Moratorium on risky experiments lifted for MERS mouse studies

first_imgThe U.S. government has lifted a temporary ban on research attempting to develop an animal model for the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) virus, a deadly coronavirus spreading from camels to people in the Middle East.On 17 October, in an unusual move, the U.S. government halted federal funding for risky studies on MERS, SARS, or influenza that tweak these viruses to make them more pathogenic or transmissible by respiration in mammals. Among the 18 stopped projects were at least five working on adapting the MERS virus to mice in order to generate a strain that sickens the animals. That could ease studies aimed at understanding the virus and developing vaccines and drugs.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The funding pause came as a shock to MERS researchers. At various meetings, including one at the National Academy of Sciences this week, they argued that developing an animal model for MERS is crucial for addressing the virus, which has infected at least 938 people and killed one-third of them. They applied for an exemption, spelled out in the moratorium policy, that allows for continuing work “urgently necessary to protect the public health.”That exemption has now been approved for at least some of these projects. “We are very happy,” says Matthew Frieman of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, who got a call from his program officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) yesterday. NIAID intramural researcher Kanta Subbarao said her project to develop a rabbit model for MERS has also been exempted; the National Institutes of Health had not responded to a request about the other projects at press time.*Update, 18 December, 3:20 p.m.: NIH confirmed today that all five projects working on a mouse model for MERS have been exempted from the pause. Two influenza studies have also been granted an exception; no requests for an exemption have been denied.last_img read more

Prisoners Of Race

first_imgI encounter bigotry and prejudice all too frequently among my Indian American family members.It’s a beautiful summer day in Palo Alto, Calif. My cousins and I rush to take our seats in the backyard of a house on the Stanford University campus. My aunt can’t stop laughing as her son’s funk band starts playing. She tells us, “I’ve never seen him like this.”Her son, my cousin, is jamming on his sax, wearing shorts, flip-flops and an Afro wig. At 6 feet 2 inches, he’s easily the tallest member of the band; he is also easily the darkest-skinned of the mostly White band. Over burgers and hot dogs after the concert, my aunt explains to us that my cousin was on a road trip in a convertible recently, which is why his skin is so tanned, as if his darkness is something that needs explanation. It reminded me of the time my mom related to me the remark of another aunt after I was born, “She’s so dark.”I was visiting San Jose for my sax-playing cousin’s graduation, a trip that included features typical of family gatherings in the U.S. – delight at seeing relatives I have not seen in weeks, months and sometimes even years; joy at being able to go back and forth between English and Kannada; the kind of laughter that is only possible with people who know you since you were a baby; and finally, bouts of nausea caused both by the blatantly racist comments of relatives and my own inability to challenge them. Though this particular trip lasted only three days, I encountered numerous examples of prejudices that I hear all too frequently among my Indian American family members.The first comment came as I discussed possible places for lunch. One cousin mentioned eating Chinese food recently in a part of town with numerous Chinese restaurants, noting, “I saw flies there and do you think it’s a coincidence it was in that part of the town?”I was stunned into silence. Then I thought, “Really? You think that?” But I said nothing.While I puzzled over what I should have said, we drove to a gas station to fill up before we headed to an Afghan restaurant we had finally settled on. As we chatted about the rising gas prices, my cousin said that she couldn’t understand why the gasoline price hike was such a big deal, “Surely an increase of 50 cents cannot be that much of a burden on someone’s budget.”Later when I learnt just how much she and her husband made at their IT jobs, I could understand why gas that topped $4.50/gallon was no “big deal” for her. On a graduate student stipend, I spend almost 30% of my annual income on rent, while my cousins, whose apartment costs three times as much, still spend only 12% of their income on rent. By the time I had made these calculations in my head, we were eating lunch and hurrying to get to my cousin’s funk band concert.Next it was graduation day at Stanford University. Some 20 family members attended the graduation in the university’s football stadium. It was a warm, sunny day. Most women, wearing short-sleeved shirts, ended up getting sun burned sitting through Oprah Winfrey’s long-winded speech. Later that night, I was commenting on my dramatic tan line when one cousin made some remark about Winfrey. My other cousins, uncles and aunts cracked up. I couldn’t quite hear what he said, but his wife responded, “You can say things like that in the house, but make sure you don’t say that outside.” One aunt cautioned that we should be careful about what we say, because her daughter does not like it when they use the word “Black.” I gathered that my cousin’s comment referred to Winfrey’s dark skin.This time, I said nothing since I had not heard the actual comment.Later that night, another cousin’s wedding album was passed around. My great aunt began disparaging the book’s cover photo, which had the cousin and her husband in casual clothes and pose. She said that the boy was so handsome, but you couldn’t tell that because of his beard. And that my cousin looked even worse – “she looks like a tribal. It’s a terrible photo. I don’t know why she picked this one to put on the cover.” There were murmurs of agreement. Yet again, though I was shocked by her choice of words and the vehemence with which she criticized the photo, I was silent. This time, I justified it by wanting to respect my elders and my inability to challenge her in Kannada. Other photos were criticized that night. A cousin, a sophomore in college, had decided to grow a beard. The great aunt was thoroughly appalled. “Oh my god you look just like a Muslim. It’s terrible.” My cousin just laughed. His mom piped in to say that she has begged him to shave before he gets on a plane. There were more disapproving comments about how he looked Muslim from some of the other relatives.I’m sure by now, you can guess what I did. That’s right. I said nothing.The next day, there was a pooja (religious ceremony) for my uncle’s 60th birthday at a small temple, located in a garage-type building. I chuckled at the adaptations by the temple’s priests. The homa (fire) was created in a tinfoil container, to keep the carpets clean and making disposal easier at the end of the ceremony. As the priest instructed my uncle and aunt, he said to their daughter, “You should get married soon, because there are certain things that only wives can help their husbands with and there are age limits on that. I know everyone wants to get educated, but enough education now. You need to do other things.”My male cousin burst out laughing, teasing his sister loudly that she needed to listen to the priest. I rolled my eyes at the laughter that echoed in the room. Later during the pooja, the priest opined that we all need to make sure that we married Hindus. When some people gasped, he responded: “Well, it’s true. We did not move here just to make money, we need to continue our traditions.”What traditions would the priest have us continue to uphold? Discouraging young women from pursuing education? Devaluing, disparaging and dismissing those who look different or practice a different religion? Having a sense of superiority over those who have less power in society?As frustrated and infuriated as I was by these comments (and this weekend seemed to pack more of them than most family gatherings), I was even more frustrated by my own silence. This was not the first time I had heard prejudiced comments from my relatives against Blacks or Muslims. Nor was it the first time I had been exposed to their ignorance about what it means to be poor either here or in India. The priest was certainly not the first Indian I knew to make boldly sexist comments to good-natured laughter. And unfortunately, this was also not the first time I chose to be silent and thereby tacitly agree with such comments.I am fortunate that I rarely hear my parents make such blatantly prejudiced comments and when they do, I am comfortable challenging them. Recently, my brother, sister-in-law and I had a spirited conversation over Hillary Clinton’s appeal to the racist beliefs of White voters. However, when it comes to family members outside my immediate family, I find myself tongue-tied. I don’t know how to challenge such comments or at least to register my disagreement. The most I do to chip away at their attitudes is to share widely pictures of my social circle, which includes friends from a diverse array of racial and ethnic backgrounds. I can always come up with excuses for my silence. I feel insecure about my own standing within the family – I’m an unmarried 30-year-old woman, pursuing a PhD in Education (“Oh, that’s interesting.”) and have the shortest hair for a woman in my circle of relatives. I am unsure about how to go about challenging comments made in Kannada, because my Kannada is weak. And I cannot challenge the comments of uncles, aunts, grandfathers, great aunts, and so forth, because it would be perceived as being disrespectful.I am especially astounded that my relatives, most of whom are highly educated, can be so bigoted. I suppose I’ve become used to confronting and challenging the much more subtle – though no less devastating – racism that abounds in the halls of academia. Part of my inability to respond to my relatives’ comments stems from my disbelief that supposedly “educated” people could hold onto such stereotypes.But I want to start saying something, even at the risk of sounding preachy, politically correct, or just plain Pollyanna-ish. I want to do so partly because I am committed to opposing and teaching opposition to racism, but mostly because these comments disparage some of my closest friends who have been an incredible source of support, inspiration and love over the years. I want to tell my relatives that that difference isn’t so bad; in fact, it can be enriching and exciting.I write this as a starting point in that conversation, since I often find myself braver and bolder in writing than in speech. I do not believe that my relatives will necessarily change their minds after reading this. However, I do want to register, finally, my protest against their bigotry.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Match fixing: Ex-Lankan skipper refuses to name cricketers after threat

