State newspaper editor fired for criticising president

first_img Follow the news on Sri Lanka Organisation Sri LankaAsia – Pacific to go further Help by sharing this information January 13, 2021 Find out more Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists News Receive email alerts October 17, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 State newspaper editor fired for criticising presidentcenter_img News RSF_en News News Reporters Without Borders voiced dismay today at the unfair dismissal of Sunday Observer editor Rajpal Abenayaka, reportedly because of a column he wrote on 8 October about comments that President Mahinda Rajapakse made to Sri Lankan diplomats.”The well-known editor of a state-owned newspaper has been fired just after an international press freedom mission went to Sri Lanka and, among other things, called for the state media to be allowed more editorial independence,” Reporters Without Borders said.”This kind of sanction shows to what degree the state media are under the thumb of the government,” the press freedom organisation added. “Instead of sidelining critical editorialists, the president should concentrate on taking measures to resolve the serious crisis sweeping Sri Lanka and to ensure the safety of the media, which have repeatedly been the target of violence.”The management of the state-owned ANCL press group asked Abenayaka to submit his resignation as the English-language weekly Sunday Observer editor in writing on 10 October. After he refused, a new editor was appointed and Abenayaka was offered the post of consultant.He told Reporters Without Borders: “This is a wrongful termination of my post as the editor. Tomorrow I am going to formally inform the management that I will not accept the post of consultant which they have offered me now.”Abenayaka, who is also a lawyer, left the privately-owned Wijeya Newspapers press group after Rajapakse won last year’s presidential election.The editorial that caused offence, headlined “A state demoralizing its ‘troops’, when it needs to inspire them,” can still be read at this address on the newspaper’s website: Sunday Observer July 29, 2020 Find out more Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial July 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

