PPP bashes GECOM over unsolicited database sharing

first_imgThe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has come out bashing the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), for its move to share the confidential details of registrants with two Government Ministries.Party General Secretary Clement Rohee on Monday said the PPP was very much astonished and concerned over GECOM’s move to share its database, including confidential details of registrants, with the Education Ministry and the Human Services and Social Security Ministry.According to him, this was the first time this has happened since the elections body was first established.“The justification provided by GECOM’s Chairman, Steve Surujbally, and the representatives of the [A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change]APNU/AFC are spurious and creates grounds for suspicion. Electoral skulduggery facilitated by the APNU/AFC and Mr Surujbally is once again in the making,” Rohee told Journalists at the Party’s weekly press conference.He said the use of linkages between GECOM’s and the Education Ministry’s public relations programmes to deceive GECOM to share its database with the Ministry was “fraught with unimaginable implications for free and fair elections in Guyana”.Further, he said, the justification to share GECOM’s database with the Human Services and Social Security Ministry in order for that Ministry to rectify the names and addresses of pensioners as well as to assist in deleting names of pensioners “smacks” of deep suspicion that GECOM’s database could be used for other sinister electoral purposes.“In any event, sharing of GECOM’s database with either of these two Ministries is unnecessary and uncalled for since both Ministries have the institutional capacity to rectify their respective institutional deficiencies.”The Party is of the strong view that the nation must be consulted in respect to the unsolicited release of confidential personal data of citizens captured in the National Register of Registrants (NRR) to Government agencies and departments, a practice that has no precedent in Guyana.“The PPP views as absolutely necessary the need to validate the legality of GECOM sharing its database with Government agencies such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.”According to Rohee, GECOM was again wrong when it decided to accept “source documents” in the form of late registration birth certificates presented to Registration Offices by applicants who are primarily middle-aged persons.The Party, he said, views this decision as “dripping with suspicion” and recalls the strong criticisms expressed by the Party in respect to the efficacy of a Department of Citizenship, under the Ministry of the Presidency, which many view as part of a rigging machinery established primarily to issue birth certificates to underage persons and as well as to middle-aged persons as is currently being done.Rohee said the Party has denounced the practice and has demanded an immediate halt to the “electoral travesty” which is laying the basis for a padded voters’ list favourable to the APNU/AFC.“The Party takes this opportunity to alert both the donor and diplomatic communities to these sordid and unsavoury developments,” Rohee said.The third decision by GECOM which the PPP wishes to make public is the breach of an obligation made by the Chairman of GECOM at a meeting held with a PPP delegation on April 21, 2016.According to Rohee, at that meeting, GECOM Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally had committed to providing written answers to a number of questions raised by the General Secretary of the Party.“The Party is reliably informed that Mr Surujbally has reconsidered his commitment and did not see the necessity to write the PPP/C. This shameless decision by Surujbally flies in the face of transparency and is nothing but a clear manifestation of contemptuousness and disrespect towards the PPP, a major stakeholder in the electoral process in Guyana.”Rohee said following its meeting with GECOM, the Party avoided any reference whatsoever to matters which Dr Surujbally had undertaken to respond to in writing.“Mr Surujbally’s lack of scruples in this particular matter strengthens the suspicion of the PPP about his Bollers-type anti-PPP role in the May 2015 General and Regional Elections which reveals his hands to be dirty with fraud,” he added.Rohee said the PPP would continue to “expose Mr Surujbally’s cohabitation with his APNU/AFC Commissioners to deny the supporters of the PPP/C their legitimate right to free and fair elections in this country.”last_img read more

