Quebec judge withdraws from sex case after saying teen victim had a

first_imgMONTREAL – A Quebec judge has withdrawn from a case in which he said a 17-year-old victim of sexual assault was a little overweight, had a pretty face and was maybe a “bit flattered” at the interest shown in her.Court documents show Judge Jean-Paul Braun recused himself on Oct. 26, a day after his comments were published in a Montreal newspaper.He gave no reasons for his decision.Braun is being replaced by Lori Weitzman, another Quebec court judge.The case resumes Dec. 14 with sentencing arguments.The Crown says Braun’s decision will not delay proceedings.Braun made the comments earlier this year during the sexual assault trial of taxi driver Carlo Figaro, who was eventually found guilty of attacking the teenager in his cab back in 2015.“We can say she is a little overweight, but she has a pretty face, huh?” Braun said at one point.He went on to say she was possibly even “a bit flattered” because “maybe it’s the first time a man has been interested in her.”Braun noted that trying to kiss someone could be seen as an acceptable gesture.Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee called Braun’s remarks unacceptable and said she intended to file a complaint.last_img read more

Measles deaths fall but world still far from eliminating disease – UNbacked

“We have seen a“substantial drop in measles deaths for more than two decades, but now we must strive to reach zero measles cases,” said Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, in a joint statement on Thursday for the Measles and Rubella Initiative (MR&I). The study, published by MR&I – a partnership formed in 2001 between the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), WHO, UN Foundation, American Red Cross, and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – marks the first time that global measles deaths have fallen below 100,000 per year. “Measles elimination will only be reached if measles vaccines reach every child, everywhere,” added Dr. Okwo-Bele. Since 2000, an estimated 5.5 billion doses of measles-containing vaccines have been provided to children through routine immunization services and mass vaccination campaigns, saving an estimated 20.4 million lives. However, the world is still far from reaching regional measles elimination goals. According to the joint statement, people being treated with the first of two vaccine-required doses have stalled at approximately 85 per cent since 2009, far short of the 95 per cent coverage needed to stop the infections, and coverage with the second dose, despite recent increases, was only 64 per cent in 2016. Some 20.8 million children are still missing their first measles vaccine dose – more than half of whom live in six countries. Nigeria has 3.3 million unvaccinated children; India has 2.9 million; Pakistan, two million; Indonesia, 1.2 million; Ethiopia, 0.9 million; and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 0.7 million are not immunized. Since measles is a highly contagious viral disease, large outbreaks continue to occur in these and other countries in Europe and North America, putting children at risk of severe health complications, such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, encephalitis, blindness and death. Countries with the greatest number of measles deaths rely most heavily on polio-funded resources. Once polio eradication is achieved, those resources, which support routine immunization services, measles and rubella vaccination campaigns and surveillance will be at high risk of diminishing and disappearing, reversing the progress made. read more

Mechel opens new experimental ferronickel production complex

first_imgMechel OAO, one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, has announced that its Southern Urals Nickel Plant has opened an experimental industrial complex to produce ferronickel. The industrial complex will produce ferronickel by electric smelting. The complex’s launch is part of the reconstruction of the plant’s smelting facilities, aimed at increasing production efficiency, lowering production costs and dramatically reducing the volume of waste released into the atmosphere. The new technology will also allow the plant to significantly decrease operating costs by excluding several expensive components from the technological cycle.The 12MW complex’s annual production capacity is some 4,500 t of ferronickel, with an average 20% nickel content. The smelting complex was designed by Bateman Engineering in South Africa, based on state-of-the-art technical developments employed for the ferroalloy industry and environment protection. In developing the project Bateman used an integrated approach, which made possible a combination of lower production costs with higher metal extraction levels and improved equipment endurance and reliability.”Launching this unique industrial complex for ferronickel production, with its 12MW electric furnace, which will be used to master the technology and train our personnel, marks the beginning of the plant’s sweeping modernisation. The development strategy implemented by the plant is due to ensure not only the present, but also the future for South Urals Nickel Plant and dramatically improve the facility’s economical and ecological parameters,” Mechel OAO’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Igor Zyuzin said in a statement.last_img read more

Poll Should Paul Kiely have to give back his CRC retirement package

first_img Yes, all of it (1618) Yes, some of it (3382) FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the Central Remedial Clinic, Paul Kiely, received a €742,000 pension and pay-off package when he retired in March of last year.This payment was discussed in depth at a Public Accounts Committee meeting with CRC staff during the week.It emerged that €700,000 was taken from the charitable fund, Friends and Supporters of the CRC, to help fund Kiely’s retirement package.Today, former CRC chairman Hamilton Goulding said in an interview with the Daily Mail that it would be a “good gesture” if Kiely paid some of the money back, but he added: “It is not as if he has not been entitled to some of it for all the work he did put in over three decades”.Today, we ask you: Should Paul Kiely have to give back his CRC retirement package? Poll Results:center_img No (1281) Yes, all of itYes, some of itNoVoteRead: Here are the minutes of the CRC board meeting where Paul Kiely’s €742k pay-off was agreed>last_img read more

