Six ways your body changes your perception

first_img*For our full coverage of AAAS 2016, check out our meeting page.Can you jump that gap? Will you even try? Your visual system helps you make such decisions by warping and stretching the things you look at according to your physical traits or abilities, says Jessica Witt, a cognitive psychologist at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. Rather than showing us the world as it is, our vision toys with things like slope and distance. The harder a task, the more it seems to magnify before our eyes. These visual biases may have evolved to help us make quick decisions, letting us know at a glance which tasks to tackle. At the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science) in Washington, D.C., Witt described several ways our physical abilities change what we see.Successful batters see bigger ballsIn a 2005 study, Witt and her colleagues snagged softball players after a game and told them to choose—from several circles printed on a poster—the one that was the same size as a softball. Athletes who had a good night at bat overestimated the size of the ball, whereas those who kept missing underestimated the ball’s size. In a similar experiment, Witt found that golfers who sank more putts judged golf holes as larger.Crappy kicks warp the goalIn the softball experiment, it wasn’t clear whether people really saw things differently or just misremembered them. To find out, Witt turned to field goals in U.S. football, where players must kick a ball over a crossbar that connects two vertical uprights. After several field goal attempts, participants adjusted a small model made of PVC pipe to match the proportions of the goal. People who kicked the ball too low set the model crossbar higher, whereas those who kicked the ball too wide set the model uprights closer together. People could look at the real goal while adjusting the model, so the findings suggest they really saw the goal differently.Parkour athletes see shorter wallsIn parkour—an activity that evolved from obstacle course training—athletes vault, leap, and climb through the urban environment, often launching themselves to the tops of walls. In a 2011 study, Witt and her colleagues asked both parkour experts and novices how well they thought they could climb a given wall and then asked them to estimate its height. Parkour novices saw the walls as taller than they actually were, whereas experienced parkour athletes tended to see walls accurately.“Reaching” tools can make objects look closerEven reaching for the remote control could mess with perceived distances. In a 2005 study, Witt and her colleagues asked participants to estimate the distance to a dot on a table. People consistently underestimated the distance to dots that were close enough for them to reach. They also overestimated the distance to dots that were out of their reach. When participants were given a conductor’s baton, their perceptions shifted again: Dots in reach of the baton appeared closer than they actually were. But this shift only happened if people planned to use the baton; when they just held it, the illusion went away. This suggests that our visual system warps reality to help us plan action.Heavy backpacks make hills look steeperIn a classic earlier study that Witt referenced, researchers asked participants at the base of a hill to estimate the hill’s slope. It looked steeper to people who were tired, elderly, or wearing a heavy backpack. Obese people see things as farther awayBuilding on the backpack study, Witt found that distances look farther to people when they weigh more. She and her colleagues went to a Wal-Mart and asked shoppers to estimate the distance from where they stood to several cones on the ground. Obese participants saw the cones as farther away than people who fell in the “normal” range or were only moderately overweight. The results were dramatic; an extra 200 pounds of body weight roughly doubled peoples’ estimates. Such visual biases could make it harder for obese people to adopt an active lifestyle, according to Witt. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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New religious divide: Muslims forsake traditional attire in Rajasthan

first_imgMadeena Shoro, 22, stays in Shoro ki Dhani, a Muslim colony on the outskirts of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. After six years of attending a nearby madarsa, Shoro can now read the Koran. She no longer wears the armful of bright bangles, an essential accessory of the traditional desert garb.About 60 km,Madeena Shoro, 22, stays in Shoro ki Dhani, a Muslim colony on the outskirts of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. After six years of attending a nearby madarsa, Shoro can now read the Koran. She no longer wears the armful of bright bangles, an essential accessory of the traditional desert garb.About 60 km away in Sam, men ride the sand dunes with tourists astride their camels. Till about five years ago, it wasn’t easy to tell a Muslim guide from a Hindu one, dressed as they all were in lungis and safas (turbans). Today, the Muslims are easy to spot with their skullcaps and salwars.Gearing for trouble: Hindus stick to the turbans and ghaghrasA land as sterile as Rajasthan has had much to thank its people-with their flaming ghaghras and safas they provide colour where none exists. It is, however, no longer the only purpose that clothes serve here.In a country fast cleaving on religious lines, garments have come to symbolise the growing Hindu-Muslim divide in the state’s border districts of Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner.The region has managed to skirt communal tension primarily because of the secular influence of Rajput rulers and Pir Pagaro, a Sufi mazaar just across the border in Pakistan. But today, while Hindu women continue to strut about in 52-yard ghaghras, Barmeri print dupattas and loads of jewellery, more and more Muslim women are forsaking them for salwar-kameez and burqas.The Muslim men too are opting for salwars and skullcaps. The change is not limited to dress alone. An increasing number of Muslims who had offered namaz more as a casual practice than an inviolable ritual are praying more frequently.advertisementGearing for trouble: While Hindus stick to the turbans and ghaghras, more and more Muslims are opting for skullcaps and the salwar-kameez”The change has been rather rapid along two-thirds of the 1,040-km Indo-Pakistan border in the state,” says Lokendra Singh Kalvi, a Rajput leader who contested unsuccessfully from the Barmer-Jaisalmer parliamentary constituency in 1998.These are the areas that saw a mushrooming of madarsas in the 1980s and 1990s which are now being blamed for the rapid cultural transformation. Says S. Sengathir, SP, Barmer: “There are 95 madarsas in Barmer, 60 in Jaisalmer, 65 in Bikaner and 24 in Ganganagar”.The maulvis of the religious schools, however, deny a deliberate attempt at communalising society. “We do not issue diktats. I don’t instruct my students that Islam demands wearing of skullcaps,” says Maulvi Rashid Ahmed, sadar of Madarsa Islamia Dar-ul-Ulum in Pokhran and president, Rajasthan Madarsa Board. “I tell them that wisdom comes not from wearing a safa but through education.”Then, of course, there are more pragmatic considerations. Kesar Khan, a shepherd from Ramgarh village in Jaisalmer, says he bought a cap because at Rs 20 it is much cheaper than a safa that costs Rs 300. Not only does he consider it more trendy but says it can be easily carried around in a pocket and used for namaz when required.Shoro has discarded jewellery for much the same reasons. After all, insist the madarsas, the Muslim community has been spending on jewellery at the expense of health and hygiene. As for the swirling ghaghras, the maulvis have compromised by suggesting smaller lehngas for married women. The new dress code is also favoured by the youth despite being ridiculed by the elderly. “They call us hijras (eunuchs),” moans Hafiz Shakoor, a teacher at a madarsa in Chacha village on the Pokhran-Jaisalmer road, who sports a cap.CATCH’EM YOUNG: Maulvis deny madarsas are being used to forge a Muslim identity”Don’t view these changes in isolation,” says Ismailul, a maulvi at Pokhran, stressing on the social betterment that the madarsas are involved in.Adds Chacha’s Mohammad Isaaf: “The madarsa taught me how to filter water before drinking it.” Many maulvis have also taken to tackling social ills like gami, a ceremony involving protracted entertainment following a death, and encouraging widow remarriage.Despite these efforts, many believe the madarsas have only sought to deepen the Hindu-Muslim rift by carving distinct Muslim identities. “This is not a happy trend,” says Nasir Ali Naqvi, chairman of the Rajasthan Waqf Board.Suspicion among Hindus is deeper as they draw a parallel with the Hindu revivalism brought about by the Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena. Says Nand Kishore Sharma, an expert on desert living and founder of the museum Desert Culture Centre, Jaisalmer: “A t Jamalsa Pir, a mazaar in Jaisalmer, the number of Hindu devotees declined after a green sheet was spread. But after protests by older Muslims and Hindus the sheet was removed.” However, hardliners like Fatan Khan, a dhaba-owner at Sam, take a rigid stance against those who blame the madarsas, “They are jealous of our uprising.”advertisementThough some consider the region’s social fabric too strong to be ruptured by hardliners such as Khan, intelligence agencies are apprehensive that the changed sentiments will be exploited by fundamentalist Islamists. Warns a police official posted on the border: “I foresee serious communal trouble over the next decade.”To contain the tension, Fateh Mohammad-Congress zila pramukh of Jaisalmer and brother of Gazi Faqir who is the Indian representative of Pir Pagaro-suggests that “education in a madarsa should be confined to the teachings of Koran”.The Waqf Board, meanwhile, has begun to register madarsas and offer them help to begin regular schools. In a deliberate effort to reaffirm their nationalism, some madarsas have also begun to celebrate the Republic Day and include patriotic songs in their curriculum.”We love our religion as much as our country,” asserts Ahmed. For now, though, the former seems to be manifesting in a more visible fashion.last_img read more

