8 January 2009The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today called for stepped up action to help victims of conflicts, rising in number worldwide, who do not receive international attention because they are not believed to affect global security. Unlike the “increasingly interrelated” situations in such places as Afghanistan and Iraq, the impact of these underreported crises is “local or at best regional,” António Guterres told the Security Council in an open meeting.He cited the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as an example, noting that the world’s attention has recently been focused on the volatile North Kivu province, where the “current tragedy” has a “complex historical heritage coming from the colonial rule and exacerbated more recently by the Rwanda genocide and two Congolese wars.”The escalating conflict between Government forces (FARDC) and the rebel group known as the National Congress in Defense of the People (CNDP) has uprooted an estimated 250,000 people since late August on top of the 800,000 already displaced.“But the DRC is not just North Kivu,” Mr. Guterres reminded the Council, noting that significant population displacements and rights violations targeting women and girls are taking place in other parts of the vast African nation.“Every six months, the number of people who die unnecessarily in the country as a result of armed conflict and material deprivation is equivalent to the number of people killed by the 2004 Asian tsunami.”The High Commissioner also warned of new forms of displacement, with natural disasters on the rise due to climate change.“Conflict, climate change and extreme deprivation will inter-relate, strengthening each other as a cause of displacement,” he said.One of the biggest challenges in responding to humanitarian crises is how to respond in situations where there is no peace to keep, Mr. Guterres said, underscoring the need for “sufficiently clear and strong” protection mandates that are backed by political and material support.The safety of relief workers is also of paramount concern, he said, adding that “ensuring staff safety must be a top priority of every humanitarian organization and the UN as a whole. That is non-negotiable.”Compared to 2006, when he reported to the Council that the number of refugees had dropped to just over 9 million, the lowest level in 25 years, he said today that the total number of refugees under UNHCR’s mandate now stands at 11 million, driven mainly by the situations in Iraq and Somalia. That figure, he said, does not include the nearly 5 million Palestinians for whom the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has responsibility.Today, UNHCR works in almost 120 countries on behalf of 32 million refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and others.
Ban set to address global events in Morocco FranceBan set to address global events in Morocco France
On Friday, he will speak at the opening session of this year’s World Policy Conference organized by the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) in Marrakesh.The three-day gathering will draw some 140 representatives from governments, the private sector, academia and the media to discuss global governance issues.Mr. Ban will also meet with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and the UN Country Team in the capital, Rabat.He will then travel on to Strasbourg, where on 19 October he will address the Council of Europe on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights. Later that day, he will also give a speech at a plenary session of the European Parliament.While in the French city, Mr. Ban will hold talks with the Council of Europe’s Secretary-General and with the President of the European Parliament.He will also take part in an extraordinary meeting of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and be welcomed officially by the Senator-Mayor of Strasbourg. 11 October 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will embark on a two-nation trip that will take him to Morocco and France later this week, with the United Nations chief set to address global gatherings in both countries, it was announced today.
Liberia should totally disengage from Sierra Leone conflict Security Council toldLiberia should totally disengage from Sierra Leone conflict Security Council told
Presenting the report of the panel, which is investigating violations of the arms embargo against Liberia, the group’s chairman, Martin Chungong Ayafor of Cameroon, told the 15-member security body that implementing the experts’ earlier proposals would help further the peace process in the Mano River Region, which consists of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Appointed by the Secretary-General, the Panel of Experts also investigates violations of the ban on export of Liberian diamonds and the travel ban on senior officials of the Liberian Government. Mr. Ayafor said that when the Panel embarked upon its mandate in mid-April there were active hostilities in the Mano River region. Six months later, while there was improvement, there was still active conflict in Lofa County in Liberia and the possibility of Sierra Leone lapsing back into conflict if the RUF refused to release its hold on some of the best diamond areas, he said.Also addressing the Council, the Director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Ed Tsui, said Liberia was one of the least developed countries in the world with poor prospects for economic development. The fragile situation could be worsened if sanctions were not accompanied by increased donor response, he said, adding that the Council should take into account the effect the sanctions will have on the most vulnerable Liberian people.Monie R. Captan, Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the experts’ report was void of any substantive relevance, and covered activities that preceded the adoption of resolution 1343, which imposed the sanctions. It did not address in any meaningful way the question of compliance by the Government nor did it concentrate on the measurable progress made to achieve the objectives of the resolution, he said.During today’s discussion, several speakers sought clarification about press reports of connections between Usama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda organization and the illicit diamond trade in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Mr. Ayafor said this issue had only surfaced at the UN after 11 September. While the Panel had not investigated the presence of Al Qaeda, it had detailed the activities of one individuals mentioned in connection with Al Qaeda. The Panel would further investigate the links if the Council wished, he added.
