Category: zjbxmanz


Canadian Hurricane Centre eyes storm off southeastern United States

first_imgHALIFAX – The Canadian Hurricane Centre says a large storm system off the coast of Florida will likely push through waters off Atlantic Canada sometime Wednesday or Thursday.Forecasters say potential tropical cyclone ten is expected to become tropical storm Irma on Tuesday, and is then expected to accelerate toward the northeast and evolve into a large and fairly intense post-tropical storm.Based on the latest track, rain and strong winds from Irma are expected to remain offshore and not make landfall.But the centre says some rain and gusty northeast winds could brush Nova Scotia and southeastern Newfoundland on Thursday.Forecasters say at this point southern Canadian waters will likely see gale- to storm-force winds.Forecaster Bob Robichaud says the hurricane centre will have a better idea of what’s expected on Tuesday.last_img read more


As death toll rises scientists struggle to track massive elusive right whales

first_imgHALIFAX — They are among the world’s largest creatures, but the planet’s 400 remaining North Atlantic right whales are remarkably elusive.Though adult members of this critically endangered species can be as long as a city bus, their movements remain difficult to track, despite the best efforts of scientists struggling to deal with a rapidly rising death toll off Canada’s east coast.“It is kind of mind-boggling that we can lose track of these large animals,” says Boris Worm, a biology professor and well-known whale expert at Dalhousie University in Halifax.“But the ocean is a very large place, and they only spend part of their time at the surface — and they move around quickly, if they want to.”Though these whales typically travel north to feed in Canadian waters in June, some have been known to stick around most of the year — a recently discovered trait — and one male was spotted off the coast of France a few weeks ago. The same whale swam to Iceland last year.More importantly, a significant number of right whales have changed their migration patterns since 2014-15.Instead of heading to their traditional summer foraging grounds in the Bay of Fundy and the Roseway Basin off southwestern Nova Scotia, the population has shifted to a more northerly destination — right into the busy shipping lanes of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.Since early June, eight right whales have died in Canadian waters, the worst death toll since 2017 when there were 12 confirmed deaths in Canadian waters and five in the United States.Tests have revealed that at least three of the whales that died this year were probably killed by collisions with ships.“It’s so critical to know where they are to keep them safe,” Worm said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re trying all the approaches in the scientific toolbox. Any traces they leave, we’re trying to pick them up.”Some of Worm’s colleagues are developing a predictive model that could help fisheries officials determine where the whales are most likely to go as they search for their favourite food: copepods.Hansen Johnson, a PhD candidate at the university’s Oceanography Department, said his lab’s research is focused on finding the locations where these flea-sized creatures congregate.“If we can predict where and when there’s going to be good feeding sources — and these copepods show up in large numbers — we can more accurately predict when and where right whales will show up and address the risks,” Johnson said in an interview.For almost three weeks, a team of six scientists has been conducting research aboard a chartered crab fishing boat in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, using nets and electronic gear to find copepods, which look like tiny, translucent shrimp.“It’s unclear at this stage how precise our model could be, but we know that this approach of following the food works,” Johnson said.When Dalhousie researchers looked at the currents and the structure of the ocean floor in the places where right whales were known to forage for zooplankton, including the Roseway Basin, they determined a pattern that also appears in portions of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.When surveillance aircraft were dispatched to search those areas in 2016, they hit the jackpot.“On the first flight, they found 40 right whales and this habitat was discovered,” Johnson said, though he stressed that some right whales may have been frequenting these basins for a long time.“They’re like cereal bowls where these food resources collect,” he said, noting that the latest research in the gulf is based on work by renowned Canadian oceanographer Kimberley Davies.“The currents are right. The ocean bottom structure is there.”On another scientific front, Worm is working with a student to develop an automated satellite tracking system that will eventually spot the whales from space and report their positions.Though the satellite imagery is incredibly detailed, the existing computer algorithms are unable to distinguish between species, and spotting the whales becomes difficult when the ocean is rough.When the water is turbulent, it’s often difficult to distinguish between a surfacing whale and a partially submerged rock — or even a small boat.“We haven’t cracked that nut yet,” Worm said.— Follow @NovaMac on TwitterMichael MacDonald, The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Ranil to visit Andhra Pradesh temple to seek blessings

He will take a chopper from Chennai to reach Tirupati airport (Renigunta) which is about 130 kilometers from Chennai and proceed to the temple by road from there, they said. Wickremesinghe is set to return to Sri Lanka on the same day after offering prayers at the hill temple, they added. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will visit the Lord Balaji temple at Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, on December 22, the Press Trust of India reported.Wickremesinghe will arrive in Chennai on December 21 for the visit, officials said referring to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s tentative itinerary. He was in India in October last, for an official visit and had last year offered prayers at the Sri Krishna temple at Guruvayur in Kerala. (Colombo Gazette) read more


Transcontinental fires back over sale of Atlantic Canada media assets

HALIFAX — Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. is defending its handling of the sale of its East Coast media assets to SaltWire Network, and says it’s considering a counter-suit against Atlantic Canada’s largest media company.Transcontinental says the 2017 sale to SaltWire was “conducted based on fair, accurate and timely information.”SaltWire, which owns 35 newspapers in Atlantic Canada, has launched a lawsuit accusing Transcontinental of overstating its printing and distribution business and misrepresenting revenue streams of the acquired assets.The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court claims Transcontinental substantially overstated revenues, hid material facts about the condition of the assets and was not forthcoming about a number of questionable business practices.But Transcontinental said Thursday it’s a reputable organization with the highest ethical practices, and added it is considering a counter-suit because SaltWire has “failed to fulfil its payment obligations and is in breach of contract.”SaltWire chief operating officer Ian Scott said Thursday the company “has, in all instances, adhered to the purchase contract with Transcontinental.”He said the company had been unsuccessful in its attempts to reach a settlement with Transcontinental that avoids the courts.SaltWire is seeking compensation for general and special damages, as well as aggravated and punitive damages, interest and costs.Companies in this story: (TSX:TCL.A) read more


