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Clean up your act, Lush tells Obama

first_imgLush, Oxford staged a protest on Saturday 1st June on Cornmarket Street against the use of drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Lush, the cosmetics chain which has a shop on Cornmarket, alleges the “military targets [of drones] are individuals who have been blacklisted by the US or UK agencies for displaying suspicious activity.” The protest formed part of a wider campaign against drone strikes organised by Lush and human rights charity, Reprieve.The demonstration took the form of a flash mob ‘die-in’, performed by eight campaigners.The sound of a drone in flight was played through a megaphone, whilst performers who appeared to be ordinary shoppers dropped to the floor as though stricken by a missile. “Each campaigner was drawn around in chalk by a fellow performer, indicating that every dead body killed by a drone is someone’s loved one,” Lush Oxford explained.Rowan Parkes, the organiser of the protest, said, “Raising awareness about drones is particularly important to me because of the child fatalities they have caused, and the psychological impact they are having on children… and [their] parents.”last_img read more

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Deans’ Challenges winners

first_imgFocusing on health and life sciences, cultural entrepreneurship, the food system, and innovation in sports, five student-led teams were named winners in the third annual Deans’ Challenges. Each of the four Deans’ Challenges awarded $55,000 to the winning teams and runners-up, for a total of $220,000.Sponsored by five deans and the director of athletics, and hosted by the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), the challenges give Harvard students and fellows opportunities to create and develop solutions that can make a meaningful impact on people around the world. This year’s event combined the individual challenges to align more strongly with the cross-disciplinary focus of the challenges and the i-lab, and to foster University-wide collaboration around innovation and entrepreneurship.“The ideas, talents, and passion that the student teams from across the University bring to creating viable solutions have potential for significant global impact,” said Gordon Jones, the i-lab’s Evans Family Foundation managing director. “The i-lab has worked closely with the finalist teams to provide high-quality resources to support their ventures and help them make progress on bringing their ventures from idea to impact. The i-lab values its unique role operating at the intersection of entrepreneurship and innovation for students from across Harvard looking to further develop their ideas.”The previous challenges expanded to include the launch of this year’s Innovation in Sports Challenge and the Food System Challenge, based on the strong student interest in these areas. The 20 student-led teams participating in this year’s Deans’ Challenges Demo Day were selected from 161 proposals from across 13 Harvard Schools.“Each year as the Deans’ Challenges continue, we see a growth in participation, representing the desire of our community to have a worldwide impact in pressing areas of need,” said Dean Nitin Nohria of Harvard Business School. “The increased interest across these challenges highlights the boundary-crossing nature of our University, particularly within the student body.”“I saw firsthand through our Food System Challenge this year how the challenge process ignites imagination, collaboration, and focused excellence, along with excitement and fun,” said Dean Martha Minow of Harvard Law School. Following is a breakdown of the winning teams:Deans’ Health and Life Sciences ChallengeThe Bertarelli Foundation Grand Prize winner of the Deans’ Health and Life Sciences, LuminOva, was awarded $40,000. LuminOva aims to increase in vitro fertilization success rates by monitoring the viability of embryos.Two student teams were named runners-ups and awarded funding. Canary, a provider of ultra-sensitive point-of-care and home diagnostics, whose first product enables pregnancy detection hours after intercourse, received $10,000. Blue Therapeutics, a venture that is developing painkillers that relieve pain more potently than morphine but are not addictive, was awarded $5,000. Nohria and Dean Jeffrey Flier of Harvard Medical School are co-chairs of this challenge.Deans’ Cultural Entrepreneurship ChallengeIvory, a music education app that listens to you play an instrument, and then provides real-time analytics, targeted lessons, and “gamified” elements, was named the winner of the Deans’ Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge and was awarded $35,000.Runners-up include PACEE, a platform that connects artists and designers with the public needs and desires to sustain arts and promote arts education, and AREAL, a venue that provides alternate realities for people of all ages to indulge in a lot of fun and a lot of thinking.The co-chairs for this challenge are Nohria, Dean for the Arts and Humanities of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Diana Sorensen, and the Silkroad Project, a nonprofit arts organization affiliated with Harvard and led by cellist Yo-Yo Ma ’76.Deans’ Food System ChallengeTwo teams were named co-winners of the inaugural Deans’ Food System Challenge, and both were awarded $27,500. The winners are Coolify, a micro-cold-storage solution that improves post-harvest agriculture supply chains and reduces spoilage, and FOCUS Foods, an urban aquaponics farm that will be a self-sustaining, symbiotic fish and produce system serving the Philadelphia community. Minow and Dean Julio Frenk of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health are the co-chairs.Deans’ Innovations in Sports ChallengeThe Deans’ Innovation in Sports Challenge, another first-time contest, named Nix, a real-time, in-field, dehydration biosensor sweat patch as the winner and awarded the team $40,000. EuMotus, a venture that develops innovative biomechanical technologies to help optimize physical fitness and human body performance, was named runner-up and received $15,000. Nohria and Nichols Family Director of Athletics Bob Scalise are co-chairs.last_img read more

