Has the expansion of Antarctic sea ice accelerated?

first_imgDespite global warming, the fringe of sea ice around Antarctica is expanding slightly, in contrast to the marked decline of sea ice in the Arctic. Scientists have blamed this curious fact on various forces, from shifting winds to smaller waves, but a new study suggests a more mundane culprit: an error in the way the satellite data have been processed. The miscalculation, the authors say, might be making the sea ice increase appear larger than it is.Sea ice cover—ice that’s floating free on the ocean surface, rather than on land—has been observed by satellites since the late 1970s. Satellite sensors use different frequencies and polarizations to distinguish ice from water, and scientists have developed several algorithms to then process the data, remove weather effects, account for ponds of melted water on the ice, and the like. Data based on one of the most commonly used algorithms, dubbed Bootstrap, were used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fourth (2007) and Fifth (2013) assessment reports.The two reports both commented on the enigma of overall sea ice expansion around Antarctica, despite warming atmospheres and ocean waters. Complicating the story is the observation that the expansion varies regionally and seasonally—it’s not actually expanding everywhere, and in some places it’s clearly retreating. Scientists have attributed this pattern to other effects of climate change—changes in the prevailing wind patterns that generally push the ice northward or in the size of ocean waves, which may shrink and allow the ice to expand or grow and herd it back toward the coast.Even more puzzling was that the expansion seemed to be picking up speed. The 2013 report noted a significant increase in the expansion rate compared with the 2007 report, which “really jumped out at me,” says Ian Eisenman, a climate dynamicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California. Within the climate science community, he says, that apparent change in the trend of how fast the ice was expanding was instead attributed to, basically, having more years of data between 2007 and 2013.When Eisenman and his colleagues dug a little deeper, they realized that the two reports relied on two different versions of the Bootstrap data processing algorithm. Satellites come and go, and sensors improve all the time. So, to ensure continuity within a data set whenever a satellite changeover occurs, the data from an outgoing satellite and a new satellite are calibrated. Such a changeover happened in 1992, when a new satellite sensor was launched. Then, around 2007, Bootstrap got an update, in part to help account for ongoing sensor improvements. “There were a lot of changes from version one to version two,” Eisenman says. Several decades of data were recalculated with the new Bootstrap version.And that’s the rub: The same data from 1979 through 2004, plotted by the two versions of Bootstrap, reveal two distinct trends. Version one (as reported in IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report) suggests the ice is expanding by about 5.6 x 103 km2 per year. Version two shows the ice expanding more than twice as fast over that time period, at about 14.1 x 103 km2 per year. (IPCC’s Fifth Assessment reports an increase of 16.5 x 103 km2 per year for 1979 through 2012.)“That implies inaccuracy in one of those versions—although which one isn’t clear,” Eisenman says. If the correct version of the Bootstrap algorithm is version one, then it follows that the sea ice isn’t increasing nearly as much as we thought, his team reports today in The Cryosphere.Well, maybe. Climate scientist Josefino Comiso of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory in Greenbelt, Maryland, is the scientist who worked on the Bootstrap calibration. He says that the revised Bootstrap two is the accurate one, and that the trend depicted in IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report is correct. “Why not believe the one that has been corrected?” Comiso asks.Among climate scientists, there seems to be little dispute that Eisenman and his co-authors have identified a very real discrepancy in the satellite algorithms. “It’s an excellent piece of scientific vigilance,” says Paul Holland, a climate scientist at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, U.K. But what’s less clear, Holland says, is how much the discrepancy matters in terms of what’s really going on in Antarctica. Regardless of which trend is used, the data end up telling the same story: Antarctic sea ice is expanding, despite the warming climate.And that overall increase isn’t even the most interesting thing, Holland adds. Yes, the sea ice is increasing on a continent-wide scale—but that overall slight increase is actually just the sum of stronger increases and decreases at different places ringing the continent—which the new study also reproduces, he points out. “To me, the interesting thing is what’s causing that spatial pattern.”As for which version of Bootstrap is more accurate, Eisenman and his colleagues are continuing to investigate. Whichever it turns out to be, he says, the study highlights the need for “a more thorough documentation” of satellite data calibration methods, particularly with the growing interest in the sea ice cover at both poles. “There’s a real need for it now that these data sets are getting so much attention.”last_img read more

Namajunas snatches 115-pound title at UFC 217

first_imgThe referee stops the fight, after which Rose Namajunas celebrates a win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk, of Poland, at UFC 217. APNEW YORK — Rose Namajunas took the 115-pound championship away from undefeated Joanna Jedrejczyk with a dominant performance at UFC 217.Namajunas connected with a left in the first round and pounced once Jedrejczyk (14-1) hit the canvas on Saturday night. Namajunas pounded away at the fallen champ as the Madison Square Garden crowd went absolutely wild for a fighter that had been soundly booed during her entrance.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Wilder knocks out Stiverne in 1st round Stars face off at ONE: Dawn of Heroes PLAY LIST 01:42Stars face off at ONE: Dawn of Heroes02:18Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’01:52UFC: McGregor set for Nurmagomedov showdown01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Namajunas (17-3) ended Jedrejczyk’s bid at matching Ronda Rousey’s women’s record with six straight title defenses.Namajunas choked back tears as UFC President Dana White slapped the strawweight championship belt over her shoulder. She was drowned out by the roars as she spoke about what the championship meant to her inside the octagon.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Just confidence, conditioning, composure, content that I’m the champion,” she said. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101last_img read more

