About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool legend Souness scoffs at Man Utd youth policyby Paul Vegas5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Graeme Souness has questioned Manchester United’s youth policy.He warns that United won’t be able to nuture these players if they are drafted into a squad low on confidence.”Ever since the Busby Babes, the club have made a fetish out of youth,” Souness wrote in the Sunday Times. “In itself, that is no bad thing, especially at a club which subsequently brought George Best through its ranks and then produced the Class of 92. “It’s possible that the likes of Marcus Rashford, James Garner and Mason Greenwood might go on to emulate their illustrious predecessors — though I’m sceptical — but just because they have been picked to start for United while they are still teenagers doesn’t make it so. “The difficulty is compounded by the fact that they are being thrust into a team which is shorn of authority and confidence.”
BEIJING — China’s legislature is considering a law to ban local governments from forcing foreign companies to hand over technology, an issue that helped to spark Washington’s tariff war with Beijing.Beijing has long denied companies are required to trade technology for market access. But officials including Premier Li Keqiang promised this year to crack down as tensions with Washington heated up.The official Xinhua News Agency said a proposed foreign investment law taken up Sunday by the national legislature would make clear officials cannot “force the transfer of technology” as a condition of business ventures.Washington and Beijing have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a dispute over American complaints China’s industry plans are based on theft of technology and violate its market-opening obligations.The Associated Press
By Mia RabsonTHE CANADIAN PRESS Last year, auditor general Michael Ferguson said he tried to test the progress being made on phasing out the subsidies but blasted the government for refusing to provide documents that would allow him to do so.Last month, a dozen of Canada’s most well known and influential environment groups flagged lack of action on fossil fuel subsidies in a report card on the government’s efforts to deliver on its environmental promises.Earlier this month, Canada fared poorly in a report ranking the progress of the G7 nations on phasing out fossil fuels. The report, completed by Oil Change International and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, concluded that the seven biggest developed economies in the world collectively contribute more than $100 billion a year to help the fossil fuel industry.While the U.S. spent the most overall, Canada spent the most per capita of any G7 country on oil and gas production, according to the report.Canada also received a poor grade for transparency of its subsidies.Catherine Abreu, executive director of the Climate Action Network-Canada, said agreeing to work with Argentina to peer review each other’s subsidies is a very good sign the government is finally moving on its commitment to phase them out. OTTAWA, O.N. – The federal government has taken a step towards fulfilling its promise to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies by agreeing to finally explain how much it actually spends on them.Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr was in Argentina on Thursday where he and his Argentinian counterpart announced that each country will conduct a study on how much the other country subsidizes its fossil fuel industries.As part of both the G7 and G20, Canada has committed every year since 2009 that it will work to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. The Liberals made it a campaign promise in 2015 and the following year said it would be done by 2025. Environment groups have used publicly available documents to try and figure out how much Canada subsidizes oil and gas companies but, without the government producing its own thorough review, Abreu said it’s very hard to know what’s missing.Existing reviews suggest Canada offers about $3 billion to companies to explore and produce oil and gas within Canada. Export Development Canada also finances oil production in other countries, spending almost $12 billion in 2016 and $10 billion in 2017 on foreign oil production.Abreu said the government has never really defined what it means by “inefficient” subsidies so this review may finally shed light on that aspect as well.A spokesman for Carr said the government will make the review report public once it is complete.
TAYLOR, B.C. – At a District of Taylor Council meeting, on Monday, Council heard from a citizen requesting for a variance to a zoning bylaw.Tammy Smith is requesting that Council makes a variance to the zoning bylaw to accommodate her chickens and one rooster, this following a complaint the District had received from an undisclosed resident.The District did not disclose the specific complaint but did list their own reasons for not allowing a rooster within District limits, such as noise issues. As for the limit of chickens, Council said they referred to other communities and found that six was a good maximum to keep down on smell and noise.Smith says she keeps her coop and yard clean by using wood shavings and proper ventilation, so there would be no concern for a smell. As for noise, her chickens are locked up at night until mid-morning.The matter is now before the Protection Committee for further review.
