Category: mjhgnpkc

 

Common medications sway moral judgment

first_imgHow many times would you give your neighbor an electric shock to earn a few extra bucks? Your answer could be more malleable than you think. A new study finds that two common drugs—an antidepressant and a treatment for Parkinson’s disease—can influence moral decisions, a discovery that could help unravel specific mechanisms behind aggression and eventually help researchers design treatments for antisocial behavior.Previous research has linked two neurotransmitters, the brain’s signaling molecules, to our willingness to inflict harm. Serotonin appears to help keep us civil; it’s reduced in the brains of violent offenders, for example. Dopamine, meanwhile, has been shown to prompt aggression in animals, and it’s elevated in a certain part of the brain in people with psychopathic behavior.But measuring how these neurotransmitters contribute to moral decision-making is hard to do in the lab. Many studies rely on theoretical questions like the so-called trolley dilemma, which asks a person whether they would redirect an oncoming train to kill someone if it would save the lives of several others in its path. A person’s answer might not always reflect how they would behave in real life, however.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(*)So neuroscientist Molly Crockett of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and her colleagues developed a lab test with real consequences. They asked subjects to make a series of decisions about how many moderately painful electric shocks to deliver to themselves or to others. Half the questions gave volunteers a chance to earn money by inflicting self-harm. (For example: “Would you rather endure seven shocks to earn $10 or 10 shocks to earn $15?”) The other half offered the same type of decision, except that someone else stood to be shocked. At the end of the experiment, one of these choices was randomly selected and carried out: The decision-maker got paid, and either they or another person—waiting in a different room—got a series of painful zings on the wrist. Any answer could be the one with real consequences, so “people have to sort of put their money where their mouth is,” Crockett says.The researchers could then calculate the “exchange rate between money and pain”—how much extra cash a person must be paid to accept one additional shock. In previous research, Crockett’s team learned that the exchange rate varies depending on who gets hurt. On average, people are more reluctant to profit from someone else’s pain than their own—a phenomenon the researchers call “hyperaltruism.”In the new study, the scientists tested whether drugs can shift that pain-to-money exchange rate. A few hours before the test, they gave the subjects either a placebo pill or one of two drugs: the serotonin-enhancing antidepressant drug citalopram or the Parkinson’s treatment levodopa, which increases dopamine levels.On average, people receiving the placebo were willing to forfeit about 55 cents per shock to avoid harming themselves, and 69 cents to avoid harming others. Those amounts nearly doubled in people who took citalopram: They were generally more averse to causing harm, but still preferred profiting from their own pain over another’s, Crockett’s team reports online today in Current Biology. Levodopa had a different effect: It seemed to make people just as willing to shock others as themselves for profit.The design of the study is “something that the field of aggression needed for a really long time,” says Joshua Buckholtz, an experimental psychologist at Harvard University. The results, he says, separate out two distinct components that drive our social behavior: the way we conceive of harm to others and our preference for enduring harm rather than inflicting it. The dopamine drug—but not the serotonin drug—seemed to change that preference.Crockett says those effects could suggests multiple underlying mechanisms. For example, excess dopamine might make our brain’s reward system more responsive to the prospect of avoiding personal harm. Or it could tamp down our sense of uncertainty about what another person is experiencing, making us less hesitant to dole out pain. Serotonin, meanwhile, appeared to have a more general effect on aversion to harm, not just a heightened concern for another person. Such knowledge could eventually develop drugs that address disorders of social behavior, she says.Still, the study did not measure levels of dopamine or serotonin in the brain to confirm that they were elevated while the subjects were taking the test, notes Jay Gingrich, a developmental neurobiologist at the Columbia University Medical Center. He questions whether a single dose of citalopram can reliably increase serotonin levels just a few hours later. “Maybe they’re onto something,” he says, “but my big concern was them over-interpreting what the pharmacology was doing.”Crockett says she relied on past research to identify the point at which absorption of the drugs was highest, but she couldn’t confirm neurotransmitter levels for sure without a more invasive test, such as a PET scan.She is also careful to point out that the two drugs—administered only to healthy volunteers in the study—are likely to have different effects on social behavior in people taking them to treat an illness. For example, in Parkinson’s patients who are deficient in dopamine, the drug may simply restore normal levels, not create an undesirable surplus, she says. “The last thing I want is for people who are taking these drugs for medical reasons to become concerned about the implications of this study for their own decision-making.”last_img read more

