J&K highway remains closed for second day

first_imgThe Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the only all- weather surface link between Kashmir and the rest of the country, has been closed for vehicular traffic for the second consecutive day on Friday due to fresh snowfall and landslides, officials said. “There was fresh snowfall and also landslides on highway in Pantiyal-Battery Cheshma-Ramban sector. Restoration work at several places is going on despite shooting of stones at Battery Cheshma and Pantiyal,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Suresh Sharma said. Landslides at Battery Cheshma and Anokhi fall in the morning led to the blockage of the road, he said. Snowfall was continuing till afternoon in Banihal and Jawahar tunnel areas, Mr. Sharma said.Mughal road closed The Mughal road, an alternative road connecting Kashmir’s Shopian district with Poonch district of the Jammu region, has been closed for over a fortnight due to snowfall, Mr. Sharma said. The Jammu-Srinagar highway had reopened on Sunday after remaining closed for over six days following landslides and heavy snowfall.last_img read more

Arsenal, United complete swap deal for Sanchez, Mkhitaryan

first_imgFILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 file photo, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal of the game during their English Premier League soccer match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park stadium in London. Alexis Sanchez is close to joining Manchester United in what is set to be a rare swap deal among two of England’s top teams that will see Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to Arsenal. Both players were pictured by British newspapers Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 entering an office in Liverpool to update their work permits. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)MANCHESTER, England — Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United on Monday in a rare swap deal among two of England’s top teams that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to Arsenal.“I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world,” said Sanchez, a former Barcelona player who had an opportunity to join United’s neighbor and fierce Premier League rival, Manchester City.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Mkhitaryan has been a marginal figure at United in recent months, with Jesse Lingard starting ahead of him behind Lukaku. He has five goals in 39 league appearances for United, rarely completing 90 minutes.The 29-year-old Mkhitaryan has previously said his favorite team was Arsenal and his impressive technique, allied with Wenger’s naturally attacking philosophy, should make him a good fit at the London club.“He creates chances, he defends well, he can absorb distances and he’s very committed as well,” Wenger said. “I must say he’s a player who has all the attributes.”Sanchez’s debut for United could come on Friday, in the FA Cup fourth-round match at fourth-tier Yeovil.Mkhitaryan is cup-tied in that competition, so could make his debut against Swansea next week. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Real Madrid: Ronaldo face cut could have been worse Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img Signing Sanchez is being viewed as a real statement by United, like Eric Cantona joined in 1992 and Robin van Persie — who also arrived from Arsenal — in 2012. Beating City to the Chile forward will make his arrival all the more sweet for United fans and Mourinho.“Alexis is one of the best attacking players in the world,” Mourinho said. “He will bring his ambition, drive and personality, qualities that make a Manchester United player, and a player that makes the team stronger and the supporters proud of their club dimension and prestige.”City came close to signing Sanchez in August and looked to be the favorite to get him this month, only to end its interest in the forward following a rival bid from United. The Premier League leader said Sanchez and his agent increased their financial demands and that it didn’t want to destabilize the team by bringing in a player who would be its highest earner.City, the league leader by 12 points, didn’t particularly need Sanchez, who had entered the final six months of his contract at Arsenal. That wasn’t necessarily the case for United.Sanchez will add some dynamism and unpredictability to a front line that already includes Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Mourinho tried unsuccessfully to sign a winger in the last offseason.ADVERTISEMENT Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City “The chance to play in this historic stadium (Old Trafford) and to work with (United manager) Jose Mourinho was something I could not turn down.”The transfers of the 29-year-old players were announced simultaneously, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger saying Mkhitaryan was a “very complete player.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It’s a dream come true,” Mkhitaryan said, “because I’ve always dreamed of playing for Arsenal.”No financial details were disclosed, but United said Mkhitaryan was joining as “part of the deal” to bring Sanchez to Old Trafford. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting LATEST STORIES MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Sanchez joined Arsenal from Barcelona in July 2014 for about 30 million pounds, choosing a move to London amid interest from Liverpool.He was the top scorer in two of his three completed seasons at Emirates Stadium and helped Arsenal win the FA Cup in 2015 and ’17, quickly becoming a favorite with the fans. However, with Sanchez happy to run down his contract, Wenger accepted the need to sell his star player.Wenger rejected the theory that Sanchez was disrupting the harmony in the Arsenal team in his final months there.“He’s a very professional player who has been committed until the last minute,” Wenger said. “In training, he was practicing with full power, so I never questioned that. I never had any doubts about that.”Before Arsenal, Sanchez scored 39 goals in his three seasons at Barcelona after joining from Italian club Udinese.Mkhitaryan was substituted at halftime of his first league start for United, setting the tone for what has turned out to be a disappointing spell after arriving in English soccer for $33.5 million and with a big reputation in 2016.Mkhitaryan moved to United from Borussia Dortmund, where he was the German league player of the year, but struggled to secure a regular place in the team under Mourinho except in the first few months of this season.The Armenia international scored 23 goals and set up 32 more in his last season at Dortmund but failed to reproduce anything close to those numbers at United.With injuries affecting Mkhitaryan in his early months at United, Mourinho said the player needed time to adjust to the physicality and intensity of the Premier League.He finished last season by scoring an acrobatic goal in United’s 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final in Stockholm and began this season well, too, setting up five goals in his first three games. 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Yemen rebels attack Saudi airport

