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Metals miner Sherritt says it has developed oilsands partial upgrading technology

first_imgCALGARY – Toronto-based miner Sherritt International Corp. says it has developed a partial upgrading technology for the oilsands that could qualify for a $1-billion incentive program recently announced by the Alberta government.CEO David Pathe says the company has completed successful laboratory testing of the process at its facility in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and is now looking for an industry partner to help test it on a larger scale.The technology borrows from Sherritt’s research into the use of autoclaves, containers for chemical reactions using high pressure and temperatures, in metals processing.Pathe says the process involves stirring hydrogen into the bitumen under pressure at high temperature in the presence of a proprietary catalyst to create a lighter barrel of oil that will flow in a pipeline without being diluted.Diluent is expensive and takes away precious export pipeline space for Alberta’s growing production of bitumen.That’s why Alberta announced in February a $1-billion loan guarantee and grant program to begin next year through which it hopes to attract two to five partial bitumen upgrading facilities worth $5 billion in private investment.“One of the advantages of our (technology) is that it’s not like other partial upgrading where you leave behind large volumes of low-quality slag or coke,” said Pathe.“Instead of stripping out low-grade carbon, we’re adding hydrogen and actually maintaining the liquid volumes.”He says the resulting product will likely command a premium price because it will contain less sulphur and heavy metals.The company is active in several resource industries, primarily in Madagascar and in Cuba, where it has nickel and oil operations.Companies in this story: (TSX:S)last_img read more

Moroccos election to AUs Peace and Security Council is a diplomatic

By Tamba Francois KoundounoRabat – In January last year, Morocco joined the African Union after three decades of absence.“It is so good to be back home, after having been away for too long”. Such were the words of King Mohamed VI as he spoke to his African counterparts on the “historic day” that marked Morocco’s readmission to the continental body. And one year later, it seems that it is indeed “good to be back home.” Morocco, in effect, just one year after its readmission, was elected, earlier today, to North Africa’s seat in AU’s Peace and Security Council.Morocco will take over Algeria’s place in AU’ Peace and Security Council, as the latter, which held North Africa’s seat in the organ from 2016-2018, chose not to run for the renewal of a mandate that ends this month.Speaking to the press after this election to one of “AU’s most strategic organs”, Nasser Bourita said that Morocco’s election is a vibrant testimony to the trust that African leaders have in their Moroccan counterpart, a result, he added, “of the king’s commitment to solidarity” in the continent.In what was his first public reaction to the election, Bourita stressed that “this important election” evinces the expanding credibility that the kingdom has secured in the continent. That credibility, Bourita said, is the culmination of “King Mohamed VI’s genuine and constructive implication” in vital policy concerns for Africa.The election is, Bourita further explained, “an acknowledgement of Morocco’s unfailing reliability in humanitarian and peace-keeping actions in Africa.”“Morocco is one of the rare countries to have participated in many peace-keeping operations”, Bourita said, upbeat, while adding that Morocco will use its two-year mandate to ensure stability and security across the continent.Bourita spoke of some “opposing forces” that had tried to block Morocco’s accession to the seat, stressing that winning this “strategic seat” will allow Morocco to “impede all manipulations and instrumentalizing strategies” that “some parties” have been deploying for the past years.This win has a particular significance considering Morocco’s very recent return to the Panafrican organization, Bourita also said, underlining that, as the king Mohamed said while joining the AU, “Morocco is not joining to divide, but to share and contribute.” It is this “royal orientation” towards peace and cooperation that will be the driving force of Moroccan diplomacy in AU’s Peace and Security Council, Bourita concluded.Meanwhile, some specialists and concerned actors have saluted Morocco’s presence in the Panafrican organization, calling the kingdom “a positive force”.Adama Gaye, a renowned Senegalese journalist, scholar and political commentator, said that Morocco’s presence in Africa’s strategic affairs can prove fruitful in meeting the continent’s economic and security concerns. read more

WTO chief says members within reach of a major step toward new

Referring to the Doha Round of negotiations on international trade which began in 2001, WTO Director General Pascal Lamy said that members are “within reach of a major step in our drive to conclude the Round this year” and added that he could think of “no stronger spur for our action than the threats facing the world economy across several fronts, including rises in food prices and energy prices and financial market turbulences.”“There is widespread recognition that a balanced outcome of the Doha Round could in these circumstances provide a strong push to stimulate economic growth, providing better prospects for development and ensuring a stable and more predictable trading system,” Mr. Lamy stressed.In his opening remarks to the Committee Mr. Lamy said that the aim of this week’s negotiations was to establish formal blueprint agreements for trade in agriculture as well as industrial products.After Mr. Lamy’s address, 30 ministers from participating countries addressed the informal session of the Committee, with more delegations from the WTO’s 152 members expected to speak tomorrow. 21 July 2008The head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) today said he was convinced that the organization’s member states would be able to reach agreements on international trade, as this week’s meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee got under way this morning. read more

