Category: axxftdnn


Tough New Zealand gun laws easily pass first hurdle

first_imgWellington: New legislation to tighten New Zealand gun laws in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings drew overwhelming support when it was introduced to parliament on Tuesday. Lawmakers voted 119-1 in favour of the bill, which bans military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) rifles like those used in the March 15 rampage by a white supremacist which claimed 50 lives. Police Minister Stuart Nash said the attack by accused gunman Brenton Tarrant showed current firearms restrictions were inadequate. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Far too many people in this country have access to these dangerous firearms for no legitimate purpose, but at significant risk to the public,” he said. The sole holdout against the legislation was David Seymour, a conservative whose ACT Party has a single seat in parliament. Seymour criticised the speed with which his colleagues were handling the legislation, fast-tracking a process that usually takes months so that the law will take effect by the end of next week. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”It is important that we maintain our tradition of sober, robust law-making at all times, but especially now,” he said in a statement. “The best way to show defiance in the face of terrorism is to refuse to erode our democratic institutions.” Seymour had intended to try to stall the legislation in parliament but missed his chance when he arrived in the chamber late after spending too long explaining his plan to media. Nash was unapologetic about the hurried timetable for outlawing MSSAs, which will see the ban put to the vote twice more before it would formally become law. “We don’t ever want to see an attack like this in our country again,” he said. “We are compelled to act quickly.” Further curbs — potentially including a gun register, tighter vetting and stricter gun storage rules — are set to be passed by the end of the year. New Zealand has about 1.5 million privately owned firearms, or 0.3 per person, including an estimated 13,500 MSSAs The government has also said it will review laws dealing with hate speech. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, widely praised for her compassionate and decisive leadership following the Islamophobic attack, has also called for action by social media giants after the alleged gunman live streamed the atrocity online.last_img read more


FY19 CIL coal allocation to power sector dips 6

first_imgNew Delhi: State-owned CIL allocated 27.14 million tonne coal to the power sector under special forward e-auction mechanism last fiscal, registering a decline of six per cent from the previous year. According to the latest monthly report by the coal ministry prepared for the Cabinet, Coal India (CIL) allocated 28.93 MT of the dry fuel to the sector in 2017-18. In March 2019, the allocation stood at 1.12 MT in comparison to nil in the year-ago period. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraRecently, a World Bank report said India is still facing challenges to meet its growing demand for power and reliable supply remains low in the country. Last year, CIL said it would put on offer a little over 45 MT coal under the special forward e-auction mechanism in 2018-19. In an attempt to reach out to its consumers, CIL had earlier announced a special forward e-auction calendar for 2018-19 to facilitate power plants to systematically plan the lifting of coal. Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output. The PSU produced 606.9 MT coal in 2018-19 against 567.4 MT in 2017-18.last_img read more


Italian Book Links Polisario to Terrorism and Trafficking in the Sahel

Rabat – A new Italian book explores how the Polisario Front’s presence in the Sahel has led to instability in the region and with the strengthening of terrorism and organized crime.“From the expansion of Daech to the role of mafia groups, from the Polisario Front’s activities to the return of the Tuaregs to arms, the Sahara Desert has become a crossroads of arms, drugs and human trafficking,” state the authors of “Sahara: Desert Mafia Groups and Jihad,” published by Castevecchi. The authors Massimiliano Boccolini, journalist and academic, and Alessio Postiglione, a journalist, academic and Italian leftist militant, previously a great sympathizer with the Polisario,  explain that the book aims at “lifting the veil on ignorance” and “shedding light on a part of the world” that is close to Italy, and that is shrouded by information that does not lend itself to simplification. The book compares the southern part of Algeria and northern part of Mali to Afghanistan due to the presence of the Polisario-controlled Tindouf Camps.It points to the recurring kidnapping of Western and Italian nationals in recent years in the Tindouf camps and the trafficking of all kinds, both directly involving the Polisario as well as the terrorist organizations that have been allowed to thrive.“The area south of the Tindouf camp in Algeria, under the control of the Polisario Front, has become a new Afghanistan, where the safety of foreigners is threatened. [This area] extends from southern Algeria to northern Mali is […] controlled by al-Qaeda and smugglers.”The book also examines the geostrategic context leading to the creation of the Polisario. It explains that the Polisario continues to be a puppet in the hands of Algerian leaders, and states through the testimony of the anti-fascist prosecutor, Franco Roberti, that there are strong links between the thriving international mafias, the terrorist groups and the Polisario.On another note, the authors spotlight Morocco’s contributions to the stability of the region and its strategic alliances with the countries of the Sahel.“Morocco is the last bulwark of stability in the region,” they write. “It is fighting separatists in its Sahara and parties seek to undermine its economic development and stability.” read more


