US designates TTP chief Mehsud as global terrorist

first_imgWashington DC: The US has unveiled new steps to fight terrorism and add muscle to the Trump administration’s ability to pursue terror suspects, their financiers and supporters worldwide. Utilising a new executive order signed by President Donald Trump, issued on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, the Treasury Department sanctioned over two dozen individuals and entities from 11 terrorist groups, including Pakistan-based Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USNoor Wali, also known as Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, from the TTP was one of the sanctioned individuals, the US State Department said, describing him as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. He was named the leader of the terror group in June 2018 following the death of former TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah. Under Noor Wali’s leadership, TTP has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly terrorist attacks across Pakistan, the State Department said in a press release. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe executive order allows the US government to better target terror group leaders and provides new tools to pursue individuals who participate in terrorist training, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. This order also authorises secondary sanctions on foreign financial institutions that have knowingly conducted or facilitated significant transactions with sanctioned persons, Mnuchin said. He added that the order targets those actors for and behalf of specially-designated global terrorists. “Specifically, we have leaders, operative and financiers from over 11 terrorist organisations, including Iran’s Quds Forces, Hamas, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and their affiliates,” Mnuchin told White House reporters at a joint news conference with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo described the executive order as the “most-significant update” to counter-terrorism sanctions authority since September 2001. The treasury secretary said that his department was enhancing efforts to deny terrorist access to the financial system. “Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, the US government has refocused its counter-terrorism efforts to constantly adapt to emerging threats. President Trump’s modernised counter-terrorism Executive Order enhances the authorities we use to target the finances of terror groups and their leaders to ensure they are as robust as possible,” Mnuchin said. “These new authorities will allow the US Government to starve terrorists of resources they need to attack the United States and our allies, and will hold foreign financial institutions who continue to do business with them accountable. These new tools aid America’s unrelenting efforts to cut off terrorists from their sources of support and deprive them of the funds required to carry out their destructive activities. They serve as a powerful deterrent to radical terror groups and those seeking to aid their nefarious goals, the treasury secretary said. According to Pompeo, the new order amends the previous one by adding clauses that allow the departments of state and treasury to directly target leaders of terrorist groups and their associated entities without having to tie terrorist leaders to specific acts. “Second, it is more effectively and efficiently targets individuals and entities who participate in terrorist training and provides new authorities to impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly do business with terrorists,” Pompeo said. “As these actions show, today’s executive order by President Trump adds further muscle to the US counter-terrorism efforts,” the secretary of state said. “It will help us to ensure that the deadly attacks of September 11 that occurred 18 years ago this week are never repeated on American soil. Never,” he said.last_img read more

Firefighter BC chief say climate change to blame for wildfires

first_imgLaurie HamelinAPTN NewsIt’s been seven days since British Columbia declared a state of emergency.Hundreds of fires continue to burn and thousands of people are still under evacuation.With dry conditions expected to continue, there is still no clear end in sight – and this has people connecting the dots to climate change.Laurie Hamelin has this story.last_img

By the numbers Shaw workforce shakeup just the latest of many transformations

first_imgCALGARY – Shaw Communications Inc. said Thursday that 25 per cent of its workforce had chosen to accept a voluntary buyout, although it was targeting just 10 per cent. The buyouts were offered as part of its Total Business Transformation plan unveiled Jan. 30.Here’s a by-the-numbers look at some of the transformations that have shaken the company since it enrolled its first cable TV customer in Edmonton 47 years ago:3,300: The number of Shaw employees who have decided to take a voluntary buyout package.650: The number of employees who were expected to take a buyout, based on 10 per cent of the 6,500 eligible employees.1,700: The number of Shaw employees impacted by a corporate restructuring that concluded in 2015.200: The reduction in employees due to a restructuring in 2016 after Shaw bought Freedom Mobile (formerly Wind Mobile) and sold Shaw Media Inc.$2.3 billion: The price Shaw received for its ViaWest unit, a Denver-based computer centre operator, in August 2017.$2.65 billion: The price paid by Corus Entertainment Inc. to buy Shaw Media Inc. in April 2016.$1.6 billion: The purchase price Shaw paid for Wind Mobile in a deal completed in March 2016.10,000: The number of cable TV customers Shaw, then called Capital Cable TV, connected in its first year after starting up in Edmonton in 1971.3.2 million: The number of customers now served by Shaw Communications, including 1.9 million subscribers to Shaw internet and more than one-million Shaw home phone customers.$1.25 billion: Revenue reported by Shaw in its latest quarter ended Nov. 30, 2017.79 per cent: The percentage of Class A voting shares held by the Shaw Family Living Trust, giving founder JR Shaw and his heirs firm control of the company.860,000: The number of kilometres of fibre cable Shaw has installed across Canada.last_img read more

