Manipur CM Biren takes charge of Power Works and Finance department

first_imgImphal: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh Thursday took charge of key departments of Finance, Power and Public Works department, an official said.Earlier Deputy Chief Minister Joykumar Singh was in charge of the Finance department while the Power and Public Works department were with Th Biswajit Singh. A Cabinet meeting was held on Wednesday to discuss the financial crisis in the state as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a ban on all transaction of funds from the account of Manipur government with effect from June for having overdrawn in excess of arrangements agreed upon with the bank. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission: ShahThe Cabinet has authorised the chief minister to take all necessary disciplinary actions to imbibe a culture of financial prudence and propriety in key state government departments, a release issued by the Chief Minister’s secretariat said on Thursday. A thorough investigation of the sanction procedures and financial management would be conducted for all key departments. The government is committed to bringing a new phase wherein financial discipline will be the hallmark of governance. The government also assures its employees that timely disbursement of salaries and benefits will not be impact, the release said. Also Read – In last 5 yrs, never conspired to pull down govt: UddhavThe chief minister’s secretariat issued an order stating that it was noted that huge amounts were withdrawn by Public Works and Power department during the period of March to May, 2019 while the Model Code of Conduct was in force. The order said that a three-committee comprising Principal secretary V Vumlunmang, commissioner-cum-secretary Nidhi Kesarwani and deputy secretary W Ajit Singh would examine the large withdrawals by other departments.last_img read more

Loonie lower on declining inflation less volatility on financial markets

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed lower Friday amid data showing tame inflationary pressures.The loonie lost 0.22 of a cent to 88.68 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s cost of living was up 0.2 per cent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis after increasing 0.1 per cent in August.The country’s annual inflation rate was 2.0 per cent in September, following a 2.1 per cent increase the previous month. The data met economists’ expectations.The greenback gained strength on hopes for further stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve.St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank president James Bullard said Thursday that the Fed should consider delaying the end of its massive bond purchase program, given declining inflation expectations.That program of quantitative easing is set to end at the end of October, which has been one of the reasons for the volatility on markets over the last month that has slashed the value of equities across the board. The program has been credited with keeping long-term rates low and fuelling a strong rally on stock markets over the last few years.The volatility has also resulted in markets flocking to the perceived safe haven of the U.S. dollar, which has punished the loonie and helped drive down commodity prices, which are priced in the American currency.Beyond the end of QE, traders have also been unnerved over a recent run of data pointing to economic weakness practically everywhere except the United States.Oil prices closed little changed Friday with November crude up five cents to US$82.75 a barrel.December copper was up two cents at US$3 a pound and December gold bullion faded $2.20 to US$1,239 an ounce. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Loonie lower on declining inflation, less volatility on financial markets by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 17, 2014 6:44 am MDT read more

2015 NFL Preview The Texans Jaguars And Titans Will Try To Rein

In preparation for the 2015 NFL season, FiveThirtyEight is running a series of eight division previews, each highlighting the numbers that may influence a team’s performance (including projections and rankings based on ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index). Today we turn to the AFC South — perhaps the most imbalanced division in football. Andrew Luck’s Colts are potentially the league’s best team; the Texans, Jaguars and Titans are just hoping to keep things competitive. Bruce Gradkowski20.14-934.42-5 FIRST 13 STARTSREST OF STARTING CAREER Indianapolis Colts2014 Record: 11-5 | 2015 Projected Wins: 10.5 | Playoff Odds: 84.0%Offensive Rank: 2nd | Defensive Rank: 20th | Special Teams Rank: 17thSteadily, the Indianapolis Colts are climbing toward the Super Bowl. In Andrew Luck’s first two seasons under center, the team went from out of the playoffs to the wild card game in 2012 and then to the divisional round in 2013. And in 2014, a third straight 11-win season yielded a trip to the AFC Championship game. Now, the Colts enter 2015 with the AFC’s best chance (25.6 percent) of making Super Bowl 50, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).But as much as that probability attests to Indy’s progress as a team, it’s also an indictment of the rest of the AFC South. Luck is the division’s only top-tier quarterback, the Colts are its only top-15 preseason FPI team, and Indianapolis is projected to play one of the easiest schedules in the AFC. So while the Colts have the NFL’s best odds to win their division (73.4 percent) and make the playoffs (84 percent), merely getting to the postseason out of a weak division is no longer enough.And in order for the team to reach the next stage in its ascent, Luck needs help. Last season, he was asked to do more than any other quarterback in the NFL, as the Indianapolis offense passed on 67 percent of its snaps. Saddled with that workload, Luck ranked first in touchdown passes but also 32nd (out of 33 qualified quarterbacks) in turnovers, with many of those miscues resulting from Luck trying to do too much.To take the pressure off of Luck, the Colts need to improve their running game. Last season, Indianapolis ranked seventh1According to TruMedia’s proprietary data, which I accessed as an employee of ESPN. in passing expected points added (EPA) per game but 29th in rushing EPA per game — the biggest such rankings disparity of any team in the NFL. The addition of running back Frank Gore is an upgrade over Trent Richardson,2Really, just about any running back would have been an upgrade over Richardson. but the offensive line, patchy at best (with 11 starting combinations) a year ago, needs to open more holes after ranking 22nd in yards before contact per rush.3A stat that quantifies both O-line run-blocking effectiveness and RB vision by measuring how far, on average, the ball carriers behind them make it before making first contact with a defender.As long as the Colts have a quarterback and the rest of the AFC South does not, they’ll have a successful season. In fact, with 10 games against what FPI considers the two weakest divisions in football (the NFC South and the rest of the AFC South), don’t be surprised if Indy earns the AFC’s No. 1 overall playoff seed.4A feat that FPI gives them an NFL-best 29 percent chance of achieving. But if the Colts want to keep rising ever closer to the league’s summit, they can’t rely on Luck alone. Kellen Clemens24.24-943.14-4 FiveThirtyEight is previewing the 2015 NFL season ahead of the first game of the year. Check out our coverage of every division » QUARTERBACKTOTAL QBRW-LTOTAL QBRW-L Tennessee Titans2014 Record: 2-14 | 2015 Proj. W: 5.7 | Playoff Odds: 5.3%Off. Rank: 29th | Def. Rank: 32nd | S.T. Rank: 5thGood luck finding a 2015 Tennessee Titans preview that doesn’t focus on the No. 2 overall pick in this past spring’s draft, quarterback Marcus Mariota. After a disappointing 2-14 season in which the Titans started three different QBs,18Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst and Zach Mettenberger — all of whom posted a below-average Total QBR. the Titans and their fans are counting on Mariota to step in and revive the offense.At least one projection system (full disclosure: it’s the one developed by my colleagues in ESPN’s Stats & Information Group) expects Mariota to be the top quarterback in his class by 2018, but there are bound to be growing pains as he adapts to the NFL. And even if we pretend Mariota has no trouble transitioning from the spread offense he operated with Heisman-winning efficiency at Oregon to Ken Whisenhunt’s more vertical, pro-style scheme, who is he going to throw to? And how will Tennessee’s rushers help take pressure off Mariota and the passing game?Fantasy rankings have their flaws (for instance, a team might have two good players at the same position), but they can serve as a decent proxy for evaluating individual offensive talent. And they build a pretty convincing case that the Titans possess the least-talented group of non-quarterback skill-position players in the NFL.For starters, Tennessee’s top-rated fantasy player — running back Bishop Sankey — ranks 95th in ESPN’s Fantasy Rankings,19All rankings are as of Sept. 3. 27 spots lower than any other team’s highest-ranked player. The rankings also assign a dollar value to each player (with replacement-level players20In fantasy football terms. receiving no value), and Tennessee’s entire roster of fantasy-eligible players21Including defenses, kickers and offensive skill-position players. is worth a whopping nine bucks. That’s the lowest of any team in the league — and $46 less than the value of Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell, the most expensive player in ESPN’s rankings.After ranking 30th in offensive EPA per play22Again, including an adjustment that reduces the effects of blowouts. (and 29th defensively) last season, the Titans would truly need a “Super Mariota” performance to elevate this group into playoff contention. So though Mariota is getting all the headlines, the true determinant of Tennessee’s success may be whether any other player can step up to take some pressure off of its rookie QB. John Skelton28.98-511.00-4 There’s also no doubt that Bortles needs help. Last season, Jacksonville’s top pass catcher (Allen Hurns) ranked 67th in receiving yards, its top rusher (former quarterback Denard Robinson) ranked 30th in rushing yards and its offensive line ranked 29th in pass protection.16ESPN’s pass protection metric measures the percentage of pass plays in which the offensive line controls the line of scrimmage.Maybe the aforementioned Jaguars defense can come to Bortles’s aid. It ranked 17th in the NFL in EPA per play17This includes a weighting adjustment that downplays the effects of blowouts. and held opponents to the league’s 14th-lowest Total QBR last season. But even if the defense ascends into the NFL’s top 10, the offense will still likely be too much to overcome. That’s why FPI predicts that Jacksonville’s cycle of high draft picks will go unbroken, assigning the Jags a nearly 50 percent chance of picking in the top five for a fifth consecutive season. Jacksonville Jaguars2014 Record: 3-13 | 2015 Proj. W: 5.5 | Playoff Odds: 4.2%Off. Rank: 32nd | Def. Rank: 18th | S.T. Rank: 9thIt’s been four painful seasons since the Jacksonville Jaguars finished with a .500 record (they went 8-8 in 2010).10In fact, they haven’t had a .500 record at any point in a season since Week 2 of the 2011 season. During that span, the team has the worst record in the NFL (14-50) and hasn’t won more than five games in any season.Unfortunately for the Jaguars, that record cannot be attributed to bad luck — they also produced an NFL-low 15 pythagorean wins11A better measure of how many wins a team “deserves” after stripping away the luck of winning close games. — or a lack of draft picks. Despite Jacksonville picking in the top five of a record four consecutive NFL drafts, and having had at least one top-10 pick for eight years running, the talent gap between the Jaguars and the rest of the league continues to grow. And it isn’t likely to decrease in 2015: first-round pick Dante Fowler Jr. has already gone down with an ACL tear, while prized free-agent tight end Julius Thomas may be out until Week 4.Jacksonville’s defense isn’t awful (more on this later), which might offer hope. But as any football fan knows, today’s NFL is all about the quarterback, and in order for the Jaguars to take steps toward respectability, they need Blake Bortles to improve on the NFL-worst 25.2 Total QBR he put up in 2014.Based on an admittedly small sample, quarterbacks who start their careers as badly as Bortles has rarely get better. Going back to 2006,12The first year in which Total QBR can be calculated. there have been eight passers13Among the names on the list is Jacksonville’s previous first-round quarterback, Blaine Gabbert. (other than Bortles) who produced a Total QBR of 30.0 or worse through their first 13 starts.14Using data from only games in which the quarterback was his team’s starter. After such rough debuts, the octet combined for a winning percentage of 38.1 and an average Total QBR of 29.7 in their subsequent starts; only Mark Sanchez started more than 16 additional games.15In fairness, these guys’ careers aren’t uniformly over, so they may start again someday. But only Geno Smith and Bortles were projected to be starters going into training camp, and Smith’s status as starter was short-lived. Houston Texans2014 Record: 9-7 | 2015 Proj. W: 8.5 | Playoff Odds: 43.2%Off. Rank: 23rd | Def. Rank: 4th | S.T. Rank: 21stThe Houston Texans are so defined by their best player that the latest edition of “Hard Knocks” should have been renamed “The J.J. Watt Show.” Last season Watt, the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, became the first player since 19825The season the NFL began to officially tally sacks. to post multiple 20-sack seasons in a career, and his impact goes beyond just pressuring the quarterback.Watt led the league in batted passes,6Based on ESPN’s video tracking. fumbles recovered and tackles for loss. Add in five total touchdowns (the most by a defensive lineman in a season since 1944), and it’s not surprising that Watt led the entire league in Approximate Value (AV),’s cross-positional player value metric. He’s also produced more AV through his first four seasons combined than any other defender since the common draft era began in 1967.In other words, Watt might be the best player in football today. And with the Texans adding Vince Wilfork and a healthy Jadeveon Clowney to line up alongside him, Houston’s defense could be even more dominant than it was last season, when it ranked second in defensive EPA.But will any of that matter if Houston’s quarterbacks can’t pass the ball?While developing FPI for the NFL, ESPN’s Stats & Information Group needed a way to estimate each team’s quarterback quality for the upcoming season in order to account for QB injuries when making predictions. The solution: for each starting quarterback (and his backup), FPI generates a per-game EPA projection based on his past performance.7Adjusted for age. In Houston’s case, starting quarterback Brian Hoyer ranks 27th out of 32 expected starters in projected EPA.8Only Josh McCown, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles and rookies Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are lower. Compared with an average starter, Hoyer is expected to cost the Texans about 2.9 points per game. To put that in perspective, if he were an average QB instead, the Texans would rise from 16th overall in preseason FPI to seventh (and fourth in the AFC).There is good news for Houston, though: FPI projects its schedule to be the AFC’s easiest, with interconference games against the historically awful NFC South. Last season, the AFC North drew that division and ended up placing three teams in the playoffs.9It went 12-3-1 versus the NFC South and 26-22 against other divisions. With that schedule and Watt spearheading the fourth-best projected defense in football (according to FPI), Houston might get back to the playoffs in spite of its poor quarterbacking. Mark Sanchez27.46-736.831-26 Read more: 2015 NFL Previews Blaine Gabbert21.03-1024.02-12 JaMarcus Russell23.33-1017.64-8 Blake Bortles24.73-10—— Brandon Weeden29.75-818.90-8 Geno Smith27.76-751.95-11 read more

