Effect of Heavy Metals and Other Xenobiotics on Biodegradation of Waste Canola Oil by Cold-Adapted Rhodococcus sp. AQ5-07

first_imgThe Antarctic is generally considered to be one of the most pristine areas in the world. However, both long and short-range pollutants are now known to be present in the Antarctic environment. Canola oil is an example of a polluting hydrocarbon that can be accidentally released into the Antarctic environment in oil wastewater treatment plants. The Antarctic soil bacterial strain Rhodococcus sp. AQ5-07, known to be capable of using waste canola oil (WCO) as its sole source of carbon, was tested for its ability to degrade canola oil in the presence of different heavy metals and xenobiotics. Rhodococcus sp. AQ5-07 was grown on minimum salt media containing different heavy metals (Zn, Co, Ni, Ag, Pb, Cu, Cr, Hg, Cd and As), xenobiotics (acrylamide and phenol) supplemented with 3% WCO. Three out of the 10 heavy metals tested (Hg, Cd and Ag) led a significant reduction in canola oil degradation at a concentration of 1 ppm. The IC50 values of Hg, Cd and Ag were 0.38, 0.45 and 0.32 ppm, respectively. The strain could also withstand 10 mg/L acrylamide, 50 mg/L phenol and 0.5% (v/v) diesel. This study confirmed the ability of Rhodococcus sp. AQ5-07 to degrade canola oil in the presence of various heavy metals and other xenobiotics, supporting its potential use in bioremediation of vegetable oil and wastewater treatments in low temperature environments.last_img read more

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Special honour for Pinteresque pretensions

first_imgControversial, out-spoken and recently described as “a fully paid-up member of the awkward squad”, Harold Pinter was never going to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature quietly. While he made off with the hefty $1.3m prize, others began to question whether it was his plays or his political posturing which landed him the title of Nobel Laureate.On 13 October, Pinter became the first Brit to take the coveted award since VS Naipul in 2001. He had not been considered a frontrunner in the competition, with rumours tipping Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, Syrian poet Adonis and American writer Joyce Carol Oates. Pinter, who celebrated his 75th birthday this week, is undeniably one of the foremost representativesof modern British drama. But despite his near-celebrity status his plays have not always achieved the commercial success of his contemporaries, meaning that many of his works still have to be performed in subsidised theatres.The difficulty with Pinter’s plays is that the distinctive ‘Pinteresque’ style, for which he is so famous, seems to be created by the simple trick of withholding basic information, lendinghis humdrum dialogue an aura of elusive significance. In an attempt to develop an atmosphere of enigma and vague menace, Pinter creates a sense of detachment and rigorous control, rendering his characters little more than specimens in his theatrical experiment. Of course he has had dramatic hits, most notably with his early work, The Caretaker, a gritty, kitchen-sink style comedy which has spawned a generation of copycat recreations, but his later works have failed to similarly inspire audiences.This is not the first time that the Nobel committee has honoured a controversial playwright. Just last year, Austria’s rather unpopular Elfriede Jelinek took the prize much to the consternation of many of her countrymen, who were offended by her known hostility to the ruling right-wing Freedom Party. A cynic might note a political pattern emerging and one cannot help but think that the Swedish Nobel committee, a famously peace-loving country whose people, if not their government, were extremely vocal in their anti-Iraq war protests, would be impressed by Pinter, a man who has extolled pacifist, anti-American sentiments in the British House of Commons.Indeed, his hatred of America seems to verge on the pathological and in a speech made in October 2002 he claimed “the American elephant… has grown to be a monster of grotesque and obscene proportions”.Born in Hackney on 10 October 1930, Pinter was prosecuted for being a conscientious objector in 1949 when he refused to carry out National Service, and since then he has become increasingly vocal about his vehement opposition to Western imperialism and destruction. The American right-wingers are predictably unimpressed, with one pro-Bush website making the delightful understatement, “Pinter is not our kind of guy”. Pinter’s politics are hardly unusual within the predominantly liberal, left-wing luvvie community. The majority of modern British playwrights are notable for a dogged politicisation of their plays, to the extent that dramatistslike Tom Stoppard are criticised for not being political enough. There are many who hold with Pinter’s political views and few would deny him the right to speak out against the atrocities of war, but the fact remains that whether it was intended or not, the Nobel committee made a highly politicised choice of Laureate this year. However, perhaps the extremity of Pinter’s politics would be less significant if his literary canon was able to support the magnitude of the prestigious Nobel Prize alone.ARCHIVE: 2nd week MT 2005last_img read more

