The Healthcare System of Tomorrow: How Advanced Analytics is Evolving Patient Care and Cybersecurity

first_imgDelivering Care Sooner with the Semantic Data LakeOne New York-based healthcare system has deployed an advanced analytics solution, Semantic Data Lake, to automate and accelerate its ability to identify high-risk patients in need of critical, time-sensitive intervention.Semantic Data Lake leverages multiple data formats and sources–including clinician data, behavioral insights, wellness research findings, population demographics, and even medical images—to create realistic, holistic profiles of patients. Advanced analytics algorithms then generate insights on these profiles, and the insights are optimized over time through machine learning capabilities.The solution is built on the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2690 v3 with Cloudera’s Hadoop* distribution and Franz’s AllegroGraph*, a high-performance semantic graph database. Through its ability to stream and mine data in near real-time and at scale, the healthcare system can identify patients at risk for respiratory failure 24 to 48 hours in advance, with high levels of sensitivity and specificity3. Physicians are consequently able to better prevent fatal episodes or respiratory failure. At healthcare organizations, data sets are growing fast, both in volume and complexity, as the types and sources of data continue to multiply. Thirty percent of the world’s data is already estimated to be healthcare data1, and in the U.S. many hospitals gather over 100 data points per patient per day2.However, simply creating vast data pools doesn’t automatically translate into better care. That’s where advanced analytics comes in—and its application in healthcare is growing at a rapid rate.Advanced analytics enables healthcare organizations to manage, process, and use their data in new ways for unparalleled insights. Offering capabilities such as predictive models and automated decision support, it enables clinicians to achieve everything from more efficient patient care through real-time monitoring and personalized results, to more effective mitigation of cybersecurity risks.At Intel, we work with a number of healthcare organizations who are using advanced analytics to transform their patient care and protect their patients’ personal information. Here are three best-practice case studies of advanced analytics success. Driving Real-time Clinical Interventions with Predictive AnalyticsBy loading its electronic medical record data into a Cloudera* cluster powered by the Intel® Xeon® processor E5 v4 family, one specialized rapid response team at a different healthcare provider has been able to develop a predictive model that can identify patients at risk for requiring clinical intervention within a defined period of time.The solution analyzes a range of data including blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate, and uses machine learning to train the algorithm over time.When the proof-of-concept model was tested against historical data, it was found to be 80 percent accurate in predicting the likelihood of a rapid response team event within the next hour.4  The model has therefore enabled the team to optimize real-time clinical interventions, improving its resource utilization and bettering its patient care outcomes.center_img Helping to Protect Connected Devices from Cyber-attacks with Artificial IntelligenceFaced with sophisticated unknown malware and zero-day attacks threatening its operations, a large multisite healthcare system wanted to use advanced analytics to improve its cybersecurity capabilities.It chose to deploy the Cybraics nLighten* platform, which combines artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced security analytics to scan for threats, vulnerabilities, infections, and targeted attacks. The platform runs on the Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub* and is powered by the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2650 v4 and Intel® Solid State Drive Data Center S3500 Series with Non-Volatile Memory Express* support.The nLighten analytics solution has enabled the healthcare system’s IT department to detect and resolve dangerous medical device and ransomware infections. This solution has also helped to detect vulnerable systems and employees, enabling proactive remediation. These in turn have helped mitigate risk of disruptive and costly breaches, helping to safeguard patient safety, privacy, and the organization’s reputation.Find out more about how advanced analytics is transforming healthcare and other industries by reading Intel’s new cross-sector eBook on the Business Impact of Advanced Analytics.1 Tech’s Next Big Wave: Big Data Meets Biology, Fortune 2018 http://fortune.com/2018/03/19/big-data-digital-health-tech/2 Montefiore Creates Data Analytics Platform to Advance Patient Care, Intel 2017, p.1 https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/healthcare-it/solutions/documents/montefiore-advance-patient-care-solution-brief.html3 Intel and Partners Come Together to Solve Healthcare, Intel 2018 https://newsroom.intel.com/editorials/intel-partners-come-together-solve-healthcare/4 80-percent accuracy indicates the level of accuracy observed when scoring a set of unlabeled test data that was not used in the development of the model. Using Machine Learning and EMR Data to Predict Patient Decline, Intel 2017, p.1 https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/healthcare-it/solutions/documents/using-machine-learning-and-emr-data-to-predict-patient-decline-case-study.htmlIntel® technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No computer system can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at https://www.intel.com.Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information go to http://www.intel.com/benchmarks.Estimated results were obtained prior to implementation of recent software patches and firmware updates intended to address exploits referred to as “Spectre” and “Meltdown”. Implementation of these updates may make these results inapplicable to your device or system.All information provided here is subject to change without notice. Contact your Intel representative to obtain the latest Intel product specifications and roadmaps.last_img read more

