With billions of dollars at stake all parties promise to fix defence

first_imgOTTAWA  — The seemingly endless effort to replace Canada’s CF-18s fighter jets passed a tiny milestone Friday: fighter-jet makers participating in the $19-billion competition were required to explain how they planned to make their aircraft compliant with U.S. intelligence systems.For nearly a decade, Canadians have been inundated with talk of fighter jets without Canada ever buying them, an ever-worsening symbol of the failures of Canada’s military procurement system.Every election, would-be prime ministers promise to cancel bad purchases or processes, hurry along good ones, fix the mess once and for all.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer this week promised to “de-politicize” military procurement with new oversight bodies in cabinet and the Privy Council Office while working toward multi-partisan consensus on procurement projects in Parliament.The Liberals promise to establish a new agency called Defence Procurement Canada, which suggests taking the entire function away from the four departments that now share responsibility for buying military kit.The New Democrats and Greens promise, without detail, that they will ensure Canada’s military gets the equipment it needs.The origins of what we face today can be traced back to the end of the Cold War when Canada and its allies began to cut defence spending after a decades-long arms race with the Soviet Union.“We deferred purchasing new fighter planes and did the same thing with our frigate fleet,” says David Perry, vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and one of Canada’s foremost experts on defence spending and procurement.“We just kicked the can down the road on fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft. There was a bunch of other projects that fit the same vein.”The military had to use equipment for years longer than it was supposed to and the Department of National Defence lost most of its procurement experts.But in the mid-2000s, the Forces’ equipment problems were revealed in Kandahar: the military lacked transport aircraft to resupply its Afghanistan mission, artillery and tanks to support troops on the ground and helicopters to move them around.Ottawa rushed into gear, purchasing transport planes, howitzers, helicopters and tanks in short order _ in most cases without competitions. New equipment flooded in but there were some big failures, starting with accusations defence officials rigged the requirements for a new search-and-rescue plane to select a specific U.S. plane.There was also a failed effort to buy new supply ships for the navy and, most explosively, a plan to buy new fighter jets, Lockheed Martin’s F-35s, without a competition.In 2012, auditor general Michael Ferguson blasted the Defence Department for failing to communicate the stealth fighter’s risks, including escalating costs and schedule delays, to Parliament and decision-makers.Dan Ross, who was the department’s head of military procurement at the time, would later say defence officials had all the information and were willing to share it _ the Harper government just wouldn’t let them.Either way, the public’s confidence in the system and the government’s ability to manage it were shaken. The F-35 purchase was scrapped. The Tories imposed new constraints to keep costs under control and ensure Canadian industry and communities benefit from defence contracts.“There were concerns about whether or not you’re getting the right kind of economic benefits, some significant concerns about whether or not process was being adhered to until you had this system recalibration where you had an injection of additional rules and governance,” Perry says.That recalibration imposed a fundamental tension on the system: the need to get the best equipment possible, with the most benefit to the economy or local industry, at the lowest cost. Every big procurement is partly about the military’s needs and partly about national industrial policy _ and, that means, partly about politics.Most procurements are still completed with minimal fuss. The problems largely lie with big, once-in-a-lifetime contracts like fighters and warships that are worth billions of dollars and are not only essential for the military to operate, but have the potential to benefit Canadian businesses and communities for years. The ones that involve billions of public dollars.“You’re trying to get the best bang for the buck for as little buck as possible,” says Queen’s University professor Kim Nossal, who wrote a book entitled “Charlie Foxtrot: Fixing Defence Procurement in Canada” in 2016.“The one comforting thing is that very few countries have got the balance right. All industrial countries, all of our allies, faces these kinds of pressures. They worry about jobs and costs and capability.”Efforts to combine the three competing priorities can lead to bickering among federal departments, lawsuits from companies and politicians sticking their fingers in things.Seconds after saying he would de-politicize the military procurement system this week, Scheer promised to negotiate the purchase of an interim naval supply ship from Quebec’s Chantier Davie shipyard, which lobbied the Liberal government for years to ink such a contract without success.Davie is one of Canada’s big players in shipbuilding _ and it’s in much-contested political territory just outside Quebec City.Alan Williams, who was the Defence Department’s head of procurement from 1999 to 2005 and now advises companies on procurement matters, compares Scheer’s promise on Davie to Justin Trudeau’s promise in 2015 not to buy the F-35.That’s because while a government can decide to purchase a piece of military equipment, procurement laws _ and Canada’s international trade obligations _ forbid it from choosing or excluding a specific product or supplier except under extreme circumstances.Upon taking office, the Liberals twisted themselves in pretzels to get around the legal implications of their promise.That twisting led to a plan to buy Super Hornets from a competing vendor, When that fell through, four years passed before an actual competition was launched _ with the F-35 now one of three planes still in contention. In the meantime, the CF-18s will fly until 2032, reinforced with second-hand Australian F-18s to buy time.There will likely be more problems before new aircraft arrive, but the sense is that there is little the government can do now to speed it along.While the shipbuilding strategy is still going through growing pains, with the next government having to choose a third shipyard to add to the massive program to replace Canada’s naval and coast guard fleets, many hard choices have been made _ and lessons learned. More procurement staff have been hired and trained and some red tape has been eliminated.Williams is a strong advocate for the Liberals’ proposal of creating one department or agency so there is a single point of accountability. Perry is more in favour of the Tories’ plan to create a secretariat and cabinet committee to provide better decision making.Military suppliers worry that another earthquake in the system could set everything back.“We’ve seen some positive momentum recently when it comes to signing contracts on new defence acquisitions and getting money out the door,” says Christyn Cianfarani, CEO of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries.“We’d caution that any major change within the public service at this point has the potential to slow things down.”The best thing any government can do is ensure the military has a predictable, funded investment plan to purchase promised new equipment, Cianfarani adds. That, says Perry, and set more realistic expectations for how fast the system can deliver.And maybe some bipartisanship, adds Nossal.“What really is needed is for the two main parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, to truly do a bipartisan truce and approach defence the way they did in the 1970s, where something like the new (CF-18s), that process was not politicized at all.”last_img read more

