Centre stands firm on WhatsApp monitoring

first_imgNew Delhi: Facebook global executive Nick Clegg has proposed a “prospective” mechanism for WhatsApp to act on cases flagged by law enforcement agencies, but the government has refused to budge on its demand for traceability of messages. The issue of traceability has been a flashpoint between the government and WhatsApp, and the Facebook-owned messaging platform has so far resisted India’s demand for identification of message originators, arguing that doing so would undermine its policy on privacy and end-to-end encryption. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalA senior government official said that Facebook Vice-President, Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, during his meeting with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last week mooted alternatives to absolute traceability of messages, including use of ‘meta data’ and machine intelligence for dealing with the issue, even offering to harness WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook linkages to provide assistance to law enforcement agencies. When contacted, a Facebook spokesperson said: “Facebook cares deeply about the safety of people in India and Nick’s meetings this week provided opportunities to discuss our commitment to supporting privacy and security in every app we provide and how we can continue to work productively with the Government of India towards these shared goals.” Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostA person aware of WhatsApps’s position on the matter emphasised that the platform cannot read messages exchanged as they are encrypted. It is learnt that Clegg in meetings with top authorities, including Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval as well as IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on September 12, reiterated the US tech giant’s stance that it will abide by any lawful request for information by the Indian government, but it cannot read messages exchanged on its platforms. Clegg told the officials that the company can provide ‘signals’ and meta data such as who calls were made to and duration, among others, of lawfully identified users, a source said. The US social media giant has agreed to provide India with ‘meta data’ of any user of its platforms, including WhatsApp, that the government lawfully identifies but has insisted it cannot look into messages exchanged as they are encrypted. India is home to 400 million WhatsApp users and more than 328 million Facebook users. Social media companies in India have drawn flak from the government in recent past over instances of circulation of fake news, breach of user confidentiality, unauthorised data sharing by the apps and concerns over privacy and data security. WhatsApp in particular has been under fire over users misusing the platform for circulation of fake news that have incited mob fury. The Indian government has made it clear that it intends to strengthen the legal framework and make social media platforms more accountable under law.last_img read more

Big Sean Launches Help Flints Kids Fundraising Campaign

first_imgA native of Michigan, Big Sean is not taking the Flint, Michigan water crisis lightly.Although Big Sean is one of the many celebrities taking note and helping of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, he has decided to take a great step to support the community as they battle inaccessibility to clean water.Big Sean and The Sean Anderson Foundation have teamed with CrowdRise, to ” Help Flint’s Kids”, an online fundraising campaign, which is raising funds to assist the Community Foundation of Greater Flint Michigan’s “Flint Child Health & Development Fund.” Big Sean started the campaign by donating $10,000.There’s also an incentive for donors: specific donation amounts qualify donors for the opportunity to meet Big Sean during his upcoming unannounced US tour.On the campaign page, Big Sean states, “I’m raising money to support the kids of Flint Michigan. Toxic water in Flint has rendered the water undrinkable and put the entire city in a state of emergency. Flint’s children were hit the hardest and some have experienced permanent and potentially devastating health defects from lead poisoning. We know the needs of Flint children exposed to lead, particularly those most vulnerable – children ages 0-6 – are ongoing and long-term. You can be assured that your gift will be used for critical interventions today and well into the future.”Big Sean expresses more of his thoughts on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan on The Sean Anderson website stating, ” I am devastated by the water crisis that has put the entire city of Flint in a state of emergency …it is my hope we can help by raising the money needed to ensure that the children who have been hit the hardest receive the care that they need today and well into the future.”Big Sean started the Sean Anderson Foundation to assist in the education, health, safety and well-being of Detroit Area school aged youth as well disadvantaged youth in other areas across the nation.To donate to Big Sean’s ” Help Flint’s Kid’s fundraiser, visit the campaign at crowdrise.com/bigsean. To learn more about The Sean Anderson Campaign, click here.Copyright ©2016Look to the Starslast_img read more

Amazing Race Canadas Lowell Taylor hopes to be inspiration

first_imgIt’s never easy to see the finish line on The Amazing Race Canada. This season, however, one competitor is attempting to run the race blind.Lowell Taylor, a 34-year-old psychologist from Lethbridge, Alta., is the first legally blind contestant on either the Canadian or American version of The Amazing Race. He and his wife Julie, a 33-year-old speech and language pathologist, are sitting in the seventh spot heading into week four of the show’s fourth season, which airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CTV.Lowell is coping with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that has left him with no peripheral vision, reduced central vision and night blindness. Lowell has had to adjust to decreasing vision all his life. His hero is his grandfather, who lost his sight at age 40 and continued to farm until he was 80. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebookcenter_img His central vision has narrowed to within a 15 per cent range.“When I look at your eye I don’t see your mouth,” he says. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