SHIFT Make it Happen helps graduate students prepare for jobs

Academic and professional development partners are coordinating an ‘on your feet’ mini-conference with micro-sized trainings providing graduate students with an armload of practical skills for employment search and job creation. SHIFT: Make it Happen! is scheduled for Thursday, May 1 in the Plaza Building.By the end of the day students will walk away with:• resume reviewed by a career professional and customizations tips to stand out in the crowd;• mock interview experience with feedback on how to prepare for behaviour-based interviews;• new understanding and language on how to translate graduate level skills to a potential employer;• new e-portfolio format to document and ‘visualize’ skills and talents;• broader options for employment and new professional contacts;Students will have an opportunity to register for Coffee Connect and have a conversation with a university thought leader or local entrepreneur.All conference participants will attend a post-conference networking event, the SHIFT Mixer, to make valuable professional contacts from the University, Niagara and beyond.Details are available online.  For details, please contact Karin Perry, ext. 6129 read more


UN agency shelters group of Palestinian refugees in wake of Israeli military

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA, had distributed tents, food parcels, mattresses, mats, kitchen kits and cash to the 57 families affected, comprising a total of 345 people.The Agency said that during the incursion into the Khan Younis Camp, a group of 40 people, most of them women and children from six families, stayed at the UNRWA Khan Younis Health Centre for protection and left the premises on Friday morning.


Ninja Turtles sequel kicks XMen from top of box office

‘Ninja Turtles’ sequel kicks ‘X-Men’ from top of box office by The Associated Press Posted Jun 6, 2016 3:25 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 6, 2016 at 4:24 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email This image released by Paramount Pictures shows, from left, Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael in a scene from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” The movie opened to $35.3 million according to comScore estimates Sunday, June 5, 2016, close to half of what the first film opened to in 2014. (Lula Carvalho/Paramount Pictures via AP) LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” sequel “Out of the Shadows” dethroned “X-Men: Apocalypse” at the box office in its opening weekend, but its victory, like its characters, was half-shelled.The $35.3 million that the “Turtles” brought in amounted to nearly half the earnings of the first film’s opening weekend.“X-Men: Apocalypse” fell to second place with $22.8 million, bringing its domestic total to $117 million in two weekends in theatres.The romantic tearjerker “Me Before You” opened in third place with a stronger-than-expected $18.7 million for the film based on the bestselling book, while the music mockumentary “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” managed an eighth-place debut with $4.7 million.The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theatres Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theatre locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:1. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows,” Paramount, $35,316,382, 4,071 locations, $8,675 average, $35,316,382, 1 week.2. “X-Men: Apocalypse,” 20th Century Fox, $22,825,484, 4,153 locations, $5,496 average, $116,998,716, 2 weeks.3. “Me Before You,” Warner Bros., $18,723,269, 2,704 locations, $6,924 average, $18,723,269, 1 week.4. “Alice Through The Looking Glass,” Disney, $11,314,635, 3,763 locations, $3,007 average, $51,396,232, 2 weeks.5. “The Angry Birds Movie,” Sony, $10,214,076, 3,484 locations, $2,932 average, $87,116,802, 3 weeks.6. “Captain America: Civil War,” Disney, $7,829,479, 3,084 locations, $2,539 average, $389,178,636, 5 weeks.7. “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” Universal, $4,863,365, 2,417 locations, $2,012 average, $48,723,590, 3 weeks.8. “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” Universal, $4,698,715, 2,311 locations, $2,033 average, $4,698,715, 1 week.9. “The Jungle Book,” Disney, $4,445,272, 1,990 locations, $2,234 average, $347,667,933, 8 weeks.10. “The Nice Guys,” Warner Bros., $3,453,344, 1,888 locations, $1,829 average, $29,054,194, 3 weeks.11. “Love & Friendship,” Roadside Attractions, $2,146,666, 819 locations, $2,621 average, $7,029,040, 4 weeks.12. “Money Monster,” Sony, $1,865,537, 1,323 locations, $1,410 average, $38,304,947, 4 weeks.13. “The Lobster,” A24, $1,457,928, 560 locations, $2,603 average, $3,907,885, 4 weeks.14. “A…Aa,” BlueSky Cinemas, $1,208,694, 126 locations, $9,593 average, $1,704,305, 1 week.15. “Zootopia,” Disney, $753,723, 400 locations, $1,884 average, $337,183,405, 14 weeks.16. “Housefull 3,” Eros Entertainment, $683,620, 145 locations, $4,715 average, $683,620, 1 week.17. “Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” Warner Bros., $286,178, 270 locations, $1,060 average, $329,905,951, 11 week.18. “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” IFC Films, $276,638, 195 locations, $1,419 average, $2,932,377, 6 weeks.19. “The Meddler,” Sony Pictures Classics, $255,225, 232 locations, $1,100 average, $3,645,380, 7 weeks.20. “The Wailing,” Well Go USA, Inc., $218,520, 32 locations, $6,829 average, $296,812, 1 week.___Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC. read more