Lack of football infrastructure a problem in India, says AIFF technical director Scott O’Donell

first_imgAll India Football Federation (AIFF) technical director Scott O’Donell said that lack of suitable infrastructure, specially in terms of playing and training facilities, is a big problem in the country.The technical director said the AIFF Academy Programme hasn’t been a smooth journey because of the limited resources available.”We have had issues with venues for our academies because we do not have our own national training centre. As a result we have had to search for suitable venues across the country. The lack of suitable infrastructure is a big problem but I am hoping with the hosting of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, at least one legacy will be the improvement in playing and training facilities,” O’Donell said on Tuesday.”Age cheating has been another big issue for us but we seem to have that nearly sorted by conducting MRI tests on all players who enter our academy programme.”Speaking about the journey so far, he said, “It hasn’t always been easy but we have done what we have been able to do within our limited resources. I was at an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Youth Conference this week, and while we are not up there with the likes of Japan or Korea, we can be proud of what we have done in terms of our residential academies.”We have given our young players the opportunity to experience the opportunity to live and breathe football on a full-time basis. AIFF has provided coaching, board and accommodation as well as education for all of our players.”advertisementlast_img read more

Want to remain calm like Dhoni in pressure situations, says Virat Kohli

first_imgIndia Test skipper Virat Kohli heaped praise on limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday, saying that he would like to acquire the composure and ability to not panic in pressure situations from the iconic wicketkeeper-batsman who led the country to the 2011 World Cup triumph.Kohli, who recently led India to a comfortable Test series-win against visitors South Africa, believes the 2007 World Twenty20-winning captain Dhoni has achieved all milestones in his illustrious career.”I would like to learn more of the composure from Dhoni. Also his ability to not panic in pressure situations is something I would like to take from him. The World T20 win in 2007 was the launch of Dhoni as a leader. The way he led the young bunch of players like Rohit Sharma, S Sreesanth and others was really praiseworthy. From there on, he became the big figure of captain not only in India but also in the world,” Kohli said at a function here where the schedule for the ICC World Twenty20 2016 was announced.”He (Dhoni) won everything as skipper, leading the Test side to World No.1, ODI No.1 and T20 No.1. He has nothing left to achieve in his career. I have been watching him for a long time and I admire him a lot for what he has done for the country,” the 27-year-old said.India will launch their World T20 2016 campaign in Nagpur against New Zealand on March 15, while it will go head-to-head with arch-rivals Pakistan in Dharamsala on March 19. Other matches will be against the Group A (Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Ireland and Oman) winner in Bengaluru on March 23 and Australia in Mohali on March 27.advertisementWhen asked about which teams he would like to pick as favourites for the tournament, Kohli played it safe, mentioning that the event will be an open contest and the team playing better cricket on a particular day will win.”Any team is favourite if the team is on form on the particular day. Any team could be the favourite. Last year, in Bangladesh, we could not win the final against Sri Lanka. We hope to keep things simple this time around and hope we will come out victorious. Watching India win the 2007 World T20 was a different experience. It was a milestone. It was really a proud feeling for the entire nation then and from then Indian cricket took off to different heights,” he said.Kohli said South Africa’s hard-hitting batsman AB de Villiers will be one to watch out for.”One batsman we can watch out for is de Villiers. I have been a great admirer of him for long. He has done all things right in the past three years. After playing alongside him in Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore, I got to know him more,” he said.”Other young players should learn from him how to apply themselves in different situations. Like he can play a sparking, swashbuckling innings, he can also play a composed slow innings, like he did in the Delhi Test,” Kohli observed.last_img read more

Virat Kohli in own territory, comparisons with Sachin Tendulkar unfair: Bhaichung Bhutia to India Today

