Army denies plan to storm sect’s building

first_imgThe Army deployed 24 columns across Haryana and Punjab by Saturday, even as it denied any immediate plan to enter the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa. About a lakh devotees of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, head of the sect and rape convict, are holed up on the premises.A senior Army officer said 24 columns had been deployed in the two States.But the Army’s sizeable deployment is in Panchkula, where 12 columns are at the ready. Panchkula, where the trial court is located, witnessed massive violence, resulting in death of at least 28 people in the township.Eight columns in SirsaEight Army columns are deployed in Sirsa, while two each are in Mansa and Muktsar. Each Army column has a minimum of 80 troops.The Army officially clarified that it had no immediate plan to enter the Dera Sacha Sauda’s headquarters, a sprawling compound where tens of thousands of followers of the controversial guru are holed up. The devotees, among them a large number of women and children, have refused to disperse despite repeated appeals by the authorities.The Army, the police and paramilitary forces have set up barricades at entry points of the sect headquarters.Major-General Rajpal Punia, General Officer Commanding, Hisar- based 33 Division, told presspersons, “There is some confusion that the Army is going inside the Dera campus. At the moment, there is no such plan.” The clarifications came after some media reports about Army entering the premises, which further precipitated tension the region.The senior officer said he would be going to the sect headquarters to ask the Dera management to vacate the premises. Asked if the sect followers will be evacuated from the headquarters, he said, “We will come back to you.”last_img read more

VVS Laxman reveals he was not fit enough to play 2001 Kolkata Test vs Australia

first_imgWhenever someone talks about VVS Laxman, his match-winning knock against Australia in the Kolkata Test crops up.India’s win over the mighty Australians in the Eden Gardens Test 18 years ago is a part of cricketing folklore and so is Laxman’s innings of 281.Laxman, promoted to No.3 after his first innings’ 59 out of a team score of 171, came up with his magical innings and also added 376 runs for the fifth wicket with Rahul Dravid (180).The Laxman-Dravid partnership that redefined Indian cricketHis knock and the record stand with Dravid, set up a stunning victory for India after they were asked to follow-on by Steve Waugh.On Thursday, the former India cricketer revealed a big secret relating to that knock in 2001.Maiden hundred in Sydney Test removed all doubts I had about my game: VVS Laxman”281 (against Australia in 2001) was a significant achievement as far as I am concerned because the situation we were in (that Test match). And also I was not fit enough to play that Test match. Hemang Badani was there in the physio room, when I walked into (former physio) Andrew Leipus, who actually I feel because of him I was able to play the Test match,” Laxman recalled at the Mumbai launch of his book ‘281 and Beyond’, co-authored by R Kaushik.Laxman said that his partner and former India batsman Rahul Dravid constantly motivated him through their partnership.VVS Laxman snatched victory from the jaws of defeat vs AustraliaDravid scored a 180 in the second innings after the hosts were given a follow on by Australia. India eventually went on to win the Test match by 171 runs and later the series 2-1.advertisement”At the first place I was not going to the play the Test match and Andrew made me fit to take the field. It was a great opportunity for my-self to go and just play my natural game.VVS Laxman flattens Australia with another special”So that Test match was an important Test match, because I didn’t make runs in the first Test match (in Mumbai) and as it turned out I played my natural game, played on the merit of the ball, didn’t really think about what happened in the past or what’s going to happen.”Credit to Rahul (Dravid) the way he kept motivating me at the other end and playing such a fantastic knock. But that partnership with Rahul was so important,” Laxman reminisced, in presence of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.Laxman also remembered the 167, which he scored against Australia in Sydney, saying that innings gave him confidence to play at the international level.”But having said that 281 never ever put pressure on me, because the first four years, while I was trying to fulfil the expectations of everyone, I forgot what I expected on my side (from me). And the tour to Australia in 1999-2000, changed that perception, changed my perspective and approach towards the game.”The 167 (in Sydney) was a defining moment as far as I am concerned because that gave me the confidence that I can go and play against the best, irrespective of whether I am playing in India or in their own backyard and I belong to the international level.”(So) 281, actually didn’t put any pressure on me, neither did I feel pressure when I walked out that people are expecting me to score 200 or 281, it doesn’t happen that way,” he signed off.During the programme, Tendulkar shared several anecdotes of Laxman including from his first tour to South Africa.Also former India players Dilip Vengsarkar and Sandeep Patil also showered praise on Laxman in presence of galaxy of former international players like Ashish Nehra, Kiran More, Lalchand Rajput and others.(With PTI inputs)Also Watch – India start tour of Australia with four-wicket loss in first T20Ilast_img read more

