MADRID, April 5 (Reuters) – Spanish car sales rose by 63.1 percent year-on-year in March compared with the same month of last year to 124,756 units, boosted by ongoing subsidies for car buyers, car maker’s association ANFAC said on Monday. The sales increase followed a rise of 47 percent in February and 18.1 percent in the first month of the year. (Reporting by Nigel Davies; Editing by Martin Roberts)
PRINCETON, NJ, Apr 02 (MARKET WIRE) —
Dr. Robert J. Mislevy will assume the Frederic M. Lord Chair in
Measurement and Statistics at Educational Testing Service (ETS), company
officials announced today. He is currently a professor in the Department
of Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation, and an Affiliated Professor
of Second Language Acquisition and of Survey Methods, at the University
of Maryland, College Park. Mislevy worked at ETS from 1984 to 2001.
The ETS Board of Trustees created the Lord Chair to honor the outstanding
achievements and contributions of the late Frederick M. Lord, not just to
ETS but nationally and internationally in the fields of statistics and
psychometrics. In addition, the position honors the achievements of an
individual whose research in these fields has built on the foundations
created by Dr. Lord. Mislevy succeeds Dr. Paul Holland, first holder of
the Lord Chair.
“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Mislevy is returning to ETS to assume
the Lord Chair in Measurement and Statistics,” said ETS President and CEO
Kurt Landgraf. “Fred Lord was a pioneer in the field of educational
measurement, and his innovative work was instrumental in helping ETS
advance quality and equity in education. This is more critical than ever
today, and Dr. Mislevy’s demonstrated leadership in cognitive psychology
and educational measurement will be incredibly important in helping us
meet our mission.”
Mislevy received his Ph.D. in Methodology of Behavioral Research at the
University of Chicago. He has published two monographs and three edited
volumes. In addition, he has published more than 150 journal articles,
book chapters, and technical reports, including the chapter on Cognitive
Psychology and Educational Assessment in the 4th edition of “Educational
Measurement.” He is a co-holder of three patents.
“Dr. Mislevy is the perfect fit for this role, given his exceptional work
in applying advances in statistics, technology, and the learning and
cognitive sciences to practical problems in educational assessment. We
are extraordinarily fortunate to have Bob rejoin ETS,” added Senior Vice
President Ida Lawrence, who leads ETS’s Research and Development Division
where Dr. Mislevy will be located.
Among his honors and awards are the National Council of Measurement in
Education’s award for career contributions to educational measurement and
the American Educational Research Association’s Lindquist Award for
contributions to educational measurement. In 1994, he was elected
president of the Psychometric Society, and in 2007 was elected to the
National Academy of Education. He has served on the Defense Language
Testing Advisory Board, the Board of Testing and Assessment, and
committees of the National Research Council on issues concerning
assessment, instruction, and cognitive psychology. Mislevy also was a
primary author of the final report of the National Assessment Governing
Board’s Design Feasibility Team.
The holder of the Lord Chair will work to advance the field of
educational measurement and contribute to the improvement of ETS products
and services by providing intellectual leadership, conducting and
disseminating research, and providing consultation to ETS staff and
clients, especially in the areas of measurement and statistics. He will
assume the Lord Chair on
February 1, 2011.
Copyright 2010, Market Wire, All rights reserved.
Islamabad, Sep.19 (ANI): Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association’s former President Aitzaz Ahsan has said that former President General Pervez Musharraf is ‘shedding crocodile tears’ while admitting that removing Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry from office in 2007 was a mistake.
Referring to Musharraf’s speech at Trinity University in Saint Antonio, Texas, where the former general admitted that he had committed a mistake while sacking the then Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) from office, Ahsan said Musharraf had committed not only one but two mistakes by removing the higher judiciary and imposing an emergency in the country on November 3, 2007.
Talking to a private television channel, Ahsan said the government and the ‘independent’ judiciary should play their role in trying Musharraf under high treason charges.
He said it was not the right time for lawyers to take their struggle to roads, as they did previously while demanding restoration of the judiciary, The News reports.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has denied that Musharraf had taken the cabinet into his confidence before promulgating the Provisional Constitutional Ordinance (PCO) and imposing the emergency rule in 2007.
