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New ‘medicine’ could vaccinate plants against devastating virusesNew ‘medicine’ could vaccinate plants against devastating viruses

first_imgA plant being vaccinated with molecules identified by a new technique New ‘medicine’ could vaccinate plants against devastating viruses By Eva FrederickAug. 26, 2019 , 3:20 PM MLU/Markus Scholz Few things are scarier to a pumpkin farmer than the letters CMV. They stand for cucumber mosaic virus, a pathogen that lays waste to entire fields of pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons. Now, researchers have found a way to quickly develop vaccines that could eventually protect crops from viral pathogens.“This is a really neat finding,” says Anna Whitfield, a plant pathologist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh who was not involved in the study. Viruses are an ever-evolving threat to global food security, Whitfield says, and the new technique might help farmers keep up with the constantly changing pathogens.When a virus infects a plant cell, it often releases RNA—either in the form of messenger RNA or double-stranded RNA—which travels through the cell, helping the virus replicate. Defense proteins inside the plant cell recognize these viral RNAs, and enzymes that act like tiny scissors slice them apart. Some of the resulting bits and pieces of RNA, called small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), team up with a group of proteins called the Argonaute complex. The siRNAs serve as identifiers that lead the Argonaute complex to RNA on the virus genome, which the Argonaute complex and other proteins then destroy.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The tactic is deadly, but not always efficient. Of the many thousands of various siRNAs made by the plant, very few have the right chemical properties to fight the viral RNA. Biochemist Sven-Erik Behrens at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany and his colleagues set out to streamline the process.They developed molecular tests to identify which siRNAs are efficient at fighting viruses. In laboratory experiments with tobacco plants, they showed they could pick the winners and use them as a vaccine against the tomato bushy stunt virus, which slows growth and damages leaves in tobacco plants. The best siRNA, sprayed on the leaves, protected 90% of the plants, the team reports this month in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.There are other ways to predict which siRNAs might be effective against a plant virus, but most of these are computer models that do not always work as expected, Behrens says.An exciting part of the study is that the team simply sprayed the siRNAs on the plant or rubbed them onto the leaves, Whitfield says. This is much simpler and faster than genetically engineering a plant for viral resistance, allowing scientists and farmers to keep up with the quick evolution of viral pathogens.The researchers are now working on finding the most efficient and cost-effective way of administering the vaccine to plants, such as a spray that uses nanoparticles to deliver the siRNAs. They’re also trying to identify siRNAs that would fight economically important viruses such as CMV or the zucchini yellow mosaic virus, on plants from melons to tomatoes.last_img read more

Bajirao Mastani: Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone to launch the song GajananaBajirao Mastani: Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone to launch the song Gajanana

first_imgAhead of Ganesh Chaturthi, which will be celebrated on September 17, actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone will launch Gajanana, a track from their upcoming film Bajirao Mastani on September 15. The song is said to be dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Ranveer took to micro-blogging site Twitter to share the details of the song launch. You ready? #Gajanana pic.twitter.com/mmZrhWZebW Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) September 14, 2015 Launching the powerful “GAJANANA” Aarti tomorrow! #BajiraoMastani pic.twitter.com/olkPhVkE5i Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) September 14, 2015His message was accompanied by an image of Lord Ganesha, and super-imposed on it is a message which reads, “Witness history being created with a Guinness World Record for largest crowd forming a human still of the mosaic image of Ganapati.” Ranveer and Deepika will do the maha aarti at the launch, to be held at the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex, Balewadi, at Pune today (September 15).SEE PICS: Deepika Pdukone, Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra in a royal love saga Bajirao Mastani Bajirao Mastani, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, is a period drama starring Ranveer as the 18th century Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao I, while his love interest, Mastani, is essayed by Deepika. Priyanka Chopra plays the role of Kashibai, the first wife of Bajirao. The film will release on December 18 this year.Watch the trailer here:last_img read more

Virender Sehwag joins Sachin-Warne All-Stars T20 seriesVirender Sehwag joins Sachin-Warne All-Stars T20 series

first_imgRecently retired Indian batsman Virender Sehwag has become the latest high profile player to confirm his participation in the inaugural Cricket All-Stars series, co-promoted by Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne.The All-Stars matches will be played in several cities across the US next month with the first game scheduled for November 7 in New York. The event will then move to Houston on November 11 in and Los Angeles on November 14.The 37-year-old Sehwag announced his retirement from international cricket last week and joins a host of former India internationals who will play in the US including V.V.S Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Ajit Agarkar.Also read: Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne say ‘yes’ to Cricket at Olympics Warm welcome to my friend & a batsman with his distinct style! @virendersehwag joins us at @T20AllStars #10DaystoGo pic.twitter.com/qL1OsaKyej sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 27, 2015However, Sehwag is the only player still playing domestic cricket. He has also signed up for the Masters Champions League, another tournament featuring retired players, expected to be held in January 2016 in the United Arab Emirates..@virendersehwag Welcome to the #cricketallstars buddy !!!! See you in NY & congrats on a wonderful career champion ?? Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) October 27, 2015However, his decision means Sehwag will miss part of Haryana’s Ranji Trophy campaign. Sehwag scored a century in his most recent match for them, against Karnataka in Mysore.While the former Delhi Ranji batsman will surely miss Haryana’s next match against Assam, starting November 7, it also appears unlikely that he will be back in India in time for the one after that, against Odisha on November 15.advertisementAnirudh Chaudhary, secretary of the Haryana Cricket Association, said the batsman had said he would miss one game, which they were “absolutely okay” with.”Every match he is part of this team is huge for this team. Every interaction with him benefits the players. We are looking at him mentoring the players and our objective is achieved by his presence around the squad,” Chaudhary was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Tuesday.”Once a player has announced his international retirement, anything he contributes at Ranji level we should gleefully accept,” he said.In a career spanning over 15 years in international cricket, Sehwag featured in 104 Tests and scored 8,586 runs at a staggering average of 49.34.In 251 One-Day Internationals (ODI), he amassed 8,273 runs at an average of 35.05. He also scored 38 international hundreds.last_img read more

England WAGS suspect Rebekah Vardy tipped off photographers in RussiaEngland WAGS suspect Rebekah Vardy tipped off photographers in Russia

first_imgTottenham Hotspur appoint Jose Mourinho as manager Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates MSSA: Harsh fires Campion into final Miquel Blazquez Font to emerge as a competent sports journalist in the sporting world Some England football WAGS are furious and suspect England striker Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah was the one who organised a group photo of them during the World Cup in Russia last year. According to The Sun, some of the WAGS now believe that she tipped off photographers about the lunch to boost her own profile, which she has denied. “They [WAGS] had their suspicions then, and those thoughts have intensified in the wake of Rebekah’s feud with Coleen [Rooney],” said a source. Rebekah had then Instagrammed this picture (above) with eight other WAGS and wrote: “Crew.”Related Newslast_img read more