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Chan 2014: Make us proud, Mbalula tells Bafana

first_img9 January 2014South African Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula has wished Bafana Bafana well ahead of the Orange Caf African Nations Championship (Chan), which kicks off at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.South Africa tackle Mozambique in the tournament’s opening match. They also face Mali on 15 January and Nigeria on 19 January at the same venue to complete their fixtures in Group A.WarningMbalula visited the Bafana squad at their base camp in Cape Town on Tuesday to offer words of encouragement before the start of the tournament. He also sounded a warning, telling the players: “If you go with the mentality that teams have not sent strong players here you are going to be surprised by Mozambique. They will want to come here and embarrass you.“And you don’t want to appear as people who did not give their all and did not want to represent their country. I thought I needed to emphasise that point that we have pride in you, and we are confident that all of you will make this country of ours proud. Rewards come at the end, not at the beginning.”Important competitionThe teams competing in the African Nations Championship are made up of players who ply their trade in their home countries. Mbalula said the competition is crucial for the growth of the South African national team.“Anyone who says this competition is not serious is making a big mistake and misleading the country. This competition is taking place in South Africa and is a very important competition.“All the 16 teams that are coming here have not been invited or co-opted or asked by Caf to come here. They had to compete to get here. They earned their right to be in South Africa with us. It is time for the people of South Africa to have pride,” he added.“You are going to compete with the best on the African continent. This is our path and journey to glory. It starts with Chan.”SupportBafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune responded to Mbalula’s address, saying: “We are going to go out there with the knowledge that we have your support and the country’s. As players we need to inform you that we are taking this tournament very seriously and will do our best to ensure great results.”Midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala, the most experienced member of the squad, with 85 caps to his name, on Wednesday told the media a good result in Bafana’s opening match was vitally important.‘Crucial’“Every match we play is important,” he said, “but the first game is very crucial because it is always good to start the tournament on a high. A win sets a very nice tone for the rest of the competition. It is good for the team’s morale and for the fans.”Tshabalala also expressed confidence in South Africa’s preparations. “The stakes and the expectations are high for us to do well. I believe we are ready after days of hard work and will continue doing so in the remaining two days. I am positive that the 11 players that will be selected to do the job on Saturday will succeed,” he said.Striker Katlego Mphela echoed Tshabalala’s sentiments, saying: “We want to do well in every game we play. We are raring to go. We know what we have to do and we are well aware how important the first match is. We have to start with a bang.”Late changeMeanwhile, coach Gordon Igesund was forced into a late change to his squad on Wednesday because of an injury to Jabulani Shongwe, who was replaced by Matty Pattison.Commenting on the change, Igesund said: “It is never good to lose any player, especially through injury, but I am sad to say Shongwe will no longer be a part of us for this tournament due to a tear that won’t heal in time for the tournament, so we have had to withdraw him from the squad.“But I believe I have found a perfect replacement in Pattison. Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game and we have to soldier on.”last_img read more

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Ensure Recovery by Preparing Your Disaster Plan Prior to the 2019 Hurricane Season

