Wayne Parrot (L)Andrew Paterson (R). (The following editorial is reprinted with permission from the Winter 2000 issue of the University of Georgia’s Research Reporter).In the age of the Internet, laser eye surgery and high-yielding crops, most people would agree with scientists that basic research and resulting technologies help society. UGA Photo: Paul Efland But through events in which technology has fallen short — from Three Mile Island to mad cow disease – the public has come face-to-face with science’s fallibility. No longer a passive recipient of technology, the public increasingly demands a role in deciding how new discoveries will be implemented.No single development highlights this new public attitude more than the stormy reception of genetically modified organisms, also known as genetically engineered products. The potential benefits of GMOs are enormous: not only increased crop yields, but also reductions in pesticide use, ground water contamination and mycotoxin levels.’Unsafe, Untested’?Groups that oppose genetically engineered foods allege they’re unsafe, untested and unregulated – notions that gain support from high-profile publicity campaigns and imbalances in media coverage.Just as the scientific data began to accumulate on the benefits of GMOs, companies like Gerber, Heinz, Seagram, McDonald’s and Frito Lay began to avoid GMO ingredients. Now, the saga of StarLink corn in taco shells has led GMO critics to assume their worst fears have been realized.GMOs are more highly regulated than any other food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates field-testing of GMO crops and any hazards they may pose to agriculture. The Food and Drug Administration determines whether GMO-derived products are equivalent to those currently on the market (and thus not subject to any extraordinary precautions) or are new products, which must undergo further safety testing and be labeled.New Products Being DevelopedAll genetically modified foods now on the market fall under the first category, while several products under development fall under the second. Foods derived using genes from known allergens or from organisms outside the traditional human diet also are subject to heightened scrutiny.The Environmental Protection Agency also must approve plants engineered with pesticidal properties, like StarLink corn. Erring on the side of caution, the EPA approved StarLink for animal feed only. Subsequently, it found no clear evidence that StarLink poses a human hazard, yet found no clear proof that it didn’t.The EPA wants conclusive results before clearing StarLink for human consumption and forwarding it to the FDA for further approval. The StarLink episode demonstrated that GMO contamination of non-GMO products is inevitable. And while the European Community allows 2 percent of GMOs in nonGMO products, the United States lacks such a standard.Outcry Surprised ScientistsThe outcry against GMOs surprised most scientists, considering the federal regulations imposed on the already rigorous peer-review process that has always decided the validity of science. Ironically, many scientists found themselves and their motives attacked by organizations whose goals coincide with their own: a safer, more stable and lower-cost food supply and responsible stewardship of the environment.The disagreements lie not in the goals, but the best ways to meet them.With high-profile spokesmen like Prince Charles, the anti-GMO movement created widespread hysteria across Europe. As misinformation spreads, many scientists feel they should stay out of the controversy and remain objective purveyors of unbiased information, safe within the Ivory Tower.GMO Opponents Not ShyGMO opponents haven’t been so shy. From protests to street theater, from newspaper ads to shareholder meetings, anti-GMO groups have pressed their message, using ecoterrorism and sensationalist terms such as “frankenfoods.”But today’s scientists must reach not only their peers but also the public with objective information about the benefits and consequences of their own work. They need to emulate the “activist scientist” roles of Albert Einstein (who vocally opposed militarism, Nazism, anti-Semitism and the careless use of nuclear weapons), Stephen Jay Gould (who defends the teaching of evolution) and Peter Raven and E.O. Wilson (who promote conservation).The fact that most agricultural scientists and anti-GMO groups share a common set of goals would seem to be the foundation for a partnership, if only they could agree on the best approach. Genetic improvement has expanded agricultural production dramatically to meet the needs of the world’s growing population. But agricultural research now receives a smaller portion of public research dollars than ever before.’Genetic Vulnerability’The “genetic vulnerability” of many major crop gene pools and the growing concentration of germ plasm ownership in the private sector reflect this diminished public investment. A partnership between activists and scientists might reassert these shared goals as national and even international priorities – before they are forced to the forefront by more widespread disasters such as have befallen Ethiopia in recent years.Yet, as long as anti-GMO groups totally rule out a role for genetically modified crops, there may never be a consensus.GMO technology is at a crossroads. Acceptance of GMO-derived products and crops will motivate further progress toward safer food, lower pesticide use, more sustainable agricultural practices and improved human health through more nutritious foods. Rejection of GMOs will likely exacerbate ecological problems as our current agricultural systems struggle to feed a growing world population.The future of our food supply may well depend on who is most vocal and most convincing: protesters or scientists.
