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Canada contributes 86M more to South Sudan epicentre of refugee crisis

first_imgOTTAWA – The woman appeared content for the moment, waiting under a tree for a little bit of salvation to fall — quite literally — from the sky.International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau recalled seeing the woman in a northern remote region of South Sudan during a four-day visit that wrapped up Monday.The woman was one of the four million South Sudanese who have been internally displaced because of the four-year-old civil war raging in their country. Another two million have fled the country as refugees.“It’s the middle of nowhere for us, she didn’t even have a roof over her head,” Bibeau recalled in a conference call.“She was sleeping under a tree waiting for airdrops to feed her family.”South Sudan has emerged as one of the newest drivers of the larger global crisis in displaced people, one that reached epic new proportions Monday when the United Nations released the latest record-breaking number quantifying the problem: 65.6 million people on the planet have fled their homes.The South Sudanese homeless are almost totally dependent on humanitarian assistance because when they do find sanctuary, they can’t resettle safely or grow food to feed themselves, said Melanie Gallant, head of humanitarian campaigning for Oxfam Canada.“We’re talking about people who are used to going through shocks and stresses, but they’ve just exhausted their coping mechanisms. The markets have collapsed in most places so even if you had money to buy food, it doesn’t mean you have any food to buy in the market.”Uganda, South Sudan’s southern neighbour, has become Africa’s largest host refugee country with 1.2 million refugees, three quarters of them South Sudanese.About 40,000 South Sudanese refugees have entered Uganda every month over the last year, 86 per cent of them women and children, said the World Refugee Council, a new organization run by Canada’s Centre of International Governance Innovation.Michael Messenger, the president of World Vision Canada, has been in the northern Ugandan town of Arua watching the influx of South Sudanese. He said Monday about 100 unaccompanied children are crossing the border each day; their parents have either been killed or have otherwise fallen by the wayside during the exodus.“It’s the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world; children are at the heart of it,” said Messenger.“While Uganda has been very open, at a certain point, there’s a breaking point. There are parts of northern Uganda where the refugees actually outnumber the host communities.”Canada announced an additional contribution of $86 million to assist famine and war ravaged South Sudan. That’s on top of the $36.9 million Canada gave to South Sudan in March.Bibeau said the funds will improve access to basic health services, including family planning and reproductive health care for women and girls, as well as increasing access to food.Bibeau, who also met government officials on the four-day trip, said the suffering can only be alleviated if the warring factions lay down their arms.“We’re obviously concerned about the constant flow of South Sudanese refugees going to neighbouring countries. Uganda has been extremely generous,” she said.“What is needed is a durable solution for peace in South Sudan, and we support the role of South Sudan’s neighbours in this process.”The new funds announced Monday are an addition to the Famine Relief Fund recently announced in response to the widespread food crises in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen, in which the government will match the contributions of Canadians until June 30.“Conflict is really the common theme between those countries,” said Gallant.“Of course, as populations are being displaced, that’s a big factor for what we’re seeing in hunger crises and famine.”last_img read more

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GFL executive joins forces with Paul Coffey in new waste management company

first_imgTORONTO — An executive with Green For Life Environmental has joined forces with former NHL star Paul Coffey to launch new environmental waste management company Environmental 360 Solutions Inc.Danny Ardellini, who founded National Waste Services which later merged with GFL, will head the new company.He says the company has the expertise and financial backing to become a significant player in the North American environmental waste management industry through acquisitions and internal growth.Toronto-based E360S says it completed its first deal by acquiring Can Pak Environmental Inc., a central Alberta-based business serving residential, commercial and industrial properties.E360S has nearly 100 employees, more than 35 trucks, and two recycling facilities that serve more than 150,000 customers weekly.In addition to the Stanley Cup champion, private equity firm Almada Inc. has also invested in the company.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Two die three injured as factory wall collapses in Shahdara