Interacting with media persons during an Iftaar party hosted by PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, several party leaders rejected the notion regarding Musharraf consulting the cabinet before taking the illegal and extra-judicial actions. (ANI)
Melbourne, Sep 18 (ANI): Tasmanian Cricket Association chairman Tony Harrison has said that Tim Paine’s match-winning one-day century for Australia against England should make all cricket followers aware of his class and potential.
“Wicketkeeper batsman Tim Paine’s first international one-day century scored against England overnight and his outstanding form behind the stumps have clearly stamped him as the heir-apparent Australian wicketkeeper,” Harrison said.
“Tim has easily fitted into international cricket and looks extremely comfortable in the Australian team,” he said.
Harrison said Paine was now clearly Australia’s second wicketkeeper behind Test incumbent Brad Haddin.
“But I am confident he can and will take the next step,” The Australian quoted Harrison, as saying.
Paine scored 111 runs giving Australia a 111-run victory over England in the penultimate match of their one-day series at Trent Bridge.
Australian selector David Boon today said that Paine was staking a claim for selection as Australia’s wicketkeeper for the domestic summer.
“It will be very important for him to continue to show this form and confidence through to the last game in England and then in the Champions Trophy,” Boon told ABC radio.
“Who knows? If he comes back to Australia and has a strong start to the domestic season his future is in his hands basically.” (ANI)
London, Sep 18 (ANI): It has emerged that more and more Brit men are having cosmetic surgery to get rid of their “moobs”.
According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), there has been a 44 per cent year-on-year rise in the number of men wanting to get rid of their ‘man boobs’.
The AGM of BAAPS in Cardiff heard that the procedure is now the fifth most popular cosmetic op for men, with more than 1,000 men forking out more than 2,000 pounds to get rid of their flabby breasts in the last 12 months.
Delegates were told over the past five years the numbers of men losing their moobs have shot up by an amazing 1,000 per cent.
“We are seeing men of all ages coming in to have their breasts made smaller,” the Sun quoted plastic surgeon Douglas McGeorge as saying.
“They are losing their inhibitions about the operation and deciding to undergo an operation which previously was a women’s operation,” he said.
McGeorge, who is based in Chester, revealed that a recent patient, who had never taken his shirt off, was typical of the men queuing up for the op.
“It was a grandfather who had never taken off his T-shirt in his life because he was so embarrassed about the size of his breasts,” he said.
“He had never been able to strip to the waist on the beach in front of his own children – but was determined not to be in the same position with his grandchildren,” he stated.
The moob jobs pushed out facelifts to become the fifth most popular plastic surgery for British men after nose jobs, eyelifts, ear corrections, and liposuction.
“Reasons for the upsurge include men being more open now about their physique than years ago,” plastic surgeon Fazel Fatah said.
“And they can get more and more information about it from internet sites which encourage them to have the op,” he added. (ANI)
Siliguri, Sept 18 (ANI): The festival of Durga Puja is just round the corner. However, this time around, the festival may not be full of pomp and show as compared with previous years in Siliguri.
The festival is known for massive makeshift tents or pandals which are put up by various festival organising committees.
Organising committees vie for making the best and unique pandals worth hundreds of thousands of rupees.
However, global economic slowdown has dampened the pandals-making spirit. Organisers have now to make do with less.
“This year, we have been hit by global recession. We generally depend on advertisements for our revenue, but this time no company has advertised with us. So, we have no other alternatives, but to cut down our budget,” said Sourav Nath, Secretary, Central Colony Puja Committee.
The recession has also pinched decorators as they are getting fewer orders for embellishing pandals.
“Puja committees have trimmed their budgets. This has affected us severely,” said Gopal Sarkar, General-Secretary, North Bengal Decorators Association.
Durga Puja is the biggest festival in Bengal.
The festival is also known as Dussehra and Navaratri in other parts of the country. (ANI)
Washington, Sep 18 (ANI): A jab of biomaterial gel into a spinal cord injury site may significantly improve healing, according to researchers at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Dr. Mark Preul and Dr. Alyssa Panitch have found in a study that injection of an engineered hydrogel made up mainly of hyaluronic acid (a naturally-occurring body substance) into the spinal cord injury site decreases scarring, and promotes a realignment of the spinal cord fibres around the injury site.
The hyaluronic acid, which forms a scaffold-like configuration may help to structurally stabilize the spinal cord injury site.
The researchers traced cells in the brain stem after injury, and found much higher levels in the hydrogel treated animals as compared to animals that did not receive the treatment, and approached nearly normal levels.
Treated animals had higher functional scores than their non-treated counterparts.
