DEAR BELLA I think Im obsessed with changing my skin colour

first_imgShareTweetSharePinBella,I find myself wanting to change my skin tone. I am black but somehow I always think light skinned people look better than us black girls.I don’t want to be white but a lighter shade is what I am looking for. So I started using a bleaching cream and I am not sure if it became an obsession but the lighter I become the lighter I want to be.Light skin women get the best looking men. They get by easier in life.  People in Dominica even have more respect for them. It’s like when you see a light skinned person you just know they are important.I notice, however, there’s a different shade between my face and neck and that worries me.Also, whenever I decide to give the cream a break, my dark shade comes back.I want to continue to look lighter but I don’t want to use the cream forever. Can you give advice? BleachingHello Bleaching,It seems to me that your problem is more mental than physical.You have convinced yourself that light skinned people are more important than those of colour.Even if that’s what the world would like us to believe, history has proven over and over again that this is not so at all.Now, about the complications associated with your skin pigmentation, if you decide to continue or discontinue the bleaching cream, it is something I suggest you speak to a dermatologist about.You may also want to talk to someone about your state of mind because that seems to be an issue.People bleach everyday for whatever reasons. Take into consideration however, that there may be long term side effects that could negatively impact your health. BestBella Have a problem? Write to Dear Bella at news@dominicanewsonline.com. Dear Bella is published every Monday. All letters are subject to editing and the editor has the right to not publish an article if it does not meet the company’s editorial standards. Also, the advice given is not necessarily expert advice and is basically an opinion, therefore we accept no liability that results from giving any opinion. As such we encourage you to seek the advice of a professional counselor.last_img read more

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The Winslow Police Department welcomed new officers

first_imgPhoto courtesy of the Winslow Police DepartmentThe Winslow Police Department Chief Dan Brown (center) welcomed new officers Robert Downs (left), Richard Moralez (right) and David Sargent (not pictured). Downs and Moralez graduated from the Phoenix Regional Academy and Sargent was a lateral transfer. RelatedSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad The Winslow Police Department welcomed new officerscenter_img April 3, 2018last_img

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Circumstances improve for Holbrook Police Department

first_imgPhoto by Toni GibbonsInterim Chief of Police Nathan Christensen (right) introduced Holbrook Police Department’s newest officer, Matthew Theobald (left), to the council at the meeting on June 26. By Toni Gibbons With the exodus of three officers from the Holbrook Police Department (HPD) in the last two months, including the retirement Chief of Police Mark Jackson in May, the remaining officers were feelingSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad Circumstances improve for Holbrook Police Departmentcenter_img July 3, 2018last_img

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Express Daily Briefing Chandrayaan2 launch called off after technical snag how Djokovic

first_img Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Advertising By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 15, 2019 8:45:32 am Top News Opinion | A more opaque AadhaarAadhaar undoubtedly is a technical and administrative achievement of an unprecedented scale, and KYC has been one of its more successful use cases. However, the steamrolling of the legislative processes, without heed to the Supreme Court judgment or civil society concerns, appears to be closed-minded and brazen, writes Subhashis Banerjee, professor at IIT Delhi.Draft Model Tenancy Act: What govt proposes for house owners, tenantsThe draft Model Tenancy Act, 2019, released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, lays down the obligations of tenants and landlords and provides for an adjudication mechanism for disputes. The Act will also bring the vacant houses into the rental market and promote the growth of the rental housing segment.Govt readies plan for second wave of asset monetisationThe inter-ministerial committee (IMC) chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will soon recommend a second list of PSU assets, including pipelines of GAIL, mobile towers of BSNL and MTNL, and ATMs of state-owned banks, that could be monetised to raise resources for fresh investment by these undertakings.And finally…Women employees in Haryana may soon be able to take care of their children while at work. The state govt has notified draft rules to make a “creche facility” mandatory for every establishment that has 50 or more employees. Advertising Tietanic victory: England win World Cup after match and Super Over end in tiesEngland were crowned World Champions after they beat New Zealand in a dramatic final that went into a Super over. The host nation triumphed in the end, not because the Kiwi’s were less talented — both teams ended up equals, not once, but twice.Wimbledon: How Djokovic defended his title in a historic matchLast evenings win marked the fifth time Djokovic won the title at Wimbledon, and his 16th Grand Slam overall. The tight five-setter was the first time a match tie-breaker was needed to decide a singles match in Wimbledon history. It was also the longest singles final in the tournament’s history. An analysis of Djokovic’s game.Fadnavis balances Maratha quota: offers general category fee aid, more seatsOpen category Maharashtra students who fail to get admission in medical colleges for MBBS or post-graduation due to the reservations introduced will be allowed to take admission in private medical colleges, with the government reimbursing the difference in fees. Also, the decrease in seats in the category due to reservation will be compensated by increasing the number of seats. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan chandrayaan 2 launch, chandrayaan 2 launch delayed, chandrayaan 2 launch postponed, world cup final, england wins world cup, wimbledon finals, aadhaar card, tenancy act, maratha quota Top news on Monday morning.Chandrayaan-2 launch called off after ‘technical snag’In an anti-climax to the build-up around the historic moment, a keenly awaited launch of India’s Chandrayaan-2 was called off due to a technical snag. The countdown to the launch was stopped at 56 minutes ahead of the scheduled time after scientists detected a problem in the rocket. ISRO did not provide details. Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Post Comment(s)last_img read more

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BJP wont close doors to those wanting to join says Prakash Javadekar

first_imgBy Express News Service |Mumbai | Published: July 14, 2019 1:26:11 am Advertising Related News Prakash Javadekar, Prakash Javadekar bjp, karnataka crisis, goa crisis, goa mlas, karnataka mlas resign, Prakash Javadekar on bjp joining, indian express news “We (the BJP) are not involved in orchestrating defection. But we cannot close our doors to incomers,” Javadekar said. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said that the ruling BJP cannot close its doors to those wanting to join it. 1 Comment(s) Javadekar’s remarks come at a time when political crisis continues in Karnataka, where the JD(S)-Congress alliance government is on the brink of collapse with 16 MLAs — 13 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) — resigning from their Assembly membership.The minister , who was in Mumbai on Saturday, ruled out Congress accusations that the BJP was misusing its power to topple the government in the southern state. “We (the BJP) are not involved in orchestrating defection. But we cannot close our doors to incomers,” Javadekar said.Rattled by a mass exodus, the Congress has been falling apart in various states following its debacle in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Government has no plans to remove Rabindranath Tagore from school books: Prakash Javedekar  Centre sacks Shiv Sena MP Adhalrao as DISHA chief, Prakash Javadekar replaces him Advertising Zero plus zero isn’t a hero: Javedekar on oppn alliance Javadekar contended that the exodus from the Congress was on account of a lack of faith and trust in the party’s leadership. “At the moment, the Congress is a party without any leader… People are moving out (of the party) since they do not see any future in the Congress,” Javadekar said.He added that “even those (Congress MLAs) who have submitted their resignations in Karnataka have done so claiming they were tired of the party’s functioning style. On the other hand, there are many who wish to work under Narendra Modi’s leadership. All such people are joining us on their own accord.”last_img read more