first_imgNew Delhi: Two persons died and three injured after a part of a wall collapsed in an aluminium factory in Delhi’s Shahdara on Thursday. An Official from East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) said that the building owner in order to rebuild the wall was demolishing the wall when the incident happened.The deceased have been identified as Baldev and Dharmender, both in their early 30s. According to the fire department, they received information regarding the incident around 11.54 am. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Five people were buried under the debris in Shahdara’s Seemapuri area. They were engaged in a repair work when the incident happened,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Meghna Yadav said. The persons who were at the spot did not get any time to escape and were trapped under debries. The police were informed about the incident. Fire official stated that they took out the victims from the debries. The victims were rushed to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital where two were declared brought dead while three others are undergoing treatment, the police officer said. Three persons aged between 22-27 are still undergoing treatment at hospital. A senior police officer in the Shahdara district said that the probe is on to check negligence in the incident. “It’s an old building and investigation is going on to know whether it was legal or not. We have registered a case against the owner,” the police officer said.last_img read more

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BCCI CoA to discuss Arjuna nominees on Saturday

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) will discuss the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) nominations for this year’s Arjuna Award among others things when they meet in the capital on Saturday. GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim is expected to propose the names to the committee comprising of Vinod Rai, Diana Edulji and Lt. Gen. Ravi Thodge. While nominating players for the award will be on top of the agenda list, another important factor will be discussing the matter of the women’s head coach and refer it to the Ombudsman to take a call on the decision-making process. This apart, the CoA will also propose the prize money for new tournaments, propose guidelines for utilization of funds granted, discuss the recommendation of ombudsman in the Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman matter as also check the progress in the formation of the players association. A senior BCCI official said that the nomination for Arjuna Awards will be decided on the basis of seniority. “We will decide on the nominees on the basis of their seniority. There will be both men and women cricketers who will be in the list that Karim presents,” the official said. When asked if someone like K L Rahul — has played for the country in 34 Tests, 14 ODIs and 27 T20Is — could be considered after coming under fire for his inappropriate comments in a chat show, the official said: “It is a closed matter technically and there is no reason why he cannot be given the award for his contribution to the game after the ombudsman gave him a clean chit. But yes, timing is something that can definitely be debated.”last_img read more

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Weinstein arraigned on charges he assaulted 3rd woman

Harvey Weinstein remains out on bail after his arraignment Monday on charges alleging he committed a sex crime against a third woman.The disgraced movie mogul has been previously indicted on charges involving two women.The new charges against Weinstein include two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison upon conviction.He was brought into a Manhattan courtroom on Monday while handcuffed from behind, then uncuffed for the proceeding.Lawyer Ben Brafman argued there was no evidence the 66-year-old would flee.More than 75 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct.Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

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Case against Hamilton Police Sergeant moves forward with judicial review

The team representing Hamilton Police Sergeant Helena Pereira has decided to move forward with a judicial review.It’s the latest development in an ongoing Police Services Act case that dates back to 2013.Pereira faced Police Services Act charges in connection to two incidents. She is seen on security camera footage in February 2013 slapping her cousin in the face after his arrest on drug charges. She was convicted of discreditable conduct in that incident. Pereira was also convicted of using unnecessary force and insubordination in connection to pushing a drunk prisoner into her cell while not in her police uniform. Those convictions came in July 2015.Pereira and her representation had accused bias in the case, arguing hearing officer Morris Elbers should have recused himself for going to lunch with prosecutor Gary Melanson. That bias motion was dismissed in January 2016.During a conference call today, Hamilton Police Association representative Brad Boyce said the application for a judicial review has begun, and should be filed within the next two weeks. If the review application is approved, the matter will move to a divisional court, where a judge will rule on whether any mistakes were made by hearing officer Elbers.If the judge rules in Pereira’s favour, the next steps are unclear, Boyce says, but adds it is possible the entire case could start from the beginning.If the judge rules against Pereira, Boyce believes the penalties Pereira will receive for her convictions are minimal.“The convictions were based on technicalities. These are situations that frequently occur within the police service,”  Boyce says. He believes Pereira will likely face a monetary penalty or more training if her convictions are ultimately upheld.The next conference call on the matter will take place on April 8. read more

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World Bank warns that poverty will rise in wake of terrorist attacks

