Viewpoints VA Controversy Showcases Problems With Government Health Care Location Matters For

first_imgViewpoints: VA Controversy Showcases Problems With Government Health Care; Location Matters For Transplants The Wall Street Journal: The Government Health-Care Model President Obama addressed the Veterans Affairs scandal on Wednesday, saying he’s waiting for an Inspector General “audit” of what went wrong. And the press corps is debating whether VA Secretary Eric Shinseki should be fired. These are sideshows. The real story of the VA scandal is the failure of what liberals have long hailed as the model of government health care (5/22). The Washington Post: The VA Scandal Will Stick With The Obama Administration President Obama’s VA scandal is the most serious and damaging of his presidency. It is the Obama administration in sum and in miniature: incompetent management of a health system, defended by crude media manipulation. Each of these elements deserves some unpacking. The incompetence comes in the aftermath of HealthCare.gov — the Technicolor failure of technocratic liberalism. Again, the White House is shocked, saddened and angered by the management fiasco of a manager under its direct control. In both cases, a presidential priority was badly mishandled over a period of years, and the president seems to have learned about it on cable news. Obama has defended himself by assuming the role of an outraged bystander — which, when it comes to leadership, is more of a self-indictment than a defense (Michael Gerson, 5/22). Bloomberg: Trust The Data? Not When It’s The VA’s People may have died while on secret waiting lists for care at VA hospitals, which is why President Barack Obama was forced to address the allegations yesterday — and why they may yet claim the job of Eric Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs. Shinseki is an honorable public servant, and calls for his resignation are premature. It’s the VA’s data that can no longer be trusted (5/22). The Washington Post: How VA Scandals Have Made The VA Better Throughout its history, the VA’s very public failures have shaped its development as profoundly as its successes. If there is any silver lining to our current outrage, it is that in the past, acts of negligence or corruption have led to dramatic improvements in the care veterans receive (Colin Moore, 5/22). Los Angeles Times: Another Week, Another Administration Fix For Obamacare Would the Obama administration please pick its poison? The Times’ Noam Levey reported Wednesday that the administration has quietly solidified Obamacare’s guarantee against excessive health insurer losses, drawing a new round of complaints from critics about a potential taxpayer bailout. It was yet another example of how the administration’s efforts over the last two years to soften the law’s impact have caused other problems to ripple through the system, leading to more short-term fixes that trigger yet more challenges. The latest issue concerns “risk corridors,” a mechanism that Congress used to help insurers manage some of the uncertainty created by the Affordable Care Act’s reforms (Jon Healey, 5/22). The New York Times: Where You Live Matters for Lifesaving Liver Transplants Following the age-old adage that practice makes perfect, such policies limit where patients can undergo certain complex treatments or procedures to the centers that have the expertise to do them most efficiently. Patients end up being channeled to those centers, which in turn helps the clinicians there become even more adept and swift, thus ensuring quality of care and, potentially, significant cost savings as well. It appears to be a winning situation for both doctors and patients. … There have been critics, however. They contend that patients who live far away from these so-called centers of excellence might not be as likely to get the care they need and, as a result, could fare worse than patients who live close by (Dr. Pauline Chen, 5/22).The Wall Street Journal: Mammograms Save Lives There is a disconcerting effort afoot to reduce a woman’s access to mammography screening for breast cancer by making it seem useless or even harmful. The movement dates to November 2009, during the debate over the Affordable Care Act, when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which reports to Congress, dropped its recommendation for mammography screening for women in their 40s and instead recommended screening starting at age 50. … Remarkably, this new recommendation came even though the task force’s own computer models showed that as many as 100,000 women then in their 30s, whose lives could be saved by annual screening starting at 40, would eventually die from breast cancer as a result of waiting until 50 (Daniel B. Kopans, 5/22). The New York Times: The Politics Of Breastfeeding Some parents swear by it, while others feel defeated by it. But breastfeeding is always creating controversy, whether it’s dividing passengers on airplanes, attracting male fans, or bringing a community together. That said, a recent report questions the efficacy of the practice, fueling the ongoing tension between breastfeeding advocates and parents who are more comfortable with or prefer formula. Why does this debate incite so much anxiety and competition? (5/22). The New York Times: You’re Never Too Old To Be Studied When older patients seek health care, they are unwittingly enrolling in an experiment: Will medical procedures that have been proved effective mainly on the young also help the elderly? Doctors are often in the dark about whether certain drugs, procedures and tests will benefit older adults, because these patients are routinely excluded from medical research. A systematic review in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2007 looked at randomized controlled trials published in high-impact medical journals between 1994 and 2006, and found that close to 40 percent excluded individuals over the age of 65 (Donna Zulman and Keith Humphreys, 5/22). The Washington Post: How Many Patients Should Your Doctor See Each Day? In light of the allegations that some Veterans Affairs Department health clinics used elaborate schemes to hide the records of patients who had waited months for care, I began to wonder what a normal caseload would look like for an average physician outside the VA system. And if your doctor has a larger-than-average caseload, is he or she able to give you the attention you need? The numbers are pretty stunning. A 2012 article in the Annals of Family Medicine noted that the average primary-care physician has about 2,300 patients on his “panel”— that is, the total under his or her care. Worse, it said that each physician would have to “spend 21.7 hours per day to provide all recommended acute, chronic and preventive care for a panel of 2,500 patients” (Lenny Bernstein, 5/22). Los Angeles Times: This Bill Isn’t The Way To Help Immigrants Afford Healthcare The 2010 healthcare reform law sought to extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, not just to improve their care but also to promote a more efficient healthcare system. The law left out one large group of uninsured people, however: those who were living in the country illegally. State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) wants to rectify that omission by providing subsidized insurance policies for noncitizen Californians with low incomes. Bringing everyone under the insurance umbrella is the right long-term goal, but Lara’s bill isn’t the right way to achieve it (5/22). Los Angeles Times: Soda Warning Labels: The Cons Outweigh The Pros Now the question is whether this is enough reason to pass a bill — SB 1000, to be exact — that would require warning labels on sodas akin to those that have been required for 50 years on cigarette packages. This is a sensitive issue legally as well as nutritionally. It’s one thing to require nutrition and ingredients information on food so that consumers can make wise decisions, and sodas already provide clear information about their sugar calories and, in most cases, long list of artificial ingredients. But demanding that a company use its own container to advertise against itself goes a step further, into dicey territory. We do that with cigarettes, but their danger could not have been clearer. And cigarettes never did contain ingredients lists, not that most consumers would have known what to make of such a list (Karen Klein, 5/22).  This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

