How the sandfish lizard stays sand-free

first_imgThe sandfish lizard spends most of its life buried in the sand—emerging only to eat, poop, and make love. This lifestyle helps the lizard evade the sweltering desert heat in the Middle East and North Africa, but it causes another problem: inhaling sand particles. Yet when scientists looked into the respiratory tract and lungs of five dead lizards, they couldn’t find a single grain of sand. They couldn’t find an obvious filter in the lizard’s respiratory system, either. Puzzled, the scientists attached sensors to the chests of living lizards and studied their breathing patterns. They found the lizards breathe out with about 60% more intensity inside their sandy burrows than when they are aboveground, which might allow them to expel sand particles from their nostrils. The scientists also estimated a 70% drop in the speed of inhaled air when it hits the widest section of the lizard’s respiratory tract. This likely means that as the air slows down, sand particles fall and get trapped in mucus and cilia that line the section, the scientists report today in the Journal of Experimental Biology. From there, some particles are blown out during exhalation and others are swallowed, after which they pass through the digestive tract and out of the body. At least, that’s the latest theory, supported by the fact that the lizards’ guts were full of sand.last_img read more

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Jamaica Test: Roston Chase ton helps West Indies pull off miraculous draw vs India

first_imgRoston Chase joined elite company as West Indies escaped with an unlikely draw against India after the second Test concluded in Jamaica on Wednesday.Chase scored 137 not out to lead West Indies to safety, with the home team losing only two wickets on the fifth and final day at Sabina Park in Kingston.West Indies had reached 388/6 in their second innings when India captain Virat Kohli conceded a draw with a few overs still remaining.If not quite qualifying as a miracle, the result was certainly unexpected after the Windies began the final day staring down the barrel of defeat, precariously placed on 48/4 and still needing another 256 to make India bat again. (Unheralded Roston Chase joins Gary Sobers in elite list )Even though rain washed out most of day four, it seemed a formality for India to quickly wrap up victory and take a 2-0 lead in the four-Test series, but West Indies batsmen dominated from the very first over as Chase and his fellow middle-order batsman displayed assurance and more than a touch of class.Their performances will give Caribbean cricket fans hope that their team has a future in the five-day format.Chase, in just his second Test, took 5-121 with his off-spin in the India innings, before showing his class with the bat. He became just the fourth West Indies player to score a century and take five wickets in the same Test, and the first to do so in 50 years.Gary Sobers, the only player to accomplish the feat twice, last achieved that double in 1966.advertisementRAPTUROUS APPLAUSEThe small crowd erupted in rapturous applause when Chase completed his century and raised his bat in celebration, with nobody clapping louder than Viv Richards.Chase received excellent support from fellow 24-year-olds Jermaine Blackwood (63) and Shane Dowrich (74), who was unfortunate to be given out lbw to Amit Mishra, with replays showing he appeared to get a thick inside.Blackwood displayed excellent technique with a series of classic straight drives that offered evidence of why he kept his place in the team despite a pair in the first Test. (How dogged Roston Chase denied India a win )He smashed two sixes and nine fours in a 54-ball knock as he dominated a brisk fifth-wicket stand of 93 with Chase until he was superbly caught by a diving Cheteshwar Pujara, via bat-pad, off the spin bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin.Chase then shared in a sixth-wicket partnership of 144 with Dowrich, who departed with the result still very much in the balance.Captain Jason Holder, the fast-bowling all-rounder who knows how to wield a bat coming in at number eight, teamed up with Chase to assure the draw. The pair put on 103, Holder bringing up his 50 in style by hoisting Ashwin over long-off for six. He was 64 not out at the close.The rearguard action had statisticians searching through the record books, revealing it to be the first time ever that West Indies batsmen at five, six, seven and eight had each scored a half-century in the same innings.West Indies’ crushing defeat in the series opener in Antigua, by an innings and 92 runs, meant the hosts had lost seven out of eight Tests while drawing the other game.But the series suddenly has new life going into the third Test to be played at Gros Islet on the island of Saint Lucia from August 9-13.last_img read more

