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Epilepsy has been found to reduce the generation of new neurons

first_imgShare on Twitter The mission of neural stem cells located in the hippocampus, one of the main regions of the brain, is to generate new neurons during the adult life of mammals, including human beings, of course, and their function is to participate in certain types of learning and responses to anxiety and stress. Using an epilepsy model in genetically modified mice, the researchers have discovered that hippocampal neural stem cells stop generating new neurons and are turned into reactive astrocytes, a cell type that promotes inflammation and alters communication between neurons.This research work has also made it possible to confirm the hypothesis in a previous piece of research by these researchers; this hypothesis established that even though neuronal hyperexcitation does not go as far as to cause convulsions, it does induce the massive activation of neural stem cells and their resulting premature exhaustion; as a result, neurogenesis (generation of new neurons) in the hippocampus ends up chronically reduced.Juan Manuel Encinas, who is leading the study, highlights the fact that “this discovery has enabled us to gain a better understanding about how neural stem cells function. We have shown that in addition to generating neurons and astrocytes, neural stem cells in the adult hippocampus can generate reactive astrocytes following an epileptic seizure”. Pinterest Share LinkedIncenter_img Email Share on Facebook Even though the work has been carried out on experimental animals, this discovery has clear implications in clinical practice and in the quest for new therapies for epilepsy given that the generation of new neurons (neurogenesis) is a process that is negatively affected in epileptic seizures located in the hippocampus. “If we can manage to preserve the population of neural stem cells and their capacity to generate new neurons in humans, it may be possible to prevent the development of certain symptoms associated with epilepsy and very likely to mitigate the damage that is caused in the hippocampus,” pointed out Juan Manuel Encinas.In this ambitious, multidisciplinary project they have collaborated with research groups attached to institutions such as the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston (United States), the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), the Achucarro centre itself, and the UPV/EHU’s Genetic Expression Service.last_img read more

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NEWS SCAN: Resistant gonorrhea, contaminated sink, Ebola and orangutans, Olympic disease surveillance, vaccine testing contract

first_imgJul 20, 2012ECDC sounds alarm about increase in drug-resistant gonnorheaCases of gonorrhea and syphilis are increasing in Europe as gonorrhea is becoming more resistant to antimicrobial drugs, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned yesterday in Eurosurveillance. In 2010, 32,000 cases of gonorrhea, 18,000 cases of syphilis, and more than 345,000 cases of chlamydia were reported across Europe, according to an editorial. Separate reports in the issue deal with increases in sexually transmitted diseases in Germany, England, and Sweden in 2011. The increases probably reflect a combination of increased testing and an increase in risky sexual behavior by men who have sex with men and by young adults, according to the editorial. It says that Neisseria gonorrhoeae has developed resistance to most of the antimicrobial drugs introduced over the years. Surveillance from 2009 and 2010 shows that resistance to cefixime is spreading across Europe, and resistance to ceftriaxone also appears to be increasing. “These results are extremely worrying as the loss of both cefixime and ceftriaxone as treatment options for gonorrhoea would have a significant impact on public health,” the editorial states. The authors call for close monitoring of the rising rates of gonnorrhea and syphilis and targeting of public health interventions at the affected groups. The ECDC statement follows a World Health Organization (WHO) warning in June that urgent action is needed to prevent the spread of untreatable gonorrhea.Jul 19 Eurosurveillance editorialJun 6 WHO statementStudy: Source of hospital Klebsiella infections was down the drainResearchers from Toronto report that a sink was the pathogen reservoir for a persistent cluster of infections with an antimicrobial-resistant strain of Klebsiella oxytoca, a mainly healthcare-associated pathogen acquired from environmental surfaces. From October 2006 to March 2011, 66 patients in a Toronto hospital were infected with class A extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing K oxytoca with one of two DNA fingerprints, according to the researchers’ report in Emerging Infectious Diseases. New cases continued to crop up despite reinforcement of infection control measures and other precautions. When the investigators cultured samples from a sink in the intensive care unit, they found K oxytoca strains that matched those in the patients. New cases stopped after the sink drain was modified, cleaning frequency was increased, and an antimicrobial stewardship program was launched. “Sinks should be considered potential reservoirs for clusters of infection caused by K oxytoca,” the report states.Jul 18 Emerg Infect Dis reportWild Indonesian orangutans show evidence of Ebola, Marburg infectionsIn a study in Indonesia, almost one fifth of wild orangutans tested had antibodies to Ebola virus and a much smaller percentage had antibodies to Marburg virus, according to a report in PLoS One. Indonesian and Japanese researchers analyzed serum samples from 353 healthy Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) on Kalimantan Island, Indonesia, from December 2005 to December 2006. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with recombinant viral surface glycoprotein antigens, they found seropositivity for Ebola virus in 18.4% (65/353) of the animals and seropositivity for Marbug virus in 1.7% (6/353). In addition, most Ebola-positive samples showed specificity to Zaire, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, or Bundibugyo viruses, all of which have been found so far only in Africa. “These results suggest the existence of multiple species of filoviruses or unknown filovirus-related viruses in Indonesia, some of which are serologically similar to African” Ebola viruses, the authors wrote. No confirmed human Ebola virus infections have been reported outside Africa, though the Ebola Reston strain has been found in monkeys imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Jul 18 PLoS One reportCDC information about EbolaECDC heightens surveillance for OlympicsThough infectious diseases aren’t likely to pose major problems at the upcoming 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, the ECDC said yesterday that it, along with its partners, are enhancing surveillance for the events as part of ongoing communicable disease assessment. The group said in a statement that the biggest risk to visitors is likely to be food and waterborne diseases from improper food handling and poor hand hygiene practices. The ECDC added that it isn’t aware of any major public health problems that occurred at the recent EURO 2012 soccer tournament in Poland and the Ukraine. For the upcoming Games, the ECDC said it has adapted media screening tools to quickly flag threats in the UK and in participating countries and is exploring the use of social media and blogs in monitoring disease developments. As part of joint activities with global health partners, the ECDC and the UK’s Health Protection Agency will each have liaison officers to share risk assessments affecting those attending the Games as well as the wider EU community.  Member states will receive a daily bulletin of relevant public health events. The Olympic Games run from Jul 27 through Aug 12 and the Paralympic Games from Aug 29 through Sep 9.Jul 19 ECDC statementBattelle wins 10-year US contract to test infectious-disease countermeasuresBattelle Memorial Institute announced this week that it has won a 10-year federal contract worth up to $102.5 million to evaluate and test vaccines and other biologics for infectious diseases. The work will support the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in developing medical countermeasures, including those for emerging and biodefense pathogens, the institute said in a press release. The work will be conducted at Battelle’s biosafety level 3 laboratories and new toxicology research facility in West Jefferson, Ohio. The contract provides for preclinical, nonclinical, and clinical testing as needed to obtain data that will contribute to decisions by the Food and Drug Administration about product safety and efficacy, the statement said. Battelle, based in Columbus, Ohio, describes itself as the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization.Jul 18 Battelle press releaselast_img read more

