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Crews battle wildfires in US West as smoke travels the world

first_imgAs fire crews continued to battle deadly wildfires sweeping the western United States, thousands of evacuees in Oregon and other states faced a daily struggle while scientists in Europe tracked the smoke on Wednesday as it spread on an intercontinental scale.With state resources stretched to their limit, President Donald Trump on Tuesday night approved a request from Oregon’s governor for a federal disaster declaration, bolstering federal assistance for emergency response and relief efforts.Dozens of fires have burned some 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) of tinder-dry brush, grass and woodlands in Oregon, California and Washington state since August, ravaging several small towns, destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 34 people. “The fact that these fires are emitting so much pollution into the atmosphere that we can still see thick smoke over 8,000 kilometers (4,970 miles) away reflects just how devastating they have been in their magnitude and duration,” CAMS Senior Scientist Mark Parrington said in a statement.CAMS said it uses satellite observations of aerosols, carbon monoxide and other constituents of smoke to monitor and forecast its movement through the atmosphere.Eight deaths have been confirmed during the past week in Oregon, which became the latest and most concentrated hot spot in a larger summer outbreak of fires across the entire western United States. The Pacific Northwest was hardest hit.The fires roared to life in California in mid-August, and erupted across Oregon and Washington around Labor Day last week, many of them sparked by catastrophic lightning storms and stoked by record-breaking heat waves and bouts of howling winds.Weather conditions improved early this week, enabling firefighters to begin to make headway in efforts to contain and tamp down the blazes.The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) said 16,600 firefighters were still battling 25 major fires on Tuesday, after achieving full containment around the perimeter of other large blazes.Firefighters in the San Gabriel Mountains just north of Los Angeles waged an all-out campaign to save the famed Mount Wilson Observatory and an adjacent complex of broadcast transmission towers from flames that crept near the site. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated more than $1.2 million in mission assignments to bring relief to Oregon and has deployed five urban search and rescue teams to the wildfire-torn region, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.Search teams scoured incinerated homes for the missing as firefighters kept up their exhausting battle.The wildfires, which officials and scientists have described as unprecedented in scope and ferocity, have filled the region’s skies with smoke and soot, compounding a public health crisis already posed by the coronavirus pandemic.Scientists in Europe tracked the smoke as it bore down on the continent, underscoring the magnitude of the disaster. The European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) is monitoring the scale and intensity of the fires and the transport of the resultant smoke across the United States and beyond.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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PBC Coronavirus Testing Sites Closed Friday, Saturday Due to Weather

first_imgLooking to get tested for coronavirus? You will have to wait until Monday.The Healthcare District in Palm Beach County has announced that all six COVID-19 testing sites will be closed Friday and Saturday.The closure is being attributed to the potential for bad weather.In addition, the hotline to schedule appointments will be closed through 8 a.m. Monday.People who had appointments scheduled for Friday or Saturday will be given priority appointments for next week.According to the Department of Health, there were 43,210 total cases of coronavirus in Florida as of Thursday.At least 1,875 Florida residents have died from COVID-19.Palm Beach County: 4,278 cases-263 deaths-Men: 2,148, Women: 2,044-752 hospitalizationslast_img read more

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Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’