first_imgFormer Sri Lankan skipper Hashan Tillekaratne on Tuesday said he had received death threats following his revelations about match fixing in the national cricket team. Tillekaratne, now a politician in Sri Lanka’s opposition party, told media that on the advice of his lawyers he has decided against revealing specific names at this time. “I have made a statement today but I have taken advice from my lawyers and I did not expose those involved after I came out with these allegations. I have been receiving lots of nuisance calls and death threats and all these things. But I will definitely expose those involved in the time to come,” Tillekaratne said adding he has been reluctant to voice his allegations previously for fear of his safety. He also said he will tell the International Cricket Council (ICC) that cricket matches were fixed during his career. Last week Tillekaratne had said that match fixing has been prevalent in Sri Lanka since 1992 and now he reaffirmed his statement saying he would not reveal specific names. His allegations have created waves within Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) and have been dismissed by the board as well as the current cricketers. The SLC expressed concern over the allegations and called for “concrete evidence” to substantiate them.last_img read more

Murali Vijay fit for first Test against West Indies

first_imgThe injury-hit Indian cricket team heaved a sigh of relief after opener Murali Vijay was declared fit for the opening Test against the West Indies, starting here on Monday.Vijay, who was hit on his right forefinger in his first practice session on Friday, has suffered no real damage.Vijay was back in the nets and batted with intensity at Sabina Park on Sudnay.The Indians, unhappy with the practice facilities, chose to send their batters to a faraway location while the bowlers bowled alongside the main pitch at Sabina Park.Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh bowled for a long period in trying to work out the right length for the Test match. They also had a fair idea of the bounce the pitch would offer over the next five days.The batters though returned to the venue once it was known that the repairs had been done and the practice pitches were fit to be used.Even though Vijay is fit, there is still uncertainty over the fitness of pacer Munaf Patel.Munaf, who is battling an elbow injury, was again out of action on Sunday.It is ironical that on a pitch which offers a great deal of bounce, India would be forced to go with just two medium-fast bowlers in the match.Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar will be sharing the new ball but there is no other fast bowler on whom skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni can fall back upon.Replacement medium-pacer Abhimanyu Mithun is expected to arrive today, well after the first day’s play is over.advertisementMithun thus has ruled himself out and with the team unlikely to take chances on Munaf, it appears certain that India would go into the Test with two pace and an equal number of spinners.It seals the place for leg-spinner Amit Mishra who, despite his one-day heroics, must have been praying for his inclusion in the side after being out for 10 months.Harbhajan Singh will be keen to do well as well since he needs only seven wickets to reach the magical 400-wicket mark in his 94th Test.- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