Liga MX QFs previewLiga MX QFs preview

first_imgLiga MX Liga MX quarterfinals feature enticing matchups beyond Clasico Joven Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 04:45 11/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Juninho Andres Pierre Gignac Tigres Julio Cesar Aguilar Liga MX América Toluca v Morelia León v Tigres UANL Cruz Azul v América Atlas v Monterrey León Cruz Azul Morelia Monterrey Toluca Tigres UANL Atlas While the duel for Mexico City supremacy is drawing most of the attention, all four series have the potential for excitement The Liga MX playoffs begin Wednesday with the league’s eight best teams all hoping to make a run to the championship.Goal’s Jon Arnold previews each matchup below: Morelia v. TolucaGFX Toluca MonarcasWhat to watch for: Neither of these teams are ‘grandes’ but both have played well during the regular season. Wednesday’s opener will be critical for the Red Devils. Morelia is much more comfortable playing patiently and protecting a lead if Raul Ruidiaz and Diego Valdes are able to produce a goal up front and far less used to playing from behind. Hernan Cristante’s side must come out and attack like it has done in other home matches late in the year to hang in the series.Leon v. TigresGFX leon tigresWhat to watch for: Leon played poorly in its final two matches of the regular season. Can Gustavo Diaz find the same fire in his team that it showed in a six-match winning streak when he took over midseason? That streak included a 1-0 Leon victory in the Camp Nou the last time Tigres visited. After being held against Monterrey, Tigres’ attack is sure to be eager to find the back of the net and will test a Leon back line that has been improved but is still inconsistent.Cruz Azul v. Club AmericaGFX Cruz Azul AmericaWhat to watch for: America was pleased to lock up the third seed and meet its Mexico City rivals. Look at recent results and you can see why. Las Aguilas have won the last four meetings between the teams and are unbeaten in the last seven. Cruz Azul is back in the postseason for the first time since the 2014 Clausura but now must prove it’s not a fluke. Paco Jemez has a delicate balance of not wanting to fall behind in the first leg but also needing to get goals. America’s attack has stagnated in recent weeks but don’t be shocked to see an away goal that could get them right back into gear.Atlas v. MonterreyGFX Atlas Mty Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player What to watch for: Can anyone stop Monterrey’s attack? Nobody was able to during the regular season. Even if you’re able to mark one player out of the game, someone between Aviles Hurtado, Rogelio Funes Mori, Dorlan Pabon or Carlos Sanchez can do damage. Atlas also is likely to struggle with finding a goal. The Foxes scored once in the teams’ regular season meeting, but that was one of just a dozen goals Monterrey conceded in the tournament and they’ll be on high alert in the opening leg.last_img read more

This giant artificial wave park just opened up to surfers in WalesThis giant artificial wave park just opened up to surfers in Wales

first_img The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked There’s Never a Bad Time to Visit Whistler, the Four-Season Outdoor Playground Editors’ Recommendations 12 Reasons South Dakota Deserves Your Attention Good news for all you landlocked surfers living in the U.K.: A company by the name of Wavegarden has recently finished construction of Surf Snowdonia; one of the world’s biggest artificial wave parks. Located in a small mountain town in Wales, the massive facility is supposedly capable of generating “the longest man-made surfable waves on the planet” — and it just opened for business this month.The park, which took about 10 years and $20 million to complete, is unlike any wave pool you’ve ever seen before. In addition to the fact that it’s far, far bigger than most other inland surf parks (approximately 387,700 square feet), it also generates waves in a completely different way.To create these huge, barreling waves, the park uses Wavegarden’s patented “wavefoil” technology, which basically works like a giant underwater snow plow. This plow head moves along a submerged track that runs down the center of the pool. As it does this, the wavefoil’s shape causes two large, tubular waves to break away on either side of the central divider. Check out the video to see it in action.Once created, the waves travel along the length of the pool (300 meters, or about 984 feet), allowing surfers to catch a ride at any point. But the length of the waves isn’t even the most impressive part of all this. Arguably more amazing is the fact that the amplitude and frequency of each wave can be controlled with a computer.Related: Six Surf Tips from Pro Surfer Rusty MillerWavegarden’s system allows park operators to generate waves in three different sizes. There’s a 0.7 meter setting for beginner waves, a 1.2 meter setting for intermediate ones, and advanced setting that generates big 2 meter swells (that’s 2.3 feet, 3.9 feet, and 6.5 feet respectively). The wavefoil can even create different size waves — simultaneously — on either side of the central divide.Armed with this technology, Surf Snowdonia can cater to surfers of all skill levels. Learners can take lessons on one side while thrill-seeking pros rip giant tubes on the other. And of course, there’s plenty to do outside the pool to keep you entertained as well. The park boasts a restaurant, bar, café, gift shop, and on-site camping, so it’s basically like a ski resort for surfers.Wavegarden is currently working on a number of other artificial wave parks across the globe (including one in Austin, Texas!), but for the time being, you’ll need to book a trip to Wales to get your inland surfing fix.This article originally appeared on Digital Trends The Best Campgrounds Near Major U.S. Citieslast_img read more

Students Attend National Science, Technology and Wellness FairStudents Attend National Science, Technology and Wellness Fair

