Manipur tribal council chief caught with drugs worth Rs 20 crore

first_imgA team of Manipur’s Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) on Wednesday caught the head of a tribal council and seven others for possessing 4 kg of heroin and 2.8 lakh Yaba tablets besides old notes of ₹500.Yaba is an intoxicant made from methamphetamine and caffeine. NAB officials said the seized drugs are worth ₹20 crore in the grey market.NAB officials said a team led by deputy superintendent of police Thounaojam Brinda caught Lhukhosei Zou, a Congress leader and chairman of Chandel Autonomous District Council, and the others from his residence at Lamphel in State capital Imphal. district borders Myanmar.NAB officials said the consignment of drugs, procured from adjoining Myanmar, was in the process of being trafficked to Meghalaya capital Shillong and other states in the Northeast. Chandellast_img read more

Foreign media hail Romeo as tournament best scorer

first_imgPhoto from Fiba.comGilas Pilipinas has taken the Fiba Asia Cup by storm in Beirut and one man who helped put away all pre-tournament talk on how mighty China is has been heaping praises from international media there.Terrence Romeo, who exploded for 26 points in a 97-86 upset of the defending champion Chinese last week, is being described as possibly “the best scorer” in the tournament after being the only player in the Top 7 to come off the bench.ADVERTISEMENT An article at Fiba.com on Wednesday was dedicated to the 5-foot-10 Romeo, who is averaging 17.7 points in the Filipinos’ first three games. He is also averaging the least minutes among the top scorers.Lebanese legend Fadi El Khatib is shooting an average of 24.3 points in 30 minutes to be at No. 1, with former PBA import Michael Madanly tossing in a shade over 20 points in 29 minutes, counting a 35-point explosion versus China.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut Romeo has been hailed as this tournament’s biggest star and labeled by the article as the Philippines’ new face in international basketball because of his “overflowing swagger, slick ball-handling and streaky shooting,” according to the article.It also narrates how Romeo and the rest of the team sulked in the locker room after losing to the Chinese in the finals in Changsha in 2015, and how Romeo vowed that no one from the Chinese national team would be able to touch him when a return bout happens. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago MOST READ Filipinos drop to battle for 7th Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village Read Next LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension View commentslast_img read more

Capitals’ Hathaway ejected for spitting on Ducks’ Gudbranson

first_imgTempers flared during the first 40 minutes between Washington and Anaheim and boiled over with 33.4 seconds remaining in the second. Capitals forward Brendan Leipsic bulldozed the Ducks’ Derek Grant behind the net, sparking several fights between the teams’ fourth lines.Hathaway was involved with Grant, Gudbranson and Nick Ritchie during the scrum before being thrown out.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practice Rice industry paralysis Priority legislation in the 18th Congress Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte officials’ paranoia is ‘singularly myopic’ Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics MOST READ Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. What’s behind the display of Chinese flag in Boracay? Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Washington Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway (21) fights Anaheim Ducks center Derek Grant (38) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON — Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway has been ejected from a game for spitting on a player from the Anaheim Ducks.Hathaway spit on defenseman Erik Gudbranson during a brawl late in the second period Monday night with referee Peter MacDougall standing a few feet away. Officials reviewed video before confirming the five-minute match penalty that triggers a game misconduct.ADVERTISEMENT Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Nets’ Kyrie Irving out again with right shoulder injury LATEST STORIES Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’ PLAY LIST 02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue View commentslast_img read more

TT League, Ultimate Ping Pong to begin in July

first_imgNew Delhi, May 23 (PTI) A new table tennis league, named Ultimate Ping Pong (UPP), with six teams on board, will kick off on July 13 with support from the Indian national federation and the world governing body of the game. The launch was announced by 11Even Sports Pvt. Ltd (ESPL), a company formed to promote table tennis in India, through a press release. The inaugural season will be played from July 13 to July 30 in three different cities – Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. The first two legs will be held in Chennai and Delhi before UPP shifts base to Mumbai for the finale. “UPP will feature a total of 48 world class paddlers (24 mens players and 24 womens players) including 24 Indians. Each franchise will comprise eight paddlers – two Indian men players, two Indian women players, two foreign men players and two foreign women players,” a release stated. The teams will battle it out for the prize pool of USD 450,000 (about 3 crore rupees), the highest ever prize money for a table tennis event in the country. “Table Tennis is close to my heart and I have been contributing to the development of the sport. With Ultimate Ping Pong I found the right platform to begin our journey in making India a medal contending nation in table tennis at the Olympics,” Niraj R Bajaj, a co-promoter of UPP, said. ITTF president Thomas Weikert said, “ESPL recently organised Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour India Open very productively and we received great feedback from various participating players and coaches. We wish all success to Ultimate Ping Pong and look forward to increase the reach and interest of the game in India.” TTFI president Dushyant Chautala added, “We are extremely proud to be associated with the Ultimate Ping Pong as it is one of the most premier events for the sport ever to be held on an annual basis in India. “We thank 11EVEN SPORTS for their efforts to build Table Tennis and are sure that UPP will act as a catalyst to build everyones interest in the sport and get youngsters interested to play the game.” PTI AT AH AHadvertisementlast_img read more