The average Irish saver has over €20000 on deposit

first_imgOVER THREE QUARTERS of Irish adults have a deposit account, with the average amount on deposit €20,500, a survey by Standard Life has found.The savings and investment outfit’s survey found that almost one in five Irish adults (17%) has between €10,000 and €50,000 on deposit.More than six out of ten depositors don’t know what rate of tax is payable on the interest earned, while 68% think current deposit rates are bad value for money.The high level of savings on deposit has been identified by many as a major drag on the economic recovery, as consumers put off purchases, keeping inflation down and slowing consumption in the domestic economy.The most recent figures from the Central Bank show that Irish households had a total of just over €91 billion on deposit at the end of May this year, only marginally down on a year previously.Standard Life product development spokesperson Sinead Cullen said that much of the interest gained on deposits is lost to tax, with Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) levied at 41% alongside 4% PRSI for some savers.“Many depositors are now earning as little as 1% or roughly half that after taxes”, she said.Edited 17.23Read: Number of defaulted loans falls at bank of Ireland>Read: Do strong coffee sales mean the economy is getting better?>last_img read more

Trailer Watch Which movie should you go see this weekend

first_imgTrailer Watch: Which movie should you go see this weekend? What’s a must-watch, and what’s a miss? We tell you. RottenTomatoes: None yetIMDB: None yetCertain Women Source: Movieclips Trailers/YouTubeWhat we knowThe lives of four women in a small town in the US are explored in this film based on short stories. Their stories are lightly connected and some of them would make you weep.What the critics say“…like all of Reichardt’s work (her previous films include small, humane dramas like Wendy and Lucy and Night Moves), it lingers. Certain Women is a film where a missed opportunity to connect, or a brief, surprising flash of empathy, feels crucial enough to pore over days after seeing it.” – The Atlantic“The subtlety of the film is both an accomplishment and a limitation. It’s hard not to want more for these women, and to wish you could see more of them.” – NY Times What’s it rated? Share2 Tweet Email RottenTomatoes: 7.7/10IMDB: 6.6/10Which one would you go see first? What’s it rated? Poll Results: What’s it rated? PLANNING ON HEADING out to the cinema this weekend?There are a few new movies out, but which is a must-watch, and are there any you should avoid?We take a look.Logan Source: Movieclips Trailers/YouTubeWhat we knowIt’s Wolverine, but not as you know it. Hugh Jackman stars in the third part of the Wolverine franchise. It’s a lot more adult and intense than its predecessors.What the critics say“Logan is as brutal and bleak as any superhero movie in recent memory; they could have called this one X-Men: Apocalypse. But it’s also a comic-book adaptation that takes its characters and its themes seriously, that elevates the genre past spectacle and on to something resembling art, even poetry.” – AV Club“The third ‘Wolverine’ film brings the saga to a satisfying finish, as Hugh Jackman’s mutant slasher finds his powers on the wane.” – Variety LoganTomato RedCertain WomenNone of themVote Mar 2nd 2017, 8:30 PM None of them (933) Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img RottenTomatoes: 8.2/10IMDB: 9.5/10Tomato Red Thursday 2 Mar 2017, 8:30 PM 20,466 Views Certain Women (283) By Aoife Barry 24 Comments Logan (3292) Tomato Red (88) Source: Element Pictures Distribution/YouTubeWhat we knowIreland’s Juanita Wilson directs this adaptation of Daniel Woodrell’s book. It’s about Jamalee and her brother Jason, who want to escape their miserable home. So when an ex-con meets them, things get intense.What the critics say“After a well-paced build-up, the pivotal event – to say more is to spoil – causes huge trauma, ramping up the tension between the family and the local community.” –“Standing in the back garden of a large country house, Jamalee asks why some people get to have all this. Tomato Red offers no satisfactory response, because the people asking the question are never afforded such luxuries.” – The London Economic Short URL last_img read more

