U.S. Science Agencies Get Some Relief in 2014 Budget

first_imgThe ghost of former President George W. Bush permeates the 2014 budget that Congress released last night.  His presence is good news for physical scientists, but less cheery for biomedical researchers, as Congress reserved some of the biggest spending increases for NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE). The National Institutes of Health (NIH), meanwhile, got a $1 billion increase that is drawing mixed reviews from research advocates.The deal released late on 13 January has its origins in a spending deal that Congress struck on 10 December. It eased the pain of the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration, calling for $1.012 trillion in 2014 discretionary spending. That is some $44 billion more than would have been available under a 2011 agreement that called for reducing the federal deficit by a trillion dollars over the next decade. But it took about a month for lawmakers to decide how to divvy up the money.For agencies that provide major support for the physical sciences, the new budget represents a healthy boost over 2013 spending levels, which were depressed by the sequester’s 5% bite. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will receive $7.17 billion, an increase of 4.2%, for example, and NASA’s science programs will get $5.15 billion, a 7.7% jump. DOE’s Office of Science enjoys a 9.7% increase, to $5.07 billion, and DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy gets an 11.2% boost to $280 million. The National Institutes of Standards and Technology will see its budget grow 10.4%, to $850 million.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)[wysiwyg_field wf_deltas=”4″ wf_field=”field_assets” wf_formatter=”styles_file_original” wf_settings-field_delimiter=”” wf_settings-field_multiple_limit=”-1″ wf_settings-field_multiple_limit_offset=”0″ contenteditable=”false” wf_cache=”1400881631″ wf_entity_id=”111412″ wf_entity_vid=”137556″ wf_entity_type=”node”]Except for NASA, those agencies were all part of a 2006 initiative launched by the Bush administration to increase funding for the physical sciences. Congress formalized the idea in a 2007 law, the America COMPETES Act. Although agencies never received the generous funding called for by COMPETES, which has recently expired after being reauthorized in 2010, its message appears to have survived: The physical sciences need to be strengthened to help the U.S. economy remain strong. President Barack Obama has continued that theme in his budget requests, including a bid last spring for large increases at several agencies (see table).COMPETES did not cover NIH, whose budget had doubled between 1998 and 2004, to $27.2 billion. Since then, it has received much smaller boosts—with the huge exception of the 2009 stimulus, a one-time boost of $10.4 billion. Congress maintained that pattern of smaller increases this year: NIH’s 2014 budget will rise by 3.5%, to $29.9 billion.The final spending plan wraps up 12 individual appropriation bills in a 1582-page package that is stuffed with provisions that address the concerns of individual legislators. Below are some highlights, by agency. (Look for updates as ScienceInsider continues to peruse the massive package.)National Institutes of HealthBiomedical research advocates are offering mixed reaction to the NIH numbers. “It’s hard not to be pleased with a billion-dollar increase,” says David Moore, senior director of government relations for the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C. But it “won’t adequately reverse the damage done by last year’s budget sequester and ensure the nation’s biomedical research enterprise makes continued progress,” says Carrie Wolinetz of United for Medical Research, a coalition of academic and industry groups.Overall, the bill would allow NIH to fund 385 more research grants than it did in 2013, according to a statement from appropriators. That should help NIH recover from a drop in 722 competing grants last year compared with 2012 that resulted in a historically low success rate of 16.8%.“It’s good news. It’s a really good start in terms of undoing the damage from sequestration,” says Jennifer Zeitzer, director of legislative relations for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.Although there are no big surprises in the omnibus, a few provisions stand out. Within the total, $273 million would go to the Institutional Development Awards (IDeA). That amount would essentially restore sequester cuts to a program, which helps states with relatively little NIH funding, that the president wanted to trim by $50 million. The controversial National Children’s Study would receive $165 million, the presequester 2013 level and the same amount requested by the president.The bill does not include the president’s request for an additional $40 million for the Cures Acceleration Network within NIH’s translational institute, instead restoring its budget only to the 2012 level of $10 million. The trans-NIH incubator program known as the Common Fund would receive $533 million, an $18 million increase compared with 2013.The bill also contains an unspecified amount within several institutes for NIH’s share of the president’s BRAIN Initiative. (Obama wanted NIH to spend $40 million.) It does not tag $80 million for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as requested by the president. But it gives NIA a boost of $130 million in new funding, a generous 13% boost over 2013, and “expects that a significant portion” go to Alzheimer’s depending on the quality of proposals, according to a report accompanying the bill.Lawmakers also order NIH to reopen a tiny science education office it had shuttered last fall and resume generating lesson plans for teachers and museums based on new medical research. Those activities were shut down last spring at the same time Obama proposed a major reorganization of federal science education programs. But Congress has rejected the plan and told NIH to resume its precollege education activities.National Science FoundationWhile Congress gave the agency all but $10 million of its $210 million request for major new facilities, it told NSF officials that projects already under construction should be first at the spending trough. That language is good news for the National Ecological Observatory Network, the Ocean Observatories Initiative, the Daniel Inouye Solar Telescope, and an upgrade to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). But it leaves NSF’s only requested new start, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), with just $17 million of its $27 million request. However, lawmakers also gave NSF the green light to transfer funds to LSST.Although the bill falls $405 million short of NSF’s $6.21 billion request for research, and $34 million shy of its $880 million request for education activities, Congress saw fit to fully fund the president’s request for two NSF activities—the international ocean drilling program and the Noyce scholars program to train science teachers. It also protected EPSCoR, a long-running program to build capacity in states that receive little NSF money now, specifying that it receive all but $5 million of its requested $15 million increase.NASAThe space agency’s $17.6 billion overall budget is a $700 million boost over its 2013 appropriation. That includes $5.15 billion for science, a healthy $370 million over its 2013 level of $4.78 billion.Within the $1.35 billion planetary sciences program, which received a 10% hike, Congress is asking NASA officials to carve out $80 million to develop plans for a mission to Jupiter’s Europa moon. Another $65 million is allocated for the development of the Mars 2020 rover. The space agency began preparing the groundwork for the proposed 2020 rover last year—the first new step toward exploring the Red Planet after NASA pulled out of a partnership with the European Space Agency to launch Mars missions in 2016 and 2018. The funding line that the bill makes available for developing the rover is evidence of Congress’s support for a 2020 mission.The bill continues a mandate prohibiting NASA from spending more than $8 billion to build the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled for launch in 2018. Lawmakers also retained language from previous spending bills that blocks NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from spending any money on collaborations with China unless the Obama administration certifies that such interactions don’t pose a threat to national security. They also extend a ban on Chinese nationals visiting any NASA facility.Congress also expressed its deep skepticism for the administration’s plans to find, lasso, and drag into Earth’s orbit a smallish asteroid. The proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is supposed to be an exercise for astronauts as well as a science mission. “The completion of significant preliminary activities is needed to appropriately lay the groundwork for the ARM prior to NASA and Congress making a long-term commitment to this mission concept,” the spending bill explains.Department of EnergyLawmakers showed their support for the domestic fusion science program at DOE. They rejected proposed cuts to several domestic facilities and provided $200 million for the goods and services that the U.S. is contributing to ITER, an international fusion test reactor under construction in France. But it limits DOE’s cash contribution to ITER’s management organization to $22.8 million until the Secretary of Energy can certify that the organization is moving to adopt some management reforms recommended by an international panel. That certification would allow the U.S. to make its full planned contribution of $32 million for 2014.With reporting from the Science News staff.*Update, 15 January, 5:25 p.m.: This article has been updated to clarify the bill’s statements on the U.S. contribution to ITER.last_img read more

