Registries Could Offer Insight Into COVID-19’s Impact on College Athletes’ Hearts


TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2021 (American Heart Association News)

Researchers are soon expected to release initial findings from a national cardiac registry of NCAA athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19, giving hope to health care professionals trying to better understand the impact of the disease on the heart.

The data could help doctors diagnose and treat athletes recovering from COVID-19 who have developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. While the number of such cases known publicly among athletes is low, the American College of Cardiology’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council has outlined recommendations for when athletes who have tested positive for the coronavirus can resume physical activity. Guidelines include cardiac testing for those who had COVID-19 symptoms.

Sports medicine and cardiology experts at Harvard University and the University of Washington formed the national registry in collaboration with the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association to track cases of COVID-19 and its heart-related aftermath in NCAA athletes. More than 60 schools are currently contributing to the registry.

Before COVID-19, myocarditis accounted for 7% to 20% of deaths attributed to sudden cardiac events in young athletes, according to a recent study in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. But data on heart injury in athletes recovering from COVID-19 is limited.

“Registry data of cardiac testing and outcomes in athletes after COVID-19 are needed to guide future screening strategies,” the study authors said.

The research database, called Outcomes Registry for Cardiac Conditions in Athletes, or ORCCA, already has collected data from more than 3,000 athletes. It initially will focus on athletes who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to identify how the condition impacts the cardiovascular system and injures the heart muscle, the AMSSM statement said. The long-term objective is a registry for athletes diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, regardless of whether it was related to COVID-19.

“You wouldn’t want someone working out intensely in the middle of an inflammation of the heart because it could weaken the heart in the long term,” said Dr. Rachel Lampert, a cardiologist with Yale Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. She is on the steering committee for the registry. “That’s why the question is particularly relevant in athletes.”

According to a small study published in September in JAMA Cardiology, 4 out of 26 athletes (15%) from Ohio State University who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and underwent heart MRIs had results “suggestive of myocarditis.”

Ohio State, which lost to the University of Alabama in Monday’s college football championship, is among the 14 schools in the Big Ten Conference. The conference has its own cardiac registry and is contributing to ORCCA.

Dr. Eugene H. Chung is an electrophysiologist and sports cardiologist at Michigan Medicine and member of the Big Ten Cardiac Registry Steering Committee. “It would be very interesting to get a sense of how often we’re seeing myocarditis in student-athletes infected with COVID-19 – we don’t quite know that yet,” said Chung, who also is chair of ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council.

The Big Ten plans to separately review its registry data and have specialists not involved in the initial data collection report independently on findings from cardiovascular evaluations. The Big Ten registry also will include control groups of athletes not affected by COVID-19 and those suffering from other illnesses such as the flu to compare cardiac risk among all three groups.

“With the cardiac registry, the Big Ten will take the lead to further our understanding of the athletic heart as well as the course of COVID-19 infection in the collegiate student-athlete population,” Chung and fellow conference registry steering committee members wrote in a recent article in the AHA journal Circulation.

“Our findings will be informative for broader public health policy as we fight coronavirus and all strive for safe return to play.”

American Heart Association News covers heart and brain health. Not all views expressed in this story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email [email protected]




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Extraordinary audio recording reveals worrying insight into Trump’s state of mind | US News


Donald Trump’s hour-long call urging Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to “find 11,780 votes” sounded desperate and deluded.

The recording was a worrying insight into the president’s state of mind – seemingly convinced by the many conspiracy theories about why he lost the election, and unwilling to listen to the facts from members of his own party.

For weeks now there have been reports the president had accepted his election loss behind closed doors but was continuing to peddle the narrative that it was stolen to save face and keep donations pouring in.

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Trump recorded pressuring election official

However, the conversation between Mr Trump and Georgia’s Brad Raffensberger indicated he is still actively pursuing ways to overturn the election. And the president’s veiled threat suggests he’s willing to play dirty.

With less than three weeks to go before Joe Biden takes office, Mr Trump’s behaviour seems increasingly erratic and potentially dangerous.

Among a barrage of tweets on Sunday, he urged his supporters to converge on Washington DC for a protest march against the election result on Wednesday.

He tweeted: “I will be there. Historic day!”

But the pro-Trump rallies drawing demonstrators to the capital threaten to turn violent, with members of armed right-wing groups also pledging to attend.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are adding fuel to Mr Trump’s baseless claims of a “rigged” election.

