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Heartbreak for India, boxer Vijender loses in Olympic quarter-finals

first_imgIndia’s hopes of a second medal from boxing at the 2012 London Olympics received a major setback on Monday with middleweight maestro Vijender Singh crashing out in the quarter-finals of the 75kg category.The Indian went down 13-17 to Uzbekistan’s Abbos Atoev in a highly technical and closely fought encounter in front of a packed Excel arena.Vijender started off on par with his rival in a tentative first round that ended with the scores tied at 3 points each. However, he failed to keep pace with Atoev in the second and third rounds, losing each of them 5-7, as the Uzbek switched gears and ran away with the bout.Vijender’s shock exit means that only one Indian men’s boxer, Devendro Singh, is still in the medal hunt at the 30th Summer Games.last_img read more

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Novak Djokovic maintains top spot, Rohan Bopanna drops in doubles rankings

first_imgSerbian tennis star Novak Djokovic held on to his place as No.1 in the latest rankings released on Monday, increasing his lead after claiming the Madrid Open title.Djokovic defeated Scot Andy Murray on Sunday in the final to add a further 1,000 points to be clear at the top, with over 9,000 points ahead of second-placed Swiss Roger Federer, reports Efe.Murray dropped to third place in the rankings after losing the Madrid final.In the men’s doubles rankings, India’s Rohan Bopanna dropped two places to the 13th spot after losing the Madrid Open final with his partner Florin Mergea on Sunday.Veteran Leander Paes jumped three spots to 54th in the rankings.The current rankings and point scores are as follows:1. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 16.550 points2. Roger Federer (Switzerland) 7.5253. Andy Murray (Scotland) 7.5254. Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) 6.3805. Rafael Nadal (Spain) 5.6756. Kei Nishikori (Japan) 4.2907. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) 3.4008. Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) 2.9409. David Ferrer (Spain) 2.92010. Milos Raonic (Canada) 2.740.last_img read more

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Suspended Sentence Appealed

first_imgThe Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service will appeal the three- year suspended sentence given to Charles Marlowe Marsman on Aug. 18, by a justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Mr. Marsman pleaded guilty on March 2, 2006 to a charge of aggravated assault against Const. Sean Martin of the Halifax Regional Police. The police officer was beaten unconscious on Feb. 7, 2005 while attempting to arrest Mr. Marsman for illegal possession of liquor. At a sentencing hearing Aug. 17, 2006, the Crown sought a sentence of three years incarceration. The Crown is appealing on the following grounds: — that the sentence ordered inadequately reflects the objectives of denunciation and deterrence; — that the sentence ordered is inadequate considering the nature of the offence. “Appealing this sentence is appropriate,” said Martin Herschorn, director of public prosecutions. “The Crown believes the seriousness of the offence warrants a custodial sentence that sends a strong message this conduct will not be tolerated.”last_img read more

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UN preparing to build 10000 homes in Afghanistan to house returning refugees

14 December 2009The United Nations refugee agency is slated to build a further 10,000 homes in Afghanistan next year in a bid to ease the return of Afghans who have fled decades of violence in the war-wracked nation and encourage more to come home, a senior official told reporters in Kabul today. Since 2002, around 5 million Afghan refugees have taken the decision to return, mostly from Pakistan and Iran, swelling the overall population by some 20 per cent.“This is the huge figure for such a poor country to absorb,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Country Representative Ewen MacLeod at an end-of-year press conference.There are still an estimated 2.6 million Afghan refugees outside the country, the majority going into exile more than 25 years ago after the Soviet invasion in December 1979, he said.“This year, in 2009, the figure for return was 54,000,” said Mr. McLeod. “This represents quite a significant decrease since 2008.” Mr. McLeod cited a worsening security situation, increasing difficulties for humanitarian agencies to access many parts of the country, concerns over the lack of employment and economic opportunities and the prolonged absence of the remaining refugees as reasons for the drop off in returnees this year.“We believe the key to maintaining these extremely high levels of return – that have been recorded since 2002 – are essentially economic,” said Mr. McLeod, noting that although UNHCR is unable to provide economic solutions, it helps with reintegration.“One thing that we have been associated with since 2002 is a housing programme,” he said. “Next year we anticipate building a further 10,000 housing units – that will bring the overall total that we have supported to 200,000 since 2002.”The Country Representative underscored that providing accommodation alone is inadequate to entice refugees to their homeland. They need schools for their children, health services for their family, and employment. read more

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Canadian went to China to debunk reports of antiMuslim repression but was

Olsi Jazexhi admits now he was hopelessly naïve.The Albanian-Canadian historian doubted reports that China systematically repressed its Uyghur Muslim minority, believing the West had concocted the allegations to whip up jihadi fervour against Beijing.So this August he joined a stage-managed tour for foreign journalists of Xinjiang province, where the minority group is concentrated.The excursion didn’t quite work out as planned.Olsi expected to debunk the narrative of widespread human-rights abuses. But in a strange tale of propaganda gone wrong, he instead found himself stunned by “concentration camps” where Muslims were banned from praying, forced to speak Mandarin and held for a year or more of Communist indoctrination.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.The whole idea of this visit, from the Chinese authorities’ viewpoint, was for us to sell a fake story to the worldParty officials assumed he would report that nothing was amiss in Xinjiang, but now Olsi is describing what he considers to be a large-scale campaign to wipe out the Uyghurs’ culture, language and religion.“The whole idea of this visit, from the Chinese authorities’ viewpoint, was for us to sell a fake story to the world, to tell the world there are no concentration camps,” Olsi said in an interview this week. “But what we saw shocked us … I couldn’t believe my eyes.”The YouTube videos of the camps he uploaded were cited earlier this week at a U.S. State Department seminar, and Olsi was slated to discuss his findings at universities in Montreal and Hamilton Thursday and Friday.The history PhD immigrated to Canada a decade ago, eventually becoming a Canadian citizen, but splits his time now between Toronto and Albania, where he teaches at a university.A contributor to the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, his research interests include nationalism and religious reformation. Terry Glavin: China cracks down on minorities again, and Canada says nothing Chinese envoy calls Muslim detention centres ‘campuses’ Tibetan-Canadian student politician, Uyghur rights activists come under attack by Chinese students in Canada Then the journalists visited the first of two “vocational training” centres that officials said were designed to de-radicalize extremists. Even from the outside it seemed like a “prison in the middle of the desert,” said Olsi.The visit began with a Chinese-flavoured song and dance routine staged by Uyghur students, but Olsi insisted on touring the facility, the first stop being a small dorm room packed with 10 bunk beds and side-by-side Asian-style toilets.On another stop, he asked a teacher if residents of the centre could pray. “No, not allowed,” was the response, since Chinese law forbids prayer in “schools.”Asked what sort of offences landed Uyghurs in the camp, the teacher cited the example of people who had gotten married in religious ceremonies, breaking Chinese law that requires them to obtain a marriage certificate.At another stop, he asked a succession of students why they had been forced into the camp. They spoke only Mandarin — not the Turkish-like Uyghur language — with their answers translated by officials. Buildings at the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center, believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar, Xinjiang province, China. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images One said he had downloaded a video that insisted Uyghurs who belong to the Communist Party are not true Muslims; a woman said she took part in “illegal” Koran classes at university and “forced” her mother to pray at home; another man said he watched an anti-Chinese video; and a fifth person that he downloaded material that said true Muslims must pray regularly.Some said they no longer prayed or considered themselves followers of Islam.“After she came to this training centre, she learned Mandarin Chinese, she learned science and technology, she learned more knowledge and she felt she doesn’t need that,” the translator said of the woman who had taken illicit Koranic lessons.When Olsi addressed them with the traditional Muslim greeting Salaam Alaykum (Peace be with you), they repeatedly answered Nihao, Mandarin for hello.“If you speak your own language … and if you show the slightest sign of religiosity, you will end up in a concentration camp,” he concluded.Olsi said he believes Beijing is deathly afraid of angering Muslim countries, many of which are key participants in its “Belt and Road” development initiative, and is organizing the media excursions to help manage opinion in those places.In fact, he said most of the journalists and other observers on his tour, and seven trips like it before his, wrote nothing negative about China’s treatment of Uyghurs.Fabio Massimo Parenti, associated with Italy’s anti-immigrant “Five Star Movement,” attended the tour after Olsi’s and wrote a glowing report that cited the centres as a bona fide response to terrorism. Video grab of a dorm room for “students” at a “vocational-training centre” for Uyghurs in Aksu, Xinjiang province, China. Independent human-rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have extensively documented mass-scale abuses against the Uyghurs. Most attention has focused on the detention of as many as two million in camps that Beijing says are designed to counteract extremism and teach vocational skills, but that critics call Orwellian re-education centres.Even so, Olsi was skeptical, and approached the Chinese embassy in Albania about doing research in Xinjiang.“I wanted to see myself if some foreign governments and media are trying to manipulate with the issue of Xinjiang,” he said. “My intention was to prove that this (allegation of widespread repression) is not true.”The journalists and others — mainly from central Asian and middle-Eastern countries — spent the first three days in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, listening to lectures, he said. The Uyghurs, they were told, were immigrants in a historically Han Chinese region, and Islam is a violent religion that directly threatens China.Even at that point, Olsi said he was prepared to view this as a standard sort of institutional Islamophobia, but not proof of organized repression.Related Olsi Jazexhi read more

