TORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for the $5 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw.However, the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Quebec.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on July 5 will be approximately $7 million.
VANCOUVER – First Nations, environmental groups and local governments appeared in the Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver today continuing their fight against the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.Chief Ian Campbell of the Squamish First Nation says the federal government failed to consult or gain consent of First Nations for expansion of the oil pipeline, so they have little choice but to try to protect their land and water in the courts.Campbell told a news conference the government didn’t adequately study the impacts that a spill of diluted bitumen could have in the band’s waters, which isn’t good governance.First Nations, the cities of Burnaby and Vancouver, and two environmental groups are asking the court to overturn the federal government’s decision to approve the expansion of the $7.4-billion pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.Both the B.C. and Alberta governments are interveners in the court action, on opposing sides of the argument.The trial is expected to last about two weeks.
WINNIPEG – Indigenous people continue to suffer from racism connected to hydroelectric development in northern Manitoba, the grand chief for the area said two weeks after a review found abuse and violence dating back to the 1960s.“Our people have been oppressed. Our people have been treated as if they are second-class citizens in their own lands,” said Garrison Settee, head of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak.“There’s going to be a paradigm shift in how business is conducted in MKO territory.”Settee was joined by Martina Saunders, an Indigenous woman who has filed a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.Saunders said she resigned last year from a board of directors that has been overseeing construction of Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask generating station, because she and other Indigenous members were being ignored and bullied.“I didn’t feel safe to voice my concerns or to speak up on behalf of my First Nation any more, sitting at that board, so I had to step down.”Boards and committees set up by Manitoba Hydro — a provincial Crown corporation — in conjunction with Indigenous communities are ineffective because they are dominated by the utility’s representatives, Saunders said.A spokesman for Manitoba Hydro said the corporation had been unaware of the human rights complaint.“We are aware of Ms. Saunders’ views, but do not agree with them,” Bruce Owen wrote in an email.“We did not know until today’s media reports that she had filed a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. We will fully co-operate with that process if it moves forward.”A report released last month by the province’s Clean Environment Commission — an arm’s-length review agency — cited racism, discrimination and sexual abuse at Manitoba Hydro work sites in the 1960s.Much of the development at that time was centered around the community of Gillam and the nearby Fox Lake Cree Nation.The report said the arrival of a largely male construction workforce led to the sexual abuse of Indigenous women, some of whom said their complaints were ignored by the RCMP.There was also racial tension, environmental degradation and an end to the traditional way of life for some Indigenous people, the report said.Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires called the allegations disturbing and said she is referring the issue to the RCMP to examine how complaints were handled.
130 members of Cupe 2723 will strike at midnight if they don’t agree to a revamped contract. Last weekend the Burlington bus drivers and some mechanics turned down the city’s offer, prompting more negotiations.Commuters on the other hand are worried of the potential strike as they will need to start thinking about an alternative way to get to work.
Ramelius Resources has reached a development decision in respect to its Edna May gold mineoperations near Westonia, Western Australia. Starting early-2019, Ramelius will commence underground mining operations at Edna May as part of its wider regional development strategy for the area. Ore production is expected from the start of FY2020 as a result, with an initial life of two and a half years.Prior to the acquisition of Edna May by Ramelius, Evolution Mining Ltd spent approximatelyA$20 million on a mine portal inside the current open pit plus some 250 m of vertical development, providing Ramelius with access to high grade ore without the normal large capitaldevelopment and timing imposts associated with fresh development. The decision to move underground as opposed to carrying out a large ‘Stage 3’ open pit cutback was based on a number of considerations including lower economic risk with the significantly higher grade underground ore feed; savings on capital expenditure associated with a large pit cutback of ~A$100m; immediate access to high grade underground ore instead of a large open pit pre-strip with delayed ore access; and the recently announced acquisition of the Marda Gold Project allowing additional ore scheduling flexibility.The Edna May orebody is open at depth with high grade intersections seen down to 600 m below surface. In addition to the commencement of underground mining, Ramelius also intends to conduct further diamond drilling during the 2020 Financial Year below the current reserve envelope to target further extensions to a depth of 600-700 metres below surface.Ramelius Managing Director, Mark Zeptner said: “The decision to move down the underground path at Edna May is not one that has been taken lightly. After extensive studies and considering our future options around other potential ore sources in the area, we believe this is a prudent decision that will lead to exceptional future outcomes for our shareholders. “The considerable savings in group capital expenditure and the use of conservative geological assumptions gives the company added flexibility in considering other future strategic options for Ramelius as we look tofurther increase group production and profits in the years ahead.”