NADA cracks down on dope, bans taekwondo player Jitender Verma

first_imgWith 24 positive cases of methylhexaneamine (MHA) pending in the country, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has set the ball rolling by handing a two-year ban to a taekwondo player who was found with traces of the stimulant during the National Games this year.The ruling of the anti-doping disciplinary panel on Wednesday is likely to have serious implications on the verdict in the case of the 23 other athletes, all of whom tested positive for methylhexaneamine in the recent past.The disciplinary panel, headed by Dinesh Dayal, slapped a two-year ban on Jitender Verma, who won a bronze medal at the National Games in February.It is the first time the anti-doping disciplinary panel has come out with a decision in case of an athlete testing positive for methylhexaneamine.The ban will mean that all of Verma’s results since the National Games will be expunged while his medals, prizes and points will be forfeited. Earlier, Verma had questioned the authenticity of his ‘B’ sample that was re-sealed in his absence.Although the prizes and awards won in a particular event, during which the athlete has tested positive, are forfeited, the cash prizes and awards given by the various governments are not returned.The various organisations and governments do acknowledge the achievements of an athlete but they don’t take away the prizes once an athlete has tested positive for a banned substance.Wrestler Mausam Khatri, who won a bronze medal at the Guangzhou Asian Games, is a prominent example and is amongst those to have tested positive for the same stimulant. In fact, Khatri had tested positive much before the Asian Games and the stimulant is in the category of specified substance. He wasn’t under provisional suspension so he went on to participate in the Asian Games.advertisement”It is the first time that the anti-doping disciplinary panel has arrived at a decision with regard to an athlete who was tested positive for methylhexaneamine.His (Verma’s) medal and prizes during the National Games will be forfeited and the decision can also have implications in the other cases that are pending before the panel,” NADA director general Rahul Bhatnagar said.The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has received representations from various countries to move methylhexaneamine out of the list of prohibited substance.The substance is often used as a nasal decongestant and at times as dietary supplement and WADA is seeking advice to remove the stimulant from the list of prohibited substances.So far, weightlifter Sanamacha Chanu is the only athlete who has been penalised for the dope offence and it was only because it was her second dope flunk that she was handed an early verdict with an eight- year ban. National swimming champion Richa Mishra is another athlete to have tested positive for methylhexaneamine and the disciplinary panel is yet to come out with a verdict in her case.She was named the best athlete at the last National Games and if meets the same fate as Verma, her career could be in serious jeopardy.last_img read more

