Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Bannon's Vision of the World Isn't What Makes America Great – Foreign Policy (blog)



Bannon’s Vision of the World Isn’t What Makes America Great

It has been said that President Donald Trump’s opponents took him literally but not seriously, while his supporters did the opposite. When it comes to Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon — the administration’s ideological life force — it is wise to do both.

Last week, speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Bannon reiterated the administration’s determination to break with seven decades of bipartisan, American-led internationalism and the values upon which it was founded. His relentless focus on economic nationalism, sovereignty, and identity is being translated into practical policies that would pull up the drawbridge on free trade, immigration, globalization, alliances and multilateral institutions, and the spread of liberal values. The open, connected, rules-based world that America did so much to shape — and in which the peace, progress, and security of other nations directly benefits our own — is being jettisoned in favor of a Hobbesian, zero-sum vision of ruthless competition in which America’s mission is to protect “our” cultural identity as a white, Christian nation.

Bannon paints America’s traditional openness as weakness. He exploits the sense of chaos, confusion, and vulnerability felt by some Americans in the face of technological change, the unbridled flow of information, the erosion of borders, and the unequal distribution of progress. He taps effectively into concerns that refugees pose a threat to our physical security and immigrants to our identity, that free trade and innovation kill jobs, and that America’s global engagement is more of a burden than a benefit, embroiling us in the problems of others.

The liberal international order that America built is far from perfect. Those of us who defend it must also work to amend it, so that it more effectively addresses the legitimate concerns of those left behind. But tearing down a system that, for all its missteps, helped produce decades of peace among the great powers, spread democracy, and share unparalleled progress is not the way to put Americans first.

In time, Bannon’s ideology will confront reality. As the Council of Foreign Relations’ Richard Haass puts it, the world is not self-organizing. Nearly every major challenge we face — from epidemics to climate change, violent extremism to cyber hacking — is beyond the capacity of any one nation, even a superpower, to address alone. Our workers and companies need American global economic leadership to level playing fields for our products and set high standards for the protection of labor, the environment, and intellectual property. Our soldiers and diplomats depend on our unrivaled network of alliances to deter costly conflicts and make us more effective when we have to fight. Our citizens benefit from American engagement in international institutions that help keep the peace, prevent the proliferation of weapons, defend human rights, and develop norms of conduct in new realms — from cyber space to outer space. Our communities and businesses draw energy and vitality by the inclusion of new Americans through a secure and welcoming immigration system. And our children will find opportunity in America’s continued global leadership in innovation, science, and technology.

The day after Bannon spoke, America’s longest-serving diplomat shared a totally different vision of where America has been — and where it must go — at his retirement ceremony at the State Department.

Dan Fried spent 40 years in the Foreign Service, rising to become an ambassador, an assistant secretary of state, and a key player in the liberation of Central and Eastern Europe and its integration with the West. Fried told a rapt audience that what has made America exceptional since our emergence as a world power at the end of the 19th century — at a time of closed European empires — is that we favored an open world, ordered by rules, in which the democratic values of our Republic and our business interests could simultaneously succeed.

“Our positive-sum world view, exceptional among the great powers, allowed room for others to prosper alongside the United States,” he said. “In fact, the genius of the American system is that our success depended on the security and prosperity of other nations. We would lead in concert with the other great democracies. This foreign policy exceptionalism was the heart of our grand strategy through two World Wars, the Cold War, the post-1989 era — and it was crowned with success.”

Fried acknowledged “the mistakes, blunders, flaws, and shortcomings” of the world America made but argued eloquently that our track record is “a great achievement and a foundation for more.”

In the end, he reminded us that America’s successful grand strategy “did not come from nowhere: it followed from our deeper conception of ourselves and our American identity. Who are we Americans? What is our nation? We are not an ethno-state, with identity rooted in shared blood. The option of a White Man’s Republic ended at Appomattox.… Our nation is based on an idea — that all are created equal — that, when embraced, makes us Americans.”

For those of us who share Fried’s understanding of what has made and will continue to make America great, it is time to recapture the flag.

Photo credit: ALEX WONG/Getty Images

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The Latest: Trump Meets With States' Attorneys General – U.S. News & World Report


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U.S. News & World Report
The Latest: Trump Meets With States' Attorneys General
U.S. News & World Report
President Donald Trump is meeting with a group of states' attorneys general at the White House. Trump met with approximately two dozen members of the National Association of Attorneys General, which is comprised of states' top law enforcement officials.