New Delhi: The Supreme on Monday said that it will consider on March 28 whether petitions challenging the 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the economically weaker sections of unreserved categories should be referred to a larger bench. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said that it would consider the plea on referring the issue to a larger bench after senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan said the limit of 50 per cent was part of the Constitution’s basic structure. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day “If it requires consideration by a larger bench, we will do it,” Chief Justice Gogoi said as Dhavan reiterated that the 10 per cent reservation was also part of basic structure. Chief Justice Gogoi asked Dhavan to tender a short note on his submissions. On February 8, the apex court refused to stay the decision to give 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections amongst the unreserved categories and had clubbed all petitions for early hearing. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty The top court on January 25 sought the Centre’s response on a plea by NGO Youth for Equality challenging the constitutional validity of the 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education for the economically weaker section within the general category. The NGO had contended that the amendment violated the “basic structure” of the Constitution as cited in a 1992 Supreme Court judgment that held that economic criteria cannot be the sole basis of reservations under the Constitution. It had also contended that the amendment breaches the 50 per cent cap set by the 1992 judgment by a nine-judge Constitution Bench.
Kolkata: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has urged Rahul Gandhi to explain whether he is keen on fighting the BJP or the Left as he feels that the Congress chief’s decision to contest from Left stronghold-Wayanad has sent out a different message. Hinting that Gandhi’s decision won’t prevent the two parties from coming together after election, he spoke about 2004 when the CPI(M)-led Left Front had extended outside support to the Congress-led UPA. He said out of the 61 Left MPs, 57 had won by defeating the Congress. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “In all the 20 seats of Kerala, the contest is between the Congress-led UDF and Left-led LDF, whether its Rahul Gandhi or XYZ candidate. We are saying today that defeating the BJP is necessary to save India today,” Yechury told PTI in an interview. “Now what does Rahul Gandhi want to do is up to him. What is the message he is giving by contesting against the Left in Kerala unlike his mother or grandmother who had contested against the BJP from Karnataka. He should tell the country whether he is keen on fighting BJP or the Left. He should clarify this,” he said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Indira Gandhi had contested from Chikmagalur in October 1978 and Sonia Gandhi from Bellary in 1999 in Karnataka. Fighting against the BJP is one thing, fighting against the Left sends out a different message, he said. Yechury said if Gandhi was keen on sending a message of united India by contesting from a southern state he could have contested from Tamil Nadu or Karnataka. He was commenting on Gandhi’s recent speech where he had said that the reason behind contesting from Kerala was to give a message that “India is not just one idea but millions of different viewpoints”. Asked whether Gandhi contesting from Kerala would act as a roadblock for the CPI(M) in supporting the Congress in a post-poll scenario, Yechury said, “Roadblock for what? If Rahul Gandhi is not there then there will be some other Congress candidate.” “We are fighting Congress politically in Kerala and we will fight it,” he said, noting that in 2004 when Left supported UPA-1, out of the 61 seats, the Left had won 57 by defeating the Congress. Yechury exuded confidence that a secular democratic government would come to power post elections and said the these polls will be the most crucial since Independence as the outcome will determine whether the country will remain a secular, democratic republic, as enshrined in the Constitution. “The BJP, which is an arm of the RSS, has a game plan to convert India into Hindu Rashtra. They have undermined every democratic institutions of the country. We will never allow this to happen and that is why it is crucial to defeat this government,” he said. Asked whether the CPI(M) will be a part of the proposed secular government or will it limit its role up to providing outside support, Yechury said it will decided post polls. “According to our party programme, the question of participating or not participating in government will be decided on the basis of the concrete situation that emerges at such a time, by our central committee. This decision will be taken at that time,” he said. Criticising the BJP for its effort to polarise the elections on the basis of religion and nationalism, Yechury referred to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent comment that he would like the BJP to win and said the statement had only made it clear “who is pro-Indian and pro-Pakistani”. “The BJP has been branding opposition and those who have questioned them as Pakistani. But after Imran Khan’s statement we know who Pakistan actually wants as PM. Pakistan wants Modi to win and India wants Modi to lose,” he said. In an interview to foreign journalists, Khan said he believed there was a better chance of peace talks with India and settling the Kashmir issue if the BJP wins the general elections. The 66-year-old communist leader slammed BJP president Amit Shah for terming infiltrators “termites” and said it is one of the “most obnoxious and offensive comments” and wondered why the Election commission is yet to take cognisance of it. He said it was clearly a case of hate speech and violation of the Model Code of Conduct. “I really cannot understand why the EC is yet to take notice of it,” Yechury said. On the issue of failure of the seat-sharing deal with the Congress in West Bengal, Yechury said the grand old party should answer why it decided to go alone. “The CPI(M) was sincere in its commitment to ensure maximum polarisation of anti-BJP and anti-TMC votes in Bengal. We unilaterally announced that there should be no mutual contest in six seats. But the Congress on the basis of its own wisdom announced candidates, so it is for them to answer,” he said. Yechury said that as far as the people of Bengal were concerned, the most sincere efforts for defeating the TMC and the BJP were being made by the CPI(M) and Left. With the BJP emerging as the main contender of the ruling Trinamool Congress, the CPI(M) in Bengal is fighting a tough battle to retain its political ground. In the 2014 parliamentary election, the Trinamool Congress won 34 seats in Bengal, the Congress four and the Left and the BJP two each.
