Lecture on Nova Scotia Gaelic Storytelling at Highland Village Iona

first_imgAn internationally renowned expert on Gaelic Cape Breton will give a talk on Nova Scotia Gaelic storytellers Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Highland Village Museum in Iona, Victoria Co. John Shaw will discuss the importance of Cape Breton’s Gaelic storytellers and their repertoires in relation to the oral traditions of peoples speaking Celtic languages. He will examine the historical background of Gaelic storytelling in Cape Breton from the time of Highland settlement and how stories are passed on. Storytellers recorded in the island’s communities will be discussed along with brief histories of selected tales and Cape Breton’s valuable contribution to wider folktale research. Examples of the Cape Breton storytelling tradition will round out the presentation. Mr. Shaw lives in Edinburgh, Scotland where he is a senior lecturer in Scottish ethnography with the school of Scottish studies, University of Edinburgh. A former Glendale, Inverness Co. resident, he is known internationally for his academic work on Gaelic Cape Breton. He has produced three collections of Gaelic stories including the recently published Na Beanntaichean Gorma/The Blue Mountains, a collection of Cape Breton Gaelic tales. Our Nova Scotia Gaelic Storytellers and Their Stories is part of the Seòmbar na Gréineadh/Summer Room Lecture Series. It will begin at 7 p.m. in the Highland Village Tuning Room. Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information, call 902-725-2272 or e-mail highlandvillage@gov.ns.ca .last_img read more

Post record transfer to govt RBI contingency fund dips to Rs 196

first_imgFollowing Reserve Bank of India’s record transfer of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government, the central bank’s contingency fund, useful in fighting any exigency, has dipped to Rs 1.96 lakh crore as of June 30, according to RBI’s annual report for FY19. After the payout to the government, “the balance in the contingency fund as of June 30, 2019, was Rs 1,96,344 crore compared to Rs 2,32,108 crore as of June 30, 2018,” the annual report said.The RBI’s transfer of Rs 1,76,501 crore to the government comprised of Rs 1,23,414 crore of surplus for the year 2018-19 and Rs 52,637 crore of excess provisions identified as per the revised Economic Capital Framework (ECF) adopted at the meeting of the Central Board on Monday. The transferred amount is over three times the five-year average of Rs 53,000 crore. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The annual report says the RBI computed exchange gains/losses using the weighted average cost method resulting in an impact of Rs 21,464 crore. It also said income from domestic sources increased 132.07 per cent to Rs 1,18,078 crore from Rs 50,880 crore in the previous fiscal.Giving reasons behind the increase in income, RBI said it was due to rise in the portfolio of rupee securities, net income on interest under liquidity adjustment facility and also write back of excess risk provision from the contingency fund. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayIn its report, the Reserve Bank of India said a lack of domestic demand was ailing the animal spirits and there was a need to focus on reviving private investments. The central banking institution also mentioned that post the IL&FS crisis, credit flow from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to the commercial sector has dipped 20 per cent. The country has been facing a liquidity crunch on account of the crisis in the NBFC sector that is acting as a hurdle for private investment. The RBI annual report mentioned that fraud cases reported by banks saw a jump of 15 per cent year-on-year basis in 2018-19, with the amount involved increasing by 73.8 per cent in the current financial year. In FY19, banking sector reported 6,801 frauds involving Rs 71,542.93 crore as against 5,916 cases involving Rs 41,167.04 crore reported in 2017-18. Public sector banks have accounted for the bulk of frauds reported in 2018-19. According to the report, state-run banks reported 3,766 cases of frauds worth Rs 64,509.43 crore as against 2,885 cases involving Rs 38,260.8 crore. Interestingly, frauds relating to card/internet and deposits constituted only 0.3 per cent of the total value of frauds in 2018-19. Cheating and forgery was the major component, followed by misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.Underscoring that reviving consumption and private investment should be the priority for the government, the RBI in its annual report said the ongoing growth deceleration was a “soft patch mutating into a cyclical downswing”. “The key question that confronts the economy is: are we dealing with a soft patch, or a cyclical downswing, or a structural slowdown?” the RBI, which has revised down its GDP forecast to 6.9 per cent earlier this month, said in its report. On steps to revive growth, RBI recommended strengthening both the banking and non-banking sectors, a “big push” to infrastructure spends and implementation of structural reforms in labour laws and taxation. The RBI has cut its key rates by 1.10 per cent in 2019 to a nine-year low of 5.4 per cent in four successive rate cuts to help revive the sagging growth. The RBI also mentioned that factors like farm loan waivers, implementation of the seventh pay panel report and the various income support schemes were “constraining” the states’ ability to deliver fiscal stimulus. However, the “silver lining” is the macroeconomic stability, fiscal deficit being reigned in and also the low current account gap, the report said.(inputs from The Indian Express)last_img read more