first_imgVirat Kohli has quite simply been the star of 2016. With 2595 runs, seven centuries and 13 fifties across all formats, the Indian Test captain had an exploding year. (Virat Kohli made 2016 a year to remember)The 28-year-old has left the purists of the game flummoxed with his astonishing scoring ability and sheer consistency as rarely does anybody come across a player who can dominate world cricket in the same manner as Kohli.Condition, pressure and expectations are the three most important factors that determine a player’s career. Kohli overpowered all of them with a masterly flair. (Virat Kohli is twice as aggressive as I was: Sourav Ganguly)Not only did he take his game to an all new level, Kohli also ensured that India finish the year on top of the world Test rankings.(Virat Kohli proud of Team India’s unselfish attitude)And just as Kohli is winning every accolade under the sun, the Delhi-dasher’s never-say-die attitude has bowled over another Indian sporting icon. Kohli, with his artistry on the cricket field, has gained an illustrious fan in former India football captain, Bhaichung Bhutia. (Expecting Virat Kohli to achieve much more: Chris Gayle)Bhutia, who himself captured the imaginations of his fans with his skills on the football field, is amazed with Kohli’s consistency.  “Virat Kohli has been phenomenal. To score so many runs and to do it so consistently is great,” Bhutia told India Today in an exclusive chat.The Sikkimese sniper, however, stopped short of comparing Kohli with batting great Sachin Tendulkar.advertisementBCCI Photo”It would be unfair to compare him with Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar has achieved so much, he has created so many milestones. Kohli has become a brand, he is in his own territory,” said Bhutia, a fan of action-packed Twenty20 cricket.Speaking on what had been a good year for Indian sports, the 40-year-old chose PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik’s medal-winning feats at the Rio Olympics as his top picks. However, he said the performance at the Olympics could have been better. (After Rio Silver, my life changed but I haven’t: PV Sindhu to India Today)”One of the good years in terms of Indian sports and football. Bengaluru FC reaching the finals of the AFC Cup is a great achievement. It would have been better if they had won it but to reach the finals itself is an achievement. Olympics performance was a bit disappointing… it could have been better. But two women athletes winning the medals was a great thing. Indian cricket team reaching the top of the Test rankings was expected. It didn’t come as a surprise as they were performing well,” he said. (Have lost touch with friends after Rio Bronze, says Sakshi Malik)Bhutia, who has been one of the most recognised Indian footballers, was happy with the performance of the Indian football team, which achieved its highest annual ranking in six years after being placed 135th in the year-end list by football’s governing body, FIFA. (No Indian football club has better record than Bengaluru FC: Sunil Chhetri)”It was also a good year for Indian football team. Ending the year on 135 rank is a big improvement,” he said. (ISL’s standard has dropped this year, says Baichung Bhutia)Looking ahead at 2017, the former striker said it will be an important year for Indian football with the country scheduled to host the Under-17 FIFA World Cup.”2017 will be an important year for Indian football. All our focus is on hosting the 2017 U-17 World Cup. If we can perform well in the tournament then I think it can’t get better than that. We are prepared to host the tournament.”All our venues are more or less complete. Home factor will be important for the Indian team. If they can upset a few teams in the group stages then it would be great,” said Bhutia, who is the chairman of the All India Football federation’s (AIFF) Technical, Coaching and Developmental Committee.last_img read more

Penn State’s Football Team Dropped An Incredible Dance Routine At THON

first_imgPenn State football players dance at THON.Penn State is notorious for its THON marathon, which is an annual fundraiser for children who are battling cancer. Participants, who are not allowed to sit for 46 straight hours, dance to raise millions of dollars for this great cause. It looks like Penn State’s football team got in on the action this year. And the Nittany Lions did not disappoint.PSU’s football squad put on an incredible performance, kicking things off with an old school 70s classic, the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.” A number of players – including Jason Cabinda, Cole Chiappialle and Brandon Johnson even wore wigs during the routine. The best part is probably the breakdancing portion of the clip.Enjoy, Penn State fans:last_img