Bus Éireann strikes show contempt for the public Businesses hit out at

first_img Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Mar 31st 2017, 11:31 AM Friday 31 Mar 2017, 11:31 AM 79 Comments By Fora Staff 19,093 Views Bus Éireann strikes show ‘contempt’ for the public: Businesses hit out at dispute Commuters have faced chaos as Irish Rail and Dublin Bus services have been cancelled. Take me to Fora THE BUS ÉIREANN strikes, which have spread to Irish Rail and Dublin Bus, show ‘contempt’ for the travelling public.That is according to employers group Ibec, which has also hit out at the unions involved in the dispute, which has seen transport services severely disrupted.The organisation, which represents some of Ireland’s largest companies, said that the industrial action “demonstrates contempt for the travelling public, including some of the most vulnerable sections of society”.The group called on union bosses “to show leadership and bring this action to an immediate halt this morning”.Ibec Director of Employer Relations Maeve McElwee said that the industrial action “will have a significant adverse impact on businesses and workers with potentially devastating effects in critical sectors including health and elder/social care services”.Dublin Chamber, which represents businesses in the Dublin region, also called for management at Bus Eireann and the Unions “to recommence talks immediately with a view to getting public transport services back up and running again as soon as possible”.Head of public affairs at Dublin Chamber Graeme McQueen said: “This morning’s action has proved hugely disruptive, with workers forced to find alternative ways of getting to work so that it remains business as usual in Dublin.Early this morning, Bus Éireann workers began picketing across multiple transport depots. Irish Rail services in and out of Dublin, and all over the country, were cancelled, while Dublin Bus services were also badly affected. Source: Sam BoalBoth Dublin Bus and Irish Rail said they had no warning ahead of the picketing, which a Dublin Bus spokeswoman said began outside bus depots at 4am this morning.Bus Éireann woesThe Bus Éireann strike enters its eighth day today.The company is struggling with high losses, and is looking to implement a dramatic cost-cutting plan that would see 300 jobs cut. Union workers went on strike after the company decided to impose payroll cuts.Speaking to RTE’s Morning Ireland, the general secretary of the NBRU Dermot O’Leary said that the union did not orchestrate the pickets.“I’m urging those who are picketing to stop, and people [at Irish Rail and Dublin Bus] should go to work immediately,” he said.“I don’t condone this,” he added before suggesting that he hoped the picketers and the Irish Rail and Dublin Bus workers see some “sense” in the next few hours.Mr O’Leary said the union was not in dispute with Irish Rail or Dublin Bus and the only mandate he has is in relation to Bus Éireann.“I assure you, there was no union involvement in this,” he said.Irish Rail has advised that it will provide updates on all its services on its website here, while Dublin Bus provides a breakdown of the services affected here.The disruptions are set to ease in the coming hours as secondary pickets are lifted at Dublin Bus and Irish Rail sites.Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Share33 Tweet Email last_img read more

Regional trauma centres in Greece receive major upgrades thanks to THI Australia

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Australia, in association with Paediatric Trauma Care (Pedtrauma) has moved to fund two regional paediatric facilities in Greece, providing them with necessary medical equipment for their Paediatric and Neonatal wards.The first clinic to receive part of the $48,000 grant was the General Hospital of Kastoria, that opened on Friday 7 September, in the presence of the Board Member of THI and CEO of Cancer Australia, Dr Helen Zorbas.“We are delighted that The Hellenic Initiative Australia is supporting our organisation and has assisted with these two regional hospitals in critical need,” Dr Zorbas said.“Our role is to support the hospitals and give them what they need to save our children’s lives because that’s what they’re doing…“Our goal is to upgrade all the hospitals in Greece and on the islands so that all children are within that one-hour radius to get to a hospital with the right facilities.”Pedtrauma is a non-profit organisation operating since 1995, aiming to raise awareness of treatment for children and provide as many hospitals in Athens and Greece as possible with the right medical equipment in order to be able to deal with incidents involving children quickly and in the right manner, having already invested over €1.5 million towards this goal. The second clinic in Ioannina is expected to be upgraded sometime in October.last_img read more

Googles Alice AI Is Sending Secret Messages To Another AI

first_imgEncryption is something we all rely on regularly to keep our information safe online, but many of us have experienced it since childhood, and in fact probably used it in school. If you ever wrote out a message in code that nobody could read without they knew the decipher rules, you messed around with encryption!That same secret message technique has now been put to a much more worrying use. Google has created multiple AI and they’ve learned how to not only create their own encryption, but are now communicating using messages nobody else can read.This Google Brain project is an experiment in deep learning techniques and involved the use of three neural networks (Alice, Bob, and Eve) created using artificial neurons. These neural nets work like a much simplified version of our brains, and they are slowly and steadily becoming more intelligent._DJ_ on FlickrThe task the Google Brain team set was for Alice to create a simple form of encryption and work with Bob to agree a set of numbers known as a key. Using this key, Bob can read the encrypted messages Alice sent. Meanwhile Eve intercepts the messages and attempts to decipher them.The important thing to remember about neural nets is they continue to learn and adapt, just like us humans do. So while initially the secret message passing didn’t go so well, Alice adapted and got better. Eve was unable to decipher the messages beyond what classes as pure chance.Having two AI communicate using encryption not even us humans can decipher hasn’t happened yet as the encryption is so simple, but there’s every chance it will with enough practice. But why would you want to encourage that to happen? Well, it will likely result in more digital security because different computing systems could allow an AI to handle data transmission using its own encryption only another AI at the destination has a chance of understanding. That would cause hackers a serious, if not insurmountable headache.Of course, it also means we’d be creating a network of highly intelligent AI systems who can chat about and plan whatever they like, and we wouldn’t have a clue what they are going to do until it happened…last_img read more

September treat Back to school

first_imgWith each step along tree-shaded Northeast Sixth Avenue early Wednesday, the last moments of summer vacation for 10-year-old Alex Beltran-Villa faded nearer to oblivion.Young Alex didn’t mind.“Yeah!” he exulted, raising both arms over his head. “Me like learning!”A moment later, the fifth-grader who’s added 3 inches to his 5-foot frame since June (tallest kid at Sacajawea Elementary School, by most accounts) reflected on the occasion a bit more earnestly.“I’m not so sad to see summer end, ’cause I like school,” Alex said, sporting a Pac-Man T-shirt and small backpack. He does enjoy the learning, besides seeing good friends again, he said. It’s not like the past two months were boring, either: There were long camping trips and swimming, plenty of family fun.“We did a lot of things, but I’d just rather have school than summer. I like it, period,” he explained.Alex was among 21,000-plus Vancouver Public Schools students who began a new year Wednesday, many with a similar sunny outlook. In the Battle Ground district, nearly 13,000 students did the same.They were the last of the nine Clark County school districts to get classes under way, a full week after many had opened their doors.last_img read more

