WB entertainment industry gets new BJPbacked organisation

first_imgKolkata: Aiming to make the Bengali film and television industry an organised sector and ensuring equal rights for all, a new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-backed organisation has been launched here. The Eastern India Motion Pictures and Cultural Confederation (EIMPCC) was launched on Saturday evening in the presence of West Bengal BJP President and Vice President Dilip Ghosh and Jaiprakash Majumdaar, respuectively. However, eminent designer Agnimitra Paul, who recently joined the BJP and was appointed as the President of the newly formed body, stressed on the apolitical nature of the organisation. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers “This platform belongs to everyone working in the cultural fields including films, television, theatre and so on. There will be no interference and be assured that all problems in the entertainment industry will be dealt with. If needed, the matters will be taken to Delhi,” Ghosh said before a gathering of hundreds of artists and technicians. Stressing on the EIMPCC’s focus on genuine talents, Paul said: “Talented artists are not getting work till they are becoming ‘yes-men’ while many are getting opportunities due to political connections. But our organisation is completely apolitical. We won’t give work to people, but will stand by them in times of need”. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja Without naming the Trinamool Congress, she said currently “there wass a lot of interference from a political party” and on many occasions filmmakers are instructed to take particular artists they recommend. Paul condemned the current practices of the industry where “there is no liberty”. She mentioned that she will see to the issues of non-payment, shutting down of single screens and so on. “I repeat that we have no colour and many political parties have endorsed our work, seeing our honesty and integrity towards our work.” It is the organisation’s aim to see that the members of the industry get benefits like health insurance, extra payment for over time and provident fund, Paul added. Director Sanghamitra Chaudhuri, who is the vice Chairperson of EIMPCC, said it should be a collective fight against corrupt practices. Actor George Baker, one of the two nominated Anglo-Indian members of the Lok Sabha, became nostalgic while vouching for unity among the artists and technicians. He said everyone working in front and behind the camera should get their due respect. Trinamool leaders Aroop Biswas and his brother Swarup Biswas hold key positions in existing bodies Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) and the Federation of Cine Technicians and Workers of Eastern India (FCTWEI). Speaking on the occasion, Jaiprakash Majumdaar said their party wants a change and bring back the halycon days of the Bengali film industry which has been enriched by the creations of legendary directors like Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray. He said that they will see to end of the dominance of Biswas brothers. Negating Trinamool’s allegations against the BJP for politicising the entertainment industry, Paul said: “We are trying to break the existing political practices here and BJP leaders like Dilip Ghosh, Jaiprakash Majumdaar have endorsed us and rendered their support.”last_img read more

Top doc Theresa Tam appointed to head Public Health Agency of Canada

first_imgOTTAWA – Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott has appointed Dr. Theresa Tam as Canada’s top doctor, the third person to head the Public Health Agency of Canada since its inception in 2004.Tam had been acting chief public health officer since the retirement of former PHAC chief Dr. Gregory Taylor in December.The pediatric infectious disease specialist has held a number of senior leadership positions at the agency, including assistant deputy minister of infectious disease prevention and control.One of Tam’s challenges will be dealing with the growing opioid crisis that has led to an unprecedented number of overdose deaths in the country.Tam says public health involves “harnessing the efforts of many to protect and promote the health of all Canadians, including the most vulnerable in society.”The federal government created PHAC to strengthen the country’s ability to respond to public health threats and disease epidemics such as the 2003 SARS crisis. Dr. David Butler-Jones was the agency’s inaugural chief public health officer.last_img read more

Rankin Inlet is one of the most haunted places in Canada Maybe

first_imgCharlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN NewsIf you google Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, you might be surprised by the findings.The hamlet is listed as one of Canada’s most haunted places.In particular, it’s the Rankin Fire Hall that gives some people the chills.cmorrittjacobs@aptn.ca@aptncharlottelast_img

Former Ontario chief arrested for assault breaching bail conditions

first_imgKathleen MartensAPTN NewsA former chief of a northwestern Ontario First Nation remains in custody in Thunder Bay after being arrested for assault and breaching his bail conditions.Multiple sources confirm Eli Mandamin, formerly of Iskatewizaagegan (Shoal Lake 39), was charged February 6.Mandamin, 60, appeared in court via videolink Friday and was remanded in custody at the district jail until February 20.He is charged with one count of assault, one count of failing to comply with an undertaking, and two counts of breach of recognizance.A publication ban was imposed  on details of the most recent allegations.Mandamin had been free on bail awaiting sentencing on a historical sex crime from the 1980s. He pleaded guilty last winter to having sex with a minor between 14 and 16 years of age, after which a rape charge was withdrawn.He is scheduled to be sentenced on that plea in Kenora, Ont., on February 26.Victim Pauline Fair waived a publication ban on her name.“The case… is a really huge victory for me,” she told APTN News in an earlier interview.“It would take a dozen women to bring down a guy like that. And I brought him down by myself.”Fair was 14 when she said Mandamin – then a special constable with the Ontario Provincial Police – took her to the building that served as the community detachment.She says something caused her to black out and she awoke with him on top of her, assaulting her.Fair became pregnant and gave birth to a son, which she said, kept her from reporting the crime for decades.“I was protecting him,” she said, noting her son died a few years ago.“That’s why I didn’t come forward before.”Mandamin’s lawyer in that case, Robin Parker, didn’t respond when asked for a comment for this story.last_img read more