New York Legislation Could Allow Sports Betting at Stadiums

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — A sponsor of sports betting legislation in New York said the bill likely would allow for in-person wagering at places like Yankee Stadium and Madison Square GardenAssemblyman Gary Pretlow said Friday the legislation he announced this week is being tweaked and will have that provision unless he receives strong opposition.“That is one of the changes, that we would open it up to have affiliates such as Madison Square Garden, which has expressed an interest in doing this,” the Westchester County Democrat told a panel at Cardozo Law School. “I think it’s a great idea.”State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, also a Democrat, took a more cautious tone.“To do it right, I think we need to do it in a very methodical manner,” Addabbo said. “I see sports betting being rolled out over a couple of years, to make sure we do it both legally and respecting the integrity of the sport, which is very important, and protecting the consumer. And then I would suggest we do roll it out to the stadiums and other venues at some point.”The Supreme Court struck down a federal sports gambling ban last year. Since then, no stadiums or arenas in the eight states that have offered sports gambling have on-site betting operations. New Jersey, for example, restricts in-person gambling to casinos and racetracks.Washington, D.C. approved gambling at stadiums and arenas in December, but it has yet to be implemented.One feature New Jersey offers that is proving a thorny issue in New York is mobile sports gambling. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials have contended the state constitution would have to be amended for mobile wagering to be legal. But on Friday Pretlow said he has been led to believe that the governor has revised his view.A Cuomo spokesman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.The issue is a crucial one: amending the constitution could take more than two years, and Pretlow said if the administration maintains its stance on his current legislation, “I won’t have the votes.”Four upstate New York casinos have been approved to offer sports gambling but are awaiting final regulatory approval from the state’s gaming commission. Stacey Rowland, counsel to Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, said the casino had hoped to get the draft regulations last year but didn’t get them until this January. Once they are published in the state registry there is a 60-day comment period before final approval, she said.“The status is, we’re just waiting for what the status is,” she said.New York legislators only have to look one state to the west to see the revenue potential of sports gambling. In New Jersey, the state that mounted the successful legal challenge to the federal ban, gamblers bet $385 million on sports in January, which included about $305 million online or via mobile devices.That helped Atlantic City’s nine casinos collectively post a revenue increase of nearly 20 percent over the same month a year earlier, before sports betting was legalized.“All due respect to anybody from New Jersey out there,” Addabbo told the panel Friday. “We’re going to do it better. And bigger. We are New York.”By: David Porter, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Mauricio Pellegrino yet to find attacking solution for stuttering Southampton

first_imgDuring Claude Puel’s year as Southampton manager he tended to speak so quietly in public that he was almost inaudible, so it is hardly surprising that no one has heard him laughing this season at his old club’s form. But that does not mean the Frenchman is not tittering away to himself at this very moment. And who could blame him if he is?Puel was let go in June despite leading Southampton to their first major final for 14 years and an eighth-place finish in the Premier League. But apparently his style was too boring and some players and many fans disliked his method, so he had to go – fair enough but look at them now.As they prepare for Sunday’s telling match with Newcastle, Southampton are 12th in the table and their new manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, has introduced such pizzazz that they have mustered five goals in seven league matches. Puel’s fate was sealed when his team failed to score in six of their final seven home games of last season. Hey presto, they have failed to score in four of their first five home games under Pellegrino, including the 2-0 defeat by Wolves that meant they were eliminated immediately from the EFL Cup in which they were runners-up last season, and by a Championship side. Puel may or may not be guffawing; season-ticket holders at St Mary’s are definitely still groaning.Puel was not the problem, then. But nothing so far suggests that Pellegrino is the solution. The Argentinian has tended to play the same formation as his predecessor, made similar selections and substitutions and presided over a similar possession-based style. Yet Southampton still struggle to score. It is too early to conclude that Pellegrino will flop but is it unreasonable to have expected progress on the attacking front? Kind of, yes.It is not a question of what has changed at the club so much as what else has remained the same. The answer, of course, is Southampton’s forwards. Last season the south coast club delivered more crosses (albeit of varying quality) than any other team but none of their strikers got close to a double-digit goal tally in the Premier League. Charlie Austin struck six before suffering an injury; Manolo Gabbiadini fired in four goals in his first three league matches but then he, too, was injured. The Italian has been back in action for months but his sharpness has not returned.Austin is a natural finisher but not mobile enough to serve as a lone striker in the formation that both Puel and Pellegrino prefer, so he has not started a league game this season. Gabbiadini is also a classy finisher when at his best but he, too, has not been dynamic enough to be entrusted with a regular starting spot. Pellegrino has alternated between the Italian and Shane Long, who drags defences all over the place and gets much more involved in play (averaging 39 touches per match this season compared with 13 for Gabbiadini) but has never been a regular scorer. Graziano Pellè used to endure barren patches but Southampton still miss the striker who left for China in July last year. Southampton spent a club record £18.1m in the summer on the tidy midfielder Mario Lemina, and the club’s chairman, Ralph Krueger, said that retaining Virgil van Dijk was “a statement we need to make” but, bearing in mind that they also signed the centreback Wesley Hoedt, a more important declaration of intent would have been to improve their firepower by buying a striker who can thrive in the system that they apparently want to play. Either that, or Pellegrino has to find another system, perhaps by playing with two strikers, which he has been reluctant to do.The attackers behind the strikers remain no more reliable than the players in front of them. They shine in spells but there seems no way of knowing how they will ration their magic. Nathan Redmond, last season’s top scorer in the league with seven goals, has scored once this season and his ratio of good performances to bad is worsening. Dusan Tadic started this campaign glumly but has perked up recently. Sofiane Boufal has looked bright in a couple of appearances off the bench but not shown enough since his arrival in January to earn a regular start. Steve Davis had been a paragon of consistency for years until this season, stirring fears that, at 32, he is dwindling.Other erstwhile stalwarts are also wavering. Southampton had two of the best full-backs in the league last season but Ryan Bertrand has been below par this season and Cédric Soares made an uncharacteristic lapse that led to Stoke’s winning goal in Southampton’s last outing. Fraser Forster has become fallible in goal and Van Dijk has been reintegrated into the team but to what effect remains unclear, other than pushing Jack Stephens to the margins.Stephens’s emergence was one of the gains of Puel’s tenure. Now, with James Ward-Prowse’s form sagging, Southampton’s successful assimilation of homegrown players looks to be in jeopardy.These are uncertain times for a club whose vision has been mostly true in recent years. Maybe Pellegrino will work out a way to coax more consistency from talented players, and maybe Gao Jisheng, the Chinese real estate tycoon who bought 80% of the club in August, will sanction investment in January. If not, a club that has earned the right to aspire to hobnobbing with European competitors could find itself brawling against relegation. Barney Ronay Share on Messenger Share via Email Reuse this content Share on Facebook The Observer Share on Twitter Read more Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest features Why curiosity was never going to kill Arsenal’s Mesut Özil Southampton Topicslast_img read more