Warriors survive Blazers in OT to complete sweep, seal NBA Finals return

first_img“We just really understand what we’re capable of on both sides of the basketball,” Draymond Green said. “We’re never out of the fight. That’s just always our mindset.”The Warriors swept their way to a fifth straight NBA Finals, getting triple-doubles from Stephen Curry and Green in a 119-117 overtime victory on Monday night.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThe two-time defending champions overcame a double-digit deficit for the third straight game against the Blazers, back in the conference finals for the first time since 2000.Green had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, and made a key 3-pointer in overtime. Curry added 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. They became the first teammates to have triple-doubles in the same playoff game. FIVE AIN’T EASYThe Warriors are just the sixth professional team from North America to go to five straight championships, along with the Montreal Canadiens (NHL), Boston Celtics (NBA), Cleveland Browns (NFL), New York Yankees (MLB) and New York Islanders (NHL).HONORING LOWEFormer Oregon wide receiver Keanon Lowe got a standing ovation when he was introduced to the crowd at the Moda Center in the first quarter. Lowe, a coach at Portland’s Parkrose High School, stopped a student who came to the school armed with a shotgun on Friday.“I saw the look on his face, the look in his eyes, I looked at the gun, I realized it was a real gun and then my instincts just took over,” Lowe, 27, said about wrestling the gun away from the teenager. Lowe spoke to reporters before the game.The suspect, 19-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz, pleaded not guilty earlier Monday during a brief court hearing. The Warriors were up 114-113 in the extra period after Green missed the first of a pair of free throws. CJ McCollum’s jumper from out front briefly gave Portland the lead but Alfonzo McKinnie’s basket put Golden State back ahead and Green made a 3-pointer to push it to 199-115 with 39 seconds left.Lillard made a layup and Curry missed a jumper to give Portland back the ball. Facing stifling defense from both Green and Klay Thompson, Lillard couldn’t get off a shot but the ball went out of bounds in the scramble. The Blazers got it back with 3.3 seconds left but Lillard’s final shot didn’t fall.Blazers coach Terry Stotts was asked if he was expecting another buzzer-beating winner from Lillard, who had a memorable 3-pointer at the buzzer to clinch the first-round series against Oklahoma City.“Yeah, I did. I thought it was going to — kind of meant to be,” Stotts said. “When he shot it, it had a good arc. I thought it had a chance.”The Blazers stretched the lead to 17 points in the third quarter, but the Warriors went on a 12-0 run to close within 95-90 early in the final period.Green’s long baseline jumper gave the Warriors a 108-106 lead with 3:30 left. Lillard’s 3-pointer put the Blazers back ahead and Leonard’s dunk extended it to 111-108 with just under 2 minutes to go.After Thompson’s 3-pointer tied it up again both Curry and Lillard missed 3s. Curry made a 3 from the corner with 10.7 seconds left but he was called for traveling first and it didn’t count.Lillard’s layup bounced around the rim and out and the game went to overtime.Iguodala was out because of a sore left calf. The veteran swingman, who is averaging 10.1 points in the playoffs, was hurt in the second half of Saturday’s Game 3 victory.It was not known how long he’d be out, but the Warriors said an MRI Sunday was clear. The Warriors will face the winner of the Eastern Conference finals between Toronto and Milwaukee. The Bucks lead that series 2-1 with Game 4 on Tuesday night in Canada.The Warriors came back from 17 down after erasing an 18-point deficit in Game 3 and a 17-point hole in Game 2.“We’ve been here before. We’ve seen everything, every experience you can imagine. So we relied on that,” Curry said.Playing without Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors became the first team to reach five straight finals since the Boston Celtics went to 10 in a row from 1957-66.Damian Lillard, playing with separated ribs, had 28 points and 12 assists for Portland. He missed a 3-point attempt as time ran out in the extra period. Meyers Leonard added a career-high 30 points along with 12 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, celebrates as he runs next to Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, center, at the end of Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals, Monday, May 20, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Warriors won 119-117 in overtime. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)PORTLAND, Oregon — Experience bred confidence for the Golden State Warriors, even when challenged by the upstart Portland Trail Blazers.No matter how far they were down, they’ve been through too much to ever think they’re out.ADVERTISEMENT Golden State was already missing Durant because of a sore right calf. It’s unknown when the two-time NBA Finals MVP will return. Also sitting is Cousins, who injured his left quadriceps in the opening round.“We’ve had guys step up all along this entire time and we’re going to look forward to those guys continuing to step up, no matter what happens with the injuries that we have,” Green said. “You know, we’re trying to go win this thing. Never the goal is just to get there.”Lillard separated his ribs in Game 2 but was playing through the pain. He averaged 33 points in the first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City but struggled against Golden State’s defensive focus on him.Playing with urgency in an elimination game, Portland pulled in front 30-28 in the opening quarter on CJ McCollum’s layup and free throw, but Curry answered on the other end with a step-back 3-pointer.Portland went ahead 59-50 after back-to-back 3-pointers from Leonard, who finished with five 3s in the first half.Curry hit a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in the half to close the Warriors within 69-65 at the break.Portland pushed the lead to 83-72 on McCollum’s 3-pointer. After he made another 3 to push the lead to 91-78, he gestured to the crowd to make noise. McCollum finished with 26 points.TIP INS:Warriors: Curry has made a 3-pointer in a playoff-record 106 games. … Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was among the fans at the game, sitting a few seats down from the Warriors bench. … Per Elias Sports and the Warriors, Curry had a streak of 81 consecutive free throws made in the fourth quarter and overtime in the postseason — before he missed one with 9:25 left in the game against the Blazers.Trail Blazers: Leonard, who didn’t even play in five of Portland’s postseason games, had a playoff-high 16 points in Game 3. After scoring 25 in the first half, fans at the Moda Center chanted his name.last_img read more

Bedi asks youths to take part in sporting events

first_imgPuducherry, May 7 (PTI) Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has called upon the youth to participate in sports and games, saying it would infuse “team spirit and organisational capacity” in them.Distributing medals and trophies and cash awards to teams on the concluding day of the Oorja CAPFs Youth Under 19 Football Talent Hunt Tournament 2017 here today, she said, “The tournament was a good opportunity for young boys and girls to get into sporting events.””Such opportunities would give the participants a sense of team spirit and would procure several other benefits including awareness about value of time and organisational capacity,” she said.She also appreciated the initiatives of the CRPF which was the nodal central armed police force for the holding of the football tournament in Puducherry from May 2 to May 7.Shailendra Kumar, the Additional Director General of CRPF (Southern one), Hyderabad was among those present at the event.The tournament was conducted by the CRPF, in association of the Puducherry State Sports Council and the Puducherry Football Association.A release said that India was going to host the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in October this year.Prior to this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has desired that central para military forces and state police organise Under 19 football competitions to create awareness about the game. PTI CORR SMNlast_img read more

