Respect for Rule of Law Must Run Parallel to Maintenance of Peace

first_img– Advertisement – By David K. DahnLet it be made immediately obvious that during this electioneering period we all must remain assertive in our thoughts but non-abrasive in our actions. The sobering message being sent out there is that respect for the rule of law in any country by everybody and the maintenance of peace must take place in parallel.From the security standpoint, when public confidence in the judiciary seems to perceptively be at the verge of eroding, it is worrisome that lawlessness becomes the recourse for self-pacification. I heard and read what was, without an interpretation, the overt expression of disappointment beyond measure, regarding the ruling of the Supreme Court, particularly in the case involving Honorable Harrison Karnwea. From the court of public opinion, that Honorable Karnwea was in substantial compliance with the Code of Conduct(CoC) and that his action (not to resign within the period of two or three years as required by CoC) was  a non-egregious violation, reflected a crystallized rationalization for tested disrespect for the rule of law. The justification, as proffered by the public opinion from sundry quarters rest on the fundamental question: “Can a court render an accused guilty and yet he does not deserve a punishment from the court?” This brings me to the elementary argument of why punishment is instituted. I recollect many years back from my civics class the voice of my teacher resonating to me that “punishment is intended to discourage undesirable act”. The flashy un-paradox antithesis to this statement, in my settled consideration, is that when we fail to punish, we encourage undesirable acts.Ranging across public opinions, I thought to mull through the following from a wide range of comments which I really cherry picked for the purpose of this articulation.“The judgement and attitude of the Supreme Court have undermined the role of the Code of Conduct,” asserts Senate Foreign Affairs Chairman, H. Dan Morais, Senator for Maryland County (Daily Observer Vol.17 No.140 Friday, July 28, 2017).Nimba County District # 7 Representative Worlea-Saywah Dunah recently described rulings by the Supreme Court of Liberia as a setback for the rule of law in the country. The House’s Judicial Committee chair was fast to indicate that the High Court had ruled twice on the Code of Conduct; that the law is valid and constitutional, adding “it is shocking for the Court to have ruled in contrast to the very law it said was constitutional.” (Focus Vol.6 No.134, Friday, July 28, 2017).As for the Human Rights Lawyer, Cllr Tiawon Gongloe, his comments were simple, “we cannot disagree with the ruling of the Supreme Court but you can express your opinion on its verdict. In this case, I am disappointed….”(Phoned in Conversation, ELBC Bumper Show, Wednesday July19, 2017).In its editorial comments, titled “Supreme Court Defend Your Integrity,” the Daily Observer writes inter alia, “If not the first in Liberian history, this is the first time the National Legislature has planned making use of provision in the 1986 Constitution to impeach the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices. Moreover, despite reports of corrupt practices in courts across the country, there has been no day ordinary people will criticize or say anything that will ridicule the supreme Court. Now that such unusual talks and perceptions are arising at this critical time of election in our country, we feel it is about time that the High Court manages its reputation and integrity to continually be seen as an impartial and independent body with stake in politics.” (Daily Observer Vol.17 No.140, Friday, July 28, 2017).From evidence based observation, when a court renders a verdict that favors a party litigant, ‘high fives and thumbs up’ are given to the court. We at times melodiously hear the old time Sunday School rhythm ‘My Lord has done it again….” On the contrast, when the opposite occurs (when adjudged guilty) it becomes “a sad day in the history of the judicial system of the country, the judge is perceived to have rendered error of judgement and the judge is viewed also as a bribe taker, etc.” Why are all these discernment regarding the court’s ruling so alarming at this point? The answer is found in one word: ‘election.’ My attempt at this point is not to validate the rightfulness or defectiveness in the hypothesis of others regarding their perception on judicial outcomes at this time in our country. Instead, my attempt is to find a peace dividend out of our political or partisan leanings as we engage each other during this short period of electioneering. I call it short because Liberia exists over 170 years as a sovereign state and the election period runs actively for about 70 days (from the beginning of campaign to the casting of ballots). Can we afford to break the peace we have so laboriously worked for over the faded years? Can we allow a period of 70 days to break the friendship we have built over the years? Can we allow the joy of belonging to a nation slip away for just an event in our national history? Is it not foolhardy or far from the wisdom of reasoning that in a race of twenty, only one will sit at the apex of what I call “the political pyramid”? Liberia will remain Liberia in the presence of any winner and more so, forgive me if I may become a momentary naysayer, Liberia will still remain Liberia even if all twenty presidential contenders are eliminated today by ‘force majeure.’Over the years I strongly believe, as a united people, we stood together in transforming conflict in our land, intermittently prevented potentially violent conflict along the way and rebuilt peace and confidence among our people who suffered humiliation due to our intrastate war and the deadly Ebola virus. During this election period let us all, despite our political differences, extend the message of peaceful coexistence to schools, workplaces, marketplaces, to intellectual fora, and newsrooms, to households, playgrounds, and to places of worship. So, the daunting task before each of us during this short politically charged period is to unite our strength of nationhood in order to make peace a practical reality for the children of this and future generations. To achieve this, we must be tolerant to each other, obey the guiding rules of the game and stay in our endearing space of political ideology.About Author: David K. Dahn is Liberia’s Assistant Defense Minister for Public Affairs. He can be reached via daviddahn63@yahoo.com; dgrugbaye@gmail.com and +231(0)886-568-666; +231(0)775-546-683Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) The Authorlast_img read more