Chinese woman kills herself and children after husband fakes death

The man’s alleged plan to claim an insurance payout went tragically wrong(BBC) – A man in China whose wife killed herself and their two children after he allegedly faked his own death for an insurance payout has surrendered to police.The 34-year-old was presumed dead after his car was found in a river, though his body was never recovered.He did not tell his wife his alleged plan and she believed he had died.She later jumped into a pond with their children after posting a suicide note online.The man, who police said was surnamed He, turned himself in to police in Xinhua county in Hunan province last Friday.He has been detained on charges of insurance fraud and intentional damage to property, Xinhua police said in a statement on WeChat – a social media platform.In early September Mr He bought an insurance plan worth one million yuan (£110,000; $145,000) without his wife’s knowledge, police said.According to a report by state-run Voice of China radio, his wife was named as the beneficiary.On 19 September, Mr He used a borrowed vehicle to fake his own death in a car crash, police said. He was found to have loans of more than 100,000 yuan.On 11 October, the bodies of his 31-year-old wife, their four-year-old son and three-year-old daughter were found in a pond near their home, according to the Voice of China.In a suicide note posted on WeChat, she wrote that she was coming to “accompany” him, adding that she had “only ever wanted our family of four to be together”, the Voice of China added.Mr He turned himself over to police the next day.He had earlier posted a video online, which was later widely circulated, in which he was crying and saying he had borrowed money to pay for treatment for his three-year-old daughter, who suffered from epilepsy.The incident has been widely talked about across Chinese social media over the past week, sparking conversations about financial pressures and familial issues.The hashtag #ManFakesDeathLeadingtoWifesDeath been viewed almost 29 million times on microblogging-site Weibo. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedInvestigation launched into alleged deadly police beating as Wife cries for justiceNovember 28, 2014In “Crime”Essequibo mechanic chops wife, then attempts suicideApril 19, 2017In “Crime”Russian gets 14 years in prison for chopping off wife’s handsNovember 15, 2018In “World” read more


Column These are the incredible people we ignore until its too late

first_imgYESTERDAY, FRONT LINE Defenders published the list of six human rights defenders who have been selected as the finalists for the 2014 Front Line Defenders Award. All six were been nominated because of their exceptional courage defending human rights in their country and on the basis that an increased international profile can contribute to their security. Part of the excitement was that Al Jazeera Media Network has come on board as our global media partner for the Award and this will hopefully take these stories of courage to a global audience.At the same time, sadly, we normally face great difficulties getting the stories of human rights defenders out into the mainstream media. In this age of digitalised 24-hour news, how can it be so difficult to find a space where the stories of these courageous people can be told? Is it that, just that because these stories of death-defying courage don’t connect to the economy or jobs, they are completely irrelevant? Have we reached such a point of obsession with our own narrow interests that there is no time or space to celebrate our common humanity and the lives of those who, like Seamus Heaney, believe that “ we were put here to improve civilisation”?Horrific dangers faced by human rights defendersBerta Caceres is one of the most respected human rights defenders in Honduras. She defends the rights and the lands of the Lenca indigenous people against the ravages of greedy mining and logging companies. But Berta has seen two of her colleagues assassinated. She has herself has been under constant surveillance, labelled a terrorist and a threat to national security and arrested on trumped-up charges.When the Government of Belarus announced plans to introduce a new Foreign Agents Law to stop human rights organisation from receiving international funds, Ales Bialiatski set up two personal accounts in Poland and Lithuania to make sure that his organisation, Human Rights Centre Viasna, could continue its work documenting human rights abuses and challenging state erosion of civil liberties. He was subsequently charged with “concealment of income on a large scale” and is now serving four-and-a-half years in a maximum security prison.Dr Mohamed Al Roken is a leading lawyer and human rights defender in the UAE who has defended human rights defenders and other activists facing prosecution under the state’s draconian security laws As a result, in 2012, he was forcibly disappeared, held in a secret location for eight months and tortured. Later that year, he was one of 94 human rights defenders and political activists arrested on charges of belonging to an Islamist group and plotting to overthrow the state. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment after an unfair trial and prevented from lodging an appeal.In Bangladesh, Adilur Ahmed Khan was arrested by 10 plain clothes policemen and charged with ‘disrupting the law and order situation.’ for reporting on human rights abuses. In Kenya Lydia Mukami was abducted, beaten and stripped of her clothes in public for defending the land rights of farmers, while in Pakistan, Farida Afridi, founder of women’s rights organisation SAWERA, was shot dead on her way to work and the offices of the organisation were bombed.Front Line Defender received 110 nominations from 51 countries for this year’s award. Every one of them tells a similar sorry tale of oppressive states using the force of the law or the power of the state to silence dissent, shut down human rights organisations, criminalise LGBT rights or gag the independent media. Every one of those stories could be a feature-length documentary in its own right.Human rights defenders deserve betterThis year Front Line Defenders has highlighted the courage of human rights defenders from six countries. Honduras, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Belarus UAE and Kenya. Every one of those countries face serious human rights issues. At the same time governments and large sections of the media ignore the fact that respect for basic human rights and the rule of law are key indicators of the stability that is essential for successful economic development. Economic development and human rights go hand in hand – they are the key indicators of a successful state which will guarantee the maximum benefit for the maximum number of people.Richard Bruton recently articulated the view that the issue of human rights had no place on the agenda of a trade mission. When John Hume and Ian Paisley went to the United States to seek the assistance of the US government in resolving the problems of Northern Ireland – they argued the strategy that the effects of political negotiation combined with economic investment would help to take the province out of its troubles. However we don’t seem to think that the same strategy might well work in other countries. If a crisis erupts in Kenya or Belarus or the UAE, it will in the end cost more pain and money than if we had made a serious and concerted attempt to address the fundamental human rights issues at a much earlier stage.It is deeply depressing when you hear experienced and sympathetic journalists saying that for editors the words ‘foreign’ or ‘human rights’ are a complete turn off. Human rights defenders deserve better. They both deserve and desperately need the oxygen of publicity not just to air their views but to survive. As one human rights defender said “if you are visible you have rights”. We need to be confronted with the brutality and horrors that are inflicted in the name of stability and security.At the same time we need to be reminded of the passion, the energy and the commitment of courageous people who see the world through a different lens – one that perhaps can show us how we can create societies which value notions such as dignity, equality and human rights, and where, maybe, finally, “everyone [will] be born free and equal in dignity and rights”.Mary Lawlor is the founder and Executive Director of Front Line Defenders.Read: Gulf states trade trip ‘not time or place’ to bring up human rights concernsColumn: The abuse a US President – and the world – chooses to ignorelast_img read more