Droughtlike situation declared in Manipur

first_imgImphal: The cabinet of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has declared a drought-like situation in the state owing to scant rain that have led to crop failures in over 70 blocks of the state, a government release said.The decision was taken on Saturday to seek relief from the Centre, the statement by N Geoffrey, secretary to the chief minister, said.”Rain deficit this year has affected crops in over 70 blocks of the state. Villages that have witnessed crop failures ranging between 33 per cent and more than 50 per cent have been categorised as moderately and severely affected,” it said.Prior to the cabinet meeting, the chief minister chaired a high-level emergency meeting with cabinet ministers, MLAs, top officials, deputy commissioners of 16 districts and representatives of agricultural institutes to discuss the situation, it said.last_img read more

Whale watch body wants closer access to other orcas as feds set

first_imgVICTORIA – A West Coast whale watching collective is demanding closer access for its members to more abundant killer whale populations after the federal government imposed a 200-metre viewing distance limit to protect the endangered southern resident orcas.However, whale scientists say the 200-metre limit still may not be enough distance to help the whales that are up against the threats of pollution, noise and lack of food.Last month, the federal government moved on three fronts to protect the endangered southern resident whales, whose population hovers around 75.It cut the Chinook salmon fishery by up to 35 per cent in key areas where the whales hunt their primary food source. The government also increased pollution-impact research on the whales and their prey, and made it mandatory for all marine vessels, including whale watching boats, to stay 200 metres away from killer whales, starting July 11.A letter sent last month from the Pacific Whale Watch Association to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers of fisheries, transportation and environment, commended the government for recognizing the dangers to the southern resident population, while noting there are other types of killer whales in the area.“Since we are in the education business and teaching our customers about the entire marine eco system, we need to be able to share the experience in reasonable proximity. Viewing from 100 metres is a globally accepted distance to view marine mammals.”Association president Alan McGillivray said whale watching operations voluntarily imposed a 200-metre viewing limit on southern residents last year and slowed their vessels in known whale areas to cut noise.But he said the group, which represents more than 30 members in both Canada and the United States, wants the current 100-metre viewing distance to remain for the up to 850 transient, northern and offshore killer whales that are also present in West Coast waters.“They did announce that it would be 200 metres for all orcas and if you were to ask them they’d say the general public doesn’t know the difference,” he said. “We’re going, ‘Wait a minute guys.’ We’re taking a half million people a year in our boats with paying customers and they deserve to see the rest of the orcas at 100 metres.”Scientists disagree, pointing to research that indicates vessel noise impacts all species of orcas at distances of 200 metres and more.“Transients are believed to be more sensitive to acoustic impacts because they undertake foraging using stealth predation,” said Sheila Thornton, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ lead killer whale scientist. “They need to sneak up on their prey which are marine mammals. Disturbance from vessels prevents them from being able to successfully undertake those foraging events.”She said the 200-metre limit also harmonizes with the current American limit of 200 yards, about 183 metres.Thornton, who spends much of her time on the waters off Port Renfrew and Jordan River northwest of Victoria, said the southern residents are struggling as their population and health diminishes.“What’s most concerning to us is the decline in the condition of the animals,” she said. “They don’t appear to be robust. The moms and calves are not looking particularly robust and this is what’s concerning and worrying for us.”Biologist Misty MacDuffee, with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, said limits on chinook fishing and restrictions on vessel movements are long overdue initiatives, but more aggressive actions are needed to reduce the extinction risk for the southern residents.“Right now we estimate that whales are in the presence of vessels in the Salish Sea 85 per cent of the time,” she said. “Much of the traffic that’s in close proximity to southern residents when they are in their habitat in the Salish Sea is whale watching boats.”last_img read more

SecretaryGeneral deplores armed attack on GuineaBissau Presidents residence

23 November 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned this morning’s attack on the residence of the Guinea-Bissau President by elements of the armed forces, just one week after legislative elections were held in the troubled West African country. Media reports say President Bernardo João Vieira survived the attack, which occurred early this morning in the capital, Bissau, and involved machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade.In a statement issued by his spokesperson today, Mr. Ban called on the armed forces – dissident elements of which are reported to have carried out the attack – to refrain any other measures that could further destabilize the poor nation.“This violent action, which comes so soon after the people of Guinea-Bissau, in legislative elections on 16 November, had massively manifested their desire for peaceful democratic governance, could have a devastating impact on the country’s fragile stability,” the statement noted.“The Secretary-General calls on the authorities to re-establish law and order and to conduct a thorough investigation with a view to ensuring respect for the rule of law and human rights.”Mr. Ban said his Representative in Guinea-Bissau, Shola Omoregie, is working closely with national authorities, regional leaders and other partners to help stabilize the country, while the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (known as UNOGBIS) is also providing assistance.Guinea-Bissau is one of a handful of States on the agenda of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, which aims to help poor countries avoid sliding back into war or chaos.The country has struggled to combat recent growth in drug trafficking and organized crime, and also to sustain economic growth and political stability amid a series of civil conflicts, coups d’état and uprisings in recent decades.Last week the Security Council had welcome the orderly and peaceful manner in which the legislative elections were held, but in a press statement also called on Guinea-Bissau’s major political parties to respect the results. read more

