Zika epidemic in Brazil did not affect birth rates

first_img Read Full Story Last year’s outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Brazil did not lower the country’s birth rates, despite warnings from the government that women should delay pregnancy to avoid increased risk of severe birth defects caused by the virus. According to Marcia Castro, associate professor of demography at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the stable birth rate is likely due in part to the ineffectiveness of Brazil’s birth control program.“To have a decline in the unwanted pregnancy, that means that women should have control of it in the first place. Access to contraception doesn’t seem to be the problem. Using it correctly is still a problem in Brazil,” Castro said at a seminar held March 23, 2017 at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, The Harvard Crimson reported. She said that due to a high rate of contraceptive misuse, 40 percent of Brazilian pregnancies are unwanted. Access to safe, legal abortion in Brazil is severely restricted.While Zika transmission rates have fallen, Castro predicted that the virus is likely to come back. She recommended reducing standing water areas where mosquitoes breed as a strategy for reducing Zika incidence.last_img read more

Judge refuses to toss case against defiant Louisiana pastor

first_imgBATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A judge has refused to toss out six criminal complaints filed against a Louisiana pastor charged with violating coronavirus gathering capacity rules put in place during the early days of the pandemic. A judge on Monday dismissed pastor Tony Spell’s motion to have the case against him dropped. Prosecutors allege Spell violated public gathering capacity limits six times last spring by continuing to host worship services with hundreds in attendance. Spell contends the First Amendment protected his right to gather in large groups. Spell has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges and is set to appear in court again in March.last_img read more

Seniors reflect, give advice at panel

first_imgOn Friday in South Dining Hall’s Oak Room, AnnaLee Rice, a Tocqueville Fellow and senior political science major who will work at Red Edge Digital Advocacy, organized and moderated a “Seniors for Lunch” panel to give seniors a chance to look back and share advice on the undergraduate experience.The four seniors comprising the panel – Sarah McGough, a senior anthropology major who will be going to Harvard University for a Masters in Public Health, Will Miller, a senior political science major who will work at Bain & Company, Tori Roeck, a senior classics major who will be going to the University of Oxford for a MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, and Luke Pardue, a senior economics and philosophy major who will work at the Federal Reserve in Washington — have “navigated the tumultuous weather of undergraduate life,” Rice said. Editor’s note: Roeck is a senior news writer for The Observer.Rice asked, “What advice have you been given at Notre Dame that you have listened to or ignored worked out for the positive?”McGough said not listening to her advisors on following set criteria in a given major was beneficial. “I didn’t listen to that because I didn’t want to check all the boxes off to graduate with X, Y or Z,” she said. “It’s tricky because obviously you have to graduate with things, but it’s gratifying because I organized my choices to build a cohesive narrative. Don’t check boxes; build a framework.”Miller said he benefitted from learning outside the classroom as well as inside of it.“Oftentimes we let ourselves be constrained by what’s available in classes or clubs. That can be as inhibiting as it can be freeing,” Miller said.Roeck said a mentality or pressure exists which makes kids feel like they have to do everything and overextend themselves.“I came in being too ambitious and zealous,” Roeck said. “If you’re biting off more than you can chew, you’re not going to be successful. Don’t let people push you to do too much.”Pardue said he recommends for students to take classes they are interested in, not just because they fit inside a major requirement.“I came in being interested in all these different subjects and thinking that the only way I could engage these interests is taking the major or minor,” Pardue said. Rice specifically addressed Pardue and Miller who will be pursuing business interests after graduating. She asked, “Can you be Arts & Letters and still be successful in business? And if so, how?”Pardue said, “People want to see you’re well rounded and have analytical skills. You can get [business] skills outside the classroom. The idea is to focus on you to take the initiative.”Miller said, “I think it’s a shame that people feel forced to go to business right away. If you’re Arts & Letters and want to go into business and consulting, make sure you supplement your experiences in the classroom with clubs and organizations that train those skills.”Rice asked McGough and Roeck about the benefits of studying abroad.McGough said her experience abroad allowed her to engage with the community and culture they studied on campus.Rice asked, “Has there ever been a moment where you didn’t think you were going to make it? How did you deal with it?”Pardue said failure is inevitable at some point at the University.“Everyone has those moments. In high school, we all did well. You have this moment when you fail a test at Notre Dame and you’re like, ‘they found me out, I’m a fraud’,” Pardue said. “Take a deep breath. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. You will come back from that.”Rice asked how the seniors justified fitting in social lives.Roeck said balancing productivity with some unproductive fun would make you better at your work.“They’re sanity breaks.” McGough said. “We overextend ourselves in every area.”Rice asked, “What is the best advice you have been given?”Roeck said, “David O’Connor in the philosophy department … gave us his version of a commencement address. He said, ‘If you’re spending more than half your life on things you hate, then you’re doing something wrong.’”Miller said, “This isn’t exactly from a professor so I’m breaking the rules. Put work on the x-axis and success on the y-axis and you’ll see your success. We have a lot of agency and control on how we do.”McGough said she once jokingly worried about having a typo in her senior thesis to her thesis advisor, Carolyn Nordstrom. McGough said Nordstrom looked at her and said, ‘Sarah, do you know what happens when there’s a typo? You look at it and go ‘oh, isn’t that cute. It means I’m human.’”McGough said, “Letting those tiny shortcomings consume you is a waste of energy.”Pardue said, “Steven Reifenberg said, ‘You should do one thing in college that takes you out of your comfort zone.’ So many kids get caught up in what they want to do. Take a leap and do something that will push you.”Tags: Advice, Notre Dame, Seniorslast_img read more