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SPORT-SAG LD IND 3 LAST

first_imgIn mens and womens 5000m races, Indians finished one- In mens and womens 5000m races, Indians finished one- two. Man Singh won the mens 5000m in Games record time of 14 minute and 2.04 seconds while compatriot Suresh Kumar was second in 14:02.70. Nepals Rimal Hari Kumar was third in 14:32.18. In womens 5000m, L Surya clocked 15 minutes and 45.75 seconds to win the event in Games record time ahead of countrymate Swaty Gadhave who clocked 16:14.57 to bag the silver. But the Indians disappointed in the 100m dash of both men and women with the Sri Lankas running away with the honours. Elsewhere, Indian lifters bagged one gold and a silver on the concluding day of weightlifting event to end their campaign with 12 golds and one silver. Out of the 15 events in the weightlifting competition, Indians won gold in 13 and a silver in another to complete overwhelmingly dominant performance. The Indian men weightlifters bagged six gold and one silver out of eight events while their women counterparts won six gold out of seven on offer. Sushila Panwar secured the lone gold medal for India today in womens +75 kg category as she lifted a total of 198kg. In mens +105 kg category, Gurdeep Singh finished in second place with a total lift of 345 kg. The cyclists, on the other hand, notched up one gold, two silver and a bronze on the final day of competition. They grabbed six gold out of the overall eight, besides winning five silver and two bronze medals as well in the total count. Today, in the womens 80km individual road race, T Bidyaluxmi won the gold in 2 hours 30 minutes and 55.350 seconds. Chirag Sharma added to Indias gold medal tally in Wushu competition by emerging champion in his event. Displaying superb techniques, Sharma scored 18.450 points to win the gold ahead of Bishow Budha Magar (Nepal) and Muhammad Waleed Ajmal (Pakistan). PTI PDS PM ATadvertisementlast_img read more

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Asked Salman to promote Freaky Ali for wider reach: Sohail

first_imgMumbai, Aug 8 (PTI) Actor-turned-director Sohail Khan says he requested his superstar brother Salman Khan to launch his film “Freaky Ali” so that it reaches a wider audience.Sohail is excited about his next directorial venture “Freaky Ali”, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead.”We have been honest to the film. We have stayed true to the film while casting for it. I requested bhai (Salman) to be part of the film so that we can promote the film, so that it reaches more people and grabs more eyeballs,” Sohail told reporters here at the films trailer launch last evening.”When we thought of this event (trailer launch) for Sunday, we were told press (media) will not come. It was like if Salman Khan will come press will also come,” he said.Salman had to go to Ladakh for the shooting of his next film “Tubelight”, directed by Kabir Khan.”Salman bhai cancelled his Ladakh trip for the trailer launch. Also, its your (media) reach that will make the film popular as we have made all efforts,” Sohail said.”Freaky Ali” shows how an ordinary (poor) person can play golf, which is considered a rich mans sport.”There is a perception about golf, tennis, that its a rich mans sport. We are trying to break that in the film. In the film, we show that everyone who is talented should get a chance to show their talent,” the “Jai Ho” helmer said.”Its an inspirational story, from being a nobody to being an Indian champion. Its the story of rags to riches. The credit goes to the writer,” he said.advertisementHe pointed out that a number of ex-cricketers have taken golf either as a hobby, passion or as a profession.”Its a first film set against the backdrop of golf and we have added cricket for the audience. Both cricket and golf in a way are similar because the ball swings. We cultivated the idea from this,” Sohail said. (MORE) PTI KKP GK JCH RYSlast_img read more

