Landfill search ends in Shultz investigation

first_imgPolice and solid waste workers have finished searching Columbia’s landfill.They were looking for evidence connected to the death of Megan Shultz in 2006. Searchers found human remains last week. They did not find any more evidence after that. Examiners are trying to confirm those remains are Shultz.Wisconsin police say Keith Comfort admitted in August to killing Shultz and putting her in a Columbia dumpster in 2006. He’s in jail on a second degree murder charge with a $1 million bond.last_img

‘Stuttering’ mice may help unravel mystery of human speech disorder

first_imgMice supposedly don’t speak, so they can’t stutter. But by tinkering with a gene that appears to be involved in human speech, researchers have created transgenic mice whose pups produce altered vocalizations in a way that is similar to stuttering in humans. The mice could make a good model for understanding stuttering; they could also shed more light on how mutations in the gene, called Gnptab, cause the speech disorder.Stuttering is one of the most common speech disorders in the world, affecting nearly one out of 100 adults in the United States. But the cause of the stammering, fragmented speech patterns remains unclear. Several years ago, researchers discovered that stutterers often have mutations in a gene called Gnptab. Like a dispatcher directing garbage trucks, Gnptab encodes a protein that helps to direct enzymes into the lysosome—a compartment in animal cells that breaks down waste and recycles old cellular machinery. Mutations to other genes in this system are known to lead to the buildup of cellular waste products and often result in debilitating diseases, such as Tay-Sachs. How mutations in Gnptab causes stuttered speech remains a mystery, however.To get to the bottom of things, neuroscientist Terra Barnes and her team at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri produced mice with mutation in the Gnptab gene and studied whether it affected the ultrasonic vocalizations that newly born mouse pups emit when separated from their mothers. Determining whether a mouse is stuttering is no easy task; as Barnes points out, it can even be difficult to tell whether people are stuttering if they’re speaking a foreign language. So the team designed a computer program that listens for stuttering vocalization patterns independent of language. The program listens to the number of vocalizations per minute and the length of pauses during bouts of vocalization. In humans, it can distinguish a person who stutters from a control subject 79% of the time.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The program showed that mice with mutant copies of the Gnptab gene had less frequent vocalizations and more long pauses than normal mice. However, the afflicted mice produced all of the same sounds in the same proportion as their wild-type siblings, indicating they were still physically capable of normal vocalizations. And an array of cognitive and physical challenges showed that the stuttering mice were otherwise healthy. That suggests that despite the vast differences in complexity between human and mouse vocalizations, mutated copies of Gnptab have similar effects, the researchers write today in Current Biology, which makes the mouse a potentially valuable model for studying stuttering. “We can throw every drug in the book at it,” Barnes says. “We can try to figure out which part of the brain is affected.”“I think it’s further support that the genes in this pathway do have something to do with speech,” says Stuart Kornfeld, a cell biologist at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who was not involved in the study.But how a single mutation in a common cellular housekeeping gene can result in stuttered speech remains unknown. One possibility is that the neurons involved in speech are particularly sensitive to the waste accumulation caused by missing lysosomal enzymes, Kornfeld says. But there’s no evidence for this yet, he adds; in fact, scientists don’t exactly know which neurons are involved in speech.The buildup of undigested waste products from a malfunctioning lysosome system is just one possible cause, says Tim Holy at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, one of the paper’s co-authors. “Another possibility is that these genes have another function that has not yet been recorded in any other context.”last_img read more

Rahul’s actions don’t match his words: Assam Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma who joined BJP

first_imgFor last one decade, Himanta Biswa Sarma has remained the most influential and controversial political figure in Assam. Nurtured by former chief minister Hiteswar Saikia, this lawyer-turned politician, first became an MLA at the age of 33 in 2001 from the prestigious Jalukbari constituency. Sharp political acumen and strong networking skills helped him emerge as the most trusted lieutenant of chief minister Tarun Gogoi till 2011 when the arrival of Gogoi’s son Gaurav in Assam’s political scenario created a rift between the two. While there have been allegations of his involvement in at least three scams, Sarma received statewide acclaim for improving health services in rural areas and introducing a transparent recruitment system for school teachers. One of the state-level leaders who had direct access to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Sarma is the only Congress leader after Gogoi with pan-Assam appeal. He was the chief architect of the massive 2011 Assembly polls victory which earned Congress 78 seats in the 126-member Assembly. Often criticized for his devil-may-care attitude-he once drove four BJP MLAs to the Assembly to cross vote in Rajya Sabha elections-he is the highest followed politician from North-east in social media.In July last year, he resigned as a minister in Gogoi Cabinet after Rahul Gandhi had refused to make him the chief minister despite his claim of support from 52 MLAs. On August 22, he met BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi and announced his decision to join the BJP. While he will take the official membership on August 28 in Guwahati, at least a dozen Congress MLAs are likely to follow him by October. In an exclusive interview with India Today, Sarma explains how Rahul Gandhi forced him to seek political refuge under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Excerpts:advertisementWhy do you want to join BJP?The idea of joining BJP was in my mind for last three months. First of all it was a question of choosing between two different forms of leadership. After five rounds of intimate interaction with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in last six months, I have come to this conclusion that it’s a much wiser decision to work under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is a strong, inspiring and dynamic leader. But that’s a very personal reason. The bigger reason is the welfare of my state. Since 2011, when Tarun Gogoi came to power for third consecutive term, the state has been on a downhill journey. The economy is in doldrums and state coffer is almost empty. It can sustain the state only for next three or four months. Whichever government comes next, it will have to take recourse in overdraft. In last 10 years, we did not add a single megawatt of power. The conditions of the roads are rapidly deteriorating. There is negative growth in the state. To bring out the state from such a situation, we need massive support from the Central government which is headed by a strong and decisive leader. So I thought it’s important to be associated with BJP and the dynamic leadership of Modi to take Assam to new heights of development.Are you not shifting to BJP because Rahul Gandhi refused to make you the chief minister of Assam?Rahul Gandhi often talks of bringing internal democracy to the party. The decisions should not be taken at the top, grassroots workers should have equal rights in the decision making process. When Rahul Gandhi had sent Mallikarjun Kharge to assess the level of dissent against Chief Minister Gogoi, 52 out of 78 MLAs had given in writing that they wanted me to replace Gogoi as the head of the government. But Rahul Gandhi paid no heed to their demands. When I asked Rahul Gandhi categorically why he had ignored the voice of majority, he told me the Congress followed a high-command structure and it was his prerogative to choose the chief minister. If he could deny the 52 MLAs their right to select their leader, he must stop lecturing about bringing democracy to the party.He talks about bringing democracy to the Youth Congress and NSUI. The recently-concluded elections to these two units of the party were rigged by the son of the most powerful Congress leader of Assam?Who is this son? Are you referring to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s son Gaurav Gogoi?You draw your own conclusion. I will not take names. Stolen ballot papers were recovered from various places after the polls. Complaints were filed. But Rahul Gandhi feels that whatever sons of these leaders do is always correct. So he took no corrective step. For Rahul Gandhi, there are two sets of Congress workers-sons and daughters of top political families and common workers like us. He always stands by the first category. I will give you an example. Last month, he held a meeting with Gogoi, Assam Congress President Anjan Dutta, general secretary in-charge of the state CP Joshi and me. During the meeting, Gogoi not only misbehaved by thumping on the table several times but also used foul language against Joshi. Rahul remained a mute spectator throwing his weight behind Gogoi.advertisementBut Rahul Gandhi often talks about empowering the grassroots workers.By observing what he has done in Assam, I can safely say his actions don’t match his words. But he introduced elections to Youth Congress which created young leaders such as Piyush Hazarika who is one of your most ardent followers. Why such experiments are restricted to Youth Congress or NSUI? Why does he keep ministerial berths and other positions of power reserved for sons and daughters of big political families? Why does he give so much importance to inheritance? Who are his closest among Congress politicians? They are all blue blooded.Did you meet Sonia Gandhi with your grievances?I have loads of respect for her. But unfortunately, she is not in command now. I can’t comment on the status of the party in other parts of the country, but Assam Congress is remote-controlled by Rahul Gandhi. So in 2016, if the party comes back to power, which is the most unlikely situation, the credit for it will go to Rahul Gandhi. But if the party loses, he must go for another round of soul-searching.Congress insiders say that Sonia Gandhi backed you as CM. You were even asked to choose a date for oath-taking ceremony.Soniaji entrusted me with several responsibilities. But I will not like to discuss anything further. Let’s keep her out of all these.You were once the most trusted-lieutenant of Tarun Gogoi. Why are you so hostile now?After 2011 elections were declared, one morning Tarun Gogoi had called me saying that he would have to immediately leave for Delhi to change his pacemaker. I told him that he could get the pacemaker changed in Gauhati Medical College Hospital. The fact that the chief minister did not trust the best hospital in the state would send a wrong signal to the people of the state. But Gogoi and his wife told me that his life was more important and they did not want to take a risk. The CM was conspicuous by his absence during the campaign. However, he was not remotely connected with victory. I have emails and BBMs to prove how party’s top leaders gave credit for the victory to me and my team. Yet, when we won by a huge margin, Gogoi rushed to take credit. What’s worse was that the third consecutive victory gave him a sense of invincibility leading to arrogance. The state did not see any development since 2011. I opposed the arrogance and that’s what he did not like. But I simply raised my voice for the people of Assam.advertisementIn your fight with Gogoi, Rahul Gandhi backed the Assam CM and that’s why you have chosen to join BJP. But only last year, you criticized Modi for his alleged role during 2002 Gujarat riots. How will you defend that criticism now?That was not my personal comment. I was the spokesperson of Assam government. I said that as a Congress member.So what’s your personal opinion?What can I say? People of Gujarat elected him four times. People of India have voted him to power with a massive majority. Who am I to comment on such a universally popular leader?Have you got assurance from the BJP that it will make you the chief ministerial candidate?I will be a small worker of the BJP. A worker cannot aspire to be the CM. Let’s see where destiny will take me. A small political worker is not welcomed by the party president. I feel privileged and I’m grateful to Amit Shahji for extending that privilege to me.You are known for your electoral predictions where you have rarely gone wrong. What’s your assessment of the 2016 Assembly polls result?Congress will get around 12-15 seats. I will not predict exact number of seats for BJP but it will certainly form the next government.The Tiwa Autonomous Council election results were declared last week and BJP, despite high-profile-campaign by top leaders and celebrities, had to bite the dust. Do you still think the road to state Assembly will be smooth for the saffron party?Let’s not draw inference for state polls from autonomous council elections. The Congress fought as a united unit. I worked sincerely till the last day in Congress. The united effort by the party motivated voters. There was also a tribal party in the polls and BJP, instead of aligning with that party, fought against it. Both ate into each others’ vote share. But these results have no long-term impact.You had a bitter rivalry with Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP leader from Assam, who is a minister of state with independent charge of the sports ministry. How will you two now work together?  He is expecting to be the CM candidate of Assam. I feel, at some of point of time, Assam should be led by a tribal leader. I have always advocated that tribals should be given the opportunity to reach the upper echelons of political structure. I’m very happy that he has been given such an important portfolio in the Union ministry. He has the ability to take up bigger responsibilities. I have no problem with him. I have known him since I was in 5th standard. At a personal level, we are very close. Also we must not forget the very effective and dynamic leadership of state BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharya. I will be working under the collective leadership of both of them. Your name has been dragged to a couple of scams recently-Sharada chit fund scam and bribery scandal by US consultancy firm Louis Berger. Your critics have hinted that you are going to join BJP to protect yourself from these scams.The media gave widespread publicity when my name was mentioned in Sharada scam. But it remained silent when I was given a clean chit on April 19, 2015. The CBI officially informed the special court in Kolkata that my service was required only as a witness and not as an accused. My name was already cleared before joining BJP. If you read the press release by US Justice Department, you will see that it clearly states that in Assam the scam is related to some “unnamed officials” only. I’m not an official. It doesn’t mention the involvement of any politician. I have already filed defamation cases against individuals and media groups who have maliciously tried to connect my name with this scam.You are seen as a rich politician. Your wife owns three news channels and a newspaper. You have properties at several places. Congress insiders say that Rahul Gandhi was always wary of you because of your image as a “corrupt politician”. How did you make so much money?Running a media organization with loan taken from a financial institution is no crime. My wife comes from a family of industrialists. She started her business with a loan and it’s not my fault that she has been reasonably successful in her endeavors. Before I joined politics I was a practicing lawyer. I bought a flat in Delhi when I was just a lawyer. Within a year of joining politics, I took a plot in Guwahati on lease from a friend. The plot was taken in the name of a trust. I used MPLAD and MLALAD funds to construct a building there. It has now been turned into an orphanage. I also bought a plot in Guwahati when I was practicing in Gauhati High Court. Later I took bank loans to construct a house there but in 2011, when my father died, I donated the house to turn it into a public library for children. My wife earns nearly Rs 6 lakh a month and she doesn’t have any land or home registered against her name. I own a Maruti Zen and my wife drives a Toyota Innova.You started your political career with All Assam Students Union (AASU). Then you joined Congress and now you are going to join BJP. Where is your ideological consistency? Are you not an opportunist?AASU was not a political party. It’s a students’ organization. I have served the Congress party for 23 years. You would get very few Congressmen who have remained loyal to the party for such long duration. Even veterans such as Arjun Singh, P. Chidambaram, and N.D. Tiwari had left the party. If I’m forced to leave the party after 23 years of dedicated service, Congress leadership should be held accountable, not me. Will it remain a party to carry forward family legacies or will merits be ever rewarded in the party? Rahul Gandhi must find an answer to that soon.Over 50 MLAs had backed you as the replacement to chief minister Tarun Gogoi. How many of them will follow you to BJP now?Those MLAs had supported me as a Congress chief ministerial candidate. They are Congressmen even now but I’m not in the party any more. So the same arithmetic doesn’t apply any more. But if the BJP feels that it needs to rope in more MLAs from the Congress, I can be the connecting bridge between my new party and those who want to quit Congress. But it’s purely the decision of the BJP brass.How do you compare your old boss Rahul Gandhi with your new boss Narendra Modi?People will laugh at me if I compare the two leaders. Look at where Rahul Gandhi is and where Modi is.last_img read more