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News Scan for Sep 04, 2015

first_imgH7N9 sampling study finds temporary benefits for market closuresTemporary poultry market closures can drop environmental levels of H7N9 and other avian flu viruses, but after stalls reopen, contamination quickly returns to preclosure levels, Chinese researchers reported yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases.The study took place in Guangzhou, the largest city in southern China’s Guangdong province, during the second wave of human illnesses.In response to rising numbers of human infections in the city in the first months of 2014, officials ordered a 2-week closure of live-poultry markets from Feb 15 to Feb 28. The markets were cleaned and disinfected at the start of the closure, and the team collected environmental samples from different areas of the markets before, during, and after the closure. Samples were tested by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rT-PCR) and culture.During the closure period, H7N9 RNA detections fell by 79% and isolation decreased by 92%. The investigators also found that viable virus could still be cultured from wastewater about 2 days after poultry market closure. Chopping boards, often located at the front of the stalls, had the highest contamination rates of any other sampling site in the markets.Investigators found, however, that virus returned to preclosure levels when the markets opened again, a rebound that requires further investigation, they wrote. The group added that, given little support for permanent poultry market closures, health officials could consider more ways to minimize risks to humans, including putting a screen between customers and the chopping board or redesigning stalls to limit transmission to humans.Sep 3 Emerg Infect Dis study Variant H3N2 case reported in MichiganVariant H3N2 influenza (H3N2v) has been detected in a Michigan resident who was hospitalized in June with an infection and has now recovered, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today in its weekly flu update.An investigation into the case found no human-to-human spread of the virus, and the patient had close contact with pigs in the week before illness onset.The case is the second involving H3N2v this year. On July 24 the CDC reported a case from Minnesota, which also involved a patient who had contact with swine the week before symptoms began. That patient was also hospitalized, and no other infections were detected in contacts.The virus was first detected in humans in 2011 and spiked to 306 cases the following summer, much of them linked to swine exhibit exposure.Cases have declined rapidly since then, however, with sporadic detections of H3N2v as well as H1N1v.Sep 4 CDC FluView Jul 24 CIDRAP News scan “H3N2v case reported in Minnesota” CDC study notes risk factors for MRSA after hospital dischargeColonization of resistant bacteria and discharge to a nursing home are among the risk factors for developing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after discharge after hospitalization for acute care, according to a study yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases.A team led by CDC researchers analyzed data on 194 patients who developed MRSA after hospital discharge from Feb 1, 2011, to Mar 31, 2013, and 388 matched controls. The median time between discharge and positive MRSA culture was 23 days, with a range of 1 to 83 days.They found these factors independently associated with post-discharge MRSA: MRSA colonization, discharge to a nursing home, presence of a chronic wound, and discharge with a central venous catheter (CVC) or a non-CVC invasive device.The authors concluded, “Prevention efforts should target patients with MRSA colonization or those with invasive devices or chronic wounds at hospital discharge. In addition, MRSA prevention efforts in nursing homes are warranted.”Sep 3 Clin Infect Dis abstractlast_img read more

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Erica Jones joins IWDC in director role