Would love Steven Gerrard to succeed me at Liverpool, says Jurgen Klopp

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he would love former England skipper Steven Gerrard to succeed him at the club.Anfield great Gerrard returned from his late career turn in Major League Soccer to take on the Reds U-18s in January and will coach them full-time next season.And now the Liverpool boss is delighted to have the former England skipper and believes one day he could succeed him in the top job.”It’s perfect that we can involve Steven. What a guy, he’s fantastic. He was one of the world’s best footballers ever,” Independent quoted Klopp as saying.”We had him last winter when he had a break in the USA (from LA Galaxy) and he had a few sessions with us, a few shooting sessions, and I thought what is that? His shooting. Unbelievable.””I told him when I leave, or the club sack me, I don’t care of course who’ll be my successor, but I’d love that he’d be it,” he saidGerrard, who joined the club in February in a roving coaching role, will take over the U18s for Neil Critchley.The 49-year-old insisted that he would do everything he could to make sure Gerrard gets all the information.”I’ll do everything I can to make sure he gets all the information he needs. Because when you join a club you have a big responsibility for the future, and the future of this club needs legends like Steven Gerrard in decisive positions,” Klopp said.advertisementlast_img read more

India’s first engine-less train unveiled

first_imgChennai, Oct 29 (IANS) The Rs 100-crore indigenously developed high-tech, energy-efficient, self-propelled or engineless train was flagged off by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani here on Monday.Soon after Lohani waved the green flag, the white-coloured train with a dash of blue moved few yards in the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) amid the beating of drums in celebration.Officials said India’s first trainset — Train 18 — will be a game-changer for the Indian Railways.The train was developed at nearly half the cost that is normally incurred for such development.Speaking to IANS earlier, S. Mani, General Manager, ICF, said the train with a capacity to touch speed of 160 kmph will replace the Shatabdi Express.”With 16 coaches, the train will have the same passenger carrying capacity. There are now separate power cars. But it is about 15-20 per cent energy efficient and leaves less carbon footprint,” Mani said.Officials said the trainset was conceived, designed and developed in about 18 months’ time as against the industry norm of about 3-4 years.The trainset has aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for quicker turnaround at destinations.According to an ICF official, every alternative coach is motorised, to ensure even distribution of motive power and faster acceleration/ deceleration.The train sports advanced regenerative braking system which saves power.Mani also said the fully airconditioned train offers better passenger comfort and safety, as all equipment are fixed under the carriage/ coach, so that more space is available on board.In the Executive Class, the seats are rotatable to match the train direction.Train 18 will have modern look with continuous windows on the exterior and the total seating capacity will be 1,128.On safety front, Train Management System in the driver’s cab will ensure precise brake control and automated doors control.The coach doors will open only when the train touches zero kmph and the train will start only when all the coach doors are properly closed.The train will have automated sliding steps uptil the platform avoiding the risk of a passenger falling. The driver can also monitor the movement of passengers on the platform via closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) in his cabin before closing the door.There are emergency talk-back units (through which passengers can talk to crew in case of emergency) and CCTVs are provided in all coaches for safe and secure travel, officials had said earlier.CCTV cameras on both sides of driving cab would help the driver monitor the movement of passengers on the platform before closing the doors and starting off.ICF would roll out six such trainsets.–IANSvj/niradvertisementlast_img read more

10 More Thoughts: Savannah St.

first_imgNCAA Football: Savannah State at Oklahoma StatePhoto Attribution: US Presswire1. I praised the students in my thoughts last night but one thing that disappointed me: do not, ever, under any circumstances end the national anthem with “home of the Cowboys.” Also, the U-S-O U-S-O chant…how many times do we have to go over this?2. Larry Reece really did introduce the team as “the defending Big 12 champions.” I wrote this on Friday hoping he would but it sounded about 100x better than I thought it would. I had chills on chills.3. Uniform Heisman goes to Lyndell Johnson. Since I have no real great reason for this other than “Gilbert can’t win it every week” let’s talk about a few other uniform items. The black kicks looks sweet but I would die if we could get some white shoelaces to go with them like USC. The new gloves with orange trim were terrific. The white-orange-white was good, not great, I really think I like the white helmets with the black logo better than the orange logo.4. I feel like Quinn Sharp is going to be playing a game of “how many times can I hit the crossbar on kickoffs this year” all year. Eight for eight last night.5. Games like last night make the Appalachian State win over Michigan in the Big House all the more unbelievable. I know App State is way better than SSU but the talent discrepancy from FBS to FCS is so vast. I felt bad for Savannah’s QB all night, he was just going to the fetal position anytime Davidell Collins or Calvin Barnett got within 15 yards of him.6. Couple more at-the-game notes: I did love about the in-stadium experience was that OSU put its Twitter handle (@osuathletics) on the inside of the soda cups. Innovative, interesting, very cool. Also, the paddle people have been extended around the northwest corner to the west end zone. I’m a fan (literally).7. Did we underestimate Joe Randle as a Heisman candidate? I’m not saying that because of anything that happened in terms of production yesterday but I feel like Lunt is definitely going to check down and hand off a ton. Randle’s going to get his opportunities to put up some massive numbers and if he can stay healthy and OSU can move up the polls I think we might him get some Heisman love.8. I was devastated that OSU lost the total points vs. opponent yards battle. Final count: Savannah State yards – 139, Oklahoma State points – 84.9. If you had “Walsh will throw two TDs before Lunt throws one this season” you might need to take me to Vegas. Quade can’t be feeling good about that 35/8 prediction…10. As a fan yesterday was putrid, I mean it was horrendous to watch. This might be a stupid question but would we rather play a top 15 team in the first game and lose or play this game and put up 84? The biggest issue, I suppose, is that the college football system doesn’t encourage NOT playing teams like Savannah State. Beat three of those and run your conference and you’re probably still playing for the national title. This is probably a bigger debate than just at the end of this post, maybe we’ll have it on the blog next week.11. This is a serious question — do you think Savannah State ordered its uniforms out of the June Eastbay catalog or no?12. The punt return unit is going to be interesting this year. It’s not like at a “Vin Baker trying to walk home after 22 drinks” level yet but my faith in our ability to cleanly field and return a punt is not high.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Morocco Receives Third Batch of American Tanks For Royal Armed Forces