Gofundme account for Eric Stutzman surpassed goal in three days

first_imgStutzman was diagnosed with leukemia and then contracted the H1N1 influenza and a bacterial infection, to make matters worse Stutzman got pneumonia.Stutzman is still isolated in ICU, as he is still sedated and intubated to rest his body. The influenza and bacterial infection are now gone, yet his lungs are inflamed and the pneumonia and leukemia are still a very real situation.The Gofundme account was set up Thursday, November 22nd by eldest daughter Kylee Stutzman and by Monday, November 26th, 2018 they had reached their $20,000 goal.‘People have been amazing! If money could buy health, Eric would be healthy now’ said Karen StutzmanThe goal has now been increased to $25,000 as the outlook on the outcome is still unknown at this time.To get to the Gofundme account CLICK HERE Correction to the story; Eric Stutzman is not the sole provider for the family, his wife Jenna Stutzman is employed.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Gofundme account set up for local resident Eric Stutzman has surpassed its goal of $20,000 in three days.Stutzman is currently in Vancouver General Hospital as he was airlifted from Prince George and previous to that from FSJ. He was moved to the different locations as he would receive the additional care he was needing as his illnesses progressed.last_img read more

Japan, Germany to use free trade to curb Brexit impact

TOKYO — The leaders of Germany and Japan say they will try to minimize the global economic impact from Britain’s upcoming departure from the European Union, and are pledging to maintain free trade in the face of rising protectionism.Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Britain to avoid a no-deal Brexit.The two were speaking Monday at a joint news conference in Tokyo after holding talks. Merkel’s two-day Japan visit comes after a Japan-EU free trade deal went into force Friday.Abe said Japan and the EU were now the world’s biggest economic zone and together they would work to keep the global economy growing.Japan and Germany also agreed on the exchange of classified information to step up bilateral security and counter-terrorism co-operation.The Associated Press read more

Independent UN expert urges governments to focus on victims of trafficking

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, told a gathering of anti-trafficking experts in Bratislava this week that countries at every stage of the trafficking process must find effective avenues of redress for victims. “All countries of origin, transit and destination, have the duty to provide for the right to an effective remedy for trafficked persons,” she said.“This is a fundamental human right and should be guaranteed to all victims of human rights violations including trafficking.”Experts, gathered from a variety of sectors, discussed how better help can be given to trafficked people, with the discussions intended to form the basis of Ms. Ezeilo’s report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011 on the rights of trafficked persons.Discussions focused on the existing normative framework and the content and scope of the right to find effective remedies.“Trafficked persons must be able to access competent and independent authorities and receive reparations for the harms they have suffered, including compensation,” said Ms Ezeilo.“Access to information, legal assistance including free legal aid, and regularization of their residence status while seeking remedies are necessary pre-conditions for trafficked persons to exercise their right to an effective remedy.“States’ responses in this field should also be tailored to fulfil the human rights of specific groups of trafficked persons such as children.” The Special Rapporteur, who assumed her position in 2008, works in an independent and unpaid capacity, presenting an annual report on the subject of human trafficking to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council. 24 November 2010States worldwide have a human rights obligation to remedy the wrongs suffered by trafficked persons, according to an independent United Nations human rights expert. read more