WPI inflation at 22month low of 245 in May

first_imgNew Delhi: Wholesale price-based inflation hit a 22-month low of 2.45 per cent in May helped by falling prices of food articles, fuel and power items, and this in turn may prompt the Reserve Bank to go for another cut in key interest rates in the current fiscal. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation was at 3.07 per cent in April this year. It was 4.78 per cent in May 2018. Inflation in food articles basket was 6.99 per cent In May, 2019, down from 7.37 per cent in April, official data released Friday said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepHowever, onion prices spiked during the month with inflation at 15.89 per cent, as against (-) 3.43 per cent in April. Inflation in pulses continued in double digit for four consecutive months at 18.36 per cent in May, up from 14.32 per cent in the previous month. WPI inflation in May is the lowest in 22 months, since July 2017, when it was at 1.88 per cent. India Ratings & Research Principal Economist Sunil Kumar Sinha said the core inflation at 1.2 per cent is 29 months low in May 2019. “This is clearly an indication of weakening of demand impulse in the economy. Dwindling auto and FMCG sales growth has been pointing towards this for past several months.” Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsThis delayed and less than normal monsoon could aggravate the food inflation further in the coming months lest the government monitors the situation proactively, checks speculative activities and intervenes in the market to stabilise prices, he added. “India Ratings believes there is still a scope of one more rate cut in FY’20. However, besides being dependent on data it will also take into consideration fiscal policy stance of the government,” Sinha said. Vegetables inflation eased to 33.15 per cent in May, down from 40.65 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in potato was (-) 23.36 per cent, against (-) 17.15 per cent in April. Inflation in ‘fuel and power’ category cooled to 0.98 per cent, from 3.84 per cent last month on account of softening of global crude oil prices. Manufactured items too saw decline in prices with inflation at 1.28 per cent in May, against 1.72 per cent in April. WPI inflation data for March has been revised downwards to 3.10 per cent from provisional 3.18 per cent.last_img read more

BC judge finds former RCMP officer not guilty of sexual assault

first_imgVANCOUVER – A former RCMP inspector was found not guilty Wednesday of sexually assaulting a civilian employee in a washroom at the force’s British Columbia headquarters.Tim Shields, who was a high-profile spokesman for the RCMP, was accused of sexually assaulting the woman in 2009.The trial heard Shields and the complainant, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, had a sexual encounter in a unisex washroom.Crown attorney Michelle Booker maintained Shields had a “mistaken belief” that the woman provided consent while the ex-Mountie said she was a willing participant in what happened.Provincial court Judge Patrick Doherty said the Crown failed to establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt and despite some evasiveness in Shields’s testimony, he had to find him not guilty.“His evidence raised a reasonable doubt in my mind against (the woman’s) subjective assertion that she did not consent to sexual touching in the bathroom,” Doherty said.There were gaps in the evidence of both Shields and the complainant, he said, adding that a “criminal trial is not a credibility contest” but the onus is on the Crown to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.The complainant testified that before the incident in the washroom, she and Shields met in his office and he said he would walk her to her car.Instead, she said he led her down a flight of stairs and into a washroom she’d never seen, locked the door and started kissing her before undoing her bra, touching her breasts and putting her hand on his genitals.Shields testified the woman consented but then accused him of sexual assault.The complainant testified she followed Shields into the washroom because he said he had something important to tell her but then was “frozen and confused” about what was happening.However, Doherty said it seems unlikely that the complainant, as a confident woman, would walk into a washroom without asking why.He said he couldn’t resolve from the testimony how the two ended up in the washroom together.“I don’t know whom to believe,” Doherty said in delivering his decision.The judge said the complainant was combative and angry during her testimony.“She did not answer many questions posed in a responsive and comprehensive manner,” he said, noting he sometimes had to tell the woman not to argue with defence lawyer David Butcher.Butcher questioned the woman’s credibility, saying she had exchanged at least one flirtatious email with his client, and the pair’s working relationship had evolved to intimate hugs in Shields’s office when the woman would walk in unannounced and sometimes closed the door.“Mr. Shields says she’s a fraud, a liar and a perjurer,” he said in closing submissions.In the Crown’s closing argument, Booker said Shields provided an extraordinarily detailed, mechanical and unreasonable account of the incident in the washroom, portraying the woman as an instigator and himself as a victim of her advances.Dan McLaughlin, a spokesman for the B.C. Prosecution Service, said the Crown will review the decision and consider whether there are grounds for an appeal.The outcome of the case should not deter sexual assault complainants from considering criminal proceedings, McLaughlin said outside court.“It’s important for people to realize the B.C. Prosecution Service takes allegations of sexual assault very seriously,” he said.Shields declined comment outside court but Butcher said his client was “relieved and happy that it’s all over.”Shields joined the RCMP in 1996 and was promoted to inspector in 2009. He was suspended with pay in May 2015 in the middle of a code of conduct investigation. He left the force in December 2015 and was charged in May 2016.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

Quebec culture minister scolds Netflix over LacMegantic footage in Bird Box

first_imgMONTREAL — Quebec’s culture minister has penned a letter to Netflix’s CEO to express the government’s outrage over the streaming service’s decision to include footage from the Lac-Megantic rail disaster in its movie “Bird Box.”In a letter to Reed Hastings dated yesterday, Nathalie Roy questioned how Netflix could have decided it was appropriate to use images of the rail explosion that killed 47 people in the context of entertainment.Roy said she believed the footage should be removed and should only be used for documentary purposes, and suggested the film and TV industry should explore implementing a code of ethics that would prevent similar problems from arising in the future.At least two dramas currently on Netflix’s Canadian platform, including the hit “Bird Box,” briefly use stock footage of the 2013 tragedy.Netflix has thus far refused to remove the footage from its hit movie, despite an appeal from Lac-Megantic’s mayor.But Mayor Julie Morin said a Netflix executive assured her the streaming company would ensure the images wouldn’t appear in any future productions.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

