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03 Sep 2020
Hurra por el nuevo Medio Oriente

Ben venga il nuovo Medio Oriente

Volevamo un cambiamento nella regione ed ora sta prendendo forma davanti ai nostri occhi. Ma gli eterni detrattori continuano a pestare i piedi chiedendo di insistere sulla strada dello scontro che non ha mai portato nulla di buono a nessuno

Spesso ci preoccupiamo di dettagli banali mentre facciamo fatica a vedere il quadro più ampio. La visita ufficiale della delegazione israeliana negli Emirati Arabi Uniti – giunta su un aereo El Al che ha sorvolato l’Arabia Saudita con il permesso del Regno – è un giorno di festa per Israele.

Volevamo un nuovo Medio Oriente ed ecco che sta prendendo forma davanti ai nostri occhi. Certo, saremmo stati ben felici se anche i palestinesi si fossero uniti a noi. Saremmo stati ben felici di vedere le bandiere israeliane issate anche a Ramallah, come ad Abu Dhabi. Questo non è ancora successo, ma non c’è motivo di lamentarsi del fatto che la bandiera israeliana ha “solo” sorvolato il territorio saudita senza poter scendere su di esso.

I critici insistono a dire che non è successo niente di così eccezionale dal momento che Israele intrattiene già da parecchi anni rapporti più o meno clandestini con vari stati del Golfo. Personalmente ho visitato due stati del Golfo (Bahrain e Qatar) negli anni ’90 e sono persino andato nello Yemen. Ma poi scoppiò la seconda intifada, l’intifada delle stragi suicide, e tutto si è bruscamente fermato. Tutti i rapporti palesi divennero segreti o semplicemente cessarono di esistere. Tornarono a comandare i nemici della normalizzazione, e il perenne ostruzionismo dei palestinesi tornò a dettare le politiche.

1 settembre: funzionari degli Emirati Arabi Uniti salutano la delegazione israeliana a bordo dell’aereo El Al che si appresta a decollare da Abu Dhabi alla volta di Tel Aviv

Ora tutto è cambiato ed è stato detto loro: “basta”. I fautori della normalizzazione hanno rialzato la testa, e non per amore d’sraele ma per i loro propri interessi. Il che è meraviglioso. Quanto vorrei che anche i palestinesi potessero aderire e agire nel loro interesse. Ma preferiscono di gran lunga agire contro se stessi. È diventata per loro una seconda natura: danneggia noi, ma danneggia molto di più loro.

“Ma quante storie! Dopotutto gli Emirati Arabi Uniti sono una dittatura” esclamano alcuni critici. Trovo l’affermazione alquanto bizzarra se pensiamo che arriva dagli stessi che attaccavano e denigravano l’allora presidente degli Stati Uniti George Bush perché cercava di diffondere la buona novella della democrazia, e domandavano chi gli avesse dato tale autorità. Ora gli eterni malcontenti ribaltano la domanda contro Israele. E dunque cosa ci suggeriscono di fare? Rompere i rapporti anche con l’Egitto e la Giordania? Anche quelle non sono democrazie, dopotutto. Si tratta delle stesse persone che si crogiolano nel fango politico palestinese e ci fanno continuamente la predica sulla necessità di riconciliarci con Hamas perché è un movimento “importante” e – secondo loro – ricordare che è un gruppo totalitario, antisemita e sanguinario è solo una scusa per evitare il compromesso e la pace. In realtà costoro una giusta la dicono sui palestinesi: che non dovremmo occuparci più di tanto della posizione dell’entità palestinese nella classifica dei sistemi democratici. E allora facciano il piacere di smetterla di lamentarsi degli altri regimi arabi con cui Israele cerca di andare d’accordo.