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Football Mike Weber named to Doak Walker Award watch list

OSU redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (25) throws the ball out of the endzone during the 2017 Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 15, 2017. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorAs watch list season continued to roll on, redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber was placed on the Doak Walker Award watch list. The award is given to the running back who is recognized as the best at his position.In his first season of action for the Buckeyes, Weber led the team with 1,096 rushing yards after taking over the role as the primary running back. He was also tied with redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett for the team lead with nine rushing touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 212-pound bruising back was the third freshman to tally more than 1,000 yards on the ground in Ohio State history.Weber was the leading freshman in the Big Ten conference in yards per game with an average of 84.3. After a standout freshman season, he was recognized with the Big Ten’s Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year. He was also named to the freshman All-American team.The Doak Walker Award has been in place since 1989. Only one former Buckeye — Eddie George, during his Heisman-winning 1995 campaign — has won the award. read more

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Good progress at Browns Range rare earths

first_imgNorthern Minerals Managing Director, George Bauk provides a progress update on the Browns Range pilot plant project, under construction in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, including the following achievements:• Operational Readiness in progress, commissioning workshop held in Perth• Tony Hadley appointed GM Operations• Third and final main shipment of equipment and plant components has been delivered to Browns Range• Installation of Pilot Plant on track for completion by 30 June 2018• SPP underway, positive response, marketing by Oz Financial.Primero Group has all but completed concrete works in the process plant area and is making good progress with installation of structural steel and process plant modules, with completion on track for end June 2018.Delivery of the third and final main shipment of equipment and modular components from Sinosteel to Browns Range has been completed with 98% of the pilot plant equipment now at Browns Range. The next small shipment has left China and is due in Australia in February.Tony Hadley has been appointed to the position of General Manager for the project commencing mid-February. Tony spent 2.5 years with Northern Minerals as Process Manager during the feasibility study stages, undertaking metallurgical test work as well as developing the process flowsheet and operational strategies for the Project.His appointment strengthens the Operations team with several other key operational team members already engaged, including Louis de Klerk (R&D Manager), Mark Wild (Senior Process Engineer), Larry Fawell (Senior Chemist) and James Bainbridge (Maintenance Supervisor).The Operations team has commenced work on development of operations systems and procurement of key supply contracts and together with the Project, Sinosteel and Primero teams participated in a commissioning workshop in Perth to develop the commissioning plan for the project.Northern Minerals’ tenure around the Browns Range project covers an area of some 3,595 km2 and is centred on the Browns Range Dome, a major geological feature covering approximately 1,500 km2. The Dome is located in the northern Tanami region, within both Western Australia (WA) and the Northern Territory (NT).This massive landholding is highly prospective for heavy rare earth (HRE) mineralisation with outstanding potential for further discoveries. Northern Minerals’ exploration success to date has been exceptional, with six out of 13 targets converted to mineral resources and many more highly prospective targets identified.Northern Minerals has 100% ownership and marketing rights for all but three of the tenements covering the Browns Range Dome. The other three tenements are a Joint Venture with Toro Energy, where Northern Minerals is earning up to an 80% interest.last_img read more

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These Are the Games You Should Check Out in February 2019