ArabAmerican Journalist Denied Uber Service for Being Arab

by Ghita BenslimaneCasablanca — Emmy-nominated journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin claims to have been the victim of discrimination after a DC Uber driver refused to give him a ride allegedly because Eldin was wearing a hat with Arabic writing on it.On December 19, AJPlus Correspondent Ahmed Shihab-Eldin tweeted a screenshot of his latest service message to Uber: EMBED:? pic.twitter.com/VAxNVq8Tvo— Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (@ASE) December 19, 2016“My driver got out of the car and told me not to approach the car the way I did (I was walking fast [because] it’s freezing). He started talking about Terrorism, and that I could be an ‘attacker.’ then yelled at me. This is the third time this happens to me using Uber,” the post said.In an interview with Mic, Eldin said that he was wearing a hat with the word “love” written in Arabic, and quickly ran over to the Uber because of the cold weather.“I’m aware [my hat] is a political statement in a sense, because Arabic is so politicized,” Eldin told Mic.But when he approached the vehicle in a hurry, the driver refused to open the trunk and locked all the doors.According to the same source, Uber is currently investigating the incident and has made sure the driver would be prohibited from accessing the Uber app pending the results of the investigation.News of discrimination against Arabs and Arab Americans in the U.S. has been on the rise, especially since Donald Trump’s election to the presidency.Just today, an Arab-American YouTuber and his friend were kicked out of a Delta Airlines flight for allegedly speaking Arabic on the plane. A video of the incident was viewed by more than 8.8 million people and shared more than 282,000 times on Facebook. read more

Five things to keep in mind following Canadas triumph over Trumps tariffs

OTTAWA — Five things to keep in mind in the wake of Friday’s news that Canada and the U.S. reached an agreement to end punitive American tariffs on steel and aluminum exports:1. The devil is in the details. So far, it’s not clear what concessions Canada made in order to convince a famously stubborn White House to abandon the tariffs, which survived not only the reaching of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement last September, but also its ceremonial signing two months later in Buenos Aires. What, exactly, prompted the self-proclaimed “Tariff Man” to finally stand down? All that’s known is that Canada agreed to “prevent” the import of unfairly subsidized or “dumped” steel, and work with the U.S. to prevent transshipment — foreign steel that moves through either country to the other. Reaching an “agreed-upon process” to monitor metals trading is also part of the deal, which allows the U.S. to reimpose tariffs should import levels spike.2. Next, the new NAFTA. never mind Democratic intransigence on Capitol Hill; the tariffs emerged in recent months as the number-one obstacle to getting the USMCA ratified not only in the U.S., but in Canada and Mexico as well. It’s unknown if the tariff detente will jar loose the long-standing logjam in Congress, where conventional wisdom says many Democrats are reluctant to give President Donald Trump even a whiff of victory as the 2020 election approaches. However, there are signs that opposition may be dwindling: House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, widely seen as holding the fate of the agreement in her hands, sent positive signals about her party’s desire to “get to Yes” after a “productive meeting” earlier this week with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.3. The China conundrum. Canada has been caught in the crossfire between the U.S. and China ever since Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver late last year at the behest of the U.S. Justice Department. Meng, who is caught up in an American indictment that accuses Huawei of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, is awaiting an extradition hearing to determine whether she will be sent stateside to face charges. China has since detained two Canadians on claims of espionage and sentenced a third to death for drug smuggling. Friday’s tariff agreement, which enlists Canada’s help in policing the North American steel market against Chinese dumping, could be seen as pushing Canada even deeper into America’s corner.4. Canada’s election. With voters headed to the ballot box this fall, polls suggest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in trouble. But Trump is deeply unpopular, and the tariffs haven’t helped; Friday’s news will give the governing Liberals the chance to portray themselves as the only party with experience — and success — in dealing with the famously unpredictable and combative commander-in-chief. Look for the hard-charging Conservatives to do their level best to counter that perception when the House of Commons comes back May 27 after next week’s break.5. America’s election. As 2020 approaches, look for Trump to mount a full-court press to get the USMCA ratified in Congress and give him badly needed campaign-trail ammunition. Will the Democrats, who control the House of Representatives and have never been known as free-trade fans, be willing to hand him a victory? Or are they content to fight other, higher-profile battles, wary of the blowback from constituents who want to see the deal passed?The Canadian Press read more

Angolans still subject to arbitrary detention other abuses says UN expert group

28 September 2007A United Nations human rights team has reported that Angolans are still being arbitrarily detained, tortured and often denied access to lawyers, following a 10-day visit to the southern African nation. “There is still no effective system in place which can prevent instances of arbitrary detention from occurring,” concluded the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in a statement issued yesterday by its Chairperson Leila Zerrougui. The Group, composed of independent experts, interviewed some 400 detainees during its visits to the capital, Luanda, as well as the cities of Cabinda and Dundo, which were carried out at the invitation of the Government. “The Working Group has received credible allegations in Cabinda that civilians are or were detained incommunicado at military institutions and never produced before a judge,” Ms. Zerrougui stated. “It would like to stress that secret detention puts the persons concerned at risk of ill-treatment, disappearance and other serious human rights violations.” The Group found that a number of detainees at Cacuaco and Viana Prisons in Luanda “showed visible signs of torture.” Among the team’s other findings, Ms. Zerrougui noted that “the right to access to a lawyer and a corresponding legal aid system as guaranteed by the Constitution exists only in theory.” Also, while Angolan law stipulates that those arrested must be presented to a prosecutor within 24 hours, “this rule is virtually never adhered to,” according to information received by the Group. Another issue of concern is the lack of a special system for minors, who according to the country’s laws are criminally liable from the age of 16. “They are treated like adults during the criminal proceedings, and merely receive a lighter sentence than an adult.” In addition, they are regularly detained together with adults at police stations and prisons. The Group also found that prisoners are facing “harsh conditions” in prisons and other detention facilities, citing overcrowded cells and a food and water supply problem. Angola is the third African country visited by the Group, which reports to the UN Human Rights Council, since its creation by the former Commission on Human Rights in 1992. It visited South Africa in 2005 and just concluded a mission to Equatorial Guinea in July. read more

