Trump officials deleting mentions of climate change from US Geological Survey press

first_img Trump officials deleting mentions of ‘climate change’ from U.S. Geological Survey press releases Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Originally published by E&E NewsA March news release from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) touted a new study that could be useful for infrastructure planning along the California coastline. At least that’s how President Donald Trump’s administration conveyed it.The news release hardly stood out. It focused on the methodology of the study rather than its major findings, which showed that climate change could have a withering effect on California’s economy by inundating real estate over the next few decades. An earlier draft of the news release, written by researchers, was sanitized by Trump administration officials, who removed references to the dire effects of climate change after delaying its release for several months, according to three federal officials who saw it. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, would face more than $100 billion in damages related to climate change and sea-level rise by the end of the century. It found that three to seven times more people and businesses than previously believed would be exposed to severe flooding.“We show that for California, USA, the world’s fifth largest economy, over $150 billion of property equating to more than 6% of the state’s GDP and 600,000 people could be impacted by dynamic flooding by 2100,” the researchers wrote in the study.The release fits a pattern of downplaying climate research at USGS and in other agencies within the administration. While USGS does not appear to be halting the pursuit of science, it has publicly communicated an incomplete account of the peer-reviewed research or omitted it under President Trump.“It’s been made clear to us that we’re not supposed to use climate change in press releases anymore. They will not be authorized,” one federal researcher said, speaking anonymously for fear of reprisal.In the Obama administration, press releases related to climate change were typically approved within days, researchers said. Now, they can take more than six months and go through the offices of political appointees, where they are often altered, several researchers told E&E News.In the case of the California coastline study, the press release went through the office of James Reilly, the director of USGS, a former astronaut who is attempting to minimize the consideration of climate change in agency decisions. Reilly is preparing a directive for agency scientists to use climate models that predict changes through 2040, when the effect of emissions is expected to be less severe. The New York Times first reported on the directive.At his 2018 confirmation hearing, Reilly promised to protect the agency’s scientific integrity.“If someone were to come to me and say, ‘I want you to change this because it’s the politically right thing to do,’ I would politely decline,” Reilly told lawmakers. “I’m fully committed to scientific integrity.”A spokeswoman for USGS said the agency has no formal policy to avoid references to climate change.“There is no policy nor directive in place that directs us to avoid mentioning climate change in our communication materials,” said Karen Armstrong, the spokeswoman.“Scientists at USGS regularly develop new methods and tools to supply timely, relevant and useful information about our planet and its processes, and we are committed to promoting the science they develop and making it broadly available,” she added.The agency’s press release about the California coastline study was significantly altered to mask the potential impact of rising temperatures on the state’s economy. Instead, it described the methodology of the study and how it relied on “state-of-the-art computer models” and various sea-level rise predictions.“USGS scientists and collaborators used state-of-the-art computer models to determine the coastal flooding and erosion that could result from a range of peer-reviewed, published 21st-century sea level rise and storm scenarios,” the final press release said. “The authors then translated those hazards into a range of projected economic and social exposure data to show the lives and dollars that could be at risk from climate change in California during the 21st century.”The USGS release didn’t include the dollar figures outlined in the study.An earlier draft of the press release, which was put online by the environmental group Point Blue Conservation Science, a participant in the study, compared the possible effect on Californians to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The release had stark recommendations for coastal planners and emphasized that by the end of the century, a typical winter storm could threaten $100 billion in coastal real estate annually.