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Unemployment Insurance At Historic Lows In Indiana

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Unemployment Insurance at Historic Lows in IndianaMARCH 23RD, 2018  TYRONE MORRIS INDIANA Indiana’s unemployment rate continues to fall. The Hoosier state’s unemployment insurance claims are also at historic lows.For February, Indiana’s jobless rate was 3.2 percent. The national average is 4.1 percent.The state’s total labor force stands at more than 3.3 million, and Indiana is enjoying a nearly 64 percent labor participation rate which is also better than the national average.Construction and trade, transportation and utilities saw the biggest gains.Tyrone MorrisWeb ProducerMore Posts – WebsiteFollow Me:TwitterFacebooklast_img read more

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Entry list for Nationwide race at Indianapolis

first_imgREAD MORE: FULL SERIES COVERAGE• View all articles • View all videos • View all photos The NASCAR Nationwide Series is at the Brickyard this weekend. Click here to see the entry list for the Indianapolis 250. READ: First-half season awards READ: Memorable moments of the first halfcenter_img READ: Eldora qualifying procedures explained The NASCAR Nationwide series returns for the Indianapolis 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway READ: Complete coverage from Chicagolandlast_img

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Papadosio’s Two-Night ‘Rave From The Grave’ To Pay Tribute To 90’s Electronic Pioneers

first_imgEarlier this summer, Papadosio performed their second-ever headlining performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, marking yet another major success in the band’s consistent upward trajectory within the scene. Now, the group is getting ready to return to Colorado for an intimate multi-night Halloween weekend run dubbed Rave From The Grave, which will take place at the Boulder Theater on Friday, October 27th, and Saturday, October 28th. For the run, Papadosio will be supported by Colorado’s own DYNOHUNTER on the 27th and Bass Physics on the 28th. You can get your tickets at the Boulder Theater website here.At Rave From The Grave, Papadosio is going to pay homage to some of the 90’s and early 2000’s electronic pioneers that influenced their own sound, pulling from the catalogs of some familiar acts. In addition to the cover songs, the band will also be performing classics from their own songbook. While each night will feature monstrous sets from the Asheville, North Carolina-based progressive space rock act, in true Papadosio fashion, the band will continue to focus on musical exploratoration during this musical resurrection.Boulder’s own DYNOHUNTER will be providing a special hometown support set for Papadosio on the Friday night portion of this killer two-night run. The live trio’s house and techno leanings have made DYNOHUNTER an undeniable and organic force to be reckoned with. Featuring consistently tight grooves and with a focus on danceable beats, the act is well-versed in the sounds of 90’s electronic pioneers and will be a welcome addition to Friday’s bill.Denver-based producer Arja Adair, also known as Bass Physics, is known for the positive energy of his sets, which are frequently infused with soulful electronic beats and backed by live guitar and keys. Bass Physics has made multiple appearances at the massive annual Decadence New Year’s Eve event, while also taking it deep to crowds at Electric Forest and Austin’s Euphoria Festival.Two-day passes to Papadosio’s Rave from the Grave at the Boulder Theater have already sold out, though single-day tickets are currently on-sale. You can purchase tickets for the 27th here and 28th here. For additional information and show updates, join the Facebook Event page.[Cover photo courtesy of  The Chronic Electronic via Papadosio FB page]Enter To Win A Pair Of Tickets + Meet and Greet + Merch Package Below!last_img read more