Judge rules that morningafter pill can be sold overthecounter to all ages

WASHINGTON – The morning-after pill might become as easy to buy as aspirin.In a scathing rebuke accusing the Obama administration of letting election-year politics trump science, a federal judge ruled Friday that there should be no age restrictions on the sale of emergency contraception without a doctor’s prescription.Today, buyers must prove at the pharmacy that they’re 17 or older; everyone else must see a doctor first. U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York blasted the government’s decision on age limits as “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable,” and ordered an end to the restrictions within 30 days.The Justice Department was evaluating whether to appeal, and spokeswoman Allison Price said there would be a prompt decision.President Barack Obama had supported the 2011 decision setting age limits, and White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday the president hasn’t changed his position. “He believes it was the right common-sense approach to this issue,” Carney said.If the court order stands, Plan B One-Step and its generic versions could move from behind pharmacy counters out to drugstore shelves — ending a decade-plus struggle by women’s groups for easier access to these pills, which can prevent pregnancy if taken soon enough after unprotected sex.Saying the sales restrictions can make it hard for women of any age to buy the pills, Korman described the administration’s decision, in the year before the 2012 presidential and congressional elections, as “politically motivated, scientifically unjustified and contrary to agency precedent.”Women’s health specialists hailed the ruling.“It has been clear for a long time that the medical and scientific community think this should be fully over the counter and is safe for women of all ages to use,” said Dr. Susan Wood, who resigned as FDA’s women’s health chief in 2005 to protest Bush administration foot-dragging over Plan B.Half the nation’s pregnancies every year are unintended. Doctors’ groups say more access to morning-after pills — by putting them near the condoms and spermicides so people can learn about them and buy them quickly — could cut those numbers. They see little risk in overuse, as the pills cost $40 to $50 apiece.“The fact that it’s over the counter does not make people have sex,” said Dr. Angela Diaz, director of New York’s Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. “Sixty per cent of young people are sexually active by 12th grade, and the more tools we have to help them be responsible, the better.”Social conservatives criticized the ruling.“There is a real danger that Plan B may be given to young girls, under coercion or without their consent,” said Anna Higgins of the Family Research Council. “The involvement of parents and medical professionals acts as a safeguard for these young girls. However, today’s ruling removes these common-sense protections.”Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said: “Plan B does not prevent or treat any disease, but makes young adolescent girls more available to sexual predators. The court’s action undermines parents’ ability to protect their daughters from such exploitation and from the adverse effects of the drug itself.”Absent an appeal or a government request for more time to prepare one, the ruling would take effect in 30 days, meaning that over-the-counter sales could start then.The Food and Drug Administration actually was preparing to allow over-the-counter sale of Plan B One-Step with no age limits in late 2011 when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in an unprecedented move, overruled her own scientists. Sebelius said some girls as young as 11 are physically capable of bearing children but shouldn’t be able to buy the pregnancy-preventing pill on their own.The federal judge dismissed that argument.“This case is not about the potential misuse of Plan B by 11-year-olds,” said Korman, who called the pills safe for girls but said the number using them “is likely to be minuscule” as less than 3 per cent of girls under age 13 are sexually active.He cited the Administrative Procedure Act as granting a judge the authority to set aside an agency’s rulings “if they are ‘arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law.’”Korman said regulation requires that when the FDA allows nonprescription drug sales, “the standards are the same for aspirin and for contraceptives” — and he ultimately determined that the government violated those standards in the case of Plan B.“The decision that the agency was forced to make, contrary to its own policies and judgment, is not entitled to any deference,” Korman concluded. “Indeed, it is hardly clear that the secretary had the power to issue the order, and if she did have that authority, her decision was arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.”It was the judge’s latest ruling in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and dating back to 2005 that pushed for unfettered over-the-counter access to Plan B.Korman didn’t spare the FDA from criticism, citing “a strong showing of bad faith and improper political influence” going back to the Bush administration, when the centre filed a citizen’s petition to try to get the agency to act. That was followed by the lawsuit.“More than twelve years have passed since the citizen petition was filed and eight years since this lawsuit commenced,” Korman wrote in a decision dated Thursday and released Friday. “The FDA has engaged in intolerable delays in processing the petition. Indeed, it could accurately be described as an administrative agency filibuster.”The judge said the FDA decided after 11 months, 47,000 public comments and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars spent, that it did not need rulemaking on the subject.“The plaintiffs should not be forced to endure, nor should the agency’s misconduct be rewarded by, an exercise that permits the FDA to engage in further delay and obstruction,” he wrote.Four years ago, Korman was highly critical of the Bush administration’s initial handling of the issue when he ordered the FDA to let 17-year-olds obtain the medication, instead of setting the age at 18. At the time, he accused the government of letting “political considerations, delays and implausible justifications for decision-making” cloud the approval process.The morning-after pill contains a higher dose of the female progestin hormone than is in regular birth control pills. Taking it within 72 hours of rape, condom failure or just forgetting regular contraception can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 per cent. But it works best within the first 24 hours.If a woman already is pregnant, the pill has no effect. It prevents ovulation or fertilization of an egg. According to the medical definition, pregnancy doesn’t begin until a fertilized egg implants itself into the wall of the uterus. Still, some critics say Plan B is the equivalent of an abortion pill because it may also be able to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus, a contention that many scientists — and Korman, in his ruling — said has been discredited.__Neumeister reported from New York. Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Judge rules that morning-after pill can be sold over-the-counter to all ages by Lauran Neergaard And Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press Posted Apr 5, 2013 10:08 am MDT read more

