Reprogrammed skin cells shrink brain tumors in mice

first_imgImagine cells that can move through your brain, hunting down cancer and destroying it before they themselves disappear without a trace. Scientists have just achieved that in mice, creating personalized tumor-homing cells from adult skin cells that can shrink brain tumors to 2% to 5% of their original size. Although the strategy has yet to be fully tested in people, the new method could one day give doctors a quick way to develop a custom treatment for aggressive cancers like glioblastoma, which kills most human patients in 12–15 months. It only took 4 days to create the tumor-homing cells for the mice.Glioblastomas are nasty: They spread roots and tendrils of cancerous cells through the brain, making them impossible to remove surgically. They, and other cancers, also exude a chemical signal that attracts stem cells—specialized cells that can produce multiple cell types in the body. Scientists think stem cells might detect tumors as a wound that needs healing and migrate to help fix the damage. But that gives scientists a secret weapon—if they can harness stem cells’ natural ability to “home” toward tumor cells, the stem cells could be manipulated to deliver cancer-killing drugs precisely where they are needed.Other research has already exploited this method using neural stem cells—which give rise to neurons and other brain cells—to hunt down brain cancer in mice and deliver tumor-eradicating drugs. But few have tried this in people, in part because getting those neural stem cells is hard, says Shawn Hingtgen, a stem cell biologist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Right now, there are three main ways. Scientists can either harvest the cells directly from the patient, harvest them from another patient, or they can genetically reprogram adult cells. But harvesting requires invasive surgery, and bestowing stem cell properties on adult cells takes a two-step process that can increase the risk of the final cells becoming cancerous. And using cells from someone other than the cancer patient being treated might trigger an immune response against the foreign cells.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(*)To solve these problems, Hingtgen’s group wanted to see whether they could skip a step in the genetic reprogramming process, which first transforms adult skin cells into standard stem cells and then turns those into neural stem cells. Treating the skin cells with a biochemical cocktail to promote neural stem cell characteristics seemed to do the trick, turning it into a one-step process, he and his colleague report today in Science Translational Medicine.But the next big question was whether these cells could home in on tumors in lab dishes, and in animals, like neural stem cells. “We were really holding our breath,” Hingtgen says. “The day we saw the cells crawling across the [Petri] dish toward the tumors, we knew we had something special.” The tumor-homing cells moved 500 microns—the same width as five human hairs—in 22 hours, and they could burrow into lab-grown glioblastomas. “This is a great start,” says Frank Marini, a cancer biologist at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who was not involved with the study. “Incredibly quick and relatively efficient.”The team also engineered the cells to deliver common cancer treatments to glioblastomas in mice. Mouse tumors injected directly with the reprogrammed stem cells shrank 20- to 50-fold in 24–28 days compared with nontreated mice. In addition, the survival times of treated rodents nearly doubled. In some mice, the scientists removed tumors after they were established, and injected treatment cells into the cavity. Residual tumors, spawned from the remaining cancer cells, were 3.5 times smaller in the treated mice than in untreated mice.Marini notes that more rigorous testing is needed to demonstrate just how far the tumor-targeting cells can migrate. In a human brain, the cells would need to travel a matter of millimeters or centimeters, up to 20 times farther than the 500 microns tested here, he says. And other researchers question the need to use cells from the patient’s own skin. An immune response, triggered by foreign neural stem cells, could actually help attack tumors, says Evan Snyder, a stem cell biologist at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego, California, and one of the early pioneers of the idea of using stem cells to attack tumors.Hingtgen’s group is already testing how far their tumor-homing cells can migrate using larger animal models. They are also getting skin cells from glioblastoma patients to make sure the new method works for the people they hope to help, he says. “Everything we’re doing is to get this to the patient as quickly as we can.”last_img read more

