Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will holding a town hall at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.It’s the latest in a series of cross-country question-and-answer sessions the Prime Minister has been holding with Canadians.You can watch it live here at 6 p.m. Mountain.Trudeau said the town halls are an opportunity for citizens to engage with him directly “about what’s on their minds, to give people an opportunity to participate in a fundamental democratic process about holding their leaders to account.”One of the topics expected to be on people’s minds tonight is allegations of sexual misconduct which resulted in the resignations of sports minister Kent Hehr and Conservative leaders in Nova Scotia and Ontario.Trudeau said they are doing the best they can “on a case-by-case basis” when it comes to dealing with harassment and abuse within party ranks.“I don’t have a rule book that’s been handed down to me from Wilfrid Laurier as leader of the Liberal party on how to handle these situations,” Trudeau said on Tuesday. “Every case will be different, but we need to make sure that we’re doing right in every given situation.”
TOKYO — Shares tumbled in Asia early Monday after President Donald Trump threatened in a tweet to impose more tariffs on China.The Shanghai Composite index sank 4.8% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong plunged 3.5%. Markets were closed in Japan. The future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.9% to 25,996.00, while that for the S&P 500 also shed 1.9%, to 2,892.00.Trump’s comments came a Chinese delegation was due to resume talks in Washington on Wednesday aimed at resolving a tariffs battle that has rattled world markets.Apparently catching Beijing by surprise, Trump said he would raise import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese products to 25% from 10%.The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources, said China’s government was considering cancelling this week’s talks.The Associated Press
19 March 2008Conditions in the North Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are still conducive to the return of some 20,000 refugees now in Tanzania and Zambia despite recent agitation against the United Nations Mission there, known as MONUC, the mission said today. MONUC became alarmed after fliers were distributed in the town of Moba, warning of violent anti-UN rallies, under the pretext that the mission favours the return of Banyamulenge, who are not natives of the region, to the area. The demonstrations, planned for 15 March, did not take place and an interdisciplinary team ascertained that conditions were calm after holding meetings with Congolese and international security and humanitarian officers.The team also concluded that all necessary steps have been taken to protect civilians and UN infrastructure and personnel in the area, where the Organization’s facilities were attacked in August 2007 because of similar rumours about the Banyamulenge.They reported that, to dispel the rumours, the Beninese detachment of MONUC invited local authorities, journalists, and members of the civil society to visit its camp to see for themselves that no members of that ethnic group were hidden there. It also reported that the new administrator of the territory, Mulobe Kalala, attested to the population’s positive attitude and indicated that joint patrols of MONUC, the Congolese army and the national police have been carried out since last week. Mr. Kalala also minimized the impact of the fliers on the inhabitants, indicating that only a few troublemakers, who have no support from the wider population, were involved in the incident.According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), repatriation of refugees from Tanzania and Zambia to North Katanga is set to resume on 2 May.In other news from the DRC, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) said that a Reuters report today on Congolese police actions in the Province of Bas Congo is a recap of recent actions, not a report of anything new, though the situation remains tense.In addition, many clashes have been reported in the provinces of Ituri and North and South Kivu in the east of the vast country, which is beset by recalcitrant militias as it recovers from a devastating civil war.
The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 12 Indian fishermen and confiscated three mechanised fishing boats on the alleged charges of fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Island Nation on Sunday, UNI India reported.Fisheries officials said the incarcerated fishermen hailed from Rameswaram. They were arrested while fishing near the controversial Katchatheevu Island.The fishermen were later remanded to judicial custody till February 8 by Talaimannar court.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Anne Flaherty, The Associated Press Posted Apr 24, 2013 2:26 am MDT WASHINGTON – Warning consumers that industry has failed to protect their privacy online, a top Senate Democrat said Wednesday that he will press legislation this year that would create a universal “Do Not Track” option for consumers and penalize companies that fail to honour it.