Wanted criminal held

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Police arrested a criminal, identified as Iqbal Saifi, who was involved in several cases of attempt to murder, theft and extortion. He was wanted in an attempt to murder case of Jama Masjid.One .32 bore pistol along with three live cartridges was recovered from his possession. Reward of Rs 25,000 was declared on information leading to his arrest. In 2017, accused Iqbal Saifi unsuccessfully contested election of Councilor from ward number 47, Meerut on the ticket of Bhujan Samajwadi Party. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in DenmarkOn June 13, a secret specific input was received that Mohd. Iqbal Saifi will come to meet one of his friends near Mata Chowk, Welcome, Delhi in order to plan some heinous crime. The team of Special Cell, acting upon the said information immediately rushed near the spot and laid a trap. At about 9:05 pm, on being identified by a source, Mohd. Iqbal Saifi was apprehended. He has studied up to 8th standard at B A B Inter College, Meerut. He started his criminal carrier from an early age after falling into the bad company of his uncle Sartaz who was killed during an encounter with UP Police. He was first arrested in a case of attempt to murder in Police Station Lal Kurti, Meerut in which he alongwitalong withociates attempted to kill the owner of Nayyar Place, Meerut. He was also booked in Gunda Act. In 2017, accused Iqbal Saifi unsuccessfully contested election of Councilor from ward number 47 on the ticket of Bhujan Samajwadi Party.last_img read more

National Medical Commission Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

first_imgNew Delhi: The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which seeks to replace the 63-year-old Medical Council of India (MCI) to reform the medical sector in India, was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday. The Bill, introduced by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, also seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, stating that the Council set up under it was corrupt. It has been alleged that the process by which the MCI regulated medical colleges was flawed. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The new Bill has the provision for making national standards in medical education uniform by proposing that the final year MBBS exam be treated as an entrance test for PG and a screening test for students who graduated in medicine from foreign countries. This exam will be called the National Exit Test (NEXT). At present, different medical colleges have different MBBS exam patterns which means there is no surety of the quality of the medical graduate passing out of MBBS. The NMC proposal is to ensure a uniform national pattern for final year MBBS exam so that all medical graduates who get the licence to practise conform to uniform national standards and quality.last_img read more

Montreal seeks to be world leader in responsible artificial intelligence research

