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first_imgThe head of the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Vera Mendy, has disclosed that there is an increase in sexual and gender-based violence, including domestic abuse even as the Ebola virus loses ground in the country.Making the disclosure during last Thursday‘s MICAT press briefing, Ms. Mendy described gender-based violence as cruel. “Rape against children is also on the increase,” she added.  At least 85 percent of those victimized, are between the ages of 3 and16 or perhaps even younger, according to Ms. Mendy.From January to November of this year the administration of Women and Children Protection Section has received 2,267 violence-related cases against women, emanating from all depots in the country, including 382 cases of sexual and gender-based violence, she said.“These gender issues include rape, statutory rape, gang rape, corruption of minors and sexual assault. Out of the 382 court cases pending investigation, we have been able to send 114 alleged offenders to the judiciary,” she says.“We have also had persistent reports of nonsupport to mothers of children, simple assault, and battering of women by their male partners, resulting in minor injuries, terroristic threats, amongst others. This has amounted to 1,111 cases, of which we have sent 233 to magistrates; while 283 others are pending investigation and 595 cases have been withdrawn.”Giving out more troubling statistics, Ms. Mendy reported that there were 760 cases of lost-and-found runaways, interfering with child custody, endangering child welfare and abandoned children. 108 of those cases were sent to various courts while 216 cases are pending investigation, with the rest withdrawn,With all the constraints of handling these cases amid the deadly Ebola virus, WACPS will continue to be vigilant in its mandate to investigate and arrest perpetrators, she warned.Highlighting the challenges, Madam Mendy explained that officers responding to the scene of an assault must take precautionary measures to ensure not only their safety, but the safety of persons being arrested given the Ebola epidemic in the country.“The process of intervening at a crime scene and carrying out investigations amid the Ebola crisis are major challenges for the police,” she said.Madam Mendy said it is advisable for both the perpetrators and victims of gender-based violence to take preventive measures to help reduce the risk of contracting the virus through close physical contact with infected persons.Urging the general public to controll their tempers and violent emotions, she observed that people ought to desist from verbal and physical assault, reporting all offenses to the police or seeking immediate medical assistances, should the need arise.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgWhen I first meet a potential client I go through a consultation process. During this I always ask them their goals. Quite often the client will have a number of goals that they want to achieve. These can range from being healthier, losing a few pounds, having more energy or getting in shape for a holiday or wedding.I will always ask them to pick the one that is their overall goal and that they want the most.99% of the time the goal will always be weight loss and muscle ‘tone’. This allows me to plan out a strategy that can best help them reach their goals in the time frame that they are thinking of.When a person decides to set out a goal for themselves, and the goal is weight loss, they will usually take the path of least resistance.Quite often that path will be running.They choose it because it’s free, anyone can do it and you don’t need any equipment. To me, running is not an entry level activity for someone who is currently sedentary or overweight.With each foot strike you are putting 2-3 times your bodyweight through your hips, knees and ankles.So if we take someone who is 18 stone, with every foot fall they are putting between 36 and 54 stone of pressure through their joints.Alwyn Cosgrove gives a great analogy.‘’Imagine that you’re just starting a fitness program, and you ask a trainer for advice. ‘’Here’s what I want you to do on the first day’’, he says. ‘’Hop 750 times with your right leg. Then hop 750 times with your left leg’’ Would you do it?Of course you wouldn’t! Who in their right mind would class this as exercise?So you refuse to do it. ‘’Okay the trainer says, do 750 hops, but alternate legs and move forward while doing it.”You try it and realise that it feels a lot like running and that’s because it is running. Why 750 times? It’s because that is what it usually takes to run one mile… 750 foot strikes per leg, 1500 in total.That is an enormous amount of pressure to be putting on someone who has never exercised before and whose joints may already be in a stressed state due to being overweight.Now, let me make this clear. I have nothing against running. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has the physical capacity to do long distance running, but we have to go back to our goals.Is your goal to be a runner?If it is then the answer is easy, you have to run.Is your goal to burn fat and ‘tone’ muscle?Then running is not the most optimal way to do this.Yes you can lose weight through running, but if you are a certain body shape you will just end up a smaller version of the shape you are now.If you want to change the shape of your body you have to do some sort of resistance training.This doesn’t mean you have to start off by going onto the dreaded ‘black matted area’ of the gym, where all the angry looking guys hang out. (We’re not actually angry; some of us just need a hug!)Use a few basic bits of equipment such as a step, a simple set of dumbbells and a set of resistance bands.Add in some bodyweight exercises such as squats, push ups, lunges and planks and you can put together a full body workout that can get you great results.#TrainSmartFor further information on Personal Training and Nutrition you can contact me through the link below.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rushe-Personal-Training-and-Performance/120518884715118* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe Personal Training and Performance.EMMET RUSHE’S FITNESS COLUMN: WEIGHT LOSS – TO RUN OR NOT TO RUN? was last modified: March 3rd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:emmet rushefitness columnRunninglast_img read more

first_imgThe living world is an endless source of wonder and inspiration.  There’s an octopus that does a convincing imitation of a flatfish (Science Daily, Live Science), and a red crab species that emerges from its lethargic life around Christmas and migrates miles to the sea by the millions (PhysOrg).  There’s a tiny frog that can fit on the tip of a pencil (PhysOrg) and a whale with perfect pitch (Science Daily).  National Geographic released a gallery of sea creatures newly discovered deep in Indonesian waters that is as colorful as it is bizarre.  Some scientists get so excited about what animals they study, they want to imitate them.Embryo trick:  Scientists inspired by the cilia that embryos use to direct cells to their places copied the trick with “biomimetic cilia” they hope to use with lab-on-a-chip applications (see abstract at PNAS).Stickybot:  Inspired by gecko feet, scientists at Stanford designed a look-alike robot, reported Science Daily, that uses the same principle of dry adhesion by multiplication of surface contacts.  “The material is strong and reusable, and leaves behind no residue or damage,” just like a gecko foot, the article said.  They even imitated the gecko’s rotating ankles so that it can change direction. Perfect little engine:  Ever heard of a salp?  This small jelly-like creature lives in the sea and is important for carbon cycle.  Science Daily told about its “near-perfect little engine” that propels it and filters its food with a microscopic mesh.  Because “the scientists are captivated by the unique, almost magical performance of this natural undersea engine,” they think inventors could learn something.  Science Daily asked, “What if trains, planes, and automobiles all were powered simply by the air through which they move?  Moreover, what if their exhaust and byproducts helped the environment?  Well, such an energy-efficient, self-propelling mechanism already exists in nature.”Beetle bifocals:  Scientists at the University of Cincinnati were stunned to find a diving beetle with bifocal compound eyes.  Live Science reported that the eyes have two retinas, one for distance and one for close-up inspection.  Analysis of how this unique beetle sees could help bifocal manufacture.  “Bifocal glasses and contacts create two images that interfere with each other, creating an area of blur,” the article said.  “The beetle larvae solve this interference problem by having focal planes [that] are slightly shifted so they aren’t completely on top of each other.  In fact, the researchers found the shift of the focal planes improved contrast of the resulting image three-fold.”Oyster glue:  The Navy is employing “interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research” to copy oysters.  The amazing underwater adhesives that oysters use are attractive to the Navy not only because of their importance to the marine ecology, but also because of the insights they provide.  Naval researchers have been “studying marine animals’ various adhesives, uncovering fundamental properties that could yield new innovations from replacements for medical sutures to surface coatings that keep waterborne craft from picking up marine hitchhikers,” the article said.  They found that oysters have a unique adhesive for sticking to one another as they build oyster reefs.Put on your bacteria:  New Scientist posted an unusual article and video about researchers using bacteria to grow fibers for clothing.  Such biodegradable clothing will be “green” not necessarily in color, but in the sense of being biodegradable and environmentally-friendly.Code in the nose:  Inventors have been working on artificial noses for some time, with only mixed results at distinguishing the thousands of odors that natural noses are so good at detecting.  PhysOrg reported that Stanford inventors are finding that a touch of DNA helps.  The combinatorial flexibility of DNA is providing the coding repertoire for sensors to respond to many more molecules than before.  