Oil sends TSX sharply lower

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was sharply lower Wednesday as oil closed below the US$45 mark amid data showing U.S. crude supplies at 80-year highs. Losses picked up at mid-afternoon as doubts arose about the Federal Reserve waiting until late this year to hike rates.The S&P/TSX composite index fell 231 points to close at 14,602.88.The Canadian dollar dropped 0.75 of a cent to 79.87 cents US.The Fed has been widely expected to move around mid-2015 but there has been growing speculation it might move later.While the Fed said Wednesday at the end of its interest rate meeting that it would remain “patient” in beginning to normalize monetary policy, it also pointed out positives about the American economy, including that economic activity is expanding at a solid pace.“The statement signalled policy-makers view conditions as improving, teeing up for a return to a more normal policy stance,” observed RBC assistant chief economist Dawn Desdjardins.The Dow industrials dropped 195.84 points to 17,191.37, the Nasdaq lost 43.51 points to 4,637.99 and the S&P 500 index was down 27.39 points at 2,002.16.Oil prices retreated $1.78 to US$44.45 a barrel, the lowest close since early March 2009, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. oil supplies rose by 8.9 million barrels last week. That was far higher than the 3.5-million-barrel increase that economists had expected. Prices have plunged 55% from the highs registered last summer because of a glut of supply on world markets.The TSX energy sector dropped 4.85%. Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) lowered its 2015 capital budget to between $1.8 billion and $2 billion because of the price slump. That figure is more than 15% below last year’s spending levels. Its stock dropped $1.73 to $22.94.The gold sector fell three per cent as February bullion declined $5.80 to US$1,285.90 an ounce. March copper edged two cents higher to US$2.48 a pound and the base metals group was down 1.5%.On the earnings front, Canadian National Railway’s (TSX:CNR) quarterly profit surged by nearly a third to $844 million or $1.03 per share, six cents ahead of estimates. Revenue was up nearly 17% at $3.2 billion, beating estimates of $3.12 billion. CN also boosted its quarterly dividend 25% to $1.25 a share. CN stock lost $1.13 to $84.03.“When you look at rails and run they had, it is unrealistic to expect any significant upside unless there is an unforeseen growth catalyst,” said Kash Pashootan, portfolio manager at Raymond James in Ottawa.“Relative to the volatility we have seen in markets and relative to what we’ve seen in their peer group . . . I think investors should be happy with that.”And Apple’s quarterly net income rose 38% to $18 billion or $3.06 a share while revenue hit $74.6 billion as it sold 74.5 million iPhones, which also beat estimates. Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.60 a share on revenue of $67.39 billion. Its shares were up 5.65% to US$115.31.In Canada, CGI Group (TSX:GIB.A) had $236.3 million or 74 cents a share of quarterly net income, up from 60 cents per share or $189.8 million a year earlier. Cash generated from CGI’s operating activities increased more than five-fold to $339.2 million and its shares ran ahead $1.49 to $48.41. read more

Army probe not on Malaka

The army insists that the court of inquiry to be appointed to look into the assault on an Army Major is not an inquiry on Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka Silva.Acting military spokesman Brigadier G. Ravipriya said that the inquiry is to merely see what took place as it involves a military officer. Major C. Pradeep had lodged a police complaint saying he was assaulted by Malaka Silva at a Colombo hotel last weekend and his weapon was also taken away. The army major was admitted to hospital following the incident and his weapon was later handed over to the police.The police media unit had said investigations into the incident were underway. Brigadier G. Ravipriya said that there was no set time frame when the court of inquiry will conclude its investigations.