The new MegaUpload will dish out 50GB of cloud storage for free

first_imgIn just a few more days, MegaUpload will be reborn as Kim Dotcom’s new Mega service. The larger-than-life Dotcom has been boisterous (as always) in making his excitement known about the completely re-built cloud storage service, and now he’s dangling some additional carrots for potential users. First up: those who register for a free account on Mega will receive a whopping 50GB of storage for their files.That’s a heck of a lot more space than any other service on the web. Popular options like Dropbox and Sugarsync typically offer 2-5GB at no charge, with additional free space offered for referrals. Microsoft provided existing SkyDrive users with a fairly generous 25GB when the service was re-launched prior to the release of Windows 8, but even that is only half what’s Mega is providing. is really about the only service that’s been this generous, running several promotions in the past for new owners of devices like the BlackBerry PlayBook or HP TouchPad and once to try and lure iOS users away from iCloud.Dotcom is also excited because he and the EFF are working together to reclaim users’ data. If their efforts are successful, Dotcom says that files will be automatically moved to accounts on the new service for easy retrieval. Beyond returning the long-lost data, he also wants to bestow premium account status on the new Mega to former MegaUpload premium users. Dotcom’s legal eagles say that’s not possible just yet, but they’re working on it.You can almost hear the teeth grinding away in Hollywood if you listen really hard. While the MegaUpload takedown looked like a major victory for copyright groups in the beginning, it looks like the celebration might have been a little premature.#Mega will have very generous limits for free users. For example you get 50GB storage for free ;-)— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) January 17, 2013last_img read more


The Spartans have taken over London

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram An army of Spartan warriors descended upon London with a mission in mind. Clad in just leather pants and capes, they brandished their spears to the bemusement of commuters in London’s metro. Some of the Spartan men even jumped on board to hitch a ride, sitting down with commuters on the way to work. Thankfully, they were not there to wage war with Londoners. Instead they were called upon to promote the DVD release of 300: Rise of an Empire.last_img


Marée noire BP parvient à pomper 5000 barils par jour mais reconnaît

first_imgMarée noire : BP parvient à pomper 5.000 barils par jour mais reconnaît une fuite plus importante que prévueÉtats-Unis – BP parvient désormais à pomper 5.000 barils de pétrole par jour, soit la totalité de la quantité de pétrole se déversant quotidiennement estimée depuis le début de la catastrophe. Une excellente nouvelle ? Oui, mais l’écoulement de pétrole s’avère finalement plus important que prévu. La compagnie BP, responsable de la fuite de pétrole qui sévit depuis près d’un mois dans le golfe du Mexique, a dû reconnaître jeudi que la quantité de pétrole s’écoulant quotidiennement du puits était supérieure aux 800.000 litres (l’équivalent de 5.000 barils) annoncés.Selon les déclarations de Mark Proegler à l’AFP, les experts de BP “assurent qu’il n’existe vraiment aucune manière fiable d’estimer [le volume de] la fuite”. Des scientifiques américains ont récemment découvert de gigantesques nappes de pétrole brut dans les profondeurs du golfe du Mexique, et en ont conclu que la quantité de pétrole s’échappant du puits chaque jour pouvait être 5 à 20 fois supérieure aux 5.000 barils estimés.De plus, depuis hier, le pétrole lourd pollue les côtes de la Louisiane, et d’autres nappes se dirigent vers la Floride. La troisième barrière de corail du monde est menacée. Le 21 mai 2010 à 11:15 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more