first_imgWhen a major storm is announced, retailers know that the first thing many people do is head to the store to stock up on the essentials: bread, milk, water, toilet paper. Typically, given only two to three days’ notice, retailers must ensure their shelves are stocked to meet the preparedness needs of the community, while also ensuring they are able to reopen quickly.Food Lion, for one, aims to reopen its doors within 24 hours of a storm impact. Retail Business Services is the services company for six major East Coast grocery brands in the United States, including Food Lion. Tina Sellers, former director of asset protection for Retail Business Services, knows the only way to achieve this 24-hour goal is with clear weather intelligence and a proactive emergency plan. “Prior to a storm’s impact, our company has made plans for recovery—including which stores may need generators and which associates in the areas surrounding the impact zones can be called upon to help reopen stores,” said Sellers. “As soon as the storm has passed, we are working to route trucks to stores to stock fresh supplies.”How to roll out your plan when weather rolls inThe surest path to recovery is to have an emergency plan in place well before a storm is announced. The plan should include drills that run through multiple emergency scenarios so your business and employees are prepared for what happens before, during and after a natural disaster, including outages or stoppages. Being prepared ensures employees have the chance to batten down the hatches while they and customers get to safety.- Sponsor – Most importantly, making sure your business has an early warning system can save not only your business, but the lives of your employees.As we all know, these types of events can be financially draining. Even a thirty-minute outage can cost a business $20,000. If you haven’t prepared for the possibility of an emergency causing your business to shut down, you’ll lose money, recovery will be difficult, and you might be forced to permanently close.No matter what protocol you put in place to deal with a weather-related outage, make the following considerations to construct the most well-rounded plan possible:1. Know what’s coming.It’s vital to have an updated, accurate understanding of what the season has in store. Meteorologists consider several global and regional factors when determining the outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season. StormGeo, a global provider of weather intelligence and decision support solutions, provides this forecast for 2019:Based on ocean water temperatures (which are impacted by the current El Niño in the Tropical Pacific and cold cycle in the Atlantic), wind shear, and analog years (a year in the past with similar oceanic and atmospheric characteristics leading up to the start of hurricane season), StormGeo meteorologists predict 11-13 named storms in 2019. Of those, 4-5 may reach hurricane intensity, with 1-2 of the hurricanes becoming intense (Category 3-4-5). There is a decreased risk of significant hurricane activity across the islands of the eastern Caribbean; however, the risk to the area from southeast Louisiana to Cape Cod may be close to normal or slightly above normal.2. Think immediate and long-term.Let’s say a storm knocks a tree onto a power line near your business, causing an outage. This will require an immediate short-term action, but may also require a disaster response plan that accounts for a longer outage.For short-term emergencies, have supplies on hand, especially emergency lights, a radio and/or TV, flashlights with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, water and snacks. Floods can make travel impossible, forcing customers and employees to stay inside a business for days.Stockpiling emergency supplies isn’t difficult; however, the forethought required to get it done is what separates the good plans from the bad ones.In case of a more significant weather disaster, such as a tornado, flood or hurricane, a long-term strategy is needed. Relocation might be necessary. All entrances and windows should be secured. Protect, back up, or remove important internal documents or items. If necessary, enlist 24-hour security to protect assets that can’t be moved. Before returning to the facility and entering, make sure a team surveys the damage and declares it safe.Put a plan in writing, practice it, and review it to give employees a sense of security. You can also use commercial weather services to inject “real” weather into the session to simulate realistic conditions and timelines.When Hurricane Katrina infamously hit southern portions of the United States, Mike Lamb, The Home Depot’s senior director of loss prevention at the time, supplied teams with hurricane kits and instructions on how to carry out a full-fledged disaster plan while keeping a small crew on 24-hour standby to help with storm support. The move proved pivotal, as all but two of The Home Depot’s stores in Katrina’s path reopened within a week of the storm.3. Know your surroundings.Because the main objective is to avoid interruptions to your business, it’s important to realize that even faraway storms can affect your operations by interjecting themselves into your supply chain. Vendors, suppliers, distributors, contractors, manufacturers and transportation firms all rely on readily available power, and if any part of that chain is cut short by an outage, it can ultimately affect your business.Outline how outages in surrounding grids will affect your business and how weather events elsewhere might affect your supply chain. It’s not unreasonable to have a conversation with your vendors to learn about their emergency plans and their ability to support you when they are in crisis.4. Look at alternate forms of communication.Nothing dashes hope like being cut off from the world, and having working cellphone service during a crisis is far from a sure thing. Landline phones, VoIP, two-way radios, and even social media should all be part of your emergency plan.Employees should know that in disaster zones, text messages stand a higher rate of success than voice calls. They should also have emergency apps on their phones to locate family members or to notify authorities. If the primary form of communication falters, your people should know the alternatives and how to use them.5. Know that you can do something about the weather.While a National Weather Service forecast can tell you to expect bad weather over the weekend, it can’t say exactly how your specific location will be affected. You need to know the likelihood that you’ll experience an outage or at what specific hours or days your area will most likely be hit the hardest.Having your own meteorological experts just a phone call away can be a crucial part of any disaster response plan. For some smaller companies, the cost may seem prohibitive, but it’s important to remember that by avoiding even a single weather-related shut-down, the cost of a professional weather service can be well worth it.If you want your employees and customers to be safe and your business to reopen as quickly as possible following a disaster, having a strong disaster plan isn’t just an option—it’s a vital step to take when owning a business. Whether it’s a storm or another type of major disaster, with a solid and well thought-out plan, you can safeguard your business and the lives of your employees and get back up and running posthaste. Get ahead of the storm with a strong disaster response plan, and you will recover more quickly and with confidence when disaster hits. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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A More Affordable 8 GB iPhone 4 Expected in September

