first_imgNicolas MaduroPresident Nicolas Maduro’s government won a landslide victory in closely watched regional elections in Venezuela on Sunday, according to official results that the opposition said were “suspicious.”Maduro’s socialist party won governorships of 17 of the 23 states with the opposition Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD) coalition taking only five, according to the results announced by the National Elections Council.The official turnout was 61.14 percent.Maduro said his government had scored an “emphatic victory” over its rivals.”The opposition has five,” Maduro underscored in a speech to supporters, adding that his party could win one further state where the results were still in dispute.Public opinion surveys had predicted that the opposition would win a majority of state governorships despite alleged government dirty tricks to suppress a high turnout.Sunday’s vote came against the backdrop of an International Monetary Fund report in which it sees Venezuela’s economic downturn, and the suffering of its population, continuing.Venezuela “remains in a full-blown economic, humanitarian, and political crisis with no end in sight,” the Fund said in a report on Latin American economies.International powers accuse Maduro of dismantling democracy by taking over state institutions in the wake of an economic collapse caused by a fall in the price of oil, its main source of revenue.Sunday’s polls were the first contested by the opposition since legislative elections in 2015 that gave it a majority in the National Assembly.The MUD has seen Maduro’s hand strengthened after he faced down four months of protests that killed 125 people, forming a Constituent Assembly packed with his own allies and wresting legislative power from the opposition-dominated National Assembly.For Maduro, the polls were an opportunity to counter allegations of dictatorship leveled at him at home and abroad after forming the Constituent Assembly.last_img read more

first_imgSatellite image of the Indus River basin in Pakistan and India Photo Credit : WikipediaIndian and Pakistani officials will discuss in New Delhi on Thursday and Friday the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), established under the Indus Waters Treaty.The PIC is mandated to establish and maintain cooperative arrangements for the implementation of the treaty and to promote cooperation between the two sides in developing the Indus water systems.The 113th meeting of the Commission was held in Pakistan in March last year. The 114th meeting in New Delhi will cover technical grounds.Pakistan has been protesting over the design and construction of two projects – the 330 MW Kishanganga hydroelectric project and the 850 MW Ratle hydroelectric project – by India on the tributaries of the Indus in Jammu and Kashmir.The Indus Waters Treaty was signed in 1960 and involves six rivers: the Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.Brokered by the World Bank, the treaty gave the right to use waters of the first three rivers to India and of the other three rivers to Pakistan.India has said it has the right under the treaty to set up hydropower plants on the tributaries of the rivers flowing through its territory. Pakistan fears this might reduce the water flow into its territory.last_img read more

first_imgMap of Tunisia locating the city of Sfax and Kerkennah island, close to where the bodies of many migrants were recovered on Sunday. AFPThe bodies of 11 migrants have been recovered and 67 others rescued after their boat began sinking off Tunisia’s southern coast, the interior ministry said Sunday.Those rescued from the fishing vessel off the coast of southern Sfax province included “Tunisians and foreigners”, it said citing an initial toll.The Tunisian national guard and navy units found the ship about 30 kilometres off shore after receiving a distress call at around midnight on Saturday.The ministry said search operations, with the help of military aircraft and divers, were ongoing.Tunisians and migrants regularly try to cross the Mediterranean to seek a better future in Europe, but departures peaked last September.According to NGOs, the uptick reflected frustration among young people hard hit by unemployment.In October, a collision between a migrant boat and a Tunisian military ship left at least 44 dead, in what prime minister Youssef Chahed called a “national disaster”.last_img read more

first_imgWoman shops in a supermarket in Doha. Photo: ReutersThe government of Qatar took the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations’ International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday, accusing it of human rights violations as a result of a boycott enacted last year.The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar in June 2017, severing diplomatic and transport ties with the tiny, rich state, accusing it of supporting terrorism.Doha denies that and says the pressure is aimed at stripping it of its sovereignty.“As set forth in detail in Qatar’s application to the International Court, the UAE led these actions, which have had a devastating effect on the human rights of Qataris and residents of Qatar,” the government said in a statement.UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, in a post on Twitter, dismissed the claims as another of Doha’s “lies.”The Qatari government said the UAE enacted a series of measures that discriminate against Qataris, including expelling them from the UAE, prohibiting them from entering or passing through the UAE, ordering UAE nationals to leave Qatar, and closing UAE airspace and seaports to Qatar.Qatar said it believed the actions were in violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) – including discrimination on the basis of nationality – of which the UAE and Qatar are both signatories.Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are not signatories of the CERD convention.The complaint filed by Qatar late on Monday, accuses the United Arab Emirates of discriminating against Qataris in UAE by limiting their freedom of speech and movement, inciting hatred against them, shutting down local offices of Qatar’s state-funded Al Jazeera television station and blocking transmission of Qatari media outlets.Qatar is asking the court to order the UAE to take steps to comply with its obligations under the CERD, ceasing and revoking the measures and restoring the rights of Qataris.It also requested that the UAE make reparations, including compensation, but provided no details of the amount it might be seeking.The court’s registry confirmed late on Monday it received the complaint, the first step in a dispute which the court may hear. The court typically solicits opinions from both sides as to whether it has jurisdiction before considering the merits of a case, a process that often takes years.last_img read more

first_imgLocation of Burkina Faso. Photo: Google MapAt least nine civilians have been killed in twin attacks in eastern Burkina Faso, a poor West African country where jihadists have been gaining ground in recent months, local authorities said Saturday.“Two terror attacks were carried out in the villages of Diabiga and Kompienbiga” overnight Friday in eastern Kompienga province, the regional governor said in an earlier statement.An unnamed security source told AFP that one of the attacks had targeted the home of a Islamic religious leader and other Muslims.“Five people including the leader were killed,” he said, adding that three others were injured on the attack on the house which is next to a mosque.One of the injured later succumbed to their wounds.Meanwhile, “three people belonging to the same family were killed and another two injured by suspected jihadists on mopeds,” according to another security source.Since 2015, Burkina Faso has battled increased Islamist violence of the sort that plagues neighbouring Mali and Niger, and experts say the recent surge is likely the result of pressure on jihadist insurgents there.The capital Ouagadougou has been hit by three attacks over the past two years leaving a total of 60 people dead.Last week Burkinabe president Roch Marc Christian Kabore promised new security measures “to eradicate the scourge of terrorism”.last_img read more

first_imgUS Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks outside the US Supreme Court during a vigil in opposition to US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in Washington, US on 3 October 2016. Photo: ReutersThe FBI’s report on sexual misconduct allegations against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh neared completion late on Wednesday as the battle over his selection by president Donald Trump approached a new turning point.The Senate was expected to receive the report by early on Thursday two sources familiar with the matter said. Senators were to be granted access to review it during the day on Thursday.While the report’s conclusions were as yet unknown, there was already a partisan battle over it as Trump and the Senate Republican leadership battled to corral enough support for a majority vote for Kavanaugh in the days ahead.Democrats were in near unanimity against Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court judge.US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set up a procedural vote for as early as Friday on the Kavanaugh nomination.McConnell, a Republican, filed a petition for a so-called cloture vote, which if successful would limit debate on the Kavanaugh nomination and start the clock ticking on a final 30-hour waiting period before the Senate could vote to confirm the nominee.After filing a cloture petition, lawmakers must wait one legislative day before proceeding to the cloture vote, according to Senate rules. That means a cloture vote could come on Friday morning at the soonest.“It’s time to put this sickening display behind us,” McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor earlier in the day. “The Senate will vote on this nomination this week.”Several people with information related to allegations against Kavanaugh told Reuters they had not heard from the FBI, suggesting its report may be narrower than was desired by some of the lawmakers who demanded it just days ago.Christine Blasey Ford, a college professor from California who accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her in 1982 when they were high school students, has not been contacted by the FBI, her attorneys said.As Senate Republican leaders marched toward a final vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, perhaps over the weekend, the three Republicans who could be key to whether Kavanaugh is confirmed – Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski -criticized Trump for his remarks about Ford at a political rally in Mississippi on Tuesday.Ford, who testified last week at an extraordinary Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, said she could not remember the precise date or location of the alleged assault or how she got home later, but offered a detailed account of the incident.She said a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her down, tried to remove her clothing and covered her mouth when she screamed.Imitating Ford’s testimony, Trump, who was himself accused during the 2016 presidential race of sexual misconduct with numerous women, said: “What neighborhood was it in? I don’t know. Where’s the house? I don’t know. Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? I don’t know. But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember.”“And a man’s life is in tatters,” Trump added.Flake told NBC’s “Today” show that “there’s no time and no place for remarks like that, that discuss something this sensitive at a political rally … It’s kind of appalling.”Collins told reporters: “The president’s comments were just plain wrong.” She did not respond when asked if his comments would affect her vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.Asked whether Trump’s comments would affect her vote, Murkowski told reporters: “I am taking everything into account. The president’s comments yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate and, in my view, unacceptable.”A day after the hearing, Trump had called Ford “a very credible witness” who provided “very compelling” testimony.Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s accusation as well as allegations by two other women, all dating from the 1980s, while accusing Democrats of a political “hit.”‘Clearly a reason’Flake was instrumental last Friday in getting Trump to order an FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, nominated by Trump for a lifetime job on the top US court.Trump limited the investigation to no more than a week.Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, complained in an interview with Reuters that the White House had not responded to requests for documents detailing its instructions to the FBI about the scope of its investigation of Kavanaugh.“There’s clearly a reason for that and I assume the administration doesn’t want members of Congress and the public to see it,” Durbin said.It was not immediately clear whether the FBI report, which will be made available to senators, would be released to the public.Trump’s fellow Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin. If all the Democrats oppose Kavanaugh, Trump cannot afford to lose the support of more than one Republican for his nominee, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tiebreaking vote. No Republicans have said they will vote against Kavanaugh.Opposition among Americans to Kavanaugh has increased since last week’s hearing, Reuters/Ipsos polling data showed on Wednesday.In the latest seven-day average in a survey of 4,057 US adults, 41 per cent of respondents opposed Kavanaugh, 33 per cent supported him and 26 per cent said they did not know. Opposition to Kavanaugh grew 4 percentage points after the hearing, apparently driven by people who previously were undecided.In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Trump did not back away from his rally comments, instead attacking Kavanaugh’s Democratic critics. Trump said when he goes to political rallies, which are organized by Republicans, he sees that voters are angry at the “vicious and despicable” way Democrats are treating his nominee.At a White House briefing, Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders defended his remarks in Mississippi and said he was not concerned the comments may have jeopardized the votes of key senators.“The president was stating the facts” about the gaps in Ford’s recollection of the alleged incident, Sanders said.last_img read more

first_imgCNG stations Prothom Alo File PhotoRoad transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday said the CNG stations across the country will remain open for 24 hours for 13 days to ensure hassle-free journey for the Eid holiday makers.“CNG stations will remain operational nonstop for seven days before and five days after the Eid. The authorities concerned have already been asked to take necessary steps to implement the decision,” he said at a meeting.The movement of heavy vehicles will remain suspended for three days before the Eid, the minister said, adding but vehicles carrying essential goods, garments and medicines will ply on the streets as usual.The Eid-ul-Fitr is likely to be celebrated on 5 June subject to moon sighting.last_img read more

first_imgMap of RajshahiTwo minor boys drowned in a pond at Hatramchandrapur Dangipara in Paba upazila on Tuesday.The deceased are Rony Ahmed, 5, son of Lokman, and Piarul Islam, 6, son of Belal of the village, reports UNB.Paba police station officer-in-charge Abul Kalam Azad said Rony and Piarul had remained missing since afternoon.After a hectic search, locals found their bodies floating in a pond near their house and recovered the bodies.An unnatural death case was filed in this connection.last_img

first_imgPolice and forensic workers work outside Masjid Al Noor after Friday`s mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand on 16 March. Photo: ReutersA pair of rural New Zealand police officers dramatically arrested the suspected Christchurch gunman 36 minutes after authorities were alerted, it emerged Saturday, as the prime minister hailed their bravery.Jacinda Ardern said the alleged attacker, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, would surely have killed even more people than the 49 worshippers he massacred in two mosques were it not for the policemen.”The offender was mobile, there were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in, and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack,” Ardern told reporters in Christchurch.Grainy video apparently shot from a passing car shows the gunman’s light-coloured vehicle at the side of a busy road, rammed against the kerb by a police car and with one of its front wheels suspended in the air.Two police officers — one of whom appears to be armed only with a handgun — can be seen pointing their weapons at the open passenger-side door.”They were rural community cops I understand from Lincoln (a nearby town) who were present here. Anyone who has seen the footage… they put New Zealand first,” Ardern said.”The individual charged was in custody 36 minutes from receiving the first call,” she said.The officers can be seen dragging a black-clad figure away from the vehicle, as motorists slowly drove by on the other side of the city carriageway.Police Commissioner Mike Bush also praised the officers who brought the massacre to a halt.”I would also like to commend — and some of you would have seen, the brave actions on social media of police staff who responded to this incident,” he said.”I’m extremely proud of what they’ve done today.”Ardern said 39 people remained in hospital, of whom 11 were in intensive care.Tarrant, 28, flashed a white power gesture as he appeared in court Saturday charged with one count of murder. Further charges are expected to follow.last_img