PU Chitra wins 1500m gold Dutee clinches 200m bronze

first_imgDoha: P U Chitra defended her 1500m title to give India its third gold medal while Ajay Kumar Saroj and Dutee Chand won a silver and a bronze in men’s 1500m and women’s 200m respectively on the fourth and final day of the Asian Athletics Championships here on Wednesday. Chitra overtook Bahraini runner Tigest Gashaw just a few metres before the finishing line to win the race in 4 minute 14.56 seconds at the Khalifa Stadium. This was India’s third gold of the championships after Gomathi Marimuthu (women’s 800m) and Tejinder Pal Singh Toor (men’s shot put) won a yellow metal each on the second day on Monday. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhGashaw clocked 4:14.81 for the silver while another Bahraini Mutile Winfred Yavi took the bronze in 4:16.18. “Got a little nervous towards the end being next to Bahraini runner (Gashaw Tigest). She beat me to third place in Asian Games. “I had to really push hard in the end,” said the 23-year-old Chitra who had won a bronze in the Jakarta Asian Games. Chitra had won gold in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar in 4:17.92. Her male counterpart, Saroj clocked a season best time of 3 minute 43.18 seconds to clinch a silver behind Bahrain’s Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich who clocked 3:42.85. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterDutee, who had finished a disappointing fifth in the 100m final on Tuesday after smashing national record twice, clocked 23.24 seconds to win the bronze in the women’s 200m. After falling behind in the first 100m, she covered a lot of ground in the final 100m stretch and got past three competitors at the finish line. Salwa Naser of Bahrain expectedly took the gold in 22.74 while Olga Safronova of Kazakhstan was second in 22.87. The 23-year-old Dutee, who had won a 200m silver in the Jakarta Asian Games, still missed the World Championships qualifying mark of 23.02. She has a personal best of 23.00. “I am really very happy. I missed a medal in 100m & relay. I put too much effort in 100m, was not sure of medal in 200m. Just did my best & I am happy,” Dutee said. In the women’s discus throw, Navjeet Kaur (57.47m) and Kamalpreet Kaur (55.59m) came up with disappointing shows to finish fourth and fifth respectively.last_img read more

RussiaMorocco Economic Partnership Moves up a Gear

Moscow  –  The creation on Monday of a new economic council with the aim of promoting relations between Morocco and Russia will give a new impetus to the economic partnership between the two countries.The creation of this council, which was announced on the occasion of a meeting held in Moscow on the sidelines of the official visit of HM King Mohammed VI to Russia, will enable private operators in the two countries develop their relations.Speaking on this occasion, chairwoman of employers’ association CGEM Miriem Bensaleh-Cheqroun said that the creation of this economic council aims at strengthening the strategic partnership between Morocco and Russia, noting that the Kingdom offers several opportunities to Russian investors, especially in industry, renewable energy, agriculture, fishing and tourism. The chairman of the Russian-Moroccan Business Council Yuri Sharov said that this meeting will boost economic cooperation between the two countries, adding that the new economic council will promote economic relations and increase the volume of investments between the two countries.The meeting was also marked by the signing of four partnership agreements between economic operators from both countries, covering the areas of industry, energy, pharmaceutical and food industries.With MAP read more

UN AU envoys meet with key Darfur rebel alliance

A key rebel alliance today told the United Nations and African Union (AU) Special Envoys for Darfur that it is ready to work with the newly-deployed hybrid peacekeeping force, known as UNAMID.The Envoys, Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim, held a four-hour meeting in an undisclosed location in the north-west of the war-ravaged Sudanese region with the United Resistance Front (URF), a grouping of several of Darfur’s splintering movements.In today’s meeting – the first between the URF and the Special Envoys – the alliance said that it is prepared to work with the UNAMID force, and asked that a formal meeting be convened to clarify the deployment and role of the peacekeepers.The URF leadership also noted that it is prepared to present its political and military structure as promised late last year in Juba, in southern Sudan.Mr. Eliasson and Mr. Salim, who are on the second day of their visit to Darfur, visited a market and school while in the area, and commended the movements’ unification efforts, which the Special Envoys believe are crucial for the peace process to succeed.They will continue touring the region tomorrow, with a scheduled visit with commanders of Abdul Wahid’s faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA).Meanwhile, the head of UNAMID today met with Sudan’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs in a bid to bolster understanding and cooperation between the two sides.Rodolphe Adada, who also serves as UN/AU Joint Special Representative, paid a courtesy call to Deng Alor, and the two agreed to maintain regular contacts to remove obstacles to the smooth deployment of the new mission and to push the ongoing Darfur peace process forward.Stressing that UNAMID is the result of a partnership among the UN, AU and Sudanese Government, Mr. Adada noted during the meeting that close cooperation is crucial for the hybrid peacekeeping force to succeed in bringing an end to the violence that continues to plague the region.Mr. Alor assured the Special Representative that Darfur is one of the Government’s top priorities, and that the Foreign Ministry has been tasked with reconciling Sudan with the international community through dialogue to improve confidence and dispel any suspicions. 16 January 2008A key rebel alliance today told the United Nations and African Union (AU) Special Envoys for Darfur that it is ready to work with the newly-deployed hybrid peacekeeping force, known as UNAMID. read more

