Canadian working with Kenya opposition party detained to be deported

first_imgA campaign data company says a Canadian working on the opposition party’s campaign was detained in Kenya and is facing deportation.A spokeswoman for Aristotle, Inc. – a political consulting company that provides various services to campaigns, including strategy and data analysis – says the Canadian senior vice-president of global services, Andreas Katsouris, and CEO John Aristotle Phillips were detained Friday night. They’re expected to be deported Saturday night.Spokeswoman Brandi Travis says Katsouris is a Canadian working out of Toronto.Travis says the two men were in the African country assisting opposition candidate Raila Odinga, and had become involved in the Kenyan election because they thought it had the potential for irregularities.Saturday was the last day of campaigning in the election, which is set for Tuesday.Global Affairs Canada says it is providing assistance to a Canadian detained in Nairobi but would not give any further details. The U.S. Embassy in Kenya said on Twitter that they were “safe and departing” the country.The detentions occurred at around the same time that armed and masked police raided an opposition vote counting centre, intimidating workers and seizing equipment, said James Orengo, a senior member of the opposition National Super Alliance.Kenyan police on Saturday denied allegations that officers broke into political party offices on Friday, saying no report of a burglary has been made to any police station.Recent elections in the East African high-tech and commercial hub have been hotly contested, and more than 1,000 people were killed in post-election violence a decade ago.Kenyatta prevailed over Odinga in a 2013 vote that was mostly peaceful but tainted by opposition allegations of vote-rigging. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is among the thousands of expected election observers this time around.Some in the nation of 44 million people have been leaving the capital because of the threat of chaos, while many are simply going home to vote.The torture and killing in recent days of a key election official in charge of the electronic voting system has some concerned about the possibility of vote tampering.last_img read more

PM received IT refunds 5 times Rahul Gandhi 6 in last 18

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has got income tax refunds at least five times in the last 18 years, while Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has received six refunds during the same period.Besides, the refunds for assessment years 2015-16 and 2012-13 got “adjusted against outstanding demand” in case of Modi, while it was the case for Gandhi in assessment year 2011-12. This is based on the online ‘refund status’ service provided by the Tax Information Network of the Income Tax Department, managed by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited. Also Read – J&K won’t remain UT forever, says ShahThe refund status since the assessment year 2001-02 can be checked online on this platform with an individual’s PAN (Permanent Account Number), which has been sourced from the election affidavits filed by the political leaders for the Lok Sabha polls 2019. Rahul Gandhi’s mother and senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has also got at least five refunds since the assessment year 2001-02, but there is no adjustment against any outstanding demand for her in this time period. Also Read – Rae Bareli MLA Aditi among Congress’ 40 star campaigners for Oct 21 bypollsOn the other hand, BJP chief Amit Shah’s income tax refund got “adjusted against outstanding demand” for the assessment year 2015-16. The TIN-NSDL records do not show any other refund for him in the last 18 years. While the portal does not disclose the amount of the refund, it mentions the date of the refund or adjustment, the challan sequence number and the mode of payment (cheque or direct credit), among other details. As per the ‘refund status’ records, Modi got his refund for the assessment year 2018-19 through ‘direct credit’ to his account on September 26, 2018. The refund for the same year took place on October 6, 2018 for Sonia Gandhi and on March 26, 2019 for Rahul Gandhi. Modi got the refund for assessment year 2016-17 on August 16, 2016 through direct credit and through ‘refund cheque’ for 2013-14 on January 7, 2015, for 2010-11 on January 9, 2015 and for 2006-07 on October 11, 2007. For assessment years 2015-16 and 2012-13, his refund got “adjusted against outstanding demand”. Modi became Prime Minister in May 2014. In case of Rahul Gandhi, his refund for assessment year 2011-12 got “adjusted against outstanding demand” on February 1, 2012, while he also got a refund cheque for the same year a few days later on February 13, 2012. His other refunds relate to assessment years 2017-18, 2016-17, 2012-13 and 2007-08. Sonia Gandhi’s refunds relate to assessment years 2016-17, 2012-13, 2008-09 and 2007-08, besides 2018-19. Interestingly, both Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have disclosed in their election affidavits filed for the Lok Sabha 2019 elections that the Income Tax Department has initiated reassessment proceedings against them for the assessment year 2011-12 and has passed reassessment order, dated December 31, 2018, raising demand. The two leaders, however, added in their affidavits that the said proceedings are under challenge before the Supreme Court. In his affidavit, Rahul Gandhi has declared total income (as shown in income tax returns) of over Rs 1.11 crore for financial year 2017-18 (up from Rs 1.03 crore in 2013-14), while it is Rs 9.6 lakh for Sonia Gandhi (down from Rs 17.6 lakh in 2013-14). In his affidavit, Modi had declared total income of Rs 19.92 lakh for the financial year 2017-18, up from Rs 9.69 lakh in 2013-14. There are no “income tax dues” pending against him, as per Modi’s election affidavit filed for Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency. Listing his assets in the affidavit, Modi under the sub-head ‘value of claims/interest’ mentioned Rs 85,145 as tax deducted at source (TDS) for financial year 2018-19.last_img read more

