Source: Charge Forward The official WORX eBay storefront offers its WG170 GT 3-in-1 Electric Trimmer/Edger/Mower for $89.99 shipped. For comparison, it has a list price of $170 and Amazon currently offers it for $120. Today’s deal is the best offer available by at least $10. This 3-in-1 outdoor tool offers electric-powered trimming, edging and mowing. Best of all? No smelly gas or oil to deal with. Rated 4.9/5 stars. more…The post Green Deals: WORX 3-in-1 Electric Trimmer/Edger/Mower $90, more appeared first on Electrek.

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News The BMW 330e iPerformance is set to arrive in 2019 as the car maker’s newest plug-in hybridIf you were let down by BMW not revealing a fully-electric 3 Series, join the club. While we can certainly understand the move by the shot callers in Munich, we can’t however, seem to grasp how underwhelming the sense of urgency is with the German carmakers concerning electric cars. The BMW 330e iPerformance follows the same trend of keeping the idea of electric mobility rather lukewarm. It’s a modest solution that seemingly tries to make everyone happy. And that could pose a problem for BMW in the long term.More about the BMW 330e New BMW 330e iPerformance Coming In 2019 With More Electric Range However, if we take away the gloomy predictions, the new BMW 330e iPerformance will actually be a cool car. It joins BMW’s lineup as the newest plug-in hybrid, and hopefully, it comes with enough oompf to fight its rivals in the market. Vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz C300 hybrid, Lexus ES or the VW Passat GTE will be the 330e’s biggest rivals. And the 330e comes with some new ammo for this fight. For one, the vehicle is slated to feature an extended all-electric range, but also, something BMW calls XtraBoost. While the exact details about it have yet to be revealed by the Germans, the feature is a driving mode that allows the driver to utilize short bursts of extra power for various needs you may have on the road. Think of it as the KERS tech employed in Formula 1, for example.When compared to the current BMW 330e, the new mode will come with around 30 percent more electric range. According to BMW, the vehicle will be capable of covering around 37 miles (60 kilometers) completely emission free. Furthermore, the CO2 emissions are lower even when you’re skipping around town without the pure EV mode. BMW claims that the vehicle will produce just 39 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer. Fuel consumption is actually something that we are really excited for: according to data we have, the BMW 330e iPerformance is said to just 1.7 l/100 km (138.3 mpg) – even though that’s probably never going to work in any real-life scenarios. But, if the 3 Series plug-in hybrid delivers 3l/100km, than we can see this selling rather well.The vehicle will feature the same engine and gearbox combination, mated to a 2.0 liter four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine, with an electric motor squeezed between it and the gearbox. The vehicle will rely upon 248 horsepower when in normal mode and a pretty nice 288 horsepower when the XtraBoost function is used. This allows the BMW 330e iPerformance to sprint from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in just 6.0 flat, which is pretty much the exact same time as the current model.The vehicle is slated to come with all the latest technologies BMW infused in the new 3 Series range, from the Live Cockpit Professional to the lift-related dampers and other goodies. Set to release in 2020, it can be considered a consolation prize for anyone expecting a fully battery powered BMW 3 Series. Clearly, not enough to battle the Jaguar iPace or the likes, let alone the Tesla Model 3. However, in the grand scheme of things, this vehicle – if priced right – could sell well with the BMW ownership base, but also, it could be a stepping stone to a fully battery-powered model later in the 2020s.Source: BMW Blog 2016 BMW 330e iPerformance Sport Test Drive Review Fully Charged Reviews BMW 330e PHEV And Finds It Proper – Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 5, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

first_imgThe Tesla Gigafactory produces:21700 cylindrical lithium-ion cells (called also 2170)battery modules and packs for Tesla Model 3Tesla Powerwall home energy storage systemsTesla Powerpack utility energy storage systemselectric motorsOther facts:5.4 million square feet of space on 3,200 acresOver 7,000 Tesla employees and growing quicklyMore than 17,000 construction jobs created since 2015 Take A Tour Of The Tesla Gigafactory: Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 15, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News Panasonic’s Only Profitable Electric Car Battery Deal Is With Tesla Watch To Find Out Why Tesla Gigafactory Is The Key To Tesla’s Future Gigafactory 1 – Made in NevadaTesla just released a short video featuring its Gigafactory 1 plant, built on electrifying Electric Ave, Sparks, Nevada.The factory is only about 30% complete (in terms of size), but according to Tesla, it’s already the highest volume battery plant in the world. It’s expected that battery cell output will reach 35 GWh (using 13 of Panasonic’s production lines) by the end of 2018 – up from 20 GWh in mid-2018.Tesla Gigafactory newslast_img read more

first_imgI’ve been driving EVs since 2009, and have driven my EVs through ten New Jersey winters, so I have a little experience driving EVs in the cold.***Note: Before someone from Saskatchewan, Canada, comments how “It doesn’t get cold in New Jersey!”, I’ll admit, Northern New Jersey doesn’t typically experience the same kind of winters as some regions of Canada do, but we do get a fair amount of snow and ice, and from December to March the temperatures are often well below the freezing point. These cold weather tips can be applied for EV owners in just about any cold-weather region.Nissan LEAF in the snowThere’s challenges to driving any car in the winter, but if you do drive an EV, here’s some tips that we feel will help you get the most out of your car when the deep freeze of the winter months set in.Precondition: Just about every new EV sold today offers preconditioning features. Preconditioning allows the owner to heat or cool the battery and cabin as needed. You should use the precondition function as much as possible, preferably while connected to a 240-volt charging source. By using preconditioning to preheat the battery and passenger cabin, you’ll leave with a fully charged and heated battery, plus a warm cabin. Preconditioning allows you to use less of the stored energy in the battery for these functions, which will allow that energy to be used for its main purpose, to propel the vehicle.You can set the preconditioning to begin every day at a set time, so your car is ready when you leave in the morning. Make sure the car is plugged in while you precondition, because you want to draw energy from the grid to do this, not drain down your battery. You’ll also want to be plugged into a 240v level 2 source, as preconditioning will draw more power than a level 1, 120v EVSE will deliver. If you don’t have a 240v charging source, the preconditioning procedure may need to dip into the stored energy in the battery, which isn’t ideal. In that case, the battery and cabin will be warm, but you may not depart with 100% state of charge.Cabin Heat: Unlike ICE vehicles, there’s no waste heat from the combustion engine to heat the passenger cabin, so EVs need actual onboard heating systems. These systems are generally the biggest energy draw an EV will have, other than the propulsion motor. Maximizing your range will mean limiting the use of the cabin heater as much as possible.Some EVs use a heat pump system which is more energy efficient than a resistive heater. The colder it gets, the less efficient heat pumps are, but they are still generally much more efficient than the resistive heaters found in most EVs. However, even sophisticated heat pump systems still can use a fair amount of energy, and will indeed cut into the range. If your EV is equipped with heated seats and steering wheel we recommend using them as much as possible. By doing so, you can limit the use the cabin heater, less which saves energy as the heated seats use much less energy than cabin heater; heat pump or not. If you simply dress a little warmer, and use the heated seats and steering wheel you can really cut down on the use of the cabin heater, and this will have a very positive effect on your range. Tesla Model 3Properly Inflated Tires: This might be the most overlooked ways to increase your EVs range in the winter. As the temperature drops, the air in your tires contracts and the tire pressure falls, unless you’ve filled the tires with nitrogen. Tire experts say that for every 10 degrees of temperature drop your tires can lose 1-2 lbs of pressure. Under-inflated tires create more road friction which will reduce the vehicle’s efficiency. Always make sure to check the recommended and maximum pressure for your tires, because it’s different for every tire and car. Be sure to check your tire pressure frequently during the winter, as temperatures can fluctuate greatly in short periods of time. Having properly inflated tires is an easy way to help maximize winter range.Regenerative Braking: Using the regenerative braking system on your EV to maximize range is always a good idea. However, it can be an even bigger asset when you really need to squeeze out every mile of range possible. It’s also important to note that when the battery is very cold, the regenerative braking system will be less effective. Cold batteries can’t accept as much energy as warm batteries can.Therefore, to minimize the possibility of damaging the cells, an EV will scale back the amount of energy it can recapture from regeneration. This will be particularly noticeable when you first get into an EV that’s been sitting in the cold for a while. If the battery is very cold, it may feel like there’s no regeneration occurring at all, so be prepared to use the friction brakes more than usual until the battery warms up a bit from use.Park Inside Or in Direct Sunlight: Whenever possible park the car in garages, especially if they are heated. If you park outside for an extended period, like during work, try to find a spot that will be in direct sunlight. By parking in direct sunlight you’ll have a warmer cabin and battery when you return to your car. Every little bit helps, and direct sunlight is your friend, so use it!Chevrolet Bolt EVSlow Down! Besides preconditioning and conservative use of the cabin heater, driving a little slower is perhaps the best way to extend your range. This is true regardless of the ambient temperature, but during the winter months driving a little slower can help offset the range you lose to the cold. If you do knock off a few miles per hour on the highway, make sure to move over into the right lane so you don’t hold up traffic. If you can manage to cut 10 mph off your normal highway speed, you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it will make to your range. Also, accelerate slowly when possible. Jack-rabbit off-the-line launches are definitely fun, but they also consume a lot of energy.  Charging Times Increase: Cold batteries won’t accept as much energy as warm ones will, so expect longer charge times. Also, if equipped, your car’s thermal management system may also be working to warm the batteries. The thermal management system takes some of the energy that would have gone directly into the battery, so that can extend the charge time also. On really cold days I’ve noticed it takes my BMW i3 thirty to fourty-five minutes longer to fully charge. Knowing this, you may have to adjust the delayed charging setting if you use that, and allow for more time before you can unplug. Also, the simple act of charging the car warms the battery. So you may want to use the charge timer on your car, or on your EVSE if you have a smart-charger like the eMotorWerks JuiceBox or Flo Home X5.Use Eco Modes: Most EVs have a couple different driving modes, with one of the options called “eco mode” or something very similar. Every EV implements eco mode differently, but this mode generally reduces the amount of power supplied to the drive motor and energy consuming features like the cabin heater. Another benefit to using the eco modes in the winter is that by reducing the power to the motor, the car accelerates slower, and helps to reduce the possibility of wheel spin. Therefore, even if range isn’t an issue, it’s probably a good idea to use eco mode whenever driving on ice or snow covered roads.Tesla Model S Gets Supercharged in the SnowStay Calm & Drive OnSo don’t fear the Polar Vortex! Sure, it takes a little more preparation, but by taking some simple steps you can easily become a winter-warrior with your EV. It also helps that more and more longer range EVs are becoming available now, and any observed winter range loss becomes less critical than it is on a short range EV. Ignore The Negative Press, EVs Are Actually Amazing Winter Cars Thrive, don’t just survive the winter in your EV!There’s been a good amount of negative press about EVs recently, specifically about how the Polar Vortex contributed to range problems for many owners. It’s true that electric vehicles experience a reduction of their driving range in temperature extremes, both cold and hot. However, there are many steps that owners can take to maximize their range when the big freeze sets in.More On Winter Driving The Truth About EVs Versus Gas Cars For Winter Driving Jaguar I-Pace Winter Journey From St. Petersburg To Moscow Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 21, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