Indian officials seize more gold biscuits from Sri Lanka

The seizure comes two days after the sleuths of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized gold biscuits weighing 28 kg in three separate operations in Coimbatore, Ramanathapuram and Sayalkudi on Saturday. The CPU on May 4 had seized 4 kg of gold after chasing fishermen on the high seas. (Colombo Gazette) After questioning the detained fishermen, the officials detained two more persons, who came from Kerala, on suspicion that they could have come to receive the smuggled gold. The officials also detained their car bearing a Kerala registration number, the sources said.The two fishermen, who had links with smugglers, ventured into the sea on Sunday night and were waiting on the high seas, when a smuggler from Sri Lanka met them on the high seas and handed them over the gold. The fishermen were told that they should hand over the gold to a contact after reaching the shore. They smuggled three pieces of gold biscuits with foreign markings, the sources said, adding while two pieces weighed 1 kg each, one broken piece weighed 400 gm. Identifying the two fishermen as N. Vairalingam (38) and K. Muthukumar (37) of Natarajapuram in Rameswaram, Customs sources said they were bringing the smuggled gold, concealed in a fishing net, when the officials nabbed them. Customs Preventive Unit (CPU) sleuths in India have seized 2.4 kg of gold biscuits, smuggled from Sri Lanka, through the sea route after intercepting two fishermen on the coast between Mukuntharayar Chathiram and Dhanushkodi.Acting on specific intelligence, a six-member team, led by Superintendents Muniasamy and M. Pugazhendi, visited the seashore around 1. 30 a.m. yesterday and made the seizure after intercepting the fishermen, who returned to the shore in a country boat after receiving the gold biscuits from a contact on the high seas. read more

UN war crimes tribunal orders release of former Bosnian Serb police chief

In a press release, ICTY President Judge Theodor Meron said that he had granted Steven Todorovic’s request for commutation of his sentence after the prisoner had met the conditions under Spanish law that, in certain circumstances, a convicted person could be released after serving two-thirds of their sentence. Mr. Todorovic, in custody since 1998, had served two-thirds of his sentence as of 25 May 2005.Mr. Todorovic was the chief of police in the Bosnian town of Bosanski Samac from April 1992 to December 1993, while Serbian forces controlled the area. During this time, non-Serbs were persecuted and displaced, and many were beaten while in his prisons. According to ICTY documents, he took over when 17,000 Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims resided in the municipality, but by May 1995, fewer than 300 remained. The Tribunal charged Mr. Todorovic with 27 counts of crimes against humanity.At his initial appearance before the ICTY in 1998, Mr. Todorovic pleaded not guilty to all counts, but in 2000, he pleaded guilty to one count of persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds as a crime against humanity. He was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in July 2001. In December of that year, Mr. Todorovic was transferred to Spain to serve his sentence. Today, Judge Meron noted that Mr. Todorovic had cooperated with the ICTY Prosecutor’s Office and was willing to testify in proceedings before the Tribunal. Judge Meron also considered Mr. Todorovic’s guilty plea and his expressions of remorse during the trial. read more

Puerto Rico governor calls for swift debt restructuring

by The Associated Press Posted Dec 31, 2016 9:00 am MDT Last Updated Dec 31, 2016 at 9:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Puerto Rico governor calls for swift debt restructuring SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla is urging his successor to demand that a federal control board overseeing government finances move immediately to restructure much of its nearly $70 billion in debt.The outgoing governor tells Governor-elect Ricardo Rossello in a letter released Friday night that the commonwealth cannot afford to pay $3.5 billion in annual debt service.He says Puerto Rico faces $3 billion in additional liabilities by 2018 after federal health care funding sources and pension system assets are depleted and warns that action is needed before a litigation stay against creditor lawsuits expires in February.The board can restructure debt through a court-supervised bankruptcy process but board chairman Jose Carrion has said it will try to reach voluntary deals with creditors.Rossello takes office on Jan. 2. read more

Aaron Craft named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year

Senior guard Aaron Craft (4) attempts a shot during a game against Michigan State March 9 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 69-67.Credit: Kelly Roderick / For The LanternSenior guard Aaron Craft topped off his final season at Ohio State by adding another award to his list.For the second time in the last three seasons, Craft has been named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.Craft led the Ohio State men’s basketball to a 23-8 record and the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes recorded the seventh best defense in the country, only allowing 59.1 points per game. He also led the conference with 2.58 steals per game in 2014.On Sunday against Michigan State, Craft set the Big Ten record for most all-time steals. Craft also leads the Buckeyes in career steals and assists.Craft was named to the All-Big Ten second team by the media as well as the All-Big Ten third team by the coaches. He also was named to the All-Big Ten defensive team for the third consecutive year.Junior guard Shannon Scott was also named to the All-Big Ten defensive team, with junior forward LaQuinton Ross joining Craft on the coaches All-Big Ten third team.Next up, Craft and the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Purdue Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 25 minutes after the finish of the day’s first game between Illinois and Indiana. read more

How the royal PR machines treatment of both public and press left

BBC colleagues rightly rallied around veteran newscaster, 65, who has been reporting on the royal family since 1998. News at Ten presenter Huw Edwards said: “For the record. Nick Witchell’s supreme professionalism… Nicholas Witchell’s uncharacteristically stumbling performance while reporting the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby is rightly prompting much head scratching about the wisdom of trying to shroud the royal birth in secrecy. Known as the ‘safest pair of hands’ at the BBC, many have been left wondering how Britain’s most experienced royal correspondent could have been left so lost for words during Monday night’s News at Ten that he was forced to bring his broadcast to an abrupt end.

