TransCanada says spill clean up underway in South Dakota as pipeline vote

first_imgCALGARY – TransCanada Corp. said Friday that work is well underway to clean up a sizable oil leak at its Keystone pipeline in South Dakota that occurred days before a vote on the fate of the company’s flagship pipeline proposal.The company said about 75 crew members, as well as government officials, are on site near Amherst, S.D., with a full complement of clean-up equipment to contain the 795,000-litre spill in a farmer’s field.“TransCanada has taken this incident very seriously and is working with federal and state regulatory agencies,” the company said in an update.The company said it has observed no further environmental impacts and no threat to public safety, though the nearby Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation has expressed concern the spill might contaminate water supplies.Thursday’s spill comes four days before Nebraska is set to vote on whether TransCanada can go ahead with Keystone XL pipeline, which would take a more direct route than the existing Keystone pipeline by going through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with pipelines that feed Texas Gulf Coast refineries.Environmentalists were quick to point to the spill as reason to reject the Keystone XL project, but state officials said Friday the spill won’t affect their decision.A spokeswoman for the Nebraska Public Service Commission said commissioners will base their decision solely on evidence presented during public hearings and from official public comments.A Nebraska law approved in 2011 prevents the commissioners from factoring pipeline safety or the possibility of leaks into their decisions. Lawmakers argued at the time that pipeline safety was a federal responsibility that pre-empts state law. Opponents say oil interests lobbied for the restriction.The news might not sway the vote, but will bring greater focus to the issue, said James Coleman, an energy law expert at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.“It’s the worst possible timing, and it’s a reasonably big spill….I think most people expect the commissioners to approve it regardless, but nonetheless, it’s not helpful.”Among other concerns, opponents of Keystone XL say the pipeline would pass through the Sandhills, an ecologically fragile region in Nebraska of grass-covered sand dunes, and would cross the land of farmers and ranchers who don’t want it.“There’s some states where the big issue is climate change, but Nebraska, the issue has been those local land-use impacts, and so I’m sure the commissioners will have that in mind,” said Coleman.The spill near the border of Minnesota and the source of the Minnesota River has certainly raised concerns about Enbridge’s (TSX:ENB) Line 3 pipeline replacement project in the state, said Coleman.He said he wasn’t sure, however, whether this Keystone spill will have an impact on current review of the pipeline in the state that’s already approved elsewhere, but it certainly will add fodder to those campaigning against oil pipelines.“I think that this will continue to be a bigger and bigger political issue because, as climate campaigners haven’t had success in other areas, they feel like this is one area where they’ve been reasonably successful.”Protesters have already started setting up camps and planning direct action to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 construction, which is already underway in Canada.Pipeline opponents have also vowed to stop the Keystone XL pipeline if it is approved, having once declared victory on the project when Barack Obama rejected it in 2015, only for President Donald Trump to give the go-ahead earlier this year.Shares of TransCanada (TSX:TRP) were down 1.2 per cent in early afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as the energy sector rose half a percentage point.-With files from APlast_img read more

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2019-10-13

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ConocoPhillips wins 2 billion arbitration against Venezuela

first_imgCARACAS, Venezuela – ConocoPhillips said Wednesday that it won a $2 billion arbitration award against Venezuela’s state oil company, compounding the financial woes of the socialist-run nation as it struggles to feed its population.The award represents the equivalent of more than 20 per cent of the cash-strapped government’s foreign currency reserves.The Houston-based company said in a statement that the ruling against PDVSA by an International Chamber of Commerce panel was final and binding.“ConocoPhillips will pursue enforcement and seek financial recovery of its award to the full extent of the law,” the company said in a statement.But collecting the judgment won’t be easy, as President Nicolas Maduro is holding on to the few dollars trickling into the country from plummeting oil production and amid sanctions by the Trump administration barring U.S investors from lending money to the government.There was no immediate comment from Venezuela’s government.The ruling arose from the expropriation of ConocoPhillips’ investments in two heavy crude oil projects in 2007 at a time then President Hugo Chavez increased the state’s take of record oil rents, forcing foreign oil companies to accept less generous terms. Many instead left the country and sued to hold up their original contracts.ConocoPhillips is pursuing separate legal action against Venezuela’s government under the auspices of the World Bank’s investment dispute mechanism. The World Bank tribunal has already ruled that Venezuela broke international law when it nationalized Conoco’s stakes in the two fields. Proceedings are underway to determine the amount of compensation.Venezuela still faces 22 arbitration cases at the World Bank, more than any other country in the world, with potential losses stretching into the billions.last_img read more

