Shehbaz Sharif returns to Pak

first_imgIslamabad: Opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, facing corruption charges, returned to Pakistan on Sunday following a “quick visit” to London, a media report said . Shehbaz, 67, served as the chief minister of the politically crucial Punjab province from 2013 to 2018. He became Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president after his elder brother and three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as the party president following a Supreme Court verdict in the Elections Act 2017 case. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Shehbaz arrived at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Sunday. In the form of a rally, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party workers took him from the airport till his residence in Model Town, where sweets were distributed, Dawn newspaper reported. Ahead of Shehbaz’s arrival, a large number of PML-N party workers, MPs and senior leaders reached the airport at night. Shehbaz had announced a “quick visit” to London on April 9 after his name was removed from the no-fly list on Lahore High Court orders. Party sources had said at the time that he intended to return within 10-12 days, the report said. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaHe faces court cases for corruption and dishonesty. In the Ashiyana housing scam, Shehbaz is accused of ordering the cancellation of a contract given to a successful bidder for the low-cost housing scheme, resulting in a loss of Rs 193 million to the national exchequer. In the Ramzan Sugar Mills corruption case, Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz are accused of “fraudulently and dishonestly” causing a Rs 213 million loss to the national exchequer. Shehbaz was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau in October 2018 and released on bail on February 14. His brother Sharif has been serving a seven-year prison term at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 when an accountability court convicted him in one of the three corruption cases filed in the wake of the apex court’s July 28, 2017 order in Panama Papers case. Both Sharif and his daughter Maryam have been sentenced to seven years in prison, respectively. Maryam’s husband Muhammad Safdar was jailed for one year in the same case.last_img read more

NAFTA round Lead ministers for Canada US Mexico will not attend this

first_imgWASHINGTON – Call it the calm between two storms. NAFTA negotiators are gathering in Mexico City this week for what’s expected to be a transition round, nestled between the tumult of early talks and the deluge of drama expected next year in late-phase negotiations.Things will be kept quieter by the absence of politicians.The lead ministers for Canada, the U.S., and Mexico announced Wednesday that they won’t attend the session that concludes Nov. 21, the first time Chrystia Freeland, Robert Lighthizer, and Ildefonso Guajardo have not shown up in five negotiating rounds.All three played down the need to get together this time, citing substantive discussions at the Asia-Pacific summit, and will remain in constant communication with their chief negotiators anyway.But their non-presence illustrates something else: a view inside and outside government that this mid-negotiation round is expected to be a calmer exercise than what preceded, and what will likely follow.The previous round concluded with the ministers practically squabbling on stage. The U.S. shocked its partners with a barrage of aggressive demands, and the politicians wound up at the closing news conference delivering thinly veiled lectures at each other.It won’t happen this time — at least not publicly. The teams gathering in a tony enclave of Mexico City will include bureaucrats, professional negotiators, and some political staff, but there will be no big news conferences with politicians.One official familiar with the talks said he expects countries will put off the most painful tradeoffs, while looking to negotiate the easier outstanding issues, on things like digital trade and regulatory co-operation.”There’s still lots of work to do here. Having said that, I think everyone recognizes that the proposals made on the U.S. side make it difficult to get to an agreement,” the official said.“Which is why we’re focusing on areas where we can make progress.”In other words: Don’t expect big moves on irritants like agriculture and auto-parts rules of origin. Those two issues will come up for four days each, starting Saturday, according to a version of the work schedule seen by The Canadian Press.Another difficult issue could surface sooner.Mexican media reported that the government there is prepared to counter a demand for a so-called five-year sunset clause — which would terminate NAFTA, unless all countries renew it. Guajardo has reportedly said he’s willing to live with a watered-down version of that, which might include a mandatory review but not termination-by-default.Some U.S. proposals at the last round left allies wondering whether it was trying to sabotage the talks.One trade-watcher said the countries still have lots of less-controversial things to address. They have an opportunity to do that in this round, and deal with the end-game tradeoffs later.Completing the easier things now at least allows some progress as they approach the final phase, said Eric Miller, head of Washington’s Rideau Potomac trade consultancy.The countries hope to have a deal wrapped up by March. After that, the U.S. and Mexico enter national elections, and an agreement becomes all but impossible to achieve before 2019.“This is going to tee up the inflection point — which will come in the next couple of months, where we will get to the do-or-die moment,” Miller said.“At least they have the modernization agenda to talk about in this round.”He said countries will also probe each other on the harder issues. Miller expects they will start seeking clues on each other’s willingness to compromise on their toughest demands.“Really what the story of this round is, is figuring out where we go from here,” he said.“It’s going to be a discussion of probing what is meant by some of these proposals, where flexibilities might exist, and are there solutions that might materialize in later rounds…”Really it’s the aftermath of round four… We’re in this different reality now — so how do we get through this?”The U.S. negotiating team isn’t just facing disgruntlement from abroad.A number of American lawmakers have grumbled about Team Trump’s approach to trade. Three prominent Republican senators, and dozens of House members, have sent letters to Lighthizer expressing alarm about some American positions.They criticized proposals on automobiles and the sunset clause. And they also ridiculed the wisdom of trying to use a negotiation to reduce the trade deficit. This week’s letter points out that the U.S. economy tanked during the Great Recession, the last time its trade deficit vastly improved.last_img read more