first_imgHere we gather the best photos and videos from the Geneva Motor Show, including a very detailed walkthrough by Autogefuel.Audi Q4 e-tron concept specs:82 kWh battery (battery system weights 510 kg)over 450 km (280 miles) of WLTP rangesystem output: 225 kW – 150 kW and 310 Nm rear electric motor (a permanently excited synchronous motor) and 75 kW and 150 Nm front electric motor (asynchronous motor)all-wheel drive0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.3 secondstop speed of 180 km/h (112 mph)DC fast charging to 80% in around 30 minutes (up to 125 kW)4.59 meters long, 1.90 meters wide, 1.61 meters tall,wheelbase of 2.77 metersbased on VW’s MEB platform Audi Teases Q4 e-tron Concept Ahead Of Geneva Debut Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 7, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News The Audi Q4 e-tron concept impresses the crowd.The new Audi Q4 e-tron concept steals the hearts of many electric car enthusiasts in Geneva who are looking for a premium compact crossover/SUV. The great news about this car is production within two years – in 2020/2021.If Audi will retain the interior of the concept, 82 kWh battery for long-range and achieve a reasonable cost reduction through the use of VW’s MEB platform, then sales of this particular model should skyrocket.Audi Q4 e-tron concept 22 photoscenter_img 22 photos UPDATE: Audi Q4 e-tron Debuts: See Video Here Videos from the show.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Audi Press Conference at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Audi Q4 E-Tron Concept Debuts In Geneva With 82 kWh Batterylast_img read more

first_imgShare via Email Share on Twitter Shares00 Reuse this content Digger Wed 30 Apr 2008 05.40 EDT Tennis Share on Facebook comment Share on Messenger Since you’re here… An independent review of anti-corruption measures in tennis has uncovered a number of potentially suspicious matches requiring investigation. The report, conducted by the sports-integrity experts Jeff Rees and Ben Gunn, is expected next week.The 10-week review was commissioned in January by tennis’s four governing bodies: the four grand slams, the men’s tour organiser, the ATP, the women’s WTA and the rule-making ITF. Although the report found no evidence of systematic and institutionalised corruption in the sport, its findings highlight instances where some players may have been guilty of breaking anti-corruption rules.The news emerged on the day an Italian bookmaker contacted the ATP’s competitions administrator, Gayle Bradshaw, to demand action over a player who has allegedly fixed two matches in the past three weeks. Both matches involved irregular betting patterns. “In the first match he won the first set by a big margin and was 2-1 up in the second set but he was trading at 3-1 against to win the [best-of-three-set] match,” the bookmaker told this column. “Fifteen days later again the prices are wrong and again he loses the match.”Betfair’s integrity team was also alerted to the irregularities. The online exchange is understood to have settled the market on the matches in question and would not confirm whether it had joined the bookmaker in advising the ATP of the alleged suspicious activity.More from MourinhoSenior officials at Stamford Bridge are unhappy about the timing of Jose Mourinho’s recent media appearances. The public relations-savvy former Chelsea manager has been a frequent presence on television screens and in newspapers of late. Chelsea are suspicious that the out-of-work manager is using the achievements of his successor, Avram Grant, for self-promotion. However, Mourinho has been reminding audiences of Liverpool’s failure to score at Stamford Bridge in any of their past eight meetings so it is hardly surprising that Chelsea are perfectly happy with the content of his comments. Meanwhile, WhiteConcierge, a high-end tour operator, estimates that fans of the English contingent of this season’s Champions League final in Moscow who do not yet have tickets will have to spend a minimum of £2,000 to see their club in action, making a single-night round trip. Alternatively the company is offering its own two-night private-jet package for £31,600.Cheetah chance The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Read more First published on Wed 30 Apr 2008 05.40 EDT Finger of suspicion pointed at tennis matchescenter_img Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Matt Scott Digger Topics Oscar Pistorius will learn today if his hopes of competing in the Beijing Olympic Games can be revived. The South African runner has appealed against a judgment by the International Association of Athletics Federations that appeared to close the door on his Olympic participation. The IAAF ruled in January that the Cheetah prostheses he uses on his amputated legs are an illegal “technical device” providing an unfair advantage over able-bodied athletes. The two-day hearing is taking place at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Chaired by Professor Ian Hunter, an international disputes-resolution expert from London, the three-man panel will deliver a binding verdict.Hoey’s lone furrowWhile Kate Hoey deliberated over whether to join Boris Johnson’s post-election mayoral team as its sports adviser, she might have been expected to canvass the opinion of colleagues. The first call would presumably be to Tessa Jowell, the minister for the Olympics and for London. But the word in Westminster is that the independently minded Labour backbencher declined to make contact. Could there be lingering resentment that the then culture secretary, Jowell, failed to prevent her one-time London Labour companion from losing the sports minister’s job in 2001?matt.scott@theguardian.com Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Tennis Digger Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.last_img read more

