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Brace yourself, Microsoft’s last Lumia phone is coming on Feb 1: Report

first_imgRedmond giant Microsoft may launch the rumoured Lumia 650 on February 1, if a new Windows Central report is to be gone by. The same report adds that Microsoft will announce the pricing and availability of the Lumia 650 on Feb 1, amid little fanfare and that it would be the last Lumia phone for the year, at least. Whether or not it would be the last Lumia phone eventually is yet to be seen.According to the report, Microsoft would instead focus on its rumored ‘Surface Phone’ in 2016. As such, the Lumias will take a backseat. The company recently launched the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL flagship phones, and a third Lumia, aka the Lumia 550 which is a budget offering. The Lumia 650 is expected to be a lower mid-range phone for the business-oriented consumer and will run Windows 10 out-of-the-box.It is said to come with a 5-inch HD screen and a Snapdragon 210 or 212 processor under the hood with 1GB of RAM. It is said to come with 8GB of internal memory. The phone is said to sport an 8-megapixel camera on the rear with LED flash and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. The dualSIM phone is said to support Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, HD Voice, and Wi-Fi calling. There’s no wireless charging though.Renders doing the rounds, suggest that the alleged Lumia 650 will look slimmer than majority of Lumia phones out there with a prominent metal frame.last_img read more

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Sao Paulo Adopts Comprehensive Climate Change Policy

first_imgSao Paulo recently became one of the first cities in the developing world to implement a citywide plan to fight climate change.The city council unanimously approved law 14.933, which ambitiously aims to reduce Sao Paulo’s citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 30% of 2005 levels by 2012 through several measures comprehensively focused on transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, construction and land use.The municipal government is currently defining further measures that will specify the details of the follow strategies laid out by the law:Climate change mitigationTransportation:Reduce fossil fuel used in public transit by 10% per year, with all city fleets running on renewable fuels by 2017Improve traffic management and decrease car demand by increasing public transportation access and useCreate carpool lanes and bus corridors, start a ride sharing program, and improve infrastructure for urban bicycle useDevelop GHG emissions standards for all vehicles registered in the municipalityEnergyPromote the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies while incentivizing decentralized, renewable energy generationImplement energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in the construction, industry and transportation sectorsUse higher energy efficiency and renewable energy standards in municipal lightingIncentivize research on renewable energy, energy efficiency and efficient products and processesWaste ManagementMinimize waste and implement a city recycling programRequire all new large buildings, such as condominiums and shopping malls, to demonstrate waste recycling plans in order to obtain permitsReduce emissions in city landfills through better waste treatment and methane capture projectsDeter the use of plastic bagsConstructionDevelop new energy efficiency, sustainability and material quality regulations with which newly constructed or renovated buildings must comply to receive necessary permitsDevelop new efficiency and greenspace guidelines for all new public use constructionAllow only legally harvested, certified wood to be used in municipal constructionLand UseImprove city planning to increase urban density in better distributed commercial and job centers throughout the city, thus requiring less travel by residentsRecover preservation areas and create greenspaces throughout Sao Paulo, including a greenbeltIncrease the number of trees throughout the cityClimate Change AdaptationThe Sao Paulo municipal bill moves past mitigation, and on to adaptation to climate change, as it institutes public health, education and defense measures:Institute a climate change research, monitoring and rapid detection systemCreate a climate change disease control and public education program, focusing on malaria and dengue feverPrepare the civil defense forces for emergency response and preventionImplementationThe bill requires Sao Paulo to complete a citywide GHG emissions inventory every five years—the first one having been reported in 2005—to track emissions reductions from the measures above. The municipal government will also create incentives for private sector companies to report GHG inventories.WRI’s GHG Protocol program has been working in Brazil to promote emissions management by building technical and institutional capacity for GHG accounting and reporting within Brazilian businesses. This work, along with the database of emissions factors and GHG calculation tool developed by the program specifically for Brazil, will certainly assist companies and the city to accurately report emissions.Finally, the bill directs financial resources towards its enactment through a variety of means: by allocating Special Environment and Sustainable Development Fund finances; by vesting authorities with the ability to establish incentives and fees; and by establishing a mechanism that provides payment for environmental services to property owners who recover, maintain and preserve parts of a planned Private Natural Heritage Reserve in Sao Paulo.The Center for Sustainability Studies at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, one of WRI’s major Brazilian partners, played a key role in drafting the legislation. The next step in the policy’s implementation is the creation of a Municipal Climate Change Committee in Sao Paulo, made up of members of municipal and state government, civil society and academic institutions. The committee will begin an integrated rulemaking process, which will provide opportunities for public comment and participation.A Model of Urban Climate ActionSeveral challenges remain. It may be difficult to gain support from some of the numerous sectors that the law will affect, and it is yet to be decided how much of the citywide 30% emissions reductions each sector will have to account for. Political will is also necessary, as Sao Paulo’s politicians now need to make tough decisions regarding the allocation of resources and funding towards the law´s implementation. Finally, passing such a law may prove easy compared to actually implementing and enforcing it. Only time will tell how Sao Paulo will deal with such challenges, but by simply passing such a law it has taken a significant step in managing its emissions.As the first city in rapidly-developing Brazil to pass such legislation, Sao Paulo has become a pioneer in urban climate change action. Additionally, because the city is the fourth largest in the world, such action will not only produce vast emissions reductions, but important lessons for other metropolitan areas, allowing Sao Paulo to serve as a model for other cities worldwide, in developing and developed countries alike.last_img read more