Bandiere israeliane, Usa e degli Emirati all’aeroporto di Abu Dhabi

Ma questo nuovo trend all’interno del mondo arabo circa Israele rispecchia una tendenza reale o è soltanto un accordo tra leader che non ha nulla a che fare con l’opinione pubblica araba? Non ci sono ancora sondaggi d’opinione a sostegno di questa ipotesi, ma un’occhiata attenta ai mass-media arabi mostra chiaramente che qualcosa sta succedendo da quelle parti, e non è iniziata con l’accordo Israele-Emirati Arabi Uniti. Chi ha seguito negli anni il Middle East Media Research Institution (MEMRI) sa che si tratta di un processo. Articoli e opinioni che non ci saremmo mai sognati di leggere venti o trent’anni fa vengono oggi pubblicati non solo sui siti arabi che hanno sede in Occidente, ma anche sui principali quotidiani dei paesi arabi. Il famoso giornalista saudita Mashari Althaydi ha scritto che gli Emirati Arabi Uniti hanno raggiunto un “traguardo storico”. L’economista yemenita Manahel Thabet ha pubblicato un articolo in cui elogia i risultati scientifici di Israele e esorta i paesi arabi a cooperare con Israele. Non stanno “abbandonando la causa palestinese”. È qualcosa di molto più profondo e importante. È un mutamento di atteggiamento: la pace perseguita attraverso gli interessi reciproci e la normalizzazione anziché attraverso l’ostilità e i boicottaggi.

I detrattori, anche quelli all’interno di Israele, continuano a pestare i piedi chiedendoci di insistere sulla strada che per quasi un secolo non ha portato i palestinesi a nessun risultato, e invocano sempre più ostruzionismo e boicottaggi. Non hanno mai funzionato, ma che importa? Sono così ciechi nella loro ostilità preconcetta verso Israele che a loro sembra normale persino sostenere la coalizione islamista Qatar-Turchia-Hamas-Iran.

Abbiamo invece bisogno di altre svolte come quella odierna anche con il Sudan e l’Arabia Saudita, con il Bahrain e l’Oman. Forse anche con il Marocco, dove i turisti israeliani già si recavano senza difficoltà prima che si scatenasse il coronavirus. Questo nuovo accordo con gli Emirati non allontanerà la pace con i palestinesi più di quanto non sia già lontana. Al contrario, renderà chiaro ai palestinesi che anche loro devono cambiare corso. Vi sono molte persone di buona volontà sul versante palestinese che capiscono quanto hanno bisogno di un cambiamento, e la loro posizione viene rafforzata da questo accordo con gli Emirati Arabi Uniti e dalle relazioni con altri paesi.

Quindi, in termini storici, la visita israeliana negli Emirati di lunedì e martedì è sicuramente una cosa da festeggiare e c’è solo da augurarsi che arrivino altri giorni come questo.

Source: https://www.israele.net/ben-venga-il-nuovo-medio-oriente

03 Sep 2020
Hurra por el nuevo Medio Oriente

Hurra por el nuevo Medio Oriente

Opinión: Queríamos un cambio en la región y se está gestando ante nuestros ojos. Sin embargo, los detractores, algunos del lado israelí, exigen que sigamos por un camino que les ha fallado a los palestinos durante décadas.

A menudo nos preocupamos por trivialidades en la medida en que luchamos por ver un panorama más amplio.

La visita oficial de la delegación israelí a los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, volando por los cielos de Arabia Saudita en un avión de El Al con permiso del reino, es un día de celebración para Israel.

Queríamos un nuevo Medio Oriente y aquí está, tomando forma ante nuestros ojos.

Nos habría gustado que los palestinos se hubiesen unido a nosotros. Nos habría gustado ver izar banderas israelíes en Ramallah.

Esto aún no ha sucedido, pero tampoco es razón suficiente para lamentar que la bandera israelí “solamente” haya sobrevolado el territorio saudí y no hubiese estado izada sobre él.

Los críticos insisten en que no ha sucedido nada demasiado dramático si se toma en cuenta que Israel ha mantenido vínculos no oficiales durante muchos años con los estados del Golfo.

Ya visité Bahrein y Catar, en la década de 1990, e incluso viajé a Yemen, pero luego estalló la segunda Intifada y todo se detuvo de golpe.

Todos los lazos que estaban abiertos se volvieron encubiertos o simplemente dejaron de existir. Los enemigos de la normalización gobernaban y los palestinos, eternamente obstinados, dictaban políticas.

Los defensores de la normalización han levantado la cabeza, no por su amor por Israel, sino por sus propios intereses.

Esto es maravilloso. Ojalá los palestinos también pudieran unirse y actuar en su propio interés, pero prefieren actuar contra ellos mismos. Se ha convertido en una segunda naturaleza para ellos y, aunque nos duele, a ellos les duele mucho más.

“¿De qué se trata todo este alboroto? Después de todo, los Emiratos Árabes Unidos son una dictadura”, vociferaron algunos críticos.

