Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories 4) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4): Scoring eight points a game less than last year’s group with Hernandez, Gronk and Welker…completely based on a drop in red zone efficiency (averaged 4.4 trips to the red zone in 2012 and still averaging 4.2 in 2013).5) DENVER BRONCOS (5): Only team averaging more than a TD in the first quarter…no other team even averages a TD in the third quarter but Denver averages over 10 points (halftime adjustments?)6) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8): Struggling to make life easy since only 29 percent of all plays go for a first down (23 teams average more first downs per play).7) CINCINNATI BENGALS (6): One of the biggest improvements is going from converting 53 percent of 2012 red zone possessions to touchdowns to 69 percent this year…fourth-best at giving up the fewest points in the fourth quarter.8) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (7): Of course, KC doubled theirs from 27 percent to 54 percent…defense has scored more points than any other.9) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9): One of only three teams converting less than 30 percent of third downs at home…only team averaging five yards/carry.10) ARIZONA CARDINALS (11): Heard all about chunk plays in the offseason, but ranking 12th in yards/attempt leaves a large chunk to move up…as bad this O-line is perceived to be, they’re right in the middle sacks/attempt. 18) GREEN BAY PACKERS (21): Aaron Rodgers has nothing to do with being ranked 25th in rush defense.19) NEW YORK JETS (22): Averaging league-low 1.5 points/first quarter on the road.20) ST. LOUIS RAMS (16): Granted, Carson Palmer was uncanny last week but allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 68.5 percent of their passes on the season is terrible (of course, that’s 32nd).21) PITTSBURGH STEELERS (18): Being 31st in kickoff touchback percentage means it’s even harder to create good field position for the offense.22) NEW YORK GIANTS (19): The only team besides Tennessee to give up no fourth-down conversions at home.23) TENNESSEE TITANS (23): Weird that they’ve never given up a fourth down conversion at home yet they have the worst fourth down defense in the league.24) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (26): Second quarter points/average measure if you’re winning the field position game in the first quarter and every team in the league is averaging at least five points in the second, except Jacksonville who scores below four every second quarter.25) MINNESOTA VIKINGS (24): As if things aren’t bad enough, they’re even last in extra point conversions…gives up the most fourth-quarter scoring of any defense. 11) BALTIMORE RAVENS (14): A lot of pressure is put on the offense by leading the lead in third downs needing to be converted (facing a third down conversion attempt over 16 times/game)…maybe that pressure is due to ranking 32nd in yards/carry.12) MIAMI DOLPHINS (15): Same QB and same OC but they rush the ball on first down 20 percent less this year than last year.13) DETROIT LIONS (10): Despite all the issues, best third down defense is in Detroit…has 13 turnovers in their first 9 games and 15 in their last four.14) CHICAGO BEARS (17): Defense doesn’t score TDs anymore and gives up almost 80 more yards/game than last year. Defense as bad as Atlanta and Washington giving up six yards/play.15) DALLAS COWBOYS (13): Not only are they 32nd in total defense, the number is 427 yards given up per game.16) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (12): Allowed Cincinnati to score 16 points above their average…one of only two teams to give up a TD every first quarter.17) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (20): Averaging 100 more yards/game this year with Ken Whisenhunt (second-best increase is Chicago at over 80 yards better)…really surprised he’s remembered the run game (11th in rushing attempts/game). Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   26) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (28): So you’ve seen the opposing defense for 30 minutes, yet you’re the only team in the league averaging under a FG for the third quarter?…of course they’re last in fourth quarter scoring, too.27) BUFFALO BILLS (25): Shocking they’re second best in completion percentage against but they allow 4.2 yards/rush, so why throw?28) CLEVELAND BROWNS (27): Really hard to make it to the end zone when you only average two red zone possessions/game…First in passing attempts and 31st in completion percentage (wake up Norv Turner).29) OAKLAND RAIDERS (29): Completely changes play calling when you average nine first quarter points at home and only 4.5 on the road.30) ATLANTA FALCONS (30): Only team giving up double-figure points in the second quarter.31) WASHINGTON REDSKINS (31): Take out any TD scored by the opposing defense and special teams, Washington’s defense gives up 3.5 touchdowns to the opposing offense every game.32) HOUSTON TEXANS (32): Only team that has a whole half-time to figure out what the offense is trying to do and still gives up a TD every third quarter. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 1) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (1): Only the 49ers throw the ball less.2) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2): If there’s a Super Bowl in the future, must diminish the two-TD gap between home scoring average of 34 points and the 20 points averaged on the road…biggest home/road scoring difference in the league.3) CAROLINA PANTHERS (3): Best red zone defense allowing only 38 percent of all red zone possessions to become TDs…also allowing a league low 1.2 TDs/game by the opposing offense.last_img read more

Love actually IS all around We see it every day

first_img Love actually IS all around. We see it every day. The problem is that we don’t focus on it. Cooperation is even more common. Think about how few auto accidents there are. With all those thousands of cars driving at high speeds, stopping, starting, and changing lanes, it’s rather miraculous that there aren’t many more accidents. And the reason that there aren’t is that nearly all of us cooperate really well, nearly all of the time. Think about the things we usually complain about. They are times when cooperation or some other type of basic goodness breaks down. We expect cooperation, consideration, and basic responsibility so much that we half freak out when it fails. If You Try… If you try to see the good, you’ll find it everywhere. I drive by a homeless man who goes out of his way to help other homeless guys and to feed animals. I know a businessman who goes far out of his way to help friends, not wishing any kind of repayment. I know many women who are pleased to help their families, many men who are pleased to stop and help someone in trouble, and so on. If you look for it, goodness and decency are actually everywhere. So, for just one day, I challenge you to go out and see the good in the world. Pick your day, watch that clip again, then go out and focus your eyes on the good. I think you’ll get a lot out of it. Paul Rosenberg A point I’ve made several times in our subscription newsletter is that most people give their attention to the negative things in the world and pass right over the good things. If you think about that for just a moment, it’s easy to understand why people are more disturbed and unhappy than they need to be. In other words, we make ourselves far more miserable than is justified by the actual facts. So, I have a challenge for you (one that I make to myself from time to time as well): Go through a day – one day only – and pay attention to all the good things you see. I am quite sure that ignoring every bad thing for just one day won’t kill you. After all, you give those things your full attention every other day. So, I challenge you to spend just one day looking at the good and looking past the bad. Some Help Getting Started To help you get into the right frame of mind, here’s a short clip from the movie Love Actually. Please take the one minute or so required to watch it. last_img read more

