On WhatsApp, Fake News is Fast and Fatal

first_imgAmericans associate misinformation with Facebook and the ways it shaped debate around the 2016 presidential election. But in other countries, falsities are just as likely to spread on private messaging services – sometimes with deadly consequences.At least two dozen people have been killed in mob lynchings in India since the start of the year, their deaths fueled by rumors that spread on WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service.In Brazil, messages on WhatsApp falsely claimed a government-mandated yellow-fever vaccine was dangerous, leading people to avoid it. And as Mexico was heading into its presidential election this month, experts there called WhatsApp the ugly underbelly of the country’s news environment, a place where politically misleading stories, memes and messages can spread unchecked.On WhatsApp, with 1.5 billion users, information can go viral in minutes as individuals forward messages along to their friends or groups, without any way to determine its origin.Messaging platforms have hosted disinformation campaigns in at least 10 countries this year, according to a report by the Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford University. WhatsApp was the main platform for disinformation in seven of those nations, including Brazil, India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Mexico. Other messaging apps that have hosted disinformation include Telegram in Iran, WeChat in China and Line in Thailand.“In the U.S., the disinformation debate is about the Facebook news feed, but globally, it’s all about closed messaging apps,” said Claire Wardle, executive director of First Draft, a nonprofit news literacy and fact-checking organization affiliated with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.The closed nature of messaging services complicates the already difficult task of fighting rumors and stamping out lies. Unlike the largely open forums of Facebook and Twitter, WhatsApp hosts private chats among groups of friends. It is encrypted, or mathematically scrambled, so that no one – not even the service’s employees – can read the content of messages that were not intended for them.“In many countries, messaging services are the main platform to get online,” said Samantha Bradshaw, co-author of the report from the Computational Propaganda Project. “The closed platforms can be more dangerous because the information is spreading in these intimate groups of friends and family – people we tend to trust.”A group of friends picnicking in southern India this month stopped their car to offer some local children chocolate. It proved to be a deadly mistake – rumors quickly spread on WhatsApp that they were child kidnappers.A virulent mob gathered in response to the messages. In the end, one of the picnickers, a software engineer named Mohammed Azam Ahmed, 32, lay dead.“They kept pleading, but nobody listened to them,” said the victim’s brother, Mohammed Akram. “My brother was killed by fake news.”Now WhatsApp, under pressure from political leaders and spurred by new leadership, is taking steps to root out misinformation. Executives held urgent meetings with political leaders in India last week, and the service is building new technology to promote news literacy. On Thursday, the company announced a major change, limiting the ability to forward messages – a feature that has been blamed for enabling disinformation to go viral.WhatsApp’s new boss – Chris Daniels, a veteran executive from WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook – has vowed to prioritize safety. Daniels is playing catch-up with Facebook, which since the 2016 U.S. election has poured immense resources into combating viral fake news and other malicious content promoted by profiteers, ideologues and Russian operatives – an effort with mixed results. The fix at WhatsApp is even harder because the chat app was designed to be a black hole.The app’s encryption makes it impossible for WhatsApp’s security staff to read messages unless a user specifically reports them as problematic. And because WhatsApp lets people sign up just with a phone number – unlike Facebook, WhatApp does not require users to have an email address or reveal their real name – engineers have limited visibility into users’ friends or into what they’ve posted in the past, cutting them off from key clues to malicious behavior. WhatsApp says the average group size is six, but it allows groups of up to 256.Conversations on these platforms are less visible to outsiders, journalists and fact-checkers who often debunk misinformation. In Colombia, Mexico and Brazil, news and fact-checking organizations have recently set up WhatsApp hotlines where people can forward along questionable content to be debunked. The organizations then return the correct story to the person who sent it and hope that person shares it with their groups.For months leading up to the Mexican election, an edited video with accompanying text began circulating on WhatsApp. The grainy footage showed a man being burned alive in the state of Tabasco, while a crowd shouted “Morena” – the political movement of the front-runner, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who won the election – in the background, implying that the man was being tortured for his political beliefs. Accompanying text blamed Obrador supporters, using a derogatory term for leftists. Many people forwarded it to the Mexican fact-checking hotline, asking whether it was real.Journalists and fact-checkers who reviewed the video said that the man was attacked because he was stealing a motorcycle, not for his political beliefs, and that the full unedited version showed the crowd shouting the names of different political candidates. The fact-checking group published an article with the facts as they understood them – citing local news reports – and sent it back to all the people who forwarded the original falsehood, asking them to spread it in their own groups. They said they recognized the limitations of the strategy.In Brazil, a nationwide strike by truck drivers in May was organized on WhatsApp, said Daniel