FBI says it easily replicated anthrax used in attacks

first_img At the same time, officials conceded that they probably will never be able to dispel all doubts about the case against Bruce E. Ivins, the anthrax researcher who died in an apparent suicide as the FBI was about to announce charges against him. According to a New York Times report on the press conference, FBI officials said investigators determined that the making of the powder was a relatively simple process of cleaning and drying anthrax spores. “FBI scientists easily reproduced it with gear that Ivins regularly used,” the article stated. Aug 15 CIDRAP News storyhttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/anthrax/news/aug1508anthrax.html The FBI has said its experts and other scientists helping with the investigation developed a new DNA fingerprinting technique that enabled them to match the anthrax used in the attacks with a batch of anthrax that was in Ivins’ custody, known as RMR-1029. The agency has not released a detailed scientific report on the DNA evidence. Aside from that claim, the case against Ivins is mostly circumstantial, and a number of scientists have voiced doubts about it. At an Aug 18 news conference, the agency also acknowledged a specific error in the investigation and promised to release detailed information on the probe in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Aug 20, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The FBI, seeking to counter scientific skepticism on its investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, insisted this week that the anthrax powder could have been made by one person and contained no “intentional additives” to make it more dispersible. The FBI then realized the sample was the same strain used in the attacks, which helped confirm other evidence implicating Ivins, the Times reported. “Looking at it in hindsight, we would do things differently today,” the newspaper quoted Majidi as saying. In addition, Dr. C.J. Peters, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said it is puzzling that the FBI has not reported finding traces of the letter anthrax in places where Ivins lived and worked, given how widely the spores were dispersed in settings such as the Washington, DC, post office that processed the letters mailed to senators. As expected, the FBI’s new revelations did not eliminate skepticism about the case. Dr. Richard Spertzel, a retired microbiologist who led the United Nations’ biological weapons inspections in Iraq, called the FBI’s new presentation “a pretty tenuous argument,” according to the Times. He specifically questioned the agency’s claim that the letter anthrax was not “military grade.” However, silicon was found in the mailed anthrax (as reported previously), and FBI officials conceded that the duplicate powder they made did not match the letter anthrax in that respect, according to reports by the Times and the Washington Post. FBI scientists said they concluded that the high level of silicon occurred naturally in the anthrax used in the attacks, the Times reported. Further, Majidi said the information released this week was “the first step toward broader dissemination of the scientific information surrounding this case. Additional information will be available through peer-reviewed publications and I ask you to respect the integrity of this process.” But it turned out that an extra copy of Ivins’ sample was kept by Paul Keim, a Northern Arizona University biologist who helped with the investigation, and he provided it to the FBI when the agency asked for it in 2006, according to the Post. “It is important to emphasize that the science used in this case is highly validated and well accepted throughout the scientific community. The novelty is in the application of these techniques for forensic microbiology.” The investigative error acknowledged by the FBI this week had to do with the handling of the first anthrax sample they obtained from Ivins. According to the Times, FBI officials revealed that they first obtained a sample of a unique strain of anthrax from him in 2002 and that it could have led them to the strain used in the attacks. However, the agency “destroyed the sample because Dr. Ivins did not follow protocol in the way it was submitted, making it more difficult to use in court,” the story said. “Through a comprehensive analytical approach, the investigators were provided with validated scientific