first_imgMONTREAL – Various computer scientists, researchers, lawyers and other techies have recently been attending biweekly meetings in Montreal to discuss life’s big questions — as they relate to our increasingly intelligent machines.Should a computer give medical advice? Is it acceptable for the legal system to use algorithms in order to decide whether convicts get paroled? Can an artificial agent that spouts racial slurs be held culpable?And perhaps most pressing for many people: Are Facebook and other social media applications capable of knowing when a user is depressed or suffering a manic episode — and are these people being targeted with online advertisements in order to exploit them at their most vulnerable?Google, Microsoft, Facebook and recently even the Royal Bank of Canada have announced millions of dollars in investment in artificial intelligence labs across Montreal, helping to make the city a world leader in machine-learning development.As a consequence, researchers such as Abhishek Gupta are trying to help Montreal lead the world in ensuring AI is developed responsibly.“The spotlight of the world is on (Montreal),” said Gupta, an AI ethics researcher at McGill University who is also a software developer in cybersecurity at Ericsson.His biweekly “AI ethics meet-up” brings together people from around the city who want to influence the way researchers are thinking about machine-learning.“In the past two months we’ve had six new AI labs open in Montreal,” Gupta said. “It makes complete sense we would also be the ones who would help guide the discussion on how to do it ethically.”In November, Gupta and Universite de Montreal researchers helped create the Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence, which is a series of principles seeking to guide the evolution of AI in the city and across the planet.The declaration is meant to be a collaborative project and its creators are accepting comments and ideas over the next several months on how to fine-tune the document and share it with computer scientists working internationally on machine-learning.Its principles are broken down into seven themes: well-being, autonomy, justice, privacy, knowledge, democracy and responsibility.During a recent ethics meet-up, Gupta and about 20 other people talked about justice and privacy.Lawyers, business people, researchers and others discussed issues such as whether to fight against the fact so much power and wealth are concentrated in the hands of a handful of AI companies.“How do we ensure that the benefits of AI are available to everyone?” Gupta asked his group. “What types of legal decisions can we delegate to AI?”Doina Precup, a McGill University computer science professor and the Montreal head of DeepMind, a famous U.K.-based AI company, says it isn’t a coincidence Quebec’s metropolis is trying to take the lead on AI ethics.She said the global industry is starting to be preoccupied with the societal consequences of machine-learning, and Canadian values encourage the discussion.“Montreal is a little ahead because we are in Canada,” Precup said. “Canada, compared to other parts of the world, has a different set of values that are more oriented towards ensuring everybody’s wellness. The background and culture of the country and the city matter a lot.”AI is everywhere, from the algorithms that help us read weather patterns or that filter news on our Facebook feeds, to autonomous weapon systems.A major ethical quandary most people will soon have to deal with involves self-driving cars.Cars are a classic example, Gupta explains. For instance, he asks, should car companies produce autonomous vehicles that are programed to maximize driver safety or pedestrian safety?“What if you’re in the car and the pedestrian is your child?” Gupta asks.Nick Bostrom, a Swedish philosopher and one of the world’s pre-eminent thinkers on AI, said “it’s quite amazing how central a role Canada has played in creating this deep-learning revolution.”While many of the AI field’s pioneers in the United States and elsewhere have left academia and entered the business world, Canada’s leaders, such as Universite de Montreal’s Yoshua Bengio, have had different priorities, Bostrom said in an interview from Britain.“Bengio is still teaching students and nurturing the next generation of research talent — he’s also been relatively involved in trying to think about the ethical dimensions of this,” said the author of a seminal book on AI, “Superintelligence,” published in 2014.Bostrom said there is a role for the international AI research community to reflect and try to develop a “shared sense of norms and purpose that can be influential” because it will put pressure on companies to hire people who care about developing machine-learning responsibly.“If you are a corporation that wants to be at the forefront you need to hire the very top talent — and they have many options available to them,” Bostrom said.“If your corporation is seen as running roughshod over this shared sense of responsibility you are going to find it harder to get the very top people to work with you.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly stated that the meetings were bimonthly. In fact, they are biweekly.last_img read more

Car bomb blows up in Egypts Sinai security

first_imgCAIRO – A car bomb intended for Egyptian troops in the Sinai exploded on Wednesday without causing any injuries, security officials said.The bomb near the north Sinai town of Sheikh Zuwayid was discovered before the planned attack.It blew up as a bomb squad team approached the car, but did not cause any injuries, the sources said. The sources said the military was tipped off to the bomb by a militant arrested after trading gunfire with soldiers earlier in the day.The military has sent armour and helicopters in the desert and mountains north of the peninsula to crush a militant insurgency since the army overthrew president Mohamed Morsi in July.Some of the militants belong to Al-Qaeda inspired groups that have carried out suicide bombings and attempted to attack a ship passing through the Suez Canal.last_img read more

Nunes sues Twitter users for defamation and negligence

WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (NOO’-nehs) of California is suing Twitter and several of its users for more than $250 million, accusing them of defamation and negligence.The defendants include two anonymous parody accounts, “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow.”The suit filed in Virginia accuses Twitter of “knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory.”Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act provides internet services with immunity from liability for material posted by their users.Nunes’ suit also accuses Twitter of censoring “viewpoints with which it disagrees” and “shadow-banning conservatives.”Shadow banning allows users to post freely — but no one else sees their messages. Twitter has denied doing it, although some political conservatives —including President Donald Trump — remain unconvinced.The Associated Press read more