World leaders condemn Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka

first_imgLondon/Colombo: Countries across the globe, including the US, the UK, Russia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh, expressed shock and condemnation over the deadly blasts in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that left nearly 215 people dead. Dozens of foreign nationals were feared to have been killed in the near simultaneous blasts, which targeted Catholic church worshippers on Easter Sunday as well as luxury hotels in Colombo. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe blasts targeted St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress. Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels – the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were admitted to the Colombo General Hospital. US President Donald Trump on Sunday offered “heartfelt condolences” to the people of Sri Lanka. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels… We stand ready to help!,” Trump tweeted. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced a series of attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka as “cruel and cynical.” In a telegram of condolences sent to his Sri Lankan counterpart, the Russian leader said Moscow remains a “reliable partner of Sri Lanka in the fight against international terrorism.” British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as “truly appalling”. “The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time,” she tweeted. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was thinking of those killed in a “horrific terrorist attack”. “To the beautiful people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and our prayers and our support — and our offer to do whatever we can to support you in this terrible time of need,” he said in a statement. A month after dozens of Muslims were killed in a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as “devastating”. “New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on the 15th of March. To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also strongly condemned the barbaric attacks. “Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost & hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief,” he tweeted. Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her deep concerns over the explosions which took place on Sunday morning. In the message, she prayed for peace and salvation of the departed souls and offered her condolences to the grieving families. Hasina also hoped for a quick recovery of the injured. European leaders are expressing horror at the attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.last_img read more

Ircon bags Rs 635 cr order from Sri Lanka Railways

first_imgNew Delhi: State-run engineering and construction firm Ircon International Ltd (Ircon) Thursday said it has bagged an order worth Rs 635 crore from Sri Lanka Railways. The contract is for upgradation of the northern railway line from Maho-Omanthai in Sri Lanka, Ircon said in a statement. Under the contract, Ircon will upgrade single line broad gauge track from Maho-Omantha of around 128 km length including associated infrastructure works, it said. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra”The company has been awarded an international railway contract worth approximately $91.27 million equivalent to Rs 635 crore from Sri Lanka Railways. This is an item rate contract which is financed through Exim Bank of India as per Indian lines of credit. “The project is to rebuild the rail track to make it capable of carrying trains at speeds of 120 kmph and with heavier loads and to ensure efficient, safe, and comfortable transport service for passengers and freight,” it said. Under the Ministry of Railways, Ircon is a leading turnkey construction company having presence in several states of India and countries like Malaysia, Nepal, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, the UK, Algeria and Sri Lanka.last_img read more

UK Rocked by Two Separate Attacks at Parliament and Westminster Bridge

Rabat – UK police are reporting a police officer was stabbed by an assailant outside the British Houses of Parliament Wednesday morning. At the same time, reports are also coming in of pedestrians being deliberately struck by renegade vehicle.House of Commons Leader, David Lidington described the situation to MPs as “serious” situation, which resulted in an “alleged assailant” being “shot by armed police.” The House and MPs remain in lock-down until further notice and the business of the day has been suspended.An eye-witness described hearing what sounded like a car crash outside of his office window to the BBC. He then spotted a darkly dressed, “thickly set” man walking into an area called New Palace Yard, carrying something in his hand the witness said looked like a stick. At this point in the unconfirmed report, he was confronted by two yellow-jacketed police officers and the witness saw the suspect strike one of the officers and he fell to the ground. The other officer summoned help and the suspect moved toward two plain-clothed officers.They proceeded to shout at the man to stop. When the suspect ignored their warnings, the officers shot the suspect 2-3 times. First responders arrived on the scene quickly and remain there as the investigation unfolds.In what appears to be a separate incident, this one taking place on Westminster Bridge, a vehicle has deliberately mowed down several pedestrians. The count at this fluid stage, stands between 5-10 people being struck and needing medical attention. One witness was riding in a taxi when he saw what was happening and began recording video with his phone.He described “alleged assailant was shot by armed police” following a “serious” incident. seeing people laying on the road after being struck. In the video scores of people can be seen rushing in to offer medical attention and comfort. Other witnesses are describing the assailant vehicle as a 4X4. There is no word as to the fate of either the vehicle or the driver at this time.Police have now cordoned off a huge area surrounding Parliament and Westminster Bridge. Both incidents appear to have happened at virtually the same time. Authorities are not saying if they believe them to be related. read more

Dollar General launches hostile 91 billion bid for rival discounter Family Dollar

Dollar General is going hostile with its $9.1 billion bid for Family Dollar after its rival repeatedly rejected previous offers.The discount chain has commenced an open offering to investors of Family Stores Dollar Inc. for $80 per share in cash, the same offer that was rejected last week by the company’s board.Shares of Family Dollar jumped 5 per cent before the opening bell Wednesday and appeared headed for an all-time high.Family Dollar, based in Matthews, North Carolina, has voiced concerns about such a deal passing antitrust review. In response to those fears, Dollar General has said that it is willing to divest up to 1,500 stores if the Federal Trade Commission requires it. The company also is offering to pay a $500 million reverse breakup fee if antitrust hurdles get in the way.Family Dollar Stores Inc. has been exploring a sale amid considerable financial stress and it has shuttered some of its stores and cut prices in an attempt to increase foot traffic. In June, activist investor Carl Icahn urged the company to put itself up for sale.Family Dollar accepted an $8.5 billion offer from Dollar Tree Inc. a month later. The competing bid includes $59.60 in cash and the equivalent of $14.90 in shares of Dollar Tree for a total of $74.50 for each share held. Family Dollar has backed the bid, saying regulators are less likely to interfere.There are more similarities, however, between Family Dollar and Dollar General, which stock their shelves with goods that sell for a range of prices. Everything sold at Dollar Tree costs a buck.Appealing directly to Family Dollar shareholders, Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling said that a sale to Dollar General would provide them with “immediate and certain liquidity for their shares.”“By taking this step, we are providing all Family Dollar shareholders a voice in this process, and we urge them to tender into our offer,” Dreiling said in a news release.Dollar General’s offer expires Oct. 8. The latest bid, which was raised from $78.50 per share initially, represents a premium of nearly 32 per cent for Family Dollar stock on the day before the Dollar Tree deal was announced in July.Family Dollar shares climbed $3.94 to $82.64 in premarket trading. Shares hit record highs of $80.97 earlier this month. by Tom Murphy, The Associated Press Posted Sep 10, 2014 5:48 am MDT Dollar General launches hostile, $9.1 billion bid for rival discounter Family Dollar AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Turning problems into progress UN celebrates risktakers on World Intellectual Property Day