Weve already had a fatality IRFU launch new guide on concussion

first_imgTHE IRISH RUGBY Football Union is to enforce a new set of concussion guidelines in an effort to ensure player welfare and avoid serious injuries and fatalities.Dr Rod McLoughlin, IRFU head of medical services, believes there needs to be a culture change in rugby as many concussed players are being placed under ‘inappropriate pressure’ to remain on the pitch.McLoughlin referred to the case of 14-year-old Ben Robinson, who passed away in 2011 after suffering multiple concussive blows during a game for Carrickfergus Grammar. Coroner Suzanne Anderson told a Belfast court, in September, that the teenager had passed away from brain injuries due to Second Impact Syndrome.Dr McLoughlin said, “We’ve already had a fatality, two years ago. It’s an incredibly rare condition and that’s the first recorded case on the British Isles; there are less than a handful worldwide. But that is what we are trying to avoid it happening again. In August, the NFL reached a settlement worth $765 million in a lawsuit filed by more than 4,500 former American Football players over concussion injuries. McLoughlin feels the connection between concussive blows and the heavy-hitting nature of the two sports must be studied further.“What we have seen is a link,” he commented. “We have not seen a cause and effect. We’ve seen a link that we need to monitor. I think it will be a number of years before we can tell that because, as you say, the [professional rugby] game is in its infancy in a professional sense.“The important thing is, the appropriate management of present concussions that will be the most protective thing in avoiding the long-term effects if there are any [links].”Like rugby? Follow’s dedicated Twitter account @rugby_ie >Cian Healy and Sean O’Brien Leinster doubts ahead of Northampton clashCopeland set to join Munster from Cardiff Blues – reports McLoughlin added, “We are educating everyone — coaches, players, officials — so they understand they should not be putting pressure, in a way that they would be suggesting that somebody stay on the pitch when they shouldn’t. It’s about changing everyone’s opinion and the culture that’s out there so we don’t have inappropriate pressure being put on people.Dr McLoughlin was speaking at today’s IRFU-backed launch of new concussion guidelines for the amateur game. While the union is promoting the new mantra of ‘Stop,-Inform-Rest-Return’, professional Irish players will continue to go by the IRB’s return to play concussion guidelines.IRFU Head of Medical Services, Dr Rod McLoughlin. INPHO/Dan SheridanMcLoughlin believes the professional game has made significant improvements to assessing and treating concussion-like symptoms. He said, “The nature of the pitch-side assessment tool has changed between its introduction last year and this year. Research shows that there are other things we need to do.“I do feel that [professionals] will lead the way. I think they are leading the way. We are now seeing a lower level of tolerance to any suspected concussion.We’re working hard to change the culture so that anybody will feel supportive of every decision that is made, and we’re educating so that people will have the knowledge to recognise concussion and understand that the [players] are removed from play.”center_img We don’t want to just avoid the catastrophic end-game, we want to prevent any other minor things that could happen. This is about managing all things that occur and, yes, I hope we never see that happen again.”last_img read more

Tiny New Dinosaur Discovered

first_imgIn the off-chance that you hadn’t already done some daydreaming about owning a dinosaur at some point in your life, this will surely be enough to send you over the edge. Scientists have discovered a new 1- to 15 pound dinosaur roughly the size of a small dog.The eodromaeus murphi (“dawn runner”) is a bipedal omnivore that dates back tp 230 million years ago–the early ages of the dinosaur era. The species’ remains were discovered in Argentina and the Andes foothills. The tiny dinosaur looks a bit like a raptor, but scientists believe that it ate plant and animal alike. AdChoices广告“This is an early dinosaur blueprint,” scientist Sereno said of the little dino, ” with features they’ll have for millions of years. Some of the features we see in eodromaeus–like the grasping hands–you find 150 million years later in Tyrannosaurus rex, right before the asteroid hit,”last_img read more