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

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Burckhardt to deliver Laby compressor system

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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CRANES: Huisman delivers world’s largest Leg Encircling Crane

first_imgHuisman recently delivered the cranes for the Seajacks Scylla, the new build wind turbine installation vessel for Seajacks UK Ltd. This jack up vessel is currently nearing completion at the yard of Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea. The Seajacks Scylla, based on the Gusto MSC NG14000X design, has been specifically designed to meet the demands associated with working UK Round 3, Scottish territorial waters and the other North West European markets. The vessel will be the fifth new self-propelled jack-up to join the Seajacks fleet since 2009.With a capacity of 1,500mt at 34m, the main crane of the “Seajacks Scylla” is the world’s largest leg encircling crane. An exceptional detaill for this type of crane is that it is installed around the starboard-aft jack up leg of the vessel. The crane has an internal leg opening of 11m diameter to ensure free travel of the leg through the crane. This solution saves significant amount of deck space on the vessel.Crane featuresThe crane is equipped with three different hoist systems. The main hoist has a capacity of 1,500mt SWL, which is suitable for installation of turbine foundations and monopiles. Nacelles and towers up to 600mt can be lifted with the secondary hoist. For a fast installation of lighter loads, e.g. wind turbine blades, a third, high speed, hoist system with 100mt capacity is installed.To reach high lifting heights, the crane is equipped with lattice type boom of 110m long. It is a ‘parallel’ boom type, which can be stored around the forward jack up leg of the vessel. This way the boom takes up less deck space during storage. When the crane is needed, the boom can be hoisted over the forward leg, even when this is fully retracted e.g. in transit.Slew bearingThe leg encircling crane is mounted on a 14m diameter segmented slew bearing. This bearing is completely developed and manufactured in house by Huisman. Application of a slew bearing is advantageous over traditional slew mechanisms (e.g. bogie systems or wheels). Because of the local load transfer and a better distribution of the loads the weight of the slew mechanism can be significantly reduced. Weight is an important factor for vessels, and especially for jack up units. Lower weights result in a higher vessel payload and less loading on the vessel jacking system. This makes the slew bearing a valuable feature of the Huisman leg encircling crane.The raceways and rollers of the bearing are protected from the harsh marine environment by the completely enclosed construction which is filled with grease. Therefore the amount of maintenance on the slew bearing is limited. If maintenance is required, special hatches are installed to reach the inside of the enclosed construction. Through these hatches the rollers and cages can be inspected or exchanged. If needed, segments can be dismantled to exchange complete raceways. This allows inspection, maintenance, and possibly replacement of the complete bearing segments if needed without dismounting the complete bearing.Weight optimizationTo reduce the weight even further, the crane is constructed out of high tensile steel where possible. This has a higher load bearing capacity and therefore allows for a lighter construction. The complete crane is modelled in a computer program for detailed finite element calculations. All excess steel has thereby been omitted.Electric drive systemAll movements of the crane are electrically driven by means of variable frequency drives. Electric drive systems give a high level of control and accuracy and it is more environmental friendly than hydraulic drive systems. Hydraulic drive systems have an increased risk of oil leakages into the environment. In addition, electric  drive systems are more efficient and do not require power during standstill. Therefore this system uses less energy.The electric power supplies and control signals are transferred from the vessel to the crane via a 14m diameter slip ring. This slip ring is mounted on the bottom of the crane. The use of a slip ring instead of a drag chain allows the crane to revolve limitlessly around its axis.Turnkey deliveryThe complete development of the crane, from first design to final assembly, is done in house by Huisman. In the crane only components from renowned Western European suppliers have been used. The design has been made in the Huisman head office in Schiedam, the manufacturing has been performed at the Huisman facility in the P.R. of China.Maarten van de Waal, Sales Engineer Cranes, says: “The house of the crane has been fully assembled in our workshop. This makes it possible to test most crane functions before delivery of the crane. After factory testing of different components, the crane has been transported to the shipyard in two pieces: the slew section with back frame and the boom. Here it is installed onboard the vessel.” At the moment of writing, commissioning of the crane is nearing completion. After this, the final load tests need to be performed and the crane can be put in operation. For its first project, the crane will used to install XL monopiles exceeding 1,500mt in weight at the Veja Mate wind farm.last_img read more

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NADL: Near-term market outlook ‘extremely challenging’

first_imgNorth Atlantic Drilling Limited (NADL), a provider of harsh environment offshore drilling units, and a subsidiary of Seadrill, sees the near-term demand for its services as “extremely challenging.”The company posted a revenue of $136.7 million , down from $194.4 million in the third quarter of 2015, as the contract of its West Phoenix and the West Alpha rigs came to an end in August 2016, partly offset by demobilization revenue for the West Alpha.The harsh-environment driller posted a net loss for the third quarter of $12.8 million, compared to a net profit of $1.4 million a year.During the third quarter, North Atlantic Drilling had three offshore drilling rigs in operation offshore Norway for the full quarter, and at the end of the quarter four rigs were idle: the West Navigator, the West Venture and the West Alpha and West Phoenix went idle in August.“While our long-term view of the market for harsh environment drilling rigs remains positive, in the near term it remains extremely challenging. Oil prices remained in the $40-50 range during the third quarter, a level that is not sufficient to reverse the declines in oil company upstream spending. It is expected that upstream spending will again decline in 2017, albeit less than previous reductions of approximately 27% in 2016 and 24% in 2015.”“While the forecasted decline in spending sets the stage for another challenging year in the offshore drilling business it is important to recognize the resetting of costs across the value chain. This may facilitate increased activity on a year over year basis with only a marginal increase in commodity prices if accompanied by pricing stability,” NADL said.last_img read more