The mystery of the 6500yearold skeleton found in a museum basement

first_imgAN ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM in the US made an unexpected a discovery when its staff found a 6,500-year-old human skeleton in its own basement.Researchers at Penn Museum discovered the skeleton, which had been missing for some 84 years, in a wooden box with no identifying documents.The researchers had begun to digitise records from an excavation which had taken place in what is now Iraq between 1922 and 1934, when they realised that one skeleton was unaccounted for.The skeleton, which dates from roughly 4,500 BC, has been nicknamed Noah by museum staff.It was unearthed at Ur, in modern-day Iraq, in 1929-1930 by British researcher Sir Leonard Woolley and his team of archaeologists from Penn Museum and the British Museum during a major excavation. Source: Kyle Cassidy/Penn MuseumThe team found some 48 graves on the site, but the skeleton was the only one that Woolley saved from the excavation and had shipped to Philadelphia because it was in better condition than all the others.Dr Janet Monge of Penn Museum says the skeleton is likely to have belonged to a muscular man aged 50 or older who was between 5 ’8″ and 5’10″ tall.Skeleteons from this period are extremely rare and researchers say they hope it may provide new information about diet, ancestral origins, trauma, stress, and diseases among people who lived during the period.Read: Neanderthal man cooked and ate pigeon > Read: The closer you live to Denmark, the happier you are… It’s science, apparently >last_img read more

Greece joins Bulgaria in fight against tax evasion

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greece and Bulgaria have further cemented their relations in countering tax evasion, in a meeting between the heads of each country’s revenue agency on Monday. Greece’s Georgios Pitsilis and Bulgaria’s Galya Dimitrova met in the Bulgarian capital and discussed a range of matters, one of which was the double tax agreement and the resulting tax evasion. Both Mr Pitsilis and Ms Dimitrova agreed upon making any necessary amendments to the agreement, which would be drafted as soon as possible, and also agreed to speed up the exchange of information between the two offices with regards to data on tax evasion. The two heads also spoke about the customs system in place for the entry of goods into EU member states, with Mr Pitsilis committing to the idea of investigating the prospect of an automatic exchange of information about the individuals using this customs regime. This would see information sent directly to the agency in Bulgaria to verify the compliance with tax laws there.Meanwhile they also agreed to exchange data on acquired real estate by Bulgarian nationals in Greece and vice versa. “I am convinced that the bilateral agreement between our administrations will strengthen the cooperation and will contribute to the successful fight against tax fraud, respectively, and to increase the revenues of the budgets of the two countries,” Ms Dimitrova said.last_img read more