If you are finding it hard to deal with the pressure at the workplace, there is more reason to worry. New research has found that work stress and impaired sleep are linked to a threefold higher risk of cardiovascular death in employees with hypertension. “Sleep should be a time for recreation, unwinding, and restoring energy levels. If you have stress at work, sleep helps you recover,” said study author Karl-Heinz Ladwig, Professor at Technical University of Munich, Germany. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainCompared to those with no work stress and good sleep, people with both risk factors had a three times greater likelihood of death from cardiovascular disease, showed the findings published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. People with work stress alone had a 1.6-fold higher risk while those with only poor sleep had a 1.8-times higher risk, the study said. In the study, work stress was defined as jobs with high demand and low control — for example when an employer wants results but denies authority to make decisions. “If you have high demands but also high control, in other words you can make decisions, this may even be positive for health,” said Ladwig.
The field for the inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP) was finally set Sunday, but — in true college football style — it wasn’t without controversy. The 12-person CFP selection committee chose Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State, arguably snubbing Big 12 co-champions Baylor and (especially) TCU.The last four teams standing are exceptional. The Ducks, Crimson Tide and Buckeyes rank Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, in ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). And although the Seminoles have been unconvincing throughout the season, it would have been difficult to justify leaving the undefeated, defending national champion out of the playoff — No. 10 FPI ranking be damned. So, the committee may well have made the best decision it could have, according to its mandate to select the nation’s four best teams.But by ranking TCU third (ahead of both Florida State and Ohio State) the week before the conference championships, the committee also set itself up to violate the precedent of how college football rankings have always worked. That’s why, even after previous No. 5 Ohio State rolled over No. 13 Wisconsin 59-0, the FiveThirtyEight College Football Playoff model — which is based on a historical analysis of Coaches Poll voters’ tendencies — saw little chance that TCU would drop from third place to fifth or lower in the committee’s final rankings.Using the traditional media polls as a guide, that was a reasonable assumption. Since the advent of the Bowl Coalition in 1992, only four times (in 214 opportunities) did the third-ranked team in the AP poll drop below fourth place the week after it won a game over an FBS opponent. All four of those teams (Florida State in Week 1 of the 2002 season, Ohio State in Week 3 of 2003, Tennessee in Week 1 of 2005 and Ohio State in Week 2 of 2008) posted victory margins that underwhelmed their pregame FPI expectations. By contrast, TCU beat its pregame expectations by 19 points in thrashing Iowa State. (And it bears repeating that none of those cases took place any later than the third week of a season, when you would expect voters to still be sorting out the order of teams.)And yet TCU did drop in the committee’s rankings — from third place to sixth, below Florida State, Ohio State and even Baylor (whom the committee had controversially slotted beneath TCU in every previous edition of its rankings, seemingly ignoring the Bears’ head-to-head victory over the Horned Frogs on Oct. 11). It was a stunning fall that, for better or worse, seemed to contradict the way college football teams traditionally move in the rankings.TCU’s exclusion also broke with tradition from another standpoint. Using poll data since 1992, I ran a logistic regression attempting to predict whether a team would finish the regular season in the AP’s top four based on various “résumé” statistics provided by ESPN’s Stats and Info Group. The factors that emerged as significant were a team’s winning percentage (modified slightly by Laplace’s Rule of Succession), its average points-per-game margin, its strength of schedule (according to the average FBS team’s expected winning percentage against its schedule using FPI), and whether it won its conference or not.This year, those criteria would have yielded the following probabilities of making the top four (assuming the committee would follow the pollsters’ traditional logic):(Note: Baylor and TCU were co-champions of the Big 12; for the purposes of the regression, they were each treated the same as a team that was sole champion of its conference.)It’s not outside the realm of plausibility that historical voters would exclude TCU and include Ohio State on the basis of their résumés alone (this method shows there was a 16 percent chance that would happen). In fact, the real AP poll dropped TCU from fourth to sixth, with two teams (Baylor and Ohio State) hurdling the Horned Frogs.It is, however, another way to underscore that the playoff committee may be rethinking the way college football teams have been ranked at the end of the season. As FiveThirtyEight’s editor in chief, Nate Silver, wrote in his final assessment of the committee’s selection, the sport’s old algorithm rarely entailed a top-to-bottom reassessment of the field this late in the year (voters usually just made slight adjustments to teams’ rankings after losses or big wins; otherwise the current rankings were basically enslaved to the previous rankings). The committee’s final rankings, on the other hand, suggest it sorted the teams from scratch after the conference championships, with no allegiance to its previous choices.That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, like the existence of a playoff in the first place, it’s a new thing.