In a preliminary economic assessment of the 11 September attacks, the Bank estimated that developing country growth would fall from 5.5 per cent in 2000 to 2.9 per cent in 2001 as a result of slowdowns in the US, Japan and Europe. An additional 20,000 to 40,000 children under five years of age could die from the economic consequences of the attack as poverty worsens.”We have seen the human toll the recent attacks wrought in the US, with citizens from some 80 nations perishing in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania,” said World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn. “We estimate that tens of thousands more children will die worldwide and some 10 million more people are likely to be living below the poverty line of $1 a day because of the terrorist attacks.” Already, there are signs that higher costs and reduced economic activity are putting a damper on global trade, according to the World Bank. Insurance and security costs and delays at customs clearance are among the main factors pushing up the costs of trade. Tourism has been hit exceptionally hard. The Bank estimated that 65 per cent of holiday trips booked for the Caribbean have been cancelled and warned that the Middle East is also likely to suffer a sharp decline in tourism revenues.World Bank Chief Economist Nicholas Stern stressed that all countries must be vigilant to ensure a global rebound. He called for swift and bold policy responses because of the heightened level of risk to the global economy. “Maintaining world trade is more important than ever, especially in the face of an economic slowdown which is often accompanied by pressures for increased protectionism,” he said.The Bank pledged to “do its part,” noting that its managers and staff – many of whom are stationed in developing countries – have been in contact with high-level officials to assure them of the Bank’s continued commitment to deliver on previously agreed programmes, and to offer help in minimizing adverse impacts from the heightened uncertainty, risk, and volatility in the current global economic environment. read more

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International community must seek common approach in Haiti Fréchette says

In opening remarks to a meeting in New York between representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the UN system, the Deputy Secretary-General said the UN is seeking to draw in all relevant actors and pursue a common strategic aim in Haiti.”We will explore with CARICOM, as well as with the OAS [Organization of American States], what each of us is best positioned to contribute, in cooperation with our Haitian partners,” she said. “And since CARICOM, the OAS and the UN system will remain in Haiti long after the peacekeeping phase ends, we need to ensure that an integrated and common approach is followed.”Looking at the broader issues facing the Caribbean region, the Deputy Secretary-General noted that one of the main areas of collaboration between the UN and CARICOM is trade, particularly the joint effort to press for greater liberalization and an international trading system that brings development gains for the bloc’s countries.Ms. Fréchette also pointed to working together to cope with the AIDS epidemic, which affects the Caribbean like no other region in the world except for sub-Saharan Africa. Among Caribbean teens, girls are five times more likely to contract HIV, she noted. “CARICOM itself has proved a useful forum for region cooperation on this issue,” she said. “We need to continue and step up such efforts.”As for the upcoming 10-year review conference of an action plan to help Small Island Developing States, the Deputy Secretary-General said she shared the hope that it will produce not only renewed political commitment, but also practical initiatives that will generate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of anti-poverty targets endorsed at a 2000 UN summit.”Security threats – from political violence through money laundering to drug trafficking and smuggling – have serious consequences for the functioning of the region’s economies, for governance and stability, and for social well-being,” she said.”Our enduring hope is to prevent such crises, and to build solid foundations for balanced, sustainable development throughout the region,” she added. read more

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Intierra MA innovation meets mining finance sweet spot

first_imgIntierra Resource Intelligence, a world leading supplier of business intelligence to the mineral resources sector, has released what it claims is “the mining industry’s most advanced Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) research and analysis tool. The new tool comes at a time when mergers and acquisitions in the mining sector are forecast to increase significantly through 2011, having already risen 77% to $113 billion in 2010.” The M&A module completes a suite of Intierra financial research solutions that covers capital raisings, feasibility studies, equity interests and financial ratios.Intierra’s Managing Director, Peter Rossdeutscher, said: “The mining sector has seen significant growth in the last decade and with it there are more properties being explored and many more companies active in the sector. This kind of growth leads inevitably to consolidation. The data, tools and services provided by Intierra empower organisations to efficiently find, analyse, value, and perform due diligence on exploration and mining companies.”The ground-breaking M&A tool is part of the IntierraLive service and allows users to identify trends by capturing and presenting merger, takeover and acquisition information both as a snapshot and as a fluid stream of activity across time. Another feature unique to Intierra’s M&A tool is the ability to build various scenarios and simulate likely activity in order to view possible combined commodity holdings and equity interests across the new potential entity.Rossdeutscher added, “There is an enormous amount of current and impending activity in the mining sector. Along with all that activity comes a lot of information noise. Intierra with its sector-specific modules provides tailored, dependable, timely information upon which analysis and decisions can be swiftly and confidently made.”last_img read more