Wednesday’s protest coincides with a vote in Congress to certify Mr Biden’s victory. It’s usually a ceremonial proceeding but a dozen Republican senators say they plan to object, and are calling for an electoral commission to carry out an emergency audit of votes in contested states.

Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over Wednesday’s vote, has also supported their challenge.

There is no credible evidence to support anything other than a decisive Joe Biden victory and this latest move by Republican senators, led by Ted Cruz of Texas, will inevitably fail.

So why are these lawmakers planning to contest Wednesday’s vote? Do they really agree with this theory the election was cheated?

Joe Biden
Image:
Joe Biden will take office in less than three weeks

Some of those challenging the result are rising stars in the Republican Party and their move is seen as an attempt to win favour with President Trump and his loyal base of supporters. Critics are accusing them of putting their political ambition ahead of their constitutional responsibility.

The claims of fraud have been rejected by the former attorney general and electoral officials on both sides.

Court after court has thrown out legal challenges from the Trump campaign, including the Supreme Court with its conservative majority.

Mr Biden won by more than seven million votes nationally and gained 74 more electoral college votes than Mr Trump – the same margin of victory Mr Trump repeatedly called a “landslide” when it favoured him in 2016.

Protests by Trump supporters and challenges by Republican politicians won’t change the outcome of the election.

Donald Trump will be succeeded, but it seems Trumpism may be here to stay. And his greatest legacy will likely be the erosion of trust in American democracy.



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Delisted Roo provides insight into Jared Polec’s tumultuous 2020


Delisted North Melbourne defender Sam Durdin has provided some insight into what occurred between the club and midfielder Jared Polec during the 2020 season.

Polec was omitted on multiple occasions by the Kangaroos, despite consistently being among their highest ball-winners.

He was even dropped the week he received coaches votes from the opposition side – the Round 8 loss to Carlton.

The former Brisbane and Port Adelaide player was also reportedly put on the trade table, though no suitors emerged.

Durdin believes Polec’s offensive style of footy didn’t suit the direction Rhyce Shaw wished to take the club in the second half of the season.

“It’s an interesting one. Polec’s got his elite strengths and when he’s playing his best footy he’s probably one of the best players in the league,” Durdin told Sportsday SA.

“I think North, when things kind of went pear-shaped, I reckon we just went to more basic footy, more structured footy.

“Polec is a player when he’s playing his best footy he’s an outside player and doing a lot of things, but defensively I reckon it’s just something he’s always had hovering over his head and not his strength, but I think the club kind of relied on him to do a bit more defensively and he wasn’t really doing that so it got to the point where he got dropped there for a few weeks.

“It was a very interesting situation, but I reckon once the team has got confidence up and they allow players to play with their own freedom and guys like Polec can really dominate, but it wasn’t to be the case this year.”

Durdin was one of 11 Roos cut by the club in the initial batch of delistings and admits he was surprised by the news.

“We had our last game of the last round on the Thursday night and Friday morning was D-Day pretty much,” he said.

“I went into the meeting at about 11:30am and I think I was number 10 to get delisted so going into the meeting I was quietly confident, but Brady Rawlings and Rhyce were the only two in the meeting and dropped the news.

“It was quite a shock, but that’s footy unfortunately.

“I’ll be honest I was pretty angry and still a bit dirty, but that’s just the industry, it’s a cutthroat industry and nothing this year went my way I thought.

“It was just a very bad position to be in, but that’s footy and I’m sure I’ll get on with it and move onto other things.”







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Dinosaur footprint fossil discovery brings new insight into how they roamed Central Queensland


The discovery of a dinosaur footprint fossil from 195 million years ago in Central Queensland has given researchers new insight into the type of prehistoric animals and ecosystems of the time.

University of Queensland palaeontologist, Anthony Romilio, was sent a photo of a footprint fossil from a surveyor who worked at the Callide Mine, near Biloela, after he had stumbled upon the prints while working there more than a decade ago.

Dr Romilio said the photo showed a small, bird-like footprint that he was then able to 3D model and analyse.

Dr Romilio said the discovery of the prehistoric print confirmed that there were dinosaurs in the area that had never been documented before.

“Around 2000 there was a research paper that was published in an Australian scientific journal that was talking about Jurassic fossils,” he said.

“It did mention that Biloela had dinosaur footprints, it didn’t describe any, it didn’t show any, it was just a note in passing.

“So this particular discovery confirmed that, yes, in Biloela there are dinosaur footprints.”