“According to the study, even modest sea level rise projections of ten inches (25 centimeters) by 2040 could flood more than 150,000 residents and affect more than $30 billion in property value when combined with an extreme 100-year storm along California’s coast,” the draft stated. “Societal exposure that included storms was up to seven times greater than with sea level rise alone.”The agency has omitted climate change from other press releases.A release in 2017 that publicized a study on how polar bears were expending more energy due to a loss of sea ice did not mention climate change. It noted that a “moving treadmill of sea ice” in the warming Arctic forced polar bears to hunt for more seals and placed pressure on their population in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, without stating that climate change is a key driver of sea ice conditions.Another USGS release, on shifting farming regions due to climate change, mentioned “future high-temperature extremes” and “future climate conditions” but not climate change. The first sentence of the study that it was intended to promote mentions climate change. It was published in Scientific Reports.Some of the USGS studies point to national security repercussions. One study released last year found that a military installation in the Pacific Ocean that would play a role in a possible nuclear strike by North Korea could become uninhabitable in less than two decades due to climate change. The study, which was ordered by the Department of Defense, was released by USGS without a press release.USGS conducts important climate research and manages the Landsat satellite system that has tracked human-caused global changes for almost 50 years. Government researchers study sea-level rise and glacial melt and manage regional climate adaptation centers housed at universities from Hawaii to Massachusetts.Allowing valuable information to fall through the cracks is a waste of taxpayer dollars and could prevent science from being included in policy decisions, said Joel Clement, a former climate staffer for the Department of the Interior, USGS’s parent agency. Clement, who is now a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said the promotion of studies is an important way to get information into the hands of planners, homeowners, and policymakers. He said Interior appears to be suppressing climate science.“It’s an insult to the science, of course, but it’s also an insult to the people who need this information and whose livelihoods and in some cases their lives depend on this,” Clement said. “What’s shocking about it is that this has been taken to a new level, where information that is essential to economic and health and safety—essentially American well-being—is essentially being shelved and being hidden.”In the last year of the Obama administration, USGS distributed at least 13 press releases that focused on climate change and highlighted it in the headline, according to an E&E News review. Since then — from 2017 through the first six months of 2019 — none has mentioned climate change in the headline of the press release, according to the list of state and national releases posted on the USGS website. Some briefly mentioned climate change in the body of the release, while others did not refer to it at all.Other studies have been quietly buried on the agency’s webpages.That subtle form of suppression fits a pattern elsewhere in the federal government.Politico recently reported that officials at the Department of Agriculture buried dozens of studies related to climate change. In one case, agency officials tried to prevent outside groups from disseminating a climate-related study. The research looked at how rice provides less nutrition in a carbon-rich environment. That could have global consequences because hundreds of millions of people have rice-based diets around the world.The Interior Department has been accused of deleting climate change references from previous press releases. In 2017, The Washington Post reported that the agency deleted a line mentioning climate change in a press release about a study on flood risks to coastal communities. That line was: “Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding.”Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former energy lobbyist, is under investigation for his ties to the energy industry while serving in government. A separate investigation is exploring whether he sought to block an Interior Department study on the dangers that a pesticide posed to endangered species.There is no evidence that Trump political appointees at the agency have blocked climate studies from taking place, but the censoring of press releases has affected the work of researchers worried about their jobs, according to another federal researcher.“We are pretty cognizant of political pressures, and with these press releases people are definitely biting their nails over ‘how should we word this’ and if there are proposals within USGS, should we use climate change or not,” the researcher said. “It’s a lot of stuff that definitely filters down, and it affects the reality of people on the ground doing the work when you’re not sure of how I should present this. It’s definitely a huge waste of time.”Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2019. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country NASA By Scott Waldman, E&E NewsJul. 8, 2019 , 10:45 AM Read more… Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Under Director James Reilly, the U.S. Geological Survey has drawn criticism for deemphasizing concerns about climate change.last_img read more

