UN refugee agency dismayed by impunity for endemic rape in DR Congo

23 April 2010The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today spoke out against the large number of rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), voicing concern at the impunity with which the attacks are being carried out. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today spoke out against the large number of rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), voicing concern at the impunity with which the attacks are being carried out.On average, 14 assaults have been recorded daily over the past three months, but “we fear that the real numbers could be much higher considering that many survivors keep silent for fear of being ostracized,” agency spokesperson Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.UNHCR, she said, is “disturbed by the lack of justice and prevailing impunity.” At least 200,000 cases of sexual violence have been recorded in the country in the past decade.With sexual violence being among the most serious of crimes, it must be treated as such and survivors should be able to report incidents without fear of reprisal, Ms. Fleming stressed.Over one third of the recorded cases are in the volatile North and South Kivu provinces in the country’s far east, home to 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), 100,000 of whom live in UNHCR camps.According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), more than 8,000 women were raped by warring factions last year in the two provinces.Although the mainly ethnic Hutu rebel militia, known as the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) – who have been operating in the Kivus since the 1994 Rwandan genocide – are thought to be responsible for most of the rapes, members of the national army are also guilty of sexual abuse in North and South Kivu provinces, according to UN experts.In many cases, women are raped when they leave their villages or camps to collect firewood, water and other items necessary for survival.To prevent such attacks, UNHCR has distributed fuel-efficient stoves and firewood in North Kivu to some 4,200 families so that women do not need to venture beyond safe areas.The agency is also working to follow up on rape cases by providing counseling, medical treatment and legal advice.Last year, UNHCR gave legal assistance to 145 survivors in South Kivu. “Through our support, these families were able to file complaints in local courts,” Ms. Fleming noted.While most of these cases are still ongoing, in 24 instances, people have been found guilty and sentenced to prison terms of up to 10 years, and some have been ordered to pay compensation.“This represents a significant development for justice but overall the number of cases in which criminal charges are being brought is tiny compared to the vast scale of the problem,” the UNHCR spokesperson underlined.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström, recently wrapped up a week-long visit to the country.Sexual violence is not exclusively African and even less so Congolese but “a result of conflicts and war and the absence of peace in the DRC,” she said. “It is possible to fight sexual violence and find solutions; we must fight against impunity.” read more

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UN agency chooses India as global host of this years World Environment

22 February 2011The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced that India will be the global host of this year’s World Environment Day (WED) on 5 June, during which the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems will be highlighted The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced that India will be the global host of this year’s World Environment Day (WED) on 5 June, during which the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems will be highlighted.The theme of WED 2011 – “Forests: Nature at Your Service” – complements the focus of the UN International Year of Forests.India’s 1.2 billion people continue to put pressure on forests especially in densely populated areas where people are cultivating on marginal lands and where overgrazing is contributing to desertification, according to UNEP.However, the Indian Government has found solutions to the pressure on forests by embarking on tree-planting to combat land-degradation and desertification, including windbreaks and shelterbelts to protect agricultural land.The country has successfully introduced projects that track the health of the plants, animals, water and other natural resources, including the Sunderbans – the largest deltaic mangrove forest in the world and home to one of India’s most iconic wildlife species – the tiger.India has also launched a compensation afforestation programme under which any diversion of public forests for non-forestry purposes is compensated through afforestation in degraded or non-forested land. The funds received as compensation are used to improve forest management and the protection of forests and of watershed areas.“Over close to the 40-year history of WED, India’s cities and communities have been among the most active with a myriad of events undertaken across the country each and every year. It is only fitting that this rapidly developing economy is the host in 2011,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP.“From its manufacturing of solar and wind turbines to its Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which underwrites paid work for millions of households via investments in areas ranging from water conservation to sustainable land management, foundations are being laid towards a fundamental and far reaching new development path,” added Mr. Steiner.The South Asian country is planning one of the largest green energy projects in the world, which will generate 20,000 megawatts of solar energy and 3,000 megawatts from wind farms on 50,000 acres in the south-western state of Karnataka.The celebrations in India on 5 June will be part of thousands of events taking place across the world. This year’s WED will emphasize how individual actions can have an exponential impact, with a variety of activities ranging from school tree-planting drives to community clean-ups, car-free days, photo competitions on forests, bird-watching trips, city park clean-up initiatives, exhibits, green petitions, nationwide green campaigns and much more, according to UNEP. read more

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Albertas credit rating cut after confirming 103billion deficit 42billion debt

EDMONTON — Alberta has been hit with another credit downgrade one day after it confirmed it remains on track for a $10.3-billion budget deficit this year.The credit rating agency DBRS say it has downgraded Alberta‘s long-term debt rating to AA from AA (high) and has adjusted or maintained other ratings indicators on a negative trend.The agency said the downgrade reflects the high operating deficits and Alberta’s rapidly accumulating debt, which is pegged to surpass $42 billion by the spring.Alberta still on track for $10.3B deficit, but signs point to growing economyAlberta Premier Rachel Notley’s pro-pipeline tour well-received in CalgaryIt’s one of a number of credit downgrades or warnings that have resulted from the province’s fiscal direction under Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP since 2015.Although the economy has been hammered by low oil prices, Notley’s government says it makes sense in the short term to take on debt to catch up on long-delayed infrastructure projects.Finance Minister Joe Ceci, responding to the downgrade, says Alberta still has the strongest debt-to-GDP ratio among provinces and the province’s credit rating remains among the highest in Canada.“The fiscal update released yesterday shows that Alberta’s economy is growing faster than forecast, the deficit is coming down, and significant cost savings are being realized,” Ceci said in a statement.“The government will continue to take a steady and responsible approach that avoids extreme and risky cuts that would hurt families, cost jobs and damage our recovery.” read more

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Timeline of events leading up to key UK Supreme Court ruling

