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Stanford’s Steven Solomon advanced out of his first-round heat in the 400 while competing for Australia at the Commonwealth Games on Monday in Glascow, Scotland.

Solomon, a junior and the school record holder, ran 46.26 to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals, which he did not finish.

Solomon pulled up at the 200 meter mark with an apparent left hamstring injury according to Athletics Australia.

Racing in one of the deepest events in Glasgow, Solomon eased down to finish to secure one of three automatic qualifying spots in his heat.

“I did exactly what I needed to,” said Solomon to Athletics Australia. “I set my race up well and it was my first hit out in a fair while so it was good to get rid of the rust and come back tomorrow firing.”

It was Solomon’s first race since finishing second at the Pac-12 Championships on May 18.

“I think I will have a whole new tank by tomorrow. When you haven’t raced for a while that first one back can be a bit dusty, but I got through the round and that’s what I had to do today.”


Former Stanford rowers Elle Logan and Grace Luczak were announced as members of the women’s eight for the United States heading into the 2014 World Championships.

Following the national team camps at Princeton, N.J., the USA picked its boat lineups based on previous results from training and regattas.

Logan will make her fifth World Championships appearance and seek out her fourth medal. She captured gold medals in the eight in both 2010 and 2011. She earned silver in Poland in 2009. Last year she competed in South Korea in the 1x and placed fifth.

Luczak will appear at the World Championships for the third time. She won gold with Logan last year in South Korea. In 2010, Luczak picked up a bronze medal in the 4- at Lake Karapiro, New Zealand.

USRowing also announced Monday that former Stanford rowers David Banks and Austin Hack have been named to the men’s eight lineup following the national team selection camp.

Hack, who graduated in June with a political science degree, will make his second straight World Championship appearance. He also competed in the men’s eight last year in South Korea, earning a bronze medal with Team USA.

Banks will be at the World Championships for the third time, but first since 2010 when he placed sixth in the men’s eight in New Zealand. The previous year he competed in the 2- and placed fifth in Poland.

The 2014 World Championships will take place August 24-31 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Former Stanford head coach John Rittman has been named associate head coach at Kansas.

Rittman, who coached the Cardinal from 1997-2014 before resigning following a 30-25 season, will concentrate his efforts with the Jayhawks on hitting, according to the school’s web site.

Women’s basketball

Stanford grad Nneka Ogwumike scored 21 points and had eight rebounds as the Los Angeles Sparks ended a five-game home losing streak with a 77-73 win over the Indiana Fever on Monday night.

“We want to be able to defend Staples and we want it to be our territory,” Ogwumike told AP. “There’s no reason why we should have more wins on the road than at home. Granted, it seems we can handle the road quite well, but we want to be able to get the advantage we can when we play on our home floor, especially coming into the playoffs.”

Ogwumike scored the final four points for the Sparks.

For a full recap and video, visit the WNBA website here.

Chiney Ogwumike scored 16 points and had six rebounds but it was not enough as the Connecticut Sun lost its fourth straight, dropping an 89-80 decision to host Atlanta Dream on Tuesday morning.

Women’s rugby

Stanford forward’s Aly Gleason and Maxine Fonua were named Women’s Collegiate All-Americans.

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Very low levels of LDL are associated with reduced risk for major CV events, according to the results of a new meta-analysis of statin trials.

The results may have implications for the debate over whether LDL target goals should be part of a strategy to manage CV risk factors. A 2013 guideline published by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association abandoned LDL target goals in favor of initiating statin treatment based on a person’s underlying risk categories.

S. Matthijs Boekholdt, MD, PhD, and colleagues analyzed 38,153 patients assigned to statin therapy in eight trials to evaluate the association between CVD risk and very low levels of atherogenic lipoproteins achieved with statin therapy, the proportion of patients not reaching guideline-recommended lipid levels with high-dose statin therapy, and the interindividual variability in reductions of LDL, non-HDL and apolipoprotein B levels achieved with statin therapy.

The researchers observed 6,286 major CV events — defined as fatal or nonfatal MI, fatal or nonfatal stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina and other CHD — in 5,387 study participants during 155,373 person-years of follow-up.

