Normal life affected in Odisha as Congress observes Bharat bandh

first_imgNormal life was completely paralysed in Odisha as Congress and other opposition parties observed Bharat Bandh protesting against hike in fuel prices on Monday morning.Biju Patnaik University of Technology suspended examinations of all professional courses in view of the bandh. Schools and colleges remained closed.The State government had issued prior direction for all government employees to enter their respective offices before 9.30 am. Ministers and MLAs were seen walking into Odisha State Legislative Assembly which is in session.Congress offers flowersOdisha Congress leaders adopted innovative approach by offering flowers and requesting general public support the bandh. The Congress also opened a control room to make sure that its cadres don’t take law into their hands.Although banks remained open, they kept their shutters down. Buses, private cars and other public transport vehicles kept off the road while train services were hit as Congress workers squatted on railway tracks at different places. There was no report of any violence from districts. The CPI(M) cadre staged picketing in front of offices oil marketing companies.last_img read more

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India Today’s letters to the editor of february about phone-tapping controversy

first_imgAmar Singh tackles the phone-tapping controversyTalking TroubleBy making the “phone battle” a national issue, Samajwadi Party (SP) General Secretary Amar Singh has blocked any possibility of leakage of the taped conversation that could have embarrassed him (“The Phone Battle”, January 23). However, politically he has not gained much. The mutual,Amar Singh tackles the phone-tapping controversyTalking TroubleBy making the “phone battle” a national issue, Samajwadi Party (SP) General Secretary Amar Singh has blocked any possibility of leakage of the taped conversation that could have embarrassed him (“The Phone Battle”, January 23). However, politically he has not gained much. The mutual abuse of the SP and the Congress could only help the BJP.A. JACOB SAHAYAM, Thiruvananthapuram”The way Amar Singh has treated the phone-tapping controversy shows that his aim is not to bring up the issue of surveillance but to settle political scores.”B.K. PARMAR, GhaziabadIs it a mere coincidence that immediately after Amar Singh’s brother joined the Congress and claimed to expose the SP leader’s activities, the allegations of phone tapping surfaced? The issue has also pushed aside a more serious matter of the Supreme Court notice to Mulayam Singh Yadav in a case of disproportionate assets. The protests by Amar Singh appear like tactics to garner public sympathy in Uttar Pradesh, where his party’s image has hit rock bottom.P.K. SRIVASTAVA, on e-mailAmar Singh has emerged as the real leader of the Opposition which is starved of issues with which to take on the Centre.NAVNEET DHAWAN, DelhiIt has become fashionable to accuse Sonia Gandhi of anything and everything, no matter what the problem the politicians and bureaucrats face. Since she was born in a foreign country these people with no values find an easy scapegoat in her.GREGORY D’SOUZA, HaridwarPolitical parties always exploit scandals to make it to the headlines. Amar Singh and his party have done the same.K. CHIDANAND KUMAR, BangaloreadvertisementWrong ServeI want to clarify that I was never an employee of K.K. Birla, whereas, you have mentioned that I was a protocol officer (“The Phone Battle”, January 23).AMAR SINGH, National General Secretary, SP, DelhiAmusing TwistsWhere was Brinda Karat when pesticides were found in cold drinks (“Yogi in a Tangle”, January 23)? Such contents were not mentioned on the bottles of these beverages. Even mentioning “artificial colours and flavours” does not specify the exact nature of the contents. A number of medicines, toothpastes and ointments are gelatinebased. Is it not the duty of the manufacturers to mention that gelatine is derived from bones? Why should it be mandatory for only ayurvedic medicines to mention all the contents?RAJIV CHOPRA, DehradunIt is not correct to say that “the law does not require declaration of ingredients of a particular medicine if it is based on classical texts” recognised under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The Second Schedule of the Act requires “all medicines other than homeopathic” to have a list of all ingredients on the label or container. Medicines that contravene this requirement are deemed to be “misbranded drugs” and invite legal action. The only concession available to the ayurvedic, siddha and unani products is that if the ingredients are listed in the classical texts, then manufacturers need not obtain marketing approval from the Drugs Controller General.CHANDRA M. GULHATI, DelhiThe article is highly biased against the yogi. While yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar may have excellent knowledge of certain aspects of yoga, he seems to have none as far as pranayama is concerned.Y.N.I. ANAND, MysoreIyenger is a revered yoga guru for the Indian media because he has taught yoga abroad. Ramdev’s simple yoga steps are imparting health benefits to millions of Indians but this is not the criterion by which the Indian media in the English language judges anybody. Yoga and ayurveda are India’s ancient treasures and if someone is making the common man aware of their benefits, then his efforts should be appreciated. Politicians like Karat are free to raise the labour issue if there is a violation of the law but mixing it with the issue of vegetarianism only makes them a butt of joke.ARUN BALA, on e-mailRamdev has done injustice to not only vegetarians but also non-vegetarians. For who would like to eat the skull and bone powder of human beings? He should be punished.SNEHAL SHUKLA, AhmedabadKarat has displayed great courage by exposing Ramdev’s questionable acts. His claims of achieving cures for cancer, advanced arthritis and diabetes through yoga and ayurvedic medicines have not been scientifically evaluated.RAJU VAISHYA, DelhiThe controversy over ayurvedic medicines underscores the need for stringent regulation. Surveys reveal that adulteration of alternative medicines is rampant across India. Such practices bring the Indian businesses and philosophically rich medical systems into disrepute. A better regulatory framework will reward genuine practitioners and expose charlatans.ANIL KUMAR PANDIT, DelhiadvertisementThe Jehad FactoryRecruitment of the Hindus by the Hizb-ul Mujahideen in Kashmir on allurement of money exposes the falsity of the terrorists’ commitment to a cause (“Now Hindu Jehadis”, January 23). The picture is the same elsewhere too. The Maoists in Jehanabad and Giridih reportedly distributed pamphlets in Jharkhand and Bihar, inviting young people to join the “revolution” on a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 and compensation of Rs 2 lakh in case of death.ASOKE C. BANERJEE, KolkataThe profession of terrorism has nothing to do with religion. It is exploitation of the youth. Governments in all states as well as at the Centre must provide counselling and employment to the boys who have taken up arms to bring them back into the mainstream.RAKESH BAHUGUNA, on e-mailFoot in MouthPutting his foot in his mouth is not new for Raj Singh Dungarpur, the manager of the Indian team (“Unsound Bite”, January 23). Raking up the issue of Sourav Ganguly’s performance at this stage does not serve any purpose. It will only demoralise the team. Dungarpur should be removed from the post. Discipline is not something to be enforced only among the players. It is applicable to our loud-mouthed sports officials also.V.V.S. MANI, MumbaiTest of MettleWest Bengal rather than Bihar will be the real challenge for Election Commission (EC) official K.J. Rao because in Bihar the people were with him (“For a Level Playing Field”, January 23). But West Bengal may not allow Rao to function smoothly with both the state Government and party cadres determined to resist any change.SUBHASH C. AGRAWAL, DelhiThe article says that I had requested the EC to remove state government employees from the election coordination committees. I had petitioned the commission to exclude only the employees belonging to the Coordination Committee of State Government Employees’ Unions and the “Non-Gazetted Police Karmachari Samiti” or to any of their affiliates.TATHAGATA ROY, President, BJP, West BengalOverseas Citizenship of India cards to NRIsFAMILY FOLDSGiving Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards to the NRIs is a way of reaching out to them (“Promises, Promises,” January 23). It will help them develop a stake in India.REKHA RAI, PatnaIt is a tragedy that the Government has decided to shower sops like voting rights and OCI cards on the NRIs. Investments in India by them have always been driven by interest rather than loyalty.THARCIUS S. FERNANDO, ChennaiIndia is finally treating the NRIs right by welcoming them. This will create a goodwill trust for it abroad.VIVEK RASTOGI, Shimlalast_img read more