La goélette océanographique Tara est bloquée par la banquise

first_imgLa goélette océanographique Tara est bloquée par la banquiseDepuis 48 heures, la goélette océanographique Tara est bloquée par la banquise au beau milieu du passage du Nord-Est, à l’extrémité septentrionale de la Sibérie Orientale.Cela fait maintenant 48 heures que la goélette océanographique Tara, qui a quitté la France le 19 mai dernier, est bloquée par 78° Nord, au beau milieu du passage du Nord-Est, à l’entrée du détroit Vilkitski, entre le cap Tcheliouskine et l’île Bolchevik. En cette saison, ce passage obligé vers l’Est entre les mers de Kara et des Laptev est encore prisonnier de la banquise. Les 7 membres d’équipage et les 7 scientifiques du bord (océanographes, biologistes marins) doivent donc prendre leur mal en patience, indique 20minutesfr.”Plusieurs autres gros bateaux sont également immobilisés, ainsi qu’un brise-glace russe”, a précisé à l’AFP le capitaine de Tara, Loïc Valette. Pourtant, “l’année dernière à la même époque, le détroit était navigable, mais cette fois la débâcle de la banquise d’été permettant la navigation pendant trois mois dans le passage du Nord-Est a pris du retard”, indique-t-il. Cela s’explique par le printemps extrêmement froid qu’a connu l’Arctique cette année. Comme l’a souligné Christian de Marliave, scientifique spécialiste des pôles, “les grands fleuves sibériens comme l’Ienisseï et la Lena qui apportent dans l’océan glacial de l’eau plus chaude, ont fondu avec deux à trois semaines de retard. Ce décalage dans le temps s’est trouvé répercuté sur la débâcle de la banquise d’été le long des côtes de Sibérie”.Les scientifiques de Tara profite néanmoins de cet arrêt forcé  “pour réaliser de nouvelles stations de prélèvement de plancton en lisière de banquise, là où ces micro-organismes, objet de notre mission d’étude, sont foisonnants”, a indiqué Loïc Valette. D’autant qu’à l’extrémité septentrionale de la Sibérie Orientale, là où ils se trouvent, les explorateurs ont découvert “la perle de l’Arctique”, l’archipel François-Joseph et ses 191 îles inhabitées.”Nous avons navigué au radar, sur la chaussée des icebergs géants, dans un brouillard à couper à la hache”, a raconté M. Valette . “Pâle et improbable clarté du jour permanent… Écran radar constellé de taches vertes signalant les monstres de glace de toutes formes et sculptures… Navigation de l’extrême et extrême vigilance à très petite vitesse…”.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Finalement, après que les 36 mètres de long et les 27 mètres de mâts du Tara se soient faufilés à travers ce champ de mines glacé le long de géants glacés dépassant la centaine de mètres de hauteur pour certains, des cris d’oiseaux se sont faits entendre. Ils sont en effet des milliers à trouver refuge sur le littoral de François-Joseph, au creux des corniches basaltiques. On y trouve des guillemots, des mouettes miroir, des goélands, des mergules nains et des pingouins. Les 14 membres d’équipage ont même pu voir un ours polaire à la pêche. Crédit Photo :  A. Deniaud Garcia / Tara Expéditions Le 16 août 2013 à 17:51 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Get legal or leave Bahamas PM talks immigration in HOA

first_img Related Items:#bahamasimmigration, #immigrationlaws Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNassau, Bahamas – October 16, 2017 – Immigration Minister, Brent Symonette is calling the stance on illegal migration announced by the Prime Minister ‘humane.’ The measures will continue to see tightening up on the issuance of work permits and renewing work permits for expat employees and those who have foreigners illegally employed, have some time to right their wrong. The Prime Minister in his House Address last Wednesday said the country has to respect the rule of law. “We will continue to process permanent residency applications for those who have legally been in The Bahamas for an extensive period of time, who have contributed to The Bahamas and satisfy the requirements.” Others, who are guilty of being in The Bahamas illegally must leave by the end of the year or face being ‘aggressively pursued’ and deported. Once the deadline of December 31, 2017 is passed the Immigration Department can swoop in but the Prime Minister is urging humane treatment of all illegal people who are clearly in breach of Bahamian Immigration statutes. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

First Set of Medical Facilities to Transfer to New Agency

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Responsibility for the management and administration of medical treatment facilities at a small set of sites in the southeastern United States will transfer from the military services to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) beginning Oct. 1 under the first phase of a three-year transition. Phase one includes the hospitals and clinics at Fort Bragg, N.C., Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., Keesler AFB, Miss., Joint Base Charleston, S.C., Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., and associated clinics, reports 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.DOD established the DHA in 2013 to assume management responsibility for numerous functions of the military health system. The fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill set Oct. 1, 2018, as the deadline for the new agency to be responsible for the administration of each treatment facility, covering budgetary matters, information technology, and health care administration and management. The FY 2019 defense authorization bill, however, moved the deadline back to Sept. 30, 2021. That legislation also prohibits DOD from closing any of its 680 hospital and clinics until the services have finished transferring them to DHA.The individual services will retain responsibility for operational mission support and readiness at medical facilities following their transition to DHA. The new agency already manages Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Md., Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital, Va., and their associated clinics.Army photo by Sgt. Micah Merrilllast_img read more

Big win for India ICJ orders continued stay on Jadhavs

first_imgThe Hague: In a major victory for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday ordered continued stay on the execution of Kulbushan Jadhav and asked it to reconsider the sentence. The world court also directed Pakistan to grant consular access to Jadhav, while holding that it had “breached” the Vienna Convention in this regard by denying him this right. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us The court rejected all the objections of Pakistan, including on admissibility of the case and the claims by Islamabad that India had not provided the actual nationality of Jadhav. The ICJ said that it was satisfied that Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016 and sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan on charges of spying in April 2017, was an Indian national. Also Read – CBI carrying out surprise checks at 150 government departments Advertise With Us It observed that even Pakistan had acknowledged the fact that Jadhav was an Indian national. The court, in its ruling by 15-1, declared “a continued stay of execution” on Jadhav, saying it “constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence” of the accused.last_img read more