first_img Support This Free Public Website FCPA Professor is widely regarded as a leading source of FCPA news and commentary. All of this takes time, money, and substantial effort. Thus, if FCPA Professor adds value to your practice or business, please consider a donation. Elevate Your FCPA Research There are several subject matter tags in this post. However, only subscribers to FCPA Professor’s premium search feature can see and use them in research. Efficient and cost-effective FCPA research is just a click away. Thereafter, the information alleges that the Foreign Official has the ability to take official action and exert official influence over certain contractual terms” concerning a contract with Middle East Airline. The information alleges that “Foreign Official primarily negotiated with PAC through PAC Sales Agent 1” and:“Beginning in April 2007, PAC Sales Agent 1 and Foreign Official began discussing a potential consultancy position for Foreign Official with PAC, while Foreign Official was still employed by Middle East Airline and working on Amendment 2. In May 2007, PAC Sales Agent 1 began advocating for a position for Foreign Official with PAC executives, and in July 2007, substantive discussions among PAC senior personnel, including PAC Executive 1 and PAC Executive 2, regarding a consultant position for Foreign Official began in earnest. Contract negotiations between Foreign Official and PAC continued through the fall of 2007, with PAC ultimately making Foreign Official an offer of a consultant position with an annual salary of $200,000 in late October 2007, while Foreign Official was still employed by Middle East Airline.The master agreement between Middle East Airline and PAC prohibited PAC from offering any consideration to employees of Middle East Airline. As a result, PAC Sales Agent 1 and PAC senior executives discussed the need to be circumspect about the negotiations surrounding the consultancy offer to Foreign Official and the “risk” that PAC was assuming in making a job offer to Foreign Official while he was still employed by Middle East Airline.[…]Foreign Official resigned from Middle East Airline in February 2008 and was formally retained as a consultant for PAC through Service Provider in April 2008. Foreign Official performed minimal work in his six years of service as a consultant for PAC. Significantly, the 2010 Selected Vendor Audit Report noted that PAC’s Internal Audit Department was unable to locate deliverables associated with Foreign Official’s consultancy. According to the report, after following up with PAC employees, representatives of the Internal Audit Department were told that deliverables for Foreign Official did not exist because PAC had requested no services of Foreign Official in the twelve months prior to the report, although PAC still paid Foreign Official’s invoices.Foreign Official’s fees were paid out of the Office of the President Budget through Service Provider. These payments were made in the absence of effective internal accounting controls, including PAC’s failure to define the “consulting services” to be provided or obtain sufficient documentation to substantiate the nature and appropriate value of the “consulting services” provided by Foreign Official. Between 2008 and 2014, PAC paid Foreign Official through Service Provider a total of $875,000 in payments, which were mischaracterized as “consultant payments” on PAC’s general ledger, when in fact none, or very few, of the payments to Foreign Official was for actual consultant services. PAC then caused the payments made to Foreign Official through Service Provider ultimately to be incorrectly designated as “selling and general administrative expenses” on Panasonic’s books, records, and accounts.Between April 2007, when negotiations began with Foreign Official concerning an offer of a consultant position at PAC, and March 2013, PAC earned $92,805,432 in profits from Middle East Airline attributable to twelve programs subsumed under [the contract] for which Foreign Official had some involvement or influence, including the IFE retrofit and reconfiguration contracts and contracts for which NRE and STC costs were included.”Regarding the “Domestic Airline Consultant,” the information alleges in pertinent part:“Domestic Airline Consultant worked as an account manager at PAC from 2000 until April 2007, when he left PAC to serve as a consultant for Domestic Airline, one of PAC’s largest customers at the time. In October 2007, while Domestic Airline Consultant was still working as a consultant to Domestic Airline, PAC Executive 1 arranged for Domestic Airline Consultant to be hired by Service Provider to serve as a consultant for PAC effective August 2007. At the time, Domestic Airline Consultant had the ability to take action and exert influence over the business relationship between Domestic Airline and PAC. Domestic Airline Consultant’s fees were paid out of the Office of the President Budget through Service Provider. Domestic Airline Consultant served in this dual consultancy role until December 2013 when he returned to PAC as an employee of the Company. Domestic Airline Consultant was separated from PAC in February of 2017. During the period of his dual consultancy, Domestic Airline Consultant reported to PAC Executive 1.Although Domestic Airline Consultant’s agreement with Domestic Airline permitted him to undertake other consultant positions so long as they were not with other airlines, that agreement prohibited him from disclosing confidential information. Despite this prohibition, while Domestic Airline Consultant worked as a consultant for both PAC and Domestic Airline, he provided non-public, inside, or otherwise sensitive information to PAC Executive 1 and others at PAC, including forwarding internal communications among Domestic Airline’s employees about PAC, information about Domestic Airline’s negotiations with a PAC competitor, and pricing information of a PAC competitor. Domestic Airline Consultant typically marked communications in which he provided such information with phrases such as “CONFIDENTIAL,” “DO NOT FORWARD,” or similar statements suggesting the information was confidential or otherwise sensitive.[…]Beyond the provision of such inside or otherwise non-public information, Domestic Airline Consultant performed little additional work for PAC. Under the terms of his consultancy agreement with Domestic Airline, Domestic Airline Consultant was responsible for managing the relationship with PAC, including liaising with the engineering and marketing departments of both parties during the execution of IFE and GCS contracts. In addition, Domestic Airline Consultant served on Domestic Airline’s team that evaluated bids submitted by PAC and other vendors for contracts to be awarded by Domestic Airline. In particular, during the dual consultancy period, Domestic Airline Consultant served on two bid review teams for IFE contracts that Domestic Airline ultimately awarded to PAC. As such, although Domestic Airline Consultant was not the ultimate decision maker within Domestic Airline on awarding contracts, he had input into Domestic Airline’s decision-making process to award business to PAC.Between October 2007 and December 2013, PAC paid Domestic Airline Consultant a total of $825,000 in consultancy payments through Service Provider, which were classified as “consultant payments” on PAC’s general ledger, despite the fact that these payments were made in the absence of effective internal accounting controls, including PAC’s failure to obtain sufficient documentation to substantiate the nature and appropriate value of the “consulting services” provided by Domestic Airline Consultant. The payments made to Domestic Airline Consultant through Service Provider were ultimately designated as “selling and general administrative expenses” on Panasonic’s books, records, and accounts.Between April 2008 and March 2013, PAC earned $22,693,571 in profits attributable to business from Domestic Airline on three different programs for which Domestic Airline Consultant had some involvement or influence, including, for example, by serving as a member of Domestic Airline’s bid review committee.”Under the heading, “Concealment of the Use of Sales Agents that Did Not Meet PAC’s Diligence Requirements,” the information alleges in pertinent part:“Beginning in at least 1999 and continuing to at least 2016, PAC utilized the services of several third-party sales agents in its China and Asia regions (which PAC designated as separate sales regions between 2008 and 2013) to obtain and manage contracts with state-owned airlines. The commissions PAC paid to such sales agents typically ranged from six to ten percent.PAC failed to put in place adequate controls over its use of sales agents in China and Asia and PAC employees disregarded red flags associated with these sales agents. For example, some of the sales agents were recommended by the state-owned airlines themselves, some sales agents were registered outside of the jurisdiction where they purportedly provided services, and other sales agents were paid outside of the territory where they purportedly provided services. In addition, historically, PAC performed only limited, informal due diligence before retaining third-party sales agents.[…]In total, between 2008 and April 22, 2013, financial records indicate that PAC Sales Agent 2 received at least $7,182,972 from PAC for the benefit of thirteen different sub-agents, including PAC Sales Agent 3. These payments were improperly booked as commission payments to PAC Sales Agent 2, when in fact they were payments to other sales agents who were otherwise ineligible to work with PAC. PAC then caused Panasonic likewise to falsify its books and records in connection with these payments. PAC terminated its relationship with PAC Sales Agent 2 in March of 2015.”Under the heading “Causing Panasonic to Falsify Its Books, Records, and Accounts,” the information alleges:“During the relevant time period, PAC caused Panasonic to falsify its books, records, and accounts in connection with the improper retention of consultants through the Office of the President Budget, the payment of such consultants through Service Provider, and the concealment of the continued use of certain sales agents in China and Asia. Specifically, as noted above, the $875,000 in consulting payments made to Foreign Official through Service Provider were falsely classified as “consultant payments” on PAC’s general ledger and ultimately as “selling and general administrative expenses” on Panasonic’s books, records, and accounts. In addition, the $7,182,972 in payments PAC paid to PAC Sales Agent 2 for the benefit of at least thirteen different sub-agents were improperly booked by PAC as commission payments to PAC Sales Agent 2, when in fact they were payments to other sales agents who were otherwise ineligible to work with PAC. PAC then caused these payments to likewise be falsely recorded in Panasonic’s books, records, and accounts.Furthermore, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Panasonic, PAC was required to provide representations and certifications to Panasonic about PAC’s financials and financial controls. Specifically, PAC was required to provide certifications of PAC’s financial statements for Sarbanes-Oxley consolidation purposes (the “subcertifications”) at the end of each fiscal year. In relevant part, the subcertifications required PAC Executive 1 to certify that “no deficiencies  have been identified and the internal control[s] over financial reporting have effectively functioned in [the] company.” For each of the fiscal years ending on March 31st between 2010 and 2013, PAC Executive 1 signed the subcertifications but failed to report PAC’s improper retention of Foreign Official and Domestic Airline Consultant and the payments to those consultants made through Service Provider, despite PAC Executive 1’s knowledge of PAC’s relationship with, and payments to, Foreign Official and Domestic Airline Consultant in the absence of such internal controls.In each of the fiscal years ending on March 31st between 2010 and 2012, PAC Executive 2 signed the subcertifications on behalf of his department despite (a) PAC Executive 2’s knowledge of PAC’s consulting relationship with Foreign Official; (b) PAC Executive 2’s receipt of the Selected Vendor Audit Report in 2010, which made him aware of PAC’s improper retention of consultants through the Office of the President Budget, including Foreign Official, and the payments to those consultants made through Service Provider; and (c) PAC Executive 2’s receipt of an email highlighting the excessive number of airlines represented by PAC Sales Agent 2.Finally, for each of the fiscal years ending on March 31st in 2011 and 2012, PAC Executive 3 signed the subcertifications on behalf of PAC’s finance department, and, similarly, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, PAC Executive 4 signed the subcertification on behalf of PAC’s finance department. Both PAC Executive 3 and PAC Executive 4 signed these subcertifications despite PAC Executive 3’s receipt of the Selected Vendor Audit Report in 2010 and 2011 and PAC Executive 4’s receipt of the Selected Vendor Audit Report in 2012, which made them both aware of PAC’s improper retention of consultants through the Office of the President Budget, including Foreign Official, and the payments to those consultants made through Service Provider.”Based on the above, the information charges PAC with knowingly and willfully causing “Panasonic to falsify its books, records, and accounts and caused Panasonic to not, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect its transactions and dispositions.” Specifically:“(i) knowingly providing false or incomplete representations and certifications to Panasonic about PAC’s financials and financial controls; and (ii) falsifying records relating to the retention of consultants through the Office of the President Budget, the payment of such consultants through Service Provider, and the continued use of certain sales agents in China and Asia.”Deferred Prosecution AgreementThe above charge against PAC was resolved through a three-year DPA. The DPA lists the following “relevant considerations.”a. The Company did not receive voluntary disclosure credit because the Company’s disclosures occurred only after the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) requested documents from Panasonic related to possible violations of anti-corruption laws and several years after the Company and Panasonic first became aware of the allegations of bribery through a whistleblower complaint and civil lawsuit, which the Company took steps to investigate internally but chose not to voluntarily report to the relevant authorities;b. The Company received credit for its cooperation with the Fraud Section’s investigation, including conducting a thorough internal investigation; making factual presentations to the Fraud Section; providing facts learned during witness interviews conducted by the Company; voluntarily making U.S. and foreign employees available for interviews in the United States with the Fraud Section and the SEC; in one instance, proactively alerting the Fraud Section to material information relevant to the investigation; collecting, analyzing, and organizing voluminous evidence from multiple jurisdictions; and disclosing to the Fraud Section conduct in the Middle East of which the Fraud Section was previously unaware.c. By the conclusion of the investigation, the Company provided to the Fraud Section all relevant facts known to it, including information about the individuals involved in the conduct described in the Statement of Facts … and conduct disclosed to the Fraud Section prior to the Agreement;d. The Company engaged in significant, although in some respects untimely, remedial measures, including causing several senior executives who were either involved in or aware of the misconduct to be separated from the Company;e. The Company has enhanced and has committed to continuing to enhance its compliance program and internal controls, including ensuring that its compliance program satisfies the minimum elements set forth in Attachment C to this Agreement (Corporate Compliance Program), but to date has not fully implemented or tested its enhanced compliance program, and thus the imposition of an independent compliance monitor for a term of two years … is necessary to prevent the reoccurrence of misconduct;f. The nature and seriousness of the offense conduct, including knowing and willful falsification of books and records that lasted for at least six years and spanned multiple countries, and participation in the scheme by high-level executives of the Company;g. The Company has no prior criminal history;h. The Company has agreed to continue to cooperate with the Fraud Section in any ongoing investigation of the conduct of the Company, its parent company or its affiliates, or any of its present or former officers, directors, employees, agents, business partners, distributors, and consultants relating to violations of the FCPA;i. Panasonic has agreed to disgorge $126,900,000 in profits and $16,299,018.93 in prejudgment interest to the SEC in connection with overlapping conduct;j. Accordingly, after considering (a) through (i) above, the Fraud Section has determined that a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, an aggregate discount of 20% off of the bottom of the otherwise-applicable U.S. Sentencing Guidelines fine range, and the imposition of a two-year independent compliance monitor is sufficient but not greater than necessary to achieve the purposes described in 18 U.S.C. § 3553.”The DPA sets forth in advisory guidelines range of approximately $172 million – $344 million and states that a monetary penalty in the amount of $137.4 million “is appropriate given the facts and circumstances of this case, including the Relevant Considerations …”.In this release, Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan stated:“When Panasonic Avionics Corporation caused its publicly-traded parent company to falsify its books and records, it distorted the information available to legitimate investors. The Criminal Division will take all appropriate action to ensure that the investing public is able to trust the accuracy of the financial statements of companies that avail themselves of American securities exchanges.”SECThe SEC action was based on the same core conduct alleged in the DOJ action. This administrative order states in summary fashion:“This matter concerns violations of the anti-bribery, anti-fraud, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the federal securities laws by Panasonic, a global electronics corporation headquartered in Osaka, Japan.The anti-bribery violation is the result of a 2007 bribery scheme involving senior management of one of Panasonic’s U.S. subsidiaries, Panasonic Avionics Corporation (“PAC”), whereby a lucrative consulting position was provided to a government official (“Government Official”) who assisted PAC in obtaining and retaining business from a state-owned airline (“Government Airline”). While PAC was negotiating two agreements valued at over $700 million with the Government Airline, PAC offered the Government Official a $200,000 a year postretirement consulting position in order to induce him to assist PAC. Ultimately, PAC retained the Government Official and paid approximately $875,000 for his purported consulting position, which required little to no work. The payments to the Government Official were made through a third-party vendor that provided unrelated services to PAC. In addition, the engagement of the Government Official violated Panasonic’s policies and procedures, and the payments were not accurately reflected in its books and records.The anti-fraud violation is a result of Panasonic materially overstating its pre-tax income by at least $38.5 million or 9%, and net income by at least $22.4 million or 16%, for the quarter ending June 30, 2012. PAC backdated an agreement with the Government Airline and provided misleading information about the agreement to PAC’s auditor in order to include the revenue in that quarter. Thereafter, Panasonic knowingly and intentionally prematurely recognized this revenue in violation of generally accepted accounting principles.In addition, Panasonic lacked appropriate internal accounting controls with respect to the use of consultants and sales agents at PAC. PAC paid over $1.76 million to purported consultants, including the Government Official, who provided few if any legitimate consulting services. As with the payments to the Government Official, these payments were made through a third-party vendor and Panasonic’s books and records did not accurately reflect the true nature of the payments. Additionally, because certain sales agents could not meet PAC’s internal due diligence requirements, PAC devised a scheme to retain those sales agents in the Asia, and China regions by paying them through a separate sales agent.”The SEC’s order adds the following regarding certain