U.S. EPA to eliminate all mammal testing by 2035

first_img U.S. EPA to eliminate all mammal testing by 2035 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C., announced today that it will stop conducting or funding studies on mammals by 2035. The move, which is already eliciting strong reactions from groups supporting or opposing experiments on animals, makes EPA the first federal agency to put a hard deadline on phasing out animal research.EPA’s decision “is a decisive win for taxpayers, animals, and the environment,” says Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy at the White Coat Waste Project, a Washington, D.C.–based animal activist group that has slammed such research as a waste of taxpayer money. “Animal tests are unreliable and misleading,” he asserts.But Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a Washington, D.C.–based environmental group, blasts EPA’s decision. “It’s very disappointing and very frustrating,” Sass says. Ending animal testing, she argues, “is going to allow potentially dangerous chemicals to get out there into the environment and into consumer products.”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(*) EPA relies on animal testing to gauge the safety of chemicals, whether it be a new pesticide or a potential pollutant in the environment. But chemical companies have long complained that the tests—many of which they pay for—are expensive and time-consuming. And animal advocacy organizations have urged the agency to move toward nonanimal models, such as computer programs and “organ-on-a chip” technology, a collection of cells designed to mimic entire organs. Legislation, including a 2016 amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act, has required EPA to move away from animal experiments.In June, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler sent an internal memo outlining a plan to eventually phase out the agency’s animal testing, first reported by The Intercept. In the memo, which became official today, Wheeler writes that “animal testing is expensive and time-consuming,” and that scientific advances that don’t involve animals are allowing researchers to evaluate chemicals faster, more accurately, and at lower cost. The agency, he writes, will redirect its resources toward these “New Approach Methods” and away from animal testing. “The EPA will reduce its requests for, and our funding of, mammal studies by 30 percent by 2025 and eliminate all mammal study requests and funding by 2035.” After that date, any studies will require administrator approval.At a news conference in Washington, D.C., this morning, Wheeler also announced $4.25 million in funding to five institutions to develop nonanimal alternatives to current tests: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, both in Nashville; Oregon State University in Corvallis; and the University of California, Riverside.It’s not clear how many animals or research projects will be affected by the changes. EPA says the total number of animals used in toxicology studies submitted to the agency annually ranges from 20,000 to more than 100,000. Goodman estimates there are about 20,000 animals in EPA labs—including rabbits, mice, and rats—most of which are used to gauge the safety of environmental pollutants such as smog and ozone. Other animals—including rabbits, guinea pigs, and dogs—are tested by chemical companies (or the testing is outsourced to contract research organizations) to meet EPA requirements on the safety of new products. Goodman says the new EPA policy will affect both realms. Companies will no longer to need to use as many—or any animals—to meet EPA standards, and the agency itself will no longer conduct mammal testing. (Goodman says some toxicology testing is conducted on fish, and he expects that to continue.)“This is the most comprehensive and aggressive plan in U.S. history to cut government animal testing,” Goodman says. “I think it’s going to be the gold standard for other agencies.”Sass says she’s concerned that EPA’s proposed changes will give the chemical industry, which will need to develop its own nonanimal alternatives, too much control over these technologies. “A lot of nonanimal tests are done by contractors, so they’re proprietary,” she says. “There’s no way for experts to evaluate how these chemicals are tested. You’re going to have a black box funded by industry.”At the press conference, Wheeler denied that the policy shift was influenced by chemical companies. Instead, he said he was motivated by his mother, who is an animal lover, and his zoologist and veterinarian sisters. EPA has also recently teamed up with the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and representatives from PETA, the White Coat Waste Project, and the Humane Society of the United States took part in today’s press conference.Sass says even though scientists have made great strides in creating nonanimal models, they’re often still no match for the real thing. She notes that to determine whether a chemical causes a disease like lupus, researchers need to see the impact on the entire immune system, not just a few cells in a dish or on a computer. And the learning disabilities caused by lead poisoning would not have been picked up without animal experiments, she says. “You can’t test whether a cell has ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder].”Ann Bartuska, vice president for land, water, and nature at Resources for the Future, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit that conducts independent research into environmental and energy issues, says Sass raises legitimate concerns. “The process needs to be transparent so others can evaluate how effective these new approaches are.”But Bartuska, a former deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which conducts and funds numerous animal studies), notes that EPA has a science advisory board that will oversee the plan, and she says the agency has given itself enough time to make sure nonanimal alternatives work before it completely phases out its mammal research. “It’s a very major step that I think will have an impact on other federal agencies,” she says. “It’s right to be cautious, but something has to change.” iStock.com/ unoL By David GrimmSep. 10, 2019 , 6:00 PMlast_img read more

Foles, Eagles outshoot Patriots for 1st Super Bowl

first_imgSan Miguel reclaims lead SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte It was the first Super Bowl title for Philadelphia (16-3), which went from 7-9 last season to the franchise’s first NFL title since 1960.“If there’s a word (it’s) called everything,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “That’s what it means to Eagles fans everywhere. And for Eagles fans everywhere, this is for them.”Super Bowl MVP Foles orchestrated the victory with the kind of drive NFL MVP Brady, a five-time champion, is known for. The drive covered 14 plays, including a fourth-down conversion.“I felt calm. I mean, we have such a great group of guys, such a great coaching staff,” Foles said. “We felt confident coming in, and we just went out there and played football.”The Eagles had to survive a video replay because ball pop into the air as Ertz crossed the goal line.ADVERTISEMENT MINNEAPOLIS, MN – FEBRUARY 04: The Philadelphia Eagles celebrated defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFPMINNEAPOLIS — The Philadelphia Eagles’ flight from last to first ended up with a Lombardi Trophy.In a record-setting shootout between Nick Foles and Tom Brady of the favored New England Patriots, the backup quarterback led a pressure-packed 75-yard drive to the winning touchdown, 11 yards to Zach Ertz with 2:21 to go Sunday night. Then a defense that had been shredded throughout the second half made two final stands to win 41-33.ADVERTISEMENT “If they would have overturned that, I don’t know what would have happened to the city of Philadelphia,” Ertz said. “But I’m so glad they didn’t overturn it.”The touchdown stood — and so did thousands of green-clad Eagles fans who weren’t going to mind the frigid conditions outside US Bank Stadium once they headed out to celebrate. But not before a rousing rendition of “Fly Eagles Fly” reverberated throughout the stands once the trophy was presented to Lurie. Later, fans danced along with the “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme from “Rocky,” the city’s best-known fictional underdog.The Patriots (15-4) seemed ready to take their sixth championship with Brady and coach Bill Belichick in eight Super Bowls. Brady threw for a game-record 505 yards and three TDs, hitting Rob Gronkowski for 4 yards before Stephen Gostkowski’s extra point gave New England its first lead, 33-32.Then Foles made them forget Wentz — and least for now — with the gutsiest drive of his life, including a fourth-down conversion to Ertz at midfield.Foles has been something of a journeyman in his six pro seasons, but he has been spectacular in four career playoff games. He finished 28 of 43 for 373 yards and three TDs.The combined 1,151 yards were the most in any modern NFL game, and Brady’s 505 were the most in any playoff contest. The 40-year-old master finished 28 of 48 and picked apart the Eagles until the final two series.It was such a wild game that Foles caught a touchdown pass, and Brady was on the opposite end of a Danny Amendola throw that went off his fingertips.Eagles coach Doug Pederson brought home the championship in his second year in charge. Belichick is 5-3 in Super Bowls and his teams have only a plus-4 overall margin in those games.So this one was in keeping with that trend: breathtaking and even a bit bizarre.Brady and the Patriots looked more like five-time champions by opening the second half with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Gronkowski was unstoppable, grabbing four passes for 69 yards, including the 5-yard score. LATEST STORIES Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View comments ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Each team started with 67-yard drives to field goals — New England had never scored a first-quarter point with Brady in a Super Bowl.Each kicker later faltered, with Elliott missing the extra point, his fifth failed PAT this season, after Jeffery’s 34-yard touchdown. Then Gostkowski hit the left upright with a 26-yard field goal after holder Ryan Allen mishandled the snap. Gostkowski also missed an extra point.When LeGarrette Blount, who won the title last season with the Patriots, scored on a 21-yard burst, Pederson went for 2, but the pass failed, making it 15-3.The Eagles and Pederson brushed it off and stayed with their usual aggressive approach. Breathtakingly, it eventually paid off.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady and Derek Barnett recovered, setting up rookie Jake Elliot’s 46-yard field goal for an 8-point lead.Brady got his team to midfield, but his desperation pass fell to the ground in the end zone.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe underdog Eagles (16-3), even injured starting quarterback Carson Wentz, came bolting off the sideline in ecstasy while Brady sat on the ground, disconsolate.“For us, it was all about one stop we had to make. We went out here and made that one stop,” Graham said. BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Philly didn’t flinch, answering with a precise 75-yard march and three more third-down conversions; the Eagles were 10 for 16. The last was on Foles’ perfect pass to Clement over double coverage. The rookie’s reception was upheld by review, and the Eagles were back on top by 10.Brady shrugged and, getting steadfast protection, went over 400 yards passing on the next TD drive. Chris Hogan scored from the 26 as he turned around safety Rodney McLeod.When all the Eagles could manage was Elliott’s 42-yarder for a 32-26 lead, it seemed inevitable the Patriots would go in front, then become the first repeat Super Bowl winner since they did it in the 2004 and ’05 games.Foles, Ertz, and — at last — a revitalized defense said otherwise.The weird image of Brady ambling downfield on a pass pattern came three plays after New England lost receiver Brandin Cooks to a concussion on a vicious but clean hit by Malcolm Jenkins in the second quarter. Amendola’s pass required an over-the-shoulder grab and the ball fell off Brady’s outstretched hands.When he got back to what he has done better than anyone in Super Bowls, Brady led a 90-yard drive following an equally strange play. Alshon Jeffery nearly made a spectacular attempt near the Patriots’ goal line, only to juggle the ball into the air while off-balance. Duron Harmon picked it off at the 10. Moments later, Brady was connecting with Chris Hogan for 42 yards.James White broke several tackles with a brilliant 26-yard run and it was 15-12. That gave White seven touchdowns in his past three postseason games, including the overtime winner last year.But the Eagles still had 2:04 left in the half — and some more magic in their bag.A short third-down throw to rookie Corey Clement on a circle route turned into a 55-yard explosion down to the Patriots 8. Philly got to the 1 and on fourth down, it was Foles’ turn to morph into a receiver.He did better than Brady. On fourth down, Clement took a direct snap, pitched to tight end Trey Burton, and the former Florida QB hit an uncovered Foles. The Eagles were up 22-12 at halftime, the most points New England has allowed in the opening half of a Super Bowl under Belichick. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto MOST READlast_img read more