Peruvian security forces are strengthening their collaboration with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to fight transnational criminal organizations which engage in drug trafficking, kidnapping, oil theft, extortion, cyber-theft, and other criminal enterprises. The National Police of Peru (PNP) and the FBI recently signed a “letter of intent”, in which the two law enforcement agencies agreed to cooperate in the battle against transnational criminal organizations, according to published reports. The Peruvian ambassador in Washington, D.C., Harolf Forsyth, and FBI Assistant Director Richard McFeeley signed the document at FBI headquarters in Washington on Jan. 23, 2014. The link between international drug trafficking According to the study “Situational Analysis of Drug Trafficking 2013” conducted by the American Police Community (Ameripol), the link between drug trafficking and terrorism is a serious threat to Peruvian national security. The Shining Path rebel group trafficks drugs and engages in other criminal activities like extortion in order to buy arms and finance terrorist activities. The Shining Path and drug traffickers from Mexico and Colombia operate around 300 clandestine laboratories in the Apurimac and Ene River Valley (VRAEM), the largest coca-growing basin in the country, according to authorities. Since 2000, the presence of Mexican cartels has expanded by 60 percent, according to the publication, Expresso. The Sinaloa Cartel maintains armed gangs and produces cocaine and marijuana in the VRAEM, in coastal regions, and in Ayabaca, located in the Piura Mountains. One of the gangs involved in drug trafficking includes the brothers, Máximo, Zósimo, and Sergio Arce Medina, who are from the La Mar province of Ayacucho. The Arce Medina brothers operate in towns of Satipo province, La República reported. The Arce Medina brothers buy drugs from various producers in the VRAEM, the region where the Shining Path rebel group operates. Then they transport the drugs to nearby towns, and then ship them via air to Bolivia and Brazil. Other gangs known as “Motoco”, “Platanazo”, “David”, and “Chino” also traffic drugs. Europe, in particular Spain followed by Italy and the Netherlands, is the main destination for drugs leaving Peru. “The government has drawn up an intelligence strategy in the fight against drug trafficking. All security forces have declared a full-fledged fight against drug trafficking and related activities such as money-laundering,” García Villena said. From January 2007 to May 2012, organized crime groups in Peru laundered about $5.3 billion (USD), authorities said. Continuing efforts Law enforcement training The PNP and the FBI agreed to work together to strengthen digital technology which can help identify criminal suspects. The two law enforcement agencies also pledged to work together to make sure both agencies have the most modern tools for scientific forensic investigations. This would include technology to identify fingerprints and conduct DNA tests. The collaboration with the FBI will help improve public safety in Peru, Forsyth said. “The field of police science advances very quickly in the world,” the ambassador said. “If we want to build a safer society in Peru, we need to keep up with these new techniques. Peru faces a serious problem: transnational crime.” The Peruvian government has been sending PNP officers to the FBI Academy in the U.S. state of Virginia since 2012, authorities said. The PNP will send a greater number of officers to the academy in 2014, authorities said. A week before signing the agreement with the FBI, prosecutors’ offices, the PNP, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the Judiciary (PJ) of Peru presented the “Protocols and Action Guide” for the PNP and other Peruvian law enforcers. As detailed in the document, the PNP and the FBI will focus on training a variety of law tactics, such as the best way to monitor and record telephone calls and other forms