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Most viewed model | April 2015
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2015 Sri Lanka Parliment Election
2015 Sri Lanka Parliment Election.
Haiti | Election for Chambre Des Deputes.
Haiti | Election for Chambre Des Deputes.
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Togolese Republic | Presidential Election
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Anguilla | Election For House Of Assembly
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Kazakhstan | Election for President
Kazakhstan | Election for President
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Join us at the school of Health Ilesa, Osun State, Nigeria from the 27th to 30th of April 2015 for t...
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United Republic Of Tanzania | Referendum
United Republic Of Tanzania | Referendum Election
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Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao billed as "fight of the Century" is an up coming boxing at the MG...

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  • New Genetic Tests for Breast Cancer Hold Promise
    A Silicon Valley start-up with some big-name backers is threatening to upend genetic screening for breast and ovarian cancer by offering a test on a sample of saliva that is so inexpensive that most women could get it.

    At the same time, the nation’s two largest clinical laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, normally bitter rivals, are joining with French researchers to pool their data to better interpret mutations in the two main breast cancer risk genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Other companies and laboratories are being invited to join the effort, called BRCA Share.

    The announcements being made on Tuesday, although coincidental in their timing, speak to the surge in competition in genetic risk screening for cancer since 2013, when the Supreme Court invalidated the gene patents that gave Myriad Genetics a monopoly on BRCA testing.

    The field has also been propelled by the actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie, who has a BRCA1 mutation and has written about her own decision to have her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to sharply reduce her risk of developing cancer.

    But the issue of who should be tested remains controversial. The effort of the start-up, Color Genomics, to “democratize access to genetic testing,” in the words of the chief executive, Elad Gil, is generating concern among some experts.

    The company plans to charge $249 for an analysis of BRCA1 and BRCA2, plus 17 other cancer-risk genes. That is one tenth the price of many tests now on the market.

    Testing of the BRCA genes has generally been limited by medical guidelines to women who already have cancer or those with a family history of breast or ovarian cancers. Insurers generally have not paid for BRCA tests for other women, and some insurers are not paying at all for a newer type of screening known as a panel test that analyzes from 10 to 40 genes at once.

    Dr. Gil of Color said his company’s test would be inexpensive enough for women to pay out of pocket, so that neither the woman nor Color will have to deal with insurance companies. He said the company was starting a program to provide free testing to women who cannot afford its test.

    One of the company’s unpaid advisers is Mary-Claire King, the University of Washington geneticist whose work led to the discovery of the BRCA1 gene. Dr. King last year publicly called for testing to be offered to all American women 30 and older.

    She said that half the women with dangerous mutations would not qualify for testing under current guidelines, in part because many inherit the mutation from their fathers rather than their mothers and a family history of breast or ovarian cancer might not be evident.
    New Genetic Tests for Breast Cancer Hold Promise
    A Silicon Valley start-up with some big-name backers is threatening to upend genetic screening for breast and ovarian cancer by offering a test on a sample of saliva that is so inexpensive that most women could get it.

    At the sam...See more
  • North Dakota House endorses rewrite of oil taxes; petroleum industry wants flat tax
    The North Dakota House endorsed a bill Monday that will cut an exemption for oil companies if crude prices continue to slide, in exchange for a lower and permanent flat tax rate.

    The House voted 57-32 to approve the measure that supporters believe offers predictability in crafting budgets, while opponents say it could cost the state billions of dollars in oil tax revenue in the long run.

    Democrats and leaders from the oil-rich Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota oppose the bill by the Republican-controlled Legislature that would restructure oil taxes as a hedge against falling crude prices.

    "This is good policy," said Fargo Rep. Al Carlson, North Dakota's Republican House majority leader and the primary sponsor of the bill. "It creates a stable environment."

    But Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider, D-Grand Forks, said the proposal is "artificial and unwise" and will cost North Dakotans "tens of billions of dollars over the life of the Bakken."

    The measure was introduced Friday, just 10 days before the state constitution's 80-day limit is imposed.

    The proposal would permanently lower an extraction tax on oil by more than 30 percent instead of allowing a tax exemption to take effect that would be only temporary if oil prices rebound.

    State budget analysts estimate that eliminating exemption would add $120 million in the next two-year budget cycle that begins July 1.

    Oil industry representatives have pushed for an immediate change to a flat tax rate. Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, offered an amendment to the measure that would impose a flat tax on oil production at 9 percent. The House, however, did not accept it.

    One-third of North Dakota's oil production comes from the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Mark Fox said the tribes are opposed to the bill and will consider pulling out of a shared tax compact with the state if the bill becomes law.

    North Dakota lawmakers acknowledge the state's present oil tax system is outdated and confusing, with exemptions and incentives that were put in place in even bleaker times and long before the state's current oil boom that began in earnest less than a decade ago.