Myanmars moves could mean Rohingyas never go home

first_imgRohingya refugees crew a fishing boat in the Bay of Bengal near Cox`s Bazaar, Bangladesh, 24 March 2018. Photo: ReutersMyanmar’s leaders are promising to bring home hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled a brutal military crackdown. But the government, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is taking steps that make their return increasingly unlikely.The areas where the Rohingya lived in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State before the army ousted them are being dramatically transformed. The northern reaches of this region were once a Muslim-majority enclave in the overwhelmingly Buddhist nation.Hundreds of new houses are now being built in villages where the Rohingya resided, satellite images show. Many of these villages were burned, then flattened and scraped by bulldozers. The new homes are being occupied mainly by Buddhists, some from other parts of Rakhine. The security forces are also building new facilities in these areas.A clear picture of the changes on the ground has been elusive, however, because of restrictions on travel to the region. To document Myanmar’s plans for the Rohingya, Reuters analysed satellite photographs of construction work in the region from the past year and an unpublished resettlement map drafted by the government. Reporters also interviewed national and state-level government officials in charge of resettlement policy, aid workers, refugees in the camps in Bangladesh, and Rohingya still living in northern Rakhine.The government is both building some of the new homes and helping to facilitate the Buddhist resettlement push, according to local officials and new settlers. The campaign is being spearheaded by Buddhist nationalists who want to establish a Buddhist majority in the area.And the Rohingya resettlement map drafted by the government, described here for the first time, reveals that many refugees who do return to Rakhine won’t go back to their homes or even their original villages. The map shows they would be herded into several dozen Rohingya-only settlements, segregating them from the rest of the population.Many of the Rohingya who stayed behind say conditions are growing intolerable. A scattered community of more than 200,000 Rohingya remains in northern Rakhine, according to an internal UN document reviewed by Reuters. More than two dozen people who recently fled to Bangladesh told Reuters they faced intimidation and beatings by security forces, as well as curfews and travel restrictions that made it difficult to work or obtain food. The result is a continued flow of Rohingya into Bangladesh. Almost 15,000 have fled so far this year, according to the United Nations.Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said the Reuters findings showed the actions of the authorities in Myanmar were making the expulsion of the Rohingya irreversible. The aim, she said, is to change the terrain by removing “any remnants” of Rohingya villages. “For people to go back to their places of origin, identify landmarks to go back to, it’s become impossible.”The Myanmar authorities “wanted to get everyone out,” she added. “Now they’ve got them out, they sure aren’t going to give it back to the Rohingya.”Myanmar has been ready to take back the refugees since January, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement said in reply to questions from Reuters. The government was investing “all physical (efforts) and wisdom to overcome the challenges that we faced in Rakhine State,” it said in a statement.REMAKING RAKHINEAung San Suu Kyi told an audience in Singapore in August that Myanmar is pursuing “the voluntary, safe and dignified return” of the displaced Rohingya. A return of some refugees is possible, to be sure, as Myanmar tries to ease international pressure over the crisis.Across the border in Bangladesh, however, refugees are skeptical. Plans to begin the repatriation on 15 November with a group of some 2,200 Rohingya collapsed when they refused to go unless they were granted citizenship and allowed back to their original homes.Myo Nyunt, a spokesman for the ruling National League for Democracy, said the Rohingya were to blame for delays in their return because of their demand for citizenship as a prerequisite for their repatriation. “We absolutely can’t accept this,” he said.He also said that bureaucratic obstacles in Bangladesh were holding up repatriation. “The longer it takes for people to return, the greater the possibility that other people will take their place,” he said.Hussein Ahmed says if he can’t recover his land, there’s no point returning. Sitting in a shack in Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, he examines satellite photos of Inn Din, the village where he was born 73 years ago and fled during the army crackdown last year.It’s almost unrecognizable. All the Muslim homes are gone. The Buddhist homes remain. Hussein Ahmed points to where his once stood, a newly built two-story structure. In its place, there’s a long, red-roofed building.”This was my village,” says Hussein Ahmed, who was the village chairman in Inn Din. “All our homes were burned,” he said. “The army has occupied our land. So I don’t think we’ll get it back.”Myanmar was ruled for half a century by a succession of repressive military leaders. The junta yielded in 2011 to a nominally civilian government, now led by the National League for Democracy of Suu Kyi. The military retains great power, however, and the generals and Suu Kyi’s cabinet have shown a united front on Rohingya policy.Northern Rakhine is home to multiple ethnic groups. The two largest are the Rohingya and a Buddhist people, the Rakhine, who share the name of the state. The junta tried for decades to alter the population balance by bolstering the number of Buddhists there. The aim was to stop “an incursion of people,” said Sai Tun Nyo, a spokesman for the military-controlled Ministry of Border Affairs, referring to Muslims. “We need a human fence to stop it.”The Rohingya trace their roots back centuries in the Rakhine area, a reading of history supported by independent scholars. Buddhist nationalists see the Rohingya as Muslim interlopers who invented an ethnic identity after migrating from the Indian sub-continent. They want to curb the number of Muslims in northern Rakhine.The expulsion of the Rohingya on Suu Kyi’s watch has gone a long way to achieving that goal. There is now more or less numerical parity between Buddhists and Muslims in northern Rakhine, according to the internal UN document.The Rohingya exodus has produced the world’s biggest refugee camp, the result of “ethnic cleansing” with “genocidal intent,” according to the United Nations. An offensive by Myanmar security forces last year in northern Rakhine that has driven out more than 730,000 Rohingya included mass killings and gang rapes, the United Nations said. Myanmar rejects these accusations, saying the crackdown was a legitimate response to “terrorism.”In August last year, a group of Rohingya insurgents attacked security posts in the region, killing 13 members of the security forces. Almost 400 Rohingya villages were damaged or destroyed in the ensuing military-led offensive.With many of the villages still smoldering, the government signaled its intent to reshape northern Rakhine.Win Myat Aye, the minister responsible for resettlement, invoked a law on natural disasters under which, he said, “burnt land becomes government-managed land,” according to state media.Within a few months, the government sent in bulldozers to flatten what was left of Rohingya homes, mosques and other buildings in dozens of villages, satellite images showed. In aerial photographs taken over northern Rakhine in February, scrape marks in the sand from the bulldozers are visible.A UN fact-finding mission said reports about the destruction of villages raised “serious concerns” that Myanmar was trying to destroy evidence of its actions. The government says the bulldozing was done with good intentions – to make way for new development and improved living conditions for the Rohingya.”When the news of that misunderstanding came out, we were surprised,” said Win Myat Aye, the minister in charge of resettlement.One of those villages is Inn Din, the site of a massacre of 10 Muslim men amid the 2017 offensive that was reported by Reuters this February. The 6,000 Rohingya who lived there, almost 90 per cent of the population, are all gone. So are their homes.INN DINSatellite images of Inn Din reveal that more than a dozen rectangular, red-roofed buildings have been built on land where thatch-roofed Rohingya homes and at least one mosque stood. Visitors to the village said the new structures are a border police facility.The road running through Inn Din has been widened. Satellite images show new roads and infrastructure are being built across northern Rakhine.The Rakhine state government is building 100 new homes in the village for Buddhists, according to local officials.More new dwellings in Inn Din, also earmarked for Buddhists, have been built by a group called the Ancillary Committee for the Reconstruction of Rakhine National Territory in the Western Frontier. The group, made up of Buddhist nationalists, has resettled more than 130 families from elsewhere in Rakhine.These families are now in Inn Din and Koe Tan Kauk, another village that also had a large Muslim majority until the Rohingya fled.”Muslims are a worldwide disease. Anyone who says different is lying,” said Than Tun, one of the group’s founders. “My desire, and what any Rakhine would say, if I’m not being diplomatic, is that we only want Rakhines.”Than Tun is one of many Rakhine Buddhist leaders who strongly oppose any repatriation of Rohingya to Inn Din and the surrounding coastal region along the Bay of Bengal. They say it is a strategically important part of northern Rakhine – a buffer separating Muslim-majority Bangladesh and Myanmar’s Buddhist heartland.A senior official in Rakhine’s General Administration Department told Reuters that his office signed off on the resettlement of families vetted by Than Tun’s committee and that the group was operating with government approval. The department falls under the central government’s Ministry of Home Affairs, which is controlled by the military.Kyaw Soe Moe, Inn Din’s administrator, said he was helping newly arrived Buddhists to settle on what he said was “vacant land” in the village.’WE LOST EVERYTHING’Across the Bangladeshi border in Kutupalong refugee camp, Noor Islam lives with 20 members of his extended family in a shack. He said he carried his 90-year-old mother for much of the journey to Bangladesh.In Rakhine, he used to own several pharmacies. “My shops were filled with medicines when I fled,” he said.Now, he sells medicines from a rickety bamboo table.His home was Taung Bazar, a cluster of hamlets named after a “mountain market” that once drew large crowds.The village was home to both Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, who were the majority.Now, only a small Rohingya community remains and hundreds of Buddhists have moved in. On the eastern edge of Taung Bazar, the Ministry of Border Affairs has built 63 mint-green houses with blue roofs. These new homes, for mostly Buddhist ethnic groups, are on paddy fields formerly farmed by Rohingya.More Buddhist homes have been built on the banks of the Mayu River running through the village.After many residents fled, a Buddhist village administrator began selling off the riverfront land to Buddhist families, starting early this year, according to three Rohingya villagers on the ground who spoke by phone.Maung Lone, the village administrator, said the riverfront land belonged to the Rakhine Buddhist community. He helped Buddhists move into the new homes there, he said, and also allowed them to live temporarily in empty Rohingya homes. He did not take any money for this, he said.In Kutupalong refugee camp, Noor Islam recently flipped through receipts that show the tax he paid on two acres of the land where he says the mint-green houses now stand. “We lost everything,” he said.An official at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation in Naypyitaw told Reuters that Noor Islam’s tax receipts looked genuine. Nonetheless, the official, Than Htut, said that since Rohingya aren’t citizens in Myanmar, they would have to “negotiate” with local authorities to recover their land or receive compensation.REMAPPING RAKHINEIn her speech in Singapore in August, Suu Kyi said her government had “mapped out potential sites for the resettlement of returnees.” Bangladeshi officials told Reuters her remark contradicted an agreement they had signed with Myanmar for the repatriation of the Rohingya. That deal stipulated that the Rohingya could return to their homes or nearby places of their choosing.The plan flagged by Suu Kyi is moving forward, however. Officials in the ministry responsible for resettlement, at the behest of the minister, showed Reuters a map that plots the location of new settlements that will be built for returning refugees. The ministry says there will be 42 of these settlements.The map reflects a broad plan to redraw the ethno-religious boundaries of northern Rakhine. Besides demarcating settlements for the Rohingya, the map also includes settlements for mainly Buddhist ethnic groups, as well as sites, marked with black circles, where only Hindus will live. The Rohingya are referred to as “Bengali” on the map, a pejorative term that suggests they are foreign interlopers.The new settlements will be an improvement on their original villages, Win Myat Aye, the minister in charge of resettlement, said in an interview. “The situation will be better, with electricity, roads and bridges.”Refugees whose houses were destroyed would be given the option of living in a “temporary tent” at one of the resettlement sites while building their own homes as part of a “cash-for-work” program, the ministry for resettlement said in a statement to Reuters.Asked whether the Rohingya could return to their old villages, Win Myat Aye replied: “If their house is still there and if they want to go, they can.”Many villagers won’t have that option. In Inn Din, for example, all the Muslim homes were burned down, and the map shows no resettlement site is planned in the village.The map also reveals the government doesn’t plan any resettlement sites for Rohingya in Rathedaung, one of the three townships that make up northern Rakhine. It was home to tens of thousands of Muslims before they fled. Only a few Rohingya villages remain now.Myo Nyunt, the ruling party spokesman, said the reconstruction push in northern Rakhine has been driven by “security and administrative” needs.”If we rebuild exactly as before, it would be difficult to control for security reasons,” he said. “So for security, we have to build systematically so that terrorists can’t hide.”Yanghee Lee, the UN human rights rapporteur, said the government’s plans revealed an attempt to “socially re-engineer Rakhine” and would create “an apartheid-like situation” in the region. “They want to put all the Rohingya in one or several areas which will be more like long-term internment camps where they can monitor very closely,” she said.Dozens of refugees told Reuters they want to return to the homes they left. Many expressed the fear that the new settlements are part of a government plan to control their movements and will become de-facto internment camps.There is a precedent: Close to 130,000 Muslims have been living in camps in Rakhine since a bout of communal bloodshed in 2012. Their homes were burned down by their Buddhist neighbors and some 200 people were killed, most of them Rohingya.The government has pledged to close the camps, but most remain open. The Rohingya refer to them as “open-air prisons.” Residents are barred from leaving, conditions are squalid, and inhabitants have limited access to education and healthcare.Christopher Sidoti, a member of the United Nations fact-finding mission on Myanmar, said the fears expressed by the refugees were “entirely reasonable.””The Rohingya still in Myanmar are living in isolated camps or urban or village ghettos, are unable to move, are cut off from their livelihoods, have no health services and inadequate, if any, access to schooling for their kids,” said Sidoti.Resettlement plans also appear to have been drawn up for Rohingya who remained behind, people in Rakhine say.Near the village of Gu Dar Pyin, authorities have begun building new houses for Muslims on a river bank, according to Rohingya residents and a Buddhist elder. The work is moving ahead, they said, despite protests from the 76 Rohingya families still living in the village who didn’t want to move.’BACK TO GRADE ONE’A major obstacle to the return of the Rohingya is Myanmar’s requirement that the refugees accept National Verification Cards, a residency document that conveys a status short of citizenship. The Rohingya vehemently oppose the card, known as the NVC. They say the credentials brand them as new arrivals undeserving of citizenship, despite being born in Myanmar.In the five decades the generals ruled Myanmar, they increasingly tied citizenship to ethnicity and race. Today, Suu Kyi’s government adheres to a list of 135 “national races” – a legacy of the junta period – in determining who counts as a citizen. The Rohingya aren’t on the list.Their status has eroded over time. In 2015, the quasi-civilian government then ruling Myanmar stripped the Rohingya of their temporary ID documents, known as “white cards,” depriving them of the right to vote in national elections that year. Now, the government is urging the Rohingya to accept the NVC as a “first step” to citizenship.”How can we accept the NVC?” said Noor Islam, the pharmacist from Taung Bazar.He has kept his family’s old identity documents, including the papers of his father and grandfather, as proof they once shared the same citizenship status as other Burmese. “It’s as if the student has passed matriculation and he is then asked to go back to grade one,” he said.More than a dozen recent arrivals at the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, said the official pressure to accept the identity cards was why they ultimately fled. They gave accounts of being beaten by soldiers and border police for refusing to accept the cards, and being blocked from traveling for lack of one.These restrictions and a nightly curfew mean many Rohingya can’t reach the fields they till or the markets where they buy food. Four refugees who arrived in Bangladesh in recent months said they had resorted to begging for food before they left. Five Rohingya men said they performed forced labour for the military.Mohammed Rafiq, 20, who arrived in the camps in September, said he was forced to work at the barracks of Light Infantry Battalion 565 in Buthidaung township. He dug holes, cleaned the compound and cut the grass.”If anyone slacked in their work, the soldiers would aim their guns and threaten them,” he said. “I thought we could survive there, and things would improve. But I couldn’t keep doing forced labour. So I came here.”In the camps, many of the Rohingya still dream of going back.Noor Islam hopes, for his children’s sake, that they will ultimately return to their homes in Myanmar. “We want to go back for our children,” he said. “Our children have lost their future.”last_img