ExSyracuse asst coach Fine files notice hell sue ESPN over sexabuse reporting

Ex-Syracuse asst. coach Fine files notice he’ll sue ESPN over sex-abuse reporting by John Kekis, The Associated Press Posted Mar 28, 2013 4:52 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Fired Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has filed the initial paperwork in a defamation lawsuit against ESPN for reporting sex abuse claims against him.A yearlong federal investigation that followed accusations that Fine abused team ball boys ended with no charges. Fine was Hall of Fame Coach Jim Boeheim’s assistant for 35 seasons.ESPN reported allegations of sexual abuse by two former ball boys on Nov. 17, 2011. Fine was fired soon after when a third man made similar claims.Fine says he’ll sue for defamation and seek undefined damages. He filed a “summons with notice” Nov. 15, 2012, in state Supreme Court in Onondaga County.His lawyer, Richard Sullivan, declined to comment Thursday.ESPN spokesman David Scott said the network doesn’t comment on pending litigation and stands by its reporting. read more

US construction spending up 05 per cent in May as home building

by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Jul 1, 2013 10:05 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Spending on residential housing rose in May to the highest level in 4 1/2 years, helping to send overall construction spending higher despite a big drop in nonresidential activity.Construction spending rose 0.5 per cent in May compared with April when spending was up 0.1 per cent, the Commerce Department said Monday.Private residential construction rose 1.2 per cent to the highest level since October 2008, further evidence of a rebound in housing. Spending on nonresidential projects fell 1.4 per cent, dragged lower by declines in office building and the category that includes shopping centres.Public construction rose 1.8 per cent with state and local activity up 1.6 per cent and federal spending rising 0.6 per cent.Total construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $874.9 billion in May, 5.4 per cent higher than a year ago.The rise in residential construction reflected a 0.4 per cent increase in new single-family construction and a 2.5 per cent jump in multi-family construction.Residential construction spending is 23.1 per cent higher than a year ago while nonresidential construction is 0.9 per cent below the level of a year ago. Public construction is 4.7 per cent lower than a year ago with government activity depressed by tight budgets.For all of 2012, construction spending increased 9.8 per cent. That marked the first annual gain after five straight years of declines. Construction spending is still well below healthy levels although housing is helping to support building activity in the face of the weakness in government projects.Steady hiring and nearly record-low mortgage rates have encouraged more Americans to buy homes. More people are also moving out on their own after living with friends and relatives in the recession. That’s driving a big gain in apartment construction and also pushing up rents.New-home sales rose 2.3 per cent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000, the highest level in five years, but still below the 700,000 annual rate that is considered healthy by most economists.Sales of previously occupied homes surpassed the 5 million mark in May, the first time that has happened in 3 1/2 years.Steady hiring and low mortgage rates have helped to boost home sales.However, mortgage rates have been rising in recent weeks as the Federal Reserve has sent signals that it may start trimming back its level of bond purchases that have sought to keep long-term rates such as mortgages low as a way to boost the economy.The average rate on 30-year fixed loans rose to 4.46 per cent last week, according to a survey by Freddie Mac. That’s the highest average in two years and a full point more than a month ago. The rate rose from 3.93 per cent, marking the biggest one-week jump in 26 years.While higher rates could dampen home building, builders say they don’t believe rates at current levels will depress sales significantly. Some builders believe sales could be spurred in the near term as potential buyers rush to lock in mortgages before rates rise further. US construction spending up 0.5 per cent in May as home building at highest level since 2008 read more

The 9 at 9 Monday

first_img Image: Shutterstock/Moving Moment Monday 26 Feb 2018, 8:40 AM The 9 at 9: Monday Here’s all the news you need to know this morning. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Feb 26th 2018, 7:45 AM By Órla Ryan Image: Shutterstock/Moving Moment Share1 Tweet Email Short URL EVERY MORNING, brings you the stories you need to know as you start your day.1. #EXPLOSION: Four people have died after an explosion at a property in Leicester, police have confirmed.2. #WEATHER: The government’s National Emergency Coordination Group for Severe Weather is set to meet today, as the country gears up for an “exceptionally cold” week.3. #COOLOCK: Gardaí have appealed for witnesses after a man was critically injured in a shooting in Coolock, Dublin last night.4. #SLIGO: A man has been been charged in connection with the death of 20-year-old Jimmy Loughlin in Sligo.5. #HEROIN: A spike in heroin overdoses in Belfast is being blamed on the Hutch gang, which has been moving more of its drug supply north of the border due to heightened garda attention in Dublin.6. #BREXIT: UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn will today call for Britain to keep tariff-free access to the EU after Brexit, according to excerpts of a much-anticipated address.7. #ROLLING STONES: It has been confirmed that the Rolling Stones will perform at Croke Park on 17 May.8. #SHANNON: The government approved 334 applications for military flights to land at Shannon Airport in 2017, representing over a third of the total number of exemptions across all Irish airports for the year.9. #CORK: Local representative are split on where to put a Luas in Cork city – despite appraisal of the system being nearly a decade away.Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings in one or more of the above cases. 11,179 Views No Comments last_img read more