On World Intellectual Property Day, the United Nations is spotlighting innovation – “future-shapers and risk-takers” – exploring how it is making our lives healthier, safer, and more comfortable, turning problems into progress.Marking the Day at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) headquarters in Geneva, UN Secretary-General António Guterres noted that while the world is facing enormous changes and challenges, including new technologies and shifting labour markets that will impact people’s lives, WIPO has an essential role to play.“Your organization can be a central tool of the UN to be able to cope with these challenges, to provide us with the knowledge about what is happening, to give us the ideas, the suggestions of how we can organize ourselves at different levels to be able to cope with these challenges,” he said.WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 189 member States. The agency’s mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Mr. Guterres continued: “Your organization has an extremely important role, because you are in the frontier of knowledge and the frontier of knowledge is in the end what will determine the future of our international community.” For his part, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said, this year’s campaign celebrates all those risk takers, those ‘future shapers,’ those innovators who develop a new technology, product or service that spurs us onward and makes us better.” “On World Intellectual Property Day, let us reflect on and appreciate the energy, drive and dedication required to translate an idea into reality. And let us renew our commitment to building a global IP framework that makes innovation work for everyone, everywhere,” he said. Intellectual property provides a return for those who take the risk to introduce the ‘new’ – in terms of products and services – into the economyWIPO chief Francis GurryHe noted that innovation – and the technological progress it represents – makes a significant contribution to economic growth and creates opportunities for new and better jobs. “We often do not take enough time to think about the many ways in which innovation improves the quality of our lives. One only has to compare the way we live today with the way we lived 100 years ago,” he continued. Over the past century, he said, the world had seen an extraordinary transformation in the quality of “our material lives, thanks to the introduction of countless new and improved technologies and products.” Mr. Gurry went on to explain that intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright are a crucial part of a successful innovation system. “It provides a return for those who take the risk to introduce the ‘new’ – in terms of products and services – into the economy. It provides a framework for the rather difficult and challenging journey that any idea has to undertake before becoming a commercially available product or service,” he stated. Mr. Gurry concluded by inviting everyone to take advantage of this year’s campaign as “an opportunity for us all to think about what it actually takes to invent something and the challenges associated with that process. It is also a chance for us to consider how we can make innovation really work for the benefit of the whole of society.” read more

Les 8 actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 24 février

first_imgLes 8 actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 24 févrierDes éponges dans l’estomac, une larme salvatrice et un gouffre qui grandit. Voici votre concentré d’actualités scientifiques pour ce 24 février.- Un nouveau cas d’objets oubliés dans le corps d’une patiente. Après 3 ans de gonflements abdominaux, la femme a fini par se rendre à l’hôpital où les médecins ont eu la surprise de découvrir des compresses de gaze oubliées lors d’une opération qui aurait eu lieu 6 ou 9 ans plus tôt.- Les chauves-souris parviennent à transporter des virus sans tomber malades. D’après une nouvelle étude, leur système immunitaire serait suffisamment tempéré pour leur permettre de cohabiter avec des infections aussi dangereuses qu’Ebola. Moins de contrôle pour plus de maîtrise. – La grammaire des singes a été décodée par des chercheurs. Ceux-ci se sont concentrés sur le langage des ouistitis et ont révélé qu’ils employaient des termes monosyllabiques. Le rythme de leurs phrases s’avère être étonnamment similaire à celui que nous employons.- Des chirurgiens indiens sont parvenus à opérer la plus grosse tumeur cérébrale au monde. De la taille d’un ballon de rugby, elle pesait 1,8 kilogrammes et a nécessité pas moins de 6 heures d’opération pour être complètement retirée.- L’observatoire d’Arecibo continuera de nous donner des nouvelles du ciel. Précédemment voué à l’abandon, le plus grand radiotélescope au monde sera récupéré par un consortium mené par l’université de Floride. Une excellente nouvelle pour le monde scientifique.À lire aussiDonald Trump, AVC et “l’Age de glace”, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 27 août- Une simple larme pourrait permettre de diagnostiquer Parkinson. Remplie de protéines révélatrices sur l’état de notre état de santé, elle fournirait un indicateur non-intrusif et économique pour mieux détecter la maladie.- Un gouffre en Sibérie révèle d’anciennes forêts. L’incroyable cratère de Batagaika, d’une profondeur de 86 mètres, continue de se creuser de 10 mètres en moyenne chaque année. Son évolution met au jour des forêts vieilles de 200.000 ans, mais également d’anciennes réserves de carbone qui pourraient avoir un effet délétère sur le réchauffement climatique.- Il n’y a plus de chevaux sauvages sur Terre. Alors qu’on considérait le cheval de Przewalski comme le dernier représentant des chevaux sauvages, une nouvelle étude suggère que cet animal préhistorique aurait été domestiqué, remettant en question l’histoire de l’évolution des chevaux modernes.Le 23 février 2018 à 15:16 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Scientists Translate Brain Signals Into Synthetic Speech