BC Liberals say jobs the top election issue while NDP pledges climate

first_imgVANCOUVER – The New Democrats started the last full week of British Columbia’s election campaign by pushing a climate-change agenda while the Liberals put jobs at the top of their campaign bid to win votes.NDP Leader John Horgan attended a town hall meeting Monday with members of a climate leadership team the Liberal government had tasked in 2015 to advise them on climate-change recommendations.Prominent environmentalist Tzeporah Berman, who was a member of the climate-action team, said Monday she is endorsing the NDP because as premier, Liberal Leader Christy Clark didn’t follow the panel’s recommendations after hailing its work at a climate-change conference in Paris.Horgan said he would re-establish the team within the first 100 days in office if he wins the election on May 9 and would work to implement 32 recommendations that include an increase in the carbon tax to fight climate change.He said the NDP would introduce a federally mandated carbon price of $50 a tonne by 2022, but do it over three years, starting in 2020.“It’s going to be a gradual implementation and we’re going to make sure that almost 80 per cent of British Columbians will get some form of a rebate so they can have less money out of their pocket than before,” he said.The plan calls for low- and middle-income families to get a rebate cheque intended to mitigate increases in the carbon tax.Berman said Green party Leader Andrew Weaver’s climate-action plan is also strong but that the NDP’s agenda is more robust, with initiatives to create jobs in the mining, agriculture and forestry sectors.“Under Christy Clark, the B.C. Liberals have focused on trying to increase fracked gas and LNG. Now our greenhouse gas emissions are going up.”Berman said she met with Clark after the task force was convened in June 2015 and the Liberal leader seemed serious about implementing climate-change initiatives that would take into account affordability and a strong economy.However, the plan the party introduced last August will allow climate pollution to increase for the next 10 to 14 years, Berman said.The carbon tax was launched in 2008 by then-premier Gordon Campbell but Clark froze it when she took office three years later.The tax sits at $30 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions though Berman’s team had called for a $10 increase starting in 2018.Clark told a crowd at a Vancouver biotech firm on Monday that the biggest threat facing the province is U.S. President Donald Trump and his anti-trade rhetoric.When asked by reporters about Berman’s claims, Clark said the Liberals accepted many of the panel’s recommendations.“We did not, though, accept the key recommendation in the minds of some of the folks from the environmental movement, which is that we double the carbon tax,” she said.“Is now the time to double the carbon tax, to hike business taxes, to hike personal income taxes, when we are facing a rising tide of protectionism and a tax-cutting government down south of the border? I think it would be disastrous for jobs in our province.”Clark said British Columbia remains a leader on climate change.“Nobody else in North America is paying a $30-a-tonne carbon tax, nobody,” she said. “And we should be very proud of our leadership position. As other people catch up we’ll be in a position to rethink that policy. But we are going to freeze it.”— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

Judge rules SNCLavalin headed to trial on charges of fraud corruption

first_imgMONTREAL — A court of Quebec judge has ruled that SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is headed to trial on charges of fraud and corruption.The decision is the latest step in criminal proceedings that began last fall after the Montreal-based engineering and construction giant failed to secure a deferred prosecution agreement, a kind of plea deal that would have seen the firm agree to pay a fine rather than face prosecution.Over the past four months, SNC-Lavalin has found itself in the centre of a political controversy following accusations from former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould that top government officials pressured her to overrule federal prosecutors, who had opted not to negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with the company.SNC-Lavalin and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have argued that a criminal trial could trigger the company’s exit to the United States and the loss of thousands of jobs.The RCMP has accused SNC-Lavalin of paying $47.7 million in bribes to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011. The company, its construction division and a subsidiary also face one charge each of fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of $129.8 million.The company can choose a trial by jury or by judge alone. Prior to that, it can opt to apply within 30 days to the Superior Court of Quebec to have Wednesday’s lower court decision quashed.Companies in this story: (TSX:SNC) The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Helmet maker vows fight against Hernandez concussion lawsuit

first_imgDEDHAM, Mass. – Football helmet maker Riddell says it intends to vigorously defend its products and its reputation against concussion-related lawsuits like one lawyers for late New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez have filed in Massachusetts against it and the NFL.Des Plaines (dehz playnz), Illinois-based Riddell says it introduced helmets designed to mitigate concussion risks more than 15 years ago.Hernandez’s attorneys filed a federal lawsuit last month after Hernandez killed himself in prison and an autopsy revealed he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (ehn-sehf-uh-LAH’-puh-thee), a brain disease found in people who’ve suffered repetitive brain trauma such as concussions.The lawsuit was refiled Monday. It accuses the NFL of hiding the dangers of football and names Riddell. It seeks damages for Hernandez’s daughter.The NFL hasn’t responded to emails seeking comment.The Patriots have been removed from the new lawsuit.___This story has been corrected to show that Riddell is based in Des Plaines, Illinois, not Elyria, Ohio.last_img read more

