Forests focus of gift

first_imgPaul Zofnass ’69, M.B.A. ’73, has become the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s (HMNH) largest donor since its founding in 1998 with a commitment of $500,000 to create a major, permanent multimedia exhibition focusing on the natural history, environmental significance, historical development, and conservation of New England forests.New England Forests: The Zofnass Family Gallery, scheduled to open in spring 2011, will feature Harvard’s natural history collections and draw on current research from the Departments of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Earth and Planetary Sciences, the Harvard Forest, and scientists across the University.The broad goal of the exhibition is to enhance public understanding of the dynamic nature of forest ecosystems, the impacts of human activity in shaping the landscape, and the relationships between forest landscapes and habitats and the distribution and evolution of varied flora and fauna. The exhibition will present the latest research on the role of forests in carbon sequestration and address the threats created by invasive species. It will also demonstrate the methods and tools that scientists use to investigate these issues.“We are deeply grateful for this generous gift, which offers an extraordinary opportunity to showcase dramatic specimens, present important research, and raise critical policy issues in the context of a regional landscape familiar to most of our visitors,” said Elisabeth Werby, executive director of HMNH.Zofnass is president of The Environmental Financial Consulting Group Inc., a New York City-based strategic consulting firm. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College ’69 and an alumnus of the Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, M.B.A. ’73. Zofnass’ wife, Renee Ring, is a finance attorney in New York City. They have two daughters, Jessica ’08 and Rebecca ’09.An avid sailor and outdoorsman, Zofnass grew up in Belmont, Mass., and as a child often visited the public galleries of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Zofnass has been a passionate advocate for forest conservation near his home in Pound Ridge, N.Y. Over the past 20 years, with his sister Joan Zofnass, Paul used his mergers and acquisitions skills to create the Westchester Wilderness Walk, which formally opened to the public in 2001. Through this 250-acre preserve, just 40 miles from New York City, he laid out and built a 10-mile-long hiking trail that winds around the unique forest and geological features, showing no trace of civilization.last_img read more

New test for Down syndrome

first_imgA new, noninvasive screening test for Down syndrome would allow some women with high-risk pregnancies to avoid amniocentesis and in the future may provide detection early enough for treatment to improve some babies’ cognitive function, a Tufts University neonatal genetics expert told a symposium at Harvard Medical School on Tuesday.Physicians recommend that all pregnant women undergo initial screening for Down syndrome, and it is recommended that those with positive results undergo amniocentesis, in which a long needle is inserted into the mother’s uterus to extract cells in the fluid around the fetus.Those alternate screening tests miss 8 percent of Down syndrome cases, however, and also give false positive results about 5 percent of the time. That means that some women may undergo amniocentesis, which, in addition to being invasive, bears a slight risk of causing miscarriage.The new test, according to Diana Bianchi, executive director of Tufts Medical Center’s Mother Infant Research Institute, misses only a very small fraction of Down cases, meaning that fewer women would need amniocentesis.Bianchi was one of the speakers at “Transforming Child Health through Genome Biology,” an afternoon symposium at Harvard Medical School’s Joseph B. Martin Conference Center that was sponsored by Harvard Catalyst, the clinical and translational science center that supports research across the University.The event also featured Vertex Pharmaceuticals founder and former chief executive officer Joshua Boger, who discussed cystic fibrosis, for which Vertex has a drug on the market, and Associate Professor of Medicine Robert Green, director of the G2P Research Program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.The event was affected by the ongoing budget controversy in Washington, D.C. One of the scheduled speakers, Alan Guttmacher, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, had to cancel his appearance.The symposium was opened by Ellis Neufeld, the associate chief of hematology/oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston, co-chair of the Harvard Catalyst Child Health Committee, and Egan Family Foundation Professor of Transitional Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and by James Ware, the Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics and associate dean for clinical and translational science at Harvard School of Public Health.In his comments, Ware gave a brief history of Harvard Catalyst, which was founded in 2008 as one of 60 centers dedicated to translating research findings into treatments that benefit patients. The program received word in September that its major funding grant, from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Science, had been renewed for another five years.In his comments, Ware gave a brief history of Harvard Catalyst, which was founded in 2008 as one of 60 centers dedicated to translating research findings into treatments that benefit patients. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerChild Health is just one major focus for Harvard Catalyst, which has programs that address biostatistics, regulatory knowledge, health disparities, community health, clinical research, and other areas.In her presentation, Bianchi described the test and its rapid development, made possible by advances in DNA technology. The concept underlying it was only developed in 2007. The test, first used in 2011, analyzes fragments of fetal DNA circulating in the mother’s blood.The test can be administered earlier in a woman’s pregnancy than other screenings, potentially early enough to allow interventions aimed at improving a Down syndrome baby’s cognitive function, Bianchi said.“We believe improving neurogenesis and cognitive behavior is an achievable goal,” she said.Bianchi pointed out some of the pitfalls to approaches that utilize prenatal screening, including the potential for physicians to learn uncomfortable information, and be faced with the difficult decision of whether to share it. Another challenge, she said, is the pressure not to make a mistake, since some disappointing results may prompt parents to terminate a pregnancy.“You better be accurate, and you better be sure you’re giving parents accurate information,” Bianchi said.last_img read more

