South Africa welcomes Obama’s backing for Agoa

first_img6 August 2014South Africa has welcomed the commitment by US President Barack Obama to support the continuation and enhancement of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).Obama made the remarks at the US-Africa Business Forum in Washington on Tuesday. His backing of a new Agoa term came as a pleasant surprise to many, who have been waiting to hear Obama’s position on the issue. US law makers are expected to vote on the renewal of Agoa when the current commitment term expires next year.“We still do the vast majority of our trade with just three countries – South Africa, Nigeria and Angola,” Obama said. “It’s still heavily weighted towards the energy sector. We need more Africans, including women and small- and medium-sized businesses, getting their goods to market.“All leaders in Congress – Democrats and Republicans – have said they want to move forward,” he added. “So I’m optimistic we can work with Congress to renew and modernise Agoa before it expires, renew it for the long term. We need to get that done.”South Africa’s ambassador to the United States, Ebrahim Rasool, welcomed Obama’s commitment to back a renewal of the scheme.“On the investment side, the United State is the biggest source of foreign investment to South Africa, so Agoa must continue, and we want to see the inclusion of South Africa in the programme,” Rasool told SAnews in Washington.“For South Africa, if we can leave here with a firm commitment that Agoa will continue and that South Africa will continue to be in it, that will great for us because that will mean we save US$9-billon.”Agoa provides duty-free market access to the United States for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries by extending preferences on more than 4 600 products.It also provides duty-free access to all clothing (as well as certain textile) exports from countries that qualify. Through the Act, South Africa has reportedly exported significant quantities of manufactured goods, most notably about 60 000 automobiles a year.Since its inception in 2002, Agoa has achieved a great deal for both the United States and African countries that benefit from it. Its work is not yet completed.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

USDA now accepting applications for the Conservation Activity Plan Initiative

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will offer technical and financial assistance to Ohio farmers, agricultural producers, and private forest landowners who want to better manage their agricultural and forest land resources. Having a plan is always the best place to start in any endeavor and the Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) Initiative will help to develop a systematic plan that details the best approach to address natural resource concerns on farms and private forest/woodlands.With CAP Initiative funding, landowners contract with a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) to identify conservation practices needed to address their specific land use or natural resource need. A CAP could focus on a land use resource concern involving grazing land, forest land, or transitioning to an organic operation. A CAP could also address specific resource needs such as managing nutrients, on-farm energy improvements, or an air quality concern. For additional information on TSPs, visit the NRCS TSP website.Once a conservation activity plan is completed with a certified TSP, producers can then apply for NRCS financial assistance to implement the conservation practices identified in their CAP. All NRCS financial-assistance programs are offered in a continuous sign-up; however, to be considered for CAP funding in the first collection period for the 2018 fiscal year, applications must be received by Oct. 20, 2017.Applications for NRCS programs submitted by entities, such as agricultural producers applying as a corporation, must have a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number and an active SAM (System for Award Management) registration status when applying, a process that may take several weeks. Applications cannot be processed without this information. To learn more about technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or a local USDA Service Center.last_img read more

Lazyfeed Implements RSSCloud/PubSubHubBub for “Real Real Time”

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#start#startups Related Posts center_img jolie odell In an email today, Lazyfeed cofounder and CEO Ethan Gahng informed us that the RSS reader is now supporting both RSSCloud and PubSubHubBub protocols, allowing for real-time integration of WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, and Feedburner content.“Our internal tests show that the service has actually become significantly faster,” Gahng wrote. “Now some content from as recent as several seconds ago is being notified through Lazyfeed.”Lazyfeed is a feed reader intended for the ever-growing market of, as we wrote previously, “those of us who are too lazy for RSS feeds but still in the market for real-time, personalized blog searches.” Internally, we’ve found the site incredibly useful. “To be frank, it’s been so useful in churning up news items that I’ve been hesitant to discuss it publicly,” Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote in a recent post.Just a few days ago, we wrote about Lazyfeed’s announcing support for RSSCloud. Lazyfeed was the first feed reader after RSSCloud creator Dave Winer’s own software called River2 to support the new protocol, which added a real-time element to RSS feeds from, among other sources, WordPress blogs.Additional implementation of PubSubHubBub allows for real-time content from Atom feeds, including Typepad blogs, Blogger blogs, and Feedburner content. “It is now really like an instant messenger, ” wrote Gahng in a blog post.Gahng went on to discuss the issue of real-time Feedburner content, saying, “It seems that Feedburner itself is not real-time. Right now, all content from Feedburner-hosted blogs is not being collected in real time. It seems that the feed is updated several minutes after the actual post is published.He further suggested a “relay of two real-time notifications” between a blog and the Feedburner server through either of the real-time feed protocols. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Did you Say Something, Honey? A Look at Distracted Parenting

