Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 38

Search results for: Azura Amid

38 Total Lipid of Mutant Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002

Authors: Azlin S Azmi, Mus’ab Zainal, Sarina Sulaiman, Azura Amid, Zaki Zainudin


Microalgae lipid is a promising feedstock for biodiesel production. The objective of this work was to study growth factors affecting marine mutant Synechococcus sp. (PCC 7002) for high lipid production. Four growth factors were investigated; nitrogen-phosporus-potassium (NPK) concentration, light intensity, temperature and NaNO3 concentration on mutant strain growth and lipid production were studied. Design Expert v8.0 was used to design the experimental and analyze the data. The experimental design selected was Min-Run Res IV which consists of 12 runs and the response surfaces measured were specific growth rate and lipid concentration. The extraction of lipid was conducted by chloroform/methanol solvents system. Based on the study, mutant Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 gave the highest specific growth rate of 0.0014 h-1 at 0% NPK, 2500 lux, 40oC and 0% NaNO3. On the other hand, the highest lipid concentration was obtained at 0% NPK, 3500 lux, 30°C and 1% NaNO3.

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, lipid, mutant, marine Synechococcus sp. (PCC 7002), specific growth rate

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37 Modifiable Poly Methacrylic Acid-Co-Acrylonitrile Microgels Fabricated with Cu and Co Nanoparticles for Simultaneous Catalytic Reduction of Multiple Compounds

Authors: Muhammad Ajmal, Muhammad Siddiq, Nurettin Sahiner


We prepared poly(methacrylic acid-co-acrylonitrile) (p(MAc-co-AN)) microgels by inverse suspension polymerization, and converted the nitrile groups into amidoxime groups to obtain more hydrophilic amidoximated poly(methacrylic acid-co-acrylonitile) (amid-p(MAc-co-AN)) microgels. Amid-microgels were used as microreactors for in situ synthesis of copper and cobalt nanoparticles. Cu (II) and Co (II) ions were loaded into microgels from their aqueous metal salt solutions and then converted to corresponding metal nanoparticle (MNP) by treating the loaded metal ions with sodium borohydride (NaBH4). The characterization of the prepared microgels and microgel metal nanoparticle composites was carried out by SEM, TEM and TG analysis. The amounts of metal nanoparticles within microgels were estimated by AAS measurements by dissolving the MNP entrapped within microgels by concentrated HCl acid treatment. Catalytic performances of the prepared amid-p(MAc-co-AN)-M (M: Cu, Co) microgel composites were investigated by using them as catalyst for the degradation of cationic and anionic organic dyes such as eosin Y (EY), methylene blue (MB) and methyl Orange (MO), and for the reduction of nitro aromatic pollutants like 2-nitrophenol (2-NP) and 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) to their corresponding amino phenols. Here, we also report for the first time, the simultaneous degradation/reduction of MB, EY, and 4-NP by amid-p(MAc-co-AN)-Cu microgel composites. Different parameters affecting the reduction rates such as metal types, amount of catalysts, temperature and the amount of reducing agent were investigated.

Keywords: microgels, nanoparticles, catalyst, pollutants

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36 China’s Health Silk Road in the Middle East and Europe during COVID-19

Authors: Wanda Luen-Wun Siu, Xiaowen Zhang


The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportune time for China to deploy its health diplomacy around the world. This paper focused on China’s health diplomacy along the path of its Health Silk Road, with particular emphasis on the Middle East and Europe amid COVID-19. This paper employed a retrospective literature review, analyzed China’s health diplomacy in such regions to cultivate bilateral and multilateral relationships. And findings argued that such health diplomacy is a success, and Beijing has assumed a leadership role in the world’s health governance. This research contributes to the literature in health diplomacy and suggests that amid the ever changing international order, China has exerted great effort in its health diplomacy and established itself as a responsible world power.

Keywords: china’s health silk road, COVID-19, europe, middle east

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35 Building Capacity and Personnel Flow Modeling for Operating amid COVID-19

Authors: Samuel Fernandes, Dylan Kato, Emin Burak Onat, Patrick Keyantuo, Raja Sengupta, Amine Bouzaghrane


The COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the United States, forcing cities to impose stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders. Building operations had to adjust as non-essential personnel worked from home. But as buildings prepare for personnel to return, they need to plan for safe operations amid new COVID-19 guidelines. In this paper we propose a methodology for capacity and flow modeling of personnel within buildings to safely operate under COVID-19 guidelines. We model personnel flow within buildings by network flows with queuing constraints. We study maximum flow, minimum cost, and minimax objectives. We compare our network flow approach with a simulation model through a case study and present the results. Our results showcase various scenarios of how buildings could be operated under new COVID-19 guidelines and provide a framework for building operators to plan and operate buildings in this new paradigm.

Keywords: network analysis, building simulation, COVID-19

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34 Language Teachers Exercising Agency Amid Educational Constraints: An Overview of the Literature

Authors: Anna Sanczyk


Teacher agency plays a crucial role in effective teaching, supporting diverse students, and providing an enriching learning environment; therefore, it is significant to gain a deeper understanding of language teachers’ sense of agency in teaching linguistically and culturally diverse students. This paper presents an overview of qualitative research on how language teachers exercise their agency in diverse classrooms. The analysis of the literature reveals that language teachers strive for addressing students’ needs and challenging educational inequalities, but experience educational constraints in enacting their agency. The examination of the research on language teacher agency identifies four major areas where language teachers experience challenges in enacting their agency: (1) implementing curriculum; (2) adopting school reforms and policies; (3) engaging in professional learning; (4) and negotiating various identities as professionals. The practical contribution of this literature review is that it provides a much-needed compilation of the studies on how language teachers exercise agency amid educational constraints. The discussion of the overview points to the importance of teacher identity, learner advocacy, and continuous professional learning and the critical need of promoting empowerment, activism, and transformation in language teacher education. The findings of the overview indicate that language teacher education programs should prepare teachers to be active advocates for English language learners and guide teachers to become more conscious of complexities of teaching in constrained educational settings so that they can become agentic professionals. This literature overview illustrates agency work in English language teaching contexts and contributes to understanding of the important link between experiencing educational constraints and development of teacher agency.

