সোমবার, ১ জুলাই, ২০১৩

Biomedical research revealing secrets of cell behavior

July 1, 2013 ? Knowing virtually everything about how the body's cells make transitions from one state to another -- for instance, precisely how particular cells develop into multi-cellular organisms -- would be a major jump forward in understanding the basics of what drives biological processes.

Such a leap could open doors to far-reaching advances in medical science, bioengineering and related areas.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Arizona State University, with a partner at Imperial College London, report on taking at least a step toward better comprehension of the fundamentals of "cell fate determination" in the prominent research journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Cell fate determination relates to the mechanisms by which a cell "decides" in what direction it will go in moving through transitional phases into a final state.

Using mathematical modeling and synthetic biology techniques the team is manufacturing artificial gene networks (a collection of DNA segments in a cell that interact with each other) and introducing them into cells in the laboratory.

From there, the researchers are able to closely observe through microscopic imaging what is happening with particular cells at their "tipping point," a stage of rest right before they transition into other states.

By learning what takes place at that point, "We can get closer to a fundamental insight about all biology," says biomedical engineer and synthetic biologist Xiao Wang.

Once the mechanisms determining the fate of cells are better understood, Wang says, "We could make gene networks or devices that do what we want them to do," such as create cells that produce medicinal drugs or that kill diseased cells, or create cells that act as sensors to detect environmental hazards.

Wang is an assistant professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of ASU's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He is the senior author of the PNAS paper.

Wang's fellow authors are: biomedical engineering research scientists Min Wu and Xiaohui Li, who work in Wang's lab; electrical engineering graduate student Ri-Qi Su; Ying-Cheng Lai, a professor in ASU's School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering; and synthetic biologist Tom Ellis from Imperial College London.

Their article, "Engineering of regulated stochastic cell fate determination," is available online.

The research team is studying the molecular-level interactions within the DNA sequences of cells, through which the products of one gene affect those of other genes. This helps to trace the lineages of cell development and reveal what drives them in the direction of what kinds of cells they will be in their final states.

Within deeper knowledge of the workings of such processes lays the key to more effectively engineering cells and gene networks.

Wang's team is focused on investigating the intricate properties of gene networks with the goal of learning new ways of regulating the mechanisms behind cell fate determination.

"Our research could be built upon to look at more complicated gene networks and more complex cellular behavior," paving the way for expanding the capabilities of bioengineering to protect and maintain human health, Wang says.

Support for the team's research has come from the National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/~3/UJzKzAFGc7E/130701163851.htm

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July 4th fireworks scrapped at a number of bases

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Fourth of July won't have a patriotic boom in the sky over some military bases because budget cuts and furloughed workers also mean furloughed fireworks.

Independence Day celebrations have been canceled at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base and at the Army's Fort Bragg, both in North Carolina. The annual July Fourth celebration also has been scrapped at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Ga.

The reason is money ? namely the lack of it.

The failure in Washington to follow up a 2011 budget pact with additional spending cuts meant $85 billion across-the-board cuts that began in March. Budgets tightened, the military took a major hit and many federal workers absorbed pay cuts through forced furloughs.

When the decision was made to forgo fireworks at Camp Lejeune, the commanding general, Brig. Gen. Thomas Gorry, said the cancellation would "ensure that we can mitigate the fiscal challenges we are currently facing."

Last year's Independence Day at the base cost about $100,000, including $25,000 for the fireworks. The big issue is paying the overtime to personnel for security, transportation, logistics and safety. Base officials said they couldn't justify paying overtime when federal workers are losing pay while furloughed.

Brandy Rhoad Stowe says the fireworks at Camp Lejeune always were spectacular, and she said that she and her kids, ages 3 and 9, will miss them this year.

"I know fireworks might seem silly to other people," Stowe said in an interview. "But what is the Fourth of July without fireworks?"

Her husband is a master gunnery sergeant with seven combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

Stowe says she understands the budgets cuts but still feels a little shortchanged.

"It's just a bummer for the kids," she said. "It's like the Grinch stealing Christmas."

Marines and their families at Lejeune will instead be able to participate in some free activities ? golf, bowling, skeet shooting, archery and movies.

Other bases that are canceling ceremonies to mark the nation's birthday:

?Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, where the annual Jammin' July 4th put on by the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw and local city and county officials has been scrapped. The base plans a smaller "freedom bash" on July 3 with pool games, face painting and bouncy castles.

?The Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, which is scaling back by canceling the fireworks and instead hosting a daytime celebration featuring the Pacific Fleet Band and the Air Force Band of the Pacific.

?New Jersey's Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/july-4th-fireworks-scrapped-number-bases-132547148.html

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Bomb attacks kill 43 people in Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) ? Bombings killed at least 43 people in three different areas of Pakistan on Sunday, just as Britain's prime minister was in the capital pledging to help to fight extremism.

In the deadliest of the attacks, twin blasts near a Shiite Muslim mosque in Quetta, the capital of southwest Baluchistan province, killed at least 22 people, including two women and several minors, and wounded 65 others, said senior police officer Ishtiaq Ahmed.

Initial reports indicated a hand grenade the first blast, forcing people to run in the direction of the mosque, where a suicide bomber detonated his explosives, said another police officer, Fayaz Sumbal said. Radical Sunni Muslims have stepped up attacks in the past two years against minority Shiites, whom they consider to be heretics.

Local TV video showed ambulances rushing victims to the hospital and wheeling them inside on stretchers. Some of the bodies were covered with white sheets. Relatives of the victims frantically entered the emergency room to inquire about their loved ones. Security forces cordoned off the area of the attack.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Suspicion will likely fall on the militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has carried out many of the attacks against Shiites in Baluchistan in recent years.

In the northwest, a car bomb exploded as a convoy of paramilitary troops passed through the outskirts of the city of Peshawar, killing at least 17 people and wounding dozens of others, police said.

Most of the dead and wounded were civilians, although nine paramilitary Frontier Corps troops were hurt, said police official Shafiullah Khan. The blast struck one Frontier Corps vehicle, but the other passed by safely.

