1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Iran’s Beiranvand, Jahanbakhsh Nominated For BFA 2018

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Iran national football team and Persepolis goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and Iran and Brighton winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh have been nominated for the “Best Footballer in Asia 2018 (BFA 2018)”.

In a World Cup year there are always going
to be a number of players who impressed on the global stage, which is
the perfect place to forge or improve reputations.

Beiranvand
was a standout in Russia. The goalkeeper starred as Iran came close to
getting out of a tough group containing Spain, Portugal and Morocco. The
Team Melli No. 1 also played a major part in Persepolis reaching the
final of the Champions League for the first time since the tournament
started in 2003.

Compatriot Jahanbakhsh
did not quite have the World Cup that was expected, but – in the first
place –  it was his brilliant performances for AZ Alkmaar in the
Eredivisie that lifted those expectations to stratospheric levels as he
ended the 2017-18 season as the league’s top scorer – an amazing
achievement especially considering he plays primarily as a winger.

The 24-man shortlist for the Best Footballer in Asia 2018 shortlisted by Titan Sports.

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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Iran: Intelligence Minister Rejects Claims Of US Granting Citizenship To Officials

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Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi
refuted US President Donald Trump’s claim that the Obama administration
had sweetened the 2015 nuclear deal by granting US citizenship to 2,500
Iranians, including government officials.

The report is a “lie”, Alavi said, addressing Iranian legislators at the parliament in Tehran on Tuesday.

In response to one of the MPs present at the
session, he said both Iranian officials as well as former American
administration officials have rejected the report.

Alavi warned the Iranian nation of enemies’
psychological warfare that, he said, is aimed at sowing discord between
the government and people.

Fox News reported in July that the Obama
administration granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians, including
family members of government officials, while negotiating the 2015 Iran
nuclear deal.

After the report Trump wrote on his twitter page
that Obama’s administration sweetened the Iran nuclear deal by granting
US citizenship to 2,500 Iranians, including government officials.

“Just out that the Obama Administration granted
citizenship, during the terrible Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500
Iranians – including to government officials. How big (and bad) is
that?” he wrote.

The US president cited no evidence for his allegations and he was strongly criticized by the US and other western media.

Trump declared on May 8 that he was withdrawing
from the Iran nuclear deal, unraveling the signature foreign policy
achievement of his predecessor Obama, isolating the United States from
its western allies.

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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Hurricane Maria Gave Ecologists Rare Chance To Study How Tropical Dry Forests Recover

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To counteract the damage hurricanes have caused to their canopies,
trees appear to adjust key characteristics of their newly grown leaves,
according to a year-long field study presented at the British Ecological
Society’s annual conference today.

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, the worst natural
disaster on record to affect the U.S. territory, it stripped numerous
trees bare of their leaves and consequently disrupted their ability to
absorb the light needed for growth and survival.

Ecologists from Clemson University took the opportunity to study how
hurricanes affect tropical dry forests in the Caribbean and whether
trees were capable of compensating for the significant damage by
increasing resource acquisition in newly produced leaves.

For the study, the researchers examined the leaves of the 13 most
dominant tree species one, eight and twelve months after Hurricane Maria
struck and compared them with leaves that were collected before the
hurricane. They analysed whether the immediate changes observed in
leaves were temporary or maintained over multiple seasons.

“Our study took us to the Guánica State Forest in southwest Puerto
Rico, which comprises one of the best parcels of native dry forest in
the Caribbean. Rainfall here is extremely erratic, with huge variability
within and between years. The forest also sits on limestone from an
ancient coral reef which is extremely porous, meaning trees have little
time to capture water as it travels through the underlying rock. As a
result, organisms are uniquely adapted to cope with unpredictable water
availability”, said Tristan Allerton, PhD candidate at Clemson
University.

Trees rely on exchanging gas through their leaves, simultaneously
collecting CO2 from the atmosphere to convert into energy whilst trying
to minimise water loss (leaf-gas exchange). In order to capture maximum
leaf-gas exchange rates by trees, the team attached a sensor to new
leaves in the forest at several points during the day.

