Wristband Allows Wearers to ‘Hear’ Through Skin

It is commonly accepted that the human senses are limited — what can be seen through the eyes, heard through the ears. Sound is created when things vibrate. We hear it through our ears. Researchers have developed a wearable device that augments the reality of users by allowing them to “hear” through their skin in the form of vibrations. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee has the details.Camera: Elizabeth Lee   Produced by: Bronwyn Benito 

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Study: People Bond with Music in Teenage Years

Researchers have taken a scientific look at why people love the music they do and how it connects to important times in their lives. The study, published last week in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, sought to look at music people hear in their teenage years and how that music becomes intrinsically linked to a person’s “sense of themself.” Researchers with the University of Westminster School of Social Sciences in London analyzed 80 guests on the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) show Desert Island Discs in which celebrities select eight pieces of music that they would take with them to a desert island. The researchers found half of the songs participants chose were selected because they were linked to important memories from when they were either between the ages of 10 and 19 or between 20 and 29. They theorize it is during those years that people are forming the essential sense of themselves.  Researchers found the songs on Desert Island Discs were all tied to key transitions in participants’ lives such as meeting a partner, attending college or some other life-altering event. Lead researcher University of Westminster neuropsychologist Catherine Loveday said those songs tend to influence a person’s taste in music for years to come. She said the memories people form in their teenage and early adult years are what she and her fellow researchers call “the self-defining period” in which the brain is “taking snapshots” of episodes more than any other time in a person’s life. 

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COVID-19 Increases Risks for Tens of Thousands of Ethiopian Migrants Stranded in Yemen 

The International Organization for Migration said tens of thousands of Ethiopian migrants stranded in war-torn Yemen are in fear for their lives as COVID-19 spreads throughout the country and life-saving aid is in short supply. More than 1,460 cases of coronavirus, including 418 deaths are reported in Yemen, but aid agencies believe the true number is much higher. As this deadly disease spreads widely throughout local communities, the U.N. migration agency warns thousands of Ethiopian migrants are at greater risk. IOM spokesman Paul Dillon said migrants are subject to forcible relocation, arbitrary detention and abuse, as well as fear of falling sick and dying from COVID-19 with little prospect of receiving treatment. “For nearly six years, Yemen has been an extremely unsafe place to be a migrant. COVID-19 has made this situation worse; migrants are scapegoated as carriers of the virus and as a result, suffer exclusion and violence,” Dillon said. “In addition to the forced removals, fears about COVID-19 have led to migrants in Yemen experiencing verbal and physical harassment, increased detention and movement restrictions.” Ethiopian migrants gather on a pavement where they sleep in Aden, Yemen, June 15, 2020.Yemen traditionally has been a country of transit for impoverished Ethiopians seeking work and a better life in Saudi Arabia. The International Organization for Migration said the number of migrant arrivals in Yemen has decreased by 90% in recent months because of COVID-19 related restrictions. Dillon said most of the stranded Ethiopians are sleeping in the open or in unsafe, abandoned buildings. That puts them at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19. He told VOA access to the migrants has always been difficult in the conflict-ridden country. However, he notes COVID-19 is what he calls a new variable. “We need to ensure that our protocols and our responses to people in need follow strict safety guidelines in order to protect our staff. Some of whom have become ill with COVID-19,” Dillon said. “Many of the people are in urban areas seeking out new places to sleep every night, moving from place to place and that can really challenge the ability to deliver support services to migrants.” IOM spokesman Dillon said the migrants lack basic services including food, clean water and health care. He said his agency’s $155 million appeal to support more than 5.3 million people in Yemen this year is only half funded. If the needed funds are not received, he warns millions of displaced Yemenis and migrants will be left to face the devastating and worsening crisis by themselves.  

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Militia Fires on Darfurians Demanding Better Security 

