Press release: FCO statement on the sentencing of Sheikh Ali Salman in Bahrain

first_imgFor journalists Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, said: Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Follow Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt @AlistairBurtUK Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Email [email protected] I am very concerned about the life sentence handed down by the Appeals Court of Bahrain today to Sheikh Ali Salman, in addition to the sentence he is currently serving. I understand that Sheikh Ali Salman now has the right of appeal against this latest sentence. The UK continues to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments. Media enquiries Further informationlast_img

Climate made scary

first_imgIn July, New York magazine published its most-read article ever, surpassing a photo spread of Lindsay Lohan. The topic? Doom.While defying the belief among author David Wallace-Wells’ editors that climate change would be “traffic kryptonite,” the story, titled “The Uninhabitable Earth,” presented an apocalyptic vision in which rising seas flood Miami and Bangladesh, heat and drought cut grain yields in half, diseases spread, and wars rage.Unfortunately, that vision isn’t fiction, but rather Wallace-Wells’ summation of climate change’s little-discussed worst-case scenario for the year 2100.“I think there’s real value in scaring people,” the journalist said Wednesday during a panel at the Geological Museum, sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment.The event, “Hope and Despair: Communicating an Uncertain Future,” explored whether doom and gloom are more effective than hope in spurring climate action. Panelists agreed that fear is a potentially powerful lever, but also insisted on the importance of covering success stories. Progress is an important motivator, keeping people from succumbing to despair in the face of bad news.Wallace-Wells said he wrote the article because climate change discussion has centered on limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. While changes due to that level of warming would be bad enough, the projection, he said, is too often treated as a certainty rather than the middle value in a range that, at its high end, would unleash calamitous effects.“It just seems so obvious to me that — when you think about the relatively well-off Western world — complacency about climate is just a much bigger problem than fatalism about climate,” Wallace-Wells said. “A majority of Americans … are concerned about climate change, but very few Americans are very concerned about climate change.”Nikhil Advani (from left), David Wallace-Wells, Elizabeth Wolkovich, Nancy Knowlton, and Campbell Webb.The discussion, moderated by Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Elizabeth Wolkovich, also featured Campbell Webb of the University of Alaska, who penned a 2005 article calling for hope in conservation biology despite discouraging developments. That hope, he wrote, was needed for the benefit of the biologists themselves even as it faded for the environments and organisms of their research.Webb said during the panel that the article was a reflection of the grief he felt at the loss of Indonesian rainforests where he had worked. Today, he said, whether he feels optimistic or pessimistic depends on the day.Panelist Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair for Marine Science at the Smithsonian Institution, began an “ocean optimism” Twitter account over negative predictions for coral reefs. The feed, according to the account page, is aimed at “sharing solutions and creating a new narrative of hope for our ocean.” That optimism, she said, is fueled by success stories that are too often ignored.Knowlton recalled a conference in Tampa Bay, Florida, where she asked how many in the audience of 200 knew about the restoration of nearby seagrass beds that had been wiped out by the 1960s. Four people raised their hands.Panelist Nikhil Advani, who works with rural communities on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund, agreed with Knowlton on the importance of promoting successes, especially in the case of small-scale entrepreneurs who make a regional impact.Wallace-Wells sees cause for optimism in the potential scale of disruption. That humans can drive negative effects, he said, also suggests their potential to be agents of positive change. The question is how to stoke that potential.Knowlton said that different audiences demand different approaches. While some people can be motivated by fear of a dark future and others by hope, still others, like the Republican mayor of Georgetown, Texas, which is powered entirely by renewables, are moved by economic arguments.It’s crucial to get young people involved in climate action, said Knowlton and Advani.While students have the energy and ideas to make a difference, they can also be discouraged by feelings of hopelessness. This group needs to be told not only of the problems we face, but also of strong foundations where they can build, Knowlton said.“I’ve had many, many students come up to me after talks about optimism or the Earth optimism summit that we ran in Washington, saying, ‘You know, this was incredibly empowering. I now want to go out and work on solving this problem. I almost left the field of conservation because I thought there was nothing we could do.’”last_img read more