They also looked at the newly produced leaves’ shape and structure,
which play an important role in efficiently extracting gas from the
atmosphere.

The preliminary findings suggest that 11 of 13 species studied were
taking in CO2 at much higher rates immediately following Hurricane
Maria. Many had also changed key characteristics of their leaves,
including increasing leaf area relative to leaf biomass investment. In
other words, trees were able to capture the same amount of light while
spending less on leaf production.

“A key finding was that the leaves of some of the species contained
less chlorophyll than prior to the hurricane. Even though new leaves
were better suited structurally to capture valuable resources, lower
leaf quality could reduce leaf lifespan and the trees’ ability to
produce energy”, added Professor Skip Van Bloem, Allerton’s supervisor
at Clemson University.

Overall, Caribbean tropical dry forests seem to be capable of
tolerating major hurricanes, though the ecologists stressed that there
may be “winners” and “losers” in terms of how species respond.

Currently it is unclear whether dominant evergreen species can
exploit post-hurricane conditions to the same extent as deciduous
species.

Allerton said: “Many of our evergreens displayed little change in
gas exchange rates and in general the relative decline in new leaf
chlorophyll after Maria was much greater than for deciduous species.
Under normal conditions, evergreens renew their canopies over
monthly/yearly timescales, therefore it’s likely hurricane canopy damage
is a more expensive process for these trees.”

As climate change leads to expected increases in hurricane frequency
and intensity, the species composition of tropical dry forests in the
Caribbean is likely to change. One concern would be whether endemic
species will disappear over time.

“This would be a huge shame as Caribbean dry forests are known to
have a higher proportion of endemic species than mainland dry forests.
Many trees found there are also incredibly ancient, making these forests
a living museum of biodiversity”, concluded Allerton.

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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Your Postal Code May Influence Your Health

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Where you live in Canada may play a role in your risk of major diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Researchers at McMaster University have identified trends linking
health and lifestyle factors like access to public transit, the variety
of fresh fruits and vegetables in grocery stores, the prices of popular
foods, the availability and prices of cigarettes and alcohol, and the
promotion, or lack thereof, of healthy foods in restaurants.

The study findings, based on detailed data collected across Canada’s 10 provinces, were published today in the journal Cities and Health. An interactive online map for public use showing the data by postal code is available at: http://cvcdcontextual.mcmaster.ca.

“We found there are significant differences in environmental factors
that may contribute to health, and that these differed between urban
and rural communities, as well as when we compared eastern with western,
and northern with southern communities,” said Russell de Souza, first
author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Health
Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster.

He is also a research associate at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster and Hamilton Health Sciences.

“We believe that this information shows there are factors outside of
a person’s control that influence the individual’s health, and these
factors likely differ depending on where they live.”

The main findings of the study are:

  • provincial and urban-rural differences exist in availability of
    fruits and vegetables, and advertising differs between provinces more so
    than between urban and rural communities;
  • rural communities face higher food prices, are more subject to
    seasonal variation in fruit and vegetable selection, and generally see
    less promotion of healthy restaurant options and availability of
    nutritional information at restaurants than urban communities;
  • in-store advertising for sweet drinks, and junk food are more frequent than in-store advertisements for tobacco products;
  • cigarette prices are lower and the variety of brands is greater
    in urban than in rural tobacco stores; and are lowest in central
    Canada, where there is both more in-store advertising for cigarettes and
    signage prohibiting smoking in stores; and
  • alcohol prices are lowest in Quebec.

More than 2,000 on-the-ground assessments conducted in all of the
provinces were collected by trained auditors between 2014 and 2016. The
assessment tool was adapted from the McMaster-led Prospective Urban and
Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study that simultaneously assesses multiple
contextual factors within communities and has been used
internationally.

De Souza said the research was driven by concern about health trends in the nation.

“The rapid increase of overweight and obese Canadians and the
associated consequences, including hypertension and diabetes, is a major
health problem and threatens to halt the declines in cardiovascular
disease deaths that Canada has experienced in the past 30 years,” said
de Souza.

“Knowledge gaps exist regarding the impact of the built environment –
or the human-made physical surroundings – on how someone develops risk
factors like high blood pressure, and the variation of these built
environments across Canada by region and rurality.”

