people as well as populations living in lowlands that benefit from their products and services,” UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Assistant Director-General for Forests Eduardo Rojas-Briales said in Rome in launching a new report to mark International Mountain Day.Around 40 per cent of mountain populations in developing and transition countries – about 300 million people – are food insecure, with half of them suffering from chronic hunger, according the report, Mountain Farming is Family Farming, which cites secure land tenure, improved access to credit, empowering women, and public investment in education, health, transport and research as requirements to promote sustainable family farming in mountain regions. “The report comes out at a time as the post-2015 development agenda is being discussed,” Mr. Rojas-Briales said. “We need to ensure that issues related to sustainable mountain development are adequately reflected in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda.”Policies for mountain family farming should promote regional centres and small towns, which provide alternative employment opportunities in the artisanal, industrial and service sectors, stimulate the local economy and reduce migration, according to the report.Sustainable mountain family farming produces ecosystem services that are vital for lowland areas for which farmers should be compensated. Such services include sound watershed management for the provision of freshwater, conservation of biodiversity and attractive cultural landscapes for tourism and recreation.Today, family farming in mountain regions is undergoing rapid transformation, due to population growth, economic globalization, the spread of urban lifestyles and the migration of men and youth to urban areas. It results in increased workloads for women, higher pressure on local resources and the increased vulnerability of mountain farmers to global changes.At the same time, these changes can also provide opportunities for local development. For example, mountain people can diversify their income by engaging in non-farm activities such as tourism and the marketing of local handicrafts.”The International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) 2014 presents an opportunity to focus attention on the merits and challenges of family farming in mountain areas,” said Rosalaura Romeo, FAO Programme Officer at Forestry Department. “In mountain areas, family farming has for centuries contributed to sustainable development, thanks to its small-scale character and low carbon footprint.” read more

September 22, 2019 | | Post a Comment

Semifinalists are known at the Women’s EHF EURO 2010 in Denmark and Norway. In the last Round at the Main Group II, the favorites were secure and took the important points. Sweden won the group, after win over Hungary 24:19 (10:12). With eight points same as Norway, Sweden made one of the best results in their handball history. Norway beats Netherlands 35:13, something what losers done to Ukraine in Preliminary phase (25:13). Late awaken France won match over Ukraine 31:19, but after fourth consecutive win, world’s vice champion deserved just a battle for a fifth place.Standings:Sweden 8Norway 8France 6Netherlands 4Hungary 4Ukraine 0 EHF EURO 2010 ← Previous Story Ugly prejudices about the handball fans from Balkan Next Story → Torsten Laen until 2013 in Fuchse Berlin read more

September 20, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgDes universitaires écossais reconstituent le visage d’une femme vikingDes élèves de l’Université britannique de Dundee, en Ecosse, ont réalisé la modélisation du visage d’une femme viking dont le squelette a été découvert en Angleterre il y a plus de trente ans.Parmi les projets du centre d’exposition “Jorvik Viking” de York en Angleterre, la reconstruction numérique du visage d’une femme viking a été confiée aux étudiants de l’Université de Dundee. Pour réaliser cet ambitieux objectif, les élèves ont utilisé comme base l’un des quatre squelettes découverts il y a plus de trente ans dans la ville de York. À lire aussiQuand une cascade se met à couler à l’envers en EcosseLe processus de modélisation a tout d’abord consisté à recréer une image numérique du crâne grâce à un balayage laser du squelette. A partir de ce modèle et au moyen d’outils informatiques spécifiques, ils ont pu reconstruire petit à petit les différents muscles du visage, des plus profonds au plus superficiels. Une fois ce travail achevé, Janice Aitken, chercheur à l’Université, a finalisé la conception du modèle. Elle explique cette étape à BBC news : “J’ai utilisé le même type de logiciel que ceux employés pour créer des animations 3D dans l’industrie du film. J’ai ainsi ajouté au modèle des yeux réalistes, des cheveux et un chapeau. J’ai également ajouté l’éclairage pour créer un aspect naturel”.La modélisation finalisée a maintenant intégré la nouvelle exposition du centre de York sur les maladies qui ont affecté le peuple viking, mais aussi sur leurs dernières batailles menées avant la fin de leur ère. Des ossements sont exposés afin de montrer aux visiteurs les traumatismes sévères dus aux violents combats. Pour Janice Aitken, l’exposition de la nouvelle modélisation est extrêmement valorisant pour l’université : “Il est très satisfaisant de savoir que le travail des élèves de l’Université de Dundee sera vu par des milliers de visiteurs”. Selon elle, la reconstitution permettra aux visiteurs de s’identifier plus facilement à leurs ancêtres. Le 15 avril 2011 à 20:01 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