first_imgCars are parked in front of Abha airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia`s mountainous resort, on 12 June 2019. A Yemeni rebel missile attack on the civil airport wounded 26 civilians today, drawing promises of `stern action` from the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Yemeni Huthi rebels. Photo: AFPA Yemeni rebel missile attack on an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia wounded 26 civilians on Wednesday, drawing promises of “stern action” from the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels.Yemen’s Huthi rebels, who have faced persistent coalition bombing since March 2015 that has exacted a heavy civilian death toll, have stepped up missile and drone attacks across the border in recent weeks.Wednesday’s missile strike hit the civil airport in the mountain resort of Abha, which is a popular summer getaway for Saudis seeking escape from the searing heat of Riyadh or Jeddah.Eight of the wounded were admitted to hospital, coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said.The other 18 were discharged after receiving first aid, he added in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.The missile caused some damage to the airport’s arrivals lounge and flights were disrupted for several hours before returning to normal.At least one Indian and a Yemeni were among three women wounded along with two Saudi children, said Malki, adding the “terrorist attack” on a civilian target could be considered a “war crime”.- ‘Stern action’ -Malki said the coalition would “take stern action” to deter the rebels and protect civilians.The attack was also condemned by the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, whose information minister Muammar al-Iryani alleged the strike was carried out “under the supervision of Iranian experts”.The rebels said they had launched a missile at Abha airport but insisted they had the right to defend themselves in the face of more than years of Saudi-led bombing, and an air and sea blockade.”The continuation of the aggression and siege on Yemen for the fifth year, the closure of Sanaa airport and the rejection of a political solution make it inevitable for our people to defend themselves,” Huthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a statement reported by the rebels’ Al-Masirah television.A rebel military spokesman threatened to attack the airports of “countries of aggression”, referring to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and warned the public to stay away from them.There has been a spate of cross-border attacks by the rebels in recent weeks which have coincided with reports of intensified coalition strikes on rebel strongholds on the other side of the border.On Monday, Saudi air defences intercepted two rebel drones headed for Khamis Mushait.The city, not far east of Abha, houses a major airbase that has been one of the main launchpads for the coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen.Last month, the Saudi air force shot down a rebel drone that targeted Jizan airport, on the Red Sea coast close to the Yemeni border, the coalition said.- ‘Proves’ Iran support -The rebel attacks come as Saudi state media reported the coalition was intensifying its air raids on rebel positions in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah.In May, the Shiite Huthi rebels also carried out twin drone attacks on the kingdom’s strategic east-west oil pipeline, forcing a two-day closure of the main diversionary route for Saudi exports avoiding the Gulf.Riyadh accused its regional arch foe Iran of having a hand in that attack and it levelled a similar allegation over the airport strike.The coalition spokesman said the missile hit “proves this terrorist militia’s acquisition of new advanced weapons and the continuation of the Iranian regime’s support and waging of cross-border terrorism”.The uptick in violence comes as a UN-led peace push falters despite the rebels’ unilateral withdrawal from the lifeline Red Sea port of Hodeida last month.The Yemeni government has accused UN envoy Martin Griffiths of bias towards the rebels despite the UN Security Council’s expression of renewed support in him on Monday.The coalition intervened in support of the Yemeni government in 2015 when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile as the rebels closed in on his last remaining territory in and around second city Aden.Since then, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say.It has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 24.1 million Yemenis — more than two-thirds of the population — in need of aid.last_img

