Tracking journey of Covid-19 virus from animals to humans

first_imgUntil 21st century, Coronaviruses were of major health concern only for livestock, and they caused merely “common cold” in humans .But Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2),responsible for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic ,which has unleashed mayhem worldwide,is the third pathogenic Coronavirus in last two decades which has jumped from animals to humans  .Almost entire scientific community is presently focussed on unravelling mysteries surrounding the new virus .Since  January,  nearly a thousand  papers  about  the  virus  have  been  posted  online .  More  than thirteen-hundred coronavirus genome  sequences, from patients around the  world,  have been  shared in  public databases. The comparisons of available genetic and structural data of the virus gives clues about its evolutionary track.In the midsts of current global health emergency, an understanding  about the journey of SARS-CoV-2 from animals to humans, will help in preventing future such outbreaks.SARS-CoV caused the 2002-03 SARS pandemic, which resulted in 8000 human infections worldwide,with 10 percent fatality rate. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), reported in 2012, causes a respiratory disease like SARS, in sporadic ongoing outbreaks .This virus has infected about 2500 persons so far from 27 countries,with 35 percent fatality rate. The SARS-CoV  and the MERS-CoV  were  transmitted  directly to humans from market civets ( a mongoose-like animal eaten in China) and Arabian camels, respectively . Both the viruses are thought to have  originated in bats. Though the direct animal source ,called intermediate host, of SARS-CoV-2 human infections is yet to be established, but its ancestor too is  believed to be a bat Coronavirus .Bats are one-fifth of the living mammalian species, and their own species also vary widely . They form large colonies, fly long distances and are present on every continent.  Bats harbour a large number of coronaviruses, without getting sick themselves . They can infect the humans directly or through  intermediate hosts. The SARS-like Coronaviruses have been found in 7 percent of horseshoe bats in China.About 160 potentially pathogenic SARS-like CoVs have been documented from bats in China.Due to high contact rate in bat colonies, these viruses find free run for their multiplication – providing ample opportunities for mutations, and even exchange of pieces of their genomes.The genome of coronaviruses is RNA rather than DNA ,which makes them highly adaptable and prone to mutations. They  jump the inter-species hurdles via evolution more quickly than other virus families, with their ability to recombine and acquire mutations in their genomes. A particular region in the genome of Coronaviruses  ,which makes spike protein- the component on the surface of the virus that gives it a crown-like appearance and is also crucial in its inter-species jumping , is prone to more frequent changes through mutation and recombination. The structure,shape and relationship of a specific site, called receptor-binding  domain  (RBD) in the  spike protein , to the cell it infects, is instrumental in understanding how the virus attacks the human body .The animal Coronaviruses need to overcome the main hurdle of crossing over to humans by acquiring, through evolution, specific proteins,like a key, to recognise and bind to the structures, known as receptors,like the locks , on specific human cells – with that , the virus unlocks,  enters the cells , replicates and infects humans . This unlocking, in case of SARS-CoV-2, happens  in two steps:RBD latches on to the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptors on human lung cells ; and the virus then  uses the human enzyme, furin to lacerate itself at specific site, called cleavage site on the spike protein, to fuse with the cell membrane, for efficient transfer of its genome into the lung cells – broadly, RBD acts as an appropriate size key for the keyhole ,and the levers in the lock itself help evolve matching key-teeth, for unlocking . The SARS-CoV-2 RBD can also bind with ACE-2 of wild and domestic animals, having similar ACE-2 structure and shape , indicating existence of intermediate host .So far,a bat SARS-like CoV, reported from China in 2013, has been found genetically closest (96 percent similarity) to the  SARS-CoV-2. With the background of a 2017 report,which found capabilities of bat Coronaviruses to infect human cells directly ,the bats could have passed the  SARS-CoV-2 to  humans ,but the  RBD site of these two viruses doesn’t match .This suggest that the bat virus of 2013 may have undergone mutations in other bat colonies,and then maybe in some intermediate host ,before infecting humans.The RBD of the Coronavirus from Malayan pangolin , an ant-eater mammal smuggled in China for its scales and meat, has been  found 99 percent identical to RBD of SARS-CoV-2 ,but their whole-genomes match only 91 percent .On this basis, pangolin can’t be taken as intermediate host of SARS-Cov-2 .A higher genetic similarity is needed for ascertaining the source ,as SARS-CoV shared 99.8 percent of its whole-genome with a civet coronavirus, which  is  why  civets  were  considered  the  source. The pangolins can not be ruled out either, as there may be some other pangolins yet to be traced, which might harbour a closely matching  SARS-CoV-2 .Based on the closest similarities  to the shape and structure of human ACE2,a recent study reports the likelihood of intermediate host of SARS-CoV-2 being either from family of  rodents,including hamsters,rats and mice or from Bovidae – a family of cloven-footed animals.With the flurry of ongoing scientific activities,the direct source of human SARS-CoV-2 infections is likely to be traced sooner than later.However,most important would be to learn lessons from this biggest human tragedy, after the Second World War . The scientists have repeatedly emphasised  that pandemics can be prevented to a large extent by adopting behavioural distancing from wildlife and nature , and by establishing early warning mechanisms through monitoring potential viruses. We can thus save ourselves from such public health tragedies and trillion-dollars of economic losses.last_img read more