first_imgStay on target Sorry, You Can’t Date Keanu Reeves in ‘Cyberpunk 2077”Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form January ended strong with games like Resident Evil 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3. Not to be outdone, February will see the release of even bigger titles, including the eagerly anticipated Anthem and the Xbox exclusive Crackdown 3.The industry really needs to learn to stagger its game releases. The number of games coming out on February 15 alone will seriously impact gamers’ wallets. There are 52 weeks in a year, after all.  Here are some of the games you’ll want to check out in February.AnthemPlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox OneRelease date: February 22Anthem is Bioware’s take on the “looter shooter” genre. This is confusing for some considering how the developer is best known for creating lore-heavy, narrative-driven experiences. I played the Anthem demo over the weekend and I’m still on the fence. On one hand, it’s a slick looking title that plays great. However, as a person who likes Bioware games for their rich stories, I’m not sure I’ll get the same level of depth from Anthem. With The Division 2 on the horizon, it’ll be interesting to see if Anthem can hold its own against a similar title.Pre-order Anthem on AmazonFar Cry: New DawnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox OneRelease date: February 15Far Cry: New Dawn is another quirky offshoot for the franchise. Set 17 years after a nuclear war, players must explore a post-apocalyptic land and attempt to free it from the clutches of marauders called The Highwaymen. Though post-apocalyptic games are a dime a dozen, New Dawn distinguishes itself with its pastel-colored artstyle. It’s also the first proper Far Cry sequel. Folks who enjoyed Far Cry 5 will no doubt want to see what happened to Hope County after the bombs dropped.Pre-order Far Cry: New Dawn on AmazonMetro ExodusPlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox OneRelease date: February 15Speaking about post-apocalyptic games, we also have Metro Exodus. Though it enjoys a strong following, the Metro franchise is not as popular as other first person shooters. This is disappointing considering how unique this series is. The only potential downside for PC players is that Metro Exodus is exclusive to the Epic Games store. Considering how all Metro titles will no longer be available on Steam, folks are understandably upset. Hopefully, this will not hamper the game’s chances of finally bringing the franchise into the mainstream.Pre-order Metro Exodus on AmazonCrackdown 3Platforms: PC, Xbox OneRelease date: February 15The long-delayed Crackdown 3 is finally seeing the light of day this month. It’s interesting how Microsoft has barely advertised this tile considering it’s the first big Xbox One exclusive of 2019. I won’t speculate on the lack of promotion, but I’m sure Xbox One fans hungry for a new exclusive are hyped. If you’re like me and still on the fence about Crackdown 3, you can always try it out via Xbox Game Pass. Hopefully, it’ll turn out as good or better than expected.Pre-order Crackdown 3 on AmazonJump ForcePlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox OneRelease date: February 15If you’re into anime and fighting games, Jump Force is right up your alley. Having anime characters from a myriad of different series is already enough, but Jump Force goes one step further by having the action take place in the real world. Seeing Dragon Ball Z’s Goku fighting One Piece’s Luffy in Times Square is certainly unreal. Unlike other fighting games, Jump Force doesn’t require players to learn insanely complex combos. If your fingers work, you can (pun intended) jump in and have fun.Pre-order Jump Force on AmazonGod Eater 3Platforms: PS4, Xbox OneRelease date: February 8Fans of the Monster Hunter series will want to keep their eyes peeled for God Eater 3. Like Capcom’s popular beast-slaying epic, God Eater is also an RPG where players fight giant creatures. This third installment actually has a new developer behind it. This could potentially bring in new players (such as myself). However, it’s possible older fans may not like whatever changes are in store. With Monster Hunter World: Iceborne many months away, God Eater 3 can serve to tide fans over until Autumn.Pre-order God Eater 3 on AmazonYakuza KiwamiPlatforms: PCRelease date: February 19PC gamers have never had the joy of experiencing Yakuza games until the release of Yakuza 0 last year. Now, they can follow it up with its direct sequel, Yakuza Kiwami. Kiwami is actually a complete remake of the first Yakuza. While it follows the same story beats of the PS2 original, its gameplay is in tune with recent entries. If you’re a PC player who enjoyed Yakuza 0, then you owe it to yourself to pick up Yakuza Kiwami.Pre-order Yakuza Kiwami on SteamThe Lego Movie 2 VideogamePlatforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox OneRelease date: February 26I’m tossing this on the list purely because Lego games are always enjoyable to play. As its title suggests, The Lego Movie 2 Videogame is a movie-tie in. Expect characters and plotlines from the film. On top of that, it’ll also have additional characters from the first movie. If you need a fun co-op game to play with the family, you can’t go wrong with this one.Pre-order The Lego Movie 2 Videogame on AmazonMore on Geek.com:The Most Exciting Video Games of 2019‘Resident Evil 2’ Is the Best Remake of All TimeHands-On: ‘Far Cry: New Dawn’ Is a Post-Apocalyptic Wonderlandlast_img read more

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Incidents at Montgomery County Maryland School Stir Allegations of Racism

first_imgPOTOMAC, Md. (AP) —Winston Churchill High School officials in Potomac, Maryland are being called on to better address racially charged incidents that have occurred at the school.The Washington Post reports (http://wapo.st/2hAM9AW) that last month, two students taped a “Whites only” sign to a school’s bathroom door. In a Dec. 7 incident, students allegedly entered a Republican club meeting, called the members racist and wrote “Black Lives Matter” on a classroom whiteboard.Montgomery County Republican leader Richard Jurgena addressed the county school board on Tuesday and called for a “complete, rapid and nonpartisan” investigation of the Dec. 7 incident.A Churchill employee told the Washington Post that the school didn’t alert teachers about either incident. Sixteen-year-old student Ethan Miller says school officials need to better inform parents and students about problems at the school.Churchill’s principal, Joan Benz, didn’t respond to requests for comment.___Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.comlast_img read more

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Watkins Award Honors Nations Top Black HS Players

first_imgBy Mark F. Gray, AFRO Staff Writer, mgray@afro.comFor 30 years the National Alliance of African American Athletes has created a movement amongst young high school football talent who buy into being a part of the legacy where they are a part of a fraternity of exceptional athletes who are committed to servicing their communities.Their signature event is the Watkins Award Banquet where The Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award is presented to the best African American high school football player in the nation.  Five finalists from around the country will be honored this week at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City, VA with one earning the Watkins Award, which is the equivalent to the high school football Heisman Trophy for Black Athletes.The Watkins Award honors a Black student-athlete who has excelled on the field, in the classroom and community. (Courtesy Photo)“The Watkins Award Class of 2019 features an incredible collection of fine student-athletes,” said J. Everette Pearsall, executive director of The Alliance. “Each of these young men are well equipped for success academically. We continue to recognize and honor the premier African American Scholar Athletes in the United States.”Five finalists from across the country will attend the gala, when this year’s standard bearer will be announced to cap a weekend of celebration where the alumni who has impacted major college football and the NFL reconnect for a weekend of fellowship that is unique to sports.Normally if an athlete is nominated for an award and doesn’t win the only bond is between the winner and those who have preceded him.  However, with the Watkins Award, once you’re a finalist you’ve become a lifelong member of this athletic fraternity even when the trophy goes home with another athlete.The finalists for the Watkins Award have traditionally been some of the most decorated high school student-athletes in the nation. They are mostly blue chip players who have received countless awards while operating under the media spotlight of being a talented athlete who earns a share of celebrity. Since an early age most have been the focus of college recruiters while performing well on the field.However, the Watkins award is different.  It is based on more than just athletic performance and statistics.  The premise behind the award is to honor the spirit of the student-athlete who makes a difference in the classroom and community while competing at a high level. Most of the athletes who enjoy the festivities in the D.M.V. have never visited the Nation’s Capital which only adds to the lure of the event.The list of NFL Players who are Watkins alumni are some of the rising stars of the game. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is a former winner. Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reed, who joined Colin Kaepernick’s protest when they were teammates with The San Francisco 49 ‘ers, is among recent nominees also. Former Bullis and Ohio State QB Dwayne Hoskins, who is projected to be one of the first two taken in this year’s NFL Draft, was also nominated in 2016.This year’s emcee will be ESPN football analyst and former NFL defensive back for Washington’s franchise Ryan Clark, who won a Super Bowl while playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Ric “Doc” Walker, Super Bowl champion with Washington, will host the red carpet.The Watkins Class of 2019 includes Jaylen Coleman from Porter Ridge HS in Charlotte, N.C., who signed with Duke.  Nakobe Dean of Horn Lake HS in Horn Lake, Miss. and is enrolled at Georgia.  Aeneas DiCosmo, who played for Bergen Catholic HS in Montclair, N.J. and Elijah Higgins, of John Bowie HS in Austin, Texas who signed with Stanford. Roschon Johnson of Port Neches-Groves HS in Port Neches has already enrolled at Texas.last_img read more