It will be a game with many levels Giampaolo

first_imgThe Sampdoria coach knows Napoli are a very good opponent, but he believes his team can fight in today’s fixture of the Italian Lega Serie AUC Sampdoria does not know yet what it feels to win in the Italian Lega Serie A.The club sits in the 18th position with only one defeat, after playing only one match because their opening day was suspended to mourn Genoa’s collapsed bridge victims.But now they want to change that. In front, Sampdoria has co-leader Napoli who is perfect in the tournament.“It’ll be a game with many levels. It’s both for us as a team, us as our fans and as representatives of the city of Genoa, our first home match since the bridge collapse,” coach Marco Giampaolo told Football Italia.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“We are playing against Napoli and a Coach in Carlo Ancelotti who is one of the most successful in European history. It’s a match for us to reply to the critics post-Udinese, which were at times excessive and gloating. There are so many reasons for us to play this game well.”“Our fans have shown themselves yet again to be a step above the rest,” added Giampaolo.“I respect Napoli, but what interests me is putting in a strong performance against an opponent it is almost impossible to beat. I am relying on the ‘almost’ part of that sentence.”“Something has changed with Ancelotti, but it’s too early to judge. I knew Sarri’s Napoli and I am still studying Ancelotti’s side,” he commented.“Napoli has a lot of quality and ultimately it’s the players that make the difference.”last_img read more

Harman Assumes 47 Million in Liabilities in Newsweek Deal

first_imgSince then, rumors have swirled about Newsweek merging with Barry Diller-backed the Daily Beast. Marking the site’s second anniversary, Daily Beast founder/editor Tina Brown indicated that “interesting discussions” have been going on concerning Newsweek. Following the Washington Post Co.’s announcement that it was selling ailing Newsweek to audio entrepreneur Sidney Harman, it was speculated, although unsubstantiated, that Harman bought the magazine for $1 in cash plus assumption of certain liabilities. Now, a series of documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission confirm the $1 cash purchase and peg total liabilities at more than $47 million.The documents, filed in association with Washington Post Co.’s 8-K, also outline which assets were included and excluded in the deal. Among the included assets (no big surprises) are all accounts receivable; office equipment like computers and copying machines; furniture and other furnishings; and the archive library of past Newsweek magazines and photographs.Assets excluded from the purchase agreement include ownership interests in an apartment located at Essex House on Central Park South in New York, assets relating to employee benefit plans, as well as artwork located at the Hudson Street offices (other than photographs from the magazines).The purchase agreement was finalized on September 30. A “small percentage” of the magazine’s staff was laid off on September 24 after a number of Newsweek’s top editors—including editor Jon Meacham, Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria and longtime correspondent Howard Fineman—left voluntarily.last_img read more

Sainik School remembers sacrifices of Kargil heroes in Chittoor

first_imgChittoor: Sainik School at Kalikiri in the district has commemorated India’s victory over Pakistan in a befitting manner by paying rich tributes to all the brave soldiers, who gave India an astounding victory. Principal Capt (IN) Vikrant Kishore extended his heartfelt wishes to all the staff and the cadets. A special assembly was held in the honour of the valour and sacrifices of the martyrs. The cadets delivered inspiring speeches followed by the screening of documentary of Kargil war and ‘Kargil Song’ created by Army in a tribute to the war heroes highlighting the sacrifice of Indian Armed Forces.last_img read more

Jaitleys condition stable

first_imgNew Delhi: Former Union minister Arun Jaitley, admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, maintained all his vital parameters on Saturday and was in a stable condition, hospital sources said. The premier medical institute has constituted a committee of doctors for Jaitely’s treatment, which is being headed by professor VK Bahl, head of cardiology department, AIIMS. Jaitley was admitted on Friday morning with complaints of breathlessness and uneasiness. Jaitley is currently in the intensive care unit of the Cardiothoracic and Neurosciences Centre of the premier medical institute.last_img read more

Ashoke Dinda infuriated by RCBs reference to Dinda Academy lashes out on

first_imgDinda isn’t happy about his name being used with a negative connotationTwitter/Ashoke DindaAshoke Dinda has been a successful medium pace bowler for Bengal in domestic cricket. His international career, unfortunately, never flourished. For most ardent followers of Indian cricket, the most enduring memory of him might be getting hit for a six on the last ball of a T20I match at Wankhede Stadium by Eoin Morgan when his team needed 5 to win.This seems to have left a rather negative image of the right-arm pacer as a profligate and incompetent bowler. In these days of social media, a stereotype can become popular very quickly and that’s what has happened to Dinda also. During the ongoing season of IPL, every time a bowler has proven to be expensive or failed to deliver at crucial times, he has been declared a member of ‘Dinda Academy’ by the Twitterati.ControversyThis was the original tweet from RCB which set off the stormTwitter/Royal Challengers BangaloreFor a long time, these kinds of references were limited to fans. But on April 24, after Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Kings XI Punjab with Umesh Yadav picking up three wickets and bowling well in the final over, even the official Twitter handle of RCB put out a tweet which read: ‘Dinda Academy? What’s that?’ with a picture of Umesh below. This followed the reaction of fans to an earlier match where the RCB bowler almost failed to defend 26 runs in the last over against a rampaging Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Yadav had been announced as a member of ‘Dinda Academy’ on social media at that time.This provocation from an official Twitter handle proved too much for the Bengal seamer and he vented his spleen on Instagram. His post had a very clear message for those who decided to have a chuckle at his expense: “Haters, helping you get you statistics right. Stop and stare well your opinion is not my reality. So shut your hating selves and keep me out of your mouth.” This text was attached to a picture showing his IPL record: 78 matches, 75 innings, 69 wickets, economy of 8.20 and average of 30.04.Dinda responded on InstagramInstagram/Ashoke DindaThe RCB twitter page had removed the tweet well before this outburst from Dinda. The reactions from the fans to Dinda’s rebuke are, as would be expected, of a mixed nature. Some have backed the bowler while some feel he has been too sensitive. Some, meanwhile, continue to poke fun at him.But it is undeniable that judging Dinda on the basis of a few performances is wrong. The 35-year old has played 115 first-class matches and picked 417 wickets. In 92 List A games, he grabbed 141 scalps while his overall T20 record features 146 wickets in 144 games. He was able to represent India in 13 ODIs and 9 T20Is without any ground-shaking performance.last_img read more