Scientists give mice infrared vision turning them into tiny Predators

first_img Share your voice 1 Tags dra_schwartz/Getty/Jackson Ryan Pop culture is full of superheroes and villains that can see their worlds in infrared. Superman can do it. So can the fearsome Predator. Sadly for us, the ability has remained confined to comics and film. Yes, the human eye is a marvel in itself, but the ability to see beyond the visible spectrum is just not within its capabilities.However, a group of Chinese scientists might have just changed that, creating an injectable nanoparticle that provides superhuman vision.Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China and the University of Massachusetts Medical School developed an “ocular nanoparticle” that can detect near-infrared light (NIR). They then injected it directly into the eyes of mice. Their study, published in Cell on Feb. 28, shows that the mice were given “super vision”, allowing them to see beyond the visible spectrum, without any effects on their regular vision.Essentially, they created a Supermouse. This is its origin story — and no, it (sadly) does not involve any radioactive spiders.Mouse eyes, like human eyes, are limited to seeing “visible light”, which makes up just a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Typically, our eyes only respond to wavelengths in the spectrum between approximately 400 and 700 nanometers. Wavelengths longer than 700 nanometers are invisible to us and are designated as “infrared” (and even longer wavelengths are things like microwaves and radio waves, which we certainly cannot see).To enable the mouse eye to see in infrared, the research team developed a nanoparticle that would shift the wavelength of incoming infrared light (at 980 nanometers) to a wavelength that was detectable by the cells in the eye (535 nanometers). The nanoparticle is so tiny that it can be injected into the inner eye where it attaches to the retinal cells — those responsible for converting light to electric signals that can be interpreted by the brain. And by shifting the wavelength down to 535 nanometers, the mouse eye should be able to detect the once-invisible infrared light as a green glow. The researchers tested if the mouse could detect the light by assessing their pupils. When exposed to light, mouse (and human) pupils contract to regulate how much light is passing into the eye. If the nanoparticles were working, the scientists should be able to shine the invisible infrared light into the eye and still see the pupils contract. And that’s exactly what happened. Supermouse was born.Injected mice were able to locate a hidden underwater platform, in a Y maze, in the dark!  University of Science and Technology of China/Cell Not only that, but the team ran the mice through a series of water Y-mazes in an effort to determine whether they could make out visual patterns in infrared light to find a hidden platform. They trained the mice to associate an infrared light pattern with the platform and then tested both injected mice and non-injected mice to see how they fared.Mice that did not receive the ocular injections only correctly found the platform 50 percent of the time, but those with the nanoparticles lurking in their eyes were able to do so around 80 percent of the time even in the dark. Moreover, the nanoparticles continued to work for up to 10 weeks without any residual side effects or long-term damage to normal vision. Because the new technology is compatible with regular vision, it could provide a new way for mammalian vision enhancement or even open up new avenues to repair normal vision — you could tinker with the nanoparticles so they parse different wavelengths or alter them enough that they deliver drugs into the eye. This isn’t a blink and you’ll miss it technology either — there’s still a ways to go before we obtain comic book hero levels of infrared vision. The nanoparticles used in this study only pick up a very specific infrared wavelength — anything outside this would remain invisible. But hey, it’s still a pretty good origin story. I’m keen for the sequel.center_img Comment Sci-Techlast_img read more