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Alfred the Great – Legendary King who Saved England from Total Viking

first_imgIn the long history of the English monarchy, there have been sixty-six kings and queens that have ruled the island nation and empire. Beginning with the fall of the Roman Empire and the dissolution of Roman rule in Britain, only one of those monarchs has been given the appellation “the Great”.This was Alfred, King of the West Saxons, and eventual king of much of England. When people think of kings, especially those of antiquity, the first image that pops into their minds is usually one of a robust, ultra-masculine figure ready to draw his sword at a moments’ notice or slight.18th century portrait of Alfred by Samuel WoodfordeFor sure, England has seen its share of those kings – three examples come readily to mind: William of Normandy, dubbed, “the Conqueror”, Richard I, called “Lionheart”, and Henry VIII, whose very name stood for his womanizing, jousting and harsh yet in many ways enlightened rule.All of these men cut a big, bold figure, but none of them is known to history as “The Great” – that belongs to Alfred. Though one could argue that Cnut I of Scandinavia, who ruled a unified English, Danish and Norwegian kingdom from 1017-1035 had also been called “the Great”, Alfred was the only native-born English king given the name.He was born at a time when Englishmen were divided, not only among themselves but by the fierce Viking warrior bands that came from Scandinavia to raid and conquer. At the time of Alfred’s birth in 849, England was far from a united kingdom. Alfred’s father Æthelwulf sat on the throne of Wessex in the south, Beorhtwulf sat on the throne of Mercia in the northwest, and a series of three kings sat on the throne of East Anglia during Alfred’s early years, until taken by the Vikings.Alfred’s father Æthelwulf in the early fourteenth-century Genealogical Roll of the Kings of EnglandRecently, a variety of TV dramas have given us a somewhat flawed vision of Alfred’s rise to power. The fact of the matter is much more straight-forward than the political maneuvering seen on TV. Reality also dismisses the idea that Alfred was the child of anyone but his acknowledged father, Æthelwulf, son of Ecbert, also depicted on TV.When Æthelwulf died, the two eldest of his five sons became kings: Æthelstan became king of Kent, and Æthelbald, the king of Wessex. Upon the death Æthelbald, his crown fell to another brother, Æthelberht. When this brother in turn died shortly thereafter, the next youngest, Æthelred became king.A map of the route taken by the Viking Great Heathen Army which arrived in England from Denmark, Norway, and southern Sweden in 865. Photo by Hel-hama CC BY-SA 3.0It was then the young Alfred, who at the time was only sixteen, was named “Secundus” by the most powerful bishop of England. This was to designate Alfred, the last of the line, as king upon Æthelred’s death, despite Æthelred having sons. In 871, die he did, and Alfred, age 22, became “King of the West Saxons”.Other than the fact of his royal birth, nothing about Alfred said “king”. He was sickly, afflicted with a gastrointestinal disorder that forced him to limit his diet to milk, water, vegetables, and porridge.Today, many medical historians believe that Alfred was a victim of Crohn’s Disease. By all accounts, Alfred would from time to time rebel against this diet, eat meat and ale – then suffer crushing abdominal pain for days. Despite this, however, he continued in his duties, and most of his contemporaries knew they were witnessing something special – Alfred was a man of iron will.A coin of Alfred, king of Wessex, London, 880 (based upon a Roman model).Alfred was also exceedingly smart and learned. While his four older brothers were burdened with ruling, Alfred was able to study. As a child, he and one of his older brothers had been sent to the court of Pope Leo IV and exposed to the world, and to Latin.Upon his return to England, Alfred learned to speak other languages and read widely of science, religion and the Classics. During his reign, Alfred was a tireless advocate of expanding education in his kingdom, sometimes irritating the Church with his demands that education be conducted in the national language rather than Latin.Though Alfred was an advocate for education and other changes to both English government and society during his life, his reign (especially his early reign) was focused on one problem – the Vikings.Alfred the Great silver offering penny, 871–899The Viking raids had begun with the sacking of Lindisfarne in 793, seventy-eight years prior, but for many years they were few and far between and while extremely bothersome and costly, did not present a deadly threat to the kingdoms of England.During Æthelwulf’s time, the raids had become larger and more permanent, and though the English did inflict serious defeats on the Vikings from time to time, by the time of Alfred’s reign, the Norsemen were well established in the north and east of the country, and were the most important issue facing the young king.Depiction of Æthelwulf in the late-13th-century Genealogical Chronicle of the English KingsShortly after taking the throne, Alfred went to battle with the foreign invaders. The first two battles fought during Alfred’s reign were defeats: one while he was attending his brother’s funeral, and another in his presence.He was forced to bribe the Vikings with a sizable payoff, and though a relative peace existed for the next few years, everybody knew that it was only a matter of time before war would begin again, for this payoff did not mean that the Vikings left England, just that they would not attack Alfred.In 876, a new Viking chieftain, Guthrum, attacked Alfred’s kingdom. After a couple of inconclusive battles, the Vikings took payment and swore to not attack again – an oath which they broke. This period is marked both by victory and defeat for Alfred.A plaque in the City of London noting the restoration of the Roman walled city by Alfred.On the one hand, he defeated the Viking fleet when they attacked Devon, but was surprised by the Vikings at Chippenham, a royal seat, and was forced to flee into the local marshes to avoid capture.It is in these marshes that Alfred’s legend really begins. A famous tale (perhaps true, perhaps not) tells of Alfred sitting by the fire in a peasant woman’s hut, tasked with making sure the bread on the fire didn’t burn.King Alfred the Great pictured in a stained glass window in the West Window of the South Transept of Bristol Cathedral. Photo by Charles Eamer Kempe.CC BY 3.0Thinking too much of his problems, the cakes burnt and Alfred was roundly chastised by the woman whose house he was forced to shelter in. This tale was told to show not only how far Alfred had fallen, but also his humility.While in the marshes, Alfred and his men conducted raids against local Viking forces and kept the idea of a Saxon kingdom alive – the other Saxon kingdoms of Northumberland and East Anglia were now in pagan hands.However, while the Vikings were looking for him and while they were busy plundering and ruling the other parts of England, Alfred was both solidifying his rule (such as it was) and raising an army.King Alfred’s Tower (1772) on the supposed site of Egbert’s Stone, the mustering place before the Battle of Edington. Photo by Trevor Rickard CC BY-SA 2.0According to contemporary sources, Alfred’s personality and willpower were so strong that he commanded a fierce loyalty, and while he was hiding in the marshes, he sent his nobles into the land to raise an army, both in the areas under nominal Viking control and those still ostensibly Saxon.At the battle of Edington (or “Ethandun” in Old English) in 878, Alfred inflicted a serious defeat on Guthrum and his Vikings. As a result, Guthrum and many of his leading men agreed to convert to Christianity, and rule in East Anglia in Alfred’s name.The Memorial to the Battle of Edington is a sarsen stone standing in a corner of the public recreation area adjacent to Bratton Castle Photo by Trish Steel CC BY-SA 2.0Though the Vikings in East Anglia would from time to time break their oath and raid nearby communities in Wessex, it appears that this was done without the permission of Guthrum, who seems to have been at least mostly loyal to his oath until his death in about 890.The treaty between Alfred and Guthrum also included the stipulation that Mercia (formerly one of the most powerful English kingdoms) be divided between Alfred and the Vikings. In this, Alfred was the winner – the Vikings had controlled all of Mercia before the treaty.Statue of Alfred the Great at Wantage, Oxfordshire Photo by Steve Daniels CC BY-SA 2.0Despite these achievements, Alfred still had the Vikings of northern England (and their Scandinavian reinforcements) to deal with. To help contend with these forces, Alfred began to fortify the lands under his control. He constructed strong-points known as “burhs” – these strong-points were sometimes already cities or small settlements and grew under Alfred’s protection.Fortunately for Alfred, England was one of the most blessed of kingdom’s in terms of resources and trade, and this enabled him to build burhs and a network of roads connecting them throughout his kingdom. Think of it as a kind of “pony express” for defense and communication – and Alfred’s system of defense stymied further Viking inroads into his lands. This defense system also improved trade and paid for itself many times over.Map of Britain in 886Many historians credit Alfred with being the “Father of the English Navy”. This is misleading. His grandfather had constructed a small fleet of warships and had used them at times, but Alfred built ships based on the Roman and Greek models, which were actually larger than most Viking ships.Though he did construct about sixty of these ships over the course of his reign, they were unfortunately too big for the river systems of England, where the Vikings long-ships were dominant. However, they did allow Alfred to move troops from one part of the country to the other more rapidly than before.While dealing with all of these problems and issues, Alfred also decided that the Anglo-Saxon law system needed reform. For the most part, this meant the codification, or writing down, of the laws that existed in the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Alfred also included laws based on the Ten Commandments and the New Testament as part of the official law of the land.Read another story from us: The True Story of Robert the Bruce – Scotland’s Legendary KingBy the time of his death in the fall of 899, Alfred was the recognized ruler of all of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms not under the control of the Vikings (this meant Northumberland surrounding York). He is venerated in the Catholic Church as a “Defender of the Faith”, and is universally recognized as the man who prevented England from being conquered by the Vikings.His son Edward the Elder took the throne after a brief family struggle and ruled until 924.last_img read more