The explosion damaged many other vehicles and shops in the area, according to local TV video. Frontier Corps vehicles rushed to the scene, and a police officer collected evidence from the crater caused by the bomb.

Elsewhere in the northwest, a roadside bomb struck an army convoy and killed four soldiers in the North Waziristan tribal area, the main sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida militants in the country, said intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters. The blast also wounded 20 soldiers, the officials said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks in the northwest, but suspicion will fall on the Pakistani Taliban. The group has been waging a bloody insurgency against the government for years that has killed thousands of security personnel and civilians. The militants have proven resilient despite a series of army offensives against them in the tribal region.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, that Britain would do all it can to help fight extremism, a battle that he said requires both a tough security response and measures to fight poverty and promote education.

Britain pledged to provide Pakistan more equipment to battle the kind of improvised explosives that killed the soldiers in North Waziristan and to share expertise in protecting sporting events. Britain hosted the Olympic Games last summer.

"The enemies of Pakistan are enemies of Britain, and we will stand together and conduct this fight against extremism and terrorism together," Cameron said at a joint news conference with Sharif in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

Cameron arrived in Pakistan following a visit to neighboring Afghanistan. He welcomed Pakistan's stated commitment to help promote a peace deal with the Afghan Taliban.

Pakistan is seen as key to any deal because of its historical links with the insurgents. Pakistan pushed the Taliban to carry through with its recent step to set up a political office in the Gulf country of Qatar, although acrimony between the insurgents and the Afghan government has hampered the negotiation process.

"I assure Prime Minister Cameron of our firm resolve to promote the shared objective of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan to which the 3 million Afghan refugees currently living in Pakistan can return with honor and dignity," Sharif said at the news conference.

Sharif has also pushed for peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, although a series of attacks by the group since he took office in early June have led many to question that approach.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for shooting to death 10 foreign mountain climbers and a Pakistani guide in northern Pakistan a week ago, an attack the group said was retaliation for a U.S. drone strike that killed the Taliban's deputy leader.

The Taliban withdrew their offer of peace talks with the Pakistani government following the drone strike. The government continues to stick by its stance that negotiating with the group is the only way to bring peace.

Critics of talks point out that past peace deals eventually collapsed, offering the militants a chance to regroup. They also note that the Taliban reject Pakistan's democratic government and believe Islamic law should be applied throughout the country.


Khan reported from Peshawar. Associated Press writers Sebastian Abbot and Zarar Khan in Islamabad and Rasool Dawar in Peshawar contributed to this report.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/bomb-attacks-kill-43-people-pakistan-171710234.html

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Iran's Rouhani pledges an inclusive cabinet, moderate government

Iran's President-elect Hassan Rouhani has pledged to appoint a 'trans-factional' cabinet beholden to no political party. His statement should reassure both hardliners and reformists, who he says will both have a seat at the table.?

By Yeganeh Torbati,?Reuters / June 29, 2013

Iranian President-elect Hasan Rouhani speaks in a conference in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. The president-elect called his win in national elections this month a vote for change and vowed Saturday to remain committed to his campaign promises of moderation and constructive interaction with the outside world.

Mohammad Berno/Office of the President-elect/AP


Iran's president-elect Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday he would appoint ministers from across its political spectrum as Iranian voters had chosen a path of moderation over extremism.

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His victory in the June 14 vote has lifted hopes of a thaw in?Iran's antagonistic relations with the West that might create openings for defusing its nuclear dispute with world powers. Rouhani has pledged a more conciliatory approach than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, under whose belligerent presidency the Islamic Republic drew ever more punishing international sanctions.

Rouhani's pledge of an inclusive cabinet could reassure conservative hardliners who look askance at the endorsement he was granted by reformists in the election.

In turn, reformists will hope to regain some political influence - with the aim of easing repression at home and?Iran's isolation abroad - after being sidelined under Ahmadinejad, who by law could not run for a third consecutive term.

"The future government must operate in the framework of moderation ...(and it) must avoid extremism, and this message is for everyone," Rouhani, a former chief nuclear negotiator, said in a speech carried live on state television.

"The next cabinet will be trans-factional ... This government is not obligated to any party or faction, and will work to choose the most qualified people from all sides and factions, under conditions of moderation and temperance."

Analysts say Rouhani, a mid-ranking Shi'ite Muslim cleric who has held sensitive security posts since the 1980s, enjoys an insider status and close relationship with theocratic Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and may be able to build bridges between factions to yield reforms.

But Khamenei will retain the final say on policies that most concern world powers, including?Iran's nuclear programme and its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels trying to overthrow him.?


Rouhani also urged moderation in Iranian policies towards the rest of the world and called for a balance between "realism" and pursuing the ideals of the Islamic Republic.

"Moderation in foreign policy is neither submission nor antagonism, neither passivity nor confrontation. Moderation is effective and constructive interaction with the world," he said.

"The Islamic Republic of?Iran, as a major regional power or the biggest regional power..., must play its role and for this we need moderation."

Western powers suspect?Iran?of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability, which Tehran denies. The Islamic Republic is now languishing under increasingly tough sanctions limiting its oil sales, a crucial source of revenue, obstructing its foreign trade and stoking higher inflation and unemployment.

Iran's friends and foes indicated shortly after Rouhani's election triumph they did not believe it would bring fundamental change in Iranian foreign policy.

Tehran is at loggerheads with Western powers on a range of foreign policy issues including its shadowy nuclear programme and its support for Syria's Assad, the Lebanese Shi'ite militant movement Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

U.S.-allied Gulf Arab countries have also accused?Iran?of interfering in their affairs, though Tehran denies trying to subvert Saudi Arabia and its wealthy Gulf neighbours.

Rouhani, who will take office in early August, said he was dedicated to "mutual relaxation of tensions" with other states.

Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Source: http://rss.csmonitor.com/~r/feeds/csm/~3/gns6kdR3N48/Iran-s-Rouhani-pledges-an-inclusive-cabinet-moderate-government

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রবিবার, ৩০ জুন, ২০১৩

What's The Biggest Repair Your Computer Has Ever Needed?