Encuentro graciosa tal afirmación, ya que fueron los mismos que menospreciaron al ex presidente de los Estados Unidos, George Bush, mientras intentaba difundir el buen evangelio de la democracia y reflexionaba sobre quién lo había puesto a cargo.

Ahora, los eternamente descontentos le están haciendo la misma pregunta a Israel.

Entonces, ¿qué sugieren que hagamos? ¿Romper los lazos con Egipto y Jordania también? Después de todo, tampoco son democracias.

Estas son las mismas personas que se revuelcan en el barro palestino y nos predican sobre la necesidad de reconciliarnos con Hamas, porque esto es importante, y las afirmaciones sobre su falta de democracia son sólo una mala excusa para evitar el compromiso y la paz.

De hecho, tienen un buen punto sobre los palestinos. No deberíamos preocuparnos demasiado por la clasificación de la entidad palestina en la escala de democracia. Así que deberían hacernos un favor a todos y dejar de quejarse de otros regímenes árabes.

¿Es esta tendencia dentro del mundo árabe real, o es simplemente un acuerdo entre líderes que no tiene nada que ver con la opinión pública árabe?

Todavía no hay encuestas que respalden esta suposición, pero el análisis de los medios árabes muestra claramente que algo está sucediendo allí y que no comenzó con el acuerdo entre Israel y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos.

Aquellos que siguieron a la Institución de Investigación de Medios de Medio Oriente (MEMRI) a lo largo de los años saben que es un proceso.

Artículos que no hubiéramos soñado leer hace dos o tres décadas se publican hoy no sólo en sitios que operan en Occidente sino en los principales periódicos de los países árabes.

El destacado periodista saudí Mashari Althaydi escribió que los EAU alcanzaron un “logro histórico”.

El economista yemení Manahel Thabet publicó un artículo elogiando los logros científicos de Israel y pidió a los países árabes que cooperen.

No se están alejando de la causa palestina. Esto es algo mucho más importante. Es un cambio de actitud: paz a través de intereses mutuos y normalización, no mediante boicots.

Los detractores, incluso los de nuestro lado, siguen dando patadas, exigiendo que continuemos por el camino que les ha fallado a los palestinos durante casi un siglo, exigiendo más boicots y obstinación.

Son tan ciegos en su antagonismo hacia Israel que incluso apoyar a la coalición islamista Catar-Turquía-Hamás-Irán les parece normal.

Esto nunca ha funcionado, pero ¿qué diferencia hay? Son tan ciegos en su antagonismo hacia Israel que incluso apoyar a la coalición islamista Catar-Turquía-Hamás-Irán les parece normal.

Necesitamos más avances de este tipo con Sudán y Arabia Saudita, con Bahrein y Omán. Quizás incluso con Marruecos, donde los turistas israelíes ya viajaban sin escalas antes de que golpeara el COVID-19.

Este nuevo acuerdo no alejará más la paz con los palestinos. Todo lo contrario: les dejará claro que también deben cambiar de dirección.

Entonces, en términos históricos, la visita que comenzó el lunes es definitivamente un día festivo y, con suerte, aún están por llegar más días como éste.

Source: http://www.cciu.org.uy/news_detail.php?id=21842

03 Sep 2020
Historischer EL AL-Flug Tel Aviv – Abu Dhabi: EU-Politik und gewisse Medien schweigen

Historischer EL AL-Flug Tel Aviv – Abu Dhabi: EU-Politik und gewisse Medien schweigen

ie Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate (VAE) sind ein kleines, sehr junges Land, Israel ist noch kleiner und nur gut 70 Jahre jung. Was die Aufmerksamkeit in den internationalen Gremien wie UNO und EU anbelangt steht Israel seit Jahrzehnten mit Abstand auf Platz 1. Kein Land wurde von den UN mehr verurteilt als der Staat der Juden. Am Montag den 31. August 2020 – zur Mittagszeit – hätte Israel jede Aufmerksamkeit dieser Welt verdient.

Aber Politik und Medien der DACH-Länder (Deutschland, Österreich und Schweiz) haben sich seltsamerweise verkrochen als eine EL AL- Maschine in drei Stunden und 13 Minuten von Tel Aviv nach Abu Dhabi flog. Der Maschine entstiegen eine israelische Delegation mit dem kippatragenden Sicherheitsberater Meir Ben-Shabbat an der Spitze, der fliessend arabisch spricht. Neben ihm Jared Kushner, der aussenpolitische Berater des US-Präsidenten und der US-Sicherheits-Beauftragte Robert O´Brian. Nur eine einzige, der grossen deutschsprachigen Zeitungen fand angemessene Worte: Die Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ).