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Colin The Jets will build a winner with Sam Darnold thanks to

first_imgThe Browns opted to pick Baker Mayfield with the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and handed the Jets the gift of Sam Darnold in the process. Colin thinks New York got the best quarterback in the draft in Darnold thanks to Cleveland’s incompetence.He believes Darnold’s understated, unassuming personality is perfect to handle the barrage of the New York media over the long term. His ability to speak to the media without ever really saying anything while still being relatable is reminiscent of Derek Jeter and Eli Manning, who both managed the spotlight over long careers.Colin sees the Darnold pick along the lines of Steph Curry being passed over twice by Minnesota, or Portland picking Sam Bowie over MJ. After Tom Brady retires, Darnold will be the best quarterback in the AFC East and everyone will look back at this draft and wonder what the hell Cleveland was thinking.“Great teams and dynasties generally start with somebody else’s mistake.”“Great teams and dynasties generally start with somebody else’s mistake.” @ColinCowherd on why the Browns mistake was the Jets gain pic.twitter.com/so9eeGPtWi— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) April 27, 2018last_img read more

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Would You Fly on an AIBacked Plane Without a Pilot

first_img Register Now » 2 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. You probably learned in grade school that all you really need to fly is more drag than lift. But by now you know that to start an airline, what you mostly need is money — billions of dollars worth — for airplanes, crew and fuel.Except that Boeing envisions a future in which you can remove the crew part from your shopping list. The aerospace giant is currently studying ways to make already-existing autopilot technology safe enough to fly an aircraft by itself, Reuters reports. The most important ingredient for making autopilots safer, according to Boeing Vice President Mike Sinnett, is artificial intelligence. Autopilots already fly today’s commercial jets from a few minutes after takeoff to a few minutes before landing, but they have to be programmed beforehand by human pilots, and reprogrammed every time weather or traffic gets in the way of the flight path.But infused with AI, the autopilots could potentially do that reprogramming themselves. Sinnett tells Reuters that Boeing will “fly on an airplane next year some artificial intelligence that makes decisions that pilots would make.”He didn’t elaborate, but did note that there are immense safety challenges. Even if the technology works, the flying public and government regulators still have to accept it, a dilemma that parallels a key challenge for companies working on self-driving cars. How to convince them is still a mystery to Boeing, though.”I have no idea how we’re going to do that,” Sinnett told Reuters. “But we’re studying it right now and we’re developing those algorithms.”Meanwhile, Boeing’s chief rival Airbus is working on a fleet of autonomous flying taxis. It’s planning to have a full-size prototype before the end of the year and have a marketable design by 2020. This story originally appeared on PCMag June 9, 2017last_img read more

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Prime Day Deal iPad Pro Now 430 Off