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The 2 reasons you need new media, even if you’re old school

first_imgI’m blogging from the session at Independent Sector, “Community Empowerment through New Media and Innovative Journalism,” moderated by Ben Binswanger of the Case Foundation. The panelists are Linda Fantin of Minnesota Public Radio and the Center for Innovative Journalism, Ramya Raghavan of YouTube Nonprofits and Alyce Myatt of Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media.Here’s my take on the panel. Just as marketing is no longer a monologue but rather a conversation with an audience, so is new media. It is two-way communication. As Linda pointed out, public insight journalism is predicated on the idea that everyone has expertise, and people know what matters to them. The audience isn’t just an audience – they are a participant that takes part in creating the content – either by interacting with those covering the story or suggesting angles to a story, or by creating the story themselves. If you’re still doubting this idea, or don’t know how it relates to you, consider two principles of persuasion: relevance and trust. These are two old-school, good old bread and butter ideas. First, we only tune into what is personally relevant to us. Second, we trust ourselves (and people like us) more than traditional authorities. That’s why word of mouth is so desirable. What’s great about new media is it allows us to establish personal relevance and trust on unprecedented levels. Because the audience is the messenger! That’s where old school meets new media.Take the example from Ramya of voters filming their experience at the polls at Video Your Vote at YouTube vs. CNN talking about long lines on air. There’s nothing quite like watching a first-time voter in Georgia filming herself talking about waiting in line for seven hours to vote – with her baby. It has a level of immediacy and credibility that traditional media doesn’t achieve.As Linda put it, this ideally changes the nature of how stories are reported via traditional media as well. She said, “If you want to find a left-handed baker who can make pineapple upside down cake while making a YouTube video, you could. But this is not about finding the right example to plug into a set story. It’s about what is happening among real people, and that information shaping the story.”So what does this mean to you, even if you’re not in the business of media? The bottom line is these tools can make every interaction with your constituency more powerful. Put video in the hands of your donors or people you help. Engage your supporters in a conversation about how they spread the word about your issue. Give them the tools to do it. And then if they give you input, be sure to acknowledge it, use it and celebrate it. When you lose control of the story, it’s a little scary, but the alternative is having an audience of only one: yourself.last_img read more

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OSU Coach on Emmanuel Ogbah: ‘I’ve Never Had a Player as Good as Him’

first_imgEmmanuel Ogbah is having an historic season. We’ve gone over this many times.Despite being left off pretty much every midseason All-American team (even though he’s 5th in the country in sacks per game and 8th in TFLs per game), Ogbah recently told ESPN that he expects nothing less than to be great.“I work way too hard to settle for less, that’s what I tell myself,” he said. “It comes from the hard work put in during the summer and spring. Running stadiums in the cold, cold air in your lungs … we only get 12 games [to play]. We want to win championships, we want to be the best, we’ve put in the work. It’s a pride thing, we’ve worked hard to earn this reward.”Defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements noted that Ogbah is the best he’s ever had..“I’ve never had a player like this who has continually gotten better and better and better,” said Clements. “His ability to take over a game, from a defensive end position, that’s something unique. The level he’s playing right now, I’ve never had a player as good as him.”Pretty cool to hear from your position coach. And pretty obvious to see on the field. Depending on how the next few weeks, those title hopes Ogbah mentioned might rest on his incredibly broad shoulders. There’s nowhere else I’d want them.[ESPN]If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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Delhi govt plans to make metro bus travel free for women CM

first_imgNew Delhi: With Assembly polls due early next year in the city, the Aam Aadmi Party government is considering to make metro and bus travels free for women in Delhi “to encourage them to use public transport”.At a public meeting in New Delhi Saturday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also said his government is in touch with city’s power regulator to bring down fixed charge component of electricity bill. “The government is considering to waive fare for women in DTC buses and Delhi Metro to encourage them to use public transport in view of their safety. An announcement in this regard will be made on June 3,” the chief minister said at the public meeting in New Delhi. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarA Delhi government official said Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has already taken meetings to discuss various aspects of fare-waiver to women in all public transport buses — run by DTC and DIMTS — and Delhi metro. However, Transport Department officials point out that while allowing free travel in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses run by the Delhi Integrated Multi Modal System(DIMTS) may not be difficult, it will be “challenging” to do so in Metro trains. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceThe Delhi government and the Centre are 50:50 equity partners in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. An official pointed out that the Delhi government and the centre’s Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry have not been on the same page over several issues related to metro, including fare hike and Phase-IV of the Metro network. “Besides other factors like technical and financial feasibility of such a move, the persisting disagreements between the two sides may also play a crucial role in going ahead with the proposal for giving free ride to women in Metro trains,” said a senior official. Chief Minister Kejriwal also claimed that the fixed charge component of power tariff were raised by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Authority (DERC) last year “without consulting” the Delhi government. “Next month new tariff is to be fixed. We have asked the DERC to bring back fixed charges to previous levels and they are likely to agree to it,” he said. The monthly fixed charges were raised for domestic consumers having up to 2 KW load from Rs 20 to Rs 125. The Delhi government provides subsidy to such consumers. However, in other categories, consumers pay higher fixed charges. The hike in fixed charges for other slabs were — for 2-5 kw, from Rs 35 to Rs 140; 5-15 KW, Rs 45 to Rs 175; 15-25 kw, from Rs 60 to Rs 200; and for more than 25 KW, from Rs 100 to Rs 250.last_img read more

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ExGitmo captive set to sue Canada for 50 million for alleged complicity