PlayStation Vita Sony sallie à Vodafone et SFR pour laccès 3G

first_imgPlayStation Vita : Sony s’allie à Vodafone et SFR pour l’accès 3GC’est le 22 février que sera lancée en Europe la nouvelle console portable de Sony, la PlayStation Vita. En même temps que cette date de disponibilité, la firme nippone annonce s’être associée à SFR et Vodafone pour l’accès 3G de la console.Sony vient d’annoncer la date du lancement européen de la PS Vita. C’est le 22 février que la nouvelle console portable de la firme japonaise fera son arrivée en Europe. Avec ses dimensions (182 x 18,6 x 83,5 mm), son écran tactile 5 pouces offrant un affichage en 960×544 pixels en 16 millions de couleurs, ses appareils photo à l’avant et au dos, la console se donne des airs de smartphone ou de tablette.À lire aussiSFR s’apprête à lancer son arme anti-Free mobile : Joe MobilePour assurer sa connexion 3G, Sony indique sur le blog européen de la PlayStation avoir choisi de s’allier au groupe britannique Vodafone pour le Royaume-Uni, l’Irlande, l’Italie, l’Allemagne, l’Espagne et le Portugal.  En France, le partenaire privilégié de la firme nippone sera SFR, qui proposera une carte SIM dans les packs PS Vita 3G. Ces alliances n’empêcheront toutefois pas les utilisateurs de la console de se tourner vers d’autres réseaux. La PS Vita dispose en outre d’une connectivité Wi-Fi.Les tarifs appliqués par SFR et Vodafone n’ont pas encore été indiqués. Mais ceux de l’opérateur  japonais NTT DoCoMo nous donne une idée de ce à quoi nous attendre. Il proposera des cartes prépayées à partir de 980 yens, soit un peu plus de 9 euros, pour 20 heures. Quant au prix de la console, il est fixé à 300 euros pour la version 3G, et 250 euros pour le modèle Wi-Fi.Le 24 novembre 2011 à 21:00 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more


first_img Big time Customs Officer fined and fired for theft Recommended for you Related Items:bail, British Atlantic Financial Services, Margaret Ramsay Hale, supreme court Police looking for band of eight robbers; Outten gets bail despite serious gun charges Bahamas Police revoke bail for some, 268 being monitored Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 09 jan 2015 – GOVT DOES NOT BACK BAIL OUT for embattled British Atlantic Financial and court today ruled for a liquidation of the institution.Some 2,600 policy holders have to now wait and see what can be salvaged from years of investing in savings, life, insurance and annuity plans over three decades.BAFSL had been the savior for many in 2008 when CLICO collapsed. Company executives claimed the Financial Services Commission was too rigid not allowing them to do more to rescue the fledgling financial company.The Premier in a statement following comments to save BAFSL from the Opposition PDM said his government would try to bail out the company. Hon Rufus Ewing had promised to meet with the Opposition but never did.In a full report on PTV8 on Monday hear reactions to the ruling. Chief Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale finalized the decision in Supreme Court this morning after there was no proposal for bailout. A final report on monies brought forth is expected from the liquidatiors s on February 28th.last_img read more

Woman shot in the face murdered in Nassau

first_img Related Items:#drivebyshooting, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, October 11, 2017 – Nassau – A woman was killed overnight in Nassau, reportedly shot in the face in a so called drive by shooting.   It happened in Peardale Park around 6pm on Tuesday and it is said that two others were shot – men – and were rushed to hospital.  The woman is described as middle aged but details are scant at this hour.#MagneticMediaNews#drivebyshooting Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more