first_img Synthetic speech has come a long way since Stephen Hawking’s Equalizer.A team of neuroscientists from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) developed a system to convert brain signals into natural-sounding speech.The two-step process, as described in a paper published by Nature, converts neural signals into the movements a person’s vocal tract uses to create sounds, resulting in artificial speech that conveys the speaker’s emotions and personality.“For the first time, this study demonstrates that we can generate entire spoken sentences based on an individual’s brain activity,” lead study author Edward Chang, a professor of neurological surgery at UCSF, said in a statement.“This is an exhilarating proof of principle that with technology that is already within reach, we should be able to build a device that is clinically viable in patients with speech loss,” he added.To test their theory, researchers tapped five volunteers being treated at the UCSF Epilepsy Center—patients with intact speech who already had temporary electrodes implanted in their brains in preparation for neurosurgery.Participants were asked to read several hundred sentences aloud while the team recorded audio and activity from the brain region involved in language production.Study co-authors Gopala Anumanchipalli and Josh Chartier then reverse engineered vocal tract movements needed to produce those sounds: pressing the lips together here, tightening vocal cords there, shifting the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth and relaxing it.“We still have a ways to go to perfectly mimic spoken language,” Chartier, a bioengineering graduate student in the Chang lab, said. “Still, the levels of accuracy we produced here would be an amazing improvement in real-time communication compared to what’s currently available.”Traumatic brain injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases (like ALS, which took Hawking’s life last year) often result in an irreversible loss of the ability to speak.And while some folks can learn to communicate using assistive devices that track small eye or facial muscle movements, producing synthesized text is slow and laborious.The next major test for Chang & Co. is to determine whether someone who can’t speak could learn to use the system without being able to train it on their own voice.“People who can’t move their arms and legs have learned to control robotic limbs with their brains,” Chartier said. “We are hopeful that one day people with speech disabilities will be able to learn to speak again using this brain-controlled artificial voice tract.”More on‘Social Network’ BrainNet Lets People Communicate MentallyDeep Learning Algorithms Help Map Developing BrainsCan AI Help Us Understand the Human Brain? Stay on target Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend last_img read more

Agencies in Clark County brace for winter storm

first_imgAdministrators closed schools, organizers canceled events and road workers started bracing for the worst Thursday as forecasters predicted a storm of snow and ice would hit Clark County later Thursday.The National Weather Service in Portland on Wednesday issued a storm warning for an unusually strong winter storm that will bring a mix of snow and freezing rain to the Portland-Vancouver metro area Thursday.Forecasters said snow is expected to start late Thursday morning and continue through much of the day.Snow amounts of 1 to 3 inches are possible in Vancouver, the weather service said. Eastern Clark County might see as much as 3 to 6 inches.That snow is expected to switch in the afternoon to freezing rain, which likely will continue until midnight.The weather service also predicted possible high winds through Thursday afternoon. Forecasters expect consistent breezy weather with wind speeds of 13 to 22 mph and gusts as high as 34 mph. East of the metro area, gusts might reach speeds of 45 to 55 mph, and in the western Columbia River Gorge, gusts could reach 60 to 80 mph.Area school districts were monitoring forecast reports in anticipation of changed schedules Thursday, and many chose to play it safe.As of Wednesday night, Evergreen, Vancouver, Battle Ground, La Center, Ridgefield and Hockinson district schools are closed Thursday, and their after-school activities are canceled. Washougal, Woodland, Camas and Green Mountain school districts also canceled classes.Gardner School of Arts & Sciences, St. Joseph Catholic School, King’s Way Christian School, Cornerstone Academy, Columbia Adventist Academy, Meadow Glade Christian Elementary and Firm Foundation Christian School are closed Thursday.last_img read more

Woman accused of organizing transnational criminal smuggling ring released until immigration hearing

first_img Ashlie Rodriguez, Ashlie Rodriguez March 20, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsNATIONAL CITY (KUSI) — A woman who was arrested in front of her children on suspicion of being an organizer for a transnational criminal smuggling organization was released Tuesday, according to Border Patrol.Related Link: Illegal Immigrant detained by Border Patrol on suspicion of organizing transnational criminal smuggling operationPerla Moralez-Luna, 36, was arrested as a result of a targeted operation on March 3 in National City for being in the country illegally, according to Michael J. Scappechio, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent for the U.S. Border Patrol.She denies being involved in any alleged criminal activity.Related Link: Protests erupt in National City after Border Patrol arrests mother in front of childrenShe was released by Judge Zsa Depaolo, a local immigration judge after he determined she was not a flight risk or danger to the community.Moralez-Luna’s case is now forwarded to Federal Court, where she will have an immigration hearing to determine if she’ll be deported. center_img Posted: March 20, 2018 Updated: 10:33 PM Woman accused of organizing transnational criminal smuggling ring released until immigration hearinglast_img read more

