The United States (US) says is will continue to impress upon Sri Lanka on the need to respect human rights.Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from the Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G. Wells said that the US stands with Sri Lanka in investigating the Easter Sunday attacks and strengthening its counterterrorism capabilities. She further noted that the US is assessing ways in which they can support the Sri Lankan Government while it re-orients its security apparatus toward addressing international terrorism, and will continue to impress upon Sri Lanka the need to respect human rights, including for members of minority groups, refugees, and asylum seekers.Similarly, she said that as Sri Lanka heads into national elections, the United States will continue to urge that Sri Lanka maintain progress on post-conflict reconciliation, justice, and accountability, and adhere to its international human rights obligations and commitments. Alice G. Wells said this is a written statement submitted to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation which was meeting today to discuss “U.S. Interests in South Asia and the FY 2020 Budget”. Our request also provides economic assistance to help insulate Sri Lanka from dependency and economic manipulation by other states, she added.The Trump administration has sought $30 million for the “Bay of Bengal” security initiative to provide foreign military financing to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives.This is in addition to the $64 million already announced by the Trump administration for regional activities to support infrastructure growth and connectivity. (Colombo Gazette) “The Federal Bureau of Investigation quickly deployed at the request of the Sri Lankan Government, and helped dismantle the local terrorist organizations that carried out these attacks,” she said. Download (PDF, 383KB)
The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index hit another intraday high in early trading as the energy sector surged following an attack on the weekend on an oil facility in Saudi Arabia.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 70.95 points at 16,753.00. The index hit a high of 16,765.34 in earlier trading, topping its previous high water mark of 16,756.11 set on Friday.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 140.19 points at 27,079.33. The S&P 500 index was down 10.62 points at 2,996.77, while the Nasdaq composite was down 20.01 points at 8,156.70.The Canadian dollar traded for 75.44 cents US compared with an average of 75.43 cents US on Friday.The October crude contract was up US$5.54 at US$60.39 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was up 8.6 cents at US$2.70 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was up US$5.50 at US$1,505.00 an ounce and the December copper contract was down 4.30 cents at US$2.66 a pound.
On the heels of one of the worst – and most costly – Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, a global initiative was launched Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), in Bonn, Germany, with the aim of providing insurance to hundreds of millions of vulnerable people by 2020 and to increase the resilience of developing countries against the impacts of climate change.In 2017, extreme weather events are estimated to have caused more than $200 billion worth of damage worldwide, as hurricanes, droughts and rising sea levels devastated vulnerable communities with increased frequency and intensity. In the face of skyrocketing costs, new forms of financial protection have become an increasingly urgent part of the climate change discussion. The InsuResilience Global Partnership is a major scaling-up of an initiative started by the G7 in 2015 under the German Presidency. It aims at meeting the pledge of providing cover and support to an extra 400 million vulnerable people by 2020. The Global Partnership now brings together G20 countries in partnership with the so called ‘V20’ nations, a group of 49 of the most vulnerable countries including small islands like Fiji, which holds the Presidency of COP23. “The Global Partnership is a practical response to the needs of those who suffer loss because of climate change,” said the COP23 President and Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama. This announcement on climate risk insurance was made a day before the high-level segment of COP23, which Heads of State and Government, Ministers, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres are expected to attend. Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, announced support of 125 million dollar for the new Global Partnership as part of the launch. This follows the £30 million commitment to the initiative made by the British Government in July 2017. “Climate risk insurance is a response to the simple fact that extreme weather events are constantly increasing in number and intensity, and also a response to our experience that the international community and the countries affected by extreme weather events tend to really act after those incidents occurred and they tend to come too late and to intervene not significantly enough,” Mr. Silberhorn told a press conference. “So our intention is to act more preemptively, to act in time, and to act decisively in order to reduce the impact of extreme weather events. Insurance is one tool to address this challenge,” he added.A partnership for climate and disaster risk finance and insurance solutionsThe Global Partnership supports data and risk analysis, technical assistance and capacity building according to countries needs and priorities, solutions design of concrete risk finance and insurance solutions, smart support for the implementation for such schemes and monitoring and evaluation efforts. “This new and higher-ambition initiative represents one shining example of what can be delivered when progressive governments, civil society and the private sector join hands with creativity and determination to provide solutions,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change secretariat (UNFCCC).The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), for example, is being supported with the help of ‘InsuResilience.’ The most recent example of support was in September 2017, when more than $55 million was paid out to 10 Caribbean countries within 14 days of hurricanes Irma and Maria, which left an arc of destruction across the region. The money was used in various ways, for example, to quickly buy urgently needed medicines and to build emergency shelters for the people affected by the storms. In Zambia, InsuResilience supports the NWK Agri-Services cotton company, which offers direct weather and life insurance to small contract farmers. In 2015, some 52,000 farmers decided to buy insurance. Following a major drought in 2016, more than 23,000 farmers received payments.