Researchers show that nucleosomes can inhibit CRISPRCas9 cleavage efficiency

first_img More information: Robert M. Yarrington et al. Nucleosomes inhibit target cleavage by CRISPR-Cas9 in vivo, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1810062115AbstractGenome editing with CRISPR-Cas nucleases has been applied successfully to a wide range of cells and organisms. There is, however, considerable variation in the efficiency of cleavage and outcomes at different genomic targets, even within the same cell type. Some of this variability is likely due to the inherent quality of the interaction between the guide RNA and the target sequence, but some may also reflect the relative accessibility of the target. We investigated the influence of chromatin structure, particularly the presence or absence of nucleosomes, on cleavage by the Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 protein. At multiple target sequences in two promoters in the yeast genome, we find that Cas9 cleavage is strongly inhibited when the DNA target is within a nucleosome. This inhibition is relieved when nucleosomes are depleted. Remarkably, the same is not true of zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), which cleave equally well at nucleosome-occupied and nucleosome-depleted sites. These results have implications for the choice of specific targets for genome editing, both in research and in clinical and other practical applications. A team of researchers at the University of Utah has found that nucleosomes can inhibit CRISPR/Cas9 cleavage efficiency. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes testing the gene editing technique on yeast samples and what they found. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Illustration of Cas9 binding to DNA. The top figure shows two nucleosomes surrounding a nucleosome-free stretch of DNA. Hypothetical PAM sites for Cas9 targets in the central region and the right-hand nucleosome are shown in red. The lower figure shows Cas9 (with sgRNA) bound to the central target, with the PAM and flanking DNA held deep in the protein cleft. The PAM in the nucleosome could not be accessed without dissociating the DNA from the histone core. DNA backbones are blue; the RNA backbone is teal; DNA and RNA bases are white, except for the PAM; histones are green; Cas9 is purple. Credit: Janet Iwasa (University of Utah, Salt Lake City). Citation: Researchers show that nucleosomes can inhibit CRISPR-Cas9 cleavage efficiency (2018, September 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-nucleosomes-inhibit-crispr-cas9-cleavage-efficiency.html © 2018 Phys.orgcenter_img The gene editing technique CRISPR-Cas 9 uses guide RNA to find and snip out segments of DNA—but what happens when the targeted segment is part of a nucleosome? Prior research has suggested that in such instances, it is likely that cleavage efficiency would suffer. In this new effort, the researchers have carried out an in vivo test of such instances and found that prior research results were correct—using CRISPR-Cas 9 on nucleosomes may not work very well.DNA strands are tiny, but really long—approximately six feet long if stretched out. Because of that, cells have mechanisms for packing DNA into a cell nucleus. That mechanism involves rolling the strands into bunches around a given protein. Such rolled bunches are known as nucleosomes. Logic suggests that a technique for editing a strand of DNA might encounter difficulty because of accessibility issues. Other researchers have considered the possibility of such problems, but have studied them in test tubes or did their work on known strands that were not part of nucleosomes. In this new effort, the researchers sought to find out once and for all if CRISPR-Cas9 would work just as well editing strands that are part of nucleosomes in living tissue as it does on strands that are not.The work involved CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing using different guide RNAs in living yeast, which allowed for editing different targets. Some of the targets were in nucleosomes while others were not. The researchers report that cleavage efficiency was much lower in nucleosomes than in non-nucleosome areas. But they also found something else—when testing the gene editing technique called zinc fingers the same way, they found no such difference. The group suggests that in the future, gene editing efforts should start with nucleosome position maps to improve efficiency. Explore further Two unrelated studies result in discovery of CRISPR-Cas12a inhibitors This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

For stronger women

first_imgIf you give us 100 educated mothers, then we can build a stronger nation”. The meaning of these words spoken by Vivekanand was reiterated by a special Women’s Day show called Swayamsidha to be telecast on DD National on March 14 on Doordarshan. Renowned Bollywood actor and maker of thought provoking show Satyamev jayate appeared and made some significant comments on status of women in society. Shot in Doordarshan Mumbai, and anchored by Neelam Sharma, the show originally was telecast on March 8 at 10 pm, with well known women achievers from different walks of life, who gave their views. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The women who participated in this show were IPS Meera Chaddha, Former Election Commissioner and writer Neela Satyanarayan, actor Vikram Gokhle whose recent film Raat Van vaiche was telecast on DD Mumbai, Advocate and member ‘Beti Bachao Movement’ Varsha Deshpande, Dr. Shweta Mahapatra, Communication Chief, UNICEF, Kalpana Saroj, owner of Kamani Tubes, famous lawyer and women rights activist, Flavia Agnes and Mona Khot who is the producer of Stree Shakti telecast on DD National. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAamir started the show by focusing on not just the importance of girl child education, but also little boys who need to learn to respect women. He said, this will inculcate a healthy relationship of equality amongst the boys and girls.Many issues were touched on the show Swayamsidha, while the over arching point made was that it’s important to change the mindset, strengthening the role of women in relationships, family, society and nation at large, it is first of all important to educate and empower the girls and women. If daughters and sisters would be strong, they will become stronger mothers and mothers in law. Aamir and all the members spoke freely and concluded the show with a promise that every woman would try to empower the other men and women, and that’s how the condition of women would improve in our society.The show’s upcoming telecast is at 8 pm on DD National, on March 14.last_img read more