Vancouver man critically injured in Portland motorcycle crash

first_imgA Vancouver man was critically injured Wednesday night in Portland when he lost control of his motorcycle and slid into a stopped car.Dale Stark, 63, remained in critical condition at Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Medical Center on Thursday evening.He was riding his 2006 Harley Davidson westbound on Northeast Airport Way at about 10:15 p.m. when he apparently lost control and struck the bumper of an eastbound Pontiac coupe waiting to make a left turn.The Pontiac was being driven by Brett Hilberg of Gresham. Hilberg cooperated with investigators and showed no signs of impairment, according to a news release issued by the Portland Police Bureau.An investigation into the crash is ongoing. No citations have been issued.Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Barry Busse at 503-823-2216.last_img read more


Technology helping small communities cut high energy costs conference organizer says

first_imgFairbanks North Star Borough Energy Management Engineer Ben Loeffler talks with conferees about a biomass-gasification combined heat and power plant project at the Big Dipper Ice Arena during Tuesday’s Rural Energy Conference (Photo by Tim Ellis/KUAC)About 400 people from around Alaska and elsewhere converged on the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and Conference Center this week to talk about how residents of the state’s rural and remote communities can reduce high energy costs during the 20th Rural Energy Conference.Listen nowOrganizers say turnout for this year’s conference is good and interest is keen in finding solutions to the growing problem of sky-high energy costs in Alaskan communities located far off the grid.Holdmann is the director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at UAF, which helps the Alaska Energy Authority organize the biennial conference.“What this conference is really about is it’s about bringing people together to share experiences, share stories on what works, what doesn’t work, what direction they’re going,” Gwen Holdmann said.Holdmann says organizers also try to ensure conferees “have access to the kind of resources that they need to make sure their projects are developed in a successful way.”Holdmann has attended all 20 of the events, and she says they’ve evolved in recent years as technological solutions to the problem of high-energy costs have emerged.“Twenty years ago, there was really not that much going on in terms of innovative projects, integration of renewables,” Holdmann said. “There really wasn’t too much happening. There was a lot of interest, but not much was occurring at that time. And over time, that’s really changed.”Holdmann says earlier conferences focused on improving existing power-generating systems. She says that changed a few years ago when the price of diesel and fuel oil rose sharply, and utilities – especially those that serve smaller communities – started looking for alternatives.“After we saw the fuel spikes in 2008, there was a huge increase in activity,” Holdmann said.Holdmann says that’s why conferees are talking a lot more now about employing technologies that improve efficiencies. And about renewable-energy sources such as woody biomass, wind and solar to reduce the use of diesel to generate power. And she says industry is taking notice.“There’s a lot of interest from companies in using Alaska as kind of a first-adopter, first-mover sort of market,” Holdmann said, “because our energy prices are higher, and so things work here today in ways that they don’t necessarily work from an economic standpoint in other places in the United States right now.”Renewable-energy expert Chris Rose agrees Alaska has become a leader in improving the microgrids that distribute power to small isolated communities. But he says Alaska is still catching up on using alternative energy to generate heat and power.“In the Lower 48 and in much the rest of the world, renewable energy is actually mainstream,” Rose said. “It’s moved further and faster than even in places in Alaska.”Rose is executive director of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project. He says the state has more than 70 alternative-energy technology projects. And he says the growing use of those technologies is reflected in the presentations being given at the conference – and the conversations going on in the hallways.Rose says those conversations focus on “how to make those projects better. How are they performing? What can we do on the human-capacity side to make sure that we’ve got the right operations and maintenance? What can we be doing on an ongoing basis to update control systems and marry the diesel engines to the renewable-energy project, whatever that might be?”Both Rose and Holdmann agree that Alaskans will have to leverage the state’s growing reputation as a proving ground for microgrids and renewable energy, because state and federal funding, like the Alaska Energy Authority’s Renewable Energy Fund, has dried up. So, Holdmann says Alaskans must look to the private sector.“Some of our rural communities have the highest energy costs anywhere in the United States,” Holdmann said. “And while that’s a real challenge for us, it actually presents this opportunity in terms of being able to test new technologies, really gain expertise in that area and potentially be able to leverage our expertise as Alaskans into other emerging places.”The Rural Energy Conference continues through noon Thursday at the Westmark.last_img read more