LDL linked to CV risk

Boekholdt, of the department of cardiology at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues found that compared with patients achieving LDL 175 mg/dL, those achieving LDL 75 mg/dL to 100 mg/dL (HR=0.56; 95% CI, 0.46-0.67), LDL 50 mg/dL to 75 mg/dL (HR=0.51; 95% CI, 0.42-0.62) or LDL 50 mg/dL (HR=0.44; 95% CI, 0.35-0.55) had a lower risk for major CV events.

They found similar results for non-HDL and ApoB levels.

The researchers also found that more than 40% of those assigned high-dose statins in the trials did not achieve an LDL target 70 mg/dL, and that there was large interindividual variability in the reductions of LDL, non-HDL and ApoB levels achieved with a fixed statin dose.

The only evidence observed of safety issues in those achieving very low levels of atherogenic lipoproteins was a slightly higher risk for hemorrhagic stroke compared with those achieving moderate levels, but the number of hemorrhagic strokes observed was low and did not provide the statistical power to draw definitive conclusions, the researchers wrote.

Lower may be better

Ori Ben-Yehuda, MD, and Anthony N. DeMaria, MD, wrote in a related editorial that the finding that the major CV event rate at 1 year increases with each tier of LDL level “supports the premise that ‘lower is better’ when it comes to LDL goals.”

However, they wrote, because participants in most of the trials received a fixed statin dose and did not receive an individual goal to attain, the LDL levels achieved were “due to the complex interaction between the statin (including the dose) and the individual patient’s biology.” That, they wrote, means that it is “unclear whether it is the LDL level achieved or the patient’s ability to respond to a statin dose that is the key determinant of the better outcomes.”

Ben-Yehuda, of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, New York, and DeMaria, of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, noted that because the LDL levels are influenced by multiple factors that may affect CV risk, “the present meta-analysis does not disprove the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines contention that there are inadequate data at the present time to indicate specific LDL targets of therapy.” Therefore, they concluded, lipid trials assessing specific LDL goals instead of specific drug doses are necessary.

For more information:

Ben-Yehuda O. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64:495-497.

Boekholdt SM. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64:485-494.

Disclosure: See the full study for a list of the researchers’ relevant financial disclosures. Ben-Yehuda and DeMaria report no relevant financial disclosures.

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Militant members of the Donetesk Republican Party (DRP) resumed a bitter battle with Ukraine forces on Saturday. These unresolved differences, occurring in near proximity to the crash site of Flight MH17, continue to strain efforts to excavate the wreckage of Flight MH17.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 left the airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands, headed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, before making a deadly landfall in the rebel-held territory of Ukraine on July 17. DRP members claimed they were responsible for shooting a missile at the airliner, which carried nearly 300 passengers at the time.

Last week, responding to reports that DRP rebels were blocking entrance to the crash site, members of the UN Security Council spoke of the urgency of recovering the remaining evidence from Flight 17. Council members said Ukraine would be ultimately held responsible for any damage created by not showing respect for the loss of human lives.

Shortly after the meeting, Ukraine and DRP both agreed to allow international forensic teams from the Netherlands and Australia access to the location of the crash. Soon after the forensic investigation began, armed guards began circling the area where researchers were preparing to excavate the evidence. The armed guards surrounding the site were told that the forensic teams were there to search for all remains of the wreckage and the victims.

During the initial process which began in Ukraine last week, scientists quickly found 40 of the missing victims and two of the plane’s black boxes. Sources explained the rest of the search would be far more time-consuming because of the difficulty in identifying smaller pieces of the remains. Still, the researchers were determined to find the evidence before violent fighting disrupted the search.

Ukraine’s unresolved differences put a strain on the excavation of Flight MH17 when DRP militants began fighting in an area close to where the remains are located. At first, the researchers believed the gunshots heard in the air were coming from allies trying to secure the area from Ukraine rebels, sources said. As the shots got louder, forensic investigators noticed the shots were coming from Ukraine rebel gangs who had stationed themselves around the outside perimeter of the investigation field.

The prime minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, wrote in an email that arrangements had been made on Sunday with pro-Russian rebel leader Alexander Borodai to allow 30 unarmed international military troops to secure the area around the Ukrainian site while researchers looked for evidence. However, sources reported on Monday that the ongoing DRP revolt against the Ukraine government made retrieving evidence from the Flight 17 crash site too dangerous for researchers to continue with their investigation.

