400 Turkish pre-schoolers create world’s largest marbling painting

Jan. 16 (UPI) — A group of 400 pre-schoolers in Turkey showed off their creativity by crafting a record-breaking piece of art.

The students from Vilayetler Hizmetler Birligi Kindergarten gathered in Antakya to set the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest fabric marbling painting.

Their creation measured more than 164 feet long and 6.5 feet wide and surpassed the previous record of 145 feet by 5 feet, also created in Turkey.

Marbling describes the process of creating an image on the surface of a cellulose solution and transferring it to a piece of fabric.

The hundreds of students worked together to mix bright colors together, creating a vibrant mural.

Organizers from the school said they arranged the event to promote the importance of art education for young kids.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2018/01/16/400-Turkish-pre-schoolers-create-worlds-largest-marbling-painting/6101516159699/

Ex-CIA agent in China arrested for possessing unauthorized classified info

Jan. 16 (UPI) — A former CIA agent who worked for the agency in China was arrested on suspicion of possessing unauthorized information, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, faces charges of unlawful retention of national defense information. Lee joined the CIA in 1994 and worked in Hong Kong, where he had Top Secret clearance. But he left in 2007 and had stayed in Hong Kong to live. In 2012, he returned to the United States and FBI agents checked his possessions and allegedly found notebooks full of unauthorized information.

“While traveling back to the United States, Lee and his family had hotel stays in Hawaii and Virginia,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “During each of the hotel stays, FBI agents conducted court-authorized searches of Lee’s room and luggage, and found that Lee was in unauthorized possession of materials relating to the national defense. Specifically, agents found two small books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and locations of covert facilities.”

Lee wasn’t arrested at the time and was allowed to return to Hong Kong. According to The New York Times, he was under suspicion of having given Chinese authorities classified information that led to the dismantlement of the CIA’s spy apparatus there.

“If, indeed, Mr. Lee was working for the Chinese, he was in a position to great damage,” Dennis Wilder, a former senior official at the CIA responsible for China, told Politico. “The turning of a CIA officer is very rare, in part, because of the stringent screening and re-investigation process for all officers.”

A 2017 New York Times report found that Chinese authorities may have killed or imprisoned several CIA informants in the country since 2010.

Lee faces 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/01/16/Ex-CIA-agent-in-China-arrested-for-possessing-unauthorized-classified-info/9101516160410/

Emmanuel Macron ‘agrees to loan Bayeux Tapestry to Britain’

French president to allow artefact to leave the country for first time for 950 years

Bayeux Tapestry

The tapestry is not likely to be loaned for another five years, after structural tests have been carried out.
Photograph: Alinari/Rex/Shutterstock

The Bayeux Tapestry will be loaned to Britain after the French president agreed to let it leave his country for the first time in 950 years, the Guardian understands.

Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce that the artefact depicting the Norman conquest of England after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 will be moved from its current location in Normandy to the UK at an Anglo-French summit on Thursday.

Theresa May will use the decision, which has involved lengthy talks between each country’s respective culture departments, to highlight the strength in UK-French relations following Brexit.

The artwork, which is 70 metres (229 ft) long and 50cm high, is thought to have been made shortly after the battle in the 11th century. Some historians argue it was made in Kent, England, a debate that is set to reignite following the announcement.

The loan is not likely to take place for five years and is reportedly subject to tests by the Bayeux Museum to ensure it can be moved without causing damage. It is not yet known where the artwork will be displayed when it arrives in the UK.

There have been previous unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a loan of the embroidery to the UK: once for the Queen’s coronation in 1953; and in 1966 for the 900-year anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

The first written record of it is in 1476 when it was recorded in the Bayeux cathedral treasury as “a very long and narrow hanging on which are embroidered figures and inscriptions comprising a representation of the conquest of England”.

However, the embroidery has rarely been moved even within France. In 1803 Napoleon Bonaparte put it on display in Paris and in 1945, it was briefly displayed in the Louvre in 1945 after being seized from the Nazis.

The announcement will likely lighten the mood when May hosts Macron at Sandhurst military academy on Thursday.

The talks will see the leaders discuss the handling of the migration crisis at Calais and agree closer cooperation on fighting al-Qaida-linked militants “at source” in north Africa.