Travel and Cocktails with Westbound’s Head Bartender

first_img 9 Best Spirits For Spiked Apple Cider 8 Best Rums for Piña Coladas Editors’ Recommendations 9 Best Tequilas (and 3 Mezcals) for Palomas, According to Bartenders America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene All the glamor of travel is in the newly opened Westbound. It is as though you’ve stepped into the first class train car in a bygone time of sophistication and service. There’s a reason for that: Westbound is located on the former site of the Santa Fe railway station. Now it’s a hub for incredible food and drinks, old favorites with adventurous twists and new ideas based on global flavors. Head bartender, Dee Ann Quinones, who helped create the drink menu, talks to us about all things cocktails.First, let’s set the scene: Westbound is all about service and attention to detail. The travel/train theme is incorporated elegantly and with a light hand– it doesn’t smack of a theme park. Westbound has a surprisingly modern feel for such a vintage-inspired design: bold earthy paint colors, rich woods and chocolately leathers, with copper on the bar and Pullman booths at the tables. There’s also a patio outside flanked by olive trees. Dee Ann Quinones is right at home in Westbound, a world traveler herself, who first met owner Sarah Meade in New York when Quinones was managing Booker and Dax. The two kept in touch and, when it came time to open Westbound in May of this year, Quinones was Mead’s choice for Head Bartender. It’s a natural fit. “Travel is a big theme in my life,” Quinones says. “Right before I came to LA, I was traveling around the world for two months visiting 12 countries. Travel is where most of the inspiration for my cocktails comes from. I’m always trying to replicate the taste and feel of the various food, cultures, colors, and experiences that I have been exposed to. I’ve been to 48 countries in total. We’re lucky to have a travel theme to Westbound, there is always a narrative or story to start from and we’re always on the move.”Once she’s got that inspiration, how does she create a new cocktail? “Usually, I start with a flavor – something I’m looking to explore or take to the next level. Everything is flavor-focused. I like to see how I can make this ‘flavor’ as good as it can be in a cocktail, and translate that to the everyday guest.” The Conductor looks especially intriguing: Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Black Sesame, Tamarind, Egg White, and Lemon. Quinones’ current favorite is The Westbound & Up: Vida Mezcal, Chipotle Honey, Lemon, Orange Bitters, and Lime. “It’s a fantastic mezcal cocktail,” Quinones remarks, made even tastier given Westbound’s commitment to using local and seasonal ingredients.Food is another important aspect of Westbound and for that Mead turned to Executive Chef Gary Nguyen, formerly of Alma and Mélisse. His menu, too, reflects the global travel aesthetic in a playful, daring way. The small plates include delicious options like Foie ‘n’ Waffle, and the Beet Trifle, which is beet meringue, orange cake, brandy caramel, and spring herb ice cream.“Pairing food and cocktails are my favorite.” Quinones collaborated with Nguyen to develop drinks that would enhance the dishes. “We don’t have to be limited by wine. Cocktails can take it so much further. Gary (the executive chef) and I work very closely together on flavor profiles and trying to complement existing and new menu items. Our French 75 [Rutte Gin, Lemon, Simple, Bubbles, served in a champagne flute and a lemon twist] pairs perfectly with our beef tartar. The cocktail is light and its acidity does well cutting the richness of the beef.” The menu offers a helping hand, suggesting drink pairings with food, but the extremely friendly, knowledgeable staff is there to help.So, what does cocktail master Quinones recommend as the perfect choice for summer grilling? Mezcal. Think their Westbound & Up cocktail: “The smokiness of the mezcal is great for the BBQ char; the chipotle honey and lemon give it that tart and spice that you want with a burger.”This eatery and bar is destined to become a favorite spot among Angelenos. With such a talented staff, dedicated to providing top tier service, unique food and drinks, and a decor that might as well be a time machine to a better era, you won’t want to get off the Westbound train. The Opus OP15′ Is a Tricked-Out, Off-Road-Ready Travel Trailerlast_img read more

MOL Kicks Off Biannual Vessel Safety Campaign

first_imgMitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced the launch of its biannual campaign targeting all MOL-operated vessels.“MOL positions safe operation as a social commitment and the highest priority in all of its business activities, as the company forges ahead to become the world leader in safe operation,” MOL said.As part of these efforts, Company President Muto, executives, and other personnel will conduct an extensive series of visits to MOL-operated vessels in Japan and overseas. During the visits, they will meet with on-board employees who are responsible for on-site safe operation and exchange information and opinions about ways to prevent safety-related incidents.Proposals and ideas gained through this campaign, which is held twice a year with a different theme, will be shared throughout the MOL Group and among group-operated vessels, to further enhance the group’s safe-operation structure.The campaign will last until Monday, June 30, 2014 the main topic being “Safe Behavior Keeps You Safe”. This will entail an exchange of opinions about what constitutes safe behavior, and what can be done to encourage spontaneous safe behavior, using a case study of an incident that occurred on an MOL-operated vessel.The vessels to be targeted by the campaign will be:– MOL-operated vessels (dry bulkers, tankers, LNG carriers, car carriers, containerships)– MOL Group company-operated vessels (ferries, cruise ships, etc.)last_img read more

SC Collegium recommends transfer of Madras HC Chief Justice V K Tahilramani

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court collegium has recommended transfer of Justice V K Tahilramani, the incumbent Chief Justice of the Madras High Court to Meghalaya High Court, not acceding to her request for reconsideration of her transfer. The collegium, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, recommended transfer of Justice Tahilramani, who was elevated as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court on August 8 last year, to the Meghalaya High Court. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe collegium recommended her transfer on August 28, after which she had made a representation to the collegium requesting it to reconsider the proposal for transfer. “The collegium has carefully gone through the aforesaid representation and taken into consideration all relevant factors. On reconsideration, the collegium is of the considered view that it is not possible to accede to her request,” said the resolution dated September 3, which was uploaded on the apex court website. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “The collegium, accordingly, reiterates its recommendation dated August 28, 2019 for transfer of Justice V K Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court,” it said. While holding office as the acting chief justice of the Bombay High Court, Justice Tahilramani had in May 2017 upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of 11 people in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case, which was transferred to Maharashtra from Gujarat by the top court. The apex court collegium — also comprising justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and R F Nariman — has recommended that Meghalaya High Court’s Chief Justice Justice A K Mittal be transferred to Madras High Court as its Chief Justice. It has also recommended transfer of Justice Vivek Agarwal of the Madhya Pradesh High Court to Allahabad High Court and Justice Amit Rawal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the Kerala High Court.last_img read more