Keywords: advocacy, educational constraints, language teacher agency, language teacher education

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33 Bedouin Dialects: Language Use and Identity Perceptions of Bedouin-Speaking University Students in North-Western Saudi Arabia and Implications for Language Vitality

Authors: Hend Albalawi


Amid the dynamic use of the Arabic language worldwide, Saudi Arabia employs Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) as its formal, official language, whereas other dialects of Arabic are common in informal situations. Such trends not only maintain the powerful, state-supported status of MSA but are liable to also affect the use and status of other varieties, including Bedouin dialects, and prompt code-mixing behaviour among their speakers. Exposure to MSA and English in education in Saudi Arabia may also be liable to reduce the vitality of Bedouin dialects in the country, particularly among current generations of educated Bedouin speakers. Therefore, the proposed research will involve examining the perceived vitality of Bedouin dialects in Saudi language policies prescribing MSA as the official national language of Saudi Arabia and requiring university students to complete English-language coursework in the national education system. It will also entail identifying Bedouin speakers’ attitudes towards the use of Bedouin dialects in order to assess the need, if any, to implement policies in Saudi Arabia that can enhance the use of those dialects amid the competing use of MSA and English in the country. Empirical data collected from questionnaires and semi-structured interviews that purport patterns of the everyday use of languages among Bedouin-speaking university students in Tabuk, as well as the content of language policy documents, can clarify whether policy-based pressure to use MSA and English in mainstream educational and social activities in Saudi Arabia has jeopardised the language vitality of Bedouin dialects in north-west Saudi Arabia. The findings of the research can thus ultimately contribute to the development of policies to support and enhance the use of Bedouin dialects and, in turn, their language vitality.

Keywords: attitudes, Bedouin dialects, language policy, vitality

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32 Contrast Enhancement of Color Images with Color Morphing Approach

Authors: Javed Khan, Aamir Saeed Malik, Nidal Kamel, Sarat Chandra Dass, Azura Mohd Affandi


Low contrast images can result from the wrong setting of image acquisition or poor illumination conditions. Such images may not be visually appealing and can be difficult for feature extraction. Contrast enhancement of color images can be useful in medical area for visual inspection. In this paper, a new technique is proposed to improve the contrast of color images. The RGB (red, green, blue) color image is transformed into normalized RGB color space. Adaptive histogram equalization technique is applied to each of the three channels of normalized RGB color space. The corresponding channels in the original image (low contrast) and that of contrast enhanced image with adaptive histogram equalization (AHE) are morphed together in proper proportions. The proposed technique is tested on seventy color images of acne patients. The results of the proposed technique are analyzed using cumulative variance and contrast improvement factor measures. The results are also compared with decorrelation stretch. Both subjective and quantitative analysis demonstrates that the proposed techniques outperform the other techniques.

Keywords: contrast enhacement, normalized RGB, adaptive histogram equalization, cumulative variance.

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31 Investigating the Encouraging Factors for Scholarly Works Contribution towards Institutional Repository: A Case Study at a Malaysian University

Authors: Mohd Rashid bin Ab Hamid, Noor Azura binti Omar, Zainol Bin Mustafa


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to study the encouraging factors for scholarly works contribution towards among academicians at Malaysian university. Methods: This paper uses questionnaire for data collection on the respondents’ perceptional level on the institutional repository efforts in one of the university under study. Several encouraging factors have been identified and to be measured using descriptive statistics. The factors are related to content contribution, i.e. personal factor, professional factor, organizational factor and technological factor. Findings: The study found that all these four encouraging factors did have a relation to the contribution of scholarly works in the university by the academician. Research Limitations: This study used a case study and generalization to all Malaysian universities should be well taken care of. Practical implications: The library at the university should look into these four encouraging factors in order to enhance the contribution from academician towards the repository. Originality/value: This research paper provides basic information for the knowledge management officers in the university by endeavouring more efforts in order to attract more contributions.

Keywords: institutional repository, information retrieval, information storage and retrieval

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30 Design and Implementation of Flexible Metadata Editing System for Digital Contents

Authors: K. W. Nam, B. J. Kim, S. J. Lee


Along with the development of network infrastructures, such as high-speed Internet and mobile environment, the explosion of multimedia data is expanding the range of multimedia services beyond voice and data services. Amid this flow, research is actively being done on the creation, management, and transmission of metadata on digital content to provide different services to users. This paper proposes a system for the insertion, storage, and retrieval of metadata about digital content. The metadata server with Binary XML was implemented for efficient storage space and retrieval speeds, and the transport data size required for metadata retrieval was simplified. With the proposed system, the metadata could be inserted into the moving objects in the video, and the unnecessary overlap could be minimized by improving the storage structure of the metadata. The proposed system can assemble metadata into one relevant topic, even if it is expressed in different media or in different forms. It is expected that the proposed system will handle complex network types of data.

Keywords: video, multimedia, metadata, editing tool, XML

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29 Global Collaboration During Global Crisis a Response to Rigorous Field Education in Social Work

Authors: Ruth Gerritsen-McKane, Mimi Sodhi, Lisa Gray, Donette Considine, Henry Kronner, Tameca Harris-Jackson


During these extraordinary times amid a global pandemic, political/civil unrest, and natural disasters, the need for appropriately trained professional social workers has never been stronger. Needs do not diminish but are heightened during such remarkable times. All too often, “developed” countries see the crisis in developing countries as uniquely theirs; 2020 has shown, there are no “others”; there is only us. Consequently, engaging in meaningful collaboration worldwide is essential! This presentation speaks to the fundamentals of global collaboration and, more importantly, how an in these trying times, the development of strong international partnerships can create opportunities for social work students across the planet to engage in meaningful field education opportunities. Accomplished by multiple modalities, a deeper understanding and response to social work students becoming formidable global citizens can be achieved.