Multilateralism key to confronting global challenges highlevel UN meeting concludes

Convened and chaired by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the two-day meeting at UN Headquarters in New York examined such challenges to international peace and security as terrorism, poverty, intra- and inter-state conflicts, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), organized crime and human rights violations.Among the meeting’s conclusions, participants recognized that terrorism represents a major challenge to international peace and security, and underscored the central role played by the United Nations in coordinating global efforts against the scourge and in setting the framework for worldwide action.It also confirmed that multilateral cooperation was key in dealing with disarmament and non-proliferation issues, particularly with regard to WMDs. Regional organizations could make a significant contribution towards achieving and promoting the implementation and strengthening of key treaties and other legal regimes.Participating organizations reiterated their commitment that human rights should not be undermined in counter-terrorism efforts. Rather than a trade-off between human rights and security, respect for civil liberties constituted a basic element in ensuring security. They also voiced concern about discrimination against peoples or cultures despite remarkable progress achieved in the dialogue among civilizations.Turning to armed conflict, the participants expressed particular concern about ensuring the protection of civilians during times of war, and noted that cooperation to prevent the outbreak of fighting was a fundamental element to counter the challenges to international peace and security. They also agreed that success in countering the problems caused by poverty and deprivation through a successful development agenda could translate into progress in other areas.Some of the organizations in attendance included the African Union, Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), European Commission, League of Arab States, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the international police organization INTERPOL and several UN agencies, including the nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). read more

As locust swarms multiply in West Africa States call for international aid

With a very small fraction of the average swarm capable of eating as much food in one day as 2,500 people, nine countries are meeting today in Algiers to discuss regional locust control campaigns that are needed this summer.As good rains have fallen throughout the Sahel (sub-Sahara) region and ecological conditions are favourable, large-scale breeding will commence shortly, causing locust numbers to increase further in West Africa, FAO said in its latest update on the threat. But in northwest Africa, where intensive control operations have been carried out since February, there are signs that the situation is improving.No swarms have been reported in Chad or Darfur, Sudan, but the risk there remains high and there is a potential risk that swarms could also reach Burkina Faso, the agency warned. So far, $9 million of emergency aid has been pledged. FAO has contributed nearly $2 million from its own resources and donors $7 million.Control campaigns in the Sahel are being hampered by a lack of available resources and the difficulty of locating and treating the highly mobile swarms. In 2004, control operations treated a total of 182,000 hectares in Mauritania and 900 hectares in Senegal. Intensive ground and aerial control operations continued in northwest Africa where more than 5 million hectares have been treated so far this year.By mid-July there had been a decline in the number of hectares treated in Morocco and Libya, suggesting that the situation is starting to get better in both countries and should become calm in the region over the next few weeks.A desert locust eats its own weight of food every day, about 2 grams, and swarms range from less than one square kilometre to hundreds of square kilometres in size. There are about 50 million locusts per square kilometres of medium-density swarm. The total number of locusts in a swarm varies from a few hundred million to several billion. read more

Quand la science tente de lire dans notre cerveau

first_imgQuand la science tente de lire dans notre cerveau Alors que se tient la “Semaine du cerveau”, des chercheurs français continuent à mettre au point et à expérimenter les interactions possibles entre cerveau et machine. Prometteur, certains systèmes informatiques permettent notamment de deviner ce que les sujets souhaitent écrire.A Bron, dans la banlieue lyonnaise, se trouve le Centre de recherche en neurosciences, institut de pointe associant notamment l’Inserm et le CNRS. C’est dans cet établissement qu’une équipe de chercheurs travaille à l’amélioration d’un système informatique destiné à suppléer le cerveau. Ainsi, assise dans la pénombre, Margaux Perrin, doctorante, porte un bonnet élastique muni de 32 capteurs. Ceux-ci permettent de relever en temps réel l’activité électrique de son cerveau. Sur un écran de “stimulation”, un faisceau lumineux balaie l’alphabet. La jeune femme se concentre sur une lettre. Dès que celle-ci s’éclaire, son cerveau envoie une onde particulière qui fait que la machine la sélectionne.Si l’opération prend 6 à 7 secondes par lettre, l’équipe cherche à améliorer cette performance. Il faudra pour cela intégrer un logiciel d’écriture prédictive, où un mot est suggéré à partir de quelques lettres. Quant aux erreurs éventuelles, elles sont repérées car le cerveau envoie un signal particulier dans ce cas. La machine rectifie alors en proposant une autre lettre probable.”Nous essayons de rendre la machine plus intelligente” grâce à de savants calculs algorithmiques, explique Jérémie Mattout, qui dirige ces travaux et “teste actuellement ces améliorations chez des sujets sains”. Au total, en quatre ans, 80 volontaires ont expérimenté le “P300 speller” (dérivé de l’anglais épeler). Les applications potentielles des interfaces cerveau-machine sont multiples : permettre à des patients paralysés de communiquer, détecter des baisses de vigilance (dans l’aérien, l’automobile…), entraîner ses capacités d’attention ou encore développer des jeux vidéos intégrant des commandes cérébrales. Parallèlement, l’équipe de scientifiques travaille ponctuellement sur un neuromagnétomètre. Cette grosse machine (dont il n’y a que cinq exemplaires en France) mesure les champs magnétiques créés par l’activité neuronale. Ceux-ci sont si ténus qu’ils doivent être enregistrés dans une chambre blindée. Cette fois, le casque employé est doté de 275 capteurs qui permettent de localiser à quelques millimètres près les zones activées pour effectuer tel geste ou entendre tel son. Décoder les signaux correspondant aux gestes réalisésÀ lire aussiChien : l’Homme aurait impacté la structure du cerveau du chienDepuis un an et demi, cette impressionnante machine sert à mieux déterminer où opérer des patients épileptiques. “Nous accueillons également des tétraplégiques ayant quelques mouvements résiduels, pour aider leur rééducation”, explique Claude Delpuech, responsable du département. Par ailleurs, Karim Jerbi, docteur en sciences cognitives, travaille avec des épileptiques ayant des électrodes implantées dans le cerveau. Les études menées permettent de décoder les signaux neuronaux qui circulent lorsque des gestes sont effectués. Des personnes ayant perdu leur motricité pourraient à l’avenir profiter de ces travaux en utilisant des prothèses qui réagiraient à leurs intentions de mouvement.Le 19 mars 2012 à 13:24 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Landslide keeps state Highway 503 closed