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Zidane dismisses Real Madrid’s criticism ahead of Copa del Rey clash at Celta

first_imgReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane rounded on his team’s detractors on Tuesday ahead of the Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg at Celta Vigo, saying their recent blip in form has been exaggerated.Real set a Spanish record of 40 games unbeaten in all competitions earlier in January and remain top of the La Liga standings by a point with a game in hand on title rivals Barcelona and Sevilla.A first league defeat of the season by Sevilla and a 2-1 loss to Celta Vigo in the Cup removed the team’s veneer of invincibility, however, and Saturday’s unconvincing 2-1 win over Malaga did little to stem the criticism, with Real’s supporters booing their players during the game.”Listening to some of these questions you’d think we were battling relegation,” Zidane told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Celta Vigo where his side need to overturn a 2-1 deficit to advance to the semi-finals.”I’m not worried and neither are the players. We’re in high spirits,” the Frenchman added. “Tomorrow we have a really exciting game.”Celta rested players in their league defeat at Real Sociedad at the weekend in preparation for the second leg and Zidane will field a full-strength team.”We’re going to try and win everything we have in front of us and that’s not going to change, we’re not going to throw in the towel,” he said.”If we don’t win (the tie) it wouldn’t be our biggest failure, although I’m not contemplating that at the moment.”advertisementReal are missing six players through injury with Colombia international James Rodriguez ruled out unexpectedly after straining a calf muscle just after recovering from another leg problem.Midfielder Luka Modric and defender Marcelo sustained injuries against Malaga while full back Dani Carvajal’s absence means out-of-favour left back Fabio Coentrao has been called into the squad.last_img read more

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To practice what he preaches, Kohli drops Pepsi, fairness

first_imgproductsNew Delhi, Sep 16 (PTI) Keen to be seen as a socially responsible youth icon, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has stopped endorsing soft drink maker Pepsi and fairness products because of their association with junk food and racism.The 28-year-old swashbuckler is among the most sought after for endorsements but Kohli has decided that he would lend his name only to brands which he himself uses and believes in, people in the know of his endorsement deals said today.The first casualty of this principle has been his association with Pepsi, a company he had been endorsing since 2011.Kohli refused to renew the contract which ended in April this year, saying at the time that he would not ask people to consume something that he himself does not.Kohli has time and again endorsed healthy lifestyle, which has been key to his awe-inspiring fitness levels and endorsing a soft drink certainly appeared to be a contradiction.While Kohlis management firm Cornerstone refused to answer queries on the matter, a market insider, who has worked closely with the Indian captain on brand deals, said he is now more aware of his social responsibilities.”Virat also no longer endorses fairness creams or products of that genre. Virat has risen through the ranks by virtue of talent and hard work,” the official, who has worked with Kohli told PTI today.”The fairness products which relate ones success with skin tone is something that goes against the values for which Virat stands,” he added.advertisementIndustry experts also feel that since Kohli is currently the brand ambassador of global nutrition company Herbalife, which deals in nutrition and weight management care products, it is only appropriate that he picks his other endorsements carefully.Herbalife also has sports drinks on their product list.”If Virat is endorsing health products of Herbalife, endorsing any junk food or fizzy drinks contradicts with his image also,” said another image consultant, who has worked with top celebrities from all walks of life.Currently, Kohli charges Rs 4.5 to Rs 5 crore per day for a brand. For any celebrity, the per day charge could mean either shooting for the brand or making appearances.Pepsi did not say how much it paid Kohli for endorsing the brand. But it is known that he has over Rs 100 crore deals with sports goods major Puma and tyre manufacturers MRF.Puma makes make all the customised merchandise for Kohli, just like it has done all these years for sprint king Usain Bolt.The Indian captain also endorses luxury German car brand Audi and Tissot watches to name a few. Kohli currently endorses 17 brands — all carefully chosen keeping in mind his social connect. PTI KHS PM VJ PMlast_img read more

