Indian shooters’ gold drought continued and the trio of Ronjan Sodhi, Asher Noria and Vikram Bhatnagar settled for bronze in the men’s double trap event in the Asian Games in Guangzhou on Sunday.Sodhi, Noria and Bhatnagar combined for a score of 403 after shooting 139, 134, 130 respectively.The Chinese team of Qiang Pan, Junjie Mo and Binyuan Hu China clinched the gold with a score of 414 (143+136+135).Kuwait — comprising M Fehaid Aldeehani, M Hamad Alafasi and A Meshfi Almutairi — grabbed the silver with a total of 407 (137+136+134).With today’s bronze, Indian shooters have so far bagged six medals in the event.- With PTI inputs
“Being a soldier is more than courage. It’s sacrificing you, for something greater than yourself.” – AnonymousThe Indian Air Force- careerAn officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. To be able to lead and control requires the ability to motivate, inspire others and make tough decisions efficiently.Joining the IAF helps in developing leadership and management skills and also prepares one to take up challenges in real life situations. Lessons in team work, developing communication skills and confidence, honing strategic and dynamic thinking and preparing you to face pressures with ease are grilled into an officer during his training.The Air Force teaches you all, not only making men and women of young boys and girls but making them leaders in life. An officer’s strength of character and strong moral compass make him/her stand out from the crowd at all times.Branches in Indian Air Force:Flying:FightersTransportsHelicoptersTechnical branch:MechanicalElectronicsGround duty branch:AdministrationAccountsLogisticEducationMeteorologySkills required:Adaptability to all aspects of lifeCourageAbility to sacrificeStrong headedMasculine builtLeadership skillsIndependentSocialDisciplinedAbility of taking quick decisionsPlacid and punctualAware and knowledgeableWhere to study?National Defense Academy -National Defense Academy (NDA), at Khadakwasla, is one of the most prestigious inter-services training establishments in India. Brilliant military leaders, astronauts and several recipients of gallantry and distinguished service awards have graduated from this institution. The training curriculum spread over three years at the Academy is largely divided into the following activities:Physical TrainingService SubjectsAcademics (you would get a graduate degree on completion of course)advertisementCadets would go to Air Force Academy for flying training of one year duration. On successful completion of training, they get commissioned as Permanent Commission Officers in Flying Branch.Air Force Academy (AFA) – The Air Force Academy imparts training to Flying, Technical and Ground Duty Branches as well as flying training to officers of the Army and Navy. It prepares you, both in mind and spirit, to take on the responsibilities of an Air Force Officer. Apart from developing the required skills, you are also trained to inculcate the service code of conduct and etiquette that are expected of an officer. The curriculum encompasses plethora of techniques like projects, case studies, On-job training, presentations, debates, book reviews, guest lectures, public speaking, drill, games, swimming, weapon training, Yoga, field craft training and cultural activities.Air Force Technical College – On completion of 22 weeks of initial training conducted at Air Force Academy. Thereafter, the remaining 52 weeks of training of engineering Officers is conducted at Air Force Technical College (AFTC), Bangalore. The training at AFTC is divided into two terms of 24 weeks each separated by a term break. The training includes work in electronic and propulsion labs, specialisation involving visits to R & D establishments, aviation, electronic industries and front line field units to facilitate assimilation.Flying Training Establishment. Air Force Administrative College (AFAC)-Air Force Administrative College (AFAC), located at Coimbatore, is one of the oldest training establishments of the Indian Air Force. It has been set up exclusively for conducting training programs for in-service officers of the Air Force, Navy and Army as well as officers of friendly foreign countries. Various courses conducted for in service officers are:Basic Air Staff Course:Officers (BASCO)Intermediate Air Staff Course: Officers (ISCO)Basic Professional Knowledge Course: Officers (BPKC)Advances Professional Knowledge Course: Officers (APKC)Para Legal CourseBesides these, this College is a premier institute for conducting Meteorology branch related courses:-Initial Forecasters’ Course (IFC)Advanced Met Courses for Met Tradesmen (SNCOs)2nd Stage Training of GDOC (Met)Job profile:As an officer in the Indian Air Force, you lead a challenging, adventurous and rewarding life. As you grow in the organisation, you get many opportunities along your way, like a chance for specialised training in India and abroad, option to study further, possibility to get posted in Indian missions abroad, amongst others. You become an integral part of the adventurous and challenging life Air Force offers you.Pay and benefits:Loans:As a member of AFGIS, you can avail following loans:House Building LoanComputer LoanConveyance LoanFree medical facilities: Life long, for officer and family. (Children until dependent)Insurance- Monthly contribution rates are minimal and the insurance policy covers all contingencies. As an Air Force Officer you are insured for an amount of Rs 50 lakhs with an additional insurance cover of Rs 3.5 lakh for pilots.Other benefits:AccommodationLeave- Annual leave for 60 days and casual leave of 20 days per yearLeave travel concessionsRationsInstitute and Messes membershipSchool facilitiesRail concessionsSecured camp lifeCSD facilitiesRecreational and sports facilities advertisementPost retirement benefits: PensionAfter retirement from the service, an IAF Officer is entitled to a decent pension which takes care of the needs of the familyInsurancePost retirement insurance cover is provided to all Air Force pensioners who have rendered pensionable years of service on payment of minimal premium. The cover given by the Society is up to 72 years of age.MedicalAll the retired officers and their dependents have access to medical rooms and hospitals equipped with the best of the facilities. Apart from being entitled to the medical facilities, retired Air Force personnel is also authorised for the following benefits: Lifetime medical insurance and grant for commercial venture for personnel who have left due to medical reasons.Scope:Serving the nation is one of the most courageous yet the most satisfying professions. An officer is the epitome of perfection. It’s certainly not easy but if you believe you can qualify, this is the best job for any individual. It grooms you into becoming a perfectionist at anything and the perks are exceptionally high. So, there is a great deal to look up to. There’s a lot of scope joining the IAF as the country can never have enough of military backup.