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Holiday Spending

first_imgThe holiday shopping season starts earlier every year. Long before Thanksgiving dinner has been reduced to leftovers, shoppers will be looking for bargains.Serious bargain hunters get excited about all the sales on the day after Thanksgiving. To make the most of the big day, they sort through advertisements and go online to compare prices. They plan to hit stores for time-specific sales and map out routes to cut down on time wasted in traffic or looking for a parking spot.Many others avoid the chaos by shopping early or online, and still others get caught up in the moment, joining the spending frenzy with no plan or shopping list.While shopping smart is important every month, the stakes are especially high after Thanksgiving. Start holiday shopping early. With a little forethought, even procrastinators can benefit from these shopping tips.Spend SmartDevelop a spending plan for the holidays. No one wants to start the New Year facing a huge credit card bill. Know how much money you can reasonably afford to spend and make a budget.A holiday spending plan is not just about the gifts. Remember to include parties, greeting cards and postage, charitable giving, clothes to wear to holiday functions and other things that add joy to the holiday season.Be creative. Belt tightening is in, and wasteful spending is out. Remember, the thought is what counts. Homemade gifts, whether food, clothing or crafts, may be appreciated more than something purchased at a local big-box store. Gifts of time for babysitting, car washing or house cleaning are also good options.Think carefully about each and every purchase. At the store, keep the spending plan and shopping list in hand. Avoid making a spur-of-the-moment decision about an item.Use sales circulars and advertisements to plan purchases. Compare offerings from different stores to find the best deals. Once a particular item is selected, compare features, quality, prices, installation charges, delivery and service. Sometimes the cost to use and maintain an item makes selecting a more expensive model the cheaper option.Conserve GasolineAvoid running from store to store. Instead, use your phone and the internet to scout price information before heading out. You may consider directly shipping gifts to out-of-town friends and family instead of buying them and shipping them yourself.  Shop online to locate special or unique gifts. Use a secure browser, shop with known companies and keep your passwords creative and private. Pay particular attention to shipping charges. Be sure to print out receipts and keep records of purchases.The best deals may come late in the season, and shoppers can wait for last-minute price cuts for items that are not in short supply. Retailers have rolled out holiday items earlier than ever this year, so the sales may also start earlier too.Expect to pay a fair and reasonable price for goods and services. Bargains that sound too good to be true are usually just that. Read labels, seals, tags and instruction booklets. Ask questions about the product. Ask questions about each store’s return policies, and save your receipts.Overspending can ruin the holidays and the months that follow. Plan ahead and stick to the plan. Spending only as much as you can afford will make the holidays better for all.last_img read more

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CRS report looks at worker participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans

first_img 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dennis Zuehlke Dennis is Compliance Manager for Ascensus. Mr. Zuehlke provides clients with technical support on tax-advantaged accounts (including individual retirement accounts, health savings accounts, simplified employee pension plans, and Coverdell education … Web: www.ascensus.com Details As Congress sets its sights on tax reform, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has prepared a new report that focuses on worker participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans. The report provides data on the percentage of U.S. workers who have access to and participate in employer-sponsored pension plans. It is certain to pique Congress’ interest, as it scrutinizes the effectiveness of tax-advantaged savings plans as part of overall tax reform.The CRS report, prepared for members of Congress, is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and uses data from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which looks at employer costs for employee compensation and the availability of employee benefits among U.S. workers. The report looks at access to and participation in both defined benefit and defined contribution plans. In recent decades, defined contribution plans have become the dominant employer-sponsored retirement plan in the private sector. The CRS report highlights how this shift from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans affects worker participation in employer-sponsored pension plans. In a defined benefit plan, plan participants receive monthly payments during retirement that are based on a formula that typically uses a combination of length of service, contribution rate, and final years’ salary. In a defined contribution plan—such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan—plan participants contribute a percentage of their salary to an individual account—often with an employer matching contribution—and receive payments during retirement based on the value of their individual account. Unlike a defined benefit plan, in a defined contribution plan, the onus is on the plan participant to contribute to her plan and to direct the plan investments from the options offered by the plan sponsor.The CRS report found that—while not all workers have access to an employer-sponsored pension plan—the percentage of workers who participate in a plan to which they have access differs between defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Among workers who have access to a defined benefit plan, 85 percent participate in the plan. Among workers with access to a defined contribution plan, only 69 percent participate in the plan.There are a number of reasons for lower participation rates among workers with defined contribution plans. Unless the plan has an automatic enrollment feature—workers are automatically enrolled in the plan at a default contribution rate unless they opt out—many workers simply fail to enroll in the plan. And because defined contribution plans are generally funded by contributions from workers, some workers may be unwilling to forgo current income to fund their future retirement. Unfortunately, this means that those workers also forgo any employer matching contributions to the plan, effectively leaving “free money” on the table.A number of other factors also affect participation, including access to an employer-sponsored pension plan. Access to an employer-sponsored pension plan is usually greater for full-time workers, state and local public-sector workers, workers in higher paying occupations, and those employed by larger firms. The CRS report found that these factors significantly affect participation. Key report findings include the following.Participation in employer-sponsored pension plans is greater for full-time workers than part-time workers. Among private-sector workers, 65 percent of full-time workers participate in a pension plan compared to 22 percent of part-time workers. And among state and local public-sector workers, 89 percent of full-time workers participate in a pension plan compared to 34 percent of part-time workers.Participation in employer-sponsored pension plans is greater for state and local public-sector workers than for private-sector workers. For state and local pubic-sector workers, 81 percent of workers participate in the plan, whereas only 54 percent of private-sector workers participate. And unlike private-sector workers, most state and local public-sector workers are more likely to participate in a defined benefit plan rather than a defined contribution plan.Participation in employer-sponsored pension plans is greater for workers in higher paying occupations. Among private-sector workers, 76 percent of workers in occupations with the highest 25 percent of average wages participate in the plan, compared to 22 percent of private-sector workers in occupations with the lowest 25 percent of average wages.Participation in employer-sponsored pension plans is greater for workers employed by larger firms. For example, 76 percent of private-sector workers employed by firms with 500 or more employees participate in the plan, whereas only 33 percent of private-sector workers employed by firms with fewer than 50 employees participate in the plan.This lower participation rate is significant from a public policy standpoint, as the number of Fortune 500 companies sponsoring an open conventional defined benefit plan fell from 50 percent in 1998 to 5 percent in 2015, according to an analysis by Willis Towers Watson. And because part-time workers, lower-paid workers, and workers employed by smaller firms are less likely to have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the public policy implications of their lower participation is likely to be scrutinized by Congress as they assess the overall effectiveness of current tax-advantaged savings policies as part of comprehensive tax reform.Congress has held hearings and proposed approaches to increase retirement savings in the past, but no major federal legislation has been enacted since 2006. Even if Congress does not act now, states are increasingly looking at ways to cover workers who may not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Five states have enacted legislation to provide a state-based automatic IRA program for workers not covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan. And legislation has been introduced in more than two dozen other states to set up or study options for state-based retirement savings programs for workers not covered by employer-sponsored retirement plans.last_img read more