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Japan keen to increase to increase people-to-people relation

first_imgwith Assam : Ambassador Guwahati, Feb 3 (PTI) Japan has eased its travel advisory to citizens wishing to visit the north east region in view of the the stable security situation in Assam for the past two years and signalling its seriousness to increase the people-to-people relations with the state, Ambassador of Japan to India Kenji Hiramatsu said here today. ?Japan has recently decided to ease the travel advisory for its citizens who plan to visit Assam. Assam has been brought to the same security level as New Delhi, which is the lowest alert on travel advisory,? Hiramatsu said at the Country Session on Japan on the first day of the two-day Global Investors? Summit ?Advantage Assam. “This shows that Japan is serious on increasing people-to-people relations with Assam. Also, the stability in the security scene has led to lowering the travel advisory”, he said. Stating that Japan has old ties with Assam as well as the other north eastern states, the Japanese ambassador said Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has held several rounds of talks with him to strengthen these ties. “Japan wants to expand the special ties with the Northeast and Assam. The key sectors which could witness further tie-ups in the future include manufacturing, smart city models and exchanges in educational, cultural and sports arenas”, he said. The session on Japan had presentations by various agencies and companies of that country who are keen to invest in Assam or are already working here. PTI ESB DG TR KK SNPadvertisementlast_img read more

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IPL 2018: Chris Gayle fireworks key as KXIP reach business-end

first_imgChris Gayle’s stint for Kings XI Punjab so far in IPL 2018 can be neatly divided into two halves.In the first half, he was unstoppable. After sitting out the first two matches, Gayle blasted 63 against Chennai Super Kings before hammering a barely believable 104 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad, who boast of the best bowling line-up in the tournament.Gayle, who almost went unsold in the player auction after not being retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore, said he was playing for respect. KXIP had only paid base price for Gayle but the West Indian superstar, ageing and sore, continued to battle.In the next game against Kolkata Knight Riders, Gayle smashed an unbeaten 62 to power yet another KXIP victory.Two days later, against Delhi Daredevils, Gayle had to sit out due to a sore back. He returned since to play three more matches and scored 23 (vs SRH), 50 (vs Mumbai Indians) and 8 (vs Rajasthan Royals).The 40-ball 50 against MI had met with a bit of criticism from experts. He was slow to start off with and avoided playing those risky shots? Was Gayle scared of taking risks? But why? Wasn’t he in India to earn some respect?The other school of thought was that he was probably getting ready for a late assault. In the past, he has set himself up for several big knocks by starting slowly.Whatever that was, Gayle’s fifty went in vain and he has increasingly started to look a little edgy again. Bowlers have figured Gayle out again – there has been little width offered. Pacers have kept away from the Gayle zone and captains have encouraged their bowlers to bowl close to the body.advertisementKXIP came back from a two-match losing streak to win against Royals but that was only thanks to a KL Rahul special. KXIP’s batting has now looked increasingly dependent on him with the middle order failing to fire.Yuvraj Singh has been far from his best while all that shuffling down the order has left the others confused.Gayle needs to rediscover the mojo that made him so dangerous in the first half. And if he does, then KXIP will be a different team once again.Can that change come about against the Royals tonight as the two teams clash for the second time in three days?last_img read more

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Harry’s First Ever Dopp Kit Is As Awesome As You’d Imagine

first_img Editors’ Recommendations How to Shave With a Straight Razor It’s no secret that we at The Manual are huge fans of Harry’s. The grooming brand’s razors are the ultimate blend of form and function. Oh and the price is right. The subsequent shaving accoutrements they introduced—shave cream and gel, aftershave, and face wash—have also proved to be grooming gold. (And don’t even get us started on the covetable collaborations in which they teamed up with Jimmy Chin and Thom Brown.) They don’t do half ass.So you can imagine that when Harry’s decided to finally introduce its own wash bag a lot of thought went into it. Just like the razors, the final result is cool looking, perfectly suited for travel, and wallet-friendly ($25!). While the material resembles your favorite chambray shirt, it’s actually a durable, water-resistant blend of nylon and cotton whipped up in a 100-year old Italian mill (so yeah they know their shit). Inside is a waterproof lining that can handle the inevitable leaks and spills that come with constant travel and is adorned with doodles of the team’s favorite far-flung cities.Buy the kit empty or fully stocked with your favorite Harry’s offerings. Or as ‘tis the season for giving, ask your loved ones to get it for you. The Barbershop Renaissance and Men’s Grooming Revolution, According to Fellow Barber’s Sam Buffa Sprint Through Airport Security With These TSA-Approved Men’s Grooming Kits The Best New Men’s Grooming Brands You Need to Know About How to Pack a Dopp Kit (aka Toiletry Bag) for When You Won’t be Sleeping at Homelast_img read more