Although there are many villages near the area of the crash site, the closest city is Shakhtyorsk, located directly in the center of DRP occupation. Reporters told officials that armored military vehicles were spotted along the roadside for hours without identifying themselves. Sources also indicated that the main road in Shakhtyorsk leading to the crash site had been blocked off from additional international forensic teams and the recently deployed security guards. No statements have yet been made to address the blocked access to the only road leading to the crash site.

Because the dispute between Ukraine and DRP rebels has gone on long before the fatal crash of MH17 over the rebel-held territory, it is difficult to know for sure if the plane was directly targeted or if its destruction was an accident. No possibilities have been ruled out at this time as officials try to discern the events that led to Flight MH17 being shot out of the sky.

While Ukraine’s unresolved differences continue to put a strain on the excavation of Flight MH17, the families of the victims are very concerned with the difficulties that have occurred with the recovery of the plane. Many national observers believe that airplane accidents and tragedies are becoming more frequent and are taking place mostly in eastern parts of the world.

By Kimakra Nealy
Time Magazine
NY Times
National Post

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PUNTACANA Resort Club has appointed Lizette Hassell Director of Sales and Hospitality of the property’s three hotels; Tortuga Bay, The Westin PUNTACANA Resort Club, and Four Points by Sheraton PUNTACANA Village. In this newly created role, Hassell will oversee sales, events and meetings, while working closely with Grupo Puntacana’s marketing and public relations teams.
Hassell hails from Amsterdam where she was Director of Sales and Marketing for the five-star De L’Europe Amsterdam, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. During her time there, she was instrumental in the renovation, rebranding and internal restructure of the marketing and sales departments.

In addition to her tenure at De L’Europe, she held director positions at luxury hotels such as The Betsy South Beach and spent 13 years with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in the South Florida region. The combination of hallmark hotel groups and independent hotels experience will be an asset to the PUNTACANA Resort Club, which includes both Starwood and Leading Hotels of the World-branded properties.

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Focus on best practice and delegate experience in London, Berlin, Milan and Amsterdam

The Smart Building Conference – a joint venture of InfoComm International and CEDIA – is to expand significantly in the coming months with the staging of four events addressing some of Europe’s most energetic markets for audiovisual technology and systems integration.


Conference organiser Integrated Systems Events, the company responsible for the globally acclaimed ISE trade show, has announced a schedule that will see the SBC stop off in London, Berlin and Milan this coming autumn, before returning to Amsterdam for ISE 2015 next February.

Mike Blackman, Managing Director, Integrated Systems Events, comments: “After successfully staging SBC events at the last two ISE shows and in London last October, we believe the time is right to roll out the Smart Building Conference brand across Europe. Our strategy will be for our three events this autumn to have local content tailored to each country’s regional market, while next year’s Amsterdam SBC will serve as the brand’s international meeting point.”

To this end, content for the SBC events in London, Berlin and Milan is being produced in close consultation with local partners in each country, while Conference proceedings in the three cities will be conducted in English, German and Italian, respectively. As in previous years, the Amsterdam programme will be conducted in English.

Content for all four events is being managed by Agata Pawlik, newly recruited Conference Manager at Integrated Systems Events. Fluent in four languages including German and Italian, Pawlik has over a decade of experience in B2B conference production in Europe, the Middle East and beyond.

Pawlik is to be supported by ISE’s International Sales Manager Elisabeth Kondakow, who will look after sponsorship sales, and by new recruit Ilona Jacobi, who will assist with marketing and logistics in addition to performing similar duties for the Amsterdam show.

Bob Snyder, Editor-in-Chief of Channel Media Europe and the moderator at all three SBC events so far, will continue in the role in London and Amsterdam, with local-market MCs being sought for Berlin and Milan.