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Police in Spain break up tennis match-fixing ring ‘involving 28 pros’

first_imgShare on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share via Email Support The Guardian news Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Spain Reuse this content Share on Facebook Spanish police have broken up a tennis match-fixing ring that is alleged to involve nearly 30 professional players, including one who played in the last US Open.The Guardia Civil said on Thursday that 83 people were implicated in the racket, among them 28 players in the ITF Futures and Challenger categories.According to the force, those responsible for the alleged fraud were engaged in bribing professional players in order to profit from bets placed on fixed matches.“Fifteen people have been arrested, among them the heads of the organisation, and another 68 are under investigation,” the Guardia Civil said in a statement. “Of those 83, 28 are professional tennis players who have either been detained or investigated – one of whom took part in the last US Open.”The force said the operation had been prompted by complaints made by the international anti-corruption group the Tennis Integrity Unit. Officers focused their investigation on a Spanish player and the network began to unravel.“A group of Armenian individuals used a professional player who served as the link between them and the other members of the network,” the statement said.“Once the bribe had been paid, the Armenians headed for the match venues to use their overwhelming muscle to make sure that the player kept their end of the deal. They then gave the order for bets to be laid both nationally and internationally.”The Guardia Civil said the scam had been operating since at least February 2017 and could have generated profits running into millions of euros.Its officers searched 11 addresses in nine Spanish provinces, finding €167,000 (£151,000) in cash, as well as a handgun, stolen identity documents, jewellery, more than 50 electronic devices and five high-end vehicles.The investigation had resulted in the freezing of 42 bank accounts and the confiscation of various properties.“Those currently under arrest ran the money through different accounts before finally transferring it to those under their control, always using false names,” said police. “They are suspected of membership of a criminal organisation, corrupting private individuals (in the sporting world), fraud, money laundering, illegal possession of firearms and identity theft.”The Guardia Civil, which carried out the investigation in conjunction with Europol and officials at the Spanish tax office, said that internet betting was a growing phenomenon and criminals who exploited it were priority targets for the force. Topics Share on LinkedIn Tennis Europe Share on Messenger Since you’re here…last_img read more

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These geeky eco-warriors want your old phone to help stop illegal deforestation

first_img Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App Airbnb Wants to Send You to Antarctica on Sabbatical Editors’ Recommendations That old smartphone you’re considering putting up on eBay, or just leaving in a drawer because it’s no longer needed, could be put to much better use. Forget about making a cheap home security system, or recycling it for parts, it could be instrumental in saving the rainforests.It’s all thanks to Rainforest Connection, an organization that takes unwanted smartphones and turns them into a weapon against illegal loggers, who’re destroying the world’s rainforests with their noisy chainsaws.Related: Hands-on with the ethically sourced, environmentally friendly, Fairphone 2The way it does so is ingenious. After it receives your old, unloved phone, the device’s memory is wiped and the hardware stripped down, then it’s reprogramed and fitted with a solar panel array. The team then ships these devices to rainforests being plundered by illegal logging, where they’re attached to the very tops of trees.Instead of listening to your boring conversations, these phones have a new purpose: They listen for the sound of chainsaws. The modified phones have a listening range of up to a mile, and should its sensitive microphone hear the roar of a chainsaw being revved up, it sends a signal to local agencies in charge of protecting the forest.Within moments, the illegal operation can be found — thanks to the geo-location ability of the phones — and halted, before too much damage can be caused. Rainforest Connection says that a single modified phone can protect 300 hectares — about a square mile — of endangered forest, and that by preventing logging in that space, it’d have the same positive environmental effect equivalent to taking 3,000 cars off the road for a year. The group quotes UN stats saying the destruction of rainforests is the leading cause of climate change, and that much of it is illegal.It’s easy to be part of this exciting, eco-friendly, and technically innovative project. All you have to do is donate that old phone you’ve almost forgotten about here. We’d recommend erasing all your personal information first, of course, then live happily in the knowledge it’s off to become a high-tech defender of the world’s forests.This was originally a post from our brother site, Digital Trends. Live Out Your Westworld Dreams at Casteel Creek Retreat The Best Food Shows on Netflix to Binge Right Now The Most Interesting Drinks From Around the World You Can Try Todaylast_img read more

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World cereal production outlook positive for 2007 says UN agricultural agency

The overall prospects for global cereal production this year are favourable but civil conflicts, bad weather and localized crop losses mean some countries will still face food crises, according to the latest forecast by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), released today.The FAO report anticipates that “generally satisfactory” weather conditions and expanded plantings across Europe and North America will drive solid production levels during 2007. Last year cereal output worldwide reached almost 2 billion tons, 2.7 per cent lower than the previous year, but still considered above average, thanks in part to significantly increased production in States classed as low-income food-deficit countries. In those countries in Africa, cereal imports – including food aid – are expected to decline by as much as 10 per cent in 2006-07, according to the report, Crop Prospects and Food Situation. But it stresses that at least 34 countries around the world remain extremely vulnerable to food crises. In eastern Africa, the combination of floods, an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF), localized drought and conflict poses problems. Civil conflicts – either recent or ongoing – are jeopardizing food security in Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Zimbabwe, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, Mauritania and Niger are also under threat because of economic or political strife or poor recent harvests. Elsewhere, the sharp reduction of food aid to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) means the food supply to millions of people there has been placed at risk; political instability and abnormally heavy monsoon rains are causing difficulties for Sri Lanka; and assistance is still required in Haiti because of insecurity and economic problems. 9 February 2007The overall prospects for global cereal production this year are favourable but civil conflicts, bad weather and localized crop losses mean some countries will still face food crises, according to the latest forecast by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), released today. read more