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Province Launches Coyote Pelt Incentive Program

first_img The Department has hired a wildlife biologist to focus on human wildlife conflict, is training 15 trappers to target aggressive coyotes; and is developing an enhanced education program about avoiding coyotes. The pelt incentive program enhances a partnership with the Trappers’ Association of Nova Scotia and nuisance wildlife operators by adding a $20 for pelts sold to fur buyers by harvesters. The incentive — which will run until the end of trapping season on March 31 — is designed to increase participation by trappers but is also available to all licenced hunters. “This is a proactive approach to help reduce the problem of aggressiveness towards humans in the coyote population. Additionally, our officials will examine these coyotes to determine any factors which might help explain why we are seeing more coyote-human interaction.” The department has received more reports of aggressive coyotes than usual this year. “Our officials have removed over a dozen potentially dangerous coyotes from school properties and other public areas since April and we will continue to do so as necessary,” said Mr. MacDonell. Gary Fisher, president of the Trappers Association of Nova Scotia, says his members fully support this initiative. “I’ve been talking to many trappers who were inactive that are coming back to trap this year, thanks to the pelt incentive,” said Mr. Fisher. “Aggressive coyotes can be a danger to the public. I’m optimistic this program will help reduce that problem.” The department reminds pet owners to keep pets under supervision when in wildlife habitat, particularly during trapping season. People should contact local Department of Natural Resources offices when coyotes or other nuisance wildlife create a concern for human safety, destruction of property, or a diseased or injured animal is found. A list of local offices can be found at: www.gov.ns.ca/natr/staffdir/offices.asp . Encounters may also reported by calling 1-800-565-2224. The coyote pelt incentive program to help protect Nova Scotians from aggressive coyotes will begin today, Oct. 15 with the start of the annual trapping season. The pelt incentive, announced by Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell in April, is included in a four-part approach to reduce aggressive coyote behavior and make communities safer. “These steps will help protect the public from aggressive coyotes, while re-instilling a fear of humans in the animals,” said Mr. MacDonell. “Even with these additional measures in place, I still urge people to heed the advice of wildlife experts to reduce the risk of a confrontation.” For more information on coyotes in Nova Scotia, visit www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/nuisance/coyotes-faq.asplast_img read more

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PWD reels under staff shortage

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Public Works Department, which has task of implementation and maintaining infrastructure projects, is grappling with staff shortages. According to official reports, there are sanctioned posts in PWD are 3,292, out of which 1,302 posts are vacant.Delhi government’s projects include installation of 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras, Construction of flyovers, underbridges and Footover bridges, beautification of 500 km major-roads, construction of Mohalla clinics and School buildings, etc. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in DenmarkAAP government finds itself helpless when it comes to appointing , selecting, transferring and post staff besides expediting recruitment. The AAP government has been arguing that all Services related matters now fall in the L-G jurisdiction including the accountability of DSSSB. Major Infrastructure Projects such as WiFi are also far behind schedules. The date for street-escaping bidding originally June 30 last year, has moved the December 31 this year, while the installation of 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras will only be completed by April 2020.last_img read more

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali shelves Inshaaallah

first_imgMumbai: Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has apparently decided to shelve his much-anticipated film “In-shaa-allah”, featuring superstar Salman Khan and Alia Bhatt. The revelation was made by a source close to development, a day after both Bhansali’s production banner and Salman announced that they have decided to “push” the film. “In-shaa-allah” was scheduled for an Eid 2020 release. “Sanjay Leela Bhansali respects and loves his actors and suggestions are welcome but not if they aim to alter the narrative. Hence, he has taken the decision to shelve the film. However, they are still friends and Sanjay Leela Bhansali has immense love and respect for him,” the insider said. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka The project, which was a co-production between Salman and Bhansali’s banners, would have marked the director-actor duo’s first collaboration in two decades where Salman, 53, was suppose to play the lead. Bhansali made his directorial debut with 1996’s “Khamoshi – The Musical”, which starred Salman. The actor went on to feature in the director-producer’s classic “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” in 1999 opposite Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Ajay Devgn. He also made a cameo in Bhansali’s “Saawariya”, which launched Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor.last_img read more