Astana Peace Talks Trigger Infighting among Rebel Opposition

New Delhi – The Astana Talks proved vital for sustaining Syria’s fragile truce. The secretive clause of excluding Jabhat Fatah Shaam and other radical armed groups, however, has started to backfire.Infighting began between moderate opposition and the radical Jabhat Fatah Sham (JFS) group has left the group feeling isolated. In response, it has started to advance its campaign against moderate opposition, attempting to impose its dominion over other, smaller rebel groups.The Free Syrian Army and moderate political opposition representing the armed opposition groups had proposed to the Astana truce negotiations the willingness of the armed groups to participate in upcoming UN Geneva Talks aimed at creating a political solution to the Syrian conflict. Astana Talks were initiated under the trilateral supervision of Russia, Turkey and Iran. The secretive clause called for bolstering the positions controlled by the Syrian regime and opposition forces during the ceasefire, yet allowed offensives against ISIS and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (previously the al-Nusra Front). The Regime emphasized those radical elements within the opposition needed to be eliminated for a political transition of the conflict. This would effectively end the six year long armed conflict and ensure peace and security for Syrian civilians.The Syrian regime representatives made it clear that it wouldn’t stop its offensive against Wadi Barada until the “Damascus water sources remain cut off.” The regime is now at its strongest owing to its solid backing from Russia and Iran.The exclusion of Jabhat Fatah Sham from the ceasefire has triggered numerous battle fronts between Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and Syrian opposition factions in western Aleppo and Idlib. Russia, the U.S. and Syria are all bombing JFS positions, rendering it isolated. The coalition’s focus is now directed towards the rebel factions, which JFS “believes are the part of a conspiracy to undermine it” by co-operating with the government of Bashar al-Assad in peace talks at Astana.To expand their geographic positions both the unified Syrian opposition and the regime are in a race to annex the territories under the current control of Jabhat Fatah Sham and ISIL, following the Astana agreement. It was agreed that these two radical militant groups have no future in Syrian politics. They were also in agreement that, to secure a long-lasting peace and political transition, these groups need to be defeated.Jabhat Fatah Sham’s spokesperson for foreign media recently challenged its opponents, claiming that “JFS was well integrated in Syrian society” and cannot be uprooted. Any solution which JFS is not a part of will neither be accepted nor will it survive in Syria.The consequences of not welcoming Jabhat Fatah Sham to the negotiations, and an attempt by rebel factions to isolate it, were quickly known with its major attack on Jaysh Al Mujahideen. This was widely seen as a moderate armed opposition group. Rebel opposition groups Ahrar al-Sham, Sukour al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, and Fastaqim united with Jaysh Al Mujahideen to ward off the attack on them by JFS in northern Syria.Jaysh Al Mujahideen had been already weakened by Russian and Syrian aerial bombings before the truce. The result of JFS’s well organised ground attack has crippled its operational command and strength.According to Asharq Al-Awsat, political expert AbdelRahman Al Hajj, was quoted as saying that the Astana meeting has launched battles between opposition factions and Fatah al-Islam. He said, “What happens nowadays is the first step towards ending Jabhat Fatah al-Sham or dismantling the movement.”This infighting between radical and moderate groups will benefit the regime as it moves to consolidate its positions and keep Damascus safe from Jabhat Fatah Sham and ISIL. Their fighters are known to be highly trained, fierce and experts in modern battlefield tactics. JFS has been an arch rival to the regime and has caused the highest number of casualties for the regime forces.After the clashes with JFS, Ahrar al-Sham released a statement criticising JFS for their attacks on other groups “without any justification or legitimate reason” and said it would help their “enemies” in isolating JFS from the other rebel groups. “We will join our brothers in the rest of the factions to prevent JFS (or others) columns to go and attack Muslims and harass them and wrongfully take their blood and money,” read the statement. read more

Western Darfur following attacks UN officials voice concern for civilians safety

24 February 2008The head of the United Nations-African Union (AU) hybrid peacekeeping force, known as UNAMID, and the world body’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan today said that they are “gravely concerned” for the safety of thousands of civilians in the Jebel Muun area of Western Darfur, which was reportedly the scene of aerial bombings. The head of the United Nations-African Union (AU) hybrid peacekeeping force, known as UNAMID, and the world body’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan today said that they are “gravely concerned” for the safety of thousands of civilians in the Jebel Muun area of Western Darfur, which was reportedly the scene of aerial bombings.“It is imperative that civilians are kept out of harms’ way, and for this to happen, any fighting must stop immediately. The risks at this stage to civilians are unacceptably high,” according to a statement issued by UN/AU Joint Special Representative Rodolphe Adada and UN Humanitarian Coordinator Ameerah Haq.The Government has assured them that civilians will be able to move out of the area and to safety, and they are seeking similar assurances from the area’s rebel movements.“The solution to Darfur’s problems can never be a military one,” Mr. Adada and Ms. Haq said, adding that they hope to have humanitarian access to Jebel Muun and nearby areas.“The eyes of the world are now on Darfur and the concerns of all of us have to be with the innocent children, women and men who are caught-up in the fighting.”On 22 February, Ms. Haq expressed alarm at the level of destruction she witnessed while participating in a joint assessment of the West Darfur town of Sirba, which came under air and ground attack from the Sudanese Government and allied militia groups earlier this month.For now, the UN can provide humanitarian assistance, “but the clear message obviously is that what the people really want is protection. They are looking for security,” Ms. Haq said. “The ability to provide that – whether from the government or the international community – is still a long way away.”Women and girls face being raped when gathering firewood in the Wadi, and the Humanitarian Coordinator appealed to both the international community and Khartoum to recognize the need for UNAMID’s speedy deployment. read more