Federal and Quebec governments fund aluminum smelting breakthrough

first_imgSAGUENAY, Que. – Aluminum giants Alcoa Inc. and Rio Tinto Group are teaming up with Apple Inc. and the federal and Quebec governments to commercialize the world’s first carbon-free aluminum smelting process.Described by the companies as the most significant innovation in the aluminum industry in 100 years, the new process eliminates greenhouse gas emissions from traditional smelting by instead producing oxygen.Ottawa, Quebec and Apple Inc. are investing in a joint venture between Alcoa and Rio Tinto called Elysis, which will commercialize the new, more environmentally friendly way of producing aluminium.Elysis will have its headquarters in Montreal and a research facility in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the new technology is exactly what the federal government is looking to invest in.“We no longer have a choice,” Trudeau told a news conference in Saguenay, about 200 kilometres north of Quebec City. “We need to create durable, economic development, while protecting the environment and today’s announcement is a magnificent example of this.”The joint venture expects large-scale deployment of the technology by 2024 and will be given a total of $188 million from Alcoa, Rio Tinto, Ottawa, the Quebec government and Apple to develop and license the technology so it can be used to retrofit smelters or build new facilities.Rio Tinto said in a statement the technology “has the potential to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 6.5 million metric tonnes in Canada, the equivalent of taking 1.8 million light vehicles off the road.”The aluminum companies added that Elysis “has the potential” to create more than 1,000 jobs by 2030, “while securing 10,500 existing aluminium jobs in Canada.”Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, also on hand for the announcement, said it will take a few years to get a better idea of greenhouse gas emission reductions with the new innovation.“Perhaps, between 2024 and 2030, we’ll be seeing the real impact of the new technology,” he said. “Aluminum products are not the main source of emissions right now. The main source is transportation.“There is a connection. The better the quality of aluminum, the better the quality of the car, and fewer emissions will be produced.”Ottawa and Quebec are contributing $60 million each, with the Quebec government getting a 3.5 per cent stake in the venture and Alcoa and Rio Tinto splitting the remaining ownership equally.Alcoa and Rio Tinto will invest $55 million in the project.Apple, which put forth $13 million, helped facilitate the collaboration between Alcoa and Rio Tinto and has vowed to provide technical support as the project progresses.last_img read more

Chicago symphony may cancel more concerts; strike continues

CHICAGO — The Chicago Symphony Orchestra may cancel more concerts after striking musicians rejected what it calls its last, best and final offer on a new contract.Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association President Jeff Alexander called it “an exceptional, comprehensive compensation package” in a statement early Tuesday.Members of the Chicago Federation of Musicians voted down the offer Monday. Steve Lester, chairman of their negotiating committee, says the union’s proposal addressed management’s concern about pension funding “while guaranteeing the Musicians and the Orchestra the security deserved.”About 100 of the orchestra’s musicians have been on strike since March 11 . The union is at odds with the orchestra over pension and wage issues.The striking musicians have received support from congressmen, musical theatre performers and their own maestro, renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti.The Associated Press read more

Morocco Locates 2 Sites Used by ISIS-Linked Cell to Manufacture Explosives

Rabat – Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) located two sites in a mountainous area at Imchtassen town, in Driouch province. The sites were used by a dismantled terror cell to conduct explosive manufacturing experiments.Searches and investigation made it possible for the BCIJ to seize the remains of a pressure cooker, a metal tube, electrical cables, and nails used in experimental operations to manufacture a distance explosive, the Ministry of Interior announced on Monday, September 8.BCIJ also seized medium-sized plastic tubes in the house of one of the suspects in the Nador province. Read Also: BCIJ Dismantles ISIS-Linked Cell in Eastern MoroccoBCIJ sent the seized tubes to scientific experts for analysis.The ministry added that an investigation has been underway since the arrest of the suspects. BCIJ dismantled the cell on  September 5 in Berkane and  Nador, two cities in Eastern Morocco.The suspects are aged between 27 and 41. BCIJ also seized electronic devices and knives during the operation.The members of the cell planned to join the camps of a pro-ISIS network in the Sahel in the Sub-Sahara region before plotting terror acts targeting sensitives sites in Morocco.A previous statement from the ministry said that the mastermind of the cell had become an expert in making explosives intended for use in terror attacks.The ongoing investigation into the suspects revealed their involvement in plans to execute several terrorist projects targeting sensitive sites across Morocco, the ministry said yesterday, September 9.The suspects will be brought to justice once the investigation is completed under the supervision of the competent public prosecutor’s office, the statement said. read more