ITV NEWS HAS broadcast video footage purportedly showing the suspects and victims at the heart of the domestic servitude case in London.The images were obtained from a 1997 documentary which examined the suspicious circumstances of the death of a British woman. Sian Davies died after falling from a window in the Maoist group’s Brixton house and there are suggestions that the youngest woman rescued last week is her daughter.The pictures show suspects Aravindan Balakrishnan and Comrade Chanda outside the inquest into the commune member.Chanda, now 67, pictured in a wheelchair in 1997. (Image: ITV News)There is also footage of women at the door of the group’s home. The broadcaster reported that two of the women are those at the centre of the investigation.The Irish woman in the video has been identifed as Armagh native Josephine Herivel by British media. It is believed that she is the well-educated daughter of mathematician John Herivel who was a World War II code-breaker for the British army.The Daily Telegraph reports that he was part of the Bletchley Park team that cracked the German Enigma ciphers in 1940. The newspaper says Josephine has two sisters who she grew up with in Belfast but was estranged in the 1970s after moving to London for study, getting caught up in the commune.Obituaries for her father mention only two daughters, Mary and Susan.The second woman, a 67-year-old Malaysian called Aishah Waham, also appears in the video.Image: ITV NewsAccording to press reports from 1978, both women were arrested during a raid on the Brixton property.It emerged this week that the two suspects, 73-year-old Balakrishnan and his 67-year-old wife Chanda, were leaders of a Maoist collective that has links with at least 13 properties in London.Extreme communists, they admired China’s Mao Tse Tung and recruited people with similar ideologies.Read: London slavery case couple were leaders of a Maoist collectiveMore: Suspect in London slavery case is older than first thoughtRelated: Slavery suspects linked to 13 properties across London
The number of students sitting this year at Modern Greek VCE exams will be about the same as last year. Although an official record will not be available until 2010 the estimated number of students is 300. In 2008, the number of students taking the Modern VCE exam was 292. This is a sharp decrease by more than 120 per cent compared with the number recorded 10 years before. In 1998, 643 students had taken the Modern Greek VCE exams. Ever since, this number shows a steady decline. This troubling decrease is attributed to three major factors, according to experienced educator, Maria Foskolos, a Greek Teacher at the Victorian School of Languages for the Distance Education Program. “First and foremost it starts with the family,” Mrs Foskolos points out. She explained that the lack of motivation and to some extent the unwillingness to exert pressure on children to continue with Greek language classes is the leading factor for the discouraging numbers. “If the parents do not persist it’s only natural for the kids to give up easily,” Mrs Foskolos said. This is further highlighted by the fact that enrolments for Greek language classes on a primary level have recorded an increase over recent years. However, this trend is quickly reversed when children move to secondary level education. The shortage of experienced and qualified teachers is another key factor for the low Greek VCE numbers, Mrs Foskolos suggested. It has become a common complaint among Greek language educators that the deficiencies in personnel have significantly affected the Greek language programs. Additionally, the complexity and perplexity of the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) system is a major contributing factor to the low numbers of students taking Modern Greek VCE exams. “The bonus point system is so difficult to figure out that as Greek educators we have held numerous meeting trying to address the issue but to no avail,” Mrs Foskolos stressed. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The mayor of the Athens neighbourhood of Zografou, Tina Kafatsaki, is due to appear in court this week as part of the judicial investigation into five local authority chiefs who refused to provide employees’ details as part of government checks.Simos Roussos, the mayor of Halandri in North Eastern Athens, was due in the Appeals Court this week but was given until October 29 to prepare.The other three mayors being investigated are Giorgos Ioakimidis of Nikaia-Rendi, Costas Peletidis of Patra and Larissa’s Apostolos Kaloyiannis.They have all refused to cooperate with the Administrative Reform Ministry over civil servants’ evaluation and checks on employees whose fixed-term contracts were made permanent almost a decade ago.Source: Kathimerini