Canadian Forces assist in seizing more than US$145M in narcotics

first_imgBy Dialogo December 06, 2012 OTTAWA, Canada – Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa is currently conducting a 44-day deployment in the eastern Pacific with resounding operational success. On Nov. 28, the Esquimalt-based frigate was patrolling in international waters southeast of Isla de Coco, Costa Rica when the vessel assisted a United States Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment team to board a suspect fishing vessel in an action that netted 36 bales of cocaine weighing 1,086 kilograms (2,394.2 pounds) with an estimated wholesale value of more than US$29 million. Canada, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in Operation Martillo, which focuses on curtailing illicit trafficking routes on both coasts of the Central American isthmus. HMCS Ottawa is the latest ship deployed in Operation (Op) Caribbe, the Canadian Forces’ participation in the U.S.-led multinational effort to strengthen security in the Western Hemisphere. Under Op Caribbe, the Canadian Forces provide naval and air capabilities to support U.S. law enforcement measures against illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean Basin. As well as warships, the Royal Canadian Air Force has also contributed to Op Caribbe by providing five CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft to fly critical surveillance sorties in the region. Between Nov. 18-29, CP-140 Aurora crews from 19 Wing, Comox and 14 Wing, Greenwood assisted in seizing, through surveillance and detection, 144 bales of cocaine weighing 4,300 kilograms (9,479.8 pounds) with a wholesale value of more than US$116 million. “We are proud to support the multinational effort in the Caribbean region to combat the trade in illicit drugs, which contributes to crime and erodes regional stability,” said Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command. “We are also steadfast in our commitment to build and sustain enduring relationships with our regional partners, with whom we have shared interests and security concerns.” While deployed in Op Caribbe, RCN ships are strictly in a supportive role. While operating in international waters, their tasks are to locate, track, approach and potentially intercept suspect vessels in order to allow the USCG law enforcement detachment (LEDET) personnel to board and conduct law enforcement operations. “The Royal Canadian Navy continues to work alongside our allies and whole-of-government partners to help suppress criminal activity at sea and interrupt the flow of illicit drugs destined for our shores,” said Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy. “We are taking the fight to the narco-terrorists in their backyard, denying them freedom of movement at sea, enforcing the rule of law and making the streets of our Canadian cities safer for our children.”last_img read more