first_img Phillip Tracy, by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoGrepolis – Free Online GameGamers Around the World Have Been Waiting for this GameGrepolis – Free Online GameUndoForbes.comCrazy Rich Asians for RealForbes.comUndoCNN International for ANAWhy Tennis Pundits Are Tipping This WomanCNN International for ANAUndoMayo ClinicManaging psoriatic arthritis painMayo ClinicUndoVerizon WirelessThis new phone will blow your mind.Verizon WirelessUndoAdvertisement Phillip Tracy is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide and Laptop Mag, where he reviews laptops and covers the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News and NewBay Media. When he’s not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, listening to indie music or watching soccer. Been holding off on buying an Apple tablet? Well, the wait is over. An awesome Amazon Prime Day deal cuts the price of the iPad and iPad Pro by up to $430. For power users, we recommend the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which is now selling for $699 after a healthy $430 price cut. The massively discounted model is powered by Apple’s A10X Fusion chip and comes with 512GB of storage. The tablet is available in silver, Space Gray, rose gold (a pinkish hue) and gold. MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Which 13-inch MacBook Is Right For You?Apple’s entry-level MacBook Air and Pro look pretty similar, but our testing proved they differ in crucial ways.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Which Cheap Tablet Is Best? Amazon Fire 7 vs Walmart Onn02:45关闭选项Automated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/prime-day-deal-ipad-pro?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0003:4603:46 Apple iPad Pro (10.5-inch, 2017) for $699 ($430 off, A10X Fusion/512GB of storage) Apple iPad Pro (10.5-inch, 2017) for $629 ($300 off, A10X Fusion/256GB of storage)Apple released a newer version of the iPad Pro in 2018 with a faster A12X Bionic chip, but you’ll be happy with the model Amazon is offering unless you need the very latest and greatest.  In our review of the 2017 iPad Pro, we gave the tablet a 4.5-star rating and praised its extremely long battery life, superfast performance and impressive stylus support. If you don’t need so much storage and are on a tight budget, Amazon also sells the 256GB version of the iPad Pro for $629 in silver or $649 in rose gold and gold. Apple iPad (9.7-inch, 2018) for $299 ($130 off, A10 Fusion/128GB storage)The iPad Pro is a magnificent tablet, but most people don’t need laptop-eclipsing performance and the price tag that comes with it. If you’re in this group, we recommend opting for the iPad. Amazon is selling the Space Gray variant of the iPad for $299, or $130 off its retail price. With a 9.7-inch display and an A10 Fusion chip, the iPad is the perfect secondary device for taking on a plane or bringing to class. These deals are all part of the shortlived Amazon Prime Day, so make sure to jump on them before the event ends on July 16 at 11:59pm PT.center_img Author Bio Phillip Tracy,last_img read more

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Bisexual porn star reveals the differences between gay and straight porn

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- Beginning a career in porn ‘I didn’t know a lot about BDSM at the time,’ he told Gay Star News.‘In my head, I was like, if I was going to do any kind of porn my family probably wouldn’t look at this.’Chris had a little experience as a naked model for gay photographers who wanted him to masturbate in front of them.‘They would say your cock looks better,’ he said.Working for Kink.com, he met his ex-girlfriend. She introduced him to producers, agents and filmmakers in the adult industry, and his career started to flourish.‘You can’t do both. You gotta pick a side if you want a career.’As he felt open about his bisexuality, he did both gay and straight scenes in San Francisco.‘When I moved to Los Angeles I discovered, as a guy, you can’t do both. You gotta pick a side if you want a career,’ Chris said, noting there’s a lot of ‘old man money’ tied up in porn.‘There is a stigma against men in straight porn doing any kind of gay porn,’ he explained.‘Straight porn producers would say to me, “We don’t want you to do gay porn because there’s a HIV risk.”‘We don’t want you to do gay porn because there’s a HIV risk.’‘Because I was dating a woman in straight porn, she also had baggage around it as her dad is gay. We got into some fights.’So he stayed in straight porn for a long time.He was being paid around $500 – $700 a scene, and landed a year-long contract with a older woman-younger man porn production company who paid him $48,000 to work only six days a month.Chris wanted to do more gay porn as it paid better per scene, and would have fights with his ex-girlfriend about it.‘The turnover for straight porn is really high,’ he explained. ‘If you’re a brand new girl and work for all the sites, they need you to wait for a few months before they can hire you again.‘As the straight guy, you’re not the star so they can hire you again and again.‘In gay porn, it’s a similar situation but with that you are the star.’Getting black-listed from the industryWhen marriage equality started to come to the US, Chris figured no one would think it was a big deal anymore to do both.But then he got black-listed.An email was sent out to the industry detailing which male performers were ‘deemed HIV risks’.Attached was a picture of Chris giving a blowjob to a man.‘It was my only source of income, and I was not happy,’ Chris said. ‘I called one agent who I was on good terms with, and he said, “When was the last time you did anything gay?’Chris told him six months ago, even though he was lying, because that was the timeframe that would enable him to keep working.Straight male porn stars are sleeping with men for moneyThe issue was he knew a lot of guys working in straight porn were happy to sleep with men for money. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… ‘Every fucking guy, especially if he’s well known, has been offered to do something sexual with a man,’ he said.‘I know a lot of them have done it. They’d never admit it publicly.’When Chris has dated guys, none of them long-term, many questioned why he was doing straight porn and also dating them.All the women he has dated have been in the industry.‘Some people just want to fuck one type of person, and that’s not me.’People would treat me like I was “dabbling” in different worlds,’ Chris said.‘Especially in the US, because of this deep-seated religious past, people’s brains are ingrained in identities. If you’re sleeping with guys and also sleeping with women, you’re a fucking poser or a tourist and this is not your identity.‘Some people just want to fuck one type of person, and that’s not me.’Unlike some bisexual performers, there was no effort to brand him as ‘gay-for-pay’ in same-sex films. He was also not interested in changing his porn name for different scenes.‘I just didn’t vocalize that I liked girls. Guys would fuck me in the ass or I’d fuck them. I was very young and twinky-looking so it wouldn’t have worked from a marketing perspective.’Leaving pornUltimately, Chris decided to leave the industry for health reasons.‘99% of guys take erectile dysfunction drugs as a performance enhancer. It’s not like you can’t perform without them but it’s about consistency,’ Chris said.‘If you fuck up a scene, meaning you can’t get it up or you can’t keep it up, the director isn’t going to hire you again.’So he started taking Cialis consistently, and even dabbled in injections. He ended up in hospital for priapism, an erection that won’t go down, several times.‘The last time it happened, the doctors had to bleed the side of my dick,’ Chris said, remembering back to 2013.‘The doctor at that point in the emergency room said I would build scar tissue in my penis and I might not be able to get an erection.‘I thought it wasn’t worth it. The next day I quit.‘It wasn’t a good time as my whole career and identity was tied up in porn. It was devastating.’Moving onThe porn actor is now on the other side of the camera, working in production and post-production.He became a hustler (he says his clients are mostly male with the occasional woman wanting to pay), and also works as a freelance video editor.  He also does cam shows on his Only Fans account.‘It’s remarkable to me how many young straight women are casual fans of porn. They don’t pay for it. I don’t think a lot of young gay men pay either.‘People who pay for it, like private Skype sessions, tend to be middle-aged men.’Chris is also a writer. His next book is called Body to Job. It’s the closest thing he has written to a memoir, although it includes some magical realism and fictional violence. It’s available now.Read more:Bi+ Manifesto: What you can do to help bi equality eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) When porn actor Chris Zeischegg answered a Craigslist ad looking for guys to get penetrated by women wearing dildos on camera, little did he know that decision would change his life.He became Danny Wylde, one of Kink.com’s first male models in femdom porn. Gay porn star Logan Moore: ‘When you do porn, you have to come out twice!’Gay porn star couple on life after gang bang proposal: ‘I’d love to have kids’Gay porn site owner retires after denying he’s raped starsRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/bisexual-porn-star-differences-gay-straight-porn/last_img read more

