Bruce Springsteen To Be Honored By Friars Foundation

first_img Jackie GarrickPublic Service Award for outstanding achievement and excellence in providing opportunities and support to veterans by a government employee – Garrick is a social worker, U.S. Army veteran and policy analyst whose own military and clinical experiences inspired a 28 year career focused on educating and advocating for service members, veterans and their families and advancing treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She currently serves as Director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office. Dick YoungStandard Bearer Award for outstanding lifetime achievement and excellence by a veteran in exemplifying selfless service – Now 82 and going strong, Retired Rear Admiral Young has been an active volunteer throughout his entire adult life. He served 35 years in the U.S. Navy, both Active and Reserve, and was awarded the Legion of Merit Award three times, one of the highest peacetime awards a Navy Reservist can receive. Admiral Young received the National Navy League’s John Paul Jones Inspirational Leadership Award in 1988, the only Naval Reservist to ever receive the National Navy League’s highest award.“We are incredibly proud to honor this exceptional group” Dr. Tommy Sowers, Veteran, visiting faculty at Duke University and Founder/Event Chairman for The Lincoln Awards, said. “Thanks to the tireless work of our Selection Committee and our honorees, we can shine a light on the very best of the broad American community supporting veterans and the military family.”The Lincoln Awards Selection Committee includes Paul “Buddy” Bucha, Executive leader, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient; Rajiv Chandrasekaran,Washington Post National Editor; Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, retired United States Army General who served as the 32nd Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army; Hon. Max Cleland, former Veterans Affairs Administrator; Hon. Scott Gould, former Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary; Dr. Vivian Greentree, SVP, First Data Corporation and co-founder of Blue Star Families; Michael Gyure, Executive Director, Friars Club and Friars Foundation; Dr. Anthony Hassan, Director, USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families; Dr. Michael Haynie, Executive Director, Syracuse Institute for Veteran and Military Families; Jerry Lewis, Academy Award-winning director, producer, writer, actor and philanthropist; Admiral Clyde Marsh, President, National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs; Hon. Jim Peake, MD, former Veterans Affairs Secretary; Ned Powell, former Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary (Acting), Former President and CEO, USO; Hon. Anthony Principi, Former Veterans Affairs Secretary; and Nancy Youssef, McClatchy National Security Correspondent.Generous support for The Lincoln Awards is provided by Leonard Wilf, Chairman, Friars Foundation Gift of Laughter for Wounded Warriors Program, as well as founder of the Haven From The Storm Foundation, established to support returning service people, address the particular problems faced by vets today, aid in their recovery and provide assistance for their re-entry back into productive society – and other corporate sponsors. Delta Air Lines is the official airline partner of The Lincoln Awards.“Delta is proud of its longstanding tradition of providing employment opportunities for those individuals who have served our country,” said Delta Air Lines president Ed Bastian. “We continue to partner with business leaders and elected officials to further develop best practices and recruitment strategies. Delta is privileged to be the official airline sponsor of The Lincoln Awards.” Delta Air Lines is the official airline partner of The Lincoln Awards.Join the conversation using @LincolnAwards on Twitter, at facebook.com/thelincolnawards, and by using #lincolnawards2015. The Friars Club, through their charitable arm The Friars Foundation, today announced the honorees for the first-ever The Lincoln Awards: A Concert for Veterans & the Military Family.The event will be the first of its kind to recognize outstanding achievement and excellence in providing opportunities and support to our nation’s veterans and military families.The Lincoln Awards will be presented in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2015, by The Friars Foundation, of which the Chairman is Ambassador Joseph Zappala. The event takes place over the course of two days with honors awarded in 10 categories. The honors ceremony will be followed by an All-Star Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall on January 7, 2015, which will be packaged for a national primetime broadcast to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s landmark Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 2015.This special concert will gather the entertainment community to celebrate our military, veterans, wounded warriors, caregivers and military families, while saluting the Lincoln Award Recipients. For more information, please click here.This year’s Lincoln Awards honorees are: Bruce SpringsteenEntertainer Award for outstanding achievement and excellence in supporting and giving back to veterans by an entertainer – Springsteen has been a strong supporter of veterans and the military family for decades, dedicating his time and talents to several organizations, including Vietnam Veterans of America and Stand Up for Heroes (Bob Woodruff Foundation/New York Comedy Festival), among others. Springsteen’s commitment to veterans has also been expressed in themes that run through the songwriter’s extensive body of work with songs like “The Long Walk Home,” “Lost in the Flood,” “Devils & Dust” and “The Wall.” His music inspires and touches the lives of millions of military families. Ken FisherCitizen Award for outstanding service and support to veterans by a private citizen – Fisher is Chairman and CEO of the Fisher House Foundation. Founded in 1990 by his late uncle Zachary Fisher, the Foundation constructs “comfort homes” for families of hospitalized military personnel and veterans. The program has built 64 houses in the United States and overseas, serves more than 22,000 families each year, and has saved more than $200 million in lodging and travel costs since inception. Kayla WilliamsArtistic Award for outstanding achievement and excellence in portraying the veteran experience through the arts, film or literature – Through her writing, Williams raises public awareness for the betterment of her fellow veterans and civilians alike, as she works to bridge the civil-military divide. Williams has released two memoirs – Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army and Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War. Team RubiconNon-profit Citizen Award for outstanding achievement and excellence in providing opportunities and services to veterans by a not-for-profit company or organization – Team Rubicon deploys veterans and first responders to disasters around the world, supporting not only local communities in their greatest times of need but also empowering veterans who are searching for a sense of purpose after their military experience. Dean KamenMedical and Science Award for outstanding service to veterans by a member of the medical or scientific community – The inventor of the Segway, Kamen has revolutionized the world of prosthetics with his bionic arm invention. The “Luke Arm” is one of the most advanced robotic prostheses ever built and is already improving the quality of life for our nation’s wounded warriors. WalmartCorporate Citizen Award for outstanding achievement and excellence in providing opportunities to veterans by a company or organization – Walmart has a rich history with veterans, those continuing to serve, and military families, which began with Captain, U.S. Army, Sam Walton, who founded Walmart more than 50 years ago. Through the years, the legacy has been enriched by countless others and the 100,000 veteran associates and 150,000 veteran family and military family associates who are part of the current generation of Walmart. Britnee KinardCaregiver Award for outstanding achievement and excellence in providing care to veterans – Kinard has been a full-time caregiver for her husband, U.S. Army PurpleHeart recipient Douglas H Kinard Jr., since 2010. After working with the Department of Veterans Affairs for more than 15 months to get her husband’s service animal – SD Gunner – approved, shefounded the SD Gunner Fund in 2014 to assist veterans and disabled children with the financial expense of owning service animals. Kinard frequently speaks at schools and other community organizations to raise awareness about PTSD, service animals, and caregiver support. Justin ConstantineVeteran Award for outstanding achievement and excellence by a veteran in providing aid and opportunities to other veterans – Despite a gunshot wound to the head in Iraq, Constantine has made significant and outstanding contributions to veterans and wounded warriors through his fundraising, leadership, personal advocacy for individual veterans in distress, community outreach, peer mentoring, and pro-bono speaking and media appearances. Over the past eight years, he has raised more than $200,000 for veteran-related non-profit organizations.last_img read more