data which linked the material used in the 2001 anthrax attacks to material from USAMRIID identified as RMR-1029,” Majidi said. In his Aug 18 written statement, Majidi listed several sophisticated techniques that were used in analyzing the mailed anthrax: scanning and transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray analysis, carbon dating by accelerator mass spectrometry, and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission and mass spectrometry. “I would contend that anywhere he made the powder or manipulated the powder was almost certainly contaminated,” Peters told CIDRAP news by e-mail. “Think about the pos[itive] nasal swabs in the Hart office building or environmental swabs in the post office. Look at the spore counts on the protective gear when the Leahy letter was detected.” The mailing of anthrax-laced letters to two US senators and several media offices in the fall of 2001, shortly after the Sep 11 terrorist attacks, killed five people and sickened 17 others. The FBI outlined its case against Ivins on Aug 6 of this year, just 9 days after he died of an overdose of painkillers. Ivins had worked for years at the US Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick in Maryland. “I don’t think we’re ever going to put the suspicions to bed,” said Vahid Majidi, assistant director of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, as quoted in press accounts. “There’s always going to be a spore on a grassy knoll.” Early in the investigation, the FBI indicated that the mailed anthrax was a weaponized product, treated or processed to make it spread more easily through the air and penetrate deep into the lungs. It was reported that the powder contained silicon and that Army experts had been unable to replicate the material. The implication was that one person working alone would not have been able to produce the powder. But in a statement presented at this week’s news conference, Majidi said, “There were no intentional additives combined with the Bacillus anthracis spores to make them any more dispersible.” In other information given at the news conference, officials said the Institute for Genomic Research had sequenced the full DNA of several anthrax strains by 2002, suggesting it might be possible to link the letter anthrax to its source by identifying specific mutations, according to the Times. See also: It took another year to identify the four distinctive mutations the FBI has reported, the story said. Meanwhile, the FBI collected more than 1,000 samples of the Ames strain of anthrax, the strain used in the attacks, and started using its genetic test on them. The FBI found that 8 of the 1,000 samples carried the four mutations, as reported previously. According to the Times, 100 scientists had access to or were associated with those eight samples, and all of them were investigated. The body of evidence pointed to Ivins, the story said.last_img read more

UNWTO: Tourism is growing, with 70 million more arrivals than last year

first_imgTourist destinations around the world hosted 1,1 billion international tourists, from January to October 2017, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. This represents an increase of 7% compared to the same period last year, or 70 million more arrivals from abroad.Thus, destinations around the world in the first ten months achieved a total of 1,127 million (+ 7%) arrivals of international tourists, 70 million more than in the same period in 2016.Destinations in Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North Africa and the Middle East have shown extraordinary strength, with international arrivals exceeding 7% in all Southern and Mediterranean European destinations, and Turkey is recovering rapidly as well as double-digit increases for most other destinations in the region. In North Africa and the Middle East, Egypt, Tunisia and Palestine have recovered strongly from previous years, while Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman and Dubai continue to grow.”These robust results, the best we’ve seen in many years, reflect ongoing demand for travel around the world, in line with the improved global economy and the recovery of destinations that have suffered declines in previous years”, Said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai at the 2nd UNWTO / UNESCO Conference on Tourism and Culture held on 11 and 12 December in Oman.Regional resultsEuropean growth (+ 8%) led to an increase in international arrivals in the first ten months of 2017, thanks to significant results in southern and Mediterranean Europe (+ 13%). Western Europe (+ 7%) recovered from weaker results last year, while Northern Europe (+ 6%) had solid growth. Arrivals in Central and Eastern Europe increased by 4% between January and October 2017.Africa and Africa (+ 8%) are the fastest growing regions in international tourism. Africa (+ 8%) was the second fastest growing region during this period thanks to a strong recovery in North Africa (+ 13%) and sub-Saharan Africa (+ 5%).In Asia and the Pacific (+ 5%), results were led by South Asia (+ 10%), while Southeast Asia (+ 8%) and Oceania (+ 7%) also enjoyed a strong increase in arrivals. Northeast Asia (+ 3%) recorded more mixed results, with some destinations reporting double-digit increases and others rejected.South America (+ 7%) continues to lead growth in America, where total arrivals rose 3%. Central America and the Caribbean rose 4%, with the last signs of clear signs of recovery in October after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.Results in the Middle East (+ 5%) were mixed until October, with some destinations recovering strongly and others continuing to report sustainable growth, but the regional average was partly reduced by a few that declined.Strong recovery of tourist demand from Brazil and RussiaIn 2017, there was a strong growth in demand for international tourism, so demand in Brazil grew by 33%, and in Russia by 27%, which is indicative because the growth was recorded after several years of decline.Tourist spending                                                  Among the 10 leading markets, China (+ 19%), the Republic of Korea (+ 11%), the United States and Canada (+ 9%) and Italy (+ 7%) recorded the fastest growth in tourism consumption. Thus, tourist consumption from Germany, Great Britain, Australia, Hong Kong (China) and France increased between 2% and 5%.last_img read more

Panel Discusion ‘Integration of Migrants through Football’ to be held in Bihac

first_imgAs part of the grassroots activities, the Football Federation of  Bosnia and Herzegovina  will organize a round table and panel discussions on the topic “Integration of Migrants Through Football” in Bihać on Friday, 26th June.With this project, the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina wants to encourage social cohesion, and enable regular sports activities for migrants, with the aim of integration into society.The aim of the round table is to gather in one place relevant people from local government, NGOs, sports community and all others who can contribute to the planning and implementation of the project.The project will discuss the needs of migrants, and in what way and in which centres a football game can be organized, taking into account primarily the safety and health of migrants and the staff who work with them.Lecturers, who have extensive experience in organizing similar projects, will participate in this event live and online.last_img read more

MLB Draft results 2020: Complete list of picks for Rounds 1-5 in baseball draft

first_imgThis year’s draft was originally set to undergo some serious changes, the primary change heading from MLB Network Studios in Secaucus, N.J. to Omaha, Neb., just a few days before the start of the College World Series. MORE MLB DRAFT 2020:Mock draft | Slot values | Pool money by teamUnfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic drastically altered plans for the 2020 and 2021 drafts . This year, the amount of rounds in the draft have been slashed from 40 to just five, with next year’s installment featuring just 20 rounds total. Between the coronavirus and the hacking of some minor league teams, This year, Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson is went No. 1 overall to the Tigers, with Heston Kjerstad going No. 2 as a shocker to the Orioles. Max Meyer rounded out the top three. The Show must go on.Not a single inning of professional baseball has yet to be played in 2020, and who knows when first pitch for the 2020 season might come. That doesn’t mean, though, that the 2020 MLB Draft is on hold. Sporting News tracked every pick from the 2020 MLB Draft draft below.JUMP TO ROUND: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5MLB Draft tracker 2020: Live picks, results from Rounds 1-5 Round 1 resultsPickTeamPlayerPositionSchool1.Detroit