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Suvendu Adhikari flags off new fleets of electric CNG buses

first_imgKolkata: State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari flagged off 20 electric buses and 20 CNG buses from Paribahan Bhawan at Kasba on Wednesday.While the electric buses belong to West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC), the CNG buses belong to South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC). The WBTC has introduced 20 electric buses, each 12 metres in length. The new buses are more spacious having more number of seats and with larger storage capacity. These buses will be rolled out in the existing and popular routes of the city. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaMeanwhile, SBSTC’s environment friendly CNG buses will be plying in and around the Durgapur and Asansol zone and will connect neighbouring districts. These buses have been procured from the grant received from the West Bengal Pollution Control Board. As the new buses are environment friendly, it will be a major help to curb the level of pollution in the state. It may be mentioned that the state Transport department has planned to operate CNG buses all over the state, which will be done in phases. In February, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had inaugurated 20 electric buses. “We have rolled out 20 electric buses. We will be introducing 60 more electric buses within a period of three months. Our schemes such as Gatidhara and Jaladhara have provided employment to a number of youths in the state,” Banerjee had pointed out.last_img read more

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Ottawas Canada Science and Technology Museum reopening with new sensory exhibit

first_imgOTTAWA – The technology used in the field of medicine has grown by leaps and bounds over the past century, but when the Canada Science and Technology Museum reopens in Ottawa next month, a new exhibit in the 7,400-square-metre space will be asking visitors to imagine the future while getting back to basics: sight, sound, touch, smell and even taste.The idea for “Medical Sensations” came from a previously planned exhibit focused on medical imaging that the museum had on the books when mould and a leaky roof forced the tourist attraction to shut down three years ago, says Christina Tessier, director general of the museum.As they thought about expanding the medical imaging exhibit for the grand reopening, Tessier says they decided to go beyond sight to incorporate all the other senses physicians use to diagnose and treat patients — with the added bonus being that it’s also a great way to explore a museum.“That aspect of our five senses is very approachable and accessible for the audience for understanding medical technology and also it allows us to look fully at that whole spectrum of medical treatment and diagnosis,” says Tessier.Here’s a rundown of the sense-based approach to the new exhibit:SOUNDThe tour begins with a collection of stethoscopes, including a replica of the first one, invented in 1816. David Pantalony, curator of the new exhibit, says there is a bit of a debate over whether the iconic medical instrument is really necessary anymore. Still, he notes that for much of the world, it remains an important diagnostic device, especially in the developing world.“There’s a lot of physicians worldwide who say this is still one of the most powerful, simple, elegant ways to learn about the body,” says Pantalony.Other attractions in the sound section of the exhibit include buttons to listen to different kinds of coughs and a 1940s vinyl recording of a heartbeat, with the Glenn Miller Orchestra on the other side of the record. The exhibit also explores the more abstract aspect of sound in health care — that of listening. It includes a profile of Dr. Lisa Monkman, an Anishinaabe physician in Manitoba, who describes listening to the stories of her patients and their entire communities.“It’s not just about treating the disease, but it’s treating the patient,” Pantalony says.SIGHTThe sense of sight is as important to the medical profession now as it was centuries ago, but it is explored in different ways as the exhibit hops through time. The section includes a wall of wax models, called moulages, that medical students would have used as a three-dimensional guide to various skin conditions.“The students would … look at them like a book,” says Pantalony.Although this is the section on sight, it also includes an element of touch. One of the moulages, depicting a hand spotted with warts, has been 3D printed and mounted on the wall, so that the visually impaired can still interact with the exhibit. On the other end of the technological spectrum is an interactive app called Visible Body, a computerized atlas of human anatomy that lets the visitor zoom in and out on everything from eyeballs to the spine.TASTE AND SMELLBelieve it or not, doctors used to rely on the senses of taste and smell to help figure out what was ailing their patients — including when it comes to urine. The museum has a replica of a 16th-century urine wheel, which depicts the different colours, tastes and scents of that bodily secretion and what it would have meant to physicians back in those days. Pantalony says some of the same debates over the use of technology in medicine existed at that time, as some were concerned doctors were relying too heavily on the urine test as a diagnostic tool, rather than using their other senses at the bedside.TOUCHOne game in this section that will likely be popular with visitors involves manipulating levers to perform fine motor skills-based tasks, much like one would during surgery, using robotic arms. Another involves putting your hand through a curtain to feel a 3D-printed version of an organ. By using only the sense of touch, visitors need to figure out whether they are feeling a brain, a pair of lungs or even an entire skull.ALL TOGETHER NOWNo matter how sophisticated the medical imaging devices of today are, physicians are often required to use more than one sense to diagnose and treat their patients. This is made clear in one section of the exhibit where patients are presented with a simplified version of the simulation doll used in medical schools and given a chance to explore their senses to figure out what is wrong. They can smell the breath, look into the eyes, listen to the heartbeat, or feel a rash on the skin.“This is really the art of the practice of medicine, bringing it all together,” says Pantalony.———If you go…Ottawa’s Canada Science and Technology Museum reopens Nov. 17 at 1867 St. Laurent Blvd.Admission for adults is $17, seniors and students pay $13, a ticket for kids ages three to 17 is $11, while children two and under get in for free.There is also a discounted family pass and free admission for members, while anyone can check out the museum for free daily between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitterlast_img read more