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Moratuwa monk stabbed and killed

Both suspects had been living illegally on land belonging to the Temple and this had led to a dispute with the monk. A monk in Moratuwa was stabbed to death during the late hours of tonight, reports from the area quoted the police as saying.The victim was identified as the Venerable  Metiyakanda Wimalawansa, a monk attached to a Temple in Egoda Uyana Moratuwa. Investigations revealed that the murder was over a land dispute  involving two men. The monk had lodged a complaint with the Moratuwa police today regarding the land and this may have angered the two suspects who had eventually killed the monk.The police said that the suspects had fled the area and a search operation was underway.  (Colombo Gazette) read more

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President and PM urge unity among Sri Lankans this Christmas

“Born in a manger to parents from a humble background, Jesus Christ brought equality,compassion and fellowship to mankind. He chose to set the captives freefrom social injustice and their mental, physical and spiritual burdens,” he said.The Prime Minister said that today, we live in a society that seeks freedom from tyranny and injustice, stigma and prejudice. One in which people will be free from religious and ethnicstrife, able to live together inharmony and a spirit of tolerance. “The Holy Bible tells us that good trees bear good fruit; an outpouring of goodness in our hearts can help us find the good in others. May you know a blessed Season of Goodwill that truly celebrates the birth of the Prince of Peace,” the Prime Minister said. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called for unity among Sri Lankans this Christmas.In his message to mark Christmas, the President said that today the human race faces unprecedented challenges and the Christian belief undoubtedly proves to be a guiding star to find enduring solutions. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his message to mark Christmas said that the spirit of Christmas is shared universally and is a time to spread the goodwill, love and joy the birth of Christ brings. “Today, as the human race faces unprecedented challenges, the Christian belief undoubtedly proves to be a guiding star for us to find enduring solutions. It is when one starts to love oneself and then spread that love and kindness towards others that humanity will ultimately pave the way for lasting peace and reconciliation. Overcoming the multitude of challenges that threaten humanity can only be achieved through such a collective journey,” he said. read more

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Workers are 20 per cent less productive due to poor diet says

With workers spending an average of one third of their lives or half their waking day at work, the study concluded that workplace meal programs can prevent nutritional deficiencies, chronic diseases and obesity, more than making up for their cost with reductions in sick days and accidents.”Healthy food (and protection from unsafe and unhealthy food and eating arrangements) is as essential as protection from chemicals or noise at the workplace,” the report said.Further it said that food at work is “an indispensable element of social protection of workers,” while the “rights to safe drinking water and to freedom from hunger are basic human rights.”The availability of clean drinking water and basic sanitation remain one of the most serious challenges to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at halving poverty by 2015, the report said.The first study to examine workplace eating habits worldwide, it said that the world is facing a “food-gap” of staggering proportions with one out of six, or one billion people in the world undernourished, and an equal proportion obese.Wealthy and poor nations manifested poor nutrition in disparate ways with malnutrition accounting for loss of productivity, illness and death and an annual loss of $10 billion in India, about 3 to 9 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).In the United States, however, two-thirds of the population is overweight, reflecting a loss of 39.2 million work days, and costing approximately $51.6 billion per year. The annual economic cost of obesity alone was estimated at $12.7 billion.Using 2001 figures, the study said that diet related diseases accounted for 46 per cent of worldwide diseases, a number expected to climb to 57 per cent by 2020. It also said that diet-related issues accounted for 60 per cent of all deaths world wide. read more

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UN agency warns that lack of funds could halt aid to Lebanon