Azharuddin’s son Ayazuddin critically injured in road mishap in Hyderabad

first_imgAjmal-ur-Rahman, a relative of former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin, died after an accident in Hyderabad in which the cricketer’s son Mohammed Ayazuddin was critically injured, police said.Rahman, 16, and Ayazuddin, 19, met with the accident on the city’s outskirts early on Sunday.Ayazuddin, an upcoming cricketer, was riding a sports bike with his cousin when he lost control and fell down near Poppalaguda on the Outer Ring Road.Ayazuddin and Rahman were rushed to Apollo Hospital in Jubliee Hills around 9 a.m. on Sunday.Both received head injuries, hospital sources said.Azharuddin, who was away in London, is rushing back to Hyderabad. His relatives and friends including Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, reached the hospital.Ayazuddin is a second year B.Com student at St. Mary’s College.Ayazuddin is the second of Azharuddin’s two sons from his former wife Naureen, whom he divorced to marry former actress Sangeeta Bijlani.last_img read more

Marin Cilic beats Richard Gasquet of France to fire Croatia into Davis Cup final

first_imgMarin Cilic sent Croatia into the Davis Cup final with a 6-3 6-2 7-5 victory against Richard Gasquet on Sunday that gave the hosts a 3-2 win over France.The world number 11 relied on his big serve and his booming forehand to down Gasquet, who had given France the first point by beating Borna Coric on Friday.Cilic levelled the tie on Friday when he saw off Lucas Pouille and he paired up with Ivan Dodig to give Croatia the lead with their win in the doubles against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut on Saturday.Pouille beat Marin Draganja 6-4 6-4 in the final match with nothing at stake.Croatia will play either defending champions Britain or Argentina, who were level at 2-2 in Glasgow. (Also read: Davis Cup: David Ferrer defeats Ramkumar Ramanathan as Spain blank India 5-0)”We played so many ties away, we had been waiting to play at home and now we just won in front of our home crowd it’s amazing,” said Croatia captain Zeljko Krajan.”Marin was our leader all the way, he won everything despite the pressure that was on his shoulders.””I want to thank the fans for their fantastic support, this means the world to us,” Cilic said in a courtside interview.”It was a tough tie but this wonderful crowd inspired us. We can now look forward to what should be a great final.”After an early trade of breaks, Cilic took the measure of his opponent, who sent a backhand long to give the Croat a decisive break in the eighth game.advertisementCilic breezed through the second set and after he broke in the first game of the third, there was not much hope left for Gasquet. (Also read: Juan Martin del Potro outlasts Andy Murray, gives Argentina lead in Davis Cup)The world number 17, however, rallied back from 2-0 down but dropped his serve in the 11th game. That left Cilic to wrap it up on his first match point.France were without the injured Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, their two best ranked players.last_img read more

OSU Football: TCU Kickoff Time, TV Details Announced

first_imgIt’s good news for Mike Gundy who prefers the afternoon games over the later affairs for the sake of TV coverage.“It’s a good time to play,” Gundy told The O’Colly last year. “You get a lot of television audience. It is unusual, but obviously television dictates a lot of what happens.”“It’s good for Stillwater,” Gundy said. “Most everybody can get here in time for The Walk, gives fans a chance to tailgate for a couple hours, and then also allows the families that travel an hour, an hour and a half to get home before it’s too late when they have little kids.”Plus, it leaves plenty of time for an evening dove hunt.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Oklahoma State will have an afternoon kickoff when it begins conference play against TCU. OSU announced the Week 4 home game will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and will air on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2.The Cowboys played five afternoon games a year ago and six dreaded early games (Homecoming against West Virginia was at 11:00 a.m. kick and Bedlam was 11:30 a.m.).Kickoff details have been announced for next week’s home game vs. TCU. #okstate pic.twitter.com/McTRPUOh9v— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) September 11, 2017last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Kings County

first_imgKINGS COUNTY: Whitman Bridge The Whitman Bridge, between Whitman Road and Ward Road, is closed until further notice. There is a marked detour. -30- Local Area Office: 902-538-3877 Fax: 902-538-8288last_img