Bramatti, head of Abraji, Brazil’s association of investigative journalism, and an organizer of a WhatsApp hotline to vet news that may be fake. False stories have spread about political candidates and about the dangers of many vaccines, he said – the yellow-fever story reached so many people that the federal government issued an official warning debunking it. Since the hotline was created, 17,000 messages have been forwarded to the group, Bramatti said.WhatsApp is giving software tools to Brazilian news organizations that will allow them to send a link to a fact-checked story to large numbers of users at once – allowing them to debunk fake news en masse – ahead of the country’s presidential election in October.Brazil, which has about 160 million WhatsApp users, has shut down WhatsApp three times, most recently in 2016, over a fight between the site and the government, which wanted data about malicious actors and criminals.But the dark side of misinformation on messaging services is most apparent in India, where more than 225 million people in India use it, according to the Indian government, a total quickly gaining on the estimated 240 million who use Facebook.There, the combination of an inexperienced and digitally illiterate user base, coupled with WhatsApp’s encryption, has proved to be toxic, leading to fear, misunderstanding and, in some cases, violence.Beyond the July 13 incident that claimed the life of Ahmed, two dozen others have died in recent weeks from lynch mobs sparked by rumors that spread on WhatsApp of child-kidnapping rings or organ-harvesting gangs, authorities say.The violence has prompted an angry warning from the Indian government. Last week the government called on WhatsApp to do more to address accountability and “traceability” in the app to stem the tide of fake news – or face legal action.Many police departments and municipalities have created their own grass-roots response to the crisis, including public education campaigns with street theater, or “town criers” going from village to village with loudspeakers on tops of fans, warning citizens not to believe fake news.But some Internet experts say that the Indian government has been slow to respond to the growing problem, in part because their political parties are hardcore users of the platform and often use it to send out false or misleading information themselves.In a recent regional election in India that was seen as a prelude to the country’s 2019 national election, WhatsApp researchers found that one political party – which they did not name – used the platform inappropriately, with party loyalists setting up thousands of WhatsApp groups and in some cases successfully spamming users with near-constant political messages.The misuse of WhatsApp mirrors the way in which other tech tools have been weaponized in recent years, in particular around misinformation. The company’s roots are about getting as little information about users as possible, and WhatsApp’s founders, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, were libertarians who believed deeply in privacy.After Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, its largest acquisition ever, the messaging company operated separately from its parent and was divorced from Facebook’s efforts to combat misinformation, such as hiring thousands of moderators and building artificial-intelligence software to spot malicious posts. Researchers said that independence allowed problems to fester, undermining Facebook’s corporate mission to promote democracy around the world.“Our focus has always been on helping people stay safe and maintaining private communication on WhatsApp,” said WhatsApp spokesman Carl Woog. “We recognize the severe consequences that can come from viral misinformation, and we’re working with others to address this challenge.”Acton and Koum fought frequently with Facebook over user privacy, access to data and how to make WhatsApp turn a profit, according to two people familiar with the debates. Acton left late last year. Koum announced his resignation this year after a Washington Post report revealed he planned to leave over broad clashes with Facebook.“They were fierce when it came to data privacy, and they were fiercely independent,” said Kevin Lee, who was a global manager for spam operations at Facebook through 2016.WhatsApp does not see itself as a social-media service, because content is not posted publicly and algorithms do not spread information virally. But even without algorithms, WhatsApp’s ability to forward messages has turned it into a hybrid. Its leadership was previously opposed to any efforts to intervene in users’ ability to send messages.The shutdown in Brazil and growing commercial spam problems led to a crisis within WhatsApp, and Facebook began to clamp down, according to the two people familiar with the matter. Facebook sent engineers and pushed WhatsApp to hire policy experts for the first time, doubling the company’s size and moving WhatsApp’s headquarters to Menlo Park, California, where Facebook is based.Last week the company started training Indian nonprofit organizations on how to spot fake news and “to think before you share,” Woog said. WhatsApp also ran full-page newspaper ads in India that included 10 tips on how to recognize false information, including “check information that seems unbelievable” and “use other sources.”The company is hiring engineers to specifically focus on disinformation in elections, and it is building in new technology that will indicate whether a message has been forwarded, an indicator that the person who sent the message did not actually write the story or produce the content in question.On his first week as CEO in May, Daniels, who declined to be interviewed, assembled WhatsApp’s 300 employees for a town hall. The commitment to privacy would not change, he told them, but from now on the focus of the service would also include safety – preventing misinformation and the harm it can cause, according to an executive who attended the meeting.Annie Gowen reported from New Delhi. Farheen Fatima in India contributed to this report.© Washington Post Related Itemslast_img read more

