Ammon News, Panorama

Indian Prime Minister Modi picks up trash from beach


[10/12/2019 1:37:25 PM]

AMMONNEWS - As part of his cleanliness drive, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi picked up trash on Saturday from a beach in the southern temple town where he hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping. Modi released a short video on Twitter showing him walking barefoot in the sand, collecting the trash in a bag on Saturday morning in Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu state. He tweeted, “Let us ensure our public places are clean and tidy.” Modi launched a “Clean India” campaign after he became prime minister in 2014. In a radio talk last month, Modi lauded the efforts of an Indian “plogger,” Ripudaman Belvi, who launched a campaign to pick up litter while jogging. Modi said that “plogging” is popular in foreign countries, and praised Belvi for promoting it in India. *AP

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Jane Fonda arrested in climate protest at US Capitol


[10/12/2019 1:36:31 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Oscar-winner Jane Fonda was arrested Friday outside the US Capitol where she was protesting climate change and demanding action to protect the environment. The 81-year-old film star, longtime activist and exercise guru was taken into custody with several others after 10 minutes of protesting on the Capitol steps, a video posted on Fonda’s Facebook page showed. “Today, the United States Capitol Police arrested 16 individuals for unlawfully demonstrating on the East Front of the US Capitol,” a police spokeswoman said in a statement that did not identify those detained. Fonda, dressed in a bright red overcoat, chanted climate action slogans before she was handcuffed and led away to cheers from fellow protesters. The protest may become a familiar site on Capitol Hill. Fonda recently told the Los Angeles Times that she was moving to Washington for four months, fully committed to fighting global warming with a passion similar to that of Swedish teenager and climate activist Greta Thunberg. Speaking to a small gathering before her arrest, Fonda decried the “man-made crisis” of climate change and said she and other activists would be returning to Capitol Hill “every Friday at 11:00, rain or shine or snow or blizzard or whatever,” for a series of rallies. “This is a collective crisis that demands collective action now,” she said. *AFP

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NASA launches satellite to explore where air meets space


[10/12/2019 1:35:42 PM]

AMMONNEWS - NASA launched a satellite on Thursday night to explore the mysterious, dynamic region where air meets space. The satellite - called Icon, short for Ionospheric Connection Explorer - rocketed into orbit following a two-year delay. It was dropped from a plane flying over the Atlantic off the Florida coast. Five seconds after the satellite’s release, the attached Pegasus rocket ignited, sending Icon on its way. The ionosphere is the charged part of the upper atmosphere extending several hundred kilometers up. It’s in constant flux as space weather bombards it from above and Earth weather from below, sometimes disrupting radio communications. “This protected layer, it’s the top of our atmosphere. It’s our frontier with space,” said NASA’s heliophysics division director, Nicola Fox. Fox said there’s too much going on in this region to be caused by just the sun. Hurricanes, tornadoes and other extreme weather conditions on Earth are also adding energy, she noted. The more scientists know, the better spacecraft and astronauts can be protected in orbit through improved forecasting. The refrigerator-size Icon satellite will study the airglow formed from gases in the ionosphere and also measure the charged environment right around the 580-kilometer-high spacecraft. “It’s a remarkable physics laboratory,” said principal scientist Thomas Immel of the University of California, Berkeley, which is overseeing the two-year mission. He added: “Icon goes where the action is.” A NASA satellite launched last year, Gold, is also studying the upper atmosphere, but from much higher up. More missions are planned in coming years to study the ionosphere, including from the International Space Station. Icon should have soared in 2017, but problems with Northrop Grumman’s air-launched Pegasus rocket interfered. Despite the long delay, NASA said the $252 million mission did not exceed its price cap. Northrop Grumman also built the satellite. During a news conference earlier this week, NASA launch director Omar Baez apologized for the delay. “We wanted to get things right on this rocket,” Baez said. “We have no second chances on these type of missions.” He called the launch “an awesome and great one; this one’s been a long time in coming.” Baez said in the end, everything went well. “This is about as good as it gets,” he said. *AP

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New York library exhibit to pay tribute to JD Salinger


[10/7/2019 2:56:05 PM]

AMMONNEWS - An upcoming exhibit at the New York Public Library will offer a look into the very private life of J.D. Salinger. From Oct. 18 to Jan 20, 2020, the library will show materials ranging from family photographs to letters to the original typescript for his classic “The Catcher in the Rye.” The exhibit is called “J.D. Salinger” and was organized by the library in partnership with the author’s widow, Colleen Salinger, and son, Matt Salinger. Matt Salinger said he plans to release his father’s unpublished writings at some point, but the library will not be showing any unpublished material. J.D. Salinger, who died in 2010, published no books after the 1960s but continued to write during the following decades. Fans have long obsessed over what he had been working on. The exhibit will help mark the 100th anniversary of Salinger’s birth. In a statement Monday, Matt Salinger said that he hopes to lift “the veil a bit” on his famous father, whom he acknowledged avoided public scrutiny in his lifetime. “But I’ve learned that while he may have only fathered two children there are a great, great many readers out there who have their own rather profound relationships with him, through his work, and who have long wanted to get to know him better,” Matt Salinger said. *AP