Dustin Johnson wins in Mexico to cement world number one ranking

first_imgDustin Johnson started his reign as world number one in the best possible way by winning the WGC-Mexico Championship in Mexico City on Sunday.The long-hitting American surrendered a big lead on the back nine before securing a one-stroke victory over Englishman Tommy Fleetwood at Club de Golf Chapultepec.Johnson finished at 14-under 270 for his second consecutive victory, after winning the Genesis Open two weeks ago.That five-stroke victory at Riviera in California vaulted Johnson to the number one world ranking for the first time. If he felt the pressure in Mexico, it hardly showed.”It means a lot,” Johnson, who shot 68, said in a greenside interview when asked how it felt to win in his debut as number one.”Its a tough spot to be in. Theres a lot of pressures on you. I came out and played really well.”Johnson’s victory was a reward for patience, after he started the tournament by hitting his drive out-of-bounds at the very first hole.He also avoided getting frustrated by the bumpy greens, unlike many of his rivals, and worked his way back to build a four-stroke advantage over young Spaniard Jon Rahm with eight holes remaining on Sunday, only to give up his lead with back-to-back bogeys.Johnson again remained calm, avoided any further dropped shots in a three-under-par round and tapped in at the last from a few inches. (Rory McIlroy eyes regaining number one world ranking)Fleetwood (66) birdied the last to claim second place on 13-under. Rahm faded late to tie for third with Englishman Ross Fisher on 12-under.advertisementOvernight leader Justin Thomas faltered with a 72 to finish three strokes behind, equal fifth.Expected challenges from Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson never left the launch pad.McIlroy and Mickelson started the day two strokes from the lead, carding 71 to tie for seventh on 10-under.Johnson has now won 14 times on the PGA Tour, including four victories in World Golf Championships events.”I felt like I hit the ball great all week,” Johnson said.”The greens, theyre tough to putt on. I didnt putt my best but I really hit the ball well and played just well enough I guess, because Ive won by one.”last_img read more

Neptune Pacific Joins Australia Shipping

first_imgzoom Sydney-based liner, bulk and tramp shipping operator Neptune Pacific Line has joined Shipping Australia, the industry body covering majority of the country’s shipping activity, as a full voting member.Neptune Pacific Line Pte Ltd (NPL) is a member of Roll Global LLC, which includes FIJI Water, Paramount Farms, Paramount Citrus, Justin and Landmark Wines, Vintage Nurseries, Teleflora, POM Wonderful, Wonderful Brands and Suterra. Roll acquired Neptune Shipping Line in December 2007 and commenced trading as Neptune Pacific Line Pte Ltd.In 2014, Neptune formed a JV with Government of Samoa for the Pacific Forum Line, and also acquired Polynesian Shipping Line, making them one of the largest regional shipping lines in Oceania.”I know that our membership will, with our liner, bulk and tramp operations, as well as ship technical capabilities locally, contribute positively to policy discussions just as we will gain benefit from the information provided by SAL and it’s members on industry matters,” Neptune’s Managing Director Rolf Rasmussen said.last_img read more