first_imgBoth directions of state Highway 503 near Panamaker Creek will remain closed for several days due to a landslide that happened Monday morning.The highway is blocked from Milepost 33.6, near Speelyai Bay Road, to Milepost 37, near Panamaker Creek. It is expected to remain closed for several days.The slide pushed rocks and trees across the roadway. The hillside is saturated from heavy rainfalls and still unstable. Washington Department of Transportation crews are waiting until conditions improve to examine the slope and plan next steps.Officials don’t yet have an estimate of when the roadway will reopen. Drivers are urged to avoid the area and use alternative routes.Woodland School District students living in the Cougar area who use bus 211 will instead wait for bus 93 at Yale School by 7:20 a.m.last_img read more

Dada Life Mark Knight Shiba San Announced For Groove Cruise 2018

first_img Twitter Dada Life, Mark Knight, Shiba San Announced For Groove Cruise 2018 https://www.instagram.com/p/BYcLaMoFYBX/?taken-by=groovecruise Who’s Headlining Groove Cruise 2018? dada-life-mark-knight-shiba-san-announced-groove-cruise-2018-0 Email Facebook The “world’s largest floating dance music festival” has announced phase 1 of its 2018 lineupBrian HaackGRAMMYs Aug 31, 2017 – 11:52 am Start resting up, pull your extra champagne glasses out of storage, and get ready to scarf some bananas, because the phase 1 lineup of Groove Cruise Miami 2018 was just announced, and electro-house festival madmen Dada Life are sitting proudly atop the list of headliners.Additional headliners announced for the 3-day dance cruise, hosted by Whet Travel aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, include American future bass dj/producer Gryffin, German-American trance demigod Markus Schulz, deep house/ghetto funk protégé Shiba San, and U.K. tech-house legend and Toolroom Records label boss Mark Knight. News Groove Cruise Miami will set sail on Jan. 26, 2018, on the Royal Caribbean Enchantment Of The Sea, with planned stops in CocoCay and Nassau along the Friday-to-Monday weekend excursion. Tickets are on-sale now.Arizona Decadence New Year’s Eve 2017 Headliners Announced: Zedd, Justice, Armin Van BuurenRead morelast_img read more

