After 11 deaths Nepal considers limiting access to Mount Everest

first_img Advertising Back home alive, Indian climber explains what went wrong on Mount Everest Generally, all applications received at the NTB are granted permits on a first-come-first-served basis. The NTB awards permit to groups of mountaineers against a payment for $11,000 (approximately Rs 7.65 lakh), plus a refundable deposit of $4,000, which is returned after verifying that the climber has adhered to all regulations. Critics have said that the absence of a policy has allowed many non-serious or inadequately trained individuals to attempt the climb, putting lives at risk. This year, the NTB issued permits to a record 381 climbers in 44 teams.Unlike Tibet, which caps the number of Everest climbers at 300, there are no limits on the Nepali side, making for an exceedingly profitable — and dangerous — business.As cheaper operators have entered the fray, the number of climbers has shot up, creating deadly bottlenecks en-route to the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029-feet) peak — especially when bad weather cuts the number of summit days, as it did this year. Related News 95 years ago, Everest was just as deadly but much less crowded Both mental and physical fitness essential to climb Everest: Aditya Gupta who scaled Everest at 50 Mount Everest: Nepal considering to limit access after 11 die A photo of the rush of climbers on Mount Everest on May 21. The last sprint to the summit is critically dependent on the weather, and predictions of several hours of clear skies brought some 250 of the 381 climbers who were given permits this year, out at the same time. Nepal has been criticised for not having a policy for permits, and for allowing virtually anyone who pays on to Everest. (AP Photo)Nepal is considering tightening access to Mount Everest after eleven mountaineers, including four Indians, were killed this climbing season-the largest number of deaths since 1996. Overcrowding and inexperience are being blamed for the deaths. Advertising “We are looking into having a minimum requirement for climbers, fixing more ropes or taking more oxygen and sherpas,” news agency AFP quoted Mohan Krishna Sapkota, secretary at Nepal’s tourism ministry, as saying.A photo from May 21 of a long line of mountaineers struggling to make their way to the top of a ridge had gone viral last month. It was when good weather forecast drove around 250 climbers, and almost as many sherpas, to scale the mountain all at once, leading to a long line at a bottleneck, which proved fatal for many.Explained | What does it take to climb Mount Everest? What are the risks involved? By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Published: June 5, 2019 12:04:30 pm 0 Comment(s)last_img read more

Ethiopian leader Abiy arrives in Sudan to meet head of ruling military

first_imgBy Reuters |Nairobi | Published: June 7, 2019 4:00:31 pm Ethiopia’s chief of staff killed in a coup attempt in Amhara state The African Union on Thursday suspended Sudan until the establishment of civilian rule, intensifying global pressure on the military leaders to stand downBoth sides had been in talks over a civilian-led transition to democracy. But the already faltering negotiations collapsed in the wake of the crackdown.Abiy Ahmed, who took office in Ethiopia last year and introduced political and economic reforms, has won wide praise for his diplomacy skills, including brokering peace with his country’s neighbor and long-time foe Eritrea. “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, together with his delegation, arrived in Khartoum, Sudan, this morning for talks,” Abiy’s office said on Twitter.A diplomatic source said on Thursday that Ethiopia planned to meet members of both the ruling Transitional Military Council headed by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the opposition. Abiy’s exact schedule for Friday was not known.Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, together with his delegation, arrived in Khartoum, Sudan this morning for talks with the Chief of the Sudanese Transitional Military Council, Lt. Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.#PMOEthiopia pic.twitter.com/HaUPXMGv67— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) June 7, 2019The Ethiopian initiative follows the worst bloodshed in Sudan since Bashir was ousted by the military after four months of protests against his repressive three-decade rule.The opposition says 108 people were killed in the storming of a civilian protest camp on Monday and a subsequent wider crackdown. The government put the toll at 61 people, including three security personnel. Ethiopia says coup attempt thwarted, military chief killed Post Comment(s) Related News Advertising Advertising Ethiopia: World Press Freedom Day events raise alarm on fake news Ethiopian leader Abiy arrives in Sudan to meet head of ruling military council in mediation bid Abiy’s exact schedule for Friday was not known. (Source: Twitter)Ethiopia’s prime minister arrived in Khartoum on Friday to meet the chief of Sudan’s ruling military council in a bid to mediate in the political crisis that has followed the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April.last_img read more

First Rafale to be delivered in two months French Ambassador

first_imgThe senior diplomat told PTI on the sidelines of a function here that all 36 Rafale jets will be delivered to the Indian Air Force within the next two years.Calling it an excellent aircraft, he said it would add a lot to the capacity of the Indian Air Force.“The first Rafale will be delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in two months from now, I think in September, perfectly on time. Thirty-six will come within the next two years,” Ziegler said. LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? More Explained In reply to a question on Indo-French partnership, Ziegler said, “We have an exceptional partnership with India. It’s a strategic partnership; it’s based on security issues, on defence, on space cooperation, on all these important matters.”“This partnership is developing on the economic front, more and more French investment is coming to India, more and more private partnership is being set up between our companies,” Ziegler said, adding that people-to-people ties are also developing between the two nations.“When I came to India three years ago, we had only 3,000 Indian students joining our universities every year.Today we have reached the 10,000 mark. It has gone up by three times. If it grows three times in three years, can you imagine what it will be in 10 years,” the diplomat said. Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Imran Khan rafale, rafale aircraft, rafale jet, 36 rafale jets, defence budget, rafale jet delivery, indian air force, French Ambassador, rafale scam, rafale case, india news, indian express Indian Air Force will receive thirty-six will come within the next two years. (Source: Rafale Aviation)French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler Friday said the first Rafale fighter aircraft will be delivered within two months and it will be “perfectly on time”. Advertising Advertising Earlier, the French Ambassador presided over the closing ceremony of an Indo-French project on ‘Distribution Network Performance Enhancement Solutions’ carried out by French utility company EDF International Networks and the state-run Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited (MPPMCL).The project, which began in April last year, was financed by the French government. Hailing the partnership between the two nations, he said, “Look at the track record we have developed in cooperation with India in the past 50 years. The IAF has been flying with French technology, and Indo-French technology, because there is large amount of technology that we have co- developed.”“I think this 50-year-old partnership (with India) will develop into a partnership of the next 50 years. I am confident about that,” he said.On the fighter jet, the French Ambassador said, “Rafale has been an excellent aircraft. It being chosen by India, we feel honoured, we feel privileged. I think it will add a lot to the capacity of the Indian Air Force.”Asked about the controversy in India over the purchase of the Rafale aircraft, he said, “I am not interested in controversy. I am interested in results, and in the facts, and the facts are that the first Rafale is coming in within next two months, and I am proud of that.” Related News Former union ministers seek review of Supreme Court judgment on Rafale deal Post Comment(s) First Rafale jet to be delivered in 2 months, says French Ambassador By PTI |Bhopal | Updated: July 5, 2019 6:20:25 pm Advertising Best Of Express Taking stock of monsoon rain Madhya Pradesh Minister for Energy Priyavrat Singh, Consul General of France Sonia Barbry and senior state government officers were present on the occasion. Rafale row: Rahul Gandhi to meet HAL employees in Bengaluru, Congress distances itself from PIL Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach last_img read more

