THE 20th ANNUAL DESIGNCARE GALA is an annual fundraising event produced by actress Holly Robinson-Peete and her husband Rodney Peete through their nonprofit organization, The HollyRod Foundation (HRF), and benefits those with Parkinson’s disease and autism.What began 20 years ago as an intimate mixer, DesignCare has grown to become the most exclusive, celebrity charity events of the summer. The 2018 DesignCare Gala will celebrate their 20th anniversary at a Private Estate in Malibu, CA. Always a star-studded event, the evening will feature a silent auction, special musical performance by legendary soul-funk band Morris Day and the Time, as well as a Spring/Summer 2018 runway show from a soon-to-be announced designer.The Gala will honor Earvin “Magic” Johnson with the “HollyRod Humanitarian Award”, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr with the “Matthew T. Robinson, Jr. Award of Courage”, Microsoft with the “HollyRod Corporate Compassion Award”, Artist Stephen Wiltshire (British Architectural Artist with autism) with the “HollyRod Champion Award” and Lisa Ackerman with the “Karen E. Smith, Angel on a Path Award”.Event sponsors include American Airlines, Target, Cigna, Hallmark Channel, Outback Steakhouse & Wen by Chaz Dean.Hosted by actress/philanthropist Holly Robinson Peete (“Chicago Fire,” “21 Jump Street”, “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper”) and her husband Rodney Peete (retired NFL quarterback, Sports Host, “Meet the Peetes”), the event is always star-studded and well attended. Recent past guests include Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Longoria, Sugar Ray Leonard, Anthony Anderson, Kelly Rowland, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Stevie Wonder, Yara Shahidi, Leah Remini, Terry Crews, Arsenio Hall, Laila Ali, Regina King, Jussie Smollett, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Candace Cameron Bure, Lori Loughlin, Star Jones, Cheryl Burke, Tina Knowles, Regina King, Yvette Nicole Brown, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Nancy O’Dell, Shemar Moore, Garcelle Beauvais, Sanaa Lathan and Tracee Ellis Ross.WHEN: Saturday, July 14th, 2018Find out more here.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (L) talking along the head of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena during a meeting in Caracas. Photo: AFPThe United States hit Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with direct sanctions on Monday over a disputed and deadly weekend vote that, while consolidating his power, has largely isolated him as the “dictator” of a failing petro-state.The US measures were unusual in that they targeted a sitting head of state, but their reach was mostly symbolic, freezing any US assets Maduro might have and banning people under US jurisdiction from dealing with him.“Yesterday’s illegitimate elections confirm that Maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters.Maduro lashed out at the move, saying it smacked of American “imperialism.”“I will not obey imperial orders. I do not obey foreign governments. I’m a free president,” he said.Colombia, Mexico, Peru and other nations joined the US in saying they did not recognize the results of Sunday’s election, which appointed a new “Constituent Assembly” superseding Venezuela’s legislative body, the opposition-controlled National Assembly.Maduro’s own attorney general, Luisa Ortega—who broke with him months ago over his policies—also said she would not acknowledge the body, calling it part of the president’s “dictatorial ambition.”The European Union expressed “preoccupation for the fate of democracy in Venezuela” and said it, too, doubted it could accept the results.And Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson warned that Venezuela “stands on the brink of disaster.”“Nicolas Maduro’s government must stop before it is too late,” he said.However, old allies Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Russia stood by Maduro, who shrugged off mass protests and a previous round of US sanctions on some of his officials to see through the election.Cuba, Venezuela’s closest ally, charged that “a well-organized international operation was under way, led from Washington, with the support of the OAS chief, aimed at silencing the voice of the Venezuelan people, and forcing them into submission with attacks and economic sanctions.”More protestsThe National Electoral Council claimed more than 40 percent of Venezuela’s 20 million voters had cast ballots Sunday.According to the opposition, voter turnout was closer to 12 percent, a figure more aligned with the lack of lines at many polling stations.Surveys by polling firm Datanalisis showed more than 70 percent of Venezuelans opposed the new assembly.Further protests were called for Monday and beyond, stoking fears that the death toll of 120 people killed in four months of protests against Maduro could rise further.