Sparks spoil Catchings’ emotional night, beat Fever

first_imgView comments Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken “It’s just a blur. My dad was pulling so fast I was just trying to keep up,” Catchings said after the halftime ceremony. “In that moment, literally, every tug was like every year — 2001, getting drafted all the way to 2017. It was like a flash. Seeing my teammates over there, even the ones I didn’t play with, I feel like I played with them as much as I’m around. Really, replaying the years, that’s a flash.”After being drafted third overall out of Tennessee, where she was a four-time All-American, in 2001, Catchings sat out with an injury before being named the Rookie of the Year in 2002. By the time she retired after last season, Catchings was the all-time leading rebounder in the WNBA and was No. 2 (now third) in career scoring. She is also on top of the steals and free throw lists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCatchings was the 2011 MVP and was the 2012 Finals MVP when the Fever won their only title. She was a five-time Defensive Player of the Year and 10-time All-Star as well as winning four Olympic Gold Medals. Now she is Director of Player Programs and Franchise Development for Pacers Sports & Entertainment.She credited the fans for her long stay with the Fever. What ‘missteps’? World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire “When you become so involved in your community, it makes it hard to leave,” she said. “It’s like a relationship … I love what the fans bring.”Nneka Ogwumike scored 21 points and Los Angeles had a 19-0 run in the third quarter.Los Angeles used a 21-5 run to close the first half to take a 46-40 lead then put a damper on the halftime ceremony by scoring the first 19 points of the third quarter to open a 25-point lead.Ogwumike had seven points and Canadace Parker, who had 18 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, added six points in the run that propelled the defending champions to their fifth straight win.Chelsea Gray added 17 points for Los Angeles (9-3). Parker also had seven assists, three steals and two blocks and the Sparks shot 53 percent and went 8 of 17 from 3-point range.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIEScenter_img Bader wins light heavyweight title in Bellator’s NYC debut Candice Dupree had 13 points, 10 in the first quarter when Indiana (6-7) took a 23-20 lead. Briann January and Shenise Johnson had 13 points but the Fever couldn’t get closer than 11 after L.A.’s run despite closing the third quarter with 12 straight points and a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games MOST READ Retired Indiana Fever great Tamika Catchings helps hoist a banner with her family as her No. 24 jersey is retired before the WNBA basketball team’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, June 24, 2017, in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Star via AP.INDIANAPOLIS — Tamika Catchings was known as a hard worker during her playing career. But as hard as she worked in 16 seasons for the Indiana Fever, she had a tough time keeping up with her dad on Saturday night.Former NBA player Harvey Catchings helped his daughter raise a banner with her No. 24 jersey to the rafters at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the highlight for Indiana in an 84-73 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more

SL vs NZ: Sri Lanka beat New Zealand, enter World Cup finals

first_imgSri Lanka beat New Zealand by five wickets in the first semi-final of the World Cup at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday. Live scoreThe Sri Lankans would have liked to see Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan do a repeat of what they had done against England in the quarter-finals, where the two had remained unbeaten till the end, but it wasn’t the case to be.Kiwi pacer Tim Southee struck early in the seventh over to dismiss Tharanga on 30 with Jesse Ryder taking a fine catch at point. Sri Lanka lost their first wicket on 40.Post that wicket Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara and opener Tillakaratne Dilshan got on with a partnership putting 120 runs on board. They were cruising along until Southee came around and scalped Dilshan on 73 with Ryder again performing the final honours. Sri Lanka were 160/2 at the stage.No sooner had Dilshan departed that Mahela Jayawardene fell and Sri Lanka had added just one more run before this dismissal. Soon Sangakkara too was seen walking back on 54 with Andy McKay claiming him when the Lanka total was 169/4.Finally, Thilan Samaraweera and Angelo Mathews helped their reach home with 22/5 on board. Samaraweera scored the winning run hitting a four in the 48th over.   New Zealand innings Earlier, New Zealand paltry 217 against Sri Lanka after their skipper Daniel Vettori elected to bat.Sri Lanka wanted early inroads and they got what they had desired with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claiming opener Brendon McCullum with his quicker ball that took away his off stump on 32/1 on the first ball of the 8th over.  advertisementPost that fall, the other opener Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder got on with a partnership trying to thwart the Sri Lanka bowlers. But, they could not survive for as as veteran offie Muttiah Muralitharan got Ryder on 19 to reduced the Kiwis to 69/2. It was the extra bounce that saw him edge the ball to keeper Kumar Sangakkara.There was more to come as Sri Lanka ‘slinger’ Lasith Malinga bowled Martin Guptill out in the 22nd over when the score was 84. He fell for 39 as the Kiwis lost their third wicket.  Finally, Ross taylor and Scott Styris forged a 77-run fourth wicket stand to help the Kiwis cross 150-rum mark. However, on the first ball of the 40th over ‘mystery spinner’ Ajantha Mendis got better of Taylor to break their stand even as the Kiwis lost their fourth wicket on 161/4. He was caught in the deep mid-wicket by Upul Tharanga on 36.New man Kane Williamson too could not stay at the crease for long and a straight one from Lasith Malinga trapped him leg-before on his individual score of 22. The Kiwis fell to 195/5 in 43.3 overs.Malinga came back to send Nathan McCullum packing on the first ball of the 46th over and Kiwis were down to 204/6.Then Muralitharan had the man the Lankans wanted the most. His ball trapped Scott Styris on the pads and the batsman went for the review, but failed to get any life and was forced to walk back on 57. The Kiwis lost their seventh wicket on 213 on the last ball of the 47th over.Another wicket and Kiwis were down to eight. This time it was Tillakaratne Dilshan who came to the fore scalping Jacob Oram to reduce the Kiwis to 215/8.With the tail-enders out in the midle things became rather easy for the Lankans, who wrapped up the New Zealander on a partly 217 with seven balls to spare. Teams:  Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(w/c), Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum(w), Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Kane Williamson, Daniel Vettori(c), Nathan McCullum, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, Andy McKaylast_img read more