By Sana ElouaziRabat – Morocco Royal Armed Forces (FAR) have just received a third batch of American Abrams tanks, after two first batches delivered respectively in July 2016 and September 2017.The new batch of American tanks of type “Abrams” which arrived at the port of Casablanca and received by the FAR are part of a purchase contract which have more plans spread over the year of 2018. According to the American Defense Security and Cooperation Agency, negotiations between Morocco and the United States for the tanks began in 2012. Morocco planned to purchase 200 Abrams tanks, complete with parts, equipment, support, and training, for over $1 billion. The two nations finalized the deal in September 2015.Morocco has purchased 220 Abrams tanks refurbished for the Kingdom through the Army’s Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. The EDA sells military materials that the United States no longer uses to American allies. The tanks, which are a mix of the M1A1 and M1A2 model, are colored with camouflage designed specifically for Morocco.This transaction reflects “the shared will of Morocco United States of America to deepen their defense cooperation.”It also contributes to the strengthening and development of interoperability between the Royal Armed Forces and the United States Armed Forces.The Abrams tank is the third-generation main battle tank and it is reportedly stated that it is a more developed version of the fighter craft that fits under the last plan, level of major equipment of the Royal Armed Forces. read more

Army chief assures fair probe Audio

At least one person was killed and over 25 others were injured in the violence. (Colombo Gazette)Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. “There maybe several angles to this incident and not just one so the board will look into all those angles,” he said.There were reports that the troops had assaulted the public and journalists during the violent scenes seen during the protest demanding clean water. Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake says the army cannot react to various claims being made over the Weliweriya incident and so action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigations carried out by the army board of inquiry.Speaking to reporters after meeting the chief prelates in Kandy today, Ratnayaka said that there may be reasons for the way some people reacted during the tensions in Weliweriya. However he said if there was some unfairness experienced on the part of the public, journalists and others then the board of inquiry will look into that. The five member special board of inquiry is being chaired by Major General Jagath Dias and it is expected to submit a report within two weeks. read more

Flights delayed cancelled at Torontos Pearson airport due to labour disruption

A number of flights at Toronto Pearson International Airport have been delayed or cancelled today due to a labour disruption between a refuelling company and some airlines, according to a spokesperson with the Greater Toronto Airport Authority. A man carries his luggage at Pearson International Airport in Toronto Friday December 20, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch Scores of passengers saw their plans disrupted Friday when about 100 flights at Toronto Pearson International Airport were cancelled and many others delayed as a result of an apparent protest by workers facing job losses when a refuelling contract changes hands later this year.A union spokesman says 30 of 47 workers scheduled for the Friday morning shift called in sick, while others refused to work overtime. About 20 of 56 workers showed up in the afternoon with one shift remaining to provide fuel for the rest of the day’s flights, said Bill Trbovich of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.“Basically these guys are all going to lose their jobs Oct. 1 and so I think frustration is the key phrase,” said Trbovich.“It’s one of those cases of they took matters into their own hands. We sure as hell don’t condone this but the airlines are the ones that started this.”A number of airlines are switching their refuelling business to Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG) in Toronto as of Oct. 1 and have already moved to Swissport in Montreal as of July 1.Trbovich said employees of Consolidated Aviation Fueling Services will have to apply for the same type of job at ASIG at lower wages and with no pension. Workers currently earning between $18 and 23 per hour will start at minimum wage up to a high of $14.Consolidated Aviation Fueling didn’t return calls seeking comment.The union said it has encouraged workers to return to work. Trbovich said there is no indication the work disruption will continue Saturday.“We put out bulletins saying this was unlawful and that you can have consequences if you persist in this,” Trbovich said, pointing to possible dismissal or jail time.The Canada Industrial Relations Board is set to hear the union’s unfair labour practices complaint in early September.The Greater Toronto Airport Authority said 95 flights were cancelled as of the late afternoon, accounting for about 11.2 per cent of the 842 daily departures. Other flights were delayed.Some arrivals were also affected, including two Air Canada flights from Trudeau International Airport even though an airport spokeswoman said there was no job action in Montreal.Pearson spokeswoman Shabeen Hanifa said passengers should check their flight status online, but wouldn’t say how many airlines were affected.The cancellations and delays primarily affected Air Canada, which uses Pearson as its main international hub. Air Transat said none of its flights have been affected. About a dozen WestJet (TSX:WJA) flights were cancelled and a few delayed.Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the dispute is between the airlines’ current refuelling company and its Toronto workers.“Delays and cancellations can be expected as a result and passengers should check on the status of their flight before getting to the airport,” he said in an email.Fitzpatrick said a fuel consortium, managed by the FSM Management Group for the airlines, notified Consolidated’s parent last fall that it would not renew the agreement that was set to expire March 31. They extended the agreement until the work is taken over by the new fuel providers.WestJet spokesman Robert Palmer said the shortage of fuel workers means it is taking longer to have its aircraft refuelled.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Shabeen. by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 3, 2015 6:17 am MDT Last Updated Jul 3, 2015 at 4:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Flights delayed, cancelled at Toronto’s Pearson airport due to labour disruption read more

