first_imgShe advances no evidence which might support the conclusion that there is an association between computer games and the ability to empathise with real-life mortality.Greenfield has appeared in the media this week, detailing fresh concerns that excessive use of computer games “may be fuelling the obesity crisis in today’s world.” Greenfield this week told press that our increasing dependence on computers could also encourage obesity, not only through lack of exercise but through “changing the workings of the brain” by allowing people to take actions without consequences.“While a child who falls out of a tree will quickly learn not to repeat the mistake, someone who goes wrong on a computer game will just keep playing,” she said, claiming the effect on eating habits could be similar. “Anyone eating knows the consequences but somehow the thrill of that experience will trump the consequences.”Several influential scientific writers voiced opposition to Greenfield”s latest claims. Medical columnist Ben Goldacre said her views lacked support, arguing that “experimentation in a safe environment” was a natural way for human beings to learn.Some students also expressed doubt over Greenfield”s claims. Christopher Morgan, a biochemist hoping to specialise in Neurology, said he felt computer games could help people learn from their mistakes. “I believe that one learns far more from mistakes learnt in computer games, since one often has the chance the remedy them immediately. “Oxford Science Society president Devaki Raj said that more proof was needed before Greenfield’s views could be considered scientifically valid. “An important aspect of science is the sifting of evidence, and so any controversial claims should be treated with the greatest vigilance.”“Without assessing the evidence and comparing independent research it would be unreasonable to forward any opinion. Whilst a link between obesity and computer usage may be well-established, further support as to causation is required before the claim can be accepted as fact rather than theory.”However, she was keen to distance herself from her portrayal in the media, stating “I can’t help what the media does with what I say.” Baroness Susan Greenfield has stated that social-networking sites and computer games can alter the brain and increase the risk of autism, in an interview with Cherwell.The director of the Royal Institution and a Professor of Pharmacology at Lincoln college attracted media attention in February after an address to the House of Lords in which she argued that “real-life conversations … require a sensitivity to voice tone, body language and perhaps pheromones. None of these skills are required chatting on a social networking site.”Elaborating for Cherwell, she explained, “What I’m saying is that we know the environment alters the brain, and so if the environment changes and we spend more time in two dimensions, the brain will change too.”Greenfield went on to point out a correlation with autism diagnoses. “We also know that there is an increase in autism, and there has been a three-fold increase in prescriptions for Ritalin [a drug prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity, disorder or ADHD] in the last ten years.”Most autistic children can be diagnosed by the age of three, but Greenfield did not feel her hypothesis was affected by this, saying, “Children do use the screen before they’re three.” She blamed online activity for making existing tendencies worse.Greenfield was quick to retreat when asked whether she believed that Internet use directly caused autism: “I’m not saying that because autistic people are comfortable, you’re going to be autistic if you use the screen, of course not, but I’m saying the kinds of activities and the types of issues that are at stake are perhaps similar.”She further explained, “The problems for young people begin because these games lead them to believe there are no consequences to their actions. They knife someone to death and then they bring them back to life. Everything is reversible. They see their victim on screen covered in red. In real life, that is blood, and they couldn’t just make it disappear at the click of a switch to bring the person back.”last_img read more