 

Stan Wawrinka fourth player to seal ATP Tour Finals spot

first_imgFrench Open champion Stan Wawrinka has become the fourth player to qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.The world number five joins top ranked Novak Djokovic, fellow Swiss Roger Federer and British hope Andy Murray in the elite eight-man field for the November 15-22 tournament.Also read: Federer, Wawrinka set up all-Swiss semifinal at US Open “I can’t wait to return to The O2. I reached the semi-finals the last two years and love playing there. The competition will be very tough as usual but I hope to go further this year,” Wawrinka said after setting up a U.S. Open semi-final with Federer.The 30-year-old has won three titles this year, including a second grand slam trophy with victory over Djokovic in the Roland Garros final.The chasing pack for the remaining four singles spots in the season ender include Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych, 14-times grand slam winner Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer.last_img read more

 

Statistics prove Neymar is a better international player than Cristiano Ronaldo!

first_imgIn contrast, Ronaldo has 37 assists meaning his overall goal contribution sits at 0.81 for the current European champions.Currently Ronaldo is second only to Ali Daei of Iran in the list of all time International top scorers. Ali Daei had scored 109.Speaking to IRNA News, via Persia Digest, the record holder said, “Records are for breaking; I did it when it was my turn, and it will be someone else’s turn to beat my record next. It’s not a big issue.”Asked if he would be upset to lose the record Daei added, “No, why should I be upset. Ronaldo is a great player with many honors in the world of football. He is on top form right now.”Advertisement AdvertisementAlthough Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most succesful players domestically and Internationall, Neymar Jr. seems to have better stats than the Portuguese.The Brazilian forward has netted 61 goals in 98 caps while Ronaldo in 160 games has found the net 93 times.Neymar is also leading in the assists department. He has 41 assists for the ‘Canarinho’ meaning he is involved in 1.05 goals per game in a Brazil shirt.last_img read more

 

Drop Your Desk Chair for The Level by FluidStance

first_img Editors’ Recommendations Seriously Cool Desk Toys for the Kid in All of Us Sitting at a desk eight or more hours a day can weigh down your body; the slouched-over posture that most of us sit in can lead to back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, hungched shoulders, or worse. The human body was made to move, and sitting at a desk doesn’t exactly facilitate that. That’s why Joel Heath and David Malina, an outdoor industry veteran and product designer David Malina developed The Level, a contraption that is made through hand casting, a “process [that] generates zero waste with the sand molds being recycled and excess aluminum trimmings that are placed back into the supply chain.”According to the company, “The Level by FluidStance is a work platform that elicits subtle, constant movement below your feet to increase your range of motion and heart rate. Developed primarily as a tool for your immediate workspace, it can be used in common areas of both the home and office, or as a complement to a stand-up desk. The patent-pending design allows you to change the overall aesthetics via interchangeable top decks, floating bumpers, and base plates.”What are the benefits of The Level by FluidStance? You get to get out of the routine of being sedentary throughout your work day. Your range of motion increases, thus bumping your heart rate up, plus, it probably causes you to lose more calories than sitting at a desk all day does because you’re constantly moving.So if you’re tired of sitting at a desk all day, get The Level by FluidStance. Your body will love you for it.For more information, visit fluidstance.com. Will This Nootropic from HVMN Get You Into Ketosis Faster? The Best Podcasts to Listen to During Your Workout A Beginner’s Guide to Road Biking How to Use a Vibrating Foam Roller Like Tom Bradylast_img read more