In Light Of Ambiguity States Want Judge To Clarify Whether Health Law

first_img Boston Globe: Mass. ‘Not Immune’ To Ripple Effect Of Health Care Law Ruling Kaiser Health News: What Just Happened To The ACA And What Happens Now? A Special Bonus Edition Although the effective elimination of the individual mandate penalty starts Jan. 1—before the filing deadline—HHS and the White House say the law will remain in place since O’Connor did not grant an injunction. “This decision does not require that HHS make any changes to any of the ACA programs it administers or its enforcement of any portion of the ACA at this time,” HHS said Monday. (Luthi, 12/17) Boston Globe: 18 States, Including Massachusetts, File Motion To Challenge Ruling Striking Down Affordable Care Act The Baltimore Sun: Here’s How Many People Enrolled In Health Insurance Through Maryland’s Marketplace  Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, vowed Monday to hold oversight hearings “right away” on the Trump administration’s involvement in a court case over the weekend that ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often called ObamaCare, was unconstitutional. Pallone will take over the chairmanship of the panel when Democrats assume the House majority next year. He said they will “get to the bottom” of the administration’s decision not to defend the health-care law against a lawsuit filed by Republican attorneys general. (Hellmann, 12/17) New Orleans Times-Picayune: After Obamacare Ruling, Louisiana Officials Want Pre-Existing Health Conditions Covered The Hill: Incoming Dem Chairman Vows Hearings On ObamaCare Lawsuit ‘Right Away’ The state officials noted in their filing Monday that O’Connor’s opinion created confusion about whether ObamaCare will be unenforceable once the repeal of the individual mandate takes effect Jan. 1. They also asked that he certify his opinion so it can be appealed to the Fifth Circuit. They asked for a response by Friday. “The district court’s ruling poses a dangerous threat to the healthcare of millions of Americans. We’re asking the court to make clear that the ACA is still the law and ensure that all Americans can continue to access affordable healthcare under it,” Becerra said in a statement. (Hellmann, 12/17) Kaiser Health News: Watch And Listen: Court Decision Rocks ACA Federal District Judge Reed O’Connor again thrust the Affordable Care Act into uncertainty with his ruling Friday that eliminating the tax penalty for not having insurance renders the entire law unconstitutional. The panelists for this special bonus episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post. (12/17) The states filed a motion that asks U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas to either clarify his ruling or grant a stay of his decision during litigation. The states also asked for permission to appeal it right away. The judge cast a cloud over the ACA’s future in a sweeping ruling that declared the ACA unconstitutional without a penalty on people forgoing health coverage. Congressional Republicans have eliminated the penalty starting for next year. Because the insurance mandate was central to the law, the whole law must be invalidated, the judge ruled. (Armour, 12/17) California and 15 other states asked a federal judge on Monday to protect current health care coverage for millions of Americans while courts sort out the implications of his ruling that the Affordable Care Act was invalid in its entirety. The states, which support the health care law, said the ruling on Friday, by Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth, had caused immense confusion about whether the law was still in effect, and whether consumers were still entitled to its benefits and protections. The states asked Judge O’Connor to clarify whether he meant his decision to have “any immediate legal effect.” (Pear, 12/17) Nearly 157,000 Marylanders enrolled in health insurance through the state’s insurance marketplace for 2019, according to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. During the open enrollment period from Nov. 1-Dec. 15, 156,963 Marylanders enrolled in health insurance through Maryland Health Connection, marking a 2 percent increase from the 153,571 people that signed up for health insurance through the state’s exchange last year. (Meehan, 12/17) center_img Three days after a Texas judge ruled President Barack Obama’s signature federal health care law unconstitutional, state leaders are assessing their next move pending the likely appeal of the decision. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, one of 20 attorneys general seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act, reiterated that he will back state legislation requiring health insurance companies cover people with pre-existing medical conditions if a lawsuit that he’s bringing strikes down the law’s current mandate for such coverage. (O’Donoghue, 12/17) Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and her counterparts in 17 other states filed a motion Monday challenging a Texas federal judge’s ruling last week that struck down the Affordable Care Act. … “Millions of Americans who rely on the protections of the Affordable Care Act have been left confused and uncertain about the future of their health care coverage,” Healey said. “We are urging the court to clarify its ruling to avoid massive disruption in the healthcare market.” (Cote, 12/18) ‘In Light Of Ambiguity,’ States Want Judge To Clarify Whether Health Law Ruling Has Any Immediate Legal Effect In their filing to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and other Democratic attorneys general also asked for permission to immediately appeal’s his decision that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. For its part, HHS says that since O’Connor had not issued a final judgment or an injunction, the department “will continue administering and enforcing all aspects of the ACA as it had before the court issued its decision.” Meanwhile, Democrats prepare to act to protect the law as soon as they take the majority in the House next month. A Texas judge’s ruling late last week to throw out the Affordable Care Act could have far-reaching consequences, threatening health coverage for millions and insurance markets nationwide — even in Massachusetts, which has its own universal health care law. The Massachusetts law, which went into effect more than a decade ago, has bipartisan support and was the model for the sweeping federal health care overhaul approved under President Obama in 2010. (Dayal McCluskey, 12/18) The Wall Street Journal: States Ask For Clarity On Judge’s Ruling On Affordable Care Act Julie Rovner, KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, was featured on NPR’s “Up First” podcast Monday morning to discuss a federal judge’s ruling late Friday invalidating the Affordable Care Act. She also joined NPR’s Michel Martin on Saturday on “All Things Considered” to talk about the case. (12/17) The New York Times: States Ask Judge To Declare Health Law Still In Effect While Ruling Is Appealed In the 2018 election, polls showed health care ranked as the single most important issue to voters. Democrats across the country highlighted the GOP’s attempts to do away with Obamacare’s consumer protections, and it paid dividends as the party won 40 House seats. It wouldn’t be the first time the House has gotten formally involved in a lawsuit or other legal action involving Obamacare. Republicans previously used their majority control to make legal attacks on aspects of the 2010 health-care law. (House, 12/17) Modern Healthcare: Obamacare’s Uncertain Fate Leaves Congress, Industry Lying In Wait The Hill: Dem AGs Begin Process Of Appealing Court Ruling That Struck Down ObamaCare This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Bloomberg: House Democrats Are Said To Plan Joining Obamacare Legal Fight  last_img read more

Brushing off doubts Pence says US will approve USMCA by summer

first_img May 30, 20196:07 PM EDT Filed under News Economy Sponsored By: Pence and Trudeau also touched on each country’s diplomatic issues with China and the potential security threat posed by Huawei Technologies Co.“We consider Huawei incompatible with the security interests of the United States of America or our allies in freedom-loving nations across the world,” Pence said.He also voiced support for the two Canadian men detained in China in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, on an extradition request from the U.S.The Trump administration “has spoken out strongly about the arrest and detention of two Canadian citizens in China,” Pence said. “Just know that we stand with you.”Pence’s comments seemed designed to strike a new tone in Washington’s relationship with Ottawa, following 17 months of often rocky negotiations on the new NAFTA and a fraught Group of Seven Summit that ended with Trump labelling Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest.”“President Trump and I believe the relationship between the United States and Canada has never been stronger and that is a reflection of his leadership and your leadership,” Pence told Trudeau. Email Reddit Naomi Powell advertisement ← Previous Next → Pence brushed off questions about the dispute during a press conference, saying his administration was making “significant progress” and remained determined to work with both the Democrat leadership and the “rank and file” in advancing the deal.“We remain confident the USMCA will receive broad based support in Congress if it gets to a vote,” he said.The Trump administration needs to get the new NAFTA passed by summer or risk the deal being pushed onto the back burner when the U.S. presidential election season ramps up in the fall. The Trump-Pelosi fight, combined with ongoing disputes over former U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign, make a summer ratification “very unlikely,” said Todd Tucker, a fellow at the New York-based Roosevelt Institute.“I think they are very much stuck here at home with House Democrats who do not want to cooperate and they are very much slowing next steps,” said Tucker. “So if you’re running a campaign with targets who won’t talk to you, what do you do? You go to Ottawa, fill the time. There’s also a sense that if Mexico and Canada ratify it’ll give the deal some momentum with the Democrats.”So if (the Republicans are) running a campaign with targets who won’t talk to you, what do you do? You go to Ottawa, fill the time.Todd Tucker, fellow, Roosevelt Institute Comment Featured Stories Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens as U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence makes opening remarks at the Canadian Council for the USMCA on Parliament Hill.Adrian Wyld / Canadian Press center_img More Share this storyBrushing off doubts, Pence says U.S. will approve USMCA ‘by summer’ Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation 1 Comments Join the conversation → Recommended For YouBritain’s easyJet hires Ryanair’s operations chiefToshiba Memory to Rebrand as “Kioxia” in OctoberIron ore market regains composure, futures curve may be too pricey: RussellYuan eases as trade tensions, economic worries weighChina sees H2 cross-border capital flows basically stable despite trade, global growth risks Brushing off doubts, Pence says U.S. will approve USMCA ‘by summer’ Removal of tariffs helped, but plenty of hurdles stand in the way, not the least of which is the Trump-Pelosi dispute Facebook U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has pledged to win Congressional approval for the new North American free trade agreement “by the summer,” even as a heated public fight between U.S. President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi adds a new hurdle to the deal’s passage.Touting the revamped trade pact as a “win-win-win” agreement, Pence downplayed the impact of the Trump-Pelosi feud during a visit to Ottawa Thursday, suggesting the deal represented a historic opportunity to strengthen ties between Canada and the U.S.“Our administration is working earnestly in the Congress of the United States to approve the USMCA this summer,” Pence said. “The people of Canada and the United States know this agreement is superior to its predecessor in every way in the interests of jobs and growth and working people and investment and all the things that can improve the economies of our country and yours.”The ongoing softwood lumber dispute, the detention of two Canadians in China and continued Canadian access to the U.S. market for uranium — currently the subject of a U.S. Commerce Department national security investigation — were also discussed during Pence’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump drops steel and aluminum tariffs, clearing path for USMCA Half of Canadian executives say old NAFTA better for our economy than USMCA U.S. ‘not ready’ to make a trade deal with China, Trump says But staking out a route to ratification for the new North American free trade agreement was at the top of the agenda. The Liberals took key procedural steps this week to set the stage for ratification – including presenting implementing legislation for the deal – after U.S. tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum imports were dropped on May 21.Related Stories:Mexico and U.S. try new trade fix to win over Democrats -officialUPDATE 1-Trump, Xi set for high-stakes trade war talks in JapanUPDATE 4-Trump says trade deal ‘possible’ with China’s Xi, tariffs could be lowerMexico, which had joined Canada in refusing to ratify the new NAFTA while the levies remained, was to send the pact on Thursday to the Senate, where it should be ratified “soon,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.Even so, ratification by a Democrat-controlled Congress remains far from certain, analysts say. Those lawmakers still want changes to the deal’s provisions on pharmaceuticals, labour and the environment. And the spat between Pelosi and Trump — which surfaced after a White House infrastructure meeting ended in an exchange of insults with Trump suggesting the trade deal was too complicated for Pelosi to understand — only adds to those challenges.As House Leader, Pelosi will decide if and when the new NAFTA advances to a vote in Congress and could do much to delay its progress.“One of the obstacles was removed when Trump lifted the tariffs,” said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “But now there’s a new one. There are all these medium-sized to big issues where Democrats want to see changes and there have to be negotiations before they can get a vote in Congress. So Pence is trying to get Canada to ratify as a way of getting some momentum going. If Canada ratifies, it’ll be viewed as a milestone.”There’s also a sense that if Mexico and Canada ratify it’ll give the deal some momentum with the Democrats.Todd Tucker, fellow, Roosevelt Institute Twitterlast_img read more