Surat 12 held for violence during rally against lynching get bail

first_imgThe 12 accused filed their bail application with the Surat district court on July 8. After hearing the arguments from both sides, the court granted bail to all of them. The judge said that the accused who were granted bail should deposit Rs 6,000 each as penalty for damage to public property.Defence lawyer Mukhtiar Shaikh said, “The bail application of others will be filed soon.” Top News Post Comment(s) Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Versatile Minority Forum, a Surat-based NGO, organised peace rally in the city on July 5, to condemn the recent lynching incident of Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand. A large number of people participated in the march from Badekhan Chakla.On reaching Nanpura Makkai Bridge Circle, there was a heated argument between the participants and police as the rally was taken out without police permission. In the clashes that followed, two buses, and two police vehicles were damaged. Four police officers suffered minor injuries in stone-pelting.Surat police lodged complaint against the organisers and 4,000 people on charges of rioting and attempt to murder. President of the NGO, advocate Ishtiyak alias Babu Pathan, and several Congress leaders were among 40 arrested. They were sent to judicial custody at Surat district Central jail at Lajpore. By Express News Service |Surat | Published: July 18, 2019 3:11:46 am Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Gujarat: 12 held for violence during rally against lynching get bail Surat: Protesters clash with police at a rally against incidents of mob lynching (File/PTI Photo)The Surat District Court on Tuesday granted bail to 12 accused arrested for violence during a rally to condemn a mob lynching incident in Jharkhand. Advertising Advertisinglast_img read more

Effective hand hygiene key to reducing hospitalbased infections

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDApr 15 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a 30 second application of a six-step hand washing and hand rub regimen that could keep infections away. New research titled, ‘Simplifying the WHO protocol for hand hygiene, three steps and 15 seconds: a randomized crossover trial’ and presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Netherlands held between 13th and 16th of April suggests hand rubs could achieve the same in a three step procedure for 15 seconds. Before touching a patient After touching a patient After touching a patent’s surroundings Before a clean procedure After exposure to body fluids/wounds Image Credit: Santypan / Shutterstock Alcohol based hand rubs are widely used in hospitals and other set ups for infection control. This hand hygiene could be a crucial measure to prevent and reduce the spread of infections. There are no studies evaluating the best practice that could reduce infections. The WHO recommended six-step hand rub technique is effective in killing bacteria. This study shows that a simple 15 second three step hand rub could be just as effective in killing bacteria as well as improved user adherence.Dr Sarah Tschudin-Sutter and colleagues from University Hospital Basel, Switzerland, tried their 15 second three step hand rub regimen in a randomised cross-over trial. They recruited 20 healthy participants between ages 18 and 51 years. They were randomly assigned to four different techniques of hand rubs including; Six-step hand hygiene for 30 seconds Six-step hand hygiene for 15 seconds Three-step hand hygiene for 30 seconds and Three-step hand hygiene for 15 seconds All participants were in turn assigned to each of the groups.Results revealed that three step technique for 15 seconds was as effective as reducing bacteria counts on the hands of the volunteers as 30 second three or six step regimen.Professor Tschudin-Sutter in a statement said, “The time pressure and heavy workload experienced by healthcare workers reduces compliance with hand hygiene standards. Our findings suggest that shortening hand rubbing time and simplifying the technique for use of hand rub could be a safe alternative that is easier to fit into their busy routine, could enhance the overall quality of hand hygiene performance, and have a positive effect on adherence. Further studies are needed to validate the performance of the shorter application time in everyday clinical practice.”The team agrees that the study could not make blanket statements about the three step regimen’s ability to stop transmission of microbes unless studied in actual clinical settings.Hand hygiene and reduction in Staph infectionsIn 2009 the National Australian Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI) was implemented and since then there has been a significant improvement in reduction of Staph infections in healthcare facilities. The results of this new study titled, ‘Improved hand hygiene compliance (HHC) is associated with a significant reduction in rates of healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (HA Sab) in Australia’s 132 largest hospitals: outcomes of the Australian National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI)’, were presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Netherlands held between 13th and 16th of April.Related StoriesKey research takeaways from ECCMID 2019Spotlight on ECCMID 2019: Detecting Disease & Managing InfectionsEurope under major threat from vector-borne diseasesThe report suggests that there have been a significant improvement in hand hygiene and its adherence among Australian health care workers. This has reduced the risk of transmission of often fatal healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus infection. The researchers noted that for each 10 percent rise in adherence to hand hygiene guidelines, there was a 15 percent reduction in the incidence of S. aureus bloodstream infection among the 132 largest public hospitals of Australia as was seen from the study. These hospitals cater to over 15 million patients-days across the nation in 2016-17, they add. This translates to more than three quarters of inpatient care for the Australian population.The team was following up the WHO campaign called “5 Moments for Hand Hygiene” that would reduce the risk of healthcare associated infections.These five moments include; Professor Lindsay Grayson from Hand Hygiene Australia, and study leader said, “Hospital-acquired infections are a major concern for hospitals around the world and S. aureus is among the most dangerous. The risks to patients are enormous, as are the associated hospital costs. Despite robust evidence supporting improved practices for hand hygiene, securing compliance is notoriously difficult, and few national programmes have been sustained in the long-term.” The researchers and experts say that S. aureus is the main Gram positive bacterium that leads to hospital-acquired infections. Some of these such as endocarditis, acute pneumonia, and sepsis might become fatal and good hand hygiene could keep them at bay.The team for this study looked at outcomes of the NHHI for eight years since it started. The timeline for the study was from January 2009 to June 2017. Three times a year hand hygiene moments were observed and recorded. The impact of this programme was assessed using linking of the data on hospital based S. aureus infections.Results showed that hand hygiene compliance moments (observed) was 64 percent (36,213 of 56,978 potential opportunities of hand washing or hygeine) in 2009. The numbers came to 84 percent (494,673 of 586,559 potential opportunities of hand washing or hygiene) in 2017. The team looked at adherence to the hand hygiene moments among doctors, nurses and allied staff. They found that compliance to hand hygiene was 10 to 15 percent lower among medical staff compared to nursing staff over the 8 years of the study. Further every 10 percent increase in hand hygiene compliance reduced the S. aureus infection by 15 percent they found.  Cases of S. aureus infection declined from 1.27 new cases per 10,000 bed-days in 2010-11 to 0.87 per 10,000 bed-days in 2016-17.Professor Grayson said in a statement, “The National Australian Hand Hygiene Initiative has achieved impressive results, both in terms of improving healthcare worker hand hygiene compliance and its association with reduced rates of healthcare-associated staphylococcal bacteraemia. Few national programmes have become successfully integrated into national health-care structures.”last_img read more

Schwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds research

first_imgOligodendrocyte form insulating myelin sheaths around neuron axons in the central nervous system. Myelin increases the impulse speed and decreases the capacitance of the axon membrane. 3d rendering – Illustration Credit: Juan Gaertner / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 7 2019Researchers have found that Schwann cells, a special type of cells are capable of generating protective myelin sheath covers for the nerves at rates higher than earlier believed.Senior author Dr. Kelly Monk, professor and co-director of the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health & Science University said in a statement, “This totally overturns the textbook definition of the way Schwann cells work.” The study titled, “Myelinating Schwann cells ensheath multiple axons in the absence of E3 ligase component Fbxw7,” was published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications.This finding could be highly beneficial for those with neuropathies and nerve injuries, the team explains. It could be highly beneficial for those with multiple sclerosis (MS) as well. In MS there is serious damage to the myelin sheath around the nerves causing slowing or stoppage of nerve signals.The researchers explain that this finding may be significant in a peripheral nervous system disorder such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, there is damaged myelin and the condition is intensely painful.  They add that new gene therapy could be used to repair the damaged myelin sheath and generate new myelin to cover the nerves. One in 2,500 people in the United States developed Charcot Marie Tooth disease and could benefit from this therapy, the researchers say. Myelin sheath of the neuron. A schwann cell envelops and rotates around the axon forming myelin sheath, now axon is myelinated. Close-up detailed anatomy illustration – Illustration Credit: Tefi / Shutterstock This new study however could mean that the Schwann cells could help repair the myelin of the brain and spinal cord as well with Monk saying, “Targeting the fbxw7 gene – or downstream pathway molecules – could be a powerful way to promote myelin repair in the central nervous system.” Journal reference:Myelinating Schwann cells ensheath multiple axons in the absence of E3 ligase component Fbxw7,Breanne L. Harty, Fernanda Coelho, Sarah E. Pease-Raissi, Amit Mogha, Sarah D. Ackerman, Amy L. Herbert, Robert W. Gereau IV, Judith P. Golden, David A. Lyons, Jonah R. Chan & Kelly R. Monk, Nature Communications volume 10, Article number: 2976 (2019), 10.1038/s41467-019-10881-yID, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10881-y The team explains that there are two types of cells in body that are responsible for producing myelin to protect the nerves. These are – oligodendrocytes that are present in the brain and spinal cord and Schwann cells that are present elsewhere. Current knowledge extends up to the fact that the oligodendocytes are the only cells that generate myelin sheaths to cover the axons or elongated nerve cell bodies in the central nervous system and act on a one on one basis with the nerves. These axons are like wiring and carry the electrical signals between two cells. This new study revealed that the Schwann cells are just as capable of producing myelin especially in the peripheral nervous system. The authors explain in their article, “Myelin sheaths of the CNS (central nervous system) and PNS (peripheral nervous system) are broadly similar in composition and structure, and there is a large degree of overlap in the molecular control of myelination by OLs (oligodendrocytes) and myelinating SCs (Schwann cells).”At the laboratory, Monk and his team experimented on zebrafish. On genetic screening and examination, they noted that some of the zebrafish had more myelin than others. These zebrafish were found to contain a mutation at a gene called the Fbxw7. The team then removed that particular gene in mice in their labs. The mice showed similar myelin content and this time the myelin was being provided by the Schwann cells of the body. Monk explained, “It highlights a very plastic potential for these cells,” meaning that when the oligodendrocytes fail to function, the Schwann cells are capable of stepping in. The study authors wrote, “Fbxw7 mutant SCs (Schwann cells) make thicker myelin sheaths and sometimes appear to myelinate multiple axons in a fashion reminiscent of oligodendrocytes.”Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchResearch on cannabis use in women limited, finds new studyOlympus launches next-generation X Line objectives for clinical, research applicationsMonk explained that among the vertebrates (animals with spinal column), the jaws and the myelin producing cells such as Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes all appear almost at the same time during development of the foetus. Among invertebrates, there is no myelin sheath. Giant squids for example have thicker axons instead of myelin sheath to make transmission of the nerve signals quicker. Monk explained that to achieve similar goals, “We could have evolved that way, but our spinal cord would be the diameter of a giant sequoia tree.”Instead, those with the spinal column or vertebrates have evolved to develop myelin sheath around their nerves to aid in faster nerve conduction. Schwann cells can produce myelin around a single axon in the peripheral nervous system while the oligodendrocytes work on multiple axons at once in the brain and spinal cord to protect them with myelin sheaths. “The real estate is fundamentally different in the central nervous system than in the peripheral nervous system,” Monk explained. Thus while the Schwann cells are made to repair each cell one at a time after injuries, they are evolved to work with precision and adapt to the conditions such as nerve injuries in the peripheral nervous system. On the other hand injuries to the brain and spinal cord are rarely reversible and thus the oligodendrocytes are not similarly adaptable to changes. Monk explained simply, “There’s no selective pressure in repairing myelin damage in the central nervous system, because you’re probably going to die.”last_img read more