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WINNDOT portal launched

first_imgAccording to the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the WINNDOT portal will simplify the permitting process and save time and money for carriers and the states.The WINNDOT portal uses a single interface to coordinate data flow between the system’s interface and the agencies’ back-end permitting systems. To ensure a streamlined approach, each state receives only the application data appropriate to its particular requirements. The two agencies maintain control over their respective internal systems, rules, processes and queues, while benefiting from the inherent efficiencies that result from automated collection of permit data, according to Ted Coulianos of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicles.The benefits of WINNDOT Portal to commercial carriers include: less time spent on applying for oversize and overweight travel permits; faster identification of acceptable travel routes; and the ability to make a single payment to both states, regardless of the payment types that each accepts.For additional information about WINNDOT Portal, visit www.mndot.gov/cvo/oversize (Minnesota) or www.dot.wi.gov (Wisconsin).  www.scranet.comlast_img read more

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Freshfields hearing adjourned after closing submissions

first_imgThe Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal is expected to deliver its verdict in a case involving a Freshfields partner accused of sexual misconduct tomorrow after hearing, this morning, closing submissions from counsel for the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Ryan Beckwith.The SRA alleges that Beckwith kissed or attempted to kiss Person A in circumstances where he was in a position of seniority or authority. It also alleges that a few weeks later Beckwith initiated and/or engaged in sexual activity, where he ought to have known his conduct was unwelcome and that the other party was intoxicated to the extent she was vulnerable and her decision-making ability impaired. By doing so, it alleges that Beckwith failed to act with integrity and failed to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in him and the legal profession.Beckwith denies the allegations.The seventh day began with the tribunal hearing from two character witnesses for Beckwith. Person 1, a solicitor, said Beckwith was an ‘extremely upstanding person’. Asked to sum up for the tribunal what he would say about Beckwith, he said: ‘He’s the kind of person you would want your kids to be friends with. He’s the kind of person, if your daughter would ever bring home, say “this is the person I want to marry”, he’s the person you would genuinely be happy about.’Another character witness, Person 2, told the tribunal that Beckwith ‘is extremely hard working, really cares about his job, he’s really kind and always looks out for other people’.Making closing submissions, Riel Karmy-Jones QC, for the SRA, told the tribunal: ‘It’s plain that the respondent should not have sought to engage in sexual activity with Person A in that state. His behaviour in the lead up to [the second incident] was inappropriate and unacceptable.’The respondent was in a position of seniority and authority at the time of [the second incident]… The fact that Person A is a well-educated solicitor makes no difference to what she knew happened or how you would expect her to have behaved… Someone in her position would be more likely to think through and understand, try to understand the personal and professional implications of making a complaint. A young solicitor may well be more likely to feel ashamed or embarrassed [to] get into a position where a senior colleague can take advantage of her… She’s put herself through a series of interviews, questions, she has no reason to make this up.’Alisdair Williamson QC, for Beckwith, said Beckwith ‘is a good man, he’s a man of integrity’. He said: ‘If an adult decides to go back with another adult after a few drinks, and both consent, and no pressure put on either of them, that’s not serious misconduct. It might be unwise, it might cause difficulties at work, but we submit it is not serious misconduct.’Update at 1300 on 9 October: The tribunal is expected to deliver its finding tomorrow.last_img read more

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Second China – Kazakhstan rail link inaugurated

first_imgASIA: A second international rail connection between China and Kazakhstan was officially inaugurated on December 22, when two special trains were operated to the border crossing at Korgas in Xinjiang province.The break-of-gauge transfer facility forms part of a free trade zone at Korgas, known as the International Centre for Transfrontier Co-operation. Completed towards the end of 2011, the trade zone was formally opened on April 18 2012.Located 670 km west of Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang province, Korgas lies 90 km northwest of Yining, the principal town in China’s Ili Kazakh autonomous prefecture. It is served by a 292 km electrified branch which leaves the Urumqi – Alashankou line at Jinghe, built at a cost of 6bn yuan. Tracklaying on the branch had been completed in September 2009, and the section from Jinghe to Yining opened for passenger traffic in June 2010.Construction of the corresponding 293 km branch from Zhetigen on the Kazakh side was originally to be undertaken through the China Gateway PPP project, but the work was subsequently taken over by national railway KTZ. Tracklaying was completed in December 2011, with a privately-operated passenger service introduced as far as Altynkol in September.Opening of the second border crossing is expected to enhance rail traffic between China and Central Asia, and thence to Europe. The existing crossing point at Alashankou/Dostyk handled 15·6 million tonnes of freight in the 10½ months to November 18, split between 9·9 million tonnes moving west from China and 5·7 million tonnes heading east. The Korgas crossing is also expected to handle around 15 million tonnes a year initially, with a long term target of 30 million tonnes.last_img read more