first_imgNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)NEW YORK (AP) — Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL wants to implement new personal conduct policies by the Super Bowl.Goodell was short on specifics at a news conference Friday, his first public statements in more than a week about the rash of NFL players involved in domestic violence. More defiant than contrite as he was hammered with questions, Goodell said he has not considered resigning.“Unfortunately, over the past several weeks, we have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong,” he said in his opening statement. “That starts with me.”The league has faced increasing criticism that it has not acted quickly or emphatically enough. The commissioner reiterated that he botched the handling of the Ray Rice case.“The same mistakes can never be repeated,” he said.Goodell said he would meet with NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith next week, and they would work with outside experts to evaluate the league’s policies.Among the areas that will be examined is Goodell’s role in discipline. The commissioner now oversees all personal conduct cases, deciding guilt and penalties.“Nothing is off the table,” he said.Goodell said he believes he has the support of the NFL’s owners, his bosses.“That has been clear to me,” he said.The commissioner and some NFL teams have been heavily criticized for lenient or delayed punishment of Rice, Adrian Peterson and other players involved in recent domestic violence cases. Less than three weeks into the season, five such cases have made headlines.Vikings star running back Peterson and Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy are on a special commissioner’s exemption list and are being paid while they go through the legal process. Arizona running back Jonathan Dwyer was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list, meaning he can’t play for the team again this season. Ray McDonald, a defensive end for San Francisco, continues to practice and play while being investigated on suspicion of domestic violence.As these cases have come to light, such groups as the National Organization of Women and league partners and sponsors have come down hard on the NFL to be more responsive in dealing with them. Congress also is watching to see how the NFL reacts.Rice was initially suspended for two games. After defending the punishment at first, Goodell admitted more than a month later that he “didn’t get it right” and announced tougher penalties for future domestic violent incidents.Then when a video emerged of the assault on his then-fiancee, the Baltimore Ravens cut the star running back and the league banned him indefinitely.Goodell reiterated Friday that he didn’t believe anybody at the NFL had seen the video before it was published by TMZ. The Associated Press reported last week that a law enforcement official says he sent the video to a league executive five months ago.Citing Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension, Goodell declined to specify Friday how the player’s description of what happened was “inconsistent” with what the video showed — the commissioner’s reason for changing his punishment.The NFL asked former FBI director Robert Mueller to conduct an investigation into the league’s handling of the Rice case. The law firm where Mueller is now a partner, WilmerHale, has connections to the NFL. Goodell insisted Friday that it wasn’t a conflict of interest because Mueller himself has not previously worked with the league.Goodell acknowledged he has learned that interviewing Rice and his now-wife together is an inappropriate way to handle a domestic violence case.The commissioner declined to address whether any women were involved in the decision to suspend Rice for two games, but conceded that’s “exactly what we’re concerned about.”“We didn’t have the right voices at the table,” he added.The NFL has since added domestic violence experts as consultants. It also announced it is partnering with a domestic violence hotline and a sexual violence resource center.Goodell said Friday that he will establish a conduct committee. One of the key questions is how to balance the league’s desire to take a stance against violent acts with the due process of the legal system.In a memo to the clubs late Thursday, Goodell said that within the next 30 days, all NFL and team personnel will participate in education sessions on domestic violence and sexual assault. The memo said the league will work with the union in providing the “information and tools to understand and recognize domestic violence and sexual assault.”The league will provide financial, operational and promotional support to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

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SAI to resume hockey camp from next week after 6 weeks of suspension

first_imgImage Courtesy: Forbes/SportstarAdvertisement 2c8NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vscngg9Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E9qd39o( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) v0fWould you ever consider trying this?😱4icrlCan your students do this? 🌚1yw31Roller skating! Powered by Firework The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has confirmed that training at the Indian hockey camp will resume from next week. The players, both male and female, will return to SAI’s South Centre in Bengaluru, Karnataka on August 4.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Forbes/SportstarDue to the onset of the novel Coronavirus outbreak in India, players at the hockey camp were put under lock down, and remained at the camp for almost four months. Following the ease of restrictions with unlock phases, the players were able to head back home on 19th June, for a month’s break before the camp was originally planned to kick off from 19th July.Unfortunately, due to the surge of COVID cases in Bengaluru, the city was put under lock down again. As a result, the players were unable to make it back to the hockey camp, and the resumption date had to be pushed back from July 19th.Advertisement Indian hockey camp at Bengaluru to resume from next weekThe good news is, SAI has finally announced to be restarting the hockey camp from 4th August, after more than six weeks cap since mid June. The camp is scheduled to run until 30th September.A total of 57 players and 15 coaches and supporting personnel have been approached to report back to the camp. Among them, there are 33 men and 24 women players, as well as eight and seven coaching and support staffs for them respectively.Advertisement ALSO READ: IPL teams to pay to fly South African cricketers to UAE via charted plane!Moreover, SAI has confirmed to put all the hockey players through the necessary protocols before they will resuming training. Complying with the guidelines set by the Health and Family Welfare department of the state govt, all players will be put to a 14 day home quarantine in solo accomodations, and will undergo rapid antigen testing before and after the quarantine period.“The athletes, coaches and support staff joining SAI, Bengaluru, will have to adhere to the guidelines of Government of India, the state and the guidelines of local bodies with regard to Covid-19,” the SAI said in a communication.“On arrival in Bengaluru, everyone will be tested for COVID-19. The athletes should undergo strict quarantine protocol and the testing schedule laid out by SAI SOP,” SAI added.For any player, coach or staff who will test positive, a self isolation zoo has been set up. During the home quarantine period, SAI has confirmed to arrange food and all necessary commodities for the players and other personnel.During the quarantine period, players will have to temperature test themselves, and report it via a mobile app. They will also have to sanitise their own rooms with equipments provided by the SAI. Stern measure will be taken against any player or personnel who breaks the protocols.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also, follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comIPL’s spectre without the spectatorsVirender Sehwag in selection committee for National Sports Awards 2020 Advertisementlast_img read more