Keywords: global citizens, global crisis, global collaboration, modalities

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28 Fertility Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role Family Planning Programs

Authors: Vincent Otieno, Alfred Agwanda, Anne Khasakhala


Among the neo-Malthusian adherents, it is believed that rapid population growth strain countries’ capacity and performance. Fertility have however decelerated in most of the countries in the recent past. Scholars have concentrated on wide range of factors associated with fertility majorly at the national scale with some opining that analysis of trends and differentials in the various fertility parameters have been discussed extensively. However, others believe that considerably less attention has been paid to the fertility preference- a pathway through which various variables act on fertility. The Sub-Saharan African countries’ disparities amid almost similarities in policies is a cause of concern to demographers. One would point at the meager synergies that have been focused on the fertility preference as well, especially at the macro scale. Using Bongaarts reformulation of Easterlin and Crimmins (1985) conceptual scheme, the understanding of the current transition based on the fertility preference in general would help to provide explanations to the observed latest dynamics. This study therefore is an attempt to explain the current fertility transition through women’s fertility preference. Results reveal that indeed fertility transition is on course in most of the sub-Saharan countries with huge disparities in fertility preferences and its implementation indices.

Keywords: fertility preference, the degree of implementation index, sub-Saharan Africa, transition

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27 Show Products or Show Endorsers: Immersive Visual Experience in Fashion Advertisements on Instagram

Authors: H. Haryati, A. Nor Azura


Over the turn of the century, the advertising landscape has evolved significantly, from print media to digital media. In line with the shift to the advanced science and technology dramatically shake the framework of societies Fifth Industrial Revolution (IR5.0), technological endeavors have increased exponentially, which influenced user interaction more inspiring through online advertising that intentionally leads to buying behavior. Users are more accustomed to interactive content that responds to their actions. Thus, immersive experience has transformed into a new engagement experience To centennials. The purpose of this paper is to investigate pleasure and arousal as the fundamental elements of consumer emotions and affective responses to marketing stimuli. A quasi-experiment procedure will be adopted in the research involving 40 undergraduate students in Nilai, Malaysia. This study employed a 2 (celebrity endorser vs. Social media influencer) X 2 (high and low visual complexity) factorial between-subjects design. Participants will be exposed to a printed version depicting a fashion product endorsed by a celebrity and social media influencers, presented in high and low levels of visual complexity. While the questionnaire will be Distributing during the lab test session is used to control their honesty, real feedback, and responses through the latest Instagram design and engagement. Therefore, the research aims to define the immersive experience on Instagram and the interaction between pleasure and arousal. An advertisement that evokes pleasure and arousal will be likely getting more attention from the target audience. This is one of the few studies comparing the endorses in Instagram advertising. Also, this research extends the existing knowledge about the immersive visual complexity in the context of social media advertising.

Keywords: immersive visual experience, instagram, pleasure, arousal

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26 Analysis of the Use of a NAO Robot to Improve Social Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Eman Alarfaj, Hissah Alabdullatif, Huda Alabdullatif, Ghazal Albakri, Nor Shahriza Abdul Karim


Autism Spectrum Disorder is extensively spread amid children; it affects their social, communication and interactive skills. As robotics technology has been proven to be a significant helpful utility those able individuals to overcome their disabilities. Robotic technology is used in ASD therapy. The purpose of this research is to show how Nao robots can improve the social skills for children who suffer from autism in Saudi Arabia by interacting with the autistic child and perform a number of tasks. The objective of this research is to identify, implement, and test the effectiveness of the module for interacting with ASD children in an autism center in Saudi Arabia. The methodology in this study followed the ten layers of protocol that needs to be followed during any human-robot interaction. Also, in order to elicit the scenario module, TEACCH Autism Program was adopted. Six different qualified interaction modules have been elicited and designed in this study; the robot will be programmed to perform these modules in a series of controlled interaction sessions with the Autistic children to enhance their social skills.

Keywords: humanoid robot Nao, ASD, human-robot interaction, social skills

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25 The Effect of Peer Support to Interpersonal Problem Solving Tendencies and Skills in Nursing Students

Authors: B. Özlük, A. Karaaslan


This study has been conducted as a supplementary and relationship seeking study with the purpose of measuring the tendency and success of support among peers amid nursing students studying at university in solving interpersonal problems. The population of the study (N:279) is comprised of nursing students who are studying at one state and one private university in the province of Konya, while its sample is comprised of 231 nursing students who agreed to take part in the study voluntarily. As a result of this study, it has been determined that the peer support and interpersonal problem solving characteristics among students were at medium levels and that the interpersonal problem solving skills of students studying in the third year were higher than those of first and second year students. While the interpersonal problem solving characteristics of students who are aged 20 and over were found to be higher, no difference could be determined in terms of the interpersonal problem solving skills and tendencies among students, based on their gender and where they reside. A positive – to a medium degree – and significant relationship was determined between peer support and interpersonal problem solving skills, and it is possible to say that as peer support increases, so do the skills and tendencies to solve problems.