 

Holland America Line Reintroduces Bermuda Cruises

first_imgzoom Holland America Line is returning to Bermuda on seven-day cruises aboard MS Veendam. Sailing round-trip from Boston, Massachusetts, six departures will sail in May, June and July.MS Veendam“We know our guests will be excited to see us cruise again to Bermuda in 2015,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest relations.“By extending the call to three nights, guests can have extensive time to experience the island while still enjoying the award-wining service and amenities that Holland America Line is known for.”Carrying just 1,350 guests, Veendam offers a mid-size ship experience in Bermuda that enables the vessel to dock at Hamilton in the center of town.The seven-day voyages spend a day at sea after departing Boston and arrive at Hamilton mid-day.The ship then spends three nights alongside, where guests can experience local nightlife and dine ashore, if desired.Veendam departs Bermuda in the afternoon of the final day in Hamilton, with a day at sea before arriving back at Boston.June 20, 2014last_img read more

 

Boskalis’ Fleet to Get a Taste of Marine Biofuels

first_imgzoom Dutch dredging and marine specialist Boskalis and Finish corporation Wärtsilä have teamed up with GoodFuels Marine, the first marine biofuel company focused on the global commercial fleet with the aim of pioneering the development of sustainable “drop in” marine biofuels for the shipping industry. Netherlands-based GoodFuels Marine and its partners have decided to spearhead a two-year pilot programme to accelerate the development of truly sustainable, scalable and affordable marine biofuels.The programme’s focus will be on delivering and analysing a sustainable feedstock, securing industry certification, and preparing the building blocks for large-scale production. Additionally, the consortium will initiate a global scalability study involving leading shipowners, universities, NGOs, ports, biofuel companies and other industry stakeholders. The aim will be to identify tangible opportunities for scaling supply to the world’s commercial shipping fleet.Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO, GoodFuels Marine, said:  “We believe that the international shipping market is now ready and well-placed to embrace truly sustainable, long term alternative fuels that can meet all stringent technical, economical and sustainability standards, similar to the sustainable jet fuel market five years ago. As the shipping industry seeks means of contributing towards carbon and wider emissions reduction, we are excited to be part of such a strong consortium with the expertise and motivation needed to establish this new market.”The consortium will test several next generation biofuels at the Wärtsilä laboratory in Vaasa, Finland before ‘sea trials’ are carried out on various vessels within Boskalis’ global fleet. With the objective of developing a fuel mix that is fully sustainable, the programme seeks to promote a lower carbon footprint for the maritime sector.“As ports with environmental excellence at our core, we embrace the vision of next generation biofuels supporting a more sustainable future for global marine transport. In addition we see marine biofuels as a potential building block to boost the bio-based production and economy in our respective ports,” the CEO of the Port of Rotterdam, Allard Castelein and CEO of the Port of Amsterdam, Dertje Meijer said in a joint statement.last_img read more

 

Drewry 2017 a Year of Small Comeback for Container Carriers

first_imgzoom 2017 should be a year of small profits for most container carriers but there will be very little room for error, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.The short-term outlook for the container shipping lines looks good as the worst seems to have passed, Drewry said.Drewry initially expected industry operating losses to be in the realm of around USD 5 billion in 2016. However,  given a better than expected fourth-quarter, when carriers collectively just about broke-even, combined with favourable revisions to both Drewry’s loaded container and average revenue per TEU estimates, Drewry believes industry operating losses in 2016 were closer to USD 3.5bn.The freight rates are continuing to slowly climb off the floor and the demand is recovering in 2017.However, Drewry warns that it would not take too much – say a sudden spike in bunker costs or more rate wars in the key trading corridors – to condemn the carriers to another loss-making year.Taking a longer view, with fewer competitors thanks to the recent M&A wave and the ability to manipulate the supply and demand balance more in their favour through newbuild delays, there is a big upside there for the taking. Whether they do or not is another matter, Drewry said.Last year was a bad one for ocean carriers, but as painful as it might have been, it did give the industry the wake-up call it needed to mend some of its ways. The days of propping up failing carriers need to be a thing of the past, Drewry said.last_img read more