A group of armed men killed 10 people and injured 17 others in the Fataborno village of Sudan’s Northern Darfur state on Monday, according to local residents. Witnesses told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus program that a group of militia loyal to ousted President Omar al Bashir opened fire on hundreds of people who had gathered at a sit-in to call for increased security.  Resident Suwar Adam Ali, 27,  said he saw gunmen attack three locations, including a camp for internally displaced persons. “At around 12 p.m., a group of militia tried to access the sit-in site in the camp. They also entered the Fataborno market and burned shops and people’s property. They also escaped with dozens of livestock. They fired live bullets on the people,” Ali said. For the past five days, traditional chiefs, religious leaders, local youth and women have staged a sit-in in front of the headquarters of Fatarborno’s administrative unit, demanding the government provide additional security.   Villagers cannot farm their land or graze their cattle because they fear they will be targeted by armed militia in the area, according to Ali. “We are requesting the transitional government to disarm these militia groups, secure the agricultural season, stop forceful displacement, and they should immediately intervene to stop the open sale of illegal drugs in the market,” Ali told VOA. Last week, a high-level government delegation headed by Mohammed Hassan Al Taishi, a member of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council, met with Nertiti town residents and agreed to provide additional security in the area, establish local courts and try criminal suspects. The government applauded the citizens of Nertiti for staging peaceful protests to express their demands. Information Minister Faisal Mohammed Saleh told protesters at last week’s rally that government leaders are eager to meet with them and discuss their demands. “We will come and sit with them on the mountains, sit on stone, under the tree or in the desert, and listen to them. This is not because we are angels but because it is our duty,” said Saleh. Northern Darfur military caretaker governor Major General Malik Al Taib Khawjali has declared a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in the area.  

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Pakistan to Resume Anti-Polio Drive as COVID-19 Infections Decline  

Pakistan said Tuesday it would relaunch door to door vaccinations of children against polio next week after a four-month suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak.  
 
The announcement comes amid a substantial decline in daily COVID-19 infections across Pakistan, one of the two polio-endemic countries in the world along with its war-torn neighbor Afghanistan.  
 
Pakistani officials have so far recorded 58 new polio cases this year from across the country amid warnings by the World Health Organization that “transmission continues to be widespread.” 
 
The anti-polio drive, starting July 20, initially aims to vaccinate about 800,000 children under the age of five in high-risk Pakistani districts, including Karachi and Quetta, to protect them against the crippling disease.  
 
The special assistant to the prime minister on health, Zafar Mirza, acknowledged the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns to prevent its spread have had a significant impact on Pakistan’s already under-resourced and deteriorating public health care systems.   
 
“With the disruption of essential immunization services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, children are continuously at a higher risk of contracting polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” an official statement quoted Mirza as saying.   FILE – Health workers arrive to collect at a drive-through testing and screening facility for the coronavirus, in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 6, 2020.The coronavirus reached Pakistan in late February, prompting the government to redirect all health program strengths and capacities to support COVID-19 surveillance and response efforts. Mirza announced last week he had tested positive for the virus. 
 
The national tally of coronavirus infections has hit at least 254,000, including more than 5,300 deaths.  Officials reported less than 2,000 new cases on Tuesday, showing a consistent and substantial decrease in daily infections.  
 
“The door to door campaigns will also be utilized to raise awareness on COVID preventive measures and referring mothers and children for other essential vaccinations as well as the antenatal care services,” said Rana Mohammad Safdar, who oversees Pakistan’s polio eradication program. 
 
Pakistan’s efforts to rid the country of polio have lately suffered setbacks due to attacks on vaccinators and police personnel guarding them. The deadly violence is also cited a factor for the upsurge in new cases that had dropped to only 12 cases in 2018. 
 
In traditionally conservative parts of majority-Muslim Pakistan, religious fanatics see the vaccine as a Western-led conspiracy to sterilize children. Militant groups operating in these areas also condemn the drive against polio as an effort to collect intelligence on their activities.  
 FILE – Pakistani police officers attend the funeral for their colleagues in Lower Dir, Dec. 18, 2019. Gunmen shot and killed the two policemen who were part of an anti-polio drive in the volatile northwest.Officials say attacks on polio teams have particularly increased since 2011 when the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency organized a fake vaccination campaign with the help of a local doctor, enabling U.S. forces to locate and kill fugitive al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. 

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Почему их так бесит українська мова

Почему их так бесит українська мова
 

 
 
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Найкращі пропозиції товарів і послуг в Мережі Купуй!
 
 
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Скільки відсотків від зеленого карлика перебіжать до зрадника медведчука? Нам починати хвилюватися?

Скільки відсотків від зеленого карлика перебіжать до зрадника медведчука? Нам починати хвилюватися?
 

 
 
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Найкращі пропозиції товарів і послуг в Мережі Купуй!
 
 
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Катастрофа за катастрофой: после обнуления путляндия превращается в место непригодное для жизни

Катастрофа за катастрофой: после обнуления путляндия превращается в место непригодное для жизни
 

 
 
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Кремлевский позор. Европейская пресса пишет о Дальнем Востоке, а федеральные сми молчат

Кремлевский позор. Европейская пресса пишет о Дальнем Востоке, а федеральные сми молчат.