Bloodsuckers carrying malaria parasites can be traced back up to 100 million

first_img Source:https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/mosquitoes-other-blood-sucking-flies-have-been-spreading-malaria-100-million-years Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 27 2018The microorganisms that cause malaria, leishmaniasis and a variety of other illnesses today can be traced back at least to the time of dinosaurs, a study of amber-preserved blood-sucking insects and ticks show.In addition to demonstrating the antiquity of vectors and their long-term association with parasitic microorganisms, the findings are remarkable for several reasons.First, bloodsuckers like mosquitoes, fleas, sand flies, ticks and biting midges aren’t frequently found in amber, and rarer yet is evidence of any microorganisms they might have been carrying.But a review by entomologist George Poinar of Oregon State University showed that amber from five regions around the world contained hematophagous arthropods carrying preserved, identifiable pathogens and parasites.”Feeding on vertebrate blood evolved as an efficient way for certain insects and acarines to get protein for growth and reproduction,” said Poinar, professor emeritus in the College of Science and an international expert on plant and animal life forms found preserved in amber. “It’s likely that primitive mosquitoes and other arthropod vectors were present back in the Jurassic and were even transmitting pathogens at that period. This would have resulted in widely dispersed diseases, many of which were probably fatal to vertebrates when they first appeared.”Poinar looked at bloodsucking insects and ticks encased in Dominican, Mexican, Baltic, Canadian and Burmese amber dating back from 15 million to 100 million years.Among the vectors were mosquitoes, sand flies, biting midges, bat flies, black flies, fleas, kissing bugs and ticks. They carry a cornucopia of microorganisms that today cause diseases such as filariasis, sleeping sickness, river blindness, typhus, Lyme disease and, perhaps most significantly, malaria.Related StoriesHealthy blood vessels could help stave off cognitive declineScientists identify malaria’s Achilles’ heelMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorMalaria remains a relentless public health concern, with multiple nations reporting increases in infections for 2018. In Venezuela alone, Poinar notes, more than 650,000 new cases of malaria have been reported this year.”Numerous malaria species parasitize vertebrates today, and we now know that over the past 100 million years, malaria was being vectored by mosquitoes, biting midges, bat flies and ticks,” Poinar said. “Obtaining fossil records of pathogens carried by biting arthropods establishes a timeline when and where various diseases appeared and how they could have affected the survival, extinction and distribution of vertebrates over time.”Poinar stresses, however, that while his research shows what parasites and pathogens specific bloodsuckers were transmitting at particular periods and locations in the past, “these fossils are not old enough to tell us when and how associations between vectors, pathogens and vertebrates originated.”Poinar believes that the microorganisms first infected blood-sucking arthropods and only after equilibria had been reached between them were the microorganisms then vectored to vertebrates.”That topic has been and will continue to be under discussion for years to come,” he said.last_img read more