Dr Romilio said analysing the shape of the footprint also gave insight into the type of ecosystem from the time.

“This particular dinosaur track maker — the two-legged, fairly small, plant-eating dinosaur — was common throughout the entire area of what we call Central Queensland now,” he said.

“Based on other sites of a similar-aged prints, Mount Morgan … as well as Carnarvon Gorge, all of that area is the same age.

Dr Anthony Romilio is a palaeontologist who researches prehistoric fossils and footprints around the world.(Supplied: Anthony Romilio)

Hundreds of footprints found 20 years ago, but undocumented

The surveyor who sent Dr Romilio the photos from 10 years ago, had also come across hundreds of similar prints in the same area more than 20 years ago.

“He found in one of the overburden dumps all of these fossils, these dinosaur footprints,” he said.

Dr Romilio said because the photo he was recently able to analyse was from 10 years ago, it was unknown if any of the prints were still accessible.

“At the moment we don’t know if they’re still around in those dumps, but it certainly is something worth investigating further,” he said.

“If anyone knows of any of these specimens that would permit them to be documented that would be amazing.”

Call out for undocumented fossils and photos

Dr Romilio said much of his research throughout 2020 was led by the community getting in touch with photos and fossils that had not been seen by palaeontologists before.

“The community has really reached out and spoken about dinosaur footprint fossils that they have or have discovered that they’d like to bring to light to see if it’s important,” he said.

One instance earlier this year saw Dr Romilio and the daughter of a geologist solve a mystery about dinosaur footprints on the ceiling of a cave at Mount Morgan, after more than half a century.

It was a chance meeting at a fruit market between the two that helped with the discovery.

He was working at a Brisbane fruit and vegetable market when he had a serendipitous conversation with a customer.

Roslyn Dick, the daughter of the late 1950s geologist Ross Staines, regularly shopped at the market.

“Her dad actually wrote the original discovery of these tracks, and their family had kept archival material,” Dr Romilio told ABC Capricornia in February.

“This was an opportunity to access archival photos, maps, and even a dinosaur footprint [cast] that they’ve got, and put the signs together to find out what these dinosaurs were doing.”

Dr Romilio said he believed there was more fossil material out there that remained unknown to researchers.



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Cooney provides insight into John Worsfold’s leadership style


Former Essendon player Adam Cooney has weighed in on the findings of the club’s internal review.

Among the four big takeaways, club president Paul Brasher spoke of senior coach Ben Rutten and how his leadership will differ from outgoing coach John Worsfold’s.

“The second would be around standards and accountabilities. If you look at what their (John Worsfold and Ben Rutten) particular styles are, there’s a spectrum that has player empowerment at one end and absolute rigid standards and accountability at the other. John’s a bit more the empowerment end whereas Ben’s more towards the standards end. We think moving forward we need much clearer standards of accountability,” Brasher said.

Cooney hopes the Bombers find the balance in the coaching styles in 2021.

“There’s got to be a balance I think. You’ve got to give a player enough responsibility to be able to make the right decisions, but then you’ve got to have enough control to be able to monitor the situation all of the time,” Cooney told SEN SA Breakfast.

“Players want to feel like they’re being given the responsibility to do it, but then the senior coach at the end of the day should have full control over everything that is happening and know what every player is up to, certainly throughout the day and being professional enough away from the footy club.”

Cooney said Worsfold’s unique style of coaching and leadership gave a lot of freedom to players.

“John Worsfold was a coach who gave a lot of scope for the players to make their own decisions,” he said.

“When I was there, he just expected that you would do everything you possibly could to be better and you could be a self-motivator.

“That’s how he coached, he gave you the onus to do everything. If you didn’t do it, you would find yourself out of the side pretty quickly.

“Maybe – players didn’t take advantage of it, but if the coach doesn’t have full control over everything, then you can just lose one or two per cent here and there and that can add up in this industry.”







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Silvagni gives insight into how Carlton navigated the Jack Martin trade scenario


Former Carlton list boss Stephen Silvagni has broken down the Jack Martin trade chaos from 2019.

The Blues ended up acquiring Martin via the Pre-Season Draft, after a trade between Carlton and Gold Coast could not be reached.

For whatever reason, the Suns opted to take nothing rather than two second round draft picks, allowing the Blues to front-end their offer to the talented forward and secure him without giving anything up.