BlackBerry Ltds Passport device to cost US599 undercutting Apple and Samsung

TORONTO — BlackBerry is bringing its newest Passport smartphone to the market with a price that’s lower than Apple’s iPhone 6 and the latest incarnation of the Samsung Galaxy.Units of the phone will sell for US$599 without a wireless carrier contract in the U.S., about $50 to $250 cheaper than various models of the iPhone 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 currently on shelves.The price is a strategic move that could give BlackBerry an advantage as it works to secure large orders of the device from corporate customers and plans to sell the phone at wireless stores. Canadian prices for the BlackBerry Passport haven’t been officially released.The Passport has a square screen that measures 4.5 inches and a keyboard that’s similar to the most popular BlackBerry models.The wider screen fits 60 characters on each line, which is more than comparable devices and closer to reading a book.BlackBerry expected to launch Passport device on Sept. 24BlackBerry defends Passport’s design: So what if it’s square?BlackBerry launches Fact Check Portal to fight against rivals ‘trying to incite fear, uncertainty and doubt’Most details are being kept quiet until the official unveiling, which is expected to happen on Wednesday, during a multi-city media event in Toronto, Dubai and London.The Passport marks the first entirely new BlackBerry device to hit shelves since chief executive John Chen joined the company nearly a year ago in an effort to turn around the struggling business.Before he joined BlackBerry, Chen led a turnaround at software company Sybase, which faced its own identity crisis and financial problems before he helped make it a profitable operation focused on mobile business technology.BlackBerry is scheduled to report its second-quarter financial results on Friday.Meanwhile, sales of Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models have been brisk over the three days since it went on sale.Apple said it sold more than 10 million units of the new phone, which marks a record for the company. Last year, it sold 9 million of iPhone 5C and 5S models after they had just been released.The Canadian Press read more

Au moins 750 orangoutans tués en un an à Bornéo

first_imgAu moins 750 orang-outans tués en un an à BornéoSelon une enquête de terrain menée par une ONG auprès de villageois autochtones de Bornéo, et publiée récemment dans PLoS ONE, au moins 750 orang-outans seraient tués chaque année, aggravant la situation de cette espèce déjà gravement menacée par la perte de son habitat.Dirigée par Erik Meijaard, de People and Nature Consulting International, à Jakarta, une équipe d’enquêteurs a interrogé, entre avril 2008 et septembre 2009, 6.983 personnes appartenant à 687 villages du Kalimantan (partie indonésienne de l’île de Bornéo) sur leurs rapports avec les orang-outans (Pongo pygmaeus).À lire aussiCes 18 animaux méconnus à l’aspect étonnant pourraient disparaître avant vousIl en ressort que, malgré leur statut d’animaux protégés, 750 à 1.800 de ces primates ont été tués entre avril 2007 et avril 2008, contre 1.950 à 3.100, chaque année, avant cette période. Même en baisse, ce chiffre s’ajoute aux causes indirectes de disparition de l’espèce, notamment la déforestation pour les cultures de palmiers à huile.54% des abattages seraient motivés par la recherche de viande de brousse, 10% par la protection des cultures contre ces singes, 15% par d’autres types de conflits hommes-orang-outans. L’enquête souligne également le laxisme des autorités indonésiennes, qui ne poursuivent qu’exceptionnellement les contrevenants : 63% des personnes interrogées reconnaissant avoir tué un de ces grands singes disent savoir qu’ils sont théoriquement protégés par la loi.Le 28 novembre 2011 à 16:06 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Klopp apologises as Liverpool fans damage City bus

first_imgThe Manchester City team bus’ window was shattered during their arrival to Anfield as Liverpool fans had gathered, ignored police warnings and used flares and smoke bombs just before the first leg of the Champions League clash.City then confirmed they will be needing a new transportation vehicle for their trip back to Manchester. Guardiola was pelted with bottles and cans by the fans as well.“We apologise unreservedly to Pep Guardiola, his players, staff and officials caught up in the incident. The behaviour of a number of individuals was completely unacceptable and the club will cooperate fully with the authorities to identify those responsible,” Liverpool’s official statement claimed, according to Sky Sports.norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“The priority now is to establish the facts and offer Manchester City whatever support is necessary.”“Absolutely I don’t understand it. We tried everything to avoid a situation like that. When we came through it was very positive. City were in front of us. For Liverpool FC, I have to say sorry,” Klopp apologised for the Reds’ supporters’ actions.last_img read more

Bahamas EPassport collection returns to Thompson BoulevardUniversity Drive

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #PassportOffice Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, August 11, 2017 – Nassau – In news from Bahamas Information Services… Following a successful exercise to facilitate the collection of new e-passports at a Special Collection Centre, the Passport Office has announced that the Passport Collection/Issuance centre returns to the regular headquarters on Thompson Boulevard/University Drive, effective Monday, August 14.Chief Passport Officer Superintendent Clarence Russell said:  “The special collection exercise during the month of July and the first two weeks of August at the Anatol Rodgers Gymnasium has been an unqualified success, having issued well in excess of 3,000 e-passports to today’s date.   We were able to significantly reduce the number of uncollected passports that had already been processed and the #PassportOffice staff worked hard to accommodate the general public’s summer travel plans.“We are now satisfied that Bahamians who needed to upgrade to the new e-passports along with those who had special travel plans for the summer holidays or otherwise have now been accommodated in the most efficient fashion.”That extra publicity and prodding from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darren Henfield worked said Mr. Russell.   The few passports left can now be collected at the Thompson Boulevard site.   Other ‘thank-yous’ went out to Anatol Rodgers School for use of the facility and for security provided daily by both the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Royal Bahamas Defense Force.#MagneticMediaNewslast_img read more