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Frederick balances top-flight football with computer engineering, part 2

first_imgTravis Frederick was named a consensus second-team All-Big Ten player by the coaches and the media following his performance this season on the offensive line and filling in at center.[/media-credit]In 2010, Travis Frederick was redshirted due to the Badgers’ surplus of talented offensive linemen. Wisconsin made the Rose Bowl that year, and after three starting offensive linemen graduated and were selected in April’s NFL Draft, Frederick had a prized opportunity staring him right in the face. When the Badgers returned from the summer for fall camp, Frederick lined up at left guard, directly next to the center, as if he hadn’t missed any games at all.“He’s really, really smart,” offensive line coach Bob Bostad says. “He takes coaching and understands. Those kind of guys to have are priceless because they can right a lot of things.”That last part, about pricelessly righting a lot of things along the offensive line, ultimately became an incredible instance of foresight by Bostad, who gave that quote just a few days before Wisconsin’s first road game of the season at Michigan State. The Badgers, a perfect 6-0 at that point and quickly gaining steam in the national title picture, fell to the Spartans on a stunning 44-yard Hail Mary as time expired. The loss was utterly deflating – especially considering that Wisconsin went on to lose in nearly identical fashion the next week at Ohio State.Three weeks and three wins later came another road trip, this time to Illinois, a once-promising team starving for a win after dropping its last six games. With a top-20 defense, the Fighting Illini just hadn’t been able to muster enough consistent offense without suffering turnovers, penalties and overall miscues to string together any wins. Nevertheless, Illinois mustered 224 yards of offense to Wisconsin’s 93 in the first half and held a 17-7 lead after two quarters.After a 12-play, 30-yard drive right out of halftime, the Badgers punched the ball in the end zone with a five-yard pass to running back Montee Ball that trimmed their deficit to three points. Illinois quarterback Reilly O’Toole threw an interception four plays later, and Wisconsin appeared set to take the lead. But on a 3rd-and-12 near midfield, with redshirt sophomore Ryan Groy filling in for Peter Konz at center after the junior dislocated his ankle the week prior, Groy snapped the ball high over quarterback Russell Wilson’s head. Wilson, who had lined up in the shotgun a few yards behind Groy, alertly scrambled backwards and fell on the ball 19 yards back down the field.The Badgers were fortunate to recover the football, but having a strong drive ruined by the miscue was too close to being a disaster that Bostad decided to move Groy to left guard and have Frederick take over at center. Six minutes later, Wilson ran the ball in the end zone to put Wisconsin ahead for good.“When Ryan put that one over [Wilson’s] head, I think that [Bostad] just kind of felt that it was time to make a switch,” Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said after the game. “He thought that would calm him down a little bit. [Frederick’s] pretty calm under pressure, and it obviously ended up working out very, very well.”Bielema didn’t say it right there, but Frederick ended up staying at center for the Badgers’ next game, a 45-7 trouncing of Penn State back at Camp Randall, and the one after as well, a 42-39 thriller in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game against, of all teams, Michigan State.Frederick wasn’t able to share his thoughts on winning the conference’s first title game with the media – or on his being named a consensus second-team All-Big Ten player by coaches and media this week. Fittingly, he had an exam during the assigned media availability for offensive players.With the specter of the Rose Bowl hanging over the final days of the fall semester, integer divider co-processors wouldn’t seem to be on the minds of too many Badgers. But they are on Frederick’s, a task that remains daunting even after three years of doubling as a double-major engineering student and an elite college football player.“I would say almost weekly,” Frederick says when asked if he ever feels overwhelmed. “Almost weekly, I get those moments. It kind of keeps growing, and you’re like, ‘Oh man, what am I doing?’ Then you sit down and make your lists, all those things and that kind of helps. You just power through it, and you get used to it.”last_img read more