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CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT CAKE

first_img Twitter Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement In November, New Harlem Productions will stage Cake, a new play written by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, at Theatre Passe Muraille.  The show is about Niger’s uranium mining, and it’s a part of the 54ology, St. Bernard’s project aiming to create one performance work drawn from each country in Africa.  In Cake, Oba is holding on to the last threads of his old life and is determined to maintain what he can by any means necessary. It’s a story about the things we use, how we are used, and what happens when we are all used up.READ MORE LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img

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Vladimir Putin Invites King Mohammed VI to Visit Russia

Rabat- Valentina Matvienko, speaker of the Russian Parliament’s upper house, the Federation Council, said Thursday that President Vladimir Putin sent an invitation to King Mohammed VI to visit Russia.According to Sputnik news agency, Matvienko stated that the date of the King’s arrival is yet to be specified, as his visit should be prepared properly.“We are sure that the visit will take place, as the invitation to King [Mohammed] was sent personally by the President of the country [Russia],” Matvienko said during the visit of Russia’s Federal Council to Rabat, adding that she will transfer Putin’s personal message during the meeting with the king. She added that a vast range of documents on Russian-Moroccan cooperation is expected to be signed during the visit. Earlier in the day, Russia’s Federal Council and Moroccan House of Councillors (Senate) signed a memorandum on cooperation.Morocco’s ambassador to Russia, Abdelkader Lachheb, had already said that an upcoming visit of King Mohammed VI to Moscow is being prepared, adding that “Morocco and Russia aspire to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and scientific spheres.”Former visits of King Mohammed VI to Russia were initially scheduled for last year but were eventually postponed.King Mohammed VI’s last visit to Russia was in 2002 during which a bilateral strategic partnership was signed. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Morocco in 2006. The two countries signed a range of agreements, including on fishing and tourism.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

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UNorganized radio communication conference opens in Geneva

More than 1,500 delegates attended the opening day of the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) reported. It is the first time the conference has been held since mid-2003.The conference, which runs until 16 November, serves as the international forum for revising the radio regulations – the treaty governing the use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.Rapid growth in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, driven by technological advances, is also increasing demand for wireless communications, and thus the need to streamline and regularize those operations.Some 30 items relating to terrestrial and space radio services and applications are on the conference agenda, ranging from digital broadcasting to satellites for meteorology to the better prediction and detection of natural disasters. 22 October 2007The United Nations telecommunication agency today opened an international conference on radio communications that aims to examine the worldwide use of radio frequencies and meet the global demand for spectrum. read more

