Amazing Gigantic Robotic Insects Invade Halifax

first_imgYoung Nova Scotians will be treated to an ‘early bug’ sneak preview of the Museum of Natural History’s amazing new insect exhibit, starting Saturday, Dec. 17. The museum will transform into an amazing display of insects in Bug World, an exhibit which officially opens to the public on Jan. 10 and continues until April 16. Bug World will include a display of insects from the museum collection, a water pond with indigenous plants and spectacular selection of colourful, exotic and live insects. The showpiece of the exhibit is the incredible Kokoro robotic insects. These are gigantic robot insects with life-like postures and movements. “An elegant seven-metre arm-stretching Praying mantis is nothing you’ll want to mess with and two battling Atlas beetles, the size of Volkswagens, are ones to step back from. But the five-metre caterpillar, that wiggles, is so cute it look likes a kiddy ride at Disney,” said Janet Maltby, museum manager. The display also includes a colourful grasshopper with a 6.5-metre wing span, a seven-metre stick insect plus three oversized interactive bug heads — honeybee, dragonfly and mosquito — showing how they feed, chew and draw blood. School classes have an opportunity for self directed Bug Safaris, cub and brownie groups have a chance for Creepy Crawly adventures ,and, for the adventurous, there are Bed Bugs museum sleep overs. The Museum of Natural History is located at 1747 Summer St., in Halifax. Details on all programs and costs for admission are available on the website at or by calling 424-6099.last_img read more

CBRM Health Care Redevelopment to Better Connect People to Care

first_imgGovernment and the Nova Scotia Health Authority have announced plans to reshape and revitalize Cape Breton’s health system to better connect patients and their families to the care they need. Premier Stephen McNeil and Nova Scotia Health Authority president and CEO Janet Knox launched the CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Plan today, June 25, in Sydney. “We have an opportunity to reshape the health-care delivery model in these communities to reflect the reality of what patients need today,” said Premier McNeil. “From greater access to family practices to expanded emergency care, Cape Bretoners will have a revitalized system they can rely on now, and for years to come.” The CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Plan includes: The emergency department expansions and renovations will allow the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and the Glace Bay Hospital to better meet the demands of the communities. Both emergency departments are currently seeing more patients than they were designed for. Surgeries and emergency services will gradually move from New Waterford Consolidated and Northside General to Glace Bay and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Hospital beds will also be moved to the Glace Bay Hospital, Cape Breton Regional Hospital and/or Harbourview, a long-term care and rehabilitation facility in Sydney Mines. The New Waterford Consolidated and Northside General hospitals have exceeded their lifespan and cannot be renovated. That is why new, modern community health centres and new long-term care facilities will be built in both New Waterford and North Sydney. The community health centres will create space for collaborative family practice teams to deliver primary health care in the community. They will also offer many of the same services offered now, like day clinics, blood collection and X-rays, and create space for community-based services like mental health and addictions. The new long-term care facilities will have an estimated 48 beds each. This will add about 50 new beds to the entire system. “With our health needs changing and buildings aging this is a wonderful opportunity to redesign our services to better meet the needs of these communities now and into the future,” said Ms. Knox. “Our goal with this project is for the people of Cape Breton to receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.” Planning will begin right away and is expected to take between nine to 12 months. Timelines for construction and changes in services will be determined through this planning process. “We want to see this project move forward as quickly as possible,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “We are committed to improving health care for Nova Scotians and for the people of Cape Breton.” Moving forward, there will be opportunities for people to learn more about what this project means for their community. To watch a video about the CBRM Health Care Redevelopment and to stay informed, visit expanding the emergency department at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney doubling the size of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Cancer Centre renovating and revitalizing the Glace Bay Hospital emergency department building new, modern community health centres and new long-term care facilities, in North Sydney and New Waterford, to replace the New Waterford Consolidated and Northside General hospitals launching a Community-Based Paramedic Program in CBRM where paramedics will do home visits and followup visits after hospital discharge – reducing trips to the emergency department building a new laundry centre in North Sydney to replace aging equipment and to continue to serve health-care facilities in CBRM last_img read more

China appoints veteran diplomat Weidong as new envoy to India

first_imgBeijing: China has appointed veteran diplomat Sun Weidong, an expert in South Asian affairs and worked closely with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during his tenure as Ambassador in Beijing, as its new envoy to India.Sun, who also served as the ambassador to Pakistan, is currently the Director General of the Policy and Planning Department of the Foreign Ministry. He will succeed Luo Zhaohui, who has been appointed as Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCAn agreement has been conveyed by India to China on Sun’s appointment, Indian Embassy officials here told PTI. Indian Ambassador to China, Vikram Misri, congratulated Sun on his appointment through a tweet. “Congratulations to His Excellency Sun Weidong, who has been appointed as the new Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to India – had the opportunity to welcome him home recently in Beijing and wish him all the best for his important mission,” Misri said. Sun, who specialises in China and South Asia relations, interacted closely with Jaishankar during his tenure in Beijing as the Indian ambassador from 2009 to 2013. Sun was the Deputy Director General during the tenure of Jaishankar. Misri also called on Luo who took over as the Vice Foreign Minister (WFM) of China. PTIlast_img read more