Sri Lankan delegation led by Speaker to meet Kovind Modi

An eight-member Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation led by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is here on a three-day trip at the invitation of Indian Parliament to strengthen relations between the two countries, IANS reported.The delegation, which includes MPs of Tamil parties, will call on President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday and discuss issues of bilateral interest. Devananda said he would utilize the opportunity to submit to the Indian government issues of concern related to Sri Lankan Tamils and the need for a political solution based on the India-Sri Lankan agreement of 1987. The Sri Lankan MPs are also expected to visit Agra and Bengaluru before returning to Colombo. (Colombo Gazette) He said he was not particularly enthusiastic about the proposed Constitutional amendment being talked about by the Sri Lankan government in relation to Tamils.The others in the delegation are Hakim Rauf of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Nimal Sripala Desilva of Sri Lankan Freedom Party, Gayantha Karunatilake of United National Party and Vijaya Herath of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lankan Parliament, R. Sampanthan of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Douglas Devananda of Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), a former Minister, and Mano Ganesan, a Minister in the Ranil Wickeramasinghe government, are part of the delegation. read more

2 killed in blast at voter registration site in Afghanistan UN envoy

Two people at a voter registration site in eastern Afghanistan were killed in a bomb blast today, prompting the top United Nations envoy in the country to voice his anger at the attack. A spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said Special Representative Jean Arnault was “outraged” at the killing of one Afghan staff member of the Secretariat of the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) and another individual, possibly a voter registrant. “He condemns in the strongest terms this callous attack, which was carried out on a registration site located in a mosque,” said Manoel de Almeida e Silva. “The Special Representative conveys his condolences and expresses his sympathy to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased. He wishes a swift recovery to those wounded.” According to preliminary reports, an explosive device went off at 8 a.m. local time in a registration site in Belal Kheil village, Andar District, Ghazni. The two JEMB staff members reported as being seriously injured were medically evacuated by UN helicopter to the Bagram military hospital. The five other JEMB staff members who suffered lesser injuries were being treated locally. read more

Full ownership of MDL under Renishaw finalised

first_imgRenishaw, the global engineering technologies company, has taken full ownership of Measurement Devices Ltd (MDL), following the purchase of the remaining 34% shareholding for a cash payment of £4.5 million. The acquisition of the shares concludes an agreement reached in 2010, at which time Renishaw purchased an initial 29% stake in MDL, a UK-based business which designs and manufactures high speed laser measurement and surveying systems for use in extreme environments such as mining projects.Steve Ball, the founder of MDL, will be leaving the company, whilst Elaine Ball, MDL’s Managing Director, will report to Renishaw through Will Lee, Director and General Manager of Renishaw’s Laser & Calibration Products Division. Renishaw’s Assistant Chief Executive, Ben Taylor, who is Chairman of the MDL Board, said: “We see significant opportunities in the fields in which MDL operates and we are working hard to develop new measurement products based on our combined experience, to leverage our global sales and marketing networks, and to integrate our in-house design and manufacturing capabilities.” Commenting on the company becoming a wholly-owned Renishaw subsidiary, MDL’s Managing Director, Elaine Ball said, “We are now entering an exciting new phase in MDL’s 30-year history and with the backing of the Renishaw Group we are very confident of continuing to expand in the global market for laser surveying and scanning measurement products.”Established in 1983, York-based MDL supplies a range of laser-based, time-of-flight measurement systems used in a wide range of applications worldwide in quarrying, mining, marine positioning, aviation, civil engineering and traffic control. In December 2012, to meet rising demand for its products, the company took occupancy of new additional 20,000 ft2 premises adjacent to its headquarters in York. The new £3 million facility will become the base for MDL’s production, service and R&D departments. The company currently has around 70 staff at York and also has staff located at offices in Scotland, Canada, Australia and the US.last_img read more