A global megacorporation best known for BandAids

first_imgA global megacorporation best known for Band-Aids and baby powder may have to pay billions for its alleged role in the opioid crisis. Johnson & Johnson was the sole defendant in a closely-watched trial that wrapped up in Oklahoma state court this week, with a decision expected later this summer. The ruling in the civil case could be the first that would hold a pharmaceutical company responsible for one of the worst drug epidemics in American history.Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s lawsuit alleges Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals helped ignite the opioid crisis with overly aggressive marketing, leading to thousands of overdose deaths over the past decade in Oklahoma alone.The trial took place over seven weeks in the college town of Norman. Instead of a jury, a state judge heard the case.During closing arguments Monday, Hunter called the company the “kingpin” of the opioid crisis.”What is truly unprecedented here is the conduct of these defendants on embarking on a cunning, cynical and deceitful scheme to create the need for opioids,” Hunter said.The state urged Judge Thad Balkman, who presided over the civil trial for seven weeks, to find Johnson & Johnson liable for creating a “public nuisance” and force the company to pay more than $17 billion over 30 years to abate the public health crisis in the state.Driving the opioid crisis home has been a cornerstone of the Oklahoma’s lawsuit. In closing arguments Monday, one of the state’s attorneys, Brad Beckworth, cited staggering prescribing statistics in Cleveland County, where the trial took place.”What we do have in Cleveland County is 135 prescription opioids for every adult,” Beckworth explained. “Those didn’t get here from drug cartels. They got here from one cartel: the pharmaceutical industry cartel. And the kingpin of it all is Johnson & Johnson.”Johnson & Johnson’s attorney Larry Ottaway, rejected that idea in his closing argument, saying the company’s products, which had included the fentanyl patch Duragesic and the opioid-based pill Nucynta, were minimally used in Oklahoma.He scoffed at the idea that physicians in the state were convinced to unnecessarily prescribe opioids due to the company’s marketing tactics.”The FDA label clearly set forth the risk of addiction, abuse and misuse that could lead to overdose and death. Don’t tell me that doctors weren’t aware of the risks,” Ottaway said.Ottaway played video testimony from earlier in the trial, showing Oklahoma doctors who said they were not misled about the drugs’ risks before prescribing them.”Only a company that believes its innocence would come in and defend itself against a state, but we take the challenge on because we believe we are right,” Ottaway said in his closing argument.Johnson & Johnson fought on after settlementsInitially, Hunter’s lawsuit included Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. In March, Purdue Pharma settled with the state for $270 million. Soon after, Hunter dropped all but one of the civil claims, including fraud, against the two remaining defendants.Just two days before the trial began, another defendant, Teva Pharmaceuticals of Jerusalem, announced an $85 million settlement with the state. The money will be used for litigation costs and an undisclosed amount will be allocated “to abate the opioid crisis in Oklahoma,” according to a press release from Hunter’s office.Both companies deny any wrongdoing.The legal liability of ‘public nuisance’Most states and more than 1,600 local and tribal governments are suing drugmakers who manufactured various kinds of opioid medications, and drug distributors. They are trying to recoup billions of dollars spent addressing the human costs of opioid addiction.”Everyone is looking to see what’s going to happen with this case, whether it is going to be tobacco all over again, or whether it’s going to go the way the litigation against the gun-makers went,” says University of Georgia law professor Elizabeth Burch.But the legal strategy is complicated. Unlike the tobacco industry, from which states won a landmark settlement, the makers of prescription opioids manufacture a product that serves a legitimate medical purpose, and is prescribed by highly trained physicians — a point that Johnson & Johnson’s lawyers made numerous times during the trial.Oklahoma’s legal team based its entire case on a claim of public nuisance, which refers to actions that harm members of the public, including injury to public health. Burch says each state has its own public nuisance statute, and Oklahoma’s is very broad.”Johnson & Johnson, in some ways, is right to raise the question: If we’re going to apply public nuisance to us, under these circumstances, what are the limits?” Burch says. “If the judge or an appellate court sides with the state, they are going to have to write a very specific ruling on why public nuisance applies to this case.”Burch says the challenge for Oklahoma has been to tie one opioid manufacturer to all of the harms caused by the ongoing public health crisis, which includes people struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, but also those harmed by illegal street opioids, such as heroin.University of Kentucky law professor Richard Ausness agrees that it’s difficult to pin all the problems on just one company.”Companies do unethical or immoral things all the time, but that doesn’t make it illegal,” Ausness says.If the judge rules against Johnson & Johnson, Ausness says, it could compel other drug companies facing litigation to settle out of court. Conversely, a victory for the drug giant could embolden the industry in the other cases.Earlier in the trial, the state’s expert witness, Dr. Andrew Kolodny, testified that Johnson & Johnson did more than push its own pills — until 2016, it also profited by manufacturing raw ingredients for opioids and then selling them to other companies, including Purdue, which makes Oxycontin.”Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers have been stealing the spotlight, but Johnson & Johnson in some ways, has been even worse,” Kolodny testified.Kolodny says that’s why the company downplayed to doctors the risks of opioids as a general class of drugs, knowing that almost any opioid prescription would benefit its bottom line.The state’s case also focused on the role of drug sales representatives. Drue Diesselhorst was one of Johnson & Johnson’s busiest drug reps in Oklahoma. Records discussed during the trial showed she continued to call on Oklahoma doctors who had been disciplined by the state for overprescribing opioids. She even continued to meet with doctors who had patients who died from overdoses.But Diesselhorst testified she didn’t know about the deaths, and no one ever instructed her to stop targeting those high-prescribing physicians.”My job was to be a sales rep. My job was not to figure out the red flags,” she said on the witness stand.The role and responsibility of doctorsThroughout the trial, Johnson & Johnson’s defense team avoided many of the broader accusations made by the state, instead focusing on the question of whether the specific opioids manufactured by the company could have caused Oklahoma’s high rates of addiction and deaths from overdose.Johnson & Johnson’s lawyer, Larry Ottaway, argued the company’s opioid products had a smaller market share in the state compared to other pharmaceutical companies, and he stressed that the company made every effort when the drugs were tested to prevent abuse. He also pointed out that the sale of both the raw ingredients and prescription opioids themselves are heavily regulated.”This is not a free market,” he said. “The supply is regulated by the government.”Ottaway maintained the company was addressing the desperate medical need of people suffering from debilitating, chronic pain — using medicines regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Even Oklahoma purchases these drugs, for use in state health care services.Next stepsJudge Thad Balkman is expected to announce a verdict in August.If the state’s claim prevails, Johnson & Johnson could, ultimately, have to spend billions of dollars in Oklahoma helping to ease the epidemic. State attorneys are asking that the company pay $17.5 billion over 30 years, to help abate” the crisis in the state.Balkman could choose to award the full amount, or just some portion of it, if he agrees with the state’s claim.”You know, in some ways I think it’s the right strategy to go for the $17 billion,” Burch says. “[The state is saying] look, the statute doesn’t limit it for us, so we’re going to ask for everything we possibly can.”In the case of a loss, Johnson & Johnson is widely expected to appeal the verdict. If Oklahoma loses, the state will appeal, Attorney General Mike Hunter said Monday.This story is part of NPR’s reporting partnership with StateImpact Oklahoma and Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service of the Kaiser Family Foundation. KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit read more