With all the hifalutin analytical tools available to sports like baseball, basketball and tennis, younger sports BMX and skateboarding probably aren’t the most statistically sophisticated events going. Fair enough — but the foundation is being built for them faster than for sports that haven’t yet undergone a statistical revolution, like boxing or hockey. At the summer X Games last weekend, that came in the form of a little motion-tracking gadget called Curie. Big Air skater Trey Wood, with the Curie on his helmet. Brent Rose Curie is a pod that captures jump height, jump distance, in-air rotation and impact upon landing. The contraption, made by Intel, is just 1.5 inches by 1 inch by 1 inch and weighs three-eighths of an ounce. This year, it was attached to bikes for the BMX Big Air and BMX Dirt and to riders’ helmets for the Skateboard Big Air event at the games, which took place in Austin, Texas (although because of bad weather, it only saw action in BMX Dirt). Despite its diminutive size, the puck packs in an impressive suite of sensors, including a 9-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, electronic compass, barometer and GPS — plus a built-in 900-MHz radio to beam the stats to ESPN, which owns and broadcasts the games.1ESPN also owns FiveThirtyEight. The Curie is not available to consumers — for now, it’s mainly a promotional tool for Intel among pro riders — but its closest competitor would be the Trace, which provides a similar function for surfing and snowboarding, though with far less granularity.Here’s a clip of the Curie in action in Austin:The Curie made its debut at the winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, in January. That first version of the pod was three times larger and heavier than its current iteration. In Colorado, the pod was mounted directly on to the decks of snowboards in the men’s Snowboard Slopestyle and men’s Snowboard Big Air contests. On his gold medal Slopestyle run, Canadian Mark McMorris hit the final jump at 43 mph, rotated 1,440 degrees on his backside triple cork, and landed with an impact force of 11 times the Earth’s gravity (11.1 Gs). He traveled 83.5 feet.That setup had to change for the summer games. Because a snowboard is attached directly to a rider’s feet through boots and bindings, it was easy enough to mount the pod on the board itself. But skateboarders are attached to their boards only via gravity and friction, so unobtrusively mounting one was more complicated. If a skater was rotating in mid-air and did a kickflip at the same time, the pod would report the in-air rotation of the board, but not the skater. Ultimately, Intel and ESPN had to decide which data set would be more compelling. It chose to stick Curie on the rider’s helmet, not only because it would likely deliver better data, but also because if a rider’s foot happened to catch on the Curie while coming off the 27-foot quarter pipe, the consequences could literally be deadly. Not much chance of riders opting in for that sort of risk. I asked Intel engineer Tyler Fetters if this could be bad data. He insisted that it wasn’t. “That number is the spike at the point of contact,” Fetters said. “That moment is so brief that it goes by in an instant. If they had to sustain it for even a half-second, they would probably be crushed or maybe even pass out.”I asked Wade what a 20-G landing felt like. “It sucks,” he said, wincing. “Every time, my ankles feel like they’re falling apart.”X Games judges haven’t yet integrated Curie data into their scoring. According to Fetters, the technology is just too new, and they want to make sure that it’s accurate close to 100 percent of the time before they consider it. However, he said that athletes and coaches are already asking Intel for a more mobile system (in which Curie could send data to a phone instead of the larger suite of computers and radios that is currently used) that could be deployed at parks and ramps anywhere and could help them get ready for the next big event. While the technology is so new that it has only been deployed at the X Games (and in private testing), there’s potential for it to be applied more widely. I talked to BMX Big Air rider Morgan Wade to see if he would be open to using it in his training.Wade said that he primarily rides by feel but that there are instances in which more information would be a big help in training. “Sometimes the little nuances are so small that you don’t pick up on exactly what’s wrong, but you know that something isn’t right, and that’s where this could be really beneficial,” he said.Say you’re a BMX rider who is going over a 50-foot gap jump. You’re doing a huge 360 while spinning your handlebars clockwise. The jump is under-rotated, and you go down hard upon landing. What happened? Although Curie only displays certain metrics at the end of the run, it’s recording the entire thing. It can tell you that your rate of spin was 180 degrees per second when you first left the ramp but that it slowed to only 90 degrees per second by the time you landed. Was it just the friction of the wind that did that?The data looks similar to an EKG readout, displaying the peaks and valleys over time for each metric. So you can line up that graph against the video footage, and look! The rotational speed decreased dramatically at the moment you spun the handlebars. You might think that next time you should try spinning it the other way or launch with more initial rotation to compensate.One of the stats the Curie displays has baffled me for the past two X Games: the G-forces upon landing. I’ve seen numbers that are higher than 20 Gs, and that just doesn’t compute. If a rider weighed 175 pounds and landed with 20 Gs of force, he would effectively weigh 3,500 pounds (roughly 1,590 kilograms). There’s no way our musculoskeletal system could withstand that. Brent Rose