Exclusive Chad Hugo On NERD Finding His Musical Freedom

first_imgFrom The Neptunes to N.E.R.D. and beyond, the GRAMMY-winning musician and producer taps into what makes his music magicalPaul ZolloGRAMMYs Aug 13, 2018 – 10:51 am Chad Hugo is a musician first. He’s become famous for not wanting to be famous, preferring to let superstar friends such as longtime musical partner Pharrell Williams, or Jay-Z or Justin Timberlake, stand in the spotlight, while he stayed in the studio fine-tuning their tracks.Through a career as a producer, as well as member of his own band, N.E.R.D., Hugo has always focused on always keeping his records vital and fresh. For years he did this using the same digital toolbox everyone used until he realized what was missing was the soulful authority achieved only when real musicians play in real time. The dimension of human artistry real musicians can bring to a track is undeniable and can’t be attained in any other way.  We spoke to Hugo about that revelation, and other ideas which have informed his remarkable career.His story starts in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where music first enlivened his world. He was only 12 when he met Williams in the school marching band. They both were drummers, but Hugo was the Drum Major, the leader of the band, while his friend was behind him in the drumline. In time, as the world knows, Williams happily stepped into the frontman role as Hugo held it down in the back.It was over beatboxes though, not snare drums, that they bonded. Forming a duo called The Neptunes, they got signed to a production deal by Teddy Riley, who heard them at the school talent show. For nearly a decade they produced other artists, before starting their own band, N.E.R.D. (No-one Ever Really Dies), with Shay Haley.They created their debut, In Search Of, as they did their previous productions, with digital drum beats, samples and loops. They released it first in Europe before agreeing to reinvent the album with a slant both old school and new, fusing mechanical beats and samples with actual instruments in real time. They enlisted Spymob, a rock band, to do the playing since they felt they couldn’t. But by their next album, Fly or Die, they did it all. With incessant woodshedding, Hugo gradually grew more fluent on guitar and branched out in many directions, to saxophones, accordion, keyboards and more. Williams played the drums.“It’s not mandatory,” Hugo says, when asked how important a mastery of real instruments was to a modern producer. “But learning different instruments allows one to take on another voice, another character. I also joined the choir at church and to sing a given song on paper, a composition, and contribute to make the message stronger is something to appreciate.”N.E.R.D. have banded and disbanded a few times, but now they are about to embark on a major tour. Being an artist in the band instead of the producer is a role he relishes, as its liberates him to make the music most singular to his own spirit.For his most recent production, working with Justin Timberlake on his Out of The Woods album, his mission was not to express his own soul, but to enable the artist to express his soul while devising the perfect frame.But when allowed to do his own thing, he’s freed from other perspectives to honor his own. “In No-one Ever Really Dies,” he says, “we were given the freedom to set the trends.” Hugo has always been a collaborator since the start, and it’s working with others, he explained, that creates the sturdy and friendly foundation that he needs. “Making music is best as a team effort,” he said, “so I’d add elements and take out elements. To be trusted on my judgements, that took time. That’s in a mix down, and during the songwriting process.”That organic foundation still grounds every production, and always allows experimentation with the newest tools that emerge. “There’s always new technology,” he said, “and plug-ins being released. We share these technologies and implement them in production. Though we still maintain the foundation in the studio setting with the provided drum kit guitar and wind instruments.”  Being an authentic musician, Hugo knows, is all about being engaged. But as he explained, that engagement isn’t exclusive only to one’s work writing or recording a song.  To create engaged art, he said, means being engaged not only with music, but with all of life. Asked to explain his own creative process and how he maintains that dynamic connection, he pointed not towards the studio but towards being a human: “Live life to the fullest,” he said. No more words were needed or offered; it was time to get back to the music.Chad Hugo is a member of the Recording Academy and can be seen in the Academy’s We Are Music campaign.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more Exclusive: Chad Hugo On Finding Freedom In Music exclusive-chad-hugo-nerd-finding-his-musical-freedom Exclusive: Chad Hugo On N.E.R.D. & Finding His Musical Freedom Facebook Twitter News Email last_img read more

Wireless tsunami alerts for some Alaskans but GCI upgrades ongoing

first_imgYesterday’s early morning magnitude 7.9 earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska prompted emergency tsunami alerts that popped up on thousands of Alaskans’ cell phones.Listen nowThe National Tsunami Warning Center’s alerts even went to phones in Anchorage, where there was no threat of a tsunami. That’s because communities in the same alert zone, like Whittier, could have been struck by a tsunami.But another group of Alaska cell phone customers around the state did not get the message via the Wireless Emergency Alert network: subscribers to GCI.Federal Communications Commission guidelines have gotten the largest cellular companies in the U.S., like AT&T and Verizon, to upgrade their systems to deliver the alerts, but GCI might not be sending those messages until next year, not automatically anyway.GCI spokesperson Heather Handyside said that’s because the company is among roughly 100 smaller wireless providers that needed more time.“The longer deadline is because this is a very complicated, date-intensive process that involves tens of thousands of wireless phone numbers and geolocating them, so it’s just very complicated,” Handyside said.A 10-person team has been working on the upgrades for about six months, Handyside said. GCI plans to be integrated with the Wireless Emergency Alert system by May of 2019, she said.In the meantime, GCI offers its more than 100,000 wireless customers an app to get emergency alerts. It can be found wherever you get your smartphone apps by searching “GCI alerts.”last_img read more

Cambodia rubbishes reports of deal with China to use naval base

first_imgPhnom Penh: Cambodia on Thursday rubbished reports of a deal allowing China to use a naval base as “ill-intended” and aimed at inciting unrest in a country whose public is increasingly uneasy about Beijing’s growing influence. Rumours have long swirled about China’s desire to use the Ream naval base on Cambodia’s stretch of the Gulf of Thailand, giving its ships ready access to the strategically crucial South China Sea. According to an embassy official in Phnom Penh, Cambodia inexplicably withdrew a request for American help to repair part of the base in Sihanoukville last month. Instead, Cambodia signed a secret 30-year agreement with China, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, allowing the regional superpower to post personnel at the base, dock warships, and store weapons there. Also Read – Uganda: Traveling girl from Congo dies of Ebola Advertise With Us Senior Cambodian officials on Thursday repeated premier Hun Sen’s denial of the WSJ report as “fake news”. “It is ill-intended news created to incite,” General Chhum Socheat told reporters. “We have never had any secret military deal,” he added. “Cambodia does not need the presence of any foreign soldiers,” added An Sokhoeun from the foreign affairs ministry. The country’s constitution prevents a foreign military presence on Cambodian soil. But Chinese influence inside the kingdom has deepened in recent years with the building of casinos, condos and roads as well as with billions of dollars of loans to the government. Also Read – At corruption retrial, Samsung scion may end up being jailed Advertise With Us The relationship has tilted the balance away from the US, which has been edged out since Hun Sen — who has been in power for more than three decades — breezed to victory in elections held last year without opposition. But analysts say Hun Sen is concerned about an anti-China backlash from the public, especially in Sihanoukville where many businesses are Chinese-owned. Advertise With Us Tensions simmered in the southwestern city last month when an under-construction Chinese building collapsed killing 28 people. The US Embassy official said the sudden withdrawal of the request for help to repair the Ream base had raised suspicions of a wider motive. “This causes us to wonder if the Cambodian leaderships’ plans for Ream Naval Base include the possible hosting of foreign military assets and personnel on Cambodian soil,” the official told AFP. “We are concerned that a possible Chinese military presence in Cambodia would both threaten regional stability and the position of ASEAN.”last_img read more