LONDON — Britain’s Supreme Court is set to rule Tuesday on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s five-week suspension of Parliament was legal. Here’s how we got here.July 24, 2019: Boris Johnson becomes prime minister after winning a party leadership contest to succeed Theresa May. He vows to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, with or without a deal.August 28: Johnson suspends Parliament for a five-week period ending Oct. 14. Queen Elizabeth II approves his request, as she is required to do under Britain’s constitutional monarchy. He says it is a routine decision to set the stage for announcement of his new domestic agenda, but House of Commons Speaker John Bercow calls it a “constitutional outrage.”August 29: Activist Gina Miller launches legal action against Johnson at the High Court in London. Her case is subsequently joined by former prime minister John Major and others.August 30: In a separate case, a judge in Scotland refuses to grant an emergency measure blocking the suspension of Parliament but schedules a full hearing at a later date.September 4: The Court of Session in Scotland rejects the bid to have the suspension declared unlawful.September 5: The High Court in London hears Miller’s case against the suspension. Her lawyers argue the move was an “unlawful abuse of power” by the prime minister.September 6: The High Court in London rejects Miller’s case. She vows to take it to the Supreme Court.September 11: The Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland rules that the suspension was illegal and was intended to “stymie” Parliament ahead of the Brexit deadline.September 17: A three-day hearing on both cases begins at the Supreme Court, with 11 justices presiding.September 24: The Supreme Court is scheduled to announce its decision.The Associated Press read more

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Annan vehemently condemns attacks on international diplomats in Iraq

“The Secretary-General is deeply dismayed by the rash of attacks in recent days against representatives of the international diplomatic community in Iraq,” spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement condemning the incidents, including the kidnapping of the chargé d’affaires of Egypt, as well as the attempted assassinations of diplomats from Bahrain and Pakistan.”There can be no justification for the targeting of diplomats,” Mr. Dujarric said, adding that the Secretary-General expected that the perpetrators of these acts would be quickly apprehended and brought to justice. read more

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Protesters of British Columbias Site C dam pack up after court injunction

Protesters of British Columbia’s Site C dam pack up after court injunction by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 2, 2016 2:34 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 2, 2016 at 3:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Protesters of the $8.8-billion Site C dam project in northeast British Columbia are packing up after a judge ordered them to leave their tent camp near Fort St. John.Peace Valley farmer Ken Boon has been camping at the remote Rocky Mountain Fort site for about two months and says he and other demonstrators are respecting the judge’s order.B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler granted BC Hydro an injunction on Monday to remove the protesters, accepting the utility company’s submissions that the group had been blocking clearing work.Boon says the small core group of about six protesters began dismantling the camp on Tuesday and he expects the work to continue through Thursday.He says it’s been an emotional few days but the group of First Nations and landowners see the injunction as merely a bump in the road and they are refusing to give up their fight to stop the dam.There are several legal challenges of the project still before the courts and Boon is calling for a two-year delay on construction until the cases are concluded. read more

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UN resolved to help Equatorial Guinea build better future Ban says in

The United Nations will help Equatorial Guinea to reduce poverty and inequality, and promote food security, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged today as he arrived in the country on the eve of his address to the African Union Summit.“The United Nations stands ready to do more for the people of Equatorial Guinea,” Mr. Ban said as he inaugurated UN House, a state-of-the-art building in the capital, Malabo, which will bring the various UN bodies working in the country under one roof.“We will assist in ensuring universal education, achieving gender equality and empowering women. We will help advance respect for human rights. And we will work to improve health conditions, including helping more women to survive childbirth, reducing malaria and tuberculosis, and preventing and combating the spread of HIV/AIDS,” he stated.“The United Nations,” he added, “is resolved to stand with the people of Equatorial Guinea as they advance to a better future.”Equatorial Guinea is hosting the annual high-level gathering of the member countries of the African Union, which this year is devoted to agriculture and food security.Mr. Ban commended the AU on its resolve to end hunger and malnutrition by 2025, and noted that it has declared 2014 the Year of African Agriculture and Food Security. In addition, he commended the Government of Equatorial Guinea for its donation of $30 million to the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, which was launched last year and is managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). At a ceremony in Malabo today, the Trust Fund gave the green light to four new projects, worth $16 million, that will span 24 countries and focus on youth employment and malnutrition, transboundary animal diseases and food safety and urban food security.“The agreements that have just been signed today are integral to Africa’s goals for revolution in agricultural productivity,” said Mr. Ban, who was present at the ceremony along with the President of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.“In Africa we see the growing commitment of countries not only to improving their own food security, but that of their neighbours as well,” said Mr. Graziano da Silva. “The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund is a concrete manifestation of Africa’s willingness to work together to guarantee the food security of the entire continent,” he added. read more

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Familiar problems plague fading Packers in loss to Cards