September 20, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgStay on target The fourth season of Gotham has been a particularly good one. It’s possibly the strongest first half of a season this show has ever had. It had cool new villains, charged personal conflicts and most of all, it managed to inject new life and energy into the mobsters-carving-up-Gotham story. It’s clear that after three full seasons, they got very good at making this show. It’s pulpy, fan-servicey, dumb and melodramatic, and that’s just the way we like it. Last week’s episode was mostly set-up for this fall finale, with pieces moving into place for a big fight. With all that work out of the way, this season wasted no time in giving us betrayal and shootouts right up front.Sofia Falcone has been a great addition to the series. The way she’s able to play shock and innocence, then immediately switch to ruthless killer makes her a formidable adversary for James Gordon. It means you never quite know what her plans are, or how far ahead she’s thought them through. From the moment she showed up, it was clear she was manipulating Penguin. We also knew she was doing the same to Gordon, but we had no idea to what extent. The one thing this season told us over and over again was that she planned everything out in advance, thinking entire games ahead. Even when it seemed like Penguin had won and she had failed, it turned out she’d prepared for just that exact situation. It got a little contrived at times, but it always made just enough sense that we could accept it.Jessica Lucas, Crystal Reed, Erin Richards and Camren Bicondova (Cr: David Giesbrecht/FOX)This episode showed us just how long a game Sofia was playing. Crystal Reed plays it so well, we almost start to believe that she’s the victim in all this, despite an entire half-season telling us otherwise. Her presence this season added a cool new wrinkle to the ongoing mob war storyline of Gotham, and I’m excited to see it continue to play out. Her part of the episode begins with a major setback for Sofia. Penguin has told her father on her, and Carmine Falcone has come to collect his daughter. Things seem like they’re going to be OK. The problem of Sofia is dealt with, Penguin and Gordon’s deal still stands and the city can return to whatever counts as normal. Then Carmine is shot and killed in a drive-by. Sofia is hit as well and (seemingly) paralyzed. Carmine Falcone is a figure in the Batman comics, so it’s surprising that the show would kill him off. I thought canonical Batman villains had plot armor, but I guess not. That’s a big deal for this show.Following the murder, Gordon keeps Sofia safe in her office and everyone suspects Penguin of ordering the hit. Penguin has an interesting Cassandra complex going on because he’s the only one who suspects Sofia is up to something shady. But no one believes him because, well, he’s Penguin. It all escalates into a fantastic shootout between the cops and Penguin’s men. We’d never want to live in Gotham, but it sure is exciting when the streets break into all out war like this. I still came away from this episode wishing the Sirens had more to do, but they made the most of their scenes in this episode. Erin Richards is so good in every scene, from her reaction to Carmine Falcone showing up out of nowhere to her directing Tabitha’s behind-the-back gunfire. Barbara Keane and Victor Zsasz are two characters who deserve to be more than just someone else’s henchmen. Every scene they’re in is improved by their attitude and line delivery. I don’t know where I want Zsasz’s story to go, but I definitely want the Sirens to become their own independent criminal force when the season returns.Guest star Anthony Carrigan and Robin Lord Taylor (Cr: David Giesbrecht/FOX)The twist at the end was a nice surprise too. When Pyg escaped and seemingly changed his face, I thought Gotham was just putting a pin in the story to come back later. It’s not like this show has never disappointed us like that before. Tying him into Sofia’s plans was a cool way to bring the season’s different stories together before the long hiatus. This episode was full of well-done twists, come to think of it. Since there’s no evidence tying Penguin to Carmine’s murder (because he didn’t do it), Sofia tells Gordon that he murdered Martin. Penguin reveals that Martin is alive, only for Zsasz to pull a perfectly-timed allegiance turn. It turns out he was with the Falcone family the whole time, and swears to testify that Penguin murdered Martin, despite knowing that the kid is alive. Gotham continues to employ better pro wrestling-style storytelling better than most actual pro wrestling shows.Gordon then shows up at Sofia’s house only to find Pyg/Lazlo waiting for him. It turns out he’s not actually a serial killer. He’s a contract killer who hides by making his hits look like a serial killer is committing them. I have to hand it to this show, they seeded this twist really well last week with the revelation that he used to have a completely different m.o. That’s some nice foreshadowing right there. Sofia called in Pyg to kill a bunch of cops, weakening their trust in Penguin and allowing her to take over the city. The plan actually makes sense, and makes me like Sofia as a character even more. Where it falls apart is when she uses it to control Gordon. The way it shakes out is that everyone knows Gordon went to visit the Falcones. That led to Sofia coming to Gotham, which brought the Pyg, leading to the cops getting killed. Ergo, Gordon is responsible for those officers’ deaths. That’s a serious logical leap right there. Gotham has a problem in that it wants to make Gordon a compromised figure, but it can’t reconcile that with the character we all know he becomes. It can never have him do anything too terrible. Gordon isn’t the noir character they desperately want him to be. So they have to come up with increasingly convoluted ways for him to technically have some dirt on his hands, but not really. The closest they came to pulling it off was last season’s bounty hunter Gordon, and even that didn’t last more than a few episodes. We know he’s going to come out the other end smelling like a rose, so the stakes can’t be all that high. We just don’t believe this is the undoing the show wants us to think it is.Ben McKenzie (Cr: David Giesbrecht/FOX)The rest of the episode’s plots dutifully walked themselves to decent conclusions. Bruce Wayne continues to be a real dick to Alfred, who takes the abuse in stride and tries a little tough love to pull him out of the funk. It doesn’t work. After reflexively punching the kid in the face (not like he wasn’t asking for it), Bruce emancipates himself and fires Alfred. Despite the little screen time this plot received, it’s effective because David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee play their roles so well. They really are the perfect Young Bruce and Alfred. They know why those characters have stuck together all these years, and that’s why it’s legitimately affecting to see them broken up like this. We know it can’t last long, but that doesn’t make it any less painful to watch. Then there’s Nygma and Grundy, who is just kind of there. Lee’s story is the most interesting thing happening in The Narrows, and she’s not even in this episode. Instead, Nygma argues with himself in a mirror about whether he loves Lee or not. It’s lame, but at least sets up a return of The Riddler, which is always exciting. Grundy gets captured by Tabitha who beats the crap out of him to jog his memory. It doesn’t work until right at the end. After she’s left the room, of course. A Solomon Grundy who remembers who he used to be could be interesting. When the show gets to it.Of course, Gotham leaves us with the one thing that guarantees we’ll be on the edge of our seats waiting for the show to come back. Penguin’s in jail when he starts hearing someone talking to him. His new friend turns out to be Jerome, all Jokered up now. If this wasn’t already a strong season, a full-Joker Jerome definitely has me excited to see where it goes next. He might actually be my favorite Joker… OK, probably not but he’s definitely in the top three. After seeing that cut-open smile at the end of this fall finale, I desperately want to see what he does when Gotham returns. In “Spring.” Why do Fox TV schedules have to be so weird? Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img NYCC 18: The Cast of Gotham On Bane, Batman and Saying GoodbyeDC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC News last_img read more

September 18, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgAs AC Milan are not likely to qualify for the Champions League, Suso has been said to leave the club at the end of the season as many clubs would be interested in bringing him.Christian Abbiati, the AC Milan club manager, still believes that they will be able to make the Spaniard stay and he doesn’t want to hear about a possible swap deal with Napoli and José Callejón.The former Rossoneri keeper spoke about Suso’s situation, according to Calcio Mercato:Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“Callejon-Suso exchange? Callejon is a great player, but we have Suso who is a champion and I would keep him close, and if Callejon should come too, so be it.”He also shared his opinion on the current affair around Buffon:“Buffon is partly justifiable because such a call 30 seconds from the end is painful but I think he has reviewed it and knows he was wrong. He is a great champion, it can happen to go beyond the lines sometimes but it is understandable.”last_img read more

September 18, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgAccording to the former Arsenal star Emmanuel Petit, Paris Saint-Germain did not show respect for their ex-boss Unai EmeryFormer Arsenal superstar Emmanuel Petit has criticized French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint Germain.For him, PSG did not show any respect to former Gunners boss Unai Emery.“I’m happy for Unai Emery that he has been given this chance with Arsenal after what was two very frustrating years with Paris Saint-Germain,” Petit told Goal.“He won the French title at PSG, but they didn’t succeed in the Champions League and some players didn’t show respect to him.”PSG, Neymar, Ligue 1PSG ultras sent a warning letter to Neymar Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Brazilian superstar Neymar might play today his first game of the season for Paris Saint-Germain and the team’s ultras have warned him.“Also, the president of Paris Saint-Germain [Nasser Al-Khelaifi] didn’t show him respect either,” he said.“Too many people are trying to be in charge at PSG and Emery was left alone. I think he was very sensitive about this.”“In his final weeks at PSG, you could see a change in his personality and a change in the way he was doing things. He knew he could not win the battles at this club,” he explained.“It was not just Neymar. It was other players who would try to influence things and if they didn’t like how something was being done, they didn’t go to the manager, they went to the president.”last_img read more

September 18, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgFormer Liverpool forward Ryan Babel is reportedly set to join Fulham on a six-month loan dealBabel has spent the last two years in Turkey for Besiktas, which has seen him revitalise his career and return to the Netherlands national team.But the 32-year-old has found himself banished following altercations with the Besiktas supporters on social media and appears set to follow former Real Madrid stars Pepe and Alvaro Negredo out the exit door.De Telegraaf reports that Besiktas have decided to allow Babel to see out the remaining six months of his contract on loan at Premier League side Fulham.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.The Dutchman will allegedly take part in a medical on Tuesday before completing the move to Fulham.Babel last played in the Premier League for Liverpool from 2007 to 2011 before leaving for German side Hoffenheim.After a brief return to boyhood club Ajax, Babel later played for the likes of Kasimpasa, Al-Ain and Deportivo La Coruna before completing a transfer to Besiktas in 2017.Babel has scored 29 goals in 86 appearances across all competitions for Besiktas.last_img read more