Meet the first girls of Juneau Cub Scouts

first_imgKelsie Powers (left) receives her Arrow of Light, the highest award a Cub Scout can earn, at a pack meeting on April 20, 2019. Her den leader, Emily Lockie (right) presented the award. Of Kelsie, she said, “She’s a great leader, she’s empathetic, and she’s so good at standing up for what is right.” (Photo by Zoe Grueskin/KTOO)Last fall, a handful of girls in Juneau became brand new scouts — not Girl Scouts. They are the first girls in town to be officially welcomed into Cub Scouts, thanks to a decision the national organization made last year. Since then, they’ve met both support and confrontation in the community. It’s a Wednesday night and a group, or den, of Cub Scouts is making bird feeders. Families are packed into a heated garage, hammering boards, drilling things together and talking about the birds they might see.Nights like this are exactly why Kelsie Powers, about to turn 11, wanted to join Cub Scouts.“I want to be more of an outdoorsy girl, and then I also like it because you can build things, you can go camping. You practically can do anything,” Powers said.Powers is one of the first girls in Juneau to be an official Cub Scout: the organization just started letting in girls in 2018. Cub Scouts’ parent organization, Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts of America) began accepting girls into the organization this year.Her den leader, Emily Lockie, says girls have been a part of Scouts for years, they just weren’t recognized. She knows, because that was her story:“I grew up with three brothers and no sisters, and I got to watch from the sidelines as my brothers participated in this incredible organization,” Lockie said. “And as a teenager, I worked side by side with all my friends. I worked at scout camp with them because they allowed females to work out there. I just couldn’t be a part of the program.”And as a parent, Lockie was watching that story repeat itself, with her own daughters. So when she got the chance to start a girls’ den in Juneau, she jumped.For the most part, Lockie says, it’s been going really well. Their den is small, just four Scouts between 2nd and 5th grade. They get together every week, just girls, to work on projects, and they join the larger, co-ed pack once a month.Lockie says she loves Scouts because it’s well-rounded. Boys — and now girls — can earn awards for exploring everything from outdoors skills to robotics to spirituality.But it’s been a challenge to recruit girls to the program, and Lockie says they’ve received some pushback.“There was definitely controversy in the beginning. We’ve done service in the community and attended events, and for the most part we’ve received incredible amounts of support,” she said. “But there definitely have been some comments from adults to the girls about how there shouldn’t be girls in scouts.”Powers has heard it from peers, too.“So at my school, like, I’ll be talking to my friends about what I did at Scouts the night before, and then all the boys will be eavesdropping. And then all of a sudden, they’ll be like, it’s called Boy Scouts for a reason. Or then they’re like, I think it’s really stupid how girls are joining. Girls are overtaking Boy Scouts,” Powers said.She says she ignores them. Or responds simply, just telling them what she likes about being a Scout.Den leader Lockie says the resistance has actually been a learning opportunity. She and her Scouts have spent a lot of time talking about how men and women are treated differently and why that might be, looking at it big picture. Last fall, when they got to meet with Juneau mayor Beth Weldon and a couple legislators, they even drew a connection to the fight for women’s right to vote a hundred years ago.“And we were able to tie that conversation into how they were making history and how there are laws that aren’t always the right thing,” Lockie said. “And part of being a good citizen is to recognize laws that aren’t the best for our country and our community and do what we can do to change those laws.”In her way, Kelsie Powers is making history too. This month, she became the first girl in Juneau to earn the Cub Scouts’ highest award, and she’s old enough now to join Scouts BSA, formerly called Boy Scouts of America.But so far, she’s the only one. She needs at least four other girls to join, so they can form a troop. Until then, she’ll be a lone scout.Powers says she’d like to tell other girls considering Scouts that it’s a lot of fun.“And even if the boys don’t want you to do it, you shouldn’t listen to them,” she said.Powers is hoping in a few years she’ll be the first girl in Juneau to reach the highest rank of Scouts BSA and become an Eagle Scout.Families in Juneau with girls interested in joining Cub Scouts (Kindergarten-5th grade) can contact Emily Lockie at or 907-500-3020. Families interested in Scouts BSA (ages 11-17) can contact Chris Gianotti at or 907-790-2557.last_img read more

Lucifer story speculations Three things to understand from Mohanlals movie trailer

first_imgYouTubeMohanlal fans are now in a state of ecstasy as the much-anticipated trailer of the star’s upcoming movie ‘Lucifer’ had its grand release on Wednesday. The trailer has garnered positive reviews from all corners, and within 12 hours, it has racked up more than two million views on YouTube.Surprisingly, the makers of ‘Lucifer’ have given a clear hint about the storyline in the trailer. International Business Times, India presents you three speculations regarding the storyline of Mohanlal’s ‘Lucifer’ after analysing the trailer.The story of betrayal in Indian politicsThe basic story of ‘Lucifer’ will be based on the family politics of PK Ramdas, an unquestionable leader in Kerala. The leader is widely worshipped by his followers and his rising popularity made several people join his party in the disguise of goodness. As the evil forces form an axis power to join PK Ramdas’ party, they create a plan to eliminate him forever. After materialising this goal, a political war to grab command of the party rises, and from then, the game between evil and evil triggers in full swing.The dirty face of family politicsThe trailer of the movie clearly indicates that PK Ramdas’ political party follows right-wing ideologies. He apparently has two children played by Manju Warrier and Tovino Thomas. Vivek Oberoi’s character, in all probabilities, maybe Manju Warrier’s husband. It should be noted that Vivek Oberoi is the lead antagonist in this movie and the trailer gives us a hint that he is involved in a narcotics business.Tovino Thomas’ character is expected to be that of a power-hungry young man, and some of his mannerisms seem similar to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. In one scene, Tovino Thomas can be seen saying the dialogue, “This is the world’s biggest comedy babe, and this is called Indian politics.” Through this dialogue, acclaimed writer Murali Gopy who has penned the script of the movie, is trying to showcase the attitude of top political leaders in India towards the general public.Manju Warrier ‘kill that bastard’ dialogueAfter the death of PK Ramdas, many power-hungry politicians tried to decorate his crown, and they played many dirty games to grab command. In the meantime, Stephen Nedumpally played by Mohanlal too enters the scene, and the war becomes intense. In the course of time, the character played by Manju Warrier realises that either Tovino Thomas or Vivek Oberoi is involved in the killing of PK Ramdas. It may be at this point in time that she delivers the dialogue ‘kill that bastard’ over a mobile phone, and in all probabilities, she might be talking to Stephen Nedumpally.’Lucifer’ marks the directorial debut of Prithviraj Sukumaran. The film is bankrolled by Antony Perumbavoor in the banner of Aashirvad Cinemas, and have its theatrical release on March 28.last_img read more