Avengers Endgame Tamil full HD movie leaked online Will it affect the

first_imgAvengers: Endgame movie reviewTwitterAvengers: Endgame is the latest film to be hit by piracy. Not just the English version, but the Tamil version too has made it to torrent sites hours after its theatrical release in India on Friday, 26 April.How is the audience response? The Hollywood film has opened to highly positive reviews from the audience and critics. Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Brie Larson, amongst others. Critics say that it is fitting conclusion elevated by the adrenaline rushing climax battle. The movie is packed with twists and turns peppered with range of emotions.Will piract affect the film’s business?The full movie with different qualities have been leaked by Tamil Rockers and many other notorious torrent sites, which are known for piracy.Avengers: Endgame promises to thrill the cine-goers with its breath-taking visuals and watching the pirated copies fail to give such experience to the cine-goers. As a result, the leak is expected to have minimal impact on the film’s business. Avengers: Endgame shatters Ajith’s Viswasam, Rajinikanth’s Petta first-day box office recordThe Russo Brothers-directorial flick is being released in about 400 screens in Tamil and English languages in Tamil Nadu. The tickets for the first three days in Chennai, Chengalpet along with other regions comprising of urban audience have been completely sold.It clearly indicates that the flick would strike gold at the box office in the state. On the opening day, it has grossed over Rs 5.10 crore in Tamil Nadu.Kollywood’s Efforts to Curb Piracy Coming back to piracy, it has been looming large over not only Kollywood but also other film industries across the world. Though many strict measures and policies have been implemented by governments, none of them has been successful in curbing the menace.Under the leadership of Vishal, President of Tamil Film Producers’ Council and Secretary of Nadigar Sangam, the anti-piracy cell in Kollywood has taken proactive measures and has brought down many websites and domains of notorious Tamil Rockers, yet the piracy has continued to exist.last_img read more


Adani may drop coal mine project in Australia owing to delays legal

first_imgAmid a series of legal challenges and protests by environmental groups, Adani Group may abandon its plans of building the world’s largest coal mines in Australia. The company’s proposed rail and mine project in Australia is estimated to be worth $21.5 billion.Speaking to an Australian newspaper, Gautam Adani, chairman and founder of the Adani Group, said he was “disappointed” that the project did not get the go-ahead nod despite six years of environmental assessments and court rounds, Press Trust of India reported.”You can’t just keep holding. I have been really disappointed that things have got too delayed,” PTI cited Adani’s statement in the Australian publication as saying.In addition, Adani said he could not wait indefinitely and has been looking at alternative options to feed his power projects in India. One of the legal cases involving the firm is yet to be heard in a federal court in Australia.However, Adani seemed confident that there will be no further delays and he was hopeful that the project would get the financing it required to start operations. According to reports, environmentalists claimed the coal mine project would harm the Great Barrier Reef and contribute to climate change.In the first week of April, Adani had received approval from Australia’s Queensland state government to go ahead with the proposed AUD 10 billion (about $7.7 billion/Rs. 51, 000 crore) coal project. The company won the permission to conduct mining activities in certain Australian coal reserves.[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]last_img read more