The researchers were unsurprised to find that the environmental
factor trends aligned with health outcomes tracked in other studies.

“Previous Canadian studies have shown that people living in the east
have a higher risk of developing heart disease than people living in
the west,” said de Souza.

“We also see people who live in rural environments tend to have poorer health than people who live in urban environments.

“This study helps us to understand what we call the ’causes of the
causes’ of diseases like cardiovascular disease. For example, what are
the factors that lead to the development of high blood pressure, which
can later lead to a stroke or high cholesterol, which later turns into a
heart attack?”

De Souza said the researchers decided at the start of the study the
data would be presented in an online, interactive map to convey the
information from the community contextual health audits.

“We think presenting our data in this way offers a platform for
policy makers, public health professionals and community members to
collaborate to build healthier environments and fix the problems,” de
Souza said.

“By understanding how the built environment plays a role, we can
intervene both at an individual level, as well as at a community level.
It’s one thing for your doctor to tell you that you need to eat more
fruits and vegetables to lower your blood pressure, but what if your
grocery store prices are so high that you cannot afford them? Or if to
get to your grocery store, you have to drive for 30 minutes? If five to
10 servings of fruit and/or vegetables are recommended daily, we should
advocate for everyone to be able to afford and access those servings.”

The study was a component of the Canadian Alliance for Healthy
Hearts and Minds (CAHHM), led by Sonia Anand, professor of medicine at
McMaster, senior scientist of PHRI, and vascular medicine specialist at
Hamilton Health Sciences.

CAHHM is a multi-ethnic cohort study being conducted in Canada. The
study aims to understand the association of socio-environmental and
contextual factors, such as societal structure, activity, nutrition,
social and tobacco environments, and access to health services, in
relation to risk factors of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

“This study is unique because it will enable comparisons between
communities within a region, province, and across the country. Place
matters as our environment affects our health behaviours without our
realizing it,” said Anand, the Heart and Stroke Foundation / Michael G.
DeGroote Chair in Population Health Research McMaster.

“We are making these data available to other researchers and health
planners so they can further quantify the impact of the built
environment on health, and to help in the building of healthier
communities,” she added.

As for the best place to live in Canada’s 10 provinces based on
study results, de Souza said it depends on your health habits and
preferences.

“I would want to live somewhere that makes it easiest to change any
behaviour that may be harming my health,” he said. “For example, if I
were a smoker, I would want to live in a place where it was hard for me
to get cigarettes. If I were having a difficult time eating healthy, I
would want to live somewhere where it was easy for me to walk to a
grocery store and buy affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.”

De Souza noted the three territories were not included in the study due to geographical limitations for the research team.

The CAHHM project is funded by Canadian Partnership Against Cancer,
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research (CIHR) through the Canadian Urban Environmental Health
Research Consortium.

Anne Simard, chief mission and research officer of the Heart and
Stroke Foundation of Canada, said: “This study demonstrates that rural,
including northern and remote communities continue to face inequities
with respect to access to healthy food options and even nutrition
information in restaurants. This underscores the need for policies to
improve nutrition in these communities.”

Craig Earle, vice president of cancer control with the Canadian
Partnership Against Cancer, added: “The importance of these findings is
that they highlight disparities that contribute to different health
outcomes depending on where you live. There are things we can
collectively take action on today.”

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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Three Generations, 1,000s Of Miles: Unlocked Mystery Of A Dragonfly’s Migration

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Thanks to photos and films featuring clouds of stunning orange and
black monarch butterflies flying across North America, many people today
are familiar with how monarchs migrate. The migration patterns of other
insects, however, remain more mysterious, for both the public and
scientists alike. A new paper in Biology Letters describes a dragonfly’s full life cycle for the first time, in compelling detail.

The researchers explain how the common green darner–a large,
abundant dragonfly found across North America–takes three generations
to complete its annual cycle. One generation migrates north in spring,
the second south in fall, and the third is resident in the southern part
of the species’ range over winter. These insects have a wingspan of
just 7.5 cm (3 inches), but they migrate an average of over 600 km (373
miles), with some individuals covering more than 2,500 km (1,553 miles).

