Spierer eyed for new task

first_imgRetired sheriff’s commander and current Santa Clarita City Council contender Robert Spierer has been approached to review child-abuse investigations in the county’s juvenile halls and youth probation camps. Spierer, who will run in next April’s council election, would be paid $150,000 a year for up to three years to review Los Angeles Probation Department reports, under the terms of a proposed contract. “It’s my understanding they want me merely to take a look at their investigations to ensure they’re done in the best possible way and that they’re being done in a timely manner,” Spierer, 62, said Thursday. The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Spierer’s contract. The initial agreement is for one year, but it can be extended two more. According to the proposed contract, Spierer would double-check investigations of child abuse or excessive or unnecessary force against young inmates. The Probation Department is under a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which appointed a federal monitor to make recommendations for reforms. One of those recommendations calls for a review of uses of force or alleged child abuse. In 2002, the Justice Department began an investigation into abuses at juvenile halls, finding that staff workers used pepper spray excessively, hog-tied a child and failed to properly care for youths who had threatened suicide. Since then, the county has been seeking to implement dozens of recommendations from a federal monitor. Spierer, who retired at the rank commander, was at one point captain of the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s station. And while he never investigated child-abuse cases in his career, he was in charge of internal investigations and was a department advocate involved in disciplinary cases. “They came to me and asked me if I was interested,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it.” In Santa Clarita, Spierer applied unsuccessfully in December for appointment to a vacated seat on the council. Early this year, he announced plans to run in the next election, when two seats on the five- member council will be open. — Patricia Farrell Aidem, (661) 257-5251pat.aidem@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Chelsea youngster’s loan spell cut short

first_imgChelsea youngster Archange Nkumu has had his loan spell at Colchester United cut short.The 19-year-old, who can play in defence or midfield, joined the League One club in October and was not due to return to Stamford Bridge until next month.But he did not play for the U’s first team and was hampered by injury problems, prompting Colchester boss Joe Dunne to end Nkumu’s time there.Earlier this season Nkumu made one appearance as a substitute during a loan spell with Yeovil.Click here for Thursday’s Chelsea quiz See also:Chelsea prospect still troubled by 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Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Avian influenza turning into epidemic