Road Test 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD

first_imgSource: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles Kia’s Compact Crossover: A Lot to LikeClean Fleet Report spent a week in the 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD and came away impressed with its exterior design, interior comfort and convenience. What we were not so impressed with was the EPA fuel economy rating. But if you read reviews on Clean Fleet Report, you already know that the EPA rating is only a challenge for us to see what numbers we can get. We took the challenge and the Sportage came out just fine.DrivetrainThe 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 237 horsepower (hp) and 260 pounds-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission has a Sportmatic feature where you can manually go up through the gears (+) or down (-) using the console-mounted shift lever. Otherwise, leave it in drive and the engine, running on regular 87 octane unleaded, is smooth and the transmission seamless, both in town and freeway driving. The base Sportage engine is a 2.0L non-turbo putting out 181 hp and 175 lb.-ft. of torque.Chalk up another 30 MPG AWDEPA rates the fuel economy at 20 city/23 highway/21 combined miles per gallon. In 303 miles of freeway and city driving, we averaged 24.6 mpg, but on a 200-mile open freeway run, using cruise control set to 65 mph, we averaged a much better 30.8 mpg. The EPA fuel economy numbers for the Sportage 2.0L turbo are low, which is surprising for Kia as they have stellar fuel economy numbers across much of their line-up.It is important to note that fuel economy reported by Clean Fleet Report is non-scientific and represents the reviewer’s driving experience. If you live in cold weather, high in the mountains or spend time in the city or stuck in rush hour traffic, then your numbers may differ.Driving Experience: On the RoadThe 2018 Kia Sportage AWD, weighing in at 3,765 pounds, uses Kia’s Dynamax Intelligent AWD, where the fully automatic torque distribution provides improved traction during acceleration, cornering and low traction conditions. Clean Fleet Report felt the well-distributed weight, along with the front MacPherson struts with gas shocks plus the rear multi-link suspension with gas shocks, delivered a smooth and stable ride.The SX model gives you a turbo engine and stiffer suspensionWith the 19-inch alloy wheels and 245/45R Kumho Crugen tires, handling was direct with little body roll. Cornering was confident as the SX Turbo offers firmer springs, tuned dampers and tweaked steering settings that gave the Sportage AWD a planted, if not full-on sporty feel. Remember, this is a compact crossover, so even Kia’s small upgrades to the suspension make a noticeable difference to the ride and handling.The stops were straight and true, with no brake fade. Aiding the four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), was electronic stability and traction control.Driving Experience: ExteriorThe 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD looks different from its compact crossover competitors. The combination of the short overhangs, curves and its smooth body panels give it a more European look than others in the group. Coming out of the same design studio that brought us the 2018 Kia Stinger, Peter Schreyer, Kia’s chief design officer, has delivered a stylish, compelling crossover.A design that punches above its price classThe Sportage was completely redesigned for the 2017 model year and carries the look into 2018. Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grill, in gloss black with chrome trim, runs edge-to-edge on the front end, leading to the swept back projector beam headlights. LED daytime running lights and the quad LED fog lights, located in the bottom fascia, complete the front end design and look very appealing. The SX trim level gets Bi-xenon headlights with Dynamic Bending Light, which rotates the headlights in the direction you are turning.The side profile, especially with the 19-inch wheels, is sharp. The swept back line from the A-pillar leads to a near flat roofline with rack rails, a shark fin antenna and an integrated spoiler over the rear hatch window. Our SX also had a panoramic sunroof. The horizontal LED taillights wrap the fenders and are connected by a slim reflector across the sculpted surfaced hatch. The rear, with a hands-free power lift gate, is finished off by twin chrome exhaust tips. The badging on the Sportage AWD SX is subtle and minimal.Driving Experience: InteriorThe 2018 Kia Sportage, even in the entry model, offers many basic amenities. Clean Fleet Report tested the Sportage SX AWD trim level and were comfortable the first moment we climbed aboard. The standard high quality, 10-way power adjustable (with lumbar) for the driver and eight-way for the front passenger leather seats were heated and ventilated. The two-toned tan and black seats were comfortable and never allowed any back or thigh fatigue to set in. The leather-covered, heated tilt and telescoping steering wheel was squared-off at the bottom–a feature we are seeing more frequently on crossovers.Roomy, well-designed and full of techWe were impressed with its roomy cabin as well as the fit and finish, which included an attractive gloss black center fascia. The 6.8-inch ground clearance is not as high as an SUV, but provides excellent road vision and is a nice height for ingress and egress. The rear 60/40 split-folding rear seat can fit three adults, but it is best suited for two. The seat has a center armrest with cup holders and a 17-step recline. This means those sitting out back can relax just a bit better than if they were sitting upright. Rear storage is average for crossovers, but increases considerably when the seat is folded flat. The Sportage also has a nifty dual-levelEverything in its place–and in reachcargo floor for stashing away the more valuable items you’re hauling around.The stitching on the soft-touch dash was the real thing. The great sounding Harman Kardon 320-watt sound system with eight speakers and 8.0-inch touchscreen resided there. The command center for Kia’s UVO eServices telematics and the infotainment system included Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The system comes with AM/FM/CD/MP3/AUX and Sirius/XM, with a 90-day introductory subscription. The Bluetooth worked very well for voice recognition, with most of the entertainment controlled by the steering wheel-mounted switches. Big thanks to Kia designers for the knobs and wheels to control the radio and dual-zone automatic climate control.SafetyThe Sportage comes with an extensive list of standard and optional safety features. Since some of the features are available on higher trim levels and through packages, we advise getting your car with as many advanced driver technology and safety features as possible.Features available on the 2018 Kia Sportage include eight airbags, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, cruise control, blind spot monitoring, park assist, traction control, hill launch assist, a tire pressure monitoring system, engine immobilizer, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert.In testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the 2018 Sportage received five stars (five stars is their highest rating), while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Sportage its top safety pick, for overall crash protection.Pricing and WarrantiesPlenty of room in backThe 2018 Kia Sportage ranges in base price from $23,600 to $34,400. Clean Fleet Report’s Sportage SX AWD with the 2.0L Turbo had an MSRP of $35,195, which included $735 in options. All prices are before the $990 freight and handling fee.The 2018 Sportage comes with these warranties:Powertrain 10 years/100,000 milesBasic Five years/60,000 miles  Roadside Assistance Five years/60,000 milesCorrosion 10 years/Unlimited milesObservations: 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWDThe 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD is the real deal. This clean, classic-looking crossover has design touches of the Porsche Macan, which is a good thing. Plus, the Sportage comes with the best warranty on the market.A range of prices, but value and style throughoutWhile Clean Fleet Report’s Sportage AWD SX was highly optioned and the price reflected the equipment level, you should start by shopping the entry-level LX model and see for yourself how much you can get for under $24,000.Whatever you buy, Happy Driving! [See image gallery at www.cleanfleetreport.com] Make sure to opt-in to the Clean Fleet Report newsletter (top right of page) to be notified of all new stories.Related Stories You Might Enjoy—Compact Crossover Competition (Oh, the choices you have!)Road Test: 2018 Honda CR-VRoad Test: 2018 Toyota RAV4Road Test: 2018 Toyota RAV4 HybridRoad Test: 2016 Nissan RogueRoad Test: 2017 Nissan Rogue HybridRoad Test: 2017 Ford EscapeRoad Test: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox DieselRoad Test: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox GasFlash Drive: 2018 GMC TerrainFlash Drive: 2019 Jeep CherokeeRoad Test: 2018 Mazda CX-5Road Test: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVRoad Test: 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse CrossRoad Test: 2014 Subaru ForesterRoad Test: 2017 Hyundai Tucson FCEVRoad Test: 2018 Volkswagen TiguanDisclosure:Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.The post Road Test: 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD appeared first on Clean Fleet Report.last_img read more