September 11, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Wednesday, April 18, 2018:CVS Manager reported surveillance video shows counterfeit bill being passed. (1:06pm)Animal Control Officer spoke with dog owner regarding dogs running loose. Owner agreed to put them on a runner until fence is up. (1:42pm)A security guard at the Registry of Motor Vehicles reported a male party was causing disturbance. Police responded. Male party admitted to being loud and was leaving. (4:30pm)A caller reported a syringe on the sidewalk in the grass of Harold Avenue and Shawsheen Avenue. Police retrieved syringe. (6:22pm)Police received 2 abandoned 911 calls from Valyn Lane home. Third call from address reported possible fire on Salem Street. Police responded. The fire was just a bon fire in a backyard. (8:27pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip?Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for August 4: Lowell Man Arrested On Warrant; Bad Crash In Front Of Rocco’s; Syringe FoundIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 19: Fist Fight At Planet Fitness; Hawk Stuck Inside Building; Gas Line StruckIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 11: Incidents Not What They Seem; Marijuana Confiscated From Vehicle; Missing Woman FoundIn “Police Log”last_img read more

September 9, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgDr. Sarah Spencer explains the benefits of Naloxone – Photo by Quinton Chandler/KBBIOpioids are either, like morphine, naturally derived from the opium poppy or they’re man-made, synthesized from natural opioids. Examples of synthetic opioids are heroin and prescription pain killers like oxycodone.Download Audio:According to the National Center for Health Statistics in 2013 16,000 Americans died from prescription opioid overdose and 8,000 died of heroin overdose. At the Ninilchik Tribal Council Community Clinic Dr. Sarah Spencer is looking to make a dent in the Southern Kenai Peninsula’s contribution to those numbers. She’s introducing an overdose antidote called Naloxone that is proven to counteract the effects of opioids. She wants to give Naloxone kits to patients who are at risk.“The states that have the biggest program that distribute these kits like in Massachusetts where the kits are widely distributed among community members who have an interest in trying to help…they’ve shown that they’ve reduced their overdose death rates by approximately half,” says Spencer.Spencer works at the clinic, the emergency room at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer and she’s also working in addiction medicine at the Homer Medical Clinic. She says overdoses are relatively rare in these small communities but they happen often enough.“I think all doctors who have worked in the emergency room in the last year have seen at least one or more overdoses come in. Hopefully if the person makes it to the emergency room we can save their [life]. But, we’ve had a few deaths in the community from people accidentally overdosing so if we can save one of those people by having those kits available that would be great,” says Spencer.Overdoses are unpredictable. They can potentially kill in just a few minutes or their victims could live for a matter of hours.“What happens is they become very sleepy and their breathing slows down sometimes stopping completely but sometimes just slowing down so much the person can’t get enough oxygen in. They turn blue and eventually when you don’t have enough oxygen then you die,” says Spencer.Having Naloxone kits on hand will give the friends and family of overdose victims a chance to reverse those symptoms immediately. Armed with tales of Naloxone’s success in the Lower 48, Spencer is introducing the antidote to her co-workers at the Ninilchik Clinic. She and a handful of her colleagues are seated in a semi-circle around a small tray holding the Naloxone.“This is a trainer for it like there [are] trainers for the epi pen,” says Spencer.Spencer is demonstrating how to use the most expensive option, an automatic injector. The white and black trainer has a kind of rectangular shape and fits easily in Spencer’s palm. Its biggest perk…it talks its user through the injection. The price might push people away from the auto injector but it’s not the only choice. The Naloxone itself is a clear liquid and it also comes in a transparent vial that can be attached to a syringe. The medicine is then injected or it can be squirted up a person’s nostrils. This route means more steps but it’s much cheaper.“If you’re going to be paying cash at a local pharmacy, if you don’t have insurance, you’re going to be paying between $80 to about $120 for the medication. And it is covered by many insurances,” says Spencer.Spencer stresses the Naloxone kits are most effective if their users have practiced and know exactly how to assemble and deliver the antidote before they’re faced with an overdose.“If you overdose you’re going to be unconscious and you can’t help yourself. So the key thing is to have patients when they get the kit, they take it home, and sit down and read the instructions with their friends and family members,” says Spencer.Naloxone is now available at the clinic in Ninilchik. Spencer says there are a few local pharmacies on the Southern Peninsula carrying the kits, and they’re also available at the Homer Medical Clinic. She’s eventually hoping to have the kits for overdose patients who come into South Peninsula Hospital’s emergency room.“Previously we didn’t really have anything to offer them when they left the emergency room other than counseling them to see a counselor and try not to let it happen again. As far as being able to give them a kit to use in case of emergencies that hasn’t been an option,” says Spencer.Spencer encourages anyone struggling with addiction to reach out for help. She says there is hope and community resources they can lean on.last_img read more

September 5, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgOla, India’s biggest online cab aggregator, has attracted an investment of Rs 1,478 crore ($222.5 million) in a new round of funding led by New York-based Falcon Edge Capital.The funding is a part of the $500 million that the taxi-hailing firm is aiming to raise, which will take its valuation to about $5 billion, Reuters quoted an industry source as saying.In April, the Bengaluru-based firm had raised $400 million from investors led by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global. The funding made it the third-most valuable venture-backed company in India after Flipkart and Snapdeal.Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, had also bought stake in online cab aggregator Ola.In the latest round of funding, Falcon Edge is joined by existing investors Tiger Global Management LLC, Softbank Corp and others.The funding comes at a time when Ola’s rival Uber is planning to invest $1 billion in India to expand its presence in the rapidly growing app-based taxi-hailing market in the country.Ola claims to have 80% of the market share after acquiring TaxiForSure in March this year. The company expects to clock 1 million trips a day from the current 750,000 trips. Ola plans to expand its services to about 200 smaller towns and cities in the country.Uber sees about 200,000 trips a day, operating in nearly 100 cities in the country. India is an important market to Uber, as it has only minor presence in the Chinese market.On Monday, Ola launched a cab leasing programme for drivers, in which it plans to invest Rs 5,000 crore ($752.67 million). The move is aimed at attracting more drivers into the system and gaining “greater control of its fleet of cars.”last_img read more