Not withdrawing cases against Himachal Cricket Association: Virbhadra Singh

first_imgHimachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh has slammed Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) for alleging that the state government was thinking to withdraw cases registered against its office bearers.The chief minister said that all sorts of false, frivolous and fabricated news items pertaining to HPCA were being attributed to him, which he strongly denounced. He accused the HPCA for running a malicious campaign.”I had never said that the government was prepared to withdraw the ongoing cases against the HPCA, if it was ready to convert it into a society from the present status of a company, and all such news items were not based on facts,” Virbhadra Singh said.Virbhadra Singh said that the matters pertaining to HPCA were pending in various courts and there was no question of making any policy statement in the matter. He said that it appeared that distorted statements were being attributed to him on HPCA to divert public attention and confuse the basic issues.”Dhumals were trying to protect their fiefdom in the HPCA by resorting to all sorts of cheap tactics and gimmicks,” Virbhadra Singh said. He said that the present government is fully committed for development of all games and sports in the state including cricket, provided they adhere to rules and regulations, and function in a democratic way.last_img read more

Tottenham were distracted lot, feels boss Pochettino

first_img Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino Lacklustre startPochettino conceded there are still issues behind the scenes, contributing to Tottenham’s lacklustre start just months after their run to the Champions League final. “When you have an unsettled squad always it’s difficult and you lose time and then you need time to recover the time you lose,” said Pochettino. “That’s where we are. Maybe our performances are good, but you need this extra, which is mental, connection, it’s energy to be all together, not to have different agendas in the squad. We need time again to build that togetherness that you need when you are competing at this level. We are in a period where it’s a bit tough for us but we keeping working to find a solution. “When this type of thing happens it’s about staying clear and fresh and calm. We’re trying to find solutions and we only need time.” No quick fixPochettino is not looking at a quick fix and is already eyeing up the next two transfer windows to refresh a group that appears to have grown stale. “January is going to be a good opportunity to try and fix this type of situation and sort it,” said Pochettino. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates Tottenham Hotspur appoint Jose Mourinho as manager Colchester (UK): Mauricio Pochettino claimed his struggling Tottenham side are “unsettled” after they suffered an embarrassing League Cup third-round defeat at fourth-tier Colchester on Tuesday. Pochettino’s team were beaten 3-4 on penalties after being held to a goalless draw by a club 71 places below them, with Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura both missing during the shoot-out. It was appropriate that Eriksen’s effort was saved as the Denmark playmaker has been focus for much of the unrest in the Tottenham camp. Eriksen said he wanted a new challenge at the end of last season, but his hopes of securing a move were dashed. Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama also endured uncertainty about their futures and, even now the transfer window is closed, it remains uncertain whether they have long-term prospects at the club.Related News Tottenham Hotspur sack head coach Mauricio Pochettino Micah Richards: Can’t write off Manchester City in EPL title racelast_img read more

