Two become one

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Virus-hit Iran says masks compulsory from next week

first_imgHe also did not say what the penalty would be for those who fail to observe the measure.According to deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi, services would not be provided to those without masks in areas such as government organizations and shopping malls.But implementing the measure may be difficult, as according to Tehran’s mayor, many do not wear masks in places like the capital’s public transport network, where it is already mandatory.”Fifty percent of metro passengers wear masks… and even fewer in buses,” Mayor Pirouz Hanachi was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.”We can’t forcefully confront people without masks,” he added. President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would have to live with the virus for the “long haul”, as he announced the latest measures to combat it.Mask-wearing would be “obligatory in covered spaces where there are gatherings”, he said during a televised meeting of the country’s anti-virus taskforce.According to him, the measure would come into force as of next week, continue until July 22 and would be extended if necessary.Rouhani said the health ministry had devised “a clear list” of the types of spaces and gatherings deemed high-risk, but he did not elaborate. ‘Red’ countiesIran reported its first COVID-19 cases on February 19 and it has since struggled to contain the outbreak.The health ministry on Sunday announced 144 virus deaths in the past 24 hours, its highest for a single day since April 5, raising the total to 10,508.Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari also raised total confirmed infections to 222,669, with 2,489 new cases during the same period.Official figures have shown an upward trajectory in new confirmed cases since early May, when Iran hit a near two-month low in daily recorded infections.”Considering the rising numbers, I plead with you to definitely use masks outside and in covered places,” Lari said.Iran closed schools, cancelled public events and banned movement between its 31 provinces in March, but the government progressively lifted restrictions from April to try to reopen its sanctions-hit economy.The economy is starting to suffer under the pressures of the health crisis.The country’s currency, the rial, has hit new lows against the US dollar in recent days, mostly over border closures and a halt in non-oil exports, according to analysts.The increasing virus caseload has seen some previously unscathed provinces classified as “red” — the highest level on Iran’s color-coded risk scale — with authorities allowing them to reimpose restrictive measures if required.According to Rouhani, the measure would also be extended to provinces with “red” counties.”Any county that is red, its provincial (virus) committee can propose reimposing limitations for a week”, which could be extended if needed, he said.The government launched an “#I wear a mask” campaign on Saturday and pleaded with Iranians to observe guidelines aimed at curbing infections.One Iranian is infected with COVID-19 every 33 seconds and one dies from the disease every 13 minutes, Harirchi said on Saturday.Zanjan county in northwestern Iran has already reimposed restrictive measures for two weeks, its governor said in a televised interview.It followed a “certain indifference from Zanjan residents and as the number of our [virus] deaths picked up again in recent weeks,” said Alireza Asgari.The limitations include closing wedding halls and a ban on funeral events held at mosques, as they can lead to large gatherings, he added. Iran said Sunday it will make mask-wearing mandatory in certain areas and has allowed virus-hit provinces to reimpose restrictions, as novel coronavirus deaths mounted in the Middle East’s worst-hit country.The new steps were announced as Iran counted 144 new fatalities from the COVID-19 disease, its highest death toll for a single day in almost three months.The Islamic republic has refrained from enforcing full lockdowns to stop the pandemic’s spread, and the use of masks and protective equipment has been optional in most areas. Topics :last_img read more

QPR v Leeds United: Petrasso starts

first_imgYoungster Michael Petrasso has been handed a full debut for QPR’s game against Leeds at Loftus Road.Junior Hoilett is also in Rangers’ starting line-up, while Charlie Austin, who has been nursing a calf problem, is among the substitutes.Clint Hill is still unavailable for the home side and Leroy Fer is serving a ban after being sent off against Middlesbrough.Leeds’ new loan signing Liam Bridcutt starts for the visitors, who are without the suspended Gaetano Berardi and the injured Sol Bamba.QPR: Green, Perch, Onuoha. Hall, Konchesky, Petrasso, Faurlin, Sandro, Yun, Hoilett, Phillips.Subs: Smithies, Austin, Henry, Chery, Luongo, Tozser. Angella.Leeds: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Dallas, Bridcutt, Cook, Mowatt, Antenucci, Wood.Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Byram, Adeyemi, Murphy, Botaka, Erwin, Doukara.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Madison Bumgarner pinch hits in Giants’ season finale against Clayton Kershaw

first_imgBumgarner worked the count to 3-2 before … Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.SAN FRANCISCO — Madison Bumgarner was not going to pitch in Bruce Bochy’s final game.But he wasn’t going to miss a chance to grab a bat and take a swing.Bumgarner appeared as a pinch-hitter in the Giants’ last regular season game against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who came out of the bullpen to face San Francisco in the bottom of the fifth inning on Sunday.last_img