How to livestream D23 expo Disney Marvel panel schedule

first_imgDisney will have plenty of news coming out of D23. Disney The Mouse House is opening its doors! Disney’s D23 Expo kicks off Friday, Aug. 23 in Anaheim with its biennial fan event divulging news about Disney and all its properties. Sadly it’s sold out, but the good news is Disney is livestreaming several of its panels.We’re most excited about the Disney Legends Ceremony, which will see Robert Downey Jr. and 2019’s The Lion King director Jon Favreau among others inducted into Disney’s hall of fame.While Disney won’t be livestreaming the massive Disney Plus showcase, CNET will be in the hall updating you on anything from Marvel Studios news and Frozen 2 footage, to probable trailers for The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. So keep an eye out! Head here for some of our early predictions on what we might see at D23.Check out how to tune in to the D23 livestreams below.Panel timesFriday, Aug. 23Disney Legends Ceremony — 10:30 a.m PTBehind the Art of Disney Costuming — 4 p.m. PTSaturday, Aug. 24Women of Impact: Meet the Nat Geo Explorers Changing the World — 10 a.m. PTMarvel Comics: Marvel’s 80th Anniversary — 5:30 p.m. PTSunday, Aug. 25Heroines of the Disney Galaxies Presented by BoxLunch — 10 a.m. PTThe Art of Disney Storytelling — 3 p.m. PTWhere to streamHit up Disney’s streaming page here.Other panelsNot to dangle fruit you can’t have, but here are a few noteworthy panels Disney won’t be livestreaming (stay tuned to social media and CNET around those times for whatever big announcements come out):Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series, Episode 2 first look: Friday, 2 p.m. PTDisney Plus showcase: Friday, 3:30 p.m. PTBehind the scenes with Walt Disney Studios: Saturday, 10 a.m. PT”Secret Walt Disney Company Project” panel: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. PTMarvel Comics 80th anniversary: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. PTSneak peek at Disney Parks, experiences and products: Sunday, 10:30 a.m. PTD23 Expo runs from Friday, Aug. 23 to Sunday, Aug. 25 in Anaheim, California. 0 2019 movies to geek out over TV and Movies 77 Photos Post a comment Share your voice Tags Disney Plus Marvel Disneylast_img read more

Senate Candidates Vie for Rural Support

first_imgThis year’s U.S. Senate race in Alaska is shattering records for spending, with millions in outside dollars directed mostly toward TV ads. With less than two months before the general election, both campaigns are also aggressively seeking an edge on the ground in rural Alaska.Listen now:LaTesia Guinn and Barb Angaiak speak in Bethel. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.In a Bethel subdivision near the Kuskokwim river, Barb Angaiak is sacrificing this sunny Saturday for politics and she’s made a game plan.“….two houses kinda down the hill, we’ll hit that, come up here, hit gwens, and hit 245 right there,” she says to herself.Angaiak is a volunteer canvasser working on behalf of Democratic candidates, including the Begich campaign.We visit the home of LaTesia Guinn. Angaiak knocks. When Guinn opens the door, the two women make small talk.This door-to-door effort is a key part of Begich’s strategy for reaching the rural vote. The campaign has 13 field offices around the state, double that of his effort in 2008. They have staff in Bethel for the first time in decades, and the Alaska Democratic Party is advertising for part time village based staff.Max Croes is the Communication director for the Begich campaign.“That’ s a show of how committed he is to trying to win votes in rural Alaska and ask Alaskans in Bethel, and The Y-K delta, as well as across the state for the vote (and) have a conversation about the things he’s been able to do for rural Alaska,” Croes says.The Begich campaign opened the Bethel office well in advance of the August primary which named former Attorney General and Natural Resources Commissioner  Dan Sullivan as his Republican opponent.  Sullivan recently hired a Nome woman, Megan Alvanna Stimpfle, as their rural coordinator to formally ramp up their rural efforts.Ben Sparks, the campaign manager for Republican Dan Sullivan, says his candidate is also taking the rural campaign seriously.“The Begich campaign has made it very clear they feel as though they have the Alaska Native vote locked up and nothing could be further from the truth,” Sparks says.Sullivan has five offices; none in rural Alaska. But Sparks says they have tremendous support and organization in what they call Super Volunteers who reach out with their networks.“Our campaign is not going to rely on paid staffers, we’re going to rely on prominent members of the Alaska native community going and spreading Dan’s message, and there’s nothing more effective that that.”Both campaigns say nothing replaces having the candidates meet with voters in person.  Begich visited in July to open his Bethel office and travelled downriver a few miles to the village of Napaskiak. Sullivan has not made it in person during the campaign, but his team say he will be here soon.Sen. Begich did the next best thing on KYUK’s Friday talk line show.Mark Trahant is an independent journalist who currently serves as the Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage and is writing extensively about the Alaska Native vote this year.  He expects millenials – those voters roughly between the age of 18 and 33 – to be a pivotal force and social media to play a big role in the Alaska native vote.“This won’t be a traditionally fought election, it will be based on turnout,” Trahant says. “And whichever candidate can build a better list of people to turn out is going to be the one who wins. ”Back on the ground in Bethel, the conversation between Guinn and Angaiak isn’t restricted to the future partisan makeup of the Senate.“I wasn’t sure why you were coming here, I posted on Facebook that I had a hummingbird in my yard so I’ve had all of these people come by,” Guinn says.After an hour of door-to-door, Angaiak calls it a day.“There’s something different happing this year, and that is this coordinated campaign, making sure they know what to do, getting staff out and about to the communities is really really important and impressive and i think it’s the way to go. It’s a different way of running a campaign.”But in a year in which she expects the election to come down to minuscule numbers of votes, she plans to be canvassing again soon.last_img read more