 

Minister Accepts Minimum Wage Review Committee Recommendations

first_img May 1 to March 31, 2009: 6.5 per cent increase to $8.10 per hour. April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010: 6.2 per cent increase to $8.60 per hour. April 1, 2010 to Sept.30, 2010: 6.9 per cent increase to $9.20 per hour. Oct.1, 2010 to March 31, 2011: 4.8 per cent increase to $9.65 per hour. After March 31, 2011, minimum wage will be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. For more information on minimum wage in Nova Scotia, visit www.gov.ns.ca/enla/employmentrights/ . By Oct. 1, 2010, Nova Scotians earning minimum wage will make $9.65 per hour. Mark Parent, Minister of Environment and Labour, accepted all the recommendations of the minimum wage review committee. Beginning May 1, employees earning minimum wage in Nova Scotia will receive annual increases that, by 2010, will have them earning more than the low-income cutoff line, a commonly used poverty indicator. “Government has a vision for Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Parent. “A vision where every Nova Scotian can live a safe, healthy, and prosperous life,” said Mr. Parent. “Increasing minimum wage annually will help improve the lives of more then 20,000 Nova Scotians.” Community Services Minister Judy Streatch said, “Tackling poverty is a responsibility we should all share. It will take a co-ordinated effort by government, business and many other community organizations to make a difference. “Increasing the minimum wage is a strategic step forward. It will provide greater financial stability for many Nova Scotians.” In 2007, the minister of Environment and Labour asked the committee to look at a formula to determine annual increases in minimum wage to offer more predictability in setting budgets and projections for costs and income. Annual increases to minimum wage over the next three years will be as follows:last_img read more

 

Province Invests Additional 350000 in Antigonish Recreation Project

first_imgA sport and recreation project that will have long-term benefits for the people and the economy of Antigonish is receiving a major boost today, Nov. 5. MLA Maurice Smith, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris, announced an additional $350,000 investment toward the Antigonish Town and County Recreation Association’s field project. “The province is proud to invest in this project that will create good jobs, grow the economy and add to the vibrant community,” said Mr. Smith. “This project will also provide residents of the Antigonish area with better opportunities to lead active, healthy lives.” Provincial investments in the field project total $500,000. Economic and Rural Development’s investment from the Strategic Initiative Fund complements an earlier commitment of $150,000 from the Department of Health Promotion and Protection’s Recreation Facility Development program for a baseball field. The project, with a total cost of $2.88 million, includes a new all-weather turf sport field, baseball field, and track and field facilities. The town, municipality and Straight Regional School Board have each contributed $250,000 to the project. “We are delighted to be receiving funding from the province, enabling us to move forward with this exciting project,” said Danny Berry, chair, Antigonish Town and County Recreation Association. “These new fields and facilities will be a great asset to the whole community and will help promote the health and vitality of our residents.” The Strategic Funding Initiative helps to ensure economic growth and sustainable communities for Nova Scotia, building on their assets and strengths. Funding is provided on a one-time basis used for non-recurring capital costs and investments for not for profit organizations across the province. For more information on the field project visit www.antigonishsportsandrecreation.ca .last_img read more

 