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Shoaib Akhtar laughs after Harbhajan Singh ‘accuses’ Pakistan pacer of beating Indians

first_imgShoaib Akhtar has laughed off claims by Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh that he and Yuvraj Singh were once beaten up by the former pacer in a hotel room in Pakistan.Harbhajan revealed that the India-Pakistan rivalry was not limited only to on-field banters. He said the Pakistan pacer was too close to Yuvraj and himself and accused Akhtar of taking the duo for granted. (Also read: Akhtar advises Amir to remain humble on England tour) “Shoaib abused me a lot. He used to sit with us, ate with us. Since he was too close to us, maybe he used to take us for granted. (Also read: Tendulkar, Kohli greet Harbhajan on 36th birthday) “Shoaib once threatened me he would come to my room and beat me. I told him come, let’s see who beats whom. I was really scared. He is a great hulk. He once bashed me and Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) inside a room. Since he was heavy, it was difficult to catch him,” he had said. (Also read: Inzamam-ul-Haq blasts Alastair Cook over comments on Mohammad Amir)Akhtar did not deny beating up Harbhajan and Yuvraj but said it was nothing serious and all fun.’NOTHING SERIOUS AND ALL FUN'”I think he has made a big deal of it. Yes it did happen during 2004 when we were playing a Test in Rawalpindi. But it was nothing serious and all fun,” Akhtar clarified.Akhtar added he saw Yuvraj and Harbhajan as his younger brothers and that he would never do anything that harmed them.advertisement”Basically we were horsing around and doing some arm wrestling and that is all but no Bhajji and Yuvi are my younger brothers no question of beating them up,” Akhtar said. Harbhajan narrated the incident during a show on an Indian television channel and his claims were highlighted by the Pakistani media.Akhtar also said that any rivalry with Indian players was always on the field and not off it.”They got along well with me and used to come to my room and have dinner together. Yuvi wanted to go for sightseeing in Islamabad. We have been good friends so how can I beat them,” he remarked.INZAMAM CONFIRMS INCIDENT Inzamam-ul-Haq who was Pakistan’s captain in the Test confirmed that such an incident had taken place in the hotel room.”But Shoaib was always very muscular and strong and even hugging him or shaking hands with him could be painful for other players,” Inzamam joked(With PTI Inputs)last_img read more

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The “Greek Freak” Scores 27 as Bucks Beat Grizzlies 110-103

first_imgMILWAUKEE (AP) — After being torched for 65 points in the first half, the Milwaukee Bucks turned up the defensive pressure against the Memphis Grizzlies.Milwaukee held Memphis to 12 points in the third quarter to get back into the game and pulled away late in the fourth for a 110-103 victory.“In the first half, it was a shoot-around,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “I thought in the second half we focused on the defensive end.”Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bucks.“We want to be a defensive team,” Antetokounmpo said. “Sometimes we make mistakes and forget who we are.”Memphis coach David Fizdale said the Grizzlies lacked intensity in the third quarter.“We try to pride ourselves on our toughness and I didn’t think we held up our end of the bargain tonight,” Fizdale said. “That third quarter, we just didn’t come out ready to compete. That was the big difference in the game.”Khris Middleton and John Henson had 17 points apiece as Milwaukee won a season-high third straight. Henson made eight of 10 shots in his highest-scoring game this season.Tyreke Evans scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter for Memphis, and Dillon Brooks added 19 points.After the Bucks threatened to pull away late in the third, Evans scored nine consecutive points to pull Memphis into an 84-all tie early in the fourth quarter. Memphis pulled ahead on Dillon Brooks’ 3-pointer with about nine minutes left. Milwaukee tied it on Tony Snell’s corner 3. A soft drop-in by Antetokounmpo put the Bucks ahead 100-96 with just under five minutes remaining, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.“Normally that game gets away from us,” Kidd said. “When we came back with the starters, we went on a run, but it started on the defensive end.”The Bucks got off to a strong start, shooting 65 percent from the field in the first quarter, including 6 for 6 on 3-pointers, to take a 34-29 lead.“It was confidence boost to see shots go down,” Middleton said.Memphis hit 10 of its first 11 shots in the second quarter to take a 10-point lead with 4:24 left in the half. Milwaukee made just one of six shots from long-range in the quarter, but pulled to 65-60 at the break, led by Antetokounmpo’s 12 points in the period.POSITIVE ATTITUDEFizdale said he is taking a positive approach with point guard Mike Conley, who has struggled with his shooting this season. He made 2 of 12 shots against the Bucks after entering the game shooting 40 percent from the field and 31 percent from 3-point range.“Be positive. There’s no beating the players up over struggles,” Fizdale said. “It’s not the way to get them out of it, and it’s never been my approach. Mike has had a nagging injury and can’t control that.”BANG FOR THE BUCKFizdale believes the Bucks improved considerably with the recent acquisition of Eric Bledsoe from the Phoenix Suns.“You add Eric Bledsoe to anybody’s team and you are going to be way more concerned,” Fizdale said. “Obviously, there’s the pace and the speed that he brings to the game. His tenacity, his toughness, his ability to get to the rim. They are going to be something to reckon with this year with him.”TIP-INSGrizzlies: Wrapped up a five-game trip with a 2-3 record. Chalmers fouled out with 2:19 remaining.Bucks: Middleton, who entered the game shooting 26 percent from 3-point range, hit his first three attempts from beyond the arc. … Bledsoe started but was a game-time decision with a knee contusion. “He got hit. It was sore,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “He was good yesterday. This morning he woke up and it was a little sore.” … F Mirza Teletovic missed his third straight game with left knee soreness.UP NEXTGrizzlies: Host Indiana on Wednesday night in the first of four consecutive home games.Bucks: Host Detroit on Wednesday night to wrap up a three-game homestand.—RICH ROVITO, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Palestine chief loses Messi appeal after ‘inciting hatred’