third parties. For instance, the SEC finds that a Sales Rep “lacked an education or background in avionics” and additionally that the company “knew that the Sales Rep employed his sons to assist him, even though they had no relevant qualifications to sell [certain products].” It is also worth noting that the SEC found that the Sales Rep “gave cash and luxury items valued at more than $60,000” to the PAC executive to whom he reported.Under the heading “Retention of Sales Agents,” the order states:“PAC’s practice of using sales agents, who solicited business for PAC from stateowned airlines and other customers, varied depending upon the sales region. For example, in Europe, Oceania, and the United States, PAC did not use sales agents. By contrast, in its Middle East, Asia, and China sales regions, PAC routinely engaged sales agents to obtain business from state-owned airlines and other customers and typically paid them between six and ten percent of the net contract amount. Between 2007 and 2017, PAC paid its sales agents in the Middle East, Asia, and China sales regions, including the Sales Rep, over $275 million.By 2004, PAC had established regional field offices in the Middle East, Asia, and China. Moreover, by 2008 PAC’s primary regional office in Asia was staffed with numerous marketing and sales personnel versed and trained in PAC’s products, as well as field engineers. Nonetheless, PAC continued to use sales agents in connection with state-owned airlines and other customers in this region.Prospective sales agents would contact PAC sales and marketing employees in the Asia and China regions and offer their services in connection with requests for proposals issued by airlines for IFE products. Vetting of the sales agents typically consisted of PAC having the agent arrange a phone call or meeting between PAC and high level executives or procurement staff of a potential customer. In addition, PAC told at least one agent that he was expected to obtain confidential, non-public bids of PAC’s competitors. This sales agent used sales commissions received from PAC to provide gifts, entertainment, and hospitality to government officials and their families as part of his efforts on behalf of PAC.While PAC historically conducted no meaningful due diligence on its sales agents, beginning in at least 1996, PAC started including audit rights in its contracts with sales agents. However, PAC did not exercise its audit rights in order to avoid upsetting relationships with the agents. In early 2007, PAC began to put in place due diligence procedures for screening sales agents, including those agents with established relationships with PAC. For sales agents that could not pass the new procedures, PAC made arrangements for the sales agents to enter into subagreements with a Malaysia-based sales agent. That agent ultimately served as a stand-in for at least thirteen sales agents, some of which refused or failed the vetting process. In this way, PAC could continue to use sales agents who did not pass the screening requirements by concealing their use and payment through the Malaysia-based sales agent. PAC paid a one or two percent fee to the Malaysian representative who acted as the conduit for payments to the other agents, despite the fact that PAC policies explicitly prohibited the use of unapproved sales agents. PAC falsely recorded the payments to the sub-agents in its books and records as legitimate payments to the Malaysia based sales agent.Beginning in February 2009, PAC instituted a formal process to hire sales agents. The new procedure set out a number of different requirements, including determining the need for the agent, internal due diligence documentation, preliminary background checks, interviews, and analysis of any red flags, before requesting that the prospective sales agent undergo a third-party due diligence vetting process. In addition, PAC regional sales and marketing staff would submit a “Sales Representative Agreement Request” for review by PAC’s Legal Affairs Department. Finally, all requests were to be routed to PAC’s Internal Review Committee (the “IRC”), staffed by PAC executives, including PAC Executive One and another senior executive.Notwithstanding the implementation of these procedures, the IRC never rejected a request for use of a sales agent. Prior to voting to approve sales agent contracts, the IRC typically received a single-page form providing cursory information regarding the agent and contract. The due diligence information and red flags identified in the third-party reports were not communicated to the IRC, and the IRC never questioned the need for the extensive use of sales agents or requested to review due diligence reports. Similarly, the IRC did not question the decrease in the number of agents after third-party due diligence requirements were instituted, or the fact that a little-known Malaysian company had the capacity to perform work for approximately fifty programs with nearly twenty airlines. Between 2008 and 2015, PAC paid over $10 million to the Malaysian sales agent for the benefit of at least thirteen different unapproved sub-agents. The IRC approved all of the contracts with the Malaysian agent after February 2009.Moreover, PAC’s compliance personnel lacked appropriate qualifications and training, and as a result failed to act on numerous red flags in connection with the retention of sales agents. For example, they raised no questions or concerns about the retention of sales agents that internal forms clearly disclosed were hired after “being recommended by airline.” Nearly all of the airlines internally described as recommending these sales agents were state-owned airlines in the Asia and China Regions.PAC’s compliance personnel failed to act on other red flags, including those that were specifically identified in PAC’s own policies and procedures such as: (a) payment of large commissions to sales agents in relation to services rendered; (b) payments to bank accounts in countries other than where services were being provided; (c) the retention of sales agents recommended by state-owned airlines; and (d) lack of adequate educational, business, and technical qualifications. Examples of ignored red flags include payments of approximately $4 million to a sales agent whose primary work experience was as a Hong Kong department store clerk, and nearly $10 million to an agent who had served as the head of an Asian equestrian league, but had no relevant avionics experience.Similarly, after a third-party vetting service discovered that one sales agent had forged references, and another was flagged as potentially being a “foreign official” under the FCPA, they were nevertheless engaged by PAC and simply paid as sub-agents through the Malaysian agent.As a result, Panasonic failed to devise and maintain a sufficient system of internal accounting controls in connection with the retention of sales agents and failed to accurately record the payments to the sales agents on its books and records.”Based on the above, the SEC found that Panasonic violated the FCPA’s anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions. In addition, based on the underlying conduct that SEC also found that Panasonic fraudulently reported revenue and found violations of Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 as well as other reporting violations.The order requires Panasonic to pay approximately $143.2 million ($126.0 million in disgorgement and $16.3 million in prejudgment interest).Under the heading “Remedial Efforts,” the order states:“In determining to accept the Offer, the Commission considered remedial efforts undertaken by [Panasonic] and cooperation afforded the Commission staff in the later stages of the staff’s investigation. [Panasonic] has replaced the senior PAC executives involved in the violations, established an Office of Compliance and Ethics led by a new Chief Compliance Officer, implemented new compliance and accounting procedures, and enhanced internal accounting controls to prevent and detect the type of misconduct described in the Order.”In this release, Antonia Chion (Associate Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division) stated:“Investors rightfully expect that the companies they invest in will not engage in bribery or fraud. Issuers must implement effective controls for the selection and engagement of consultants and agents to ensure compliance with anti-bribery statutes.”Charles Cain (Chief of the SEC’s FCPA Unit) stated:“Issuers need to ensure that their rules and controls address the specific bribery and corruption risks they face when operating in global markets with customers that are state-owned entities. It is not enough for a company merely to set up policies and procedures that are not enforced or are easily circumvented by employees.”In this release, Hideo Nakano (CEO of Panasonic Avionics) stated:“We are pleased to have resolved these investigations; we have taken extensive steps over the past few years to strengthen Panasonic Avionics’ compliance programs and internal controls, and we welcome an independent compliance monitor to assess our progress.Remedial actions taken include:• Installing a new executive management team, including a new Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Compliance Officer• Strengthening internal financial controls• Developing an enhanced compliance program under the leadership of the new Chief Compliance Officer• Hiring a global team of compliance, finance and audit experts• Substantially reducing, and enhancing the controls around, the use of third-party agents and consultants“This is an ongoing effort and the company will continue to strengthen its compliance programs and internal controls. With these investigations behind us, we are confident that Panasonic Avionics is well-positioned for long-term success under our new management team.”Ronald Machen, Matthew Jones, Kimberly Parker and Erin Sloane (Wilmer Cutler) represented PAC. Yesterday, the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) a parallel Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Japan-based Panasonic Corp.  and a U.S. subsidiary Panasonic Avionics Corp. (PAC).As stated in the enforcement action, Panasonic was an issuer until April 2013 and again “for a brief period between 2015 and 2016 as a result of a share swap that retriggered Panasonic’s obligation to file its financial statements with the SEC.”As highlighted in this post, the enforcement action consisted of: Donate A criminal information against Panasonic Avionics Corp. charging knowing and willful violations of the FCPA’s books and records provisions resolved through a deferred prosecution agreement in which PAC agreed to pay an approximate $137 million criminal penalty; andAn administrative cease and desist order against Panasonic finding FCPA anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls violations in which the company agreed to pay approximately $143 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. (The SEC action also found that Panasonic materially overstated its pre-tax income in connection with the core conduct).DOJPanasonic Avionics Corp., headquartered in California, is described as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Panasonic that designs and distributes in-flight entertainment systems (IFE) and global communications services (GCS) for airlines and airplane manufacturers.InformationUnder the heading “Overview of the Scheme,” the information alleges:“Between 2007 and 2013, PAC employees, including senior executives, engaged in a scheme to retain consultants for improper purposes other than for providing actual consulting services. The consultants were retained through Service Provider [described as a California corporation related to another corporation retained by PAC for technical publication services] and were paid for out of a budget over which PAC Executive 1 [described as an officer and high-level executive of PAC from at least 2005 until he was separated from the Company in 2017] had complete control and discretion without meaningful oversight by anyone at PAC or Panasonic. First, in July 2007, PAC executives began negotiating a consulting position with Foreign Official [described as a senior contracts official at Middle East Airline until February 2008 – the Middle East Airline is described as a commercial airline based in the Middle East that is wholly-owned by a foreign government] at the same time that Foreign Official was involved in negotiating a lucrative contract amendment on behalf of Middle East Airline with PAC. Although Foreign Official ultimately did little work for PAC, over a six-year period PAC made $875,000 in payments to Foreign Official that were accounted for in Panasonic’s accounting books and records as legitimate consulting expenses. Second, in October 2007, PAC retained as a consultant Domestic Airline Consultant [employed as an account manager at PAC until April 2007 who then served as a consultant for Domestic Airline until December 2013 – the Domestic Airline is described as publicly-owned commercial airlines based in the U.S.] who was already working as a consultant for Domestic Airline, and then used Domestic Airline Consultant to obtain confidential non-public business information about the airline, including information about its negotiations with PAC competitors. Over a five-year period, PAC made $825,000 in payments to Domestic Airline Consultant that were accounted for in Panasonic’s accounting books and records as legitimate consulting expenses. Despite knowing that PAC was falsely recording these payments as legitimate consulting expenses, PAC Executive 1 falsely certified in Sarbanes-Oxley certifications that “no deficiencies have been identified and the internal control[s] over financial reporting have effectively functioned in [the] company.”Between 2007 and 2016, certain PAC employees also concealed PAC’s use of sales agents in Asia, some of which did not pass PAC’s internal diligence requirements. PAC formally terminated its relationship with these sales agents, as required by PAC’s compliance policies, but certain PAC employees then secretly continued to use the agents by having them rehired as subagents through PAC Sales Agent 2 [described as a sales agent based in Malaysia that PAC contracted directly with to obtain and manage contracts with multiple airlines, including state-owned airlines, throughout Asia until PAC terminated its contract in 2015], which had passed PAC’s due diligence checks. Through this process, PAC employees hid more than $7 million in payments to at least thirteen sub-agents, some of which had not passed due diligence checks, by improperly reporting them as legitimate commission payments to PAC Sales Agent 2 or other sales agents. Despite receiving warnings and red flags about this conduct, PAC Executive 2 and other PAC employees took no action to prevent the continued use of PAC Sales Agent 2 to funnel payments to other sales agents.”Regarding the budget the PAC executive had control over, the information alleges:“To cover expenses incurred by at least one senior PAC executive, such as travel, corporate entertainment, and consultancy payments, PAC designated an Office of the President Budget. The Office of the President Budget was set annually by a PAC finance executive, in consultation with PAC Executive 1. The funds allocated to the Office of the President Budget were set on a yearly basis, based on the previous year’s costs and adjusted if changes in expenses were expected. The Office of the President Budget was neither reviewed nor approved by any Panasonic personnel. During the relevant period, the amount allocated to the Office of the President Budget exceeded several hundred thousand dollars per year.Funds expended from the Office of the President Budget were booked on PAC’s general ledger in various categories, including travel, payroll, and consultant payments. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Panasonic, PAC’s financials were consolidated into Panasonic’s books, records, and accounts. Expenses from the Office of the President Budget would roll up into the “other general administrative expenses” line item on the books of a Panasonic reporting segment and then ultimately into the “selling and general administrative expenses” line item on Panasonic’s books, records, and accounts.Despite providing for a discretionary fund, PAC failed to maintain internal accounting controls reasonably designed to ensure that funds expended from the Office of the President Budget were used for their intended purposes, were used in accordance with the law, and were properly recorded in PAC’s, and ultimately Panasonic’s, books and records. In fact, PAC Executive 1 had complete discretion over how to spend the funds allocated in the budget without meaningful oversight by PAC Finance or any other personnel at PAC.Beginning in at least October 2007 and continuing until at least January 2014, PAC Executive 1 used the Office of the President Budget to make payments to multiple individuals, including consultants that performed limited or no work for PAC with little to no supervision by anyone at PAC.”Regarding the service provider through which the consultants were retained, the information alleges:“Instead of paying these consultants directly from PAC, PAC Executive 1 arranged for these consultants to be formally retained, and paid, through Service Provider. Other than providing basic administrative and payroll services, Service Provider was not involved in managing or otherwise working with the consultants, but instead acted as a pass through for purposes of invoicing PAC for the consultants, with PAC paying Service Provider a percentage of the consultant’s payments. PAC would then pay the consultants through Service Provider for consulting work ostensibly provided by the consultants, even when there was little or no evidence of services being performed to justify the payments.”The information then alleges that in 2010 PAC Executive 3 (described as a senior finance executive at PAC from approximately 2009 until June 2012 when he left PAC to assume a finance position within Panasonic) “requested PAC’s Internal Audit Department conduct an audit of PAC’s ‘vendor selection, payment processing and contract execution.” The information then alleges:“At the conclusion of the audit, PAC’s Internal Audit Department issued a report (the “Selected Vendor Audit Report”) that identified a number of compliance risks associated with PAC’s use of Service Provider to retain and pay consultants, including the lack of supervision over certain consultants and a lack of deliverables provided to PAC from both Service Provider and the consultants themselves.Specifically, the Selected Vendor Audit Report identified as a “critical risk” that PAC continued to pay consultants through Service Provider even though PAC’s agreement with Service Provider had expired in May 2009. In addition, the report identified as a “high risk” the fact that payments were made to multiple consultants in the absence of any deliverables provided to PAC. The report also noted that PAC’s procurement department was “not involved in hiring these consultants” and that the “visibility of the contract process needs to be enhanced.” An initial version of the report, drafted in September 2010, concluded with a recommendation that “[Service Provider] consultant payments should be carefully reviewed in light of FCPA regulation [sic] due to lack of clarity in deliverables.” PAC Executive 3 received this version of the Selected Vendor Audit Report in March 2011 and other senior PAC executives received this report in May 2012.In December of 2010, an abbreviated version of the Selected Vendor Audit Report was circulated among other PAC employees, including PAC Executive 2 and PAC Executive 3. PAC Executive 4 received this version of the report in November 2012. Although this version of the Selected Vendor Audit Report still identified the risks associated with the payments made through Service Provider and the lack of deliverables for certain consultants, it omitted the final concluding recommendation mentioning the FCPA and certain other observations and recommendations, including the recommendation that “[p]rocurement should be consulted prior to hiring any consultant or vendors.” No explanation was provided for omitting these additional comments from the Selected Vendor Audit Report.Despite the repeated distribution of these two versions of the Selected Vendor Audit Report between 2010 and 2012 among several PAC employees, including PAC Executive 2, PAC Executive 3, and PAC Executive 4, PAC failed to conduct any significant follow up to address the issues raised by the report. Although, in response to a request from PAC, Service Provider began to seek activity reports from consultants as to the work they provided on behalf of PAC, such reports and other deliverables were provided only on an intermittent basis and typically provided very little detail as to the nature of the work performed.” Elevate Your Researchlast_img read more