Sheoran, Yashaswini win top prizes at shooting meet

first_imgNoida, Nov 15 (PTI) Promising India shooter Akhil Sheoran and junior world champion Yashaswini Singh Deswal were among the winners of the 3rd All India Digvijay Singh Memorial Air Rifle and Air Pistol Championship here.The event was hosted by Billabong High International School in association with UP State Rifle Association and the National Rifle Association of India from November 11 to 14.The championship had more than 300 entries from all over the country.The tournament was open to ISSF shooters and the qualifiers of 61st NSCC.Gold medallists of the championship were awarded cash prizes of Rs 50,000, the silver medallists were awarded Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 to the bronze winner.The championship was inaugurated by Olympic medallist Gagan Narang.Speaking on the occasion, Narang, who recently returned after winning a silver at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in Brisbane, said, “It is really exciting to see shooting spreading its wings in this country and schools slowly but surely embracing the sport.”It is from schools that Olympic champions of tomorrow will emerge. I commend Billabong High in taking this initiative to host the 3rd All India Digvijay Singh Memorial Air Rifle/Air Pistol Championship and I am very happy to be here and see students excited to know about the sport.” PTI AH AHlast_img read more

ECB likely to grant Ben Stokes permission for Indian Premier League 2018

first_imgBen Stokes has found himself in the news and was riddled with controversies in the recent past.Stokes missed England’s humbling Ashes defeat to Australia after being involved in the  Bristol ‘bar brawl’ incident, but is hoping to make it into an IPL side.Stokes failed to make a mark in his short stint in New Zealand’s domestic cricket, with Canterbury, but things look bright for the Englishman. He might be given approval by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to put his name for next month’s Indian Premier League mega auction.Stokes was the costliest ever buy at the IPL, the last the auction was held, going to Rising Pune Supergiant for Rs 14.5 crore. He went onto repay the faith with winning the IPL 10’s most valuable player award.”That is for Ben to decide. Having given an NOC for New Zealand, it will be difficult for us to say on balance we would not apply the same thinking to other parts of the world,” Tom Harrison, ECB chief executive, told The Guardian, on Ben entering the IPL auction.With police investigation in his Bristol nightclub incident in September still going on, Stokes remains suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board.The Ashes continue with the fourth Test in Melbourne, starting December 26 and finishes with the fifth Test in Sydney from January 4-8.But, Stokes has been provisionally named in England’s squad for the five-match ODI series against Australia which follows the Ashes.(With inputs from ANI) advertisementlast_img read more

1st Test: Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis hit unbeaten centuries to defy New Zealand

first_imgFormer captain Angelo Mathews continued his role as saviour on Sri Lanka’s tour of New Zealand as he and Kusal Mendis struck unbeaten hundreds to thwart the host’s push for victory on the fourth day of the first Test at the Basin Reserve on Tuesday.Mathews was on 117, while Mendis was 116 not out as they took their side to 259 for three at stumps, having batted together all day and created Sri Lanka’s highest partnership for any wicket against New Zealand with a marathon 246-run stand.It was the first time in Test cricket that a full day’s play had been completed without a wicket falling since the first day of the second match between South Africa and Bangladesh on February 29, 2008.The pair’s stubborn resistance could prove to be match-saving with rain forecast for the final day on Wednesday.They had resumed at 20 for three, needing another 276 runs to even make New Zealand bat again, after Tom Latham’s maiden double century of 264 not out had powered the hosts to a massive first innings total of 578.They frustrated New Zealand’s bowlers, who resorted to a short-pitched attack early on, changed to a fuller length towards lunch, then virtually shut down the scoring during the middle session with Ajaz Patel shoring up one end.Nothing, however, worked against Mendis and Mathews, who were untroubled on a pitch offering little in the way of sideways seam movement, although left-arm spinner Patel got the occasional delivery to bite and bounce.Mendis was the more fluent with some memorable drives down the ground before he brought up his sixth Test century shortly after tea when he pulled a short delivery from Neil Wagner fine for his 12th boundary.advertisementMathews achieved his ninth century about an hour before stumps when he drove Colin de Grandhomme through midwicket for his 11th boundary.He then proceeded to do some pushups mid-pitch — a potential riposte at the selectors who dropped him in September from the one day squad for fitness reasons.It was the third successive innings in New Zealand that Mathews has resurrected his side’s fortunes when staring at embarrassment.The 31-year-old top-scored with 83 in Sri Lanka’s first innings of 282 and combined with Dimuth Karunaratne for a 133-run partnership after they slumped to nine for three inside the first four overs.That innings followed on from his score of 128 not out in Sri Lanka’s only warmup game against an inexperienced New Zealand selection in Napier, when they had slumped to 104 for nine before he pushed them to 210 for nine declared.last_img read more

9 months ago​Chelsea boost as AC Milan target Higuain replacement

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say ​Chelsea boost as AC Milan target Higuain replacementby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea are boosted by news that AC Milan are already looking for a replacement for Gonzalo Higuain.Milan feel that Juventus want to cash in on Higuain, which has led them to pursue Krzysztof Piatek from Genoa.For now, Higuain is on loan at Milan till the end of the season.Any Chelsea deal would only be possible if Milan agreed to terminate his loan, which would allow Juventus to sell him.And former Italy star Antonio Cassano does not believe that letting Higuain leave is the right move.Cassano is quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying: “For me it’d be madness to sell Higuain. He’s their only decent player, their only champion, and one of the best strikers in the world. I would never get rid of him.” last_img read more