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New Constitution will include a Bill of Rights

The Foreign Minister also said that Sri Lanka has also initiated dialogue with diaspora groups and individuals with a view to working with them and obtaining their ideas, views, and assistance for the reconciliation process that is currently underway in the country including projects that directly relate to the welfare of the people.He said that on the international stage, Sri Lanka is once again working closely with the United Nations Organisation and its systems and procedures.“We liaise closely with the High Commissioner for Human Rights and his office and we remain open to working with the OHCHR to obtain technical assistance to address several important issues including justice and accountability related issues,” he added. The new Constitution will include a Bill of Rights that takes into account not only civil and political rights but economic, social and cultural rights as well, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.He said that the new Constitution will address the needs of all citizens and communities and allow greater participation for the public in decision making processes relating to matters in their respective areas. Overall, he says Sri Lanka will pursue a policy of engagement, dialogue and cooperation with all countries and international organizations, and will remain open to the ideas of others, their views and opinions while sharing Sri Lanka’s own experiences and views pertaining to matters that concern not only Sri Lanka, but the global community at large. (Colombo Gazette) “This would enable more accountable and more responsible government in the country. Such a Constitution, with electoral reform and restoration of stronger Parliamentary government would be essential to ensure reconciliation and lasting peace with justice and rule of law,” he said. The Foreign Minister expressed these views during a speech made at the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore. In keeping with the Government’s approach of working closely with the international community, Samaraweera said that Sri Lanka has forged stronger relations with the United Nations and its agencies to obtain financial and technical assistance including through the UN’s Peacebuilding Fund for formulating resettlement plans, meet the immediate requirements of those being resettled, training and capacity building, and reconciliation projects. Samaraweera said that there is full realization that in order not to slip back into unfortunate conflicts such as the insurrections in the South and the problems in the North which ultimately led to terrorism, it is important that all citizens must feel that they have equal opportunities and have the ability to contribute to nation building.He said that all citizens, irrespective of ethnicity and language must feel that they are equal partners, sharing equal rights. read more

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Sri Lanka and Kuwait discuss future cooperation

Over Kuwait Dinar 77 million (US$ 256 million) have so far been granted as loans for 15 projects, including the Moragahakanda Irrigation and Agricultural Development Project and the Moragolla Hydropower Project. Discussions included implementation of agreements between the two countries on avoidance of double taxation; cultural, media, educational, scientific and technological cooperation; promotion and reciprocal protection of investment; and labour recruitment and development of manpower. Provision of assistance for development projects in Sri Lanka from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and future Kuwaiti investment in Sri Lanka were discussed as well. Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait Ali Suleiman Al-Saeed called on Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana today, the Foreign Ministry said.Additionally,​ the Kuwaiti delegation held detailed discussions on bilateral cooperation between Kuwait and Sri Lanka​​ with Additional Secretary (Bilateral Affairs) Sumith Nakandala and Foreign Ministry and other officials. read more

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On Mandela Day UN joins call to promote community service and inspire

“Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual call to action for people around the world to make a difference in the communities where they live and work by taking time to serve others,” the Secretary-General stated in his message for the Day.“Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice,” Mr. Ban continued. “The United Nations joins the Mandela Foundation in asking people around the world to devote at least 67 minutes of their time on 18 July – Madiba’s birthday – to a community service activity.”The UN General Assembly declared 18 July ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ in 2009 in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to democracy, justice and reconciliation and to mark his birthday. Mr. Mandela passed away in December 2013 in Johannesburg at the age of 95.The overall campaign slogan – Take Action, Inspire Change – seeks to inspire people around the world to take 67 minutes of time devoted to helping others and, in so doing, empower entire communities and build a global movement for good.In the past, volunteers have helped to rebuild homes destroyed by hurricane Sandy in the New York, offered school supplies to children, prepared meals for the elderly, helped out in orphanages, cleaned up parks, and delivered computer literacy workshops.This year’s commemoration comes a week before the UN is set to bestow its first-ever Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize to two individuals – a man and a woman – for their service to humanity. Dr. Helena Ndume, of Namibia, and Jorge Fernando Branco Sampaio, of Portugal, will receive the award at a ceremony to take place on 24 July 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York. read more