of communication, such as text messages and how to enter a building using force, according to a statement from the PJ. “The purpose is to standardize the work for law enforcement administrators. From now on, these institutions will avoid contradictions and delays when implementing measures,” said Walter Chávez Cotrina, chief of the Public Prosecutor’s office and the coordinator of special prosecutions against organized crime. Senior Supreme Court Judge Luis Almenara Bryson presented these new tools of action against organized crime on Jan. 16, 2014 in the Palace of Justice. . Whenever a crime is reported, police face a series of challenges, Col. Víctor Gonzáles Silva, head of the PNP’s criminal investigation division for kidnappings told the website, Peru21. For example, law enforcement officers usually have just 24 hours to investigate a detainee before they would have to release him or her. The new protocols for law enforcement officers in per “represent a major breakthrough,” said José Luis García Villena, communications director for the State Bar Association of Lima. “The protocols and the guide are essential in the fight against criminal organizations, crime, and the current public insecurity situation in Peru.” Digital security International drug trafficking By Dialogo March 16, 2014 International cooperation with the FBI complement the continuing efforts of Peruvian security forces to destroy coca crops, intercept illegal flights loaded with cocaine, and purchase equipment and technology to fight against transnational criminal organizations. According to García Villena, “The success of these actions depends on cooperation between institutions and Peruvian society” García Villena said. “We have to form a united front to combat public insecurity, terrorism, and drug cartels.” All countries in the world should cooperate and share intelligence information to fight against these organizations, García Villena said.
26SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details Let’s face it: we all need to get away once in a while. Unfortunately sometimes we don’t have the luxury of taking time away from the office. Whether it’s because you’ve used up your vacation days or you’re just too busy at work, not getting in real time away from the office can be a drag. Even if an actual vacation isn’t in the near future, follow these tips for mentally recharging when you can’t get away.Change your sceneryAlthough you can’t be on the beach with your toes in the sand, you can still do certain things to your surroundings to positively affect your mood. Start small and rearrange your work space for a clear head and a fresh start. De-clutter your desk, add a small plant, or bring in a personal photo to brighten your day. If you are able to move around the office more freely, grab a seat by the window or work outside in the sunshine.Reset your scheduleIf you’re feeling burnt out and in need of a vacation, chances are it’s a result of your monotonous schedule. We thrive on regime and structure, but everyone needs a break from time to time. If you can’t take a trip out of town, do little things in your life to break up your routine. Take your lunch break at a different time each day. Work out in the morning instead of after work. Moving your routine around ever so slightly can help you to feel refreshed and can break you out of the predictable patterns that are causing you to feel unmotivated.Get unpluggedFor most of us, turning off our devices and really stepping away from technology are major perks of vacation time. But, just because you can’t take a trip doesn’t mean you can’t unplug at various times during the day. Constantly feeling connected can make us feel overwhelmed and edgy. So, instead of scrolling through social media during downtime, get outdoors! Enjoy quality family time and engage with one another personally. You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel just by simply stepping back from the swiping and scrolling.