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Greek veto on EU criticism of Chinas human rights records

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greece has vetoed a European Union statement condemning China’s human rights record at the UN, infuriating diplomats and human rights organisations, who said the move undermined the EU’s efforts to confront Beijing’s crackdown on activists and dissidents. The statement was due to be submitted to the UN’s Human Rights Council (UNHCR) in Geneva last Thursday.This marked the first time that the EU had failed to make one of its thrice-yearly human rights statements at the UN, which undermines the Union’s status as a a beacon of human rights protection, taking a tough stance on issues ranging from LGBT rights to banning capital punishment, and upholding press freedoms.Criticism towards China was based on ‘the government’s systematic efforts to silence independent civil society voices’, by detaining more than 16 human rights advocates. According to the Human Rights Watch 2017 report, ‘under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, who will remain in power until 2022 and possibly beyond, the outlook for fundamental human rights, including freedoms of expression, assembly, association and religion, remains dire.’ The Greek government’s refusal to endorse the statement was met with severe criticism, and seen as deplorable. The general belief is that this stance is due to the country’s dependence on Chinese investments, especially given Chinese shipping giant Cosco owns 51 per cent of the Port of Pireaus. Another point of criticism from EU diplomats came from the fact that the Greek veto came after the Eurogroup’s decision to unlock €8.5bn (AUD$12.5bn) in bailout loans, allowing Athens to avert default when it faces €7.4bn in debt repayments next month. “It was dishonourable, to say the least,” one EU diplomat told Reuters in Brussels.A Greek foreign ministry official said Athens blocked the statement, calling it ‘unconstructive criticism of China’ and said separate EU talks with China outside the UN were a better avenue for discussions.last_img read more

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Le Parlement européen enterre les dérogations au Finning des requins

first_imgLe Parlement européen enterre les dérogations au “Finning” des requinsEn fin de semaine, l’Union européenne a durci sa réglementation concernant la pêche aux requins. Il s’agit de mettre fin à la découpe d’ailerons encore pratiquée par certains pêcheurs via des dérogations.Théoriquement, depuis 2003, les pêcheurs européens n’ont plus le droit de couper en mer les ailerons de requins, très prisés en Asie. Cette interdiction de découpe en mer visait à lutter contre le « finning », une pratique qui consiste à rejeter en mer les poissons estropiés et vivants après avoir arraché leurs ailerons. Mais des dérogations pour des découpes à bord étaient encore accordées, essentiellement par l’Espagne et le Portugal, à la condition que les pêcheurs conservent les carcasses. Les ONG, elles, dénoncent une pratique barbare, d’autant que les fraudes sont courantes.Aussi, il y a deux jours, la commissaire européenne chargée de la pêche, Maria Damanaki, avait appelé les députés européens à voter en vue de mettre fin aux dérogations autorisant le finning. “Nous devons éradiquer ces pratiques horribles et mieux protéger les requins”, avait-elle plaidé. Avec le texte qui a finalement été adopté hier à une très large majorité par le Parlement européen, les requins devront être débarqués avec leurs nageoires “naturellement attachées au corps”.Pour les associations de défense de l’environnement, ce vote est l’aboutissement d’un combat de plusieurs années. Selon Humane society international (HSI), il “va non seulement lutter de manière plus efficace contre le finning par les bateaux européens, mais va aussi être une contribution majeure aux efforts globaux pour éradiquer cette pratique dans les organisations de pêche comme la Cicta (thonidés de l’Atlantique) ou la CTOI (thonidés de l’Océan indien)”.Même réjouissance chez Shark Alliance, pour qui “le vote du Parlement constitue une avancée majeure dans le cadre d’un effort mondial visant à faire cesser le gaspillage que représente le finning des requins”. L’ONG souligne par ailleurs que la politique “des nageoires attachées” se pratique déjà dans des pays d’Amérique centrale, aux Etats-Unis ou à Taïwan. Shark Alliance, qui regroupe 130 organisations indique déjà vouloir aller plus loin encore afin “d’obtenir des limites de captures nationales et internationales dans le but de traiter le problème de la surexploitation des requins”.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Car certaines espèces de requins (le requin-taupe bleu, le requin-taupe commun ou le requin à peau bleue) sont considérées en danger mais sont néanmoins pêchées. Pour Robert Calcagno, directeur de l’Institut océanographique de Monaco, les requins, “ces super-prédateurs sont un maillon vital, la clé de voûte, de la chaîne alimentaire des océans et s’ils venaient à disparaître ou à se raréfier, tout l’écosystème s’en trouverait perturbé, jusqu’à menacer l’existence même de nombreuses autres espèces”. Ainsi, comme il l’explique, “bien loin de bénéficier de l’élimination d’un concurrent, l’industrie de la pêche pâtirait donc de cette disparition”.”L’avenir de l’humanité dépend de la bonne santé de nos océans et celle-ci est étroitement liée à la survie des requins”, conclut-il.Le 24 novembre 2012 à 09:06 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Inter can cope without Icardi says Ausilio