Rusal to use revenues from the Kyoto protocol project to upgrade Krasnoyarsk

first_imgRUSAL is embarking on a $3 million project aimed at environmental modernisation of the carbon area which includes production of anode paste (the anode paste plant, APP) at its Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Smelter (KrAZ). The engineering stage will be completed in 2013, and new equipment will be delivered to the production site in 2014. The APP upgrade project will result in a 10% reduction of nitric and carbon dioxide emissions, and it will also cut inorganic dust emissions by 20%. RUSAL raised the funding for the APP upgrade project after implementing an activity focused on reducing perfluorocarbon (PFC) emissions at KrAZ which was planned in line with Article 6 of the Kyoto protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.RUSAL also envisages investing over $6 million in a project to improve sealing of its pitch storage tanks and furnaces at KrAZ and dramatically reduce benzapyrene and tar emissions during the anode paste production process.The project to reduce PFC emissions was launched at KrAZ in 2006 which helped to cut PFC emissions by 35% from 2008 through 2012.RUSAL’s partner on this project is Carbon Trade & Finance (a joint venture set up by Gazprombank and Commerzbank), which acted as the buyer of ERUs and supported various activities on the joint project. In 2010 KrAZ was among 58 bidders in the second carbon credits tender announced by Sberbank of Russia.UC RUSAL is a leading, global producer of aluminium, in 2012 accounting for some 9% of global output of aluminium and 8% of alumina. UC RUSAL employs about 72,000 people in 19 countries, across five continents. UC RUSAL markets and sells its products primarily in the European, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, South East Asian and North American markets.last_img read more

Cute puppies buccaneer swagger mark Pirates in the Plaza

first_imgWASHOUGAL — Pirates gathered Saturday afternoon in downtown Washougal, but they weren’t there to plunder the town. Rather, families and their pets came out to attend Pirates in the Plaza.This year’s event marks the third time pirates have stormed the Clark County community. The event coincides with Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept. 19, so there was a lot of piracy patois and costumes.It took a couple of years to get the event up and running. Its first year was simply a pirate-themed concert, said organizer Rene’ Carroll. Since its start, it’s grown in size and popularity, she said.“It’s all family during the day, and then at night it gets more pirate-like with the grog garden,” she said. “It draws people from across the region.”She said the event’s popularity partly stems from its dog-friendly atmosphere, which was apparent as there were plenty of canine corsairs waddling around and smiling from floppy ear to floppy ear. Some of the dogs were dressed as pirates and took part in a costume contest.last_img read more

UPDATE At least 149 killed in crackdown in Egypt

first_imgA cameraman for British broadcaster Sky News and a Dubai-based newspaper reporter were killed during violence in Egypt on Wednesday, their employers said.Sky said Mick Deane, 61, was shot and wounded while covering the violent breakup of protest camps in the capital, Cairo. It said he was treated for his injuries but died soon after. The rest of the Sky crew was unhurt.The Gulf News, a state-backed newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, reported on its website that journalist Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, was shot dead near the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo as security forces moved in on a sit-in by supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.The newspaper said she had been on annual leave and was not on assignment at the protest for the XPRESS, a sister publication that she worked for.Sky said Deane had worked for the broadcaster for 15 years in the United States and the Middle East. He was married with two sons.CAIRO — Riot police backed by armored vehicles, bulldozers and helicopters Wednesday swept away two encampments of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, sparking running street battles elsewhere in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. At least 149 people were killed nationwide, many of them in the crackdown on the protest sites.last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE Have your say in benefits strategy research

first_imgWhat are the key issues and challenges shaping your organisation’s benefits strategy? What are your organisation’s plans for developing a future-fit benefits strategy? How have the changes to salary sacrifice arrangements impacted on your organisation’s benefits provision?Take part in the exclusive Employee Benefits’ Benefits research 2018 to benchmark your organisation’s benefits strategy against those of industry and sector peers.The survey aims to identify the key issues that are currently driving organisations’ benefits strategies, as well as the trends that will shape future packages.We are particularly interested in finding out how your organisation drives and measures employee engagement, what the potential barriers to offering benefits are, how your organisation is utilising benefits technology, and how benefits funding methods will potentially change for the future.The online survey will be open until 17 March 2018.As a thank you for taking part, we will enter you into a prize draw to win £100-worth of retail vouchers. For your chance to win, fill in your details at the end of the survey.Complete the survey today.last_img read more

3D renderings like those in Assassins Creed Unity can help with reconstruction

first_imgPARIS (WSVN) — As France deals with the severe damage done to the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, some say that an unlikely tool may prove useful in the reconstruction of the building: a video game.According to Fox News, laser scans and detailed 3D renderings like those used in the game “Assassin’s Creed: Unity” could be useful in the reconstruction of the building.In a 2014 blog post, Ubisoft explained how Caroline Miousse, one of the senior level artists on the game, recreated the cathedral after studying the building for years.“We were able to find a lot of blueprints showing us exactly how Notre Dame was constructed,” Miousse said.Other research projects, like the 3D laser mapping of the cathedral by late art historian Andrew Tallon, could also be useful.“We have exquisite 3D laser maps of every detail of Notre Dame, thanks to the incredible work of @Vassar art historian Andrew Tallon. Prof Tallon passed away last November, but his work will be absolutely crucial,” tweeted Rutgers doctoral student Hannah Groch-Begley. I know this doesn’t help, but we have exquisite 3D laser maps of every detail of Notre Dame, thanks to the incredible work of @Vassar art historian Andrew Tallon. Prof Tallon passed away last November, but his work will be absolutely crucial https://t.co/YJl3XXUZTg — Hannah Groch-Begley (@grouchybagels) April 15, 2019The cathedral suffered severe damage in a massive fire Monday. The blaze destroyed its spire and its roof but spared its twin medieval bell towers.French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the beloved Roman Catholic architectural landmark and wanted to see it completed within five years.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Raped burnt and hung on tree Raichur rattled by engineering students brutal