UN protests latest Israeli military assault on one of its schools in

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said yesterday the Israeli military attacked the Ezbet Preparatory Boys’ School despite a visible UN flag and symbol on the premises.A bulldozer demolished the entire front wall, gate and playground outbuilding, UNRWA said, adding that most of the windows in the front of school were broken and some classrooms were damaged during the assault that occurred under Israeli control.”There have been repeated military violations of the sanctity of UNRWA schools during the last 30 months, on the majority of occasions by Israeli forces,” the Agency said, noting that this latest assault comes just one week after a 12-year old pupil sitting in an UNRWA school in Khan Younis, Gaza, was hit in the head by a bullet fired from an Israeli position. The child has since died. read more

Congress warns tech firms to better protect against malicious ads or risk

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – The Senate warned Google, Yahoo and other leading technology companies Thursday they need to better protect consumers from hackers exploiting their lucrative online advertising networks or risk new legislation that would force them to do so.In a new investigative report, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said hackers in some cases are infecting computers using software or programming commands hidden inside online advertisements. It suggested tougher U.S. regulations or new laws that could punish the ad networks in addition to prosecuting the hackers.The subcommittee highlighted a December 2013 incident in which an Internet user visited a mainstream website and had all of her personal information stolen via an ad on Yahoo’s network. Even worse: She didn’t have to click on it to deliver a virus that gobbled up her information. And as many as 2 million others may have been exposed to the attack.The online advertising industry has grown complicated “to such an extent that each party can conceivably claim it is not responsible when malware is delivered to a user’s computer through an advertisement,” the Senate report said.The panel said it found no evidence that Google or Yahoo’s ad networks are more vulnerable to malware attacks than other major ones. It said the industry as a whole remains vulnerable to such forms of attack.Several bills in Congress aimed at strengthening Internet privacy and security have stalled, and there currently is no federal data-privacy law for Internet companies. One measure, the 2011 Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act, would have allowed the Federal Trade Commission to require security measures for sites that collect personal information.___Follow Jack Gillum on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jackgillum by Jack Gillum, The Associated Press Posted May 15, 2014 8:58 am MDT Congress warns tech firms to better protect against malicious ads or risk new federal rules read more

New tool from EDEM brings Discrete Element Modelling to every engineer

first_imgEDEM®, the market leader in Discrete Element Method (DEM) technology, is changing the face of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) with a revolutionary new software that will make bulk material simulation accessible to all engineers using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Multi-body Dynamics (MBD) software, in the design of heavy equipment. The new products called ‘EDEM for’, integrate with leading CAE software tools from ANSYS, MSC Software and Siemens and do not require any DEM expertise to use. ‘EDEM for’ will provide design engineers with an easy to use, bulk material simulation system which links with their MBD and FEA software, extending the capability of the host software and providing engineers with unique insights into how materials interact with their equipment.Traditionally, bulk material simulation has been the realm of a small pool of DEM experts due to its complexity – this has acted as a major barrier to uptake for many design engineers with only a small number of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) currently using DEM capability. ‘EDEM for’ will make DEM accessible to a wider number of engineers, who can now benefit from new insights into material-machine interactions, without the need to learn a new technology.Through ‘EDEM for’, design engineers working in the construction, off-highway, mining and heavy industry sectors, will no longer have to rely on hand calculations and assumptions to predict the effect of materials on their equipment. ‘EDEM for’ provides engineers with a unique library of thousands of material models, representing a wide range of real materials such as rocks, soils and ores. The database delivers accurate and realistic information on the forces and material loads acting on equipment. All the analysis is then carried out by the host software, in an environment familiar to the engineer. Having easy access to a bulk material simulation capability will help improve design accuracy, reduce expensive physical prototyping and ensure confidence that the design requirements will be met.The launch of ‘EDEM for’ comes at a time when the CAE industry is rapidly moving towards software integration and multi-physics platforms, providing maximum functionality and capability for the user. The next challenge is to ensure complex simulation tools that sit within their host program are accessible and easy to use. ‘EDEM for’ is the first DEM tool to be offered as an add-on to FEA/MBD software to achieve this.Richard LaRoche, Chief Executive Officer of EDEM, comments: “We have been working closely with our technology partners and our customers to develop co-simulation solutions between EDEM and their FEA and MBD tools. The drive to multi-physics platforms is a trend that is only going to continue, but the challenge remains ensuring that the software which integrates with the host platform is actually usable for engineers without the need for extensive training. With ‘EDEM for’ we are taking co-simulation to the next level by enabling engineers with no DEM knowledge to benefit from the key insights that this technology brings. Our ultimate goal is to fully democratise DEM so it is available to all engineers, not just the experts.”last_img read more