first_imgBy: David Lee Sexton, Jr. and Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFTPexels[Woman by ViktorHanacek.cz on Nov. 4, 2014, CC0]“Mom!! Can you PLEASE put your phone down and pay attention to me for just a minute? I need your help.”Ouch. That stings. I wish I could tell you that this was the one and only time my 8-year-old son has called me out on the overuse of my phone or other electronics while he has so frustratingly (for him) attempted to get my attention. But, if I told you that, I wouldn’t be telling the truth.  I have found myself in this shameful situation more than I prefer to acknowledge. But, I know I am not alone. And, while I know that I am a good mother, I also admit that I have fallen into the category of sometimes being a distracted parent.We’ve all heard the stories: a busy parent, a child momentarily forgotten in a hot car resulting in a dangerous and potentially horrific situation. According to the Washington Post, death by hyperthermia is the official term for the tragic outcome of distracted parents leaving behind children in parked cars due to distraction, a change in routine, or an unusual amount or type of stress (Weingarten, 2009). Although this occurs about 15 to 25 times per year in the US, it is but an extreme example of the risks of distracted parenting (Weingarten, 2009).Worthen (2012) indicates that there is a possible connection between device (such as mobile phone) distraction and child injuries. In the age of fast-paced technology growth, trends indicate a change of direction in the rates of child injuries; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2007 and 2010, nonfatal injuries to children under the age of five increased by 12%, a rapid incline compared to declining rates during the prior decade (Worthen 2012).Meanwhile, phone ownership for Americans 13 and older has increased from 9 million (coinciding with the release of the iPhone in 2007) to 114 million in 2012 (Worthen, 2012). Worthen notes that this connection is merely correlational and points out the difficulty in identifying direct causality due to issues with collecting the appropriate data, such as unlikelihood of parents to self-report their use of a mobile device during the time of their child’s injury. However, research has examined other factors that may emphasize the overall negative outcomes of distracted parenting.McDaniel and Radesky (2017) examine the relationship between distracted parenting caused by interferences (known in the literature as technoference) in parent-child interactions and the externalizing and internalizing of behavior by children. Examples of internalizing behavior are represented by sulking, whining, and easily hurt feelings while externalizing behavior may look like restlessness, an inability to sit still, or proneness to temper tantrums. Interestingly, McDaniel and Radesky found support for the relationship between technoference and both externalized and internalized behaviors of children, reported by both mothers and fathers. However, this result was only found in mother-child interactions. In contrast, father-child interactions did not predict externalizing and internalizing. McDaniel and Radesky offer two compelling explanations for this discrepancy. First, it is possible that children respond differently to maternal and paternal interactions. However,  perhaps the most plausible explanation comes from sample characteristics, as 30% of mothers in the sample worked 30+ hours per week in contrast to 82% of fathers. As such, the fathers in the study sample may have simply had fewer opportunities to interact with their children.While the literature highlighted above is just a mere sampling of research on the topic of distracted parenting, it certainly elicits the question of how technology use is impacting parenting and parent-child interaction. I can see from my own home, how my distracted parenting impacts the behavior of my children and the interactions I have with them.  I can also see it with other parents and their children when we are at the park, at a restaurant, and at a grocery store. So, what does all of this mean? It means that we may need to all take a closer look at our own personal experience with distracted parenting and figure out what works best for our families. It is possible to find that happy medium between the use of technology and non-distracted parenting. The goal is just finding that ‘sweet spot’ within your own household.How do YOU find your ‘sweet spot’? Tell us in the comments below what you do to mitigate your own distracted parenting and what works for you and your family!ReferencesMcDaniel, B. T. & Radesky, J. S. (2017). Technoference: Parent distraction with technology and associations with child behavior problems. Child Development, https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12822Weingarten, G. (2009, March 8). Fatal distraction: Forgetting a child in the backseat of a car is a horrifying mistake. Is it a crime? The Washington Post, p. W08. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fatal-distraction-forgetting-a-child-in-thebackseat-of-a-car-is-a-horrifying-mistake-is-it-a-crime/2014/06/16/8ae0fe3a-f580-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html?utm_term=.f8362a52169bWorthen, B. (2012, September 29). The perils of texting while parenting. The Wall Street Journal, p. C1. Retrieved from http://members.aon.at/emarsale/deutsch/Perils_of_texting.pdfThis blog was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT and David Lee Sexton, Jr, members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more