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CNW90 September 23, 2020

first_imgWith a look at some of the top stories making the news today, September 23 across your Caribbean-American community in South Florida, I’m…for CNW 90.Today’s newscast is brought to you by the Florida Department of Health;To help stop the spread of COVID-19, The Florida Department of Health in Broward County reminds everyone to practice social distancing, wash your hands often with soap and water and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.Coming up in the newscast, Governor DeSantis proposes harsher penalties for violent protesters, Broward and Miami-Dade delays the reopening of schools and Jamaica says no face to face classes for the immediate future.Now for the news in the detailMonths after a series of Black Lives Matter protests around the world, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing harsher penalties for violent protesters. At a press conference on Monday, DeSantis announced new legislation which, if passed, will impose felony charges on anyone who participates in disorderly protests that cause property damage or injury. The proposal includes a ban on disorderly assembling where property damage or injuries to other people occur. A violation can lead to a third-degree felony. Obstructing traffic during an unpermitted protest would become a third-degree felony under the bill and drivers would not be liable for accidents caused. A provision has also been made to cut funding for local governments that attempt to defund local police departments. DeSantis received backlash from major organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and the African American Policy Forum.In Local News, Both Broward County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) decided to delay the reopening of face-to-face classes. BCPS Superintendent Robert Runcie had initially recommended schools to reopen starting October 5, but during a school board meeting on Tuesday, some members of the board proposed a possible reopening date of October 16. The board will vote on the reopening plan on October 6. Similarly, the MDCPS, at their school board meeting, voted unanimously to delay the start of in-person instruction to at least October 14. Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho initially recommended that students return beginning on September 30. Students will return to school in a staggered approach, with all students in physical classrooms by October 21.In Caribbean News,In Jamaica, the ministry of education has decided not to resume face-to-face classes amid a COVID-19 spike. At a press conference on Tuesday, the newly appointed minister of education Fayval Williams announced that as of October 5, schools will used a mixed approach of online and remote learning in addition to TV, Cable and Radio broadcasts and the distribution of printed materials for students. Since the beginning of this year, the ministry has purchased and distributed some 40,000 tablets for students to transition to remote learning. As additional 25,000 are to be purchased and teachers will receive training on an online learning system. Prior to the announcement, the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools and the Jamaica Teachers’ Association had said they could not support the reopening of schools while the island is in the middle of a deadly second wave of COVID-19.For more information on these and other stories, visit CNWNETWORK.com. Remember to pick up this week’s copy of our Caribbean National Weekly at your nearest Caribbean – American outlet. You’ve been watching CNW90, I’m…last_img read more

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China donates equipment to Dominica Parliament

first_img Share Speaker of the House of Assembly, Alix Boyd-Knight receiving the equipment from Chinese Ambassador to Dominica, Wang Zonglai. Photo credit: GIS NewsDominica’s House of Parliament on Thursday, January 24th received a gift of office equipment and furniture from the standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China.The items which were presented to Speaker of the House of Assembly, Alix Boyd-Knight were promised by Chen Changzhi, vice president of the Standing Committee during a visit to Dominica last July.The items included thirty desktop computers, six laptop computers, six laser printers, thirty computer desks and thirty office chairs.Dominica’s House of Parliament has received office equipment including desktop computers, laptop computers, laser printers, computer desks and office chairs, as a gift from the standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China.On Thursday, January 24th Chinese Ambassador to Dominica, Wang Zonglai presented thirty desktop computers, six laptop computers, six laser printers, thirty computer desks and thirty office chairs to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Alix Boyd-Knight.The items were promised by Chen Changzhi, vice president of the Standing Committee during a visit to Dominica last July.Ambassador Wang Zonglai said the gift is testimony to the continued relations between China and Dominica and is hopeful that it will strengthen communication links between the both countries.“I believe that the equipment will serve us very well in the Parliament. As parliamentarians we have to keep up with the technology and having been granted these pieces of equipment, it will certainly assist the Parliament in carrying out its work,” noted Minister for Information, Telecommunications and Constituency Empowerment and Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau South constituency, Ambrose George who represented the government.The Speaker of the House of Assembly gave the assurance that the gift items will be used wisely.”I can tell you that I am thrilled that we have now in our possession all these items. We know that we need them and obviously they will be put to full and good use,” she said.A symbolic presentation of a laptop computer was made to Speaker of the House, Alix Boyd-Knight during the official visit of Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress to Dominica last July.Dominica Vibes News 18 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Tweet Share LocalNews China donates equipment to Dominica Parliament by: – January 25, 2013last_img read more