UPDATE I Would Call That Torture Couple Arrested After Kids Found Shackled

first_imgSandy Huffaker/Getty ImagesThe home in Perris, Calif., where authorities discovered siblings restrained and living in “filthy” conditions. “If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10-year-old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished and [having] injuries associated with that — I would call that torture,” Fellows told reporters.All 13 victims were hospitalized for examinations and treatment. Although the Riverside University Health System declined to describe the minors’ condition, Corona Regional Medical Center CEO Mark Uffer said the seven adults are “stable and they’re being fed.”“It’s hard to think of them as adults when you first see them because they’re small, and it’s clear they’re malnutritioned,” Uffer said at Tuesday’s news conference. Share Updated at 2:25 p.m. ETA Southern California couple are in custody after one of their daughters called 911 and led authorities to their home on Sunday. There, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department says it found 12 of the teen’s siblings inside, including “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings.”Of the 13 siblings living at the home in Perris, Calif., officials say six were under the age of 18. The siblings ranged in age from 2 years old to 29, and the daughter who sought help was 17 — though when law enforcement officers met with her, “she appeared to be only 10 years old and slightly emaciated.”“Deputies, when they arrived inside the house, noticed that the children were malnourished,” Capt. Greg Fellows, commander of the Perris Sheriff’s Station, said at a news conference Tuesday. “It was very dirty, and the conditions were horrific.”Law enforcement officers arrested their biological parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49. Each of the parents has been charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment. Each is being held on $9 million bail. Handout/Getty ImagesA handout provided by the Riverside County Sheriffs Department, shows David Allen Turpin posing for a mugshot after being arrested when 13 siblings were found being held captive in his Perris, Calif., home, on Monday.Fellows explained Tuesday that the parents, who have lived in Perris since approximately 2014, had been home-schooling their children. When confronted by the police Sunday — according to the statement released Monday — “the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner.”“It seemed that the mother was perplexed as to why we were at that residence,” Fellows said. He added that law enforcement “had no prior contacts at that residence regarding any allegations of child abuse or neglect.”David Turpin’s parents, James and Betty Turpin of West Virginia, told ABC News that they were “surprised and shocked” at the allegations because their son and daughter-in-law were “a good Christian family.” They said they had not seen the family since visiting California four or five years ago.The Los Angeles Times, citing public records, reports that the couple had moved to California from Texas several years ago and that they had declared bankruptcy twice.Ivan Trahan, a lawyer who had represented the couple in their most recent bankruptcy filing, in 2011, was quoted by the Times as saying that the Turpins seemed like “very nice people who spoke highly of their children” but who had fallen into financial problems.Trahan said David Turpin had worked as an engineer for Northrop Grumman. A spokesman for the defense contractor confirmed to the Times that he was employed there until 2010.Handout/Getty ImagesIn this handout provided by the Riverside County Sheriffs Department, Louise Anna Turpin poses for a mugshot on Monday.However, Kimberly Milligan, 50, who lives across the street, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that when she first moved in she saw a woman outside the house with an infant, but eventually stopped seeing the child. Over the years, Milligan said, she would occasionally see three children who looked like preteens.“I thought the kids were home-schooled,” she said. “You know something is off, but you don’t want to think bad of people.”Considering the proximity of the houses, Milligan questioned aloud: “How did no one see anything?”Milligan was quoted by Reuters as saying that two years ago around Christmas she saw three of the older Turpin children outside and complimented them on a Nativity scene outside their house. She said they “froze [as] if by doing so they could become invisible.”“Twenty-year-olds never act like that,” she told the news agency. “They didn’t want to have a social conversation.”Still, authorities lauded the bravery displayed by the 17-year-old daughter in calling attention to the situation Sunday.“I appreciate the courage that this juvenile had,” Fellows said Tuesday, “to escape that house and get out there and report this to law enforcement.”last_img read more

APOS Viu Looks for Lead Role as Asia Streaming Gets Competitive

first_img Popular on Variety Original content commissioning and localization no longer sound like particularly inspired strategies for an Asian streaming service. Everyone from global giants to regional specialists appear to expound similar mantras. But the twin tracks, employed for over three years now, have turned Viu into an operation that is admired by its competitors. The company is now daring to publicly talk about a path towards profitability.Like most other companies in the streaming sector, Viu is currently in a growth phase that means it is burning cash and living on the indulgence of its shareholders.Viu is backed by Hong Kong’s PCCW, a former telecoms monopoly which now also owns Hong Kong’s leading pay-TV platform Now TV, mobile video service VuClip and music streamer Moov. Viu brought in $110 million in August 2017 in a funding round with new investors including Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek, media investor Hony Capital, and Foxconn Ventures. ×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 Viu Asian Streamer Sets up Indonesian Adaptation of ‘Pretty Little Liars’ But given its 17-country footprint, Viu’s EBITDA loss of $40 million last year on revenues of $100 million does not seem out of line. One analyst last week estimated that South East Asian streaming firms together lost $600 million last year – with $400 million of that going into the pockets of content creators.Launched in 2016, Viu started with a focus on Korean-language content. While that may appear odd for a Hong Kong company, it has proved insightful, as the Asian public’s clamor for Korean dramas seems to have no limit. Viu now claims over 30 million monthly average users.The company’s CEO Janice Lee, says the lineup was never wholly Korean, but that Viu has anyway now evolved into an organization producing and commissioning across much of the Asia region.At last week’s APOS conference in Bali, she unveiled eight new shows, a fraction of the 80 scripted and non-scripted series that Viu hopes to start this year. They hail from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, the Philippines and the Middle East.“We’ve gone wider than Korean content. We have 30% of viewers who are new to our platform. That’s drawing in new subscribers. The other 70% watch Korean content, and also originals from their local market,” Lee told Variety. And Lee has little worry about dilution or loss of certain shows to competitors. “There is more Korean production than ever before. Korea has gone from three big broadcasters, to five. Producers want distribution. Nobody needs exclusive these days.”Viu’s recent slate includes a version of European drama format “The Bridge” – co produced with HBO Asia – and experimental regional format, “No Sleep, No FOMO,” which Viu developed from a short form YouTube format into a premium show.New shows include “Kopitiam,” from Malaysia, and “Baha Don,” the story of a chef who discovers that his father is a mobster, directed Kye Syed Fariz, who has a significant local following. Three from Hong Kong include: “Till Death Do Us Part” starring Sheren Tang; “The Gutter,” with Hanjin Tan, Michelle Wai and Catherine Chau; and “Psycho Detective 2” reuniting local legendary actor Adam Cheng with TV icon Michael Tao after 26 years.center_img For the other 70, Viu will lean on multiple producer partnerships, its own development team, a pitching forum, and even events with high school students.The South East Asian market streaming industry is becoming increasingly competitive – and may become more so if China’s iQIYI is serious about operating in the region. Like others, Lee is targeting Thailand and Indonesia as priority markets.Lee attributes Viu’s success to date to two or three factors, of which the Asian content lead is one. “We had a different proposition with the Asian content, a lot more Viu originals. Now others are catching up… We don’t know where the Hollywood content is going to go in terms of distribution,” she said.Other companies are also adopting variations on the dual income model. “We were the only ones who had AVoD and SVoD from the get-go. Last year we fired-up the ad engine, now we get 50% of revenue from subs and 50% from advertising,” Lee said. Subscription pricing is tailored to different Asian markets, $2-6 per month, not the $9.99 of Netflix. Viu also offers a limited amount of so-called sachet pricing in some territories.A third factor may be having country managers in each market. “They work with the telcos. They also provide a direct-to-consumer relationship. And they have teams for advertising. We have discovered that ad spend is very local, even if it is coming from the giant brands,” said Lee.When the inevitable sector consolidation happens, Viu aims to be right in the middle of it. “There are opportunities for consolidation both ways, (meaning as a buyer or a seller),” says Lee.“We did one funding round, and have four shareholders from this business. We might consider a strategic partner, but we are not currently raising a round. Fund raising is not a daily activity, fortunately.”“PCCW sees this as a long-term growth business. How we get there is by continuing to build Viu into a leading platform. We are there in many of the markets, but don’t want to be complacent.” ‘The Bridge’ to Get Second Season for Viu and HBO Asia Relatedlast_img read more