UN rights expert calls for urgent reform of justice system in Haiti

“When Haiti’s population sees the reform of the Haitian National Police proceeding at a fast pace, but the justice system is still marked by deprivation and limited resources, they are legitimately entitled to ask for the reasons behind this disparity,” Michel Forst told reporters in the capital, Port-au-Prince, before wrapping up his visit.Although there were high hopes for the laws designed to reform the judiciary, progress appears to have been halted with their passage, he said. “There is still a long way to go before the country has a penal system that adheres to the rule of law.”Mr. Forst pointed to progress in reforming the police, who are wearing new uniforms, driving new cars and include many more women in their ranks, but noted that the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, still reports that law enforcement officials are behind violence and corruption.Overcrowded conditions in prisons constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, he said, welcoming the construction of new detention centres and the influx of funding from international partners.In a new report on Haiti released yesterday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote that while there is substantial reason to believe Haiti is moving away from its past of conflict towards a brighter future of peaceful development, there is still a need to strengthen State institutions and constitutional reform, among the current challenges.“Further efforts to curb corruption and impunity are also critical,” stressed Mr. Ban, adding that an effective response “to violent incidents during the elections of 19 April would help to shore up public confidence in the democratic process.”His report underscored the critical contribution MINUSTAH and the UN Country Team can make to stability in Haiti, especially as the emergent Haitian police force is still strengthening. 4 September 2009Demand for justice outpaces the much-needed reform of the justice system in Haiti, the independent United Nations expert on the situation of human rights in the small Caribbean nation has underscored. read more

The average price of a home in Canada is now more than

OTTAWA — The hot real estate market in Toronto and the surrounding areas helped push home sales up last month to their highest mark in nearly a year.The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales though its MLS system hit their highest level since last April, gaining 5.2 per cent in February compared to January.The association says February sales were up from the previous month in about 70 per cent of all local markets it measures, with the national increase driven by the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding regions.Canadian home prices climb another 1% in biggest February increase on record as Toronto stays strongForeign buyer tax plus a surtax on expensive homes needed to rein in Toronto housing: report‘It’s terrible, it’s just discouraging’: Desperation sets in for house hunters in red-hot Toronto marketCREA president Cliff Iverson says homes are selling briskly throughout the Greater Toronto Area and nearby communities, but elsewhere, competition among potential buyers is less intense, so listings take longer to sell.Compared with a year ago, sales were down 2.6 per cent from February 2016 due to a slowdown in B.C.’s Lower Mainland region.The national average price for a home sold in February was $519,521, up 3.5 per cent from a year ago, boosted by Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto.Excluding those two markets, the national average price was $369,728. read more

UN and international experts meet to chart future course of counterterrorism measures

The two-day meeting, which began with a minute of silence in honour of the victims of the Madrid attacks, aims to recommend concrete suggestions to strengthen the planning, coordination and execution of future joint activities, and move towards strengthening the exchange of information in a bid to stem the terrorist scourge.Today’s session addressed current and emerging threats, with two working sessions focused on the danger posed to civil aviation by Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) and on the need to break the nexus between terrorism and organized crime.Tomorrow’s session will look at preventing the financing of terrorism; ratification and implementation of 12 international anti-terrorism instruments; border management issues; and coordination among key organizations at all levels.Speaking at the event, organized by the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said there is strong evidence of a close link between terrorism and organized criminal activities, including trafficking in drugs, firearms and human beings, as well as money-laundering.”These crimes both precede and accompany terrorist crimes, since terrorist groups operate in the same black markets where organized crime is active. We can weaken terrorist groups by going forcefully after their profit-oriented activities,” Mr. Costa said, underscoring the need to survey and monitor the multiple connections between terrorism and profit-driven transnational crimes.Ambassador Inocencio Arias of Spain, Chairman of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), opened today’s meeting by calling for improvements in the way international organizations coordinate and collaborate in fighting global terrorism. He pointed to the collaboration between the OSCE and the UNODC as an example for other organizations to adopt.OSCE Secretary General Jan Kubi? said that focused, expert, technical anti-terrorism workshops such as those recently organized by the OSCE’s Action against Terrorism Unit were yielding concrete results. He joined other organizations represented at the conference in supporting the leadership of the CTC in ensuring cohesion in the collective actions of international, regional and sub-regional organizations. read more