The bill will be introduced during the upcoming legislative session set to convene tomorrow, January 16, in Juneau. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Senator Peter Micciche (R-K-Pen) has introduced a bill for the upcoming legislative session aimed at reducing the number of commercial set net fishers on the east side of the Cook Inlet. Senator Micciche emphasized that this is an introduction to a conversation, and is a ‘voluntary’ fleet reduction: “It’s at no cost to the state- we have discovered national and private funds that would help with it.” The bill also puts forward the question of a ‘commercial set net fishing permit buy-back program’. On March 1, 2019, the commission, and the Department of Natural Resources, will conduct an election among individuals qualified (certain set net fishers) on the question of whether to establish an entry permit buy-back program. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-set-net-bill-1.mp3VmJennifer-on-set-net-bill-1.mp300:00RPd The bill was introduced for the purpose of issuing entry permits and controlling entry into the commercial set net fishery on the east side of Cook Inlet, the commission would establish the area administered on December 31, 2018, as the Eastern Set Net Subdistrict of the Cook Inlet Central District as a distinct administrative area separate from the Cook Inlet Central District. The bill reads- “An Act relating to the powers of the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission; requiring certain set net fishers to vote on the question of whether their entry permits shall be subject to a state buy-back program; establishing a buy-back program for certain set net entry permits; providing for the termination of set net site leases held by individuals who participate in the entry permit buy-back program; providing for a condition on future leases of certain state land; and providing for an effective date.” Senate Bill 135, according to Senator Micciche has a max 40% overall reduction. That would bring the ‘east set net fleet’ down to where it was prior to the eastern migration in the 80’s. Senator Micciche: “The numbers that came from back from the set netters polling themselves, were that 79.5% answered ‘yes’ that they would support the concept of a voluntary fleet reduction.” Senator Micciche: “This is a starting point in a conversation that began probably four years ago, when a group of set netters were looking for a solution. A gear reduction in the Cook Inlet, particularly in the east side set net fishery, if it were a win/win for all all would be a healthy outcome.”
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Update -Friday According to Anchorage Police only minor injuries were sustained during the two vehicle collision. UPDATE 11:50amBoth lanes of the Seward Highway have been reopened at Mile 109. The closure is valid from 10:57 a.m., until 2:57 p.m. Original PostThe Seward Highway is closed near milepost 109 due to a crash/vehicle fire according to the Department of Transportation. According to the DOT, drivers should watch for police and fire trucks on the highway. Limited details are known at this time, updates will be posted as they are made available.