With 60,000 displaced Lebanese already having crossed the border back to their homes since Monday, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today appealed for more funds, warning that emergency aid to the almost one million people displaced by the recent fighting could stop unless more international assistance is forthcoming.WFP, which is responsible for moving humanitarian relief supplies into and within Lebanon for all UN agencies and their partners, as well as providing inter-agency telecommunications support, has so far received only $19.2 million of the $39.5 million it requires for its three-month operation, leaving a shortfall of 47 per cent.“We are now seeing hundreds of thousands of people returning to the south of the country and many more crossing the border from Syria. With the extent of the damage, many of them will find they have nothing left when they get home,” said Thomas Keusters, WFP head of logistics in Lebanon. “They will be relying on relief assistance for many weeks to come.”Around 200,000 people have returned to their home areas in Lebanon in the past three days, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today, reporting official Lebanese Government figures, adding however that less than half of the UN’s $165 million flash appeal for emergency aid has been committed so far. But despite the shortfall, WFP and other aid organisations have massively stepped up operations in Lebanon since the cessation of hostilities by both sides in the conflict came into effect on Monday, allowing access south of the Litani river for the first time in more than a week. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and WFP, along with volunteers from the Aga Khan Foundation and the Syrian Red Crescent Society, are working around-the-clock at the main border crossings, handing out food aid packages to the thousands of returnees to help them through their first days back in Lebanon, after weeks spent in public buildings in Syria.“It is reassuring that in spite of all the suffering they have been through and the uncertainty of what awaits them back home, they are filled with hope and excitement, keen to start rebuilding their lives,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP’s Representative in Syria. Two convoys carrying emergency aid also left Beirut this morning, one headed to the southern port city of Tyre and the other, sent by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), to Wavel Camp in Baalbek carrying food for some 5,000 residents, OCHA said in a press release.“A UN-chartered ship also left Beirut for Tyre this morning, carrying food, medical supplies, drinking water and fuel. Part of that fuel will be used to supply hospitals. Meanwhile, a plane chartered by the UN refugee agency arrived in Beirut from Amman today with tents, mattresses and other relief supplies,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.Also on the humanitarian front, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners are distributing tens of thousands of leaflets and warning people through radio and television broadcasts of the danger of unexploded munitions left after the fighting, as these represent perhaps the most immediate danger awaiting the Lebanese returnees.It is estimated that 10 per cent of munitions fired during the 34-day conflict have not been detonated and many may lie dormant in schools, hospitals and houses, with the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) already reporting several incidents, including the death of a child in Tyre, caused by unexploded munitions.“Children are more vulnerable to the danger because they are attracted to things and pick them up, they know less and they are more compact than adults and closer to the ground – so any explosion impacts them more greatly,” said UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes, Dan Toole, speaking from New York.According to the UN Interim Mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the National De-mining Office, approximately 2,600 pieces of ordnance – artillery rounds, missiles, and bombs – were fired every day into Lebanon during the conflict and around 8,000 to 9,000 pieces could remain unexploded. read more

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Canadians want to do holiday shopping online but retailers playing catchup

Canadians want to do holiday shopping online but retailers playing catch-up AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – This holiday season, about 20 per cent of gift purchases in Canada are expected to be made online.One in five presents bought via the web sounds like a sizable number, but compare that figure to the shopping habits of web savvy Americans, Brits and Germans and it’s actually tiny.According to a recent eMarketer report, 90 per cent of Internet users in the United Kingdom expect to do some of their shopping online this year and half expect to do most of their buying through the web.An estimated 13.3 million consumers in Canada aged 14 and over, or about 56.9 per cent of all Internet users, made at least one online purchase in 2011. In the U.S., 70.3 per cent of Internet users were online shoppers and the figure was 82.5 per cent in the U.K.E-commerce could be a much, much larger trend in Canada if consumers had more places to shop online, says Rafe Petkovic, Google Canada’s head of industry for retail.The state of online shopping in Canada today is similar to what consumers in the United States, United Kingdom or Germany experienced in 2006 or 2007, Petkovic adds, with relatively few retailers to choose from, limited inventory selection and inconsistent shipping options.“They are certainly markets that are very, very far advanced in comparison to some of the most nascent markets, of which I think Canada is one,” he says.“That’s not to say it’s going to take five to six years to get to a state of e-commerce sophistication, because the benefit that Canadian retailers have is they can steal with pride and learn the lessons that have been painfully learned by their peer set in other markets around the globe.“So I’m very bullish and optimistic about the opportunities that exist for Canadian retailers online.”The country’s vast geography and lack of population density are daunting to Canadians retailers looking to launch an online shop, since they combine to make inventory management and the ability to offer inexpensive — or ideally free — shipping more challenging. Having a robust, secure e-commerce operation also requires a significant investment, which some companies have been reluctant to make.Home improvement chain Lowes, which will mark its five-year anniversary in Canada in December, just took the plunge by enabling online shopping earlier this month.“The demand here in Canada is increasing rapidly and I think you’re seeing retailers respond to that,” says Sonny Kekelj, director of online marketing.“I think a growing number of Canadians are really turning to the web and digital channels to do their shopping. Whether they buy online or not, certainly they’re browsing, they’re doing comparison shopping.”Lowes is planning a “store plus more” online presence, meaning the website will carry products typically found in stores plus other web exclusives. Currently, purchases over $25 include free shipping, while products can also be delivered to Lowes stores for free pickup.It took about six to eight months of planning, design and testing to launch the new web store — and just a couple of weeks until the first problems emerged. Some customers have complained about finding great deals on clearance merchandise but later having their order cancelled. Others were shipped items they didn’t order and when they tried to return them to a local store, they were denied and told to deal directly with website customer support.“This is a pretty big project that we undertook, it’s very complicated, and while we did a lot of extensive testing and retesting (for) every problem that we could come up, sometimes small glitches happen,” says Kekelj.“We’ve got a dedicated team that’s working on resolving those problems and ensuring that customers’ issues get resolved. So we’re encouraging customers to get back to us to give us feedback.”Lowes is also offering customers free WiFi access in its stores, so customers can pull out their smartphone or tablet to search for product information — or prices at other retailers.The use of mobile devices while shopping is a growing trend, says Petkovic.According to a recent study commissioned by Google on retail consumer intentions, involving surveys with 1,000 Canadian shoppers in September, about 55 per cent of smartphone users and 64 per cent of tablet users said they planned to use their device while in store this holiday season, to compare prices, read product information or reviews, or search for store inventory.About 33 per cent of smartphone users and 42 per cent of tablet owners said they used their device last year for their holiday shopping. Of those, 74 per cent of smartphone users and 80 per cent of tablet users said they walked out of a retailer because of information they found online.If Canadian retailers don’t step up to offer their products online, they risk losing business to U.S. competitors. With the loonie hovering around parity and cross-border shopping growing in popularity, a number of American retailers — including J. C. Penney, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom — have made it easier for Canadians to buy online and have their items shipped north. Even with the prospect of potentially having to pay extra duties, many Canadians are choosing to give cross-border online shopping a try.Petkovic says there’s no question Canadians are digitally savvy, so retailers here need to adapt to their online behaviours.“We know from our search logs that they’re certainly searching more actively for products ahead of making purchase decisions,” he says.“These are consumers who know what they want, who are aware of the different offerings globally.” by News Staff Posted Nov 2, 2012 6:30 am MDT read more