Justise Winslow Turns Pro And Thanks Duke In Heartfelt Instagram Post

first_imgAs expected, Duke freshman forward Justise Winslow is entering the 2015 NBA Draft. He’s the second Blue Devil freshman to declare for the draft, joining big man Jahlil Okafor.Winslow acknowledged the news with an eloquent Instagram post moments ago.  I would like to thank Duke University for allowing me to be a part of such a prestigious institution where I have learned more about myself inside and outside of the classroom than I ever thought I could. I would like to thank the students of Duke University for allowing me to develop my character and be myself without any judgment. You all have made this year extremely entertaining. I would like to thank Coach K and the rest of the coaching staff for helping me become a better player mentally and physically. I would like to thank the entire Duke Basketball Program for accepting me with open arms and caring for me unconditionally. Lastly, I would like to thank my teammates who over the course of this past year have become my best friends, my brothers, and NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. Duke University will forever be in heart and I am proud to say that I am DUKE BLUE DEVIL for life.A photo posted by Justise Winslow (@_rubdi) on Apr 14, 2015 at 1:43pm PDTWinslow is expected to be chosen in the top 10 picks of June’s draft, perhaps even within the top five. The versatile 6-foot-6 Houston, Tex., native averaged 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his lone season as a Blue Devil. With Winslow and Okafor both turning pro, attention shifts to freshman point guard Tyus Jones, who has yet to announce his intentions for next season but is a projected first-round pick if he foregoes his eligibility.last_img read more

Photos: Ezekiel Elliott Showed Papi LeBatard How To Wear A Crop Top On ESPN’s Highly Questionable

first_imgezekiel elliott runs the ball during the sugar bowl win over alabamaNEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott appeared as a guest on ESPN’s Highly Questionable this afternoon. Co-hosts Bomani Jones and Dan LeBatard asked him about his toughest game as a player, his class attendance at Ohio State, what his mom said about him questioning the OSU coaches after losing to Michigan State (he wouldn’t answer), and other topics. But LeBatard’s father Gonzalo, affectionately known as “Papi”, stole the show. He asked Elliott how to wear his trademark “crop top” look and then proceeded to turn his dress shirt into one after Elliott gave him a tutorial. @EzekielElliott just showed Papi how to make his shirt into a crop top  pic.twitter.com/bfQNmtoiwz— Taylor Ashbrook (@TA2014) February 15, 2016Papi’s crop top @HQonESPN pic.twitter.com/mKNy73tPAY— Joe (@realmarlina) February 15, 2016Never change, Papi.last_img read more

Grange impressed with Champs performances

first_imgThe Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated the winners of the annual ISSA Grace Kennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships which ended this evening (Saturday) at the National Stadium.Calabar won the Boys’ championship — their seventh in a row; while Edwin Allen defended the Girls’ title.Minister Grange said she was “very impressed with the performances of the student athletes, especially those who set new records over the five days of competition.”The Minister also congratulated “the coaches, organisers and all those who played a role in the successful execution of the Championships.”“The future of Jamaica’s athletics looks bright and is in very good hands,” said Minister Grange.last_img