September 3, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_img.Family businesses are facing challenges globally and more so in Bangladesh. Five major challenges faced by such businesses in Bangladesh are skill and efficiency, innovation, domestic competition, rising prices of energy and raw material and information management. However, family businesses are thriving better in Bangladesh, with higher growth rates than the global average. Where the global average for growth in family businesses last year was 34 per cent, in Bangladesh it was 53 per cent.The ‘Bangladesh Family Business Survey 2018’ run by the international consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was released yesterday, Wednesday. While the organisation publishes such surveys every two years, this was the first time it focussed on family businesses in Bangladesh. A total of 2,953 businesspersons with annual turnovers exceeding five million dollars, from 53 countries around the world, participated in the survey. The interviews for the survey were taken between 20 April and 10 August 2018.According to the survey report, the challenges to family businesses in Bangladesh are higher than the challenges faced globally. Globally, competence constitutes 60 per cent of the challenges, but in Bangladesh this makes up for 66 per cent. But when it comes to innovation, for Bangladesh the challenge is 63 per cent, less than the global 66 per cent.In the case of competition, the global challenge rate was 49 per cent. This was 14 per cent higher in Bangladesh, standing at 63 per cent. Bangladesh fared worse when it came to the prices of energy and raw material. The global challenge in this sector was 43 per cent, but for Bangladesh it was 63 per cent. Also, in information management, the global challenge was 39 per cent, but in Bangladesh it was 53 per cent.The other challenges highlighted in the survey were professionalism, cyber security, family feuds, finance, international competition, corruption, legacy, etc. The survey reflected considerable scope for hope as well. Among the businesspersons taking part in the survey, 50 per cent felt they would be exploring newer markets in the days to come.Bank loans constitute 94 per cent of family business in Bangladesh, while globally this is 81 per cent. And 63 per cent of the businesses in Bangladesh are financed with capital from local sources, while this is 71 per cent globally. In Bangladesh, 75 per cent of the businesses appoint professionals from outside the family to assist in running the business. This trend is noted in India as well.The report noted that Bangladesh’s business do not have significant long-term and mid-term plans. On a global scale, 49 per cent of the businesspersons have such planning, while in Bangladesh it is only 34 per cent. Also, 50 per cent of family businesses in Bangladesh have informal planning, while globally this is 30 per cent.They survey found that 72 per cent of family businesses in Bangladesh have certain policies and procedures in place, as against the 84 per cent global average in this regard.However, Bangladesh was near the global average when it came to agreements among the shareholders, family councils, arbitration, etc. In Bangladesh, nine per cent of the family businesses report to third-party resolution if required as against the 24 per cent global rate. According to the survey, 25 per cent of the board members in Bangladesh’s family businesses are women. Globally this is only 21 per cent. However, only 14 per cent women are actually on the management team in Bangladesh, while globally this is 24 per cent. The survey included case studies of four successful business groups in Bangladesh, Rahimafrooz Group, Transcom Ltd, Ananta Group and Meghna Group of Industries:Niaz RahimInnovation and discipline: Niaz Rahim, Rahimafrooz In 1954, Abdul Rahim started a trading entity focused on garments retail. By 1958, he and his company, Rahimafrooz, entered into a joint venture with British investors in the battery industry as a distributor. By 1990, Rahimafrooz took over the manufacturing operations, becoming the leader in the industry. Since then, the company has grown into one of Bangladesh’s most prominent conglomerates, always focused on exploring new market segments. In the early 2000s, it started the first highly successful supermarket chain in Bangladesh, challenging the traditional cultural buying habits of households. Rahimafrooz kept expanding into unchartered territories of the automotive aftermarket, power and renewable energy sectors. The five fundamental values of Rahimafrooz are integrity, excellence, customer satisfaction, innovation and inspiring people. ‘The moral values that he (Abdul Rahim) emphasised continue to be values that we try to hold on to today,’ said Niaz Rahim, one of Rahim’s sons and a Group Director of Rahimafrooz. Emerging out of the company’s values is the inner drive that leads it to focus on creating new markets and taking on non-mainstream ventures. ‘The founder’s belief in taking risks has always inspired us. We believe in going into undiscovered sectors to become market leaders and frontrunners,’ said Niaz Rahim. ‘We will never compromise on our integrity for profitability,’ he added. Having transitioned from a typical FB into a corporate business structure in 1998, Rahimafrooz prides itself on its transparency and integrity. In 2009, a family council was set up. The family council hosts annual assemblies to keep all members of the family, both those active and inactive in the business, informed on the progress of the company. ‘In times of crisis we debate, discuss, and unanimously make decisions for the company, as everyone is affected,’ explained Niaz Rahim. Latifur RahmanSuccess amidst adversity: Latifur Rahman, Transcom Ltd. Success through sustainability and respect has guided the way for Transcom Ltd. Having started in 1885 in Jalpaiguri with tea plantations, Transcom has witnessed the challenges of independence in India and Pakistan and later, Bangladesh. During the tough ’50s and ’60s, the company diversified into jute manufacturing and saw immediate success. Post liberation, industrial nationalisation efforts led to severe financial difficulties. ‘I restarted my office with rental furniture and four people. There were times I had less than 100 taka for my family. [Going] from a place of affluence to such hardship taught me a big lesson about the importance of ensuring sustainability and believing in all of my endeavours. There was no question of giving up. Putting my feet up and giving up were not in my DNA. Whatever it is I decide to do, I’ll have to find a way to excel at it,’ said Latifur Rahman, Chairman of Transcom Ltd. Rahman signed a bartering agreement with the Bangladesh government and Germany to import pesticides for the government and make payments with tea, since at that point of time the Central Bank of Bangladesh had very limited foreign currency reserves to settle the bill. This opened the gates for more opportunities globally. Transcom soon became the official buyer and exporter of tea for one of the largest Dutch tea trading companies in the world. Since then Transcom diversified its business into multiple sectors by partnering, franchising and working with leading global multinational corporations. In 1983, the name of the organisation was changed from Tea Holdings Ltd. to Transcom Ltd. Latifur Rahman views all those in Transcom Ltd. as his professional family and leads by example by living his values in his day-to-day life, thus enabling the values to permeate the company’s culture and practices. Honesty and transparency are basic requirements for Transcom Ltd, as Latifur Rahman highlights the necessity of maintaining global standards in everything it does, makes or sells. ‘I try my best to create a work environment based on merit-based compensation, respect and empowerment. Every single person in Transcom deserves respect for their role and contribution,’ said Rahman. Such a philosophy creates an atmosphere of trust and collaboration amongst the management teams in Transcom Ltd.’s various companies. He added, ‘By encouraging senior management members to discuss and learn from one another’s unique channels, a sense of familial cohesion has been cultivated within Transcom Ltd., allowing each of the companies to adapt, adjust, and evolve independently with a strong emphasis on norms and values.’ Through the growth and expansion of Transcom Ltd. Latifur Rahman has incorporated subsequent generations into the businesses. However, joining the FB is not an expectation, and family members are given the liberty to choose their career. Next gens who decide to join the business go through rigorous training to understand the business ethos of the company and how it operates. Given its affiliation with the highest number of global companies in Bangladesh, Transcom prides itself on never having defaulted on payments.With the growth of Transcom Ltd, Rahman sees the major part of future management of the organisation comprising more non-family members, which he believes will be beneficial for all stakeholders. He views the sustainable growth of Transcom to be essential and aspires to make it a global organisation. In his own words: ‘I hope the future of Transcom will see it develop from a Bangladeshi company into a regional company, and then into a global company while retaining its Bangladeshi identity and roots.’Sharif ZahirTransforming traditions: Sharif Zahir, Ananta Group Challenging traditional norms and innovating to push boundaries have been the guiding principles that have propelled Ananta Group into becoming one of Bangladesh’s most prominent garment manufactures. The organisation was established in 1991 by Humayun Zahir. The initial years of Ananta Group saw it venture into manufacturing industries such as garments, paper mills and toys. The sons, Sharif Zahir and Asif Zahir, had to take over Ananta Group after their father’s demise. After taking over, the brothers revamped the organisation and went on to make a mark in the highly competitive garments industry in Bangladesh. ‘I believe in stability; we were young at the time and wanted to change everything, so I took time to adjust,’ said Sharif. Having been driven by the values set by their father, as well as learning from big industry players, Sharif and Asif Zahir set out to differentiate themselves in an already established industry. They led the group in a new direction, focusing on specialising in the garments industry and initiating an industry-wise transformation. When they started, Ananta Group consisted of a single factory with 1,500 employees, but through their efforts at expansion, the organisation, as of 2018, consists of eight factories with 26,000 employees. A defining characteristic of Ananta Group has been its tendency to break out of the mould for Bangladesh’s garments industry. As Bangladesh is well known for denim bottoms, Ananta Group initially focused on the value-added aspect of the product, developing expertise in the finishing process. Additionally, the organisation has ventured into a diversified range of products within the apparels industry that are not common in Bangladesh, such as suits, sweaters and lingerie, thus making it both unique and a pioneer. Ananta grew at rates of 25-30% per year in the last decade, while the industry grew at 15-20%, thereby staying well ahead of the curve. The driving force behind Ananta Group’s growth has been the shared passion of the brothers to make a difference. ‘We were quite obsessed…I was quite obsessed with what I was doing. Our discussion from morning till evening at home, all our private discussions, were about the company. Even now it’s like that,’ said Sharif. Asif, after his stint with Google, joined his elder brother Sharif at the FB and complemented him in terms of strategic thinking. Mostafa KamalValues, the biggest driver: Mostafa Kamal, Meghna Group of Industries Established in 1976 as the Kamal Trading Company, the growth and expansion of Meghna Group of Industries have made it one of the frontrunners and drivers of Bangladesh’s emerging economy. It went from being a trading entity to a manufacturing conglomerate that seeks to generate value for consumers, the organisation, stakeholders and society in general. The Meghna Group of Industries was established with a value-driven culture, strongly inspired by the mother of Mostafa Kamal, Chairman of Meghna Group, who instilled in him her strong sense of morality and work ethic. In the words of Mostafa Kamal, ‘Due to my upbringing, there was always a considerable amount of appetite in me to face challenges with courage and passion. As an organisation, we always put respect, responsibility and relationships first to foster humanitarianism. Any beginning requires a great deal of curiosity, agility and simplicity to develop a mind-set of openness in the organisation.’ In its transformational journey, the Meghna Group faced various challenges. ‘We were convinced to take risks without fear of failure. Facing the unknown required resilience,’ said Kamal of the initial years of growth. Having diversified into various industries such as shipping, consumer goods and cement, Meghna Group currently consists of 35 industry verticals, though they are pushing to make it 50 industry verticals by 2020. As Mostafa Kamal puts it, ‘To make such colossal growth sustainable, we must count every paisa. Gradually, we are embracing every new concept, system development and automation with the aspiration of adopting the latest technologies constantly.’ Establishing a sense of family and community within the organisation has been an essential component of the company’s success. Corporate strategy sessions are conducted on an annual basis with senior members of the organisation and family members to understand how best to implement the long-term vision of the company. With the vision to ‘be Bangladesh’s most progressive and admired global conglomerate’, Meghna Group believes the keys to success are customer focus, integrity, respect, teamwork and keeping promises. Incorporating his children in the business has been important for Mostafa Kamal. Currently, three of his children have joined the business after having completed their higher education, but they are still learning the inner workings of the organisation in order develop a personal and professional connection with it. As Kamal put it, ‘When I first acquired the land in Meghnaghat back in the late ’80s, I used to take my eldest daughter along with me for her to see the pain, agony, dreams and hopes that go hand in hand. I usually spend at least a whole day in a week in the factory with one of my family members.’‘Meghna Group of Industries will grow and excel based on a shared value system, which will distinguish us and give us a competitive edge,’ Mostafa Kamal said.last_img read more