Clarke compares GoT season 8 with Meet the Parents

first_imgLos Angeles: Actor Emilia Clarke says she considers the upcoming eighth and final season of her hit HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’ a bit like ‘Meet the Parents’. The 2000 romantic comedy, featuring Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro and Teri Polo, is about a man meeting the parents of his girlfriend for the first time. In the upcoming eighth season, Clark’s Daenerys Targaryen arrives at Winterfell, the home of her new lover, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), where she is set to meet his sisters, Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner), and his brother Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright). Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”I like to think that it’s like ‘Meet the Parents’. It’s like: ‘I hope they like me. This dude’s wicked. It’s a real good thing we got going on. He’s the final piece. We’re destined for greatness and world domination is a breath away.’ “And so I need to be like: ‘Can I braid your hair, Sansa? Little Arya, come over here, let’s play some cricket.’ So there’s that. And then, very, very quickly, it’s like: ‘Wait, is it just me, or do they hate me?'” Clarke told Entertainment Weekly. The 32-year-old actor also said that her portrayal of the Mother of the Dragons has evolved a lot over the years. “The thing I now realise is she’s not a scared little girl anymore. So there’s less room for vulnerability or sentimentality or soft edges,” she added. The final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ premieres on April 14.last_img read more

Libya UN chief calls for concerted efforts to address grave humanitarian crisis

“Within Libya itself, the picture is especially grave,” Mr. Ban told the Cairo Conference on Libya, which he co-convened with the League of Arab States to discuss the ongoing fighting in the North African nation pitting Government forces against rebels seeking the ouster of Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi. He reported that in the cities of Misrata, Brega and Zintan, where the fighting has been particularly intense, access to basic services and basic commodities such as food, water and health care has been largely cut off.It is estimated that nearly half a million people have left Libya since the conflict began earlier this year. Many people remain stranded at camps and transit points in neighbouring countries. Mr. Ban said he intends to establish an international presence in the capital, Tripoli, as soon as possible, and that UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos may visit the city in light of the dire situation.“I have also called on all neighbouring countries to keep their borders open to receive those fleeing the conflict,” he said. “We must be careful not to allow large concentrations of refugees awaiting evacuation to build up along the border, particularly given the fragility of the situation in the region.”The fighting in Libya started out as protests against the Qadhafi regime, and is part of a broader pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East that has led to the downfall of long-standing regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. Stressing that early planning and preparations are essential, Mr. Ban said that, in tandem with its diplomatic efforts, the UN has launched a process of contingency planning to help the Libyan people rebuild their future.“We must expect this work to span the full range of peacemaking, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction,” he stated. “This complex process will require a concerted effort from the United Nations. It is essential for the international community to remain engaged and united. “We must continue to speak with one voice; we must continue to work with patience and determination in common cause on behalf of the Libyan people,” he said, echoing the comments he made to the meeting of the International Contact Group on Libya, which took place yesterday in Doha, Qatar. 14 April 2011While swift and decisive global action saved thousands of lives in Libya, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating and requires concerted efforts by the United Nations and the international community, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed today at a meeting in Egypt. read more

Commercial Vehicle Operator Show website now live

The CV Operator Show will be held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham from Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 April 2010. The event is owned by the CV Show Partnership, comprising the Road Haulage Association, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and IRTE Services Limited, the trading company of the SOE (Society of Operations Engineers).  The official website for the 2010 Commercial Vehicle Operator Show is now available and offers information about the new show, latest news and exhibitor booking information. The new show is targeted at transport operators and will provide visitors with solutions to operating problems, with a special focus on maximising efficiency and improving profit margins. For exhibitors, it will present a unique opportunity to interact in a business-to-business show and reach thousands of potential new customers over the course of the three days at the NEC. Visit the website, to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Shock and awe weve been on front line for years say women

“When you think of a soldier, most people have in their minds the image of a man carrying webbing and a radio,” says Vicki Wentworth, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.”But who do you think drives the trucks in a 25-mile Combat Logistic Patrol?” she asks. A Mastiff armoured vehicle, part of a Combat Logistic Patrol to resupply bases in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 20 July 2008. Many of the drivers were women who, like their male colleagues, often had to face minefields and enemy ambushes. Credit: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Women have served as helicopter pilots for many years and as such have been involved in every aspect of air assault operations. Photo taken on Operation Zamary Kargha, Afghanistan, 28 November 2010. Credit:Sgt Rupert Frere RLC/Ministry of Defence When you get caught in an ambush, it sure feels like the front line, I can tell youVicki Wentworth “When you get caught in an ambush, it sure feels like the front line, I can tell you.”The ban on women serving in so-called ‘close combat’ roles was controversially lifted in 2016, after an MoD research paper recommended ways to limit the risk to women of musculoskeletal injury and psychological and reproductive health issues. The paper said Ground Close Combat roles would be opened to women on a deliberate and incremental basis as the appropriate health mitigation strategies became available.  “Women offer another slant to the psychology of the battlefield and can provide reason over aggression when needed.” says Kerri Mitchell, a former Royal Green Jacket soldier prior to her transition in 2011. “The notion of a front line is outdated. The hardest part is getting past the male ego,” she adds.A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “The Naval Service is pleased to welcome the opportunity that women can serve in ground close combat roles in the Royal Marines General Service. This historic decision will ensure that we have the best people for the job, regardless of gender and based only on ability.” Women have been allowed to apply for close combat roles in the Royal Marines for the first time, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced, as veterans say the idea of a ‘front line’ in modern combat is outdated.  After preliminary fitness tests and interviews, up to 20 women are expected to undertake the gruelling 32-week training course at the commando training centre in Lympstone, Devon, next year. The recruits will train to exactly the same standards as their male colleagues and will sleep in the same dormitories, albeit with separate toilets and showers. The normal military rules of separating the male and female accommodation will be waived in the name of troop cohesion. Women have previously been allowed to attempt the nine-week commando course designed for military personnel who will be attached to 3 Commando Brigade, but this is the first time women have been offered the chance to serve as regular Royal Marines.Only three women have passed the nine-week ‘All Arms Commando course’: Major Philippa Tattersall of the army’s Adjutant General’s Corps, Jane Thorley, from the Royal Engineers and a naval officer. All combat roles in the military are to be opened up to women by the end of 2018. Women have served as helicopter pilots for many years and as such have been involved in every aspect of air assault operations. Photo taken on Operation Zamary Kargha, Afghanistan, 28 November 2010. A Mastiff armoured vehicle, part of a Combat Logistic Patrol to resupply bases in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 20 July 2008. Many of the drivers were women who, like their male colleagues, often had to face minefields and enemy ambushes.  An Army spokesperson agreed. “We are committed to giving women the same opportunities as men. Lifting this exclusion will allow us to attract and retain talented individuals from across society irrespective of gender.” However, women have for years served operationally in direct contact with the enemy; the traditional understanding of the ‘front line’. Female helicopter pilots, intelligence specialists, medics, drivers and linguists operated alongside male infantrymen throughout Britain’s recent campaigns. read more