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In Sri Lanka and Myanmar militant aggression in Buddhism on rise

first_img Will take action if TV series hurts religious sentiments: HC Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Advertising By New York Times | Updated: July 9, 2019 10:04:27 am In the minority The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot.But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious.“The aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,” he said. “Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.” Advertising Before his imprisonment last year, Gnanasara Thero placed his campaign in a historical context. “We have been the guardians of Buddhism for 2,500 years,” he said in an interview with The Times. “Now, it is our duty, just as it is the duty of monks in Myanmar to fight to protect our peaceful island from Islam.” As the tectonic plates of Buddhism and Islam collide, a portion of Buddhists are abandoning the peaceful tenets of their religion. During the past few years, Buddhist mobs have waged deadly attacks against minority Muslim populations. Buddhist nationalist ideologues are using the spiritual authority of extremist monks to bolster their support.“The Buddhists never used to hate us so much,” said Mohammed Naseer, the imam of the Hillur Mosque in Gintota, Sri Lanka, which was attacked by Buddhist mobs in 2017. “Now their monks spread a message that we don’t belong in this country and should leave. But where will we go? This is our home.”buddhism, buddhist militants, militancy in buddhism, sri lanka buddhists, myanmar buddhists, buddhists rohingyas clash, rohingyas, Sumedhananda Thero, buddhists muslims clash, world news The ruins of a shop in Gintota, Sri Lanka, after mobs of Buddhists from Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority marauded through the village, burning dozens of Muslim homes, businesses and vehicles, November 18, 2017. (Minzayar Oo/The New York Times)Last month in Sri Lanka, a powerful Buddhist monk went on a hunger strike that resulted in the resignation of all nine Muslim ministers in the Cabinet. The monk had suggested that Muslim politicians were complicit in the Easter Sunday attacks by Islamic State-linked militants on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, which killed more than 250 people.In Myanmar, where a campaign of ethnic cleansing has forced an exodus of most of the country’s Muslims, Buddhist monks still warn of an Islamic invasion, even though less than 5% of the national population is Muslim. During Ramadan celebrations in May, Buddhist mobs besieged Islamic prayer halls, causing Muslim worshippers to flee. Minutes later, a monastic aide rushed in and confirmed that someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail at a nearby mosque. The abbot flicked his fingers in the air and shrugged.His responsibility was to his flock, the Buddhist majority of Sri Lanka. Muslims, who make up less than 10% of Sri Lanka’s population, were not his concern.buddhism, buddhist militants, militancy in buddhism, sri lanka buddhists, myanmar buddhists, buddhists rohingyas clash, rohingyas, Sumedhananda Thero, buddhists muslims clash, world news A demonstration organised by a Buddhist monk in support of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s handling of the Rohingya crisis in Yangon, Myanmar, October 14, 2017. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)Incited by a politically powerful network of charismatic monks like Sumedhananda Thero, Buddhists have entered the era of militant tribalism, casting themselves as spiritual warriors who must defend their faith against an outside force.Their sense of grievance might seem unlikely: In Sri Lanka and Myanmar, two countries that are on the forefront of a radical religious-nationalist movement, Buddhists constitute overwhelming majorities of the population. Yet some Buddhists, especially those who subscribe to the purist Theravada strain of the faith, are increasingly convinced that they are under existential threat, particularly from an Islam struggling with its own violent fringe. Best Of Express More Explained 2 Comment(s) Because of Buddhism’s pacifist image — swirls of calming incense and beatific smiles — the faith is not often associated with sectarian aggression. Yet no religion holds a monopoly on peace. Buddhists go to war, too.“Buddhist monks will say that they would never condone violence,” said Mikael Gravers, an anthropologist at Aarhus University in Denmark who has studied the intersection of Buddhism and nationalism. “But at the same time, they will also say that Buddhism or Buddhist states have to be defended by any means.”The Military-Monastic ComplexThousands of people gathered in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, in May as Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk who was once jailed for his hate speech, praised the nation’s army.Since August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh. Behind it all was a campaign of ethnic cleansing by the army and its allies, with Buddhist mobs and the country’s security forces subjecting Rohingya Muslims to slaughter, rape and the complete erasure of hundreds of their villages.buddhism, buddhist militants, militancy in buddhism, sri lanka buddhists, myanmar buddhists, buddhists rohingyas clash, rohingyas, Sumedhananda Thero, buddhists muslims clash, world news Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk and leader of a hard-line anti-Muslim movement, in Taunggyi, Myanmar, June 18, 2013. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)Ashin Wirathu has rejected the non-violent teachings of his faith. Military-linked lawmakers deserved to be glorified like Buddha, he said at the rally. “Only the military,” he continued, “protects both our country and our religion.”At another protest last October, Ashin Wirathu slammed the decision by the International Criminal Court, or ICC, to pursue a case against Myanmar’s military for its persecution of the Rohingya.Then the monk made a startling call to arms. “The day that the ICC comes here is the day I hold a gun,” Ashin Wirathu said in an interview with The New York Times.Monks like Ashin Wirathu inhabit the extremist fringe of Buddhist nationalism. But more respected clerics are involved as well.buddhism, buddhist militants, militancy in buddhism, sri lanka buddhists, myanmar buddhists, buddhists rohingyas clash, rohingyas, Sumedhananda Thero, buddhists muslims clash, world news A Sri Lankan Buddhist bows in front of Sitagu Sayadaw, one of Myanmar’s most revered Buddhist leaders, in Delgoda, Sri Lanka, November 18, 2017. (Minzayar Oo/The New York Times)At 82-years-old, the Venerable Ashin Nyanissara, known more commonly as Sitagu Sayadaw, is Myanmar’s most influential monk.As hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were fleeing their burned villages, Sitagu Sayadaw sat in front of an audience of army officers and said that “Muslims have almost bought the United Nations.”The army and monkhood, he continued, “could not be separated.”Sitagu Sayadaw was pictured in May on a Facebook page linked to the Myanmar military, grinning among soldiers. He has offered up his faith’s greatest sacrifice: an army of spiritual soldiers for the national cause.“There are over 400,000 monks in Myanmar,” he told the commander of Myanmar’s armed forces. “If you need them, I will tell them to begin. It’s easy.”“When someone as respected as Sitagu Sayadaw says something, even if it is strongly dismissive of a certain group, people listen,” said Khin Mar Mar Kyi, a Myanmar-born social anthropologist at the University of Oxford. “His words justify hatred.”The Buddhist Right ReturnsWhen suicide bombers linked to the Islamic State blew up churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, Buddhist nationalists felt vindicated.“We have been warning for years that Muslim extremists are a danger to national security,” said Dilanthe Withanage, a senior administrator for Bodu Bala Sena, the largest of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist nationalist groups.“Blood is on the government’s hands for ignoring the radicalisation of Islam,” Withanage said.buddhism, buddhist militants, militancy in buddhism, sri lanka buddhists, myanmar buddhists, buddhists rohingyas clash, rohingyas, Sumedhananda Thero, buddhists muslims clash, world news Thousands of Buddhists listen to Sitagu Sayadaw, one of Myanmar’s most revered Buddhist leaders, also known by his monastic name Ashin Nyanissara, in Paleik, Myanmar, November 15, 2017. (Minzayar Oo/The New York Times)After a few years of moderate coalition governance, a fusion of faith and tribalism is again on the ascendant in Sri Lanka. The movement’s champion is Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense chief who is the leading candidate for president in elections due this year.Rajapaksa has pledged to protect religion in the country with the longest continuous Buddhist lineage. He is determined to reconstruct Sri Lanka’s security state, which was built during a nearly three-decade-long civil war with an ethnic Tamil minority.From 2005 to 2015, Sri Lanka was led by Rajapaksa’s brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, an unabashed nationalist who justified the brutal end to the civil war by portraying himself as the nation’s spiritual savior.Temples decorated their walls with pictures of the Rajapaksa brothers. Money flowed for radical Buddhist groups that cheered on sectarian rioting in which Muslims died. One of the founders of Bodu Bala Sena, or the Buddhist Power Army, was given prime land in Colombo, the capital, for a high-rise Buddhist cultural center.buddhism, buddhist militants, militancy in buddhism, sri lanka buddhists, myanmar buddhists, buddhists rohingyas clash, rohingyas, Sumedhananda Thero, buddhists muslims clash, world news Monks pray in the Bengala monastery in Yangon, Myanmar, October 4, 2017. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)Last year, Bodu Bala Sena’s leader, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, was sentenced to six years in prison. But in late May, amid a changing political climate, he received a presidential pardon. On Sunday, he presided over a meeting of thousands of monks intent on making their political presence felt in the upcoming elections. Related News Returning Rohingya may lose land, crops under Myanmar plans Taking stock of monsoon rain After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence buddhism, buddhist militants, militancy in buddhism, sri lanka buddhists, myanmar buddhists, buddhists rohingyas clash, rohingyas, Sumedhananda Thero, buddhists muslims clash, world news The Buddhist monk Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero at a temple in Gintota, Sri Lanka, November 18, 2017. (Minzayar Oo/The New York Times)Written by Hannah Beech Advertisinglast_img read more

