Debate Sparked on “Success” of Pro-Test March

first_imgAbout 200 members of the group Pro-Test marched in Oxford on Saturday to declare their support for animal testing for scientific purposes and to demonstrate against “fear and intimidation” from animal rights groups.Pro-Test is a group founded in January 2006 by sixteen year-old Laurie Pycroft, in support of the building of a new biomedical research facility in South Parks road, which is now nearing completion. The organisation’s three main aims are to “defend the rights of researchers to work in peace”; to “celebrate the successes of animal research in developing treatments for disease”; and to “communicate a better understanding about animal research to non-scientists everywhere”.The rally began at noon with speeches made twice along Broad Street and then again at the biomedical facility. The Pro-Testers marched along Broad Street chanting, “No more fear, animal research wanted here.”The rally was a peaceful affair until one man came to the front of the crowd and shouted while Dr Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, was speaking. The shouter was escorted away by the police.Dr Harris said, “There was someone heckling but I didn’t hear. The point was that I had a microphone and he didn’t. He is entitled to his freedom of speech, and he has a perfectly legitimate ethical point of view.”But he went on to say that the arguments advocated by animal rights activists are “completely wrong in some of the pseudo-scientific arguments they use”. “It is still factually correct that animal testing is a necessity,” he added. Evan Harris said that the Pro-Test campaign “has been an overall success, showing the public of both the necessity and the benefits of the laboratory.”Harris’ continued support for the laboratory was backed by Tom Holder, an Oxford student and one of the main organisers of the march. Holder believes that there are widespread misconceptions about animal testing and argues that “it should go ahead for better welfare for the scientists and the animals.”“It is something about which people don’t always consider all the facts,” he said. “A lot of people still think cosmetic testing is carried out, this is categorically not true. Cosmetic testing has been illegal in the UK since 1999.”In 2006, after gathering 500 signatures in a matter of days, Pro-Test forced OUSU to hold an university student-wide referendum on animal testing. 90.4% of the votes backed a motion supporting animal testing and the building of the Oxford laboratory.In 2008, the march attracted only 200 supporters, in contrast to the 600 of 2006. However, Holder still maintained that the decrease in numbers also shows how Pro-Test is winning the debate. “It is becoming an increasingly uncontroversial issue with the public mood now one of acceptance. Perhaps this was reflected in the turn out at the march; people are becoming less involved,” he said.However, a spokesperson for SPEAK, an organisation which campaigns for animal rights, dismissed both the importance of the march and the completion of the new biomedical facility.She denied that the Pro-Test movement was making headway with the public. She said, “The very poor attendance at the demonstration illustrates that the public do not support the mutilation and brutalisation of animals in the name of so-called science.” “We are quite ready for the next phase of our campaign to change the facility from an animal torture institution to one for alternatives for animal testing,” she added.A notice on SPEAK’s website urges supporters to protest at its “Oxford Degree Days Demo” on the 1st March.Watch the Cherwell24 Video report of the rally.last_img read more

Press release: New information on rare River Severn fish population

first_img Plus the work to help the shad will open up the river for all fish species, so helping the shad will help everything else for the benefit of wildlife, residents, tourists and anglers. Historically the allis shad were even more prized as a food fish and would certainly have been an important component of the catch prior to the navigation weirs being built. This is the first photographic proof that a tiny run of these fish still hold on in the Severn, which is really exciting and means that the natural restoration of this species is also likely to occur if we are able to provide fish passage solutions at the weirs further up the river. We had no idea how many shad we’d find – we thought a few thousand, but in fact results suggest we could have as many as 15,000 in the lower reaches of the river. This shows great promise that by unlocking the river there’s scope for a really thriving population. Using different techniques to monitor the twaite shadIn order to learn more about the remaining small population of shad, particularly the conditions they need to prosper, volunteers and staff from the Severn Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust spent many hours watching and counting twaite shad swimming over Upper Lode weir during April, May and June.In addition, a suite of remote monitoring techniques enabled monitoring all day, every day. This included cameras, counter plates triggered when a shad passed upstream and even the use of an acoustic beam giving an image similar to the ultrasound you get of a baby in the womb.As well as the count of the shad, the monitoring team and its contractors made the first known underwater film of shad on the Severn as they migrated upstream and the first images of the shad’s spectacular spawning behaviour, which is like a whirling dancing with rigorous splashing seen just before dark.Acoustic tracking tags fixed to 25 shad (another first for the UK, under licence from the Home Office) showed how they migrate up the river, what habitats they use, and how barriers delay them. This is all crucial information in understanding how to create the best access routes for the fish.An suite of underwater camera equipment was installed at the spawning sites to understand this behaviour.The allis shadIn addition to the twaite shad, the monitoring also recorded the rarer allis shad.Charles explained:center_img Monitoring work during the spring and summer of 2017 which used some of the latest technology, found that around 15,000 shad can make it above Upper Lode weir on the River Severn, near Tewkesbury before being halted by Diglis Weir in Worcester. These monitoring results are significant because they indicate the current levels of twaite shad in the river which once supported millions of this species.Research part of a major project on the River SevernThe research was conducted by the Severn Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust as part of the multi-million pound Unlocking the Severn project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and EU Life. The information gathered will be vital for the project which aims to restore the shad’s access to 155 miles of the River Severn, north of Worcester, by providing fish passage solutions at a series of weirs that currently the fish cannot swim over or around.Environment Agency Fisheries Monitoring Specialist, Charles Crundwell said: More information about the Unlocking the Severn project is available online. You can also follow the project on twitter.last_img read more