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Strong Mentality is Inspirational, Says Granada Defender Domingos Duarte

first_img cristiano ronaldoDomingos Duartefootball First Published: November 8, 2019, 11:43 PM IST Portuguese central defender Domingos Duarte, who plays for Granada in the Spanish LaLiga, wants to imbibe Cristiano Ronaldo’s “strong mentality” as he strives to break into the national team on the back of helping his club get off to a good start this season.”He (Ronaldo) has the mentality like no one. To maintain yourself at the top for so many years like Cristiano does, it’s very difficult,” Duarte told IANS in a telephonic interview from Spain. “Cristiano has talent but his main quality is his mentality. He is still willing to learn. That’s what I see from outside. I haven’t met him but I would like to,” said Duarte of the Portuguese star who plays for Italian giants Juventus and is regarded as one of the best footballers of this generation.Duarte is yet to break into the Portugal senior team but has represented his country at the age group levels.LaLiga newcomers Granada shocked Spanish football by topping the table after 10 games and now find themselves in sixth position after 12 games with 20 points, two adrift of leaders FC Barcelona whom they beat earlier this season.Duarte, 24, has been a vital part of Granada’s success in the opening weeks and months of the season. When Granada went to the top of the table after the 10th round of the season, Duarte had featured in every single possible minute and had even scored a couple of goals, as well as making several vital defensive interventions.”We need to keep working the same way in training. Just hope the results keep coming as they have been,” said Duarte who had previously played in Spanish football in LaLiga SmartBank, the second tier, when he was on loan from Sporting Clube de Portugal at Deportivo La Coruña in the 2018/19 season before he was transferred to Granada on a permanent deal in June.Asked if they have pressure of expectation now going into the second half of the season, he said: “We don’t have pressure. We don’t care what people say. The most important thing is what our coach says and we focus on our training and prepare game by game.”Granada had stunned Barcelona in September by a 2-0 margin. Ramon Azeez and Álvaro Vadillo had netted in either half. Asked what was the secret behind them being able to stop Barcelona and Lionel Messi, Duarte explained: “We know Messi is a great player, but we need to stop him. Maybe put one or two players near him all the time.”We know the kind of players they have. If you give them too much time with the ball, they will hurt your defence. Barcelona you know that they will have more possession than you so you need to be strong and make sure they don’t get deep inside your half too much.”Granada take on Valencia on Saturday. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more

Holi Heroine has gotten a much needed facelift

first_imgHOLI – Bollywood’s favourite festival has seen a much needed face-lift, be it in terms of iconic songs or just in the way the leading ladies have changed their costumes – symbolic of the changing times where skin is in. The Holi heroine today is no longer the coy damsel in distress trying to escape the macho hero’s forceful embrace, but a brazen, hot bod who finds yet another excuse to shed her extra layers boldly taking charge of the moment, armed with a fully loaded pichkari, unabashedly intoxicated on copious amounts of bhang, her eyes laced with desirous debauchery.The Brij tradition of depicting the festival where women were dressed like miniature idols and the innate messaging of dance sequences are an indication to new-age, more direct sexual messaging. And so the sedate ghagra choli, the likes of which are typically seen in Mother India in Holi Aayi Re Kanhai where the iconic Nargis is reminiscing a previous Holi spent with Raj Kumar’s character – is now a thing of the past.Dressing downLike the larger-than-life group revelry burst that one saw in films like Sholay with the chirpy and childlike Basanti, played by Hema Malini, again sporting a violet and yellow mirrorwork ghagra choli – worn with the tried-and-tested conical bra giving way to the more curve hugging, seductive Yash Chopra heroines – the festival growing increasingly suggestive, more adult, not so much about harmless nok tok – but about tantalising touch, more foreplay.Take Silsila, where the ‘other woman’ is nearly deliberately shown in fitted white salwar, red bangles, a tight plait and a fully made up face, in direct contrast to the more sober and almost boringly jaded Jaya Bachchan in a traditional pink and white sari with a silver border, her tresses open. The moral fibre of the two women protagonists pitted against each other – symbolised through the wardrobe – one playing safe as the Bharatiya bahu, the other, the temptress, with a mind of her own.advertisement The eternal Holi anthem Rang Barse Bheege Chunarwali largely remembered for the apparent onscreen daring between the leading ladies – something shouldering under the surface of harmless familial celebration – promiscuity and the pleasures outside the strict boundaries of marriage and the woman you so want to please.If adult was becoming acceptable, let’s not forget Juhi Chawla in Darr – in Ang Se Ang Lagana which also witnessed a shift towards love of an obsessive, psychotic kind with Chawla, giggly and girly, melting into the arms of the beefy Sunny Deol, but under the bloodshot glance of her lover. The sexual tension was palpable.As the blushing, buxom Holi heroine surrendered to a more raunchy version with former Miss Universes and leggy models replacing heroines known for their traditional dancing skills – like Asha Parekh in Kati Patang, with the need of thumping item numbers over memorable Holi sangeets- the entourage also reflected the no-holds-barred sex appeal of an industry that survived on an innate desi sexism – how the heroine was being granted full warranty to tantalise seeti marooing front-benchers waiting for their paisa wasooli.Holi the ideal time for heroines to flaunt chiselled, bikini bods. In Waqt: A Race Against Time, in, Let’s play Holi, Priyanka Chopra deftly slipped out of a boring suit into a more risqu white t-shirt to be soaked to the skin, capris and sneakers. The Holi heroine no longer distantly desirous, but a flesh and blood figure we can touch and taste and even take a few liberties with. The festival relishing in man-woman chemistry and not just recreating a mini Vrindavan. In Yash Raj’s Mohabbatein, in Soni Soni Akhiyon Wali, Gen-Next brigade of newbies, Shamita Shetty and Kim Sharma literally basked in their sports bra, micro mini skirts and transparent shirts and comfy sneakers. Aishwarya Rai who made a brief appearance in the song in a lemon chiffon sari literally a ghost from the past – the new girls of tinsel town at par with the heroes in their cherkhani, footlooseness and fancy-free.With the heroine now unafraid to be a temptress, guzzling alcohol and fiercely flirtatious with the hero – taking full advantage of the debauchery that the festival has been traditionally associated with – the sexual licenses seem to have crossed the gender bias. Deepika Padukone, an archetype of the modern urban Indian woman was shown being sexually assertive in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’s Balam Pichkari mouthing bold lyrics that finally switch gears from a Holi targeting women to sexually objectifying men for the first time with ‘jeans pehenke jo tune mara thumka, toh lattu padosan ki bhabi ho gayi.advertisementHoli and the heroine have come a long way, and just like the lyrics – there is more pleasure, than poetry – both in their body language, and in the festive bonhomie.Also Read: Travelling by train on Holi? Here’s a pleasant surprise!last_img read more