Concerned at appalling state of Darfur Annan urges Security Council to beef

Among options discussed were strengthening the African Union (AU) monitoring force, at present numbering 1,900 troops out of an original target of up to 4,000, and setting up a possible UN force, to end the Darfur conflict, in which tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and almost 2 million forced from their homes since fighting erupted between the Government, allied militias and rebels in 2003.“There have been a lot of efforts on the humanitarian side, and by the African Union on the security side, which go in the right direction. But they are not enough,” Mr. Annan said in a statement issued after the meeting. “I was glad to hear from Council members that they hope to have a new resolution in the course of this week, which will include agreement on a mechanism for holding individuals accountable for these dreadful crimes. That is good. We must send a clear message that the world is not going to tolerate them,” he added. A Commission of Inquiry, set up last year by Mr. Annan, found there had been war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both sides, but primarily by Government forces and militias, and said their perpetrators should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Noting that everyone agreed that a stronger international presence on the ground is crucial, Mr. Annan said “clearly everyone’s first preference” is for the AU to stay in the lead, “but for the rest of us to give it more effective help, while keeping other options open.” Where the AU troops are, things are better for the population, but there are far too few of them, he added. He also welcomed pressure from the public and media for stronger and faster decisions on this issue. “We here are getting thousands of letters from people urging stronger action. I am sure national governments are getting them too,” he said. “I will hold a meeting next week with some of the leading NGOs (non-governmental organizations), to discuss with them the best ways of canalising this pressure so that it results in effective action by governments.” Mr. Annan also noted that everybody at the meeting agreed on the “vital” need to keep a separate peace process on track in southern Sudan, where a peace treaty signed two months ago between the Government and rebels ended Africa’s longest civil war. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland, on a four-day trip to Sudan, said over the weekend he was concerned at the low level of funding for the country’s 2005 work plan, with only 5 per cent of the funds needed in hand for rehabilitation and repatriation of 4.5 million refugees and displaced people in the south. “Either the world comes up with the investment or we lose the historic opportunity to put right one of the worst wars of our generation,” he declared, stressing the disturbing discrepancy between what the world promised to do once the peace agreement in the south was signed and what it has delivered so far. Mr. Annan took up the same them, stressing that it is vital to treat Sudan’s problems in their totality. “So we urge all donors to come through with their promises of aid for the south, and we don’t think it would be a good idea to ‘cannibalise’ the UN peacekeeping mission there for the sake of Darfur,” he said. Meanwhile, Mr. Annan’s Special Representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk, today visited Asmara, Eritrea, for talks with Government and Darfur rebel representatives in a bid to resume negotiations between the parties in Abuja, Nigeria, aimed at enforcing a ceasefire and leading to peace talks. read more

Carbon Blows Past ALA

The Dinos had a road region game on Tuesday against the American Leadership Academy Eagles.Carbon broke out in the first with four runs produced by stringing multiple hits together. Carbon added two more runs in the fourth for a 6-0 lead.ALA got back in the game with a four-run fifth, but the Dinos choked out the would-be comeback with five runs in the sixth and seven more in the seventh to win 18-4.Ty Anderson hit three triples in the game and had three RBIs. Kade Dimick also had a triple and three RBIs in the contest. Jordan Faussett, Anthony Jones, Collin Lewis and Kaleb Nelson all had doubles to aid in the Dino win.Carbon (4-6, 3-0 Region 14) will play Provo (7-2, 0-0 Region 8) on Thursday at home. read more

Smithfield makes move on market for pighuman transplants

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHuman organs grown in pigs may help transplant patients, scientists sayJune 9, 2016In “Health”Legislation outlawing commercial human organ trafficking in the works- MOPHFebruary 2, 2017In “Health”Woman lives six days without lungsJanuary 26, 2017In “World” By Julie Steenhuysen and Michael Hirtzer | CHICAGOPigs are seen at a Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, farm in the United States in this image released on April 11, 2017. Courtesy Smithfield Foods/Handout via REUTERS(Reuters) Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, has established a separate bioscience unit to expand its role in supplying pig parts for medical uses, with the ultimate goal of selling pig organs for transplantation into humans.Routine pig-human organ transplants are years away, but recent scientific advances are breaking down barriers that frustrated prior attempts to use pigs as a ready supply of replacement parts for sick or injured people, making it an attractive new market.“Our bread and butter has always been the bacon, sausage, fresh pork – very much a food-focused operation,” Courtney Stanton, vice president of Smithfield’s new bioscience unit, told Reuters in an exclusive interview.“We want to signal to the medical device and science communities that this is an area we’re focused on – that we’re not strictly packers,” she said.Smithfield, the $14 billion subsidiary of China’s WH Group (0288.HK), in its first move has joined a public-private tissue engineering consortium funded by an $80 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. Smithfield is the only pork producer, joining health-care companies including Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N), Medtronic (MDT.N) and United Therapeutics Corp (UTHR.O).Transplants are used for people diagnosed with organ failure and who have no other treatment options. Transplants from animals could help close a critical gap to help those in need. The United Network for Organ Sharing estimates that, on average, 22 people die each day while waiting for a transplant.Smithfield already harvests materials for medical use from the 16 million hogs it slaughters each year. The company owns more than 51 percent of its farms and hopes to sell directly to researchers and health-care companies, which now typically buy from third parties.Stanton said the U.S. market for pork byproducts used for medical, pet food and non-food purposes stands at more than $100 billion, and that excludes any potential market for animal-to-human transplants, known as xenotransplants.Smithfield has deals in the works to supply pig organs to two entities, though Stanton would not disclose the names.“It’s just a huge potential space, and to be at the leading edge and focused on building those relationships is critical,” she said.HOG HEARTSPigs have long been a tantalizing source of transplants because their organs are so similar to humans. A hog heart at the time of slaughter, for example, is about the size of an adult human heart.Other organs from pigs being researched for transplantation into humans include kidney, liver and lungs.Prior efforts at pig-to-human transplants have failed because of genetic differences that caused organ rejection or viruses that posed an infection risk. Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG (NOVN.S) folded its $1 billion xenotransplantation effort in 2001 because of safety concerns about pig viruses that could be passed to humans.George Church, a Harvard Medical School genetics professor and researcher, tackled that problem two years ago, using a new gene-editing tool known as CRISPR to trim away potentially harmful virus genes that have impeded the use of pig organs for transplants in humans.Church has since formed a company named eGenesis Bio to develop humanized pigs that do not provoke a rejection response or transfer viruses to people. The company last month raised $38 million in venture funding.Eventually, Church said, the process could enable researchers to harvest a dozen different organs and tissues from a single pig.Church estimates the first transplants involving humanized pig organs could occur in a clinical trial later this year, but these would only be used on people too sick to receive human organs.Genome pioneer Craig J. Venter’s Synthetic Genomics Inc has been working for two years with United Therapeutics on editing the pig genome and mixing in human cells to overcome the complex issues involved in immune rejection. “It’s not like changing a couple genes and you’ve got it solved,” Venter said.Stanton would not rule out breeding genetically modified animals, but said Smithfield’s first ventures will likely involve whole pig organs that go through decellularization – a process in which existing cells are washed away and replaced with human cells.Miromatrix Medical Inc, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, for example, is using whole pig livers to make a surgical mesh used in hernia repair and breast reconstruction, and it is working toward developing replacement livers, hearts and kidneys.Church welcomes the involvement of a big pork producer. “Even though we’ve got companies like eGenesis that would make the first pigs, you still need someone who will breed them and do it to scale,” he said.(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen and Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Leslie Adler) read more