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247Sports lists 5 players trending toward Penn State commitments – Landof10.com


Penn State is stacking big chips in its top-ranked 2018 recruiting class. It may add a few more in the coming weeks, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions.

247’s Andrew Callahan listed five players who are trending toward the Nittany Lions. The highest-rated is 4-star S Isheem Young, the No. 55 player in his class. The Imhotep (Philadelphia) prospect has an impressive offer list, but seven of eight Crystal Ball projections see him going to Penn State.

Four-star WR Daniel George, the No. 152 player in the Class of 2018, has 11 Penn State predictions in his favor. According to 247, Maryland and Virginia Tech are the biggest competition for the Oxon Hill, Md., prospect. Another wide receiver, 4-star recruit Shaquon Anderson-Butts, has seven projections in his favor. He’s the teammate of 5-star DE Micah Parsons, the top-rated commit in Penn State’s 2018 class.

Read the rest of Callahan’s post here.

The Nittany Lions currently have the top recruiting class in 2018 with 11 pledges — one 5-star, nine 4-stars and one 3-star. They have verbals from five of the top 100 players in the 247Sports Composite.

RB Ricky Slade, the No. 26 player in the Class of 2018, reaffirmed his commitment to Penn State on Monday. Parsons has been committed to Penn State for a year but is keeping his options pretty open.

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Agents detail 'daily' border fence battle, seek post-Obama 'restart' – Fox News


In the tiny Arizona city of Douglas, a Border Patrol surveillance camera is trained on a 10-foot-high fence with Mexico. After a few seconds, footage shows a figure appearing out of nowhere and the fence suddenly opens to allow a pickup truck through. A car follows, and they speed off into adjoining neighborhoods while the makeshift gate slams shut.

The Wild West still has a foothold here, more than 100 years after gunslingers Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday called Douglas home. Only the outlaws are cartels and traffickers.

And while President Trump is vowing to step up enforcement and seal off the southern border, agents in Border Patrol say they are still grappling with fallout from the Obama years – which they contend allowed security problems like this to fester.

“We weren’t allowed to do our job,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the border agents’ union, told Fox News.

Judd said the agency is now seeking a “restart” after years of neglect.

In his last term, President Obama’s so-called ‘catch and release’ policies often allowed illegal immigrants to go free awaiting court dates, while most asylum seekers were accepted. The border itself continued to suffer as it has for years from gaps exploited by drug and human traffickers – like the breach seen in the exclusive November 2016 footage from Douglas, Ariz. That ‘gate’ was created by perpetrators on the Mexican side using a blowtorch to cut a metal panel and then affixing hinges and latches.Putty and paint are used to touch up the American side, making the gate almost indiscernible. 

WATCH EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE OF THE BORDER BREACH BELOW

Further, agents have grappled with a shift of resources from the field to the office. According to Judd,only 20 percent of the workforce was actually patrolling the border toward the end of the last administration due to extensive paperwork required to process asylum seekers and high attrition tied to low morale.

“We just cannot continue with the same management that we’ve had, which created our problems,” Judd said. “We expect the president to drain the swamp – ours should be the first one drained. We have to hit the restart button.”

Since taking office, Trump has ordered an end to “catch and release,” and the promise of reinforcements generally has boosted spirits inside the agency.  

But even as the new president moves to empower agents, it takes a year to hire and fully train personnel — so a ramped-up border force is still in the distant future, Judd said.

The Border Patrol currently has 19,700 agents, far below the allotted number of 21,370. Trump wants to hire another 5,000, which is what Judd said is needed.  

“We were definitely lacking resources [under Obama],” said a second agent who has worked the Arizona border for more than a decade and did not want to be identified.“Anything that could be done to tie our hands behind our backs was done, no doubt about that.”

The Obama Years

While the video showing unfettered access across the Mexican border was shot during the Obama years, agents still encounter this dangerous scenario today: Ingenious border crossers using blowtorches to create gates big enough to allow trucks to pass through.