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Business community slams negligence of Government machinery

It also called for the revival of the economy to be fast tracked and a national policy to be formulated for the revival of the major sectors (such as tourism) that are currently affected. For this purpose, adopt an inclusive process that secures inputs from all stakeholders. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is deeply concerned that the events that resulted in the senseless acts of terrorism that claimed the lives of so many people were able to be carried out due to the negligence of the Government machinery.In letters sent to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said that while terrorist activities aimed at achieving ideological objectives can never find justification, what is deeply saddening is that there was a failure on the part of law enforcement to prevent this attack despite being in possession of intelligence that warned of impending threats. While the immediate victims of the Easter attacks were those that lost their lives and their families, the Chamber noted that the consequences will impact millions more whose dependence on sectors that are seriously adversely affected will impair their livelihood prospects for a considerable period.“We also condemn the utterances of elected representatives of the people and other political personalities of all parties who are continuing to engage in the blame game in an attempt to make political capital of the current situation,” This is indeed a pathetic display of a lack of sensitivity to current national issues which should be addressed by all political parties collectively and in a spirit that accepts that there’s a national crisis. To engage in such narrow political pursuits is to demonstrate an inability to appreciate the true role of leaders of the people,” the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said.The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce urged the Government to ensure the National Security Council mechanism is activated and used with seriousness. “For this purpose, the portfolios of Defence and of Law & Order should be placed in the hands of those who have the capacity to provide leadership to handle current and future challenges with foresight and wisdom and devoid of political aspirations. The President, the Prime Minister and Government should speak with a unified voice on the current and future actions after considered decisions are taken together. A 24 hour Media response center should be established to respond to false reports that create fears and concerns among thegeneral public. The current legal provisions available (ICCPR Act) should be used to deal with hate speech,” the Chamber said. The Chamber said that the events of October 2018 were also an indication of this sorry situation, which was fortunately corrected by an independent judiciary. On that occasion too, it was the people that suffered. “The available information points to a serious lack of coordination, incompetence and ineffectiveness in handling national security. It is also abundantly clear that petty divisive political differences among the political leadership has contributed to a situation where interests of the country are subordinated to political agendas,” the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. “Going forward, the people of this country need to be assured that the Government machinery to safeguard its people from acts of terrorists is effective, that national security will be accorded the highest priority and that the political leadership of this country has the capacity to work together setting aside political differences to accord the highest priority to national issues,” the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said.It also noted that it was unfortunate but true that the recent events and the mishandling of security has contributed to the erosion of confidence in the political leadership to keep this country safe and to ensure that its economy which is challenged also due to external factors is further embattled due to domestic issues which are avoidable. read more

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FTC accuses TMobile of knowingly billing customers for hundreds of millions in

FTC accuses T-Mobile of knowingly billing customers for hundreds of millions in bogus charges by Anne Flaherty, The Associated Press Posted Jul 1, 2014 12:49 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – T-Mobile USA knowingly made hundreds of millions of dollars off its customers in potentially bogus charges, a federal regulator alleged Tuesday in a complaint likely to mar the reputation of a household name in wireless communications.In its complaint filed in a federal court in Seattle, the Federal Trade Commission claimed that T-Mobile billed consumers for subscriptions to premium text services such as $10-per-month horoscopes that were never authorized by the account holder. The FTC alleges that T-Mobile collected as much as 40 per cent of the charges, even after being alerted by other customers that the subscriptions were scams.“It’s wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent,” said FTC Chair Edith Ramirez in a statement. “The FTC’s goal is to ensure that T-Mobile repays all its customers for these crammed charges.”The Federal Communications Commission has launched a separate inquiry into T-Mobile’s billing practices, which could result in fines if it finds any wrongdoing.The practice is often referred to as “cramming”: businesses stuff a customer’s bill with bogus charges associated with a third party. In this case, the FTC says T-Mobile should have realized that many of these premium text services were scams because of the high rate of customer complaints. In some cases, the FTC says, as many as 40 per cent of customers demanded refunds in a single month on certain services.The FTC said one way for consumers to try to prevent fraudulent charges is to ask their providers to block all third-party businesses from providing services on their phones.T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US, Inc., is a publicly traded company. According to its website, Deutsche Telekom AG maintains a 67 per cent ownership in the company’s common stock.Sprint Corp., the third-largest cellphone carrier, is in talks to buy T-Mobile US Inc., according to published reports. Analysts believe such a link-up would face stiff opposition from the same regulators who blocked AT&T from buying T-Mobile in 2011.T-Mobile’s stock fell 10 cents to $33.52 in afternoon trading.___Associated Press writer Anick Jesdanun contributed to this report. read more

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Sports Painter LeRoy Neiman Dead at 91