first_img Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — The Rev. William Barber II, a progressive activist and pastor, addressed the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee on Friday (Aug. 23), calling on party leaders to host a presidential debate focused on poverty and to do more to address the concerns of poor and low-income Americans.The co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, named for the last major campaign of Martin Luther King Jr., Barber insisted that poverty touches all people and regions of the United States and overlaps with related concerns such as racism, voter suppression, healthcare, “ecological justice,” militarism and religious nationalism.“We have to say the word, ‘Poverty,’” said Barber, according to a copy of his remarks provided to Religion News Service. “We need to lift up the stories of folks in Appalachia and Kansas and the Mississippi Delta. We need to hold them alongside the folks in our gentrifying cities, some of whom work two jobs and still sleep in their cars at night.”The speech, delivered during the DNC’s summer meeting in San Francisco, California, comes as Democratic primary candidates are jostling for votes among the party’s progressive base, for whom Barber has become an increasingly visible leader since speaking at the 2016 Democratic Convention..@CoryBooker & @KamalaHarris watching @RevDrBarber backstage pic.twitter.com/IGJaR836ca— Sabrina Singh (@sabrinasingh24) August 23, 2019When Barber concluded his speech, many in the room leapt to their feet in raucous applause as DNC Chair Tom Perez declared “Let the church say, ‘Amen’!” Perez then called on those present to take a moment of contemplative silence.Officials from the Poor People’s Campaign said Barber planned on calling for a Democratic debate on the topic of poverty, but the chances of having such a debate are slim. In June, DNC officials told RNS that the party does not intend to hold single-issue debates. On Thursday (Aug. 22), the DNC resolutions committee voted 17-8 against holding a debate focused on climate change, sparking outrage among environmental activists.Asked about a potential poverty debate at a candidate forum hosted by the Poor People’s Campaign in June, however, all nine Democratic presidential hopefuls who attended — including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris — said they would support it.The Poor People’s Campaign, which now has established chapters in more than 40 states, has long championed the notion of creating a “new electorate” of poor and low-income Americans, who are often less likely to vote than other Americans. If mobilized, Barber and his allies argue, the less well-off could potentially swing elections.In his address, Barber announced his intention to launch a nine-month, 22-stop “We Will Do MORE” campaign focused on mobilizing, organizing, registering and educating poorer Americans. In a statement issued before Barber’s address, the Poor People’s Campaign noted that it was not meant to endorse any party or politician, adding that officials also reached out to the Republican Party but have not yet heard back. In addition, Barber argued in his speech that the issue of poverty is not about “left versus right, but right versus wrong.”Even so, the pastor, who helped lead North Carolina’s Moral Mondays protests credited with helping to unseat the state’s Republican governor in 2016 — had harsh words for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, comparing his decision to block efforts to pass voting rights legislation to infamous segregationist Strom Thurmond’s decision to filibuster the Civil Rights Act in 1957.Barber also voiced thinly veiled criticism of the Trump administration’s policies and of Christians who support them.“For too long, faith has been hijacked by those who say abortion and sexuality are the only moral issues,” Barber said. “They tell religious people to vote their pro-life/pro-family values, then they use their political power to pass policies that keep families in poverty, separate families at the border, keep families from getting healthcare and endanger the lives of children in schools, worshipers in churches and the planet itself.”He invoked scripture to dismiss claims that polices designed to help the poor would be tantamount to socialism.“If someone calls it socialism, then we must compel them to acknowledge that the Bible promotes socialism,” he said. “This current administration is practicing socialism to corporations and the greedy through tax cuts, deregulation and economic incentives. And then they refuse to bail out communities and human beings.”Barber mentioned Pastor Cecil Williams of San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church, whose shelter has served 80,000 meals to the city’s poor.“When we have 26 presidential debates and not one hour is focused on living wages, we must have a movement,” Barber said in his speech, referring to past presidential election cycles.He later added: “We need a revolution of values in public life, and we need leadership that will draw on our deepest religious and Constitutional traditions to fight not only for what seems achievable, but for what is our moral duty.”Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign have already exhibited unusual influence on the 2020 Democratic primary. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, bearing “silent witness,” showed up at a protest Barber and his co-chair, the Rev. Liz Theoharis, held outside the White House in June to decry the Trump administration’s policies.Buttigieg later referred to Barber while speaking at a Black Church PAC event in August. Joe Biden, too, has referenced arguments made by the Poor People’s Campaign when making claims about widespread poverty in the U.S. Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins Share This! Jack Jenkins Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.,Load Comments,Photos of the Week Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins German town welcomes hundreds from different faiths for food, worship and unity By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins Catholicism Tags2020 election Democratic Party homepage featured Poor People’s Campaign religious left Top Story,You may also like Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Share This!last_img read more

first_img Share Laura IsenseeTeacher Sam Brower leads a class at an alternative learning environment for students who are not taking the state standardized exams this week. Brower said that his lesson tries to teach about discrimination through a Dr. Seuss book.Last spring, computer glitches caused massive problems for students trying to take the state’s standardized exams. Now the company responsible for administering those tests has to pay $20.7 million in fines.The initial price tag on those fines is $5.7 million.But the company Educational Testing Service, or ETS, also has to invest $15 million to prevent future computer problems.“I believe this combination of liquidated damages with an additional financial commitment from ETS reflects the correct balance of accountability for the recent past and safeguards for the future,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath in a statement.The problems with ETS caused thousands of students to lose their answers to online exams. There were also reports that exams got sent to the wrong location and that scores were delayed.The problems were so widespread that the Texas Education Agency told all fifth and eighth graders they didn’t have to pass the test or retake it.Texas students must pass the state exams – known as STAAR – to advance to middle school and high school. Students also have to pass exams in five core subjects in order to earn their high school diploma. Scores factor heavily into school accountability ratings.The fine is a fraction of the total business between Texas and the New Jersey-based testing vendor. ETS won a contract last year worth $280 million to administer Texas exams.last_img read more

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share Photo: Courtesy of LSC-TomballLone Star College-Tomball Vice President of Instruction Dr. Quentin Wright (left) welcomes attendees to the first of several immigration workshops being hosted by Lone Star College this week.The travel restrictions issued by President Donald Trump at the end of January have been blocked by the courts. But they have brought up many questions.Additionally, the Trump Administration is toughening deportation guidelines through measures such as the removal of undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for at least two years.That is a change from the Obama Presidency, which focused more on those newly or recently arrived in the country.In the midst of all this, Lone Star College (LSC) is trying to help clarify the situation by holding free immigration workshops in all its campuses this week.According to LSC’s administrative office, more than 3,000 foreign students are currently enrolled in the college and nine of them are from countries impacted by the travel ban.LSC leaders say they have received many questions from foreign students.Alicia Harvey-Smith, the college’s executive vice chancellor, notes the goal of the workshops is broad because “it’s not simply limited to our international students, but anyone who might have an interest and I’m pretty sure we will probably have some community members showing up and who may also have questions.”Sarah Monty is Houston-based an immigration lawyer who participated in the workshop held on Monday, February 20th.Monty told Houston Public Media “there is a lot of nervousness for all foreigners,” and added they “tried to address different points of anxiety” in the workshop.Among other reasons for the anxiety, Monty underscores the uncertainty of foreign students in general, but also the repercussions of the ongoing immigration actions by the Trump Administration.EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been changed from an earlier version to accurately reflect the actions taken by federal judges in the ongoing litigation over President Trump’s executive order on travel from seven Muslim countries. Listen 00:00 /01:01 Xlast_img read more

first_img Share A rally called “Destroy the Confederacy” was held at Sam Houston Park on Saturday by the groups Black Lives Matter Houston and Socialist Alternative Houston. The purpose of the rally was to protest the “Spirit of the Confederacy” statue. A counter-protest was announced Friday by the group This is Texas Freedom Force, raising safety concerns in light of recent violent clashes between white nationalist groups and counter-protesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.Houston Public Media reported yesterday that Black Lives Matter Houston and the Houston Police Department were coordinating to ensure that the “Destroy the Confederacy” rally would remain peaceful.According to HPD, approximately 400 anti-statue and 60 pro-statue protesters participated in the rally, which remained free of incident.To see video from the “Destroy the Confederacy” rally, visit the Houston Public Media Facebook page. – / 5last_img read more

first_img X On Friday’s Houston Matters: The Greater Houston Partnership brings us its annual forecast for jobs in Houston. We find out how the job market might fare in 2018 — and how Harvey affected Houston employment in 2017.Also this hour: NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday is in Houston to produce its show this week, and host Lulu Garcia-Navarro joins us to talk about what stories they’re going to tell while they’re in town.Then: How are the holidays different after Harvey? How can parents help children cope? How can Houstonians grapple with loss and grieving in the wake of the storm? Those are just a few of the questions a group of Houston organizations want to help answer during the holiday season. We learn more.Plus: Our rotating panel of non-experts discusses The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly of the week’s news. And we remember an infamous incident in Houston sports history that happened 40 years ago this weekend. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /50:34center_img Listen Share We offer a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.last_img read more

first_img Share Houston Police Department Facebook PageA Houston Police Department’s DWI Task Force patrol cars.More than half of the officers with the Houston Police Department are using body cameras that monitor their activities while working. A new study finds that the cameras are reducing complaints against police officers and the use of excessive force.Houston police started testing body cameras in 2013. In response to public outrage, former President Obama developed a task force to improve public trust in officers and the federal government gave local police departments 40-million to spend on cameras.While a recent study of Washington D.C. officers found the cameras had no effect on Capitol police’s use of force, a Federally funded research analysis of Las Vegas police shows police violence dropped by 37%.Dr. Chip Coldren led the study and says he was surprised by how cameras can change behavior. “Cameras have this civilizing effect that moderates the behavior civilians as well as police officers,” he says.Dr. Coldren says 70% of civilian complaints were immediately dismissed after those that filed, viewed what the camera recorded. But, he says 8-10% of complaints still have merit. He credits bad management for most problems.“Those incidents increase when management get lack. When training is not attended to, when training plans are not refreshed, when investigations start to get sloppy and people are not held accountable for the quality of the training and the investigation. Which actually can happen quite frequently in police organizations.”And for critics who think the use of cameras will make a police officer apprehensive to engage with the public over fear of a complaint, Coldren says that’s not what the study shows.“Officers wearing cameras were slightly more likely, by about five to seven percent, to make an arrest or issue a citation based on a call for service. So they were actually more productive than officers not wearing cameras,” says Dr. Coldren.last_img read more

first_imgChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with President Trump at the White House in October. Trump was recorded telling attendees at a private GOP fundraiser that he had falsely stated the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada in a meeting with Trudeau.Updated at 12:26 p.m.In audio of a closed-door fundraiser obtained by the Washington Post and NBC News, President Trump boasts to donors that he “had no idea” whether he was correct when he insisted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada.It doesn’t. In fact, according to the U.S. Trade Representative in 2016, the U.S. had a $12.5 billion goods and services trade surplus with Canada. Trump sometimes ignores trade in services, which pumps up trade deficit numbers, but that isn’t an accurate way to look at the U.S. trade relationship with other countries.Trump was in the midst of a 30-minute speech at a fundraiser in St. Louis on Wednesday when, according to the Washington Post write-up, he riffed on a conversation he’d had with Trudeau.” ‘Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, “No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,” ‘ Trump said, mimicking Trudeau, according to audio of the private event in Missouri obtained by The Washington Post. ‘Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — “Donald, we have no trade deficit.” He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed. …” ‘So, he’s proud. I said, “Wrong, Justin, you do.” I didn’t even know. … I had no idea. I just said, “You’re wrong.” You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, “You’re wrong, Justin.” He said, “Nope, we have no trade deficit.” I said, “Well, in that case, I feel differently,” I said, “but I don’t believe it.” I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, “Check, because I can’t believe it.” ‘ “This caught-on-tape moment comes less than a week after Trump signed proclamations putting stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Those tariffs won’t immediately apply to Canada and Mexico, as those countries are in the midst of renegotiating, along with the U.S., the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Based on other comments, Trump is planning to leverage the threat of tariffs to negotiate better trade terms with U.S. trading partners.It’s not clear how this admission that the president contradicted another world leader without basis will affect future negotiations or relationships with Trudeau and other leaders. A failure to agree on basic facts would seem to make such negotiations more difficult.Asked by reporters during a photo opportunity in the Oval Office whether he has always been truthful with Trudeau, Trump ignored the question.But he is standing by his assertion that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada, tweeting Thursday morning, “P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!”We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2018Canada is America’s second-largest goods trading partner, according to U.S. data. Trade with Canada supported some 1.6 million jobs in the U.S., according to 2015 Commerce Department figures.A spokeswoman for the Canadian government declined to comment on Trump’s remarks and directed NPR to a tweet from the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, who cited the same American figures.From the Office of the United States Trade Representative: “The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016” … (including energy and lumber) https://t.co/9ZZFGebNHM pic.twitter.com/XFIen13R4s— David MacNaughton (@AmbMacNaughton) March 15, 2018This is far from the first time Trump has inaccurately described the trade relationship with America’s neighbor to the north.In a December New York Times interview, Trump claimed that “[We lost] $17 billion with Canada — Canada says we broke even. But they don’t include lumber and they don’t include oil. Oh, that’s not. … [Inaudible] … My friend Justin [Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister] he says, ‘No, no, we break even.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but you’re not including oil, and you’re not including lumber.’ When you do, you lose $17 billion, and with the other one, we’re losing $71 billion.”NPR’s Domenico Montanaro fact-checked this at the time. It is entirely unclear where Trump got his numbers. In a recent paper, Canada-based researchers said that if energy exports are excluded, the country runs a $78 billion manufacturing trade deficit with the United States.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