In Jordan head of UN food relief agency urges increased funding for

Returning from a visit to Jordan where she met with Syrian refugee families, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin warned today that cuts in the value of voucher assistance, combined with reductions in support from other humanitarian agencies, have had a negative impact on the food security of the majority of refugees, forcing many to take drastic measures.“I met Khaldiyeh, a single mother of eight who is struggling to feed her children and says she could be evicted at any moment because the little money she has, she spends on food for her family,” Ms. Cousin confirmed in a press release issued earlier this morning. “I also met a group of boys who have big dreams that they will not be able fulfil unless they can go to back to school. Now they are working to help feed their families.”WFP’s food voucher programme for Syrian refugees in the Middle East is the largest in the world, and is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. Nearly 1.6 million Syrian refugees, spread across five countries in the region, are assisted through WFP food vouchers every month. However, recent funding shortfalls have forced the UN agency to cut the level of assistance it provides to nearly half a million Syrian refugees living outside Jordanian refugee camps. Currently, the WFP requires an additional $45 million to continue providing vital food assistance to over half a million Syrians living in Jordan until the end of the year. “We are calling upon the donor community to recognize the suffering of our Syrian brothers and sisters and to continue to give generously so we can support desperate families until they can go home,” Ms. Cousin continued. “We need those who have given to give more, and those who haven’t given to invest in our work and in the future of Syria.”The four-year Syria conflict has generated a steady outflow of almost 4 million refugees into neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, burdening those countries’ infrastructures and leading to overcrowded settlements where many refugees struggle amid high unemployment and precarious services.According to the latest data available, Turkey alone is host to 1,772,535 registered Syrian refugees – more than any other in the world – with about 259,000 living in 23 camps set up and managed by the Government.Meanwhile, the humanitarian impact of the crisis is only further compounded by the grim human toll which, as of today, counts 220,000 people killed and over one million injured since hostilities began. read more

9 gadgets that seemed incredibly hightech in the 1990s

first_imgREMEMBER WHEN YOU first got your sticky paws on treasured bits of shiny new technology?Before the digital age we live in now, getting any new piece of slightly baffling gadgetry was exciting. It felt like The Future. Of course, looking back, we can see that the 90s weren’t really a golden era for personal tech items.Plus, if the 90s was only a few years ago (as we’re sure it must be) then how come all this stuff looks so … old?1. BeepersImagine trying to explain beepers (or pagers, as they were also known) to a young teenager today. They wouldn’t believe people actually paid money for these things. Source: Hades2k2. TalkboyWho can forget the ads for Talkboys? They were essentially a crude cassette-based dictaphone, but with the added credibility of once having being held by Macauley Culkin. Which was good enough for us, evidently. Source: Chris Garrison3. WAPRiddle me this: Did anyone actually ever complete a function on their phone using the WAP connection or was it all just an urban myth? Source: avlxyz Source: barnoid4. DiscmansWe all remember the Discman. But do we all remember the Discman’s clunky, annoying wingman? Yes, that’s right. The flip-through, not-quite-pocket-size CD album. Unless you wanted to listen to the same CD all day, it was a necessary evil.Yep, cool accessory. Especially when someone spots your copy of Garth Brooks’ Greatest Hits nestling among the other CDs. Source: mpolla5. The PlayStationWhen it was released, the PlayStation seemed to blow its predecessors right out of the water in terms of games and graphics. For those reared on Commodores or Atari – or even the whipper-snappers whose first video game memory is the Sega MegaDrive – the PlayStation seemed like a whole new world. Source: MeganMorris6. TeletextRemember when the only way to tell what would be on telly next was clicking 180 on the Teletext? Simpler times, my friends. Simpler times. Source: davepattern7. Digital camerasWe thought we were the business. In retrospect, our digital cameras were incredibly poor quality photographs laboured with time stamps, and only held about 10 of them to boot. But at the time, whipping out your massive silver digital camera made family gatherings and holidays all the sweeter.And HandyCams, remember HandyCams? A means for your mortifying dancing at your uncle’s wedding to be captured in video for all of time. Source: Runs With Scissors8. Dial-upSome staffers at can still do an incredibly impressive impersonation of the dial-up noise. When you got your CD to activate the internet on your PC with its massive grey monitor and finally got the blinking modem working, this sound was sweet music to the ears. Sure, we were next level stuff, logging out to our e-mail accounts and finally figuring out what a “blog” was. Source: The3hreeBetches9. Mini discsOfficially deemed obsolete by Sony. Hear that? That’s your YOUTH they’re calling obsolete. Source: RaeAllenWhat was your favourite bit of kit in the 90s? Do you still have it knocking around at home? Let us know in the comments.Read: 13 technological feelings you’ll never feel again>Read: 21 things you’ll remember from secondary school>last_img read more