Two fancied exAll Blacks out of the running for Connacht job

first_img 20 Comments By John Fallon Jan 18th 2017, 8:03 AM Share6 Tweet Email 22,083 Views Follow us: Short URL We’ve always been about process, regardless of winning and losing – what you do well and what you can do better – and that hasn’t changed.“Sticking to that process for four years now has enabled us to isolate the things we can do better, rather than being bogged down by thinking things are terrible,” said Lam.A losing bonus point could be enough for Connacht to qualify but they will head into the final round leading the pool from four-time winners Toulouse and Wasps, who lifted the crown in 2004 and 2007.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!center_img Two fancied ex-All Blacks out of the running for Connacht job Tony Brown has ruled himself out, while Jono Gibbes will be staying in France. Wednesday 18 Jan 2017, 8:03 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Ex-Connacht captain Clarke forced at gunpoint to aid getawayZebre part ways with head coach after hammerings by Leinster and Connacht CONNACHT’S SEARCH FOR a successor to Pat Lam will continue without two of the fancied contenders, following confirmation that former All Blacks Tony Brown and Jono Gibbes are not in the running to take over at the Sportsground.Former All Blacks out-half Tony Brown emerged as a favourite over the weekend but he has since dismissed the move, while Gibbes has made it clear he is not leaving Clermont Auvergne. Gibbes will be staying put in Clermont. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOBrown will coach the Highlanders during the 2017 Super Rugby season before moving to Japan to link up full-time with head coach Jamie Joseph through to the end of the 2019 World Cup which will be hosted there.Browne, who worked with Japan during last November’s test matches, was queried on the suggested move by Japanese media but told Kyodo News he knew nothing about it.“That’s the first I’ve heard about it. I am contracted to Japan until after the World Cup in 2019,” said the 41-year old.Meanwhile, sources in France have confirmed that Gibbes is not in the running to take over from Lam.An indirect approach was made to Gibbes to check out his level of interest, but the former Leinster forwards coach made it clear he would not be in the running.Gibbes was a key figure in Leinster’s golden era, winning three Heineken Cup titles, three Pro12 crowns and an European Challenge Cup success during his six years working with Michael Cheika and Joe Schmidt before he moved to Clermont in 2014.He has been linked with a number of head coach positions. He is contracted to Clermont until the summer of 2018 but has get-out clauses. Former All Black Tony Brown. Source: EMPICS SportMeanwhile, Connacht are hopeful that Jack Carty will be fit for their trip to France this weekend to take on Toulouse, with a first ever Champions Cup quarter-final spot on the line.The out-half said at the weekend that the knee injury he picked up against Ospreys was not as bad as first feared.Scrum-half John Cooney converted to the number 10 position for the first time in his career and produced a superb display in the 66-21 rout of Zebre on Saturday.Cooney, whose move to Ulster in the summer was confirmed on Monday, scored a try and landed eight out of ten conversions but Lam will be hoping that Carty can make it this weekend.He said that they have learned over the past few seasons to take each game on its merits and, while he has billed this clash with Toulouse as possibly the biggest in Connacht’s history, the key to another win at Stade Ernest Wallon will lie in the quality of their training this week.last_img read more