Report calls for increase in electric buses as manufacturing footprint grows

TORONTO — A new report by a green energy think-tank calls for increased investment in electric buses to both reduce emissions and boost Canada’s growing manufacturing base of the vehicles.The report by Clean Energy Canada says that while Canada is a leading manufacturer of electric buses, transit authorities are behind international peers.China is by far the leader in electric buses with about 99 per cent the world’s e-buses, including Shenzhen’s more than 16,000-strong fleet. Other cities have also committed to moving in that direction, including Amsterdam that is aiming to transition to zero-emissions buses by 2025 and Los Angeles by 2030.Several Canadian cities have also set fully-renewable fleet targets, but on less aggressive timelines. Montreal is aiming for 2040, Toronto by 2042 and Vancouver by 2050, the report notes.The report’s call for more buses comes the same week as a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance Ltd. found the world’s electric buses will displace about 270,000 barrels a day of diesel by the end of this year as the heavily used vehicles have an outsized impact on fuel demand.Clean Energy’s report notes Canada has several leading manufacturers of electric buses, including Winnipeg-based New Flyer, Vancouver-based GreenPower, and Quebec-based Lion Electric Co. and Nova Bus, that could be boosted by increased domestic demand.The Canadian Press read more

Germany no layoffs at Volkswagen brand through 2029

BERLIN — Automaker Volkswagen is ruling out compulsory layoffs at its core brand’s German plants for the next 10 years even as it looks to cut costs and adapts to increasing digitalization.The company said Wednesday up to 4,000 jobs in non-production areas won’t be restaffed over the coming four years as tasks previously performed manually are taken over by technology. It also said it will invest up to 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) in digitalization projects through 2023, mainly in administration, and at least 2,000 new jobs will be created.Employee council chief Bernd Osterloh welcomed the no-layoff guarantee through 2029. He said in a company statement it “sends an important signal: digitalization brings change, but jobs at Volkswagen remain secure.”He said any jobs being cut must be “genuinely redundant.”The Associated Press read more

Intensify peace talks UN and top diplomatic partners tell Israel Palestinians

The United Nations and its diplomatic partners in the search for Middle East peace – the European Union (EU), Russia and the United States – called today for an intensification of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, urging both sides to take the necessary steps to reach this goal.The so-called Quartet, in a top-level meeting hosted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN Headquarters in New York, called on the Palestinians to continue their efforts to reform the security services and dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism.At the same time, the group called on Israel to freeze all settlement activities, which have a negative impact on the negotiating environment and on Palestinian economic recovery, and to address the growing threat of settler extremism.“The Quartet expressed its considered view that the bilateral negotiations process launched at Annapolis (last year) is irreversible and that these negotiations should be intensified in order to put an end to the conflict and to establish as soon as possible the state of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Israel,” said a statement issued at the end of the meeting.“The Quartet affirmed that a final treaty and a lasting peace will be reached through simultaneous and mutually re-enforcing efforts on three tracks: negotiations; building the institutions of a Palestinian state, including facilitating economic development through an improvement of conditions on the ground; and implementation of the parties’ obligations under the Roadmap, as stated in the Annapolis Joint Understanding.”The partners have long championed the Roadmap, which embodies the two-State solution, first set for achievement by the end of 2005. At the Annapolis meeting in the United States last year, participants set the hoped-for target for the end of this year, and UN officials have voiced regret that this, too, has proved impractical, while welcoming the intensified talks that have ensued.Turning to the Gaza Strip where Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, seized control from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) in 2007, the Quartet called for a continuation of the calm between Gaza and southern Israel, due to expire at the end of the week, that has reduced violence between Israel and Palestinians there.It reiterated that a lasting solution to the situation in Gaza can only be achieved through peaceful means and that all Palestinians must commit themselves to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, adding that restoring Palestinian unity based on “the legitimate and internationally recognized” authority of the PA – would be an important factor in this process.The Quartet condemned “indiscriminate attacks” on Israel from Gaza and called for an immediate cessation of violence, but it also stated its “acute concern” at the recent increase in Israeli closures of crossing points in response to violence, noting they had cut basic commodities and humanitarian supplies, worsening the economic and humanitarian situation there.The Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) reported today that the Gaza power plant, which supplies a portion of the territory’s needs, has been turned off by the company in charge there. The decision was taken following the closure of all goods crossings yesterday. A series of rolling blackouts has been occurring throughout the Gaza Strip since yesterday evening – ranging from 12 hours a day in some areas to 4 hours a day in others.UNSCO also reports that 81 truckloads of materials did pass from Israel into Gaza today, including 20 truckloads for humanitarian aid agencies that included flour, milk and medicine.“The Quartet emphasized that the provision of humanitarian supplies, including food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, water and sewage maintenance items, and to the people in Gaza must be assured continuously,” the statement said. “The Quartet also reiterated its previous call for Israel to allow into Gaza sufficient materials to facilitate the resumption of stalled UN and other donor projects.”It also called for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit, whose seizure in Israel by Palestinian militants from Gaza over two years ago unleashed a new wave of violence.The Quartet commended the PA for its progress in security performance and welcomed the robust Israeli-Palestinian cooperation for the expansion of security and law and order in the West Bank, most notably in Jenin and Hebron.“The Quartet viewed the successful deployment of the Palestinian security services to Hebron as the most recent demonstration of the substantial progress that has been made since Annapolis,” it added.Attending the meeting with Mr. Ban were EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Ban thanked the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush for its efforts to advance the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. “These efforts have been tireless and are continuing. Very important progress is underway,” he said.“In this respect we look forward to working closely from the outset with the administration of President-elect (Barack) Obama to achieve the goal of the two-State solution and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.” 15 December 2008The United Nations and its diplomatic partners in the search for Middle East peace – the European Union (EU), Russia and the United States – called today for an intensification of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, urging both sides to take the necessary steps to reach this goal. read more