September 3, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgSupreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy speaks during a swearing in ceremony for Judge Neil Gorsuch as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, US, 10 April 2017. Photo: ReutersUS president Donald Trump said on Friday he plans to announce his nominee to replace retiring US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on 9 July and that he has narrowed his list of candidates.”I’ve got it down to about five,” Trump said, including two women.He would not identify the candidates by name. “It’s a great group of intellectual talent … they are generally conservative,” Trump said.When asked about several specific potential nominees mentioned in recent days, including federal jurists Brett M Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, and US senator Mike Lee from Utah, Trump said each was “outstanding.”Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One en route from Washington to his private golf club in New Jersey, Trump said he may interview two contenders for the nomination this weekend.Trump said he not will push the candidates to say whether they would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established a woman’s right to abortion.”That’s not a question I’ll be asking,” he said.He also said he would not discuss gay rights with the candidates, and that he might interview as many as seven people.While Kennedy was a conservative, he proved to be a somewhat unpredictable “swing” vote over his long career. For example, he sided with the court’s liberals by voting in favour of abortion rights and gay rights in key cases. Views on abortion was expected to be one that senators will ask the new nominee about in confirmation hearings, even if the president does not.Trump’s nominee must win confirmation by the Senate. Republicans control the chamber but only by a slim majority, making the views of moderates, including some Democrats, important.Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Friday he hoped the confirmation process would be done “in time for the new justice to begin the fall term of the Supreme Court … the first Monday in October.”White House aide Marc Short said on MSNBC that the White House hoped for a Senate confirmation vote in September.That would put a new justice in place before the congressional midterm elections in November, when all seats in the House of Representatives and a third of those in the Senate will be contested.Trump met on Thursday with senators from both parties at the White House to discuss the court vacancy created by the retirement of Kennedy, which was announced on Wednesday.Kennedy’s replacement could cast a deciding vote on limiting or ending the right to abortion.”I do not apply ideological litmus tests to nominees, but I want to see integrity, intellect, a respect for precedent and adherence to the rule of law,” moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins told Reuters when asked about Roe v. Wade.Collins, who favors a woman’s right to choose on abortion, joined like-minded Republican Lisa Murkowski at the White House meeting. Also attending were Republican Charles Grassley and Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp.Democrat Bill Nelson, asked by reporters if a nominee’s views on Roe v. Wade will be important to him, said, “very.”last_img read more

August 31, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_img Care-O-bot 3: Always at your service Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2010 PhysOrg.com This small robot, created at Carnegie Mellon’s Biorobotics lab and the Manipulation lab, uses vibration to help it move quickly up tubes. IEEE Specturm reports on how the robot works:The result is this little device. It’s simple motor turns an unbalanced mass at a uniform velocity. As the mass swings around, it causes the robot to bounce back and forth between the tube walls. Two rubber o-rings let the researches specify the exact contact points and increase friction with the walls. Instead of using bristles or fibers, and vibration that moves the robot in a low-friction direction, the o-rings provide a little more control for the robot’s operators. And, the design employed by Carnegie Mellon also overcomes another design flaw common to tube climbing robots of the past: Difficulty getting out of the tube. Because of the way robots designed with bristles and fibers use the lowest-friction direction to climb the tube, operators have to work against maximum friction to remove the bot. With the o-ring design, this is no longer an issue.In addition to easier removal, the Carnegie Mellon bot also features a payload capacity of five times its weight. Depending on the size of the tube, this robot can move up to 20 body-lengths per second. The versatility of this robot could lead to a number of different applications, especially for those that require that quick navigation of 3D tubes. More information: Josh Romero, “Simple Vibrating Bot Climbs Tubes With Ease,” IEEE Spectrum (May 7, 2010). Available online: spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/ro … /tube-climbing-robot . Citation: Simple Robot Climbs Through Tubes (w/ Video) (2010, May 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-05-simple-robot-climbs-tubes-video.html Last week was the IEEE’s International Conference on Robotics and Automation, held in Anchorage, Alaska. One of the most interesting robots was a simple — and fast — bot designed to climb easily through tubes. last_img read more

August 31, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal Khadi & Village Industries Board (WBKVIB) has geared up to make muslin more popular and attractive among people. “Our weavers are now successfully using Jacquard machines for doing intricate designs on cotton sarees, which is a very difficult process. Cotton sarees with designs are very much in demand, particularly among the celebrities. So, we are hopeful that with the production of more and more such sarees, the demand will grow,” a senior official of WBKVIB said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”Till now, Jacquard machines have only been used for designs on silk sarees and we have found that such designer sarees have been selling like hot cakes in the outlets,” he added.The Jacquard machine is a device fitted to a power loom that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns like brocade, damask and matelassé. The loom is controlled by a “chain of cards”, a number of punched cards laced together into a continuous sequence. Multiple rows of holes are punched on each card, with one complete card corresponding to one row of the design. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”We have set up research and development units with state-of-the-art infrastructure in the districts of Nadia, Murshidabad, Malda and Birbhum, which have already started functioning. We have also come up with a number of common production centres across the state, where facilities from step-by-step production to sale of the fabric can be done. People, particularly foreigners, love to watch the entire process of production on their own and then go for buying,” said Mrityunjoy Bandyopadhyay, CEO of WBKVIB. It may be mentioned that in July 2015, the state MSME department had started Project Muslin for the revival and rejuvenation of brand Khadi and wooing back some of the traditionally skilled artisans, who had left the handloom sector and sought employment in less-skilled sectors.In Bengal, there are primarily seven districts which can be identified as major pockets of muslin fabric, namely Murshidabad, Birbhum, Nadia, Burdwan, Malda, Hooghly and Paschim Medinipur. There are around 900 to 1,100 families engaged in muslin production. More importantly, even though muslin is produced in some countries of West Asia, their artisans can hardly go beyond the 200 count. It is only these six districts where yarns of 500 count and more are produced. Such fine yarns are of high demand in the international market, especially in Japan.last_img read more