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers wasn’t in much of a mood to celebrate his 35th birthday.Not after another loss for the sliding Green Bay Packers.The same problems keep popping up for the offence, most glaringly, empty third downs and a lack of explosive plays.But Sunday’s 20-17 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals, one of the NFL’s worst teams, was definitely a surprise.“We’re just not executing well and it’s the same things over and over,” Rodgers said.And just another blow to the fading playoff hopes for the Packers (4-7-1).“Well, I mean, this is really premature for that there,” coach Mike McCarthy said when asked why the Packers weren’t a playoff team.There is a chance, however slim. They could still catch up to the NFC North-leading Bears (8-4), who lost to the Giants.To do that though, a once-productive offence will have to find its way.“But we didn’t play well today. I’m not going to sit up here and try to sugarcoat it,” McCarthy said.Their struggles helped the Cardinals shatter the image of Lambeau Field as an intimidating venue for a warm-weather team in wintry conditions. The temperature at kickoff was 34 degrees, but the wind chill made it feel like 23. Flurries fell on and off throughout the game.Instead, the Packers looked out of sorts.A couple of Rodgers’ throws were off, especially in the first half. There were too many drops by receivers. The offensive line lost its two starters on the right side when guard Byron Bell and tackle Bryan Bulaga left in the first half with knee injuries.Zane Gonzalez kicked a 44-yard field goal for Arizona with 1:41 left. Green Bay’s Mason Crosby missed a 49-yard attempt as time expired.Crosby pushed his kick wide right, with the flags atop Lambeau blowing in toward the field at the time of the play. In pregame warmups, Crosby said kicks were going right to left.“Both ends were fairly difficult. The wind was swirling,” Crosby said. The final attempt “wanted to go right, so I was pretty shocked about, and obviously disappointed.”The Packers won the Super Bowl under McCarthy in 2010. The team has experienced a lot of success in his 13-year tenure. But this is a third straight year in which Green Bay has had extended struggles.In 2016, the Packers started 4-6 but won eight straight games to get to the NFC title game, losing to the Atlanta Falcons. Green Bay finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs in 2017, when Rodgers missed extensive time with a broken collarbone.This year, Rodgers hurt his left knee in the season opener, though he is feeling better now. Receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison have missed time with injuries.Cobb’s return on Sunday didn’t help, with the Packers just 3 of 14 on third down.“I hate to repeat myself, but it’s applicable. … We’re not executing the right way,” Rodgers said.“It’s poor throws, not on the same page with receivers, wrong depth, protection,” he added. “We all have a part in that and we’ve all picked our time to mess up a third down.”The opening play of the fourth quarter was a perfect example of Green Bay’s offensive struggles. Rodgers found Cobb for a 36-yard completion on third-and-11, but the play was wiped out by a holding penalty on right tackle Jason Spriggs.Rodgers said his focus was getting his teammates to “play with that pride” and focus on the next four games.“Yeah, I mean I’m not even thinking about that right now,” Rodgers said when asked if he would have any role after the season with general manager Brian Gutekunst or team president Mark Murphy about what direction they should go with the coaching staff.The offensive players, Rodgers said, bear blame for whatever happens in the future.“Yeah, a lot probably. We haven’t played very well,” he said.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLGenaro C. Armas, The Associated Press read more

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Opinion Young athletes should forge own legacy not be dubbed the next

Bubba Watson (left) helps Jordan Spieth into his green jacket after Spieth won the Masters on April 12 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Credit: Courtesy of TNSIn basketball, high-end talents are dubbed the new Jordans or the new LeBrons. In soccer, young stars are named the new Messis, new Ronaldos or next Neymars. In golf, players like 21-year-old Masters champion Jordan Spieth are slapped with the tag of next Tiger.I hate to break it to you, but there will never be another Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar or Tiger Woods. Will there be more great players down the line? Of course, but the comparisons to past and current legends are a bore, and need to go away.Like Spieth, Woods was 21 years old when he won his first major — the 1997 Masters — but nearly 20 years later, he’s not known as the new-Jack Nicklaus. Instead, he’s forged his own legacy, and can now be considered one of the greatest golfers in the history of the game with no comparisons necessary.Spieth is certainly young, but he’s on track to build a similar legacy if he continues to progress as he has been. I’d put down good money to say that he’ll win another Masters, as well as multiple other majors.But even if he does, how will being dubbed the next-Tiger weigh on him going forward? It might have no effect, much like Rory McIlroy — now 25 — has continued to live up to the Tiger-like hype that followed him into the professional ranks.Spieth is already a success story to some extent when it comes to emerging from a former great’s shadow, and McIlroy certainly is. But that type of comparative hype has its darker side as well.Ghanaian-born American soccer player Freddy Adu had it all in 2004, and he was only 14 years old. That year, he became the youngest-ever Major League Soccer player when he debuted for D.C. United, and at the same time he was dubbed the next-Pelé.When the actual Pelé — now widely accepted as the greatest soccer player ever — was 14, he was still two years away from his debut for Santos. At 16, he was still incredibly young and already getting hype as the next great player, but many players have debuted as professionals at that age.Almost none have played at 14.The careers that followed are telling, as Pelé went on to score more than 600 goals for Santos along with 77 goals for the Brazilian National Team.Adu scored 11 goals for D.C. United before moving on to Real Salt Lake, where he scored just once in 11 appearances, then onto Portuguese powerhouse Benfica, who he played for just 11 times between 2007 and 2011.In that span, Adu spent time on loan with A.S. Monaco, Belenenses, Aris F.C. in Greece and Caykur Rizespor in Turkey. In total, he scored just six goals in 39 appearances for those teams combined.Then Adu played 35 games for the Philadelphia Union back in MLS before playing just four for Bahia in Brazil. Then he joined FK Jagodina in Serbia, and didn’t make a single appearance.Now in 2015, Adu is in his 11th stop as a professional with Kuopion Palloseura in Finland and he hasn’t played for the United States National Team since 2011.Was Adu’s downfall because of the hype that followed him? Perhaps, but it’s more of a lesson of letting players forge their own legacies rather than immediately comparing them to past greats.So don’t pine for the next Jordan and the next LeBron, and don’t compare the top young soccer prospects to Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar or Pelé. It doesn’t do any good for anyone involved.And please, stop calling Spieth the next Tiger. Instead, just call it as it is.Jordan Spieth is Jordan Spieth, the next great player in the game of golf. read more