What's The Biggest Repair Your Computer Has Ever Needed?

The other day I went to the Apple Store to pick up my computer and I felt like a celebrity. The person assigned to help me ran over and asked enthusiastically if I was Lily Newman. I nodded and immediately assumed that he recognized my name from Gizmodo and was about to tell me how quippy and brilliant I am. Because that totally happens to me all the time. Instead he produced my laptop, grinned at me, and said, "This laptop had so much wrong with it. It's ridiculous!" Soooo, yeah. My computer had been randomly freezing for awhile, but I didn't know it was on the verge of becoming an incredibly expensive pile of garbage.

No matter how reliable a computer is it's bound to have a problem sometime. There are lots of things that can cause component breakdowns from liquids and heat, to dust or plain old over-clocking. What's the most major repair a computer of yours has ever needed? Pick it apart below.

Source: http://gizmodo.com/whats-the-biggest-repair-your-computer-has-ever-needed-626121218

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Final compromise issued on birth-control mandate - The Seattle Times

Originally published June 28, 2013 at 9:37 PM | Page modified June 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

WASHINGTON ? The Obama administration issued its final compromise Friday for religiously affiliated charities, hospitals and other nonprofits that object to covering birth control in their employee health plans.

The Health and Human Services Department said the final plan simplifies how insurers provide the coverage separately from faith-based groups and gives religious nonprofits more time to comply. However, the changes are unlikely to resolve objections from faith groups that the requirement violates their religious freedom.

More than 60 lawsuits have been filed challenging the rule. The cases are expected to reach the Supreme Court.

The birth-control rule was first introduced in February 2012 as part of President Obama?s health-care law. The original plan exempted churches and other houses of worship, but required faith-affiliated charities, universities and other nonprofits to provide the coverage for their employees.

The regulation became an election-year issue as Roman Catholic bishops, evangelicals and some religious leaders lobbied for a broader exemption. The Obama administration offered a series of accommodations, leading to the final rules released Friday.

Under the compromise, administration officials said they simplified the definition of religious organizations that are fully exempt from the requirement. The change means a church that also ran a soup kitchen would not have to comply.

Other religious nonprofits must notify their insurance company that they object to birth-control coverage. The insurer or administrator of the plan will then notify affected employees separately that coverage will be provided at no cost. The insurers would be reimbursed by a credit against fees owed the government.

Michael Hash, director of the health-reform office of the Health and Human Services Department, said the final regulation spells out in more detail the buffer between religious charities and contraceptive coverage. Faith-based groups were given another reprieve ? until Jan. 1 ? to comply.

Judy Waxman, of the National Women?s Law Center, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., said her organization could accept the plan. ?It?s fair,? she said.

However, Eric Rassbach, an attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a law firm challenging the contraception-coverage rule, said: ?It doesn?t really change the overall way they?re trying to do this.? The Becket Fund represents many of the organizations challenging the regulation in federal court.

Lawsuits against the requirement are split almost evenly between nonprofit plaintiffs ? including several Roman Catholic dioceses ? and for-profit businesses, which say the rules go against their religious beliefs. For-profit businesses are not included in the accommodation released Friday.

Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby Stores is the largest and best-known of the businesses that have sued. On Thursday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver allowed the lawsuit to move forward on religious grounds. The judges said the portion of the law that requires Hobby Lobby to offer certain kinds of birth control to employees is particularly onerous and sent the case back to a court in Oklahoma.

On Friday, the lower court granted Hobby Lobby a temporary injunction against full enforcement of the law. Businesses that fail to comply potentially face fines based on the number of workers they employ and other factors. The amount for Hobby Lobby could reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Neither the Catholic Health Association, a trade group for hospitals, nor the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had an immediate reaction Friday, saying the regulations were being studied.

Source: http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2021291582_healthcontraceptivexml.html

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THE X FACTOR - Ep 21: Benny Tipene - California