FROM THE FIELD Photos highlight agony of West African civil wars

 The United Nations established its first peacekeeping mission in Liberia in 1993 with the goal of implementing a peace agreement, and missions followed in Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire which were also suffering from conflict.A quarter of a century later all the peacekeeping operations in this region of West African known as the Mano River Basin successfully completed their mandates to maintain peace and stability and have closed down.Read more here on 25 years of peacekeeping in the Mano River Basin and to find links to the exhibition, which runs until 16 December, at the Bronx Documentary Center. Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros took photographs from both sides of the front line documenting the destruction and chaos of the conflict in the West African country in the 1990s and early 2000s. Nigerian police officers with the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia, UNMIL, leave the country in March 2018. UN Photo/Albert González Farran read more

Top firms taking one and done approach by appointing token woman to

There are now just four FTSE 350 companies that have all-male boards, down from 152 in 2011.  But there are another “40 or 50” companies which have just one woman on their board, Ms Wilson said, which the review is now applying pressure to.  “At the beginning we worked very hard on all male boards,” Ms Wilson said.  “We now have very few of those. The next stage is turning our attention to what we call ‘one and done’ firms, where they appointed one woman several years ago and are not for changing.”   “What are the tools, what is the wherewithal they have to encourage – force if you like to use that word –  these companies to use their entire talent pipeline and not just half of it?” she said.“If they choose to ignore that I do think there needs to be some way of addressing that actually.”The review, which will report to the Government at the end of next year, is to publish figures on Monday showing that 32.1 per cent of FTSE 100 board positions are held by women, up from 12.5 per cent in 2011. Over the same period, the FTSE 250’s figures have increased from 24.9 per cent to 27.5 per cent.Kelly Tolhurst, the business minister, said: “These latest figures show there are now more women than ever before at the top of UK business, and I want to see companies do all they can to increase the numbers further.  “Diversity makes good business sense and those who fail to see this as a priority are missing out on the benefits that diverse leadership brings.” Since mid-March when the letters were sent, 20 have now appointed women but 14 failed to reply to the letter at all, according to figures published on Monday as part of the review’s mid-year update.  Ms Wilson said the lack of response from 14 companies left her feeling “frustrated”.“There are a small number of companies that are holding things back – and the question is what do we do about them?” she said.A voluntary regime can be “persuasive”, she said, adding: “But we are powerless in terms of giving any sanction or doing anything about these companies that choose not to address the shortfall of women in their leadership team. And I think that is where going forward, is the next stage.”Ms Wilson said that while she would not advocate “quotas and legislation per se”, ministers must consider how to bring these reluctant companies to the table. The Hampton-Alexander review encourages all FTSE 350 companies to have women make up at least a third of their board and leadership roles by the end of 2020.Along with the Investment Association – which represents investors responsible for funds totalling £7.7trillion – the review wrote to 69 firms companies which had one or less women on their board. Some of the UK’s top firms are taking a “one and done” approach to gender diversity by appointing a token woman to their board, a Government-backed review has found.  A small number of FTSE companies are “intentionally blocking progress”, according to Denise Wilson White, chief executive of the Hampton-Alexander review which was set up by Theresa May in 2016 to close the gender gap at the top of business.Ms White told The Telegraph that some businesses are “still keeping their hand in the sand” and “turning a blind eye” to their lack of female leaders.All big firms “know the right lines to say” when asked about gender diversity, she said, but despite the “warm words” and rhetoric, “many don’t get it at all”. Last year, the Telegraph launched its Women in Business campaign aimed at encouraging the development of policies designed to help female entrepreneurs. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Cancer le secret de la résistance du rattaupe nu enfin dévoilé