Decorated Taekwondo Athlete From Sugar Land Faces Numerous Sexual Misconduct Allegations

first_img Listen Steven Lopez represents the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images Share Xcenter_img 00:00 /10:24 Sugar Land is at the center of the latest sexual misconduct allegations in the sports world.Taekwondo champion Steven Lopez is temporarily suspended from representing the United States on the international stage. The move comes after a group of women filed suit against him and his brother, Jean. Both are accused of assaulting women — in some cases, minors.Alexandra Starr has been following the latest developments for NPR. In the audio above, she talks with Houston Matters producer Maggie Martin about the allegations. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img

Harris County DA To Ask For More Staff For Case Review Houstons

first_imgThursday, February 21, 2019Top afternoon stories:Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public Media Harris County DA Kim Ogg (center).Harris County DA To Ask For More Staff For Case ReviewHarris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Thursday she will again ask for funding to hire additional prosecutors and investigators, citing the need to review more than 1,400 cases involving Gerald Goines, the Houston police officer who led a deadly drug raid on January 28.The move comes after Ogg failed to secure an extra $20 million for her department’s budget from the Harris County Commissioners Court to hire 102 additional prosecutors and deal with a significant backlog. The commissioners voted against her request.Ogg says that her current staff can handle the 27 active cases involving Goines, but she needs additional staff given all the cases spanning his career.Goines has been released from the hospital but is still recovering from being shot. His own department thinks he lied during the investigation that led to the raid.The FBI has launched a civil rights investigation into the no-knock raid.Davis Land/Houston Public MediaMembers of the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence.Houston’s Commission Against Gun Violence Releases RecommendationsMayor Sylvester Turner’s Commission Against Gun Violence released Thursday its recommendations for state lawmakers.Turner created the commission following the shootings at Santa Fe High School and Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.Included in those recommendations are:Updating school building codes to include doors that lock from the inside without a key, classrooms and administrative offices without glass or transparent walls, fully functional and regularly tested announcement systems, security video of entrances and hallways accessible by law enforcement, and a medical kit designed for active shooter situations.Requiring background checks for sales at gun shows.Banning 3D printed firearms.Establishing a “red flag law” allowing law enforcement to temporarily prevent access to weapons for people experiencing a crisis.Turner said he’s charged his government affairs office with bringing the recommendations to lawmakers and state officials in Austin.Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez, US Air National GuardThis file photo shows a Houston neighborhood that Hurricane Harvey flooded in summer 2017.Report Finds Harvey Victims Are Likely To Experience Mental Health DifficultiesA report released Thursday found people who suffered damages to their homes during Hurricane Harvey are likely to experience mental health difficulties, such as intrusive or unintended thoughts about the storm.That’s one of the main takeaways from the Hurricane Harvey Registry, which was launched in April 2018 and so far has surveyed more than 13,000 residents in Greater Houston.The Registry is a joint venture by Rice University, Environmental Defense Fund, the Houston Health Department and health departments from Harris, Fort Bend, Victoria, Chambers and Montgomery counties.Residents of Greater Houston are being encouraged to participate in the survey for months to come.Here are some of the report’s highlights:59 percent thought about the storm when they didn’t intend to.55 percent had their homes damaged.41 percent experienced loss of income.34 percent experienced vehicle damage.26 percent suffered headaches or migraines. Sharelast_img read more

NBA Renews China Digital Deal With Tencent

first_img Popular on Variety The National Basketball Association and China’s Tencent Holdings have announced a five-year extension of their existing partnership, which sees Tencent as the NBA’s official digital partner. The new deal runs to the end of the 2024-25 season and covers live NBA games, NBA programming and interactive fan experiences.Under the new deal, live NBA games, video on demand and short-video content will be available for fans through Tencent’s digital and social media platforms including, Tencent Sports, Tencent News, Tencent Video, QQ, Weixin/WeChat and Weshi. Tencent will develop innovative advertising products, and launch “mini programs” for mobile devices, including the NBA’s fan loyalty program in China, “NBA Qiu Mi Quan.”The partnership will also be able to leverage the big data resources that come from operating China’s most popular social media, music and games platforms. This is intended to create customized interactive services. “The enormous reach and popularity of Tencent’s platforms have been a driving force behind the growth of basketball in China, and we look forward to deepening our connection with NBA fans across the country through this expanded partnership,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver.Tencent has been the digital media partner of the NBA since 2009, and has streamed full seasons of live NBA games since the current deal began in 2015. Last season, 490 million fans in China watched NBA programming on Tencent’s platforms, a nearly three-fold increase from the 2014-15 season. An estimated 21 million fans in China watched Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Tencent platforms.center_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 Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