Final Reduction in Fair Drug Prices Plan In Effect

first_imgNova Scotians are now paying less for generic drugs than they did one year ago. The province has helped to make life more affordable for Nova Scotians, by getting lower, fair prices for generic drugs through the Pharmacare Programs. “A year ago, Nova Scotians were paying some of the highest prices in the country and the world for generic drugs. We have put a stop to that, and have introduced fair drug prices through our Pharmacare Programs,” said David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness. The reductions happened in a phased approach, with the first reduction on July 1, 2011, followed by a second reduction on Jan. 1, 2012. The third and final drop in this series of reductions will take effect Aug. 1, and will move the cap for the cost of most generic drugs to 35 per cent. “Before bringing in fair drug prices, spending on prescription drugs had almost doubled in the past eight years. We needed to keep this spending in check,” said Mr. Wilson. “I am proud to say that all Nova Scotians are paying less now, regardless of whether they are covered by Pharmacare, a private plan or pay cash for their prescriptions. The province will continue to seek ways to control drug costs in the future, when opportunities arise.” Before the fair drug pricing went into effect, a Nova Scotia senior paid $41.35 for three months of simvastatin (80mg), a generic drug used to lower cholesterol. As of Aug. 1, the same senior will now pay $28.54. “We are happy to know that price reductions for generic drugs is a reality,” said Bill VanGorder, chairman of the Group of IX Seniors’ Advisory Council of Nova Scotia. “With many seniors depending on daily medication, it is good to know that the cost of many of their medications are staying down.” This year, government is on track to spend $7 million less on drugs because of its fair drug pricing plan. Nova Scotia’s Pharmacare programs include: Seniors’ Pharmacare, Family Pharmacare and Department of Community Services Pharmacare. For more information, visit http://www.gov.ns.ca/health/fairdrugprices .last_img read more

MotihariAmlekhganj petroleum product pipeline inaugurated

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepal counterpart K P Sharma Oli on Tuesday jointly inaugurated the Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum product pipeline, the first of its kind in South Asia, via a video link. The 69 km-long pipeline from Motihari in Bihar to Amlekhgunj in Nepal is the first-ever cross-border petroleum product pipeline in the South Asia region, according to a video presentation made before the inauguration. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsAs of now, tankers carry petroleum products from India to Nepal as part of an arrangement which is in place since 1973. In his address, Prime Minister Modi pointed out that it was constructed in a “record time”. While the deadline was 30 months, it was readied in just 15 months after the ground breaking ceremony was held last year during Oli’s visit to India. Every year, the pipeline will carry two million metric tonne of clean petroleum products at an affordable price to Nepal. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Modi pointed out that Oli has already announced the benefit of money saved will be passed on the consumers. “The people of Nepal will benefit by this gesture,” he said. “This India-Nepal energy cooperation project is a symbol of our close bilateral relations. It will help to enhance the energy security of the region and substantially cut down on transit costs,” the Prime Minister’s Office had said on Monday. Reiterating New Delhi’s commitment to Nepal’s development, Modi said bilateral projects conceived by the two countries are progressing well and he hoped to jointly inaugurate them with his Nepal counterpart in the coming days. “Timely completion of projects is the priority of the two governments,” Modi said. “People-to-people relations are the basis of our bilateral ties,” the Prime Minister said. He also accepted an invitation by Prime Minister Oli to visit Nepal.last_img read more