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Researchers reassess negative pressure wound therapy as its benefit and harm remain

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 25 2018About one decade after its first benefit assessment of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) is reassessing this treatment method. However, then as now, its benefit and harm are unclear. Whereas only few studies with very limited informative value were available in 2006, over 100 clinical comparisons with several thousands of patients have been conducted since. But results have been published for only some of these studies, as not only the manufacturers of the medical devices used, but also researchers, are concealing data, thus violating ethical and scientific standards. Assessing the benefit and harm of the treatment solely on the basis of the published data could have entailed a seriously biased result. Hence, there is still no valid basis for the assessment of the benefit and harm of this treatment.The current report deals with NPWT for wounds healing by secondary intention; wounds healing by primary intention are the subject of a second benefit assessment. In NPWT, negative pressure in the wound is used to promote wound healing, and to accelerate the healing of large wounds in particular.Over 100 studies with several thousands of participants The Institute has now found that a large number of further randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing NPWT with standard treatment have been completed since its last report. There are currently over 100 studies involving several thousands of patients, which is an unusually large number for a non-drug intervention. One would think that this would be a good starting point for a benefit assessment.Publication bias: positive effect often overestimated The inclusion of the results of all studies in the assessment is indispensable to be able to draw reliable conclusions. The use of only published data could lead to an overestimation of the positive effects of a medical intervention, because it is known from research that studies with “unfavorable” results are usually the ones that remain in the file drawer or are published only years later. This is referred to as “publication bias”.For this reason, IQWiG not only conducts searches in databases or registries, but also sends requests to manufacturers and authors who have reported studies in journals, trial registries or presentations, for example. “Detective work” is sometimes required to identify studies.Agreement with sponsors to facilitate cooperation To be able to also use the results from studies sponsored by manufacturers as completely as possible and to facilitate cooperation, the Institutes regularly offers a contract to such sponsors, which has advantages for both sides: Confidential information such as confidential business and commercial information remains protected in any case. In return, the manufacturer agrees to submit the complete data on all published and unpublished studies. IQWiG may use and publish the results and the underlying methods.The Institute has concluded such a contract with several manufacturers of NPWT systems. This is a comprehensive agreement, i.e. irrespective of a division of the commission by type of wound (primary, secondary).Data missing for a large proportion of relevant studies Many of the newly searched RCTs recorded and reported usable data on so-called patient-relevant outcomes such as mortality, wound closure, pain, complications (of treatment), length of hospital stay, or need of long-term care, and were therefore relevant for the assessment. However, there were also a large number of studies for which the results were not available, although the Institute had repeatedly requested information from the respective study investigators.Related StoriesA new approach to predict complications after surgery for patients with larynx cancerArmy research may help improve cancer treatments and treat combat woundsChronic inflammation removes motivation by reducing dopamine in the brainKCI does not comply with the contract Despite several requests, the US-based manufacturer KCI Medical Devices (Acelity) provided neither a complete overview nor complete clinical study reports on all the studies for which the company is responsible. As a result, data were incomplete for half of all participants (842 of 1681). The IQWiG researchers therefore could not consider these studies for their benefit assessment of NPWT.Standards violated also by researchers However, there are also gaps in the remaining studies, most of them so-called investigator-initiated trials (IITs), which were, for example, initiated by university-based researchers: Regarding secondary wound healing, usable study results were missing for at least 1703 of 4251 participants in total, corresponding to 40%. Since this magnitude impedes a meaningful interpretation of the results, here too, the Institute dispensed with an assessment of benefit and harm.Nothing is known about the researchers’ motives. Their own research interests or dependencies might play a role. It is obvious at least for some of the IITs that even though the manufacturers did not act as sponsors, they were involved indirectly, e.g. by granting scholarships or by supporting the analysis of the data and the production of manuscripts (medical writing).Concealing data harms patients and physicians Stefan Sauerland, Head of the Department of Non-Drug Interventions, notes with frustration: “The evidence base was meager when we conducted our first assessments. Now there are studies with several thousands of patients, but we still cannot say whether NPWT is better, equivalent, or possibly even worse than conventional wound treatment.”The reason is that both companies and researchers are concealing data. “This violates ethical and scientific standards”, says Stefan Sauerland. “And they harm patients and physicians as well as the community of insured citizens, which to me, as a physician and researcher, is very disconcerting.”Registration and publication of the results must be mandatory NPWT is an example showing that further legal regulations are required, also for studies on non-drug interventions and medical devices. Unlike in other countries such as the United States, medical devices in Europe are not subject to a central approval process. A certification by “designated bodies”, which are private sector organizations, is sufficient to launch a medical device. In many cases, clinical studies have not been necessary for this, even though Europe’s Medical Device Directive is a considerable improvement for the requirements of a clinical assessment. In addition, in Germany, almost all new non-drug interventions can be used in hospitals and be reimbursed by statutory health insurance funds without prior assessment of their benefit or harm. A positive benefit assessment is only required for the outpatient sector.New legislation would have to stipulate the registration of studies on non-drug interventions or medical devices before their start and the timely publication of their results. “More progress has been made in drug studies”, says Stefan Sauerland. An EU directive and the German Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products (AMNOG) have notably increased transparency regarding drugs. Stefan Sauerland is convinced: “Without similar regulations, reliable data on interventions such as NPWT will still not be available in 10 years’ time.”Source: https://www.iqwig.de/en/press/press-releases/negative-pressure-wound-therapy-violation-of-ethical-and-scientific-standards.10021.htmllast_img read more