“The American people are smart,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “They are going to figure this out. And as they figure this out, they better like what they see if the Internet is going to prosper.”Rockefeller’s proposal could face an uphill battle in a divided Senate already consumed with immigration and the budget. But his comments put renewed pressure on an industry struggling desperately to escape regulation.The online privacy debate has mostly stumped Congress and prompted a tempered reaction from the Obama administration, mindful of consumers’ concerns but reluctant to crush a growing industry in a difficult economy. Last year, the White House unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” calling on industry to give consumers more control over their personal information and suggesting Congress pass legislation to enforce it.But while everyone agrees that people should be given a choice to opt out of data collection and online tracking, advertising businesses and privacy groups remain at odds over how to implement it. Much of the debate focuses on whether consumers should have to click an opt-out button, or if their browser should automatically do it for them.Rockefeller said Wednesday that voluntary efforts by industry have fallen short because some online advertisers ignore consumer requests not to be tracked. His bill would subject businesses to penalties by the Federal Trade Commission if they do.“I do not believe that companies with business models based on the collection and monetization of personal information will voluntarily stop those practices if it negatively impacts their profit margins,” Rockefeller said.Industry is pushing back. The Digital Advertising Alliance points to its Web-based icon program that links consumers to an opt-out site of participating advertisers. They say some 20 million people have visited their site and only 1 million of those consumers chose to opt out of all ad tracking. Testifying at the hearing, Mastria said he thinks the industry has “delivered basically in principle” what Rockefeller proposes through legislation.“Consumers are very pragmatic people,” Lou Mastria, managing director of the Digital Advertising Alliance, said in an interview this week. “They want free content. They understand there’s a value exchange. And they’re OK with it.”The Do Not Track proposal is part of a broader debate about online privacy that includes what sensitive data might be collected from a person’s mobile device. Because a smartphone can divulge a person’s location, the FTC warned in a recent report that detailed profiles of a person’s movements can be collected over time and in surprising ways, revealing a person’s habits and patterns and making them vulnerable to stalking or identity theft.Some researchers also say they suspect retailers are engaging in “price discrimination” — the practice of setting a price based on personal data, such as the average home price in their area or a person’s proximity to a competitor.Another concern is that companies might determine a person’s eligibility for certain products and services based on information collected online, potentially violating credit reporting and fair lending laws.“I think there should be obligations for companies to tell you what information they have about you” and give you the opportunity to correct it, said Justin Brookman of the Center for Democracy and Technology.Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, told the Senate panel that he thinks many of the privacy concerns cited with data collection are worst-case scenarios that probably won’t happen. In the end, he said, data collection is merely “creepy” and might not warrant legislation.“I think a lot of my neighbours are creepy, but I don’t think they’re harmful,” Thierer said. Senate chairman: Online advertisers ignoring ‘Do Not Track’ request, legislation needed
Citing a host of crises, from conflicts to natural disasters, Prince Albert II of Monaco today called for increased resources for the United Nations office that coordinates international relief for humanitarian emergencies. “The evolution of elements which engender humanitarian emergency situations in effect demands that we examine the means for intervention which our Organisation has at its disposal,” he told the General Assembly on the first day of its annual General Debate. “Conflicts, natural catastrophes, climate change, environmental degradation: we must acknowledge that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to which I express my profound gratitude, must have the necessary means and resources to carry out the mandate with which we have entrusted it.”OCHA was set up in 1998, replacing the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA), with an expanded mandate to mobilize effective humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies, advocate the rights of people in need, promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.In a wide-ranging speech that touched on many of the crises and challenges facing the world, Prince Albert cited the post-2015 development agenda which is the theme of the this year’s General Assembly, the world body’s 68th. He joined many leaders in discussing that and other issues of national and international concern during today’s session of the Debate, which warps up on 1 October. The year 2015 is the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that set specific goals on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a global partnership for development, and Assembly President John Ashe has said the current sessions must lay the groundwork for global sustainable development in the years following the end of the current development cycle.“It is in a sombre international context that we are going to define the post-2015 development agenda, which will set the foundation stone of our Organization’s work and will be a crucial element for basing its political legitimacy for the decades to come,” the prince said. He also called for limiting human activities that adversely affect the climate and the environment, condemned the use of chemical; weapons and the suffering of civilians in the Syrian civil warm and deplored recent militant attacks in Kenya, Iraq and Pakistan.“The stakes are high,” Prince Albert concluded. “Those of us who wish to reaffirm the central place of our Organization in international governance must endow it with the means to ensure this leadership role by being ambitious and resolute in our mission.”