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Volunteers, Employees Lauded by CPC Behavioral Healthcare

first_imgEATONTOWN – CPC Behavioral Healthcare honored staff and volunteers at its annual awards ceremony held recently at the Navesink Country Club.John Mans, the agency’s CEO, welcomed more than 70 guests to help celebrate the outstanding achievements of employees Ken Pecoraro, program coordinator of Addiction Recovery Services at CPC and Eileen Stack, a teacher at High Point School, and volunteers Sandy Halsey and Al Ferguson, who are members of the agency’s governing boards.A longstanding agency tradition, CPC brings together staff members who are marking service milestones, board members and other friends of the organization to celebrate key figures in the life and work of the community mental health and special education services nonprofit.Pecoraro and Stack were honored with the Lois K. Levy Employee Award recognizing excellence above and beyond expectations in their job duties and a drive to ensure the success of CPC’s mission. Pecoraro, a clinician with several advanced certifications and more than 15 years of experience working in a clinical healthcare setting, has helped hundreds of adolescents and adults reclaim their lives from drug and alcohol dependence. Stack began her career as a teaching assistant at High Point, a special education school for young people ages 5-21 with serious emotional issues and learning challenges. More than 30 years later, she has been instrumental in fostering a robust health and nutrition education program for the elementary school students, as well as being a catalyst for improvements in many other school programs.Halsey and Ferguson were honored as co-recipients of the Lois P. Broder Humanitarian Award, recognizing exemplary volunteer work on behalf of the community, including CPC. During Halsey’s five decades of service to the agency, he has shown energetic, committed leadership in multiple board roles. He currently chairs the CPC Foundation’s Investment Committee. Ferguson has continued his father’s commitment to CPC through his service as a long-standing board member and transformative force in shepherding the mission-driven community healthcare provider almost since its inception over 50 years ago in 1960.Additional information about CPC Behavioral Healthcare is available by calling 732-935-2222.last_img read more

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GRADE I WINNERS BEHOLDER AND WARREN’S VENEDA FINALLY MEET IN SATURDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 ADORATION STAKES AT 1 1/16 MILES