first_imgTORONTO – An Algerian man is set to sue the federal government for the abuses he says he suffered at the hands of American security forces after he left Canada 15 years ago.The unproven allegations by Djamel Ameziane, who was never charged or prosecuted, raise further questions about Canada’s complicity in the abuse of detainees at Guantanamo Bay — a topic his lawyer said demands a full-scale public inquiry.“My current situation is really bad, I am struggling to survive,” Ameziane, 50, said from near Algiers. “I was repatriated from Guantanamo and left like almost homeless. I couldn’t find a job because of the Guantanamo stigma and my age, so a settlement would be very helpful to me to get my life back together.”In a draft statement of claim obtained by The Canadian Press, Ameziane seeks damages of $50 million on the grounds that Canada’s security services co-operated with their U.S. counterparts even though they knew the Americans were abusing him.“The Crown’s conduct constituted acquiescence and tacit consent to the torture inflicted upon the plaintiff,” the lawsuit alleges.Canadian intelligence, the suit alleges, began sharing information with the Americans after failing to pick up on the 1999 “Millennium plot” in which Ahmed Ressam, another Algerian who had been living in Montreal, aimed to blow up the Los Angeles airport. After 9/11, Canadian agents interrogated Ameziane at the infamous American prison in Cuba, as they did Canada’s Omar Khadr, according to the claim.Ameziane’s Edmonton-based lawyer, Nate Whitling, said the government’s recent out-of-court settlement — worth a reported $10.5 million — with Khadr over violation of his rights has prevented scrutiny of Canada’s alleged complicity in abuses at Guantanamo Bay. A judicial inquiry is needed, Whitling said.“Only then can the Canadian public come to understand the extent to which Canada is responsible for the torture of innocent detainees in the aftermath of 9/11,” Whitling said.The lawyer, who said he planned to file the lawsuit in Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton on Monday, said Ameziane would be prepared to put the claim on hold in exchange for an inquiry. Whitling also said two other people planned similar suits that name the federal government, RCMP and Canadian Security and Intelligence Service.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale had no comment given the pending legal proceedings.The U.S. detained Ameziane at Guantanamo Bay for more than 11 years until his release in December 2013.“For many years, I had the idea of suing the Canadian government but didn’t know how and honestly didn’t know it was possible until I read the news about the settlement of Omar Khadr, who was my fellow inmate in Guantanamo Bay,” Ameziane said. “The action I am taking may also make (Canadian officials) think twice before acting against the interests of Canada and Canada’s human values.”According to his claim, Ameziane left Algeria in the 1990s to escape rising violence there. After working as a chef in Austria, he came to Canada in December 1995 and asked for refugee status. He lived in Montreal for five years, attending mosques where the Americans said members of al-Qaida prayed.When Canada rejected his request for asylum, Ameziane opted to go to Afghanistan rather than Algeria, where he feared abuse. He left Afghanistan for Pakistan in October 2001 when fighting erupted, but was captured and turned over to American forces in exchange for a bounty, his claim states.The Americans first took him to a detention facility in Kandahar, where he alleges guards brutalized him, then sent him to Guantanamo Bay based partly on information provided by Canadian intelligence, according to his claim.Ameziane, who denies any terrorism links, says Canadian agents interviewed him in Guantanamo in February and May 2003 and turned over recordings of the interrogations to the Americans. They did so, he claims, despite widespread allegations that U.S. forces were abusing detainees and even though they knew he faced no charges and had no access to a lawyer or the courts.Ameziane alleged American officials interrogated him hundreds of times and abused him when they decided he wasn’t co-operating. The abuse, he alleges, included sleep-deprivation, intrusive genital searches, pepper-spraying, waterboarding, being left in freezing conditions, and having his head slammed against walls and the floor, dislocating his jaw.“Canadian officials came to interview me on two occasions (and) they not only shared information about me with my American torturers but even tried to get information out of me that had nothing to do with Canada in order to help my American torturers,” Ameziane said. “I refused to answer questions, after that I was subjected to a worse treatment by the Americans.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had the incorrect first name of Ahmed Ressamlast_img read more

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Site C viewpoint repaired following damage in late July rainstorm

first_imgAt the time, he said that repairs were anticipated to take about two weeks to perform, but the viewpoint only reopened this past Monday.Conway explained that the reasons BC Hydro delayed re-opening the viewpoint beyond its original estimate were twofold: the Crown Corporation took some time to select the appropriate contractor to do the work to repair the site, and crews also wanted to see how the repaired drainage system would perform.He said that the drainage system performed as designed with no concerns during last weekend’s rain event, which caused officials to reopen the viewpoint.The viewpoint is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. until September 30th. During winter hours (October 1 to April 30) the viewpoint will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro says that just over six weeks after damage during a summer rainstorm forced its closure, the viewpoint above the Site C has now reopened.The Site C project’s Community Relations Manager Dave Conway said a clogged drain resulted in drainage issues at the viewpoint, which caused some water damage to the site during a rainstorm in late July.Conway said that localized water pooling in the viewpoint and some localized erosion near the viewing scopes at the south end of the viewpoint resulted in Hydro closing the site for public safety reasons.last_img read more

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Tackling sexual violence must include prevention ending impunity – UN official

27 April 2010Fresh from her visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which she described as the “rape capital of the world,” a senior United Nations official today urged the Security Council to make the prevention of sexual violence a top priority, and stressed the need to end impunity for the scourge. “Women have no rights, if those who violate their rights go unpunished,” Margot Wallström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, told the 15-member body. Ending impunity for sexual violence is a critical part of the Council’s broader mandate to shepherd situations “from might to right, from rule of war to rule of law, from bullets to ballots,” she noted. “If women continue to suffer sexual violence, it is not because the law is inadequate to protect them, but because it is inadequately enforced.”Ms. Wallström said she is haunted by what she heard in the DRC – that women are still not safe, under their own roofs, in their own beds, when night falls. “Our aim must be to uphold international law, so that women – even in the war-torn corners of the world – can sleep under the cover of justice,” she stated. According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), more than 8,000 women were raped in the DRC during fighting between warring factions last year. The UN mission there, known as MONUC, has been trying to combat the problem by developing a greater presence on the ground, escorting women going to market or fetching firewood or water, developing early warning systems, and working with local mayors.At the same time, sexual violence remains a dominant, even escalating, feature of the conflict in DRC, which continues to be “the rape capital of the world,” said Ms. Wallström, noting that the core of the problem is impunity, which is the rule rather than the exception. She also warned that politically-motivated rape is a disturbing trend, witnessed in the wake of Kenya’s contested elections, and more recently, in broad daylight on the streets of Guinea. Such crimes, she said, present a security crisis that demands a security response.Ending impunity is one of the five priorities Ms. Wallström, who was appointed in February, has set for herself, in addition to empowering women, mobilizing political leadership, increasing recognition of rape as a tactic and consequence of conflict, and ensuring a more coherent response from the UN system. Also briefing the Council, Rachel Mayanja, the UN Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, stressed the Secretary-General’s commitment to tackling violence against women. “Through the appointment of his Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, he has demonstrated his determination to address the persistent scourge of violence against women, including sexual violence, to lead by example and to strive to empower women and girls to play a meaningful role in peace and security, including in situations or armed conflict.”She noted that the Mr. Ban himself has witnessed and been deeply troubled by the effects of violence, abuse and blatant violations of the rights of women and girls in conflict-affected countries, and he remains “unflinchingly” committed to this cause.In his latest report on women, peace and security, which Ms. Mayanja presented to the Council, the Secretary-General lamented the fact that the implementation of a call by the UN a decade ago to have women play a more prominent role in conflict prevention and resolution remains slow.He outlines measures intended to track the implementation of the Council’s resolution 1325 of 2000, including a set of 26 indicators pertaining to prevention, participation, protection, and relief and recovery.The indicators, said Ms. Mayanja, range from those that aim to assess the situation of women and girls, to those that assess the degree to which gender considerations are mainstreamed in peace processes, to those that seek to determine resource availability and institutional capacity for addressing peace and security issues.In a presidential statement adopted at the end of the meeting, the Council took note of the indicators put forth in the report, adding that they will need “technical and conceptual development” before they can become operational. It also expressed its intention to take action on the indicators on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of resolution 1325, which will be marked in October. The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) welcomed the Council’s support for the indicators, which were produced by 14 UN entities under the leadership of the Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues. “The Security Council’s commitment to take action on these indicators represents one of the most significant moves by the international security system in recent years to accelerate implementation of resolution 1325,” said UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi. “The indicators will reveal where women are experiencing exclusion and threats to their security and help identify good practices. They will be much more than numbers on a paper. They will provide a sensitive barometer of the current situation and help identify future priorities.” read more