Greeks should consider euro exit

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Giscard is a longtime friend of Greece. He pressed Greece’s EU candidacy over German objections, clearing the way for Athens to join what was then called the European Economic Community in 1981. Two decades later Greece joined the euro. In an interview at his Paris home, Giscard said Greece faced a difficult choice. Last Tuesday, the Greek government approved another round of austerity measures as protesters clashed with police outside parliament. Its economy will shrink again next year, a fifth straight year of recession. “Greece could stay in the eurozone but it is very difficult to achieve economic recovery with a strong currency,” the 85-year-old former president said. “Is it better to use a national currency for a period, or have the safety of a strong currency? It is Greece’s choice.” Giscard said that had Greece kept the drachma, it would probably have devalued by 40-50 per cent by now. He feared the Greek people would not accept the 40 per cent internal deflation that the country’s economy needs. “That approach has huge human, social and political costs.” But he had no doubt Greece would remain in the European Union, whether inside or outside the euro. Asked about French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s repeated assertion that it would be disastrous if one country were to leave the euro, Giscard said: “He is wrong.” Instant treaty Giscard, the most pro-European among French conservative politicians of his generation, was defeated by socialist Francois Mitterrand in 1981. He was the main architect of the draft European Constitution, drawn up by a congress of national and European lawmakers that he chaired. French and Dutch voters rejected the charter in referendums in 2005. The text was largely recycled in the Lisbon Treaty, negotiated in 2007 and approved by national parliaments and, at the second attempt, in an Irish referendum in 2009. The document redefined European institutions. He said that European leaders at their summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, widely seen as a final chance to get on top of the eurozone debt crisis, have to forget about trying to revise European treaties. “Reforming treaties that have to be modified by unanimous vote is impossible. Choosing the path of treaty revision with 27 (EU members) would make the crisis last and would give the impression that it is intractable,” he said. Instead, the 17 eurozone states should consider drafting a simple agreement among members of the single currency, similar to the Schengen agreement that introduced passport-free travel within 22 EU and non-EU states. “It must be done very quickly, in the first quarter of 2012, a Schengen-type agreement driven by France and Germany and including other countries like Belgium and Italy. But it should only be open to eurozone countries, otherwise it will be a mess,” he said. The possibility of a smaller and more integrated core eurozone has been discussed by senior French and German civil servants, officials told Reuters last month. “I think that in the end that is how it will happen,” Giscard said. Yesterday EU leaders were to review Franco-German proposals to reform eurozone governance via an amendment to the EU treaty to bring about more fiscal discipline. Giscard said leaders must agree quickly on debt and deficit limits and on sanctions for those countries that do not respect the agreement. If some countries found the debt and deficit requirements under the new treaty too severe, they should return to their national currency, he said.“It is necessary to allow for the possibility of eurozone exit. This must be done under conditions that are correct, and not punitive,” he said. Giscard said Europe needed to fight speculators against the euro, whom he suspected were mainly American. “Europe is like a city under siege. A big city, with a large population, and a strong economy. If its leaders do what needs to be done, this city will be free again,” he said. But Europe could do this without American help. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is touring Europe this week to press EU leaders for more decisive crisis management. “Geithner’s visit is inopportune. He should not be meddling in European affairs. “The French do not go take part in Federal Reserve meetings; who has ever heard of such a thing.”last_img read more


Des minicerveaux créés en laboratoire à partir de cellules souches

first_imgDes “mini-cerveaux” créés en laboratoire à partir de cellules souchesDes chercheurs sont parvenus à concevoir des “mini-cerveaux” à partir de cellules souches. Grâce à cette incroyable réussite, les scientifiques espèrent pouvoir étudier des maladies et les premières étapes de développement du cerveau.Alors que le cerveau cache encore bien des mystères, malgré toutes les études dont il fait l’objet, c’est une avancée majeure qu’ont réalisée des chercheurs de l’Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) de Vienne en Autriche. Pour la première fois, ils sont parvenus à créer dans des boîtes de Petri des “organoïdes cérébraux”, c’est à dire des amas de tissus cérébraux en trois dimensions. Ce “mini cerveau” comprend même des parties du cortex ou encore de l’hippocampe. Et ces structures présentent toutes les caractéristiques du tissu cérébral embryonnaire. Pour parvenir à ce résultat, les chercheurs ont utilisé des cellules souches pluripotentes induites (iPS) qu’ils ont mis en contact avec des nutriments considérés comme essentiels pour le développement cérébral. Grâce à cela, les cellules se sont peu à peu changées en cellules nerveuses. Puis ce “tissu” a été suspendu sur une structure en gel qui a permis aux cellules de s'”auto-organiser” en organoïdes de la taille d’un pois, aboutissant à une structure en 3 dimensions. “Si vous fournissez les bons nutriments, les cellules ont une incroyable capacité de s’auto-organiser”, a commenté Madeline Lancaster du IMB citée par The New Scientist.Un aperçu de cerveau précieux pour les chercheurs Ces “mini-cerveaux”, dénués de circulation sanguine, ont ensuite survécu plusieurs mois dans un bioréacteur, grâce à l’oxygène et aux nutriments fournis. “Ce système de culture en 3D développe une variété de régions cérébrales capables d’influer les unes sur les autres”, indique un résumé de l’étude repris par l’AFP.Grâce à cela, les auteurs de cette étude espère bien donner l’occasion de mieux étudier les maladies cérébrales humaines et de tester des molécules directement sur du matériel humain (plutôt que sur des souris). En effet, ces organoïdes recréent les premières étapes de la formation du cortex cérébral. Ils pourraient ainsi permettre de comprendre voire même de détecter des anomalies de la différenciation neuronale, ce qui expliquerait notamment la microcéphalie (cerveau de petite taille) qui affecte certaines personnes.Pas encore de “cerveau dans une boite de Pétri” À lire aussiLe mariage aiderait à prévenir les risques de démence, mais pourquoi ?Toutefois, ces modèles ne peuvent pas permettre d’étudier toutes les zones cérébrales dans la mesure où certaines se développent plus tardivement. Aussi, on est loin de pouvoir créer “un cerveau dans une boite de Petri”, précise Oliver Brüstle de l’Université de Bonn. Il doute même que cela puisse se produire un jour étant donnée l’extrême complexité de cet organe. Reste que les études réalisées grâce à ces organoïdes pourraient tout de même faire avancer la recherche.”N’importe quelle technique qui peut nous donner ‘quelque chose ressemblant à un cerveau’ que nous pouvons modifier, sur lequel nous pouvons travailler et que nous pouvons observer se développer, est excitante. Mais ceci dépendra des résultats que cette technique va permettre de produire”, a confirmé Martin Coath du Cognition Institute de la Plymouth University.Le 29 août 2013 à 18:42 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more