first_imgRaymon Carter faces 20 years in prison if found guilty. (Photo/Baltimore Police Department)Raymon Carter, 24, was indicted by a Federal grand jury on July 22nd. He was charged with starting the fire at the CVS Pharmacy at the intersection of Penn and North in West Baltimore.The image of the burning CVS dominated the news coverage of riots following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Hundreds of business were devastated and the Small Business Administration estimates that there is at least $9 million worth of damage throughout the city. The cost to Baltimore in lost tourism revenues is projected to be even higher.Volunteers working to clean up the CVS at Penn and North after it burned during the riots. (Photo by Kamau High)“Federal law enforcement agencies are working closely with local police and prosecutors to investigate crimes committed during the Baltimore riots,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, in a statement.The CVS was looted and burned on April 27. In late May, federal agents released surveillance images of a suspect in the fire and announced $10,000 reward.Carter is facing up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.last_img read more

first_imgOn March 20 at 3:30 p.m., the Chancel Choir will celebrate its 74th Anniversary at Bethel A.M.E. Church at 623 Pine Street in Cambridge, Maryland. New Revelations Baptist Church of Cambridge will be in concert with their youth, mass choirs, male chorus and praise dancers. A light dinner will be served and a good will offering appreciated. For more information please contact Jacquelyn Hull at 410.222.8737.last_img

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uThere is a pending plan in place to raze historic Lexington Market and allegedly rebuild it. But, some argue it is simply a thinly disguised step in the broader process of gentrification in Baltimore. We’ll talk to Dayvon Love, co-founder of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle and open the phone lines to get the opinions and insights of our listeners. What do you think of plans to tear down and rebuild Lexington Market?These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.last_img read more

first_imgSeveral education marketing groups, including the Education Market Association, have found that roughly 99.5 percent of all public-school teachers and administrators use their own money to prepare their classrooms each year – when both state funding and parental contributions fall short. At an estimated cost per teacher of more than $400 per year, an increased number of educators now utilize nationwide donation sites, to buffer the costs.Schools in the District are no exception. A tour through DonorsChoose.org, which allows people to donate supplies to schools, shows teachers from both D.C. public and charter schools requesting materials ranging from personal hygiene products to books, laptops and drumsticks. “My students need toothbrushes, soap, and deodorant for personal use. In the classroom, we want to remain clean and healthy as well with the wipes, hand sanitizers, and tissues,” a request from Charles Drew Elementary School teacher Ms. O said.Another solicitation, from Mrs. Yarborough of Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in Northwest D.C. said: ‘My students need 60 copies of ‘Between the World and Me’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates.” According to the post, the book is the first book in her 9th grade class’ study of the Modern Black Experience in America.”As the school year begins, it is unclear how many requests will be successfully answered. At the root of the budget crisis, The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted at least 30 states paid less per student in school funding in 2014 than they did in 2008. Further, by mid-2012, local school districts had cut 351,000 jobs – with 297,000 jobs remaining unfilled. The result, the study concluded, was “more teachers digging more deeply into their pockets than ever before, and that’s before the school year has even begun.”Jacqueline Freeman, a retired DCPS teacher told the AFRO that parents are increasingly being asked to supply things to classrooms that the school used to provide. When coupled with an already tightened budget at home and deepened cuts within the school, teachers often feel obligated to make up the cost difference themselves.“There were friends of mine who worked in major corporations, who agreed to photocopy materials we needed because there were not enough books budgeted, others donated supplies so that my students would not be shortchanged by a lack of materials,” Freeman, who retired in 2010 told the AFRO. “It has gotten progressively worse, because now I am hearing that classrooms are coming up short for things like mats for the kids’ naps.”Staples offers a classroom registry, of sorts, that allows teachers to list the materials they require, and then promote those items to the public through their StaplesForStudents.org campaign each year. While the ire of some D.C. residents was raised at the thought of teachers having to pay for or solicit material donations, others told the AFRO that the donation sites bring needed attention to how city funds are being spent and how neighbors can help.“I just moved here as a single person with no children, but I would gladly help support our local schools with whatever they need,” Ward 7 resident Eric Taylor told the AFRO. “I had no idea schools were dealing with this sort of thing . . . it means that as a community, we need to do our due diligence and help our students and educators as much as possible.”In May, according to the Washington Post, the D.C. Council’s Committee on Education voted to raise per-pupil spending to 2.38 percent, which is more than a percentage point below the 3.5 percent increase recommended by education advocates.last_img read more

first_imgAt Howard University’s stadium-packed football games, the Bison cheerleading squad pulses with the heartbeat of school spirit ripened over 150 years. Each cheerleader’s face is delicately contoured with makeup and their signature red, white and blue uniforms are crisp. And while the cheer team executes their mission, which is buoying the football players and eliciting excitement from the crowd, they also take a powerful, non-verbal political stance before the merriment begins. For the past year the team of young women have taken a knee to protest oppression and racial injustice during the national anthem.Howard University CheerleadersIn 2016, shortly after NFL standout Colin Kaepernick bucked tradition and began kneeling as the “Star-Spangled Banner” played, the cheerleading squad followed suit. Kaepernick first knelt to protest police brutality, namely the killing of dozens of unarmed Blacks. And while the cheerleaders have been kneeling for a year now, their brand of activism only recently drew attention outside of the Howard University community. The football team does not take a knee during the anthem.Daniel Moss is the chief people person for HBCU Connect, a first-of-its-kind social network for HBCU graduates founded in 1999. He said the cheerleaders are continuing a tradition of activism that is an intrinsic part of the Black college tradition.“I think HBCU culture has played a large part in keeping the spirit of necessary protest alive when they are at their best. At their worst, any schools, often under the direction of their timid leadership, they follow and are looking for cues to give an indication that it may be safe to join a level of protest,” Moss told the AFRO. “The barriers of protest in the African-American community and communities of color has been an ongoing one for decades. And because of that, many of the protests go unrecognized or outright muted by media platforms that would otherwise cover them. Young, African-American female cheerleaders participating at an HBCU may not raise the attention from folks in the same way that gentlemen who share the platform of the NFL do and the breadth of reach that offers and provides.”The school has traditionally played “Lift Every Voice” – dubbed the Black national anthem – before switching to the national anthem. According to the New York Times, the Howard cheerleaders, the band’s dancers and a slew of attendees balled their fists and raised their arms in the decades-old Black Power salute at a recent football game. As the song concluded, the cheerleaders knelt one at a time.“I think about the national anthem and what it stands for,” team captain Sydney Stallworth, a junior from Odessa, Fla., told the New York Times.  “I think about liberty and justice for all, and how it’s not being executed in our country right now. And I think about how lucky I am to go to the greatest historically Black university in the country — not arguably; it’s the greatest — and so lucky to have this platform.”Howard has a storied history of activism. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the university’s students fought Jim Crow laws in the first half of the 20th century and held public demonstrations in support of anti-lynching laws.“I am all for the Howard University cheerleaders – and anyone else – who chooses to use their public platform to kneel during the national anthem. As so many in opposition have failed to realize, kneeling is protest it is not anti-American, unpatriotic or in any way a disrespect to the flag,” Danielle Demming, a 2006 Howard graduate, told the AFRO.  “Kneeling in protest, in fact, epitomizes the very freedom that the aforementioned symbols are supposed to stand for.”The “Star-Spangled Banner” is not without controversy itself. Some Americans are unaware of the song’s third stanza, which was written by Francis Scott Key. According to Jason Johnson, political editor at The Root and professor of political science at Morgan State University, Key wrote an entire passage railing against former slaves who abandoned all allegiance to the United States and began working for the British army.Historical implications aside, the root cause of the team’s decision to kneel remains a polarizing and continuous problem in the U.S. According to mappingpoliceviolence.org, a research collaborative that collects data on police killings nationwide, police have killed 931 people this year. Of this, the collaborative reports, 23 percent were Black. Blacks make up roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population.On Oct. 16, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) leader Cedric Richmond (D-La.) penned a tersely written open letter to NFL commissioners. In it, he summed up Kaepernick’s fundamental reasons for taking a knee and perhaps captured the resounding sentiments the Bison’s cheerleading team wish to convey.“For African Americans, it is not about standing, sitting, or kneeling for the National Anthem―it is about unarmed African Americans lying in a grave who were shot and killed by police officers,” Richmond wrote. “It is also about a justice system that says that encountering a Black person is enough reason for a police officer to fear for his or her life.”last_img read more

first_imgBy Stephen Janis, Special to the AFROAs funeral services for slain Baltimore Homicide detective Sean Suiter were held this week, the mystery has only deepened about how the veteran cop was killed in a vacant West Baltimore lot roughly two weeks ago.There have been few leads and even fewer clues as to how and why Det. Suiter, an 18 year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), was fatally shot in the head with his own gun after what police have described as a brief struggle.Slain Baltimore Homicide detective Sean Suiter. (Courtesy Photo)But, one fact which has emerged from the case is only stoking community suspicions and raising more questions about the department tasked with solving the case: the widening of an investigation into eight officers charged with stealing from residents, racketeering and drug dealing.At an impromptu press conference on Nov. 22, BPD Commissioner Kevin Davis revealed that Suiter was set to testify before a federal grand jury as part of an ongoing investigation into the now-notorious Gun Trace Task Force. The charges brought against that group have continued to reverberate throughout a department already under a federal consent decree and battling a record wave of crime and homicide.“I am now aware of Det. Suiter’s pending federal grand jury testimony surrounding an incident that occurred seven years ago with BPD police officers who were federally indicted,” the commissioner said. “The acting U.S. attorney and the special agent in charge of the Baltimore field office have told me in no uncertain terms [that] Detective Suiter was not the target of any ongoing criminal investigation.”The bombshell announcement came about a week after Suiter was killed.But, tangible leads in the slaying have been scarce, according to investigators familiar with the case. That fact has not stopped Davis from publicly expressing his theories on what happened—among them, that Suiter’s impending testimony and his murder are not linked.“It appears to be nothing more than a spontaneous observation of man acting suspiciously, and a spontaneous decision to investigate his conduct,” Davis said.Still, the fact that Davis’ comments came during the widening ongoing federal investigation of the department, and during a high-profile murder investigation, have raised questions both inside and outside the department.“Everyone was surprised that he’s been talking so freely about the case,” a source familiar with the investigation, who did not want to be named, told the AFRO.Suiter was not the only officer who worked with the Task Force to receive a summons to appear before a federal grand jury. According to sources within BPD, at least one other officer who had worked with the Gun Trace Task Force received a letter last week compelling them to testify, indicating federal prosecutors are far from done with the scandal.It’s unclear which aspect of the case investigators are currently exploring. However, Baltimore NBC affiliate WBAL-TV and The Baltimore Sun reported that federal prosecutors have reopened an accident case that involved Suiter and Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, one of the eight Task Force officers already indicted. In 2010, the pair engaged in a car chase with a suspect who ultimately crashed into another vehicle, killing the 86-year old father of a Baltimore police officer. The suspect was charged with possession of heroin, but has asked a federal judge to reopen his case.Meanwhile, questions still surround the few details police have disclosed about what happened in that vacant lot in the city’s Harlem Park neighborhood, a crime scene that remains cordoned off. An aspect of the case that troubled one former homicide investigator is how a suspect could take Suiter’s weapon and shoot him while his partner was nearby.“We would cover someone,” said former Baltimore Homicide Lt. Stephen Tabeling. “I would have been right behind him.”However, Davis has said that the detective who accompanied Suiter that day, who has yet to be identified, was allegedly not in the immediate vicinity when the shooting occurred.“Upon the sound of gunfire, Suiter’s partner sought cover across the street and immediately called 911,” Davis said. “We know this because it was captured on private surveillance video that we’ve recovered.”“The evidence refutes the notion that Detective Suiter’s partner was anything but just that, his partner,” Davis said.Tabeling also noted that Baltimore police officers usually wear safety holsters, which are designed to prevent suspects from taking a gun during close contact.“They make it pretty tough to get the gun,” Tabeling said.last_img read more