Governor Shumlin applauds new rail designation for high speed corridor

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin said today he’s pleased that the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) is designating the Northeast Corridor (NEC) as a ‘high speed rail corridor,’ a definition that allows NEC states to compete for federal rail funds.As Chair of the Transportation Committee for the Coalition of New England Governors (CONEG), Shumlin has been working with his counterparts across the region to advance the vision for a regional high speed rail network. ‘This is an important step for advancing the New England rail network. It will finally enable the Northeast Corridor to compete for federal rail dollars,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘Enhancing passenger rail investments throughout our region will benefit Vermont’s vision of a robust and vibrant passenger rail network connecting Vermont with New York, Boston, and Montreal.’ The Governor said rail investments throughout the region will continue to reduce travel times along the Amtrak route, increase mobility for Vermonters and improve energy efficiency across our region. ‘I am pleased to be working in concert with other New England Governors to make this vision a reality,’ he said.As part of the Northern New England network, Vermont is already eligible for such designated funds. However, the NEC is a linchpin in the broader regional rail network. With this decision, projects along the Northeast Corridor will now be able to compete on a’ level planning field’ for any current and future federal funds intended to improve and advance high speed rail corridors and service. Without this designation the NEC, including the congested Boston-to-Washington Corridor, would be ineligible to pursue these federal funds.The CONEG Governors recently wrote to USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood urging that all the northeast states be considered in the reallocation of any high speed-intercity passenger rail grant funds that might become available. Home to more than 20 percent of the nation’s population, the northeast states have worked cooperatively to advance projects needed to improve the current rail system, and develop joint plans and projects that contribute to the goal of high quality, expanded passenger rail service and significantly increased ridership.MONTPELIER — 3.15.2011last_img read more