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New method based on artificial intelligence may help predict epilepsy outcomes

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 3 2018Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) neurologists have developed a new method based on artificial intelligence that may eventually help both patients and doctors weigh the pros and cons of using brain surgery to treat debilitating seizures caused by epilepsy. This study, which focused on mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), was published in the September 2018 issue of Epilepsia. Beyond the clinical implications of incorporating this analytical method into clinicians’ decision making processes, this work also highlights how artificial intelligence is driving change in the medical field.Despite the increase in the number of epilepsy medications available, as many as one-third of patients are refractory, or non-responders, to the medication. Uncontrolled epilepsy has many dangers associated with seizures, including injury from falls, breathing problems, and even sudden death. Debilitating seizures from epilepsy also greatly reduce quality of life, as normal activities are impaired.Epilepsy surgery is often recommended to patients who do not respond to medications. Many patients are hesitant to undergo brain surgery, in part, due to fear of operative risks and the fact that only about two-thirds of patients are seizure-free one year after surgery. To tackle this critical gap in the treatment of this epilepsy population, Dr. Leonardo Bonilha and his team in the Department of Neurology at MUSC looked to predict which patients are likely to have success in being seizure free after the surgery.Neurology Department Chief Resident Dr. Gleichgerrcht explains that they tried “to incorporate advanced neuroimaging and computational techniques to anticipate surgical outcomes in treating seizures that occur with loss of consciousness in order to eventually enhance quality of life”. In order to do this, the team turned to a computational technique, called deep learning, due to the massive amount of data analysis required for this project.The whole-brain connectome, the key component of this study, is a map of all physical connections in a person’s brain. The brain map is created by in-depth analysis of diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI), which patients receive as standard-of-care in the clinic. The brains of epilepsy patients were imaged by dMRI prior to having surgery.Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaArtificial intelligence can help accurately predict acute kidney injury in burn patientsStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingDeep learning is a statistical computational approach, within the realm of artificial intelligence, where patterns in data are automatically learned. The physical connections in the brain are very individualized and thus it is challenging to find patterns across multiple patients. Fortunately, the deep learning method is able to isolate the patterns in a more statistically reliable method in order to provide a highly accurate prediction.Currently, the decision to perform brain surgery on a refractory epilepsy patient is made based on a set of clinical variables including visual interpretation of radiologic studies. Unfortunately, the current classification model is 50 to 70 percent accurate in predicting patient outcomes post-surgery. The deep learning method that the MUSC neurologists developed was 79 to 88 percent accurate. This gives the doctors a more reliable tool for deciding whether the benefits of surgery outweigh the risks for the patient.A further benefit of this new technique is that no extra diagnostic tests are required for the patients, since dMRIs are routinely performed with epilepsy patients at most centers.This first study was retrospective in nature, meaning that the clinicians looked at past data. The researchers propose that an ideal next step would include a multi-site prospective study. In a prospective study, they would analyze the dMRI scans of patients prior to surgery and follow-up with the patients for at least one year after surgery. The MUSC neurologists also believe that integrating the brain’s functional connectome, which is a map of simultaneously occurring neural activity across different brain regions, could enhance the prediction of outcomes.Dr. Gleichgerrcht says that the novelty in the development of this study lies in the fact that this “is not a question of human versus machine, as is often the fear when we hear about artificial intelligence. In this case, we are using artificial intelligence as an extra tool to eventually make better informed decisions regarding a surgical intervention that holds the hope for a cure of epilepsy in a large number of patients.” Source:http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/last_img read more

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Study shows how machinery within immune system activates T cells to attack