In areas where the fence is composed of steel mesh, border crossers have cut smaller holes so people can crawl across. Even areas with heavy metal bars (called bollard fencing) prove no match for a torch. Scoping out fence holes and repairing them is a full-time job for agents and welders.

This scenario is the main reason why many border agents support building a wall, not a fence.

“People were cutting through there on a daily basis and it was getting to the point where they were even doing it during the day,” the second agent said.

If not carving through the fence, others would climb over with the help of ladders or grappling hooks – or in some cases, drive over using a ramp.

Illegal immigrants caught by Border Patrol also would create a mountain of paperwork, taking agents off the streets for processing. Those seeking asylum each required three hours of paperwork, Judd said,as agents also made a host of notifications to consulates, the Department of Health and Human Services and legal representation. Whether seeking asylum or not, those in custody were then given court dates and a bus ticket to wherever they wanted.

No one was held in custody unless a warrant showed up on the Department of Justice database. It didn’t take long for smugglers to realize that sending across mules to invoke asylum would create a vacuum of agents at the border so drugs could flow freely – whether carried over, thrown over or flown over, Judd said.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said immigrants generally need permission to cross from the cartels, which have divvied up the sections.

“I’ve been there when they were detained and asked how much it cost and they paid anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000,” he said. “Those who didn’t have all the money worked it off. Women in sex trafficking and kids and men as drug traffickers.”

Gohmert said Obama-era policies effectively allowed taxpayer dollars to fund their transportation to the doorsteps of kingpins.

Border Patrol’s processing centers also played a role in gang recruitment, Judd said, as members would try to enlist teenagers in the facilities and line up gang housing post-release. When agents witnessing recruitment informed superiors to request suspected members be held for deportation proceedings, Judd said, the chain of command typically denied the request.

“We now have thousands of new gang members thanks to catch and release,” he said.

Gohmert said “demoralized” agents felt like they were “spinning their wheels” these last few years: “They could stay up all night and not stop the people from entering the U.S. The agents knew if they had a big group of people come across, the drugs were going to follow. But they couldn’t watch for the drugs because they had to process all those people – sometimes groups big enough to fill a Greyhound bus.”

Obama staunchly defended his immigration policies during his two terms, including his push to shield from deportation roughly 4 million illegal immigrants living in the United States including parents of legal residents.

When the Supreme Court deadlocked last year, leaving a ruling against the policy in place, Obama called the decision “heartbreaking for millions of immigrants who made their lives here who raised families here” and want to work and pay taxes. He called on Congress to act – but for now, Trump is doing what Obama did, and handling the issue through the Executive Branch.

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BREAKING: Elon Musk And SpaceX Are Sending Humans to the Moon – Futurism


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Futurism
BREAKING: Elon Musk And SpaceX Are Sending Humans to the Moon
Futurism
Yesterday, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said that his private spaceflight company would have a notable announcement today at 4pm EST (1pm GMT). It seems that humans are going back to the Moon. Here's what you need to know about this new …
SpaceX to Send Privately Crewed Dragon Spacecraft Beyond the Moon Next Year | SpaceXSpaceX

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A mesmerising school of fish create their own TORNADO on the sea bed: Sony World Photography Awards shortlist … – Daily Mail


  • The world’s biggest photography competition attracts hundreds of thousands of photographers
  • For 2017 competition, 227,596 images entered across Professional, Open and Youth categories
  • The shortlist ranges from a stunning panorama of Mount Fuji in Japan to the birth of a baby boy

Rory Tingle For Mailonline

In the pitch dark of the African night, a herd of cape buffaloes gather at the watering hole for a drink, taking care to stay by the edge to avoid the crocodiles lurking in the depths.

In Gangiova, a village in Romania, a doctor places her stethoscope to the chest of a newborn baby, listening intently for the beating of his tiny heart.

These are just some of the moments judges for the Sony World Photography Awards have picked out for this year’s shortlist.

For the 2017 competition, photographers entered 227,596 images across the awards’ Professional, Open and Youth categories.

The Open competition winner will receive $5,000 (about £4,000), Sony digital imaging equipment and flights and accommodation to the awards ceremony at Somerset House in London

Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation, said: ‘This year, more than any other, the entries to the Sony World Photography Awards have shown great integrity and are characterized by their considered approach. 