Simone Inzaghi Milan tie will be difficult for us

first_imgSimone Inzaghi believes their upcoming encounter against AC Milan will be a difficult game and went on to talk about his team list for the game.“It’s going to be a difficult game for us, as while it’s true Milan have a few injury problems, they still have 11 quality players taking to the field,” Inzaghi in his Press conference via Football Italia.“It’s important for our position in the table. I’d love for us to fight it out on level terms with two full squads, but in modern football, we all need to live with these issues, especially when involved in European games too.“I think we were doomed more by individual errors and incidents, so they are details that matter in these situations. If we hadn’t been suited to big games, we would not have beaten Juventus to win the Italian Super Cup in Turin.”Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….Lucas Leiva is out of the squad due to a muscular issue and won’t be risked, while Riza Durmisi and Felipe Caicedo are in doubt.“I’ll have to make a decision between Milan Badelj and Danilo Cataldi in midfield. Luis Alberto and Joaquin Correa both have a good chance of playing.“Milan have great champions, so Gonzalo Higuain is suspended, but they have Patrick Cutrone. Where there isn’t Lucas Biglia, there is Tiemoue Bakayoko.“We faced them several times last season between Serie A and the Coppa Italia. Milan keep it tight, are organised and we know they will sit back and wait for us to come forward, so we must keep an eye out for their counter-attacks.”last_img read more

Feds to limit road transit payments to states

first_imgIf the Highway Trust Fund becomes insolvent this summer, it could delay or temporarily shelve dozens of federally funded projects in Washington, according to the state Department of Transportation. Among those is a planned paving project on Interstate 5 between Northeast 39th and 99th streets in Clark County.There are 43 Washington highway projects totaling $29 million that could be impacted by the federal shortfall. The I-5 paving in Clark County accounts for about $950,000 of that. The state typically receives reimbursements for projects that are federally funded, and the crisis could throw schedules into turmoil during the height of the construction season.The area’s largest highway projects, such as the $133 million Salmon Creek Interchange Project at I-5 and Interstate 205, are paid for by state gas taxes and thus not connected to the federal Highway Trust Fund.A WSDOT spokesman said last month the agency is “cautiously optimistic” that Congress will act in time to keep the fund from running out of money.— Eric FloripWASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday that it would start limiting payments to states for road and transit projects next month in an attempt to conserve the federal Highway Trust Fund’s rapidly diminishing cash balance.last_img read more

Ombudsman faults correctional procedures

first_imgImage in the public domain; accessed via Wikimedia Commons, Sept. 14, 2015.In a report released earlier this month (Sept. 5), the state ombudsman says the Department of Corrections failed to follow the law in three separate cases involving inmates from both Palmer and Anchorage correctional facilities.  The Ombudsman’s opinion  indicates revisions are needed in how the department conducts certain disciplinary procedures.Download AudioLinda Lord-Jenkins is the state ombudsman. She presides over a well-ordered office above a shopping complex in downtown Anchorage. Although Lord-Jenkins’ work is little known to the average Alaskan, the ombudsman keeps guard over the procedures of other governmental agencies.“We look into complaints about government agencies. The complaints are filed by citizens who believe that they have been done wrong.”And when she says ‘citizens’, that includes Alaskans in prison.On September 5, the Ombudsman’s office released a report indicating that in three separate cases, the state Department of Corrections acted contrary to the law in dealing with disciplinary matters involving inmates in state correctional facilities.The incidents ranged over time from August of 2013 to early this year. State Ombudsman Linda Lord-Jenkins says the three cases are lumped together in the report because they have a common theme. She says, in all three instances, the DOC took disciplinary action against inmates without allowing those inmates their due process at evidentiary hearings. Disciplinary actions for the inmates in all three cases ranged from losing commissary privileges to solitary confinement.Lord-Jenkins asserts, what is particularly disturbing  to her agency, is that the DOC was not immediately cooperative in answering queries linked to the ombudsman’s investigation“We had to subpoena information out of the institution for the investigation of the escape charges. And had some problems, Commissioner Schmidt had to step in and require his staff to give us the documents. Then the administration changed, and we drafted our preliminary findings which we served on Commissioner Taylor in April.”DOC Commissioner Ronald Taylor has since responded, she says, although that communication came from the department  on Labor Day. Lord-Jenkins says her agency repeatedly contacted DOC about the investigation from the beginning of the ombudsman’s involvement, but DOC did not reciprocate.“In the investigation involving the inmate who was in solitary confinement for 647 days, we never got a response from them on that, which was very disappointing.”In that Anchorage case, a federal felon in custody in the Anchorage Correctional Complex was placed in solitary confinement for a year and a half, solely because of a US Marshall’s recommendation. The inmate in question says he had no chance to challenge Marshall’s recommendation. The The ombudsman’s report faults DOC for that, because there is no law requiring DOC to adhere to the Marshall’s request.The three cases covered in the report go back two years. In May of 2014, seven inmates housed in the Palmer Correctional Complex were accused by a fellow inmate of hatching an escape plot, which included a plan to murder a corrections officer. Each of them underwent individual hearings by prison officials.The hearings resulted in loss of commissary privileges, loss of “good time”, or reductions in sentence length based on good behavior, and in some cases, a month of solitary confinement.  Lord-Jenkins says the ombudsman report  is not faulting the corrections department for having the disciplinary hearings.  It is with the procedures during and after those hearings where DOC went astray.“The concern that we had mostly out of Palmer was it appeared that nobody understood what they were supposed to be doing to document their findings, that they didn’t understand any of the due process requirements that their own policies and procedures had set out for them. And not only did the front line disciplinary hearing officers not appear to understand that, the Superintendent didn’t appear to understand those.”In the case of the Palmer inmates, one solution recommended by the ombudsman was training for top prison officials in conducting disciplinary hearings. That suggestion was rejected, according to the report.Palmer Correctional Complex Superintendent Tomie  Anderson, who was superintendent of the prison at the time, would not consent to an interview for this story.DOC’s deputy Commissioner Remond Henderson said Fridaythat DOC intends to release a statement on the report this week.But Lord-Jenkins says internal DOC emails have been coming into her office.“Finally, we released the report, and on Labor Day, late in the afternoon, I received an email from the department, with a cover letter that explained some things and then internal department emails that indicated they had been working on it all along, they just weren’t telling us.”Lord-Jenkins says the goal of her agency’s work is not to seek prosecution, nor to place blame, but to work to find abuses and seek solutions for them.She says the ombudsman’s report is based on standards and regulations, and her agency has advised DOC to examine it’s disciplinary hearing procedures.“Right now, we are looking at their responses and we will revise our findings in terms of how they [DOC] responded to our recommendations.”The Ombudsman’s report comes at a time when state House and Senate committees are in discussions regarding revisions to the state correctional department’s practices in an effort to reduce prison costs.last_img read more