When talking about modern day drones you usually need to make a distinction between the flying robots the government uses to fight forever wars and the flying robots indie filmmakers use to get sick aerial shots. DJI products firmly fall in the latter. However, one look at the DJI RoboMaster S1 had us wondering if the company was considering the former. But don’t worry, this land drone will educate your kid, not eradicate them. Geek Pick: Shure MV88+ Is An Excellent, On the Go Microphone KitGeek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your Walls Can you see why we’re so spooked by this thing though? The DJI RoboMaster totally continues the trend of kids toys look increasingly militarized. It rolls around on four rugged grey wheels that can strafe side to side along with forward and back. Combine that with a mounted head turret swiveling in all directions and the drone is capable of complex smooth movement that just looks unnerving.At least for adults. Kids will probably get a kick out of the level of precision they have when controlling the drone. After initially constructing it like a model kit, users can directly control the robot with a mobile app or with an optional $80 video game console-esque controller. While directly controlling the drone you guide its movement as well as aim the turret. The turret shoots soft gel beads and also acts as a surprisingly crisp HD camera.What the RoboMaster S1 is truly capable of though is up to the creativity of the user. Customize the body of the robot itself thanks to its modular design and multiple types of USB ports. You can also program the robot with support for multiple coding languages. Scratch is a great accessible way to introduce children to code concepts. Python takes them to the next level with power strong enough even for professionals. So the DJI RoboMaster S1 might just help your kid get a cushy white-collar job, not just a ticket to the next season of BattleBots.For more on the DJI RoboMaster S1 check out the extensive review on our sister site PCMag. For more on robots check out these hummingbird drones and NASA robots for future space missions.More on Geek.com: Stay on target Geek Pick: Ecobee Thermostat Is Smarter With Voice ControlGeek Pick: Shark Ion Cleaning System S87 Is a Pricey, Powerful Robot VacuumGeek Pick: Juku 3Doodler Create+ Is A 3D Printing Pen Set
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 26 May 2015 – Charles Hubert James Primary School and Adelaide Oemler Primary School on North Caicos, Marjorie Basden and Iris Stubbs in South Caicos and Ianthe Pratt Primary School in Providenciales are the five schools to benefit from Grace Bay Club Foundation’s 3rd annual Fundraiser set for this Friday, May 29th. Directors of the GBRC invite the public to attend the initiative which was first launched by the organization in 2009 to help in the advancement of school projects. There is a $50 dollar cover charge to enter the event which is being held at the Grace Bay Club resort – attendees will receive a signature drink and hors d’oeuvres. Thousands of dollars in prizes will auctioned off with the featured prize being round trip ticket to New York for two on Jet Blue, two night stay in a Junior Suite at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York and Two Tickets (2) in a private suite to Billy Joel Concert in New York beginning in August in Madison Square Garden. Dr. Carlton Mills of the Grace Bay Club Community Foundation says an estimated half a million dollars has been raised for schools in North Caicos, Providenciales and South Caicos through various programs over the years. Related Items:Adelaide Oemler Primary School, Charles Hubert James Primary School, grace bay club community foundation, Ianthe Pratt Primary School, Iris Stubbs, marjorie basden, south caicos Recommended for you South Caicos student new Junior Tourism Minister for TCI Teen dies mysteriously in South Caicos, Police investigate State of Emergency Declared for South Caicos
Newly appointed Republic of Ireland head coach Mick McCarthy has revealed he is excited about working with U-21 team boss, Stephen Kenny.Mick McCarthy returns to that role for his second stint following his previous spell which involved leading the Irish team to the second round of the World Cup in 2002.The former Ipswich Town boss was confirmed as the head coach by FAI on Sunday, with Stephen Kenny, who takes over as U-21 boss, has been confirmed as his successor after the Euros in 2020.Kenny will face the press on Monday but, on Sunday, it was the turn of McCarthy and FAI Chief John Delaney to field questions about the man who will take over the reigns in 2020.McCarthy revealed he was meeting with Kenny on Sunday and joked the Dundalk manager was paying the bill for their dinner.Report: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…“Not very well,” said McCarthy when asked how well he knows Kenny, according to Extratime.ie“That’s not an issue though. I’m working with the national team with Terry [Connor] and Robbie [Keane].“Ruud [Dokter] is there in terms of advice on some of the young players, and Stephen will hopefully be shoving players through from the 21s and banging their drum.”“We’ve got eight or ten games between March and November. I’ve got a lot of time from now to March to get to know everybody, go and see the players, find out a lot of things about a lot of people, and develop a relationship with him.”“I hope I’ll leave a team that’s qualified, and a good team and squad, behind for him to take over and qualify for the World Cup in 2022.”