first_img « The Future – Which Door to Enter QUESTION:Good Sir,When you say the ‘rich get rich by investments, not wages’ you fail to identify the following wealthy class.CEO’s of corporations, ‘Hollywood’ movie stars, Sports athletes, Recording artists, etc.Regards and continued success,An avid followerLBANSWER: There are always exceptions, but those who receive big bonuses or high wages such as sports and movie stars are a tiny fraction of what they call the “rich.” The “rich” are defined as households with income in excess of $250,000. The “rich” who have built wealth from creating businesses and investment are really 99% of that class. The movie stars and sports figures are paid salaries based upon their draw. Many others in Hollywood get base salaries and a percentage of the box office take. The CEOs get bonuses based upon performance.The government takes Social Security and places restrictions whereby it can only invest in government bonds. This deprives the average person from making appreciable capital gains. The Fed is Between a Rock & a Hard Place »center_img Categories: Economics Tags: Rich, Social Security last_img read more

first_imgMay 17 2018A new partnership between FutureNeuro, the SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological diseases based at RCSI and GreenLight Medicines, an indigenous Irish biopharmaceutical company has been formed to develop new cannabis-based treatments for drug-resistant epilepsies, and in particular, childhood epilepsies.The research will explore how cannabidiol (CBD) and other non-psychoactive molecules from the cannabis plant can reduce seizures. It will also look at optimizing the effectiveness of this new approach to treat epilepsy.”This project has strong alignment with FutureNeuro’s strategic goal to bring novel treatments to patients in Ireland with difficult to control epilepsy” said Professor David Henshall, academic supervisor on the project and FutureNeuro Director.An estimated 10,000 people in Ireland are resistant to current treatments for epilepsy, which is one of the most common neurological diseases. This means that many people with epilepsy are having numerous, uncontrolled seizures every day. Uncontrolled seizures can also result in other devastating effects, including a reduction in cognitive abilities.Dr. Colin Doherty, National Clinical Lead for Epilepsy and a Principal Investigator at the FutureNeuro Centre said, “The use of cannabis to treat epilepsy offers a tantalizing new horizon for severe disabling seizures. The mechanism by which CBD exerts its antiepileptic effects is currently unknown, and this impactful research will help to provide clinical evidence of its long-term efficacy, as well as data on any long-term side effects.”Emerging experimental and human evidence suggests that CBD and possibly other components of cannabis plant extracts reduce seizures in patients with rare genetic epilepsies and may have potential as a treatment for refractory epilepsy.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyResearchers study cannabis dosage to reduce seizures in children with severe epilepsyTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTDr. James Linden, CEO of GreenLight Medicines said “We are delighted to work with FutureNeuro to investigate if Greenlight compounds have potential as treatments for drug-resistant epilepsy. It is a great opportunity to make a difference to the lives of thousands of epilepsy patients across the globe”.The partnership will create a large research framework connecting internationally-recognized neuroscientists, research infrastructure and pre-clinical models and will enable identification and interaction with clinicians who can assist with translation to the clinic.Director of Programmes and Investments at Science Foundation Ireland Dr. Darrin Morrissey said “FutureNeuro brings together an exceptional team of scientists, clinicians and other experts to address the urgent needs of patients with chronic and rare neurological diseases such as epilepsy and motor neurone disease. In a globally unique way, the Centre will undertake cutting-edge research on diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders that leverages the emerging electronic healthcare infrastructure in Ireland. With industry partners and hospital networks, the Centre aims to translate research into effective diagnostic supports, treatments and monitoring systems to benefit the lives of patients living with these debilitating and often devastating conditions”.FutureNeuro, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and based at RCSI, aims to deliver new technologies and solutions for the treatments, diagnosis and monitoring of chronic and rare neurological diseases.​​​Source: https://www.rcsi.com/last_img read more

first_imgIt seems like a job no bird would want. The leader of a V-shaped flock works the hardest, fighting strong air currents while others save energy by traveling in his wake. So why would any bird volunteer to be in front? From an evolutionary standpoint, helping others makes sense if all the migrants are related. But that’s not always the case with migrating flocks. To find out how birds manage this dilemma, scientists outfitted a flock of 14 juvenile bald ibises (Geronticus eremita, pictured) with GPS data loggers and guided them in an ultralight plane from Austria, where they’d been hand-raised, to Italy on an autumn migration. The loggers recorded each bird’s geographical location, velocity, and position within the flock. Eight of the birds were unrelated, and there were three pairs of siblings. On their journey, the ibises flew in formations of two to 12 birds, changing positions frequently. The researchers’ analysis showed that the birds were working cooperatively, sportingly taking turns to lead and follow. Indeed, the researchers discovered that the ibises precisely matched the amount of time spent in the lead and trailing positions regardless of their genetic relationship, they report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The birds’ cooperative travels provide a rare and “convincing example” of reciprocal altruism in animals, the scientists say. All the birds had a chance to surf in another’s wake, and all spent time doing the hard work at the front. And they switched positions so often and with such rapidity (taking less than a second to move), that the benefits of cooperating were immediate. The findings may help explain how such “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” behaviors can evolve.last_img read more