Mr. Henriques, in the meantime, informed that a number of activities will be held at the Seville Heritage Park during the year to recognise the different aspects of the historic site.“In this coming month, we are going to be formerly re-opening the exhibition, which is designed for our young people to learn and understand their heritage and culture. We really want for our children to embrace the facility and become a part of the rich history,” he stated.Mr. Henriques is encouraging Jamaicans to visit the park and view the various offerings, noting that “Jamaica’s heritage is much more than the beach”.Emancipation Jubilee is the celebration of traditional folk forms in honour of the ancestors and seeks to educate Jamaicans and foreigners about various aspects of the country’s heritage.CONTACT: GLENIS A. ROSEJIS REGIONAL OFFICEMONTEGO BAY The grounds of the historic Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann will again come alive on July 31, as local and visitors converge for the 17th staging of the Emancipation Jubilee organised by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT).This year’s event, under the theme: ‘Forever Free’, promises to be the biggest yet, with some 8,000 patrons expected.Featured will be top national and international reggae, gospel and cultural performances, including groups out of Africa; traditional dishes; and exciting activities for the entire family.Addressing the launching ceremony held yesterday (June 27), at Jewel Dunn’s River in Mamee Bay, St. Ann, Chairman of the JNHT, Ainsley Henriques, said that the celebrations will afford Jamaicans the opportunity to “return to their roots.”“(It will help Jamaicans) understand, who they really are and also to accept the reality that a people without a sense of their history, is like a tree without its roots,” he stated.Custos of St. Ann, Hon. Radcliffe Walters, is urging residents of the parish to come out and support the event.He stated that the occasion will give citizens an opportunity to reconnect with their past.“It is important that in our quest to build a bright future for Jamaica, that we pause and reflect on our past. Emancipation, to be celebrated at Seville Heritage Park onJuly 31, gives us an opportunity to reconnect with our roots and to embrace the possibilities it offers to us in the future,” Custos Walters said.
If you missed the touching, Alberta-shot comedy-drama Burn Your Maps at this year’s Calgary International Film Festival don’t fret, it will hit theatres early next year.According to Variety, Jordan Roberts’ film about an American boy who believes he is a Mongolian goat herder will be in theatres in New York and Los Angeles on Feb. 24 and released wider at some point after that.The film stars 10-year-old Vancouver actor Jacob Tremblay as Wes, who deals with a family tragedy by becoming obsessed with Mongolia. Vera Farmiga and Marton Csokas play his parents. Virginia Madsen, Suraj Sharma and Ramon Rodriguez also star. Advertisement Twitter Burn Your Maps was filmed in 2015. Locations in Kananaskis Country, the Stoney reserve and Albertina Farms were used to represent Mongolia. The film also shot in Calgary.It opened at the Toronto International Film Festival and travelled to Calgary for two screenings in late September.by Eric Volmers – Calgary Herald LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook
TORONTO – The Toronto Star has named Irene Gentle as its new editor, the first woman to hold the job.Gentle replaces Michael Cooke, who announced earlier this year that he would be retiring in June.She has been the Star’s managing editor since June 2016. The promotion is effective immediately.Gentle joined the Star in 2011 as business editor and was named assistant managing editor and city editor in 2012.Before the Star, she worked at the Hamilton Spectator.The Star and the Spectator are owned by Torstar Corp. which also owns daily and community newspapers throughout Ontario and a majority interest in VerticalScope.—Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.Companies in this story: (TSX:TS.B)
New Delhi: The government has kept the interest rates on small savings schemes, including NSC and PPF, unchanged for the April-June quarter. Public Provident Fund (PPF) and National Savings Certificate (NSC) will continue to carry an annual interest rate of 8 per cent, while Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) will give a yield of 7.7 per cent and mature in 112 months.Interest rates for small savings schemes are notified on a quarterly basis. “The rates of interest on various small savings schemes for the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20 starting April 1, 2019, and ending on June 30, 2019, shall remain unchanged from those notified for the fourth quarter of financial year 2018-19,” the finance ministry said in a notification issued Friday. Interest rate for the five-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme has been retained at 8.7 per cent. The interest on the senior citizens’ scheme is paid quarterly. Interest on savings deposits has been retained at 4 per cent annually.
Paris- Morocco’s minister of foreign affair and cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar, saw on Sunday positive prospects to reach an agreement on various aspects in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.The official who took part in a meeting of the Arab League’s follow-up committee of the Arab peace initiative, held in Paris in the presence of US Secretary of state John Kerry, Mezouar told MAP “convergences of viewpoints between various parties are starting to appear”, stressing that the Arab side requested during the meeting explanations on some points.He added that John Kerry has brought “concrete answers”, noting that there one or two items that need to be deepened. Mezouar was upbeat that a final solution will be reached in the coming weeks, stressing that “the Arab side has supported the US peace initiative and commended efforts by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas “.