The next decade in science

first_imgThe ball has dropped on a new year and a new decade, as we move from the 2010s into the 2020s. The last 10 years have seen incredible advances in science and technology, including a dramatic reduction in the cost of genetic sequencing, the first successful uses of gene therapy in humans, and the existence of gravitational waves. But what about the next decade? What previously impossible things will humans achieve? The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University asked its faculty members across a wide range of scientific disciplines what they predict will be the most impactful developments in their fields between now and the year 2030.Pushing the limits of biologyGeorge Church — Synthetic Biology“By 2030, we hopefully will see human clinical trials being run on transplanted organs from highly edited pigs and proteins from recoded genomes. Whole-genome sequencing may become a high-quality, equitably priced alternative to expensive gene therapies for rare diseases. Imaging will move in for close-ups (5 nm resolution) and every pixel will tell its story (DNA, RNA, protein, and lineage). Finally, we hope to see synthetic biology impact carbon sequestration via virus-resistant plants and algae, and cold-resistant elephants reverting arctic ecosystems to highly photosynthetic grasslands.”Jim Collins — Synthetic Biology“Synthetic biology is well-positioned to help advance medicine over the next decade via the development of next-generation diagnostics and gene and cell therapies. The field also has tremendous potential to enhance basic research in molecular biology, by enabling the creation of novel tools to probe and analyze the complex functions of biomolecular components and systems in living cells.”Mike Levin — Developmental Biology“The biggest knowledge gap, and frontier of opportunity, is taming the biological software that underlies embryogenesis and regeneration. Understanding the bioelectricity, biomechanics, and transcriptional circuits that allow cells to cooperate toward large-scale goals is the key to regenerative medicine, birth defects, cancer reprogramming, aging, synthetic bioengineering, and even new AI. Being able to exploit the decision-making, memory, and intelligence of cell swarms will result in transformative applications at the intersections of deep ideas in cognitive science, cybernetics, developmental biology, and computer science.” “I anticipate the development of genetic and synthetic technologies to combat climate change and, concurrent with those developments, global discussions at all levels regarding their safe, equitable, and effective application.” — Ting Wu, Synthetic Biology Pam Silver — Synthetic Biology“The engineering of biology will play a key role in the ability of the earth to support 10 billion people by implementing safe, faster, and more predictable biological systems. To feed the world and mitigate climate change, advances in synthetic biology will include increased utilization of sunlight together with mitigation of environmental contamination. The ability to respond quickly to epidemics and design better therapies will be a key advance for the field. And, as we move the needle on solving the problems on Earth, synthetic biology will also play a role in enabling and implementing the future of space exploration.”Diagnosing and treating diseaseEugene Goldfield — Therapeutic Robotics“Therapeutic ‘robotic’ systems in the next 10 years will no longer be considered robots. Their parts and control systems will be molecularly based, and will have capabilities akin to an immune system. The boundary between living and synthetic will continue to blur over future decades, requiring even greater care in the domain of ethics.”Don Ingber — Bioinspired Therapeutics and Diagnostics“The most exciting developments in the field of bioinspired therapeutics and diagnostics will be a new paradigm for drug development that combines several unique innovations into a system that is faster, cheaper, and reduces harm to animals and humans in preclinical and clinical trials. I am especially excited about our increasing ability to analyze clinically relevant human physiological and pathophysiological responses in vitro; high-throughput, phenotype-based screening of model organisms; novel molecular dynamics simulation capabilities; and the expanding application of deep learning technologies to solving specific clinical problems.”Samir Mitragotri — Drug Delivery“The next decade in drug delivery will highlight the role of cells as ‘drugs’ and ‘carriers.’ Unlike drugs of the past, cells are unique in that they are living entities and have the ability to navigate through the body and reach destinations that most traditional drugs cannot. Strategies to deliver these ‘living therapeutics’ will require novel approaches, and will create opportunities to use cells as carriers for targeting drugs to hard-to-reach tissues. Of particular interest are drugs that exploit or control the immune system for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and allergies, among others. Strategies based on immune cells and immunological intervention will play a major role in drug delivery research and technology in the next 10 years.”David Walt — Diagnostics“In the next 10 years, we will begin to realize the promised rewards of personalized medicine and personalized health, moving toward a system where we monitor individuals for key biomarkers and compare those results to their own measurements at an earlier time, rather than relying on population averages that don’t reflect the wide biological variations that exist between people.”Dave Mooney — Immunomaterials“I expect the next 10 years will lead to the demonstration, in human patients, that immunomaterials can dramatically alter the progression of various diseases. Immunomaterials will allow physicians to concentrate immune cells where they are needed in the body, regulate their activity, and disperse them when their job is done. The materials themselves will dissolve and degrade to leave nothing foreign in the body after treatment, but will create an immune memory that prevents the return of the disease.”William Shih — Molecular Robotics“A major ongoing development in biomolecular science is encoding large numbers of single-molecule measurements into DNA records that can be read out later using high-throughput DNA sequencing. However, even future sequencing technologies will lack the bandwidth for sampling more than a small fraction of these records. Molecular robots built out of DNA, on the other hand, will be able to count and classify large sets of DNA records, and then summarize the results into brief DNA reports that can then be read out by DNA sequencing or other means. Thus, molecular robots will greatly increase the effective bandwidth of DNA-recording applications.”Dave Weitz — Materials Science“I think that materials-by-design will become closer to a reality. We will learn how to formulate new structures on many different-length scales using a variety of fabrication methods complemented by computer-assisted design and assembly. And both the structure and functionality of the materials will be determined and controlled — it will be the equivalent of precision medicine, but for materials design and synthesis.”Rehabilitating and regenerating the bodyLou Awad — Rehabilitative Medicine“To date, very few medical interventions have been designed to completely restore the pre-injury movement patterns of patients with neuromotor injury — the current rehabilitation paradigm aims to rapidly attain independent walking, but patients often become independent by compensating for their injury rather than fully recovering the fast, economical, and stable gait of healthy human walking. The last decade has seen such remarkable advances in movement diagnostics, neurostimulation interventions, and wearable robotics that the next decade is poised to achieve true restoration rather than mere compensation.” “I predict that major advances in assembling cells and tissues will emerge that will allow us to print living organs for clinical use.” — Chris Chen, 3D Organ Engineering Elliot Chaikof — Regenerative Medicine“Regenerative medicine employs repair, reconstruction, and replacement as strategies to treat patients with a diseased or damaged organ or tissue. Over the next decade, our capacity to repair may be dramatically enhanced through the discovery of agents that reverse the ‘epigenetic clock,’ or eliminate or rejuvenate senescent cells. Reconstructive surgery will benefit from genetically reengineered ‘off-the-shelf’ universal donor cells and engineered whole organs that can be used for any patient. Finally, I believe that the barrier for tissue replacement will be breached through the use of human-pig chimeras, initially to generate universally compatible human red blood cells for transfusions and, subsequently, whole organs for transplantation.”Kit Parker — 3D Organ Engineering“As we start implanting organs into animals, and eventually patients, one of the most important things we will realize is the knowledge gaps we have in basic anatomy and physiology. All that we know about the functional anatomy of organs might not be enough to sufficiently mimic what we think is Nature’s anatomy and, unfortunately, there are hardly any classically trained anatomists or physiologists in the world anymore. To successfully engineer implantable organs, we need to develop the scientific talent to do the old-school physiology experiments that haven’t been done in 50 years or more to understand what we are building or need to build.”last_img read more