One of the ways the military services are improving their installations’ energy resilience is by leveraging private sector investment through energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy service contracts (UESCs). In its report accompanying the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill, the Senate Armed Services Committee says it supports the approach and “strongly encourages” DOD to leverage its facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization accounts, in combination with third-party funding sources, “to maximize energy infrastructure investments.” That tactic could help the department reduce its massive infrastructure maintenance backlog as well as enhance installation resilience, the panel states.The panel remains concerned, however, that DOD has failed to streamline the procurement processes used to enter ESPCs, UESCs and power purchase agreements. In turn, the committee directs the Pentagon to set “a department performance contracting goal along with a tracking system to identify and address project phase bottlenecks, with a timeline goal of 18 months from notice of opportunity to notice of intent to award.” The lawmakers also request DOD to brief the committee on its progress by March 1, 2019.Photo courtesy of Army Corps of Engineers Huntsville Center Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Windows 7 is on its way out. Microsoft If you still use Windows 7, it may be time to consider an upgrade. Starting Jan. 14, 2020, exactly one year from Monday, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7. That means no more updates or security fixes for the operating system. “Changes and upgrades in technology are inevitable,” said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, in a blog. “And there’s never been a better time to start putting in motion the things you need to do to shift your organization to a modern desktop with Microsoft 365.”Microsoft will continue to provide security updates for Windows 7 to business customers that pay for support, according to ZDNet, but not individual users.Windows 7 was released in 2009 and is still one of the most widely used desktop operating systems. Windows 10 finally overtook Windows 7 in the desktop market at the end of last year, according to ZDNet. NetMarketShare’s December 2018 report showed that 39.2 percent of the machines they collect data from used Windows 10, while 36.9 percent used Windows 7, according to ZDNet. In 2012, the computer giant decided to extend five more years of support for all editions of Windows 7 for individual users. First published on Jan. 14, 8:29 a.m. PT.Updates, 1:35 p.m. PT: Adds Microsoft 365 Vice President Brad Anderson statement. See It Computers Software $20 Microsoft Windows 7 Mentioned Above Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Tags Comments Amazon Share your voice See it 5 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Microsoft Windows 7 Review • Microsoft Windows 7 $4
Image of Sirius A and Sirius B taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sirius B, which is a white dwarf, can be seen as a faint pinprick of light to the lower left of the much brighter Sirius A. Image: NASA, ESA (Phys.org) — Most any chemistry student when asked, will say that there are just two ways atoms bond to make molecules: covalent and ionic. In the former, atoms are bonded together by sharing electrons, in the latter it’s due to the transfer of electrons from one atom to another leading to a Coulombic attraction between the ions. Now however, it appears there is a third kind of bond, though it doesn’t exist here on Earth. E. I. Tellgren, Kai K. Lange, T. Helgaker and M. R. Hoffmann from the University of Oslo, Norway and the University of North Dakota in the US have found that some molecules can form and hold together due to extremely high magnetic fields. As they write in their paper published in the journal Science, their calculations suggest that such molecules likely exist near white dwarf stars. Explore further More information: A Paramagnetic Bonding Mechanism for Diatomics in Strong Magnetic Fields, Science 20 July 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6092 pp. 327-331. DOI: 10.1126/science.1219703ABSTRACTElementary chemistry distinguishes two kinds of strong bonds between atoms in molecules: the covalent bond, where bonding arises from valence electron pairs shared between neighboring atoms, and the ionic bond, where transfer of electrons from one atom to another leads to Coulombic attraction between the resulting ions. We present a third, distinct bonding mechanism: perpendicular paramagnetic bonding, generated by the stabilization of antibonding orbitals in their perpendicular orientation relative to an external magnetic field. In strong fields such as those present in the atmospheres of white dwarfs (on the order of 105 teslas) and other stellar objects, our calculations suggest that this mechanism underlies the strong bonding of H2 in the triplet state and of He2 in the singlet state, as well as their preferred perpendicular orientation in the external field. Citation: Chemists discover new type of molecular bond near white dwarf stars (2012, July 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-chemists-molecular-bond-white-dwarf.html German team finds a way to link boron atoms with a triple bond Journal information: Science 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. Because it’s impossible, at least at this time, to create a magnetic field anywhere near as strong as that found near a white dwarf star, the researchers turned to quantum chemical simulations (full configuration-interaction) focusing on hydrogen atoms and the simple hydrogen molecule H2. At extremely hot temperatures, such as would exist near a white dwarf, the covalent bond that normally holds the molecule together wouldn’t survive and the molecule would come apart. But if there were a strong enough magnetic field (such as exists near a white dwarf) the spin states of the two atoms could align with the magnetic field (rather than exist as opposed) the molecule could bond and continue to stay that way. And that’s exactly what the team’s calculations showed, they’re calling it – perpendicular paramagnetic bonding.To further test their ideas, the team also ran helium through the simulations and found that they too could form perpendicular paramagnetic bonding of He2 molecules, though they were less stable.The researchers note that because of the different characteristics of hydrogen or helium molecules bonded together through magnetic forces near white dwarf stars, their spectrum should be different as well, which means that they should be detectable using telescopes tuned properly, assuming they exist in sufficient numbers.And just because such a strong magnetic field cannot currently be created in the lab, it doesn’t mean it can’t ever happen. If it does become possible, not only would magnetically bonded molecules be observable, but they might also be controllable by adjusting the amount of magnetism, paving the way perhaps to a quantum memory computer. © 2012 Phys.org
Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Marsh Rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) at Green Cay wetlands, Delray Beach, Florida. Credit: Tomfriedel/birdphotos.com, Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0 Citation: Invasive Burmese pythons shown to be reducing marsh rabbit population in Everglades (2015, March 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-invasive-burmese-pythons-shown-marsh.html © 2015 Phys.org A sneaky snake: Teams hunt for rock pythons in Everglades Marsh rabbits are native to the Everglades, and like most rabbits reproduce at a very high rate (approximately six litters each year, with each litter having multiple young). Because of that, scientists have been skeptical about a single predator being capable of dramatically reducing their numbers. But still, something has, of that there has been no doubt. Marsh rabbits are very nearly disappearing from some areas—many have blamed the Burmese python, a large snake that has been in the news a lot of late due to the many problems it has created for animals and humans alike in south Florida. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn whether the blame for the rabbit decline could be attributed solely to the arrival of the pythons.The researchers released 80 marsh rabbits into two different parts of the park—in parts known to be heavily populated by pythons and in parts where no pythons were living. By retrieving the carcasses of dead rabbits over a nine month period, the researchers were able to determine what killed them. In the areas where there were no pythons, other predators proved to be the primary killer. But in areas where there were a lot of pythons, they found that the snakes accounted for approximately two thirds of those that were killed, which the researchers note, is not sustainable over a long period of time—that means at the current rate, the pythons are going to eliminate marsh rabbits (and possibly other animals) entirely from the park.The researchers conclude that Burmese pythons are a serious threat to the ecosystem in the park and that the threat will likely spread as the snake extends its range. More information: Marsh rabbit mortalities tie pythons to the precipitous decline of mammals in the everglades, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/lookup/doi/10.1098/rspb.2015.0120 AbstractTo address the ongoing debate over the impact of invasive species on native terrestrial wildlife, we conducted a large-scale experiment to test the hypothesis that invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) were a cause of the precipitous decline of mammals in Everglades National Park (ENP). Evidence linking pythons to mammal declines has been indirect and there are reasons to question whether pythons, or any predator, could have caused the precipitous declines seen across a range of mammalian functional groups. Experimentally manipulating marsh rabbits, we found that pythons accounted for 77% of rabbit mortalities within nine months of their translocation to ENP and that python predation appeared to preclude the persistence of rabbit populations in ENP. On control sites, outside of the park, no rabbits were killed by pythons and 71% of attributable marsh rabbit mortalities were classified as mammal predations. Burmese pythons pose a serious threat to the faunal communities and ecological functioning of the Greater Everglades Ecosystems that will likely spread as python populations expand their range Explore further (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers working in the Florida Everglades, with affiliations to several institutions in the state, has found that an invasive species of snake, the Burmese python, appears to be responsible for a drastic decline in marsh rabbit populations in the park. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes how they placed rabbits in a section of the park and monitored how they were killed to finger the culprit. 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.
“It’s a matter of pride to be photographed with the Taj Mahal,” said Denis, a tourist from Australia. These days, with almost
Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress party office in Contai was ransacked and some vehicles parked outside set ablaze by alleged BJP supporters on Tuesday evening.Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, stated that BJP supporters, after attending Amit Shah’s rally, ransacked the party office along with several nearby shops. Some bikes were also set on fire. There were long queues of cars on Contai bypass and the miscreants broke the windscreens of many of them that were caught up in the traffic jam. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”We do not believe in violence. Or else, we could have taught them a lesson. Such incidents are uncalled for and unfortunate. BJP is losing ground everywhere and such incidents reflect the nervousness of the party,” said Suvendu. He further added: “The BJP should first concentrate on defending its government at the Centre. The people of this country have already made up their mind to vote them out.” “They (BJP) should stop lecturing others on democratic values and people’s rights. Had they provided good governance, they would not have been voted out in three Hindi heartland states (Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in the December Assembly polls)”, he said. Meanwhile, Trinamool MP Sisir Adhikari alleged that the CPI(M) supporters who have recently joined the saffron party were behind the Contai ransack. The TMC will take out a rally condemning the incident on Wednesday.
Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday appointed an IAS officer to take charge of the recently constituted monitoring cell for proper implementation of government schemes and to probe allegations of taking money (referred to as cut money) against giving benefits under the schemes.IAS Barun Ray, the 1992 batch officer who has been given the charge of the cell, was posted as commissioner, Malda division. Ray has also been transferred to the post of commissioner, Burdwan division. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHe will hold the charge of OSD at the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in the rank of principal secretary in charge of Monitoring of Programme Implementation and Grievance Cell. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had opened the cell for “Programme Implementation of Government Schemes and Redressal of Grievances/Complaints” and announced a toll-free number for lodging complaints. The cell has received 1,500 complaints so far. Once a beneficiary from the districts raises his/her issue with the CMO through email at email@example.com, it will be thoroughly examined and replied to within 10 days. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe new and unprecedented approach is aimed at refining the whole delivery mechanism system of the schemes in the state. The fundamental objective of the move is to reach out to the marginalised benefici- aries. Colonel (retired) Diptangshu Chowdhury, who heads the cell, has visited the districts and interacted with the beneficiaries who have been denied government welfare scheme benefits or harassed while receiving such benefits. The state government has asked police superintendents to initiate cases on complaints of accepting cut money under Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code, which calls for a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Celestyal slashes summer cruise fares to Havana by 50% Tags: Celestyal Cruises Friday, June 9, 2017 Travelweek Group TORONTO — Celestyal Cruises is turning up the heat this summer season with a new all-inclusive seven-day cruise promotion to Cuba.The offer features 50% off the cruise-only fare on all summer sailings until and including Aug. 21, 2017. Furthermore, kids younger than 12 sail for free.With promos and savings applied, rates start at US$1,171 per adult (embarking in Havana), based on double occupancy and includes:Seven-day Cuba Cruise featuring two days in Havana, one day in Cienfuegos, one day in Santiago de Cuba, and one day in Montego Bay, JamaicaIntimate 960 passenger capacity with yacht-like experienceInteractive shore excursion program in all portsAll meals onboardUnlimited beverage package, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beveragesOnboard entertainmentGratuities and port chargesRemaining applicable 2017 sailing dates include: Montego Bay-Montego Bay (June 16, 23 & 30; July 7, 14, 21 & 28; Aug. 4 & 11); and Havana-Havana (June 12, 19 & 26; July 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31; Aug. 7, 14 & 21).More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckThe 50% off cruise fare offer is valid on new bookings made by July 31 for select sailings through August 2017. Reservations are based on a first-come, first-serve basis.Celestyal Cruises is celebrating its fourth year of cruise operation in Cuba, with cruises embarking every Monday from Havana and every Friday from Montego Bay, Jamaica. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>
Stofa chief technology officer, Thomas Helbo.Cloud-based DVR services remain problematic for operators due to restrictions on the use of content rights, according to a panel of cable executives and technologists at content security provider Verimatrix’s ‘Multi-Network Solutions in the Real World’ event, which took place ahead of the main conference sessions at ANGA COM today in Cologne.Erik Meijer, senior innovation manager at Dutch cable operator Ziggo said his company is ultimately looking to add cloud-based recording as it rolls out its IP-connected CI+ TV service. However, securing rights remains a key challenge, he said. Meyer said Ziggo wanted to be able to offer all content as catch-up content but he said it is unlikely that operators will succeed in the short term, while network-based DVR is also difficult in the Netherlands, he said.Similar barriers to network-based recording exist in Germany, according to Wolfgang Zeller, vice-president of service engineering at Vodafone-owned cable operator Kabel Deutschland.