World Bank Group's Compliance Audit slams IFC

World Bank Group's Compliance Audit slams IFC

Washington, Jan. 19 - The CAO has held the IFC, the private lending arm of the World Bank Group responsible for repeated violations and blatant non-compliance with its own Performance Standards in its investment in the GKEL project.

The investigation asserted four Standards were repeatedly breached, despite sufficient and timely evidence to carry out compliance measures. Furthermore, IFC continued regular disbursements even when its own E&S Team downgraded the Environment & Social Risk Rating to the lowest denominator of 4, which is unsatisfactory.


Explosive volcanism drove major changes in 'Snowball Earth'

Explosive volcanism drove major changes in 'Snowball Earth'

Washington D. C., Jan. 19 - According to a new research, around 720-640 million years ago, much of the Earth's surface was covered in ice during a glaciation that lasted millions of years. Explosive underwater volcanoes were a major feature of this 'Snowball Earth'.

Many aspects of this extreme glaciation remain uncertain, but it is widely thought that the breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia resulted in increased river discharge into the ocean. This changed ocean chemistry and reduced atmospheric CO2 levels, which increased global ice coverage and propelled Earth into severe icehouse conditions.

The Southampton-led research now offers an explanation for these major changes in ocean chemistry.


Why can't 'Spiderman' actually exist?

Why can't 'Spiderman' actually exist?

Washington D. C., Jan. 19 - Geckos are the largest animals, with unmanageably large sticky footpads, to scale smooth vertical walls, according to a latest research.

Scientists estimate that a human would need adhesive pads covering 40 percent of their body surface in order to walk up a wall like Spiderman, and believe their insights have implications for the feasibility of large-scale, gecko-like adhesives.

A new study shows that climbing animals from mites and spiders up to tree frogs and geckos, the percentage of body surface covered by adhesive footpads increases as body size increases, setting a limit to the size of animal that can use this strategy because larger animals would require impossibly big feet.


Living in high-rise buildings leads to lower survival rates from cardiac arrest

Living in high-rise buildings leads to lower survival rates from cardiac arrest

Washington D. C., Jan. 19 - A new study finds that survival rates from cardiac arrest decrease the higher up the building a person lives.

Ian Drennan, lead author of the study, said that cardiac arrests that occur in high-rise buildings pose unique barriers for 911-initiated first responders.

He added that building access issues, elevator delays and extended distance from the emergency vehicle to the patient can all contribute to longer times for 911-initiated first responders to reach the patient and start time-sensitive, potentially life-saving resuscitation.


Cocaine makes brain cells cannibalize themselves, says study on mice

Cocaine makes brain cells cannibalize themselves, says study on mic

Washington D.C., Jan. 19 : Researchers have contributed significant new evidence to support the idea that high doses of cocaine kill brain cells by triggering overactive autophagy (normal physiological process in the body that deals with destruction of cells), while working with mice.

This is a process in which cells literally digest their own insides. Their results, moreover, bring with them a possible antidote, an experimental compound dubbed CGP3466B.

The study at Johns Hopkins University also found signs of autophagy in the brain cells of mice whose mothers received cocaine while pregnant.

Dr. Solomon Snyder said that this information gave an immediate insight into how to use a known compound to interfere with that process and prevent the damage.


Fires in Africa causing high ozone layers in Guam : Study

Fires in Africa causing high ozone layers in Guam : Study

Washington D. C., Jan. 18 : A new study has found that fires burning in Africa and Asia are the main cause for the high levels of ozone in the tropical Pacific region.

University of Maryland researchers have shown that fires burning in tropical Africa and South East Asia caused pockets of high ozone and low water in the lower atmosphere above Guam, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean 1,700 miles east of Taiwan.

Lead author Daniel Anderson has expressed his astonishment to find high concentrations of ozone and chemicals that they know are only emitted by fires in the air around Guam.

Researchers have found that the polluted air that reached Guam never entered the stratosphere and instead simply dried out during its descent within the lower atmosphere.


Every single path Iran could take to a N-bomb cut off: Barack Obama

Every single path Iran could take to a N-bomb cut off: Barack Obama

Washington : Hailing the implementation of the landmark Iranian nuclear deal as a "milestone", US President Barack Obama on Sunday said every single path that Iran could have taken to build a nuclear bomb has been cut off.

Obama said this was a good day as engaging directly with Tehran has created "unique opportunities".

"Yesterday marked a milestone in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Most of all, we achieved this historic result through diplomacy, without risking another war in the Middle East," Obama said in a televised statement from the White House.


Dinosaurs used horns, head crests for sexual selection: study

Dinosaurs used horns, head crests for sexual selection: study

Washington D. C., Jan. 17 : According to a new analysis, large ornamental structures in dinosaurs, such as horns and head crests are likely to have been used in sexual displays and to assert social dominance.

This is the first time scientists have linked the function of anatomy to sexual selection in dinosaurs.

Protoceratops had a large bony frill that extended from the back of the head over the neck. Study of fossils aged from babies to adults revealed the adults to have disproportionately larger frills in relation to their size.