Disabled people have been left demoralised and fr

first_imgDisabled people have been left “demoralised and frustrated” by the housing system and face a “chronic shortage” of accessible homes, according to a new report by the equality and human rights watchdog.More than 350,000 disabled people in England have unmet housing needs, with one-third of those in rented accommodation living in unsuitable properties, says the report.There are also about 17,000 wheelchair-users in Scotland with unmet housing needs, while there is “a severe shortage” of accessible and wheelchair-accessible housing in Wales.Despite this, fewer than one in four local authorities (22 per cent) have an accessible housing register, while only 28 per cent have a target for accessible housing.The report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) follows an 18-month formal inquiry and calls on the government to draw up a national strategy to ensure an adequate supply of new homes built to inclusive design standards.The report – Housing and disabled people: Britain’s hidden crisis – also says there is “unacceptable bureaucracy and delay” in the system of installing home adaptations.EHRC published separate reports on the crisis in housing for disabled people in both Scotland and Wales.The report on Britain warns of “insufficient attention given to those currently in residential care who wish to live independently and could do so with the right support”.And it says that provision of advice, support and advocacy is “patchy”, with disabled people reporting that they have nowhere to turn when in crisis or when their housing is unsuitable, while navigating the complex systems for allocating housing and securing adaptations is “stressful and challenging”.It concludes: “Progress to ensure that disabled people have accessible homes that support their right to independent living is unlikely to be made unless disabled people are actively engaged in shaping housing policy and practice.”And it adds: “The human and economic costs of inaccessible housing can be avoided if disabled people’s requirements are identified and built into planning and delivery of new housing supply.”The inquiry heard accounts of disabled people eating, sleeping and bathing in one room, and of having to be carried around their inaccessible homes by relatives.One disabled person who contributed to the inquiry said they had not been outside their second-floor flat since 2011 – apart from essential hospital trips – because there was no lift and the flat was not wheelchair-accessible.A second respondent to the inquiry’s call for evidence described how they were unable to access their children’s room and other parts of the house and could not use their wheelchair because their home was so inaccessible.And one disabled respondent said: “I have been on my local authority [housing] list for seven years, but there has never been a suitable property available in that time.“So for the past two years I have been reduced to having my hair washed in a bowl while sat on my toilet.”The report says that while more than two-thirds of local authorities say that developers do not always comply with accessibility requirements, only seven local authorities (three per cent) have taken action against a developer in the last three years.In addition to the demand for a national strategy, the report calls on the UK government to produce mandatory planning guidance for local authorities on assessing need and delivering accessible and adaptable housing, and wheelchair-accessible housing.And it says the government should amend building regulations so that the optional M4(2) accessibility standard – a series of design criteria intended to make homes more easily adaptable for lifetime use – is instead a mandatory minimum standard for all new housing.Government figures show this would increase construction costs by just £1,100 per home.It also says the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments should all require local authorities to ensure a minimum of 10 per cent of new-build homes are built to higher wheelchair-accessible standards.And it says the three governments should provide funding to disabled people’s organisations and advice agencies so they can increase provision of independent advice and information on housing.The report welcomes the UK government’s decision to increase funding for disabled facilities grants (DFGs) from £220 million in 2015-16 to £505 million in 2019-20 and incorporate the funding into a joint health and social care budget, the Better Care Fund, with the aim of doubling the number of grants to 85,000 by 2020.DFGs provide funding to make disabled people’s homes more accessible, for example by widening doorways, installing ramps or providing a downstairs bathroom.But the report adds: “The increase in funding is an important step, but we heard evidence that the slow and cumbersome nature of the DFG process often leads to people spending extended periods in hospital beyond their discharge date or being discharged into unsuitable accommodation.”EHRC says its findings “raise alarming concerns that disabled people’s right to independent living is being heavily restricted by unsuitable and unsafe housing”.The findings mirror those of the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD), which highlighted concerns last August about possible breaches in Britain of both article nine (on accessibility) and article 19 (on independent living) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.CRPD warned that austerity measures had “hindered the advancement of accessibility” and raised concerns about “the reduction in social protection schemes related to housing, household income and budgets for independent living”.Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “This research shows some of the fundamental issues we face on a day-to-day basis.“Appropriate housing is key to independent living and creating choice and control for disabled people.“But it’s also better for the tax payer. Better housing options mean disabled people are less likely to seek support from hard-pressed health and social care providers.“The same is true if we develop ways to ensure the swift provision of aids and adaptations when people become disabled.“We need clear standards for developers and designers so we begin to see the establishment of more lifetime homes; and better policing and support for private landlords, who have a huge slice of the rental market.”Heather Fisken, manager of Independent Living in Scotland, which is part of Inclusion Scotland, said: “This is indeed a hidden crisis. Disabled people living in unsuitable housing are denied their human rights to participate in and contribute to their communities. “Living in inaccessible housing can mean not getting outside at all or only rarely, or even being forced to move to a care home.“The EHRC’s recommendations echo Inclusion Scotland’s own report Our Place, Our Space which called on Scottish government to introduce a national target for new build houses built to wheelchair accessible standards, and for a new accessible housing design standard. “Without urgent policy change and investment, the situation is set to get worse as the population ages and housing stocks depreciate.”Disability Wales also welcomed the reports and called for “urgent action”.A Disability Wales spokesperson said: “There are far too many examples where disabled people are unable to move around their own home due to its inaccessibility.   “This is having a huge impact on disabled people’s health and well-being, their ability to engage in community life and access employment.“Having a suitable place to live is a basic need and a human right.”The EHRC reports come less than two months after the government rejected a series of recommendations made by the Commons women and equalities committee, following its inquiry on disability and the built environment.Maria Miller, the Tory MP who chairs that committee, said the government’s decision to reject those recommendations had left disabled people to face “unacceptable barriers to independent living, often making them feel isolated and forgotten”.She said: “I welcome the findings of this inquiry and hope that it will act as another much-needed wake up call for ministers.”A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government said: “We realise many disabled people can face a variety of obstacles in their daily lives, but we’re clear that their homes should not be one of these.“That’s why we’re providing councils with almost £1 billion over the next two years to adapt properties for disabled people so they can live independently and safely.“Our planning rules make clear councils must take the needs of elderly and disabled people into account when planning new homes in their area.”Picture © Equality and Human Rights Commissionlast_img read more