‘Beautiful works of photographic art, not snapshots, have been presented to the judges and I am delighted to see that our esteemed juries have chosen to reward the pure skill, artistic interpretation and thoughtfulness.’

A herd of buffalo visit a watering hole for a drink in the middle of the night at Zimanga Private Game Reserve, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. This is one of the shortlisted images for the Sony World Photography Awards. Photo by Andreas HembA herd of buffalo visit a watering hole for a drink in the middle of the night at Zimanga Private Game Reserve, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. This is one of the shortlisted images for the Sony World Photography Awards. Photo by Andreas Hemb

A herd of buffalo visit a watering hole for a drink in the middle of the night at Zimanga Private Game Reserve, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. This is one of the shortlisted images for the Sony World Photography Awards. Photo by Andreas Hemb

Seen by few, but beloved by billions, the giant panda is one of the most recognised animals on the planet. In this photo, taken by Ami Vitale in China, a man wearing a panda suit cradles a cub in his armsSeen by few, but beloved by billions, the giant panda is one of the most recognised animals on the planet. In this photo, taken by Ami Vitale in China, a man wearing a panda suit cradles a cub in his arms

Seen by few, but beloved by billions, the giant panda is one of the most recognised animals on the planet. In this photo, taken by Ami Vitale in China, a man wearing a panda suit cradles a cub in his arms

A school of fish churns above the sea bed, sucking the sand upwards in a tornado effect. This image was taken by Christian Vizl, from MexicoA school of fish churns above the sea bed, sucking the sand upwards in a tornado effect. This image was taken by Christian Vizl, from Mexico

A school of fish churns above the sea bed, sucking the sand upwards in a tornado effect. This image was taken by Christian Vizl, from Mexico

A girl sits in the shell of an old car in Gyumri, Armenia, which still bears the scars of a devastating 7.0 Richter-scale earthquake that struck in 1988. This photo was taken by Yulia GrigoryantsA girl sits in the shell of an old car in Gyumri, Armenia, which still bears the scars of a devastating 7.0 Richter-scale earthquake that struck in 1988. This photo was taken by Yulia Grigoryants

A girl sits in the shell of an old car in Gyumri, Armenia, which still bears the scars of a devastating 7.0 Richter-scale earthquake that struck in 1988. This photo was taken by Yulia Grigoryants

During the Soviet era in Russia, the sport of bodybuilding was not welcomed by the authorities, as it was seen as too western. Today, it is a popular pastime, as shown by this photo, taken by Eduard Korniyenko, of men and boys in a Russian gymDuring the Soviet era in Russia, the sport of bodybuilding was not welcomed by the authorities, as it was seen as too western. Today, it is a popular pastime, as shown by this photo, taken by Eduard Korniyenko, of men and boys in a Russian gym

During the Soviet era in Russia, the sport of bodybuilding was not welcomed by the authorities, as it was seen as too western. Today, it is a popular pastime, as shown by this photo, taken by Eduard Korniyenko, of men and boys in a Russian gym

This image, taken by Ivor Prickett, from Ireland, shows men from the Hawija region of Iraq waiting to be questioned by Kurdish soldiers at a base near Kirkuk. All men of fighting age who have fled ISIS-controlled areas must be questionedThis image, taken by Ivor Prickett, from Ireland, shows men from the Hawija region of Iraq waiting to be questioned by Kurdish soldiers at a base near Kirkuk. All men of fighting age who have fled ISIS-controlled areas must be questioned

This image, taken by Ivor Prickett, from Ireland, shows men from the Hawija region of Iraq waiting to be questioned by Kurdish soldiers at a base near Kirkuk. All men of fighting age who have fled ISIS-controlled areas must be questioned

In Gangiova, a village in Romania, a doctor places her stethoscope to the chest of a newborn baby, listening intently for the beating of his tiny heart.In Gangiova, a village in Romania, a doctor places her stethoscope to the chest of a newborn baby, listening intently for the beating of his tiny heart.

In Gangiova, a village in Romania, a doctor places her stethoscope to the chest of a newborn baby, listening intently for the beating of his tiny heart.