Trudeau to meet with UK and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7

Ian Langsdon / AFP / Getty Images The world’s seven largest economies reached the deal after a session focused on climate change that U.S. President Donald Trump missed in order to hold one-on-one bilateral meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other leaders.Trudeau says Trump has made his perspective on climate change very clear, while the Liberals believe climate change is a real and existential threat for the country and the planet.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Chilean President Sebastian Pinera says the G7 effort will be aimed specifically at Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay.“They need — and with urgency — brigades specialized in combating fires; specialized planes to fight those fires,” Pinera said.“The second stage is more long-term and will require the consent of the countries involved,” he added, outlining not only a plan for reforestation of those parts of the basin ravaged by the flames, but also a plan to guard the biodiversity of the region.“It would, of course, always respect their sovereignty,” he said. “We think we have to protect these real lungs of our world.” Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace / AGP / Getty Images Handout aerial picture released by Greenpeace showing smoke billowing from fires in the forest in the Amazon biome in the municipality of Altamira, Para State, Brazil, on August 23, 2019. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro looks on during an Soldier’s Day ceremony, in Brasilia, Brazil August 23, 2019. Adriano Machado / Reuters BIARRITZ, France — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is offering $15 million and the use of Canadian water bombers to help fight the wildfires currently ravaging the Amazon rainforest.Speaking at the end of the G7 leaders’ summit, Trudeau says the country is also reaching out to the government of Brazil to see what else is needed to douse the flames, which he describes as a symptom of an escalating climate crisis.Trudeau’s announcement came on the heels of a $26.6 million commitment from the G7 to help Amazon countries fight the blazes, as well as to launch a long-term global initiative to protect the rainforest. (From L) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson attend a work session in the Casino of Biarritz on August 26, 2019, on the third and last day of the annual G7 Summit. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a populist, far-right leader, initially dismissed the hundreds of blazes and then questioned whether activist groups might have started the fires in an effort to damage the credibility of his government, which has called for looser environmental regulations in the world’s largest rainforest to spur development.In response, European leaders threatened to block a major trade deal with Brazil that would benefit the very agricultural interests accused of driving deforestation.Thousands of people have demonstrated in cities across Brazil and outside Brazilian embassies around the world. #PrayforAmazonia became a worldwide trending topic. Pope Francis added his voice to the chorus of concern, warning that the “lung of forest is vital for our planet.”Bolsonaro finally took a less confrontational approach Friday and announced he would send 44,000 soldiers to help battle the blazes, which mostly seem to be charring land deforested, perhaps illegally, for farming and ranching rather than burning through stands of trees.Macron had already indicated that he intended to make climate issues a prominent part of the agenda for discussion heading into the weekend summit, with a particular urgency placed on the situation playing out in the Amazon. Calling the wildfires an “international crisis,” Macron called for an emergency debate. “I couldn’t agree more,” tweeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is headed into an election campaign next month that’s expected to make his Liberal government’s climate plan a central point of debate.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to her Brazilian counterpart Sunday and offered Canada’s support, although it remains unclear what specific commitments Canada has made.Satellites have recorded more than 41,000 fires in the Amazon region so far this year, with more than half of those coming this month alone.Monday’s agreement was reached following a summit work session focused on climate, oceans and biodiversity — a session that U.S. President Donald Trump missed in order to attend one-on-one meetings with other leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Macron says Trump’s team was in the room, and that the U.S. president agrees with the shared goal of the Brazil package. G7 leaders commit $26.6 million to fight wildfires in Amazon rainforest Those Amazon rainforest fires? Here’s what’s really happening Amazon tribe sees its survival imperilled by Brazilian development and deforestation — With files from The Associated Press read more