Is Indian system of Medicine in its right way?

first_imgThe recent notification from Central Council of Indian medicine has been the debate in the medical sector for providing opportunities for the Ayurveda postgraduates to do a list of surgical procedures, that had been already practised by the Allopathic doctors for centuries.The National Medical Council recently came into Act on August 2019, is a regulatory body for medical education and medical professionals. The bill came into action despite the nationwide protest against it. The Allopathic doctors(modern doctors) were against it since the beginning.The Act gives provisions for the Crosspathy, making other Indian medicine branches like AYUSH to practice Allopathy, with an integrated curriculum from the beginning of the course. After the MCI was repealed in September 2020 and NMC making its way, has made a very big decision within 2 months of its formation.The AYUSH doctors are already practising Allopathic medicine since ages. The Ayurvedic Pgs are now allowed to learn Allopathic procedures legally which in turn have given them all rights to practice the same. For an easy understanding- the Ayurvedic pgs who were only taught with Ayurvedic method of treating of diseases with little inputs from the modern side is now allowed to do the modern way of treatment of the diseases. In such case what difference will that make between an Ayurvedic doctor and an allopathic doctor?This has questioned the authenticity of the AYUSH branches. It is expected that very soon the other branches of AYUSH like Homoeopathy, Unani, Siddha will also be allowed to do the treatments of modern medicine. We can expect certain fields like Obstetrics and Gynaecology will also be included in their curriculum very soon and they will be allowed to practice Caesarean section and Hysterectomy.Govt of India under the big political party is trying to bring the Indian medicine systems from drowning to make their systems an independent modality of treatment. But this notification clearly raises the doubt of soundness of Indian medicines and raises questions over their success on their treatment methods. Govt of India should fund in research projects and infrastructural development in our Indian system of medicines, rather than trying to club the systems like clubbing the banking sectors.Indian system of medicines has proved their way in many diseases where allopathy is competing to beat them. Indian system of medicines roots a long time, very old than the current allopathy, raising the question for the need of myopathy. Is the Indian system of medicines not fully developed enough to treat the diseases and is taking help from the Allopathy?.When Allopathy doctors cross the NEET/NEXT to become doctors to practice modern medicine, the Ayurvedic pgs have been given a free toll to pass to practice modern medicine.Sushruta (father of Surgery) born in 7th century B.C. was the first known to practice surgeries, while the fathers of modern surgery like Joseph lister, John Hunter are from a few centuries ago. Whether the allopathy developed from Indian system of medicines or the Indian system of medicines are learning surgeries from Allopathy has to be seen. When the ancient methods have done surgeries the newer methods might have developed from the old ones. But this alone doesn’t give them the freedom to practice modern medicine.Unfortunately, many allopathic doctors use Ayurvedic/homoeopathic doctors in their hospitals and practices for the benefit of less pay when compared to an allopathic doctor. Will Indian Medical Association (IMA) consider this before raising concerns over the recent government orders?The practitioners who learnt Indian medicine and practising Allopathy are rising and when the young pgs from Indian medicines are allowed to learn Allopathic medicine, in a long run this will not rise Indian branches rather suppress it, thereby paving the way to its downfall. When the foreign countries are showing interests in Indian medicines, the myopathy is raising concerns over its legacy.The govt of India has already been showing interests over the growth of Ayurvedic department like “The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Act, 2020”, making Ayurvedic institutes of National importance, providing 4000 crores under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ for the cultivation of medicinal plants and supporting farmers.When Associations like Indian Medical Association and several associations of Resident Doctors are protesting against the moves by NMC in view of future of Allopathy, these moves by the government will not only question the future of Allopathy but also Indian system of medicines!last_img read more