This image, by Edoardo Delille and Giulia Pierma, shows a Trump supporter outside his garage in the USA. The photographers said it was part of a project in which they sought out supporters of the business mogul during the presidential campaignThis image, by Edoardo Delille and Giulia Pierma, shows a Trump supporter outside his garage in the USA. The photographers said it was part of a project in which they sought out supporters of the business mogul during the presidential campaign

This image, by Edoardo Delille and Giulia Pierma, shows a Trump supporter outside his garage in the USA. The photographers said it was part of a project in which they sought out supporters of the business mogul during the presidential campaign

A girl is suspended in mid-air while holding a ball. Alex Andriesi, who captured the image in Grenoble, France, said: 'The child represents gentleness and fragility. When associated with the ball, representing lightness, the image symbolises innocence'A girl is suspended in mid-air while holding a ball. Alex Andriesi, who captured the image in Grenoble, France, said: 'The child represents gentleness and fragility. When associated with the ball, representing lightness, the image symbolises innocence'

A girl is suspended in mid-air while holding a ball. Alex Andriesi, who captured the image in Grenoble, France, said: ‘The child represents gentleness and fragility. When associated with the ball, representing lightness, the image symbolises innocence’

On January 31st, 2016, India woke up to yet another news of a shocking mob attack against a black man, this time a Tanzanian student. Mahesh Shantaram took this photo as part of a project to document the experiences of black people in the countryOn January 31st, 2016, India woke up to yet another news of a shocking mob attack against a black man, this time a Tanzanian student. Mahesh Shantaram took this photo as part of a project to document the experiences of black people in the country

On January 31st, 2016, India woke up to yet another news of a shocking mob attack against a black man, this time a Tanzanian student. Mahesh Shantaram took this photo as part of a project to document the experiences of black people in the country

For two years Tom Jacobi, from Germany, travelled to six continents, searching for old landscapes and mythical places. In this image, a solitary tree stands out among a sea of grey rockFor two years Tom Jacobi, from Germany, travelled to six continents, searching for old landscapes and mythical places. In this image, a solitary tree stands out among a sea of grey rock

For two years Tom Jacobi, from Germany, travelled to six continents, searching for old landscapes and mythical places. In this image, a solitary tree stands out among a sea of grey rock

Carmen Sajeras, 85, from Cuba, stills feels nostalgic for the years before the revolution. She lives in a sparsely-decorated house to remind her of the way people used to live. This photo was taken by Anisleidy Martnez FonsecaCarmen Sajeras, 85, from Cuba, stills feels nostalgic for the years before the revolution. She lives in a sparsely-decorated house to remind her of the way people used to live. This photo was taken by Anisleidy Martnez Fonseca

Carmen Sajeras, 85, from Cuba, stills feels nostalgic for the years before the revolution. She lives in a sparsely-decorated house to remind her of the way people used to live. This photo was taken by Anisleidy Martnez Fonseca

Since the age of five, this boy has been a trainee bullfighter, practising for four hours each Saturday and Sunday morning to learn the craft. This photo was taken by Christina Simons, from IcelandSince the age of five, this boy has been a trainee bullfighter, practising for four hours each Saturday and Sunday morning to learn the craft. This photo was taken by Christina Simons, from Iceland

Since the age of five, this boy has been a trainee bullfighter, practising for four hours each Saturday and Sunday morning to learn the craft. This photo was taken by Christina Simons, from Iceland

Muharram mourning ceremony in Ardabil City, Iran. Muharram is a set of rituals associated with both Shia and Sunni, which takes place in  the first month of the Islamic calendar to commemorate the Battle of Karbala. Pictured by Emrah KarakoMuharram mourning ceremony in Ardabil City, Iran. Muharram is a set of rituals associated with both Shia and Sunni, which takes place in  the first month of the Islamic calendar to commemorate the Battle of Karbala. Pictured by Emrah Karako

Muharram mourning ceremony in Ardabil City, Iran. Muharram is a set of rituals associated with both Shia and Sunni, which takes place in the first month of the Islamic calendar to commemorate the Battle of Karbala. Pictured by Emrah Karako

The world's biggest photography competition attracts hundreds of thousands of photographers from all backgrounds and skill levels. Pictured is an image of the Fujisan Marathon in JapanThe world's biggest photography competition attracts hundreds of thousands of photographers from all backgrounds and skill levels. Pictured is an image of the Fujisan Marathon in Japan