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2019-10-13

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Lawsuit filed over fatal Army helicopter crash in Maryland

first_imgHARTFORD, Conn. — The widow of an Army specialist killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Maryland last year and two other soldiers who were critically injured are suing Sikorsky Aircraft in Connecticut, alleging the tail rotor system was defective.The lawsuit was filed Monday in state court in Hartford by Spc. Jeremy Tomlin’s wife, Jessica; Capt. Terikazu Onoda and his wife; and Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Nicholas. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.The Sikorsky-manufactured Black Hawk crashed in Leonardtown, Maryland, during a training mission April 17, 2017.The lawsuit blames a major tail rotor malfunction. The three-member crew was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.A Sikorsky spokesman declined to comment. Connecticut-based Sikorsky is a division of Maryland-based Lockheed Martin.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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2019-10-13

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US newvehicle sales in 2018 rise slightly to 1727 million

first_imgDETROIT — Sales of new vehicles in the U.S. rose slightly in 2018, defying predictions and highlighting a strong economy.Automakers reported an increase of 0.3 per cent over a year ago to 17.27 million vehicles.The increase came despite rising interest rates, a volatile stock market, and rising car and truck prices that pushed some buyers out of the new-vehicle market.Industry analysts and automakers said strong economic fundamentals pushed up the sales and should keep them near historic highs in 2019.Tom Krisher, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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2019-10-13

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City of Fort St John gets approval to sign firefighting agreement with

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John has gotten approval from the Peace River Regional District Board to sign an agreement to provide fire protection services to the consortium responsible for building a major component of the Site C dam.According to a letter to the PR Board from Protective Services Director Jim Rogers, the City was approached earlier this year by the Aecon-Flatiron-Dragados-EBC partnership – which won the contract to build the generating station and spillways at Site C – to provide the consortium with fire protection and rescue services for a five-year term while the component of the dam is being built.He said that staff began preliminary discussions in March, and in late May began negotiations with AFDE about the range of services that would be provided, along with the pricing. The Fort St. John Fire Department is the only fire department north of Prince George that is listed as a rescue provider under the BC Construction Safety Alliance Technical High Angle Rope Rescue Program that can provide the Tower Crane & high angle rescue services that were being requested by AFDE.Rogers explained that the proposed agreement is similar to those that the City signed with ATCO and Tembec, under which the Fort St. John Fire Department currently provides fire protection services to the worker accommodation camp at Site C, and formerly provided services to Chetwynd Mechanical Pulp.In a closed meeting on June 25th, Fort St. John City Council approved a motion to have a letter sent to the PRRD Board asking the Board’s permission to enter into an agreement with AFDE, similar to what was previously done when the City entered into agreements with ATCO and Tembec.However, at the PRRD’s Board meeting on June 28th, Chair and Electoral Area ‘C’ Director Brad Sperling voiced opposition to the request, citing concerns about the agreement’s impact on the Mutual Aid Agreement between the City and the Regional District.During the discussion, Sperling stated that his opposition was based on a lack of notice from the City about the agreement, and that there was nothing in the letter from Fort St. John’s Acting City Manager David Joy that addressed the Mutual Aid Agreement.Despite a request from Director Byron Stewart, the PRRD Board declined to hear Fort St. John Fire Chief Fred Burrows – who was present at the meeting – come forward to explain the request. The Board then voted against granting permission to the City. At last Thursday’s meeting, the Board then discussed Rogers’ letter that further detailed the proposal, which would see the PRRD compensated for the Charlie Lake Fire Department attending to assist with a fire if the Fort St. John Fire Department were called out to a fire at the dam construction site.Footage from both Board meetings can be found at the two links below.http://prrd.bc.ca/board/agendas/2018/2018-20-247804065/AGENDA.htmlhttps://prrd.wistia.com/medias/6tjj92nieglast_img read more