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Lowest number of Americans seeking jobless benefits in almost 7 years declines

FILE – In this Monday, June 24, 2013, file photo, a recruiter waits to meet with job seekers at a career fair, in King of Prussia, Pa. The Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. The report will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time Thursday April 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) Lowest number of Americans seeking jobless benefits in almost 7 years, declines 32K to 300,000 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Apr 10, 2014 6:35 am MDT WASHINGTON – The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost seven years, falling 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 300,000.The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 316,250.Fewer Americans sought benefits last week than at any point since the Great Recession began at the end of 2007. Applications are at their lowest level since May of that year.Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The decrease suggests that employers expect stronger economic growth in the coming months and are holding onto their workers.But Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, cautioned that the drop-off might be smaller than it appears. He noted that the Easter holiday, which moves from year-to-year, might have distorted the seasonal adjustments.“We need to see a few more weeks’ numbers before we can be sure where the trend now stands,” Shepherdson said in a client note. “Our core view is that claims are drifting gently downwards.”Employers added 192,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said last week. That follows gains of 197,000 in February, as the unemployment rate stayed at 6.7 per cent for the second straight month.Snowstorms and freezing temperatures in January and December shut down factories, kept shoppers away from stores, and reduced home buying. That cut into growth and hiring. Employers added 144,000 jobs in January and only 84,000 in December.More jobs and higher incomes will be needed to spur better overall economic growth. For now, economists expect the bad weather contributed to weak growth of 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent at an annual rate in the January-March quarter. But as the weather improves, most analysts expect growth to rebound to near 3 per cent. read more

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Climate finance is essential to addressing climate change Ban tells ministers in

“This can do more than anything to unlock the huge investment necessary for climate change adaptation and mitigation,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a ministerial-level meeting on the margins of the UN-led climate change talks under way in the Polish capital, Warsaw.“We must send the right policy signals,” Mr. Ban said, adding that the development of high-impact opportunities would unlock clean energy investments, close the viability gap between green and fossil fuel-based projects and de-risk renewable energy and low-carbon investments.He called for public finance, private finance, and support to the Green Climate Fund as three areas for common action.“Smart public financing can encourage local and international private investments,” the UN chief said, urging investors and companies to join forces with the public sector.Mr. Ban today was scheduled to meet with chief executives and senior representatives attending the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum being held in Warsaw alongside the UN Climate Change Conference.The Forum was launched by UN Global Compact, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, and UN Environment Programme (UNEP).“The bulk of institutional investors’ assets are in high0carbon investments,” noted Mr. Ban. “These investors have the power – and I believe the responsibility – to do their part in transforming the global economy and settling us on a safer path.” Mr. Ban also called for support to the recently established Green Climate Fund, which functions under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties (COP), and supports projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries.In addition, the Fund also aims to strengthen national ownership and enable countries to develop the capability and institutions needed to use climate finance effectively. The UN chief described the current state of the new entity as “an empty shell” and called for it to be brought into full operation “as soon as possible” so support could be provided to developing countries’ adaptation and mitigation efforts. read more

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Tanzania urged to provide more information on suspected Ebola case

The development comes as neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to tackle an Ebola outbreak that began in August last year, in the country’s north-east.The #DRC is introducing a second #Ebola vaccine next month as an additional tool to extend protection against the virus and prevent the expansion of the outbreak. pic.twitter.com/1Xx0bpO6H6— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) September 24, 2019 To date, it has claimed more than 2,100 lives in DRC, and latest figures show more than 3,150 cases overall, with 57 new cases in the week up to 19 September – compared to 40 in the previous week. Despite “several” requests, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that it had not received the information required from Tanzania to fully assess the potential risks.Speaking to journalists in Geneva, WHO spokesperson Fadela Chaib said that the agency stands ready to help the country respond to “any type of health emergency they may be facing”.The agency is mandated to do this by International Health Regulations (IHR), she added, before noting that WHO is in contact with the health authorities in Tanzania “at all levels”, from Geneva to the WHO Regional Office for Africa and the WHO Office in Tanzania.“WHO is closely following and seeking further information on unofficial reports of cases of undiagnosed febrile illness in Tanzania,” she said. “Despite several requests, WHO has so far not received the information required to fully assess the potential risk posed by this event.”To date, the agency has not advised any travel restrictions to Tanzania.WHO welcomes launch of second Ebola vaccineIn a related development, WHO also confirmed that a second Ebola vaccine is to be distributed in DRC from the middle of next month.The experimental jab, produced by pharma company Johnson & Johnson, will complement the existing rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine from Merck, that is being used in the north-east of the country.To date, more than 223,000 people have received the Merck vaccination to combat the current outbreak, according to WHO, which underscored its efficacy and safety. Ms. Chaib denied recent reports of delays in delivery of the drugs to affected communities in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri.If all doses were sent to the DRC, she explained, there would be no reserves available to respond to another threat in a neighbouring country.“The vaccine requires an ultra-cold chain it must be kept at minus 79 degrees (Celsius), so we need to bring it to the country in limited dosages,” she said. “The vaccine shipment has been uninterrupted since the beginning of the outbreak and there have been no shortages or delays in providing vaccination to the DRC.”    WHO describes the main vaccination strategy used with the rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine as a “ring strategy”, whereby anyone who has come into contact with someone with a confirmed case of Ebola is given the vaccine. In places where people are stigmatized or threatened, protected, “pop-up”, vaccination sites are set up, often at health posts, rather than near the homes of individuals infected with Ebola. “This allows people to come for vaccination at a safe, more anonymous site, but also increases protection for vaccinators in areas where there is ongoing conflict and insecurity,” the UN agency said in a statement.According to WHO, the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine must be given in two doses, 56 days apart. “It will be provided under approved protocols to targeted at-risk populations in areas that do not have active Ebola transmission as an additional tool to extend protection against the virus,” WHO said in a statement. read more