Premier Foods profits welcomed, sales decline a worry

first_imgPremier Foods’ hike in first-half profits has been welcomed by a leading City analyst.However, Martin Deboo, of Jeffries International, also warned that sales volumes, which have also been hurt by the warm weather, were a worry.Yesterday the cake-maker, which is led by chief executive Gavin Darby, revealed that trading profit had improved by 2.1% to £48.1m despite ‘challenging markets’. However, Premier also said sales volumes were down by 6.1% – and it revealed plans to relaunch its Mr Kipling brand.Deboo said: “H1 profit was 7% ahead of our forecast and FY guidance has been reiterated. That this has been delivered hot on the heels of a fresh Tesco warning, and amid some of the toughest conditions in UK grocery for years, is a measure of Premier’s success.“The bad news is in the weak sales line, which was in similar territory to Q1. This cannot be allowed to persist in 2015. But for now, in a tough 2014, Premier seems to be blocking and tackling with requisite aplomb.”Commenting on the declining sales, Deboo said: “Premier cited a market decline of 4% in its categories, exacerbated by the hot weather, which has been a verifiably negative influence on sales over the years. While top-line delivery offers little to cheer, management’s commentary around the weather, the weak consumer and channel shift to discounters is consistent with the broader flow or reporting from the Big 4, the British Retail Consortium and elsewhere.”last_img read more

Watch The Empire State Building Light Up To Dead & Company’s Encore Of “Touch Of Grey”

first_imgLast night, Dead & Company hit Citi Field in Queens, New York for one their finer performances thus far of this summer tour, returning to the Big Apple coming off their Bristow, Virginia show at Jiffy Lube Live on Thursday. While within Citi Field itself, the Grateful Dead ensemble had some tricks up its sleeve — including bassist Oteil Burbridge taking the vocal lead on “Comes A Time” for the first time ever, exactly one year after Burbridge’s first vocal verse with Dead & Company during “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad” last year — outside the venue, a pretty special light show was being shared with the rest of the city.The Empire State Building Was Synchronized To ‘U.S. Blues’ Last Night As announced yesterday, the Empire State Building lights lit up and were synchronized with last night’s encore, just like they were during the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well encore of “U.S. Blues” for the group’s 50th anniversary. The lights were controlled by Marc Brickman, a renowned lighting designer who has toured Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney among many other. While there was much speculation about what song Dead & Co would choose last night to accompany the special light show, the band settled on “Touch of Grey,” with John Mayer and Bob Weir sharing the lead vocals. The Empire State Building took on hues of predominantly shimmering purples and blues, and the encore was played on iHeartRadio’s Q104.3 for those at home who wished to enjoy the full spectacle of the Empire State Building light show and who were not lucky enough to witness the show in person.You can watch footage of last night’s Empire State Building light show below, courtesy of Dead & Company.last_img read more