A power boost for mobile technologies

Haptic technology is not a future fantasy. Touch applications are already nudging into the technology landscape. When your phone vibrates to alert you to an incoming text, for example, that is haptic technology at work. Given that a growing cadre of major technology players are trying to incorporate greater haptic capabilities into their devices, Boréas is already creating partnerships with interested companies and positioning itself to capture the nascent market. “All the key players are in this haptic space right now,” Chaput said. “It’s great to see and hear the virtual world, but it is much better if you can feel it.”Still at work on the prototypes, Chaput expects to ship products within a year, and his company will be demonstrating the first development kit for the technology at the IEEE Haptics Symposium in March in San Francisco.The Entrepreneurial MindsetBoréas’ story is an illuminating example of the support Harvard OTD offers to faculty and researchers. Chaput and Wei are both quick to credit the office for smoothing the often-rocky path to commercializing an innovation.”OTD has been great, incredibly supportive,” said Wei. “Being at Harvard really opened the door for Simon. OTD not only patented the technology but they were very good at connecting Simon with potential funders.”Chaput said that navigating the company launch would have been nearly impossible without OTD’s involvement. “First, we were able to negotiate a very fair deal with Harvard for the license to the technology,” he said. “That was very important for us to raise our seed round. Without the license, nobody would have invested. And OTD offered support as we went through our due diligence.”According to Sam Liss, executive director of strategic partnerships, OTD’s mission is to maximize the societal impact of the technology that arises from University research, from the engineering school to the medical school, working with more than 800 faculty across the University’s research realm.”When Simon and Gu expressed interest in a startup, we brought to bear all the resources at our disposal,” Liss said. “We introduced them to venture capitalists to get perspective on the concept and to raise money. We can also introduce them to entrepreneurs who might join the team and provide access to any resources they need to go forward. A big part of all this is education. Most researchers have never done this before.”Liss and his fellow OTD directors have all had hands-on entrepreneurial or industrial experience, and they understand the difficult strategic decisions Harvard researchers must navigate in order to successfully commercialize their ideas.To Liss, Chaput exemplifies the entrepreneurial mindset. “What is this brilliant PhD student at Harvard choosing to do? He’s started a semiconductor company in the middle of a highly competitive market and he’s doing it up in Canada,” Liss said. “This is the ultimate David vs. Goliath story.”Wei is undaunted by that analogy. He acknowledges that big companies such as Texas Instruments and Analog Devices are at work on haptic technology, but “the same could be said for any company coming into a market,” he said. “Remember, search already existed when Google started. More importantly, if you have a unique technology, there is opportunity.”Chaput said he keeps his mind on the long game. “From my perspective, it has never been about the size of our competitors or our chances to make it,” he said. “It has always been about making a positive impact on our society. Our technology has the potential to change the way people interact with their electronic devices and with each other remotely. This means we have the opportunity to impact the lives of millions of people on a global scale. That’s what motivates me.”Poised For LaunchFor Chaput, the road to a startup began before he came to Harvard. He had worked on power electronics projects at a semiconductor foundry in Bromont, Quebec, during his master’s studies. When he decided to pursue his doctorate in engineering, he found perfect synergy in Wei’s lab, which specializes in electronics and integrated circuits. Specifically, the lab’s work is aimed at implementing energy-efficient computer devices. Wei was leading a team looking at integrated circuit design and how to make devices more efficient across a wide range of applications.In 2009, the lab embarked on its most well-known project, the Robobees. That project brought together a variety of researchers in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science to develop micro-scale robots that would fly autonomously and cooperatively like bees. When Chaput joined the group, Gu suggested he focus on creating circuitry that would generate 200- to 300-volt signals to drive piezoelectric actuators, powered by lithium polymer batteries that deliver only 3 to 4 volts.Chaput designed a prototype and soon realized there was a commercial opportunity in his design. He connected with OTD, embraced resources from the Harvard Innovation Lab, and participated in the Mass Challenge in 2016. He thought about launching Boréas in Boston, but meeting with obstacles in U.S. immigration, he returned to Canada instead. There, he was able to attract an experienced design team from his past contacts and secure low-cost space inside a state-of-the-art microelectronic R&D center in order to speed up technology development.”On average we have 20 years’ experience in the development of similar technologies,” Chaput said. “This is a good metric for our value proposition as well as our chance of success.””Technologically, it is rock solid,” said Wei, who also serves in a personal capacity on the Boréas advisory board. “He has assembled a good team and strong advisors on the business side. Other than me, everyone on the advisory board has experience on the entrepreneur side. All the chess pieces are in place.” Explore further 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. In the endless quest to create the most dynamic user interfaces, haptic (touch) technology is the looming target for mobile device makers, game companies, and app developers. Having successfully embraced sight and sound, from voice activation to 3D virtual reality, the next sensory frontier is almost upon us: the ability to actually feel an object using a smartphone or tablet.The challenge is this: haptic technology is power hungry. To create the virtual sensation of touch, motion generators called piezoelectric actuators are required, and those tiny components are battery drainers. For the haptic revolution to become a reality, power-management semiconductors need to be far more efficient.In the hands of a new startup raising its profile this month, one key to bringing this future a little closer may be a technology created in the lab of Gu-Yeon Wei, the Robert and Suzanne Case Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.In Wei’s lab, doctoral student Simon Chaput developed the crucial low-power electronics. Chaput put his doctoral studies at Harvard on hold in 2017 and returned to his native Canada to launch a company – Boréas Technologies – around this innovation, with a license from Harvard.”Our new architecture can reduce power by an order of magnitude from what is out there now,” Chaput explains. “Our technology has the potential to change the way people interact with their electronic devices and with each other remotely. Our customers keep telling us how our technology will enable them to create new products that were not possible before.”Boréas is based in Bromont, Quebec, an hour’s drive from Montreal. That may seem an unlikely locale for the next hot new thing, but Chaput is confident that his company has the makings of a game-changer. Launched with the advice and strategic support of Harvard’s Office of Technology Development (OTD), Boréas is focused on a very specific target: building low-power-consumption electronics that will enable and empower the haptic revolution now underway. Citation: A power boost for mobile technologies (2018, March 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-power-boost-mobile-technologies.html Provided by Harvard University Virtual reality app makes haptics as immersive as visuals Imagine you are shopping on your iPad for a new merino wool sweater for the winter, and when you visit a retail site, you can not only see countless views of your prospective purchase but you can reach out and feel the texture of the fabric. Or more consequentially: you are a physician performing an operation remotely using a telemedicine application, and you can virtually feel the patient upon whom you are operating. read more

WeChat accounts cross one billion mark CEO

Citation: WeChat accounts cross one billion mark: CEO (2018, March 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-wechat-accounts-billion-ceo.html WeChat operator Tencent reports surge in Q1 profit The all-in-one app is a daily necessity for most Chinese, bringing together messaging, social media, mobile payment, games, news and other services.”WeChat’s worldwide monthly active users have surpassed the critical one billion mark,” CEO Pony Ma said Monday on the sidelines of China’s parliamentary session underway in Beijing. “In the future we hope to use technological innovation to push forward the next developmental step of reform and opening,” Ma said.He was referring to China’s economic liberalisation policy that has fuelled four decades of breakneck economic growth. Although Ma said WeChat’s monthly active users had crossed the one billion threshold, a company spokesman told AFP he was referring to its total number of accounts. Still, the one billion figure indicates the huge user base which Tencent has built up both inside and outside China for its all-in-one app.It compares with 2.1 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 1.5 billion on its messaging app WhatsApp. The popularity of WeChat—and profits from its addictive mobile games—have pushed Tencent’s earnings and share price sharply upwards. The company surpassed Facebook in market value last year and the 47-year-old Ma has rocketed to near the apex of China’s rich list. He is the wealthiest delegate to the parliamentary session, according to Shanghai-based luxury magazine publisher Hurun Report, which estimated his fortune at $47 billion. Explore further © 2018 AFP WeChat’s worldwide accounts have crossed the one billion mark, according to the chief executive of its parent company Tencent. 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. Pony Ma says WeChat’s accounts have crossed the one billion mark read more