На выходных Хабаровск на Дальнем Востоке путляндии пережил крупнейшую демонстрацию в истории города. Для граждан речь идет о большем, чем о судьбе их арестованного губернатора
 

 
 
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Обиженный карлик теряет контроль. Протест идет из регионов

Обиженный карлик теряет контроль. Протест идет из регионов.

Хабаровск не утихает, за 2 дня там прошло три митинги. И все произошло стихийно, абсолютно нормальная реакция в обществе на беспредел. И ведь выходят тысячи, десятки тысяч с лозунгами как в поддержку Фургала, так и против пукина, а нам говорят, что у него поддержка 80%. А тем временем на предприятии «Норникеля» вновь произошел разлив топлива
 

 
 
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Britain Bans China’s Huawei from New 5G Network

The British government has banned China’s Huawei telecommunications equipment company from playing a limited role in Britain’s new high-speed mobile phone network.Britain’s Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said the country’s telecommunications operators have until 2027 to remove Huawei’s equipment that is currently used in Britain’s 5G network.Britain’s decision could have wide-ranging implications for relations between the two countries and signals that Huawei may be losing support in the West. Dowden said the ban was imposed after the U.S. threatened to cancel an information-sharing deal due to concerns Huawei’s equipment could allow the Chinese government to penetrate British networks.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed in January to give Huawei a limited role in Britain’s high-speed network, but the decision sparked a diplomatic disagreement with the U.S. 

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Global Vaccine Plan May Allow Rich Countries to Buy More

Politicians and public health leaders have publicly committed to equitably sharing any coronavirus vaccine that works, but the top global initiative to make that happen may allow rich countries to reinforce their own stockpiles while making fewer doses available for poor ones.
 
Activists warn that without stronger attempts to hold political, pharmaceutical and health leaders accountable, vaccines will be hoarded by rich countries in an unseemly race to inoculate their populations first. After the recent uproar over the United States purchasing a large amount of a new COVID-19 drug, some predict an even more disturbing scenario if a successful vaccine is developed.
Dozens of vaccines are being researched, and some countries — including Britain, France, Germany and the U.S. — already have ordered hundreds of millions of doses before the vaccines are even proven to work.  
While no country can afford to buy doses of every potential vaccine candidate, many poor ones can’t afford to place such speculative bets at all.
The key initiative to help them is led by Gavi, a public-private partnership started by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that buys vaccines for about 60% of the world’s children.
In a document sent to potential donors last month, Gavi said those giving money to its new “Covax Facility” would have “the opportunity to benefit from a larger portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines.” Gavi told donor governments that when an effective vaccine is found within its pool of experimental shots, those countries would receive doses for 20% of their population. Those shots could be used as each nation wished.
That means rich countries can sign deals on their own with drugmakers and then also get no-strings-attached allocations from Gavi. The donor countries are “encouraged (but not required) to donate vaccines if they have more than they need,” the document says.  
“By giving rich countries this backup plan, they’re getting their cake and eating it too,” said Anna Marriott of Oxfam International. “They may end up buying up all the supply in advance, which then limits what Gavi can distribute to the rest of the world.”  
Dr. Seth Berkley, Gavi’s CEO, said such criticisms were unhelpful.
Right now there’s no vaccine for anyone, he said, and “we’re trying to solve that problem.”  
Berkley said Gavi needed to make investing in a global vaccine initiative attractive for rich countries. Gavi would try to persuade those countries that if they ordered vaccines already, they should not attempt to obtain more, he said.  
But he acknowledged there was no enforcement mechanism.  
“If, at the end of the day, those legal agreements are broken or countries seize assets or don’t allow the provision of vaccines (to developing countries), that’s a problem,” Berkley said.
Gavi asked countries for an expression of intent from those interested in joining its initiative by last Friday. It had expected about four dozen high and middle income countries to sign up, in addition to nearly 90 developing countries.  
Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which is working with Gavi and others, said they would be talking in the coming weeks with countries who had signed deals with drug companies to secure their own supplies.  
One possibility: They might ask countries to contribute their private vaccine stockpile to the global pool in exchange for access to whichever experimental candidate proves effective.
“We’ll have to find a solution because some of these arrangements have been made and I think we have to be pragmatic about it,” he said.
After a vaccine meeting last month, the African Union said governments should “remove all obstacles” to equal distribution of any successful vaccine.
Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief John Nkengasong said Gavi should be “pushing hard” on convincing companies to suspend their intellectual property rights.  
“We don’t want to find ourselves in the HIV drugs situation,” he said, noting that the life-saving drugs were available in developed countries years before they made it to Africa.
Shabhir Mahdi, principal investigator of the Oxford vaccine trial in South Africa, said it was up to African governments to push for more vaccine-sharing initiatives, rather than depending on pharmaceutical companies to make their products more accessible.
“If you expect it to be the responsibility of industry, you would never get a vaccine onto the African continent,” Mahdi said.  
Last month, Gavi and CEPI signed a $750 million deal with AstraZeneca to give developing countries 300 million doses of a shot being developed by Oxford University. But that deal happened after the drug company had already signed contracts with Britain and the U.S., who are first in line to get vaccine deliveries in the fall.  
“We are working tirelessly to honor our commitment to ensure broad and equitable access to Oxford’s vaccine across the globe and at no profit,” said AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot. He said its contract with Gavi and CEPI marked “an important step in helping us supply hundreds of millions of people around the world, including to those in countries with the lowest means.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping has also vowed to share any COVID-19 vaccine it develops with African countries — but only once immunization has been completed in China.  
The World Health Organization has previously said it hopes to secure 2 billion doses for people in lower-income countries by the end of 2021, including through initiatives like Gavi’s. About 85% of the world’s 7.8 billion people live in developing countries.
Kate Elder, senior vaccines policy adviser at Doctors Without Borders, said Gavi should try to extract more concessions from pharmaceutical companies, including compelling them to suspend patents on the vaccines.  
“Gavi is in a very delicate position because they’re completely reliant on the goodwill” of drug companies, said Elder. She said the system of how vaccines are provided to developing countries needed to be overhauled so that it wasn’t based on charity, but on public health need.
“We’re just having our governments write these blank checks to industry with no conditions attached right now,” she said. “Isn’t now the time to actually hold them to account and demand we as the public, get more for it?”
Yannis Natsis, a policy official at the European Public Health Alliance, said the last thing on the minds of officials in rich countries is sharing with poor ones.  
“Politicians are scared if they don’t throw money at companies, the citizens in the next country over will get the vaccines first and they will look very bad,” Natsis said. 