ZDF-Heute, ARD-Tagesschau, RTL und die Schweizer Tagesschau SRF fanden in ihren Haupt-Abend-Nachrichten kein Wort für das historische Ereignis in Nahost. Vergeblich suchte man zur Mittagszeit in den Online-Ausgaben von SZ (München), FAZ (Frankfurt), Die Presse Wien und t-online (Berlin, nennt sich gerne die am meisten angeklickte deutschsprachige Nachrichtenseite) eine aktuelle Wortmeldung oder ein Video zur Ankunft der ersten EL AL-Maschine in VAE, die auf dem Flug erstmals saudischen Luftraum nutzen durfte. Ist das Schweigen der EU-Politik und der Medien ein Zufall? Lag gar eine Nachrichtensperre vor?

Es kann nicht sein, was nicht sein darf

Beide Fragen können mit Nein beantwortet werden. Politik und Medien haben sich in den letzten Jahrzehnten in eine Stimmung geschrieben und in Schein-Analysen verbohrt, die eine bekannte Folgeerscheinung zeitigt: es kann nicht sein, was nicht sein darf. Die beiden von der veröffentlichten Meinung längst verurteilten (demokratisch gewählten) Staatslenker Donald Trump und Benyamin Netanyahu haben einen Erfolg vorzuweisen, den keiner ihrer Vorgänger oder gar einer der UN-Generalsekretäre, der EU-Aussenbeauftragten, der Aussenminister in Berlin, London oder Paris geschafft haben. Es muss sie alle so sehr schmerzen, dass es ihnen die Sprache verschlagen hat. Menschlich verständlich.

Politik verursacht Emotionen, aber geführt muss sie werden vor den Fakten der Geschichte, den aktuellen Gegebenheiten und vor allem für die Zukunft der Menschen, die gleichgültig welcher Religion oder Hautfarbe sie angehören und welcher Herkunft sie sind, in Frieden in Freiheit leben wollen. EU-Politiker und die Masse der Medien müssen sich jetzt eingestehen, dass Israel mit Hilfe der USA den Erfolg durch eine Politik der Stärke erzielt hat. Damit ist nicht nur die militärische Stärke gemeint. Israel ist auch eine erfolgreiche Wirtschaftsmacht, die einzige Demokratie im Nahen Osten und spielt auf dem Technologiemarkt der Zukunft auf allen gängigen Feldern wie Trinkwasser-Gewinnung, Daten-Sicherheit, Mobilität und innere Sicherheit weltweit eine führende Rolle.

El Al-Flug ELY971 am 31. August 2020. Der erste kommerziellen Flug zwischen Israel und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten während das Flugzeug den saudi-arabischen Luftraum überfliegt. Foto Screenshot FlightRadar24

Das Team Trump/Netanyahu, das von Journalisten mit fast allen Verbalinjurien belegt worden ist, hat vermeintlich unabdingbare Voraussetzungen für einen Frieden mit den arabischen Nachbarn weggewischt als hätten sie nie existiert: kein Rückzug aus der Westbank, Jerusalem bleibt ungeteilte Hauptstadt Israels, die Golanhöhen sind Bestandteil des Staates Israel, an eine Rückkehr von Palästinensern nach „Palästina“ in Millionenzahl ist nicht zu denken, die Ausgrenzung des Terrorzentrums Gaza ist eine unverbrüchliche Tatsache. Und trotzdem wurden Jared Kusher, Robert O´Brian und Meir Ben-Shabbat mit allen Ehren von VAE-Aussenminster Scheich Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan empfangen.

Was die deutschsprachigen Politiker und Medien nicht über ihre Lippen bekommen, kann man inzwischen in der Presse der arabischen Welt nachlesen. Yousuf Al-Sharif schreibt in Al-Bayan, einer populären Tageszeitung in Dubai aktuell über Israel:

„In den 70 Jahren seit seiner Unabhängigkeit sah sich Israel mehreren Herausforderungen gegenüber: einen Staat zu errichten…und seine Sicherheit inmitten eines historischen Konflikts zu garantieren. Von dieser Erfahrung können wir nur gewinnen und sie in ihrer Tiefe studieren. Dabei sollten wir alle Emotionen und Sympathien für die eine Seite auf Kosten der anderen Seite links liegen lassen.  Israels militärische Verteidigungspläne erlauben es, dem Staat über die gesamte Zeit auf sicheren Beinen zu stehen trotz aller Kriege…die seine Existenz bedrohten. Wir sollten aus dieser Erfahrung unsere Vorteile ziehen und die Geheimnisse des (israelischen) Erfolgs erkunden. In den letzten Jahren litt die Welt unter kontinente-überspannenden Terror, der viele Länder unserer Welt erreichte. Europäische Länder konnten ihre Städte und ihre Bürger nicht schützen…Israels Geimdienste gehören zu den stärksten der Welt und besitzen militärische Technologien, die sie selbst über Jahre entwickelt haben. Aber diese Technologie hat unsere arabischen Staaten, die sie unter den  aktuellen Bedrohungen dringend benötigen, nie erreicht…Wir müssen realistisch erkennen, dass Israel und seine Firmen, die in diesem Bereich aktiv sind, fortgeschrittener sind als andere Firmen weltweit und ihnen um Längen voraus sind. Das bedeutet, dass wir von Beziehungen mit Israel in den kommenden Jahren Vorteile gewinnen können.“

Die jemenitische Wirtschaftsberaterin Manahel Thabet, die in VAE lebt schreibt ebenfalls in Al-Bayan:

„Israel gibt für Forschung und Entwicklung 4,7 Prozent seines Bruttoszialprodukt aus und seine Universitäten gehören zu den besten im internationalen Vergleich… Es verfügt über 55 Einrichtungen der höheren Bildung, darunter acht Universitäten… Wissenschaftliche Forschung konzentriert sich auf die Bereiche Computer, Informatik, Software Industrie, Nuklear-Wissenschaften und die damit verbundene Technologie sowie Weltraum-Forschung, Biologie- und Medizin-Technologie….. Israel ist weltweit führend in deren Produktion und deren Forschung. Israels Wissenschaftler haben 138 881 fundierte Studien in wissenschaftlichen Zeitschriften veröffentlicht….Was die Kluft zwischen Israel und den arabischen Staaten am deutlichsten kennzeichnet, sind 16 805 international erteilte israelische Patente. Die Wirtschaftsberaterin lobt die weise Führerschaft der VAE, die den anti-israelischen Komplex, den viele arabische Gesellschaften plagen, gerade überwindet.“

Keine dahingesagten Freundlichkeiten

Der jahrzehntelang ausgeübte arabische Boykott Israels hat niemand mehr geschadet als den Arabern, schreibt Eglal Gheita, ein ägyptisch-britischer Rechtsanwalt. Die New York Times, alles andere als israel-freundlich, stellt im November 2019 fest, dass immer mehr arabische Intellektuelle, Diplomaten und Journalisten den arabischen Boykott als kontraproduktiv für die arabische Welt betrachten. Zu dieser Gruppe gehören Anwar Sadat, der Enkel des ermordeten ägyptischen Staatspräsidenten, der die Ansicht teilt, dass Isolation und Dämonisierung Israels den arabischen Staaten Milliarden an Handelsvolumen gekostet und der palästinensischen Sache geschadet haben.

Diese Stimmen sind keine dahingesagten Freundlichkeiten. Die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate – nicht nur sie – stehen vor grossen Herausforderungen. 2014 ist der Ölpreis eingebrochen und hat sich bis heute nicht erholt. Der Reichtum aus dem schwarzen Gold ist Vergangenheit. Die Corona-Pandemie hat den Emiraten allein in diesem Jahr einen 30prozentigen Verlust ihrer Öleinnahmen verursacht. Die weltweit wachsenden erneuerbaren Energien werden den Öl-Scheichtümern niemals mehr die Einnahmen ermöglichen wie im 20. Jahrhundert. Die Scheichs haben verstanden, dass ihre Zukunft jenseits des Öls liegt. Wirtschaftliche Expansion und soziale Sicherheit wird es nur mit Hilfe der Technologien von Morgen geben. Und die heissen: High Tech, Wissenschaft und Verteidigung. Kein Land in der Region kann ihnen das besser liefern als Israel. Und das alles nur drei Flugstunden entfernt.

Source: https://www.audiatur-online.ch/2020/09/02/historischer-el-al-flug-tel-aviv-abu-dhabi-eu-politik-und-gewisse-medien-schweigen/

25 Apr 2020

SCIENTISTS MAY BE CLOSE TO UNDERSTANDING WHY THE UNIVERSE EXISTS

Universal Imbalance
Scientists think that they’ve taken a step toward finally understanding one of the greatest mysteries of the universe: why it exists in the first place.