Despite 6Month Delay Audi May Fine You For Canceling ETron Order

first_imgAudi e-tron delays and production constraints are now affecting customers. They can not cancel orders without a fine.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

The Obvious Logical Gap In The DOJs New FCPA Pilot Program

first_imgThis post is short, but to the point.According to the DOJ, its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act “pilot program” “is intended to encourage companies to disclose FCPA misconduct to permit the prosecution of individuals whose criminal wrongdoing might otherwise never be uncovered by or disclosed to law enforcement.”The above objective suffers from an obvious logical gap in that for years the DOJ has had the opportunity to do just what the “pilot program” seeks to accomplish.Indeed, since 2011 19 corporate DOJ FCPA enforcement actions originated with voluntary disclosures. However, in only five of those instances (26%) was there a related DOJ prosecution of individuals.If the goal of the FCPA “pilot program” is to encourage voluntary disclosures to permit the DOJ to prosecute individuals” then why have 74% of corporate DOJ FCPA enforcement actions over the past five years that originated with a voluntary disclosure not resulted in any related DOJ prosecution of individuals?last_img read more

Friday Roundup

first_imgAffirmed, very distressing, scrutiny updates, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.AffirmedAs highlighted in this previous post, in July 2017 Dmitrij Harder was sentenced to 60 months (5 years) in federal prison and also ordered to forfeit $1.9 million after pleading guilty to two counts of violating the FCPA for “bribing an official at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).”As highlighted in this previous post, in October 2017 Harder appealed his sentence on two issues: (i) that the trial court judge erred in declaring that the absence of loss to any victim from the defendant’s criminal conduct, coupled with exceptionally positive economic results flowing from the defendant’s nevertheless criminal conduct, was not a potentially mitigating factor for sentencing in a bribery case; and (ii) that the trial court judge erred in not granting a downward variance to avoid unwarranted disparities among offenders convicted of similar conduct.Yesterday in this opinion, the Third Circuit rejected Harder’s arguments and affirmed his sentence. The decision makes generic reference to a law professor who provided data regarding FCPA sentences. I am that law professor and I provided services to defense counsel in connection with sentencing issues.As highlighted in this prior post, in the Gerald & Patricia Green FCPA sentencing, the judge did seem persuaded by argument (1) highlighted above.“Very Distressing’In case you are wondering, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon finds it “very distressing to see two former Goldman Sachs employees went so blatantly around our policies and so blatantly broke the law.” (See here for the video; see here and here for prior posts on the recent enforcement action against individuals associated with Goldman).I find this FCPA Blog headline “Goldman Sachs: Our Sick Business Culture, Weak Controls Allowed 1MDB Abuses” very distressing. The post states: “Perhaps previewing the basis for an eventual FCPA settlement with the feds, Goldman describes among other things its own weak internal controls and sick business culture.”This is a 100% false and misleading statement and inaccurate summary of Goldman’s disclosure. (See here for the prior post).Scrutiny UpdatesAs highlighted here, Cognizant Technology Solutions has been under FCPA scrutiny since September 2016.The company recently disclosed:“We have substantially completed our internal investigation focused on whether certain payments relating to Company-owned facilities in India were made improperly and in possible violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, and other applicable laws. The investigation, which began in 2016, has also examined various other payments made in small amounts in India that may not have complied with Company policy or applicable law. In September 2016, we voluntarily notified the U.S. Department of Justice, or DOJ, and Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, and are cooperating fully with both agencies. The investigation has been conducted under the oversight of the Audit Committee, with the assistance of outside counsel. In connection with the investigation, during the year ended December 31, 2016, we recorded out-of-period corrections related to $4 million of potentially improper payments between 2009 and 2016 that had been previously capitalized when they should have been expensed. These out-of-period corrections were not material to any previously issued financial statements. There were no adjustments recorded during 2018 and 2017 related to the amounts under investigation. The Company’s discussions with the DOJ and SEC have progressed to a point where the Company can now reasonably estimate a probable loss and has recorded an accrual of $28 million, or FCPA Accrual, in the caption “Accrued expenses and other current liabilities” in our consolidated statements of financial position. There can be no assurance as to the timing of a final resolution of these matters with the DOJ and SEC.”In addition, for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 Cognizant disclosed $5 million “in costs related to the FCPA investigation and related lawsuits.”Vantage Drilling has been under FCPA scrutiny since Summer 2015 (see here for the prior post).Here is what a company executive stated on a recent investor conference call:“There are no updates regarding the investigation of the company by the SEC concerning possible violations of the FCPA Act with connection with the contracting the Titanium Explorer Drillship to Petrobras. As previously reported, we have reached an agreement in principle with the staff relating to terms of an offer of settlement, which is being presented to the commission for approval. While there can be no assurance that the offer settlement will be accepted by the commission, the company continues to believe the proposed resolution will become final in 2018. In connection with the offer of settlement, we have accrued a liability in the amount of $5 million. If the commission does not accept the offer of settlement, and the SEC determines the violations — that violations of the FCPA have occurred, the company could be subject to civil and criminal sanctions, including monetary penalties as well as additional requirements or changes to our business practices and compliance programs, any or all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.”For the Reading StackThe most recent edition of the always informative FCPA Update from Debevoise & Plimpton is here with articles concerning the recent Petrobras enforcement action and the U.K. SFO’s extraterritorial powers.See here for Miller & Chevalier’s FCPA Autumn Review. (Note though that the firm’s FCPA enforcement statistics are a bit wacky). FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. Learn More & Registerlast_img read more

Artificial ovaries could soon be a reality

first_imgThe team has developed a “scaffold” that can hold the ova in their early stages and help them develop into the ovarian follicles that are fully functional small sacs filled with fluid containing the eggs. According to author Dr. Susanne Pors, postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology at the University Hospital of Copenhagen Rigshospitalet this is a newly made bioengineered scaffold and the follicles for the ova that is biological. This scaffold she explained originates from the woman’s own tissues or from donated tissues. She will present the findings of this latest study today (2nd of July 2018) at the 34th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona, Spain.The authors explain that for most women who undergo cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy preservation of the fertility is a challenge. These intense therapies damage and destroy the ovarian tissues. One of the options of preserving fertility is freezing the eggs after their removal prior to cancer therapy. When she is ready for pregnancy, she can opt for in vitro fertilization methods, they explain. The second method is to remove part of the ovarian tissues before commencement of cancer therapy and freezing it. This stored tissue can later be reimplanted into the body after treatment. This also protects the ovaries from the cancer therapy damage and preserves fertility. This second method is seldom used because of the fear that the removed ovarian tissues might contain cancer cells which may be reintroduced into the patient’s body when the tissues are reimplanted. This new study attempts to use the ovarian tissues outside of the body in the labs rather than risk reintroducing the tissues along with the cancer.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskAccording to Pors and her team, if the ovarian tissues can be bioengineered onto a scaffold and seeded with previously frozen early-stage follicles, these could go on to develop naturally and could help in bringing the fertility back in the patient without the risk of her getting possible cancer cells reintroduced within her body.As a first step, the team used donated ovarian tissues to remove all the possible cancer cells from within them using a three-day chemical treatment. The follicles that remain said Pors are non-cancerous and this is because they develop during fetal live of a woman. The follicles, she said are covered with a basal membrane that does not allow the cancer cells to enter. What remained after the three day period was a “decellularized scaffold”. It contained proteins and collagens that can hold up the cells. This scaffold was then seeded with early-stage follicles. When provided with nutrients and appropriate atmosphere, these follicles began to grow and mature into fully developed ovarian follicles.In the next step of the experiment, the team implanted this decellularized and seeded scaffold into 20 experimental mice. This too helped in the development of the follicles. A quarter of the follicles survived for up to three weeks within the mice, the authors write. Pors and her co-authors concluded, “This is the first time that isolated human follicles have survived in a decellularized human scaffold.”Researchers are hopeful that this could be a new avenue in fertility prevention and there would be no risk of cancer recurrence with this method. More studies are however necessary to establish this experimental procedure, they add. Image Credit Sciencepics / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 2 2018Ovaries are female reproductive organs that are responsible for the production of ova or eggs. These are necessary for normal fertilization and development of the fetus. Fertility of a woman can be jeopardized when the ovaries do not function normally. Danish researchers have now successfully engineered artificial ovaries that could help millions of women with infertility related to ovarian disease and cancer therapy.last_img read more