‘I can’t live on this ship forever’ say US crew members still stuck on cruise ships

first_imgphotosvit/iStockBy GIO BENITEZ, MINA KAJI and AMANDA MAILE, ABC News(NEW YORK) — The passengers have gone, but the crews remain.Melinda Mann, 25, of Georgia has been stuck on a Holland America cruise ship, due to the coronavirus pandemic, for 47 days. The U.S. denied her and other American crew members aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam cruise ship permission to disembark in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Now the ship is anchored off the coast of Mexico.“I literally could spit on land, and I would have been there,” Mann told ABC News.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must approve requests for crew to disembark at U.S. ports. The CDC requires cruise lines to develop and inform them of a comprehensive disembarkation plan, including arranging non-public transportation, before they grant approval.The CDC said in a statement that “neither Holland America nor Carnival provided the attestation despite requests.” They added that in conversations with the CDC, “an official of the companies complained that arranging nonpublic transportation for its disembarking crew was too expensive.”Holland America officials say they continue to work with the CDC to obtain approval to disembark Mann and 47 other American crew members “for immediate return home under their current No Sail Order.”The cruise line is working to repatriate thousands of crew members who come from more than 100 countries around the world, a Holland America spokesperson explained. In U.S. waters alone, there are more than 120 cruise ships with more than 80,000 crew members on board, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.“It’s not just me that deserves to go home,” said Mann, whose life aboard the ship is limited largely to her quarters.“I spend 21 hours a day in my cabin,” she said.Julia Melim of New York was one of seven U.S. citizens allowed to disembark Celebrity’s Infinity in Miami two weeks ago.A fellow crewmember who was exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms died after being medically evacuated from the Infinity, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Melim was the first U.S. citizen to join a class-action lawsuit against Celebrity Cruises, filed on behalf of more than a thousand employees, alleging the company failed to protect crew members working aboard its ships during the coronavirus outbreak.On Thursday, a similar class action lawsuit was filed against Royal Caribbean.That lawsuit alleges that Royal Caribbean threw parties for its crew members aboard the vessels — with more than 1,000 crew members in attendance — even after they suspended cruise operations due to the virus. The lawsuit says Royal Caribbean also continued to allow its crew members to eat in buffet settings and continued to mandate participation in shipboard drills.“Royal Caribbean’s flagrant failure to protect its crew has already resulted in hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases and what is more likely thousands, given that there is limited testing being done on its ships,” the lawsuit says.Celebrity Cruises officials said the company does not comment on pending litigation. Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to a request for comment.In February and March, the CDC says that coronavirus outbreaks on just two Princess Cruise ships accounted for more than 800 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 10 deaths.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Bergerud saves Flensburg against “weakened” Hannover Burgdorf

first_img1 Comment Pingback: Bergerud saves Flensburg against “weakened” Hannover Burgdorf – SportandoNews 7.MT Melsungen7403204:2038 3.Rhein-Neckar5410148:1129 4.Kiel6402180:1448 13.Erlangen6204149:1614 Torbjorn Bergerud to leave Flensburg: “I decided to take a new path” Recommended for you 1 Comment 17.Bietigheim-Metterzimmern6105140:1872 1.SC Magdeburg7700225:17714 ShareTweetShareShareEmail 12.Minden6204169:1804 8.Goppingen6402148:1498 6.Hannover-Burgdorf7403200:1898 11.HSG Wetzlar6204153:1624 16.Leipzig7115177:1933 5.Bergischer6402181:1668 18.Ludwigshafen6006144:1750 Related Items:SG Flensburg Handewitt, TSV Hannover Burgdorf 2.Flensburg-H.7700200:16514 Landin MAGIC, Kiel outplay Flensburg! ShareTweetShareShareEmailCommentsDespite several injuries (Atman, Pevnov, Hafner, Patrail, Johannsen) which affected roster of Antonio Carlos Ortega, TSV Hannover Burgdorf played very good match at FLENS Arena, where domestic fans were under threat until the last attack for win of their players. At the end, Torbjorn Bergerud saved the last shot for a draw of Bohm, to ensure victory of home team 29:28 (14:12) which keep Machulla’s boys high in the Championship race.SG Flensburg-Handewitt – TSV Hannover-Burgdorf 29:28 (14:12)SG Flensburg-Handewitt: Buric (7/1 saves), Bergerud (2 save) – Karlsson, Golla (1), Hald, Glandorf, Svan (3), Wanne (5/1), Jeppsson (1), Jöndal (3/3), Steinhauser, Zachariassen (1), Gottfridsson (4), Lauge (5), Baijens, Röd (6).TSV Hannover-Burgdorf: Ziemer (7 saves), Lesjak (1 save) – Cehte (5), Thiele, Lehnhoff, Böhm (8), Ugalde Garcia (4), Krone, Srsen, Olsen (1), Donker, Brozovic (4), Feise, Kastening (6/6).STANDINGS: 15.Gummersbach7205171:2064 14.Stuttgart6204160:1734 10.Lemgo6204147:1544 9.Fuchse Berlin5302128:1286 SG Flensburg beat THW Kiel in German derby Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