VCE talks Convergence, Agility and ACI at Cisco Live Milan

first_imgNext week, Cisco Live is poised to be an exciting event in the beautiful city of Milan. My colleagues and I will be on site answering questions about integrating Vblock Systems into existing network designs or rolling them out in green-field data centers.Regardless of how a customer plans to deploy a converged infrastructure, agility plays a key role in their purchasing decision. Just as cheetahs use speed and sharp reflexes to catch their prey, enterprises want to deploy an infrastructure that is quick and agile in providing new business processes to stay ahead of their competition. My colleague Ted Streete will take a closer look at the importance of IT infrastructure agility in his Tuesday, January 28 session at 1:15 pm CET in the Partner Theatre – “How the Cheetah Catches Dinner: The Importance of Agility in a World Defined by Speed.”Speed plays a key role in how enterprises deploy solutions. Today’s organizations are rapidly deploying solutions in various places in the network to offer path isolation for multiple tenants, internal or external, sharing a common infrastructure. These initiatives present new challenges for network architects responsible for selecting the appropriate technologies, and creating highly available network designs that must be scalable and tuned for fast convergence.  I’ll be a co-presenter in the session “Fast Convergence and Scalability in Virtualized Network Designs,” where we’ll discuss how to build a network infrastructure for today’s fast evolving data center environment. Don’t miss it on Monday, January 27 from 2:15 – 6:30 pm CET.Another topic that will prove to be a focal point of discussion is Cisco’s recently launched Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Last year in Orlando our friends at Cisco introduced ACI, now at Cisco Live in Milan, attendees can find out first hand how VCE plans to integrate Cisco’s ACI into VCE’s Vblock Systems, in the short and long term, to achieve even great scalability and programmability for our customer’s data center.Lastly, throughout the event, my colleagues and I will also be highlighting VCE Vision Intelligent Operations, discussing new upgrades from September, as well as solutions for end user computing, such as VMware Horizon Suite, Mobile Secure Desktop and Always On Point of Care. Make sure you stop by our booth (G4) to learn about these solutions and ask more questions about VCE in 2014.“See you at CiscoLive!Sharelast_img read more