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Joint Statement calling on all Governments to immediately recognize Seafarers as…

first_imgUrgent measures still to be taken It is therefore essential that all governments urgently recognize seafarers as key workers and take immediate, concrete action to eliminate obstacles to crew changes, so addressing this humanitarian crisis, ensuring maritime safety and sustainable shipping, and facilitating economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The maritime shipping sector faces a humanitarian crisis The maritime shipping sector moves more than 80 per cent of global trade and is a crucial component of the global economy. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic this sector, and in particular the seafarers who drive it, are facing severe challenges in making the necessary crew changes of seafarers. This is due, among other reasons, to restrictions on travel, embarkation and disembarkation in ports; quarantine measures; reductions in available flights; and limits on the issuing of visas and passports. designate seafarers as ʺkey workersʺ providing an essential service, to facilitate safe and unhindered embarkation and disembarkation from their ships;undertake national consultations involving all relevant ministries, agencies and departments, to identify obstacles to crew changes, and establish and implement measurable, time-bound plans to increase the rate of such crew changes;consult with representative shipowners’ and seafarers’ organizations when developing and implementing measures related to, or that have an impact upon, crew changes of seafarers; in particular – for those States who have ratified the MLC (2006) – in relation to achieving full compliance with the obligations enshrined in the Convention;implement protocols for crew changes, drawing upon the latest version of the Recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic;refrain from authorising any new extension of seafarers’ employment agreements beyond the default maximum period of 11 months, in accordance with the MLC, 2006;facilitate the diversion of ships from their normal trading routes to ports where crew changes are permitted;accept internationally-recognized documentation as evidence of their status as key workers and that the purpose of their travel and movement is to undertake crew changes. Examples of such documentation include certificates issued in accordance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers; seafarers’ identity documents issued in accordance with the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, 1958 (No. 108) and the Seafarersʹ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003, as amended (No. 185). Letters  ssued by the seafarer’s company or as part of the seafarer’s employment agreement, (as carried by seafarers) should also be considered evidence that they are seafarers joining or leaving ships;provide seafarers with immediate access to medical facilities in the port State. When the required medical care cannot be provided in the port of call, facilitate the medical evacuation of seafarers in need of urgent medical attention. Address the situation of seafarers who, due to the unforeseen extension of their periods on board, are facing the expiration of essential medical prescriptions;review (working in conjunction with health, immigration and other relevant ministries, agencies and authorities) the necessity of any national and/or local restrictions that may continue to apply to the movement and travel of seafarers in relation to crew changes, including allowing exemptions from quarantine or similar restrictions in accordance with relevant international rules or health regulatory guidelines;increase access to commercial flights to and from the principal countries of origin of seafarers, and airports in reasonable proximity to seaports where crew changes are effected. Where scheduled commercial flights are not available, authorize landing slots for chartered flights, or include seafarers on other repatriation flights for citizens and permanent residents;permit seafarers to disembark from ships in port and transit through their territory (i.e. to an airport) for the purpose of crew changes and repatriation;allow seafarers who are their citizens or permanent residents to return home, and take all actions to expedite their return;facilitate the clearance of seafarers who are citizens or permanent residents of their State, so that they can travel to join ships;undertake bilateral and multilateral discussions between governments to eliminate obstacles to the movement of seafarers leaving or joining ships;implement guidance issued by the United Nations agencies and disseminate guidance developed by the maritime sector, aimed at ensuring safety and health of seafarers and the public;take any other actions deemed useful to address this issue. Social dialogue and coordinated action Sea News, September 14 had their contracts extended, sometimes beyond 17 months, and are facing fatigue and physical and mental health issues, leading to fears of self-harm and suicide. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have received thousands of urgent calls for help from seafarers and their families. Actions taken by many governments that limit or prevent ship operators from conducting crew changes is the single most pressing maritime operational challenge to the safe and efficient movement of global trade. This has created a humanitarian crisis, with approximately 300,000 seafarers trapped working aboard ships who cannot be repatriated, and an equal number of unemployed seafarers ashore because they are unable to board ships. Those on board have The rights of seafarers, as enshrined in the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006), as amended, and other international instruments, have not been fully respected by all governments, notably their rights to shore leave, annual leave, a maximum period of service on board (11 months), repatriation, and access to medical care onboard and ashore. The urgent need to resolve the crew change crisis was highlighted in the Joint Statement of the International Maritime Virtual Summit on Crew Changes (9 July 2020)1 and in the G7’s statement on High-Level Transportation Principles in Response to COVID-19 (29 July 2020). All United Nations member States are therefore urgently requested to undertake the following actions: In its Resolution 44/15, adopted on 17 July 2020, the Human Rights Council recognized the relevance of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the context of global crises such as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and the need for States to ensure responsible business conduct during the crisis and as part of a resilient recovery.center_img The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have jointly issued the attached statement to urge all United Nations Member States to take action to urgently resolve the crew change crisis to avert a humanitarian disaster that will also affect the safety of shipping, the protection of the marine environment, the continuation of efficient trade and the recovery of the world economy. It is because of the sacrifices of seafarers, who have continued working after their contracts have expired, that ports have remained open for trade, so allowing cargo operations to be carried out in a timely manner and goods to continue to circulate smoothly. The world owes a great debt to seafarers for maintaining supply chains throughout the pandemic. (Image Courtesy: IMO) Since the beginning of the crisis, ITF, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and other key national and international actors have made unprecedented efforts to use collaboration and social dialogue, working continuously, creatively and tirelessly to address these issues. This has included the development of a framework of protocols for safe crew changes, as well as other guidance. The current rise in seafarer fatigue threatens the safety of maritime navigation. The efficient continuation of trade and the undisrupted functioning of supply chains will also be affected, because ships with fatigued seafarers cannot operate indefinitely. Commercial fishing, an important contributor to food security and livelihoods, is facing a similar crew change problem. While many States have responded to these statements and calls for action, the rate of crew changes continues to be far below what is needed to avert a humanitarian disaster that will also affect the safety of shipping, the protection of the marine environment, the continuation of efficient trade and the recovery of the world economy. The issue requires increased and immediate government attention. The United Nations specialized agencies have cooperated actively to address this situation. This has included endorsing the framework of protocols for safe crew changes and issuing a number of publications to ensure the protection of seafarers’ rights during the pandemic. They have made individual and joint statements to draw attention to the urgency of the problem, and they have strategically approached key governments – including major flag States, port States and labour-supplying States – to eliminate obstacles to crew changes whilst ensuring public health and safety. Joint Statement calling on all Governments to immediately recognize seafarers as key workers, and to take swift and effective action to eliminate obstacles to crew changes, so as to address the humanitarian crisis faced by the shipping sector, ensure maritime safety and facilitate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic “We ask governments to bring the contents of this joint statement to the attention of the competent authorities and all others concerned,” the IMO stated. Joint Statement Author: Baibhav Mishralast_img read more