The secretive South Korean religious group at the centre of the country’s new coronavirus outbreak is a sprawling network so wealthy it can mobilise thousands of believers to hold Pyongyang-style mass performances at Seoul’s Olympic stadium.More than half of the country’s nearly 1,600 infections are linked to Shincheonji followers. ‘Temple of God’ Shincheonji — in full the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony — was founded in 1984 by Lee Man-hee, now 88. Often condemned as a cult, it describes itself on its website as “the one and only kingdom and temple of God on this earth”, pledging to yield to the will of Jesus “by sacrificing our bodies like a candle”.Shincheonji proclaims Lee has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on the day of judgement. But with more church members than available places in heaven, they are said to have to compete for slots and pursue converts. It seeks recruits surreptitiously by dispatching its members to mainstream Protestant congregations to try to persuade their believers — a tactic that has prompted many churches to issue warnings to keep them at bay.South Korean health officials spray disinfectant in front of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southeastern city of Daegu on February 21, 2020 as more than 80 members of Shincheonji have now been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus. – South Korea confirmed 52 more cases of novel coronavirus on February 21 as the number of infections linked to a religious sect in Daegu spiked, making it the worst-infected country outside China. (AFP/Jung Yeon-je )Patient 31 At their own services Shincheonji members are forbidden to wear glasses, necklaces and earrings.They sit close together on the floor without chairs and desks, praying extensively in what critics say creates an ideal environment to spread viral infections.The outbreak among its followers began with Patient 31, a 61-year-old female member.She developed a fever on February 10, but attended at least four church services in Daegu — the country’s fourth-largest city and the epicentre of the outbreak — before being diagnosed. Global reach After days of mounting public anger, Shincheonji has handed over a list of 212,000 members to authorities to enable them to be checked for coronavirus symptoms.But reports say it has previously boasted of more than 240,000 members, raising doubts over the accuracy of the roster.Shincheonji has 12 branches in South Korea that it calls “the 12 Tribes”, each named after one of Jesus’ disciples.It says on its website it has mission centres in 15 countries around the world, including China and the United States, and that hundreds of pastors have renounced their ordinations to join it.This handout picture taken on February 19, 2020 by Daegu Metropolitan City Namgu shows South Korean health officials wearing protective suit and spraying disinfectant in front of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southeastern city of Daegu as about 40 new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus confirmed after they attended same church services. – A cluster of novel coronavirus infections centred on a cult church in the South Korean city of Daegu leaped to 39 cases February 20, as the country’s total spiked for the second successive day. (AFP/Handout / Daegu Metropolitan City Namgu) Mass events Shincheonji has been so successful that it has been able to mobilise thousands of followers to hold mass displays at high-profile venues — such as Seoul’s Jamsil Olympic Stadium in 2012, home to the 1988 Games.Hundreds of performers enacted biblical scenes and motifs on the pitch, while — just like North Korea’s Mass Games — thousands turned the coloured pages of books in sequence, creating an ever-changing backdrop of giant images rippling across one side of the stadium. Topics :
“We will bolster our coordination, including with the private sector, toward rapid development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostics, antiviral medicines and vaccines,” the statement said.On the occasion, Jokowi also encouraged G20 member countries to work together to synchronize economic policies and instruments to counter the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.Read also: Indonesian manufacturers step up as G20 nations coordinate global medical supplyThe President stressed at the end of his statement that G20 countries had a role to foster world confidence to get through the health crisis.Indonesia was among the latest to step up its battle against the coronavirus as the archipelago had just announced its first confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 2, weeks after many other countries around the world announced their first positive cases on their soil.With 1,046 confirmed cases and 87 fatalities as of Friday, Indonesia’s death toll is now the highest in Southeast Asia and its mortality rate of 8.3 percent is among the highest in the world.The global death toll from the coronavirus, which first emerged in China late last year, has now passed 24,000, with the number of infections globally closing in on half a million. An estimated 3 million people have been forced into lockdown.Topics : Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who had accompanied Jokowi in the meeting, said all G20 member countries, the WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) would collaborate in efforts to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development.Read also: G20 leaders to inject $5 trillion into global economy to fight coronavirus“The finance ministers of the G20 have indicated they would allocate US$4 billion to be mobilized throughout the world, especially in the G20 countries, to accelerate research and find a COVID-19 vaccine. This issue is currently under discussions at the level of the G20’s finance ministers,” Sri Mulyani said after the teleconference.In a joint statement adopted at the summit, G20 leaders agreed to further commit to work together to increase research and development funding for vaccines and medicines, leverage digital technologies and strengthen international scientific cooperation. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for G20 leaders to spearhead the development of vaccines to win “the war” against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic during the group’s first video-conference summit on Thursday evening.Jokowi joined the virtual teleconference hosted remotely by G20 chairman and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to discuss international efforts and stronger cooperation to fight the spread of COVID-19.“The G20 must actively lead efforts to find a COVID-19 antivirus and vaccine together with the World Health Organization,” the Indonesian President said as quoted in a press statement released by the Presidential Secretariat.