Deer Run mine resumes longwall mining and will conduct longwall move

first_imgForesight Energy has resumed longwall mining operations at its Deer Run mine, under a plan approved by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and will continue those mining activates over the next several days, until it reaches a location where the longwall can be safely recovered and relocated to a new longwall district. Elevated carbon monoxide levels at the mine in excess of action levels had forced an evacuation of the mine on March 26.Upon completion of this longwall move, Foresight will seal the current longwall district and then use continuous miners to resume development of the next longwall district, in a new area of the mine. Foresight continues to work with regulatory agencies for the purpose of completing this longwall move and fully resuming normal longwall mining operations at the Deer Run mine.Hillboro Energy’s mining complex, located in Montgomery County, Illinois, USA, is designed to support up to three separate longwall mines producing up to 28.5 Mt/y. It began development of its first mine, Deer Run, in October 2010 and began coal production in 2011. Its first longwall began operating in August of 2012. Deer Run Mine No 1:One longwall mineTwo continuous miner units2,000 t/h preparation plantProductive capacity: potentially 9.5 Mt/ylast_img read more

Futuristic Boeing Air Force jets will be remotely piloted and netcentric

first_imgAlthough human pilots have hardly been replaced by computers yet, the bottom line is that the average pilot is infinitely more fragile than his fighter jet… and that can become a serious problem when you’re pulling enough Gs to pulverize a skeleton. That’s just the consideration that has prompted the United States Air Force to announced that when the next generation of fighter planes debut, they expect all of them to be capable of remote piloting.AdChoices广告The Air Force calls these future fighter planes Next Generation Tactical Aircraft, or TACAIR. They’re years off, but Boeing, at least, will be making one.What will these future TACAIRs look like? Very streamlined, with an appearance that is much more drone-like than current fighter planes. These new jets would feature advanced situational awareness and something called “net-centricity/”The idea here is to not make airplanes that pilot themselves, but to take pilots out of the cockpits of fighter planes and allow them to do the dangerous missions from a reclining chair back at base. You know, gamer style. Considering how hard and expensive a decent pilot is to replace and how many “impossible” maneuvers a jet pilot could pull off if he wasn’t actually strapped inside the mouth of the plane he was flying, we think the Air Force is on the right track. Then again, though, I guess this could just be the first step towards Skynet.Read more at FBOlast_img read more

Trump draws criticism as he repeats respect for killer Putin

first_imgTrump draws criticism as he repeats respect for ‘killer’ Putin Trump was speaking in an excerpt of a Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly. Feb 5th 2017, 6:24 PM Short URL Sunday 5 Feb 2017, 6:24 PM 125 Comments Source: Michael McFaul/Twitter https://jrnl.ie/3223879 Share303 Tweet Email center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article ‘Major fight’ against ISMainstream Republicans have repeatedly called on Trump to distance himself from Putin, with little impact.Throughout the election campaign, Trump refused to criticise the Russian leader, saying better relations with the Kremlin would be in the US national interest.The new president has advocated working with Russia to combat the Islamic State group in Syria.“If Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all around the world, major fight. That’s a good thing,” Trump told Fox.Moscow has deployed aircraft, naval assets and troops to Syria, but has so far trained its fire on rebels with the aim of propping up Bashar al-Assad’s regime.In December, US intelligence agencies went public with their view that Russia conducted a hack-and-release campaign aimed at swinging the US election in Trump’s favor.Trump’s repeated criticism of NATO – a common target for Putin – has only fueled suspicions that Trump is ready to side with Moscow over allies in Europe.Across Europe, there are growing concerns that the continent might be wedged between a hostile Russia and a hostile United States.Trump’s stance on Ukraine has also raised eyebrows. After a call with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko yesterday, the White House said the pair addressed “Ukraine’s long-running conflict with Russia.”Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea in March 2014 and has supported separatists in the east of the country.Former national security advisor Susan Rice publicly criticised Trump’s framing of the situation.“This distortion of even recent history is deeply troubling,” she tweeted.- © AFP 2017Read: US court denies request to immediately reinstate travel banRead: US State Department reverses visa ban after judge halted Trump’s order> 26,346 Views This moral equivalency that Trumps continues to draw between the USA and Russia is disgusting (and inaccurate). https://t.co/swArfIzZh7— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) February 5, 2017 PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP has drawn fire from Republicans and Democrats alike after he defended a softer stance on Russia, playing down political assassinations and Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.Trump – now two weeks into his four-year term – showed no signs of yielding to demands from within his own Republican Party to distance himself from President Vladimir Putin, plunging himself into a fresh political firestorm.“I do respect him. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them,” Trump said in an excerpt of a Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that will air in full later tonight.When pressed in relation to Putin’s alleged links to the extrajudicial killing of journalists and dissidents, Trump said, “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers.”“You think our country is so innocent?” Trump asked rhetorically.Trump’s fellow Republicans, including Senate leader Mitch McConnell, were quick to criticize the president’s remarks.“I don’t think there is any equivalency with the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does,” McConnell said.“He is a former KGB agent, a thug, not elected in a way that most people consider a credible election,” he told CNN.That criticism was echoed by Michael McFaul, a former ambassador to Russia and advisor to former president Barack Obama, described Trump’s comments as “disgusting.”“This moral equivalency that Trumps continues to draw between the USA and Russia is disgusting (and inaccurate),” he said on Twitter. By AFPlast_img read more