BMW Group is celebrating today as the three-millionth engine has been produced at its UK engine plant at Hams Hall, near Birmingham. The power unit – a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine – will be despatched to the MINI plant at Oxford, destined for a car to be built for the emerging Indian market.The announcement follows a record year of manufacturing in 2011, as well as the news in November that facilities are to be upgraded at the Hams Hall plant to enable production of a new generation of low-emission petrol and diesel engines.“This is a fantastic milestone for Plant Hams Hall,” said Plant Director, Nick Spencer. “Our 800-strong workforce is proud to be playing an important role within BMW Group’s global production network, building engines in the UK for cars sold in many countries around world and contributing to the success of the iconic MINI brand.”MINI made its debut in the premium small car segment in India earlier this year marking MINI’s 100th export market, where three exclusive outlets are being established.Business Minister, Mark Prisk said, “BMW’s three-millionth engine in a MINI that’s now exported to 100 countries is emblematic of the current success of the UK auto sector. Last year UK automotive exports were up 15% at an all time high of £29.5 billion in cash terms and engine production increased nearly 5% to 2.5 million units.”High-tech, fuel-efficient four-cylinder petrol engines have been built at Plant Hams Hall for over a decade. The UK-built engines are supplied, in sequence, to production plants in Germany, Austria and Oxford and currently power the BMW X1, BMW 1 Series and the recently launched new BMW 3 Series, as well as all MINI petrol models.The UK is the only place in the world where all three of the BMW Group brands – BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce – are represented by manufacturing operations. For more information about UK automotive manufacturing, download Motor Industry Facts 2012.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedVenezuelan remanded on multiple chargesSeptember 27, 2016In “Court”Man pleads guilty to fraud charges; sentenced to one year in jailFebruary 4, 2015In “Crime”Land Fraudster remanded to prisonSeptember 27, 2013In “Crime” A 57-year-old man was remanded to prison when he appeared earlier today (Tuesday) before Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, on fraud charges.Clayton AlleyneClayton Alleyne, a resident of Bel Air, Georgetown pleaded not guilty when he was read three charges for collecting money under false pretense.The first charge stated that between November 3 2016 and February 8 2017, Alleyne obtained cash in the sum of $516,000 from Samuel Manbodh under the pretense that he would make a $4M loan available to him. The second charge also stated that during the same time period he collected $700,000 from Dolan Lulchand promising that he would be given a $5M loan. The court heard that the final charge was that during the same time frame, he obtained $415,000 cash from Kezia Shepherd after promising to make a loan of $3.4M available to her.The accused was refused bail on the grounds that he has several other fraud charges to be filed against him since the investigations are still ongoing. Also, Alleyne was previously charged for a similar offence and was granted bail.He is expected to return to court on May 19 2017.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently issued a Revised Approval Modification Program (RAMP) for Tunnel Radio of America’s Model TR-MX-332, MineAx RFID tracking system. The company says that “while underground coal and hard rock mines with UHF leaky feeder networks throughout the country have already been relying on MineAx tracking to ensure miner safety, increased efficiency and MSHA compliance, the issuance of this new RAMP substantially means that now mines with VHF leaky feeder communications will be able to enjoy the same ‘peace of mine’ that comes from having a MineAx tracking system. The MineAx tracking system will work in conjunction with not only a Tunnel Radio installed cable network; but it will also work in conjunction with cable networks installed by other providers. So, if a mine that is currently using a Leaky Feeder network, either UHF or VHF, either installed by Tunnel Radio or by someone else, the MineAx Tracking System will provide tracking for your underground miners.The UHF/VHF Tracking system which works alongside the company’s MSHA Approved UltraComm leaky feeder communication system uses wireless readers and high power RFID tag units to provide personnel and/or asset location information on the surface of an underground mine or other facility. Tunnel Radio’s design allows for both voice communication and tracking to operate on a single cable. The ‘triple reader’ monitors three zones concurrently providing the continuous coverage as required by the MSHA PPL P09-V-01. The system’s capture software provides for secure tag to server communications, personnel location viewable overlaid on a mine map, and detailed history reports. Through an association with HSC Industrial and its distribution network, the UHF system has already been successfully installed in at least 25 coal mines in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. According to Tom Hughes, President of HSC Industrial, the systems are receiving rave reviews from mine managers, safety personnel and miners alike. Recently, the VHF version of MineAx Tracking was successfully installed in a western US mine.The MineAx Wireless RFID system provides personnel and/or asset location information to the surface from an underground mine or other facility. Through its integrated network, the MineAx system determines the location of personnel by using receiver nodes in underground mine applications. All this is accomplished via the existing leaky feeder network, no additional cables are required.The wireless reader/radio unit collects RFID information as the tag passes within range of the reader antenna system; attaches a time stamp and stores said tag data; and, when polled via the two-way radio network, wirelessly transfers the tag ID and location data to a capture computer on the surface for decoding and display. Three zones may be reported via a single three-port reader unit.Tag information/location data are shown based on actual tag read time, not computer time. Reader units may be located up to more than 60 m from the radio network and still provide data connectivity. All collected data are secure. The capture software is extensive and incorporates tabular and map import capabilities. In the mapping mode, personnel and equipment locations may be displayed through the use of a variety of user selected icons.