“Network DVR is not economically feasible in Germany. This is really due to the studios because there is no value chain to monetise it,” said Zeller. “Technology-wise you can do a lot but the thing that is lacking is rights and the whole business model needs to be defined. If it was just up to us we would already have a network DVR service up and running, but it is not possible,” he said.Where content providers insist on operators making an individual copy per user rather than allowing network-based recordings to be shared between multiple users, or where ‘single copy per user’ is mandated by law, the cost of running network or cloud-based DVR services can be prohibitive, according to Thomas Helbo, chief technology officer of Danish cable operator Stofa.Helbo said that there is always a cost involved in recording programmes in the cloud. “One thing we have discussed is having one instance per customer when making recordings, which doesn’t make technical sense,” he said. Helbo said the economics of network DVR need to make sense for everyone and that it made no sense to insist on a particular way of doing it “just because someone wants to make sure it is a similar service to a DVR in the home.”Helbo said operators had to make sure they could make additional revenues when they launch new services generally, rather than launch things free of charge . “It is important that we do things in the right way,” he said. Operators have already launched too many services without working out any real way to make money from them, he said.DVR technology provider TiVo, which has deployed set-top-based DVR services for European operators including Virgin Media, Com Hem and ONO, is talking to new operators and is looking at a move to network DVR with a number of players, according to Joe Weber, vice-president of technology strategy. He said that rights issues remain problematic, not only for network-based DVR but also for allowing viewing on multiple devices, where studios and other content providers currently restrict consumption, typically to five devices concurrently.Weber said that in the US there are homes with a number of TVs that will continue to require multi-tuner DVR gateways and multiple set-top boxes as well as multiple tablets and mobile phones attached to the gateway. “The number of devices in each home just keeps increasing. The challenges are also to do with the rights issues,” he said.Steve Oetegenn, president of Verimatrix, said at least one operator had wanted licences to allow viewing on 30 devices concurrently. However, he said, studios want to extract maximum return on their investment and prevent, for example, two households in an apartment block sharing content. Oetegenn said that, with IP-based content security technology, it is possible to limit locations and IP addresses , enabling providers to restrict consumption to a single authenticated household.In addition to the ability to record, operators increasingly want to support viewing on multiple devices inside, and ultimately outside, the home, leading to an onward migration to IP-based video. Attendees at the Verimatrix event heard that operators are at different stages in making the transition to IP-based video, driven not only by the need to deliver multiscreen services but by mergers between cable and other service providers with IP-based fixed-line assets.Meijer said that Ziggo currently has IP video for multiscreen devices inside the home, alongside its DVB-C network. “For IP video the next step is to go outside the home,” he said, adding that Ziggo will be able to use its extensive network of IP hotspots based on users’ in-home WiFi routers to deliver out-of-home connectivity.Meijer said Ziggo is also thinking about migrating its on-demand services “and perhaps some niche linear channels” to IP. “More and more capacity will be used for IP, with less for broadcast,” he said.Kabel Deutschland currently only offers a classic cable TV service without multiscreen distribution but the acquisition of the company by mobile giant Vodafone is likely to expedite the launch of the latter and accelerate migration to IP video, said Zeller.He said that the Vodafone acquisition means that Kabel Deutschland is becoming a converged service provider. While integration of IT systems and the development of converged services will take some time, the pair will initially launch jointly branded services with a new brand identity.Zeller said Kabel Deutschland is “not yet hybrid” in the sense of offering IP linear channels on its cable network. However, Vodafone is offering IP services on its own fixed-line network.In terms of the future direction of the cable network’s migration to IP technology, Zeller said there would likely be “a race” between DVB-C2, the new DVB standard for cable broadcast, and high-speed data standard DOCSIS 3.1,. He said it is likely that Kabel Deutschland will eventually opt for IP video over DOCSIS 3.1 in the future, rather than a widespread deployment of DVB-C2. “Ultimately you want to be an all-IP network end to end,” he said.Helbo at Stofa said that about 50-60% of customers at Stofa currently have a broadband package enabling them to view multiscreen TV services from the operator. Public broadcasters’ catch-up services have also been made available on the platform and Stofa has launched a ‘restart’ service as part of its catch-up functionality.Helbo said that most consumption of video remained within the home, largely due to the cost of consuming content on 3G and 4G networks. Most out-of-home consumption is on WiFi and viewing sessions are significantly shorter when people are out of home. Most viewing is on phones out of the home rather than on tablets, he said.Helbo said that the acquisition of Stofa by energy utility SE, which has also rolled out its own fibre network, means that the company will migrate to IP video over time. Stofa is now running cable and IP video services, with hybrid boxes deployed in homes.