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Iran Executes Man Convicted of Spying for CIA

Iran has executed a former defense ministry employee who was convicted of selling information to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Iran’s judiciary said Tuesday.
 
A judiciary spokesman said Reza Asgari was executed last week for selling information about Iran’s missile program to the CIA. Iran says Asgari sold the information during his last years in the defense ministry and retired in 2016.
 
Iran executed another alleged spy last month. Officials say Jalal Hajizavar admitted in court that the CIA paid him to spy. The judiciary said spy equipment was confiscated from the home of Hajizavar, who also worked at the defense ministry. The judiciary said his wife was sentenced to 15 years in prison for participating in the espionage.
 
The judiciary also said Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, accused of spying for the United States and Israel, is among those who have yet to be put to death.
 
Iran said last year it had apprehended 17 spies whom it alleged were working for the CIA. 

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Organic Farming More Popular in Ghana During Pandemic

In Ghana and West Africa, organic food is growing in popularity as people try to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. But organic produce is not easily regulated, and some consumers are paying extra for unverified claims. Farmers across the region are creating their own system, with support from international bodies, to certify organic produce. Stacey Knott reports from Accra.Camera: Stacey Knott  Produced by: Stacey Knott 
 

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US Aims for End of Summer Vaccine as Rising COVID Cases Worldwide Prompt New Lockdowns