When the universe formed, it created both antimatter and matter, which destroy each other when they meet. So why there’s enough matter left to form all the galaxies, stars, and worlds out there is a key question.

Now, Scientific American reports that scientists have made substantial progress toward providing an answer.

Piecing It Together
The theory, called leptogenesis, posits that the Big Bang spewed out a massive number of subatomic particles called neutrinos. When those neutrinos eventually broke apart, leptogenesis suggests that they happened to form more matter byproducts than antimatter ones.

New findings out of Japan’s Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) experiment, which were published last week in the journal Nature, aren’t definitive evidence of the leptogenesis theory. But, pending the many follow-up experiments and analyses that would be necessary to actually make that declaration, SciAm reports that the findings do seem to strongly suggest that leptogenesis is on to something.

Missing Data
The study suggested there’s a 95 percent chance that the neutrinos break down into an uneven proportion of matter to antimatter, a measurement called CP violation. That sounds convincing, but it’s not good enough for such a fundamental mystery of the universe.


“We don’t call it a discovery yet,” Stony Brook University researcher and T2K team member Chang Kee Jung told SciAm.

Source: https://futurism.com/the-byte/scientists-close-understanding-why-universe-exists

14 Apr 2020

Scientists find 78% of people don’t show symptoms of coronavirus — here’s what that could mean

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, with 1.4 million cases and almost 75,000 deaths reported worldwide as of April 7. To slow down the spread and reduce mortality, governments across the world have put in place social distancing measures. When such measures are lifted, the “flattened epidemic curve” is expected to start rising again in the absence of a vaccine.

As most testing takes place inside hospitals in the UK and many other countries, the confirmed cases so far largely capture people who show symptoms. But to accurately predict the consequences of lifting the restrictions, we need to understand how many people with COVID-19 don’t show symptoms and to what extent they are contagious.

A recent study, published in the British Medical Journal, suggested that 78% of people with COVID-19 have no symptoms.

The findings are in line with research from an Italian village at the epicenter of the outbreak showing that 50%-75% were asymptomatic, but represented “a formidable source” of contagion. A recent Icelandic study also showed that around 50% of those who tested positive to COVID-19 in a large-scale testing exercise were asymptomatic.

Meanwhile, a WHO report found that “80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infections and 5% are critical infections”. Though we don’t know what proportion of that 80% were purely asymptomatic, or exactly how the cases were counted, it again points to a large majority of cases who are not going into hospital and being tested.

The new BMJ study is seemingly different to the findings of studies from earlier in the pandemic, which suggested that the completely asymptomatic proportion of COVID-19 is small: 17.9% on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship and 33.3% in Japanese people who were evacuated from Wuhan.

The new paper is based on collated data that Chinese authorities began publishing daily from April 1 on the number of new coronavirus cases in the country that are asymptomatic. It reports that “a total of 130 of 166 new infections (78%) identified in the 24 hours to the afternoon of Wednesday April 1 were asymptomatic”. They say that the 36 symptomatic cases “involved arrivals from overseas”, quoting China’s National Health Commission.

The new BMJ data is hugely important as the majority of new information and findings released daily worldwide is from the potentially small proportion of people who have shown symptoms, sought hospital help, undertook a test and tested positive. This is different to previous epidemics such as SARS, where most of the infections were symptomatic and could be traced.

Ultimately, widespread antibody testing, which is still not imminent, will be able to tell us how many people have already had COVID-19. This will give a better approximation of the total number of infections. This will be important in making decisions on lifting social distancing measures.

For example, if antibody testing suggests that a large proportion of the population has had COVID-19 already, there is a smaller chance of asymptomatic and undiagnosed cases spreading the infection once restrictions are lifted. But if only a very small proportion of the population has had the infection, then lifting of social distancing measures may have to be delayed until vaccination strategies are ready to be implemented.

Tweaking the models
Mathematical modeling allows us to develop a framework in which to mimic reality using formulaic expressions and parameters based on what we know about the virus spread. Models can be refined to replicate known aspects – for example the number of reported infections and deaths due to COVID-19. Such models can then be used to make a prediction about the future.