Evolution Mining Ltd advises that the Board has approved an expansion to the Cowal processing plant to 8.7 Mt/y. In addition, step out drilling at Cowal GRE46 continues to deliverexceptional results with several new high-grade intercepts returned from the current drill program including 46.0 m (27.2 m ETW grading 7.8g/t Au from 625 m (hole 1535DD348).The Board has approved the plant upgrade at Cowal, 12 months ahead of plan, to increase throughput to 8.7 Mt/y from the previously permitted 7.5 Mt/y. Works will commence in the March 2019 quarter with commissioning expected approximately 12 months later. Total capital expenditure is estimated to be in the range of A$25-30 million which will be spent over FY19 (A$15-20 million) and FY20 (~A$10 million).The increase in throughput is expected to result in additional gold production from current operating capacity of 5,000 oz in FY20, 10-15,000 oz in FY21, and 20,000 oz per annum from FY22 onwards. The plant expansion is expected to reduce unit processing costs by A$1.25-1.75 per tonne which equates to a reduction of 8-12%. Project works on the processing plant will focus on increasing plant utilisation and throughput and includes:▪ Duplication of 11 critical single line pump sets to improve uptime▪ Increasing reliability of critical equipment▪ Decreasing major maintenance shutdown time with parallel SAG and ball mill relines▪ Constructing a second stage pebble crushing circuit▪ Enabling co-treatment of oxide material utilising additional Float Tails Leach (FTL) capacityFurther feasibility studies to determine the optimal long-term throughput rate of up to the permitted 9.8 Mt/y are ongoing. Metallurgical testing of potential future ore sources from GRE46 and Dalwhinnie mineral systems and the maximum throughput rate achievable from this first phase plant expansion needs to be assessed before determining the long-term throughput rate at Cowal.
Pre-Christmas 2010 will be remembered as the time when well-known online brands and websites started to fall to hackers. The biggest of them all so far has been Gawker, and we’ve also seen McDonalds have its databases compromised this week. But that’s not the end of the security breaches.Today deviantART, the largest online community of artists, has announced its user database has also bee compromised. The fallout being up to 13 million user e-mail addresses, usernames, and birth dates being exposed and likely used by spammers.AdChoices广告The breach occurred through Silverpop System Inc. It’s a marketing company deviantART uses to communicate with its users through a mailing list, but now seems to be a weak point in securing user data. The company is assuming the data was stolen by spammers.The only saving grace is passwords were not taken, so if you have a deviantART account it has not been compromised. What it will likely result in is a lot more spam e-mails being directed to those 13 million accounts.Read more at NeowinMatthew’s OpinionUnlike Gawker this doesn’t seem to be down to a lack of security on deviantART’s own system, but a company who they share data with. Still, it’s deviantART the users are relying on to keep their data safe, and in this regard it failed.The data stolen also brings up a few questions. Most importantly why is the site sharing date of birth information with a marketing company? Is it for more targeted advertising? If this is the case it should stop, as a number of sites still rely on date of birth as a security question.Although fairly harmless on its own, a date of birth combined with an e-mail address may be enough to compromise security on other sites. For example, you have an e-mail and password login with date of birth check for recovering that password.
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece and Minister responsible for the Hellenic Diaspora, Akis Gerontopoulos, is expected to visit Melbourne next Saturday 22 March.Mr Gerontopoulos is coming to Melbourne in order to represent Greece in the annual Greek Independence Day parade and celebrations that take place at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. He will also have meetings with representatives of the Greek Australian community as well as Australian officials.However, Neos Kosmos understands that Mr Gerontopoulos will not sign on behalf of the Greek government the long awaited Work and Holiday Visa agreement (subclass 462), which is to allow approximately 500 Greek and Australians (18 to 30 year old) to work in each other’s countries for 12 months.This agreement is planned to be signed by the Greek Minister for Tourism Ms Olga Kefalogianni, who is expected to visit Australia most probably in April.The program of Mr Gerontopoulos visit to Australia is to be announced within the next few days. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Though I am largely indifferent to sporting pursuits in general, I despise kickboxing and ascribe blame for my aversion to it to the great Stan (the Man) Longinidis, at least indirectly. For it was his fame, long before I ever knew of his existence, that contributed in no small measure to my early adolescent suffering, in the late ’80s. My cousin, who at the age of 15 had already attained the height of six feet, was a fanaticised devotee, a fact I came to acknowledge when, sitting quietly one day, he surreptitiously insinuated himself within my vicinity and landed what is known in technical parlance as a ’roundhouse kick’ to my left shoulder. “Pow!” he exclaimed. “Stan the Man!” “Stan the what, μουλαροτρίφτη;” I responded indignantly, believing at the time that there could be no worse a curse than to be accused of rubbing down mules.By way of a riposte, my cousin executed a jab, cross and a jump kick that sent me sprawling. “It’s Stan the Man Longinidis, and yes, he’s won the championship over muay thai champion Four-Eyes!” he offered by way of commentary, as I searched blindly for my spectacles. For the next year, every time my cousin and I would meet, which was uncomfortably often, I would be successively poked, jabbed, kicked and punched, all in the name of the nebulous Stan the Man.“Do you know why they call him Stan the Man Longinidis?” my cousin asked me one day as he expertly performed a sidekick upon my personage. “I don’t know,” I responded, picking myself off the floor. “Maybe because he is a man?” “No vre,” my cousin barked, following up with four rapidly delivered punches to my sternum. “Do you know why they call him Longinidis?” I posited that the -idis suffix denoted Pontian descent and that Longinus was the name of the Roman soldier who pierced the side of Jesus Christ on the cross and then believed. An illegal ear tweak and nipple cripple soon disabused me of my misapprehension. “They call him Longinidis,” my cousin emphasised with the clipped tones of a Gestapo torturer, “because he can take you out of action for a long time.”To add insult to injury, my cousin felt that my understanding of the art of kickboxing as a condition precedent to my compulsory adulation of Stan the Man would benefit from viewing the recently-released Kickboxer movie a total of 30 times and its sequels (there are an excruciating four of them) another 10 times each. In my mind, my image of Stan ‘the Man’ gradually fused with that of Jean-Claude Van Damme, and when my cousin, in our rougher sparrings, accidentally drew blood, his Tong Po-like exclamation “you bleed like Mai Li. Mai Li, good” would elicit a convincing Van