Silvagni reveals Gold Coast was desperate for Carlton’s first round pick (selection nine) in the trade, and, after seeing how Martin performed in 2020, feels that may have been an accurate valuation.

“He was a really difficult one to gauge in terms of his value because he was injured throughout the year in his last year there, but also he got dropped as well,” Silvagni told AFL Trade Radio.

“From the process, we were always going to deal with future picks and another pick in there and through the negotiation process the Suns ended up getting these concessions where basically they didn’t really need points for any of their academy kids coming through.

“It made negotiations really difficult and we wanted to keep our first round pick.

“Would we have given up that first round pick had we known that we wouldn’t be able to get him through the Pre-Season Draft? It was a really difficult situation because we had Tom Papley in play.

“We had to work out the scenarios and how we were going to get it done, so we always knew pick nine was going to be part of the Papley deal if that was going to happen – we always wanted something back.

“That wasn’t going to happen, then we pretty much gave nine outright for Papley and that wasn’t going to happen because the Joe Daniher deal was never going through.

“Gold Coast was saying ‘we want pick nine’. We didn’t think he was worth nine at the time. In all seriousness, in terms of what Jack did this year, probably (Gold Coast) was right, but we were just going off the form that was previously done.

“We’d offered two picks that were equated to about pick nine on points. It might’ve been earlier. It might’ve been like pick six or seven. They rejected that.”

Silvagni said the Blues were a little nervous about the Suns re-drafting Martin, given they had the first selection in the Pre-Season Draft.

“Our fallback was the Pre-Season Draft. We had pick three in the Pre-Season Draft. There was Gold Coast, Melbourne, then ourselves,” he said.

“We always thought that Melbourne was never going to be a chance (to match the Martin deal) because of the salary cap.

“And (Martin) didn’t want to speak to Melbourne and didn’t do a medical, which helps Carlton. We had money in our cap that we could front-end.

“What probably helped really is at the National Draft where we did a pick swap with Gold Coast where pick nine came into play. They got what they wanted on draft night. It just fell that way and it helped them and fortunately for us they didn’t take Jack in the Pre-Season Draft and he got through to us.

“To Jack’s credit, he was really strong and staunch.”

Martin played 15 games for Carlton in 2020 and was one of their main threats as a ball user going inside 50 and excelled in stretches both on-ball and as a contested marking target.







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Google and Facebook give unique insight into how US election is being fought online


The US presidential election – more than any other before it – has established a battleground online.

The role of social media companies in monitoring content has drawn controversy from both Republicans and Democrats, especially given the alleged foreign interference in the 2016 election.

But data from global tech companies, such as Google or Facebook, has also provided a unique perspective on what subjects are most interesting to US citizens, and how candidates have invested in their online campaigns.

What have voters been searching for on Google?

In the United States, there was a 362% increase in users searching for the term “postal voting” compared to other election years, according to Google Trends.

Meanwhile, there was a 366% increase in searches for “electoral fraud” and the phrase “fact check” had peaked in search interest long before November.

The US President Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned mail-in ballots, tweeting in May they would lead to a “fraudulent” election.

In a first, Twitter labelled the tweet and directed social media users to fact checks and news stories about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.

The tech giant said the tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labelled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots”.

Google Trends also showed that users have searched for “how to vote” and “early voting” more now than any other time on record.

Meanwhile, other political search terms with especially high interest in the US in 2020 included “unemployment”, “vaccine” and “racism”.

The US economy and growth experienced a historic drop in the second quarter of the year during the COVID-19 pandemic, while demonstrations against social injustice have raged across the country following the death of George Floyd on May 25.

Who spent the most on online ads?

Discussion about the availability of political ads presented a different headache for tech companies in the lead up to the election.

Unlike rivals Twitter, Facebook decided to allow political ads on its platform and Instagram in the lead up to election day.

However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the social network would ban new political adverts in the week before November 3.

Rob Leathern, director of product management at Facebook, added the company would also ban adverts that tried to delegitimise the outcome of the election, such as calling a method of voting fraudulent or corrupt.

But aside from these exceptions, both Trump and Joe Biden have heavily invested in Facebook advertising, more than doubling ad spending on the social network compared with the presidential candidates in the 2016 race.

Since January 1, Biden has narrowly outspent his Republican rival, investing $101 million (€86 million) on Facebook advertising on his dedicated campaign pages, compared to Trump’s $93.5 million (€80 million).

In the last week of October, the difference was even more dramatic, with the Democrat candidate more than doubling the investment of Trump.