Energy environment to be focus of Trudeau trip to western Canada

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces a balancing act over the next couple of days as he takes the seemingly opposing messages of environmental protection and resource development to western Canada.After beginning the day with a speech to G7 business leaders in Quebec City, Trudeau heads west — first to Victoria to speak to Canadian Coast Guard workers, then to Vancouver for a roundtable discussion on clean technology.Hundreds, possibly thousands, of protesters who oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plan to give the prime minister a less-than-cordial welcome at a Vancouver hotel where he will host a $1,000-a-plate Liberal fundraiser tonight.Anger over the approved pipeline has increased in recent weeks, with about 200 people arrested near Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby, B.C. marine terminal in the last month.Trudeau’s west coast visit will not include a meeting with B.C. Premier John Horgan, whose government opposes the pipeline and has tried to put stumbling blocks in the way of construction.On Friday, Trudeau will visit a new Suncor facility in the Alberta oilsands. The company’s CEO complained in February that a strict regulatory regime and uncompetitive tax structure will keep the company from any further investment in Canada.last_img read more

Vancouver International Tap Festival founder says goodbye in style

first_imgWhen the Straight reaches Vancouver International Tap Festival artistic director Sas Selfjord at her home on Gabriola Island, she’s preparing to transport a special goodbye gift for the final rendition of the 18-year-old event. In her back yard sit 14 four-by-eight-foot pieces of birchwood flooring, a perfect, portable dance surface the tap society will be able to use long after her departure.“I’m hauling it over with a truck from Gabriola and then taking it to the [Orpheum] Annex’s stage door on Friday,” she relates, expressing joy that the world-class dancers she’s bringing in won’t have to click their soles on less-than-ideal Masonite. “It’s pristine birchwood—a beautiful honey colour.”The floor is, in many ways, an apt symbol of the professionalism and gleaming artistry she’s been able to build at the festival, known over the years for its range of styles and creations by big names like Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement “Tap-dancing is about timing and so is the festival,” explains Selfjord, who will also step down in June 2018 from running the Vancouver Tap Dance Society, centred in the Hastings Sunrise heritage space on East Hastings Street she helped catalyze the group to buy in 2011. “I truly believe the festival in its creative capacity has run its course and we need new roads. Twitterlast_img read more

Viet Nam receives 35 million UN loan for rural development

Praising Viet Nam’s efforts to reduce rural poverty, the head of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a $35 million loan agreement to expand market access and develop businesses for tens of thousands of small farmers in the Mekong Delta.“The Government of Viet Nam has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty even in rural areas,” IFAD President Lennart Båge said on an official visit to Hanoi, citing the need to include rural people in the economic surge.The country’s rural poor must be given the chance to place their products on the national and global supply chain if extreme poverty is to be eradicated in Viet Nam, he added.As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Viet Nam has cut poverty from 60 per cent to 20 per cent in little over a decade. Extreme poverty still exists however, especially in rural areas where 45 per cent of people still live below the poverty line compared with nine per cent in the cities.“One of the ways to ensure that poor rural people also benefit from this phenomenal growth is by creating the right market conditions for private investors in agriculture and their cooperation with farmer households,” Mr. Båge said.Besides the $35 million loan, IFAD is also providing a $550,000 grant to assist poor households in Ben Tre and Cao Bang provinces in developing market-based agricultural production and business. The project – “Developing Business with the Rural Poor Programme” – will bring IFAD’s total loan commitment in Viet Nam since 1993 to $168.3 million. The programme focuses on improving the local investment environment, developing rural businesses, and expanding market access for poor rural people so that they are better positioned to gain the added value from their produces. About 44,400 households in Ben Tre and 55,200 in Cao Bang are set to benefit from this programme. “The Government of Viet Nam is to be lauded for its recognition of the role of the rural poor as custodians of the natural resource base in its National Socio-Economic Development Plan,” Mr. Båge said.“The key is to now help them by investing in technology and financing to halt land degradation and deforestation whilst at the same time increasing wealth in rural areas where the vast majority of the country’s poor live.” 18 January 2008Praising Viet Nam’s efforts to reduce rural poverty, the head of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a $35 million loan agreement to expand market access and develop businesses for tens of thousands of small farmers in the Mekong Delta. read more