Kane bags hattrick as England put six past Panama in their biggestever

first_imgFollowing Panama complaints, the goal was referred to VAR for offside but allowed to stand.Kane then scored his second penalty in first-half injury time after he was almost farcically wrestled over at a corner, despite further Panama complaints.At that stage, Panama, who received five bookings in their first match and three more here, threatened to implode, so bad was their lack of discipline.Kane’s hat-trick was completed in bizarre fashion in the 62nd minute after a Ruben Loftus-Cheek deflected off the English captain’s heel into the net.Again, the referee checked with VAR for offside, but once more the goal stood.The second-half was largely an anti-climax, with Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling going close to making it seven.37-year-old defender Felipe Baloy latched onto a free-kick to score his nation’s first-ever goal at the finals, but it was no more than a consolation.GOAL PANAMA#ENG 6-1 #PAN 78mins: Panama score their first ever World Cup goal as Felipe Baloy guided the ball home from a free-kick.#RTEsoccer#Updates: https://t.co/tPwx8hfUhW pic.twitter.com/ujxBQ0c7MN— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 24, 2018 By AFP Jun 24th 2018, 2:57 PM ENGLAND RECORDED THEIR biggest ever World Cup finals win by thrashing an ill-disciplined Panama 6-1 to breeze through to the knockout stage after two games.A hat-trick from captain Harry Kane — which means he is now the leading scorer in the tournament with five goals — two from John Stones, his first ever in an England shirt, and a beauty from Jesse Lingard completed the crushing victory.The result also confirmed Belgium’s qualification for the knockout stage and means Panama exit the tournament alongside Tunisia.The records tumbled for England on an easy afternoon by the River Volga.The rout was the first time England have scored more than four goals at a World Cup finals since winning the tournament in 1966.It was the first time in England’s history they have managed five goals in a first half and Kane became the first England player to score a World Cup hat-trick since Gary Lineker in 1986.It is also the first time they have qualified for the knockout stage since 2010, and the biggest victory so far at this tournament.Intriguingly, it also means they are level on points, goal difference and goals scored with Belgium in Group G. The two sides meet in Kaliningrad on Thursday.Despite the result, England started slowly and it was Panama who should have scored first in the fifth minute when Anibal Godoy blasted high and wide after the Central Americans carved open England’s defence.England took the lead in the eighth minute when John Stones powered home a header from a Kieran Trippier corner, held up by the referee because of wrestling and pushing by the Panamanians, something which was set to become a theme of the match.England extended their lead from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute after Lingard was brought down in the box by two defenders.That opened the floodgates.Lingard scored the game’s best goal in the 36th minute, a 20-yard curling shot past a helpless Jaime Penedo, then Stones added his second four minutes later, another header, following an intricate England free-kick.GOAL ENGLAND#ENG 3-0 #PAN 36mins: Jesse Lingard adds number three for England with a spectacular effort into the top corner.#RTEsoccerUpdates: https://t.co/tPwx8hfUhW pic.twitter.com/Ge8qXa9MWS— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 24, 2018 Kane bags hat-trick as England put six past Panama in their biggest-ever World Cup win The Tottenham striker is now leading the goalscoring charts at Russia 2018, while Gareth Southgate’s side are through to the knockout stages. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Sunday 24 Jun 2018, 2:57 PM Kane (right) salutes fans. Image: Owen Humphreys https://the42.ie/4089312 Follow us: the42.iecenter_img Image: Owen Humphreys 21,607 Views 46 Comments ‘Modric would maybe be a Ballon d’Or winner if he was German or Spanish’Swiss pair could be set for bans following controversial goal celebrations Kane (right) salutes fans. – © AFP 2018 The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Short URL Share12 Tweet Email last_img read more

Babyloid un bébé robot pour lutter contre la dépression chez les personnes

first_imgBabyloid : un bébé robot pour lutter contre la dépression chez les personnes âgéesBabyloid, c’est le nom d’un robot thérapeutique aux allures de peluche, conçu au Japon pour tenir compagnie aux personnes âgées, et ainsi lutter contre la dépression qui peut être engendrée par leur solitude.Un nouveau robot thérapeutique est né au Japon. Baptisé Babyloid, il pourrait avec ses airs de jouet en peluche, devenir une nouvelle arme contre la dépression chez les personnes âgées souffrant de la solitude. À lire aussiBoulimie : définition, causes, conséquences, de quoi s’agit-il ?Ce bébé robot a été développé par Masayoshi Kanoh, professeur à l’Université japonaise Chukyo, qui le présente sur son site Internet. Au milieu de son visage rond en silicone, Bayloid est doté de deux points noirs, qui clignent comme des yeux, et d’une petite bouche capable de sourire. Ses joues sont équipées de LED, qui deviennent rouges lorsque le robot est content, et bleus quand il est malheureux. Comme tous les bébés, le robot pleure, et pour le consoler et l’aider à s’endormir, rien de plus efficace que de le prendre dans ses bras et le bercer.Babyloid est capable d’émettre quelque cent sons différents, tous enregistrés par Masayoshi Kanoh auprès de son propre bébé. Des études expérimentales ont été menées dans une maison de retraite, et le chercheur a constaté que les utilisateurs interagissent avec le robot pendant sept à huit minutes en moyenne lors d’un séance, et au total 90 minutes par jour. La compagnie de Babyloid aurait sensiblement contribué à soulager les symptômes de la dépression chez les personnes âgées qui ont interagi avec lui.Pour l’heure, le prix du prototype du robot est très élevé, environ 2 millions de yens, soit 19.500 euros environ. Mais son créateur espère parvenir à le proposer pour 100.000 yens (195 euros) lorsqu’il sera lancé sur le marché.Le 18 décembre 2011 à 12:10 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Indigenous icon Morales losing grounds among native people