August 31, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgKolkata: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on Tuesday said it has sanctioned Rs 334.75 crore in August, under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), to West Bengal for 158 minor irrigation and 23 flood protection projects. The projects were expected to benefit 20,506 hectare covering 3.09 lakh population in 699 villages of the 22 districts while the flood protection projects would address the problem of rapid bank erosion caused by rivers, according to a statement. The developmental bank said the implementation of 23 flood protection projects would save around 5,080 hectare of fertile agricultural and home stead lands of farmers of 64 villages which are under area of erosion. With this cumulative RIDF loan assistance to the state government during the year stands at Rs 1,172.16 crore.last_img read more

August 29, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgShare this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Where do you come from? Does your DNA affect how you look, how you act, who you are?As LGBTI people, the question of ‘who do you think you are?’ comes up a lot. Why do so many gay men get married to women in India?These Arabic-speaking LGBT people have risked all to tell their storyPride Month: How is LGBTQ tourism doing these days?Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/four-gay-and-bi-people-take-a-dna-test-and-find-out-where-theyre-actually-from/ eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) ‘I really feel like there’s a South American connection.’And now let’s see the results…Joe: ‘Wow’Wow. It turns out I’m a little more mixed than I thought.I’m only 19.5% English. I’m 37% Welsh (not a huge surprise) and 37% Scandinavian. The real surprise is the Mediterranean influence: I’m 3.6% Italian and 2.6% Iberian.I suppose it shows that ‘British’, in itself, doesn’t have a genetic marker. A lot of white people originate from Saxons, Romans etc, and it turns out I’ve possibly got a lot of Viking in me. Alternatively, Scandinavians have made the trip to live in Britain for the past thousand years. Who knows where I fit in?The results feel like a part of me has got validation.I’ve always adored Sweden, so the third of Scandinavian is particularly great to see. That sliver of Italian is a real surprise.Amazingly, MyHeritage also connects you with people that share DNA. It turns out I’ve got second and third cousins living all over the world, like in the US, Sweden and New Zealand.Alex: ‘I’m absolutely shook.’Alex thought of himself as the British-Greek boy. He got a very big surprise.‘Where’s the UK? What? Oh my god. That’s crazy! What….the hell?’ he said when he saw the results.‘That’s not what I was expecting at all. The fact I’m not British at all, I don’t know how to feel about that…’He had 0% British. He only had 3% Greek. There was a mix including French, Spanish, Middle Eastern and a small amount of Nigerian and Algerian.‘I was expecting a surprise…but that is a surprise!’ he said. ‘I’m absolutely shook. 4% Nigerian?’He added: ‘ At the end of the day, I knew that I was fairly new to the UK in terms of generations.‘I’m happy about the mix. But to have no UK at all? That’s crazy.‘It doesn’t change anything. I’m still sat here with a British accent.’Charlie: ‘This has given me an existential crisis!’‘This is really dramatic…’ Charlie said as she opened the results. ‘44% English? Almost a third Scandinavian! That’s crazy.’She found out she was part Baltic, part Finnish, part Iberian and part Italian.‘All this Scandinavian and Finnish probably explains why I’m so pale and why I have blue eyes. The fact that I’m less than 50% English, as a statistic, has given me an existential crisis!’But what about that family mystery? Does it explain more?‘I imagine [the mix] must come from my [biological] grandparents. That’s crazy,’ she said.‘I’ve always felt European, because I have all these interests in different food from around Europe, so I guess it’s nice to have that validation.’Michael: ‘I’ve got connections!’Michael learned he was a quarter Celtic, a quarter Scandinavian and half West African.‘So when my family got kidnapped from Africa, they were from Nigeria?’ Michael said as he opened the results. ‘I’ve got connections!’Michael said he finally feels he can pinpoint where his black heritage is from. And not only that, he found family members as well. He had a DNA match with a woman living in Britain, in her 40s, who is his second cousin.‘I feel like I have a connection with Africa now,’ he said.To learn more about your DNA, go to MyHeritage’s websiteFor free shipping, use the offer code GSN.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . GAYSTARNEWS- So four of us on the Gay Star News team decided to take a MyHeritage DNA test. For free shipping, use the order code GSN.When you receive the kit, you sign up for an account online. You do a cheek swab, swirling a swab around your mouth for 45 seconds, and then send it off in the post. A few weeks later, you’re notified of your results. It’s super easy, quick and happily involves no spit or blood.Once it’s in the lab, technicians process each sample individually. They then extract the DNA and translate the biological information into raw data. The algorithms then calculate the ethnicity estimate, determining which segments of DNA originate from different regions in the world. You can even find family members comparing similar DNA.Joe: ‘Do I have anything more to me than just English DNA?’I have tanned skin and naturally black hair, so I’m not exactly the most English-looking guy.But as far as I know, my family records are all in England and Wales. My ancestors were farmers and weavers, not adventurers.But a question is definitely there.I once had a waiter in London come up to me and start speaking to me in Portuguese. When I was confused, he said I look like the spitting image of his nephew. Others have wondered if I’m Spanish, Italian, or even Romanian.So is there something more in my DNA?Alex: ‘Where’s my mother from?’Alex, our account manager, has always thought there was ‘more to the puzzle’.‘I know I’m British and I’m Greek but there must be more to it,’ he said. The Greek comes from his dad’s site. Both of his dad’s parents are from Cyprus.But his mum doesn’t know where she’s from.‘I’d be interested to see what that mix is because her looks are more dominant in me,’ he said.‘My mum’s darker than me. I have no idea where that’s from.’Alex thinks it’s going to ‘scratch an itch’.‘I think it’ll help me feel more connected with my mum’s side of the family,’ he said. ‘But I’ll always be that Greek-British boy.’Charlie: ‘Can I solve this family mystery?’Charlie, who works on the social media team and leads on our bisexual coverage, is trying to solve a family mystery.One of her grandmas was into family history. Charlie found out both of her dad’s parents were adopted. They met because they were adopted kids, and never knew their biological parents.‘There’s always been this one avenue. What went on here?’ she said.‘Beyond them, it’s a complete mystery’.She expects the results to be fairly typical.‘Knowing what I do already, I would imagine it’s 98% English. But for all I know, I could be anything!‘I’m just looking forward to the answer.’Michael: ‘Where does the black side of me come from?’Michael, who works with creative partnerships at GSN, is of mixed heritage.He has a great understanding of one side of him, the white side.‘My mum is English. We’ve been told that on her side, my nan originates from France and my grandad originates from Spain. On my dad’s side, it’s Jamaica. I don’t know where else he comes from.’He added: ‘[The test] will give me a greater understanding of my black history. It’d be good to know where I came from.‘In black life you’re either African or Caribbean. Lots of people associate themselves with the Caribbean, but then if you go deeper we are from Africa as well. It’d just be nice to know where they originate from. With me, depending on what my hair looks like, I get Brazilian or Middle Eastern or Caribbean. I’ve even had Indian before. It depends on how big my beard is. ‘But could there be a surprise?‘I’ve got such a connection with South America. I’m a trained Latin dancer. It goes through my body,’ he said.last_img read more