Telefonica sales hit by end of roaming charges

The end of roaming charges has hit Telefonica’s accounts hard SAP more ambitious after soaring Q1 profits Citation: Telefonica sales hit by end of roaming charges (2018, April 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-telefonica-sales-roaming.html © 2018 AFP Explore further Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica saw its sales plunge in the first quarter due to the end of roaming charges in Europe, but still posted a 7.4 percent rise in net profit. The group’s turnover dropped 7.2 percent to 12.2 billion euros ($14.9 billion) due to the “negative impact of regulation” according to a statement, referring to the end of roaming charges in Europe in June 2017.Without this, turnover would have risen 3.1 percent year-on-year thanks in part to the sale of handsets, the group said.Net profit stood at 837 million euros, above analyst expectations. Shares rose 1.3 percent in early morning trading.The company said it also suffered from the depreciation of the Brazilian real and the Argentine peso—two important markets—against the euro.But Telefonica’s strategy of prioritising higher value services appeared to have borne fruit in the first quarter.The number of clients subscribing to 4G rose by over a third year-on-year, those using faster fibre-cable for their internet increased by 20 percent and people getting pay television by five percent.Net financial debt, the group’s black cloud, dropped to 43.9 billion euros from 44.2 billion end December. 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. read more

Tesla burns 7395 million in cash on way to record 2Q loss

first_img Analysts expect Tesla 2Q revenue gain but big net loss In this April 15, 2018, file photo, the sun shines off the rear deck of a roadster on a Tesla dealer’s lot in the south Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo. Tesla’s second-quarter revenue should grow by more than $1 billion as it delivered more Model 3 electric cars. But analysts predict it won’t be enough to stop the company’s net loss from rising dramatically when the Palo Alto, Calif., company reports earnings after the bell Wednesday, Aug. 1. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore further Citation: Tesla burns $739.5 million in cash on way to record 2Q loss (2018, August 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-tesla-million-cash-2q-loss.htmlcenter_img Electric car maker Tesla Inc. burned through $739.5 million in cash last quarter, paving the way to a company record $717.5 million net loss as it cranked out more electric cars. But Tesla reiterated a promise from CEO Elon Musk to post net profits in the third and fourth quarters, and Telsa’s shares rose 4.7 percent to $315 in after-hours trading.The net loss more than doubled from the same quarter a year ago, and was slightly larger than the first quarter. But Tesla’s cash burn in the second quarter slowed.The Palo Alto, California, company said it lost $4.22 per share from April through June as revenue grew 43 percent to just over $4 billion. Adjusted for stock-based compensation, the company lost $3.06 per share. That was worse than Wall Street estimates. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a $2.88 loss per share.In a statement released after the markets closed Wednesday, Tesla said it expects to produce 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3s in the third quarter, an increase of at least 75 percent from the first quarter. Tesla spent millions as it reached a goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of June. It now says production is rising, with the goal of 6,000 per week by the end of August. The company said it expects to reach 10,000 Model 3s per week “sometime next year.”Cash from selling the Model 3, which starts at $35,000 but runs far higher with options, is key to holding off more borrowing and turning a profit.The company said expects to grow at a rapid pace and it should achieve sustained quarterly profits barring an unforeseen event or economic downturn.”We expect to generate positive cash including operating cash flows and capital expenditures,” the statement said.The company said it has cut back on capital spending by changing its strategy to produce the Model 3 on existing assembly lines, one in a giant tent, rather than adding all-new lines. Tesla projected total 2018 capital spending at just below $2.5 billion. That’s substantially less than the 2017 level of $3.4 billion.During the second quarter, Tesla laid off 9 percent of its workforce as it worked toward Musk’s promise of making money. The company has never turned an annual profit and has had only two profitable quarters since becoming public in 2010. Tesla has also asked parts suppliers for refunds.Last quarter, Musk dismissed analysts who asked questions about Model 3 reservations and other financial matters during the quarterly conference call. 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.last_img read more

Netflix Instagram team up for easier sharing of bingewatching recommendations

first_img Citation: Netflix, Instagram team up for easier sharing of binge-watching recommendations (2019, January 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-netflix-instagram-team-easier-binge-watching.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain 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. The latest update of the Netflix app for Apple iOS lets you share movies and series from your viewing list on your iPhone or iPad with friends via Instagram Stories.Once you have updated the Netflix app, you can share movies such as Best Picture nominee “Roma” or TV series such as “Grace and Frankie” from My List or elsewhere in the app.Once you highlight the selection, tap the Share icon and Instagram Stories will now be among your options (other share options include Facebook Messenger, Twitter and text messages).Once you select Instagram Stories, you can type some comments or add some animated enhancements to the movie or TV show’s cover art. Then select one or more Instagram friends you want to send the recommendation to. Your story remains visible for 24 hours and has a link to your recommendation within the Netflix app, making it easy for the recipient to check it out.A Netflix-Instagram Stories feature is in the works for Android devices, but Netflix did not have a timeline to share at this time.This option is similar to one already deployed allowing you to share Spotify music via Instagram Stories, noted Mashable, which spotted the Netflix update Tuesday. The Facebook-owned social network is used by more than more than 500 million people daily—and 400 million use Instagram Stories daily.Netflix is coming off a fourth quarter in which it saw subscriber growth surpass expectations. The company now has more than 139 million paying subscribers globally after adding 1.5 million in the U.S. and 7.3 million internationally during the October-December 2018 period. The streaming video provider expects to add another 8.9 million (1.6 million in the U.S. and 7.3 million globally) between January and March, the company said last week.That expected growth comes as Netflix recently announced an increase in its monthly subscription fees. Netflix’s most popular plan, which had been $10.99 a month for two HD streams, will cost $2 more ($12.99 monthly). The cheapest $7.99 non-HD plan will cost $1 more ($8.99 monthly). The premium plan allowing four simultaneous streams in 4K will increase $2 to $15.99 per month. Netflix shares jump 6 percent on strong subscriber growthcenter_img (c)2019 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Passing along your binge-watching favorites just got easier. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Tappy the robot is behind part of charges against Huawei