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South Africa mourns Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen

first_imgLegendary Springbok rugby scrumhalf and captain Joost van der Westhuizen died on Monday 6 February after five years battling motor neuron disease. He was 45.Joost van der Westhuizen was instrumental in the Springboks’ World Cup triumph in 1995. But tragically, the legendary scrumhalf could not triumph over motor neuron disease. (screenshot via Youtube)Former Springbok rugby scrumhalf, captain and legend, Joost van der Westhuizen, has died at age 45 after a long battle with motor neuron disease.The J9 Foundation, which Van der Westhuizen established to fight the incurable disease, confirmed his passing on Monday 6 February. After his vital organs began to fail on Friday 3 February, he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital on Saturday and placed on life support.The foundation said he passed away on Monday after “putting up an incredible fight” over the weekend.He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neuron disease, in 2011. The disease attacks the body’s neurons, weakening the body’s voluntary muscles. This can result in difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and eventually breathing.Van der Westhuizen played a pivotal role in the Springbok’s first Rugby World Cup title in 1995. In his prime, he was considered the world’s greatest scrumhalf. He is still regarded as one of the legends of the game.Van der Westhuizen spent his entire club career with the Blue Bulls, from 1993 until 2003, with great success. But he will be best remembered for his international playing career.He featured in 89 tests for the Springboks and scored 38 tries, a record only broken by Bryan Habana in 2011, at the Rugby World Cup. He captained South Africa during the 1999 World Cup where they finished third. Van der Westhuizen retired from international rugby in 2003 as South Africa’s record cap holder.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Lax sports bodies behind doping mess

first_imgIn the recent controversy surrounding the dope taint on 12 leading Indian athletes, the role of the various national sports federations (NSFs) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in turning a blind eye to the drugs menace has gone unnoticed.It is they who have been found wanting when it came to educating athletes about the banned substances listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), a list that is updated every year. Forget educating them, the sports federations did not even bother to conduct random doping tests – the basic requisite of any national sports body when it comes to controlling the problem.Take the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). At no point did the WFI educate its wrestlers on the basics of doping. Kripa Shankar, a leading wrestler said, ” Not once in the last eight months has any of us been even briefed about the basics of doping. We don’t even know what substances we have to avoid to remain clean.”The wrestler said none of the Indian wrestlers has been subjected to random dope testing in the last eight months. “The WFI did not tell the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) to conduct random tests, even when the Commonwealth Games were less than two months away.” Shockingly, the wrestler claimed, “Certain coaches encourage doping.” He said he cannot back his claims with solid evidence, but “there have been instances when coaches have helped their wards by telling them to do so.”WFI secretary general Kartar Singh denied that the body had not regularly instructed the wrestlers about doping. He said that SAI doctors “have held talks about doping in all our camps”.advertisementHe put the blame squarely on the wrestlers saying that it is they who have an obligation to stay educated on drugs abuse. “It is the wrestlers’ responsibility to keep abreast of the latest developments in doping.”The Swimming Federation of India (SFI), too, blamed its sportspersons alone for testing positive for methylhexanamine (the same stimulant for which the wrestlers were caught). SFI secretary general Virendra Nanavati said the athletes were just too ignorant. “It is the duty of the swimmer to ensure that the drug he or she is taking is not in the list of WADA’s banned substances.”That, however, is not a worldwide norm. In every other country, it is the respective sporting federation that is responsible for educating the athletes and coaches about doping. What is more surprising is that NDTL is a WADA-accredited lab and is comparable to the best antidoping labs in the world. But the national sports federations reportedly never accessed the labs to test their athletes.A top SAI official admitted to Mail Today that India’s nodal sports body does not have enough doctors to educate athletes and coaches on doping. “We just do not have the manpower or requisite expertise to educate our athletes on doping,” he said. “We have sports medicine experts who specialise in injuries and physiotherapy to help the athlete cope and recover. Moreover, three top doctors have left SAI for other assignments, and there is no plan to recruit more. Naturally, dope education does not become priority.”In contrast, China began an antidoping regimen eight years before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. As a result, not a single Chinese athlete was caught in anti-doping tests. Meanwhile, in India, the sports federations say that athletes are lying about random tests being not conducted. “Sheer nonsense,” said WFI’s Kartar Singh when he heard Kripa Shankar’s claim that no dope test was carried out in the last eight months. “We have been conducting random tests on our wrestlers once in every four months,” he added.Meanwhile, the SFI has not had any awareness programme for its swimmers and it merely hands over a list of banned substances in the name of education. Nanavati said: “The federation provides a list of banned items to all the athletes. We are not scientists or doctors to keep a check on what each and every swimmer is taking,” he said.Nanavati said the offending swimmers should have clarified the medication they were taking at the time of tests. “Thirty-nine samples were collected at the senior nationals at Jaipur. Only three tested positive.So, the blame should rest on the swimmers as the majority did not test positive.” Commonwealth Games Organising Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot said neither SAI nor the federations should be held responsible for the national doping shame.”SAI or any other federation cannot stay with the athletes 24 hours of the day. It is difficult to monitor what these athletes eat. It would be unfair to blame anyone other than the athletes themselves,” Bhanot said.advertisementThe Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF), one of the worst affected when it comes to doping (it had to pay a $ 500,000 fine to the world body to escape a ban after several weightlifters were caught doping) seems to have learned its lessons.Sydney Olympic bronze medalist Karnam Malleswari, currently an IWF vice-president, said that the body had conducted lectures on doping during the senior nationals in Udaipur in February. “We organised lectures every day by anti-doping experts and doctors,” she said. “We had no option.”last_img read more

