Ahead of Bangladesh vote, opposition says it faces ‘a reign of terror’

Bangladesh has a general election this weekend, but opposition candidate Abdul Moyeen Khan says he has yet to hold a single public meeting in his constituency about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Dhaka, the capital. source https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bangladesh-election-violence-insight/ahead-of-bangladesh-vote-opposition-says-it-faces-a-reign-of-terror-idUSKCN1OR0KO?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Italy PM defends budget as tempers fray in parliament

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday vigorously defended the government’s 2019 budget as parliament held an acrimonious debate on the package, which needs to be approved by the end of the year to take effect on Jan. 1. source https://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-politics-conte/italy-pm-defends-budget-as-tempers-fray-in-parliament-idUSKCN1OR166?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Congo election preparations shaky, monitors say, with opposition ahead

Polling stations in Democratic Republic of Congo are ill-prepared for Sunday’s presidential election, diplomats and an observer mission said, as new polling showed opposition candidate Martin Fayulu favored to win. source https://www.reuters.com/article/us-congo-election-fayulu/congo-election-preparations-shaky-monitors-say-with-opposition-ahead-idUSKCN1OR0LQ?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Taliban seeks image makeover as Afghan peace talks gain momentum

As moves toward peace pick up in Afghanistan, the Taliban are trying to show they have changed since the brutal days of the 1990s when they banned music and girls’ education and carried out public executions in Kabul’s football stadium. source https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-taliban-image/taliban-seeks-image-makeover-as-afghan-peace-talks-gain-momentum-idUSKCN1OR0NJ?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

UK’s Royal Mail sorry for D-Day landings stamp blunder

Britain’s Royal Mail apologized on Friday after historians pointed out that a stamp design it planned to issue to commemorate the D-Day landings in France in fact showed U.S. troops going ashore thousands of miles away weeks earlier. source https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-stamps-dday/uks-royal-mail-sorry-for-d-day-landings-stamp-blunder-idUSKCN1OR13S?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Islamists kill at least 10 in bid to capture northeast Nigerian lake town: residents

Islamist militants and Nigerian troops have been fighting around a fishing town on Lake Chad as the insurgents step up attacks in the run-up to a presidential election in which security is a campaign issue, the army and residents said. source https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nigeria-politics-insurgency/islamists-kill-at-least-10-in-bid-to-capture-northeast-nigerian-lake-town-residents-idUSKCN1OR12Y?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Russia and Britain to start returning diplomats in January: TASS

Moscow and London have reached an agreement to return some staff to their respective embassies after they expelled dozens of diplomats early this year, TASS news agency reported on Friday, citing the Russian envoy to the UK. source https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-russia-diplomacy/russia-and-britain-to-start-returning-diplomats-in-january-tass-idUSKCN1OR12O?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Shot in the back: the dangers of being an opposition candidate in Bangladesh

At a library inside a small district court in southeastern Bangladesh, barrister Mahabub Uddin Khokon stood up to take off his coat and scrunched his white shirt up to his shoulders to reveal a back covered in bandages over several shotgun pellet wounds. Settling back into an office chair, the 62-year-old smiled. source https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bangladesh-election-violence-candidat/shot-in-the-back-the-dangers-of-being-an-opposition-candidate-in-bangladesh-idUSKCN1OR11G?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Brexit won’t affect Spain-based Britons’ rights, PM Sanchez says

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez sought on Friday to reassure Britons living in Spain, saying their rights would remain unchanged after Britain’s exit from the European Union. source https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-europe-spain/brexit-wont-affect-spain-based-britons-rights-pm-sanchez-says-idUSKCN1OR0WE?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Pro-Brexit London hedge-fund manager Odey sees full-year profit cut in half

The right-wing hedge-fund manager Crispin Odey, who backed the “leave” side of the referendum on continued U.K. membership in the European Union, has seen profits more than halved at boutique investment house Odey Asset Management. source http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B29A85E28-0AAD-11E9-9CD2-CEEBBD1A7D6E%7D&siteid=rss&rss=1

Economic Report: Pending home sales slump again in November as housing market faces big chill

Pending sales of homes in the U.S. fell again in November to a four-year low in another sign of a widespread weakness in the real estate market that’s likely to continue into 2019. source http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B3069BE0E-0A18-11E9-9CD2-CEEBBD1A7D6E%7D&siteid=rss&rss=1

Tesla’s addition of Larry Ellison to board is a ‘home run appointment’, analyst says

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Global Chief Human Resources Officer Kathleen Wilson-Thompson will be the “second impressive” independent director, said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, a longtime Tesla bull. source http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B763FB492-0AAE-11E9-9CD2-CEEBBD1A7D6E%7D&siteid=rss&rss=1