One month after the quake UN officials in Haiti find picture becoming

12 February 2010One month after Haiti was torn apart by an earthquake, the scale of the disaster is still becoming apparent, the United Nations aid chief said today as he stressed that finding adequate shelter and sanitation remain the greatest challenges of the relief effort. “The scale and impact of this disaster are still becoming clearer and clearer, and therefore the scale and the nature of the challenges we face – not only on the relief side, but also the course for the recovery and development later on,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told reporters via teleconference from Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, where a National Day of Mourning was being observed. Speaking alongside Rebeca Grynspan, the Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Holmes praised the coordinated relief efforts of the many UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other international actors operating in Haiti. “The coordination structures we have in place in terms of the coordination amongst the international actors, the cluster system, is working well and is working outside of Port-au-Prince as well as in,” he said. “The civil-military coordination continues to go very well and I was happy to see that on the ground for myself with the Americans and with the Canadians this morning. Increasingly, we are moving to a position where we can see ahead a bit more and think more strategically about the next two or three months at what are the plans we need to put in place in terms of food, shelter, sanitation, to make sure we are tackling all the problems we need to tackle.” Shelter remains a key priority. So far around 49,000 tarpaulins have been distributed along with 23,000 family-sized tents to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people, but the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that 400,000 plastic sheets are in stock and in the pipeline. Mr. Holmes, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said distribution of the emergency shelter material is going on “at a reasonable 30 to 35 per cent, but clearly we have a long way to go.” Sanitation also remains a concern as only 5 per cent of the required latrines are in place. The need is calculated on the basis of one latrine per 50 people. Some 3,000 latrines will be installed in Port-au-Prince in the coming weeks. OCHA said the goal is to have 50 percent of latrines completed by the end February. Mr. Holmes and Ms. Grynspan praised UNDP’s cash-for-work programme, which has now employed more than 35,000 Haitians to remove debris for around $4 for a half-day’s work. In future months, heavy machinery will be brought in to clear the larger rubble and to clear land for temporary camps for the displaced. Tackling problems will require resources. An emergency appeal launched by the international aid community three days after the earthquake struck is now around 95 per cent funded, having received nearly $548 million for both short- and long-term projects. A revised appeal is expected next week based on a detailed assessment of the damage on the ground. Mr. Holmes and Ms. Grynspan said the revised number is expected to be significantly higher as it will encompass the needs in Haiti over the course of 12 months. A donors’ conference is scheduled in New York for March. read more

Sustainable development key to Africas socioeconomic challenges – Migiro

21 November 2011Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today stressed that sustainable development is key to addressing Africa’s economic, social and environmental challenges, noting that the continent has the capacity to transition to a green economy without the adverse effects that have accompanied growth in other regions. “For the most part, Africa has avoided many destructive aspects of unsustainable development,” Ms. Migiro said at the meeting of the regional coordination mechanism of United Nations agencies and other organizations working in the continent in support of the African Union (AU).“And let us not lose sight of Africa’s own wealth and advantages. Countries here can leapfrog straight to green technology. Many are in a strong position to move quickly,” Ms. Migiro told the meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where both the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the AU are based.She said that the UN and AU are strengthening cooperation as the world body strives to deliver services as a one unified entity.Africa is also showing impressive economic growth, she said, pointing out that the continent is home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the few regions in the world showing resilience in the face of the global economic crisis, she added.“But we know that Africa, as a whole, is still faced with daunting yet not unsurpassable challenges. From water and sanitation, child and maternal health to job creation, and from the food crisis and famine – as currently seen in the Horn of Africa – to stemming armed conflicts where they persist. In addition, climate change and natural disasters threaten to reverse hard-won development gains,” she said.The integrated approach embodied in sustainable development is Africa’s most promising way forward, Ms. Migiro said, urging the continent to actively engage in preparations for next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil.“The Conference is a major opportunity to produce plans for greater economic dynamism, social protection, and the creation of jobs, especially for youth – all while protecting our natural resources.“With concrete plans and political will, we can make the most of Rio+20 and get the best possible outcome. The benefits will spread across the African continent,” she added. read more

2014 marks the commemoration of

first_img(KillianM/YouTube)November, will mark a quarter of a century since the fall of the Berlin Wall (AP Photo)Ireland will mark 50 years since the passing of playwright Seán O’Casey ( John Parkin/AP Photo)Ray Houghton. Giants Stadium. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) On March 29, it will be ten years since Ireland banned smoking in the workplace (Ron Edmonds/AP/Press Association Images)The Air France Flight 447 crash that claimed the lives of three Irish people on 1 June (Rising Of The Moon/YouTube)25-year anniversaries:24 March will mark 25 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill, one of the worst environmental disasters in history (AP Photo/Eric Skitzi)20-year anniversaries:April will mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide’s beginning (AP Photo/John Gaps III)50-year anniversaries:2014 will mark 50 years since Beatlemania swept the US (Eraldo Peres/AP/Press Association Images)(AP Photo)10-year anniversaries:The attack at a Madrid train station that killed 191 people on 11 March (Wikimedia Commons)70-year anniversary:The world will mark 6 June, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings (AP Photo)100-year anniversary:The start of World War I will be marked across the world on 28 July (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, file)May will mark the inauguration of the now deceased Nelson Mandela (Doug Pizac/AP/Press Association Images)The inauguration of Barack Obama on 20 January (AP Photo)In April, it will be 25 years since 96 fans were crushed to death at Hillsborough (AP Photo)August will mark the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which led to the escalation of US involvement in Vietnam (Haydn West/PA Archive/Press Association Images)26 December will see the 10th anniversary of the tsunami which killed 186,000 in Asia THIS YEAR, WE have marked significant anniversaries of the 1913 Lockout, JFK’s visit to Ireland and his death and the bank guarantee.This is what you can look forward to looking back on in 2014.5-year anniversaries:The nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank on 21 January (Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images)The death of Michael Jackson on 25 June (AP Photo)1,000-year anniversary:It’s not often you mark a millennial celebration, but Ireland will remember the Battle Of Clontarf this year.What did we miss? What are you looking forward to celebrating in 2014? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