Sunday 30 June 2013 20:06. Viewed: 1655 times

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jwplayer().onPlay(function() { var vcid = "c06"; var videoTitle = ""+videoOrAudio+"-"+titleForNNR+"-jw-"+os; var ou = "http%3A//"+domain+"/video/" _scdav0(netRatingsContentGroup,vcid,videoTitle,ou); jwplayer().getPlaylist() }); jwplayer().onFullscreen(function(obj){ //toggle the pauseFrom so pause on demands dont fire on fullscreen but will refire once out of fullscreen if(obj.fullscreen==true){ pauseFrom="fullscreen"; } else{ if(agentID) { pauseFrom="iosFromFullscreenDone"; } else { pauseFrom=""; } } }); jwplayer().onComplete(function() { _scdav2(); if(os!="ios"){ } }); jwplayer().onReady( function(event){ }); jwplayer().onSeek( function(event){ pauseFrom="seek"; setTimeout(function() {pauseFrom=""; }, 8000);//after 3 second reset pauseFrom so pauseOnDemand works }); } }//end initialize jQuery(document).ready(function() { //launch the player //if no ad selecter attempt to set up the player if((call4x4AdSelectorVars.id=="")||(call4x4AdSelectorVars.id==undefined)){ initialize(); } function nextVideo(url){ //used to force next video window.location = url; } var ScRandom = Math.ceil(Math.random()*1000000000); var pingTime=""; var intervalID=""; //Legacy Beacon Variables var currentDuration = 0; var duration = 0; var davImg0 = new Image(); });//end document.ready //Fire DAV0 function _scdav0(netRatingsContentGroup,vcid,videoTitle,ou) { var currentTime=jwplayer().getPosition(); if(parseInt(currentTime)==0){ var ScImgSrc; duration = Math.floor(0); //Gets rid of decimals for duration var ScRandom = Math.ceil(Math.random()*1000000000); ScImgSrc = 'http://secure-nz.imrworldwide.com/cgi-bin/m?ci=nz-canwest-dav'; ScImgSrc += '&cg=' + netRatingsContentGroup;//Program/Section Name ScImgSrc += '&tl=dav0-' + videoTitle; //Title of the Stream ScImgSrc += '&c6=sc,' + vcid + escape('');//VideoCensus ID - specified by Nielsen - varies per entity ScImgSrc += '&ou=' + ou + escape(''); ScImgSrc += '&cc=1';//Cookie Check (Always on) ScImgSrc += '&sd=' + duration + escape(''); ScImgSrc += '&rnd=' + ScRandom; davImg0 = ""; davImg0 = new Image(); davImg0.src = ScImgSrc; } } //Fire DAV2 function _scdav2(netRatingsContentGroup,vcid,videoTitle,ou) { var ScImgSrc; duration = Math.floor(0); //Gets rid of decimals for duration var ScRandom = Math.ceil(Math.random()*1000000000); ScImgSrc = 'http://secure-nz.imrworldwide.com/cgi-bin/m?ci=nz-canwest-dav'; ScImgSrc += '&cg=' + netRatingsContentGroup;//Program/Section Name ScImgSrc += '&tl=dav2-' + videoTitle;//Title of the Stream ScImgSrc += '&c6=sc,' + vcid + escape('');//VideoCensus ID - specified by Nielsen - varies per entity ScImgSrc += '&ou=' + ou + escape(''); ScImgSrc += '&cc=1';//Cookie Check (Always on) ScImgSrc += '&sd=' + duration + escape(''); ScImgSrc += '&rnd=' + ScRandom; davImg0 = ""; davImg0 = new Image(); davImg0.src = ScImgSrc; } //end tracking /* ]]> */ //put gerneric player functions here //function to handle pause events from outside the player function pausePlayVideo(message,from){ pauseFrom=from; if(message=="play"){ jwplayer().play(); } else{ if(pauseFrom!="user") { jwplayer().pause(); } if(dartsayspause==true){ if((pauseFrom=="flyover")||(pauseFrom=='call4x4AdSelector')){} else{ LoadPauseOverlay(call4x1VodPauseAdVars.id,call4x1VodPauseAdVars.method,call4x1VodPauseAdVars.url,null,'pause'); } } } } //function to recieve instructions from add selector function dynamicPreRoll(cust,choice){ AdPauseClose();//close the container initialize("adselector",cust,choice);//reset JWPlayer with new adselecter choices //initialize();//reset JWPlayer with new adselecter choices //pauseFrom='';//reset this so usual pause works again //jwplayer().play(); } var call4x4AdSelectorVars = new Object();//make globalVars object to reference vars later var adSelecterCount =0; function call4x4AdSelector(id,method,url) { document.getElementById('ad_banner').innerHTML = ''; adSelecterCount +=1;// add one to the count so it doesnt get called again call4x4AdSelectorVars.id = id; call4x4AdSelectorVars.method = method; call4x4AdSelectorVars.url = url; if(adSelecterCount0){ pauseFrom="ios"; var tag = document.getElementsByTagName('video')[0]; midrollCounter=midrollCounter+1; } } } hideCompaionOverlayAds();//remove midroll companions pauseFrom="";//reset pause from } function doSeek(time) { var tag = document.getElementsByTagName('video')[0]; pauseFrom="ios"; tag.pause(); tag.currentTime = time; tag.play(); }; function removeAnimation(){ document.getElementById('telstraclear').innerHTML=""; } //set variable to universally use as flash detector for html5 toggles var hasFlash = jwplayer.utils.hasFlash(); //this area is used to display more video options to users who cant access geo blocked content var loadMobileOptionsVar = new Object();//make globalVars object to reference vars later document.write(unescape('%3Cscript language="JavaScript" src="http://www.tv3.co.nz/DesktopModules/Article%20Presentation/External.aspx?tabid=817&moduleid=18514&numberToShow=8&daysToShow=7" type="text/javascript"%3E%3C/script%3E')); var holder =""; holder+=''; holder+='

We have detected that you are using a mobile device. Unfortunately this video is unavailable on your device due to licensing restrictions. Please select an alternative show below.

'; var callback = function(data) { for(i=0;i= 3) { holder+=''; holder+=''; holder+='
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Source: http://www.tv3.co.nz/THE-X-FACTOR-Ep-21-Benny-Tipene---California/tabid/3855/articleID/93660/MCat/3192/Default.aspx

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সোমবার, ২৪ জুন, ২০১৩

TWG 102: Succeeding with grief and loss | The Wellness Couch


This week The Wellness Guys talk about grief and loss. This is something that everyone goes through at some stage in their life and there is no one right answer in regards to how to deal with it. The guys share some of their own personal experiences with loss in the hope that it will be of benefit to others too. Tune in for this very important episode on The Wellness Guys Show.

Source: http://thewellnesscouch.com/twg/twg-102-succeeding-with-grief-and-loss?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=twg-102-succeeding-with-grief-and-loss

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5 things learned in Game 5 of Stanley Cup finals

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) acknowledges the crowd as he is named as the number one star of the game after the Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 22, 2013, in Chicago. Kane scored two of Chicago's three goals. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) acknowledges the crowd as he is named as the number one star of the game after the Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 22, 2013, in Chicago. Kane scored two of Chicago's three goals. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) is congratulated by Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) after scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in the third period during Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 22, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(AP) ? Five things learned in the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday night:


STANLEY IS WAITING: The Chicago streets aren't being shut down for a victory party just yet, but don't blame city officials if they've already started planning the parade. After looking as lively as road kill in Game 3, the Blackhawks have bounced back behind the reconfigured line of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell. Four goals in two games, 10 points and, in the most important stat of all, two wins after Saturday night's commanding 3-1 win. Now it's Boston that reeks of desperation. The Bruins were no match for Chicago's speed and skill in Game 5, and resorted to hits ? big, cheap and otherwise ? to try and keep it close. Expect more of the same in Game 6 on Monday night in Boston, but expect an inspired effort from the Blackhawks, too. "It's going to be exciting," Bickell said. "One win from the ultimate goal when you're a kid, to win the cup. ... It's going to be a hard task going to Boston. Hopefully we can finish it up then and not come back here."