first_img Hundreds of students from schools across Jamaica converged on the Chinese Benevolent Association in Kingston, on June 16, to participate in the Scientific Research Council’s (SRC) National Science, Technology and Wellness Fair 2017. The event was staged in collaboration with Petrojam Ltd; Diabetes Association of Jamaica; the Association of Science Teachers of Jamaica; the Development Bank of Jamaica; Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Sandals Resort; Jamaica Observer; Coldax Mart Jamaica Limited; Collins Publishing, and Corps Biz Strategies. The event featured a competition between schools in the categories of Education, Agriculture, Food and Agro-processing, Energy, ICT and Electronics (with special focus on Cybersecurity), Health and Safety, and Sports/Athletics. Hundreds of students from schools across Jamaica converged on the Chinese Benevolent Association in Kingston, on June 16, to participate in the Scientific Research Council’s (SRC) National Science, Technology and Wellness Fair 2017.Held under the theme ‘Youth-centred Science, Technology and Innovation for sustainable development’, the fair attracted students from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.Executive Director at the SRC, Dr. Cliff Riley, speaking at the closing ceremony, said the fair “indicates that the creativity and innovative capacity of our country is in good hands”.He explained that he is encouraged by some of the many solutions presented by the students to address very current issues, such as waste disposal and potable water shortage.The event featured a competition between schools in the categories of Education, Agriculture, Food and Agro-processing, Energy, ICT and Electronics (with special focus on Cybersecurity), Health and Safety, and Sports/Athletics.The primary competition had Seaview Gardens walking away with first place for their Emergency Respirator.Representative from the team, Aaron Mark Matthews, told JIS News that the idea was inspired from the smoke hazard of the Riverton dump a few years ago that affected the school and caused students to faint.“We came up with this idea to develop a mask that would block out all the impurities,” he said.John Rollins Success Primary got second place for their WindSol wind energy entry; and Half-Way Tree Primary got third place for their organic pesticides made from pimento and tomato extract.For the Secondary category, Vere Technical won first place for their project, ‘creating water from green energy’, which utilises wind to generate energy, which is then used to produce water for irrigation or domestic purposes.Another part of their winning entry was a wireless electricity transmitting illusion mirror, which is a table that transmits electrical current wirelessly.Additionally, they won the special award for best use of green technology and best application of physics.Rusea’s High got second place for their organic mosquito repellant made from dried breadfruit and orange peel, and won special awards for most potential for commercialisation and best application of Chemistry.The Mannings School received third place for their ‘biofoam’, which is replacing styrofoam with organic materials, and also won a special award for best documented science investigation.Montego Bay Community College, which was the sole entry in the Tertiary category, won for their ‘Energy Money Saver’, which uses a digital logic circuit, incorporating the use of a motion detector, to turn on and off electrical-powered items, such as fans and lights.The community college also received the special award for most innovative display.Team member, Britney Reid, explained that the inspiration behind the project was the high cost of the school’s electricity bill.She told JIS News that the team would love to get sponsors to assist in implementing this project at their school.Additionally, the team indicated that they have contacted National Energy Solutions (NESol), which has expressed interest in the project.Other winners of special awards were Knockalva Technical High for best use of indigenous materials; Holland High for the best use of environmental science and José Martí Technical High for the best application of biology.There was also an addition to this year’s offering, which allowed attendees access to free health screenings, including blood sugar, electrocardiogram (ECG); blood pressure and cholesterol tests.Honorary Life President of the Diabetes Association, Professor Errol Morrison, who spoke at the fair, highlighted how important these checks are, with the recent occurrences of heart illnesses in some student athletes.There was also a Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) workshop, which was fully attended.The annual Science Fair serves as a platform to showcase the best research by students at the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels. Approximately 30 schools entered this year’s competition.The event was staged in collaboration with Petrojam Ltd; Diabetes Association of Jamaica; the Association of Science Teachers of Jamaica; the Development Bank of Jamaica; Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Sandals Resort; Jamaica Observer; Coldax Mart Jamaica Limited; Collins Publishing, and Corps Biz Strategies. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Germany asks Polish forgiveness 80 years after WWII outbreakGermany asks Polish forgiveness 80 years after WWII outbreak

first_imgWielun (Poland): German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday asked Poland’s forgiveness for history’s bloodiest conflict during a ceremony in the Polish city of Wielun, where the first World War II bombs fell 80 years ago. “I bow before the victims of the attack on Wielun. I bow before the Polish victims of German tyranny. And I ask your forgiveness,” Steinmeier said in both German and Polish. Poland suffered some of the worst horrors of World War II: nearly six million Poles died in the conflict that killed more than 50 million people overall. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThat figure includes the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, half of them Polish. “It was Germans who committed these crimes against humanity in Poland. Anyone calling them things of the past, or claiming that the vile rule of terror of the National Socialists in Europe was a mere footnote of German history, is passing judgement on him or herself,” Steinmeier added in the presence of his Polish counterpart. The line appeared to be a clear reference to the German far-right, whose co-leader Alexander Gauland once called the 12-year Third Reich a “speck of bird poop” on an otherwise glorious German past. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”As Germany’s Federal President, let me assure you that we will not forget,” Steinmeier said. “We want to, and we will, remember. And we will bear the responsibility that our history imposes upon us.” Polish President Andrzej Duda for his part denounced Nazi Germany’s attack on Poland, calling it “an act of barbarity” and “a war crime”. “I am convinced that this ceremony will go down in the history of Polish-German friendship,” he added, thanking Steinmeier for his presence. The heads of state will later tour the Wielun museum and meet with local survivors of the September 1, 1939 bombing. “I saw dead bodies, the wounded… Smoke, noise, explosions. Everything was burning,” Wielun bombing survivor Tadeusz Sierandt, 88, told AFP ahead of the anniversary. The carpet-bombing came one week after Germany and the Soviet Union secretly agreed to carve up Eastern Europe between them by signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans attended a separate dawn remembrance Sunday in Westerplatte, where a Nazi German battleship opened fire on a Polish fort on September 1, 1939. Timmermans spoke of how “we Europeans could honour the memory of those who fell for our freedom here.” “We express it (gratitude) by… working for tolerance, working for mutual respect, working to remove the feeding ground of those who propose intolerance. Who believe that hate is a good engine for politics. Who believe that confrontation between nations, between different cultures, is a good thing,” he said. Hitler’s attacks on Poland led Britain and France to declare war on Nazi Germany. On September 17, the Soviet Union in turn invaded Poland. After the Nazis tore up the pact with Moscow, two alliances battled it out to the end: the Axis powers led by Germany, Italy and Japan and the victorious Allied forces led by Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States. Later Sunday, US Vice President Mike Pence, Steinmeier and Duda will deliver speeches at a ceremony in Warsaw’s Pilsudski Square, the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Although it has been 80 years since the war started, there are still unresolved matters according to Poland, which says Germany owes it war reparations.last_img read more

Casablanca Airport Denies Entry to Ghanaian Invited to a ConferenceCasablanca Airport Denies Entry to Ghanaian Invited to a Conference