Beautiful Bruneau Dunes State Park

first_imgIn recent years, unfortunately, Idaho has become known primarily as the setting for the hit indie comedy, Napoleon Dynamite. However, the state contains some of the most breathtaking scenery in the entire United States—long stretches of plain, punctuated by vast western peaks.Now that spring is fully on its way (even though it may not feel like it everywhere), it’s time to start thinking about camping trips and venturing into the great outdoors. And, if you are a wilderness lover, Idaho’s Bruneau Dunes State Park should be the first open air destination that is placed on your spring and summer “To-Do List.”Bruneau Dunes State Park is actually open all year round, but for the average outdoorsman the nice weather months are clearly the optimum time to enjoy one of the most unique landscapes Idaho has to offer. Bruneau features the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America, which tops out at 470 feet. That sand-peak and the rest of the dunes rise above several small lakes that are perfect for swimming or bluegill fishing.The other main attraction of the Bruneau Dunes State Park is its fantastic Observatory. The Observatory itself is only open on Fridays and Saturdays from April through mid-October. With wide-open, western skies, the view of the stars and distant galaxies at the Observatory are some of the most magnificent and eye-opening that any camper can hope to experience. It allows for the kind of panoramic and deep gaze into the nighttime sky that any city dweller finds hard to come by.As far as camping goes, there are a variety of options available. There are 82 campsites with access to water and electric hookups for RV access, and for traditionalists there are 31 standard group camping sites. In addition, Bruneau State Park offers two one-room cabins that can sleep up to five on bunk beds and futons. The cabins cost $50.00 per night to rent and feature air conditioning, power and heat, making them a perfect option for a comfortable out-of-doors experience in any season.With spring and summer upon us, why take the same old vacations? Instead, head to Bruneau State Park, see the stars and discover the otherworldly beauty one of America’s most overlooked states. Editors’ Recommendations Your Guide to a Road Trip Across New York State 12 Reasons South Dakota Deserves Your Attention The Best Wine Country Regions in the U.S. for Outdoor Adventures Dispersed Camping Is Your Way to Camp for Free All Over the U.S. All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Rankedlast_img read more

Weekly Traffic Advisories

first_img INVERNESS COUNTY: Crowdis Bridge, Valley Mills Crowdis Bridge, in Valley Mills on Marble Mountain Road, is closed until further notice. Detour via Eden Road, Barren Road, Northside River Denys Road and Southside River Denys Road. Signs are in place. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Highway 104 Highway 104, westbound near Exit 4, is down to one lane to replace damaged girders on the overpass until Friday, May 26. Detour signs are in place. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CONTINUING WORK SHELBURNE COUNTY: Shore Road Shore Road, from Trunk 3 to Ford Point Road (about nine kilometres), has alternating lane closures for paving until Thursday, Aug. 31. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. -30- INVERNESS COUNTY: West Lake Ainslie Road The Hayes River Bridge on West Lake Ainslie Road has a 15-tonne weight restriction. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Highway 104 Highway 104, eastbound near Exit 13, is down to one lane to replace a damaged girder on the overpass. McElmon Road, which runs over the highway, will also be down to one lane. Signals are in place to direct traffic. Work is taking place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and is expected to be completed by Friday, May 12. NEW WORKlast_img read more

Mathews leads Sri Lanka to series sweep against Bdesh

first_imgColombo: Angelo Mathews scored 87 runs Wednesday to inspire Sri Lanka to its first one-day international series sweep in more than three years, defeating Bangladesh by 122 runs in the third and final match. Sri Lanka’s last sweep was a 2-0 series win at in Ireland in June 2016. Choosing to bat after winning the toss, Sri Lanka made 294 for eight in 50 overs, riding on the innings of Mathews. He was well backed by Kusal Mendis who made 54. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne (46) and Kusal Perera (42) also made useful contributions. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhFast-medium bowler Soumya Sarkar took three for 56 while Shafiul Islam had three for 68 for Bangladesh. Sarkar also shone with the bat, top scoring with 69 runs, but a dismal show from the other batsmen resulted in Bangladesh being dismissed for 172 runs with 14 overs to spare. Dimuth Karunaratne and Avishka Fernando opened batting for Sri Lanka but their stand did not last long when Fernando, who top scored with 82 runs in the second match, was out for six runs, trapped lbw by seamer Shafiul Islam. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterKarunaratne and No. 3 batsman Kusal Perera shared 83 runs for the second wicket in 95 balls before Karunaratne (46) was caught by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim trying to scoop left-arm spinet Tailjul Islam. Perera departed soon caught behind by Rahim off pace bowler Rubel Hossain, leaving Sri Lanka 98 for three. Mathews joined Mendis and the pair steadied the Sri Lankan innings sharing 101 runs for the fourth wicket off 121 balls. Mendis mistimed a slow ball from Sarkar and was caught near the boundary by Sabbir Rahman for 54 runs. That was his 16th one-day international half-century. Mathews made 87 runs in 90 balls including eight boundaries and a six. He made good dropped chances on 32 and 63 to reach his second successive half-century score in the series and the 40th of his career. Sri Lanka scored 106 runs in the last 10 overs with Dasun Shanaka scoring 30 off 14 deliveries including two sixes and two boundaries. Bangladesh started its chase poorly, losing captain Tamim Iqbal with just four runs on the board in the second over. Tamim, who had scored zero and 19 in the previous two matches of the series, departed for two runs caught behind by Perera off fast bowler Kasun Rajitha. Anamul Haq and Sarkar added 25 runs for the second wicket before Anamul, who hit two consecutive fours against Rajitha, skied a third for a catch to Fernando. In-form Mushfiqur Rahim, who made two half-centuries in the series including an unbeaten 98 in the second match, was out for 10 caught at slip by Mendis off seamer Shanaka. With wickets falling regularly, Bangladesh was never in the game thereafter. Shanaka took three for 27 while Lahiru Kumara and Rajitha took two wickets apiece. The match was dedicated to Sri Lankan fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara, who has announced his retirement from international cricket.last_img read more