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Sports ministry summons rival hockey groups to form unified body

first_imgThe sports ministry made a last ditch effort on Thursday to resolve the longstanding power struggle between Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and has summoned the two warring factions to form a unified body.Sports minister Ajay Maken will meet the chiefs of HI and IHF on Saturday. PTIThe ministry has prepared a proposal and sports minister Ajay Maken has called the presidents of HI and IHF for a meeting on Saturday. The minister, however, made it clear that the government was ready to take stern action if any of the two bodies refuses to cooperate.”I cannot share the complete details of the proposal but in a nut shell, the proposal is for a unified body which will have equal representatives from both HI and IHF,” said Maken.”If they (HI and IHF) do not agree with what has been proposed, we will take a firm step and inform the court about it,” he asserted.RK Shetty, the president of IHF, confirmed that he has received the notice from the government and welcomed the move.”It’s a good initiative and we would surely look at it. We are ready for a constructive meeting if it is good for Indian hockey and we appreciate the development,” Shetty told MAIL TODAY from Bangalore.The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has time and again said that it recognises HI as the only body allowed to run the sport in the country. The IHF, which was disbanded by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in 2008, came back into reckoning after a court order.advertisement”We have good people on both the sides and I am sure if we sit together, we will come to a conclusion,” said the minister.Although the ministry has asked for a meeting with the presidents of the two bodies, Mariyamma Koshy, who heads the HI, is down with fever in Kochi and it is likely that the secretary general Narinder Batra may come for the discussion.Maken also revealed that he held a meeting with former IHF chief KPS Gill and HI officials last month but the issue could not be sorted out.The raging issue of a foreign coach for the Indian men’s team has gained momentum after the national team’s disastrous performance at the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament, where it finished sixth out of seven teams.”Hockey India insisted on Harendra’s (Singh) name so we had no choice. If the federation and players demand a foreign coach, we are ready for it even if it means a higher salary for the coach,” Maken added.last_img read more

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a month agoFIFA explain why Egypt votes for Liverpool star Salah did not count

first_imgFIFA explain why Egypt votes for Liverpool star Salah did not countby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFIFA have intervened to explain why votes from Egypt for Liverpool star Mohamed Salah did not count in the Best Player award.Salah came fourth in the count.Barcelona forward Lionel Messi beat Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award for a record sixth time on Monday while Salah finished fourth – 20 points behind Messi.The captain and coach of every national soccer federation affiliated to FIFA get to vote on the player of the year, along with one media representative from each country.The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said captain Ahmed Elmohamady and then-coach Shawky Gharib both picked Salah as their first choice, but their votes were missing from a list released by FIFA.”The Egyptian FA have received two reminders to submit the properly signed voting forms on 19 August 2019,” a FIFA spokesperson said.”The Egyptian FA has not submitted a response within the (limited) timeframe until Wednesday, 21 August 2019. Therefore, the votes from the Egyptian FA could not be counted.”FIFA did not clarify if the final standings would have been any different if the votes had been valid. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Toronto stock market advances while loonie falls twothirds of a cent