With the number of confirmed coronavirus infections around the world topping 13 million, including more than 570,000 deaths, the United States says it expects to start producing potential vaccine doses by the end of the summer, even as more and more governments are imposing, or re-imposing, strict quarantine and social distancing guidelines to blunt the spread of the disease.  The U.S.-based cable financial news channel CNBC reported Monday that a senior Trump administration official told reporters the manufacturing process is already underway even though they aren’t sure which vaccine – if any – will work.  The official is quoted as saying they are already buying equipment, securing manufacturing sites, and acquiring raw materials.CNBC says two companies involved in the development of a potential new vaccine, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are expected to begin late-stage human trials for potential vaccines by the end of the month.  Social distancing
A set of new social distancing measures that took effect Tuesday in Hong Kong includes mandatory face masks for people using public transportation, with violators subject to fines up to $645 ($5,000 in Hong Kong currency).  Restaurants are banned from offering indoor dining after 6 p.m., and gyms, movie theaters and karaoke bars are once again ordered to shut down, in response to a new order announced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam that limits group gatherings from 50 people to four.The new guidelines have forced the closure of Hong Kong Disneyland, which had just reopened last month.  The Asian financial hub reported 52 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, including 41 that were locally transmitted, prompting authorities to issue a warning of a potential large-scale outbreak.  The city has reported more than 1,500 total coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.Women hold signs outside housing commission apartments under lockdown in Melbourne, Australia, July 6, 2020.New spikes
Over in Australia, the southern state of Victoria recorded 270 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, including two deaths, pushing the total number of cases nationwide to 10,251 and 110 deaths.  Victoria’s capital city, Melbourne, is in the first week of a six-week lockdown imposed due to an alarming spike of new COVID-19 cases. Residents have been ordered to stay home unless going to work, school, medical appointments or shopping for food. The neighboring state of New South Wales has imposed a strict new set of restrictions on bars in response to a cluster of 21 new COVID-19 cases traced to a popular bar in Sydney. The new restrictions limit group bookings to just 10 people and cap the number of patrons in large venues to 300.  Wearing face masks in supermarkets and stores in Britain will be mandatory starting next week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office announced Monday. Face coverings are already required on buses and subways in London and other English cities. Other European countries, including Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain already require face coverings in stores. Visitors crowd the beach July 12, 2020, in Santa Monica, Calif., amid the coronavirus pandemic.Surge in multiple US states
In the United States, which posted well over 60,000 new infections on Monday, more than three dozen states are seeing a dramatic rise in new coronavirus cases on a daily basis, forcing many of them to reverse plans to reopen their economies after shutting them down during the initial phase of the outbreak. California Governor Gavin Newsom extended Monday the closure of bars, restaurants, gyms, churches, and amusement centers from 19 counties to the entire state. The neighboring northwestern state of Oregon has banned gatherings of more than 10 people and mandated face masks for all Oregonians.  Across the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii Governor David Ige announced Monday the state is postponing plans to relax its quarantine requirements for some tourists from the U.S. mainland. The popular tourist destination has subjected all visitors to a mandatory 14-day quarantine since the start of the outbreak. The government had planned to make an exception for anyone who tested negative for COVID-19 in the 72 hours leading up to their departure, beginning August 1.Gov. Ige delayed the revised rules until September 1 because of the dramatic uptick of new cases in many states, which he said has also caused serious delays in testing.    

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Judge OK’s Release of Tell-all Book by Trump’s Niece

A New York state judge lifted a stay on Monday that had temporarily blocked Donald Trump’s niece from publishing a book offering an unflattering look at the U.S. president and his family. Justice Hal Greenwald of the state Supreme Court in Poughkeepsie, New York, denied the request to stop publication and canceled the temporary restraining order he issued on June 30 against Mary Trump and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, at the request of Robert Trump, the brother of the president. Simon & Schuster was due to release the book on Tuesday. Robert Trump said previously that the release of “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” would violate a confidentiality agreement tied to the estate of his father, Fred Trump Sr., who died in 1999. Mary Trump, a trained psychologist, is Fred Trump’s granddaughter. “Notwithstanding that the Book has been published and distributed in great quantities, to enjoin Mary L. Trump at this juncture would be incorrect and serve no purpose,” Greenwald said in his decision. “It would be moot. … To quote United States v. Bolton, 2020, ‘By the looks of it the horse is not just out of the barn, it is out of the country,'” he wrote. Mary Trump’s attorney, Theodore Boutrous, said in a statement: “The court got it right in rejecting the Trump family’s effort to squelch Mary Trump’s core political speech on important issues of public concern.” Lawyers for Robert Trump could not immediately be reached for comment. The book’s publication comes as the Republican president seeks a second term in the Nov. 3 election. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has described it as a “book of falsehoods.” Mary Trump applies her training in psychology to conclude in the book that the president likely suffers from narcissism and other clinical disorders – and was boosted to success by a father who fueled those traits. She writes of a “malignantly dysfunctional family” dominated by a patriarch, Fred Trump, who showed little interest in his five children other than grooming an heir for his real-estate business. Ultimately, he settled on Donald, she wrote, deciding that his second son’s “arrogance and bullying” would come in handy at the office, and encouraged it. 

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