Offices: Watford’s bursting bubble

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Gudang Garam’s Kediri airport to kick off construction in April, operate in 2022

first_imgA subsidiary of publicly listed tobacco company Gudang Garam will start the development of Kediri Airport in East Java in April, with a target to finish first-phase construction by April 2022.Kediri Airport is one of the government’s national strategic projects and will be located around 20 kilometers from the city center. It is expected to reduce the overburdened Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, which is around a two-hour drive from Kediri.The company has met all major technical requirements to build the airport. Kediri administration acting secretary Dede Sujana said that out of the total land needed to build the airport, only 0.6 percent had yet to be acquired.  Budi Karya said the government would let Gudang Garam choose an airport operator.”We will provide a special guideline for whoever is capable of managing the airport,” he said. “But air traffic control must be handled by AirNav Indonesia.”Gudang Garam, through its subsidiary Surya Dhoho Investama, will spend around Rp 10 trillion (US$732.4 million) to acquire 457 hectares of land needed for the airport and for construction.After the first phase is complete, Kediri Airport is expected to accommodate around 5 million passengers, bigger than the capacity of nearby Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport in Malang.Once completed, it will have a 3,000 meter by 45 m runway to accommodate a wide range of aircraft, from Boeing B777s to Airbus A350s, as well as a passenger terminal, cargo terminal and parking area.Nyaman, a citizen of Grogol village in Grogol district, Kediri regency, East Java, tends to his cow on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, within the site where a new airport will be developed by cigarette company Gudang Garam. Kediri administration acting secretary Dede Sujana said that out of the total land needed to build the airport, only 0.6 percent had yet to be acquired.  (JP/Asip Hasani)Transportation Ministry director general of civil aviation Novie Riyanto said the airport would serve domestic flights, while Juanda Airport would focus on international flights for the East Java area.Kediri Airport will focus on serving passengers from nearby East Java cities along the southern Java coast, such as Kediri, Tulungagung, Trenggalek, Blitar, Madiun and Pacitan, he added.“The airport will be a new [transportation] lane for other areas in southern Java, which is very crowded,” Novie said. “As you know, the southern Java area is very developed with the existence of Kertajati Airport in West Java, Jenderal Sudirman Airport in Central Java and Wiradinata Airport in Tasikmalaya.”The idea to build a new airport was first initiated by East Java Deputy Governor Emil Dardak to help boost tourism and agriculture in the southern part of East Java. Several regencies previously expressed their interest in hosting the airport before Gudang Garam decided on Kediri.Topics : “Two years is enough time to finish phase one, considering that the [new] Yogyakarta International Airport in Kulonprogo was finished [in] about a year a half,” Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said during his visit to Kediri over the weekend. Kediri Airport, which would be the first-ever in the country to be fully funded by the private sector, will be developed in three phases under a public-private partnership scheme with a concession period of 30 to 50 years. “This means that some part of it will be given to us [the government] while Gudang Garam has the right to operate it for 30 years to 50 years,” said Budi Karya. “This is a good example for other regions to use the same [financing scheme].”Read also: Gudang Garam-funded Kediri airport to break ground in Marchlast_img read more