Economic Report: Chicago PMI shows region’s economy remains hot as 2018 winds down

A survey of business conditions in the Chicago area that’s often a signpost for the broader U.S. economy showed strong, if slightly softer, growth in the final month of 2018. source http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B7F9773E6-0A12-11E9-9CD2-CEEBBD1A7D6E%7D&siteid=rss&rss=1

New World Development wins right to design, build and run Hong Kong’s HK$30 billion Kai Tak Sports Park

Hong Kong’s long-awaited and much-touted HK$30 billion sports complex planned for the site of the former Kai Tak airport will be designed, built and run by a subsidiary of local property developer New World Development, officials said on Friday. The announcement follows years of wrangling over costs, designs and how much control the government should […]

Hong Kong’s Law Society stalls on its controversial qualifying exam while remains committed to the plan

The Hong Kong solicitors’ organisation softened its push for a new and controversial qualifying exam and dropped the original schedule to launch in the new year, it emerged on Friday. The Law Society, however, “remained committed” to the idea and would not rule out pressing on the examination for lawyers-to-be anytime beyond 2020, one legal […]

Hong Kong to strengthen measures against African swine fever, after pressure from local farmers

Hong Kong will strengthen its protections against African swine fever after officials came under pressure from farmers amid fears of local infection. The new measures, in response to the virus’ spread across mainland China, will include stricter rules on culling livestock and a consideration of faster turnover at the government-run slaughterhouse. Thomas Sit Hon-chung, assistant […]

Nigeria: 700 Bags of Cement Responsible for Collapse of 7-Storey Building in Rivers – Commissioner

[Vanguard] Port Harcourt -The Commissioner for Special Duties in Rivers State, Dr. John Bazia, has said that the seven-storey building which collapsed in Port Harcourt on November 23, 2018, was because of over 700 bags of cement stacked in the building. source https://allafrica.com/stories/201812280287.html

Better mouse model built to enable precision-medicine research for Alzheimer’s

https://ift.tt/eA8V8J Incorporating genetic diversity into a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease resulted in greater overlap with the genetic, molecular and clinical features of this pervasive human disease, according to a new study. Vía Latest Science News — ScienceDaily http://bit.ly/2RowUwQ

Secondhand smoke and cardiac arrhythmia

https://ift.tt/eA8V8J Continuous indoor exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke triggers changes in the heart’s electrical activity, known as cardiac alternans, that can predict cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death, a new study shows. The authors believe the study, conducted in mice, suggests that secondhand smoke exposure alters cells that regulate how the heart beats. Vía Latest […]

Long-term memory encoding engram neurons are established by the transcriptional cycling

https://ift.tt/eA8V8J Long-term memory (LTM) is formed by repetitive training trials with rest intervals and LTM formation requires transcription factors, including CREB and c-Fos. Researchers found that ERK activity is increased during rest intervals to induce transcriptional cycling between c-Fos and CREB in a subset of mushroom body neurons. Significantly, LTM is encoded in these mushroom […]

Electronics of the future: A new energy-efficient mechanism using the Rashba effect

https://ift.tt/eA8V8J Scientists have proposed new quasi-1D materials for potential spintronic applications, an upcoming technology that exploits the spin of electrons. They performed simulations to demonstrate the spin properties of these materials and explained the mechanisms behind their behavior. Vía Latest Science News — ScienceDaily http://bit.ly/2Ajsvlp

Hybrid qubits solve key hurdle to quantum computing

https://ift.tt/eA8V8J Researchers have crafted a new architecture for quantum computing. By constructing a hybrid device made from two different types of qubit — the fundamental computing element of quantum computers — they have created a device that can be quickly initialized and read out, and that simultaneously maintains high control fidelity. Vía Latest Science News […]

Sound changes the way rodents sense touch

https://ift.tt/eA8V8J Researchers report how the somatosensory cortex interprets tactile and auditory stimulation in mice and rats. They show that the barrel cortex response to auditory and tactile stimuli is additive, but also with different electrophysiological properties. The study provides new insights on how multimodal senses are interpreted by the brain. Vía Latest Science News — […]

Bacteria found in ancient Irish soil halts growth of superbugs: New hope for tackling antibiotic resistance

https://ift.tt/eA8V8J Researchers analyzing soil from Ireland long thought to have medicinal properties have discovered that it contains a previously unknown strain of bacteria which is effective against four of the top six superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, including MRSA. Antibiotic-resistant superbugs could kill up to 1.3 million people in Europe by 2050, according to […]