Capitol Hill Buzz Reid sounds resigned on trade fast track

first_imgThe House and Senate plan to vote on fast track legislation this year. Many labor unions and liberal groups hope to defeat it, saying expanded trade deals hurt U.S. jobs.They’d love to see Congress’ Democratic leaders — Reid in the Senate, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the House — leading the opposition. But neither has flatly rejected the fast track legislation, and Reid sounded a bit resigned Tuesday.“I’m leaving this to my colleagues to parse out what’s good and bad in the bill,” he said.One Senate Democrat announced his opposition on Tuesday.“It’s being negotiated behind closed doors, yet I’m being asked to give my approval before Americans can know the details,” Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said in a statement. “I cannot support broad presidential authority to fast-track such a wide-ranging deal, which would limit the Senate’s ability to review trade agreements and represent our constituents’ interests.”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he hopes to take up the fast track legislation soon. If it passes, Obama is likely to ask Congress to approve a long-negotiated trade agreement with 11 other Pacific-rim nations. Other free-trade deals could follow. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2015, following a policy luncheon. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)n New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Reid said the Senate should handle several non-trade issues before taking up fast track. The White House gently rejected that idea.“Surely we should be able to expect the United States Senate to do more than one thing over the course of this month,” said presidential spokesman Josh Earnest.Reid said he wants three other trade-related bills rolled into the fast-track legislation, which possibly could complicate or slow matters. Those bills involve “trade adjustment assistance,” or federal help for displaced workers; a customs enforcement measure; and a three-year extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.McConnell, who’s not known for cracking one-liners, told reporters he’s having “an almost out-of-body experience” by working so closely with Obama on trade legislation.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Parents, stop beating yourself up 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s top Democrat fiercely opposes expanded trade deals, but he signaled Tuesday he won’t stand on the railroad tracks to block them.Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada reminded reporters in the Capitol that he consistently has opposed President Barack Obama’s bid for “fast track” authority on trade negotiations.Under fast track — which, in a partisan twist, congressional Republicans generally support, and Democrats generally oppose — presidents can submit trade deals that Congress can endorse or kill, but not amend.center_img Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories last_img read more

Tourism Minister of Jamaica to host summit of Caribbean Tourism Ministers in

first_imgJamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has urged his regional counterparts to use the forum at the upcoming Tourism Outlook Seminar (TOS) 2016 to develop a model to drive growth in regional tourism.Speaking at the press launch for the event, Bartlett argued that although tourism was undoubtedly one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing sectors, it faced many challenges, which include terrorism, pandemics, natural disasters, catastrophes, economic uncertainty and the ever-changing demands of travellers.He emphasised that TOS 2016, which is slated for December, would provide the ideal opportunity for national and regional tourism policymakers and stakeholders to examine these issues and discuss ways to address them in order to foster continued growth.“The seminar will also look at how we in the northern Caribbean space can develop a model that is going to make us grow at rates that are higher than the current position — because the Caribbean is arguably the slowest-growing destination in world tourism,” the Minister said.“At the seminar, I will be hosting a summit of tourism Ministers from the region. We are going to discuss how we can change the game from the highly competitive tourism strategies that have not given us growth to a new more collaborative approach,” Bartlett added.Tourism ministers are expected from The Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Cayman Islands.The event, which would be held under the theme, ‘Tourism: Navigating Global Changes for Continued Growth,’ is being hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). While the seminar is being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).last_img read more