Finance Minister Says Government Will Continue to Protect the Poor

first_img Opening the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 8, the Minister said social programmes for protected groups will continue to receive priority with respect to the allocation of resources, to ensure that overall spending in these areas is not eroded by inflation. Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government remains committed to protecting the poor and vulnerable in the society. “We will continue, in fiscal year 2018/19, to strengthen the social safety net to ensure that these vulnerable persons are not left behind,” Mr. Shaw said. Story Highlights Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government remains committed to protecting the poor and vulnerable in the society.Opening the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 8, the Minister said social programmes for protected groups will continue to receive priority with respect to the allocation of resources, to ensure that overall spending in these areas is not eroded by inflation.Included are programmes for youth employment, poor relief, children’s homes and places of safety, school feeding, the elderly, and pregnant and lactating women.“We will continue, in fiscal year 2018/19, to strengthen the social safety net to ensure that these vulnerable persons are not left behind,” Mr. Shaw said.He noted that special attention is being placed on the Programme of Advancment Through Health and Education (PATH), which targets some of the most vulnerable segments of the population – children and students aged zero to 19 years; the adult poor, including the disabled, elderly, pregnant and lactating mothers and the destitute – and the Steps-to-Work Initiative, which targets working-age members of PATH for referral to relevant support services to enable them to seek and retain employment.Mr. Shaw said the programmes have the goal of breaking the chain of inter-generational poverty, adding that this is being achieved by ensuring that the next generation has better tools and better health prospects than their parents.“It also provides for support for those parents who need targeted social interventions to improve their living standards,” the Minister said.Mr. Shaw’s presentation was made under the theme ‘Stability, Growth and Prosperity – Our Goal, Our Responsibility’.last_img read more

Russian researchers create intelligent software system for lung cancer diagnostics

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 1 2019This software analyzes patients’ computed tomography (CT) results within 20 seconds and provides an image in which the pathology is clearly markedResearches from Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), Russian Academic Excellence Initiative participant, in collaboration with the radiologists from St.Petersburg Clinical Research for Specialized Types of Medical Care (Oncological) have developed an intelligent software system for lung cancer diagnostics. This software can be installed on any computer. It analyzes patients’ computed tomography (CT) results within 20 seconds and provides an image in which the pathology is clearly marked. Researchers have named the system Doctor AIzimov (AI for Artificial Intelligence) in honor of the science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov, who developed three famous laws of robotics.At the end of 2018, the first tests of this intelligent system were carried out. The system analyzed anonymized CT images of 60 patients at the Oncological Center. According to the radiologists, the tests were successful, as the system has found focal nodules in lungs of small sizes (2 mm).”Initially, we set up an algorithm to search for nodules starting from 6 millimeters, because radiologists themselves start the treatment of tumors of this size. But the system is so smart that it was able to find nodules of even smaller size”, said the project lead Lev Utkin, the head of the SPbPU Research Laboratory of Neural Network Technologies and Artificial Intelligence.Research team includes the staff of the University (Lev Utkin, Mikhail Ryabinin, and Alexei Lukashin), experts from the St. Petersburg Oncological Center (the head of the Radiology Department Anna Meldo and a radiologist Ivan Prokhorov). The project was supported by the Russian Science Foundation.A new proposed and developed approach to the lung cancer classification using the chord method has been patented within only 3 months. The method of chords uses segmented CT images: points are randomly drawn on the surface of a nodule, after that the points are connected by lines (chords). The length histogram of the chords reflects the shape and structure of the tumor. Although the system examines every nodule from the inside, its external surroundings are also very important. To learn more about the tumor, it is placed in a cube, and perpendiculars are drawn from its edges to the surface of the nodule.Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskThus, instead of classifying a graphically complex and heavy images of the CT (the size of every CT image is approximately 1 GB), the nodule is represented in the form of compact and simple histograms, which are then analyzed by the Doctor AIzimov system.The scientists have also trained the system to distinguish malignant and benign tumors. “Many different objects may be detected on the CT images, so the main task was to train the system to recognize what each of the objects represents. Using the clinical and radiological classification, we are trying to train the system not only to detect tumors, but also to distinguish other diseases similar to cancer,” comments Anna Meldo, the head of the Radiology Department of the St. Petersburg Clinical Research Center for Specialized Types of Medical Care (Oncological). The system was trained by analyzing 1000 CT images from LUNA 16 and LIDC datasets. Russian researchers have also collected their own dataset named LIRA – Lung Intelligence Resource Annotated. Currently, the dataset holds CT images of about 250 patients. The scientists are planning to increase the number of images by four times by the mid-2019.With each new CT image, the system self-improves. To speed up the learning and testing processes, the researchers use capacities of the supercomputer center “Polytechnic”. In the future, a patient’s CT images will be transferred to the supercomputer using the Internet. This approach allows to reduce the diagnostic testing time per patient from 20 till 2 seconds. After that a radiologist will receive the marked image instead of the large CT image. It will significantly reduce the time needed for the analysis and diagnostics.The open testing of the intelligent system will be carried out at the beginning of 2019. The system will be at first used at the St. Petersburg Clinical Research Center for Specialized Types of Medical Care (Oncological). In the future, the project will be extended and more medical institutions will be involved into the intelligent CT image processing. The system will be adapted to analyze the results of the ultrasound and X-ray medical investigation of other organs. All data will be processed by the supercomputer, and the results issued by the system will be sent to doctors for them to make a decision about the treatment. Source:https://english.spbstu.ru/last_img read more