Column Why Ohio State will beat Penn State

Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball in for a touchdown in the first quarter against Nebraska in Memorial Stadium on Oct. 14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe Ohio State football team that lost to Oklahoma in the second week of the season would not beat Penn State Saturday afternoon. It would not even be a competitive game.But the Buckeye team that lost is not the same one that will take the field against the Nittany Lions. Ohio State has improved at every facet of the game over the past six weeks — besides special teams, of course — and will enter the game with a nice mix of momentum, health and energy, as it had last week off.Ohio State’s steady improvement begins with an offense that in the first couple games of the season looked anything but threatening, despite quarterback J.T. Barrett returning for his fifth year and the addition of heralded co-offensive coordinators Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day. Barrett completed just 19-of-35 passes for 183 yards and an interception against Oklahoma. Since that game, everything on offense changed, none of it happened overnight. With the next five games against overmatched opponents, the Buckeyes slowly added facets to their offense. Now, Ohio State enters its game against Penn State as an offense capable of hitting plays in the pass and run games. It has six receivers who have defined roles, two consistently productive running backs, two improving tight ends and a confident quarterback playing potentially the best football of his collegiate career.Head coach Urban Meyer praised the Nittany Lions’ defensive aggression. Last week, the unit, which averages the fourth-most sacks per game in the nation, sacked Michigan quarterback John O’Korn seven times. It will not have nearly as much success against an Ohio State line led by center Billy Price and left tackle Jamarco Jones. Last year, Penn State picked apart right tackle Isaiah Prince, pressuring Barrett throughout the game. But even he has looked substantially improved.Wilson and Day have had two weeks of rest, preparing to attack a defense buoyed by Thorpe Award semifinalists safety Marcus Allen and cornerback Grant Haley. On Wednesday, Meyer called Penn State’s defense the best in the country. With a month and a half of consistent improvement, Ohio State is ready for the task at hand, one they weren’t ready for early in the season.On the other side of the ball, Ohio State’s defensive line has the potential to make quarterback Trace McSorley’s night difficult. The dual-threat signal-caller combined with running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Mike Gesicki and a talented group of wideouts led by DaeSean Hamilton is one of the best skill position groups in the country. But to Penn State’s detriment, the offensive line is its weakness. That’s a problem when defensive ends Nick Bosa, Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes and Sam Hubbard are taking their turns rushing McSorley — or all rushing at once. If the Nittany Lion offensive line can give McSorley a chance to drop back and view the field, Penn State might be dangerous. What was Ohio State’s biggest weakness at the beginning of the year remains just that, as its defensive backfield has not impressed. In the last five games, teams have struggled to put up passing yardage, but that has happened due to their weak passing attacks rather than Ohio State’s marked improvement.The Buckeyes’ linebackers, led by Jerome Baker, can help cover Gesicki and Barkley. But if McSorley has time in the pocket or can escape pressure, as Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield did successfully, Ohio State could find itself in trouble.But that scenario will not happen. With two weeks to prepare for its opponent, a home game with a packed crowd and a team out for revenge, the seemingly loose Buckeyes are more than prepared for this top-10 matchup. After Ohio State’s victory at Nebraska, Lewis admitted he and his team had been looking forward to this game for weeks. It’s finally here.With Barrett at his peak and a defensive front menacing enough to make McSorley uncomfortable enough to get rid of the ball quicker than desired, Ohio State will cruise to a 45-31 victory, stunning those who believe this will be a close game and the people who picked Penn State to take down the lower ranked team. read more

Cassano clashes with Wanda on Live TV over Icardis wrangles

first_imgMauro Icardi needs to return to Inter’s dressing room and clarify things, according to Antonio Cassano to the wife of the player Wanda Nara on live TV.Wanda who is the agent of Icardi defended the player’s position after losing the captaincy two weeks ago, during Sunday’s transmission of Tiki Taka.“In football, there are so many injustices like this penalty, Perisic’s attitude and keeping Icardi at home, someone who gave everything to Inter but is now being painted like a monster, which he’s not,” she said as cited on Football Italia.“We all saw Perisic’s penalty sitting here, but his gesture didn’t give out tranquillity. It takes respect to be a captain and Mauro has it for everyone at Inter, their colours, and their jersey.Politano’s celebration looking like a mock of Icardi’s celebration🤔 Perisic trying to diffuse it is an example of another club that is in a bit of disarray that is going on behind the scenes #SerieA #Icardi #Inter— Soccer Report (@ReportFootball2) February 24, 2019“Mauro must go to the dressing room to resolve problems? Enough of this rubbish. What is it, the dressing room, physiotherapy?“He’s done nothing. It’s all non-existent drama.”That prompted Cassano, an ex-Nerazzurri forward to weigh into the matter: “They’re playing for third place while waiting to get back Icardi…Romelu Lukaku, Inter MilanLukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“They need his goals. He needs to go into the dressing room and clarify his position with the players until June for his own sake.“I say it as an interista: he needs to talk to those who have problems with him, shake their hands and in June what will be, will be.“If they took the armband off me? I would’ve gone crazy, but he doesn’t have to stay out of the team until June.“Neither the club nor Spalletti are crazy. There were some problems, but they’ve clarified them for the good of Inter.Per chi si fosse perso il battibecco tra Cassano e Wandita… 😉— dondiego (@dondiegotheone) February 24, 2019Cassano also defended Perisic’s action after suggesting Icardi isn’t in good terms with a section of the players.“There was nothing in Perisic’s gesture, but I think Icardi has problems with the Slavs in the squad.”Inter managed to secure one point from the tie (3-3) after blowing away a two-goal lead.last_img read more

Police calling on Public to stand against Guns

first_img Related Items:guns, police, public Police get wanted man; Magistrate Court back open Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Update: Women robbed while exercising (21 year old Arrested) Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force’s mission to combat abusive images of children online Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 29 Sept 2015 – POLICE are asking for public cooperation in flushing out illegal guns around the country and as officers look forward to that partnership, it is reported that Chalk Sound station Policemen on Sunday arrested a 24-year-old man of Five Cays for carrying and imitation firearm. The matter was reported on Friday and an investigation is ongoing. In another matter, a 23-year-old man from Airport Road was arrested on Sunday September 27 for possession of marijuana and cocaine. It was allegedly found in a stop and search; that man goes to court this week.last_img read more

Legislative session mixed bag for Clark County

first_imgThe state Legislature’s short session, which ended last week, is being described as a mixed bag for Clark County.By the end of the session, several of the county’s top legislative priorities had failed to reach a vote. Others passed, but it was clear: Clark County was left, somewhat expectedly, in legislative limbo until the next session.“Overall, not a lot happened,” said Axel Swanson, the county’s senior policy analyst. “It was a short session, so it set us up for not a lot happening.”In fact, Swanson said, the session could be defined by what didn’t happen. The state didn’t place any costly mandates on the county, nor did it further strip away sources of revenue, including those generated by liquor sales.And passage of a controversial $12.3 billion transportation package was delayed, giving the county hope that its future iteration would shore up more money for local projects. Swanson characterized those as positives.Nonetheless, many county-backed bills did languish. They included one that would have allowed counties bordering states without a sales tax to collect a percentage of state-shared revenue, and a bill that would have overhauled the state’s medical marijuana laws.last_img read more