Dammian/Longinidian “nooooooooo…” from my good self. After being compelled to watch yet another Van Damme blockbuster, this time Over the Top, on the subject of arm-wrestling and possibly the worst movie ever made, I gradually grew dismissive of Stan ‘the Man’, secure in the knowledge that I could probably best him in a thumb-wrestle. When my grandmother, on one of her random patrols in the garden, apprehended my cousin and I making plaster of Paris and smashing bottles in order to fight muay thai in the ‘ancient way’, our kickboxing careers abruptly came to an end as she attempted, and almost succeeded, in impaling us upon her tomato stakes. Soon after, my cousin, abjuring Stan ‘the Man’s’ impeccable mullet coiffure, discovered the New Kids on the Block and imposed upon me a hairstyle akin to that sported by Jordan Knight before becoming obsessed with kendo. For this, and much else, my grandmother and her tomato stakes are to blame.All the while, the real Stan ‘the Man’ Longinidis was becoming the champion we all know and love. He is, after all, one of the few fighters to have won world titles in three different styles: international rules kickboxing, full contact and muay thai. Furthermore, on 10 October he became the first Australian from any martial arts fighting code to be inducted in the Australian Sports Hall Of Fame. As such, he more than deserves our admiration, more so because he is one of those brave people who have dared to live their dream. Quitting his day job as a computer programmer (and I have heard pundits describe his fighting style as ‘analytical’) in order to train, he managed to win the North American and USA heavyweight kickboxing titles as well as the Australian heavyweight title. In April 1990 he became the first Australian to win a World Kickboxing Title when he achieved the K.I.C.K Full Contact Super Heavyweight Title and added another two world titles to his name in 1991.I remember Stan’s bout with Dennis Alexio, which received widespread coverage in Australia. That fight lasted for six seconds, with Longinidis dealing the famed Alexio a low kick which broke his leg. For weeks later, my cousin would attempt to re-enact that kick upon my own spindly shanks, all the while ruminating over whether parallels could be drawn between Stan ‘the Man’ and Alexio and Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed.1996, the year Stan ‘the Man’ became the first westerner to fight for and attain the WMC World Super heavyweight Muay Thai Title in Thailand, was a watershed year for me because it was at this moment that I divested myself of my pro-republican views, embracing instead a monarchist position, solely because Stan ‘the Man’ was crowned as champion by the King of Thailand, and I felt that if as a community, we supported the republic, such crownings as these would be rendered null and void. As if in acknowledgement of such consideration, Stan ‘the Man’ persevered, despite a serious knee injury that threatened to end his career, necessitating a complete knee reconstruction in 1997.Stan ‘the Man’ Longinidis continued to amaze and enthrall my cousin and I until 2000 where he retired after beating Peter ‘The Chief’ Graham in Melbourne, coming out of retirement for one fight in 2003 before leaving the ring permanently. It says much for his professionalism and ethos that at a French martial arts expo in 2000, he was awarded a lifetime achievement award recognising his major influential impact on the early days of the sport, and his status as one of the most famous names and brands in the history of kickboxing. Jean-Claude Van Damme was nowhere to be seen.What many people do not know is that Stan ‘the Man’ has acted as a role model and mentor to many younger Greek Australians. His perseverance, trail-blazing commitment to excellence and willingness to engage with the youth in diverse areas has earned him the undying gratitude of many sections of the community. One of the proudest of these is the Pontian community and it is for this reason that Pontiaki Estia (of which Stan’s father has been a dedicated and active member for many years, playing the Pontian lyra on a voluntary basis at functions since 1976) has seen fit to honour one of its greatest and most humble of sons, at a dedicated function in his honour, on 30 October 2015. Given that his achievements were attained in the context of a society that was only just becoming used to migrants assuming a high profile in sport, an entire generation was uplifted and made confident in their own identity by virtue of his victories. For this, and much more besides, the honours Pontiaki Estia seek to bestow upon him are timely and well deserved.* Dean Kalymniou is a Melbourne-based solicitor and freelance journalist. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
A missing boy in Vernonia, Ore., has been found safe after an overnight search. A full-scale search was launched this morning for a Ian Torres, a 10-year-old with a fever who was believed to have sleepwalked from home. He was found this morning at about 7:35 a.m.
Share (Above: Bob Hines is one of 12 members of NASA’s 2017 class of astronaut candidates. Photo: Robert Markowitz/NASA)In just a few weeks, Houston resident Bob Hines and 11 others will report for two years of training as part of NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. That’s pretty impressive considering there were over 18,000 applicants.Houston Matters producer Maggie Martin talked with Hines on the day after the announcement back in June about the application process and what he’s looking forward to most as he prepares to start training.Hines said he applied in February of 2016. Months later, he began an intense interview process and medical examinations.“I can’t think of anywhere else where you apply for a job and find out a year and a half later that you get hired,” Hines said.Hines already works at Johnson Space Center as a research pilot and relishes the fact that he wont have to uproot his family to follow this dream.So how did he get the news that he was chosen? On the day he was supposed to get the news, he took a training flight. But instead of his usual companion on the mission, the chief of the astronaut office was in the back seat of the aircraft. Hines said the two didn’t talk about anything related to the decision during the whole flight. But then, when they landed back at Ellington Field, various personnel and several astronauts were waiting for him.“And they met us outside the airplane and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a job offer for you.’ So it was pretty awesome…and to be able to experience it and be told in person was pretty special,” Hines said.Now begins the next long journey for Hines — two years of training to be an astronaut. He said he thinks the hardest part might be having to learn Russian.“Learning a foreign language as an adult is challenging,” he said. “We’re all fairly technically oriented individuals, but that doesn’t really fit into the technical aptitude side of it. So I’ll be interested to see how that goes.”Seven men and five women (including Loral O’Hara from Sugar Land) have been chosen for the group of trainees. Vice President Mike Pence was at the ceremony at the Johnson Space Center on June 7, 2017, promising that the Trump Administration is firmly committed to NASA’s mission.These new astronauts will be doing research on the International Space Station, or traveling to the moon or Mars.