Yesterday the incredibly popular but critically ignored New York-based painter LeRoy Neiman died at a Manhattan hospital of as yet unknown causes, his literary publicist confirmed to ARTINFO this morning. He was 91. He had previously been hospitalized in 2010 for a vascular problem that eventually required his leg to be amputated.Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1921, Neiman became a widely adored artist in the vein of Norman Rockwell or Thomas Kinkade, though his specialty was not quaint Americana, but the dynamism of momentous sporting events like the Olympic Games and the Superbowl, and the pomp of social spectacles such as the Cannes Film Festival. He rendered such scenes in a painting style that blended the Impressionistic nightlife imagery of Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec, with the bold Fauvist hues of Matisse, all rendered with brash, gestrual brushstrokes. Neiman was also a frequent contributor to Playboy magazine after a chance encounter with Hugh Heffner in 1953.These events and more are recounted in his autobiography, “All Told: My Art and Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies, and Provocateurs,” which was only just published by Lyons Press on June 5. Before dying he promised his archives to Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Institute. During his lifetime he donated $6 million to create the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies at Columbia University, and gave $3 million to the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied and later taught for 10 years.“It’s been fun. I’ve had a lucky life,” Neiman said in an interview in 2008. “I’ve zeroed in on what you would call action and excellence.”Source: Art Info read more

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Detroit Auto Show Top Tech Cars Ford C Segment World Cars

first_imgDETROIT –  Ford is betting big on a new series of small cars, hybrid cars, and crossovers based on a common platform in what is called the C segment, meaning compact cars about 180 inches long. The backbone is the Ford Focus sedan, unveiled as a gasoline car, as an electric car at the Consumer Electronics Show, then as a plug-in hybrid here. Plus (also in Detroit) a gasoline C-Max crossover, a C-Max Hybrid, and a C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, and a funky crossover called the Ford Vetrek (photo above) that should be a replacement for the stodgy 2001-2011 Ford Escape. AdChoices广告Most C segment models were unveiled at the North American International Auto Show. Every model will offer Sync, Ford’s breakthrough Bluetooth and MP3 player system. Sync first appeared on a new-but-already-aging Ford Focus three years ago; customers who saw Sync were so enthralled they didn’t notice Focus was not the class-leading compact. Sync helped buy time for Ford to spirit CEO Alan Mulally away from Boeing and build a better car company that outdistanced GM and Chrysler. All new Focuses (Foci?) get a poor man’s version of torque vectoring that helps power a car around a corner, especially in wet, snowy or icy conditions. Expensive cars do it with a complex differential and electronics; Ford does it with electronics and slight braking applied to the wheel on the inside of the turn, which overdrives the outside wheel. There will be minor exceptions to the one world, one car everywhere: Americans probably won’t get the Focus station wagon or diesel-powered vehicles. The Focus sedan and hatchback arrive in the U.S. this year. The Focus Electric, late 2011.  The C-Max hybrid and plug-in hybrid, in 2012. The Vertrek, also 2012.  Category: World car (That Americans Will Buy) Why it matters: From one platform, Ford sprouts sedans (Focus) and crossovers (C-Max, Vertrek) with gasoline, gasoline turbo, electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid platforms. They’ll all have Sync and MyFord Touch and Ford’s (comparatively) affordable driver aids. What the U.S. gets will be mostly like what other countries get. Mustangs are cool, but compact sedans and crossovers are where the sales are.  Gearlog mobile’s Top 2011 Detroit Auto Show Tech Cars: Mind-Boggling Hybrid Technology – Porsche 918 RSR Mainstream Hybrid Technology – Toyota Prius C World Car (That Americans Will Buy) – Ford C Class Affordable Sporty Car with Useful Technology – Hyundai Veloster Mainstream Car with Affordable Tech – Chrysler 300last_img read more

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Sobering center considered as an alternative to prison in Fairbanks

first_imgDownload audioRecent deaths in Alaska prisons have underscored problems with jailing severely intoxicated individuals, pointing to the need for an alternative approach. Bethel operates a sobering center, where care and treatment are the focus, and a similar facility is being explored as an option in Fairbanks.State Title 47 requires temporary protective custody of an individual incapacitated by drugs or alcohol in public. It’s motivated by a public safety issue Fairbanks City Mayor John Eberhart says is elevated in Fairbanks.“Where are we going to take them,” Mayor Eberhart asked. “What do you do if it’s thirty or forty below zero without a sleep off center? It’s time to do that, it’s time for a sleep off center.”Currently the City works with the Fairbanks Downtown Association to run a community service patrol, to transport intoxicated individuals home, to jail or to the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. Mayor Eberhart says he’s trying to bring together local groups and agencies to talk about opening a sleep off center in Fairbanks.“I put out an email to try to organize a meeting of hopefully the hospital, Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC), the police chief, myself, and others to start talking about a sleep off center,” said Mayor Eberhart.The sleep off center approach is successfully employed in other Alaska communities. Kevin Tressler manages a sobering center in Bethel.“Prior to this program starting, you’d see a lot more intoxicated individuals around town,” Tressler said. “If you had to go to the ER for any particular reason, the waiting room was packed full it took a really long time to get in to get triaged.”The 16 bed center, provides a place for inebriated individuals, who are triaged by staff, and then allowed to stay for up to twelve hours.Richard Robb, Director of Residential Services at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC), says there are several ways to measure success of the program and the center.“A lot of it is what we can do to help people,” said Robb. “One of the ways we have really increased in the past year is we’ve measured and we’ve pushed the intervention of SBIRTS. That’s Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment,”The program, which Robb refers to as a “harm reduction model”, is a partnership between YKHC, Alaska Mental Health Trust and Bethel Police Department. Robb says after patients sober up, center staff ask them about their drinking, and whether they’d like to be referred to longer term treatment.“It’s better for everybody and it’s a cost saving measure too,” Robb said. “Because staying a night here is a lot cheaper for the tax-payer than staying the night in the ER.”The Bethel center is an attempt to avoid what happened to Fairbanks resident Gilbert Joseph last summer. Joseph who was picked up intoxicated and brought to Fairbanks jail, died in his cell at Fairbanks Correctional Center. The Title 47 protection case gone wrong is one of several highlighted in a recent Department of Corrections report.Rhonda Pitka, the first chief of the village of Beaver, where Joseph was a tribal member, wants to work with Tanana Chiefs Conference in Fairbanks to make sure the state is accountable for their actions.“I feel like that contributed a lot to his death. He would probably still be alive,” said Pitka. “If he wasn’t in prison that night, if wasn’t in the jail that night. If he had gotten medical care he would probably still be alive,”A local resident has reached out to Mayor Eberhart about a possible sleep off location in South Fairbanks. But Mayor Eberhart says he just in the early stages of trying to find funding for a project to address these issues here in Fairbanks.“It’s a question of how do you it and who pays for it,” Eberhart said.last_img read more