From October 25 to October 31, Biden’s pages spent $9.01 million (€7,68 million) to Trump’s $4.50 million (€3.84 million).

Meanwhile, campaign pages for Democrat vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris have also outspent incumbent Vice-President Mike Pence on Facebook advertising in 2020.

Google decided to limit the reach of political adverts on the search engine in November 2019, preventing campaigns from targeting ads based on users’ internet search preferences and viewing history on YouTube.

On Google, it is Trump who has invested more in ads, while the two campaigns have spent a combined $215.5 million (€183.7 million) since May 2018.

Where were these ads targeted?

In the last month, both parties have heavily invested their campaign funds into online ads for specific US states, many of which are seen as crucial swing states.

Trump and Biden have each spent more than $1.50 million (€1.28 million) on Facebook ads in Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Arizona since October 1.

Unsurprisingly the most lucrative US state is Florida, where many critics are hinging the election result on, with just a few points predicted to separate the two candidates.

In the last month, political ads on Facebook in Florida have cost Biden $6.0 million (€5.1 million) and Trump $4.8 million (€4.1 million) respectively.

Euronews has found that many of these adverts are also individually focused on political issues that had been searched for on Google.

Trump’s most interacted advert on Facebook – 15% of which was released in Florida – issued a clear message to encourage unity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ad featured the US president speaking after he had left Walter Reed Hospital following his own treatment for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Biden’s campaign has run ads with pledges to tackle social injustice and unemployment, alongside a straightforward message that the Democrats “have to get this guy out of [the White House”.

While these figures provide only an indication of the campaigns, experts agreed that Trump outperformed Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton online in 2016, and the online campaign has been a central focus for both parties in the race for the White House.





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Great Insight Into Goering’s Admirable Nuremberg Testimony (Russian Talk Show)



Great talk show TV from Russia. The officer explains that Stalin insisted that Nazi war criminals receive a trial rather than be immediately executed, to the consternation of Churchill and De Gaulle.

The Nuremberg trials allowed a remarkable speech by Nazi leader Göring, who was a brilliant orator, in which he pointed out Western hypocrisy over racial war crimes: the Allies, after all, maintained their own form of racism in their colonies, and the Americans practiced segregation. Who were they to lecture Germans on racial oppression?

The wily Stalin new this would come up, and looked forward to scoring propaganda points against his hypocritical and cynical allies.

Göring’s speech so impressed the American sergeant guarding him, that he procured the poison with which Goring took his own life, avoiding the humiliation of a public hanging.

The officer (high-ranking, retired), Yakov Kedmi, then goes on to talk about how the US had no reservations of committing heinous war crimes in Vietnam, and that Colin Powell, a young major at the time, argued that war crimes trials were not needed for what happened in Vietnam.

He then goes on at some length about how and why so many high-level Nazis were protected by the US so that they would help the Americans in the impending cold war with the Soviet Union.

This is a long (11 minutes) and fascinating peak into great Russian TV. Good stuff.

Yakov Kedmi, Social Activist (Israel):

– Actually, I get angry when people talk about history and pretend to be truth-seekers, ostensibly objective, yet avoid or cover up certain facts. Talking about the Nuremberg trials. The Nuremberg trials were a result of a single person’s will. His name was Joseph Stalin.

If it weren’t for him, these trials wouldn’t have taken place. You can think whatever you want of Stalin, but hushing up this fact is nothing but falsifying history. That’s not how history should be studied. Whatever people say. It was his idea.

For several years. He imposed his will on the entire Soviet administration and those who didn’t want the trials to take place. Because he said, “They can be killed. But they have to be tried in court.” He was the first one in the world to demand a trial for them. Not representatives of the democratic US. Not the democratic UK, let France alone.

When people talk about it and don’t mention this, it’s dishonest from an intellectual point of view. You cannot do that. Whoever the person is.

Second. The trials didn’t condemn Nazism. They condemned German Nazism. Why? And here’s something to be said about the American army. In his speech, Göring – being charged with a racial approach — said, “You’re condemning a racial approach?”

He talked about the American army. He talked about antisemitism in Europe. He talked about the way other nations are treated. They didn’t want the trials. Because they were colonial countries. They owned Africa. It was not in their interest. How could they have condemned racial discrimination?

Consider the way Belgians treated Africans! That’s why they didn’t condemn it.