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London Marathon runners frustrated after being warned not to train outside due

first_imgTony Bowen agreed, writing: “Seriously is it safe to go running? Training for the London Marathon so will be a fair bit of puffing and panting…” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.  The elderly, adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems have been advised to avoid strenuous activity all together.Sadiq Khan has previously cited the air pollution levels as a “public health emergency” and data data showed London broke the air pollution limit just five days into 2017. People in training for the London Marathon have expressed their frustration they cannot train after Sadiq Khan has warned Londoners to avoid physical exertion.Many are trying to get fit for the race, which takes place in April this year.However, Sadiq Khan has warned Londoners not to exert themselves outside, tweeting: “This is the highest level air quality alert. Everyone, from the most vulnerable to the physically fit, may need to reduce physical exertion.”Alexis Fuller tweeted: “Er. Got a marathon to train for. Why can’t we take the Paris approach to reduce pollution and ban half of all cars? (Or just all cars?)”  The Mayor has asked people to use public transport if possible as smog hits dangerous levels.This alert was issued after pollution detectors in the City, Westminster, north Kensington and three sites in Camden found very top levels of tiny pollution particles in the air yesterday morning.It’s the highest air pollution alert issued by Airtech, advising people to “reduce physical exertion, particularly outdoors, especially if you experience symptoms such as cough or sore throat”. We’ve put together some top tips to get you through the cold, dark days of your #LondonMarathon training👉 https://t.co/FJ5F028sHc ❄️️ pic.twitter.com/CWOqA30PqA— London Marathon (@LondonMarathon) January 23, 2017 Was going to run home tonight but hell no. This London pollution is terrible.— Kelly Prince-Wright (@kellyprincew) January 23, 2017last_img read more

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Laptop of Poppi Worthingtons father that could solve mystery of little girls

It is now being forensically analysed by experts to determine what data was on the hard drive before it was sold. Cumbria Police’s inability to confiscate the laptop was one of a series of failures by Cumbria Police who lost vital evidence during their investigation which meant no one has been prosecuted over Poppi’s sexual abuse and death. Poppi was failed by authorities almost from the moment police were informed of her death. Officers did not secure the scene and allowed vital evidence, including her nappy, to be thrown away. Despite a pathologist raising concerns that she had been sexually assaulted, a criminal investigation was not opened for eight months, meaning that no witnesses were formally interviewed.Poppi was buried after her body was released by the coroner in February 2013, despite the full inquest not having concluded, meaning her cause of death was never formally established. He said the verdict of unlawful killing was not available to him, as he would need to be satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that she had died as a result of murder or manslaughter, and he had concluded the abuse did not kill her. Show more Poppi Worthington father’s laptop that could help “solve the mystery” of the 13-month-old’s death has been discovered by police.The breakthrough comes almost six years after the girl suffocated on her father Paul Worthington’s double bed after, a coroner ruled, she had been sexually assaulted by him. Mr Worthington is understood to have passed the laptop to neighbour Wayne Roebuck in Barrow-in-Furness after his daughter’s death. Police never seized the laptop in December 2012 despite Poppi’s father admitting he watched “X-rated adult” pornography on it. Mr Roebuck, 39, was questioned by police in March. He claimed he passed the computer to another man who moved to Birmingham, according to the Sunday Times. Nazir Afzal, who decided not to charge Mr Worthington in 2015 as head of the CPS for the North West, told the paper the laptop “could solve the mystery of what happened” and that “without examining it, we’ll never know”. The Crown Prosecution Service ruled in March that despite courts three times having found that Mr Worthington probably sexually abused his daughter before her sudden death, he would not face charges due to a lack of evidence. Mr Worthington denies any wrongdoing and is now living in hiding with the help of police protection.Prosecutors refused three times to put him on trial as police blunders meant there was “insufficient evidence” to charge him. Speaking after a coroner found the toddler’s father sexually assaulted her before she died in January, Poppi’s mother, who cannot be named, said that the “past five years have been a complete nightmare” and she was “relieved that despite there being some gaps, she is now closer to the truth, even though that truth is devastating”.Recording a narrative verdict with the case of death as asphyxia caused by “unsafe sleeping conditions”, David Roberts said that at some time after 2.30am, Poppi was taken from her cot into the double bed, where she was assaulted.  Nazir Afzal, who decided not to charge Mr Worthington in 2015 as head of the CPS for the North West Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Nazir Afzal, who decided not to charge Mr Worthington in 2015 as head of the CPS for the North WestCredit:BBC read more

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Dating site for beautiful people attacked by ugly virus

first_imgThis sounds like a story which should be on The Onion, but unfortunately it’s not meaning it must be deadly serious. BeautifulPeople.com is a dating and networking site with a specific niche it has carved out for itself. As the name implies, you have to be good-looking in order to become a member. New members are only allowed to join the site after what is called a “rating” stage where current members decide whether or not the applicant has the appropriate looks. Unfortunately, this rating system took a hit by what the website is calling an “ugly virus” which allowed 30,000 “ugly” people to be allowed in over a six-week period as a result of the rating module being down.It seems BeautfulPeople.com was alerted to the issues after tens of thousands of new members were accepted that, as Greg Hodge, managing director of the service, put it, “were no oil painting.”The issue with the rating module is being attributed to the introduction of the “Shrek Virus” into the website’s infrastructure. The origin of the virus was traced to a former employee of the company who introduced it before leaving in May. Though the rating system was affected as a result of the malicious action, the company states that member privacy and security were never breached.As a result of the “ugly virus,” the company has now rejected over 30,000 recent members. In a sign of good will, the company has setup a hotline that rejected members can call to help deal with the news and to receive tips if they wish to re-apply. For the rejected members, the company stated that it was unfortunate for some people to believe they were beautiful for a short time, but it was better for them to, “have a slice of heaven than never to have tasted it at all.” To ensure the sanctity of its strict membership of beautiful people going forward, the company has launched what it says is a team of beautiful police from around the world to guard against infiltrators.Read more at the BeautifulPeople press releaselast_img read more

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Greek tourism threatened by new measures