Yes, it is rocket science

first_imgSeen here during a class at Harvard,Siyabulela Xuza is one of the new younggeneration of Africans who are committedto developing the continent’s potential.(Image: Harvard School of Engineeringand Applied Sciences)MEDIA CONTACTS • Priscilla MoodleyNational Science Fair Director+27 11 894 1365 or +27 82 655 3605RELATED ARTICLES• Synthetic biology honour for students• SA pupils win World Literary Quiz• Fostering SA’s young scientists• SA women lead the way in science• Denel helps maths, science reporterEngineering whizzkid Siyabulela Lethuxolo Xuza is a young man with a big future.From the early days of experimenting with science in his mother’s kitchen in the poor community of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, to international science and engineering accolades, he is now a role model for South Africa’s aspiring scientists.These days the darling of Nasa, who were so taken with him that they gave him a personal guided tour of their facilities, is the youngest member of the Africa 2.0 energy advisory panel.The pan-African organisation comprises the continent’s brightest minds and is committed to seeking sustainable solutions to challenges faced by Africans.In a March 2012 interview with US television network CBS, Xuza said that his current work is focusing on transforming homes into power plants “that capture the energy of the sun during the day and store some of it in fuel cells, for use at night”.Starting youngIn his own words, Xusa described the moment that sparked his lifelong passion for science.“I was chasing the roar of a Cessna plane dropping election pamphlets over Mthatha, my South African township,” he wrote on the website.“It was 1994, the first year of a new democracy in my country, and the sight of that technological marvel ignited in me a curiosity for science and a passion for using technology to engineer an African renaissance.”He was just five years old at the time. The youngster was also later inspired by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth’s trip into space in 2002, an event that was largely responsible for his long-standing interest in rocketry.His mother’s kitchen soon became the scene for much experimentation with formulations of jet and rocket fuel, but the informal laboratory had to be moved to the garage after a sticky incident with a too-hot stove.Xuza wasn’t deterred, and over the next few years he continued to work on the project, which culminated in the successful launch of a real home-built rocket, the Phoenix. This vehicle achieved a final height of over a kilometre and earned him the junior South African amateur high-powered altitude record.The rocket was propelled by Xuza’s own invention, a cheaper, safer type of rocket fuel, which became the subject of a project titled African Space: Fuelling Africa’s quest to space. It won a gold medal in the 2006 Eskom National Science Expo as well as a trip to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Sweden, where he presented his work to the Swedish king and queen.The same project took him to the 58th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as part of Team South Africa.Here the project was entered in the energy and transport category and won the 18-year-old, then a matric pupil on a scholarship at St John’s College in Johannesburg, a Best of Category award and a First award.Xuza also received the honour of having a celestial body named after him by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, which is replacing the complicated scientific names of thousands of minor planets with more accessible names in honour of the world’s top achievers.The minor planet 23182 Siyaxuza circles the solar system in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter and takes 4.01 years to complete a single orbit. It was discovered in July 2000.Xuza has garnered numerous other accolades, including a fellowship in 2010 of the African Leadership Network, and in 2011 he was made a fellow of the international student-run Kairos Society. Membership to this global body is by invitation only.A bright futureMatriculating in 2007 with a string of As, it was almost guaranteed that Xuza would take up further studies at a prestigious institution – that turned out to be Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he became one of just 1 948 students accepted out of about 28 000 who applied.He started his engineering degree in September 2008, but wasn’t afraid to take up academic challenges such as debating, the Mandarin language, and world music. These interests, he said, would broaden his mind.The young man from the Eastern Cape also joined the Harvard Forum for International Leadership, a society that brings together students from all around the world to discuss global issues such as HIV/Aids, terrorism and the development of emerging economies, as well as the need for efficient energy solutions.“I may not be able to predict what the future holds,” he wrote on, “but I am excited at how my engineering education will enable me to achieve my aspirations for Africa.”last_img read more