Youtube promises to reduce recommendations of conspiracy theory Exgoogler explains why this

first_imgTalks of AI algorithms causing harms including addiction, radicalization. political abuse and conspiracies, disgusting kids videos and the danger of AI propaganda are all around. Last month, YouTube announced an update regarding YouTube recommendations aiming to reduce the recommendations of videos that promote misinformation ( eg: conspiracy videos, false claims about historical events, flat earth videos, etc). In a historical move, Youtube changed its Artificial Intelligence algorithm instead of favoring another solution, which may have cost them fewer resources, time, and money. Last Friday, an ex-googler who helped build the YouTube algorithm, Guillaume Chaslot, appreciated this change in AI, calling it “a great victory” which will help thousands of viewers from falling down the rabbit hole of misinformation and false conspiracy theories. In a twitter thread, he presented his views as someone who has had experience working on Youtube’s AI. Recently, there has been a trend in Youtube promoting conspiracy videos such as ‘Flat Earth theories’. In a blog post, Guillaume Chaslot explains, “Flat Earth is not a ’small bug’. It reveals that there is a structural problem in Google’s AIs and they exploit weaknesses of the most vulnerable people, to make them believe the darnedest things.” Youtube realized this problem and has made amends to its algorithm. “It’s just another step in an ongoing process, but it reflects our commitment and sense of responsibility to improve the recommendations experience on YouTube. To be clear, this will only affect recommendations of what videos to watch, not whether a video is available on YouTube. As always, people can still access all videos that comply with our Community Guidelines”, states the YouTube team in a blog post. Chaslot appreciated this fact in his twitter thread saying that although Youtube had the option to ‘make people spend more time on round earth videos’, they chose the hard way by tweaking their AI algorithm. AI algorithms also often get biased by tiny groups of hyperactive users. As Chaslot notes, people who spend their lives on YouTube affect recommendations more. The content they watch gets more views, which leads to Youtubers noticing and creating more of it, making people spend even more time on that content. This is because YouTube optimizes for things you might watch, not things you might like. As a hacker news user observed, “The problem was that pathological/excessive users were overly skewing the recommendations algorithms. These users tend to watch things that might be unhealthy in various ways, which then tend to get over-promoted and lead to the creation of more content in that vein. Not a good cycle to encourage.” The new change in Youtube’s AI makes use of machine learning along with human evaluators and experts from all over the United States to train these machine learning systems responsible for generating recommendations. Evaluators are trained using public guidelines and offer their input on the quality of a video. Currently, the change is applied only to a small set of videos in the US as the machine learning systems are not very accurate currently. The new update will roll out in different countries once the systems become more efficient. However, there is another problem lurking around which is probably even bigger than conspiracy videos. This is the addiction to spending more and more time online. AI engines used in major social platforms, including but not limited to YouTube, Netflix, Facebook all want people to spend as much time as possible. A hacker news user commented, “This is just addiction peddling. Nothing more. I think we have no idea how much damage this is doing to us. It’s as if someone invented cocaine for the first time and we have no social norms or legal framework to confront it.” Nevertheless, Youtube updating it’s AI engine was taken generally positively by Netizens. As Chaslot, concluded on his Twitter thread, “YouTube’s announcement is a great victory which will save thousands. It’s only the beginning of a more humane technology. Technology that empowers all of us, instead of deceiving the most vulnerable.” Now it is on Youtube’s part how they will strike a balance between maintaining a platform for free speech and living up to their responsibility to users. Read Next Is the YouTube algorithm’s promoting of #AlternativeFacts like Flat Earth having a real-world impact? YouTube to reduce recommendations of ‘conspiracy theory’ videos that misinform users in the US. YouTube bans dangerous pranks and challenges Is YouTube’s AI Algorithm evil?last_img read more