UN relief agencies still seeking access to conflictdisplaced Yemenis

Some 150,000 people have been driven from their homes by sporadic fighting between Government forces and Al Houthi rebels that resumed in earnest in mid-August. Relief efforts have been hampered by security constraints as well as local and tribal divisions, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Access is extremely limited in Sa’ada governorate due to ongoing military operations, and UN agencies are currently operating at limited capacity through local partners.Earlier this week during his trip to Yemen, the UN humanitarian chief urged all sides in the conflict to ensure that aid workers can reach those in need.“The humanitarian situation is serious,” said John Holmes. “I am particularly concerned about the people whom we are unable to reach, especially those who are trapped in the conflict zones.” UN agencies and their partners are continuing to register and verify internally displaced persons (IDPs). The total number of IDPs registered and verified by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is 40,846, out of an estimated caseload of about 119,000.A $23.7 million flash appeal issued in early September to provide life-saving support in northern Yemen has received just over 19 per cent of the necessary funding, OCHA reported. 16 October 2009The United Nations said it is still appealing for humanitarian access to Al-Jawf, a region in northern Yemen, to distribute essential supplies to thousands of people displaced by conflict. read more

AW burger chain switches to Frenchs ketchup mustard for its Canadian content

TORONTO — French’s ketchup has won over another fan — the company that runs A&W restaurants in Canada.A&W says it has now decided to serve French’s Tomato Ketchup and Classic Yellow Mustard in all of its restaurants across Canada.The company has 850 locations across the country, making it the second-largest burger chain in Canada.‘Don’t take your frustration out on Heinz:’ Leamington Mayor warns ketchup boycott could backfireHow Loblaw underestimated the power of social media and what French’s ketchup stood forThe Condiment Wars: How a misstep by Heinz laid the path for French’s quest to become Canada’s Ketchup KingA&W’s endorsement is the latest publicity win for French’s ketchup, which became an Internet and media darling after a man’s Facebook post lauded the U.S.-based company for using 100 per cent Canadian-grown tomatoes.The condiment company has been collaborating with A&W Food Services of Canada for about six months.The burger chain says it’s always looking for Canadian suppliers and already uses tomatoes from Leamington, Ont., and its A&W Ketchup is produced and packaged in Ontario.French’s Food Co. says A&W is the first national restaurant to serve its ketchup and mustard. read more

TNA suspects hidden hand in Jaffna violence

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today raised suspicion of a hidden hand in the violence which erupted in Jaffna last week.TNA MP S. Sritharan said that the violence took place despite the strong presence of the military and the police. However Sritharan noted that, strangely, police vehicles in the area were not attacked by the mob. (Colombo Gazette) He also said that individuals with links to military intelligence officers were seen taking part in the protest and resulting violence. The protest over the rape and murder of a Tamil girl turned violent in Jaffna last week with the mob throwing stones towards the Jaffna court as well as a prison bus and other vehicles.

Annan meets young patients at Russian AIDS clinic

After hearing presentations by youth at the SANAM clinic, which works at preventing HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases among vulnerable populations, including street children, the Secretary-General said their needs had come through very clearly. “The whole society has to be mobilized, to get involved,” he stressed.The youth reported a dramatic rise in HIV infections in Russia, which has nearly 200,000 registered cases, and suggested that the actual figure was up to six times that much.Thanking those involved for their work, Mr. Annan hailed the involvement of Russian youngsters in the fight against HIV/AIDS. “I am very happy that so many young people are involved in the struggle, because children listen to their peers much more than the old ones with grey hair,” he said. read more

Annan holds highlevel talks in Mozambique on AIDS drought and other regional

Arriving in the capital, Maputo, this morning, Mr. Annan was met at the airport by President Joachim Chissano and greeted with a 19-gun salute. During their one-on-one meeting in the afternoon, the two leaders discussed the crippling epidemic and the region’s dry spell – topics which were later raised again, along with other regional issues, during talks which included other officials, according to a UN spokesman.President Chissano voiced concern about genetically modified food, and the Secretary-General assured him that all UN-distributed food was certified for its health and nutritional aspects and that the United Nations would not distribute any food that was deemed to be harmful, spokesman Fred Eckhard said.The discussions also touched on the political process in Mozambique. The Secretary-General noted that the President would not seek another term, and said neighbouring countries would watch the elections scheduled for next year with interest. He also offered the UN’s help in facilitating those elections, if needed, the spokesman reported.During a press briefing after the meeting, the Secretary-General was asked about Zimbabwe’s land reform programme. He said that while land reform was necessary in that country, “I don’t think the approach of the Government is the right one.” “The best way to proceed with such land reforms is to have a credible plan based on the rule of law,” he stressed, noting that once that was accomplished, Zimbabwe would receive the international support that it needs.Asked about the most urgent requirements facing Africa, the Secretary-General pointed to the need for peace and efforts to fight AIDS, which he said was “destroying the continent.”During a meeting later with the UN country team in Mozambique, Mr. Annan again raised the issue of the fight against HIV/AIDS and food distribution during the current drought. The Secretary-General then visited a youth training centre, where Mozambican teenagers enacted a mime performance about AIDS. The Secretary-General later asked the youths how many of them knew friends or relatives with HIV, and half of the teenagers raised their hands.Also today, the Secretary-General went to Maputo’s Heroes Circle, where he laid a wreath at a memorial for the fallen heroes of the country’s independence movement. In addition, the UN leader received the keys to the city from Mayor Artur Canana. He responded by praising the citizens of Maputo for their courage during the country’s struggle for independence.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s wife, Nane, visited a Maputo school to witness a performance by young people living with HIV/AIDS on how to help students to protect themselves the virus. She described the participants as heroes because “they are standing up and talking about their situation.” read more