Facebook and Google among UKs 50 best places to work

first_imgTechnology organisations Facebook, Google and Salesforce are among the organisations that have been recognised on the UK’s 50 Best places to work list, compiled by Glassdoor.The list, which recognises UK employers with 1,000 or more employees, forms part of Glassdoor’s 10th annual Employees’ choice awards. The organisation has also compiled Best places to work in 2018 lists for Canada, France, Germany and the United States.The UK’s 50 Best places to work list is based on employees’ online reviews of their organisation that are featured on the Glassdoor website and were submitted between 1 November 2016 and 22 October 2017. Eligible employers must have received at least 30 employee ratings across eight different workplace categories, including compensation and benefits, culture and values, work-life balance, overall organisation rating, career opportunities, senior management, recommend a friend, and business outlook.The employee reviews also highlighted the best reasons to work for their employer, any downsides or advice to management, and gave ratings for overall satisfaction with their employer and the organisation’s chief executive officer.Other organisations to feature on the UK list include utility organisation Anglian Water, travel business Expedia, retail organisation Harrods, car retailer Lookers, recruitment organisation Hays, and technology businesses such as Apple and Microsoft.The full list of the UK’s 50 Best places to work is:GoogleAnglian WaterBromfordFacebookSalesforceLookersRentokil InitialHiscoxAppleHomeServe UKCapital OneScrewfixYellExpediaTaylor WimpeyRentalcars.comSky Betting and GamingProctor and GambleRoyal LondonExplore LearningPageGroupHelping Hands Home CareHarrodsMicrosoftArmAmerican ExpressRolls-RoyceXPO LogisticsNando’s UKPeninsulaCapgeminiJP MorganCivicaGlaxoSmithKlineO2Colt Technology ServicesGoldman SachsHaysGartnerUBSEasyjetUnileverWaitroseCapcoMetro BankWeight WatchersSAPSchuhGEPWCNigel Heap, managing director at Hays UK and Ireland, said: “We are extremely proud to be recognised as one of the best places to work in the UK. To be placed in the top 50 year after year is a huge achievement and it is tremendous to be one of only seven employers to have made the UK ranking four years in a row. We always encourage our current and former employees to give us honest and open feedback and put transparency at the heart of everything we do. As an award winner, we will continue to attract the best people to work with us.”Robert Hohman, chief executive officer and co-founder at Glassdoor, added: “We know today’s job seekers are more informed than ever about where they go to work, researching everything from [organisational] culture to career opportunities to pay philosophy and more. To help people find [organisations] that stand out from the pack, the Glassdoor Employees’ choice awards recognise employers that are truly best places to work because they’re determined by those who really know best: the employees.“Employers where employees love to work continue to prove that they have a recruiting and business performance advantage. We’re proud to celebrate the 2018 winners as we mark our 10th anniversary of the Glassdoor Employees’ choice awards.”last_img read more

NOW HIRING 10 New Job Openings In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are some of the newest job openings in Wilmington:Full-Time Long-Term Substitute Speech Language Pathologist at Wildwood Early Childhood CenterFull-Time Buyer at Pacific Packaging Products, Inc.Full-Time Customer Service Rep at Parts4HeatingFull-Time Quality Technician at Analog DevicesFull-Time Receptionist at Stuffed FoodsFull-Time Digital Marketing Content Specialist at AmetrosFull-Time Commercial Insurance Assistant Account Manager at HUB InternationalFull-Time Warehouse Parts Administrator at Service Quick, Inc.Full-Time Teacher at May Institute Full-Time Dispatcher at Super Service Today(NOTE: Wilmington businesses — Feel free to send me your job postings at Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”last_img read more

Inside the farm of the future

first_img Tags Tech Industry Mobile 3:02 0 Microsoft’s FarmBeats program uses the company’s Azure cloud to connect agricultural devices and generate data intended to help farms operate more efficiently. Sensors embedded in the soil use the cloud to communicate with drones that circle farms to direct irrigation patterns and herbicide distribution and to optimize the harvesting of crops. CNET visited Microsoft’s Cloud Collaboration Center in Redmond, Washington, to learn more about how the cloud, AI and the internet of things (IoT) are transforming business.”We use machine learning and image recognition to understand how our crops are growing,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president of Microsoft Azure. “Today a lot of irrigation systems … just kind of throw water everywhere. Being able to leverage drones and some of these sensors means we save water and get better production out of [farms].”The cloud is evolving rapidly, said Zander. “A decade ago the cloud helped mobile phones become ubiquitous. Today, the cloud becomes really powerful when it helps other emerging technologies like AI and IoT. It’s exciting because we can help entire [business] sectors quickly become more efficient.” Now playing: Watch this: Artificial intelligence (AI) Drones Cloud computing Microsoft Share your voice Post a comment The farm of the future is in the cloud Your next salad might be grown in the cloud and served with a side of artificial intelligence.Cloud computing, a technology that relies on clustered servers positioned across the globe, supports everything from drones to machine learning and the smart home. Using cloud tech, farms are about to become a lot smarter as well.last_img read more