Direct provision Complaints about lack of cooking facilities accommodation and refusals of

first_imgDirect provision: Complaints about lack of cooking facilities, accommodation and refusals of transfer requests Complaints from residents were about food, lack of cooking facilities and the availability of transport. Lissywollen Accommodation Centre, Athlone Source: Vukasin NedeljovicTHE OFFICE OF the Ombudsman received 148 formal complaints from residents living in direct provision last year. There are currently 38 direct provision centres operating around Ireland. Generally re-purposed or purpose-built facilities, these centres are used to accommodate asylum seekers in Ireland. Some centres are state-run but most are tendered out to various private contractors. Today’s report lays out official complaints made to the Ombudsman’s office since January 2018. In one instance reported last year, a man living in a direct provision centre in visited the Ombudsman’s Office to complain about his treatment by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), which has responsibility for the direct provision system. The man said that his partner had moved to the Mosney Accommodation Centre in Co Meath and that he’d requested a transfer to be with her.Although he’d informed his current accommodation centre that he was visiting his partner, the centre decided that his bed space was abandoned. The man, therefore, had nowhere to sleep that night while waiting for the decision on his transfer request.The Ombudsman contacted RIA. It then issued a letter approving the man’s transfer request and the man was admitted to stay in Mosney that evening.Among last year’s complaints relating to official bodies as well as direct provision centres there were 20 complaints about facilities in centres including complaints from residents about food, lack of cooking facilities and availability of transport. There was also 14 complaints about accommodation and 13 complaints about refusals to re-admit residents to centres.The Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) was the subject of 18 complaints in 2018 while there were 14 complaints relating to the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection.The IRPP was set up in 2015 in response to the refugee crises in Europe. ‘Unsuitable system’Complaints made in 2018 bring the total number to 263 since the Ombudsman’s office began accepting complaints from people in direct provision in April 2017.  Related Read Short URL By Cónal Thomas 14,573 Views 42 Comments Share9 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 12.03.19 Direct Provision: Nearly 100 people relocated to Meath from Monaghan hotel In his report, Ombudsman Peter Tyndall reiterated his opinion that “direct provision is not a suitable long-term system for those waiting for a decision on their asylum application”. The asylum system in Ireland has come under increased pressure in recent months. As a result, hundreds of asylum seekers have been placed in emergency accommodation since September. The Office of the Ombudsman has the responsibility of examining complaints from people who feel they have been unfairly treated by certain public bodies.While the right to work – introduced last year – has had a positive impact for some living in the system, today’s report notes, residents who have taken up employment will soon be asked to pay a proportion of the cost of providing accommodation in line with their income.A spokesperson has said “any complaint about the calculation of the charges can be examined by the Ombudsman”. Mar 13th 2019, 6:10 AM Wednesday 13 Mar 2019, 6:10 AMlast_img read more

Merapi léruption du volcan a fait plus de 300 morts

first_imgMerapi : l’éruption du volcan a fait plus de 300 mortsSuite à l’éruption du volcan indonésien Merapi, le bilan humain a encore augmenté ce jour, pour dépasser les 300 morts. Depuis le 26 octobre dernier, quelque 200.000 personnes vivent dans des campements provisoires, attendant une accalmie.Alors que la semaine dernière, un bilan provisoire faisait état de 273 victimes, ce sont aujourd’hui 304 morts qui ont au total été recensés depuis le 26 octobre, date à laquelle le volcan Merapi est entré en éruption. “Les sauveteurs ont découvert des corps supplémentaires près du volcan et d’autres personnes sont mortes des suites de leurs brûlures”, a précisé à l’AFP Agam Ferdatama, responsable chargé des catastrophes.À lire aussiLe Kilimandjaro, un volcan dormant caché dans la plus haute montagne d’AfriqueA ce jour, ce sont encore 203.449 personnes qui sont réfugiées dans des campements provisoires, tandis que les autorités ont réduit vendredi le périmètre interdit autour du volcan. Merapi est situé sur l’île de Java, trônant au coeur d’une région très peuplée et abritant une abondante végétation.Cette éruption est, selon les experts, la plus forte jamais observée depuis 1872, et ce, bien que le volcan ait tué en 1930 près de 1.300 personnes. Aujourd’hui, Merapi est toujours en activité, celle-ci ayant toutefois fortement diminué au cours des derniers jours. Fermé pendant deux semaines environ en raison des cendres rejetées par le volcan, l’aéroport de la ville indonésienne de Yogyakarta, a ainsi pu rouvrir ses portes samedi.Le 22 novembre 2010 à 15:46 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Police respond to robbery report in Carter Park area

first_imgVancouver police responded to a robbery call in the Carter Park neighborhood late Tuesday. No suspects were found, however.Police were called shortly before 9 p.m. to the 1120 block of West 34th Way, emergency dispatch records show.The victim reported that he was jumped by six to eight males, and his wallet was stolen. No weapon was seen, according to Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp. The victim was uninjured.A police canine was deployed in the area to track the suspects but was unable to locate anyone, Kapp said.The suspect vehicle was described as a black BMW, she said.last_img read more

House OKs compensation for wrongful convictions

first_imgOLYMPIA — The state House approved a measure Friday that would allow people who were wrongfully convicted to seek compensation from the state for the years they lost behind bars.The measure passed on a 95-2 vote Friday night and heads to the Senate. If it passes, Washington would join 27 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government with similar laws.The measure would allow people who were wrongfully convicted to file a claim in superior court for damages against the state. The claimant must show their conviction was reversed or vacated based on significant evidence of innocence, and that they did not commit the crime they were charged with. Once a judge or jury determines the claim is valid, they can award damages.Currently, the only option someone has is to sue the state, but they are required to sue on some basis other than the fact that they were wrongfully convicted, such as intentional wrongdoing or prosecutorial misconduct.Under the bill, compensation would be similar to the amounts paid by the federal government — a wrongly convicted person would receive $50,000 for each year of imprisonment, including time spent awaiting trial. An additional $50,000 would be awarded for each year on death row. A person would receive $25,000 for each year on parole, community custody, or as a registered sex offender.last_img read more