first_img Citation: Tappy the robot is behind part of charges against Huawei (2019, January 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-tappy-robot-huawei.html Jury awards T-Mobile $4.8M in trade-secrets case against Huawei The case over Tappy, T-Mobile’s phone-testing robot, portrays a company going to what the government calls illegal lengths to gain access to others’ intellectual property.”This indictment shines a bright light on Huawei’s flagrant abuse of the law,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes in Seattle said in a statement.The criminal charges in Seattle were announced the same day the U.S. government unveiled a case in New York that accuses Huawei, two of its subsidiaries and a top executive of misleading banks about the company’s business and violating U.S. sanctions.Huawei is China’s first global technology competitor and one of the world’s biggest cellphone companies and makers of telecommunications parts. Huawei has rejected accusations by Washington and some other governments that it is controlled by China’s ruling party and might facilitate spying. Some experts say there’s no major revelations in Monday’s charges, however.”If Tappy is as far as they’ve gotten on (intellectual property) theft, that seems to be pretty thin gruel for waging a large campaign against Huawei,” said Adam Segal, a cybersecurity expert at the Council on Foreign Relations who follows China closely.T-Mobile declined to comment. Huawei said in an emailed statement Tuesday that it denies any violations of U.S. law, and that the Tappy allegations were already a settled matter between it and T-Mobile.In a civil lawsuit against Huawei over the robot, a federal jury in Seattle awarded T-Mobile $4.8 million in damages in 2017.Tappy was developed by T-Mobile in 2006 to help spot problems in phones before they hit the market by mimicking how people actually use them. Its aim was to save the company money by having fewer customers return problematic phones.T-Mobile, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, considered Tappy superior to competitors’ phone-testing systems, including those using humans. Allegedly, so did Huawei. To try to protect its robot, T-Mobile allowed only a few people from outside the company to have access to Tappy in a special area of its lab. After being approved and trained, these people were subject to confidentiality agreements that forbade them from taking photos or videos of Tappy, or trying to reverse-engineer the robot. © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Chinese tech company Huawei went so far as to steal a robot’s arm in its bid to get its hands on T-Mobile’s trade secrets, the U.S. government alleges. This Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, file photo shows a T-Mobile store in New York. A federal indictment accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile, in the form of a robot designed to automatically test phones for problems. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) This Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, file photo, shows company signage on display near the Huawei office building at its research and development center in Dongguan, in south China’s Guangdong province. A federal indictment accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile, in the form of a robot designed to automatically test phones for problems. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File) Explore further Meanwhile, Huawei was looking to break into the U.S. market and improve the quality of its phones. It struck a deal with T-Mobile to sell its devices. Starting in September 2012, T-Mobile let Huawei engineers into the Tappy chamber to test their phones, after Huawei agreed to T-Mobile’s conditions.Huawei first asked T-Mobile if it could license Tappy for broader use, but T-Mobile declined. The government says Huawei then began a scheme to steal Tappy technology and apply it to its own phone-testing robot, called xDeviceRobot, in China.Prosecutors say Huawei China pushed employees in the U.S. to find out technical details on Tappy, like the sliding speed of its mechanical arm. But T-Mobile gave only limited answers to their questions.According to the indictment, Huawei employees in the U.S. sent back unauthorized photos of the robot, but ran into roadblocks.One Huawei employee, identified in the indictment only as “R.Y,” wrote in a January 2013 email to Huawei China that, “Once again, we CAN’T ask TMO any questions about the robot. TMO is VERY angry the questions that we asked. Sorry we can’t deliver any more information to you.” The employee suggested Huawei China send its own engineer to the Seattle lab.In May 2013, a Huawei China engineer identified as “F.W.” arrived in Seattle and sneaked into T-Mobile’s Tappy lab two days in a row, helped by authorized Huawei employees. He was kicked out and banned by T-Mobile, but managed to take photos of Tappy.T-Mobile then banned all Huawei employees from its lab, except for one engineer identified as “A.X,” according to the indictment. On May 29, A.X. took a Tappy robot arm out of the lab in his laptop bag. When questioned by T-Mobile, he said he found it in his bag and returned the arm the next day. T-Mobile then took away his access badge.The government says F.W. took detailed measurements and photos of the robot arm while it was missing and sent the details to China.Huawei later told T-Mobile that A.X. and F.W. acted on their own, violated Huawei policies and were fired. The government, however, says it was a broader conspiracy. 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.last_img read more

Titanium pressure vessel for space exploration built successfully using the Wire Arc

first_img Explore further Video: Aircraft-inspecting suction robot successfully trialled The piece is approximately 1m in height and 8.5kg in mass. Made of the titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V), it has been deposited using the Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) process, which Cranfield University has pioneered over the last decade.Thanks to being able to go straight from digital drawing to final structure, WAAM has integrated two individual pieces into a single part; eliminating the need for long-lead-time forgings; and substantially reduced the amount of waste material removed by machining.If manufactured traditionally, the component would have required about 30 times more raw material than its final mass. By using the WAAM process, more than 200 kg of Ti-6Al-4V has been saved for each item. There is room to improve this further, and Cranfield is working on innovative methods to deposit closer to the final thickness.The WAAM shape was manufactured at Cranfield and then sent to Glenalmond Technologies where it was stress-relieved, laser-scanned, machined and inspected using an ultrasonic method. The final inspection was performed by Agiometrix using a computer tomography (CT-scan) for internal quality analysis and an optical scanner, with Thales Alenia Space ensuring that the part met the mechanical requirements and specifications.Following the checks, the project team is satisfied that the vessel fulfils the driving technical and quality requirements. The team is now proceeding to the building of a second prototype, with the purpose to carry out a fine tuning of the whole manufacturing cycle, to demonstrate the repeatability and reliability of the process, and to push the implementation of the new approach into the flight hardware.Eng. Massimo Chiampi, Study Manager for Additive Manufacturing projects at Thales Alenia Space, said: “We were looking for an innovative manufacturing solution for the tanks, which typically suffer from long lead time with the conventional production route based on subtractive machining. Thanks to this project, we have demonstrated that the adoption of WAAM technology enhances the competitiveness of our product. A near-net-shape item is fabricated in few days—compared to several months needed for the procurement of the standard wrought products—and also the amount of machining operation is consistently reduced. We have achieved a 65% reduction on the overall lead time without giving up the requested performances and this provides a benefit also in terms of design flexibility, making it possible to answer customer needs at a late stage of the project.”Dr. Jialuo Ding, Principal Research Fellow at Cranfield University and Chief Scientist at WAAM3D, said: “We have been developing WAAM technology for more than 10 years and it is very satisfying to see it reach this level of commercial maturity. We are very excited about rolling out the technology through our new spinout company, WAAM3D. We are also extremely pleased with the work done by Glenalmond Technologies, who have dealt with a part with limited machining stock, perfectly and at their first attempt.”Dr. Filomeno Martina, Senior Lecturer at Cranfield University and CEO of WAAM3D, said: “This part was built using software and hardware that has been developed over the last decade; these are finally ready for commercialisation through a new spin-out company from Cranfield, WAAM3D. This part has given us the opportunity to test WAAM3D’s innovative solutions on a high-profile user case, with a very aggressive timescale. We are very proud of the level of automation achieved at Cranfield University. WAAM3D will make all these tools available to industrial community in the next couple of months and we are looking forward to the impact on industrial large-scale additive manufacture this will have.” The full-scale prototype titanium pressure vessel. Credit: Cranfield University A team comprising of Thales Alenia Space, Cranfield University and Glenalmond Technologies have successfully produced a first full-scale prototype of a titanium pressure vessel to be used in future manned missions for space exploration.center_img Citation: Titanium pressure vessel for space exploration built successfully using the Wire + Arc additive manufacturing process (2019, March 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-titanium-pressure-vessel-space-exploration.html 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. Provided by Cranfield Universitylast_img read more