The prime minister is expected to use the summit to announce that Britian will send military helicopters to join a French campaign against Islamist extremists in the region.

منبع مطلب : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/17/emmanuel-macron-bayeux-tapestry-loan-britain

Meteor lights up night sky, rattles Michigan with ‘loud boom’ (VIDEOS)

Numerous videos recorded by security cameras and dashcams in the Metro-Detroit area and surrounding cities Tuesday night show a flash of bright light zooming across the sky, instantly turning night into day for an instant.

Several Michigan residents took to social media to say they heard a loud sound after the flash of light. Many speculated that the light and sound were caused by a meteor, while others said that it could be something more mysterious.

After receiving multiple 911 calls, the Ingham County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management told residents not to worry, saying, “It’s a natural meteor fireball.”

“While many also reported an explosion, there is no indication that anything landed on the ground or cased damage. Most likely it was the boom of the meteor breaking apart,” a text alert to residents said, according to WWJ.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/usa/416140-flash-boom-michigan-meteor-fireball/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Paris Metro drivers have to skip stations as crack dealers take over platforms – union

The Unsa RATP union, which represents the Paris Metro and bus network, has sent a letter to Gerard Collomb, the French Minister of the Interior, as well as Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris and Valerie Pecresse, the President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France, saying that certain metro stations, particularly on lines 12 and 4 in the north-east, were being used by drug dealers as a base and as a result, drug-related crime and violence has been on the rise.

In a joint statement with the group SOS Users, the union said dealers and their loitering customers were aggressive and often dangerous.

“Between the brawls that occur on the platforms, which sometimes end up happening on the train or across the tracks, you could hit someone, or crush them,” trade union representative Jean-Marc Judith told RTL, adding that the number of attacks on travellers and RATP staff “are becoming increasingly dramatic.”

The union said that the Marx Dormoy and Marcadet-Poissonniers stops, on lines 12 and 4 respectively, are among the most dangerous stations, where crack cocaine users, dealers and homeless people are often found screaming, shouting, fighting or sprawled out across the platforms.

The situation has worsened over the past few months, as Judith recalled an incident where an alarm was pulled, and when one of his colleagues went to investigate he was attacked by two people, as reported by the Le Parisien.

The union has called for a stronger, regular and better-coordinated police presence at the stations to ensure employee and passenger safety, while at the same time ridding the area of unsavoury commuters.

A meeting between union representatives, local officials and government ministers, including those tasked with fighting drug addiction, is scheduled for January 19.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/news/416139-paris-crack-dealers-metro/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Net neutrality revival may hinge on 1 vote in Senate

The measure introduced Tuesday by Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) would block the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) December repeal of net neutrality rules under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). And it already has the support of all 49 Democrats and one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, The Hill reported.

If the measure passes through the Senate with a 51-vote majority, it would then also need to pass the Republican-led US House of Representatives. If the bill passes there, the decision to either approve the measure, or veto it, would lie in the hands of President Donald Trump.

Under the Congressional Review Act, legislators have a 60-day window to pass the measure from the time the FCC repealed the regulations, which was on December 14 in a 3-2 vote. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai approved the measure to repeal rules that blocked internet service providers (ISP) in the US from offering customers paid fast lanes or throttling and blocking internet traffic. The rules had been set in 2015 under former President Barack Obama.

“There is a tsunami of Congressional and grassroots support to overturn the FCC’s partisan and misguided decision on net neutrality,” Markey said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) also spoke out in favor the new repeal measure, saying, “it’s clear that Democrats are committed to fighting to keep the internet from becoming the Wild West where ISPs are free to offer premium service to only the wealthiest customers while average consumers are left with far inferior options,”The Hill reported.

Nearly half of US states sue over net neutrality repeal

Attorneys general from 22 states, including New York and California, filed a lawsuit against the FCC Tuesday afternoon in the US District Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

“An open internet – and the free exchange of ideas it allows – is critical to our democratic process,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) said in a statement. “The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers – allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) released a statement of his own in relation to the lawsuit.

READ MORE: How the FCC’s reversal of net neutrality may affect you

“Internet access is a utility – just like water and electricity,” he said. “And every consumer has a right to access online content without interference or manipulation by their internet service provider. However, in repealing the net neutrality rules, the FCC ignored consumers’ strong support for a free and open internet.”