first_imgThe victim’s body was found the next day in an agricultural field outside the village.[Representational image] Creative CommonsAn engineering student was allegedly raped and burned to death in Karnataka’s Raichur district on Tuesday. Her body was found hanging on a tree at Husukina Hanumantha Temple near Manik Prabhu Layout. The Karnataka Police have arrested a man and it is being reported that the victim was even forced to write a suicide letter.The suicide note mentioned that she was taking the extreme step after fairing poorly in her exams. Her family had refused to accept it as a suicide and suspected that she was murdered.The family had lodged a complaint with the Raichur police saying that she was murdered and the whole scene was made to look like a suicide. The police have now arrested a man identified as Sudharshan Yadav. The investigation is still going on.The girl’s family alleged that they had earlier approached the police to file a woman missing complaint, but the officials at Sadara Bazar police station did not take the case seriously as the missing woman was not a minor.According to the reports, students at her college claimed that she had attended classes in the morning but was missing afterwards. The surveillance footage from the college shows the woman entering the campus, but has no footage of her leaving the premises. A petition has been filed on change.org seeking justice for the young woman who was allegedly murdered mercilessly. The petition received over 20,000 signatures by Friday morning. The social media has also been bustling with posts from angry users who have been demanding justice for the victim. Several celebrities, including actress Rashmika Mandanna and singer Chinmayi Sripaada, have expressed their views over the incident. read more

Importance of breakfast for diabetic patients

first_imgYou have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast, as the name implies, is to break the fast between dinner and lunch. It is well-established that starting the day with a wholesome breakfast can benefit everyone. If you have type 2 diabetes (T2D), breakfast is necessary and it can have real benefits. Do you think that skipping breakfast can help manage your blood glucose better? Researchers say the opposite is true. In a study, 22 people who controlled their T2D with diet alone or diet plus metformin were studied on two different days. On one, they ate three identical meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On the other, they ate only lunch and dinner. On the days they skipped breakfast, their peak blood glucose was 36.8 per cent higher after lunch and 26.6 per cent higher after dinner than on the days they ate breakfast. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAnother study highlighted that a high-energy intake breakfast of around 700 kcals (vs a low energy breakfast of 200 kcals) decreased the overall high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) in T2D patients over the entire day. It has been established that better management of blood sugar has been associated with preventing complications of diabetes. Regular consumption of breakfast is potentially important for preventing T2D. A recent study tested 17 healthy adults on three separate days: Once when they skipped breakfast, once when they had three regular meals and once when they skipped dinner. Skipping breakfast led to higher glucose concentrations after lunch than skipping dinner. The key to a healthy morning meal is to choose a variety of foods to get a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and other nutrients like vitamins and minerals — along with the much-needed fibre that helps manage blood-sugar levels. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive Here are some options to consider: Whole grains: Oatmeal, muesli with no added sugar, wheat flakes with added bran, whole-wheat daliya/chapatti/khakhra/paratha/ bread, whole grain millet (ragi, jowar, bajra) preparations. Whole grains are a good source of carbohydrates (including fibre), vitamins and minerals. Dairy: Use non-fat or low-fat milk instead of whole milk. If you don’t drink milk, try non-dairy milk alternatives like soy, almond, coconut milk, etc. Choose plain rather than sweetened versions. Fruits and vegetables: Fresh fruit is a great addition to any breakfast given that they provide fibre, vitamins and minerals. However, limit fruit juice. Vegetables (like carrot, French beans, capsicum, leafy greens like palak, methi, etc.) can be added to all the traditional breakfast foods. Lean protein: Protein foods may help control hunger, manage blood sugar and maintain lean body mass; so include protein at breakfast. Sources of protein include low fat milk/curd/yoghurt/paneer/cottage cheese, eggs, tofu, whole pulses like moong, channa, vatana, rajma, among others, and split pulses, which are all the dals. Healthy fat: Fat can help you feel full but it is important to choose wisely. Go for nuts and seeds, avocados, among others in small to moderate mounts.last_img read more