Staff fraud may cost Chinas DJI drone maker 150 million

first_img Citation: Staff fraud may cost China’s DJI drone maker $150 million (2019, January 21) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-staff-fraud-china-dji-drone.html A company spokeswoman said DJI has established a special anti-corruption group to conduct in-depth investigations Explore further Chinese drone maker DJI has placed 45 employees under investigation for alleged fraud that could cost the company more than one billion yuan ($150 million) in losses, the firm said Monday. Embattled GlaxoSmithKline hit with another fraud probecenter_img © 2019 AFP The world’s top civilian drone maker said in an internal memo that most of the employees involved in the fraud worked in the supply chain, and 29 were fired while 16 were reported to the police.The case is expected to involve more than 100 people and many people will be facing a sentence in jail, according to Friday’s memo, whose authenticity was confirmed by a company spokeswoman on Monday.The initial investigation is just “the tip of the iceberg,” the spokeswoman told AFP.The memo said the employees fraudulently inflated the prices of parts for personal financial gains.The staffers received kickbacks from suppliers that charged double or triple the price to sell parts to DJI, the memo said.A company spokeswoman said DJI has established a special anti-corruption group to conduct in-depth investigations.”DJI will not tolerate corruption because of the rapid development and will not stop its development because of corruption,” she told AFP.The company has become the latest in a string of Chinese tech firms dealing with internal misdeeds in recent months.China’s dominant ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing uncovered more than 60 cases of corruption within the company last year.Yang Weidong, former president of Alibaba’s video-streaming platform Youku, stepped down and was put under investigation in December on suspicion of accepting improper payments, according to Chinese media. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Pilots sleeping in the cockpit could improve airline safety