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2019-10-13

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Province releases review of hydraulic fracturing in BC

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. – The Province of B.C. has released a review of hydraulic fracturing.  The report, prepared by a three-member panel makes 97 recommendations the focus on environmental impacts and knowledge gaps about the industry.The report focused on four main areas, water quality, water quantity, induced seismicity, and fugitive emissions.   The panel also reviewed how hydraulic fracturing impacts human health, impacts on environmental health, and cumulative effects of the process. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources says they will take a phased approach to implement the scientific panel’s 97 recommendations. In May of 2019, the Province will release its short-term plan and in December the long-term plan.Read the full report below.The Province says they have already started to make changes to now the OGC regulates dams and water storage, new regulations for orphaned well sites and instructing the OGC to work more with Treaty 8 members.last_img read more

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2019-10-13

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Malaysia Airlines could be sold or shut down PM

first_imgKuala Lumpur: Malaysia Airlines may be sold or shut down, Malaysia’s leader said Tuesday, the latest bad news for a carrier that has been in crisis since suffering the loss of two planes. The 71-year-old airline has been on the ropes since 2014 when Flight MH370 disappeared and MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made missile over war-torn Ukraine. With the carrier teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, sovereign wealth fund Khazanah stepped in to take it over several years ago and major reforms were instituted, including cutting thousands of staff. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! But it has continued to fare poorly and its performance was blamed in large part for a set of poor financial results released by Khazanah last week. Responding to questions about the airline’s future, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told reporters in parliament: “I think it is a very serious matter, to shut down the national airline. “We will nevertheless be studying and investigating as to whether we should shut it down or we should sell it off or we should refinance it.” Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Official news agency Bernama reported that Khazanah last week posted a pre-tax loss of 6.3 billion ringgit (USD 1.54 billion) for 2018, compared with a pre-tax profit of 2.9 billion ringgit the year before. Mahathir, 93 and in his second stint as premier, is seeking to reduce a mammoth national debt inherited from the previous, corruption-plagued regime. Malaysia Airlines said in a statement it had been “working closely” with Khazanah on the next phase of its turnaround plan since September. The disappearance of Flight MH370, which was carrying 239 people, remains one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries, and successive searches have failed to find the plane.last_img read more

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2019-10-12

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Argentina national team snub should motivate Dybala – Allegri

first_imgJuventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri was chosen Seria A’s best coach for the 2016/17 season over Atalanta’s Gian Piero Gasperini and Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri. He shared his gratitude towards his players and had some choice words on Paulo Dybala.The fact that he was not called upon for the next Argentina friendlies has been a huge upset for everybody in Juve and mostly for Dybala himself, as he has been in an extraordinary shape lately and there is no obvious reason for the national coach to snub him.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“Not being called up by Argentina [for friendlies] should motivate him even more because he’s still got every opportunity of earning a place at the World Cup,” Allegri shared, according to ESPN.“He’s got to be focused on this end of the season and we have all got to be ambitious when we face the best, like Real, as we search for a seventh straight title, which would be an achievement that would be hard for any other club to match.”last_img read more

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2019-09-18

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Protest In Soldotna Due To Satanic Invocation

first_imgWilliam Siebenmorgen, who flew from Pennsylvania to protest the prayer vigil: “These are just a few of the instances where God has defeated Satan. Whatever the results of the June 18 Rally of Reparation, God will be pleased with our public prayers of reparation. We want God’s blessings on America, not Satan’s curses. Lucifer is the eternal loser. Let’s keep him out.” Roughly 40 people held signs reading “reject Satan and his works” and “know Jesus and his love,”  outside the borough building. The borough then passed a resolution to amend their policy at their meeting on November 20 to broaden the scope of eligible invocation providers to better reflect the diversity of beliefs in the borough. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on June 21st, 2019 at 02:55 pmMany were shocked when they heard that a Satanic invocation would officially open the meeting at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday. Onlookers protested outside the borough building prior to the invocation at the assembly meeting. A member of the Satanic Temple, Iris Fontana, offered the invocation prompting walkouts by nearly a dozen people.center_img Fontana: “Let’s us cast aside our differences to use reason, logic, science and compassion to create solutions for the greater good for our community. It is done, hail Satan.” In October, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the borough’s previous prayer policy violated the State Constitution. The lawsuit was brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska. The previous policy only allowed certain groups to deliver the invocation. Catholics from seven states flew to the Kenai Peninsula to pray a Rosary of reparation and protest against this public Satanic prayer.last_img read more