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 31 2018In just a few years, CAR T-cell and other adoptive T-cell therapies have emerged as among the most promising forms of cancer immunotherapy. But even as these agents prove themselves against several forms of leukemia and lymphoma – and, potentially, certain solid tumors – basic questions remain about how they work.In a study published online today by the journal Immunity, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Vanderbilt University and colleagues at other institutions show how machinery within immune system T cells responds to outside signals and activates the cells to attack cancerous, infected, or otherwise diseased cells. The findings, based on 15 years of painstaking work to recreate and assemble key components of the signal-processing mechanism, may help researchers fine-tune T-cell therapies to the requirements of individual patients, the study authors say.T cells, whose surfaces are dotted with structures known as T-cell antigen receptors (TCRs), patrol the body for signs of infection or other disease. As they keep watch, their TCRs lock onto bits of proteins, called antigens, displayed on protein structures decorating the surface of other cells in the human body. The antigens reveal whether a cell is normal or diseased. If a cell is diseased, these “protein bit flags” are recognized as “foreign” and, the T cell switches on, or activates, to kill the diseased cell. In CAR T-cell therapy, billions of a patient’s T cells are removed and engineered to produce a structure called a chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, that recognizes and latches on to a cancer cell. The resulting CAR T cells – essentially, high-performance versions of ordinary T cells – are then infused into the patient, where they take up the battle against tumor cells. Other TCR immunotherapies use genetically engineered T cells employing natural TCRs rather than chimeric receptors to target specific tumor cell antigens, also called neoantigens. Of note, in every healthy human being there are billions of distinct T cells each bearing unique TCRs and collectively capable of recognizing the myriad antigens that identify diseased cells.”While CAR T cells, and T cells in general, are often effective in identifying and killing tumor cells, the precise mechanism by which the TCR works hasn’t been clear,” says the study’s lead author, Kristine Brazin, PhD, of Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School. “How is the signal, which originates when the receptor links to a tumor antigen, transmitted through the cell membrane into the cell interior leading to cell activation?”Answering that question involved a deep dive into the intricacies of the TCR. Far from being a rigid, seamless object, the receptor consists of eight distinct subunits which can move as the TCR operates, even dissociating one subunit pair from one another in a highly choreographed manner.The most prominent features of the TCR are two long components, dubbed α and β, which are unique to each individual T cell and extend like pincers from the cell membrane to snare a particular cell antigen. Beside α and β, there are six other CD3 subunits common to all TCRs involved in signaling the T cell that the specific pincer has detected antigen. Scientists have had a clear picture of the portions of the TCR that rise from the surface of the cell but knew little about the portions that anchor the receptor in the T-cell membrane.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerBrazin and her colleagues focused on the α region of the TCR. Using nuclear magnetic resonance technology, they determined the structure of the section of TCRα implanted in the membrane. Here a surprise was in store.”The assumption had been that this region, known as the transmembrane segment, was always straight,” Brazin relates. “We found, however, that it is sometimes bent in an L-shaped formation.”When configured like an L, the segment remains largely within the cell membrane. When, like a flexible straw, it straightens up, one end pokes into the cell interior.”We wanted to understand why this segment is sometimes embedded so shallowly in the membrane – in an L shape,” Brazin relates. “We tried to make it straight.”To do that, she and her colleagues made mutant versions of two protein residues that cling to the sides of the transmembrane segment. Mutating one of those residues, called Arg251, caused the segment to become slightly more embedded in the membrane. Mutating the other, Lys256, made it become much more deeply immersed. Other residues were found to regulate the interconversion between bent and straight forms, with the latter jutting further through the cell membrane.It was on the surface of the cell, however, that this bending and unbending made the biggest difference. When the transmembrane segment is in full L-shape, it presses tightly against the CD3 subunits at its side. When it unbends a little – as when Arg 251 was mutated – that tightness relaxes a bit, and the T cell enters an early stage of activation. When it becomes more fully immersed in the cell membrane, the gap with CD3 widens further and the T cell enters a later stage of activation, ready to attack tumor cells.”The looser the connection between the transmembrane segment and CD3 subunits, the higher the state of T cell activation,” Brazin remarks. “Our findings suggest that the mechanical force of the TCR’s interaction with antigens during T cell movement initiates T cell activation by weakening the connection between the transmembrane segment and CD3.”The finding suggests that small-molecule drugs or genetic engineering approaches that widen or narrow the space between the transmembrane segment and CD3 could be used to tune the strength of T-cell attack on cancers or other non-malignant diseases, as needed for individual patients, the researchers say.”This study represents a success of multidisciplinary basic science, explaining how bioforces involving antigen recognition initiate TCR signaling through the T-cell membrane with potential for future translational impact,” says the study’s senior author, Ellis Reinherz, MD, Chief of the Laboratory of Immunobiology and Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School. “A special scientist such as Kristine Brazin with tireless persistence, focus and intellect was required to solve this mystery over more than a decade of research effort,” he added. Source:https://www.dana-farber.org/newsroom/news-releases/2018/study-uncovers-key-parts-of-mechanism-for-activating-t-cells-to-fight-cancer-and-other-diseases/last_img read more

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NIH offers support for HIV care and prevention research in the southern

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 12 2018The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will fund a series of collaborations with medical research institutions in the southern United States to test new ways of implementing HIV treatment and prevention tools in counties with some of the highest rates of new HIV cases nationwide. The U.S. South overall has the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses, people living with HIV, and HIV-related deaths of any U.S. region.The new initiative will expand ongoing research at the National Institutes of Health-funded Centers for AIDS Research (CFARs), a group of HIV-focused research centers at academic institutions across the United States that conduct multidisciplinary research aimed at reducing the burden of HIV domestically and globally. With much of the research infrastructure already in place, the new effort is expected to yield critical findings with modest funding. NIH estimates that each locality could compete to receive up to $300,000 per year.Related StoriesHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentHIV therapy leaves unrepaired holes in the immune system’s wall of defenseHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficits”The Centers for AIDS Research are our research boots on the ground, working in diverse communities nationwide,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This new initiative harnesses their local expertise to design smart, innovative ways to fill the gaps in HIV treatment and prevention care that are pervasive in the U.S. South.”As part of the new effort, CFARs located in the U.S. South will leverage existing relationships with local health authorities, community-based groups, programs of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. With these partners, the CFARs will work to identify and evaluate strategies to help connect people living with HIV or at risk of HIV acquisition with prevention services and medical care, and ensure they continue to receive care to treat or prevent HIV. The new initiative will focus on implementing proven HIV treatment and prevention tools. These include daily antiretroviral therapy that suppresses HIV to undetectable levels, which benefits people living with HIV and prevents sexual transmission of the virus to others; pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a single pill that can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV by more than 95 percent when taken daily; and emergency post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which can prevent HIV infection if begun within three days of exposure and taken for an additional 28 days. Interventions that demonstrate success in test counties could be scaled-up elsewhere.Source: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/nih-fund-hiv-care-and-prevention-research-vulnerable-southern-us-communitieslast_img read more

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A new evaluation strategy for assessing stress allostatic load in primary care

first_img Source:https://www.karger.com/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 29 2019A new evaluation strategy for assessing stress, allostatic load and distress has been found of clinical value in a trial in primary care published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. A number of studies have documented psychosocial problems, psychiatric morbidity and impaired quality of life in primary care patients.The aim of this trial was to test the usefulness of the joint use of different diagnostic interviews and self-rated questionnaires.Two hundred consecutive patients in a primary care practice in Italy underwent the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 and the Semi-Structured Interview for the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR) in its recently revised form. As self-rated evaluations, the PsychoSocial Index, the Short-Form Health Survey and the Illness Attitude Scales were administered.Related StoriesStudy explores the effects of near-miss experiences associated with 9/11 terrorist attacksUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useStress during early pregnancy may reduce future fertility of offspringResults showed that 46 patients (23%) with at least 1 DSM-5 diagnosis. Eighty-eight patients (44%) had at least 1 DCPR diagnosis, mainly maladaptive illness behavior (26.5%), allostatic overload (15.5%) and demoralization (15%). There were 47 (23.5%) patients who had a DCPR diagnosis only; 5 subjects (2.5%) had a DSM diagnosis only. Patients with DCPR syndromes displayed significantly higher self-rated levels of stress, psychological distress and maladaptive illness behavior and significantly lower levels of quality of life and well-being than patients with no diagnoses.In a busy clinical setting, a simple self-rated questionnaire such as the PsychoSocial Index may represent a useful tool to unveil patient current distress. The DCPR can provide clinical information for a substantial number of patients who do not satisfy DSM-5 classification criteria and yet present with psychosocial problems, as measured by self-rated scales. The DCPR may improve the assessment and treatment plan of primary care psychologists or consulting psychiatrists.last_img read more