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Passenger aircraft ditches into Pacific lagoon

first_imgThis picture taken by James Yaingeluo on 28 September 2018 shows locals approaching to rescue passengers of the crashed Air Niugini aircraft on the remote Island of Weno, in Micronesia. Photo: AFPPassengers were forced to swim for their lives Friday when an airliner ditched into a lagoon after missing the runway on a remote Pacific island and immediately began sinking.The Air Niugini Boeing 737 was attempting to land at Weno airport in Micronesia but ended up half submerged in Chuuk lagoon after the accident on Friday morning.Pictures and video posted on social media showed locals scrambling in small boats to rescue the passengers and crew as waters covered most of the aircraft’s fuselage.The airline said the plane, which was making a scheduled stop on its way from the Micronesian capital Pohnpei to Port Moresby, had “landed short of the runway”.Remarkably, it said there were no serious injuries.“Air Niugini can confirm that all on board were able to safely evacuate the aircraft,” the firm said in a brief statement.“The airline is making all efforts to ensure the safety and immediate needs of our passengers and crew.”It did not detail what caused the accident.Papua New Guinea’s Accident Investigation Commission said it was preparing to send investigators to the accident site.“We’re trying to arrange a team to go there but I cannot give you any more information because I simply don’t have it,” a spokesman told AFP.Pacific Daily News reported, citing airport official Jimmy Emilio, that all 36 passengers and 11 crew had been taken to hospital for check-ups.Air Niugini is Papua New Guinea’s national airline.last_img read more

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Maoist attack kills 5 policemen India

first_imgFive policemen were shot dead Friday by suspected Maoist rebels in eastern Jharkhand state of India, authorities said, the latest incident of violence in the decades-long conflict.The policemen were patrolling in a market when the rebels disarmed them and shot them at close range, senior Jharkhand police official M L Meena told AFP.”Five of our men were killed and their arms looted by the attackers,” Meena said, adding the group of militants fled after the shooting and reinforcements had been sent to catch them.Jharkhand is among India’s most improvised but mineral rich states, where guerrillas are fighting the Indian state for greater rights, including for land, resources and jobs.Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the 1960s in armed clashes between security forces and guerrillas, first inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.The Maoists insurgents are believed to be present in at least 20 Indian states but are most active in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Bihar.The government has deployed thousands of policemen and special commandos to take on the armed rebels active in forests and hills across the states.On Thursday police in Chhattisgarh state said they shot dead two Maoists in a gunfight.A bomb attack in western Maharashtra state on 1 May left 16 police commandos dead.last_img read more

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Researchers use microRNA to trap mutant viruses in the lab

first_img Citation: Researchers use microRNA to trap mutant viruses in the lab (2013, August 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-microrna-mutant-viruses-lab.html © 2013 Phys.org More information: MicroRNA-based strategy to mitigate the risk of gain-of-function influenza studies, Nature Biotechnology (2013) DOI: 10.1038/nbt.2666AbstractRecent gain-of-function studies in influenza A virus H5N1 strains revealed that as few as three-amino-acid changes in the hemagglutinin protein confer the capacity for viral transmission between ferrets. As transmission between ferrets is considered a surrogate indicator of transmissibility between humans, these studies raised concerns about the risks of gain-of-function influenza A virus research. Here we present an approach to strengthen the biosafety of gain-of-function influenza experiments. We exploit species-specific endogenous small RNAs to restrict influenza A virus tropism. In particular, we found that the microRNA miR-192 was expressed in primary human respiratory tract epithelial cells as well as in mouse lungs but absent from the ferret respiratory tract. Incorporation of miR-192 target sites into influenza A virus did not prevent influenza replication and transmissibility in ferrets, but did attenuate influenza pathogenicity in mice. This molecular biocontainment approach should be applicable beyond influenza A virus to minimize the risk of experiments involving other pathogenic viruses. Species-specific miRNA expression. Credit: Nature Biotechnology (2013) doi:10.1038/nbt.2666 Study puts troubling traits of H7N9 avian flu virus on display (Phys.org) —It’s a scenario straight out of a sci-fi horror flick. Scientists take a deadly virus that people can only catch from birds and genetically engineer it so we can give it to each other. Unfortunately, the threat of such a highly contagious virus escaping the lab, whether by accident or at the hands of terrorists, could be more than fiction. To ensure that artificial bird flu strains, engineered to be transmissible between mammals, remain confined to laboratories, Benjamin tenOever and his colleagues at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have devised a method of molecular biocontainment that prevents the expression of an influenza virus in humans and mice by altering the virus’ genome so it binds to a specific microRNA. Their research appears in Nature Biotechnology.center_img Explore further Journal information: Nature Biotechnology Engineering viruses to make them transmissible among mammals can help scientists learn about how viruses mutate in the wild. The study of gain-of-function mutations is an essential part of disease research. Scientists can use the knowledge obtained from such research to predict how diseases will spread and to develop new vaccines.Recently, scientists discovered that mutations could make the H5N1 and H7N9 strains of avian flu transmissible between ferrets, considered a model for humans in influenza research. Normally, birds can transmit these viruses to humans, but humans can’t transmit them to each other. The mutation that allows ferret-to-ferret transition of H5N1 involves only three changes in the virus’ hemagglutinin protein. The ease with which researchers might create such highly contagious mutations contributes to concerns about safety. Public authorities are worried that a mutation of the H5N1 virus could create a flu pandemic as deadly as that of 1918.To develop a way to limit the spread of the H7N9 strain to particular species, tenOever and his team turned to microRNA, strings of nucleic acid that prevent genes with particular target sequences from expressing themselves. They discovered that one microRNA, miR-192, exists in the respiratory tracts of humans and mice, but not in the respiratory tracts of ferrets.The team inserted the target sequence for miR-192 into the H7N9 genome and exposed mice and ferrets to the virus. The mice, which had miR-192 in their lungs, showed no sign of illness, even when the researchers increased the viral dose 10 times. Ferrets, which had no miR-192, contracted the virus and transmitted it normally. Mice exposed to a form of the virus with a scrambled target sequence or to a control virus died within eight days.TenOever and his team suggest that researchers use their method of containment to restrict transmission to specific species when studying highly contagious viruses, such as Ebola, SARS coronavirus and henipaviruses. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Spiralshaped light fan adds new twist to laserdriven plasma accelerators