London police arrest three more over drummers murder

first_imgPOLICE IN LONDON investigating the violent murder of Lee Rigby on Tuesday have arrested three further suspects.Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command and specialist firearms officers were involved in the operation which saw the three men, aged 21, 24 and 28, detained yesterday evening between 6pm and 6.30pm on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.The 24-year-old and 28-year-old were arrested at a residential address in southeast London. The third suspect was arrested in the street at Charlton Lane, SE7. A Taser gun was used on two of the men but they did not require medical treatment in hospital.Police are currently searching four addresses in the area.There have now been six arrests in relation to the killing of the 25-year-old in Woolwich. Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22 remain under armed guard in hospital after being shot by police at the scene. They are said to be in a stable condition.The 29-year-old questioned after giving an interview to BBC News on Friday has been bailed to return pending further enquiries.The Metropolitan Police Service has asked anyone who filmed or took photos as events unfolded on John Wilson Street to send it to them. They also advised witnesses not to delete any footage or material they may have.Reports in the UK today carry images of Adebolajo in court in the Kenyan city of Mombasa in November 2010. The Mail on Sunday claimed he had been detained with others on suspicion of planning to fight for a terror group. The men were thought to have been heading to Somalia to join the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents. MI5 has been criticised for missing key clues about the killers. It has also been suggested that the intelligence agency tried to recruit the killer to spy for them.Increased attacks As London comes to terms with the vicious and brutal killing outside the Royal Artillery Barracks, an inter-faith group has reported a large spike in anti-Muslim incidents.“It’s a hugely worrying development,” director Fiyaz Mughal told AFP, saying the organisation had been informed of 162 incidents in the past 48 hours, compared to a daily average of four to six.They were mainly verbal attacks on women wearing the Islamic headscarf in the street, he said, but there were also online attacks and some violence.A number of people have been charged over malicious comments made on social networking sites.-Additional reporting by AFPMore: Betting shop employee killed in south London – reportsRead: Murder of London soldier raises fears of ‘lone wolf’ attacksRelated: Spy agency MI5 ‘approached’ suspect soldier killer, says childhood friendlast_img read more

Revenue seizes €35000 worth of cigarettes and pipe tobacco from cargo vessel

first_img By Cormac Fitzgerald Revenue seizes €35,000 worth of cigarettes and pipe tobacco from cargo vessel Brands such as L&M, ASOS and NAKHLA were seized. Share1 Tweet Email1 The seized items. 8,003 Views The seized items. Image: Revenue Short URL Mar 26th 2019, 4:21 PM center_img Tuesday 26 Mar 2019, 4:21 PM 16 Comments Image: Revenue REVENUE OFFICERS HAVE seized over 58,000 cigarettes and 1.45kg of pipe tobacco during a search of a cargo vessel at a Waterford Port yesterday evening. The tobacco products have an estimated retail value of over €35,100, representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of €27,700.Brands such as L&M, ASOS and NAKHLA were seized. The Panama registered vessel arrived into Belview Port, Waterford from Ceuta, Spain.A Syrian man in his 30′s was questioned in relation to the seizure.Revenue said that the seizure formed part of its ongoing operations targeting the shadow economy and the supply and sale of illegal tobacco products.Businesses or members of the public who have any information regarding the smuggling can contact Revenue in confidence on freephone number 1800 295 295. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article https://jrnl.ie/4561738 last_img read more

Greek billionaires son found dead in hotel room with bags of cocaine

first_imgThe son of Greek billionaire Socrates P Kokkalis Sr, has been found dead in a hotel room in the US.The body of Socrates S Kokkalis, aged 34, was discovered in a room at the Marriott Hotel in Cleveland on Saturday afternoon, with police claiming they found three bags of cocaine within the deceased’s vicinity.According to the police report, authorities said it appeared Kokkalis, the vice-president of Olympiakos, had died some 12 hours before his body was found.The 34-year-old’s father, after whom he is named, is the founder of the largest telecommunications company in southeastern Europe, Intracom and is the chair of Olympiakos.“His premature passing … left the entire Olympiakos family in mourning for the unexpected loss of our Club’s Vice-president,’” reads a statement issued by Olympiakos.The cause of death has yet to be determined by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office, and is currently under investigation, with suspicions Kokkalis passed away due to a drug overdose. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

ATT Is Offering Internet of Things Kits For AWS and Raspberry Pi

first_imgStay on target Lyra Is a Handheld Gaming System Powered by a Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi Used to Steal 500 MB of NASA Data AT&T is going to begin offering developers special tools for further building out Internet of Things creations with two new versions. Kits for both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Raspberry Pi-like devices will be offered from the company soon.These updates come six months after AT&T announced its first starter kit, which included all of the equipment necessary for a plug-and-play setup, including anything developers might need to complete the project in one package.For those using AWS, AT&T’s kit will come with an LTE Cat-1 modem, two antennas, USB cables, USB plug, both US and Mexico SIM cards with 300 MB of prepaid data for up to 6 months, an NXP K64F development board, and a microSD card. A product of the marriage of AT&T and Amazon produced by Avnet, this kit was put together by the same folks that gathered the first telecommunication starter kit.The original kit actually included an Arduino microcontroller carrier board, which didn’t actually work with every developer, so AT&T retooled its focus to include the LTE IoT Add-on Kit. This kit will include a LTE Cat-1 modem, 300 MB of prepaid data for six months with a US and Mexico SIM card, two antennas, USB cables, and a USB plug with the option for a control board up to the developer. This should eliminate the issues that the original kit had to arise with it when it debuted.Both starter kits will include support for PubNub’s Data Stream Network and APIs, so, either way, you decide to go as a developer you’ll be covered. AT&T wants to make it simpler for developers to get started with the creation of these kits, so it’s good to see the cooperation with brands taking precedence here.If this is something you’re interested in getting into,  you’ll be able to get your hands on one as a dev in the coming months.last_img read more