Wheeler’s seafood coming to Liverpool

first_imgMarco Pierre White calls the restaurant ‘afforable glamour’Wheeler’s of St James’s – the oldest fish brand in the world – is being brought to Liverpool by Marco Pierre White.The top-end seafood restaurant will open at Pullman Liverpool in November, on the city’s UNESCO world heritage waterfront, with 120 covers. It’s the second Wheeler’s to open in the UK.Marco Pierre White says: “The Wheeler’s brand carries with it certain standards, and certain connotations. It’s about the highest quality of oysters, the freshest seafood and a memorable experience. This is exactly what I want to bring to Liverpool.“I can see from the success of my Liverpool Steakhouse Bar & Grill that the people of this city have an appetite and a desire for high-quality restaurants, and with the amazing location paired with a menu which I take great pride in, locals and tourists alike will find this to their taste.”Neil Brailsford, General Manager of Pullman Liverpool, says: “We are thrilled that Marco Pierre White, a world-renowned chef, has chosen to bring his first Wheeler’s restaurant outside of London to Pullman Liverpool. “Our hotels are designed to reflect the vibrant local culture and character of the neighbourhood and Wheeler’s, offering the highest-quality seafood on this historic waterfront, is the perfect choice for us.“We look forward to working with Marco and the team.”last_img read more

Community Transport Glasgow on the road to electric

first_imgCommunity Transport Glasgow (CTG) has begun the integration of zero-emission vehicles into its fleet with the purchase of five battery-electric Mellor Orion E minibuses.The deal heralds an aspiration by CTG to have an all-electric fleet by the end of 2020. The advent of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone turned its mind to disposing of its older diesel minibuses and it then sought funding from Scottish Power Energy Networks through the Green Economy Fund to initiate the move to zero-emissionCommunity Transport Glasgow moving towards ZECTG’s first Orion E entered service in December. All will be delivered by the end of this month. Says Manager Graham Dunn: “We decided two years ago that it was time to start integrating electric vehicles.“It is great to see these exciting buses, which operate on the latest technology, as part of our fleet. They will make a massive contribution to improving air quality in the city.”The 5,000kg GVW Orion E’s 96kW motor is fed by two independent strings of batteries that store 92kW/h of energy.A range of 100 miles is achievable even when the standard climate control system is in use, says Mellor. The minibus has a capacity of 16 passengers.Mellor Managing Director John Randerson says the manufacturer is “pleased and proud” to supply the minibuses to CTG.“It is exciting to see the Orion E on the streets of Glasgow providing valuable transport services to communities in and around the city. We are confident that CTG, its drivers and passengers alike will enjoy all the bus has to offer.”The first minibus of its kindThe Orion E was introduced in 2017 and Mellor revealed a revised model in 2019. It claims that the Orion E is the world’s first completely electric low-floor small bus.Besides the community transport sector, Mellor says the Orion E is suited to commercial bus work, welfare use and demand responsive transport.last_img read more