Polish cable operator Netia has added the sport on

first_imgPolish cable operator Netia has added the sport on-demand platform Sport.TVP.PL to its Netia Player hybrid platform.The sports service, operated by broadcaster TVP, is airing all matches from the Euro 2012 football tournament live, along with highlights and player interviews. After the tournament, Sport.TVP.PL will deliver coverage from various events, including the Olympics Games.The service is available via an app on the Netia Player service, Netia’s platform that offers a mix of IPTV content, DTT channels and internet services, including YouTube and Facebook.last_img

Remission of rheumatoid arthritis linked with reduction in cardiovascular complications

first_imgThis three-year, prospective, observational study included patients who were initially part of the GIRRCS cohort study which assessed the cardiovascular risk profile of consecutive patients with rheumatoid arthritis admitted to Italian Rheumatology units during 2015. The median age was 60 and 82.7% were female. The median rheumatoid arthritis disease duration was 8.35 years, 70.9% showed rheumatoid factor and 55.7% ACPA in their blood. The BMI was 27.21+4.05, 33% were smokers, 49.3% had high blood pressure and 12.3% had type II diabetes. Remission was reached and maintained in 42.6% of patients. Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 12 2019The results of a study presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2019) demonstrate that remission in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an 80% reduction in risk of cardiovascular outcomes.Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints, causing pain and disability. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of premature death compared with the general population, mainly due to cardiovascular disease.”The heightened risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is in large part a consequence of uncontrolled inflammation. By demonstrating that remission of rheumatoid arthritis is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular complications, these results really emphasize the importance of more effective control of disease, beyond symptom management alone,” said Professor John D. Isaacs, Chairperson of the Abstract Selection Committee, EULAR.The study analysed data from 797 patients with rheumatoid arthritis over three years and found that patients in remission had an 80% reduced risk of clinical cardiovascular disease, defined as heart attack, congestive heart failure, or stroke (Odds Ratio (OR):0.20, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.09-0.95, p=0.041). The authors also demonstrated a 75% reduced risk of pre-clinical cardiovascular disease in patients in remission, defined as lesions on arteries detected by ultrasound (OR:0.25, 95% CI: 0.11-0.56, p=0.001).The study also looked at traditional cardiovascular risk factors and the analysis identified type II diabetes as being significantly associated with both cardiovascular outcomes, clinical (OR:6.21, 95% CI:2.19-17.71, p=0.001) and pre-clinical cardiovascular disease (OR:4.50, 95% CI:1.74-11.62, p=0.002). In addition, pre-clinical cardiovascular disease was significantly associated with high blood pressure (OR:2.03, 95% CI:1.04-4.14, p=0.042), ACPA (OR:2.36, 95% CI:1.19-4.69, p=0.002) and mean values of CRP during follow-up (OR:1.07, 95%CI:1.03-1.14, p=0.040). Our study supports the idea that systemic inflammatory processes and more traditional cardiovascular risk factors work together to increase the cardiovascular risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This is important because it highlights the need for the effective coordination of care between rheumatologists, internists, cardiologists and primary-care physicians to optimize management of cardiovascular risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.”Dr. Piero Ruscitti, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italycenter_img Source:European League Against Rheumatismlast_img read more