first_imgBy Roberto López Dubois/Diálogo October 03, 2017 Colombia and Panama will install two additional joint security posts at the border crossings in La Balsa and La Olla, as a result of an agreement reached between the security authorities of the two countries at the most recent Binational Border Commission (COMBIFRON, per its Spanish acronym), meeting from August 29th to September 1st in Medellin, Colombia. With a total of four posts in the border area, the parties are working to make these posts operational by January 2018. “These facilities will allow Colombian soldiers to patrol the area from their side, and the Panamanians from theirs,” stated Panamanian Minister of Public Security Alexis Bethancourt. “Furthermore, it enables joint monitoring of the jungle trails used by organized crime, allows for control of migratory flows, and puts a halt to narcotrafficking activity by both countries.” The armed forces of the two countries are working together to combat narcotrafficking, human trafficking, illegal migration, illegal mining, and other crimes near the countries’ shared border. The border posts at Alto Limón and La Unión are currently in operation. “The advanced security posts will play an important strategic role for control of the border region,” added Commissioner Guillermo Valdés, the operations chief of the National Border Patrol (SENAFRONT, per its Spanish acronym). “All transit corridors in which threats pass from one side to the other have been blocked to this end.” In addition to the new security installations, it was agreed during the meeting to change their frequency from every six to every four months, and it was agreed that the next meeting will take place in Colombia, at the end of November. How COMBIFRON operates COMBIFRON is a coordination mechanism created by the governments of Colombia and Panama to tackle security problems along their shared border. At each meeting, the delegations first outline the new threats affecting their territory as well as their strategies for combating them. Then joint actions to be taken are discussed. “We have set up lines of communication at these meetings regarding aspects from the strategic to the operational,” explained Commissioner Oriel Ortega Benítez, the deputy director of SENAFRONT. “We are consolidating three very important focal points: information exchange, training, and strategic forecasts. Beyond planning, we have carried out simultaneous operations in the two countries, for example, Operation Escudo, and Operation Patria.. What we do will now be done in an integrated way,” he added. The threats The main threat in the area is narcotrafficking, whose methods constantly change in reaction to efforts to combat it. “Their methods have changed. At first we discovered that they were moving in large vessels, the longboats. Then they began transporting drugs in smaller, double-hulled boats,” explained Commissioner Valdés. “But currently, now that the aquatic route has been blocked, they are distributing the drugs by land, using people on foot, who we call backpackers.” Additionally, Colombia brought up illegal mining, and how it employs equipment made by taking materials from nature for use in extracting gold from rivers. The amount of human trafficking was also mentioned, which could rise in the near future, due to the increase in visitors to the area. Advantages of COMBIFRON COMBIFRON makes the creation of a synchronized coordination mechanism between the two countries possible, allowing them to counteract the various threats along the shared Colombia-Panama border. In order to achieve permanent and continuous sharing of information between the institutions, the parties have leveraged the latest technology, enabling activities ranging from simple internet messages to videoconferencing. “The exchange of information allowed by COMBIFRON is a valuable resource when dealing with narcotrafficking and organized crime,” added Minister Bethancourt. “We need the parties to share information regarding who they are [the people committing the criminal acts], what they are doing, and where they are going, and with that information, we can assist in closing their route.” The first meeting goes back to June 2003. On that occasion, Colombia and Panama agreed to create a land, air, and naval border coordination manual, as well as a data bank containing the criminal history of the residents of the towns, provinces, and departments in the border area. The attendees decided to continue holding periodic meetings, which allowed the countries’ forces to reach new agreements more frequently, and to expand activities aimed at guaranteeing border security. Initially, Panama and Colombia decided to hold these types of meetings in response to the actions of narcoterrorist groups along their shared border. The illegal groups were committing criminal acts in Colombia and then crossing the border to hide in the dense and solitary Panamanian jungle. “These types of coordination meetings will continue in order to deal with matters of security, cooperation, and other issues affecting us both,” said Minister Bethancourt. “We have had very positive results with respect to various courses of action, such as planning of joint patrols, structuring of joint plans, integrated work projects, as well as other operations in each country,” he concluded.last_img read more

first_imgActing NCUA Chairman J. Mark McWatters is asking the CFPB to use its powers to exempt credit unions from certain agency rules, particularly mortgage reporting requirements.In a Wednesday letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, McWatters also asks the agency to issue clear guidance to credit unions concerning the CFPB’s use of its powers to take enforcement actions based on Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices.“Such regulatory relief would lessen the financial burden on the credit union community, thereby enhancing the capital positions of credit unions and the NCUA’s efforts to ensure the safety and soundness” of the agency’s share insurance fund McWatters stated in his letter.Credit unions have long complained that the CFPB has not used its powers to exempt certain financial institutions from its rulemaking.  In October, then-NCUA Chairman Rick Metsger told Cordray that the NCUA, and not the CFPB, should regulate payday lending by credit unions. continue reading » 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_img(ESPNCRICINFO) – The exit of the Vivo as IPL’s title sponsor for the 2020 season is a “blip” according to BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly, and not a “financial crisis”.The title sponsorship is a significant part of the IPL’s commercial revenue, part of which is shared by the eight franchises. In 2015, Vivo replaced Pepsico, who pulled out as IPL’s title sponsors two years before the contract ended. In 2017 Vivo formally bagged the IPL title sponsorship until the end of the 2022 season, paying nearly USD 241 million.While the BCCI is yet to announce how it would find a replacement for Vivo for the 2020 IPL which begins on September 19, Ganguly said the board was well prepared to handle the situation.“I wouldn’t call it as a financial crisis,” Ganguly said while speaking during a webinar on Saturday, organised by Learnflix, an education app in India. “It’s just a little bit of a blip. And the only way you can do it is by being professionally strong over a period of time. Big things don’t come overnight. And big things don’t go away overnight. Your preparation for a long period of time gets (you) ready for losses, gets you ready for successes.“You keep your other options open. It is like Plan A and Plan B. Sensible people do it. Sensible brands do it. Sensible corporates do it. BCCI, it’s a very a strong foundation – the game, the players, the administrators in the past have made this game so strong that BCCI is able to handle all these blips.”Ganguly also touched briefly on the ICC’s decision on Friday to retain India as hosts for the 2021 men’s T20 World Cup. “India was designated (to host) the 2021 and 2023 World Cups, so there is not a big change in that. Yes, the Covid situation had kept everybody alarmed, but that’s the way it is.”last_img read more

first_imgThat’s according to Tom Maher, who’s a member of the stadium management committee.There have been concerns about the state of the pitch during the early months of this year.Tom says the head groundsman at Croke Park didn’t have any major problems with how it’s being looked after.last_img