For Russia, journalist’s self-immolation is a wake-up call

first_img NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia — Before the pallbearers walked out there was a protracted silence. Then, as Irina Slavina’s two children led the white coffin carrying her scorched corpse toward the hearse, the crowd of several hundred broke out into spontaneous applause.To many of her supporters, Slavina’s self-immolation was an act of stoic self-sacrifice and the ultimate rallying cry. Many compared her to Jan Palach, the Czech student who set himself on fire to protest Soviet occupation in 1969.On October 2, Slavina made her way to the Interior Ministry, sat down on a bench between two bronze figures, a monument dedicated to Russian law enforcement “through the ages,” and set herself on fire. Voiced by Amazon Polly But in both cases, visibility has acted as a shield, sparking public protest or at least ensuring the authorities’ actions do not go unnoticed. Sometimes, a regional case breaks through to national headlines such as that of Svetlana Prokopyeva, a journalist in Pskov, who risked landing in jail for “justifying terrorism” in a column but ending up receiving a fine.Most of the time, however, distance from Moscow correlates negatively to visibility, even within the journalistic community. That leaves local journalists extra vulnerable to the grudges and gripes of local authorities equipped with increasingly draconian laws.“For years we covered the news around Slavina. But we failed to see the systematic pressure being applied to one and the same person, our fellow journalist,” Alexei Venediktov, chief editor of the opposition-leaning radio station Ekho Moskvy, said in a broadcast. Venediktov is among those who have signed an open letter demanding the possible prosecution of officials who might have contributed to Slavina’s suicide.Even the Russian authorities seem to have been cowed. Hours after Slavina’s self-immolation, investigators released a defensive statement disputing any link between their raid and her action, saying she had just been a witness. And in a highly unusual personal Instagram post, the governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region, Gleb Nikitin, pledged he would take personal charge of a probe into her death.But many in Slavina’s circle are unimpressed, asking: If Slavina was only a witness, why was her home raided and her property confiscated? And if the governor appreciated her work, why hadn’t he stopped the authorities from harassing her before? To them, the statements just underscore the arbitrariness of the repression she was subjected to.At the memorial service on Tuesday, Slavina’s inner circle was adamant that her suicide was not the result of mental instability — a narrative peddled by pro-Kremlin media and hinted at by Russian investigators — nor of helplessness. To them, her self-immolation was a final act designed to change minds in a way she felt her journalism could not. The website Koza.Press has continued to publish news, for now about Slavina herself. But there are plans to keep it running.And in Magadan, too, work continues unabated. “You’re always internally bracing for some bad turn of events, so you have to take precautionary measures,” said Grishin, the editor of Vesma.“But if they come for us, we’ll know what to do.”If you’re struggling and need support, you can find the contact details for suicide prevention hotlines across Europe here. Also On POLITICO France and Germany accuse Russia in Navalny poisoning By Rym Momtaz New award to honor murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia By Emma Anderson Press play to listen to this article Combined, the convictions resulted in fines totaling some 160,000 rubles (€1,700) — about five times the average Nizhny Novgorod salary. Moreover, every day spent in court was one she couldn’t spend writing.The use of the lawbook over the fist or bullet — or other means of silencing independent voices which were popular in Russia in the nineties and noughties — might look like evolution. But especially for regional journalists, the constant court cases and raids, or risk thereof, pose an existential threat.“For us crowdfunding the money to replace even a couple of laptops is a big problem,” Andrei Grishin, the editor of independent outlet Vesma in Russia’s Far Eastern Magadan, said.Independent outlets like his face a bind: stripped of state funds they can’t accept foreign grant money lest they be labeled “foreign agents.” Meanwhile, local businesses are wary of placing ads in outlets that might be deemed anti-government. So even in good times, their futures hang by a silver thread — let alone in bad times.Crowds gather on the streets in support of Slavina | Photo by Eva Hartog for POLITICO“Irina made a radical choice in expressing her protest. But a huge number of editors and journalists at a local level are being pushed in that same direction by the Russian authorities. If nothing changes, I don’t know what will become of Russian journalism in the coming years,” said Grishin.In Russia, harassment does not discriminate by size or location; journalists at large outlets in Moscow are persecuted, too. Famously, the investigative Moscow journalist Ivan Golunov was slapped with drug-dealing charges