first_img An Air Canada plane flown by overtired pilots nearly lands on a taxiway in San Francisco in 2017. The rules are strict. The Air Canada Flight Operations Manual, for instance, says a pilot who wants to rest must notify the co-pilot and a flight attendant. The pilot can sleep for no more than 40 minutes, and must wake up at least half an hour before the descent for landing. They get the first 15 minutes after the nap to fully awaken, during which they can’t resume actually flying the plane, unless they need to help deal with an emergency.Consumers’ opinionsAs consumer opinion experts, we have conducted a series of studies to see what members of the public think about letting pilots use this CRIP procedure to nap in the cockpit. In general, people are less willing to fly when they know a pilot might be allowed to sleep at the controls, and women are less willing than men. In our research, we find that this is mostly attributed to fear, because they don’t understand the benefits of pilot naps. Some of our earlier work has shown that when consumers understand the value of a new procedure, they’ll feel better about it. It seems likely that explaining to people how better-rested pilots makes a flight safer could help more people feel comfortable flying in a plane where the CRIP procedure is allowed.What do pilots think?In a follow-up study, we asked pilots what they thought about being allowed to rest in the cockpit during flight—and they were much more enthusiastic than nonpilots. Seventy percent of pilots favored allowing CRIP. On average, all participants who completed the survey felt that naps of 45 minutes should be approved, which was closely related to the 40 minutes suggested by scientific evidence. They also recognized the need for the pilot to be awake at least 30 minutes before beginning the descent to landing. Overall, the participants thought there were very few potential problems with CRIP and said it would be useful.However, some pilots did express worry about unintended consequences of CRIP implementation. The airlines, knowing that pilots could take naps during the flight, might be tempted to impose more rigorous flight schedules that would eliminate any benefits derived from CRIP. Lastly, participants commented on how this procedure is already being used by international carriers such as Air Canada and Qantas with success. So far, those companies’ crews have not registered widespread complaints about abuse of scheduling practices, and none of the survey respondents who fly for those airlines complained about this potential problem.Will the US allow it?It is hard to say whether the FAA would ever move to let U.S. pilots nap in the cockpit. The scientific research provides empirical evidence as to its advantages, and while consumers are somewhat hesitant, pilots seem very supportive of it.What is clear is that fatigue in the cockpit remains a threat to the aviation industry worldwide. Given the scientific evidence supporting CRIP to counter fatigue, clearly there is value in considering how it could improve aviation safety. Perhaps it’s time to listen to the pilots we trust to fly these airplanes and let them rest when they need to—within reason, and so they can fly more safely. Explore further Resting in the cockpitIt’s widely known that a short nap can improve a pilot’s alertness. Some planes, such as those commonly used on long international flights, have beds their pilots and other crew can use, but smaller planes don’t have the space. Only flights that are longer than eight hours require an additional pilot to be on board so one pilot at a time can rotate out for rest. On shorter flights, U.S. regulations expect both pilots to remain alert for the entire length of the flight, without any chance for rest during the flight.Some countries, including Canada and Australia, allow for pilots to nap in the cockpit. In an example from China, a pilot was caught napping and faced disciplinary action for napping in the cockpit. The official procedure to allow for pilots to nap in the cockpit is called “controlled rest in position.” CRIP has established policies and procedures to allow pilots to rest. Provided by The Conversation Airline pilots are often exhausted. An extreme example happened in 2008, when a pilot and a co-pilot both fell asleep at the controls, missing their landing in Hawaii—earning pilot’s license suspensions as well as getting fired. More recently, overtired pilots came very close to landing on top of another airplane at San Francisco International Airport in 2017. It’s not uncommon for a pilot for a major commercial airline to, for instance, start work in Florida at 5 p.m., with her first flight departing an hour later for a five-hour trip across the country, arriving in California just after 8 p.m. local time. Then she might get a short break and fly a 90-minute short-hop flight to to another California city. When she lands from this second flight, she has spent six and a half hours of the last nine in the cockpit. She is also three time zones from where she started work, and her body thinks it’s 2 a.m. There’s no doubt she’s tired—and she’s lucky not to have encountered any schedule adjustments for aircraft maintenance or weather delays.The airline industry and the government agency that regulates it, the Federal Aviation Administration, have taken steps to reduce pilot fatigue, but many pilots and others remain worried that two pilots are required to remain awake and alert for the entire flight, though one or both may be dealing with symptoms of fatigue. One possible suggestion is letting pilots take brief naps in the cockpit. As researchers of consumer opinions about the airline industry, we’ve found that the American public is wary of this idea, but may feel better about it once they’ve heard an explanation of how it actually makes their flights safer.Limiting pilots’ work timePilot fatigue can be difficult to predict or diagnose—especially since tired pilots usually manage to take off, fly and land safely. Even when something goes wrong, accident investigators may have little evidence of fatigue, except perhaps the sound of someone yawning on cockpit audio recordings.In 2014, the FAA imposed the first new pilot-rest rules in 60 years, limiting overall on-duty time and flight hours per day depending on when a pilot’s shift starts. The rules also established a process by which pilots can report fatigue without being disciplined by their airlines or the government. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Pilots have reported issues in US with new Boeing jet Citation: Pilots sleeping in the cockpit could improve airline safety (2019, June 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-cockpit-airline-safety.html Airline pilots are often exhausted. Credit: christinarosepix/Shutterstock.com This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.last_img read more