An injection of nanoparticles for spinal cord injuries

first_imgMagnetic resonance imaging of human show fracture and compress spine. Image Credit: SORANAT7 / Shutterstock Lonnie Shea, the Steven A. Goldstein Collegiate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, the William and Valerie Hall Chair of Biomedical Engineering and a professor of chemical engineering, lead author of the study said in a statement, “In this work, we demonstrate that instead of overcoming an immune response, we can co-opt the immune response to work for us to promote the therapeutic response.”The researchers explain that when there is trauma of any nature, there is an overdrive of the immune system that crowd around the injured area to remove the debris and dead cells. This allows for the remaining tissues to heal and start the process of regeneration and repair. When the injury occurs in the central nervous system or the brain and spinal cord, there is a movement of the immune cells which are usually not allowed within the CNS normally due to the blood-brain-barrier.The injury to the spinal cord breaks the barrier and allows the immune cells inside. This leads to a hyperactive immune activity which leads to inflammation and causes more damage to the nerve tissues of the spinal cord that are unaccustomed to such activity. The first to be damaged are the sheaths around the nerves that help them pass the signals. This leads to scar development that is further detrimental to the process of regeneration and repair, explain the researchers.As a result all the functions below the level of injury are lost. This could be muscle weakness, loss of sensation or paralysis. There are 12,000 people presenting to spinal cord injuries annually in the United States, write the researchers.Related StoriesAssessing antimicrobial properties of silver and copper nanoparticlesResearchers exploit nanoparticles to develop test for early detection of different diseasesResearchers develop new nanotheranostic system that solves many problemsTo reduce the inflammatory responses of the immune cells at the site of the injury, earlier the treatment would be injections of steroids like methylprednisolone. This may help stop the inflammation but has its own share of problems and risks including bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, formation of blood clots and sepsis or infections.To overcome this, the researchers have now developed these nanoparticles that can stop the movement of the immune cells into the injury site and redirect them elsewhere to protect the injury site. This can help the spinal cord to heal and regenerate, the team writes.These nanoparticles are just that – nanoparticles with no drugs attached on them. They actually act as decoys to appear like cell debris from the injury. They have a negative charge on them in addition that allows the immune cells to bind to them. The bound immune cells are thus cleared from the site of injury.The researchers explain that the “nonpharmaceutical” nature of the nanoparticles make them theoretically free of any side effects. There rogue immune cells are thus cleared off and some that reach the site help in regeneration process write the researchers.The team wrote that they used, “poly(lactide-coglycolide) nanoparticles.” They explain that these nanoparticles were “internalized by circulating monocytes and neutrophils.” After these the immune cells were reprogrammed on the basis of their physicochemical properties but “not by an active pharmaceutical ingredient.” They explain that this binding “altered biodistribution, gene expression, and function,” of the cells. In their experiments they noted that there was a four-fold reduction in the “overall accumulation of innate immune cells at the injury.”In addition there were other responses such as reduction in “proinflammatory factor” formation, increase in the “anaitinflammatory factors” at the site and stimulation of genes that promote healing and regeneration. After the injection of the nanoparticles, there was regeneration of the myelin sheath around the axons of the neurons by about 40 percent, the team wrote. This resulted in improvement movement and function in the experimental animals.According to co-author Jonghyuck Park, “Hopefully, this technology could lead to new therapeutic strategies not only for patients with spinal cord injury but for those with various inflammatory diseases.” Shea explained that this technology could be used in various other immunological conditions as well. He added, “The immune system underlies autoimmune disease, cancer, trauma, regeneration—nearly every major disease. Tools that can target immune cells and reprogram them to a desired response have numerous opportunities for treating or managing disease.” Opportunities could be explored in West Nile virus and multiple sclerosis induced trauma, the team speculates.The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health. Source:https://news.umich.edu/an-epipen-for-spinal-cord-injuries/Journal reference:Jonghyuck Park, Yining Zhang, Eiji Saito, Steve J. Gurczynski, Bethany B. Moore, Brian J. Cummings, Aileen J. Anderson, Lonnie D. Shea, ‘Intravascular innate immune cells reprogrammed via intravenous nanoparticles to promote functional recovery after spinal cord injury’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jul 2019, 201820276; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1820276116, https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/07/02/1820276116 The study titled, “Intravascular innate immune cells reprogrammed via intravenous nanoparticles to promote functional recovery after spinal cord injury,” was published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 11 2019Researchers from the University of Michigan used nanopaticles injection to prevent the immune cells of the body from impairing the healing of injured brain and spinal cord. They call this an “EpiPen” or emergency rescue drug for the brain and spinal cord when they suffer trauma. PLG multichannel bridge and hemi-sectional SCI model.last_img read more