first_imgBy The Associated PressGREENWOOD, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man who swapped out a town’s segregated World War I plaque says he was tired of the city receiving negative attention for the memorial.Trey Ward spoke Saturday to a group of Democrats in Greenwood about installing a new plaque that listed the names in alphabetical order instead of separating “colored” soldiers, according to The Index-Journal.In a July 7, 2018 photo, State Rep. Anne Parks, D-Greenwood, and local resident Trey Ward stand next to a recently desegregated war memorial in Greenwood, South Carolina. Ward swapped out nameplates of fallen World War I and World War II soldiers listed by race with ones that display the names alphabetically. Ward says he was tired of the city receiving negative attention for the memorial. (Adam Benson/The Index-Journal via AP)“The reason I got involved in this, every time national media came to Greenwood, the first thing they did is go down to the square and write about the monument that lists the valor of dead Black soldiers as ‘colored.’ It was a in a way, our calling card on our Main Street,” Ward said.Several local men had previously filed a lawsuit in 2015 to have the monument revamped, and the mayor had raised money to pay to have a new plaque made.“I really, really do not deserve any credit for this at all. All I really did was turn some screws on a plate, and I stand on the shoulders of a lot of great people in this community that really did this,” Ward told the group of Democrats, who honored him at their monthly meeting.Ward, who accepted a symbolic $1 to do the modification job, also said he was inspired to action by growing up in the era when schools were integrated.State law generally prohibits alterations to monuments without state approval. That law was enacted to protect monuments during debate over removing the Confederate flag from atop the Statehouse.A judge ruled in favor of the veterans group seeking to have the listing on the monument changed. However, the issue was still being litigated when Ward took action.The judge noted the monument was privately owned by the American Legion, even though it sits on public property. The judge said private ownership allows for changes despite the state law known as the Heritage Act.State officials initially asked the judge to reconsider because they think the decision could leave other monuments unprotected. After the monument was changed, the defendants asked the judge to vacate his ruling, saying that after the plaque switch the issue is moot.“Simply put, there now is nothing left for the Court to do and nothing left for the Court to enforce,” the defendants’ attorneys wrote in a motion to vacate a ruling. “The plaques were replaced by a person not a party to this case and, thus, the case was mooted by a non-party without regard to the actual legal issues pending in this case.”last_img read more

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Form-wise, the speaker will differentiate itself from competing products like Apple’s Homepod with a round body that stands on three feet — think of it as a mini tripod for your speaker, if you will. The company didn’t announce a price point for the speaker yet, and instead promised updates for price and availability soon.One of the music services available on the speaker will be Spotify, which is being deeply integrated into both the Bixby speaker as well as other Samsung devices. The company even invited Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on stage to announce this new partnership. “The partnership that we are announcing with Samsung today is a true cross-platform listening experience,” Ek said.Part of the arrangement will allow what Samsung calls seamless continuity: Consumers will be able to start listening to an album or playlist on their phone, then continue to play the music to their TV when they get home, and finally press play on their smart speaker to keep playing the same music there.Samsung’s partnership with Spotify is notable for a number of reasons. For Samsung, it’s the latest episode of a multi-year search for a distinct music strategy, which included the launch of its own Milk Music service — a service that was killed two years after its launch. Samsung also briefly flirted with acquiring Tidal, and more recently partnered with Google to use Google Play Music as its default music service.For Spotify, the partnership is a clear attempt to fight off Apple Music, which is benefitting from its close iPhone integration.  Unsurprisingly, Ek boasted Thursday that the deal would give his company a vastly larger footprint. “We’re talking about hundreds of millions of devices,” he said.center_img Samsung used its Unpacked event in New York Thursday to unveil its own smart speaker, dubbed Galaxy Home. The company also announced a new partnership with Spotify, promising to deeply integrate the music service into a range of Samsung devices including phones, TVs and the upcoming Galaxy Home speaker.Samsung’s Galaxy Home speaker will be powered by Bixby, the company’s smart assistant. It will use eight microphones, which are supposed to be capable of optimizing far-field voice recognition even in large homes.The speaker will be powered by audio technology from AKG, a subsidiary of the speaker maker Harman, which Samsung acquired last year. It features six tweeters for omnidirectional sound, as well as one woofer. The speaker also integrates a smart home hub capable of controlling devices compatible with Samsung’s Smartthings technology.last_img read more

first_img“There’s a lot of sameness in this space today, and that unique point of view is important to us,” Sloan said. MeatEater is in the process of engaging with other talent to acquire podcasts and create additional podcasts in-house. The company also expects to expand its short-form video production, build a commerce business with merchandise around the MeatEater brands, and grow in-person event.Rinella said that while the backbone of the MeatEater audience is hunters and anglers, the company will be casting a wider net and build on its reach with urban-dwelling outdoor aficionados as well. “I’m always aware of the fact I’m talking to my tribe of people who’ve grown up in the outdoors, and want a relationship with the environment,” said Rinella, who grew up hunting and fishing in Western Michigan. “But I also aim outside that circle.”Currently, MeatEater Inc. has about 10 employees; Sloan expects to double that by the end of 2018.Other companies in Chernin Group’s portfolio include Barstool Sports, in which it owns a majority stake; Headspace, which makes a mindfulness and meditation app; and the Action Network, a roll-up venture geared around sports-betting stats and analytics.“We are believers in and have experience in investing in strong, specific brands that inspire passion,” Bergsman said. Chernin Group has become the principal investor in MeatEater Inc., a new outdoor-lifestyle company founded by Steven Rinella, author, podcaster and host of Netflix’s “MeaterEater” series.The Bozeman, Montana-based media company, formed in February 2018, caters to an audience of wildlife enthusiasts, providing a hub for hunting, fishing, food and conservation. MeatEater will center on Rinella’s popular show and podcast, but will develop additional content that appeals not just to hunters and anglers but all fans of outdoor lifestyle and sustainable eating, execs said.Fans of the MeatEater brand span all walks of life, and — notwithstanding the name — even includes some vegetarians, according to Rinella (pictured above).“We felt there was real potential to expand MeatEater with other voices and into different platforms,” said Rinella, who recently relocated to Bozeman from Seattle. “It’s very contemporary — it’s grounded in historical awareness of our long-term relationship with wildlife in our country.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 The announcement of Chernin Group’s controlling stake in the startup coincides with the launch of season 7 of “MeatEater” on Netflix. The show previously aired on Sportsman Channel, which premiered the show in 2012.For Chernin Group, the deal is the first digital-media investment after it completed its majority-ownership stake in Otter Media to AT&T in August. The deal for Otter Media, whose properties include Fullscreen, Rooster Teeth and Crunchyroll, was estimated to be valued at $1 billion.Jason Bergsman, executive VP at Chernin Group who led the deal, originally connected with Rinella through Zero Point Zero. Chernin Group saw the opportunity to grow an “authentic brand” catering to the hunting and outdoor-lifestyle market. About 40 million Americans identify as hunters or anglers, and they spend more than $80 billion annually on apparel, gear, travel and related categories, according to Bergsman.“From a media perspective, this space is historically underserved with digitally native brands,” Bergsman said.Financial terms of Chernin Group’s investment in MeatEater Inc. weren’t disclosed. Bergsman said that “our expectation is we’ll be capitalizing the company with eight figures going forward,” meaning an investment of more than $10 million. “The intent is to provide the company with significant investment to execute on its plan,” he said.Chernin Group owns a minority equity stake in MeatEater Inc. but in terms of governance has the controlling interest. Other stakeholders include Rinella, MeatEater Inc. CEO Kevin Sloan and Zero Point Zero Production, which produces “MeatEater” for Netflix.Sloan, MeatEater’s CEO, joined the company in July after serving as president of hunting-apparel brand Sitka Gear. “My background is understanding outdoor and building brands, across the commerce spectrum,” he said.MeatEater Inc. has already expanded its podcast lineup. In addition to Rinella’s flagship show, its lineup includes “Wired to Hunt,” “The Hunting Collective,” and fly-fishing podcast “Anchored with April Vokey.” Popular on Variety last_img read more

first_imgYouTube Premium (previously called YouTube Red) eliminates ads across all videos, including music, and adds access to YouTube’s originals, including “Cobra Kai,” an offshoot of the “Karate Kid” movies; sci-fi series “Origin”; sitcom “Foursome”; “Escape the Night” with Joey Graceffa; and “The Thinning” dystopian films starring Logan Paul and Peyton List.The deal is available only to full-time students in the U.S. right now. YouTube says it will expand the offers to other countries in the future.To be eligible for YouTube’s special discounts, you must be enrolled as a full-time student at a Title IV accredited college or university in the United States and must be verified as a student by user-verification system SheerID. The deal isn’t available to students who have previously subscribed to YouTube Red, YouTube Music Premium, YouTube Premium or Google Play Music.Users can sign up for the YouTube Premium student plan at youtube.com/premium/student and the YouTube Music Premium student plan at youtube.com/musicpremium/student. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img YouTube hopes to reel in college students as paying customers with steeply discounted pricing plans for its ad-free streaming services.The video service has launched student plans for YouTube Music Premium priced at $4.99 per month — a 50% discount off the regular $9.99 monthly price — and for YouTube Premium at available $6.99, a 42% discount from the standard $11.99 monthly fee. In addition, students who sign up for YouTube Premium by Jan. 31, 2019, can secure a special rate of $5.99 per month.YouTube Music Premium, the latest incarnation of Google’s music-streaming service, provides advertising-free access to millions of songs, official albums and playlists, as well as a catalog of music videos, remixes, live performances, covers and more. It also provides background listening and offline access features.last_img read more

first_imgPandora first unveiled voice mode at CES in Las Vegas in January. At the time, chief product officer Chris Phillips told Variety that voice technology had advanced quite a bit since the early days of mobile voice assistants. Those advancements also shaped consumers’ expectations for voice usage, Phillips argued.Consumers used to talk to devices like they were dumb robots, he said. Now, they’re talking to them more like they would talk to their friends. “More and more consumers are going to become more and more vague,” Phillips said.One of the goals of Pandora’s voice mode was to make sense of those vague utterances by tapping into their past recommendations. “We are applying personalization to all the asks,” Phillips said. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 After first launching a limited beta earlier this year, Pandora opened up its mobile voice control to all of its iOS and Android users Tuesday. The new feature allows users to ask for songs, albums, playlists, stations, and even soundtracks for activities or times of day, with simple voice commands.Pandora’s voice mode is similar to the way voice assistants like Alexa and the Google Assistant make music available via voice controls, down to the “Hey Pandora” wake phrase. However, the feature has been developed in-house at Pandora, which allows the company to make unique use of its own music recommendation capabilities.This makes it possible to ask for “music to start my day” for a personalized morning playlist, for “more like this” to tap into Pandora’s music recommendation chops, and for podcasts available on the music service.center_img Popular on Variety last_img read more