Vomiting why so common in kids

first_imgVomiting or emesis as it is medically known, is same in children as well as in adults say medical experts. There may be triggers such as motion sickness, certain medications, unpleasant sights or smells, viruses that may irritate the inside walls of the stomach, overfeeding etc. In children the sensitivity of the vomiting centre in the brain is higher than in adults that results in frequent vomiting.The stomach nerves are called afferent nerves. When these are stimulated, they send signals to the brain telling it to start a vomiting reaction to expel what has been ingested. Once triggered, the opening of the lungs and airways or the larynx shuts off after a deep breath and the upper palate rises while the glottis folds back. The diaphragm pushes the contents of the abdomen by pushing down. This creates a negative pressure that opens up the esophagus or the food pipe. The food from the stomach heaves back via the esophagus outside the body in a forceful flow of vomit as the abdominal walls tighten to provide additional force.   Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionIn children the triggers are much more innocuous than in adults. This includes a fever, a viral infection or even a painful stimuli or an emotional upset. Paediatricians like pediatric gastroenterologist Katja Kovacic explains that for children the causes can be numerous. Stomach flu or food poisoning could be one of the commonest causes but there may be harmless causes of vomiting in children as well.According to paediatricians the best thing to do when a child vomits is to clean up and make the child comfortable. Fluid intake is vital to prevent dehydration. IF there are certain warning signs such as excessive drowsiness, lethargy, distended abdomen, abdmoninal pain that is severe, any other severe pain etc., the parents and caregivers should seek medical attention says Kovacic. Vomiting that is excessively forceful or very frequent and does not seem to ease within a day is also a red flag says Koacic because it may have an underlying surgical cause and also lead to dehydration. Other experts warn that blood in the vomit, dark green bile, or fecal matter in the vomit may indicate an obstructed bowel and needs immediate medical attention.Kovacic says that frequent vomiting could also indicate a condition called cyclic vomiting syndrome where there are repeated bouts of vomiting that can last for several hours at a time. The cause is not known but some children may benefit from anti-migraine drugs says Kovacic. Migraine in adults could manifest as repeated vomiting episodes in children say experts. Image Credit: Plantic / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDSep 11 2018Most kids vomit easily and often copiously and frequently. This is a global phenomenon most parents have resigned themselves to. Researchers have now tried to understand why kids vomit so commonly and if there is actually any reason for parents to panic. An article by Erin Blakemore for NPR looks to answer the question.center_img Source:https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/10/645723728/the-queasy-truth-about-why-kids-are-so-prone-to-vomitinglast_img read more

New NIH grant may help design safer heart pumps

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 14 2018Blood pumps are increasingly a bridge-to-transplant for patients with end-stage heart disease or heart failure, but blood clots and strokes can put patients in peril before they receive a donor heart. Now a four-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health may solve this problem and perhaps open the pumps’ use for less-sick patients who could benefit from them.The grant, awarded to Keefe Manning, professor of biomedical engineering and surgery; and Gerson Rosenberg, professor of surgery and bioengineering, and chief of the College of Medicine’s Division of Applied Biomedical Engineering, is to leverage computational methods to develop both a clot model to predict where clots might form during blood pump use, and methodologies to design safer blood pumps.Related StoriesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survival”In a small but significant number of patients, bleeding can occur during blood pump use, and in some instances, clots can form in the pumps or tubes leading into and from the heart,” Rosenberg said. “Our research focuses on developing methods to design improved pumps that will have a reduced incidence of bleeding and strokes.”Manning and Rosenberg hope their research will help develop blood pumps that can be used, for example, on a congestive heart failure patient at a much earlier state in their disease. This would greatly benefit the patient, because if there is a blood pump intervention at a much earlier stage of the disease process, then recovery can occur much sooner. The heart assisted by a blood pump will not have to work as hard, and therefore last longer.At the same time, a safer heart pump is important for patients with serious heart disease because they are commonly used as a bridge-to-transplant for patients waiting for a heart. The less time on a heart pump, the better, given the stroke and blood clot risk. However, waiting times can last for months because there are insufficient donor hearts available for patients.According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, as of Aug. 23 there were 1,961 heart transplants during 2018 and 3,939 individuals on the waiting list for a heart transplant. On average, more than 25 percent of those waiting for a heart transplant do not live long enough to receive a new heart.”The bottom line is the longer a patient can go with a safer blood pump, the higher likelihood they have of finding a donor heart and surviving,” Manning said.Manning added that Penn State has been an innovator in mechanical circulatory support such as blood pumps, with a nearly 50-year history of developing technology for patients with serious heart disease.”This research is a continuation of a tradition of collaborative cardiac-related research efforts at Penn State that have a pretty strong track record of success,” Manning said. “Penn State has been very good about translating design and technology research into the clinic for applied use.” Source:https://news.psu.edu/story/536290/2018/09/13/research/building-safer-heart-pumplast_img read more

Podcast The top science news stories of 2014

first_imgWhat were some of our favorite and most popular stories of the year? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats with Science’s Sarah Crespi. Plus, Science’s Robert Coontz discusses this year’s Breakthrough of the Year.last_img

Tamiflu helps newest study in longrunning debate says

first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The latest—and possibly last—salvo in a long-running debate over the merits of the influenza-fighting drug Tamiflu was fired off today, but it seems unlikely to quell skeptics or nurture unanimity around the drug’s effects. For years, members of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international network of scientists who review medical evidence, have charged that Tamiflu’s benefits are overstated. They agree that if taken soon after symptoms surface, the drug reduces by about a day the length of time someone feels sick. But they dispute that the evidence—including 12 randomized trials conducted by Roche, which makes Tamiflu, known generically as oseltamivir—shows that it cuts down on serious complications, hospitalizations, and deaths. The Cochrane group has also put a focus on transparency in science: It argued that publication bias had left Tamiflu looking better than it really was.center_img The dispute prompted Roche and some influenza researchers to pledge to reanalyze the data—and that’s what’s being released online today. Writing in The Lancet, four flu experts describe blending data from nine clinical trials of more than 4000 patients to assess Tamiflu. Pooling data makes it easier to discern the drug’s effect on rarer outcomes, such as pneumonia. And, the authors report, Tamiflu makes a meaningful difference, reducing the risk of hospital admission by 63%. The actual numbers are small: Nine of 1591 participants who took Tamiflu were admitted to the hospital, and 22 of 1302 those not taking the drug ended up there. The drug was also associated with fewer cases of lower respiratory tract infections that called for antibiotics, the authors say, such as bronchitis or bacterial pneumonia. Patients on the drug had a 4.9% risk compared with an 8.7% risk if not on the drug. “Significant risk reductions were detected,” the authors note, acknowledging that Tamiflu also had side effects, particularly nausea and vomiting, which must be balanced against its benefits.The Lancet paper may be unlikely to compel many people to switch sides, however. “There are no new data presented here on complications or hospitalizations that we did not already know of,” says epidemiologist Peter Doshi of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, a critic of Roche and part of the Cochrane group that reviewed Tamiflu studies. The differences, he says, stem from how complications are interpreted: For example, were all those cases recorded as pneumonia really pneumonia? Clinical study reports, examined by Cochrane reviewers such as Doshi, suggest they weren’t always, he believes. More troubling, Doshi says, is that the new analysis was funded by Roche through a foundation called MUGAS that it helps support. That detail was not shared in The Lancet’s press release—which Doshi says is “disappointing”—though it does appear at the end of the paper. “This is not independent science,” Doshi asserts.Others suggest that the new report doesn’t change much about our understanding of Tamiflu, though they praise Roche for supporting it and agree with its finding that the drug reduces hospitalizations. “The important thing about this study is that it shows that Roche [was] not hiding skeletons in its cupboards,” said Peter Openshaw, director of the Centre for Respiratory Infection at Imperial College London, in a prepared statement. “Oseltamivir is not a perfect drug, but it does what you might expect,” especially when given after the flu has taken hold and is harder to beat back. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Contentious markup expected today as House science panel takes up COMPETES bill