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After hearing the latest news of more devastating cases of poultry losses in his state, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad called the current avian influenza (AI) outbreak an “epidemic.”On May 1, Iowa declared a state of emergency due to the problem. The latest detections in Iowa involved three turkey farms and a chicken laying operation of about 1 million birds. Over 5.5 million birds have been lost in Iowa alone, the nation’s top egg producing state. Minnesota and Wisconsin had already declared emergency status in April. Nationwide total AI losses are more than 20 million birds.“AI has been percolating relatively quietly in the poultry industry for most of the year. In early March, the first case of the highly-pathogenic H5N2 strain of AI in the Mississippi flyway was confirmed by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on a commercial turkey operation in Minnesota,” said John D. Anderson, Deputy Chief Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation. “Looking ahead, the big question is whether or not highly-pathogenic AI will impact the broiler industry. So far, broilers have not been impacted significantly. The two commercial chicken operations to have confirmed AI cases have both been layer operations. Of course, there are substantial numbers of broiler facilities along the Mississippi flyway, mostly in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. As the migration season winds down, the likelihood of a full-blown outbreak in the broiler sector should be diminishing, but the possibility remains a real source of uncertainty for the livestock sector this year.”Three worrisome strains of avian flu have been detected in U.S. birds so far. The strains are related to a virus that circulated in Asia and Europe in 2014. In December 2014, they were detected in the Pacific Migratory Bird Flyway, in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. These viruses are classified as highly pathogenic, meaning they are extremely infectious and fatal for birds. Since then, the problem has exploded nationally.“This is obviously a very troublesome situation for the producers affected. We are working very closely with state ag officials and producer groups,” said Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary. “We want to make sure folks are using every bit of biosecurity they can to prevent this from happening. We have a booklet that is available through APHIS that lays out the strategies people can take to prevent this from occurring. We want to make sure that when it does occur it is detected as quickly as possible so we are in a position to depopulate the affected flocks, provide reimbursement and make sure we sanitize the area properly to contain this the best we can. We are also working on vaccines, but AI has a way of mutating and we are hoping we do not see an eastern impact and we hope that export markets remain as open as they can be. We are concerned that 11 or 12 countries have proposed a countrywide ban on poultry from the United States. We don’t think that is consistent with science or international regulations. We will continue to work as best we can to make sure export markets remain open.”The current avian influenza outbreak has not been found in Ohio, but is a concern.“Our highest priority at this time is on protecting our flocks through heightened biosecurity measures that will help prevent introduction of this disease on Ohio’s farms,” said Jim Chakeres, with the Ohio Poultry Association. “Those of us in the egg and poultry farming community remain deeply concerned about the continued spread of avian influenza. While there is no risk to humans from the disease, and eggs, turkey and chicken remain safe to eat, the impact on the nation’s flocks and on the industry overall is devastating,”This has been strictly an avian disease outbreak — human illness has never been reported in relation to this outbreak in North America, Europe or Asia, and poultry products such as chicken and turkey are safe to eat. Still, producers and poultry owners should take all necessary measures to protect their birds, said Mohamed El-Gazzar, poultry veterinarian for Ohio State University Extension who is also an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine.“The first thing is to try to avoid direct contact between any domestic or captive type of bird and wild migratory birds,” El-Gazzar said. “Producers are generally very good about protecting their birds, but they need to be aware that there’s an increased risk.”Backyard poultry owners should consider keeping their birds in enclosed covered runs until the threat from the viruses passes, he said. Poultry owners should not be complacent about these viruses even though they have not been detected in the Midwest, El-Gazzar said.Samples from wild birds collected during the recent hunting season have not yet been analyzed, and few additional samples will be collected until summer. So, although there is no evidence that these viruses might be circulating in Ohio, authorities can’t be certain the state is completely free of them, he said.“While we don’t think there are these highly pathogenic viruses in the Mississippi flyway, we don’t really know for sure,” he said.Anyone who keeps or breeds raptors should also be aware of these viruses, as they have been detected in birds of prey out West, too, El-Gazzar said. Other precautions El-Gazzar recommends include:In addition to avoiding direct contact between migratory and domestic birds, it’s important to prevent indirect contact, as well. “For example, if there’s an open body of water nearby that attracts wild birds, don’t go out, potentially step in fecal material, and then come back to your birds and transmit an infection,” he said.Protect birds from other poultry populations. “We don’t encourage mixing flocks, mixing ages or mixing species,” El-Gazzar said. “Visitors to your bird flock, whether they’re from the neighborhood or from other farms, are highly discouraged.”Commercial producers or backyard poultry owners should boost insect and rodent control efforts. “Make sure your houses are animal-proof, so that raccoons, opossums or any varmints can’t get in, and bird-proof so that wild birds can’t get in.” Such biosecurity measures also include keeping feed and water clean.It’s especially important to protect domestic birds from wild duck populations, El-Gazzar said, because they often don’t show any signs of disease even if they are carrying the virus.“If you’re a poultry owner and have ducks and chickens and turkeys in the same flock, that is a highly risky situation,” El-Gazzar said. “Particularly if ducks are involved, that requires increased biosecurity for the time being.”Even if poultry owners cannot isolate their flocks from migrating birds and other poultry species, it’s at least important to be aware of the increased risk of the virus, El-Gazzar said.“At the first sign of a problem, alert authorities so things can be checked out,” he said. “If you notice increased mortality in an alarming manner, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture. They will speak with you and determine if what you’re seeing matches the pattern of the highly pathogenic influenza.”The animal disease hotline at ODA is 800-300-9755 or 614-728-6220. Updates on the Pacific flyway avian influenza outbreak is online at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website, at www.aphis.usda.gov. For additional information on poultry biosecurity measures, see the service’s poultry biosecurity website at www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/birdbiosecurity/biosecurity/basicspoultry.htm. OSU Extension also has a fact sheet, Biosecurity for Poultry, online at ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0009.html.“We’re not trying to scare anybody,” El-Gazzar said. “Currently we don’t have any problems with this group of viruses here in Ohio, that we know of.“We’re just saying be aware of the problems out west, which might represent some risk to the Ohio poultry producers and backyard poultry owners. Just be aware and do everything you can to protect your birds.”last_img read more