Colombia, US Improve UAV Flights

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo September 20, 2018 A U.S. Air Force delegation visited the Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Academy (EBART, in Spanish) at the Third Air Combat Command in Barranquilla, Colombia, July 16-27, 2018. The objective was to exchange knowledge and experiences in the formation, training, and instruction of pilots and operators of ScanEagle drones. “The experience exchange was made possible through the ScanEagle Pprocessing, Exploitation, and Dissemination Course, based on the experience of the United States,” FAC Major Daniel Eduardo Martínez, deputy director of EBART, told Diálogo. “The course was a guide to conduct ISR missions [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance], and taught us how to guide an unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV] for this type of missions and make a briefing to conduct a mission.” Together, nine Colombian officers and the U.S. delegation learned how each air force operates UAV in conventional and asymmetric warfare. “The training will help us improve the doctrine for unmanned aerial vehicles, modernize manuals, strengthen flight operation planning, and improve surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence missions,” FAC First Lieutenant Brayan Higuera, ScanEagle course instructor at EBART, told Diálogo. FAC operates the tactical surveillance and reconnaissance system since 2006 to support the fight against illegal armed groups and terrorists. The system brought significant results in the identification, surveillance, and reconnaissance of targets, aerial surveillance, support of special operations units, and search and rescue. The highly autonomous aircraft of U.S. manufacturer Boeing Insitu are designed to conduct continuous missions of more than 15 hours and have the capacity to collect and transmit large numbers of images in real time. Improving the mission During the course, service members of both countries analyzed mission briefings to obtain good results with the systems. “We focus on the machine and the crew,” Maj. Martínez said. “[U.S.] officers found it interesting that technicians are included in the Colombian briefing to discuss the system status. Their briefing is between the analyst and the pilot but don’t involve a technician to report flight hours left for the unmanned aerial vehicle,” 1st Lt. Higuera said. The Colombian squadron learned how U.S. Air Force officers use “exhaustive information” when carrying out missions. “As soon as they have information coming from any human or technical source, they go out and conduct persistent surveillance, meaning around the clock,” 1st Lt. Higuera said. “We should also focus on persistent information.” New way to operate aircraft After the course, FAC opted to modify its operation of ScanEagle aircraft to adapt to those of the U.S. Air Force, with target-persistent surveillance. “The course helped [our] air institution promote a new way to operate the aircraft,” Maj. Martínez said. With this change, FAC will be able to show its UAV platforms to the Colombian Army, Navy, and National Police to increase intelligence efforts and sustained focus on a target. The UAV will also be able to submit more information than what security forces can currently achieve with human intelligence, such as images, video, and target surveillance for tactical maneuvers. “Air authorities study how the change in operations can help identify and eradicate illegal crops in the country,” Maj. Martínez said. “The ScanEagle can be an important tool in the current fight [against drugs].” Latin American benchmark FAC expects to obtain the Boeing Insitu certification by the end of 2018. “The idea is that with the certification, plus the experience we have, EBART will become Latin America’s school for unmanned aerial vehicles. This year [2018] we trained Peruvian personnel and last year [2017] we trained personnel from Chile. Also, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are interested in training their crews here, now that they started acquiring unmanned aerial systems,” Maj. Martínez said. Within a year, EBART plans to include naval personnel in the faculty. Their experience with UAV launched from ships will strengthen the training to be offered to the Colombian Armed Forces and other nations. The school also studies the possibility of bringing instructors from the U.S. Air Force. “We developed the new unmanned aerial vehicle aviation with the help of the U.S. Air Force. We received a lot of help from them. It’s important because it’s becoming increasingly developed, with more prominence in aviation worldwide,” Maj. Martínez concluded.last_img read more

Cartoonist vs Cartoon. Or, Don’t Hadouken The Hand That Feeds You (VIDEO)

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York I don’t want to type, so I won’t intro this like I normally intro my other Buzz items.It doesn’t matter. You don’t read them anyway.Great. Now I’m sad. Thanks a lot.last_img