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Greek tourism high season is set to start soon and expectations are very high. The sector, after all, has been one of the few in the Greek economy to show signs of health. After last year’s record figures, the tourism industry had been bracing for further growth. These expecations, however, seem to be highly undermined by the wave of new austerity measures that are bound to be applied on the sector. This stark realization cast a dark shadow on the annual meeting of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises. Addressing the members of the Association, its president, Andreas Andreadis, issued a warning for anyone involved to prepare for the effects of the new wave of heavy taxation set to be imposed on tourism. The tourism industry is also bound to experience the consequences of the delays in the bailout review that has – once again – put the Greek economy on hold. Greece’s creditors are adamant on a new set of austerity measures to be imposed as a prerequisite for the review and the effects will be felt throughout the economical spectrum. Among the measures that are specifically targeted to the hospitality and tourism sector are increases in the cost of accomodation, , food service, soft and alcoholic beverages, museum tickets and a series of basic products and services that will make package holidays more expensive. Furthermore, PM Alexis Tsipras already announced the imposition of an “stayover levy” to be introduced in hotel bookings from 2018.  Given that the tax burden included in the third bailout agreement has already hit the industry, signaling a decline of up to 10 per cent, these new measures are believed as presnting a new threat to the sector. According to the Association, 40 per cent of accomodation units are already struggling for survival and the need for the banks to effectively assist the healthier among them is crucial. last_img read more

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Semitruck involved in I90 crash was carrying missiles

first_imgSPOKANE — The Idaho State Police say a semi-truck that crashed on Interstate 90 on Friday night was carrying 16 2,000-pound missiles.The Spokesman Review reports the 47-year-old driver, Mark W. Dearinger of Chickasha, Oklahoma, was cited for inattentive driving.He was not injured in the crash.The state police say Dearinger drove through an eastbound Idaho Transportation Department checkpoint at about 7:15 p.m. Friday and drove into a hazmat containment area by accident instead of merging back on to I-90. He drove to the end of the containment area and over a large snow bank, disabling the truck.Fairchild Air Force Base assisted emergency personnel by sending three explosive ordnance disposal technicians to the scene, although the semi-truck involved did not have a direct relationship with the base.Multiple attempts to contact Fairchild for more information went unanswered Saturday.last_img read more

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Review Juventus – Real Madrid

first_imgReal Madrid won 3-0 at Juventus, but that’s not the main news from this match, believe or not. Go see Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal of the match and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.Massimiliano Allegri had to make a couple of tweaks to his starting lineup. Pjanic and Benatia were unavailable due to accumulation of yellow cards. Barzagli started in place of Benatia and Bentancur replaced Pjanic. Both Alex Sandro and Kwadwo Asamoah were on the pitch from minute one, as Allegri decided to go with a bit more careful approach. Dybala was in the starting eleven as well, while Mandzukic and Matuidi were on the bench. Zidane went classic, putting his best team (the one that has won this competition in the past two seasons) on the field. Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Isco, Ronaldo and Benzema with Navas on goal.It took three minutes for Real Madrid to take the lead. Marcelo made a terrific pass to Isco, fooling two defenders. Isco started moving towards the box and saw Ronaldo coming. He sent a low pass and the Portuguese master marksman flicked the ball in for the 1-0 lead. There couldn’t have been a worse start for Juventus, who were on the receiving end of an early goal this time around, after doing the same to Tottenham in the previous round. It was Ronaldo’s 13th Champions League goal this season. Higuain almost scored in the 23rd minute after a free kick landed on his foot. Navas used his reflexes to deflect the shot and prevent the equalizer.Bentancur received the first yellow card of the fixture in the 27th minute for a sliding challenge on Casemiro that the referee saw as a foul, although it wasn’t. In the 36th minute, Toni Kroos hit the cross bar with a thumping long-range effort. Juventus was trying to create something. However, it lacked ideas in the midfield, it lacked a creator. Khedira was doing his best, but one player isn’t enough. Real was simply too dangerous on the counter-attack for Juventus to completely open up. In the 45th minute Dybala was booked for diving. The Champions League holders had the lead at half-time.Marcelo doesn’t think Madrid needs more players Manuel R. Medina – August 20, 2019 According to Real Madrid defender Marcelo, the team doesn’t need more footballer as the transfer window is set to close really soon.It was somewhat surprising to see that Allegri didn’t make any lineup changes at the half. In the 50th minute, Ronaldo took a shot from a tight angle and almost found the corner of the goal at the far post. Five minutes later, the referee Cakir showed Ramos a yellow card that will see him miss the second leg. Dybala took the ensuing free kick, which deflected off the wall and almost ended up in Madrid’s net. Zidane pulled the trigger first, replacing Benzema with Lucas Vasquez. There were too many fouls being made. They sliced the game up and didn’t allow for any momentum to be built. The experiment with Asamoah as the left back and Alex Sandro as the left winger wasn’t working for Juventus.What a sensational goal we saw in the 64th minute!!! Chiellini made a mess of an easy situation at the back by stealing the ball away from Buffon. Ronaldo took it and passed it on to a free Vasquez who took a shot which was saved by Buffon. The ball ended up with Carvajal, who crossed the ball in the center of the box hoping someone will use it. Ronaldo set himself up quickly and fired an amazing bicycle kick. Buffon was powerless. An absolutely brilliant moment of pure magic. Even Juventus’ fans gave one of the best footballers in history a standing ovation. Dybala high-kicked Carvajal just a minute after the goal, earning his second yellow card. The game was firmly in Madrid’s hands.In the 72nd minute, Marcelo made a great forward run. After a one-two pass with Ronaldo, he was face-to-face with Buffon, managed to push the ball past him and scored in the empty net. The difference in class between the teams was becoming more obvious by the minute. Allegri used all of his substitutions, but Juventus was just trying to prevent further embarrassment. Barzagli almost gifted Ronaldo a hat-trick in the 85th minute. Two minutes after that, Mateo Kovacic, who came in place of Modric, hit the cross bar, Real Madrid’s second of the match.Waiting for the sound of the final whistle was torture for the home team. Buffon saved Ronaldo’s 90th minute hat-trick attempt. In the 92nd minute, Ronaldo was all alone in the box. Lucas Vasquez found him, but the ball was just a bit behind, enough for Portugal’s captain to misshit it. Juve was close to a consolation goal in the 93rd minute, but Cuadrado missed. That was it. Everyone should be scared of Los Galacticos at the moment. In the form they’re currently in, it’ll take a Herculean effort to beat them.last_img read more