West Ham, Crystal Palace want Guimaraes fullback Sacko

first_img Sacko is 25 and has played regularly for Guimaraes this term, both in the league and Europa League. read also:U17 AFCON: Guinea lose to Cameroon in penalty shootout If the Portuguese outfit decides to cash in on him, Premier League clubs are ready to make bids. Many clubs are struggling financially around Europe due to COVID-19, and these circumstances may force Guimaraes and others to part with their prized assets. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 West Ham United, Crystal Palace and other top clubs are interested in signing Guimaraes right-back Falaye Sacko. Loading…center_img The fullback has impressed in Portugal this season. There are also Bundesliga clubs who wish to sign him, per the Daily Mail.Advertisementlast_img

Alexus Atchley’s unlikely road from walk-on to Washington Final Four starter

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 2, 2016 at 8:24 pm Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettus INDIANAPOLIS — Alexus Atchley has played just nine fewer minutes over the last four games than she did in the first three years of her career.In Washington’s Final Four run, she has not seen the bench — playing all 160 minutes of the NCAA tournament. But through her first three years, she hardly got off it.“It’s,” Atchley said before pausing, “I don’t really know … It’s like a dream come true really. I don’t think I could have written it better myself.”The former Colorado walk-on, turned Washington transfer walk-on, turned scholarship player is now a senior captain and starting for the Huskies during their best season ever.After Washington lost starting guard Brianna Ruiz for the season in January with an injury, Atchley has stepped into a starting role for the first time ever and exceled. She leads the team shooting 40.7 percent behind the arc.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShe’ll make just the 21st start of her career when the Huskies (26-10, 11-7 Pac-12) take on Syracuse (29-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the Final Four.“Look this story up, because it goes deeper than just coming in after an injury to one of our starters,” Washington head coach Mike Neighbors said. “… We lucked into her.”Neighbors had hardly seen Atchley play basketball before she wound up at Washington. He drove her around campus on a golf cart before she joined the school and realized that she was  “somebody you wanted on your team.”Atchley had played one year at Colorado, though it constituted just 17 minutes on the court over eight games. She had followed Jonas Chatterton, a former coach of hers who was an assistant for the Buffaloes, to Colorado. (Chatterton is now an assistant coach for Oregon State, which is also in the Final Four, playing Connecticut on Sunday)But because Colorado wouldn’t give her a scholarship, Atchley left.“I just needed to make a decision that’s best for me and my family,” Atchley said.Her sister ran track at Washington and Atchley knew the team was looking for a walk-on, so she visited and later joined the team.In her first season with the Huskies, she played nearly every game (28), but averaged just 4.4 minutes off the bench for a team that keeps a tight rotation. But Atchley said Neighbors let her be like any other player and treated the walk-ons well — unlike her experience at Colorado.The real reward came after the season, when Neighbors announced at the team banquet that Atchley would be on scholarship.“As she was coming up, getting her award, we said we have one other announcement,” Neighbors said. “‘We just want to let Lex know that from this point on she’s a scholarshipped member of our team from now on.’ It was a really cool moment around her teammates. They all rallied around her.”But her first scholarship season came with a nagging hamstring injury that contributed to her time off the court. She managed just 10 appearances and no more than 31 minutes.She was on the verge of having a year like she currently is, Neighbors said, but she never got the chance because of an injury that “really, really set her back.”During the summer, Atchley worked on skill development. After workouts, assistant coach Fred Castro would say to Neighbors, “Alexus is really coming on. She’s really getting this,” Neighbors recalled.But it wasn’t until Ruiz tore her ACL in January that Atchley got her shot. She was immediately thrust into the starting role.“It’s amazing, her growth throughout the season and her ability to be able to step into a role that she didn’t start out being, and she’s done it absolutely brilliantly,” point guard Kelsey Plum said. “Credit to Lex for coming into her own, and she’s a big part of why we’re here.”She’s averaged seven points, 3.4 rebounds and is shooting 42.7 percent from 3-point land in 36.3 minutes per game as a starter. Atchley had made just eight shots and averaged 0.5 points per game prior to this year.Nearly every career-high set over the last three seasons has been topped this year. She was Washington’s most efficient shooter in its Elite Eight win over Stanford, shooting 4-for-5 from the field.The player that once couldn’t even earn a scholarship is now an integral part of a Final Four team.Said Neighbors: “She just continues to have really a truly storybook finish to her career.” Commentslast_img read more