Burns and blindness Very nasty giant hogweed plant spreading in Canada

first_imgIt can cause third-degree burns and even permanent blindness – and it’s spreading.Giant hogweed is cutting a wider swath in B.C. and Ontario, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada is urging people across the country to document sightings of the­ towering, three-metre green plant with large umbels of white flowers.Dan Kraus, a biologist with the conservancy, said the invasive Asian species likely arrived in Canada in the 1940s and can now be found in areas of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, and has been spreading in southern Ontario and southern B.C.“Nobody’s really sure when it arrived here. It was probably introduced as an ornamental plant and it is starting to slowly spread,” said Kraus from Guelph, Ont.“It’s possible people are moving it from garden to garden. They see it in their aunt’s garden and they think it’s this wonderful plant, and they’re collecting seeds and moving it to another location, which is something we definitely don’t want people to do.”In 2015, five children in England were reportedly burned in two separate incidents after coming into contact with giant hogweed in public parks.Often mistaken for the similar-looking cow parsnip, it can be seen growing in gardens, along roadsides, in ditches and on the shores of rivers and streams. Its clear sap can cause blistering third-degree burns and even permanent blindness if it touches the body and is then exposed to the sun, through a phototoxic reaction.“It’s very nasty. It can cause huge water blisters — almost like boils — that erupt on your skin,” said Todd Boland, a research horticulturist at Memorial University’s Botanical Garden in St. John’s, N.L.“It may be the next day before you start to see the effects. That’s the funny thing about this. It’s not like it’s an instant thing. It takes awhile and you have to have repeated exposure to the sun.”But simply touching the plant is not dangerous, Boland stressed. It’s the sap that is problematic and washing your body and clothes after exposure can prevent the phototoxic reaction.“If you get it in your eye, it can lead to permanent blindness, but that’s pretty rare. You’d be hard-pressed to get it in your eye unless you were rolling around in the plant,” said Boland, adding that giant hogweed can be found in the St. John’s area.The plant has prompted communities across Canada to issue warnings to residents in recent years.Guelph, Ont., has been dealing with giant hogweed for about two years and although it is now contained in two locations, eradicating the plant has proven difficult.“In 2015 we removed some plants from one location and the next year we returned to the site and there were no plants, but this year we returned to find plants,” said Timea Filer, an urban forester with the city. “So there appears to be a seed bank and we’ll have to monitor it continually.”Kraus said there is also a concern about a loss of native biodiversity, as giant hogweed is an aggressive plant that can outcompete native plants and spread — especially when it grows near waterways and its seeds are carried downstream. One plant can produce thousands of seeds and they can stay in the ground for years before germinating.The conservancy is asking people to document sightings of the invasive plant through apps such as iNaturalist, which helps scientists understand how the plants are spreading and identifies areas in which they need to be eradicated, he said.“We also want to make people aware that they may have a plant in their garden which at some point could spread into a natural area and impact on biodiversity… or have public health impacts,” said Kraus.“Ideally you want to keep invasive plants out, but the next best thing is to detect them early and to remove them before they take over large areas.”Kraus said Canadians who spot giant hogweed should contact local parks officials.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.last_img read more