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Vegetarians gaining ground in carnivorous Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A fight is on over the Argentine identity, pitting a growing number of vegetarians and vegans against meat-eaters in a country known for its abundant beef, gaucho cowboys and sacred “asado” barbecues.The weekend “asados” bring together families and friends and are a source of national pride in this South American country, which traditionally battles neighbouring Uruguay for world leader in per-capita beef consumption. But this carnivorousness is being threatened by rising support for vegetarianism and veganism among Argentines, particularly the young and millennials, and growing militancy by activists.A recent private online questionnaire found that six of every 10 Argentines are disposed to stop eating beef, a figure that alarmed ranchers who are already struggling through an economic crisis. The cultural divide came to a head several weeks ago when anti-animal cruelty activists interrupted an exhibition of the Buenos Aires Rural Society and were met by ranchers, some dressed in traditional gaucho outfits, who charged at them on horses with whips.The younger generations “have grown up amid the debate over abortion in Congress; inclusion, gender equality … These collective questions have started to gain weight in decisions about the purchase of foods,” said Adrián Bifaretti, head of marketing at the Institute for the Promotion of Beef and author of the online survey and focus group that found a widespread readiness to give up beef. Bifaretti said the findings are based on doing a survey of 1,100 people every two months in a poll with a margin of error of three percentage points.A July report by Argentina’s Chamber of Commerce for Beef and its Derivatives said Argentines are consuming on average 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of beef a year, what it called the lowest level in the history of this country, where cattle brought by the Spanish centuries ago thrived on vast prairies knows as pampas.“This concern about cruelty and the slaughter is here and is going to be felt,” Bifaretti said, adding that trends seen in other parts of the world are arriving in Argentina. “It is starting to be a challenge.”Much of the anti-beef activism comes from vegans.Lying on the grass, Melisa Lobo stroked the snout of Apollo, a weeks-old black calf about the size of a Labrador dog. Nearby, goats, sheep, chickens and ducks roamed and socialized at “Wild Sanctuary,” two hectares (nearly five acres) of land an hour from Buenos Aires.“In the sanctuary, animals live out their entire lives,” said Lobo, a 28-year-old vegan, who calls each of the 300 animals in the sanctuary by name, except for the chickens “because they are all very similar.”While a plump sheep named Bruno suspiciously approached the visitors interviewing Lobo, a goat tried to get the attention of the humans by displaying its horns.“A person who is in contact with a dog or a cat knows that the animal feels, knows that they like to be pampered, knows when they are hungry, thirsty, cold or what hurts when they get hurt,” Lobo said. “But people not so close to them don’t know or don’t want to know that they are sentient beings.”Veganism, a current that emerged in London during World War II, is based on a diet free of animal products, unlike vegetarians who accept the intake of milk or eggs. Vegans also reject all forms of animal exploitation, whether as labour, or for clothing, cosmetics, transportation, sports or scientific experimentation.“You receive meat on your plate and you don’t think about how it got there,” Lobo said. “I always liked my meat rare and I never imagined that the blood was fluid from the animal’s muscle.”There is no official figure in Argentina, but Bifaretti’s institute estimates vegans and vegetarians represent 7% to 8% of the population.When it is not yet dawn in Buenos Aires’s Mataderos neighbourhood, the white uniforms of workers in the refrigerated meat lockers are already stained red from the beef arriving from the nearby slaughterhouses. The district supplies much of the meat for the traditional “asados” that are consumed in restaurants and homes in Argentina’s capital.“Thank God, in Argentina and in these neighbourhoods people still eat the asado on weekends but in the future it could get a bit complicated,” said Diego Salvo, who runs The Best Butcher Shop, acknowledging the new trends against meat.Beef is so deeply ingrained in Argentina’s culture that vegan chefs need great ingenuity to adapt typical dishes to their menus.At La Reverde, the first vegan grill in Buenos Aires,, the house specialty resembles the country’s “bife de chorizo,” a popular cut of boneless beef cooked on a grill. But it is really a “seitan steak,” that is made from wheat gluten and ingredients including beet puree and spices that help create a similar tone to beef.“I don’t love eating animals,” said Melissa Aruj, a 25-year-old after she finished a seitan cut accompanied by fries. “Without a doubt, I estimate that in 10 to 15 years a large part (of the population) will be vegetarian.”“I don’t know if they will be vegan,” she added. The change will be “little by little.”To some activists, just eating vegan is not enough. They have stepped up their actions into militancy.A group of young people from the animal liberation group Voicot gathered on a recent Saturday to protest at the entrance to a slaughterhouse in Buenos Aires.“It makes me very sad. Words are not enough for me to apologize to the animals because they have miserable lives. They are born with a date to die,” said one protester, Jazmín Romero, tears in her eyes.She wore a black shirt proclaiming: “We are the species threatening to destroy everything.”On the other side of the divide, many Argentines see eating beef as part of their history and culture.“We aren’t talking about killing the animal for sport. The animal is being transformed into food,” said Bifaretti. “It has been like this throughout the history of humanity.”Debora Rey, The Associated Press read more

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On a trip to US capital Annan will urge business leaders to

On Friday, the Secretary-General will attend a breakfast meeting of the US Chamber of Commerce. According to his spokesman, Mr. Annan will urge attending business leaders to get involved in the fight against AIDS, pointing out that the epidemic causes costs to rise and markets to shrink. He will argue that by joining the fight against AIDS, businesses will see economic benefits.At the outset of his trip to the US capital, the Secretary-General will deliver the keynote speech at the Global Health Council’s Annual Awards Banquet this evening. A spokesman for Mr. Annan said the Secretary-General would call attention to the impact of AIDS on women, noting that HIV infection rates among women in Africa have surpassed those of men.Among those expected to attend the event will be Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Graça Machel, the former Education Minister of Mozambique and a leading advocate of children’s rights. read more