Zuckerberg Its Easier for AI to Detect Nipples Than Hate Speech

first_imgArtificial Intelligence Mark Zuckerberg Today, Facebook released its Q1 earnings, which showed the company can still make more money and attract more users year-on-year despite staggering controversy. During a Q&A session after with Mark Zuckerberg and other executives, the CEO fielded a question on artificial intelligence’s role in automatically detecting harmful content on the platform. Its AI isn’t so good at catching hate speech, but has done a great job intercepting terrorist content. Some things are just easier for robots to spot, Zuckerberg elaborated:”It’s much easier to build an AI system to detect a nipple than it is to detect hate speech,” he said.It shouldn’t be a surprise that Facebook’s AI can spot nipples given the platform’s history of banning, then begrudgingly allowing, breastfeeding and nudity in iconic photos. (Though it still doesn’t let folks #freethenipple on Instagram.) But Facebook has outlined practical reasons for why its AI should be combing the platform for nipples. Its adult and nudity policy lists all the content the platform removes by default — not just for users more sensitive to sexual imagery, but to prevent the sharing of content depicting non-consensual acts or underage people. Some things are just easier for robots to spot, he said. This story originally appeared on Engadget Next Article Image credit: Leah Millis / Reuters Contributing Editor David Lumb Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business April 26, 2018 Zuckerberg: It’s Easier for AI to Detect Nipples Than Hate Speech 2 min read –shares Add to Queue Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

Deloittes Heat Launches Artificial Intelligence Practice Heat AI

first_imgHeat, the full-service advertising agency owned by Deloitte, launched Heat AI, a first-of-its-kind practice that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to discover online trends and conversations that are predicted to grow in popularity 72 hours before they peak — with 70% accuracy.To predict social trends, Heat AI’s proprietary technology uses patented algorithms to capture, aggregate and analyze 100 million posts per day from 50,000 sources, including social, news sites and blogs. Every half hour, the platform executes 1 million multi-dimensional predictions to identify the trends and keywords that will increase in engagement, informing both keyword recommendations and creative.Marketing Technology News: PROS Launches Sales Agreement Management to Streamline Selling in Digital Era“Artificial intelligence has the potential to completely reinvent the advertising industry, but until now, no one has employed AI-derived predictive insights to develop impactful, emotionally resonant creative. Heat is changing that,” said Jocelyn Lee, co-head of Heat AI and specialist leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Heat AI’s proprietary technology allows us to develop real-time content based on predictive insights, delivering emotionally resonant and culturally relevant content — while unleashing the power of surprise to break through an increasingly crowded landscape. This allows our clients to be at the forefront of trending conversations and connect with the right audiences at the right time.”The insight from Heat AI allows agencies to align brands creatively and contextually with cultural moments, fostering agile creative and audience targeting, expanding social engagement and click-through rates, and creating net new audiences.Marketing Technology News: Agency Veteran Joao Machado Joins as Sabio’s SVP of Product Marketing“Heat AI is already having a significant impact on major brands and is poised to shape the future of our agency and our industry,” said Heat CEO John Elder, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “We can now harness the power of AI in a surprising way that will give our clients a significant edge over competitors. Our goal every day is to elevate the human experience — among our clients, their customers, our employees, and the entire Deloitte team — and Heat AI is helping us do that.”Heat AI will continue to expand its offerings throughout the year, including omnichannel programmatic, as it integrates additional proprietary technology into the practice’s capabilities. Heat is hosting an official launch event with Facebook, a Deloitte Digital alliance and the first official platform partner for Heat AI, June 19 at Cannes Lions 2019.Marketing Technology News: Vidyard Expands Offering to Bring Personalized Video App to Any Sales Professional, No Matter How They Work Artificial IntelligenceDeloitteHeat AIJohn Eldermachine learningNewsOmnichannel Previous ArticleMarTech Interview with Eric Wheeler, CEO, 33AcrossNext Debuts Four New Salesforce Cloud Integrations For GlobalLink Translation Management System Deloitte’s Heat Launches Artificial Intelligence Practice ‘Heat AI’ PRNewswireJune 17, 2019, 2:09 pmJune 17, 2019 last_img read more