Katie Cassidy Is Coming Back To Arrow But Its Not Quite How

first_imgAdvertisement Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: Katie Cassidy played the beloved “Arrow” character Laurel Lance for four seasons before being killed off. Well, it turns out Cassidy is coming back to her “Arrow” family … but Earth-1’s Laurel Lance is not. Advertisementcenter_img Facebook “One of the things that most excites us about ‘Arrow’ is that we go where the story takes us,” said executive producer Marc Guggenheim in a statement. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cassidy has signed on as a series regular for Season 6. She’ll be reprising her role as Black Siren, Laurel Lance’s doppelgänger.last_img read more

UN rights chief calls for halt to use of excessive force against

The North African country has been rocked by street protests by civilians reportedly angered by rising prices of essential commodities, lack of employment opportunities, alleged corruption and limitations on fundamental rights and freedoms.“Whatever the precise total, I am extremely concerned about the very high number of people killed in Tunisia in recent weeks,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in a statement issued in Geneva. “It is essential that basic international human rights norms and guidelines governing the use of firearms are urgently and strictly adhered to.”Government figures for those killed over the weekend of 8-9 January stand at 21, but human rights organizations have put the death toll much higher. While demonstrations intensified during the past weekend, deaths were also reported in preceding weeks. The protests, which began on 17 December, have continued across the country.Ms. Pillay noted reports which suggest that the majority of protests have been peaceful in nature and that security forces reacted with excessive force in breach of international standards.“It is imperative that the government launch a transparent, credible and independent investigation into the violence and killings,” she said. “If there is evidence that members of the security forces have used excessive force, or conducted extra-judicial killings, they must be arrested, tried and – if found guilty of offences – punished according to the law. It is essential that justice is done, and is seen to be done.” Ms. Pillay also expressed concern over reports of widespread arrests, including of human rights defenders and bloggers advocating fundamental human rights principles such as the freedom of expression, as well as reports of torture and ill-treatment of detainees.“While it is correct that people should be arrested if there is evidence they have committed crimes such as violence or arson, no one should be arrested or harassed for standing up for human rights,” she said. “Human rights defenders and bloggers, arrested solely for their peaceful activities, must be released immediately.”The human rights chief urged the Tunisian government to respond to the underlying causes of the unrest and to draw up policies to ameliorate economic hardship and lift severe limitations on civil liberties, including the freedoms of assembly, the expression of opinion and the right to associate. 12 January 2011The United Nations’ top human rights official today urged the Tunisian government to ensure that its security forces stop using excessive force against demonstrators, and to start credible investigations into deaths that have occurred during recent protests. read more

Redknee surges on Nokia Siemens deal

Redknee Solutions Inc. (TSX:RKN) is buying Nokia Siemens Networks’ business support systems division and acquiring about 1,200 employees in a deal worth up to US$52-million that will expand the Toronto-area company’s global footprint.The acquisition will increase the global footprint of Redknee to more than 90 countries across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, the company said. Redknee, based in Mississauga, Ont., provides infrastructure software for mobile networks. Nokia Siemens is a partnership between Nokia of Finland, one of the world’s biggest cellphone makers, and the German industrial giant Siemens.The stock surged as much as 20% to $1.80 in TSX trading Wednesday.“This planned acquisition marks a significant milestone in Redknee’s long-term growth strategy,” Redknee CEO Lucas Skoczkowski said in a news release. “It would add strong long-standing relationships with new Tier1 operators and expand Redknee’s market share and presence in high growth markets.”The Nokia Siemens business support systems division provides real-time charging, rating, policy, and customer service to more than 130 communication service providers, including half of the top 100 global mobile operators.Redknee will pay US$19.6 million in cash plus a maximum of US$32.7 million post closing.  The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2013.Nokia Siemens Network CEO Rajeev Suri said the transaction supports the company’s transformation to a mobile broadband company.Redknee also released its fourth-quarter financial results on Wednesday. Net income increased to US$1.9 million or three cents per share, compared with $700,000 or a penny per share in the same quarter in 2011. Revenue for the fourth quarter remained flat at $14.5 million compared to same year-ago quarter. read more

Students get behind the scenes with Vauxhall

Vauxhall has opened up its UK manufacturing facilities to young people as part of October’s See Inside Manufacturing initiative.Now in its third year, See Inside Manufacturing has seen a number of UK-based automotive manufacturers open their doors to inspire the next generation of engineers.Hundreds of young people visited Vauxhall’s assembly and warehouse operations in Luton, where it makes the Vivaro van, to gain an insight into the firm’s manufacturing, engineering and supply chain operations, as well as finding out about the plethora of career opportunities available to them.Kelvin Hopkins, MP for Luton North, said, “See Inside Manufacturing is a brilliant initiative supported by Vauxhall and I was delighted to spend time recently touring the Luton plant with pupils from Lealands High School in my Luton North constituency.“I am sure that seeing at first-hand how the excellent Vauxhall Vivaro van is made will have encouraged local young people to give serious thought to a future career in manufacturing.”Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Ratko Nikolic at RK Borac Banja Luka