last summer and more recently the former military reporter Ivan Safronov was detained on treason charges.center_img “The pressure she was under would have been bearable if it had just been about her personally. But it was affecting everybody who in any way raised their voice,” Marina Chufarina, who as a regional coordinator for Golos organized the event in question, said.Chufarina said she was expecting a similar raid at her own home “any day now.”Inside the memorial service, mourners laid flowers near Slavina’s coffin | Photo by Eva Hartog for POLITICOSlavina was no newbie to harassment. In recent years, Russia has introduced a spate of increasingly restrictive laws and last year alone the journalist was given a taste of a number of them.In March she was convicted of breaking protest laws for leading a small group through the city to commemorate the murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, a Nizhny Novgorod native.Just before summer, she was convicted of cooperating with an “undesirable organization” (Open Russia again) for promoting a series of pro-democracy lectures on social media. And in October she was convicted of “disrespecting the authorities” after mocking a memorial plaque to Stalin online.More recently, she was found guilty of “spreading fake news” after writing about an alleged first case of coronavirus in a different town. He recalled her driving him home after he was released from the umpteenth detention and saying: “I can’t live like this. I keep writing about all of this injustice but nothing is changing.”Though many in her circle could recall similar moments of despair, the 47-year-old was known for her stoicism and her suicide has come as a huge shock.Above all, it has drawn new attention to the toxic triple whammy faced by independent journalists in Russia generally, and regional journalists in particular; of financial pressure, harassment facilitated by draconic laws and a seemingly apathetic readership.A day before Slavina’s suicide she wrote that 12 law enforcement officers had raided her apartment at 6 a.m. after forcing open her door, confiscating USB sticks, phones and computers in a hunt for evidence of ties to Open Russia, an organization backed by former oligarch-turned-Putin-critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.The case itself and its connection to Slavina are, to put it mildly, tenuous: She had merely attended an event organized by the election monitoring organization Golos, at a property owned by a local businessman who, to add a tragicomic spin, also heads the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a parody cult.It is he who is under investigation for supposed links to Open Russia (a connection both sides have denied). But that hasn’t stopped the authorities from implicating Slavina alongside a number of activists and opposition politicians — supposedly as witnesses. There is no doubt she meant to die — footage shows her pushing away a bystander who tried to save her from the flames even as she must have suffered excruciating pain.Several hours earlier she had written a post on Facebook: “For my death I ask you to blame the Russian Federation.”“She didn’t want to die tragically, she wanted change” — Maria Popova, environmental activistOlder social media posts that have surfaced since suggest Slavina had been considering the idea for at least a year.In her home city of Nizhny Novgorod, some 400 kilometers east of Moscow, Slavina held celebrity status as the founder of the independent news website Koza.Press. A one-woman band, it was nonetheless among the most cited outlets in the region, providing relentless coverage of local misdeeds in a no-nonsense factual style.“She was a straight shooter but very balanced, she never let her emotions affect her writing, ” Stanislav Dmitriyevsky, a prominent human rights activist, told POLITICO at a memorial service Tuesday. “But underneath it she suffered.” “You’re always internally bracing for some bad turn of events, so you have to take precautionary measures” — Andrei Grishin, editor of independent outlet Vesma“She didn’t want to die tragically, she wanted change,” Maria Popova, an environmental activist whose acquaintance with Slavina goes back a decade, said.Unlike in Palach’s case, however, Slavina’s death has largely been met with stunned resignation. In a city with a population of more than a million and a country of more than 140 million, the turnout of several hundred at the memorial is a drop in the ocean. “Where is everybody? Why aren’t there tens of thousands of people?” asked Stanislav Dmitriyevsky, the rights activist.Some of Slavina’s acquaintances said she had become increasingly demoralized about the general apathy in Russian society and the lack of reader donations. A day after her mother’s suicide, Slavina’s daughter stood in the city center with a handwritten sign saying: “While my mother burned you stayed silent.” The message will have been lost on many of those passing by.Still, to her followers and peers, Slavina is a source of inspiration.Speakers at the memorial service did not mince their words and hundreds marched through the city center towards the site of Slavina’s death opposite the police headquarters, at one point chanting “Butchers!”last_img read more