Bloodbased liquid biopsies can accurately track cancer treatment responses

first_imgFeb 14 2019Results of two clinical studies have added to evidence that blood-based liquid biopsies can accurately track lung cancer treatment responses by measuring circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) during immunotherapy and related treatments. Noninvasive liquid biopsies identifying tumor-specific changes provide an opportunity for widespread implementation of monitoring approaches for different cancer types in a variety of clinical settings.”Jillian Phallen, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at the Kimmel Cancer Center The new studies, described in the December issues of the journal Cancer Research, showed that tracking responses to treatment by measuring ctDNA was a more accurate way of assessing tumor growth or shrinkage than traditional imaging techniques.In a study of 28 adult patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC), blood samples were taken prior to anti-EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) or anti-HER2 (human epidermal growth receptor 2) treatments—which target cancer growth—and at intervals thereafter.All of the patients were seen at hospitals affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University or University of California San Diego, and were treated with osimertinib, mavelertinib, afatinib or erlotinib. Blood samples were analyzed to detect ctDNA shed by tumors into circulating blood and to track tumor burden during therapy by detecting gene mutations as well as chromosomal changes in tumor cells.As early as a week after receiving treatment, 20 patients with full molecular response to treatment had nearly complete elimination of ctDNA that could be detected in their blood samples. Eight nonresponders to the therapy had limited changes in ctDNA levels and significantly shorter progression-free survival. Overall, patient response to treatment could be detected four weeks earlier and was more accurate than CT imaging.The researchers also say that ctDNA analyses of patients with stable CTs or nonmeasurable disease using imaging had improved prediction of clinical outcomes compared to patients with CT imaging. The early detection of changes using ctDNA preceded responses seen in subsequent scans and allowed mutation changes in the tumors to be tracked. With these results, the study showed that measuring ctDNA for an advanced cancer can be accurate and noninvasive than with repeat CT imaging. Credit: Cancer Research Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/noninvasive-liquid-biopsies-rapidly-accurately-determine-response-to-cancer-treatment Together, these studies show that noninvasive liquid biopsy analyses of ctDNA changes during therapy are feasible and offer a more rapid and accurate assessment of treatment response than CT imaging. Velculescu cautions that more testing will be necessary to affirm the value of the results and to see if this method works for other types of cancer. He says he hopes the studies will spur development of new therapies by being able to diagnostically measure tumor loads more accurately. Conventional imaging does not always or quickly capture the unique timing and pattern of response to immunotherapy, highlighting the urgent need to develop biomarker-driven approaches such as measuring ctDNA in blood samples. Early detection of disease progression on immunotherapy opens a window of opportunity in which changes in liquid biopsies may allow patients with resistance to be rapidly identified and redirected to receive alternative therapies.”Valsamo Anagnostou, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, member of the Kimmel Cancer Center These results indicate the potential value of early assessment of responses to targeted therapies especially when CT imaging results are in the gray area between objective response and actual disease progression.”Alessandro Leal, M.D., a graduate student at the Kimmel Cancer Center Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerIn a second study of 38 patients with NSCLC, scientists including Valsamo Anagnostou, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Kimmel Cancer Center, measured ctDNA and immune blood cell changes to determine responses to anti-PD-1 therapy, which boosts the immune response against cancer cells.Nine patients with a response to immunotherapy had a complete reduction in ctDNA levels shortly after the initiation of therapy. In contrast, 12 nonresponders showed no significant changes or increase in ctDNA levels. Molecular response as measured by ctDNA levels more accurately predicted overall survival for these patients—patients without a molecular response had shorter progression-free and overall survival than molecular responders. Overall, tumor responses to the therapy that were detected using ctDNA were found nearly nine weeks earlier than with conventional imaging.Anagnostou and colleagues also investigated changes in the immune cells in the blood of these patients. Expansion of immune cells mirrored the ctDNA reduction during therapeutic response, suggesting that ctDNA reduction in circulating blood was in line with an effective immune response.Anagnostou says the researchers also validated some of their findings in a group of early stage NSCLC patients who received anti-PD1 therapy prior to removal of their tumors. The researchers found that circulating ctDNA molecular responses accurately captured the effect of immunotherapy. The authors also showed that reduction in tumor size after immunotherapy correlated with reductions in ctDNA levels. There is an unmet clinical need for real-time, noninvasive detection of tumor response to targeted and immune checkpoint blockade treatments. Our studies suggest that tests using blood samples will change the way cancer patients will be treated by helping to evaluate therapeutic responses more quickly and accurately, and avoid unneeded toxicity or ineffective treatments.”Victor Velculescu, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of cancer biology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Centerlast_img read more