AMERICAN ASTROPHYSICISTS WHO announced just months ago what they deemed a breakthrough in confirming how the universe was born now admit they may have got it wrong.The team said it had identified gravitational waves that apparently rippled through space right after the Big Bang.If proven to be correctly identified, these waves — predicted in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity — would confirm the rapid and violent growth spurt of the universe in the first fraction of a second marking its existence, 13.8 billion years ago.The apparent first direct evidence of such so-called cosmic inflation — a theory that the universe expanded by 100 trillion trillion times in barely the blink of an eye — was announced in March by experts at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.The detection was made with the help of a telescope called BICEP2, stationed at the South Pole.After weeks in which they avoided the media, the team published its work yesterday in the US journal Physical Review Letters.In a summary, the team said their models “are not sufficiently constrained by external public data to exclude the possibility of dust emission bright enough to explain the entire excess signal,” as stated by other scientists who questioned their conclusion.The team was led by astrophysicist John Kovac of Harvard.BICEP2 stands for Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization.“Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today,” Kovac, leader of the BICEP2 collaboration at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said back in March.By observing the cosmic microwave background, or a faint glow left over from the Big Bang, the scientists said small fluctuations gave them new clues about the conditions in the early universe.The gravitational waves rippled through the universe 380,000 years after the Big Bang, and these images were captured by the telescope, they claimed.DoubtsFor weeks, some scientists have expressed doubts about the findings of the BICEP2 team.David Spergel, a theoretical astrophysicist at Princeton University, queried whether what the BICEP2 telescope picked up really came from the first moments of the universe’s existence.“We know that galactic dust emits polarised radiations. We see that in many areas of the sky, and what we pointed out in our paper is that pattern they have seen is just as consistent with the galactic dust radiations as with gravitational waves,” Spergel told AFP last week.He said the question will likely be settled in the coming months when another, competing group, working with the European Space Agency’s Planck telescope, publishes its results.That telescope observes a large part of the sky — versus the BICEP2′s two percent — and carries out measurements in six frequencies, compared to just one for BICEP2, according to Spergel.“I think in retrospect, they should have been more careful about making a big announcement,” he said.- © AFP, 2014Column: What does this week’s major physics breakthrough actually mean > Read: ‘I nearly fell out of my chair’: Irish scientists uncover Einstein’s lost theory >
Google gives all employees 1000 and a 10 pay hike for ChristmasGoogle gives all employees 1000 and a 10 pay hike for Christmas
Who needs Santa Claus when you work for Google? According to reports, Google has decided to give all of it’s employees a $1,000.00 cash holiday bonus… along with a universal pay hike of at least 10%.The company wide raise is scheduled to start on January 1st, 2011. That’s the baseline, though: Google will also be giving each employee an additional raise which is equivalent to the employee’s target bonus for the year, as well as an additional raise if their individual performance is particularly notable.As for that $1,000.00, Google’s going even farther than just handing everyone a check for a grand: the search giant also intends to pay the taxes on that bonus, so that employees walk home with the whole thing.Why the raise? According to CEO Eric Schmidt, internal feedback suggests that employees are happiest at Google because of the generous salaries and not because of bonuses or stock compensation. They want to keep employees happy, and therefore, keep them from bolting to the competition.$1,000.00 may not seem like a huge Christmas bonus, but add in the raise and Google’s just handed $1 billion to their employees, basically as a gift.Hey Google? Looking for a blogger?Read more at Gawker
Upscale VGA to FULL HD with the Gefen VGA to HD ScalerUpscale VGA to FULL HD with the Gefen VGA to HD Scaler