August 27, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_img Carestream Health will debut upgrades to its newest PACS that include an embedded reporting module and a convenient graphic display for at a glance viewing of available patient records and data. News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more News | Enterprise Imaging | July 29, 2019 Philips Announces 10-year Enterprise Informatics Agreement With Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Nancy Philips and Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire (CHRU) de Nancy, a leading academic hospital in the Grand Est… read more Related Content How do you define the ideal PACS workstation? There is no single answer just multiple solutions. Which one is right for your radiology department? That depends on the specific challenges facing your healthcare facility. Nonetheless, there is a common thread of issues that create bottlenecks in even the most streamlined of PACS workflows. According to Gregory Pilat, RT, MBA, system director radiology/imaging services, Advocate Healthcare, Oak Brook, Ill., the key challenges are:- increase efficiency in workflow to read more cases;- disparate medical devices and IT systems;- the trend toward declining reimbursement;- the data tsunami;- and hours of operation spread across several time zones.Reimbursement WoesThe existing complications in workflow are compounded by declining reimbursement and growth in data volumes, albeit incremental. In the post-Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) environment, radiologists are bracing for further cuts in imaging reimbursement from Medicare. Despite a slowdown in the volume of advanced imaging since the implementation of the DRA at a rate of 1.5 percent 20081, Medicare spending on advanced imaging was reduced by 19.2 percent from 2006 to 2007 and volume of service grew by only 1.9 percent2. Data collected by the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) highlights the imbalance between utilization and reimbursement. According to their recent survey, if reimbursements were reduced by half:• 36 percent of practices would consider limiting access to Medicare beneficiaries • 25 percent would consider dropping out of the Medicare program • 40 percent would consider consolidatingservice sites • 40 percent would consider closing their center To compensate for lost reimbursement, the number of reads per radiologist must increase. But how will radiologists raise reading rates to handle a tsunami of data? First, PACS workflow efficiencies will have to significantly improve.Big BottlenecksSome of the tightest bottlenecks in PACS workflow are caused by simple errors and IT functionality, which may involve: getting the image data to flow cleanly from the modalities to PACS; routing studies from PACS to the radiologist’s read station; making sure technologists provide accurate patient information when sending studies to PACS; monitoring all issues affecting the PACS directly, such as error messages, database errors. When Frank Robbins the IT administrator for Next Generation Radiology, an outpatient imaging organization with four New York-based facilities, faced these very problems, he implemented the following solutions1:- instantly routed all studies to radiologist’s read station to allow faster reads and increased radiologist productivity; – routed images to the website, allowing referring physicians to examine images in their office in a short period of time;- created interfaces to route studies from the PACS to the EMR both in house and to outside to referring physicians’ EMRs; and – converted images to formats that could be stored on multiple EMRs. Faster Reading RatesOne of the biggest problems with PACS is reading through large datasets. “From a reading perspective, one of the largest challenges is the ability to diagnose large multi-slice studies that continue to grow in size and quantity while the pool of radiologists remains confined,” said Ron Muscosky, worldwide product line manager, Advanced Clinical Applications, Healthcare Information Solutions, Carestream Health. “Radiologists are finding the need to read more studies in a shorter period of time, so the difficulty lies with keeping up with this increasing amount of data.”All too often, PACS providers develop solutions that add more steps. “Anytime you add a mouse click, scroll, page forward/backward, open/close, every step you add to workflow is a design defect,” stressed Pilat. To speed up reading rates, radiologists need software solutions that automate and eliminate steps. Features such as adaptive image-loading in McKesson’s Horizon PACS, can bring up large complex studies, while a three-click reporting feature eliminates delays in viewing images.Other features that speed access to images are voice commands in RIS and, according to Muscosky, Carestream will soon provide the same and other navigational technologies in PACS. Another strategy is to optimize the user interface to allow most commonly used tools to be most quickly accessible. Next, there are shortcuts to reporting. “We see reporting becoming a much more seamless part of ones daily workflow. For example, the storing of structured reports can open up the ability for data mining that can be used for many purposes. Some of these include diagnosis based upon prior results and the availability of data for research purposes,” said Muscosky. Some next generation features that eliminate mouse clicks and improve access to data include: – touch screen – voice commands in RIS and PACS- automatic registration and matching of volumetric data at different time points on – auto-structured reporting – auto-loading templates mapped to procedure codes- bookmark findings/optimal image – one click to sign reports – critical test results management solution to delivery of critical patient findings- decision support and appropriateness criteria reference toolsRemote Access with i-AppsRemote access also allows the radiologist to do his work at any time from any location. In addition to Web-based PACS, which is becoming a standard offering, there are other tools enabling remote access: – iPhone App for 3D rendering of CT scans – app developed by Ziosoft (www.ziosoftinc.com)- Osirix iPhone: The Osirix iPhone app is a DICOM viewer to the iPhone. (www.osirix-viewer.com/).- ?eRoentgen Radiology Diagnosis: iPhone app with textual listing of recommended imaging studies from symptoms to diagnoses. (www.iatrossoftware.com)- Microsoft Courier: Dual-screened tablet with multi-touch screen: designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers. Bridging Data GapsOther workflow issues involve patient information availability at multiple sites says Muscosky. “As the consolidation of facilities continue to occur, there is a need to effectively share data and balance the workload between them. In doing so, each site may have a different PACS solution already implemented. The challenge is sharing data between these disparate PACS systems at different facilities efficiently, so that a radiologist can read from anywhere with the same user interface.”To bridge this data gap, Carestream has developed SuperPACS architecture to tie together disparate PACS systems allowing users to read from a single global worklist with the same user interface. “The global worklist significantly aids in the balancing the workload by allowing exams at heavily loaded facilities to be read from less heavily loaded facilities without moving radiologists,” Muscosky explained. Balancing Speed with QualityWith the inundation of cases radiologists are expected to read, maintaining quality can be tricky. “Providing the radiologist with tools to optimize how they read exams or with tools that allow them to visualize exams in a more effective manner can play a vital role,” Muscosky pointed out. “For example, bringing 3D volume rendering into their normal reading can simplify and optimize the reading process, while simultaneously improving the diagnosis. The reason is that pathology, which may have been difficult to find or missed when viewing 2D images alone, may be much more obvious or visible on 3D volume rendered images due to the ability to observe and manipulate all spatial planes,” he said A new viewing application, the PowerViewer by Carestream, provides automatic registration and matching of volumetric data at different time points and different modalities within a standard viewer. The PowerViewer allows a user to switch between different rendition types, such as MPR and MIP, including volumetric data in various planes. Automatic registration is designed to allow users to manipulate one dataset in any spatial plane and the other exams will follow. By registering the images volumetrically, the user can quickly assess any change in pathology because the current and prior exams are fully synchronized in all spatial planes. For example, if a patient is being diagnosed for lung nodules, they may have a number of prior exams in addition to the most recent exam for comparison. “Typically, one or more slices in the prior exam would have been marked as key images, or identified as having the most significant pathology. Additionally, the pathology may have been outlined with an annotation tool and saved,” said Muskosky. “The radiologist would just need to quickly jump to the key image containing the outline pathology on the prior exam and the registered recent study would display the synchronized view. Our specialized Relate Tool allows users to locate the pathology on the prior and the application automatically identifies that location on the most recent and other datasets. Doing so allows