TigersSpencer Torkelson3BArizona State2.Baltimore OriolesHeston KjerstadOFArkansas3.Miami MarlinsMax MeyerRHPMinnesota4.Kansas City RoyalsAsa LacyLHPTexas A&M5.Toronto Blue JaysAustin MartinSSVanderbilt6.Seattle MarinersEmerson HancockRHPGeorgia7.Pittsburgh PiratesNick GonzalesSSNew Mexico State8.San Diego PadresRobert Hassell IIIOFIndependence High School (Tennessee)9.Colorado RockiesZac VeenOF Spruce Creek High School (Florida)10.Los Angeles AngelsReid DetmersLHPLouisville11.Chicago White SoxGarrett CrotchetLHPTennessee12.Cincinnati RedsAustin HendrickOFWest Allegheny High School (Pennsylvania)13.San Francisco GiantsPatrick BaileyCNC State14.Texas RangersJustin Foscue2BMississippi State15.Philadelphia PhilliesMick AbelRHPJesuit High School (Oregon)16.Chicago CubsEd HowardSSMount Carmel High School (Illinois)17.Boston Red SoxNick Yorke2BArchbishop Mitty High School (California)18.Arizona DiamondbacksJarvis BryceRHPDuke19.New York MetsPete Crow-ArmstrongOFHarvard-Westlake School (California)20.Milwaukee BrewersGarrett MitchellOFUCLA21.St. Louis CardinalsJordan Walker3BDecatur High School (Georgia)22.Washington NationalsCade CavalliRHPOklahoma23.Cleveland IndiansCarson TuckerSSMountain Pointe High School (Arizona)24.Tampa Bay RaysNick BitskoRHPCentral Bucks High School East (Pennsylvania)25.Atlanta BravesJared ShusterLHPWake Forest26.Oakland A’sTyler SoderstromCTurlock High School (California)27.Minnesota TwinsAaron Sabato1BUNC28.New York YankeesAustin WellsCArizona29.Los Angeles DodgersBobby MillerRHPLouisvilleCompetitive Balance Round APickTeamPlayerPositionSchool30.Baltimore OriolesJordan WestburgSSMississippi State31.Pittsburgh PiratesCarmen MlodzinskiRHPSouth Carolina32.Kansas City RoyalsNick LoftinSSBaylor33.Arizona DiamondbacksSlade CecconiRHPMiami34.San Diego PadresJustin LangeRHPLlano High School (Texas)35.Colorado RockiesDrew RomoCThe Woodlands High School (Texas)36.Cleveland IndiansTanner BurnsRHPAuburn37.Tampa Bay Rays (via St. Louis)Alika WilliamsSSArizona State Round 2 resultsRounds 2-5 of the 2020 MLB Draft take place on Thursday, June 11.PickTeamPlayerPositionSchool​38.Detroit TigersDillon DinglerCOhio State39.Baltimore OriolesHudson HaskinOFTulane40.Miami MarlinsDaxton FultonLHPMustang High School (Oklahoma)41.Kansas City RoyalsBen HernandezRHPDe La Salle Institute (Illinois)42.Toronto Blue JaysCJ Van EykRHPFlorida State43.Seattle MarinersZach DeLoachOFTexas A&M44.Pittsburgh PiratesJared JonesRHPLa Miranda High School (California)45.San Diego PadresOwen CaissieOFNotre Dame Catholic (Ontario)46.Colorado RockiesChris McMahonRHPMiami47.Chicago White SoxJared KelleyRHPRefugio High School (Texas)48.Cincinnati RedsChristian RoaRHPTexas A&M49.San Francisco GiantsCasey Schmitt3BSan Diego State50.Texas RangersEvan CarterOFElizabethton High School (Tennessee)51.Chicago CubsBurl CarrawayLHPDallas Baptist (Texas)52.New York MetsJ.T. GinnRHPMississippi State53.Milwaukee BrewersFreddy ZamoraSSMiami54.St. Louis CardinalsMasyn WinnSSKingwood High School (Texas)55.Washington NationalsCole HenryRHPLSU56.Cleveland IndiansLogan AllenLHPFIU57.Tampa Bay RaysIan SeymourLHPVirginia Tech58.Oakland A’sJeff CriswellRHPMichigan59.Minnesota TwinsAlerick SoularieOFTennessee60.Los Angeles DodgersLandon KnackRHPEast Tennessee StateCompetitive Balance Round BPickTeamPlayerPositionSchool61.Miami MarlinsKyle NicolasRHPBall State62.Detroit TigersDanny CabreraOFLSU63.St. Louis CardinalsTink HenceRHPWatson Chapel High School (Arkansas)64.Seattle MarinersConnor PhillipsRHPMcLennan CC (Texas)65.Cincinnati RedsJackson MillerCJ.W. Mitchell High School (Florida)66.Los Angeles DodgersClayton BeeterRHPTexas TechFree-agent compensatory picksPickTeamPlayerPositionSchool67.San Francisco GiantsNick SwineyLHPNC State68.San Francisco GiantsJimmy GlowenkeSSDallas Baptist69.New York MetsIsaiah GreeneOFCorona Senior High School (California)70.St. Louis CardinalsAlec Burleson1BECU71.Washington NationalsSammy InfanteSSMonsignor Edward Pace High School72.Houston AstrosAlex SantosRHPMt. Saint Michael Academy (New York) Round 3 resultsPickTeamPlayerPositionSchool73.Detroit TigersTrei CruzSSRice74.Baltimore OriolesAnthony ServideoSSOle Miss75.Miami MarlinsZach McCambleyRHPCoastal Carolina76.Kansas City RoyalsTyler GentryOFAlabama77.Toronto Blue JaysTrent PalmerRHPJacksonville University78.Seattle MarinersKaden Polcovich2BOklahoma State79.Pittsburgh PiratesNick GarciaRHPChapman University80.San Diego PadresCole