50 Animal Shelters To Compete In ASPCA Rachael Ray 100K Challenge

first_imgThe ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has released the names of the 50 animal shelters that will compete in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, with a total of $600,000 in prize grants up for grabs to help shelters save more homeless cats and dogs.The contestants will gear up for the competition to save more animals – during the months of June, July and August 2013 – than they did over the same three-month period in 2012. Last year’s competing shelters saved more than 56,000 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 14,376 over the same period in 2011.“In a matter of days we filled up all 50 spots, and we have a great mix of shelters of all shapes and sizes representing 31 states and territories,” says Bert Troughton , vice president of Community Outreach at the ASPCA. “The contest isn’t even underway yet, and already we’re seeing incredible energy and passion from the field. If that’s any indication of how the competition will go, we’re in for another record-breaking year of saving lives.”The 50 contestants in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge are: • Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Birmingham, Ala. • Mobile County Animal Control in Mobile, Ala. • Western Arizona Humane Society in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. • HALO Animal Rescue in Phoenix, Ariz. • Butte Humane Society in Chico, Calif. • Hesperia Animal Control and Services in Hesperia, Calif. • Moreno Valley Animal Shelter in Moreno Valley, Calif. • San Bernadino County Animal Care and Control in San Bernadino, Calif. • Yolo County Sheriff’s Office – Animal Services in Woodland, Calif. • Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C. • Humane Society of Pinellas in Clearwater, Fla. • Suncoast Humane Society in Englewood, Fla. • Jacksonville Humane Society in Jacksonville, Fla. • Pasco County Animal Services – FOAS, Inc. in Land O’ Lakes, Fla. • Osceola County Animal Services in St. Cloud, Fla. • Cherokee County Animal Shelter in Canton, Ga. • Humane Society for Greater Savannah in Savannah, Ga. • Canyon County Animal Shelter in Caldwell, Idaho • South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights, Ill. • Macon County Animal Control and Care Center in Decatur, Ill. • Almost Home Humane Society in Lafayette, Ind. • Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa • Lawrence Humane Society in Lawrence, Kan. • Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) in Baltimore, Md. • Animal Rescue League of Boston in Boston, Mass. • Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter in Dearborn, Mich. • Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Mich. • Humane Society of Midland County in Midland, Mich. • Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport, Miss. • Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Mo. • The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, Nev. • Eleventh Hour Rescue in Randolph, N.J. • Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley in Las Cruces, N.M. • Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, N.C. • Toledo Area Humane Society in Maumee, Ohio • Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Pittsburgh, Pa. • Providence Animal Rescue League in Providence, R.I. • Anderson County P.A.W.S. in Anderson, S.C. • Riverside County Department of Animal Services in Jurupa, S.C. • Unicoi County Animal Shelter in Erwin, Tenn. • Beaumont Animal Services in Beaumont, Texas • City of Corpus Christi Animal Care Services in Corpus Christi, Texas • Citizens for Animal Protection in Houston, Texas • Houston Humane Society in Houston, Texas • Texas Humane Heroes in Leander, Texas • Salt Lake County Animal Services in Salt Lake City, Utah • Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation in Sumerduck, Va. • Virginia Beach SPCA in Virginia Beach, Va. • Wisconsin Humane Society in Milwaukee, Wis. • Cheyenne Animal Shelter in Cheyenne. Wyo.The ASPCA and Rachael Ray will award a $100,000 grand prize to the shelter contestant that achieves the greatest increase in lives saved during this three-month period. The contestant that does the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals will win $25,000. Those organizations that do the best in their divisions will be eligible for between $10,000 and $25,000 in additional grants. In total, $600,000 in grant funding will be awarded for increases in animal lives saved and general participation.All her life, Rachael Ray has been an advocate for animals and a supporter of animal welfare groups. Her love for animals and for her pit bull, Isaboo, inspired her to create a pet food called Nutrish to raise money for animals in need. Ray donates 100 percent of her proceeds from the sale of Nutrish to organizations like the ASPCA so they can implement programs like the $100K Challenge and support shelters and animal organizations around the country.The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a groundbreaking contest that challenges animal shelters across the country to come up with innovative ways to engage their communities and get more homeless cats and dogs into loving homes. For more information about the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, please click here.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Mary Robinson Appointed New Chair of The Elders

first_imgThe Elders announced today that their new Chair will be Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.Mary Robinson becomes The Elders’ third Chair since the group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, following Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2007-13) and Kofi Annan (2013-2018).Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General, and Graça Machel, former Education Minister of Mozambique and co-founder of The Elders, will serve as joint Deputy Chairs, succeeding Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, who has held the role since 2013.Mary Robinson said:“It is a huge honour to take up the role as Chair of The Elders at such a critical moment for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. Building on the powerful legacies of Archbishop Tutu and Kofi Annan, I am confident that our group’s voice can both be heard by leaders and amplify grassroots activists fighting for their rights.”Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Emeritus Elder and former Chair, said:“I am delighted that Mary Robinson is the new Chair of The Elders. I have witnessed her commitment to rights and justice in Palestine, Côte d’Ivoire, India and so many other parts of the world. Mary always puts ordinary people at the heart of The Elders’ mission, and I know she will fight for their rights with the same vigour as our dearly missed brother Kofi.”Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and new Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:“It is a pleasure and a privilege to become Deputy Chair of The Elders alongside Graça Machel. I look forward to working with my fellow Elders under Mary Robinson’s leadership to defend human rights, address the challenge of climate change and promote equality.”Graça Machel, co-founder of The Elders with Nelson Mandela, said:“When Madiba launched The Elders over a decade ago, I knew this would play a critically important part in my life. We have accomplished so much together, especially giving a voice to the voiceless, but there is so much more still to be done to achieve the peaceful, just world that Nelson Mandela believed we all can share.”last_img read more