Commonlyused emollients can pose significant fire risk research shows

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 4 2019New research carried out by forensic scientists at Anglia Ruskin University has shown that commonly-used emollients can pose a significant fire risk once they have dried on fabric such as clothing and bedding.The scientists tested a variety of emollients, some of which are commonly used for treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The findings have been published in the Fire Safety Journal and were presented at the UK Association of Fire Investigators conference in Leeds last week.Initial work focused on creams, lotions and ointments with a paraffin base, but their recent laboratory research has indicated that the presence of paraffin-free emollient increases the flammability of fabrics.Dr Sarah Hall and Joanne Morrissey of Anglia Ruskin University measured the time it takes for fabrics – including cotton of different thread counts and polyester-cotton blend – to ignite once contaminated with an emollient and in close proximity of a naked flame.Non-contaminated fabrics took an average of 65 seconds to ignite, while those containing emollient residue, from both paraffin and paraffin-free creams, caught fire in less than 20 seconds.Dr Hall, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “We were driven to carry out this work following a couple of tragic cases reported to us by Essex Fire and Rescue Service that were linked to fires and the use of emollients. Since then we have worked jointly with Essex Fire and Rescue, London Fire Brigade and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.”Our initial research focused on the range of paraffin-based creams, as this seemed the most obvious reason for flammability. However, we are now seeing that fabric that has been in contaminated with any of these creams reacts in a similar way.”We are now carrying out further research to try and identify any common ingredients as well as the best ways of removing the residue from clothing and bedding, for example the ideal washing temperature.”Watch Manager Chris Bell, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and National Fire Chiefs Council Emollient Lead, said: “We welcome the report from Anglia Ruskin University and we thank the researchers for their commitment to exploring this issue further.Related StoriesTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchOlympus launches next-generation X Line objectives for clinical, research applicationsOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell research”We want to reassure people that emollients are safe to use. They are an effective treatment for skin conditions so people should continue to use them.”However, people should be aware that when using emollients they can come into contact with fabrics, clothing, bedding or bandages which then dries leaving a flammable residue. The fabric can then be easily ignited with smoking materials such as matches and lighters, naked flames or other heat sources.”We are asking people who prescribe, dispense or apply these products to be aware that switching to a lower or paraffin-free emollient will not reduce the fire risk. Washing fabrics will reduce the risk but may not totally remove it.”West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service’s safety messages: The emollient products such as creams, sprays, liquids or gels are safe to use and vital for skin conditions that they treat. The danger exists when residue of the products gets onto fabrics, bedding, clothing and bandages. This dried residue will make the fabric more flammable. The risk of paraffin-free emollient products should not be excluded as initial tests indicate the risk is similar to paraffin-based emollients. We recommend those that prescribe, dispense and apply these products should speak to the patients and tell them about the fire risks. Prescribers who have switched patients to a lower paraffin product or a paraffin-free alternative should be aware that this will not reduce the risk. People using products should not go near to naked flames, smoking materials, cookers and heaters. Keep away from anyone else that is smoking if there is any risk of fabric contamination. Washing fabrics at the highest temperature recommended on the fabric care label will reduce the emollient residue but may not totally remove it. Therefore remain cautious and stay away from fire. Source: read more