Kohli Co look to seal deal in final ODI against WI

first_imgPort of Spain: After a convincing show in the second ODI, Virat Kohli and boys will look to seal the deal in the final ODI of the three-match series at the Queen’s Park Oval on Wednesday. With the opening game washed out, the Indians have taken a 1-0 lead and the last game of the series will decide if India will lift the ODI trophy as well after a clinical show in the T20I series. Interestingly, this could be the last time that the legendary Chris Gayle takes the field and the West Indies outfit would look to give him a grand send-off. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhSpeaking during the 2019 World Cup, Gayle had said that the ODI series and the Test series that followed would be his last. But the Windies selectors kept emotions aside and decided to ignore him for the Tests. So, the third ODI could be the last time that the opener is seen in Windies colours. For India, it will be about keeping the foot on the pedal and not giving any inch away to the hosts. After an 11-innings’ phase where he didn’t score a century, Kohli roared back to register his 42nd century in the second ODI and more than the hundred, it was the way in which he guided Shreyas Iyer in the middle overs that made the knock all the more special. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterThe wicket at the stadium isn’t most conducive for strokeplay and that will once again see the need for the batsmen to dig in deep and play according to situations. The duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will look to start well and it will be interesting to see if Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri persist with Rishabh Pant at the no.4 slot. Iyer at that position and Pant at 5 seems to be more logical from the outside. In the bowling department, India showed great composure in the previous game as all except for Kedar Jadhav picked wickets. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the most impressive of the lot and it will be interesting to see if the team management persists with the same combination or looks to give someone like a Navdeep Saini a go. Khaleel Ahmed too came back well after getting hammered in the first game of the series and Kuldeep Yadav picking two wickets will do his confidence a world of good.last_img read more

 

Chobani gets new look and hints at going beyond yogurt

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Chobani, the company that helped kick-start the Greek yogurt craze, is shrinking those words on its label as it may expand beyond that food in an increasingly crowded yogurt market.The new look, which will show up in supermarkets this week, removes “Greek Yogurt” from underneath the Chobani name. The yogurt inside will stay the same. Its packaging will be more muted than the current bright white, use a new font and style, and feature watercolour paintings of fruits rather than photographs of strawberries and peaches.“What this new identity enables us to do is start to seed, if you will, us going into other areas beyond yogurt,” says Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s chief marketing and commercial officer. But he wouldn’t say what new foods or products it might make, or when it would happen.Chobani has grown quickly since its yogurt was first sold at supermarkets 10 years ago. Older food companies scrambled to catch up and offer their own versions of Greek yogurt, but last year Chobani overtook General Mills Inc.’s Yoplait as the bestselling yogurt brand in the U.S., according to market research firm Euromonitor.McGuinness says the new, thicker font makes Chobani easier to spot in the overcrowded yogurt aisle, and the off-white containers differentiate it from its rivals.Its Smooth Yogurt, which it launched earlier this year as a less-tart alternative to Greek yogurt, gets a more colorful container and shrinks the Chobani name. A similar treatment was given to Chobani Flip, which has yogurt in one container and mix-ins such as chocolate or dried cranberries in the other. Flip, which was launched nearly four years ago, is on track to become a $1 billion business in about two years, says McGuinness. It gets people to eat yogurt beyond breakfast, he says, and brings people to the brand who may not like yogurt.He declined to say how much the redesign would cost, but anywhere the logo appears is being updated. “This is a big investment,” he says._____Contact Joseph Pisani at http://twitter.com/josephpisanilast_img read more

 

Voicing shock at violence in Kyrgyzstan Ban repeats call for restraint

The Secretary-General “urgently appeals for dialogue and calm to avoid further bloodshed,” his spokesperson said. “The Secretary-General is following the situation closely,” the spokesperson added.Demonstrators protesting against the rising cost of heating fuel and electricity took to the streets in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, attacking President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s offices and forcing State radio and television off the air briefly, according to media reports.Police are said to have opened fire in a bid to disperse the crowd, and the President is also reported to have declared a state of emergency in some areas.Mr. Ban yesterday called for calm after protesters seized a Government building in the town of Talas, west of Bishkek.The Secretary-General visited Kyrgyzstan on Saturday as part of his current Central Asian tour and stressed the need to protect all human rights, including free speech and press freedom, in the country.Media reports have noted restrictions on the freedom of expression and the press in Kyrgyzstan, including the recent closure of an opposition newspaper and other media outlets. Mr. Ban also raised the issue when he met Mr. Bakiev and Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov in Bishkek. 7 April 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he was shocked by the reported deaths and injuries in Kyrgyzstan, where demonstrators in the country’s capital have clashed with the police, and once again appealed to all concerned parties to show restraint. read more