ABB supplies GMD technology to Escondida copper mine in Chile

first_imgABB will supply a new gearless mill drive (GMD) system to Minera Escondida. The contract was awarded in June 2010 and equipment deliveries are scheduled for May 2011. This will be the fifth GMD system installed at Escondida. ABB’s deliveries will comprise an entire 15.7 MW GMD system for a 26′ ball mill, including transformers, ring motor and a complete electrical room entirely equipped. These types of drives allow the mill to start smoothly, without any mechanical stress and fulfill the customer’s requirements for flexibility and adjustability to the process, enabling maximum control over the grinding process.As of October 2002 four ABB GMD systems operate at Escondida’s site. The recently awarded system will be the fifth GMD system installed at the Laguna Seca concentrator, at an altitude of 3,200 m above sea level.Cristian Riquelme, Technical & Commercial Responsible for Large Drives Systems at ABB in Chile, stated: “Gearless mill drive systems feature numerous benefits offering superior reliability, increased process availability, extended life span and highest energy efficiency. ABB has the widest experience on this technology. In 1969, ABB commissioned the world’s first gearless machine drive, which is still operating at the Ciment Lamberg-Lafarge cement plant in Le Havre, France”.last_img read more

ThermaHelm un casque qui refroidit la boîte crânienne après un choc

first_imgThermaHelm, un casque qui refroidit la boîte crânienne après un chocGrande-Bretagne – Un casque révolutionnaire a été mis au point par le centre d’innovation de Brighton. Le ThermaHelm permet, par un mécanisme chimique, de refroidir la boîte crânienne après que le motard a reçu un choc important.Grâce à ce produit, de nombreuses morts pourront être évitées, de même que les dégâts causés par le choc sur le cerveau pourront être limités. En effet, le casque ThermaHelm est doté d’une technologie permettant le refroidissement du cerveau après un choc violent. Le casque agit comme un pack de glaçons immédiatement après un impact : deux poches dont le poids a été réduit à son maximum sont contenues dans la doublure du casque. L’une est remplie d’eau et l’autre, de nitrate d’ammonium. Lorsque le casque reçoit un choc brutal, les poches craquent et les deux produits se mélangent. Cela entraîne une réaction chimique qui provoque un refroidissement du casque, pouvant durer 45 minutes.Deux ans ont été nécessaires au centre d’innovation de Brighton pour mettre ce concept au point. Cependant, l’idée ne venait pas de ces chercheurs, mais de Jullian Preston-Powers. Ce dernier a eu l’idée de ce casque réfrigérant de façon assez anecdotique, alors qu’il jouait au basket avec un ami. Après avoir accidentellement assené un coup violent à ce dernier au niveau de la tête, quelqu’un leur a donné des glaçons afin de soulager la douleur mais la température étant insupportable pour la main de Jullian. Celui-ci a posé le sac de glaçons dans le casque de son ami : lorsque ce dernier l’a enfilé, il s’est soudainement senti soulagé. À lire aussiUne activité électrique détectée dans des mini-cerveaux développés en laboratoireLe casque ThermaHelm sera commercialisé en mai 2010 pour un prix de 299 livres (un peu plus de 330 euros). D’autres versions devraient être mises en vente plus tard, notamment un casque avec GPS, des caméras ainsi qu’un système bluetooth intégré courant juillet.Voir les images du ThermaHelm : 17 janvier 2010 à 12:11 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Agents of SHIELD shows us what happens when the lights go out