Sachin sues Australian bat maker for 2mn in royalties

first_imgSydney: Batting great Sachin Tendulkar is suing Australian sports equipment maker Spartan Sports after it allegedly failed to pay him almost $2 million. In a case filed in an Australian court, Tendulkar reportedly alleged that the Sydney-based bat maker, which has since been renamed, has failed to make payments due to the batting great. A preliminary hearing for the dispute is slated for June 26 in Sydney. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Tendulkar’s lawyers said in documents filed at the court that Spartan Sports International “failed to make any payments due to Tendulkar” and a statutory demand issued in September 2018 for $2 million has remained unpaid. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ Medvedev Tendulkar had agreed with the company in July 2016 that they will pay him a minimum of $1 million a year to use his image and promotional services to sell “Sachin by Spartan” products. The imagery included a distinctive silhouette logo on clothing and bats. Tendulkar since attended many promotional events for the company. Additionally, another company owned by the Spartan group — Spartan Sports Brands — registered a trademark in Australia featuring a “silhouette” of Tendulkar “performing his signature square cut”. Other companies in the group also used that image to sell a variety of products. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’ships In September 2018, Tendulkar terminated the agreement with Spartan and requested its companies to stop using his image. His lawyers allege that the companies “continued to make use” of the trademark logos and have continued “to manufacture, promote, sell and/or supply the products”. Tendulkar is suing a number of Spartan companies for misleading or deceptive conduct. This includes allegedly representing that he endorses its products and the Spartan brand. He is also suing them for passing off — for suggesting an official endorsement or sponsorship relationship — and breach of contract. In addition to seeking damages, he also wants the court to permanently restrain the companies from “manufacturing, marketing and selling products” and the image must either be handed over or destroyed and that the Tendulkar trademarks be cancelled.last_img read more

After Lok Sabha poll results, Congress to see overhaul of AICC

first_imgNew Delhi: The May 23 is going to be very crucial for the Congress and its cadres as the results of the Lok Sabha election 2019 would play a decisive role in Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s total reshuffle plan of All India Congress Committee (AICC).According to party insiders, there would be a total overhauling of the AICC office-bearers after the Lok Sabha elections. “It’s not yet clear that the results of Lok Sabha elections would go in favour of Congress or not, but it’s very imminent that the AICC get a major reshuffle soon after the announcement of poll results. The Congress president has expressed his willingness to revamp the party’s committees by putting more responsibilities on the shoulders of leaders of the young generation,” a senior party leader told Millennium Post. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”The reshuffle would of a mass level. All the ‘non-performing’ AICC functionaries would be changed with a new and vibrant team,” the official said, adding that general secretaries would be empowered with more decision-making rights. “The party’s old guards may be given ‘comfortable’ responsibilities to avoid any conflict of interests with the party. The objective of the AICC overhauling would be aimed at making Congress a party of the nation,” the party official said, adding that several state presidents of the party would be replaced with leaders of performing records.last_img read more