Chiniak replanting begins

first_imgSitka spruce bark. (Josh Blouin / Flickr)Foresters began replanting the scorched areas of Chiniak on Friday.The Kodiak Island Borough contracted with Washington-based NorthWind Forest Consultants to recover some of the forest’s former luster. It was damaged in the 2015 Twin Creeks fire.Forester David Nesheim, who is currently in Chiniak, said they’re planting Sitka Spruce sourced from the Juneau and Hoonah area – the same stock Leisnoi uses. He said they’re replanting using shovels and have 740 to 770 acres to cover with an eight-man crew.“We should be getting about 1500 seedlings per guy per day,” Nesheim said. “We’re hoping that it doesn’t take much longer than 25 days to put the 278,000 seedlings into the ground.”Nesheim said the Twin Creeks Fire wasn’t hot enough to damage the soil, and the ground should be in good condition to receive the trees.“So, the soil, if anything has gotten a big boost from the fire itself by releasing a lot of the organic material that was on the forest floor and turning it into more readily available nutrients for the vegetation,” Nesheim said.In addition to the spruce, Nesheim said they’ve planted 2200 cottonwood along Big Creek stream to maintain the buffer zone along the waterway, called a riparian management zone.Nesheim said hardwoods may be better for the stream environment.“A lot more organic leaf matter is released on an annual basis,” Nesheim said. “A different variety and quantity of insects are associated with deciduous trees. And, in some cases, the deciduous trees are a nitrogen fixing species, and so it adds nitrogen to the waters which is advantageous to the fish and the aquatic insects that fish feed on.”Nesheim said it’ll take a couple of years for the seedlings to establish themselves.That is, if all goes well and the other vegetation doesn’t overtake the seedlings or predators, like rabbits, don’t eat away at them.Nesheim said the trees should be 3 to 4 feet tall by age five or seven. At some point beyond that, he said the trees will start gaining height at about 12 to 18 inches a year, and he said the trees should be 40 to 50 feet in roughly 40 years.last_img read more

Protecting as vital as planting saplings

first_imgJharasangam: ZP chairperson Manju Sri Reddy, Zaheerabad MLA Manik Rao, and MLC Fariduddin called upon everyone to strive for protecting the environment. They were taking part in Haritha Haram programme at Jharasangam ZP hq on Monday. They said protecting saplings was as important as planting them. Saplings should be planted in every mandal, they added. TDC Chairman Umakanth Patil, state leaders Malkapuram Shivakumar, Temple Chairman Narasimha Goud, MPDO Sujatha, APO Raj Kumar, Village sarpanch Jagadish, BC Rajini Priya, Mallikarjun, Nageshwar and Shyamaiah also planted saplings on the occasion.last_img read more

Qualcomm forms 280 million JV in China to design and sell server

first_imgChipmaker Qualcomm and the provincial government of Guizhou in China on Sunday unveiled a $280 million joint venture for the design, development and sale of advanced server technology.The US-based global semiconductor company signed a strategic agreement with the Guizhou province government and announced a joint venture with Huaxintong Semi-Conductor Technology Co Ltd with initial capital of 1.85 billion renminbi (approximately $281 million) Reuters reported.”Qualcomm will establish an investment company in Guizhou that will serve as a vehicle for future investments in China”, the provincial government and the company said in a joint statement.Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm Inc, said the company wants to “deepen its cooperation and investment in China”. Thus, cooperation agreement, joint venture and formation of an investment company will be important for the company.Qualcomm was reportedly licensing its server technology with the help of research and development and would also supply expertise to implement the venture, Reuters added in its report.”This underscores our commitment as a strategic partner in China,” Aberle said. Under the joint venture, Guizhou would own 55% of the new company and 45% will be owned by Qualcomm subsidiary, according to a report by Venture Beat.The company plans to make ARM-based processors for servers in data centres.Last October, the company had announced that it conducted a live demo of its server development platform. It would also collaborate with chip-making companies Xilinx and Mellanox. This would give China a chance to build its own chip industry.”This server technology joint venture is a win-win scenario for Qualcomm and our Guizhou partner and will yield mutual benefits for both sides as we together pursue a very large data center opportunity in China,” said Anand Chandrasekhar, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Qualcomm Data Center Group, in a statement, Venture Beat report added.last_img read more