Some Lawmakers Think Free Speech Is Endangered At Texas Colleges But What

first_img“ What would [lawmakers] mandate? The First Amendment? It’s already been mandated by the 55 framers of the Constitution, so theirs would just be a redundancy.”— Ron Trowbridge, a trustee at Lone Star CollegeFor example, when state Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, introduced in 2017 a bill that would have required colleges to adopt a policy protecting students’ right to partake in specified free-expression activities, a colleague reacted by asking: “What does this bill do that isn’t already covered by … the United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution?”An identical question was posed at a hearing a week later. And then again on the Senate floor, when state Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, pointed to a restrictive school policy that the law sought to staunch and said, “Even before this bill goes into effect, that [policy] is a violation of the First Amendment, is it not?” That bill did not pass into law, but the confusion around the issue has lingered. Months later, at a January hearing devoted to discussing campus free speech, state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, encapsulated the problem facing lawmakers: “You can’t legislate and you can’t make rules sometimes and make people behave,” she observed. “The problem is a little more dire than they would present”Texas lawmakers’ previous attempts to protect free speech on campus have centered on regulating different parts of public universities’ policies. Those bills, which haven’t passed, resemble sample laws drafted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group whose legislative arm was created “to be defensive about bad ideas that undermine free speech on campus,” said Joe Cohn, its legislative and policy director.The group encourages bills that would bar “unconstitutional speech codes” — anti-harassment codes that are written too broadly — on campus, Cohn said. He said policies that restrict where students can distribute flyers at school are problematic, and added, “Another thing legislators can do is get rid of misleadingly labeled free-speech zones that are really free-speech quarantines,” he said.Free-speech zones, which restrict protests to certain — and sometimes out-of-the-way — areas on campus, have garnered significant attention from lawmakers. (Buckingham’s bill sought to ban them.) But most of the university representatives at last month’s hearing said their campuses had done away with, or never had, the zones. Starr said in his testimony that some community colleges recently had them. “There are several approaches the Legislature can take to protect the speech of students from out-of-control administrations and students who don’t believe in the First Amendment.”— State Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer ParkCohn said legislators who push campus free-speech bills “should do so very carefully.” The text must “very carefully track what the courts have been saying” and should center on providing more clarity to schools and giving students better means to enforce their rights.At the hearing, Starr also suggested state laws can give college administrators specific direction about what free speech does and does not entail. And he added that the Legislature can direct the boards of private universities to adopt free-speech policies that mirror those at public institutions — a prospect that seemed to intrigue some of the senators.SMU’s Ward, who represents a private university, did not seem enthusiastic about that idea.“With respect,” he said at the hearing, “we believe, as a church-related independent university, it’s within the authority of the board of trustees to establish the appropriate policies on campus.”Officials at public colleges have also suggested that administrators, not lawmakers, are best equipped to craft their campus policies on free speech. Buckingham said through a spokesperson that it was too soon to say whether she would introduce a similar bill in the future. But Cain, who also authored campus free-speech legislation last year, said he intends to.“The issues with campus free speech is not that the Constitution does not provide ample protection — it does,” Cain said. But because courts have interpreted those free-speech clauses differently, “there needs to be clarity so that students and universities alike may easily know what the law is.”And at the January hearing, the general counsel of the conservative group Empower Texans was among those who argued laws that do so are necessary.“You know, we had all of these various gentlemen who were from the system offices, and they come here and basically say, ‘Well, we don’t have any content restrictions, there aren’t any problems here, everything’s good, let’s move along,” said Tony McDonald. “I think the problem is a little more dire than they would present.” “We’ve have issues at campus — yes”The State Affairs Committee, which Huffman chairs, has been directed by Patrick to study whether students’ free-speech rights are being infringed upon at state universities before the Legislature reconvenes in 2019. He also instructed the committee, which does not normally handle higher education issues, to make recommendations about how to improve campuses’ “free speech environment.”Patrick issued the charge after receiving a letter from conservative state Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, describing how a speech Cain tried to give at Texas Southern University was interrupted and later canceled.“There are several approaches the Legislature can take to protect the speech of students from out-of-control administrations and students who don’t believe in the First Amendment,” Cain wrote then. In testimony at the January hearing, Brantley Starr, a representative with Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, laid out the various threats to free speech on campus he’d seen – from schools denying groups equal access to resources to using too-sweeping definitions of what offensive speech or harassment is. Still, university leaders were adamant that their schools’ policies were generally without the offenses Starr identified. In fact, for a committee that last year held hearings on controversial “bathroom bill” legislation, the January free speech meeting was relatively tame.Texas State University, where the hearing was held, made headlines in November when the school’s student-run newspaper published a widely-decried opinion piece that was condemned by university leadership. But the president of Texas State didn’t mention that incident in her written testimony — nor any of the scuffles that led the nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to designate the school one of the worst nationwide for free speech this year. (“Texas State University is committed to preserving free speech as guaranteed under the First Amendment, and has a history of protecting free expression on its campuses,” said Matt Flores, a spokesperson for the school.) An administrator at Texas Southern University also wrote off how Cain’s on-campus speech was canceled, saying the event did not “go the way that it should have gone” because the student group didn’t register properly.And though a vice president at Southern Methodist University acknowledged “we’ve had issues at campus — yes,” he said they had been “worked through” and that a school free-speech policy had recently been revised.State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, asked the SMU vice president, Paul Ward, whether there are “policy changes that you would recommend that this committee recommend to the Legislature — specifically for private universities.” He suggested the school’s trustees should handle the matter instead. center_img Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas TribuneThe Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing on free speech on Texas college campuses, held at Texas State University in San Marcos on Jan. 31, 2018.Free speech on campus may be a hot-button issue, but it has spurred only tepid action in the Texas Capitol so far.After months of media conflagration, hand-wringing and attempts to push through new laws, lawmakers still can’t seem to rally around a way to boost students’ free-speech rights — a goal pushed by many lawmakers, including Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. A few ideas have been raised, but they’ve repeatedly been met with questions about whether a state law regulating universities’ free-speech policies is even necessary. “What would [lawmakers] mandate?” said Ron Trowbridge, a trustee at Lone Star College. “The First Amendment? It’s already been mandated by the 55 framers of the Constitution, so theirs would just be a redundancy.”The restrictions college students face in exercising their First Amendment rights have come under scrutiny after a string of controversies – racist fliers, visits from provocateurs and calls to cancel events deemed alienating – have unspooled on campuses in Texas and across the country.These incidents are often accompanied by worries that college students are becoming too coddled and complaints that one side or the other was muzzled by administrators. But attempts to address the issue have proved elusive. Last year, efforts to do so petered out in the state Legislature. Months later, lawmakers still seem unable to agree on how to rectify the problem — or if there is even a problem that needs fixing. Sharelast_img read more