These robocalls dont want to talk to you they just want you

first_img Explore further Robocalls are unstoppable – 3 questions answered about why your phone won’t quit ringing 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 late-night telephone call you just got that amounted to one ring—don’t call back. (c)2019 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. The Federal Communications Commission has issued an alert to consumers about a new wave of “One Ring” robocalls after “widespread overnight calling” in the states of New York and Arizona.These recent “One Ring” calls attempt to bait consumers into calling the number back, which can result in you being billed toll charges as if you called a 900 number. The calls are also known as “Wangiri”—the term means “one ring and done” in Japanese, so labelled after the scam originated there years ago.Robocallers typically call specific area codes repeatedly, often late at night. The latest wave of calls, the FCC says, are using the “222” country code of the West African nation of Mauritania. “This is a concerning trend and consumers should not call back if they receive such calls,” deputy press secretary Will Wiquist said.Other public officials have taken to Twitter to warn consumers. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich tweeted this week about the robocalls, saying, “DO NOT call back. Scammers hope you’ll call back so they can pocket the cost of the expensive phone call.”Similarly, the Lafourche (Louisiana) Parish Sheriff’s Office tweeted Friday, “Many people in our area received international calls last night. … DO NOT call back.”This is not the first time “One Ring” robocalls have surged in the U.S. Another wave hit three years ago; in that case, calls came from area codes connecting callers to the Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands and Jamaica.Beyond not calling back the numbers, the FCC has other consumer tips:—You can file a complaint with the FCC if you received these calls at www.fcc.gov/complaints—If you never make international calls, consider asking your provider to block outgoing international calls to prevent accidental toll calls.—Check your phone bill for charges you don’t recognize.—If you are billed for a call you made as a result of this robocall scam, try to resolve the matter with your phone company. If that fails, file a complaint with the FCC. Citation: These robocalls don’t want to talk to you, they just want you to call back, FCC says (2019, May 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-robocalls-dont-fcc.htmllast_img read more

Renault tries to reassure partner Nissan on Fiat plans

first_img Renault and Nissan representatives were meeting outside Tokyo on Wednesday along with officials from the third partner in their alliance, Mitsubishi Motors.The alliance has been rocked by the arrest of its former head, Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan chief who faces four charges of financial misconduct and has been pushed out of all his executive roles.And the partnership was shaken further this week by news that Renault is studying “with interest” a 50-50 merger proposal with Fiat Chrysler (FCA), a prospect that took Nissan by surprise.In a brief statement, the alliance said their operating board meeting on Wednesday included “open and transparent discussion on FCA’s recent proposal to Groupe Renault.””The meeting also discussed and positively concluded several current operational alliance matters,” the statement added, after the meeting at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama.Arriving in Japan on Tuesday, Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard offered an optimistic assessment.”I think that all the recent events are very good for the alliance, and I will make sure that Nissan and Mitsubishi will take great advantage of the news,” he said.But Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has received news of the proposed tie-up more cautiously.”From the standpoint of Nissan’s interests, we need to look a little closer to see what sort of contractual relationship the deal would create,” the Nikkei business daily quoted him as saying.Renault has for years tied its strategy to its partnership with Japanese automaker Nissan, but Ghosn’s arrest and Nissan’s resistance to a closer partnership appears to have prompted rethinking at the French firm.The merger with Fiat Chrysler is backed by the French government, which owns a 15 percent stake in Renault, and Italy’s deputy premier also enthusiastically endorsed the deal.Renault holds a 43 percent stake in Nissan, which in turn owns 15 percent of its French partner and would not be able to block it from proceeding with the Fiat Chrysler merger. © 2019 AFP Renault and Nissan representatives were meeting outside Tokyo on Wednesday along with officials from the third partner in their alliance, Mitsubishi Motors Renault officials on Wednesday sought to reassure the firm’s alliance partner Nissan over a possible tie-up between the French automaker and Fiat Chrysler, which could up-end the auto industry. Old partner Nissan left sidelined by Renault-Fiat mergercenter_img Citation: Renault tries to reassure partner Nissan on Fiat plans (2019, May 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-renault-reassure-partner-nissan-fiat.html Explore further 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.last_img read more

MLB trade rumors Dodgers could make a strong play for Royals reliever

first_img“We’re comfortable being aggressive,” Friedman said. “We’re not comfortable being stupid.”The Dodgers entered play Wednesday in first place of the National League West with an MLB-best 63-34 record. They lead the second-place Diamondbacks by 14 games. The Dodgers have been linked to another reliever.Los Angeles is interested in Royals left-hander Jake Diekman, according to a report from MLB.com, and the team may make a “strong play” for him before the July 31 trade deadline. Dodgers trade rumors: Pirates set high asking price for closer Felipe Vazquez MLB trade rumors: Dodgers interested in Brad Hand, Ken Giles, several others The 32-year-old holds an 0-6 record with a 4.97 ERA in 44 appearances with Kansas City this season. He has struck out 55 and walked 23 in 38 innings on the mound.The Royals are focused on moving Diekman, along with outfielder Billy Hamilton, first baseman Lucas Duda and pitcher Ian Kennedy, over the next two weeks, according to an earlier report from MLB.com. Related News MLB trade rumors: Royals focused on moving Billy Hamilton, Ian Kennedy, other veterans The Nationals also could pursue Diekman, the report says.The Dodgers, meanwhile, are clearly looking to upgrade their bullpen. They’ve reportedly already inquired about multiple pitchers, including Brad Hand, Ken Giles, Felipe Vazquez and Will Smith, among others.”Every year, going into the year, the bullpen performance is what keeps me up at night,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told ESPN last month. “And it’s funny because the years that I’ve had the most confidence is probably the years where we’ve struggled the most, and the years where I’ve been the most afraid are the years where we’ve been the best.”Friedman said the team will not overspend to add bullpen help.last_img read more

Under pressure Centre to amend SCST law

first_img COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL The Cabinet is learnt to have approved a Bill to amend the SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The new Bill will apparently nullify the Supreme Court verdict on the use of the Act. The verdict had invited criticism from various corners that it will dilute the principles of the Act, formed to ensure justice in the cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis.Talking to reporters after the Cabinet, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Centre has taken a decision that will be beneficial for the SC-ST communities. He, however, did not give any details of the proposed legislation and said since Parliament is in session he is supposed to place the details before both the Houses before making it public.Almost all political parties had voiced concern over the verdict. NDA ally LJP had publicly asked the Centre to come up with a legislation to nullify the apex court order. The party had also demanded that the Centre should remove former Supreme Court judge Justice AK Goel from the post of National Green Tribunal Chairman as Goel was one of the judges who passed the order on the SC-ST Act. Published on August 01, 2018center_img COMMENTS politics SHARElast_img read more