The full SBC schedule and venue listing is as follows:

Tuesday 7 October 2014 – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London
Thursday 6 November 2014 – Mövenpick Hotel, Berlin
Tuesday 18 November 2014 – nhow Hotel, Milan
Monday 9 February 2015 – RAI, Amsterdam

The London, Berlin and Amsterdam events will both feature parallel tracks for residential and commercial building applications, with the first two also offering the option of full-day workshops at additional cost – the day after the SBC in London, the day before in Berlin. The Milan event takes place in the same week as the SIEC industry gathering at which both CEDIA and InfoComm are expected to offer additional industry training and networking opportunities.

“In all cases, the Smart Building Conference will focus on content of the highest quality and integrity, with best-practice presentations and panel discussions giving delegates the insight they need to make the most of the intelligent building revolution,” Blackman continues.

“Our venues have been carefully selected to offer a comfortable, businesslike environment in which speakers, partners, sponsors and delegates alike can enjoy networking and the exchange of information. With our joint-venture owners CEDIA and InfoComm International both contributing their expertise to the programme in all four of our locations, we are confident that the Smart Building Conference brand is set for a year of substantial growth.”

More information on the SBC 2014-15 schedule is available at:

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MOSCOW/LONDON/AMSTERDAM–An international arbitration court ruled on Monday that Russia must pay $50 billion for expropriating the assets of Yukos, the former oil giant whose ex-owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky fell foul of the Kremlin.

Finding that Russian authorities had subjected Yukos to politically-motivated attacks, the panel made an award to a group of former Yukos shareholders that equates to more than half the entire fund Moscow has set aside to cover budget holes.

Russia, whose economy is on the brink of recession, said it would appeal the ruling by the Dutch-based panel, which judges private business disputes. It also said the “politically biased decision” was based on “current events” – an apparent reference to Moscow’s dispute with the West over Ukraine.

Independent lawyers said it would be difficult to enforce the award to shareholders in the GML group, who had claimed $114 billion to recover money they lost when the Kremlin seized Yukos a decade ago. Tim Osborne, director of GML, hailed the ruling. “The award is a slam dunk. It is for $50 billion, and that cannot be disputed,” he said. “It’s now a question of enforcing it.”

The ruling hit back at decisions made under President Vladimir Putin’s rule during his first term as president to nationalise Yukos and jail Khodorkovsky, who had criticised him. The hardline approach was seen by Kremlin critics at the time as a stark message to oligarchs to stay out of politics.

Khodorkovsky, who used to be Russia’s richest man, was arrested at gunpoint in 2003 and convicted of theft and tax evasion in 2005. Yukos, once worth $40 billion, was broken up and nationalised, with most assets handed to Rosneft, an energy giant run by an ally of Putin.

After 10 years in jail, Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky in December and he now lives in Switzerland.

Announcing it would appeal, the Russian Finance Ministry denounced the award. “Instead of an objective, impartial consideration of the case, the arbitration court ruled based on current developments and as a result adopted a politically biased decision,” it said in a statement on its website.

Moscow’s relations with the West are at their worst since the Cold War due to its annexation of Crimea and over a rebellion by separatists in Ukraine after a pro-Russian president was forced out of office. Russia argued that the court in the Hague had ignored tax violations by Yukos and said it was senseless and speculative to value the company so long after the events. Lawyers, however, said there were only limited grounds on which to appeal.

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Jackie Butler learns about the dancing of Sidmouth FolkWeek as it approaches 60.


It all began with some 100 people gathering for a “seaside holiday with dancing” in the pretty, walled Connaught Gardens on the seafront at Sidmouth. Sixty years on, the East Devon town’s FolkWeek is the best-loved and most significant knees-up on the folk calendar, as well as being one of the oldest folk festivals in Europe.

From August 1 to 8, this picturesque Regency coastal resort will once again be awash with thousands of folk lovers from around the globe, its streets resounding to the tip-tapping of dancing shoes, harmonious voices raised in unison and the soothing strum of guitars, all held together by a warm communal spirit.

It promises to be its customary colourful spectacle, but with some extra sparkle to mark its diamond anniversary in style, involving friends old and new. Music will echo from a myriad venues, from the 1,100-seater concert marquees hosting major headline acts like Cara Dillon, Oysterband and Steve Knightley to small pub session singalongs, and buskers on the pavements.

From the 100 who came 60 years ago, this year they’re expecting around 65,000 folk fans and casual observers to turn up over the week to enjoy family friendly music, dance, ceilidhs, storytelling, workshops and special children’s events.