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Food insufficiency impulsivity drinking and childhood trauma related to IPV perpetration

first_imgExamining the impact of social context of drinking on IPV risk can provide new information that could help prevent alcohol-related IPV. For example, if environments frequented by drinkers with permissive social norms towards aggression – such as ‘violent’ bars – are linked to IPV, then interventions could target those risky bars. Or if drinking in specific contexts or settings such as parties is associated with IPV, interventions at the community level could limit drinking in those settings.”Carol B. Cunradi, senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation Related StoriesSafe sex an elusive target; STIs continue to rise in EnglandTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchCunradi will discuss her findings at the RSA meeting on Sunday, June 23.”We evaluated associations between IPV and the frequency and quantity of drinking in six different contexts: bars or pubs; restaurants; the home of a friend or relative; one’s own home; public settings such as parks and parking lots; and community centers, social halls or large events,” she explained.”Approximately 23 percent of the sample reported past-year IPV involvement,” she said. However, she added, drinking contexts did not substantively contribute to the frequency of IPV perpetration or victimization among males or females. Contributing factors were more complicated.”Results of our analyses showed that food insufficiency, impulsivity, and adverse childhood experiences were related to IPV perpetration among men and women,” she said. “In addition, having a partner who was a problem drinker was associated with male IPV perpetration; days of marijuana use was linked with female IPV perpetration. Many of these factors, and having a partner who was a problem drinker, were associated with IPV victimization for both genders. Previous analyses, however, had showed that frequency of intoxication and at-risk drinking (4+/5+ drinks per day for females/males) increases the likelihood of IPV.”Addressing IPV requires a multi-faceted approach, Cunradi said: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 24 2019Intimate partner violence (IPV) – commonly known as domestic violence, and long associated with drinking – is a significant public health problem. Examination of patients treated at urban Emergency Departments(EDs) shows that choice of drinking venues, such as bars or restaurants, and amount consumed there, appear to have little influence on IPV risk. These results and others will be shared at the 42ndannual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) in Minneapolis June 22-26. Reducing spouse/partner problem drinking and eliminating food insufficiency may help reduce IPV among socially disadvantaged populations. In addition, prevention of adverse childhood experiences can potentially reduce future health and behavioral problems and should be a public health priority.” Source:Research Society on Alcoholismlast_img read more

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Rewiring of nerves gives movement to paralyzed arms and hands

first_imgDr van Zyl explained that full function of the hands cannot be restored with this surgery. She added that their focus is to allow the patient to open and close the hands and to be able to open and stretch their elbows to reach for something. Dr van Zyl added, “So you can get your hand open, get it around something and then grasp and pinch. We are not trying to restore the very fine co-ordination of the hand.” “It allows you to reach above your head, which you need to be able to do because the world is designed for standing-up people. So you can switch a light off, you can get something off a shelf. Hand function is everything you use your hand for. You would just need to tape your hands up for five minutes to experience how frustrating life would be without your hands, without your fingers,” she said. However the level of achievement with the surgery could restore quality of life say the researchers.Related StoriesStimulated seizures help treat epilepsy faster, betterNerve transfer surgery restores upper limb function in people with tetraplegiaStudy finds checkpoint stimulator to be safe, reliable alternative to laryngeal electromyographyDr Natasha van Zyl said that around 250,000 people around the world annually suffer from spinal cord injuries that lead to paralysis of arms and legs. For this study the team operated on 13 patients on whom 59 nerve transfers were performed. In two patients, there was a permanent reduction in sensation and the surgery failed on four occasions, the team wrote. The team explains that after six months to a year after the injury, the surgery tends to fail. Initially 16 patients were recruited. One of them died due to unrelated causes and two dropped out of the treatment programme.For these patients, nerves were taken from the shoulders and transplanted onto the paralyzed arm muscles. Of the 13, ten had a transplant of nerves to one arm and tendon transplants on the other arm. While four of the nerve transplants in three patients were unsuccessful, the tendon transplant was a backup plan.According to Van Zyl, nerve transfers are not a new procedure. They have been performed earlier in nerve injuries. This procedure however has never before been tried on paralyzed patients with spinal cord injury, she explained. In 2014, she and her team had designed a triple nerve transplant that was performed successfully.The team wrote that two years after the surgery the patients, with regular physiotherapy showed significant improvements in their hand function. They could now grasp and hold something in a pinch to perform most of their daily activities and tasks.Van Zyl went on to say that some of her patients had been successful before their accidents. One of them, she said was a CEO of three different companies that he had set up before he met with a boating accident. “He told me, after he’d had his surgery and had enough of a result from it, that he had decided that he would try this surgery but if it didn’t work he was going to exit. He didn’t want to live any more. His was a very high level of injury but he got enough out of what we did for him, which was a combination of tendon and nerve transfers, for him to start to work again at home, to be able to take a young family member out to the movies independently and handle the money, get the tickets, get the popcorn,” she said.Van Zyl said that she and her team have till date performed around 16 nerve transfers. She concluded, “We are all dedicated to this cause and absolutely love this work. All around the world there are surgeons – we all know each other – some of them waiting for patients, frustrated that they don’t get enough.”Dr Ida Fox from Washington University, wrote a commentary along with the study saying, “Stem cells and neuroprostheses could change the landscape of regenerative medicine in the future. For now, nerve transfers are a cost-effective way to harness the body’s innate capability to restore movement in a paralysed limb.”This study was funded by Institute for Safety, Compensation, and Recovery Research (Australia). By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 5 2019Researchers from Australia have successfully “rewired” the nerves within the paralyzed arms of some accident survivors and provided them with successful movement of arms and hands.The results of the study titled, “Expanding traditional tendon-based techniques with nerve transfers for the restoration of upper limb function in tetraplegia: a prospective case series”, were published in the latest issue of the Lancet.The team of surgeons explain that certain injuries as suffered by these patients stopped their spinal cord from transmitting messages to their brains resulting in paralysis. For this study the team included patients who had had such injuries in the past rendering them quadriplegic – paralyzed in both arms and legs. Some of their upper arm muscles were still functional though because of some of the still functional nerves from the spinal cord. The team rewired these functioning nerves to the muscles. The process of rewiring involved cutting these functional nerves and attaching them to the muscles that were not working. This rewiring led to functioning of the nerves that could help open or close the hands.Dr Natasha van Zyl from Austin Health in Melbourne, in a statement said, “We believe that nerve transfer surgery offers an exciting new option, offering individuals with paralysis the possibility of regaining arm and hand functions to perform everyday tasks, and giving them greater independence and the ability to participate more easily in family and work life.”One of the beneficiaries of this experimental but successful procedure was Paul Robinson, a 36 year old from Brisbane. He had been injured after a fall from his dirt bike in 2015. The spinal cord at his neck was damaged leading to paralysis in his arms and hands. He was operated upon in December 2015. Following the rewiring operation, he underwent rigorous physiotherapy to be able to move his arms and hands. Slowly he regained movement and since then has become more independent. He plays wheelchair rugby he said and is also studying to become an engineer. He can now not only feed himself but can also write at his University, he said. Journal reference:Expanding traditional tendon-based techniques with nerve transfers for the restoration of upper limb function in tetraplegia: a prospective case series, Natasha van Zyl, MBBS, Bridget Hill, PhD, Catherine Cooper, BAppSc, Jodie Hahn, BAppSc, Prof Mary P Galea, PhD, Published:July 04, 2019 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31143-2last_img read more