first_img MCU News: Donald Glover’s Role, a Chris Stays On, & Ms. Marvel UpdatesJessica Jones Gets Another Round, Agent Coulson Returns & More MCU News After more than two seasons of operating off the grid, it’s finally time for S.H.I.E.L.D. to come out of the shadows. And hey, as long as they’re going public, why not give them some literal shadows to come out of? The third episode of this season revolves around massive blackouts in major cities across the country.The first one happens in Miami, where Yo-Yo is attending her friend’s bachelorette party. Her friend initially jokes about there being no more blended drinks, but the situation proves much worse as a helicopter crashes into a building. Yeah, we already know we’re not going to like this person.Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, we learn that a group that calls themselves “The Inhuman Resistance” is taking responsibility for the blackouts and is demanding the Inhuman registry be destroyed. There’s also a senator, Rota Nadeer, stirring up fear of Inhumans on the news. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with Marvel’s stories knows actual Inhumans aren’t behind this. Fortunately, so does S.H.I.E.L.D. Mack, Fitz, and Coulson are sent to Miami to investigate the source of the EMP attack and determine whether it was caused by an Inhuman or not.Mack (Henry Simmons, Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), and Coulson (Clark Gregg) save the day with science! (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)Fitz brings along all his high-tech detection gear, but as soon the team arrives in Miami, he discovers that the blackout is caused by a series of EMP pulses, not just one. None of his gear will work, so he has to break out the slide rule. Back at the party, an armed militia has stormed the building looking for an Inhuman. Yo-Yo uses her superspeed to steal a couple members’ guns but is caught by her “friend” who rats her out. Told you we weren’t going to like this person.Fortunately, just as Yo-Yo is about to get shot, Coulson, Mack and Fitz crash the party. It appears Marvel’s Netflix series have taught them how to direct action for TV because this season has really stepped up the quality of the fight scenes. After a fun beatdown, Fitz makes compasses out of wine corks and needles, using them to find the source of the EMP pulses. This was really a great episode for saving the day with old-school basic science. Who wants to bet there’s an elementary school science teacher out there already planning to use this episode in class?They find the origin of the pulses, which as we all guessed was a giant EMP emitter and not an Inhuman. Fitz shuts it down, just before the president decides to send troops into the blackout zones. Some damage is already done. People fear Inhumans more than ever. Coulson convinces Director Mace to go public as soon as possible to mitigate some of that damage.Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Radcliffe (John Hannah) try to save Agent May (Ming-Na Wen). (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)While all this is going on, Simmons notices that Agent May, in a facility in Upstate New York, is getting worse. Her blood pressure is rising rapidly, and when the Chinese gangster with the same condition dies, Simmons knows they don’t have much time. She takes May to Radcliffe and together, they discover that exposure to the ghostly figures from episodes past infects the fear center of the brain. It keeps the victim in a permanent state of fight or flight and essentially scares them to death. With May’s time running out, Radcliffe recommends killing May and bringing her back just as her brain is about to shut down. Essentially rebooting her like you would a computer.With no other options, Simmons agrees and stands by with a defibrillator. There is a surprisingly tense moment where just as they’re about to bring May back, the EMP blackout hits Radcliffe’s home. Simmons desperately performs CPR, but it doesn’t appear to be working. Obviously, we know the show wouldn’t kill May, but the scene is so well-directed that for a moment we forget that. It really does seem hopeless. That is until Radcliffe remembers that his powered-down Life Model Decoy, Aida has a shielded power source. He uses it to get the defibrillator working again, and May comes back to life, seemingly all better.There wasn’t a whole lot of Ghost Rider in this episode. Daisy and Robbie have some good moments, but the fiery skull didn’t show up this time around. When the blackouts hit L.A., they drive off to make sure Robbie’s little brother, Gabe is safe. Fortunately, Robbie’s car being “pre-1980” is not affected by the EMP pulse. Being partially powered by the fires of Hell might also have something to do with it, but that isn’t brought up.Don’t touch Robbie Reyes’s (Gabriel Luna) car. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)They find Gabe about to be attacked by some criminals looking to take advantage of the blackout and fight them off. Daisy’s arm is in a bad way, though, and when she uses her powers to save Gabe from one of the criminals, her arm snaps. After she doesn’t want to go to the hospital, Gabe figures out who she is and tells her to stay away from her big brother. That’s about all we get from Daisy’s storyline.Although Ghost Rider wasn’t really in this episode, it turned out to be a good thing. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. proved that it could still produce a compelling episode without him. Even though the blackout plot didn’t really move the overall story forward, it still made for a fun episode of the show and drove up the tension in scenes that wouldn’t have otherwise had it.We also met Senator Nadeer, who we learn wants to kill Inhumans, blaming them for the death of her brother in the Terragenesis incident last season. Whether she has another goal beyond that isn’t certain, but for now, she’s doing everything she can to whip up fear of Inhumans in the general population. Have you noticed a lot of superhero shows this season feature a political figure convincing the public to hate people who are somehow different from them? Weird, right? Stay on targetlast_img read more

Joof Named Gambias Volleyball Youth Team Gaffer

first_imgBy Muhammed Lamin SaidykhanAlhagie Babou Joof has been named as the head coach of the country’s youth indoor volleyball team.Joof, who once served as Gambia’s beach volleyball team gaffer, is picked to fill the void as the nation prepares to host the zone II boys’ Africa Youth Games elimination round in Banjul in April.The Serekunda East Dream Project Centre coach had already called up his provisional list of players for the qualifiers.Babou Joof, dubbed ”Anelka”, had guided Gambia in series of youth events in the past. In 2015, he won gold and bronze for the female side and clutched silver for the male outfit leading to qualification to the All Africa Games.Holding a level 2 international coaching certificate, Babou also spurred the country to the finals of the Continental Cup two years ago. He will be assisted by Saikou Omar Bargie of Gambia Armed Forces.last_img read more

CTran supporters rally for Prop 1

first_imgThe campaign hasn’t officially kicked off yet, but supporters of a proposed sales tax increase on the ballot this November didn’t miss the chance to reach a captive audience Saturday.As riders stepped off C-Tran shuttle buses to the Clark County Fair, they were greeted by a small rally in favor of Proposition 1 — a 0.2 percentage point bump in the sales tax to preserve basic bus service. C-Tran officials have said the transit agency would have to cut service by about 35 percent if the measure fails. Those cutbacks would mean eliminating more than a dozen bus routes, plus service to special events like the fair.“This is just one of those services where people who don’t ride the bus all the time can see the benefit,” said Heather Stuart, treasurer of Keep Clark County Moving, a political action committee campaigning in favor of Proposition 1.The measure would raise C-Tran’s current 0.5 percent sales tax to 0.7 percent. That would translate to an extra 2 cents on every $10 purchase for consumers, collecting an estimated $8 million to $9 million more annually for C-Tran. The agency has said it now spends about $6 million in reserves for annual operations, and would run out of those funds in 2013 without a successful vote.Stuart said supporters plan to wait until after Tuesday’s primary election to formally kick off their November campaign. But Keep Clark County Moving has been fundraising, collecting more than $60,000 since forming early this year. It has spent almost $29,000, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.last_img read more