NOT SO FAST: Sure, it sounds good for players to say they're not discouraged and they still think they've got a chance. But the Bruins have the record to prove it. This, after all, is a team that was down 4-1 to Toronto with 11 minutes left in Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs. We all know how that one ended. Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored to tie it up, and Bergeron scored the game winner in overtime. And the last time the Bruins won the Stanley Cup? Yep. They fell behind Vancouver 3-2 in 2011, only to come back and win the last two games. "We're just going to worry about Game 6," David Krejci said. "We're not going to give them anything easily. If they want to win the cup, they're going to have to fight for it because we're going to be ready."


BERGERON'S STATUS: Boston's hopes of forcing a Game 7 may very well rest with Patrice Bergeron. Which is not exactly encouraging considering the Bruins assistant captain was admitted to a Chicago hospital for observation in the third period Saturday night. The Bruins aren't saying what's wrong with Bergeron or how the injury happened, let alone predict whether the Selke Trophy finalist will be able to play Monday. But if coach Claude Julien's prickliness is any indication, it doesn't look good. "I'm not going there, so anything else but injury here," Julien said after getting a third straight question about Bergeron's status. "I'll update you when I have an update. There's nothing more. We can ask a million questions. I don't have any more information than probably you guys do right now."


FITS LIKE A GLOVE: The "Kick Me" sign is off Corey Crawford's back for at least a day. Despite having his team one win from the Stanley Cup title, Crawford continues to be the source of great angst in Chicago. He gives up soft goals. He's vulnerable on his glove side. He's bland. And what's wrong with giving Ray Emery a shot, anyway? (Emery was 17-1 during the regular season.) Yet Crawford keeps doing his thing ? and doing it quite well, thank you. Yes, Zdeno Chara scored Boston's lone goal on Crawford's glove side. But it was one goal! Tuukka Rask, who has been elevated almost to Martin Brodeur status during the playoffs, has been playing more like Martin Short, giving up eight goals ? EIGHT! ? in the last two games alone.


POWER OUTAGE: The Boston Bruins did not have a single power play in Game 5. That may not be a big deal for the Blackhawks, whose power play is worse than that of some pee-wee teams. But the man-advantage has been big for the Bruins, who have scored four of their 13 goals in this series on power plays.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/347875155d53465d95cec892aeb06419/Article_2013-06-23-HKN-Stanley-Cup-Five-Things/id-364adbeac183404abba691a5732cc671

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Sunday Spotlight: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

This week's "Sunday Spotlight" shines on a freshman congresswoman with a unique resume. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is an Iraq war veteran, the first Hindu member of Congress, and the youngest woman serving in Congress, at age 32.

Gabbard told ABC's "This Week" that she doesn't mind standing out on Capitol Hill.

"Someone asked me recently when I went back to Hawaii - they said, 'So, you know, how's it going in Congress? Are you fitting in there?'" Gabbard said. "And I told them not fitting in is actually a good thing."

Gabbard served two tours of duty in the Middle East and said her military service gives her a unique perspective in Washington.

With the military planning to integrate women into combat units by 2016, Gabbard reflected on her own experience in Iraq.

"During my deployment, there were missions that I volunteered for and was not allowed to go on, simply because I'm a woman," Gabbard said. "They said, 'Sorry, no. No girls allowed.'"

Gabbard argued that there should be equality on the front lines.

"As long as we've had a United States military in place, women have been raising their hands to serve our country," Gabbard said.

"If you can pull your weight and if you can do the job, you should be able to do it," she continued. "What we see in the policy change, now that we're seeing starting to be executed, is just a reflection of what women have already been doing in the military."

While critics argue that men and women don't have the same abilities to handle the challenges of war, Gabbard said she and her fellow servicewomen recognize the harsh realities of combat.

"Some of the so-called uncivilized parts of what occurs when you are in combat, when you're at war, that's the reality that we train for," Gabbard said. "This is not something new and it's not something that any woman who raises her hand to serve in uniform finds as a surprise. We know what we sign up for."

Another issue facing the military is the rate of sexual assault, highlighted by rising statistics and recent high-profile cases. Lawmakers are currently moving forward with legislation designed to curb the number of sexual assaults in the military.

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On "This Week," Gabbard urged lawmakers and military leaders to address the skyrocketing number of sexual assaults in the military.

"That just places a greater responsibility on those in leadership to do something about this," she said. "We have to do something about this now."

Gabbard said that being concerned about sexual assault while serving in the military was "an eye-opening experience."

"When I was deployed to Iraq, we heard and saw incidents that were being reported or incidents that were occurring within our camp," Gabbard said.

She also spoke about preventative measures in place during her tours of duty.

"We got issued rape whistles so that, you know, as we walk out of our tent or walk out of our hooch, we've got our body armor, we've got our helmet, our weapon, and we've got our rape whistle," Gabbard explained.

When she's not speaking out on behalf of servicemen and women, the Democratic rising star travels over ten hours to her home district in Hawaii.

"You can smell the ocean breezes as soon as you get off the plane," she said. "Immediately I feel my shoulders drop, the stress goes away."

Gabbard said time spent in Hawaii allows her to escape the hustle and bustle of Washington and "hold on to the aloha spirit."

"I hold on very tightly to my surfboard when I'm home," Gabbard said smiling. "I appreciate having the opportunity to not only be home, but to understand why I'm working in Washington."

Gabbard first assumed public office in 2002, when she was elected as a Hawaii state legislator at the age of 21, and today believes that the "next generation" of leaders can make a big impact.

Check out our web extra HERE for Gabbard's thoughts on being a freshman representative and the need for bipartisanship on Capitol Hill.

The congresswoman is also featured in the upcoming issue of Vogue magazine, which hits newsstands on June 25.

Like "This Week" on Facebook here . You can also follow the show on Twitter here .

Also Read

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/sunday-spotlight-rep-tulsi-gabbard-162829563--abc-news-topstories.html

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Shawn Amos: WATCH: Content Shines At Cannes

The big winner at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity? Content.