Apple unveils new superthin 215inch and 27inch iMacs

first_imgThe iMac has always been a unique device for Apple. The All in One design is nothing new, but there’s not really any company out there that is successfully approaching this kind of computing the way Apple is. These machines work great as standalone devices, or they can be used as the starting point for a much more powerful desktop computing experience. The latest in the line of iMac machines, the seventh generation in fact, seeks to continue that tradition.Like everything else Apple is working on right now, the iMac has slimmed down considerably. The 5mm thin bezel edge gives the iMac a razor thin look all around. The IPS screen outputs at 300 nits, and comes in 2560 x 1440 or 1920 x 1080 depending on which size iMac you get. Since this machine is always connected to the wall, the iMacs can take up to 3TB of storage to go with that i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge processor and 8GB of RAM. Not bad for something that is thinner than just about every monitor currently being sold.Apple is also offering a SSD to go alongside the up to 3TB of HDD, and new software subbed “Fusion Drive” which will help choose which files would be best stored on the Flash storage and which would be best stored on the regular disk. Applications, for example, will load faster and work harder when running on a flash disk. So far it seems like Fusion Drive is only available on the new iMacs.The back of the new iMacs offer Gigabit Ethernet, alongside four USB 3 ports. The headphone and SD card slots sit beside them, with room left over for a pair of Thunderbolt adapters. In previous versions of the iMac this meant you could connect two other monitors to this device and create a multi-monitor experience with very little effort at all.Starting at $1299 for the base model 21.5-inch iMac and $1799 for the 27-inch base model iMac, these new computers are available to start shipping next month. It’s very easy to say that these devices are in a category all their own, because there are no devices being sold in this category that offer the same kind of performance and design quality.last_img read more

Numerous fires reported with causes ranging from lightening strikes to human error

first_imgFour new fires have been reported Friday, two of them human caused.  A house fire in Delta threatened wild-lands, but was contained and is out.  A Palmer fire erupted when a homeowner set fire to an old chicken coop.  Fire responders issued a warning after dousing the flames.  Two lightening sparked fires continue to burn.  The Big Mud Fire, southwest of Tanana, has consumed 300 acres so far. BLM fire crews are monitoring that blaze.  And the Aropuk fire, on federal land in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, has covered 20 acres and is in monitor status.Download Audiolast_img

Cops detain BJP leaders for violating prohibitory orders

Cops detain BJP leaders for violating prohibitory orders

first_imgTirupati: The police on Friday detained BJP leaders, who were on the way to V Kota to meet party workers, as prohibitory orders are in force in the mandal headquarter town, 135 km from here. The vehicle in which the BJP leaders going to V Kota including district president B Chandra Reddy, party State spokesperson G Bhanuprakash Reddy, state secretary Samanchi Srinivas and others was stopped by the police at Gangavaram, 15 km from V Kota and the leaders were taken to the police station there. Also Read – Fit India rally held in Vijayawada Advertise With Us The police officials told the leaders that as prohibitory orders were imposed in V Kota since last evening following a clash between BJP activists and minority community, no one will be allowed to go there. Bhanuprakash said that they were going to meet party workers who were attacked by a group enraged over the complaint against a shopkeeper in V Kota police station. The BJP activists photographed the sale of chicken violating the ban on the sale of meat on the Independence Day by a shopkeeper belonging to minority community and complained in the police station. Also Read – PV Sindhu visits Tirumala temple Advertise With Us The shopkeeper along with other members of his community including local YSRCP leader came to the police station and attacked BJP activists when they were coming out after lodging the complaint, Reddy said alleging that police remained silent spectators. “We were proceeding to visit some of the party activists, who sustained injuries in the attack,” he said denying police that they were planning to protest. Advertise With Us Bowing to pressure from ruling YSRCP leaders, Reddy said that V Kota police did not register the complaint on the incident yesterday and registered the case only after he met and complained to Chittoor SP, today. He demanded the arrest of those involved in the attack on BJP activists. Later, the BJP leaders were let off.last_img read more