first_img Novel beams made of twisted atoms (Phys.org) —For the past few decades, physicists have been studying the phenomenon of “twisted light,” which is light that is twisted like a corkscrew along its axis of travel. Due to the twisting, the light waves at the center of the axis cancel out, resulting in a ring of light with a dark spot in the center. Although it may sound like somewhat of a novelty, twisted light has applications in laser-driven plasma accelerators and plays a role in several astrophysical phenomena such as pulsars, the extremely dense stars that emit light while rotating, somewhat like a lighthouse. While several methods exist for generating twisted light, physicists in a new study have demonstrated for the first time in simulations the possibility of generating relativistic twisted light. Writing in Physical Review Letters, Yin Shi, et al., at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, China, describe this type of light as a spiral-shaped “light fan.” As the physicists show in 3D simulations and analytical modeling, a light fan can be generated by using a relativistic laser pulse. When this laser pulse impinges upon a thin spiral-shaped foil target, a spiral-shaped plasma is created. This is the relativistic light fan, which is characterized by a very strong torque and very high orbital angular momentum. Both the photons and the electrons in the light fan rotate due to the high orbital angular momentum, which can be either clockwise or anticlockwise. The scientists expect that experiments based on these simulations can be realized soon with current technology.”Relativistic twisted light is a twisted light with an intensity that is so large that an electron moves in a velocity close to the speed of light,” coauthor Baifei Shen at the Chinese Academy of Sciences told Phys.org. “Relativistic light has opened new research fields in high-field physics, including laser acceleration and relativistic high-order harmonics, because it has a high energy density. Now, relativistic twisted light has high angular momentum density, which may result in many new physical phenomena.”The light fan’s high angular momentum density may make it very useful for several applications. For example, in laser-driven plasma accelerators, the accelerating force has traditionally been the main point of interest since it is the origin of particle acceleration. However, having a high torque can also be important, although it has not been given much attention so far.”Relativistic twisted light can be used for positron and proton acceleration in the bubble regime, since the driven doughnut wakefield has a transverse focusing force for positively charged particles so that they can be accelerated for a long distance,” Shen said. “The light fan is a rotating structure of large angular velocity, which is due to the conservation of angular momentum. Because the normal light has no angular momentum and the reflected twisted light has angular momentum, the light fan must have opposite angular momentum.”Relativistic twisted light with a strong torque could also be used to mimic some astrophysical environments such as pulsars, leading to a better understanding of these unique and distant stars. More information: Yin Shi, et al. “Light Fan Driven by a Relativistic Laser Pulse.” Physical Review Letters 112, 235001 (2014). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.235001 Citation: Spiral-shaped ‘light fan’ adds new twist to laser-driven plasma accelerators (2014, June 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-06-spiral-shaped-fan-laser-driven-plasma.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img (a) The normal incident laser pulse has a planar (non-twisted) wave front. (b) After reflecting off of a spiral foil, the light has a helical (twisted) wave front. (c) The foil used in the simulation has eight parts to mimic a spiral phase plate. Credit: Shi, et al. ©2014 American Physical Society Explore further © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: Physical Review Letterslast_img read more