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Icon of the Fashion Industry Karl Lagerfeld Dies at 85 – Tributes

first_imgKarl Lagerfeld, one of the most prolific and influential designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, has died in Paris. He was 85 years old. Lagerfeld is considered a key force in the creation of the modern luxury fashion industry. News of his death followed reports in late January 2019 that Lagerfeld missed Chanel’s spring 2019 haute couture show in Paris because of health problems. Since he took the helm of Chanel in 1983, he had never missed the opportunity to speak to fashion fans after a show.Fendi store opening – Karl Lagerfeld. Photo by Christopher William Adach CC BY-SA 2.0Tributes poured onto social media on February 19th, with Donatella Versace posting: “Karl your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I. We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration. We were always learning from you.”Henry Holland quoted Lagerfeld himself: “To design is to breathe, so if I can’t breathe I’m in trouble. RIP.”And Elton John wrote on Instagram: “What a talent. What an appetite for life. Wonderful and lethal company. Never a dull moment. Love, Elton xx.”Karl Lagerfeld; Anna Wintour. Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty ImagesLagerfeld was one of the most acclaimed designers in fashion thanks to his unparalleled talent to design for three brands at once. In addition to clothing design, he was also a respected photographer and director, whose work has been featured in magazines and advertisements.Vogue magazine writes: “Lagerfeld was Creative Director of Chanel, the French house founded by Gabrielle Chanel, for an era-defining, age-defying 36 years. Upon assuming the reins in 1983, Lagerfeld swiftly revived Chanel, reinterpreting the house founder’s iconic tweed skirt suits, little black dresses, and quilted handbags. He did it via the lens of hip-hop one season and California surfer chicks the next — he was a pop culture savant — without ever forgetting what the revolutionary Coco stood for: independence, freedom, and modernity.”Paris, France – July 8, 2014: Chanel shop in place Vendome in Paris. Chanel is a fashion house founded in 1909 specialized in haute couture and luxury goods.Lagerfeld was also a distinctive physical presence on the fashion scene with his dark suits, white pony-tailed hair, and tinted sunglasses. “I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that,” runs one legendary quote attributed to him. “It is like a mask. And for me the Carnival of Venice lasts all year long.”Related Video: In Remembrance of Stan LeeKarl-Otto Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg to Otto Lagerfeld, a managing director of the German branch of the American Milk Products Company, and the former Elisabeth Bahlmann. He later immigrated to France, where he studied drawing and history. His first position at a fashion house was in the 1950s at the couture house of Pierre Balmain.Lagerfeld with Hermann Bühlbecker, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco (2011). Photo by get noticed communications CC BY-SA 2.0In 1963, he began freelancing at Chloe, considered to be France’s first ready-to-wear label, and in the 1970s he became creative director at the Roman furrier label Fendi, a post that he held until his death.His greatest achievement was undoubtedly at Chanel. The brand had lost its prominence in the years before Lagerfeld. As he told WWD, “Nobody cared about [Chanel] anymore. She was the most démodé thing in the world.”‘Karl Lagerfeld’ Store in der Kö-Galerie Düsseldorf. Photo by 9EkieraM CC BY-SA 3.0As the New York Times put it, “In his 80s when most of his peers were retiring to their yachts or country estates, he was designing an average of 14 new collections a year ranging from couture to the high street, and not counting collaborations and special projects.His signature combinations of ‘high fashion and high camp’ attracted Rihanna; Princess Caroline of Monaco; Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; and Julianne Moore.”Read another story from us: Black is the New Black – A History of Fashion’s Favorite ColorLagerfeld was responsible for so many shows, stores, and events that in 2017, the mayor of Paris awarded him the city’s highest honor, the Medal of the City of Paris, for services to the metropolis.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.last_img read more

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Dominica disaster preparedness group launched in Canada

first_imgShareTweetSharePinExecutive Director of SAFE-D (Canada) Trade and Investment Commissioner for Dominica in Canada Frances DelsolDominica diaspora disaster preparedness group SAFE-D (Canada) was launched on Saturday, July 6, 2019A new disaster preparedness and relief group formed by Dominicans living in Canada, the Security Awareness for Emergencies in Dominica group, SAFE-D (Canada), is to be launched on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm at the Canadian Forces Dennison Armory, 1 Yukon Lane, Toronto (Allen Road & Sheppard) Canada.SAFE-D (Canada) was formed to support the Commonwealth of Dominica in the event of any major National Emergency arising from natural or man-made disasters. SAFE-D (Canada) has the exclusive purview of disaster preparedness, relief and response activities between the Dominica-Canadian diaspora and Dominica.SAFE-D (Canada)’s Executive Director, Trade and Investment Commissioner for Dominica (Canada), Frances Delsol, says the new group has several goals.“SAFE-D (Canada) has a mission with various objectives: To provide immediate aid to alleviate the impact of natural or other disasters in Dominica; to work in partnership with the Government of Dominica and the Office of Disaster Management in Dominica; to identify crucial needs in the aftermath of disasters; to take a proactive approach to disaster preparedness activities ahead of the hurricane season; and to mobilize the diaspora and partners to provide immediate aid to Dominica in the event of a disaster,” Delsol explains.She adds that the group will also collect relief supplies and donations on Dominica’s behalf.SAFE-D (Canada) will work with other disaster-focused partner agencies such as Global Medic, Caribbean North Charities Foundation, and Canadian Caribbean Disaster Relief Action among others, who can share resources to assist the Commonwealth of Dominica. Executive Director of SAFE-D (Canada) Frances Delsol introduces some of the members of the new group: (l-r) Hetty Lawrence, Lucia Stewart, Andria  Lewis-Alexander , Newton Francis, Jacqueve Colaire and Ursula FontaineLeft to right- Harry Harahk (Caribbean North Charities Foundation, Francine Harris (Dominica Convent High School Alumni Association), Bishop Thomas Parillon, Jerry Grymek – Discover Dominica, Pam Harahk (Caribbean North Charities Foundation), Apostle Lovelace St.John, Gideon Exeter (Canadian Caribbean Disaster Relief Action), and Frances Delsol Executive Director of SAFE-D (Canada).last_img read more