first_imgCancer : le secret de la résistance du rat-taupe nu enfin dévoiléLe rat-taupe nu est un animal chez lequel on n’a jamais détecté de cancer. Selon les chercheurs, cette particularité s’explique par la présence de grandes concentrations d’acide hyaluroniques dans les cellules de l’animal.Le rat-taupe nu (ou rat-taupe glabre, Heterocephalus glaber) est un animal d’Afrique de l’Est peu connu qui fait plutôt peur à voir. Quoique de maigre constitution avec ses 8 cm pour 35 g, les chercheurs s’intéressent beaucoup à lui car ils ont découvert que ce rongeur ne développait jamais de cancer. Une capacité dont on ignorait l’origine, du moins jusqu’ici puisque des chercheurs pourraient avoir percé le mystère. Selon deux scientifiques américains de l’université de Rochester, ceci pourrait s’expliquer par la présence d’acide hyaluronique fortement concentré dans les cellules de l’animal. En effet, comme l’expliquent Vera Gorbunova et Andrei Seluanov, biologistes spécialistes des rongeurs, la présence de cet acide dans la matrice extracellulaire, c’est-à-dire l’espace situé entre les cellules, empêche les cellules du rat-taupe nu de s’agglutiner pour former des tumeurs. Ce sont les cellules elles-mêmes qui produisent cet acide de façon concentré et en grande quantité. Une fois expulsé dans la matrice extracellulaire, la formation de tumeurs cancéreuses ne peut alors plus se faire.Pour s’assurer que c’est bien l’acide hyaluronique qui est à l’origine de l’immunité des rats-taupes nus, les scientifiques ont fait en sorte de bloquer la production de cette molécule chez 80 individus. Ils ont alors constaté que les cellules se regroupaient, laissant présager une possible formation de tumeurs. Une observation qui pourrait peut-être fournir une nouvelle piste de traitement pour les humain. Une piste de recherche chez l’humain ? À lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?En effet, la principale différence est que l’acide hyaluronique des rats-taupes nus est composé de molécules cinq fois plus grosse que celles des humains ou des souris. Aussi, “il y a des raisons de penser que l’acide hyaluronique pourrait s’avérer efficace pour les humains”, estime Andrei Seluanov cité par Libération. Actuellement, “cette molécule est déjà utilisée dans les injections anti-rides ou pour soulager la douleur des malades de l’arthrite des genoux. Nous espérons qu’elle puisse donner lieu à de nouveaux traitements contre le cancer”, indique t-il encore.Dans leur publication parue dans la version en ligne de Nature, les chercheurs relèvent qu’étudier ces rats nus pourraient donc être plus intéressants qu’étudier des souris, comme c’est habituellement le cas. D’autant que les rats-taupes nus sont, de façon générale, beaucoup plus résistants que les souris. Alors que ces dernières ont une espérance de vie moyenne de quatre ans, le rat-taupe nu, lui, peut vivre environ 30 ans.Le 25 juin 2013 à 12:26 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