Keywords: nursing students, peer support, interpersonal problem, problem solving

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24 Impact of Endogenous Risk Factors on Risk Cost in KSA PPP Projects

Authors: Saleh Alzahrani, Halim Boussabaine


The Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts are produced taking into account the reason that the configuration, development, operation, and financing of an open undertaking is to be recompensed to a private gathering inside a solitary contractual structure. PPP venture dangers are ordinarily connected with the improvement and development of another resource and in addition its operation for a considerable length of time. Without a doubt, the most genuine outcomes of dangers amid the development period are value and time overwhelms. These occasions are amongst the most extensively utilized situations as a part of worth for cash investigation dangers. The wellsprings of danger change over the life cycle of a PPP venture. In customary acquirement, the general population segment ordinarily needs to cover all value trouble from these dangers. At any rate there is bounty confirmation to recommend that cost pain is a standard in a percentage of the tasks that are conveyed under customary obtainment. This paper means to research the effect of endogenous dangers on expense overwhelm in KSA PPP ventures. The paper displays a brief writing survey on PPP danger evaluating systems, and after that presents an affiliation model between danger occasions and expense invade in KSA. The paper finishes up with considerations for future examination.

Keywords: PPP, risk pricing, impact of risk, Endogenous risks

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23 Isolation Preserving Medical Conclusion Hold Structure via C5 Algorithm

Authors: Swati Kishor Zode, Rahul Ambekar


Data mining is the extraction of fascinating examples on the other hand information from enormous measure of information and choice is made as indicated by the applicable information extracted. As of late, with the dangerous advancement in internet, stockpiling of information and handling procedures, privacy preservation has been one of the major (higher) concerns in data mining. Various techniques and methods have been produced for protection saving data mining. In the situation of Clinical Decision Support System, the choice is to be made on the premise of the data separated from the remote servers by means of Internet to diagnose the patient. In this paper, the fundamental thought is to build the precision of Decision Support System for multiple diseases for different maladies and in addition protect persistent information while correspondence between Clinician side (Client side) also, the Server side. A privacy preserving protocol for clinical decision support network is proposed so that patients information dependably stay scrambled amid diagnose prepare by looking after the accuracy. To enhance the precision of Decision Support System for various malady C5.0 classifiers and to save security, a Homomorphism encryption algorithm Paillier cryptosystem is being utilized.

Keywords: classification, homomorphic encryption, clinical decision support, privacy

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22 Massachusetts Homeschool Policy: An Interpretive Analysis of Homeschool Regulation and Oversight

Authors: Lauren Freed


This research proposal outlines an examination of homeschool oversight in the Massachusetts educational system amid the backdrop of ideological differences between various parties with contributing interests. This mixed methodology study will follow an interpretive policy research approach, involving the use of existing data, surveys, and focus groups. The aim is to capture distinct sets of meanings, values, feelings, and beliefs by principal stakeholders, while exploring the ways in which they/each interact with, interpret, and implement homeschool guidelines set forth by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decision Care and Protection of Charles (1987). This analysis will identify and contextualize the attitudes, administrative choices, financial implications, and educational impacts that result from the process and practice of enacting current homeschool oversight policy in Massachusetts. The following question will guide this study: How do districts, homeschooling parents, and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regulate, fund, collect, interpret, implement and report Massachusetts homeschool oversight policy? The resulting analysis will produce a unique and original baseline snapshot of qualitative and quantifiable point-in-time data based on the registered homeschool population in the state of Massachusetts.

Keywords: alternative education, homeschooling, home education, home schooling policy

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21 Transparency within the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the Treatment of Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases

Authors: Brang Mai Lazing


The central argument of this paper proposes that while democracy cannot guarantee transparency, authentic transparency within the hierarchy of the Church can be pursued as a means of dealing with cases of clergy sexual abuse. Amid the recent global scandal of clergy sexual abuse cases, a previous study has argued that a democratic rule should be applied to the administration of the Church so that, while a democratic Church could be compelled to exercise greater transparency when handling such cases, the Church might thereby regain credibility. Using the methodology of literature analysis, this paper explores the necessity for hierarchy and finds that democracy cannot be a guarantee for transparency. Further, through a dialogue between the theological insights of Benedict XVI and Edward Schillebeeckx, this paper argues that transparency practices are possible within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in dealing with clergy sexual abuse cases. Finally, three implications of transparency in dealing with clergy sexual abuse cases are proposed, viz.: (a) that the harm which is ultimately done to the sacred faith of believers and to the sacred origin of the hierarchy through clergy sexual abuse cases should be given greater emphasis, (b) that the removal of unnecessary layers within the Church hierarchy or replacement with layers empowered with the authority to effect change might help implement accountability and transparency practices, and (c) that any changes made to enhance transparency should be made in terms of ‘adaptability’.

Keywords: Benedict XVI, clergy sexual abuses, democracy, Edward Schillebeeckx, hierarchy, transparency

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20 To Stay or to Go: The Death Penalty Phenomenon and the Dilemma of the Nigerian Government

Authors: James Etim Archibong


The death penalty, to be or not to be, is a topical and hugely divisive issue in several countries. The United Nations recommends its universal abolition. Europe has abolished it, while some countries limit the practice to heinous crimes. Nigeria is one of the countries that have retained the death penalty. In 2004, the federal government placed a moratorium on execution, which was breached in 2006, 2013 and 2016. Nigeria currently has about three thousand inmates on death row because governors are reluctant to sign execution warrants. Human rights groups have consistently called for its abolition in Nigeria, but this has been rebuffed by the government. Nigeria currently finds itself in a dilemma between the global campaign to end the practice and the local support for its retention. This paper, employing a doctrinal approach, examines the concept of capital punishment in Nigeria from the first execution in 1971 to date. It has also examined the debate to abolish or retain it against the backdrop of Nigeria’s present social, economic and multicultural circumstances. It finds that the death penalty is a human right issue and Nigeria should join the majority of states that have dispensed with the practice. While the government contemplates which way to go, amid the impasse, the paper recommends, in the interim, an official, legally backed a moratorium on execution; commuting of death sentences to life imprisonment, and eventually expunging it from the constitution in the ongoing constitutional review.