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The financial future of the county remains uncertain

first_img By Toni Gibbons       NAVAJO COUNTY — The question of reintroducing the Jail District Tax to the voters in November was raised at the Navajo County Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 8, afterSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad Photo by Toni GibbonsAssistant County Manager Bryan Layton explained the grim realities the county is facing over the next five years as a result of the failure of the Jail District Tax to the Navajo County Board of Supervisors. The financial future of the county remains uncertaincenter_img January 16, 2019last_img

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Tamil Nadu man his pregnant wife hacked to death in suspected case

first_img Advertising 3 Comment(s) Top News LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Tamil Nadu: Couple hacked to death over inter caste marriage, woman's father arrested Tamil Nadu: The couple had married in April with support from the boy’s family.In a case of suspected honour killing, a couple was hacked to death by a group of people in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district in the early hours of Thursday morning, ANI reported. T Solairajan and his pregnant wife A Petchiammal alias Jothi were allegedly killed over their inter-caste marriage. Jothi’s father, who was reportedly against the marriage, has been arrested in connection with the double murder. The couple, who belonged to different groups of Scheduled Caste, married in April with support from Solairajan’s family. They were staying in a single room accommodation at Thanthai Periyar Nagar since then.The couple was murdered by a gang armed with knives when they were sleeping outside their house after a power cut in the area, The Hindu reported.The incident came to light when Solairaja’s mother arrived at their home and found the bodies lying in a pool of blood with multiple knife injuries. The bodies have been sent for autopsy. By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Published: July 5, 2019 10:27:12 am Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Imran Khan last_img read more

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Kim Trump and Xi to resume a shifting dance of diplomacy