I admire Terrelle Pryor’s athletic ability.I salivate over his potential, considering his 6-foot-6, 235-pound frame and supposed 4.3 40-time.I marvel about the occasions in which he makes defenders look helpless and foolish, burning them with an atypical combination of speed and power.But as I watch the Ohio State sophomore quarterback complete just 56 percent of his passes, while tossing six interceptions in as many games, I have doubts about whether he’ll ever reach that ceiling.Yes, Pryor is one of the most gifted athletes to ever grace the field at Ohio Stadium. But it takes much more than athletic skill to anchor an offense in one of the nation’s most prestigious football programs.Pryor has certainly shown glimpses of greatness.On countless occasions, he has turned a possible sack into a large gain because of his scrambling ability.His arm strength, a glaring weakness last season, seems to have improved. Pryor seems to have an easier time connecting with a receiver 30 yards downfield than he does with a target five yards away.That has been a major concern through the first half of 2009. Against Toledo, Pryor threaded a pass deep downfield that resulted in a 76-yard touchdown to Dane Sanzenbacher.But too often, Pryor can’t find that same precision on short passes, frequently throwing over the heads of receivers several yards away.His lack of accuracy has been alarming; he has yet to post a completion rate higher than 66 percent in any game this season.And although completing passes to teammates is one thing, completing them to the opposition is an even bigger issue.Pryor threw just four interceptions in 165 passes during his freshman campaign. His decision making was wise and methodical, especially for a 19-year-old. This year, he has been sloppy and indecisive, resulting in six picks in 127 attempts.So where is the progress?The Buckeyes boast one of the country’s best defenses, holding opponents to just 11.5 points per game. Unfortunately, the offense just can’t keep pace.Pryor wasn’t expected to morph into Troy Smith or Vince Young overnight. But at this point, he has done nearly as much to hold back the offense as he has to help it improve.It’s been a work in progress meshing with coach Jim Tressel’s offense, the prototypical Big Ten-style run-based scheme. Tressel, however, has adapted, switching to a shotgun option formation, which plays to Pryor’s strengths.Out of the configuration, the quarterback often has the time to dissect the defense and choose to pass or run. If only Pryor could make the decision quickly enough.Perhaps Pryor will never develop into an above-average dropback passer. If that’s the case, then he should look to run more often.Pryor has recorded a rush of 11 or more yards in each game this season. When he finds open space, he’s nearly impossible to bring down.Pryor said he prefers to find his receivers rather than constantly looking to run the ball himself. Fair enough; but too often, he locks in to one target, usually sophomore DeVier Posey.Just once this season — the opener against Navy — have more than two OSU receivers made three or more receptions in a game.Maybe Pryor is simply sifting through a sophomore slump, finding difficulty in reading defenses that are now facing him for the second time.Maybe Pryor will brush off a sluggish stretch and demonstrate improvement in his accuracy and decision making.Or maybe Pryor isn’t the Michael Vick clone (minus the dogfighting) or Daunte Culpepper duplicate that so many Buckeye backers dreamed about.Time will tell, but so will results. So far, the facts and figures indicate that Pryor’s game hasn’t progressed at anywhere near the ideal pace.
Ohio State then-freshman goalie Andrea Braendli (30) prepares for a shot in the game against Minnesota State on Oct. 11. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Wyatt Crosher | Assistant Sports EditorThe Ohio State women’s hockey team is ready to prove that last year’s Frozen Four run was no fluke.The No. 7 Buckeyes (14-6, 8-4 Big Ten) will try to steal a win against No. 1 Wisconsin (19-1, 9-1 Big Ten) as they begin a home series against the Badgers on Friday.Ohio State will face a Wisconsin offense that is No. 2 in the country in goals and No. 1 in scoring margin.With the Badgers entering the weekend on an 11-game winning streak, the Buckeyes’ interim associate head coach Andrew Cassels said the series will test his team’s mettle.“It’s a great way to measure up our team versus the best team in the country,” Cassels said. “It’s going to show us where we are and how far we have to come. It’s a great challenge for the girls.”Ohio State is no stranger to defeating the Badgers. The Buckeyes claimed victories in their past two matchups against the Big Ten rival last year in February.“We had some success against them last year,” Cassels said. “We’ll take a lot of footage from that and try to put that into our game plan.”Cassels emphasized Wisconsin’s speed and said that blocking shots will be key to neutralizing its prolific offense, encouraging his team to get into shooting lanes and making sure the Badgers cannot easily get shots off.Coming on the heels of a three-game win streak, Ohio State’s standout freshman goalie Andrea Braendli said the Buckeyes don’t have many adjustments to make.“I don’t want to change my strategy,” Braendli said. “I have to play my game. The most important thing is that we have to trust each other. We have to have each other’s back.”Braendli, who is No. 8 in the nation with a .939 save percentage, said playing a highly touted conference rival such as Wisconsin provokes a higher sense of anticipation from the team, bringing an excitement to the Ohio State locker room ahead of the weekend.But Ohio State redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne thinks it brings a higher expectation for the team, saying the Buckeyes defense will have to be aggressive in front of Braendli against the creative Wisconsin lines.“We have to be a nightmare to play against,” Dunne said. “We have to be all over them all the time, every second. Any time they’re around us, they’re not being untouched.”With Wisconsin outscoring opponents 81-23 on the season, Dunne said the Badgers defense has yet to face the type of challenge that the Buckeyes can give them.“I don’t think their defense has really had to play defense,” Dunne said. “They’re a very offensive-heavy team so if we can just get pressure on their defense and get pucks behind them, I think we’ll be very successful.”Dunne stressed the impact a series victory against the Badgers could have on the national perception of the Buckeyes. “It would be huge for us to get up in those rankings and show that the Frozen Four wasn’t a mishap,” Dunne said.The Buckeyes face Wisconsin in Columbus at 6:07 p.m. Friday at the OSU Ice Rink and again at 3:07 p.m. Saturday.