Agencies, executives and thought leaders from around the world gathered in the French Riviera this week to celebrate the best in advertising and communication, and to honor campaigns that span television, print, radio, social media, mobile and more.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the Festival received 35,765 entries from 92 countries. The big winners were campaigns that set aside the hard-sell and focused on bringing thought-provoking and entertaining content to their audiences.

"Dumb Ways To Die," a campaign for Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia, aimed at promoting rail safety, was the festival's big winner, with 5 total Grand Prix awards - a new record.

Its clever and insanely catchy song topped iTunes charts in several countries, while the accompanying video, depicting cartoon characters dying in, well, dumb ways, has already been seen by more than 50 million people (fair warning: you will not be able to get the tune out of your head). It also featured a mobile game, a book, interactive posters and radio advertising.

The result? Just three months after the launch, Metro saw a 21% reduction in accidents and deaths compared to a year ago, and a million people signed pledges on the website to be safe around trains.

Remember that Dove "Real Beauty" viral video from a few months ago? It was Cannes' Titanium Grand Prix winner. The video featured a sketch artist who drew various women based on their own descriptions, and then based on others' descriptions; the vastly different results hit home with women worldwide.

Another big winner was Toshiba/Intel's "The Beauty Inside," which took home the Grand Prix in the Branded Content and Entertainment category. The six-episode social film featured a main character who woke up as a different person every morning. Topher Grace played the lead, Alex, but the campaign encouraged fans to submit their own video diaries to play the character. It also won an Emmy recently at the Daytime Emmy Awards.

"Branded Content and Entertainment" is a new category, added just last year, and it highlights the importance that content, in all forms, plays in the modern advertising and marketing world. Last year's inaugural winner was Chipotle's emotional "Back to the Start" commercial, which gained national prominence during the 2012 Grammy Awards.

Find out more about the festival in the latest episode of "The Content Brief" from Freshwire below.

Catch up on the video game console wars with last week's episode right here.




Follow Shawn Amos on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ShawnAmos

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Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shawn-amos/watch-content-shines-at-c_b_3484442.html

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AP Source: NSA leaker Snowden's passport revoked

(AP) ? The former National Security Agency contractor who disclosed a highly classified surveillance program has had his U.S. passport revoked, an official said Sunday.

Edward Snowden's passport was annulled before he left Hong Kong for Russia and while that could complicate his travel plans, the lack of a passport alone could not thwart his plans, the U.S. official said. If a senior official in another country or with an airline orders it, a country could overlook the withdrawn passport, the official said.

The U.S. official would only discuss the passport on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Snowden's allies said he was heading toward Ecuador, where the foreign minister said the government had received a request for asylum.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki refused to comment on Snowden's passport specifically but said individuals facing arrest warrants could have their passport withdrawn.

"Such a revocation does not affect citizenship status. Persons wanted on felony charges, such as Mr. Snowden, should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel other than is necessary to return him to the United States," Psaki said in a statement.

The State Department said the United States was in touch, through diplomatic and law enforcement channels, with countries that Snowden might travel through or to.

Snowden, a CIA technician and former NSA contractor, helped The Guardian and The Washington Post to disclose surveillance programs that collects vast amounts of online data and email, sometimes sweeping up information on ordinary American citizens. Officials have the ability to collect phone and Internet information broadly but need a warrant to examine specific cases where they believe terrorism is involved.

Since news organizations began publishing reports based on Snowden's disclosures, he had been in hiding in Hong Kong, a former British colony with a high degree of autonomy from mainland China. The United States formally sought Snowden's extradition from Hong Kong but was rebuffed; Hong Kong officials said the U.S. request did not fully comply with their laws.

Snowden was said to have landed in Moscow on Sunday but was not seen leaving the airport.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/89ae8247abe8493fae24405546e9a1aa/Article_2013-06-23-US-NSA-Surveillance-Snowden-Passport/id-dccb6a684d874a23affa8dbd4eec655b

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Militants in north Nigeria force thousands to flee

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) ? Refugees say Islamic extremists threatening a bloodbath are forcing thousands of people from villages in north Nigeria where the fighters have regrouped following a monthlong military crackdown.

People who escaped through the bush to the Borno state capital of Maiduguri say militants from the Boko Haram terrorist network also have written letters warning government workers to resign their jobs or face death.

They said some villagers fled to neighboring Cameroon.

In a separate operation in Kano state, west of Borno, police say they have rounded up 400 migrants and are deporting those who do not have the necessary documents.

A state of emergency and military and police crackdown since May 14 has failed to crush the extremists blamed for the killings of more than 1,600 people since 2010.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/militants-north-nigeria-force-thousands-flee-142228285.html

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বৃহস্পতিবার, ২৫ এপ্রিল, ২০১৩

European rate cut hopes fuel market rally

LONDON (AP) ? Hopes that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates next month to support a fading economy fueled a rally in stock markets on Tuesday.

Investors, particularly in Europe, rushed to buy stocks and bonds on expectations that the ECB will opt to cut its main interest rate to a record low of 0.50 percent at its meeting next Thursday from the current 0.75 percent.

The speculation was triggered by a survey into manufacturing activity among the 17 European Union countries that use the euro. The PMI survey from Markit fell another 0.3 points in April to 46.5 ? anything below 50 indicates a contraction.

In particular, the survey showed that it wasn't just the weaker, indebted countries that are struggling. Germany, Europe's biggest economy and its export powerhouse, weakened too.

"This is now going to prompt talk again of an ECB rate cut, given that Bundesbank head, Jens Weidmann, conceded recently that a rate cut would be considered if we see further worsening in the economic data," said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari. The Bundesbank is Germany's central bank.

In Europe, Germany's DAX rallied 2.4 percent to close at 7,658.21 while the CAC-40 in France rose 3.6 percent to 3,783.05. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 2 percent to 6,406.12.

The market optimism helped lower interest rates on government bonds for financially weak countries like Italy and Spain. The yield on Italy's benchmark 10-year bond fell a further 0.12 percentage points to 3.91 percent while Spain's fell 0.24 percentage points to 4.26 percent. Neither country's borrowing rates have been this low since late 2010.