Couple 4 others held with yaba

first_imgPolice in a drive arrested six people, including a couple, along with 2,100 pieces of yaba tablets from two houses in Bogura on Sunday, reports UNB.The arrestees are Naimul Hasan Shanta, 25, son of Zahedur Rahman, Shanta’s wife Shimu, 23, Laboni, 28, wife of Nahid Alam, Mariam Akter Nipu, 25, wife of Ashadul Kabir, Monika, 20, wife of Rusho, and Lokman Hossain, 45, son of Abul Kashem of Naogaon district.Tipped off, a team of police conducted a drive at four flats in Jaleshwartoli and Sutrapur areas and arrested them along with the yaba tablets around 10:00am, said Sanatan Chakrawarty, additional superintendent of Bogura police.The arrestees have long been involved in drug trading in rented flats in the town, police claimed.last_img

Myanmar likely to take back 2000 Rohingyas in Nov

first_imgMyanmar Foreign Secretary Myint Thu speaks to journalists during his visit at a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox`s Bazar on 31 October 2018. Photo: AFPA top Myanmar official said Wednesday that his country would take back the first group of 2,000 Rohingya refugees from camps in Bangladesh in November despite widespread doubts over the proposal.Officials from the two countries announced on Tuesday that some of the 720,000 Muslim Rohingya who fled a deadly military clampdown in the Buddhist-majority country last year would start returning next month.Myanmar foreign secretary Myint Thu visited the camps in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday to discuss the repatriations with refugees.Most repeated demands that they be given Myanmar nationality with full rights before they return.Thu said Myanmar has verified 5,000 names on a list of 8,032 Rohingya that Bangladesh authorities sent in February.“From that 5,000, the first batch will be about 2,000 people. And then a second batch will follow. So in mid-November we will receive the first batch,” Thu told reporters.Bangladesh officials said a new list of 24,342 Rohingya names was handed over in talks this week.But Rohingya representatives expressed strong doubts about going back despite the announcement.“We would rather die in the camp in Bangladesh. We will not return without any guarantee of citizenship or fully restored rights,” Abdul Hakim, one refugee from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, told AFP.The United Nations, aid groups and even Bangladesh authorities have said any repatriation must be voluntary.Oxfam spokesperson Rachael Reilly said the refugees “want to see justice served and an end to the violence and discrimination that have caused this crisis”.“It is deeply concerning that Rohingya people may be sent back to Myanmar to face the same persecution they fled,” she said.The 720,000 joined about 300,000 who fled earlier violence in Myanmar, where the Rohingya are refused citizenship and rights. Many brought harrowing tales of rape, murder and burning of villages.Investigators have said senior Myanmar military officials should be prosecuted for genocide, but Myanmar has rejected the calls, insisting it only targeted militants.The two neighbours first announced a large-scale repatriation plan in November 2017. But it has failed to advance, with each government blaming the other.last_img

Suicidal mechanic steals empty plane from Seattle airport

first_imgThis frame grab taken from footage filmed by bystander John Wauldron on 10 August 2018 with his Galaxy S8 at Chambers Bay Park and Golf Course in University Place Washington, shows an empty passenger airplane, stolen from the Seattle-Tacoma airport, making an unlikely upside-down aerial loop, then flying low over Puget Sound before crashing into the sparsely populated Ketron Island in the northwestern US state of Washington. Photo: AFPA young mechanic described as suicidal stole an empty passenger plane from Seattle-Tacoma Airport, took it on an hour-long flight that included a hair-raising loop as F-15 fighter jets gave chase, then crashed, killing himself.Officials ruled out any link to terrorism in the incident, which took place late on Friday, and saw the man holding a conversation with an air traffic controller in which he seemed to apologize for what he was doing.Video taken by a bystander showed the 76-seat plane making a big, slow loop-the-loop, then flying low over Puget Sound before crashing into Ketron Island, a sparsely-populated area in the northwestern US state of Washington.The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest. Flames lit up the night as they spread from the burning wreckage to nearby trees. Officials said there were no victims on the ground.The stolen plane was a twin-engine turboprop Q400 belonging to Horizon Air, its parent company Alaska Airlines said on Twitter.The Pierce County Sheriff’s office ruled out terrorism.- Joyrider or suicidal? -“Most terrorists don’t do loops over the water,” said Sheriff Paul Pastor. “This might have been a joyride gone terribly wrong.”But Ed Troyer, who also works at the sheriff’s office, described him as “suicidal.”He was identified as a 29-year-old airline mechanic called Rich or Richard, who lived locally and had acted alone. His full name was not given.The sheriff’s office said the F-15s arrived minutes after the plane was stolen and kept the aircraft “out of harm’s way and people on the ground safe.”The fighter jets flew at supersonic speed, triggering a boom first taken to be an explosion, as they raced to intercept the plane.In a video statement, Horizon Air’s chief operating officer Constance von Muehlen said the plane was taken by one of its employees.”We believe (the plane) was taken by a single Horizon Air employee and no other passengers or crew were on board,” she said.The plane was stolen at around 8:00 pm (0300 GMT Saturday) and crashed 90 minutes later, officials said.President Donald Trump was briefed and the White House praised authorities’ quick response to the crisis.- ‘Bizarre’ -John Waldron, who captured the plane’s loop-the-loop on video, told CNN he was out for an evening stroll when he saw two fighter jets following a turboprop plane, initially thinking they were practicing for an air show.”So I started to capture video, just because I thought it was kind of bizarre,” he said, later realizing that the jets were chasing the plane.Then the plane “did a complete loop… I couldn’t believe he recovered.”He estimated that the plane, at its lowest point, was no more than 100 feet (30 meters) above the water.Then the pilot pulled the plane “pretty much straight up. And kind of at an angle. And almost stalled the aircraft. Somehow he got it leveled back off. And then made his way down toward the island.”Waldron said he had been prepared to “run and take cover.” He briefly turned away, then turned back and saw the explosion as the plane crashed.- ‘A broken guy’ -In a conversation with the control tower, the pilot, who identified himself only as “Rich,” came across as excitable, confused, and even apologetic.”Congratulations, you did it,” the control tower tells him, according to an audio feed aired on CNN.”Let’s turn around the air and land it and not hurt anybody on the ground.””I don’t know, man,” the pilot answers. “I don’t want to. I was kind of hoping that was going to be it, you know.”During the conversation, he says he had put some fuel in the plane “to go check out the Olympics” — the Olympic Mountains which lie about 100 miles (160 kilometers) away.But he later worried he was running low, saying the fuel had burned “quite a bit faster than I expected.”The control tower then pushes him to land at a nearby military base.”I wouldn’t want to do that. They probably have anti-aircraft,” he responds.”This is probably jail time for life, huh?” he later says, according to a recording published by the Seattle Times.”I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this,” he said.”I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it until now.”last_img read more