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Curtis Samuels emergence among bright spots at Ohio State spring practice

Sophomore running back Curtis Samuel (4) is one OSU player coach Urban Meyer mentioned could see an increased role in the upcoming season.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorOhio State coach Urban Meyer began his Tuesday press conference on a negative note for the second straight week, but he stressed that’s not a reason to panic.“We’re not very good right now, which is fine,” Meyer said. “It’s spring, we don’t have to be good.”Despite the seemingly slow start to spring practice, it’s not all doom and gloom at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.While Meyer said the Buckeyes have “offensive line issues” because of injuries, he added that OSU has a few playmakers making a name for themselves in practice. One of those players, sophomore running back Curtis Samuel, has been good enough that the Buckeyes will do anything they can to get him on the field, Meyer said.“We’re taking a look at Curtis Samuel as a receiver/H-back/running back, so he’s mixing time,” Meyer said. “He’s doing both. He’s a guy that we’ve ID’d as a top-five playmaker right now in our program.”Samuel played in all 15 games last season, but was second fiddle to rising junior Ezekiel Elliott for most of the year. Samuel ended up third on the team with 383 yards and six touchdowns on the ground while averaging 6.6 yards per carry.Despite earning a start in place of Elliott against Illinois in OSU’s eighth game of the season, Samuel’s playing time tailed off during the Buckeyes’ run to the College Football Playoff National Championship.But that could have been a result of Elliott’s play — he finished the year with 1,878 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground — rather than a decline in form for Samuel.After Samuel earned just one carry in the title game, Meyer said Tuesday that Buckeye fans will see the Brooklyn, N.Y., native on the field early and often next year.“The days of Curtis Samuel playing 10 plays are over,” Meyer said. “It’s our job to get him on the field for 40 or 50 plays. With (Elliott) coming back healthy and all that, to see him stand on the sideline and watch Zeke play is not right.”As Samuel moves up the list of top OSU playmakers, his coach said the Buckeyes are trying to figure out who else has earned the right to touch the ball next year.Meyer said wide receiver Michael Thomas is high on that list, but added that the redshirt-junior will undergo a sports hernia surgery. He said the surgery is “not that serious,” and mentioned that former Buckeye Ryan Shazier and current redshirt-junior safety Tyvis Powell both had the same procedure.Along with Thomas, Meyer said redshirt-sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall is one of the top playmakers in addition to Elliott, and he said Samuel is “not far behind.”Beyond that group, the fourth-year OSU coach said he and his staff are trying to figure out how other players like redshirt-senior tight end Nick Vannett and redshirt-sophomore tight end Marcus Baugh could fit in.Among the players forcing their way onto the list this spring is sophomore H-back Noah Brown, Meyer said.“Noah Brown had a very, very good day, too, so he’s moved from 15th on the list to whatever,” he said.For now, the list of the Buckeyes’ top playmakers is likely to change, but Meyer said he hopes to have it all penciled in after the Spring Game.“(At) the end of spring I’ll have that, what order they’re gonna touch the ball,” he said.The Buckeyes’ annual Spring Game is schedule for April 18 at Ohio Stadium, before OSU opens its regular season against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 in Blacksburg, Va. read more

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Shrinkage is Hilarious Political Science Fiction

first_imgStay on target FHTAGN & Loathing #1 Is the Horror Stoner Comedy We NeededRenegade Rule Dominates eSports and Friendship for an Epic Win We learn early in the book that a microscopic organism that is not from this planet has taken over the President’s brain and is absorbing massive amounts of radiation. Its goal is to nuke our planet and have a feed frenzy. A dysfunctional neuroscientist and disgruntled war general have been chosen to be shrunken down and save us all from total destruction. Strangely enough, that’s not the oddest part of the book. What does go on behind the walls of the White House is almost even madder than that cheesy sci-fi trope. The schmuck of a Vice President cannot even give his job away, while the First Lady is just trying to hold everything together and get her rocks off. Public Relations is poorly saving face for the missing POTUS while the media devours every drop. The political front can feel a tad bizarre at times, almost out of this world. I mean, think about it. Have you ever wondered if something beyond our laws, legislation, and well being is discussed behind the walls of the White House? How about if this scenario went beyond that, and it involved nano-aliens that consume radiation and might be taking over the President of the United States of America’s mind?!Well, five-time Emmy award-winning writer Rob Kutner has!  So much so that he successfully Kickstarted Shrinkage and raised $30,000 for the project. This insane tale is a mad twist between the early Body Wars ride at Epcot Center and a 30’s science fiction story. center_img Kutner’s past of writing on shows like Conan and The Daily Show makes the material laughably relatable. Chosen to draw out the insanity was none other than X-Men and Deadpool artist, John Lucas. His art style here almost mimics that of a political comic. The General’s face, when frustrated, becomes extremely scrunched into the center and redder than an apple, with help from colorist Mark Englert. Pantsuit ends and fingers pointing out objections are elongated and dramatic. All perfect for this type of story! I found myself having to put book the book down to laugh away a handful of jokes. It makes you wonder if Kutner’s been saving some gems in his back pocket for his own political funny project. The insanity in this book grows and grows until the last issue when it fully delivers on many levels. The risks are high, and the tensions are higher! If you are interested in the hilariously non-political, science fiction tale of our president under the influence of a bacterial alien species, then be on the lookout for Rob Kutner himself at this year’s San Diego Comic Con International. He’ll be signing copies of Shrinkage Friday, July 21st from 6-7 at the Golden Apple Comics booth 1806. And always remember…“The time of the season is the job of the now.”Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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Napoli complete double signing