×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 “Samsung is committed to creating an intuitive and convenient user experience for consumers,” said the executive vice president of the company’s visual display business Hyogun Lee in a statement. “With Remote Access, consumers will be able to easily access various programs, apps and cloud services installed on multiple connected devices directly through their TV screen.”Whether consumers really want another screen to access work documents is another question, and the idea of using a keyboard on the couch didn’t exactly catch on in the past either. Still, without additional details, it’s hard to judge who Samsung is even targeting with this new feature.The company is expected to demo Remote Access at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month, where it will introduce its 2019 TV line-up in earnest. Variety was first to report that the company’s 2019 TVs are expected to also include access to the Google Assistant, and may also offer better audio quality powered by HomePod-like smart tuning features. CREDIT: Courtesy of Samsung To use Remote Access, consumers won’t have to just rely on their TV remote controls. Instead, it will also work with a keyboard, mouse, and other input devices. These may come in handy when consumers access what Samsung vaguely described as a “web browser-based cloud office service” to “access files and work on documents.” Popular on Variety Samsung’s 2019 smart TVs will allow consumers to browse the web, access their PCs and even edit work documents from the comfort of their living room couch. The company previewed a new feature dubbed Remote Access this week, which integrates both Samsung’s own Knox security framework as well as remote access software from VMWare.Samsung stopped short on revealing key details about Remote Access. It did disclose that Remote Access will make it possible to remotely access a PC from a TV, which then seems to function as a gateway to the web, as well as a way to play PC-based games.
You’ve probably experienced a bad software update before. Maybe it slowed down your old iPhone. Maybe it reduced your laptop’s battery life. It probably didn’t destroy your $286 million satellite.That is, unfortunately, exactly what happened to Japan’s space agency JAXA recently. In February of this year they launched a 2.4 ton, 14-meter orbital x-ray telescope called Hitomi. It was expected to remain in orbit for at least three years, but now, just three months later, it has become the subject of a post-mortem investigation after JAXA accidentally turned it into space rubble with a glitchy update.After delivering the new software, JAXA attempted to position the satellite to observe galaxy Markarian 205. The faulty software caused Hitomi to develop an attitude problem — as in its attitude control system erroneously reported that the satellite had started to rotate.The very system that was designed to correct for unanticipated spin actually made matters worse when it kicked in. The longer Hitomi’s systems thought they were dealing with spin in one direction, the longer the ACS worked in the opposite direction to compensate.That made Hitomi spin faster and faster, until ultimately “object separation” took place. Solar panels and other parts that were “vulnerable to the rotation” broke loose from the satellite. When it was all over, Hitomi was dead in space, floating in six to ten pieces.From start to finish, it took around seven hours for the $286 million Hitomi to go from telescope to space trash. Bad timing was a contributing factor here, too. JAXA’s timeline shows that communications with Hitomi were blacked out at a critical moment as it passed the South Atlantic Anomaly. Their crew on the ground never had a chance to intervene before Hitomi met its catastrophic end.
Explore further Fighting mosquito resistance to insecticides More information: “Electrostatic coating enhances bioavailability of insecticides and breaks pyrethroid resistance in mosquitoes.” PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print August 31, 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1510801112AbstractInsecticide resistance poses a significant and increasing threat to the control of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. We present a novel method of insecticide application based on netting treated with an electrostatic coating that binds insecticidal particles through polarity. Electrostatic netting can hold small amounts of insecticides effectively and results in enhanced bioavailability upon contact by the insect. Six pyrethroid-resistant Anopheles mosquito strains from across Africa were exposed to similar concentrations of deltamethrin on electrostatic netting or a standard long-lasting deltamethrin-coated bednet (PermaNet 2.0). Standard WHO exposure bioassays showed that electrostatic netting induced significantly higher mortality rates than the PermaNet, thereby effectively breaking mosquito resistance. Electrostatic netting also induced high mortality in resistant mosquito strains when a 15-fold lower dose of deltamethrin was applied and when the exposure time was reduced to only 5 s. Because different types of particles adhere to electrostatic netting, it is also possible to apply nonpyrethroid insecticides. Three insecticide classes were effective against strains of Aedes and Culex mosquitoes, demonstrating that electrostatic netting can be used to deploy a wide range of active insecticides against all major groups of disease-transmitting mosquitoes. Promising applications include the use of electrostatic coating on walls or eave curtains and in trapping/contamination devices. We conclude that application of electrostatically adhered particles boosts the efficacy of WHO-recommended insecticides even against resistant mosquitoes. This innovative technique has potential to support the use of unconventional insecticide classes or combinations thereof, potentially offering a significant step forward in managing insecticide resistance in vector-control operations. © 2015 Phys.org Citation: Electrostatic netting opens a whole new world of malaria vector control (2015, September 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-electrostatic-netting-world-malaria-vector.html (Phys.org)—Mosquito-borne infectious diseases are a huge public health burden, which carry high human and economic costs. Malaria, Chikungunya, West Nile virus and dengue are difficult to treat, and controlling the disease vector—mosquitos—is imperative. The WHO recommends the use of four classes of public health insecticides, but widespread use has inevitably resulted in the development of insecticide-resistant mosquitos. Additionally, larval exposure to low residual doses of agricultural insecticide has been a major driver of resistance in mosquitos. Thus, the WHO advises health officials to rotate the use