Graphite demand has long been shaped by trends in steel, but this is set to change as lithium-ion battery applications surge ahead to become the No. 1 graphite market by 2026. Roskill’s new report Natural and Synthetic Graphite: Global Industry, Markets and Outlook to 2026, was published in May 2017 and includes comprehensive data on producers and consumers of graphite as well as in-depth analysis and forecast prices for the next ten years.Traditional steel-based markets include electrodes for electric arc furnace (EAF) steel making (currently the major market for synthetic graphite), refractory furnace linings (the major market for natural graphite), foundry sands for ferrous casting and steelmaking recarburisers. Rising production of crude steel in an industrialising China previously supported graphite growth but as China reaches peak steel output, global steel production has slowed and growth is expected to average just 1-2%/y to 2026.Elsewhere, graphite suppliers are buoyant with optimistic forecasts for growth in emerging electric vehicles (EV) and energy storage system (ESS) markets. The large size, high performance lithium-ion batteries used in these applications actually require far more graphite than lithium. As EV and lithium-ion ESS penetration rates rise in China and the rest of the world, Roskill forecasts total global graphite demand in battery applications to rise by 16-26%/y to 2026.Cities worldwide are coming under increasing pressure to cut pollution levels and EVs could provide an answer. Their uptake is being encouraged with impressive automotive electrification targets and new incentives worldwide. Tesla is ramping up lithium-ion battery production at its US ‘Gigafactory’ and is expected to announce a second factory to supply Europe later in 2017. Three other large plants could open in Europe by 2018, operated by BMC, LG Chem and Samsung SDI.Natural and synthetic graphite compete for use as a lithium-ion battery anode material, with China dominating the supply chain for both. Since the late 2000s, China has produced an increasing amount of spherical graphite via the high level processing of natural flake graphite, which now competes with synthetic graphite for use in lithium-ion batteries. Despite the high cost of spherical production, it is typically more price competitive than primary synthetic graphite. Synthetic graphite is still more widely used in China thanks to the prevalence of lower cost secondary synthetic graphite, sourced as waste material from graphite electrode manufacture. Synthetic graphite prices have also fallen in recent years as a result of the weakening electrode market.Production of spherical graphite is currently confined to China because of cost and environmental concerns. Even here, flake graphite processing plant inspections are carried out frequently to improve environmental operating standards. Chinese production of flake graphite fell by around 30% in 2016 with the latest round of temporary closures.China will continue to control lithium-ion battery supply chains over the next decade. China is the largest producer of synthetic graphite, flake graphite, spherical graphite, lithium-ion battery anode materials, anodes and the batteries themselves. Consolidation of the Chinese flake graphite market continues, with the largest anode materials manufacturer, Shenzhen BTR New Energy Material, now backwardly integrated into flake graphite production. A number of potential flake graphite producers outside of China are developing less environmentally damaging methods of spherical graphite production in an attempt to establish a supply chain outside of China but have yet to prove these methods commercially.In January 2017, China withdrew its 20% export tax on exports of natural graphite but this move had negligible impact on the already low price of graphite through the first half of 2017. Graphite prices are expected to rise in the coming years with increasing battery demand.China’s current high levels of overcapacity and stocks are expected to meet even the most robust demand forecasts for graphite in the short term as production levels increase from existing Chinese producers. Whether supply can meet demand in the long term, to 2026, depends on the ability for new producers worldwide to bring their graphite projects on-stream. In mid-2017, around 30 projects outside China had advanced to scoping study or beyond with a total planned capacity of 1.35 Mt/y, over 1 Mt/y of which could come from Africa.Syrah Resources plans to begin production of flake graphite in Mozambique in 2017, followed by a ramp up to full capacity of 380,000 t/y. The picture shows trial recarburiser briquettes from its Balama project.Major changes are happening to the structure of the synthetic graphite industry as poor performance in electrodes has led to capacity closures in Europe, Japan and North America, while new plants are opening in the emerging Asian market. An increasing amount of remaining capacity is being given over to lithium-ion battery powder production. In October 2016, the Japanese lithium-ion battery anode material manufacturer Showa Denko agreed to purchase SGL Carbon’s synthetic graphite electrode business. Then, in February 2017, Imerys Graphite & Carbon acquired Nippon Power Graphite of Japan, which has a patented CVD coating technology for the production of lithium-ion battery anode materials.