first_imgWashington | Published: June 20, 2019 3:53:09 pm Taking stock of monsoon rain US House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump Unbowed, Trump intensifies attacks on four Democratic congresswomen Advertising There is no question Xi’s position has weakened since May 2018, when he played host to Kim in the Chinese city of Dalian, a month before Trump met the North Korean leader for the first time in Singapore.At that time, Trump had yet to impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese exports. And he was counting on Xi’s support to give teeth to United Nations sanctions against the North. Trump said he suspected that Xi, whom he described as a “world-class poker player,” had advised Kim to play hardball, in part to give Beijing leverage in its trade talks with Washington.“There was a different attitude by the North Korean folks after that meeting,” he said. “I can’t say that I’m happy about it.”Now, Xi is dealing with a Chinese economy that is flagging, in part because Trump imposed the tariffs, and an unprecedented show of defiance in Hong Kong, where the Chinese government has been blindsided by enormous demonstrations against the local government’s proposed extradition law.That, as much as any competitiveness with Trump, could explain Xi’s decision to become the first Chinese leader to visit Pyongyang in 14 years.“He’s looking for ways to bolster his standing,” said Kurt M. Campbell, who served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs under President Barack Obama. “It does secure his stature and standing as a leader, and there aren’t many other places he can do that.”Xi, analysts said, will scarcely relish his visit to North Korea. He is staying barely two days and avoided scheduling the trip on dates that would have had greater historic resonance, like June 25, the date in 1950 that North Korea invaded the South, or Oct. 19, the date in 1950 when China entered the Korean War on the North’s side.“There’s not a lot of love here, to say the least,” Pollack said. “In that sense, it is something of a minimalist visit, though Kim will try to milk it as much as possible, and Xi might try to milk it for his own purposes.”While Xi has been far less fulsome than Trump about his personal relationship with Kim, the United States and China are largely in sync on North Korea. Both want Kim to avoid provocations like nuclear tests or missile launches. Both have supported draconian sanctions as a way to pressure him. U.S. officials have said they believe Xi can play a constructive role with Kim.What is less clear is how much goodwill that will buy Xi with Trump on trade. Early in his presidency, Trump offered to delay some of his most aggressive moves as long as China was helpful in pressuring the North. But after Singapore, where he claimed to have developed his own rapport with Kim, he abandoned that linkage, imposing a 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods.Trump’s relationship with Kim has waxed and waned as well. The North Korean leader recently sent Trump a letter that the president described as “beautiful.” But it contained no proposals for how to restart the stalled negotiations over its nuclear program.Trump’s rally on Tuesday in Florida may have offered a glimpse of his current feelings for his two friends. He said nothing about Kim, with whom, he once said, he had fallen in love. But he did say he had spoken at length with Xi — “terrific president, a great leader of China.” “We’ll see what happens,” he added, “but we’re either going to have a good deal and a fair deal or we’re not going to have a deal at all, and that’s OK, too.” Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach US House rejects Saudi weapons sales; Trump to veto Post Comment(s) Best Of Express Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield donald trump, us president donald trump, president trump, xi jinping, chinese president xi jinping, kim jong un, north korea kim jong un, kim jong un north korea, trump kim xi, donald trump xi jinping kim jong un, world news, Indian Express Chinese president Xi Jinping and US president Donald Trump (File photo)By Mark Landler More Explained “If Xi can’t say something to Trump on trade, it would suggest that his visit to Pyongyang was for naught,” said Jonathan D. Pollack, an expert on China and North Korea at the Brookings Institution. “Xi, like everyone else in Asia, is trying to reposition himself in light of a very unpredictable American president.”Yet on both fronts, the Chinese president faces an uphill battle.Kim’s talks with Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, broke down after it was clear there was a chasm between the North Korean and U.S. positions — one that China can hardly bridge.And while there are also signs that the trade war is causing economic damage in the United States — particularly among farmers and manufacturing workers — the president himself seems sanguine that tariffs are a political winner, allowing him to continue to drive a hard bargain with China. Advertising Trump’s call with Xi — initiated by Trump, according to China’s state media — suggested he did not want to be left on the sidelines in a negotiation that he views as one of his marquee foreign-policy projects. But it also turbocharged the stock market on the day the president formally opened his re-election bid, since investors viewed it as a sign that the United States and China might finally settle their debilitating trade war.If anything, Xi faces even greater pressure than Trump from the tariffs, not to mention the angry protesters who have taken to the streets of Hong Kong. And for Kim, who is still nursing the wounds of his failed summit meeting with Trump in February, the Chinese president’s long-sought visit, which was set to begin Thursday, is another step in his return to the world stage.Given all these crosscurrents, it seemed inconceivable that the timing of Xi’s visit to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, was accidental. Administration officials said they expected the Chinese leader to try to make headway with Kim on the nuclear talks and then use that as leverage with Trump in the trade negotiations, when they meet at the Group of 20 gathering in Osaka.Xi himself stoked those expectations, publishing a rare article on Wednesday in the North Korean ruling party’s official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, in which he said China was willing to draw up a “grand plan” with the North Koreans that would “realize permanent peace” on the Korean Peninsula. Related News Advertising US President Donald Trump revels in his friendships with the leaders of China and North Korea, but can seem jealous when his two friends spend time with each other. He once griped that President Xi Jinping of China encouraged a visiting Kim Jong Un of North Korea to take a harder line in his nuclear diplomacy with the United States.So when the Chinese president announced a surprise visit to North Korea this week, Trump reacted by rushing to nail down his own date with Xi — an “extended meeting” in Osaka, Japan, a week later. “Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi,” an eager Trump said on Twitter.It was only the latest move in what has become a kind of strongmen’s dance, involving a trio of unlikely partners whose motives for getting together are deeply divergent but whose interests occasionally harmonize. Their phone calls, letters and face-to-face meetings reveal how the power balance among the three fluctuates, depending on the geopolitical winds and their own domestic political circumstances. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan last_img read more