first_imgRepresentative Lamar Smith (R–TX) has never hidden his desire to reshape federal research policy—
often over the objections of much of the scientific 
community—since he became chair of the House of Representatives science committee 2 years ago. Last week, he introduced legislation that lays out those plans in unprecedented detail, and the reaction was predictable. Although academic leaders say that some parts of the new, 189-page bill are better than previous versions, they believe it would seriously damage the U.S. research enterprise.The bill not only sets out funding levels for several research agencies that in some cases depart sharply from those the Obama administration requested for 2016; it would also reshape key policies and priorities guiding those agencies. In particular, researchers complain that the bill (H.R. 1806), called the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, would: Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The first America COMPETES Act, passed in 2007 and renewed in 2010, enjoyed bipartisan support from presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In contrast, the new version has no Democratic co-sponsors, was not shown to Democratic committee members before it was unveiled, and has triggered a bitter partisan debate.“The original American COMPETES Act was one of the crowning achievements of the science committee,” says Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX), the top-ranked Democrat on the panel. “This bill is an America COMPETES bill in name only. It does nothing to further our scientific and innovation enterprise.”Smith disagrees, saying the legislation “reestablishes the federal government’s primary scientific role to fund basic research [and] prioritizes taxpayer investments.” In offering additional spending—often at odds with what the administration has requested (see table, below)—he cites the country’s need to catch up in supercomputing and particle physics and preserve its lead in other areas. Smith offsets those increases by cutting “later-stage” technology and commercialization programs that he believes “are more effectively pursued by the private sector.” The bill authorizes spending levels for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, with no increases in the second year. Email Curtail climate change research at the 
Department of Energy (DOE); Narrow the scope of research at the Nation-al Science Foundation (NSF) by designating some scientific disciplines as more important to the nation than others; And squeeze the budgets for DOE’s applied research program and its fledgling Advanced Research Projects Agency-
Energy (ARPA-E).Smith doesn’t have the authority to impose that vision on Congress. The Senate has yet to draft a matching authorization bill, and the path to congressional passage is uncertain. But his committee’s oversight of several key scientific agencies means his ideas will play an important role in the debate. Block the government from using DOE 
research findings in writing regulations;center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Some science advocates object to Smith’s assertion that legislators can do a better job than the scientific community itself in identifying the most promising research areas. They are angry that he has proposed funding levels for each of NSF’s seven directorates rather than giving the agency a top-level number and allowing it to distribute funding as appropriate. They are angrier still that he wants to cut more than $100 million from two of those research directorates—
geosciences and social sciences—shrinking the latter by more than half.“I think it’s ironic that the science committee would mark up this bill on Earth Day,” says Sherri Goodman, president of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C., referring to today’s meeting of the panel. “Before they take such a drastic step, I hope they reconsider the adverse consequences it would have to the environment, the economy, and national security.”The bill also targets NSF’s oversight of big new scientific facilities. Smith and other Republicans believe that NSF has been lax in this regard, and the bill requires the agency to “correct” any problems identified by an independent audit of a project’s expected cost before starting construction. That language could seriously delay new projects, say NSF officials, who add that the bill also contains rules about the use of contingency funds that are at odds with existing federal policies.Within DOE’s Office of Science, the bill’s impact would be limited to two of the office’s six research programs. It would move more than $60 million from biological and environmental research into fusion research. That money would presumably come out of DOE climate change efforts, as the bill would require DOE to eliminate any climate research deemed to overlap with what other federal agencies are doing.When it comes to DOE’s applied research efforts, however, the new COMPETES act takes out a hatchet. It calls for cutting spending on DOE’s energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE) program by 37% from its current level, to $1.2 billion in 2016. In contrast, the White House has requested a 42% boost, to $2.7 billion. Similarly, it would slash the budget for ARPA-E, devoted to translating the best results from basic research to budding energy technologies, by 50%, to $140 million, rather than increase it by the 16% the administration has sought. The House bill also zeros out numerous smaller applied research projects such as DOE’s next generation lighting initiative, building standards program, and efforts to find additional uses for electric-car batteries.Those changes are in line with the argument by many Republicans that private industry, not the federal government, should pick up the tab for translating the most-promising basic research into commercial technologies, says Michael Lubell, a lobbyist with the American Physical Society (APS) in Washington, D.C. But that assumption is unrealistic, he says. A 2008 APS study showed “that some federal money had to be provided because nobody else would do it,” he notes.Smith and his Republican colleagues do back government support for early-stage technologies outside the energy arena. Last December, in the final 2015 spending bill for all federal agencies, Smith championed a network of manufacturing innovation research centers, to be run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, that would tap money now going to DOE’s EERE. The original plan called for spending 
$250 million over a decade on several new centers. But the COMPETES reauthorization would speed up that timetable, making $150 million of the total available over the next 3 years.Research funding levels aren’t all that troubles Lubell and other science advocates. The bill also proclaims that “the results of any research, development, demonstration, or commercial application projects or activities of the [Energy] Department may not be used for regulatory assessments or determinations by Federal regulatory authorities.” That clause, although it appears within a section on fossil energy research and development, would prevent the federal government from using any of the DOE research it paid for to inform policy. “That’s absolutely bizarre,” Lubell says.Democrats are expected to offer a raft of amendments at today’s markup. Although few, if any, are likely to pass, science advocates are hoping that the Obama administration will object to enough of the bill’s provisions to reject anything that manages to clear both houses of Congress. “At this point, this White House is poised to veto anything that threatens the president’s priorities,” Lubell says. “I don’t really think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the president’s signature on it.” DATA SOURCE: OMB/CONGRESS Sharply reduce NSF’s authority to fund the social sciences and the geosciences; Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Restrict NSF’s ability to build large new scientific facilities by requiring the agency to follow new, controversial, accounting practices;last_img read more

Scientists partly to blame for skepticism of evidence in policymaking says AAAS

first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) A U.S. president needs more than access to high-quality technical experts to deal with the inevitable science-related global crisis—a new outbreak of avian flu in Southeast Asia, say, or a tsunami triggered by an earthquake off the Chilean coast—that could occur at any time, says AAAS CEO Rush Holt. The president also must believe that scientific evidence is useful in setting government policy.But Holt is worried that the new Trump administration doesn’t subscribe to that second condition. And scientists are partly to blame for what he sees as the growing devaluation of evidence by U.S. policymakers, Holt suggested this past Saturday in remarks at the winter meeting of the American Physical Society in Washington, D.C.“How did we get to this point?” says Holt, a physicist who served 16 years in Congress before taking the top job at AAAS (which publishes ScienceInsider) in 2015. “Too often, we scientists have presented the evidence in a way that was condescending and hierarchical. We might say, ‘Let me try to explain this to you. Maybe even you can understand this.’ And that is not very effective. So we are partly to blame.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe That haughty attitude has generated a backlash within the body politic against all types of scientific evidence, Holt argues. “Because people feel they cannot evaluate the validity of our conclusion,” he explains, “it becomes simply one person’s assertion. And then someone says, ‘My scientist says this,’ or even, ‘My Facebook interlocutor says this.’ And people feel it’s not their place to judge, because they’ve been told they are not scientists. So the question is, can we restore their sense of confidence, and empower them to think about evidence for themselves?”That “reverence for evidence” has been part of the nation’s political discourse since the United States was founded and traditionally spans both parties, Holt asserted. But his plea for its restoration came during a session, entitled Science Policy in the 21st Century, at which only Democrats were represented.Holt was joined on the panel by a fellow physicist turned legislator, Representative Bill Foster (D–IL), and physicist Cherry Murray, now back at Harvard University after having headed the $5 billion Office of Science within the Department of Energy during the final year of the Obama administration. The audience of 400 or so appeared similarly one-sided in its political affiliation, cheering heartily whenever a speaker criticized the policies of the new administration. Asked why no Republican policymakers were on the panel, organizer Daniel Holz of the University of Chicago in Illinois said the session “was not set up to be a political event” and that the participants were simply “physicists in leadership roles in government.”There was at least one Republican in the room—Chris Shank, a former top aide to the chairman of the House of Representatives science committee, Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX) and more recently a member of Trump’s NASA transition team. But he didn’t stay for the question-and-answer session.last_img read more