← Previous Story EHF CL BEST SEVEN (Round 4): Three Croats, Rocha, Lazarov, Skube and Capote Next Story → (VIDEO) NO MORE UNBEATABLE AT DKB BUNDESLIGA: Lubbecke win over RNL Champions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, RK Borac Banja Luka signed a big name – Serbian line-player Ratko Nikolic (36). Former Serbian NT captain and one of the best European line-players from the time when he played in ASOBAL – Portland SAn Antonio, will help Borac to achieve a little better results in the strong competition as SEHA GAZPROM SSL. Team from Banja Luka have only a victory after six matches of the regional competition…In his succesful career, Nikolic has played for RK Crvena zvezda, RK Sintelon, Veszprem, Portland San Antonio, KIF Kolding, RK Vardar Skopje and Dinamo Minsk. Dinamo Minskhandballhandball transfersRatko NikolicRK Borac Banja Luka read more

Lightning Strikes New Report Reveals 10 Most Struck US States

first_img Lightning doesn’t strike twice? In one state, they struck more than 2.4 million times in 2018.New research recently revealed the U.S. states that experienced the most lightning strikes in 2018. Florida had the most strikes per square mile and Texas had the highest overall number of strikes.Texas experienced 2,483,805 negative cloud-to-ground flashes in 2018. Florida experienced 1,385,710 negative cloud-to-ground flashes, but had the highest density of lightning strikes last year. The Sunshine State has the highest average of negative cloud-to-ground flashes per square mile, with 24.Environmental measurement specialist Vaisala announced the findings, part of its Annual Lightning Report, at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting this week held in Phoenix.The Annual Lightning Report, which used data from Vaisala’s National Lightning Detection Network, also showed that Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska made up the rest of the top five states with most lightning strikes in 2019.2018 Top 10 States with the Most Cloud-to-Ground FlashesTexas: 2,483,805Florida: 1,385,710Oklahoma: 958,925Kansas: 928,760Nebraska: 889,019Louisiana: 854,871Arkansas: 768,168Missouri: 711,222New Mexico: 699,719Georgia: 693,776This year’s data show there were nearly two million fewer lightning strikes in the U.S. in 2018 compared to the 10-year average, Vaisala said in a statement.“The likely reason for the reduction is simply that there were fewer big storms,” said Ryan Said, Lightning Research Scientist at Vaisala. “Specifically, there were fewer days with very strong air mass contrasts across the Central Plains and Upper Midwest during the spring and summer of 2018, which contributes to the severe weather season.”Image Credit: Vaisala/Annual Lightning ReportMore on Geek.com:This Cube Lets You Experience the Earth’s Most Extreme ConditionsDust Storm Turns South African Town Blood-RedGlobal Warming Boosts Risk of Lightning-Ignited Fires Stay on target Mini Satellite View of Hurricane Dorian Shows Intense Storm ActivityWild Horses of NC to Ride Out Hurricane With ‘Butts to the Wind’ last_img read more

Recovered pups find comfort in Sitka

first_imgMeet Brandi, Peaches, Bamboo, Hunter, Chuckles, and Boomer.There’s also Taffy, James, Bearhood, Chip and Spot. The fluffy cargo safely arrived at the Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport on Thursday and were promptly whisked away to the animal shelter.Eleven homeless pups landed in Sitka on Thursday (11-5-13). The dogs, recovered from Ketchikan, will be ready to adopt shortly. (Brielle Schaeffer/KCAW photo)The dogs are a long way from home. They are a part of a larger group rescued from a residence in Ketchikan last month, after their owner passed away leaving 40-plus animals. After being recovered by Alaska State Troopers, the dogs were taken to the crowded shelter there until Sitka Animal Control Officer and shelter director Ken Buxton went to get them. And he wanted to get them collared and taken care of as soon as he got on the ground.Buxton mobilized Sitkans to raise money to relieve the Ketchikan shelter. As of Thursday, he gathered some $1,400 to help pay for a chartered Harris Air plane, but it didn’t quite cover the cost. Buxton says he hopes to raise some more funds now that he has the pups here.“Pictures of cute dogs always help,” he said.And they are adorable.“The ugliest one is the cutest dog I’ve ever seen,” Buxton said.He says the pooches are most likely terrier mixes. Some may have a touch of dachshund.“They’re mutts,” he said. “So are we.”Buxton says it’s hard to know their ages, but some may be around 1 year old.“Can’t cut them open and count the rings,” he said, “but whatever life they have left is certainly meaningful.The dogs are related but a few have shaggier hair. A couple short-haired, black ones have matching white tufts of diamond-shaped fur on their chests.Some of them have skin, eye, ear and teeth problems but Buxton is treating them with medication.“The people in Ketchikan started their recovery and we’ll finish these particular dogs recovery over here.”Buxton says the dogs are surprisingly well-behaved considering the circumstances. They get along well and don’t fight over food. The dogs will be open for adoption on Tuesday and ready to take home after getting spayed and neutered.“We don’t have a dog problem the way the other all the southeast communities do,” Buxton said. “And I’ve theorized on it and I’m a firm believer is that part of the reason is the vets around here performing that spay or neuter regardless of somebody’s financial standing.”(Brielle Schaeffer/KCAW photo)Trish and David Durham were part of a team of volunteers who picked up the dogs from the airport. The whole story is a comfort to animal lovers,” David Durham says.“It’s nice to know that in a situation such as this communities can get together to provide homes for perfectly adoptable pets whose pet owner just happened to have a health issue,” he said.Even better than that is the animals will be going to grateful homes in Sitka,” Trish Durham said.“There will be lots of happy families pretty soon,” she said.At this time, Buxton says he is not looking for foster homes for the dogs. He just needs to figure out a walking schedule.The Sitka Animal Shelter already has a waitlist of people who want dogs. If you’re interested in adopting, call the shelter at 747-3567 to set up an appointment.last_img read more