 

UN food agency steps up response amid growing food crisis in Niger

26 April 2010The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it will more than double the number of hungry people it feeds in Niger, despite its own funding gap, as the food crisis in the African country worsens. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it will more than double the number of hungry people it feeds in Niger, despite its own funding gap, as the food crisis in the African country worsens.“Niger has been hit extremely hard by the drought and the world has to act to prevent massive human suffering and the loss of a generation,” said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP, noting that the agency will reach 2.3 million people in the arid eastern Sahel region.General food distributions, particularly to pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as blanket feeding for children under two years of age and supplementary feeding for children under five in the worst-affected areas, are the main priorities.WFP is also supporting so-called cereal banks, community cereal stores where women buy grain at subsidized prices at the height of the “lean season” when the previous harvest has run out. Communities re-stock the banks during the next harvest when prices are lowest.The stepped-up response comes as WFP is facing a $133 million shortfall in its funding for Niger. It appealed for $190 million to scale up its operations in the West African country, where weak and erratic rainfall destroyed harvests last year and parched land normally used for grazing.In January, results of a national survey found that more than half Niger’s population of 13.5 million is food insecure.Acute malnutrition is on the rise and more than 1.5 million children risk becoming malnourished in the next 12 months unless urgent action is taken.“We need to move quickly to provide a buffer for the people and Government of Niger against the shock of a serious food crisis,” said Thomas Yanga, WFP Regional Director for West Africa.In addition to health consequences, the spike in grain prices and downturn in livestock prices has contributed to mass migration from rural to urban areas, as well as to neighbouring countries.In a related development, John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, arrived in Niger today as part of an official visit to West Africa to assess the human impact of the food crisis.Visiting the drought-hit Sahel region yesterday in Senegal, he called the mounting food crisis “very worrying.”Today, Mr. Holmes met with Government officials in Niamey and welcomed the new Government’s commitment to addressing the food crisis with support from the humanitarian community.Mr. Holmes is also meeting with UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as donor and Member States. read more

 

UN climate change chief urges countries to advance progress on Cancún accords

4 April 2011The top United Nations climate change official today urged countries to tackle the key issues of emission reduction targets as well as funding and technology to assist developing nations tackle global warming, as the first UN negotiations for this year got under way in Bangkok. “Here in Bangkok, governments have the early opportunity to push ahead to complete the concrete work they agreed in Cancún, and to chart a way forward that will ensure renewed success at the next UN Climate Change Conference in Durban,” said Christiana Figueres.“If governments move forward in the continued spirit of flexibility and compromise that inspired them in Mexico, then I’m confident they can make significant new progress in 2011,” she added.Dubbed the Cancún Agreements, the decisions reached at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December last year include formalizing mitigation pledges and ensuring increased accountability for them, as well as taking concrete action to tackle deforestation, which account for nearly one-fifth of global carbon emissions.Delegates at that meeting also agreed to ensure no gap between the first and second commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol, an addition to the Convention that contains legally binding measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and whose first commitment period is due to expire in 2012.Agreement was also reached on establishing a fund for long-term climate financing to support developing countries, and bolstering technology cooperation and enhancing vulnerable populations’ ability to adapt to the changing climate. Ms. Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, called on governments to rapidly advance work to complete the institutions which were agreed and deliver the funding and technology to help developing countries deal comprehensively with climate change.“It is important that the agreed actions and institutions are delivered on time and in accordance with the deadlines agreed in Cancun so that the broader global climate regime is up and running in 2012,” she said.The institutions include a Green Climate Fund to house the international management, deployment and accountability of long-term funds for developing country support; a Technology Mechanism to promote clean technologies; and an Adaptation Framework to boost international cooperation to help developing countries protect themselves from climate change impacts.The other main task governments have before them, she noted, relates to the emission reduction targets and actions which would allow the world to stay below the maximum temperature rise of two degrees Celsius, which was agreed in Cancún. Governments this year need to resolve fundamental issues over the future of the Kyoto Protocol, she stressed. “Governments need to figure out how to address this issue and how to take it forward in a collective and inclusive way,” she said. “Resolving the issue will create a firmer foundation for a greater collective ambition to cut emissions.” Some 1,500 participants from 173 countries, including government delegates, representatives from business and industry, environmental organisations and research institutions, are attending the talks in the Thai capital, which are scheduled to conclude on Friday. Cancun read more