The world’s biggest photography competition attracts hundreds of thousands of photographers from all backgrounds and skill levels. Pictured is an image of the Fujisan Marathon in Japan

The inside of a protest tent put up by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who has been expressing their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline for ten months. The gigantic oil pipe crosses their land. This photo was taken by Amber Bracken, from CanadaThe inside of a protest tent put up by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who has been expressing their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline for ten months. The gigantic oil pipe crosses their land. This photo was taken by Amber Bracken, from Canada

The inside of a protest tent put up by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who has been expressing their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline for ten months. The gigantic oil pipe crosses their land. This photo was taken by Amber Bracken, from Canada

For the 2017 competition, photographers entered 227,596 images across the awards' Professional, Open and Youth competitions. People relaxing at the beach in Salento, Italy. By Vito LeoneFor the 2017 competition, photographers entered 227,596 images across the awards' Professional, Open and Youth competitions. People relaxing at the beach in Salento, Italy. By Vito Leone

For the 2017 competition, photographers entered 227,596 images across the awards’ Professional, Open and Youth competitions. People relaxing at the beach in Salento, Italy. By Vito Leone

The Open competition winner will receive $5,000 (about £4,000), Sony digital imaging equipment and flights and accommodation to the awards ceremony at Somerset House in London. Pictured: My daughter at home, by Tim Topple, UKThe Open competition winner will receive $5,000 (about £4,000), Sony digital imaging equipment and flights and accommodation to the awards ceremony at Somerset House in London. Pictured: My daughter at home, by Tim Topple, UK

The Open competition winner will receive $5,000 (about £4,000), Sony digital imaging equipment and flights and accommodation to the awards ceremony at Somerset House in London. Pictured: My daughter at home, by Tim Topple, UK

The Open competition winner will receive $5,000 (about £4,000), Sony digital imaging equipment and flights and accommodation to the awards ceremony at Somerset House, London. Tavepong Pratoomwong took this photo in ThailandThe Open competition winner will receive $5,000 (about £4,000), Sony digital imaging equipment and flights and accommodation to the awards ceremony at Somerset House, London. Tavepong Pratoomwong took this photo in Thailand

The Open competition winner will receive $5,000 (about £4,000), Sony digital imaging equipment and flights and accommodation to the awards ceremony at Somerset House, London. Tavepong Pratoomwong took this photo in Thailand

This picture was taken in February in Nagano-ken, Japan, at an altitude of about 6,000 feet. The photographer was This picture was taken in February in Nagano-ken, Japan, at an altitude of about 6,000 feet. The photographer was 

This picture was taken in February in Nagano-ken, Japan, at an altitude of about 6,000 feet. The photographer was Masayasu Sakuma

This photograph, taken by Placido Faranda from Italy, shows a woman lying on a rock on the coast next to an azure seaThis photograph, taken by Placido Faranda from Italy, shows a woman lying on a rock on the coast next to an azure sea

This photograph, taken by Placido Faranda from Italy, shows a woman lying on a rock on the coast next to an azure sea

Romina Ressia, from Argentina, took this image as part of a project to explore 'the idea of beauty'. She said: 'These are not models, they are common people wearing common clothes, but all of them beautiful'Romina Ressia, from Argentina, took this image as part of a project to explore 'the idea of beauty'. She said: 'These are not models, they are common people wearing common clothes, but all of them beautiful'

Romina Ressia, from Argentina, took this image as part of a project to explore ‘the idea of beauty’. She said: ‘These are not models, they are common people wearing common clothes, but all of them beautiful’

In November 2016, Li Hang, an eleven-year-old boy from Harbin, arrived at Changchun weight loss centre determined to lose weight. On admission, he had reached 341lb. He is pictured here browsing a food storeIn November 2016, Li Hang, an eleven-year-old boy from Harbin, arrived at Changchun weight loss centre determined to lose weight. On admission, he had reached 341lb. He is pictured here browsing a food store

In November 2016, Li Hang, an eleven-year-old boy from Harbin, arrived at Changchun weight loss centre determined to lose weight. On admission, he had reached 341lb. He is pictured here browsing a food store

Joe Raedle took this image after a huge flood, caused by a massive rainstorm, hit parts of Louisiana and overwhelmed local communities, causing thirteen deaths and damaging thousands of homes with flood watersJoe Raedle took this image after a huge flood, caused by a massive rainstorm, hit parts of Louisiana and overwhelmed local communities, causing thirteen deaths and damaging thousands of homes with flood waters