The Last Lunar Eclipse of 2019 Occurs Tuesday Just in Time for

first_img This NASA chart shows both the map of visibility and times of major events (in UT) of the partial lunar eclipse of July 16, 2019. Credit: NASA/Fred Espenak Watch a Meteor Smack the Blood Moon in This Lunar Eclipse Video! Tomorrow (July 16), the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 to land astronauts on the moon and two weeks after the moon totally eclipsed the sun, it will be the moon’s turn to undergo an eclipse of its own. The full moon, in Sagittarius, will pass partway through the southern part of the Earth’s shadow resulting in a partial lunar eclipse. This event favors the Eastern Hemisphere, known colloquially as the “Old World”: Africa, Europe and western Asia. Most of South America will see the moon rise already within the Earth’s shadow. Conversely, for central and eastern Asia and Australia, the eclipse will still be in progress when the moon sets during the dawn hours of July 17. Unfortunately, North America will be completely shut out; the eclipse occurs during the daytime with the moon below the horizon.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65941-lunar-eclipse-july-2019-explained.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Related: Amazing Photos of the Super Blood Wolf Moon of 2019! Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmers’ Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for Verizon FiOS1 News in New York’s lower Hudson Valley. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoTherapy JokerRemember Him? This is Why He’s No Longer An ActorTherapy JokerUndoBeach Raider24 Photos Of Shelter Dogs The Moment They Realize They’re Being AdoptedBeach RaiderUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo The penumbral phases of the eclipse occur when the moon is only within the penumbra, or the pale outer fringe of Earth’s shadow. The weak, pale-gray penumbral shading is detectable only within about 25 minutes of the partial eclipse’s beginning or end, depending on sky conditions and how carefully you look. A faint shading or smudge on the moon’s disk should become evident for most viewers around 19:35 UTC, and the last vestige of any faint tarnishing should disappear around 23:25 UTC. This will be the moon’s last interaction with Earth’s umbra for a while. During the next four lunar eclipses — all during the year 2020 — the moon will pass only through Earth’s penumbra. We’ll have to wait until the morning of May 26, 2021, when the central and western United States will be treated to a total lunar eclipse, although totality will be relatively short, lasting less than 18 minutes. Then, on the morning of Nov. 19, 2021, North Americans will be treated to an eclipse covering 98% of the moon’s diameter. Finally, on the night of May 15-16, 2022, an unusually long total lunar eclipse will be visible over most of the Americas. Totality will last almost 1.5 hours. Mark your calendars. In Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the moon will enter penumbra (the weaker part of Earth’s shadow) at 18:43 and umbra (the darker part of Earth’s shadow) at 20:01. The midpoint of the eclipse will come at 21:30. The moon will leave umbra at 22:59 and leave penumbra at 00:17 on July 17, marking the end of the event. The magnitude of the eclipse, which refers to the maximum percent of the moon’s diameter immersed within Earth’s umbral shadow, will be 65%. This deepest stage of the eclipse will take place at 21:30 UTC, when the dark red-brown umbra will cover the northern 65% of the moon’s diameter. The moon will appear directly overhead, or very nearly so, from the Mozambique Channel. This map shows the region of visibility for the partial lunar eclipse of July 16, 2019. Observers in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia will be able to see the eclipse, weather permitting. Credit: NASA/Fred Espenak This Video of a 1900 Total Solar Eclipse Is the Oldest One Ever (and Made by a Magician!) How Yesterday’s Total Solar Eclipse Looked From a Plane (Photos, Video)last_img read more