first_imgNapoli have completed the signings of Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis and Alex Meret from Udinese, ESPN can confirm.Carlo Ancelotti’s side confirmed the two signings on Thursday as they hope to put an end to the seven-year dominance of Juventus.Ruiz joins on a five-year deal after leaving boyhood club Real Betis, the midfielder spent the entire 2016-17 season on loan at Elche in Spain’s second division.He returned to Betis at the start of last season making 34 appearances whilst scoring three goals and impressive performances saw the Andalusian side qualify for the UEFA Europa League.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….The 22-year-old joins Napoli after the Italian club activated his 30 million euros buyout clause, Betis confirmed.Napoli also announced the signing of goalkeeper Alex Meret from Udinese hours after announcing the signing of Fabian Ruiz.The 21-year-old shot-stopper is expected to replace the already departed Pepe Reina, who left the club this summer to join Italian side AC Milan.Ruiz and Meret become the second and third signing of Napoli this summer after the Naples based team signed Simone Verdi from Bologna for a reported fee of 25 million euros.last_img read more

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Person who fled Battle Ground traffic stop eludes searchers

first_imgAn hourslong search by Battle Ground police ended Wednesday night when officers were unable to find a person who ran away from a traffic stop.The incident started around 10 p.m. when an occupant of a car, possibly a passenger, fled after it was pulled over near the Taco Bell on West Main Street, said Chief Bob Richardson.Several Battle Ground officers, including a canine unit, and a few deputies with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office set up containment of the area around Main, Northwest 18th Avenue and Northwest Third Street, Richardson said.Police stayed in the area until about 1:30 a.m. but were unable to find the suspect.Richardson isn’t sure if the person was positively identified because no report was taken.last_img read more

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Cheesy shortage Kraft says Velveeta running low

first_imgNEW YORK — Playoff parties may have one fewer dip option this year.Kraft Foods says some customers may not be able to find Velveeta cheese over the next few weeks. A representative for the company, Jody Moore, didn’t give any reasons for the apparent shortage, saying only that they happen from time to time given the “nature of manufacturing.”She noted that the lack of availability is more noticeable because of the seasonal demand during the NFL playoffs. The company has been airing TV commercials featuring a recipe for a chili con queso dip made with Velveeta.Moore says it should be a short-term situation and that Kraft hasn’t yet heard from any customers who are having problem finding the products. She did not say whether the company experienced a similar shortage last year.The trade publication Ad Age reported the issue Tuesday, quoting an employee at a Brooklyn-area grocery store who didn’t expect shipments again until February due to “a plant issue.”Representatives for supermarket chain operators Kroger and Safeway were not immediately available to comment on whether they were having difficulty stocking Velveeta cheeses. The shortage affects only the Velveeta hard cheese products, but was not limited to a specific area.last_img read more

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North Slope caribou hunters face new restrictions

first_imgWith herd numbers down, hunting seasons and bag limits for caribou on the North Slope may face tighter restrictions.Listen NowThe animals in question belong to the Central Arctic Caribou Herd of hunting Unit 26. The herd’s population peaked between 2008 and 2010 at approximately 70,000 caribou. Due to high female mortality rates, current numbers indicate the herd is 22,000 strong.When herd numbers dip this low, Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Beth Lenart said that the department will suggest adopting conservative management measures.“Most the hunting takes place in Unit 26B so right now what we’ll be recommending is for that reduction of seasons and bag limits in Unit 26 Bravo,” Lenart said.The proposal will be made at a February meeting. Lenart encourages citizens with concerns to attend the meeting and give their testimonial. Changes could go into effect as early as April 2017.last_img read more

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MLA M Anand takes part in deworming drive

first_imgVikarabad: MLA M Anand called upon parents to take steps and ensure that children remain healthy. He said that malnutrition among the children could be prevented through deworming. He distributed deworming tablets among the students of Laxmibai Residential School at Ennepalli here on Thursday. Speaking on the occasion, the MLA said children fall sick due to malnutrition and deworming should be done to remain healthy.DMHO Sudhakar, school principal Ramanamma, district welfare officer Jyotsna, leaders Prabhakar Reddy, Vijaykumar, Ananth Reddy, Krishna Reddy, former ZPTC Muthahar Shraf and others were present.last_img read more

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Dhaka Delhi to conduct joint study on Ganges Barrage project