first_imgTags:#Apple#web Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Well, it’s that time in the Apple product lifecycle again. As the company begins ordering components for whichever device it’s planning on releasing next and details begin to leak out hearsay and rumors among Apple enthusiasts solidify into something more substantial. Indeed, the tech blogosphere is abuzz this morning with talk of an 8 GB iPhone that may launch as soon as the end of next month. Apple’s suppliers have been manufacturing a version of the iPhone 4 with an 8 GB flash drive, which is expected to be available at a lower price point according to Reuters.This is not the much-rumored iPhone 5, which is also rumored to be launched in late September. Rather, the new 8 GB device will serve as a way for Apple to reach more consumers with a more affordable device, especially in emerging markets. As for the iPhone 5, it is expected to come with a larger touch screen, an 8-megapixel camera and, of course, an improved antenna. The antenna will, hopefully, avoid a duplication of the consumer outcry over dropped calls that occurred with the previous iteration of the phone. While the fall is shaping up to be a busy season for Apple in terms of smart phone releases and the official launch of its next operating system, iOS 5, consumers anxious for the next iteration of the iPad are going to have to wait. The latest reports have that launching next year. center_img john paul titlow Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Could autonomous cars destroy the auto insurance industry?

first_imgBreak the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Tags: #autonomous cars#car insurance#GEICO#insurance#Self-Driving#transport#Warren Buffett Related Posts IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…center_img Autonomous car adoption worldwide is going to have a major knock-on effect on most industries that rely on humans driving cars.One industry that may see a severe downturn in revenue is the auto insurance industry, according to Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. The billionaire investor said to CNBC “anything that makes cars safer is very pro-social, and bad for the auto insurance industry.”See Also: Self-driving lobbying supergroup to play many dates in Washington D.C.Cars have been made way, way safer, but now when you start making the driver safer, that would be a big jump, and that will happen someday, and when it happens there will be a lot less auto insurance written.”Buffett’s holdings company manages Geico, one of the largest auto insurance companies in the United States. For the past 15 years, Geico has increased its revenue, but the onset of autonomous vehicles might see a downturn in the company’s success.Autonomous vehicle manufacturers might also take it upon themselves to self-insure, rather than have the customer spend thousands in insurance costs for a car controlled by the manufacturer’s software.Could insurance be split between car owners and car designers?We might even see a half-and-half solution, where automakers are willing to insure for accidents that happen due to a flaw in the software, but not if the customer takes control of the vehicle and has an accident.Either way, the likelihood of an accident on the road is bound to fall, which will make auto insurance less expensive; one would hope.Autonomous cars are also going to change how many miles cars rack up in a year, according to research from the University of Michigan. In the study, the team found that autonomous cars may allow families to downsize to one car and use the car for other purposes while they’re at work, like picking up the kids, shopping, or renting the car to a taxi service like Uber or Lyft for pick-ups.That might benefit auto repairs, since the car will spend more time on the road, causing issues with tires and the engine to arise quicker. Google has already made note of the potential uptake in repair shops, to reassure the industry that there’s still some future for them in the autonomous world. David Curry 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…last_img read more

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AI is Turning the Page of Digital Signage