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In Addis Ababa Guterres says partnership with African Union is fundamental to

“For the United Nations, the most important partnership is the partnership with the African Union,” Mr. Guterres said, alongside Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, at the start of a weekend of activities for the UN chief at the 30th AU Summit, which gathers leaders from across the region, this year under the theme ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.’After signing the new AU-UN Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Secretary-General said that across the three main pillars of the United Nations – development, peace and security, and human rights – the African continent is key to solving global problems.“The international community would not be able to have successes in development if Africa does not succeed its development taking advantage of its youth ‘dividend’ youth,” he said, adding that neither world the global community secure lasting peace and security if Africa is not able to manage not only its conflicts, but above all, to make strong effort at conflict prevention and resolution.“We will be side by side with the African Union in respecting African leadership in solving African problems to help in this [regard],” said the Secretary-General, adding that Africa has also made admirable strides in human rights.“Today, we talk a lot about immigration. I have always seen African countries open their doors to refugees and migrants,” said the UN chief, adding that this is a lesson other parts of the world could learn from.The agreement reached today, which follows the signing at UN Headquarters in April 2017 of a landmark framework to strengthen partnership between the UN and the AU on peace and security, and help the two organizations better respond to the evolving challenges of peace operations.Tackling hunger vital to Africa’s efforts to meet Sustainable Development GoalsAmong the other activities he participated in today, Mr. Guterres addressed a high-level event to take stock of progress on the renewed partnership to end hunger in Africa by 2025, where he noted that agricultural and livestock productivity on the continent are under threat and hunger rates continue to increase, and cited the close links among hunger, food insecurity and poverty.“Sustainable and inclusive agricultural growth is vital to achieve both SDG1 [Sustainable Development Goal] on poverty and SDG2 on hunger, and also influences many other Goals,” he said, referring to the 17 Goals included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the action plan adopted by UN Member States in 2015, to ensure that all people live in peace, security and dignity on a healthy planet.“This means adopting national agricultural policies and investment plans that focus not only on agricultural sector development, but on poverty, hunger and resilience to climate change,” he added.He went on to draw a link between climatic shocks, environmental degradation, crop and livestock price collapse and conflict.“Climate change adaptation should be promoted as an integral part of conflict prevention, with special attention to sustainable agriculture and pastoralist and semi-pastoralist livelihoods,” he urged.He flagged that the majority of undernourished people in Africa live in conflict-affected countries, where hunger is almost twice as high when the crisis is protracted – advocating for stronger commitment by governments, the AU and the UN to promote peace, human rights and sustainable development.“During conflicts and protracted crises, we still need to assist people most at risk of hunger and malnutrition and support them to build more resilient livelihoods,” he emphasized, adding: “That means preventive interventions to break the link between food insecurity and conflict, such as shielding consumers and producers from food price shocks through price stabilization measures and social protection interventions.”the UN chief said that over time, by helping vulnerable households manage risks better, social protection can support investments in livelihoods that enhance people’s resilience to future threats and crises.“To build and sustain peace and address hunger and poverty, we need community-based approaches that build social cohesion and the capacity of local institutions and actors. Improved governance that can deliver equitable services is essential,” he asserted. read more

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Crossrail 2 TfL levy could force nearby home owners to stump up

Home owners living within a certain radius of Crossrail 2 stations could be forced to stump up millions to pay for the project. William Jackson, development consultant for Crossrail 2, said: “Somebody’s got to pay for this and the people in those zones are going… Transport for London is considering introducing a levy to fund the £30 billion scheme, which will run from Broxbourne in Hertfordshire to Epsom in Surrey, through central London. It would create three zones stretching a kilometre around each station. Each zone, mapped out in concentric circles, would have a scaled charge, known as the Transport Property Charge, descending with the distance from the station, according to Estates Gazette.

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