 

Lankans fail to record fingerprints

Hundreds of Sri Lankan expatriates who were asked to appear at the deportation center in Jeddah for biometric recording yesterday, had to return without their fingerprints recorded apparently due to backlog piled up since last week, Arab News reported.Monday was the day scheduled for expatriates from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Sudan to record their biometrics, and consequently, hundreds including women descended in the morning on the deportation center. Scores of Sri Lankan expatriates had already formed queues at the center with hundreds waiting their turn outside the premises. Roshan Mohammed, a Sri Lankan national, told Arab News: “The authorities told me that there was a backlog of candidates who couldn’t make it last week. They want to complete their process first before taking up a fresh batch for fingerprinting.” However, after a wait of about five hours, the Sri Lankans were told by the authorities that their fingerprints could not be recorded and that they should come back next week. read more

 

UN conference calls for balancing water use between agriculture and environment

“The tragic paradox of water is that water is a truly valuable resource of which the true value is often invisible,” the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Agriculture Department, Louise Fresco, said at the end of the five-day meeting in The Hague, Netherlands.“We do need to solve this paradox and move towards a true valuation of water, through a mechanism that goes beyond its economic value to include social equity and environmental values,” she added.The conference, Water for food and ecosystems, jointly organized by FAO and the Dutch Government, adopted a list of actions to improve the efficient use of water for food production while safeguarding ecosystems, calling on countries to harmonize legislation and policies.Each country should decide which incentives should be introduced to use water more efficiently, bring in interest groups from different sectors, such as agriculture, industry and the environment, to develop a strategic water plan to place a value on national water resources and define water allocations.Valuing water should take into account socio-economic, environmental concerns, basic human rights and cultural factors. Economic mechanisms could be used to put a price tag on water for food and ecosystems such as forests and wetlands through water charges and payments for environmental services.But attention should be paid to ensuring equitable and fair access and the ability of the poor to pay for water consumption. Farmers, especially women, should have access to credits for investments in water technology for agriculture.Countries should urgently launch national awareness-raising campaigns to stress the idea that water is a valuable and scarce good. Without such awareness, it would be very difficult to receive public support for a new economic approach towards valuing water and a more efficient use. Public private partnerships could stimulate development of technologies for re-use of wastewater, low-cost drip irrigation and treadle pumps.The conference requested FAO to take a lead in informing countries on good practices on how to reconcile the water needs of agriculture and ecosystems. read more

 