Temple board Kerala oppose pleas seeking review of verdict allowing women into

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS Published on Travancore Devaswom Board, which runs Sabarimala temple, and the Kerala government on Wednesday opposed in the Supreme Court a batch of pleas seeking review of its verdict allowing entry of women of all ages into the shrine, even as several organisations sought re-consideration of the judgement.The apex court, by a majority of 4-1 on September 28 last year, lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the temple in Kerala and had held that this centuries-old Hindu religious practice was illegal and unconstitutional.A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which had earlier agreed to hear in open court the pleas seeking review of the verdict, on Wednesday reserved its decision after hearing for three-and-half hours the parties, including Nair Service Society, Thantry of temple, temple Board (TDB) and the state government, in favour and against of the plea.As many as 65 petitions including 56 review petitions and four fresh writ petitions and five transfer pleas were filed in the apex court after its verdict had sparked violent protests in Kerala. ‘Equality’ The bench, also comprising justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, was in for a pleasant surprise as the temple board, which also comprises the state government nominees, took a U-turn by supporting the verdict and said the people should gracefully accept it.The temple board, in earlier round of litigation, had opposed the PIL by Indian Young Lawyers Association seeking to throw open the shrine for all women.Justice Malhotra interdicted senior lawyer Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for temple board, and said, “You had argued against women’s entry.” “The Board has now decided to respect the judgement,” Dwivedi replied, adding, “Article 25 (1) equally entitles all persons to practice religion.” “Women cannot be excluded from any walk of life on biological attributes…equality is the dominant theme of the Constitution,” Dwivedi said.The Kerala government, which had taken conflicting stands on entry of women into the hill-top shrine, supported the verdict and urged the court to trash review pleas.Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, appearing for the state government, said a constitutional court should not worry about the law and order problem and “social disturbances”. Exclusion of women from temples is not essential practice of Hindu religion, he added.At the outset, the bench made clear to lawyers that it would hear only those who are parties to review petitions and asked them to confine arguments on grounds for reconsideration of the judgement. ‘Naishtika Brahmachari’ Senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing for Nair Service Society, assailed the majority verdict, saying Article 15 of the Constitution throws open for public the secular institutions of the country but it doesn’t deal with religious institutions. The article “throws open all public institutions of secular character for all classes of citizens but the article conspicuously omits religious institutions,” he said.Seeking reconsideration of the verdict, he said the Article 17 which deals with abolition of untouchability in society was wrongly used by the apex court in its judgement as exclusion of certain age groups of women was not based on caste.Parasaran also referred to the celibate or ‘Naishtika Brahmachari’ character of the deity at Sabarimala and said the exclusionary practise was based on the nature of the deity and the apex court should have considered this aspect. He said also referred to Article 25 (fundamental right to practice religion) and said unless a religious practice is “abhorrent’, a court usually does not interfere with the activities associated with religious institutions.‘Pluralistic society’Senior advocate AM Singhvi, representing Travancore Devaswom Board’s ex-chairperson, argued in favour of the review of the judgement. “There is no exclusion of women. There is no exclusion of men. There is no exclusion of a class of men or women based on religion and caste. There is an exclusion inside a class (women). Hence Article 17 (removal of untouchability) will not apply,” Singhvi said.Dealing with the aspect of constitutional morality, the senior lawyer said that in a pluralistic Hindu society this concept cannot be applied objectively by the court and it has to be subjective keeping in mind different kind of essential religious practices.‘Internal affair’Another senior advocate V Giri who represented the thantry of the shrine said the temple allows entry of all persons inside and there is no exclusion of any class of citizen based on caste, gender and religion. “The fundamental right to worship also includes the character of the deity and every devotee cannot question this character which also formed part of the essential religious practice there,” he said. Senior lawyer Shekhar Naphade, also appearing for a party, said in a matter of faith, the court cannot direct a community to practice the religion in a particular manner. “This is an internal affair of a religious community which worships a particular deity in a particular manner. This has never been in dispute that this practice is being followed for centuries. “The court cannot issue a writ of mandamus against a community to practice its religion in a particular manner,” Naphade said, adding that this was an essential religious practice which cannot be scrutinised. He said that any religious practice cannot be stopped unless it constituted a criminal offence. SHARE February 06, 2019 COMMENTlast_img read more