first_imgThe Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected the Palestine Football Association president’s appeal against a 12-month ban for “inciting hatred and violence” against Lionel Messi.Ahead of Argentina’s scheduled pre-World Cup friendly against Israel in June 2018, Jibril Rajoub spoke out about the match amid the conflict and political tension between Israelis and Palestinians.The match was due to take place in Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem, a ground built on land said to have belonged to a Palestinian village before its destruction in 1948. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Rajoub urged fans to target Messi and incited them to burn shirts bearing the Barcelona star’s name.He said: “He’s a big symbol so we are going to target him personally and we call on all to burn his picture and his shirt and to abandon him.”We still hope that Messi will not come.”The match was ultimately cancelled.The Israel embassy took decisive action, saying in a statement at the time: “The Israeli embassy is sad to announce the suspension of the match between the Israel and Argentina national teams scheduled for Saturday June 9, as a warm-up for the Russia World Cup.“The threats and provocations directed at Lionel Messi, which logically aroused the solidarity of his colleagues and fear of playing the friendly, are no strangers to the daily life of Israel’s civilian population whose sporting stars, to put it simply, have been on numerous occasions the targets of violence and attacks.”The friendship between Argentina and Israel, which will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary, is not about a football match. The democratic country and plural state (composed of Jews, Muslims and Christians), will always eagerly await the chance to receive one of the stars of Argentine sport.”FIFA received a complaint from the Israeli Football Association and Rajoub was given a 12-month ban from all matches at any level until August 23, 2019, while also being fined 20,000 Swiss francs (€18,056).His appeal to FIFA was rejected in September, two months before he raised the case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).Rajoub has again been unsuccessful in fighting the punishment, with the CAS panel adjudging him to have “failed to establish that any procedural violations were committed in the proceedings before the FIFA disciplinary committee…  that could justify the annulment of such decisions”.CAS, in its statement, added: “Accordingly, the CAS panel dismissed the appeal and confirmed FIFA appeal committee decision of 24 September 2018.”last_img read more

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Watch Moroccan Shaimae Abdelaziz Wows The Voice Ahla Sawt Jury with

Rabat – Charisma, strong vocals and a notable stage presence. This is how the jury of the Voice Ahla Sawt described Moroccan Shaimae Abdelaziz after her breathtaking blind audition.The young amateur singer performed one of the most difficult songs by Moroccan diva Naima Samih. As Shaimae started signing “Jitak Li Babak Habibi”, three members of the jury pressed the buzzer immediately. Iconic Saudi singer Ahlam Shamsi, a member of the jury, could not resist Shaimae’s beautiful voice as the entire jury became awestruck.The jury also includes Lebanese diva Elissa, legendary Lebanese singer Assi El Helani and renowned Egyptian singer Mohamed Hamaki.After her stunning performance, each jury member tried to convince the talented amateur singer to join their respective teams. Hamaki, however, had a unique way to try to convince Sahima to join his team. The Egyptian singer presented the singer with a ring adorned with “the Voice” icon. The Moroccan singer then chose to join Hamaki’s group.In 2012, Moroccan Morad Bouriki managed to win the Voice title following his distinguished and professional vocal performances throughout the competition. read more

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Nine Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka Navy

Sri Lankan Naval personnel seized the fishermen’s boat, Jegathapattinam Assistant director of the fisheries Shekar said, adding all the nine had been taken to Jaffna. While 32 fishermen were released on April 5 as many as 64 were set free on Wednesday by courts in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) Nine Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy today while allegedly fishing off the Jaffna coast, the Press Trust of India reported.The fishermen hailing from Jegathapattinam in Pudukottai district were arrested for fishing in Sri Lankan waters in the sea off Analaitheevu near Jaffna in the wee hours of today, a state fisheries official in Tamil Nadu said. The latest detention comes close on the heels of the arrest of four others earlier this week and release of 96 of the 99 fishermen arrested on different dates. read more

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Innovation Nation In the cutthroat race for talent humanitarian hiring offers an