Saudi Arabia to execute 3 influential Sunni scholars after Ramadan

first_imgPolitical executions aren’t an uncommon thing in Saudi Arabia but the startling fact is that the kingdom is annihilating moderate voices under the garb of its fight against terrorism and extremism.’ Sarah Leah Whitson of the Human Rights puts this succinctly:”These particular cases highlight how the government is pursuing its own extremist, intolerant agenda under the absurd guise of ‘moderate Islam,’ she said. Executions Around The World – The Shocking Facts Saudi Arabia seeks the death penalty for cleric Ali al-OmariTwitterSaudi Arabia will execute three major Sunni Islam scholars after Ramadan, according to reports. The orthodox Islamic kingdom had beheaded 37 people, mostly Shia Muslims, in April, attracting very little condemnation globally. Saudi government sources have discreetly said the execution of 37 people at one go was used as a trial balloon to see the nature of international reaction, according to the Middle East Eye.The three — Sheikh Salman al-Odah, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari — are accused of terrorism. But the surprising fact is that they are not terrorists, but moderates, in fact. Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who was killed and dismembered on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey, had put this in context.’Odah will be executed not because he is an extremist. It’s because he is a moderate. That is why they consider him a threat,” Khashoggi had said.Moderate who denounced Osama bin LadenWhile Odah is an internationally known scholar with moderately progressive ideologies, Awad al-Qarni is a Sunni preacher, academic and author and Ali al-Omari is a broadcaster with large following. Riyadh is going ahead with the plan to execute them immediately after Ramadan, despite the fact that they are known for their moderate voices and have large social media following.That stands in stark contrast to the routine beheading and crucifixion of people accused of dissent, mostly Shia Muslims.According to the Middle East Eye, Odah’s Arabic Twitter account has more than 13 million followers while Omari’s TV station “For Youth” enjoys huge audience as well.Odah is known for the public rebuke of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 2001 attack on the Manhattan twin towers in the US and other targets in New York, known as the 9/11 attacks. Odah was arrested in September 2017.He had also called for a reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar following the blockade of Doha enforced on the behest of Saudi crown prince MbS. His arrest happened after raising the voice of dissent.’They will not wait to execute these men’The men are waiting trial and lodged at the Criminal Special Court in Riyadh. Top Saudi government sources confirmed the three will be executed. “They will not wait to execute these men once the death sentence has been passed,” one of the sources told ME.Awad al-Qarni, prominent Sunni scholar, is one of the people behind the Sahwa movement and enjoys large international following. The 45-year-old Ali al-Omari is known for his campaign for women’s rights and denunciation of violent extremism.center_img Closelast_img read more

Former Allies On School Choice Now Divided By Trump Budget

first_img Share President Donald Trump’s budget proposal to provide federal tax money for private-school scholarships is getting pushback from an unconventional source: groups known for promoting school-choice initiatives.The plan promoted by Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos widened a divide in the school-choice movement and brought swift condemnation from people who support more competition for public schools in the form of charter schools but oppose sending tax money to private institutions.“I think it’s an affront to the American dream,” said Jonah Edelman, CEO of the pro-charter group Stand for Children, which planned to align with a frequent adversary, one of the nation’s largest teachers unions, to oppose the plan.The administration’s budget proposal sets aside $250 million for the scholarships. That’s a tiny sliver of the $4.1 trillion spending plan released Tuesday, but if approved it would mark the first time the federal government has helped pay private-school tuition for K-12 students.The budget also calls for $1 billion for a new program encouraging school districts to give parents options in choosing a public school for their children. And it increases grants for charter schools.Trump has said he eventually wants federal school-choice programs to expand to $20 billion a year.“This administration understands that educational choice is an essential component to ensuring every child can access a quality education,” said Tommy Schultz, spokesman for American Federation for Children, the school-choice advocacy group headed until last year by DeVos.She and the group support using public money to help parents pay tuition for private schools, including religious ones, through vouchers or tax credits. The tax credits would go to parents who qualify based on their income or to corporations that provide private-school scholarships.Critics say the approach will divert money from public schools that need it.They find it especially objectionable because it’s on a short list of spending increases in a plan that otherwise cuts the Education Department’s budget by 14 percent. Trump’s budget proposal reduces funding for after-school programs, arts education and college work-study programs.“Under the guise of empowering parents with school choice,” the administration’s budget “would hurt the very communities that have the most to gain from high-quality public school options,” Eli Broad, a Los Angeles billionaire and major proponent of public charter schools, said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Public school choice cannot come at the expense of all public school families and students.”An AP data analysis published earlier this month found that Broad and DeVos were among about four dozen wealthy Americans who have largely funded the school-choice political movement.The contributors have generally fallen into two camps — those who support public charter schools and those who promote both charters and private-school vouchers. They have worked together to pass school-choice initiatives in the past and generally have butted heads with teachers unions.DeVos’ elevation to education secretary and her push to funnel public money into private schools have caused a split that became more apparent after this week’s budget release.Edelman of Stand for Children said his group is coordinating with teachers unions to oppose vouchers. An official at the American Federation of Teachers said the union is working with Stand for Children on the issue. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the partnership has not been announced publicly.In its own effort, the largest teachers union, the National Education Association, said it expected members and other supporters to send 20,000 emails Tuesday to the Department of Education denouncing the private-school scholarship program.“Vouchers do not work and they take scarce funding away from public schools — where 90 percent of America’s students enroll — and give it to private schools that are unaccountable to the public,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said in a statement Tuesday.Shavar Jeffries, president of Democrats for Education Reform, another pro-charter group that often differs with teachers unions, said he wants to focus on stopping the education cuts in the budget proposal and that his group also is open to working with teachers unions. He said only a small number of children are likely to benefit from any voucher program.Derrell Bradford, executive vice president of 50CAN, an advocacy group that favors many forms of school choice, said the voucher proposal championed by Trump and DeVos is worth fighting for.He said he’s not troubled by the cuts elsewhere in the education budget because he sees the spending plan as a starting point for discussions and does not expect Congress to keep all the cuts the administration proposed.last_img read more