first_imgDhaka and Delhi agree to conduct joint study on Ganges Barrage project. Photo: UNBBangladesh and India on Thursday agreed to conduct a joint study on Ganges Barrage project and formed a technical committee to finalise the terms of reference (ToR) and constitute a larger panel to do the study, reports UNB.  Both sides also agreed to work on preparing a framework or interim water-sharing agreements on seven rivers — Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla, Feni and Dudhkumar including Teesta – and hoped to see some progress by 30 September. The issues were discussed at a secretary-level meeting held at state guesthouse Meghna here. Indian water resources, river development and ganga rejuvenation ministry secretary Upendra Prasad Singh and his Bangladesh counterpart Kabir Bin Anwar led their respective delegations. “We’ve decided to have a joint study actually….there’re two parts – finalisation of ToR and composition of that committee,” Upendra Singh told reporters at a joint briefing. The two sides will decide how much time it will take to do the study. “Right now we’re not in a position to say by what date the study would be completed,” said the Indian water resources secretary. “We want to make a good start,” Bangladesh water resources secretary Anwar said adding that the issues related to barrage construction and its design will not come for discussions right now because they want to conduct the study first. Asked whether the much-awaited Teesta water-sharing deal will be signed during prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s upcoming India visit, both the secretaries said it is difficult to say at this stage as the date of the visit is not finalised yet. Both the countries also discussed Delta Plan issues as the Bangladesh team explained it to its Indian counterpart. Upendra Singh said resuming secretary-level talks after a gap of eight years is the most important achievement of the meeting. Terming water a top most agenda of India, he said more than 80 per cent of rainfall both the countries get in just three-four months of monsoon. “We’ve to manage water for the whole year. It’s a big challenge actually.” Giving much importance to water conservation, the Indian water resources secretary said the two countries have so far been basically stressing supply side management. “This is high time to start working on demand side management.” Upendra Singh said both the countries agreed to update data on the rivers and remove the inconsistencies, if any. The Indian official hoped that they would be able to update the data to the extent possible and remove those inconstancies. On Ganges barrage project, Upendra Singh said they have no problem as far as the utilisation of water by constructing a barrage at whichever suitable place it is constructed. “India has absolutely no issue but two things we would like to do.” Firstly, he said, how to maximise the benefits out of it for both the countries though major benefits would go to Bangladesh. Secondly, Upendra Singh added, they would like to ensure that there is no adverse impact or minimise such impact as any intervention which they make on a river has implications. He said two people from each side will sit together and decide the composition of a larger committee. “We may have to have engineers, hydrology experts, environmentalists….” Anwar expressed satisfaction over the resumption of talks and hoped to see a minister-level Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) meeting soon. The two countries also discussed the problems of pollution in trans-boundary rivers and other issues of mutual interest. At the conclusion of the meeting, both sides signed the Joint Record of Discussions. Later, the Indian water resource secretary called on state minister of water resources Zaheed Farooque, MP and deputy minister of water resources AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem. He extended invitations from Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, minister of Jal Shakti of India to the Bangladesh ministers to visit India. The Bangladesh ministers thanked the Indian side for the invitations and agreed to undertake the visit at a mutually convenient date.last_img read more

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Geeksplainer SpiderGwen

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Director Explains Thanos’ Faceoff With Captain America‘Marvels’ Expands Marvel’s Podcast Universe Stay on targetcenter_img We love ourselves some Spiders here at Geek. The Marvel Universe plays with so many different ideas for the vast and ever-changing Spider-verse that it’s become an epic lineup of its own. With Spider-Man (Peter Parker) leading the pack, spiders like Silk (Cindy Moon), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Spider-Man (Miles Morales) and others (Spider-Ham) aren’t too far behind. However, if there’s one Spider we HAVE to talk about (and who may be the best of all, don’t @ me) that stands in an alternative universe, we have to look at the one and only Gwen Stacy aka Spider-Gwen.Before, she was the first love of Peter Parker’s life, with a tragic death in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (1973) that seemed to push his character into the main he is today. There wasn’t a lot to be known about Gwen Stacy in her regular verse since she was a very low-key yet important part of Peter’s life. Now, Gwen Stacy can’t stay dead for very long. She’s one fascinating character to play around with and talk about because she’s everything that is the opposite of Parker. Today, we’ll be looking a little more into one of our favorite spiders with a limited history behind her. Let’s dive in with some Spider-Gwen 101.Gwen Stacy weaved her way into the comics with the help of Dan Slott but executed by the brilliant masterminds writer Jason Latour and artist Robbie Rodriguez. Marvel’s Spider-Man editor Nick Lowe brought in Latour and Rodriguez on to create this insanely cool world for her. Stacy’s first appearance happened in Edge of Spider-Verse #2. In this, we move to Earth-65, where instead of Peter Parker getting bitten by the radioactive spider, Gwen takes that bite like a champion. She then beings the journey of the Spider-Woman. She tries to balance out her powers while protecting her normal life in the best way she knows how.For Earth-65, think of Earth-616 and flip it upside down. In this timeline, Gwen is a drummer with the band The Mary Janes, lead by Mary Jane Watson. Gwen’s dad Captain Stacy is a bit over an overbearing father as well as being the police captain. Peter’s journey in this alternative universe is very different. Peter and Gwen are friends, but he finds himself getting bullied at school. He doesn’t want to feel that hopeless anymore, so he transforms himself into The Lizard. The Lizard becomes one of Spider-Woman’s first casualties and like all things never meant to be, he dies. You think this is a lot? This is just the beginning of what happens to our favorite girl.After Edge of Spider-Verse’s success with this new reincarnation of Gwen as Spider-Woman, her stories and popularity soured into the mainstream of the Spider-Verse. In fact, after the events of Edge, she becomes an important and recurring part in the Spider-Verse storylines. She receives a Spider-Totem that’s able to cross and travel into other Spider-worlds. Gwen would be back in her universe soon enough and nuzzled in her own series with Latour and Rodriguez, taking that origin journey and spinning it into gold. Spider-Gwen’s run would have her fighting classic Spider-villains like Vulture. It would have her up against alternative versions of our favorite characters such as Cheif Frank Castle and Matt Murdock (Kingpin). She’s also been infused and served time being Venom-fied in her run as well.Of course, with great storylines, comes great powers and personality. Gwen’s so different from her original character portrayal that this brand over Gwen completely overthrows what she was before. (Never forget though.) One thing I forever admire about Gwen in Latour and Rodriguez’s run is how vulnerable she is. She’s a gritty version of her former self. Gwen is sarcastic and bold, which makes her prime uncharted and extremely exciting territory to create from.However, Gwen, at the point of her conception, was still learning and figuring her shit out. Gwen’s no doubt has made a TONS of mistakes. She picks herself back up and learns from them the best way she knows how. She takes after the many incarnations of the Spiders we’ve come to know and love in that regard. Sure, this may come at the cost of always becoming unmasked every once in a while, but Gwen stands to be a trooper. She makes a notable appearance in whatever Earth-U she’s apart of. Also, Gwen’s a music nerd and struck up an adorable romance with Miles Morales. A girl after my own heart.Her powers mirror that of Peter Parker but with some things that are uniquely different. She’s supplied with unlimited shooters formed by the moisture in the air gifted to her by Janet Van Dyne. She also isn’t a highly skilled fighter, leaning most of what she knows from Kung-Fu movies as everyone should. Gwen also has a great handle on being agile and using her body to her advantage. She’s also skilled at problem-solving that varies from her dad being a detective.There are so many comics that have come out in the past few years that chronicle the life and times of Spider-Gwen. Latour and Rodriguez have wholly given her so much uncharted territory that it’s hard to stop once you start. If you’re looking to get into Spider-Gwen, here are some comics that come highly recommended to give you the boost into her world.No doubt you have to read her debut into the world with Edge of Spider-Verse #2. After Edge of Spider-Verse, head into the broader world of Spider-Gwen Vol. 1: Greater Power. Sadly, the ending of Spider-Gwen has already come, but what better time to start binging the whole series. You’ll also want to pick up Spider-Women where Spider-Gwen teams up with Silk and Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) and Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen: Sitting In A Tree, because you want to read the cutest romance in the world right? That’s what I thought.Spider-Gwen is a highlight within gameplay for Marvel Heroes as a team up, and later, playable character in the game voiced by Ashley Johnson. She also appears in other games like Avengers Alliance, Marvel Future Fight and Contest of Champions. In animation, she’s seen in the Ultimate Spider-Man VS. The Sinister 6 show voiced Dove Cameron. Cameron also returns to voice Gwen in the upcoming film Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, starring Captain Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Quake, Inferno, Patriot and America Chavez. You can catch it on Disney XD on Sunday, September 30th at 10 pm. You can see Gwen on the bigger this holiday season alongside Miles Morales and Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The equally adorable Hailee Steinfeld will voice the character as she swings into that Spider-Verse this holiday season, December 14th.Since her incarnation, Stacy has come into her own with a resurrection that only a Marvel character could dream of in this comic age. She’s gained such a badass reputation that keeps her in the running of being one of the best Marvel creations. She keeps inspiring with her biting humor, learned movie Kung-Fu and agility that puts every other Spider to shame. So, now you know all about Spider-Gwen! You guys better get started reading those books before December 14th.See our complete review of the new Spidey game. Catch all the tips and tricks too. Read up on the fab Silk aka Cindy Moon. And stay on top of all Marvel news here.last_img read more