Mitsubishi Electric and Here are working on a new V2V system for

first_img Share your voice 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review: A plug-in SUV that lacks appeal Mitsubishi More From Roadshow The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport looks bolder than ever 2019 Honda CR-V review: Still one of the best small SUVs around 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT first drive: A refresh that polishes an already good car Enlarge ImageMitsubishi Electric and Here’s Lane Hazard Warning system can identify road hazards like stalled cars or slick pavement and upload that information to the cloud for other cars. Mitsubishi Electric/HERE Mitsubishi Electric — no, not the car maker, but related — and a Dutch company called Here have been working on a vehicle-to-cloud-to-vehicle information system that would allow a car to report a road hazard and share it with other vehicles. The system is called Lane Hazard Warning, and unlike a lot of V2V systems, this one just completed its second successful real-world test, the two companies announced today.The first real-world test of the Lane Hazard Warning system took place in Tsukuba City, Japan, in winter 2018. The second test took place in Southern California and concluded at the end of April. Pretty cool, but what exactly does the system do?First, Lane Hazard Warning uses a vehicle’s sensors to identify potential road hazards such as wrecked cars, big potholes and slippery surfaces. It then flags those hazards and which lane or lanes they affect and sends that data to the cloud where other vehicles equipped with the system can access it.”When something unusual happens on the road ahead drivers often have very little time to react, and that can put them and their passengers at risk,” Hiroshi Onishi, executive officer and group president of Automotive Equipment at Mitsubishi Electric, said in a statement. “Together with Here Technologies, we’ve developed a new system designed to give drivers a few valuable extra seconds or minutes to prepare for a potential danger on the road ahead, such as by switching lanes or simply driving with greater caution. “The two companies are planning to make the system available to automakers for testing, with the ultimate goal being to license the technology out to companies developing self-driving cars or vehicles with advanced driver assistance features. Tags 0 18 Photos Auto Tech Car Industry Post a commentlast_img read more

China castigates US over warship sailby in Taiwan Strait

first_imgFlags of China and USAChina said Thursday it had lodged a protest with Washington after two US warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait amid rising tensions between the two powers.The US Navy said the USS Preble, a destroyer, and USNS Walter S Diehl, a supply ship, conducted a routine transit “in accordance with international law” on Wednesday.”The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said.”The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”US warships periodically conduct “freedom of navigation” exercises in the narrow waterway separating the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, triggering angry responses from Beijing every time.Beijing views any ships passing through the strait as essentially breaching its sovereignty, while the US and many other nations view the route as international waters open to all.”We have lodged solemn representations with the US,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing.The sail-by comes on top of tensions between the United States and China over trade and US efforts to thwart Chinese telecom giant Huawei over security concerns.The transit also comes as the US, Japan, South Korea and Australia kicked off operation “Pacific Vanguard” near Guam, bringing together more than 3,000 sailors from the four countries.Drills will focus on “live fire exercises, defensive counter-air operations, anti-submarine warfare, and replenishment at sea,” the US 7th Fleet said.In April, Beijing said its navy warned off a French warship that had entered the Taiwan Strait and lodged an official complaint with Paris.China sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified, despite the two sides being ruled separately since the end of a civil war on the mainland in 1949.The US diplomatically recognises China over Taiwan, but remains the island’s chief military ally and arms supplier.For the Guam naval drills, Australia has contributed two frigates, Japan two destroyers and South Korea one destroyer. The USS Blue Ridge, the 7th Fleet’s flagship, will lead the operation from the US side.Home to more than 160,000 people, Guam was at the centre of nuclear tensions between Washington and Pyongyang in 2017, with North Korea threatening to hit the US territory with “enveloping fire”.last_img read more