Leonard Cohen Tribute Art Exhibit To Come To New York and San

first_imgThe special exhibition, which includes artwork inspired by the legendary singer/songwriter, will be making its way to the Jewish Museum in New York City in 2019 Ana YglesiasGRAMMYs Nov 15, 2018 – 11:54 am Fans of the late, deeply-influential GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen are in for a treat, as a special art exhibit created in his honor will be on view in New York City at the Jewish Museum in 2019 and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco in 2020. Facebook News Leonard Cohen Tribute Art Exhibit To Come To New York and San Francisco Email center_img Leonard Cohen Tribute Art Exhibit To Come To U.S. leonard-cohen-tribute-art-exhibit-come-new-york-and-san-francisco Twitter The show will be on view at the Jewish Museum in New York from April 12 to Sept. 8, after which it will travel overseas to Copenhagen. Later, in 2020 the exhibit will make its way back to the states, this time to the West Coast, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco from Sept. 17, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021.”Leonard Cohen: A Crack In Everything” is currently on view in the artist’s hometown of Montreal at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, its original home, and features artwork by international artists to honor his music and poetry, specifically commissioned for the show. According to the New York Times, it also features sketches from the artist himself, two video installations and a listening gallery where guests can hear covers of his songs by artists ranging from Feist to Moby. The exhibit in New York will include all of this and only be slightly smaller than the original, taking up over two floors of the Jewish Museum. Planning for the show began with his blessing before his sudden death in 2016, which the curator shares shifted the trajectory of the show, at the age 82.”What began as an incredible, dizzying celebration full of admiration for this great Montrealer and planetary star then necessarily also morphed into a much more solemn and commemorative experience,” curator John Zeppetelli said. “We’re so happy to be able to premiere the show outside of Canada, and to do it in New York is just so gratifying.”During his long, impactful career, in addition to two GRAMMY wins, Cohen was honored with the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 and his debut album Songs Of Leonard Cohen was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2015. The influence he has had on other artists is widely evident in many ways, including in the number of  musicians who have covered his 1984 classic “Hallelujah” alone over the years.More info on how to see “Leonard Cohen: A Crack In Everything” while it’s in New York is available on the Jewish Museum’s website.How Rosalía Is Reinventing What It Means To Be A Global PopstarRead morelast_img read more

Amazon reportedly planning a new grocery store chain

first_img Tags Share your voice Comments Getty Images Amazon made a big splash by scooping up Whole Foods for $13.2 billion in 2017, but it apparently wants to create yet another grocery chain.The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the online retailer is planning to open dozens of new grocery stores across the US that will be branded differently from the higher-end Whole Foods stores and offer lower prices. The first of these stores would come to Los Angeles and open as soon as the end of this year, the publication said.Amazon may also be planning to acquire regional grocers to continue growing in foods, the Journal reported.The company pushed into groceries in hopes of gaining a bigger share of consumers’ wallets and bringing in more repeat purchases, since people buy groceries several times a month. Amazon’s move into the area creates more competition for Walmart, the biggest grocer in the US, and supermarket chains like Kroger.Amazon said Friday it doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation. 2 Internet Amazonlast_img read more

If reelected PM Modi will destroy Constitution Mamata Banerjee

first_imgWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.ReutersWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power after the Lok Sabha elections, he would destroy India’s Constitution and democracy by taking away people’s voting rights.”If he becomes the Prime Minister again, he will destroy the country’s Constitution and take away all the rights from you. There will be no more elections. They (BJP) want to destroy everything. Modi has three slogans — loot, riot and kill the people,” Banerjee said at a rally in Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar district.”Look at their intentions. On one hand, they want to drive people away by bringing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and on the other, they are talking about Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which would turn legal citizens into refugees and take away their voting rights for six years.”They have removed the names of 22 lakh Hindus and 23 lakh Muslims in the neighbouring Assam. They want to take away your voting rights,” she alleged.Banerjee said she herself took the initiative to solve the six-decade-old enclave issue with Bangladesh in 2015 which none of the previous governments in West Bengal and the Centre managed to do.”We solved the enclave issue with Bangladesh and gave land to the enclave dwellers. Ask the ‘expiry’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi, could he have solved the enclave issue had I not been there?”The primary initiative was taken between the Bengal government and the Bangladesh government. We have given Rs 1,200 crore for their (enclave dwellers) development besides giving them land rights,” she said.Launching a scathing attack on the Prime Minister for his “Main Bhi Chowkidar” campaign, Banerjee said a “Chaiwaala” (tea-seller) has turned into a “Chowkidar” (watchman) only to fool the masses.She also called PM Modi a “liar” who never spoke the truth.”Earlier he told people he was a ‘Chaiwala’ and asked for their votes. Now that his bluffs have been called, he has suddenly become a ‘Chowkidar’. People are saying ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ (the watchman is a thief). But I am saying “Chowkidar Jhuta Hai” (the watchman is a liar). He never speaks the truth,” Banerjee said.Taking a swipe at the soon-to-be-released biopic on Narendra Modi, Banerjee said: “Why will people watch your film? If people want to watch films, they will watch films on Gandhi Ji or Ambedkar Ji, why Modi? What contribution he has made to India?”On PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claiming to implement the NRC in Bengal in the lines of Assam, Banerjee said it would remain a dream for the saffron outfit as they will never win in Bengal.”Last time they won two seats from here. This time they will not be able to win even a single seat. We (Trinamool Congress) will never allow NRC in Bengal. Modi is no one to decide who will stay or leave the country.”The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is another ploy to turn the country’s legal citizens into refugees. We should be careful of their (BJP’s) sinister plot,” she said. Didi is playing games with the people of Bengal, claims PM Modi in Siliguri.last_img read more