← Previous Story Thierry Omeyer to end with France after WCh 2017? Next Story → VIDEO: Slovenian “zeppelin” in Flensburg Dragan AdzicWomens EHF Champions League EHF Champions League website published the results of the poll in which participated the coaches of the Women’s EHF Champions League teams a week before the official start of the season. They choose BEST 7 players with Romanian princess Cristina Neagu, who gathered the highest number of votes.Her coach from ŽRK Budućnost Podgorica, Dragan Adžić, is the most respected coach in the women’s European elite competition in this moment, while the best atmosphere making fans in Gyor’s Audi Arena!The coaches “Dream Team” for the 2015/16 Women’s EHF Champions League season:Goalkeeper: Katrine Lunde (Rostov)Left wing: Siraba Dembele (Vardar)Left back: Cristina Neagu (Buducnost)Centre back: Nycke Groot (Györ)Right back: Katarina Bulatovic (Buducnost)Right wing: Radmila Petrovic (Buducnost)Line player: Heidi Löke (Györ)PHOTO: Aleksandar Djorovic
(Toti Navales/AP)#IRAN: World leaders failed last night to reach a deal to freeze Tehran’s nuclear programme, though there was an agreement to hold another round of talks. [The Wall Street Journal]#TEXAS: Two people were killed and 22 injured in a “chaotic” house party shooting in the state. [Associated Press]INNOVATIONTeenagers are ditching Facebook in favour of messenger apps, just as parents are starting to get the hand of social networking sites. [The Guardian]A new study has suggested that a ban on ozone depleting-chemicals may have paused global warming. [BBC]PARTING SHOTWill a bee die if it stings you? We decided to find out…Here’s What Happened Yesterday> NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a roundup of today’s news.Wreaths laid at the cenotaph at Belfast City Hall in Northern Ireland (Image: Paul Faith/PA).IRISHA man in his 60s was stabbed to death in Limerick.The wrongful removal of a Roma boy from his family in Athlone was blamed on a lack of communication between agencies.Irish political leaders marked Remembrance Day.Gerry Adams said he has never shirked his responsibility on the issue of ‘The Disappeared‘.The European Commission has called on Dublin City Council to end a contract for services and public relations at the Poolbeg incinerator. [RTÉ]The IMO accused James Reilly of ‘racing ahead’ with the extension of free GP care.Concern was expressed about proposed amendments to the new Freedom of Information bill. WORLD#PHILIPPINES: As many as 10,000 people are believed dead after a massive typhoon hit the Philippines with aid workers from one Irish charity reporting roads to affected areas ‘blocked due to dead bodies’.
Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target ESA Satellite Avoids Potential Collision With SpaceX Starlink CraftSpaceX’s Starhopper Aces Final Test Flight in Texas Today marked one of the most historic in the history of modern space flight. Not since the last of the mighty Saturn Vs lofted Apollo 17 skyward has such a powerful rocket made a successful launch. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy — which is really just three of its smaller Falcon 9 rockets strapped together — has made its maiden voyage, carrying Elon Musk’s own midnight cherry red Tesla Roadster to Mars.After some delays due to weather, the launch started at TKTK, continuing through its planned stages. First, it kicked off the two extra Falcon 9 rockets, then it deployed its next stage, blasting away from Earth on a billion-year journey through our solar system.What makes this launch so important is just the sheer size of the rocket. No one on Earth has successfully has successfully deployed a super-heavy-lift rocket since the Soviet Energia in the late 80s, and even that wasn’t made to be as flexible or reusable as SpaceX’s systems.Launch auto-sequence initiated (aka the holy mouse-click) for 3:45 liftoff #FalconHeavy— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2018Instead, the next stop for Musk and pals is the dark side of the moon. As early as this year, a pair of anonymous astronauts may make the first civilian trek around the far side of our natural satellite. From there, it’s a bit hard to see Musk or SpaceX slowing down.Launch auto-sequence initiated (aka the holy mouse-click) for 3:45 liftoff #FalconHeavy— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2018This launch has been a long time coming, too. Early complications with the reusable Falcon 9s resulted in damage to one of the most important launch pads at Cape Canaveral. On top of that, as Musk himself has often lamented — strapping three rockets together wasn’t quite as easy as the team had hoped. The way the forces interact, and the strain of keeping all of the rocket nozzles pointing in the exact right place, plus the aerodynamic strain on the connections between rocket cores all add up to a monumental challenge for even the best engineers.“Space is hard.”An old rocket scientists’ maxim, “Space is hard,” often reflects the paradoxical nature of space flight. On the one hand, it’s simple. Put a heavy thing in the sky. Not a lot of steps. But, unfortunately, when you’re fighting against a planet’s worth of gravity, things get really complicated — and hard — really damn fast. But today, SpaceX managed to pull off one of the most challenging flights in history. Made all the more complicated by SpaceX’s impressive attempt to recover as many of the Falcon Heavy pieces as possible. That, more so than the strength or power or rarity of a launch like this is the game changer.When stuff is hard, it’s usually pretty damned expensive to pull off. Whether it’s brain surgery, a giant dam, or spaceflight. But Musk and SpaceX’s signature innovation has been their ability to recover significant pieces of the rocket after launch. This lets them recycle giant machines that often rival the height of the Statue of Liberty. Yeah, the fuel for a launch is expensive, as is the launch pad and everything else that goes into it, but what really costs the big bucks is making the ginormous structures and vehicles required. It’s not quite known yet just how successful SpaceX has been today in recovering their trio of Falcon 9 rocket cores. The primary boosters made it back to their pads perfectly, but the central rocket has not yet been confirmed to land on its drone ship in the Atlantic. This is an unqualified and mind-blowing success and marks the very first time anything like this has happened. When the Saturn V took American astronauts to the surface of the Moon, it just didn’t bother with any of the recycling malarkey. Using raw might and millions of pounds of rocket fuel just to get those intrepid explorers into the inky black of space. Today, though marks the first steps humanity has taken not just towards a new future, but an interplanetary one.Topping it all, with that classic, Muskian braggadocio, as the Musk’s Tesla whips around our solar system at many thousands of miles an hour, it will play “Space Oddity” on repeat. And I can think of no greater honor for Major Tom than this ridiculous, bombastic send-off.