Neymar’s progress in his return from injury has gone “better than expected,” says Brazil’s physical trainerThe Paris St-Germain forward has been out of action since sustaining a foot injury in a Ligue 1 game against local rivals Marseille on February 25.Despite having failed to return in time for PSG’s final games of the season, Neymar was selected by head coach Tite for his final 23-man squad in this summer’s World Cup.“His development is better than expected,” said trainer Fabio Mahseredjian, according to BBC.Opinion: Neymar will earn respect back from the PSG fans Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After completing his incredible return to Parc des Princes, we predict that Neymar will earn the respect back from PSG supporters.The situation between Neymar…Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, who was in charge of Neymar’s surgery in March, added that they were taking a cautious approach in the 26-year-old’s recovery.“He’s regaining his usual movements bit by bit,” he said.“The next step is full group training and then play games. Everything is being done for him to feel at ease.”Since making his debut in 2010 for the national side, Neymar has gone on to score an impressive 53 goals in 83 matches for Brazil.
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough District is on a two-hour delay start for Monday, December 3, due to weather conditions throughout the Peninsula. A two hour delay means that buses run two hours later than normal, school begins two hours later than normal, and staff arrives at school two hours later than normal. If weather and road conditions warrant a full closure, an announcement will be made by 7:00am, according to KPBSD. This is a developing story- updates will be posted as they are made available. Parents and guardians, if you decide, based on conditions near you to keep your child at home, kindly call your school to let them know. Absences will be excused.
“Suspending the print vehicle marks the end of an era, but I am thrilled with the opportunity to bring more celebrity, style and culture to our audiences through my exclusive video series, and other integrated rich media opportunities,” Fontaine said in a statement. “In the coming months consumers can look forward to more exclusive content from trend-setter and celebrity bloggers and active user participation and dialogue.”It wasn’t immediately clear how many layoffs might be associated with the closing. A Radio One spokesperson couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.Radio One acquired Giant in 2007 for $275,000. Founder Jamie Hooper launched the publication in 2004 with a $10 million investment.Radio One, which also owns BlackPlanet.com, said it will notify Giant subscribers of the changes over the next few weeks. African-American-focused radio broadcasting company Radio One has suspended publication of the bi-monthly print edition of Giant, the magazine it acquired three years ago. The final issue will hit newsstands December 15.The Giant brand, however, will continue online with the launch of GIANTLife.com, Radio One said Monday afternoon. Former editor-in-chief-turned-chief content officer Smokey Fontaine will remain with Radio One.Tom Newman, president of Radio One’s digital arm Interactive One, attributed Giant’s shuttering in print to the “economic downturn” but said the company views this as “an opportunity to leverage our existing robust online platform to better serve Giant consumers and advertisers through our interactive medium.”
About 15 staffers were let go at Vanity Fair, reports The Hollywood Reporter, including managing editor Chris Garrett, features editor Jane Sarkin, and deputy editors Aimee Bell and Dana Brown.Meanwhile, Keith Kelly adds that “about five” staffers were let go from Glamour, including creative director Paul Ritter.Both newcomers to Condé Nast, Jones and Barry each took on their new roles within the last two months, and both appointments ended months of widespread speculation—partially due to the stature and longevity of their predecessors. Jones replaced Graydon Carter, whose tenure atop Vanity Fair’s masthead lasted 25 years. Barry succeeded former Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive, who had held that role for 16 years. Samantha Barry and Radhika Jones, newly minted editors-in-chief of Glamour and Vanity Fair, respectively, made their presence felt at Condé Nast this week by dismissing a number of print-side staffers at the two magazines, according to multiple reports.“Vanity Fair and Glamour are taking the first steps in reshaping their teams to reflect the new editorial directions of the brands—with new additions and initiatives to be announced shortly,” read a company statement provided by a spokesman. “The priority for each is to create quality and provocative content across all platforms equally, embracing the next generation of readers and viewers.”
The Oculus Quest and Rift S VR headsets are now available for preorder. Oculus At its F8 developer conference this morning, Facebook said starting today you can preorder its Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S. The two VR headsets and controllers will ship May 21, the company said.The all-in-one Quest will start at $399 and is a solid step up from the company’s entry-level Oculus Go VR headset — which starts at $199. The focus of the Quest is on VR games, Facebook has said. The new Quest headset will not require a computer but will still be powerful enough to run many of the Rift’s popular games, and developers have already announced games for the standalone headset.Read more: Oculus Quest reviewThe other VR headset Facebook announced today, Oculus Rift S, will require a PC and is the replacement for the Oculus Rift. The Rift S also starts at $399, can use the Quest and Go controllers, and will have the ability to play Quest games.That $399 price for the Oculus Quest and Rift S converts to £305 and AU$565, roughly. Here’s how you preorder the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S.CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. See it Review • Oculus Quest is amazing, even months later CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Wearable Tech We took Oculus Quest on vacation 5:18 43 Photos Oculus Quest Oculus Quest is fully mobile VR Share your voice • $398 Now playing: Watch this: reading • How to preorder Oculus Quest and Rift S right now Mentioned Above Oculus Quest News • Oculus Quest may have its first killer app with Beat Saber Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. 0 Apr 30 • Facebook’s new Oculus Rift S vs. Oculus Quest: Which VR headset is for you? Post a comment See All Game Developers Conference Game Developers Conference Mar 21 • Intel intros 9th-gen Core H mobile CPUs, Graphics Command Center Mar 21 • Google Stadia puts Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC gaming on notice To preorder the Oculus QuestYou can preorder the Quest from Amazon or straight from the Oculus website. The 64-GB model will cost $399, and the 128-GB version will go for $499. Both will ship by May 21. Setup will require an iPhone or Android phone and the Oculus app.See Quest at AmazonTo preorder the Oculus Rift SAfter putting on and then taking down the page to the Oculus Rift S this morning, you can now preorder the VR headset on the Microsoft Store for $399 at Microsoft’s online store, or at Amazon. The Rift S will come with a pair of Touch controllers, a headset cable and adapter. It will also ship by May 21.See Rift S at Amazon Tags Oculus Virtual Reality Facebook