Rabat – “Distress Ghanaian Citizen Needs Help Now,” read the subject of an email that a Ghanaian citizen, who identified himself as Joseph Kwesi Mbir, sent to Morocco World News today.In the email, Mbir explained that authorities at the Mohammed V Airport refused to issue him a visa despite having all the documents required to have a visa upon entry.According to the documents attached to his email, Mbir is a technology savvy and “creative entrepreneur” with 15 years of experience in the field of media and security. Given his interest in the intersection between security and technology, he had requested to be invited to participate in the African Security Exhibition and Conference (Asec Expo). His request was granted, and Asec sent him an invitation letter as well as other accompanying documents.Upon reaching Casablanca, however, he was told that authorities had received no confirmation about his participation in the Asec Expo.He wrote in the email, addressing the Ghanaian embassy: “I traveled from Ghana to morocco on 20th February 2019 on an invitation to attend Asec Expo and African security conference going in Morocco now at Rabat.“I was given a visitor Invitation Letter to the expo and the conference and letter got visa confirmation letter issued by the minister of foreign affairs in morocco by the promise from the organizers that I will be given visa on arrival which has approved by the foreign affairs ministry in Morocco.”Mbir reached Morocco yesterday, February 20, at around 10 am. He showed his documents to the authorities at the airport, in addition to his certifications as an entrepreneur in the security industry.The immigration officers, however, “said they don’t have confirmation of my details in there [sic] system so therefore I can’t be granted entry due to that I have been confined in a room at the airport from morning till now.”In his plea to the Ghanaian embassy, Mbir stressed that he only traveled to Morocco to attend the conference and has no intention to stay in the country after the conference. He requested that the embassy “kindly come as soon as possible to help me resolve this and leave this airport because my health is at stake due to the area am now.”No grave mistreatmentBut Mbir insisted that the airport’s immigration authorities did not in any way “mishandle” him. He said he was “just” left in a room where he could not stay any longer because of health concerns.“I have not been mishandled by any officer but the environment I have been put is not good for my health and other factors. As I write I can’t communicate with my family at home because my access is limited because I have no credits on the local line I bought to make calls and can’t go out and get some, I have money but can’t access anything because i have been confined.”By the time Morocco World News received Mbir’s email, it was understood that he was still confined at the airport and his situation had not changed. The Ghanaian embassy had not responded to his cry for help.Morocco World News subsequently contacted the organizers of the African Security Conference for their version of events.According to the Asec organizing committee, Mbir was not their only “participants” to have been given a hard time at the Mohammed V Airport. Some two or three other participants “experienced the same thing,” only to be later allowed entry after the committee confirmed their “participant status.”But what is particular about Mbir’s case? Why were others later allowed to attend the conference while he is still in a waiting room at the airport, with no freedom of movement and limited access to means of communication?“At this stage, we do not have the final say. The airport’s authorities are the ones that can decide, based on their own criteria, to accord or not to accord entry to a person. We did our best by providing all our participants and guests with all the necessary papers to get a visa,” the head of the organizing committee told Morocco World News.When told that Mbir was in need of help and had tried to reach his embassy, she added, sounding apologetic, “I think we also received an email like that, but I’m really sorry that we can’t do anything at this stage. I’m especially sorry because this [the African Security Conference] is supposed to be an event that promotes greater intra-African cooperation. So, of course, we would like to have as many African representatives as possible. But I’m sure the immigration officers have their own reasons for denying him entry.”Morocco World News reached out to the Ghanaian embassy to know whether they had received Mbir’s email and what was being done to resolve his situation. But the embassy was unreachable after numerous attempted calls. Neither did they call back.In recent years, Morocco has doubled security regarding entry to the Moroccan territory. The goal has been to curb the number of sub-Saharan migrants using Morocco as a transit country to reach the EU.In an unprecedented move last summer, Rabat ended a visa-free agreement with three African countries, namely Guinea, Mali, and the Republic of Congo. Citizens from those three countries now need an e-visa to enter Morocco.And while Mbir has not complained about being othered or mistreated by Moroccan immigration officers, complaints of differential and prejudiced treatment of African (black) travelers are no news for airports regulars.The Asec Expo started yesterday and ends today at 7 p.m., Moroccan time.Meanwhile, Mbir, who did not get to participate in the event, will only leave his confinement tomorrow night.“But they said is [sic] only tomorrow night that they can get return flight for me to go back to Ghana,” he wrote in the email. read more

Cambodia Ban designates new adviser for Khmer Rouge trialsCambodia Ban designates new adviser for Khmer Rouge trials

18 January 2012Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated David Scheffer of the United States as the Special Expert to advise on the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT), it was announced today. “Mr. Scheffer is very well qualified to provide expert advice on UNAKRT during this critical phase for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts Cambodia (ECCC),” stated the announcement. The ECCC, set up under an agreement signed in 2003 by the UN and the Government, is tasked with trying those deemed most responsible for crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979 during which as many as two million people are thought to have died.Mr. Scheffer, whose designation is for an initial period of six months, replaces Clint Williamson, whose term of office expired on 30 September 2011.The new Special Expert was involved in the establishment of the ECCC, the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). He served as the US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues from 1997 to 2001.It was also announced today that Mr. Ban has appointed John Hocking of Australia as the Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.Mr. Hocking has been serving as the Registrar of the ICTY, which is based in The Hague, since May 2009.He will continue in that position while working as the Registrar of the Residual Mechanism, which was established by Security Council to carry out a number of essential functions of the ICTY and the ICTR after the closure of the Tribunals. The Residual Mechanism will have two branches, in Arusha – where the ICTR is based – and in The Hague, which will commence functioning on 1 July 2012 and 1 July 2013, respectively.“As its first Registrar, Mr. Hocking will be responsible for the effective commencement of the functions of the Residual Mechanism,” stated the announcement. read more

Yokohama forum renews commitment to combat sexual exploitation of childrenYokohama forum renews commitment to combat sexual exploitation of children

The “Yokohama Global Commitment” calls for early ratification of international instruments that relate to the sexual exploitation of children and urges renewed efforts to address problems that put children at risk, such as poverty, inequality and discrimination. It also calls for sanctions against those who sexually exploit children – the ‘demand side’ – rather than against the victims.Charged with reviewing progress since the first World Congress held in Stockholm in 1996, the meeting was co-organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Government of Japan, international non-governmental organization (NGO) ECPAT International, and the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF describes the new Commitment as paving the way for reinforced government action against sexual violation of children, and serving to reinvigorate international interest by drawing attention to the problem. At the forum, the UN agency was seeking a renewed commitment, rather than a new agenda, given the fact that fewer than 50 of the States that attended the first conference had actually put in place specific actions against such abuse.The four-day Congress attracted more than 3,000 participants, including representatives of 134 governments. read more

Kenya UN official hails peaceful atmosphere surrounding electionsKenya UN official hails peaceful atmosphere surrounding elections

Klaus Toepfer said the generally peaceful environment and the conduct of the public, officials, political parties and the Government indicated that Kenyan democracy had reached new levels of maturity 39 years after independence.”It is my sincere hope and belief that these elections will send a signal to the globe that Kenya is a indeed a stable, democratic, country that is at peace with itself, at peace with its neighbours and at peace with the world,” said Mr. Toepfer, who also heads the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).Just 24 hours after the first votes were cast, he noted that fears of widespread violence had proved unfounded. “Let us hope that this mature, sober and impressive behaviour continues throughout the count right up to the official announcement of the Presidential victor and winning Members of Parliament,” he said. Noting that the polling came just over a month before environment minister from across the globe come to Kenya for UNEP’s Governing Council, he urged those planning to attend to share in the country’s “democratic institutions, in its stability and its aspirations for the future.” read more