Infrared Imaging Reveals Hidden Secrets Beneath Picasso Painting

first_img Hyperspectral infrared imaging has come a long way since Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period.The technology, used to identify and map artist materials, helped expose undiscovered layers of a 100-year-old Picasso painting.In preparation for an exhibition on the late virtuoso, John Delaney, senior imaging scientist at the National Gallery of Art, traveled halfway around the world to examine “Mother and Child by the Sea,” a Blue Period piece owned by the Pola Museum of Art in Japan.Delaney’s scan revealed more than anyone expected: portions of printed text in French became visible just below Picasso’s oil brushstrokes.“We routinely focus our cameras on a sheet of paper with printed text prior to placing the painting on the easel,” he explained. “To verify we were in good focus, we pointed the camera first at the face of the mother and to my surprise immediately saw newspaper text in her face.”Using the readable content, Pola chief curator Keiko Imai impressively identified the document as an issue of French daily newspaper Le Journal—published on Jan. 18, 1902.“I was surprised and fascinated by this finding in a painting I have always admired at our museum,” Imai said in a statement. “Thanks to Dr. Delaney’s research and hyperspectral imaging technique, we were able to officially confirm that ‘Mother and Child by the Sea’ was painted after the date of the newspaper article used on the canvas.”Exactly what the newsprint was doing among the paint layers remains a mystery. Perhaps Picasso was trying to cover previous mistakes—or an entirely different image. After all, Delaney’s study also showed an earlier signature by the artist in the opposite orientation.“The presence of a paper interleaf begins to make sense of the fine wrinkling in the surface texture and the gentle undulations observed in several areas over the surface,” according to Sandra Webster-Cook, senior paintings conservator at the Art Gallery of Ontario. “It suggests that the paper does not perfectly conform to the underlying paint surface.”Perhaps most interesting, though, is the date, as it is known the artist returned to Barcelona from Paris sometime in early January 1902; this discovery firmly establishes that “Mother and Child by the Sea” was painted in Spain after Jan. 18, 1902.This is just the beginning: New analytical imaging techniques make it easier than ever to research what lies beneath Picasso’s oeuvre, which stretches from the 1890s to his death in 1973.Delaney & Co. have already uncovered more information about “Le Gourmet” and “The Tragedy,” as well as”The Blue Room” and “Woman Ironing.”“Mother and Child by the Sea” is on view through mid-August at the Pola Museum; it will be on loan to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris for their exhibition “Picasso: Blue and Rose” from Sept. 18 through Jan. 6.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Nanotechnology Gives Mice Night Vision—Are Humans Next?NASA Shares Phone Wallpaper-Worthy Images of Feline Nebula Stay on targetlast_img read more

Asteroid strike into ocean could deplete ozone layer

first_imgImage credit: NASA. ( — Scientists in Texas say if a medium-sized asteroid were to crash into the ocean the ozone layer could be depleted, allowing high levels of ultraviolet radiation to reach the surface. Citation: Asteroid strike into ocean could deplete ozone layer (2010, October 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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. More information: E. Pierazzo et al., Ozone perturbation from medium-size asteroid impacts in the ocean, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Article in Press, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2010.08.036 © 2010 Dr. Elisabetta Pierazzo and colleagues from the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson ran computer simulations that revealed if an asteroid 500 m to 1 km in diameter were to hit the Pacific Ocean it would eject enough water vapor and sea salt high enough into the atmosphere to affect the protective ozone layer.The results of the simulations showed the 1 km asteroid could affect an area over 1000 km in diameter, and vast quantities of water and vapor would be ejected up to 160 km high. The scientists say the water vapor would contain chlorine and bromine from the vaporized sea salts, and this would result in significant global depletion of the ozone layer by destroying it faster than it is created naturally. Pierazzo said such an asteroid would produce “an ozone hole that will engulf the entire Earth,” and produce a huge spike in ultraviolet (UV) radiation with levels higher than anywhere on the surface today.The simulations showed the smaller asteroid, 500 meters across, could produce ultraviolet index (UVI) levels of 20 or over in the northern tropics for a period of several months, and the global ozone depletion would be similar to the record ozone holes seen over the Antarctic in the mid 1990s. The 1 km asteroid could produce a spike of 56, and levels over 20 for about two years in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The UVI is a measure of UV intensity, with levels over 10 assumed dangerous. The highest recorded UVI known in recent times has been 20.Pierazzo said previous studies of the effects of asteroid impacts on the ocean have concentrated on tsunamis, but her research found the effects of a medium-sized asteroid strike would also include difficulty in growing crops and would have a long-term negative effect on global food production. She said if there was enough warning of an impending strike farmers could plant crops with high UV-tolerance and food could be stored to ensure supplies during the period of low productivity.Other effects would include increased rates of skin cancer and cataracts. People may also have to avoid exposure to direct sunlight to avoid rapid sunburn. A UVI level of 56 has never been experienced, and so the effects are uncertain, but it is likely that people would have to remain indoors during daylight to avoid serious sunburn. The study said over 100 asteroids 1 to 2 km in diameter are thought to be orbiting in paths that could bring them near to Earth, and many more smaller asteroids appear to be “currently looming undiscovered in the Earth’s neighborhood.” NASA estimates there are around 800 such Near Earth Objects (NEOs). The authors say past research suggests on average an asteroid 500 meters wide or less hits the Earth about once every 200,000 years, while a larger asteroid strike happens around once every 800,000 years.The research covered only the impact of an asteroid hitting the ocean, since such strikes are twice as likely to occur as land impacts. The results are published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Explore further Ozone: Climate change boosts ultraviolet risk for high latitudeslast_img read more