Unfair Treatment of Morocco in Russia is a Sign of FIFA’s…

Rabat – As though the World Cup championship in Russia has not already been politicized enough, primarily by the ongoing dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia over broadcasting services, it appears that political bias may be trickling down from the behind-the-scenes wrangling over geopolitical issues to judges happy to discriminate against non-European country, perhaps for the right price.The latest outrage was sparked by the American referee twice denying Morocco the visual assistance referee (VAR) intervention during the game with Spain, which, by all accounts, was played admirably by Morocco and ended in a 2-2 tie.The referee refused to let Morocco review the recordings of the alleged mistakes, thus effectively disenfranchising the team after visible errors. VAR technology was likewise denied to Morocco during the game with Portugal. Various sports experts and journalists likewise expressed their outrage at what appeared to be the bias of the judge in favor of well-known European countries.FIFA’s history of corruption predates the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The most famous of these issues in recent times is the 2015 FIFA corruption case in which US federal prosecutors charged a number of officials with fraud, racketeering, and other crimes related to taking millions of euros in bribes.A number of these officials continued taking money during the course of the investigation.Although the United States is not big on football (soccer), the case reverberated widely throughout the country, as a number of officials and others implicated in the case were dual residents or nationals, or had other connections to the US.Although the case blew open the extent of corruption, it was neither the first nor the last episode in the sordid tale of the way a sport that is supposed to be for the masses becomes a playing field for the rich and powerful.One could argue that the Russia-Qatar mutual support society in winning the 2018 and 2022 bids despite initially poor to non-existent infrastructure, allegations of vast bribery, and human rights violations, are the prime example of how everything in FIFA can be bought.Indeed, one needs to look no further than the political crisis between Qatar and the Saudis, which is manifesting itself not only via the broadcasting controversy.Qatar’s beIN Sports managed to procure an exclusive right to broadcast coverage of the event; the Saudis accused the service of running unrelated political commentary during the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which the latter lost 5-0.Qatar, on the other hand, is accusing the Saudis of spearheading a pirate service, which the head of the Saudi Sports Authority, Turki Al Sheikh denies. Al Sheikh claims that the pirated service is grassroots and that the country is actively fighting it.Saudi Arabia is also expanding its investment into football as part of its Vision 2030 economic development strategy. The economic plan calls for the diversification of investments from oil to entertainment, culture, and sports.The plan has caused Saudi Arabia to engage in a number of complicated political maneuvers, ranging from competition with Bahraini investors, to a short-lived honorary appointment of Al Sheikh as an Egyptian football club head.FIFA’s role in the story is unclear, but suspicious. Why did FIFA ever let Qatar’s broadcasting service secure a monopoly on displaying the game? Why did FIFA condemn the alleged Saudi piracy, yet take no action to investigate and punish the supposed culprits?The dubious star of this saga is none other than the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, who may have downplayed the concerns over piracy during the opening football match, and who is known to be a frequent visitor to Saudi Arabia, where he had met King Salman.There is speculation that FIFA may be sympathetic to KSA’s plans to underwrite a USD 25 billion consortium-led plan to significantly expand Club World Cup and an international Nations League.Infantino’s name may ring a bell: he was implicated in the Panama Papers corruption scandal from 2016.  He was cleared very quickly, which in itself drew criticism of the process by which conveniently powerful FIFA-affiliated officials once again avoided accountability for the organization’s failings.Soon, however, Infantino made headlines as the subject of an investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee. The investigation was sparked by a complaint regarding his replacement of the chairmen and members of the FIFA board and his allegedly seeking to influence a Confederation of African Football (CAF) election.He was also accused of destroying attempted reforms at the organization when the head of FIFA’s auditing and compliance resigned.Further, he is accused of having played an unseemly role in the controversial vote over the 2026 World Cup hosting rights, during the course of which Saudi Arabia engaged in heavy direct lobbying of FIFA and various countries to vote for the United 2026 bid, and against Morocco.The bidding process was beset with accusations of political interference, including US President Trump’s tweet, which was seen as a veiled threat against countries which did not support the US bid, and Saudi Arabia’s hosting parties for high level officials from various countries, strong-arming Morocco through rhetoric from Al Sheikh.It seems that Infantino has set an uninspiring tone for an organization with a history not only of financial misdeeds but bias against African countries and the Third World, and favoritism toward famous teams and players backed by money and power.FIFA’s rules are disadvantageous to Africa, the world’s second most populated continent with 54 countries—only five of which may qualify for the World Cup, due to the ranking enforcement.The qualification process has long been criticized for taking the “world” out of World Cup. African countries are not the only ones with an ax to grind against FIFA.During the 2018 World Cup, Serbia accused FIFA of directing referees to favor their Swiss counterparts.FIFA also covered up the Russian doping scandal for 18 months, which, if addressed directly, could have made a difference for a number of countries. There is speculation that some of the Russian players continued with doping throughout this World Cup. The scandal implicated 34 football players.This culture of impunity, bias, and favoritism appears to have trickled down from the top to the referee level. Mark Geiger, the US referee who adamantly refused Morocco’s repeated requests for VAR and sought to restrain or disqualify as many Moroccan players as possible through the use of yellow cards, himself has a history of murky accusations.In the US, Geiger was a source of a litany of complaints by players and coaches alike for the alleged abuse of red cards, which threatened the integrity of the game. Geiger’s claim to infamy also rests in the Gold Cup semifinals between Mexico and Panama, held in Atlanta in July 2015, where Geiger admitted that officiating errors impacted the outcome of the game. Panama, at the time, claimed that the game was fixed.Critics argue that there is a case to be made of favoritism against African countries and for well-known European teams with Geiger. In the case of Morocco, an Italian commentator believed he unfairly denied Morocco a deserved penalty.These issues are sparking outrage, worldwide, not just in Morocco. Many developing countries saw the 2015 corruption probe as an opportunity for a fresh start for the embattled organization. FIFA was supposed to bring together in unity and equality passionate football players and fans from all over the world.Instead, FIFA has turned into a mechanism for wealthy world leaders and influencers to buy prestige by bribing referees and officials, and undermining, excluding, or prejudicing teams from developing countries.Furthermore, these countries, which were disadvantaged financially from the outset and felt they were now being penalized on the basis of their origin in a case of a bizarre double jeopardy, were hoping for the restoration of justice when responsible parties would finally be called out for their misdeeds and publicly condemned.Instead, the probe appeared to end in a miscarriage of justice. Several officials were suspended, but one of the allegedly main culprits was cleared.Even with some officials are charged and prosecuted, it appears that not much has changed. The entire culture of FIFA may very well be based in bias, corruption, and easy manipulation by the rich and powerful.The only answer to Morocco’s grievances may lie in the reform of the ranking system, stringent vigilance of the rules, and international commitment to holding FIFA and its donors accountable for clearly biased policies, which leave little room for accountability and for the simple enjoyment, growth, and promotion of the sport the organization once aspired to provide. read more

IndiaPakistan conflict prevented South Asian integration says CBK

The conflict between India and Pakistan has for long prevented integration between the South Asian countries, former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga said om New Delhi on Tuesday.Speaking at the inauguration of the three-day Raisina Dialogue, a global conclave on geo-politics and geo-economics, Kumaratunga said that while cooperation and economic integration proceeded very fast in the rest of the world, economic integration in South Asia was very slow, IANS reported. “The India-Pakistan conflict prevented regional integration,” she said. The former Sri Lankan president called for a paradigm shift from the old attitude of the South Asian countries towards each other.“Mutual understanding and cooperation will strengthen democracy in the region,” she said.“In the emerging regional environment, national security concerns should compel us to cooperate with each other.” Kumaratunga said that Sri Lanka could be a bridge for all South Asian nations as it has good relations with all of them.She also called for developing of soft power through tourism and people-to-people contact.With the theme of “Connecting Asia” this year, the flagship conference called Raisina Dialogue 2016, organised by the external affairs ministry and the Observer Research Foundation, is designed to explore and examine the prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s integration with the larger world. “This generation has left behind the baggage of conflict,” Kumaratunga said.Calling for a pragmatic action plan for regional integration, she said South Asia stood to gain from such an integration as the region has the largest number of poor people. Over 450 participants from around 40 countries are participating in this year’s conference. (Colombo Gazette) Reducing regional trading costs, moving beyond the differences between India and Pakistan, more travel by people between the South Asian countries and large investments in infrastructure were among the steps she suggested for regional integration. However, she said things were likely to change now with the rise of the post-Partition generation. read more

Stoney Creek connection to US penny stock fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted nine suspects in what is being called one of the largest international penny stock frauds in history. One of the defendants is from Stoney Creek, and is accused in two schemes that netted more than $140 million, affecting investors in dozens of countries.Melissa Raftis has the story.00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09