first_imgThe U.S. Senate yesterday unanimously approved a major overhaul of the nation’s primary chemical safety law—marking one of the last steps in a decades-long reform effort. The House of Representatives on 24 May overwhelmingly approved the rewrite of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which governs how industrial chemicals are tested and regulated. The legislation now moves to President Barack Obama for signing.The measure—H.R. 2576, named for the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D–NJ), a long-time TSCA reform champion—is perhaps the most far-reaching and influential environmental statute passed by Congress since the body updated the Clean Air Act in 1990. The measure aims to make chemical safety reviews more science-based, and includes provisions designed to reduce the use of animals in chemical testing and promote the study of so-called cancer clusters.“The end result … is a vast improvement over current law,” said Representative John Shimkus (R–IL), who co-sponsored the House bill, on the House floor. The bill, he added, is “a careful compromise that’s good for consumers, good for jobs, and good for the environment.” “While this is a compromise bill, it is a long overdue step forward in protecting families and communities from toxic chemicals,” said Representative Frank Pallone Jr. (D–NJ), top Democrat on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.Numerous fixesBoth environmentalists and industry have long agreed that the TSCA, originally passed in 1976, has numerous flaws. It includes legal barriers, for example, that essentially prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from acquiring toxicity data on chemicals and imposing new restrictions on them—even on highly toxic substances such as asbestos. Critics say the current legislation also favors economic concerns over scientific findings, and has led to thousands of chemicals entering the market without adequate health and safety oversight.The reform bill seeks to fix a number of these flaws. It aims to make chemical safety reviews purely science-based, by eliminating a long-time requirement that EPA weigh regulatory costs in the safety review process. It also repeals a long-time requirement that EPA select the “least burdensome” method of regulating a toxic substance. And the bill would require EPA to deem a new chemical safe before it could enter the marketplace; under current law, a chemical can enter the marketplace unless EPA deems it unsafe within a certain time period.The bill would also make it easier for EPA to order chemical companies to generate any toxicity data that the agency needs to inform its reviews; under current law, EPA can only order these data by going through a lengthy rulemaking process that often ends up mired in litigation. And the bill would require EPA to take tougher action on persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals, and ensure that chemicals are safe for vulnerable groups such as infants, seniors, and chemical workers.Animal protection and animal rights groups hailed another provision that aims to reduce EPA and chemical companies’ use of animal-based toxicity testing methods. It would task EPA with using non–animal-based methods “to the extent practicable,” and the agency would have to devise a plan to research, develop, and eventually use more nonanimal methods—including computational modeling, high-throughput screening, and cell-culture testing.The bill also includes a measure known as Trevor’s law that encourages federal agencies to study “cancer clusters”—areas that appear to have unusually high numbers of cancer cases that may be linked to a shared environmental cause. The Society of Toxicology in Reston, Virginia, although praising the bill, expressed some concern about including the cancer-cluster measure and other topic- or chemical-specific language in the bill. Doing so “detracts from the wider range of priority chemical-specific or analytical issues that, as toxicologists, we address every day,” society President John Morris said in a 23 May letter.Rocky historyThe TSCA reform bill is the result of years of negotiations involving lawmakers in both parties and a wide range of stakeholders. Many previous efforts to overhaul the TSCA failed after lawmakers couldn’t strike a consensus among competing interest groups, such as chemical companies and environmental groups. The current effort succeeded, however, despite the toxic political climate in Washington, D.C., and a government divided between a Democratic-held White House and Republican-held Congress.To arrive at the current bill, the House and Senate first approved their own bipartisan—but widely different—versions of TSCA reform. Then, lawmakers spent months negotiating a compromise between the chambers.It wasn’t clear for instance, whether the animal testing provisions—which were in the Senate bill, but not the House’s—would ultimately survive. “But the fact that we are now going to severely restrict the unnecessary cruelty to animals is something that I’m very proud that the leadership helped preserve,” Senator Cory Booker (D–NJ), a proponent of the language, told reporters outside the U.S. Capitol on 19 May in announcing his support of the bill.A much bigger sticking point was concern, voiced by many liberal Democrats and environmental groups, that the legislation would weaken states’ ability to issue their own chemical regulations. Senator Barbara Boxer (D–CA), the top Democrat on the Senate environment panel, had argued especially forcefully against language in the Senate bill that would have kept existing state chemical regulations on the books, but reduced the states’ ability to issue new regulations in the future.But Boxer ultimately supported the final compromise. The final bill is far from perfect on that issue, but it’s better than current law, she said in announcing she would support the reform measure. “What a battle that was,” she said. “Well, we no longer have that battle.”Not all lawmakers were won over. As the House voted 403 to 12 to approve the reform measure, Representative Paul Tonko (D–NY) cited the state preemption provisions as one reason he was voting against the bill. He was one of just nine House Democrats to oppose the bill; three House Republicans also voted against it.The reform measure led to splits among interest groups. Some environmental and health groups, such as the Breast Cancer Fund, have opposed it, whereas still others, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, were noncommittal. But many industry groups and some environmental groups support the final product.And Senator Bernie Sanders (D–VT), who is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, sees both good and bad in the bill, but said that the preemption language would prevent his state from “going above and beyond” federal levels of action. “That makes no sense … federal chemical regulations should be a floor, not a ceiling,” Sanders said in a statement.*Update, 8 June, 10:30 a.m.: This item has been updated to reflect the final Senate vote.*Update, 26 May, 2:20 p.m.: This item has been updated to reflect current information on the timing of the Senate vote. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A retinal cryptochrome sensor could explain why blue or green light apears to activate birds’ compasses but red light jams them, or why birds seem to tell north from south by measuring changes in the field’s inclination instead of reading the magnetic field directly. (Crypto-chrome can’t “feel” magnetic polarity.) As with magnetite, however, scientists haven’t yet seen the molecule in action and don’t know exactly how it might alter neural circuitry. Worse, laboratory experiments show that it takes magnetic fields orders of magnitude stronger than Earth’s to trip a cryptochrome sensor.So who’s right? It doesn’t have to be either-or, says Peter Hore, a physical chemist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who likes the idea that nature evolved two different magnetoreception systems. “The map sense could be magnetite, the compass sense could be radical pairs,” he says. It would be the best of both worlds—or at least the best way to navigate this one.Read our feature story on how geophysicist Joe Kirschvink thinks he has found a magnetic sixth sense in humans. That many animals sense and respond to Earth’s magnetic field is no longer in doubt, and people, too, may have a magnetic sense. But how this sixth sense might work remains a mystery. Some researchers say it relies on an iron mineral, magnetite; others invoke a protein in the retina called cryptochrome.Magnetite has turned up in bird beaks and fish noses and even in the human brain, as Joe Kirschvink of the California Institute for Technology in Pasadena reported in 1992, and it is extremely sensitive to magnetic fields. As a result, Kirschvink and other fans say, it can tell an animal not only which way it is heading (compass sense) but also where it is. “A compass cannot explain how a sea turtle can migrate all the way around the ocean and return to the same specific stretch of beach where it started out,” says neurobiologist Kenneth Lohmann of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A compass sense is enough for an animal to figure out latitude, based on changes in the inclination of magnetic field lines (flat at the equator, plunging into the earth at the poles). But longitude requires detecting subtle variations in field strength from place to place—an extra map or signpost sense that magnetite could supply, Lohmann says.Except in bacteria, however, no one has seen magnetite crystals serving as a magnetic sensor. The crystals could be something else—say, waste products of iron metabolism, or a way for the body to sequester carcinogenic heavy metals. In the early 2000s, scientists found magnetite-bearing cells in the beaks of pigeons. But a follow-up study found that the supposed magnetoreceptors were in fact scavenger immune cells that had nothing to do with the neural system. And because there is no unique stain or marker for magnetite, false sightings are easy to make.Making sense of it allScientists studying magnetoreception are zooming in on two possible mechanisms: a mechanical sensor based on the magnetic mineral magnetite and a biochemical sensor based on the protein cryptochrome. Cryptochrome, too, offers much to like. When short-wavelength light strikes it, it becomes what chemists call a “radical pair”: a molecule containing two unpaired electrons whose spins can be either aligned or not. A magnetic field can flip the spins back and forth between aligned and nonaligned states, changing the chemical behavior of the molecule. In 1978, Klaus Schulten, a physicist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, had suggested that animals could use radical-pair reactions for magnetoreception. But he didn’t have a molecule that could support those reactions until the late 1990s, when researchers discovered cryptochrome serving as a light sensor in mammalian retinas. Most researchers focused on cryptochrome’s control over circadian clocks, but Schulten knew that the molecule could form a radical pair. “This was my day,” Schulten says. “Finally now I had a really good candidate.” In 2000, he published a study showing how magnetic fields could influence cryptochrome reactions to create light and dark patches in the visual fields of birds. C. Bickel/Science center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emaillast_img read more

first_imgThink your neck of the woods gets cold at night? On Io, one of Jupiter’s largest moons, the atmosphere turns to frost and collapses every time the orb passes into the planet’s shadow—for about 2 hours during each of the moon’s 42-hour orbits. Now, for the first time, scientists have observed the collapse—and recovery—of its atmosphere using far-infrared wavelengths. Io’s atmosphere (the reddish haze in the artist’s sketch, above), which is largely made of sulfur dioxide, originates from volcanic plumes scattered around the moon (depicted as blue fountains, above). Researchers had previously suggested that a substantial fraction of the tenuous shroud, which has a surface pressure about one-billionth that of Earth’s atmosphere at sea level, turns to frost for the 2 hours that Io lies in Jupiter’s shadow. But observations to prove the notion have been hard to come by, because the atmosphere can’t readily be seen at visible wavelengths when the moon is eclipsed. Now, astronomers have used a large ground-based telescope to observe the volcanic moon in far-infrared wavelengths, where certain ranges of radiation from the moon’s surface get absorbed by the sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere. As Io passes behind Jupiter, its surface quickly cools from 127 K (–146°C) to about 105 K (–168°C), a sudden chill that’s sufficient to cause about 80% of the atmosphere to turn into frost, the researchers report online today in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. Then, when the eclipse is over and sunshine returns, the sulfur dioxide frost evaporates back into a gas. The new findings may help scientists better understand the rest of the Jupiter system, where about half the sulfur dioxide spewed from Io’s volcanoes eventually drifts to circulate around the planet.last_img read more