Red and blue king crab fishery closed again in Southeast

first_imgCommercial fishing for red and blue king crab will be closed again this year for Southeast Alaska. There just isn’t enough crab in the area.Download AudioState managers are trying to grow the red king crab population in Southeast. Photo/ADF&GWarmer water in Southeast breeds larger king crab than other parts of the state. Southeast red kings can grow up to 24 pounds with a five foot leg span. But unlike places like Bristol Bay, Southeast’s population has not been abundant in recent years.In fact, there have been only two commercial openings in the last ten years, one in 2005 and one in 2011. That last opening saw a price of $10.66 per pound. The harvest that year was worth nearly $1.9 million at the docks. In 2005 it was $5.31 a pound.Fishermen would like to be able to keep earning that kind of money in the fishery and maybe in the future they can.Even though the population is nowhere near the right size for a commercial fishery, there’s reason to believe that the crabs are seeing slow, consistent growth.Adam Messmer is the Assistant Shellfish Manager for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He says the mature biomass increased from last season, meaning more crabs are approaching the size to be caught commercially. There are also more crabs that are already large enough to be caught.“We had a pretty good jump in legal crab this year compared to the last 20 years,” Messmer said. “It was a pretty good jump percentage-wise across Southeast.”Mature biomass and legal crab–those are industry terms regarding the age of the crab. Age is important in the fishery because king crabs actually live a pretty long time, like up to 30 years. And there are regulations in place to make sure the crabs are old enough to reproduce before they can get caught in the Southeast fishery. Messmer says they don’t reach legal size until they are 7 to 9 years old.“I mean that’s pretty much equivalent to a Dall sheep, a legal Dall sheep,” Messmer said. “It takes a long time to grow these things.”What biologists would really like to see in the Southeast fishery is what is called “a recruitment pulse”. That would be a year when a large number of crabs the same age are reaching legal size. Messmer says that would help sustain the fishery for a few years even if there weren’t good pulses. While the pulses are common in other crab fisheries they haven’t seen one in Southeast’s red and blue king crab fishery for the last 15 to 20 years.“By not having one for an extended amount of time we kind of reach our threshold and fish on them and we’re kind of in this scenario of there are still crab out there because we don’t take them all but it takes a longer time to build back up enough to hit the threshold,” Messmer said.Back in the 1990s and early 2000s there were commercial openings for red and blue King crab nearly every year in Southeast. And that’s something that the managers are working towards again.The state has been keeping consistent records for Southeast king crab for over 30 years. They’ve used survey results from their staff and from commercial fishermen themselves to document the population.last_img read more

Fast radio bursts mystery continues Another mysterious alleged alien signal came from

first_imgPixabayIt was long back in 2007 that scientists initially spotted mysterious signals from deep space, and they named it ‘Fast Radio Bursts’ (FRB). In the latter years, scientists traced many more such fast radio bursts from various nooks of the space; some of them were very short, while some radio bursts came continuously from a particular source. After the detection of such bursts, some experts speculated that these signals could be sent by aliens to proclaim their existence, while other space scientists suggested that these signals could be of natural origin.And now, adding up to the mysteries, a team using CalTech’s Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO), California has detected another non-repeating FRB from a galaxy which is located almost 8 billion light-years away. Interestingly, the new discovery comes just a few days after an Australian team working with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) announced the finding of a repeated burst from a source approximately 4 billion light years away.In the research report published in the journal Nature, CalTech scientists revealed that this newly detected FRB named FRB 190523 came from a galaxy that is very similar to the Milky Way. However, this galaxy is not similar to the dwarf galaxy that produced the most famous repeated fast radio bursts named FRB 121102.”This finding tells us that every galaxy, even a run-of-the-mill galaxy like our Milky Way, can generate an FRB. Astronomers have been chasing FRBs for a decade now, and we’re finally drawing a bead on them. Now we have a chance of figuring out just what these exotic objects might be,” said Vikram Ravi, a researcher at CalTech and the lead author of the study, CNET reports.Ravi also added that the launch of Deep Synoptic Array telescopes in 2021 will help scientists to spot more fast radio bursts in the future, and thus scientists will be able to unveil the secrets of this cosmic mystery.last_img read more