“I feel awful, frustrated with this fraud,” said Caracas resident Giancarlo Fernandez, 35.Demonstrators defied a ban on protests set by Maduro that threatened up to 10 years in prison for violators.Ten people died in violence surrounding Sunday’s election, which saw security forces fire tear gas and, in some cases, live ammunition to put down protests. Among those killed were two teens and a Venezuelan soldier.Boycotted by the opposition, and voted for largely by state employees fearful for their jobs, the Constituent Assembly was made up solely of members of Maduro’s ruling Socialist Party.Tasked with writing a new constitution, it has far-reaching powers—including the right to dissolve the National Assembly and change laws.It is due to be installed on Wednesday.More sanctions?The European Union condemned the “excessive and disproportionate use of force” by Venezuelan police and troops on Sunday.A spokeswoman for the European Commission said: “A Constituent Assembly, elected under doubtful and often violent circumstances, cannot be part of the solution.”Russia, however, threw its weight behind Maduro and the election, backing the government turnout figure.The foreign ministry in Moscow said in a statement it hopes countries “who apparently want to increase economic pressure on Caracas will display restraint and abandon their destructive plans.”Yet analysts agreed that Maduro’s move had swept away any vestige of democracy in Venezuela.“Maduro’s blatant power grab removes any ambiguity about whether Venezuela is a democracy,” said Michael Shifter, head of the Inter-American Dialogue research center.Eduardo Rios Ludena, a Venezuela specialist at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, said Maduro had “sacrificed democracy.”“In the short term, the Constituent Assembly gives a bit of breathing space to the government,” he conceded, though adding that grave economic consequences would follow.Venezuela’s 30 million citizens are suffering through shortages of basic goods.Sanctions against the all-important oil sector would worsen their situation, but could also destabilize the government, which is frenziedly printing money and running out of foreign currency reserves.
Explore further Male silverback Gorilla in SF zoo. Image: Wikipedia. (Phys.org) — In trying to figure out when humans and apes diverged, researchers have had to rely on fossil evidence and the rates of mutations that occur when both groups propagated their species. The problem is, up till now, most of that data can from the analysis of human genetic evidence which was then applied to both humans and apes, which could of course have led to errors as it’s based on guessing that mutation rates in apes are the same as humans. Now, to get around that problem, a team of researchers has gathered genetic data from both chimpanzees and gorillas and has found, as they describe in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that it appears that the two diverged some time earlier than has been thought. More information: Generation times in wild chimpanzees and gorillas suggest earlier divergence times in great ape and human evolution, PNAS, Published online before print August 13, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211740109AbstractFossils and molecular data are two independent sources of information that should in principle provide consistent inferences of when evolutionary lineages diverged. Here we use an alternative approach to genetic inference of species split times in recent human and ape evolution that is independent of the fossil record. We first use genetic parentage information on a large number of wild chimpanzees and mountain gorillas to directly infer their average generation times. We then compare these generation time estimates with those of humans and apply recent estimates of the human mutation rate per generation to derive estimates of split times of great apes and humans that are independent of fossil calibration. We date the human–chimpanzee split to at least 7–8 million years and the population split between Neanderthals and modern humans to 400,000–800,000 y ago. This suggests that molecular divergence dates may not be in conflict with the attribution of 6- to 7-million-y-old fossils to the human lineage and 400,000-y-old fossils to the Neanderthal lineage. To calculate when a species diverged, researchers look at the average age of members of the species when they give birth and mutation rates. The older the average age, the more time it takes for mutations to cause changes. Insects that produce offspring in a matter of months, for example, can adapt much more quickly to environmental changes than large animals that produce offspring many years after they themselves are born. To find such data for both chimps and gorillas, the research team worked with many groups in Africa that included studies of the animals that totaled 105 gorillas and 226 chimps. They also looked at fossilized excrement that contained DNA data. In so doing they found that the average age of giving birth for female chimps was 25 years old. They then divided the number of mutations found by the average age of birth to get the mutation rate. In so doing, they found it to be slower than humans, which meant that estimates based on it to calculate divergence times were likely off by as much as a million years.The end result of the team’s research indicates that humans and chimps likely diverged some seven to eight million years ago, while the divergence of gorillas (which led to both humans and chimps) came approximately eight to nineteen million years ago. To put the numbers in perspective, humans and Neanderthals split just a half to three quarters of a million years ago.The team suggests their research model could also be used to find the divergence points of other species as well, so long as a genetic record can be obtained. © 2012 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 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. Citation: New genetic data shows humans and great apes diverged earlier than thought (2012, August 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-genetic-humans-great-apes-diverged.html Climate change and evolution of Cross River gorillas