Cenovus CEO pipeline squeeze means Canadians subsidize US energy consumers

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Cenovus CEO: pipeline squeeze means Canadians ‘subsidize’ U.S. energy consumers by News Staff Posted Jan 24, 2013 3:44 pm MDT CALGARY _ Each Canadian is subsidizing U.S. energy consumers to the tune of $1,200 annually through cheap Alberta crude, the CEO of oilsands company Cenovus Energy Inc. said Thursday.“This is a major, major issue, not just for our industry but I think for all Canadians,” Brian Ferguson told a CIBC investor conference in Whistler, B.C.A report by CIBC last year said Canada’s oil industry was missing out on $18 billion a year because of the big discount its crude gets in relation to both U.S. and global benchmarks.Ferguson figures the price gap, or differential, has since widened to $36 billion.“Math on that is roughly $1,200 per Canadian in a subsidy to the United States, that’s because of a lack of takeaway capacity,” said Ferguson.Alberta crude traditionally fetches a lower price than West Texas Intermediate, a key U.S. light oil benchmark, because it is more difficult to process and is farther away from market.But that discount has been painfully steep lately, at around $40 lower than WTI. Landlocked WTI itself has been garnering lower prices than global crudes that can reach the most lucrative markets by sea, which effectively means Alberta producers face a double whammy.Those market dynamics have added a sense of urgency for industry and government alike to seek out new ways for Alberta crude to reach coastal waters.Pipeline projects are in the works to link Alberta crude to the West Coast for export to Asia, a major refining complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast and markets along the eastern seaboard that currently import pricey overseas crude.“I’m in favour of all pipelines going everywhere,” Ferguson said.But all of those projects, to varying degrees, face vehement opposition from landowners, environmentalists and others who fear an oil spill could cause dire ecological damage. The bigger-picture issue of the oilsands’ climate impact, and the role pipelines play in enabling that resource’s development, has also figured heavily in the debate.The controversies have led to regulatory delays and the spectre of opponents using lawsuits to stymie energy projects.Cenovus has taken steps to ensure about 90 per cent of its crude volumes this year are shielded from the differential. The interests it has in refineries in Texas act as a cushion of sorts, since it can make up for the money lost in producing the oil with cost savings in processing it.It also has hedging contracts in place to sell its crude at a set price, so it is protected by big swings in the market.Cenovus is able to ship some 12,000 barrels of oil per day to the Vancouver area via Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain line, the size of which the Houston-based company plans to nearly triple.Cenovus is shipping more and more of its crude by rail, doubling volumes from 5,000 barrels per day in 2012 to 10,000 barrels this year.The differentials have had a big impact on Alberta’s all-important oil revenues, with Finance Minister Doug Horner warning earlier this week that his March 7 budget will not be a “fun” one.In a speech to a Calgary business audience, Horner pegged the effect of the discount on the Canadian economy at $27 billion a year, or $75 million a day.Alberta has the third largest proven crude reserves in the world, behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, he noted.“What could possibly go wrong?” he asked.“Well, the price of energy could go down. Alberta’s growing inability to access new markets with our product could give our oil producers some problems and Alberta’s resource revenues could take a dramatic and unexpected plunge. Or all these things could happen at the same time,” he said.“It seems that we scored a hat trick. These are three of the biggest challenges the Alberta government is facing today. And we have our work cut out for us.” read more

Wildcats Nerlens Noel Declares for NBA Draft

Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel, who is the No. 1 NBA draft prospect in most preliminary drafts, announced Monday that he plans to enter the 2013 NBA draft.Noel, who is currently recovering from surgery to a torn ACL, led the nation with 4.4 blocks per game and averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. He also had 50 steals, which earned him Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year honors.“I’ve learned so much here at UK and am thankful for coach (John) Calipari, the staff and my teammates for all of their support,” Noel said in a statement. “I especially appreciate the Big Blue Nation and all of the support, prayers and well-wishes I’ve received from them during my rehab and decision-making process. I’ll always be a Wildcat!”The 6-foot-10 freshman will now join Wildcats guard Archie Goodwin in the NBA draft. Noel was the nation’s top recruit last year, which headlined a recruiting class that included Goodwin, forward Alex Poythress and center Willie Cauley-Stein. Noel was the only freshman that was consistent all year long.Noel is currently the No. 1 draft prospect ahead of Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, Kansas’ Ben McLemore and Georgetown’s Otto Porter.“I support Nerlens’ decision to enter his name in the draft and am excited for him and his future,” Calipari said in a statement. “The hard work and will to win he showed on the floor this year and the dedication and attitude he has shown in his rehab will only be a reward for him and whatever team drafts him in June.”The Wildcats entered last season as the consensus No. 1, but quickly plummeted out of the Top 25 even with a healthy Noel. But after Noel’s Feb. 12 knee injury at Florida, the Wildcats missed the opportunity to earn an at-large NCAA tournament bid.Kentucky went 4-5 without Noel, ultimately missing the NCAA tournament after winning it all in 2012. The Wildcats were the first team since the 2009 national champion North Carolina Tar Heels, to miss the tournament the following year after winning it all. They eventually lost a first-round NIT game at Robert Morris. read more

Significant Digits For Friday Jan 30 2015

One more plea for the newsletter: Sign up for it now and be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news. And, as always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey. $50John Kerry, the United States secretary of state, owes the city of Boston a $50 fine for failing to shovel his sidewalk. Kerry was in Saudi Arabia — a nation not known for its snow-clearance legislation — as a blizzard struck New England this week. [The Boston Globe]63.9 percentThe home ownership rate is now at its lowest level since 1994, down to 63.9 percent in the final quarter of 2014. [Los Angeles Times]96 tonsAmount of dog poop generated in New York City each day. [FiveThirtyEight]98 percent of scientistsAbout 98 percent scientists say the public’s lack of knowledge about science is a problem, so why don’t you guys go learn a book or something, geez. [Re/code]3,000 storiesI thought I was safe in journalism — I’d picked a good field, one that couldn’t be automated. I was wrong. The Associated Press is already automatically generating 3,000 stories each quarter. Right now, those stories are about companies’ quarterly earnings, but who knows when the robots will move on to the dog poop beat. [The Verge]$1.3 billionNew York City cultural institutions spent $1.3 billion on new construction over the past five years on projects including the expansion of the Queens Museum and the renovation of the fountains at the Met. In 2014, construction expenditures were up 46 percent from 2013 to $208 million. [Crain’s New York] You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe.9 communications majors It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that the notoriously taciturn Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch is not among the nine communications majors taking the field in Super Bowl XLIX. Playboy broke down the college majors of every player in this year’s game, and communications came out as the most popular course of study, with nine players, followed by sociology and general studies, with seven players each. [Playboy]11.8 percentAccording to the NFL, concussions decreased by 11.8 percent this season compared to last year, to 202 from 229. [The New York Times]14 percent riseThe average American office worker spends nine hours each week in meetings or thinking about meetings, up 14 percent from four years ago. [NPR]25 megabits per secondThe Federal Communications Commission raised the bar on the download speeds for “broadband” Internet to 25 megabits per second (Mbps) from 4 Mbps. Under the previous standard, 6.3 percent of households didn’t have broadband. Now 19.4 percent don’t. [Ubergizmo] read more