of both agricultural and vector-targeting insecticides to assert control over the expression of resistant genes. Nonetheless, conventional methods of mosquito control are becoming less effective over time, and researchers seek alternatives to existing techniques in an effort to stay one step ahead of adaptation. Now, a group of health and ecological science researchers in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Liverpool, England, have reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the use of an electrostatic coating that binds insecticide particles. The authors report that the method delivers such high levels of insecticides to mosquitos that even those with high levels of resistance are killed effectively. It consists of a coating, originally developed to trap and bind airborne pollen, which is applied on different substrates, including conventional mosquito netting for deployment in households. The coating has an electrostatic charge that binds particles via polarity. Though such techniques have been effectively applied in agriculture, this study is the first to demonstrate efficacy against disease-carrying mosquitos. The researchers tested the electrostatic netting on six strains of Anopheles mosquitos with different methods of adaptive pyrethroid resistance from across Africa. Fluorescent dust tests with the netting showed visual support of high powder transfer efficiency to flying insects, even with very short contact. “Even with a mere 5-second contact and at 15-fold lower dose, the impact of deltamethrin on electrostatic netting was significantly higher than the impact of deltamethrin on a [standard] long-lasting insecticidal net,” the authors write.They applied multiple public health insecticides with the electrostatic coating, successfully transferring them to the polyester fibers of the netting. The researchers note that the application technique has a variety of potential uses and can be applied to other surfaces including walls, via paint. Additionally, electrostatic netting fibers can be washed up to 40 times while retaining their electrostatic charge, extending the active life of the netting. However, the electrostatic netting is not considered by the WHO to be suitable for bed nets, for which only pyrethroid impregnation techniques are approved. It is useful, however, for house-screening products that will not be handled frequently, and the researchers are investigating the use of such nets in Tanzanian households.”In conclusion,” the authors write, “the application of electrostatically adhered particles can boost the efficacy and provide resistance-breaking applications of currently recommended public health insecticides.” Credit: CDC Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 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.
Antiprotons present a unique way to study the radioactive elements produced at CERN’s ISOLDE ion-beam facility.Credit: Julien Marius Ordan/CERN/Nature Journal information: Nature More information: Elizabeth Gibney. Physicists plan antimatter’s first outing—in a van, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/d41586-018-02221-9 The antiprotons will be created the same way that they are currently made at what has become known as CERN’s antimatter factory, but they will be used in experiments in a nearby building. For that to happen, the antiprotons will have to be boxed up and shipped in a van.Antiprotons are, of course, the opposite twins of protons—they exist sometimes in nature, but do not last long, because when they come into contact with regular matter, they are annihilated. Researchers at CERN create them by firing a proton beam at a metal target—holding antiprotons in a vacuum chamber at just 4 degrees above absolute zero, comparable to intergalactic space, can protect them from annihilation for brief periods.The PUMA team are trying to learn more about the nuclei of large radioactive atoms, and to that end, want to fire antiprotons at them and then study the remnants after both are annihilated. But for that to happen, the team has to develop a means for transporting the antiprotons from the site where they are created to the site where they will be tested—from one lab to another just a few hundred meters away.The plan is to create a trap capable of holding a billion antiprotons for up to a week. The team estimates it is likely to take up to four years to get the trap just right. In addition to providing the workers at ISOLDE with a batch of antiprotons, the project will also establish a technique for other teams working at much greater distances. That will give researchers from perhaps all over the world access to antiproton batches for use in their own experiments. Explore further Citation: Hauling antiprotons around in a van (2018, February 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-hauling-antiprotons-van.html © 2018 Phys.org A team of researchers working on the antiProton Unstable Matter Annihilation (PUMA) project near CERN’s particle laboratory, according to a report in Nature, plans to capture a billion antiprotons, put them in a shipping container and transfer them to a lab that is conducting experiments collectively called ISOLDE. 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. CERN sets course for extra-low-energy antiprotons
October 27, 2017 Today, 95 percent of Americans own a cellphone and 77 percent of those are smartphones. Mobile phone users will likely climb to almost five billion by 2020. With these numbers it’s easy to understand why there was a lot of hype surrounding the future of mobile payments. The reality is that the mobile payment industry hasn’t been as disruptive as initially believed.For instance, mobile wallet adoption has been fairly low and slow. A PYMNTS.com study found that Samsung Pay had the highest usage among mobile wallets. This has been at a constant 4.5 percent. Apple Pay came in second with 4 percent usage.That doesn’t mean mobile payments are doomed. Far from it.“So far mobile wallets aren’t attracting much consumer interest,” said Karen Webster, CEO of PYMNTS.com, in a press release. “Apple Pay is the oldest mobile wallet, regularly clocking in between 4-5 perecnt of people who could use their wallet actually using it. The lesson, though, isn’t that wallets are dead but that the providers, and innovators, really need to focus on features. People are demanding features and service. This innovation will get consumers, and merchants, excited.”Several retailers and payment providers are seeing the potential that lies with mobile payments. For example, out of 1,200 of its locations, Starbucks now gets 20 percent or more of their orders through mobile order and payment.