At UPR Lanka praised on IDPs slammed on HR

Minister Samarasinghe, in his speech (see full speech below) after presenting the report on Sri Lanka, responded to most of the concerns raised by some countries in questions posed at the UPR. A question was also received by us on the status of the Bill on the protection of victims and witnesses. The draft legislation of 2008 has been amended to incorporate recommendations made by the Supreme Court and the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Justice and has now been submitted to Cabinet and, upon approval, will be presented to Parliament for enactment.Madam President,Sri Lanka has consistently engaged with the OHCHR, the Special Procedure Mechanisms and relevant Treaty Bodies. In the context of the invitation extended in April 2011 to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit the country, a preparatory visit by a team from the OHCHR was facilitated by the Government in September 2012. The team was granted unfettered access and was provided with the opportunity of interacting with a broad range of stakeholders, including senior representation from government, opposition and civil society. We are still awaiting the dates from the High Commissioner on her impending visit to Sri Lanka.Madam President,One concern that seems to have drawn the attention of our friends is the question of military presence in the former theatre of conflict. Here, I must categorically state that there has been a significant reduction of the military strength in the North since the end of the conflict. There is no intrusive military presence impacting on civilian life –in Jaffna or in the Wanni. On the contrary, the military has successfully completed a great deal of work to assist civilians return to their normal lives in the aftermath of the conflict. From May 2009 to October 2012, the Army has constructed 4,652 permanent new houses, 6,171 semi-permanent houses and has renovated 7,454 houses, through their initiative and efforts. It has constructed 73 schools, renovated nearly 500 old school buildings and has constructed 23 school playgrounds. The Army has made a significant contribution to the improvement of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. The Army has contributed to the socio-cultural needs of the people by building/restoring nearly 250 places of religious worship belonging to all faiths in the North and the East. Moreover, it has contributed to the repair of 11 main roads and 43 minor roads during this period.Livelihood assistance has also been facilitated by the Army. A number of medical clinics have been held, and assistance provided for the conduct of religious, cultural and other festivals. The Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force also facilitated similar projects. The military has, therefore, delivered an outstanding contribution to the restoration of normality. It is noteworthy that these functions have now been taken over by a fully restored civilian administration.Madam President,A question was also posed as to a supposed increase in sexual violence in these areas. Sri Lanka set up special Women’s Protection Units with female Police officers and Women’s  Centres in the IDP welfare centres and are continuing to provide counselling services. Strict legal action has been taken to combat sexual violence. During the three-year span from May 2009 to May 2012, 256 sexual offences have been reported in the North in all five districts; 176 cases are pending hearing by the courts, 67 cases have been forwarded to the Attorney General for advice, 2 convictions have been recorded and 11 cases are currently under investigation.  Any correlation between military presence and sexual violence is unfounded.The protection of women and the advancement of their rights has been a cornerstone of our Government’s policy. Especially in the post-conflict phase, the problems of women have been under scrutiny. Several projects have been initiated in this connection including livelihood development, micro-finance, self-employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment, enhancing access to law enforcement and legal remedies. There has been a special emphasis on conflict-affected women including female-headed households.Sri Lankahas, over the past several decades, meaningfully integrated women as equal partners in shaping the economic, political and social life of the country. We recognize that civil and political rights are interlinked with social, cultural and economic rights and that these reinforce each other.Sri Lankaratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1981 and acceded to the Optional Protocol in 2002. Sri Lanka’s combined fifth to seventh periodic report was considered at the forty-eight session of the Committee and observations on concluding observations have been submitted.Language policy has been one of the key issues which impacts upon the reconciliation process. We have set out the measures taken in relation to both the NHRAP and the LLRC Action Plan relating to the Trilingual Policy (2012 to 2020), and its implementation. It is heartening that the military and the police have taken a lead in accelerated language training. Future recruitment and advancement in the public service will also depend on achievement of linguistic competence. Language is key to confidence building among the multi-lingual segments of Sri Lankan society.Madam President,With the restoration of local governance structures, local civil administration, participation in national elections and a restoration of civic consciousness, the next step would be consideration of elected Provincial representation. Demining, resettlement and the establishment of settled communities are pre-requisites for democratic activity – especially at the peripheral and regional level.There is also the question of the larger discussion of the way ahead as a nation and the institutional and other arrangements necessary to unify the people and work together for a mutually beneficial future. We also wish to reemphasize that a central feature of the Government’s approach to evolving a consensus formula remains, primarily, the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), aimed at achieving multi-party consensus in respect of political and constitutional measures. The motion was unanimously adopted by Parliament in November 2011. Government has already nominated its members to the PSC and is awaiting the nomination of members representing the opposition, after which its sittings can commence. Parallel with this multi-party mechanism, the Government engaged in bilateral discussions with Tamil political parties as well as Muslim representation. Mindful of the fact that all previous attempts at evolving a constitutional formula failed due to the lack of consensus, the Government remains optimistic that the PSC would help achieve the required consensus, given its inclusivity, transparency, and adherence to democratic norms.Madam President,The Government of Sri Lanka has expended an enormous amount of resources, time and effort in restoring normality to the conflict afeected areas. The Government committed USD 2.8 billion mostly through loans, with some grant funding, in support of ongoing projects in 2011. Investment in infrastructure especially roads, railways,  transport will pave the way for restoration of livelihoods and the movement of goods. This is in addition to expenditure on humanitarian assistance and relief where the Government’s commitment for 2009 and 2010 alone was USD 368 million. The UN system and international and national NGOs mobilized USD 437.90 and 100.26, respectively, for the period 2009 to mid 2012.Health is another focus area with the per capita expenditure being over 3.5 times that of other Provinces in the 2009 to 2011 period. The number of hospital beds in the Northern Province per 1 million population is the highest in the country. Nutrition levels of infants and young children and post-partum care availability in Northern areas are also receiving attention, with Jaffna already exceeding the national averages.Expenditure on education was Rs 1.3 billion for the 2009 to 2011 period andNine hundred and sixty four  schools are functioning in the Northern Province as at August 2012. Free uniforms, books and mid-day meals are provided by the Ministry of Education.Water and sanitation is an area of focus with an investment of nearly Rs. 30 billion. Supply of electricity to Kilinochchi, Mannar and Mullaitivu needs to be improved to reach the levels of Vavuniya and Jaffna in terms of reach. Rs. 13 billion has been invested by Government supplemented by borrowings in this regard.Religious sites and places of worship have also been supported and their restoration has also seen costs incurred in respect of all 4 religious faiths practiced in Sri Lanka.Agriculture has received a boost with paddy (unhusked rice) production in the Northern Province tripling from 2009 to 2011. This momentum will be maintained with the reclaiming of abandoned agricultural land. The provision of farm machinery, tractors, fertilizer, as well as the disproportionately large Government expenditure on the sector, will bear dividends. The investment in Irrigation for the 3 years since 2009 is approximately Rs. 4.5 billion.Madam President,Restrictions on fishing have now been almost completely eased and northern contribution to national fisheries output has almost doubled from 2009 to 2011. Over 48,000 persons are employed in this sector. Infrastructure including boats, ice plants, cool rooms and freezer trucks have increased quantitatively during the post-conflict phase. Animal husbandry and livestock sectors have recorded impressive growth. The banking sector has also expanded to meet the growing need and seen an increase in outlets, deposits, and in special credit schemes to promote livelihood and development. The economy has shown incredible resilience and has demonstrated a growth rate of 22% in 2010 with 27% in 2011 reflecting a high level of return on investment.Following on a nominal growth rate of 22 per cent in 2010, the Northern province in 2011 recorded the highest growth rate in nominal terms, of 27.1 per cent, among all provinces, and continued to increase its share of the national economy driven by an expansion in agriculture, fishing, construction, transportation and financial services.Madam President,We have integrated the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) into the National Development Agenda.Sri Lankais on track to reach most of the indicators. Some have been achieved already. Among the notable achievements are those relating to equitable primary education. The universal primary education net enrolment rate has reached 99 per cent in 2009 for both males and females. The proportion of students starting Grade 1 and reaching Grade 5 has increased to almost 100 per cent in 2006/07), child mortality (the current level is 9.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births) and maternal mortality (the MMR is 39.3 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2009, are the lowest in South Asia), access to safe drinking water (nearly 85 per cent of households have sustainable access to improved drinking water in 2006/07) and literacy (with female adult literacy at 97% and male adult literacy at 98% in 2010). There is no gender disparity in these achievements. In secondary and tertiary education, the ratio of girls enrolled is greater.Economic development must now seamlessly follow the humanitarian assistance and early recovery phases. The new UN Development Assistance Framework that will be applicable from 2013 reflects this shift in perspective and approach. We expect that, in keeping with our needs and priorities, that our friends and partners will extend their understanding and cooperation to our efforts in developing a stable and prosperous Sri Lanka.Madam President, I look forward to a very constructive review and thank you for your attention. Minister Samarasinghe’s speech at the Human Rights Council during Sri Lanka’s UPRMadam President,Excellencies, The United States, which was among the countries which spoke at the session today, said that serious human rights violations continue in Sri Lanka, including disappearances, torture, extra-judicial killings, and threats to freedom of expression.  Opposition figures have been harassed, detained, and prosecuted. We appreciate the level of interest shown in the present developments in Sri Lankan– exemplified by the 99 countries that have subscribed to the list of speakers and the 20 countries that have sent in questions in advance. As much as we are here to put forth our perspectives, we hope that, through this dialogue, a greater understanding of the realities in  Sri Lanka will be forged. I appreciate Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, who have indicated their interest by presenting questions that permit a more focused discussion.In the course of my presentation and those of my fellow delegates, we will respond to these questions. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my delegation so that those of our peers participating in this interactive dialogue would be assured that the right people are available to authoritatively answer any question.I look forward to receiving the recommendations that countries may propose and assure you that we will give them our serious consideration.Madam President,Let me say a word on our former engagement during the first cycle of the Review and the steps we have taken pursuant thereto. In May and June of 2008, I was privileged to lead the Sri Lankan delegation to its initial UPR. We received many recommendations, a majority of which we were able to agree to. We were forthright in informing our interlocutors as to those with which we could not agree. We also made several voluntary pledges in keeping with our national goals and priorities. That UPR presentedSri Lankawith the opportunity of taking a structured and holistic view of human rights in the country. This was true of the internal and external dimensions of human rights. Internally, we were able to take stock of our strengths and the challenges before us. Externally, we were able to better coordinate and communicate our achievements with our friends and partners.The chief positive that we can draw from that engagement in 2008 was the formulation of the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (NHRAP). This was one of our principal pledges, made in keeping with the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of 1993. Firmly based on our national plans and priorities, we took into account the recommendations accepted and the pledges made, recommendations of treaty bodies and special procedure mechanisms in devising this plan. We commenced work almost immediately thereafter to draft the Action Plan. Civil society representation was invited and co-opted into the exercise. Finally, senior officials reviewed the Action Plan and I presented it to the Cabinet which granted its approval in September 2011. In December, the implementation strategy was also approved by Cabinet including institutional arrangements for coordination and monitoring. It was an extensive, time consuming process, but one that we are satisfied with. Our civil society partners were fully involved – having near equal representation on the drafting committees. Government focal points were also extensively consulted prior to obtaining final approval. We have been engaged in the initial stages of implementation during the past 10 months and will be able to undertake a review towards the end of the year. It is also important to acknowledge that, although we received some initial material support from the UN Country Team in Sri Lanka, we ensured that the preparation and implementation of the Action Plan is a nationally driven and nationally owned exercise.Madam President,Several delegations have raised questions as to implementation of this National Action Plan which we call theNHRAP. It addresses 08 thematic areas, viz., civil and political rights, economic, social, and cultural rights, children’s rights, labour rights, migrant worker rights, the prevention of torture, women’s rights and the rights of IDPs. I am happy to share specific examples of implementation which we have achieved in the course of this year so that our friends and peers would be able to appreciate our clear commitment towards the promotion and protection of human rights in Sri Lanka.We are preparing draft legislation on occupational safety, health and welfare at work and this is being done by the Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations (under Labour Rights);Directives have been issued by the Police Department to ensure physical safety of persons taken into custody and the provision of access to legal counsel as of right (under Prevention of Torture),the adoption and implementation of a national Trilingual policy as well as the enhancement of scope and reach of national vocational qualification (NVQ) by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (under Economic Social and Cultural Rights),accelerated demining and awareness raising among IDPs of risks due to mines and  unexploded ordnance (UXO) (under Rights of IDPs),implementation of the national action plan supporting the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 2005 (under Rights of Women),strengthening capacity to support Child Helpline (under Rights of Children),establishment by the Sri Lanka Police Department of a special unit to combat human smuggling and trafficking (under Rights of Migrant Workers),completion of review and improvement of training syllabus and period of training for police officers on human rights and language training, especially Tamil language training (under Civil and Political Rights). The objective is to ensure that Police officers are conversant with the language when serving in areas in which the majority speak that language.Madam President,As you can see we have, in fact, commenced the implementation of the NHRAP and those who raise questions as to the lack of progress may be reassured by these specific examples. We will continue to provide updates to the Council on further progress.This also outlines the major vehicle availed of to implement the outcome of the 2008 UPR. What must also be borne in mind, is the fact that the 2008 UPR took place at a critical juncture inSri Lanka’s nearly 3 decade-long war against terrorism. Almost a year earlier, the LTTE had been defeated in the Eastern Theatre and measures to ensure a return to civilian life were being implemented. Soon after the Review, the final phase of the humanitarian operation was launched to rescue the civilians who were being held by the LTTE in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. A sea-change occurred approximately 12 months after the 2008 UPR with the rescue of nearly 300,000 civilians in the month of May 2009. What is of special significance is that our engagement with the community of nations – especially in the Human Rights Council – never lessened in intensity, and we regularly briefed the Council of contemporary developments in Sri Lanka during the most difficult of times during the humanitarian operation.Madam President,Sri Lanka, like any post-conflict polity, faced challenges of a magnitude and scope that were truly daunting. The housing and maintenance of hundreds of thousands of civilians, restoring security, law and order, clearing of vast tracts of land contaminated by UXO including IEDs and landmines, restoring physical, administrative, economic and social infrastructure, preparing people for resettlement, identifying ex-combatants for rehabilitative care, the transition from humanitarian assistance to a development phase, all while maintaining a stable economy and sustainable growth in the rest of the country, were just some of the tasks that the Government had to contend with. At the same time, we were not complacent but tried our utmost to prevent and forestall acts of destabilization from within and outside the country. There are still some elements that support the LTTE’s cause of dismemberment and separation of our island nation. We are aware of these initiatives and will defeat them by our ongoing strategy of re-democratization, reconciliation, reconstruction and development.Madam President,Conflict touches the lives of everyone. When armed conflict continues for as long as 30 years – as it did inSri Lanka– it affects generations of people. It is for this reason that the Government has placed such primacy on non-repetition of the mistakes of the past and on genuine reconciliation. No one who lived through the conflict would want their children or their children’s children to experience whatSri Lankacollectively experienced in the past 30 or so years. We are aware that reconciliation is not an easy exercise, nor is it one that can be achieved overnight.Some of our friends by way of questions posed have indicated a desire to see a more comprehensive approach taken with regard to the allegedly disappeared. The UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance (WGEID) has long engaged with successive Governments to clear a longstanding backlog of 5,679 cases. I must note that many of these cases (over 4,000) date back over 20 years to the pre-1990 period. A further 1,089 date back to the 1991 to 2005 period. The remaining number lays to rest the canard of an increasing trend in disappearance in the recent past.We are working to establish a cross agency national mechanism to clear this backlog. A working committee has been established to respond to cases of disappearances and a Deputy Inspector General of Police appointed to conduct ground verifications of such cases to ascertain the present status.  