Nature: 1, nurture: 0.After spending nearly a year aboard the International Space Station, American astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth in 2016—only to find that his DNA had changed.One half of the NASA Twins Study examining the effects of long-term space flight on the human body, Scott orbited our planet for 340 days, while his identical twin brother, Mark, stayed home.Following a triumphant homecoming, Scott, still readapting to Earth’s gravity, became a NASA lab rat, completing tests to determine changes in his pre- and post-flight status.Most biological fluctuations quickly reached baseline; some took hours or days, while a few persisted after six months.Unlike Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, who claimed to have grown 9 cm (3.5 inches) during his trip to the cosmos, Kelly came home an impressive 2 inches taller than his twin.“Scott’s telomeres (endcaps of chromosomes that shorten as one ages) actually became significantly longer in space,” according to NASA. Unfortunately, the growth spurt didn’t last long; the majority of those telomeres shrunk within two days of landing.“Another interesting find concerned what some call the ‘space gene,’” the Administration said.Researchers believe that 93 percent of Scott’s genes have returned to normal. The remaining 7 percent, however, suggest long-term changes in genes related to the immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia.“I did read in the newspaper the other day… that 7 percent of my DNA had changed permanently,” he told broadcaster Marketplace in a recent interview. “And I’m reading that, I’m like, ‘Huh, well that’s weird.’”The good news is, Scott’s cognitive performance, compared to his retired-astronaut brother, hasn’t decreased much.The only identical twin astronauts in history, the Kellys provided a perfect opportunity for a nature-versus-nurture study. Of course, no two people are exactly alike (especially after spending some time outside Earth’s atmosphere). So it’s hard to know how others might react to an extended period of weightlessness.But, this has brought NASA one step closer to understanding the dangers of a three-year mission to Mars.The space agency expects to publish all Twins Study findings, as well as a series of smaller research papers, later this year. NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendHubble Captures Saturn’s ‘Phonograph Record’ Ring System Stay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
DENVER — Federal and local agencies will try to speed up efforts to thin vegetation that could fuel catastrophic wildfires and threaten water supplies or hydroelectric facilities, federal officials said Friday.The Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership was announced at Horsetooth Reservoir near Fort Collins by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. It will focus on accelerating forest restoration around reservoirs, dams, irrigation systems and hydroelectric projects to reduce the risk of intense fires.“When a forest fire takes place, it can compromise the water supply that is in those reservoirs,” Vilsack said. “Sediment can build up, and the ash created by fires can cause huge problems downstream in terms of water quality.”The partnership will help agencies leverage resources to reduce the risk of rivers and water projects getting sullied, Vilsack said.The U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are launching the effort with a pilot project northern Colorado, where the High Park Fire burned last year.The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and Colorado State Forest Service will work with the federal agencies on forest thinning and prescribed burns. The work also will include reseeding and restoring burned forests so not as much sediment will run off from burned areas.
Former Washougal City Councilman Michael Delavar, left, and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas Looks like the rain will be back this weekend. Check the forecast here.This week’s top stories and news you may have missed:Nov. 5 ElectionAre you ready for Tuesday’s election? Check out our election page for help with your ballot. Herrera Beutler draws Republican challenger in 2014A Republican has emerged to challenge U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in the 2014 election. Washougal airline pilot Michael Delavar, a board member of the Clark County Republican Party and a former Washougal City Council member, announced over the weekend that he intends to run against the Camas Republican. He said he’s unhappy with Herrera Beutler’s voting record on budget issues and her support of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which affirmed President Obama’s authority to detain U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism involvement.“I am tired of congressional representatives, like Herrera Beutler, playing political theater with the budget,” Delavar said in his announcement. “There are solutions to the budget dilemmas, but kicking the can down the road only increases the size of the correction.” Delavar was one of 14 Clark County GOP board members to send a letter to Herrera Beutler earlier this month that criticized her vote to end the partial government shutdown and extend the nation’s borrowing limit. In the letter, the board said her vote was a disappointing surrender in the fight to reduce the nation’s debt.