Recent chair lynching brings up painful memories for some

first_imgBrian Myers of Vancouver raises his hand before speaking Tuesday at a Clark College discussion on the recent ‘chair lynching’ in which a Camas couple hung an empty chair in their yard as a protest against President Barack Obama. The three-legged chair hung from a tree in Camas to protest President Barack Obama has stirred up fear and painful family memories for Camas resident Debi Jenkins. Jenkins, a professor at Clark College, is a relative of Abram Smith, a black man who was lynched in 1930 in Indiana. More recently, when Jenkins’ son was 18, he ran into the road after a basketball and was chased down by a driver and called the n-word. Onlookers did nothing to help, Jenkins said. These painful experiences with prejudice are what prompted her to speak up on Tuesday afternoon during a discussion at Clark College’s Diversity Center. “I do understand that there are people who just don’t have to live a life in fear because they have so much privilege,” Jenkins said to a room packed with about 25 people. “They have the privilege of being white, which gives them protection against a three-legged chair. … To them, it’s a three-legged chair. To me, it’s my cousin, Abram Smith.”The Diversity Center hosted the community forum to give the public a chance to discuss the patio chair Camas couple George and Kathryn Maxwell hung from a tree in their yard. Kathryn Maxwell has said the couple was inspired to display the empty chair following Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention speech, in which Eastwood spoke to an empty chair that was meant to represent Obama and his policies.last_img read more


Legislature makes slow progress on criminal sentencing overhaul

first_imgThe Terry Miller Legislative Office Building, April 20, 2016; the temporary location for the Alaska House and Senate for the 2016 extended legislative session.Download AudioLawmakers found they had less room and not enough desks or phones to go around on Monday. That’s because they’re sharing space in Juneau’s Bill Ray Center while the Capitol is being renovated.They gathered for their floor sessions in a former school gym in another building – the Terry Miller Legislative Office. The House made slow progress on a bill that would overhaul criminal sentencing and prisoner re-entry laws.The body added four amendments to the bill Monday afternoon before taking a break. It figures to be a long night of debate on the measure, which has raised concerns from some victims’ rights advocates. The legislation draws on recommendations by the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission.House Speaker Nikiski Republican Mike Chenault says legislators are still trying to understand all of the changes that are being proposed to the bill.“There’s a number of amendments – probably 20-some-odd other amendments – and some folks don’t know what they do, so they want to spend a little bit of time to decide what they do and how to either argue for or against them.”The only other meeting Monday was the Legislative Council, which was scheduled to discuss office space in Anchorage. Governor Bill Walker has said he would veto money to buy the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.last_img read more


The not so secret lives of Supergirl

first_imgSupergirl might be Superman’s cousin, but with 60 plus years of stories, and a TV show under her belt, she is no one-hit wonder. So if you’re new to the character or even a longtime fan, here’s a brief history for the Girl of Steel.While not the first appearance of the Supergirl most people are familiar with, Super-Girl as a concept was first introduced in Superman #123, in 1958. She was meant to be a female counterpart for Superman and was wished into existence by Jimmy Olsen. The character known as Super-Girl was meant to aid Superman in his adventures. However, she only ended up getting in his way, and eventually fell deathly ill after saving his life.A year later, in 1959’s Action Comics #252, the “Earth-One” version of the character was introduced (more on that multiple Earths thing later). This Supergirl is the cousin of Superman, rocketed to Earth as a teenager, arriving when Superman is already an adult. She chooses the earth name of Linda Lee and is adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers. While most of this is similar to the modern version of Kara Danvers, there are quite a few differences. If only the complicated continuity ended there…While Linda Lee-Danvers had a good run, she eventually met her demise in 1985’s Crisis On Infinite Earths. A mega-crossover story in which different Earths across the multiverse are being destroyed by an unknown force. The first DC Comics event meant to streamline the different Earths; it took the lives of two popular characters: The Flash (Barry Allen), and Supergirl.During the 1990’s, comic books were going through an ugly, awkward stage. Superman died, a kid in a leather jacket tried to replace him, and Supergirl dated the son of Lex Luthor, who ended up being Lex in a young, cloned body. Weird! If it didn’t sound complicated enough already, it ended up not even being the “real” Supergirl! After her death in Crisis On Infinite Earths, she mysteriously returned, only for it to be revealed later that it was actually an artificial, goo-like lifeform called Matrix. Comics are a strange place sometimes.In 2004, writer Jeph Loeb and the late, great artist Michael Turner introduced a new, modern version of the Kara Zor-El in their Superman/Batman series. After landing on earth, the confused  Kara is first taken by Wonder Woman, to train her as an Amazon. Eventually, Kara is kidnapped by Darkseid, the evil New God, and taken to his planet of Apokolips. Here he brainwashes her into being his agent of evil, dressing her up like a villainous Spice Girl.There have actually been many versions of Supergirl. The original was the ‘magical’ Super-Girl, the second was his cousin. While most have stuck to the cousin storyline, there has also been: modified humans, other aliens, a Supergirl from the 853rd century, an artificial life form, and even an angel (yea, like from heaven). All of this was streamlined in the past ten years, especially when writer Sterling Gates and artist Jamal Igle took over in 2008 to 2011.A little while after Kara had finally cemented herself as a mainstay in the universe DC rebooted itself. In 2011 the Flashpoint event created the New 52 universe, meant to breathe life into various series. One of which was Supergirl by writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson, and artist Mahmud Asrar. The series took away a lot of the warm, youthful aspects that Kara had come to be associated with. It alienated her by turning the character into a more detached, angst-ridden, angry heroine. As a result of this, she eventually was chosen by the rage-fueled Red Lantern Corps. Booooooo!With the popularity of the Supergirl tv show, she has landed a new DC solo series and also a comic series set in the TV show universe. It features the return of writer Sterling Gates, and he’s capturing all of the genuineness and fun of his original run. Adventures of Supergirl is great for fans of the show, or the character. The first collected edition just came out Wednesday and is available online here.last_img read more