5 ways to ditch cable

first_img 49SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Heather Anderson Heather Anderson covers consumer financial news for CUInsight.com, offering readers tips on budgeting, setting and achieving financial goals, and developing a healthy relationship with money. She is co-founder of … Web: www.financialfeed.com Details The average cable TV bill is more than $100 per month. It’s no wonder that by the end of 2017, more than 22 million Americans had cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV providers, a 33% increase over 2016. And, according to eMarketer research, in just two years, roughly one-third of Americans will have no traditional pay-TV services at all.Video streaming services, supported by smart TVs and mobile devices, offer many of the same shows available on cable TV, including live sports. And, many viewers prefer the original content produced by Netflix and others over traditional network sitcoms and dramas.If you currently watch television on a smart TV, cutting the cable cord is easier than you think. Here are five great services you should consider:Sling TVSlingTV has two options, blue or orange, that each offer about half of cable’s most popular channels starting at only $20 per month (including NBC, for Olympics fans). SlingTV also offers extra add-on bundles that include lifestyle, news, kids and other specialty channels. The basic orange core service of 30 channels includes ESPN, Disney Channel, CNN and more. You can stream it using Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire or AndroidTV.DirecTV NOWFor just $35 a month, DirecTV NOW’s “Live a Little” package includes the 34 of 35 most popular cable channels and local channels in most major markets. And, you can add HBO for just $5 extra per month. Like SlingTV, DirecTV Now can be streamed using most of the major app platforms. BONUS: If you have an AT&T Unlimited plan, you can get DirecTV Now with HBO for only $10 per month.Playstation VuePlaystation’s Core Plan offers your best sports channel selection for just $45 per month – you’d have to pay $50 per month or more to get the same selection on SlingTV. We’re talking about a full lineup of sports channels that include not just national and regional networks, but also NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, Big 10 Network and SEC Network.Amazon VideoIf you’re an Amazon Prime member and not taking advantage of all the free movies and TV shows, as well as the ability to rent or purchase pretty much every movie that has ever been made and any current TV series, you’re missing out. Amazon Video can also be purchased on its own for $8.99 per month. Searching for movies on Netflix can be frustrating because the unlimited free streaming service has limited offerings, and it’s going to offer even fewer movies as it invests more in original programming. If you like to watch what you want, when you want it, Amazon Video is for you.NetflixAmazon and SlingTV offer their own original programming, but the best new shows everyone talks about are produced by Netflix, like the Dynasty reboot, The Joel McHale show, Everything Sucks (supposedly the new Freaks and Geeks), and The Innocents. And, of course, Netflix is where you can find Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Schitt’s Creek, Gilmore Girls and the original Freaks and Geeks.last_img read more

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza returns home

first_imgPresident Pierre Nkurunziza returned to Burundi on Thursday, his office said, after the army chief declared that an attempted coup staged when the east African leader was abroad had failed.Mr Nkurunziza said he had come back on the Burundi presidency Twitter site. Meanwhile the army  general mutineers who had attempted to overthrow the president have been arrested.But bursts of gunfire in the capital and fighting for control of the state radio during the day indicated there was still determined opposition to the president, who sparked protests and the coup attempt by his move to seek a third term.Critics said his re-election bid violated the constitution and a peace deal that ended an ethnically fuelled civil war that ended in 2005, plunging the nation into a deep political crisis.But before announcing his return, loyalists of the president said they were in control of the major strategic assets, such as the airport and presidential offices.They also said they still controlled the state broadcaster despite the heavy fighting. “President Nkurunziza is back in Burundi after the attempted coup.The coup was launched by Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombare, a former ally of the president, on Wednesday after Mr Nkurunziza travelled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, to attend a summit on the crisis.Nkurunziza was in Tanzania at a summit of African leaders on Wednesday when Major General Godefroid Niyombare, who the president sacked as intelligence chief in February, declared he was dismissing the president and his government.A day later, Army Chief of Staff General Prime Niyongabo said the coup had failed. “Loyal forces are still controlling all strategic points,” he said in a state radio broadcast.The announcement of Nkurunziza’s return suggested the government was now back in effective control, although periods of relative calm in Bujumbura on Thursday were broken by bouts of gunfire. By evening, the city had a semblance of calm. A Reuters witness saw one dead soldier lying near the Interior Ministry. The coup was launched by Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombare, a former ally of the presidentlast_img read more