At least 30 drown in Uganda boat disaster

first_imgA volunteer prepares himself to retrieve bodies of passengers who died after a cruise boat capsized in Lake Victoria off Mukono district in Uganda on 25 November, 2018. Photo: ReutersThirty people drowned and more than 60 were feared dead after a pleasure boat sank in Lake Victoria, Ugandan police said Sunday, in the latest such incident on Africa’s largest body of water.”Thirty bodies have been recovered and 27 people rescued,” said police spokesperson Zura Ganyana, adding the boat had sunk 150 metres (yards) from the lakeshore.”According to one of the survivors there were more than 90 people on board,” said Asuman Mugenyi, director of operations for the Uganda police.Witnesses claimed the vessel may have been rushed back into service following a renovation in order to take advantage of the profitable end-of-year party season.The boat carrying nearly 100 revellers sank in bad weather on Saturday in the latest deadly incident to affect passenger boats on Africa’s largest lake.Lawn games at the Mutima Country Resort, close to the capital Kampala, were pushed aside Sunday to make way for an open-air morgue where police collected the bloated bodies of victims.Boat rides, with drinking, dancing and music, are popular on the lake.”It’s a big party,” said Washington Serunjogi, whose sister Justine Namayanja was missing after taking the cruise on Saturday.”Justine had been on three cruises before and I knew something was wrong yesterday because she always updated her WhatsApp and Facebook with selfies but last night she didn’t,” Serunjogi said.Serunjogi said that, like many Ugandans, his sister did not know how to swim.James Matovo, a 26-year-old youth leader at the Buzindere fish landing site who saw the boat capsize on Saturday evening, said it had been “cold and very windy” when the boat pitched over.- Rescuers become victims -He said that rescue services were slow to respond.”If people had help earlier so many more people would have survived,” Matovo said.Instead, local fishermen went to help.”We rushed to help but the passengers couldn’t swim and when we got beside them with our boats they grabbed us,” he said.Matovo said some of the rescuers also drowned as a result.”People kept coming on the fishing boats and (one man) was overwhelmed. He was pulled down and he drowned,” he said.”I’ve seen a lot of accidents but nothing as bad as this,” said Matovo, who — along with other witnesses — had recently seen the boat being fixed up.Richard Kikongo, a local official, described the distinctive boat — which sported shark-style teeth painted on the bow — as “not in good condition”.The boat’s owner and his wife were among the dead.Mugenyi said overloading and bad weather were likely to blame.”We expect (the number of passengers) is beyond the capacity of the boat. It was overloaded and unfortunately people were drunk,” Mugenyi said.”We suspect the mechanical condition of the boat and the weather contributed to the sinking.”Police spokesman Emilian Kayima said rescue efforts were continuing.Lake Victoria is the site of many boat disasters. In September, hundreds died when the MV Nyerere passenger ferry sank on the Tanzanian side of Lake Victoria.With a surface area of 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles), the oval-shaped lake is roughly the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.Ferry accidents are not uncommon on the lake and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that many local people cannot swim.In 1966, more than 800 people lost their lives on Lake Victoria when the MV Bukoba sank off the mainland town of Mwanza, according to the Red Cross.last_img read more

Nyko Power Grip Pro triples 3DS battery life adds circle pad

first_imgThe 3DS had a bit of a rocky start when it first launched. The price was too high, the battery life was nowhere near as good as the DS, and Nintendo forgot to put a second circle pad on the device for your right hand.Two of those three problems have since been solved. The price got cut significantly and Nintendo said sorry to early adopters with the Ambassador’s Program. The second circle pad arrived in the form of a peripheral called the Circle Pad Pro. However, the battery life issue remains, but is apparently going to be solved by Nyko.The third-party peripheral manufacturer has announced it will start shipping the Nyko Power Grip Pro for Nintendo’s handheld in October. It takes the form of a case your 3DS sits inside, and actually servers three purposes.The most important feature it adds is a secondary battery unit which promises to triple the battery life of the device. You also don’t need to purchase the circle pad peripheral as the Power Grip Pro includes one, and actually looks less bulky than the official solution considering what else you are getting here. And finally, because it’s a case you don’t really need anything else to protect your 3DS from bumps and scratches.We don’t yet have a price for the Power Grip Pro, but the fact it replaces the need for two other peripherals as well as extending battery life means even a relatively high price may still be worth the investment.Nyko has previously released the Power Grip peripheral, formerly the Power Pak+, which also promised to extend battery life 3x. It didn’t include the circle pad or form a full case for the 3DS, but only cost $29.99. I can’t see the Pro version costing significantly more than that.via Engadgetlast_img read more