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u-blox Cellular Module at the Core of Revolutionary Personal Mobility Wheelchair

first_imgWHILL KK., a Japanese company specialized in innovative products for the mobility industry, has launched a new revolutionary wheelchair for personal mobility featuring cloud connectivity based on a 3G cellular module from u‑blox.The next‑generation WHILL Model C embodies the next generation of power wheelchairs for enhanced mobility. It is a personal electric vehicle that combines a sleek design with the latest innovative functionalities, enabling users to live an active lifestyle. Sturdy and compact with two powerful electric motors and patented front Omni‑wheels, it maneuvers equally well indoors and outdoors.The u‑blox 3G cellular module embedded in WHILL Model C features worldwide UMTS/HSPA and GPRS/EDGE coverage with a small footprint also enabling easy and cost‑effective bolting‑on of a u‑blox GNSS receiver such as the MAX‑7C.As WHILL KK looks into developing autonomous driving solutions for people with disabilities, u‑blox plans to contribute with wireless positioning and connectivity technology.last_img read more

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All-New 2020 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade to Debut in October?

first_imgA German magazine reported that the all-new 2020 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade will debut in October 2019. A German magazine reported that the all-new 2020 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade will debut in October 2019.If what Speedweek magazinesaid was true, the bike will be introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show instead of at EICMA in November.Lending credibility to the rumour is rider Alvaro Bautista purportedly signing a two-year deal to ride for the HRC factory team in WorldSBK from 2020. There was “news” that the bike he will ride is the all-new CBR1000RR.The Honda CBR1000RR is the best-handling and easiest to ride superbike we’ve tested thus far but the current model is lacking in top-end horsepower, at least on paper, anyway. However, superbike buyers are always looking at the specs sheets and the CBR’s 189 hp “isn’t enough” when compared to its peers.As such, the new ‘Blade may have the most powerful naturally-aspirated roadgoing inline-Four.It may also feature the “active aerodynamics” shown in a patent filing. The system features ECU-controlled winglets in addition to “aerobodies” seen in MotoGP.The news should bode well for the WorldSBK team, as well. The riders are at the deep end of the field, finding themselves outgunned and unable to mount any serious challenge to the top runners.Honda and CBR1000RR Fireblade fans will likely rejoice at the news too.–Ads– The date puts it at the Tokyo Motor Show, instead of EICMA.center_img The new bike may prove to be the world-beater in WorldSBK.last_img read more

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Darman Prasetyo – Masinis Muda Heroik di Tragedi Bintaro 2 Yang Terlupakan