Shockingly powerful water

first_imgUniversity of Georgia researchers have used electrolyzed oxidizing water to sanitize poultry, kill funguses on nursery-grown plants and remove pathogens from produce. Now they’re using it to reduce shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) on beef.For more than 10 years, UGA food scientist Yen-Con Hung has researched the use of electrolyzed oxidizing, or EO, water to make food safer and surfaces cleaner. EO water is created when a saltwater solution goes through an electrolysis process that separates the water’s positive and negative ions. This makes two forms of water: one very acidic and one very alkaline. The acidic EO water is used to sanitize surfaces and kill bacteria, and the alkaline EO water is used as a detergent. Hung’s latest project uses EO water to inactivate levels of seven strains of STEC pathogens in beef processing. This year alone more than 55,000 pounds of beef products have been recalled due to the presence of STEC, he said.To inactivate the pathogens, Hung and his colleagues applied both streams of EO water to beef hides during processing. “If we can prevent the STEC from getting on the carcass, we can prevent it from getting in the ground beef,” said Hung, a professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “This uses both EO water forms; alkaline to clean the hide and acidic to kill the STEC on the surface.”This project is part of a five-year, $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study ways to kill foodborne pathogens on beef before it arrives on supermarket shelves and in restaurant kitchens. The overall project focuses on six different processing technologies for the entire beef-value chain, from meat processing facilities to super markets. The goal is to determine which technology or combination of technologies is effective and feasible to adopt across the industry, he said.The food industry currently uses a chlorine solution to kill bacteria. Acidic EO water can be up to 10 times more effective at killing harmful bacteria than traditional methods, Hung said. Hung’s EO water research results were published this year in Food Control and LWT Food Science and Technology Journal.In 2009 the USDA Economic Research Service estimated the annual economic cost of illness caused by STEC O157 was $478 million. This estimate includes medical costs due to illness, kidney dialysis and transplant costs, the value of time lost from work due to nonfatal illness and the value of premature death, Hung said.In a separate study, Hung is working with a major restaurant chain to test the use of EO water in individual restaurants. “We are testing the units and the water under a simulated food service condition to sanitize the fruits and vegetables the restaurant serves,” he said.UGA food scientists and University of Tennessee researchers will soon begin a study on the use of EO as a possible bacteria-killing mouthwash. “We want to see if it can deactivate oral bacteria, and if it’s effective at cleaning the water lines at dental chairs,” Hung said. EO water is far from new. It’s been used for more than 200 years to produce chlorine. For the past 20 years, small-scale EO water producing units have been available for commercial and home use.“In the U.S. at least 10 carbonated-beverage bottling plants are using EO water to clean inside mixing tanks, pipes and tubing, so they don’t have to take equipment apart to clean it,” Hung said. Some grocery store chains use EO water to keep fresh produce clean. “They use EO water to mist the produce and sanitize the areas used to cut fresh fruits and vegetables,” he said.Currently, Hung holds a patent on a method that makes EO water more stable. In addition, he is working on alkaline EO water as a drinking water for health promotion. Alkaline EO water typically loses its antioxidant capacity within an hour. Hung has developed a process that allows alkaline EO water to be bottled with its high antioxidant benefits remaining stable for more than six months.“Alkaline EO water isn’t new,” Hung said. “Consumers in Japan, Asia, Europe and the U.S. have been drinking it for years. The ability to make it shelf stable is new.” The cost of an in-home EO unit is becoming more affordable. Hung has seen home units for sale online for less than $300. There is no taste difference between alkaline EO water and traditional bottled waters, he said. “That’s the beauty. It’s just like drinking water you are used to, but you get many additional benefits,” Hung said.For more on the UGA beef safety project, see the website www.caes.uga.edu/research/beefsafety.last_img read more

Colombian Army Seizes 70 FARC Anti-Personnel Mines

first_imgBy Dialogo September 25, 2012 At least 70 FARC anti-personnel mines were seized by Colombian Army troops in a rural area of Arauca department (east), on the border with Venezuela, informed authorities on September 23. The findings took place in La Unión, a district in the municipality of Arauquita. These explosive devices belong to the tenth squad of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), according to the reports. ‘‘Our initial reports state that the lethal weapons were carried in a briefcase by two men who got away on a motorcycle after seeing the troops, leaving the explosives behind,’‘ specified a statement by the Armed Forces. Since 1990, these explosive devices have caused over 2,095 deaths and 7,888 injuries and amputees in the whole country, according to the Presidential Program of Comprehensive Action against Anti-Personnel Mines. In October, representatives of Juan Manuel Santos’s government and the FARC will start peace talks in Oslo, Norway, and will finalize them in Havana, Cuba.last_img read more

Shoreham Crash Leaves Woman Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 38-year-old Ridge woman was killed when the minivan she was riding in crashed in Shoreham on Thursday.Suffolk County police said Grace Quinones, 20, also of Ridge, was driving a Dodge Caravan northbound on Randall Road when she lost control and crashed into a tree north of Whiskey Road at 1:15 p.m.Quinones was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she is listed in critical condition. Her passenger, Deidre Bifulco, was pronounced dead at the scene.Seventh Squad detectives impounded the vehicle, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information about this crash to call them at 631-852-8752.last_img

SungEel MCC Americas responds to concerns over Endicott battery recycling facility

first_imgAs 12 News has reported, SungEel is set to operate a lithium ion battery recycling facility in Endicott. The DEC already granted the company an air permit, however, many people in the village have spoken out with concerns over pollution and safety. Mir said in a statement the company is listenting to the community’s response. It read in part, “Our first concern will always be the safety of current and future Endicott residents, and we will remain transparent by continuing to share information and respond to your concerns.”He added more information will be released in the coming days about the facility. ENDICOTT (WBNG) — After months of silence, SungEel MCC Americas CEO Danish Mir responded to resident concerns in a statement Tuesday. Stay with 12 News as we continue to bring you the latest on this developing story.last_img read more