Canada has a rich history of innovation, but in the next few decades, powerful technological forces will transform the global economy. Large multinational companies have jumped out to a headstart in the race to succeed, and Canada runs the risk of falling behind. At stake is nothing less than our prosperity and economic well-being. The Financial Post set out explore what is needed for businesses to flourish and grow. You can find all of our coverage here.Bonfire Interactive, a procurement software company in Kitchener, Ont., often has openings for web developers. But finding suitable candidates can be difficult. So for a recent hire, the company expanded its search globally. The job was posted online, a promising prospect was interviewed via Skype, and a few weeks ago Bonfire’s newest software engineer arrived for work.Far-flung recruitment has become business as usual for many Canadian tech startups: According to the Information and Communications Technology Council, the sector will face a shortage of 220,000 workers by 2020. What’s different is where Bonfire found their new employee — from a pool of refugees displaced by conflict. Innovation Nation: Why has the government put a cap on innovation success? With Canadian tech firms starving for talent, should Quebec be subsidizing Ubisoft’s labour costs? Canadian tech companies are attracting more overseas talent, but brain drain to U.S. continues In the 50 years since Canada signed the UN Convention on Refugees, the world has undergone seismic change. In a digital economy, skills are more transferable than ever before and technology gives employers access to a global workforce. But refugees are still selected for admission to this country solely through humanitarian immigration pathways such as government resettlement and private sponsorship. It is time to build an addition, 21st-century, solution for these refugees through labour mobility.There are immensely talented people among the world’s 25 million refugees. Many have higher education as well as professional, skilled-trade or entrepreneurial experience Canada and other advanced economies desperately need to grow. But current economic immigration streams present unintended barriers for those escaping their home countries. Requirements such as valid passports, settlement funds and recent work experience unintentionally exclude refugees from participation and inclusion in economic immigration. Meanwhile, humanitarian pathways are oversubscribed and the number of resettlement spots globally is regrettably falling.Talent Beyond Boundaries, a non-profit based in Washington, offers one promising approach by connecting employers in Canada and Australia with over 10,000 refugees living in Jordan and Lebanon who are registered in an online Talent Catalog. Businesses unable to find citizens or permanent residents to fill positions can connect with TBB to set up interviews with eligible candidates via video conferencing technology. If a job offer in Canada results, our firm has partnered with TBB to prepare these immigration applications pro bono. The federal government is documenting outcomes of this pilot under the Economic Mobility Pathways Project, launched last April.Earlier this month, the first participant in the pilot (that software developer hired by Bonfire) met his new colleagues at the airport. His happiness was palpable. He no longer fears for his future, he can work in his profession and he’s making a meaningful contribution to the Canadian economy. To make this a truly national success story, though, we need more employers to sign on with TBB to hire refugee talent — and further innovation in our approach to immigration.Canadian business leaders have already made calls for higher federal immigration targets to address the talent shortages that come with both a changing economy and an aging workforce. Last year, ManpowerGroup reported that 41 per cent of Canadian employers have difficulty filling jobs, a figure that represents a ten-year high. Targeted talent programs like TBB can help address these gaps — and affirm Canada’s half-century commitment to humanitarian objectives.Heather Segal is the managing partner of Segal Immigration Law in Toronto, which provides pro bono legal work for Talent Beyond Boundaries. Veronica Wilson is an associate at the firm spearheading this work. read more

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Bank of Canada to take over key interest rate benchmark for financial

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada plans to assume responsibility for a key interest rate benchmark for financial markets when enhancements are made to it next year.The central bank says it will take over the administration of the Canadian Overnight Repo Rate Average (CORRA), from financial markets data firm Refinitiv, next year.CORRA is defined by the bank as a risk-free overnight rate based on repurchase agreement transactions, calculated from on-screen trades conducted through interdealer brokers.Changes to the benchmark will include basing the rate on a wider set of transaction data provided by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. The central bank says this will result in a more credible benchmark that is more representative of the Canadian market for repurchase agreements and consistent with global best practices.The bank says it will provide CORRA as a public good, at no cost, in line with developments in other major economies. The target date for implementing the enhanced methodology is the second quarter of 2020.The move is part of a global effort to co-ordinate benchmark reform in the wake of attempted market manipulation, notably the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), which came to light in 2012 and resulted in a series of fines for a group of banks and a jail sentence for a U.K. trader.    “The bank expects that, over time, CORRA will be further adopted across a wide range of financial products and could potentially become the dominant Canadian interest rate benchmark, particularly in derivatives markets,” Bank of Canada deputy governor Lynn Patterson said.“It is very gratifying to see representatives of the public and private sectors come together to make real progress on our shared goal of making Canadian financial markets more resilient and efficient.” The Canadian Press read more

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UN tribunal welcomes voluntary surrender of highranking Bosnian officer

After surrendering to the ICTY, Sefer Halilovic was transferred to its detention unit. His initial court appearance will be scheduled for a later date, according to The Hague-based Tribunal.According to the indictment against the suspect, which was unsealed today, Mr. Halilovic held the post of Deputy Commander of the Supreme Command Staff of the Bosnian Army (ABiH ) as well as Chief of the Supreme Command Staff of the ABiH from 18 July 1993 to November 1993. From 21 August 1993, Mr. Halilovic was also Head of an Inspection Team to command and coordinate offensives which killed scores of Bosnian Croat civilians, and as such was the most senior military commander for the operation in the field.The indictment alleges that, notwithstanding his duties as a commander, Mr. Halilovic did not take effective measures to prevent the killing of civilians, nor did he take steps to carry out a proper investigation to identify the perpetrators and, as commander of the operation, to punish them accordingly. Mr. Halilovic also allegedly planned and was instrumental in the implementation of military operations carried out by the units that took part in the operation against the Bosnian Croat civilians. read more

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Somali leaders must match political progress with improved security Annan says

In a report released today, he says the members of the transitional parliament, when chosen, will elect the transitional president, laying the foundation for an effective, working system of government after years of civil conflict.Progress in the two areas “would be conducive to the implementation of a political agreement,” which would lend the agreement the credibility needed to gather the full support of Somalis and the international community.”Insecurity and violence in many parts of the country and more recently tensions over control of the Sol and Sanaag regions underline the fact that a comprehensive peace is both urgent and necessary in Somalia,” he says. “Somali leaders and their militias should also be aware that they will be held accountable for continued violations of human rights.”He commends the chairman of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, their officials and international observers for their persistent and strenuous efforts to facilitate Somali reconciliation. read more

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Yahoos mega breach shows how just how vulnerable data is