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Steve Bannon makes beheading comment about Fauci on War Room podcast

first_imgFormer top Trump aide Steve Bannon’s podcast was permanently suspended by Twitter and had an episode yanked from YouTube after he implied that FBI Director Christopher Wray and leading government infectious-diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci should be beheaded and have their heads put on pikes outside the White House.Those comments by Bannon on Thursday came while he is free on a $5 million release bond in a federal criminal case in which he is accused of defrauding donors to a nonprofit group purportedly dedicated to building a wall on the southern border of the United States.- Advertisement – “I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England, I’d put the heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you’re gone – time to stop playing games.”“Blow it all up, put Ric Grenell today as the interim head of the FBI, that’ll light them up, right,” Bannon said.Grenell is a hard-core Trump loyalist who served as former acting director of national intelligence and ambassador to Germany.Bannon’s co-host Jack Maxey then said, “You know what, Steve, just yesterday there was the anniversary of the hanging of two Tories in Philadelphia, these were Quaker businessmen who had cohabitated, if you will, with the British while they were occupying Philadelphia.”“These people were hung. This is what we used to do to traitors,” Maxey said.Bannon replied, “That’s how you won the revolution. No one wants to talk about it.”“The [American] revolution wasn’t some sort of garden party, right?” Bannon said. “It was a civil war. It was a civil war.”Twitter said it suspended Bannon’s account because of the remarks on “War Room.”A Twitter spokeperson in a statement said, “The @WarRoomPandemic account has been permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules, specifically our policy on the glorification of violence.”YouTube removed the episode, but other War Room episodes remain available.Alex Joseph, a spokesperson for YouTube, which is owned by Google, said, “We’ve removed this video for violating our policy against inciting violence. We will continue to be vigilant as we enforce our policies in the post-election period.”YouTube has a three-strikes policy before an account is terminated. While the Bannon show’s channel is still available, the strike from this incident temporarily disables uploading for at least a week, according to YouTube.Bannon’s spokeswoman, in an emailed statement, said, “Mr Bannon did not, would not and has never called for violence of any kind.” “Mr. Bannon’s commentary was clearly meant metaphorically. He previously played a clip of St. Thomas More’s trial and was making an allusion to this historical event in Tudor England for rhetorical purposes,” the spokeswoman said.“Mr. Bannon has been openly critical of FBI Director Chris Wray for weeks and has called for his firing for his failure to investigate and address Hunter Biden’s hard drive and that has been in Director Wray’s possession since in Dec 2019,” she said.“In addition, Mr. Bannon has supported comments from the White House calling for the immediate firing of Dr. Fauci.”In a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bannon compared himself to the famous chief minister to England’s King Henry VIII, who had him beheaded.“I am Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors,” Bannon said in that interview.Bannon was arrested Aug. 20 off the coast of Connecticut aboard a 150-yacht owned by Chinese billionaireBannon and three associates, Timothy Shea, Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, are accused of defrauding donors as they raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border for the We Build the Wall nonprofit group.Bannon has pleaded not guilty in the case.He is free on a $5 million bond secured by $1.75 million in cash or property while awaiting his trial, scheduled for next May.Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, after the men were charged, said in a statement, “The defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction.”“While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle.”Prosecutors say Bannon received $1 million in funds from We Build the Wall, and that to divert that money used a separate nonprofit he had already created, whose ostensible purpose was “promoting economic nationalism and American sovereignty.”  A spokeswoman for Bannon said that he was not suggesting that Fauci and Wray actually be beheaded, but was speaking metaphorically by referencing the bloody politics of Tudor-era England. She also said he has “never called for violence of any kind.”A spokesman for prosecutors in the Southern District of New York declined to comment Thursday night when asked whether they will ask a Manhattan federal court judge to either revoke Bannon’s bond, or to issue a gag order on him.Bannon made the remarks about Wray and Fauci on his “War Room: Pandemic” podcast, when he was discussing a hypothetical second term for President Donald Trump.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Bannon ran Trump’s 2016 campaign and served as a senior White House advisor until Trump fired him in August 2017.Bannon during the podcast said, “Second term kicks off with firing Wray, firing Fauci.”“Now I actually want to go a step farther, but I realize the president is a kind-hearted man and a good man,” Bannon continued.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Indonesia’s foreign exchange reserves close to all-time high in January