A special piece of legislation to enable the issuance of death certificates to next of kin was put in place and next of kin can claim monies due to them and obtain secure a substantial  degree of closure.As a part of implementing our responsibilities, the Government submitted its response on 59 cases of disappearances recently brought to its attention by theWorking Group. Another set of 100 cases referred by the Working Group has been verified and submitted. Initial investigations have revealed that nearly 50% of the cases have not been complained of to law enforcement. Further investigations are being conducted on the remaining allegations communicated by the Group.  I must note that a comprehensive addressing of this challenge would be greatly facilitated if countries that have received thousands of asylum seekers would cooperate with us by giving us the names of such persons of Sri Lankan origin so that a proper comparison with the allegedly missing can be done.One of the questions we received has  pointed out  that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has recorded 230 cases of disappearances in 2011. However, if recourse is had to the National Report of Sri Lanka, detailed information as to complaints of allegedly “missing persons” and “persons abducted” in 2010 and 2011 may be accessed. This information is presented together with the remarkable success rate of the Sri Lankan authorities who have resolved a great many of these supposed disappearances. The total number of persons reported allegedly missing in 2010 was 7,940 out of which 6,653 have been found. The corresponding numbers for 2011 are 7,296 reported and 5,185 traced. In 2010, the number of persons allegedly “abducted” was 225 of whom 207 were later traced. The number of allegedly abducted in 2011 was 239 of whom 226 have been traced. Outstanding allegations must and will be thoroughly investigated and any offenders brought to book.Madam President,On another question received, in Sri Lanka, the freedoms of association, thought, conscience and expression receive constitutional recognition. Our civil society has a long history of persons who have advocated for the rights of victims, the disadvantaged and the marginalized. Persons can canvass for the protection of these rights before courts of law. Civil society activists at all levels, have freedom to jointly or in association with others form non-governmental organizations and community based organizations. Organizations established as trusts, voluntary social service organizations or as private companies. They may seek registration at the national level if they require further facilitation by the Government. This registration is not mandatory. The allegations of intolerance or attacks against these organizations or their leadership – in verbal or other form – emanate from time to time. I must state with the utmost firmness that these alleged attacks are no part of Government policy to stifle criticism, activism or dissent. Neither does the Government condone any such attacks. As far as civil society activists who wish to engage with the Government is concerned, in general, they are a valued partner in the implementation of the NHRAP and we will work closely with them.Madam President,Several countries have also sought clarifications as to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and the implementation of its action plan published in July this year, pursuant to a decision by the Cabinet of Ministers. The President, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, appointed the LLRC in May 2010 in order to strengthen the national reconciliation process and to ensure the dividends of peace to all Sri Lankans. The Cabinet of Ministers in May 2012 decided that a Task Force headed by the Secretary to the President would monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC. In July, a matrix containing the National Plan of Action to implement the LLRC recommendations developed by the Task Force and presented to Cabinet was approved setting out the main focus areas for implementation.Madam President,You may recall that the primary focus of the ill-conceived March 2012 Resolution in this Council was the implementation of the LLRC Report. Long before the adoption of the Resolution, we assured the Council that we are committed to the implementation of the domestic process by way of an action plan and that we should be given time and space to achieve this objective. We have fulfilled our commitment with a clear time frame for implementation which is in process as we speak.The main focus areas are IHL Issues, Human Rights, Land Return and Resettlement, Restitution/ Compensatory Relief and Reconciliation. The Task Force has identified a corresponding activity, an implementing agency, a key performance indicator and a time frame in respect of each recommendation. I must reiterate that the action plan and its implementation is being spearheaded by the most senior officials of the Government. Ministries and agencies have been requested to forward their budgetary requirements to aid in the implementation of the actions within their purview, commencing with the national budgetary process for 2013.Several thematic sub-committees functioning under an apex task force is envisaged for better coordination and implementation. Some countries have expressed concerns that only some proposals have been included for implementation. It must be pointed out that 285 was the sum total of observations and recommendations of the LLRC. There was some duplication in Chapter 9 of the LLRC report. Moreover, some of the recommendations fall under the ambit and scope of the NHRAP.  The Action Plan is based on what is implementable in the short, medium and long terms, and the overall recommendations are further sub-divided on a thematic basis into policy and practical matters. The 4 main sub divisions relate to-National Policy;the final phase of the conflict;recommendations related to Human Rights and National Security concerns; andrecommendations related to re-settlement and developmentCertain matters of broad national policy in the Action Plan are to be referred to the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee.Madam President,Several questions received by us on the LLRC Action Plan asked for specific examples ofcompletion or substantial progress on activities . Like the NHRAP we are happy to share with our friends actual implementation since its approval by Cabinet in July 2012. The implemented areas so far are as follows:Devising a centralized database of missing persons;Implementing the Registration of Deaths Act (2010);Creating a centralized database of detainees and make access available to next of kin;Screening detainees to identify those with special needs;Examination of cases of young ex-combatants, release and reunification with families;Establish a task force to develop and implement a child tracing programme;Ensure freedom of movement for media including in the North and East;Remove restrictions on visiting places of worship;Allow visitors from overseas to visit recently resettled areas; andFree movement of persons on Kandy-Jaffna A9 Highway.Hence the suggestions that only part of the recommendations are addressed, and the critique that there is no progress in implementation, is without basis. We will of course as in the case of the NHRAP continue to update the Council on further progress made.Madam President,Further progress has been made in relation to the recommendation made on the treatment of ex-combatants. As of 22 October 2012, 11,012 persons, which included 594 LTTE child soldiers, have been rehabilitated and reintegrated into society. Of the approximately 12,000 persons identified as ex-combatants and  provided rehabilitation, as of 22 October 2012, only 782 beneficiaries are undergoing rehabilitation, and 262 are under judicially mandated custody (remand). Action is underway to expedite the legal proceedings. If this is not clear progress, I fail to understand what is.Another important recommendation of the LLRC that we have done our utmost to implement is the rapid and sustainable resettlement. Sustainability is of prime importance in this context and resettled persons must be provided with “durable solutions” which means that people who return must be able to lead normal productive lives, equal or better to the life they led pre-displacement. The closure of the last IDP welfare centre in Menik Farm by 24 September resulted in our having to deal with only those IDPs who reside with host families and those in protracted situations of displacement. While our focus has been on the nearly 300,000 IDPs we received after their rescue in 2009, we have also paid due attention to the “older caseload”. As at the beginning of October our record of total resettlement was 501,194 persons. Among the remaining caseload are the Muslim residents of the North who were forcibly evicted by the LTTE in 1990/1991 numbering in the tens of thousands in pursuance of their policy of ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Sinhalese were similarly evicted by the LTTE. We are clarifying the remaining number of displaced of every category and will put in place programmes of resettlement for all those who wish to return. To aid in the process of resettlement  the total number of houses constructed in the Northern and Eastern Provinces up to September 2012, one hundred and twenty four thousand one hundred and eighty four (124, 184) at a cost of Rs. Billion 33.34 from 2005. Needless to say we are justifiably proud of our achievement. This is another example of implementation of a recommendation of the domestic process.Madam President,Sri Lanka’s rapid progress in resettlement would not have been possible without the intensive humanitarian demining operation. It is a matter of pride that a vast majority of the work has been completed, at considerable  risk  by the Sri Lanka Army. Initially, it was suspected that mines had been laid in an area of more than 5,000 square kilometres. Demining such a vast area was a formidable challenge that the Government unhesitatingly undertook immediately after the conflict ended. At present, 2,061 sq.km have been identified as hazardous areas. The area cleared is over 1,953 sq. km. The scale of the problem the Government faced in demining can be clearly seen from the number of mines and other devices unearthed and neutralised during the demining process. Over 900,000 hazardous devices have been recovered. These include anti-tank, anti-personnel and IEDs amongst the recovered UXO. As of 25 October 2012, about 98% of the areas identified for demining have been cleared and approximately 108 square kilometers of territory remains to be cleared. This data refers to 10 Districts in all including 3 in the East, 5 in the North and 2 in theNorthCentralProvince. Further demining will enable the remaining contaminated areas to be used for resettlement.The Sri Lanka Army was responsible for demining approximately 75% of the land which was the largest single area assigned to any of the parties involved in demining and included most of the densely mined regions. The entire demining programme was carefully planned and executed. Priority areas were chosen to maximize efficiency and enable the speedy return of the displaced. The first was to demine towns and villages; the second, to demine agricultural areas and paddy fields; and finally to clear forested areas. Presently, nearly all of the two main priority areas have been dealt with. Work only continues in a few areas where the concentration of mines is at its highest. Many of these are places where heavy fighting took place during the last stages of the conflict. It is our aim to completely clear these in the near future. I ask the question once again: isn’t this progress?Madam President,As we pointed out in our National Report, special emphasis has been given to regulating the activities regarding the management of land in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.  The Ministry of Land and Land Development has decided to resolve the land disputes in these areas by implementing a special programme. Cabinet approval has been received for policy proposals relating to the matter. It is proposed to set in place mediation boards in terms of the Mediation (Special Categories of Disputes) Act to resolve disputes between owners who have paper title and have been displaced and those of them who are in unlawful occupation as an alternate dispute resolution mechanism. Furthermore, an amendment to the Prescription Ordinance is presently being considered whereby displaced or disadvantaged owners of land will be exempted from the rules of prescription during a period of 30 years so as to enable them to defeat any competing claims based on the lapse of time.Madam President,With regard to matters of accountability and the allegations as to the violations of humanitarian and human rights law, the LLRC in its report clearly states, that protection of civilian life was a key factor in the formulation of Government policy for carrying out military operations, and the deliberate targeting of civilians formed no part of that strategy.We have pointed out in our national report that the Government has already carried out a series of measures which will enable firm and verifiable conclusions to be arrived at on issues involving accountability, without any element of conjecture or speculation. If reliable evidence is available in respect of any contravention of the law, the domestic legal process will be set in motion. I must stress that these are Sri Lankans and our Government is determined to make a full accounting for our people. As no comprehensive census has been carried out in theNorthern Provincesince 1981, the Department of Census and Statistics was charged with the task of making an enumeration of vital events in theNorthern Provinceand this task was completed in 2011. Critical for socio-economic and development planning, the enumeration, followed by an island wide census in 2012, will provide an accurate picture of patterns of deaths, outward migration within and outside the country, caused by the conflict and other reasons. A comparison of the population data from the enumeration and from the island wide census will enable the Government to gain an understanding of the magnitude and ramifications of the conflict. Causes could include LTTE cadre killed in action, cadre and civilians who escaped the conflict and migrated to other parts of the country and/or overseas, civilians likely to have been killed in the crossfire, civilians killed by the LTTE while seeking to escape from their control, false reporting and reported deaths that did not occur during the period of the humanitarian operation. The outcome will finally and conclusively lay to rest the unfounded allegations of ‘tens of thousands’ of civilian deaths alleged to have occurred in the first five months of 2009. I am sure that you will agree, that this is indicative of a serious and systematic attempt to account for people.Madam President,Still on the subject of accountability and responding to questions received, a five-member Court of Inquiry was appointed on 2 January 2012 by virtue of the powers vested in the Army Commander under the Courts of Inquiry Regulations, read with the Army Disciplinary Regulations, promulgated by the Army Act and is headed by a Major General. This Court of Inquiry was tasked with inquiring into the observations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in its report on alleged civilian casualties during the final phase of the Humanitarian Operation and probe as regards Channel-4 video footage.Since its initial sitting in the first week of January 2012, as of October 2012, the Court of Inquiry has  convened approximately 30 times and has examined many witnesses. It should be noted that the Court is investigating more than 50 incidents referred to in the LLRC report. Investigations cover whether or not any attacks were carried out  by the Army on civilians, on hospitals or in the no-fire zones including the specific instances referred to in the LLRC Report. Irrespective of whether the Channel 4 story is authentic or not, the Court of Inquiry has been mandated to take measures to ascertain whether the uniformed persons featured in the Channel 4 footage can be identified as members of the Sri Lanka Army, and other violations of military law, if any.Additionally, the Sri Lanka Army has commenced investigations by appointing a Board of Inquiry to study the LLRC recommendations and formulate a viable action plan to implement the recommendations that are relevant to the Army. The Sri Lanka Navy has also initiated similar measures.Madam President,Questions were also raised on the subject of Torture. With regard to allegations of torture, there are several avenues for investigation and prosecution of offenders. Prosecution under the Convention Against Torture Act, complaints to the National Police Commission, complaints to the Human Rights Commission and even a complaint to theApex Courtalleging torture, are avenues available to a victim of torture or other ill treatment violative of human rights. The Police also conducts internal reviews and may take action against a delinquent officer by utilizing disciplinary processes. Workshops on Prevention of Torture for police officers have been conducted and 474 have been trained from 2009 – 2012. A new initiative with the assistance of the Asia Foundation has been launched to expand training and education of police officers and investigators. It is envisaged that prosecutors, judicial officers, and prison officers will be included. New measures taken by the Police will also assist in reducing the incidence of abuse and ill treatment of persons. A circular issued in December 2011 by the Inspector-General of Police ensures the safety of the persons in police custody – both male and female. Moreover, by circular issued in May 2012, access to Attorneys by persons in Police custody is assured as of right. At the same time, the upgrading of interrogation and forensic investigation skills is ongoing to ensure that officers do not have to rely on coercive methods to obtain information. Distinguished Delegates, It is my privilege and pleasure to share with the 14th Session of the UPR Working Group information and perspectives on the action taken to promote and protect human rights in Sri Lanka in the period since our first review in 2008. It has been our consistently articulated position that, in the particular circumstances and context of the Sri Lankan situation, the UPR process provides the best opportunity to raise questions and seek clarifications about the evolving situation in the country.What we had hoped for earlier this year was time and space forSri Lankato complete the work of its domestic process that was in train in the post-conflict phase. In March, we stated that the upcoming UPR would prove to be the ideal platform to discuss all aspects of interest and concern, and today we appear before you to fulfill that pledge. A country’s human rights situation cannot be assessed in isolation and should be examined in the context of the realities on the ground. We are ready, prepared and equipped to brief the Working Group and to engage in a cordial and productive dialogue, in a spirit of candour and openness, as to the promotion and protection of human rights inSri Lanka. We will also engage with the Working Group on our plans and expectations to achieve incremental improvements in the human rights situation in the context of post-conflict peace-building, reconciliation and the achievement of normality for all our people. Sri Lanka came for praise by many countries during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva today for completing the resettlement of the Internally Displaced People (IDP). However concerns were still raised over human rights abuses.During the session on Sri Lanka at the 14th session of the UPR today 99 countries made short statements following the presentation of a report by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe said that in light of reports on moves to impeach the Chief Justice, Sri Lanka must strengthen judicial independence by ending government interference with the judicial process, protecting members of the judiciary from attacks, and restoring a fair, independent, and transparent mechanism to oversee judicial appointments. read more