Live Science added that frog egg cells are providing a key ingredient in robotic noses as receptors.Cornea breakthrough:  Synthetic corneas are too hard to make, and cornea transplants are expensive and difficult, so why not regrow the real thing?  The BBC News reported that biosynthetic implants, using “a synthetic version of human collagen designed to mimic the cornea as closely as possible,” are providing real hope for restoring impaired vision.  Already in tests patients reported “dramatically improved” vision with the new technique.Pop goes the circuit:  Manufacturing circuits inspired by bacteria?  Why not?  Synthetic circuits is a relatively new method within the “emerging field of synthetic biology” of organizing genetically-modified bacteria to “produce a myriad of useful proteins, enzymes or chemicals in a coordinated way.”  Science Daily reported that scientists at Duke University were surprised to find bacterial cells popping, or committing suicide, when reaching a certain stage of plasmid density.  They modeled the behavior with a sample circuit they called ePop and found that it can “increase the efficiency and power of future synthetic biology circuits.”Flying with altitude:  Somehow, fruit flies know the right altitude for their flying and hovering needs.  Live Science reported that findings about how they calculate optic flow might help designers of “insect-inspired robots.”  Mike Dickinson’s team at Caltech found that flies use horizontal edges and “integrate edge information with other visual information to pick flight plans.”  This work not only helps “unveil the mysteries of insect flight and cognition, but it may have practical implications for humans, as well.”These articles are part of an increasing flood of reports about biomimetics – the imitation of nature.  Whether biologists look high or low, large or small, at plants or at animals, they find amazing feats in the living world that amaze and inspire.  And if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the designs in life are getting rave reviews.Biomimetic designers wanted: bright, young, observant, inquisitive, logical, perceptive, entrepreneurial, honest, forward looking, optimistic, enthusiastic.  This implies that Darwinians need not 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first_imgSouth Africa is to intensify its anti-poaching strategy. (Image: WWF UK)Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica has announced the formation of a new special investigations team dedicated to the eradication of rhino poaching. This will help safeguard one of South Africa’s most enduring tourist attractions, its wildlife.The initiative could not have come sooner. Horrifying statistics show that since January 2009 84 rhino have been killed by poachers in provinces across South Africa. A breakdown reveals that the world-famous Kruger National Park is the country’s poaching hotspot, with KwaZulu-Natal’s rhino-rich nature reserves not far behind.The current poaching statistics are as follows:•    Kruger National Park: 33•    Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife: 19•    Gauteng: 3•    North West: 5•    Limpopo: 7•    Eastern Cape: 1•    Mpumalanga: 16Sonjica made the announcement at a September 2009 meeting between herself, deputy environment minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi and various members of the executive council (MEC) from the provinces. The meeting was held to discuss new strategies to fight the recent spate of rhino deaths.The new unit is expected to tackle not only poaching, but other high-priority and organised environmental and conservation crimes. It forms part of an integrated anti-poaching strategy in which the Department of Environmental Affairs is working closely with all provinces where rhino are found.Experts hope that the unit will function in much the same way as the former Endangered Species Protection Unit of the South African Police Service. From 1989 until its disbandment in 2003 this elite unit was responsible for wildlife crime investigation and notched up great successes in its fight against international trade in endangered species.Coordinated effortsDuring the meeting the delegates discussed ways of supporting the anti-poaching initiatives of various conservation authorities around the country.The national parks authority, South African National Parks (Sanparks), is to lead a task team of conservation agencies from all provinces, with the aim of coordinating their efforts.Earlier in the year, as part of the integrated strategy, the Department of Environmental Affairs established a national biodiversity investigators’ forum in its Biodiversity and Conservation branch.This initiative enables the coordination of biodiversity-related law enforcement work, such as the efforts to stamp out rhino poaching, and will help authorities enforce national environmental legislation.War against poachingWhile poaching is still rife, the ongoing war against poachers is proving fruitful. Sanparks recently announced that it would channel US$260 000 (R2-million) from the Parks Development Fund into providing an additional 57 game rangers in the Kruger Park and equipping them with motorbikes, enabling them to cover their patrol areas more efficiently.The funds will also provide for the installation of a hi-tech crime information management system. Sanparks hopes that these new developments will give it the edge over would-be poachers.A further blow to criminal activities is the return of the South African military to patrol the vulnerable 450km national border between South Africa and Mozambique, in the east of the park. Military patrols along the border stopped three years ago.All 33 poached rhinos in the Kruger Park were killed along the eastern border, said Sanparks.