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Get This 2017 IT Security And Ethical Hacking Certification Training Bundle And

first_img Share Tweet Submit Ethical hacking is a forever changing business and to make it your career you need to be up to date on the most recent tools and certifications. The 2017 IT Security and Ethical Hacking Certification Training bundle will help you build and understand foundational and advanced principles for IT networks. It will help in identifying and managing of security risks and plugging holes in IT networks before black hat hackers find them. This bundle comes with all the information you need to pass the IT industry’s top certification exams for 2017. This course can help you freshen up your skills if you are already familiar and it can also help you build the expertise in ethical hacking.2017 IT Security and Ethical Hacking Certification Training bundle FeaturesThis 2017 IT Security and Ethical Hacking Certification Training bundle will give you: Access over 35 hours of training 24/7Discuss cryptology, identity management and access control and moreLearn how to mitigate network attacks and vulnerabilitiesExplore the necessary technical skills to engineer and design secure solutions across advanced enterprise environmentsUse labs, games and activities to verify your progressTrack your goals anywhere with printable study guidescenter_img This Ethical Hacking certification training bundle is brought to you by LearnSmart. This company has served the world of tech with high quality certification and skills training since 1997. The company has grown immensely over the years and has become a leading provider of trainings to corporations and individuals. It has served Fortune 500 companies, universities, government institutions and the armed forces. It has also been recognized by Microsoft, Project Management Institute, and CompTIA as a registered partner or authorized training provider.Details and RequirementsWith this Ethical Hacking certification training bundle you will be able to access the course content for a month. You will also need a good internet connection to access the course content via web streaming. You can get the product at this site and you can redeem your code within 30 days of purchase. A certification of completion is also included.last_img read more

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Visit Costa Ricas famed Isla del Coco – without leaving San José

first_imgRelated posts:PHOTOS: A glimpse of the Tamarindo Art Wave Festival 5 questions for French artist Victoire Cathalan What to do in Costa Rica: concerts, culture and love around the country PHOTOS: Good Friday Procession in La Unión, Costa Rica Few of us will ever get an opportunity to visit Isla de Coco: this national treasure. This oasis in an ocean. This center for international biological research and sanctuary for fish, whales, turtles and huge manta rays. The island is 500 kilometers from Costa Rica’s mainland. There is no landing strip for planes and a boat trip is long and uncomfortable.But a special exhibit at the national museum is almost as real. Courtesy of Marco DíazUsing video mapping and other technological tools, we can experience a full day at the island, see rain clouds gathering overhead, and feel the mist of fog. We can watch as schools of hammerhead sharks congregate and disperse, turtles nip at corals, and gangs of giant rays stream by. We can even see what it’s like underwater on a wall-size screen as schools of fish numbering in the thousands pass by, followed by a whale shark taking up the entire screen and a tiger shark’s beady eyes look right at you.Cushions on the floor and comfortable chairs are for those who want to spend time here. This special exhibit is on until August 19, 2018. Courtesy of Marco Díaz“We’re bringing the island to the people,” says Marco Díaz, a biologist connected with the project, which is the result of coordination between the University of Costa Rica’s Marine and Freshwater Research Center (CIMAR) and the National Museum. The exhibit shows research in sea science in an easy-to-understand way.“It’s a laboratory with different climates and plant-life, ferns and mosses and a type of orchid that grows only on Coco Island,” Díaz added. Climate change and its effect on land and water is part of the research.A gallery of photos of flora and fauna show the extent of life on the island. The island is an extinct volcano that stopped being active several million years ago, but the base of hardened lava is seen in some of the photos. Courtesy of Marco DíazThis year celebrates forty years since the island became a national park, but its recorded history goes back to 1526, when Spanish captain Joan Cabeças first landed on the island. In following centuries it was claimed by pirates, England, Spain, and the United States, but nobody really wanted it. It was too far away from the mainland, and its uneven topography and lack of a safe harbor made it worthless.Costa Rica, however, saw the value of this parcel of land that lies closer to Colombia than its own shores, and acquired it in 1863 to use as a prison, among other things.“This exhibit shows the public what a treasure we have,” says Díaz. “Coco Island has more diversity than any other spot on earth. Daily rain produces sweet water for rivers and pools, adding to the diversity of life. The water surrounding the island is protected by law, giving sea life a good chance to grow, feed and reproduce. The land surface is covered with trees, ferns and mosses and is home to sea and migrating birds. Wild pig and deer populations live here, brought by the English in an attempt at colonizing and, left to themselves, continue to grow.” Courtesy of Marco DíazBecause of the abundance of fish, illegal commercial fishing is a problem. Approximately 22,000 square kilometers surrounding the island are protected. The island has no accommodations for tourism but some tour companies offer tours, mostly for diving. Courtesy of Marco DíazThe museum is open Tuesdays to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 9 to 4:30. (closed Mondays)   located on Calle 17 between Avenidas Central and 2. Tickets are ¢2,000 (about $4) for nationals and residents with a cédula. Foreign visitors $9, foreign students with ID, $4. Children under 12 are free. Also, nationals and residents over 65, and students with school IDs, enter free, and everyone can enter free on Sundays. Entrance is for the entire museum and the butterfly area. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Bocas on a budget How to get to Bocas del Toro from