Keywords: death penalty, capital punishment, human rights, deterrence, right to life

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19 An Interior Design Project Interventions about Changing Student Beliefs about Poverty, Homelessness, and Community Service

Authors: Alireza Derambakhsh


The reason for this study was to inspect undergraduate interior design student state of mind toward destitution, vagrancy, and group administration. An auxiliary intention was to figure out whether introduction to plan ventures for the individuals who have encountered hardship would change student convictions. All first year recruits (n = 18), sophomore (n = 26), junior (n = 17), and senior (n = 25) interior design undergraduate students at a public university completed a questionnaire in light of a few current scales. Amid the semester, the sophomores dealt with assignments that were intended to provide exposure to different socio-economic groups. Students finished three projects. Initially, the outline of a makeshift destitute asylum. Second, a re-model of a childcare focus office and gathering region that gives administrations to low-salary families, and third, the outline of a low-wage, private home. In these ventures, students were obliged to direct broad data assembling so they could better comprehend the issues connected with destitution. Toward the end of the semester, the sophomores finished the survey again and were asked extra inquiries in regards to the class and projects. Students’ sentiments towards the poor were more individualistic when contrasted with the white collar class, yet when the working class correlation was uprooted, some of their mentality gave a more unpredictable comprehension of destitution and vagrancy. The semester-long intercession fundamentally moved students' understanding that underscored auxiliary and multifaceted reason.

Keywords: interior design, destitution, vagrancy, group administration

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18 Analyzing the Climate Change Impact and Farmer's Adaptability Strategies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Authors: Khuram Nawaz Sadozai, Sonia


The agriculture sector is deemed more vulnerable to climate change as its variation can directly affect the crop’s productivity, but farmers’ adaptation strategies play a vital role in climate change-agriculture relationship. Therefore, this research has been undertaken to assess the Climate Change impact on wheat productivity and farmers’ adaptability strategies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. The panel dataset was analyzed to gauge the impact of changing climate variables (i.e., temperature, rainfall, and humidity) on wheat productivity from 1985 to 2015. Amid the study period, the fixed effect estimates confirmed an inverse relationship of temperature and rainfall on the wheat yield. The impact of temperature is observed to be detrimental as compared to the rainfall, causing 0.07 units reduction in the production of wheat with 1C upsurge in temperature. On the flip side, humidity revealed a positive association with the wheat productivity by confirming that high humidity could be beneficial to the production of the crop over time. Thus, this study ensures significant nexus between agricultural production and climatic parameters. However, the farming community in the underlying study area has limited knowledge about the adaptation strategies to lessen the detrimental impact of changing climate on crop yield. It is recommended that farmers should be well equipped with training and advanced agricultural management practices under the realm of climate change. Moreover, innovative technologies pertinent to the agriculture system should be encouraged to handle the challenges arising due to variations in climate factors.

Keywords: climate change, fixed effect model, panel data, wheat productivity

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17 Police Violence, Activism, and the Changing Rural United States: A Digital History and Mapping Narrative

Authors: Joel Zapata


Chicana/o Activism in the Southern Plains Through Time and Space, a digital history project available at, helps reveal an understudied portion of the Chicana/o Civil Rights Movement: the way it unfolded on the Southern Plains. The project centers around an approachable interactive map and timeline along with a curated collection of materials. Therefore, the project provides a digital museum experience that has not emerged within the region’s museums. That is, this digital history project takes scholarly research to the wider public, making it is also a publicly facing history project. In this way, the project adds to both scholarly and socially significant conversations, showing that the region was home to a burgeoning wing of the Chicana/o Movement and that instances of police brutality largely spurred this wing of the social justice movement. Moreover, the curated collection of materials demonstrates that police brutality united the plains’ Mexican population across political ideology, a largely overlooked aspect within the study of Mexican American civil rights movements. Such a finding can be of use today since contemporary Latina/o social justice organizations generally ignore policing issues even amid a rise in national awareness regarding police abuse. In making history accessible to Mexican origin and Latina/o communities, these same communities may in-turn use the knowledge gained from historical research towards the betterment of their social positions—the foundational goal of Chicana/o history and the related field of Chicana/o Studies. Ultimately, this digital history project is intended to draw visitors to further explore the Chicana/o Civil Rights Movement within and beyond the plains.

Keywords: Chicana/o Movement, digital history, police brutality, newspapers, protests, student activism

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16 Decoding the Construction of Identity and Struggle for Self-Assertion in Toni Morrison and Selected Indian Authors

Authors: Madhuri Goswami


The matrix of power establishes the hegemonic dominance and supremacy of one group through exercising repression and relegation upon the other. However, the injustice done to any race, ethnicity, or caste has instigated the protest and resistance through various modes -social campaigns, political movements, literary expression and so on. Consequently, the search for identity, the means of claiming it and strive for recognition have evolved as the persistent phenomena all through the world. In the discourse of protest and minority literature, these two discourses -African American and Indian Dalit- surprisingly, share wrath and anger, hope and aspiration, and quest for identity and struggle for self-assertion. African American and Indian Dalit are two geographically and culturally apart communities that stand together on a single platform. This paper has sought to comprehend the form and investigate the formation of identity in general and in the literary work of Toni Morrison and Indian Dalit writing, particular, i.e., Black identity and Dalit identity. The study has speculated two types of identity, namely, individual or self and social or collective identity in the literary province of these marginalized literature. Morrison’s work outsources that self-identity is not merely a reflection of an inner essence; it is constructed through social circumstances and relations. Likewise, Dalit writings too have a fair record of discovery of self-hood and formation of identity, which connects to the realization of self-assertion and worthiness of their culture among Dalit writers. Bama, Pawar, Limbale, Pawde, and Kamble investigate their true self concealed amid societal alienation. The study has found that the struggle for recognition is, in fact, the striving to become the definer, instead of just being defined; and, this striving eventually, leads to the introspection among them. To conclude, Morrison as well as Indian marginalized authors, despite being set quite distant, communicate the relation between individual and community in the context of self-consciousness, self-identification and (self) introspection. This research opens a scope for further research to find out similar phenomena and trace an analogy in other world literatures.