“Spinal cord injury is devastating to civilian and military populations – especially to the young. There has been little progress toward paradigms of regeneration and few results that show real, sustained functional recovery. We’ve been so pre-occupied with regeneration, but that is a highly complicated and difficult to define goal. This project is a synergy of neurosurgeons and bioengineers that attempts repair of the SCI lesion cavity using a tissue-engineering biomaterials approach,” says Preul.
He added that the team aimed at finding ways to structurally allow the body to better heal itself.
“In this project we did not add anything to the hyaluronic acid. It may be that adding growth factors or cells into the gel matrix may allow even better results,” he said.
Preul said that the results show “we may be on a practical path that can give hope to the many people who suffer this sort of injury.”
The work was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in San Diego where it won the Synthes Prize for Spine Research. (ANI)
London, Sep.17 (ANI): All-rounder Andrew Flintoff may have unwittingly incited the break-up of international cricket by his refusal of an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) incremental contract, but he has played down reports of a possible backlash.
Flintoff has assured that his rejection of an England increment contract, a second tier deal offered to him because of his retirement from Test cricket, did not lessen his commitment to England. The all-rounder, who is Dubai undergoing rehabilitation after knee surgery, made it clear that he has no intention of missing any England games should they clash with matches in the various Twenty20 franchise competitions he also hopes to be part of.
Although Flintoff has put all negotiations on hold while he recovers he is known to have been in preliminary talks with teams in Australia, where their revamped Twenty20 competition is to be called the Big Bash and South Africa, where the Pro20 is easily the most popular professional cricket in the country.
Sean Morris, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, said yesterday that other players would join Flintoff in rejecting national deals and that there may be a rash of early retirements from international cricket.
“I think there will be a lot of serious discussion in Johannesburg later this month among the parties and between the parties. I can’t overestimate its importance. In the space of a few weeks we have had two leading players withdrawing from components of the international game, Andrew Flintoff from Tests and Ricky Ponting, from Twenty20 internationals,” The Telegraph quoted Morris, as saying.
Flintoff’s move may stimulate more than debate.
England captain Andrew Strauss was mildly surprised by the decision.
“I’m not going to sit in judgement of him because we don’t know the reasons. We need to sit down and speak to him about why he’s done this and we’ll then make an informed decision about what that means to his availability for England,” he said. (ANI)
London, Sept 17 (ANI): Meat-flavoured chocolate might not be everyone’s idea of a yummy treat, but a Kiwi chocolatier’s salami-tinged creation is proving to be a hit with men.
Brainchild of Hanna Frederick, the venison chocolate truffles are made from a blend of dark chocolate and ground-up salty dried meat.
Shaped like small sausages, the sweets have a salami aftertaste, she said.dmitting it was a weird combination, she said meat and chocolate went together “amazingly well”, reports The Telegraph.
“There’s this smoky taste to start, then a strong chocolate flavour comes in, and at the end you have this wonderful taste of salami,” she told the Australian Associated Press.
She said the snack, being served as a starter to 150 people at New Zealand’s Meat Industry Association conference, has proven a hit with men “who can’t get enough of it”, but admits women have been “quieter” in expressing approval.
“Women tend to love their chocolate more fruity, more feminine, and I guess meat doesn’t have that feel to it,” she said. (ANI)
New Delhi, Sep.16 (ANI): Indian Olympic Association (IOC) President Suresh Kalmadi on Wednesday expressed confidence about the Commonwealth Games being held successfully in 2010.
Addressing a press conference here, Kalmadi, who is the Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Commitee, said: “Sports Minister M S Gill, Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit are working as a team to deliver a great Game.”
“We have hired many international experts to ensure there are no slip-ups,” he added.
He also brushed aside Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell’s criticism on New Delhi’s ability to successfully hold the 2010 Commonwealth Games, adding that Fennell’s doubts would be cleared next month.
Fennell had written to Kalmadi criticising New Delhi’s preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and said that a meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, may be required to sort out all preparatory-related issues.
Union Sports Minister M S Gill on Tuesday summoned Kalmadi to take stock of the situation. IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh was also present at the meeting.
Gill has met Dikshit to discuss the Games and the progress being made. (ANI)
Johannesburg, Sep.16 (ANI): Sex test runner Caster Semenya is “completely shattered” by claims she is half male, her spokeswoman said.