Halfton Mexican man once the worlds heaviest dies aged 48

first_imgA MEXICAN MAN once listed as the world’s heaviest human being died yesterday at the age of 48.Manuel Uribe had slimmed down to about 867 pounds (61 stone), well below his then-record peak weight of 1,230 pounds (87 stone), which was certified in 2006 as a Guinness World Record.Uribe’s death was confirmed by an official of the health department of Nuevo Leon state, where the city of Monterrey is located.Uribe had been confined to his bed in Monterrey for years, unable to walk on his own.The official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name, said Uribe had been taken to the hospital on May 2 because of an abnormal heartbeat.He had to be taken to the hospital with a crane by emergency and civil defense workers.Doctors have not yet certified the cause of death. In addition to the cardiac condition, Uribe was also believed to have suffered from liver problems.Uribe married Claudia Solis in 2008, and the wedding was one of the few times he left his home in recent years.Uribe was a chubby kid, weighing more than 250 pounds (115 kilograms) as an adolescent. Starting in 1992, he said, his weight began ballooning further.Since the summer of 2002, Uribe had been bedridden, relying on his mother and friends to feed and clean him.Read: This anti-obesity poster from France is totally unforgettablelast_img read more

Valve announces gamingfocused SteamOS

first_imgValve has just announced SteamOS, a gaming focused operating system with the most popular PC gaming platform in the world at the center.The road to the SteamBox has been paved with very specific individual steps. Every couple of months, Valve takes another seemingly obvious step closer. The availability of Steam Big Picture, where you can enjoy a full screen experience on your television with a controller of your choosing to navigate everything, was the first huge step in this direction. The recent dedication to Linux by Gabe Newell, which included some Windows 8 bashing as well, gave a not so subtle hint as to what would likely be next. There was also the available position on Valve’s staff pages to try and re-imagine the controller. These and several other steps have left users drooling with anticipation, but it appears there’s still more to come.Allowing Steam to be available on Linux was a big first step, and something hardcore Linux users have wanted from the very beginning. Valve has taken things a step further now though, and created their own distribution that focuses on the Steam experience.Valve describes Steam as a “many to many” entertainment platform, and has created an open experience that helps make it easier for content creators and consumers to come together and enjoy what is possible. Best of all, SteamOS will be free forever according to their website describing this new experience, and will be freely licensable for manufacturers to build their own SteamOS-based devices.Valve promises that hundreds of games are already running natively on SteamOS, with more AAA titles expected to be announced in 2014. If you have an existing PC or Mac with your Steam games installed, you’ll be able to stream them across your local network from those machines to a SteamOS device, allowing you to play on your TV even though your desktop is in the other room.Valve also plans to announce streaming movies and music partners shortly, describing the list as “many of the media services you know and love” on the site.Coupled with the beta for Family sharing and improved Family Options for content control, Valve has clearly designed an OS with a console in mind, but so many more options available. The social experience in SteamOS has taken center stage, alongside Steam Workshop to help people create and share in the Steam store.Valve has more to announce in the coming days, and while we can’t be 100% certain it seems like everything that could be done to build the OS for a SteamBox is sitting here before you. The only thing left is the hardware, and maybe a big game exclusive to go along side it?last_img read more

Body found in search for elderly farmer in Co Kerry

first_imgBody found in search for elderly farmer in Co Kerry Jim Keane, aged 70, had been missing since Monday. Image: Ballybunion Rescue via Facebook Thursday 3 Nov 2016, 7:38 PM 34,950 Views By Sinead O’Carroll http://jrnl.ie/3060671 Share332 Tweet Email Image: Ballybunion Rescue via Facebook Updated at 7.40pm A BODY HAS been found in the search for a missing farmer in Co Kerry.Jim Keane, aged 70, from Lixnaw had been missing since Monday afternoon.Last night, his tractor was recovered from the River Brick, which runs next to his land in Dysert.Gardaí, the Valentia and Ballybunion Coast Guards and Ballybunion Search & Rescue have been taking part in a search operation in recent days.It had been feared that the elderly farmer’s tractor slid into the river.A body, understood to be that of the farmer, was discovered by divers this evening at around 5pm, a spokesperson for Mallow Search and Rescue, which also took part in the search, confirmed tonight.Weather conditions in the area were calm as the search took place, he said, although the visibility in the water was “near zero”.The body was taken from the scene by ambulance and has yet to be formally identified.- with reporting by Daragh Brophy More: Man’s face slashed in Dublin city centre attack‘Skeletal service’: These garda units will work tomorrow as most rank-and-file members go on strikeRead: Questioning of Irishman held over Gary Hutch murder continues 9 Comments Short URL Nov 3rd 2016, 7:38 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Les Galapagos veulent éradiquer les rats pour sauver les tortues