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Miami Beach apartment building evacuated after fire

first_imgResidents were later allowed to return to their homes.There were no reported injuries.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Several families were forced from their homes after a fire broke out at an apartment building in Miami Beach, early Sunday morning.The flames began on a ninth-floor balcony of the Ocean Blue, located near Collins Avenue and 76th Street. “I was sleeping, and then [I heard] the fire alarm,” said resident Marilee Lenzina. “Nothing happens here, so I thought it was a false alarm, and it was 15 minutes, 20 minutes until the guy gets on the microphone and says we have to come down, it’s an emergency.”Resident Camila Olmedo described the fire. “On the ninth floor, one of the rooms on the terrace, there was a big flame,” she said.As fire crews rushed to the scene, those inside were evacuated.Fortunately, everyone made it out safely, but some residents weren’t thrilled to feel the chill of South Florida’s cold front. “I feel freezing,” said Olmedo.“It’s cold out here,” echoed resident Yvonne Hunt. “We woke up at 6 in the morning to be told there was a fire, on the coldest night of the year.”Crews kept the flames from spreading inside, but the once burning balcony was left scorched. last_img read more

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Shoemaker Crocs delivering by drone

first_imgClose Shoemaker Crocs showed off a possible future alternative to heading out to its store as it experimented with helicopter drones as a delivery option at a pop-up store on 5 March.Shoppers were able to select a pair of shoes on an iPad screen and by touching a take off button, they prompted the drone to begin its delivery journey.The drone then proceeded to hover over the shoes before attempting – with the help of a magnet – to grab hold of a pair and carry them back to a waiting basket ready for the customer to collect.While not every pair made it successfully into shoppers baskets immediately, some anxious customers did manage to see their shoes delivered.The drones have been specially adapted from commercially available products for the temporary store, which will be open until 8 March.Morrie Fujita, vice president and general manager for Crocs Japan, said there were not any plans to use the drones in the long term.Whilst most drones kept missing their targets and, in one case, flying off haphazardly into the crowd, it was – if nothing else – an adventurous shopping experience.last_img read more

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Uniontown Bar and Grill Brings Nightlife to Anacostia

first_imgWASHINGTON — It’s a frigid Friday night, and the entertainment centers of the city — Chinatown, U Street, Georgetown, H Street, Capitol Hill, Adams Morgan and Barracks Row — are flourishing with people crowded into bars and restaurants, eager to  warm their fingers and enjoy good food and interesting chatter.In the southeast neighborhood of Anacostia, however, the streets are dead. The only exception is a on the 2200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.That is the home of Uniontown Bar and Grill, one of only two sit-down restaurants in the neighborhood.Anchoring the corner of King Avenue and W Street, Uniontown sits across for the neighborhood’s iconic Big Chair and the Big Chair Coffee and Grill, the only other sit-down restaurant. Like Uniontown, it also recently reopened after being closed.Uniontown is unassuming on the outside. The only indication that something is going on inside come from the few patrons standing outside have a smoke.Inside is a multi-aged crowd. People are buying drinks, chatting, laughing and dancing to deafening music as a disco ball shoots multicolored lights across the walls and floors.Now under new management following the conviction on drug charges of the previous owner, Uniontown has an authentic Washington feel.It offers themed drinks, like the Marion Barry, the Chuck Brown and the Ballou Knight, named after the mascot of nearby Ballou High School. On the second level patrons, listen and dance to  go-go, a form of music that which originated in Washington, and enjoy hookah.Tonight, Jackie Maddox and her daughter, Christine Montgomery collect entrance fee at the front door and give out wristbands for re-entry. They both frequent the bar throughout the week.“The people draw me here,” said Montgomery, a meeting planner who lives in the neighborhood. “It’s a family atmosphere.”Montgomery is  greeted by almost every customer with a hug and a promise to meet later. ,The restaurant opens everyday at 11 a.m. closes at midnight, with the except of Sundays when they open at 1 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays when they stay open until 2:30 in the morning. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from four to eight, and each night is a new attraction— comedy nights on Wednesdays, motorcycle night on Mondays.“On the weekdays, it’s a mature crowd and everyone comes after work to unwind,” Maddox, 54, said. “They have karaoke and jazz here. It’s really nice atmosphere.”In 2012, the restaurant closed after being open for about a year after the owner pled guilty to selling cocaine.Aftermath, which plays R&B, Pop and Go Go, have been playing at Uniontown for three weeks.Female vocalist Tiny lives in Ward 8 and was coming to the bar well before her band started playing there.“It’s a decent bar,” she said.. “It’s in the community so you can get something to eat, watch the game. It’s a nice stop.”Dmaz, 39, is a native Californian, but he said feels completely immersed in the culture whenever he’s at Uniontown.“Pure and uncut” are how the Howard University graduate  describe Uniontown.“I’m not from D.C.,” lumukanda said.  “But I love a unique authentic experience and this is it. It doesn’t get more D.C. than this.”Ayenubizu Yimenu, the owner of The Big Chair Coffee N’ Grill across the street at 2122 King Ave. says that people come eat at her restaurant, then head over to Uniontown for dancing.The Big Chair Coffee N’ Grill was one of the first sit down restaurants in the neighborhood, and similar to Uniontown was shut down for a brief stint of time due to some legal issues.Since it first opened in 2010, Yimenu has had trouble getting an entertainment license so she can get a DJ as well but she isn’t fretting over lost business.“People still come in here,” she said. “They like my food.”last_img read more

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Nanoscale magnetic imaging of ferritin in a single cell