Wall Street was solid too, with the Dow Jones industrial average up 1 percent at 14,716, while the broader S&P 500 index rose 1.1 percent to 1,579.18.

A raft of earnings helped shore up the U.S. open. DuPont, the chemical maker, reported first-quarter profits that more than doubled as its agricultural unit did brisk business. Travelers insurance and Coach soared after strong reports.

The main point of interest on the earnings front will be when Apple reports after the markets close. The company has seen its share price take a battering over the past few months amid mounting concerns over its product line and tough competition.

"With the stock nearly 50 percent off all-time highs, the question is how much more scope is there on the downside," said Fawad Razaqzada, market strategist at GFT Markets.

Earlier, Chinese shares underperformed after a downbeat manufacturing survey renewed concerns over the world's second-largest economy.

A preliminary survey by HSBC Corp. found that China's manufacturing growth slowed in April, in a further sign that the economy is slowing.

HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index ? a gauge of business activity ? fell to a worse-than-expected 50.5 from March's 51.6 on a 100-point scale. That means it's growing but only just ? anything below 50 would have signaled a contraction in activity.

"Just as in 2012, Chinese growth is failing to live up to the market's high expectations," said Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor.

The survey hit Chinese shares particularly hard, with the country's Shanghai Composite Index tumbling 2.6 percent to 2,184.54 and the Shenzhen Composite Index falling 2.7 percent to 923.42. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.1 percent to 21,806.61.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei index slipped as the yen gained ground against the dollar. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 0.3 percent to close at 13,529.65.

In currency markets, the dollar recovered to rise 0.2 percent against the Japanese yen, to 99.40 yen. The euro fell 0.4 percent against the dollar, to $1.3011.

Oil prices were also depressed following the disappointing economic data, with the benchmark New York rate down 3 cents at $89.16 a barrel.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/european-rate-cut-hopes-fuel-market-rally-145634472--finance.html

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মঙ্গলবার, ২৩ এপ্রিল, ২০১৩

Dot Earth Blog: Study Charts 2,000 Years of Continental Climate Changes

A comprehensive new analysis of temperature changes over the continents through 2,000 years has found that a long slide in temperatures in most regions preceded the unusual global warming of recent decades, but with a lot of regional variability and other fascinating details. A National Science Foundation news release has ample background.

The 78-author paper, published Sunday in Nature Geoscience, used a variety of indirect indicators of temperature, from tree rings to pollen grains, to build on other work charting temperature shifts since the end of the last ice age ? including the recent Marcott et al paper, explored here, which used seabed sediments to chart 11,000 years of temperatures.

The new paper drew no conclusions about Africa (you?ll see it?s missing from the chart above) because there are too few spots where long climate records accumulate in lakes or caves. (In most other populated regions, instrumental records have covered the last 100 years, but much of Africa remains a data-free zone even now.)

But along with supporting the general picture of a long temperature slide until the modern era?s warming, the analysis reveals fascinating regional variations, including these:

The Arctic was also warmest during the twentieth century, although warmer during 1941?1970 than 1971?2000 according to our reconstruction?.

In Europe, slightly higher reconstructed temperatures were registered in A.D. 741?770, and the interval from A.D. 21?80 was substantially warmer than 1971?2000. Antarctica was probably warmer than 1971?2000 for a time period as recent as A.D. 1671?1700, and the entire period from 141?1250 was warmer than 1971?2000.

I was in touch with Darrell S. Kaufman of Northern Arizona University, one of two lead authors, just before he headed to Alaska?s Brooks range for three weeks of fieldwork. He sent a note for Dot Earth introducing the study, along with a long, helpful ?frequently asked questions? sheet. Here?s Kaufman?s guest post:

Dot Earth readers will be interested in a new study published online today in the journal Nature Geoscience. The article, ?Continental-scale temperature variability during the last two millennia,? is the most comprehensive evaluation to date of temperature change on Earth?s continents over the past one to two thousand years. The study was authored by the Past Global Changes (PAGES) 2k Consortium, a group of 78 experts from 24 countries.

By investigating the regional-scale patterns of past climate variability, the study helps to understand and quantify the processes that cause climate to change. This is important as we prepare for the full range of future climate changes, whether they are due to anthropogenic or to natural factors.

Previous studies have focused on hemispheric or global-scale temperature reconstructions, which are useful for understanding overall average conditions, but can overlook important differences at regional scales. In particular, the new synthesis clarifies the temperature history for the Southern Hemisphere continents by including temperature reconstructions from Antarctica, Australasia and South America.

The synthesis highlights the most prominent features of seven new and recently published continental-scale temperature reconstructions. Most of proxy temperature records are from tree-ring measurements, but additional evidence comes from glacier ice, speleothems [stalagmites, stalactites and related mineral formations], corals and lake sediments.

My co-authors and I found that, prior to the late 19th century, temperatures had been cooling in nearly all of the continental-scale regions. The long-term cooling in the Arctic can be attributed to the effect of orbital cycles and is known from previous studies. [I covered one, by a team including Kaufman, in 2009.]

Finding a similar trend in the Southern Hemisphere was somewhat unexpected because the effects of the orbital changes should be opposite there.

The long-term, pre-20th-century cooling trend is among the most prominent features of the regional temperature reconstructions. We probed the data using several statistical approaches and came up with the same result. When averaged across the regions, the long-term cooling trend in the PAGES 2k reconstructions agrees with the global cooling trend determined recently by Marcott and coauthors (Science 339: 1198) in their study of temperature changes over the past 11,000 years, which was based primarily on marine sedimentary records.

The long-term cooling trend was only slight, between about 0.1 and 0.3?C per 1000 years, depending on the region. It was caused by natural factors that likely continued through the 20thcentury, making the recent warming more difficult to explain without the impact of increased greenhouse gases.

We also found that temperatures in some regions were higher in the past then they were during the late 20th century and that, the longer the individual site record, the more likely it was to show prior warm intervals, which is consistent with the long-term cooling trend. In Europe, for example, the average temperature between AD 21 and 80 was warmer than during AD 1971-2000. But temperatures did not fluctuate uniformly among all regions at multi-decadal to centennial scales. For example, the transition to colder regional climates between AD 1200 and 1500 is evident earlier in the Arctic, Europe and Asia than in North America or the Southern Hemisphere.