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/ The Texas TribuneTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a news conference on Jan. 12, 2017.Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has been fighting securities fraud charges for most of his first term, collected $84,000 in gifts last year to help pay for his legal defense, he says in a newly released financial disclosure statement.That means he has now gotten a total of over $630,000 for his legal defense from people he has described over the past three years as family friends or others who are not covered by state bribery laws. The $84,000 that Paxton received in 2017 is much less than he received for his legal defense in the two previous years: nearly $218,000 in 2016 and over $329,000 in 2015.State bribery laws say that elected officials cannot accept gifts from parties subject to their authority. But Paxton has justified the contributions to his legal defense by claiming an exemption that allows him to take gifts from people with whom he as a relationship that is “independent” of his “official status.”The $84,000 that Paxton got in 2017 for his legal defense came from 10 sources, including two couples that gave $25,000 each. One couple was Shawn Clayton, the president and CEO of Dallas landscape company Superscapes, and his wife, Erin. The other $25,000 givers were Steven and Carrie Parsons, a Dallas husband and wife who have previously contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Paxton’s legal defense.Eight of the donors to Paxton’s legal defense in 2017 are identified as a “former client/family friend” on the disclosure statement. The two others are listed as a “Legacy Christian friend,” a reference to the Frisco school where Paxton’s wife, Angela Paxton, has worked.Since the summer of 2015, Paxton has been under indictment on criminal charges in state court alleging he misled investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. In 2016, he beat a similar, civil case brought by federal prosecutors.Paxton has pleaded not guilty in the long-running criminal case. Currently, it is effectively on pause as prosecutors await a state appeals court ruling in a separate case on whether they can get paid to continue working.Monday was the deadline for 2018 candidates to file their personal financial statements for 2017 with the Texas Ethics Commission. As part of the gifts that the attorney general disclosed, he also said he and his wife received tickets to the Grammy Awards from Raphael Hernandez of Washington. Share
Credit: Small (2016). DOI: 10.1002/smll.201601846 Explore further Journal information: Small (Phys.org)—A combined team of researchers from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and the University of California in the U.S. has developed a nano-sized, remotely controlled fish that is able to swim in liquids when a magnetic field is applied. The team has published the details of their research in the journal Nano Small Micro. Play Credit: Small (2016). DOI: 10.1002/smll.201601846 There are still some big issues to address with the tiny fish, the team acknowledges—one of which is how to rid the body of the swimmers after they have delivered their package. One solution they suggest is using material that at some point is biodegradable. There is also the cost—the amount of precious metals used to create a single fish would be small, but it could add up quickly if hundreds of the fish were used to deliver doses of medicines. Also, it would seem that a means for tracking the fish would have to be developed to allow for micro-steering. 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. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play Credit: Small (2016). DOI: 10.1002/smll.201601846 Video: Research is revealing more about what it takes to truly swim like a fish More information: Tianlong Li et al. Magnetically Propelled Fish-Like Nanoswimmers, Small (2016). DOI: 10.1002/smll.201601846AbstractThe swimming locomotion of fish involves a complex interplay between a deformable body and induced flow in the surrounding fluid. While innovative robotic devices, inspired by physicomechanical designs evolved in fish, have been created for underwater propulsion of large swimmers, scaling such powerful locomotion into micro-/nanoscale propulsion remains challenging. Here, a magnetically propelled fish-like artificial nanoswimmer is demonstrated that emulates the body and caudal fin propulsion swimming mechanism displayed by fish. To mimic the deformable fish body for periodic shape changes, template-electrosynthesized multisegment nanowire swimmers are used to construct the artificial nanofishes (diameter 200 nm; length 4.8 μm). The resulting nanofish consists a gold segment as the head, two nickel segments as the body, and one gold segment as the caudal fin, with three flexible porous silver hinges linking each segment. Under an oscillating magnetic field, the propulsive nickel elements bend the body and caudal fin periodically to generate travelling-wave motions with speeds exceeding 30 μm s−1. The propulsion dynamics is studied theoretically using the immersed boundary method. Such body-deformable nanofishes exhibit a high swimming efficiency and can serve as promising biomimetic nanorobotic devices for nanoscale biomedical applications. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Prior efforts to build extremely small bio-transport mechanisms have generally been based on the corkscrew-tailed model of bacteria, the researchers note, but they believed a better approach would be to mimic the way fish swim. To that end, they connected gold and nickel segments together with silver hinges—the outer segments made of gold serve as the head and tail, while the inner segments serve as the fish body. Each of the segments are just 800 nanometers in length and the complete fish is a hundred times smaller than a single grain of sand.The fish is caused to swim by applying an oscillating magnetic field that forces the head and tail to swing, which in turn propels the fish forward. The direction the fish takes and the speed at which it moves can be controlled by manipulating the position and speed of the oscillating magnet. The purpose of such nanoswimmers, the team proposes, is to carry medicine to a particular part of the body, thereby reducing the need for surgery or overuse of drugs that can cause negative side effects in other parts of the body. An accompanying video demonstrates not only the ease with which the fish can be controlled, but the speed at which they can travel—an obvious improvement over other nano-delivery systems. Citation: Tiny robot ‘nano-fish’ may one day deliver drugs inside the body (2016, September 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-tiny-robot-fish-day-drugs.html © 2016 Phys.org
Kolkata: The City Civil Court on Tuesday directed the Union Minister of State for Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Babul Supriyo, to retract the defamatory statements that he made against TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee.It may be recalled that in November 2017, Supriyo had made the “malicious and defamatory” statements against Banerjee at a Press conference stating that the latter “illegitimately profiteered to the tune of Rs 17 to Rs 18 crore against smuggling of coal in Bengal.” It got published and circulated widely in different media and even on social networking sites. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt led to defamation of Banerjee and his counsels moved court in December 2017.The Third Bench of the City Civil Court had granted an interim order of injunction in this connection restraining Supriyo “not to make any derogatory comment or defamatory statement against Banerjee”. The Court on July 24 ordered Supriyo “to retract the defamatory statements made in November 2017 at the Press conference in Asansol against Abhishek Banerjee by sending a letter or otherwise within a fortnight from the date of the order.” Sanjay Basu, Advocate for Banerjee, said: “Babul Supriyo failed to produce any evidence in support of his defamatory statement and hence the Court passed the order of injunction and retraction in favour of Abhishek Banerjee. The falsity in Babul Supriyo’s statement has been exposed.”