MovieBob Reviews BEAUTY THE BEAST 2017

first_img MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on target What exactly is the point of this?No need to answer that – we already all know the point is selling tickets and thus entirely rhetorical. Even still, while there really isn’t anything especially “wrong” with Beauty & The Beast, it’s the first of this new live-action Disney fairytale cycle that’s not even pretending that there was some other compelling reason for a remake other than to score a big box-office off of generational nostalgia and ensure that future fans of various Disney classics have to buy two different versions of their favorites.At least, the Cinderella remake was about re-centering the title character and giving her more agency of her own since when you actually watch it the original is mostly about the mice and the cat. The Jungle Book remake was an interesting attempt to decouple the original story from Kipling’s implicit racism and explicit colonialist romanticism. Maleficent was doing something completely different and unique (hence why it’s the best of the lot so far) and even those two Alice movies… well, a low-bar is important, too.Beauty & The Beast, on the other hand, has no such pretense – likely because it doesn’t think it needs to. Just about everyone seems to have agreed that the original is either the best animated Disney movie or at least the best of the “renaissance era,” so there’s nothing to fix or even to pretend is need of some dramatic new take. It’s a blow-by-blow recreation of the original, with the majority of minor changes slotted in to accommodate some new songs among the classics. Plus a bunch of obvious plot-mechanic fixes grafted-on to address longstanding issues like “how old IS The Beast again?” and why it took wildly-varied lengths of time to travel between Belle’s village and the castle.As what amounts to a studio producing their own fan-film, it’s not half bad – Emma Watson gives an interesting turn as Belle, Luke Evans puts a different slightly edgier spin on Gaston, everyone acquits themselves admirably in the singing department and the casting for the various talking objects in the Beast’s Castle is pretty inspired. Everyone is very clearly going through the motions in paying homage to the classic; and while that doesn’t add up to much new or exciting, if watching a bunch of present-actors re-enact a movie you liked as a kid and seeing a bunch of Disney’s best songs get blown-up broadway-style is what you’re looking for there are certainly worse ways to spend an afternoon.Honestly, if there’s one glaring issue I have with the new movie it’s that The Beast himself… doesn’t really work. The fact is, almost every live-action version of this story has been limited somewhat by how difficult it is to realize The Beast as a character. That’s part of why it lent itself so well to animation, where they were free to conjure a totally alien-looking fantastical “thing” that walked like a gorilla and looked like some lion/buffalo/bear hybrid. Thusly, you’d think they’d take the opportunity to use motion-capture and CGI to make him look properly interesting in live-action; but instead the overall design looks like something that could’ve been accomplished with makeup and prosthetics; he actually looks more human and less like a monster than he ever did as a cartoon. He’s sort of a dull lead, and that’s a problem because he gets more screen time to himself in this version including a whole new solo song number. There is also some backstory about an abusive father that’s supposed to explain why he was a brat (and also weirdly try and justify why the servants are all cursed, too) none of which adds up to much.Also not adding up to much is the “big controversy” over making Josh Gad’s LeFou gay. Good on Disney for saying “Yeah, this in a kids movie shouldn’t be a big deal in 2017.” But for the all the buildup it’s gotten in the press it’s pretty amusing to see that about 90% of it is just gags, innuendo and asides that all feel borrowed from when The Simpsons was doing the exact same routine with Mr. Smither’s like 20 years ago. The payoff is cute, but like the rest of the movie it’s all very perfunctory.In the end, I didn’t dislike Beauty & The Beast, but I did find myself wishing they’d at least tried to find some new spin on the material or some other thematic concept to explore to make this more than just a studio taking a “victory lap” in celebration of a movie everyone already agrees was good.last_img read more

This Ancient FourLegged Whale Could Have Moved Like an Otter Study Finds

first_img The whales we see in oceans today look incredibly different from their ancestors. A new study reported the discovery of a mysterious species of ancestral whale that roamed the land and the sea, and might have moved like a giant otter many years ago.According to the study, which was published in Current Biology, cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises, and whales), descended from four-legged mammals that once occupied Earth. Whales in particular evolved 50 million years ago from small animals that had four legs and hooves, CNN reported.In 2011, paleontologists discovered the skeleton of this early creature in the Pisco Basin in Peru. The bones, which were found by Mario Urbina and his international team, showed some interesting characteristics of this bizarre animal.“As this is the first four-legged whale skeleton for South America and the whole Pacific Ocean, the discovery in itself was a major surprise,” Olivier Lambert, one of the study’s co-authors, told CNN in an email. “We were also surprised with the geological age of the find (42.6 million years ago) and with the preservation state [of] so many bones from most parts of the skeleton, even including a patella (kneecap), some small ankle bones, and the last phalanges with marks of tiny hooves.”A picture of some of the bones of ‘Peregocetus pacificus’ (Photo Credit: Amphibious Whale from the Middle Eocene of Peru/ Curr. Biol./Cell Press/YouTube)According to the team, this is the oldest known whale found in this area of the globe, and it’s the most complete skeleton discovered outside of India and Pakistan, where paleontologists have spotted similar skeletons of four-legged whales before. The team named the creature Peregocetus pacificus, which means “the traveling whale that reached the pacific.” In the past, this four-legged whale would have been up to 11-feet-long with its tale.Whale body shapes have evolved to adapt to water environments, however, scientists still didn’t know how the four-legged whale traveled from South Asia to South America. Lambert said four-legged whales were previously found in three key regions: India/Pakistan (geologically oldest), North and West Africa (slightly younger taxa), and the east side of North America (the younger ones).This ancient four-legged whale most likely had long toes that were webbed, similar to those of other sea mammals. (Photo Credit: Amphibious Whale from the Middle Eocene of Peru/ Curr. Biol./Cell Press/YouTube)“Based on the available evidence, and on the fact that the postcranial skeleton is poorly known in species from both Africa and North America, several questions remained debated,” Lambert added. “When did quadrupedal whales reach the New World? Which path did they take? And what [were their] locomotion abilities during that long travel?”The study suggested that these creatures were able to travel on land and swim in water well. Sadly, the scientists couldn’t locate the last part of the animal’s tail section, but the first vertebra of this section resembled those of modern-day otters. Additionally, the ancient four-legged whales might have moved like today’s otters, with long, webbed toes.There’s still more to learn about this ancient four-legged whale, and scientists will continue to explore the excavation site in Peru and analyze how this bizarre creature moved around our planet.More on Geek.com:X-Rays Reveal Hungry Lizard Mistook Golf Balls for Chicken EggsCute Chihuahua ‘Arrested’ After Boarding a School Bus in TexasStudy Reveals How Grieving Gorillas Gather Around and Groom Dead Relatives Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferWatch: Deep-Sea Octopus ‘Billows Like a Circus Tent’ Stay on targetlast_img read more