And another thing happened for the same reason. Why didn’t they condemn the Wehrmacht? For a simple reason. By the way, Göring, with his masterfully written speech, won himself that poison. An American sergeant who was guarding him was impressed by that speech and developed big respect for him. And he brought him the poison.

Why wasn’t the Wehrmacht condemned? Because at that time, some German generals were sitting down with American and British generals and planning a war against the Soviet Union. They couldn’t do it. They needed them!

Who became the head of the BND, the intelligence service founded later? Gehlen? An officer of the Abwehr’s Soviet department.

– The head.

– Of the foreign eastern army.

– Not an officer, the head of the department.

– The head of the department. He was in charge of it. They needed the Wehrmacht. That’s why they couldn’t try it. That’s why they didn’t condemn it. That’s why Canada accepted the biggest number of Nazi criminals. And then America.

– Not the biggest number.

– And that’s why the US, not to mention the Pope and the Catholics… Mostly through Croatia, everyone was going to Latin America. And no one was paying any attention to it. All Nazi criminals.

And…

The Nuremberg trials were supposed to lay the foundation of the International Court of Justice. Who was the first one to say, “We are above the International Court?” The United States of America. They didn’t need the International Court. That’s why they cannot be tried.

That’s another goal that wasn’t achieved by these trials. They only solved the problem of German Nazism. Not of the other kinds. Other Nazisms are okay. And that’s why they are okay today.

And another point. Every soldier decides for himself what is a crime against humanity. It’s his decision. Shooting at a child is a crime. So is shooting at a woman. So is shooting at an unarmed man. So is killing a prisoner of war. Those are crimes. Everyone decides for himself.

But whether he’ll be found guilty is another matter. It’s between him and his conscience. And then it’s up to court. That’s another problem that wasn’t solved in the Nuremberg trials. I know only one army where it’s like that. It’s our army.

– Israel.

– Following a criminal order makes you a war criminal. You cannot say, “I was ordered to.” That’s a war crime.

– Time.

– You’re absolutely right. But the Israeli army took that from the Nuremberg trials.

– That’s true. But that was just for two years.

– One of the officers, who back then was a major – it happened in his area of operation – said, “Whatever. There’s no need for a trial.” What was his name?

– I don’t remember.

I do. It was Colin Powell. He said there was no need for a trial. Back then, he and others said, “There’s no need. Why? That’s a common thing.” But the decorations weren’t stripped because of the Vietnamese, who they didn’t regard as humans, but because they said, “We died and became disabled…”

And you lost the war. Because that’s what you decided. No one in the US protested for the Vietnamese, for murdered women and kids, for burnt villages. They were afraid for their life.

– Yakov, how many Vietnamese did the Americans kill when they had to retreat? But we are digressing from the topic.

– What Vietnamese?

– Southern Vietnamese.

– Right. And how much did they pay to Northern Vietnam for the heinous destruction and the use of chemical weapons?

– I don’t think they paid anything.

– Exactly. They didn’t. That’s your answer.

– But the American society figured out the Vietnamese war. There’s Apocalypse Now and many other movies.

– You’ll like this one better. Kelly served how much? Three and a half years? But on house arrest. That’s right.

The goal of those trials was to declare the German ideology criminal, to declare aggression against other countries criminal and to define certain activities as international crimes. Like, for example, killing civilians, killing people on racial grounds, destroying cities, bombings and so on. And it’s all ended… Germany was set straight in those trials. The leaders were hung.

But what wasn’t talked about… In the West, private property is sacred. So it wasn’t confiscated from Krupp and others. The property that kept Germany going. Factories where prisoners were working.

– Confiscated partially.

– Volkswagen now remembered under pressure. It’s going to pay some small money. That didn’t happen. No decision was made about what to do with former Nazis. With former SS members. What should be done with collaborationists? Nothing. What’s the point in trying them?

Let every country decide for itself. France dealt with Petain on its own. Some were dealt with in Norway. So it was a partial solution. The key idea of those trials was to prevent similar phenomena in the future.

But a short time later, France, who was a part of those trials, started a war in Vietnam. Against Vietnam. Then the Korean war, it’s another deal. Then the US started a war in Vietnam.

So the main goal was to prevent aggression of one country against another one. Prevent bombing civilians, destroying civilians, using unconventional methods.

All of that was forgotten in just 10 years. And it continues to this day. So they just put a comma at the defeat of Nazi Germany. Nothing more. How many Nazis were convicted? 32 thousand.