Mugens popularity takes toll over his outbursts to be eliminated from Bigg

first_imgWhile Abhirami has failed to entertain the viewers, Losliya, who had won the hearts of youths in the early weeks, has lost a sizeable fan base after failing to take a stand on crucial issue in Bigg Boss Tamil 3. Further, her teaming up with Kavin backfired her to some extent.Kavin’s disrespectful comments on Kasturi and his overall behaviour have come under scrutiny. Mugen Rao to be out of Bigg Boss Tamil 3 house in its eighth week?PR HandoutMugen seems to be paying a heavy price for his repeated outbursts in the last two weeks in Bigg Boss Tamil 3 house as people want to see his eviction. From being a favourite contestant, his popularity has witnessed a sudden dip after his cool during a heated argument with Abhirami Venkatachalam, who was expected to be out of the house at the start of this week.In a poll conducted by the International Business Times over this week’s elimination, Mugen has got the highest number of votes for eviction as he received 27.94 percent of votes from our readers. He had received least number of votes in the first few days, but people’s perception on him changed within a matter of hours after he tried to throw the chair during the argument with Abhirami.Madhumitha, who hogged the limelight in the last two episodes with her arguments with the boys’ gang, is in the second place. She has got 20.34 percent of votes, while 19.12 percent of people want to see Abhirami’s eviction. Losliya and Kavin have got 16.33 and 16.26 percent of votes, respectively.Looking at the votes, one gets an impression that there is a tough battle among five contestants over this week’s elimination as the votes have clearly divided among the inmates. Although this poll predicts Mugen’s eviction, there is a high chance of one among Abhirami, Losliya and Kavin being evicted from Kamal Haasan-hosted show. Have your say in the pollWho do you want to evict from Bigg Boss Tamil 3 in week 8? 1. Mugen 27.94% 2. Madhumitha 20.34% 3. Abhirami 19.12% 4. Losliya 16.33% 5. Kavin 16.26%last_img read more

Montgomery County Commissioners Endorse Property Tax Relief Bill

first_img X Listen Andrew SchneiderFrom left to right: State Sen. Brandon Creighton, State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner James Noack, Lieutenant Governor Dan PatrickMontgomery County Commissioners Court has unanimously endorsed a state bill to limit the growth of property taxes. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and State Senator Paul Bettencourt, the bill’s author, announced the news at Bettencourt’s Houston office.The bill (SB 2) would require local governments to get voter approval to raise property taxes by more than 4 percent. The current cap is 8 percent. The senator says it’s significant that one of the state’s largest counties is on board with the effort.“The 11th-largest county is basically setting the path for the top ten counties to recognize that we need property tax relief,” Bettencourt says. “We need it now.”Montgomery County is effectively breaking ranks with the Texas Association of Counties, which has come out against the bill. The group says SB 2 could starve local governments of the funds they need to provide critical services, such as law enforcement and flood control.There’s also a dispute about the math supporting the bill. According to a study prepared by Senator Bettencourt’s select committee, property tax bills are growing two-and-a-half times faster than household income. The Texas Association of Counties and The Dallas Morning News say the study relies on misleading statistics. Bettencourt says it’s the critics who are using “faulty” data.US Census Bureau / Tax Fou To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:06 Sharelast_img read more