Mamatas views find resonance in SCs Aadhaar judgement

first_imgKolkata: Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict restricting the use of Aadhaar cards, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is presently in Milan, said: “It is a victory of the people of this country, and we are very happy.”Later, Banerjee tweeted: “From day one we have fought for this. Not linking #Aadhaar to mobile phones, bank accounts and others is a great relief for the common people. My best wishes to all.” “From the first day, I am against linking of Aadhaar with banks and mobile phones. There is information which the state government should preserve. We are not questioning that, but linking of Aadhaar with banks and cell phones cannot be supported as there is every possibility of the information being leaked out,” she said, adding: “The Supreme Court judgment has confirmed today as true what I have been telling all these months.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeShe said Trinamool Congress MLA Mohua Moitra had filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court. “We read about bank fraud every day, and money is being withdrawn from ATMs, causing great trouble to the account holders. Today’s judgment will put an end to these,” she said. “If Aadhaar is linked with mobile phones, your call and message records become public. This is uncalled for,” said the Chief Minister. “Because of this I did not link my Aadhaar with my bank account and cell phone and also asked people not to do it,” she added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMeanwhile, party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said: “Mamata Banerjee had issued an open challenge on Aadhaar. Our stance has been vindicated,” and added: “I am glad the court said we need to take a closer look at data privacy and data protection… the BJP can’t make it (India) into a police state.” In a verdict with far-reaching consequences and described as balanced, the Supreme Court Wednesday upheld the constitutional validity of ‘Aadhaar’ but limited the scope of the controversial biometric identity project by quashing some provisions that made it mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions. Holding there was nothing in the Aadhaar Act that violates right to privacy of an individual, a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra in a 4 to 1 verdict also cleared the use of Aadhaar for welfare schemes after a long-drawn legal battle against the government’s ambitious project- the world’s largest biometric ID database. The court, however, held Aadhaar would remain mandatory for the filing of Income Tax(IT) returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN). It struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 that permitted private entities like telecom companies or other corporates to avail of the biometric Aadhaar data. Ruling that Aadhaar authentication data cannot be stored for more than six months, the court also directed the government not to give Aadhaar to illegal immigrants. Justice D Y Chandrachud gave a dissenting judgement in which he ruled the Aadhaar Act should not have been passed as Money Bill as it amounts to a fraud on the Constitution and is liable to be struck down.last_img read more

Food hacks to lower fatal heart disease risk

first_imgThe findings showed that both plant-based and seafood-based omega-3s lead to about 10 per cent lower risk of fatal heart attacks. “Our results lend support to the importance of fish and omega-3 consumption as part of a healthy diet,” said Dariush Mozaffarian from Tufts University in Boston, in the US. Fish is the major food source of omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid, docosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, anchovies, sardines and herring contain the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Fishes also  provide specific proteins, vitamin D, selenium and other minerals and elements. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid found in walnuts, flaxseed oil, and canola oil and some nuts and their oils, said the paper. For the study, a total of 19 studies were involved from 16 countries. 7,973 people developed a first heart attack over time, including 2,781 deaths and 7,157 nonfatal heart attacks. “This new global consortium provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand how blood biomarkers of many different fats and fatty acids relate to diverse health outcomes,” Dariush noted.last_img read more

US might extend electronics ban to all international flights

first_imgTags: America, Donald Trump U.S. “might” extend electronics ban to all international flights Share Source: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says he’s considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States.That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. The current ban was put in place because of concerns about terrorist attacks.The ban prevents travellers from bringing laptops, tablets and certain other devices on board with them in their carry-on bags. All electronics bigger than a smartphone must be checked in.Kelly was asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether he would expand the ban to cover laptops on all international flights into and out of the U.S.His answer: “I might.” << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, May 29, 2017 last_img read more

WestJet to launch new service between Hamilton and Las Vegas

first_img CALGARY — The city of Hamilton is getting a direct link to Sin City, courtesy of WestJet.The airline has announced new nonstop service between John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, starting Dec. 29, 2017.“As Hamilton International’s largest airline, as well as the carrier with the most international flights into Las Vegas, WestJet continues to add new service in Southern Ontario,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development. “This new nonstop flight connects the community to a highly desirable leisure market and offers a great schedule to those looking to fly directly from Hamilton and surrounding communities without having to drive or connect through Toronto.”Service between the two cities will operate twice weekly (Monday and Friday), beginning Dec. 29 through April 27, 2018. Flights will be operated on WestJet’s Boeing 737 aircraft featuring the enhanced Plus product and WestJet Connect, WestJet’s inflight entertainment system accessed directly through smartphones, tablets or computers.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesThis winter, WestJet has a total of 63 weekly flights to Las Vegas from eight cities across Canada, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and Hamilton.“We are very pleased that WestJet is operating non-stop service from Hamilton,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, Director of Aviation at McCarran International Airport. “Las Vegas has long been a proven winner among Canadians, particularly in the wintertime, so we’re looking forward to many more travellers taking advantage of the convenience offered by this latest extension of WestJet’s non-stop network into our area.” Posted by Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Share << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Travelweek Group Tags: WestJet WestJet to launch new service between Hamilton and Las Vegaslast_img read more