the user to make a quality diagnosis very quickly with a minimal number of clicks,” said Muscosky.Easy Access Decision SupportAnother key to quality is easy access to evidence-based clinical decision support solutions. Web-based decision support tools, such as InterQual Online Anonymous Review by McKesson, enable quick reference to the clinical database, in this case InterQual Criteria, in a protected environment that doesn’t expose patient-identifying information.Radiology-specific search engines also streamline access to decision support. A few examples include: – Radiology Research – MyPACS.net- Yottalook.com and Yottalook app for the iPhone- ACR Case in Point- Dr. K. MSK Cases- EURORAD- Journal of Radiology Case Reports- Pediatric Radiology- Rad Files- radRounds CasesGetting the Message AcrossNever underestimate the power of Murphy’s Law – if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. After studies revealed hundreds of diagnostic imaging cases with critical results findings fell through the cracks,4 the American College of Radiology updated its guidelines with communicating critical diagnostic imaging findings,5 and the Joint Commission added critical results reporting guidelines to its National Patient Safety Goals.6 There are several approaches to delivering critical results. “In many situations it is a PACS or RIS/PACS system that provides the communication of these critical results and critical results analysis. For example, critical results may consist of notes and key images added to the patient record in PACS. Reports can then be generated in PACS and/or RIS containing this information along with additional structured data through dictation and speech recognition that are then communicated to the responsible caregiver,” said Muscosky. Robbins addresses this problem by routing images through the PACS directly to the doctors’ read station. This way, “We give our radiologists the ability to look at a patient’s exam literally before the patient is out of the scanning room,” said Robbins. “If a critical result is obtained action can be taken before the patient leaves the facility, if needed. It also decreases the time it takes to notify a referring physician of any critical results involving their patients.”One option is through structured reporting. “The use of structured reports allows for consistent and accurate results,” indicated Muscosky. “Although the standards indicate critical results should contain critical or non-standard results, CARESTREAM RIS/PACS provides such results for all types of exams in a fast and thorough manner. The RIS or PACS reporting system can then use the data collected for analysis to determine if the expected results were met.” A critical test result management (CTRM) tool, Veriphy from Nuance Communications provides a robust solution that includes: policy development and implementation; communications technology that verifies message receipt and automates documentation and rule compliance-user-friendly; live monitoring of report delivery; and real-time reporting that enables benchmarking and performance evaluation. True Multimodality Means MammographyAlthough breast imaging is an integral part of the radiology, progress in developing a truly unified multimodality reading environment that enables viewing all breast exams – mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and molecular images – has been delayed. More recently, vendors have been providing multi-modality workstations with integrated mammography and dedicated breast imaging capabilities. Retrieving breast images is one of primary challenges for breast imaging at many hospitals. “There is a real need for a central data repository for all breast images and reports for mammography, ultrasound, MR, PEM, BSGI. We store by modality and not by the individual. We also need easy access to priors,” said Pilat.At Clinical Breast Imaging at the University of Chicago, Gillian Newstead, M.D., director of the center, also underscores the problem with importing images from third-party vendors and having to readjust images for viewing. “It has not been an easy matter to import different types of mammography images onto different vendor workstations,” said Dr. Newstead. “The images may come over so that you can view them, but they may not line up properly or they are different sizes. There is a lot of manipulation that the radiologist has to do so that you can read them,” She added, “We also have a unique situation where we require special workstations for viewing mammography images; they have to have 5 megapixel (MP) viewers.”Siemens Healthcare facilitates image imports with MammoReport, which enables the user to retrieve old films once they have been converted or “scanned” into a digital DICOM format. Another handy tool is the MammoDiagnost VU Workstation by Philips Healthcare. “The MammoDiagnost VU in fact does import quite well disparate types of mammography images and displays them in a similar fashion, which is an advantage,” said Dr. Newstead.To facilitate image retrieval, Sectra’s ICS5/mx.net diagnostic radiology breast imaging workstation provides full PACS functionality, enabling the user to access the entire image chain – all priors and currents. Dedicated mammography tools that should be available with an integrated breast imaging workstation should include: – dedicated keypad for mammography workflow- automatic image display and launch CAD for mammography – user-defined viewing protocols – advanced post-processing tools- MPR built into the viewing protocols to display automatically without intervention of the radiologist – web deployable architecture for upgrades Enterprise PACS IntegrationThe integration of radiology PACS with IT systems across other specialties is inevitable and into the EMR, but it may require some adjustments to workflow. “The most challenging aspect today is integrating the products seamlessly,” pointed out Muscosky. “Although standards based communication protocols exist, many systems may be homegrown and implement an interpretation of the interface.” GE Healthcare addresses enterprise PACS integration with its Xeleris solution for nuclear medicine, which is integrated on the Centricity PACS workstation. Xeleris provides advanced imaging toolsets for the viewing and analysis of perfusion and metabolic pathways in SPECT/CT and PET/CT studies serving neurology, cardiology, and oncology departments. The Centricity PACS-IW Oncology Workflow also integrates sophisticated PET/CT fusion and SUV measurement capabilities into the web-based PACS-IW. “With the existence of RIS, EMR systems, and other sources of data, another challenge being faced is how to provide the user with an effective means of presenting all available patient data, while not overburdening them so that their efficiency and interpretation is jeopardized.”ScImage has come out with a toolset for delivering PACS content to electronic medical records systems (EMR) through the PicomWeb.Images, waveforms, final reports and other diagnostic documents are available to users of the EMR. Users can browse to patient images and data for clinical review and access using standard image manipulation tools, then switch to full diagnostic viewing with a single click. “The result is the creation of a physician portal that delivers images, reports, waveforms and documents to EMR users, on demand,” said Sai P. Raya, Ph.D., ScImage Founder and CEO. “Importantly, the content and relevant tools can quickly transition to full diagnostic mode for those users with the right credentials.” Wish ListThe pressures of declining reimbursement will continue to hone the capabilities of PACS for improved workflow and increased productivity. But what might some of the future enhancements might be?Muscosky points to radiologist productivity increases gains through features that enhance image presentation, thus provide access to studies on a timely basis through. He added, “By bringing up a study in any office in the practice allows better distribution of the work, again increasing productivity.For Robbins, his wish list of future PACS features would include:- automatic web integration of EMRs without use of VPNs. – automated workflow of studies to EMRs;- automated workflow on studies being sent out to outside hospitals for interpretation;- notification via e-mail to IT personnel if anything within the PACS starts to fail. To some these workflow enhancements may sound basic, but to a radiologist it can mean the difference between 100 and 200 cases a day. References:1. Trends in Imaging Services Billed to Part B Medicare Carriers and Paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, 1998-2008. THE MORAN COMPANY Executive Summary Prepared for the Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) October 2009. 10/9/20092. Previous Moran and Company analysis.3. Merge PACS.4. Bates DW, Leape LL. Doing better with critical test results. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2005 Feb;31(2):66-7, 61.5. American College of Radiology ACR Practice Guideline for Communication of Diagnostic Imaging Findings. Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards 2005. Reston, VA: American College of Radiology; 2005. pp. 5-9.6. Joint Commission. National Patient Safety Goals. Available at: http://www.jointcommission.org/PatientSafety/NationalPatientSafetyGoals/…. Accessed January 28, 2009.7. American College of Radiology ACR Practice Guideline for Communication of Diagnostic Imaging Findings. Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards 2005. Reston, VA: American College of Radiology; 2005. pp. 5-9. 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