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World cereal production set to reach historic high in 2013 – UN

Global cereal production is expected to increase by 7 per cent in 2013 compared to last year, the United Nations food agency said today, but warned that in spite of a boost in supply, various regions including Central Africa, West Africa and Syria are still affected by food insecurity.In its Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts that cereal production this year will reach 2,479 million tonnes, a new record level. Wheat, coarse grains and rice production are all expected to expand, which will help replenish global supplies of cereal and stabilize markets over the next year, the report says.However, the report warns that many developing countries are still affected by food insecurity. In particular, the report focuses on various countries where conflict is preventing the population from satisfying their food needs.In Syria, wheat production dropped significantly this year due to the escalating conflict in the country. The livestock sector has also been severely affected, and the report estimates that some 4 million people are facing severe food insecurity.In Egypt, civil unrest and dwindling foreign exchange reserves are also raising serious food security concerns. Conflict has also affected food security in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).In the Sahel, which has previously experienced famine, the overall food situation is favourable in most parts of the region, the report said, due to an above-average 2012 cereal harvest. In spite of this, a large number of people are still affected by conflict and the lingering effects of the 2011-2012 food crisis.In East Africa, serious concerns remain in conflict areas in Somalia, the Sudan, and South Sudan, with 1 million, 4.3 million and 1.2 million food insecure people, respectively. In Madagascar, damage caused by locusts and a cyclone is expected to reduce crop production in 2013, causing increased hunger, especially in the southern and western regions of the country. In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), despite an improved cereal harvest in the 2012 season, chronic food insecurity continues, with an estimated 2.8 million vulnerable people requiring food assistance until the next harvest in October.In total, there are 34 countries requiring external food assistance, of which 27 countries are in Africa, the report stated. read more

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Commentary What Ohio State must do against the Hoosiers

Ohio State first-year head coach Luke Fickell has successfully led the Buckeyes to two straight wins against ranked opponents. This week sees OSU entering a potential, but unlikely, “trap” game against the 1-8 Indiana Hoosiers. Here’s what the Buckeyes must do to improve to 3-2 in the Big Ten. Offense This is a perfect week to give freshman quarterback Braxton Miller a longer leash. The Buckeyes are facing a defense that averages more than 36 points allowed for the season and 51 points the last four weeks. With such a suspect defense, Fickell and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman should open up the playbook for Miller this week and see how the freshman responds. As always, Daniel “Boom” Herron will need to be the main focus, at least until OSU builds a comfortable lead. The Buckeyes are 20-1 in games, where Herron rushes for 55 yards or more. The offensive line (J.B. Shugarts) only had one false start penalty against the Badgers, and will need to continue to eliminate penalties altogether as it will be important down the line in bigger games. Turnovers are usually key in “trap” games, so if Miller or the offense begins turning the ball over, the coaches will need to shorten the leash again. If necessary, OSU should be able to win this game without throwing a pass against the Hoosiers, who have allowed and average of 234.7 yards rushing per game this season. Defense The defense has the power to single-handedly win the game this week. The biggest key to the defense is avoiding complacency as they did at the end of the Wisconsin game. Junior defensive tackle John Simon and Johnathan “Big Hank” Hankins should be chomping at the bit to go up against a Hoosier offensive line that has allowed 23 sacks this season. With quarterback pressure comes poor throws and interceptions. The Silver Bullets haven’t scored a touchdown yet this season and this week would be a prime time to change that. As Fickell noted in his Tuesday press conference, the Hoosiers are young and will battle the entire game. They are aggressive and have nothing to lose. It is up to the defense to contain that aggressiveness and not take their opponent too lightly. Special teams Junior punter Ben Buchanan downed three more punts inside the 20-yard line against Wisconsin to give him 20 punts inside the 20 for the season and 11 punts inside the 10. He has been spectacular all season and will continue to do the same. Sophomore kicker Drew Basil has not missed a field goal attempt since OSU’s Week 2 win against Toledo and has connected on 10 consecutive tries . He is another beacon of consistency for the Buckeyes. The kickoff and punt coverage have been stellar as well, as opponents average just 17.7 and 6.1 yards per respective return. They will need to stay the course this week and force the bonus of scoring points on the Hoosier offense. Coaching The coaches need to make sure the team keeps its head in the game. Indiana isn’t a very imposing opponent and may be easy to look past the Hoosiers. With two losses in the Big Ten already and still a good chance at a Big Ten Championship Game appearance, the Buckeyes cannot afford to take anything for granted. Miller had his coming-out party against the Badgers and is riding a wave of confidence. The coaches should fuel that confidence by opening up the playbook for him. If he doesn’t respond, they can scale it back again. But if there is any game this season in which Miller could afford to make some freshman mistakes in the name of aggressiveness, this is it. read more

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Ante Up With the Best Mobile Card Games