Investigating the motility of swimming Euglena

first_img Researchers at SISSA, the National Institute of of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have recently carried out a study investigating the motility of Euglena Gracilis, a Euglenid, particularly in its response to confinement. In their study, published in Nature Physics, they examined the responses of swimming Euglena gracilis in environments of controlled crowding and geometry. “The large-amplitude coordinated movements of Euglena cells, called metaboly, have been described for centuries, and still today fascinate microbiologists, biophysicists and amateur microscopists,” Marino Arroyo, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “To our knowledge, no other unicellular organisms can move with such elegance and coordination. Yet, how and why they do it is a mystery. Curiosity was what drove us to study the motility of Euglena.”The large-amplitude and coordinated body deformations observed in Euglena are typically referred to as ‘euglenoid movement,’ or ‘metaboly.’ Metaboly varies greatly between species and sometimes even within a species, ranging from a rounding and gentle bend or twist to periodic and highly concerted peristaltic waves that travel along the cell body. “Amongst biophysicists, metaboly was thought to be a way to swim in a fluid, where these cells live,” Arroyo said. “However, protistologists are not convinced by this function for metaboly, since Euglena can swim very fast beating their flagellum, as do many other cell types. Instead, the predominant view is that metaboly is a functionless vestige ‘inherited’ from ancestors that used cell body deformations to engulf large prey. Watching cells executing such a beautiful and coordinated dance, we did not believe that it served no purpose. Our study started as an effort to substantiate such a non-scientific gut feeling.” Dilute cultures of Euglena cells generally swim using their flagellum and without changing their body shape. Arroyo and his colleagues, however, observed that as time passed and the fluid under the microscope evaporated, their culture became more crowded and cells started to develop metaboly. © 2019 Science X Network Explore further More information: Giovanni Noselli et al. Swimming Euglena respond to confinement with a behavioural change enabling effective crawling, Nature Physics (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41567-019-0425-8 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41567-019-0425-8 “Inspired by these observations and amateur YouTube videos, we hypothesized that the cell deformations could be triggered by contact with other cells or boundaries in a crowded environment, and that under these conditions, metaboly could be useful to crawl, rather than swim,” Antonio De Simone, another researchers involved in the study, told Phys.org. “Confirming this hypothesis was remarkably easy. As soon as we slightly pressed cells between two glass surfaces, or drove them into thin capillaries, they started to systematically perform metaboly, which resulted in the fastest crawling by any cell type, as far as we know,” added Giovanni Noselli, the first author of the study. Once they finished testing this hypothesis, the researchers started comparing the crawling behaviour they observed in Euglena with that of animal cells, for which a greater number of studies are currently available. Past studies observed that animal cells crawling in a thin tube tend to push against its walls in order to move forward and overcome the resistance of the fluid in the tube.”We found that, thanks to their peristaltic deformations, Euglena can push either on the walls or on the fluid to move forward, making of metaboly a remarkably robust mode of confined locomotion,” De Simone said. “They can actually move displacing very little fluid in a ‘stealthy’ propulsion mode, and they cannot be stopped even if the hydraulic resistance in the capillary is increased substantially.”In their experiments, Arroyo, De Simone, Noselli and their colleague Alfred Beran noticed that Euglena cells were able to adapt their gait to varying degrees of confinement. To perform this behavior, the cells could be using a sensory system to detect their surrounding environment and some form of internal information processing to adapt their activity according to the degree of confinement. The researchers found this explanation perplexing, however, particularly seeing as Euglena are single cells with no nervous system. To better understand how a single Euglena cell can control such an adaptable and robust mode of locomotion, Arroyo and his colleagues computationally modeled the motile apparatus of Euglena cells, which is essentially a striated cell envelope.”We wondered if their active envelope, called a pellicle, responsible for the cell deformations, would mechanically self-adapt to varying mechanical conditions,” Arroyo said. “To examine this, we developed a computational model showing that the compliance of the materials and molecular motors that make up the active envelope of Euglena could explain this adaptability, which in robotics is called mechanical or embodied intelligence.” Arroyo and his colleagues gathered fascinating observations about the body deformations of some Euglenids, suggesting that this behavior could, in some cases, be triggered by confinement. In addition to demonstrating one function of metaboly, their study established a new category of cellular crawlers, which are particularly fast, robust and adaptable. “If crawling by metaboly is so advantageous, one may wonder why it is not conserved amongst other species,” Arroyo said. “The answer is that it requires an intricate machinery, the pellicle, which is a striated envelope made out of elastic strips connected by molecular motors. This selectively deformable surface lies somewhere between the rigid wall of plant cells and the fluid envelope of animal cells. Beyond biology, we think that the underlying physical/geometric principles that enable shape changes of this envelope can be applied to artificial engineered systems, e.g. in soft robotics.”The computational model developed by Arroyo and his colleagues could finally shed light on the function of widely documented euglenoid movements. Their findings suggest that the gait adaptability of these organisms does not require specific mechanosensitive feedback, but rather could be explained by the mechanical self-regulation of an elastic and extended motor system.In their recent study, the researchers successfully identified one function of and the operating principles behind the adaptable body deformation of Euglena cells. They are now planning to further investigate the cellular mechanisms by which metaboly is triggered and by which cellular deformations propagate. “We plan to examine metaboly across different species of Euglena,” DeSimone said. “Preliminary observations reveal various flavors of metaboly. We are also working on building artificial materials and devices inspired in the active and deformable envelope of Euglena cells”. Journal information: Nature Physicscenter_img 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. Some species of Euglenids, a diversified family of aquatic unicellular organisms, can perform large-amplitude, elegantly coordinated body deformations. Although this behavior has been known for centuries, its function is still highly debated. Pond dwellers called Euglena swim in polygons to avoid light Citation: Investigating the motility of swimming Euglena (2019, March 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-motility-euglena.html Credit: Noselli et al.last_img read more