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First Lady Melania Trump calls for end of e-cigarette marketing to youth


[10/7/2019 2:54:30 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Melania Trump is calling on companies to stop marketing e-cigarettes to children, saying they’re addictive and dangerous. The first lady - who has a 13-year-old son, Barron - says teenagers and young adults must be encouraged to admit addiction, including to electronic cigarettes and vaping - and get help. She adds: “Marketing this addictive product to children must stop.” Mrs. Trump spoke Monday at a US Drug Enforcement Administration rally in the Washington area to help reinforce an anti-drug message before an annual drug-free week begins Oct. 23. Juul Labs Inc., the nation’s largest e-cigarette maker, has said it will stop advertising its electronic cigarettes in the United States. President Donald Trump announced in September that the US will act to ban thousands of fla *AP

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Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen


[10/7/2019 2:52:31 PM]

AMMONNEWS - US researchers William Kaelin and Gregg Semenza and Britain’s Peter Ratcliffe on Monday shared the Nobel Medicine Prize for discoveries on how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability, the Nobel Assembly said. “They established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function,” the jury said. Their research has “paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anemia, cancer and many other diseases.” The jury said the trio had identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen, which is central to a large number of diseases. “Intense ongoing efforts in academic laboratories and pharmaceutical companies are now focused on developing drugs that can interfere with different disease states by either activating, or blocking, the oxygen-sensing machinery,” the jury said. Kaelin works at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the US, while Semenza is director of the Vascular Research Program at the John Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering. Ratcliffe is director of clinical research at the Francis Crick Institute in London, and director of the Target Discovery Institute in Oxford. The three will share the Nobel Prize sum of nine million Swedish kronor (about $914,000 or 833,000 euros). They will receive their prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament. Last year, the honour went to immunologists James Allison of the US and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, for figuring out how to release the immune system’s brakes to allow it to attack cancer cells more efficiently. The winners of this year’s Physics Prize will be revealed on Tuesday, followed by the Chemistry Prize on Wednesday. The Literature Prize will be announced on Thursday, with two laureates to be crowned after a sexual harassment scandal forced the Swedish Academy to postpone the 2018 award, for the first time in 70 years. The Peace Prize will follow on Friday, with bookies predicting a win for Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg on betting sites such as Ladbrokes. The Economics Prize will wrap up the Nobel Prize season on Monday, October 14. *AFP

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Malaysia pushes for strict law to police vapes, e-cigarettes


[10/1/2019 4:14:24 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Malaysia is planning to introduce strict regulations on the sale and use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers, health officials said on Tuesday, as countries around the world move to ban devices that have been linked to deaths and youth addiction. India, which has the second-largest population of adult smokers in the world, banned the sale of e-cigarettes last month as it warned of a vaping “epidemic” among young people. Public health officials in the US recommended against using e-cigarettes after 12 deaths and 805 cases of illnesses linked to e-cigarette use were reported. The global market for e-cigarettes was worth $15.7 billion in 2018, according to data from Euromonitor International, and is projected to more than double to $40 billion in 2023. Malaysia wants to club e-cigarettes and vaporizers together with tobacco products under a single law that would prohibit promotions and advertising, usage in public areas and use by minors, the health ministry said. “Increasingly more studies have shown vape/electronic cigarettes ... are still harmful to human health. Furthermore, vapes/e-cigarettes are still not proven to be an effective modality to quit smoking,” it said in an email. The ministry said the recent spate of deaths and illnesses linked to e-cigarette use in the US added urgency to Malaysia’s review of its policies. An estimated 5 million Malaysians aged 15 and older are smokers out of a total population of about 32 million, according to the most recent national health and morbidity survey by the health ministry in 2015. The final draft of the new Tobacco Control and Smoking Act has been completed and submitted to the attorney-general for a final review, the ministry said. “We really hope that the new Act can be tabled in parliament next year,” the ministry’s email said. Tobacco products in Malaysia are currently regulated under the Food Act but there are no specific regulations governing the sale and use of vaporizers and e-cigarettes. However, a ban on vaporizer liquids containing nicotine has been in place since November 2015. The world’s vaping industry, which has seen rapid growth, has faced growing public backlash over concerns of increased use by young people. In a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month, a bipartisan group of US senators urged an immediate ban on pod and cartridge-based e-cigarettes, which they say are favored by youths, until it can be proven the products are safe. India’s nationwide prohibition, the world’s first, would cut off a huge future market from e-cigarette makers such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International, which have plans to expand their operations in the country. *Reuters

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