Ideally, a mathematical model for infectious disease spread should be based on parameters including the population of susceptible people, those exposed to the virus, those infected by the virus and those recovered from the virus. The group infected by the virus can further be split into asymptomatic and symptomatic population groups that can be modeled separately. But currently, there are large uncertainties around these numbers.

The new information will be crucial in addressing some of these uncertainties, and developing more robust and reliable modeling frameworks. This is because, although modeling has strong predictive power, it is only as good as the data it uses.

The data currently being used is from people who have tested positive to COVID-19 infections. And if asymptomatic infections are a large proportion of COVID-19 infections, as the recent estimates seem to suggest, then a number of model parameters potentially need to be refined and reconsidered. We don’t know how many people current models assume to be asymptomatic, but it could be different to the newly suggested 78%.

Increasing this number would considerably reduce the case fatality rate – the proportion of deaths per number of infections. That’s because, while the number of deaths related to COVID-19 are clearly countable, this new evidence suggests that there are a lot more infections than we thought, with a large proportion asymptomatic.

There is also very little information available to estimate the model parameter describing the time it takes for an infection to progress from asymptomatic to symptomatic. One study from Singapore suggested that progression occurs within one to three days. Confirming this will notably change the model predictions.

So while the new study suggests a large proportion of people may have already had COVID-19, we can’t say this for sure. Ultimately, we need a large blanket antibody testing strategy to confirm it.

Only then can we discuss whether the UK has reached “herd immunity” – whereby enough people have been infected to become immune to the virus – for this pandemic, and think about relaxing social distancing measures. Hopefully such a test will be available very soon.

Source: https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2020/04/13/scientists-find-78-of-people-dont-show-symptoms-of-coronavirus-heres-what-that-could-mean/

23 Mar 2020

Researchers Find Captivating New Details In Image of Black Hole

Last April, the international coalition of scientists who run the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight telescopes from around the world, revealed the first-ever image of a black hole.

Now, a team of researchers at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard have revealed calculations, as detailed in a paper published in the journal Science Advances today, that predict an intricate internal structure within black hole images caused by extreme gravitational light bending.

The new research, they say, could lead to much sharper images when compared to the blurry ones we’ve seen so far.

“With the current EHT image, we’ve caught just a glimpse of the full complexity that should emerge in the image of any black hole,” said Michael Johnson a lecturer at the Center for Astrophysics, in a statement.

The EHT image was able to catch the black hole’s “photon sphere” or “photon ring,” a region around a black hole where gravity is so overpowering, it forces photons to travel in orbits.

But as it turns out, there’s even more to the image.

“The image of a black hole actually contains a nested series of rings,” Johnson said. “Each successive ring has about the same diameter but becomes increasingly sharper because its light orbited the black hole more times before reaching the observer.”

Until last year, that internal structure of black holes remained shrouded in mystery.“As a theorist, I am delighted to finally glean real data about these objects that we’ve been abstractly thinking about for so long,” Alex Lupsasca from the Harvard Society of Fellows said in the statement.

These newly discovered substructures could allow for even sharper images in the future. “What really surprised us was that while the nested subrings are almost imperceptible to the naked eye on images — even perfect images — they are strong and clear signals for arrays of telescopes called interferometers,” Johnson added.

“While capturing black hole images normally requires many distributed telescopes, the subrings are perfect to study using only two telescopes that are very far apart,” Johnson said. “Adding one space telescope to the EHT would be enough.”

There might be other ways as well. In November, a team of Dutch astronomers suggested sending two to three satellites equipped with radio imaging technology to observe black holes at five times the sharpness of the last attempt.

Source: https://futurism.com/researchers-take-sharper-black-hole-images

15 Mar 2020

Scientists Discover “Peculiar” Teardrop-Shaped Star

“I’ve been looking for a star like this for nearly 40 years and now we have finally found one.”

A team of astronomers have discovered a strange star that oscillates in a rhythmic pattern — but only on one side, causing gravitational forces to distort it into a teardrop shape.

“We’ve known theoretically that stars like this should exist since the 1980s,” said professor Don Kurtz from the University of Central Lancashire and co-author of the paper published in Nature Astronomy on Monday, in a statement. “I’ve been looking for a star like this for nearly 40 years and now we have finally found one.”

The star, known as HD74423, is about 1.7 times the mass of the Sun and was spotted around 1,500 light years from Earth — still within the confines of the Milky Way — using public data from NASA’s planet-hunting TESS satellite.