Diversity is the key to cover crops

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The most common use of cover crops among farmers is simply planting cereal rye after harvesting a cash crop in the fall. It is easy to plant just the cereal rye and be done, but cover crops are best used with a goal in mind.“You need to ask why you are planting it and what you want to accomplish from it,” said Rob Albers, the National Sales Manager at Center Seeds. “Diversity is a major component in being successful with cover crops. It adds more benefits than a simple monoculture stand.”An easy way to obtain a diversified cover crop is to use a mix of legumes, grasses, and brassicas. The legumes will produce organic nitrogen while the grasses and brassica scavenge nutrients and some brassicas are good for breaking up compaction. That combination will give a good stand, but an even better stand will have diversity within each of those three categories as well — several legumes, a few grasses, and a couple brassicas all in the same mix.To many, this type of mix can seem a little overwhelming. However, it is simple to accomplish and does not have to cost a fortune.“It’s the presence of the multispecies that’s important, not the poundage. Instead of drilling 60 pounds of straight cereal rye, you can break that up by putting in smaller amounts of cereal rye, oats, barley, annual ryegrass, winter peas, crimson clover, vetch, cowpeas, radish, and/or rapeseed,” Albers said.Diversification is proving to be increasingly important as the different root systems provide nutrients to the soil biology as well as absorbing different nutrients from the soil. Some roots will reach deeper into the soil profile whereas others will be more dense and fibrous, gathering nutrients from other parts of the soil. This is when the hyphae start interconnecting, which are important to extract nutrients to support growth in poor soils.Albers described this process as a spider spinning a web — the bigger their web, the more opportunity they have for food. That’s exactly what is happening under the soil surface when multiple plant species are grown together; the hyphae can extend for miles when they are receiving the proper nutrients from the soil and not disturbed by tillage.In order to figure out which combination would provide soils with the most benefit, the following questions need to be asked:• What will be planted next year? Some crops are more beneficial before a soybean crop and others before a corn crop.• Are there any herbicide issues or residuals? The cover crops to use may be limited or not even an option with the presence of residual herbicides.• In what time frame will the cover crops be planted? This will help decide if a warm or cool season crop should be planted and what crops will have the most benefit.Based on these simple questions, there is no general cover crop recommendation for every farm or every field. In a wet year like this, many people have started planting cover crops in July. Some warm season options for this early planting would be sorghum-sudangrass, pearl millet, Berseem clover, or sunn hemp as well as blends that include sorghum-sudan, radish, and sunn hemp or a blend with sorghum-sudan, sunn hemp, and buckwheat. Each of these can be seeded at a rate of about 15 to 20 pounds per acre, or even a little less, with a cost anywhere between $10 and $40 an acre depending on the seed and mixture.For later plantings in August or September, a few options would be annual ryegrass, cereal rye, spring oats, medium red clover, vetch, winter pea, radish, or rapeseed or a type of blend that includes some of those crops. The oats and rye will need to be planted a higher rate of 60 or more pounds per acre if they are not being mixed with another crop, and winter peas should be planted at a rate of 30 to 40 pounds per acre while the vetch can be planted at a rate of 10 to 20 pounds per acre. The other plants can be seeded at a rate lower than 10 pounds per acre. When these seeds are blended together, they can normally be planted at a lower rate of 15 to 20 pounds per acre and cost an average $10 to $45 an acre. Again, this is all depending on which seeds or mixtures are used.“To maximize the benefits, you have to know what you hope to accomplish with cover crops before planting them,” Albers said. “By adding diversity, you are simply increasing your odds of achieving those goals and seeing better results in your fields with cover crops.”last_img read more

Order to Increase Monetary Limits in Courts Tabled in the House

first_imgThe Judicature (Resident Magistrates) Act (Increase in Jurisdiction) Order, 2013 was tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, February 5.The Order was tabled by Leader of Government Business in the House and Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell.Section 129A of the Judicature (Resident Magistrates) Act empowers the Minister by Order, subject to affirmative Resolution, to increase the monetary jurisdictional limits of the Resident Magistrate’s Court in civil matters.For common law claims or torts, the limit is being moved from $250,000 to $1 million, and for claims in which distress or replevin or property or goods is sought, the limit is being moved from $50,000 to $1 million.In respect of claims for rent or mesne profit by a landlord, who is seeking recovery of possession from a tenant holding over after tenancy has expired or has been terminated by notice to quit, the limit is moved from $250,000 to $1 million. For claims by caveator to restrain land being bought under the Registration of Titles Act, the limit is moved from $450,000 to $2 million.The Senate on Friday, February 1, approved the Resolution increasing the monetary jurisdictional limits of the Resident Magistrate’s Court in civil matters. When approved in the Lower House, it will be gazetted and made into law.last_img read more