Hyderabad Jewellery shop owners booked for defrauding bank of

first_imgA city-based jewellery shop owners booked for defrauding Indian Overseas Bank to the tune of Rs 75 crore. Mohan Lal Gupta and Prashanth Gupta, directors of Musaddilal Jewellers obtained the loan of Rs 75 crore from the bank and failed to repay the amount. The police registered the case against them under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a forged document as genuine) of the IPC. The police handed over the papers to bank securities and fraud cell (BSFC) for further inquiry.last_img read more

Behind the scenes How BJP got upper hand in Parliament

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) The BJP government proposed the resolution to revoke Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, but it was over three months ago that the party started preparations to ensure smooth passage of the legislations in the Upper House. The responsibility for ensuring this was given to several senior leaders considered close to party chief Amit Shah, said sources. Also Read – Congress MLA Shivakumar moves High Court seeking protection from arrest Advertise With Us A senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader related to the development told IANS: “There were many ambitious Bills that the BJP wanted to pass in its first term (Modi 1.0 government). But due to a lack of majority in the Upper House it could not be passsed.” The party leader said referring to the Triple Talaq Bill, which got stuck in Rajya Sabha as the NDA did not have a majority in the House. Also Read – Enforcement Directorate summons Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar Advertise With Us Thus, keeping in mind the numbers in the Upper House, a strategy was made to convince the top leadership of the opposition parties like Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and the AIADMK to vote on the side of the government. Among the top leaders who were part of this project were Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, Piyush Goyal, who was made the in-charge for Tamil Nadu, Bhupendra Yadav and Om Mathur. Advertise With Us He said the task of reaching out to key opposition leaders started sometime in late April. They spoke to a number of regional party leaders and tried to convince them how the decision on revoking Article 370 was important in national interest and for the benefit of the people of Kashmir. The party leader said that the discussions with the opposition parties went on for over a month before a consensus was built. The numbers went into NDA’s favour as four of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Rajya Sabha MPs on June 20 resigned from their party and joined the BJP. Meanwhile, some opposition members dumped their parties in the middle of the crucial session and announced they were joining the BJP, which has returned to power with a thumping majority in the Lok Sabha. On August 5, the day the resolution to revoke Article 370 came for adoption and also the bill for reorganising Jammu and Kashmir, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu announced resignation of three opposition members — Surendra Singh Nagar and Sanjay Seth of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bhubaneswar Kalita of the Congress. Days earlier, Neeraj Shekhar of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Sanjay Sinh of the Congress had quit from the Rajya Sabha and joined the BJP. According to BJP leaders, the BJP which has 78 members along with three Shiv Sena and three Akali Dal (SAD) members, had a field day as many non-NDA parties such as the BSP, the AIADMK, the AAP, the YSRCP and the BJD supported the government on revoking Article 370 and bifurcation of the state. The AIADMK has 11 members in the Upper House while the BSP has four and the AAP, BJD and YSRCP have three, seven and two members each in the Rajya Sabha. In the end, it was a cakewalk for the ruling party benches when it came to the passage of crucial legislations.last_img read more

Snake charmer dies from cobra bite

first_imgMaguraA snake charmer, who used to rear snakes at his house at Tupi Para village in Sreepur upazila of Magura distirct, died from cobra bite on Sunday evening.The deceased’s family members said Rashedul Biswas, 30, son of late Chhaken Biswas, reared snakes in his house for long.He fell seriously sick after his snake bit him on Saturday morning.He was first taken to local shamans.Later, he died on the way to Faridpur Medical College Hospital on Sunday.last_img