Senate panel seeks middle ground on human fetal tissue research and abortion

first_img A Senate spending panel yesterday countered a move by its House of Representatives counterpart to quash federal funding for research that uses human fetal tissue from elective abortions. The move sets up a conflict that will need to be resolved when lawmakers meet later this year to hash out differences between the House and Senate bills, which will provide funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the 2018 fiscal year that begins on 1 October.The Senate Appropriations Committee, in a bill that boosts NIH funding by $2 billion, to $36.1 billion, ordered the biomedical research agency to launch a pilot study to determine whether banking tissue from stillbirths and spontaneous abortions, or miscarriages, could serve all of the needs of biomedical researchers. The bill orders NIH to model its program on an NIH initiative that, 25 years ago, sought to assess the quality and quantity of such tissue as a first step in establishing a national network of banks of tissue from spontaneous abortions.How researchers obtain human fetal tissue—which is used to study infectious diseases, eye maladies, normal and abnormal fetal development, and other illnesses—has long been a political flashpoint. Those opposed to abortion have for decades sought to ban the use of federal funds for studies that use fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan placed a de facto moratorium on the use of tissue from elective abortions, which President Bill Clinton lifted in 1993; Congress legalized funding for such research the same year. Senate panel seeks middle ground on human fetal tissue research and abortion Email “The Committee acknowledges the many differing views on the merits of human fetal tissue research,” Senate lawmakers wrote in a report accompanying the 2018 funding bill. As a result, they wrote, their bill “direct[s] NIH to begin a pilot to determine the adequacy of a fetal tissue donor network for supporting all related clinical research.”The Senate language leaves untouched NIH’s ongoing support for research using fetal tissue from elective abortions. The agency expects to spend $107 million on projects using such tissue in the current fiscal year, which ends on 30 September, and $81 million in 2018.In contrast, the House Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill in July that would bar NIH from conducting or funding fetal tissue research “if such tissue is obtained pursuant to an induced abortion.”Some fetal tissue research advocates welcomed the milder Senate language. “This is probably a fair compromise between the people interested in completely banning fetal tissue research and those on the other saying fetal tissue research is still of value,” says Jennifer Zeitzer, the director of legislative relations at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Bethesda, Maryland. “This is a tribute to the fact that the Senate committee [charged with NIH appropriations] works in a bipartisan manner but is also very supportive of biomedical research.”Other fetal tissue research advocates were less enthusiastic. “While this is better than the language in the House bill, it is still disappointing,” Sean Tipton, the chief advocacy, policy, and development officer at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Washington, D.C., wrote in an email. “We just hope fetal tissue research continues to be performed based on the scientific merits alone, and is not subject to political pressure from Congress.”Opponents of the research were also disappointed. “It’s a very mild or modest step on the Senate side compared to what the House was proposing,” says David Prentice, vice president and research director of the nonprofit Charlotte Lozier Institute in Washington, D.C., which opposes abortion. “It doesn’t foreclose any current research. We would be in favor of that foreclosure.”Whatever resolution House and Senate lawmakers come to won’t be finalized before December at the earliest. Congress this week is expected to approve a continuing resolution that will freeze spending at 2017 levels through 8 December. In the meantime, the House and Senate will try to complete work on their 2018 spending bills, and then reach agreement on final spending levels and related language—such as the fetal tissue research provisions—included in the spending bills. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Meredith WadmanSep. 8, 2017 , 1:45 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Wally Gobetz/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) last_img read more

Swedish court blocks new home for Nobel Foundation

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The proposed Nobel Center (center) would host the award ceremony for the Nobel Prizes. Email © David Chipperfield Architects Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Swedish court blocks new home for Nobel Foundationcenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A Swedish court has blocked construction of a controversial new Nobel Center planned for central Stockholm’s waterfront.The eight-story, brass-clad structure is expected to serve as a hub for the Nobel Foundation’s activities, including the annual December award ceremonies for the world’s most prestigious science prizes. But critics have argued that the 1.2 billion Swedish krona ($140 million) center will destroy the historical character of the waterfront, and on 23 May, the Land and Environment Court in Stockholm agreed.The center would house the offices of the Nobel Foundation, an auditorium for the award ceremony (now held in Stockholm’s concert hall), the Nobel Museum, and also provide space for exhibitions, educational programs, and a restaurant. Construction was originally scheduled to begin in 2017. But the winning design by the Berlin office of David Chipperfield Architects has been controversial since it was unveiled in 2014. The plans were scaled back in 2015 and revised again in 2016, but critics say the building is still too big and clashes with the historic harbor buildings that would surround it. They also object to tearing down or moving the current buildings at the site, a customs house built in 1876 and several wooden harbor warehouses. The Land and Environment Court this week sided with the critics, saying the plans would “damage the public interest” by obliterating a visible record of the city’s development as a harbor and an important shipping and trading port. It also said the traffic plan was inadequate. And it agreed with the owners of several neighboring buildings who say construction would block their current view of the harbor.Stockholm city officials have said they will appeal the court’s decision to the regional appeals court, which will have the final say. By Gretchen VogelMay. 24, 2018 , 3:10 PMlast_img read more

Something is rapidly killing young apple trees in North American orchards Scientists

first_img Email MELISSA DOBERNIGG/The BX Press Cidery One common symptom in trees struck by rapid decline is dead tissue at the graft union, the part of the trunk where the fruit-bearing budwood of an apple variety is joined to hardy rootstock to create new trees. The union is vulnerable to late-season freezes because the tissue is the last to go dormant.A team led by plant pathologist Awais Khan of Cornell found dead tissue just below the graft union in trees from an affected orchard in New York. They suspect the cause was the extremely cold winter of 2014–15, which was followed by a drought. The dying tissue could have weakened the trees, allowing pests or pathogens to invade. But Khan and colleagues could not locate any known culprits in the affected trees or nearby soil, they reported in PLOS ONE.Observations from other apple-growing regions suggest extreme weather isn’t entirely to blame. In Canada, rapid decline “exploded” in British Columbia in the summer of 2018, after a string of unusually mild winters, says Tom Forge, a soil ecologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Summerland. These orchards are irrigated, suggesting drought was not a factor.Some scientists wonder whether certain rootstocks or exposure to herbicides might make trees more susceptible. Decline seems to be more common in trees with a popular rootstock, called M9, which can be slower to go dormant in fall, Peter says. Rosenberger has noticed that decline appears to be more common in orchards with fewer weeds, leading him to suspect herbicides play a role. Kari Peter Meanwhile, the search for new pathogens is accelerating. Last year, a team that included Peter and plant pathologist Ruhui Li of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland, reported in Virology Journal that they had found a previously undescribed luteovirus infecting dead trees. Scott Harper, a plant pathologist at Washington State University in Prosser, has also found undescribed viruses in dead trees. Li’s group has already infected young trees to see whether its virus is harmful, and Harper is planning similar greenhouse experiments. But getting an answer could take up to 5 years. “In the meantime, people are biting their nails,” Rosenberger says.In hard-hit North Carolina, researchers have found ambrosia beetles infesting the graft union of dying trees. These stubby insects burrow into weakened trees and cultivate fungus for their larvae to eat. Those fungi or stowaway fungi might harm the trees, an idea that Sara Villani, a plant pathologist at North Carolina State University in Mills River, and colleagues, will start to test in June. Researchers there will also test way of boosting the trees’ immune systems.Modern apple farming methods could also be a factor. Rapid decline is most common in dense orchards, which are increasingly planted because they are efficient to manage. Instead of about 250 trees per hectare, high-density orchards can have 1200 or more. Tightly packed trees must compete for nutrition and moisture. They also have shallow roots, which make them easier to trellis but more vulnerable to drought. “I’m not criticizing the system,” Khan says, “but it’s not robust for these kinds of fluctuations.”As studies proceed, researchers remain vigilant. “It wouldn’t surprise me,” Villani says, “if we get more reports of apple decline.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Early freezes or severe cold can damage apple trees, a possible cause of later, rapid deaths. The decline is more common among densely planted trellised orchards (above right). Something is rapidly killing young apple trees in North American orchards. Scientists are stumped By Erik StokstadMar. 21, 2019 , 2:45 PM Young apple trees died rapidly in this high-density orchard in Pennsylvania. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Six years ago, an unpleasant surprise greeted plant pathologist Kari Peter as she inspected a research orchard in Pennsylvania. Young apple trees were dying—and rapidly. At first, she suspected a common pathogen, but chemical treatments didn’t help. The next year, she began to hear reports of sudden deaths from across the United States and Canada. In North Carolina, up to 80% of orchards have shown suspicious symptoms. “Rows of trees collapse for what seems like no reason,” says Peter, who works at the Pennsylvania State University Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville.Now, as their trees prepare to blossom, North America’s apple producers are bracing for new losses, and scientists are probing possible causes. Apples are one of the continent’s most valuable fruit crops, worth some $4 billion last year in the United States alone. Growers are eager to understand whether rapid or sudden apple decline, as it is known, poses a serious new threat to the industry.Weather-related stress—drought and severe cold—could be an underlying cause, researchers reported this month in PLOS ONE. Early freezes are becoming more common across the eastern United States, for example. But that doesn’t appear to be the whole story, and scientists are examining an array of other factors, including pests, pathogens, and the growing use of high-density orchards. “There are a number of things going on that are going to be really difficult to sort out,” says David Rosenberger, a retired plant pathologist who worked at Cornell University. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Largest ever HIV prevention study delivers sobering message