Bill banning Macau workers visiting casinos approved

first_img 70% of Macau gaming market driven by 400,000 premium players: brokerage Load More Macau’s Legislative Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill banning local casino workers from entering Macau casinos outside of working hours.As previously reported by Inside Asian Gaming, the bill targets employees working in a range of positions in Macau casinos including dealers and EGM workers, cleaners, security personnel, cashiers and even some public relations staff and junket workers. Those employees will only be allowed to enter casinos on the first three days of the Lunar New Year and for work-related activities such as training. RelatedPosts 10,000 Chinese citizens flee Sihanoukville in days after Cambodian online gaming directive: report Sihanoukville authorities threaten legal action against 10 building owners over demolition orders Law No. 10/2012 won’t officially come into effect until late 2019 or early 2020, with the government offering operators and employees 12-months to prepare for enforcement of the new law after it is officially announced. It is estimated to cover around 52,000 Macau casino employees.The bill, which was provisionally approved in July, is aimed at curbing problem gambling among casino employees. It was revealed by the Deputy Director of Macau’s Social Affairs Bureau, Hoi Wa Pou, earlier this year that around 30% of all individuals who ask for assistance in dealing with a gambling problem work in the casino industry.Workers found to be in a casino outside of work hours would face fines of between MOP$1,000 and MOP$10,000, however there are still some questions being asked as to exactly how effectively the law can be enforced. Lawmakers have previously suggested everything from facial recognition technology to random ID checks as the most likely method.last_img read more

Defense Hawks Stand Firm on Need to Boost Defense Spending

first_imgMore than 100 Republicans in the House have vowed not to support any fiscal 2016 spending bill that allocates less than $561 billion for DOD’s base budget, the amount requested by the Obama administration.In a letter to House GOP leaders, 102 Republicans underscore the growing number of conflicts across the globe and the fiscal constraints already imposed on the military in demanding that the Pentagon be granted significant relief from the Budget Control Act spending caps this year.“In light of the bleak assessments provided by our military leaders, we are writing to inform you that we cannot vote for any spending measure for FY 2016 that does not fund base requirements for national defense at or above the $561 billion level,” the group stated in the letter.Most significantly, the letter — spearheaded by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee — warns congressional leadership against passing a full-year continuing resolution, a backup scenario for funding the government if bipartisan budget talks fail to produce a deal raising the caps on defense and non-defense spending, reports the Hill.“Seeking to fund our defense activities through a full-year continuing resolution would bring about devastating consequences to our national security and would amount to an abdication of our principal duty to ‘provide for the common defense’ of the nation,” the letter stated.While it’s not clear what the ultimate impact of the letter will be, it appears to be a show of strength by defense hawks unhappy with hardline conservatives who, in addition to forcing House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to step down, don’t want to negotiate higher spending levels. In that sense, the letter could increase pressure on GOP leaders to strike a deal with the White House and Democrats to raise the spending caps. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