Keywords: identity, introspection, self-access, struggle for recognition

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15 An International Comparison of Global Financial Centers: Major Competitive Strategies

Authors: I. Hakki Eraslan, Birol Ozturk, Istemi Comlekci


This paper begins by defining what is meant by “globalization” in finance and by identifying the sources of value-added in the internationally-competitive financial services sector origination, trading and distribution of debt and equity capital market instruments and their derivatives, foreign exchange trading and securities brokerage, management of market risk and credit risk, loan syndication and structured bank financings, corporate finance and advisory services, and asset management. These activities are considered in terms of a “value-chain” one that ultimately gives rise to the real economic gains attributable to financial-center operations. The research presents available evidence as to where the relevant value-added activities usually take place. It then examines the “centrifugal” and “centripetal” forces that determine the concentration or dispersal of value-added activity in financial intermediation, both interregionally and internationally. Next, the research assesses the factors, which appear to underlie the locational pattern of international financial centers that has evolved. In preparing this paper, also it is examined the current position and the main opportunities and challenges facing world major financial services sector, and attempted to lay out a potential vision and strategies. It is conducted extensive research, including many internal research materials and publications. It is also engaged closely with the academia, industry practitioners and regulators, and consulted market experts from major world financial centers. More than 60 in‐depth consultative sessions were conducted in the past two years which provided insightful suggestions and innovative ideas on how to further financial industry’s position as an international financial centre. The paper concludes with the outlook for the future pattern of financial centers in the global competitive environment. The ideas and advice gathered are condensed into this paper that recommends to the strategic decision leaders a vision and a strategy for financial services sector to move forward amid a highly competitive environment.

Keywords: financial centers, competitiveness, financial services industry, economics

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14 Selecting the Best Risk Exposure to Assess Collision Risks in Container Terminals

Authors: Mohammad Ali Hasanzadeh, Thierry Van Elslander, Eddy Van De Voorde


About 90 percent of world merchandise trade by volume being carried by sea. Maritime transport remains as back bone behind the international trade and globalization meanwhile all seaborne goods need using at least two ports as origin and destination. Amid seaborne traded cargos, container traffic is a prosperous market with about 16% in terms of volume. Albeit containerized cargos are less in terms of tonnage but, containers carry the highest value cargos amongst all. That is why efficient handling of containers in ports is very important. Accidents are the foremost causes that lead to port inefficiency and a surge in total transport cost. Having different port safety management systems (PSMS) in place, statistics on port accidents show that numerous accidents occur in ports. Some of them claim peoples’ life; others damage goods, vessels, port equipment and/or the environment. Several accident investigation illustrate that the most common accidents take place throughout transport operation, it sometimes accounts for 68.6% of all events, therefore providing a safer workplace depends on reducing collision risk. In order to quantify risks at the port area different variables can be used as exposure measurement. One of the main motives for defining and using exposure in studies related to infrastructure is to account for the differences in intensity of use, so as to make comparisons meaningful. In various researches related to handling containers in ports and intermodal terminals, different risk exposures and also the likelihood of each event have been selected. Vehicle collision within the port area (10-7 per kilometer of vehicle distance travelled) and dropping containers from cranes, forklift trucks, or rail mounted gantries (1 x 10-5 per lift) are some examples. According to the objective of the current research, three categories of accidents selected for collision risk assessment; fall of container during ship to shore operation, dropping container during transfer operation and collision between vehicles and objects within terminal area. Later on various consequences, exposure and probability identified for each accident. Hence, reducing collision risks profoundly rely on picking the right risk exposures and probability of selected accidents, to prevent collision accidents in container terminals and in the framework of risk calculations, such risk exposures and probabilities can be useful in assessing the effectiveness of safety programs in ports.

Keywords: container terminal, collision, seaborne trade, risk exposure, risk probability

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13 Photosynthesis Metabolism Affects Yield Potentials in Jatropha curcas L.: A Transcriptomic and Physiological Data Analysis