WILMINGTON, MA — Dianna DiGregorio was named 2018 Wilmington Good Guy at the 50th Annual Good Guy Ceremony on Friday, May 11 at the Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall.DiGregorio was recognized for making a significant impact on the Wilmington community through her volunteer work, which includes:Wilmington Fourth of July Committee (24-year member)Wilmington Community Fund PresidentWilmington Food Pantry lead volunteerWilmington Adopt-A-Family Holiday Program lead volunteerWilmington Shredding Day lead volunteerFounder of Wilmington Library’s Community Roundtable programMember of Wilmington Library’s Mass Memories Roadshow CommitteeMember of Wilmington Library’s Strategic Planning CommitteeThroughout the evening, DiGregorio was roasted by Wilmington dignitaries, some of her fellow volunteers who nominated her for the award, and multiple family members.DiGregorio was praised for “her commitment to give back to the place she’s called her home her entire life,” “her incredible dedication to others,” and “her willingness to give countless hours to the Fourth of July Committee, Food Pantry, Adopt-A-Family program, and Library, all with a kind spirit, a smile, and a loving heart.” She was also complimented on her bowling prowess.“I can’t think of a nicer person to receive this award. No one does volunteerism better than these two people right here,” said Selectman Mike McCoy in his speech, pointing to Dianna and her husband Michael.(NOTE: Wilmington Apple hopes to have a complete recap of the ceremony in the coming days. Cover photo from Fourth of July Committee’s website.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip?Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPHOTOS: Dianna DiGregorio Named 2018 Wilmington Good GuyIn “Photo of the Day”VIDEO: Watch 2019 Wilmington Good Guy Award CeremonyIn “Videos”Mike Burns Named 2019 Wilmington Good Guy (with PHOTOS)In “Community”
Best places in space to search for alien life The planned wide-field telescope will also come equipped with an advanced coronagraph, which will allow for some of the first and most detailed images of planets beyond our solar system. Right now, telescopes like NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) spot distant planets primarily by looking for blips in the light from their host stars as they pass in front of them. But Wfirst’s coronagraph will offer a major leap forward that should allow us to get a closer look at individual exoplanets, their atmospheres and even potential biosignatures that could be an indication that life is present. “It’s also reasonable to note that not only will Wfirst help us answer very compelling science questions that are different from what we can answer with JWST, the risk and cost of Wfirst are considerably lower,” added AAS President Megan Donahue. “NASA could start building Wfirst tomorrow, for less money than the same mission would cost 5-10 years from now. There is no scientific or engineering reason for Wfirst to be delayed.”Wfirst was also the highest priority mission in NASA’s most recent decadal survey. Every ten years, the agency surveys the science community to determine which projects are most important and Wfirst basically won the gold medal in 2010. Work has already started in earnest on Wfirst with the re-polishing of the mirrors and testing of the telescope’s detectors, according to Spergel. The National Reconnaissance Office, which develops spy satellites for the US Department of Defense, donated two surplus mirrors to NASA and one was designated for Wfirst. “If NASA stops building WFIRST in the middle of its construction, it will be highly wasteful and will abandon our leadership in these areas of astrophysics,” he told me.A previous Trump administration budget also proposed canceling Wfirst a year ago.But in 2018, Congress ultimately restored funding for Wfirst in the final budget that NASA is currently operating under, and which the President just recently signed into law. So, for now, the future of Wfirst remains in legislative limbo until Capitol Hill and the White House hash out a final budget. “The cancellation of Wfirst would set a dangerous precedent and severely weaken a decadal-survey process that has established collective scientific priorities for a world-leading program for a half century,” AAS executive officer Kevin Marvel said at the time in a release. “We cannot allow such drastic damage to the field of astronomy, the impacts of which would be felt for more than a generation.” 9 26 Photos Share your voice Tags Sci-Tech Looking deeper into the universe also means looking back further in time, to study some of the very first stars and galaxies. Wfirst is smaller than JWST but has a wide field of view and can see in both infrared and visible light. This broader vantage point on deep space makes it better for looking at the universe on a large scale and therefore better for studying elusive and invisible but likely abundant aspects of existence, like dark matter and dark energy.To put it another way, imagine you want to learn not about the universe, but something a little more comprehensible, like the ecosystem along the shore of a beautiful high mountain lake. JWST is kind of like the microscope you might use to look at samples of the ecosystem close-up, whereas Wfirst is more like a photographer’s wide-angle lens with a bunch of fancy filters that can provide a better view of the whole scene, allowing you to survey the broader habitat for wildlife.”They are two very different telescopes with very different missions,” astronomer, former Sky and Telescope editor and