PM Hasina arrives in Kolkata to meet Modi

first_imgBangladesh Bhaban. Photo: Bhaskar MukherjeePrime minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in Kolkata on Friday morning on a two-day visit to West Bengal at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the prime minister and her entourage landed at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport at 9:40am (local time), reports UNB.Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor and prime minister’s advisers on political, economic, foreign and energy affairs are accompanying her in the visit.During her visit, the premier will inaugurate Bangladesh Bhaban jointly with Narendra Modi at Visva Bharati and hold a meeting with him there today. Sheikh Hasina will also attend Visva Bharati Convocation Ceremony as the Guest of Honour there.She will receive an honorary of Doctor of Literature, to be awarded by the Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol on Saturday.From the NSCBI Airport, Sheikh Hasina will depart for Visva Bharati, Santiniketan by a helicopter.Vice chancellor of Visva Bharati professor Sabuj Koli Sen will receive the prime minister at Santiniketan.Narendra Modi will receive Sheikh Hasina at Rabindra Bhaban. She will then place flowers at Rabindra chair.She will depart for convocation venue at Amrakanon and attend Visva Bharati Convocation Ceremony.Hasina will take part in the convocation procession and oath ceremony.After the convocation ceremony, the Bangladesh prime minister and her Indian counterpart will jointly unveil the plaque of Bangladesh Bhaban.Tagore’s song ‘Anandaloke Mongolaloke will be played at the ceremony. The vice chancellor of Visva Bharati will deliver the welcome speech.After the inaugural function, Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi will sit in the meeting. After the meeting, she will leave Santiniketan for Kolkata by a helicopter.On her return to Kolkata, prime minister Sheikh Hasina will visit Jorasanko Thakur Bari. Later, local chamber leaders will meet her.On 26 May, the prime minister will go to Kazi Nazrul University (KNU), Asansol to receive the degree of Doctor of Literature.A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines will depart from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport, Kolkata for the Kazi Nazrul Islam (KNI) Airport, Andal, Durgapur at 9:50am (local time).The KNU vice chancellor will deliver the welcome address before conferring of the Honorary Doctor of Literature degree on Sheikh Hasina.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will then deliver a speech.Chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee will deliver her speech as the Guest-in-Chief at the convocation.After the programme, the prime minister will return to Kolkata. She will visit Netaji Museum (Netaji Bhawan) and place wreaths on the bed of Netaji and sign the visitor’s book on Saturday afternoon.Hasina is expected to return home at 10:30pm on Saturday by a VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines.last_img read more

UK EU close to Brexit deal over Irish border

first_imgIn this file photo taken on 25 July 2018 Ireland`s foreign minister Simon Coveney speaks to members of the media following a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Photo: AFPBritain would remain in a temporary customs union with the EU, avoiding a hard Irish border, as part of a new deal being thrashed out between London and Brussels, according to a Sunday Times report.Senior sources told the paper that Prime Minister Theresa May has secured concessions from Brussels, with the EU agreeing to write an “all-UK” customs union into the divorce deal.This would avoid the EU’s “backstop” solution that would have treated Northern Ireland differently from the rest of Britain.There will be an “exit clause” from the customs union in a bid to convince Brexiteers that it is not a permanent arrangement as May looks to secure enough votes to get the deal through parliament, added the paper.May’s spokesman refused to confirm the report, calling it “speculation”, according to Sky News.The Irish border has proved the biggest obstacle to a deal, with both sides vowing not to reinstate a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland for fear of destabilising the peace accord that ended decades of deadly sectarian violence.Under the agreed deal, the EU accepts that regulatory checks on goods can be carried out in factories and shops rather than at the border, the Sunday Times said.The deal keeps open the possibility of Britain securing a future free trade agreement similar to the one signed between Canada and the EU in 2016.The opposition Labour party has all but ruled out supporting any deal May reaches with Brussels, leaving the prime minister reliant on her slender parliamentary majority that comprises her own divided MPs and coalition partners the Democratic Unionist Party.She is expected to warn her most stridently anti-EU MPs that they will be held responsible for the consequences of a no-deal Brexit if they do not vote for her deal.However, if these Brexiteers are not convinced that the customs union is only a temporary measure they would almost certainly rebel.Her cabinet is due to hold talks over the plan on Monday, with a potential EU summit pencilled in for the end of November, if they agree enough progress has been made.Parliament would then vote on the deal in December.last_img

Harvest announces executive committee will resign more changes after MacDonald fired