first_imgMajor North American indices made gains Friday, with those in New York setting record highs, as investors felt confident about the economy and the global political climate.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index gained 39.22 points to 15,857.22.In New York, all three indices reached new highs.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 165.59 points to 23,328.63 and the S&P 500 index advanced 13.11 points to 2,575.21. That’s the fifth consecutive record-setting day for each index.The Nasdaq composite index, meanwhile, set a new high as it added 23.98 points to 6,629.05.The positive momentum comes as investors have decided that there’s little political risk and the economy is pretty stable, said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer at Sun Life Global Investments.“There really is very little out there today that should disrupt markets,” he said.Everyone is watching the Chinese Communist Party’s Congress, set to end next week, and parliamentary elections in Japan this weekend, Adatia said. But no surprises are expected from either event, he added.The TSX, which has recently experienced a rally, also benefits from lower expectations that the Bank of Canada will raise its benchmark interest rate once more before the end of the year, he said.Statistics Canada released inflation figures Friday that showed Canada’s annual inflation rate rose to 1.6 per cent in September, up from 1.4 per cent the previous month.The Bank of Canada scrutinizes the agency’s consumer price index ahead of rate decisions and economists said it’s unlikely the increase will push the central bank to raise rates at next Wednesday’s scheduled policy meeting.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 79.36 cents US, down 0.78 of a U.S. cent.In commodities, the December crude contract gained 33 cents to US$51.84 per barrel and the November natural gas contract rose roughly four cents to about US$2.92 per mmBTU.The December gold contract shed US$9.50 to US$1,280.50 an ounce and the December copper contract was relatively unchanged at about US$3.17 a pound.— With files from the Associated PressFollow @AleksSagan on Twitterlast_img read more

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Delhi BJP asks EC to take strong deterrent action against AAP

first_imgNew Delhi: A delegation of Delhi BJP Wednesday met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and demanded “strong deterrent action” against the Aam Aadmi Party for violating the model code of conduct by allegedly playing the religious card to disturb communal harmony.The delegation comprising the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly Vijender Gupta, party MP from South Delhi Ramesh Bidhuri and other leaders including Subhash Arya, Subhash Sachdeva and Rajiv Babbar submitted a memorandum against the “misinformation campaign” by the AAP through its call centres. “We submitted a memorandum against efforts of the AAP to disturb communal harmony, peace and goodwill by playing the religious card. More than a dozen complaints and three CDs against call centres were also submitted. “We demanded a strong deterrent action against AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders,” Gupta said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderHe claimed that the Election Commission has assured necessary action. Gupta said the BJP will shortly call upon the Delhi police commissioner to ensure that the action against call centres spreading misinformation is taken to its logical conclusion. The BJP had earlier accused the AAP of running call centres to spread its “misinformation campaign”. Talking to reporters, Bidhuri said the AAP was trying to create rift among different communities. Referring to a tweet made by AAP’s South Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Raghav Chadha, Bidhuri said he used a picture of a cow and a calf at the door of a house to hurt religious sentiments.last_img read more

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USA asks its citizens to reconsider travel plans to terrorhit Pakistan

first_imgWashington DC: The US has advised its citizens to reconsider their travel to Pakistan due to terrorism and asked them not to travel to restive Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), identified as the most dangerous areas due to terror attacks. While Pakistan in general has been placed in “Level Three” category in the latest travel advisory issued by the US on Monday, several parts of the country, including Balochistan, KPK province, PoK and India-Pakistan border, have been placed in the most dangerous “Level Four” category, in which US citizens are asked not to travel due to high risk areas. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or near Pakistan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR), the State Department said in the travel advisory. Asserting that terror groups continue plotting possible attacks in Pakistan, the State Department said that terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship and government facilities. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”Terrorists have targeted US diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past, and information suggests they continue to do so, it said. Terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in hundreds of casualties, it said. Do not travel to Balochistan province, the State Department said, adding that active terrorist groups, an active separatist movement, sectarian conflicts and deadly terrorist attacks against civilians, government offices and security forces destabilise the province. Similarly, in the PoK, it warned that militant groups are known to operate in the area and the threat of armed conflict between India and Pakistan remains. “Indian and Pakistani military forces periodically exchange gun and artillery fire across the Line of Control (LoC), it said. Noting that India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border, the travel advisory said the only official Pakistan-India border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the province of Punjab between Wagah and Attari.last_img read more

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