first_img Halloween is the perfect time of year for all things spooky. There are horror flicks to binge-watch, Edgar Allan Poe stories to read, and of course great debates on whether ghosts are real or products of our imagination. With paranormal interest on the rise, people want to know if things exist beyond our physical world. According to the 2017 Chapman University Survey of American Fears, 52.3 percent of respondents believe that places can be haunted by spirits. Plus, with the popularity of shows like Ghost Adventures and Haunted Towns, paranormal technology equipment has helped us better understand electromagnetic fields, radio frequency, and other factors that might contribute to specter sightings. Curious about spirits? You don’t have to go to the extremes to catch up on eerie folklore. For the ultimate Halloween experience, pack up your suitcase and spend the night at one of America’s creepiest hotels. These structures are said to be hotbeds for paranormal activity, considering some past guests haven’t really “checked out” yet. From bedside visits to phantom gatherings, these historic hotels don’t come short on ghostly happenings.Gettysburg Hotel Stay on target The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Even though the Confederate and Union armies are long gone, their ghosts are still said to haunt many local landmarks, including the Gettysburg Hotel. The building, which was used as a spot to tend to wounded soldiers, is said to be haunted by Union soldier James Culbertson. Rachel, another specter, is said to make her rounds on the property as well. While we don’t know her story, it’s possible she was a Civil War nurse involved in caretaking soldiers there. Book Here Copper Queen Hotel Salem already has a creepy reputation, and the Hawthorne Hotel adds to the town’s mysterious folklore. It is said that this building is very haunted, with reports of the most activity occurring in room 325 and room 612. Visitors have heard babies crying at night, things have moved without an explanation, and there have been reports of spirits walking up and down the halls.Book HereMore on Halloween:20 Creepy Vintage Halloween PhotosThe Terror Lurking Around Halloween Horror Nights 28Zombie Makeup Tutorial: How to Look ‘Undead’ This Halloween Remember the beautiful setting of The Shining? Well, you can stay at The Stanley Hotel, the place that inspired author Stephen King to craft the legendary horror story. The hotel isn’t clandestine about their ghostly guests either. You can go on a Night Spirit Tour to learn more about its paranormal activity, including spirits of a former maid and the hotel’s founder, Flora Stanley.Book HereHawthorne Hotel Chicago isn’t only known for its deep-dish pizza, sports culture, and windy weather. The city is also home to some of the most haunted buildings in the U.S. If you’re “dying” to visit, book your vacation stay at the Congress Plaza Hotel. This historic landmark is home to ghostly bridesmaids, floating hands in walls, and a room on the 12th floor that’s padlocked because of its reported paranormal activity.Book HereDriskill Hotel Charleston is home to the Francis Marion Hotel, a gorgeous southern building with all the hospitality perks. The pretty landmark though is allegedly the site of many ghosts, including a Yankee gentleman Ned Cohen. According to local legend, Cohen fell in love with a southern woman, but their relationship didn’t work out due to conflicting views. Distraught, Cohen ended his life at the hotel and he’s reportedly still seen there today. Windows have rattled for no reason and people have felt someone caressing their cheeks at night.Book HereThe Stanley Hotel Most hotels don’t hype up paranormal activity, but the Crescent Hotel and Spa embraces its status as one of the creepiest and most haunted landmarks in the U.S.  It previously served as a lavish retreat for wealthy southerners, a women’s college, and a hospital for cancer patients. With all the change over the years, it’s no question that ghostly sightings might frequently happen. Take a Crescent Ghost Tour at night to learn more about the property’s history, haunts, and unique past.Book HereCongress Plaza Hotel Glamour still lives on at The Hollywood Roosevelt, which used to be a popular hub for movie stars from the ’30s to the ’60s. The hotel’s famous guest roster includes Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift. Even though these starlets passed away years ago, some still spend time in their favorite rooms. People have reported an apparition of Clift outside room 928, while Monroe’s reflection is said to appear in one of the hotel mirrors.Book HereHotel Pennsylvania Built in 1919, Hotel Pennsylvania has hosted Big Apple visitors for nearly 100 years. The hotel’s proximity to Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, and other urban landmarks make it a popular place to spend the night, but it’s also allegedly haunted. Witness accounts described shadow apparitions over their beds and unexplainable noises coming from the hallways. It’s also the place where Frank Olson, a U.S. Army bacteriologist, mysteriously died in the early 1950s.Book HereCrescent Hotel and Spa Ghost towns, saloons, and mining might be memories of the old Wild West, but the Copper Queen Hotel gives you a glimpse of what life was like at the time. Along with the vintage decor, this lodging spot is visited by long-gone guests. Julia Lowell, a former lady of the light, is one of the most famous ghosts there. Sadly Lowell died of a broken heart on site, but her presence is felt by visitors throughout the hotel. If you want to learn more about Julia and her time at the hotel, you can stay in a special room named after her.Book HereThe Hollywood Roosevelt What if your spooky rooms inspired a rock song? Well, that’s what happened for The Driskill. Concrete Blonde, a band from the ’80s and ’90s, named one of their songs after ghostly encounters at the building. Dubbed “Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man,” it tells the story of a hotel guest that’s unfazed by a cowboy apparition haunting his space. We’ll keep the lights on now.Book HereFrancis Marion Hotel Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Becomes Universal Halloween Horror MazeLife-Sized Jabba the Hutt For Sale on Craigslist for $100 last_img read more

first_img Elon Musk’s Cheeky ‘Nuke Mars!’ Post Is Taking Over TwitterA ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’-Themed Cookbook Is Coming This Fall Stay on target Bright orange “Garfield” phones have been mysteriously washing up on the French coast for more than 30 years and now, local beach cleaners have found out why they’ve appeared there.The retro landline phones, which have been showing up on French beaches for decades, were suspected to be from a lost shipping container that spilled at sea, however, no one knew for sure what happened, AFP reported. However, a local resident revealed that he discovered the shipping container after a storm in the ’80s and local beach cleaners were finally able to find it in a partially-submerged cave.GARFIELD PHONE MYSTERY: “Garfield” phones have been mysteriously washing up on French beaches for decades. No one knew where they came from — until now. https://t.co/t7sGLyfVBM pic.twitter.com/wjm4NZq0sn— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 29, 2019“He told us where it was… it was very, very dangerous,” Claire Simonin, the head of local beach cleaning group Ar Viltansou in Brittany, told AFP. “We found this incredible fissure that is 100 feet deep and at the very bottom, there were the remains of a container. Under the boulders in front of the entrance, we found 23 complete handsets with electronics and wires.”(Photo Credit: FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)Local beach cleaners might have finally discovered where the “Garfield” phones came from, however, there are details missing on what happened to the shipping container, why it became wedged in the partially-submerged cave, and if many containers of “Garfield” phones ended up in the water and traveled to other locations.“We have no idea what happened at the time: we do not know where it came from, what boat,” Fabien Boileau, director of the Iroise Marine Nature Park in Finistere, told AFP. “And, we don’t know if several containers fell into the water, or only one.”For now, local beach cleaners will continue to pick up the “Garfield” phones from France’s beaches and keep an eye out for any other quirky plastic novelties that might wash up on the nation’s coast.More on Geek.com:Rare First Edition ‘Harry Potter’ Book With Typos Sells for $90,000Lego Celebrates Batman’s 80 Birthday With Six New SetsThe Dream of the ’90s Is Alive in Nike’s KD12last_img read more

first_imgWe first started hearing rumors about GTA V nearing completion back in July last year, but it took until October for Rockstar Games to officially announce the game. At the time, no release date was given, but the developer did follow up the announcement a few days later by releasing the first trailer.We still don’t have a release date, but new evidence has appeared pointing to an October 2012 launch. That evidence comes in the form of a resume and LinkedIn profile for Rockstar North animator Alex O’Dwyer. The resume has since disappeared and LinkedIn profile updated, but not before the GTA V information had been logged.According to O’Dwyer, GTA V will land in stores in October this year. He also lists it as a PS3, Xbox 360, and PC launch, but I doubt very much the PC version will be a same day launch. Historically there has been several months between a console and PC release of a Grand Theft Auto game. Could that be different this time around?The modern GTA series, which I class as starting with GTA III, has typically seen a release happening on consoles in October. The exception to that rule is GTA IV, which arrived in April 2008. Even so, it has been 4 years since that release, and I’m sure Rockstar would prefer to hit the main games selling period of the year in the run up to the holidays.If an October release turns out to be true, I’d expect a few high profile games to push their release back to early 2013, or try to launch a few weeks before GTA V arrives.via Joystiqlast_img read more

first_imgSony rolled out PlayStation Now subscriptions on PS4 back in January. For $20 a month you could stream over 100 PS3 games. Pay quarterly ($44.99) and the price drops to $15 a month making it much better value. At the time Sony promised to roll out subscriptions to more devices, and on May 12, PlayStation 3 owners will gain access.For Sony that’s good news due to the extra millions of PS3 owners out there who will potentially subscribe. To sweeten the deal and take the game count above 120 titles, 5 new PS3 games to stream have also been announced for May. They include Fat Princess, F1 2014, Sanctum 2, Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, and Farming Simulator.Subscriptions are definitely the best way to access PlayStation Now. It means you can jump around as many games as you like and experiment without fear of a huge bill at the end of the month. But what the service really needs to make it great is a lot more games, and games from previous generations of PlayStation hardware.Older games should be even easier to stream for Sony but I imagine the major hurdle to doing so is licensing issues. They can’t just decide to stream a game, load it on to a server, and go live. They need to agree terms with game publishers, check licensing for music and any libraries used, and ensure legality. And of course, the older the game, the harder this can be to achieve.last_img read more

first_img I dunno about you, but I’m really fascinated by home automation. Yeah, it’s a little creepy, having parts of your life more or less managed by machines or computers, but honestly? It’s just nice. I got a great HDMI switch a couple of weeks back that automagically moves to the device I need by figuring out which is sending the most data and therefore most likely to be “active.” It’s dorky, but it’s just the kind of thing I dork out over.Anyway… wouldn’t it be rad if your whole room was like that? That’s the idea behind Ori Systems. It’s basically a motorized room that can adjust and move about based on your needs. You can, for example, configure it so that you have a sprawling mattress to catch your Zs. Then, when it’s time to start the day, you can fold that away and get to work at your desk. Or, you could tuck away the business and bust out the entertainment center.Ori Systems started as an MIT project called CityHome. The idea is to help automate and motorize living spaces to help city dwellers get more efficient use of their space. If you’re not using your bed, you should be able to fold it away and reclaim that area. It could make studios and other compact spaces far, far more livable. Running with the idea of folding, the group rebranded themselves as Ori Systems — named after origami, the Japanese art of folding.Ori – One Room. A Hundred Ways. from Ori on Vimeo.Right now it’s only available to real-estate developers for a whopping $10,000 in major North American cities. Models have been tested in a few apartment complexes and Airbnb spots. Using that, Ori hopes that they’ve got a system that could go a long way towards making cities more comfortable. There are tons of methods of control, from automated systems run on Belkin’s WeMo hardware to simple voice commands via Amazon’s Alexa.There’s only going to be 1,200 units for now, but hopefully, that’ll be enough to start expanding. I know I’m not supposed to editorialize and play up the business I’m covering, but this is Geek, and I think this thing is cool as hell. I want one, even though I could never afford it. But I just… love everything about it and the idea of it, and…. Uggggggggh why does stuff I like have to take time to be a thing? Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech SuitsRobots to Compete in Underground Challenge in Mining Tunnels Stay on targetlast_img read more

first_img For me the most pleasant surprise of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, at least from what we know so far, is that the game’s goal of including every single character ever from the series includes Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Not only is he a cool character whose mere presence adds an air of transgression, a stealthy murderous mature adult man amongst cartoon characters, but his heavy projectile-based moveset is fun and unique compared to the rest of the cast.We’re grateful Snake is back at all, for reasons we’ll explain more in a bit. But now that the Metal Gear bandage has been ripped off, and we still have months of speculation to go through before Smash launches on Nintendo Switch this December, we can’t help but wonder just how much Metal Gear stuff will there be in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?AdChoices广告Snake broke barriers by being the first third-party character to join Smash’s Nintendo mascot ranks in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008. He opened the door for the likes of Sonic, Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu, Cloud, and Bayonetta. But like the hero of western movie, Snake wasn’t allowed to live in the better world he helped create, and didn’t return in 2014’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS.And we blame Konami, everyone’s favorite dead mall video game publisher. You see if not for time constraints Snake would’ve made it into Super Smash Bros. Melee on GameCube. And that’s because Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima personally asked Smash creator Masahiro Sakurai to do it. As far as video game auteurs go, few are as singularly associated with their franchise as Kojima is with Metal Gear.But by 2014 Kojima’s time at Konami was nearly done. Once Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, an amazing but unfinished game about old soldiers betrayed by their world, was out the door in 2015 Kojima’s “vacation” soon became his retirement from Konami. The next Metal Gear would be a bad generic zombie survival game starring random faceless military dudes called Metal Gear Survive, which we forgot came out earlier this year.Between Sakurai’s friendship with Punished “Venom” Kojima and Konami’s seeming disinterest in truly reviving Metal Gear, we thought Snake wouldn’t have a chance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He’d stay under that cardboard box forever. But then we learned that “Everyone is here” really means that everyone is here when Snake materialized on his famous Shadow Moses stage. So the question now is how much effort is going towards Snake’s appearance in his game? He has a new logo, a familiar exclamation mark instead of the Foxhound logo that also doubled as the Kojima Productions logo, but what else has changed?Initially, I was pessimistic. I thought Snake’s showing here would be the bare minimum, a new cleaned up HD character model still from MGS2 with the same moveset (and a deflated butt). Voice actor David Hayter confirmed his role after his controversial absence from MGSV but I figured that meant they were just recycling his voice clips from Brawl. And with these managed expectations I could focus on just being happy that Snake was in the game at all. During my hands-on I asked Nintendo reps if I could look forward to any new Metal Gear content but got no response.However, a recent Smash blog update revealed the existence of a brand new Snake Eater remix, that beloved MGS3 vocal tune about jungle life. This arrangement comes from Nobuko Toda, who has composed for Metal Gear in the past. So if there’s new Metal Gear music in Ultimate, what other new Metal Gear ephemera could there be? Brawl had music and trophies from MGS4, a PlayStation 3 game that wasn’t even out at the time. So will we see anything from Phantom Pain? A Big Boss costume? A Mother Base stage? A Fulton recovery balloon item? A Sins of the Father remix???And if David Hayter is recording new material, which he recently did for the Metal Gear update to Super Bomberman R, will we get new codec conversations giving us Snake’s opinions on the massive 66+ character roster? I need to know what Snake has to say about fighting Duck Hunt Dog, Mii Fighters, and Bayonetta. “Otacon, this woman is nothing but hair!” Will Snake and Palutena crash the universe through their fourth-wall breaking?Snake’s appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also seems to have led to other Konami inclusions. We already know there’s a Bomberman assist trophy. And a bunch of credible rumors suggest Simon Belmont from Castlevania will be a new fighter. So while we don’t want to be greedy, we hope Nintendo is getting as much Metal Gear goodness as possible while Konami still feels this unusually generous.Buy it now!Super Smash Bros. UltimateNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Astral Chain’ and Other Dumb Nintendo SongsThe Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Character Guide: Hero Stay on targetlast_img read more