Hutama Karya was chosen by the Indonesian government to build the trans-Sumatra toll road project, one of the government’s national strategic projects that aims to improve transportation infrastructure in the country.This year, the company set a target to finish 211 kilometers of the toll road, as reported by Kontan. Spanning more than 2,700 km, the toll road will be the longest in Indonesia upon completion.“HK’s [Hutama Karya] standalone credit profile reflects its position as one of the largest engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies in Indonesia by revenue, with a track record of completing large projects,” Moody’s vice president and senior analyst Abhishek Tyagi said in a written statement on April 13.“Its standalone credit profile also reflects its growing toll operations as the sole developer and operator of the large, multi-year, trans-Sumatra project.” Read also: Rating agencies downgrade Indonesian companies on debt repayment concerns amid COVID-19Tyagi explained that the agency believed the government, as a result of owning 100 percent of the company, would have “very high support” for it, with operations and a budget that would be closely supervised. The company also has government-guaranteed debt for its toll road project, which accounts for 78 percent of its outstanding debt as of December 2019.Aside from that, Moody’s pointed to Hutama Karya’s diversified business profile, which has multiple revenue-generating segments while also being included in a government plan to accelerate infrastructure development in the country, as reasons behind the rating.However, Moody’s noted that the rating could be downgraded if the company was to bid aggressively to win new contracts, which would result in a deterioration of the company’s financial profile, or if it was to experience a substantial decline in new contracts and incurred large cost overruns and project delays.Fitch said Hutama Karya’s “strong linkages” to the government were a reflection of the company’s strategic importance to the infrastructure development program.“This differentiates HK from its construction peers, as it is the only wholly government-owned construction company with government-guaranteed debt,” a release published on Sunday states, adding that the government’s support to the company was reflected in equity injections, asset securitization and construction support.From the trans-Sumatra toll road project alone, Hutama Karya obtained a total of Rp 65 trillion worth of new contracts between 2016 and 2019, 62 percent of the total contracts won during the period.Despite this, Hutama Karya’s standalone credit profile (SCP) is lower than PT Waskita Karya due to its weaker financial profile.“HK has a smaller order book than Waskita, but we believe that HK’s order book will grow to a comparable size when the trans-Sumatra toll road development increases pace in the next few years,” Fitch says.Aside from the company’s healthy order book growth, Fitch also noted that the company would only be “moderately affected” by the COVID-19 crisis over the next few quarters as the planned Rp 3.5 trillion equity injection by the government for 2020 remained intact, even after a revision of the government’s initial budget. Topics : Two international credit rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, have given state-owned construction company PT Hutama Karya an investment grade for its good credit profile and low level of default risk.Moody’s announced on its site on April 13 that it had assigned a Baa3 issuer rating to Hutama Karya, the first time the agency has done so. In its announcement, it said that “the rating outlook is stable”.Fitch, on the other hand, released a rating action commentary on Sunday saying that it had assigned the company a Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of BBB-. Meanwhile, PT Fitch Ratings Indonesia assigned a national long-term rating of AA+(idn) to the company. Mirroring Moody’s statement, Fitch described Hutama Karya’s rating outlook as stable.