first_imgRelated posts:Bioluminescent in Bocas del Toro Plastic bottles recycled into eco-village in the jungle of Bocas del Toro The ultimate travel hack to prevent beach theft – and more Costa Rica safe travel tips How to deal with street harassment in Costa Rica Bocas del Toro is an archipelago in Panama near the border with Costa Rica with incredible white-sand beaches, diverse wildlife and renowned parties.From San José, the journey to this backpacker’s gem is filled with twists and turns and is not without obstacles. And that’s where we come in. An idea of how you intend to go and how much money you want to spend can make it much easier. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to get across the border and save money while you do it — and all, hopefully, without having to throw an elbow or shed a tear.Getting to the Costa Rica-Panama border The most cost-effective way to reach the border with Panama from San José is by walking or hitchhiking. But more realistically, you’ll want to take an early MEPE bus to Sixaola. It costs 7,310 colones (about $12.30) and takes about 5.5 hours, depending on traffic and weather. You can purchase the tickets in advance, and there are multiple buses a day. The earlier you start, though, the earlier you’ll get to Bocas del Toro. The buses are comfortable, though there is no bathroom on board. MEPE makes one stop halfway through the journey in Limón, but it lasts about 10 minutes, so move fast if you need to use the bathroom (for 200 colones) or buy a batido. You can also use an ATM during the Limón stop, and that’s a good place to withdraw U.S. dollars — which are accepted in Bocas del Toro and throughout Panama — if you haven’t already. Many transactions in Bocas del Toro are cash-only, and you may need a sizable amount of cash on-hand to enter Panama. (More on that later.) But be warned: The ATM gives you your money before returning your card. Speaking from personal experience, don’t leave your card in the ATM only to remember it hours later as you’re entering a new country. Overlooking the town of Sixaola at the border with Panama. (Jacob Spetzler / The Tico Times)Crossing the border from Costa Rica to PanamaWhen you reach Sixaola, you’ll be welcomed by a person in a yellow vest who will direct you to a nearby storefront where you’ll pay a small ($7, in dollars or colones) fee for an exit stamp from Costa Rica. You can pay your exit fee here in Sixaola. (Jacob Spetzler / The Tico Times)If you are not a Costa Rican citizen or permanent resident, you will need to show Panamanian authorities that you have a flight out of Central America within the next 90 days.If you show up at the border with very few plans for your future, like I did, Panama will not let you into the country. (Jacob Spetzler / The Tico Times)Fortunately, down the street from the bus stop is a kiosk which charges $1 for internet access to buy a plane ticket. Of course, you won’t actually be out the price of a plane ticket. Most United States-based airlines offer free cancellations within 24 hours, as do many travel sites such as Expedia. (Just don’t get distracted by the rest of the trip and forget to cancel your ticket, as I almost did.) After paying your exit stamp, you’ll walk up a hill to the Costa Rica Migration Office, which is generally a painless process but can involve waiting in line outdoors for some time. Next, you’ll walk the bridge across the Sixaola River into Panama, where border guards will wave you into a small office to complete an immigration form.Sometimes, the Panamanian border patrol will ask for you to demonstrate how much money you’re bringing. While strange, this isn’t a bribe attempt. Make sure you’re carrying enough U.S. or Panamanian currency ($100 per day, per person) or bank statements and a credit card and you shouldn’t have any issues proceeding. Finally, you’ll be directed down a small hill and take the first left to the open-air Panama Migration Office. Occasionally, there are lines here too. The officials look at your passport, ask about your plans in Panama and, if you’re not a Costa Rican citizen or permanent resident, check your proof-of-travel out of Central America — so make sure you have that ready. The bridge across the Sixaola River marks the border between Costa Rica and Panama. (Jacob Spetzler / The Tico Times)Here, now, is another tip for the thrifty traveler: While Panama is generally cheaper than Costa Rica, Bocas del Toro, as a prime tourist destination, is not. You can save some money by doing your first round of grocery shopping at the border. There is a grocery store and several duty-free shops, where, as an example, you can buy Abuelo Rum for about half the price as what it costs on the islands. Getting from Sixaola/Guabito to Bocas del Toro The next step is actually getting to the islands.For this step you have a couple options. One of the first things you’ll notice in Panama are the groups of aggressive men trying to load you into colectivos. They will likely try to sell you a $10 trip to the water taxi port in Almirante.Realistically, the base price is $5, and you can usually haggle — especially if you speak Spanish. At one point I convinced one of the men to knock my price down to $7, and when he walked me over to the driver, the first thing he did was to tell him that I speak Spanish. So, without purposefully feeding any traveler paranoia, if you don’t speak Spanish and think you’re being talked about without your knowledge in situations like these, you’re probably right.One way to barter for a lower colectivo price is to tell them you’ve done the trip before and that it had only cost $5. Once you’ve paid, the drive between the border and Almirante takes about an hour. Another way to get to the water taxi offices in Almirante is by public transportation, though it’s more complicated and ultimately only saves you about $2. There’s a public bus near the border that will take you to Changuinola, where you’ll transfer to another bus that will take you to Almirante. The buses run about every half an hour. In Almirante, you’ll pay $6 for a one-way boat ride to Isla Colón, the most populated island in Bocas del Toro. You can also pay $10 for a round-trip ticket. These prices are not negotiable. Reaching Isla Colón in Bocas del Toro Once you’ve made it to Isla Colón, the next part of your trip will depend on your accommodation. There are many fine hostels on the main island. It’s also the hub for food and parties. Every week, there’s an event called “Filthy Friday,” which, while I didn’t attend, can only imagine means rivers of filth unleashed from huge spigots at the top of the town hall, flowing through the gutters, collecting tourists clad in flip flops, beers gripped tightly in their sunburned hands, and dragging them down, ever deeper, into the depths by the straps of their internal-frame backpacks, never to be seen again.Just kidding. But the point stands: If you’re visiting Bocas del Toro for the nightlife, Isla Colón is a good place to start. A less-populated option is Bastimentos, which is home to the tremendous Wizards and Red Frog beaches. You can reach Bastimentos with a 10-minute water taxi from Isla Colón. These generally cost $5 one-way. At this point, you can finally crack open your first cold Balboa and pat yourself on your (almost certainly sweaty) back for having made it through a long, humid day of traveling and haggling. Facebook Commentslast_img read more