first_imgLes Galapagos veulent éradiquer les rats pour sauver les tortuesUn vaste programme de dératisation a débuté dans l’archipel équatorien des Galapagos afin de permettre aux célèbres tortues de revenir dans leur lieu de reproduction naturelle. En effet, les rongeurs de ces îles sont des prédateurs de ces tortues géantes.Près de 2.000 espèces de rongeurs sont des prédateurs des tortues des Galapagos. Installés dans ces îles de l’Equateur, ces rongeurs “détruisent les œufs et tuent les bébés, altérant l’équilibre naturel qui présente un écosystème si fragile tel que celui des Galapagos”, explique à l’AFP Edwin Naula. Il est le directeur de la réserve, isolée dans l’océan Pacifique, à 1.000 km des côtes de l’Equateur et est aujourd’hui en charge de l’opération de dératisation qui y est menée. Le poison mortel pour les rongeurs, un anti-coagulant, est largué depuis un hélicoptère au dessus de l’île Pinzon. Quelques 22 tonnes d’aliments empoisonnés ont ainsi été dispersés. L’objectif de cette dératisation massive est de permettre aux tortues géantes (qui peuvent peser jusqu’à 500 kg pour 1,80 m), de retrouver le chemin de la reproduction naturelle. Entre 30.000 et 40.000 tortues d’une dizaine d’espèces différentes vivent dans l’archipel qui est classé au patrimoine mondial de l’humanité de l’Unesco depuis 1979. Reproduites en captivité dans les installations du parc naturel des Galapagos (PNG), les tortues, souvent centenaires, sont élevées jusqu’à l’âge de 4 ou 5 ans avant d’être relâchées. Depuis 45 ans, 550 reptiles ont ainsi été mises en liberté. Mais “nous n’avons pas eu de succès dans nos tentatives de reproduction naturelle en raison de la présence des rats. Et nous espérons que cela changera une fois qu’aura disparu le principal ennemi de leurs nids”, explique Christian Sevilla, responsable de la conservation et de la restauration des écosystèmes insulaires. Il souligne également que les rongeurs, très agressifs et destructeurs, s’attaquent non seulement aux œufs des tortues mais aussi à d’autres populations protégées, comme les iguanes ou les lézards.Une espèce étrangère et invasive qui porte atteinte à tout l’écosystème À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Il faut dire que ces rongeurs ne sont pas originaires de ces îles. Ils sont arrivés il y a “plusieurs centaines d’années dans les Galapagos à l’époque où venaient les pirates”, précise M. Sevilla. “Notre but est de restaurer les écosystèmes dans les Galapagos, qui ont été depuis longtemps altérés avec l’activité des baleiniers et des pirates”, grands consommateurs de tortues, au même titre que les rats. “L’une des préoccupations, c’est d’éviter que l’application du poison porte atteinte à d’autres espèces natives ou endémiques”, indique encore M. Sevilla. C’est dans ce souci qu’une soixantaine de faucons ont été mis en cages. Ils seront relâchés plus tard, lorsque le risque de contamination aura disparu. En effet, le poison est bio-dégradable et il n’est pas soluble dans l’eau. Mais tous les animaux ne peuvent pas être protégés. C’est ainsi que, près du cadavre de deux rongeurs, on a trouvé celui d’une chouette, morte après avoir mangé un rat qui avait ingéré du poison. “C’est le prix à payer, mais notre plan va permettre de restaurer l’environnement”, souligne Danny Rueda, un autre responsable de la protection de l’écosystème insulaire.Le 14 décembre 2012 à 19:05 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Cassie Cal robot can probably ride hovershoes better than you

first_img2:48 Tags Sci-Tech Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 0center_img Robots Post a comment Cassie’s got a brand new pair of roller skates… well, sort of.  Hybrid Robotics If you’re not in a lab at MIT or closely following this particular branch of engineering, it might seem like a lot of robots have been showing off lately. The SpotMini, for example, has been performing feats of strength every few months. UC Berkeley’s Hybrid Robotics Lab is adding its bipedal robot, Cassie Cal, to the mix. The researchers are teaching Cassie to ride motorized single-wheel skates, or hovershoes, IEEE Spectrum Magazine reported Thursday. The skates are pretty hard to operate, even for a human. In addition to balancing, you control the skates by leaning forward, backward, left and right. The researchers added a sensor to Cassie to help with control.Shuxiao Chen, Jonathan Rogers, and Bike Zhang, UC Berkeley students who worked on the project, said it took about eight months to teach Cassie to skate. The process involved mathematical models, simulations to test the algorithms and figuring out how to interface and communicate with Cassie and various sensors. In short: lots of trial and error. The team said the larger goal is to teach robots to achieve multi-modal locomotion, which humans are capable of. Optimizing locomotion for legged robots, according to the team, would improve travel efficiency over various terrains. “Autonomous robots with multi-modal locomotion capabilities can have a big impact in the real-world from food delivery to security and surveillance to search and rescue missions,” the team said. Originally published June 7.Update, June 10: Adds comments from UC Berkeley student team. Tiny jumping robot learns new trickslast_img read more

Father planned Beauty murder to frame rapist Police

first_imgRapeFather of Beauty Akhter and two others were involved in the sensational murder of the 16-year-old girl, police said on Saturday, reports UNB.Victim’s father Sayed Ali, his relative Moyna Mia, and a hired professional killer murdered Beauty to implicate one Babul Mia in the crime, Bidhan Tripura, superintendent of police in Habiganj, said at a press conference in Habiganj.He said Beauty’s father Sayed gave confessional statements before Habiganj judicial magistrate Touhidul Islam under section 164 over the murder earlier in the day.Beauty’s father planned to kill her assuming her fade marital prospect after the incident of kidnap and rape, said Shamsur Rahman Bhuiyan, additional superintendent of police and also the head of a three-member probe committee formed over the murder.Moyna Mia took the opportunity to take revenge against Babul as his wife was defeated by Babul’s mother in recently held Union Parisad election, he said.The trio killed Beauty during the wee hours of 17 March and dumped the body in Brahmandora Haor, he added.Beauty of Brahmondora village in Shayestaganj upazila went missing on 16 March and police recovered her body from haor area the next day.According to the case statement, Babul Mia kidnapped Beauty, 16, of Brahmondora village in Shayestaganj upazila on 21 January and raped her for a month.Later on 4 March, the victim’s family members filed a murder case with Woman and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal.On 18 March, her father Sayed Ali filed the case against two people with names, including Babul, and several unknown people with Shayestaganj police station.As Babul started to threat Beauty’s family members for withdrawing the case she was sent to her grandfather’s house at Gunipur village in Lakhai upazila of Habiganj.Later, Babul was arrested in Beanibazar area of Sylhet on 31 March.Police also detained Babul’s mother and one Ismail of Brahmondora village for their alleged involvement in the incident.The incident created a widespread outcry among people when a photograph of the victim’s body lying on a field went viral on Facebook.last_img read more