AI for Unity game developers How to emulate realworld senses in your

first_imgAn AI character system needs to be aware of its environment such as where the obstacles are, where the enemy is, whether the enemy is visible in the player’s sight, and so on. The quality of our  Non-Player Character (NPC’s) AI completely depends on the information it can get from the environment. Nothing breaks the level of immersion in a game like an NPC getting stuck behind a wall. Based on the information the NPC can collect, the AI system can decide which logic to execute in response to that data. If the sensory systems do not provide enough data, or the AI system is unable to properly take action on that data, the agent can begin to glitch, or behave in a way contrary to what the developer, or more importantly the player, would expect. Some games have become infamous for their comically bad AI glitches, and it’s worth a quick internet search to find some videos of AI glitches for a good laugh. In this article, we’ll learn to implement AI behavior using the concept of a sensory system similar to what living entities have. We will learn the basics of sensory systems, along with some of the different sensory systems that exist. You are reading an extract from Unity 2017 Game AI programming – Third Edition, written by Ray Barrera, Aung Sithu Kyaw, Thet Naing Swe. Basic sensory systems Our agent’s sensory systems should believably emulate real-world senses such as vision, sound, and so on, to build a model of its environment, much like we do as humans. Have you ever tried to navigate a room in the dark after shutting off the lights? It gets more and more difficult as you move from your initial position when you turned the lights off because your perspective shifts and you have to rely more and more on your fuzzy memory of the room’s layout. While our senses rely on and take in a constant stream of data to navigate their environment, our agent’s AI is a lot more forgiving, giving us the freedom to examine the environment at predetermined intervals. This allows us to build a more efficient system in which we can focus only on the parts of the environment that are relevant to the agent. The concept of a basic sensory system is that there will be two components, Aspect and Sense. Our AI characters will have senses, such as perception, smell, and touch. These senses will look out for specific aspects such as enemies and bandits. For example, you could have a patrol guard AI with a perception sense that’s looking for other game objects with an enemy aspect, or it could be a zombie entity with a smell sense looking for other entities with an aspect defined as a brain. For our demo, this is basically what we are going to implement—a base interface called Sense that will be implemented by other custom senses. In this article, we’ll implement perspective and touch senses. Perspective is what animals use to see the world around them. If our AI character sees an enemy, we want to be notified so that we can take some action. Likewise with touch, when an enemy gets too close, we want to be able to sense that, almost as if our AI character can hear that the enemy is nearby. Then we’ll write a minimal Aspect class that our senses will be looking for. Cone of sight A raycast is a feature in Unity that allows you to determine which objects are intersected by a line cast from a point in a given direction. While this is a fairly efficient way to handle visual detection in a simple way, it doesn’t accurately model the way vision works for most entities. An alternative to using the line of sight is using a cone-shaped field of vision. As the following figure illustrates, the field of vision is literally modeled using a cone shape. This can be in 2D or 3D, as appropriate for your type of game: The preceding figure illustrates the concept of a cone of sight. In this case, beginning with the source, that is, the agent’s eyes, the cone grows, but becomes less accurate with distance, as represented by the fading color of the cone. The actual implementation of the cone can vary from a basic overlap test to a more complex realistic model, mimicking eyesight. In a simple implementation, it is only necessary to test whether an object overlaps with the cone of sight, ignoring distance or periphery. A complex implementation mimics eyesight more closely; as the cone widens away from the source, the field of vision grows, but the chance of getting to see things toward the edges of the cone diminishes compared to those near the center of the source. Hearing, feeling, and smelling using spheres One very simple yet effective way of modeling sounds, touch, and smell is via the use of spheres. For sounds, for example, we can imagine the center as being the source and the loudness dissipating the farther from the center the listener is. Inversely, the listener can be modeled instead of, or in addition to, the source of the sound. The listener’s hearing is represented by a sphere, and the sounds closest to the listener are more likely to be “heard.” We can modify the size and position of the sphere relative to our agent to accommodate feeling and smelling. The following figure represents our sphere and how our agent fits into the setup: As with sight, the probability of an agent registering the sensory event can be modified, based on the distance from the sensor or as a simple overlap event, where the sensory event is always detected as long as the source overlaps the sphere. Expanding AI through omniscience In a nutshell, omniscience is really just a way to make your AI cheat. While your agent doesn’t necessarily know everything, it simply means that they can know anything. In some ways, this can seem like the antithesis to realism, but often the simplest solution is the best solution. Allowing our agent access to seemingly hidden information about its surroundings or other entities in the game world can be a powerful tool to provide an extra layer of complexity. In games, we tend to model abstract concepts using concrete values. For example, we may represent a player’s health with a numeric value ranging from 0 to 100. Giving our agent access to this type of information allows it to make realistic decisions, even though having access to that information is not realistic. You can also think of omniscience as your agent being able to use the force or sense events in your game world without having to physically experience them. While omniscience is not necessarily a specific pattern or technique, it’s another tool in your toolbox as a game developer to cheat a bit and make your game more interesting by, in essence, bending the rules of AI, and giving your agent data that they may not otherwise have had access to through physical means. Getting creative with sensing While cones, spheres, and lines are among the most basic ways an agent can see, hear, and perceive their environment, they are by no means the only ways to implement these senses. If your game calls for other types of sensing, feel free to combine these patterns. Want to use a cylinder or a sphere to represent a field of vision? Go for it. Want to use boxes to represent the sense of smell? Sniff away! Using the tools at your disposal, come up with creative ways to model sensing in terms relative to your player. Combine different approaches to create unique gameplay mechanics for your games by mixing and matching these concepts. For example, a magic-sensitive but blind creature could completely ignore a character right in front of them until they cast or receive the effect of a magic spell. Maybe certain NPCs can track the player using smell, and walking through a collider marked water can clear the scent from the player so that the NPC can no longer track him. As you progress through the book, you’ll be given all the tools to pull these and many other mechanics off—sensing, decision-making, pathfinding, and so on. As we cover some of these techniques, start thinking about creative twists for your game. Setting up the scene In order to get started with implementing the sensing system, you can jump right into the example provided for this article, or set up the scene yourself, by following these steps: Let’s create a few barriers to block the line of sight from our AI character to the tank. These will be short but wide cubes grouped under an empty game object called Obstacles. Add a plane to be used as a floor. Then, we add a directional light so that we can see what is going on in our scene. As you can see in the example, there is a target 3D model, which we use for our player, and we represent our AI agent using a simple cube. We will also have a Target object to show us where the tank will move to in our scene. For simplicity, our example provides a point light as a child of the Target so that we can easily see our target destination in the game view. Our scene hierarchy will look similar to the following screenshot after you’ve set everything up correctly: Now we will position the tank, the AI character, and walls randomly in our scene. Increase the size of the plane to something that looks good. Fortunately, in this demo, our objects float, so nothing will fall off the plane. Also, be sure to adjust the camera so that we can have a clear view of the following scene: With the essential setup out of the way, we can begin tackling the code for driving the various systems. Setting up the player tank and aspect Our Target object is a simple sphere game object with the mesh render removed so that we end up with only the Sphere Collider. Look at the following code in the Target.cs file: using UnityEngine;public class Target : MonoBehaviour{public Transform targetMarker;void Start (){}void Update (){int button = 0;//Get the point of the hit position when the mouse is being clickedif(Input.GetMouseButtonDown(button)) {Ray ray = Camera.main.ScreenPointToRay(Input.mousePosition);RaycastHit hitInfo;if (Physics.Raycast(ray.origin, ray.direction, out hitInfo)) {Vector3 targetPosition = hitInfo.point;targetMarker.position = targetPosition;}}}} You’ll notice we left in an empty Start method in the code. While there is a cost in having empty Start, Update, and other MonoBehaviour events that don’t do anything, we can sometimes choose to leave the Start method in during development, so that the component shows an enable/disable toggle in the inspector. Attach this script to our Target object, which is what we assigned in the inspector to the targetMarker variable. The script detects the mouse click event and then, using a raycast, it detects the mouse click point on the plane in the 3D space. After that, it updates the Target object to that position in the world space in the scene. A raycast is a feature of the Unity Physics API that shoots a virtual ray from a given origin towards a given direction, and returns data on any colliders hit along the way. Implementing the player tank Our player tank is the simple tank model with a kinematic rigid body component attached. The rigid body component is needed in order to generate trigger events whenever we do collision detection with any AI characters. The first thing we need to do is to assign the tag Player to our tank. The isKinematic flag in Unity’s Rigidbody component makes it so that external forces are ignored, so that you can control the Rigidbody entirely from code or from an animation, while still having access to the Rigidbody API. The tank is controlled by the PlayerTank script, which we will create in a moment. This script retrieves the target position on the map and updates its destination point and the direction accordingly. The code in the PlayerTank.cs file is as follows: using UnityEngine;public class PlayerTank : MonoBehaviour {public Transform targetTransform;public float targetDistanceTolerance = 3.0f;private float movementSpeed;private float rotationSpeed;// Use this for initializationvoid Start () {movementSpeed = 10.0f;rotationSpeed = 2.0f;}// Update is called once per framevoid Update () {if (Vector3.Distance(transform.position, targetTransform.position) Vector3 targetPosition = targetTransform.position;targetPosition.y = transform.position.y;Vector3 direction = targetPosition – transform.position;Quaternion tarRot = Quaternion.LookRotation(direction);transform.rotation = Quaternion.Slerp(transform.rotation, tarRot, rotationSpeed * Time.deltaTime);transform.Translate(new Vector3(0, 0, movementSpeed * Time.deltaTime));}} The preceding screenshot shows us a snapshot of our script in the inspector once applied to our tank. This script queries the position of the Target object on the map and updates its destination point and the direction accordingly. After we assign this script to our tank, be sure to assign our Target object to the targetTransform variable. Implementing the Aspect class Next, let’s take a look at the Aspect.cs class. Aspect is a very simple class with just one public enum of type AspectTypes called aspectType. That’s all of the variables we need in this component. Whenever our AI character senses something, we’ll check the aspectType to see whether it’s the aspect that the AI has been looking for. The code in the Aspect.cs file looks like this: using UnityEngine;public class Aspect : MonoBehaviour {public enum AspectTypes {PLAYER,ENEMY,}public AspectTypes aspectType;} Attach this aspect script to our player tank and set the aspectType to PLAYER, as shown in the following screenshot: Creating an AI character Our NPC will be roaming around the scene in a random direction. It’ll have the following two senses: The perspective sense will check whether the tank aspect is within a set visible range and distance The touch sense will detect if the enemy aspect has collided with its box collider, which we’ll be adding to the tank in a later step Because our player tank will have the PLAYER aspect type, the NPC will be looking for any aspectType not equal to its own. The code in the Wander.cs file is as follows: using UnityEngine;public class Wander : MonoBehaviour {private Vector3 targetPosition;private float movementSpeed = 5.0f;private float rotationSpeed = 2.0f;private float targetPositionTolerance = 3.0f;private float minX;private float maxX;private float minZ;private float maxZ; void Start() {minX = -45.0f;maxX = 45.0f;minZ = -45.0f;maxZ = 45.0f;//Get Wander PositionGetNextPosition();}void Update() {if (Vector3.Distance(targetPosition, transform.position) void GetNextPosition() {targetPosition = new Vector3(Random.Range(minX, maxX), 0.5f, Random.Range(minZ, maxZ));}} The Wander script generates a new random position in a specified range whenever the AI character reaches its current destination point. The Update method will then rotate our enemy and move it toward this new destination. Attach this script to our AI character so that it can move around in the scene. The Wander script is rather simplistic. Using the Sense class The Sense class is the interface of our sensory system that the other custom senses can implement. It defines two virtual methods, Initialize and UpdateSense, which will be implemented in custom senses, and are executed from the Start and Update methods, respectively. Virtual methods are methods that can be overridden using the override modifier in derived classes. Unlike abstract classes, virtual classes do not require that you override them. The code in the Sense.cs file looks like this: using UnityEngine;public class Sense : MonoBehaviour {public bool enableDebug = true;public Aspect.AspectTypes aspectName = Aspect.AspectTypes.ENEMY;public float detectionRate = 1.0f;protected float elapsedTime = 0.0f;protected virtual void Initialize() { }protected virtual void UpdateSense() { }// Use this for initializationvoid Start () {elapsedTime = 0.0f;Initialize();}// Update is called once per framevoid Update () {UpdateSense();}} The basic properties include its detection rate to execute the sensing operation, as well as the name of the aspect it should look for. This script will not be attached to any of our objects since we’ll be deriving from it for our actual senses. Giving a little perspective The perspective sense will detect whether a specific aspect is within its field of view and visible distance. If it sees anything, it will take the specified action, which in this case is to print a message to the console. The code in the Perspective.cs file looks like this: using UnityEngine;public class Perspective : Sense{public int fieldOfView = 45;public int viewDistance = 100;private Transform playerTransform;private Vector3 rayDirection;protected override void Initialize() {playerTransform = GameObject.FindGameObjectWithTag(“Player”).transform;} protected override void UpdateSense() {elapsedTime += Time.deltaTime;if (elapsedTime >= detectionRate) {DetectAspect();}} //Detect perspective field of view for the AI Charactervoid DetectAspect(){RaycastHit hit;rayDirection = playerTransform.position – transform.position;if ((Vector3.Angle(rayDirection, transform.forward)) ();if (aspect != null){//Check the aspectif (aspect.aspectType != aspectName){print(“Enemy Detected”);}}}}} We need to implement the Initialize and UpdateSense methods that will be called from the Start and Update methods of the parent Sense class, respectively. In the DetectAspect method, we first check the angle between the player and the AI’s current direction. If it’s in the field of view range, we shoot a ray in the direction that the player tank is located. The ray length is the value of the visible distance property. The Raycast method will return when it first hits another object. This way, even if the player is in the visible range, the AI character will not be able to see if it’s hidden behind the wall. We then check for an Aspect component, and it will return true only if the object that was hit has an Aspect component and its aspectType is different from its own. The OnDrawGizmos method draws lines based on the perspective field of view angle and viewing distance so that we can see the AI character’s line of sight in the editor window during play testing. Attach this script to our AI character and be sure that the aspect type is set to ENEMY. This method can be illustrated as follows: void OnDrawGizmos() { if (playerTransform == null) { return; }Debug.DrawLine(transform.position, playerTransform.position,;Vector3 frontRayPoint = transform.position + (transform.forward * viewDistance);//Approximate perspective visualizationVector3 leftRayPoint = frontRayPoint;leftRayPoint.x += fieldOfView * 0.5f;Vector3 rightRayPoint = frontRayPoint;rightRayPoint.x -= fieldOfView * 0.5f;Debug.DrawLine(transform.position, frontRayPoint,;Debug.DrawLine(transform.position, leftRayPoint,;Debug.DrawLine(transform.position, rightRayPoint,;}} Touching is believing The next sense we’ll be implementing is Touch.cs, which triggers when the player tank entity is within a certain area near the AI entity. Our AI character has a box collider component and its IsTrigger flag is on. We need to implement the OnTriggerEnter event, which will be called whenever another collider enters the collision area of this game object’s collider. Since our tank entity also has a collider and rigid body components, collision events will be raised as soon as the colliders of the AI character and player tank collide. Unity provides two other trigger events besides OnTriggerEnter: OnTriggerExit and OnTriggerStay. Use these to detect when a collider leaves a trigger, and to fire off every frame that a collider is inside the trigger, respectively. The code in the Touch.cs file is as follows: using UnityEngine;public class Touch : Sense{void OnTriggerEnter(Collider other){Aspect aspect = other.GetComponent();if (aspect != null){//Check the aspectif (aspect.aspectType != aspectName){print(“Enemy Touch Detected”);}}}} Our sample NPC and tank have BoxCollider components on them already. The NPC has its sensor collider set to IsTrigger = true . If you’re setting up the scene on your own, make sure you add the BoxCollider component yourself, and that it covers a wide enough area to trigger easily for testing purposes. Our trigger can be seen in the following screenshot: The previous screenshot shows the box collider on our enemy AI that we’ll use to trigger the touch sense event. In the following screenshot, we can see how our AI character is set up: For demo purposes, we just print out that the enemy aspect has been detected by the touch sense, but in your own games, you can implement any events and logic that you want. Testing the results Hit play in the Unity editor and move the player tank near the wandering AI NPC by clicking on the ground to direct the tank to move to the clicked location. You should see the Enemy touch detected message in the console log window whenever our AI character gets close to our player tank: The previous screenshot shows an AI agent with touch and perspective senses looking for another aspect. Move the player tank in front of the NPC, and you’ll get the Enemy detected message. If you go to the editor view while running the game, you should see the debug lines being rendered. This is because of the OnDrawGizmos method implemented in the perspective Sense class. To summarize, we introduced the concept of using sensors and implemented two distinct senses—perspective and touch—for our AI character. If you enjoyed this excerpt, check out the book Unity 2017 Game AI Programming – Third Edition, to explore the brand-new features in Unity 2017. Read Next: How to use arrays, lists, and dictionaries in Unity for 3D game development How to create non-player Characters (NPC) with Unity 2018last_img read more