Researchers explore link between aging fat cells and Alzheimers

first_imgBoth adiponectin and PPAR-γ have been implicated in Alzheimer’s and delivering adiponectin to the brain has been shown to improve cognition in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s. PPAR-γ agonists, which increase adiponectin levels, already are used to lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels and have been tried in Alzheimer’s as well.However, investigators studying the agonists’ potential in Alzheimer’s have reported difficulty with the drugs reaching the brain, and that the high doses needed to compensate for that result in side effects like edema, heart failure, liver abnormalities and weight gain. These findings have some calling for more selective PPAR-γ therapies.Lu has evidence that for Alzheimer’s that could mean targeting PPAR-γ2, the version of PPAR-γ primarily made by fat cells. The other, PPAR-γ1, is the target of current PPAR-γ agonists, says Lu, and can be made by a variety of cells in other organs, such as the heart and kidney, which could account for the undesirable side effects.In the search for a better solution, the grant is enabling Lu and her team to further explore the relationship between adiponectin made by fat cells and the cognitive decline that comes with aging. They also are looking at the receptors for adiponectin on neurons in centers of learning and memory in the brain to explore their distinct function, what happens to them with the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s and the vulnerability of the neurons with the receptors to degeneration.Lu’s team thinks the benefit of PPAR-γ agonists in Alzheimer’s results from activating the PPAR-γ in fat cells, which increases adiponectin production, so they are using mice missing PPAR-γ in adult fat cells to look at its effects on cognition, metabolic function, the overall health of neurons and the hallmark neuropathological lesions in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s.It was obesity researchers who made the connection between fat cells, PPAR-γ and adiponectin, notes Lu. Interestingly, in obesity fat cells become less efficient at making adiponectin, which is anti-inflammatory and can help regulate neuronal activity, including turning activity of some neurons up and others down. One theory is that fat cells instead start making inflammation-promoting signals called cytokines and inflammation hinders adiponectin production so neurons suffer.The same thing essentially happens with age, which is Lu’s focus, and when Alzheimer’s tends to occur. Fat stores begin to shift from beneficial subcutaneous fat to unhealthy fat that piles up on our bellies and around the organs inside our abdominal cavity producing a hotbed of inflammation and a lot less adiponectin.Related StoriesMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver diseaseCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingIt’s not really about how much fat you have but what kind of fat cells you have and what hormones those fat cells can make, Lu says, that may affect your risk of Alzheimer’s.”Your fat cells were making beneficial adipokines like adiponectin, which decrease inflammation, and now are making more proinflammatory cytokines,” she says. This shifting toward unhealthy fat is a natural one that occurs regardless of your body weight, she notes.In the brain, adiponectin has two distinct receptors on neurons, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2. Lu’s lab has found that activating adiponectin receptor 1 and disrupting adiponectin receptor 2 increases the excitability of neurons in the hippocampus while disrupting receptor 1 and activating receptor 2 decreases it.Excessive excitability is common in early stages of Alzheimer’s and leaves neurons vulnerable to degeneration. And Lu thinks Alzheimer’s also manipulates this pathway to alter and ultimately decrease neuron function in the brain’s cerebral cortex and hippocampus, centers of learning and memory, that are heavily hit by Alzheimer’s, the most common dementia.They have shown that before they die, neurons become hyperactive and generally don’t function well. In fact, patients as well as animal models of Alzheimer’s can experience seizures, a sign of excessive excitability.”When you have Alzheimer’s, you have neurons die in the cortex and the hippocampus,” Lu says. In fact, the brain generally shrinks in size. Why some neurons die and others don’t is what Lu and her team are trying to better understand.Now they are working to better understand the functions of the apparently distinctive receptors, particularly on the neurons that produce glutamate, a brain chemical that helps excite cells and known to be critical to cognition.They suspect the receptors’ clearly opposite effects on cell excitability could mean they also have a different, and possibly opposite as well, effect on Alzheimer’s development. So they are looking at what deleting and activating the receptors does to those neurons and what that does to contribute to or alleviate age- and Alzheimer’s-related changes to the brain and our ability to think and remember.They also are studying what happens to the receptors themselves in different age mice.Adiponectin has a protective, or neurotrophic, effect on neurons helping enable their survival, growth, repair and even regrowth. They can help neurons and their connections stay nimble, or plastic, so our brains function better, and we can continue to properly respond to our environment and maintain other brain basics like making memories.Genetic variations in PPAR-γ and adiponectin as well as low blood levels of adiponectin already are associated with an increased Alzheimer’s risk. In fact, low adiponectin levels in the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain have been associated with increased production of the hallmark plaque and shrinking of the hippocampus associated with Alzheimer’s.Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. First symptoms may appear after age 60 and the number of people with it doubles every five years beyond age 65, according to the CDC. It’s known that metabolic disorders, like obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, increase Alzheimer’s risk. In fact, Alzheimer’s is sometimes referred to as type 3 diabetes, which is thought to result from resistance to insulin in the brain.Lu also studies adiponectin in depression and has shown how chronic stress can decrease fat’s production of PPAR-γ and adiponectin. We know when you have Alzheimer’s your adiponectin is low, now we want to make sure this is actually a cause.”Dr. Xin-Yun Lu, molecular behavioral neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University Source:Medical College of Georgia at Augusta Universitycenter_img Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 21 2019Scientists want to know whether our aging fat cells are important to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s.They have evidence that as we age, our fat becomes less efficient at producing a hormone that helps support the growth and survival of neurons and helps regulate their activity. The result can be neurons in areas of the brain important to learning and memory become dysfunctional, degenerate and we develop Alzheimer’s.”What happens to neurons, that is really what we are interested in,” says Dr. Xin-Yun Lu, molecular behavioral neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Translational Neuroscience.Lu is principal investigator on a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health that is helping further explore the possibility that improving the function of our older fat may just help our brains.The hormone is adiponectin, which is made by fat cells, circulates in our blood and enters our brain. Inside fat cells, its production is regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, or PPAR-γ, a transcription factor that’s essential for early stage fat cells to become mature, fully functioning ones.last_img read more