The 800m world champion has shut herself away at her university amid claims that International Association of Athletics Federations gender tests proved she had internal testes and no womb, reports The Mirror.
Athletics South Africa official Phiwe Mlangeni-Tsholetsane said she was struggling to come to terms with being humiliated on a global scale and has been placed on suicide watch.
She said: “Caster is completely shattered by all that has been said about her.
“She gets all the newspapers and reads them thoroughly. She has cable TV in her bedroom so there is no escape from all of this.”
The saga began four weeks ago at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin when the South African’s masculine looks and superb performances sparked talk that she might be male. (ANI)
London, September 16 (ANI): An electronic nose foil some people’s attempt to deceive their doctors by telling them that they are non-smokers, in order to get cheaper life insurance.
Paul Thomas at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, has revealed that their invention is a tweaked form of a commercially available e-nose.
The researcher says that it can detect the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath of a person who had smoked a cigarette.
The e-nose uses an array of 32 sensors whose electrical resistance changes as different VOCs are detected.
During a test, the researchers could correctly identified 37 out of 39 volunteers as either smokers or non-smokers relying upon on the resultant “smellprint”.
Based on their observations, the team came to the conclusion that such e-noses could quickly and reliably reveal smokers without the need for a blood or urine test.
The current method of measuring the carbon monoxide content of exhaled breath to confirm smoking activity picks up a smoker for only a few hours after their last cigarette.
It is even prone to error because it cannot tell whether carbon monoxide in the breath came from other sources such as traffic exhaust fumes.
Insurers are very interested in whether a person applying for health or life insurance smokes – for obvious reasons.
“Some insurance providers don’t ask questions about smoking at all, while others ask the question on an application form but do not require a test as the applicant is expected to answer the question honestly,” New Scientist magazine quoted Kelly Ostler-Coyle, of the Association of British Insurers, as saying.
By making the test simple and reliable, an e-nose could provide doctors with the truth in minutes, according to the researchers.
They, however, admit that their system needs further testing to prove its worth.
“This e-nose idea, whilst of interest, will require larger-scale trials to demonstrate clinical efficacy and patient acceptability before it can be considered for use,” says a spokesman for the UK Department of Health.
A research article describing the innovation has been published in the Journal of Breath Research. (ANI)
Leh, Sep 15 (ANI): Members of the exiled Tibetan community at Leh reacted strongly to the recent Chinese trespass into India’s border areas in Ladakh region.
Such concern was expressed by functionaries of Tibetan fora based at Leh on Monday.
Warning India of Chinese designs, Kunzang Dechen, President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Leh, termed China as the biggest threat to India.
“China these days is a great threat to India. I have seen through channels…that the Chinese are entering to the border but when Tibet is an independent nation, when Tibet is in between them, China has nothing to bother even. From Indian point of view, this must be settled through Tibet and not through China,” Deche added.
Sonam Gyatso, President of Tibetan Market Welfare Association, Leh, said that if the recent developments in Ladakh are ignored by the government of India, then Ladakh would also meet the same fate as Tibet.
“The one and half kilometres incursion by the Chinese troops in Ladakh…. written at the border area in Chinese ‘Republic of China’, all these will have a bad impact on Ladakh. In Pangong Lake, first they said 45 kilometres is under China and 45 kilometres is under India, which they (Chinese) have extended to 50 kilometres and if Ladakhi government and the authorities ignore this issue then whatever happened in Tibet, the same would happen in Ladakh also since Ladakh is a very isolated region,” Gyatso added.
Officials sources have said that Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 kilometres into the Indian territory near Mount Gya, which is recognised as the international border by India and China, and painted the word ‘China’ in Cantonese on the boulders and rocks there with red spray paint. The incursions were reported from the area generally referred in the Chumar sector in east of Leh.
The 22,420 ft Mount Gya, also known as “fair princess of snow” by the Army is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet. Its boundary was marked during the British era and is regarded as International border by the two countries.
The border patrol discovered the red paint markings on various rocks and boulders along the Zulung La (pass) on July 31 and the Chinese had entered into the area and written “China” all over the place, the sources said.
Indian soldiers later erased the text, writing ‘India’ instead.
This is not the first such reported intrusion. On June 21 Chinese helicopters had violated the Indian air space along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region. The Chinese troops also reportedly dropped expired tinned food packets in the area. (ANI)
Washington, September 15 (ANI): Changes in humidity and temperature may trigger asthma among kids, suggests a report.