“The tremendous success of mobile order and pay has also created a new operational challenge in our highest volume stores that has been building for several quarters — significant congestion at the hand-off plane,” Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief operating officer.What are the big payment companies saying?Retailers, Visa and MasterCard are finally getting behind mobile payments. “E-commerce enabled by mobile and other form factors is a significant opportunity, and we are definitely investing behind it,” said Visa CEO Alfred Kelly.There’s also the elephant in the room that the findings listed above have not taken into consideration: millennials. These are the largest customer base, who are hyper-connected, educated and refusing to own credit cards.Nearly half of millennials have used a mobile wallet. Instead of turning to traditional payment methods and providers they’re opting to Google, Apple, Amazon, PayPal or Square. These businesses provide them with digital services, personalization and availability to real-time data.Scott Blum, who leads Marketing, Business Development and Integrated Payments for Total Merchant Services believes that “payment providers will find new ways to differentiate and offer value to their customers beyond low rates.”This includes using innovative technologies to create loyalty programs, managing mobile wallets, providing real-time offers and discounts and push notifications.Because of the usage among millennials it’s anticipated by Business Insider that mobile payments will grow. Expected at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80 percent through 2020, and to reach $503 billion.Furthermore, other reports are predicting that by 2025, 75 percent of all transactions will be made without cash.In short, the future’s looking bright for mobile payments. But let’s take a closer look at why exactly companies and consumers are adopting mobile payments.We’re moving towards a cashless society.Cash may currently be king. We probably won’t see it disappearing anytime soon. However, cash is just too incredibly inconvenient and inefficient.Frequent trips to the bank or ATM can be costing on our time. Fumbling around with change while checking out at the grocery store, and noting how dirty money is, it’s no wonder people are embracing a cashless society.According to a 2015 study conducted by Business Insider, 40 percent of millennials surveyed would give up cash entirely if possible. Surveys like this show the possibility of it becoming a reality.In Europe, Sweden expects to be cashless within the next five years and Denmark has pledged to eradicate cash by 2030. Countries like Singapore, Canada, Australia and the U.S. are all making a fair percent of cashless transactions.You often don’t get a receipt when paying with cash. That’s not a problem when just purchasing personal items, but it is a problem if these are items that can be deducted from your business.Finally, according to Due’s Angela Ruth, cash isn’t as secure as mobile payments, you can’t earn rewards and it’s not as fast or convenient. Cash isn’t capable of budgeting, tracking and monitoring your spending.“Millennials aren’t just preferring a paperless future, they’re expecting a world where all money is going to be digital,” writes Ruth.The rise of NFC and BLE.The most popular mobile wallets, including Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, rely on near field communication (NFC) technology.This technology allows customers to make a purchase just by holding their phone to a credit card terminal. It’s not only convenient, it also drastically speeds up the time that customers spend in the checkout line. This also explains why the global NFC Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 17.9 percent over the next decade to reach approximately $49.5 billion by 2025. Also, since most mobile wallets require two-factor verification, processing payments using NFC is secure for customers.As for merchants, accepting mobile wallets payments is fast and affordable. Due, for example, charges a low, flat 2.8 percent transaction fee no matter where the payment is coming from in the world.Similar to NFC is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). As previously explained, BLE “takes place on either the consumer or merchant’s device where data is stored in a mobile payment account. Examples include PayPal’s beacon and iBeacon.”“Merchants are using BLE and NFC that connect mobile devices with either beacons or NFC tags,” says Rampton. “With BLE, the transmission is continuous and can be used in large areas. The customers can receive notifications and coupons. NFC is easily activated by the customer and is better suited for one-on-one interactions.”As a result of this technology, experts predict that mobile payments and mobile wallets will become more widely accepted. Businesses of all sizes and consumers will steadily move away from carrying around plastic.Wearables will continue to evolve.Consumers may ditch physical cash and cards, but they are not solely going to relying on their smartphones.As wearables have evolved, gadgets like smartwatches have begun to function as mobile payment devices. These devices can facilitate contactless payments using NFC, as well as a mobile wallet.The wearables market will also expand into devices like battery-free and water-resistant smart rings. Wireless hardware designed specifically to process NFC payments were tested by users attending the 2016 Summer Olympics.There will also be clips that attach to users’ waistband, belt buckles and clothing to facilitate NFC mobile payments.Wearable bracelet-style bands that can use a person’s heart rate to authenticate ownership and validate NFC purchases are currently being piloted. All of these options and more innovation are coming to facilitate secure mobile payments.Proprietary mobile payments by retailers.There’s been an onslaught of proprietary mobile payment apps most likely inspired by the success of Starbucks.Some of these are being launched. Retailers are preparing in order to retain business when transactions become card-free for a seamless and frictionless checkout process. These apps will increase revenue by improving the customer experience and can provide insights and build loyalty programs.Walmart launched its own mobile payment platform in 2016. Their app allows customers to enter a PIN code into the app on their mobile device when they’re ready to pay. The customer then has the option to charge their purchase to either a major credit or debit card, or a Walmart credit card or gift card.Joining in on the fun are companies like Target, CVS, Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s.Eliminate paper receipts.Using digital receipts reduces slowdown while increasing efficiency for the retail customers.Instead of waiting to print out a paper receipt, the receipt can be sent to the customer digitally. Having the receipt arrive to their email address will create a better customer experience.Digital receipts also allow you to keep them safe and