first_img Robot Dog Astro Can Sit, Lie Down, and Save LivesYou Can’t Squish This Cockroach-Inspired Robot Do you hear that? It’s the sound of the impending robot revolution.Actually, it’s the sound of 10 SpotMini robo dogs hauling a truck across the Boston Dynamics parking lot.Like I said: impending uprising.AdChoices广告Small and nimble, the 2.75-foot-tall, four-legged machine inherited the mobility of big brother Spot—with the added ability to pick up and handle objects using a claw-like arm and perception sensors.Considered Boston Dynamics’ “quietest robot” yet, SpotMini can carry a 30-pound payload while operating for up to 90 minutes on a single charge.“These Spot robots are coming off the production line now,” the Massachusetts-based engineering firm said in a video caption, promising availability “for a range of applications.”Company co-founder Marc Raibert last year tipped potential clients in four categories: construction, delivery, security, and home assistance. (And, now, roadside service.)There is no word yet on pricing.Anyone else get a sort of sinking feeling watching the robo dogs wake up and snap into position like a headless army?Something about their asynchronous marching and stiff frames remind me equally of Santa’s reindeer and mechanized assassins.Yet, when Boston Dynamics last year released a minute-long clip of its droid dog shimmying along to “Uptown Funk,” my heart melted; SpotMini side-steps, twerks, and does the best automated Running Man YouTube has ever seen.That’s nothing, though, compared with dynamic humanoid Atlas.Standing nearly five feet tall and weighing 165 lbs, the robot is an athlete and gymnast: In 2017, it landed a perfect backflip—completely unaided; last year, Boston Dynamics highlighted the droid’s ability to job comfortably over uneven natural terrain, jump gracefully over a log, and leap up steps without breaking its stride.I can’t even jump onto the 18-inch plyo box at the gym.More on Geek.com:Boston Dynamics’ New Robot Can Stack Boxes Like a BossBoston Dynamics’ Latest Bots Can Open Doors, Watch You While You Sleep7 Super Advanced Robots That May Take Over the World Stay on targetlast_img read more

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further Citation: Web browsers and iPhone hacked at contest (2010, March 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-web-browsers-iphone-hacked-contest.html This year’s winner, security analyst Charlie Miller, was awarded $10,000 and a MacBook for hacking into Apple’s Safari browser running on Snow Leopard on a MacBook Pro to which he had no physical access. Miller also successfully attacked Safari in the 2008 and 2009, and now works as principal security analyst with Independent Security Evaluators. While he gave no details, Miller said the attack was triggered by the target computer visiting a specifically designed malicious website. The exploit, written in only a week, was reliable, and the user had no idea the computer was being attacked.The $15,000 second prize winners were Ralf Philipp Weinmann from the University of Luxembourg and Vincenzo Iozzo of Zynamics, who successfully attacked the iPhone. This exploit also featured a website with malicious code that enabled the hackers to lift the SMS database from the phone in around 20 seconds. They were even able to read text messages that had been deleted and upload them to their own server. They could also have exfiltrated the email database, phone list, photographs, and music files. Weinmann said they took two weeks to find the vulnerability and write the exploit, and while the attack crashed the browser, he said with a little more work they could have avoided that. Other successful hackers at the event attacked Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.6.2, both running on 64-bit Windows 7. The attack on IE 8 by Peter Vreugdenhil, a security researcher from the Netherlands, bypassed both ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) and DEP (Data Execution Prevention), which are both designed to stop attacks on the browser. The exploit won him $10,000. The Firefox hack, by Nils (no surname given), chief researcher with MWR InfoSecurity in the UK, also won $10,000 for an attack that bypassed ASLR and DEP. The attack allowed him to run the Windows calculator, but he said he could have started any process. In both exploits the browsers visited malicious websites.Pwn2Own is sponsored by Tipping Point’s Zero Day Initiative, which gives vendors details of the attacks to allow them to patch the vulnerabilities. Pwn2Own is run as part of the CanSecWest security show in Vancouver, Canada. (PhysOrg.com) — Hackers had a field day on the first day of the Pwn2Own contest, successfully attacking Safari, iPhone, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. The Pwn2Own contest is an annual event that encourages security specialists to win hardware by successfully attacking it. Hackers register the attack has run by having the exploit code read a particular file on the system. Winners receive cash prizes as well as the hardware. PWN2OWN Hacker Contest Targets Smartphones 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

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further According to the press release, the Armada 628 can deliver dual stream 1080p 3D video and 3D graphics performance with quad unified shaders for 200 million triangles per second delivered on ultra-low-power, long battery life smartphones and tablets.The Armada 628 is also the first to incorporate a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) design with three ARM cores and six additional processing engines, totaling nine dedicated core functions. An Armada-equipped smartphone would be able to play 10 hours straight of 1080p HD video or 140 hours of music on a single charge.Some of the key features of the tri-core processor include:• Up to 1.5 GHz for the two main cores and 624 MHz for the third low power core• 1 MB System Level 2 Cache• 1080p dual stream 3D video applications (30 FPS, multi-format)• Ability to project images on multiple simultaneous displays: 2 LCD’s, 1 HDMI, 1 EPD controller• Peripherals supports: USB 3.0 Superspeed Client, MIPI CSI, MIPI DSI, HDMI with integrated PHY, UniPro, Slimbus, SPMIThe Armada 628 is the first mobile CPU to offer USB 3.0. The CPU is compatible with RIM OS, Android, Linux, Windows Mobile, and full Adobe Flash. According to Marvell the CPU is currently available for sampling to customers but there is no word yet on when we can expect it to be incorporated into smartphones or tablets in the U.S. market. Intel Launches New Low-Power Moorestown Chip For Smartphones (w/ Video) (PhysOrg.com) — In a press release this morning Marvell announced the world’s first “ultra-low power, ultra-high performance” 1.5 GHz three-core processor that is the “first to feature 3D graphics performance with quad unified shaders for 200 million triangles per second delivered on mobile devices.”center_img More information: Press release Citation: Marvell announces first triple-core 1.5 GHz mobile processor (2010, September 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-09-marvell-triple-core-ghz-mobile-processor.html © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

first_imgObservers generally say that eventually all cars will use some form of electric engine and that means recharging. The more charging opportunity, the more confident customers will be about EV adoptions. While Qualcomm is throwing its competitive hat into the ring with its new charging system, the company does not deny that this is no magic bullet if there is no adequate transport system to accommodate wide deployment. Wireless recharging points embedded in roads to give electric vehicles complete autonomy would be the next phase, allowing drivers to drive and charge at the same time. Qualcomm says pads buried in the motorway can allow EVs to travel longer distances, have smaller batteries, and weigh less. According to Tech-On, the frequency range used for power transmission is 20k-140kHz. The power to be transmitted is 3kW for single phase, 7kW for three phases and 18kW or higher in the case of rapid charging. A home could be set up with the single phase 3kW IPT for charging a car overnight.Many product debuts at CES are regularly criticized by viewers as disappearing into vapor once the show draws to a close, but Qualcomm’s system is scheduled for a more aggressive debut, in the form of a field test in 50 EVs over a two-year trial period.Wireless recharging points will be rolled out across London this year to put the charging system to the test. The testing is supported by Transport for London and Mayor Boris Johnson. The Mayor has showed strong support in promoting EVs. In 2009 he pledged that every Londoner will be no more than one mile from an electric car charge point by 2015. Electric cars get charged wirelessly in London (w/ Video) Explore further The “Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC)” technology demonstrated at CES works with a transmitter pad placed near the car’s vehicle pad, which is connected to the car’s battery. Once the car is parked over that pad, the car starts charging. A controller turns alternating current into direct current. An in-car display tells when the car is lined up and when charging has started.The system uses magnetic resonance to couple power from the Base Charging Unit (BCU) to the Vehicle Charging Unit (VCU). “The system works on the principle of a magnetic resistance similar to charging an electric toothbrush,” said Qualcomm’s Joe Barret, a Qualcomm executive. © 2011 PhysOrg.comcenter_img (PhysOrg.com) — Qualcomm has demonstrated its new wireless power transmission system for electric vehicles (EVs) at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The system, including one pad for power transmitting, another for power-receiving, and control unit, uses the inductive transfer method to charge an EV. The chip-maker’s technology, Inductive Power Transfer (IPT), has a technology history that rests with the company that it acquired in November, HaloIPT. The latter, which made a name for itself in developing wireless charging technology for EVs, was a spinoff from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. 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. Citation: Qualcomm’s HaloIPT tech brings wireless charging for EVs (2012, January 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-qualcomm-haloipt-tech-wireless-evs.html More information: All images courtesy TechOn.last_img read more

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Phys.org) — In a tale worthy of Sherlock Holmes, scientists in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, UK have solved a biochemical mystery that had previously proven elusive for 70 years: How the fungus Talaromyces stipitatus produces stipitatic acid (6), which is a tropolone, one of an atypical group of fungal natural products – that is, small molecules produced by genetically encoded pathways – with a seven-carbon ring. (Most natural products, such as cholesterol or phenylalanine, have five or six carbons in rings.) The researchers used a two-part biosynthetic approach – gene deletion and alternate genetic expression – to investigate the molecular pathway in question. Professor Russell J. Cox, Postgraduate student Jack Davison and other researchers engaged in the study faced several long-standing obstacles to showing that 3-methylorcinaldehyde is the direct product of a fungal nonreducing polyketide synthase (NR-PKS) which most likely appends the methyl group from S-adenosyl methionine during biosynthesis of the tetraketide, and which uses a reductive release mechanism to produce the observed aldehyde. “Gene knockouts have been one of the most useful tools in the toolkit of the biosynthetic chemist,” Cox tells Phys.org, “but knockouts can’t answer complex questions like these. We now make extensive use of heterologous expression – that is, moving the gene to a ‘clean’ host and switching it on.”The scientists then monitor the host organism for the production of new compounds which we isolate and identify. The chemical structure of the new compound tells them a great deal about the chemistry which must have been used to make it. “In this case,” Cox continues, “we showed that the TropA gene encodes a polyketide synthase which makes 3-methylorcinaldehyde. Expression also allows us to do more complex experiments – for example, by truncating or mutating the gene – and in this way we discovered the reductive release mechanism and the fact that the programmed methylation occurs during chain extension rather than after chain-building and ring formation.”Tropolone biosynthesis was one of the longest-standing problems in the field of biosynthesis and some of the most distinguished organic chemists of the last century were fascinated by it, but progress had been very limited. “We realized that combining chemical knowledge with genome sequence data could give us the start we needed,” Cox explains. “We already knew a lot about polyketide biosynthesis in fungi, and this allowed us to narrow down the potential genes involved to just four. We then used chemical knowledge to narrow this further to a single gene cluster.” Proof then came from the knockout and expression studies. Explore further Copyright 2012 Phys.Org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. More information: Genetic, molecular, and biochemical basis of fungal tropolone biosynthesis, PNAS May 15, 2012 vol. 109 no. 20 7642-7647, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201469109 Involvement of tspks1 (tropA) in the biosynthesis of methylorcinaldehyde and tropolones in T. stipitatus. PKS domains: SAT, starter unit acyl transferase; KAS, ketosynthase; AT, acyl transferase; PT, product template; ACP, acyl carrier protein; CMeT, C-methyl transferase; R, acyl CoA thiolester reductase. HPLC analysis of tspks1 KO: (A) UV chromatogram at 260 nm for WT T. stipitatus; (B) UV chromatogram at 260 nm for T. stipitatus tspks1 KO. HPLC analysis of tspks1 expression in A. oryzae: (C) UV chromatogram at 293 nm for untransformed A. oryzae; (D) UV chromatogram at 293 nm for A. oryzae expressing aspks1; (E) UV chromatogram at 293 nm for A. oryzae expressing tspks1. Copyright © PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201469109 Looking ahead, the team is currently working on systematic methods to express many genes in fungi. “At present this is easy in bacteria, because in bacteria a single promoter can switch on lots of genes in parallel,” notes Cox. “In fungi, however, each gene needs its own promoter, so this has limited progress. In collaboration with our colleagues in the School of Biological Sciences at Bristol we’re developing systems which can express a dozen or so fungal genes in parallel. This will allow the researchers to investigate much more complex systems in the future.In addition, Cox adds, “I do believe that computational biology and chemistry will eventually provide answers to complex questions like this – but at the moment, while computational methods allow us to formulate good questions, lab work is still needed to find the answers. We’re working in an area with very many unknowns, so it’s difficult for computational methods which rely on current knowledge to act predictively with any accuracy. In fact,” notes Cox, “this is a powerful reason why fundamental discoveries are still so important: they’ll form the basis for future predictions.”Cox points out that he and his team will also continue to study the TropB-D enzymes in vitro. “Chemical methods of classical enzymology will allow us to determine their precise mechanisms.”Cox also articulates how comparing the T. stipitatus tropolone biosynthetic cluster with other known gene clusters allows clarification of important steps during the biosynthesis of other fungal compounds, including the xenovulenes, citrinin, sepedonin, sclerotiorin, and asperfuranone. “Fungal genomes generally are much bigger than their bacterial counterparts by roughly 10 times, and they contain many more genes and gene clusters encoding the biosynthesis of complex compounds” he explains. “Barely any of the known fungal gene clusters have been linked to the molecules they must encode. Our work now allows the understanding of a set of genes which encodes the biosynthesis of polyketides followed by oxidative modifications and these occur frequently in fungi. Until now these clusters were mysterious, but now we can – at least partially – begin to understand what they may do. Secondly, knowledge of the gene clusters will allow us to go hunting for new clusters more effectively.” For example, puberulic acid is a potent antimalarial compound, but its gene cluster is unknown – and the team predicts that the cluster should be very similar to the T. stipitatus tropolone gene cluster.In terms of other research and applications that might benefit from their findings, Cox says that understanding biosynthetic pathways is a key strand of the new science of Synthetic Biology. “One can think of the gene clusters and biosynthetic enzymes they encode as building blocks of new biological entities. In the future,” he concludes, “it will be possible to combine the genetic and chemical knowledge of biosynthetic pathways to produce bioactive compounds – such as drugs and agrochemicals – using biology rather than chemistry. This offers huge advantages in terms of sustainability.” Citation: Friendly Fungi: Elucidating the fungal biosynthesis of stipitatic acid (2012, May 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-friendly-fungi-elucidating-fungal-biosynthesis.html How tropolones synthesized in fungi: 70-year-old chemical mystery solved 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