Kolkata: A research team at IIT-Kharagpur is developing a mobile application which can monitor day-to- day activities and smoking habits of an individual and make suitable recommendations. The sensor-based health app will send alerts to the user, warning him about his unhealthy lifestyle choices, an IIT-KGP statement said Thursday. The new tracking kit, being developed by Rajendra Mishra School of Engineering Entrepreneurship at IIT- Kharagpur, can also go a long way in gauging addictive and depressive behaviour, it said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “The technology, once integrated with a smartphone or a fitness band, will prepare a daily activity chart based on body movements and predict functions such as eating and drinking. The application can also monitor call and message logs and smartphone usage,” the statement said. Ram Babu Roy, assistant professor at (RMSoEE), said the application will provide personalized services after data analysis. “We did a pilot study on four participants. The research team collected GPS data as well other location-based information and took note of their physical movement. It helped us create health and behavioural profiles of the individuals,” Roy, who is leading project, said. The app will be able to process data in different environments and demarcate between “normal and abnormal activities”, he added.
Tags: The Travel Corporation Posted by Share TTC teams up with World Animal Protection to phase out elephant rides & support animal welfare Travelweek Group TORONTO — The Travel Corporation is doing its part to save the world’s animals by partnering with World Animal Protection.Through this partnership, TTC’s family of brands, which includes Contiki and Trafalgar, will help improve the lives of animals everywhere it travels to. World Animal Protection has worked with the company to reshape its experiences to be more animal-friendly, as well as support the phase-out of cruel activities such as bullfights, captive whale and dolphin attractions and, most significantly, removing elephant rides and shows from their trips in Thailand.“At TTC and our not-for-profit The TreadRight Foundation, we recognize the immense potential the travel industry has to change the world for the better and we can do that with the valuable guidance of leading organizations like World Animal Protection,” said Brett Tollman, Chief Executive, The Travel Corporation and Founder, The TreadRight Foundation.This past September in Bangkok, World Animal Protection brought together TTC and other leading global travel companies including TUI Group and EXO Travel to meet with representatives of elephant riding camps across Thailand. They demonstrated a shift in consumer demand for elephant-friendly tourism, and encouraged local camps to phase out rides and shows and transition instead to elephant-friendly venues.More news: Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?Many tourists from around the world visit Thailand to see elephants but increasingly, these travellers are beginning to understand the lifetime of psychological and physical trauma elephant rides and shows cause. A 2017 survey shows a significant 9% drop (to 44%) in the number of people who find elephant riding acceptable compared to just three years ago. The research also shows that more than 80% of tourists would prefer to see elephants in their natural environment.“Attitudes are changing as travellers are learning more about the fear, pain and suffering elephants undergo to make rides and shows possible”, said Steve McIvor, CEO, World Animal Protection. “Travellers are increasingly demanding options that better align with their values. With the help of global travel partners like TTC we can prove that elephant-friendly attractions, those without forced and dangerous interactions with wildlife, make both ethical and financial sense for local venues. The direction of sustainable tourism is clear.”More news: Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaTTC and more than 180 other global travel companies have agreed to no longer offer visits to venues with elephant rides and shows in any of their markets. As well, in 2016, TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site announced they would stop selling tickets to experiences where tourists have direct physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species. Wednesday, March 28, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>