Scientists achieve perfect efficiency for watersplitting halfreaction

first_imgUnder visible light illumination, the nanoscale photocatalysts perform the water-splitting reduction half-reaction with 100% efficiency. Credit: Lilac Amirav, Technion-Israel Institue of Technology The researchers, Philip Kalisman, Yifat Nakibli, and Lilac Amirav at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, have published a paper on the perfect efficiency for the water reduction half-reaction in a recent issue of Nano Letters.”I strongly believe that the search for clean and renewable energy sources is crucial,” Amirav told “With the looming energy crisis on one hand, and environmental aspects, mainly global warming, on the other, I think this is our duty to try and amend the problem for the next generation. “Our work shows that it is possible to obtain a perfect 100% photon-to-hydrogen production efficiency, under visible light illumination, for the photocatalytic water splitting reduction half-reaction. These results shatter the previous benchmarks for all systems, and leave little to no room for improvement for this particular half-reaction. With a stable system and a turnover frequency of 360,000 moles of hydrogen per hour per mole of catalyst, the potential here is real.”When an H2O molecule splits apart, the three atoms don’t simply separate from each other. The full reaction requires two H2O molecules to begin with, and then proceeds by two separate half-reactions. In the oxidation half-reaction, four individual hydrogen atoms are produced along with an O2 molecule (which is discarded). In the reduction half-reaction, the four hydrogen atoms are paired up into two H2 molecules by adding electrons, which produces the useful form of hydrogen: H2 gas. (Left) Transmission electron microscope images of the nanorod photocatalysts with (a) one and (b) two platinum tips. (Right) A comparison of the efficiencies shows the advantage of using a single platinum tip. Credit: Kalisman, et al. ©2016 American Chemical Society Journal information: Nano Letters (—Splitting water is a two-step process, and in a new study, researchers have performed one of these steps (reduction) with 100% efficiency. The results shatter the previous record of 60% for hydrogen production with visible light, and emphasize that future research should focus on the other step (oxidation) in order to realize practical overall water splitting. The main application of splitting water into its components of oxygen and hydrogen is that the hydrogen can then be used to deliver energy to fuel cells for powering vehicles and electronic devices. Explore further In the new study, the researchers showed that the reduction half-reaction can be achieved with perfect efficiency on specially designed 50-nm-long nanorods placed in a water-based solution under visible light illumination. The light supplies the energy required to drive the reaction forward, with the nanorods acting as photocatalysts by absorbing the photons and in turn releasing electrons needed for the reaction. Citation: Scientists achieve perfect efficiency for water-splitting half-reaction (2016, February 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Clean energy from water © 2016 The 100% efficiency refers to the photon-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency, and it means that virtually all of the photons that reach the photocatalyst generate an electron, and every two electrons produce one H2 molecule. At 100% yield, the half-reaction produces about 100 H2 molecules per second (or one every 10 milliseconds) on each nanorod, and a typical sample contains about 600 trillion nanorods.One of the keys to achieving the perfect efficiency was identifying the bottleneck of the process, which was the need to quickly separate the electrons and holes (the vacant places in the semiconductor left after the electrons leave), and remove the holes from the photocatalyst. To improve the charge separation, the researchers redesigned the nanorods to have just one platinum catalyst instead of two. The researchers found that the efficiency increased from 58.5% with two platinum catalysts to 100% with only one.Going forward, the researchers plan to further improve the system. The current demonstration requires a very high pH, but such strong basic conditions are not always ideal in practice. Another concern is that the cadmium sulfide (CdS) used in the nanorod becomes corroded under prolonged light exposure in pure water. The researchers are already addressing these challenges with the goal to realize practical solar-to-fuel technology in the future.”We hope to implement our design rules, experience and accumulated insights for the construction of a system capable of overall water splitting and genuine solar-to-fuel energy conversion,” Amirav said. “The photocatalytic hydrogen generation presented here is not yet genuine solar-to-fuel energy conversion, as hole scavengers are still required. CdS is unfortunately not suitable for overall water splitting since prolonged irradiation of its suspensions leads to photocorrosion. We have recently demonstrated some breakthrough on this direction as well. The addition of a second co-catalyst, such as IrO2 or Ru, which can scavenge the holes from the semiconductor and mediate their transfer to water, affords CdS-based structures the desired photochemical stability. I believe this is an important milestone.” More information: Philip Kalisman, et al. “Perfect Photon-to-Hydrogen Conversion Efficiency.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b04813 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

From times immemorial

first_imgIndia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) took another step to celebrate its glorious past by unveiling – The Ashok – Capital Icon, a coffee table book at The Ashok in the Capital. Compiled as a chronicle, the book was released by Shripad Naik, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture who took special pride in unveiling the book. Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sameer Sharma, Managing Director, ITDC were present at the ocassion. People from the Ministry of Tourism, other government departments and stakeholders from Travel and Hospitality sector also marked their presence. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Speaking on the occasion, Sameer Sharma said, ‘This is a proud moment for us to revisit all those cherished moments of our glorious history and share them with all of you as priceless treasures.’The book is written by veteran travel writers Hugh and Colleen Gantzer. The book captures the history of the The Ashok from the time of its conceptualisation in the 1955 to the present day. The hard bound compilation captures and at the same time refreshes the timeless moments from the independence era through 500 photographs illustrated in more than 275 pages.   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe compilation starts from the distant age of the massive supercontinent Gondwanaland, on the far shore of the prehistoric Tethys weaving through the Mughals and the British eras. The book also talks about the post independence period and the origin of The Ashok. ‘The authors have spent a very long period to encompass the vast history of this rich heritage and its each milestone in one chronicle -The Ashok,’ says ITDC.last_img read more

Lab terms samples unfit for testing says CID report

first_imgKolkata: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has submitted its report to the Alipore Court on Wednesday in connection with the carcass meat row, highlighting that the central laboratory has stated that most of the samples were unfit for testing.CID had sent samples of the carcass meat to the laboratory for testing a few months ago. After going through the samples, the laboratory authorities clearly wrote to the investigating agency, that “the meat is unfit for carrying out test and the stale samples did not even look edible.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSources said that the CID has highlighted the findings of the laboratory in its report and stated that the samples of the meat were not fit for testing. Later, an officer raised the question “how can the meat, which is unfit for test, be treated as fit for human consumption?”It may be recalled that it was April 19 when the carcass meat case came to light, when local people beat up two youths and handed them over to the police after they were caught chopping off flesh from dead animals dumped in Budge Budge dump yard. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedA case was initiated with Budge Budge police station. Later, CID took up the case and initiated a probe in this connection.Five persons who were arrested in this connection, pleaded for bail before the court on Wednesday. But their pleas were rejected and they were remanded in judicial custody. It may be recalled that the state government has set up a high powered committee to evolve a foolproof mechanism for bringing an end to the menace of selling carcass meat. The committee is headed by Chief Secretary Malay De and Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya, while Commissioner of Kolkata Police Rajeev Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary of Panchayat and Rural Development department and Principal Secretaries of Health department, Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department, Food and Supplies department and Animal Resources Development (ARD) department are members of the committee.After its first meeting, the committee had recommended allowing police, health department officials and civic bodies to carry out raids, to ensure that no stale food and carcass meat is sold at any place.last_img read more