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2019-09-14

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Never mind the noise Quantum entanglement allows channel information rate to exceed

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Entanglement can help in classical communication (Phys.org)—As developed by Claude Shannon, information theory defines channel capacity as the maximum rate at which information can be sent through the channel. This capacity can be mathematically described using a graph associated with the channel. Specifically, a graph’s Shannon zero-error capacity is the maximum rate at which messages can be sent through a noisy channel with zero probability of error. However, the Shannon capacity does not reflect the fact that on atomic scales, nature behaves according to quantum mechanics. Recently, scientists studying asymptotic behavior in entangled sender-receiver quantum systems at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, The Netherlands have identified families of graphs for which entanglement allows the Shannon capacity to be exceeded. Therefore, Briët points out, in the above example the sender could send any one of ten different messages with zero probability of error. Moreover, he adds, their main result shows that this number can be larger than the average number of messages that can be sent with zero error if no entanglement was used, thereby exceeding the zero-error Shannon capacity.”To show that entanglement can sometimes allow a sender and receiver to communicate more efficiently,” Briët continues, “one needs to create a channel for which one can prove that the entanglement-assisted capacity is large, but the Shannon capacity is small. However, proving good bounds on these parameters is notoriously difficult. It took over two decades and a brilliant mathematician to compute the Shannon capacity of the pentagon, which is the graph associated with a particular channel that has only five inputs and outputs! Only for a very few special cases can we currently say something non-trivial about these parameters.”The challenge then, says Briët, was to find a “sweet spot” among these special cases where the researchers can prove good bounds on both the entanglement-assisted and Shannon capacities. They looked at a particular class of graphs often used in quantum computing and information theory – so-called orthogonality graphs – that show that entanglement or some other quantum resource can make some classical information processing task easier. (In an orthogonality graph, points in a two, three or higher-dimensional space are labeled by arrows; a pair of such points are labeled by a line if the associated arrows are orthogonal – that is, in perpendicular directions.) “In this sense,” Briët notes, “these graphs were natural candidates for the type of result we were after. Using available techniques it is a fairly straightforward calculation to show that the orthogonality graphs have very large entanglement-assisted capacity – but it was unknown, and it still is, if the Shannon capacity is any smaller.”Their key insight, Briët says, was that they could slightly morph the orthogonality graphs to end up a class of graphs that lie in the kind of the previously-mentioned sweet spot. “Essentially, what we did is take one of these graphs and throw away three-quarters of it, not just any, but such that we are left with a quarter that has enough structure for us to be able to bound the two capacities. In addition, to bound the two capacities we had to use two quite different techniques.” To show that their graphs had very high entanglement-assisted capacity, they borrowed ideas from geometry, while to show the graphs’ low Shannon capacity they tapped algebra.”To argue that entanglement should be used to speed up communication in practice, our results would need to be strengthened,” Briët acknowledges. “In our setting we made stronger assumptions on how tolerable a little noise is than is reasonable in real-world situations. A next step would be to weaken these assumptions, for example to one where the receiver is happy if he can narrow down what the sender was trying to transmit to a small list of possibilities, as opposed to receiving the messages without ambiguity.””There are close links between entanglement-assisted communication and physical experiments that are meant to test if quantum entanglement is actually a real phenomenon,” Briët notes. “It’s predicted to exist by quantum mechanics, but since that’s only a mathematical model of how nature could work, this doesn’t mean that it has to