For those who don’t know, Gefen is a leader in audio/video connectivity and they supply a wide selection of signal switchers, splitters, extenders, scalers, converters, KVM solutions and home theater accessories. They are releasing a new product at the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas and it sounds like a great piece of tech. The product in question is a Lo-Res Mobile Video to Hi-Def converter, which in English means that you can view legacy computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods and more on a HD display with its VGA to HD Scaler.The VGA to HD Scaler outputs audio/video in the HDMI format so you can view video coming from low resolutions down to 320×240 upscaled all the way up to FULL HD (1080p) on any HDTV display or projector. The VGA To HD Scaler is equipped with one VGA, one coax, one TOSlink and L/R RCA audio inputs. Audio/video inputs are output as 1080p full HD video. Dynamic video adjustments are controlled through the front-panel buttons including noise reduction and detail enhancement to generate exceptional image quality.AdChoices广告Hagai Gefen, president and CEO at Gefen, had this to say:This new VGA to HD Scaler is specifically tuned to make lo-res video look exceptionally good on a hi-def display. It works with all iPods, iPads and computers so you can view Youtube videos and GoogleTV in a good looking format. No price details yet, but when it is announced at CES we will try and gets some price info for you.Read more at Gefen
Greece’s New Acropolis Museum will reinstate video scenes of early Christians vandalizing the 5th- century B.C. Parthenon Temple after receiving reassurances the images aren’t of priests, a suspicion that had sparked protests from the country’s church.The short video, used to inform visitors about the history of the monument in the new museum, will be shown in full after film-maker Constantin Costa-Gavras clarified that the scenes showed early Christians, and not priests, causing damage, Museum Director Dimitris Pandermalis said.The decision last month to delete the short segment angered the film’s creator, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Constantin Costa-Gavras, and was criticized in the Greek press as an act of censorship.The Museum pulled the scenes from the video after receiving protests from the Church of Greece, Greek media reported. The animated segment showed figures clad in black climbing up ladders and destroying part of the Parthenon frieze.It belonged to a nearly two-minute segment by Costa-Gavras depicting damage done to Parthenon over the centuries — from marauding Germanic warriors in 267 AD to the removal of a large part of the sculptured frieze by British diplomat Lord Elgin in early 19th century. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Delays in the implementation of all milestones linked to the disbursement of funds earmarked for the bank recapitalization have cast a shadow over the efforts of Greek banks to attract private capital. Government officials are hopeful a solution will be found on the pending issues, most importantly foreclosures, but others urge caution. Although finding a solution is better than not, the delay has highlighted the risks and affected the banks’ drive to raise funds despite some positive news on the economic front.It is still early for a verdict but Greece could beat official forecasts, calling for a small primary deficit in 2015, and end up with a balance or even a small surplus at the general government level, assuming recent trends in revenues persist, in our view. This estimate is based on most recent data on the state budget balance, a subset of the general government, from January through October and figures at the broader government level in the first nine months of the year. It does not take into account the full clearance of state arrears to the private sector.In addition, the economy continues to show resilience, with gross domestic product contracting 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter and 0.4 percent year-on-year, much less than expected by economists, from July through September, according to preliminary estimates by the Hellenic Statistical Authority. And this despite the imposition of capital controls and heightened political uncertainty. Although some of the negative effects of the capital controls will manifest themselves in the coming months, the overall impact is not as great as initially feared.Assuming raw data confirm these estimates, it is almost certain economic activity will shrink by less than 2.3 percent projected in the third bailout. It may even end up around 1 percent or less this year, paving the way for a better outcome than the official prediction for a 1.3 percent recession in 2016. In this regard, unemployment may stabilize at current high levels rather than rise much further next year. The government predicts the jobless rate, which stood at 24.6 percent in 2014, will rise to 25.4 percent this year and 25.8 percent on average in 2016.Of course Greece’s austerity saga will go on. The country will have to take additional fiscal measures, amounting to about 6.4 billion euros during 2015-16, according to the third bailout agreement. Measures worth around 2 billion euros should be taken in 2015 and an additional 4.35 billion next year. Eurobank estimates the projected measures will reduce economic activity by 5.7 billion euros or 3.5 percentage points of GDP.Readers are reminded the country has implemented tax increases and spending cuts in excess of 30 percent of GDP, or more than 60 billion euros, from 2010 through 2014. The fiscal austerity can fully explain the loss of output during the same period. The nominal GDP decreased by about 58 billion euros. The country’s GDP stood at about 179 billion euros in 2014.However, it looks as if the recessionary effects of fiscal austerity in 2015-16 could be contained. This is especially so if tourism continues to be buoyant, the absorption of EU structural funds picks up, privatizations speed up and the banking sector is recapitalized and returns to normal.It is important that Greek banks are recapitalized, although this