convenient so that you can quickly locate them while recording expenses or filing taxes.There’s also the environmental impact. According to Square, we waste 1 billion gallons of water, 10 million trees and 250 million gallons of oil on paper receipts in the U.S. alone.Cash using your mobile device.Another feature that mobile payments offer is allowing consumers to charge purchases and access cash in their account through a debit card.They’ll actually allow users to withdraw cash from ATMs as well. In May 2016, Bank of America launched mobile technology for ATM users. They can access their cash without a card just by tapping their mobile device. This all thanks to NFC technology.Scanning and selfie-payments.Since mobile devices and cameras go hand in hand, it’s not mindblowing that “selfies” would become a part of the mobile payments experience.In 2016, MasterCard launced “selfie pay” for payment authentications. Amazon filed a patent that would let customers replace passwords by snapping a selfie. In both examples, this technology has the potential to reduce identity theft or unverified transactions.As the technology continues to improve, and more retailers and payment providers accept selfie payments. We can expect this to become increasingly common over the next several years.Additionally, companies like Flint, are revolutionizing the credit card processing industry by scanning a customer’s credit card. Instead of swiping a credit or debit card, the merchant just snaps a picture of the card. The smartphone has the information is encrypted. Since the card information is never stored on the device security shouldn’t be a concern.There’s room to grow.What’s holding people and businesses back from completely embracing mobile payments? There’s a variety of reasons. They may not be familiar with the technology and they’re content with their current payment options.The biggest barrier, however, is security. As more financial institutions and retailers adopt mobile payments, along with FinTech advancements, biometrics will help to alleviate these security concerns. Most importantly, millennials are receptive to the idea of a cashless society, and they will likely be a driving force to make fast, convenient and secure payments possible. We may not be there yet, but the future of mobile payments will be a real game-changer in the next couple of years. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » 10 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. This story originally appeared on Due
Monday, April 15, 2019 By: The Associated Press Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Catastrophic fire engulfs Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Tags: France PARIS — A massive fire engulfed the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of the French capital Monday, toppling its spire and sending thick plumes of smoke high into the blue sky as tourists and Parisians looked on aghast from the streets below.A spokesman said the entire wooden frame of the cathedral would likely come down, and that the vault of the edifice could be threatened too.“Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media. The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions.The cause of the catastrophic blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is “potentially linked” to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church’s spire and its 250 tons of lead. Paris police said there were no reported deaths.Flames shot out of the roof behind the nave of the cathedral, among the most visited landmarks in the world. Sights of the flames stopped passers-by in their tracks along the Seine River that passes beneath the cathedral.French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the stunning blaze and was going to the cathedral himself.French historian Camille Pascal told BFM broadcast channel the fire was destroying “invaluable heritage.”“It’s been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris,” Pascal said. “Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre Dame.”He recalled that Notre Dame bells sounded the death knell following the 2015 Paris attacks.“We can be only horrified by what we see,” Pascal said.Reporters at the scene saw massive plumes of yellow brown smoke filling the air above the Cathedral and ash falling on the island that houses Notre Dame and marks the centre of Paris.Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is in despair at the “terrible fire.” Hidalgo said in a Twitter message that Paris firefighters are still trying to limit the fire and urged Paris citizens to respect the security perimeter that has been set around the cathedral.Hidalgo said Paris authorities are in touch with Paris diocese.”Désolé mon fils, mais c’est pas tous les jours que Notre-Dame brûle”, dit un père à son bébé qui s’impatiente, à deux mètres d’une femme en larmes, soufflant “faut qu’ils fassent quelque chose ! faut qu’ils fassent quelque chose !” #notredame pic.twitter.com/mPxIbGh8Vp— Jean Birnbaum (@JeanBirnbaum) April 15, 2019
Source = Condé Nast Traveler Flemings Mayfair recognised with Condé Nast TravelerFlemings Mayfair recognised with Condé Nast TravelerCondé Nast Traveler (US) recently announced the results of its 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Flemings Mayfair recognised as #31 in the Top Hotels in London category, with a score of 86.46.Henrik Muehle, General Manager of Flemings Mayfair comments, “We are delighted to have been voted by Condé Nast Traveler readers in the Top Hotels in London category. Thanks to our recent multi-million refurbishment, which has allowed the hotel to offer impeccable dining spaces and accommodation, we are able to offer the perfect luxurious London visit. We look forward to continuing to deliver the very best standards of service and welcoming guests to Flemings Mayfair soon.”Over 300,000 readers submitted millions of ratings and tens of thousands of comments, voting on a record-breaking 7,320 hotels and resorts, 610 cities, 225 islands, 468 cruise ships, 158 airlines, and 195 airports.Following a £16 million refurbishment in 2016, Flemings Mayfair, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, boasts 129 guest rooms, suites and apartments, a tea lounge, bar, wine cellar and highly sought-after 85-cover restaurant Ormer Mayfair – headed by Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin. The hotel has been privately owned by the same family for over 40 years.The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” Under Editor in Chief Pilar Guzmán, the Readers’ Choice Awards have become more selective and specific to the passions that inspire today’s travelers.The Readers’ Choice Awards are announced in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands nationwide on October 24, 2017. The full list is published exclusively online, at www.CNTraveler.com/rca.