Rage Water Service trailer shows off missionbased coop gameplay

first_imgI think we’ve seen enough Rage gameplay videos to confirm the game looks gorgeous and is set to be a must-have FPS next month. But this latest video is different. Up until now I’ve been watching single-player gameplay videos–this one is all about the co-op elements.In this scenario the gameplay is setup as the Shrouded clan having travelled to Wellspring in order to destroy the town’s water supply. You and a friend take the role of the “warriors” who have to stop them. What follows is a pretty intense battle through the streets of the town using all the weapons and gadgets you have to hand.The enemy not only tries to take you out with their guns, but has planted bombs that need to be defused. That sets the scene for some real teamwork as one of you carries out the bomb defusing while the other provides cover from the relentless enemy closing in.As id Software demonstrated back in April, co-op will take the form of missions that have been altered from the core single-player campaign. There will be at least eight of them, and some or all will be unlocked as you play through the single-player game. You can also play locally or online, hence the split-screen in the video.Rage is set to be released next month on October 4th in the U.S. sporting a unique Online Pass feature and a huge 22GB install for Xbox 360 owners. Still, I can’t see that putting anyone off buying the game.last_img read more

Testing Einsteins equivalence principle near a supermassive black hole

first_img“As it was predicted, and we showed in a previous study published in June 2018, during the closest approach of the star S2 to the black hole we observe the ‘gravitational redshift’ in the light of the star,” Habibi explained. “Gravitational redshift occurs because intense gravity on the star’s surface slows the vibration of light waves, stretching them and making the star appear redder than normal from Earth.”To test Einstein’s LPI principle, the researchers used two different types of atoms in S2’s stellar atmosphere: hydrogen and helium atoms. The LPI principle states that the gravitational redshift seen in a star that is flying in and out of a strong gravitational field only depends on the gravitational potential and does not rely on other parameters, such as the internal structure of the atom. Explore further The GRAVITY Collaboration, a team of researchers at several renowned institutes including the Max Planck Institute, LESIA Paris Observatory and the European Southern Observatory, has recently tested part of the Einstein Equivalence Principle, namely the local positon invariance (LPI), near the galactic center supermassive black hole. Their study, published on Physics Review Letters (PRL), investigated the dependency of different atomic transitions on the gravitational potential in order to give an upper limit on LPI violations. © 2019 Science X Network This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Image of the Galactic Centre. Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO). “We measured the frequency change of light from these atoms moving through a varying potential,” Habibi said. “The vibration of light waves was measured by fitting the line-of-sight velocity of the S2’s spectrum using the Hydrogen and Helium spectral lines separately. By measuring the difference in frequency change for both atoms we were able to give an upper limit on the LPI violation during the pericenter passage. If there was an obvious violation of LPI, we should have measured very different vibration of light waves, from the helium and hydrogen lines.” The equivalence principle and general relativity at large are merely theories, thus they need to be tested in order to ascertain their validity. So far, most researchers have carried out tests on Earth and in the solar system. However, these theories should also be tested in extreme scenarios, as this can determine whether they still hold and lead to more conclusive evidence. Such tests could rule out some of the principles that shape our current understanding of gravity or identify violations from the theory of general relativity. “Testing the equivalence principle in all different regimes is important as several alternative theories of gravitation predict a violation from it under extreme conditions,” Felix Widmann, another researcher involved in the study, told “For me the most meaningful finding of our study is that we were able to test the equivalence principle in this most extreme case: close to a supermassive black hole that is over 20 thousand light years away. The limits we put on a violation are not very restrictive yet, but they are in a gravitational regime that was completely untested before.” Habibi, Widmann and their colleagues were among the first to test part of the equivalence principle near the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole. Their work provides valuable insight about the validity of general relativity, particularly the LPI principle. “The past year was exceptionally successful for the GRAVITY collaboration,” Widmann said. “For the first time, we observed relativistic effects in the orbit of a star around a supermassive black hole and used this star to test the Equivalence Principle. We also observed material orbiting very close to the black hole, another observation which would have been impossible without GRAVITY. However, this is more of a start than an end for us.” With the optimal season for galactic center observation just around the corner, the researchers at GRAVITY collaboration will continue to point their telescopes to S2 and the galactic center supermassive black hole. According to Widmann, the team might soon be able to detect subtler relativistic effects in the orbit of S2, which will allow them to test the theory of general relativity once again. In their future observations, the researchers also hope that they will see more flare activity around the black hole, as this would enable further studies aimed at broadening their understanding of the Milky Way’s galactic center black hole and black holes in general. “With future telescopes like the Extremely Large Telescope, which has a mirror of 39m in diameter, we will be able to perform similar experiments and look for 1 million times smaller effects of possible violations of LPI, compared to what it is possible today,” Widmann added. “This will allow us to test the other part of Einstein’s equivalence principle, called weak equivalence principle, which states that an object in gravitational free fall is physically equivalent to an object that is accelerating with the same amount of force in the absence of gravity. The galactic center is a unique observatory and with GRAVITY and future telescopes we want to learn as much about it as possible.” First successful test of Einstein’s general relativity near supermassive black hole (Update)center_img More information: A. Amorim et al. Test of the Einstein Equivalence Principle near the Galactic Center Supermassive Black Hole, Physical Review Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.101102 Detection of the gravitational redshift in the orbit of the star S2 near the Galactic centre massive black hole, Astronomy & Astrophysics (2018). DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201833718 “General relativity and in general all metric theories of gravity are based on the equivalence of inertial mass and gravitational mass, formalized in the Einstein equivalence principle,” Maryam Habibi, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told “General relativity is the best theory of gravity that we have, however, there are still many unanswered puzzles that are closely tied to our incomplete understanding of gravity.” The equivalence principle, a crucial part of Einstein’s general relativity theory, states that the gravitational force experienced in any small region of space-time is the same as the pseudo-force experienced by an observer in an accelerated frame of reference. Testing this principle is of key importance, as it could lead to interesting observations and broaden our current understanding of gravity. “Einstein’s equivalence principle consists of three main principles,” Habibi explained. “One of them, called the local position invariance (LPI), states that non-gravitational measurements should be independent of the location in space time (characterized by gravitational potential) where they are carried out. The main part of our study focuses on testing the LPI principle.”Past observations suggest that most, if not all, massive galaxies contain a supermassive black hole, which is typically located at the center of a galaxy. The mass of the Milky Way’s galactic center supermassive black hole is 4 million times greater than that of the sun. It thus generates the strongest gravitational field in the galaxy, which makes it the ideal place to hunt for unexplored phenomena and test general relativity principles.Star S2, one of the brightest stars in the Milky Way’s innermost region, has its closest encounter with the galactic center supermassive black hole at a distance of 16.3 light hours. In other words, the star takes 16 years to make a complete orbit around the black hole, which in astronomical time scales is extremely short. S2 moves in and out of the black hole’s gravitational field, hence the GRAVITY collaboration team decided to use it to test part of Einstein’s equivalence principle. Journal information: Physical Review Letters Citation: Testing Einstein’s equivalence principle near a supermassive black hole (2019, March 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from , Astronomy & Astrophysics Image shows one of the Unit Telescopes of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) array, pointing a laser beam towards the Milky Way to create an artificial star. Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO).last_img read more