    The law has two principal oil taxes, a 5 percent production tax and a 6.5 percent extraction tax, which was imposed by a 1980 voter initiative during a previous oil boom. Both taxes are applied to the oil's value when it is produced, although the proceeds are split up differently among the state and local governments.

    A state law forgives the extraction tax if the five-month average price of oil slips below a "trigger" price of $55.09. That trigger is expected to kick in June 1. Republicans want to lower the extraction tax permanently to 4.5 percent if the average price falls below that trigger, instead of giving companies the tax break.

    North Dakota sweet crude was fetching about $56 on Monday but has been well below that in recent weeks.

    Under the current tax system, the $55.09 average monthly price would have to be exceeded for five straight months before the extraction tax resumes. Economic consultants who have helped estimate North Dakota's tax collections have estimated the trigger would be in effect from June through April 2016, costing the state an estimated $863 million in lost revenue during that time.

    North Dakota House endorses rewrite of oil taxes; petroleum industry wants flat tax
    The North Dakota House endorsed a bill Monday that will cut an exemption for oil companies if crude prices continue to slide, in exchange for a lower and permanent flat tax rate.

    The House voted...See more
  • Chris Christie takes a moderate stance on immigration
    There is a potential Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016 who (1) doesn't endorse building a massive fence along the U.S. border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants or (2) rounding up and deporting those who are already here.

    That White House hopeful is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, though few would have guessed that a month ago, when Christie had the state join the red states in a lawsuit trying to thwart President Obama from allowing millions of people in the U.S. illegally — mostly parents and young people — to avoid deportation.

    But Christie strayed from the hardline, conservative orthodoxy on immigration during his two trips to New Hampshire last week. With poor results in presidential polls, Christie is "trying to find ways to distinguish himself from the pack, at least a bit,'' said Rutgers University political scientist David Redlawsk.
    Christie broke months of silence on the subject — even failing to comment on immigration during a trip to Mexico last fall — and provided voters in the state with the first-in-the-nation primary a first look at his platform on immigration.

    Christie urged practical reforms beyond the Secure Fence Act of 2006, signed by President George W. Bush. It authorized hundreds of miles of fence construction along with added checkpoints, vehicle barriers and cameras. In the 2008 campaign, it received near-unanimous support from Republicans seeking the presidential nomination.

    Christie had a more nuanced view. He said cracking down on U.S. employers who ignore immigration laws is a better way to stop new arrivals. He said it is Obama's job to work with Congress to forge a workable immigration solution. He noted, too, that a winning effort would require more than a big fence, the utility for which he cast doubt.
    "Walls can be gotten over. The reason people come here is to work. So if we clamp down on folks who are hiring people in this manner, once we set up a fair system that everybody is signed on to, then I think we'll really decrease" the amount of new illegal immigrants, he said.

    How did Republican activists in the Granite State react to Christie's position? It was mixed. At the First In the Nation Summit for GOP presidential contenders on Friday in Nashua, audience members were pleased whenever Obama was dinged, but unenthusiastic when speakers opted for less drastic immigration measures.

    For instance, during a question-and-answer portion of Christie's talk, a woman asked: "On immigration, what do you think we need to do about all — what would you do about all these illegal immigrants that we have in this country taking jobs away from Americans who need the jobs? And also what would you do about securing our borders?''

    Christie's response started with, "One of the most important things you have to do is to protect the sovereignty and security of the country. If you're president of the United States, that's what you need to do.''
    The rest of his answer received a mostly tepid response from the crowd.

    "For securing the border, I'm not somebody who's for building a wall from one end to the other. I don't think that's smart. I don't think it's efficient or effective,'' Christie said. "There are lots of different ways we can do it with manpower, with some fences, and with some surveillance electronic equipment. The other way to do it, by the way, is when you set up a fair system in this country that actually works.''

    Christie said a crackdown on employers who skirt immigration laws would cut the influx of illegal guest workers. He added that massive deportation is a non-starter as well.

    "We don't have enough law enforcement people to round up 10 or 12 million people,'' he said.

    The comments marked a return to when Christie aggressively courted Latino support in his 2013 gubernatorial reelection bid, when he won 51% of that segment's vote.
    Chris Christie takes a moderate stance on immigration
    There is a potential Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016 who (1) doesn't endorse building a massive fence along the U.S. border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants or (2) rounding up and deporting those who are already h...See more
  • Americans say cellphone cameras not changing police conduct
    Americans are evenly divided on whether the widespread use of smartphone cameras will improve police behavior and think it has done little to change police conduct so far, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

    Against the backdrop of such footage as that of a white South Carolina police officer fatally shooting a black man in the back earlier this month, 42 percent of Americans said police behavior would improve and an equal number said it would not, the poll found.

    Among respondents, 56 percent said police were not behaving better so far because they could be caught on video, the poll said.