Growing privatization of property among reasons driving homelessness UN rights expert says

Miloon Kothari, the UN Human Rights Commission’s Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, said inequality in global land ownership was a rising trend, and cited recent figures which showed that a mere 2.5 per cent of landowners controlled nearly three-quarters of all private land.The main concern was a phenomenon of “urban apartheid” taking place across the world, partly due to an urban gentrification process – seen very strongly in New York City – and a colossal gap in the supply of formal-sector housing, he told a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.He also noted a trend across the globe towards reducing public housing expenditures and subsidies, pointing to, as an example, a $28 billion drop between 1976 and 2002 in the budget authority for federal housing assistance in the United States.Mr. Kothari said there was also a lack of legal provisions to enable communities to inhabit or own land as well as a growing tendency to criminalize the homeless and the landless. His annual report to the Commission contained recommendations concerning the need for States to apply diligently their human rights obligations and to control land speculation and land mafias and cartels operating across the world.He also referring to a progress report he had presented to the Commission concerning a global study on women, housing and land, and said that lack of secure tenure, information and affordable social services, as well as discriminatory cultural and traditional practices were among the critical factors affecting women’s right to adequate housing and land.There also was a very clear link between violence against women and their lack of adequate housing, he added. As for discrimination, there was a culture of silence regarding women’s rights to housing, land, property and inheritance. Even where there was growing constitutional recognition of those rights, customs and traditions were normally dominant. read more

AsiaPacific UN launches Sustainable Energy for All Decade regional hub

The goals of the 2014-2024 UN Decade, launched two weeks ago, echo the priorities set out by UN Secretary’s General Ban Ki-moon in his eponymous 2011initiative to reach universal access to energy services and double the amount of renewable energy available by 2030. The UN Decade was launched regionally today in Manila, Philippines. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also launched a Regional Hub to tackle energy issues at the country level. “ESCAP is pleased to be part of the collaboration among the three agencies in establishing the SE4ALL Regional Hub,” said Shun-ichi Murata, Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP during his opening remarks.“The Regional Hub will leverage the existing structures of ESCAP, UNDP and ADB energy programs and integrate the strengths of all three development partners to support the achievement of the SE4ALL goals in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr. Murata explained. Accessing forms of clean energy resources is seen as key factor in improving the environment and in making a positive impact on the socio-economic conditions of citizens. New ‘eco-friendly’ activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air pollution could drastically improve the living conditions of existing and future generations.“Our partnership underscores the strong belief that everywhere in the world, people need access to reliable, affordable and clean energy services to ensure they thrive economically and be able to manage their lives” said Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, suggesting also how the Regional Hub would allow positive changes in the clean-energy landscape.The SE4ALL Hub aims to bolster information sharing, forging partnerships and providing a platform for cooperation around specific action areas.In particular, “Universal access to modern energy means providing energy for schools, health clinics, small business and other productive services that improve lives” Manager of the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre, Caitlin Wiesen said today. She added “This new hub will be an important resource for countries looking for clean energy solutions that serve the poor.”Since its launch in 2011, the Suitable Energy for All initiative seems to have been successful in obtaining a consistent support worldwide. More than 75 countries have joined this network to ultimately support clean and sustainable energy. read more