first_img The Most Addictive Mobile Clicker GamesSimple Geek’s Guide to…Streaming Services Few consumer technologies are more cutting-edge than mobile phones and tablets. However, one of the best types of games you can play on them are card games, one of the most old-fashioned genres still kicking. With mobile cards games, you get all the strategy and bluffing of cards games with none of the messy shuffling and physical cards to potentially lose.Mobile card games can also introduce elements physical card games cannot since they have to actually exist. Ideas from video games and other tabletop games have been folded into mobile card games in fun and fascinating ways. And if classic Solitaire on PC has taught us anything, card games just make for great digital time-killers, and on mobile, you can play them whenever you have time in need of killing.These are the best mobile card games! (And no, Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII isn’t here because the mobile version is ruined by added free-to-play mechanics)Pokemon TCG OnlineWhile Nintendo at large dabbles with mobile games like Super Mario Run and Miitomo, The Pokemon Company is free to do whatever it wants with Pikachu and friends. So it’s no surprise you can now play the massively popular Pokemon Trading Card Game on your mobile device, complete with all the perks you’d expect from playing online and not on the playground.HearthstoneBlizzard is the best in the business at presenting somewhat niche genres in accessible new forms everyone loves, from strategy games to team shooters to MMOs. With Hearthstone, they apply the same formula to deckbuilding trading card games, and the result is one of the most successful and beloved “throwaway” games we’ve ever seen. Rivals like Elder Scrolls, Fighting Fantasy, and The Witcher are already biting its style. But where are the StarCraft characters?Churchill SolitaireDid you know that Winston Churchill created his own version of solitaire and played it while leading England during WWII? Did you know it’s also really tough? With Churchill Solitaire you can find out for yourself. The game was developed in tandem with Donald Rumsfeld, a much lesser politician to say the least, but let’s just ignore that.Shuffle CatsWe’ve already talked a lot about this adorable gin rummy game from our friends at King, but it bears repeating that Shuffle Cats is a pretty nice little mobile card game from the makers of Candy Crush. It also inspired a real-life cat show so of course, we have to give it points for that. We work for the internet!Star RealmsStar Realms is an acclaimed sci-fi deckbuilding game, like Ascension or Dominion, you can actually play in real life. But if you want to play online with no limits, you can also play Star Realms on your mobile device. It’s only appropriate to play a game about the future using the technology of the future.Card Shark CollectionIf you want an extensive, no-frills collection of classic card games, try out Card Shark Collection. They’re all there. Klondike, Go Fish, Gin Rummy, Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Texas Hold ‘Em, and dozens more. You can even adjust the way the cards look. At this point, everyone should just have collections like this for educational purposes. It’s part of the cultural games canon.Sage SolitaireIf you like mobile games but don’t know Zach Gage, fix that. This game designer/conceptual artist consistently makes stellar mobile games that combine entertaining concepts with elegant visual design. Sage Solitaire is no different. It remixes classic card game concepts, from Solitaire to Poker, into a singular and irresistible new form.SolitairicaAnother excellent mobile Solitaire remix, Solitairica adds some welcome RPG elements to traditional card gaming. Along with their Solitaire skills, players use items and spells to fight funny monsters in procedurally generated, turn-based card battles. It’s a lot of parts, but they fit pretty well together, and the developers are already updating the game with new expansions.UnoA bonafide card game classic, you know what Uno is. It’s Crazy Eights, kind of. Play it on your mobile device and skip all the dealing and shuffling. Uno video games are nothing new. Uno on Xbox with the Kinect camera even let viewers see things they definitely shouldn’t have, but you can’t beat the portable convenience of mobile.Card Wars KingdomThe beloved Cartoon Network show Adventure Time has never been afraid to wear its nerd influences on its sleeve. The post-apocalyptic cartoon draws inspiration from video games and classic tabletop role-playing games. So it’s only natural that the Adventure Time mobile game Card Wars Kingdom, based on a specific episode of the show, is a collectible card game.Clash RoyaleIt may be rotten with free-to-play elements, but the developers of Clash of Clans sure do know how to make an addictive mobile game. Clash Royale is set in the same cartoon fantasy universe, but it swaps out basebuilding for deckbuilding and real-time strategy. Players use cards to deftly guide an army to crush their opponent.Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel LinksYu-Gi-Oh is an anime literally about playing a card game. But while you can play that game in the real world, chances are the monsters won’t be coming to life. For that you’ll need some digital assistance, like mobile game Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links. Command a Blue Eyes White Dragon, everyone’s favorite Aryan fantasy reptile, of your very own.Star Wars: Force CollectionForget Han Solo. These days there are hundreds of dang Star Wars characters to keep track of, from Admiral Ackbar to Emperor Sheev Palpatine to Yolo Ziff. With its 400 cards spanning all eras of the saga, Star Wars: Force Collection helps you keep the cast straight with attractive photos and artwork. You can also pit characters against each other in multiplayer battles.Wagers of WarAs far as classic card games go, War is fast and competitive, but maybe a little lacking in terms of depth or staying power. Wagers of War tries to fix that by marrying War to more complex and strategic CCG mechanics. The 30-second rounds themselves are as full of thrilling, rapid decision-making as War players remember, with some added magic balancing. However, in-between the fighting you also steadily improve your deck and your chances by collecting new cards.View as: One Page Slides1/141. Put away your physical Star Realms and play the mobile version of this deckbuilding game.2. Solitairica is a combination card game/RPG/roguelike/comedy. It’s a great mix!3. Sage Solitaire is a card game from Zach Gage, one of the finest mobile game designers.4. Play Winston Churchill’s very own version of Solitaire. 5. Card Sharks Collection is every classic card game you could want.6. Shuffle Cats is Gin Rummy meets adorable felines. What could go wrong?7. Hearthstone is Blizzard’s modern card game masterpiece.8. Pokemon are all over mobile, like in the Pokemon Trading Card Game.9. With card-based, real-time strategy game Clash Royale, the makers of Clash of Clans prove they know exactly how to push all your mobile buttons.10. Card Wars Kingdom turns the delightful post-apocalyptic fantasy world of Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time into a mobile card game.11. Horde hundreds of Star Wars trading cards from all eras to battle in Star Wars: Force Collection.12. The card game mainstay Uno is a perfect fit for mobile.13. Live out your card game anime dreams with Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links.14. Card game classic War meets CCGs in Wagers of War.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Economist Cottarelli to meet Italian president amid political crisis