Researchers outline the current state of potassiumion battery technology

first_img Explore further © 2019 Science X Network A trio of researchers with the University of Wollongong, in Australia, has published an outline of the current state of potassium-ion battery technology. In their Review piece published in the journal Science Advances, Wenchao Zhang, Yajie Liu, and Zaiping Guo highlight the current roadblocks that are preventing widespread use of the battery technology and possible workarounds for them. Journal information: Science Advances Lithium-ion batteries have proven to be very useful, particularly in recent times as they are used to power a wide range of devices—from smartphones to electric cars. But lithium is rather rare, which means costs for it is going to go up as supplies tighten. For that reason, scientists have been searching for an alternative. One alternative that has been getting a lot of attention of late is potassium-ion—it is plentiful and cheap. But it also has five main roadblocks, the researchers note.The first roadblock is low diffusion, which means the potassium ions move slowly through a solid electrode. The researchers suggest that advances in nanomaterials and nanostructures may lead to ways to solve this problem.The second roadblock has to do with the changes in volume that potassium undergoes as it first accepts a charge and then as it releases it. Repeated cycles lead to breakdown of the material, which results in the development of dead areas and ultimately, battery failure. Possible workarounds include using nanoparticle clusters.The third problem involves the side reactions that take place that can lead to degradation. The researchers expect that additives will soon be found to prevent them.The fourth problem is the growth of dendrites that can lead to short circuits. Again, the researchers suggest that the introduction of the right solvents should be able to prevent them from occurring.And finally, the fifth problem is poor heat dissipation, which can result in very hot batteries or even thermal runaway. The researchers suggest that study of electrode materials, cell configuration and electrolytes should at some point lead to a way to solve the problem.The researchers conclude by suggesting that the problems inherent with using potassium in batteries do not appear to be insurmountable, but acknowledge that it could take as long as 20 years to figure them all out. More information: Wenchao Zhang et al. Approaching high-performance potassium-ion batteries via advanced design strategies and engineering, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7412center_img Citation: Researchers outline the current state of potassium-ion battery technology (2019, May 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Sodium- and potassium-based batteries could be key for smart grid of the future Opportunities and challenges of the PIB. (A) Comparison of LIB, SIB, and PIB in terms of energy density. (B) Abundance of lithium, sodium, and potassium metal in Earth’s crust (wt %). (C) Stokes radius of Li+, Na+, and K+ in PC. (D) Number of publications on PIBs according to Google Scholar (as of January 2019). (E) Summary of challenges and their relationships for the PIB. Credit: Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7412 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more


SWISS wins new Business Traveller Award for Best Business Class

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) earned a further distinction in this year’s Business Traveller Awards: first place in the newly-inaugurated category of “Best Business Class to North and South America”. The readers of Germany’s reputed Business Traveller magazine also voted SWISS “Best Airline for Europe”, the fourth time in succession that the carrier has gained this distinction. SWISS also took the top honours in a further award category, for “Best Direct and Connecting Flights to North and South America”. Jochen Leibfritz, SWISS’s Sales Manager for Germany, collected the honours in Frankfurt today on behalf of the entire company. “These distinctions are a wonderful acknowledgement of our entire SWISS team,” he said. “We all work together day in, day out to offer our customers the highest possible quality. As Switzerland’s national airline, we attach immense value to our hospitality and our service-minded approach. Because when they board a SWISS flight, we want our customers to feel truly at home.” SWISS was particularly honoured to receive the first-ever Business Traveller Award for the “Best Business Class to North and South America”, as Markus Binkert, Managing Director and Head of Product & Services, explained. “We are delighted to see that the new Business Class which we have been introducing onto our long-haul fleet since last year is proving so popular with travellers,” he said. “This award confirms to us once again that our innovative new cabin product is truly meeting the needs of our premium customers.”The new SWISS long-haul Business Class features a unique seating configuration that provides genuinely spacious surrounds; and the seat itself boasts an innovative pneumatic air cushion whose softness can be quickly and flexibly tailored to individual needs. The new Business Class is being gradually installed aboard the SWISS long-haul fleet in a programme that started in spring 2009. Source = Swiss International Air Lineslast_img read more