FILE – This Tuesday, July 19, 2016 photo shows a Yahoo sign at the company’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. On Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, Yahoo said it believes hackers stole data from more than one billion user accounts in August 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) NEW YORK, N.Y. – The revelation of Yahoo’s latest hack underscores what many Americans have known for years: All those emails, photos and other personal files stored online can easily be stolen, and there’s little anyone can do about it.The only saving grace is that the attackers apparently did not exploit the information for fraud. But their true motives remain a mystery.While there are a number of straightforward measures all users should take to protect themselves, relatively few people actually do. And in this case, doing so wouldn’t really have mattered. Even the most scrupulous individual countermeasures could only limit the damage.“Yahoo users could have had immaculate computer security and still been the victim here,” said Will Ackerly, chief technology officer at Virtru, a computer security firm he co-founded after working for eight years at the National Security Agency.“Short of using encryption, there’s no way to keep your email from being compromised in this kind of hack.”The mega breach disclosed Wednesday exposed more than a billion user accounts, the largest such attack in history. The company said the attack happened in August 2013, although Yahoo only discovered it recently. Worse, the company’s announcement followed a similar announcement in September about a 2014 hack that Yahoo ascribed to an unnamed foreign government. That breach affected 500 million accounts.Some experts believe the record-breaking amount of data stolen in the breach announced Wednesday also points to state-sponsored hackers in search of a specific target, which could be why three years later the data still hasn’t been spotted for sale on the web. And neither Yahoo breach has yet been linked to online fraud or any specific repercussions for Yahoo users.But their disclosure closely follows U.S. intelligence concerns about Russian hacking of Democratic emails during the presidential campaign — not to mention recent attacks on a major health insurer, a medical lab-test company and the government office that manages millions of federal employees.“The lesson is clear: No organization is immune to compromise,” said Jeff Hill, director of product management for cybersecurity consultant Prevalent. And since most of us are dependent on big organizations that hold our digital lives in their hands, in a broad sense that means no one is safe.The hacks represent yet another stumble for the struggling Sunnyvale, California, company as it tries to reinvent itself. The breaches occurred during the reign of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, a once-lauded leader who has been unable to turn around the company in the four years since she arrived.Earlier this year, Yahoo agreed to sell its digital operations to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion — a deal that may now be jeopardized by the hacking revelations.Meanwhile, it’s clear that Yahoo didn’t do enough to protect its users. For example, the company acknowledges using MD5, a password-storage method considered by many experts to be inadequate and inferior to others available at the time of the hack.One of Yahoo’s priorities will now need to be keeping its users updated as its investigation progresses, said Jeremiah Grossman, chief of security strategy for SentinelOne.“I think that would go a long way to assuring users and everybody that they’re doing the right things,” said Grossman, who worked in security at Yahoo from 1999 to 2001. “The best peace of mind in cybersecurity is transparency.”There’s only so much a company like Yahoo can do to protect its users without damaging its business model, which involves selling advertising based on data gleaned from its users, Grossman noted.As a result, it can’t do things like encrypt user data, which would make the information useless to hackers. Other companies that don’t sell advertising, such as Apple, are able to encrypt. And some, such as Google, do so too but not in a way that would have protected against this type of hack. They also hold the keys to that encryption, giving them the access they need for advertising sales.“If you take a step back, the 1 billion people aren’t Yahoo’s customers, they’re its product,” Grossman said.For Yahoo users, experts say, there’s little to do except for changing their passwords if they haven’t done so in the past three years. And it’s tough to protect against future hacks at Yahoo or other companies that hold personal information.Changing email providers is, at the very least, a pain for most people. Experts say picking a tough password is a must , though they are divided on exactly how important it is to change it frequently.The same password should not be used for multiple sites, and the questions and answers needed to reset it should be unique as well.While perfect security doesn’t exist, no one wants to be an easy target either. Cybersecurity experts like to compare the hacker threat to running from a bear: You don’t have to be the fastest runner — just not the slowest.The Yahoo breach should serve as a lesson to users that they can’t assume that companies, even large multi-national tech companies, are doing security right, said John Shier, senior security adviser at Sophos.“Hopefully this is the one that wakes everybody up, although I doubt it will be,” Shier said. “It’s frustrating to see this happen over and over again when for many years we’ve known how to better protect systems.”___AP technology writers Michael Liedtke in San Francisco and Mae Anderson in Atlanta contributed to this report.___Follow Bree Fowler at http://twitter.com/APBreeFowler . Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/bree-fowler . by Bree Fowler, The Associated Press Posted Dec 14, 2016 3:12 pm MDT Last Updated Dec 15, 2016 at 4:15 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Yahoo’s mega breach shows how just how vulnerable data is read more

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Sod turned for new CDC building in Linden

Sod turning: Regional Chairman Renis Morian, Minister within the Ministry of Communities, with responsibility for housing, Valarie Adams-Patterson-Yearwood and National Director of CDC, Eugene Gilbert turning the sod for the new CDC building while other regional and local officials look on.The construction of a new Community Development Council (CDC) office, at Washerpond Road, Mackenzie Linden, will commence within the next three weeks.The one-storey modern facility will be used as an office for the CDCs that are without an office at present as well as the regional CDC officers. It will also be used as a business incubator which will aid in bringing in funds for its maintenance and for community projects.A sod-turning ceremony was held on Wednesday to mark the start of the project. In attendance were Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valarie Adams-Patterson-Yearwood, National Director of CDC, Eugene Gilbert, Regional Chairman, Renis Morian, Mayor of Linden, Waneka Arindell and other officials from the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LMTC).National Director of CDCs Eugene Gilbert noted that the building is a big boost for Linden. He noted that “a lot of the CDC groups do not have their offices, so they can use the incubator as their office until they become self-sustaining and can have their own office.”Two thousand blocks for the building construction have already been purchased.It was highlighted that the construction is a collaboration among the 63 registered CDC’s in Region Ten, the RDC, LMTC and donors.According to National Director, Gilbert, “It will require a lot of support from the RDC, the LMTC and the donor community because we are also sourcing some funding from the donor communities generally, but we need to bring the project to a stage where the donor community can see strong evidence of the progress we would have made. So, we would be seeking aid for completion to the final stage,” he said.The National CDC office is working along with the established CDCs, to build capacity within the communities, and also to establish other CDC’s where there is a need.According to a DPI release, this building will be the latest of a string of modern facilities that were constructed in Linden within the last year. This excludes the regional passport office, the One Mile Child Care Centre and the new E’ Division Head Quarters. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedActions of CDC Deputy Director suspiciousFebruary 20, 2017In “Local News”Four Miles Toshao says Govt forming CDC in titled Amerindian villageAugust 30, 2018In “latest news”$96M disaster management centre for Region 9July 11, 2019In “Business” read more