Irish connections aplenty as New York gets its first professional rugby clubIrish connections aplenty as New York gets its first professional rugby club

first_imgIrish connections aplenty as New York gets its first professional rugby club We spoke to founder James Kennedy and second row Dave Gannon about Rugby United New York. 9 Comments Sunday 25 Feb 2018, 8:00 AM 37,863 Views Short URL Follow us: the42.ie Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Murray Kinsella Feb 25th 2018, 8:01 AM From Queensland Schoolboys to the Ireland U20s: Tom O’Toole’s tale‘One opposition coach has tried to create that story’: Schmidt defends Ireland’s creative powers NEW YORK IS famous for many things but it’s fair to say that the rugby community isn’t among its best-known features.Those within New York’s rugby family believe it is a sleeping giant, however, and there are plans now in place to bring it to a far greater stage, with the announcement this month of the city’s first-ever professional club, Rugby United New York [RUNY].The club is part of the newly-formed Major League Rugby [MLR], the latest attempt to get a professional rugby competition off the ground Stateside – and one that will kick off its inaugural season in April with justified optimism that it can survive and thrive. Source: Rugby United New YorkRUNY won’t take part in the 2018 season, instead playing a series of ‘exhibition’ games this year, but they will compete in the 2019 campaign, by which time the club expects to have solid, sustainable foundations in place.The Irish connections in RUNY are multiple, starting with club chairman and founder James Kennedy, a St. Munchin’s College, Limerick alumnus who has lived in New York for almost 20 years and is the CEO of construction company Murphy Kennedy Group.Former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan and ex-Ireland wing Shane Horgan are onboard as advisors, while Irishmen Marcus Walsh, Jack Fitzpatrick, Ross Deacon, Dylan Fawsitt [now a US international] and Dave Gannon are part of RUNY’s squad.The club has closely linked itself with the GAA in New York and will play its first-ever game against Boston at Gaelic Park in the Bronx on 24 March, with the hope being that Gaelic Park will become RUNY’s home venue for the next few years.With the RUNY centrally focused on building from the very grassroots of New York rugby up, these are exciting times in the Big Apple.Kennedy has been deeply involved in New York’s rugby scene for a long time and is a board member of the local branch of USA’s Play Rugby, an initiative that provides disadvantaged children with an opportunity to try the sport.“Every single week in New York City, 5,500 kids from really bad neighbourhoods, usually African-American kids, are playing rugby,” says Kennedy.“Of all the kids over the 11-year programme, there’s a 99% graduation rate into high schools from neighbourhoods where the normal graduation rate is 37%. A lot of them are now going to college too.”Kennedy sees these figures as proof of the thirst for rugby in the Big Apple and also the good it can do in people’s lives. Indeed, he cites the values of rugby as a core reason why he believes America will come to love the sport on a truly national scale. Shane Horgan is onboard as an advisor. Source: James Crombie/INPHORealistically, the numbers are the most important thing if RUNY and the MLR are to be successes. Kennedy says the demographic is there in New York.With 54 men’s rugby clubs, 169 rugby-playing high schools and more than 60 rugby-playing colleges in the Tri-State Area, there is an ever-growing playing base to draw from and Kennedy cites a population of 32.5million people as the club’s “catchment area”.He was contacted by the Pro14 when they began considering an expansion into the US and while his research returned these encouraging numbers, Kennedy did not believe that putting a New York club into the Pro14 was the right move.“I met with New York Cosmos and New York FC, two soccer clubs,” explains Kennedy. “Cosmos is a failed soccer expansion and New York FC is a fantastically successful one.“Cosmos said they did everything wrong, wasted so much money, lost $80m in two years. NYFC spent a lot of money too but they came in at a youth level five years before their club was announced and built their brand at the grassroots level.“Cosmos came in and signed Raul and built a big stadium and sold out one game, and that was it.“I said to [Pro14 CEO] Martin Anayi, ‘if you announce a New York team now and give me five years to build it, it will work fantastically. If you announce a New York team and it’s supposed to play in September, it won’t work. The team won’t be good enough, the community won’t engage. USA Rugby wouldn’t support them either.’“It had to be organic, it had to be involved in the community, there had to be US-qualified players in the team. We’re now stacked with US-qualified players. So it is everything the Pro14 wasn’t willing to do at that time.”That desire not to rush into things is the reason RUNY won’t compete in MLR in 2018, as they look to build sustainable foundations first – finalising stadium plans, training facilities, their links to schools, local clubs and college programmes.That said, there is already a squad of players in place under Mike Tolkin – head coach of the US Eagles from 2012 to 2015 – with training having begun last weekend. Marcus Walsh is part of RUNY’s squad. Source: James Crombie/INPHOThere are several notable Irishmen in the group, namely former Connacht academy scrum-half Marcus Walsh, ex-Ireland Schools fullback Jack Fitzpatrick, Ireland U20-capped back row Ross Deacon and former Blackrock College hooker Dylan Fawsitt – who made his debut for the US last weekend against Chile, having qualified on residency grounds.Dave Gannon, the ex-Connacht, Leinster and Exeter lock/back row who captained the Ireland U21s to a World Cup final in 2004, has also signed on, having recently moved to New York.Now 35-year-old Gannon finished his second spell with Connacht in 2013 and contacted his cousin, AJ MacGinty, who was studying, coaching and playing rugby at Life University in Atlanta at the time.Having listened to MacGinty’s rave reviews of the set-up, Gannon moved to ‘Life U’ in early 2014, working towards a sports health science degree, as well as coaching for the first time.Having played against Old Blue RFC, one of New York’s most famous clubs, during his years at Life U, Gannon had come into contact to their head coach Marty Veale and when he finished studying last year, was convinced to move to the Big Apple and join Old Blue.“The community here is great,” says Gannon. “For the Six Nations games, a lot of the Old Blue lads go down to a bar called the Long Hall. We’re in there at 9 in the morning getting our full Irish and Tayto crisps, a good crowd watching the Six Nations.“It’s on NBC over here now, with Alex Corbisiero presenting and he’s saying they’re getting a lot of viewers watching it. The more rugby on TV in America, the better!”That rapid growth of the sport is what everyone involved in US rugby is talking about now and Gannon is thrilled to be part of something that could hugely boost the US Eagles in the international game.“Who doesn’t want to see a strong US national team? Everyone in the rugby world does,” says Gannon. “There’s massive potential in America and people will be interested to see if they can eventually compete with Tier 1 nations.”Kennedy is also pleased to be able to call on the expertise of O’Sullivan and Horgan as RUNY gets up and running. Eddie O’Sullivan will travel to New York for coaching clinics. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOO’Sullivan has had two stints as head coach of the Eagles, while Horgan can offer insight into the recruitment of coaches and players, as well as the workings of the media.“I met Shaggy at some dinners over the years and he always seemed a very intelligent man,” says Kennedy. “It became regular calls where I’d talk to Shane.“He put me in touch with Eddie and we met in Dublin a few months ago and talked for three hours. You don’t know someone’s rugby IQ until you meet them and Eddie’s is off the charts.“I told Eddie I couldn’t afford him right now, but I wanted him involved. He’s coming out in a few weeks to do some coaching clinics for us. He knows the American rugby psyche very well. How he fits in long-term I don’t know, but I hope he does.”While there is a clear Irish influence at RUNY, the focus is on players who can play for the US.“It’s not an official league mandate, but a personal one – we want to help make the US national team as good as possible because that will help us,” says Kennedy.“The US team gets better, more people come to our games, the more money we make, the better we can take care of our players – it’s that loop.”RUNY have been invited to play several European clubs this summer during their exhibition season but already there is major excitement to get stuck into MLR in 2019.As an associate member of MLR, RUNY are already contributing to what is a single entity league, operating in the same manner as Major League Soccer.There are seven other members – Austin Elite, Glendale Raptors, Houston Sabrecats, New Orleans Gold, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, Utah Warriors – and each club has capital commitments of around $570,000 a year. Ex-Connacht lock Dave Gannon. Source: James Crombie/INPHO“We pay that a year in advance so there’s always a cash reserve there, which is key,” says Kennedy. “That wasn’t the case with PRO Rugby and that cash reserve covers the players’ wages, so we can say with certainty that their wages are covered, because there was an issue with the last league paying players.”The fact that sports network CBS has signed a multi-year deal to screen 13 MLR matches live every season is important.“That’s what’s so good about this league now – kids are going to be exposed to rugby on the TV with the CBS deal,” says Gannon.“Growing up in Ireland you’re watching rugby every week and you get that game sense and you can develop those skills. You see it on TV and then go out and try it yourself.”Each club has different models for how they fund and run themselves but Kennedy explains that RUNY have looked for “ownership with expertise.”John Layfield – JBL of WWE fame – is among the investors so far, with his interest in rugby extending to having set up a successful Play Rugby programme in Bermuda.For RUNY, every single investor needs to have a genuine passion to grow New York rugby.“We’ve turned down I’d say two dozen potential hedge-fund type investment groups because we’re building a programme,” says Kennedy.“This is not something where you’re going to make 20% on your investment. It’s something where you might break even on your investment in year seven or you may not. The money has to be pumped into building the programme, so it’s not a cash-return business.”Kennedy’s enthusiasm and energy are clear as he discusses RUNY and his plans to keep growing New York rugby at all levels – not just in MLR. Former Lansdowne flanker Ross Deacon is in the RUNY squad. Source: James Crombie/INPHOHe believes the club can help to build “a Division 1 league system” featuring the existing New York clubs like Old Blue and New York Athletic Club [NYAC], while he sees the foundation of an U20s programme as crucial for the development of US rugby.That RUNY are so focused on growing from the grassroots up is hugely encouraging for those who hope to see the MLR last.Their focus on US-qualified talent is encouraging for the future of the Eagles too, although Kennedy points out that the search for playing talent isn’t limited to the States.“If rugby players have got American grandparents or family, let us know,” says Kennedy. “If there are high school kids in Ireland playing rugby who have American lineage, they should call me!“I’ve talked to Eddie about finding any US-qualified players in Ireland, can we find them and get their information? I’m getting on one of those calls every week now.”And for the likes of Gannon and his team-mates at RUNY, the next couple of years will be exhilarating.While the ex-Ireland ‘A’ lock – who coaches at Fordham Preparatory School – explains that salaries may take two or three years to get to the point where players won’t have to work alongside featuring in MLR, the opportunities on the ground in the US are thrilling.“Even with young players coming through now in Ireland, the schools game is so competitive and then into the academies, you see Leinster churning out quality players year in, year out,” says Gannon.“There are people who might miss out but who are still quality players. They could go into an AIL team that’s not the highest quality but if they’re looking for a place to go and play, they could be the next AJ MacGinty over here.”The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! http://the42.ie/3868124 Share537 Tweet Email2 last_img read more