Supermarket retailer Morrisons is due to face equal pay claims from thousands of current and former shop staff, potentially costing the organisation up to £100 million in settlements.Law firm Roscoe Reid, which is representing the claimants alongside workers’ rights organisation Pay Justice, stated that it has received more than 5,000 expressions of interest from full-time, part-time and casual staff who either currently or used to work across Morrisons’ 500 UK stores.The claims relate to the difference in pay between employees working on the supermarket’s shop floor, who are predominantly female, and staff based at its distribution centres, who are mainly male.The law currently states that men and women should be paid equally for completing the same job or for doing jobs of equal value. The claimants argue that the shop work they perform is of the same value as work carried out in distribution centres, and that they should therefore receive the same benefits, such as pay, bonus payments, holidays and sick leave, as their colleagues based in Morrisons’ warehouses.If Morrisons decides not to settle the claims, the Employment Tribunal (ET) will appoint an expert to assess both the shop floor jobs and warehouse roles. This expert will determine whether, on the whole, the two jobs provide equal value to the employer. Roscoe Reid estimates that the total claim value per person could amount to £15,000.Morrisons, headquartered in Bradford, West Yorkshire, employs more than 130,000 individuals in the UK.A spokesperson at Morrisons said: “We are perplexed that this law firm is talking about ‘thousands’ of claimants as they have written to us recently with a significantly smaller list of claimants. We believe we pay our [employees] fairly and equally for the job that they do, irrespective of their gender, and we will be defending this claim.”Ellie Pinnells, lawyer at Roscoe Reid, added: “There is a clear case that female roles have been underpaid for a long time and employees are very likely to win their equal pay cases. Asda has tried to fight every point, but has had a string of defeats in court. Let’s hope Morrisons takes a different approach and tries to put an end to a decade [of] unfair pay on [its] shop floors.”
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Alabama Military Stability Foundation is seeking feedback from firms and entities with knowledge and experience in fiscal impact analysis, economic development, defense contracting and/or business consulting to support its continuing defense supply chain assessment efforts.DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) provides grants to state and local governments to support projects meant to mitigate the impact of defense cuts. The Alabama Military Stability Foundation has been preliminarily approved to receive OEA funding to support a continuing effort to assess the Alabama defense supply chain while assisting defense contractors with diversification efforts. The Foundation would welcome your feedback regarding the proposed research methodology and any suggestions you may have regarding how we might be able to improve our approach to gathering this important information.Responses to this request must be received by the Foundation no later than Friday, Aug. 12 at 4 p.m. CST. Responses received after this deadline will not be considered.Questions may be directed to Lora McClendon, executive director, Alabama Military Stability Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (334) 245-4330. A copy of the full request for information is available here.
Ruhul Kabir RizviBNP on Monday termed mockery road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader’s comment that this year’s Eid will be the most comfortable one in the country’s history, reports UNB.”We would like to say this Eid will be the most painful one as the country’s most popular leader has been kept in jail by force. Farmers don’t have the joy of Eid as they were deprived of fair prices of paddy while the teachers of many schools and madrasas are also not in euphoric mood of Eid as they’re yet to get salary and bonus,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Naya Paltan central office, he also said shopping malls across the country are not witnessing the rush of customers ahead of Eid as people have not enough money for shopping.The BNP leader said several crore youths remained unemployed while around 5 million opposition leaders and activists are either in jail or on the run to avoid arrest in ‘false’ cases. “They don’t have the joy of Eid. So, Obaidul Quader’s remark about the most comfortable Eid is serious mockery to repressed people.”Rizvi voiced deep concern over RAB director general Benazir Ahmed’s comment that around 300 out of 512 militants arrested by the elite force since the Holey Artisan Bakery attack in 2016 were released on bail, and most of them have gone into hiding.”The entire nation is stunned over the RAB DG’s comment. We know the lower court is completely under the government’s control while opposition and human rights activists and even lawyers don’t get bail from it. So, how the dangerous militants are securing bail from the government controlled lower court?” he said.The BNP leader said people have long been suspecting whether the government is staging a drama in planned way in the name of drive against militants. “The RAB DG’s remark has deepened it further.”He also questioned as to how the militates are going into hiding coming out of jail since BNP leaders and activists are being rearrested at jail gates minutes after their release on bail.