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Groundbreaking technology allows completely paralysed lockedin patients to communicate

first_img http://jrnl.ie/3217981 By Cormac Fitzgerald 13,348 Views Short URL GROUNDBREAKING NEW TECHNOLOGY has allowed doctors to hold simple conversations with patients who are “locked-in” and have been too disabled to communicate.A newly developed brain-computer interface permits people who otherwise have no means of communicating to engage in simple “yes” and “no” conversations.The interface is a cap that sits on people’s heads and uses infrared light to detect variations in blood flow to different regions of the brain.According to the authors of a new study published in the journal Plos Biology, the technology has the potential the revolutionise the lives of patients and could be “the first step towards abolition of complete locked-in states”.A complete locked-in state (CLIS) is when a person is suffering from complete motor paralysis and is so unable to communicate in any way. However the brain function of the person is still intact, meaning that they can perceive the world around them.In the study, three women and one man (aged 24 to 76) were trained to use the interface by doctors asking them simple “yes” and “no” questions and asking them to answer.All four suffered from CLIS due to the fact that they had ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) – a progressive motor neuron disease that leads to complete destruction of the part of the nervous system responsible for movement.The four are fed through feeding tubes and cared for at home by their families.Simple questionsQuestions like “Your husband’s name is Joachim” and “Berlin is the capital of France”.Over time, the cap learned to distinguish between the blood flow patterns in the patients’ brains whether a “yes” or “no” answer was being thought.The questions became more complex as the technology was used. When questioned were they “happy” with life, all four patients answered “yes”.In another case, a family requested that the researchers ask one of the participants whether he would agree for his daughter to marry her boyfriend ‘Mario’. The answer was “No” nine times out of ten.Professor John Donoghue, Director of the Wyss Center, who developed the technology, said it hoped to expand on the results of the research.“Restoring communication for completely locked-in people is a crucial first step in the challenge to regain movement,” he said.“The Wyss Center plans to build on the results of this study to develop clinically useful technology that will be available to people with paralysis resulting from ALS, stroke or spinal cord injury.The technology used in the study also has broader applications that we believe could be further developed to treat and monitor people with a wide range of neuro-disorders.Read: Here are the 10 tunes shortlisted for Irish song of the yearRead: ‘When I told people I had cancer, because I’m a comedian I had to say I wasn’t joking’ A model wearing the technology. Image: Wyss Center via www.wysscenter.ch A model wearing the technology. 14 Comments center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Groundbreaking technology allows completely paralysed ‘locked-in’ patients to communicate The interface is a cap that sits on people’s heads and uses infrared light to detect variations in blood flow to different regions of the brain. Wednesday 1 Feb 2017, 10:10 PM Share308 Tweet Email1 Image: Wyss Center via www.wysscenter.ch Feb 1st 2017, 10:10 PM last_img read more

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Tara Oceans la goélette a réussi à se libérer de la banquise

first_imgTara Oceans : la goélette a réussi à se libérer de la banquiseLa goélette océanographie que l’expédition Tara Oceans a finalement réussi à triompher de la banquise qui la bloquait au beau milieu du Passage du Nord-Est en Arctique. Il aura tout de même fallu 72 heures de navigation à haut risque pour s’en dépêtrer. Le voyage continue pour Tara Oceans et sa goélette océanographique après plusieurs jours quelque peu périlleux. En effet, depuis la mi-août, le voilier à deux mâts de 36 mètres était bloqué par la banquise au niveau du détroit Vilkitski, à l’extrémité septentrionale de la Sibérie Orientale. C’est ce détroit encore englacé à cette période de l’année qui commande le fameux passage du Nord-Est entre Atlantique et Pacifique en Arctique mais l’équipage ne parvenait pas à le franchir.”Nous attendions depuis une semaine, bloqués à l’entrée du détroit, avec des cartes satellitaires de glace aussi contradictoires les unes que les autres”, a raconté à l’AFP par téléphone le capitaine de Tara, Loïc Valette. Un brise-glace russe était censé leur venir en aide mais celui-ci s’est fait attendre. “Dimanche, la débâcle a semblé s’accentuer. J’ai donc donné l’ordre de mise en route”. Au total, il aura fallu près de 72 heures de navigation à haut risque pour passer ce goulet d’étranglement situé au large du cap Tchéliouskine.”Nous nous sommes relayés sans relâche” Dimanche, c’est dans un champ de mines glacées que Tara a engagé son étrave et Loïc Valette, jeune capitaine au long cours, vient de vivre l’une des plus exaltantes navigations de sa carrière. “Nous étions seuls avec la nature. Comme au temps de la marine en bois. Nous ne pouvions compter que sur nos propres forces et notre faculté d’analyse de visu de l’état de la mer et de la glace”, a expliqué le marin à l’AFP. “Pendant 72 heures, nous nous sommes relayés sans relâche”.”Un homme dans la timonerie, un autre à la proue auscultant l’état de la mer et indiquant les passages entre les plaques dérivantes et les icebergs, un troisième dans le nid de pie en haut des mâts de 27 m”, a poursuivi Loïc Valette, capitaine de l’équipage de sept marins et sept scientifiques. “Dans le jour permanent et diaphane de l’été boréal, on a vu tous les types de glace en Arctique et slalomé entre des plaques aussi lourdes que le bateau, des ‘growlers’ (énormes glaçons voguant de plusieurs tonnes, ndlr), et des résidus agglomérés qui venaient heurter avec force la coque de Tara”.Premier voilier à franchir ce passage C’est finalement mardi que les efforts de l’équipage ont fini par payer : à l’aube, la goélette dont les flancs résonnaient encore des impacts sur sa coque a passé le fameux cap Tchéliouskine à une vitesse de 6 ou 7 noeuds (12 km/h) dans un brouillard épais laissant à peine deviner le dessin de sa côte, ont relaté les explorateurs. Tout l’équipage a alors été réveillé par la puissante corne de brume, activée pour saluer la performance et la liberté retrouvée de la goélette. Grâce à cela, Tara est devenu le premier voilier à franchir ce goulet d’étranglement.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Désormais, le navire a donc repris sa route et se dirigeait vers sa prochaine escale russe Pevek, avant le détroit de Bering, puis l’Alaska. D’une durée de sept mois, la mission Tara Oceans Polar circle vise à réaliser un tour complet de l’océan glacial arctique via les passages du Nord-Est (Russie) et Nord-Ouest (Canada) afin d’étudier les écosystèmes planctoniques dans les plus hautes latitudes.Pour suivre la mission, rendez-vous sur le site officiel de Tara Oceans.  (crédits photo : F.Aurat/Tara Expeditions)Le 28 août 2013 à 19:29 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Belotti has no interest in signing for a big club