exist. Convincing experiments were already performed in the early eighties, but because experimental set-ups are bound to have small defects, skeptics argue that no hard conclusion can be drawn from them. Physicists are still trying to come up with ever-better and better experiments that are robust against such defects,” Briët concludes, “so that even if they are taken into account one cannot argue that the results could have been produced if entanglement wasn’t present in the experimental set-up.” Explore further Copyright 2013 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Phys.org. Citation: Never mind the noise: Quantum entanglement allows channel information rate to exceed Shannon zero-error capacity (2013, January 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-mind-noise-quantum-entanglement-channel.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Violating the Shannon capacity of metric graphs with entanglement, PNAS published online before print December 24, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1203857110Related: 1Entanglement-assisted capacity of a quantum channel and the reverse Shannon theorem, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory Volume: 48, Issue: 10 Page(s): 2637-2655 Oct 2002 Dr. Jop Briët discussed the challenges he and his colleagues, Dr. Dion Gijswijt and Prof. Harry Buhrman, encountered in determining if for a family of graphs, the entanglement-assisted capacity exceeds the Shannon capacity. (A graph has as many points as there are inputs to the channel. Such a graph is usually referred to as the channel’s confusability graph, because two points are connected by a line if they can be confused with each other when one of them is sent through the channel.) “The two parameters that we wanted to separate – the Shannon capacity and the entanglement-assisted capacity – are similar in the sense that they indicate how effectively one can communicate over a noisy communications channel,” Briët tells Phys.org. “In the entanglement-assisted case the sender and receiver have an extra resource – quantum entanglement – so the latter parameter is always at least as large as the former.” Briët points out that in the two extreme cases these parameters are actually equal: If the communications channel is perfect (i.e., noiseless), entanglement gives no advantage at all. On the other hand, entanglement cannot improve this situation if only a single message can be sent with zero error.In entanglement-assisted communication, Briët explains, there are two parties (sender and receiver) and two resources (a noisy communication channel and a pair of entangled quantum systems). The sender has one of the systems and the receiver the other, and the two parties can perform measurements (that is, experiments) on their respective quantum systems. While the outcomes of such experiments can usually not be predicted in advance, making measurements on entangled systems can still lead to useful results because outcomes of an experiment done by the sender and an experiment done by the receiver, though random, can be strongly correlated. “The entanglement-assisted communication protocol we consider,” Briët adds, “dates back at least as far as the work of Charles Bennett and others1 in 2002.”Suppose the sender can do ten different experiments, labeled with the numbers 1 to 10, and suppose that the possible inputs to the channel are the letters of the alphabet A to Z, Briët illustrates. The sender picks an experiment (for example, experiment number three), and depending on the outcome sends one of the letters – in this example, the letter P – through the channel to the receiver. Because the channel is noisy, the receiver gets a symbol that could be a P, B, D, or R. Based on this list of four letters the receiver chooses an experiment to perform on his quantum system and associates a number between 1 and 10 with each of the possible outcomes. “The punchline,” Briët says, “is that it’s sometimes possible to set things up so that the only possible outcome of the receiver’s experiment is the number of the experiment done by the sender – in this case the number three.” (i) Channel with five inputs (numbers) and five outputs (letters), where an input symbol x is connected to an output symbol a if P(a|x) > 0. Notice that none of the five pairs (0, 2), (1,4), (2,1). (3,3), (4,0) can be confused with one another, as either the first or the second two symbols are nonconfusable. (ii) Confusability graph of the channel, the five cycle C5. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1203857110last_img read more