WilcoxRHPGeorgia81.Colorado RockiesSam WeatherlyLHPClemson82.Los Angeles AngelsDavid CalabreseOFSt. Elizabeth Catholic High School (Ontario)83.Chicago White SoxAdisyn CoffeyRHPWabash Valley College84.Cincinnati RedsBryce BonninRHPTexas Tech85.San Francisco GiantsKyle HarrisonLHPDe La Salle High School (California)86.Texas RangersTekoah RobyRHPPine Forest High School (Florida)87.Philadelphia PhilliesCasey MartinSSArkansas88.Chicago CubsJordan NwoguOFMichigan89.Boston Red SoxBlaze Jordan3BDeSoto Central High School (Mississippi)90.Arizona DiamondbacksLiam NorrisLHPGreen Hope High School (North Carolina)91.New York MetsAnthony WaltersSSSan Diego State92.Milwaukee BrewersZavier WarrenCCentral Michigan93.St. Louis CardinalsLevi PraterLHPOklahoma94.Washington NationalsHolden PowellRHPUCLA95.Cleveland IndiansPetey HalpinOFMira Costa High School (California)96.Tampa Bay RaysHunter BarnhartRHPSt. Joseph High School (California)97.Atlanta BravesJesse Franklin VOFMichigan98.Oakland AthleticsMichael GuldbergOFGeorgia Tech99.New York YankeesTrevor HauverLFArizona State100.Los Angeles DodgersJake VogelOFHuntington Beach High School (California)101.Houston AstrosTyler BrownRHPVanderbilt Round 4 resultsPickTeamPlayerPositionSchool102.Detroit TigersGage Workman3BArizona State103.Baltimore OriolesCoby Mayo3BStoneman Douglas High School (Florida)104.Miami MarlinsJake EderLHPVanderbilt105.Kansas City RoyalsChristian ChamberlainLHPOregon State106.Toronto Blue JaysNick FrassoRHPLoyola Marymount University107.Seattle MarinersTyler Keenan3BOle Miss108.Pittsburgh PiratesJack HartmanRHPAppalachian State109.San Diego PadresLevi ThomasRHPTroy110.Colorado RockiesCase WilliamsRHPDouglas County High School (Colorado)111.Los Angeles AngelsWerner BlakelySSDetroit Edison High School (Michigan)112.Chicago White SoxKade MechalsRHPGrand Canyon University113.Cincinnati RedsMac WainwrightOFSt. Edwards High School (Ohio)114.San Francisco GiantsRJ DabovichRHPArizona State115.Texas RangersDylan MacLeanLHPCentral Catholic High School116.Philadelphia PhilliesCarson RagsdaleRHPUSF117.Chicago CubsLuke LittleLHPSan Jacinto College North (Texas)118.Boston Red SoxJeremy Wu-YellandLHPHawaii119.Arizona DiamondbacksAJ Vukovich3BEast Troy High School (Wisconsin)120.New York MetsMatthew DyerCArizona121.Milwaukee BrewersJoey WiemerOFCincinnati122.St. Louis CardinalsIan BedellRHPMissouri123.Washington NationalsBrady LindslyCOklahoma124.Cleveland IndiansMilan TolentinoSSSanta Margarita High School (California)125.Tampa Bay RaysTanner MurraySSUC Davis126.Atlanta BravesSpencer StriderRHPClemson127.Oakland AthleticsDane AckherRHPOklahoma128.Minnesota TwinsMarco RayaRHPUnited South High School (Texas)129.New York YankeesBeck WayRHPNorthwest Florida State130.Los Angeles DodgersCarson TaylorCVirginia Tech131.Houston AstrosZach DanielsOFTennessee Round 5 resultsPickTeamPlayerPositionSchool132.Detroit TigersKeith Colt3BBiloxi High School (Mississippi)133.Baltimore OriolesCarter BaumlerRHPDowling Catholic High School (Iowa)134.Miami MarlinsKyle HurtRHPUSC135.Kansas City RoyalsWill KleinRHPEastern Illinois136.Toronto Blue JaysZach BrittonOFLouisville137.Seattle MarinersTaylor DollardRHPCal Poly138.Pittsburgh PiratesLogan HofmannRHPNorthwestern State139.San Diego PadresJagger HaynesLHPWest Columbus High School (North Carolina)140.Colorado RockiesJack BlomgrenSSMichigan141.Los Angeles AngelsAdam SeminarisLHPLong Beach State142.Chicago White SoxBailey HornLHPAuburn143.Cincinnati RedsJoe BoyleRHPNotre Dame144.San Francisco GiantsRyan MurphyCLe Moyne College145.Texas RangersThomas SaggeseSSCarlsbad High School (California)146.Philadelphia PhilliesBaron RadcliffOFGeorgia Tech147.Chicago CubsKoen MorenoRHPPanther Creek High School (RHP)148.Boston Red SoxShane DrohanLHPFlorida State149.Arizona DiamondbacksBrandon PfaadtRHPBellarmine University150.New York MetsEric OrzeRHPUniversity of New Orleans151.Milwaukee BrewersHayden CantrelleSSUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette152.St. Louis CardinalsLJ Jones IVOFLong Beach State153.Washington NationalsMitchell ParkerLHPSan Jacinto College North154.Cleveland IndiansMason HickmanRHPVanderbilt155.Tampa Bay RaysJeff HakansonRHPCentral Florida156.Atlanta BravesBryce ElderRHPTexas157.Oakland AthleticsStevie EmanuelsRHPWashington158.Minnesota TwinsKala’i RosarioOFWaiakea High School (Hawaii)159.Los Angeles DodgersGavin StoneRHPCentral Arkansas160.Houston AstrosShay WhitcombRHPUC San Diegolast_img read more