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What is killing the young men of Cañas

first_imgJosé Manuel Calvo stands outside his home in Verdero de Cañas with his family behind him. Calvo was diagnosed with renal deficiency months ago and is beginning to search for a possible organ donor.Lindsay Fendt A crop-dusting plane flies over a field of sugarcane outside of Cañas. A popular local theory is that pesticides are causing kidney disease in the area, but there is little scientific evidence to support it.Lindsay Fendt Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) plagues more than 400 people in the Cañas area, an agricultural town 166 kilometers northwest of Costa Rica’s capital, San José. Most of the afflicted are men between the ages of 20-55, and almost all of them worked the sugarcane plantations or some other job as field hands. In Cañas, the disease has a rate 18-20 times higher than anywhere else in the country. Two months ago, 15 people died from kidney failure in the same week, including two people in their early 20s. There is no cure.The agricultural workers affected by the disease have largely remained quiet about the problem, and many have continued working to support their families.Their reticence has been a contributing factor in a growing problem that now threatens agricultural communities across Central America and also in Sri Lanka and India, leading doctors and scientists to label CKD an epidemic. The causes of the disease have remained elusive, but the number of patients continues to grow along with the list of patients requiring kidney transplants. In Guanacaste, the northwestern province that includes Cañas, hospitals are struggling to treat the incoming floods of patients, and the transplant list in Cañas alone is 40 people long. These patients are all in the final stages of the disease and without a new kidney, they will die.The making of an epidemic Since its discovery, kidney disease has widely been considered a disease for the old, the overweight and the out of shape. Only in the late 20th century did the disease creep up in parts of the rural third world, where it silently afflicted agricultural workers for nearly three decades, until the problem became too grave to ignore.Data suggest that Central American farm workers have suffered from CKD since the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that clinicians began to notice an influx of young, otherwise healthy men to hospitals in Central America. By then, the disease had already taken hold, and the dead and dying numbered in the thousands. Related posts:Study links sugarcane fieldwork with kidney disease epidemic in Central America Costa Rica banana workers affected by Nemagon still waiting on compensation Honduras, Myanmar, Haiti top disaster risk list, says climate group Chikungunya and dengue viruses overtake Guanacaste From an oversized chair in his air-conditioned office, Ingenio Taboga’s Human Resources Director Carlos Barboza flatly denied that work in the sugarcane fields causes kidney problems.“Some of these guys just don’t take care of themselves,” he said. “There are external factors that we can’t control.”Roy Wong, an investigator for the Costa Rican Social Security System, known as the Caja, says patients’ habits at home can become a factor, but on their own do not seem significant. Alarmed by the high rates of the disease in Guanacaste, Wong and a team from the Caja have been researching possible causes of the disease since last September. “Because the disease does not affect many women, we are looking for a behavioral factor that has to do with being a young man,” Wong said. “That may be drinking unadulterated, contraband liquor, or it may be working in agriculture.”For Wong and a host of other researchers, frequent use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen is another potential contributor.Though Barboza has heard that heat is a possible problem, he says the area’s exorbitant CKD numbers are the result of high arsenic levels in the town’s water. He isn’t the only one who thinks so.Since 2009, scientists have warned the public about arsenic in wells throughout the Cañas area. Tested wells have shown arsenic levels as high as 136 micrograms – the WHO’s recognized level for safe drinking water is 10 micrograms.Despite pressure from the community and an order from Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court to President Laura Chinchilla to solve the problem, the country’s Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) has denied responsibility and promised rate hikes if it must decontaminate the water. With CKD-related deaths mounting, though, community groups are increasingly concerned about arsenic.“They say there are multiple factors,” said Mainor Picado Camareno of the People’s Voice Association of Bagaces, “but even if there are thousands of variables, here we have one. Arsenic is a dangerous poison. It’s a carcinogen. These people are dying and it is their fault.”Rebecca Laws, a doctoral student at the Boston University School of Public Health, is currently analyzing data from when she studied arsenic levels in Nicaraguan sugarcane workers. The study found that workers with the highest levels of arsenic in their urine also had the lowest levels of kidney function. There is also some evidence that many CKD hotspots in Central America have problems with arsenic contamination.Other factors, however, have been deemed more relevant than arsenic on the list of possible causes.“Arsenic is not generally recognized to cause kidney disease,” Laws said. “We think that if arsenic is the cause, it is probably not the sole cause, because then we would expect that men and women would be affected equally.”Also on the table as potential causes are pesticides, STDs, genetics, and lead and mercury poisoning, all of which could be combining with other factors to create a perfect storm for kidney failure. A nurse removes a tube from a patient’s catheter after dialysis in the Cañas hospital.Lindsay Fendt “This epidemic emerged in rural and sometimes remote areas at a time when there was less access to specialized medicine in such areas,” said Catharina Wesseling, a researcher with the Work and Health Program of Central America (SALTRA). “It is a slow disease, a chronic disease. It was simply not so evident in the beginning.”Today, an estimated 68 percent of men in southwestern Nicaragua have some form of renal deficiency. In El Salvador, kidney disease ranks as the country’s third leading cause of death, and preliminary studies in Guatemala and Costa Rica show similar upward trends in CKD.Similar outbreaks have cropped up in other parts of the world. In Sri Lanka, 8,000 people suffer from the same kidney disease wreaking havoc in Central America, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).Although they are suffering thousands of miles apart, those with the disease in Central American and Sri Lanka share a strikingly similar profile. The disease in these countries primarily affects young men and agricultural workers, and seems to be exacerbated by hard work.Researchers also found that in both locations, the specific kind of kidney damage people suffered suggested that dehydration, and in some cases toxic poisoning, might be the culprit.What’s causing the disease?It’s a typical Friday at the Cañas Hospital’s dialysis ward. Three nurses run around carrying bags of fluid and emptying metal bowls as they slowly fill with toxins that the patients’ failing kidneys can no longer filter.Dago González is among them. It’s 4 p.m. now, and like the others, he’s been in the ward since 7 in the morning, a routine he’s been through four to six times a week since January.Dago was diagnosed with renal deficiency last July, but the first time he could really feel that something was wrong was at the beginning of the last zafra, or sugarcane harvesting season, when he was out in the fields with a fertilizing machine. There was a pain in his legs and his feet felt swollen. He remembers the hot sun overhead, then waking up on the ground, then again in Liberia Hospital hooked up to a dialysis machine.Dago’s story is not unusual. He and the other three men in the ward that day, along with almost all of those suffering from CKD in Central America spent most of their lives working on sugarcane plantations. Iysabel López shows off his box of medicine outside his house. López is on some of the same pills as his brother Juan was before he died at the age of 49.Lindsay Fendt Manuel Camacho flips through his medical files outside of a bunkhouse used by sugarcane workers. Camacho continues to work in the sugarcane fields, despite his severe case of renal deficiency.Lindsay Fendtcenter_img “It’s very unlikely that it is just heat,” said Wesseling. “Some people think it’s arsenic. We think maybe it could be heat with arsenic, but it is under-studied. There is still a lot of research to be done.”Research requires funding, and funding requires outspoken people to create awareness and spearhead campaigns. Poor, immigrant sugarcane workers in a tiny town far from Costa Rica’s capital don’t hold much sway.Those affected have little powerEvery year in late July, Guanacaste holds its annexation festival. Like most Costa Rican fiestas, there are carnival games, rides, dancing and meat on a stick. At this year’s festival there were also massive protests.“Guanacaste does not only exist on July 25,” read one sign. Another said, “Guanacaste: Victim of bullying for 189 years.”In addition to protesting the lack of infrastructure, poor health care and uncorrected earthquake damage, the Guanacastecos were decrying contaminated water and high rates of kidney disease. But back in Cañas, the men keep working in the fields, the same way that they always have, even when they are sick.“The people affected by this are some of the poorest in the area,” said a doctor at the Cañas Hospital who asked to remain anonymous. “They struggle to manage this illness.”In Costa Rica, sugarcane harvesting is largely immigrant work. During zafra each year, Ingenio Taboga busses in sugarcane cutters from Nicaragua. Many of them return every season to work, while some of them permanently relocate.Costa Rica has socialized health care available to all citizens, but immigrants only qualify if they hold down a job and are put into the system by their employer.“The doctor said my defenses are low, but I’ve kept working,” Camacho said. “It costs $10 for me to get to the doctor even with insurance. If I stop working, I don’t have social security and it costs even more.” A farm worker fertilizes the sugarcane crops at Ingenio Taboga, the country’s largest sugarcane producer.Lindsay Fendt CAÑAS, Guanacaste – Riding in the passenger seat down the dirt roads of Verdero de Cañas, José González, or “Dago” as he is known around town, points out the houses where the other sick people live.José Manuel Calvo – a man seeking a kidney transplant – stands on the corner, his son tugging at his shirt. Down the street, Manuel Camacho limps out of the field worker’s bunkhouse, coughing, just back from a hospital visit. Iysabel López lives in the stilt house next to the irrigation ditch, and he takes the same medicine as his brother Juan used to. Juan died at 49.All of these men, including Dago, are under 55. All of them have worked on the country’s largest sugarcane plantation, Ingenio Taboga. All of them will likely die from kidney failure.“There are more,” Dago says. “I just don’t know where they all live.” For men like Camacho, the situation creates a Catch-22. In order to manage their condition, CKD patients need to make regular doctor visits, take medication and stop working. But if they stop working they will no longer be able to pay for their health care.Those who do make it into the health care system often don’t follow their medical regiments until they reach the later stages of the disease and experience symptoms. According to doctors at the Cañas Hospital, it’s difficult to convince a hardened farmworker who is in no pain of the seriousness of his ailment. Last November, 50 health experts from 15 different countries converged on Costa Rica in order to begin uncovering the root of the mysterious disease. The workshop’s results are laid out in a 255-page document, with 17 possible causes and dozens of ongoing studies. No one knows for sure why the workers are dying, but heat stress tops the list of possibilities.“When you look at heat stress there are two major factors, the climate and the metabolic energy required for an activity,” said Jennifer Crowe, a SALTRA researcher. “When we compare the metabolic load for cutting sugarcane to other agricultural work, the load is much higher for sugarcane.”The research shows that isolated heat stroke incidents are not linked to CKD, but chronic heat stress and dehydration caused by working conditions are. According to Jorge Herrera, the company doctor for Ingenio Taboga, heat strokes are the most common occupational hazard for the company’s workers. In his experience, if a field worker has too many heat strokes, it can lead to renal deficiency. It’s also difficult to secure government health resources in rural areas. The Cañas kidney and dialysis department was formed two years ago because of the high demand for care in the area. In those two years, only one person has ever gotten a transplant.“There is inequity in delivery of health care, since renal replacement therapy is mostly not available for poor people with CKD in Central America,” Wesseling said.Back in Verdero, the sun is beginning to sink towards the horizon. It’s nearly 4 p.m., and clusters of sugarcane workers are leaving the fields. Dago points still to more homes, with more sick people.They don’t all know Dago personally, but they know of him. When he introduces himself, they try not to look at the bulging bandage under his shirt, where the permanent catheter pokes out of his stomach. It’s not something they are used to seeing.Dago’s concern for his disease is a rarity around here. He knows things like the names of the pills each person is on and which hospitals they should go to if they don’t have insurance. He gives advice, but doesn’t seem to expect that it will be followed.Others seem resigned. Some can’t read the documents in their medical files, some have been turned down for medical pensions repeatedly and don’t know why. Even with all of his knowledge about his own condition, Dago can’t think of any way to change it.“I might put something out on the Internet about a transplant,” he said. “You never know. Besides that, there really isn’t anything that I can do.” Facebook Comments A field worker chops weeds away from sugarcane plants with a machete in one of Ingenio Taboga’s many fields.Lindsay Fendtlast_img read more