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Former IAF airman donates Rs 108 crore to Defence Ministry

first_img CBR Prasad (left) with Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. (Source: ANI)A former Indian Air Force airman donated Rs 1.08 crore to the Ministry of Defence, news agency ANI reported. Airman CBR Prasad met Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday and handed over the cheque to him. “Rajnath Singh was happy to see that such a small sepoy was giving his entire savings back to the defence,” he said. Advertising 27 Comment(s) Advertising Rajnath Singh’s first call: Choice for top civil, defence posts By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 16, 2019 1:43:00 pm Related News Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra gets three-month extension The 74-year-old, who runs a poultry farm, added: “After fulfilling my family responsibilities, I thought I should give back to the defence whatever I got from there. I decided to give Rs 1.08 crore to the defence forces.”Prasad served the IAF for around nine years before quiting to take up a job offer at the Indian Railways. However, he started a poultry farm after failing to land the job.“After 9-years I left the Indian Air Force (IAF) because the Indian Railways offered me a good job. Unfortunately, I did not get that job. I started a small poultry farm for my livelihood. Fortunately, I did well,” he said. Congress questions govt on why ‘obsolete’ AN-32 fleet of IAF was not replaced Asked if his family approved the idea, Prasad said, “Absolutely, no problem. I have given my daughter 2 per cent of my property and one per cent to my wife. Rest 97 per cent, I am giving back to society.”Recalling his days of struggle, he said “I left home with Rs 5 in my pocket and earned 500-acre land with my bare hard work.Prasad also said he set up a sports campus to trains kids with the aim to compete in Olympics. He said: “As a child, I dreamt of winning an Olympic medal but could not do so. I built a sports university-like campus in about 50 acres of land, I have been training children for last 20-years.”last_img read more

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Largest ever HIV prevention study delivers sobering message

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Community health workers with the Population Effects of Antiretroviral Therapy to Reduce HIV Transmission study did door-to-door HIV testing of 1 million people annually for 3 years. SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—The recipe for ending HIV epidemics seems straightforward. Introduce widespread testing. Immediately put those who test positive on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which suppress the virus to undetectable levels so those people won’t infect others. The number of new infections will drop, and the epidemic will peter out.But massive, costly studies done in the past few years have failed to show this strategy can reliably curb the spread of the virus, to the frustration of researchers. The latest and largest ever study presented here last week at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections did show a modest benefit. But confusingly, there was almost no decline in infections in the study group where it was most expected.Ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic may be harder than anticipated, it seems. “ARVs on their own are not the magic bullet,” says Collins Iwuji, an epidemiologist at Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the United Kingdom who helped run one of the earlier studies, a South African treatment as prevention (TasP) trial. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Kim Cloete center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Jon CohenMar. 11, 2019 , 3:55 PM Largest ever HIV prevention study delivers sobering message The new study, called Population Effects of Antiretroviral Therapy to Reduce HIV Transmission (PopART), included 1 million adults in Zambia and South Africa. When it began in late 2013, research had shown that ARVs can not only stave off disease, but also prevent people from infecting others. But whether these benefits would translate from an individual to an entire community was unclear.PopART randomized 21 communities into three arms. One received annual house-to-house HIV testing and immediate treatment for those infected (A); another got the same testing, but treatment followed existing country guidelines and was offered only to HIV-infected people who already had evidence of some immune damage (B); and the third got no intervention from the study (C).After 3 years, an analysis that sampled more than 12,000 people in each of the three arms found group B had 30% fewer new infections than group C. But in arm A, where presumably even more people were treated, the researchers found only 7% fewer infections than in arm C, which wasn’t a statistically significant difference. “When we first saw the results we thought it was the other way around, that arm A and B results got reversed,” says Richard Hayes of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who headed PopART. “We had four statisticians review the data. It’s true I’m afraid.”“We have a lot of work to do” to explain the unexpected outcome, he adds. Among the factors that could have boosted the infection risk in A are migration of infected people, clustering of sexual networks that had highly infectious individuals, or more sexual risk taking.François Dabis, who heads the French Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis in Paris and was the principal investigator of the earlier TasP study, says he’s heartened that PopART at least found an impact in arm B. TasP compared immediate treatment with treatment according to South African guidelines; the results, published last year, showed no population benefit from immediate treatment at all, likely because many people who tested positive didn’t seek the free care available.SEARCH, a large study staged in Kenya and Uganda that used health fairs to do community-wide testing, had more success getting infected people on treatment. But SEARCH investigators reported last summer that they, too, had come up empty-handed. In the middle of the trial, the two countries adopted new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommending that all HIV-infected people get treatment immediately, effectively robbing the study of its control group. (WHO’s recommendations complicated analyses in PopART and TasP as well.) A fourth study in Botswana did find a 30% drop in new cases from widespread testing and treatment, but it had far fewer people and barely reached statistical significance.Diane Havlir of the University of California, San Francisco, one of SEARCH’s principal investigators, welcomes one clear message from the studies: that widespread testing has the power to identify the majority of infected people, an essential component of the “Ending AIDS” agenda. “We are one step closer and have data for the next steps,” Havlir says.Nor is anyone ready to give up on universal treatment. “We’re not going in the wrong direction,” Dabis says. “What we’re saying is it’s more complex to achieve reductions in incidence than we anticipated.” Like many others, he says offering ARVs as pre-exposure prophylaxis to people at high-risk of infection is a key missing component of these studies.“But we have to be humble,” Havlir says. The four studies, which together cost more than $200 million, failed to clarify a central question: What percentage of infected people needs to start treatment and completely suppress HIV for an epidemic to peter out? Based on a mathematical model, the Ending AIDS campaign promoted by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS set 2020 goals of getting 90% of infected people to know their status, 90% of that group to be on treatment, and 90% of those to have undetectable virus levels. PopART’s A and B arms both reached this triple target, as did SEARCH and the Botswana study.But perhaps it wasn’t enough. “Ninety-ninety-ninety was an advocacy slogan that got translated into programmatic goals,” says Kevin DeCock, a Kenya-based epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta who was on PopART’s scientific advisory board. “It remains to be shown what epidemiologic control is. We’re not out of the woods.”last_img read more