first_imgFormer senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official Carlo Cottarelli speaks to the media after a meeting with Italy`s president Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy, 28 May 2018. Photo: ReutersItaly’s president invited economist Carlo to the presidential palace on Monday amid speculation he would ask the former International Monetary Fund official to form a technical government following the collapse of what would have been Western Europe’s first populist government.President Sergio Mattarella scuttled the 5-Star Movement and League’s bid to form a euroskeptic coalition government by vetoing their choice for economy minister on Sunday night. The move created a new round of political uncertainty in a country long used to political turnover and paved the way for an early election likely within months.Mattarella’s office announced he had convened Cottarelli for consultations at 0930 GMT (5:30 am EDT).Markets have largely welcomed Mattarella’s decision to nix Paolo Savona as economy minister. Savona, a former industry minister, has questioned whether Italy should ditch the euro as its currency.The Milan stock exchange opened higher Monday and the spread of points between Italy’s bonds and benchmark German bonds, which had grown alarmingly last week, fell slightly.Mattarella’s veto Sunday enraged both League leader Matteo Salvini and the 5-Stars’ Luigi Di Maio, who threatened to start impeachment proceedings against him.Mattarella, however, took pains to explain that he was fully in his constitutional right and duty to reject Savona as economy minister, saying he had repeatedly asked for a minister who wouldn’t be perceived as entertaining Italy’s exit from the euro.”Sticking with the euro is a fundamentally important choice for our country and our young people,” Mattarella said in a late-night statement at the Qurinale Palace. “If you want to discuss it, it should have been done openly and with a serious debate,” which he noted hadn’t been part of the electoral campaign.Cottarelli, for his part, is an economist who assisted a former center-left government in slashing public spending.A technical government will still be subject to votes of confidence in both houses of parliament, and the 5-Stars and League made clear Cottarelli wouldn’t have their support.In an interview with Radio Capital on Monday, Salvini wondered aloud who would vote for him. Mattarella “didn’t give the center-right the chance to form a government because we didn’t have the votes, and now Mr. Cottarelli arrives without any votes? It seems a stretch,” Salvini said.Salvini also warned ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi against voting for Cottarelli’s government. In a statement late Sunday, the three-time premier took a much more measured tone about the collapse of the 5-Star-League experiment, refusing to criticize Mattarella.Berlusconi had never endorsed the populist attempt at government, but hadn’t impeded it either. He has as much to gain from a new election as the League, which has seen its popularity only rise in the weeks since the March 4 election resulted in a hung parliament.The vote gave the center-right alliance of the League, Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and a smaller party 37 per cent, while the 5-Stars took 32 per cent.Salvini warned Berlusconi though that the alliance would collapse if Forza Italia voted for Cottarelli.last_img
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Early Voting Begins for May 6 Local Elections

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen X Florian MartinEarly voting is now underway across Texas for the May 6 elections. The elections are strictly local contests, but many have a potentially big economic impact for voters across the Greater Houston region.“There’s 62 elections going on in Harris County,” says Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart. “My office is running eight of those – of course, the largest one being Houston Independent School District, and of course the active one is also the City of Pasadena.”HISD Prop 1 is a rerun of last year’s school finance referendum. A ‘yes’ vote would hand over roughly $100 million in property taxes to help fund education in property-poor districts elsewhere in the state. A ‘no’ vote would lead to billions of dollars’ worth of commercial property being detached from HISD’s tax base.Pasadena’s local election is the city’s first since a federal judge ruled Pasadena violated the rights of Latino voters by changing its method of electing city council members. One of the major issues at stake is funding of public infrastructure in Latino-majority neighborhoods.Other contests in the area include mayoral elections in Humble and Stafford. And Galveston voters will decide whether to approve $62 million in bonds for street and drainage projects.The last day of early voting is Tuesday, May 2. You can find information about local contests at the following websites:Harris CountyFort Bend CountyMontgomery CountyBrazoria CountyGalveston CountyAll Other Texas Counties 00:00 /01:15 Sharelast_img read more

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Internet Growth Follows Moores Law Too

first_imgInternet map as of 16th January. Image: Internet Mapping Project, Bell Labs/Lumeta Corporation (PhysOrg.com) — Originally, Moore’s Law described the number of transistors that can fit on an integrated circuit, which doubles approximately every 18 months. Now, a team of researchers from China has discovered that Moore’s Law can also describe the growth of the Internet. In a recent study, the researchers have predicted that the Internet will double in size every 5.32 years. Citation: Internet Growth Follows Moore’s Law Too (2009, January 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-01-internet-growth-law.html The most accurate model to describe the Internet evolution may be the so-called positive-feedback preference model. Here, a node’s number of links increases as a feedback loop of the node’s degree. However, the researchers explain that some other hidden mechanism must exist to explain why the maximum k remains stable.The results also showed that the Internet overall is more loosely connected than previously thought. That is, although there is a high density of links connecting to the large-degree nodes (the “rich-club phenomenon”), connections between large-degree nodes are relatively sparser than the expected number, given their degrees. Instead, the results showed an unexpectedly high number of links connecting small-degree nodes, making the Internet more spread out than previously thought.As the scientists explained, understanding a network’s topology is a crucial prerequisite for optimizing its performance. They hope that these results will help lead to an overall model of the Internet.“Understanding the Internet topology is crucial for the design of routing protocol, P2P traffic optimization, as well as the design of some intelligent strategies against the congestion and cascading failure,” said co-author Tao Zhou of the University of Science and Technology of China and the University of Fribourg.More information: Zhang, Guo-Qing; Zhang, Guo-Qiang; Yang, Qing-Feng; Cheng, Su-Qi; and Zhou, Tao. “Evolution of the Internet and its Cores.” New Journal of Physics 10 (2008) 123027.Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore furthercenter_img Secure data protection in the new internet of things 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. That finding is one of several results from the study published by Guo-Qing Zhang, et al., in a recent issue of the New Journal of Physics. The researchers investigated the evolution of large-scale Internet topology, or how the Internet is structured and connected. Based on routing data of six-month intervals from December 2001 to December 2006, the researchers predicted not only the Internet’s exponential growth rate which follows Moore’s Law, but also more specifically how the Internet evolves. The study looked at the Internet not in terms of Web sites in the World Wide Web, but at the level of autonomous systems (AS). As Zhang explained, an AS, the unit of routing policy, is an administrative routing domain that can apply its own policy, which is a result of a mutual commercial agreement between autonomous systems. A university, an ISP, or a large company network can own an AS. In the researchers’ model, each node represents an autonomous system. A link between two autonomous systems is, in the real world, both physical (i.e. optical fiber cables connecting the two networks) and commercial (i.e. an agreement between the two networks).To identify the core of the Internet, which is the most important part, the researchers used a method called k-core decomposition. Here, a k-core is gained by recursively removing all nodes (with their respective links) with degree less than k. Very few nodes belong to the core: the most central part of the core (the nucleus) contains less than 0.3% of the total nodes. Overall, the researchers found that the Internet’s core and the periphery seem to be governed by different evolutionary mechanisms. While the core is relatively stable, the majority of the new nodes and edges that contribute to the explosion of the Internet appear in the periphery. This result contrasts with previous studies, which have shown that the maximum k of the core increases as the size of the full Internet increases.“Many models are proposed to predict the evolutionary properties of the Internet in the future, and to our knowledge, these models assume that the central part and the periphery obey the same evolving mechanism, and the maximal connectivity of the Internet should grow very fast,” Zhang, of the Institute of Computing Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told PhysOrg.com. “Here we show that the maximal degree (connectivity number) as well as the size of the central part is relatively stable, and the explosion is mainly contributed by the periphery. These findings indicate a completely different picture against the previous works, and can be considered as important criteria for modeling the Internet.”last_img read more

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