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (June 10, 2015)–Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Adoration Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares, three year olds and up has attracted a field of seven competitive older females, but maybe none more so than the two everyone will be trying to beat.Grade I winner’s Beholder and Warren’s Veneda head the Adoration and will be meeting for the first time in their illustrious careers. Though both were slated to run in the Grade I Vanity May 9, Beholder was scratched when she came up with a fever a few days prior, while Warren’s Veneda ran a disappointing third as the 1-10 favorite.Trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder was Eclipse Champion 2-year-old filly in 2012 and 3-year-old filly in 2013. Beholder, who has six Grade I wins, which include the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 2013, has started only once this year but her 3 ¾ length win in the Santa Lucia Stakes on April 10 resulted in regular rider Gary Stevens saying, “she’s the best filly I’ve ever sat on and I’m not sure she’s not the best horse I’ve ever ridden.”Owned by Spendthrift Farms’ B. Wayne Hughes, the 5-year-old mare by Henny Hughes out of the Tricky Creek mare, Leslie’s Lady. Beholder, back on the work-tab since May 21, has since turned in three strong drills leading into the Adoration including a bullet move on May 27 (six furlongs in 1:11.20).Beholder is 16-11-3-0 overall with earnings of $3,416,600.Trained by Craig Lewis and owned and bred in California by Benjamin C. Warren, Warren’s Veneda comes into the Adoration off a third place effort in the Grade I Vanity May 9, beaten one length. Warren’s Veneda began the year with a bang winning three in-a-row beginning with the Paseana Stakes Jan. 11. She followed that with her first Grade II win in the Santa Maria Feb. 14 and the 5-year-old mare became a Grade I winner in the Santa Margarita on March 14.By Affirmative out of the Flying Continental mare More Cal Bread, Warren’s Veneda is 23-8-3-6 overall with earnings of $863,612. She will retain the services of Tyler Baze who has been up for her last seven races.The complete field for the Adoration Stakes to be run as the 8th race on a nine-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: My Monet, Gonzalo Nicolas, 119; Grandiose Tactics, Drayden Van Dyke, 119; Cast in Silver, Flavien Prat, 119; Beholder, Gary Stevens, 121; Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze, 124; Wild in the Saddle, Rafael Bejarano, 119; Oscar Party, Santiago Gonzalez, 119.                 The first post on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.–30–last_img read more

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Germany beats Turkey for right to host Euro 2024

first_img0Shares0000German Football Association (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel (L) is congratulated by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin after it was announced that Germany will host Euro 2024 © AFP / Fabrice COFFRININYON, Switzerland, Sep 27 – Germany on Thursday won the race to host the 2024 European Championship as UEFA backed a bid seen as safer than the rival Turkish proposal.UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin announced the winner following a campaign that saw politics and concerns over human rights in Turkey play a central role. “I’d like to thank the UEFA Executive for their incredible confidence and I feel the responsibility — we will do our utmost to live up to expectations,” said German Football Association (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel after the announcement.“We want to put on a huge football festival and show the world how hospitable we are,” said ex-Germany captain Philipp Lahm, who will head the organising committee.UEFA considered that the German bid already had everything in place to host a successful event — from stadiums to infrastructure and hotels.European football’s governing body has also said it wants to make as much money as possible from the 2024 tournament and Germany was considered the better financial bet.The win also offers a boost to German football after a disastrous 2018 World Cup, when the country failed to qualify for the last 16 — after winning the tournament in 2014.German foreign minister Heiko Maas said the 2024 tournament “will be an opportunity to show what we stand for in Germany: openness to the world and tolerance, freedom and respect.“Together, we have to make the European Championship a tournament for all Europeans,” he added in a statement.Turkey meanwhile had been desperate to host its first ever major sporting event but its bid was weakened by concerns over its faltering economy, lacking transport network and, perhaps most importantly, human rights.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan loomed large over the campaign and Thursday’s defeat may be seen in part as a personal rebuke.His government’s unprecedented crackdown, including thousands of arrests, following a failed 2016 coup has raised worldwide concern.That unease was shared by UEFA, which noted in its evaluation report that the Turkish bid’s “lack of action plan in the area of human rights is a matter of concern.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Monkey Raspberries Created Speech