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2019-08-31

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Women found to be more susceptible to contagious yawning than men

first_img More information: Ivan Norscia et al. more than : gender bias supports the empathic nature of yawn contagion in , Royal Society Open Science (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150459AbstractPsychological, clinical and neurobiological findings endorse that empathic abilities are more developed in women than in men. Because there is growing evidence that yawn contagion is an empathy-based phenomenon, we expect that the female bias in the empathic abilities reflects on a gender skew in the responsiveness to others’ yawns. We verified this assumption by applying a linear model on a dataset gathered during a 5 year period of naturalistic observations on humans. Gender, age and social bond were included in the analysis as fixed factors. The social bond and the receiver’s gender remained in the best model. The rates of contagion were significantly lower between acquaintances than between friends and family members, and significantly higher in women than in men. These results not only confirm that yawn contagion is sensitive to social closeness, but also that the phenomenon is affected by the same gender bias affecting empathy. The sex skew, also found in other non-human species, fits with the female social roles which are likely to require higher empathic abilities (e.g. parental care, group cohesion maintenance, social mediation). The fact that female influence in social dynamics also relies on face-to-face emotional exchange raises concerns on the negative repercussions of having women’s facial expressions forcibly concealed. (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with Università di Pisa, in Italy has found via observational study, that women are on average twice as likely to yawn after seeing someone else yawn, than are men. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science the team describes how they carried out their five year study of yawing habits in people and what they learned as a result. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science Explore further Credit: Petr Kratochvil / public domain Citation: Women found to be more susceptible to contagious yawning than men (2016, February 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-02-women-susceptible-contagious-men.htmlcenter_img Psychopaths may not yawn along with you Everyone knows that yawning is contagious—one person yawning spontaneously can cause another person in the vicinity to yawn even if they are not tired or sleepy. Scientists still do not know why this happens, but it has also been documented in other animals—dogs for example have been seen to yawn after viewing a human being yawn. In this new effort, the researchers found that there is a gender difference in contagious yawning, and they suggest it is related to empathy.The study consisted of the three researchers noting yawning occurrences in the people around them as they lived their daily lives; whether at work, on a train, or sitting next to a family member—every yawn and the contagion it caused was duly noted and added to a database—all told they recorded 1,461 instances of contagious yawning. After five years, the researchers looked at the data and found confirmation of some prior findings, e.g. that yawning contagion becomes more likely when the people involved have closer social bonds—seeing a friend yawn, for example, is more likely to cause mimicking yawns than seeing a stranger do it. But they also found something that had not been noted before, namely, that women are much more susceptible to yawning contagion than are men.The researchers theorize that the difference between genders is tied to empathic abilities—women, they say, are naturally more inclined to empathize with others, especially those that are close to them. Some have suggested that contagious yawning is based on empathy—seeing someone else yawn causes other people to “feel” their tiredness, which causes them to yawn in return. If women are more empathetic, the researchers point out, it stands to reason that they would be more susceptible to empathetic based human behaviors such as yawning. © 2016 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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2019-08-31

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Legislature approves Howrylaks criminal justice reform plan

first_img Categories: Howrylak News,News 01May Legislature approves Howrylak’s criminal justice reform plan Bill allows sheriff, doctor, judge to consider an inmate’s release for health reasonsThe state Senate and House have approved Rep. Martin Howrylak’s plan to allow a medical doctor, sheriff and the court to work together in determining if a medically frail individual housed in a jail is eligible for compassionate release or medical probation.Currently, inmates cannot retain public or private health insurance when they enter the county jail. Once an individual is incarcerated, the jail is required to pay for medical treatment while the individual is in custody. As a result, counties are forced to pay law enforcement officers for 24-hour hospital watches involving extremely ill prisoners receiving care from outside medical professionals.“Our counties are incurring significant costs to care for these individuals,” said Howrylak, of Troy. “Taxpayers and county budgets should not be impacted simply by continuing care of an inmate who has limited ability to being a public threat. This legislation doesn’t release prisoners onto our streets without regard to public safety, it simply allows the review on a case-by-case with medical and law enforcement officials.”If enacted, House Bill 5234 allows for compassionate release or medical probation for inmates who meet specific requirements, pending review by a medical doctor, the sheriff and the court to determine if the individual is eligible.In order to be eligible for medical probation or compassionate release:A prisoner must be physically or mentally incapacitated due to a medical condition that requires 24-hour care or have a life expectancy of not more than six months;A placement option must be secured for the prisoner that does not pose a threat to the safety of the public or the prisoner; andThe county sheriff must determine if the expenses related to the prisoner’s placement will be paid by Medicaid, private insurance or another form of payment before the prisoner is released.“I applaud Rep. Howrylak and the Michigan Legislature for making this legislation a priority,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard said. “Allowing these mechanisms to grant compassionate release and medical probation to inmates who are suffering from extreme medical conditions will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. This is a perfect example of smart criminal justice reform, which gives county jails the ability to release those who need extensive medical care and who do not pose a threat to the community. The public’s safety is still paramount with this new initiative.”Today’s House vote follows last week’s Senate approval, advancing HB 5234 to the governor for his consideration.#####last_img read more

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2019-08-09

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