The US Has 6 Olympic Medals Here Are The Winter Olympians To

first_img Share Photo by Jorge Silva/ReutersSnowboarder Chloe Kim of Team USA celebrates her gold medal win.A disqualified speed skater, a crash in the women’s singles luge, near perfect scores in men’s snowboarding and a bloody fall in the women’s halfpipe are just a few moments to remember from Day Five of the Winter Olympics.The medal count Tuesday morning puts Norway at the top of the Winter Olympics leaderboard with 11 medals so far. Canada and the Netherlands both have 10 medals to date. Germany claims nine medals overall, but have the most gold medals with five total. The United States has six: three gold, one silver and two bronze.The first week of Winter Olympics is almost over. Here’s who we’re watching next, and a quick recap of recent Olympic highlights.What to watch for Wednesday:Photo by Stefano Rellandini/ReutersMikaela Shiffrin of Team USA is seen at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre as the women’s giant slalom at the Winter Olympics is postponed due to high winds.Wednesday marks Day Six of the Winter Olympics, and there are medals to be won. U.S. alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, 22, will compete for the gold in the slalom portion.Married couple Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim, who helped Team USA take bronze in the team figure skating event earlier this week, are representing the U.S. once again on the ice. Today, 22 teams will compete in the pair short program. The best 16 teams will move on to compete for a medal in the final pair free skate on Thursday.All eyes will also be on Shaun White during the men’s halfpipe finals tonight to see if the 31-year-old can maintain the No. 1 spot and do what he couldn’t in Sochi: clinch the gold.Tonight in women’s ice hockey, Sweden faces off against Switzerland, and a unified Korea team plays Japan. In men’s preliminary rounds, United States faces Slovenia while the Olympic Athletes of Russia play Slovakia.Notably, this is the first Winter Games since 1994 that National Hockey League players won’t compete for an Olympic medal. The league said it would not send players, in part, because the Olympic Committee was no longer funding their travel.Medals are up for grabs as female speed skaters also compete in the 1000-meter race today. There are 31 athletes in total vying for the gold, including world-record holder Heather Bergsma of Team USA, a medal favorite. The U.S. has yet to win a medal in any speed skating event so far in Pyeongchang. In the women’s 3000-meter race, Netherlands took gold, silver and bronze.America continues to win big in snowboarding.Photo by Mike Blake/ReutersSnowboarder Chloe Kim, 17, wins gold in the women’s halfpipe competition on Feb. 13.Women in the halfpipe finals had three runs, but only the best score counts in determining podium standings. Chloe Kim, the 17-year-old Korean American representing Team USA, was in a league of her own. She had already won her gold medal before taking her third run with a top score of 93.75 that outdid her competitors. Kim then, on her third and final run, outdid herself scoring 98.25 in her victory lap.“I did put down a really good run [in the first run] but I was like, ‘I can do better than that’. I knew that I wanted to do that third run, I wanted to do the back-to-back 1080s, go bigger and better,” Kim said.China’s Liu Jiayu claimed silver with 89.75, almost 10 points behind Kim. Arielle Gold, also of Team USA, got the bronze.U.S. snowboarder Shaun White came to Pyeongchang to redeem himself after finishing in fourth place in Sochi in 2014. In the men’s halfpipe qualifying round, White nabbed the No. 1 spot heading into the finals with a near perfect score at 98.5. The medal for men’s halfpipe will be awarded Wednesday.Other nations win big in curling, luge and speed skating.Photo by Toby Melville/ReutersGold medalists Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris of Canada celebrate during the victory ceremony at the 2018 Winter Games.The curling mixed doubles, a co-ed portion of the sport making its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang, has concluded with Canada taking gold, Switzerland claiming silver and the Olympic Athletes of Russia taking bronze. Russian athletes competing under a neutral Olympic flag have yet to win a gold for their country in the Winter Games.Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger, 30, and Dajana Eitberger, 27, took gold and silver in the women’s single luge. U.S. flag bearer at the Olympic Ceremonies, Erin Hamlin, came .269 seconds shy in the singles event, which separates four runs into two days of competition. A scary moment overtook the track when U.S. luger Emily Sweeney skidded out on the ice, losing control of her sled underneath. Sweeney was taken to the Olympic Village for medical evaluation, she crashed at a speed above 70 mph.In men’s 1500m, speed skater Kim Min Seok scored the first bronze medal for the Republic of Korea in the Winter Games, and just the second medal overall for the republic. Kjeld Nuis and Patrick Roest of the Netherlands took gold and silver.There was a bit of drama in the women’s 500-meter short-track speed skating finals when South Korea’s Choi Min-jeong lost her silver medal standing after being disqualified for touching the knee of Canada’s Kim Boutin on the track. Boutin would won the bronze. Italy’s Arianna Fontana got the gold with Netherlands speed skater Yara Kerkhof claiming silver.last_img read more

Raising Stakes Attorney For Porn Star Seeks Trump Testimony

first_imgAP Photo/Matt SaylesIn this Feb. 11, 2007, file photo, adult film actress Stormy Daniels arrives for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing President Donald Trump and wants a California judge to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election.An attorney for Stormy Daniels filed a motion Wednesday seeking to question President Donald Trump and his attorney under oath about a pre-election payment to the porn actress aimed at keeping her quiet about an alleged tryst with Trump.If successful, it would be the first deposition of a sitting president since Bill Clinton in 1998 had to answer questions about his conduct with women.Attorney Michael Avenatti is seeking sworn testimony from Trump and Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, about a $130,000 payment made to Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election as part of a nondisclosure agreement she is seeking to invalidate. Avenatti’s documents were filed in U.S. District Court in California.Avenatti is part of a growing list of lawyers looking to question Trump. Attorneys for a former contestant on one of Trump’s “Apprentice” TV shows have said they want to depose the president as part of a defamation suit. And the president’s legal team continues to negotiate with special counsel Robert Mueller over the scope and terms of an interview with the presidentAvenatti wants to question Trump and Cohen for “no more than two hours.” In the filing, he says the depositions are needed to establish if Trump knew about the payment, which he refers to as a “hush agreement,” and if he consented to it.“We’re looking for sworn answers from the president and Mr. Cohen about what they knew, when they knew it and what they did about it,” Avenatti told The Associated Press.While he noted that “in every case you always have to be open to settlement,” Avenatti said that “at this point we don’t see how this case would possibly be settled.”In a statement to CBS, Cohen’s attorney David Schwartz called the filing a “reckless use of the legal system in order to continue to inflate Michael Avenatti’s deflated ego and keep himself relevant.”The White House, which has said Trump denies the relationship, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.A former businessman, Trump is no stranger to high-stakes litigation, sitting for depositions in contract and defamation lawsuits over the years. Those interviews show his deep experience in giving statements to lawyers, but also show a witness who could be voluble, boastful and, at times, combative.Georgetown University law professor Naomi Mezey said a deposition presented risks because it is the way to get the president in a vulnerable position. “And President Trump is a particularly vulnerable president,” Mezey said.Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, detailed her alleged 2006 tryst with Trump in a widely watched interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday. She said she’d had sex with him once, shortly after Trump’s wife, Melania, gave birth to the president’s youngest son.She also said that a man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 when she was with her infant daughter, and threatened her with physical harm if she went public with her story.The interview prompted a new flurry of legal action, with a lawyer for Cohen demanding that Daniels publicly apologize to his client for suggesting he was involved in her intimidation. Daniels responded by filing a revised federal lawsuit accusing Cohen of defamation.Cohen has said he paid the $130,000 out of his own pocket and that neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction. Avenatti has argued that the “hush agreement” Daniels signed in October 2016 is invalid because it was not signed by Trump.A hearing before Judge S. James Otero in the federal court’s Central District in Los Angeles is set for April 30.As precedent, the motion notes that Clinton was deposed while in office in 1998 during Paula Jones’ sexual harassment suit. That came after the Supreme Court ruled that a sitting president was not immune from civil litigation on something that happened before taking office and was unrelated to the office.Jones’ case was dismissed by a judge and then appealed. The appeal was still pending when Clinton agreed to pay $850,000 to Jones to settle the case. He did not admit wrongdoing. Later in 1998, Clinton also gave grand jury testimony about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Sharelast_img read more