Soy Good for Your Heart or Just OK Scientists Still Disagree

first_imgSoy products have repeatedly been found to help cholesterol levels. But do they do enough to make a difference? (Credit: 1989studio/Shutterstock)If you pick up a carton of soy milk, chances are you’ll spot some sort of verbiage boasting the beverage’s heart health benefits. But it’s not the only soy-based food product bearing a “heart healthy” badge. That’s because, in 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency responsible for supervising food and drug safety guidelines, approved the claim that soy, and the protein that comes from it, can help prevent heart disease. The decision was based on decades of research that supported the connection between soy and its cholesterol-lowering properties, which can help prevent heart disease.But in 2017, the FDA announced a plan to downgrade the claim, citing inconsistent evidence that has cropped up since 1999. It was the first time the FDA backtracked on an official claim of this nature.Now, a new paper published in June in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) is challenging the basis of the FDA’s decision. Looking at the same reports the FDA analyzed in 2017, University of Toronto researchers found that the science has consistently supported the claim that soy has an impact on cholesterol levels and thus heart health.Soy’s Storied HistoryWhen the FDA first approved the claim, the agency based its decision on all the evidence on the link between soy and heart health that was available at the time. Those studies showed soy decreased levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream — especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often called the “bad cholesterol,” since it clogs veins.With that research, and based on the consensus within the scientific community, the agency issued an authorized health claim, the highest classification possible on the tiered system the FDA uses to sort such claims. (Since 1990, the FDA has only approved 12 authorized health claims, including the link between taking vitamin D and calcium supplements to help prevent osteoporosis, and the link between eating more veggies and reducing your risk of some cancers.)Now, the FDA wants to bump that 1999 claim from authorized down to qualified. These types of health claims are backed up by credible evidence, but the scientific community hasn’t reached a general consensus on it.Since 1999, the research on soy has been mixed as to how significantly it protects heart health. For instance, in 2006, Harvard professor of cardiovascular disease prevention Frank Sacks helped conduct a review of 22 studies that found soy lowered people’s LDL cholesterol levels — just not significantly.“The result is that, yeah, soy protein lowers LDL cholesterol … but it’s sort of meaningless,” he says. Overall, soy only lowered cholesterol by about 3 percent, he found. So if you’re eating lots of foods like red meats, which raise cholesterol levels, soy won’t do enough to cancel that out.But David Jenkins, a professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto and lead author of the new JAHA paper, disagrees with the stance that soy’s effects are too miniscule to still warrant an authorized health claim. “Since 1999, there has been no period, no time, where the cumulative studies have pointed in any other direction,” he says.In nearly every study Jenkins and his University of Toronto team analyzed, they saw that soy had a meaningful, beneficial effect on people’s LDL and total cholesterol levels.Conflicts of Interest?Still, there may be reason to be leery of the findings. The University of Toronto study was funded by a number of groups with ties to the soy industry, though the authors noted these relationships in the disclosures.This type of funding isn’t an anomaly in nutritional studies, either. Although Sacks’ 2006 study was funded by the American Heart Association, he says nutrition studies aren’t typically the ones attracting big grants from unbiased scientific societies.“Most of the research in the nutrition field is funded by industry,” Sacks says. “I don’t agree that all industry-sponsored studies are bad … but it’s just a trickier situation.”Regardless of who funded the research, in the grand scheme of things, it seems soy’s reputation is up to the FDA. And while scientists aren’t in unanimous agreement that soy is a miraculous, heart-saving superfood, no one is saying soy is bad for you — just that it might be overhyped.last_img read more