“What first caught my attention was the fact it was a chemically peculiar star,” said co-author Simon Murphy from the Sydney Institute for Astronomy at the University of Sydney in the statement. “Stars like this are usually fairly rich with metals – but this is metal poor, making it a rare type of hot star.”

Stars have been found to oscillate at different rhythms and to different degrees — including our own Sun. Astronomers suspect they’re caused by convection and magnetic field forces inside the star.

While the exact causes of these pulsations vary, these oscillations have usually been observed on all sides of the star. HD74423, however, was found to pulsate on only one side because of its red dwarf companion with which it makes up a binary star system.

They were found to do such a close dance — an orbital period of just two days — that the larger star is being distorted into a teardrop shape.

The astronomers suspect it won’t be the last of its kind to be discovered.

“We expect to find many more hidden in the TESS data,” said co-author Saul Rappaport, a professor at MIT.

Source: https://futurism.com/scientists-peculiar-teardrop-shaped-star

25 Feb 2019
Why Sheikh Mohammed's vision, leadership style should be taught in schools

Why Sheikh Mohammed’s vision, leadership style should be taught in schools

Dubai’s creative leadership paving the road for emirate to light and shine

Think of leadership and vision and the first name that comes to mind is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Hence, academia, researchers and business executives have suggested that the vision and style of leadership of Sheikh Mohammed should be taught in the schools and be made a part of the curriculum.

“Dubai’s creative leadership is paving the road for this emirate to light and shine. The unique style of leadership of Sheikh Mohammed is inspiring all of us. The environment that Dubai created paved ways for individuals like us and this is the reason for being here and what I am now. I am indebted to His Highness,” said Dr Manahel Thabet, president of the Economic Forum for Sustainable Development.

“Being a resident of Dubai, I believe his leadership style should be taught in schools. Sheikh Mohammed has taken critical, crucial and quick decision to tame the complicated financial issues that Dubai faced in the past 10-15 years. His vision is distinguishing him from the rest of the world.”

Dr Thabet has been ranked among the 30 smartest people alive worldwide by SuperScholar and is a Guinness World Record holder in mind ability.

She highlighted different styles of his leadership such as Dubai’s march towards being a knowledge-based economy, as well as the creation of incubators and accelerators, which she suggested they should be followed by emerging economies.

Dr Raed Safadi, chief economic advisor at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, pointed out that the critical element of Sheikh Mohammed’s vision is flexibility, which helps seize an opportunity that arises and also foresee future challenges.

“This emirate has embraced technological changes before they were common currency. There was fear that technology is going to take away jobs, but we are embracing it – not fearing it,” he said during a panel discussion on leadership organised by Accounting, Audit & Advisory Services Focus Group (AAA), a unit of the Indian Business & Professional Council, in Dubai.

Sanjay Manchanda, CEO of Nakheel Properties, said Sheikh Mohammed is a great inspiration.

“Thanks to the vision of His Highness, they realised that there is somebody capable of [handling Nakheel] and that is how I took my seat as CEO,” Manchanda said during the panel discussion on leadership.

He strongly recommended public to read Sheikh Mohammed’s latest book, Qissati, which reveals a strong message of how Sheikh Mohammed shaped the business and the emirate with his vision. Citing an example, he said: “Dubai started the Government Summit and that has taken his entire vision to global platform of bringing global audience to the UAE.”

Naweed Lalani, head of audit and credit rating agencies supervision at the Dubai Financial Services Authority, also recommended reading 50th chapter of Sheikh Mohammed’s latest book, which talks about leadership.

“His Highness said either innovate or leave – you cannot sit without innovating. The leaders need not necessarily be creative but catalyst for the change.”

Naveen Sharma, convener at AAA Focus Group, said creativity will be an essential talent that people will be judged on by 2020.

“IBM had conducted a global CEO study and the results surprised the world. Creativity was selected as the most crucial factor for future success – way ahead of integrity, openness and even fairness.”

Other keynote panelists, speakers and attendees were Mishal Kanoo, chairman of Kaaf Investments; Abbas Ali Mirza, past president of the IBPC and ICAI Dubai Chapter; Dr Mohammed Abu Ali, dean of the school of business administration and professor of economics at American University; Rahul Mahajan, vice-president fpr digital transformation at Nagarro; and Mahmood Bangara, chairman of ICAI – Dubai Chapter.

Source: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/why-sheikh-mohammeds-vision-leadership-style-should-be-taught-in-schools