Woman killed as tree falls on her

first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationA woman in her mid twenties was killed and seven other pedestrians injured after a coconut tree fell on them in front of Shishu Academy in Shahbag area of the capital city on Friday night, reports UNB.The deceased is Mitu Ghosh, 25, betrothed to a certain Dhononjoy Ghosh.Witnesses said the accident took place around 9:30pm when the tree suddenly fell on a rickshaw that was carrying the betrothed couple, leaving her dead on the spot and injured him.The injured were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said DMCH police outpost inspector Bachhu Mia.One of the injured Shopna was shifted to Square Hospitals as her condition deteriorated, he added.last_img read more

Black Chaplain of the US Senate Addresses DC Ward 8 Faith Leaders

first_imgThe Rev. Barry Black, chaplain of the U.S. Senate, told a group of District of Columbia faith and community leaders that humility is important to serve people and God. Black was the keynote speaker for the Ward 8 Faith Leaders Network Breakfast on Dec. 9 at the Matthews Memorial Baptist Church.The Rev. Barry Black, chaplain of the U.S. Senate, recently told a group of D.C. faith leaders to be humble. (Courtesy photo)“We must choose: be humble or stumble. We have to be honest about ourselves, Black-on-Black crime,” said Black, who added that while he grew up on welfare and surrounded by gangs in Baltimore, there was a woman who took him into her home and served him hot meals. Black said, during his 45-minute address, whatever people do, they should do it with humility.The event was sponsored by the Anacostia Coordinating Council, an organization focusing on the revitalization of Anacostia and its adjacent neighborhoods; the East of the River Clergy Police Community Partnership, an organization focusing on community wellness and public safety; and the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, which works on building the Ward 8 community. Black was introduced by the Rev. Donald Isaac, chairman of the Ward 8 Faith Leaders Network. The theme of the program was the title of one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s books, “Where Do We Go From Here – Chaos or Community.” But, Black focused on being spiritually low before God and others.Black, a native of Baltimore, became the 62nd chaplain of the U.S. Senate on June 27, 2003. Before becoming a chaplain on Capitol Hill, he served in the U.S. Navy for more than 27 years, rising to become an admiral, and was known as the chief of the Navy Chaplains.With his appointment, Black became the first Black, Seventh Day Adventist chaplain. He was also the first military chaplain to get the post. His duty is to minister to the 6,000 people who work in the Senate as lawmakers, staffers, or their spouses.Even though Republicans control Congress and have been pushing a conservative agenda, Black said he remains “optimistic,” about the future on Capitol Hill because he convenes a weekly bi-partisan group of lawmakers who have Bible study together and pray.“How you travel is just as important as your destination,” Black said.  “Be humble or stumble. Pride goes before destruction . . . nonviolent, direct action is a humble approach, it’s not a suicide approach.” Philip Pannell, interim chairman of the board and the executive director of the Anacostia Coordinating Council, told the AFRO: “We asked him to focus on the theme of Dr. King’s last book and he did that… Barry talked briefly about how good it is Black churches in Southeast are trying to stay in the city instead of going out to the suburbs and how important it was that the faith leaders reach out to young people, saying that if they did, fewer of them would get in trouble with the criminal justice system.”last_img read more