In Memoriam: The Music Of Those We Lost In 2015

first_imgAs we’ve been looking at some of the year’s high points, we must also remember those who took their final bow. Those who dedicate themselves to making music strive to connect with the world on a deeper level than mere words can say. We now would like to bow our heads and honor the passing of musicians who brought their gift of song to the world.What follows is a list of the more notable people to play their final note in 2015, as well as the most fitting way to pay tribute to their lives: their music.Percy Sledge (November 25, 1940 – April 14, 2015)Known for his powerful vocal style, Percy Sledge brought audiences to their knees with his incredible R&B music. Sledge found his way from humble beginnings in the South, as his booming voice landed him a role in recording studios. His first major hit, “When A Man Loves A Woman,” launched Sledge to the top of the charts.While Sledge would enjoy a number of hits throughout the years, let’s look back at the one that made Percy Sledge a legend. B.B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)An icon, blues legend and one of the most influential guitarists of modern times, Riley “B.B.” King lost a long battle with a variety of ailments after 89 years. Known as much for his ability to bend notes to the point of tears as he was for his husky voice that was somehow also honey smooth he played to kings and commoners around the world. Nearly every one of those performances featured King playing a variant on the Gibson ES-355 he had affectionately dubbed “Lucille.” Though there were many “Lucilles” over the years, there was only one king.King first went into the recording studio in 1949 and began a career that saw his sparse, emotive single note lead style become one of the most influential sounds of the R & B scene for the next two decades. King’s music spoke of pain and joy that was palpable to any listener, and his tone would be the source of attempted duplication by a legion of admirers. King struggled with his health throughout his later life, playing a majority of his performances from a seated position. What he lacked in physical mobility he more than made up for in his ability to set the spirits free.Here’s B.B. King playing what is easily his most recognizable tune, “The Thrill Is Gone.”Ornette Coleman (March 9, 1930 – June 11, 2015)Multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of the “Free Jazz” movement, Ornette Coleman passed away earlier this year leaving a legacy of exploration and education in his wake. Though his tone had a pervasive sorrow, the thoughts he expressed were just as often joyful ones. As a player he was always disdainful of following the rules and accepted norms, playing fast and loose within the structures of the songs, searching for a way to make each note his own. As the years progressed, he saw his rounded, free form style evolve into a sharper edged, but still emotive, voice that cut through compositions with a white hot edge.He never stopped pushing the limits, even as his age and health slowed him greatly in his later years. Over the course of his sixty plus years as a professional musician he won nearly every award there is to win, and all of them well deserved. Though he is now gone, the innovations he sparked in the jazz world are still being explored to this day, and as such, Coleman will live on.Let’s hear Coleman reinvent the wheel with his seminal classic “Free Jazz” album.Chris Squire (4 March 1948 – 27 June 2015)Bassist Chris Squire saw his band Yes define the English progressive rock movement in the seventies, owing in large part to the massive foundation his intricate lines created. While Yes featured many angelic overatures, it was Squire who grounded the band, and his low end work gave the higher ended players around him the freedom to stretch without fear of losing soul. Squire got his start playing in churches, which served as a solid basis for his later bombastic works.Earlier this year he announced a hiatus from the band, and shortly afterwards passed away, leaving an entire genre of music all the poorer for his loss. Let’s listen to one of his greatest performances, the Yes classic “Starship Trooper.”Allen Toussaint (January 14, 1938 – November 10, 2015)Musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer Allen Toussaint was more than just a creator of music, he was a living touchstone to the music of New Orleans. Toussaint’s career spanned numerous decades, and his adaptability showed in his scoring hits as a solo artist, as a arranger of other people’s music and as a producer. A figure of renown and devotion not just in his home of New Orleans, Toussaint found himself a welcome figure on stages around the world. Though perhaps not as known by name by the world at large, his finger prints were on many of the songs that topped the charts.His style on the keyboard was rolling and rollicking, and was as infectuous in spirit as it was unmistakable. In a city with such a strong and unique signature sound, he was a true champion of the New Orleans sound. He brought the sounds of the second line to the forefront, and showed the world what fun could be found down on the Bayou. In a city that treats death as a reason to celebrate the lives of those departed, his tributes turned into a street party the like of which are rarely seen.The Audience at the Le Bataclan (November 13, 2015)Those in attendance at the Eagles of Death Metal show at legendary Parisian music venue Bataclan weren’t thinking about global ideological terrorism on the night of November 13th, 2015. Like the people dining in cafes and attending sporting matches around the City Of Lights, their minds were on living not the imminent possibility of their deaths. Sadly, a coordinated assault on unarmed targets around the French capitol by radical terrorists created a night of chaos and horror. The 120 lives lost around Paris that night made this the deadliest attack on French soil since the second World War.The EODM have since returned to the stages of Paris, invited back by one of the biggest bands in the world, U2, to defy the fear the gunmen attempted to create that horrible night. The Eagles Of Death Metal have been public with their desire to finish their show at the Bataclan, and are a true example of rising to the occasion. Hopefully one day soon, we will find a way to settle our differences with words and not wounds.Though an American band, the Eagles Of Death Metal are now truly a part of the history of a nation’s resistance to terror.Cynthia Robinson (January 12, 1944 – November 23, 2015)Cynthia Robinson’s trumpet playing earned her a spot on some of the funkiest songs to come out of the seventies as a founding member of Sly & The Family Stone. Part of that band’s renowned horn section, Robinson was also the only member of the original band to try and maintain a relationship with Sly Stone after the band fell apart. Her forgiving heart was matched by her musical prowess, as she became the first female trumpeteer inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.Listen to Cynthia the rest of Sly & The Family Stone as they “Thank you For Lettin’ Me Be Myself.”Scott Weiland (October 27, 1967 – December 3, 2015)Bursting onto the west coast “Grunge” scene of the early 1990’s, singer Scott Weiland and his band Stone Temple Pilots quickly found a hungry audience for their music. Though onstage his voice would remain strong and clear, his off stage life was anything but. His addictions and the behavior that resulted from them saw him leave the band he founded twice, and other short lived tenures fronting a variety of bands.Weiland’s death was as much a result of the toll the years of hard partying had taken on his body as well as sense of sorrow at the cycle he found himself trapped in. In the case of such a loss, one can only hope Weiland finally found the peace that escaped him in his walking life.Here’s the song that pushed Stone Temple Pilots into the National scene, “Interstate Love Song.”The beauty of anything is defined by its brevity. To appreciate a moment, an act or a life, one must see what the world was like before and after its existence. Though we grieve the loss of any life, it is through this loss that we finally grasp the import of our time here on Earth. We’d like to thank those we lost in 2015 for their gifts to us all, and honor their lives by keeping their memories alive for generations to come.We’ll end with a list of names of lives lost in 2015, but feel free to add your own to the list. May we never forget those who have inspired us with their musical souls.Gary Richrath, A.J.Pero, Little Kimmy Dickens, Al Aarons, Ramona Jones, David VanLanding, Sister Scully, Willie Akins, Phil Taylor, Bruce Nazarian, Larry Rosen, Robbin Thompson, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Frank Watkins, Cory Wells, Lee Shaw, Troy Goode, David Rodriguez, Herbie Goins, Dennis Greene, Bryn Merrick, samfree, Sean Price, David Shelley, Harold Ousley, Julio Angel, Bunny Mack, Howard Rumsey, Van Alexander, Mitch Aliotta, Eddie Hardin, Jean Ritchie, Buddy Boudreaux, Harold Battiste, Guy Carawan, Johnny Gimble, Stan Cornyn, Ortheia Barnes, Marcus Belgrave, Tut Taylor, Marty Napoleon, Lew Soloff, Bruce Crump, Oleg Bryjak, Maria Radner, Johnny Helms, Joseph Alfidi, The Jacka, Zane Musa, René Lavand, Keith Copeland.last_img read more