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July 17 2019

first_imgJuly 17 , 2019 You might also be interested in “We appreciate the emphasis the Administration has placed on resolving agriculture’s ongoing labor challenges, and their efforts to incorporate feedback from agricultural employers into the proposed H-2A reforms,” Nassif said.”While we encourage swift implementation of these important modernizations to the agricultural guest worker program, we also urge Congress to codify these changes into law as we have seen previous regulatory progress reversed by ensuing administrations.”Furthermore, legislation will be required to address the pressing need agricultural employers have to retain their existing workforce.”U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Monday: “The proposed rule will increase access to a reliable legal agricultural workforce, easing unnecessary burdens on farmers, increase enforcement against fraud and abuse, all while maintaining protections for America’s workers.”When this rule goes into effect, our farmers will be released from unnecessary and burdensome regulations allowing them to do what they do best.” NZKGI hails success of labor shortage declaration … Western Growers president and CEO Tom Nassif has urged the U.S. Administration to quickly implement the recently published proposals for the H-2A reforms.The H-2A program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the country to fill temporary agricultural jobs. According to the USDA, the proposed changes would “modernize the Department’s H-2A regulations in a way that is responsive to stakeholder concerns and enhances employer access to a legal source of agricultural labor”.Proposals include updating the way wage rates are determined, streamlining and simplifying the application process, strengthening protections for U.S. and foreign workers, and easing burdens on employers.last_img read more

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Cypriot sailor crowned world champion

first_imgCypriot sailor Pavlos Kontides was crowned Laser class world champion on Tuesday after winning the races held at Split, Croatia.Kontides, who was in first place at the start of the day, was declared the winner after Tuesday’s races were cancelled due to bad weather.He had moved into first place on Monday with a 15-point lead over Rio 2016 gold medallist Tom Burton of Australia and Matthew Wearn, also from Australia, a point further back in third.This is the biggest success in his career following a silver medal in the London Olympic Games.His best position so far in the laser world championship was second, won in Oman in 2013.“I am very happy,” Kontides said. “A dream becomes reality. I was prepared well for the race and this shows in the results.”The laser championship was a real war, the Cypriot sailor said, with 150 athletes taking part.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoGundry MDHow To Make Your Dark Spots Fade (Effortless 2 Minute Routine)Gundry MDUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more