Joe Raedle took this image after a huge flood, caused by a massive rainstorm, hit parts of Louisiana and overwhelmed local communities, causing thirteen deaths and damaging thousands of homes with flood waters

A survey of specimens held in London's Natural History Museum. The series was created in June 2016 by Felicity McCabe within the conservation rooms of the museumA survey of specimens held in London's Natural History Museum. The series was created in June 2016 by Felicity McCabe within the conservation rooms of the museum

A survey of specimens held in London’s Natural History Museum. The series was created in June 2016 by Felicity McCabe within the conservation rooms of the museum

The adult webcam industry is worth $1 billion annually, and is growing fast as the technology becomes better and cheaper. This photo shows a model sitting on a couch preparing for a sessionThe adult webcam industry is worth $1 billion annually, and is growing fast as the technology becomes better and cheaper. This photo shows a model sitting on a couch preparing for a session

The adult webcam industry is worth $1 billion annually, and is growing fast as the technology becomes better and cheaper. This photo shows a model sitting on a couch preparing for a session

This photo was taken by Grant Hegedus, from the UK. He said: 'This series shows what happens when you take the names of meals in a literal sense'This photo was taken by Grant Hegedus, from the UK. He said: 'This series shows what happens when you take the names of meals in a literal sense'

This photo was taken by Grant Hegedus, from the UK. He said: ‘This series shows what happens when you take the names of meals in a literal sense’

In this photo, taken by Julein Chatelin in a city in western China, a group of bathers enjoy a morning dip. In the distance looms the towers of an unfinished apartment complexIn this photo, taken by Julein Chatelin in a city in western China, a group of bathers enjoy a morning dip. In the distance looms the towers of an unfinished apartment complex

In this photo, taken by Julein Chatelin in a city in western China, a group of bathers enjoy a morning dip. In the distance looms the towers of an unfinished apartment complex

Andrs Gallardo Albajar took this image at the Muralla Roja residential complex in Alicante, Spain. He said: 'When arriving at the spot, it really felt like I interrupted these little palm trees while fighting, and they were pretending nothing happened'Andrs Gallardo Albajar took this image at the Muralla Roja residential complex in Alicante, Spain. He said: 'When arriving at the spot, it really felt like I interrupted these little palm trees while fighting, and they were pretending nothing happened'

Andrs Gallardo Albajar took this image at the Muralla Roja residential complex in Alicante, Spain. He said: ‘When arriving at the spot, it really felt like I interrupted these little palm trees while fighting, and they were pretending nothing happened’

A newborn baby is lifted out of the font after his baptism in Tbilisi, George. The photo was taken by Beniamino Pisati, from ItalyA newborn baby is lifted out of the font after his baptism in Tbilisi, George. The photo was taken by Beniamino Pisati, from Italy

A newborn baby is lifted out of the font after his baptism in Tbilisi, George. The photo was taken by Beniamino Pisati, from Italy

The offensive to liberate Sirte from ISIS was launched in May. It took seven months of fighting to declare the city free. This photo, taken by Alessio Romenzi, from Italy, shows a chandelier hanging from the ceiling of a bombed-out hallThe offensive to liberate Sirte from ISIS was launched in May. It took seven months of fighting to declare the city free. This photo, taken by Alessio Romenzi, from Italy, shows a chandelier hanging from the ceiling of a bombed-out hall

The offensive to liberate Sirte from ISIS was launched in May. It took seven months of fighting to declare the city free. This photo, taken by Alessio Romenzi, from Italy, shows a chandelier hanging from the ceiling of a bombed-out hall

Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation, said: 'This year, more than any other, the entries to the Sony World Photography Awards have shown great integrity and are characterized by their considered approach.' This photograph, by Zsolt Hlinka, shows a house on the banks of the River Danube in HungaryScott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation, said: 'This year, more than any other, the entries to the Sony World Photography Awards have shown great integrity and are characterized by their considered approach.' This photograph, by Zsolt Hlinka, shows a house on the banks of the River Danube in Hungary

Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation, said: ‘This year, more than any other, the entries to the Sony World Photography Awards have shown great integrity and are characterized by their considered approach.’ This photograph, by Zsolt Hlinka, shows a house on the banks of the River Danube in Hungary

 

The Latest: Interior Nominee Zinke Clears Senate Hurdle – U.S. News & World Report


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The Latest: Interior Nominee Zinke Clears Senate Hurdle
U.S. News & World Report
The Latest: Interior Nominee Zinke Clears Senate Hurdle. The Senate has cleared the way for a vote on President Donald Trump's nominee to head the Interior Department. Feb. 27, 2017, at 8:01 p.m.. MORE. LinkedIn · StumbleUpon · Google +; Cancel.