Bangladesh Netherlands ink 2 MoUs

first_imgThe ministry of water resources of Bangladesh signed two MoUs with Dutch institutions on capacity building of the water sector of Bangladesh on Wednesday in the Netherlands. Photo: Prothom AloThe ministry of water resources of Bangladesh signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Dutch institutions on Wednesday in the Netherlands, says a press release.The MoUs were signed with Deltares, a Dutch research organisation involved in water-related research, and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, a world famous Dutch institution involved in education, training and research in water sector.The MoU with the Deltares will enable Bangladesh to have support from Deltares in water research, particularly in the fields of delta planning, river management, policy planning and implementation, management of floods and droughts, water quantity and quality, disaster management, coastal polder management as well as geotechnical, river and coastal engineering, the news release adds. The other MoU with the IHE Delft will enable capacity development of future young water professionals from Bangladesh through tailor-made short courses, MSc and PhD programmes including training courses on basin wide water resources management; joint action research to identify innovative and practical solution for water resources management in Bangladesh; and collaboration regarding proposed international training institute by ministry of water resources of Bangladesh for water resources development and management.Secretary of water resources ministry Kabir Bin Anwar signed the MoUs on behalf of Bangladesh while Jaap Kwadijk, science director of Deltares and Eddy Moors, Rector of IHE Delft signed the respective MoUs on behalf of their respective organisations.Bangladesh ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal joined the MoU signing ceremony at the IHE Delft while director general of Bangladesh Water Development Board Md Mahfuzur Rahman, among others, joined the signing ceremony of the MoUs at Deltares and IHE Delft.last_img read more

Buy This Comic Paper Girls 11

first_imgStay on target Buy This Comic: DEATH ORB #1Buy This Comic: MAN-EATERS #1 Today is Wednesday, better known as New Comic Book Day, the best day of the week. A lot of great comics came out today, but this column is meant to focus on the best of the best, the must have books that should be in everyone’s stack for the week. This week, that comic is Paper Girls #11 from Image Comics, by writer Brian K. Vaughan, artist Cliff Chiang, and colorist Matthew Wilson. Not only is it new comic book day, but it is also #ImageDay, a day meant to celebrate Image Comics’ 25th anniversary!Paper Girls #11(W) Brian K. Vaughan (A) Cliff Chiang (C) Matthew WilsonA BOLD NEW STORYLINE STARTS HERE! The Eisner and Harvey Award-winning “Best New Series” from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG returns, as Erin, Mac, and Tiff any finally reunite with their long-lost friend KJ…only to encounter some horrifying new threats in an unexpected era.via Image ComicsI have to admit; Paper Girls was not one of my favorite series when it first started out. I am a huge fan of Vaughan, Chiang, and Wilson, so I was beyond excited when it was announced two years ago. However, when the first issue came out in October of 2015, I didn’t love it. Vaughan normally grabs me with the first issue, like he did with Saga, or Y The Last Man, or Runaways. The first issue of Paper Girls just seemed to give me a few characters that I knew barely anything about, and a lot of abstract ideas, but nothing that left me thinking about it days later like most of his books. This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy it, or want more, it just wasn’t an instant sell for me.Artist Cliff Chiang and colorist Matthew Wilson’s work on the first issue is what left a lasting impression, some of their strongest work, having recently come off of DC Comics’ New 52 iteration of Wonder Woman with writer Brian Azzarello. Chiang’s great sense of characters in relation to the space they inhabit is one of my favorite things. He knows how to make a lot of characters in a small room feel tight, tense, and claustrophobic, or when everyone is outside in the open space, making them feel small and at risk. Wilson’s colorist work is something that I follow all over every publisher, especially with his frequent collaborators like Chiang, Jamie McKelvie, and Kris Anka. He works to compliment the artist, with simple but bold flat colors on Paper Girls.via Image ComicsThankfully, here we are, eleven issues later, and Paper Girls has become one of my favorite books month to month. While it feels as if very few questions have been answered since that first issue, Vaughan’s character work is what keeps me coming back. A lot of comparisons have been made to Stranger Things, in that both feature pre-teens in the 1980’s, as they venture out into the weird and unknown, but the strongest comparison for me is how well it captures the group dynamic of the kids. Paper Girls‘ Erin, Mac, KJ, and Tiffany have a dynamic that works so well. Initially, all coming across as archetypes, they slowly have all come out of their shell over the course of the first two arcs. Issue #11 finds them in a new setting, after the cliffhanger in volume two, and it is the first time all four of them have been together in awhile.Image Comics, notably Vaughan’s Saga with artist Fiona Staples, tend to take a hiatus in between the release of volumes, which is where this issue picks up, as the beginning of volume three. While the hiatus can be jarring in the sense that months will go by in which you don’t read your favorite series, they are always worth the wait. If creators need to take a break every so often to ensure that they’re telling the best story possible, I have no complaints. Paper Girls #11 is available today in stores or online at Comixology.2/1/2017 Releases – In addition to Paper Girls #11, here is a list of other new titles that came out this week that you should also be reading if you are not already.Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1 from BOOM! Studios and DC Comics, writers Justin Jordan and Robbie Thompson, and artist Barnaby Bagenda. Read our review of the first issue here!Shade, The Changing Girl #5 from DC Comics, writer Cecil Castellucci, and artist Marley Zarcone.The Unstoppable Wasp #2 from Marvel Comics, writer Jeremy Whitley, artist Elsa Charretier, and colorist Megan Wilson.last_img read more