Altering silkworm genes to cause addition of useful protein into silk production

first_img © 2018 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. For many years scientists have strived to improve on the already impressive attributes of silk—some would like to make it stronger, others to produce silk naturally in different colors, while others yet would like to include features such as antibiotic properties. Such efforts have not always been as fruitful as desired, however; thus, research continues. In this new effort, the researchers sought to change the makeup of silk by causing the silkworm to produce and use unnatural proteins.The researchers sought to induce silkworms to produce an amino acid called 4-azido-L-phenylalanine, which the worms would add to the silk they made. The researchers used tRNA synthetase to get their silk-producing organs to create azidophenylalanine and then to accept it as an added ingredient in silk production. They then used a bacterial screening system to weed out the cells that were not receptive to adding the protein as silk was spun. This was followed by the creation of four altered silkworm strains and adding the genes responsible for causing the creation of azidophenylalanine in only the parts of the worm involved in creating the materials for use in spinning silk—allowing it to make its way to other body parts could have led to undesired side-effects. At this point, the team was ready to test their work by allowing the genetically modified worms to spin some silk. Testing of the silk showed that for two of the strains, more than 6 percent of the natural enzyme had been replaced by azidophenylalanine—proof that their technique had worked. The team then demonstrated that adding a protein such as azidophenylalanine could provide a positive function by conjugating the silk produced by the modified silkworms to fluorescent molecules through the use of click chemistry, which caused the cocoons to glow—one bright red, the other green. Explore further Credit: ACS Silkworms fed carbon nanotubes or graphene produce stronger silkcenter_img A team of researchers with the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies and the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, both in Japan, has found a way to alter silkworm genes to create silk with useful proteins. In their paper published in ACS Synthetic Biology, the group describes their technique and suggest possible uses for it. Journal information: ACS Synthetic Biology More information: Hidetoshi Teramoto et al. Genetic Code Expansion of the Silkworm Bombyx mori to Functionalize Silk Fiber, ACS Synthetic Biology (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00437AbstractThe genetic code in bacteria and animal cells has been expanded to incorporate novel amino acids into proteins. Recent efforts have enabled genetic code expansion in nematodes, flies, and mice, whereas such engineering is rare with industrially useful animals. In the present study, we engineered the silkworm Bombyx mori to synthesize silk fiber functionalized with azidophenylalanine. For this purpose, we developed a bacterial system to screen for B. mori phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetases with altered amino-acid specificity. We created four transgenic B. mori lines expressing the selected synthetase variants in silk glands, and found that two of them supported the efficient in vivo incorporation of azidophenylalanine into silk fiber. The obtained silk was bio-orthogonally reactive with fluorescent molecules. The results showed that genetic code expansion in an industrial animal can be facilitated by prior bacterial selection, to accelerate the development of silk fiber with novel properties. Citation: Altering silkworm genes to cause addition of useful protein into silk production (2018, April 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-silkworm-genes-addition-protein-silk.htmllast_img read more

Two top executives leave Facebook soon after the pivot to privacy announcement

first_imgFacebook’s top executives, Chris Cox, Head of Products and Chris Daniels, Head of Whatsapp, have announced their exit from the company. It marks yet another highest-level departure at the tech giant amid a controversial shift to combine its various social media platforms. Cox’s unexpected departure, which he and Zuckerberg announced in separate Facebook posts on Thursday, comes months after Cox was promoted in a major reorganization. In May last year, Cox was put in charge of Facebook’s “family of apps,” including Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Facebook itself — which together have over 2.7 billion users worldwide. These apps have been distinct until recently, when Zuckerberg announced plans to unify them with a new focus on privacy. “It is with great sadness I share with you that after thirteen years, I’ve decided to leave the company,” Cox wrote in his post. “Since I was twenty-three, I’ve poured myself into these walls. This place will forever be a part of me.” Another longtime executive, Chris Daniels also announced his exit on Thursday. Chris moved upward in the reorganization last May and took over WhatsApp after running Internet.org, the company’s philanthropic project to promote global Internet access. “At this point, we have made real progress on many issues and we have a clear plan for our apps, centered around making private messaging, stories and groups the foundation of the experience, including enabling encryption and interoperability across our services,” Zuckerberg wrote. “As we embark on this next major chapter, Chris has decided now is the time to step back from leading these teams.” In his blog post, Zuckerberg said Cox had told him several years ago that he planned to move but that Cox decided to hold off on leaving until the company made more progress combating misinformation and Russian interference — controversies that erupted in the wake of the 2016 election. Zuckerberg said he does not plan to replace Cox. The role of integrating the apps will go to another longtime Zuckerberg deputy and former Head of Growth, Javier Olivan, he said. Cox, who dropped out of a Stanford University graduate degree program to work with Zuckerberg when the company had just 15 engineers, was widely seen as one of the most popular and capable executives at the social network. Cox was a sounding board for Zuckerberg on product ideas. He launched Facebook’s flagship scrolling news feed nearly a decade ago and ran human resources before he was promoted to run the Facebook app in 2014. Cox is one of many senior executives to leave Facebook since the controversies erupted. The company’s Head of Policy Elliot Schrage, its General Counsel Colin Stretch, its Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, along with the heads of WhatsApp and Instagram and its top communications executive, had all announced their exits from the company in the last few years. But the highest profile departures, including Cox, are people in Zuckerberg’s inner circle who have been at Facebook since the earliest days of the company and became fabulously wealthy after the social network’s $104 billion public offering. Cox hinted at the challenges of recent years in his goodbye post. “For over a decade, I’ve been sharing the same message that Mark and I have always believed: social media’s history is not yet written, and its effects are not neutral,” he wrote. “It is tied up in the richness and complexity of social life. As its builders we must endeavor to understand its impact — all the good, and all the bad — and take up the daily work of bending it towards the positive, and towards the good. This is our greatest responsibility.” Read Next Facebook tweet explains ‘server config change’ for 14-hour outage on all its platforms Facebook under criminal investigations for data sharing deals: NYT report Facebook family of apps hits 14 hours outage, longest in its historylast_img read more