current American Astronomical Society (AAS) Press Officer Rick Fienberg told me. “Wfirst … is designed to address questions we are asking now and that can’t be addressed, with few exceptions, by JWST.” Artist’s Rendering of Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) NASA For the second time in the past two years, the Trump administration has proposed canceling a planned space telescope that could help us search for life on distant exoplanets, unlock the mysteries of dark energy and explain the universe’s other persistent puzzles. The White House released its proposed budget for the next fiscal year this week that cuts funding for a number of science programs across departments. While NASA fared relatively well, the budget still seeks to completely zero out the space agency’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (Wfirst), which would follow the oft-delayed James Webb Space Telescope.”The Budget proposes to terminate the Wfirst mission. Given delays and cost growth with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Administration is not ready to proceed with another multi-billion-dollar space telescope,” reads one of the proposed budget documents. The JWST is set to become the more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, but the project has run into problems, cost overruns and delays. It’s now targeting launch in 2021.Wfirst, on the other hand, has always been meant to launch after JWST with different science goals.”Wfirst and JWST are highly complementary,” said Princeton University astronomy professor David Spergel, who is a co-chair on the WFIRST science team. “JWST stares deeply at small regions of the sky and will give us detailed information about individual objects while Wfirst will map large regions of the sky.” NASA Space Comments
Pakistani residents walk on a bridge in the mountainous area of Balakot where the Indian Air Force (IAF) launched a raid, on 26 February, 2019. Photo: AFPIndia and Pakistan have fought two wars and countless skirmishes over Kashmir, the Himalayan region claimed in full by both nuclear-armed rivals.But rarely have ground troops or air forces crossed the heavily militarised de facto border between the two foes, known as the Line of Control (LoC), in Kashmir.Here are some of the major clashes between the South Asian enemies over the flashpoint mountainous territory.- 1947 -The first war breaks out over Kashmir after partition divides the subcontinent into India and Pakistan. The maharaja of Kashmir, the local ruler, accedes to India as tribal fighters from Pakistan launch attacks.- 1965 -India and Pakistan fight a second brief war over Kashmir before a ceasefire is declared.- 1971 -India and Pakistan fight another war, not over Kashmir but over Islamabad’s rule in then East Pakistan, with New Delhi supporting Bengali nationalists seeking independence for what would become Bangladesh. India’s air force conducts bombing raids inside Pakistan.- 1984 -Indian forces seize the Siachen Glacier, a remote and uninhabited territory high in the Karakoram Range also claimed by Pakistan. The first of many battles are fought over the high-altitude stretch, until a ceasefire is signed in 2003.- 1999 -Pakistan-backed militants cross the disputed Kashmir border, seizing Indian military posts in the icy heights of the Kargil mountains. Indian troops push the intruders back, ending the 10-week Kargil conflict which costs 1,000 lives on both sides.- 2016 -India launches what it calls “surgical strikes” on targets in Pakistani Kashmir in September, less than two weeks after a militant attack on an Indian army base leaves 19 soldiers dead. Pakistan denies the strikes took place.In November, seven Indian soldiers are killed after militants disguised as policemen storm a major army base near the frontier with Pakistan.- 2019 -India vows retaliation after at least 40 paramilitaries are killed in a suicide attack in Kashmir territory it controls. New Delhi blames the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for the attack. In the early hours of February 26, Indian conducts air strikes against what it calls JeM’s “biggest training camp”, killing “a very large number” of militants.
– / 5 Listen Share X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:50 Officials broke ground Friday on “The Ion,” a much-hyped innovation hub in Midtown.The former Sears building will be the heart of Houston’s innovation district, which is meant to connect entrepreneurs with venture capital in an effort to place Houston on the map for tech innovation.Mayor Sylvester Turner said it’s not just meant for the Midtown area and business community.“We’re building it for the talent that exists in neighborhoods all across our city,” he said. “Saying to people of our city: If you have the talent, we are providing the mechanisms and the venues that we are going to sew into your talent and allow you to go beyond the stars.”The programming at The Ion will be managed by tech incubator Station Houston. Its CEO Gaby Rowe said it’s a giant step in the city’s effort to catch up to Silicon Valley and the East Coast.“We have all the raw material to be equal to those two coasts and we believe that this project, The Ion, the innovation district, the broader corridor, will be essential to making that a reality,” Rowe said. The groundbreaking ceremony drew dozens of people. It was held outside the historic Sears building, which closed last year.The building will not be torn down, but rather remodeled to include shared office space, conference rooms and a green plaza outside.The Ion is scheduled to open late next year.