West Nile vaccine induces good response in human trial

first_img Of those tested 28 days after vaccination, all 14 low-dose recipients and 27 of the 28 high-dose recipients developed West Nile antibodies. The mean antibody titers were rated as high at 1,218 and 1,280, respectively. In addition, most of the volunteers had specific T-cell responses. The vaccinated volunteers and controls reported a similar frequency of adverse events. See also: The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, described in the April 25 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involved 80 volunteers. Thirty people in the study received a single high dose of the vaccine (5.0 log10 plaque-forming units [pfu]), 15 received a low dose (3.0 log10 pfu), 5 “active controls” received a vaccine against yellow fever—a relative of West Nile—and 30 received a placebo. The vaccine, ChimeriVax-West Nile, is manufactured by Acambis, and the research team was composed mainly of Acambis researchers. The vaccine is based on a live, attenuated yellow fever virus vaccine. Genes from the yellow fever vaccine that induce immunity in humans (the premembrane and envelope genes) are replaced with similar genes from the West Nile virus. May 11, 2005, CIDRAP News story “West Nile vaccine looks good in early human trial” Monath TP, Liu J, Kanesa-Thasan N, et al. A live, attenuated recombinant West Nile virus vaccine. Proc Nat Acad Sci 2006 Apr 25;103(17):6694-9 [Full text]center_img These findings, first reported a year ago at the National Foundation for Infectious Disease’s annual conference, show that the vaccine “could be useful in preventing illness and limiting outbreaks of West Nile virus infection,” according to the authors of the study. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), West Nile virus, a flavivirus, infected at least 2,949 people in 2005, causing 116 deaths. Although 80% of those infected will have no symptoms, about 20% of infected patients will develop a fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, and, occasionally, a rash on the trunk. And 1 in 150 patients, according to the CDC, develops severe neuroinvasive disease, such as encephalitis, meningitis, or poliomyelitis. ChimeriVax-West Nile is now involved in a phase 2 trial in the United States comprising more than 200 healthy young adults, according to Acambis. After that, the vaccine will be tested in healthy elderly volunteers. May 2, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The first published report of a phase 1 clinical trial of a West Nile virus vaccine shows promise, with 41 of 42 inoculated volunteers (98%) developing antibodies to the virus.last_img read more