Apple iOS 8 Preview: Everything We’re Expecting

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces dave smith Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Apple#iOS#iOS 7#iOS 8#iOS 8 apps#iOS 8 features#iOS 8 release#iOS 8 release date#new iOS Related Posts center_img In less than a month, Apple will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Apple typically uses this event to unveil new versions of its mobile and desktop operating systems, and WWDC 2014 should be no different.See also: How iOS 8 Will Fix Apple MapsAt last year’s event, iOS 7 was easily the star of the show. The new version of Apple’s mobile operating system was packed with the most striking visual and functional changes since the very first iPhone launched in 2007. iOS 7 was the first version of iOS directly managed by Apple’s lead designer, Sir Jony Ive, who took over “human interface” duties in late 2012 after longtime iOS chief Scott Forstall got the boot following the disastrous launch of the Apple Maps app as part of iOS 6.Considering iOS 7 was generally betterreviewed than its predecessors, iOS 8 is expected to arrive with plenty of polish as well as some new features. (Apple typically releases the latest version of iOS to the public just a few days before launching its newest iPhone, which usually takes place in the fall.) But what can users actually expect from iOS 8, even before its presumed unveiling at WWDC 2014?Return Of The MapsTwo years ago, Apple replaced Google Maps with its own homegrown solution as the default navigation app in iOS 6. In short, it didn’t go so well: Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology, and the company fired Forstall, as well as the manager directly responsible for Maps in iOS 6.Apple didn’t have much time to focus on Maps in time for last year’s release of iOS 7—an effort that required borrowing engineers from the Mac team in order to ship on time. But this year, Apple is expected to release a major update to its Maps app that will reportedly accommodate local businesses and those that commute via subway, bus, train, taxi, biking or walking.Apple bought a host of mapping companies in 2013, no doubt to help bolster its Maps offering in a year’s time. Apple purchased Locationary, HopStop, Embark Inc., WiFiSLAM, and may have also purchased a company called BroadMap, which prided itself on managing, sorting and analyzing maps data. See also: Apple’s Next EarPods Could Be The Ultimate Wearable DeviceThe WiFiSLAM acquisition could mean Apple plans to offer indoor maps for malls and other public places. According to a patent issued to Apple in 2011, Apple has envisioned augmented reality functionality for Apple Maps that would allow users to see visible points of interest nearby using the compass embedded in every iPhone. In other words, it could be Apple’s version of Street View—one that doesn’t require cars with Apple logos to drive around and take pictures.Making Health An Open BookMany believe 2014 will be the year Apple finally lifts the curtain on its health-oriented smartwatch. But Apple first has to add the health functionality to its mobile operating system before anyone can use these much-rumored iWatch features.In March, 9to5Mac posted “complete recreations of screenshots” of a new iOS app called “Healthbook,” citing “multiple sources working directly on the initiative’s development”: Besides Siri, Apple may also unify its Notification Center, doing away with the “All” and “Missed” categorizations, while Game Center could actually disappear as a standalone app, instead turning into a feature integrated into games themselves. CarPlay, Apple’s integration with built-in car displays, will also reportedly get support for Wi-Fi connections so users don’t need to rely on a Lightning cable.One More ThingThere’s one more rumor out there, though it’s a bit of a long shot. In January, the Wall Street Journal suggested Apple would tie a mobile payments system to its Touch ID fingerprint scanner, which was introduced in last year’s iPhone 5S and will likely be included in this year’s round of iPhones, as well as iPads.In an earnings call with investors in January, Cook said mobile payments is an area “we’ve been intrigued with,” adding “it was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID.”Touch ID can currently help iOS users purchase digital music and video via the iTunes Store and App Store. In iOS 8, Apple may expand this functionality to payment for physical goods and services through a number of partner apps. If you’re wondering which companies Apple might partner with initially, look no further than the apps available for Passbook, which features airlines like Delta, American and United, sports associations like the MLB, ticketing companies like Fandango and Ticketmaster and Starbucks.Correction, 11:45 a.m. PT: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Healthbook screenshots had first surfaced on the Chinese social network Weibo. Thanks, Mark! The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Healthbook, like the existing Passbook app, is expected to offer biometric information based on your sleep and and physical movements in simple cards with tabs for different health and fitness components. According to the images, iOS 8 users might be able to access information about their blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, hydration levels, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate—directly from their mobile device.Obviously, one big main question is how Healthbook will get its data. The M7 motion coprocessor within the iPhone 5S—and, one would assume, the next-generation iPhone—can measure several movement-based biometrics. But it’s likely the new Healthbook app will pull data from a first-party accessory—the iWatch, or possibly even Apple’s next-generation EarPods—as well as third-party apps and accessories like the Nike Fuelband and Jawbone Up.iTunes TweaksLast year, Apple introduced its streaming music service, iTunes Radio, as part of the Music app in iOS 7. For the release of iOS 8, however, the site 9to5Mac has reported that Apple will separate iTunes Radio from the rest of the music app to increase the visibility of the ad-supported service (iTunes Match subscribers don’t have to listen to ads as they stream music).Apple is also expected to add song recognition capabilities to the Music app thanks to a partnership with Shazam, the popular song identification app. That integration would presumably give users the option to purchase a newly identified song through iTunes.An Expanded iCloudIntroduced in 2011, iCloud lets users store documents and files and have them sync across all Apple computers and mobile devices. According to 9to5Mac, the company is reportedly building mobile versions of Preview and TextEdit, the company’s apps for PDF viewing and simple word processing, respectively, in time for the release of iOS 8. Other ImprovementsApple’s voice assistant Siri may be able to tap into a new slew of third-party apps in iOS 8, as reported by The Information. Apple has a few unique partnerships with OpenTable and WolframAlpha to help power Siri, but Apple might be working on enabling third-party integrations that don’t require custom business deals.last_img read more