first_imgFormer Manchester United target Andrea Belotti has no interest in leaving Torino for a bigger club if that means that he will have to sit on the benchThe Italy international was strongly linked with a departure from Torino last season after a strong season, which had seen the 24 year-old score an impressive 26 league goals in the Serie A.Bids of around €100m were said to be in line for Torino, with the likes of Manchester United and AC Milan having expressed an interest in signing the forward.But after a difficult season, this time around, Belotti’s market value is believed to have halved. But the Italian is adamant that he will only leave Torino if first-team football can be guaranteed.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“People tell me I should go to a big club who play for trophies, but I evaluate what’s right for me 360,” he told Domenica Sportiva, via Football Italia.“I’m not interested in going to a big club if it means me not playing or being a substitute. If I move, it’s because I’ll be a starter.”So far this season, Belotti has only scored six league goals compared to his 22 goals at this stage last season.last_img read more

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Implementation of Free Trade Agreement with Colombia Draws Praise from ASA

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) cheers the upcoming implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which will take effect May 15. ASA congratulates President Barack Obama, President Juan Manuel Santos, and the governments of the U.S. and Colombia for working collaboratively to complete the review of the agreement, which will provide a boost for U.S. soybean exports and other American agricultural products to Central and South America’s third largest economy.”The enactment of the free trade agreement with Colombia next month is a tremendous opportunity for soybean farmers, as it will expand a valuable export market for our products,” said ASA First Vice President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “We are making steady progress toward regaining lost market share in Colombia, and this agreement will markedly advance that progress. We applaud the efforts of the Obama and Santos Administrations in seeing the free trade agreement with Colombia enacted next month.”As part of the agreement, more than half of all U.S. farm exports to Colombia—including soybeans and soybean meal and flour—will become duty-free, with virtually all of the remaining tariffs to be eliminated over the next 15 years. The agreement also provides duty free tariff rate quotas (TRQ) on soybean oil, as well as livestock and dairy exports that utilize soybean inputs.Soybeans and soybean products are the largest U.S. agricultural export commodity, totaling nearly 1.5 billion bushels in 2011, with a value of more than $22 billion. Last year, the U.S. exported more than $182 million in soybeans and soybean products to Colombia, as part of $832 million in agricultural products. The International Trade Commission (ITC) estimates that the agreement will expand overall exports to Colombia by more than $1.1 billion and support thousands of additional American jobs.last_img read more

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Shambhala International fights to survive in face of sex scandal

first_img TagsBuddhism Chogyam Trungpa Colorado homepage featured Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche sex abuse scandal Shambhala Top Story,You may also like Carina Julig Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This! By: Carina Julig Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,BOULDER, Colo. (RNS) — The sexual misconduct scandal rocking Shambhala International, one of the largest Buddhist organizations in the West, is causing the organization to suffer financially, and many of their properties and programs are being sold off or downsized.Started in the 1970s by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who also founded Naropa University, Shambhala has been embroiled in crisis since last summer, when Trungpa’s son and the organization’s current spiritual leader, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, was accused of sexual misconduct.Since the initial report, more allegations have been made against other senior teachers in Shambhala, suggesting a pattern of cover-ups and failure to address sexual misconduct at the upper levels of the group’s leadership.RELATED: More #MeToo lessons as a Buddhist ‘king’ fallsBut at the heart of Shambhala’s financial woes is the fact that, since the allegations broke, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has stepped back from his leadership role and is no longer teaching. Much of the organization’s revenue was generated from his teachings.Shambhala’s entire governing board, the Kalapa Council, resigned when the scandal broke in July of last year and was replaced with an interim board that is attempting to hold the organization together. As they attempt to change Shambhala’s culture and regain the trust of their followers, they are also struggling with a drop in revenue.According to a statement released by the interim board in March, revenue is down almost 60 percent from the beginning of 2018, and the organization has a debt of more than 1.3 million, with the entire amount due in August.In order to address their debt, the board is looking into selling Marpa House, a Shambhala-owned property in downtown Boulder used as an intentional living community for about 40 people. It is widely beloved by many in Shambhala, and news of its potential loss was met with great dismay.Marpa House has an estimated value of $5.5 million. Its sale would allow Shambhala to clear several significant debts and provide operating funds for Shambhala for 18-24 months.Shambhala International’s Marpa House in Boulder, Colo. Photo courtesy of Google MapsDue to the ownership structure of different properties, Shambhala has limited options for what it can sell. A separate entity owns Sakyong’s property in Halifax, the organization’s international headquarters. The Sakyong himself owns a second house in Boulder, and according to the board, he has put it on the market. The board initially investigated selling the office of the Nalanda Translation Committee in Halifax, which produces English versions of Buddhist texts, but decided to keep it open in response to protests from the Shambhala community.According to the board, in July of 2018 the Kalapa Council borrowed $750,000 in restricted donor funds from another financial entity within Shambhala and secured the loan with a third mortgage on Marpa House.The interim board has not yet made a definitive decision on whether to sell the house and is continuing to solicit feedback from the community. “We recognize that selling real estate to cover operational deficits is not a good idea. Nevertheless, we view this situation as a crisis and an exception,” the memo read.The situation is complicated by the fact that Mipham’s mother, Lady Konchok Paldron, and her family live in Marpa House, and she, along with the other residents, would have to find other places to live.A group of supporters is currently putting together a proposal to attempt to purchase Marpa House if it is sold.Giving to Shambhala International has decreased dramatically from both individuals as well as from the network of more than 200 local Shambhala centers worldwide. Members pledge money to their local center, and each center gives a portion of its revenue to Shambhala International. After the allegations against Sakyong Mipham broke, many local centers decided to stop giving money to Shambhala International.According to the interim board’s March update, giving from centers dropped from $44,000 a month to $16,000 a month in 2018. Since then, giving has recovered somewhat, to $22,000 a month.Shambhala’s “land centers,” where summer camps and large training programs are hosted, are also suffering.Myra Woodruff, executive director of Karmê Chöling, published a statement in April detailing the center’s financial difficulties. Located in rural Vermont, Karme Choling is one of two of Shambhala’s land centers in the U.S.According to Woodruff, Karmê Chöling faced a 50-percent drop in attendance in the first quarter of 2019, incurring a net loss of $153,330. They started the year in the black but quickly ran out of reserves.“Between December 2019 and April 2020, we calculate a loss of $254,500 if Karmê Chöling continues normal operations under the current conditions,” Woodruff said. “Such a situation is fiscally untenable and demands prudent, creative measures, thinking outside the box.”Due to their difficult financial position, the center will no longer be open during the winter months.Shambhala Mountain Center, the other U.S. land center, located north of Boulder within the bounds of a national park, has also suffered setbacks but is in a better overall financial position.In the wake of the allegations last summer and facing “significant revenue losses,” the mountain center made reductions in its staff, according to a statement from its director, Michael Gayner. It also lost a grant funder that served as its primary source of scholarships and is now attempting to create an in-house scholarship program.But as of December 2018, the center was over 99-percent funded, Gayner said. “People are really committed to supporting us,” he said, noting that the center, which has been open for more than 50 years, has a strong community network and donor pool to rely on.Kalapa Publications, Shambhala’s publishing branch, is also struggling to stay afloat. Kalapa Publications is responsible for publishing many of the teachings of Mipham and founder Chogyam Trungpa and provides the written materials that are required for many of Shambhala’s programs.“Due to the instability in Shambhala over the last months, sales from Kalapa Publications have decreased substantially,” said Director Emily Hilburn Sell in a statement sent to a community. “At this point, the decline in sales is jeopardizing our ability to continue publishing teachings for the community.”In order to stay financially viable, the publisher has “significantly reduced” the size of its staff and is increasing the amount of pre-sales for books to better judge the actual amount needed. It is also offering more sales and ebooks.There is no centralized data on the extent to which local centers have experienced a drop in revenue, but some were already suffering a decline in membership when the scandal hit.In December of 2018, the Shambhala center of New York City was forced to close its doors due to a lack of funds, but in an interview with the Buddhist publication Lion’s Roar, the New York center’s director, Eric Spiegel, said that, while the sexual misconduct allegations were a factor, the center had already been struggling to keep up with a rent of $3,000 per month. The group is searching for a new permanent location and is currently using space at a yoga center. Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Share This! By: Carina Julig Photos of the Week As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 By: Carina Julig Share This! Share This! News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 News • Photos of the Week Share This! Catholicism Carina Julig,Load Comments,Victims of clergy abuse to sue Vatican, seek abusers’ names Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Emaillast_img read more