Earlier, Ireland had made 241 for nine after being sent into bat at Malahide as they sought to wrap up a series whitewash. John Mooney was the star of the show for the home side, smashing 96 off 77 balls with 12 fours and two sixes before he was dismissed off the penultimate ball of the innings by Safyaan Sharif. Captain Kevin O’Brien was Ireland’s next-best contributor with 36, with off-spinner Majid Haq taking five for 54 for the visitors, whose victory left the home side with a 2-1 series success. Durham batsman MacLeod struck 15 fours in his unbeaten 116 off 141 balls for his second ODI century as Scotland comfortably chased down their target of 242 with more than four overs to spare to gain a consolation win. Following the early loss of his opening partner Matty Cross for one, MacLeod shared in a match-winning stand of 179 for the second wicket with 23-year-old Hamish Gardiner, whose 89 was his maiden ODI fifty. Calum MacLeod struck an unbeaten century as Scotland denied Ireland a 3-0 series victory with an eight-wicket win in the third and final one-day international in Dublin. Press Association
New body-cam footage transcripts from the scene of George Floyd’s death have been released. The transcripts comes from former officers J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, who are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in Floyd’s death. The heavily redacted transcripts reveal Floyd begged for his life throughout the struggle with the officers, saying dozens of times that he couldn’t breath.George Floyd told officers more than 20 times that he couldn’t breathe the night he died, according to transcripts of police body-cam video worn by former Officer Thomas Lane, as he held Floyd’s legs while fellow Officer Derek Chauvin held a knee to Floyd’s neck.The attorney for fired Minneapolis Police Officer Thomas Lane wants charges against his client dropped.Attorney Earl Grey says he’s submitted new statements and video evidence showing Officer Thomas Lane was following the lead of senior officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd.Attorney Greys says, “He had no knowledge that Chauvin was causing or committing an assault.”In the transcripts from body-cam video he says Lane, who had only been on the job for four days, asks Chauvin twice if they should roll Floyd to his side. He also administered CPR and offered aid to Floyd while in the ambulance. Grey says, “That’s not what a person does if they’re aiding and abetting in a violent crime. And, there’s no question that my client had no knowledge that a crime was committed.”Thomas Lane is the only officer out on bond.
Our Sports ReporterGUWAHATI: Ashish Talukdar of Assam gave India another medal in the Sharjah Open International Karate Championship at Sharjah today.Ashish won a bronze medal in the Junior Male -68kg Kumite event.Earlier Advik won a gold and a Silver medal yesterday. Total three medals including one gold, one Silver and one bronze won by State players for Team India in the ChampionshipAlso Read: Ishita Kashyap Wins Silver Medal in 5th South Asian Cadet Karate ChampionshipAlso Watch: Govt all set to push for the contentious Citizenship Bill in the winter session of Parliament
New Delhi: Novak Djokovic confirmed his stature as the greatest as he put in a clinical display to decimate Rafael Nadal in three straight sets and win his seventh Australian Open title. With 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win. With this extraordinary win, the 31-year-old has now 15 Grand Slam titles under his name. The Serbian world number one dominated the Spanish second seed to win his 15th Grand Slam title in just 2hr 4min on Rod Laver Arena. It put Djokovic out on his own ahead of Roger Federer and Roy Emerson, who both won six Australian Open men’s singles titles. Djokovic dropped to the court and kissed the ground after vanquishing his greatest rival. No two men have met more often in the Open Era, this was their 53rd meeting, and no pair has pushed one another harder or further. Their only previous final in Australia, in 2012, developed into a record-breaking 5hr 53min slugfest — the longest in Grand Slam history.However, there is one photo which has Djokovic posing with some legendary names of tennis following the win. Djokovic is pictured with the trophy and accompanying him are Roy Emerson, Ken Rosewall, Fred Sedgman and Rod Laver, all legendry tennis players. Apparently, in the post-match press conference, Djokovic said that he had made Emerson angry in a funny way. “Mr. Emerson said he’s p***ed with me because I broke his record (smiling),” Djokovic said. “It was the most beautiful, most expensive photo of the night, without a doubt, standing with those four legends. Yeah, I mean, I’ll definitely cherish that forever.” highlights The Australian Open was the third straight Grand Slam that he had won, having clinched Wimbledon and US Open in 2018. Djokovic will head into the French Open aiming to become the first man in the history of the Open Era to win all four Grand Slams more than once. This represents a remarkable turnaround for the Serb, who had undergone an elbow surgery and it seemed his best days were behind him.“”I’m just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months. I had the surgery exactly 12 months ago,” he added, referring to an elbow operation that saw him slump out of the world’s top 20 before bouncing back to win Wimbledon and the US Open. “To be standing now here in front of you today and managing to win this title and three out of four Slams, this is amazing. I am speechless.” Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open for a record 7th time.Djokovic’s head-to-head record against Rafael Nadal is 28-25.Djokovic has now won Wimbledon, US Open and now Australian Open. For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.