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Stalking the drones

first_img Provided by Tufts University Drones are becoming ubiquitous—they help bridge inspectors examine otherwise inaccessible spaces, monitor crop health for farmers, and assist search and rescue teams. They are also a boon to bad guys, from drug runners to terrorists. That’s where David Kovar, F17, comes in. He’s formed a company to glean data from drones, to understand how they and other autonomous systems work—and who is operating them. Kovar, who was in The Fletcher School’s Global Master of Arts Program in 2016-17, had been working in digital forensics for Ernst & Young, investigating cyberattacks on clients. Then, a few years ago, he received a drone for Christmas and realized there was data to be gathered from them, too.One of the first tests of his emerging ideas came from another GMAP veteran, Erik Modisett, F08, who works for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Modisett’s agents had intercepted a drug-running drone; could Kovar learn anything from it?By that time, Kovar had already developed software to analyze data in autonomous vehicles like drones, and he set to work. “We were able to tell them that it wasn’t just this one flight,” Kovar said. The people running the drone “had been doing this for several months, and we found places they were flying, and one was a house where they were doing tests of the drone. We said, you might want to go to that house.”It was a good proof of concept, and soon Kovar had formed URSA (Unmanned Robotic Systems Analysis), a company that collects, integrates, analyzes, and presents data related to unmanned aerial vehicles.Kovar’s focus isn’t just criminal investigations. “We want to help society understand better how autonomous systems work,” he said. That includes helping those building autonomous systems make them safer, informing legislators to better understand what they are regulating, and working with insurance companies to explain how autonomous systems behave—”so when a claim comes in, they can understand exactly what the system was doing that led to the event,” he said.Earlier this year, URSA was chosen to take part in the Techstars Boston four-month program for startups. The program was backed by AFWERX, the innovation arm of the U.S. Air Force. As drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles become more common (“They are a very disruptive technology, but ultimately drones are flying pickup trucks”), Kovar said, so will the need for gathering data on them. Citation: Stalking the drones (2018, November 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-stalking-drones.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Explore further “They are a very disruptive technology, but ultimately drones are flying pickup trucks,” said David Kovar. Credit: Ingimage Company to experiment with drones in federal pilotlast_img read more

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Outgoing Facebook exec takes fall for hiring opposition firm

first_imgThis Feb. 19, 2014, file photo, shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. Facebook’s outgoing head of communications, Elliot Schrage, is taking the blame for hiring Definers, the public relations firm doing opposition research on the company’s critics, including billionaire philanthropist George Soros. In a Facebook post that went up late Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Schrage said the responsibility to hire Definers rests with him and that he approved the decision to hire it and similar firms. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Facebook’s outgoing head of communications is taking the blame for hiring Definers, the public relations firm doing opposition research on the company’s critics, including billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Explore further Facebook says it’s getting better at removing hate speechcenter_img In a Facebook post that went up late Wednesday, Elliot Schrage said the responsibility to hire Definers rests with him and that he approved the decision to hire it and similar firms.Schrage provided his explanation in a message sent Tuesday to Facebook’s employees, but the company waited until late Wednesday to publicly share it at a time when most people in its home country were focusing on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also didn’t mention Schrage’s role in hiring and working with Definers in an interview with CNN aired late Tuesday.Definers’ link to the Menlo Park, California, company was exposed in a story published by The New York Times earlier this month.Schrage has been at Facebook for a decade and announced his departure in June. In the post, he acknowledges that Facebook asked Definers “to do work” on Soros after he called Facebook a “menace to society” in a January speech. Definers also helped respond to what Schrage described as unfair claims about the company.Even so, Schrage conceded that Definers’ got carried away in its work to discredit Facebook’s critics. The system he set up on the company’s communications team “failed here and I’m sorry I let you all down,” he wrote.Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, followed up with Schrage’s note of contrition with one of her own, acknowledging her responsibility for overseeing Facebook’s communications team. Like Schrage, Sandberg was a top executive at Google before coming to Facebook a decade ago.Sandberg said she did not remember Definers when she the Times article, but said she then asked employees to double check if she had ever been notified about the firm.”Some of their work was incorporated into materials presented to me and I received a small number of emails where Definers was referenced,” Sandberg wrote.Zuckerberg, who is Facebook’s controlling shareholder as well as its CEO, is standing behind Sandberg, despite the backlash caused by the company’s retention of Definers and its campaign against Soros. He told CNN on Tuesday that he hopes to work with Sandberg “for decades” to come.Facebook stopped working with Definers after the New York Times’ investigation unveiled its tactics. Citation: Outgoing Facebook exec takes fall for hiring opposition firm (2018, November 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-outgoing-facebook-exec-fall-hiring.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Grand jury charges four Audi managers in emissions case

first_img Former Volkswagen CEO Winterkorn indicted in US over ‘Dieselgate’ Citation: Grand jury charges four Audi managers in emissions case (2019, January 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-grand-jury-audi-emissions-case.html Richard Bauder, Axel Eiser, Stefan Knirsch and Carsten Nagel were named in a 12-count indictment alleging conspiracy, wire fraud and violations of the Clean Air Act.The indictment, released Thursday, alleges the men took part in nearly a decade-long conspiracy to deceive the Environmental Protection Agency by cheating on emissions tests for 3-liter diesel engines.None of the four is in custody, and they are believed to be in Germany, a Justice Department spokesman said.Audi is a luxury brand owned by German automaker Volkswagen. A VW spokesman said he could not comment about whether the men still work for the company.Volkswagen pleaded guilty in 2016 to criminal charges in the scandal and will pay more than $30 billion in penalties and lawsuit settlement costs.The men bring to 13 the number of VW employees charged in the scandal, in which VW used software on about 600,000 vehicles to turn pollution controls on during EPA tests and turn them off while on the road. Two have pleaded guilty and are serving jail time, while six others, including former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, remain in Germany.It’s unlikely any of the German citizens will face a U.S. judge in the case. Germany’s constitution forbids extradition of its citizens other than to another European Union member state or to an international court.According to the indictment released Thursday, Bauder was head of Audi’s diesel engine development department in Neckarsulm, Germany, from 2002 until around February of 2012. Eiser had the same position in Ingolstadt, Germany, from 2009 until around May of 2013. Knirsch had the same position in Ingolstadt from May 2013 to May of 2015, and also was a member of Audi’s management board. Nagel was head of Audi’s Engine Registration and Testing in Neckarsulm from 2002 through February 2017.The indictment says the employees realized there wasn’t enough room in the vehicles to meet VW design standards for a large trunk and high-end sound system while holding a big tank for fluid to treat diesel emissions. So they and co-conspirators designed software to cheat on the emissions tests so they could get by with a smaller tank for the fluid.Tests conducted by Nagel and others found that nitrogen oxide emissions from vehicles with the diesel engines were up to 22 times above the U.S. limit, the indictment stated. The results were shared with Knirsch and Nagel, according to the indictment.The indictment alleges the suspects covered up the software, called a “defeat device,” when dealing with U.S. officials. Explore further This Oct. 3, 2018, 2018, file photo shows the logo of Audi car at the Auto show in Paris, France. A federal grand jury in Detroit has indicted four Audi engineering managers from Germany in a widening diesel emissions cheating scandal. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)center_img A federal grand jury in Detroit has indicted four Audi engineering managers from Germany in a widening diesel emissions cheating scandal. © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Yeddyurappa plays cricket with party MLAs as ruling coalition gasps for survival