Le secret de la vitesse de nage du requin sa peau

first_imgLe secret de la vitesse de nage du requin : sa peau Publiant leur étude dans le Journal of Experimental Biology, des chercheurs américains ont montré expérimentalement que, pendant la nage, les minuscules écailles de la peau du requin, non seulement absorbent la traînée due à la résistance de l’eau, mais la transforment en impulsion qui accroît encore les performances de l’animal. George Lauder et Johannes Oeffner, de l’Université Harvard, ont voulu vérifier et préciser les mécanismes, partiellement connus, par lesquels les denticules de la peau du requin – de minuscules écailles ressemblant à des dents – interagissent avec l’eau lors des déplacements du poisson. Après avoir récupéré la peau d’un requin mako fraîchement pêché, ils en ont découpé des bandes qu’ils ont fixées de part et d’autre d’une feuille rigide d’aluminium, avant de plonger le tout dans une cuve d’écoulement au débit réglable, permettant de simuler un déplacement et d’en mesurer la vitesse.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?L’expérience étant peu concluante à cause de la rigidité de la feuille d’aluminium, fort éloignée de la souplesse du corps des squales, ils ont recommencé avec uniquement de la peau de requin – intacte, dans un premier temps, puis ayant ses denticules soigneusement limées, dans un deuxième temps. Résultat : la feuille de peau intacte a ‘nagé’ 12,3% plus vite que la peau poncée. La surface rugueuse du requin a bien amélioré la performance natatoire de façon spectaculaire, rapporte Science Daily.Réitérant l’expérience, mais cette fois en mettant en évidence le mouvement tourbillonnaire de l’eau grâce à de la lumière laser, les chercheurs se sont rendu compte que, en plus de réduire la traînée, la peau générait activement une poussée. “C’est la surprise numéro 1 : il ne s’agit pas seulement de propriétés de réduction de la traînée, les denticules modifient la structure de l’écoulement [de l’eau] près de la peau du requin d’une manière qui améliore la poussée”, explique Lauder, qui projette maintenant de concevoir des modèles physiques et mathématiques pour démêler en détail ces étonnants mécanismes naturels. Le 12 février 2012 à 14:48 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Phil Spencer Wants Xbox One To Play Original Xbox Games

first_imgThe Xbox One has very few advantages over its main rival the PS4, but one key area where Microsoft has outdone Sony is backwards compatibility. Slowly but surely Microsoft has been unlocking the Xbox 360’s huge library of games and allowing the original discs to play when inserted into the Xbox One.Now it seems, there’s a chance that compatibility could jump back another generation and unlock those original Xbox games you have gathering dust on your shelf.Although it’s not happening yet, Phil Spencer has confirmed on Twitter that it’s something he’d very much like to do:@James1o1o We haven’t ruled it out but we aren’t working on it right now. I’d like to find the time to do it.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) October 12, 2016In total, there were 1,045 game released for the original Xbox. That includes 289 exclusive to North America, 96 exclusive to Europe, and 44 exclusive to Japan. When the Xbox 360 was launched backwards compatibility was touted, but mostly treated as an afterthought. Only a small subset of Xbox games ended up working on the 360, and even then some of them didn’t work well (artifacts, software errors etc.).Adding original Xbox game compatibility to the Xbox One would help make up for the lack of effort put into the feature on the Xbox 360. Xbox games have long since disappeared from the used game shelves, though, so it’s going to be collector’s who appreciate this the most (if it ends up happening).With the Xbox One Microsoft made the switch to an x86 architecture, and that isn’t going to change looking at future hardware releases. Scorpio will be an x86 machine. Whatever comes after Scorpio will probably be an x86 machine. So this work on backwards compatibility will continue to be of benefit to Microsoft long after the Xbox One has been replaced. Sony would do well to take notice.last_img read more

LIBRARY LINEUP Musical Baseball Show on April 1 WZLXs Carter Alan on

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is a list of FREE upcoming programs for adults, teens and kids at the Wilmington Memorial Library.Registration begins 30 days prior to the event. Please register online using our Calendar of Events at www.wilmlibrary.org or by calling (978) 694-2099 (for Adult) or (978) 694-2098 (for Children/Teen). Please note we request registration for programs that are marked *RR. Thank you to the Friends of the Library for funding support for library programs!Adult EventsUsed Puzzle PaloozaSaturday, March 30, 10 am – 12 pmNeed a new puzzle? Join us for our first-ever Used Puzzle Palooza and pick up some new-to-you puzzles to connect with friends or recharge your batteries. Great for experienced puzzlers or just thinking of giving puzzling a try. Limit of five puzzles, however number may change day of event based on donations. Puzzles are free although donations to the Friends of Wilmington Memorial Library will be happily accepted.Networkers—Taking Charge of Your Career *RRMonday, April 1, 10 amThere is no predictable career ladder in today’s workplace. Most people no longer have the security of staying in one field, one job, or even one location. Navigating your career now means being able to adapt and stay relevant. In this Lynda.com course, learn to leverage your unique skills and passions to create a flexible career path that stays true to your values and allows you to adapt as needed.Musical Baseball Show*RRMonday, April 1, 2:30 pmHowie Newman, a former sportswriter for the Lowell Sun, Boston Globeand Patriot Ledger, will sing baseball songs, offer up baseball trivia and talk about his days on the Red Sox beat. He has remained an avid fan, having visited 91 major and minor league ballparks. Newman, who did three years of radio color commentary for the Lowell Spinners, will also hold a free raffle for his two baseball CDs, Baseball’s Greatest Hits, Volumes 1 and 2. In addition, he will sing some classic songs from yesteryear.Cookin’ the BooksTuesday, April 2, 12 pm Featured Cookbook: Giada’s Italyby Giada De LaurentiisIf you love to cook and enjoy talking about food and sharing recipes then this group is for you.  Pick up a copy of the cookbook (or find a recipe from the book online), register on the library events calendar at wilmlibrary.org and record your recipe.  Bring your dish to the meeting and enjoy sampling everyone’s dishes!      Microsoft Excel *RRWednesday, April 3, 7 pmJoin technology librarian, Brad McKenna, for a hands-on exercise with Microsoft Excel. In this class you’ll learn how to modify cells, sort and filter data, use formulas, and more. A handout for additional practice will be provided.Author Talk: Carter Alan *RRThursday, April 4, 7 pmIn The Decibel Diaries, Carter Alan, longtime DJ and music director at WZLX in Boston, chronicles a lifetime in rock.  He will talk about the tour through fifty concerts such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and playing in the rain when Richard Nixon resigned. Alan shows us what it was like to be there and reveals how these events fit into the arc of the artist’s career, the artist’s place in music, and the music’s place in the wider world. Taken together, The Decibel Diaries is a visceral and visionary portrait of nearly fifty years of rock ’n’ roll. Books sales and signing to follow talk.Kids & Teen EventsDrop-In Storytime Friday, March 29, 10 amDrop in for stories, songs, rhymes and a fun craft! Space is limited.  Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first-served basis. Ages 2-5 and one or more adultsBook Buddies *RRSession 2: Fridays, March 29, April 5 &12, 3:45This fun literacy program pairs kids with teen volunteers for one-on-one reading fun. In this three-week program, kids can practice reading or be read to, receive one-on-one attention from a trained teen, share a snack, and do a fun activity.  Teens in grades 9-12 can register at the library or online for one or both sessions to earn up to 10 community service hours.  Ages 4+Disney Scavenger HuntApril 1-30Disney characters are going on vacation. Find all nine characters to reveal their destination and win a prize! All agesWilmington Community PlaygroupMonday, April 1, 9:30 amAt this drop-in playgroup we will begin with a story and then play together! Led by the CTI Family Resource Network.Ages 1-5World Languages Foreign Film Nights *RRTuesday, April 2, 6:30 pmWatch French movie with English subtitles. Grades 9-12Better Together Book Club *RRWednesday, April 3, 6:30 pmBring your favorite grown-up and join us for a discussion of Jasmine Toguchi: Super Sleuthby Debbi Michiko Florence. Pick up a copy of the book at the Children’s Desk. We’ll discuss the book and make a fun craft! Grades 1-5LEGO Building Thursday, April 4, 3:45 pmBuild a unique LEGO creation.  Kindergarten+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? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLIBRARY LINEUP: Library To Host 6-Week Great Decisions Series On Foreign Policy TopicsIn “Community”LIBRARY LINEUP: Summer Bash With Food Trucks & Live Music Set For August 15 On Swain GreenIn “Community”LIBRARY LINEUP: Storytime at Farmers Market on Aug. 4; Revere Beach Memories on Aug. 5In “Community”last_img read more

Meet Gagandeep Kang the 1st Indian woman scientist in Londons Royal Society

first_imgGagandeep KangTwitter [Representational Image]In its 359 years of prestigious history, London’s Royal Society has conferred an Indian woman with its fellowship for the scientific academy.Gagandeep Kang, biologist and executive director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad is the first ever woman scientist from India to have received this esteemed title.The 57-year-old Kang is very well known for her interdisciplinary research of enteric infections among children, has played a significant role in developing indigenous vaccines against rotavirus and typhoid. She has established laboratories to support the vaccine trials. 51 distinguished scientists and researchers were taken in as the Fellow for the Royal Society (FRS) “Kanga is investigating the complex relationships between infection, gut function and physical and cognitive development, and seeking to build stronger human immunology research in India. She has established strong training programmes for students and young faculty in clinical translational medicine aiming to build a cadre of clinical researchers studying relevant problems in India,” read her profile statement on the scientific academy’s website.During her tenure as the chairperson for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Southeast-Asia region’s Immunisation Technical Advisory Group, she was awarded the Infosys Prize in Life Sciences for her work in public health.The list of fellows includes the Canadian-American mathematician of Indian origin Manjul Bhargava, who is R Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University in the United States. He is primarily for his contributions to the number theory.last_img read more