Google yesterday announced a new external advisory board to help monitor the company’s use of artificial intelligence for ways in which it may violate ethical principles it laid out last summer. The group was announced by Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, and it includes experts on a wide-ranging series of subjects, including mathematics, computer science, philosophy, psychology, and even foreign policy. Following is the complete list of the advisory council appointed by Google: Alessandro Acquisti, a leading behavioral economist and privacy researcher. Bubacarr Bah, an expert in applied and computational mathematics De Kai, a leading researcher in natural language processing, music technology and machine learning Dyan Gibbens, an expert in industrial engineering and CEO of Trumbull Joanna Bryson, an expert in psychology and AI, and a longtime leader in AI ethics Kay Coles James, a public policy expert with extensive experience working at the local, state and federal levels of government Luciano Floridi, a leading philosopher and expert in digital ethics William Joseph Burns, a foreign policy expert and diplomat The group will be called the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council, and it appears Google wants it to be seen as an independent watchdog keeping an eye on how it deploys AI in the real world. It wants to focus on facial recognition technology and mitigation of built-in bias in machine learning training methods. “This group will consider some of Google’s most complex challenges that arise under our AI Principles … providing diverse perspectives to inform our work,” Walker writes. Behind the selection of the council As for the members, the names may not be easily recognizable to those outside academia. However, the credentials of the board appear to be of the highest caliber, with resumes that include multiple presidential administration positions and stations at top-notch universities spanning University of Oxford, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and UC Berkeley. Having said that, the selection of the Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James and CEO of Trumbull Dyan Gibbens received harsh criticism on Twitter. It has been noted that James, through her involvement with the conservative think tank, has espoused anti-LGBTQ rhetoric on her public Twitter profile: One of the members, Joanna Bryson also expressed astonishing comments on Twitter for being selected as a part of the council. Joanna states, she has no idea of what she is getting into but she will certainly do her best. Google’s history of controversies Last year, Google found itself embroiled in controversy over its participation in a US Department of Defense drone program called Project Maven. Following immense internal backlash and external criticism for putting employees to work on AI projects that may involve the taking of human life, Google decided to end its involvement in Maven following the expiration of its contract. It also put together a new set of guidelines, what CEO Sundar Pichai dubbed Google’s AI Principles, that would prohibit the company from working on any product or technology that might violate “internationally accepted norms” or “widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.” “We recognize that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use,” Pichai wrote at the time. “How AI is developed and used will have a significant impact on society for many years to come. As a leader in AI, we feel a deep responsibility to get this right.” Google effectively wants its AI research to be “socially beneficial,” and that often means not taking government contracts or working in territories or markets with notable human rights violations. Regardless, Google found itself in yet another similar controversy related to its plans to launch a search product in China, one that may involve deploying some form of artificial intelligence in a country currently trying to use that very same technology to surveil and track its citizens. Google’s pledge differs from the stances of Amazon and Microsoft, both of which have said they will continue to work the US government. Microsoft has secured a $480 million contract to provide HoloLens headsets to the Pentagon, while Amazon continues to sell its Rekognition facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies. Google also formed a “responsible innovation team” internally that Walker says has reviewed hundreds of different launches to-date, some of which have aligned with its principles while others haven’t. For example, that team helped Google make the decision not to sell facial recognition technology until there’s been more ethical and policy debate on the issue. Why critics are skeptical of this move? Rashida Richardson, director of policy research at AI Now Institute, expressed skepticism about the ambiguity of Google and other companies’ AI principles at the MIT Technology Review Conference held in San Francisco on Tuesday. For example, Google’s document leans heavily on the word “appropriate.” “Who is defining what appropriate means?” she asked. Walker said that Google’s new council is meant to foster more defined discussion. He added that the company had over 300 people looking at machine learning fairness issues. “We’re doing our best to put our money where our mouth is,” Kent said. Google has previously had embarrassing technology screw-ups driven by bias in its machine learning systems, like when its photos algorithm labeled black people as gorillas. It would not be wrong to say that today’s announcement — which perhaps not coincidentally comes a day after Amazon said it would earmark $10 million with the National Science Foundation for AI fairness research, and after Microsoft executive Harry Shum said the company would add an ethics review focusing on AI issues to its standard product audit checklist — appears to be an attempt by Google to fend off broader, continued criticism of private sector AI pursuits. Thoughtful decisions require careful and nuanced consideration of how the AI principles … should apply, how to make tradeoffs when principles come into conflict, and how to mitigate risks for a given circumstance,” says Walker in an earlier blog post. Read Next Google and Facebook working hard to clean image after the media backlash from the Christchurch terrorist attack Google announces Stadia, a cloud-based game streaming service, at GDC 2019 Google to be the founding member of CDF (Continuous Delivery Foundation)