is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for lending growth in the coming years as we have repeatedly pointed out in the past. Disagreements between the government and the lenders on some key milestones, such as foreclosures, have made things more difficult for banks to attract private money.It is noted that the European Central Bank identified a capital shortfall of 14.4 billion euros for the four systemic banks, which aim to cover more than 9 billion euros privately. They would like to raise more than 6 billion euros from the markets and some 3.5 billion from the voluntary swap of their securities held by third parties with common equity. The rest, about 5 billion euros, will come from the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund.Top bankers have reportedly conveyed the message to the government that it is important to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible. Although some ministers have publicly expressed the opinion that this will indeed be the case, sources close to the negotiations advise caution. Of course an agreement is better than none, but we are concerned that some damage has already been done because of the delay. First of all, the delay has made foreign investors who were concerned about the risks but were willing to dip a toe in Greece more hesitant to commit funds in the bank recap. Second, the local banks, which are eager to avoid or limit the use of state funds in the recap, have contacted Greek firms and wealthy individuals to chip in. In some cases, loans were made available according to sources.Therefore, it is important that efforts are made by all sides to reach an agreement on pending issues so that the recapitalization of the Greek banks is successful and completed before the end of 2015. It is also better to have state funds or foreign money cover some bank capital needs rather than repeat past mistakes by mobilizing domestic deposits and loans to do so. The markets cannot be fooled and the economy will not show resilience for ever if some things do not change.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Detroit retirees worry about possible pension cutsDetroit retirees worry about possible pension cuts
DETROIT — K.D. Bullock had been retired from the Detroit Police Department for nearly 17 years and was working as a casino security supervisor when he encountered a problem last March — long accustomed to working on his feet, he suddenly couldn’t make it up a flight of stairs. After months of doctor’s appointments, he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which makes it difficult for him to breathe. He not only left his job but had to begin paying others for the fix-up work he’d been doing on his historic six-bedroom house.Now, he could be facing another hit, this time to his $2,400-a-month pension.The pensions earned by more than 21,000 retired municipal employees have been placed on the table as Detroit enters bankruptcy proceedings with debts that could amount to $20 billion. Labor unions insist the $3.5 billion in pension benefits are protected by state law, but the city’s emergency manager has included them among the $11 billion in unsecured debt that can be whittled down through bankruptcy. A federal judge has scheduled the first hearing on the city’s case for Wednesday.The prospect of sharply reduced pension checks has sent a jolt through retired workers who always counted on their pensions–who sometimes sought promotions just to sweeten the pot–and never imagined they could be in danger even as the city’s worsening finances finally led to its bankruptcy filing last week.Bullock says he’s worried he’ll have to sell his home in Detroit’s historic Indian Village neighborhood, and others are wondering if they can afford a house at all.“A number of things can happen. It just means our lifestyle is going to change — we have no way of knowing,” Bullock said of the choices facing him and his wife, Randye.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hannah Turkington, 12, is asked to call 911. Vancouver police have found a 12-year-old girl who was reported missing Wednesday night. Hannah E. Turkington was with a friend earlier in the evening and called her mother to say she would be back home by 6:30 p.m. Vancouver police were notified that she was missing at 11:30 p.m. and searched for her for several hours, but were unable to find the girl. The agency issued a media release at 4:51 a.m., which asked the public to call 911 if they saw Hannah or had any information about her whereabouts.Police reported that at 8:40 a.m. today, Hannah was located by Vancouver police detectives. She was safe and is unharmed, police said. The agency thanked the public for the tips they received on her possible location.
Infographic What are the top challenges faced by global organisationsInfographic What are the top challenges faced by global organisations
Hindupur: MLA N Balakrishna’s former personal assistant Sekhar has been jailed for three years by the ACB court in Nellore. A case had been filed against him way back in 2008 for possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. The ACB court on Saturday pronounced judgement sentencing him for 3 years and imposing a penalty of Rs.3 lakhs. The former PA was accused of demanding bribes from TDP leaders and local people for getting benefits under government schemes. Later, he was removed from his post by the MLA. Sekhar was working as assistant engineer in Padmavathi University. He came on deputation as PA to MLA Balakrishna in 2014.