DR of Congo UN moves to secure ceasefire between warring factions in

According to a UN spokesman in New York, the counterattack on Bunia announced by Lendu militia for 9 o’clock this morning never materialized, but sporadic fighting continued as of mid-day. The town is occupied by rival Hema militia, which took control Monday after a weekend of deadly fire fights in this resource-rich region of the DRC.The Deputy Force Commander of the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), Brig. Gen Roberto Martinelli, met today with leaders of the various warring sides to try and broker at least a 24-hour ceasefire in order to move internally displaced people to more secure locations, spokesman Fred Eckhard said.Meanwhile, suspected cases of cholera and dysentery have appeared among the 8,000 or so displaced persons who have taken refuge in each of the two UN compounds in Bunia. “The revised toll of yesterday’s mortar attack on one of the compounds is five dead and 100 injured,” Mr. Eckhard said, adding that there was no further information about the two UN military observers who have been missing since Tuesday despite continued efforts to find them.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has brought in a Congolese medical team from Goma, with three surgeons working out of a mobile clinic to support the UN medical team. UN humanitarian workers also reported that although there is a strong ethnic mix among the displaced, inter-ethnic relations in the two camps are good.Still, UN aid workers and MONUC staff in Bunia reported thousands of fleeing civilians jamming the roads leading from the town trying to escape the bloody power struggle. UN officials have warned of a humanitarian disaster if the international community doesn’t stop the fighting, and Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on countries to contribute to an international security force to stabilize the region.As urgent political talks are about to open today in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, between Congolese President Joseph Kabila and the members of the various factions to find a means of bringing peace through an interim administration established late last month, MONUC has confirmed a raft of atrocities that took place during the weekend fighting – including massacres and arbitrary executions – which left bodies lining many of Bunia’s streets. Among the victims were children, infants and two priests, whose bodies were horribly mutilated. read more

UN Secretariat and Assembly must approve new rules for UN peacekeepers –

The report was prepared by Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, the Permanent Representative of Jordan and himself a former civilian peacekeeper, after extensive consultations with officials from the UN Secretariat and from troop-and police-contributing countries, as well as a visit last year to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where many of the allegations have surfaced.”Resolving the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping personnel is a shared responsibility and can only succeed with firm commitment and action by both the Secretariat and Member States. We are committed to implement the necessary reforms as quickly as possible,” Mr. Annan said in a statement after he forwarded the report to the General Assembly.”I also call upon Member States to act with determination and due haste and to provide the necessary resources to the Secretariat and the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes to put in place the important changes required.”The UN’s top peacekeeping official, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, said he concurred fully with the report’s findings. “What [Prince Zeid] says provides the basis for a sound strategy to address the issues. Now we want to push it forward,” he told reporters. The report says, “United Nations peacekeeping has a distinguished history of helping many States and peoples to emerge from conflict with the hope of a better future.” It adds, however, that peacekeeping personnel have all too often “read normalcy into situation that is far from normal.””And it is this inability on the part of many peacekeepers to discern the extent to which the society is traumatized and vulnerable that is at the root of many of the problems addressed in the present report.”It points out many gaps in liability, especially since the present peacekeeping regime recognizes different categories of personnel, governed by different sets of rules.Because “troop-contributing countries are responsible for the conduct and discipline of their troops,” it says, the General Assembly should apply the rules in Mr. Annan’s bulletin on measures for protection from sexual abuse to all categories, including civilian police, military observers, members of national contingents, UN Volunteers (UNV), consultants and contractors.On military personnel, the model status-of forces agreement has assumed that the Secretary-General will obtain formal assurances from a troop contributor that it will exercise criminal jurisdiction over its troops in return for the immunity given by the host State, the report says.However, “such formal assurances are no longer obtained,” it points out, calling for such clauses to be inserted once again into the model memorandum of understanding “to ensure that troop-contributing countries have a legal obligation to consider for prosecution acts of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by military members of peacekeeping missions that constitute crimes under the laws of the troop-contributing country or the host State.”Troop contributors must report how they followed up with the investigated cases the UN refers to them but since “a decision whether or not to prosecute is an act of sovereignty,” the Assembly is asked to decide that contributors must agree on these procedures before their troops and other personnel are accepted for a mission, it says.The General Assembly must also authorize a professional investigative body with “experts who have had experience in sex crime investigations, particularly those involving children,” it says.A military prosecutor from the relevant troop contributor should be part of this professional investigating mechanism and a troop contributor handling accusations should hold on-site courts martial, since that would facilitate access to witnesses and evidence in the mission area, the report suggests.”Troop-contributing countries whose legislation does not permit on-site courts-martial should consider reforming their legislation,” it says.Since “soldiers are only as good as their commanders,” commanders who imposed discipline or cooperated with investigations should be rewarded with a special commendation, or a medal.Missions should have extensive programmes of outreach to the local population and the number of female peacekeepers should be increased, it says.Abandoned mothers of peacekeeper babies are in a desperate financial situation, the report says. Upon identification through blood or DNA tests, fathers who are not UN staff members could make payments to a proposed UN Trust Fund for Victims, which would also take care of children whose fathers were known to be peacekeepers, but who could not be identified.A UN staff member who is a father of a peacekeeper baby, in addition to facing other punishments set out under UN regulations, could pay the mother “say, the equivalent of one year’s salary of a local employee of the mission,” the report says. read more