Each Day That Passes Pressure Grows For Chemical Inspectors Waiting In Syria

first_imgAli Hashisho/ReutersInspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have remained stuck in Damascus for nearly a week.As chemical weapons inspectors wait to investigate an alleged strike near the Syrian capital of Damascus, former inspectors say the challenges the current team faces are daunting.The inspectors arrived in Syria on April 14, on a mission to investigate a suspected chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma seven days earlier. Unconfirmed reports from the scene suggest that dozens may have died.But so far the inspectors have been unable to reach the location of the attack to verify the facts for themselves. A United Nations reconnaissance team that visited the area on Tuesday came under fire and was forced to turn back. For now, the inspectors are sitting in their hotel rooms, waiting.“There’s nothing they can do. They can’t force their way in,” says Dieter Rothbacher, a former chemical weapons inspector. The team wants to gather the evidence while it’s fresh, he says. “Every day that passes the pressure gets bigger.”The inspectors were sent by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. The OPCW is responsible for overseeing the Chemical Weapons Convention — a 1997 treaty banning the production, stockpiling and use of such weapons. Syria signed up to the convention in 2013 after a chemical attack in another Damascus suburb left hundreds dead.Even though the Syrian government is legally obligated by the convention, the inspectors have limited powers, says Jerry Smith, another former inspector who worked in Syria in 2013 and 2014. “The OPCW is not the world police,” he says.In an email, an OPCW spokesperson declined to comment on when the nine-person investigation team would be able to enter Douma: “We are unable to share operational details about this deployment. This policy exists to preserve the integrity of the investigatory process and its results as well as to ensure the safety and security of OPCW experts and personnel involved.”Smith says during his time in Syria, he operated under the watchful eye of the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. He believes security forces were keeping close tabs on his every move. “I’m sure we were being listened to: our phone calls monitored and our computers hacked and our rooms bugged,” he says.In 2013, chemical weapons inspectors working in the suburbs outside of Damascus were able to confirm the use of the nerve agent sarin.Smith went to Syria shortly after the government joined the Chemical Weapons Convention to avert U.S. strikes and appease its chief patron, Russia. He helped to destroy some 1,300 metric tons of declared chemical weapons and their precursors. Although Syrian government officials generally seemed happy to help the OPCW team, things would sometimes get tense. “Some of the visits, the inspectors had weapons pointed at them,” Smith says.This time around, Syria invited the OPCW inspectors in to investigate the Douma attack. The invitation provided the inspectors with the legal basis to enter Syria, but it gives the Syrian government the ability to control their activities.That makes the work of inspectors dramatically different from that of law enforcement. “In a police investigation, 99 percent of the stakeholders of that investigation want the truth to be found out,” Smith says. But in the case of the latest attack, a chief suspect is the same government that’s hosting the team.Already the delays will make it difficult to determine what happened in Douma. Analysts and local rescue and medical workers who observed victims have suggested chlorine was used. Chlorine is a highly volatile compound that evaporates quickly, says Rothbacher. “The best places to sample now are the people who have supposedly been hit,” he says. But Syrian government officials will most likely determine whom inspectors talk to and what they see.Even if the inspectors can gather evidence, they won’t be able to point the finger at anyone. “The inspectors are basically there to collect facts,” says Ralf Trapp, a chemical weapons expert who has worked closely with the OPCW. “The question [of] whether there was a violation of the chemical weapons convention, that’s a political question. That’s not really their job.”The political process for ascribing blame is broken, Trapp adds. A U.N. system for investigating chemical weapons violations in Syria broke down last October, after Russia, a close ally of Syria, vetoed its renewal.Without that political process, whatever facts the team can collect are likely to be spun by all sides in the conflict. “Whatever they do will be imperfect; whatever they do will be criticized,” says Smith.But the inspectors can do something few others can. The team is made up of scientists, medical experts and engineers from all over the world. Their work is careful and methodical, and they may be able to provide something sorely lacking: impartial data concerning the events in Douma.“If you’re lucky with the science, the science will quite conclusively disprove some of the stories,” Smith says. But, he adds, “It’s a kind of a slow process.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

Bowser Presents 135 Billion DC Budget to Council

first_imgD.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s new budget is is set for public hearings. (AFRO File Photo)D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) recently presented her $13.5 billion budget for the District to the D.C. Council that includes $2.5 million for more police officers, $4.8 million for summer youth jobs and looks to take over the D.C. jail.On March 24, Bowser briefed members of the D.C. Council on her fiscal year budget plan entitled: “A Fair Shot”. This is Bowser’s second budget since taking office.“In a city as prosperous as ours, every resident deserves as fair shot-no matter who you are or what ward you live in,” the mayor said. “The Fair Shot Budget is geared toward making life better for Washingtonians today, as we prepare for a strong, healthy and prosperous future.”Bowser’s proposed budget includes $100 million to build and support more affordable housing units and $220 million for District of Columbia public schools as well as $75 million to enhance the schools’ programming. Other highlights include $12 million to put more ambulances on the streets and $2.5 million to the Office of United Communications for additional training of personnel; $10 million to delay the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families “cliff”, which is an effort to keep families from falling into dire poverty as their TANF benefits are set to expire; $5.9 million to programs to support returning citizens and $4.8 million for full funding of the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program.Bowser said she wants to provide $2.5 million for a program that will put 60 more officers on the streets in less than half of the training time, which is generally six months.Delroy Burton, the outgoing chairman of the D.C. Police Union, said any action to increase the number of police officers on the force is welcome. “I think it is critical that the police force is fully staffed at the level of 4,000 officers,” Burton told the AFRO on March 24. “It used to be 5,200 in the 1980s until Marion Barry stopped hiring officers at one time. We are in a staffing shortage because within the last 24 months, we have lost 817 officers to retirement and some officers are leaving because the workload they have to endure.”The budget also includes funds to takeover the Correctional Treatment Facility in the D.C. to house local federal inmates who are at the end of their sentences.The mayor’s plan to end homelessness in the District will include $20 million to close D.C. General and replace that facility with short-term housing in all of the city’s eight wards. Lesser known budget items include supporting families during their bout with homelessness with $1 million, $1.8 million to help support families with rapid rehousing and $700,000 for homeless youth initiatives.Bowser has allocated $179 million to help renovate the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and invested $98.7 million to continue to improve the United Medical Center.The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute is an advocate for the city’s low-income residents and publishes studies and papers on public policy in that area.  Its executive director, through its blog, said that while the budget “maintains and adds important investments” to help D.C. residents, the proposed budget leaves large gaps in meeting the needs of the poorest residents.”The blog, in its March 24 analysis of the budget, said that TANF assistance is inadequate because the time limit for people who have used up their benefits is only extended for a year; rental assistance gets no additional resources and there are no new housing vouchers; and there are no additional investments in early child care and education.D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) announced a Committee of the Whole public hearing on the mayor’s budget on April 4, the day city officials return from Easter recess. The hearing will include the mayor’s executive team, including Bowser, and the chief financial officer. The council will vote on the budget in June.last_img read more

Air Jordan 6 Infrared Is the First MustBuy Sneaker of 2019

first_img There’s no hotter time of the year for sneaker drops than NBA All-Star Weekend and 2019’s festivities are proving to be no exception. Nike, Jordan Brand, adidas, and Puma alike are bringing their A-game to the big event this weekend. The result is a number of exceedingly dope silhouettes that you can bet are going to sell out quick and probably wind up on a Best of 2019 list or two.There’s a standout among them though, no question. The race to drop the first must-buy sneaker of 2019 has been won thanks to Jordan’s rerelease of the legendary Air Jordan 6 Infrared. The shoe drops on Saturday and oh man, it’s a stunner.Released to commemorate hoop legend Michael Jordan’s All-Star game appearance in Charlotte, NC (the city to which the All-Star game is returning this year) in 1991, the sneaker is a wildly futuristic-looking silhouette, the sort of fashion statement that looks like it’s ripped more from Blade Runner or Gundam Wing than the world of basketball.AdChoices广告The Jordan 6 originally sprung from an exciting era of sneaker design. (Photo Credit: Nike)The Jordan 6 originally sprung from an exciting era of sneaker design in which the legendary designer Tinker Hatfield was in charge of designing Michael Jordan’s signature shoes. Between the Jordan 4 and Jordan 8, each shoe seemed to (literally) build on the one from the year prior. As the years went on, the shoes got bigger and flashier, ditching minimalism for hyper-detailed, chunky silhouettes.As such, it’s notable that the first thing you’ll notice when you put on the Infrared 6 is that it… isn’t heavy. Quite the opposite, really. For a larger shoe, it’s shockingly lightweight, providing all the durability and stability of a heftier shoe with half the weight. The high ankle provides killer support for shooting a jump shot or, you know, walking to work.This is the first edition of the Infrared 6 to feature the Nike Air logo in quite a while. (Photo Credit: Nike)We’ve also gotta talk about the color — it’s great. Previous retro releases of the Infrared 6 have featured infrared highlights that skew on the pinker side — not ideal for purists looking for the closest thing to the original release. The 2019 edition is far closer to the original’s crimson tone. Speaking of closer to the original, this is also the first edition of the Infrared 6 to feature the Nike Air logo on the back rather than the Jumpman logo in quite a while.There’s one notable change from the original, one we’ve seen Nike and Jordan utilize more in retro releases as of late: the blue tint on the sole. It’s a departure from the original 1991 Infrared 6, but one made for the best — this blue translucent sole is far less prone to yellowing with age than the old standard material. It’ll keep your kicks looking fresh for years to come rather than looking like they’re busted by the time 2020 rolls around. Nike x ‘Stranger Things’ Is Back With an Upside Down-Inspire…Here’s a Closer Look at the Nike Kyrie 5 SpongeBob Pack The Infrared 6 is, in every way, the first must-buy sneaker of 2019. If you’re a longtime sneakerhead you’ll appreciate the attention to detail and care put into recreating a classic shoe. If you’re coming from the world of geek culture, they’re a dope entryway into sneakers. Nobody can clown you for wearing a rad pair of Infrareds and as an added bonus, they straight up look like something pulled from a sci-fi movie or an Akira Toriyama manga.The Jordan 6 Infrared drops on Saturday, Feb. 16. You can find it at your local Foot Locker or on the Nike SNKRS app.More on Geek.com:Nike to Release Superman-Inspired LeBron 3 ‘SuperBron’ ShoeNike and Jordan Brand Announce ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ Shoe7 Sneakers Your Favorite DC Superhero Would Wearcenter_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