Thousands protest in Colombia against killings of activistsThousands protest in Colombia against killings of activists
Bogota: Thousands rallied across Colombia Friday to protest the killing of hundreds of human rights activists since the signing of a historic peace deal with FARC guerrillas. Demonstrators gathered in major cities under the slogan “defending the peace” to denounce the deaths. 462 campaigners have been killed since 2016, according to the country’s ombudsman. “They are killing us but seeds of life and dignity are being born,” Luis Acosta said as he walked toward Bolivar square in the capital Bogota, which was packed with protesters. Also Read – UK, EU Brexit teams to meet twice-weekly in September Advertise With Us Colombian President Ivan Duque joined a rally in the port city of Cartagena but was jeered by parts of the crowd, videos posted on social networks showed. “Today we are united in a fight against violence and drug trafficking, which has fueled the organized armed groups that have attacked social leaders in the country,” Duque said earlier. The rallies were called after the killing of activist Maria del Pilar Hurtado last month, in northern Colombia. A video of her son crying next to her body was widely shared in the country. Also Read – Climate change: Australia downgrades outlook for Great Barrier Reef to ‘very poor’ Advertise With Us Some protesters carried banners of FARC, the former guerilla group, who signed a 2016 peace deal with authorities that ended half a century of armed conflict and established them as a left-wing political party. The group has criticized the lack of security guarantees for its members after the signing of the pact and said 140 ex-guerrillas and 31 relatives have since been killed. Armed drug-trafficking groups, National Liberation Army rebels, and the armed forces are mostly responsible for the deaths, prosecutors said.
Ram Gopal Varma takes Uturn after Vijay Devarakonda teams up with PuriRam Gopal Varma takes Uturn after Vijay Devarakonda teams up with Puri
Puri Jagannadh, Vijay Devarakonda and Charmme KaurTwitterWeeks after insulting him, Ram Gopal Varma has changed his colors and praised Vijay Devarakonda, who accepted director Puri Jagannadh’s next movie, which is produced by Charmme Kaur.Vijay Devarakonda released his much-talked about and highly-awaited movie Dear Comrade a week after Puri Jagannadh’s iSmart Shankar starring Ram Pothineni hit the screens. The movie opened to a good response, but mixed talk took a toll on its collection at the box office on the following days.After seeing its business, Ram Gopal Varma had taken a dig at Vijay Devarakonda, by tweeting, “Is issmart shankar more Issmart than nonissmart comrade or is nonissmart comrade not more issmart than Shankar? Truth only RAM’s VIJAYam knows.” The Dear Comrade star’s fans were furious with his post and trolled him heavily for his degrading remark.Barely 15 passed after the incident and Vijay Devarakonda has gone on to join hands with iSmart Shankar director Puri Jagannadh. Charmme Kaur, who is bankrolling their film, announced it on Twitter, “It’s official Today is really happpyyyyy happyyyyy #Eid @TheDeverakonda @purijagan @PuriConnects #PCfilm #EidMubarak.”Charmme Kaur also shared a statement reading, “It’s OFFICIAL!!! PC proudly announces our next project with one n only Vijay Deverkonda directed by our Puri Jagannadh .. Lavanya presentation Under the banner PURI CONNECTS and PURI JAGANNADH TOURING TALKIES Produced by Puri Jagannadh and Charmme Kaur .. More details coming soon .. till than stay tuned !!! Urs Charmme kaur.”Soon after he heard the news, Ram Gopal Varma took a quick U-turn and went on to praise the combo of Vijay and Puri. The director tweeted, “WOWWWW @TheDeverakonda and @purijagan COMBO will be RED HOT. it will BURN the BOXOFFICE. Congrats to @Charmmeofficial for being so amazingly ISSMART .”However, Vijay Devarakonda and Puri Jagannadh’s first combo film is said to be titiled Jana Gana Mana and it will be a multilingual film, to be released in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Hindi languages. The movie will take on the gruesome murders, rape cases and crimes that shook our nation over the last few years.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia being taken to jail. File PhotoThe Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the High Court order that granted bail to Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.A four-member bench of the Appellate Division, led by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, handed down the order.On 15 March, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the state filed two separate leave-to-appeal petitions before the apex court challenging the Khaleda Zia’s bail order by the High Court.The Supreme Court rejected both of the appeals upholding the bail.On 8 February this year, the Dhaka Special Court-5 convicted the former prime minister and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the graft case.She was then sent to old central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the city, where she is the only inmate.