    A series of incidents in the United States in which white police officers killed unarmed black men prompted protests in many cities and sparked debate over police conduct toward blacks and other minorities.

    Some incidents were captured on video. One showed Walter Scott being shot in the back while running from police in North Charleston, South Carolina, after a traffic stop. Another showed Eric Garner, who died after New York City police put him in a chokehold while trying to arrest him.

    The online poll of 2,446 U.S. adults showed Americans remained ambivalent on the impact of cameras on their own behavior.

    Fifty-nine percent agreed with the statement: "I like how camera phones make people more accountable for their actions."

    At the same time, 47 percent agreed it was an invasion of privacy for people to be constantly filming with their phones.

    The poll showed most respondents did not think people were generally behaving better because of omnipresent cameras, and most said they were not behaving better either.

    Neither are politicians behaving better, or likely to do so in the future, because of cellphone cameras, according to poll respondents.

    The poll was conducted April 10 through April 17. The credibility interval, used to measure its precision, was plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.
    Americans say cellphone cameras not changing police conduct
    Americans are evenly divided on whether the widespread use of smartphone cameras will improve police behavior and think it has done little to change police conduct so far, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
    ...See more
  • 'Mobilegeddon' could be bad news for 40% of top websites
    LOS ANGELES — If your website traffic plummets suddenly Tuesday, you can blame it on "Mobilegeddon."

    Google, which dominates online search, is launching an algorithm to favor sites that are "mobile-friendly." This means that people who use Google to search on their smartphone may not find many of their favorite sites at the top of the rankings. Sites that haven't updated could find themselves ranked way lower, which in turn could mean a huge loss of business.

    Search giant Google, which comScore Media Metrix
    estimates has a 65% market share of U.S. Internet searches, wants sites to load quickly and be easy to navigate on a mobile phone.

    Google is doing this because it wants consumers to "find content that's not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens," Google said in a statement.

    The update will not affect results from desktop searches.

    Google's last big algorithm update, code-named Panda, impacted "11% of all search results," says Danny Sullivan, the editor of the SearchEngineLand website. "It was a big shake-up, and this one could be even more dramatic."
    A website ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in a search query could hypothetically fall to ninth or 10th place, causing a loss of thousands of dollars in potential business, says independent analyst Greg Sterling.

    In 2012, Demand Media posted a $6.4 million loss in an earnings report, and blamed the loss on changes to Google's Panda update, which removed the firm from top spots.

    Just over half of all searches done on Google are now performed through mobile devices, says Sullivan, a number that continues to grow, as more folks transition to spending more and more time on smartphones.

    (Sullivan's website came up with the term "Mobilegeddon" in March, a play on a recent Los Angeles mini-crisis called "Carmeggedon," when freeways were closed for several weekends.)

    Worried about your website? Google has a "Mobile-Friendly" test page in its developer section. Just type in the URL and see if it passes. The URL: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.

    USA TODAY tested many top brands with the tool Monday, and came up with many that passed the test — and many that didn't. Companies that need to update their sites quickly included restaurant chains California Pizza Kitchen and Coco's, fashion icon Versace, candy manufacturer Sees and European airline Ryanair, according to Google.

    Website TechCrunch found that 44% of the Fortune 500 companies failed the mobile friendly test.

    Overall, "as many as 40% of top websites are not currently mobile-friendly," says Sterling. "There's a big category of people who have completely ignored mobile."

    So what to do if your website doesn't pass the Google Mobile Friendly test?

    Some tips:

    • Call your local website host. Many have tools in place to transition your website. GoDaddy, the top provider of website addresses and hosting, offers a tool to completely rebuild your website to make it mobile-friendly and charges $1 monthly for the service. Competitor Bluehost has a tool that's less time-consuming and potentially cheaper. For a one-time fee of $25, it's goMobi tool builds a smaller, mobile version of your site.

    • Go to a service like dudamobile for a more robust, yet smaller version of your website, starting at $5 monthly.

    • Get in touch with a local Web master (try Craigslist and other local forums) to farm out the work, which would probably make the mobile site look more like the original, main site for the computer.

    Finally, if you're a small business and can't get this done by Tuesday, no need to panic, says Sterling.

    Most local businesses are found these days, not via their website, but through directory services like Yelp and Google's local search listings.

    "You typically go to Google and look up car repair, for instance," he says. "The local listings show up first, not usually the website."

    So his advice to the small business owner is to make sure all your local information is current and up-to-date in Yelp and on Google's MyBusiness section.

    "They still need to update their website, but this buys them time," he adds.
    'Mobilegeddon' could be bad news for 40% of top websites
    LOS ANGELES — If your website traffic plummets suddenly Tuesday, you can blame it on "Mobilegeddon."

    Google, which dominates online search, is launching an algorithm to favor sites that are "mobile-friendly." This means t...See more
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