Published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the report says that such weather changes have been found to result in a rise in Emergency Department (ED) visits for paediatric asthma exacerbations.
“We found a strong relationship between temperature and humidity fluctuations with pediatric asthma exacerbations, but not barometric pressure,” said Dr. Nana A. Mireku, an allergist at Dallas Allergy Immunology private practice in Dallas, formerly at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study that demonstrated these correlations after controlling for levels of airborne pollutants and common aeroallergens.
“Our study is also one of the few to examine the possibility that the weather one or two days before the asthma exacerbation may be as important as that on the day of admission, as the additional ED visits occur one to two days after the fluctuation,” she added.
The authors of the report write that patients experiencing an asthma attack often complain that weather fluctuations are a major trigger.
Dr. Mireku said: “the latest National Institutes of Health guidelines list ‘change in weather’ as a possible precipitating factor for asthma, but no previous studies have really examined this potential trigger in a rigorous fashion.”
According to the report, the retrospective 2-year study was performed at a large urban hospital of 25,401 children visiting the ED for an asthma exacerbation.
The researchers collected data on climactic factors, pollutants and aeroallergens on a daily basis.
They used time series analysis to evaluate the relationship of daily or between-day changes in climactic factors and asthma ED visits, controlling for seasonality, air pollution and aeroallergen exposure.
The effects of climactic factors were evaluated on the day of admission and up to five days before admission.
The researchers found that a 10 percent daily increase in humidity on a day or two before admission was associated with approximately one additional ED visit for asthma.
The authors write that between-day changes in humidity from two to three days prior to admission were also associated with more ED visits.
Daily changes in temperature on the day of or the day before admission increased ED visits, with a 10 degree F increase being association with 1.8 additional visits.
“Asthma is the most common chronic illness in childhood. Allergists have long known that weather conditions such as extremely dry, wet or windy weather can affect asthma symptoms. This study further defines the role of temperature and humidity on children’s asthma and confirms the importance of working with patients to identify the source of their symptoms and develop treatment plans that help prevent them,” said allergist Richard G. Gower, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). (ANI)
Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Sep.15 (ANI): Ending the Congress party’s domination of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) by taking over the presidency of the outfit, state Chief Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that it would be his endeavour to professionalise the activities of the GCA.
Speaking to reporters after being elected unanimously to the post, Modi said that there was so much taking place outside and beyond the world of cricket, that he would use every opportunity and technical know-how to make cricket in Gujarat more market savvy and a better sporting entity.
Thanking all those who had elected him unopposed, he said that in the coming months and years he would do his best to improve the state of cricket in the state.
Modi replaced Narhari Amin as GCA president.
The GCA, affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), governs the game of cricket in Gujarat.
It is involved in the conduct of the game from the grass root level to the International level. (ANI)
Sydney, Sep.13 (ANI): Out of favour Australian opening batsman Phillip Hughes had lunch and a long one-hour chat with Sachin Tendulkar when he was in India. He also spent some time in Nagpur with his coach Neil D’ Costa, who is contracted to the Vidarbha Cricket Association academy.
“The first thing Phillip said when he arrived was ‘I can’t change the past, but I can prepare for the future’,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted D’Costa, as saying from Nagpur.
“He got dropped and it was upsetting, but Phillip knows that in the Australian cricket team there are no apprenticeships. At that moment in time the selectors thought it was best he was not in the team and so be it. Phillip has already moved on from that,” he added.
“He was extremely mature about his work over here,” D’Costa said.
Hughes’s next assignment will be the shortest form of the game, the Champions League in South Africa. (ANI)
Imphal, Sep 12 (ANI): Normal life has been curbed in Manipur on Saturday due to a 24 hours general strike called by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) to protest against the alleged fake encounters.
The JAC is a group of NGOs, protesting the recent killing of a driver in an encounter.
The markets, shops, and business establishments in most parts of the state remained closed.
The transport services within the state and also with the neighboring states have been affected due to the strike.
A driver named Md Rehaman alias Tomba was killed along with five others, in an encounter with the security forces on September 8 at Awang Khul in Imphal West district.
The security forces maintain that the youths who were killed in the encounter were militants.
The All Manipur Rickshaw Drivers and Pullers Association (AMRDPA), said that Rehaman, who was member of the organization, was use to ferry passengers from Imphal to Moreh town from last 15 years. (ANI)