Pointers

first_imgn French National Railway plans to increase its order with De Dietrich and LHB for the joint Franco-German TERX73500 lightweight diesel railcars from the initial 40 vehicles to over 100 to meet growing demand from the régions.n Hongkong Tramways is planning a feasibility study into replacing its wooden double-deck cars by modern articulated vehicles; the 160-strong fleet is being rewired at a cost of HK$24m following a fatal electrical fire.n London Transport expects to reach agreement this month with the Electronic Data Systems consortium for the Prestige private-finance concession. This would see smart-card ticketing equipment installed throughout the Underground and bus networks.n British bus and rail operator Stagecoach Holdings and the French CGEA group, which is acquiring Linjebuss, are amongst bidders registering interest in Stockholm’s light rail operating concession, for which prequalification bids closed on January 9.n Pakistan’s Cabinet Committee on Investment has approved proposals for privately-operated trains to carry liquefied petroleum gas between Port Qasim near Karachi and Faisalabad; the Temco consortium envisages an initial fleet of 35 tank wagons and imported diesel locos.n Swiss freight shipper Giezendanner, which has formed a joint venture with SBB and FS, is looking to introduce CargoSprinter style freight railcar services between Rothrist and the canton of Ticino.n Toronto’s Metro Council has requested federal and provincial support to buy redundant CN and CP routes used by GO Transit commuter services, as part of a plan to expand the city’s passenger rail network.n Kowloon – Canton Railway Corp expects to submit the formal Project Agreement for its West Rail corridor to the Hong Kong Executive Council this month, with the aim of getting authorisation to start construction in September.n Siemens was expected to sign a contract with MTL Rail Ltd last month for supply of 16 three-car EMUs to Britain’s Regional Railways North East franchise; lease finance will be provided by Angel Train Contracts. Based on Siemens’ Class 332 Heathrow Express design, the trains will work local services from Leeds to Bradford, Ilkley and Skipton.n Transport Ministers from Bulgaria and Russia signed a protocol at the end of last year for the development of a train ferry link between Varna and Novorossiisk, bypassing the present rail route through Ukraine.n Vietnam Railways is seeking government approval for investment projects worth 35000bn dong over the next 20 years, including construction of the Ho Chi Minh City – Vung Tau, Hanoi – Pho Lu and Kep – Can Lai lines and reconstruction of the Hanoi – Haiphong corridor.n Israel Railways is planning to lease one of German Railway’s VT611 tilting DMUs for trials next month, and a double-deck push-pull trainset during May.n The first of seven Arlanda Express four-car EMUs being built for Sweden’s A-Train consortium by GEC Alsthom is expected to be rolled out at the Metro-Cammell works in Birmingham during May.n The Sindh regional government announced in December that it planned to set up a new Karachi Metropolitan Transport Authority to take over control of the city’s long-planned light rail project from the federal government’s National Mass Transit Authority.n Meeting in Kuala Lumpur at the end of December, leaders of the Asean countries reaffirmed their commitment to the trans-Asian rail link project despite the region’s current economic difficulties.n A consortium of American Maglev Technology, Virginia Power and Lockheed-Martin announced in December that it hoped to build a 3·2 km test track in Virginia for 200 km/h trials from 2000.last_img read more

Australian children are falling asleep on phones and use gadgets at the dinner table, Telstra study shows

first_imgNews.com.au 29 January 2015ALMOST two in every five Australian children fall asleep using a gadget, and one in five uses technology during meal times, according to research released today.The Telstra study into family screen time also found most parents did not consider themselves to be good technological role models, and most children mirrored their bad screen habits.The Cyber Safety: Balancing Screen Time study surveyed more than 1800 Australians, including 507 children aged between 12 and 17.Telstra cyber safety manager Shelly Gorr said the survey indicated tech-savvy Australian households may have the balance of technology wrong, with parents leading the problem.“We tended to see that if parents were spending more time on devices, their kids tended to do that too, be that second-screening, using a device as they fell asleep, or general device use during the day,” she said.“If your personal set of values are that you want a device-free dinner table, in the past you would just turn off the television. Now that’s been replaced by devices.”The study found 39 per cent of children fell asleep at night while using a device, in addition to 17 per cent of parents, while 74 per cent of children used devices between 9pm and midnight on school nights, along with 62 per cent of parents.Children were also heavy technology users at meal times, with 19 per cent admitting to using a device, while most children (71 per cent) said they used a device while in front of an even bigger screen: the television.Disturbingly, 65 per cent of parents said they were not good role models for their children when it came to technology, and nine per cent of children said their parents’ use of technology took away from family time.The findings come one week after a University of Western Australia study revealed it was “virtually impossible” for parents to enforce the official recommendations of just two hours of screen time for children over two years of age.Australian family screen timeFall asleep while using a deviceParents: 17%Children: 39%Using devices during meal timesParents: 15%Children: 19%Using devices between 9pm and midnight on school nightsParents: 62%Children: 74%Using a device in front of the TVParents: 66%Children: 71%Using a device in front of the TV between 7pm and 9pm on school nightsParents: 50%Children: 41%http://www.news.com.au/technology/home-entertainment/australian-children-are-falling-asleep-on-phones-and-use-gadgets-at-the-dinner-table-telstra-study-shows/story-fn8tnfhb-1227200005017last_img read more