Report: West Ham 3 Cardiff City 1

first_imgJoe Ralls’ penalty miss proved costly for Cardiff City as Lucas Perez scored twice to help West Ham to a 3-1 Premier League win at London Stadium. Having replaced the injured Marko Arnautovic late in the first half, Perez followed up his first Premier League goal since January 2017 with a second just five minutes later to put the game beyond Cardiff. Things would have been different, however, had Ralls converted from 12 yards in the 35th minute, with Lukasz Fabianski pulling off a comfortable save from the midfielder’s tame strike.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! And although the loss of Arnautovic seemed to have derailed West Ham’s chances, replacement Perez took centre stage before Michail Antonio wrapped up the points just after the hour, meaning Josh Murphy’s late header was no more than a consolation for the visitors. West Ham’s dominant start looked set to be rewarded when Arnautovic burst beyond Cardiff’s defence and hammered a low strike past Neil Etheridge, only for Sean Morrison to make a crucial block. Arnautovic was involved at the other end 10 minutes later, with his clumsy challenge on Junior Hoilett giving referee Graham Scott little choice but to award Cardiff a penalty, but Fabianski got down to his left to keep out Ralls’ effort. Arnautovic’s hopes of atoning for his error were cut short as he was forced off with a hamstring issue prior to half-time, and Perez made his mark four minutes after the restart, prodding in from close range. Perez swiftly doubled his tally with a cool finish through Etheridge’s legs, with Antonio’s header from Robert Snodgrass’ corner completing West Ham’s 12-minute burst. Superb saves from Etheridge prevented Angelo Ogbonna and Grady Diangana adding further gloss, and Murphy had the final say when he headed home following a goalmouth scramble in stoppage time.700 – Lucas Perez has scored his first Premier League goal since January 2017 for Arsenal against Bournemouth, 700 days ago. Interval. #WHUCAR — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 4, 2018 What does it mean? Cardiff’s away woes continue It is now five away defeats on the spin for Neil Warnock’s side, who remain just two points above the relegation zone heading into a huge bottom-of-the-table clash with Southampton.West Ham, meanwhile, have claimed back-to-back league wins for the first time this term, moving them up to 12th place.Sub Perez shines for hosts It had been 700 days since Perez last scored a top-flight goal, in Arsenal’s 3-3 draw with Bournemouth on January 3 last year, but the Spaniard – who is yet to start in the league for Manuel Pellegrini’s side – made the most of his opportunity with two superbly taken goals.Ralls lets Hammers off the hook Ralls seemed to demand the ball ahead of Victor Camarasa in the build-up to Cardiff’s penalty, but he never looked confident in the run up, with his effort lacking the conviction or direction to trouble Fabianski, leaving Warnock to rue what might have been.Key Opta Facts- West Ham have won consecutive Premier League games for the first time since January 2017.- Cardiff scored just their third away goal in the Premier League this season – it was their only shot on target in the second half.- Lucas Perez became the first West Ham player to score twice as a substitute in a Premier League match since Paulo Wanchope in April 2000.- Lukasz Fabianski has saved each of the last three penalties he’s faced in the Premier League, having saved just two of his previous 19 in the competition.- Robert Snodgrass provided two Premier League assists in a game for the first time since December 2012 (for Norwich City against Swansea City).What’s next? It’s a London derby for West Ham, who face Crystal Palace on Saturday. Cardiff, meanwhile, host fellow strugglers Southampton, who have been linked with Ralph Hasenhuttl as they search for a new manager. read morelast_img read more

India take bronze at women’s U-18 Asia Cup hockey

first_imgIndia outclassed South Korea 3-0 to win the bronze medal at the 4th Women’s U18 Asia Cup 2016 hockey tournament here on Thursday. (Latest Sports stories)Ritu put India in the lead by converting a penalty corner early in the second half while Sangita Kumari scored a couple of field goals later on.Hockey India announced cash rewards of Rs 1 lakh for each player, and Rs 50,000 for each member of the support staff.The two teams played out a goalless first half, with India content with dropping deep and relying on the counter to create opportunities.The Koreans earned several penalty corners but failed to convert from any as the Indian defence closed them down perfectly.The best chance of the half fell to Mahima Choudhary. A defensive mistake in the Korean penalty circle saw the ball fall to Sangita who flashed a shot across the goal with Mahima waiting for the opportunity at the far post. But the weight on the pass was too much for Mahima as the chance went wide.India took the lead minutes after the break as Ritu scored the opener off a penalty corner.A few minutes later, some brilliant interplay between Lalremsiami and Sangita saw the latter’s shot stopped on the line illegally as India were awarded a penalty stroke. But Manpreet Kaur’s attempt to convert the stroke was denied by South Korean goalkeeper Lee Da Bom.In the 55th minute, the duo combined again, Lalremsiami intercepting a Korean pass and showing great vision to pick out an inch perfect through to Sangita, who cut past two defenders to slot the ball into the goal and extend India’s lead.advertisementThe third goal came off a similar route, Sangita scoring her second of the game in the 58th minute.From there on, India held firm control over the game, and held off a late Korean penalty corner to complete a deserved victory.last_img read more