We care deeply for this island Sandals Resorts clarifies Turks and Caicos

first_img“We care deeply for this island”: Sandals Resorts clarifies Turks and Caicos situation Friday, February 1, 2019 Posted by Tags: Beaches Resorts, Feature Story, Sandals Resorts, SRI, Turks & Caicos TORONTO — Both Sandals Resorts International and the Turks and Caicos government are quashing industry rumours that their dispute has anything to do with unpaid taxes, and new developments suggest the two sides may find common ground and hopefully avert the closures of popular Beaches Turks and Caicos.SRI had announced that the popular Beaches property would close Sept. 3 to Oct. 15, 2019, Sept. 7 to Oct. 22, 2020 and again “for an indefinite period” from January 2021 onwards.SRI said the upcoming closures of Beaches Turks & Caicos “are the result of several critical and long-standing issues which have impacted our operations over the past several years.  We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers and look forward to welcoming them back soon.”Guests impacted by the closures can change their travel dates to Beaches Turks & Caicos or travel on their original travel dates to one of our other locations in Jamaica, Beaches Negril or Beaches Ocho Rios, at no additional cost, including airfare change fees. Guests can also choose to travel to any of Sandals Resorts’ 16 properties.Agents looking to rebook their clients or wanting more information can call their BDM or 1-800-545-8283 or their tour operator partner if the booking was made through a tour operator.In response, the Premier of Turks and Caicos Islands, Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, had this to say:“On Friday (January 25th, 2019) Beaches confirmed a letter that was in circulation which showed three proposed dates for closure of its operation here in Turks and Caicos Islands, with the final closure in 2021 stated as indefinite. A hand delivered copy was delivered some weeks ago.“My ministry has been addressing a long outstanding issue with Beaches and my Government and I are confident that with the facts in full view, we can bring an end to a critical outstanding matter that has seen its basis in an arrangement in place since the resort’s operation started in the 1990s and existed throughout every Government in the TCI since then.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin Cruises“Just to be clear, it has not been a matter of Beaches avoiding taxes or of the former governments or ministers of finances before me (3 actually currently sit in the current House of Assembly: the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Speaker and the Government’s Appointed Member) intentionally leaving this matter unaddressed. The current matter followed an event/action that occurred in 2017.“A large amount of work has since been vested towards the conclusion of this matter.“However, as this matter is active before Cabinet, where final positions were agreed and are currently being given effect and certainly before Friday’s publication of the Beaches letter relating to the proposed closures, I am unable to disclose anything further.“However, I assure everyone that I will be fully transparent on this issue and will set out the facts as reported to and experienced by me as Minister of Finance in its clearest terms as soon as the occasion arises.“I assure the people of the TCI that this matter will be settled in the very best interest of all the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.“I ask those employees of Beaches, taxi drivers, other hotel operators, airline agents and airline workers who contacted me frantically for representation to know that they are being held in highest consideration.“I implore those void of facts to resist casting wild accusations and unwarranted attacks on elected and public officials as well Beaches Resort itself.“I wish to thank those in the Public Service especially my Permanent Secretary (the PS of Finance Athnee Harvey-Basden) who brilliantly crafted the most appropriate solution at the very outset, all other public officials (the AG’s Chambers and Revenue Control Unit) who has assisted in getting us where we are now and Beaches (who continues to be a valued and valuable partner in these Islands) for the progress we have made thus far towards resolving this matter.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesAccording to some reports, it’s not a matter of unpaid taxes but in fact government backtracking on a pledge not to raise taxes that’s fuelling the dispute.In response, Sandals Resorts International issued this statement: “Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort recently announced several intermittent date closures in 2019, 2020 and for an indefinite period in 2021.“It is important to note that this decision has been one of the most difficult we have had to ever make, as we care deeply for this island and hold great affection for the people of Turks and Caicos.“We felt it our duty and responsibility to circulate accurate data in regard to this complex issue.“It is important to note that we do not owe any money in unpaid taxes.“We have always fully observed, complied and met our tax obligations on time and to the letter.“We punctually and properly pay taxes according to the law and our track record is exceptional.“Much to the contrary, as it stands, we are currently owed monies in over paid taxes. We are heartened that the government is trying to resolve this issue on a fast track basis to which they have our full and complete cooperation.”Stay tuned, but certainly SRI won’t want to close Beaches Turks and Caicos, and even more certainly, Turks and Caicos won’t want to lose its premiere resort.center_img Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