Advanced digital networks look a lot like the human nervous system

first_imgStudying digital and biological connections can shed light on both fields. Credit: MY stock/ Autism spectrum disorder, for example, is a serious developmental condition that impairs people’s ability to communicate and interact. It’s believed to occur as a result of an imbalance between two types of neural communications: People with autism spectrum disorder have too much activity in neurons that excite other neurons and too little activity in neurons that quiet other neurons down. This is like what happens when some links in a telecommunications networks get overloaded, while others are not busy at all. Software tools that manage large cloud and fog networks can even out demand and minimize telecommunication delays. These programs can also simulate – and suggest ways to reduce – the network imbalances in autism-related impairments.Multiple sclerosis is an often disabling disease in which the body’s immune system eats away at nerve fibers’ protective coverings. This disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and the body. Technologically, this is similar to outages at particular network connection points, which is regularly dealt with by sending messages by other routes that have working connections. Perhaps medical research can identify ways to reroute nerve messages through nearby links when some nerves aren’t working properly.Using software and medicine togetherAlzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. In 2015, I presented work by my research lab on the discovery of new networks in the brain whose behavior indicated that Alzheimer’s disease might be an autoimmune disease, like MS is. This suggests a brain with Alzheimer’s could be like a telecommunications network being attacked by an intruder changing not just data within the network, but also the network’s structure itself.My research group then used the human immune system as inspiration for developing software to defend computer networks against malicious attacks. This software can, in turn, be used to simulate the progress of Alzheimer’s disease in a patient, perhaps highlighting ways to reduce its effects.The nervous system’s involvement in other autoimmune diseases, such as Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, may offer opportunities for additional insights into digital networks, or ways sensors and software solutions might help patients. In my view, software models, made more realistic by clinical research, will help researchers understand the structure and function of the human nervous system and, along the way, make telecommunications networks and services faster and more reliable and secure. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. The human nervous system can be understood as a network of interconnected sensors and processors. Credit: Siyavula Education/Flickr, CC BY Regrowing damaged nerves hinges on shutting down key genes This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Salvatore Domenic Morgera explains the network of the nervous system. The digital equivalent of the peripheral nervous system is the “internet of things.” It is a vast and growing network of devices, vehicles and home appliances that contain electronics, software and connectivity that let them connect with each other, interacting and exchanging data.The technological equivalent of the brain is the “cloud,” an internet-connected group of powerful computers and processors that store, manage and process data. They often work together to handle complex tasks involving large amounts of input and processing, before delivering outputs back over the internet. In between those two types of components is the spinal-cord equivalent, a new type of network called a “fog” – a play on the fact that it’s a thinly distributed cloud – set up to shorten network connections and the resulting processing delays between the cloud and remote devices. The processors and storage devices in the fog can handle tasks that require especially rapid reactions.Striking similaritiesIn building technological networks throughout the modern world, people have apparently – and likely unconsciously – mirrored human neurology. This offers opportunities to identify technological solutions to networking problems that could be adapted into medical treatments for neurological disorders that have no known cures. Provided by The Conversation Citation: Advanced digital networks look a lot like the human nervous system (2018, December 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Neural communications break down when affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Credit: BruceBlaus/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY The brain, the center of most of the nervous system’s processing power, has several specialized regions in its right and left hemispheres. These areas take input from sensors such as the eyes, ears and skin, and return outputs in the form of thoughts, emotions, memories and movement. In many cases, these outputs are also used by other parts of the brain as inputs that enable refinement and learning.In healthy people, these elements work together in extraordinary harmony by combining networks of cells that respond to specific chemicals, mechanical changes, light characteristics, temperature changes and pain through a process called sensory transduction. This complexity makes even one of the smallest components of the nervous system, the nerve fiber, or axon, a challenge to study. Some of the nervous system’s interconnections, long thought to only be physical, may also be effectively wireless. The brain generates a highly specialized electric field at certain nerve fiber sites during the normal course of its operation. Measuring the characteristics of this field can offer indications that a brain is healthy, or that it may have certain neurological disorders.Inside telecommunications networksThe current generation of advanced telecommunications networks, known as 5G, is wireless, and has three similar categories of components. Explore further Parents have experienced how newborns grab their finger and hold tight. This almost instantaneous response is one of the sweetest involuntary movements that babies exhibit. The newborn’s nerves sense a touch, process the information and react without having to send a signal to the brain. Though in people this ability fades very early in life, the system that enables it offers a useful example for digital networks connecting sensors, processors and machinery to translate information into action. My research on both the human nervous system and advanced telecommunications networks has found some striking parallels between the two, including the similarity between babies’ nervous systems and the rapid-response networks now being developed to handle always-on, always-connected networks of sensors, cameras and microphones throughout people’s homes, communities and workplaces. These insights can suggest new ways to think about designing future telecommunications systems, as well as provide new ideas for diagnosing and treating neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, autism spectrum disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.A view of human neurologyGenerally speaking, the nervous system has three main components: the brain, the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is distributed throughout the entire body, sensing inputs like pressure, heat and cold, and conveying that information through the spinal cord to the brain. This system also handles the responses from the brain, controlling voluntary movements, and does some local regulation of involuntary body functions like breathing, digestion and keeping the heart beating. The spinal cord handles large numbers of sensory inputs and action responses passing back and forth between the brain and the body. It also handles involuntary muscular movements called reflex arcs, such as the knee jerk reflex when the doctor performs an examination or the rapid “pull away” of a hand when something hot is touched. last_img read more

Largest Neolithic Settlement in Israel Uncovered Up to 3000 People May Have

first_img Back to the Stone Age: 17 Key Milestones in Paleolithic Life Originally published on Live Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndo Photos: Roadside Dig Reveals 10,000-Year-Old House in Israel Photos: 2,000-Year-Old Roman Road and Coins Discovered in Israelcenter_img Archaeologists have known about this location, called the Motza site, for decades. However, now that the government plans to build a new highway entrance and new roundabouts there, the Israel Antiquities Authority sent a team to do a full-scale excavation of the Neolithic settlement, Vardi told Live Science. This effort quickly became the largest excavation of a Neolithic site in the country, he said. During the Neolithic, hunter-gatherer groups began farming and making permanent settlements. So, it came as no surprise when they found large buildings with rooms where Neolithic people once lived, public facilities and places for rituals. Alleyways ran between the buildings, showing that the settlement had an advanced layout. Some buildings even had plaster floors. The team also uncovered human burials beneath and around the houses. Some of the burials also held burial goods, likely offerings that may have been given to help the deceased in the afterlife. Some of these grave goods came from far away — including obsidian beads from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) and seashells from the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea — indicating that the people at this site traded with neighboring regions. The excavation also uncovered several stone and mother-of-pearl bracelets, which, given their small size, were likely worn by children or adolescents, Vardi said. He added that one burial showed that these bracelets were worn on the upper arm. The site also has thousands of stone arrowheads for hunting, axes for felling trees, and sickle blades and knives, as well as figurines whose styles date to the Neolithic. Radiocarbon dating of the seeds found at the site indicates that people lived there between 9,000 and 8,800 years ago, Vardi said. In addition to farming crops and keeping goats, these people kept cows and pigs; they also hunted game, such as gazelle, deer, wolves and foxes, as shown by animal remains found there. “Based on the data that we have and from the fauna, we have a pretty good notion that the people at the site were farmers and they were specialists in what they did,” Vardi said. After the Neolithic period ended, people continued to live there. It’s clear why this spot was so desirable, Vardi said, as it’s near a large spring and several smaller springs that supply fresh water. The site is now 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) from Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sorek Stream. The entire Motza site is about 0.1 square miles (30 to 40 hectares). As the excavation wraps up, the team still has a lot on its plate. The researchers plan to publish several papers and articles for the public on the site, as well as put some of the artifacts in museums for public viewing, Vardi said. Before it gets destroyed by a newly constructed highway, a 9,000-year-old Neolithic site just outside of Jerusalem is getting an exhaustive excavation, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. The humans who lived there during the Neolithic (the last period of the Stone Age) were a sophisticated bunch. Many of them were likely farmers who had stored hundreds of thousands of seeds — including lentils, chickpeas and beans — in storage facilities. These ancient people also kept domesticated goats, as shown by animal remains found at the site, and they traded with neighboring regions, such as what is now Turkey, Jordan and the areas around the Red Sea. “This is the first time that such a large-scale settlement from the Neolithic period — 9,000 years ago — [has been] discovered in Israel,” Hamoudi Khalaily and Jacob Vardi, archaeologists and excavation directors at the site, who work with the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement. “At least 2,000 [to] 3,000 residents lived here — an order of magnitude that parallels a present-day city.” [See Photos of the Neolithic Excavation]Advertisement Largest Neolithic Excavation on Record in IsraelArchaeologists are excavating a 9,000-year-old farming settlement in Israel that dates to the Neolithic. Credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities AuthorityVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0002:4502:45Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball00:29Video – Giggly Robot02:31Surgical Robotics关闭 last_img read more