Giant Rocket Probably Carrying a Spy Satellite Launched

first_imgHow do you send a giant rocket into space from California without anyone knowing? You can’t, really, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve got to tell everyone what the thing is hauling. US intelligence services launched the Delta IV Heavy rocket into space from the Vandenberg military base yesterday afternoon. That much we know. What we don’t know, however, is precisely what the thing was carrying. Of course, such secrecy didn’t stop the military from bragging about the whole thing. The government actually issued a press release for the event. “This launch marks a significant milestone in our nation’s space capability,” said Lt. Col. Brady Hauboldt in the release. “We’ve really restored a national capability for heavy lift on the Western Range… This extends our ability to cost-effectively deliver payloads of all sizes and compliments.”AdChoices广告The logical guess here is that the rocket is carrying a really big, really expensive satellite–an “imagery intelligence satellite,” with a price tag of around one billion dollars.last_img read more

Indian cities in need of better sidewalks NVS Reddy

first_imgIndian cities need to be made people friendly with better sidewalks/footpaths, non-polluting bicycles, pedestrian safety measures, greenery, quality public space, street furniture said Hyderabad Metro Rail, managing director, N V S Reddy while addressing a team of 35 trainee IAS officers of Telangana cadre and Madhya Pradesh State Administrative Service at Metro Rail Bhavan here on Thursday.He further added that the Hyderabad Metro Rail stations are designed keeping in mind the passengers safety and also facilities that would help in a comfortable journey. Seating arrangement and proper pavements for instance.last_img

Do Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguezs exwife Cynthia get along ARod reveals

first_imgJennifer Lopez and Alex RodriguezInstagramAlex Rodriguez is a happy man as he is engaged to songstress/actress/fashionista Jennifer Lopez. Their families are so close that both their kids get along really well. But does JLo get along well with A-Rod’s ex-wife, Cynthia? A source has revealed to HollywoodLife that the two ladies get along really well!”It makes Alex extremely happy and fulfilled to see how incredibly Jen and Cynthia get along with each other,” explains the source and further adds, “It made his day to have his whole family celebrating together for his daughter’s special day. Alex has a fantastic relationship with Jen’s ex Marc, which is so important to him because he loves her kids as much as he loves her and wants to have a healthy relationship with their father, too.” Alex Rodriguez and the famjam!InstagramSuch a delight to learn that things are going well for Jennifer and Alex! Interestingly, Jennifer’s ex, Marc Anthony and Alex also seem to get along really well. In a video shared by Lopez, Alex and Marc were seen sitting next to each other and watching Max’s school recital. Funny thing was, at the recital, they even colour coordinated their ensembles as booth the men wore white shirts with denim.The source further told HollywoodLife, “One of the things Alex cherishes and respects so much about Jen is that she understands how to co-parent responsibly and has a great relationship with Marc, just like he has formed with Cynthia,” and added, “Her kids are the most important thing and she always makes it a priority to put their needs first which includes getting along well with their dad.” Alex Rodriguez with JLo, Natasha, Ella and CamiInstagramThe couple got engaged earlier this year. However, they have not set a date to tie the knot yet. From the looks of all the hush-hush wedding parade that has taken over Hollywood, we assume that perhaps even this couple will choose to have an intimate wedding ceremony with just their close friends and family.last_img read more