PDEA SEES EXODUS OF NEGROS ‘PUSHERS’

first_imgPhilippine Drug Enforcement Region 6 director Alex Tablate. PN FILE PHOTO “Bacolod City and Negros Occidental ang focus natin at ng pulisso they’re trying to sell their stuff in Iloilo. Hindi nila alam na nasa surveillance na sila,” said Tablate. “Please help us in our campaign. Giveus information. PDEA and the police could not stop drug trafficking without thehelp of the community,” he stressed. Party drugs, also called club drugs orrave drugs, are recreational drugs that have stimulating properties. Regularuse can lead to the user craving more of the drug, resulting to addiction. PDEA’s Tablate cited the people ofBanate for cooperating with the police. Negros-based drug traffickers could bethinking they were safer in Iloilo because nobody knew them, said Director AlexTablate of PDEA Region 6. Tablate expressed concern that demandfor illegal drugs, particularly party drugs, could rise this holiday season. “We used an asset to transact withhim. He apparently had a contact in Banate,” said Roque. Early this week, the PDEA directorreported that the supply of illegal drugs in Iloilo significantly droppedfollowing the deaths of drug lords Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr. in August 2016 inBarangay Caticlan, Malay, Aklan and Richard “Buang” Prevendido in September2017 in Barangay Balabago, Jaro district here. The Banate police prepared forCasumpang after receiving a tip that the suspect was coming to Iloilo. ILOILO City – Relentless antidrugoperations in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental may be driving drugtraffickers there to move their operation to Iloilo, according to thePhilippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). A suspected drug courier from SilayCity, Negros Occidental was recently arrested in Barangay San Salvador, Banate,Iloilo.center_img The 43-year-old Gerardo Casumpang ofBarangay Guinhalaran, Silay City was collared at around 11 p.m. on Wednesday bythe Banate police. “We will be utilizing 10 K-9 dogsaside from partnering with the police,” said Tablate. In Bacolod City and Negros Occidental,however, said Tablate, drug trafficking remains a challenge. Of particular concern to the PDEA arethe seaports where drug traffickers are known to slip their stocks. PDEA has tightened its monitoring ofseaports most especially in northern Iloilo. Its operatives are on the lookoutfor transient drug pushers in coordination with the Police Regional Office 6. Eight more sachets were recovered fromCasupang, added Roque. According to Police Captain GenesisRoque, Banate police chief, an asset managed to buy from the suspect a sachetof shabu for P1,000. “We can be successful of our driveagainst illegal drugs if there’s cooperation from the community. Let’s help oneanother to end the proliferation of illegal drugs,” he said. “K-9” (a homophone of “canine”) are dogs trained to assist law enforcers detect contrabands such as illegal drugs and explosives. “We need to double our efforts in monitoring the entry of illegal drugs. We expect a high demand for them this Christmas season when most people have money,” said Tablate./PNlast_img read more

Oviedo out of Costa Rica squad

first_img Press Association The Toffees have confirmed the 24-year-old is to remain on Merseyside to undergo a routine procedure to remove a small screw in his left leg which was inserted after an horrific break in January. Oviedo made his competitive comeback with an hour-long appearance in the Capital One Cup defeat at Swansea last month and came on for the last 26 minutes of Sunday’s loss against Manchester United – his first league appearance since January 20. While Oviedo has returned to fitness other injuries are starting to pile up for manager Roberto Martinez. John Stones was carried off on a stretcher at the weekend with suspected ankle ligament damage and is expected to be sidelined for at least a month while fellow defender Seamus Coleman has not played since mid-September because of a hamstring problem and, although he was named in the Republic of Ireland’s squad to face Gibraltar in a Euro 2016 qualifier, he is unlikely to feature. Forward Kevin Mirallas also has a hamstring strain which will keep him out until next month while midfielder James McCarthy will use the international break, having been left out of the Republic’s squad, to recover from a thigh problem. England midfielder Ross Barkley is progressing well after a knee operation but will not return until next month. center_img Everton midfielder Bryan Oviedo has pulled out of Costa Rica’s friendlies against Oman and South Korea. last_img read more