first_imgPiero Ausilio believes is “convinced” that despite injuries to Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez, Inter will succeed this season.Inter Milan director of sport, Piero Ausilio is confident that Inter can achieve their goals this season, even without a key player like Mauro Icardi.“Icardi had a fitness problem yesterday, so did Lautaro, so as they were in the 24 hours before the game, we didn’t want to take any risks,” Ausilio told Sky Sports Italia.[via Football Italia]“We’ve got a player like Keita, who was signed precisely for this sort of situation and to ensure the quality level remained very high indeed. There is Radja Nainggolan in the starting XI for his Inter debut after the transfer from Roma.Rick Karsdorp, Roma, Serie AKarsdorp reveals he had too much stress at Roma Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The Dutch defender has been with the Gialorrossi since 2017, but he has not enjoyed his time in the Italian Lega Serie A.“Nainggolan, unfortunately, missed all of pre-season with this injury, but he has this experience, determination and hunger that means he’s raring to go.”Inter Milan will play Bologna this evening at the Stadio Dall’Ara.last_img read more

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Car sales fall in January no respite seen SIAM

first_imgNew Delhi /Noida, Feb 12 (ANI): Car sales in India fell 7.6 percent in January, the fourth straight month of decline, according to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), in a market set to fall for the second straight year. Car sales fell to 160,289 vehicles last month, the industry body said, as consumers kept a tight lid on spending, hurt by high interest rates and fuel costs in a slowing economy. Sales have fallen 5.2 percent so far this fiscal year that ends in March. The Deputy Director General of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Sugato Sen, said that the auto industry is hoping that the government may cut factory gate duties when it presents the interim budget while there are no signs of an immediate recovery.last_img

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Massive childrens presence on net alarming

first_imgParticipants at the internet expo.Exposed to abuse of children on the net, more than 80 per cent teenage internet users in Bangladesh feel they need stronger safety, says a UNICEF survey.About 20 per cent of the surveyed teenagers who are active on the social media, are subjected to harassment or abuse.In such a context, UNICEF, in collaboration with Facebook, on Friday launched a year-long campaign to raise awareness among children, teachers and parents and also increase their access to safe online content.More than 10,000 students from more than 100 schools, teachers, parents, policymakers, industry leaders, and other stakeholders joined the programme at Bangabandhu Novo Theatre. Two million online visitors also participated in the event, said the organisers.”The internet was designed for adults, but it is increasingly used by children and young people – and digital technology often affects their lives and futures. So, digital policies, practices, and products should better reflect children’s needs, perspectives and voices,” UNICEF Bangladesh representative Edouard Beigbeder told the launching ceremony.According to the ‘State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a digital world’, lack of adequate knowledge about proper internet use increases children’s vulnerability to risks and harms, including misuse of their private information, access to harmful content, and cyberbullying.Edouard Beigbeder, representative of UNICEF Bangladesh, speaking at the inaugural session of mass awareness campaign.The UNICEF survey that covered 11,821 teenagers, also found that more than 50 per cent of them might fall into trap of friendship offered by unknown persons on the net. Its findings were presented at the event.The participants observed that despite children’s massive online presence on the internet, too little is done to protect them from the perils of the digital world.”It’s important to make cyberspace child-friendly as they face many problems while using internet,” said state minister of ICT division Zunaid Ahmed Palak. He emphasised building awareness to ensure safet internet for children.The yearlong campaign would reach 25 million teenagers, their parents and teachers to create awareness of cyber safety, said the UNICEF representative, Edouard Beigbeder.Shruti Moghe, a Facebook official for South Asia, said the social media site authority is working to the safety of users, especially children, in recent times.At the gathering, a total of 47 IT-related organisations put on display their products and services.last_img read more