KIPP Charter Schools CoFounder Fired Misconduct Alleged

first_img Share Twitter via @KXAN_NewsThe KIPP charter school network has fired its co-founder after what the school says was investigation into allegations of misconduct.Mike Feinberg started the charter when he was a teacher in Houston in the 1990s and grew it into a national force. Laura Isensee has the details.In a letter posted online, the superintendent of KIPP Houston and the CEO of the network’s foundation explained why Feinberg was terminated Thursday from the organization he helped found and worked with for over 20 years.The letters says last spring they received an allegation that Feinberg had sexually abused a student in the late 1990s. That prompted KIPP to hire outside investigators who the schools say found it to be credible, though the letter says Feinberg denies any wrongdoing.The schools says their outside counsel also found other allegations that Feinberg sexually harassed two women who were KIPP alumnae and employed by the charter. One of those allegations led to a financial settlement. KIPP says that they decided to fire Feinberg since the investigation found what it calls credible evidence that is incompatible with the mission and values of KIPP. The Charter network has 28 schools in Houston serving more than 14 thousand students. It also has charters in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and across the nation. While KIPP charter schools receive public tax dollars, the organization has also received major donations from the likes of Bill Gates and Michael Dell.Feinberg released a statement Friday through his attorney Chris Tritico that he was “disappointed” by the allegations and found the action by the board “disheartening.”“I do not condone, nor have I ever condoned, or engaged in, misconduct of kind,” Feinberg said in the statement, adding that he remains committed to the people KIPP serves.In an interview with News 88.7, his attorney Tritico said that Feinberg wasn’t given his due process during the investigation.“Mike Feinberg and the contributions that he’s made to education really deserved better than what this board gave him here,” Tritico said. “He certainly deserved a better investigation and a meaningful opportunity to defend himself and he was denied that.”Feinberg joins a growing list of well-known men that have lost their jobs over sexual harassment allegations in the #MeToo movement, since women came forward last fall to accuse movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse.“It’s certainly not a good time in our country to be accused of something like this and there’s a duck and cover feeling going on in boards everywhere,” Tritico said.last_img read more

Sequencing of cod genome reveals unique immune system characteristic

first_img More information: The genome sequence of Atlantic cod reveals a unique immune system, Nature (2011) doi:10.1038/nature10342AbstractAtlantic cod (Gadus morhua) is a large, cold-adapted teleost that sustains long-standing commercial fisheries and incipient aquaculture. Here we present the genome sequence of Atlantic cod, showing evidence for complex thermal adaptations in its haemoglobin gene cluster and an unusual immune architecture compared to other sequenced vertebrates. The genome assembly was obtained exclusively by 454 sequencing of shotgun and paired-end libraries, and automated annotation identified 22,154 genes. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II is a conserved feature of the adaptive immune system of jawed vertebrates, but we show that Atlantic cod has lost the genes for MHC II, CD4 and invariant chain (Ii) that are essential for the function of this pathway. Nevertheless, Atlantic cod is not exceptionally susceptible to disease under natural conditions5. We find a highly expanded number of MHC I genes and a unique composition of its Toll-like receptor (TLR) families. This indicates how the Atlantic cod immune system has evolved compensatory mechanisms in both adaptive and innate immunity in the absence of MHC II. These observations affect fundamental assumptions about the evolution of the adaptive immune system and its components in vertebrates. Citation: Sequencing of cod genome reveals unique immune system characteristic (2011, August 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2011 British cod stocks rebounding ( — Researchers working out of Norway’s University of Oslo have discovered through sequencing the genome of the Atlantic cod that the fish doesn’t have a gene critical to the immune system in most other vertebrae. The missing gene is one that codes for proteins called MHC II, CD4, and invariant chain. These proteins that reside on the outside of cells are responsible for noticing when bacteria or viruses land and then for calling CD4+ T cells to alert B cells which then start to crank out antibodies. The team has published its results in Nature. The Atlantic Cod Gadus morhua, is one of the more popular fish caught for consumption in the waters of the Atlantic, from North America to Europe, though it’s viability as a food source has come into question due to the collapse of several stocks in the 1990’s and their inability to recover. Subsequently, attempts have been made to create cod farms, but have met with mixed results due to the fish’s susceptibility to such infections as the bacterium Francisella noatunensis. It was this problem that led the Oslo team to sequence the cod’s genome in hopes of uncovering a means for creating a vaccine that would allow for more successful operations. Unfortunately, it appears that due to the cod’s missing genes, the traditional approach to creating a vaccine won’t work.To sequence the cod genome, the team used the Roche 454 platform and then aligned the result with that of the stickleback, a fish closely related to the cod that has already been sequenced. In so doing they found, in addition to the missing MHC II, new hemoglobin genes that are believed to help the cod survive in the very cold water in which it lives. The team says that the cod makes up for the MCH II deficiency by having more genes than other vertebrates, and also theorizes that the cod may also do more with MCH I (which normally specialize in finding intruders within cells) than other vertebrates.The discovery of the cod’s unique immune system has caused excitement in the immunology field because it opens the door to new ideas and ways of looking at how the immune system works and how such knowledge might be applied in developing better vaccines in cod farming; something that could become more important as natural fish populations decline. Cod, Gadus morhua. Image: © Hans-Petter Fjeld, via Wikipedia.last_img read more