first_imgPeople sit in front of signs against Bolivian President Evo Morales` bid for re-election in 2019 in La Paz. Photo: ReutersIn 12 years as president of South America’s poorest country, Evo Morales has accomplished many of the goals he set forth when he became the first indigenous person to lead Bolivia.The 58-year-old leftist and former coca farmer has presided over an economy that has grown by an annual average of 4.6 percent since he took office, more than twice the rate for all of Latin America.After nationalizing the country’s bounteous natural gas reserves, he pursued market-friendly economic policies and invested export revenue in social programs that helped lift more than two million people, nearly a fifth of the population, from poverty.With a new constitution in 2009, he even changed the name of the country from the Republic of Bolivia to the Plurinational State of Bolivia, reflecting diverse ethnicities that for centuries had felt like second-class citizens.For Bolivia’s more than 4 million indigenous people, support for Morales appeared to pay off. The poverty rate dropped from 59.9 percent in 2006 to 36.4 percent last year. Access for indigenous communities to electricity, sewerage and water service all grew, according to the World Bank. Here in Charagua, in the country’s remote southern lowlands, Guarani people recently dissolved the local municipality and launched Bolivia’s first experiment in autonomous government. The move, made possible by the new constitution, is meant to replace distant, homogenous rule with policies tailored to the local, indigenous reality. Yet here and across Bolivia, indigenous people are increasingly turning against Evo, as the poncho-wearing Morales is known. The dissatisfaction – over everything from proposed development of indigenous lands to his successful gambit to end term limits – is marring what had been widespread acclaim for a leader emblematic to first peoples’ movements worldwide.   “His way of thinking and his actions aren’t indigenous,” said Gualberto Cusi, a former judge and ethnic Aymara, an influential Andean tribe from which Morales himself also hails. Cusi, who was barred from the Constitutional Court by Congress last year after disagreements with the government, now leads a group of indigenous dissidents. Many Aymara have flourished under Morales’ rule. Building upon a long history selling textiles along Lake Titicaca, they now thrive in commerce, like importing Chinese electronics they sell as far afield as the Amazon rainforest.  But even they are increasingly fed up. “He should go,” said Joaquin Quispe, a cook whose Aymara family moved from Bolivia’s interior to El Alto, a city where a swelling indigenous influx in recent years made it outgrow nearby La Paz, the country’s administrative center.What particularly bothers some are moves by Morales, using supporters in Congress and the judiciary, to consolidate power.Although his own 2009 constitution set a limit of two five-year terms, Morales asked voters in a 2016 referendum to let him run again in 2019.When they said no, Morales convinced the Constitutional Court to let him anyway. The court, consisting of jurists nominated by Congressional allies, ruled that term limits are a violation of his “human rights.” Morales’ spokeswoman, Gisela Lopez, declined to make the president available for an interview and didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. A close ally, former Senate President Jose “Gringo” Gonzales, said Morales hasn’t abandoned indigenous peoples, but has evolved as president to represent and work with everyone.  “He can sit for one minute with a businessman and the next with a worker,” said Gonzales, who stepped down from the Senate last week for undisclosed reasons. “He still has the humility and simplicity that were highlighted when he took office.”Morales is now the longest consecutively serving head of state in the Americas. He is the sole leader remaining from a wave of leftists, including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, who dominated Latin American politics early this century.His name, which graces schools, stadiums, and cultural centers, is increasingly voiced in street protests and scrawled in graffiti. All over the divided country, “Bolivia said no!” sprayings compete with ”Evo Yes!” signs painted by supporters of his party, Movement Toward Socialism, or MAS.Morales won’t go before voters again until late next year. And the opposition remains fragmented, meaning no other leader in Bolivia as yet compares in political stature.Still, in a July poll commissioned by newspaper Pagina Siete, support for the president among likely voters fell to 27 percent from 31 percent last November. A survey by pollster Ipsos this week showed a similar level of support, at 29 percent of likely voters, with a six-point drop over the past year in his approval rating, now at 43 percent.Over the past eight months, Reuters traveled across Bolivia to better understand the waning support for the president among indigenous peoples. From his native Altiplano, the high, arid plateau home to the Aymara, to gas-rich lowlands, where the government has authorized extraction on indigenous lands, many native Bolivians say they no longer feel represented by Morales.“A NEW ERA”For many, the years following Morales’s 2005 election were marked by jubilation and hope.Before his official inauguration in January 2006, Aymara “maestros,” or ritual leaders, held their own ceremony at the pre-Incan site of Tiwanaku, west of La Paz. Morales, in a traditional red tunic, climbed the Akapana pyramid, where shamans presided over a fire ritual and presented him with a staff symbolizing his right to lead the assembled tribes.“Today begins a new era for the native peoples of the world,” Morales said. Tens of thousands of indigenous activists, along with native delegations from as far away as Chile and the United States, cheered.Within months, he began asserting his plans to “decolonize” Bolivia and give locals more voice in government and a greater share of national wealth. On May 1, Labor Day, he ordered troops to occupy natural gas fields and nationalized all hydrocarbons.“The time has come, the longed-for day, a historic day for Bolivia to retake absolute control of our natural resources,” he said in a speech while surrounded by soldiers at an oil field operated by Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, the Brazilian energy company.Morales began renegotiating energy contracts for a bigger share of the profits, a move that ultimately many companies agreed to. The negotiations earned him plaudits from supporters and boosted government revenues at a time when gas prices were soaring.With the windfalls, Morales enacted measures including school vouchers for kids and pensions for workers who had never held formal employment.For the day-to-day business of governance, Morales appointed women, indigenous peoples and labor leaders to his cabinet. He embraced grass-roots organizations and forged a so-called “Unity Pact,” comprising leaders of Andean, lowland and Amazon tribes. Together, they helped draft the new constitution, approved by 60 percent of Bolivians in a 2009 referendum. That year, in a landslide, Morales won a second term.Tensions with indigenous groups first emerged in 2011.  