Lisbon coronavirus spike leaves Champions League under threat again

first_imgHowever, the ongoing health situation in Portugal casts some doubt on those pronouncements.On Wednesday, lockdown restrictions were reimposed on 19 neighborhoods across the northern periphery of Lisbon where COVID-19 outbreaks persist. The restrictions concern some 700,000 people and will remain in place for at least two weeks.With an average of 321 per day, the number of new cases being recorded in Portugal grew by a third in June compared to the previous month.The majority of new cases are in the Lisbon area, and it is the capital which is due to host the latter stages of the Champions League, starting with the quarter-final on August 12 and concluding with the final on August 23. ‘Proportionate measures’ Costa’s comments have not gone down well with local residents.”The Prime Minister seems worried about the situation in Lisbon, without doubt because of the Champions League. It is not worth pretending that the problem does not exist, because it also exists in Lisbon,” Goncalo Caroco, deputy mayor of nearby Loures, told AFP. Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Atalanta all qualified for the quarter-finals before the competition was suspended in March and UEFA was eventually forced to come up with a new format to finish it.The remaining last 16, second legs will see Juventus face Lyon, Manchester City take on Real Madrid, Bayern Munich face Chelsea and Barcelona come up against Napoli.It is hoped those matches — set for August 7 and 8 — will not need to be played on neutral ground but they could also be moved to Portugal, with UEFA standing by to spread the matches around the country, in Lisbon as well as in the northern cities of Porto and Guimaraes.A fortnight ago, when the format was announced by UEFA, Ceferin expressed hope that some fans might be able to attend the matches. That now seems improbable.”In terms of the situation with the pandemic, obviously it is a no,” said Portugal’s Health Minister, Antonio Lacerda Sales, earlier this week.”We don’t know how the pandemic is going to evolve and we will continue to take proportionate measures. We can’t anticipate the future, but at this moment of course not,” he elaborated.If the situation continues to deteriorate, the competing teams would perhaps also have second thoughts about travelling to Lisbon. Alarm bells may be ringing within European football’s governing body, especially as the Champions League was suspended in March and remains frozen in the last-16 stage, which has not been completed.Costa has done his best to reassure Ceferin and insisted in an interview with Spanish daily La Vanguardia that the lockdown measures “do not concern the center of Lisbon, where the Champions League will be staged”.However, the locked down neighborhood of Santa Clara borders that of Lumiar, the area in which the Estadio Jose Alvalade is situated. The home of Sporting Lisbon is scheduled to share hosting of the Champions League matches with Benfica’s nearby Estadio da Luz. Nearly four months after it was suspended, UEFA’s plans to complete the Champions League in Portugal are once again under threat from the coronavirus, even if the organizers themselves insist there is “no Plan B”.UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin claimed Tuesday following a meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa that there was no need to make alternative arrangements to the planned “final eight” straight knockout format for the quarter-finals onwards, with all games set to take place in Lisbon.Costa himself said that “all measures are being taken to ensure that we will host this tournament in a safe and secure manner”.  Topics :last_img read more

IOC remains ‘fully committed’ to staging Olympics in 2021

first_imgTopics : “We are working for a solution which on the one hand is safeguarding the health of all participants and on the other hand is also reflecting the Olympic spirit,” Bach addedBach also said the IOC had agreed with host nation Senegal to postpone the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar until 2026.”This allows the IOC and national Olympic committees to better plan activities which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games and subsequent postponement of other major sports events,” he said.The decision will have to be ratified by the full IOC session on Friday. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) remains fully committed to staging the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 and is considering multiple scenarios for them to take place safely, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.Japan and the IOC postponed the Tokyo Games until 2021 in March because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers have since spoken of trying to simplify the event – which had been due to start on July 24 – to reduce costs and ensure athletes’ safety.Bach said the IOC’s coordination commission had reported “very good work in progress” and that more details would be given to a full IOC session which will take place by video conference on Friday.center_img “We remain fully committed to celebrating Tokyo 2020 next year in July and August,” Bach told reporters in a conference call.”The entire IOC is following the principle we established before the postponement (in March) that the first priority is about the safety of all participants.””We continue to be guided by the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and based on this advice we are preparing multiple scenarios,” he added. “We don’t know the health situation one year from now.”He said that holding events without spectators was clearly something the IOC did not want.last_img read more