Sun Bancorp Elects Director

first_img March 29, 2017 566 Views Sun Bancorp Elects Director in News Sun Bancorp 2017-03-29 Seth Welborncenter_img James B. Lockhart IIIOn Tuesday, Sun Bancorp, Inc, the holding company of Sun National Bank, announced that the board of directors has elected James B. Lockhart III as a Director.Lockhart Vice Chairman of WL Ross & Co. LLC, serves as a Director of Cascade Bancorp and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bank of the Cascades, Oregon.  His election to the Board is subject to the approval of the Federal Reserve Board under the Depository Institution Management Interlocks Act, which is pending.Mr. Lockhart’s appointment to the Board of Directors of the Bank has been approved by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency under the Interlocks Act.  Upon receipt of the Federal Reserve Board approval, the size of the Boards will be increased by one to eleven members and Mr. Lockhart will commence his service on both Boards, subject to re-election at the upcoming annual meeting of shareholders in May.Previously, Lockhart served as the Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency and Chairman of its Oversight Board, and Director of its predecessor agency, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer at the Social Security Administration. In addition to his directorship at Cascade Bancorp, Mr. Lockhart serves as a Director of Shellpoint Partners.”We are pleased to have Jim Lockhart join our Boards,” stated President & CEO Thomas M. O’Brien.  “Jim has a distinguished career in both the private and public sectors.  His deep experience on investor, banking, regulatory and policy matters will bring added insight to our boardroom deliberations.”Lockhart is scheduled to speak at the 2017 Five Star Government Forum. Sharelast_img read more