“We know that a lot of insects migrate, but we have full life
history and full migration data for only a couple. This is the first
dragonfly in the Western Hemisphere for which we know this,” says Colin
Studds, assistant professor of geography and environmental systems at
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and senior author on the
paper. “We’ve solved the first piece of a big mystery.”

The common green darner is indeed very common, and not currently a
threatened species. Understanding their life cycle is important, though,
because of the global context. “There are massive insect declines going
on around the world,” says Peter Marra, director of the Smithsonian
Migratory Bird Center and second author on the paper, “so understanding
these complex biological patterns is essential to determine why
different populations might be declining.”

Insects are a critical driver of food webs, so figuring out why
their populations are falling dramatically is important for the future
success of a wide range of species, from rodents to raptors.

The research team used a combination of data sets, including 21
years of citizen science data, more than 800 dragonfly wing specimens
from museums going back 140 years, and specimens caught in the wild.
Collaborators Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra of the Vermont Center for
Ecostudies spent nearly two years collecting dragonflies from Florida
to Ontario, Canada, and working with museums to get permission to
analyze their specimens.

The team’s creative analysis included looking at the prevalence of
different forms of hydrogen in the dragonflies. The ratio of three forms
of hydrogen in the atmosphere shifts with latitude. Dragonflies pick up
an imprint of the hydrogen ratio at their birthplace, so a scientist
can determine where a dragonfly came from by looking at how much of each
hydrogen type is present in a tiny piece of the dragonfly’s wing. That
information enabled the team to discern the three-generation migration
system.

The citizen science data–information collected by members of the
general public–helped the scientists learn what factors cue the
dragonflies to migrate or to emerge as flying adults after their aquatic
juvenile stage. It turns out temperature plays a big role: the
dragonflies both emerge and initiate migration at around 9 degrees
Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit).

“With climate change we could see dragonflies migrating north
earlier and staying later in the fall, which could alter their entire
biology and life history,” says Michael Hallworth, postdoctoral fellow
at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and first author on the paper.
Studds adds, “Climate change is a threat to all kinds of migration
systems, and this could be one of them.”

Studds emphasizes that this discovery is the beginning of a long
path toward better understanding insect migrations. Revealing the
three-generation process, with two migratory generations and one
resident, was, itself, “remarkable,” he says. “How it actually happens
is a tremendous new mystery that brings together ecology and evolution,”
Studds reflects, “and there’s a lot more to understand.”

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Stars and Stripes: Launch of Air Force’s next generation GPS satellite postponed for 1 day

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SpaceX said Tuesday’s launch was scratched because of sensor readings on the rocket’s first stage. Neither the company nor the U.S. Air Force provided details.

Stars and Stripes

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Stars and Stripes: Police: Fort Riley soldier drove to Arkansas to meet teen girl, faces sex charges

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Andrew Mitchell O’Brien, who is stationed at Fort Riley, was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of sex crimes after he drove to Arkansas to meet a 16-year-old girl he met on the Internet.

Stars and Stripes

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): “fbi” – Google News: Las Vegas robbery suspect tells jurors FBI agent had vendetta against him – Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Las Vegas robbery suspect tells jurors FBI agent had vendetta against him  Las Vegas Review-Journal

Brian Wright, a man prosecutors said masterminded a pair of jewelry store heists just months after walking free of similar allegations because of legal errors, told …

“fbi” – Google News

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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FBI News Review: “fbi” – Google News: Las Vegas robbery suspect tells jurors FBI agent had vendetta against him – Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Las Vegas robbery suspect tells jurors FBI agent had vendetta against him  Las Vegas Review-Journal

Brian Wright, a man prosecutors said masterminded a pair of jewelry store heists just months after walking free of similar allegations because of legal errors, told …

“fbi” – Google News

FBI News Review


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): FOX News: Brian Terry’s family hits Democrats over opposition to border wall

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The family of a Border Patrol agent who was killed in 2010 said Tuesday that Democrats should agree to President Trump’s request for $5 billion to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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