Report Holding global warming to 2C increase still possible if nations act

first_img Planet ‘far away’ on climate goals: study Satellite image of ship tracks, clouds created by the exhaust of ship smokestacks. Image: NASA 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. © 2011 ( — A new report published in Nature Climate Change, by an international group of scientists, suggests that the goal of holding the average global temperature increase (due mainly to carbon emissions) to 2° C, that the United Nations agreed on at separate meetings in 2009/10, can still be reached, but it’s going to take an unprecedented effort by virtually all of the major countries of the world. More information: Emission pathways consistent with a 2 °C global temperature limit, Nature Climate Change (2011) doi:10.1038/nclimate1258In recent years, international climate policy has increasingly focused on limiting temperature rise, as opposed to achieving greenhouse-gas-concentration-related objectives. The agreements reached at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Cancun in 2010 recognize that countries should take urgent action to limit the increase in global average temperature to less than 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels. If this is to be achieved, policymakers need robust information about the amounts of future greenhouse-gas emissions that are consistent with such temperature limits. This, in turn, requires an understanding of both the technical and economic implications of reducing emissions and the processes that link emissions to temperature. Here we consider both of these aspects by reanalysing a large set of published emission scenarios from integrated assessment models in a risk-based climate modelling framework. We find that in the set of scenarios with a ‘likely’ (greater than 66%) chance of staying below 2 °C, emissions peak between 2010 and 2020 and fall to a median level of 44 Gt of CO2 equivalent in 2020 (compared with estimated median emissions across the scenario set of 48 Gt of CO2 equivalent in 2010). Our analysis confirms that if the mechanisms needed to enable an early peak in global emissions followed by steep reductions are not put in place, there is a significant risk that the 2 °C target will not be achieved. The group, comprised of European, Japanese, Chinese and Australian scientists and researchers, and led by Joeri Rogelj, has been studying the published literature comparing current and projected rates of carbon emissions and has correlated those numbers with an expected rise in global temperatures as a result. They then set up scenarios (using modeling developed by Malte Meinshausen) where they tried to predict likely outcomes (defined as a 66% or better chance) of average global temperatures peaking at or below the 2 degree goal given defined reductions in carbon emissions within certain timeframes. In so doing they found that in order to meet the 2 degree ceiling goal, carbon emissions would have to peak sometime between now and 2020, and then would need to immediately fall thereafter, at least to a median level of 44 Gt (gigatonnes or billion tonnes) of CO2 equivalent in 2020. And it doesn’t stop there, levels would have to continue falling, to around 20 Gt by 2050.And while the group says it believes reaching these goals is possible, it’s clear that drastic action will need to be taken as last year’s estimates of carbon emissions was around 48 Gt, and based on the way things are going presently, many experts fear carbon emissions will increase to 56 Gt by 2020. As part of presenting their findings, the group laid out scenarios that they believe if followed, would result in meeting the 2 degree ceiling. These would generally include replacing carbon emitters (mainly coal) with energy producers that are based on solar photovoltaic, wind and biomass technologies.Also of concern are increases in regional temperatures, which are uneven due to the Earth being covered mostly in cold water. As the Earth warms up, temperatures over landmasses heat up far more quickly than they do over the oceans, thus, temperatures for some places such as parts of Africa, the Arctic, Canada and Eurasia, which are already seeing spikes, are likely to continue to do so. Some experts warn these areas might see the 2 degree threshold in just ten or twenty years.The next round of talks is scheduled to begin next month in Durban, South Africa, and some members of the research team are already speaking out, suggesting that unless immediate action is taken, the opportunity of meeting the 2 degree ceiling could slip away. Citation: Report: Holding global warming to 2C increase still possible if nations act (2011, October 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore furtherlast_img read more