Theresa May handed Belgium football shirt by counterpart in Brussels ahead of

Belgium struck early against England today as Theresa May let her defences down at the European Council summit.The Prime Minister was ambushed by her Belgian counterpart Charles Michel as he handed her a Belgium football shirt just hours before the two countries meet in the World Cup.Mrs May looked taken aback as Mr Michel pulled the bright red garment out of a presentation box, but laughed as he held it up and she realised what it was.The shirt had the Number 10 on it – Mrs May’s address in Downing Street – but it also had the word “hazard” on the back as it is the shirt worn by midfielder Eden Hazard, though it could also be interpreted as a hidden warning of what lies ahead in the talks.Mr Michel enlisted the French president Emmanuel Macron as an accomplice to carry out the carefully-planned stunt at the start of the two-day meeting in Brussels. Theresa May receives a Belgium shirtCredit:Getty Mrs May had failed to prepare a counter-attack, and looked a little embarrassed to have nothing to offer Mr Michel in return, such as an England shirt perhaps.Having been presented with an open goal, Mr Michel soon made it 2-0 to Belgium as he gave football scarves to the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. As the leaders mingled in the European Council meeting room, Mr Michel opened the box to show Mr Macron what was inside, prompting mischievous laughter from both men.Mr Macron then went to find Mrs May and brought her over to Mr Michel, who opened the box with a flourish to surprise the Prime Minister. Together with the Netherlands and Luxembourg – Mr Juncker’s home country – the three countries form the Benelux bloc, and with the Dutch and Luxembourg failing to qualify for the World Cup, Belgium will have plenty of local support tonight.Mr Juncker put the scarf around his neck and held his fists aloft before putting the scarf around the neck of the Irish premier Leo Varadkar, who has been a constant thorn in the side of the UK during Brexit negotiations with the EU.Moments earlier, Mr Varadkar and Mr Juncker had lectured Mrs May as they arrived for the summit, with Mr Varadkar saying Europe had 500 million citizens to Britain’s 60 million, meaning Britain would be a junior partner in future arrangements.Mr Juncker said Mrs May “cannot go on…with a split Cabinet”. Theresa May receives a Belgium shirt England’s Fabian Delph and Belgium’s Nacer Chadli battle for the ball during the FIFA World Cup Group G match Credit:Owen Humphreys/PA England's Fabian Delph and Belgium's Nacer Chadli battle for the ball during the FIFA World Cup Group G match  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

 

Reinhold Festge elected president of the VDMA

first_imgDr Reinhold Festge, Managing Partner of Haver & Boecker in Oelde, Germany, has been elected as the new president of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) at a gathering of its members in Stuttgart last month. He succeeds Dr Thomas Lindner of the Groz-Beckert who served as president of the VDMA since 2010. Since 1987 Festge has been the Managing Partner of Haver & Boecker, which was founded in 1887 and currently employs over 2,700 workers worldwide. In 2012 the group had a sales turnover of €402 million euros. The company’s product range is extensive, with mineral processing technology being an important part.After completing his medical school studies Festge majored in Business Administration and then became Managing Director of Haver + Beumer Latinoamericana in Brazil. From 1985 to 1987 he served as Managing Director of Haver Filling Systems in the USA.last_img read more

Watch: Lightning Strike Causes Toilet to Explode in Florida Home

first_imgStay on target Lightning hit a septic tank at a home in Charlotte County, Florida and caused an explosion that burst pipes and shattered a toilet to pieces over the weekend.On Sunday, homeowner MaryLou Ward and her husband were listening to a thunderstorm moving over their house in Gulf Cove, Florida, Weather.com reported.  The toilet explosion then scared them and when they went to assess the damage, they discovered that the blast broke one of their master bedroom windows and ruined their yard decorations.“It was the loudest noise I’ve ever heard it just went BOOM,” Ward told WINK-TV. “We got out of bed and came over here, and the toilet was laying on the floor.” Watch: Man Is Nearly Struck By Lightning in Shocking VideoLightning Strike Kills 300-Pound Bear in Colorado center_img An A-1 Affordable Plumbing plumber told the couple that the lightning strike caused methane, which is a byproduct of sewage breaking down, to ignite in the septic tank. The plumber, who posted photos of the post-explosion mess on Facebook, said septic explosions aren’t the norm, however, they do occasionally happen in homes.Ward was thankful that no one was hurt during the toilet explosion.“I’m just glad none of us were on the toilet,” Ward added. “That’s the main thing.”More on Geek.com:Watch the Shocking Moment Lightning Strikes Boat in Boston Sudden Lightning Strike Injures 8 Hikers on Colorado TrailWatch: Lightning Strikes Tree, Sets It on Fire During Oregon Stormlast_img read more