Today, in the West and in my country too, much to my shame, there is Demenyk’s festival. And the man in charge of that camp, how many years did he serve? Less than 10 years, I believe. There was amnesty. He got out. He’s getting a pension from the government. Everything’s okay.

They found some guard in the US and pinned everything on him. Like it was said recently, they caught the biggest criminal. When he was 18, he was an accountant’s assistant in a concentration camp. He’s barely moving now. But we’re gonna try him to prove to the whole world that we are fighting Nazism.

They turned it into a tacky comedy which is completely irrelevant. And next to that, Nazis are walking freely. SS is a criminal organization, right? But do SS member receive pensions? They do. And not only in Germany. In the Baltic states. In all the countries they’ve been to. What country didn’t have an SS branch? They were everywhere.

So from a historical point of view, at that point in time, some things were done. But as Arkady Raikin said, “There’s something. But it’s not good enough.”



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Bp’s Vice President Technology Insight Wants To Unmask The Stigma Around Disabilities


As we move toward an ever-increasing digitized world, some people may find technology intimidating or even intrusive. Angela McKane, bp’s Vice President – Technology Insight, has a clear-cut message that couldn’t come at a more portentous time: technology has the power to save lives. It saved hers.

“Energy is fundamental to life.” And while it may not be thought of as being at the forefront of technology, McKane says, “It’s one of the most cutting-edge industries there is, precisely because the world is going through such change, and we need a source of energy for pretty much everything we do.”

McKane heads a team of about 10 analysts spread around the globe, providing bp with 24/7 coverage, which entails conducting a lot of research, using the best analytic tools and the latest techniques for technology, helping mine large data sets.

“We’re basically an inhouse competitive intelligence function, with a very strong technology lens. We’re looking at disruptive technologies that might impact our business in either a positive or negative way. We do a lot of horizon scanning – what’s coming in the future, looking at what our competitors are doing with new technologies, and keeping a keen eye on the innovation landscape externally. In other words, everything going on around startups, digital tech, the changing face of providing energy to the world through technologies. All of it is ultimately in pursuit of bp’s business development, and future investment decisions, and our ambition to reach net zero by 2050 or sooner.”

Calling it “the most exciting field anyone could work in,” McKane says she could talk about it endlessly. But there’s something else she is equally passionate about. Companies are embracing diversity and inclusion in a big way – and realizing the critical importance of equity – but McKane, who was born with a connective tissue disorder that necessitated major heart surgery in 2006, says, “Diversity and inclusion are wonderful concepts but – and this is true of any word – when you hear them so many times, you start to zone out. It’s just the way the brain works. You need to bring yourself back and ask, ‘What are we really talking about here, and what is it we want to achieve?’” Maybe because it is wisdom born from personal experience, she speaks to that longing in all of us. “It’s about fostering a sense of belonging.”

McKane discovered early on from a playground bully, “Some people will try to subjugate you on the basis of difference.” While she countered with her wit and intelligence, she internalized the message that, “I perceived this to be my weak point and, therefore, I should do everything in my power to hide that, to mask it, to always play aggressively to my strengths. I thought that was a winning strategy. It worked on the playground and actually, to some extent, it does work in real life.”

“But the problem, of course, is that you’re not really being true to yourself. There’s a fundamental aspect of yourself that you’re feeling ashamed of; you’re carrying that with you all the time. And, to be honest, I think I’ve been carrying that with me until about two years ago,” says McKane, who turned 40 in January.

In fact, McKane even went to the extreme of not taking advantage of help that was available to her. She never disclosed her medical diagnosis, didn’t check any equal opportunity forms – “Anything I could mask, I would. I wanted absolute assurance that I was being considered on an equal basis to all other candidates. It’s partly the internalized ableism or not wanting to be seen that way as well.”

“I used to think that was me doing the right thing. ‘I’ve got away with it again, and I haven’t had to disclose that.’ I’m learning that, actually, the opposite is true, and that it’s much more powerful to be vulnerable and to show people your authentic self. People really warm to you; your relationships get stronger. Opportunities start coming your way.”

“In the disability community, people know what it’s like to be looked at and immediately underestimated. Not [necessarily] out of malice; often it’s unconscious bias. But I was hyperaware of that from a very young age because I’d been on the receiving end of it. So, that’s probably where my passion for D&I comes from.”