Sri Lanka plunged into crisis as president sacks PM

first_imgSri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena (R) and former president Mahinda Rajapakse (L) gesturing as Rajapakse is sworn in as new Prime Minister, in Colombo. Photo: AFPSri Lanka’s president issued a formal notice Saturday for Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down as prime minister and recognise his shock dismissal, in an unfolding constitutional crisis.Hours after sacking his former ally, president Maithripala Sirisena issued gazettes formalising the dramatic move, and the installation of one-time strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse as the new prime minister.However, Wickremesinghe continued to occupy Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister, and insisted in a letter to Sirisena that he was still in office.He has said that he can be removed only by parliament where his party enjoys a majority, and also vowed to seek legal action against what he condemned as an unconstitutional move against him.”I am addressing you as the prime minister of Sri Lanka,” Wickremesinghe told reporters at a nationally televised press conference on Friday night. “I remain as prime minister and I will function as the prime minister.”Since his rushed swearing in, Rajapakse is yet to announce the formation of a cabinet — which under the constitution is automatically dissolved when a prime minister is removed.Parliamentary speaker Karu Jayasuriya has said he will decide Saturday whether to recognise Rajapakse or not, after seeking legal advice.Parliament is not due to meet until 5 November when the 2019 national budget is due to be presented. The Supreme Court, which is empowered to resolve constitutional disputes, is shut for the weekend and reopens on Monday.The president’s United People’s Freedom Alliance party had earlier Friday quit the coalition that had governed with Wickremesinghe’s party.Speaking to jubilant supporters outside his Colombo home late Friday, Rajapakse also called on Wickremesinghe to step down.Members of his party must “respect democracy, respect the country and respect the law”, the former president said through a loudhailer from a balcony.US urges calmOvernight, Rajapakse loyalists stormed two state-owned television networks — which they regard as loyal to the outgoing government — and forced them off the air.Video footage from private networks showed police overwhelmed by mobs at the Rupavahini national TV station but elsewhere in the capital streets remained calm.The United States called on all sides in Sri Lanka to operate within the constitution and refrain from violence, and urged the island to move forward on post-war reconciliation.Rajapakse crushed the decades-long Tamil Tiger uprising while in power, but refused to acknowledge abuses committed during the bloody civil war.”We call on all parties to act in accordance with Sri Lanka’s constitution, refrain from violence and follow due process,” the State Department said.”We expect the government of Sri Lanka to uphold its Geneva commitments to human rights, reform, accountability, justice and reconciliation.”After Sirisena’s election in 2015, Sri Lanka shifted from confrontation to conciliation with the US and other Western powers and promised at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to investigate allegations of abuses.last_img read more

Houstons Mayor City Needs Funds For Third Reservoir

first_img X Mayor Sylvester Turner wants more federal financial assistance.“We need dollars for a third reservoir up in the West Houston area. That’s about $500 million.”He says Texans need the same kind of federal assistance that Louisiana received after Hurricane Katrina, and that New York and New Jersey got following Hurricane Sandy. But he says what’s offered so far is not enough.“The $44 billion that was recommended by the Office of management and Budget in D.C. for Texas, California, Florida, Puerto Rico and the islands — woefully inadequate. They’re just giving us enough funding for what I call failure, and that doesn’t serve anyone’s purposes.”Mayor Turner says Washington will not commit federal funds until the state taps its “Rainy Day Fund.”“What the administration in D.C., what the administration has said to Texas is that we don’t need to send any additional dollars because you all have dollars in your Rainy Day Fund that you all are not tapping.”Mayor Turner says more funding is needed for detention basins, expanding the bayous, for buyouts and home elevation, as well as for a third reservoir. 00:00 /01:07 Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listenlast_img read more