Market boom in the time of economic gloom What are the dynamics

first_imgSensex movements since 2014.The Sensex and Nifty hit record highs on Monday, sprinting off the block in the New Year. The benchmark indices have logged more than 1.5 percent growth in the first week of the year. Ironically this comes close on the heels of the latest forecast that suggests India’s economic growth is likely to remain stunted this fiscal year. So what are the dynamics that spur a market rise in times of less-than-robust growth outlook?The Central Statistics Office (CSO) data published late last week showed India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth may fall to 6.5 percent during the 2017-18 financial year. This is much lower than the 7.1 percent GDP growth clocked in the previous financial year. The CSO prediction is grimmer even than the Reserve Bank’s revised growth rate of 6.7 percent. Consider also that the central bank was much more sanguine earlier in the year of a 7.3 percent growth forecast.The CSO prediction, if it turns good, will mean the country long hailed as the fastest-growing major economy in the world will hit a four-year low in GDP growth. However, the investor sentiment is apparently unaffected by this. On Monday, the Sensex hit an all-time high of 34,356 while Nifty soared past 10,600.What is sustaining, and driving, the mad rush at the markets? What exactly is the GDP growth/stock markets dynamic? Why are investors pumping up the stocks when a dash of caution should be the logical result of underwhelming economic growth projections? Or, is the booming market headed for a 2008-like crash as the doomsday theorists predict? Is some sort of a booby trap awaiting the euphoric and innocuous late entrants sold on the rise and rise of the stock market?Or, are the markets rightly pacing away from the impact of the first-quarter GDP shocker, seeing it as a point of no return? The impact of the three-year low hit in the June-August quarter, when growth slumped to 5.7 percent, was alleviated in the next quarter when growth rate bounced back to 6.3 percent. However, was that enough cause for reassuring cheer?If the second-quarter growth rate was a straw in the wind, the economy should have been on track to hit a growth rate of above 7 percent. While the second-quarter bounce-back gave rise to hopes that the economy was finally shunting out the effects of the demonetisation and GST implementation, the current outlook doesn’t reflect that buoyancy. According to a recent Fitch Ratings report, India’s growth rate in the next five years would be a moderate 6.7 percent.There are no mysteries when healthy GDP growth rate or growth projections have a positive impact on the markets. The situation is a no-brainer. As the economy expands, corporate houses look to sell more of their products and services, resulting in higher profits and earnings per share. International fund managers also turn bullish on the country as they constantly look for “emerging” players.But how do we explain the situation when the markets are seemingly unperturbed by the vexing predictions on the growth front?There may, of course, not be a perfect correlation between the GDP growth figures and the market growth. In general, markets rise when the GDP figures and projections are optimistic and vice versa, though not always in the same proportion. Unfounded euphoria?Indian investors, however, appear to be feisty and euphoric. The euphoria seems to be stemming from a whole gamut of economic and political spheres: The BJP’s latest poll victories that negated the punditry’s claims that demonetisation and GST impacts would stop the Modi-Shah combine on its tracks; the upcoming Budget 2018 that the middle classes look up to right in earnest for tax and other concessions and the like.However, a clean, hard look at the fundamentals would stand the investor in good stead. Are the core sectors picking up steam? Is the bump-up in the real-estate sector sentiments here to stay? Are the rate cut hopes logical given the fact that inflation is creeping up and beyond the comfort zone?Also to be seen in the context is the spike in crude prices seen for the first time in many years, in the aftermath of the Iranian political tensions. If crude inches higher it will strain the government’s fiscal situation further, making it harder for it to chase any populist spending plan further.Again, the budget season has returned with its generous doses of inane and absurd optimism. There are talks about it being a populist budget, that there will be tax soaps and other concessions. Too hard to come by, by all means indeed — direct taxpayers are after all the fall guys.The worst may be over for the economy, coming out as it did from the depths of a crisis induced by the note ban and the teething troubles with GST. However, retail stock investors might do themselves a lot of good to tarry a little. The crest of the wave is tempting but latching on to it can be perilous.last_img read more

Houston Officials Condemn The Trump Administrations Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy

first_img Share Photo: Houston Independent School District (HISD)Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner comments during swearing in ceremonies for newly elected Houston ISD trustees, January 14, 2016.Several Houston officials continue to condemn the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy which has led to the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border in recent weeks.The Houston Chronicle reported late last week an immigrant children’s shelter was being considered in Houston.After Southwest Key Programs, a Texas nonprofit, signed a lease for a warehouse just east of downtown. The group reportedly has a contract with the federal government to care for unaccompanied immigrant children. The Chronicle reports the site is slated to house up to 240 children.Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says he rejects the idea of having the facility here in the city. Turner says he and his staff are trying find out more information, and will soon provide an update.Taking this at face value, it’s hard to stomach. Please don’t tell us you’re a devout Christian or person of faith and in your next breath state this is fine with you. It isn’t ok. God is watching and will be the final arbiter. WWJD #RelationalPolicing— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) June 13, 2018 #ICYMI “I can’t support it’: Mayor Turner rejects idea of child immigration detention center in Houston.”— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) June 18, 2018last_img read more