It was Eileen Phelan of the English Folk Dance and Song Society – who died aged 90 just before last year’s festival – who suggested Sidmouth as a fine location for a West Country offshoot of their Stratford-upon-Avon Folk Festival.

Little did Eileen know as she negotiated the bureaucracy necessary to establish such an event to promote the tradition of folk dance, that she was creating an entity with such longevity and resilience.

For it hasn’t always been an easy ride for the festival. The first one ran from July 30 to August 6 1955, setting a precedent for the festival timing to always include the first Monday in August. It was a huge success and got under people’s skin immediately.

Les Barclay, a first festival “survivor” remembers his “legs aching with all the dancing” by the middle of the week. And, along with Pam Berry, who was an eight-year-old at the debut event, Les will be back for more in 2014 to lead an opening The Way We Were dance, as well as sharing his memories of the first festival in an interview with fellow veteran Eddie Upton.

Sidmouth quickly became a “must” in the folk dancers’ calendars. There was a brief sojourn to Exmouth in 1959 and 1960, but as Aileen Wills, one of the early EFDSS organisers, puts it, “the atmosphere was wrong and it soon returned to Sidmouth!” And there it has remained ever since, sometimes against the odds, waxing and waning with the tide and the climate, both meteorologically and metaphorically, facing major successes and severe challenges.

For its first 30 years the festival was organised by the EFDSS and in the 1960s, under the direction of Bill Rutter, the festival broadened its horizons from small-scale dance event into major international festival.

In 1963, the Rory O’Connor Irish Dancers were the first overseas dance group to appear, and from that point onwards an increasing focus on international dance, alongside British ritual dance groups, at twice-daily dance and music shows.

By the end of the decade audiences had blossomed so much that the displays had to move from the Connaught Gardens to the natural amphitheatre at The Knowle.

Performers from all five continents were watched by thousands of festival-goers, sitting on picnic rugs on the bank overlooking the stage.

Notable performances through three decades included the French stilt dancers Lous Las Aygues, the Apple Chill Appalachian Cloggers, the Sicilian jug-throwing Gruppo Folk Canterini della Riviera Jonica, the masked carnival dancers of Ponte Caffaro, Italy, the Sbandieratori dei Borgh e Sestieri Fiorentini flag throwers and the Hupsakee from Amsterdam.

This was all way before the world music explosion of the 1980s, confirming Sidmouth’s agenda as a trendsetter. Dance may have dominated in those early years, but in 1962, Bill Rutter began to introduce daily folk song sessions – there were only a handful of folk clubs in the UK then.

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The cancellation of Raya open houses by ministers and state governments showed the world Malaysia was mourning the Malaysia Airlines tragedies, a minister said.

Malaysia endured two heartbreaks following the disappearance of MAS’ flight MH370 and the shooting down of flight MH17, just months apart.

Flight MH370 went missing on March 8, an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, while flight MH17 was shot down on July 17 while flying over Ukraine airspace en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

There were 239 passengers and crew on board MH370, while MH17 had 298 passengers and crew on board.

Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the decision to cancel the events, which were synonymous with Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations in Malaysia, was an appropriate move as a mark of respect to the passengers and crew involved in the two incidents.

“We want to tell the world that Malaysians are in mourning, Malaysians are saddened,” Bernama reported him as saying.

The ministers’ open house at the Seri Perdana Complex in Putrajaya was initially scheduled to be held today.

State governments, including Selangor, Malacca, Terengganu, Kelantan, Penang and Sabah, also cancelled their respective Aidilfitri open house following Putrajaya’s decision.

On a related matter, Ahmad Shabery advised media practitioners to be responsible in their coverage of MAS Flight MH17 tragedy so that they do not hurt the feelings of family members of the victims.

He was commenting on criticisms levelled at a Malaysian news portal journalist who is said to have poked at the remains of an MH17 victim at the crash site in eastern Ukraine.

“Not every item found at the location (of the crash site) could be part of a victim’s remains,” he told the national news agency.

Ahmad Shabery said media reporting on the tragedy should assist the investigation team in finding evidence as the area where the plane was brought down was embroiled in a conflict.

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