The study focused on the most prominent features of the continental-scale temperature reconstructions. The data assembled for this synthesis, and the temperature reconstructions derived from them will no doubt be analyzed using alternative approaches to reveal other patterns and address further research questions. For example, all reconstructions, except for North America, are resolved at annual scale, but our analysis only considered averages over 30-year periods.

The PAGES 2k Consortium, in coordination with NOAA Paleoclimatology, has tabulated all of the data used for the continental-scale reconstructions in a uniform and user-friendly format. This data product will be useful in future studies, including as a benchmark for comparisons with climate-model simulations that attempt to account for both anthropogenic and natural factors in projections of future climate.

Additional information about the study will be available at the PAGES website.

A similar note is posted on Real Climate. There?s a piece in the Financial Times Swiss coverage here (the other lead author is from the University of Bern).

Source: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/study-charts-2000-years-of-continental-climate-changes/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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Black HTC One peeks out of AT&T and Sprint web stores, promises to be available soon

Stealth black HTC One peeks out of AT&T and Sprint web stores, promises to be available 'soon'

Torn between getting an HTC One right now and waiting for that sleek black variant? We know the feeling, and the folks at Sprint and AT&T aren't making it easier: both providers have tossed up a product page for the color. Unfortunately, a solid street date is nowhere to be seen -- Sprint only promises that it'll be available "soon." The tease won't make the wait any more bearable, but if you want to ogle that press image a bit more, check out the product pages at source.

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Via: Phone Arena

Source: Sprint, AT&T

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Rape of five-year-old sparks protest in India's capital

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The alleged rape of 5-year-old girl by a male neighbor in the Indian capital New Delhi triggered a protest march on Friday to a city hospital by her relatives and political activists, reawakening concerns about safety for women and girls.

Despite a public holiday, several hundred people gathered outside a municipal hospital in eastern Delhi, where the girl was admitted for treatment on Thursday.

They demanded better law enforcement and chanted slogans on gender rights, television reports showed.

The girl's rape, which left her in a critical condition, revived memories of the brutal gang rape by five adult men and a teenaged boy of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus on December 16 in New Delhi. That woman died of her injuries.

B.N. Bansal, a doctor from the Swami Dayanand Hospital, told reporters, that the young victims had undergone an operation.

"The next 48 hours will be crucial for her."

The girl, whose parents work as laborers and live in a slum in the outskirts of Delhi, went missing from home on April 15, according to Manish Sisodia, an official of the Aam Aadmi Party which organized Friday's protest.

She was found with bruise marks on her body in the suspect's house in a semi-conscious condition on Thursday by police after her parents had registered a complaint, media reports said.

The suspect, who fled, allegedly held the girl hostage for three days during which he raped and tortured her.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was deeply disturbed by the incident, a statement from his office said.

The unprecedented protests by thousands of people across India after the December assault had forced Singh's government to pass tougher laws to fight gender crimes in March.

But activists on Friday said the laws were not enough to deter sex offenders in India's largely patriarchal societies.

"If you thought just bringing in a new law will stop crimes, your are wrong. They will reduce, but won't stop. You need community policing to stop these crimes," activist Kiran Bedi told an Indian TV channel.

(Reporting By Satarupa Bhattacharjya and Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/rape-five-old-sparks-protest-indias-capital-174701044.html

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Boston Bruins Fans Stand "Strong," Sing National Anthem

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Boy Scouts set to end ban on gay members: spokesperson

By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Boy Scouts of America on Friday moved to partially lift its long-standing ban on gays, with a decision that would allow openly gay youth members but continue to bar gay adults in one of the largest youth serving organizations in America.

If the resolution is approved in a nationwide vote in May, "no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone," Deron Smith, the organization's spokesman, told Reuters.

The report found religious groups linked to the Scouts were concerned with homosexual adult leaders not with youth and concluded "a change in the membership policy specific to youth only would be consistent with the religious beliefs of the BSA's major chartered organizations."

Gay rights groups want the ban lifted for youth and adults and the proposal immediately drew criticism.

"By refusing to consider an end to its ban on gay and lesbian parents, the Boy Scouts have missed an opportunity to exercise leadership and usher the organization back to relevancy," said Rich Ferraro, Vice President of Communications at GLAAD, which promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

The resolution is the result of a study Smith called "the most comprehensive listening exercise in the history of Scouting" that found parents in three of four U.S. regions opposed the current membership policy.

While the issue remains divisive, "parents, adults in the Scouting community, and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting," concluded the study, which surveyed members, parents, religious groups and local councils.

"The Boy Scouts did not have an easy task and they decided that it does not make business sense to go forward with a policy that's being left in the dustbin of history," said Patrick Boyle, whose 1994 book "Scout's Honor" examined sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts of America.

"It wasn't very long ago that these guys stood before the Supreme Court and said that denying gays membership was a fundamental cornerstone belief of their organization," Boyle added, citing a 2000 Supreme Court ruling that granted the Boy Scouts the right to uphold their membership policy.

The BSA's decision comes amidst larger shifts in gay rights legislation in the United States. In the coming months, the Supreme Court will rule on whether to strike down parts of a federal law that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, and in 2011, a law that barred openly gay individuals from serving in the military was repealed.

Though it is unlikely to put the debate to rest, the BSA's vote in May will conclude months of public and internal debates that divided the youth group's organizers, polarized its corporate and religious sponsors, and placed the organization at the center of a nationwide debate over gay rights.

Chuck Small, a BSA adult leader and the parent of 10- and 12-year-old scouts in South Carolina, welcomed the latest change.

"It's a hard and divisive issue, but what it comes down to is that we learn more from people who are different from us than people who are like us," Small said.

"I want my boys to have that opportunity to learn from as many people as possible."

(Reporting By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian; Additional reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Vicki Allen and Andrew Hay)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/u-boy-scouts-set-end-ban-gay-members-150711650.html

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