The officials are being joined in the suit by consumer groups including Public Knowledge and web company Mozilla, The Hill reported.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/usa/416138-one-vote-needed-fcc-net-neutrality/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Scammer creates Twitter account posing as Florida lottery winner

Jan. 16 (UPI) — A fake Twitter account posing as 20-year-old Florida lottery winner Shane Missler falsely offered followers a share of his $451 million jackpot.

The account with the handle “@Shane_MissIer” with a capital “I” in place of the lower-case “l” appeared on the social networking site this weekend offering $5,000 to the first 50,000 followers to like or retweet one of its posts.

As of Tuesday afternoon more than 50,000 people had retweeted the post and it had received more than 60,000 likes.

The fake account also asked Twitter users to share their Venmo and Paypal account emails as a public response to another tweet and encouraged one user asking for money to send a private message.

Missler sent a tweet from his actual Twitter account “@TheShaneMissler” shortly after he won the lottery prize, warning of fake accounts using his name.

“Unfortunately many fake accounts have already circulated. My only active and real accounts are Instagram and Twitter both @TheShaneMissler,” he wrote.

The Florida Lottery announced Missler had claimed the $451 million Mega Millions jackpot prize on Friday, marking the fourth-largest jackpot in the game’s 15-year history.

He elected to receive roughly $282 million in a one-time payment to collect his winnings.

While the fake Twitter account offered to pay out a total of $250 million among 50,000 followers, the real Missler will only receive about $211.4 million after federal income taxes.

The account offering money to its followers appears to have been deleted, but other accounts impersonating Missler remain.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2018/01/16/Scammer-creates-Twitter-account-posing-as-Florida-lottery-winner/1671516153223/

Women are hardier than men, study suggests

TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2018 — Women are known to outlive men. And that advantage may start early, according to researchers who’ve found baby girls more likely to survive famines, epidemics and other misfortunes.

The fact that females have this advantage in infancy — when there are few behavioral differences between the sexes — suggests biology may be at least partly responsible, the researchers said.

“Our results add another piece to the puzzle of gender differences in survival,” said study leaders Virginia Zarulli, from the University of Southern Denmark, and James Vaupel, from Duke University.

They examined about 250 years of data on people who died at age 20 or younger due to severe circumstances. These included slavery in Trinidad and the United States in the early 1800s; famine in Sweden, Ireland and the Ukraine in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries; and measles epidemics in Iceland in the 1800s.

Even when overall death rates were very high, females still lived longer than males by an average of six months to four years, according to the study.

Breaking down the results by age group, the researchers found that most of the female survival advantage came in infancy, with newborn girls hardier than newborn boys.

This early female survival advantage may be due to factors such as genetics or hormones, the researchers suggested in a Duke news release.

For example, estrogens (female hormones) have been shown to boost the immune system’s ability to fight infectious disease, the researchers said.

The results were published online recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

The World Health Organization has facts on child mortality.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2018/01/16/Women-are-hardier-than-men-study-suggests/8371516155306/

Fluids may buy dying cancer patients a day or two

TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2018 — Giving fluids to dying cancer patients may help them live a bit longer, a new British study finds.

“Hydration plays a key role in delaying the dying process,” said Dr. Agnieszka Michael, medical director of clinical trials at the University of Surrey in England.

However, “why this is remains unknown,” Michael added.

The study included more than 200 cancer patients, aged 28 to 98, in the United Kingdom. The patients were in their last week of life and were unable to take in sufficient fluids on their own.

Those who received fluids either directly into a vein or under the skin lived an average of 1.5 days longer than those who did not receive fluids, according to the study.

The team plans to continue its research. “The results from this will help improve quality in end-of-life care,” Michael said in a university news release.

“Hydration of dying patients in palliative care delivers the gift of time. However, this is not a gift that all patients and their families desire,” Michael added.

It’s a contentious issue, said Andrew Davies, a consultant in palliative medicine at Royal Surrey County Hospital.

But one extra day can make a world of difference to some patients, he said.

“For some patients and their families, living an extra day or so may be extremely important, as it can give them an opportunity to say their goodbyes, have family arrive from abroad, write a will or even get married,” Davies explained.