InDepth Can Houston Apply New Yorks Big Thinking On Flood Projects

first_imgBjarke Ingels Group“The Big U” is a multipurpose flood protection system slated for lower Manhattan that also harbors other uses in the urban realm, like engaging community spaces. The impact of Hurricane Harvey served as a catalyst to rethink how Houston lives with flooding. But, can resilient design and protective infrastructure also be aesthetically pleasing? Or even become a city’s attraction?Hurricane Harvey dumped approximately 30,000 cubic yards of silt onto Buffalo Bayou Park; that’s comparable to about nine Olympic-sized swimming pools. It uprooted hundreds of the park’s trees, and its floodwaters even reached a record 38.7 feet, at the Shepherd Drive Bridge.– / 3The Buffalo Bayou Partnership said it will cost approximately $2 million to fully recover. Still, landscape architect Scott McCready, of design firm SWA, said designers are generally happy with how the park fares during flooding events. After all, it was redesigned to handle them.“We designed flood benches on the inside bends of the river. Basically, low lying flat areas, where silt would naturally drop out during storm. To kind of concentrate that, so it didn’t concentrate on other places, like trails,” McCready said. “And we had all of our higher value investments— playgrounds, plazas, building architecture— all at a higher elevation, so they weren’t as impacted by the floods.”He said there are examples of successes and challenges all across the bayou, after the park endured Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters. The Johnny Steele Dog Park has still not reopened, and there’s talk of moving some of the lowest trails further away from the banks. But, in the end, McCready said the park is an example of how developing the bayou as an engaging community space is something to be celebrated.“It’s a huge opportunity for Houstonians to engage with the bayou, which is a really beautiful, natural feature,” said McCready. “You have all sorts of opportunities. Some of which you create yourself, some of which are inherent to what a city needs to function. And you try to leverage to find those relationships, so you can get these overlapping uses and create a richer environment for people.”– / 6– / 4Let’s now look to what architects in New York City have envisioned, after Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, in 2012.A federal contest asked participants to address structural and environmental vulnerabilities exposed by Sandy. The winning project was The Big U: a multi-purposed flood protection system, hugging 10 miles of lower Manhattan.“It’s kind of a new exercise: to take an existing, very dense city center, and, after the fact, kind of weave through a flood protection system,” said project leader Jeremy Siegel, of Bjarke Ingels Group.The twist: having basic engineering elements do double-duty. For example, architects envisioned huge deployable shudders that would flip down from an above freeway; to serve as an emergency barrier during storm events. But when not in use?“The underside of it would act as a platform for public art and lighting. Almost a Sistine Chapel sort of feeling, along the edge of lower Manhattan,” said Siegel.That’s just one of The Big U’s multipurpose design projects. But the idea is based on upgrading the city while protecting it.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“Can we imagine storm water retention tanks underground that double as concert halls or sports venues? Can we imagine broad flood plains that are then acting as parks, or recreational spaces?,” Siegel asked. “It also allows you to attract more funding. And have the funding that you do use to go towards one end, work toward multiple ends. Which then makes it a lot easier for lots of people to come together around one idea, and really make it happen.” Siegel said. “In a city like Houston, it would really be looking at all of those different elements together, and understanding how the city can evolve in multiple aspects, rather than just resiliency.”The Big U was developed by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) with One Architecture and Urbanism, Starr Whitehouse, James Lima Planning + Development, Green Shield Ecology, AEA Consulting, Level Agency for Infrastructure, ARCADIS, and Buro Happold.Siegel said construction for The Big U’s flood protection system is slated to begin in 2019.– / 17The video below describes Bjarke Ingels Group’s vision for The Big U. Back in the Bayou City, landscape architect Scott McCready said he’s heard of The Big U.“In Houston, we have a different set of issues. We have a different way in which water comes to the city. And the frequency. So, we have to think a little differently about it,” McCready said.  But, he said big thinking is required.“That is the level of investment you have to start thinking about. This city, during Harvey and other storms preceding… it takes a lot of damage that takes a lot of damages that has a major economic impact. And the goal is, over time, to lessen that… every storm thereafter,” McCready said.In the 2000s, The Harris County Flood Control District estimated it would cost $27 billion to upgrade county’s drainage system to a 100-year floodplain protection level, according to a Houston Chronicle report. It said that task would even take 400 years, at the district’s current rate of spending.Houston has experienced three 500-year floods, in just three years… and hurricane season is less than three months away. Share 00:00 /04:05 Xcenter_img Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

Cardinals Beat Lipscomb 51 in RainFilled Spring Match

first_imgThe game was moved to Trager where the momentum fully swung in Cardinals favor. The Cardinals put immediate pressure on the Bison and the pressure paid off as Jack Hickey dribbled down the left sideline and found Haji Abdikadir, who turned his defender and blasted a shot into the upper 90 in the 72nd minute to take a 2-1 lead.  Story Links The Cardinals added another in the  81st minute when Will Portman collected a ball and passed to Izaiah Jennings. Portman immediately overlapped Jennings, making a 70-yard run to collect the pass and finish to the far post to make the score line 3-1. All three goalkeepers on the roster all played thirty minutes each, combining for seven saves on the night. Both teams started the second half dealing with a heavy downpour and gusting winds. Lipscomb evened the scoring in the 50th minute of play when Malik Shaheed scored on an assist from Louis Robinson. The rain picked up and the referees made a decision to delay the match in the 55th minute. Louisville, Ky. – The University of Louisville men’s soccer improved their spring record to 2-1 with a strong 5-1 performance over Lipscomb University.  The Cardinals got out to an early 1-0 lead on Elijah Amo’s goal in the 11th minute of play. The goal was the junior’s second goal of the spring season. The Cardinals have outscored collegiate teams 9-2 in spring play.  Head coach John Michael Hayden improves to 2-1 in his first spring season at the helm.   The Cardinals found some possession as the game wore on and came close to adding a second goal in the 25th minute as Amo and Cherif Dieye combined to force a save by the Lipscomb keeper. Both teams continued to battle each other, and the weather, as the first half finished with a score of 1-0 Louisville advantage. The high pressure from the Cardinals paid dividends again when Kino Ryosuke picked up a 50-50 ball and beat two Lipscomb defenders, passing to Jennings who found the back of the net in the 86th minute, making the score 4-1. The Cardinals continued to press and found their fifth goal of the match in the 89th minute when senior Cody Cochran picked out Jennings’ run in behind. Jennings controlled the ball, dribbled to the end line, and played a ball across the box to Ryosuke, who calmly played the ball into the corner of the goal. The Cardinals will travel to Lindsey Wilson for their lone away trip of the spring season on Friday, April 5th, and will host their final spring game on April 19th when Indiana University visits Lynn Stadium. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Cosmologists expose flaws in anthropic reasoning