Varian Showcases Cancer Care Systems and Software at AAPM 2019

first_img August 2, 2019 — Varian showcased systems and software from its cancer care portfolio, including the Identify Guidance System, at the recent American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 annual meeting, July 14-18  in San Antonio, Texas.Identify is an automated patient identification, positioning and motion management system for radiation therapy. It incorporates patient safety, quality, efficiency and surface-guidance features in an automated workflow solution for surface-guided radiation therapy (SGRT). Other Varian solutions showcased bring together artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, science and technology, and include: RapidPlan leverages machine learning to help clinicians achieve greater treatment plan consistency, efficiency and quality; Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD Multi-Criteria Optimization (MCO) improves the efficiency and quality of treatment planning by helping clinicians explore clinical tradeoffs when they vary plan parameters; Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications News | Radiation Oncology | July 31, 2019 Laura Dawson, M.D., FASTRO, Chosen as ASTRO President-elect The members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) elected four new officers to ASTRO’s Board of… read more ProBeam 360° system, designed for next-generation proton therapy, offers high-level clinical capabilities, a 360-degree gantry and RapidScan technology, which simplifies the process of motion management by delivering each field in a single breath-hold News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more Pierre Qian explains radiotherapy to ablate VTVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:34Loaded: 2.19%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:34 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. Also on display was the full spectrum of Varian software solutions for: brachytherapy treatment planning and guidance, practice management, radiosurgery delivery, machine quality assurance, imaging informatics, image-guided dosimetry for Y90 selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT), tumor board management and more.For more information: www.varian.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more center_img Noona is an intuitive solution for patients to report on their symptoms and outcomes, enabling better symptom monitoring, proactive management, and patient triage; and News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read more News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more The top piece of content in July was a video interview explaining how Princess Margaret Cancer Center is using machine learning to create automated treatment plans. This was a hot topic at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting in July.  News | Proton Therapy | August 06, 2019 IBA Signs Contract to Install Proton Therapy Center in Kansas IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) recently signed a contract and received the first payment for a Proteus One solution… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2019 Varian Showcases Cancer Care Systems and Software at AAPM 2019 Offerings highlighted by Identify guidance system for enhanced patient identification, positioning and motion management during surface-guided radiation therapy Related Content Feature | August 05, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor Most Popular Radiology and Radiotherapy Topics in July 2019 August 5, 2019 — Here is the list of the most popular content on the Imaging Technology New (ITN) magazine website fr read more Videos | Radiation Therapy | July 30, 2019 VIDEO: Use of Radiotherapy to Noninvasively Ablate Ventricular Tachycardia Pierre Qian, MBBS, read morelast_img read more

The Go team shares new proposals planned to be implemented in Go

first_imgYesterday, the Go team shared the details of what all is coming in Go 1.13, the first release that is implemented using the new proposal evaluation process. In this process, feedback is taken from the community on a small number of proposals to reach the final decision. The team also shared what proposals they have selected to implement in Go 1.14 and the next steps. At Gophercon 2017, Russ Cox, Go programming language tech lead at Google, first disclosed the plan behind the implementation of Go 2. This plan was simple: the updates will be done in increments and will have minimal to no effect on everybody else. Updates in Go 1.13 Go 1.13, which marks the first increment towards Go 2, is planned to release in early August this year. A lot of language changes have landed in this release that were shortlisted from the huge list of Go 2 proposals based on the new proposal evaluation process. These proposals are selected under the criteria that they should address a problem, have minimal disruption, and provide a clear and well-understood solution. The team selected “relatively minor and mostly uncontroversial” proposals for this version. These changes are backward-compatible as modules, Go’s new dependency management system is not the default build mode yet. Go 1.11 and Go 1.12 include preliminary support for modules that makes dependency version information explicit and easier to manage. Proposals planned to be implemented in Go 1.13 The proposals that were initially planned to be implemented in Go 1.13 were: General Unicode identifiers based on Unicode TR31: This proposes to add support for enabling programmers using non-Westen alphabets to combine characters in identifiers and export uncased identifiers. Binary integer literals and support for_ in number literals: Go comes with support for octal, hexadecimal, and standard decimal literals. However, unlike other mainstream languages like Java 7, Python 3, and Ruby, it does not have support for binary integer literals. This proposes adding support for binary integer literals as a new prefix to integer literals like 0b or 0B. Another minor update is adding support for a blank (_) as a separator in number literals to improve the readability of complex numbers. Permit signed integers as shift counts: This proposes to change the language spec such that the shift count can be a signed or unsigned integer, or any non-negative constant value that can be represented as an integer. Out of these shortlisted proposals the binary integer literals, separators for number literals, and signed integer shift counts are implemented. The general Unicode identifiers proposal was not implemented as there was no “concrete design document in place in time.“ The proposal to support binary integer literals was significantly expanded, which led to an overhauled and modernized Go’s number literal syntax. Updates in Go 1.14 After the relatively minor updates in Go 1.13, the team has plans to take it up a notch with Go 1.14. With the new major version Go 2, their overarching goal is to provide programmers improved scalability. To achieve this, the team has to tackle the three biggest hurdles: package and version management, better error handling support, and generics. The first hurdle, package and version management will be addressed by the modules feature, which is growing stronger with each release. For the other two, the team has presented draft designs at last year’s GopherCon in Denver. Proposals planned to be implemented in Go 1.14 Following are the proposals that are shortlisted for Go 1.14: A built-in Go error check function, ‘try’: This proposes a new built-in function named ‘try’ for error handling. It is designed to remove the boilerplate ‘if’ statements typically associated with error handling in Go. Allow embedding overlapping interfaces: This is a backward-compatible proposal to make interface embedding more tolerant. Diagnose ‘string(int)’ conversion in ‘go vet’: This proposes to remove the explicit type conversion string(i) where ‘i’ has an integer type other than ‘rune’. The team is making this backward-incompatible change as it was introduced in the early days of Go and now has become quite confusing to comprehend. Adopt crypto principles: This proposes to implement design principles for cryptographic libraries outlined in the Cryptography Principles document. The team is now seeking community feedback on these proposals. “We are especially interested in fact-based evidence illustrating why a proposal might not work well in practice or problematic aspects we might have missed in the design. Convincing examples in support of a proposal are also very helpful,” the blog post reads. While developers are confident that Go 2 will bring a lot of exciting features and enhancements, not many are a fan of some of the proposed features, for instance, the try function. “I dislike the try implementation, one of Go’s strengths for me after working with Scala is the way it promotes error handling to a first class citizen in writing code, this feels like its heading towards pushing it back to an afterthought as tends to be the case with monadic operations,” a developer commented on Hacker News. Some Twitter users also expressed their dislike towards the proposed try function: These were some of the updates proposed for Go 1.13 and Go 1.14. To know more about this news, check out the Go Blog. Read Next Go 1.12 released with support for TLS 1.3, module support among other updates Go 1.12 Release Candidate 1 is here with improved runtime, assembler, ports and more State of Go February 2019 – Golang developments report for this month releasedlast_img read more