Ranchi Test: Virat Kohli bats at usual No.4 position but falls cheaply again

first_imgIn a huge sigh of relief for Team India, skipper Virat Kohli, who injured his shoulder on day one of the ongoing third Test match against Australia in Ranchi, came out to bat on day three at his usual number four position. (SCORECARD)Kohli came into bat in the second session after Murali Vijay threw his wicket away to Steve O’Keefe for 82 at the stroke of lunch with India’s score on 193/2 in response to Australia’s massive first innings total of 451. (FOLLOW LIVE ACTION)Kohli was seen padded up inside the dressing room during the first session of the day.IN WHITES, UP NEXT ! #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/zBVkILnZzY- BCCI (@BCCI) March 18, 2017It being an external injury, Kohli’s absence could not stop him from batting at his usual position at the Jharkhand Cricket Association Stadium.However, he failed to make a mark and his poor form with the bat continued as he fell to Pat Cummins cheaply for 6 off 23 balls.Earlier in the day, Kohli warmed up in the nets after failing to take the field for nearly two days of the Test match. (Also read: Virat Kohli is fit to play in remainder of the Ranchi Test: Umesh Yadav)Kohli did not come out to field when the second day’s play began on Friday.The penultimate contest of the four-Test series was into its 40th over on Thursday when a tumbling Kohli hurt his right shoulder trying to save a boundary.The hosts were left to wonder if it was worth the effort as Kohli immediately left the ground, with deputy Ajinkya Rahane leading the side in his absence.advertisementThe BCCI said in a statement there were “no serious concerns” and that India’s batting mainstay would be able to participate in the ongoing contest which marks Ranchi’s debut as a Test venue.Kohli did come out before Friday’s warm-up, with the BCCI sharing the footage and tweeting “Captain returns. Game on!” However, he refrained from taking part in it. But after day two’s play, India’s premier fast bowler Umesh Yadav said Kohli was ready to play in the remainder of the Test.”Bandage will obviously remain after an injury. But I think he’s fit to play. The way he’s practicing at the nets it seems he’s all set to come back,” he said.last_img read more

MHA tells states to ensure strict compliance of flag code

first_imgNew Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) The Centre has advised the states and the union territories to avoid use of national flags made up of plastic and ensure strict compliance of the flag code.In an advisory to the states and union territories, the Home Ministry said the National Flag represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of the country and hence should occupy a position of honour.There is universal affection and respect for, and loyalty to, the National Flag. Yet, a perceptible lack of awareness is often noticed amongst the people as well as organisations and agencies of the government, in regard to laws, practices and conventions that apply to display of the National Flag?, the advisory said.Further, it has been brought to notice of the Home Ministry that during important events, the National Flag made of plastic is also being used in place of paper flags.Since, the plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flag, these do not get decomposed for a long time and ensuring appropriate disposal of National Flags made of plastic commensurate with dignity of the flag, is a practical problem, the advisory said.As per Section 2 of The Prevention of insults to National Honour Act, 1971 – Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.advertisementThe advisory said that on important national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper only are used by public in terms of the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002 and such paper flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the event.Such flags are to be disposed of, in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag. Wide publicity, for not using the National Flag made of plastic, should be made along with its advertisement in the electronic and print media.State governments, UT administrations, secretaries of all Ministries/Departments of government of India were told to ensure strict compliance of the provisions contained in the Flag Code of India. 2002 and The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.PTI ACB DVlast_img read more

Neymar’s father offers update on Barcelona talk

first_imgNeymar’s father has refuted reports suggesting that he is set to enter into discussions with Barcelona regarding a potential return to Camp Nou for his son.Speculation continues to rage when it comes to a possible switch to Spain for the Brazil international.Two years on from a record-breaking €222 million (£200m/$262m) transfer to Paris Saint-Germain,  Neymar is said to want out of the France capital. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Sources close to a long-running saga have suggested that Barca are open to the idea of re-signing the South American. There are, however, a number of obstacles for them to overcome before a deal can be done.The Liga champions are eager to acquire both Neymar and Antoine Griezmann this summer, but have Financial Fair Play considerations to take into account.That is delaying the process, along with the demands of Atletico Madrid when it comes to negotiations regarding their World Cup-winning striker .With that in mind, little progress is being made when it comes to the pursuit of Neymar.The 27-year-old’s father has confirmed as much, with there no plans on his part to head for Catalunya any time soon – regardless of what reports in Spain may suggest.He told Fox Sports when quizzed on the rumours: “I’m not going to Barcelona to negotiate. I am in Brazil and I will stay here until we return to Paris with my son.”Neymar PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19Neymar is currently back in his homeland watching his fellow countrymen compete in the 2019 Copa America.He had been hoping to play a leading role in that competition, only to see an untimely injury prevent him from forming part of Tite’s plans.His attention may have been diverted elsewhere for now, but a decision on his club future will need to be made at some stage.PSG are understandably reluctant to part with one of their prized assets.They have, however, admitted that they will only look to retain the services of those who are fully committed to the collective cause at Parc des Princes.With it unclear as to whether Neymar is buying into that project, the Ligue 1 title holders have started to piece together contingency plans.Pablo Sarabia has been snapped up from Sevilla in a deal worth over €20 million (£18m/$23m),  with it suggested that his arrival could be paving the way for imminent departures.last_img read more