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Largest ever HIV prevention study delivers sobering message Email By Jon CohenMar. 11, 2019 , 3:55 PM Kim Cloete Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Community health workers with the Population Effects of Antiretroviral Therapy to Reduce HIV Transmission study did door-to-door HIV testing of 1 million people annually for 3 years. SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—The recipe for ending HIV epidemics seems straightforward. Introduce widespread testing. Immediately put those who test positive on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which suppress the virus to undetectable levels so those people won’t infect others. The number of new infections will drop, and the epidemic will peter out.But massive, costly studies done in the past few years have failed to show this strategy can reliably curb the spread of the virus, to the frustration of researchers. The latest and largest ever study presented here last week at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections did show a modest benefit. But confusingly, there was almost no decline in infections in the study group where it was most expected.Ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic may be harder than anticipated, it seems. “ARVs on their own are not the magic bullet,” says Collins Iwuji, an epidemiologist at Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the United Kingdom who helped run one of the earlier studies, a South African treatment as prevention (TasP) trial. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The new study, called Population Effects of Antiretroviral Therapy to Reduce HIV Transmission (PopART), included 1 million adults in Zambia and South Africa. When it began in late 2013, research had shown that ARVs can not only stave off disease, but also prevent people from infecting others. But whether these benefits would translate from an individual to an entire community was unclear.PopART randomized 21 communities into three arms. One received annual house-to-house HIV testing and immediate treatment for those infected (A); another got the same testing, but treatment followed existing country guidelines and was offered only to HIV-infected people who already had evidence of some immune damage (B); and the third got no intervention from the study (C).After 3 years, an analysis that sampled more than 12,000 people in each of the three arms found group B had 30% fewer new infections than group C. But in arm A, where presumably even more people were treated, the researchers found only 7% fewer infections than in arm C, which wasn’t a statistically significant difference. “When we first saw the results we thought it was the other way around, that arm A and B results got reversed,” says Richard Hayes of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who headed PopART. “We had four statisticians review the data. It’s true I’m afraid.”“We have a lot of work to do” to explain the unexpected outcome, he adds. Among the factors that could have boosted the infection risk in A are migration of infected people, clustering of sexual networks that had highly infectious individuals, or more sexual risk taking.François Dabis, who heads the French Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis in Paris and was the principal investigator of the earlier TasP study, says he’s heartened that PopART at least found an impact in arm B. TasP compared immediate treatment with treatment according to South African guidelines; the results, published last year, showed no population benefit from immediate treatment at all, likely because many people who tested positive didn’t seek the free care available.SEARCH, a large study staged in Kenya and Uganda that used health fairs to do community-wide testing, had more success getting infected people on treatment. But SEARCH investigators reported last summer that they, too, had come up empty-handed. In the middle of the trial, the two countries adopted new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommending that all HIV-infected people get treatment immediately, effectively robbing the study of its control group. (WHO’s recommendations complicated analyses in PopART and TasP as well.) A fourth study in Botswana did find a 30% drop in new cases from widespread testing and treatment, but it had far fewer people and barely reached statistical significance.Diane Havlir of the University of California, San Francisco, one of SEARCH’s principal investigators, welcomes one clear message from the studies: that widespread testing has the power to identify the majority of infected people, an essential component of the “Ending AIDS” agenda. “We are one step closer and have data for the next steps,” Havlir says.Nor is anyone ready to give up on universal treatment. “We’re not going in the wrong direction,” Dabis says. “What we’re saying is it’s more complex to achieve reductions in incidence than we anticipated.” Like many others, he says offering ARVs as pre-exposure prophylaxis to people at high-risk of infection is a key missing component of these studies.“But we have to be humble,” Havlir says. The four studies, which together cost more than $200 million, failed to clarify a central question: What percentage of infected people needs to start treatment and completely suppress HIV for an epidemic to peter out? Based on a mathematical model, the Ending AIDS campaign promoted by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS set 2020 goals of getting 90% of infected people to know their status, 90% of that group to be on treatment, and 90% of those to have undetectable virus levels. PopART’s A and B arms both reached this triple target, as did SEARCH and the Botswana study.But perhaps it wasn’t enough. “Ninety-ninety-ninety was an advocacy slogan that got translated into programmatic goals,” says Kevin DeCock, a Kenya-based epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta who was on PopART’s scientific advisory board. “It remains to be shown what epidemiologic control is. We’re not out of the woods.”last_img read more

Duke University settles research misconduct lawsuit for 1125 million

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email By Science News StaffMar. 25, 2019 , 1:50 PM Duke University will pay $112.5 million to the U.S. government to settle a lawsuit brought by a former employee who alleged that the university included falsified data in applications and reports for federal grants worth nearly $200 million. The university will also take several steps “to improve the quality and integrity of research conducted on campus,” including the creation of a new advisory panel that will provide recommendations to the president, the Durham, North Carolina, institution said in a statement released today.Late last year, ScienceInsider reported that Duke and federal prosecutors had moved to settle the case, but no details were available. It had drawn close attention from other universities, in large part because it involved a federal whistleblower law, the False Claims Act, that has rarely been used to address scientific misconduct. Under the law, Duke biologist Joseph Thomas, who filed the lawsuit in 2014, could receive as much as 30% of any settlement reached between the United States and the university. (RetractionWatch has reported Thomas will receive $33.8 million.)Thomas alleged that Duke biologist Erin Potts-Kant—a co-author on numerous papers that are now retracted—included fraudulent data in 60 grant reports and funding applications to U.S. agencies. “Duke discovered the possible research misconduct in 2013 after [Potts-Kant] was fired for embezzling money from the university, which also occurred over the same period,” the university noted in a statement released today. Potts-Kants “eventually pled guilty to two counts of forgery and paid restitution to Duke.” “This settlement, which results primarily from willful misconduct that took place in one laboratory, but which affected the work of many more researchers, should not diminish the life-changing and life-saving work that takes place at every day at Duke,” said Duke University President Vincent Price in the statement. “Our difficulties in ferreting out and ending such misconduct remind us that important work remains to be done.”Duke’s new Advisory Panel on Research Integrity and Excellence, to be chaired by pediatric microbiologist and former research dean of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, Ann Arvin, will examine ways of “improving the structure and function of research administration, with a focus on promoting research integrity,” the statement says. It is expected to provide its recommendations to Price by 30 June. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Duke University settles research misconduct lawsuit for $112.5 million uschools/istockphoto Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Bishop calls for prayer and unity during upcoming general election

first_imgShareTweetSharePinBishop of Roseau, Gabriel MalzaireBishop of Roseau, His Lordship Gabriel Malzaire has encouraged Dominicans to pray ahead the next general election for a peaceful Dominica.On Sunday, he told the Catholic Church Charismatic Conference in Portsmouth, that the Christian values of Dominica will be tested during elections.“I am here referring to the reality of a general election and what it can do to our nation. We know from the evidence of past years that this is the one most divisive event in our society,” Bishop Malzaire stated. “You and I know that after the general elections, many of the nice Catholics and nice Christian people will not be speaking to each other simply because we are not able to allow different opinions and view points to contend.”The Bishop stated that based on experience, it can be predicted that in the coming days, weeks and months, the Christian values of the people will be put to the test.He said the ability to sustain the oneness that should help overcome any form of hatred and anger, “the holiness that requires us to seek the good above all else, the catholicity that requires us to open to all and to accept all, the apostolicity that demands true witness to the living gospel will be tested.”Malzaire said the model of the early Christian community is instructive in the manner in which it dealt with potentially divisive situations.He referred to the apostles who brought every situation to prayer and challenges nation to do the same.“Therefore  pray daily for those you love, but  pray even harder for those you do not love so much,” Bishop Malzaire advised.last_img read more