first_img By Dennis NormileJun. 27, 2018 , 12:45 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Ryugu, pictured by a camera aboard Hayabusa 2 from a distance of about 22 kilometers. JAXA, University of Tokyo & collaborators SAGAMIHARA, JAPAN—After 3.5 years traveling 3.2 billion kilometers through space, Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft officially arrived at the asteroid it will land on later this year to pick up surface and subsurface soil and rock samples and—hopefully—return them to Earth for analysis. The findings are expected to shed light on the materials that existed in the early solar system and the formation and evolution of planets and their arrangement. They might provide evidence for the theory that asteroids and comets are one source of Earth’s water and its amino acids—the building blocks of life.The ground crew in Japan confirmed this morning that Hayabusa2, launched in December 2014, reached its home position 20 kilometers away from Ryugu, an asteroid in orbit between Earth and Mars. With the spacecraft now at its target, “I’m just really happy,” Yuichi Tsuda, project manager for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Institute for Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) in Sagamihara, told a packed press conference on the ISAS campus this afternoon.For the next 18 months, this second edition of Hayabusa, Japanese for peregrine falcon, will be maneuvering around the asteroid, while a suite of instruments map it; measure its mass, density, and gravity; determine its mineral and elemental composition; and scout out landing sites. The first of a series of touchdowns is scheduled for October. In addition to gathering surface soil samples, Hayabusa2 will release a German-French rover called MASCOT that will hop across the surface, using its four instruments to analyze soil samples in situ. Emailcenter_img Japan’s new asteroid probe reaches its target after 3.2-billion-kilometer journey Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Next spring, Hayabusa2 will blast a crater into Ryugu using a 2-kilogram projectile with a hardened copper nose traveling at 2000 meters per second. (To avoid damage from scattering debris, the spacecraft will hide on the opposite side of the asteroid after releasing the projectile and use a camera to document the collision.) Images of the impact are expected to shed light on how craters are formed on heavenly bodies. Hayabusa2 will then return to the site of the blast to collect rock samples that have not been subjected to eons of space weathering, hopefully yielding insights into the material as it was during the formation of the solar system. The craft is expected to return its samples to Earth at the end of 2020.Preliminary observations “are really thrilling,” says Seiichiro Watanabe, a project scientist at Nagoya University in Japan. The diamond-shape asteroid is about 900 meters across and rotates around its own axis every 7.5 hours or so, more slowly than other similarly sized asteroids for reasons that are not yet clear, Watanabe says. The surface is strewn with boulders larger than would be expected to have accumulated on an asteroid of its size, something that has triggered a debate among planetary scientists. One line of thinking is that Ryugu was originally part of a larger asteroid that broke up. But others contend the boulders could have landed over time or might have been hard masses incorporated into the asteroid at its formation and later exposed as softer material eroded away. “It’s a strange phenomenon,” Watanabe says.This is the second ISAS mission to retrieve samples from an asteroid. The original Hayabusa, launched in 2003 to explore an asteroid named Itokawa, “has been a stunning success,” planetary scientist Erik Asphaug at the University of California, Santa Cruz, wrote in a commentary in Science in June 2006, despite engine failures, a daunting variety of mechanical malfunctions, fuel and solar power losses, and communications blackouts during a 7-year, 6-billion-kilometer odyssey. The return sample capsule, which landed in the Australian outback in June 2010, carried 1500 particles of asteroid dust, despite glitches with the sample collection mechanism. And even before Hayabusa touched down on Itokawa, it had returned enough data for scientists to publish a clutch of papers in Science, including one concluding that the asteroid was a loose agglomeration of rubble rather than a solid rock.Hayabusa2 will provide complementary data, particularly because it is landing on a C-type, or carbonaceous, asteroid; Itokawa is an S-type, or silicaceous, asteroid. C-type asteroids populate the outer regions of the asteroid belt that stretches between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, where the distance from the sun might have preserved water as well as amino acids. S-type asteroids are typically closer in where high temperatures would have burned off water. Additional data on C-type asteroids will come from NASA’s OSIRIS–REx spacecraft, now en route to asteroid Bennu, where it will collect samples and return them to Earth in 2023. The two teams will exchange some of their samples. “This has been an international collaboration from the beginning of development,” Tsuda says. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

first_img By Kelly ServickDec. 10, 2018 , 3:10 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Newly discovered pain pathway may help explain why animal tests fail to reveal the best painkillers T. Huang et al., Nature 10.1038 (2018) If you’ve ever unwittingly grabbed a hot pan, you know our bodies have exquisite reflexes for avoiding or minimizing injuries. But once the damage is done, we also have a spontaneous urge to sooth the pain—to blow on a burned hand, cradle a broken toe, or suck on a cut finger. A new study reveals a neural circuit behind this soothing response in mice. Many common animal tests of pain don’t involve this circuit, the authors contend, which could explain why some painkillers that seem to work in mice prove ineffective in people.“We know there is not just one ‘pain pathway’ or a single brain site involved in processing pain,” says Kathleen Sluka, a neuroscientist at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, who was not involved in the new work. “Understanding the different pathways that underlie unique behaviors could one day help us to individualize treatments” for patients based on how they respond to pain.Harvard University neurobiologist Qiufu Ma and his team wanted to tease apart different aspects of pain, not just in the brain but in the neurons throughout our bodies that relay signals up the spinal cord. Ma and his collaborators previously proposed two general groups of sensory neurons: ones that project to the outermost layer of skin and ones that branch to deeper tissue throughout the body—the underlying skin layers, bones, joints, and muscles. Ma suggests the first group is a first-line defense that monitors our surroundings for danger and prompts us to pull away from a hot pan or a sharp prick. The deeper nerves, he suggests, are attuned to the lasting pain of an injury or illness—and may drive the experience of unpleasantness and distress that comes with pain. Our reflexes avoid potential harm, Ma explains; “the suffering of pain is very different.” TAC1 neurons (red) are part of a newly described pathway that in mice drives soothing behavior in response to pain.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In the new experiment, Ma and his collaborators characterized a set of neurons that seem to underlie this second type of experience. They created mice that lack a particular type of excitatory spinal cord neuron marked by its expression of a gene called TAC1. These mice still had reflexes, quickly pulling back their paws when pricked, for example. But in tests involving prolonged, inescapable pain, the mice were unique. Unlike control mice, they didn’t nurse their wounds, licking their paws obsessively when they were burned, injected with mustard oil, or pinched by a metal clip that they couldn’t remove. Thus, the researchers conclude that TAC1 neurons are uniquely involved in “coping” with ongoing pain, they write today in Nature.They also found a set of neurons in the skin that drives that prolonged painful experience. These neurons, known as TRPV1 neurons, seem to pass their signal to TAC1 spinal cord neurons, which project to the medial thalamic nucleus, a key sensory relay station at the base of the brain.To Ma, the mouse findings represent alarming evidence of a blind spot in pain research. Many common tests of animal pain measure a defensive reflex—for example, how long it takes to pull back a paw that’s been poked. These tests are standardized and precise, Ma says, but they may activate only superficial nerve fibers—not the TAC1 pathway that leads to ongoing pain. New pain drugs should be tested for how they affect this coping response in animals, Ma says. And the ideal pain drug would selectively target the newly identified pathway.The new paper is a “really insightful” look at what drives the emotional side of pain, says Gregory Dussor, a neurobiologist at the University of Texas in Dallas. But because the pain tests in the study last only a few minutes, he says, it’s still not clear what role TAC1 and TRPV1 neurons play in chronic pain—a huge source of human suffering. The limitations of reflex-based animal tests are well known, he says, but “I think it’s still a little too early to say that this is [the pathway] we need to be looking at” in the search for new drugs.Dussor and other researchers are also uneasy with the claim that the newly identified neurons really drive a coping response in mice. “I understand the vocabulary is limited for describing what a licking response might actually reflect,” says Kathryn Albers, a neurobiologist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. “But ‘coping’ might be a stretch.”Ma says he and his colleagues agonized over word choice. And they did find parallels between the licking behavior in mice and subjective pain ratings from people given a painful pinch test—the time spent licking and the perceived pain intensity seemed to peak and plateau in unison as the pinch wore on. In this field, the potential mismatch between animal and human pain always looms. “How can little mice tell us what they feel?” he says. “It’s forever a challenge.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emaillast_img read more

first_img The genes that make squid eyes also make your legs Koenig Lab Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe They were surprised to see the gene regulatory network for sprouting limbs at work in a developing eye. But when they added a chemical called WNT that naturally inhibits this network in many organisms to squid embryos, the lens failed to form, they reported here last month at Evolution 2019, an annual meeting of evolutionary biologists, confirming this limb network is also a lens network. Next, the researchers will peer into exactly what each of these genes is doing to make the lens form. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country PROVIDENCE—Looking a squid in the eye is eerily like looking in a mirror. Squids, octopuses, and other cephalopods are on a very different part of the tree of life from vertebrates. But both have evolved sophisticated peepers that rely on a lens to focus light and provide excellent vision. This independent evolution of such complexity has puzzled biologists for centuries and has prompted searches for clues about how this might have come about.Evolutionary developmental biologists have now discovered that the genes that guide the initial formation of legs in us and other vertebrates also guide the formation of the squid’s lens (seen in cross section of eye above). The find is yet another example of how nature recruits genes used for one purpose to do another job for the body.The squid lens forms as extra-long membranes jutting out for specialized eye cells overlap to form a tight ball. Our lenses are actually degraded cells themselves packed with a clear protein. To learn how the squid lenses form, these researchers carefully tracked where, when, and which genes turn on and off as embryos of Doryteuthis pealeii, a squid commonly served as fried appetizers, develop. By Elizabeth PennisiJul. 15, 2019 , 11:20 AM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

first_imgInvestigators were still working to uncover details in the deadly mass shooting that killed at least 12 people and left at least four people injured in Virginia Beach on Friday afternoon. A clearer picture was emerging of the gunman’s personal and professional lives before he went on a homicidal rage that also ended in his own death. As of Saturday evening, it was still unclear what prompted DeWayne Craddock to launch a deadly siege on his unwitting former co-workers at a municipal building. Initial media reports pointed to Craddock being a “disgruntled” former employee who had recently been fired, but nothing more substantive has been reported about his possible motive since the shooting’s immediate aftermath. The Wall Street Journal reported that Craddock was a “longtime city employee who had been fired” before he “entered a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Va., Friday afternoon to exact revenge.”It was unclear when and how Craddock lost his job.“This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach,” Mayor Bobby Dyer said after the shooting on Friday. “The people involved are our friends, co-workers, neighbors, colleagues.”People who knew Craddock spoke to reporters on Saturday to provide a glimpse into what may have been going through his mind in the months and days leading up to the latest mass shooting in America. He was remembered as someone who was very private, unlike his then-wife, and rarely if ever spoke to his neighbors, Nikolas Thornton told the Washington Post.“They were polar opposites,” Craddock’s former neighbor said. “She was a social butterfly. I would see him sometimes but he never said anything.”The New York Daily News reported that Craddock’s wife moved out of their Virginia Beach home “some time ago.” She has not yet been publicly identified by name.It was unclear when the couple got a divorce. A web page on MyLife.com listed information about a Virginia Beach resident named DeWayne Craddock as being 40 years old and having a birthday on Oct. 15, 1978. It also lists him as a Black registered Democrat and Christian who is married.Statistics show that it is rare for Black people to perpetrate mass shootings.Between 1982 and June of last year, 59 of the 101 mass shootings in that time span were launched by white people, according to data provided by Statista, which offers “statistics and studies from more than 22,500 sources.” Black people had the next-highest number of mass shooters at 16. Also On News One: SEE ALSO:Racist AirBnB Host To Black Guests: ‘Which Monkey Is Going To Stay On The Couch?’‘When They See Us’ Gives The Central Park 5 The Humanity They Were Denied 30 Years Ago AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail DeWayne Craddock , Virginia Beach mass shooting 20 Tweets Dragging Roseanne Barr To A White Privilege Helllast_img read more

