Viktor Orban: Europe’s future and Christian foundations must be protected https://t.co/tu2b9BjyTT
— Voice of Europe (@V_of_Europe) January 31, 2018
* * *
A former immunology expert and laboratory director at the University of Pittsburgh alleges she was fired after blowing the whistle on safety violations at the university, including an incident when a laboratory monkey infected with a “select agent” escaped its cage, the Penn Record reported.
According to the Record, court documents show former university immunology professor and Regional Biocontainment Laboratory associate director Kelly Stefano Cole filed a lawsuit accusing university personnel of violating the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law by terminating her after she reported the escaped lab monkey to them:
Cole’s suit says she questioned the university’s Biological Safety Officer, Dr Molly Stitt-Fischer, about the incident and its outcome. Stitt-Fischer told Cole the event was not a safety violation, but an “accident,” the suit says. As it was deemed such, [the person allegedly responsible for the accident] would not lose her access to the facility, the suit says.
As Stitt-Fischer’s account differed from what the student initially told her, Cole took it upon herself to review the university’s report of the incident and found what she called a “notable error” in the report – namely, that the infected laboratory monkey had only escaped its cage for a short time, when it had actually escaped for several hours, the suit says.
Cole alleges she was told not to report the incident to federal authorities, and that she later learned a second incident involving a laboratory rabbit yet again infected with a “select agent” had similarly gone unreported. According to the Record, she also says the university subsequently began hitting her with minor infractions of rules such as “improper sign-in procedures for the laboratories, improper laboratory attire and a paperwork discrepancy connected to various shipments of vials,” violations her colleagues were allegedly equally guilty of but not disciplined for, until she was eventually fired.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The United States asked Poland to rethink plans to enact proposed legislation regulating Holocaust speech that has sparked a diplomatic dispute with Israel, arguing Wednesday that if it passes it could hurt freedom of speech as well as strategic relationships.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Neather Nauert voiced her government’s concerns as the Polish Senate was preparing to approve the bill, a step that would put it closer to becoming law. The measure would next need to be signed into law by the president, who supports it.
The unexpectedly-revealing description of what Rex Tillerson apparently considers successful diplomacy came from his own mouth on Wednesday as he was speaking at Stanford University with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
“The Japanese… have had over a 100 North Korean fishing boats that have drifted into Japanese waters. Two-thirds of the people on those boats have died,” Tillerson said, citing the Japanese delegation that attended a conference in Vancouver, Canada, earlier this week.
He was referring to the regular phenomenon of so-called ‘ghost ships’ from North Korea, which have become stranded on the Japanese coast for years. Last year, a record 104 such cases were reported by Japanese authorities, with some 30 fishermen found dead on arrival. Any survivors usually ask to be returned to their home country, and Japan obliges.
So why are dozens of dead North Koreans a good sign?
Two days after we reported that Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, when Turkey’s foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu also said that Ankara is calling upon the US to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias, not surprisingly the US refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.
Speaking on CNN, General Joseph Votel, head of the United States Central Command, said that withdrawing US forces from the strategically important city is “not something we are looking into.”
* * *
On the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Baltimore University hosted more than 200 activists in the peace, environment, and social justice movements to launch a new initiative known as the Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases, the Nation reported.
In a series of panels that lasted over two days, the conference attendees highlighted the horrors of American foreign policy despite the fact Martin Luther King warned against these horrors over 50 years ago, a fitting reminder to heed the warnings of Dr. King.
According to the panel, the U.S. has over 800 formal military bases in 80 countries, “a number that could exceed 1,000 if you count troops stationed at embassies and missions and so-called ‘lily-pond’ bases, with some 138,000 soldiers stationed around the globe,” the Nation notes.
According to David Vine, author of Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Overseas Harm America and the World, maintaining bases and troops overseas cost $85 to $100 billion in 2014, while the total for bases and troops in war zones was between $160 billion and $200 billion.
The House of Lords Constitution Committee stated in a report that the Brexit bill has “fundamental flaws,” letting lawmakers play mischief with the EU laws retained in UK Law. Dr John Curtice, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Fellow of The British Academy for Humanities and Social Sciences, details the issue to Sputnik.
Sputnik: Is there a danger that at some point the UK will find itself with laws that don’t actually apply, just don’t exist in certain areas of legislation?
Dr John Curtice: We are certainly relying on the ability of our civil servants to go through with a fine-tooth comb all the details of the European legislation and to make sure that it does work. But given what the bill does is literally downloading all the aspects of the European Union regulation into British law. In theory at least, apart from some technical difficulties, there should not be any gaps. Everything that is currently an EU law that we adhere to will become a British law which we will continue to adhere to.