Share RACHEL OSIER LINDLEY / KERA NEWSSigns for North Texas candidates outside Ridgewood-Belcher Recreation Center in Dallas on March 7.Dallas County prosecutors are investigating possible fraud regarding more than 1,200 mail-in ballot applications for the 2018 elections. The applications from West Dallas, Grand Prairie and parts of the Oak Cliff area of Dallas are from the same areas where voter fraud was suspected in last year’s municipal elections.The applications were turned over to the district attorney after warning signs were seen. For example, some of the applications were filled out last fall, but weren’t submitted for a mail-in ballot until January and February.And according to the Dallas Morning News, four of the potential voters on the suspicious applications were dead — one of them for several years.No one’s been accused of a crime, and no voter, so far, has complained of mail-in ballot abuse.
Here’s a mediocre movie that’s actually a lot more fun to unpack as a pop-culture “moment” than it is to watch – but, then… it’s also actually pretty fun to watch.The Great Wall is a very, very, very silly movie. The operating premise is that Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal (but really mostly Matt Damon) are a pair of medieval European mercenaries (I think?). They are traveling to the mysterious Far East in search of the magical new invention called “gunpowder” who instead get grabbed up at the Chinese border by The Nameless Order – a specialized top-secret army detachment that maintains The Great Wall of China. While there, they discover that (contrary to history) said Great Wall was built not to repel The Mongols. Instead, it’s built to ward off semi-annual attacks by an army of alien/wolf/lizard monsters that (wouldn’t you know it?) is due to hit a day or so after the two Westerners have arrived.That’s pretty dumb. But it’s also, perhaps, the kind of the “right kind” of dumb. These things are all execution-dependent, obviously; but in its better moments The Great Wall does almost approach a kind of Sinbad-era Ray Harryhausen vibe that I, at least, generally find pretty agreeable. It’s rather far from a “great” version of that, granted – but agreeably serviceable, absolutely.What’s interesting, on the other hand, is the stuff that’s tucked away just under the surface in the form of (decidedly unsubtle) pop-cultural and geopolitical subtext. The discussion of the film in the West has largely focused on its seeming employment of the tedious “White Savior” narrative, a la The Last Samurai, Dances With Wolves, Avatar and dozens of other well-meaning colonialist cultural-adoption adventures. But while that’s absolutely what The Great Wall wants to be seen as (make no mistake: Western credited-screenwriters or not, this is very much Dailan Wanda-owned Legendary Pictures. Thet are aiming squarely at selling a Chinese-produced blockbuster bearing the unmistakable implicit thumbs-up of China’s state-run film industry to American audiences by centering Matt Damon) what it’s actually doing on a narrative level is a little bit more complicated. To be certain: As a movie, it’s pretty forgettable – but as an artifact of this moment in time it’s actually kind of fascinating.What essentially presented with here is a Chinese cultural-superiority “lite-propaganda” piece dressed-up in the technical trappings of a ‘White Savior’ movie in an attempt to make that aforementioned narrative palatable to an American and/or more broadly Western audience. So while Damon is the audience point-of-view character and he does superficially go through the expected “Mighty Whitey” motions, all told he’s not very much of a hero in the details.Right from the start, Damon and Pascal’s main role for much of the film is to be amazed and impressed by how advanced, and superior the Great Wall itself is, the Chinese characters’ bravery, their ingenuity, how next-level their science and technology is, etc. The Western interlopers are consistently presented as scruffy, slovenly, amoral barbarians compared to the virtuous, handsome, immaculately costumed Chinese heroes. Except of course, for the mincing nobles, whose cowardice is meant to mark the braver Generals as spiritual-ancestors of the People’s Government. This follows the standard tropes for modern Chinese historical-fantasy; right down to the Nameless Order getting gloriously-overdesigned rainbow-colored armor while Damon and Pascal look like they just wandered over from a Mad Max movie.To the degree that Damon’s glorified audience-translator has a character arc to speak of it’s all about