Quels sont les risques des régimes Dukan et AtkinsQuels sont les risques des régimes Dukan et Atkins

first_imgQuels sont les risques des régimes Dukan et Atkins ?Une étude menée par une équipe internationale de chercheurs démontre une fois encore les risques cardio-vasculaires liés aux régimes amaigrissant Atkins et Dukan. Les régimes Atkins et Dukan continuent à attirer la foudre des scientifiques. Une fois encore, une équipe de chercheurs ont mis en évidence les risques cardio-vasculaires de ces diètes riches en protéines et pauvre en sucre. Leur étude, fraîchement  publiée dans le British Medical Journal, considère plus de 40.000 femmes suédoises, âgées de 30 à 49 ans, suivies pendant 15 ans. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Pour chaque femme, un score a été calculé en fonction de la teneur en glucides et protéines de leur alimentation. Ce facteur final, compris entre 2 et 20 permet de caractériser rapidement le mode de nutrition des sujets, le 2 correspondant à une alimentations très riches en glucides et très pauvre en protéines. Les chercheurs ont ensuite analysé le nombre d’occurrence de maladies cardio-vasculaires par rapport aux habitudes alimentaires des patients. Les résultats montrent que pour une augmentation de deux point du score, équivalente à une baisse de 20g de la consommation de glucides et une hausse de 5g de protéine, le risque de développer une maladie cardio-vasculaires augmente de 5%.En 2010, l’Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail (Anse) fut la première à publier un rapport officiel sur les dangers des régimes amaigrissants demandant une alimentation déséquilibrée à long terme. Depuis, de nombreux scientifiques et professionnels de la santé ont également tirés la sonnette d’alarme. Le 10 juillet 2012 à 10:00 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Officials told to distribute saplings to every houseOfficials told to distribute saplings to every house

first_imgHyderabad: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner M Dana Kishore on Tuesday inspected the saplings in local nurseries for the Haritha Haram programme. The commissioner visited local nurseries in Rajendernagar and other surrounding areas and inspected the saplings, along with the GHMC Additional Commissioners.Speaking after inspecting the saplings at various nurseries, the Commissioner said there is a need of around 1 crore saplings for the plantation as well as to distribute during the Haritha Haram programme. He said that they called for tenders for the 1.20 lakh saplings from private nurseries in the city. Social audit should be done on the information regarding the saplings, which are taking from local nurseries and free distribution of the saplings, he said. There are more than 13 lakh houses in the city and should distribute the saplings to each and every house in all the wards of the city and an action plan should be prepared for distributing two-lakh saplings in each ward, the commissioner said.last_img read more