Chocolates chewing gums may harm your digestive system

first_imgA common food additive found in chewing gums, chocolates and breads may significantly reduce the ability of small intestine cells to absorb nutrients and block pathogens, a new study has warned.”Titanium oxide is a common food additive and people have been eating a lot of it for a long time, but we were interested in some of the subtle effects, and we think people should know about them,” said Gretchen Mahler, a professor at the Binghamton University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”There has been previous work on how titanium oxide nanoparticles affects microvilli, but we are looking at much lower concentrations,” Mahler said.”We also extended previous work to show that these nanoparticles alter intestinal function,” she said.Titanium dioxide is generally recognised as safe by the US Food and Drug administration and ingestion is nearly unavoidable. The compound is an inert and insoluble material that is commonly used for white pigmentation in paints, paper and plastics. It is also an active ingredient in mineral-based sunscreens for pigmentation to block ultraviolet light. However, it can enter the digestive system through toothpastes, as titanium dioxide is used to create abrasion needed for cleaning. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe oxide is also used in some chocolate to give it a smooth texture; in donuts to provide colour; and in skimmed milks for a brighter, more opaque appearance which makes the milk more palatable. A previous study had tested 89 common food products including gum, Twinkies, and mayonnaise and found that they all contained titanium dioxide.About five per cent of products in that study contained titanium dioxide as nanoparticles.”To avoid foods rich in titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid processed foods, and especially candy. That is where you see a lot of nanoparticles,” Mahler said. Researchers exposed a small intestinal cell culture model to the physiological equivalent of a meal’s worth of titanium oxide nanoparticles – 30 nanometres across – over four hours (acute exposure), or three meal’s worth over five days (chronic exposure). Acute exposures did not have much effect, but chronic exposure diminished the absorptive projections on the surface of intestinal cells called microvilli.With fewer microvilli, the intestinal barrier was weakened, metabolism slowed and some nutrients – iron, zinc, and fatty acids, specifically – were more difficult to absorb.Enzyme functions were negatively affected, while inflammation signals increased.The study was published in the journal NanoImpact.last_img read more

PHOTOS Esquipulas II – 5 presidents who came together to choose their

first_imgIn a novel – and seemingly successful – approach, the local political leadership provided every pair of returning Contras, called “desalzados,” with a fishing net (a venture funded by donations from the government of Norway). The idea was to give the returning youth a means of employment and a way to reintegrate into the life of their community. Many, it seemed, had joined the Contras because it provided a way out of unemployment, and they were each given a backpack!The desalzados, mostly young men in their late teens, told of being led into the bush and then mostly abandoned by their commanders. “Sometimes we eat, sometimes we don’t eat,” said one young man to me. They had very little direction and often turned to staging raids on their own communities in order to get needed provisions. Many kept secretly in touch with their families when they could; others had no contact and now returned to parents who had not known if they were still alive. All of them seemed, at least at this moment, glad to have put this portion of their lives behind them. However, none returned with weapons. Many may never have had one. Others, one local resident told me, “probably buried them somewhere, just in case they want to go back.”It was a turning point in the Contra war in many ways. Although later that month, I was to travel through one of the largest Contra offensives to date on the Rama Road, overall, the exposure of the Iran-Contra Affair in 1986, combined with international recognition of corruption within the leadership and human rights abuses by Contras hastened the decline the Contras as a military force. In 1990, it was an electoral defeat – not a military one – that unseated the Sandinistas from power. The February 1990 loss for Daniel Ortega came in the wake of years of a harsh economic embargo by the United States combined with a U.S. military invasion of Panama in December 1989, which further cut off the flow of consumer goods to the starved Nicaraguan economy. Sandinista soldiers taking a break in the town of Haulover, Nicaragua. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell)Today, 35 years after the Sandinista victory on July 19, 1979, Daniel Ortega is again president of Nicaragua. But both Ortega and the country he governs have changed a great deal since the hopeful days of August 1987, when the five Central American presidents joined together to thumb their noses at a U.S. president and seek to solve their own issues in their own way.*Norman Stockwell is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. He also serves as operations coordinator for WORT-FM Community Radio. Stockwell has reported from numerous countries in Latin America, including interviews on Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast with Contras surrendering to take amnesty under the 1987 Esquipulas Accords. Read his excellent story marking the 30th anniversary of the La Penca bombing here. Read the original U.N. document entitled “Procedure for the establishment of a firm and lasting peace in Central America,” signed by the presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaraqua on Aug. 7, 1987, here. Following are more of Norman Stockwell’s photos from that era: Two Sandinista soldiers on patrol in the community of La Fe, Nicaragua. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell) Taking advantage of a quiet moment in Orinoco, Nicaragua. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell) Peter Martínez, regional political officer, meets with member of the local Peace Commission in Haulover as Sandinista officer looks on. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell) A young man recounts his story of serving with Contra forces. He was too shy of the video camera to come outside. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell) Peter Martínez, regional political officer, meets with members of the local Peace Commission in Haulover. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell) Young men recount their stories as community members listen in. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell) A young man, back at his home, is congratulated by a member of the local Peace Commission. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell) Another young man is welcomed back into the community by local Peace Commission members. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell) Local Peace Commission members explain the gift of the fishing net to the two returning Contras. The net was to be used to help them start a business. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell) Related posts:Is the sword still the enemy of freedom? Did we forget the lesson the ‘Greatest Generation’ fought so hard to learn? Remembering La Penca, 30 years later For Central America’s migrant women, life can change in a second On Aug. 7, 1987, five Central American presidents signed a peace accord known as Esquipulas II, named after the city in Guatemala where the first round of meetings had taken place the previous year. The accord, signed by Costa Rica’sÓscar Arias, Guatemala’s Vinicio Cerezo, El Salvador’s José Napoleón Duarte, Honduras’ José Azcona and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, included a number of provisions for cooperation between the five countries, and most notably, it called for an end to support for “irregular forces” by all of the signatories. This provision was aimed at ending the Contra war in Nicaragua, and included an offer of amnesty to those Nicaraguan Contra fighters who chose to lay down their arms and reintegrate into society.This groundbreaking document was later used as a basis for other peace agreements in the region. The process was also important because the U.S. government, the main funder of the Contra forces, was actually pushed out of the negotiations and had little influence over their outcome. Peace Commission member posting amnesty sign in bush outside Tasbapauni, Nicaragua. (Courtesy of Norman Stockwell)In October of that year, a small group of us traveled by panga (small motorized boats) up Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast to interview Contras who were surrendering and returning to their communities. We traveled from Bluefields to the coastal towns of Haulover, Pearl Lagoon (Laguna de Perlas), Brown Bank, La Fe, Orinoco and Tasbapauni, in each location meeting with members of local Peace Commissions and Sandinista military and political officials. In some areas we accompanied local residents as they affixed posters to trees in the surrounding bush areas that proclaimed “amnistía” and showed a photo of the five presidents at the signing ceremony of Esquipulas II in Guatemala City.I carried two Pentax K1000 cameras (one with black-and-white film, one color) and an old, brown Marantz PMD200 cassette recorder. But my load was light compared to the Bluefields regional TV crew with their Sony 3-tube analog video camera, 3/4” tape deck, tripod, cables and mics. We spent nights bunking with Sandinista patrols and sharing their scant provisions. A short video from that trip can be found on YouTube:center_img Facebook Commentslast_img read more