first_img Citation: Princeton geoscientists report Greenland ice sheet melting rate is increasing (2012, November 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-princeton-geoscientists-greenland-ice-sheet.html More information: Mapping Greenland’s mass loss in space and time, Published online before print November 19, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1206785109 (PDF)AbstractThe melting of polar ice sheets is a major contributor to global sea-level rise. Early estimates of the mass lost from the Greenland ice cap, based on satellite gravity data collected by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, have widely varied. Although the continentally and decadally averaged estimated trends have now more or less converged, to this date, there has been little clarity on the detailed spatial distribution of Greenland’s mass loss and how the geographical pattern has varied on relatively shorter time scales. Here, we present a spatially and temporally resolved estimation of the ice mass change over Greenland between April of 2002 and August of 2011. Although the total mass loss trend has remained linear, actively changing areas of mass loss were concentrated on the southeastern and northwestern coasts, with ice mass in the center of Greenland steadily increasing over the decade. The two used data from the twin satellites used in the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) that orbit in tandem over the Earth. As they pass over the planet they measure very small differences in gravity between the two that correspond to the amount of mass below. In looking at data recorded during the period August 2002 to 2011, they were able to measure the changes in mass of the ice sheet that covers Greenland, which is second only to Antarctica in size.The two found that by analyzing GRACE data very closely they could actually pinpoint the parts of the ice sheet that were changing and by how much. They noted for example, that for the year 2003 to 2004, the bulk of melting occurred along the eastern coast of the island nation, whereas over the following year it was centered in the northeast. Surprisingly, they found that even as the ice sheet as a whole was losing mass, some mass was gained in central Greenland. It’s not known why this has happened, but it’s possibly due to higher amounts of snowfall that might have occurred.The melting of the polar ice sheets is believed to be associated with rising global temperatures, which in turn is believed by most scientists to be the result of increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due mainly to human pollutants. As the ice sheets melt, global sea levels rise. By studying melting rates, scientists are able to provide better estimates on how much the sea will rise and when. Current estimates put sea level rise at 0.1 inches per year. Using the numbers from their study, the researchers estimate that sea levels will rise 2.4 inches over the next century from just the melting that is occurring in Greenland. They also note that based on current numbers, it would take approximately 13,000 years for all of the ice in Greenland to melt. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Isua Supracrustal Belt Isua, south-west Greenland. Credit: University of Washington. Enhanced melting of Northern Greenland in a warm climatecenter_img (Phys.org)—Princeton geoscientists Christopher Harig and Frederik Simons have been applying new methods to study the amount of ice melt in the Greenland ice sheet. They report in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the rate is approximately 200 billion tons annually and is rising at a rate of approximately 9 billion tons per year. Explore further © 2012 Phys.org 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

first_img(Phys.org) —The market for thin, flexible, printed electronic circuits is potentially huge. Although tremendous advances have been made in printing organic semiconductors like thin-film transistors (TFTs), one of their present limitations is a relatively high operating voltage requirement. 3D printed lithium-ion batteries with acceptable single-cell potentials (~3V) have been previously demonstrated, at least on small scales. The main concerns though, are that even with hermetic packaging, the raw materials for these cells still pose inherent safety and reliability risks. For wearable devices, which are a major application for flexible printed devices, a more versatile technology has been sought. A new study in Applied Physics Letters describes recent experiments with a different battery chemistry—Zn-MnO2. Using special fabrication techniques, a 10-cell series configuration of the battery was able to generate peak voltages of 14 volts, and a capacity of up to 0.8 mA h. © 2013 Phys.org The main incentive to developing printed thin-film batteries is that they would be able to be fabricated on the same production line as the rest of a printed electronic device. Much research has gone into reducing the relatively high potential (10-30V) of solution-phase printed organic TFTs. The fact remains that a lot of the traditional problems of these devices like low mobility, large channel lengths, drain-source shorting, and thick dielectric layers, go away when higher voltages are used. The ability to now make high-potential batteries based on alkaline chemistry, like the Zn-MnO2, removes many of the traditional concerns with lithium batteries.Alkaline batteries are generally less expensive than lithium batteries, and their environmentally friendly raw materials do not need to be hermetically sealed. The cells are printed on commercially available polyvivyl alcohol/cellulose(PAC) membranes. The 100um thick membrane also serves as a separator and a substrate for the Zn and MnO2 electrodes. A hydrophobic fluoropolymer solution (Teflon AF) is printed between the electrodes to reduce electrolyte migration and conduction between neighboring electrodes of different cells. The anode and cathode are printed from solution-based inks composed of conductive additives and binder materials. The cells were connected with a printed silver-based ink.The anode and cathode footprint of the battery, as well as their separation distance, is 1 cm2. The open circuit potential of 14 V is limited mainly by self-discharge of the MnO2 electrode during processing, particularly as a result of the multiple baking steps needed to evaporate solvents. The battery was tested by discharging through a 100 kΩ resistive load. After 7.5 hours, the potential dropped to 10V, which was what was used for the conservatively-set 0.8 mA h capacity.To further characterize their battery, a technique known as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to determine the ohmic resistance (1.20 Ω), and the charge transfer resistance (0.8 Ω). These values are low enough for the individual cells that they do not cause major impedance losses when assembled into a 10-cell device. The researchers also gave the battery a real-word test to demonstrate its performance within an actual printed circuit. They used a ring oscillator circuit made from five simple inverting gates connected head-to-tail. The frequency of an output tap on this circuit depends on supply voltage and delay through the circuit. The ring oscillator test circuit only drew a very low current and the resulting waveform peaked at 13 V on each 10 ms cycle. After 20 minutes of use, no changes in the open circuit potential were detectable, suggesting that simple circuits could be powered for an extended duration. More complex circuits may likely draw much more power than a ring oscillator, but the new Zn-MnO2 battery looks like it will be a good alternative to lithium for many foreseable printed device applications. Journal information: Applied Physics Letters Citation: Physicists develop flexible multicell Zn-MnO2 battery for printed electronics (2013, June 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-physicists-flexible-multicell-zn-mno2-battery.html Explore furthercenter_img Printed Flexible Zn-Mno2 Battery. Credit: A. Gaikwad et. al. Applied Physics Letters Vol 102 Issue 23 More information: A flexible high potential printed battery for powering printed electronics, Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 233302 (2013); dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4810974 AbstractMechanically flexible arrays of alkaline electrochemical cells fabricated using stencil printing onto fibrous substrates are shown to provide the necessary performance characteristics for driving ink-jet printed circuits. Due to the dimensions and material set currently required for reliable low-temperature print processing of electronic devices, a battery potential greater than that sourced by single cells is typically needed. The developed battery is a series interconnected array of 10 low resistance Zn-MnO2 alkaline cells, giving an open circuit potential of 14 V. This flexible battery is used to power an ink-jet printed 5-stage complementary ring oscillator based on organic semiconductors. Battery embedded in circuit board demonstrated at Tokyo exhibition 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

first_img © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Best of Last Week – Observation of elusive antiparticle, mystery on Titan and reversing memory loss from Alzheimer’s (2014, October 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-week-elusive-antiparticle-mystery.html Explore further Princeton University scientists used scanning-tunneling microscope to show the atomic structure of an one-atom-wide iron wire on a lead surface. The zoomed-in portion of the image depicts the quantum probability of the wire containing an elusive particle called the Majorana fermion. Importantly, the image pinpoints the particle to the end of the wire, which is where it had been predicted to be over years of theoretical calculations. Credit: Yazdani Lab, Princeton University In other astrophysics news, researchers here on Earth were able to watch as a mysterious feature evolved in a Titan sea courtesy of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The bright object seen on Saturn’s moon was observed to be changing over time. Researchers aren’t sure what it is, but suspect it could be bubbles, waves, suspended solids or something forming beneath the surface.In more practical news, officials have announced that the first floating solar farm in the UK has come to life in Berkshire—the farm won’t take up valuable farmland and is the first of many to come. In related news, a team of researchers has come up with what they are calling the world’s first “solar battery” that runs on light and air—it’s a solar cell that stores its own power.There was also some good news for millions of people the world over as a team of researchers has been attacking type 2 diabetes from a new direction with encouraging results. A drug normally used for another purpose was found to burn fat in liver cells, a precursor to the disease. Also, another team in Denmark has found a new material that steals oxygen from the air—one teaspoon can hold a whole roomful of oxygen, perhaps doing away with oxygen tanks for those with lung impairments, offering a new lease on life.And finally in some truly exciting medical news, a team of researchers has demonstrated a way to reverse memory loss due to Alzheimer’s for the first time ever—it involves a 36-point therapeutic program that involves a wide array of therapies ranging from diet changes, to brain stimulation and pharmaceuticals. It’s the first study to show that such memory loss does not have to be permanent.center_img (Phys.org) —It was another interesting week in pure physics research as a team in India revisited superposition with a proposed resolution of the double-slit experiment paradox using Feynman path integral formalism—they’re looking to resolve a discrepancy with the Schrödinger wavefunction. Meanwhile, another team at Princeton has observed the Majorana fermion, an elusive particle that is its own antiparticle—a possible step toward the creation of computers based on quantum mechanics. Not to be outdone, yet another team has found a Higgs-gravity connection that may leave traces in white dwarfs—the Higgs boson experiments conducted in 2012, it turns out, might just play a major role in finally understanding the nature of gravity via an investigation into the connection between the coupling of spacetime curvature and the Higgs field. A Higgs-gravity connection may leave traces in white dwarfs 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