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PAC1R mutation in children with autism may be linked to severity of

first_imgRelated StoriesNew gene-editing protocol allows perfect mutation-effect matchingTransgenerational BPA exposure may contribute to autism, study findsProblem behaviors may provide clues on gastrointestinal issues in children with autismAll told, the project is the fruit of six years of painstaking research and data collection, say the researchers. That includes banking patients’ saliva samples collected during clinical visits for future retrospective analyses to determine which genetic mutations were correlated with behavioral and functional brain deficits, Corbin adds.”Lauren Kenworthy, who directs our Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, and I have been talking over the years about how we could bring our programs together. We homed in on this project to look at about a dozen genes to assess correlations and brought in experts from genetics and genomics at Children’s National to sequence genes of interest,” he adds. “Linking the bench to bedside is especially difficult in neuroscience. It takes a huge amount of effort and dozens of discussions, and it’s very rare. It’s an exemplar of what we strive for.” Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 8 2019A mutation of the gene PAC1R may be linked to the severity of social deficits experienced by kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), finds a study from a multi-institutional research team led by Children’s faculty. If the pilot findings are corroborated in larger, multi-center studies, the research published online Dec. 17, 2018, in Autism Research represents the first step toward identifying a potential novel biomarker to guide interventions and better predict outcomes for children with autism.As many as 1 in 40 children are affected by ASD. Symptoms of the disorder – such as not making eye contact, not responding to one’s name when called, an inability to follow a conversation of more than one speaker or incessantly repeating certain words or phrases – usually crop up by the time a child turns 3.The developmental disorder is believed to be linked, in part, to disrupted circuitry within the amygdala, a brain structure integral for processing social-emotional information. This study reveals that PAC1R is expressed during key periods of brain development when the amygdala – an almond-shaped cluster of neurons – develops and matures. A properly functioning amygdala, along with brain structures like the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum, are crucial to neurotypical social-emotional processing.”Our study suggests that an individual with autism who is carrying a mutation in PAC1R may have a greater chance of more severe social problems and disrupted functional brain connectivity with the amygdala,” says Joshua G. Corbin, Ph.D., interim director of the Center for Neuroscience Research at Children’s National Health System and the study’s co-senior author. “Our study is one important step along the pathway to developing new biomarkers for autism spectrum disorder and, hopefully, predicting patients’ outcomes.”The research team’s insights came through investigating multiple lines of evidence: Source:https://childrensnational.org/center_img They looked at gene expression in the brains of an experimental model at days 13.5 and 18.5 of fetal development and day 7 of life, dates that correspond with early, mid and late amygdala development. They confirmed that Pac1r is expressed in the experimental model at a critical time frame for brain development that coincides with the timing for altered brain trajectories with ASD. They looked at gene expression in the human brain by mining publicly available genome-wide transcriptome data, plotting median PAC1R expression values for key brain regions. They found high levels of PAC1R expression at multiple ages with higher PAC1R expression in male brains during the fetal period and higher PAC1R expression in female brains during childhood and early adulthood. One hundred twenty-nine patients with ASD aged 6 to 14 were recruited for behavioral assessment. Of the 48 patients who also participated in neuroimaging, 20 were able to stay awake for five minutes without too much movement as the resting state functional magnetic resonance images were captured. Children who were carriers of the high-risk genotype had higher resting-state connectivity between the amygdala and right posterior temporal gyrus. Connectivity alterations in a region of the brain involved in processing visual motion may influence how kids with ASD perceive socially meaningful information, the authors write. Each child also submitted a saliva sample for DNA genotyping. Previously published research finds that a G to C single nucleotide polymorphism, a single swap in the nucleotides that make up DNA, in PAC1R is associated with higher risk for post-traumatic stress disorder in girls. In this behavioral assessment, the research team found children with autism who carried the homozygous CC genotype had higher scores as measured through a validated tool, meaning they had greater social deficits than kids with the heterozygous genotype.last_img read more