The research shows that the frill was absent in juveniles and suddenly increased in size as the animals reached maturity suggesting that its function is linked to sexual selection.


Amazon updates Alexa and Echo for better Kindle read

Amazon updates Alexa and Echo for better Kindle read

Washington, Jan. 16 - Online retail giant Amazon has updated its Alexa digital assistant and Echo smart speaker, which it says will make narration in Kindle books easier.

A report in The Verge said Amazon's Alexa and Echo will facilitate improved voice-powered software narrationin Kindle books.

The tone of the narration, however, will be far more robotic than your standard audio book narrator.

Amazon said that this feature is free to use with any Kindle book in your library.

The software will keep track of which book you were reading last, so you can also launch a narration by simply saying, "Alexa, read my Kindle book." Alexa will respond to commands like "pause," "go forward," and "resume reading" too.


World Bank to be anchor investor in Rail Development Fund: Suresh Prabhu

World Bank to be anchor investor in Rail Development Fund: Suresh Prabhu

Washington : The World Bank would be the anchor investor in the new Railway Development Fund, which would be used to fund modernisation of Indian railways, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu has said.

"We have decided to work with the World Bank on creating a Railway Development Fund. This was already initiated. But now, we have taken it forward," Prabhu said here yesterday after his meeting with World Bank officials.

Noting that the World Bank would be anchor investors in this new fund, along with other co-investors, Prabhu said, "This fund would be kick started soon as there is unanimity in the World Bank leadership".

He also said the World Bank leadership has realized that based on the performance in the past one year, Indian Railways is in the "right direction".


The Simpsons and Futurama creator to make show for Netflix?

The Simpsons and Futurama creator to make show for Netflix?

Washington, Jan. 16 - American multinational provider of on-demand Internet streaming media, Netflix, will soon come out with a show created by Matt Groening, the man who created popular television serials The Simpsons and Futurama.

According to a report in The Verge, Netflix has signed up Groening to develop a new animated series.

Hollywood trade publications have been quoted, as saying that Groening's creative contribution is expected to bolster Netflix's original content line-up.

It has been revealed that Groening will handle writing duties.

Variety says Netflix is considering ordering two seasons, each comprised of 10 episodes.

Netflix is yet to make a formal announcement on Groening, who will continue with The Simpsons, now in its 27th season on FOX. (ANI)


Apple to charge for iTunes Radio from Jan. 28

Apple to charge for iTunes Radio from Jan. 28

Washington, Jan. 16 : American multinational technology company Apple has sent out an email to its customers that iTunes Radio, the company's answer to Pandora, will no longer be free.

It said that effective January 28, "All radio stations except for Beats 1 will be available exclusively to Apple Music members."

From the above mentioned date, if you want to hear radio stations based on an artist or genre of music you like, you will have to fork out a monthly subscription of ten dollars to Apple Music, The Verge reports.

iTunes Radio was announced in 2013 and launched alongside the overhauled iOS 7.

The decision shows that Apple is taking new steps to lure customers into paying for its streaming service as the company engages in a heated war with Spotify.


Astronomers detect an `enigmatic` CO-0.40-0.22 gas cloud

Astronomers detect an `enigmatic` CO-0.40-0.22 gas cloud

Washington D. C., Jan. 16 : A team of astronomers at Keio University in Japan has found an enigmatic gas cloud, called CO-0.40-0.22, only 200 light years away from the center of the Milky Way.

Researchers from National Institute of Natural Sciences have found that this mysterious feature with two radios telescopes, the Nobeyama 45-m Telescope in Japan and the ASTE Telescope in Chile, are operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

After conducting experiments, the study found that there are number of wide-velocity-dispersion compact clouds similar to CO-0.40-0.22.


US encourages India, Pakistan to continue dialogue process

US encourages India, Pakistan to continue dialogue process

Washington : The US on Friday said that it should come as a shock to no one that terrorist groups would try to undermine the Indo-Pak peace process by carrying out attacks, as it encouraged the two countries to continue the dialogue.

"It should come as a shock to no one that terrorist groups will try to undermine those sorts of efforts by conducting spectacular attacks, to sow fear and to hopefully sow doubt in the minds of national leaders towards a level of cooperation that can have a practical effect," State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters here.


Sorry Drake, POTUS is on Kendrick's team

Sorry Drake, POTUS is on Kendrick's team

Washington D. C., Jan. 16: President Barack Obama seems to be really impressed by hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar and he proved this by choosing Lamar over rapper Drake.

In a question/answer session hosted by YouTube, the 54-year-old 44th U. S. President on being asked if he is on Team Drake or Team Kendrick Lamar, he replied he would go with the 'King Kunta' hit-maker, E! Online reports.

President Obama described the 29-year-old rapper as an outstanding entertainer. Kendrick's latest album was declared the best album of 2015.

Obama said that his favorite song is Lamar's 'How Much a Dollar Costs. He also revealed that he has invited the 28- year-old artist to the White House.(ANI)


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