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2 physicians fired as probe finds negligence in Raifas treatment

first_imgMax Hospital fires 2 physicians over Raifa’s death. Photo: UNBTwo physicians of Max Hospital in Chattogram have been sacked as a probe committee found their negligence in the treatment of minor girl Raifa Khan that caused her death.The two physicians are Debashish Sengupta and Shuvra Deb, reports UNB.The hospital authorities took the decision after the probe body, formed by the government to investigate the death of Raifa Khan, found the evidence of negligence in her treatment, the hospital’s managing director Md Liakat Ali Khan told UNB on Saturday.Besides, the authorities decided not to call child specialist Bidhan Roy Chowdhury to the hospital to avail of his service.Raifa Khan, 3, daughter of a certain Rubel Khan, staff reporter of national newspaper Dainik Samakal, died due to wrong treatment at the private hospital in the port city on the early morning of 29 June.The health ministry formed the investigation committee on the next day with Chattogram Civil Surgeon Azizur Rahman Siddique as its head.last_img read more

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Student missing in Patenga sea beach

first_imgA college student went missing in the bay at Patenga sea beach in Chattogram on Tuesday, reports UNB.The missing was identified as Asif Shahriar, son of Md Barekul Islam, resident of Dulahazra village in Chokoria upazila of Cox’s Bazar district and class-XI student of Naval Forces School and College in Patenga.Officer-in-charge of Patenga police station Abul Kashem Bhuiya said Asif along with his mate Nafis disappeared in the bay after they got down in the bay water skipping their college around 11:00pm.Later, local photographers who were taking snaps of the bay saw them going down the water managed to rescue Nafis from the water body while Asif remained missing.A team of divers of Chattogram firefighters and Naval forces has been conducting drive to rescue the missing, the OC added.last_img read more

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Well Be Chowing Down Electronics in No Time

first_imgWith the growing encroachment of Big Data and the Internet of Things and other digital buzzwords on our daily lives, it should be no shock that we’re now on the verge of literally eating the latest advance in electronics.It’s actually pretty neat. According to a study this week in ACS Nano, chemists have learned how to imbue a laser-branded conductive pattern onto anything containing carbon, including your dinner.Certified Organic ChemistryIt’s all thanks to graphene, a pretty miraculous material we may have mentioned once or twice before. The stuff is pretty much just a single layer — just one atom thick — of a 2-D hexagonal pattern of carbon atoms. It’s unbelievably strong, and conducts heat and electricity well, making it pretty popular in materials science labs.Scientists knew you could shine a laser onto certain materials to produce laser-induced graphene (LIG). It should be reasonable, then, to find a way to do that to anything with enough carbon in it. Eventually, the researchers figured out how to do it, using what the study charmingly calls “a multiple lase process.”First, they’d shine a laser onto the material to produce amorphous carbon — aka soot. Basically, they just char a tiny bit of the top layer of the stuff. But then the researchers shone a laser with a defocused beam over it all, turning the soot into graphene. The result is simple way to produce, at room temperature, precise patterns of graphene over a variety of materials, from food to cloth, paper, cardboard or even just coal.Consuming DataThis actually would be pretty useful, since LIG can function as supercapacitors, RFID tags, biological sensors and more. Food bearing the burn can track its own origins and how long its been sitting in the freezer, say. Or this could be a new way to tell at a glance if something is crawling with E. coli or other unwanted guests. It really is a new way of improving how much we can know and work with a variety of materials.Plus, think of the possibilities: Enjoy hearty giga-bytes of microchipped potato chips! Choose from some Big Data dates or a numerically precise pie, or electric elderberry! Mmm, science.last_img read more