first_imgIf you’re in retail, you’ve probably heard it before: Personalization matters. Tailoring the shopping experience to meet customers’ expectations and deliver what they need before they know they need it is key to success in a competitive retail environment. Because of this desire to meet — and exceed — customer expectations, there’s also a move in retail to bring the online experience into the physical store.That’s where digital signage comes in. Digital signage can provide customers with product and reviews, interactive experiences, tailored offers, and more. As the collection and analysis of customer data advances, artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to play a larger role in digital signage, too — a trend powered by Intel technologyOpens in a new window.AI Meets Digital Signage at the StoreYou’ve probably seen digital signage in a variety of places: hospitals, airports, and malls for starters. These signs have been used for years to convey information such as directions or promotions in places where people will see them. In some cases, these signs have allowed people to search for information or get answers to questions.In retail, digital signage has taken a leap forward with the help of new technologies and anonymous data analytics. Footwear maker Adidas, for example, created a Virtual Footwear WallOpens in a new window for some of the brand’s retail stores using a touchscreen digital display and Intel-powered technology. The wall allowed customers to select shoe models, view them from all angles, and see product information. Using anonymous, built-in video analytics, the company gathered data so it could provide customers with personalized experiences.Like Adidas, many retailers collect demographic data such as age and gender and use it to create relevant content for customers on digital signage. It’s common for retailers to use intelligent scheduling software that can present content based on trends in customer data. In some cases, customers will even see content chosen for them while they’re shopping in real time.The concept of AI being used for tasks like self-checkout and answering customer questions isn’t new. But as we can see, AI is also starting analyze more data in less time, produce deeper insights, and continuously learn how to adapt to customer audiences so retailers can use signage to create more personalized shopping experiences.Artificial Intelligence in Programmatic AdvertisingAI also plays an important role in advertising. We’ve already seen this technology roll out online for programmatic display ads. AI helps with online ad campaign managementOpens in a new window by employing machine learning algorithms that can deliver relevant content and make real-time bidding more efficient. AI generally serves to make advertisements online more personalized, presenting high-quality ads to the right consumers at the right times.AI has begun to play a similar role in advertising on digital signage, using data about sign viewers to display targeted ads and offers. Retailers can now participate in programmatic advertising, placing ads on digital screens out in the world, similar to the way they would online.Within their own stores, retailers also use demographic data to decide what ads or promotions to present to customers at certain locations. Other times, retailers even use video analytics to decide which ad to show to a person standing in front of a sign in real time.Why does this matter? Companies can start using digital signageOpens in a new window to target motivated customers already in stores. Take this example from Rite Aid: The company used a digital signage display to present coupons to customers based on demographic data. This meant they could show an ad for reading glasses, for example, to older shoppers entering the store rather than to teenagers, making it more likely the ad would lead to a purchase.As these applications demonstrate, many opportunities exist for retailers to use AI to deliver timely, appropriate advertisements, and it’s pretty certain we’ll be seeing more of this in the future.Build Better Digital Experiences With IntelRetailers want engaged customers, and shoppers want retailers to engage them. Digital signage with AI technology provides a platform for retailers to take shopping experiences to a new level, wowing customers with unique interactions and exceptional service. If retailers continue to take advantage of data and AI, their digital signage could play a key role in driving sales. To get started, learn more about Intel’s digital signage platformsOpens in a new window. Then head over to our retail solutions portalOpens in a new window to see all the ways Intel is working with retailers to transform the industry.last_img read more

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Top stories: Bumblebees in trouble, memory loss, and energy-boosting enzymes

first_img‘Old-age protein’ may cause memory lossThe next time you forget where you left your car keys, you might be able to blame an immune protein that builds up in your blood as you age. The protein impairs the formation of new brain cells and contributes to age-related memory loss—at least in mice, according to a new study. Blocking it could help prevent run-of-the-mill memory decline.Catastrophic Chinese floods triggered by air pollutionSign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In 2013, the worst flooding to hit China in 50 years was happening in the Sichuan province. About 200 people died, and a further 300,000 were displaced. Researchers designed computer simulations to model what had happened in order to find out whether the flood was caused by pollution. In the case of the Sichuan storms, soot had altered air circulation patterns and redistributed rainfall. The results suggest that air pollution should become a regular factor for weather forecasting.Need an energy boost? This enzyme may helpWhether you’re entering the home stretch of a marathon or trying to lug your groceries up that last flight of stairs, you push and push, and just when you think you can’t push any more, your body summons a bit of extra energy to get you through. Now, scientists have figured out where that boost comes from. What’s more, they say we may be able to use supplements to help us access it.Bumblebees being crushed by climate changeAs our climate changes, plants and animals are on the move. But bumblebees don’t seem to have gotten the memo. Rather than moving north toward cooler weather, the bees are staying put within shrinking ranges—or just disappearing altogether.Independent group pans WHO’s response to EbolaIf the World Health Organization (WHO) is to better protect humanity from major epidemics, it will have to change fundamentally. That is the conclusion of an independent panel charged with assessing WHO’s handling of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has killed more than 11,000 people.last_img read more

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