Shah to spell out Bengal poll strategy in Saturdays Kolkata rally

first_imgKolkata: Amid heightened security in the backdrop of the canopy collapse tragedy in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting less than a month back, BJP chief Amit Shah is slated to address his first public rally in the city this year on Saturday, when he is expected to set the tone for his party’s political battle against the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of the 2019 general elections. Convened under the banner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the rally has been given a huge build-up by the party, which is fast emerging as the principal challenger to the state’s ruling TMC. All prominent state BJP leaders are scheduled to share the dais with Shah. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Political circles are according great significance to the rally — to be held on Mayo Road in the heart of Kolkata — in the backdrop of the recent publication of the first complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, which has pitted Banerjee in a high decibel war of words with Shah. The state BJP leaders have already started talking of the need for a similar NRC for Bengal — a state bordering Bangladesh — to identify infiltrators, and Shah’s speech could give an idea on how and up to what extent the BJP plans to project the issue in the poll campaign. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed The BJP President previously came to Bengal on a two-day visit towards June-end. He had then addressed the intellectuals here, besides meeting the families of three slain party workers in Purulia, where he claimed that the BJP would win more than 22 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal next year. The party had bagged two LS seats in 2014. BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha said Shah might talk about low employment generation in the state during his address, besides flaying the Mamata Banerjee government for the poor law and order situation and frequent atrocities of the ruling party workers on the BJP activists. “Employment is a major issue in the state. No one is looking for Banerjee’s favours. The people of Bengal do not want rice at the rate of two rupees per kilogram. They want opportunities to earn their livelihood and live a good life. This government has failed to provide that,” Sinha told IANS. The BJYM is hoping to assemble close to four lakh activists and supporters to listen to Shah, and has even changed the direction of the stage from the one originally planned so as to accommodate the large audience on the scenic tree-lined road. “Till Thursday morning we were expecting a crowd of about three lakhs for the rally and made arrangements accordingly. However, another 80,000 supporters are willing to attend the rally. We can’t ask them not to come. So, we have decided to reverse the direction of stage to accommodate more people on the road,” Bengal President of BJYM Debjit Sarkar told IANS. Taking a lesson from the incident of canopy collapse in Modi’s rally in Midnapore town last month that left nearly 90 people injured, the organisers as also the city police are leaving no stone unturned to beef up security measures. The venue is being turned into a fortress, and Sarkar said they would have their own arrangement for crowd management and security apart from the steps taken by the police. The state BJYM chief said they would deploy 550 volunteers for managing the crowd, and a system would be put in place so that the volunteers are easily identifiable among the general public. The organisers will be flying multiple drone cameras too to monitor security of the much-awaited rally, irrespective of the city police’s permission for the same. “Kolkata Police has not clarified its stand about our decision to use drone cameras during the rally. However, there is no security caution notice or an act of Kolkata Police that can stop one from flying a drone above the city. So, legally they cannot stop us from using drones,” the BJP leader claimed. Several senior officers of Kolkata Police — including DC Traffic, Officer in-charge of two police stations, Special Branch, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Central IB, and officials of state Public Works Department (PWD), CRPF and CISF — held a meeting with the state BJP leaders on Thursday evening to chalk out the security blue print for Saturday’s rally and assured them of adequate security, a party insider said.last_img read more

Smoking in pregnancy may make children obese

first_imgSmoking in pregnancy, children skipping breakfast or having insufficient sleep may lead to obesity or weight gain among kids, according to a study.Smoking in pregnancy has been linked to a higher risk of a child being overweight, possibly due to a link between foetal tobacco exposure and infant motor co-ordination which could be a developmental pathway to BMI growth.Being overweight or obese is linked to a child having poorer mental health, which can extend into adolescence and adulthood. This poorer psychosocial well-being includes low self-esteem, unhappiness as well as risky behaviours such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“This study shows that disrupted routines, exemplified by irregular sleeping patterns and skipping breakfast, could influence weight gain through increased appetite and the consumption of energy-dense foods,” said Yvonne Kelly, Professor at the University College London, Britain. The study published in the journal Pediatrics, identified four patterns of weight development. The large majority of children, 83.3 per cent had a stable non-overweight BMI, while 13.1 per cent had moderate increasing BMIs while 2.5 per cent had steeply increasing BMIs.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe smallest group, 0.6 per cent, had BMIs in the obese range at the age of three but were similar to the stable group by the age of seven. After taking account of background factors, breast feeding and the early introduction of solid food were not associated with children’s weight. Likewise, sugary drink consumption, fruit intake, TV viewing and sports participation were not strong predictors of unhealthy weight gain.last_img read more