unlearning his dishonorable Western values of greed and selfishness and embracing the Chinese values of teamwork and self-sacrifice. We get the expected scenes where he gets bright ideas and rushes into battle to save China, but it always ends up as a group effort and he seldom gets to be the head of the spear. His main contribution to the cause ends up being that he’s accidentally carrying a random object that turns out to be monster-kryptonite – but even then it’s Andy Lau (as the chief military strategist) who recognizes this fact and figures out how to use it.Suffice it to say; there’s a lot going on underneath the otherwise bog-standard monster-siege storyline in the “meta” sense. Unfortunately, even though The Great Wall is aiming to co-opt the cultural-supremacist White Savior narrative in order to play out a different cultural-supremacist narrative of its own. It’s not really trying to “subvert” the trope either, so it can’t help but drag along all the familiar, tedious, problematic baggage that comes with it. However much he’s being undermined as a would-be Western messiah figure, the film can’t quite shake the sense that this story is apparently only important for us to hear because Matt Damon was there to tell us about it. So even if his ultimate role ends up to be providing cover-fire and emotionally-supportive cheerleading to Jing Tian as Jin Mae, a female soldier who is (narrative-wise) the actual hero of the movie.In fact, once his backstory is largely spoken for, Damon’s main job is seemingly to provide English narration for the story of how Jin Mae is elevated from the leader of the Great Wall’s elite all-female bungee-jumping/spear-fighting Crane Division to the General of the entire goddamn operation over the course of the siege. And if there’s a reason to see The Great Wall outside of a cultural curiosity-item, she’s it. Pretty much all of the characters are strictly two-dimensional, but Tian has remarkable screen presence, and it’s decidedly refreshing to see a female action-hero in a movie where the fact of her gender never remotely weighs on the plot and who isn’t a sex object or a love interest. Damon’s character kind of falls in “humbled awestruck respect” with her, while she seems to regard him less like a fellow person and more like a friendly, roughhousing puppy, she’s eventually pleased to have domesticated.Also, Pascal’s character is a Spaniard (I can’t even begin to work out what accent Damon thinks his character is meant to have, on the other hand…) who kills a monster by deploying his mastery of matador bullfighting skills. I just feel like I should mention that this is a thing that happens.So, then, as a pop-footnote to the bigger story of China’s ascension to 21st Century economic and cultural superpower, there’s a lot of intriguing stuff to unpack here. But as a movie? It’s otherwise pretty disposable. The actual story is very bare bones; the characters are all stock-types relying on actor charisma to sink or swim and while the monsters are interestingly designed the CGI used to realize them is not exactly cutting-edge. Plus, since the enemies aren’t at all humanoid, you don’t even get much of the elaborate hand-to-hand combat sequences one can usually count on Chinese action cinema for – which is ultimately a shame since what little we do see feels like a tease for a better movie.On the plus side, it looks gorgeous. Director Zhang Yimou has basically two modes as a filmmaker and artist. The first is intensely personal, poetic meditations (Raise The Red Lantern, Red Sorghum). The second is a bombastic patriotic spectacle “doin’ the job” for the homeland (Hero, the gonzo Christian Bale/Rape of Nanking drama Flowers of War). And while The Great Wall is decidedly on the lesser-end of that less-interesting second category the man sure as hell knows how to paint a pretty picture. There’s a scene of characters sneaking through a literal sewer in the third act of this film that’s more colorful, lovingly presented and immaculately shot than most of this year’s Best Picture nominees. And like I said if it connects it could be a star-making turn for Jing Tian (who, it must be said, is almost alarmingly beautiful even as the film steadfastly refuses to sexualize her character). Especially since she has high profile Western projects in Pacific Rim 2 and Kong: Skull Island coming up next.Overall, judged strictly on its own merits, The Great Wall is an attractive but trivial movie: Pretty but empty, textually-problematic but subtextually-intriguing, worth a look but perhaps not a committed seeking out.