Behind pea-green curtains in a steamy office in the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui, comic book artist Didier Kassai carefully dips his paintbrush into a nut brown pigment on his palette, wipes it on a scratch sheet then slowly puts it to paper. His brush strokes bring a watercolor to life – itself a scene of death. The brown is used to color the butt of a rebel’s gun in a strip chronicling his country’s spiraling conflict.Kassai is one of a small coterie of comic-book artists in CAR using their work for social good — in a struggling and impoverished country. CAR’s government wields little authority beyond the capital. Armed groups control vast stretches of the country, where roads and phone networks are at best unreliable. Even Bangui — with U.N. peacekeepers everywhere — is not immune from violence. Last week more than a dozen people were killed and scores wounded in clashes in the capital. State services like health-care, meanwhile, are in short supply.That’s why comic strips like Kassai’s have such power: They’re a means of reaching a struggling population with valuable information about navigating daily life and survival in turbulent times.The front page of the local L’Hirondelle newspaper regularly features a comic strip. Aid organizations and U.N. agencies throughout CAR commission comics drawn by Kassai and his colleagues on a range of topics: wound treatment, sexual violence, security, sanitation, health services, how to turn in weapons and more.”They [comics] can transmit a message,” 42-year-old Kassai explains. “The work I’m doing now is to raise awareness. The most important thing is to recount what is happening in CAR.”The Central African Republic has been plagued by conflict since 2013, when a predominantly Muslim rebel coalition overthrew the government. The rebels committed atrocities on their path to power and largely-Christian militias formed to fight back. Thousands died in sectarian violence. While the deployment of a U.N. peacekeeping mission helped stem the bloodshed, violence has spiked over the past year. As of the end of February, the number of displaced civilians was 694,000 — the highest since the conflict began.The upsurge in violence comes as more than half the population of around 4.6 million needs urgent humanitarian assistance – with the U.N. calling the situation “dire.” CAR ranks last on the world development index and and the adult literacy rate is just 36.8 percent – meaning that reaching the masses through written messaging isn’t an effective option.”There’s a big struggle with diffusing information here,” Mercy Corps country director Rodolphe Moinaux says. “A lot of people can’t read or write so the images can speak to them.”That’s why aid organizations and other agencies hire artists like Kassai, printing their work as posters, leaflets, billboards and manuals.”[Comics are] easier to understand, you can reach children,” echoes Duccio Staderini, a spokesman for a coalition of international NGOs in CAR. “It works – people are crazy about it.”There was no real comic-book culture when Kassai was growing up near the northern city of Birao. But he was attracted to artistry from a young age, watching his mother decorate curtains for women in their village.The first strips he saw were imports from France – like the “Rangers” series about WWII. Once he flipped those pages, Kassai was hooked.”They told a story,” he says with a broad smile. “It allowed us to know what was happening in another world, a different world.”His father didn’t think an artist’s life was a “good path,” so Kassai drew in the dirt outside his home or secretly in his room.”My father would check my notebooks when I came home from school to see if I had been drawing,” he recalls.When he was older a U.S. missionary saw his talent and hired him to illustrate manuals. Those gigs helped convince Kassai’s father that his pastime paid well – especially once his father lost his job.”Cartoons saved our family,” Kassai explains. And now they might be helping to save others.Medecins Sans Frontieres has hired him for a series of illustrations showing that weapons aren’t allowed in their hospitals, that violent behavior is not appropriate in hospitals and that ambulances need safe passage. They printed 400 posters and 1,000 leaflets to distribute in areas where the organization works.”I needed an illustration that everyone can understand just by looking at,” MSF’s field communications manager Natacha Buhler says. Her colleagues in the northwest – in an area riven by recent clashes – told her they’d seen an armed man notice one of Kassai’s posters outside their health center. He stopped short and put down his gun before entering.”I said wow – we had an impact,” she recalls.Kassai typically arrives at his studio around 8 a.m. The long office is packed with drawings in every stage of completion. Picture frames are stacked on the floor, books are piled behind the work space, which is totally clear save for paint bottles and paper.On a recent Friday morning the studio was already hot but Kassai left his small blue fan off and the radio on in the background, broadcasting calls from listeners about politics and a report about the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.He painted slowly and deliberately, one coat of color at a time to fill in an outline on the page. The scene showed a rebel roadblock set up to collect unofficial taxes. Kassai mixed a blue, dabbed it, then painted in a man’s shirt. Shoulders hunched, he painted steadily for 30 minutes, then paused to check his phone before redipping his brush.While Kassai still does NGO work, he’s also working on a new graphic novel — a follow-up to his first, Tempete Sur Bangui (Tempest in Bangui) — which will continue telling the story of CAR’s struggles. This is his passion, recording his country’s history for future generations. He’s writing the word bubbles as well as doing the drawings.He is drawing gold mines run by armed groups, rebels torching houses. Other scenes show market women carrying their wares and a fisherman carting his catch along the river — all portrayed in meticulous and stunning watercolor.To ensure that the tradition of comics lives on, Kassai has been training young artists.One of Kassai’s proteges, 27-year-old Yvon Gandro, is a ready disciple.”I put everything into my art,” he declares.Gandro lost both parents as a boy and was raised by an aunt. Smiling, he recounts how he’d steal her black eyeliner, eyeshadow and lipstick to draw since he couldn’t afford crayons.”The drawings were my only friend,” he says, voice going soft. “They replaced my parents. It gave me a bit of paradise, a little joy, to create an imaginary world.”When his aunt discovered where her makeup had been going, she wasn’t angry – she was impressed by his talent and devoted herself to supporting his artistry.Gandro did a stint in art school and met Kassai in 2008 at a workshop, where he was introduced to comic strips and watercolor — “so different” from all he’d previously learned.”It was another world,” he recalls. “It was great.”Like his teacher, he has done work for U.N. groups on road safety, first aid, hospital protocols and more.While he doesn’t like depicting violence – “I get sad when I do those” – he believes such images have a greater purpose.”If we don’t do this work, tell the stories, our children won’t understand and they will suffer another violence,” he says earnestly.Take a strip on disarmament that he did for the U.N. At the end of the illustrated sequence, the disarmed rebel gets a job.”It shows that good can