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Starfish on ocean floor found to have well developed eyes

first_imgA team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources has found that starfish living in the dark on the ocean floor have eyes on their arms that are similar to other starfish living near shore. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes their study of the unique sea creatures and what they learned about starfish vision. More information: Deep-sea starfish from the Arctic have well-developed eyes in the dark, Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2018). Published 7 February 2018.DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2743 , http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/285/1872/20172743AbstractAsteroids, starfish, are important members of the macro-benthos in almost all marine environments including the deep sea. Starfish are in general assumed to be largely olfactory guided, but recent studies have shown that two tropical shallow water species rely on vision alone to find their habitat at short distances. Their compound eyes are found at the tip of each arm and they vary little between examined species. Still, nothing is known about vision in the species found in the aphotic zone of the deep sea or whether they even have eyes. Here, 13 species of starfish from Greenland waters, covering a depth range from shallow waters to the deep sea below 1000 m, were examined for the presence of eyes and optical and morphological examinations were used to estimate the quality of vision. Further, species found in the aphotic zone below 320 m were checked for bioluminescence. All species, except the infaunal Ctenodiscus crispatus, had eyes, and two were found to be bioluminescent. Interestingly, one of the species found in the aphotic zone, Novodinia americana, had close to the highest spatial resolution known for starfish eyes along with being bioluminescent. Accordingly, we hypothesize that this species communicates visually using bioluminescent flashes putatively for reproductive purposes. Other species have greatly enhanced sensitivity with few large ommatidia but at the sacrifice of spatial resolution. The discovery of eyes in deep-sea starfish with a huge variation in optical quality and sensitivity indicates that their visual ecology also differs greatly. Starfish use their eyes to stay close to home, researchers find © 2018 Phys.org Citation: Starfish on ocean floor found to have well developed eyes (2018, February 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-starfish-ocean-floor-eyes.html Tremaster mirabilis. Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer 2014center_img Scientists have known for some time that some starfish that live near shore have compound eyes in the tips of their arms. In this new study, the researchers have found the same to be true for many types of starfish that live in the dark at the bottom of the ocean.To learn more about starfish vision in places besides the shoreline, the researchers collected hundreds of specimens (representing 13 species) from depths ranging from shallow waters to 1,000 meters below the surface—all living in the North Atlantic near Greenland. They found that 12 of the species had compound eyes similar to those found in starfish near the shoreline—the one lone species without eyes was a burrowing starfish that lives relatively close to shore.In all of those with compound eyes, the eyes were uncovered, the researchers report, and were located on the bottom side of the arm tip, which means the starfish bend the tips to use them, pointing the eyes at targets. Visual acuity and sensitivity to light varied among the species they studied.The team also noted that two of the species were also bioluminescent, able to emit flashes of light. Because they have both vision and a means for producing light, the researchers suggest the bioluminescence could be a means of communication between members of the same species—perhaps as a signal warning of predators or as part of mating. They note more study is required to learn how the starfish actually use both their eyes and bioluminescence, but also point out the difficulty in doing so. Studying a sea creature on the ocean floor in the dark requires specialized equipment and perhaps a light source, which changes the environment, inhibiting the observation of natural behavior. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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