The study was published online recently in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on end-of-life care.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2018/01/16/Fluids-may-buy-dying-cancer-patients-a-day-or-two/9591516155151/

Weight-loss surgery’s benefits wane over time for diabetics

TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2018 — In the relative short-run, weight-loss surgery helped obese people struggling with type 2 diabetes experience marked improvement in diabetes-related health issues, new research reports.

But, their ability to control blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels diminished over time, the study found. That raises questions as to how long the benefits can be maintained further down the road.

“We found that adding gastric bypass [weight-loss surgery] did provide significant benefit at five years after surgery,” said study author Dr. Charles Billington. “But the size of the benefit declined substantially from the first to the fifth year.”

Billington is a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The study began with 120 patients with type 2 diabetes from the United States and Taiwan. Half underwent weight-loss surgery while the other half had only lifestyle interventions.

After a year, 50 percent of the 60 participants who’d had weight-loss surgery had reached targeted blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels associated with diabetes control. However, “the slide in achievement of the triple endpoint target among the gastric bypass group was from 50 percent at one year to 23 percent at five years,” Billington said.

By comparison, 16 percent of the 60 study participants who did not have weight-loss surgery met the three diabetes control targets after a year. That fell to 4 percent after five years, according to the study.

Billington said the drop-off in effectiveness probably was not a question of regaining weight after surgery. Participants’ weights were found to be “fairly stable” between two and five years after the procedure, he said.

Instead, he suggested that much of the benefit loss “may be related to withdrawal of the intense [post-surgery] lifestyle and medical management after two years, when the participants were transitioned to usual medical care.”

The study appears in the Jan. 16 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

The benefits of weight-loss surgery, however, extend beyond people with diabetes, another study in the same journal issue reported.

It found that weight-loss surgery can greatly decrease obese people’s odds of dying in the four to five years after the procedure.

The study found “lower mortality rates — up to 50 percent [lower] — in the obese patient undergoing surgery, as opposed to matched obese patients who continue with usual care,” said lead study author Orna Reges. She’s an epidemiologist at the Clalit Research Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel.

“These results are in line with previous results, which demonstrated the benefit of bariatric surgery to reduce all-cause mortality in the short term,” Reges said.

The benefit might stem from people’s ability to maintain weight loss, the researchers said.

Reges’ study tracked nearly 8,400 people in Israel for an average of 4.5 years after their weight-loss surgery. Their outcomes were compared with those of more than 25,000 obese people who did not have weight-loss surgery.

About 60 percent of those who’d had surgery maintained much of their weight loss, compared with 8 percent of those who hadn’t had surgery.

In the diabetes study, which involved only people who were obese and had the blood sugar disease, participants had been dealing with diabetes for nine years, on average.

Though the diabetes-control benefits achieved right after surgery did taper off over time, most people’s readings were still better at the five-year point than they had been before their surgery, according to the study results.

Generally, blood sugar control held up the best, compared with blood pressure and cholesterol control, Billington said.

Whether weight-loss surgery is worth it for people with diabetes, Billington said, is “a matter of perspective.”

“The improvement in achievement of the triple endpoint [markers] is significant, but may not be large enough to warrant the adverse events,” he said. People who’d had surgery had more gastrointestinal problems such as small bowel obstructions and leaks, the study found.

“The surgery group did get better blood sugar control at the price of more adverse events,” Billington said.

Dr. John Morton, chief of bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, was less equivocal.

“This paper again demonstrates the strong superiority of surgical management versus lifestyle changes for treatment of obesity and diabetes,” he said.

But Morton acknowledged that the surgery’s protective impact did appear to weaken and offered possible explanations.

For one thing, the study participants had “long-standing, poorly controlled diabetes,” he noted. “Consequently, treatment of late-stage disease … will be harder to eradicate. The study highlights the need for earlier referral for treatment.

“In addition, a sizable portion of patients were of Asian background, who can have diabetes at much lower weights, indicating a different course of disease for these patients, independent of weight,” Morton said.

More information

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has more on weight-loss surgery and diabetes.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2018/01/16/Weight-loss-surgerys-benefits-wane-over-time-for-diabetics/8911516154974/