1st T20I: Jonny Bairstow leads England to 4-wicket win over West Indies

first_img AP St. LuciaMarch 6, 2019UPDATED: March 6, 2019 08:10 IST 1st T20I: England chased down the West Indies target of 160 easily (@ICC Photo)HIGHLIGHTSEngland beat West Indies by 4 wickets in the 1st T20I in St. LuciaNicholas Pooran top scored for WI as Tom Curran took 4 wicketsJonny Bairstow’s 40-ball 68 gave England a 1-0 lead in the 3-match seriesJonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid guided a depleted England side to a four-wicket victory over the West Indies on Tuesday in the first Twenty20.England excused four of their first-choice side after the drawn ODI series – Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali – but Bairstow plugged a big gap in the batting lineup with a career-best 68 from 40 balls.Opening for the first time in 28 matches he broke the back of a 161-run target, which owed much to Rashid’s miserly return of 1-15. Tom Curran walked away with four wickets as the West Indies posted 160-8 but it was Rashid’s precise stint which did most to stall the home side.Joe Denly and Sam Billings both fell with the end line in sight but Curran reappeared to hit the winning boundary with seven balls remaining.Chris Gayle, the man-of-the-series in the ODIs, fell to Chris Jordan’s wide yorker which he could only squeeze to short third man. Shimron Hetmyer also failed to leave his mark on proceedings, chipping in with 14 before pumping a Curran full toss straight to mid-on.Darren Bravo and Nicholas Pooran helped claw back some of the lost ground, as the fourth-wicket pair added 64 in 51 balls but were parted in style by the returning Jordan.#WIvENG “Whatever I can do to achieve for the team is priority” – Nicholas Pooran on his mindset for the T20 Series #MenInMaroon #ItsOurGameListen to the interview!pic.twitter.com/edjhllmfbuWindies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 6, 2019The reply began in a flurry of activity as Sheldon Cottrell’s opening over contained 17 runs, a dropped catch and finally the wicket of Alex Hales.advertisementJoe Root’s hopes of sharpening his T20 skills lasted exactly two balls, lbw to Cottrell attempting to open up the leg-side, but Bairstow was unaffected.He launched himself into a 13-ball sequence containing five boundaries and one six, driving England to 62 for two in the powerplay, well ahead of the West Indies benchmark.Bairstow nicked Carlos Brathwaite on 34 but a fingertip catch skimmed off Hope’s gloves and brought him four more. Brathwaite did manage to see off skipper Eoin Morgan but Bairstow was dropped again by Cottrell shortly after reaching a 27-ball 50 with his second six.We take a 1-0 lead in the series!!Scorecard: https://t.co/FmcHZ8Jd1A#WIvENG pic.twitter.com/9u1ROvPmuVEngland Cricket (@englandcricket) March 5, 2019By the time he was held at wide long-on, he had left a target of 58 in 50 balls.Billings and Denly, both of whom are still seeking to find their place in the England set-up, chalked off all but eight of the required runs in calm fashion before nerves struck.Holder persuaded Denly to hole out with 14 balls remaining then Billings had a let-off next ball, Oshane Thomas just failing to hang to a mis-cued pull at fine leg.Reprieved, Billings then swiped at a Cottrell cutter that knocked back his stumps. Four byes over Hope’s head eased the growing tension allowing Curran to slog the winning runs.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow 1st T20IFollow Jonny BairstowFollow west indiesFollow EnglandFollow West Indies vs England 1st T20I: Jonny Bairstow leads England to 4-wicket win over West IndiesWest Indies vs England: Jonny Bairstow scored a 40-ball 68 to help England chase down West Indies’ total inside 19 overs in the first Twenty20 International in St. Luciaadvertisementlast_img read more

VOUCH to Become Centre for Assessment of Special Needs Children

first_imgStory Highlights The Educatiom Minister said the Government is committed to providing places where students with special needs can be assessed and given assistance. Plans are in place to develop the Voluntary Organization for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH) as a centre for the assessment of children with special needs. VOUCH, a non-governmental agency, was created in 1979 with the merger of two children’s organizations – the Child Welfare Association and the Jamaica Children’s Service Society. Plans are in place to develop the Voluntary Organization for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH) as a centre for the assessment of children with special needs, says Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites.“VOUCH, we hope, will become a centre where the specially trained teachers in the schools (and) the parents can take the child, and have the child assessed, so that the therapy and plans to help that child can go ahead,” he said.The Education Minister was addressing a special forum on primary education on Thursday, October 10, at the Jones Town Primary School in Kingston.Citing his own experience, the Education Minister said he was “a dunce bat” for the first two years in school because he was placed to sit at the back of the class and was unable to see the board.“They never found it out until the first two disastrous years and then they gave me a pair of glasses and the rest is history because I could see,” he said.He said the Government is committed to providing additional places where students with special needs can be assessed and referred to the relevant institutions for assistance.“Many of us have problems of one sort or the other, and so we are providing a place not only within the school,” he said, noting that emphasis will also be placed on having trained special education teachers in the schools.VOUCH, a non-governmental agency, was created in 1979 with the merger of two children’s organizations – the Child Welfare Association and the Jamaica Children’s Service Society.It caters to expectant mothers as well as children up to six years old, through a pre-natal clinic, nursery and pre-school, and a basic school. Services are also provided for children with special needs.The Minister also used the opportunity to hail the institution for its contribution to national development since its inception in July 1913.He reiterated that a sound education is critical to the continued development of the nation, which can only redound to the benefit of Jamaicans.“If we want to encourage our communities to get better, if we want our nation to survive and thrive, then education has to be the key, it is the number one investment. No amount of logistics hub, no amount of garment manufacturing, no amount of factories or JEEP work, can take the place of a sound education,” he argued.Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, and Member of Parliament for South St. Andrew, Hon. Dr. Omar Davies, who also attended the forum, said that Jones Town Primary remains one of the central institutions within the community.The special forum on primary education represented part of the Ministry’s contribution to the centenary celebrations of the school.The institution caters to approximately 300 students, and has 13 teachers and two guidance counsellors.last_img read more

Another Eye on Provincial Highways

first_imgMotorists now have another tool to help them check road and weather conditions before heading out on provincial highways. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has installed a new camera, identified as Lornevale Station, on the Cobequid Pass section of Highway 104 near the Mines Bass River Road overpass. “This new camera provides more information for people planning to travel over the Cobequid Pass,” said Deputy Premier Frank Corbett, on behalf of Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “Weather can vary widely across the province during the winter months, and we encourage everyone to check road conditions before getting behind the wheel.” Department highway cameras are attached to Road Weather Information Systems sites that have special sensors embedded in the road and on nearby towers to collect data on weather conditions affecting the road surface. There are now 47 highway cameras on the department’s website. Images from all of Nova Scotia’s highway cameras are available online at www.gov.ns.ca/tran/cameras/camera.asp . The highway camera page on the department’s website receives up to 250,000 visits per month, during the winter. The cameras are part of the province’s extensive road condition information system, which allows travellers to see weather and road conditions on computers, and to hear road conditions by calling 511. Road conditions can also be accessed on cellphones and hand-held devices via Mobile 511 at m511.gov.ns.ca . More information on safe winter driving and winter road maintenance can be found on the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/tran/winter .last_img read more