Having made the decision to be vulnerable, and to be open about her medical condition, has empowered McKane to become an advocate and ally for others, not just those with different abilities, but anyone outside the dominant group in industry. This June, she gave a speech on “Genes, Memes and Clever Machines – Disability Rights Reach New Lows and New Heights” at the (Not IRL) Pride Summit held by Lesbians Who Tech.

While McKane says she is “well versed” in what it’s like to be disabled and navigating the world from that perspective, she acknowledges there are plenty of other life experiences she doesn’t have personally.

“A perfect example would be right now with the global pandemic. Suddenly, many of us are working from home and that affects everyone differently. I have a heart condition, and obviously I don’t want to get COVID-19. Other members of my team have elderly parents; some have kids they have to homeschool. Every single one of us has a different impact from this. I think you’re being ‘meaningfully inclusive’ when you put in the effort to be consciously aware of the people around you. It actually does take effort from all of us, and that can be the difference.”

The turmoil and unpredictability of COVID-19 have added a never-before seen element, in addition to the energy industry being in a major down cycle at the moment, and yet McKane still says, “The industry is a great place to be right now. It’s perfect timing because there’s so much going on with digital tech, in particular. And that’s empowering a lot of change in the organization. Oil and gas companies are requiring different skill sets and very digitally-savvy individuals for roles around data science, and all kinds of technology-enabled innovations that will pioneer the low carbon energy solutions of the future. That’s really what providing energy to the world is about over the decades to come.”



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Web resources bring new insight into COVID-19


This 3D illustration reveals structural details of coronavirus. Credit: CDC

Researchers around the world are a step closer to a better understanding of the intricacies of COVID-19 thanks to two new web resources developed by investigators at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of California San Diego. The resources are freely available through the Signaling Pathways Project (Baylor) and the Network Data Exchange (UCSD). They put at researchers’ fingertips information about cellular genes whose expression is affected by coronavirus infection and place these data points in the context of the complex network of host molecular signaling pathways. Using this resource has the potential to accelerate the development of novel therapeutic strategies. The study appears in the journal Scientific Data.

“Our motivation for developing this resource is to contribute to making research about COVID-19 more accessible to the scientific community. When researchers have to each other’s work, discoveries move forward more efficiently,” said leading author Dr. Neil McKenna, associate professor of molecular and and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor.

The Signaling Pathway Project

For years, the scientific community has been generating and archiving molecular datasets documenting how genes are expressed as cells conduct their normal functions, or in association with disease. However, usually this information is not easily accessible.

In 2019, McKenna and his colleagues developed the Signaling Pathways Project, a web-based platform that integrates molecular datasets published in the scientific literature into consensus regulatory signatures, or what they are calling consensomes, that rank genes according to their rates of differential expression.

In the current study, the researchers generated consensomes for genes affected by infection with three major coronaviruses, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses 1 (SARS1) and 2 (SARS2, which causes COVID-19).

McKenna and his colleagues provide a resource that assists researchers in making the most out of coronavirus’ datasets. The resource identifies the genes whose expression is most consistently affected by the infection and integrates those responses with data about the cells’ molecular signaling pathways, in a sense getting a better picture of what happens inside a cell infected by coronavirus and how the cell responds.

“The collaboration with UCSD makes our analyses available as intuitive Cytoscape-style networks,” says McKenna. “Because using these resources does not require training in meta-analysis, they greatly lower the barriers to usability by bench researchers.”

Providing new insights into COVID-19

The consensus strategy, the researchers explain, can bring to light previously unrecognized links or provide further support for suspected connections between and human signaling pathways, ultimately simplifying the generation of hypotheses to be tested in the laboratory.

For example, the connection between pregnancy and susceptibility to COVID-19 has been difficult to evaluate due to lack of clinical data, but McKenna and colleagues’ approach has provided new insights into this puzzle.

“We found evidence that progesterone receptor signaling antagonizes SARS2-induced inflammatory signaling mediated by interferon in the airway epithelium. This finding suggests the hypothesis that the suppression of the interferon response to SARS2 infection by elevated circulating progesterone during pregnancy may contribute to the asymptomatic clinical course,” McKenna said.

Consistent with their hypothesis, while this paper was being reviewed, a clinical trial was launched to evaluate progesterone as a treatment for COVID-19 in men.


New insights into the cellular response to SARS-CoV-2 infection


More information:
Scientific Data, DOI: 10.1038/s41597-020-00628-6

Citation:
Web resources bring new insight into COVID-19 (2020, September 22)
retrieved 22 September 2020
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