first_imgYou never know when you will go viral or when your social media will come back to haunt you. Craig Brooks, 26, went viral for perfectly handling a racist white woman. However, his transphobic tweets quickly surfaced.See Also: A Timeline Of Dallas Cop Amber Guyger Killing Botham Jean In His Own Home I called a FUCKIN NIGGER at work… this how it played out #KillEmWithKindness pic.twitter.com/2Mftkj2eOg— NoFridayy (@craignofridayy) June 3, 2019Lesson learned, if you go viral, search your social media.SEE ALSO:Muhlaysia Booker Incident Comes As Violence Against Black Trans Women Is Soaring‘It’s Above Me Now’: Hotel Clerk’s Video With Racist Guest Goes Viral‘Who Said I Can’t Say Ni**a?’: Blackface Video Of High School Student Sparks Outrage Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist More By NewsOne Staff Brooks even doubled down to BuzzFeed News and said, “They’re mad lol I said what I said. People are so sensitive. I’m gay and I KNOW people will not agree with me being gay. I just don’t and will never get trans. Period.”Now he is apologizing, see below: In several tweets that go back to 2017, Brooks wrote countless transphobic comments, including he doesn’t like Trump but he agrees with him banning trans people from the military. See below: A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ “… but you called me a fucking nigger,” the clerk says while shrugging to the woman, who repeatedly apologizes.“No…, but you weren’t sorry when you said it to me on the phone,” the clerk accurately noted.The clerk plastered multiple crying-from-laughter emojis across the video.He went on to cite “the climate that we live in in today’s society” — an apparent reference to the countless number of white people who have gotten increasingly and brazenly racist with the election of President Donald Trump — as a reason for advising her to find another hotel.Despite the despicable racism being displayed, one of the major takeaways that social media users, in particular, embraced from the exchange was the clerk repeating the phrase to the woman incessant requests to stay at the hotel: “It’s above me now.”When the woman says again that she needs a room for the night, sounding like she was in tears, the clerk politely pointed to his right and said, “Well, there’s the Best Western next door.”Watch below: THE OFFICIAL SHIRTS #ItsAboveMe shout out to @Tamberlands & @BlaccqAtlas pic.twitter.com/HQjyLRp7VD— NoFridayy (@craignofridayy) June 4, 2019In case you missed it, the Holiday Inn Express hotel clerk in Austin, Texas said he was called the N-word by a would-be guest. Brooks rejected each desperate attempt for the racist to stay at the hotel by the woman who had apparently called him the racial slur during an earlier phone call. When she came to the hotel to plead her case in person, the clerk was ready for her, and then some. Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family Best Western , Craig Brooks , viral #ItsAboveMeNow pic.twitter.com/S5E8iSZ5Vh— NoFridayy (@craignofridayy) June 3, 2019Oh, and Brooks is officially selling shirts: Derion Vence, Maleah Davis, Brittany Bowens Thanks for signing up! Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. SUBSCRIBE Entertainment, News and Lifestyle for Black America. News told by us for us. Black America’s #1 News Source: Our News. Our Voice. A Disturbing Timeline Of 4-Year-Old Maleah Davis Going Missing After Being Left With Her Stepfatherlast_img read more

first_imgAncient Egypt has captivated our imaginations for centuries. Egyptologists have made many fascinating discoveries over the years, but it seems as though just as many mysteries surrounding this ancient culture remain unsolved. One of these mysteries is the story of Ankhesenamun; although inscriptions have been found that depict some parts of her life, the details are scant. This is in part due to the efforts of Horemheb, the last pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, to destroy all trace of her father — who he branded a heretic king — and his lineage.The date of her death and location of her tomb remain one of Egypt’s unlocked secrets, however an archaeological exploration that began in January 2018, led by Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, may be on track to finding the key.Golden Mask of Tutankhamun in the Egyptian Museum. Photo by Carsten Frenzl CC BY 2.0We do know that she was the teenage wife of her half-brother, Tutankhamun, and it is believed that before this betrothal she was married to her father. After Tutankhamun died, she was possibly forced into marriage with her grandfather. Or, she may have been killed for attempting to form a union with Egypt’s number one enemy, the Hittites.Ankhesenamun was born c.1350 B.C., the third of the six daughters of Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti. During his reign, Akhenaten suppressed the established religion, especially worship of the popular god Amun, introducing a monotheistic religion based around “the one true god” Aten in its place.Some historians theorize that his motives were political. It is possible the pharaoh felt his position was threatened by the wealth and power held by the priests of Amun.Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhesenamun. Scan by Pataki Márta CC BY-SA 3.0In her youth, Ankhesenamun (meaning “She lives through Amun”) was known as Ankhesenpaaten (or “She lives through Aten”). She and Tutankhaten, later known as Tutankhamun, or King Tut, were both the children of Akhenaten, although they had different mothers, and he gave them names according to his new religion.Following the death of Akhenaten in 1336 B.C., Ankhesenamun may have also been the wife of Smenkhkare for a short period. Smenkhkare, another of Akhenaten’s children, ruled as pharaoh for not more than a year before he died.It is widely accepted that the early years of the ten-year-long reign of King Tutankhamun and Queen Ankhesenamun were guided by their advisors, Ay and Horemheb — possibly it was Ay’s suggestion that they changed their names, as the first step in restoring the old religious order. This was welcomed by the people who thought that worshiping only Aten upset the ma’at (spiritual harmony) in their world.The half-siblings were married when she was around 13-years-old and he just eight or nine.Mask on Tutankhamun’s innermost coffin.Marriage within the royal family was an accepted practice for the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Deformities found in several mummies indicate that this incestuous means of keeping the bloodline “pure” resulted in various genetic impairments.Tutankhamun had a cleft palette and a club foot, so it is likely he would not have been able to stand unaided. His young death is attributed by many Egyptologists to these and possibly other health problems.Tutankhamun receives flowers from Ankhesenpaaten as a sign of love.The mummified remains of two premature babies found in Tutankhamun’s tomb are thought to be the stillborn children of he and his queen. Ankhesenamun might have previously had another child who lived, fathered by her own father while she was his child-bride. Another interpretation of the incomplete inscriptions that mention this girl, Ankhesenpaaten Tasherit, is that she was the daughter of Tutankhamun’s mother, and not of Ankhesenamun.Whoever the mother was, it seems as though young Ankhesenamun experienced a tragic childhood.Disturbing occasions when ancient Egyptian curses seemed to come trueHer betrothal to Tutankhamun was a happy period in her life, judging by images of the couple.Zahi Hawass observes in his book The Golden Age of Tutenkhamun, “To judge from their portrayal in the art that fills the golden king’s tomb, this was certainly the case [that they loved one another]. We can feel the love between them as we see the queen standing in front of her husband giving him flowers and accompanying him while he was hunting.”What happened to Ankhesenamun when her boy-king died in 1327 B.C. at the age of 18 is not so clear. It has been established that the pharaoh’s widow would have been ceremonially betrothed to his successor as part of the burial ritual. While it is almost certain that Ay, Tutankhamun’s closest advisor and possibly Ankhesenamun’s grandfather, took this role, opinions are widely divided on whether they were formally married.The only pieces of evidence historians have to go on are a blue-glass ring inscribed with the names of Ay and Ankhesenamun, and records of the correspondence between an Egyptian queen and the Hittite King Suppiluliuma I, in the Hittite chronicle The Deeds of Suppiluliuma. The consensus among Egyptologists is that this queen was Ankhesenamun.Partially restored alabaster jar with 2 handles – it bears the cartouches of pharaoh Tutankhamen and Queen Ankhesenamun. 18th Dynasty. From Gurob, Fayum, Egypt. Displayed at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London. Photo by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) CC BY-SA 4.0It appears our tragic queen was quite desperate. The Hittites and Egyptians were enemies, in fact Horemheb, who would succeed Ay as pharaoh, was at that time leading a military campaign against them in the north.She wrote: “My husband has died and I have no son. They say about you that you have many sons. You might give me one of your sons to become my husband. Never shall I pick out a servant of mine and make him my husband!….I am afraid!” The term servant is assumed to be a disparaging way of describing Ay, the man she was loathe to marry. Ankhesenamun’s insistence that Suppiluliuma’s son, should he marry her, would be king of Egypt, was met with suspicion. But after sending an envoy to check out her claim, Suppiluliuma did indeed send one of his princes as per her request.The son of Suppiluliuma, Zananza, never arrived at his destination. He is assumed to have been killed at Egypt’s border, intercepted by General Horemheb.Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and their children.After this episode, Ankhesenamun seemingly disappears from history. Ay became pharaoh and some people think that she was his queen. However, no record has been found that places her at his side. The ring is argued to be proof of their marriage, but it might be an artifact from Tutankhamun’s funeral. There is certainly no evidence of her in Ay’s tomb, which would be expected had she been his chief wife.Archaeologist’s have searched for years in the vicinity of Tutankhamun’s tomb for the burial chamber of Ankhesenamun. Finding her gravesite — assuming it has remained hidden from grave robbers — will undoubtedly shed some light on the mystery.Broken statuette of an 18th dynasty woman believed to be Ankhesenamun. Brooklyn, United States. Photo by Keith Schengili-Roberts CC BY-SA 2.5The idea that Ankhesenamun’s grave was placed in the Valley of the Kings has slowly been abandoned. The boy pharaoh’s tomb was thoroughly searched for traces of a hidden chamber that might contain the remains of Ankhesenamun, but to no fruition. Attention has recently turned to the area close to Ay’s tomb, in the adjacent Valley of the Monkey’s. If Ankhesenamun was indeed the spouse of Pharaoh Ay, the chances are she was laid to rest somewhere not very far away from him.Using ground radar scanning technology, researchers have successfully located several potentially interesting sites. One has raised particular interest as the evidence suggests that it is the entrance to a tomb. Could Hawass and his team have finally located the burial place of Ankhesenamun? They are certainly hoping to get lucky.Read another story from us: Archaeologists prepare to open a mysterious black sarcophagus in Alexandria, the largest ever foundFinding the grave of King Tutankhamun’s spouse is certain to thrill everyone who is interested in Egyptology. The find could shed new light on the tumultuous 18th Dynasty, which was the first Dynasty to reign Ancient Egypt during its New Kingdom period.The latest dig in the Valley of Monkeys in search of the tomb of Ankhesenamun has been sponsored by the Discovery Channel. If her tomb reveals itself somewhere close to the tomb of Ay, historians could finally fill in some of the gaps. Of course, unless such a find opens new mysteries that will puzzle us for the next hundred years.last_img read more