Music Industry Working To Put More Women Center StageMusic Industry Working To Put More Women Center Stage
Claire Marie VogelMembers of The Regrettes, a Los Angeles-based punk band that’s performing in Houston July 24. X Gender bias is well recognized in many industries, but it can also be a factor in the music business.A study earlier this year from the Berklee College of Music and the organization Women In Music surveyed nearly 2,000 women in the music business in 2018 and found about 78 percent of them felt they’ve been treated differently because of their gender.And, since the #MeToo movement, there have numerous conversations about how many female artists are on the bill at music festivals.Robb D. Cohen/APThe band Sleater-Kinney performs in Houston Nov. 7, 2019.The issue is both personal and business for Grace Gibson of Live Nation. She’s a Houston native who books artists for gigs at both the House of Blues and Revention Music Center.Growing up, Gibson went to numerous shows at places like Fitzgerald’s and Walter’s but says most of the bands were all-male or fronted by a man. So, by default, she didn’t think of the music industry as a career option.But now, she and other bookers around the nation are making scheduling female artists and bands a priority for the vendors they serve.Raja Kumari/InstagramSongwriter and rapper Raja Kumari performs in Houston June 21.In just the coming weeks and months, Gibson has scheduled acts like Monsieur Periné, Ana Barbara, Raja Kumari, The Regrettes, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sasami, and Sleater-Kinney, just to name a few.In the audio above, Gibson tells Houston Matters about increased efforts in the music industry to create equity for female performers. 00:00 /10:54 Share Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
Bowser Pushed for Emergency Legislation for Unemployment Benefits and SNAPBowser Pushed for Emergency Legislation for Unemployment Benefits and SNAP
By George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff WriterAs the country enters its second month of a financially crippling federal government shutdown, on Tuesday Mayor Muriel Bowser announced plans for legislation that would offer some relief to D.C. residents who were impacted.That relief comes in two ways. One would be an emergency bill to allow federal employees deemed essential to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Also, the mayor will provide $2 million in additional support from a contingency fund to go to new and recertifying D.C. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries.District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser pushed emergency legislation to assist essential federal employees with unemployment insurance benefits and $2 million in additional support for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries. (Courtesy Photo)On average, a family receives about $220 of food benefits per month, a small yet vital lifeline for approximately 110,000 Washingtonians. Of these beneficiaries, 41,000 are children under the age of 18, and 16,000 are seniors over the age of 60, according to the mayor’s office.“Millions of Americans, including hundreds of thousands of District workers and families, are feeling the full impact of lost income and the anxiety that comes with not knowing when you’ll receive a steady paycheck,” Bowser said. “We know that what Americans need is a resolution to this shutdown, but until that happens, we’re going to keep doing what we can to make sure our residents have their basic needs taken care of.”Last week Bowser wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta pushing for federal employees to be eligible for unemployment benefits.In the letter Bowser stated:“This partial government shutdown is now the longest in history. For the past three weeks, roughly 800,000 federal workers have either been without work or must continue to work without pay. In the National Capital Region, at least 7,127 federal employees and contractors have applied for unemployment benefits since the shutdown began. And, in the District alone, 5,897 federal workers and contractors have applied for unemployment benefits. The District government has stepped up to process thousands of unemployment claims for furloughed workers and we hope to do the same for those deemed excepted or essential.”The Department of Labor, however denied the request, leaving D.C. to fend for itself.The damage of the shutdown, which Bowser referred to as a “lock out” expanded beyond just federal workers. She added up the auxiliary business that depend on income from all the federal workers coming into the District.“The lock out is hurting our economy overall,” Bowser said.The mayor also mentioned the Metro system which must continue to run to service the public, but is currently losing about $400,000 a day.A press conference was held at the Capital Area Food Bank, which has seen the impact of the shutdown in a very real way. Radha Muthiah, President and CEO of the CAFB said the organization which normally provides about 3 million meals a month, provided over 3.6 million this past month, or a 20% increase in need.For a list of resources in D.C. for assistance please go to dc.gov/shutdown. Also for food resources in the area go to dcfoodpolicy.org/federal-government-shutdown-resources.