first_img “a sinful pattern of inappropriate language, anger and domineering behavior.”This (together with high crimes and misdemeanors, which are apparent all over the place) is a great reason why the Executive Committee of America should fire Donald Trump, but it won’t. Yes, we do have such an Executive Committee which actually can fire the president upon request from the House. It’s called the United States Senate. It so happens that its Republicans also “own” the catastrophe of Trumpism Behavior anyway. Any half dozen of them could have stopped most of it cold—–even without any firing at all. So, what kind of “elders” do you have up there?That aside, church boards seldom really manage pastors, especially founding pastors. It’s the other way around. Board members are the ones who are usually managed—–as these Harvest guys now know. Share This! By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites TagsHarvest Bible Chapel James MacDonald Walk In the Word,You may also like Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,CHICAGO (RNS) — Harvest Bible Chapel, an embattled Chicago-area megachurch, announced this past weekend that the executive committee of its elders will resign.The resignations, which will take place over several months, came days after church elders fired James MacDonald, Harvest’s founding pastor.In a statement, the elders said they’d failed in their duty to properly oversee MacDonald, who was terminated for what they called “a sinful pattern of inappropriate language, anger and domineering behavior.”“We acknowledge failures in direction, discipline and response time. We, as the larger elder board, have made mistakes, and we own these,” they said in the statement, which was read during church services and posted later on the church’s website.The elder resignations are one of several changes that will take place in the weeks to come at Harvest Bible Chapel.Calling it “one of the most difficult weeks in the history of our church,” executive committee member Bill Sterling said in the statement that the church also will make changes to “both the composition and structure” of its elder board. That board currently is composed of more than 30 men, he said, which has “made it difficult to make decisions during times of adversity.”Senior Associate Pastor Rick Donald preaches at Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Ill., on Feb. 16, 2019. Photo courtesy of Harvest Bible ChapelAnd the church will make changes to its campuses, abandoning plans to launch a new campus in suburban Hinsdale and returning its Naples campus to the elders and staff of that church.Earlier this year, Harvest had fired Pastor John Secrest, who founded the Naples church. Secrest had objected to plans that allowed McDonald to preach at the Naples church while on an “indefinite sabbatical” from preaching and leadership in Chicago.That sabbatical came after years of controversy over MacDonald’s leadership style and the church’s finances. The controversy flared up after Harvest sued two bloggers who had been critical of the church, along with a freelance writer who was investigating the church.Harvest later dropped the lawsuit. But the controversy remained, and the church’s elders dismissed MacDonald after a local radio host played recordings of crude comments purportedly made by the pastor about his critics.Fallout continued Tuesday (Feb. 19), as Moody Publishers, which has published most of MacDonald’s books, said those titles no longer are available for sale through the publisher. It will accept returns for credit through May 31.LifeWay communications director Carol Pipes also confirmed the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention will no longer publish or carry MacDonald’s resources.The megachurch’s elders announced over the weekend they have formed a “Harvest 2020” team of congregants, staff, elders and outside professionals to review the church’s oversight, accountability and transparency, according to the statement. That team will be led by Rick Korte, a church member with experience in management and leadership, according to the elders’ statement.Senior associate pastor and elder Rick Donald told worshippers at a weekend service that the church is in a time of “humility” and “self-reflection” and asked them to forgive and pray for the church staff.“If I had to choose a word to kind of describe where we’re at as a church right now, I think I would use the word ‘storm,’” Donald said in his message.“Storms are temporary,” he said. “Yeah, we’re in a storm right now, and we’re going to be walking through some things that are going to be challenging and difficult and sometimes painful, but here’s the truth that I believe: The sun’s going to shine here again.”Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Ill., on Feb. 10, 2019. Video screenshot from Harvest Bible ChapelNot everyone at the church was pleased with that message. The Chicago Tribune reported “dozens of attendees” walked out of the Saturday night service on the church’s main campus in Rolling Meadows as Donald delivered the message, gathering elsewhere to pray.One attendee told the Tribune she was surprised the church had chosen Donald to deliver the message. He is reportedly a close friend of MacDonald and joined the staff at Harvest within a year of its founding.Noting her willingness to stay and rebuild, Rene Cross of Carol Stream said: “I just got up quietly and walked out because I felt like that’s the right thing to do. We’re not in a storm. It was sin.”Questions still remain about Walk in the Word, MacDonald’s longtime radio program. Once an independent ministry, the show and its finances came under Harvest control several years ago. In January, MacDonald and Harvest announced the show, which had been broadcast on stations nationwide, would become a digital-only operation.New content for the show has been posted on MacDonald’s website, JamesMacDonald.com, since his departure from the church.Calls by RNS to Harvest were not returned. A  recorded ministry update heard when calling Walk in the Word still shared the news the program would be going digital in March. Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Alexa responds to minister’s sermon, orders toilet paper February 20, 2019 at 12:48 pm Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites News Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Looks like a “big box” store with a church in the parking lot.,In Detroit, one organization is schooling Muslims on racial justice News Anti-extremism program won’t stop hate, say Muslims who’ve seen its flaws August 30, 2019 By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Emily McFarlan Miller Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.,5 Comments Click here to post a comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. FriendlyGoat says: February 19, 2019 at 5:24 pm What about THIS from Charisma News-x so you know you can rely on its veracity.“James MacDonald, pastor of the megachurch Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC), was fired from the church after a radio show host aired the first of several inflammatory audio clips. In the clips, a man who is presumed to be MacDonald makes crude comments about Christianity Today, reporters and even discusses a plan to plant child pornography on someone’s computer.” The “someone” being Christianity today CEO Harold Smith. Other news reports say that the people who heard it And would know were fairly certain it is MacDonald. The originator of the tapes would say, probably due to litigation threats. Personally, I have no idea. But I do have a few questions. If true, where would he get it? How would he get access to it? How does he know where to get it? What kind of man threatens to do something like that to someone else? Is anyone going to look at MacDonald’s computer?What kind of man of God would go there? News • Photos of the Week February 19, 2019 at 8:16 pm Share This! February 20, 2019 at 12:12 pm February 19, 2019 at 9:50 pm Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 This is a congregation of which I have little knowledge, so all that i know comes from the reporting in RNS and Christianity Today. However, when I read the above article I noticed something that set off alarm bells for me. The entire elder board is all male, and there are no women serving on this board which supposedly sets policy and direction for the congregation. That explains a lot, especially in matters related to sexual abuse. I’m not saying that simply having one or more women on the board would have necessarily put a stop to this much earlier. But I do think that several women with leadership ability and experience would have seen through this facade much quicker and blown the whistle on this. Share This! Sandi in EL says: bmayer504 says: lol Gregory Peterson says: Ben in Oakland says: Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This!last_img read more

Political Roundup Healthcare Bill Stalls And The Special Session Begins

first_imgIt’s time again for our weekly political roundup and analysis of national, state, and local political stories.On this edition, we discuss Senate Republicans lacking enough support to repeal and replace Obamacare and instead opting to move forward with a vote on a measure to repeal the law. Plus we discuss what’s at stake in the special session of the Texas Legislature, which began Tuesday. And we examine other recent political developments with an eye for how they might affect Houston and Texas.Today, our guests are: Jay Aiyer, from Texas Southern University and co-host of Houston Public Media’s Party Politics podcast; Andrew Schneider, politics and government reporter for News 88.7; and Dr. David Branham, professor of political science at the University of Houston-Downtown. Sharelast_img read more