How to decorate your home to create Christmas cheer this year

first_img At home with ironman Matt Bevilacqua Yes it is that time of year again. December 1 is just two weeks away and then it’s time to break out the tinsel.But where to start? “So, don’t be too precious with your tree, put all the decorations that mean something to you up there and augment with a few that tie in your colour scheme and you will be sure to have a standout tree.” RELATED: Repeat the same bows used at the front gate on a wreath on a door.“Red, green and gold are traditional favourites for good reason, blue and silver works beautifully, and whites and jewel tones have been very popular recently,” she said.“I love mixing blues, whites, reds and greens with natural timber and textures and a hint of gold for a relaxed summer scheme. “Repeating your chosen colours throughout the house in all your Christmas displays is the main trick to ensuring your chosen colour scheme works. “This of course includes the tree. It doesn’t matter if you are a real tree or faux tree fan the pro tips are the same.“Get a tree as big as your space and budget allows.”When it comes to decorating the tree, Ms Hartigan said first “festoon with lights” and then decorate with love. “My favourite trees are those that tell the story of the people who decorate them — the ones covered in made-at-kindy decorations and great grandma’s heirloom angels. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoFleur Hartigan uses fewer oversize decorations rather than lots of little ones. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP)“Repeating your colour scheme and style of Christmas decoration throughout your home will ensure a cohesive scheme,” she said.A festive entry is a must. She said tulle bows on the front fence or entry gate are a fun and inexpensive do-it-yourself way to celebrate the season — and they withstand the occasional December thunderstorm.“Repeat the bows in smaller scale on a wreath on the door,” she said.“I’ve been using the same evergreen wreath for years, just changing the bows and baubles as I change my Christmas colour scheme.”The options are almost limitless for Christmas colour schemes and Ms Hartigan said there really were no rules except it should make you happy. The Courier-Mail reached out to interior designer Fleur Hartigan for some advice on how to create Christmas cheer, instead of Christmas chaos this year. How to beat Brisbane’s median by $200k Once that is done, Ms Hartigan said it was time to bring the decorations out of storage and make sure the lights are still working.“Work out what you will focus on or add to in your Christmas scheme this year in time for the December 1 install,” she said.“A few major groupings of Christmas objects will always have greater decorating impact than a sea of tinsel.”“I decorate the entry, have the tree in the living room, decorate a sideboard in the family room, the mantle in the kitchen, the dining table and a tree on the deck so there are groupings of decorations as you move through the house.“I use clusters of objects rather than a sea of single ones: a group of pillared candles of different heights on a festive tray, a bowl of oversized Christmas baubles, a family of reindeer on the sideboard. “I tend to use fewer oversize decorations rather than lots of little ones.”Ms Hartigan said to “apply the decorator’s golden rule” and make sure you decorate in groups of odd numbers. >>FOLLOW EMILY BLACK ON FACEBOOK<< MORE: Fleur Hartigan shares her top Christmas decorating tips.Ms Hartigan said she started her Christmas decorating with a major mid-November clean and declutter. “Put away everything you don’t absolutely need and make sure the areas of the house you’ll use to entertain family and friends, including the outside areas, are sparkling clean and inviting,” she said.“Vacuum the sofas, clean the windows and power wash the outside areas. “It’s a fool proof way to make sure your Christmas decorations are a welcoming standout in your interior scheme and avoid running the risk of them looking like festive clutter.” Developer ditches cookie-cutter designlast_img read more

Talisay local shot to death

first_imgOfficers of the city police station conducted a manhunt operation against the suspect, who fled after the incident./PN Gemino added that the two had previous arguments as Siason’s wife is allegedly now the live-in partner of Treveles. According to Talisay City police chief Major Jigger Gemino over an interview with DYHB Bacolod, Siason was walking in the area when Treveles alighted from a vehicle and confronted the victim. BACOLOD City – A man was shot to death in Barangay Cabatangan, Talisay City, Negros Occidental. Treveles then shot Siason using an unknown firearm around 1:05 p.m. on June 15. The victim died on the spot. Police identified the suspect as Rolly Treveles, a resident of the village. The 55-year-old Ismael Siason sustained gunshot wounds on the chest, a police report showed.last_img read more

Spencer Haywood

first_imgSpencer Haywood is the Curt Flood of basketball.  When Curt Flood brought about free agency in baseball, he changed the game forever.  Spencer Haywood did the same for pro basketball when he left college early.  Even though he had to go to court to do so, he left the University of Detroit and was drafted in 1969 by the Buffalo Braves, an ABA team.  In 1969-70 he was a member of the Denver Rockets.  It was during this time that the NBA tried to keep him from playing.  They went so far as to escort him off the floor in one game and in another game the other players boycotted.After all this turmoil, Haywood brought about the merger of the ABA and NBA.  From that point in the early 70’s until today players may join the NBA at any point after high school.  Haywood paved the way for players like Julius Irving, George Gervin, and Moses Malone.  Before you think this is the only thing that made Haywood famous, you are totally wrong.  In 14 years as a pro Haywood scored more than 17,000 points and was even the league’s MVP.last_img read more