first_img Cats have a reputation as being stand-offish and somewhat distant—some have suggested they only hang around their owners because of the easy meals. But they may actually like their owners more than their reputation suggests, the researchers with this new effort found. They point out that cats may simply be misunderstood, noting that recent research has found that cats have complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities. They suggest further that the commonly held belief that cats are less reactive to social stimuli might be due to a lack of knowledge regarding the things that cats actually find stimulating.To assess the degree to which cats like (or are stimulated by) certain things, the researchers tested reactions from two groups of 19 cats each—those living with people and those living in a shelter. The cats were kept sequestered for two and a half hours and were then watched as they were presented with three items from one of four category types: food, scent, toy and human interaction. The researchers mixed up the stimuli for the different cats to get a better read on which they found the most stimulating. The degree of preference for any one stimulus was judged by which stimulus the cat went for first and how and for how long it interacted with it.The researchers report that they found clear variability among the cats regardless of home type, but overall social interaction with humans was the stimulus most preferred—half of the cats chose interacting with a human above anything else offered, which included food—they spent on average 65 percent of their time interacting with a person. This, the researchers suggest, shows that cats really do like being around their human owners, despite how they might behave around them. Cat experiment suggests they remember in ways similar to humans and dogs Citation: Cats found to like humans more than thought (2017, March 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-cats-humans-thought.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with Oregon State University and Monmouth University has conducted experiments with cats, and has found that they appear to like humans more than expected. In their paper published in the journal Behavioral Processes, Kristyn Vitale Shreve, Lindsay Mehrkam and Monique Udell describe their experiments and their plans for conducting additional experiments to better understand cat motivations.center_img Journal information: Behavioural Processes © 2017 Phys.org More information: Kristyn R. Vitale Shreve et al, Social interaction, food, scent or toys? A formal assessment of domestic pet and shelter cat ( Felis silvestris catus ) preferences, Behavioural Processes (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2017.03.016AbstractDomestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) engage in a variety of relationships with humans and can be conditioned to engage in numerous behaviors using Pavlovian and operant methods Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities. Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable. This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for. The current study investigated domestic cat preferences at the individual and population level using a free operant preference assessment. Adult cats from two populations (pet and shelter) were presented with three stimuli within each of the following four categories: human social interaction, food, toy, and scent. Proportion of time interacting with each stimulus was recorded. The single most-preferred stimulus from each of the four categories were simultaneously presented in a final session to determine each cat’s most-preferred stimulus overall. Although there was clear individual variability in cat preference, social interaction with humans was the most-preferred stimulus category for the majority of cats, followed by food. This was true for cats in both the pet and shelter population. Future research can examine the use of preferred stimuli as enrichment in applied settings and assess individual cats’ motivation to work for their most-preferred stimulus as a measure of reinforcer efficacy. 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

first_img‘Pre-booking has started for Passport at Amazon and BlackBerry exclusive stores from Monday itself. Customers pre-booking at Amazon.in would receive a gift card worth Rs 5,000. It will be be available across stores from 10 October for Rs 49,990,’ BlackBerry India Managing Director Sunil Lalvani said at the launch event.BlackBerry Passport has 4.5 LCD touch screen and comes with a three row qwerty keypad which also has capacitative touch features embedded in it. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cash‘The keypad can be used for typing as well as navigation by swiping fingers on it for functions like delete, moving predictive words function up and down etc,’ Lalvani said. BlackBerry Passport comes with 3450 mAh non-removable battery which company said will support up to 14 hours of talktime in 2G network and video playback of up to 11 hours. The square-shaped handset has 13 megapixel main camera and 2 megapixel front camera. The internal storage capacity of the phone is 32 GB and supports 128 GB of external storage. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsBlackBerry has targeted professionals who have heavy typing requirement through Passport. The phones total length is about 5-inch and width is about 3.5 inch. Though BlackBerry Passport is completely different in terms of design, it may see tough competition from premium smartphones like iPhone 5S, Sony Xperia Z3, HTC M8 etc.Another tough competition for the phone could be Samsung Note 4, which is yet to be launched in India.Before Passport, the company’s most expensive smartphone was Blackberry Q10 launched for about Rs 45,000 in June last year. The handset is now available in the market at around Rs 19,000 — less than half its launch price. The company had to reduce price of its handsets as there was a huge inventory pile up due to less of demand of BlackBerry phones sold at premium price. Lalvani said the price of BlackBerry Passport is going to stay because of its high quality components and specifications.‘We launched Z3 in June and there is no price change till date. We are getting good response. We had two price revisions of Z10 over period of 18 months. Its not a secret. We had to write down some inventory and we are now coming out of it. Passport is competitively and aggressively priced because of its specification,’ Lalvani said.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The alumni of 1993 batch of IIT Kharagpur have joined hands with their alma mater to set up six Distinguished Chair Professorships in AI and Machine Learning in memory of their martyred batch mate. Ajay Kumar Singh, an IPS officer, had laid down his life during an operation against insurgents near Ranchi in 2000.IIT KGP Director Prof Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said on his Facebook page, “A Truly KGP-ian way to remember a martyred batch mate who had dedicated his life in Service of the Nation and performed the highest sacrifice. Let us use this to build a new initiative to touch the lives of the People of India. Thanks 1993 team. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIIT KGP is already in the process of setting up a Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and researchers in several departments in the institute are working on product development or applications related to AI.The campaign for Chair Professorships in AI was led by Neeraj Mendiratta and created buzz among his batch mates across the globe with around hundred alumni having donated close to Rs 75 Lakh, an IIT KGP statement said.Of the total amount, a sum of Rs 36 Lakh will be contributed towards the Ajay Kumar Singh Chair Professorships in AI and the remaining for endowment in the name of the batch. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe alumni are aiming to reach Rs 50 Lakh figure for the endowment which will give them a classroom at IIT KGP named after their batch.Dean of Alumni Affairs, Prof. Subrata Chattopadhyay said, “I am overwhelmed with the initiative of IIT KGP alumni to give back to their alma mater. We just need to create avenues which the alumni would find worthwhile and beneficial for country and they would generously contribute towards it.” The Chair Professorships will be for two years duration for existing and new teachers including visiting and adjunct faculty in Artificial Intelligence starting from academic year 2018-19. The support will be in the form of a top-up salary which will be Rs 25,000 every month.”We, the batch mates of Ajay, fondly remember him as a braveheart . We wanted to commemorate his name in association with an initiative like excellence in teaching and research in the area of machine learning which can do wonders for India,” batch mate Paresh Krishnakant Joshi said.He expressed hope that through this initiative, IIT KGP would be able to promote AI teaching and in a way that it could be simplified and mass marketed.AI and Machine Learning has become the next big thing in the 21st century impacting healthcare, electronics and communication, space technology, transport, automobiles and even home appliances.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Adam Burakowski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in India said Poland’s GDP grew by 4.2 percent in 2017 which was considerably higher than the EU average growth of 2.4 percent.Other EU countries account for 75 percent of Poland’s total exports. However, Poland has growing trade links with non European countries. Poland has been steadily improving its position in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rank and it has climbed from 74th position in 2012 to 24th position in 2017. With regard to the labour force, 43 percent of Poles attain a tertiary education degree and 90 percent of adults attain at least upper secondary education. The unemployment rate is low in Poland. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights He was speaking on a theme “Doing Business with Poland” organised by the Merchant Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Tuesday afternoon. Mohan Goenka, Honorary Consul of Poland in Kolkata was present and spoke on the occasion. Arun Kumar Garodia, Regional Chairman, Eastern Region, EEPC India was also present and addressed the gathering. Burakowski stated that Poland is an attractive investment destination on account of its strategic location and economic stability, attractive labour market with increasing labour productivity, mature business environment, variety of manufacturing sectors, dense network of suppliers, thriving services sector and presence of industrial clusters and investment support ecosystem comprising 14 Special Economic Zones and local tax relief. The 14 SEZs in Poland had received investments of $27 billion by 2016 and 2,87,000 jobs had been created. Burakowski added that about 121 Indian companies operate in Poland. Indian investments in Poland amount to $3 billion and include Videocon, TCS, Infosys, HCL Technologies and Wipro among others.last_img read more

first_imgSinger Miley Cyrus has been reportedly ignoring her boyfriend Patrick Schwarzenegger’s phone calls since he returned from his spring break in Cabo.“Patrick has been trying to reach Miley since he’s been back, calling her over and over and she hasn’t been answering his calls,” eonline.com quoted a source as saying.“He’s very upset and is doing everything he can to try resolve things. Patrick is extremely frustrated because he’s been actively trying to be very good and to make this relationship work,” the source added.Patrick was photographed getting cozy with a bikini girl during his vacation. He denied rumours that he cheated on Miley Cyrus.“Omg. It’s one of my best friends girlfriend… Would NEVER do anything against my GF… Girls have guy friends and guys have friends that are girls,” he said speaking against the rumours sparked by their pictures.last_img read more

first_imgThe 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar National Highway continued to remain closed for traffic for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday due to landslides triggered by heavy rain, leaving over 700 Kashmir-bound trucks and light passenger vehicles stranded.Authorities have not allowed any fresh movement of traffic from Jammu to Srinagar or from the other side, a senior traffic police officer said.”Road has been washed away at several places due to massive landslides triggered by continuous rainfall in the state. A large stretch of road has been washed away at several places,” the officer said. There have been fresh landslides at three different places in Ramban district, he said. The highway was closed on April 1 due to landslides triggered by heavy rains at different places, he said.The men and machines of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) are working to clear the highway of landslides and make it motorable, he said.last_img read more

first_imgMela Khushiyon Ka is therefore a spiritual tadka as laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body, boosts energy and diminishes pain. Being held at a time when the country is in the midst of spring, the three-day festival of holistic healing, cultural performances, mela is taking place at Zorba the Buddha and is on till Sunday.  In addition to cultural performances, fire-walk, joyous therapeutic dance, soulful Baul songs and Bhangra, there are some impromptu ‘pop-up’ events like performers drumming, flute, jamming, dance, poetry to promote bonhomie and bonding. All this leads to an amalgamation of a holistic expression of an individual through the medium of creativity. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The highlight of the cultural event is the presence and participation of Shivani Sur, who comes from a family of musicians, whose talent was discovered at the tender age of three when she started imitating her father’s singing in Gonda in Uttar Pradesh. She is the third generation of her musician family. All this comes with the buzz and colours of wellness and happiness amidst the calm and serenity of healing workshops, yoga and meditation. The mela have a healing circle where healers will offer a wide variety of healing modalities such as Ayurveda, Tarot, Numerology, Aura Reading, Vaastu, Angel Card Reading, food stalls, art creations besides many more, in interactive personal sessions.Housing around twenty stalls, the mela showcases a wide variety of eclectic wares such as organic food, exotic tea blends, chutneys from the hills of Kumaon, Ayurveda products, fashion and style paraphernalia, books, music and more.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: A 35-year-old woman was killed after she was hit by a private bus near Chiriamore at Barrackpore in North 24-Parganas on Tuesday.Police said the incident took place when the woman was taking her child to her school on Tuesday morning. The seven-year-old child also received injuries and is admitted to hospital.A police officer said the victim, Nitu Gupta, was a local resident. Police came to know after speaking to locals that the accident took place because two buses were racing between each other to get more passengers. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedOne of the buses failed to control the speed and hit the woman while she was crossing the road. Locals took the woman to a hospital where she was declaredbrought dead.The offending bus was seized but the driver had managed to flee.In two road accidents in Birbhum, one was killed when a motorbike collided head on with a truck at Mohammad Bazar.The road remained close after the accident. In another road accident in Birbhum, a toto collided head on with a truck at Abdarpur and it claimed the life of one person, who was travelingin the toto.The driver of the toto also received severe injuries.last_img read more

first_imgDarjeeling: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced the formation of an expert committee to look into different issues and problems pertaining to the tea industry. The committee will be handing over its recommendations and a report within three months. She also stated that the Land department will be soon preparing a law for distributing land rights to tea garden workers.The Chief Minister, while on a tour of North Bengal districts, held a meeting with different operating tea unions of the gardens at Uttar Kanya, the mini secretariat in the Jalpaiguri district on Thursday. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedLater, addressing a Press conference, she stated: “There are problems ailing the tea industry but we will have to find a permanent solution to the problems. We have constituted an expert committee with the Chief Secretary at the helm. The committee will submit a report within three months. The Land Reforms department will formulate a law for distributing pattas (land right documents) to tea garden workers.”She stated that there is exploitation in the tea gardens. “Some gardens declare lockouts as per their convenience. We will cancel lease of such tea gardens and will initiate criminal cases against the management not paying PF and gratuity of the workers,” retorted the Chief Minister. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPReacting to an ongoing agitation by the Joint Forum of Tea, a conglomeration of 26 tea unions demanding minimum wages for tea workers, Banerjee stated: “They only know how to call bandhs. Our government has been sincerely working for the workers. We have spent more than Rs 1,000 crore for the tea workers since 2011.”Adding to this, Malay Ghatak, minister in charge of the Labour department, stated: “During the Left Front regime, daily wages were hiked by Rs 1 and Rs 2. We incremented daily wages by Rs 37.50. At present, the daily wage cash component is Rs 159.” The Chief Minister stated that the government is negotiating with the management for a minimum daily wage of Rs 176. Another round of talks of the minimum wage committee will be held on Friday at Uttar Kanya to decide on the minimum wage issue, stated the Chief Minister.There are 2,72,000 workers in the tea gardens of West Bengal and another 8 lakh non-workers who live in the tea gardens.”We are extending different social security programmes in the tea gardens. For the nonworkers we have decided to impart skill development training. Tea tourism will be promoted as an alternative” said the Chief Minister.She added that relief is being provided to the workers in closed tea gardens, including free electricity and free drinking water, along with 35 kg of rice at Rs 2 per kg.last_img read more