Authors: Nisha Govender, Siju Senan, Zeti-Azura Hussein, Wickneswari Ratnam


Jatropha curcas, a well-described bioenergy crop has been extensively accepted as future fuel need especially in tropical regions. Ideal planting material required for large-scale plantation is still lacking. Breeding programmes for improved J. curcas varieties are rendered difficult due to limitations in genetic diversity. Using a combined transcriptome and physiological data, we investigated the molecular and physiological differences in high and low yielding Jatropha curcas to address plausible heritable variations underpinning these differences, in regard to photosynthesis, a key metabolism affecting yield potentials. A total of 6 individual Jatropha plant from 4 accessions described as high and low yielding planting materials were selected from the Experimental Plot A, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi. The inflorescence and shoots were collected for transcriptome study. For the physiological study, each individual plant (n=10) from the high and low yielding populations were screened for agronomic traits, chlorophyll content and stomatal patterning. The J. curcas transcriptomes are available under BioProject PRJNA338924 and BioSample SAMN05827448-65, respectively Each transcriptome was subjected to functional annotation analysis of sequence datasets using the BLAST2Go suite; BLASTing, mapping, annotation, statistical analysis and visualization Large-scale phenotyping of the number of fruits per plant (NFPP) and fruits per inflorescence (FPI) classified the high yielding Jatropha accessions with average NFPP =60 and FPI > 10, whereas the low yielding accessions yielded an average NFPP=10 and FPI < 5. Next generation sequencing revealed genes with differential expressions in the high yielding Jatropha relative to the low yielding plants. Distinct differences were observed in transcript level associated to photosynthesis metabolism. DEGs collection in the low yielding population showed comparable CAM photosynthetic metabolism and photorespiration, evident as followings: phosphoenolpyruvate phosphate translocator chloroplastic like isoform with 2.5 fold change (FC) and malate dehydrogenase (2.03 FC). Green leaves have the most pronounced photosynthetic activity in a plant body due to significant accumulation of chloroplast. In most plants, the leaf is always the dominant photosynthesizing heart of the plant body. Large number of the DEGS in the high-yielding population were found attributable to chloroplast and chloroplast associated events; STAY-GREEN chloroplastic, Chlorophyllase-1-like (5.08 FC), beta-amylase (3.66 FC), chlorophyllase-chloroplastic-like (3.1 FC), thiamine thiazole chloroplastic like (2.8 FC), 1-4, alpha glucan branching enzyme chloroplastic amyliplastic (2.6FC), photosynthetic NDH subunit (2.1 FC) and protochlorophyllide chloroplastic (2 FC). The results were parallel to a significant increase in chlorophyll a content in the high yielding population. In addition to the chloroplast associated transcript abundance, the TOO MANY MOUTHS (TMM) at 2.9 FC, which code for distant stomatal distribution and patterning in the high-yielding population may explain high concentration of CO2. The results were in agreement with the role of TMM. Clustered stomata causes back diffusion in the presence of gaps localized closely to one another. We conclude that high yielding Jatropha population corresponds to a collective function of C3 metabolism with a low degree of CAM photosynthetic fixation. From the physiological descriptions, high chlorophyll a content and even distribution of stomata in the leaf contribute to better photosynthetic efficiency in the high yielding Jatropha compared to the low yielding population.

Keywords: chlorophyll, gene expression, genetic variation, stomata

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12 The Validation and Reliability of the Arabic Effort-Reward Imbalance Model Questionnaire: A Cross-Sectional Study among University Students in Jordan

Authors: Mahmoud M. AbuAlSamen, Tamam El-Elimat


Amid the economic crisis in Jordan, the Jordanian government has opted for a knowledge economy where education is promoted as a mean for economic development. University education usually comes at the expense of study-related stress that may adversely impact the health of students. Since stress is a latent variable that is difficult to measure, a valid tool should be used in doing so. The effort-reward imbalance (ERI) is a model used as a measurement tool for occupational stress. The model was built on the notion of reciprocity, which relates ‘effort’ to ‘reward’ through the mediating ‘over-commitment’. Reciprocity assumes equilibrium between both effort and reward, where ‘high’ effort is adequately compensated with ‘high’ reward. When this equilibrium is violated (i.e., high effort with low reward), this may elicit negative emotions and stress, which have been correlated to adverse health conditions. The theory of ERI was established in many different parts of the world, and associations with chronic diseases and the health of workers were explored at length. While much of the effort-reward imbalance was investigated in work conditions, there has been a growing interest in understanding the validity of the ERI model when applied to other social settings such as schools and universities. The ERI questionnaire was developed in Arabic recently to measure ERI among high school teachers. However, little information is available on the validity of the ERI questionnaire in university students. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 833 students in Jordan to measure the validity and reliability of the ERI questionnaire in Arabic among university students. Reliability, as measured by Cronbach’s alpha of the effort, reward, and overcommitment scales, was 0.73, 0.76, and 0.69, respectively, suggesting satisfactory reliability. The factorial structure was explored using principal axis factoring. The results fitted a five-solution model where both the effort and overcommitment were uni-dimensional while the reward scale was three-dimensional with its factors, namely being ‘support’, ‘esteem’, and ‘security’. The solution explained 56% of the variance in the data. The established ERI theory was replicated with excellent validity in this study. The effort-reward ratio in university students was 1.19, which suggests a slight degree of failed reciprocity. The study also investigated the association of effort, reward, overcommitment, and ERI with participants’ demographic factors and self-reported health. ERI was found to be significantly associated with absenteeism (p < 0.0001), past history of failed courses (p=0.03), and poor academic performance (p < 0.001). Moreover, ERI was found to be associated with poor self-reported health among university students (p=0.01). In conclusion, the Arabic ERI questionnaire is reliable and valid for use in measuring effort-reward imbalance in university students in Jordan. The results of this research are important in informing higher education policy in Jordan.

Keywords: effort-reward imbalance, factor analysis, validity, self-reported health

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11 Exploring the Social Health and Well-Being Factors of Hydraulic Fracturing

Authors: S. Grinnell


A PhD Research Project exploring the Social Health and Well-Being Impacts associated with Hydraulic Fracturing, with an aim to produce a Best Practice Support Guidance for those anticipating dealing with planning applications or submitting Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). Amid a possible global energy crisis, founded upon a number of factors, including unstable political situations, increasing world population growth, people living longer, it is perhaps inevitable that Hydraulic Fracturing (commonly referred to as ‘fracking’) will become a major player within the global long-term energy and sustainability agenda. As there is currently no best practice guidance for governing bodies the Best Practice Support Document will be targeted at a number of audiences including, consultants undertaking EIAs, Planning Officers, those commissioning EIAs Industry and interested public stakeholders. It will offer a robust, evidence-based criteria and recommendations which provide a clear narrative and consistent and shared approach to the language used along with containing an understanding of the issues identified. It is proposed that the Best Practice Support Document will also support the mitigation of health impacts identified. The Best Practice Support Document will support the newly amended Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (2011/92/EU), to be transposed into UK law by 2017. A significant amendment introduced focuses on, ‘higher level of protection to the environment and health.’ Methodology: A qualitative research methods approach is being taken with this research. It will have a number of key stages. A literature review has been undertaken and been critically reviewed and analysed. This was followed by a descriptive content analysis of a selection of international and national policies, programmes and strategies along with published Environmental Impact Assessments and associated planning guidance. In terms of data collection, a number of stakeholders were interviewed as well as a number of focus groups of local community groups potentially affected by fracking. These were determined from across the UK. A theme analysis of all the data collected and the literature review will be undertaken, using NVivo. Best Practice Supporting Document will be developed based on the outcomes of the analysis and be tested and piloted in the professional fields, before a live launch. Concluding statement: Whilst fracking is not a new concept, the technology is now driving a new force behind the use of this engineering to supply fuels. A number of countries have pledged moratoria on fracking until further investigation from the impacts on health have been explored, whilst other countries including Poland and the UK are pushing to support the use of fracking. If this should be the case, it will be important that the public’s concerns, perceptions, fears and objections regarding the wider social health and well-being impacts are considered along with the more traditional biomedical health impacts.