Researchers generate 3D images using just one photon per pixel w videoResearchers generate 3D images using just one photon per pixel w video
Explore further Citation: Researchers generate 3D images using just one photon per pixel (w/ video) (2016, July 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-07-3d-images-photon-pixel-video.html Play Video comparing the new algorithm with a conventional filtered-histogram method. As the number of detected photons decreases, the new method substantially outperforms the conventional method in both reflectivity and depth reconstructions. Credit: Shin et al. By requiring vastly fewer photons than conventional cameras, single-photon cameras have potential applications in low-light conditions, such as biological imaging, astronomy, and providing 3D vision for self-navigating advanced robotic systems, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and exploration rovers.In the future, the researchers plan to pursue various applications by collaborating with researchers with different specialties. Working with MIT’s chemistry department, for example, they have begun to apply their photon-efficient approach to fluorescence imaging, an imaging modality that has many applications in biology. They are also pushing the technology to its limits under DARPA sponsorship as part of DARPA’s Revolutionary Enhancement of Visibility by Exploiting Active Light-fields (REVEAL) program. REVEAL’s goal is to use all the information available in the light field to see into occluded spaces without using mirrors.”We’re going to use laser light and single-photon detection to see around a corner,” Shapiro explained. “Our approach will rely on diffuse reflections from a wall. Because the light returned from the hidden objects will be very weak, photon efficiency is essential.” The researchers, led by Jeffrey Shapiro, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with coauthors at MIT, Politecnico di Milano, and Boston University, have published a paper on the new photon-efficient approach to imaging with a single-photon camera in a recent issue of Nature Communications.”Our work shows that we can use these new photon-counting cameras at much lower fluxes and much higher efficiencies than previously thought,” Shapiro told Phys.org.Compared to other camera-based 3D imaging techniques that have recently been developed, the new framework has the highest photon efficiency to date, resulting in a visibly better reconstruction accuracy and an order of magnitude better depth resolution. To demonstrate how the new single-photon imaging algorithm works in low-light environments, the researchers illuminated a scene of interest (such as a mannequin and sunflower) with a pulsed laser that emits low-light pulses every 50 nanoseconds. A light diffuser spatially spreads out the pulses so that they flood the entire scene. Play Video showing the three stages of the reconstruction algorithm. Credit: Shin et al. A single-photon camera then captures the light reflected by the illuminated objects, along with some background light that the researchers added to simulate a realistic environment. The key element of the camera is a single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) array, which detects incoming photons and records their precise times of arrival. In order to reconstruct a scene from a very small number of detected photons, the new algorithm accounts for the fact that a scene’s features are statistically correlated. Whereas most camera systems treat each pixel independently, the new algorithm recognizes that neighboring pixels often have strong spatial correlations, which are punctuated by sharp boundaries that separate two different features (such as the mannequin’s shirt and the sunflower in the test scene). By solving a mathematical problem of convex optimization, the new algorithm exploits these correlations to generate high-resolution 3D images using very few photons. Single-photon camera imaging set-up. Credit: Shin et al. © 2016 Phys.org PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen 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: Dongeek Shin et al. “Photon-efficient imaging with a single-photon camera.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12046 See more details at the researchers’ project page. (Phys.org)—Every time you take a photograph, your camera detects more than a billion photons. For a basic one-megapixel camera, that’s more than 1,000 photons per pixel. Now in a new study, researchers have developed an algorithm that is so efficient that it can generate high-quality 3D images using a single-photon camera that detects just one signal photon per pixel. Journal information: Nature Communications Creative Cameras exhibit explores light-in-flight imaging The images in this experiment have a final resolution of 384 x 384 pixels, and an average of one signal photon and one background light photon are detected per pixel.Another advantage of the new single-photon camera is that images can be captured very quickly, making it useful for applications that require fast and accurate imaging using extremely small amounts of light. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen
Paolo’s first car, of course, was a building: il Lioncini, a camper-van he built in Vietri in 1949, with studio, kitchen, sofa, storage space for a Lambretta scooter, etc. The conversation very quickly came ’round to the real meaning of the car, and car-culture, and urban sprawl, the notion of “reformulation” of the urban landscape, and LEAN LINEAR CITY rail transportation. [photo and text: Jeff Stein] July 16, 2012Friday, July 13, the 195th birthday of Henry David Thoreau, and by an act of the US Congress (really, no kidding!) “Collector Car Appreciation Day,” Paolo Soleri sat for an interview with AAA Arizona magazine. The topic: “Your First Car.” Pictured, left to right: Michelle Donati AAA Supervisor, Public Affairs, James Prueter, Club Spokesperson, and Stephanie Dembowski, AAA Public Affairs Specialist. Watch for the interview in the upcoming issue of AAA Arizona Magazine. [photo: Colly Soleri]