Physicists are getting close to building lasers powerful enough to rip matter out of a vacuum.
According to a report published Jan. 24 in the journal Science, a team of Chinese scientists is getting ready to start construction this year on a 100-petawatt laser in Shanghai known as the Station of Extreme Light, or SEL. That puts them at the front of a wide field of scientists around the world who are working to realize a prediction published in the journal Physical Review Letters in 2010 by a team of American and French physicists that a sufficiently powerful laser could cause electrons to appear out of a vacuum.
It might seem weird to imagine that electrons could appear out of empty space. But it makes a lot more sense in light of a strange claim of quantum electrodynamics: “Empty” space isn’t empty at all, but rather is made up of densely packed pairs of matter and antimatter. Those pairs tightly fill up the gaps between everything, quantum electrodynamics states — they just don’t interact in any noticeable way with the rest of the universe, because they cancel one another out. [The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]
In a move that might explain why Amazon has been quietly acquiring pharmacy licenses (not to mention hitting daily all time highs) the e-commerce giant – along with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase & Co. – announced on Tuesday morning that they would partner to form a new health-care venture.
As stated in the press release, “Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced today that they are partnering on ways to address healthcare for their U.S. employees, with the aim of improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs. The three companies, which bring their scale and complementary expertise to this long-term effort, will pursue this objective through an independent company that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints. The initial focus of the new company will be on technology solutions that will provide U.S. employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.”
Meanwhile, its ultra-versatile new $440 million warship is frozen to a dock in Canada.
The US Navy’s ultra-versatile new $440 million warship might have to ride out the rest of winter frozen to a dock in Canada. But the sailing branch says it expects to formally accept a new 610-foot-long vessel into service in the coming weeks, its second Zumwalt-class stealth battleship.
According to a UN report, at least 235 civilian casualties were caused due to aerial operations carried out by international military forces
Four-year-old Alisina was playing in the fields outside her house in the Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan, located 80 kilometers from the capital city of Kabul, on a mid-April morning. Only vaguely aware of the constant war that surrounds them, Alisina and her friends didn’t know the large metal object they found in the field that day was in fact an unexploded ordnance left behind by one of the warring parties. The little girls squabbled over who would get to play with it first, and Alisina won the rights to the deadly weapon, which minutes later exploded in her hands as she attempted to lift it.
Some of Google’s top AI researchers are trying to predict your medical outcome as soon as you’re admitted to the hospital.
A new research paper, published Jan. 24 with 34 co-authors and not peer-reviewed, claims better accuracy than existing software at predicting outcomes like whether a patient will die in the hospital, be discharged and readmitted, and their final diagnosis. To conduct the study, Google obtained de-identified data of 216,221 adults, with more than 46 billion data points between them. The data span 11 combined years at two hospitals, University of California San Francisco Medical Center (from 2012-2016) and University of Chicago Medicine (2009-2016).
While the results have not been independently validated, Google claims vast improvements over traditional models used today for predicting medical outcomes. Its biggest claim is the ability to predict patient deaths 24-48 hours before current methods, which could allow time for doctors to administer life-saving procedures.
* * *
DEUTSCHE BANK has warned customers against investing in cryptocurrencies as one of its global heads has said: “We do not recommend it.”
Mr Müller said: “It is only for investors who invest speculatively. There is a realistic risk of a total loss.”
He went on to explain that he believes the recent price increases were due to a lot of imagination, driven by the current situation on the market.
* * *
ANGELA Merkel has done a dramatic U-turn on her migrant polices and caved in to demands by her coalition partners to allow by 1,000 migrants a month into the country.
The world’s two largest silver mines have seen their productivity decline substantially due to falling ore grades and rising costs. Gone are the days when silver mines could produce silver at 15-20 ounces per ton. Today, the Primary Silver Mining Industry is likely producing silver at an average yield of 4-5 ounces per ton.
In my newest video, I discuss the changes that have taken place in the world’s two largest silver mines, the Cannington Mine in Australia and the Fresnillo Mine in Mexico. Falling ore grades and rising energy costs have contributed to the doubling and tripling of production costs at many silver mining companies. Investors who believe it still only costs $5 an ounce to produce silver, as it did in 1999, fail to grasp what is taking place in the silver mining industry:
A big problem that has confused investors is the reporting of the “CASH COST” metric by the mining industry. Some silver mining companies can brag that they have a very low cast cost of $5 an ounce, but they arrive at that figure by deducting their “by-product credits.” By-product credits are the revenues they receive from producing copper, zinc, lead, and gold along with their silver.