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In the present work, Wang et al. reported two technical advancements to allow nanoscale MI of intracellular proteins within a single cell. For this, they freeze-fixed the cell to a solid state and intricately segmented it to a cube shape, then placed it on a tuning fork scanning probe of an atomic force microscope (AFM) for imaging, where the flat cross section of the cell was exposed to air. The scientists used the sample placement setup to allow the NV sensor to be positioned within 10 nm of the target proteins and used the AFM to suppress thermal drift during sample positioning. They then engineered trapezoidal cylinder-shaped nanopillars at a bulk diamond surface for image acquisition, technically shortening the time of image acquisition by one order compared to previous methods. In the present study, the scientists used this technique to conduct in situ MI of the magnetic fluctuating noise of intracellular ferritin proteins (a biomarker of iron stores and transferrin saturation in the body) within the experimental setup. In life sciences, the ability to measure the distribution of biomolecules inside a cell in situ is an important investigative goal. Among a variety of techniques, scientists have used magnetic imaging (MI) based on the nitrogen vacancy center (NV) in diamonds as a powerful tool in biomolecular research. However, nanoscale imaging of intracellular proteins has remained a challenge thus far. In a recent study now published in Science Advances, Pengfei Wang and colleagues at the interdisciplinary departments of physics, biomacromolecules, quantum information and life sciences in China, used ferritin proteins to demonstrate the MI realization of endogenous proteins in a single cell, using the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center as the sensor. They imaged intracellular ferritins and ferritin-containing organelles using MI and correlative electron microscopy to pave the way for nanoscale magnetic imaging (MI) of intracellular proteins. The scientists measured fluorescence decay at a fixed free evolution time of 50 microseconds (τ = 50 μs) to reveal the degree of NV sensor spin polarization, which correlated with the amount of ferritin in the sensing volume. They observed the appearance of some clusters via both TEM and MI images, although some details were not observed in MI, the results confirmed that spin noise from intracellular ferritin contributed to depolarize the NV center. In order to obtain details of the ferritin clusters at higher resolution, the scientists minimized the pixel size to 8.3 nm and acquired MI of high resolution of the proteins as expected. In this way, Wang et al. explored the sensitivity of NV centers as an appropriate sensor for biological imaging applications at the level of the single molecule. They used the technique as a sensor in the experimental setup to obtain the first MI of a protein at a resolution of 10 nm in situ. The scientists aim to improve the stability and sensitivity of the technique to speed up the scanning process and image a larger area of interest in the cell and locate ferritin beyond the nucleus in association with additional organelles. New method discovered to view proteins inside human cells Explore further Ferritin is a globular protein complex with an outer diameter of 12 nm, containing a cavity spanning 8 nm in diameter that allows up to 4500 iron atoms to be stored within the protein. The magnetic noise of the ferric ions can be detected due to their effects on the T1 relaxation time of an NV center. In this work, Wang et al. confirmed the observation using fluorescence measurements of time-dependent decay of the population of NV centers (magnetic spin, mS = 0 state), in a diamond surface coated with ferritins. Additionally, the scientists detected the magnetic noise with label-free methods using the NV center via transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The work allowed the development of a correlated MI and TEM scheme to obtain and verify the first nanoscale MI of a protein in situ. The scientists used the hepatic carcinoma cell line (HepG2) for the experiments and studied iron metabolism by treating the cells with ferric ammonium citrate (FAC), which significantly increased the amount of intracellular ferritin. They verified this using confocal microscopy (CFM), western blotting and TEM techniques at first. The results showed the primary localization of ferritins in the intracellular puncta around the nucleus, among the cytoplasm. The scientists used bulk electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to confirm the paramagnetic properties of ferritin in the FAC-treated HepG2 cells and mass spectroscopy to measure the interference due to other paramagnetic metal ions. Journal information: Science Advances © 2019 Science X Network Increasing existing spatial resolution of biomedical imaging is required to achieve ongoing demands in medical imaging, and therefore, among a variety of techniques, magnetic imaging is of broad interest at present. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is widely used to quantify the distribution of nuclear spins but conventional MRI can only reach a resolution of 1 µm in nuclear spin imaging where the resolution is limited by electrical detection sensitivity. Scientists have developed a series of techniques to break this resolution barrier, including a superconducting quantum interference device and magnetic resonance force microscopy. Nevertheless, these reports require a cryogenic environment and high vacuum for imaging, limiting the experimental implementation and its translation to clinical practice. A recently developed quantum sensing method based on the nitrogen vacancy center in diamond has radically pushed the boundary of MI techniques at the nanoscale to detect organic molecules and proteins in the lab. Scientists have combined quantum sensing with NV centers and scanning probe microscopy to demonstrate nanoscale MRI for single electron spin and small nuclear spin ensemble while using the NV center as a biocompatible magnetometer to noninvasively image ferromagnetic particles within cells at the subcellular scale (0.4 µm). For example, depolarization of the NV center can be used as a wideband magnetometer to detect and measure fluctuating noise from metal ions and nuclear spins. However, such imaging of single proteins via MI at the nanoscale has not been reported in the single cell thus far. Citation: Nanoscale magnetic imaging of ferritin in a single cell (2019, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-nanoscale-magnetic-imaging-ferritin-cell.html Correlative MI and TEM images. (A) Schematic view of sectioning for correlative MI and TEM imaging. The last section and the remaining cube were transferred for TEM imaging and MI scanning, respectively. The sectioning resulted in some split ferritin clusters that could be imaged under both microscopes. A transparent blue strip of ~10 nm indicates the imaging depth of the MI, while in the TEM, the imaging depth is ~100 nm. (B) Distribution of ferritins from the last ultrathin section under TEM. Inset: Magnified figure of the part in black dashed box. (C) MI result of the remaining cell cube. The pixel size is 43 nm. (D) The merged MI and TEM micrograph shows ferritins in a membrane-bound organelle. The red arrows in (B) to (D) indicate the same ferritin cluster. Scale bars, 5 μm (B) and 1 μm [B (inset), C, and D]. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8038.center_img TOP – The preparation and characterization of ferritin-rich HepG2 cell samples. (A) Schematic view of the treatment to cultured cells. Following iron loading or no treatment, the HepG2 cells were examined for fluorescence images and EPR spectra, respectively. For the MI and TEM imaging, cell samples were treated through high-pressure freezing, freeze substitution, and sectioning. (B) Representative confocal microscopy (CFM) image of ferritin structures (green) in iron-loaded HepG2 cells. The ferritin proteins were immunostained by anti-ferritin light chain antibody. The nuclei are indicated by 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) in the blue channel. Inset displays magnified ferritin structures. The yellow dashed line outlines the contour of a cell. Scale bar, 20 μm. (C) EPR spectra of control and iron-loaded HepG2 cells at T = 300 K. BOTTOM – Adjusting the distance between the NV center and the cell section. (A) Interference fringes between the cell cube and the diamond surface. Scale bar, 20 μm. (B) The geometric relation and the gap R between cell samples and diamond-pillars for MI. The top surface diameter of the nanopillar is 400 nm. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8038. The work will contribute to clinical diagnostics to determine biomarker-based iron storage and release in cells. This will include studies on the regulatory mechanisms of iron metabolism during the progression of hemochromatosis, anemia, liver cirrhosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Wang et al. propose to extend the approach in situ to other cellular components with paramagnetic signals, including magnetic molecules, metalloproteins and special spin-labelled proteins. The scientists envision that further studies will explore additional targets suitable for high-resolution MI and correlated TEM imaging techniques, with optical microscopy detection incorporated to the experimental setup to extend the work and determine protein nuclear spin MRI as well as perform three-dimensional cell tomography. More information: Mamin H.J. et al. February 2013, Science. Pengfei Wang et al. Nanoscale magnetic imaging of ferritins in a single cell, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8038 Denis Vasyukov et al. A scanning superconducting quantum interference device with single electron spin sensitivity, Nature Nanotechnology (2013). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2013.169 D. Rugar et al. Single spin detection by magnetic resonance force microscopy, Nature (2004). DOI: 10.1038/nature02658H. J. Mamin et al. Nanoscale Nuclear Magnetic Resonance with a Nitrogen-Vacancy Spin Sensor, Science (2013). DOI: 10.1126/science.1231540 , Nature Nanotechnology Wang et al. then used ultrafast, high-pressure freezing to immobilize all intracellular components of the Fe-loaded cells. The process stabilized the intracellular structures and molecules by minimizing Brownian motion in cells, which typically contributes to random motion of proteins up to 100 nm in vivo. To image the samples, they embedded and polymerized the frozen cells in LR White medium, followed by gluing the embedded cell sample to the AFM tuning fork with a few cells at the tip. Using a diamond knife, the scientists then sectioned the tip surface to nanometer flatness to examine the cuboid cell section under AFM. They acquired MI images of ferritins by scanning the cell cube along the diamond nanopillars and simultaneously measured NV spin repolarization rate using the “leapfrog” scanning mode of the microscope as detailed previously. , Science , Nature Schematic of the setup and experimental principle. (A) Schematic view of the experimental setup. The cell embedded in resin is attached to a tuning fork and scans above the diamond nanopillar that contains a shallow NV center. A copper wire is used to deliver the microwave pulse to the NV center. A green laser (532 nm) from the confocal microscope (CFM) is used to address, initialize, and read out the NV center. (B) Left: Crystal lattice and energy level of the NV center. The NV center is a point defect that consists of a substitutional nitrogen atom and an adjacent vacancy in diamond. Right: Schematic view of a ferritin. The black arrows indicate the electron spins of Fe3+. (C) Experimental demonstration of the spin noise detection with and without ferritin in the form of polarization decay for the same NV center. The inset is the pulse sequence for detection and imaging of the ferritin. A 5-μs green laser is used to initialize the spin state to ms = 0, followed by a free evolution time τ to accumulate the magnetic noise, and finally the spin state is read out by detecting the fluorescence intensity. The pulse sequence is repeated about 105 times to acquire a good signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The relaxation time is fitted to be 0.1 and 3.3 ms by exponential decay for the case with and without ferritin, respectively, indicating a spin noise of 0.01 mT2. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8038. LEFT – Experimental setup. The experiment was carried out on a homebuilt setup, which combined optically detected magnetic resonance microscopy (ODMR) with atomic force microscopy (AFM). DM: dichroic mirror. BP: bandpass filter working at 650–775 nm. APD: avalanche photodiode. CCD: charge coupled device. LED: light emitting diode of 470 nm. AL: achromatic lens. PH: pinhole at a size of 30 μm. BS: beam splitter. RIGHT – Images of the nanopillars on diamonds. (A) SEM imaging of the fabricated diamond nanopillars just after reactive ion etching (RIE). The top of the nanopillar is covered by the hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) to protect the NV center. (B) A single trapezoidal-cylinder shaped nanopillar to sense cell sections adhered at the AFM tip. Scale bars, 10 μm (A); 400 nm (B). Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8038. (A) Ferritin cluster imaged by the NV sensor with 80 × 24 pixels and a pixel size of 8.3 nm. Scale bar, 100 nm. (B) Trace data of the scanning line in (A) directed by the red arrow. The platform indicates the ferritin cluster. The red curve fitted by a plateau function serves as a guide to the eye. (C) Magnified figure of the gold dashed box in (B). The sharp transition indicated by the red arrow around x = 283 nm shows the scanning from the blank area to the area with ferritins. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8038.last_img read more

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VIDEO How did an SUV end up on the roof of a

first_img Advertisement An SUV ended up on the roof of a St. Louis home after a Dukes of Hazzard curb jump.This as reported by WEAU13:“Neighbors say it happened while the homeowner was away. Investigators believe the SUV drove up onto the homeowner’s lawn before launching onto the roof. The St. Louis Fire Department had to use their high ladder to rescue the driver. He is in critical condition.”When reached for comment, Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane said the driver was just a good ol’ boy and wasn’t meanin’ no harm. The biggest question left is, “What are these Duke boys gonna get into next?” The unreal accident scene was filmed by the St. Louis Fire Department by drone, which is, in itself, pretty cool.last_img read more

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