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What's Trending Now: How Top Innovators Spot Their Next Opportunity – Forbes


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WHO Releases List of World's Most Dangerous Superbugs – Scientific American


For the first time ever, the World Health Organization has drawn up a list of the highest priority needs for new antibiotics — marching orders, it hopes, for the pharmaceutical industry.

The list, which was released Monday, enumerates 12 bacterial threats, grouping them into three categories: critical, high, and medium.

“Antibiotic resistance is growing and we are running out of treatment options. If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health systems and innovation.

“The pipeline is practically dry.”

Notably missing from the list is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. That was not included, Kieny said, because the need for new antibiotics to treat it has already been designated the highest priority.

Kieny said the 12 bacteria were prioritized based on the level of drug resistance that already exists for each, the numbers of deaths they cause, the frequency with which people become infected with them outside of hospitals, and the burden these infections place on health care systems.

Paradoxically, though, she and colleagues from the WHO could not provide an estimate of the annual number of deaths attributable to antibiotic-resistant infections. The international disease code system does not currently include a code for antibiotic-resistant infections; it is being amended to include one.

The critical pathogens are ones that cause severe infections and high mortality in hospital patients, Kieny said. While they are not as common as other drug-resistant infections, they are costly in terms of health care resources needed to treat infected patients and in lives lost.

Three bacteria were listed as critical:

  • Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria that are resistant to important antibiotics called carbapenems. Acinetobacter baumannii are highly-drug resistant bacteria that can cause a range of infections for hospitalized patients, including pneumonia, wound, or blood infections.
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which are resistant to carbapenems. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause skin rashes and ear infectious in healthy people but also severe blood infections and pneumonia when contracted by sick people in the hospital.
  • Enterobacteriaceae — a family of bacteria that live in the human gut — that are resistant to both carbepenems and another class of antibiotics, cephalosporins.

Six others were listed as high priority for new antibiotics. That grouping represents bacteria that cause a large number of infections in otherwise healthy people. Included there is the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, for which there are almost no remaining effective treatments.

Hyacinth Empinado/STAT The superbugs are growing in number and strength.

Three other bacteria were listed as being of medium priority, because they are becoming increasingly resistant to available drugs. This group includes Streptococcus pneumoniae that is not susceptible to penicillin. This bacterium causes pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, as well as meningitis and blood infections.

The creation of the list was applauded by others working to combat the rise of antibiotic resistance.

“This priority pathogens list, developed with input from across our community, is important to steer research in the race against drug resistant infection — one of the greatest threats to modern health,” said Tim Jinks, head of drug-resistant infections for the British medical charity Wellcome Trust.

“Within a generation, without new antibiotics, deaths from drug-resistant infection could reach 10 million a year. Without new medicines to treat deadly infection, lifesaving treatments like chemotherapy and organ transplant, and routine operations like caesareans and hip replacements, will be potentially fatal.”

The full list is:

Priority 1: Critical
1. Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
2. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant
3. Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing

Priority 2: High
4. Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
5. Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
6. Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
7. Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
8. Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
9. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant

Priority 3: Medium
10. Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible
11. Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant
12. Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

Republished with permission from STAT. This article originally appeared on February 27, 2017

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Samsung's Latest Crack at Windows – Wall Street Journal (subscription)


Samsung building a Windows tablet isn’t as crazy as it sounds.

OK—maybe just a little. After all, it is no secret that the tablet business is hardly running hot. Global unit sales fell 16% in 2016, the second straight year of declines, according to IDC. Yet Samsung introduced two new tablets at the Mobile World Congress on Sunday, including its Galaxy Book that runs on Windows. The company’s Android-based tablets already play a…

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