Nvidia thinks PS4 Xbox 720 will be the end

first_imgAdd another voice to the belief that traditional console gaming is coming to an end. Nvidia general manager Phil Eisler said he is a “believer” in the notion that the next iteration of traditional gaming consoles will be the last, in a recent interview with VentureBeat.The Xbox 360 has already been out for nearly seven years, the PS3 has been around for six years, and with the increased technology it is likely that their successors will last at least a decade before they start to look old.So the question is that by 2023, will we still have a need for a box that connects to a TV? Probably not, but that is also a long time in the future. So Eisler’s statements aren’t exactly an admission that the industry will have a cataclysmic shift any time soon.Clearly a lot is going to happen in the industry over the next 10 years. The real question is how the traditional companies like Sony and Microsoft will manage to compete and stay relevant as new disruptive players enter the market.For Nvidia, the next step is cloud technology. Even Eisler believes that is far ahead in the future, though. He said it will probably be around 10 years before today’s gamers truly transition to the cloud so it isn’t anything that will disrupt the market overnight.By the time the Xbox 720 and PS4 start to look dated, though, the industry will be in a very different position.via VentureBeatlast_img read more


James Cameron Congratulates Marvel on Beating Avatar Box Office Spot

first_img ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Director Explains Thanos’ Faceoff With Captain America‘Marvels’ Expands Marvel’s Podcast Universe Stay on target This is Cameron’s second time congratulating the Marvel Studios team this year: In May, Cameron gave a shoutout to Marvel when Avengers: Endgame surpassed Titanic’s box office ticket sales.Cameron’s box office congratulations follows Marvel Studios’ major SDCC 2019 announcements, including Disney+ shows Hawkeye and WandaVision and upcoming movies, such as Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder, with Natalie Portman taking on the role of the hammer-holding god.More on Announces Phase 4 TV Shows at San Diego Comic-Con All of Marvel Studios’ Major Movie Announcements SDCC 2019: Marvel’s ‘Dawn of X’ Comics Unveil Future of X-Mencenter_img Marvel Studios had a big weekend at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC): The company unveiled new Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Phase 4 films and it also stole the top spot at the box office with Avengers: Endgame, which beat 2009’s Avatar in ticket sales, CNET noted.On Monday, James Cameron, Avatar’s director, congratulated Marvel Studios on Twitter with a funny post. “Congratulations, @Marvel Studios,” said the post, which was uploaded to the official Avatar Twitter account. The post featured an image of Iron Man circled by wood sprites from Avatar with the caption, “Oel ngati kameie,” which means “I see you” in Na’vi, the language used by humanoid species on the moon Pandora in the movie.Congratulations, @MarvelStudios!— Avatar (@officialavatar) July 22, 2019On July 20, Avengers: Endgame rose to the top of the box office charts with $2.79 billion in ticket sales, beating Avatar, which previously earned $2.789 billion a decade ago.last_img read more