Provincial Government Office Closures Due to Weather

first_imgMany provincial government offices, including a number of Access Centres, will close today, Dec. 16, due to weather and poor travelling conditions. Please check with your local office before proceeding to an appointment. A list of provincial government offices closed as of 2:30 p.m., today, includes: -30- Kentville Access Centre Digby Access Centre Yarmouth Access Centre Antigonish Access Centre Stellarton Access Centre Lawrencetown Land Registry Office Middleton RMV officelast_img

Fake news spreads unabated on social media after polls

first_imgNew Delhi: Posts containing fake news continued to flourish on social media platforms after the end of the Lok Sabha elections that saw the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returning to power with a massive win. Celebrations followed the results that pave the way for Modi to become the Prime Minister of the country for the second consecutive term. Some distributed ladoos to celebrate the victory. A few others spread fake news. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV appA post claiming that “Welcome Modi Ji” has been written on all the city buses of London soon started doing the rounds on social media platforms. The claims were found to be fake by fact-checking platform BOOM. The images used for the posts originated in 2015, when a bus named “Modi Express” was launched by the Indians living in the UK, the fact checkers found. Some even circulated a video on Facebook that claimed that a Gujrati man got so elated with Modi’s re-election that he showered cash on people in Milton, Canada. The caption that accompanied the video claimed that the man made a lot of profit after the share market responded positively to Modi’s re-election. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails BOOM traced the viral video to the Instagram account of a Detroit, US based man. It found that the video, originally shot in New York, was uploaded much before the election results in India were declared and it had nothing to do with the celebration of BJP’s victory. On May 23, the day the results of the Lok Sabha polls were declared, a video that showed Modi with his mother went viral on Facebook. While social media users claimed that the video was shot after BJP’s landslide victory in the elections, fact checking website Alt News traced the video to 2014. BOOM also found that following the victory of the BJP, a quote that was falsely attributed to Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the past resurfaced on WhatsApp. “I would leave India if Modi becomes the PM of this country,” the actor was falsely quoted as saying in the post that demanded that the actor should now “apologise or leave the country as PM Modi is back”. BOOM traced the quote to a fake tweet and fake news report that celebrated the 2018 April Fool’s Day with the false information. These posts, however, are only the tip of the iceberg. Many more fake posts are doing the rounds on social media with some even falsely claiming that six lakh votes polled in favour of Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Kerala’s Wayanad mysteriously disappeared from the records. According to BOOM Founder Govindraj Ethiraj, the spread of fake news reached an “all-time high” in the run up to the 2019 general election. The flow of fake news after the election results suggests that the tide of misinformation on social media is unlikely to stop any time soon. “The biggest challenge to fighting fake new is that over 300 million of the 550 million smartphone and broadband users in the country are low on literacy and digital literacy and are especially gullible,” leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy earlier told IANS.last_img read more

Trans Mountain IPO comes at awkward time for Kinder Morgan

first_imgKinder Morgan’s plan to raise money for its Trans Mountain expansion through an initial public offering could not come at a more awkward time.In addition to ongoing protests and federal court challenges, a vote recount in BC could tilt the balance of power, giving the Greens or NDP a chance to bog down the $7.4-billion project. The recount begins Monday.Alberta’s securities regulator is also reviewing Kinder Morgan’s regulatory filings upon a request from Greenpeace, who said it believes the documents overestimate growth in Asian oil demand and don’t go far enough in disclosing climate change-related risks.The energy giant faces a big hurdle in its goal of raising $1.75 billion in what would be one of the biggest IPOs ever on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It is expecting to complete the offering in the last week of this month.Goldman Sachs analyst Theodore Durbin said in a note the IPO move was a “surprise,” since Kinder Morgan management had previously said a joint venture would be preferred.Adam Scott, a senior campaigner with environmental group Oil Change International, said he took it as a sign that the company was struggling to raise funds when it scrapped plans for a joint venture.“There’s still substantial legal risk to the project,” said Scott. “There’s also reputational risk. I think that may be why there’s no equity firms willing to step up and take a chunk.”Kinder Morgan didn’t respond to a request for comment on financing issues, but said it was moving ahead with all aspects of planning for the project. In filings it said the IPO was the “superior path” over the joint venture.Terry Marshall, senior vice-president of corporate finance at Moody’s Investors Services, said there are advantages for Kinder Morgan with the IPO, including maintaining greater control of the project and the profits that would come from it, as well as likely securing a better valuation.“It’s economically a very attractive project,” said Marshall. “It’s just getting it built in this environment is challenging.”Opponents expand campaign against Trans Mountain The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion launched a divestment campaign earlier this month against 17 banks that fund oilsands pipelines. Those banks include CIBC, BMO, Scotiabank, TD Bank and RBC.“I don’t think it scares people away,” said Marshall. “It’s unfortunate, the banks are well aware of it, but I don’t think those protests, in and of themselves, would prevent the financing from being provided.”Still, Jeffrey Harris, founder of venture capital firm Global Reserve Group, said the potential project risks could change the financial picture for some investors.“They change their expected rate of return, and because of that, some projects that may have gotten funding may not get funding because people see it as a little more risky,” said Harris.“I don’t know anybody who says, ‘Oh my God, Canada, don’t go there.’ It’s not that by any means,” he added. “It’s the change in the economics that will attract capital or not.”Robert Johnston, chief executive of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, said he sees campaigns targeting the financing of Trans Mountain as more of a nuisance than a serious threat.“If the case against Kinder Morgan is that there’s no market in Asia, I think that case would be pretty easy to disprove,” he said.But issues relating to climate change are taking on greater importance at the financial level, Johnston said.“Carbon disclosure is well beyond a hassle. It’s a material risk,” he said. “It’s something companies have to factor into their cost base and be transparent about.”Adnan Amin, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, said the risk of fossil fuel infrastructure becoming stranded assets is increasing with the rapid expansion of renewable energy projects.“Investing in very heavy, long-term expensive infrastructure for the future needs to be reassessed very thoroughly,” said Amin.Kinder Morgan still has yet to render a final investment decision on the project, which would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, BC. But it has said it is aiming to start construction in September.last_img read more