TTF Chennai & Bengaluru, the first major tourism marts post demonetisation will provide unparalleled marketing opportunity for the travel trade.The Travel & Tourism Fair (TTF) season will kick-start the year 2017 with Chennai and Bengaluru editions in January. Exhibitors will promote their best and latest tourism products to the Indian and international travel trade industry. The trade show in its 28th year has resulted in creating a firm and strong network for inbound and outbound travel professionals to explore maximum opportunity.TTF Chennai is scheduled from January 6-8, 2017 at Chennai Trade Centre and will showcase over 90 participants from all over India, including official delegations from many Indian states and national tourism organisations.TTF Bengaluru scheduled from January 13-15, 2017 at Elaan Convention Center with over 120 participants will showcase new destinations and the latest in travel trade.The Host States- Bengaluru and Chennai not only have a strong cultural impact on inbound travellers, but also on outbound travellers. Keeping with the positive sentiments in the tourism industry, both the shows are going to be bigger, compared to last year. Participating states and countries will present cultural events and marketing presentations to trade visitors and the media.With a wide array of tourism offerings, country representations from Nepal and more have set the bar high at various TTFs this year.Among the state tourism departments who have in-principally committed big participation in these two TTF editions are: Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar and more.With consistent support from Ministry of Tourism, State Tourism Boards, National Tourist Offices, thousands of private exhibitors and trade associations, TTF continues to be the ideal platform providing immense opportunities for the buyers and sellers from across the world to come and experience the Indian culture, showcase their latest offerings and build long term business ties.Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media Limited (organiser of TTF shows and Publisher of Travel News Digest), commented, “TTF Chennai and Bengaluru provides an important opportunity to be present in hugely strategic markets in South India. We have recently experienced a rapid expansion of TTF in Bengaluru.”Fairfest Media Limited, organiser of the TTF-OTM shows have strengthened their unparalleled lead as India’s No. 1 travel trade show organiser, with about half the market share. It organises every year TTF branded shows in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru and New Delhi, in addition to the grand finale OTM Mumbai.LAST EDITIONS’ SYNOPSISTTF Chennai held from January 8-10, 2016 at Chennai Trade Centre witnessed 94 Exhibitors, 4540 General Visitors and 835 Trade Visitors. 15 States (Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal) and 3 Countries (India, China, Turkey) represented at the show.TTF Bengaluru held from January 15-17, 2016 at Elaan Convention Center, witnessed 156 Exhibitors, 3411 General Visitors and 1039 Trade Visitors. 17 States (Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal) and 7 Countries (India, Bhutan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey) represented at the show.
by Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 5, 2019 1:00 am PDT Dionne Brand on that which goes unwritten: ‘What is withheld multiplies’ Writer and poet Dionne Brand is photographed during an interview in Toronto on Monday, May 13, 2019. Brand’s poetry collection “The Blue Clerk” has been shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn TORONTO — As she looks out the window of a cafe in Toronto’s west end, poet Dionne Brand is collecting “all the materials that exist in the world.”There’s the UPS truck carrying a load of deliveries, the contents of each package a mystery. Three people are huddled on the corner waiting for the light to change as they set off towards an unknown destination. A downpour dampens the bustle of Dundas Street, shaping the city’s rhythms in ways impossible to predict.Just as Brand tries to take in the totality of the moment, and the limitless possibilities embedded therein, it shifts. And the process begins all over again.It’s a condition Brand describes as being “clinically aware,” a hoarding of the consciousness that forms the basis of her poetry. But only a slim share of these observations make it to the page, she says. In the “Blue Clerk,” Brand takes stock of what has gone unwritten in her prolific career, which has been punctuated with honours including the Governor General’s Award for poetry, the Trillium Book Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize.The ars poetica centres on a dialogue between a poet and the clerk who keeps inventory of the words the writer accumulates, probing which observations have been published and what has been withheld. Published by McClelland & Stewart, the book could earn Brand her second Griffin along with a $65,000 cheque, and has been nominated for this year’s Trillium prize.The former Toronto poet laureate spoke to The Canadian Press ahead of the Griffin gala in Toronto on Thursday.CP: Tell me about the process of writing “The Blue Clerk.”Brand: It began with that idea at the beginning of the book about how writing is a kind of negotiation between what is written and what is withheld, and then how what is withheld multiplies, much more than what you would actually write down.CP: How would you describe the role of the clerk and the role of the author?Brand: I think the clerk is the part of you that attends to your surroundings, and makes note of it. The author is the one, or the part of you, that makes the decisions of what to do with that.CP: What was it like to lay bare all that was unwritten over the years?Brand: It was a process of attending very, very carefully, and hopefully with a kind of honesty, to what was left out, to what was withheld, and to the reasons that they were withheld. This makes the relationship between the author and the poet extremely contentious. Because the clerk disagrees with what the author has left out, which is another reason why the clerk collects. Just to remind me, or the author, as to the misreadings or miswritings.CP: Do you see any tension between poetry as an act of capturing beauty, and poetry as a political act?Brand: I think those are the same thing. I think the poet Aime Cesaire says, “Justice listens at beauty’s door.” … I come from a tradition of poets who think of poetry as a political act, who think about poetry as a kind of making new meaning in the world. Given that the world we have to attend to is a racist world, a world that doesn’t value working people or poor people, those are the things we notice.CP: I understand you’ve expressed some unease with the narrative about CanLit becoming more diverse. Do you feel like diversity has always been part of the literary scene, and the industry is just catching up?Brand: It is true that many poets of colour haven’t had opportunities for publishing, and that’s really important. But there’s always been also a thriving scene that published poets like me … (There’s) a consumer culture and a meaning-making culture. Those two don’t always have to align. And the intention of meaning-makers isn’t always to enter consumerist culture. That consumerist culture can also be racist culture. It can reproduce dominant racist narratives, but the meaning-making culture is a more complicated scene.CP: Do you think that writing about the art of poetry will influence your work going forward?Brand: Every book of poems has what I call a failure in it. It’s a point; it’s a knot. And you think, if I were just ethereal enough, I would have got that, but that’s the point I go back to for the next book… I’ve learned to think of that moment as the moment of creativity, in a way, the expansion of creativity. But at that point in your life, you weren’t there to do it, to completely get it. I’ll probably never get it. That’s probably death. The revelation will be so great, that well, what am I going to do?— This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
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