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OpenAIs new versatile AI model GPT2 can efficiently write convincing fake news

first_imgOpenAI researchers demonstrated a new AI model, yesterday, called GPT-2, that is capable of generating coherent paragraphs of text without needing any task-specific training. In other words, give it the first line of a story, and it’ll form the rest. Apart from generating articles, it can also perform rudimentary reading comprehension, summarization, machine translation, and question answering. GPT-2 is an unsupervised language model comprising 1.5 billion parameters and is trained on a dataset of 8 million web pages. “GPT-2 is simply trained to predict the next word in a 40GB of internet tex”, says the OpenAI team. The OpenAI team states that it is superior to other language models trained on specific domains (like Wikipedia, news, or books) as it doesn’t need to use these domain-specific training datasets. For languages related tasks such as question answering, reading comprehension, and summarization, GPT-2 can learn these tasks directly from the raw text and doesn’t require any training data. The OpenAI team states that the GPT-2 model is ‘chameleon-like’ and easily adapts to the style and content of the input text. However, the team has observed certain failures in the model such as repetitive text, world modeling failures, and unnatural topic switching. Finding a good sample depends on the familiarity of the model with that sample’s context. For instance, when the model is prompted with topics that are ‘highly represented in data’ like Miley Cyrus, Lord of the rings, etc, it is able to generate reasonable samples 50% of the time. On the other hand, the model performs poorly in case of highly technical or complex content. The OpenAI team has specified that it envisions the use of GPT-2 in development of AI writing assistants, advanced dialogue agents, unsupervised translation between languages and enhanced speech recognition systems. It has also specified the potential misuses of GPT-2 as it can be used to generate misleading news articles, and automate the large scale production of fake and phishing content on social media. Due to the concerns related to this misuse of language generating models, OpenAI has decided to release a ‘small’ version of GPT-2  with its sampling code and a research paper for researchers to experiment with. The dataset, training code, or GPT-2 model weights have been excluded from the release. The OpenAI team states that this release strategy will give them and the overall AI community the time to discuss more deeply about the implications of such systems. It also wants the government to take initiatives to monitor the societal impact of AI technologies and to track the progress of capabilities in these systems. “If pursued, these efforts could yield a better evidence base for decisions by AI labs and governments regarding publication decisions and AI policy more broadly”, states the OpenAI team. Public reaction to the news is positive, however, not everyone is okay with OpenAI’s release strategy, and feels that the move signals towards ‘closed AI’ and propagates the ‘fear of AI’: For more information, check out the official OpenAI GPT-2 blog post. Read Next OpenAI charter puts safety, standards, and transparency first OpenAI launches Spinning Up, a learning resource for potential deep learning practitioners OpenAI builds reinforcement learning based system giving robots human like dexteritylast_img read more

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Foreigners entering Canada to undergo biometric screening

first_img 0 Comments   Share   A senior government official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak prior to the official announcement, said Prime Minister Stephen Harper will announce the measure later Thursday.The official said it is about “enhancing our security before individuals with nefarious intentions can even come to Canada.”It will apply for those seeking a work or study permit, as well as those seeking a visitor visa or permanent residency in Canada. Finger prints and photos have been collected from refugee claimants since 1993. The government will spend over $312 Canadian (US$250 million) over five years to expand the screening measures.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement TORONTO (AP) — Canada will collect finger prints and digitals photos from all foreigners traveling on a visa under a new security measure.The measure, which requires legislative approval and is expected to take effect in 2018 or 2019, won’t include U.S. citizens.Canada currently requires finger printing and digital photos from citizens of 29 countries including Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya. The new rules will apply to citizens from more than 150 countries.center_img Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

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