first_imgIa bukanlah seorang pahlawan di jaman penjajahan dulu atau seorang penemu yang mempengaruhi dunia transportasi dewasa ini, tapi namanya baru-baru ini dicantumkan di Balai Pelatihan Teknik Traksi (BPTT) Yogyakarta. Ya, dia adalah Darman Prasetyo. Lantas, bagaimana bisa namanya diabadikan sebagai nama Sekolah Teknik terkemuka di Yogyakarta ini?Baca Juga: Human Error Duduki Peringkat Teratas Penyebab Kecelakaan KeretaSebelum membahasnya lebih jauh, BPPT Darman Prasetyo merupakan salah satu tempat pendidikan yang dikhususkan untuk calon masinis lokomotif dan Kereta Rel Diesel (KRD). Para calon masinis akan menerima ilmu terkait pengendalian ular besi terlebih dahulu di sini selama kurun waktu tertentu. Baru setelah mereka dinyatakan siap untuk bertugas, mereka akan dikirim langsung ke lapangan untuk mengemudikan lokomotif.Sumber: viva.id Kembali ke topik pembahasan awal, Darman Prasetyo merupakan masinis KRL Jabodetabek jurusan Serpong-Tanah Abang yang menabrak truk tangki Pertamina pada Senin, 9 Desember 2013 silam. Darman yang ketika kejadian masih berumur 25 tahun tersebut menjadi salah satu dari tujuh korban tewas dalam tragedi tersebut, disusul oleh asisten masinis Agus Suroto, teknisi kereta Sofyan Hadi, dan empat penumpang lainnya.Kejadian nahas ini bermula ketika KRL bernomor 1131 berangkat dari stasiun Serpong sekitar pukul 11.01, sedikit molor karena kereta tersebut sempat meperbaiki sistem AC yang tidak berfungsi dengan baik. Ketika kereta tengah melaju menuju stasiun Pondok Ranji, di situlah petaka ini bermula. Sebuah truk gandeng bermuatan 24 ribu kiloliter BBM melintasi palang pintu kereta yang terletak di Jalan Bintaro Permai 3, Jakarta Selatan. Diketahui, palang pintu tersebut tidak berfungsi.Dilansir KabarPenumpang.com dari beberapa laman sumber, petugas penjaga pintu perlintasan kereta sempat mengibarkan bendera merah yang menandakan kereta harus segera berhenti karena statusnya tidak aman untuk melintas. Namun KRL yang dikendalikan oleh Darman tidak bisa mengerem mendadak dan tabrakan pun tak bisa dihindari.Menurut penuturan salah satu saksi mata kejadian tersebut, ia sempat melihat seorang petugas kereta yang keluar dari ruang kendali dan mengabarkan kepada penumpang bahwa kereta akan menabrak. “Lima detik habis asisten masinis itu kasih tahu saya bakal ada tabrakan ‘hati-hati bu, mau tabrakan’, habis itu, terjadilah tabrakan,” kata saksi mata bernama Effendi tersebut, dilansir dari laman Liputan6.com.Sumber: wikipedia.comAnehnya, setelah melakukan peringatan tersebut, sang asisten masinis kembali ke dalam ruang kendali dan seolah bersiap untuk menanti ajal yang akan segera merenggut nyawanya. Tragisnya, truk yang bermuatan penuh tersebut meledak sebanyak tiga kali, tidak lama setelah KRL 1131 menabraknya. Sontak, tidak hanya tragedi mengenaskan itu saja yang ramai diperbincangkan seantero Indonesia, melainkan aksi heroik dari Darman cs. dalam menghadapi situasi tersebut.Direktur Utama PT KAI kala itu, Ignasius Jonan mengatakan keputusan yang diambil oleh Darman cs. menunjukkan tanggung jawab dan dedikasi yang sangat besar terhadap tugas. “Jarang sekali ada orang dengan hati sebesar dan semulia itu,” ungkap Jonan dikutip dari sumber terpisah.10 hari berselang setelah kejadian tersebut, tepatnya 19 Desember 2013, PT KAI resmi mengabadikan nama Darman Prasetyo sebagai nama Balai Pelatihan Teknik Traksi Yogyakarta, menyusul kedua rekannya yang juga mendapat perlakuan sama.Sumber: kompas.comBalai Pelatihan Teknik Perkeretaapian (BPTP) di Bekasi berubah menjadi BPTP Sofyan Hadi dan Balai Pelatihan Operasional dan Pemasaran (BP-Opsar) di Bandung berubah menjadi BP-Opsar Agus Suroto. Selain mengabadikan nama mereka sebagai balai pelatihan, sebuah prasasti juga dibangun di stasiun Tanah Abang untuk mengenang dedikasi mereka dalam bertugas.Baca Juga: Antisipasi Kecelakaan di Jalur Kereta, Kemenhub Datangkan Kereta Derek“Dia adalah pahlawan,” tutur Direktur Operasi PT KAI Herlianto usai upacara peresmian BPTT Darman Prasetyo, Kamis, 19 Desember 2013, dikutip dari laman tempo.co. Sebagai bentuk belasungkawa kepada keluarga korban yang ditinggalkan, PT KAI memberikan kesempatan bagi keluarga korban mendaftar menjadi pegawai perkeretaapian dengan jalur khusus, tanpa tes, tanpa batasan umur, dan sesuai dengan latar belakang pendidikan mereka. “Bisa anaknya, bisa istrinya, atau juga saudara,” ungkap Juru bicara PT KAI Daerah Operasi VI kala itu, Agus Komarudin.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… RelatedMau Jadi Masinis PT KAI, Baca Dulu Beberapa Persyaratannya!15/11/2017In “Darat”Vanithashree, Kisah Masinis Wanita Sukses dari Mangaluru10/03/2018In “Darat”Tak Bisa Berhenti Seketika, Ternyata Sistem Pengereman Kereta Dipengaruhi Banyak Faktor06/06/2018In “Darat”last_img read more