Delhi monsoon rains unlikely before July 15

first_img Indo-Asian News Service New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 13:31 IST The dry spell is likely to continue without any significant precipitation in the region. (File photo: PTI)HIGHLIGHTSThe much awaited monsoon rains are unlikely for at least another three daysLight rainfall was expected in Delhi-NCR on the night of July 15The seasonal trough has shifted towards the Himalaya foothillsDespite the cloud cover over Delhi-NCR, the much awaited monsoon rains are unlikely for at least another three days.The dry spell is likely to continue without any significant precipitation in the region, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.According to IMD, light rainfall was expected in Delhi-NCR on the night of July 15.”The dry conditions will prevail over the next three days. There will be dust in the air and light rainfall is expected only on July 15 and thereafter,” IMD’s regional weather forecasting chief Kuldeep Srivastava told IANS.Private weather forecasting agency Skymet echoed the IMD, saying there was unlikely to be any significant weather activity over the next three days.According to Skymet, the seasonal trough has shifted towards the Himalaya foothills and heavy rains were expected in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and the northern districts of Uttar Pradesh.”From July 15, this trough will start travelling south with rains across Delhi-NCR and other parts of Haryana and Punjab. The intensity of rainfall is expected to increase between July 17 and 19,” Skymet chief Mahesh Palawat told IANS.As per an IMD bulletin released on Friday, the northern limit of the monsoon continues to pass through Barmer, Jodhpur and Churu in Rajasthan and Ludhiana and Kapurthala in Punjab.A low pressure area was also persisting over northeast Uttar Pradesh and adjoining Bihar with the associated cyclonic circulation extending up to 7.6 km above mean sea level.The IMD recorded heavy rainfall on Thursday at isolated places over Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh, Konkan and Goa, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.Also read | IMD issues heavy rain alerts for Uttarakhand, BiharAlso read | Farmers rejoice as India receives above normal monsoon rainsAlso watch | Mumbai rains: Wall collapses due to heavy rainfall, massive traffic across cityFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnumika Bahukhandi Tags :Follow Delhi rainsFollow Delhi NCRFollow Delhi monsoonFollow Monsoon Delhi monsoon rains unlikely before July 15The dry spell is likely to continue without any significant precipitation in the region, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.According to IMD, light rainfall was expected in Delhi-NCR on the night of July 15.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

Amarnath Yatra suspended after separatist called for strike on Martyrs Day

first_img Next Amarnath Yatra suspended from Jammu to Srinagar after separatists call for strike on Martyrs DayJuly 13 is observed as Martyrs Day in Jammu and Kashmir to remember those killed in the firing outside the Srinagar Central Jail by forces of the Dogra Maharaja in 1931.advertisement Sunil Bhat Shuja-ul-Haq JammuJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 10:58 IST The Amarnath Yatra was suspended on Saturday with no pilgrim allowed to move towards the Kashmir Valley from Jammu due to a separatist-called protest shutdown.”Taking stock of the law and order situation because the protest shutdown called by the separatists today, movement of the pilgrims from Jammu to Srinagar will remain suspended today,” police sources said.July 13 is observed as Martyrs Day in Jammu and Kashmir to remember those killed in the firing outside the Srinagar Central Jail by forces of the Dogra Maharaja in 1931.The state government observes the day to honour those who fought for Independence in 1947.Former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah also reached the graveyard with his supporters and paid homage to the 1931 martyrs.”The governor is a BJP man and won’t come here to pay the tribute,” said Farooq AbdullahWhen asked about assembly election in the state, Farooq said,”Today or tomorrow the government should conduct state assembly election as the popular government is the only is the way to peace.”Since the annual pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine started on July 1, over 1.50 lakh pilgrims have performed the ongoing Amarnath Yatra so far.The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva, according to the devotees.The structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.Pilgrims approach the shrine either from the shorter 14 km-long Baltal trek or through the longer 45 km Pahalgam trek.Helicopter services are also available for pilgrims at both base camps.The Cave shrine was discovered in 1850 by a Muslim Shepherd, Buta Malik.Legend says a Sufi saint rewarded the shepherd with a bag of charcoal that turned out to be gold.Descendants of the shepherd have received a portion of the offerings from the cave shrine for over 150 years.This year’s Amarnath Yatra will end on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.(With inputs from IANS)Also read: 13,004 pilgrims pay obeisance at Amarnath cave shrineALSO WATCH| First batch of Amarnath pilgrims reaches shrineFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byIram Ara Ibrahimlast_img read more