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Counseling appointments fail to reduce weight gain during pregnancy shows study

first_img Source:https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/detail/article/35173/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 16 2019If a pregnant woman gains excessive weight, it can pose a problem for both the mother and child. As a solution, regular counseling appointments have been proposed. Based on results with 2286 women, a team of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in cooperation with the Competence Center for Nutrition (KErn) has now shown that although counseling appointments as part of routine prenatal care can encourage a healthier lifestyle, it does not reduce weight gain.If a woman gains excessive weight during pregnancy, it could lead to gestational diabetes, an increased risk of cesarean section or excessive birth weight of the newborn. The goal of the Bavarian Healthy Living in Pregnancy Study (GeliS) was to make pregnant women aware of the problem and to improve their dietary behavior and physical activity. More than 70 medical and midwife practices in Bavaria participated in the study.Women in the study group received three counseling sessions (30?45 minutes each) from week 12 of pregnancy, followed by another consultation several weeks after childbirth as part of their preventive check-ups. They also received additional information material as well as forms that allowed them to independently record and monitor their weight gain and physical activity. The control group only received the information material.Slight reduction in newborn weightStudy Director Professor Hans Hauner, Professor of Nutritional Medicine at the TUM, explains the initial findings: “Unfortunately, the counseling concept proved unsuccessful and had no measurable effect on maternal weight gain.” Despite the counseling, over 45 percent of the participants gained more weight than recommended by the international standard of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) ? over 14 kilograms on average. Nor did the counseling lead to a reduction in complications such as gestational diabetes, hypertension or premature labor.Related StoriesPre-pregnancy maternal obesity may affect growth of breastfeeding infantsOpioids are major cause of pregnancy-related deaths in UtahNew research examines whether effects of alcohol/pregnancy policies vary by raceNevertheless, his research team did find some positive effects: An initial look at the extended data shows that many pregnant women did in fact pay close attention to their diet and exercised regularly. In addition, more than 85 percent of women continued the program to the end and readily took the advice they received to heart. “Evidently, that was not enough to reduce their weight gain. What we saw, however, was a reduction in the size and weight of the babies of the women who participated in the program. That, too, is a small but important achievement,” Hauner says. The study team also recommends that counseling sessions be started before the 12th week of pregnancy.Main criterion: suitability for routine useIn addition, a special feature of the study was the fact that the counseling sessions were integrated into routine prenatal check-ups. It is the largest study in the world to use this approach. “It was important to us that the concept be suitable for routine use. The pregnant women did not have to appear for any additional appointments, and the effort on the part of the doctors and midwives was well defined. Only such solutions are practicable. “Numerous studies have looked after and monitored pregnant women with the help of separate regular appointments,” Hauner says. “Even if that has a positive effect, it’s not a practical solution for all pregnant women ? and that should be the goal,” Hauner says.last_img read more

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