first_imgThis graph shows that the probability of observing a value of lambda equal to or greater than the measured value (dashed vertical line) is very small. The three lines represent the anthropically predicted probability density distribution as a function of R, the ratio of the cosmological constant in another part of the multiverse to that in our Universe in Starkman and Trotta’s MANO scheme. T controls the cosmic time when intelligent life emerges, with T=1 representing our Universe. Credit: American Physical Society. “The significance of our work is to offer a concrete example of how anthropic methods of reasoning can be used to reach conclusions contradictory to those usually arrived at,” Starkman told “This suggests to us that anthropic explanations of fundamental questions should be treated very cautiously.”According to the Anthropic Principle, the fact that we are here to observe the universe explains why the laws of nature are what they are. Some scientists point to a great deal of coincidences to support this idea: the perfect strength and relation of the four forces; the many components producing carbon-based life; and the energy density of the universe driving its expansion (aka “lambda”). Add all this up, proponents argue, and it’s pretty unlikely that you should be here today. Not to mention that the Anthropic Principle seems to fit nicely with many popular theories, such as string theory and the multiverse.Prior to Starkman and Trotta, people have taken issue with anthropic reasoning, although most of these arguments have been qualitative (with exception of a few very recent studies). For instance, explaining that things are what they are because of the way things are, doesn’t seem to get us anywhere. In addition, anthropic reasoning narcisstically ignores the possibility of non-carbon-based life. And why must the universe have been created to support life—why not see it as humans adapting to the universe, since natural selection decides which types of life are the best survivors? “The less we rely on anthropic reasoning, the better,” is Starkman’s opinion. “But on the other hand, in using anthropic reasoning, we might, with great caution, agree on what makes life absolutely impossible. However, we should be entirely skeptical of arguments about what life makes more probable.”In their study, Starkman and Trotta attempt to use anthropic reasoning to explain the value of the cosmological constant, which controls the universe’s expansion rate. What is the probability that an observer makes a measurement of this value in a given universe? they ask. First, one must find the number of observers in that universe (automatically eliminating those universes incompatible with intelligent life). Then one must figure out how many measurements each onecould make. Citation: Cosmologists expose flaws in anthropic reasoning (2006, November 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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 Many scientists never liked it anyway, and now Glenn Starkman from Oxford/Case Western and Roberto Trotta from Oxford show that too many details—and too many unknowns—mean that anthropic reasoning gives inconsistent values of the cosmological constant, some that are far from current estimates. In their recent paper, “Why Anthropic Reasoning Cannot Predict Lambda” (Physical Review Letters), Starkman and Trotta find that different ways of defining the probability of observers in different universes leads to vastly different predictions of the cosmological constant. The question of the paper, then, is how to determine the number of observers in a universe and the number of measurements they could make—a number that cannot be measured directly, but which one must try to deduce despite the large number of unknown contributing factors. There are so many factors (e.g. number density of galaxies, baryons in halos, holographic arguments), in fact, that Starkman and Trotta argue that one’s prediction of the cosmological constant with anthropic reasoning depends “enormously” on the different ways of weighting all the factors. Because no single weighting scheme provides a fundamental advantage over any others, they argue, this lack of definition disqualifies anthropic reasoning. To demonstrate, Starkman and Trotta introduce a new weighting factor called the “maximum number of allowed observations” (MANO) in a universe. “This maximum number is the product of two factors—the number of observers and the maximum number of observations that each observer can make,” the scientists write in their study.Starkman and Trotta limit the number of observations per observer by calculating the maximum number of thermodynamic processes a living thing could perform in a lifetime under ideal conditions. Based on this energy-consuming picture, the scientists then limit the number of observers so that each can utilize all the energy in its surroundings without having to share (called the “rare observer limit”). They explain that if the number of observers increased, the energy per observer would decrease due to competition, waste, warfare, and thus wasted energy. Of course, the real outcome of overpopulation is unpredictable—but, the paper argues, this inability to predict the results of higher observer density further compromises the abilities of anthropic reasoning. Finally, the result which this anthropic reasoning gives: Starkman and Trotta measure that the probability of the anthropically predicted lambda being greater than or equal to the currently observed value (about 0.7) is one in 100,000. This result differs dramatically from the anthropic predictions proposed by Steven Weinberg, in predictions from 1989 (in his seminal paper on anthropic reasoning), to the present. Weinberg predicted a result larger than (though more similar to) current observations. Still other approaches have predicted much larger values.Starkman and Trotta explain that at least two assumptions of anthropic reasoning contribute to its flawed results. At its most basic level, anthropic reasoning uses the concept of probability to place limits on lambda. Perhaps, though, probability cannot apply to the entire universe, as the universe is not a lab where repeatable experiments are performed. Secondly, as the scientists write, anthropic reasoning depends heavily “on poorly understood microphysical processes involved in the evolution of life, especially of conscious beings interested in making observations of the fundamental constants.” Even expert biologists can hardly be sure of the various intelligence levels of animals on this planet. As a far-fetched illustration, we can’t eliminate the possibility that ants (or more aptly, aliens) will one day make their own measurements of the cosmological constant, can we?However, just because scientists have not found a weighting factor that would give an accurate prediction of lambda, might not rule out the possibility that a “correct” weighting factor could, in principle, exist. Starkman and Trotta have their doubts, though, not only on this possibility, but also on how valuable knowing the factor would be.“I think that, if such a possibility exists, then it has to be explored from the point of view of probability theory as logic, i.e. starting from fundamental reasoning principles and working our way upward toward a physical prediction,” said Trotta. “As our work demonstrates, attacking the problem from the other end will only give us answers that depend completely on the assumptions we put into our calculations. As such, those answers would probably have little relation with the physical reality and origin of our Universe.”“If there is a correct weighting factor (and I doubt that there is) I think we’re unlikely to be able to know what it is for such a very long time that we’d be better off trying to actually explain the universe we see,” said Starkman, “rather than arguing that it is the way it is so that we could be here to observe it.”Citation: Starkman, Glenn D., and Trotta, Roberto. “Why Anthropic Reasoning Cannot Predict Lambda.” Physical Review Letters 97, 201301 (2006).By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.comReprinted figure with permission from Starkman, Glenn D., and Roberto, Trotta. Physical Review Letters 97, 201301 (2006). Copyright 2006 by the American Physical Society. Readers may view, browse, and/or download material for temporary copying purposes only, provided these uses are for noncommercial personal purposes. Except as provided by law, this material may not be further reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, adapted, performed, displayed, published, or sold in whole or part, without prior written permission from the publisher.last_img read more