Fresh Greenery

first_img “Try bending the needles,” he said. “If they bend, it’s fresh. If they break or crumble, it’s time to replace the whole branch.” Lightly misting the greenery with fresh water can help it stay moist, too. But be careful of getting water drops onto furniture, where it can cause water stains. No matter how fresh the greenery, keeping possible ignition sources away from it is the surest way to prevent fires. “A lot of people like to use lit candles in their decorations right along with fresh greenery,” Moorhead said. If you choose to do that, don’t leave the lit candles alone for a minute. “You surely don’t want to have your supper interrupted by candles setting your living room decorations on fire.” Other ignition sources may include lit fireplaces, space heaters and damaged wiring on electrical lights. Greenery or wreaths bought from florists or specialty stores have probably been treated with flame retardants, Moorhead said. “But flame retardants or flame-resistant sprays don’t prevent fires completely,” he said. “You have to keep a good eye on cut greenery and get rid of crumbly-dry pieces that can be a fire hazard no matter what’s sprayed on them.” IG Back to story BENDING NEEDLES show this branch is still fresh. If you try to bend the needles or branch and it breaks, it’s dry and a fire hazard –ÿ it’s time to replace the whole branch. Greenery dries out quickly in relatively dry, warm homes, so check cut greenery daily and replace it as needed. Request the high-res image; include size, format and res.center_img J. Cannon, UGA CAES The cut greenery in your holiday decorations will dry out sooner or later, of course. “But certain types of greenery stay fresh longer than others,” said Dave Moorhead, an Extension Service forester with the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forest Resources. Remembering that fact isn’t just a decorating tip. It could help save your house. “Remember, all cut greenery is flammable when it’s dry,” Moorhead said. Moorhead ranked the five most popular tree types by how quickly greenery from them will dry out. Red cedar will dry the fastest, followed by spruce, Leyland cypress, Balsam fir and Fraser fir. Many people use the trimmings from their Christmas trees for greenery in their home decorations. Georgians’ favorite Christmas tree, the Leyland cypress, is somewhere in the middle when it comes to how quickly greenery from it will dry out. Moorhead isn’t sure how to rank non-Christmas tree greenery such as holly or magnolia. “They would probably be around the better end of the scale, though,” he said. “Of course, the Christmas tree will stay fresh longer than cut greenery, since it’s in a stand full of water,” Moorhead said. “Be sure to check the stand every day. Add water as needed to keep the tree moist and less prone to fire.” Keeping cut greenery fresh is harder to do. Greenery loses most of its water from the multitude of needles, so sealing the cut end with wax does little to slow drying. “It certainly keeps the sap in the branch, protecting your furnishings,” he said. “But it won’t do much to keep moisture in the leaves.” To keep greenery as fresh as possible, Moorhead suggests cutting it just before you use it. Or keep it in a bucket of water until you put it up. Then check the greenery in your decorations daily for freshness.last_img read more

Ben Friberg: Havana to Key West on a Paddleboard

first_img“You only get one shot at something like that,” Ben Friberg said shortly after becoming the first person ever to paddleboard from Cuban to American soil. He crossed 118 miles of open ocean from Port Hemingway, Cuba, to Key West, Florida.“You have to make a call on your most likely weather window for success, and if you choose wrong, you cannot go back to Cuba and try again. You have committed by expending your body’s strength and checking out of the country.” After one possible window that Friberg and team member Kim Sutton elected to skip immediately after arriving in Cuba, a new weather opening appeared four days later.  The team waited in Port Hemingway, a suburb of Havana, and immersed themselves in the culture.As the window arrived, Friberg stepped into the sun from a press conference with Cuban politicians and international news organizations, including the BBC. It was time to go home. Friberg follows in the footsteps of swimmers who have made this historic crossing… names like Penny Palfrey, Diana Nyad, and Chloe McCardel have made that swim in the past, braving jellyfish and shark hazards. But SUP has its own set of challenges.Ben stepped onto his board and paddled out of the harbor, with the Sunluver support boat on his left, piloted by Captain Bob Olin, and Hunt Jennings, a close kayaking friend, on his right. It was Thursday afternoon, and it was going to be a long night.“I often compare endurance SUP to climbing, and every mountain has its own set of variables,” Ben said. “In this case, there is wind speed, the Gulf Stream current, personal fitness, and any number of other things. One of my biggest challenges is always my stomach.”Friberg_BoatViewIn spite of the lower winds, the waves kept coming. As darkness fell over the Caribbean, Friberg battled the unending barrage of two foot seas. “Surely they’ll let up after dark,” he yelled to the crew. But the waves didn’t stop, and the darkness extended in front of them.  Since he couldn’t read the chop in the dark, Ben soon became sick and started to dry heave. He collapsed on the board and did everything he could not to let the precious food and calories escape his body. Eventually he was able to stand up again and continue into the night.As the journey went into the early morning, Ben’s board and the support boat started to churn up spectacular trails of bioluminescent algae, and those lights seemed to be reflected in the stars, which extended all the way to the horizon. Even in his state of exhaustion, he couldn’t help but marvel at where this expedition had delivered him. The waves turned in a favorable direction for a while, and he was even able to get some good surfs. He fell into the ocean once in the darkness, but got back up and continued paddling.With the rise of the sun came good news- Ben was going to be able to avoid a large eddy in the Gulf Stream. A successful crossing was looking feasible, and he needed every possible motivation on his side to make it happen. His goal was waiting 35 miles ahead of him, through a full day of toil in the tropical sun.“I definitely hallucinated that morning,” Ben said, “I thought I saw a giant manta ray beneath me at one point, but it ended up just being a reflection of a cloud.”  The eyes can only process so much, and trying to read water for over 24 consecutive hours was taking its toll on him.  The heat blasted down as Friberg’s team filled his Camelbak and neck shawl with ice to keep his core temperature down. Paddle stroke after paddle stroke, the U.S. edged closer.Friberg hadn’t told family and friends that he had even departed from Cuba, but the world tuned in once his Spot device started moving. He didn’t expect a large crowd as he closed in on Smather’s Beach, Florida, but that is what he got. As he paddled the last hundred yards to the beach, Friberg realized that this dream that he had worked towards for over a year was coming true. His BARK Dominator paddleboard glided to the beach, and he stepped off the board and onto American soil.  He had been paddling for 28 hours straight.“I just wanted to show how awesome the craft of SUP is,” he said. “My way of doing that is through demonstrating it’s efficiency in ultra-endurance pushes and historic channel crossings. Cuba fit in perfectly with this, and I think I was able to bring SUP to the dinner tables of the world.”last_img read more