RitzCarlton designing hotels for the future luxury traveller

first_imgRitz-Carlton designing hotels for the future luxury travellerOver the course of the last decade, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has opened the doors to more than 50 new, renovated or refurbished luxury hotels in its growing global portfolio. Spectacular properties in Tianjin and Macau brought the luxury brand’s number of hotels in China to eleven; the opulent Ritz-Carlton hotels in Almaty, Herzliya and Bangalore marked the brand’s entry into Israel, Kazakhstan and India; and the barefoot luxury experiences in Dorado Beach and Bali were milestones in casually chic and elegant design execution, driven by extensive global customer research.Since 2004 The Ritz-Carlton design team has produced specifications for one individually designed and curated hotel after the next. High-style and contemporary design exudes in Kyoto,  Wolfsburg and Barcelona. Tasteful conversions of spectacular former palaces in Vienna, Muscat and Riyadh, and transformations of protected buildings in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Georgetown near Washington DC in a new era of converted and preserved heritage spaces.As The Ritz-Carlton embarks upon the development of an additional 30 hotels within the next three years, the brands design philosophy has evolved to now represent a diverse and varied collection of beautiful local and culturally relevant hotel and resort environments “Each new project gives us an opportunity to create the best hotel within its locale that provides a true sense of place. Consideration is given to the market needs and how we can best create a hotel that will be a signature property within the group” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operations Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.According to Humler, while most new builds tend to be more contemporary with modern interpretations of elegance, two recent hotel openings are in total contrast. “The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canalis classical in design. The hotel is situated adjacent to the statuesque Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, so the façade and interiors have been designed to respect and complement the area. Inspired by 15th to early 17th century Renaissance architecture and the urban planning of the city of Venice, the hotel is located at the waterfront and consists of ten stately buildings arranged in a crescent formation.”Conversely, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is located on the cherished island of Puerto Rico. The resort is an intimate retreat offering a true sense of barefoot elegance, blending Laurance Rockefeller’s novel environmental design philosophies and modern yet minimal décor. Created as an open-air enclave, infused with references to the surrounding natural landscape and diverse culture, thepower of the great outdoors weaves its magic on interior comfort.Drawing on themes of local relevance, The Ritz-Carlton adopts design strategies to enhance the brand image in an increasingly global marketplace. The company philosophy is to design hotels that are casually elegant, with the occasional classical influence as appropriate. Where there are multiple hotels in one city, the preference is to provide diverse physical products and contrasting styles. “Our company design standards are the blueprint from which we establish engineering infrastructure, operational requirements, safety regulations and room sizes – however they do not drive the character of a hotel. We do not work to one design mold, but rather allow the process to be destination and customer focused as we grow into many new international locations.” Stay at The Ritz-CarltonSource = The Ritz-Carltonlast_img read more

March 14 2003 Roger Tomalty part of the Cosanti

first_imgMarch 14, 2003Roger Tomalty, part of the Cosanti Foundation since 1970, has been involved at many levels over the past 33 years. He managed the construction of the Ceramics Apse and the Foundry Apse Complex and since Paolo Soleri’s development of the ‘2 Suns Concept’ and ‘Energy Apron Concept’ has done research and planning of the large scale greenhouse. Currently most of Rogers time is spent in education, Elderhostel and tours. This photo was taken in 1970 in the draftingroom/modelshop in the Pumpkin Apse – Barrel Vaults Complex at Cosanti. [Photo: cf & Text: sa] As part of the seminar week for each workshop, Roger Tomalty discusses the basic concept of integrating intensive food production into the Arcosanti prototype in the form of a 10 acre south facing sloping greenhouse. By incorporating the greenhouse ‘energy apron’ Arcosanti will demonstrate not only a compact urban alternative to suburban sprawl but the complexification and miniturization of agriculture as well. [Photo & Text: sa] Tomalty stresses the thought and design processes that have gone into the research and development of the greenhouse model and the importance of demonstrating the integration of food, energy and housing, given the environmental stresses the planet now faces. [Photo & Text: sa]last_img read more