Artificial Intelligence Will Be the Greatest Jobs Engine the World Has Ever

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read November 6, 2018 In the past few years, artificial intelligence has advanced so quickly that it now seems that hardly a month goes by without a newsworthy AI breakthrough. In areas as wide-ranging as speech translation, medical diagnosis and game play, we have seen computers outperform humans in startling ways. This has sparked a discussion about what impact AI will have on employment.Related: Artificial Intelligence Is Likely to Make a Career in Finance, Medicine or Law a Lot Less LucrativeSome fear that as AI improves, it will supplant workers in the job force, creating an ever-growing pool of unemployable humans who cannot economically compete with machines in any meaningful way. This concern, while understandable, is unfounded.AI will be the greatest job engine the world has ever seen.Technology has progressed nonstop for 250 years, and in the U.S. unemployment has stayed within a narrow band of 5 to 10 percent for almost all that time, even when radical new technologies such as steam power and electricity came on the scene.AI is the most empowering of all technologies because it effectively makes anyone who uses it smarter. It increases the productivity of anyone who can apply it to their job. Once again, you hear the same refrain: “It will destroy jobs.” And sure, you can look around and find jobs that it might well eliminate, such as order taker at a fast-food restaurant. But, that is not in any way the entire story.No, the whole story involves the other part of the equation. What will this technology enable?Related: AI Won’t Replace Us Until It Becomes Much More Like UsConsider the ATM. If you had to point to a technology that looked as though it would replace people, the ATM might look like a good bet. It is, after all, an automated teller machine. And yet, there are more tellers now than when ATMs were widely released. How can this be? Simple: ATMs lowered the cost of opening bank branches, and banks responded by opening more, which required hiring more tellers.This is one of the fundamental dynamics of technology and employment. As technology lowers costs, people respond by one of two things: They either buy more of the item (as banks did with branches) or they spend their saved money elsewhere, creating new jobs in those areas.In this manner, AI is going to create many millions of jobs that are far beyond my meager ability to imagine. But, examples already abound. For instance, AI is getting really good at language translation. What do you expect that to do to the demand for human translators? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is skyrocketing. Why? If you lower the cost of basic translation to nearly zero, the cost of doing business with those who speak other languages falls. Thus, it emboldens companies to do more business overseas, creating more work for human translators. AI may do the “simple” translations, but humans are needed for the nuanced kind.In fact, the BLS forecasts faster-than-average job growth in many occupations that AI is going to have a large impact on: accountants, forensic scientists, geological technicians, technical writers, MRI operators, dietitians, financial specialists, web developers, loan officers, medical secretaries and customer service representatives, to name a very few. These fields will not experience job growth in spite of AI, but through it. These are all areas in which AI can aid humans and increase their productivity and wages.Related: 4 Industries That Are Being Disrupted by AIBut, just as with the internet, the real gains in jobs will come from places where our imaginations cannot yet take us.But, what of the skills gap? Will AI eliminate low-skill jobs and create only high-skill ones? This is far from certain, but let’s entertain the idea. If this happens, are all those low-skill workers unemployable? Far from it.The relevant question is whether most people can do a job that’s just a little more complicated than the one they currently have. If you agree with me that the answer is yes, then no worries. The whole workforce just shifts up a notch. Everyone, from entry level to PhD, just moves up the job ladder a bit. This is exactly what happened with the industrial revolution: Farmers became factory workers, factory workers became factory managers, and so on.New jobs created at the top are opportunities for everyone to get a promotion.A January 2018 Accenture report “Reworking the Revolution” estimates that new applications of AI combined with human collaboration can boost employment worldwide 10 percent by 2020.Electricity changed the world, as did mechanical power, as did the assembly line. No one can reasonably claim that we would be better off without those technologies. Each of them bettered our lives, created jobs and boosted wages. AI will be bigger than electricity, bigger than mechanization, bigger than anything that has come before it. It, too, will make the world a better place and, yes, create jobs. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »last_img read more

Community Bankers Urge Simplicity in Secondary Market Reform

first_imgCommunity Bankers Urge Simplicity in Secondary Market Reform Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies ICBA Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Service Providers 2013-10-01 Tory Barringer With Congress pondering (among other things) how best to reform the nation’s housing finance system, “”Independent Community Bankers of America””: (ICBA) urges lawmakers not to count smaller banks out when drafting new policies.[IMAGE]In a “”white paper””: released Monday, ICBA warns policymakers to “”be careful not to create a new [secondary market] system that destroys liquidity for all but the few largest players, limits access to the market or narrows options for smaller lenders, and imposes requirements that make it too costly for smaller lenders to operate””–a common thread among the major proposals presented so far, the group says.””My community bank depends on easy access to the secondary market that doesn’t require me to sell loans to a competitor,”” said Jack Hopkins, chairman of ICBA’s Housing Policy Task Force and president and CEO of Sioux Fall’s CorTrust Bank. “”Consumers are better served by a diverse, competitive market with thousands of active mortgage lenders, including community banks, which specialize in personalized and customized lending that megabanks are structurally incapable of providing.””In addition to preserving the relative simplicity of the current loan selling process and avoiding industry consolidation, ICBA says lawmakers must make sure that any secondary mortgage market reform ensures “”robust oversight by a strong and competent regulator”” and maintains “”an explicit government guarantee against catastrophic loss.””Going forward, it will also be crucial to protect originators’ rights to retain servicing after selling a loan, the group says.””In today’s market, the large aggregators insist that lenders release servicing rights along with their loans. … While servicing is a low-margin business, it is a crucial aspect of the relationship-lending business model, giving community banks the opportunity to meet the additional banking needs of their customers,”” the white paper reads.With these concerns addressed, community banks are prepared to “”adapt and thrive”” in the private-market environment Congress is trying to restore, ICBA says. October 1, 2013 430 Views center_img in Secondary Market Sharelast_img read more