I have always fought good battles

first_imgWhat has the journey of Ajay Devgn Films been like so far?Ajay Devgn (AD): It’s been very good. We co-produced our first film in 1996 – Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha. Then we made an array of films like Hindustan Ki Kasam, Dil Kya Kare, Raju Chacha, All The Best, Bol Bachchan and Son Of Sardaar. So it’s been fabulous, touch wood. Except for Raju Chacha, where I got very ambitious. The film didn’t do badly but the budgets were too high. We were talking of a Rs 30-crore budget 13 years ago. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’I had built a set and we were doing animation for the first time but I was happy that it was us who introduced CG in India. Apart from this film, all our other films have done well and made money. My intention is not to make just films but to only make good films. Otherwise, I would be making ten films a year! The idea is to make good films and to get the right scripts. In fact, currently we are working on four or five scripts, which will go on the floors in a few months. As always, they’re progressive cinema but also entertaining. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixYou were the first actor to get into production.AD: (Cuts in) Yeah, I think so! Kuch scripts aisi hoti hain jinko padhke lagta hai ki yeh aapko bannani chahiye. And you always want to experiment with it. Like Dil Kya Kare was one of those films. It did very well overseas. There were some scripts that I really wanted to make and Raju Chacha was an ambitious one, where I wanted animation of that level. And which I didn’t think any other producer could have thought of at that level for me and could actually do it. That’s why I thought I might as well do it! So, it’s all about belief in a film and if you rope in someone else, he or she would want to chip in with their ideas. You may want to make a particular film your way and the other person may not be on the same page. Some people approach you with their vision and if you believe in their vision, you team up with them. At the same time, when you come across a film and you think only you can justify it, you go with your gut feel.You have a very lean, mean organisation.AD: I believe that few people can do their job but it is very important that they know their job. Today, when we meet with corporates, Tees log aakar baith jaate hain, ussmein se 15 log kya kar rahe hain hamein pata hi nahi hota. Meeting kis baat ki ho rahi hai pata nahi hota. But that’s how they work and this is how we work. We know what we’re doing.There are no chairs here, there are faces. This is the basic difference between a corporate studio and a production house. I don’t mean to criticise corporatisation but too many cooks can spoil the broth. A crowd only leads to confusion. But our company knows who’s doing what, their respective strengths and weaknesses, and each one of us gives our best.All the films you have produced feature you as the lead actor in them. Do you see that changing?AD: Yes, that’s changing! Like I said, we are working on four to five films right now. Out of them, only two of them feature me in the cast.Apart from being the first to get into production and distribution, you’ve always believed in budding talent and have worked with first-time directors.AD: (Smiles) Anees Bazmi, Rohit Shetty and Bunty (Milan Luthria) started with us. When I worked with these guys, they were all new directors and now they are very big directors. I am going to do the same in future too.Looking back… What made you sign Prakash Jha for Dil Kya Kare although he was in a lull phase?AD: I heard the script of Dil Kya Kare and, yes, Prakashji was going through a lull phase. I told him I loved the script a lot. It was a unique script at the time and I wanted to promote films like that. So I asked him if he would let me produce it. He agreed immediately. Basically, I am the only commercial actor who started dabbling with films like Thakshak or Zakhm because I wanted to balance things. I have learnt a lot from Bhatt saab (Mahesh Bhatt), Prakashji (Prakash Jha) and Govindji (Govind Nihalani). My growth as a performer has come from their abilities.After Dil Kya Kare, you worked with Prakash Jha again, on Gangaajal, which was like Jha-sir’s revival in commercial cinema.AD: Because I believe in that kind of cinema. I feel Prakashji found a great balance between telling a story, engaging the audience and saying something more. You don’t expect films like these to do extraordinary business because they are also social-oriented. Somewhere, you should do films like these as well as long as they are not disasters. They are like oxygen to acting and the other films are oxygen to stardom.You have stood by directors, regardless of their track record. Did you do that to create goodwill?AD: It is not about goodwill! Rohit and Bunty started their careers with me as assistants. We shared a great rapport and I promised them that I would do a film with them whenever they were ready. And that’s what I did.The fact that your banner carries your name, do you think it becomes a liability sometimes given your stature as a star?AD: One has to be very careful with what you are associating with. Now, I can’t name the film but I wouldn’t want to be associated with a vulgar film.What type of films does Ajay Devgn Films stand for?AD: Commercial, good… everything! Where people like watching the film and where you can make something that is sensitive and nice, and which is still commercial.One final question – how does Ajay, the actor, help Ajay Devgn, the producer, and vice-versa?AD: I make better cinema that way. Ajay, as an actor, has his upside also for a production house. In terms of a producer helping the actor, you realise that there’s a certain sincerity when you think ki yaar agar you’ll leave it and not do a good job then kitna nuksaan ho jayega. As a child, I used to go on the sets with my dad. I won’t name the actor but woh aaram se 2:30 pm tak aate the aur sab dhoop main baithe rehte thhe. Tab namake-up vans hoti thi na umbrellas hote thhe. And that actor would come giving gaalis and throwing his weight around. And the entire unit would bad-mouth him behind his back. I never forgot that. That’s when I decided I would never arrive late for a shoot. Warna log mujhe bhi gaali denge.– With special arrangement with Box Office Indialast_img read more