first_imgWhat was this evolutionist thinking when he proposed that human language evolved out of the lip smacking and buzzing sounds made by monkeys?W. Tecumseh Fitch didn’t get any ridicule at all on Science Daily for proposing that “Monkey Lip Smacks Provide New Insights Into the Evolution of Human Speech.”  Nor did he from PhysOrg, which dutifully reprinted the press release from University of Vienna that stated, “Intriguingly, chimpanzees also make communicative sounds with their lips, including both loud lip smacks and lip buzzes (‘raspberries‘).”  The monkey on Fitch’s shoulder in the accompanying photo appears to be knocking on his master’s head, wondering, “Anybody home?”Fitch’s theory is not a hoot, the press release assures us.  “Scientists have traditionally sought the evolutionary origins of human speech in primate vocalizations, such as monkey coos or chimpanzee hoots,” the article stated without describing whose tradition deserved respect.  “But unlike these primate calls, human speech is produced using rapid, controlled movements of the tongue, lips and jaw.”  Fitch did his grunt work using cineradiography to analyze the lip-smacking behavior of macaques.  He found that the lips move faster than they do when monkeys howl.  He did not explain, though, how non-vocal lip movements could be a precursor of language, since monkeys are still smacking and buzzing raspberries without having evolved more advanced oratory, despite having millions of years more time to evolve than their upright primate brethren presumably had.  Didn’t they at least evolve envy?In his paper published by Current Biology (31 May 2012, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.04.055) with three colleagues, Fitch recognized his hunch has some missing links:Yet, there are striking differences between the two modes of expression, the most obvious of which is that lip-smacking lacks a vocal component (though a quiet consonant-like bilabial plosive or /p/ sound is produced when the lips smack together). Thus, the capacity to produce vocalizations during rhythmic vocal tract movements seen in speech seems to be a human adaptation. How can lip-smacking be related to speech if there is no vocal component? … Our data only address the evolution of vocal tract movements (the filter component) involved in speech production.It also cannot be tested:Because most traits involved in speech—the vocal production apparatus and the brain—do not fossilize, we are left with only the comparative method for investigating the evolution of speech. By comparing the behavior and biology of extant primates with humans, we can deduce the behavioral capacities of extinct common ancestors.The press release agreed, ending, “the origin of the ‘singing’ component of speech, which requires voluntary control over the larynx, remains mysterious.”  Much more mysterious, yet unstated, would be how to evolve Shakespeare from lip-smacking.Update 6/7/2012: Nature reported on Fitch’s hypothesis, giving it no raspberries but a serving of whipped cream.Fitch did not do his job as a scientist.  He should have considered all the alternative hypotheses.  As usual, he ruled out intelligent design or creation from the get-go, but there are other evolutionary theories he could have tested without abandoning the Cult of the Bearded Buddha that requires all observations to be fit into the Grand Myth.He could have, for instance, tested the Raspberry Theory of Language that proposes language evolved from the other end of the digestive tract, another body part that produces buzzing sounds.  Over millions of years, it is just as imaginable that an unguided process would give monkeys voluntary control over the pitch, duration and modulation of emitted signals, independent of the larynx.  Another theory is the Hand-Under-the-Armpit Theory of Language.  This proposes that meaningful signals (also independently of the larynx) made by pumping the arm over the hand inserted into the armpit evolved into middle-school boys communicating with one another.Perhaps it’s good Fitch didn’t consider these alternatives.  We wouldn’t want to find his cineradiography going viral on YouTube.Fitch’s shallow reasoning is evident in that he completely ignored meaning (semantics).  Meaning is orthogonal to signal.  It’s conceivable that certain ordered lip-smacks or raspberries could be controlled to communicate S.O.S.  The meaning of S.O.S., however, has nothing to do with the signalling method.  The message could be communicated with flashlights, telegraph, knots on a rope, skywriting, eye blinks or any number of methods.  Suggesting that lip smacking led to language is like saying that flashlights created Morse Code.Fitch’s hypothesis is also self-refuting.  The language he employed in his paper, if considered seriously, has its roots in unguided processes of lip-smacking and the production of buzzing sounds by his ancestors’ lips.  His readers are justified, therefore, by responding in kind.Save this latest evolutionary tale for the day of Darwinism’s spectacular collapse, when intelligent people will hoot and holler at the credulity of Darwinists.  They may well communicate their disdain independent of the larynx, by rolling their eyes and circling their index fingers around their ear, unquestionably employing intelligent design to convey the purpose of their bodily signals. 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