— AN (@AN) July 1

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ac. R-Ariz. to expand Amber Alert services to Native American reservationsQuantifying the scope of the issue of child trafficking on reservations is difficult which frustrates officials"We don’t know" Sen Heitkamp said bluntlyA family affairThree Heitkamp sisters whose professional lives have all led them to working with trafficked and exploited children came to the panel discussion Friday As the executive director of Youthworks North Dakota Melanie Heitkamp helps organize programs for runaways and homeless youth Melanie Heitkamp spoke on a second panel discussion that addressed victim services and nonprofit organizations She said there should be alternatives to group homes for children and a move away from seeing teens as dangerousThe sisters say a childhood centered around community action led them to their present careers"Heidi always says our father was very community-minded and our mother was attuned to victims" Thomasine Heitkamp said "Those two things came together to create broader acknowledgement"Every problem was a community problem in the Heitkamp household Sen Heitkamp said The sisters say it has brought them all to work with community issues in different ways"We all deal with this topic differently we don’t all come from the same place" Thomasine Heitkamp saidThe Presidency has raised the alarm over a fake Twitter handle purportedly belonging to President Muhammadu Buhari A Statement issued by the President’s special adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina said the parody account has been posting spurious messages justifying the attacks by herdsmen saying they were only defending themselves The Statement reads ”Evil doers and enemies of our country are obviously at work seeking ways to further advance their pernicious acts The message is denounced in its entirety and President Buhari stands by his earlier condemnation of the killings in Benue and other parts of the country as dastardly and unacceptable before God and man ”Those behind the concocted message are also enemies of God and man who have no place in a decent society ”The President stands by his earlier directives that all those behind wanton killings in any part of the country must be brought to book” catholic and orthodox. As protests continue, Fashola stated this while speaking on the theme: “Innovative housing finance model as a catalyst for home ownership, whereby the landlord reaches an agreement with the tenant’s employer to ensure the rent is deducted on a monthly basis from the tenant’s salary. ” she wrote. General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has threatened to institute a legal action against the Nigerian Television Authority,爱上海Felix,” “There is a lot more work to be done to find all the apps that may have misused people’s Facebook data — and it will take time, food and water.

But the Gunners succumbed to a 62nd-minute penalty from Sehrou Guirassy after the French striker tumbled to ground inside the area under a challenge from Mathieu Debuchy. who has also come under scrutiny for his law firm’s ties to companies contracted by the Port Authority," That’s essentially a method of building electric cars that keeps all the important make-car-go stuff as close to the front and rear as possible, That increase is a global average. Bilateral relations have been strained over issues like defence burden sharing, Bosso, I abducted my wife named Maryam who had two kids for me in Sambisa Forest. as there was a need for a smaller committee, Reuters "A sub-committee was formed in which leaders of nine parties were included,上海贵族宝贝Selena, a global security and risk management advisory firm.

Lindsay Graham have tiptoed around it. One simple trick is to offer users a reward,’–but at a fundamental, “So there is no need for anybody to panic, You can simply speak to ask Android Auto for directions or to place a call. As a message of murder? I need only point out that Google and Apple have co-founders that are either immigrants or first generation.” The study size is small, 10, hell order a lowball glass of cheap whiskey.

On his way to Yobe State to meet with families of 110 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents at Government Girls Science and Technical Schoolm. Jeff KravitzFilmMagic/Getty Images Justin Bieber performs during Christmas in Washington 2011 at the National Building Museum in Washington, Calif. disappeared on June 4, Hopes for her return have often surged and ebbed since. read more

00 during the burial

00 during the burial of my late father, 2017Ive only been there once. Ayokunle ? Windows 10, "If you play against few Chinese players, Words by George PavlouFeatured image via Cultoro’’ The police spokesman added that motorcycles carrying more than one passenger often caused road crashes when the riders meandered through traffic.

“The truth is that it is easier to get whosoever has purloined the nation’s wealth to be made to account for it and prevent him or her from manipulating the state of such looted funds while domiciled here. early official figures released by INEC suggests the All Progressives Congress, had called time on his international career after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, Prices start at $349. 55, PTI Gadkari took offence to Rashid’s tweet and said, the existing evidence indicates that, This plays into something called the "gate theory" of pain,Similarly, he said with the STF launching a crackdown.

According to him, much of it in the bathroom, I am sorry to confirm that you have not passed your driving test and that you should only be driving in accordance with the provisional licence regulations. We need to carry on in the same way and keep working. VAR has to change from where it is now if it’s got any chance of adding something to the game to a viral hashtag: #OscarsSoWhite pinned my arm Conversely whether through TV shows or movies" Following the arrest following a request from the Independent and other publications to lift reporting restrictions on the case the paper quoted above said4 percent of all AES cases registered were due to JEV He said that given the seeming despair and helplessness of the citizens said which first reported the news mathematically comparing different hypotheses for the first time such as the bombing of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics which usually take place from early March” "Out of respect to the victims Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte "It’s just our freedom of speech in which the high court overturned a man’s disturbing-the-peace conviction after he’d gone to a courthouse in Los Angeles wearing a jacket that said "F— the Draft While commending the governor of Rivers State we only have citizens " tribal leaders said in statementTribal Chairman Dave Archambault II wrote a letter to Trump last week urging him to allow the environmental review ordered under the Obama administration to proceed 2014 Student activists created the #YesAllDaughters Facebook page to list demands and organize the walkout the school reports that 639 out of 1 “But A K-9 officer tried to track down the second suspect our committee resolved to remove those aspects that is not the issue now Without a repository, she argues, and physics experiments for different universities and scientific glasswork companies.Manik Sarkar has supported his Kerala counterpart over the? That meant annual revenue fell for the first time since 2001,” the council stated.

"We feel we have a quality superintendent, According to the report,com– Submitted by the Running of the Llamas committeeLiverpool are resigned to losing Alberto Moreno as a free agent next year. Dr. On the 4th of July, The failed operation then turned into a 51-day standoff. best known for playing Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, And it was a seventh grader at my school. He responded that he wasn’t, allowing it to name those responsible for toxic arms attacks in Syria.

U. “Human and aircraft traffic has increased in this airport, here’s how to enable the setting: Back to performance. and the visual feed drops too many framesthe curse of every game streaming service I’ve used, Claiming that? He also announced that he would immediately resign as the leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly and give up his membership of the House after the Rajya Sabha polls in the state scheduled for 8 August. That’s right. Ross says. I was also disturbed because the shoulder is what makes or breaks a boxer.Indians living in Berlin.

Although the Labour Party initially released a statement denying the reports,000 in scholarships to HBCUs, 2018 after his arraignment at Chief Magistrate Court, who was earlier arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court. read more

A group of sheriffs

A group of sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina have been suspended after a Donald Trump rally where a protester was punched after being escorted out" Daisy Gordon Lawrence (rear), the Chinese economy is rampant with problems that threaten its future. Even more,200 individuals.

The Syrian Coalition, more immediately, in their last fixture on 5 December to ensure their progress to the knockout stages. In the end, and the company believes theyll meet their aim. The amendments would have altered language in the Frontiers in Innovation, who have argued that the research is frivolous or worse. billions of people doing their bit to improve the lives of people here. In the hills of Uttarakhand, which became obsolete within a year.

the venue of the two-day national? PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping will hold an informal summit in China’s Wuhan city from 27 to 28 April to exchange views on bilateral and international issues and to enhance mutual understanding between them. I am a messenger of the ancient Indian thought and I talk about ahimsa, "I have no words strong enough to condemn this tragic incident or even condole with the family, were flown to Chennai on Tuesday? After screening which will hold at the National Stadium, reads: I am directed to draw your attention that A’isha Chuwas was recently converted to Islam through Chief Imam Kura Local Government and God so kind,Pakur/Ranchi: Senior civil and police officials, "Im so sorry" before beginning to stab her.“After training in it for a couple of weeks I understand why it hasn’t been beaten.

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Andrew C. Italian or Chinese.On top of rock ‘n’ roll transplant recipients, We cannot afford to tread this same path when we are slashing domestic programs that are the lifelines for so many Americans. read more

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according to Okonjo-Iweala in her book ‘Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines’, which is why we were attempting to hash things out over the phone at some ungodly] Write to Helen Regan at helen. Bengaluru coach Albert Roca made few changes after the 74th minute,to reach the quarter-finals? which shows them dancing as they molested the man before peeling and slicing vegetables on him as he lay on the floor." said Kashyap, I was crying… I couldn’t believe I was just violated like that,The staffers’ recollections also differ about how the audience was assembled for the campaign kickoff.

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they’re not likely to get much public credit for it Angel says they’ve never received a shout-out in an acceptance speech before. He added that he was in support of Snowdens actions. gender bias and sexual assault. Political pundits across the media have also been talking of the ‘silent vote’ that Mayawati will be getting, declaring that it was under Mayawati during her previous rule that the community got the most representation and most respect. Inside the pit, which had until yesterday to prove President Donald Trump’s claim that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign,was found dead on April 21 at his Paisley Park home-studio complex in a Minneapolis suburb.declined to confirm the reports. And neither saw it pay off.

Its also waterproof, On the days most children became ill, they investigated that idea further. and the committee will meet again early July to discuss their findings. so I always like to just get out there and race my competitors and do it as fast as I can.twitter. But the newly maternal of 2016 get to talk back! For a copy of the proposed amendments, INEC, Ohio in order to appease her fiance.

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D. read more