Keywords: fracking, hydraulic fracturing, socio-economic health, well-being

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10 Gender and Asylum: A Critical Reassessment of the Case Law of the European Court of Human Right and of United States Courts Concerning Gender-Based Asylum Claims

Authors: Athanasia Petropoulou


While there is a common understanding that a person’s sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation shape every stage of the migration experience, theories of international migration had until recently not been focused on exploring and incorporating a gender perspective in their analysis. In a similar vein, refugee law has long been the object of criticisms for failing to recognize and respond appropriately to women’s and sexual minorities’ experiences of persecution. The present analysis attempts to depict the challenges faced by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and U.S. courts when adjudicating in cases involving asylum claims with a gendered perspective. By providing a comparison between adjudicating strategies of international and national jurisdictions, the article aims to identify common or distinctive approaches in addressing gendered based claims. The paper argues that, despite the different nature of the judicial bodies and the different legal instruments applied respectively, judges face similar challenges in this context and often fail to qualify and address the gendered dimensions of asylum claims properly. The ECtHR plays a fundamental role in safeguarding human rights protection in Europe not only for European citizens but also for people fleeing violence, war, and dire living conditions. However, this role becomes more difficult to fulfill, not only because of the obvious institutional constraints but also because cases related to claims of asylum seekers concern a domain closely linked to State sovereignty. Amid the current “refugee crisis,” risk assessment performed by national authorities, like in the process of asylum determination, is shaped by wider geopolitical and economic considerations. The failure to recognize and duly address the gendered dimension of non - refoulement claims, one of the many shortcomings of these processes, is reflected in the decisions of the ECtHR. As regards U.S. case law, the study argues that U.S. courts either fail to apply any connection between asylum claims and their gendered dimension or tend to approach gendered based claims through the lens of the “political opinion” or “membership of a particular social group” reasons of fear of persecution. This exercise becomes even more difficult, taking into account that the U.S. asylum law inappropriately qualifies gendered-based claims. The paper calls for more sociologically informed decision-making practices and for a more contextualized and relational approach in the assessment of the risk of ill-treatment and persecution. Such an approach is essential for unearthing the gendered patterns of persecution and addressing effectively related claims, thus securing the human rights of asylum seekers.

Keywords: asylum, European court of human rights, gender, human rights, U.S. courts

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9 Embodied Neoliberalism and the Mind as Tool to Manage the Body: A Descriptive Study Applied to Young Australian Amateur Athletes

Authors: Alicia Ettlin


Amid the rise of neoliberalism to the leading economic policy model in Western societies in the 1980s, people have started to internalise a neoliberal way of thinking, whereby the human body has become an entity that can and needs to be precisely managed through free yet rational decision-making processes. The neoliberal citizen has consequently become an entrepreneur of the self who is free, independent, rational, productive and responsible for themselves, their health and wellbeing as well as their appearance. The focus on individuals as entrepreneurs who manage their bodies through the rationally thinking mind has, however, become increasingly criticised for viewing the social actor as ‘disembodied’, as a detached, social actor whose powerful mind governs over the passive body. On the other hand, the discourse around embodiment seeks to connect rational decision-making processes to the dominant neoliberal discourse which creates an embodied understanding that the body, just as other areas of people’s lives, can and should be shaped, monitored and managed through cognitive and rational thinking. This perspective offers an understanding of the body regarding its connections with the social environment that reaches beyond the debates around mind-body binary thinking. Hence, following this argument, body management should not be thought of as either solely guided by embodied discourses nor as merely falling into a mind-body dualism, but rather, simultaneously and inseparably as both at once. The descriptive, qualitative analysis of semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted with young Australian amateur athletes between the age of 18 and 24 has shown that most participants are interested in measuring and managing their body to create self-knowledge and self-improvement. The participants thereby connected self-improvement to weight loss, muscle gain or simply staying fit and healthy. Self-knowledge refers to body measurements including weight, BMI or body fat percentage. Self-management and self-knowledge that are reliant on one another to take rational and well-thought-out decisions, are both characteristic values of the neoliberal doctrine. A neoliberal way of thinking and looking after the body has also by many been connected to rewarding themselves for their discipline, hard work or achievement of specific body management goals (e.g. eating chocolate for reaching the daily step count goal). A few participants, however, have shown resistance against these neoliberal values, and in particular, against the precise monitoring and management of the body with the help of self-tracking devices. Ultimately, however, it seems that most participants have internalised the dominant discourses around self-responsibility, and by association, a sense of duty to discipline their body in normative ways. Even those who have indicated their resistance against body work and body management practices that follow neoliberal thinking and measurement systems, are aware and have internalised the concept of the rational operating mind that needs or should decide how to look after the body in terms of health but also appearance ideals. The discussion around the collected data thereby shows that embodiment and the mind/body dualism constitute two connected, rather than two separate or opposing concepts.

Keywords: dualism, embodiment, mind, neoliberalism

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