Personal Finance Taxsaving ideas for new fiscal yearPersonal Finance Taxsaving ideas for new fiscal year

first_imgRepresentational ImagePixabayA smart tax saving investment not only saves the investor tax, but also earns a good return on the investment.As we enter into a new financial year, lets take a look at some of the key tax saving instruments that meets our goals and needs.Tax-saving mutual fundsDepending on the existing asset allocation of a portfolio and how much equity is needed in it, equity-linked savings schemes (ELSS) work well. The lock-in these schemes is 3 years. Equity as an asset class gives returns over time, and hence a 3-year lock-in is not so bad.Public Provident FundPPF is a good low-risk investment product, which currently offers 7.6 percent returns. This is tax-free at withdrawal and saves taxes under Section 80C. This investment is a long-term one with a tenure of 15 years, extendable by 5-year tranches. So, the money gets locked in, though one may be able to withdraw some portions satisfying certain conditions. PPF is a good way to invest for the long term, especially for one’s retirement.National Pension SystemNPS is a contributory scheme from which one can get an annuity after the age of 60. Contributions get tax benefit under section 80C up to Rs 1.5 lakh, and for another Rs 50,000 under section 80CCD (1B). Through NPS, one can invest in equity as well as debt as per one’s choice. It is also a low-cost product.Preference sharesPurchasing preference shares of companies from the market yields tax-free (up to Rs 10 lakh) assured dividends. Often, the yields by way of such dividends are equivalent to the market yield on taxable instruments.If you buy the preference shares cum dividend just before the ex-dividend record date, and hold on to them for at least 3 months after the record date (so that the dividend-stripping provisions do not apply), you may also incur a short-term capital loss, which you can set off against your other taxable capital gains.(With inputs from Value Research)last_img read more

Turner Warns Of Layoffs If Pension Plan Is Not ApprovedTurner Warns Of Layoffs If Pension Plan Is Not Approved

first_imgListen X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:19 Share Al OrtizSeveral City Council Members, as well as the chief for HPD and HFD –Art Acevedo and Samuel Peña, respectively— accompanied Mayor Sylvester Turner during the press conference where he talked about potential negative effects of not getting the City’s pension system reformed in 2017 by the Texas Legislature.Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is warning the City might have to lay off between 1,700 and 2,200 employees if the Texas Legislature doesn’t approve the reform of the City’s pension system this year and those layoffs could have a negative effect on public safety.During the customary press conference held after the Wednesday City Council meeting, Turner noted that if the pension reform bill fails in Austin the Houston Police and Fire Departments will feel the pain because the City would face a deficit of approximately 240 million dollars for the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.“We are probably talking about laying-off a few hundred more of the police officers, certainly talking about laying off, yeah, several hundred firefighters and you are talking about laying off a lot of municipal workers,” the Mayor said.Ray Hunt, president of the Police Officers Union, criticized State Senator Paul Bettencourt, who is trying to add other requirements to the pension deal.“We cannot handle massive layoffs and when this city is jeopardized, when our officers’ safety is jeopardized and when the citizens are jeopardized,” Blunt stated at the press conference “I’m gonna lay it right at the feet of Paul Bettencourt if he continues to gum up this process.”Bettencourt told Houston Public Media he feels both surprised and saddened that the amendment he is proposing –which has to do to with retirement benefits for new hires— is causing such a reaction from City Hall.Specifically, Bettencourt supports defined contribution plans for new hires.Those plans mean the City and the worker put money in a pension account that fluctuates with the market, similar to how 401(k) plans work.Bettencourt argues that, without defined contribution plans, public retirement systems make the debt of entities like the City of Houston unsustainable and also increase property taxes.Out of the three City’s pension funds, the one for the City’s firefighters –the other two are the ones that represent police officers and municipal workers— is the only that doesn’t agree with the reform the City has proposed and sent to the Legislature.In a statement distributed on Wednesday, they insist the Mayor’s plan reduces the firefighters’ benefits excessively and unfairly because they have the best funded retirement system and are being asked to go along with ceding benefits that represent “40 percent” of the cuts the plan entails although “the city’s liability to our system is only 18 percent of Houston’s total.”last_img read more

Sikkims Pakyong Airport gets licenseSikkims Pakyong Airport gets license

first_imgKolkata: Pakyong Airport in Sikkim has achieved another milestone by getting the aerodrome license from the DGCA to start flight operations. Until now Sikkim was the sole state in the country that did not have an airport.People travelling to Sikkim had to take a flight to Bagdogra airport, situated in Darjeeling and then undertake a road journey of around five to six hours. The Pakyong Airport is set to become the 100th operational airport in the country when it will be commissioned. SpiceJet has been granted permission to fly to Pakyong from Kolkata under the civil aviation ministry’s regional connectivity scheme. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAirport construction work has been completed overcoming various hurdles due to geographical constraints. Indian Air Force Dornier 228 aircraft made maiden landing on March 5 this year paving the way to start flights by other commercial airlines. In continuation, SpiceJet Q 400 proving flight has made successful trail landing on March 10 to get acquainted with the terrain of Pakyong airfield. On May 4, another milestone has also been achieved when the airport received the aerodrome license from the DGCA which will enable AAI to start flight operations very soon.last_img read more

AR and VR Require Better Hardware Software and Power for Mass AdoptionAR and VR Require Better Hardware Software and Power for Mass Adoption