EuroAsia Interconnector awarded €145m EU grant

first_imgThe EuroAsia Interconnector Ltd which plans to link the power grids of Cyprus with those of Greece and Israel via an undersea cable, said that the European Union agreed to finance the final detailed studies ahead of the implementation of the project with €14.5m.The funding is part of the European Commission’s initiative to invest €444m in 18 priority European energy infrastructure projects, the company said in an emailed statement.“The EuroAsia Interconnector is one of the seven selected electricity projects that have received funding and the only North-South electricity interconnection in the Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe Priority Corridor,” the statement said. “The project will contribute to achieving the Energy Union’s goals of connecting European energy networks, increasing security of energy supply, and contributing to the sustainable development by integrating renewable energy sources across the EU”.The project, announced five years ago, provides linking Kofinou (Cyprus) with Hadera (Israel) and Korakia on the Greek island of Crete. Another undersea cable will link Korakia with Attica. The interconnector will have a capacity of 2,000 Megawatts.“Pre-construction works will commence in 2017 and the completion of the first 1,000MW interconnection between Israel – Cyprus – Greece will take place in 2022,” the company said. “Enjoying the unwavering support of the governments of Cyprus, Greece and Israel, the project promoter is continuing unabated with the timely implementation of the EuroAsia Interconnector in accordance to the agreed schedules for all three steps of the 1520 km electricity highway”.The EU has earmarked €5.4bn for its Connecting Europe Facility until 2020.You May LikeHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsThe Early Signs Of Heart Failure. Search Acute Heart Failure TreatmentHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsUndoSenior Living | Search AdsThe Cost of Senior Living in Rowland Heights Might Surprise YouSenior Living | Search AdsUndoClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Buffer zone to feature in conference on seven most endangered heritage sites

first_imgThe buffer zone as a site of valuable and endangered heritage will feature prominently in a Europa Nostra conference to be hosted in Nicosia on 23-24 October.Nicosia mayors from the north and south of the divide, Constantinos Yiorkadjis and Mehmet Harmanci, will be among the participants in a panel on the buffer zone, which was listed among the seven most endangered heritage sites in Europe in 2013 by Europa Nostra, the pan-European federation of heritage NGO’s.A central session of the conference aiming to mobilise efforts to save Europe’s most threatened monuments and heritage sites will be “The Buffer Zone in the Historic Centre of Nicosia”, examining the 1.5km long lifeless corridor which is home to beautiful mediaeval monuments, elegant neoclassical buildings and abandoned traditional workshops.  The entire buffer zone spans 180km across the island.The buffer zone as a heritage site will also be showcased in a photography exhibition by the young Dutch photographer Roman Robroek.Some 100 heritage players from 20 European countries, including decision-makers, professionals and volunteers, will participate in the conference, including Elizabeth Spehar, Special Representative of UN Secretary General and Chief of Mission of Unficyp.In addition to the aim of drawing particular attention to the buffer zone, the conference will share the lessons learned since the launch of the ‘7 Most Endangered’ programme in 2013 and discuss the way forward, as well as present EU policies and actions taken for heritage at risk and various already existing funding schemes.The main part of the conference will take place in the Centre of Visual Arts and Research in Nicosia (Cvar), a Grand Prix winner of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2017, while the afternoon of the last day will feature a visit to the Othello Tower and monuments restored by the bi-communal Committee on cultural heritage in Famagusta in the north. May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more


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[L. said Jeff Johnson relates well to the voters and is true to his beliefs"All the effort and work we put in paid off" Moreau said "I support him because he’s just a normal guy He’s going to stand behind his principles and save us all some money"Moreau said she believes Johnson can defeat Pawlenty come August"I have no doubt about that" she saidPublic awareness of the issue has risen dramatically since the disappearance and murder of Fargo’s Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind a case that has drawn media attention from across the nation and around the worldLaFontaine-Greywind 22 a member of the Spirit Lake tribe living in Fargo vanished Saturday Aug 19 while eight months pregnant Her body was found eight days later in the Red River Police said her death was caused by "homicidal violence" Her baby alive and healthy was found in the possession of one of the suspects in the caseThe legislation comes on the heels of a letter sent last week by the United Tribes of North Dakota to the state’s Congressional delegation urging them to take action to combat the issue and making several recommendationsThe United Tribes of North Dakota is an organization composed of the state’s five tribes: Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold the Spirit Lake Tribe the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa IndiansRepublican Sen John Hoeven chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee introduced a bill this week that would create a tribal grant program within the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime The bill would require five percent of a federal crime victims fund be allocated to Indian tribesOne of the recommendations in the United Tribes letter was that tribes be given greater access to money in the crime victims fund Hoeven’s office said that currently only about 07 percent of those funds are provided to tribes despite the fact that American Indian and Alaska Native communities are victimized at much higher rates than other groups"It is critical for tribal communities which experience some of the highest crime rates in the country to have greater access to victim resources" Hoeven saidHoeven’s legislation has bipartisan support It has seven co-sponsors four of them Democrats One of those is North Dakota Democratic Sen Heidi HeitkampHeitkamp meanwhile is planning to introduce a bill of her own this week that would address several other issues related to missing and murdered Native American women She plans to name the bill for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind Although Heitkamp’s bill is still being drafted she said it would include three main elements: Establishment of standard protocols for responding to cases of missing and murdered Native Americans in consultation with tribes and increase inter-jurisdictional cooperation among tribal federal state and local law enforcement? North Carolina; Additional reporting by Gabriella Borter and Joseph Ax in New York; Writing by Joseph Ax, and the Sudanese security operatives.

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we will establish revitalized native ecosystems, “I can say this without hesitation: Trevor Noah will earn your trust and respect … or not,爱上海MT, Bullfights are held in the evening. were on their way home in the Rohtak district when 19-year old Pooja says the men “threatened and abused” them,South Korea aims for high-level talks about talks with North | Reuters World Reuters Mar 16 the longtime Obama adviser said the White House is prepared to keep fighting until its last days in early 2017. all three we will try to work hard and get better and better. read more


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Until the late nineteenth century," Pelosi said. What benefit do we, Scientists, 2017. Who will dare to attack the home and office of the MLA who won with the support of both the Hindus and the Muslims? like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, it is pointless. according to the letter. read more