Kolkata: With October being the breast cancer awareness month, various organisations in the city and some hospitals have been organising programmes to highlight the importance of breast cancer awareness, education and research.A worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations and people is conducted every year during this month. Various hospitals both private and state-run ones organise camps for early detection and treatment of the patients. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA private hospital in Howrah commemorated World Breast Cancer Awareness Month by introducing ‘Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation Treatment (APBI) via Interstitial Brachytherapy in Breast Cancer’ for the first time in the Eastern India. APBI treatment is newer, localised alternative that delivers the effective radiation does directly to thetissue at risk. This targeted therapy reduces treatment time and may limit adverse side effects, particularly those involving the heart and lungs. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOne of the ways to give APBI is via Interstitial Brachytherapy catheters implanted at the time of surgery. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance of it being cured.According to World Health Organisation (WHO), there are about 1.38 million new cases and 4,58,000 deaths from breast cancer each year.Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low and middle-income countries, the incidence rate has risen steadily in the last few years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanisation and adoption of western lifestyles.
Register Now » 2 min read October 21, 2014 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Warning: This is not science fiction. The U.S. Military is making plans to inject people’s brains with artificially intelligent nanobots that will give them awesome, Wolverine-like powers to heal themselves.Yes, this sounds like a crock of futuristic crazysauce from the pages of a Marvel Comics thriller, but this is for real.DARPA, the American government’s controversial, ultra high-tech military gadget and research lab, is developing wireless, “ultra-miniaturized” and injectable electronic devices that could eventually — and quite literally — get on people’s nerves. Luckily only in ways that heal their pain and keep them healthy. Or so the Department of Defense-funded agency says.Related: Self-Healing Phones? Try Roads That Fix Themselves.The agency remains mum on exactly how the devices will be injected, other than to say that they “would require only minimally invasive insertion producers such as injectable delivery through a needle.”The five-year, $80 million government bankrolled neuroprosthetic research program is fittingly called the Electrical Prescriptions initiative. But you can call it ElecRx (pronounced electrics) for short. It’s part of President Obama’s BRAIN campaign to help “warfighters and civilians suffering from traumatic injury and neuropsychiatric illness.”DARPA says the goal of the project is to create “new, high-precision, minimally invasive technologies for modulating nerve circuits to restore and maintain human health.” Translated, the hope is that the agency’s tiny “intelligent pacemaker” implants — as miniscule as individual nerve fibers — will replace medications. They might also render obsolete the bulky, card deck-sized surgical brain implants already in use today to treat things like depression, epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Related: Want to Run Faster? This Old-School Concept Might Hold the Answer. Functioning in a seamless, “closed-loop system,” the government’s smart nano doohickeys would act like mini remote controls that automatically monitor and regulate the body’s peripheral nervous system 24/7. They would constantly adjust the users’ internal organs and how they respond to injury, infection and other imbalances.Yep, the little doodads could one day help people heal themselves. Let’s just hope that’s the only thing they’re used for (insert skeptical, mind-control comment here).Related: FDA Approves First Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm
(Credit: bitt24/Shutterstock)Vitamins and other nutrients that we cannot make for ourselves are called essential. It’s a misleading term because “essential” most often means “important,” but in the world of dietetics, it denotes that we must obtain it in our diets. For example, vitamin Q, also called ubiquinone, is extremely important – it’s crucial for cellular respiration in the mitochondria – but it is not deemed essential because our cells simply make this biomolecule from already available parts.Humans have a very needy diet when it comes to essential micronutrients, more so than other animals. This likely stems from an evolutionary past in which our ancestors enjoyed a richly varied diet and obtaining vitamins and minerals was rarely a challenge. As I’ve written previously, we need vitamin C in our diet, whereas most animals don’t, because a distant ancestor already had abundant vitamin C in her diet when she suffered the mutation that killed one of the genes for