Microsoft job postings hint at changes coming for Windows Blue

first_img Citation: Microsoft job postings hint at changes coming for Windows Blue (2013, February 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Microsoft gives further peek at Windows 8 (—Postings on Microsoft’s Career web site appear to confirm widely spread rumors that Microsoft is planning to offer regular updates to Windows 8, similar to the way Apple updates its operating system, i.e. on a yearly basis. Code named Windows Blue, updates appear to be targeted at not just the internals’ of the operating system, but the user interface (UI) as well. © 2013 In one job posting for an engineer, Microsoft reveals the company is looking for someone to join its Windows Core Experience Team, which the listing says will entail working on making improvements to the UI, including such fundamental aspects as the Start experience, the application lifecycle, how windowing works and overall personalization.Microsoft diverged dramatically from its traditional UI when it launched Windows 8, of course, a move that most industry insiders have attributed to a desire to meld the look and feel of all of the various platforms on which Windows appears—computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. Updates to the UI, while applying to its most basic components, are not expected to result in major changes to the user experience though—if Microsoft is working on that, users won’t likely see it till Windows 9 makes its debut.In another job posting, the company says its Excel Mobile Office team is looking for a development lead with a lot of experience to help implement something they call Windows Phone Blue—a likely code name for the development of applications to run on Windows smartphones to coincide with changes the company is making across its entire sweet of operating systems and the applications running on them. The idea is, apparently, to create a version of Excel that can run on a smartphone, but will still look like versions of Excel running on a computer or tablet.Up till now, Microsoft has followed a traditional pattern with its Windows operating system—they would create a major revision and then send out patches to fix known problems while working on the next major upgrade. But that was before smartphones and tablets and hybrids and all the rest. Now, it appears the company feels it needs to be not only more responsive, but to act proactively to tweak their product between major releases—a strategy that should allow them to keep their operating system looking fresh. 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

New explosions at Turrialba Volcano spew gas ash two kilometers into the

first_imgRelated posts:Turrialba Volcano vapor plumes are normal, experts say Turrialba Volcano spews ash; Rincón de la Vieja heaves vapor Ash from Turrialba Volcano keeps falling on the Central Valley Turrialba Volcano again spews ash and vapor Turrialba, one of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes, resumed its activity this week with explosions of gas, vapor and ash that experts from the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) say are within the normal parameters.The most recent explosions occurred Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. and reached heights of 2 kilometers. The gas plume headed west from the volcano, located some 67 kilometers northeast of the capital San José, therefore the vapor trail passed unnoticed for most residents in Central Valley communities.OVSICORI also reported two explosions at 1:50 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. Monday with heights close to 500 meters.On Sunday OVSICORI sensors detected a tremor, or continuous vibration, at Turrialba caused by the passage of fluids through underground conduits, and that prompted the exhalations of gases, vapor and ash.Experts from the National Emergency Commission (CNE) have been conducting surveillance operations since Sunday at the volcano to detect any unusual increase in Turrialba’s activity.Following Tuesday’s explosions CNE director Walter Fonseca said officials found traces of ash on vehicles and rooftops at the commission’s facilities located next to Tobías Bolaños International Airport, west of San José.Aviation Administration Director Álvaro Vargas told daily La Nación Tuesday evening that Tobías Bolaños airport would be closed at least until 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, in order to better evaluate the possible effects of ash on the terminal.AERIS, the company that administers the country’s main international airport, Juan Santamaría, said the airport had not been affected by ash but that authorities will remain vigilant in case they need to take any action.Turrialba volcano has been active since last Oct. 29 when it started spewing ash and vapor that reached five cantons in Cartago and as far away as the provinces of San José, Heredia and Limón.Video of Tuesday evening’s explosion recorded by OVSICORI’s webcam: Facebook Commentslast_img read more