Google Rolls Out First Working Prototype of SelfDriving Car

first_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Listen Now Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer December 23, 2014 Google said Monday that it has taken another big step forward in developing self-driving cars by building a fully functioning prototype of its own design.“Today we’re unwrapping the best holiday gift we could’ve imagined: the first real build of our self-driving vehicle prototype,” Google said in a blog post.Google unveiled its latest model – a tiny two-passenger car – in May, generating worldwide buzz. But on Monday, the company admitted that it was just a mock-up that lacked much of what you’d expect in a car.“It didn’t even have real headlights!” Google said.Google has said that its car would be built without a steering wheel, gas pedals and brakes, which are, in theory, unnecessary because passengers can just sit back and relax while technology handles the steering. To drive on public streets in California, however, Google must install traditional controls, just in case a human driver needs to take over.Google GOOG 1.65% plans to build about 100 prototype cars and test them for the next few years, the company said.Previously, Google’s tests of the futuristic technology involved modified Toyota Priuses and Lexus SUVs. Over the past few years, the company had logged hundreds of thousands of miles in such cars on public roads.Since showing off the mock-up in May, Google has been hard at work on coming up with new prototype. The process involved using different versions to test individual car components that handle the steering and braking along with the computers and sensors required for autonomous driving technology.“We’re going to be spending the holidays zipping around our test track, and we hope to see you on the streets of Northern California in the new year,” the company said.As of last month, seven companies including Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Tesla have received permits to test self-driving cars on public roads in California, making it a hotbed for the technology. 2 min readlast_img read more

Microsoft releases security update for Windows XP to block WannaCrypt attacks

first_imgMicrosoft releases security update for Windows XP to block WannaCrypt attacks by Martin Brinkmann on May 13, 2017 in Windows – Last Update: May 15, 2017 – 68 commentsMicrosoft has released security updates for several unsupported versions of Microsoft Windows, including Windows XP, to block WannaCrypt ransomware attacks.The ransomware WannaCrypt has been making the rounds in May 2017: it infects Windows machines, encrypts files, asks for ransomware, and spreads like a worm.Microsoft published detailed information on the vulnerability on the new Malware Protection Center blog. According to the information, the attackers exploit te “recently” patched SMB EternalBlue vulnerability which sends custom packets to SMBv1 servers. Microsoft released patches for all supported versions of Windows on the March 2017 patch day.While Microsoft did release patches for supported versions of Windows, it appears that the attackers did target Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and earlier versions of Windows only.The exploit code used by WannaCrypt was designed to work only against unpatched Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 (or earlier OS) systems, so Windows 10 PCs are not affected by this attack.In a surprising move, Microsoft released security patches for unsupported versions of the Windows operating system that patch the SMB vulnerability on devices running these versions of Windows as well.Security Bulletin MS17-010 describes the security update that you may apply to unsupported versions of Windows as well now.This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an attacker sends specially crafted messages to a Microsoft Server Message Block 1.0 (SMBv1) server.Microsoft has not found evidence of the entry vector, but thinks the following two scenarios are highly possibleArrival through social engineering emails designed to trick users to run the malware and activate the worm-spreading functionality with the SMB exploiInfection through SMB exploit when an unpatched computer can be addressed in other infected machines“Microsoft released security updates for the following versions of Windows:Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 8Windows Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP EmbeddedAdministrators and users may download updates for affected operating systems from the Microsoft Update Catalog. Another option that administrators have is to disable the SMB functionality on machines to block exploits from targeting these systems successfully.Unsupported versions of Windows have a sizable market share still. While stats are not 100% accurate, Net Market Share sees Windows XP at a market share of about 7% in April 2017, and Vista at about 0.70%. This means that every 14th or so device runs an unsupported client version of Windows. It is unclear how the situation looks like for Server operating systems.Still, Microsoft’s release of the patch ensures that companies, and home users, may patch their devices to protect them against the attack. One effect of patching systems is that this will also prevent the security threat from spreading faster or further.We also know that some of our customers are running versions of Windows that no longer receive mainstream support. That means those customers will not have received the above mentioned Security Update released in March. Given the potential impact to customers and their businesses, we made the decision to make the Security Update for platforms in custom support only, Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003, broadly available for download.Now You: Are your devices patched? What’s your take on Microsoft releasing patches for unsupported Windows editions?SummaryArticle NameMicrosoft releases security update for Windows XP to block WannaCrypt attacksDescriptionMicrosoft has released security updates for several unsupported versions of Microsoft Windows, including Windows XP, to block WannaCrypt ransomware attacks.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Groundbreaking TV series Pose gets renewed for second season