Jessore road crash kills van driver

Jessore road crash kills van driver

first_imgA rickshaw van driver was killed and two others injured in a road accident in front of Singa Adarsha Degree College on the Jessore-Khulna highway on Saturday noon, reports UNB. The deceased is Sher Ali, 40, son of late Munsef Ali of Baniagati village in Sadar upazila.  Kotwali police station sub-inspector Hayat Mahmud said the accident took place in the area when two covered vans from two sides hit the rickshaw van, leaving its driver Sher Ali dead on the spot.The injured were admitted to Jessore General Hospital, the SI added.last_img

Fortnite and Stormy Daniels Dominate Pornhubs Top Searches in 2018

first_imgStay on target Fortnite and Stormy Daniels are heating up people’s fantasies: Both categories topped Pornhub’s 2018 Year in Review roundup.On Tuesday, Pornhub unveiled its 2018 Year in Review in a blog post, which highlighted the top searches for celebrities, video game characters, and more this year. Pornhub received 33.5 billion visits in 2018, and the site’s audience emphasized that they liked to “get it on” with online gaming and pornstars.According to Pornhub, the site’s searches were influenced by mainstream media and pop culture events this year. Daniels topped Pornhub’s “The Searches That Defined 2018” list, and every time she appeared in the news, searches for her went up on the site. To date, the pornstar generated 30,255,190 searches this year, jumping ahead of other celebrities including Kim Kardashian (26, 386,633 searches) and Blac Chyna (21,211,277 searches).AdChoices广告Photo Credit: FortniteFortnite also made moves in Pornhub searches this year. The online video game stole the second spot on Pornhub’s “The Searches That Defined 2018 List.” Whenever Fortnite unveiled a new character, searches with the word “Fortnite” increased on the site. Calamity, a new character introduced in Fortnite this year, generated 2.5 million searches on Pornhub. Plus, when Fortnite experienced a server outage in April, searches for the game increased by 60 percent.Because fantasy can thrive in human sexuality, it’s no surprise that Daniels and Fortnite topped Pornhub searches this year. It could also be that these searches were completed out of curiosity, because both the online video game and pornstar were very popular subjects from January to December.“Searches like these serve as an indication that people use this site to not only satisfy sexual urges but also to get a different angle on something they are already interested in,” Dr. Laurie Betito, Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center’s director, said in the blog post.‘Harley Quinn’ (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. TV)Movie, TV, and video game characters also stole top spots on Pornhub’s 2018 Year in Review roundup.DC villain Harley Quinn topped Pornhub’s popular movie, TV, and character list, with a total of 10,240,684 searches for 2018. Other notable superheroes that made the list were Wonder Woman (5,361,794 searches), Spiderman (2,925,953 searches), and Batman (2,566,716 searches)Bowsette, a Nintendo muse, was the most-searched video game character on Pornhub in 2018, generating 34,687, 477 searches on the platform. Even though Overwatch fell below Fortnite on Pornhub’s annual roundup, Overwatch characters held two of the top five spots for “Popular Video Game Character Searches.” Brigitte generated 4,836,706 searches, while Mercy had 3,244,331 searches on Pornhub in 2018.For the full breakdown on the most-searched characters, celebrities, and games on Pornbub, see the site’s 2018 Year in Review summary here.More on Geek.com:Pornhub Offers Free Leaf Removal Service in Upstate New YorkPornhub Adds Closed Captioning for PornThe Future is Freaky in Pornhub Art Installation Android Ransomware Pretends to Be Reddit PornVirginia Outlaws Deepfake Revenge Porn last_img read more

The Yale Happiness Class Distilled

first_imgIt’s a problem that may be particularly acute at a place like Yale, but the lessons of the class, called “Psychology and the Good Life,” are widely applicable—they address fundamental features of the human mind that make it difficult to appreciate things that seem like they’d be great. “Our minds are filled with a ton of little glitches that make it hard to enjoy the great things that we have,” as Laurie Santos, the psychology professor who teaches the course, puts it. Read the whole story: The Atlantic The most popular class in the history of Yale University was inspired by a paradox: Even when people, conventionally speaking, succeed—get into a top college, make lots of money, or accumulate prestige and accolades—they are often left feeling unsatisfied.last_img read more