Highperformance capacitor could lead to better rechargeable batteries

first_img More information: Hiroyuki Itoi, et al. “Three-Dimensionally Arrayed and Mutually Connected 1.2-nm Nanopores for High-Performance Electric Double Layer Capacitor.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI:10.1021/ja108315p Citation: High-performance capacitor could lead to better rechargeable batteries (2011, January 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from High-performance energy storage The researchers, Hiroyuki Itoi, Hirotomo Nishihara, Taichi Kogure, and Takashi Kyotani, from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, have published their results on the high-performance electric double-layer capacitor in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.To store energy, the electric double-layer capacitor is charged by ions that migrate from a bulk solution to an electrode, where they are adsorbed. Before reaching the electrode’s surface, the ions have to travel through narrow nanopores as quickly and efficiently as possible. Basically, the quicker the ions can travel down these paths, the quicker the capacitor can be charged, resulting in a high rate performance. Also, the greater the adsorbed ion density in the electrode, the greater the charge that the capacitor can store, resulting in a high volumetric capacitance.Recently, scientists have been testing materials with pores of various sizes and structures to try to achieve both quick ion transport and high adsorption ion density. But the two requirements are somewhat contradictory, since ions can travel more quickly through larger nanopores, but large nanopores make the electrode density low and thus decrease the adsorbed ion density.“In this work, we have successfully demonstrated that it is possible to meet the two seemingly contradictory requirements, high power density and high volumetric capacitance, with zeolite-templated carbon,” Nishihara told zeolite-templated carbon consists of nanopores that are 1.2 nm in diameter (smaller than most electrode materials) and that have a very ordered structure (whereas other pores can be disordered and random). The nanopores’ small size makes the adsorbed ion density high, while the ordered structure – described as a diamond-like framework – allows the ions to quickly pass through the nanopores. In a previous study, the researchers showed that zeolite-templated carbon with nanopores smaller than 1.2 nm cannot enable fast ion transport, suggesting that this size may provide the optimal balance between high rate performance and high volumetric capacitance.In tests, the zeolite-templated carbon’s properties exceeded those of other materials, demonstrating its potential to be used as an electrode for high-performance electric double-layer capacitors.“We are now trying to further increase the energy density of the zeolite-templated carbon up to the same level of secondary batteries,” Nishihara said. “If such an electric double layer capacitor is developed and used for mobile devices, such as cellular phones, their charging time can be shortened to only a few minutes. Another important future application of electric double layer capacitors is a support of secondary batteries in electric vehicles to prolong the battery’s lifetime. Also for this purpose, achieving a higher energy density is one of the key issues.” ( — In order to develop next-generation electric vehicles, solar energy systems, and other clean energy technologies, researchers need an efficient way to store the energy. One of the key energy storage devices for these applications and others is a supercapacitor, also called an electric double-layer capacitor. In a recent study, scientists have investigated the possibility of using a material called zeolite-templated carbon for the electrode in this type of capacitor, and found that the material’s unique pore structure greatly improves the capacitor’s overall performance. The unique 3D array of nanopores in zeolite-templated carbon enables it to be used as an electrode for high-performance supercapacitors that have a high capacitance and quick charge time. Image credit: Hiroyuki Itoi, et al. ©2011 American Chemical Society. Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Explore further 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

Why use JavaScript for machine learning

first_imgPython has always been and remains the language of choice for machine learning, in part due to the maturity of the language, in part due to the maturity of the ecosystem, and in part due to the positive feedback loop of early ML efforts in Python. Recent developments in the JavaScript world, however, are making JavaScript more attractive to ML projects. I think we will see a major ML renaissance in JavaScript within a few years, especially as laptops and mobile devices become ever more powerful and JavaScript itself surges in popularity. This post is extracted from the book Hands-on Machine Learning with JavaScript by Burak Kanber. The book is a  definitive guide to creating intelligent web applications with the best of machine learning and JavaScript. Advantages and challenges of JavaScript JavaScript, like any other tool, has its advantages and disadvantages. Much of the historical criticism of JavaScript has focused on a few common themes: strange behavior in type coercion, the prototypical object-oriented model, difficulty organizing large codebases, and managing deeply nested asynchronous function calls with what many developers call callback hell. Fortunately, most of these historic gripes have been resolved by the introduction of ES6, that is, ECMAScript 2015, a recent update to the JavaScript syntax. Con: Immature ecosystem for machine learning development Despite the recent language improvements, most developers would still advise against using JavaScript for ML for one reason: the ecosystem. The Python ecosystem for ML is so mature and rich that it’s difficult to justify choosing any other ecosystem. But this logic is self-fulfilling and self-defeating; we need brave individuals to take the leap and work on real ML problems if we want JavaScript’s ecosystem to mature. Fortunately, JavaScript has been the most popular programming language on GitHub for a few years running, and is growing in popularity by almost every metric. Pro #1: JavaScript is the most popular web development language with a mature npm ecosystem There are some advantages to using JavaScript for ML. Its popularity is one; while ML in JavaScript is not very popular at the moment, the language itself is. As demand for ML applications rises, and as hardware becomes faster and cheaper, it’s only natural for ML to become more prevalent in the JavaScript world. There are tons of resources available for learning JavaScript in general, maintaining Node.js servers, and deploying JavaScript applications. The Node Package Manager (npm) ecosystem is also large and still growing, and while there aren’t many very mature ML packages available, there are a number of well built, useful tools out there that will come to maturity soon. Pro #2: JavaScript is now a general purpose, cross-platform programming language Another advantage to using JavaScript is the universality of the language. The modern web browser is essentially a portable application platform which allows you to run your code, basically without modification, on nearly any device. Tools like electron (while considered by many to be bloated) allow developers to quickly develop and deploy downloadable desktop applications to any operating system. Node.js lets you run your code in a server environment. React Native brings your JavaScript code to the native mobile application environment, and may eventually allow you to develop desktop applications as well. JavaScript is no longer confined to just dynamic web interactions, it’s now a general-purpose, cross-platform programming language. Pro #3: JavaScript makes Machine Learning accessible to web and front-end developers Finally, using JavaScript makes ML accessible to web and frontend developers, a group that historically has been left out of the ML discussion. Server-side applications are typically preferred for ML tools, since the servers are where the computing power is. That fact has historically made it difficult for web developers to get into the ML game, but as hardware improves, even complex ML models can be run on the client, whether it’s the desktop or the mobile browser. If web developers, frontend developers, and JavaScript developers all start learning about ML today, that same community will be in a position to improve the ML tools available to us all tomorrow. If we take these technologies and democratize them, expose as many people as possible to the concepts behind ML, we will ultimately elevate the community and seed the next generation of ML researchers. Summary In this article, we’ve discussed the important moments of JavaScript’s history as applied to ML. We’ve discussed some advantages to using JavaScript for machine learning, and also some of the challenges we’re facing, particularly in terms of the machine learning ecosystem. To begin exploring and processing the data itself, read our book Hands-on Machine Learning with JavaScript. Read Next 5 JavaScript machine learning libraries you need to know V8 JavaScript Engine releases version 6.9! HTML5 and the rise of modern JavaScript browser APIs [Tutorial]last_img read more