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. November 28, 2016 On July 6, 2016, Niantic released its augmented reality (AR) game, Pokémon Go. Over the course of the following few weeks, the game, according to SensorTower, was downloaded more than 15 million times, attracted 21 million active daily users and pulled in more than $160 million in under a month.To say Pokémon Go was a phenomenon would be an understatement. But is it the “ah-ha” moment some have made it out to be? It likely is not. While Pokémon Go has been a significant augmented reality (AR) experience, one that’s promising in both its execution and social implications, it’s only the beginning of what AR may become, and what it is capable of.A more sophisticated AR —  and, by extension, virtual reality (VR) — experience requires better hardware, better software and more power than today’s phones (and most computers) are capable of producing. We need hardware that allows our phones and devices to track, measure and map the environments around us. We need software that allows devices to make sense of incoming data and map it accordingly on our screens.We need more power for our devices to process all of this data while maintaining a reasonable battery life. Most importantly: We need an ecosystem of “killer apps” that demonstrate obvious and real value to customers. Enterprises, manufacturers and consumers all need to have practical reasons for buying into expensive hardware and software. When all of those elements are developed, we will have reached the “critical mass” threshold necessary for widespread AR and VR adoption. We’re not there yet, but we are so very, very close — and our proximity to mass-market AR and VR should garner a lot of interest from a lot of industries. Why AR and VR aren’t “there” yet. AR and VR are two of the most exciting areas in tech today. They both have the potential to transform our day-to-day interactions, our work and more. But before either AR or VR can truly hit critical mass among consumers and businesses, a few key challenges need to be overcome. Related: Why Virtual Reality Is Vital The first is that we need better, and cheaper, hardware — particularly for smartphones. AR and VR both have high requirements in terms of processing power and graphical factors in order to work well. They need to be able to measure, track, project and anticipate movement with zero latency.More sophisticated AR also requires the ability to anchor, track, follow and adjust movement throughout an environment at scale. This requires sophisticated sensors, the ability to measure depth reliably, and battery and processing power. For mass consumption, this all needs to fit into a small, affordable frame.This is the main reason why hardware costs remain high. (Yes, Google Tango, Google’s AR project, is making progress here, and Lenovo is releasing a Tango-enabled smartphone shortly, but the potential profits, as we’re about to discuss, still haven’t outweighed the costs.) However, this doesn’t mean we’re not making progress. Image-recognition-based, location-based (such as Pokémon Go) and sensor-based AR technology is helping to push AR out into early adopters’ hands.We also need to consider scenarios where elements of AR break down. For example, what happens to an AR-enabled device when its loses its connection to the internet or, more problematically, a GPS satellite? What if your user works in low-light, dusty conditions? Will you have onboard memory and processes for such scenarios? Will you have the hardware and software to recognize and ignore dust? Is that what your user wants?AR’s hardware challenges are, perhaps, most easily identified in Microsoft’s HoloLens. The software giant’s first take on true, wearable AR is a large, bulky system that would sit comfortably next to an early-’90s executive’s cell phone.Its form factor and expense ($3,000 a headset) are also significant barriers to entry — especially for consumers. Additionally, we have yet to see how it works outside of less-than ideal conditions. But its mere existence is exciting. Our capabilities to render, orient and project objects onto a real-world environment have been miniaturized to the size of a headset. That is a phenomenal development on its own — despite its current size (again, ’90s cell phones were bulky, but also transformative).Not just that, but the HoloLens is also capable of both rendering three-dimensional objects and allowing the user to interact with those objects. There is no doubt that the future of advanced AR is starting with the HoloLens.  How AR and VR will take off.First and foremost, widespread adoption won’t happen until three conditions are met. First, this technology needs to be affordable. Second, it has to address specific pain points. Third, businesses will need to be able to make money off it. Related: How to Pursue the Perfect Virtual Reality Experience The importance of price cannot be overstated. Today, AR and VR are very expensive. Consumer model VR headsets, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, for example, cost $600 and $800, respectively. Microsoft’s developer model HoloLens headsets cost roughly $3,000 a piece. Prices will need to drop significantly before we see wide adoption. Second, wide adoption in VR and AR needs to meet a practical pain point. It needs to solve a problem for both everyday and niche users. For example, a proper AR experience could give a user a step-by-step guide on how to successfully install solar panels on a roof, using an AR headset or application.The exclusive knowledge of those trained in the field could then be relayed, easily, to a novice in one simple package. AR could also provide a user with a tool to see how a new piece of furniture, like a couch or baby’s crib, would fit in a room. Both AR and VR need to have a means of bringing more value to the table, for both consumers and enterprises, than there was before.With this in mind, VR has a head start over AR. Its primary audience, video gamers with the funds to first buy or build a $1,000-plus machine before purchasing a $600 (Oculus Rift) or $800 (HTC Vive) headset is already established.VR has proven its value to a market by its simple existence. But AR and VR will need to prove themselves outside of niche markets like gaming if they’re to be widely accepted. To do this, quality content will need to be created. For both VR and AR, that’s a tough and time-consuming proposition. Here, 360-degree cameras and videos provide hope for good, quality first impressions. Facebook’s open source 360 degree cameras, along with various other pushes by firms like GoPro, can help create quality content for broadcast, playback and more. An AR/VR developer ecosystem.We also need a strong, open developer community to propel AR and VR. Both are very data-centric. Developers will require an obvious understanding of how all this data will be processed and stored — particularly, the consumer data.For example, not only will AR need to be able to track and position objects in the real world, it will also need to be able to respect a person’s privacy by ignoring users who opt out of potential features — like augmented identification.An open developer culture that cares, and is forward thinking about the implications of its underlying technologies, will innovate quickly to ensure that challenges like data privacy aren’t a roadblock to mass adoption. Realizing the dreamThere’s no doubt that AR and VR will take off. Both systems have practical, day-to-day applications that are just beginning to emerge. By 2020 both AR and VR are forecast to be worth  $120 billion and $30 billion, respectively according to Digi-Capital. There’s no stopping that. But, too often, it’s too easy to get ahead of ourselves and declare ourselves “there” when we still have a long way to go. Related: How Augmented Reality Startups Can Change Our Work Reality Pokémon Go is a good example of that: We’ve come to understand the excitement and the thrill of the technology. And we’re developing the know-how. But for now, at least, we lack the ability to realize it.  Register Now » 8 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

Limit OneDrive transfer rates on Windows 10Limit OneDrive transfer rates on Windows 10

first_imgLimit OneDrive transfer rates on Windows 10 by Martin Brinkmann on May 21, 2016 in Windows – Last Update: July 05, 2017 – 5 commentsMicrosoft has started to roll out an update for the native OneDrive implementation of Windows 10 that allows users to set download and upload transfer rate limits.Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system ships with OneDrive synchronization built-in, and it is used automatically if users sign in to the operating system using a Microsoft Account.While that is comfortable at times, it caused issues under certain circumstances especially when larger files or collections of files were uploaded to the service.The current stable version of OneDrive ships without rate limit options which means that it can slow down other Internet activities on the computer when transfers are in progress.The issues is mostly experienced on systems with slow Internet connections as most or even all of the available bandwidth may be used by the OneDrive process.Limit OneDrive upload or download transfer rateMicrosoft is rolling out an update to the native OneDrive client on Windows 10 that introduces the new rate limit feature to the application.It seems limited to Insider Builds currently, and is not available on all systems yet.The feature will be part of the upcoming Anniversary Update for Windows 10 that will be out at the end of July 2016.To limit upload or download transfer rates using OneDrive on Windows 10, do the following:Locate the OneDrive client icon in the Windows System Tray area. If OneDrive is not running, tap on the Windows key, type OneDrive, and select the OneDrive desktop application from the results.Right-click on the OneDrive icon and select the settings option from the menu that opens.Switch to the network tab when the settings window opens.There you find options to set upload and download rate limits individually.You can keep the setting at don’t limit to let OneDrive handle the rate automatically, or switch to limit to, to set a rate in KB/s.You can use the same menu at any time to reset the transfer rates or change them.Please note that the change affects only the desktop version of OneDrive and not the universal app that Microsoft released this month.It is rather surprising that such a basic feature is not part of OneDrive for Windows 10 already especially since other sync clients have supported the feature for years.Now You: Does your sync client support transfer rate limits?SummaryArticle NameLimit OneDrive transfer rates on Windows 10DescriptionMicrosoft has started to roll out an update for the native OneDrive implementation of Windows 10 that allows users to set download and upload transfer rate limits.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more