happen,” Gandro says. “Maybe it will show that the path of violence isn’t a good one.”That’s why he’s dedicated to continuing his work.With a boyish smile, he observes that his father had wanted him to be a doctor.”I became a doctor with images,” he says, “a healer through images.”Having young artists like Gandro carry on with comic strips in CAR means everything to Kassai.”For someone who is not Central African to tell our story, it won’t work,” he insists. “I want to show the reality [here].”Cassandra Vinograd is a freelance journalist working in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. She previously worked for NBC News, the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal. Reach her @CassVinogradReporting for this story was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Campaigners have been left “shocked and appalled” by the government’s decision to hold a workshop on the barriers facing disabled people without inviting a single disabled people’s organisation (DPO) to take part.The Cabinet Office workshop is due to take place tomorrow afternoon (Friday), and its purpose is to “convene leading external experts and officials to discuss the key issues facing disabled people and identify opportunities to address these”.But it has failed to invite representatives from organisations such as the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) – which represents many leading DPOs – or The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), and then snubbed their requests to take part when they found out about the event.Another disabled-led organisation missed off the list of invitees was Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).The Cabinet Office did invite Philip Connolly, policy manager for Disability Rights UK (DR UK), but he was invited as a policy specialist and not as a representative of DR UK.Mark Harrison (pictured, left), from ROFA, wrote to the Cabinet Office this week to ask if he could attend the workshop but was told it was “already at capacity” and that it was only “an initial exploratory meeting, including officials from Cabinet Office and the Office for Disability Issues [ODI] and a small group of academics and disability charity representatives”.The civil servant added: “If this initial work develops into a more significant work stream, then we intend to engage with a wide range of disabled person led and smaller groups and will be in touch with details.”Harrison told her he was “shocked and appalled” by the exclusion of DPOs and said this suggested the government had learned nothing from the recent examination by the UN of the government’s record in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).In its “concluding observations”, following the examination, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities said in August 2017 that it was concerned about the UK government’s “lack of mechanisms to ensure effective participation of all organisations of persons with disabilities, in decision-making processes concerning policies and legislation in all areas of the Convention”.Harrison said he would now write to the UN committee “with this example amongst many others where the UK Government is still failing to comply with the [UNCRPD] which it has signed and ratified”.Sue Bott, DR UK’s deputy chief executive, said her organisations only found out about the event from the University of Bristol.She has been told the workshop will be based on research the university has co-produced with disabled people, including DR UK.Bott told Disability News Service (DNS): “[The university] did not want to attend the event without disabled people who had worked with them and asked if we had had an invitation.“Philip will be making our objections known at the workshop as will colleagues from Bristol University.“We were disgusted with the response given to ROFA from the Cabinet Office. “Either they have no knowledge of the CRPD, which is disgraceful in itself, or have chosen to ignore it and the need to engage with disabled people from the very beginning, not at some point down the line.”She said that DR UK would be happy to sign any joint letter of complaint from the coalition of DPOs – which also includes ROFA, ALLFIE and DPAC – that played a significant role in the review of the UK’s progress in implementing the UNCRPD.DPAC is also set to inform the UN committee of the government’s actions, which it says are an “ongoing and flagrant violation of our human rights enshrined in UNCRPD to which this government are committed to supporting”. DPAC has told the Cabinet Office that it is “horrified and angry” at its behaviour and that of the ODI, and added: “Oh, the irony of holding a workshop to address the barriers faced by disabled people which actually does not include disabled people – only a government department could do this without realising just how appalling it is.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of DPAC, told DNS that the decision to exclude DPOs from the workshop “ironically serves to illustrate the major barriers disabled people face.“This exclusion highlights the ongoing contempt which this government and its officials show towards disabled people and their lives.“It flies in the face of UNCRPD and the findings of the UN disability committee and can only be described as an utter and total disgrace.”Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s chief executive, told DNS she was “really cross” at her organisation being excluded from the workshop.She said: “We are the only DPO working in this area, so who the hell is on this invite list?“Where does this leave article 33 [of the UN convention, which describes how DPOs should be “fully involved” in monitoring the treaty’s implementation] and ‘nothing about us without us’?“If this is genuinely about tackling the barriers that disabled people face, where will disabled children and young people’s barriers fit in that? My feeling is that they are very unlikely to feature.”A government spokesperson declined to answer a series of questions about the workshop and its UNCRPD obligations, but said in a statement: “We recognise that a variety of groups have important insights to offer – and we will shortly be launching Regional Stakeholder Networks, providing forums for a wide range of people to contribute.”Only two months ago, the Department of Health and Social Care insisted that it was complying with the UN convention by consulting on its mental capacity (amendment) bill with non-user-led charities like Mencap and Sense.But the UNCRPD makes it clear that, when developing laws and policies relating to disabled people, governments “must closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative organizations”.It defines “representative organizations” as those that are “led, directed and governed by persons with disabilities”, a definition which the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities included in its “general comment number seven”, which was adopted last September. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…