vitamin C synthesis. The story of vitamin D deficiency is another example of wonky evolution in our lineage that you can read about here.Our bodies have their share of traits that don’t necessarily align with the principles of good design. Vitamin B12 though, may be one of the worst offenders.Essential and ImportantVitamin B12 actually refers to a family of closely related molecules called the cobalmins, so named because they incorporate an ion of the element cobalt in their structure. In fact, this is the only known biological purpose of the element cobalt, which is why it is sometimes called an “ultratrace element” in the human diet. But it’s crucial for our survival — every single cell in our body requires B12 to function properly. We need it to make fatty acids, amino acids and to replicate and repair DNA. The nervous system is especially dependent on B12 because many fatty acids are used to make myelin, the sheaths that wrap our neurons and nerve bundles.Deficiencies of B12 cause an affliction called macrocytic anemia. This condition resembles some of the side effects of cancer chemotherapy and has the same root cause: Cells that are rapidly dividing are especially sensitive to impaired DNA synthesis. The stem cells in our bone marrow that generate blood cells are among the most actively dividing cells in the body, so when DNA synthesis is impaired, either by chemotherapeutic drugs or a vitamin B12 deficiency, we experience a drop in blood cell counts, zapping our energy and weakening our immune system. This condition can be life-threatening if it continues for too long.(Credit: Cozine/Shutterstock)B12 is the only nutrient in the human diet that simply must come from animal products. The best source of B12 is meat, including both red and white meat, fish, and seafood. Eggs and milk have some B12 as well. Plants and fungi, however, have no need for B12 and therefore do not contain any of it. Strict vegans have no choice but to supplement their diet with B12 somehow, often through fortified soy or almond milk.This begs the question: If animal products are the only source of B12, how do herbivores survive?Maker CultureThe secret is in their guts. Vegetarian animals harbor bacteria in their intestines that make vitamin B12 for them. This is a symbiosis of sorts where the herbivores provide a steady supply of food and a nice warm home, and the bacteria excrete B12 that the herbivores then absorb.This arrangement may seem familiar because humans have a similar sort of relationship with bacteria that produce vitamin K for us. You’ve likely never heard of it because we don’t have to worry about consuming this particular vitamin. Instead, several different bacterial species that live in our large intestine make and excrete vitamin K and we absorb it from there. Because vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting, we would be in big trouble if not for this symbiosis in our gut. In fact, one of the side effects of a sustained course of strong antibiotics is impaired blood clotting, as the antibiotics wipe out our intestinal bacteria and we experience a temporary deficiency in vitamin K.It would seem helpful if we had the same set-up with B12 — and we actually do. In fact, many of the same bacteria that make vitamin K for us also produce B12. So what’s the problem?Intestinal SwitcherooIt turns out to be a case of bad plumbing. The bacteria that are nice enough to make this nutrient for us live in our large intestine, but we are only capable of absorbing it in our small intestine. Because the small intestine comes before the large intestine in the flow of gastrointestinal traffic, we end up sending the B12 that our gut bacteria produce right to the toilet, rather than absorbing it. What a waste!In case you were wondering, a study did find that human fecal matter is indeed high enough in cobalmins to serve as an adequate dietary source of vitamin B12. I wouldn’t recommend turning to the toilet for your B12, though.Exactly how this glitch in our gastrointestinal functioning came about is largely a mystery. Most primates are herbivorous and indeed all of our fellow apes subsist on a fully or mostly plant-based diet. It is therefore likely that we descend from a long line of vegetarians. During the millions of years our ancestors thrived on plants, they surely were able to capture the vitamin B12 that was being made by bacteria in their guts, or else they wouldn’t have survived. Once our forebears began scavenging meat and bone marrow, they found themselves with a steady supply of dietary vitamin B12, which then grew in abundance when we began to hunt. It must have been during this meat-eating stage in our evolution that we began to absorb B12 in the small intestine instead of the large one. We are now stuck with this odd arrangement, making humans, at least in this very narrow sense, obligate carnivores.Evolution is not a straight path toward an ever more perfect form. There are zigs and zags and plenty of quirks that manage to escape the watchful eye of natural selection. Our relationship with B12 is just one of the many idiosyncrasies that make us unique, for better or worse.