First Responders Simulate Emergency

first_img“We have a rule that’s called a ‘Golden Hour,’” said West Jackson County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bruce Cox. “By the time we get the call, get on scene, extricate the person and get them on the ambulance to the hospital, we need less than an hour.”Click here to read more. JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) — It’s something you hope never happens to you. Policemen, firemen and paramedics rush to your side because you are the victim of an accident. And you’re not alright. Imagine your relief when help arrives. But now the clock is ticking, and first responders’ work has just begun.last_img

Members of Class of 2011 plan to enter religious life

first_imgSenior Michael Daly submitted an application to medical school, but said he did not feel at peace with the prospect of a medical career after graduation. Instead of becoming a doctor, Daly will enter the St. Paul Seminary in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul in August. “It was hard to surrender my whole life’s work and dream to something so unknown, mysterious, yet glorious and peace-filled,” he said. “I cannot try to be something I am not, so I must become the best version of myself.  I pulled my application from medical school because my love for Jesus was true.” While his parents strongly influenced his faith formation, Daly said participating in an International Summer Service Learning Project (ISSLP) in India in 2008 was a “transforming experience.” “I fell in love with the Eucharist and Christ’s mass,” he said. “Jesus was the only constant in my life, amongst all the chaos and extreme poverty and illnesses. I relied on the power and love of the Eucharist in Calcutta.” Daly said his friends and family have been supportive of his decision, though not without some playful responses. “I do remember some friends telling me not to be discouraged that I haven’t found a girlfriend at Notre Dame.  There are wonderful women in the real world,” he said. “I simply laughed at their misunderstanding, because it’s not about what I am giving up, but what I am gaining — love and fulfillment in the love of the Eucharist. I’ll be with Jesus, what’s better than that?” His four years at Notre Dame were especially instrumental in the decision to follow a religious vocation. “Notre Dame allows your vocation to be cultivated and harvested in a patient, supportive and gentle manner. I’ve visited other Catholic and non-Catholic universities and I was aware of the lack of Jesus’ presence,” he said. “There is something unique and blessed with having a chapel in almost every building. Jesus is literally everywhere in the tabernacle.” Daly is not the only senior pursuing a vocation in religious life after graduation. Fr. Jim Gallagher, director of the Office of Vocations for the Congregation of Holy Cross, said five seniors participated in the Old College program during their time at Notre Dame and will enter the Holy Cross Novitiate in the fall. Two additional seniors will enter their beginning Candidate Year this fall, Gallagher said. They lived as regular students during their time at the University. Gallagher said not all those who choose a religious path following graduation have the same academic experience during their time at Notre Dame. “The men of Old College are the only ones who are in a specific seminary program and they take all of their classes with the general student community,” he said.  “Others who are entering after graduation have majors in a range of subjects.” Many students began their life at Notre Dame without a plan to enter the priesthood, Gallagher said, but they started to investigate their vocation as they developed their interests. “For those entering into a religious or priestly vocation, they will most likely participate regularly in the sacraments, they will work with a spiritual director, they will talk with a vocations director and they will take many of their questions about their future to prayer,” Gallagher said. Senior Christopher Gautsch, who is entering the Dominican Order following graduation, said he felt a strong calling to enter the priesthood after graduation. “I am entering religious life because I think God is calling me to do it,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I want to do it too, but it all started when I started to perceive God beckoning me towards it.” Gautsch made his decision to enter the Dominican novitiate in February and was accepted to the Order on Easter Monday. The decision was not an immediate one for him, he said. “I went through most of my undergraduate career before making the choice to enter religious life,” he said. “If it has been different, though, it is just that my love for theology has grown with the knowledge that I might myself be teaching and preaching the very same things one day.” While his decision was not solely influenced by his experience at Notre Dame, Gautsch said the University’s atmosphere helped him develop his faith life. “Even though Notre Dame is not without its problems, the community of holy friends and the emphasis on the life of faith that I found here would have been much harder, if not impossible, to find at many other schools,” he said. Gautsch, who will spend a year in Cincinnati before beginning his seminary studies in Washington, D.C., said his friends at Notre Dame supported him as he tried to determine his vocation. “I am blessed to have friends who want me to do what God wants me to do and would support me no matter what I discerned that to be,” he said.last_img read more