“We intend to increase our efforts even more in ensuring that this scourge is routed out,” said Sanparks CEO David Mabunda. “Discussions have been started with Mozambican authorities to solicit their assistance in apprehending suspects and preventing illegal activities from proliferating on their side of the fence.”During 2009 at least 14 poachers, all of Mozambican origin, have been arrested and several illegal firearms seized in the Kruger Park. Altogether, 22 poachers around South Africa have been taken into custody since the beginning of 2009.In KwaZulu-Natal, which has also seen a surge in the number of rhino deaths, several suspects have been arrested in recent months. By late September 2009 the province had lost 19 rhino to poachers, 15 in areas managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife – formerly known as the Natal Parks Board – and four in private reserves.In January 2009 police and wildlife authorities cracked an international rhino-smuggling ring and arrested 11 people of South African, Chinese and Mozambican origin.Zero toleranceA report released in July 2009 by the World Wide Fund for Nature, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic, says that illegal international trade in rhino horns is almost at a 15-year high.But South Africa is sending out a stern warning that it will not tolerate this unlawful trade: “Poachers must beware, because we will seek them out, we will find them and they will be dealt with. This is a war that we plan on winning,” Mabunda said.last_img read more

first_imgAll 39,073 villages of Bihar were now electrified, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said in Patna on Wednesday.He added that every household in the state would have a free power connection by the end of the next calendar year.The efforts in this regard were a part of Mr. Kumar’s seven resolves (“saat nischay”) of good governance.“We have come a long way since 2005 when we assumed power. Back then, small towns and villages had given up all hopes of getting power and even in the state capital, Patna, the electricity situation had left much to be desired,” Mr. Kumar said.Mr. Kumar had first become the chief minister of Bihar when the NDA came to power in the state in 2005. He has been on the chair since then except for a few months, when he quit after the JD(U) debacle in the 2014 general election and anointed Jitan Ram Manjhi to the post.Mr. Kumar has, on a number of occasions, said improving the electricity situation in power-starved Bihar was a topmost priority of his government.He was addressing a function organised by the state power department, where all the 39,073 villages of the state were declared electrified and foundation stones were laid for power projects worth ₹ 3,030.52 crore.“Bringing electricity to all the villages was not an easy task. It was much more difficult than building roads. But we are happy to have achieved the target of electrifying all the villages by the end of 2017. We are confident of achieving the target of providing free power connections to all the households by December 31, 2018,” the JD(U) chief said.Stating that his government’s resolve to bring power to every village and household was being emulated across the country, Mr. Kumar said, “It is a matter of pride for us that the Centre’s Saubhagya scheme is inspired by our har ghar bijli lagataar programme.” He added that the turnaround in the power situation was achieved through a number of reforms, as a part of which “the state electricity board underwent a major revamp and a number of government-run power companies were set up”.Mr. Kumar also said the state was purchasing power from the NTPC as well as private players, but added, “We cannot depend on thermal power fully since coal is a non-renewable, depletable resource.” The government had decided to give a boost to solar power generation, he said, adding that two solar power units would be set up at Pirpainti in Bhagalpur district and Kajra in Lakhisarai.“We have also made efforts to bring transparency in the process of giving a subsidy on electricity. Electricity bills mention the amount that is paid by the state by way of subsidy. This will result in a decrease in wasteful use of power.“We have also been sensitive towards the complaints regarding inflated bills that many consumers come up with. These complaints have been brought under the purview of the state public grievance redressal system. Under this system, two lakh cases have so far been resolved, of which about 15,000 were related to inflated power bills,” the chief minister said.last_img read more