You Got Your Mobile Puzzle Game in My Mobile RPG

first_img Although they may seem like polar opposites, puzzle games and role-playing games are both great genres to play on mobile phones and tablets. Puzzle games can provide short, satisfying brainteasers perfect for commutes. RPGs tend to be vast, sprawling adventures, but their relaxed pace and focus on constant incremental progression rewards frequent short sessions as well as marathon ones.But what if you don’t want to have to choose between a puzzle game and an RPG when picking your next mobile obsession? What if you want to play a game that’s both? You’re in luck! Puzzle RPGs are a mashup mobile gaming genre you can depend on, and here are some of our favorites.Puzzle QuestWhen it comes to puzzle/RPG mashups, Puzzle Quest is pretty much the king. As you play a Bejeweled-style match-three puzzle game, you’ll also strategically fight your way across a fantasy kingdom. This game was a revelation before smartphones were even a thing. As a mobile game, you have no excuse not to check it out.Marvel Puzzle QuestThe success of the original Puzzle Quest allowed the developers to branch off into different themes and franchises. There are a lot we could have picked from, from sci-fi variants to Adventure Time crossovers. But since we’re such big Marvel fans we’re highlighting the superheroic Marvel Puzzle Quest featuring Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wolverine, and the rest.Puzzle and DragonsHuge in Japan, the Puzzle and Dragons series finally seems to be making some headway in the West. You dungeon crawl in first-person like in a classic Dragon Quest game, but to attack you cause chains in the matching puzzle game. Don’t just focus on blind matching, though. Elemental affinities and deep party customization put a premium on tactics.10,000,000When it comes to mobile puzzle/RPG hybrids, 10,000,000 maybe has the most cool cred. The titular number refers to the number of points players must earn by traveling through dungeons and matching icons to survive. If you reach that goal, try to perform an even better run with your mastery of melee, magic, macguffins, and monsters.Deus Ex GoDeus Ex is a landmark cyberpunk RPG. Its recent revivals have also been shockingly excellent, almost as shockingly excellent as the mobile games Square Enix has made based on its hit Western AAA games like Lara Croft and Hitman. This shocking excellence combines in the unsurprisingly awesome Deus Ex Go, which takes ideas from the RPG but presents them in a stylish, minimal puzzle game form.Old Man’s JourneyThis one is a bit of a cheat but this is a puzzle game in which you play a role. Whatever, this game is super charming, and it’s pretty recent so let’s give it some love. You play as an old man casually walking across the world solving mild puzzles by literally moving mountains to accommodate for your limited mobility. But the real journey is reliving the emotional roller-coaster that is the old man’s life, conveyed through the beautiful painterly art style. Stay on target The Most Addictive Mobile Clicker GamesSimple Geek’s Guide to…Streaming Services last_img read more

Pistol Pete Uses Granny Shots to Beat The Ice Man Gervin In

first_img‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich and ‘The Ice Man’ George Gervin were two of the biggest stars of the 1970’s NBA, and two of the greatest pure scorers to ever play in the league.Even though the Finals were broadcast on tape delay, the network powers that be at CBS made the incredibly wise decision to create a televised HORSE tournament with some of the league’s biggest stars. By luck of the draw, Maravich and Gervin wound up head-to-head in an early round matchup of legendary scoring machines.Maravich beats The Ice Man with some crafty HORSE specific shots like shooting from sitting down and even a granny shot, but we’re the real winners. This is some quality 70’s Saturday TV viewing.last_img

What is Section 377 Everything you need to know about Indias antigay

first_imgeTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) After years of LGBTI discrimination caused by Section 377, India’s Supreme Court are ruling whether the infamous anti-gay law is unconstitutional. With the prospect of gay sex being decriminalized, here’s everything you need to know about the law.What is Section 377?Dating back to 1861, Section 377 of India’s penal code was established under British rule. It prohibits ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal.’Breaking of this code can lead to up to ten years in prison and leaving the person liable to a hefty fine. In worst cases, it is life imprisonment. While the law mainly discriminates against gay sex, the law can also be extended to oral sex too.The journey to repealA protest sign at Bangalor Pride, 2009 | Photo: Nick Johnson, FlickrIn 2009, the movement against the colonial law gained momentum when the High Court of Delhi ruled that the code violated constitutional rights. However, after pressure from religious groups, two members of the Supreme Court of India in 2013 overturned the ruling. This paved the way for state-enforced discrimination against LGBTI people.Yet the fight continued. Its validity came under further fire later in August 2017 as the court ruled that the ‘Right to Privacy is an integral part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty’, in accordance to India’s constitution. Though this was about identity cards, there was implications on the right of consenting LGBT adults to lead a private life.Activists kept fighting and eventually, in early 2017, the Supreme Court agreed to consider petitions against Section 377. A five-member panel led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra in July 2018 was then set up. GAYSTARNEWS- Bengulu Pride 2009 | Photo: Vinayak Das via Flickrcenter_img This time, activists were not alone. Further support for Section 377’s repeal came as the National Consultation on Interfaith Engagement and the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) came together to call for the code to be scrapped. Even the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said it would not oppose the repeal.Despite fear of potential arrest, many continue to battle the law. In early 2018, four gay men, including Ashok Row Kavi – the first man to publicly come out as gay in 1984 – as well as The Humsafar Trust approached the Supreme Court to decriminalize same-sex relations before the 2018 hearing against Section 377.Why does this matter?Trans women too face discrimination thanks to the law | Photo: The Stories of ChangeThe Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate Section 377 in 2013 caused real harm to India’s LGBTI community. Activists have said it spreads the stigma against LGBT people in the country. The law was cited in the arrest of 600 people in 2014 and over 1400 in 2015.Pro-LGBT activists and HIV awareness campaigners have always been among those targeted. Police arrested Arif Jafar, founder of the Bharosa Trust, and several of his colleagues for 47 days in 2001. Officials found LGBTI literature, condoms, and dildos used for demonstrations as ‘evidence’ of their perversion.In 2008, trans women in Mangaluru accused police of subjecting them to a six week-long harassment campaign, including stripping them naked and pressuring them into sexual acts.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… India will decide if their anti-gay law is legal or not tomorrowBollywood stars pledge support for repealing India’s anti-gay lawIndia’s Supreme Court battle to legalize gay sex will start this weekRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/what-is-section-377-india-anti-gay-law-repeal/last_img read more

PACS Software Provides Follow Up on Mammo Recalls and Biopsy

first_img Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more Related content:VIDEO: What is New in Breast Imaging TechnologyPACS ChannelPACS Comparison Chart. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more Patient Volume Led Initially To Breast ImagingThe concept was proved in breast imaging because of the high volume of studies, particularly ones that involve screening mammograms, said Sumkin, who himself interprets many mammograms.The UPMC radiology chairman will present two years of data at the SBI symposium. Beginning in February 2017, 3427 cases were logged by the software; 79 percent were reviewed by radiologists, he said. “You can look at the diagnostic. You can look at the biopsy. You can look at the rad correlation with the pathology. And then the software acknowledges (that the radiologists have looked at the case),” Sumkin said. “That is the way we tracked that they actually used the software.”The 19 radiologists who interpret breast images at UPMC were each given a 10-minute training course on using the software. Only two reviewed fewer than half the cases made available to them. Radiologists were neither enticed nor pressured to use the system, Sumkin said. “We wanted to find out if, after we showed them how to use the tool, whether they would use it,” he said.The software has since been modified for more extensive use throughout the radiology department, Sumkin said. UPMC radiologists can now request that the software “follow up their suggestions,” for example, that they be notified about results from a chest computed tomography (CT) scan after one was ordered following a chest radiograph.“Now they’ll know,” he said. Since the widespread adoption of digital imaging and PACS, referring physicians seldom visit radiology reading rooms, substantially reducing a major source of feedback for radiologists. (Shown are 2-D and 3-D digital breast images.) A software module to be described April 5 at the SBI/ACR Breast Imaging Symposium has been providing that feedback for radiologists interpreting breast images at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Image courtesy of Hologic Related Content 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 Image courtesy of Imago Systems News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more Greg FreiherrThe use pattern of a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) software module demonstrates that radiologists want to know the outcome of cases recommended for recall or biopsy, according to Jules Sumkin, D.O., chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Pennsylvania. Enthusiasm for the software was so high that it has been modified to deliver feedback for cases outside breast imaging.Sumkin will describe performance of the “proof of concept” module at the Society for Breast Imaging (SBI)/American College of Radiology (ACR) Breast Imaging Symposium on April 5 in a 1:30-2:30 pm scientific session during a talk titled “Individualized automated continuous feedback of breast imaging interpretations and outcomes for improved performance.”Engineers at UPMC built the software into the radiology department’s PACS. As initially configured in early 2017, the module tells radiologists the results of recommended recalls and biopsies. Its effect, if any, on recall rate or the positive predictive value of biopsies could not be measured, Sumkin noted. Nor was doing so the original intent. The module was designed and installed to fill a void created by the adoption of digital imaging and PACS.“Since everything is electronic, we don’t have colleagues coming into the reading room, telling us about what happened to our cases,” he said. “Basically we stopped learning.”The PACS module solves that problem, Sumkin said, by telling breast imagers what has become of patient recalls and subsequent biopsies.The software automatically creates a work list of patient recalls, noting whether results have been entered into the PACS. The involved radiologists are messaged upon signing into the PACS if results from their recommended recalls and biopsies are available.A work list of 20 cases is maintained by the software for each radiologist. The most recent cases are added to the top. Cases reviewed by the radiologist are dropped automatically. If the list expands to more than 20, the oldest cases are dropped automatically. Greg Freiherr is a contributing editor to Imaging Technology News (ITN). Over the past three decades, Freiherr has served as business and technology editor for publications in medical imaging, as well as consulted for vendors, professional organizations, academia, and financial institutionscenter_img Greg Freiherr News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more 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 Technology | Breast Biopsy Systems | July 24, 2019 Fujifilm Releases Tomosynthesis Biopsy Option for Aspire Cristalle Mammography System Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. recently expanded its breast imaging solutions with the launch of its… read more PreviousNext Technology | Mammography Reporting Software | July 25, 2019 Hologic Partners With MagView to Develop Unifi EQUIP Solution Hologic announced a partnership with mammography information solutions provider MagView to develop Unifi EQUIP, an… read more News | Mammography Reporting Software | July 26, 2019 Ikonopedia Releases Automated Combined Reporting Package at AHRA Ikonopedia showcased its recently released Automated Combined Reporting package and its entire suite of structured… read more Feature | Women’s Health | March 28, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr PACS Software Provides Follow Up on Mammo Recalls and Biopsy Trial site expands software beyond breast imaginglast_img read more

Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental to open Honolulu hotel in 2020

first_img HONOLULU — The global luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental is returning to Hawaii with an agreement to operate a hotel and residential apartments in a new Honolulu tower.A Los Angeles-based investment bank, Salem Partners, said Monday the 36-story tower is scheduled to open in 2020.It’s due to be built next to Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest open-air shopping mall.The building will have 125 hotel rooms and over a hundred residences. The owners of the residential apartments will be able to use hotel services.Mandarin Oriental is the latest luxury hotel brand to enter the Oahu market. Last year, the Four Seasons opened at Ko Olina and the Ritz Carlton opened in Waikiki.Mandarin Oriental previously ran a hotel in Kahala from 1994 to 2006. Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental to open Honolulu hotel in 2020 Tags: Hawaii, Luxury Travel Tuesday, February 7, 2017 center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Source: The Associated Presslast_img read more