first_imgThe country’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves rose to near record-high levels in January at US$131.7 billion owing to foreign inflows from global bonds issuances and the oil and gas sector, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced Friday.The current reserves level is close to the record-high of $131.9 billion booked in January 2018. It indicates a $2.5 billion increase from the previous month and is enough to support 7.8 months of imports and 7.5 months of imports and payments of the government’s short-term debt. It was above the international adequacy standards of about three months of imports.The central bank deemed the current reserve level “strong enough” to support the country’s resilience to external factors, as well as to maintain macroeconomic and financial system stability, BI spokesman Onny Widjanarko said in a press statement. Topics : “This is due to flagging growth of major economies and the Federal Reserve’s dovish monetary stance, attracting more capital inflows to emerging markets [Ems] including Indonesia,” said Andry in a research note.The risk, he went on to say, will come from weakening global growth due to the trade war and geopolitical uncertainty, including the fear of the coronavirus outbreak, which will burden Indonesia’s exports.The central bank has injected about Rp 25 trillion (US$1.82 billion) into the country’s financial markets as investors sell off assets over fears that the rapidly spreading coronavirus will hurt the global economy.Read also: BI injects $1.8b to stabilize Indonesian markets as investors flee over coronavirus fearsBI Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Wednesday that the central bank had been buying government bonds to stabilize prices and liquidity as the coronavirus scared off foreign investors.“Do you know how many bonds we have bought from the government with the heavy capital inflow this year? The figure is close to Rp 25 trillion,” Perry said during his remarks at the Mandiri Investment Forum on Wednesday.He said the disturbance the virus was causing was not only happening in the spot market but also in the domestic non-deliverable forwards market.Foreign investors dumped Indonesian stocks on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, recording a Rp 2.07 trillion net selloff in the regular market as of Thursday afternoon.Read also: Indonesian stocks take a hit as global markets grapple with coronavirus concerns “BI is of the view that foreign exchange reserves are adequate, supported by stability and a positive outlook for the economy.”The Finance Ministry issued government bonds (SUN) in January to raise $2 billion and €1 billion ($1.09 billion).Bank Mandiri chief economist Andry Asmoro said forex reserves would reach around $130 billion to $135 billion at the end of 2020, citing external sector resilience and stability. In addition to applying monetary policies, the central bank is cooperating with the government to maintain market stability.“We are working closely with the Finance Ministry to stabilize the market and prevent the short-term impact of the coronavirus,” he said.Factories are closing, and some workers have been told to work from home as the coronavirus outbreak impairs Chinese cities. As of Thursday morning, 563 had died from the illness with 28,256 cases having been reported. The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan. last_img read more

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