first_img Press Trust of India BengaluruJuly 16, 2019UPDATED: July 16, 2019 22:49 IST BJP Karnataka President BS Yeddyurappa played cricket with BJP MLAs at Ramada hotel in Bengaluru. (Photo: ANI)As the focus Tuesday shifted to the Supreme Court, which is hearing the pleas of 15 Karnataka MLAs against alleged delay by the Speaker in accepting their resignations, the state BJP President was seen in a relaxed mood playing cricket with party legislators who are camped at a resort on the outskirts of the city.Yeddyurappa, who had been busy in hectic meetings with senior party colleagues and legislators strategising as the wobbly coalition government headed by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is on the brink of collapse, Tuesday spent most part of the day at a resort near Yelahanka.Later in the day, BJPs state unit media cell releaseda photo of Yeddyurappa playing cricket with party MLAs Renukacharya and S R Vishwanath, among others.He was seen batting.After over a week long heightened political activity in the city, it was relatively a calm on Tuesday with the focus shifting to the Supreme Court.The apex court will pronounce its order Wednesday morning on the pleas of 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs seekingdirection for Speaker Ramesh Kumar to accept their resignations from the Assembly.The order from the top court will come a day before the Congress-JD(S) government faces the floor test in the assembly, which would end suspense over the numbers game triggered by a raft of resignations by the ruling coalition lawmakers.As many as 16 MLAs — 13 from the Congress and three from JD(S) — have resigned while two independent MLAs S Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the coalition government, keeping it on the edge.In a bid to keep their flock together ahead of the floor test, the Congress, BJP and JD(S) have shifted their MLAs toresorts.The Congress Tuesday shifted its MLAs from a hotel in the city to a resort on the outskirts, amid fears that some more legislators may resign.For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury Yeddyurappa plays cricket with party MLAs as ruling coalition gasps for survivalYeddyurappa, who had been busy in hectic meetings with senior party colleagues and legislators strategising as the wobbly coalition government headed by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is on the brink of collapse, Tuesday spent most part of the day at a resort near Yelahanka.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

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NBA 2K20 ratings List of overall numbers revealed ahead of release date

first_imgThe 2019 NBA Draft is complete, and the dust has settled following the wildest free agency period in league history. That means the rosters are nearly set for another edition of “NBA 2K.”Gamers will have to wait until Sept. 6 to play “NBA 2K20,” but 2K Sports has already announced overall ratings for the top 20 players ahead of the release date. LeBron James sits atop the “NBA 2K” mountain once again with a 97 overall rating, but Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard (97) and NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (96) are right behind the Lakers star. MORE: List of player ratings for “Madden NFL 20” Pelicans forward Zion Williamson earned the top spot for this year’s rookie class with an 81 overall rating. The former Duke star is the only first-year player to eclipse 80, though Grizzlies guard Ja Morant will start the 2018-19 season at 79 overall.Check out more ratings below before “NBA 2K20″ hits shelves.”NBA 2K20” player ratings: Top 20 overallPlayerOverall rating 2. Ja Morant79 “NBA 2K20” player ratings: Top five shootersPlayer3-point rating 17. Kemba Walker88 3. Joe Harris94 “NBA 2K20” player ratings: Top five rookiesPlayerOverall rating 18. Donovan Mitchell88 3. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving93.5 1. LeBron James97 7. Anthony Davis94 14. Klay Thompson89 16. Jimmy Butler88 2. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George95 1. Zion Williamson81 19. Rudy Gobert88 1. Stephen Curry99 8. Paul George93 12. Nikola Jokic90 11. Kyrie Irving91 1. LeBron James and Anthony Davis95.5 4. Kevin Durant96 10. Joel Embiid91 9. Damian Lillard92 5. Darius Garland77 3. RJ Barrett78 20. Blake Griffin88 4. James Harden and Russell Westbrook93 2. Klay Thompson97 2. Kawhi Leonard97 5. James Harden96 6. Stephen Curry96 4. JJ Redick90 5. Buddy Hield90 “NBA 2K20” player ratings: Top dynamic duosPlayerAverage overall rating 13. Russell Westbrook90 4. De’Andre Hunter77 15. Karl-Anthony Towns89 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo96 “NBA 2K20” teaser videolast_img read more

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AP CM launches ePragati portal

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL ‘e-Pragati’ to pave way for Digital AP Andhra Pradesh Published on SHARE e-governance COMMENTcenter_img July 19, 2018 AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu launches e-Pragati Core in Undavalli, near Amaravati on Thursday Digital technologies, judiciously used, make for good governance and transparency in administration, according to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. He launched e-Pragati core at  Amaravati on Thursday.On the occasion, the Chief Minister said the benefits of Government welfare schemes should reach the last mile and happiness of citizens should be increased. Congratulating the e-Pragati and Information Technology Department officials for achieving success in bringing all departments under e-Pragati portal, the Chief Minister said there should be coordination between citizens and the Government to solve several issues.Earlier, Minister for IT Nara Lokesh explained about paperless government and online facilities available in AP. He said that through AP portal 34 departments could be accessed.e-Pragati CEO N Balasubrahmanyam and IT advisor to Govt. J Satyanarayana explained about IT revolution in AP. IT Secretary K Vijayanand spoke on e-pragati’s journey so far and the road ahead.Anil Bhansali, the Managing Director of Microsoft India Pvt Ltd, and Srini Raju, the Managing director of Peepul Capital, also spoke. RELATED COMMENTSlast_img read more

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