Dell Technologies Cork hosts Future of Work conference in recognition of United

first_imgTo mark the United Nations’ World Skills Day recently Dell Technologies Cork hosted the Future of Work conference at their customer solutions centre. This year, UN World Skills Day is focusing on life-long learning which aligns with Dell Technologies commitment to empowering its employees to do more. Employee Resource Group, GenNext hosted the conference which focused on the pressing challenges facing future generations and making sure that everyone can achieve success by expanding the opportunities that await them.Dell Technologies staff who attended the event were able to develop an understanding of how emerging technologies are reshaping the way we work, live and learn. Speakers at the one-day event covered topics including AI, IoT, data and Blockchain and outlined how technology can empower us to achieve more. The conference highlighted some of the findings of Dell Technologies Realizing 2030 report which outlines how life-long learning and upskilling are critical to navigating the transformational changes we are witnessing and benefiting from the immense possibility emerging technologies will bring over the next decade.Keynote speaker at the event, Marie Moynihan, Senior Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition said: “The top skills of the future will be social intelligence, transdisciplinary approach, creativity, design thinking, and computational thinking. The key is not to be afraid but be curious and an early adopter. Read, listen, learn and be open to pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. At Dell Technologies we are committed to promoting innovative thinking, developing our talent and empowering everyone to realise their potential.”Vice President EMEA Centres of Excellence and Cork Site Leader Dell Technologies Ireland, Bob Savage said: “Congratulations to all the members of the GenNext Cork Chapter Core Team who have done a fantastic job organising and encouraging participation at this conference and other events throughout the year”.“GenNext has established a network where all Dell employees can engage in activities to advance their career across four key areas, business development, professional development, community involvement and social and professional networking. Initiatives such as this informative conference highlight the importance of the next generation looking to the future and upskilling, so they are well placed to succeed in the world of 2030”.last_img read more

Morocco Tourism Minister prioritises Sustainable Tourism

first_imgLahcen Haddad, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, accompanied by a large delegation, took part in the 58th Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Commission for Africa in Abidjan on the Ivory Coast, which brought together the Secretary General of the UNWTO, African Ministers of Tourism and senior officials and representatives of tourism in Africa.This meeting was an opportunity to discuss issues relating to the sector in the region, including tourism and ethics, sustainability, tourism and security, and the International Organization ST-EP, which was established in 2002 at the World Summit, on sustainable development in Johannesburg.Haddad recalled the opportunity for Africa to integrate the principles of sustainable development to tourism policy, noting that there is a need to consider these issues of sustainability in all of the life cycles of the levels of the tourism product in an approach that engages stakeholders.In this respect, Morocco has proposed the adoption of a ‘Sustainable Tourism African Charter’ in anticipation of its signature by the African Ministers of Tourism at the COP22 in Marrakech. The adoption of the African Charter of Sustainable Tourism will capitalize on the experience of Morocco in particular through the draft Charter of Sustainable Tourism Moroccan which was adopted on January 25 in Rabat at the first edition of the Moroccan Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Day. The proposal also embodies the positioning of Morocco as a tourism sustainability leader in the region.The efforts made by Morocco for sustainable tourism has been recognized internationally and has won awards at the African level with a Silver Award at the 2nd edition of the African Responsible Tourism Awards in Cape Town, on the occasion of World Travel Market Africa for the ‘Best for Public Sector Policy/Support’.The Ministry of Tourism had prior to this meeting contributed to the investigation of the UNWTO on the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and showed support as a co-lead author of the draft resolution on the code cited above.Haddad reaffirmed the commitment of the Ministry of Tourism to strengthen its mobilization for the promotion of an active culture of sustainability through its commitment of the sustainable tourism program derived from the decennial programming framework for Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) and supporting the implementation of its work program.last_img read more