Bank Robber Who Struck Twice in 1 Week Nabbed, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A New York City man was arrested Friday for robbing two Long Island banks in one week earlier this year, Nassau County police said.James Pope, 35, of the Bronx, was charged with two counts of robbery.Police said Pope robbed the TD Bank on Franklin Avenue in Garden City on Jan. 30 and the TD Bank on Great Neck Road in Great Neck Plaza on Feb. 4.Robbery Squad detectives said Pope threatened to shoot a teller in one case, but a gun was not seen.Pope will be arraigned Friday at Nassau County Court in Mineola.last_img read more

Bay Shore Man Shot in Face

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 20-year-old man was shot and wounded by a gunman who opened fire on him and four other people in his hometown of Bay Shore on Sunday afternoon, Suffolk County police said.The victim, whose identity wasn’t released, was with the group in a vehicle at the corner of Prospect Place and Pine Acre Boulevard when the gunman walked up and fired a shotgun at 1:25 p.m., police said.The victim, who was shot in the face, was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.Third Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on this shooting to call them at 631-854-8352 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.  All calls will be kept confidential.last_img read more

Employment law: ‘Uncertainty will reign’

first_img continue reading » Uncertainty is the name of the game when it comes to changes the Trump Administration may make in employment law and how those changes will affect your credit union.“Uncertainty will reign for the next four years,” says Bret Yaw, an attorney with FordHarrison LLC.Yaw spoke about labor law issues credit unions will need to watch in the future during a breakout session at the CUNA Human Resources & Organizational Development Council Conference Thursday in Las Vegas.During the presidential campaign, President Trump didn’t clearly outline his position on employment issues, Yaw says. When he did, he sometimes changed his stance later on.President Trump also didn’t provide details about some issues he wanted his administration to address, although daughter Ivanka Trump did push for things like six-weeks of paid maternity leave, a child care tax benefit, and equal pay for women.Some say she may be influential, Yaw says. 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Puerto Rico’s credit unions stand together in the wake of natural disasters

first_imgResidents of southwestern Puerto Rico were on edge when they went to bed on the night of Jan. 6. The ground had shaken hundreds of times over the past 10 days in what seismologists describe as a rare earthquake storm, a series of tremblors not tied to a single event.In the early morning hours, the big one hit. An earthquake with a 6.4 magnitude struck just off the southern coast, waking Orlando Rodriguez at 4:24 a.m. on that Tuesday morning. A 6.0 aftershock struck hours later. Rodriguez’s first priority was to ensure the safety of his family. Then, the CEO of Caribe Coop, based in nearby Guayanilla, checked on work.“Initially, I visually inspected the cooperative through the security cameras,” Rodriguez says. “In the afternoon, key personnel and I visited the facilities to review the damage. At a simple view, we didn’t see any damage.”But as Rodriguez and others soon discovered, this was only the beginning. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more