RBI rate cut expected to prompt bankers to lower lending rates

first_imgTo give boost to the ailing economy and promote spending, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a surprise cut in repo rate, Wednesday, by 25 basis points to 7.50 percent.RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said he expects the cut to encourage banks and lenders to reduce their lending rates in the second quarter of 2015.”March is typically a time when banks try and hoard liquidity, but as we move into the new fiscal year we will see more transmission of lower interest rates,” Rajan told the media.This is the second time the RBI has cut repo rate this year. On January 15, after RBI announced a cut in the repo rate, only 3 of 45 commercial banks decided to cut the lending rates, reflecting an economy plagued by bad loans and high inflation. This prompted RBI to criticize the banks which had refused to lower the lending rates, calling their move ‘lazy’ banking.This time could be different, however. Many banks expressed interest in lowering their lending rates, stating that the move could come as early the second quarter of 2015 as March marks the end of the current financial year. “My hope is that over the span of the next few weeks, as we move in to the new fiscal, we will see more transmission into lower interest rate,” Rajan told analysts in a conference call.”Banks tend to be a little faster in raising rates rather than cutting rates. I have no doubt that the pressure of the two rate cuts over time will feed into lower rates,” he said.In February, Indian banks’ credit growth remained at decades low – 10.4 percent year-on-year – signalling a sluggish economy and the government’s struggles to help it recover.RBI’s latest move comes on the heels of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presenting a growth-oriented Budget. If banks lower lending rates as expected, both consumer and business loans will become cheaper and could be the medicine needed to help India’s economy recover.last_img read more

Governor Updates Harvey Recovery Efforts

first_img X Governor Abbott says the good news is that the risk to lives has now been reduced, if not completely eliminated. But he says a tremendous amount of rebuilding work remains ahead, and that starts with trash.“We are working with FEMA and they’re giving us greater flexibility to help locals hire companies and entities that can assist them in the debris removal process.” The governor says an estimated 200 million cubic yards of debris must be removed. Some early debris removal funds from FEMA have already been directed to Houston and Harris County.“We were able to provide to the City of Houston a check for more than $91 million, as well as a check to Harris County for more than $44 million as advance payment for their debris removal process.” Abbott also updated other aspects of recovery — he says some 3,900 homes remain without power. There are 77 communities with boil water notices, 19 water system outages, and 31 wastewater outtages. And 2.4 million acres have been sprayed by air for mosquitoes. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:08 Listen Share last_img read more

Mark Cuban Hasnt Ruled Out A Run For President But It Will

first_imgKERACEO host Lee Cullum and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sat down Thursday for a conversation that will air on KERA TV in early April.Friday is the last day of early voting for the Texas primaries — and already attention is focusing on the 2020 election.Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told KERA Thursday that he hasn’t ruled out a run for president.The billionaire talked with Lee Cullum during a taping of the KERA television program CEO. He said his political plans depend on what happens in November.“If the Democrats win in the midterms, there’s no need for me because there’ll be enough balance,” he said. “If they don’t, I’m going to have a lot of serious thinking to do and a lot of soul searching with my wife and kids because I’ve got a lot of hearts and minds I need to change inside my home. But I think I can do a good job.”Cuban said if he does run, it will likely be as an independent.“My heart’s in the right place. And if there’s a better candidate, I’m more than happy to step aside; that’s not my dream. But if there’s a need for a fallback candidate, then I’ll have to do a lot of soul searching. Right now, I’d say it’s 10 percent at the most.”Thursday’s comments came a week after Cuban hired outside counsel to investigate reports of inappropriate workplace conduct in the Mavericks’ front office.Cuban told Cullum he was not aware of any improper behavior, and he will wait for the investigation to finish before commenting on the situation.The CEO episode with Mark Cuban is scheduled to air on KERA TV in early April. Sharelast_img read more