Enjoying what by then was steadily improving economic growth, Morales proposed a 300-kilometer road through the Isiboro Secure Indigenous Territory, or Tipnis, a Jamaica-sized refuge in the Amazon. The highway, Morales argued, was necessary to bring basic services to remote tribes.But native groups and environmentalists were enraged.The road, they argued, more likely would facilitate drug trafficking, illegal logging and other unwanted activity. Protesters marched for more than a month, during which police and demonstrators clashed in clouds of tear gas and flurries of rubber bullets. “When Evo took office we thought indigenous people would never have to march again,” said Adolfo Chavez, a native Tacana and former president of The Confederation of Indigenous People of Bolivia, or Cidob, a grouping of 34 lowland tribes.The marching succeeded, at least for a time. That September, Morales halted work on the road for further study. But relations with some native groups were damaged.Two major indigenous rights organizations, Cidob and The National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu, left the Unity Pact. Since then, the split has widened into divisions that fall along political lines, not rivalries among Bolivia’s three dozen ethnicities.Soon, government supporters began to pressure both groups, using MAS loyalists to stage what some members described as coups within the organizations. Politics and loyalty to Morales began to matter more than the indigenous cause, they said.  Cidob leader Chavez was voted out in 2012. Chavez, who left Bolivia and now lives in Peru, says he was a victim of political persecution for leading the Tipnis demonstrations. Pedro Vare, Cidob’s current leader, in local media has continued to back Morales and criticize the protesters. Reuters was unable to reach Vare for an interview.One rainy evening in December 2013, MAS activists broke down the door of the two-story La Paz headquarters of Conamaq, as the other indigenous rights group is known. Once inside, they forced members, some of whom were visiting La Paz from remote regions and living there during their stay, to leave.“We had nowhere to go,” recalls Cristobal Salles, an Aymara and Quechua speaker who was a Conamaq councilman and now farms potatoes.  Dissent at both groups vanished.Hilarion Mamani, a 41-year-old  Quechua who led the Conamaq takeover, told Reuters a purge had been necessary. Using a charge long wielded against opponents by some leftists in Latin America, Mamani said previous leaders were acting on behalf of “North American imperialists.” Now, he added, “there are no divisions.”That’s because most of the previous members went on to form  dissident indigenous groups. Those groups have campaigned to enforce presidential term limits and against renewed efforts to build the Tipnis road and other projects on native lands.  In 2014, Morales began his sustained effort to stay in power.Despite the constitutional limit of two terms, Morales argued that his first administration shouldn’t be counted because he had been elected under a previous constitution. In the Constitutional Court, by then composed mostly of judges nominated by allies of Morales in Congress, he found a sympathetic audience.Except for one justice – Cusi, the fellow Aymara who at that time sat on the court. Cusi sought a strict interpretation of the charter and argued against another term. But the other judges prevailed. Morales ran for re-election and, with 60 percent of the vote, won a third term starting in January 2015. Before long, relations with native groups grew worse still.  In February 2015, a government comptroller discovered a $10 million shortfall in a state fund for indigenous projects, finding records of initiatives that had been funded, but never carried out.  Two of Morales’ former rural development ministers were convicted of misusing public funds and served brief jail terms.Some onetime Morales supporters were outraged. “It seems corruption has been institutionalized,” Edwin Prada, a lawyer and former advisor to Conamaq, said in an interview.Morales in public comments has said the fund was poorly run. Reuters couldn’t reach either of the two former ministers for comment.That year, natural gas prices fell from a peak in 2014. The country’s economy, while still healthier than that of many neighbors, cooled.Criticism of Morales and his party grew.   “LORD KING EVO MORALES”In  March 2015, residents of El Alto, formerly a bastion of Morales support, handed MAS its first big electoral defeat. They voted out the city’s MAS mayor, who had polarized local voters because of municipal spending, and elected Soledad Chapeton, an Aymara from a center-right party who became the city’s first female mayor.Morales, meanwhile, kept working to prolong his own mandate – first through the failed referendum and then through another plea to the Constitutional Court. By last year, the court was firmly allied with Morales.After opposing other government initiatives, Cusi, the Aymara judge, was impeached by the Senate. The day before the May 2017 ruling, Cusi donned chains in front of government headquarters and scoffed at what he considered his foregone ouster. “Lord King Evo Morales,” he said before television cameras, “order your puppet senators to condemn me.”  Officially, Cusi was accused of failing to fulfill duties. But many government critics called his removal political.“They found a pretext to oust me,” Cusi told Reuters. Now the head of a Conamaq breakaway group, Cusi recently announced he would seek the office of attorney general.With the go-ahead to pursue a fourth term, Morales stoked even more ire.Early last year, students at the Public University of El Alto, a bastion of political activism, began demonstrating for more educational funding. The ruling on term limits sparked further discontent, fueling demonstrations that continued into this year.In a clash with police, one student died. Police said the student, Jonathan Quispe, was killed when students hurled marbles. University officials said he was shot by police. Reuters couldn’t independently determine what led to Quispe’s death.Last August, Congress approved a project to restart the Tipnis highway. Other construction projects are also drawing fire.At a cost to taxpayers of $7 million, Morales last year inaugurated a three-wing museum with large modern windows in Orinoca, the remote Altiplano town where he grew up herding llamas. The “Museum of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution” tells Bolivia’s recent history through Morales’ own achievements.This month, Morales presided over the opening of a new 28-floor presidential palace in La Paz. He calls the $34 million building “the big house of the people.”The projects, some critics say, are further proof Morales lost touch. “He always said he would consult the people,” said Salles, the former Conamaq leader. “Now he doesn’t.”In Charagua, the lowland Guarani region, residents are struggling with autonomy. One recent afternoon, locals at a school auditorium hashed through problems now plaguing their experiment, the first of three autonomous regions approved by voters recently.Charagua, roughly the size of Panama, in the 1930s was the site of successful resistance against Paraguayan invaders who sought to seize area gas reserves. Despite having gas, however, Charagua remains poor, accessible only by dirt roads. The regional budget, financed in part by La Paz, remains the roughly $4.5 million it was before autonomy. But locals say the national government has all but abandoned them otherwise.“We are worse than before,” said one resident who identified himself as Victor before storming out of the auditorium. “I want a recall on this autonomy.”Reuters was unable to reach the Morales cabinet official in charge of indigenous autonomy.Guarani leaders there said they, too, are unhappy. Ramiro Lucas, a 44-year-old leader of a southern portion of Charagua, lamented that the region recently had to halt school breakfasts because money was needed for health centers. “Now we have land, but what good is that if we don’t have resources?” he told Reuters.last_img