Exhibition on LGBTQ issues in Goa

first_imgGoa-based Museum of Goa (MoG) Foundation will hold a “colourful flying exhibition” to celebrate the recent Supreme Court decision of scrapping section 377 of the India Penal Code , from November 10 to 30.Celebrated Goan artist and sculptor Subodh Kerakar, Director of MoG, told presspersons here that the exhibition, based on the theme “Freedom is in the air”, will be held in collaboration with Hamsafar Trust and Goa Livelihood Forum(GLF), at MoG museum in Pilerna in North coastal Goa.The Foundation has invited entries from artists from across the country to present works of art on LGBTQ issues.last_img

SRK awaits Big B’s TV show Yudh, Amitabh Bachchan thanks him for wishes

first_imgMegastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is gearing up for the launch of his debut fiction TV show Yudh, has thanked superstar Shah Rukh Khan for his wishes for the series.Shah Rukh, 48, had previously taken to Twitter to express his excitement for Yudh and said the show will be ‘path breaking’.He tweeted: “@SrBachchan waiting for Yudh. Am sure it will be path breaking as all your other endeavours have been.” The two actors, who have worked together in films like Mohabbatein, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Bhoothnath and Bhootnath Returns.In return, the 71-year-old actor, said, “Thank you SRK for your wishes for Yudh. Whether it will be path breaking or not is not known (sic).”The two stars also made plans of a football game as both are big fans of the sport.”Let’s do football one night sir,” Shah Rukh said, to which Bachchan replied, “What will be path breaking will be if I can beat you at the PS4 football game that you invite me for!”The two actors, who have worked together in films like Mohabbatein, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Bhoothnath and Bhootnath Returns.last_img read more