Average US price of gas jumps 10 cents per gallon, to $2.44

CAMARILLO, Calif. — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline is up 10 cents a gallon (3.8 litres) over the past two weeks, to $2.44.Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says Sunday that the jump follows a rise in crude oil costs.Lundberg says the price at the pump is 15 cents lower than it was a year ago.The highest average price in the nation is $3.38 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lowest average is $2.03 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.The average price of diesel rose 3 cents over the past two weeks, to $3.04.The Associated Press

Torture reported with growing frequency worldwide – UN experts

Torture is reported with growing frequency from all regions of the world and the lives of individuals and their sense of security continue to be scarred by it on a daily basis, United Nations human rights officials said today in a message ahead of the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture being marked on Sunday. The joint statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, the UN Committee against Torture, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on torture and the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, recalled the obligations of states to take effective measures to prevent all acts of torture or cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.“The importance of prevention cannot be overemphasized,” it declared, reminding states of their obligation to investigate and punish all acts of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and strengthen efforts to fight impunity.Recognizing the ordeals of victims and survivors of torture, “both those who have spoken out and those who have suffered in silence,” it urged states to give effect to their obligation to ensure that the victim obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible. Victims of torture have a right to sue for compensation, including civil compensation, it added. Recalling that the Beijing World Conference on Women 10 years ago recognized that sexual violence and gender-based violence constituted torture where the state perpetrates such acts, consents or acquiesces to them, it highlighted the need to raise awareness of such violence, including domestic violence, and to strengthen measures to prohibit and prevent as well as investigate, prosecute and punish all such acts.“Gender-based violence, including domestic violence, plays a particularly insidious role in teaching and perpetuating a culture of violence,” it added. read more

SMMT 90th Annual Dinner – tickets now on sale

Tuesday 28 November 2006 at the London Hilton, Park Lane, SW1 SMMT 90th Annual Dinner in association with the Financial Times Annual Dinner 2006 tickets now on sale – at 2005 prices! * * * *Early bird discount for bookings before 3 July 2006 * * * * Last November’s SMMT Annual Dinner was a huge hit. The event sold out three weeks in advance and SMMT had to close the door on many disappointed customers. Peter Horbury and Lord Sebastian Coe raised the roof and this year guests can expect similarly high profile – and entertaining – speakers, as well as unrivalled networking opportunities. More details will follow in the months to come. Thanks to unprecedented interest this year, SMMT has already opened ticket bookings for its Annual Dinner 2006. And prices have been held at 2005 rates for those ready to book now. SMMT’s 90th Annual Dinner takes place at the London Hilton on 28 November. We look forward to seeing you there. Here’s how to book your table How to attend: Discounts are available for bookings made before 3 July 2006 and for those booking one or more tables (10 seats per table). There are limited places so please book early. The download below contains a booking form and an outline of sponsorship opportunities to promote your organisation at the Dinner.DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Thirteen monkeys killed in devastating fire at Woburn Safari Park

first_imgMonkeys at Woburn Safari Park, where 13 of their number where killed in a fire on TuesdayCredit:Alamy “When firefighters from Woburn and Dunstable Community Fire Stations arrived along with the water carrier from Toddington they found the outbuilding housing Patas monkeys was well alight and its roof had fallen in. ‘They fought the fire using fire hoses while wearing breathing apparatus to protect themselves from the smoke and fumes. The building was 90 per cent damaged by the fire. “The fire was spotted by security guards on a routine patrol.”An investigation by Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service concluded later that the fire started accidentally following a fault in an electricity generator housed in the same building as the monkey house.In the wild, ground-dwelling Patas monkeys are found in the grassland, open savannah and dry woodland of central Africa.They can grow up to 34in (85cm) in length, with a 30in (75cm) tail, and can live for around 20 years.Woburn’s troop of Patas monkeys shares a 16-acre enclosure with other species, but is housed at night during the winter months.The fire at Woburn Safari Park came after a blaze at London Zoo killed one aardvark and four meerkats in December.The blaze has led to the postponement of Tuesday’s planned annual stock-take at the zoo, in Regent’s Park.Every one of the zoo’s animals was due to be accounted for, but the stock-take has now been put on hold until FebruaryThe fire broke out in the animal adventure section of London zoo, destroying the cafe, shop and around half of the adjacent petting zoo, London Fire Brigade said.The world-famous attraction reopened to visitors on Christmas Eve. Monkeys at Woburn Safari Park, where 13 of their number where killed in a fire on Tuesdaycenter_img Thirteen monkeys have died following a fire in an enclosure at Woburn Safari Park. The fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday in the Patas’ monkey house within the African Forest drive-through enclosure of the park in Bedfordshire.The Patas monkeys were killed when the roof on the building they were living in collapsed as a result of the fire.A spokesman for the park said: “Staff and fire crews attended the scene; however, devastatingly for everyone at the park, none of the 13 animals could be saved.”All other animals within the jungle drive-through enclosure are being monitored, but early signs suggest they have not been affected by the fire.Fire crews managed to put the fire out by 4.46am and firefighters said 90 per cent of the building was damaged. A Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire at a monkey enclosure at Woburn Safari Park at 2.37am this morning. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more