The five classic days

first_imgAnanya is organised by the Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Govt of Delhi, Sahitya Kala Parishad and Seher. The event will open up with a power-packed Bharatnatyam performance by Spanda Dance Company led by noted danseuse Leela Samson. The second day of the festival (9 October) will witness Kolkata-based Anjika Centre for Manipuri Dance presenting Anantasakti. Choreographed by the group’s founder Priti Patel, it will present the cosmic play of the cycle of life and death. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The ritualistic dances of Lai Haraoba showcase creation while Thang Ta dance form showcases the annihilation of evil. The third part enacted through Rasleela, shows the act of preservation that maintains order and also makes us realise the power of supreme force that makes everything happen around us.  Neena Prasad and her group from Thiruvananthapuram will present Krishnaarjuneeyam through Mohiniattam on 10 October. It depicts the life and times of Lord Krishna and his favourite disciple Arjuna. On 11 October, Gauri Diwakar will enthrall the audience with her Kathak performance. The festival ends with Odissi dance performance by Sujata Mohapatra and her group. It begins with Mangalacharan and ends with Pallavi, dance of pure joy.   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAnanya festival is also organising an interactive seminar, Pratibimb. The interactive seminar will be held for two days, 10 and 11 October at India International Centre (IIC). Each of the five dancers, choreographers will speak on the creative process behind the performance. Choreographers and dancers will hold an open discussion with the audience, which hopes to have the dancer-choreographers articulate their own thought process as they create. Where: Purana Qila When: 8 – 12 October Timing: 7 to 8.15 pm, Entry Freelast_img read more

Supportive friends make teenagers more caring

first_imgCaring for others dips during adolescence but when young people feel supported by their social circles, their concern for others rebounds, suggests new research.Values of social responsibility decrease between the ages 10 to 16 before levelling off in later adolescence, the study showed. “Relationships with parents, schools, and peers do get more complex during adolescence, and some young people may start to feel less bonded to those around them,” said Laura Wray-Lake, one of the researchers and assistant professor in psychology at the University of Rochester in New York.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“But, if a student has support from their parents and their school, and they also have supportive friends, those relationships are going to give them a boost in terms of pro-social engagement,” Wray-Lake noted.“Increase in young people’s perceptions of positive relationships is related to increases in social responsibility. It is also true that decrease in positive relationships resulted in decline in social responsibility,” Wray-Lake explained.The study involved over 3,500 US adolescents from rural, suburban and urban communities. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe researchers also looked at students’ individual behaviour and found that over time, volunteering resulted in an increase in values of caring. The actual experience of being civically engaged appears to enhance social responsibility values, the researchers said. The opposite is true, however, for substance use. An increase in substance use is related to lower social responsibility over time. According to the study, published in Developmental Psychology, young people who get involved with risky behaviour might have values that are more hedonistic-living in the moment and having fun-which can conflict with social values that lead to helping and caring for other people.last_img read more