Neanderthals died out earlier than originally believed

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2010 PhysOrg.com A specialist in radiocarbon dating from Oxford University, Thomas F. G. Higham developed a new method of radiocarbon dating with ultrafiltration which is able to remove contaminants to better receive an accurate dating. Radiocarbon dating measures a radioactive isotope carbon (carbon 14) which decays at a predictable rate after death. In specimens older than 30,000 years, very little carbon remains.Higham, along with archaeologist Ron Pinhasi from University College Cork in Ireland examined the bones from a Neanderthal child found in the Mezmaiskaya Cave location in the northern Caucasus Mountains. Their new radiocarbon dating method put this fossil at 39,700 years old. A previously found fossil at this site had been dated at 29,000 and was being re-examined with the new method.Higham is re-dating Neanderthal sites throughout Europe and believes all remains will be changed with none begin younger than 39,000 years old. Because of this new find, he believes there is now no evidence that Neanderthals and modern humans were co-existing in Europe for very long at all, and that there is even the possibility that the Neanderthals demise was at the hands of the modern human.This is where the debate begins, as geneticists reported last year that 2.5 percent of the modern human genome is derived from the Neanderthal genome. There is evidence of Neanderthals co-existing in the Near East some 100,000 years ago, as well as in Europe 40,000 years ago. With the new carbon dating timeline, it is now believed that interbreeding between the two did not occur in Europe but rather during that first encounter. More information: Revised age of late Neanderthal occupation and the end of the Middle Paleolithic in the northern Caucasus, PNAS, Published online before print May 9, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1018938108AbstractAdvances in direct radiocarbon dating of Neanderthal and anatomically modern human (AMH) fossils and the development of archaeostratigraphic chronologies now allow refined regional models for Neanderthal–AMH coexistence. In addition, they allow us to explore the issue of late Neanderthal survival in regions of Western Eurasia located within early routes of AMH expansion such as the Caucasus. Here we report the direct radiocarbon (14C) dating of a late Neanderthal specimen from a Late Middle Paleolithic (LMP) layer in Mezmaiskaya Cave, northern Caucasus. Additionally, we provide a more accurate chronology for the timing of Neanderthal extinction in the region through a robust series of 16 ultrafiltered bone collagen radiocarbon dates from LMP layers and using Bayesian modeling to produce a boundary probability distribution function corresponding to the end of the LMP at Mezmaiskaya. The direct date of the fossil (39,700 ± 1,100 14C BP) is in good agreement with the probability distribution function, indicating at a high level of probability that Neanderthals did not survive at Mezmaiskaya Cave after 39 ka cal BP (“calendrical” age in kiloannum before present, based on IntCal09 calibration curve). This challenges previous claims for late Neanderthal survival in the northern Caucasus. We see striking and largely synchronous chronometric similarities between the Bayesian age modeling for the end of the LMP at Mezmaiskaya and chronometric data from Ortvale Klde for the end of the LMP in the southern Caucasus. Our results confirm the lack of reliably dated Neanderthal fossils younger than ∼40 ka cal BP in any other region of Western Eurasia, including the Caucasus. (PhysOrg.com) — According to a newly released report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a newly refined method of radiocarbon dating has found that Neanderthals died off much earlier than originally believed. Where previous testing had shown fossils as young as 29,000 years ago, this new method puts the date closer to 39,000 years ago, sparking the debate that Neanderthals and modern humans probably never interacted in Europe. Explore further Scientists redate Neanderthal fossils Citation: Neanderthals died out earlier than originally believed (2011, May 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-neanderthals-died-earlier-believed.html Homo neanderthalensis, adult male. Credit: John Gurche, artist / Chip Clark, photographerlast_img read more

NYC Company announces promotional partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment on SpiderMan Far

first_imgNYC & Company announced a promotional partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment on the highly anticipated release of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’. In 2018, NYC welcomed an estimated 13.3 million family visitors, a nearly 6% increase over 2017. Family visitation to New York City currently represents 20% of total visitation to New York City, with expected growth in the future. For kid-friendly NYC travel materials, guides and itineraries inspired by Spider-Man, visit nycgo.com/spider-man-far-from-home.“We’re excited to partner with Spider-Man: Far From Home—starring a hometown hero and Queens native to highlight all there is to do for families when visiting NYC,” said Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company. “Adored by travellers of all ages, Spider-Man is an exceptional representative of the never-ending excitement found across the five boroughs.”“New York is comprised of so many wonderful neighbourhoods and even though Spider-Man is far from home in this film he will always be your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man and a native New Yorker,” said Jeffrey Godsick, EVP of Brand Management and Global Partnerships, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group.In celebration of Peter Parker’s native roots to the Big Apple, NYC & Company has put together a list of Spidey-approved activities families can enjoy this summer in NYC, which can all be found on NYCgo.com, including ‘Spidey-Eye Views of New York City’, with 16 exciting sites across the five boroughs; ‘Swing by Spider-Man’s Home Borough’, showcasing must-see locations in Queens; and a complete guide to visiting NYC with family.The campaign will be promoted through out-of-home media in the five boroughs, Boston and Chicago, social media engagement by @nycgo using the hashtags #SpiderManxNYC and #SpiderManFarFromHome and TV spots running in NYC taxicabs. The campaign creative illustrates Spider-Man climbing the Unisphere in his home borough of Queens, incorporating NYC & Company’s global tourism campaign ‘Famous Original New York City’ as well as the official branding for Spider-Man: Far from Home.last_img read more