first_imgGot a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Read the full article on Gaystarnews: : The news came about in a tweet on the official PoseFX page last night (12 July).‘We’ve got amazing news,’ the tweet announced. ‘Get ready to snatch more trophies and tissues because season 2 is coming!’We’ve got amazing news, #PoseFX family! Get ready to snatch more trophies and tissues because season 2 is coming!— PoseFX (@PoseOnFX) July 12, 2018The show’s creator Ryan Murphy said on Twitter: ‘The category is: SECOND SEASON.‘Congrats to the cast and crew of @PoseOnFX who worked so hard to make history,’ he said.The groundbreaking show on FX is set in 1980s New York City. It explores various aspects of life in the city, including ‘the ball culture world, the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe and the downtown social and literary scene’.The ballroom community is a subculture community of the LGBTI world in the United States. In its simplest form, it sees people walking, dancing, and posing for trophies and prizes. Many often also experiment with drag and gender fluidity.Pose also has the highest number of trans actors in series regular roles on a TV show ever, many of whom are people of color.You can watch the trailer:[embedded content]Pose accolades Indya Moore, one of five transgender stars in Ryan Murphy’s revolutionary FX series Pose, landed her next project earlier this week.Moore is set to star in and executive produce Magic Hour, a modern-day Frankenstein series. According to the IMDB description, Magic Hour is a ‘psychedelic-macabre portrait of a mysterious young woman who wakes up one morning without a soul, and roams the streets of Tokyo in search of one’.Despite all expectations, Ryan Murphy’s show Pose didn’t receive an Emmy Award nomination last night.Moore in Pose | Photo: YouTube/Rotten Tomatoes TVVH1 premiered their 2018 Trailblazer Honors last month and honored director Ryan Murphy as a trailblazer.‘I’m very thrilled and honored to be receiving this award tonight,’ Murphy said at the start of his acceptance speech. ‘And the very fact that I have a career at all is a miracle.’He then said: ‘When I was first starting out in this business in the late 1990s, it was not easy for me.‘I was told I was too weird, I was too faggy, I was too unusual.‘But honestly, it was very painful to be discriminated against because what I wanted to do with my life, with my career, was very simple. And that was to see myself and my experiences on television,’ he also said.FX’s Pose shows why trans representation matters GAYSTARNEWS-center_img Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Pose is coming back for a second season! New FX drama Pose is taking trans and drag culture mainstream Photo: Pose FX promotional posterlast_img read more

President and ministers have stopped voluntary pay cuts

first_imgPresident Nicos Anastasiades and members of his cabinet are no longer contributing part of their salary, a quasi-voluntary measure introduced five years ago to help cut the public payroll amid the 2013 financial crunch.Daily Politis reported on Monday that as of March this year Anastasiades, as well as members of his cabinet who are carry-overs from the first administration, have stopped instructing the treasury to deduct their contributions.Anastasiades had given up on 25 per cent of his monthly wages, his ministers 20 per cent.Meanwhile, both Anastasiades and labour minister Zeta Emilianidou are no longer contributing their pensions to the state, which they had voluntarily chosen to do since March 2013. Former foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides and interior minister Socratis Hasikos had also waived their pensions while in office.MPs have long stopped contributing part of their salary. By law, they had to contribute 10 per cent (€364) of their wages from 2010 to 2012. This obligation ended in August 2012, but deputies tried to keep it on the down-low. According to Politis, once the public caught on MPs grudgingly extended the contributions for another two months. A few months later, salary cutbacks were introduced anyway as part of broader austerity measures in the public sector.For their part, judges agreed to chip in by relinquishing 20 per cent of their salary. This began in 2014 and ended at the beginning of 2017. On January 1, 2017, the supreme court simply informed the government that their voluntary contributions were no longer necessary as the state of economic emergency had elapsed.On June 16, 2013 the supreme court ruled that salary cuts for judges as well as for civil servants were unconstitutional.Salary contributions by state officials date back to the administration of Demetris Christofias. Initially they ran from April 2010 to March 2012. Facing public scrutiny once the measure was abandoned, the then government renewed the contributions (10 per cent) up until the end of Christofias’ term, in February 2013.According to payroll figures published on the treasury’s website, as of January 1 this year the president receives €78,694 per annum after income tax, the House speaker €73,250, and the tax commissioner €66,931.However, the president is by no means the highest-paid official. That honour goes to the attorney-general and to supreme court judges, whose annual salary (after income tax) comes to €108,269.District court judges get €87,724.Included in the wages for the attorney-general, supreme court and district court judges, the head of the civil service commission, the chief of police and the head of the intelligence service, is €18,000 a year in representation allowance. You May LikeTymout10 Foods You Cannot Bring Into The United States! | tymout.comTymoutUndoBeach RaiderCeline Dion- All There Is To Know About The Legendary SingerBeach RaiderUndoStuff Answered5 Laptops That Are Guaranteed To Impress For Any Type Of UserStuff AnsweredUndo Brazil prison riot kills 52, with 16 decapitatedUndoUrgent work planned on collapsed section of Nicosia wallsUndoHouse rejects presidential veto over repossession lawUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more