THE NAI HARN Phuket receives coveted Green Hotel Award

first_imgTHE NAI HARN Phuket receives coveted Green Hotel AwardTHE NAI HARN Phuket receives coveted Green Hotel AwardPhuket’s only Leading Hotel of the World scores over 80 percent to win “Gold Level” recognitionIn recognition of its commitment to sustainability, THE NAI HARN Phuket was recently awarded the “Gold Level” Green Hotel Award by Thailand’s Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, which is part of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.Ongoing green initiatives at THE NAI HARN include the use of natural fertilizers in the garden, which is made from a mix of compost and effective microorganisms and produced on-site using fruit peels and wet waste. Eco-friendly cleaning products are also utilized and all the guest rooms, suites and public areas are fitted with energy-saving bulbs or LED lighting. For water conservation, the bathrooms feature low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators. All the toilets have dual flush functions.Plastic bottles are recycled, and grey water is used for the plants in the resort’s gardens. Flora such as bougainvillea trees are not only chosen for their colourful hues, but also for their low water consumption.“As one of only three hotels on the island certified to the highest “Gold Level” by the Thai Ministry of Environment’s Green Hotel initiative, we are proud and honored to set a benchmark for sustainability in the hospitality industry on the Phuket,” said Frank Grassmann, General Manager of THE NAI HARN.The Giving BagBeyond the rooms, The Nai Harn has replaced all plastic straws with paper straws and also switched all the plastic stirrers used in the hotel bars to glass ones. To minimize the distance between farm and table, the resort team plants and maintains its own on-site vegetable and herb garden. Plants such as Pandanus amaryllifolius are grown for decorative purposes, as well as used as ingredients for desserts.Executive Chef, Mark Jones is also committed to serving sustainable food and focuses on fresh, healthy ingredients that support the livelihoods of local people while helping create and maintain socially and environmentally responsible food production.Outside the hotel itself, the staff team at THE NAI HARN regularly organises and participates in environmentally and socially conscious activities and events, including Mangrove planting days, and beach clean-ups.“We already have numerous green initiatives in place, but we are looking to implement a range of new CSR activities over the course of 2018 and beyond as we continually strive for ways to lessen our impact on our surroundings,” adds Mr. Grassmann.One of the new ideas is the introduction of The Giving Bag, a concept created by two students from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and implemented in a number of hotels worldwide.Rather than leaving behind items, hotel guests are invited to place unwanted items into The Giving Bag, which will be donated to a charity of choice. The charity THE NAI HARN has chosen to support is The Phuket Sunshine Village, a local foster home for children in need.The cloth bags are specially made from discarded bedroom linen, stitched together by local Phuket ladies who were commissioned by THE NAI HARN for their handiwork.For more information about THE NAI HARN or to make a reservation, call +66 7638 0200-10 or visit www.thenaiharn.com. Guests can also contact reception in real time during office hours using the Live Chat function online. Source = THE NAI HARN Phuketlast_img read more

AmeriFirst Welcomes New Southeast Regional Manager

first_img AmeriFirst Home Mortgage David Gahm HOUSING Jamie Brown Mark Jones mortgage 2017-11-05 Rachel Williams in Featured, News, Origination AmeriFirst Home Mortgage, a division of AmeriFirst Financial Corp. headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, announced the addition of Jamie Brown, a 20-plus year mortgage industry veteran, as Southeast Regional Manager. In this role, Brown will oversee and drive AmeriFirst’s expansion into Florida. He will work out of Winter Park and Tampa, Florida offices.AmerFirst was founded in 1983 by Mark Jones and David Gahm. The lender is licensed in a dozen states across the Midwest and Southeast and offers a full line of mortgage products including FHA loans, VA mortgage loans, USDA Rural Development loans, Renovation loans, and conventional lending.“Our success is dependent upon our most prized resource … our people. Jamie personifies service and always puts others before himself–true qualities of a great leader. He and his team are integral to our future growth,” said Gahm.Brown is joining a company that was recently recognized by Inc. 5000 for its 78 percent business growth over a three-year period.“We’ve always stressed the importance of hiring the right people that fit our culture. Jamie’s exceptional work ethic, authentic character and strong track record exemplifies the quality of talent we have surrounded ourselves with at AmeriFirst. Everyone here shares the mission of ensuring our customers have an outstanding mortgage experience,” said Jones.Brown previously owned his own mortgage brokerage firm that he sold to Prospect Mortgage in 2010; he then served as Area Production Manager for them until 2012. He was then hired as a Market Leader at Movement Mortgage in October of 2012 to lead in the Orlando, Tampa Bay, and Sarasota markets, until he recently resigned his position to accept this new opportunity with AmeriFirst. “I’m honored to be in this position and already feel part of the family. I now see why the cornerstone of AmeriFirst’s messaging is, “Welcome Home.” November 5, 2017 632 Views center_img AmeriFirst Welcomes New Southeast Regional Manager Sharelast_img read more