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Inventor Demonstrates Humanoid Robots Latest AI Abilities w Video

first_img Explore further A Perfect Female Companion: Project Aiko Aiko has the ability to identify objects, learn what new objects are, understand more than 13,000 sentences, and more. Image credit: Le Trung. Le Trung, whose background is in microbiology and chemistry, was originally inspired to build Aiko after watching “Chobits,” a Japanese manga that explores the relationships between humans and personal computers. While he hopes to continue to improve Aiko’s software, he currently faces a hardware limitation, as the CPU is currently at 99% capacity. Le Trung hopes to raise funds to upgrade the CPU. In the future, Le Trung hopes to enable Aiko to achieve further skills, such as making tea, coffee, and a breakfast of eggs and bacon; cleaning a human’s ears with a Q-tip; giving a neck massage; writing; and cleaning windows, shelves, and bathrooms. He also hopes that, one day, he will be able to mass produce sister copies of Aiko for an estimated cost of about $17,000 – $20,000. “Future improvements include making the voice with more emotions and feelings when speaking, improving the silicone material on her face so that she can do facial expressions like humans, and redesigning the body and arm system to move more naturally and carry heavier things,” Le Trung said.More information: • www.projectaiko.com• A Perfect Female Companion: Project Aiko© 2009 PhysOrg.com In the video below, Le Trung demonstrates Aiko’s internal operating system, which gives the robot many abilities, including the ability to speak two languages (English and Japanese), solve high school math problems, communicate the weather forecast, understand more than 13,000 sentences, sing songs, identify objects, focus on objects or people of importance, read newspapers and other materials, and mimic human physical touch. Citation: Inventor Demonstrates Humanoid Robot’s Latest AI Abilities (w/ Video) (2009, August 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-08-inventor-humanoid-robot-latest-ai.html 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. (PhysOrg.com) — In August 2007, Le Trung invented Aiko, a Yumecom, or “Dream Computer Robot.” Although it took only a month and a half to build Aiko’s exterior, the artificial intelligence software has been a work in progress ever since. Recently, Le Trung has demonstrated his most recent improvements to the software, called BRAINS (Bio Robot Artificial Intelligence Neural System). As Le Trung explains, in some ways the BRAINS software is even more powerful than a human brain because it can link to infinite sources of data. Similar to a human brain, the software is designed to interact with the surrounding environment, process it, and record the information in its internal memory. Once the internal memory is at full capacity, the information can be transferred into a server database. The information can then be shared with current and future robots.With the BRAINS software, Aiko (whose name means “beloved one”) has the potential for many applications. For example, in the home, Aiko could help elderly people by reminding them when to take their medicine and helping them read the newspaper. It could also help kids with their math homework. In work and public environments, the robot could be used at information desks, where it could give directions and inform people when and where events take place. Le Trung also suggests that, with Aiko’s ability to detect 250 faces per second, it could be useful in airports to quickly scan and filter faces, as well as answer questions regarding flight times and gate locations. In addition, Aiko’s sensitivity sensors and humanlike appearance offer the potential for its use as a companion robot.”The most recent improvement with Aiko is the BRAINS software,” Le Trung said. “I have just finished re-architecting the BRAINS software to have triple threads, which will make the software run a bit smoother and process about 15% faster for 3D recognition. As a result, Aiko can distinguish the difference between a $20 Canadian bill and $20 American bill. Aiko also has new improved facial expressions with 21 recognition points. Aiko will know when you are angry, happy, etc. Finally, the BRAINS can now process newspaper reading much faster and more accurate.”last_img read more

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