BDJS Thushar Vellappally is the NDA candidate to take on Rahul in

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT Published on April 01, 2019 COMMENTS SHARE national elections Kerala Congress President Rahul Gandhi contesting from Kerala seems to have forced the first major change in candidate line-up in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency. A tweet from BJP President Amit Shah announced a change in candidate for the seat allotted to NDA alliance partner the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS). BDJS President Thushar Vellappally is being deputed to Wayanad to take on a prospective prime ministerial candidate of the Congress in place of the ‘largely unheralded’ Paili Vadyattu. Amit Shah on Monday tweeted: “I proudly announce Shri Thushar Vellappally, President of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, as the NDA candidate from Wayanad. “A vibrant and dynamic youth leader, he represents our commitment towards development and social justice. With him, NDA will emerge as Kerala’s political alternative.” This also means that Vellappally would move out of Thrissur. There is no official word from NDA Kerala as to who would replace him. Vadakkan for Thrissur?The two names doing the rounds are Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi and former all-India spokesperson of the Congress Tom Vadakkan, who recently joined the BJP, and has roots in Thrissur. AV Narayanaswamy, a farmer and consultant in Wayanad, summed it up saying people are only bothered about the victory margin for Gandhi, who has catapulted their region to national and international fame. The late MI Shanavas of the Congress won the seat in 2009 and 2014 but also saw the victory margin come down from 1.53 lakh votes to 20,870. This could be partly explained to the doubling of the BJP votes to 8.82 per cent in 2014. “The CPI was at the receiving end on both occasions, and it does not inspire much confidence this time around too,” Narayanswamy said. According to him, Thushar Vellappally could end up at best a ‘sacrificial lamb.’ last_img read more

Demand to raise royalty on coal in Rajya Sabha

first_imgSHARE Rajya Sabha Demands to raise royalty on coal, roll back of steep hike in airfares between Kerala and Gulf region and government intervention to help release fishermen captured by Pakistan were among issues raised during the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.Amar Patnaik (BJD) said the rate of royalty paid to state governments on coal produced in states was last changed in April 2012, and as per rule was due to be revised in April 2015, but was not done. “The issue was placed before the GST Council but is yet to be approved,” he said, adding that instead a cess was imposed which goes to indivisible pool that is not devolved to states. He demanded that royalty on coal should be raised to 20 per cent from the current 12 per cent.KK Ragesh (CPM) demanded roll back in steep hike in airfares in the Kerala-Gulf sector which, he said, was a “loot” by airlines by exploiting migrant workers. “While the Calicut-Dubai flight costs Rs 6,000, a Dubai to Calicut flight costs Rs 40,000,” he said, adding airfares are jacked up during festive seasons and holidays when migrant workers seek to return to their hometowns.Jairman Ramesh (Congress) asked the Environment and Forest Ministry to reject clearance to building of a mega port complex in North Chennai which, he said, posed danger to the fragile ecosystem in the region and livelihood of thousands of fishermen.Raising the issue of fishermen languishing in Pakistan jails, V Vijayasai Reddy (YSR-Congress) said that 46 fishermen were captured by Pakistan maritime security agency in October- November last year after illegally entering into Indian waters.According to Pakistan, as many as 483 fishermen are languishing in its jails, he said, adding 22 out of the 46 fishermen captured in October-November 2018 were from Andhra Pradesh who had gone to Gujarat for working on fishing trawlers. “What was the Indian Coast Guard doing when Pakistan intruded into Indian waters?” he asked.He said when the issue was first raised, the then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had promised to get consular access. “But neither the fishermen were released nor consular access given to families,” he said, asking the Government to urgently intervene to get families consular access.Harnath Singh Yadav (BJP) raised the issue of supply of drinking water which is high in fluoride, nitrate and iron in 336 out of 719 districts in the country and is leading to disorders in humans and animals as well as affecting land infertility.Shanta Chhetri (TMC) raised the issue of death of a person after his hand got stuck between two sliding doors of the Kolkata Metro on Saturday last. She alleged passenger safety was being compromised with by the Railway Ministry and demanded immediate allocation of funds for proper maintenance and upgrade of the metro rail.Satyanarayan Jatiya (BJP) raised the issue of inter-linking of rivers to solve problem of drought. AK Selvaraj (AIADMK) raised a similar demand. Published on COMMENTS July 15, 2019 0last_img read more

Bukit Aman says too soon to tell if more will be arrested

first_img Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Nation 2h ago Magistrate’s court issues six-day remand order for Haziq, five others Nation 2d ago IGP: Police dragnet closing in on sex video ‘alliance’ Haziq Abdul Aziz , Sex video , Crime Nation 2d ago IGP: We’re closing in on sex video culprits PETALING JAYA: Bukit Aman says it is too soon to say if more people will be arrested in connection with viral sex video implicating a minister after confirming the arrests of former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz and five others on Sunday (July 14) night.Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Huzir Mohamed said the six were detained on Sunday night in multiple locations in the Klang Valley.” We arrested them to assist with investigations under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998,” he said when contacted Monday (July 15).”We will see whether they need to be questioned or assist us in other aspects of the investigation,” Comm Huzir added. AdChoices广告Asked whether more arrests will be made soon, Comm Huzir said it would depend on the course of the investigation and declined to elaborate.On Saturday (July 13), Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador had said that the police were closing in on the “alliance” behind the sex video implicating a minister.“We have made several arrests (of the people who spread the video) and some have been released. No (we don’t know who the mastermind is yet), but there are hints of an alliance behind it,” he had told reporters.Abdul Hamid said the police were still working to complete its probe.“We are still waiting for lab results to determine the authenticity of the video. On the investigation itself, we have sent the investigation papers to the deputy public prosecutor twice.”Each time, it was sent back as further investigation was needed and the last time was on Thursday (July 11),” he had said.Haziq has confessed to being one of the two men in the video and alleged that the other person was Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin AliHe was first detained at KL International Airport on June 14 and the police set up the special task force led by Comm Huzir Mohamed to investigate the case three days later.  Related stories:IGP: Sex video probe still ongoingHaziq expelled from PKR for accusing party leader of corruption without evidenceHaziq urges Dr M to give fair treatment over sex video scandalPKR sacks Haziq from partyHaziq’s sacking is appropriate and fair, says PKR info chiefHaziq’s dismissal from PKR a fair move, says former bossA crack in Anwar and Azmin’s relationshipVideo casts a shadow over AzminIGP: Police dragnet closing in on sex video ‘alliance’IGP: We’re closing in on sex video culpritsHaziq and five others arrested in sex video probeMagistrate’s court issues six-day remand order for Haziq, five others Related News Tags / Keywords:last_img read more