Marchers demonstrate for marriage equality and LGBT family rights

first_imgThousands of demonstrators and well-wishers converged on Paseo Colón Sunday afternoon to celebrate the Diversity March, San José’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride event. Organizers used the lively parade to launch a national campaign for marriage equality and recognize Costa Rica’s LGBT families.Chanting, “Marriage equality now!” demonstrators waved rainbow flags and held signs with slogans like “For a just and inclusive society” and “I’m heterosexual and support gay rights” as they marched (or danced) down San José’s main thoroughfare and on to Central Park on Second Avenue.Wending through the crowds, volunteers wearing tall orange signs collected signatures in favor of the campaign for the Front for Equal Rights’ (FDI) marriage equality bill. FDI, a coalition of political activists, religious and student organizations, and left-leaning political parities, is organizing the campaign to propose a bill to the legislature under the popular initiative provision, by which citizens can bring a bill up for consideration in the legislature if they are able to collect signatures from 5 percent of the population.Volunteers collected more than 2,000 signatures from Ticos at yesterday’s event, according to the Diversity Movement, one of the parade’s principle organizers. The campaign needs 165,000 signatures total to successfully bring the petition before the Legislative Assembly.FDI volunteer Héctor Vayez said that he was collecting signatures in the hopes of legally marrying his husband of nine years. Vayez noted that “religious fundamentalists” in the legislature were a hurdle for the marriage equality bill, but said that as a Christian himself, he sees no conflict between his faith and same-sex marriage.“God loves us as we are and doesn’t ask us to change anything,” he said.Yesterday was marcher Rebecca Majore’s first time at a public pride parade. Majore, accompanied by her partner Paola Arce and their daughter, María Fernanda, said that she decided to come out because she felt “free” for the first time in her life.“I have an amazing woman next to me,” she said, putting her hand on Arce’s shoulder, “and I don’t want to deny myself anymore. It’s my own decision. When my daughter was old enough to understand, it was an easy decision for me, and here I have her supporting me at my side.”Arce said that there were many challenges to raising a daughter as a lesbian couple in Costa Rica while trying to protect their daughter from put-downs at school and on the street.“There is a lot of discrimination, myths that have to be broken about what it means to have an mother who is openly lesbian,” including the belief that the child will become a lesbian because of the mother’s influence, Arce said.As marchers filed into Central Park on Second Avenue, Deputy Carmen Muñoz of the Citizen Action Party said the fight for human rights was a broad one, adding that the battle for LGBT rights in Costa Rica would not be complete until migrants, women and indigenous people were also extended the same consideration and rights as “first class citizens.”United States Chargé d’Affaires Eric Nelson congratulated organizers and demonstrators on stage at the event. Nelson quoted President Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin, saying, “When we stand up for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and treat their love and their rights equally under the law, we defend our own liberty as well.”The U.S. Embassy donated funds to provide sound equipment used by the parade’s organizers and musician Mary McBride, who performed at the event as a U.S. cultural envoy.Activists called on the provincial government to make good on its claim that San José was a canton “without discrimination.” Last week, LGBT organizers were blindsided by the San José City government’s decision not to grant almost $12,000 to organizers for a two-day festival that would have led up to Sunday’s parade.Diversity Movement President Marco Castillo was disappointed by the city’s decision to pull funding but told The Tico Times that the parade yesterday was a great success.“It’s important to show that we were able to organize a successful event even without the city’s support,” Castillo said.Wearing a T-shirt reading, “I love my gay grandpa,” Fiorella Castillo, granddaughter of Marco Castillo, said she was too young to sign the petition but was confident the marriage equality bill would be successful.Fiorella added that there was no difference between her gay grandfather and another family’s heterosexual grandparents, “I love him all the same.” Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Vgenopoulos blasts CySEC boss

first_imgFORMER head honcho at Laiki Bank (then known as Marfin Laiki) Andreas Vgenopoulos has blasted the chairperson of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Demetra Kalogirou, accusing her of dereliction of duty for not investigating possible stock market manipulation.In a letter sent addressed to Kalogirou on Thursday, and which he immediately made public, the Greek financier suggested that Kalogirou was deliberately stalling and trying to cover her lack of action with legalistic shenanigans.In prior correspondence with Kalogirou, Vgenopoulos – who himself is blamed here for many of the woes befalling Laiki – had asked her to investigate public remarks attributed to Michalis Sarris, non-executive chairman of Laiki from January to August 2012.In a letter dated October 20 of this year, Kalogirou in turn had asked Vgenopoulos to provide specific information on the alleged violations.Vgenopoulos writes back: “In any case you were obligated to monitor the market and ensure its smooth operation, while the events I have reported to you repeatedly, verbally during the second half of 2012, and in writing on October 3, 2013 occurred under your watch, it is therefore inconceivable that today, some two years later, you are asking me to furnish specific information.”Vgenopoulos is alleging that in early 2012 Sarris was talking up the prospect of foreign investors – including the Russian VTB Group – pouring money into under-capitalised Laiki.However later that same year, and having left the lender, Sarris allegedly admitted to media outlets that realistically there had been no hope of finding investors and that the bank was “doomed.”According to Vgenopoulos, Sarris’ initial remarks therefore constituted misleading of the bank’s investors and depositors, and as such CySEC should have initiated a probe, which it never did.Back in April of this year, Vgenopoulos asked the Attorney-general to look into possible criminal offences that Kalogirou, as head of CySEC, may have committed.In May 2012 the state underwrote the issue of €1.8bn in new shares for Laiki to help it recapitalise, after the lender took heavy losses on Greek government bonds. Less than a year later the lender was wound down as part of the terms of a bailout of the Cyprus government.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more