Mens Lacrosse No 5 Ohio State heads south to take on Jacksonville

Ohio State then-freshman Tre Leclaire maintains possession of the ball in the first quarter against Loyola Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament on May 14, 2017 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThe No. 5 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team will leave behind Columbus’ gloomy weather in favor of a sunny Florida sky when it travels to take on unranked Jacksonville Sunday.The Buckeyes (3-0) said they approached this week’s practice in preparation for Jacksonville (2-2) with open minds and positive attitudes. Last year, Ohio State managed a substantial 16-8 win against the Dolphins. But this year the team has multiple aspects to improve, especially after its hard-fought battle against Hofstra on Saturday.“Hofstra was a win where we felt like we kind of grinded one out,” head coach Nick Myers said. “There was a lot of areas of the game where we felt like we really faltered in, and we certainly credit Hofstra for a great deal of that but also ourselves.”Ohio State players echoed Myers’ observations as well. Senior defenseman Erik Evans, one of the key barriers against Hofstra’s offense on Saturday, said that playing cohesively was an important takeaway for the team.“We realize that when we’re playing as a unit, not many teams are scoring on us that much,” he said.While the Buckeyes spent the week concentrating on improvement, Jacksonville won 15-8 against Detroit Mercy on Tuesday. Myers said the team looks forward to playing notable talent, such as senior attacking midfielder Hunter Forbes and junior midfielder Eric Applegate. Forbes won 23-of-25 faceoffs just two days ago against the Titans, affording the Dolphins considerable advantages through the extra possessions.Myers also pointed out senior midfielder and captain McLean Chicquen, senior attack Shawn Ewert, and junior attack Will Hendrick as potential impact players for the Dolphins.“I’d say those are their top guys from what we’ve seen and I think they’re going to create some challenges for us,” he said.Evans said Jacksonville’s early and rapid offensive play will be something for the team to watch out for, and that playing hard defensively for the first seconds of each possession would be especially crucial for success.“They do a lot in the early offense, so one of the things we tried to clean up is just getting our offensive midfielders down there, defend that first 15 to 20 seconds that they are comfortable with playing and attacking, and get them off the field and get our [defensive] personnel back out there,” he said.The Buckeyes will play the Dolphins at D.B. Milne Field at 1 p.m. Sunday. read more

Health Institute Says Dont Be Like Mike

Is it really dangerous to want to be like Mike? The Public Health Advocacy Institute certainly thinks so. The group has petitioned for the Federal Trade Commission to pull a Gatorade ad that champions Michael Jordan’s famous 1997 NBA Finals performance, during which he fought through a 103-degree fever to lead his team to victory. The ad, tagged with the title “Win From Within,” shows Jordan suffering from flu symptoms during the game, but eventually overcoming it, while drinking Gatorade along the way. The institute claims that the glorification of Jordan’s decision to play could lead viewers to try to imitate him.“The Jordan Ad openly promotes engaging in vigorous physical activity while suffering from a very high fever, in Jordan’s case 103 degrees,” The institute said in its letter to the FTC via USA Today. “It is a generally recognized safety principle that teens and even professional athletes suffering from a severe fever and flu-like symptoms should not engage in vigorous physical activity.”PepsiCo, Gatorade’s parent company, has yet to respond to the PHAI. The group’s website suggested that PepsiCo should create an ad campaign to inform teens and potential consumers that not only is it dangerous to compete while sick, but also that Gatorade cannot treat flu symptoms. read more